Skip to comments.Rush haters don't like the dittoheads either
Posted on 10/21/2003 8:35:20 AM PDT by conservativecorner
Gallons of ink and a like quantity of electrodes were expended commenting on Rush Limbaugh's disclosure that he was addicted to painkillers and going into rehab for 30 days. With all the braying about "hypocrisy" in the ensuing weeks, you would get the impression that Rush is despised by his critics.
Yet it isn't just the bombastic radio talk show host they loathe. To be sure, Limbaugh emerged as one of Bill Clinton's most effective critics perhaps the most effective in the 1990s and remains the bane of liberals everywhere. Plenty of talk radio's voices have little reach beyond the studios they fulminate in, but when Rush makes a statement even Democratic congressional leaders often feel the need to respond.
But many anti-Limbaugh jeremiads are not aimed solely at Rush; indeed, they drip with contempt for his roughly 20 million listeners. Ever since he burst onto the national scene, liberals and elitists of every stripe have spoken derisively about the "dittoheads" that form his adoring audience, casting them as deluded masses that have been deceived into supporting a nefarious right-wing political agenda. Limbaugh himself has picked up on this, with his famous quips referring to his listeners as "mind-numbed robots."
Of course, much of the mainstream press would have you believe that his fans aren't in on the joke. In Newsweek, Evan Thomas likened Limbaugh not just to Elmer Gantry but also the "Wizard of Oz," implying that he had his audience fooled into believing he is something that he is not: "The man behind the curtain is not the God of Family Values but a childless, twice-divorced, thrice-married schlub whose idea of a good time is to lie on his couch and watch football endlessly."
As harsh as this may be toward Limbaugh, at least he is given a certain amount of backhanded credit for being able to pull off this act. What can be said for the listeners dumb enough to believe it? Thomas helpfully explained, "When Rush Limbaugh declared to his audience that he was your epitome of morality and virtue, a man you could totally trust with your wife, your daughter and even your son in a Motel 6 over night,' he was acting." The average Limbaugh listener would have to choke back the impulse to say "no st." But Thomas (in what was incidentally a straight news story to which Eleanor Clift contributed, not an opinion piece) proclaims in the penultimate sentence, "Limbaugh's long-running act as a paragon of virtue is over."
It isn't enough to write a story about a famous but flawed man struggling with weaknesses even his closest friends didn't know he had. The underlying tone is that this also is a reflection on his audience, whose alleged naiveté has now been exposed for the entire world to see just as much as Limbaugh's prescription drug abuse. Rush might describe what they are getting at this way: "You fools! You believed in him and now we know that he is a druggie! Not only should you rethink your support for this man and his hate-filled intolerant message, but you should also admit your poor political judgment. It is time for you to reevaluate your politics, your values and every opinion you have that you formed in agreement with Rush, because his hypocrisy has refuted it all!"
The reality is that it has always been clear that large parts of Limbaugh's persona were an act and that his lines about being the "epitome of morality and virtue" with "talent on loan from God" were tongue-and-cheek. More importantly, the overwhelming majority of his listeners knew it. While a champion of God and country, Limbaugh never pretended he was not a sinner. Many of his conservative Christian fans and critics have always faulted him for being too secular, too inside-the-Beltway and insufficiently moralistic in his outlook.
While personalities like Limbaugh always attract uncritical admirers and sycophants, the bulk of his audience isn't comprised of people whose views were formed by what they hear on talk radio. On the contrary, Rush struck a cord with so many millions because they liked hearing somebody say things they already agreed with, things they weren't hearing anybody else in the broadcast world say. Although rivals and copycats have since arrived, Rush has won listeners' loyalty because for most of them he was the first and also because he has established the strongest brand name over time.
It's as simple as that. People who were tired of hearing their beliefs ridiculed, their values torn down and their opinions marginalized found Limbaugh to be a breath of fresh air. He was willing to speak up in agreement with Americans whose opinions weren't well represented in newsrooms, university classrooms or popular culture. Unlike his program, none of these other forums came clearly marked as purveyors of opinion. Consider that one of his biggest critics, Al Franken of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot fame, did not come from the pages of some obscure leftist periodical. He was a writer for the mainstream comedy hit "Saturday Night Live."
It's especially important to remember that Rush really became a household name at the onset of the Clinton years. This was a time when it seemed as if everyone had forgotten about the accomplishments of Ronald Reagan, the Democratic Party looked not just resurgent but ascendant and Clinton was being received as the political equivalent of a rock star. Millions of people in red-state America did not agree with this new conventional wisdom and yearned for a spokesman to challenge it and communicate their views.
When Limbaugh rose to the challenge, many liberals responded with anger at the spokesman and fear of the people being spoken for. They treated ordinary conservative Americans as a malevolent force whipped into a violent frenzy by demagogic leaders, a collection of rednecks, bumpkins and militia members congregated together in fly-over country. This view was reflected when the media described the religious right as "poor, uneducated and easy to command" and tried to reduce the 1994 election results that gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress to a temper tantrum by "angry white males."
Rush isn't perfect. He can be simplistic, excessively partisan and sometimes wrong. I agree with those who hope that this episode prompts him to rethink the notion that the government can stamp out drug use at gunpoint by putting people with personal problems in jail. But his shortcomings don't diminish his talents as a performer and communicator.
It's obvious that a lot of Rush's critics just don't get him. They take his shtick a lot more seriously than most of the dittoheads do. But it is more disturbing how little they understand that vast section of America that votes Republican, believes in traditional values and prefers free enterprise to big government. You have to wonder how some of these elites can speak out in the name of "working families" and yet find so many of them so alien.
W. James Antle III is a senior editor for Enter Stage Right.
Yep. As a Conservative/Conservative, I felt he was too easy on the left wing liberals. That used to tee me off. Why wasn't he speaking out?
In my opinion, he wasn't socialy Conservative enough , but I still liked his show.
That's why I don't hold this against him. He never claimed sainthood, but he knew his politics very well.
Yep again. He was the "liberal gimmie, gimmie, whine, whine" alternative.
I mean really, we feed them , clothe them, educate them, house them, and they still bitch because they want more!!!
That's the most important part. He doesn't have to answer to anyone. He can just tell the left "Screw you" and move on, and they can't do a damn thing about it. LOL.
Exactly. You can tell right away when a critic is either ignorant or lying when their description of Rush focuses on self-righteous ranting. I have seen one or two critical pieces that actually did understand Rush. One was the satirical piece that imagined Rush's show if he could criticize Bill Clinton for being addicted to painkillers.
The author is ignorant of physics. Maybe the movement of electrons were expended, but electrodes tend to be more robust. They're not measured in gallons, either, but why ruin a perfectly good, albiet innaccurate, turn of expression.
Limbaugh himself has picked up on this, with his famous quips referring to his listeners as "mind-numbed robots."
The author is ignorant of Limbaugh's actual quotes. It's not his listeners he calls "mind-numbed robots."
The ones in some Xerox copiers tend to need replacing fairly often if the volume of printing is high. They're not cheap.
I think the libs miss the whole point of human "failings".
They are trying their damnedest to associate the message with the now-tarnished messenger.
If you come upon Ted Kennedy barely hanging on to a lamp post singing How Dry I Am and he says "Look both ways before
you cross the street", people not suffering from liberalism would agree that what Ted said is good advice. (Probably the only good advice Ted ever gave, aside from which lawyer to hire.)
Libs would listen to the message not because it is practical advice, but because it's the Swimmer giving it.
Likewise, Libs do not like Limbaugh, so what Limbaugh says is untrue or irrevelant, regardless of the facts and should
be looked upon with scorn, as well as people that listen to him.
The media never says aword about 'ol bulbous nose Clinton and his coke habit (Monica testamony), though, nor Ted Kennedys alchoholism, now do they?
It's not unexpected from them, of course.
To the left, it's do as we say - not as we ourselves do.
That's what drew me to Rush at first. While abortion opponents were stereotyped as porkpie hatted Puritan men who wanted women to be barefoot, pregnant, and subservient (or worse, by that skirt-wearing "Men's Rights" clown that showed up on Donahue on a regular basis), Rush gave pro-lifers a human -- and humorous -- touch.
...It's obvious that a lot of Rush's critics just don't get him. They take his shtick a lot more seriously than most of the dittoheads do. But it is more disturbing how little they understand that vast section of America that votes Republican, believes in traditional values and prefers free enterprise to big government. You have to wonder how some of these elites can speak out in the name of "working families" and yet find so many of them so alien.
Brilliant. Almost perfect (he misspelled "tongue-in-cheek"). Bookmarked immediately.
Actually, I contend it is PRIMARILY dittoheads that they abhor, because they VOTE.
Let them think we are dumb. It just makes us all the more powerful.
The Left will always misunderestimate the Right, because they just assume that they are smarter and better and... well..., people just like them!
The day Rush gets back from re-hab, he will have every one of his twenty million back, along with some others tuning in for the first time out of curiosity. After six months, look for his listenership to have grown.
Plus, I gotta believe Rush will have more of his "A" game on once he's off the pills. He was kind of cruising there the last few years, don't you think? Lots of talk about football and golf, and kind of missing the ball on important stuff.
When Rush comes back, he's going to be tanned, rested and ready. The 'Rats had better look out!
I agree. The Left is disingenuously mixing him up with Dr. Laura.
October 7, 1998
In a column published in the New York Times Magazine section just before the 1996 election, Max Frankel quoted author Richard Reeves, who said that Clinton, while president, was sometimes "so punchy he has trouble thinking coherently." Reeves said that these episodes followed Clinton's regular injections of allergy medicine, after which the president "tries to avoid heavy lifting or meetings."
There have been substantial questions raised about the true nature of those injections. The New York Post's Andrea Peyser reported in September 1996 that during the first week of Clinton's presidency an unusual package with an Arkansas postmark turned up in the regular White House mail. It contained a vial of "mystery serum," as Peyser described it, labeled as allergy medicine. White House physician Burton Lee was instructed by Clinton's appointments secretary, Nancy Hernreich, to inject the president with its contents.
But the world-renowned Lee refused to do so. He told Peyser that the vial was inadequately labeled and that, in any event, he would not inject the president with anything without first checking Clinton's medical records.
Lee was told that Clinton's Arkansas doctor, Susan Santa Cruz, had his medical file. But when he called Santa Cruz she told him she would have to check with Hillary Clinton first before she could release the records to Lee. Lee expected that Santa Cruz would do just that, and that Hillary would quickly order her husband's file released to him.
He was wrong. Just one hour after his phone call to Santa Cruz, Burton Lee was fired from the Clinton White House. An unnamed Army doctor relieved Lee and apparently injected Clinton with the "mystery serum" without checking his medical file. Lee told Andrea Peyser, "There isn't any doubt in my mind that the person who fired me was Hillary."
I can't think of another president that refused to release his medical files to the public, either.
The one thing that strikes me is that he seems to genuinely love his new wife. She's not his first, but third time's a charm, I guess.
Not a paragon of virtue, but a nice guy nonetheless.
There has always been this notion amongst the enemies of conservatism that Rush is the ONLY one who has ever expressed roughly mainstream neo-conservative views.
How the devil was Reagan elected fully 8 years prior to Rush's arrival onto the national scene? National Review established in 1955 (I think). Irving Kristol, Norm Podhoretz. ... I need not go on.
The notion that all conservative conclusions have been shown to be false because of the failings of one man is preposterous. (Not that I've not been a Rush fan for years.)
Good, that makes it all worth it!
The withdrawal is killing me......
Arnold Schwarzenegger will become their next "biggest threat" to liberal domination. It never ends. Rush Limbaugh was never the leader of the conservative movement. The frenetic libs chose him as their favorite whipping boy because he was an easy target for oversimplifying what the liberal vs. conseravtive battles are really about. They were never about Rush Limbaugh. His personal problems are his own. The liberal piling on Limbaugh reveals a lot more about their personal problems than his.
That John Kerry has decided he is running against Rush Limbaugh for the presidency reveals quite a lot about the abnormalities of the liberal brain. Al Franken, Barbara Streisand, Alec Baldwin, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton...if they represent America, it doesn't matter how many pain pills Rush pops. Their pills are much too hard to swallow. People who wanted to take it up the a_ _ from Bill Clinton are in no position to lecture to anyone about morality or correct behavior.
Dittos is an abbreviation for what was eating up valuable broadcast time at the beginning of each phone call. When someone gives me a dittos, or even a mega dittos, that doesn't mean they agree with me, it just means they like the program and enjoy listening. Even liberals can give me dittos.
Now that we have established the ditto definition, have you ever wondered where the word came from in the first place - how it all started, by who, and that sort of thing? Well, it's kind of like the American Revolution as far as who fired the first ditto. But I'll tell ya, when we hit the airwaves on August 1st in 1988, it was the broadcast heard 'round the country, and now the world.
It was unlike any other program out there nationally and people just gravitated to it. Every caller began by saying, "Rush, this is the greatest thing I've ever heard, don't ever stop doing what you're doing, just keep it up." Of course, I liked hearing it, so I let the compliments keep rolling in. This went on for months until one day some guy hung up after saying, "This is the greatest show, Rush, whatever you do keep it up and don't stop." The next caller was a woman who said, "Dittos to what that guy just said," and soon dittos became a practical way to save time, it became shorthand for, "Boy, this is the greatest show I've ever heard, and don't ever stop." You can hear more about "Dittos" in the link below, along with the definition of a dittohead. You may be one and not even know it - even you liberals!
From Rush Limbaugh.com.
The reality is that it has always been clear that large parts of Limbaugh's persona were an act and that his lines about being the "epitome of morality and virtue" with "talent on loan from God" were tongue-and-cheek. More importantly, the overwhelming majority of his listeners knew it. Indeed. Much of those bombastic lines are shtick which is likely based on Leftist idioms & caracatures. For example: one editorialist called Limbaugh "the Patriotism Police". Which Rush then used this line on his show in referene to himself -all done tongue-and-cheeck. When Lefties complain about his satirical use of these idioms, they do not seem to realize that Rush is making fun of them.
While a champion of God and country, Limbaugh never pretended he was not a sinner. Many of his conservative Christian fans and critics have always faulted him for being too secular, too inside-the-Beltway and insufficiently moralistic in his outlook. Indeed. Rush is even a fan of The Sopranos & uses some "blue" language now & then on his program. Rush is not a religious brodcastor delivering a sermon. He is more of a sataritst with a political bent.
It's obvious that a lot of Rush's critics just don't get him. They take his shtick a lot more seriously than most of the dittoheads do. But it is more disturbing how little they understand that vast section of America that votes Republican, believes in traditional values and prefers free enterprise to big government. You have to wonder how some of these elites can speak out in the name of "working families" and yet find so many of them so alien. Well said. I myself am critical of Rush in areas -such as his Lincoln worship & pro war views- but anyone listening to his program can tell that he is a satarist.