A Specter Is Haunting Rush Limbaugh
July 3, 2014

The right scored a huge victory in the Hobby Lobby case -- and Rush Limbaugh thinks that's frightening. Here he is, in a radio transcript published on his site under the title "Why Cheer a 5-4 Decision for Hobby Lobby? Freedom and Liberty Are Hanging by a Thread!":

... Can I tell you the truth about the Hobby Lobby ruling? We're in such dangerous territory in terms of losing our freedom that we cheer when five out of nine people uphold the Constitution. We're not advancing anything, folks. We are barely hanging on here....

This is a temporary halt in the onslaught toward totalitarianism. This case, as I said yesterday, this case, the appalling part of the case to me is that it even ended up at the Supreme Court. But we have people all over this country who are willing for the government to tell 'em what they can and can't do. And then we have people all over this country willing and eager for the government to punish people for what they say, for what they think.

And when they comport themselves according to the Constitution, when the government and leaders in the government violate the Constitution, that doesn't seem to bother too many people....

Mrs. Clinton represents the drive toward an undemocratic, extreme country. She represents that. Barack Obama represents that. The modern Democrat Party and their union allies represent that. We're on the march to an unstable, anti-democratic, prone to extremism nation under the leadership of the Democrat Party! And, yes, I'm raising my voice on purpose here, because this, frankly, ticks me off.

We're just barely hanging on. We cheer! We conservatives stand up and cheer when we manage to get five people to see it the right way. "Oh, my God! Oh, Lord! Thank you so much, Lord. You saved another day." Five people out of nine, five said the Constitution means what it says. The troubling thing to me is the four people that didn't! Liberty and freedom are hanging by a thread here! ...

Totalitarianism, statism, whatever you want to call, is on the march. And as my friend William F. Buckley used to say, "We are standing athwart history and saying 'stop'," is all we're doing. We're playing defense so much we don't have time to advance anything. We're trying to figure out how to save our own party from going down the same path the Democrats are going....

In part this is Limbaugh playing into modern conservatives' massive amount of self-pity -- the right loves feeling aggrieved. In part this is playing into the spoiled-brat nature of right-wingers. Except in presidential election years and gay marriage fights, they win on practically everything, and yet whenever they win they want more, more, more. (That's what explains the schism between somewhat extreme Republicans and barking-lunatic teabag Republicans: the former don't want EVERYTHING, RIGHT NOW.)

But mostly this is Limbaugh acting out of concern that Republicans won't turn out at the polls in November if they think anything whatsoever is going their way (and out of concern that Democrats will turn out in response to this Supreme Court loss). Truthfully, I don't think he needs to worry about GOP turnout -- Republicans feel so aggrieved at so much so incessantly that they always show up at the polls. He and his ilk have trained them well -- they think they're one of history's biggest classes of victims, that their suffering compares to slavery and the Holocaust.

The Roberts Court didn't give conservatives a win in the Obamacare case in 2012; Mitt Romney, however, couldn't capitalize on that gift. A win for the right just before an election is an electoral risk for the conservative movement -- though, if history is any judge, that's not a problem for the right in midterms. Limbaugh isn't taking any chances, however. Let's hope his fears are justified.

(Cross-posted from No More Mister Nice Blog.)

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