Cutting Through The Crap

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Despicable


Neither Rush Limbaugh nor Glenn Beck strikes me as stupid, in the sense of having IQs outside a couple of standard deviations below the mean. Maybe it's the crowd I hang with, but I have a hard time believing either of them actually believes most of what they say. Of all the people I've encountered in my life, I can think of only one who's that hateful and paranoid and refractory to being influenced by the easily observable. If they do believe their shtick, and it's not just a way to cash in, they're -- in the case of Beck -- clinically insane, and -- in the case of Limbaugh -- painfully, Palinfully, willfully, Bachmanniacally misinformed. That either of them is given any credence by more than a handful of sociopaths in this country is beyond mystifying, beyond depressing. It's shocking, shameful, and deeply demonstrative of political end-times in which we live.

Fungating somewhere in Texas, Beck, one might hope, is past his prime time. So his latest rant about the people of OWS, in which he claims they literally want to drag "you" into the street and kill you, probably fell on fewer, if no more deaf, ears than during his Foxiflushed heyday. But Rush is still god to millions. So his hate-blinded, deranged-titled, and foam-filled rant, wrong on all counts, about Obama sending a hundred military "advisers" to Africa was, as usual, eaten up by his listeners like that particular pie in "The Help." It's emblematic of the reflexive hatred of President Obama, and the knee-jerk willingness to believe the worst things said about him, no matter what, as long as it comes from a certifiable RWS™.

These two guys are so demonstrably damaging (and, at least in the first case, damaged), so easily shown to be uncaring about what's true, so clearly driven by agendas of blind hate, that it's thoroughly inexplicable that they have the credibility they do; the ability, so it seems, to confer imprimatur on Republican hopefuls. That there are no parallels on the left, no such huge followings of the couple of pretenders (who fail to qualify for inclusion because, one, they generally stay within shouting distance of facts and, two, because liberals tend to eschew monolithic parroting), says a lot. But it doesn't make me feel any better.

I read an interesting article about ideology vs partisanship, making the distinction, and arguing that whereas pure partisanship represents much of what's wrong nowadays, what's sorely lacking is coherent ideology. With a distinctive lefty bent, the author points out that partisanship allows one to criticize the other side, no matter what they're proposing, even if, as with, say, health care, it was once an idea produced on their side of the divide. He decries calls for "centrism," to the extent, at least, that what's behind it is an attempt to obscure the reality, for example, of the arguments made by those of OWS.

That’s not to say that the obsession with centrism and post-partisanship hasn’t infected the masses to some degree as well. ... Barack Obama’s latest move on behalf of that campaign is his bizarre argument that the democratic socialist Martin Luther King “would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there”. But this is no time to shrink from a bit of demonization. The best thing leftists can do to combat this sort of nonsense, then, is to help draw out and clarify the implicit class ideology of the protestors, rather than condemn them for not drawing political demarcations in the way we would prefer...

Agree with the point or not, that's an example of consistent ideology. There's no ideology behind what Beck and Limbaugh say; just crazed hatred of the black guy in office. And liberals, no matter who they are and what they say. Rush's latest might be his most despicable ever, topping a list that ought to have long since relegated him to the reject pile of anyone who calls herself a human being.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow Sid, can you believe I've never listened to limbaugh or beck??
OK, I'll listen to that scamp Mike Savage, if I'm on the road at midnight, which happens about as often as you give a Black dude a ride...
There was a time in the 90's when my Dad babbled about how great "Rush" was, and I thought it a little strange that a dude who thought Frank Sinatra was too risque' was into techno progressive rock.
Even gave him my used "Moving Pictures" Cassette for fathers day...
the bad old days...when if you wanted to rock out to "Tom Sawyer" you had to buy the entire shitty album.
("Rush" was a band back in the 80's that sounded really cool*)
OK, Mrs. Drackman's a Shawn Hannity fan, he used to be a DJ in the A-T-L back in the 90's, and I had to pretend to read his book to keep her happy, a Man has NEEDS, if you nome sane...
But when I'm alone in the Z06, and the ABBA CD is under the seat, cause the Z06 can corner at .98G, and I need somethin to distract me, I'll switch over to some NPR, you know, maybe catch some "Fresh Air" "Prarie Home Companion"...
Just kidding, I'll usually pop in an audiobook, you know, "Audacity of Hope", "Withering Heights" "Or Hara'ayon", which is really good.
Be even better if I understood Hebrew...
Seriously, how many hours a week do you waste listening to talk radio?
Cause its either an integer>1, or your making unfounded opinions, which is cool, I do it all the time...
Like how I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like "Broke Back, Mounting".
No Homo-fobia, just don't like Westerns, unless Clint Eastwoods in it.
OK, I spend like 20 minutes on "Morning Joe" but thats only waiting for Minka Z. to uncross her legs...

Frank

*after taking Psilosibin