I don't think Rush Limbaugh really likes being called an entertainer.
What's wrong with being an entertainer, Rush? Jay Leno's an entertainer. He entertains millions and makes a lot of money doing it, too. Jerry Seinfeld's an entertainer and makes a lot more money doing it!
The problem is that Rush thinks he's something else. He thinks he's Big Daddy from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," when he's really Jabba the Hut from "Star Wars." He thinks he's Henry V, when he's really Richard III.
Now, he thinks he's the Great, White, Conservative Hope.
And why wouldn't he think so? Without any substantive financial background, El Rushbo has an editorial run in the Wall Street Journal touting his "Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan" (Jan. 29):
"Fifty-three percent of American voters voted for Barack Obama; 46% voted for John McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Give that 1% to President Obama. Let's say the vote was 54% to 46%. ...under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009: 54% of the $900 billion -- $486 billion -- will be spent on infrastructure and pork as defined by Mr. Obama and the Democrats; 46% -- $414 billion -- will be directed toward tax cuts, as determined by me."
As a result, he's interviewed by CNBC's Mark Haines and Erin Burnett.
Look out, now Rush thinks he's Warren Buffett!
But the real Limbaugh plan started four days before Obama's Inauguration:
"I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: 'Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.' Somebody's gotta say it."
Limbaugh on Obama's health care plan: "[it is] highly visible... plus it has the great liberal lion Teddy Kennedy pushing it. Before it's all over, it will be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Bill."
Rush, you're not the great, white anything. You're the Rage-aholic-in-Chief!
RNC Chair Michael Steele got a big dose of the Rush rage after appearing on CNN's D.L. Hughley saying what most people already know: "Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer... Yes, it's incendiary, yes, it's ugly."
Less than 48 hours later, Steele recants: "I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh. I was maybe a little bit inarticulate... There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership."
Memo to Steele: Now, you're branding him as a voice of leadership?
But I have a more important question: WHY is the media giving this guy all this attention? Why CNN, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, even the Sunday morning talk shows? Why are all these people taking part in promoting the Limbaugh plan?
What is "The Limbaugh Plan" you ask?
The Rush Limbaugh plan is simple: anything, everything that Rush Limbaugh thinks, says, or does is in service to advance one thing: Rush Limbaugh. Forget about T-shirts, hats or mugs. Rush wants more, a lot more.
Limbaugh is the Bernie Madoff of the media, complete with his own Ponzi scheme and it works like this: the more media he enlists to spread his incendiary phrases, half-baked ideas, and ugly jokes, the more credibility he builds with people who either, (a) have barely heard of him, or (b) have marginalized him as the crackpot, conservative entertainer that he is, but are now taking a second look because maybe, just maybe they missed something. After all, he's getting all this attention from the mainstream media!
But there's another voice out there, Mr. Limbaugh. He's a new voice; a voice of intelligence and hope, of reason and respect. At thirteen years of age, Jonathan Krohn is the Anti-Limbaugh who gave a rousing address to the same CPAC conference that you did, Mr. Limbaugh.
In three-minutes, young Mr. Krohn demonstrated that rational, civil rhetoric can succeed over chest-thumping, arm-waving Rush Almighty.
Jim Lichtman's commentaries can be found at www.ethicsStupid.com