So his Rushness was on the Today show earlier this week. I watch sometimes in the morning while I'm getting my breakfast or getting my kid ready for daycare. Hey, I like Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera. What can I say?
I knew Rush was coming on and I should've shut it off (or at least muted the TV) because it's never good to get one's blood pressure too high, especially not that early in the morning. But I couldn't quite get my finger to reach the remote in time, it was one of those car-crash impulses where you can see the flashing lights and a bit of the twisted wreckage coming up ahead and you know you should look away but you just can't help yourself.
So during Rush's segment--there he was, wearing some kind of Viet Cong black-pajama getup, or maybe he's just finished practicing some Kung Fu on liberals -- spouting off on this and that, and then the reporter asked him to play some word association. She gives a name, and Rush is supposed to give his first reaction.
I'm gonna paraphrase some because I don't remember the exact words:
Barack Obama: Disaster. OK, no surprise there.
Michelle Obama: Rush gets all cute and belittling and says "garden." Because, yuk yuk, she planted a garden at the White House. You card.
So far, so good. I mean, I certainly wouldn't expect him to say anything positive about Barack Obama.
George W. Bush: something like, the most decent, real person you'd ever want to meet.
Screw you, Rush. Screw you and whatever brain the OxyContin binges left you with, you preening, bloviating, smug, overpaid windbag.
There was your chance, your chance to show some small glint of objectivity, and you just passed on it. Because that's the right-wing way: never, ever admit, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that you were even the slightest bit wrong.
Say nothing about the sad state of the economy after W's watch. Nothing about the garbage like line-item vetos, maniacal expansion of executive privilege, and disregard for Consitutional rights. Nothing about the federal inepitude typified by the response to Hurricane Katrina. Nothing about the absurdly ballooning deficit. And certainly nothing about not one but two wars that are both ill-conceived and very possibly unwinnable.
Are we still looking for WMD's in Iraq? No? What's Rush's response to that? Wasn't that why we invaded in the first place? What's that? Saddam Hussein didn't have any, you say? There was no clear and present danger to the United States? He wasn't in league with Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda after all? Hmmm...well, it doesn't matter. Because George W. Bush is real, dammit! And he's nice! And down-to-earth! And...
Oh, I can feel myself slipping...I didn't want to, but here I am, falling down the rabbit hole.
Why do I hate Rush Limbaugh and his ilk? Because they're stupid. Because they're blind. Because they just want to sit there and beat their tin drums all day long and even though they're stupid and blind, a lot of people still seem to pay attention.
Look, I voted for Barack Obama (and John Kerry before him, and Al Gore before him, and Bill Clinton, too, twice).
What grade would I give Barack Obama as president so far? A low B. But because of the curve created by the plateful of shit the previous adminstration left with their hawkishness and greed and cronyism and inepitude and myopia, he might really only be around a C-average President so far. He's gotten some stuff right. He's gotten other stuff wrong. He isn't perfect. I look at him and I see some strengths, but I also see some real weaknesses that he should--and hopefully will--address.
But I don't see George W. Bush. I don't see a stupefying lack of curiosity and bull-headed stubborness. I don't see klutzy mush-mouthed, malpropism-riddled speeches.
Let's play word association:
Barack Obama: decent, but still has much unrealized potential.
George W. Bush: fool.
Rush Limbaugh: asshole of the first degree.
I feel a little bit better.