Thursday, May 28, 2009

Almost Understanding Rush

Matt Yglesias almost gets it completely right when discussing Rush Limbaugh as a bearer of movement conservatism's take on race relations. Almost:

You never hear Rush Limbaugh decrying everyday racism against non-whites in the United States. You never hear him recounting an anecdote about an African-American man having trouble hailing a cab or being followed by a shopkeeper. He doesn’t do stories about how people with stereotypically “black” names suffer job discrimination. He doesn’t bemoan the fact that the United States has an aircraft carrier named after a fanatical segregationist. Which is fine. Everyone’s interested in some things and not in others. Rush isn’t interested in racism. Except that like most conservatives, he’s actually very interested in allegations of racial discrimination against white people. He sees the defense of white interests as integral to his political mission. And he hates identity politics.
That last sentence is oddly, strikingly false, because if there's anything Rush Limbaugh adores, it's identity politics. That Limbaugh rejects the label for his faction's racial projections, postures, and biases is true enough, but the denial of the label is itself a gambit of his faction's participation in those politics.

Rush Limbaugh hates the identity politics of others. Which is to say he hates identity politics as practiced by and on behalf of people who fall outside the cordon of his identity politics, which represents, more or less, straight white male Christian Southerners. It's his right to do so, but he has no right to be indulged in the lies he tells along the way.

2 comments:

Martin said...

Rush knows how to play the 'reverse' racism card. It's like his response to Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama during the presidential campaign. Why deal with the issues when you can just yell "reverse racism"?

Thing is, Rush know his audience. The one thing that makes white racists (and Rush knows his audience!) feel justified and affirmed more than anything else is an example of a non-white displaying racism. It's all about pandering to the lowest common denominator in the pathetic losers who listen to his crap.

Dale said...

Martin, you're right. Rush does not oppose Sotomayor for the reasons he's giving, and we can know this because the reasons he's giving do not make the slightest sense or square with observable reality in the slightest way. They seem made-up because they are.

He's a joke, and not a funny one.