Just like Fox News and other right-wingers, Rush Limbaugh has been selectively editing and distorting Jimmy Hoffa Jr's comments about a “war on workers” at a Labor Day event: “let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong!” Rush devoted most of the first hour of his program today to smearing Hoffa. At least three times, Limbaugh declared about Hoffa: “that's a direct call for violence against the Tea Party.”
A caller to Rush's program (fearing that Limbaugh's credibility might be questioned) mentioned that the show had removed the first part of the quote where Hoffa said, “Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize,...” But Rush refused to admit he was wrong: “there's nothing out of context here.”
Of course, the use of war metaphors is common in American politics. It's particularly common on Limbaugh's show. In 2005, Limbaugh told Sean Hannity that he was upset about George W. Bush working too much with Democrats, such as supposedly letting Ted Kennedy write the “No Child Left Behind” bill: “it just proves something that I've always thought: This is war.” In 2007, Limbaugh declared about a vote over an immigration bill, “This is war. This is what politics is.” In 2008, Limbaugh blamed the recession exclusively on Democrats and said, “this is war out there, this is political war.” In 2008, Limbaugh raised no objections to the war metaphor: “I see the Democrats as warriors, and I see them in this, the way people are in blood sports. They want to wipe us out, talking politically now. There's nothing wrong with that, by the way. I think that should be the objective.”
But Limbaugh, unlike Hoffa, has gone far beyond war metaphors. Unlike Hoffa, Limbaugh actually has called for an armed revolution. Earlier this year, Limbaugh proclaimed about left-wingers who urged a nonviolent revolution: “They better be careful what they wish for -- and you don't hear me talking like this, folks; but if they're gonna start talking about 'revolution,' they better be very, very careful what they wish for, 'cause they are outnumbered."
In 2009, Limbaugh declared, “before Obama's through, folks, we're all going to have a mug shot one way or the other.” It was a typical kind of Limbaugh paranoia: Barack Obama will arrest all the conservatives in the country. Or, he seemed to hint, the patriots would be arrested for taking up arms against the “dictator” in office.
Speaking about the 2009 military coup in Honduras that overthrew the democratically-elected president, Limbaugh noted, “the coup was what many of you wish would happen here...” A few days later, he again endorsed the idea of an American military coup against Obama: “If we had any good luck, Honduras would send some people here and help us get our government back.”
Limbaugh was supporting a violent revolution against the Obama Administration: “Do you realize, ladies and gentlemen, what we are living through right now is exactly why the Revolutionary War was fought?”
Limbaugh routinely uses violent rhetoric, not just war metaphors, to describe Democrats and the Obama Administration. The fact that Limbaugh does dream about a coup, and constantly refers to Obama as a dictator, reflects how Limbaugh, unlike Hoffa, is encouraging violence by his followers.
Crossposted at DailyKos.