The congenitally leftist site Media Matters regularly collects “controversial” quotes by conservative personalities and displays them on its website for liberals to gawk at. It’s supposed to be self-evident to visitors how insane these statements are.
Evidently this soft-sell strategy works, as evidenced by the reams of snarky remarks dumped in the comments section by loyal readers.
Rush Limbaugh is of course a favorite target of Media Matters. Please join me while I deconstruct a sampling of contentiously worded but eminently sensible recent Rush quotes (thanks to David Swindle for post idea):
“Continued unemployment benefits increases unemployment”
Rush bemoans the fact that recent Republican opposition to extending unemployment benefits has been based, not on the philosophy behind endless benefit extensions, but on the technicality of paying for them. Rush points out the fact that it’s easier for people to accept a $325 a week check than to look for a job. Subsidizing something (unemployment) gives you more of it; taxing something (working) gives you less of it. Contrary to Nancy Pelosi’s claims, unemployment benefits do not increase employment.
Everything Obama has done has been “an attack on the greatness of this country”
Rush cites the following disasters in Obama’s first term: ObamaCare, intrusive financial regulations, a moratorium on drilling, bank and auto company bailouts, and the stimulus bill. So where does Rush get it wrong? Is it part of America’s manifest destiny to impose socialized medicine, constrict financial institutions, ban exploration of natural resources, keep bad businesses from failing by punishing good ones, and spend trillions of dollars we don’t have on projects we don’t need?
Requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions “isn’t insurance, it’s welfare”
Eric Cantor recently announced that Republicans would not seek to completely get rid of the health care reform bill; some elements will be kept, such as coverage of preexisting conditions. Rush argues that forcing insurance companies to accept people with preexisting conditions is welfare. Insurance companies stay in business by getting many people to pay premiums; if they had to provide coverage to anyone who wanted it, people would simply wait until they suffered catastrophes and then purchase insurance. Thus, coverage of preexisting conditions = free money = welfare.
“The Constitution is an obstacle to [liberals], it’s a Bible to me”
A caller wants to know how to bridge the gap between liberals and conservatives. Rush tells him that the things the two sides want done are incompatible, and that the left is no longer on the same page as the right. Rush is willing to compromise on policy details but not on the Constitution. When you have Democrats being caught admitting they don’t worry about the Constitution, or trying to redefine it as involving more than protecting “negative liberties,” then there’s no room for negotiation.
Obama didn’t lobby for 2022 World Cup because he is a “guaranteed loser… talk to Chicago about that”
Obama failed to win the 2016 Olympics for Chicago, guarantee carbon emission reduction concessions at Copenhagen, help candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, and get G-20 members to agree to currency inflation. He is, in every sense of the term, a loser. Yes, he won the 2008 presidential election-and an electoral victory gives one power, but does not produce actual results.
Past terrorists have been “young male Muslim Arabs,” and now “everybody has to be groped”
Rush addresses dissatisfaction over the Transportation Safety Administration’s decision to use invasive full-body scanners and “enhanced pat downs.” We know who the enemy is in the war on terror, what they look like, their national origins, their ages. But for some reason we’re supposed to suspend logic and pretend anyone could be a terrorist. Police officers profile suspects all the time, and residents of high-crime neighborhoods are grateful they do. If a suspect is a young, African American male, should police waste time stopping middle-aged white men and Hispanic grandmothers to prove they’re not racist?
Some Republicans are “gun-shy about defending the rich,” but “I, of course, do not have that problem”
Rush discusses a column in which Thomas Sowell expresses concern about the GOP losing the tax extension debate. Sowell notes that tax cuts for the rich raise revenue and create jobs. Republicans have that fact on their side, but they have to explain it to the public. Decades of pounding from the mainstream media have left the GOP queasy about speaking up. Sowell notes that we just won a landslide and asks, Why are we afraid to speak up? Rush’s answer: The GOP does need to speak up, but in the meantime, I’m going to do it for them.
“Secondhand smoke is harmless”
A recent study by a Swedish health board claims that secondhand smoke kills more than 600,000 people each year. Rush notes that the World Health Organization conducted a worldwide study in 2001 that found that secondhand smoke has no impact on health, but suppressed the study, because its findings were politically incorrect. Rush observes that liberals dissemble about global warming, DDT, and other supposed health risks in order to control people’s lives, so until there is better evidence about secondhand smoking, we shouldn’t give them the benefit of the doubt on this.
To African-Americans: “The Democrat party is the party of keeping you poor and downtrodden”
A caller asks why the media don’t focus on the fact that if the Bush tax cuts are not extended, the lowest tax rate would increase from 10% to 15%, a 50% increase, which would disproportionately affect African Americans. Rush points out that Democrats are not the party that is best for African Americans but rather the party of segregation, Jim Crow, and the KKK. Until FDR used electoral strategies to turn African Americans his way, this voting bloc had consistently voted Republican. LBJ expanded this strategy with his Great Society in the 1960s, and Democratic presidents from Carter to Clinton to Obama continued it, with the result that illegitimacy and dropout rates are now higher in African American communities than in the 1950s. So remind me: how are Democrats the party that’s best for African Americans?