Limbaugh Hits a New Low

By Megan McArdle

I have a dilemma.  The other day, I boldly stated that I could not possibly like Rush Limbaugh less.  Then he went and described bullying attacks as what happens in "Obama's America". As Rod Dreher notes:

Look, I think it's important to talk about black male violence, or at least as important as it is to talk about any other important social trend. I don't think we should be squeamish about discussing it in a responsible and fair-minded way, despite what the politically correct say. But good grief, Limbaugh is up to something wicked. He's plainly trying to rally white conservatives into thinking that now that we have a black president, blacks are rising up to attack white kids! Christ have mercy, what is wrong with these people?

This is possibly the first time I have ever heard the word "wicked" deployed in a public debate, and boy, is it on target.  It is perfectly true that if the races had been reversed, Al Sharpton would probably be out there saying this was a symptom of America's lynching culture, and also perfectly irrelevant.   The response to Al Sharpton's antics is not to emulate them.  Race-baiting is not a team sport that anyone should want to join.  And I assure Limbaugh, from vivid memory, that horrible bullying also took place in Ronald Reagan's America, and every other America since at least 1978.

The only decent thing for me to do now is apologize and note that at the time, I really did not think it was possible for me to like Rush Limbaugh any less.  Now I realize that I was mentally excluding all sorts of activities from the realm of the possible, like murdering boatloads of Guatamalan orphans, or this sort of vileness.  It won't be the last time I'm wrong, but I certainly hope it's the last time I'm that wrong about talk radio's capacity for socially destructive quasi-populist virulent nonsense.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/09/limbaugh-hits-a-new-low/26674/