(*Al Franken's book of that title)
Rush made no bones about it. He wants the President of the United States to fail. He told the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) that he views your future and mine like the Superbowl -- he rooted for the Steelers and he wanted the Cardinals to fail.
He was wildly cheered. Apparently, their "team" is the Conservative Movement, not the American people. Ever notice that movement conservatives (i.e., the activist types) have a very low opinion of the American people because Americans want--and use their democracy to vote for--such non-conservative policies as a minimum wage? Rush called upon his legions to tell the American people they are "wrong."
In the very same speech Limbaugh declared in different places that the US is the greatest country on earth for what it has accomplished in such a short history (n.b., I agree: the first country that achieved surplus wealth--beyond subsistence--for its working classes in the '50s), a country that has embarked on socialism for 60 years since Franklin Roosevelt, and that no country with such elements of socialism has ever been successful. Again, to thunderous applause.
But, in what was even more revealing, Rush proudly accepted the CPAC award for defending the Constitution....after he said, in this speech, that the Preamble to the Constitution says: "we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Shades of Paul Bremer and George Tenet getting Presidential Medals of Freedom for their wonderful jobs running the Coalition Authority in Iraq and providing Bush the information he wanted to justify the Iraq invasion respectively.
This was not a random "mistake." Rush's misstatements are deliberate and purposeful. The rightwing has a major dilemma: insisting on a literal interpretation of the Constitution to make the case against government action, but the complete absence from the Constitution of any mention of god or the bible that, with literal interpretation of the Constitution, would remove religion from the public square.
To those concerned about little things like consistency or logic, this would seem to be an insoluble dilemma. Not for Rush, Newt or the right wing. Their answer is simply to conflate the Declaration and Constitution into a category of the "founding documents" and, in Rush's case, to import the Declaration into the Constitution as the preamble.
Problem solved. So simple, it almost makes one want to join their movement, nothing is too taxing to one's mind (perhaps the real meaning of keeping taxes low). That the Declaration has no force of law in the United States is, as the Soviet Union used to call inconvenient truths, a mere 'technicality.'
Of course, the preamble, as actually written, is a huge problem itself for conservatives. It is the "mission statement" for the Constitution, stating clearly what the purposes of the mixture of powers, rights, and processes that the rest of the Constitution describes.
As indicated in "Prescription for a Progressive Politics: I Am a Preambler, Will You Join Me?" October 23, 2007, the preamble not only states the various purposes and intents of the Founders (establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for a common defense, promote the general welfare, ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity), but it also establishes a creative tension among the goals so that they must be reconciled.
Conservative movement dogma only picks up liberty and the common defense. Justice, the general welfare and, to a large extent, posterity are ignored. Bill Clinton may have stumbled on the meaning of the word "is," but the rightwing deliberately rejects the meaning of the word "and."
That is, the conservative movement rejects the Founders' vision and mission for the country. Rush wants the President of the United States to fail.
Rush's award, then, from this group seems perfectly...well, logical. Did I say "logical?"!
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