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Tuesday, May 25. 2010
AVI reflects on Me 'n Limbaugh.
My only meaningful disagreement might be that I do not see Rush's bragging as genuine, but as radio shtick. Nobody who says "I speak with half my brain tied behind my back, just to keep it fair" is a serious braggart.
I think what drives Lefties nuts about Rush (besides his opinions) are his cheerfulness, infectious optimism, fair-handedness and kindness with callers, and his regular-American (as opposed to elite American) points of view.
The lack of angst and anger is simply not fashionable and is, indeed, repugnant to the elite Liberal mind.
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It never fails to amaze me how completely my leftie friends miss Rush's humorous schtick. And these are people with functioning senses of humor in other areas--but when it comes to Rush they turn into glowering fur-hatted politburo goons. Rush is a great Rorschach test for one's political health.
"My only meaningful disagreement might be-"
Just curious, BD, but what would some of your unmeaningful disagreements be?
Most people probably assume Rush started off in radio -- because who goes from TV to radio, right? -- but he actually started as a weekly afternoon TV show. I remember cruising around the dial one afternoon -- San Jose, maybe late 80's -- and stumbling across some madman ranting about this and that and being absolutely bewitched by the guy. Hardly missed a show until he went off the air. Only daytime TV I've ever watched.
As far as him being a "braggart", I'm not sure why AVI led off with that. There's a difference between 'bragging' and pontificating -- and Rush certainly does his fair share of that. But, as you said, the actual on-air braggadocio is just showbiz shtick, and more power to him.
"My only meaningful disagreement might be.."
If I may be permitted to interpret the phrase, I would take that as serious disagreement versus quibble.
The other thing about Rush that drives Lefties nuts is that he knows them, as he says, "like every square inch of his glorious naked body." And he does. He throws the emptiness of their adolescent elitism right in their face.
As for the bragging, well, it's schtick, because Rush has never tried to move beyond what he knows he can do. He knows where his expertise is. Besides, it ain't bragging if you can do it.
Bird Dog and Dr. Merc ... I like both your comments here. While I've never been a regular listener to Limbaugh, I agree with you, Bird Dog, in your comments about him. He is a man of great natural charm, and let's not underestimate that. It's all too rare. And he is saying things which many people don't want to hear -- but ought to. In a sense he is like Glenn Beck -- a populist preacher of basic values. How he does it may offend some people and embarrass others, but these things, many of them, need to be said, and only a communicator like Rush can do it and get folks to accept it.
That's more than radio schtick. It's self-deprecating humor.
That's single thing that the left cannot afford to copy.
Well, actually, I heard Al Franken once do a pretty good self-deprecating bit long ago, describing the diminishing gloating they had going after after Kerry was elected in 2004.
He knew it was over that evening when Barney Frank said he was "cautiously optimistic."
In fact, when Rush goes on a morality kick, his show is terrible for a couple of weeks until he gets over it.
Typical topics are abortion and the decline of social standards.
The reason it's terrible is that he loses the self-deprecating humor.
Just to show that's the vital ingredient.
What drives the lefties nuts about Limbaugh is that he is influential.
He has a large following and that is a tremendous thorn in the dems side. And that is why they hate him.
Liberals hate him because he destroys their positions with humor and logic. And inspires others to do the same.
I'd say it's the lack of self-doubt, in which he's much like Palin. It can come across as smug, but even more important, it's quite incompatible with the fashionable progressive pose of ironic self-doubt about traditional values and virtues. (Not that the progressives suffer from excessive self-doubt about the stuff that's really important to them.)
Rush is a great communicator, no doubt about it. And does not have an out-size ego dripping with condescension like his opponents on the left. He is consistently the best analyst in the media, the most insightful, the analyst who can dig into a story and make sense of it. No pols have a hidden agenda for long when Rush is on the case.
In my opinion, the only other talk show host of equal ability as a communicator and entertainer is Michael Savage. Savage has that "streets of immigrant NY humor", the sharp, biting sense of humor, I believe. When he is "on", he can be truly hilarious as well as instructive and insightful all at the same time.
The only reason the left doesn't hate Savage as much as they do Rush is that Savage's audience doesn't begin to approach Rush's, "America's Anchorman", as Rush likes to say. When the left keeps attacking Rush at ever higher and higher decibel levels, we know we are gaining on 'em.
I have listened to Rush whenever I happened to be near a radio between noon and three for twenty years.
a couple of observations:
1) He is really truly intelligent. His insights are perceptive and original.
2) He is really truly funny. (I agree about Savage by the way, he can be brilliant.) I often laugh out loud.
3) He is unfailingly polite to his callers. I wish the other radio talk show hosts would learn from that. I hate when they dump on the callers.
4) Most of the leftists who hate him have never listened to him. If you ask them about it when they are criticizing him, they act like the mere act of listening to him would be treasonness to their beliefs. So they don't know what they're talking about when they criticize him. They think he is some sort of crude right-wing blowhard.
Rush is a national treasure.
I really appreciate the photo you have chosen for Rush. So many of his detractors manage to find an outdated one before he trimmed down. Another Drive By cheap trick, of course.
Haven't listened to him in ages (10 years?) since I am RARELY near a radio between noon and 3PM. Once upon a time I was frequently driving during those times and did listen to him regularly for as long as I could bear it. I enjoyed his insight and humor but two things would drive me to change the station. One was that rustling the papers noise. Can't explain it, but that noise grated on me and I just loathed it. More importantly was that he droned on about topics.
The impetus for switching stations was generally when I found myself saying to myself, "I got it, at least twice over. Can we PLEASE move on to the next topic already!" Whipping a dead horse into shredded horsehide is one thing, relentlessly thrashing it into choking powder is another.
I seldom hear Rush or listen to any radio. But when I did it was obvious why he was popular.
As others said he is almost always polite. He sounds like an agreeable person. And only a dunce would believed his outrageous brags were to be taken seriously.
His show, like those of rivals, is a mix of facts and opinions.
And very wisely he nearly always has the facts right; no one will get every fact right every time.
The communicator who simply lies about facts doesn't last no matter how well his opinions are received. That is why the Air America people failed.
Had a classic exchange with my lefty elementary school admin friend on New Year's eve regarding Rush. She started ranting about the 'angry right wingers' and how she was so tired of the shouting and hostility and then without skipping a beat went off on how she so badly wanted Rush to have died from his recent health scare.
We right wingers stared at here waiting from some signal of humours irony as she must have been joking...she normally has a good sense of humor. But no, we had to point out to her that it was she who was shouting unprovoked and she who was wishing harm on another person she disagrees with.
What bugs many lib/progressives is that Rush, Beck and Hannity are enormously successful without having finished college. They constantly point out how "undereducated" they are. Sarah Palin did, of course, but she went to schools that don't count as real colleges.
One of their problems with Rush is his serious lack of angst.
As a ditto head, I think another of the reasons lefties hate him and I do mean hate him, are the parody songs and voice mail skits. Lefties hate to be mocked because it directly impacts their feelings of "self-esteem" and "righteousness".
He gives you the history of something, then present day, then wraps it all up nice and neat and delivers you the whole package.....how something came to be, what is happening right now and the long-term effect it will have on me and my country.
Throw the snark in and it is a win/win situation.
He educates and entertains.