Rush Limbaugh is, for the first time, ashamed of his country.
Because of all the shenanigans surrounding the budget sequester. On Thursday, his on-air screed consisted of doubts about whom or what the budget cuts would hurt.
“I can't help but think that we are all being played for a bunch of fools, a bunch of suckers on this sequester business. I don't know. Are you like me? Do you really think 800,000 people are gonna lose their jobs in the Pentagon because we cut $22 billion?”
Problem with Limbaugh citing the 800,000 quote is that he sensationalized it to the point of being completely untrue. Defense Secretary Panetta said 800,000 civilian employees would be potentially impacted by the cuts—not laid off.
But El Bloviator has to have his red meat—just pretend Panetta said there’d be 800,000 laid off, right.
C.S. Monitor blogger Peter Grier summarized the Rush scare tactic, “…nobody has said 800,000 Pentagon workers will lose their jobs. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has said he’ll have to furlough that many Defense Department civilians if sequestration occurs, meaning that they will only be paid for working four days a week instead of five. So they’ll get a 20 percent reduction in pay, which isn’t fun. But it’s better than getting laid off.”
So Rush stokes his rant by stating, “Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country.”
This current in political media—sensationalize whatever and whenever you can for ratings—does a massive disservice to our national discourse. It doesn’t educate, it goads. It never really informs because its purpose is to denigrate and ridicule. And Rush had been making straw men that he later destroys with ease like a political version of some lame slasher flick. It's not reality, nor real facts, it's the WWF.
Sadly, talk radio audiences on the political fringe will continue to demand their red meat—even if it’s just food coloring on tofu. And Rush will forge ahead feigning all sorts of emotions to raise folk's ire.
But the fact is, Rush isn't ashamed of his country because of some political showdown, he's ashamed because his side is losing. And all the chest thumping over the years won't allow him, or the fear-based side of the GOP to evolve.
Darwin's a bitch, ain't it.