Really. Limbaugh is a racist bozo who makes money from hate, but this tact reveals much about the fears of white racists:
So in this interview with J. Christian Adams yesterday talking about [how] he and his line attorneys were told to just drop the case against the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation in Philadelphia, he said that there were people in the office, DOJ, who said, 'Well, you know, those people suffered the indignity of slavery, discrimination, segregation and so forth.'
He said somebody else said, 'This is payback,' meaning, 'All right, look. We don't care if it's the New Black Panthers or whoever it is. Black people in this country have never, ever had a fair shake. This is payback. O.J. Simpson was payback. How does it feel?'
That word 'payback' is not mine, [but] it is exactly how I think Obama looks at the country: It's payback time... There's no question that payback is what this administration is all about, presiding over the decline of the United States of America, and doing so happily."
He railed: "Who is Obama? Why is he doing this? Why? Why is he doing it? Is he stupid? Is it an accident? Is he doing it on purpose or what have you? ... I think we face something we've never faced before in the country -- and that is, we're now governed by people who do not like the country, who do not have the same reverence for it that we do. Our greatest threat (and this is saying something) is internal."
I'm not surprised. The Republican Party has been peddling hate for a long time and make no mistake, Limbaugh is the face of the base of the Republican Party: ignorant whites who fear losing their privilege, the lies they tell themselves that their skin color means something, that it makes them better than someone else.
The times, they are a changing:
When historians write about the great recession of 2007–08, they may very well have a new name for it: the Mancession. It’s a term already being bandied about in the popular media as business writers chronicle the sad tales of the main victims of the recession: men. They were disproportionately represented in the industries hit hardest during the downturn, including financial services, manufacturing, and construction, and their higher salaries often put them first in the line of fire.
Men are the victims of two thirds of the 11 million jobs lost since the recession began in 2007; in August 2009, when U.S. male unemployment stood at 11 percent (versus 8.3 for women), it was the largest unemployment gender gap in the postwar era. Those numbers have improved, a bit—new unemployment figures show men at 9.9 percent and women at 7.8—but not enough to stop Larry Summers, the president’s top economic adviser, from speculating recently, that "when the economy recovers, five years from now, one in six men who are 25 to 54 will not be working."
If they are lucky, they’ll have wives who can take care of them. American women are already the breadwinners or co-breadwinners in two thirds of American households; in the European Union, women filled 75 percent of the 8 million new jobs created since 2000. Even with the pay gap factored into the equation, economists predict that by 2024, the average woman in the U.S. and a number of rich European countries will outearn the average man.
5 years from now is recovery? Hmmm.
But my point is that the changing economy might fuel the hatred of Limbaugh's followers. Some aging (and unemployed) white males may well look for scapegoats and find them in minorities and feminism. So there will be much noise, but it is the noise of weakness.
The coming changes will come regardless of Limbaugh. His world and the world of his followers is over. White, male privilege is slowing dying. Oh, there's still racism and sexism and all sorts of others "isms" but it's not coming back.
I sincerely believe that the rage we hear is the death rattle of an old world. There is much to do, but the opportunity for change is here. The right is weaker than it has been for years.
I wrote this last August:
It's not about health care, public options, details of plans. That is not what motivates the opposition we see. It's the end of a way of life in which mediocre whites have better jobs, better lives, better health care, because of their skin privilege. It's the end of an idea, an idea that told some whites that they were better just because their skin was pinkish or "flesh-colored" as Crayola so racistly used to describe.
It is the death rattle of racism. The racists feel it. Their way of life is ending. White privilege is going away. It may take time and there still are many examples of institutionalized racism (differing medical outcomes, diseases, health, lead poisoning, environmental injustice, African Americans overrepresented in poverty, job discrimination, educational discrimination, ... etc.), but the direction is clear.
With the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, their way of life is ending:
"At this point in my life, I have never seen my America turned into what it has turned into, and I want my America back," said one woman, on the verge of tears. "
I'm optimistic. Change is possible and we are going to create a more just and decent nation.
But, as I've argued before, if progressives are to alter the hostile political environment that arms the lobbies and forces President Obama -- and, even more, fearful centrist Democrats in Congress -- to shrink from bolder reforms, they must build and mobilize a broad reform movement that transcends left-right divisions.
Now, we have a compelling blueprint of just how to do that. A new book --"The DeMarco Factor: Transforming Public Will Into Political Power" -- shows that that kind of organizing is no pipe dream.
DeMarco and his allies mobilized nonpartisan advocacy coalitions outside of the usual progressive groups and scored legislative victories over such potent corporate and ideological adversaries as the National Rifle Association, the tobacco lobby and conservative opponents (including Wal-Mart) of health-care expansion. Electing even the best-intentioned president and legislators will never be enough to achieve major policy change. DeMarco's approach demands a parallel, long-term effort to elect people based on their commitment to vote for proposed legislation. That means waging campaigns that force candidates to sign concrete pledges of support for particular bills.
This approach often requires more than one election cycle, and it means waiting to lobby legislators until after broad coalitions have been formed and all members have helped shape the legislative objective, so that their commitment is strong, deep and lasting.
DeMarco's campaigns begin with aggressive public education to raise awareness and build intense public support.
So I'm optimistic when I hear Limbaugh and Beck's insantity. That rage and craziness comes from losing the struggles for America.
Yes we can. We already are doing so every day.