“Rush Limbaugh’s Strategically Ambiguous Monologues”

by Vince

Well put by Conor Friedersdorf (as always). His strategic breakdown of Rush’s show and logic exposes his cowardly approach to “talk show discourse”. This is worth a full read:

In order to fully grasp his mastery of the strategically ambiguous monologue, let’s go back to the line I flagged before: “Last night I was as proud as I have been of the U.S. military in I don’t know how long.” Earnest praise for the troops? Sure seems like it on first listen. Mocking allusion to Michelle Obama’s controversial “proud of my country for the first time” remark? Also plausible! Especially in context. Certainly some of his listeners heard it that way and chuckled. But also totally deniable if necessary! The important thing to realize is that there is no right answer, other than whatever happens to be more convenient for Limbaugh at a particular moment in time. 

Hence he and his flock of followers are nearly impossible to nail down. There is always an escape back hatch to go out of and cry foul.

This failure to articulate and defend a single coherent position is the tactic of an intellectual coward, one who has abandoned any pretense of adding to the discourse, and satisfies himself by being an especially adept manipulator. In a man as smart as Limbaugh, it is a perilous course, for it can only end in self-loathing. But credit where it’s due: he is damned good at the game he plays. 


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