Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rush Limbaugh is an antibody, not a toxin

I watched with disgust when Glenn interviewed a guy named John Avlon at the Nashville Tea Party Convention. No, I wasn't disgusted with Glenn, that wouldn't be possible. It was just a bad feeling I had about Avlon; he's one of those Democratic shills that pose as a centrist or "independent" with a pretense that he is "fair and balanced."

You know the guy, the one that pretends to even be a bit right-leaning at times (he was Giuliani's speech writer) or centrist while left-leaning outlets such as CNN or "The Daily Beast" get him on to badmouth Republicans and conservatives, all in the guise of "doing them a favor," but really being more of a back-stabber than anything else.

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh today playing a clip of Avlon with some guest host on Anderson Cooper's show discussing how people like Limbaugh are the saboteurs of Washington and he hopes they fail. Funny, Avlon seems fixated on saboteurs, yet he seems to be one himself. I guess it takes one to know one. A commenter at the Daily Beast put it best: "Mr. Avlon needs to separate himself from the rest of the wingnuts he writes about, but instead he sips from the same glass."

Anyway, Mr. Avlon has a new book out that he is pitching called, Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America. Though he pretends that "a wingnut is someone on the far-right or far-left wing of the political spectrum," the back cover betrays his true bias against conservatives. "From Revolutionary War-inspired 'Tea Party' protests to the health-care town hall hijackings, principled policy opposition to government spending has taken a sharp right turn into Crazytown." No mention of the kooks on the left on the back cover.

Avlon seems to think guys like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck are toxic to our democracy--making people into angry haters. I disagree. Rather than a toxin, I think Rush Limbaugh is an antibody that is neutralizing the damage done by parasitic liberals who would have us all believe that going along to get along is the right thing to do--be it on health care, global warming legislation, or higher taxes. I feel strongly that going along with these things is the surest way to destroy democracy. I guess that makes me a "wingnut" too.

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37 Comments:

Blogger MiaZagora said...

In other words, he's a male Megan McCain. He better be careful. When you play both sides against the other, you'll end up with no friends on either side.

5:56 PM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger fred said...

Not "going along" is also fruitless unless it is offering specific proposals that counter those you oppose and that make more sense than those offered.
Name calling is toxic, no matter which side it comes from. Further, it is the sort of thing best left in the playground at grammar school.

6:17 PM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger Alex said...

fred - you fail. Opposing toxic ObamaCare is worthy in itself w/o having "other solution" ready. WHy should the minority party have concrete bills when they don't have the #s to pass them? You're just trying to marginalize those who won't go along with socialist-crap.

8:15 PM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger pst314 said...

"Avlon seems fixated on saboteurs..."

I suppose he sees us as "wreckers", capitalist roadies, and class traitors. And seeing how the Tea Party movement is a true grass-roots movement, I suppose he might have a sneaking desire to perform a little dekulakization. ;-)

10:33 PM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger Bill Daly said...

I thought John Avlon called himself a Republican. Oh, well, what else is new?

11:04 PM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger flenser said...

he was Giuliani's speech writer


Well, there's your problem! Of all the wacky things that have gone on in politics these last several years, hearing Rudy being promoted as a serious candidate for POTUS ranks right there at the top.

11:18 PM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger JimMtnViewCa said...

I used to be against Rush too. Until I actually listened to him. At that point, I decided he was bright, entertaining, (very) occasionally self-effacing....
Now, I try to listen on the occasions when I am driving to a dental appt during the day or such like.

11:26 PM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger orbicularioculi said...

Dr. Helen, this is an excellent commentary on Avalon and Rush as an "antibody". Rush is simply a magnificent explicator of liberal/progressive tactics and the political hijacking of the American Republic.

We all owe Rush a debt of gratitude for showing the depth of inanity of liberal lies, deception, misdirection and deconstruction of the FACTS.

11:36 PM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger Nathan said...

Fred,

Suppose someone said you could cure cancer by eating a pound of nails without salt.

Would you chow down? Or would you reject their ridiculous plan, even though you don't have a plan of your own to cure cancer?

That Republicans need a plan of their own before they can reject Obama's has a certain sound of fairness to it. To attack the Dem plan without proffering your own seems almost sneaky, or ungentlemanly.

But that is just a feeling. When you actually think about it, instead of just feeling, there's no reason at all anyone should believe such a thing.

12:09 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

The use of the term "wingnut" betrays Avlon's bias. I've always seen it used to describe conservatives and "moonbat" used to describe liberals.

12:25 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger ic said...

" Opposing toxic ObamaCare is worthy in itself w/o having "other solution" ready."

What do you mean no "other solution"? The solution is not to let Obama wreck our system.

The question is if he could cut $500 billion waste from Medicare in the next 10 years, what stop him from cutting that waste now? The question is what are they burying in 2700 pages of montrosity that nobody has read?

Off topic, but a quotation you don't want to miss:
--President Barack Obama. To quote Benjamin Disraeli, "A sophisticated rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity." If only he would talk less, and think more.

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0315/opinions-paul-johnson-barack-obama-current-events.html?feed=rss_opinions

12:30 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger George said...

Dr. Helen,

Thanks for your comment regarding rush limbaugh and glenn beck. It's very tiresome hearing many complain about the conservative/libertarian talk show hosts.
It's always an attack on the person, not about the subject of the show.
What did he say? What was wrong in what he said? Where is the source for the right information?
Sure, their style is bombastic. They can get on your nerves. But, good grief man, shut up about the guy and tell me all the lies that you say you're having to listen to! Prove to me that he's a liar!

12:34 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Koblog said...

How could a harmless little fuzzball like Rush be a toxin?

He's only one unseen voice in the morning or early afternoon on, of all things, AM radio. I mean, who listens to AM radio? Ha.

Does Rush lead the news at the top of every hour like Obama has for a year and a half, with every phrase uncritically parroted by the useful idiots at CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, PBS and ESPN? No.

Rush is but one voice.

The Dems have an unassailable command of Congress, the Senate and the White House. Nothing can stop them.

If Rush is the "lunatic fringe" he would be by definition marginal... "fringe." But he's not.

He may be one voice, but he speaks for millions and millions.

Helen, you are right: Rush is the antibody that inoculates us from truly dread disease.

You, Glenn and a host of other bloggers are, as well.

12:48 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Allan said...

I have heard John Avlon recently on several radio programs.
He seems to be ubiquitous.

I agree that there is something dishonest and distasteful about him.

What saddens me is that he recently married Margaret Hoover,
the feisty conservative great-granddaughter of the President.

I heard them on together a couple times
on the John Batchelor Show
and they definitely didn't seem to get along politically.

12:54 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Gullyborg said...

The thing about wingnuts - they will still hold things together, despite getting screwed in the process.

Just remember that next time someone tries to denigrate you - even though you are working hard to keep this country together!

12:54 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger algie said...

Kudos Dr. Helen

Well he put your nose way out of joint
By his backstabbing try to disjount
The conservative base
With his false case
And his lying fifth column viewpoint


....uuuu..'o^o'..nn!n....algie
Illegitimi nOn carborundum

12:57 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Flash Gordon said...

I have people tell me they don't agree with Obama's policies but they wish him success. Apparently, They don't see the contradiction.

1:02 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger XBradTC said...

Gullyborg, I'm stealing that line about wingnuts!

3:28 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Paul said...

Wingnuts hold things together.( Not that lefties would know anything about mechanics. Most couldn't hang a picture if their life depended upon it.) Wingnuts are useful. When they 'come off' things start to fall apart.

So I'm supposed to work, hand over half of everything I earned, every year, for all of my life to people that make my country worse, and my life miserable? I'm supposed to be a good, obedient little worker drone, eh?

Fughedabout it.

Yeah, us wingnuts are flying off all over the place. Better get used to it.

6:45 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Frumson Wooters said...

Somebody forgot to mention the Kulaks.

6:46 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Michael said...

Well put, Dr. Helen--an antibody, or even an antidote. I like Rush because he's a very effective media critic. Far as I'm concerned, we need way more of that in order to keep each other honest.

7:03 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger fred said...

first off, the Obama plan as it currently is is hardly socialist...if you know what that word means. Your bank is federally insured and that is
"socialist"? your highway federally funded in part=socialist? social security etc etc
Buyt a minority party either modifies, supports or votes against a bil but offers alternatives to what is proposed or what are they elected for? to sit on their hands and offer no counter ideas?

Rush in fact is very toxis:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/hendrikhertzberg/2010/02/decoding-limbaugh.html

7:16 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Chuck said...

Great article. I'm a Rush fan but DVR Morning Joe and Hardball. I also watch CNN/FOX (Hannity hardly ever)on occasion so I am a "Fair and Balanced" viewer/listener.

Sadly that so many cannot view all sides and separate the wheat from the chaff.

I agree. Rush is the antidote.

7:47 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Jamie said...

fred, I suggest a trip over to Protein Wisdom, where intentionalism is the order of the day... To have someone "decode" Rush is to ascribe intent to him externally; he's perfectly comprehensible all by himself, without benefit of "decoding." (When I see "decode" I think "pickup trucks==racist," "articulate==racist,""'What's wrong, honey?''Nothing.''Oh my God, you want a divorce!'")

Furthermore... your initial comment is predicated on an alternative plan's being necessary. While I happen to believe that some health insurance (rather than health care, generally) reforms would be beneficial, it's been clear for a long time that the overwhelming majority of Americans are just fine with their health care; therefore you begin with a false premise (that change is indubitably necessary). Start over, wouldja?

8:05 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger JB said...

As for Rush Limbaugh = "antibody"... the analogy stands, if you recall that many tests that are used to diagnose disease look for the presence of antibodies in the system as indicators that the disease is in fact present.

The American politic is truly diseased right now. We are quite ill.

As for health care, and coming up with the "better plan" -- here is the absolute best treatise I have ever read:
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/health-care

Don't be fooled by the breathless over-the-top headline... that was added by publication, I am certain.

Meanwhile, the author, a self-confessed Democrat, deconstructs the source of the healthcare problem very thoroughly and even-handedly. Rather than merely point the finger of blame in a single direction (so intellectually weak, and I grow weary of all of the pundits out there who are too lazy to do otherwise) -- the author instead demonstrates how many factors have led to our current situation.

His careful analysis then leads very naturally to a very straightforward solution, that makes sense. His proposed solution would require compromise on both sides of the aisle, it would demand accountability from those who owe it, and it would preserve the rights of individuals to maintain autonomy over their own healthcare choices.

I wish there were more public debate about the healthcare issue on this level of intellectual honesty and personal accountability, rather than the typical monotonic screeching that we hear from the talking heads (and disembodied voices -- yes, even Rush Limbaugh).

Read the link. Please. Dr. Helen, perhaps you could even put it in your column. I'd love to hear some public debate at this level.

8:56 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger JB said...

Oop, sorry, bad link... that one has gone stale, and that's really a shame.

Looking for a better one.

Meanwhile, the story was picked up last September by Huffington Post, and there are actually 6 pages of comments (about 5% actually worth reading, sorry you will have to filter through the other 95%).

So, my bad -- perhaps there has been more public discourse on this particular treatise and its points of view than I had originally stated.

Nevertheless, it still bears repeating, and it still bears continued discussion and attention.

Thanks.

9:07 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger JB said...

Okay, this link:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14904

recopies the original article in its entirety.

9:12 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

Glenn Beck says whatever his audience wants him to say. Glenn Beck favored the bailouts. Glenn Beck believes that we humans cause global warming.

On the other hand, Beck later disfavored the bailouts. He came to think, correctly, that the bankers set up the current financial crisis.

Beck is mostly wrong, at first. And then he straightens himself out, realigning with popular conservative ideas. I don't think he really believes what he says, if only because he flip-flops so often.

By contrast, Avlon is quite simply an ass of the Buriden variety. He doens't flip-flop because he can't take a consistent positon to begin with. He wants Progressive policies and freedom. He turns fecklessly from one to the other, since he can't have both.

9:27 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger James said...

Rather than merely point the finger of blame in a single direction (so intellectually weak, and I grow weary of all of the pundits out there who are too lazy to do otherwise)Beautiful World

9:35 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger quickjustice said...

Avalon is well known in New York as a Giuliani Democrat. He worked as a editorial writer for the New York Sun, Lipsky's now defunct conservative Democrat newspaper. I actually like Lipsky, and liked the Sun. Lipsky's wife is Amity Schlaes, author of "The Forgotten Man", an impressive history of the New Deal, and how it failed.

Avalon recently married Margaret Hoover, grand-daughter of the former President. I saw her speaking at a tea party rally on Times Square a few months ago.

Avalon has long argued for Giuliani-style centrism in the GOP and the Democrat Party. It sounds like he's failed to persuade you, Helen!

9:42 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Larry J said...

Nathan said...
Fred,

Suppose someone said you could cure cancer by eating a pound of nails without salt.

Would you chow down? Or would you reject their ridiculous plan, even though you don't have a plan of your own to cure cancer?

That Republicans need a plan of their own before they can reject Obama's has a certain sound of fairness to it. To attack the Dem plan without proffering your own seems almost sneaky, or ungentlemanly.


Nathan, the Republicans have posted their plan for months. Claiming they don't have a plan is one of the big lies of Obama and the MSM. The plan is to address issues individually, not in some incomprehensible and corrupt 2700 page monstrocity.

9:53 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

If the Republican Party wants to head over to the extreme right that is their business. It's a political party, they can take it anywhere they wish. Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, it's all good.

10:06 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger mariner said...

fred offers a good example of leftist thought:

Not "going along" is also fruitless unless it is offering specific proposals that counter those you oppose and that make more sense than those offered.

Premise: the government must administer health care.

I and most other Americans reject the premise.

It isn't up to us to explain ourselves to you. It's up to you to explain to us why we should accept your vision, and why we should have massive government expansion and tax increases to implement it.

12:19 PM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger SH said...

"No mention of the kooks on the left on the back cover."

The kooks on the left are now their mainstream again... take healthcare 'reform'... via wage and price controls, planning boards, forced equality... This is far lefty nutty nonsense that never worked before... and they all want it now.

12:49 PM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger SH said...

fred said...

"first off, the Obama plan as it currently is is hardly socialist...if you know what that word means."

A: I do know what it means... thank you.
B: What were all the people self described as who passed similar legislation in all the other 'western industrialised countries' that Obama pointed to? Starts with an S.
C: Obama asked if giving federal employees insurance was socialist... of course, not thinking about whether we now want to think of all our citizens as parts / employees / tools of the state... because to me, that would socialist...

12:57 PM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Alan said...

At the risk of being pedantic an antibody is only useful against an antigen. It is specifically an immune reaction. A toxin is disabled by an antitoxin specific to that toxin. Toxin-antitoxin reactions are not necessarily immune mediated. An antidote reverses the effects of a toxin or poison, frequently in a way that has no direct effect upon the toxin/poison - ie, the poison compound is not chemically or physically changed, but is rendered harmless in some other way. An accurate analogy would be he's the antibody, not the antigen, or, he's the antidote (or antitoxin), not the toxin.

7:01 PM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger StormCchaser said...

I would suggest that Rush is an antigen, stimulating a protective response.

1:10 AM, February 27, 2010  

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