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Rush Limbaugh's Living Constitution:

From his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference:

We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be. We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. [Applause] We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. [Applause] Liberty, Freedom. [Applause] And the pursuit of happiness. [Applause] Those of you watching at home may wonder why this is being applauded. We conservatives think all three are under assault. [Applause] Thank you. Thank you.

jim47:
Natural rights, yes. Living Constitution, how so?
3.1.2009 2:27pm
krs:
I don't get the subject heading either... unless it's a really bad joke on the facts that the Declaration of Independence and not the preamble to the Constitution is the source of the statement about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
3.1.2009 2:37pm
Apodaca:
Perhaps the point is that the preamble doesn't actually contain the phrase "pursuit of happiness."
3.1.2009 2:38pm
Bob Contois (mail):
How so? That phrase (actually the "pursuit of happiness," not "liberty") is in the preamble to the Declaration, not the Constitution.
3.1.2009 2:38pm
mogden (mail):
From one bunch of statists assaulting the constitution to another.
3.1.2009 2:44pm
BRM:
So they applauded for "Life", "Freedom", and the "Pursuit of Happiness" but not for "Liberty". I assume that is Justice Kennedy's fault.
3.1.2009 2:44pm
TerrencePhilip:
Well, I recall Clinton blathering once that "our Constitution says all men are created equal." What does Limbaugh's flub prove?
3.1.2009 2:44pm
Displaced Midwesterner:
I am guessing this is because the actual words are from the Declaration and a pretty common progressive idea is that the Constitution has to be read in light of the Declaration of Independence. That's my take.
3.1.2009 2:52pm
Kazinski:
So he misspoke on an extemporaneous roll in front of an audience. It happens to politicians all the time. He does know the difference between the two.
3.1.2009 2:54pm
John Moore (www):
Limbaugh is an idea guy, not a detail guy. His flub shows that - he is really talking about his view of the founding philosophy of the nation, not specific texts.

Also, he was talking with no text, as talk show hosts do on air.

BRM... err Freedom != Liberty?
3.1.2009 2:55pm
Doug Mataconis (mail) (www):
Limbaugh an idea man ?

Yea, right.

Why do people keep forgetting what he actually is --- an entertainer ?
3.1.2009 3:09pm
traveler496:
Did anyone notice that this:
"Don't treat people as children. Respect their intelligence. Realize that there's a way to persuade people. Sometimes the worst way is to get in their face and point a finger. Set up a set of circumstances where the conclusion is obvious. Let them think they came up with the idea themselves. They'll think they're smart that they figured it out. Who cares how you persuade them, the fact they can be persuaded is factually correct, it's possible."

is of the form "Don't do X" followed immediately by specific advice on how to do X?

When he knows the text will be published, Limbaugh should stick to prepared speeches. A good speechwriter would never have allowed the hypocrisy to shine through this brightly.
3.1.2009 3:18pm
John Moore (www):
Limbaugh is a great entertainer. He really is, however, an idea guy - specifically on political concepts and trends. You may not like his ideas or agree with them, but he knows his stuff in those areas.
3.1.2009 3:18pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
terrence:

I recall Clinton blathering once that "our Constitution says all men are created equal."


Citation?
3.1.2009 3:21pm
frankcross (mail):
This is clearly living Constitution stuff because of the inclusion of happiness, at least. What makes people happy changes over time. What could be more activist than putting happiness in as a standard for constitutional interpretation.
3.1.2009 3:23pm
Sam H (mail):
"Why do people keep forgetting what he actually is --- an entertainer ?"

True, but he is so successful because he works with the ideas that most Americans believe in. If he used the ideas of the left, he wouldn't be on the air.
3.1.2009 3:24pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Where in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution does it say
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,..."
Is there anything in either document that provides a major premise for such a dictum?
3.1.2009 3:24pm
Debauched Sloth (mail):
Liberty, freedom, and the right of individuals to pursue their own happiness as conservative values? Wow. Earth to Rush and friends: those values require genuine commitment to limited government, which your party just got sent to its room for making such a mockery of during the past eight years. People who walk the limited government walk only when the other guys are in charge have much in common with those summer soldiers and sunshine patriots Mr. Paine warned us about.
3.1.2009 3:27pm
TerrencePhilip:
jukeboxgrad,

I haven't the time to go look this up. I saw it on the news. It was at some point in his first term. He was speaking to a class of grade schoolers, with a rather put-on sincerity, about how the US had slavery, "even though our constitution says all men are created equal." The network said Clinton later acknowledged this was an incorrect offhand statement but that an aide had said "after all, he is a constitutional lawyer" (which is not the defense they maybe should've urged).
3.1.2009 3:30pm
Pro Natura (mail):
Right up there with Obama's "fifty seven states" and every mispoken utterance from Gore on global warming.
3.1.2009 3:37pm
subpatre (mail):
In his Privacy in the Age of Persistence, Schneier recalls:
"Cardinal Richelieu famously said: "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." When all your words and actions can be saved for later examination, different rules have to apply.

Society works precisely because conversation is ephemeral; because people forget, and because people don't have to justify every word they utter."

No, "liberty" is not synonymous with "freedom". He ignores the differences, but in defense, no other Conspirator has explored the meanings either. But Carpenter also seems uninterested in exploring any substance (Constitution protecting the values expressed in the DoI, etc) to this error, to Limbaugh's address or to the reinvigorated CPAC.

It looks like a he is simply flaming Limbaugh over an minor, easily understood, and relatively harmless mistake. Carpenter unwittingly illustrates his faction's own flaw, obsessing over the gnat in his neighbor's eye.
3.1.2009 3:41pm
krs:

Carpenter unwittingly illustrates his faction's own flaw, obsessing over the gnat in his neighbor's eye.

I think the post is just a bad joke.
3.1.2009 3:44pm
John127 (mail):
People are over-analyzing this. Of course, Mr. Carpenter is being facetious. And it is deserved in Limbaugh's case, because it shows poignantly that he is neither an "idea guy" nor a "detail guy". He is a "mindless platitude" guy, and he's been reading from the same script that was written for him twenty-plus years ago. It should be a universal indicator of intellectual seriousness in any current public policy debate whether one buys into Limbaugh's nonsense or not.
3.1.2009 3:59pm
Mocha Java (mail):
I guess Mr. Carpenter got a leg tingle when he "gotcha"ed this one...
3.1.2009 4:02pm
R Gould-Saltman (mail):
". . . he is so successful because he works with the ideas that most Americans believe in. . . ."

True to the extent that some, (but, I hope, not most) believe in ideas like "I'm entitled, you're not". "Someone out there is responsible for most of my problems. . ." "Everyone was better off in 1920. . . " and, my favorite: "The greatest threats to America and to Western Civilization are college professors and movie actors!"
3.1.2009 4:09pm
Nemesis (mail):
Mr Limbaugh is becoming the face of USA abroad. He represents an important part of the North American mind. A National Treasure.
3.1.2009 4:09pm
Sara (Pal2Pal) (mail) (www):
I realize, Doug Mataconis, that with the liberal domination of the media/entertainment industry, that you don't see many "ideas" coming out of that group, but that does not mean that an "entertainer" cannot have great ideas or impart the great ideas that this country is built upon.

It is very frustrating to see so many men, especially, so jealous of men like Rush, Mitt, and GWB and being so petty in their criticisms.
3.1.2009 4:15pm
Feldman:
I've seen obamatrons fly to the defense of Obama with less alacrity than the ditto-heads above dove to rescue poor Rush.

If you only knew how foolish you look. Clearly, CPAC, will be enjoying its time in the wilderness for a long, long spell.
3.1.2009 4:22pm
JK:

in Limbaugh's case, because it shows poignantly that he is neither an "idea guy" nor a "detail guy". He is a "mindless platitude" guy


This strikes me as exactly right. Behind the (arguably) silly mistake of confusing the constitution with the DoI (and inserting "freedom," unless he was just explaining to the CPAC audience what "liberty" means), is the problem that he's not really saying anything here. No one really disagrees with the assertion he's making, it's just an empty battle cry.
3.1.2009 4:23pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Rush is a skilled entertainer who became a mouthpiece for George Bush. Considering the damage Bush did, I don't see why anyone would want to defend Rush. Since Bush facilitated the rise of The Anointed One, Limbaugh must carry a heavy burden for the rest of his life. He is best ignored.
3.1.2009 4:34pm
PlugInMonster:
Just reinforces what I was already saying. Throw Rush Limbaugh out of the Republican party. Him and all the other religious nutbags.
3.1.2009 4:37pm
PlugInMonster:
Also it doesn't help the conservative cause to have obese, bloated Rush Limbaugh up there. Not exactly visually appealing, is he? Like some of kind of horrible caricature. Liberals must be cackling!
3.1.2009 4:40pm
BGates:
the problem that he's not really saying anything here. No one really disagrees with the assertion he's making, it's just an empty battle cry.

Compare,

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.
3.1.2009 4:51pm
mattski:
Another conservative alarmed by what he sees...
3.1.2009 4:53pm
jim47:
On a second look, I see that Limbaugh may merely have misspoken and intended to say that the Declaration says these things. But I contend that my original reading may still be the case, which is that Limbaugh is stating that the Preamble to the Constitution specifically places the structure and meaning of the constitution within an intellectual and legal context whose principles are exemplified, but not originated, by the famous words of the Declaration of Independence.

This idea is an old, well established, conservative, and yes, originalist, idea. It may be controversial within the originalist movement, but that controversy has generally thought to be a conflict between natural law and positivism, over the better understanding of originalism, not to be a conflict between originalism and non-originalism.
3.1.2009 4:55pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
terrence:

I saw it on the news.


Thanks for responding. But, with all due respect, I think the quote is phony. My googling skills are fairly decent, and all I can find is this:

Bill Clinton said, in a speech while he was president, "All men are created equal. That's what it says in the Constitution."


And who is saying that? Some guy on a blog, offering no proof. Just like you.

By the way, there is a tradition of circulating phony Clinton quotes. A bunch of the ones here are phony.
3.1.2009 5:01pm
PersonFromPorlock:
PlugInMonster:

Also it doesn't help the conservative cause to have obese, bloated Rush Limbaugh up there. Not exactly visually appealing, is he? Like some of kind of horrible caricature.

Of who? Ted Kennedy? Al Gore? Jerrold Nadler?
3.1.2009 5:02pm
pluribus:
PlugInMonster:

Just reinforces what I was already saying. Throw Rush Limbaugh out of the Republican party.

But I thought he was/is the Republican Party--or what's left of it.
3.1.2009 5:02pm
Malvolio:
He is a "mindless platitude" guy, and he's been reading from the same script that was written for him twenty-plus years ago.
Hey, I'm a mindless platitude guy too! Where can I go to sign up for my $30 million a year job?

I have never understood the alacrity of certain people to describe their opponents as stupid, incompetent, or unimaginative while those opponents are winning. Do you people not realize that when you insult someone who's beating you, you are effectively saying, "I am losing to a fool. How stupid must I be?"

I'm thinking of the liberals' treatment of Reagan and GWB, both of whom were derided as hapless dullards by the very people they were soundly thrashing in every single election.
3.1.2009 5:08pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
But I thought he was/is the Republican Party--or what's left of it.


Exactly. Limbaugh is the Republican party (regardless of how much posturing he does to the effect that he's a 'conservative' and not a 'Republican').

Rush and the GOP are a match made in heaven. They deserve each other, and they are permanently, irrevocably attached to each other. Till death do us part. And that long slow death is fun to watch.
3.1.2009 5:09pm
mattski:
I'm thinking of the liberals' treatment of Reagan and GWB, both of whom were derided as hapless dullards by the very people they were soundly thrashing in every single election.

By losing the popular vote to Gore GWB was administering Gore a sound thrashing?
3.1.2009 5:13pm
Richard A. (mail):
Limbaugh is simply a pitchman who will say anything for the right price. But at least the people who write his mattress commercials understand mattresses. He has no understanding whatsoever of the nature of conservative thought, and proves it daily. What he really is is a populist in the William Jennings Bryan tradition, which is the furthest thing from a conservative.
3.1.2009 5:13pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I'm thinking of the liberals' treatment of Reagan and GWB, both of whom were derided as hapless dullards by the very people they were soundly thrashing in every single election.


In 1980, 2000 and 2004, Reagan and Bush won this much of the popular vote: 50.7%, 47.9%, and 50.7%. That fails far short of the "soundly thrashing" category. But you're right about 1984 (58.8%).

I see mattski was quicker than me.
3.1.2009 5:15pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
He has no understanding whatsoever of the nature of conservative thought


Rod Dreher makes that point in detail, here.
3.1.2009 5:17pm
TerrencePhilip:
jukeboxgrad,

I have a specific memory of this. You can be unconvinced if you like; that is perfectly fair. When say you think "the quote is phony"- are you saying that I am lying?
3.1.2009 5:17pm
Feldman:
Richard A, you are right that Limbaugh is no conservative but unfortunatly he is a populist in the Father Coughlin tradition
3.1.2009 5:19pm
mattski:
I have a specific memory of this.

Famous last words.
3.1.2009 5:24pm
LSM:
Dale,

Thank you for posting this little Rorschach Test for VC readers.

LSM
3.1.2009 5:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
When say you think "the quote is phony"- are you saying that I am lying?


I certainly don't believe that you're intentionally making something up. I think that you heard something somewhere, and over a period of 15 years it's easy to make a mistake about the exact circumstances of where and how it was heard.

If the quote was a real, it would not be hard to find. Keep in mind that trashing Clinton is practically an industry. I tried the search many different ways, and found essentially nothing.
3.1.2009 5:30pm
FrankB:
Good read by Dreher, especillay this:

"But good grief, is [Limbaugh] what constitutes popular conservatism in 2009? This ideologically-driven right-wing Rousseauism, with Leninist overtones about the Enemies of the People?"
3.1.2009 5:30pm
Phil Byler (mail):
Rush made a mistake when he referred to the preamble to the U.S. Constitution when he meant the Declaration of Independence. He was speaking extemporaneously without notes. So criticize him if you really feel it is necessary. But then let you go give a long speech extemporaneously wihtout notes and not make a mistake. Rush's point about the founding documents is still valid, and conservatives do believe thate the founding documents are under attack from an attmept to convert the United States into a European socialist one.
3.1.2009 5:33pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
jukeboxgrad:

Googling the Internet is not the final arbiter of the truth. Just because you can't find something doesn't mean it didn't occur. On the other hand, lot's of things we find on the Internet aren't true either. For example, Wikipedia has to be used with great care as it's a repository of a great deal of false information.
3.1.2009 5:34pm
DiversityHire:
Mr Limbaugh is becoming the face of USA abroad.

No, no, it's just that a lot of people confuse him and Hillary Clinton.
3.1.2009 5:41pm
Arkday:
@Person from Porlock


Jerrold Nadler?


Tsk, tsk...credit where credit is due. Try and keep up.

Nadler, as a Last Resort, Sheds Weight by Surgery
3.1.2009 5:54pm
John127 (mail):
Malvolio and others --

I do not mean to say that Limbaugh is stupid. However, I do think that that he is first and foremost a businessman and an entertainer. I reject the idea perpetrated by many of his devotees that he is some type of deep thinker or profound expositor of conservative principles (nor, for that matter, are Keith Olbermann and Jon Stewart with regards to modern liberalism). In other words, I think he has a vested financial interest in repeating feel-good bromides that will maintain his listenership. I happen to also believe that these bromides will do nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to help either the GOP or the advancement of the conservative "movement." If you'd like that, then go to Ponnuru, Douthat, Salam, or Manzi. One must eventually notice, however, that none of these people are headlining CPAC on national television. This is indicative of a major structural flaw in the movement.
3.1.2009 6:04pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
byler:

He was speaking extemporaneously without notes. So criticize him if you really feel it is necessary.


Rush has given up his right to the kind of slack you're claiming he deserves. For example, he recently mocked Biden for making a much less consequential verbal gaffe. And in the process of doing so, Rush made his own verbal gaffe. And then edited his own gaffe out of his transcript (link, link, link). What a jerk.

===================
zarkov:

Just because you can't find something doesn't mean it didn't occur.


Naturally. But it's a question of probabilities. As I said, bashing Clinton is practically an industry, and there's an army of people circulating Clinton quotes to make him sound bad. And some of the quotes are real, or almost real. Consider this one, found here:

We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary americans


Did he really say that? Strictly speaking, yes, but the sentence is unfairly truncated, as explained here.

Anyway, when you google the quote, you get over 1,000 results (and about 90% are in the truncated, dishonest form).

A more famous Clinton quote ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman") returns 36,000 results.

So the interesting thing to observe about the constitution quote is that it's not even being circulated by people who are obviously willing to circulate bogus quotes. And these folks have put a great deal of effort into creating collections of Clinton quotes. Both phony and real.

lot's of things we find on the Internet aren't true


Good point. For example, sometimes blog commenters claim that people said things they didn't say.
3.1.2009 6:21pm
RPT (mail):
Like him or not, Limbaugh does embody a current Republican leadership ideal: 1. No military or other volunteer service, contra the talking point. 2. Multiple wives, contra the talking point. 3. Possessor if not consumer of thousands of Oxycontin and other pills (no further comment necessary re the talking point) 4. Narcissist 5. $30,000,000/year for no apparent purpose. Personal morality? Sacrifice? Integrity? "Productive member of society"? He is nothing beyond self-gratification and self-worship, but then that is what the brand promotes.
3.1.2009 6:43pm
pluribus:
jukeboxgrad:

Rush has given up his right to the kind of slack you're claiming he deserves. For example, he recently mocked Biden for making a much less consequential verbal gaffe.

You're right. Limbaugh's gaffe was relatively minor, but if Obama or Biden or Reid or Pelosi had made it he would be howling about it for a week.

Limbaugh is a talented speaker with a partisanship that won't give up. Coulter, who also spoke at CPAC, is a talented writer with a partisanship that won't give up. For people who think that the Republican Party is the Holy Grail, they fit the bill. They preach to a choir that believes that the political party that doubled the national debt in the last eight years, quadrupled the number of earmarks, started two wars that they couldn't finish, and claimed with a straight face that waterboarding isn't torture, has all the answers to life's problems. That choir is a distinct, and shrinking, minority of the elctorate. But it provides Limbaugh ahd Coulter with multi-million dollar incomes that even the CEOs of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns would find acceptable.
3.1.2009 6:51pm
Dan M.:
That Rod Dreher article is nothing but worthless drivel. First he criticizes Rush for not suggesting that they return to their principles. Then he criticizes Rush for saying that they shouldn't change their core principles. Then he criticizes Rush for saying they shouldn't compromise just to be popular. Then he criticizes Rush for saying that Conservatives want people to be happy. The whole thing is horribly inconsistent and the analysis is just plain stupid.
3.1.2009 6:52pm
Elliot123 (mail):
And now Limbaugh has generated 58 comments here. If he's reading this, he's sitting back puffing on his stogie and laughing.
3.1.2009 6:53pm
pluribus:
When someone come on the internet to attribute remarks to a controversial political figure, saying he "blathered" a particular statement, other posters have a right to expect more authentication for the attribution than "I saw it on the news" but can't remember exactly when or where.
3.1.2009 6:58pm
Richard A. (mail):
Elliot123: That is, assuming he can read. That's abig if. He often shows such immense ignorance that I wonder. In this case, he was repeating an error of many of such characters who mistakenly consider themselves conservatives. Such characters assume that the constitution assures a "right to life," which it most assuredly does not, and that it is a document embacing a moral view of the world, which it most decidely isn't.

Note this passage from the Website of the Constitution Party, the author of which seems as much as Limbaugh to lack reading skills:

"The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law, administered by representatives who are Constitutionally elected by the citizens. In such a Republic all Life, Liberty and Property are protected because law rules."
3.1.2009 7:01pm
brandon:
Give me a break!

What an arrogant post - the audience understood what he was saying. And he generally conveyed the rest of his message clearly.

Comments like these are exactly why academics command such little respect in the real world.
3.1.2009 7:01pm
pluribus:
Elliot123:

And now Limbaugh has generated 58 comments here. If he's reading this, he's sitting back puffing on his stogie and laughing

And popping his Oxycontins? Hey, it's the "pursuit of happiness."
3.1.2009 7:01pm
John127 (mail):
brandon, why don't you throw in something about elitism, limousine liberalism, or cocktail parties for good fare? That way, you can more fully insulate yourself from any thought outside of the CPAC/Coulter/Limbaugh echo chamber.
3.1.2009 7:04pm
MarkField (mail):

I am guessing this is because the actual words are from the Declaration and a pretty common progressive idea is that the Constitution has to be read in light of the Declaration of Independence.


Agreed that this is a progressive idea, but why would Limbaugh say it?


So they applauded for "Life", "Freedom", and the "Pursuit of Happiness" but not for "Liberty".


Perhaps in the oral delivery (I haven't heard it), his words read "Liberty -- Freedom -- ". IOW, he may have been defining "liberty" for his audience.
3.1.2009 7:05pm
ArthurKirkland:
It is a tribute to Democratic restraint that no one has brought up his big bag of illegal boner pills . . . which would have been off-limits had Rush (whom I recall as Jeff Christie from KQV) not railed against drug users before his hand was twice caught in the cookie jar.
3.1.2009 7:08pm
Real American (mail):
Have any of the libs in here who are criticizing Rush actually listed to him for any extended period of time? I doubt many have, if any. You're just repeating the typical lefty talking points. Think for yourselves, Obots!

And calls for freedom from government tyranny aren't empty platitudes. That's what this country was founded upon. Why should Rush or anyone else stop doing that? Because some Marxist thug with no experience got elected by a bunch of brain dead Obots mindlessly voting for him because he's "cool" and black. Speaking of empty platitudes: hope and change, have you seen any yet, besides change for the worse, that is? It isn't passe to desire freedom, it's American.
3.1.2009 7:11pm
DangerMouse:
Agreed that this is a progressive idea, but why would Limbaugh say it?

I'm not so sure about that. Doesn't Justice Thomas say that the Constitution should be read in light of the Declaration?

Even so, it's hardly full-blown liberalism to say that. I don't see how reading the Constitution in light of the Declaration translates into abortion on demand.
3.1.2009 7:13pm
DCP:

I don't understand why people flip out over Rush, Hannity, Coulter and any other "conservative" talking head. As many noted above, they're entertainers who long ago abandoned any intellectual integrity in favor of fame and fortune.

Nor do I understand when people get bent out of shape when some idiot like Sean Penn or Bruce Springsteen or any other liberal celebrity activist who probably couldn't even make it through high school gets up on their political soapbox. Honestly, who cares? Unless the topic is acting or ripping off southern black musicians from 50 years ago, I would sooner talk to my dog about current events than solicit an opinion from them.

At least some pundits still aim their criticisms at actual elected officials who are drafting the laws, promoting policies and crafting the administrative and judicial bodies that regulate and impose them.
3.1.2009 7:24pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
I think you can read this either way.

It could be a minor slip of the tongue. It also could be evidence of the general sloppiness of most americans conception of what the constitution says. From what I've seen of Rush my impression is that he (his on air personality at least) shares that sloppiness with the majority of the population even if this quote doesn't show it. Given his views about judge made law this would be ironic.


In any case I enjoy the irony of people rushing to defend a minor verbal slipup (which this quite likely is) while showing none of that charity in bashing this post. I mean maybe Mr. Carpenter just found it amusing or maybe he took it to be an instance of the latter.
3.1.2009 7:26pm
pluribus:
Real American:

Have any of the libs in here who are criticizing Rush actually listed to him for any extended period of time? . . . . Because some Marxist thug with no experience got elected by a bunch of brain dead Obots mindlessly voting for him because he's "cool" and black.

I take it that you have listened to him "for an extended period of time." Is that statement about "some Marxist thug" who got elected "because he's 'cool' and black" a direct Limbaugh quote, or just a paraphrase?
3.1.2009 7:27pm
John127 (mail):
I must congratulate on Real American for perfectly parodying the contemporary ditto-Head. I salute you, sir.
3.1.2009 7:32pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
real american:

some Marxist thug with no experience got elected by a bunch of brain dead Obots mindlessly voting for him because he's "cool" and black.


Please, please keep insulting the 2/3 of the country that approves of Obama. You will further marginalize the GOP, and that's good for the country. So please continue to do your patriotic duty. America is counting on you.

Please. Like John127, I salute you.
3.1.2009 7:34pm
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb:

True, but he is so successful because he works with the ideas that most Americans believe in. If he used the ideas of the left, he wouldn't be on the air.

So much for the theory that liberals dominate the media, I guess.

I think Rush is very entertaining. But I'm a degenerate atheist. I can't believe real social conservatives still pay attention to him, now that we all know he's an unprosecuted dope fiend.
3.1.2009 7:35pm
erikjay (mail) (www):
Hey, jukebox-person, your "decent Googling skills" suck. Want lessons? It took me about 15 seconds to find the citation -- and it was in an NPR story, which makes me wonder how you could have missed it. God, can you people grow up a bit?!?!

Here you go, Clintonistas: link

Full disclosure: I miss the Clinton years. Nice state of gridlock, and he pissed off his base all the time. I'm a lifelong small-L guy, so Bush was a real embarrassment to me and my lingering respect for some "conservative" principles, few of which were in evidence during his tenure.

As for now -- I have a two-year plan for leaving the U.S. I'm done with this mess. Oh, hey, have you read Bruce Bawer's "While Europe Slept"? Highly recommended, but it's raw meat for another thread...

Tickle easy, everyone! (Better than the bland. old, "Take it easy," don't you think?)
3.1.2009 7:36pm
DangerMouse:
Hey, jukebox-person, your "decent Googling skills" suck. Want lessons? It took me about 15 seconds to find the citation -- and it was in an NPR story, which makes me wonder how you could have missed it. God, can you people grow up a bit?!?!

Here you go, Clintonistas: link


Clearly, you don't understand jukeboxgrad's schtick. He is unable to use google to find anything verifying any criticism against dems/libs/the left, etc. To him, it just doesn't show up. You made the mistake of treating him seriously.
3.1.2009 7:45pm
DiversityHire:
decent Googling skills…Want lessons?

Does that qualify as "internet retraining" under the stimulus? I have some 133t altavista.digital.com skillz I'd like to monetize. :)
3.1.2009 7:46pm
Just saying:
if Limbaugh (or anyone else) had said our constitution supports gay marriage, Carpenter would have eagerly agreed with that narrative of our living constitution.
3.1.2009 7:49pm
erikjay (mail) (www):
Before the nitpickers swarm, I meant a PBS story, not NPR. I saw "Newshour," that made me think of ... well, you get the idea. But considering some of the argumentation here, I wanted to correct myself before someone tried positing that my meaningless SOTK (Slip Of The Keyboard) invalidates everything I said. There, it's PBS, okay?
3.1.2009 7:50pm
DiversityHire:
unable to use google to find anything verifying any criticism…

You have to uncheck "Use strict filtering (Filter content that may be damaging to my self-image)" on the preferences page, or clear your cache.
3.1.2009 7:52pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
erik:

your "decent Googling skills" suck


I don't think they suck, but they're obviously not as good as yours. But thanks for the correction, and I apologize to terrence for saying he made a mistake. The mistake was obviously mine.

What really puzzles me, though, is that I can hardly find any instances of anyone pointing out Clinton's error. I know of just two (one in this thread, and one that I already cited). So I wonder why the anti-Clinton crowd neglects listing this when they list all the other quotes (both fake and real) that they list.

Maybe it's because they're not literate enough to realize that what Clinton said is wrong.

Anyway, if you've spotted any instances of anyone citing Clinton's error, that would be interesting to see.
3.1.2009 7:53pm
Sagar:
jukeboxgrad,

about the guy who "remembered Clinton saying something but couldn't show a citation",

what if he did find a citation? what would change? would you change your opinion of clinton? or of Limbaugh?

Obama said something about there being 56 or 57 states in the US. so, now what?
3.1.2009 7:54pm
mattski:
As for now -- I have a two-year plan for leaving the U.S. I'm done with this mess.

So long, Patriot.
3.1.2009 7:57pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
danger:

He is unable to use google to find anything verifying any criticism against dems/libs/the left, etc


FWIW, I have never voted for anyone named Clinton or Gore. And I have mentioned that here several times (example). So I don't have any special impulse to defend Clinton. But it's extremely easy to find examples of people circulating phony Clinton quotes, so that's what I thought this was. In retrospect, what should have tipped me off is that this quote is not as dramatic and damaging as the various phony quotes that are found in places like this.
3.1.2009 8:00pm
Dave N (mail):
Sagar,

What will happen is that someone will attribute Richard A's quote (from the quasi-insane American Party) to Limbaugh. That is how quotes become attributed to people who did not say them.

It is a matter of, "Gee, this is something stupid Limbaugh might say, so I will quote it for no apparent reason. Ergo, we must assume that this could have been Limbaugh speaking."
3.1.2009 8:02pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
sagar:

what if he did find a citation? what would change?


What would change is that I would learn something interesting, and I would apologize for making a mistake.
3.1.2009 8:02pm
Sagar:
Jukebox:

"What really puzzles me, though, is that I can hardly find any instances of anyone pointing out Clinton's error."

may be people understood what he was trying to say and were not nitpicking at such things ...

may be they had other more substantative things to criticize him about ...

may be due to the high employment during clinton presidency most people were working and didn't have so much of free time to waste on such matters:)

p.s. I can't believe you with you google skills and time couldn't find a citation on the internet. what's with that?
3.1.2009 8:04pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Could be that so many people had learned not to pay attention to anything Clinton said that they missed this gem.
Or, they figured he lies all the time, even when he doesn't need to, so this is another man-bites-dog story.
3.1.2009 8:17pm
MarkField (mail):

I'm not so sure about that. Doesn't Justice Thomas say that the Constitution should be read in light of the Declaration?


I don't know if he does or not, but it's traditionally a liberal position and not a conservative one.
3.1.2009 8:33pm
jim47:
Yes, Justice Thomas does say that the Constitution should be read in light of the Declaration. Thomas's position reflects the core of a long strand of conservative thought. Whether that position bears any relationship to traditionally liberal positions, it is not any less a position of the right.
3.1.2009 8:39pm
TerrencePhilip:
I don't think they suck, but they're obviously not as good as yours. But thanks for the correction, and I apologize to terrence for saying he made a mistake. The mistake was obviously mine.

What really puzzles me, though, is that I can hardly find any instances of anyone pointing out Clinton's error. I know of just two (one in this thread, and one that I already cited). So I wonder why the anti-Clinton crowd neglects listing this when they list all the other quotes (both fake and real) that they list.

Maybe it's because they're not literate enough to realize that what Clinton said is wrong.


One, you don't owe me an apology, but thanks for the courtesy anyway.

Two, the "anti-Clinton crowd" may be a figment of your imagination, at least among this site's commenters. Your reference to their "illiteracy", I assume, is an implicit acknowledgement of this.

Three, I regret the conversation has gotten sidetracked regarding whether Clinton said this; I never would've mentioned it had I known what it would do to the thread. I mentioned the Clinton incident only to suggest that such flubs, however regrettable or embarrassing when held up to the light, are minor and don't destroy the substance of what the speaker has to say.

Back to Limbaugh: sure I agree he is in many ways an oaf. I don't think of him as an ideologue, per se, so much as someone who memorializes and sentimentalizes his Midwestern roots; his expressions are often inarticulate, but he is more emotionalizer than philosopher. Analyze his viewpoints and you'll find plenty to chortle at.

What he does have is an astounding talent. One of my coworkers listens to him regularly and I hear him when we go to lunch; even when I find Limbaugh's statements absurd, I'm struck by his humor, his ability to retain the listener's attention, and remain mostly likable. That he can command huge rates in a dying medium is a testament to his skill. Obviously advertisers agree.
3.1.2009 8:42pm
AlanfromOntario:
Rush Limbaugh is a drug addict.
3.1.2009 8:52pm
glangston (mail):
To paraphrase Col. Nathan R. Jessup, some of "you can't handle Rush Limbaugh."
3.1.2009 9:12pm
erikjay (mail) (www):
Some wit (or half-wit) says, "So long, Patriot" because I can't stand this mess anymore. Well, I could stay and remain a member of this debating society, or the LP debating society, etc., and what difference will that make? What difference have we made with anything any of "us" have said, or done? Not much.

Phooey if you think a "patriot" should stay while the Constitution is being used for toilet paper by ignoramuses and Muslimafiosos. I'm tried of being the bad guy for defending liberty and individualism. I just want to be left alone. Remember Justice Brandeis' great comment? (Yeah, I know, in a 1928 dissent, but so what?) "The makers of our Constitution conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone – the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men."

I think I will go back to being a spectator here. It's not safe in the water with the number of sharks and piranha. I have no doubt I could post the alphabet and get an argument from somebody. I can't believe how much time some people invest here (and places like it). I just don't have that kind of time. I need to write about 5-6,000 words a day, do a few arrangements (jazz, Latin, orchestral), and read a minimum of four hours, so I have to draw the line somewhere. Just did! Thump on me all you want if it makes you feel better. I won't see it anyway ... I'm outta here.
3.1.2009 9:14pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Hey, jukebox-person, your "decent Googling skills" suck. Want lessons? It took me about 15 seconds to find the citation -- and it was in an NPR story, which makes me wonder how you could have missed it. God, can you people grow up a bit?!?!
His googling skills are directly proportionate to whether it supports his partisan hackery. He can find links to hundreds of his old posts, but never to things that undermine his arguments.

What really puzzles me, though, is that I can hardly find any instances of anyone pointing out Clinton's error.
Here's one obvious explanation: because it's trivial, and only jukeboxgrad routinely sits around making trivial distinctions for the sole purpose of trying to play "gotcha" in blog comments.
3.1.2009 9:19pm
TerrencePhilip:
erikjay:

LOLWUT?
3.1.2009 9:55pm
RPT (mail):
"Glangston:

To paraphrase Col. Nathan R. Jessup, some of "you can't handle Rush Limbaugh."

As noted earlier, the differences between RL and perhaps fictional characters like Jessup are that (1) Jessup served his country in a useful way, and (2) Jessup was willing to subject himself to questioning and cross-examination. RL never served, because he prefers to have others do it for him, and, as far as I know, he has never, and likely will never, participate in a free debate, if which he would end up on his own "porkulus-ness". Another big talker with his hand always on the mute button.
3.1.2009 10:12pm
John Herbison (mail):
What is this fixation among those on the right with all things Clinton, thirteen years after he was last elected? And what does a Clinton gaffe have to do with Rush Limbaugh's mangling his source material?

At least Limbaugh's Clinton obsession is somewhat understandable. In the two decades or so that Limbaugh has been nationally syndicated, probably the most frequent targets of his venom have been first, Ted Kennedy, and later, Bill Clinton. Is it a coincidence that each is or has been a fat boy who apparently did not have trouble getting laid?
3.1.2009 10:19pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
John.
Nice try at diverging from the point:
The point is not the Clinton gaffe. The point is the difference in the popular and journalistic treatment. Why one thoughtless or uninformed remark about the constitution has legs and another doesn't. As in hiring known tax cheats for your cabinet. It's all about "not guilty by reason of party affiliation". Clinton gets away with it and Limbaugh doesn't. It's the way it works.
Now, it didn't take long to eviscerate your attempt, did it?
Try harder next time.
3.1.2009 10:30pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Ah yes, <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbKFP77Tif4">"The Entertainer"</a>
3.1.2009 10:37pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
sagar:

I can't believe you with you google skills and time couldn't find a citation on the internet. what's with that?


It turns out that if you do a search using the words Clinton actually said, only one result appears: the original. Which tends to indicate the comment is rarely noticed and rarely quoted.

=================
terrence:

the "anti-Clinton crowd" may be a figment of your imagination, at least among this site's commenters


There is no shortage of anti-Clinton comments on this site. Including one that conveniently popped up shortly before you posted.

Your reference to their "illiteracy", I assume, is an implicit acknowledgement of this.


I said "maybe it's because they're not literate enough to realize that what Clinton said is wrong." I'm not sure what you mean. That we all understand that everyone here is highly literate? I don't think so.

I mentioned the Clinton incident only to suggest that such flubs, however regrettable or embarrassing when held up to the light, are minor and don't destroy the substance of what the speaker has to say.


I understand that's how you meant it. And I'm glad you mentioned it. I think it's an interesting fact, and I think it's relevant to the Rush anecdote.

=================
nieporent:

Here's one obvious explanation: because it's trivial


It's no more trivial than many of the quotes that someone decided were worth collecting here. And there are a bunch of similar collections.

Anyway, I don't think it's trivial that the president doesn't know what the constitution says. Especially because it was a prepared speech. On the other hand, I'm not a lawyer.
3.1.2009 11:17pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"And popping his Oxycontins? Hey, it's the "pursuit of happiness."

Sure. And he's laughing even harder because now there are 100 comments. He sets the agenda, tells folks how high to jump, then sits back and laughs at them.
3.1.2009 11:33pm
whit:

I don't know if he does or not, but it's traditionally a liberal position and not a conservative one


except for the whole "endowed by the creator" line, ime.
3.1.2009 11:34pm
John127 (mail):
Elliot, he sets the agenda so much that his favorite candidate for the 2008 GOP nomination won handily. Moreover, he then went on to set the agenda in the national election in a way that prevented the Democratic candidate from carrying a majority of the electorate for the first time in thirty years and a Southern state for the first time in forty -- thus ensuring a permanent Republican majority for decades to come. Now, observing the fact that a post about him on Volokh has gathered a hundred comments, he is even further basking in his glory. If only one of us could have such spellbinding control over American politics.
3.1.2009 11:43pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Clinton said
He [MLK] reminded us that since all of us are created equal -- and that's what the Constitution says -- all of us are equally entitled to the full benefits of American citizenship.
This statement is either false or trivial in the sense of being a tautology. That's Clinton's real error, not confusing the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence.
3.1.2009 11:48pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Elliot, he sets the agenda so much that his favorite candidate for the 2008 GOP nomination won handily."

He got you to comment five times. Ready, set, JUMP!
3.1.2009 11:54pm
Randy R. (mail):
Rush: " We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. [Applause] Liberty, Freedom. [Applause] And the pursuit of happiness. [Applause] Those of you watching at home may wonder why this is being applauded. We conservatives think all three are under assault. "

I, of course, almost spit out my tea as I read this. Surely, Prof Carpenter, who is gay, also noticed the hypocracy. Rush certainly does NOT believe that American's have the right to pursue happiness. He limits it to heterosexuals.

I suspect he would say that gays, atheists and others he doesn't particularly care for should be barred from pursuing their happiness. An I wrong?
3.1.2009 11:58pm
Kirk:
he's been reading from the same script that was written for him twenty-plus years ago
Oh, don't hide behind the cowardly passive, John127--go ahead and name names. Who exactly did the writing?
3.2.2009 12:10am
DangerMouse:
I suspect he would say that gays, atheists and others he doesn't particularly care for should be barred from pursuing their happiness. An I wrong?

Oh Lord. Here comes Randy with the gay crap again....
3.2.2009 12:14am
Teri:
In a speech about MLK, reminding us that the various amendments to the Constitution (Women, Blacks) are entitled to the full benefits of American Citizenship
3.2.2009 12:28am
Randy R. (mail):
"Here comes Randy with the gay crap again...."

Um, well I did give equal time to the atheists!
3.2.2009 12:30am
PQuincy1:
Probably Limbaugh didn't want to quote from the actual preamble to the Constitution. After all, it has that inconvenient "promote the general welfare" line that people at CPAC would feel obliged to boo!
3.2.2009 12:36am
Kevina Keopi (mail):
PQuincy1's post deserves a 180 for hilariousness.
3.2.2009 1:21am
Kevina Keopi (mail):
PQuincy1's post deserves a 180 for hilariousness.
3.2.2009 1:21am
Whatever (mail):
Yeah, PQuincy1, because I'm sure the Founders' conception of promoting the general welfare aligns with the current Democratic Party's philosophy on that topic.
3.2.2009 1:29am
BGates:
I suspect Randy R knows who he hates but doesn't quite know why, so he has to assume the people he hates have said things he opposes to justify his hatred.

I'm not wrong.
3.2.2009 1:34am
Nick056:
He's an entertainer.
3.2.2009 1:41am
Bad (mail) (www):
"True, but he is so successful because he works with the ideas that most Americans believe in."

Try again. He's successful because he's an extremely entertaining and witty _jerk_, and many people like jerks that claim to be on their side and claim to stand for, you know, everything that's good and awesome and right.

Even if they're full of it.

"Because some Marxist thug with no experience got elected by a bunch of brain dead Obots mindlessly voting for him because he's "cool" and black."

I keep forgetting, see, Rush keeps saying that the race issue is something that only leftists care about. That must be why Rush and his fans seem obsessed with Obama's race and it's non-complete AA status, which they never seem to pass up a chance to mention or parody or diagnose as some sort of psychological problem.
3.2.2009 1:57am
AlanDownunder (mail):

We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be.


... unless he's the President, in which case we want him to fail dismally, and our country along with it. If he does, only the losers will truly suffer - an invariable and eternal truth that Democrats just don't get. Then the GOP will get back into government and once again prove another invariable and eternal truth - that government is irredeemably stupid.
3.2.2009 4:05am
J. Aldridge:
krs said: "... unless it's a really bad joke on the facts that the Declaration of Independence and not the preamble to the Constitution is the source of the statement about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Pursuit of happiness is the same thing as the liberty of the person (5th &14th amendment): Freedom of movement. It would be pretty difficult to pursue happiness from a jail cell.
3.2.2009 4:55am
Perseus (mail):
I suspect that Limbaugh made a careless error, but Limbaugh stumbled onto the truth since "We the People" only have the right to establish the Constitution by virtue of the truths proclaimed in the Declaration.

I don't know if he [Justice Thomas] does or not, but it's traditionally a liberal position and not a conservative one.

See Clarence Thomas, "Toward a 'plain reading' of the Constitution - the Declaration of Independence in Constitutional interpretation." Howard Law Journal (Fall 1987)
See also here: "The Declaration of Independence sets out the basic underlying principle of our Constitution..."

This is clearly living Constitution stuff because of the inclusion of happiness, at least. What makes people happy changes over time. What could be more activist than putting happiness in as a standard for constitutional interpretation.

This is a good example of the problem of having modern lawyers try to use general political principles to interpret the Constitution. They are either out of their depth, or worse, subscribe to pernicious philosophical doctrines that are alien the Declaration.
3.2.2009 5:02am
geokstr:

AlanDownunder:
We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be.
... unless he's the President, in which case we want him to fail dismally, and our country along with it.

Oh please... Learn to read in context, and not from snippets "quote mined" by the media and twisted into something diametrically opposed to what was actually said.

He said that he wants Obama to fail in imposing socialism on this country, not that the country should fail so Obama will be deposed in 2012. So do approx 58 million of us.

It is pretty well accepted by conservatives that socialism has already been tested multiple times and shown to be a failed system that would never work here. So if he succeeds in imposing it, the country loses anyway.
3.2.2009 6:53am
geokstr:

Kirk:
he's been reading from the same script that was written for him twenty-plus years ago

Yeah, funny things - principles...

Solid ones don't bend to push-polling or focus groupies just to pander for votes. Limited government, lower taxes, less government spending, more personal responsibility, stuff like that will be in conservative speeches 200 years from now as well, I hope.

Do you feel he has to quote the latest rapper to be relevant to today's situation?
3.2.2009 7:06am
geokstr:

AlanfromOntario:
Rush Limbaugh is a drug addict

What a slimey comment.

He gets addicted to one of the most addictive legal substances known to man, prescribed for him by a doctor for intense pain due to failed back surgery, and people like you do the bizarre moral equivalency of comparing him to coke freaks who do it to get high.
3.2.2009 7:18am
pluribus:
So is it your position, geokstr, that you don't get high on Oxycontin? Are you speaking from personal experience?
3.2.2009 7:55am
PersonFromPorlock:
Arkday:

@Person from Porlock


Jerrold Nadler?



Tsk, tsk...credit where credit is due. Try and keep up.


Ah, but if Limbaugh is a drug addict then Nadler is fat.
3.2.2009 8:04am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Use of opiates and similar drugs first gives a high. Then it becomes a matter of avoiding the horrid withdrawal.
Most of the time, relieving or preventing the oncoming withdrawal symptoms gives a high, but that's not the reason for the desperation we see in the majority of the addicts.
3.2.2009 8:22am
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb:

He gets addicted to one of the most addictive legal substances known to man, prescribed for him by a doctor for intense pain due to failed back surgery, and people like you do the bizarre moral equivalency of comparing him to coke freaks who do it to get high.

Okay, so what IS Rush's illegal drug abuse morally equivalent to? Is it entirely blameless? A positive good?

The way I look at it, "The first time you reach for a substance you are making a choice. Every time you go back, you are making a personal choice. I feel very strongly about that."

Guess why I put quotes on that. Go ahead, guess.
3.2.2009 8:24am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
elliot:

He got you to comment five times. Ready, set, JUMP!


Very interesting. Obama "got" our hosts here to write numerous articles about him. Do you think they realize they were being made to "JUMP?"

But "JUMP!" is a good way to describe what Rush made Gingrey do. It's nice to know who's really in charge of the GOP.

===================
whatever:

I'm sure the Founders' conception of promoting the general welfare aligns with the current Democratic Party's philosophy on that topic.


Indeed. As was affirmed in Steward Machine Company v. Davis. As Cardozo said, delivering the opinion of the Court:

To draw the line intelligently between duress and inducement there is need to remind ourselves of facts as to the problem of unemployment that are now matters of common knowledge. … Of the many available figures a few only will be mentioned. During the years 1929 to 1936, when the country was passing through a cyclical depression, the number of the unemployed mounted to unprecedented heights. Often the average was more than 10 million; at times a peak was attained of 16 million or more. Disaster to the breadwinner meant disaster to dependents. Accordingly, the roll of the unemployed, itself formidable enough, was only a partial roll of the destitute or needy. The fact developed quickly that the states were unable to give the requisite relief. The problem had become national in area and dimensions. There was need of help from the nation if the people were not to starve. It is too late today for the argument to be heard with tolerance that, in a crisis so extreme, the use of the moneys of the nation to relieve the unemployed and their dependents is a use for any purpose narrower than the promotion of the general welfare.…

The nation responded to the call of the distressed. … According to the President's budget message for the fiscal year 1938, the national government expended for public works and unemployment relief for the three fiscal years 1934, 1935, and 1936 the stupendous total of $8,681,000,000. The parens patriae has many reasons — fiscal and economic as well as social and moral — for planning to mitigate disasters that bring these burdens in their train.


The context of that ruling is summarized here:

Another major development of 1937 was the Court's decisions upholding the new Social Security and unemployment insurance programs. In three decisions issued the same day, Steward Mach. Co. v. Davis, Helvering v. Davis, and Carmichael v. Southern Coal &Coke Co., the Court upheld the Social Security payroll tax and the federal and state sides of the unemployment insurance tax. These taxes, and the idea of government benefits for retirement, disability, and unemployment, were new. There was considerable fear that the Court would strike them down.

The dissenters argued that the Social Security and unemployment insurance programs violated the Tenth Amendment, which provides that the powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states or the people. Both programs were said not to fall within Congress's Article I power to provide for "the general welfare."

The majority rejected this narrow view of Congress's power. Reciting statistics about the toil of the Great Depression, the Court commented: "It is too late today for the argument to be heard with tolerance that in a crisis so extreme the use of the moneys of the nation to relieve the unemployed and their dependents is a use of any purpose narrower than the promotion of the general welfare."


To a great extent we are now reliving the events and debate of that period. And PQuincy1 is correct to point out that Rush would rather not mention words like "the general welfare."

The GOP has spent the last 28 years trying to undo all the things we learned from the last depression. No surprise that these efforts have induced something close to another one. Reaganism is dead. And how fitting that the effort to reanimate its rotten corpse is a clown like Rush.

A very detailed essay on this subject ("general welfare" as described in the Constitution) is here.

==================
geo:

He said that he wants Obama to fail in imposing socialism on this country


Rush has said he wants Obama to fail. Period. Full stop. Here:

I Hope Obama Fails … I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, "Well, I hope he succeeds.  We've got to give him a chance."  Why?  They didn't give Bush a chance in 2000. …  I know what his [Obama] politics are.  I know what his plans are, as he has stated them.  I don't want them to succeed. … I hope he fails. … I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: "Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails."  Somebody's gotta say it. … I hope he fails."


The words "I Hope Obama Fails" are properly interpreted as follows: I Hope Obama Fails. Which is not the same thing as saying 'I hope Obama's various plans and policies do not end up creating socialism.'

Learn to read in context, and not from snippets "quote mined" by the media


How ironic. Rush made it exceptionally clear ("I would be honored") that he wants to be quoted exactly the way "the Drive-By Media" is quoting him: "I Hope Obama Fails."

I guess this is part of the GOP concept of personal responsibility. According to you, it's the media's fault that they are quoting Rush exactly the way Rush said he wanted to be quoted.

prescribed for him by a doctor for intense pain due to failed back surgery


What sort of "intense pain" was he trying to address when he was caught in possession of Viagra that had been prescribed to someone else? But we're very pleased to know that he "had a great time in the Dominican Republic."

Rush has made many, many statements condemning the illegal use of drugs. Here's an example:

we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. ... And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up


I don't recall him ever saying 'but it's OK if you have a medical excuse.' Do you?

He's a typical GOP hypocrite. Do as I say, not as I do. IOKIYAR.

Do you feel he has to quote the latest rapper to be relevant to today's situation?


Apparently the head of the RNC feels something like that.
3.2.2009 9:12am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
And how fitting that the effort to reanimate its rotten corpse is a clown like Rush.


Missing word syndrome. I meant to say this:

And how fitting that the effort to reanimate its rotten corpse is being led by a clown like Rush.
3.2.2009 9:41am
Anderson (mail):
Limbaugh is an idea guy, not a detail guy.

Oh yeah.

One thing we can all do is stop assuming that the way to beat [the Democrats] is with better policy ideas.

-- Rush Limbaugh.
3.2.2009 9:42am
11-B/2O.B4:

So is it your position, geokstr, that you don't get high on Oxycontin? Are you speaking from personal experience?


Not that this has the least bit of relevance, but if you're trying to compare Oxy with, say, Cocaine, you can stop now. I have the dubious privilege to have been prescribed most of the painkillers available to US doctors, from Morphine (overhyped) to Toredol. One of the many was Oxycontin, and the most it did was make me drowsy. As a painkiller, it is decently effective (much better than Hydrocodone, not as good as Toredol). As a "high", you can get the same effect by staying up for 24 hours. Morally, I agree, it is not much different from Coke, but then, I think that should be legal and available, so I may be biased.
3.2.2009 10:04am
Nemesis (mail):
Whenever Europeans think of what is most typical of the USA they conjure up the image of Rush Limbaugh-the very smell of white-sheets and burning torches lingers around him. A fine representative of the benefits of the American Revolution. He also as the late Fr Coughlin has no fear of saying what he really means. A real treasure.
3.2.2009 10:06am
Nemesis (mail):
Whenever Europeans think of what is most typical of the USA they conjure up the image of Rush Limbaugh-the very smell of white-sheets and burning torches lingers around him. A fine representative of the benefits of the American Revolution. He also as the late Fr Coughlin has no fear of saying what he really means. A real treasure.
3.2.2009 10:06am
pluribus:
One of the most glaring faults of social conservatives is their willingness (even eagerness) to make moral judgments. Of course, those judgments are reserved for others, not themselves. Many of them claim to be Christians yet seem heedless of biblical warnings on this very point: "Judge not, that ye be not judged," and "condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven." geokstr introduces the moral issue into the discussion of Limbaugh when he condemns "the bizarre moral equivalency of comparing him to coke freaks who do it to get high." Those who make moral judgments of others for illegal drug use and then defend the morality of their own illegal drug use are purely and simply hypocrites.
3.2.2009 10:06am
pluribus:

Morally, I agree, it is not much different from Coke, but then, I think that should be legal and available, so I may be biased.

Well, then, on this point you disagree with Limbaugh. His drug of choice is OK, yours isn't.
3.2.2009 10:11am
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

The GOP has spent the last 28 years trying to undo all the things we learned from the last depression. No surprise that these efforts have induced something close to another one

Democrats have helped out tremendously as well. And frankly, the buck ultimately stops with the voters of the U.S., as they keep returning a large number politicians to office at the federal and state level that have bought into a mindset that is in part responsible for what is presently occurring.
3.2.2009 10:50am
ArthurKirkland:
That 'drugs' of choice, not 'drug.' Using the confirmed public count and Limbaugh's self-proclaimed standard, he should have been convicted and "sent up" twice.

Pushing others' imprisoment for conduct in which you repeatedly engage (while your social station generates a legal pass) is hypocrisy at its worst. If, as I suspect, Limbaugh does it primarily for money and the sake of entertainment (his divorces and lack of children, as well as the cowardice involved in sending his servant into risky circumstances to buy his illicit drugs) are additional signals that his devotion to 'family moral values' might be limited to his on-air posture), so much the worse.

I understand his followers' blind spots. I am a fan of Keith Richards despite knowing that his treatment of women and at least one of his children has not been admirable.

But Keith has never been a hypocrite about drugs. That puts Limbaugh lower than Keith Richards on the druggie totem pole. And, apparently, makes him the poster boy for social values, in some minds.
3.2.2009 10:54am
erp:
At least Rush can talk without crib sheets and probably doesn't think the US has 57 states. Oh, yeah, the One was tired when he said that. My bad.

Rush is entertaining and informative and effective and doesn't have an inflated opinion of himself.

It'd be interesting to see how many Democratic politicians know anything at all about the founding documents or the difference between liberty and freedom.
3.2.2009 10:58am
Prawo Jazdy:
It's completely dishonest to make swiss cheese out of Limbaugh's stated reasons for wanting Obama to fail. Review of his statement, and of comments consistently deleted out of it by jukeboxgrad, establish that Limbaugh does not want the government to take over private industry.

That is a reasonable position to state, even if not everyone agrees with it. And even if you disagree with it, at least be honest and forthcoming about what he said.
3.2.2009 11:07am
wfjag:
Dear Prof. Carpenter:

Other than demonstrating that talk radio personality Rush Limbaugh has a knowledge of the Constitution at least equal to the level of knowledge demonstrated by V.P. Biden (formerly US Sen. for over 30 years and chair of the Senate Judiciary Comm.) during the V.P. candidates' debate, exactly what is the point of this comment?
3.2.2009 11:12am
ArthurKirkland:
The part of me that prefers Democratic candidates can't help enjoying the spectacle of a Republican Party that dismisses Barack Obama yet admires and appears to be led by Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Joe the Plumber.

But the part of me that believes that our system functions best when both parties are functioning is uneasy if the intellectual and educational standards of Republicans are so far off track.

Social conservatives seem to be prepared (heck, eager) to lead the Republican Party over a cliff. Is this good news, or bad?
3.2.2009 11:16am
Dave N (mail):
Whenever Europeans think of what is most typical of the USA they conjure up the image of Rush Limbaugh-the very smell of white-sheets and burning torches lingers around him. A fine representative of the benefits of the American Revolution. He also as the late Fr Coughlin has no fear of saying what he really means. A real treasure.
Oh I get it. Limbaugh is just like the Klan. I mean, the odor just LINGERS.

What a fatuous piece of BS. That is not argument, that is idiocy masquerading as European intellectualism.
3.2.2009 11:53am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
erp.
I think what O knows about the Constitution is that it is restrictive and something needs to be done about that.
3.2.2009 11:54am
pluribus:
ArthurKirkland:

Social conservatives seem to be prepared (heck, eager) to lead the Republican Party over a cliff. Is this good news, or bad?

Neither, in my opinion. We need a functioning two party system, which means that both parties must adopt programs and platforms that have a reasonable chance of commanding a majority. They must aim to win, not stand on the fringes and scream. If one party so marginalizes itself that it has no reasonable chance of commanding a majority, it is its own fault, not the fault of the other party. Then the party that has marginalised itself must give way to a new party that will again be competetive. The Whigs marginalized themselves in the 1850's and the Republicans stepped into the void. Alas and alack, the Republican Party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt bears little resemblance to the Republican Party of Rush Limbaugh. In my opinion, the Republican Party must throw off the likes of Limbaugh and respond to the real world of American public opinion or go the way of the Whigs. CPAC cheers Limbaugh when he hopes that Obama fails, while American voters give Obama a 68 percent approval rating. Does CPAC recognize there is a disconnect? This could take a long time to play out. Until it does, the Democrats will benefit. JMHO.
3.2.2009 12:00pm
pluribus:
That's it, Dave N, when you have no good answer to an argument, start yelling. Words like "BS," "idiocy," and "European intellectualism" are perfect responses to a valid observation that, unfortunately, happens to hurt.
3.2.2009 12:04pm
Perseus (mail):
A very detailed essay on this subject ("general welfare" as described in the Constitution) is here.

No doubt the Lyndon LaRouche-affiliated website that you cite has the highest standards of scholarship.
3.2.2009 12:16pm
ChrisTS (mail):
spectacle of a Republican Party that dismisses Barack Obama yet admires and appears to be led by Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Joe the Plumber.

But the part of me that believes that our system functions best when both parties are functioning is uneasy if the intellectual and educational standards of Republicans are so far off track.


Ah, well, there you go you elitist, you. I bet you are a professor or something like that.

More seriously, to borrow from Nemesis' suggestion, I think that Limbaugh has become the face of the GOP. As a moderate (probably a liberal here on VC), I find that depressing and a bit scary. I can only hope that some new conservative party will emerge, eventually, so that the electorate has a choice between intelligent and qualified candidates for office. Until then, I guess it is a choice between whomever the Dems nominate and whoever most successfully panders to fans of Limbaugh, Palin, and Joe the Plumber. Good grief.
3.2.2009 12:31pm
ChrisTS (mail):
P.S. By the way, i was thrilled to discover that Pursuit of happiness is the same thing as the liberty of the person

Apart from a blizzard, I am at liberty. Thus, I am hot on the tail of happiness.

That just makes it all so much easier for me and the pauper sleeping under a Parisian bridge.
3.2.2009 12:33pm
zuch (mail) (www):
geokstr:
He gets addicted to one of the most addictive legal substances known to man, prescribed for him by a doctor for intense pain due to failed back surgery, and people like you do the bizarre moral equivalency of comparing him to coke freaks who do it to get high.
Having had herniated disks, back surgery, and a prescription for opiates post-operatively, I can assure you that addiction is hardly a necessary outcome. As for the difference in "getting high", I'd note that opiate addiction occurs for precisely that reason. Seeing Limbaugh out on the golf links is sufficient evidence that he didn't need the opiates for back pain. Stop being such a blatant apologist. FWIW, though, I don't hold Limbaugh in contempt for getting addicted; this happens far too often and to too many people. I fault him for his hypocrisy on drug laws (and his lying and refusal to take responsibility). That's the real "crime" here.

Cheers,
3.2.2009 12:53pm
pluribus:
I'm saddened (but not at all surprised) that the words "European intellectualism" are hurled about here as if they were an epithet. Xenophobia and anti-intellectualism are, of course, part of the right-wing DNA. If it's "intellectual," it must be bad. If it's "European," it's worse. Put the two together and you get "idiocy"--and come close to the appeal of the Limbaughs of America. Joe the Plumber or Sarah Palin would never entertain an "intellectual" or a "European" thought. Rush Limbaugh would ridicule them. We live in a world where greater thought and better education are necessary to compete in the twenty-first century, and where people from diverse societies are trying to figure out how to get along while they struggle to find enough food and enough energy to sustain a decent lifestyle and avoid blowing each other up with nuclear bombs. Anti-intellectualism and xenophobia are poor vehicles to get us to our goals.
3.2.2009 12:54pm
Sammy Finkelman (mail):
Later on in the speech he did get the phreae right:

"I want anyone who believes in life, liberty, pursuit of happiness to succeed."

I guess this speech is Bidenesque. I guess his talent was temporarily recalled by God, which he deserved maybe for making so much fun of Biden, who also maybe sort of had
a legitimate idea which he garbled.

Now Rush Limbaugh probably did remember that it was not in the Constitution, but in something associated with it but was not alert enough this was not the Preamble but the
Declaration of Independence even though he had just mentioned the Declaration of Independence. If anything I suppose you could argue that he thinks the Declaration of Independence *is* the Preamble to the Constitution.

He did also say later:

"freedom is the natural yearning of the human spirit as we were endowed by our creator."

His radio show is much better. On the radio show, he reads or other people read and print out various things,
he reads them, he collects a bit he thinks and then he goes over each individually in no particular order - he often doesn't follow the order of mention in the show that he
wanted to at the start.

He could have done this better if he had thought about what he wanted to say - what others said or might have said at this conference and ideas that would expect people to to talk about and what they thought he thought - which he could either confirm or correct - and other things that were said ansd jotted down some very brief reminders.

Then he could have a bunch of little topic notes and go on about them.

Rush Limbaugh did not prepare his speech because he couldn't - he said he couldn't.

"I can't write a speech. I cannot sit down and write a speech. I lose half my vocabulary when I write a speech, because I get caught up in the keyboard, typos. My
brain freezes. All my life, my best thinking has been done while I'm speaking, as is illustrated by 20 years behind the Golden EIB Microphone.

But, yeah, the speech is tomorrow. It's like 26 hours away. This is when the little gray
cells start exploding in there. So, yeah, I'm starting to get an idea."

This was said Friday, February 27, 2009 and will disappear from the free side of his website around 5:30 PM tonight EST)

Barack Obama's Cruel Socialism

In another segment, also, Friday

EIB Female Summit Update:

he said:

' in 1987. I had a newspaper column then, and my column was due in a matter of hours, and I had writer's block, meaning I couldn't think of anything to write 750 words on. So I started jotting down one-line thoughts, trying to spur myself into a full-fledged column of 750 words. And by the time I got to 25 or 26, I said, you know what? I'm about 600 words into this. Why not just keep writing these one-line things down, and voila, the 35 Undeniable Truths of Life were born. And number 24 reads like this: Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society."

That first quote began:

"What the Democrat Party has done is cruel. I intend to detail this in my CPAC speech tomorrow. What they have done is cruel in the guise of compassion. It is...
(interruption) What? What! (interruption) What are you chuckling about? What is it? (interruption) Yeah. (interruption) I'm starting to think of things. I never... (interruption) Somebody at Fox called me today said, "Can you give me an advance idea what you're going to say?" I said, "I don't know yet." I don't start thinking about this 'til the last minute, until every bit of news that's going to happen has happened before I go out there

His speech was definitely worse than his radio show, and even his occasional newspaper columns.

It looks like here he had no idea what he wanted
to say, and he started rambling, trying to recall things that he'd said on his radio show and doing that imperfectly.
3.2.2009 12:55pm
Dave N (mail):
I get attacked because I call B.S. when someone compares Limbaugh to the clan. Well it is B.S.

If you can point to one time where he has endorsed, supported, or done anything to support the Klan, I am sure we would see the links all over the place.

Instead, someone makes an ad hominem attack and I call B.S. It is up to the person who wants to argue Limbaugh = Klan to provide the evidence. Otherwise it will remain fatuous name-calling and nothing else.
3.2.2009 1:01pm
TToliver:
I'm not sure. I thought he was saying that someone like Limbuagh, evokes the clan (ie. reminds one of a stereotype). Odiuos? Yes, but it can also be true, depending on what evokes the clan for you.
3.2.2009 1:15pm
pluribus:
Poor little Dave N got "attacked." And all because he described another post as "a fatuous piece of BS," "not argument," but "idiocy masquerading as European intellectualism." Poor little Dave N. He is so polite and mild-mannered, and he gets treated so badly here.
3.2.2009 1:20pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Rush was on a roll. Apparently, he was slated to speak for a half an hour, and when he got into it, and got the crowd going, spoke for an hour an a half. And did so without notes or teleprompter (he keeps pointing out that President Obama can't even introduce a new cabinet secretary without one), and without knowing exactly what he was going to say as he was driven to the speech.
3.2.2009 1:32pm
Michael B (mail):
The "brave" arrogate and sneer, yet again. A pathetic pastiche of petulance, but we're to pull our chins and contemplate their deluded sense, pretending it's all worth pondering, lest their pretense be questioned and sullied, or their feelings hurt.

Reminiscent of vapidist talking-heads among the MSM, "bravely" contemptuous and sneering below a gossamer thin veneer of objectivity when it comes to questioning a McCain, but "duely respectful" when questioning Obama, Biden, or even an Ahmadinejad, a Chavez, a Castro.

Not worth a comment, excepting it's so common, even pervasive, among a certain self-regarding class; each malodorous fart to be treated with composed regard, lest further acrimony, pouts and protestations ensue. Oh dear.

And jukebox_sneer, like an endless and endlessly predictable loop ...
3.2.2009 1:42pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
The words "I Hope Obama Fails" are properly interpreted as follows: I Hope Obama Fails. Which is not the same thing as saying 'I hope Obama's various plans and policies do not end up creating socialism.'
And, if you were to actually listen to him, you would realize that the context, that he keeps repeating, is that he hopes Obama will fail in implementing the programs and policies that he has repeatedly stated that he wishes to impose.

Rush repeatedly asks conservatives to list specifically which of Obama's programs and policies that they wish to see implemented. And, of course, they can't.

Rush knows that Obama's various plans and policies will fail to work as advertised. Heck, a lot of Obama's people probably know that they will fail to work as advertised. That is not the issue. Rather, the issue is getting to the point where they will be implemented. Rush is hoping and praying that those policies and programs are never implemented.
3.2.2009 1:43pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
pluribus.
Please give us some examples of positive results of twentieth century and later European intellectualism.
3.2.2009 1:57pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Bruce Hayden:
[I]f you were to actually listen to him, you would realize that the context, that he keeps repeating, is that he hopes Obama will fail in implementing the programs and policies that he has repeatedly stated that he wishes to impose.
Yes, this sentiment did become au courant as soon as people started pointing out that El Rushbot was doing exactly what he projected the Democrats as doing.... Amasing, isn't it? Rally nice to take responsibility for one's actions ... and to be fair, the quotes above that showed that El Rushbot meant to say exactly what he did say, and even wanted to be quoted for such, indicate that he has no qualms with such a sentiment, even if his apologists do.

Cheers,
3.2.2009 2:08pm
Dave N (mail):
Richard Aubrey,

Do not bother. It is quite clear. Pluribus is both an ass and a jerk.
3.2.2009 2:22pm
pluribus:
Ever hear of Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity? Ever hear of Friedrich Hayek and the Austrian School of economics? Ever hear of John Maynard Keynes and Keynseian economics? Ever hear of Albert Szent Gyorgy and the discovery of vitamin C? You've probably heard of Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung and the theory of modern psychology. You do know, don't you, that Edward Teller, Werner von Braun, Enrico Fermi, and other great nuclear scientists were Europeans, and reputed to have been "intellectuals," as well. I think the Russian freedom fighters Scharansky and Solzhneitsyn and Psasternak were intellectuals. They were certainly Europeans. Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski contributed a good bit to the Cold War opposition to Communism, and both were Europeans. Whether a particular idea or intellectual is positive or negative, or some combination, is of course a matter of opinion. You have Google on your computer? If so, you can finish up the list, but it will take you a while, I think. I don't propose to argument the merits of individuals. But to suggest that absolutely nothing came out of Europe in the twentieth century that is positive is nonsense. Even worse is to suggest that "European intellectualism" is by definition bad. It's both xenophobic and anti-intellectual. And believe me, both of those qualities are negative, not positive.
3.2.2009 2:23pm
pluribus:
I'm sorry, Dave, you feel it necessary to resort to name-calling as well as epithet hurling. All of this would be unncessary if you would just make a substantive argument, which others posters could reply to with other substantive arguments.
3.2.2009 2:26pm
Dave N (mail):
Pluribus,

You are the one who made the Rush = Klan analogy. I have asked you to back it up. Instead, you have been the one who has been a jerk and attacked me rather than be substantive.
3.2.2009 2:31pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Pluribus.
Keynes. Ah, yes. Wonderful.
My father and a number of his friends were shot trying to straighten out European intellectualism.
I think the brits discovered vit. c. hence the term "limeys". A practical discovery, not a chemical one, but it served.
Howsomever, current Eurointellectuals are making terrific gains in the areas of economic progress, human rights, and political theory.
Not.
The primary use for Eurointels is to allow Americans who feel insecure about their position in the poseur community to latch onto something which has cachet, even if they don't know what it means.
3.2.2009 2:41pm
Archon (mail):
I love this crap that the left is throwing out now about Rush. They say he is "...nothing but an entertainer..." What a joke.

Obama is nothing but an entertainer. He has almost zero experience but he is good at giving a few campaign speeches.

This is why the next four years are going to be just like a minstrel show just without the black face.
3.2.2009 3:05pm
Colin (mail):
A fine example of Michael B Sneer A, in which an idea or person Michael B doesn't like is sneeringly dismissed without argument, but with one or more of the following words: sneer, sneering, dismiss, dismissive, arrogate, arrogant. C.f. Michael B Sneer B (sneeringly dismissing judges as black-robed tyrants); Michael B Sneer C (sneeringly dismissing scientists as white-robed tyrants).

Your reference to "an endless and endlessly predictable loop ..." is wonderfully self-referential. As, you'll note, is this comment. This comment, however, is also facetious. Are yours?
3.2.2009 3:06pm
Colin (mail):
Richard, please don't think anyone missed your delightful bon mot, replying to a list of European intellectual achievements with a Nazi reference and a "not" joke. Between that, Dave N's "ass and a jerk" remark, and Archon's nasty little jab, it's hard to see how this thread could fall much further.
3.2.2009 3:12pm
Archon (mail):

Richard, please don't think anyone missed your delightful bon mot, replying to a list of European intellectual achievements with a Nazi reference and a "not" joke. Between that, Dave N's "ass and a jerk" remark, and Archon's nasty little jab, it's hard to see how this thread could fall much further.


We could have two Colins posting to this forum instead of just you.
3.2.2009 3:23pm
ArthurKirkland:
Limbaugh is not just an entertainer. He is also a major hypocrite. A guy with two drug problems who pushes for others to be incarcerated for drug problems. A 'moral values' guy with a series of divorces, an abandoned education (despite a family history of advanced degrees), and a stag trip to the islands with a huge bag of illicit boner pills.

At the same stage in life at which Limbaugh spinning hippie records, Obama was attending Harvard Law School and becoming editor of the law review. When Limbaugh was fetching coffee for sports writers, Barack Obama was teaching at a first-rate law school. It may be fashionable is some corners to disregard or even mock the difference -- until, of course, your daughter needs lifesaving surgery, or you are facing bet-the-company litigation, in which circumstances Ivy League degrees suddenly become prized -- but calling Obama "just an entertainer," or placing Obama (or Bill Frist, for example) in the league of Palin, Limbaugh and Joe the Plumber, is silly.
3.2.2009 3:26pm
pluribus:
Dave N:

Pluribus, You are the one who made the Rush = Klan analogy. I have asked you to back it up. Instead, you have been the one who has been a jerk and attacked me rather than be substantive.

Nope, Dave N, it wasn't me who made the analogy, and you didn't ask me to back it up. The analogy was drawn by Nemesis, who wrote:

Whenever Europeans think of what is most typical of the USA they conjure up the image of Rush Limbaugh-the very smell of white-sheets and burning torches lingers around him. A fine representative of the benefits of the American Revolution. He also as the late Fr Coughlin has no fear of saying what he really means. A real treasure.

I merely faulted your reply to Nemesis ("BS," "fatuous," "idiocy masquerading as European intellectualism") as "yelling" rather than offering a "good answer to an argument." Several yelling episodes later, I still haven't heard a good answer, to him or me. Meanwhile, I have posted several substantive arguments about Limbaugh here. You undoubtedly disagree with them, but they are substantive, not hurling epithets or calling names.
3.2.2009 3:29pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Archon:
I love this crap that the left is throwing out now about Rush. They say he is "...nothing but an entertainer..." What a joke.
Actually, that's what El Rushbutt says about himself when someone calls him on some of his more egregious BS/nastiness. He calls himself a "harmless little fuzzball" (no argument there) and an "entertainer". That's his excuse to be nasty and/or wrong.

Cheers,
3.2.2009 3:32pm
Dave N (mail):
Pluribus,

My apologies for confusing you with Nemesis. My response was and is that the ad hominem attack, comparing Rush to the Klan, is fatuous. I still maintain that if someone wants to provide an actual link proving this very inapt anology, they should do so--otherwise it IS BS.
3.2.2009 3:38pm
Dave N (mail):
Arthur Kirkland,

Factually, your assertion is wrong:
At the same stage in life at which Limbaugh spinning hippie records, Obama was attending Harvard Law School and becoming editor of the law review. When Limbaugh was fetching coffee for sports writers, Barack Obama was teaching at a first-rate law school.
I assume you mean at relative stages in life and not in the exact same years.

Limbaugh is almost exactly a decade older than Obama. Obama graduated from law school at age 30. At age 30, Limbaugh was Director of Promotions for the Kansas City Royals. At age 31, Obama became a part-time lecturer at the University of Chicago. At age 33, Limbaugh's began his radio talk show in Sacramento, California.

At age 37, Limbaugh's show went national. At age 35, Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate.

No two careers parallel exactly, but Limbaugh's career was neither "spinning hippie records" nor "fetching coffee for sports writers" at the times you indicate.
3.2.2009 3:52pm
Archon (mail):

At the same stage in life at which Limbaugh spinning hippie records, Obama was attending Harvard Law School and becoming editor of the law review. When Limbaugh was fetching coffee for sports writers, Barack Obama was teaching at a first-rate law school. It may be fashionable is some corners to disregard or even mock the difference -- until, of course, your daughter needs lifesaving surgery, or you are facing bet-the-company litigation, in which circumstances Ivy League degrees suddenly become prized -- but calling Obama "just an entertainer," or placing Obama (or Bill Frist, for example) in the league of Palin, Limbaugh and Joe the Plumber, is silly.


This is exactly why I would call Obama an elitist entertainer and rush a real America. New England liberals, don't like it but the vast majority of America is like Rush, Plain, and Joe the Plumber.

If you want people to gaze at you in awe like you are some sort of landed aristocrat move to Europe. I'll stay here and hang out with Rush and maybe marry someone like Palin.
3.2.2009 3:56pm
pluribus:
Dave N, you need not apologize, although I appreciate the gesture. I can't remember any specific arguments you have made in the past, but I am under the impression that at least some of them made good impressions on me. When I used the word "yelling" and called you "poor little Dave N" I was no doubt being uncivil and shouldn't have been. I am sorry for that.
3.2.2009 4:09pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
You can call Rush an entertainer or any other word that you might think is a putdown. The bottom line is that his message freedom and American exceptionalism resonates with millions of people who feel exactly like he does. "Blame America first" liberals can't stand that message so they have to attack Rush personally.

If you don't like Rush or his views, don't listen to him. If he loses enough listeners, he'll be out of work like the Air America hosts. Anyone who advocates any other method to rid the airwaves of Rush tells you all you need to know about their view of freedom of expression and their "tolerance" of dissenting viewpoints.
3.2.2009 4:12pm
Desiderius:
European Intellectualism is a victim of its own (overwhelming) success in a myriad of ways. As it relates to this thread, the vast majority of our present American "best and brightest" cut their teeth on a continental philosophy constructed (among other things) around an opposition to an ancien regime "right" that doesn't map very well to the people in America who actually self-identify as conservatives, causing such mind-numbing misunderstanding as, for instance, this thread.

Limbaugh, et. al. are not, in fact, the droids the progressives are looking for, so they are at pains to construct them in a manner more consonant with the expectations they were taught, hence the blather about Limbaugh having the scent of Klan robes and what not.

American conservatives, alas, are susceptible to overreacting to such misguided insults, and to choosing for their leaders those most adept at returning them, hence Limbaugh's popularity, especially in opposition. Those ultimately concerned with the welfare of the country would do well to minimize the insults/bigotry/condescension in order to engage our conservatives in more constructive pursuits, including, at times, governing, to keep the dominant progressive cultural class honest.
3.2.2009 4:14pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Colin, pluribus.
Pluribus listed a number of scientific advances.
You'll note that, in this argument and on this side of the Atlantic, scientists are not included in the "intellectual" definition.
Any liberal columnist with one book published is an "intellectual", while somebody making progress in, say, electronics is not.
Obama has some kind of Ivy education, the degree--so to speak--hidden along with his transcripts. Ever hear of a hard-science Ivy grad called an "intellectual"?
Keynes is a Brit intellectual whose contributions are not universally approved.
In fact, said one observer, his cutesy, "In the long run, we are all dead." is said to be because he had no interest in the long run, not being a breeder. Breeders do, which is why a number of them are concerned about the present situation and not happy with the Keynes-ish, or exaggerated Keynesitis we see today.
Problem with intellectuals is that they are convinced they know better but nobody else thinks so. Thus, the state is enlisted to make sure Joe Lunchbucket hews to the proper line.
3.2.2009 4:32pm
wfjag:
Dear Brian G: You wrote:

If you don't like Rush or his views, don't listen to him. If he loses enough listeners, he'll be out of work like the Air America hosts.

You mean he'll get a show on MSNBC? (ArthurKirkland says that Limbaugh used to fetch coffee for sports writers, so it looks like he's qualified to be a political commentator there).
3.2.2009 4:34pm
Sarcastro (www):
Steel is the Ahmadinejad of the Republican Party, Rush is the Ali Khemenei.

Also, Hitler is the Mule to Hari Seldon's Bismark.
3.2.2009 4:48pm
ArthurKirkland:
Rush was a disc jockey for the hippie radio station in Pittsburgh (KQV) before he started with the Royals, playing rock-and-pop records for the rebellious youth and making juvenile drug-and-sex jokes. His on-air name was Jeff Christie, or something similar. Jim Quinn also was a KQV personality at the same or approximate time, wearing tie-dyed shirts and ripped bell-bottoms at appearances at junior high schools. (Times have changed; KQV is currently a good all-news station owned by Richard Mellon Scaife.)

Rush's next job was director of promotions for the Royals. He arranged players' appearances at supermarket openings, made sure there were enough mini-bats at the turnstiles on Bat Day, and fetched coffee for sports writers in the press box.

At age 28, Limbaugh -- a college flunkout from a family of lawyers -- was spinning hippie records as Jeff Christie in Pittsburgh. At age 28, Barack Obama was studying law at Harvard successfully standing for election as editor of the law review. At age 31, Limbaugh was hawking bobbleheads for the Royals. At age 31, Obama was teaching at the University of Chicago Law School.

None of this makes Obama a far better person than Limbaugh -- although working for a degree and teaching others are more commendable than flunking out after a head start -- but it distinguishes these gentlemen in important ways. Achievement in prestigious and demanding contexts -- whether by Barack Obama or Bill Frist, Bill Bradley or Ron Paul -- is something prudent observers take into account.

The elitism sneers are hard to figure. Half of Americans are dumber than average. Most Americans do not acquire a strong education. Should we adopt a follow-the-crowd mentality and glorify mediocrity when selecting nuclear power plant designers, thoracic surgeons and mathematics professors?
3.2.2009 4:59pm
I Know It All (mail):
Steel is the Ahmadinejad of the Republican Party, Rush is the Ali Khemenei.


Since Barry O wants to talk to Mookie and Ali, maybe he should also talk to Limbaugh and Steele.
3.2.2009 5:03pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Very interesting. Obama "got" our hosts here to write numerous articles about him. Do you think they realize they were being made to 'JUMP?'"

Yes.
3.2.2009 5:06pm
pluribus:
Brian G:

If you don't like Rush or his views, don't listen to him. If he loses enough listeners, he'll be out of work like the Air America hosts.

A good idea, which I got 20 years ago. The fact is, however, you don't have to tune in to his program to hear him or know his views. When he is the principal speaker at the CPAC conference, all over the cable channels, and on the internet, it's unavoidable. When he comes out against McCain because he's not really a conservative (but later gave him tepid support); when he says he hopes Obama fails, because Obama's goal is to crush our freedoms and impose socialism on the country, I cannot fail to hear--and shudder. I decided not to listen to him these many years ago because I strongly disliked both him and his message. What I have heard since then confirms that early impression. I have no illusions about his abilities as a communicator (or "entertainer," as some folks here say, with some basis). They are outstanding, and there is nobody comparable on the left. I suppose Franken at one time aspired to that position, but he failed badly and now wants to be a senator. I am capable of distinguishing the message and the messenger. In Limbaugh's case, both him and his message trouble me. And the fact that he seems to be regarded as the modern voice of the Republican Party (which I grew up in and belonged to for more years than I would like to admit) troubles me even more.
3.2.2009 5:06pm
pluribus:
ArthurKirkland:

The elitism sneers are hard to figure. Half of Americans are dumber than average. Most Americans do not acquire a strong education. Should we adopt a follow-the-crowd mentality and glorify mediocrity when selecting nuclear power plant designers, thoracic surgeons and mathematics professors?

I do agree with you, Arthur Kirkland. This is part and parcel of the anti-intllectualism and xenophobia we hear some posters here extoll. Disdain of intelligent, well-educated people is not going to serve our country well in the twenty-first century, nor is disdain of foreigners. Those who deprecate intelligence, education, people who have gotten educations, and the places where people are educated (colleges and universities) are really troubling. It's a preference for raw emotions (usually mean and destructive emotions) over thoughtfulness and inquiry. Sadly, I believe that Limbaugh plays to these very emotions.
3.2.2009 6:01pm
Perseus (mail):
Those who deprecate intelligence, education, people who have gotten educations, and the places where people are educated (colleges and universities) are really troubling.

What's no less troubling is the rot (in the humanities and social sciences) that passes for education in all too many institutions of higher learning.
3.2.2009 6:28pm
Jam:
The preamble is only a restatement of what is a constitution and what constitutions purport to accomplish. The goals/means of the document.

The preamble does not detail what authoritites being granted nor the means.

If the preamble was actually part of the constitution, it would make the constituion be the ends and the means; a living constitution.

Also known as a dead letter.
3.2.2009 6:56pm
David Warner:
plurb,

"This is part and parcel of the anti-intllectualism and xenophobia we hear some posters here extoll"

Don't be shy - name some names. I think what you're hearing is what you expect to hear, but you haven't mananged to notice that that is not what it being said. If the left wants to lead, it needs to show its chops against more than straw men, or it won't find many followers.
3.2.2009 7:20pm
PersonFromPorlock:
pluribus:

Those who deprecate intelligence, education, people who have gotten educations, and the places where people are educated (colleges and universities) are really troubling.

I kind of suspect you're confusing 'intellectual' with intellectualism'. Intellectuals produce with their minds; intellectualists go on and on about "intelligence, education, people who have gotten educations, and the places where people are educated" but are too busy with self-appreciation to produce much else. The best literary parallel may be with the Bandar-log in Kipling's "Jungle Book."
3.2.2009 7:32pm
Nick056:
The notion that Einstein, say, should not be considered among the intellectual class is an attempt to redefine a word so as to use it as a plain insult rather than a description or neutral judgment.

It's a shallow rhetorical trick that helps deaden language and thought. Incidentally, Keynes response to the Treasury View of supply and demand is pretty universally scene as an excellent diagnosis of a problem. Contrary to Say's law, a general glut of goods is possible and robust supply alone doesn't create its own demand. Whether his prescription for this situation is excellent, that's a separate question. Hayek's response is instructive. Given that Richard Aubrey apparently concedes that social scientists are intellectuals (does it require more or less intellect than work hard sciences?) perhaps he sees the progression of views, from the Treasury View, to Keynes, to Hayek, as a useful bit of European intellectualism. Or maybe he doesn't.

But beyond all that, to work within Mr. Aubrey's crude definition of European intellectual, I would say Wittgenstein's works and Camus's -- particularly my favorite of his, The Plague -- have had good results in terms of investigating the philosophical problems presented by language, and by atheism and morality. Mr. Aubrey might note that that work of Camus in particular contained an attack on Nazism and Russian Communism. The sociologist Max Weber died in 1920. I assume Mr. Aubrey's familiarity with his work. These are three random examples. I'm also not sure what "results" Mr. Aubrey would seek from a group that contains many philosophers and artists. A quantifiable result isn't really their aim, and I think he misapprehends that, as he misapprehends the meaning of an intellectual.
3.2.2009 7:47pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Nick et al.
I defined intellectuals to not include hard science since few if any hard scientists are calling themselves intellectuals these days.
Few hard scientists are trying to get the state to enforce the intellectuals' views on society which otherwise would object.
Few are involved in the arguments our society is having.
I guess I'd say that those who consider themselves intellectuals are probably self-referential. After all, anybody with a couple of books calls himself that, if the books are sufficiently impenetrable. And the definition of intellectual to whom some refer is equally useless.
The appeal to authority is rightly viewed with suspicion, even if the authority is Nick himself. There's no exception, Nick.

Real intellectuals are pretty thin on the ground.

But I'd say I respect Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, and Walter Williams. Not necessarily in that order. But since they differ with many on the left, they cannot be intellectuals. So you see my problem. You and your crew don't actually impress many people because...maybe you're not an intellectual.
Ever think of that?

"Anti-intellectualism" means "doesn't like my ideas and, dammit, I have CREDENTIALS."
3.2.2009 8:33pm
Randy R. (mail):
Michael Steele just apologized to Rush Limbaugh. So now we know who really wears the pants in the republican family.

Crisis over.
3.2.2009 8:36pm
Duracomm:
pluribus said,

I'm saddened (but not at all surprised) that the words "European intellectualism" are hurled about here as if they were an epithet.

Xenophobia and anti-intellectualism are, of course, part of the right-wing DNA. If it's "intellectual," it must be bad. If it's "European," it's worse.
"European intellectualism" produced some fine things. It also managed to turn Europe into a massive slaughterhouse for good chunks of the 20th century.

Ironically the slaughter mostly stopped when the redneck americans set up bases in europe and told everyone to sit down, shut up, and try not to shoot at each other.

Given the history of Europe a reasonable amount of skepticism to parts of "European intellectualism" is a wise thing.
3.2.2009 9:00pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Dura.
Europe gave us communism, fascism, nazism, and, as you point out, a number of wars. In fact, it gave us practically everything of which America is accused. Racism, colonialism, oppression, capitalism, unfettered greed, conspicuous consumption, social rigidity.
Yeah, lots to like.
3.2.2009 9:04pm
Duracomm:
I think a fair amount of the folks in the comments are confusing credentialism with intellectualism.

Getting a ivy league degree is a fine accomplishment but it does not mean much if the degree holder can't do something useful with it. That could be anything from art history to designing a bridge.

Plenty of people with brilliant degrees have been completely incompetent.

By the same token plenty of people with third rate degrees or little formal education have created amazing things.

In other words look at the accomplishments, not just the degree.
3.2.2009 9:09pm
Harvard Law Review Phantom:

At age 28, Barack Obama was studying law at Harvard successfully standing for election as editor of the law review. At age 31, Limbaugh was hawking bobbleheads for the Royals. At age 31, Obama was teaching at the University of Chicago Law School.


Ok, please name, cite or produce one single article, or even one single word, penned by Barack Hussein Obama while he was allegedly editor of Harvard Law Review.

After that quest for MacGuffins in the Highlands of Scotland, name one single academic class, seminar, grade or anything from the entire academic career of Barack Hussein Obama, which spans back to about 1981.

Even if Obama's academic achievements are impressive (which would be more obvious if he ever released any transcripts), what's the big deal? By the age of 31, Obama's best friend, former office mate and unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers was a 10-most-wanted fugitive who accepted aid from Fidel Castro to evade the FBI behind the Iron Curtain.

And back to Carpenter's original post, switching out one single word in a 75 minute, fully ad-libbed speech corrects this colossal failure of monumental ignorance by Rush Limbaugh. I'll highlight the word so that the keenly trained, finely honed legalistic minds of the Leftist persuasion on this blog can possibly spot it:

We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. [Applause] We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. [Applause] Liberty, Freedom. [Applause] And the pursuit of happiness. [Applause]
3.2.2009 9:12pm
keypusher64 (mail):
Professor Carpenter posts a little joke and it gets 200 comments?!

Maybe he puffs on a stogie and laughs a la Rush, but maybe he is just shaking his head in wonder. I sure am.
3.2.2009 9:22pm
traveler496:
Richard Aubrey:
"I defined intellectuals to not include hard science since few if any hard scientists are calling themselves intellectuals these days.
Few hard scientists are trying to get the state to enforce the intellectuals' views on society which otherwise would object.
Few are involved in the arguments our society is having. "


Argh. OK, let's see if I have this right:
1) Hard scientists are members of a group few of whom contain attributes you consider necessary for an intellectual
2) Therefore, no hard scientists are intellectuals
3) Therefore, any hard scientist (Einstein, Bohr, Godel, Schrodinger, etc.) whose work one might reference in answer to your query for "some examples of positive results of twentieth century and later European intellectualism" is inadmissable.

Richard, do you realize that you have managed to convince yourself that these people and many others are not intellectuals, without considering any information whatsoever about them? No, I take that back: You have considered exactly one (1) bit of information in the technical sense, namely whether they are a hard scientist.

When your reasoning leads to absurd conclusions, it's prudent to check your reasoning. In this case I'd suggest you think more carefully about the transition from 1) to 2).
3.2.2009 9:44pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Traveler.
Do you realize you missed the point?

Let me try caps this time.

FOR PURPOSES OF THE CURRENT DISCUSSION,
HARD SCIENTISTS ARE NOT IN THE PICTURE.
THEY ARE RARELY REFERRED TO AND EVEN MORE RARELY SHOW UP IN THE DISCUSSIONS.
FOR PURPOSES OF THE CURRENT DISCUSSION INTELLECTUALS ARE IN THE FIELDS OF LAW, SOCIAL SCIENCE, SOMETIMES ECONOMICS, JOURNALISM, OR ARE SIMPLY SELF-PROCLAIMED, WHETHER REFERRED TO OR ACTUALLY PARTICIPATING.

Maybe I should use bold and caps. Let me repeat. FOR PURPOSES OF THE CURRENT DISCUSSION....

And that's why I dismissed pluribus' list of hard science from Europe. They are not comparable to what is going on in THE CURRENT DISCUSSION.

But anyway, it's not about real intellectuals but the folks who claim to be intellectuals or know what intellectuals think. And who have credentials to prove it, dammit.
3.2.2009 9:52pm
Desiderius:
The so-called anti-intellectuals (at least in this thread, and, I suspect, more widely) are in fact arguing against empty credentialism. A question for my fellow intellectuals: do you consider such empty resume-stuffing and authority-worshiping a problem, specifically for true intellectuals and our reputation, or not?
3.2.2009 10:12pm
Nick056:
Richard,

If I said to you that for purposes of this discussion, blue is pink, would you debate me on that point or walk away?

You would like to use a definition "intellectual" with which I disagree. Frankly, I think that anyone who refers to himself as a public intellectual is wasting words, and I also think that you're wrong and facile to be carrying on in the manner you choose to argue. It's shallow, Richard.

But I was kind enough to answer your question on your own terms. You asked about the results produced by 20th century European intellectuals. I mentioned some very famous ones who qualify even under your specious definition, whether employed in this discussion or anywhere else. Wittgenstein. Camus. Weber. You ignored that entirely, presumably because I'd answered your question in a way that you found damaging to your argument and your credibility, and so you carried on as if I hadn't said what I'd said. Or because you're not familiar with those you denigrate. I'm not sure.

Like it or not, you asked an incredibly broad and derisive question -- "please give me some positive results of 20th century European intellectualism" -- and it was answered successfully by several measures. Without conceding that your question was basically blowing hot air -- European intellectuals! boo! -- you retrenched your position and started to carry on about all the evil things Europe gave us.

And your definition above misesd out the field of philosophy. Are you that careless? Intellectuals, for the purposes of this discussion, don't include those who work solely in philosophy?

What kind of definition are you advocating, really? If your definition of intellectual is the self-styled commentariat, left and right, that hold forth on the issues of the day, I reject that you ought to accept that as real intellectualism in any discussion, even if you're facing people like that who call themselves intellectuals. Richard, some genuine advice: don't let a moron call himself an intellectual and then use the term as a bludgeon against him. It's bad thinking and bad rhetoric. If he's not an intellectual, say that.

Don't start using the term as an insult "for purposes of a discussion" in which you'd like to bitch about European intellectuals.
3.2.2009 10:26pm
Desiderius:
Nick,

I think Richard's anxiety to focus on the present over the past might spur some reflection on the question of just why it is that the present European (and American, for that matter) intellectuals so surely pale before their predecessors.

That you felt compelled to cite three (outstanding, to be sure) intellectuals 50 years dead as your paragons could give one, even one who generally agrees with your argument, pause.
3.2.2009 10:49pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Nick.
You and traveler have missed the point repeatedly.
I am not talking about intellectuals, the real kind. I am talking about the self-described intellectuals who probably aren't.
Who are distinguished by absolute certainty and a disdain for any lacking their credentials.
For example, the current president of the US won an election by successfully challenging the signatures of an opponent's attempt to get on the ballot, two by getting unsealed sealed documents relating to an opponent's divorce, and, the last one, in part, by reneging on the public financing promise.
During all that time, he was a community organizer, a law prof without much impact, and a part-time senator. He hangs out with terrorists. He's listened to a whackjob preacher for two decades without learning anything of any note--he says.
But because he has the credentials, he's untouchable.
Go figure, not that it will take much figuring to figure it.
Eric Hoffer wouldn't stand a chance with you guys.
3.2.2009 10:55pm
traveler496:
Richard,

I agree that it's possible by fiat to so radically redefine the word "intellectual" that it would be difficult to provide examples of European radically-redefined-intellectuals who have produced significant positive results in the past 109 years.

And that with your most recent post you've almost gotten there:-)
3.2.2009 11:44pm
Randy R. (mail):
Aubrey: "Europe gave us communism, fascism, nazism, and, as you point out, a number of wars. In fact, it gave us practically everything of which America is accused. Racism, colonialism, oppression, capitalism, unfettered greed, conspicuous consumption, social rigidity.
Yeah, lots to like."

True. And Europe also gave us capitalism, freedom, liberty (the concept of), common law, jury by peers, rule of law, music, art, architecture, cuisine, and many other things. Including, of course, us, since everyone (excepting native americans) came from there.

As for the US, don't foreget that we had plenty of racism, colonilianism, oppression and several wars, including one called the civil war.

To say that Europe only gave us bad stuff is as inane as saying it only gave us good stuff. It gave us most things that we take for granted today, good, bad and indifferent.
3.2.2009 11:49pm
dr:
wow. worst thread ever.
3.2.2009 11:56pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
First, Steele apologizes. Good grief.

Second, what all the comments are missing is the political shrewdness of Obama and Rahm E. doing various subtle things that point out how it is hard for current Republican leaders to distance themselves in any way from Rush (and his ilk, Hannity, Coulter, etc. Because elections aren't won or lost by Rush fans, they are won or lost with the independents and moderates. Who are precisely the folks Republicans lost in the last two elections. Who are precisely the folks who are turned off and will continue to be turned off by Rush, et al.
3.3.2009 12:06am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
prawo:

It's completely dishonest to make swiss cheese out of Limbaugh's stated reasons for wanting Obama to fail. Review of his statement, and of comments consistently deleted out of it by jukeboxgrad, establish that Limbaugh does not want the government to take over private industry.

That is a reasonable position to state, even if not everyone agrees with it. And even if you disagree with it, at least be honest and forthcoming about what he said.


The problem is that Rush did not make a limited, qualified statement. He did not say (for example) 'I want Obama to fail in any efforts to have the government take over private industry.' On the contrary. He has gone out of his way to repeatedly make a sweeping, categorical, unqualified statement: "I hope Obama fails." And why does he do this? Because it's good for ratings when he is incendiary and divisive. And Rush is all about ratings.

at least be honest and forthcoming about what he said.


I think it's you who is failing to do so. I'm quoting him exactly the way he said he wanted to be quoted. He made that bed, but you don't want to lie in it.

hayden:

he hopes Obama will fail in implementing the programs and policies that he has repeatedly stated that he wishes to impose.


You and Rush are both implying that nothing Obama wants to do could possibly be good for the country. That's embodied in your comment, and it's embodied in the statement Rush has made repeatedly: "I hope Obama fails." So own it.

You and Rush are obviously free to feel that way, and free to express the feeling, but don't complain when someone quotes Rush correctly: "I hope Obama fails."

By the way, please pay attention to Rush's first statements on the subject, which I cited here. Part of what's happening (and causing confusion) is that he has backpedaled somewhat in certain later statements.

==============
dave n:

Limbaugh is just like the Klan.


Not exactly, but pretty darn close (link, link).

If you can point to one time where he has endorsed, supported, or done anything to support the Klan, I am sure we would see the links all over the place.


The stuff is not hard to find.

==============
perseus:

No doubt the Lyndon LaRouche-affiliated website that you cite has the highest standards of scholarship.


No doubt this is your way of admitting that you see no substantive problems with the article, and can't do better than taking potshots at it.

==============
michael:

A pathetic pastiche of petulance


If you can manage to separate yourself from your thesaurus for a moment, maybe you'll finally explain your long track record of promoting misinformation.

==============
kirkland:

Should we adopt a follow-the-crowd mentality and glorify mediocrity when selecting nuclear power plant designers, thoracic surgeons and mathematics professors?


I like that list. Here's another item for the list: airline pilots who might someday be forced to land in a river.

==============
phantom:

name, cite or produce one single article, or even one single word, penned by Barack Hussein Obama while he was allegedly editor of Harvard Law Review


Please keep up.

==============
nick:

You [aubrey] ignored that entirely, presumably because I'd answered your question in a way that you found damaging to your argument and your credibility, and so you carried on as if I hadn't said what I'd said.


Welcome to the world of aubrey. Various examples via here.
3.3.2009 12:34am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Rush is a great entertainer, and today has been a great day in the history of entertainment. This is reflected in some greatly entertaining commentary.

Cole:

Imagine a Massive Highway Pileup. Now Imagine Clown Cars. Awesome, Isn’t It?


Sullivan:

Steele Reports To The Politburo - Comrade Steele dutifully apologizes to the Great Leader and offer his regrets to his fellow comrades in the movement. Re-education camp will follow shortly.This climb-down marks the end of establishment Republican resistance to the Poujadist pontificator. It's Rush's party now. So why shouldn't he run for president in 2012? Make Palin his veep - and be done with it.


More Cole:

The 2012 Republican Frontrunners

“But ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy.” – Sarah Palin

“One thing we can all do is stop assuming that the way to beat [the Democrats] is with better policy ideas.” – Rush Limbaugh

Palin/Limbaugh 2012, because ideas don’t matter (and thank goodness for that!).


Marshall:

Steele is like, what? ... the third Republican to criticize Rush and then make it less than 36 hours before being forced to undergo the 21st century Republican version of a Maoist self-criticism session. It's sad for the Republican party that no one can criticize Rush without having to be hauled out for this sort of humiliation a day or so later.


Benen:

The one person rank-and-file Republicans follow with the most enthusiasm is using his show to bash the Republican Party, insult the RNC chairman, and undermine the party's fundraising efforts.… If the DNC were writing the script, it would look quite a bit like this.


Dreher:

Michael Steele: "Please Rush, don't hurt me!"

The head of the Republican Party apologized to a talk radio host for uttering a mild criticism of him. … If I'm Barack Obama, I'm opening a bottle of Champagne in the Oval Office tonight with Rahm Emanuel and toasting to Rush's long life.

…think of the head of the Democratic Party -- a friendly, well-spoken, likable family man -- by comparison to Limbaugh, a very rich, much-married, fatmouthing blowhard. Who do you think makes the more attractive face of their party? Who do you think lives more like a social conservative?


(Emphasis added.) Frum:

President Obama and Rush Limbaugh do not agree on much, but they share at least one thing: Both wish to see Rush anointed as the leader of the Republican party. …

Here’s the duel that Obama and Limbaugh are jointly arranging:

On the one side, the president of the United States: soft-spoken and conciliatory, never angry, always invoking the recession and its victims. This president invokes the language of “responsibility,” and in his own life seems to epitomize that ideal: He is physically honed and disciplined, his worst vice an occasional cigarette. He is at the same time an apparently devoted husband and father. Unsurprisingly, women voters trust and admire him.

And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as “losers.” With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence – exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. And we’re cooperating! Those images of crowds of CPACers cheering Rush’s every rancorous word – we’ll be seeing them rebroadcast for a long time.

Rush knows what he is doing. The worse conservatives do, the more important Rush becomes as leader of the ardent remnant.


(Emphasis added.) Why does Rush want to be seen as the head of the GOP? Because he has a giant ego, and because it's good for ratings. Rush is all about ratings. Why do the Dems want Rush be seen as the head of the GOP? Because he's a clown, and he discredits the GOP. And they are both succeeding: events are demonstrating that Rush is indeed the de facto head of the GOP. This is good for Rush, good for the Dems, and good for the country. It's just bad for the GOP.
3.3.2009 1:07am
Nick056:
Desiderius,

I was answering his question which was, as I said, hugely broad. I understand well the point that I had to go back fifty years or more, and I would offer as a partial defense that it takes a while to fully judge someone's efforts. Others might cite two more recent and rather controversial figures, Foucault and Derrida. Perhaps Deleuze. Barthes. Jean Robbe-Grillet. All I'll say about them for now is, I have my doubts, but time will tell. It gives me pause that Richard strangled the word intellectual until there was no more breath left in it, and that bothered you less than concern for empty credentialism. I don't like empty credentialism or self-styled experts.

Richard,

I don't think of Obama as an intellectual; maybe that's why I've been missing the point. He an intellectual to the extent that he's applied his (probably sharp) intellect to academic and legal pursuits, and I think by most measures he's done quite well at that. But I think of him mostly as a politician, not a great thinker or messiah. Just a politician.

And I think I addressed your point. If somebody calls himself a self-described intellectual and has a disdain for his lack of credentials, I would spend my oxygen arguing that he wasn't an intellectual in any case, not fall into the trap of going after all intellectuals from Europe in the whole 20th century because some cheeky loser stole the term.

But I get your point. I usually don't like people who make a point of calling themselves public intellectuals, European or American, and I hope you understand that I feel there are a lot of things in the tradition of European intellectualism worth defending or studying from the 20th century.
3.3.2009 4:24am
Desiderius:
Nick,

"It gives me pause that Richard strangled the word intellectual until there was no more breath left in it, and that bothered you less than concern for empty credentialism. I don't like empty credentialism or self-styled experts."

A bridge between Richard's usage and your own. Johnson is perhaps a bit bleak.

"not fall into the trap of going after all intellectuals from Europe in the whole 20th century because some cheeky loser stole the term."

Which is why I proudly call myself a liberal. Still.

"If somebody calls himself a self-described intellectual and has a disdain for his lack of credentials"

No, the problem is the self-described intellectual who has spent a lifetime collecting credentials, and accomplishing little else. Runs down the brand. Also the off-hand dismissal of those without the credentials, regardless of accomplishment. I don't place Obama in the former category, yet, although the possibility exists.
3.3.2009 7:18am
Desiderius:
dr,

"wow. worst thread ever."

Yep, yep. Now with a JBG on top.
3.3.2009 7:19am
Duracomm:
Juke,

Your 3.3.2009 1:07 AM comment is a dissertation length copy and paste job that contributes little useful information.

It is a painfully long winded bit of blogarrhea mostly showing the completely known fact that liberals don't like Rush Limbaugh.

Your comment could effectively be reduced to one sentence. "liberals don't like Rush Limbaugh"

I'm sure the Volokh bandwidth fund would appreciate it if you would learn how to be succinct.
3.3.2009 8:18am
Duracomm:
Juke,

You might want to back off on the self referential linking.

I'm sure it is convenient for you to have all of you past comments in a database that allows a keyword search followed by a thread hogging copy and paste job.

However, the massive volume and mass of the circular linking you do runs the risk of collapsing into a comment thread black hole. And we would not want that to happen would we.

Unless you are using your well demonstrated copy and paste abilities to simply shout down other viewpoints.

You would not be the ill mannered would you?
3.3.2009 8:27am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
duracomm:

a dissertation length copy and paste job


Was your dissertation only 700 words? That must be some kind of a record. I've told you a billion times not to exaggerate.

that contributes little useful information


As compared with this post of yours? If you have ever put a post here that contains "useful information," I hope you'll tell us where it's hidden.

liberals don't like Rush Limbaugh


Former GWB speechwriter and NR blogger David Frum will be very surprised to find out that he's a liberal. Likewise for NR contributor Rod Dreher. But I realize you define 'liberal' as 'anyone who says anything I don't like, regardless of their conservative credentials.'

And John Cole is another classic 'liberal.' Check out what he said on 9/23/04:

While I am sure that Kerry’s frontal assault on Bush and Ayad Allawi moistened the loins of the idiot left, I just want to be on record that it was the most grotesque, obscene, offensive, opportunistic, and disgraceful performance I have ever seen from a politician. Ever. Senator Kerry- I am now questioning your patriotism and your sanity. … I now view Kerry as a national embarassment.


Sure sounds like a typical liberal to me. (Note: some of his views have evolved since then.)

Andrew Sullivan? Opinions vary.

I cited six people. Only two of them (Benen and Marshall) are clearly, unequivocally 'liberals.'

I'm sure the Volokh bandwidth fund would appreciate it if you would learn how to be succinct.


I think you should ask the management for a refund.

You might want to back off on the self referential linking.


When I link to my own comments, it's typically because the prior comment contains links to one or more external sources. Then again, I realize you probably prefer comments that refer to no sources whatsoever.

I'm sure it is convenient for you to have all of you past comments in a database that allows a keyword search


Yup, it sure is convenient. That database is called "google."

Unless you are using your well demonstrated copy and paste abilities to simply shout down other viewpoints.


Yup, it sure is helpful that I've figured out how to prevent people from presenting "other viewpoints." That's why this thread contains about 200 comments posted by people other than me.
3.3.2009 8:55am
11-B/2O.B4:
Hmm, Limbaugh says that he hopes Obama fails at implementing what he sees as "socialism" and people absolutely lose their minds. Hey, I don't particularly like the guy either, but I have a different perspective.

I can remember what Biden, Obama, Dodd, Clinton, Sharpton, Gore, Kennedy, Pelosi and a host of other Democratic leaders were saying right about the time of the much-reviled "surge". Now, maybe they weren't blunt enough to come out and say the exact words, but they were hoping and praying for Bush to fail, even if it meant the deaths of hundreds and thousands of my fellow grunts. I've never seen such cackling glee at the death and dismemberment of service members.
So, best possible readings? Rush doesn't like socialism, and the democrats don't like the Iraq war.

Worst possible readings? Rush hates Obama and wants americans to be poor. Democrats want troops to die and the military to lose a war to prove a political point. I'm seeing something here, and it appears to be the lesser of two evils.
3.3.2009 9:12am
SaraB:
"Europe gave us communism, fascism, nazism, and, as you point out, a number of wars. In fact, it gave us practically everything of which America is accused. Racism, colonialism, oppression, capitalism, unfettered greed, conspicuous consumption, social rigidity.
Yeah, lots to like."

Sounds like your auditioning for the Chair in Anti-Western Civilization that is all the rage among certain developing nation academics. Good going Professor.
3.3.2009 9:27am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Sara.
So what did I say that is wrong?
If you dislike those things, they came from Europe. Not the US, except to the extent we did the same things later. Which, by and large, we haven't.
The west is better, not perfect.

BTW, I strangled the word "intellectual" not because I don't know what one is but because it's the strangled version which is so prominent in current discussions. The real intellectuals are skipping this one.
3.3.2009 9:42am
SaraB:
It's all wrong. The picture is so distorted by your apparent dislike of our western heritage that there is nothing good or true about it.
3.3.2009 9:54am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Sara.
Take a breath. I'm the designated right-wing cultural chauvinist on this board.
However, those who insist that Eurointellectuals are so peachy and far above us yankee rubes need to have a bit of noserubbing from time to time.
In addition their needing it, I need to do it. Can't kick the dog. Wouldn't be nice.
3.3.2009 10:20am
Elliot123 (mail):
"The best literary parallel may be with the Bandar-log in Kipling's 'Jungle Book.'"

"We all say so, and so it must be true.."

Global warming consensus?
3.3.2009 10:52am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Elliott.
The Master rarely disappoints.
Problem is, with the exception of flinging nasty stuff, the Bandar-log didn't actually accomplish anything. Which would be an improvement.
3.3.2009 11:02am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
11-B/2O.B4:

maybe they weren't blunt enough to come out and say the exact words, but they were hoping and praying for Bush to fail


I want to know where I can get some of that mind-reading magic you're using. People are responsible for what they say and do. They are not responsible for your fantasy of what they were allegedly "hoping and praying for."
3.3.2009 1:01pm
Prawo Jazdy:
jbg: "I'm quoting him exactly the way he said he wanted to be quoted."

You are deeply dishonest. Rush obviously never said that he wanted to be quoted with more than half of what he said -- which was essential to interpretation of the other half of what he said -- strategically deleted.

You should reflect on why you feel compelled to so thoroughly misrepresent the objects of your attacks. If your attacks were grounded in fact and logic, you wouldn't need to resort to intentional deception.
3.3.2009 1:09pm
wfjag:

"We all say so, and so it must be true.."

Global warming consensus?

Of course Elliot. Weren't you on the Capitol steps yesterday?
3.3.2009 1:25pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
If you have your eyes tight shut and your fingers in your ears, you could slip on the ice and hurt yourself.
Not that I'm wishing that on anyone. Except those who want to upend society and are using a bogus crisis to create the energy. Them, I can hope break every bone in their heads, for starters.
3.3.2009 1:56pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
prawo:

Rush obviously never said that he wanted to be quoted with more than half of what he said -- which was essential to interpretation of the other half of what he said -- strategically deleted.


That's what you say. This is what Rush said:

I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: "Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails."


Which is not a logical thing to say if there's something else "essential to interpretation." In fact, it would be an idiotic thing to say if there was something else "essential to interpretation."
3.3.2009 4:34pm
eddie (mail):
As a law school graduate, what really baffles me is that anyone having anything to do with the pursuit of higher learning and the law finds it necessary to (a) defend Rush or (b) take umbrage at a little joke.

For that alone one should never be entrusted with adjudicating or representing anyone!
3.3.2009 4:42pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"As a law school graduate, what really baffles me is that anyone having anything to do with the pursuit of higher learning and the law finds it necessary to (a) defend Rush or (b) take umbrage at a little joke."

If you were not a law school gaduate, what would you think?
3.3.2009 5:20pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Elliott.
It is not allowed for non-law school grads to think. Wouldn't do them any good if they tried, either.
3.4.2009 7:45am
Ryan (mail):
The abbreviated biography that was given about Limbaugh highlights my annoyance at these talking heads, regardless of party affiliation, 99% of them, and they are usually the loudest and most obnoxious and arrogant have no actual background in what they are talking about and yet make it sound like they know everything and anyone who disagrees is an idiot. It is kind of sad that people around the nation will allow themselves to be influenced by the political rantings of people who have no real-world experience in what they are talking about, and then these people make the important decision of selecting their elected representatives accordingly. Seriously, it is sad where something as important as politics is so heavily influenced by so many people who have no idea what they are talking about and something as frivolous as sports actually have pundits who know what they are talking about. Maybe you can chalk it up to jealousy that these talking heads are making 7 figures for doing nothing more than just hearing themselves talk. At least athletes have talents that the average person doesn't have, but these pundits, they really have no skills.

Regardless of how you interpret Rush's comments about Obama, to say that you want Obama not to succeed in generating jobs is just plain...sad.

Jon Stewart is an entertainer and has never attempted to be anything more or less than that.
3.6.2009 4:09am

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