Let me start out by saying I hate Rush Limbaugh with every fiber of my being. He's a loud, fat blowhard who orgasms at the sound of his own voice and is, in almost every sentence, wrong about everything that comes out of his mouth. That being said, the first amendment gives him the right to be heard, as it protects speech, especially that which most of us find abhorrent. But as the right is so quick to scream about that nobody has to employ him to spout such nonsense unless of course your a right wing idiot then and only then does the first amendment come to be lobbied about. But if he is making money, I understand why Clear Channel keeps him on.
However, that argument won't work for the Teatards out there who listen to this garbage because Rush sponsors are fleeing him like he was a building fire. This is occurring because sponsors are getting deluged from people saying they will boycott their products unless they remove their ads. When hundreds of thousands of people are doing just that, you listen. And that is free speech at work. But at the same time, I am torn about all this because now anybody who says anything even slightly off kilter are being branded a racist, a poor basher, a sexist or other media spin and if this continues, could have a chilling effect on all free speech.
This country is rapidly devolving and the media and the American people are helping it along. How do I know? Because, God help me, I am going to defend Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. Recent "gaffes" during whistle stops or interviews are being twisted out of any meaning by a media hungry for the next big mistake. Aren't they pissed that Rick Perry and Herman Cain dropped out because they were good for a daily dose of stupid?
Rick Santorum recently said he didn't care about unemployment, that the rate didn't effect his campaign. While I would admit these were poor choices of words, nobody believes that Rick Santorum doesn't care about the unemployed. After the quote went viral in seconds by the MSM blasting it across the multiverse, Santorum had to beat a hasty retreat twenty six minutes later and Romney his answer. This is a monumental waste of everyone's time and done only to fill the 24/7 news cycle that dominates our lives.
Then came Romney's campaign adviser who said during an interview that Romney would have to moderate his views in a general election, using an etch-a-sketch as a really bad metaphor. Once again, conservatives went nuts and his opponents seized on the chance, holding the toy as a prop to explain that Romney wasn't a real conservative. What this says to any Republican is not that Romney is a flip-flipping liberal but that he actually wants to win the election. If Santorum or Gingrich win in some longshot way, and run on the same conservative principles they have been throwing the red meat diehard Republicans, they will lose Bob Dole style come November. Contrary to their beliefs, the US is not as conservative as they think they are and has been demonstrated time and time again in elections. The further the GOP moves to the right, the less their bills become likely to pass. The combination of anti-Hispanic, anti-women, anti-gay, and anti-climate change ideals are going to be a big hurdle this fall. And don't forget that national polls mean nothing. It's the state by state polls that do and those already spell disaster for the GOP as Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania are all swinging democratic. Unless the GOP wins two of those three, they lose mathematically every time. And with Santorum, he's likely to lose both Florida and Pennsylvania, the latter a state where he is really disliked, which is funny because that's where he's from.
But all this crap has lead to everyone being dissected for what they say. Louis CK, one of the funniest comics alive, had to step down as host of the upcoming correspondence dinner due to Republican whining. Robert De Niro had a funny joke about the country not being ready for a white first lady at a fundraiser and everyone, Democrat and Republican alike, called the joke racist and unfunny. Bristol Palin wanted an apology from Obama over the joke. Why would he apologize for a comment he didn't even say? She is still bitching about being used as a punchline after her teen pregnancy, even though it directly contradicted her Mom's famous outlook on abstinence and became a topic as a result. No one said running for office would be easy and for the most part, children are left out, especially after the unfair drumming of the right's attacks on Chelsea Clinton and Amy Carter who had the misfortune of teen years in a spotlight.
Then there is Bill Maher who called Sarah Palin a "twat," "bitch," and even "cunt." The right exploded on this topic saying he was just like Limbaugh. First, he called Palin those names, not all women, and I feel those are adequate descriptions of a woman I think is way too stupid and unbalanced to be in the public eye. She wants to be a movie star, not a politician. Second, he said those things during his stand up routine, not on his show. Unless what he said is truly profane, ie. Michael Richards, this is the ultimate example in free speech. I also think Tracy Morgan got a raw deal about his anti-gay statements last year during his stand up routine that he was forced to apologize for. In it the rant he just said he'd be pissed if his son told him he was gay, a sentiment I think many could identify with, even if I don't agree with it. This is why we have a first amendment, so unpopular talk can be said. But if we jump up and down everytime someone uses a word we don't like, this country is going to be intolerable.
If people want to listen to Rush Limbaugh, that's their decision. That's what makes America great. Although new FCC rules are going to be shutting down a lot of the right wing talk radio stations to be replaced with community radio. And while that may have little effect in places like Oklahoma, those on the coast may find much more moderate, even liberal shows being broadcast. And that is also great for this country.