It was one of those moments that radio programmers dream of. It was just after 11:30 Thursday morning, and I pulled off the road and into a parking lot so I could give the radio broadcast my undivided attention.
Rush Limbaugh was explaining the economic meltdown to me.
El Rushbo and Pat Robertson had themselves quite a day Wednesday, each in their own distinctive way blaming the earthquake in Haiti on something other than plate tectonics. But Thursday, I was seized by a transport of radio rapture, and America’s Anchorman was explaining to me - and about five million others - how the bailouts “really” happened.
I actually went into the glove box of my gas-sucking SUV and pulled out a notepad, so I’d get it right. You see, the captains of Wall Street really didn’t want the bailout money, El Rushbo explained. He said these men were dragged into a back room at the White House, and during a three-hour meeting, were told they had no choice but to take the taxpayers’ billions.
The Source Of All Truth Who Does His Program With Half His Brain Tied Behind His Back To Keep It Fair went on to explain that nearly all the bailout money has been paid back. (More “breaking news”, I guess.) This was the genesis of his rant - that Obama was whipping up populist class-envy by proposing a fee on financial institutions which accepted the bailout money and were about to pay obscene bonuses.
From behind the golden EIB microphone, the great one further explained that the bankers never wanted to make those sub-prime real estate loans. They were coerced by a government which told them they HAD to make these loans. (Wait a minute - who was in charge of the government back then? Oh, never mind….)
Then, when the loans went bad, according to Rush, the titans of Wall Street had to ingeniously devise these new financial instruments (I presume he was referring here to Credit Default Swaps) which would give them some protection if the loans went completely south.
In a stunning whiplash, a few seconds later Limbaugh said this is exactly what Saul Alinsky and ACORN wanted - total control of the banking industry.
You’ve got to be doing some serious drugs to hallucinate like this.
All too often, a rational person’s first instinct is to silence dangerous wackos like El Rushbo, and Glen Beck, the Emotional Wreck. Too often the political left wants to go there. Shout ‘em down!! But this is exactly why the framers of the Constitution wrote that First Amendment. It wasn’t to protect POPULAR speech - it was to protect UNPOPULAR speech.
Even if said speech is a pack of lies. Long as it’s not told under oath, it’s OK.
As I was taught by a wise professor a long time ago, the easiest way to expose a liar is to give their speech wide circulation.
I can’t wait for Rush’s next “history lesson”.