On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh declared, "I am as far removed from the ruling class as any peasant." Limbaugh added that he deserved to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and ought to be anchor of the CBS Evening News.
If he were truly part of the ruling class, Limbaugh claimed, "I would be invited to the White House."
As I note in my forthcoming book, "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason," Limbaugh has been invited to the White House, many times.
In 1992, after Limbaugh endorsed Pat Buchanan over President George Herbert Walker Bush as the Republican nominee, Bush fawned over Limbaugh. On June 3, 1992, Limbaugh was the guest of the president at the Kennedy Center and spent the night at the White House in the Lincoln Bedroom, with the president carrying Limbaugh's bag up to the room. As a result, Limbaugh biographer Paul Colford noticed, "Everything suddenly turned warm and rosy between the president and the commentator." Limbaugh actively campaigned for the man he had previously denounced.
Limbaugh, the peasant, was obsessed with having power in the White House. In January 1993, he arranged to have a note left for producers Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason in the Lincoln Bedroom after Clinton was inaugurated: "I was here first, and I will be back."
After the 2004 elections, he reported attending a holiday party at the White House: "Got a big hug from the president when I went through the line last night. It was just really cool." In 2009, a few days before Obama's inauguration, George W. Bush celebrated Rush's birthday in the White House: "He brought out a chocolate birthday cake, a microphone, and stood beside me with Ed Gillespie and sang happy birthday." When the president of the United States brings you a cake and personally sings happy birthday to you, it proves you're not a peasant.
Rush Limbaugh is not only part of the ruling class, he's one of its leaders. Limbaugh's agenda is simple: help big corporations, wealthy special interests, and millionaires like himself to get lower taxes and greater control over the government.
Rush often presents himself as a populist representing the regular people. According to Limbaugh, "there are two sets of rules in America: One for elected Democrats. The other, for we the plebes, the peasants, the Great Unwashed, the Victims." This "peasant" "victim" is among the richest people in the world, making $57 million a year and the owner of a vast mansion and a $54 million Gulfstream G550 jet (today, he discussed in great detail his favorite corporate jets with a caller).
Of course, Limbaugh doesn't actually like the "peasants." Just yesterday, Limbaugh was blaming America's "peasant" culture for an FDA decision on a drug to treat breast cancer: "in our peasant society, it has now been assumed that if one person can't have it, nobody should have it."
Limbaugh claimed, falsely, that "the FDA is now threatening to ban this drug Avastin that can help women with breast cancer and shrink the tumor and extend life. And the reason they are doing this is because the drug's too expensive. Pure and simple. The results of this drug have been excellent. Any ban is due to the high cost of the regimen of the treatment."
In reality, the FDA advisory panel noted that the company's own studies found that Avastin did not help patients live any longer, and there was a high rate of side effects such as internal bleeding. The FDA is prohibited from considering cost in making medical decisions, and there is absolutely no evidence to support Limbaugh's lies.
Today, Limbaugh continued lying about this story, again blaming "peasant culture," by declaring that "the FDA is going to ban this because it's too expensive" (there is no ban on the drug or treatment for breast cancer, and money had no role in the decision on whether to recommend it).
Why is Limbaugh claiming to be a "peasant" today just one day after he blamed the "peasant society" for his delusional interpretation of an FDA decision? It's simple: Limbaugh can't keep his story straight because it's all a lie. Limbaugh's "peasant" pose is just another example of faux populism on the right in America that has grown with the rise of the Tea Party Movement.
The "ruling class" is a stock phrase of the left, but it was seized upon by the right-wing and invoked by Limbaugh because of his deep-seated conspiracy theories. Limbaugh thinks that a secret cabal of left-wingers controls science, education, media, and government, and the "ruling class" phrase is meant to convey that psychotic vision of America.
The latest issue of the Limbaugh Letter features a cover image of Limbaugh holding a noose around Barack Obama's upper torso under the trees of the White House with the phrase, "The Ruling Class vs. the Country Class."
(To see the cover image, click here)
It's possible that Limbaugh did not intend to make this disturbing lynching metaphor, and instead wanted to draw a link to the famous media-manipulated image of American soldiers bringing down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq shortly after the invasion. If so, it might be even more disturbing. Limbaugh often calls Obama a dictator, and the analogy seems to indicate that Obama should be overthrown by force and then hanged, as Saddam was.
Limbaugh fantasizes that he's the "peasant" leader of a patriotic mob, lynching our black president to stop him from raping America.
Crossposted at DailyKos.