John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Alas, Poor Rush

This morning I've noticed several headlines and articles that more than anything else smacked of "I want to get MY kick in while Rush Limbaugh is down!" No big surprise I suppose; besides the inherent pleasure the media gets from any feeding frenzy, the fact that they get to tear apart someone they consider an enemy is icing on the cake.

For myself, I have mixed feelings about El Rushbo and the whole thing. During my liberal days, Rush was on the "hate because we tell you to" list, and so I did. My first clue that something might be up with that is when I was reading an anti-Rush rant that said, in effect, "And worst of all, he backs up his assertions with facts, which is just plain unfair!"

That made me stop and blink a few times, and decide to check out Rush's show for myself. Off an on, starting around the time of the Clinton/Lewinsky flap, I started listening to the show a couple of times a month depending on opportunity. What I discovered was that he was actually a very astute observer of the political scene who was sometimes funny, sometimes brilliant, sometimes obnoxious, and sometimes just plain goofy.

As a libertarian, I found Rush's politicizing a mixed bag. He is always consistently a conservative, so it was easy to agree with his views on the economy, tax issues, and on the virtue of reigning in the 500-lb. gorilla the government has become, but then the contradictions of conservative thought (which he subscribes to completely) would drive me nuts. He also has a tendency to be quite astoundingly rude when referring to groups or people that he has issues with.[1] I personally found that behavior to undermine his message more than anything, but since the message is generally secondary to the gag, I understand why he does it.

So now we have Rush going into rehab, addicted to pain killers after an unsuccessful back operation. Further, the allegations are that he paid a housekeeper "cigar boxes stuffed with cash" in exchange for black market doses when his prescription didn't provide enough relief ... overdoses which may have been the cause if his hearing loss. It's like something written by Hollywood, right down to the symbolism of his beloved cigar boxes. It is possible that Rush might face criminal charges and up to five years in jail, although given that he's been cooperating with investigators it's unlikely that it'll actually go that route.

Still, Rush has managed to do something to himself that all the Al Frankens and James Carvilles in the world couldn't do, which was to undermine the impact of anything he might have to say. When he objects on the air to seamy behavior or illicit deals on the part of Those Evil Liberals, the instant reaction is going to be, "This from a guy who bought illegal painkillers in a parking lot?" It doesn't matter how astute an observation he makes, it doesn't matter how right on the money he may be about anything, he's now going to face a response of, "You're one to talk."

Personally, I find that unfortunate. But, c'est la vie!

-The Gneech

[1] For instance, he generally refers to N.O.W., the National Organization of Women, as "the National Association of Gals, or N.A.G.S." Sometimes, N.O.W. comes up with some of the dopiest ideas I've ever heard, such as a recent recommendation that women should have parties where they wear the baggiest clothes and eat the most unhealthy, "decadent" food they can find, on the grounds that this will make them "feel good about their bodies" and "protest the unrealistic expectations placed on women by society." Rush roasted this idea, and rightly so, but instead of just holding the idea up to the light, he said, "If you're going to have these parties, please do it with the lights off," which I thought was a cheap shot.
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