Notes from the Perimeter

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

RUSH to Judgment


The man who recently declared himself the most influential person in the Republican party – no, not Michael Steele but that cuddly gadfly Rush Limbaugh – recently took a giant step toward peace and reconciliation by convening a “Female Summit” during the final third of his radio program on February 25. Women, especially those who were not madly in love with him (I’m not making this up) were encouraged to call and let Rush know how he might win them over. “The reason we're going to do the Female Summit is Public Policy Polling in North Carolina published a national poll on your beloved host, El Rushbo. They found I've got 46% approval, 43% disapproval, but I got a huge gender gap….Thirty-one percent is the differential between male approval and female approval. So yesterday I said, ‘What can I do about this?...What is the explanation for this?’” (February 25, 2009)

At first glance, this exercise might appear quixotic. In the past, Limbaugh has made some famously un-endearing comments about women, such as:
• “I love the women's movement...especially when I'm walking behind it.” (The Way Things Ought To Be, page 145)
• “We're not sexists, we're chauvinists — we're male chauvinist pigs, and we're happy to be because we think that's what men were destined to be. We think that's what women want.” (April 15, 2004)
• “I have long told you, for example, Undeniable Truth of Life No. 24, written back in 1987: Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.” (August 12, 2005)

Limbaugh allowed that to fully plumb the depths of the female psyche might take more than one day. However, according to Rush, it takes at least six weeks of listening to his program daily to get “the gist” of him (February 25. 2009).

Okey dokey. I’m a woman, I don’t approve of Rush Limbaugh, so I figure I’m a perfect candidate for the summit. Because he announced this affair on one day and held it on the next, I didn’t have a chance to call in but I do have some comments. So, Rush, since you asked:
• For someone so obsessed with appearance, how come you’re fat?
• Women often say they like men who make them laugh – I’ll give you that.
• You’re contemptuous of minorities and the disabled – Donovan McNabb and Michael J. Fox come to mind. Your mockery of Fox’s Parkinsons’s symptoms was shameful (and erroneous) and hey, if ESPN fired your ass, why should I give you a pass?
• Your summit apparently was modeled on the old chestnut: “Enough about me. Let’s talk about you. Tell me what you think about me.” Men.
• If you think I’m going to devote six weeks of my life to getting your gist, you’ve got another think coming.
• And, Rush, the cigar has GOT to go. But, wait. What if, in this case, a cigar isn’t just a cigar? Oh dear.

El Rushbo, pal, the women you seek to woo are neither stupid nor credulous. We didn’t fall for Sarah Palin and I doubt that we’re going to fall for you.

However, as usual in his universe, Rush got in the last word. “Our preliminary report … it appears that women who have hated me have been led to me by other men and then have changed their opinion, which means something I have always known, that women do want to please their men.” (February 25, 2009)

Oh, please.

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