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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why Rush Refuses to Debate Liberals

Rush Limbaugh was angry this week at Snerdley, his call screener, for allowing several “seminar callers” (liberals) to be on the show. Limbaugh failed miserably in all of his arguments, and that's why Rush refuses to debate liberals.

Credit goes to Mike Stark, and other callers he's trained to get onto right-wing talk shows, for getting a contrary voice out there. Normally, Limbaugh likes to have an idiot “liberal” caller to mock on his show. But when it's a smart caller like Stark, Limbaugh always has to cut off the caller. This time, Limbaugh had to offer a lame excuse for hanging up on Stark: “We were talking with somebody who was purposely pig ignorant....That's why I didn't hang in with the guy, folks, because it would have been like trying to talk to James Carville. I'm not going to change his mind about anything.”

Of course, the real reason Limbaugh hangs up on smart liberals is that his arguments can't stand up to a contrary voice telling a few facts. As I note in my new book about Limbaugh, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason, the man simply can't get basic facts right.

Consider this argument he made with Stark:
RUSH: Now that's the only funding source for Social Security. So we've got a Democrat president who wants to cut funding for Social Security.
CALLER: Well, any tax cut is going to take away from the general fund.
RUSH: No, no,...Many tax cuts raise revenue and generate new money to the Treasury.
Then Rush cut off Stark and concluded with this declaration: “your president comes along and cuts the only funding program that they've got in half and you support it.”
Here Rush manages to combine two directly contradictory mistakes. First, Rush doesn't understand that the payroll tax cut comes out of the general fund, not the Social Security fund. So this tax cut isn't a cut in funding for Social Security at all. Then Rush compounds this idiotic error with his delusional view that tax cuts raise revenue, which they don't. If you cut taxes, you get less revenue than you would otherwise have. That's the reason why the debt is so large, thanks to the Bush tax cuts. Of course, since Rush insanely believes that tax cuts increase tax revenue, it raises an interesting question: why does Limbaugh oppose the payroll tax cuts? Partly it's because a Democrat proposed it. And partly it's because the payroll tax cut benefits the poor and middle class more than rich people like Rush and his golf buddies.

These are the kind of intellectual inconsistencies and obvious factual errors that Rush Limbaugh makes on a daily basis. Rush can only sustain his bubble of lies and mistakes when he's talking with bobbleheaded Dittoheads, which is why he can't allow intelligent liberals and moderates on his show to tell the truth.

Crossposted at DailyKos.

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