May 13, 2009

Rachel Maddow last night pondered the deep wisdom of Rush Limbaugh as the Ruling Demigod of the GOP -- particularly his latest ugly meme:

The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation's wealth and return it to the nation's 'rightful owners.' Think reparation. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what is actually going on.

Limbaugh has in fact pitched this line frequently already, minus the "reparations" line:

So I think we've got a guy -- I think the best way to understand Obama -- and I can't say this enough -- he really believes it his job to return the nation's wealth to its rightful -- quote unquote, rightful owners. And that means he believes the people who have wealth have stolen it, from those who have no wealth. It's been unfair achieved and accrued. And it's his job to take it and redistribute it. And that's what he means by sacrifice. When he talks about sacrifice, he's talking about raising your taxes, taking your assets, and giving them to other people who he thinks you stole them from, who are thus more deserving.

Maddow quotes the response from Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a poli-sci professor from Princeton:

The terms "welfare," "food stamps," and "reparations" are all code words for "undeserving black people." ... Limbaugh is attempting to use the politics of racial fear to appeal to the lowest common denominator of racial anxiety in this country. ... Clearly, Rush is not saying anything that even vaguely, substantively true. He is simply screaming, "There is a black man in the White House! Be very afraid!"

That sums up so many Limbaugh rants that we ought to just encase it in amber and trot it out every time the man speaks.

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