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Sunday, November 7, 2010

This Week in Limbaugh Idiocy

It was a busy week for Rush Limbaugh to display just how stupid he is.

But it was more than just idiocy involved in comments like, "Barack Obama does not like the way this country was founded, he does not like the way it is, he does not like the fact that there is prosperity here, he does not like the fact this country exists."

To say that Barack Obama opposes the existence of the United States of America is both psychotic and vile, but it's typical of how Limbaugh thinks about his enemies.

This week, Limbaugh's idiocy centered on the election.

On Wednesday, Limbaugh denounced the fact that Republican female candidates were being called "the B-word, the W-word, the slur" just a few minutes after saying about Nancy Pelosi, "Ding, dong, the witch is dead." Not satisfied with his hypocrisy, he returned to the subject on Friday: "now the feminazis are clearly supporting witches, as in the case of Pelosi."

Noting several pundits who failed to predict two years ago that Republicans would take the House, Limbaugh proclaimed: "These are perfect examples of how noted elite political pundits put their ideology into their reasoning and therefore become unable to see reality."

According to Limbaugh, "They rely on the fact that nobody's gonna go back and recall what they said. They rely on the fact that nobody's gonna go back and look at what they said and remind anybody of just how off-base they were. And it all is rooted in the bias and arrogance, conceit of liberalism." While Limbaugh denounced liberals for "bias" and "arrogance" because their predictions more than a year ago were wrong, Limbaugh somehow overlooks his own off-base predictions made on election day itself, when he claimed that "Delaware is a close race, Delaware is a race in play, the Senate race, how can that be? How can Delaware be in play? I have been saying from the get-go that that race was competitive, that it never has been a 15-point race. We'll see tonight if I'm right."

Of course, Limbaugh was wrong: O'Donnell lost by 16.6 points, not the 15 points that Limbaugh considered impossible to believe. Limbaugh concluded about these bad predictions by liberals, "The point is they're wrong. Liberalism is a lie." By his logic, this proves that all of conservatism is a lie.

But the election provided an opportunity for Limbaugh to dip into his deep reservoir of conspiracy theories, as when he claimed that "Any Democrat win last night was either the result of fraud or deceit." He blamed "fraud" in Nevada and called it "suspicious" that Harry Reid won.

Everything Limbaugh looked at was part of Democratic conspiracy: "the Democrats have a slush fund of over half a billion dollars. What do you think the stimulus bill really was? Didn't create jobs, did it? It was out there to fund Democrat campaigns."

Limbaugh, of course, had no evidence for his bizarre claim that stimulus money was funnelled into Democratic campaign coffers. Considering that all of the money spent on the stimulus is publicly revealed, as is the source of all the funding for Democratic campaigns, Limbaugh's assertion cannot possibly be true. Only a lunatic would believe it.

Of course, Limbaugh has proven himself to be a lunatic over and over again. On Monday, he declared: "The people who are now in power are willing to destroy the economy, your savings, just to win their elections in 2006 and 2008."

Yes, Rush Limbaugh actually believes that Democrats conspired to destroy the US economy in order to win the elections in 2006 and 2008. He doesn't have any evidence for it. And it makes no sense since the housing and stock market bubbles didn't burst before the 2006 election.

Another conspiracy theory touted by Limbaugh was his belief in a Democratic plot that "would take your 401(k) away from you." Limbaugh claimed, "The unions and their Democrat friends in Congress are still pushing to do away with your 401(k)s. They essentially are doing for a bailout of their pension plans with your money." He cited the idea of guaranteed retirement accounts: "this Ghilarducci babe is a professor of economic policy analysis at the New School for Social Research. She's the one that went bat nuts. She's the one when they asked her about this said, 'Oh, Limbaugh, he's nuts! He doesn't understand what I'm talking about. He doesn't have brain power to understand what I'm talk about,' and yet here today, earlier this month, it has now become official with a proposal by Tom Harkin (Democrat-Iowa) and Bernie Sanders ("Democrat"-Vermont) to create the GRA to take your 401(k), take it away from you, replace it with 600 bucks a year at 3%, and give the money to the unions to make their pensions whole. That's what they're proposing."

I emailed Ghilarducci about Limbaugh's comments, and she responded, "Everything about what he said about me is a lie; except the 'babe' part. I am a babe, that's true."

As Media Matters for America noted, Harkins and Sanders didn't propose or mention GRAs. As for Limbaugh's claim that "They want to take the money away from you," the website Factcheck in 2008 examined this claim from the fringe of right-wing nuts like Limbaugh and found that it was completely false.

Basic factual errors are the hallmark of Limbaugh's show. Some, like his claim on Wednesday that Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) lost his re-election, are occasionally corrected because they are so obvious (Limbaugh always blames someone else for his mistakes). But many of Limbaugh's misstatements are never scrutinzed.

On Friday, Limbaugh proclaimed: "When Ronaldus Magnus came into office, the American economic growth rate was 1.7%. That was the GDP: 1.7%. Two years later, by 1983 -- and, remember, we had a very bad, steep recession in 1982. Listen to these numbers. Gross domestic product when Ronaldus Magnus came into office was 1.7%. By 1983 it was 10.9%. That is real economic growth."

That would be real economic growth, except that everything Limbaugh says was a fabrication. When Ronald Reagan came into office, the GDP growth rate wasn't 1.7%. Real annualized GDP growth was 7.6% in the fourth quarter of 1980 and 8.6% in the first quarter of 1981, when Reagan's policies couldn't have had any impact yet. In 1983, the highest GDP growth rate was 9.3% (not 10.9%) in the 2nd quarter. Except for that one quarter, the GDP growth rate during the entire Reagan Administration never reached the growth rate of 8.6% that Reagan inherited.

It's unclear exactly where Limbaugh got his invented numbers. It appears that Limbaugh simply made up the numbers without caring at all what the truth was.

Limbaugh said about the media on Thursday, "They simply lie. And they lie without fear because no one has ever called them on it and if anybody ever does call 'em on it they don't care, 'cause that was yesterday, and they accomplished what they wanted with the lie as far as they're concerned, and they move on."

That summarizes the Rush Limbaugh show very well. He lies without fear, even declaring, "So once again, documented to be almost always right 99.6% of the time."

But my favorite Limbaugh idiocy of the week was his column in the November 2010 issue of the Limbaugh Letter, where he wrote: "Any Republican who puts working with Democrats ahead of working for the American people will suffer the same fate as the Blue Dog Democrats: become an instinct species."(page 3)

Rush is man who doesn't think—he just uses his instincts. Perhaps we could even call him an "instinct species," but not one going extinct anytime soon so long as millions of conservatives delight in being instructed in Limbaugh's peculiar mix of juvenile insult humor, insane conspiracy theories, and a delight in ignoring reality.

Crossposted at DailyKos.

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