Many GOP media stars continue to remind me why I stopped sincerely investing time in them. Karate kid and conspiracy theorist Sean Hannity is one. Rush Limbaugh is another.
In my household growing up, Limbaugh was on constantly. As my interest in politics grew, I began listening to his show. That carried over into college where I would tune in between classes.
During the 2016 campaign season, however, Rush grew to support, defend, and apologize for Trump simply because of the (R) next to his name. Standards? They didn’t matter. Winning was the only goal. Quickly, my disgust at his unprincipled tribalism grew.
Limbaugh’s reaction to Gianforte’s treament of journalist Ben Jacobs is another disappointment. Instead of harshly and seriously condemning the candidate from Montana, he amused himself by pointing out how studly he was when taking on the reporter’s Millennial form.
From Rush’s show on Thursday:
In Montana — ladies and gentlemen, I must do something. I must join the chorus of people condemning what happened out there. This manly, obviously studly Republican candidate in Montana took the occasion to beat up a pajama-clad journalist, a Pajama Boy journalist out there.
The story is he grabbed his neck and threw the guy to the ground because the journalist was being insolent and disrespectful and whiny and moany and accusatory. And the manly, studly Republican simply didn’t realize that on the big stage you can’t do this kind of stuff and kicked the guy’s ass to the ground. This cannot be accepted. This must be condemned. I wonder how many people in Montana are now gonna vote for the guy, though? (laughing)
And there’s a brave newspaper out there, a brave newspaper withdrew its endorsement for this studly, manly, brutish Republican. His name is Gianforte, Greg Gianforte, and he didn’t like this reporter who’s indistinguishable from your average Millennial man today, virtually indistinguishable. He’s from the U.K. Guardian.
You have to wonder, of the early voters, Mr. Snerdley, they voted before the studly and manly Republican Gianforte rudely, unacceptably, intolerably tossed a 125 wet dishrag reporter to the ground.
So the guy, this Ben Jacobs, is a classic Never Trumper, anti-Trumpist from the Drive-By Media and I guarantee you is smug and arrogant and all these characteristics that tend to put people off, particularly when they’re in combination like arrogant smugness, or arrogant conceit, those two things just as a personal pet peeve of mine, just rub me the entirely wrong direction.
Apparently, in Trump’s America, you deserve to be body slammed because of your politics, your arrogance, and/or your profession. And this is what will make America great?
Yes, Rush Limbaugh says the word “condemns”, but only barely. He says it while praising the alpha male characteristics of the easily angered Gianforte while ridiculing Jacobs’ weak stature.
Like too many in the GOP, Rush has exchanged sense for style. Trump’s rude behavior was excused during the campaign because “he’s a fighter.” It’s no surprise that the same mentality rooted itself elsewhere, and fuels praise for Gianforte’s fans. This is not a good look for the GOP.
If the tables were turned and a stark raving mad liberal candidate physically assaulted a conservative reporter, you can bet Rush and the MAGA set would pick up their pitchforks and crusade against the offender. Now? It’s amusing because the victim is a weak pajama boy. The candidate? He’s a man.
It’s incidents like these that make me almost wish “our side” would lose elections in the future. If this is the attitude rampant within the party which excuses the inexcusable, we deserve to have our clock cleaned at the ballot box.
We won’t win the culture war if we continue on this way. We are better than this, or so I once thought.