Loading...
Menu

WHAT IS TRUTH? CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO IN AMERICA 1988-2016

WHAT IS TRUTH?

 

CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO IN AMERICA 1988-2016

 

By STEVEN TRAVERS

 

COPYRIGHT (2017) by STEVEN TRAVERS

 

Table of contents

 

Prologue: What price journalism?

“Who is this guy?”

Middle America

“A harmless, lovable little fuzz ball”

The second conservative revolution

Why the Right went after the Clintons

“. . . This vast Right-wing conspiracy”

“Having too much fun than should be allowed to have”

Iraq

The new media

Voices of the Right

Savaged!

Blood feud

“Be careful what you wish for”

Conspiracy theory

What is treason?

A house divided

“Your guiding light through times of trouble, confusion, murkiness, tumult, chaos, despair . . .”

Victory . . . at Tea Party

Hostile takeover

 

To Steve Finefrock

 

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;

His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

 

- “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

 

Prologue: What price journalism?

 

Everything happens for a reason. In the case of Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio, three things occurred to pave its way. There were obviously many other factors, but the three essential events were:

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Henry Luce losing an argument to Theodore White.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Liberal dominance of the “media culture.”

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ronald Reagan ending the Fairness Doctrine.

 

Henry Luce, publisher of Time magazine, used his position and power to prop up Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek, first in his struggle to defeat Japan during World War II, then to defeat Mao Tse-tung and the Communists attempting to take over China.

His ace reporter, Theodore White, was reporting that Chiang was corrupt and his Kuomintang army was losing. Luce did not want this reported to the American public, but White insisted and it was reported. Subsequently, support for Chiang dried up, the Communists did take over, and Chairman Mao subsequently murdered 70 million human beings. While “liberal” journalism certainly existed prior to Theodore White – Mark Twain was probably a liberal of his era – this event marks a major dividing line in which liberalism became a dominant theme of Western journalism. ^^i^^

Teddy White was the toast of the Washington-New York-Paris “cocktail courage” crowd. The man who interviewed Jackie, gave voice to Camelot. Ah, the splendor.

What price journalism? What is Truth?

After that, Hollywood and American culture turned to the Left. This became what Rush Limbaugh called the “dominant media culture,” including movies, TV, advertising, education, comedy and eventually social technology.

Next, President Ronald Reagan appointed Donald T. Regan as his Secretary of the Treasury beginning in his first term, 1981. Regan was the poster boy for the “greatest generation,” a man with the kind of resume possessed by many in his era, men like George H.W. Bush and John F. Kennedy; the kind of man who virtually does not exist today, with profound, negative implications upon the future of the nation. Regan was both an Ivy Leaguer (Harvard, Harvard Law School) and a “leatherneck,” a Marine veteran of the kind of jungle fighting that might have driven a lesser man to a lifetime of psychoanalysis. Under Reagan and Regan, the Fairness Doctrine was repealed.

Left-wing talk had always been around, but many were dismayed to see most Democrats preferred rock ‘n’ roll music on the FM dial, while the appetite for sports was far more insatiable than they had realized. Their ratings were going down. Meanwhile, somebody else’s ratings were going up.

“The public owns the air waves argument was valid for 80 years, but technology has rendered this a moot point,” said KABC radio host Doug McIntyree. “The only true regulator of content is the marketplace. If a show is lousy, it’s gone. Period.” ^^ii^^

While repeal of the Fairness Doctrine is often said to “explain” conservative talk radio, the Center for American Progress and the Free Press said in a report that this does not adequately explain, “why conservative talk radio dominates the airwaves.” ^^iii^^

“But the struggle between expression and authority is unending,” wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. “The instinct to suppress discomforting ideas is rooted deep in human nature. It is rooted above all in profound human propensities to faith and fear.” ^^iv^^

****

He was an under-educated, overweight former disc jockey, fired many times, so poor he had to buy groceries on his credit card from 7-11. In 1984 he had finally convinced KFBK in Sacramento to let him replace Morton Downey, Jr. with conservative talk. Every week, it seemed, KFBK was ready to fire him. Letters demanding his dismissal piled up. So did his ratings.

ABC Radio president Edward McLaughlin noticed and, on August 1, 1988, in the middle of a heated Presidential election which at the time Vice-President George H.W. Bush was losing to Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, the man moved to New York City and took his show national, on WABC.

Nobody had ever heard anything like him. Years later, listeners recalled where they were and what they doing when first they heard his voice, like people remembering the events of Pearl Harbor or Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard ‘round the world.” Daniel Henninger captured the zeitgeist perfectly in the Wall Street Journal:

 

Ronald Reagan tore down this wall (the “Fairness Doctrine”) in 1987 . . . and Rush Limbaugh was the first man to proclaim himself liberated from the East Germany of liberal media domination.

 

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

 

Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

 

Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

 

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

 

Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

 

And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

 

- The Gospel According to St. John 18: 33-38

 

“Who is this guy?”

 

In the summer of 1988, Vice-President George Herbert Walker Bush trailed Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis by 17 points in national Presidential polls. Bush was an admired figure, but he was not associated with the word “underdog,” or “struggle,” or any of the phrases associated with rallying from 17 points behind. He was a man born on third base ready to trot home on a long sacrifice fly to deep center field. In addition to every possible built-in advantage of family, heritage, money and connections, he had accumulated a brilliant lifetime record of achievement, and was very likely more qualified to be President than any previous President or candidate ever had been. When the Republicans gathered for their national conventional at the Louisiana Superdome that August, however, he could not get out of his own way. He lacked the charisma of Reagan.

It seemed inconceivable that Reagan’s hand picked successor would not succeed. There were some historical anomalies that needed to be dealt with, though. The last sitting Vice-President to be elected President had been Andrew Jackson’s V.P., Martin Van Buren in 1836. American history also ran counter; most two-term Presidents usually saw their party lose after eight years. Even the redoubtable Dwight Eisenhower could not convince the American public to stay the Republican course.

But Reagan stood like a colossus astride American history in 1988. There was a brief stumble over the Iran-Contra affair, but a ballsy Marine named Oliver North defended the plan, and roughly half the country agreed with the idea of fighting Communism, which the Democrats seemed no longer willing to do. By his last year in office, Reagan had negotiated very favorable nuclear arms deals with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; the economy was exploding upward; and the Communist empire was crumbling. Despite all these advantages, which Bush participated in and rightly could take his share of the credit for, the man was bumbling and stumbling, his words had little resonance, and Dukakis was ready to measure the White House drapes.

 

That July, a new radio program began on the formidable WABC in New York City. Its host was a roly-poly former disc jockey from California by way of Missouri, a college dropout by the name of Rush Limbaugh. For one month, Limbaugh’s program ran only in the New York market, but former ABC Radio boss Ed McLaughlin sensed the man and his program had great potential nationally.

Limbaugh immediately lambasted Dukakis and his liberal policies. He liked Bush okay, but considered Reagan a god-like figure. He favored Bush because he was the man to carry on Reagan’s legacy, and he was opposing a liberal. He needed no further motivation.

There was opposition to Limbaugh in New York. The state had voted for Reagan in 1984, but was swinging further and further to the Left. It was not the city of Fiorello LaGuardia anymore, much less William F. Buckley. The old “Rockefeller Republicans” had in the case of Mayor John Lindsey in 1969 simply switched to the Democratic Party.

But Limbaugh and those who believed in him understood certain dynamics of the radio business. In New York, a lot of “blue collar” types were, if not real Republicans, not liberals favoring big social welfare programs and the coddling of minorities. The “hardhats,” the construction workers, vocally supported Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War in 1968 and 1972. Many “cabbies” were sick and tired of crime in the streets, as embodied by the Robert DeNiro character in Taxi Driver. A lot of these people listened to the radio, in their cabs or perched on steel beams at construction sites.

Limbaugh intrinsically felt that Democrats were not a big part of the so-called “talk radio” audience. The elites of academia listened to classical music, driven around in limousines, insulated from the world. The rest listened to rock music. They were, he said, “phony bologna, good time rock ‘n’ roll FM types.” There was little in the way of political radio conversation. Limbaugh knew, at least in the beginning, he had no real competition from the Left or the Right; he was practically inventing a genre. But he also knew that even if competition from the Left did emerge, it would not find a natural audience. He on the other hand had a natural audience. They were generally white males who worked hard to provide for their families. They were tired of listening to Mick Jagger or Van Halen howl. They had jobs and therefore commuted with the radio on. They wanted something with a little intelligence and common sense. They also had a sense of humor and were willing to laugh, sometimes at themselves.

On top of that, Limbaugh was a huge sports fan. He had worked for the Kansas City Royals, loved the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was an avid college football aficionado. He knew much of his audience shared these loves, and he mixed his politics with liberal doses of sports, which kept many from turning to the sports stations.

New York City got a full dose of Limbaugh during the hot mid-summer of 1988, and the ratings were through the roof. Ed McLaughlin was ready to begin stage two of his master plan. The ABC Radio Network was carrying a national program. On August 1, he took Limbaugh national on the back of the previous national programming. Suddenly Limbaugh was on 56 stations with an audience of 250,000. He called it the EIB (“Excellence in Broadcasting” network”). He had been in the radio business off and on for 21 years. He had been fired more times than he could count. He was 37 and finally had hit the big time. He would not look back.

 

It is difficult to automatically assume that Rush Limbaugh’s emergence as a conservative political commentator on 56 American radio stations heard by an audience of slightly less than a quarter-million people swung the opinions of the millions of voters who needed to change their minds, taking George H.W. Bush from 17 points down to a 53-45 victory, complete with 426 Electoral votes to Dukakis’s 111. But it certainly did not hurt, and it most assuredly added to the Limbaugh legend. Yes, within a very short period of time, Limbaugh was a legend. He was at first a myth, a rumor, a source of water cooler conversation (“You gotta hear this guy”). He called Dukakis “the loser.” One soldier from California described his first experience with Limbaugh this way:

 

I was in a unit stationed out of Orange County in Southern California. We were due to muster and take a bus for a five-, six-hour trip to Fort Ord, near Monterey. This was our regular two-week annual training. In the car on my way to the unit I turned on KFI/640 AM out of Los Angeles. I heard this guy lambasting liberals, especially Ted Kennedy. He was espousing the glories of capitalism, America and our military, and giving no apology for the fact that we had kicked the Soviets out of Afghanistan, were tearing their empire down, and building a foundation of economic success previously unknown by man. This was not what I heard from, say, Michael Jackson, another L.A. radio host who seemed to always be apologizing for liberalism. I thought, “Who is this guy?”

So I arrived at the unit and I went up to our Master Sergeant. In the Army this is a guy known as the “top sergeant” or Top. He is the highest-ranking enlisted man and in the hierarchy generally seen as being above lower-ranking young officers. This still being the ‘80s, we had Vietnam vets in the unit and he was one of them. He was a Hollywood version of what a war hero should look like; a silver fox with slightly streaked hair, muscular, handsome like a movie star, a booming voice. Think of George Clooney only actually courageous. You’d follow him into battle without question. He was like Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now, he had that “weird light on him,” and you felt safe with him.

He was always a total, complete, absolute conservative, which is how I knew him. I was a sergeant, not near his rank, but he loved my conservative politics so we sought each other out to discuss it.

“Hey Top,” I called out, “have you ever heard this guy Rush Limbaugh on the radio.”

“Live it, love it, a way of life,” he repeated. Yes he had and listening to him was to Top a “way of life.” That was the effect of Rush Limbaugh.” ^^v^^

 

Writer Zev Chafets had a similar experience:

 

Mine came in the fall of 1989 in Detroit, driving down Woodward Avenue in a black Le Baron convertible . . . Clarence “Frogman” Henry was singing “Ain’t Got No Home,” a song that had always made me smile, when suddenly he was interrupted by a baritone voice intoning, “Dadelut! Dadelut! Dadelut! Homeless up-date.”

In Detroit you get accustomed to bad news. I listened for the latest installment. But this wasn’t about Detroit: it was about a think tank in Washington, D.C., that had, according to the baritone, just put out an inflated figure of the number of homeless Americans – a typical liberal trick to deceive the public and allow Democrats in Congress to funnel “emergency” money to their cronies in big cities. This grew into a riff on the evils of profligate government spending, the debasing effect of welfare on its recipients, and the cynical willingness of the “mainstream media” to treat liberal propaganda as news. The baritone didn’t seem angry. On the contrary, he seemed delighted and amused to be catching another bunch of bleeding hearts, rapacious pols, and crooked journalists in the act. He called himself “El Rushbo” and “America’s Truth Detector,” and he announced that his program was on the “Excellence in Broadcasting” network.

. . . Listening to Rush Limbaugh became a guilty pleasure. I didn’t agree with everything – in fact, I disagreed with a lot – but agreeing wasn’t the point. ^^vi^^

 

Limbaugh’s emergence on the national scene in the summer of 1988 could not have come at a more perfect time. It certainly benefited President Bush’s election efforts, but the real beneficiary was Ronald Reagan, still the sitting President until January of 1989.

After a successful acting career, Reagan became a corporate pitchman in the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1964 he made what has come to be known as “the Speech,” ostensibly in support of Barry Goldwater’s candidacy. In truth, it was an unveiling of his philosophy. In 1966 he won election as Governor of California in a landslide, and was re-elected in 1970. His claim to fame was standing up to the protest movement on California’s college campuses. His reactionary politics were perfectly suited to the times, at least from a conservative perspective. He ran for President in 1976 but met significant resistance from the moderate wing of the Grand Ol’ Party, who ultimately propelled sitting President Gerald Ford to the nomination. When Reagan rose to speak after Ford’s nomination at the national convention in Kansas City, the general reaction amongst the crowd was that they had nominated the wrong man. Indeed Ford managed to lose to a relative unknown, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter. Reagan started up a radio show and championed the winning Proposition 13, which in 1978 locked in low property taxes for California homeowners. He also opposed returning the Panama Canal to Panama, which occurred anyway under Carter. In 1979-80, the establishment wing of the Republican Party supported George H.W. Bush for the nomination over Reagan, just as they had backed Ford in 1976.

Reagan won the primaries easily and then coasted to a landslide victory over President Carter. He chose Bush as his Vice-President, mollifying the establishment. By 1984 he was one of the most popular Presidents of all time, and coasted to a 49-state drubbing of the liberal former Vice-President Walter Mondale of Minnesota.

Reagan moved on from victory to victory. His economy was outstanding. He signed nuclear arms agreements with the U.S.S.R. favorable to the United States. He was, year-by-year, winning the Cold War, and presided over a brilliant CIA strategy forcing the Soviets out of Afghanistan, one of the final nails in their coffin. Despite great intelligence and a sterling background that included heroism as a World War II fighter jock; college baseball stardom at Yale; success in the rough ‘n’ tough Texas oil business; a stint in Congress; posts as chairman of the RNC, ambassador to China and director of the CIA; followed by eight years as V.P.; Bush owed his election to Reagan’s coattails.

Rush Limbaugh knew George H.W. Bush was no Ronald Reagan, but he liked him. He figured like all other Republicans Bush would carry on the Reagan tradition. This seemed a winning strategy. At the time, the Democrats were in shambles and it appeared the Republicans could pull off a winning streak to match the Roosevelt-Truman New Deal coalition. Limbaugh felt he might be able to preside over Republican majorities for decades to come. It was a giddy period of time. Coming only a few years after Watergate and a disastrous end to the Vietnam War, it seemed an improbable victory, but here it was.

At the time, Limbaugh was literally an Army of One, the title of his 2010 biography. There was virtually nobody else doing what he did. Bob Grant had been doing a popular conservative political show on various New York City radio stations since 1970, but he was not a national figure. He was talented and popular with conservatives, but had not caught fire as Limbaugh was catching fire. Perhaps the times explained this. Grant had been on the air in the 1970s when the world collapsed around Republicans: Watergate, Vietnam, Carter. Of course, he had championed Reagan for eight years.

Paul Harvey was a wildly popular radio personality with a national audience in 1988, but he was not a partisan Republican. Many people were unaware of his politics until comedian Bob Hope said at a dinner honoring him that if Harvey had been on the air during the Revolutionary War he would have felt the Founding Fathers were “too liberal.”

Harvey was homespun, told fireside stories with his famous “that’s the rest of the story” endings, but did not openly root for Republicans or against Democrats. He was an old school guy who remembered when politics ended at the “water’s edge,” when Democrats were patriots who contributed to victory in World War II and enthusiastically fought Communism. ^^vii^^

Limbaugh, on the other hand, came of age during the Vietnam War. He was aghast at the protest movement in the streets and the universities. He saw students openly waving North Vietnamese flags. He quickly identified this movement and its backers as the Left; ostensibly the Democrats or at least those who favored the Democrats. Events of the 1968 and 1972 Democratic National Conventions pushed this narrative. The 1972 Democratic Presidential candidate, ironically a World War II fighter pilot named George McGovern, was the last straw for Limbaugh and those like him. McGovern advocated unilateral withdrawal from the Vietnam War, while President Nixon insisted the war could only end with an “honorable” peace. When Nixon and Henry Kissinger managed to do just that in 1973, it appeared all McGovern and his party stood for had been repudiated. Nixon and conservatism, for a short while at least, appeared to be the “winners of history.”

But Watergate had weakened Nixon and Limbaugh was again tearing his hair over the actions of Senator Edward Kennedy, who refused to provide funding for the South Vietnamese, who were overrun in the spring of 1975. To Limbaugh’s way of thinking, the murderous campaign of genocide perpetrated by the Communists in Southeast Asia, especially by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouse, killers of 1.5 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979, was proof that America had been doing the right thing to stand up to this form of terror in Vietnam. Perhaps we had not fought the war correctly, but standing up to something, which by the late 1970s was well documented to have killed close to 100 million human beings; to the Rush Limbaughs of the world, opposing that was definitely the right thing to do. To the Left, embodied by the 1984 film The Killing Fields, the atrocities of Communism were backlash against America, the bombing of Cambodian sanctuaries, and the general immorality of “American imperialism.” Above all other divisions, these two philosophies, then and now, are perhaps the most unbridgeable and potent.

Limbaugh watched, half in awe, half shaking his head saying, “I told you so,” as Reagan seemed to turn against the tide of liberalism, of Communism, and anti-Americanism. He was a dream come true, a gift from God, at least to his supporters. Looking back, Reagan’s success seems all the more improbable when one considers the odds he faced. Aside from the fact there was no conservative talk radio, and no Rush Limbaugh, there were only three television networks. None were friendly to Republicans. William Paley’s old network, the Columbia Broadcasting System, was particularly hostile. CBS was the home first to Edward R. Murrow, who considered it his duty to unmask Joe McCarthy; then to Walter Cronkite, the man who “determined” Vietnam was a lost cause and was still anchoring in the early Reagan years; and Dan Rather, a homespun Texas and ex-Marine who was a talented professional, but whose liberal tendencies were always lurking under the surface.

ABC’s White House correspondent was Sam Donaldson. At the time, Donaldson was thought to be liberal and anti-Reagan. In light of modern media analysis, calling Donaldson liberal is laughable. He was a former Army officer, and while his politics were never exposed, he later expressed admiration for Reagan; maybe he even voted for him! But by standards of the day, he was seen as a thorn in Reagan’s side, often calling out, “Wait a minute, Mr. President,” before the old man could scurry away with his handlers. Donaldson came from the Watergate ethos, and he like most national journalists in Washington fancied themselves the next Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein.

There was no Fox News, but there was the Cable News Network (CNN). They like ESPN started off modestly but by Reagan’s second term were a strong news service alongside Ted Turner’s WTBS and the TNT network, stations that carried Atlanta Braves baseball, old movies and television shows. Perhaps CNN was “liberal” from the beginning, but many viewers did not pick up on it. There was little if anything to compare it to. Liberalism was the accepted method of operation, not to be questioned; at least not until Limbaugh. But CNN was not truly “exposed” as a Left-leaning organization until they were deemed the “Clinton News Network” during the Bill Clinton years, when they could be more effectively compared to Limbaugh, Fox News and the growing voices on the Right.

The New York Times and the Washington Post were solidly, partisan liberal and had been for many years. The Los Angeles Times was still to some extent a “Republican newspaper” in the 1980s. Publisher Otis Chandler took over just a few years removed from the Stanford track stadium in 1960 and decided to make it a world-class news organization, not an outright Republican kingmaker. By the 1980s, the Times were considered the finest newspaper in the world. Its highlight might have been coverage of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Chandler ceded some power in 1980 but remained mostly in charge throughout the 1980s, when the paper actually surpassed the New York Times as the most subscribed-to publication in the world. ^^viii^^

Henry Luce had passed away in 1967. He had long lost the political struggle at Time, in the years after Theodore White exposed Chiang-Kai Shek’s corruptions. As if to mock Luce in his last years, Time had published an infamous 1966 cover story asking, “Is God Dead?” This kind of blasphemy was freely expressed in those days. John Lennon of the Beatles suggested the rock band was more popular than Jesus Christ. Time’s question was uttered as fact by a Satanist proclaiming the birth of the anti-Christ in Rosemary’s Baby. Old school religious values seemed to be a thing of the past in the 1970s and early 1980s, replaced by self-awareness, EST, Eastern spirituality, and other nostrums that sometimes manifested itself in the form of terror, as when the Reverend Jim Jones ordered his flock to commit mass suicide in 1978. ^^ix^^

Newsweek was openly liberal and engendered much anger when in 1987 they suggested the war hero George H.W. Bush had to contend with a “wimp factor.” Bush “fought back” when he feigned anger over perceived bias on the part of Dan Rather in a TV interview. His supporters cheered. They were begging for a champion to fight back against the bias they just knew was arrayed against them and had been at least since McCarthyism. US News and World Report remained a more business-friendly national magazine, fairer than Time or Newsweek, and their readership jumped. Hollywood was openly contemptuous of the Right. Their obvious bias was at times almost comical. ^^x^^

But Reagan understood that a huge constituency that cared not about the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS or drugged out immoralists in Hollywood favored him. Richard Nixon called them the Silent Majority. Theodore White captured just who they were in his description of the President’s 1972 Midwestern motorcade. They lived in “fly over country,” the Midwest, but they were everywhere; the South, the Rocky Mountains, the suburbs, farms, rural communities. They were not just in Middle America, they were middle America. They hunted and fished. They served in the military. Many had been to Vietnam. There were still many World War II veterans who were vital and leading voices of their communities.

Reagan’s landslides gave voice to something Limbaugh identified, which was that conservatism was the majority. Nobody had ever really seen it and openly told the American people such a thing. It was an incredibly empowering fact, courtesy of Rush Limbaugh. It could be argued this enduring fact of America, to this day still considered a center-right nation, has given courage to the movement beyond all other factors.

The power of the movement could be found at the popular Billy Graham Crusades. While Graham was an international figure, his enduring base was the American South, and in this was found something liberals today range from not accepting to outwardly lying about.

The South was of course the old Confederacy. Abraham Lincoln and the fledgling Republican Party led the Northern Union. The Democratic Party dominated the Confederacy, and the post-war South. Throughout the next 100 years; years of Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan, lynchings, disenfranchisement, and political corruption, the racists perpetuating these atrocities were always Democrats. They were not mostly Democrats or majority Democrats; they were all Democrats, always Democrats. There was no Republican Party in the South. A Republican was to these people a traitor, a Yankee.

Men like George H.W. Bush were the first Republicans to emerge in the South. Bush lost a Senate race in Texas (1964), but was elected to Congress from a Houston district twice (1966, 1970). He was identified by Nixon as a future leader of the party. The Democrats called Nixon’s “Southern strategy” in 1968 racist. It may have been cynical but it was not racist. In truth it was just winning politics, helping Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey. Nixon captured 49 states in a landslide in 1972. By that time, the GOP was beginning to take over the South. This continued throughout the 1970s, although Watergate and Carter’s election was disruptive. When Reagan kicked off his 1980 Presidential campaign with an event in Mississippi, he was accused of racism, but what he was in the process of accomplishing was nothing less than a political miracle. He and his party had successfully husbanded the Old South into the mainstream of American politics. In so doing, the South roughly between 1970 and 1980 probably made more social and moral improvement in less time than any region of the world, in all history. The Democrats, the losers in this seismic shift, were left to try and call it racist, even though suddenly blacks were being elected to office, getting jobs in every form of industry, integrating schools from kindergarten to grad programs, achieving superstardom in athletics, as well as getting coaching jobs. Nobody in 1969 could possibly, in their cheeriest scenario, have predicted the region would improve so much in a decade-plus.

 

What made 1988-89 such a perfect opportunity for Limbaugh was that he found himself to be a modern scribe, like those who would declare Rome’s glories in the public square during the age of Caesar. For seven years the “mainstream media,” what he called the amalgam of the New York Times, Washington Post, network news, and national magazines, had tried to downplay Reagan. Early on Reagan was an “amiable dunce,” a term not given him, but repeated by House Majority Leader Tip O’Neill (D.-Massachusetts). O’Neill had not meant the phrase to be quite as harsh as it sounded; he liked Reagan, enjoyed an occasional cocktail with him, and worked with him on meaningful legislation.

After Reagan called the Soviets the “evil empire,” the press hounded him as a Red-baiter. They said his plan to develop an anti-nuclear missile system was folly, derided as “star wars.” When Reagan refused to give up his Strategic Defense Initiative at Reykjavik in 1985, network news anchors on air immediately stated he most likely lost the last, best chance to achieve peace in our time. Reagan’s red-hot economy was derided as favoring the wealthy, the Wall Street crowd. There were calls for his Impeachment over Iran-Contra. Some said he was old and doddering, forgetful.

But by the time Limbaugh sat down in front of the “golden EIB microphone” in New York, Reagan had answered all the critics and there was not a lot of ammunition on the Left. The economy never tanked. The Soviets capitulated on nukes. Reagan had managed to win in Afghanistan without any American casualties, and he would never so much as “fire a shot” in eventually seeing the U.S. prevail in the Cold War. Limbaugh hooted and hollered as the Berlin Wall fell and the U.S.S.R. splintered. He agreed with the theory that Vietnam was a pyrrhic victory for Communism, now seen as a chess piece – one step back, two steps forward – on the road to American victory. He especially loved hearing revelations from Soviet archives verifying what he and the Right had said for years.

In 1968 an American historian named Robert Conquest had meticulously detailed the genocide under Joseph Stalin in the 1930s and 1940s. Elite liberals disputed his findings, his statistics. But under glasnost, a new era of “openness” under Gorbachev, Conquest’s assertions were all verified. Later revelations about Alger Hiss, Communists in Franklin Roosevelt’s Oval Office, and new light shed on McCarthyism, would come out, but that was not until the 1990s.

Limbaugh particularly chortled over the fact the Soviets literally said they gave in to Reagan because of “star wars.” It was, at least to Limbaugh and the Right, the ultimate repudiation of Left-wing historical analysis.

Then there were “Gorbasms.”

Mikhail Gorbachev had taken over as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985. Before him, the country had been run by hard-liners, generally dour old men easily vilified by the West. After two such men died, apparently of natural causes, within a few years of Reagan’s 1980 election, Gorbachev was placed in power. He was different.

He was younger, vibrant, and had an attractive wife. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declared him a man she could “work with.” Reagan was impressed with him and determined to make the most of a new opportunity. In the Soviet Union, the hard-liners were aghast and arrayed against him. But “star wars” had helped bankrupt the Soviets. So had financing seven years of war in Afghanistan, and trying to keep up with Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger’s monumental build-up of the U.S. military. It is true that the era of debts and deficits truly began under Reagan, but if anything was worth it, winning the Cold War was it.

Still, the Western press grit their teeth and tried with all their might to find somebody other than – oh noooo – Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and a Catholic Pope, John Paul II, to credit with such a glorious event in world history. So they credited Gorbachev. Most galling was awarding the Communist leader with the coveted 1987 Time “Man of the Year” award. ^^xi^^

All Gorbachev had really done was acquiesce in the face of overwhelming American power. If anybody had been discredited, at least to some extent, it was Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, leading proponents of George Kennan’s “containment” policy, which during the Kissinger-Ford years was called détente. When asked about détente, Reagan had said it sounded like the relationship between a farmer and a turkey until Thanksgiving. Reagan’s simple philosophy – “We win, they lose” – lacked the nuance the elites felt was necessary; nuance the intellectual Kissinger was happy to provide them. But Nixon and Kissinger were Republicans and happy to accept a little revisionist history, painting them as courageous cogs in what President John Kennedy had called the “long twi-light struggle” against Communism. Nixon in particularly could thank Reagan. Disgraced 14 years earlier, he was now an “elder statesmen,” his rehabilitation heralded on no less a cover than that of Newsweek’s.

Gorbachev was barely tolerated in Moscow. The old Communists were aghast the empire was crumbling before their eyes. So Gorbachev took trips as often as he could, especially to the U.S. Fawning crowds adored him. The Left laid it on thick. He was their champion, not Reagan.

Gorbachev’s limousine would stop on public streets in Washington, D.C. He would get out and accept the congratulations of American citizens. Limbaugh laughed at these spectacles, calling them “Gorbasms.” Limbaugh meticulously explained why Reagan, not Gorbachev, was the real hero.

Gorbachev eventually started a foundation dedicated to world peace. It was located in an old building on the grounds of The Presidio, an operating military base on the shores of San Francisco Bay. Liberal San Francisco, of course, was happy to memorialize Gorbachev, not Reagan. But after the fall of the Soviet Union, as history became clearer and it was obvious Gorbachev was just another defeated Cold Warrior, his Gorbachev Foundation sat practically unused. Next door was a working Army unit filled with soldiers, almost all of whom were Republicans who had been trained to despise Communism. They would take their lunch breaks in the bay’s gentle breeze, next to the Gorbachev Foundation, making fun of it while lauding their hero, Reagan.

By 1989, the Left was furious with Rush Limbaugh. They strategized on how they could shut him down. Job one was to reverse Reagan’s dismantling of the Fairness Doctrine. It had seemed perfectly legitimate at the time; considering liberal control of the media it appeared they could use it to further cement their hold on the culture. Instead this “harmless, lovable little fuzz ball,” as Limbaugh called himself, was dominating the radio, lambasting them, his words heard by millions every day! Regarding the question of “equal time,” Limbaugh had an answer: “I am equal time.” ^^xii^^

 

Middle America

 

Missouri sits in the middle of the United States, roughly equidistant between its Mexican and Canadian borders, and its two oceans. Politically, it is often considered a harbinger of the nation’s political leanings. It can go Republican, and it can go Democrat. It could have gone either way during the Civil War; ultimately the “Missouri compromise” landed it on the side of the Union. Its main cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, are generally Democrat like most big cities outside of the South. Kansas City has a large mob presence and reputation for corruption. Harry Truman rose out of the infamous Tom Pendergast machine, roughly the model for the party that tries to destroy Jimmy Stewart in Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. ^^xiii^^

In 2008, when America seemingly rose en masse to elect Barack Hussein Obama, Missouri resisted and gave their Electoral votes to John McCain. The media and general worship of Obama was so tremendous that the young President seemed to feel impenetrable; enough so that he accepted an invitation to throw out the first ball at the 2009 Major League baseball All-Star Game, held at the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis. It was a disaster.

Obama had signed the TARP bill in February, immediately setting the nation almost $1 trillion further into debt than it had been. Copies of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged were flying off shelves; it seemed her prophecies were coming true in the form of Obama. The stock market tanked, unemployment was at brutal highs, the economy in free fall. Obama made what Rush Limbaugh called his “apology tour,” essentially blaming the U.S. for the ills of the Middle East. When Iranian freedom fighters rose up, hoping America would support them, Obama was nowhere to be found.

Still, Obama was so confident of his support, which was solid amongst the “mainstream media,” that he felt his appearance in St. Louis would be met by cheers as all his carefully staged appearances were. But an All-Star Game is a random event, not easily stage-managed. The fans were not necessarily residents of St. Louis proper. The ticket prices are exorbitant; they were upscale people who could afford it. Many were from the suburbs.

When Obama was announced and trod upon the green plains, America for the first time heard him booed. Lustily. Then he threw out the first ball. A left-hander, his “throw” was pathetic. He looked like a girl. The boos reigned down upon him louder. This was the first time Americans realized that maybe, just maybe, this guy was not so popular, that maybe he was beatable, that the country was not completely turned toward his philosophies.

Then he consented to an on-air interview with Fox broadcasters Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. As Limbaugh pointed out the next day, even a seemingly “soft ball” opportunity to discuss memories of “Chicago baseball” was “Communized and Alinskyized.” Obama, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, then moved to Chicago after law school, obviously had no real affinity for the game. He claimed allegiance to the White Sox, not the Cubs, but called the old Comiskey Park “Cominsky Park.” To Limbaugh, this was reference to Saul Alinsky, a rabble-rouser and “community organizer” who Obama publicly considered his role model. The Right generally thinks of Alinsky as a Communist. Obama seemed oblivious to the fact that Comiskey Park, an ancient stadium housing the Chicago White Sox, had been torn down and replaced in 1991 by a modern facility called New Comiskey Park, but in 2003 was corporatized into U.S. Cellular Field.

Between the heavy booing, the lame ball toss, and the mocked interview, Obama’s great St. Louis triumph was anything but. He has not thrown out any first balls since.

 

The Missouri Rush Limbaugh grew up in still resembled the one described by Mark Twain. In 1883, Twain came down the mighty Mississippi River and glimpsed Cape Girardeau, Limbaugh’s eventual hometown. He noted an efficient Jesuit school for boys amid gentle surroundings. Limbaugh’s biographer, Zev Chafets, wrote that Cape Girardeau was called the “Athens of Missouri” since several colleges with Greek architecture spring up in the area.

It is not a suburb. It is 115 miles southeast of St. Louis, located off Interstate 55. It is freezing cold in the winter, hot and humid in the summer. Its current population is about 38,000, which is what it was when Limbaugh grew up there. The Limbaugh family is prominent. Rush Limbaugh’s first cousin, Stephen Limbaugh, Jr., was a justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush. Another cousin, Jimmy, was a hospital executive. Limbaugh’s brother, David, is a best-selling author in his own right who still runs the family law firm. The federal courthouse is named after Rush’s grandfather, known as Rush, Sr. When the dedication was made, the mayor called the family “Cape Girardeau royalty.”

Limbaugh family roots trace to Germany until in 1737 they came to America. Several ancestors are listed as having fought in the Revolutionary War. Limbaugh himself does not play up his ancestry, which he said is “somewhere in Germany.” For him, what really matters is Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Sr., a man he regularly lauds on the air. Longtime listeners know well who Rush, Sr. is, and was. He practiced law in Cape Girardeau from 1916 to 1994. He was 102 upon his retirement. He was once a member of the Missouri House of Representatives; a Republican of course. He was a delegate to the 1936 Republican National Convention that nominated Alf Landon. He was involved in every aspect of civic sponsorship.

While Limbaugh has mentioned his mother on the air, next to his grandfather he accords his greatest praise for his father, Rush, Jr., who he calls the “smartest man I ever met.” Known as “Bug Rush,” he was a 300-pounder and former World War II combat pilot. He was an outspoken conservative who believed he had earned the right to express his opinions, and that America had earned its power. He was not considered the intellect his father was.

Big Rush was an outspoken patriot called on to deliver oratories of American Exceptionalism during holidays, particularly the Fourth of July. His son, known in his youth as Rusty, listened to these tales with rapt attention. Big Rush was also a prominent Republican, called on to host Vice-President Richard Nixon when he made a 1956 visit. He owned a piece of KGMO AM radio station, and passed to his son a fascination with aviation. Communism and liberalism were “evils,” according to Big Rush.

Big Rush would rail on about liberalism in the media, often to the entertainment of his son’s friends, who came to the house often to hear his entertaining rants. Rusty expressed an interest in working in radio, which his father disapproved of despite owning a piece of KGMO. Radio in Missouri was a magical thing.

From its earliest beginnings, KMOX out of St. Louis was one of the great radio stations in America. It carried not just in St. Louis and Missouri, but throughout most of the Midwest, into Oklahoma and surrounding states. It carried St. Louis Cardinals baseball games. The enduring popularity of the Cardinals, and St. Louis’s long reputation as perhaps the greatest of all baseball towns, owes itself to KMOX.

Rusty heard stories of patriotism, as Cape Girardeau’s contribution of sacrifice in World War II were above ordinary. It was also an evangelical town. Life revolved around Protestant Christianity, but it was not a simple place. It featured a thriving economy with a strong middle and upper middle class. Much of the area’s conservatism stemmed from the fact Winston Churchill’s famed 1946 “Iron Curtain speech” was made at Fulton College, not far from Cape Girardeau. ^^xiv^^

While Harry Truman was a Democrat out of the Pendergast machine, he was viewed as a patriot who did what he had to do to save American lives by ending World War II using the Atomic bomb, then stood up to Joseph Stalin, and was willing to fight Communism in Korea. But the Limbaughs were none too impressed with Truman’s firing of General Douglas MacArthur in 1951.

The Limbaugh’s family law firm established itself as Cape Girardeau’s “Republican firm.” Young Rusty grew up during the Eisenhower ‘50s. Central High School became integrated by the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Rusty did all the usual things; Cub Scouts, church, and sports. He dreaded school, and was an indifferent student, to the consternation of his well-educated family. His house became a central meeting place of his friends. They came to listen to his father pontificate on politics and the general ills of modern society, but also to play pinball or pool. “There were always half a dozen kids there, and Rush was the leader,” recalled childhood pal Frank Kinder. “We shot pool, played sports, and made a lot of prank calls, which he thought up. One time we convinced the radio station to announce a large bogus American history contest. We ordered pizzas and watched as Flo’s Taxi delivered them to the neighbors. Pranks. Most of Rush’s friends were a year older than him. I’m two years younger. David’s friends basically, but Rush was always really nice to me, too.” ^^xv^^

Rush worked even in his youth. He liked to make money but also enjoyed conversing with adults. “I always preferred adults to kids,” he said.

Rush, still known as Rusty, loved sports but had a weight problem as well as an aversion to physical exercise, not exactly a recipe for athletic stardom. However, his beefy build caught the eye of the football coach at Central High. His “career” was short-lived and lacked any highlights except when he kicked the game-winning extra point to beat Illinois’s Carbondale High School.

“I played to be popular,” recalled Limbaugh. ^^xvi^^

Limbaugh had virtually no “success” with girls in high school. He was overweight, not an athlete of any note, homely, and despite his intellect and outward nature, shy with the opposite sex. One girl who disdained him nevertheless liked him, or admired him. Jan Seebaugh refused to kiss him at a party, but did write a growing article about him in the school newspaper. Limbaugh was already on the school radio station, and was a big hit to his “thousands of admiring fans,” probably an exaggeration but prophetic. Limbaugh’s radio moniker was “Rusty Sharpe” which he chose because, “I wanted an adjective that had a double meaning . . .” Seebaugh asked him for the article if he planned a career in radio, but Limbaugh was non-committal about it.

The adult Limbaugh insisted he wanted a radio career since “I was a little boy.” His early influences, as with so many others in the Midwest, were Harry Caray and Jack Buck of the St. Louis Cardinals. But Limbaugh developed a love not for local teams, but for teams he had a rooting interest for whether near or far. He liked the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his favorite player was African-American, Maury Wills. He was not able to hear the great Vin Scully announce Dodgers games because of where he lived, but no doubt had he grown up with him Limbaugh might well have established many of Scully’s endearing traits. Eventually, he developed a loved for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League.

The Chicago Cardinals did not move to St. Louis until 1959, and they never established a foothold in baseball-crazy St. Louis, eventually abandoning the city for Phoenix, Arizona. The Steelers of the 1960s were simply awful, and would not become a dynasty until Limbaugh was a young man, but they did represent a kind of manly, steel-town, shot-and-a-beer reputation, which Limbaugh may have been attracted to. Young Rusty also played endless hours of Strat-O-Matic baseball, a fabulous board game that surpasses any of the electric games kids fool with today. He would sit and play by himself, announcing the games out loud.

At first his parents encouraged his fascination with radio, buying him a Remco Caravelle that allowed him to air on any AM channel within the confines of his house. At first he wanted to be a disc jockey spinning rock music records. It did not require great physical looks, yet gave the music spinner a connection with the likes of Elvis Presley. Limbaugh’s early favorite was a Chicago “superjock” named Larry Lujack, who combined sardonic humor with music.

As Limbaugh approached graduation, his fascination with radio became a problem for his parents. They expected him to be a scholar as most Limbaughs were; to attend a good college; and become a professional man, most hopefully an attorney. The son rebelled, insisting his future was on the radio. His father did grant him tuition to attend a radio workshop, and arranged for him to play music at KGMO-AM, a station the family had part ownership of. Big Rush’s aversion to rick ‘n’ roll music, typical of the era, made Rusty’s “career” choice even harder to swallow. Rusty also developed a fascination with the Civil War and with aviation.

He appeased his parents by enrolling at Southeast Missouri State University. Fittingly, it was and still is considered a “conservative” college, fairly rare outside of the South. When he enrolled in 1968, at the very height of campus protest in America, the school vehemently denied opening a chapter of Tom Hayden’s Students for a Democratic Society, formed out of the 1962 Port Huron Statement and considered the lynchpin of Vietnam protest. Bobby Kennedy was not popular in Cape Girardeau or Southeast Missouri State; it was “Nixon country.” Throughout all of this, young Rush Limbaugh paid little attention to politics. They were not happy years for him.

“My last three years were miserable,” Limbaugh recalled of Central High. He struck out with a girl he had set his heart on and later called school tantamount to being “in prison.” College was no better. After one year, young Rush and Big Rush sat down for “the talk.” Finally, the son stood up to his father, insisting he was leaving Southeast Missouri State to begin a full-time professional career in radio.

At the time, he made himself almost an outcast in the family. All hopes were pinned on younger brother David, who at first seemed the “bright” one. He made it through the University of Missouri and made law review in law school. He followed the family path to head the firm, establishing himself as a top attorney and conservative voice; the author of several best-selling political books.

At first David’s success made him the families’ shining star, and while he was undoubtedly headed to a successful career, in the end he must accede a fair portion of his fame to the fact he is Rush Limbaugh’s brother. The name and the platform that name gave him is what allowed him to become a leading commentator, and played a tremendous role in promoting his books. David would become his brother’s business attorney, and would handle the careers of such conservative lights as Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

While David today professes a deep evangelical, “born again” faith, Rush Limbaugh was never a churchgoer beyond his youth. “It seemed false to me somehow, just people saying words, going through the motions,” he said. He developed what he called a “private relationship with Jesus,” and the modern day Rush fills his show with references to God, or “Gawd,” as he likes to pronounce the word.

 

Finally free from “prison,” Rush Limbaugh dropped out of college and made his way to the Pittsburgh suburb of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, where he became a disc jockey and on-air prankster for WIXZ radio station. He called himself “Bachelor Jeff” Christie, and feigned a Southern accent. His bosses liked his style but he talked too much when he should be playing music. Limbaugh at first went in at four in the morning. He did not smoke dope, like so many radio personalities did, and avoided talking about Vietnam, still raging. In 1973 he moved to KQV in Pittsburgh, but a corporate shakeover resulted in his first “firing,” or lay off, or whatever it is bosses say when they tell employees their services are no longer required.

He returned with his tail between his legs to Cape Girardeau in 1974. His father, almost 60 by then, was surprisingly compassionate and did not harangue Rush as a “loser,” telling him as Limbaugh’s own 1993 best-selling book title stated, See, I Told You So.

Big Rush paid for his son to return to Pittsburgh on a job-hunting trip, but without luck. Rush returned home and took a baseball bat to a tree in the back yard, venting his frustration. He was roundly turned down by a big Denver program director. Big Rush began to question his son’s career aspirations. So did his mother Millie. Finally he got a job at KUDI in Kansas City, 350 mile west of Cape Girardeau.

Still using the pseudonym “Jeff Christie,” Limbaugh played oldies and took calls. Then the station was bought by other interests and decided to turn the AM band into a talk station. The main crux of talk radio at the time was “insult comedy.” Many hosts specialized in prank phone calls, as Rush had done as a kid.

“I found out I was quite good at insulting people,” Limbaugh recalled. After specializing in this form of crass behavior for a while, Limbaugh said, “I didn’t like myself.” ^^xvii^^

He determined when he had the chance to move to a higher class of radio banter, he would be polite to all callers. But Limbaugh’s fan base was growing. One of his listeners was a young, budding superstar third baseman for the Kansas City Royals, George Brett. Brett came from a large, competitive family of outstanding athletes in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. His father pushed them relentlessly. He was a winner who outworked his opposition with hustle and sheer willpower, but his initial fascination was not about “pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps” politics.

“I liked listening to him,” he said. “He was funny. I had no idea he knew anything about politics.” ^^xviii^^

Limbaugh began to room with one of the Royals’ marketing people, Bryan Burns, now a high-ranking ESPN executive. “We weren’t wild and crazy guys,” he recalled. On Sundays Limbaugh would wear his Steelers jersey and they would watch football. Limbaugh’s time in Pennsylvania had secured his rooting interest in the Steelers, who by the mid-1970s were one of the great pro football teams of all time. Burns described himself as “an audience of one,” saying that a typical, modern day Limbaugh program is really no different than Limbaugh pontificating in their living room back in the 1970s. “If I had to choose a word to describe him, I’d say ‘real,’ ” he added. ^^xix^^

In 1977 Rush married a woman named Roxie Maxine McNeely, described by Burns as “a very fun-loving girl” who wrote “messages” to Rush on the bathroom mirror using lipstick. Limbaugh was 26. The marriage did not work. Two years later, without any children, she filed for divorce. Professionally, it was a rocky road for “Jeff Christie,” who was fired twice more, not highly unusual in the volatile radio business. His strong personality often clashed with his bosses, too. ^^xx^^

Burns was in a position to offer his old roommate a low-pay job in the Royals’ marketing department. Years later, Limbaugh often spoke of the hierarchy of a professional sports organization. The players, the managers, coaches, scouts and personnel directors responsible for putting a winning team on the field were unquestionably the most important employees, and the most well paid. Limbaugh was involved in sales, arranging for singers doing the National Anthem, and other “go-fer” jobs anybody basically could handle. He felt looked down upon.

Oddly, Limbaugh, perhaps even then and more so now, has developed such strong knowledge of football that if he were put into a position of some responsibility with an NFL franchise – scouting, player development – chances are he would be able to handle it.

But oddly, George Brett found him very likable and had no pretensions about his superstar status. “Rush didn’t have a lot of friends,” said Brett. “I don’t think he felt very good about himself. But I thought he was smart and funny. On Sunday’s after games we’d go out for fried chicken dinner at Stroud’s, or he’d come over to the house and help me hook up electronic equipment. We talked about personal things, sports trivia, whatever, but I can’t recall ever talking about politics. When he left Kansas City and went to on to his new career, I was surprised to find out he knew anything about it.” ^^xxi^^

Limbaugh was good at his job, but irritated some of the Royals’ brass. After five years he lost his job. He later recalled that at times early in his Royals tenure he was so poor he bought “groceries” at a 7-11 store with his credit card because he lacked cash.

The Brett friendship was maintained, as the third baseman went on to a Hall of Fame career, and Limbaugh finally would find success behind the “golden EIB microphone.”

During this time Rush married Mrs. Limbaugh number two, Michelle Sixta, then a college student and stadium usherette. Then he was unemployed again, until finding work at KMBZ in Kansas City. The Mormons owned the station and they did not covet controversy, but this was the age of Don Imus and Howard Stern. They called it “shock radio.”

Morton Downey, Jr. specialized in this form of rant on KFBK in Sacramento, California. That is, until he told an ethnic joke about a “Chinaman,” which a local City Councilman complained about. Station owner C.K. McClatchy forced Downey out. Limbaugh, fired ostensibly for complaining how bad the Kansas City Chiefs were at that time, was discovered by KFBK’s program director, Norm Woodruff. He was hired to replace Downey, most likely with the caveat he avoid ethnic slurs. While Limbaugh is a hard-hitting political commentator, he was and remains unfailingly polite and has a unique – indeed it is the reason his career never derailed – ability to avoid going too far. Compared to Downey he was “easy listening,” wrote Zev Chafets. ^^xxii^^

“We want controversy, but don’t make it up,” Woodruff told Limbaugh. “If you actually think something – if you actually believe it, and you can tell people why – we’ll back you up.” If he said something only to offend, however, the station would not support him. It was a fine line, perhaps reliant on the fairness of Woodruff or whoever the station decision-maker was. In the end, however, the marketplace would decide. If Limbaugh drew ratings, he would have a chance to survive. Of course, Downey drew ratings, and he was axed, although he went on to television success. ^^xxiii^^

Limbaugh was now using his real name; the name of his sainted grandfather and father. Nobody would be more mortified than he if he disgraced the Limbaugh heritage. He immediately engaged in solo, highly personal, Right-wing monologues, unencumbered by sidekicks, guests, interviews or props. His brother was a highly educated attorney and learned conservative, but Rush Limbaugh was if not un-educated, under-educated. He had been a radio star at Central High, but no scholar. He had one year of college under his belt, followed by stints as a rock music disc jockey and baseball lackey, yet he was opining about intricate, important, world-changing events: the bitter struggle for world domination between the Communists and the West; so-called “liberal media bias,” which many did not realize existed because voices like Limbaugh had never really been heard before. He aimed high and hit hard.

Despite his lack of formal education or training in political science, he had spent countless hours sitting at the dining room table listening to his lawyer grandfather and father opining over Cold War politics, corruption in the Kansas City Democratic Party, Joseph P. Kennedy stealing the 1960 election from Richard Nixon, and how vitally important it was that America stand up to Communism, and not bow down to the voices of the protest Left. He had sat, often silently, listening and absorbing. He was likely intimidated and did not want to offer too much commentary, lest these erstwhile scholars and giants of Cape Girardeau put him down. But now it all came to him like perfect recall, like the Bradley Cooper character in Limitless who suddenly, after swallowing an illegal drug, can remember every detail of everything he has ever heard, read or seen. Limbaugh himself later said nobody was more amazed than his grandfather and dad, who asked, “Where did you learn all of that?”

“From you,” he would reply.

All the firings, the girls who disdained him, the failed marriages, being treated like a peon by the Royals; all of it was perfect training, for he now possessed utterly thick skin and was completely unaffected by criticism from the public and the callers who immediately flooded KFBK with complaints. He was heavily marketed and promoted with billboards. Sacramento is a car city with numerous freeways criss-crossing it. People drove, they commuted, they saw the billboards, and they listened to KFBK. One billboard asked, “How Would You Like to Punch Rush Limbaugh?” Limbaugh laughed, thinking it great. He tripled Downey’s market share almost immediately.

“The new morning host espouses many of the same beliefs of his predecessor, Morton Downey, Jr.,” reported the Sacramento Bee, “but he skates a little farther from the edge of the hole in the ice.” ^^xxiv^^

Limbaugh’s secret was humor. Nothing bothered him, and he was just plain funny. He could laugh at himself and poke fun at his detractors or targets, but never in a vitriolic way. He was rewarded with a huge six-figure salary, which went a long way towards getting his father’s long-sought approval. Like his dad and grandfather he was invited to make speeches, which he modeled after them, but with a touch of special Rush flair. He wrote newspaper columns and was sought for appearances and endorsements. He and Michelle bought a new house and furnished it with products he endorsed on his show.

His Sacramento experience was exceptionally important. The city is located some 90 miles east of San Francisco, but is a world apart. Delta waters and cow country separate the two cities. San Francisco is perhaps the most liberal American city. Limbaugh would have found an audience on one of the local radio stations, but the power of the Democratic Party, at the time controlled by the Burton machine, led by Congressman John L. Burton and his influential family, would have made it very hard for the powers that be to allow him to stay on the air.

Sacramento is the capitol of California, and a very political town. It would be considered liberal, and his audience was more liberal than he had in Kansas City, but it is a mainstream place, part rural, part urban, and not a graveyard for Republican ideas. Many in the listening audience lived in rural areas east, west, north and south of Sacramento; mainly conservative bastions. Limbaugh’s timing was good. California was swinging back to the Right.

The state had been Republican since its inception in 1850. Southerners fleeing the Old Confederacy moved mainly to Southern California and gave that region a decidedly conservative, evangelical flavor. San Francisco to the north was more liberal, but the huge population in the Southland made that region the dominant political force. California was so Republican in the Roaring ‘20s that in a film depicting the era, director Clint Eastwood had a character in Changeling remark it was “raining cats, dogs and Democrats,” a common put-down.

Power was consolidated in Presidential elections. First Republican Presidential candidate Thomas Dewey chose California Governor Earl Warren as his Vice-Presidential running mate in 1948. Dwight Eisenhower tabbed the young Senator Nixon in 1952, and then named Warren to the Supreme Court. By the 1980s, it was Ronald Reagan, his California “kitchen cabinet,” and a host of Californians running the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon, and making decisions that affected the future of the world.

Sacramento was also close enough to San Francisco to be considered part of their “market share.” Bay Area residents knew the area well from frequent trips to the popular Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Mountains to the east. Sacramentans rooted for the Giants, the A’s, and the Raiders. One of the great hot spots for high school sports talent, Sacramento was prime recruiting ground for the University of California, Berkeley. It was a sophisticated city, yet its landscape was decidedly Midwestern. The flat lands, the wide Sacramento River, the oak trees, humid Summer weather, and even the architecture made it look like Missouri, absent snow in the winter.

The Californians who went to Washington, D.C. were a new breed. Henry Kissinger once described them as being similar to college football coaches; clean-cut, athletic, and energetic. ^^xxv^^ California was coming out of its most liberal period, the Carter years. Democratic Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, the anti-Reagan, had succeeded him and won re-election in 1983, but in 1982 the state elected two Republicans to statewide office: U.S. Senator Pete Wilson and Governor George Deukmejian.

Despite the turn back to its GOP roots, California was changed forever by the 1960s. It was too profound and seismic a shift not to have lasting repercussions. The Reagan years were backlash against that, but in succeeding decades it appears that the ‘60s ethos is, for now at least, the prevailing one. But that was a long way off in 1983. Besides, Sacramento was not San Francisco or Berkeley. The long hair, the drugs, and the psychotic ‘60s had not taken root in Sacramento as it had in those places.

“For the first time in my life I actively appreciated where I lived,” recalled Limbaugh. Aside from his sudden fame and fortune, he also had to appreciate his first winter outside the Midwest, with balmy sunshine and year-round “baseball weather,” while snow-capped ski peaks beckoned just two hours away. There are few if any places like it. Despite all the outdoor recreation the area provided, Limbaugh was not a part of it. His wife was, causing some rift.

For the first time, Limbaugh became “El Rushbo, the all-knowing, all-caring, all-sensing Maha Rushi,” the “Epitome of Morality and Virtue.” His program was carried “across the fruited plain” on what he called the “ ‘Excellence in Broadcasting’ network” (EIB). He was on “the cutting edge of societal evolution . . . serving humanity . . . with talent on loan from Gawd.” His opinions were “documented to be almost always right 97.9 percent of the time” by a fictitious entity called the Sullivan Group, which was nothing more than the name of one of his pals, a local D.J. named Tom Sullivan.

He mocked “Uglo-Americans” and nicknamed feminists “femi-Nazis.” The green movement, practically a religion in the Golden State, were “environmentalist wackos.” The Left were mainly “Commie pinko liberals.” Then there was his immortalization of nearby Rio Linda.

It was a run-down suburb. Many residents might be described as “white trash,” the kind of place where meth labs operate. Limbaugh in particular noted that most driveways featured old, beat-up cars without wheels, propped up on slabs, probably to be torn apart for used parts. Whenever Limbaugh made reference to some fairly obvious thing that the less-informed might not immediately grasp, he would say “and for those you in Rio Linda, that means . . .” Interestingly, then and now the residents of Rio Linda never took umbrage with Limbaugh’s characterization. He has over the years occasionally received a call from there, usually filled with thanks for putting the place on the map. Despite being mocked, they seemed to realize it was all in good fun, which could be described as the secret to his success.

He proved “news up-dates,” prefacing them with a faux approach of a horse, which he described as “Dadelut! Dadelut! Dadelut!” followed by the up-date, always a ringing description of some liberal absurdity. Liberals despised him and tried to call him dumb or un-educated. Limbaugh’s response: he could vanquish them “with half my brain tied behind my back, just to make it fair.”

There is no way to truly describe how he succeeded. Virtually anybody else who tried to say what he said would have failed miserably. There had been a few successful conservative radio hosts, including Bob Grant.

“Rush was influenced by Barry Farber,” his current producer, James Golden said.

But nobody had ever done it like this. He was so over-the-top, his self-laudatory statements somehow so wild and full of bravado that they worked. While practically declaring himself a king or an emperor, he did it with such style, such satire and humor, that despite the bombast, despite the bravado and the self-congratulation, it all seemed to come across with a wink and a nod. It was Rush. That’s just Rush.

What it was, more than anything else, was utterly, absolutely and completely unique. He was, and there can be no real, honest argument from the Left or the Right, a one-of-a-kind personality, once in a lifetime or even once-in-a century. Many identified his natural gifts of showmanship, bravado and yes, courage, with Reagan’s incredible political talents. That these two men should ascend to the world stage together, practically side-by-side at the same time, is cosmic irony.

Ascend he did, and quickly. He was every bit as ambitious as his on-air personality sounded, but the move to New York City that his success quickly made possible, was bittersweet. He loved Sacramento; the weather, the people, and the area. He loved taking trips to San Francisco, which despite its politics he lauded for its spectacular natural beauty and architecture. He made his way to Los Angeles and fell in love with its coast, its beaches and golden sunsets. He called Sacramento “my adopted hometown,” and has in the years since identified himself in large measure as a Californian, albeit a transplanted one.

But he was too big for Sacramento. Bruce Marr recommended him to Ed McLaughlin, the ex-head of ABC Radio. Rush had his brother David work out a partnership agreement that would make Limbaugh and McLaughlin a fortune.

McLaughlin arranged for Limbaugh to go to WABC in New York City, where he would do a so-called “local” program, with a national program to follow. He knew Limbaugh would be in demand nationally, and he was right. After roughly a month in the New York market, he went national. The audience tuned into the national show ate up Limbaugh with a fork and spoon. He was 37.

 

“A harmless, lovable little fuzz ball”

 

Rush Limbaugh would laud himself endlessly. It was half-joke, half-serious. One of the secrets of his success is that his ego is really big enough to believe he is as good as he says he is; he is as right on issues as he says he is; his facts really are correct “97.9 percent of the time.” But then the wink, then the nod. He really is not so powerful and omniscient, he would say, despite being the “all-knowing, all-caring, all-sensing Maha Rushi.” He was the “Epitome of Morality and Virtue” in one sentence, and in the next openly admiring the shape of some beautiful woman, or describing a weekend in part spent “consuming adult beverages.” He was just “a harmless, lovable little fuzz ball.”

His years as a disc jockey also gave him a tremendous ear for “bumper music,” the selections that accompanied his show. Early on he chose as his main intro “My City Was Gone,” by The Pretenders. It was a somewhat bitter reminiscence of singer Chrissie Hynde’s childhood, in the vein of Thomas Wolfe’s “you can never go home again”; a city of whimsical youth, its factories shut down, its way of life no more. The driving lyrics are, “Back to Ohio,” which is what many think is the name of the song as many think “Baba O’Riley” by The Who is called “Teenage Wasteland.”

Limbaugh seems to have chosen it for no other reason other than he liked it. It does not represent his own childhood. Cape Girardeau never fell to ill times. It has Midwestern overtones, and Limbaugh is a Midwesterner, but that seems about it.

Early on there were reports that Chrissie Hynde did not like the firebrand conservative using her music to promote himself. She was a rebel rocker, a hot chick known for wild sexuality. In 2015, however, she came out with an autobiography in which she blamed herself for a sexual assault because she dressed like a slut. The “femi-Nazis” were appalled. A girl could get gangbanged by half the football team but if she declared she was tired and needed a break after 40 men, if the 41st accidentally slipped in, it was “rape time.” Limbaugh certainly made note of this. Few things he did appalled the Left more than his frank observations of sex in the modern age, and women’s penchant for wanting things both ways. But it was also revealed that Chrissie Hynde never actually was unhappy her music opened the Rush Limbaugh Show. The Pretenders are a fine group worthy of applause, but the fact is they are far, far more popular and known because of Rush Limbaugh than any other reason. One of the hateful ironies of the Left is that many a liberal would have faded from memory, un-remembered, if not for Rush Limbaugh propping them up with his recollections of them.

In 2016, the Rush Limbaugh Show is very, very similar to what it was on KFBK in Sacramento, or WABC in New York. It has been tweaked, but the essential elements of the program, a large number of the most famous statements, sayings and catch-phases, are the same as ever.

Rush’s listeners would be surprised to discover he was not happy about the move to the Big Apple. On the air, he seemed to eat it up, full of vim and vinegar, the successful young superstar taking over in a city where, “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” His huge ego was the perfect fit for Manhattan. He described Manhattan, name-dropping celebrities, bragging about playing golf or attending fundraisers with the rich and famous. He went to a party and saw Charlie Sheen, apparently dressed liked one of his film characters, perhaps a cross between Major League and Sixteen Candles, wearing a bandanna, a sleeveless shirt, possibly high.

“Love your work,” Limbaugh said Sheen told him.

While these encounters might have seemed a bit pretentious at the time, the majority of the celebrities he saw over the years have faded from public view, while Rush Limbaugh keeps rolling along. He was excited at first, but there was melancholy in his attitude. Perhaps he worried whether he was really making his grandfather and father proud; whether he really deserved the attention. Was he a fake, something out of a J.D. Salinger novel, his attorney brother the really educated and intelligent one?

“I got so depressed, I guess you could say I sat around the house in my underwear sulking,” he said. ^^xxvi^^

But his good pal Bryan Burns, moving up in the sports world, was living in New York. He helped Rush and his wife Michelle find a place to live near Rockefeller Center. Professionally, Limbaugh was aces right from the get-go. He often brags that he is a “highly trained broadcast specialist,” but he absolutely is and was. The ABC studio engineers were amazed at his grasp of equipment.

His on-air commentary was unlike anything ever heard. The Kennedys were East Coasty royalty. Robert Kennedy was a popular U.S. Senator representing New York state when he was martyred into near-sainthood by Sirhan Sirhan in 1968, but Limbaugh lambasted the whole Kennedy myth, calling U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy (D.-Massachusetts), who infamously hid for hours to avoid a drunk driving charge while Marty Jo Kopechne drowned in 1969, “the swimmer.” Limbaugh did wicked imitations and incredible funny, creative parodies. He invented the term “political correctness” (at least he borrowed it from the Cultural Revolution), breaking its boundaries three hours a day, full steam ahead.

One could spend . . . a whole book . . . trying to understand what made the Rush Limbaugh Show work. There are myriad answers, but perhaps the simplest, quickest explanation is simply humor. It is ironic that it was Rush Limbaugh who was the knife behind that cutting edge humor. Here was a guy from a stuffy family of lawyers. His brother David is a nice enough guy, but in his numerous TV appearances, he exudes zero charisma or sense for the absurd. Rush’s grandfather was a dull, straight-laced attorney who apparently wore a coat and tie all day, including to dinner, until he was 100 years old. “Big Rush” was a fighter pilot, serious as cancer, an excellent speaker and patriot, but no Johnny Carson.

Yet Rush is a comedian on par with Carson, Bob Hope or even modern impresarios of the Left, like Chris Rock. His style is unique. There is no swearing, no ribald or bawdy talk, yet he is absolutely cutting-edge hilarious. The Republican Party and the conservative movement prior to the 1980s was so stuffed shirt boring as to be beyond belief. Nelson Rockefeller represented the “country club establishment” wing of the party. They could be embodied by the Doug Niedermeyer character in Animal House. They were seen as mean, heartless, blaming the poor for their predicament, bent on keeping all those darn Jews out of their colleges, fraternities and clubs. Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon made them “bloodthirsty.” Goldwater was of the “bomb ‘em to the Stone Age” variety. Nixon seemed to have a special aversion for the Jews, who he seemed to feel got the Ivy League positions he did not get, forcing him to get a second-rate education. Then he used his Jewish, Ivy League NSC advisor, Henry Kissinger, to promote him to the Communists as “trigger happy,” just itchin’ to drop nukes on North Vietnam . . . unless Kissinger would be allowed to talk “reason” into him.

Perhaps no common denominator connects Limbaugh with Reagan better than humor. Reagan was a leading man early in his career, then a character and TV actor, but his on-screen demeanor was generally pleasant and humorous. At some point in the 1960s Reagan suddenly was “pissed off.” He did a film called The Killers, and in one scene viciously backhands Angie Dickinson. His famed 1964 speech on behalf of Goldwater revealed a man angered at how the Democrats have left his nation vulnerable to international Communism. California Governor Reagan was a hard-ass standing up to student protestors at Berkeley and other universities. He practically browbeat Bobby Kennedy in a debate, taking answers from international students. Afterward the cowed Kennedy told his handlers never to put him on stage with Reagan again.

But after losing to Gerald Ford in 1976, Reagan mellowed, and also grew older. But the time he was President, he affected a grandfatherly presence not unlike Dwight Eisenhower. In those days, men in their late 60s and 70s were viewed as old, whereby today that age is not thought of as any barrier. Many public figures stay in office well into their 80s, approaching 90. Reagan was much mellower as President than he had been as Governor.

Limbaugh never argued; he reasoned. He never got mean, raised his voice other than in excitement, did not swear, and had an uncanny knack for playing both sides (or all sides) of an issue instead of taking the one path he knew would get him trouble, even when his callers were practically begging him to.

Even before he came to New York, Limbaugh published a column in the Sacramento Union called “35 Undeniable Truths” which he later called “35 Undeniable Truths of Life.” It is incredibly politically incorrect, meant to inflame the Left, particularly feminists. Its blatant Right-wing view of women based on a 1950s premise is quite funny only if one has the ability to laugh at its comedic value, which is the point; Limbaugh asserts many on the Left lack humor.

This is his secret. Comedy beginning in the 1960s became a Left-wing province. Bob Hope was a conservative who never needed to swear or make sexual jokes. Johnny Carson avoided politics but his plain Nebraska conservatism seeped out. Danny Thomas was funny yet wholesome. Then came the Leftists, from Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Richard Pryor, and Robin Williams, to David Letterman, Chris Rock, Jay Mohr, Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, and far more than can be named. Other than Hope, Carson and the middle-of-the-road Jay Leno, these men ranged from whole-hearted haters spilling bile and vitriol for anything remotely Republican; to smarmy, near-loathsome of conservatism; and if not outwardly liberal, then foul in language, vulgarity, sexuality, meanness, and immorality. Only in the 2000s did a new form of comedy, the “red necks” from the South who joke about themselves and do not swear, has there been any kind of kickback against this.

Country music has remained wholesome and God-loving, albeit featuring hot girls, but since the 1960s rock ‘n’ roll, movies, TV, and most every aspect of what Limbaugh calls the “dominant media culture,” has used its platform to spew derision towards the Right. Christianity, family values, resistance to abortion, traditional male-female relationships, kickback against gay marriage; all are brow beaten. Since Limbaugh’s ascension, coming as international Communism was withering away, gay marriage, “global warming” and “civil rights” have risen as near-religions, taught emphatically so in public schools. Republicans are the usual “bogey men,” accused of racism, homophobia and a desire to somehow breathe clean air and drink clean water only where they live, but not globally. “Income inequality” is a new phenomenon that has risen in the age of Barack Obama, but Limbaugh has kicked back against this using logic and math, as in the premise that “a man with $1 million cannot steal $10 million from a man with $1000.”

But amid all the foul-mouth vulgarity found in the comedy world, Hollywood, and most everywhere else, Limbaugh’s imitations, use of music, skits and just plain common sense, in the tradition of Will Rogers and H.L. Mencken, were an incredible antidote and balm for the Right. Nobody on the Right had ever used these tactics, at least not like Limbaugh. Now both Reagan and Limbaugh were making use of homilies and homespun folk tales. Limbaugh’s simple descriptions of golf outings, private discussions with friends, and occasional name-dropping of a meeting with some famed impresario, often was tinged with fun, espoused with a twinkle in his eye that listeners could “see” through the radio.

His detractors tried for the longest time to put him down, using his lack of education, but the man was incredibly well read and certainly able to articulate conservatism better than his lawyer grandfather, father or brother. He had a gift.

His “35 Undeniable Truths,” wrote his biographer Zev Chafets, “read like an eclectic and whimsical collection of axioms and pronouncements by Thomas Hobbes, Howard Cosell, Billy Graham, John D. Rockefeller, Norman Mailer, General George Patton, a high school history teacher, Paul McCartney, Thomas Jefferson.”

Among Limbaugh’s “truths”:

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. War is not obsolete; ours is a world governed by the aggressive use of force.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The greatest football team in the history of civilization is the Pittsburgh Steelers of 1975-1980; the L.A. Raiders will never be the team that they were when they called Oakland home.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There is a God; abortion is wrong; morality is not defined and cannot be defined by individual choice; evolution cannot explain Creation.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There will always be poor people. This is not the fault of the rich.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The U.S. will again go to war. There is no such thing as war atrocities. War itself is an atrocity. The only way to get rid of nuclear weapons is to use them.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Abraham Lincoln saved this nation.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Love is the only human emotion that cannot be controlled.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Freedom is God given.

 

In the almost 30 years since he wrote these axioms, many of his “truths” seem prophetic. Islamic jihad, not particularly an issue in 1988, has shown that the world is indeed governed by the “aggressive use of force.” His statement about the 1970s Steelers has not been diluted; the Raiders in Los Angeles or Oakland have not approached their greatness. 60 million children have been aborted since Roe v. Wade; that statistic needs no embellishing. The creation of Fox News has given some credence to Limbaugh’s grating statement about “unattractive women” gaining some political say. The feminism crowd has been shown more and more to be homely lesbians, in contrast to a bevy of blonde and otherwise attractive women in short skirts working for Rupert Murdoch. The U.S. did go to war . . . again and again. Nuclear weapons are still here and it seems they will be used, probably by radical Islam against Israel. Since Limbaugh’s list, Lincoln’s stock has gone way, way up, used by the Left and the Right for their purposes. Love remains elusive; Limbaugh, married multiple times, has no children. While the United States gave freedom to large swaths of the Muslim world in the 2000s, they seem unable to handle the responsibility.

It is as if God Himself was saying, “If I wanted these people to be free, I would have freed them as I freed the Israelites.”

Limbaugh’s manifesto also included many straight from “Big Rush.” “The greatest threat to humanity lies in the nuclear arsenal of the U.S.S.R. The greatest threat to humanity lies in the U.S.S.R. Peace does not mean the elimination of nuclear weapons. Peace can’t be achieved by developing an ‘understanding’ with the Russian people. When Americans oppose America, it is not always courageous and sacred; it is sometimes dangerous. Communism kills. In the U.S.S.R., peace means the absence of opposition. To free peoples, peace means the absence of threats and the presence of justice. The peace movement in the United States – whether by accident or design – is pro-Communist. The only difference between Mikhail Gorbachev and previous Soviet leaders is that Gorbachev is alive. Soviet leaders are just Left-wing dictators. To more and more people, a victorious United States is a sinful United States. This is frightening and ominous. You should thank God for making you an American; and instead of feeling guilty about it help spread our ideas worldwide.”

If one loves Rush Limbaugh, all of this is just that . . . undeniable truth. To those who oppose him, it is tripe, but to argue against it using logic and facts is extremely difficult. Written in the waning days of the U.S.S.R., the future – the fall of the Berlin Wall, the break-up of the Soviet Union, and freedom bestowed upon 1 billion living in the Eastern bloc – was not assured and still seemed a remote possibility. To the average Pole, Czech, Hungarian or most other Eastern European no longer living under the yoke of Communism, Limbaugh’s statement is easily agreed upon.

Limbaugh’s observations about opposition to America are very controversial and debatable, but certain facts cannot be ignored. Opposition to America’s involvement in Vietnam propelled the decision not to fund the South Vietnamese when the Communists invaded in 1975. The result was a holocaust. Opposition to the Iraq War similarly fueled the desire to leave the region to Islam; the results are an on-going catastrophe and the final death toll will be a continuing horror when those reading this are on their deathbed.

The Venona Papers, which were not made public until 1992-93 after Soviet archives were opened, demonstrate that much of the protest movement was funded and ignited by the Soviets. Gorbachev’s place in history is probably better than Limbaugh’s analysis of him at the time, but he is generally seen as having been forced to accept peace by Reagan. Limbaugh asserts today that President Obama’s main premise is that America is “immoral and unjust.” After eight years in office, he lost a tremendous amount of support and certainly the shine of near-sainthood bestowed upon him in 2008.

Limbaugh also wrote, “The collective knowledge and wisdom of seasoned citizens is the most valuable – yet untapped – resource our young people have.” With the passing of most the “greatest generation” that won World War II, it could be argued their “collective knowledge” is lost forever, if indeed it was ever fully tapped.

Chafets wrote that most of Limbaugh’s “truths” were not the product of personal experience. He had never served in the military or experienced war. He avoided conflict, lived with plenty of luck in safe places, untouched by disease. He was a Cub Scout and played a little football, without distinction. College? One year. He had little travel experience, was not outwardly religious, and had no kids. His view of the world was often what he saw from behind a microphone. He worked a few years for the Royals, hardly the Peace Corps. He had few friends and did not talk politics with them. He lived through the tumultuous ‘60s but was nary affected by them. He seemed uninvolved until his late 30s, early 40s. He was unregistered to vote until age 35. His original political dissertations were traditional mantra of the country club establishment, or heard by his parents, who until he was in late 30s most likely viewed Rush Limbaugh as a loser or close to one.

What all of this proves is that talk radio is not something that can be taught. It is for those rare, gifted people who have the talent and aptitude for it. Even acting or sports can be taught; maybe not resulting in Sir Laurence Olivier or Kobe Bryant, but at least enough to enjoy it as an activity. 90 percent of the public, including many with Ivy League degrees and sterling resumes, or even trained thespians like Alec Baldwin, when placed before a microphone, freeze up and curl into a tight little ball. Destiny does exist, and for Limbaugh it was his destiny to be born when he was, where he was, and to do what he does.

There was a big difference between the Rush Limbaugh Show and Rush Limbaugh. Playboy said he was the most impactful radio man ever. He was rich and despite working in an industry without cameras, he was a famed face in Manhattan. But in interviews he admitted to being disconcerted by all of it. He also was surprised to learn other broadcasters, mainly jealous and unable to understand him, criticized him. Much of it was liberal in nature, but not all of it.

“These guys had millions of listeners every night,” he recalled. “I looked up to them. I wanted to be accepted as one of them. But that’s not what happened.” In the early days Limbaugh said only Ted Koppel and Tim Russert reached out to him. Limbaugh’s early role model, Chicago’s Larry Lujack, was nasty in his commentary on Rush. Limbaugh had a vision of radio guys, like “ink-stained” newspaper hacks or sportswriters, sitting around Jilly’s or P.J. Clarkes, enjoying “adult beverages” while telling war stories. Not so. ^^xxvii^^

While he was indeed a “highly trained broadcast specialist” since his early youth, Limbaugh seemed to have come up with that term almost as an answer to the “real” broadcast specialists who disparaged what he did as an act or entertainment. He invented a genre that did not exist before him, and try as thousands have, only a small handful have ever succeeded in since.

Limbaugh discovered a secret, which applies to college faculties as well, which is that the “elites” of the media-academic complex, the so-called “talking heads” and opinion makers, must bow to the god of liberalism. Even “Republican” journalists, politicians or judges find their admittance to the top of the cocktail circuit comes only when they moderate their politics, or disparage the Right (Limbaugh) in private. Henry Kissinger ‘s admittance to this world, aside from his Harvard credentials, was his willingness to tell secrets out of school about the hated Dick Nixon. Limbaugh learned this “undeniable truth” early and freely chose not to fall for it. He would never be part of this “in crowd.” It would be his badge of honor. But as his audience grew towards 20 million, he fed off something far greater than cocktail parties. He became a movement.

Then Ed McLaughlin called Limbaugh to tell him the Parker Meridien management group wanted him gone because he was “anti-Semitic.” He had riffed on the so-called “Israel lobby,” well known for its influence in D.C. This was, oddly, a broad brush stroke conservatives were painted with at the time. Pat Buchanan in particular wrote a controversial book outlining how the U.S. might have been smarter to stay out of World War II, and his isolationism when it came to the Middle East led some to believe he was against the Israelis. It was still the old “county club Republicans” who kept Jews out of fraternities. It has only been post-9/11, when Israel has been so vulnerable and the Islamic threat so great, that evangelicals seem to have “discovered” the truths of the Old Testament and its lineage to the New Testament.

“I had no idea how to deal with it,” Limbaugh told Zev Chafets. ^^xxviii^^

The charge was not so easy to shrug off, since Limbaugh was in New York, a town dominated by Jewish people in the media. He offered $1 million to anybody who could prove him an anti-Semite. One day he referenced Abe Hirschfield, the Jewish owner of the New York Post, as “Irv.” His staffer corrected him and he responded, “Irv, Abe, what’s the difference?” A California listener took him to court trying to say he deserved the $1 million because this “proved” he was anti-Semitic. It was laughed out of court.

By 1990 Limbaugh had a national audience of 20 million listeners. Lewis Grossberger of the New York Times Magazine described him as “some odd combination of Teddy Roosevelt, Willard Scott and the old Jackie Gleason character, Reginald Van Gleason 3rd.” Vanity Fair’s Peter Boyle saw comparisons with Paul Harvey and Garrison Keillor. Others saw similarities with David Letterman. Cigar Aficionado saw him as a modern W.C. Fields.

“There is absolutely no one and nothing else out there like him, anywhere on the political spectrum,” said Ted Koppel on Nightline. Maureen Dowd, a major liberal, went on a “date” with Limbaugh to the posh “21” club and found him “romantic.” Limbaugh told her he was “detested and hated” by the New York intelligentsia, invited out rarely. He told 60 Minutes his main motivation was to create “confiscatory advertising rates”; in other words, to crassly make loads of money, or what he later deemed “obscene profits.”

Of course William F. Buckley, who had for decades managed to be both a bon vivante man about town while still a true blue conservative, loved him. This was a big deal for Rush, who considered him a hero, the “patron saint of the Right.” Buckley had intellectually paved everything Limbaugh was doing. Rush could even do a solid Buckley imitation from his Firing Line TV show. Limbaugh had read a few of Buckley’s books, but it was his magazine, National Review, that he credited with broadening his political education. Limbaugh joked that he never saw the magazine on a news stand and once thought “you had to be invited to read it.”

The magazine helped formulate in his mind the real value of low tax rates beyond saving rich people money. Buckley’s writers demonstrated how the policy actually grew the economy. Incredibly, despite history, even conservatives did not quite recognize this phenomenon, which in the 1980s was known as “trickle down” or “supply side” economics. Incredibly, the fact America became the wealthiest nation in the world prior to instituting the income tax in 1913 had not demonstrated this fact. Two world wars had instead inculcated government with the Keynesian notion that some things are so big and unwieldy that only government offers solutions.

At a high-brow party at Buckley’s Manhattan digs, Limbaugh was utterly blown away when a roomful of intellectuals, writers and Big Thinkers of the Right gathered around and started asking him questioners, Newt Gingrich among them. They were all listeners. He was not just being heard by farmers in the Midwest or the Michigan militia.

“They were fans!” Limbaugh said. ^^xxix^^

The Buckley dinner was his “big break,” aside from the move to WABC followed by his national show. He became part of the Right-wing elite, socializing with Henry Kissinger, Norman Podhoretz, Richard Brookhiser and others. He became a genuine friend with Buckley and Gingrich. He saw in Buckley a “father figure” after the passing of “Big Rush” in 1990.

He also met Roger Ailes, a cutting-edge Republican TV impresario. Limbaugh by now was on 400 radio stations and growing, but Ailes wanted him on television. He was making $3 million per year. He had a book deal with Simon & Schuster with a six-figure advance.

He was scared of TV. In 1990 he guest-hosted The Pat Sajak Show. Sajak was one of the few conservatives in media. On air Limbaugh criticized a recent policy decision on abortion and took the microphone into the audience, where screaming protestors were all ready with a planned demonstration, calling him a Nazi, which is as strange as it gets. It was the eugenics movement that started Planned Parenthood, and was the “motivation” for the holocaust. Of course, the Republicans especially liked Adolf Hitler because he endorsed small government, keeping government off people’s backs, rugged individualism . . . this sort of irony is the staple of the Limbaugh program; his pointing these kinds of things out is why 20 million people listen to him. When the topic went to AIDS, they chanted, “You want people to die!” and “Murderer.” It was straight out Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, precursor of the protest movement and Code Pink. But Limbaugh held it together, getting a standing ovation from half the audience. Then he moved on to “affirmative action.” He was really asking for it, and he got it. News of the event actually helped Limbaugh, since it was seen as an example of the intolerant Left. But it also left Limbaugh forever jaded and aware he can be “set up,” as his father called it, by his enemies.

But Ailes controlled the new Limbaugh TV program. One way of assuring polite guests was to insist that all attending wear a suit and tie. That magically eliminated rabble-rousers. “They call me the most dangerous man in America,” he told them. “Know why? Because I am.”

The Boston Globe typically called him “a blowhard casting about for a TV persona,” but Ailes could care less. The ratings were fantastic. Running on over 200 stations, he competed evenly with Jay Leno and David Letterman, 3 million viewers a night, even though the show aired very late in some markets. It was a precursor to Fox News; America was hungry for an alternative to liberalism. Many thrilled at turning Letterman’s smug face off their TV sets, to be replaced by Rush’s smiling mug. Millions of people were suddenly empowered, like a medieval king demanding that Letterman or some other liberal be “removed at once from the television.”

Limbaugh used humor to maximum effect, at the expense of liberals. He sent a reporter into a snowstorm to do interviews on “global warming,” which has been repeated countless times by many conservative commentators over the years, as if God Himself rained snow upon the doomsayers. He showed a clip of Bill Clinton admonishing school kids to hold their temper, then one of Clinton cursing out the mayor of Washington. His footage of homeless people raiding a dumpster bordered on callous. His attempt to make animal rights activism look absurd sometimes made Limbaugh look absurd. He called President Reagan “Ronaldus Maximus,” and “the greatest President of the 20th Century.” In 1994, Reagan wrote Limbaugh a letter. ^^xxx^^

“I am comforted to know that our country is in the capable hands of gifted young individuals like you and your listeners,” he wrote. “You are the backbone of our great nation, solely responsible for the success of our worldwide crusade. God bless you and your audience for believing; for having faith in America’s future; and for making a difference in this world.” He signed it, “Ron.”

Solely responsible for the success of our worldwide crusade!

This was an unbelievable endorsement. Reagan has over the years risen in public polling and general historical analysis to the top among 20th Century Presidents. Liberals dispute his greatness, but his admirers pay no never-minds. To have a man of this monumental stature praise his work was a spur to Limbaugh like none other. First Buckley, now Reagan. The Left-wing accusations of lying and “blowhard” talk were like farts in the wind.

The TV show continued to be popular and successful, but also tiring. Limbaugh was a radio man through and through. He pulled the plug on it in 1996, the year Fox News came into being. There seems no real correlation, but now there were “talking heads” of the Right on the tube; it was no longer Rush Limbaugh, An Army of One.

“He likes the solo style of radio, the fact that it is all up to him,” Roger Ailes said. “You own that audience member,” Limbaugh said of his radio listeners. ^^xxxi^^

In addition to TV, Limbaugh wrote two best-selling books in the early 1990s. In 1992 he published The Way Things Ought to Be, using John Fund of the Wall Street Journal along with his brother David as co-writers. The New York Times was forced to weep and gnash their teeth, posting Rush Limbaugh number one on their precious book-sales list every week for half a year. Times TV critic Walter Goodman wrote a review. He acknowledged the power of Limbaugh and the conservative movement, but wrote an insulting piece, as if by using certain code words and sleight-of-hand put-downs, the “booboisie” of the Right would not realize they were being put down. In so doing, he demonstrated a fact of conservatism and of Limbaugh, which is that it is mis-understood and, essentially unless somebody is a conservative, and actually listens to the program regularly, they are going to mystified by conservatism. There is some frustration in this; the movement is hard to argue for in terms of changing minds, yet magically it does. The transition from liberal to conservative is common; from conservative to liberal so rare as to be practically not some kind of actual thing.

Zev Chafets pointed out the similarities between Rush and H.L. Mencken, in particular their “self-educated disdain” for the intelligentsia. Chafets also pointed out Mencken’s many faults, among them racism, anti-Christianity, and support of abortion; anathema to Limbaugh. In the book Limbaugh states, “We conservatives are the future.” In 2008, when President Barack Obama was elected, the “intellectuals” predicted the end of conservatism. Eight years later, after two utter and absolute Republican runaway mid-term victories, with Obama leaving with low poll ratings and “lame duck” status, most of his policies on the verge of repeal, Limbaugh’s statement appears to be ultimately prophetic, but it says something more profound, at least about him. Presidents come and go; political parties win and lose; Limbaugh continues to be there.

Goodman predicted Limbaugh’s program and book were pathways to his running for office as “America’s white hope.” Neither Limbaugh nor any other talk host, despite much prodding from listeners, has yet to run for office. Limbaugh by 1992 was “too rich and influential to run for anything,” added Chafets. There is also in Goodman’s critique an undercarriage of Limbaugh that several – not all – of those who came after him regularly stress. Liberals like Goodman then and more so now have some kind of inherent inferiority complex when it comes to race; an innate desire to put down themselves, their white heritage and their culture. Limbaugh has the ability to essentially praise and glorify his whiteness, and whiteness in general, straddling the line while not dipping into racism. He is of course accused of racism, but those who listen to him know that in the realm of things that are actual and real – or what Limbaugh himself calls “realville” – he is not. Explaining it to a liberal is an exercise in futility; it maintains itself as manifest. ^^xxxii^^

By 1993 Limbaugh was making between $15 million and $20 million. The EIB consisted of 636 stations. His advertisers, despite paying exorbitant rates, discovered that there was no better place to promote their wares. He reached 21 million listeners a week. The Limbaugh Letter had 430,000 subscribers, overshadowing most of the major publications in the nation. His appearances packed theatres. His second book, See, I Told You So (written with Joseph Farah), immediately vaulted to the top of the New York Times best seller list. 7.5 million people owned his books.

Limbaugh tapped into a wellspring of populist triumphalism that followed the fall of the Soviet Union. His adamant anti-Communism as expressed in his books does not look out-dated today. Rather, Limbaugh pointed out facts about Communism that remain relevant, when much of the Communist agenda is couched in issues absent a hammer-and-sickle or The Little Red Book. 15 years before Barack Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel cynically announced, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Limbaugh was saying, “They overstate a problem and work society into a frenzied state in order to justify their invaluable big-government solution.” ^^xxxiii^^

Limbaugh lambasted Bill Clinton’s assertion that America was past its prime. “Don’t believe the doomsayers,” Limbaugh wrote. America, he wrote and said over and over again, is an exceptional nation. He also asserted in See, I Told You So, that environmentalism is a scam and a “quasi-religion,” that humans are not “capable of destroying” the planet, and that “global warming” is a “pseudo science” rising not coincidentally only after the Soviet Union fell, its tenets of one-world government seemingly going down with it.

He debated U.S. Senator Albert Gore (D.-Tennessee) on Ted Koppel’s Nightline in 1992, before Gore became Vice-President. The odds seemed stacked against Limbaugh, and Koppel called Gore one of the “more knowledgeable on the subject of environment.” But Limbaugh kept refuting Gore’s claims, even getting the Senator to agree on some of his points. Limbaugh said Gore was not a climatologist, “he just played one on TV,” wrote Zev Chafets. Limbaugh pointed out many irrefutable facts, including important points about volcanoes that “put 570 times the amount of chlorine into the atmosphere” with one eruption than all man-made chlorofluorocarbons in a year. The ultraviolet radiation Gore claimed was caused by the “hole in the ozone layer” would make people drop dead all over the planet if it was what he claimed it to be. Gore’s claims were extremely scary; the Earth would cease to exist in a few short years unless man took drastic action. In 2008, temperatures were going down, the “hole in the ozone” layer yet to materialize, and the Senate voted down the Kyoto Protocols without a single “yes” vote. The environment was much cleaner mainly due to technology created by capitalism and the profit motive. Limbaugh replayed the debate on his show, claiming Gore’s enduring argument was all a “hoax.” Gore was by then a billionaire or close to it for having investing in government-funded environmental issues.

Limbaugh did make some changes on occasion. Calls to his show that he could not get to were called “caller abortions,” but he had a change of heart and stopped doing it. Her also did some insensitive skits on the AIDS issue, but the death of a mentor, a gay man named Norman Woodruff, changed his way of thinking. His main complaint was not that it was associated with homosexuality, but the way it was politicized. The Left was at that time saying it could happen to anybody, but since then it is obvious it happens to gay men, women partners of bi-sexuals, and drug abusers, with possibly some but very, very few exceptions. The AIDS epidemic in Africa, for instance, was shown in the 2000s not to a be huge infection of straight men but other diseases the medical community called AIDS, mainly to get more funding. ^^xxxiv^^

In 1994 Limbaugh revised his “35 Undeniable Truths of Life.” This time he centered it on more relevant subjects of the political scene, declaring that “rugged individualism and self-reliance” made America great; that the “vast majority of the rich” achieved their wealth honestly; that taxes are not a key to prosperity; that liberalism is inferior as a manifest truth; and that the so-called New Democrats then touted as representing Bill Clinton’s politics, were a smokescreen for the same old liberal ideas. He further stated the Earth was not on the verge of extinction, that character is important (John Wooden stated similar views), and that cutting g a tree down could be a good thing if the wood was put to proper use. Reagan, he reiterated, was the best of all 20th Century Presidents, and the 1980s was a decade not of greed but of prosperity. Abstinence, he famously stated, works “every time it’s tried,” adding that condoms apparently “only work during the school year.” Poverty did not cause crime, obeying the law should be rewarded, most criminals are guilty, and women should not be on juries where the accused is handsome. Many were tongue-in-cheek, obviously, but resonated with common sense.

Schools, he said, should teach moral and spiritual values, and Limbaugh stated, “I am not arrogant.” God exists and is not “the problem with America.” Morality comes from Him and liberals are elected when they lie and say they are not liberals. He continued to assert to much backlash that feminism was created to let ugly women have their say, and that money is always the key element in investigating most things, from crime to corruption.

His statement that Democratic attempts to gain policy through the courts has been proven true countless times. Federal money usually resulted in more welfare dependence, and economic growth is more than economic justice. Liberals count compassion as how many are on welfare, conservatives count it as how many no longer need it. Compassion, he said, does not equal justice, and that “culture wars” are fought between the winners of history vs. those who wish they won. The L.A. riots were caused not by the Rodney King beating but by the rioters. Houses would be more affordable absent government interference, “words mean things,” and nobody had any sense of humor left. Much was there for shock value or pure humor.

His “truths” would eventually manifest itself in one of his most profound observations, which is that the Democratic Party needed to maintain a permanent underclass in order to have voters. While immigration was already a hot-button issue in the mid-1990s, with President Reagan’s “amnesty” of 1986-87 having changed the equation, it was becoming apparent that the goal of the Left was not to benefit illegal Latinos, but to benefit themselves by registering these obvious future Democrats to vote . . . and be the permanent underclass Limbaugh said they needed.

His observations of the housing market helped form Limbaugh’s observation of the role government had on the free market. The government’s de-regulation of the phone industry was by this time beginning to create market competition, with more people now getting cheaper phone rates. The Hillarycare issue led him to observe that when the government “helped” by paying for things like health care and college tuition, the result was exorbitant costs. If left to the market, like hotel and airline rates, the costs of health care and college, once generally affordable by most Americans, by now was becoming unattainable unless accompanied by scholarships, grants, loans and welfare.

This, Limbaugh observed with a shrewd eye, was their plan all along.

 

The second conservative revolution

 

The first three years (1988-91) of the Rush Limbaugh Show, after it moved from Sacramento to WABC in New York, then went national, were as close to perfect as it could get from Limbaugh’s perspective. World events and the success of his program went essentially the way they would have had Limbaugh actually been an “all knowing, all-seeing Maha Rushi” capable of actualizing the world according to his image.

Reagan’s reputation only grew stronger after he left office in January of 1989. He surpassed previous Republican icons – Theodore Roosevelt, Bob Taft, Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, even Abraham, Lincoln – and, to Limbaugh and his people, had reached Mount Rushmore status. At first, it seemed his successor, George H.W. Bush, would carry on his traditions, be just as successful, and maybe even be greater.

Bush was more moderate. He said he wanted a “kinder, gentler” Presidency featuring “a thousand points of light.” Many do not recall this or deny it was true, but the Left excoriated Reagan during his Presidency, just as he had been in Sacramento. There was a general feeling that the Democrats and the media would soften their tone when it came to Bush, because he was not as “harsh,” was less “divisive,” and was an elite establishment Ivy Leaguer. This would lead to a general homogenization of American politics, with the old Left slowly becoming moderate, eventually Republican. The Democratic Party would fade into what Reagan called the “dustbin of history,” with the Grand Ol’ Party cheerfully leading the United States of America to a position of power and influence previously unimaginable, with all the world’s poor, disenfranchised and enslaved suddenly free, now burgeoning capitalists and Jeffersonian Democrats. For three years, it looked that way, but Limbaugh never bought all the kumbaya stuff. He was convinced the Democrats could not be worked with or even persuaded; they needed to be defeated, as all enemies must be defeated; as the Nazi and now the Communists were defeated.

But defeated or not, the Democrats did appear irrelevant in Limbaugh’s first three years. His was a voice of triumph, bordering on arrogance, regardless of his denial of such a thing in his “35 Undeniable Truths of Life.”

In 1989, the Chinese cracked down on pro-Democracy dissidents at Tiananmen Square. The lesson from that, it appeared, was that one of the last holdout Communist regimes was teetering, and inspired by images of America’s Founding Fathers and Statue of Liberty, Red China would become what Henry Luce had wanted them to be until Mao Tse-tung defeated General Chiang-kai Shek.

The Soviets capitulated on nuclear arms agreements. Afghanistan was a stunning victory for America. Gorbachev teetered on the edge of power, barely surviving an aborted coup d’état. As a Christmas present, on a date full of Christian symbolism, on December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved. All of its old colonies making up the Eastern Bloc were free. Germany was on its way to unification after the wall fell. Whether Democrats credited Reagan was immaterial; 1 billion East Europeans did.

In 1990, Saddam Hussein and Iraq invaded Kuwait. President Bush orchestrated one of the great world coalitions in history. This included Russia, or the last vestiges of the U.S.S.R. before its official disintegration; an unheard of ideal. Democrats predicted “100,000 body bags,” U.S. soldiers returning home dead, but even they voted in large numbers to support Bush’s planned liberation. Bush achieved resolutions giving him the “green light” from the Congress and the United Nations.

In January, 1991 Bush ordered air strikes, followed by ground troops. Whether it was the single greatest military operation in history is debatable; it sure seemed that way. It was over almost before it began, with minimal U.S. casualties. The troops returned home to huge parades. Best of all, Bush pronounced victory in Iraq to have finally exorcised the Vietnam syndrome. Vietnam veterans could actually see their sacrifices finally meaning something. Vietnam was a Pyrrhic victory, a chess move in the long game now won by America.

In June of 1991, Bush’s approval ratings were at 91 percent. Predictions of the Democratic Party folding were being made. A historian named Francis Fukuyama famously called it “the end of history,” predicting that the old days of confrontation, military aggression and division, would be replaced by agreement and peace. Peace, in fact, was said to have “broken out all over.”

The United States, beginning with the end of the Persian Gulf War, had now attained a level of power and influence above and beyond any empire in world history. Best of all, it was an empire not of conquest – at least not entirely – but of ideas, a new kind of empire replacing old ones ranging from Alexander’s Greece to Caesar’s Rome, to Napoleon to Britain, or even the heights ascended to by America herself between 1945 and 1949, when she stood victorious and was the only nation in possession of atomic weaponry. The sun didn’t merely not set on America, it shone brightly on her and her spheres of influence from the Middle East to Asia to Eastern Europe. President Bush called it the New World Order.

It was wildly enthusiastic period of time, and of course its chronicler, cheerleader and public scribe was Rush Limbaugh. Looking back, the events that followed teach a lesson for the ages, which is that anything can happen. Hubris, a Greek word meaning “excessive pride,” was one of histories’ enduring lessons, somehow not paid heed by Bush.

Bush made one of the great mistakes of the 20th Century. After announcing with great defiance, “read my lips, no new taxes,” he agreed to raise taxes in 1990. Limbaugh made no bones about it; he was disappointed. It was the first real moment of disagreement he had with the GOP, and showed he was not a sounding board for them, nor did they take marching orders from him. His supporters were called “mind-numbed robots,” but they called in by the droves expressing a variety of opinions on Bush’s tax increase. Today, there is a deep divide in the Republican Party over several issues, and this moment traces back to the beginning of that divide.

President Bush felt he could get away with the tax increase, which he thought would help bridge the growing national debt (it did not). He thought he could trust the Democrats to work with him (they did not). With 91 percent approval ratings after the Persian Gulf War, he appeared utterly impervious (he was not). The Democrats offered what the press called the “seven dwarfs,” old school liberals with little accomplishment and no chance of winning. Their best candidate, New York Governor Mario Cuomo, chose not to run, intimidated by Bush’s poll numbers. Since 1972, the Democrats had gone further and further to the far Left. In 1984, they had a magnificent candidate, former astronaut John Glenn. He was soundly beaten in their primaries. The lesson from that was that the Democrats now rejected heroes, patriots and Christians.

Instead they offered Bill Clinton. It is cosmic, Shakespearean, ironic beyond comprehension, that Bill Clinton could defeat George H.W. Bush. Bush was a war hero, a fighter pilot twice shot down in the South Pacific, only to be rescued and returned home to the girl he loved and married. Storybook. The rest was a ride into the sunset, something out of a novel, a fiction writer’s description of the perfect American and greatest, most qualified political candidate.

Clinton’s mother was most likely a gangster’s moll who gave birth to different kids from different men, who all disappeared. She ran numbers to pay off debts to the Hot Springs, Arkansas Mafia. It has been theorized that they recognized her son’s remarkable intellect and good grades, and sponsored him as a sort of “sleeper” through expensive colleges until he could do their bidding in the Arkansas Statehouse.

In 1969 Clinton disappeared for a lengthy stay in Moscow. The U.S. government kept track of it; it was common for the KGB to identity potential targets, like bright, politically savvy Ivy Leaguers with a future in government, and create “relationships” with them to be exploited down the road.

Clinton was up for the draft during the Vietnam War, but manipulated the process, promising to enter the University of Arkansas Law School through their ROTC program as a way to evade regular Army service. Having dodged that prospect he entered Yale Law School, where he met Hillary Rodham. Once a “Goldwater girl,” Hillary came under the influence of a “community organizer” from her native Chicago named Saul Alinsky, and became a radical Democrat almost over night. They worked together during Watergate to Impeach Richard Nixon.

They agreed to marry; many called it “political.” Rush Limbaugh long theorized it was an agreement that she stay by his side when he returned to the backwaters of Arkansas, with the payoff coming when they would ascend to the White House.

In Arkansas, she went to work for a Democratic Party law firm and he was elected and re-elected Governor several times in the late 1970s and 1980s. He was a notorious womanizer nicknamed “Slick Willie.” They were accused of many instances of corruption over shady land deals and commodities investments that landed them gains that were simply not possible, yet happened for them. They were accused of operating a drug-running operation at the airport in Mena, Arkansas. It has been theorized that the operation was never exposed because the Reagan-Bush Administration was using the airfield to funnel drug profits via the CIA to the Nicaraguan Contras fighting Communism in Central America.

The Clintons were accused of multiple murders, mostly using the power of the Arkansas State Troopers and the Hot Springs mob. As many as 100, or more, people who knew the Clintons in Arkansas mysteriously turned up dead; “heart attacks,” “car accidents,” “drownings,” “suicides,” drug deals gone bad, shootings, and other “accidents.” During his Presidency, Clinton’s counsel Vince Foster apparently committed suicide without warning. The protocols normally used by the FBI to investigate the crime scene at Fort Marcy Park were totally ignored, according to talk show host and ex-FBI agent G. Gordon Liddy. Democratic Party chairman Ron Brown, who apparently argued with Clinton and threatened to expose some of his corruptions, died in a plane crash that investigators could not adequately explain. All of it was detailed in a document called “the Clinton Body Count,” and a book, Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House, by Gary Aldrich. ^^xxxv^^

The Right despised the Clintons so much that they went beyond the bounds in their accusations, which ultimately helped the Clintons. Media mogul Richard Mellon Scaife sent mailings accusing Clinton of operating what he called an “octopus squad” to kill his opponents or inconvenient witnesses, including several kids on railroad tracks in Mena, Arkansas. ^^xxxvi^^

All of this was fodder for Rush Limbaugh. The idea that such a man could unseat a sitting President with a strong record; a man with legitimate claim to a major role in winning the Cold War; a man of impeccable integrity and courage under fire; seemed practically Satanic to many.

Nevertheless, Bush’s tax cuts contributed to a fairly insignificant, cyclical downturn in what had been the longest-running period of fiscal expansion in the century. It was not to be compared with the Carter years, when interest rates made home buying practically impossible, and gas was almost as difficult to obtain as rare diamonds, but Clinton called it the “worst economy since the Great Depression.” The media backed him up. Bush was seen as out of touch, a patrician who did not understand how to use a scanner at a grocery store.

Inch by inch, Bush’s candidacy, and Presidency, was chipped away at. Limbaugh did not help. He endorsed Patrick Buchanan, a firebrand, isolationist conservative commentator, who shocked the world by capturing 37 percent of the New Hampshire primary vote. It echoed 1968, when Minnesota Senator Gene McCarthy made a similar dent in the Democrat primary, leading President Lyndon Johnson to drop out of the race. He made an incendiary speech at the Republican National Convention that the columnist Molly Ivins wrote “sounded better in the original German.” It was a typical liberal remark, not based on truth, and explained quite graphically why 21 million people were choosing to listen to Rush Limbaugh instead.

Buchanan could not maintain his pace and eventually dropped out. In June of 1992, Limbaugh, who claimed he endorsed Buchanan only so “conservatism would have a voice in the election,” was invited to spend a night in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House, a kind of “peace offering” by President Bush, who even carried his bags to his room. It was a “gesture Rush never forgot,” said Roger Ailes. “Guess where I’m sleeping tonight,” Rush said in an excited phone call to his mother. ^^xxxvii^^

Rush was, at least aside from Ronald Reagan, the star attraction of the 1992 Republican National Convention held at the Astrodome in Houston. He was given a seat in the Presidential box. When President Bush traveled to New York to address the United Nations, he stopped by the EIB studios, declaring himself, “Just one more fan sitting at the table here.”

But the President’s request of Limbaugh was unsettling. As a decorated fighter pilot, he wanted Rush to hammer Clinton as a “draft dodges.” The problem for Limbaugh was that he himself had not served in the military. Unlike Clinton, he went through the legal process and was ultimately not drafted, whereas Clinton lied and manipulated the system. But “failure” to serve was “failure” to serve. Limbaugh dutifully went after Clinton, but tried to center it on the issue of “character.”

Ultimately what killed Bush was Ross Perot, a Texas billionaire business mogul who ran as an independent. He picked off 19 percent of the national vote. Clinton won with only 43 percent to Bush’s 37.5. Out of that 19 percent, surely there was a paltry 5.5 percent who would have voted for George Bush, who along with everybody in his administration steadfastly maintains to this day no question that Perot “stole” the election from him. Clinton did have “coattails,” though. They called it the “Year of the Woman,” with several prominent Democratic women ascending to the United States Senate, including not one but two liberal Jewish women from San Francisco, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

President Clinton took a victory lap and attacked Limbaugh, as Franklin Roosevelt attacked H.L. Mencken in 1934, at the Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington. He also immediately tried to re-instate the Fairness Doctrine, but much as he wanted to shut up the “blowhard” Limbaugh, openly censoring a man listened to by 21 million patriotic American citizens, was worse politics.

Bush’s loss resonated well beyond the Beltway, and chortling liberals happily declared the “death” of the Rush Limbaugh Show. Without the great Ronald Reagan and an all-conquering Republican Party to crow about, what would Limbaugh have? It turned out to be Limbaugh’s finest hour. Certainly he would never have wished it upon America, but Clinton’s Presidency was one of the best things to ever happen to his show.

Limbaugh addressed the issue head on, telling his vast audience criticizing the Clintons – they were a “two-fer,” as they called themselves – would energize his program. It did. It certainly energized him more than defending President Bush, who despite all his qualities did not have one ounce of Ronald Reagan’s charisma or “people’s touch.”

The first year, 1993, there was plenty of fodder. Hillary Clinton, despite being an unelected wife, was put in charge of national health care, dubbed “Hillarycare.” It was a tremendous overreach and immediately dropped Clinton, who campaigned as a Southern New Democrat, a moderate, in the polls. Then he instituted “don’t ask, don’t tell,” an attempt to get gays into the military. That went over like a dead weight. Air Force Major General Harold Campbell called him immoral, a “draft dodger” and “pot smoker,” unworthy of being Commander-in-Chief. He was practically drawn and quartered. ^^xxxviii^^

Senator Barbara Boxer and other women went ballistic over a Las Vegas “tail hook” party in which a few flyboys had some cocktails and noticed women were attractive. The admiral in “charge,” Jeremy Boorda, eventually was hounded into suicide. ^^xxxix^^ There were other reports of the Clintons forcing high-ranking officers to carry trays of food at parties, like waiters. ^^xl^^

But despite a few slips, it looked like the tide had turned. The Republicans, so dominant a force just a few years before, were out of power and it did not look like they were going to stage any comebacks soon. Then came 1994.

 

It would not have seemed unusual for the Republicans to pick up a few seats in the mid-terms; the minority party almost always does. The Democrats had picked off a few GOP districts, so it was natural the Republicans would regain some lost ground. The Republicans had controlled the Senate for brief periods, never for long, but the House of Representatives seemed a pipe dream to them. They had not controlled the “people’s House” since Eisenhower’s first term, and they were not close. Even Reagan could not maintain majorities in the Senate, and he never had the House.

But Rush Limbaugh did not exist in those years, and now he did. So did his “dittoheads,” the name for his fans because Limbaugh often said “ditto” if he agreed with a caller, or vice versa. Still, in September of 1994, the elections did not look unusual. Nobody was predicting a “wave” or a “tsunami.” Then House Minority Leader Newt Gingrich, a Limbaugh/Reagan conservative to the core, created the Contract for America, a 10-point manifesto promising legislative accomplishments if America would elect a GOP majority. It was Reaganesque, a principled conservative doctrine. Limbaugh got behind it all the way. Clinton called it the Contract on America.

“Rush was talking about the elements of the Contract for America before there was one,” said George W. Bush’s top advisor, Karl Rove. ^^xli^^

“Historians will remember 1994 as a watershed year in American politics,” Limbaugh predicted. “This was the year that modern liberalism, the ideology dominating nearly every important cultural and political institution in the country, tipped its hand, revealing deep insecurity. Liberals are terrified of me. As well they should be.”

Indeed, it was terrifying to them. It was one thing to lose to Reagan, who ascended to power and achieved greatness without Limbaugh; or Bush, whose coattails he rode. Limbaugh cheer led all of their victories, but if he could lead his team to a comeback victory only two years after one of their most unsettling defeats, it would prove his power. He really was “the most dangerous man in America.”

Then came the House banking scandal. This was a marriage made in heaven, an issue perfectly suited for Limbaugh’s cutting wit and humor. At issue was a bank at the disposal of Congressmen, who could use it without leaving the capitol grounds, avoiding the time and hassle of parking, lines and traffic. Most banks offer some form of overdraft protection, but the House bank simply doled out cash in any amount the politician wrote the check for, whether he had funds to cover it or not. There were no fees, no penalties for overdraft, never ever a bounced check, and best of all, nobody ever asked the “gentleman” from wherever to pay his accumulated debts. It was, to quote Dire Straits, “money for nothing.” In essence, Big Government liberalism at its core. To Limbaugh’s delight, an investigation revealed that almost all the worst offenders were Democrats. It was literally living proof that Republicans are more honest than Democrats; not an opinion, more like a “scientific” reality.

So Limbaugh created a series of “skits” on air, mainly in the form of “commercials” modeled on the customer service-friendly motto of banks trying to attract customers. He also created scenarios in which Congressmen demanded money from young, intimidated tellers forced to give them large wads of cash even if their accounts were way overdrawn. The actors playing Congressmen effected drawls, invoking old school Democrat pols of the Huey Long mold; corrupt Southerners before the GOP husbanded Dixie into the mainstream. Making his bad guys old white men was a stroke of genius; had they been inner city black Democrats he would have been called racist, which he was called anyway, bothering him not a whit.

So effective were the skits that six politicians were convicted of ethics violations, 25 more reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee. Almost all of them were Democrats. Illinois Congressman Dan Rostenkowski, a Democrat from the corrupt Chicago wards, got caught up in the investigation, was forced to resign over money laundering and mail fraud, ending up in jail. Clinton had to pardon him.

On November 8 the GOP swept to power in a manner more thoroughly dominating than perhaps any previous victory by one party over another in American history. The GOP had won big in 1938 and 1966, the Democrats in 1964, 1976 and 1992, but this was an old-fashioned “butt whipping,” in which the Grand Ol’ Party went from 176 seats to 230, taking the House. Democratic Speaker Tom Foley actually lost his seat in Washington state. Gingrich became the Speaker. The Republicans re-captured the Senate, too.

It was also the last year of Republican victories in California, Limbaugh’s adopted home state. California swept the GOP into office up and down the line; Governor, Congress, state legislature. The Mayor of Los Angeles, businessman Richard Riordan was a Republican, and the Mayor of San Francisco, former police chief Frank Jordan, was a Democrat in name only. Governor Pete Wilson was re-elected handily, and Proposition 187, greatly reducing social benefits to illegals, won in a landslide. The only Democrat to win was Senator Feinstein, running against weak opposition after having captured a special election two years earlier.

“Rush was a market force in 1994,” recalled Republican strategist Mary Matalin. “I would go to political meetings all over the country and hear conservatives speaking the way he speaks, saying the things he says.” ^^xlii^^

The Republicans honored Rush with a dinner, thanking him for his role in winning the mid-term elections, despite 74 percent support for Democrats from newspapers. “Talk radio, with you in the lead, is what turned the tide,” said newly elected freshman Congresswoman Barbara Cubin of Wyoming.

“”Those are the people who elected the new Congress,” said ex-Minnesota, Congressman Vin Webber of Limbaugh’s audience. Limbaugh was called an “honorary freshman” and a “majority maker.” ^^xliii^^

The 1994 mid-terms indeed have gone down as a watershed moment of American political history. It revived the optimism of the Reagan-Bush victories; that the Democrats might even fold eventually. It was an incredible defeat and repudiation of Bill Clinton, but more important than that, at least at the time it appeared to be make conservatism the winner of history. Limbaugh even felt this at the time, but over the years he has revived this analysis. This general belief, he has often said over the air, led the Republican Party to the false narrative that the nation was now a conservative one. In truth, the country was then and is now center-right, not hard-core Right wing.

But Bill Clinton, despite campaigning as a New Democrat – it is not an accident this term had no legs and is no longer relevant – had made a hard Left turn in his first two years in office. Clinton himself actually was a moderate Southern politician; by no means a Left-wing liberal in the mold of Senator Edward Kennedy. But his wife was, and his supporters were. The people who funded Clinton, whose support he owed fealty to, were of the far Left. He was forced by circumstance to try and pass their legislative agenda early. Hillarycare and “don’t ask, don’t tell” were high on that list. The nation roundly rejected all of this and, in essence, repudiated Clinton. Having won what was basically an illegitimate victory with only 43 percent of the vote in the Perot-skewered election, it was easy to think Clinton suddenly unimportant. Newt Gingrich was the real leader of the United States now.

Clinton was like all national Democrats used to only a fawning media, and completely discombobulated by Limbaugh, a member of the media. “I’m not frustrated about exactly, but I tell you I have determined that I’m going to be aggressive about it,” President Clinton told radio station KMOX in St. Louis. “After I get off the radio today with you, Rush Limbaugh will have three hours to say whatever he wants, and I won’t have any opportunity afterward to respond. And there’s no truth detector. You won’t get an afterward and say what was true and what wasn’t.” ^^xliv^^

Limbaugh laughed at Clinton and his pursuit of “truth.” After that Limbaugh called himself “America’s truth detector.” Limbaugh saw the big picture of 1994. The United States was founded in essence by conservatives. The Civil War split the nation asunder, and turned the Democratic Party into oppositionalists. With a few exceptions Republicanism dominated until the Great Depression. President Franklin Roosevelt completely revamped his party and the role of government. He created a Big Government “welfare state.” He also evened the political tide of African-Americans, a reliable GOP voting bloc after Abe Lincoln freed the slaves, now split 50-50. Beginning with the 1960 JFK-Nixon campaign, blacks were heading towards eventual 90 percent support of the Democrats.

McCarthyism turned the media and academia against the Right. Vietnam turned the Democrats hard Left. Watergate appeared to doom the GOP. Reagan reversed that, but in Limbaugh’s mind he was exceptional. The proof of that was Bush, who despite the wind blowing his sails lost miserably. Limbaugh felt it possible that the 1994 mid-terms represented a generational shift in the country. He was right and he was wrong.

There was no question it was a second conservative revolution. The first started with Barry Goldwater in 1964 and carried Reagan to victory. While Reagan inspired this, it was different, driven by Limbaugh and centered not on a single personality like Reagan (although Gingrich was its charismatic co-leader). It was rather a generational shift in favor of an actual party with new ideas over another party with old ideas. It was this that gave Limbaugh and his supporters too much confidence; the confidence to eventually overreach.

That reached a head when Gingrich forced a government shutdown in favor of lower taxes and spending cuts. The public began to turn on him in 1995, but it was Clinton who ultimately turned the tables. It was one of the great ironies, a case of the Republicans being a victim of their own success, but Clinton must be given credit for brilliant strategy. Clinton, a moderate anyway, adopted Gingrich’s policies. He cynically signed the Defense of Marriage Act, declared the “age of Big Government is over,” opposed Jesse Jackson on “affirmative action,” and adopted Gingrich’s economic policies.

The Reagan/Bush team had handed Bill Clinton a prosperous, peaceful world. He did not need to spend trillions to prepare for a Soviet invasion of West Berlin or anyplace else. Clinton cut some taxes and reduced spending, balancing the budget. Gingrich got his share of the credit, but the President is the President and rightly deserves the lion’s share. On top of that, Clinton was the happy recipient of great timing in the form of the World Wide Web. His Vice-President, Albert Gore, tried to claim “credit” for it, which was a source of much conservative ridicule, but it did stimulate the economy, making Clinton look like a genius “building bridges into the 21st Century.”

Perot and Buchanan reared their ugly heads again in 1996, which did the GOP candidate, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (R.-Kansas) no good whatsoever; but he was a dud, as was his running mate, New York Congressman Jack Kemp. But what really hurt Dole was Limbaugh’s lack of enthusiasm for him. Limbaugh lambasted the Clintons; he despised Hillary with equal fervor, but could not match that with love for Dole, like Bush a World War II hero. It was again irony for the ages; a second straight hero of the “greatest generation” losing to a “pot smoking draft dodger” of the Vietnam protest generation.

Limbaugh could only note that Clinton failed for the second time to win a majority of the vote. Professionally, Clinton’s re-election was a boon to Limbaugh. His listeners loved him just tearing Democrats apart even more than praising Republicans, especially lackluster ones. The Limbaugh-Clinton feud was now very personal. In 1995, an anti-government terrorist named Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. McVeigh was eventually caught and put to death.

McVeigh was part of a movement, of people protesting intrusive Big Government, FBI killings of survivalists, the destruction of a Christian sect in Texas, and other outrages. White supremacists set up camp in Idaho. Militias roamed the Michigan hills. Hollywood and the media lumped all of it in one big box: Christians, racists, military veterans, all supposedly Right-wingers. Their titular leader was according to the Left none other than Rush Limbaugh.

“We hear so many loud and angry voices in America today,” President Clinton said. The “voices” were intent on keeping “some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other. They spread hate. They leave the impression, by their very words, that violence is acceptable . . . Those of us who do not agree with the purveyors of hatred and division, with the promoters of paranoia, we have our responsibilities, too.” These people, he said, speak “over the air waves.”

This was the President of the United States, who as Teddy Roosevelt said has the advantage of a “bully pulpit.” He was taking direct aim at the “harmless, lovable little fuzz ball” himself, Rush Limbaugh. “The impression Mr. Clinton left, by his very words, was that the Oklahoma bombing had been incited,” New York Times conservative columnist William Safire wrote. Clinton was blaming “conservative talk radio.” Limbaugh demanded an apology. It never came.

While the term “hate speech” was bandied out before (in fact hate speech had been the KKK and Black Muslims like Louis Farrakhan), it became a buzzword the Left constantly uses to describe conservatism. It has in fact become so common place and overused that evidence a conservative has won an argument generally manifests itself when a liberal calls his words “hate speech.” The term still became a catchall used by the Left to describe virtually all form of conservative, and often Christian, messaging. It especially found a home on college campuses.

For a football fan like Limbaugh, there is no better answer than “scoreboard,” pointing out his team’s winning. He could not do that in 1996. The veneer of invincibility that he and conservatism wore just a few years earlier was gone; they were human and could be beaten. He was not a superman who had transformed an entire nation into his brand of conservatism. It was a long war, a series of battles that had to be won over and over. Reagan had said it best.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” he had stated. “We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” ^^xlv^^

 

Why the Right went after the Clintons

 

The good citizens of the San Francisco Bay Area woke up suddenly and unexpectedly to a new world and new voices in January of 1995. Limbaugh had been heard on KNBR, a general talk, news and sports station, very popular in the City, with a huge signal carrying it all over Northern California. They were the home of the San Francisco Giants.

But San Francisco radio changed that January; they were part of a trend across one end of the fruited plain to another. Limbaugh had driven this change, and to a lesser extent so had sports talk radio. KNBR was in the process of becoming an all-sports station. In Los Angeles, two new all-sports stations were generating big ratings. Jim Rome was to this genre what Limbaugh was to conservative talk. It was a new age of specialization.

Two conservative talk stations suddenly had found a home on San Francisco’s dials. This was practically anarchy to the region’s vocal, angry liberal base, but here was the enemy, like a Trojan horse burrowing its way right under their skin. Most prominent of the stations was KSFO AM, long a talk station that in the past had played music and carried professional sports. They were now conservative and would be too this day, playing promotions stating “we were conservative when conservatism wasn’t cool.”

America was flush off the Republican sweeps in November, 1994. Those sweeps had included state legislatures, governors, and all other elected offices. While both of California’s Senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, remained in office, the Republican Party otherwise dominated the state. Referendums kicking back against “affirmative action” and benefits for illegal aliens were voted in by large margins. To lonely Bay Area Republicans, the sudden emergence of KSFO was like the Pentecost.

At nine in the morning, of course, broadcasting from New York beginning at noon Eastern time, was Rush Limbaugh. His voice was familiar, his message unchanged. But who were all these others guys? KSFO ran conservatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There was G. Gordon Liddy, a one-time “hatchet man” for Richard Nixon, once disgraced as the mastermind behind the Watergate break-in. The Left tried to destroy him; they simply could not afford to have a man so thoroughly beaten and disgraced by them to come back, Lazarus-like from the dead, and have the last word! But here he was, and he was getting it. A talk-radio maven named Tom Likas, whose stock in trade was giving men inside tips on how to get chicks to go to bed with them, ran promotions saying his program was “the one show not hosted by a convicted criminal.” He faded into oblivion.

Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Ronald Reagan himself, had a new popular program. His specialty was uncanny knowledge of Congressional legislation. An African-American named Ken Hamblin called himself the “Black Avenger.” He wrote a book with the unfortunate name Please Don’t Feed the Blacks, but he featured unabashed common sense and patriotism.

In San Francisco, a local host named Dr. Michael Savage emerged. He was angry and loud, but nothing short of brilliant. When he started at the station, a Left-wing liberal named Bernie Ward ruled the station’s airwaves. Ward despised Savage so much he gave his home address out over the air, urging listeners to go there and do him some harm. Almost 20 years later, when Ward was convicted of sex crimes involving male children, Savage happily read each lascivious detail over the air, heard by some eight million American citizens. The segments were re-run numerous times, and an article in Gentry magazine detailing Savage’s revenge was also read word-for-word. He was extremely hard to like, but his audience over time came to understand him and love him, even though he was about as “lovable” as the Raymond Shaw character played by Laurence Harvey in The Manchurian Candidate.

In 1996, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch started Fox News. Featuring conservative commentators Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, it was an immediate hit, despised by the Democrats. Hannity was given his start by Limbaugh. Hannity was a popular commentator in Atlanta. He was like Limbaugh, lacking much in the way of an elite education, but Limbaugh let him guest host his show. That was like Johnny Carson letting Jay Leno guest host The Tonight Show. Hannity was eternally grateful for the big break.

Limbaugh obviously had to have occasional guest hosts, and the chance to fill in at the “golden EIB microphone” was normally a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Perhaps his best guest host, however, was past his prime by the time he substituted for Rush.

“B-1 Bob” Dornan was in fact a former television talk host. He was given his nickname because he flew B-1 bombers in Korea. Elected to Congress from a Santa Monica district, he was gerrymandered out of office when L.A.’s Westside became extremely liberal. He simply moved to conservative Orange County and was elected there, but was again gerrymandered out of office after the 1990 census, when his Garden Grove district became more Latino.

Dornan, a fiery, story-telling Irishman, was so good many felt he was better than Limbaugh. He was a natural. His wide-eyed descriptions of technical wizardry, of “smart bombs” used by American forces to blast Saddam Hussein’s Army to smithereens in 1991, were better than a Steven Spielberg movie. His detractors called him “bloodthirsty.” He dropped names like nobody’s business, telling stories out of school about Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower; famous men, men’s men, military heroes, in settings like bars, restaurants, cloakrooms, behind the scenes. He was incredibly fascinating and charismatic, with a deep, raspy voice. He held his thoughts and stories together, leaving his audience in suspense. He was a master.

Limbaugh also specialized in incredibly funny skits. He completely nailed Clinton’s Southern twang. One could only imagine Clinton in a state of fury while Limbaugh did dead-on imitations of him lying, cheating on his wife, and engaged in dastardly deeds. When Hillary Clinton testified about her involvement in Whitewater, a corrupt land grab from their Arkansas days, she repeated the phrase, “I don’t recall” over and over again. It was worse than, “I choose not to answer that, hereby invoking my Fifth Amendment Constitutional Right not to incriminate myself.”

A “white comedian” named Paul Shanklin could sing perfect imitations of popular songs. He orchestrated a put-on of the Sonny and Cher classic, “I Got You Babe,” with Hillary’s “I don’t recall” playing in the background as constant refrain. The inference of the song’s lyrics was that each was “dropping a dime” on the other, giving them up to the authorities in order to save their skin with the law.

Another incredibly funny Shanklin parody was a take-off of the Dion and the Belmonts classic “The Wanderer.” Shanklin effectuated a perfect Ted Kennedy accent, singing of having babes on his left and right: “I’m the kinda guy who likes to sleep around . . . I love ‘em and I leave ’em . . . I sleep around and ‘round and ‘round . . .”

Then there was Shanklin’s parody of Elvis Presley’s “In the Ghetto.” This was one of the all-time greats. It described a “liberal guy and a liberal gal” who go to a “used car lot on the edge of town.” There they choose to buy a Yugo; a tiny little European car that saves gas because “don’t you know those Suburbans are ruinin’ the land.” They “drive with pride” as “those small wheels turn.” The Yugo gets “50 miles to the gallon,” and as they drive “with knees on their chest their gonna save enough gas for all the rest . . . in a Yugo.” That is until one day on the Interstate they swerve to miss a baby duck, causing them to get squashed under a semi, but they did “drive with pride.” The crowd rubbernecking their accident says they sure “saved a lotta gas but they didn’t get far . . .” but they drove “with pride . . . in a Yugo.”

Then there was Limbaugh’s “Barney Frank up-date.” Frank was a constant source of amusement and ridicule by the Right. An openly gay Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts, his apartment had once been used as a homosexual prostitution ring by his lover. Rush’s song on the Frank up-date was “My Boy Lollipop.” Asked on 60 Minutes about the inference, Limbaugh just laughed and said he liked the song. The audience could use their own imagination.

His “animal rights up-date,” which changed several times, famously started with the theme song from Born Free . . . until the sound of machine guns and heavy ordnance created havoc amongst all the jungle creatures.

His “feminist up-date,” in which he called the National Organization for Women
“femi-Nazis,” featured a woman singing the refrain, “I’m a victim.” Limbaugh assured his audience he would guide them through times of “trouble . . . murkiness and distress.” Using facts and evidence, he told conservatives, dispirited by Clinton’s re-election, that they remained the majority in the country despite polls, television, news media, comedians, Hollywood, pop culture, academia, public schools, or all the other tools the Left had at its disposal. They were “middle America,” the Silent Majority; they made up 40 percent of the nation, the Left only 18 percent. America, he told them, remained the greatest nation ever conceived by man, favored by a just God, and it was built on their principles. These principles, he told them, were timeless. Forces of evil and darkness – the devil? – sought to undermine them, using politics in this effort. Faith and patriotism would see them through. Limbaugh was every bit as inspiring, at least to conservative listeners to his show, as Winston Churchill had been for the English during the worst days of World War II. This is to a liberal a profoundly stupid statement, but they could not understand him. His appeal was not explainable. It was a gift, intangible, impossible to touch or duplicate, but the Clintons, try as they might, could not break him down. He grew and grew and grew. His audience literally and actually felt he and they were, together, doing “God’s work.” To liberals, certainly to atheists, this concept is a fantasy, but there is no greater motivation living within the hearts of man than to believe they are on the side of righteousness and in His service. This was the heart of the conservative revolution, and why their opponents could not understand them.

 

President Clinton had dodged the draft during Vietnam and made a mysterious trip to Moscow. His chief spokesman, James Carville, made fun of the inference that there was anything nefarious about visiting America’s greatest enemy at the height of a war against that enemy, Communism. Whether Clinton became a mole, a plant, a spy or a sleeper; whether he was a traitor, of course was not proven then or now, which is really not the point. A very, very large segment of the American population believed whether proven or not, he and his wife were the kind of people who would do such a thing.

Ever since Whittaker Chambers exposed Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs were convicted for giving atomic secrets to Russia, and McCarthyism accused key members of government of espionage on behalf the U.S.S.R., many conservatives simply knew there were enemies within, and they also knew they were always liberals! Hollywood, of course, did all in their power to cast aspersion on these allegations. They made movies calling the McCarthy era a “witch hunt” without merit. But Venona had proven it was with merit.

Had Venona proven things the other way – Republicans Nazis – it would have been the subject of movies, documentaries, books and endless academic discussion, drummed into the head of every eighth grader. But it did not show Republican Nazis because none could be found walking the Earth. Hollywood’s depictions of the Blacklist were usually fictionalized, showing some screw-faced Republican unfairly targeting some nice Jewish writer. The reason these films were fictionalized was because if they were non-fiction, they would have had to show Whittaker Chambers unmasking Alger Hiss; the fact McCarthy went after government employees because Ethel Rosenberg’s brother used his position at an Army facility to get the secrets she sold to the Soviets; and that Venona proved many spies were high-ranking aides to Franklin Roosevelt. This they could not do.

Venona had told a truth that carried with it an actual inconvenient truth, in the form of common sense. If the Left had produced numerous traitors – Democrats who made up the Old Confederacy, anarchists during World War I, spies of the Cold War – did it make sense, or did it defy common sense, that suddenly around 1960, with the end of the Blacklist, with McCarthy now a pejorative, with liberal media in control of the narrative at last, that out of no where the espionage and treachery just plain ended?

Of course it did not, but Hollywood never touched it. Finally, a veteran FBI agent was unmasked. He claimed he gave information to Russia to prove to his superiors his warnings of a Breach – the film’s title – in security were real. The movie inferred he was a Republican, apparently not actually true, because he disapproved of Hillary Clinton wearing a pants suit. It was the best they could come up with. The Whittaker Chambers movie waits in vain along with the film about how the 1960 election was stolen from Dick Nixon.

But the Right had a sneaking suspicion about President Bill Clinton. The truth about Hillary’s association with the Communist “community organizer” Saul Alinsky in her youth was not yet known; Alinsky’s name would only became a household one after Barack Obama dedicated his book to the man who dedicated his to Lucifer (but of course there is nothing to see here).

But around 1995-97, Clinton actually engaged in an act that, at least on its face, seems awfully close to treason. He began to raise huge amounts of money through nefarious business associates from Indonesia and Pakistan. His detractors said this was graft, hidden by campaign finance laws as donations and contributions to his re-election, his foundation, his library, or whatever “charity” he was using as cover. This alone was enough to raise the ire of the Right, but would not be highly unusual. It had been going on since Boss Tweed and beyond. But the main source of much of this money was Red China. Again, this was probably not legal, yet not necessarily treason. But a quid pro quo between the President of the United States and another country, particularly a Communist one America once fought in a war, which had eventually murdered 70 million people; that is another matter.

Still another matter was the crux of the alleged quid pro quo: nuclear missiles. If the allegations have merit, Clinton was doing something that got the Rosenbergs executed. It says something about modern politics, in which things that once earned long prison sentences now were dismissed as partisan politics. But this was not partisan, it was a national security issue, yet under the cover of Presidential decision-making, seems to be a crime “hidden in plain sight.”

In essence, and in simple terms, Red China had nuclear missiles. The Soviets, courtesy of the Rosenbergs, developed theirs in 1949; after a Sino-Soviet split in 1960, Chairman Mao Tse-tung, who had urged Joseph Stalin to nuke the U.S. and start World War III, oversaw development of his nation’s first nuclear weapons in 1964.

Mao died in 1976, but by the 1990s Red China had modern nuclear missiles and the ability to attack their regional neighbors. The Soviets and the Americans of course could deliver their nukes anywhere in the world, and with submarines, from most anywhere. The Chinese delivery technology, however, was not as advanced. One of the problems was a device known colloquially as “throw weights.” The Chinese technology was not advanced. ^^xlvi^^

But during this key period of the time, when they were allegedly funneling money to Bill Clinton through a shady Indonesian businessman named James Riady, they suddenly did have the technology. Clinton, as smart a man as has ever served in the White House, knew how to hide the kind of evidence his enemies would have needed to nail him. This was his specialty; what he and Hillary were most adept at, to the great consternation of the Republicans.

Oddly, Rush Limbaugh did not concentrate on this subject. It was not his area of expertise. Perhaps his lack of a formal education made him shy away from such technological subject matter, although he was and remains an all-time “tech junkie,” a sycophant from a distance of Apple’s Steve Jobs. But he mainly hammered Clinton over his lack of character (one liberal writer characterized the Clinton’s as having a “problem” with truth). Dr. Michael Savage in San Francisco was the man who pushed this issue the hardest, but it symbolized something perhaps larger than the single issue of Chinese missile capability (if possible).

This was the motivation of the Right to go after them. The general liberal media line of the era was that the overzealous Christian Right hated them, mainly over abortion, but the 60 million children killed since abortion was legalized in 1973 has been aided and abetted by many, truth be told not just a few of them Republicans. A desire for power was cited, but there had not been evidence of such a thrust under Lyndon Johnson or Jimmy Carter (although Oliver Stone offered that Right-wing militarists killed John Kennedy . . . so LBJ could install the Great Society?).

No, these were not legitimate arguments. Clinton’s many dalliances during his years in the Arkansas Statehouse were unseemly, but unseating a politician for cheating with women would have left most of the world without politicians.

Even the accusations of a drug-smuggling operation in Mena, Arkansas did not get the Right up in arms, especially if it was done in conjunction with the Reagan-Bush team’s efforts to arm the battle against the Sandinistas, using drugs for the seed money.

But murder was a different story. Again, as Michael Corleone pointed out to Kay Adams in The Godfather, it is naïve to believe “Senators and Presidents don’t have people killed.” A genocidal dictator, a nuclear mad man, a double agent ready to give up a host of American CIA operatives; such people could be deemed valid targets. But not kids on railroad tracks.

“The Clinton Body Count” was a long, long list. Its details are not important. Ultimately, whether any of it is true is actually not important. Hillary used it, complaining that she and her husband were “even accused of murder.” The accusations were so shocking, and so antithetical to the splendor of the office of the President, that the accusers had the taint of grubbiness and chicanery. Some 20 years after Richard Mellon Scaife, Gary Aldrich, and many others were leveling these accusations, they have never been proved. They have also never been disproven. This is as lawyers say failure to “prove a negative,” which is the ultimate form of besmirching. Many who might have done the disproving are . . . not alive. A web site called Snopes.com was created to disprove these kinds of allegations, but it is alleged to have been funded by Left-wingers, including George Soros, which would not make it believable on the really big issues. It was Soros who created MoveOn.org, the ultimate Left-wing web site, created to force America to “move on” from the next big Clinton scandal. In this scandal did the conservatives who despised them see the opportunity to go after the Clintons and finally “get them” once and for all. If they could not be made to pay for all their previous crimes, they would be made to pay for this one.

The theory later found credence in the O.J. Simpson case. Unable to get a guilty verdict for the murder of his wife, prosecutors drove him into jail for years, for a crime that otherwise would have resulted in a fine and probation. Earlier, the law had been able to imprison mobster Al Capone not for murders but for tax evasion. The Clintons, smart lawyers seemingly always eight steps ahead in a courtroom drama, had always “gotten away with it.” The Right was determined not to let that happen again.

 

“. . . This vast Right-wing conspiracy”

 

The World Wide Web went operational in the first year of the Clinton Presidency, 1993. Vice-President Albert Gore had apparently cast some Senate votes in favor of what was at first called the “information super highway,” as just about everybody else did. He said this meant he “created” it. But it seemed tailor-made for the Democrats. It was new, shiny, technological. Its Silicon Valley creators were New Age spiritualists with a bent for Leftist politics, although as this sector grew into a thriving part of the economy, it developed a strong Republican ethos, as well.

What exactly would it become? Email was an instant hit; inexpensive, timesaving, easy. Why play “phone tag” when an email would do? The Internet created an entirely new economy. President Clinton benefited from this one-off of the 1990s. It was Manna from Heaven. He was smart enough not to waste it on Socialist dogma; instead he adopted Newt Gingrich’s policies and the nation thrived.

But how would it work? How would it make money? Yahoo, Google, Facebook; these and many of its greater offshoots did not materialize immediately. What did was pornography. The adult film industry took off like never before. Many found a way to blame President Clinton for this. His lack of character, his dalliances with the ladies, were said to be filtering into the schools, teaching girls to be sluts, boys to “hook up” with them. One California high school gained notoriety when it was revealed a group of boys, mostly football players, had created a “club” complete with “scores” ranking how many girls they “tagged” and “hit.” Girls, according to the culturally shocked, were no longer demure creatures. They were into interracial sex, the occasional “blow job contest,” and in some cases “gangbang action.” Neither the Internet nor Bill Clinton could be made entirely to blame, but they were not exactly innocent, either.

In 1998, the first real impact of the Internet occurred. A young Right-leaning techno-type named Matt Drudge created the Drudge Report. It was essentially a catalogue of Internet news articles with a Republican agenda. Drudge wanted to break news stories ahead of the Washington Post and the L.A. Times. Early in 1998, he did.

Drudge reported that President Bill Clinton had an affair in the Oval Office with an intern named Monica Lewinsky.

Hillary Clinton went on the Today show with host Matt Lauer. He asked if it was true she had told associates the controversy would be “the last great battle,” and that “one side or another is going down.”

“Well, I don’t know if I’ve been that dramatic,” replied Mrs. Clinton. “That would sound like a good line from a movie. But I do believe that this is a battle . . . the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast Right-wing conspiracy conspiring against my husband since the day he ran for President.” ^^xlvii^^

There have been many seminal moments of great division in America. The two huge dividing lines were wars, the Civil War and the Vietnam War. Beyond that there was the Chambers-Hiss affair, McCarthyism, the Blacklist, Vietnam and Watergate. Hillary’s “vast Right-wing conspiracy” ushered in a new era of divide. There would be further widening of the chasm in 2003 with another war (Iraq) and after Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election. Conservatives took issue and ridiculed Mrs. Clinton relentlessly. The essential message they had for her was that yes, there is a “vast, Right-wing conspiracy,” which consisted of millions and millions of patriotic American citizens . . . who register and vote. Vast numbers of decent citizens of this nation who have the temerity to acquire knowledge and think for themselves. This is what Rush Limbaugh tapped into and had the unique ability to hold onto through thick and thin. The odd thing about this dynamic is that while it is no secret, it remains a mystery to the Left. If they could understand who and what Limbaugh is and represents, they would at least take the first step in flummoxing him. Instead they remain the flummoxed. Statements like Hillary’s are repeated ad infinitum.

For Limbaugh, Hillary’s statement meant it was “game on.” He happily declared Clinton’s 1992 election would not put him out of business; he would be free to critique him. But in truth, in the cosmic struggle between Bill Clinton and Rush Limbaugh, the President had won the first two rounds. There was first the ’92 election, and after infuriating Limbaugh by laying blame for Oklahoma City on he and his listeners, there were no repercussions. He beat Dole to capture round two.

But Limbaugh was a football fan and knew as Bear Bryant once said, “It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.” Clinton was desperate to achieve a legacy that would leave him among the great Presidents; a movement liberal changing America in his image. He wanted his Vice-President, Al Gore, to be elected to his “third term”; for his wife to be elected to the Senate, and then the Presidency. He could return to the White House a conquering hero and world statesman; maybe take over at the United Nations. Bill Clinton: humanitarian.

Not so fast, thought Limbaugh. The stone in his shoe.

Limbaugh had once said Clinton was the sort of fellow he would like to chase women with. Even Clinton’s admirers could not pass up his foibles. Foul-mouthed “comic” Bill Maher admitted Clinton’s wandering ways, joking that they should be overlooked, mockingly saying as if calling “Slick Willie” at three in the morning, “Bill, just clean your c—k and come home.”

But the Lewinsky scandal was too good to pass up. It also emphasized the liberal bias. Newsweek did not even publish it. His apologists were out in force. But the scandal created a cottage industry of conservative voices. Ann Coulter and Mark Levin emerged as intelligent, albeit fierce, critics of Clinton. Fox News’s ratings exploded. Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity became superstars of TV and the radio. Michael Savage “savaged” the Clintons and grew his show into a national one. G. Gordon Liddy’s comparisons of the difference between the treatment President Nixon received compared to President Clinton were breathtaking.

The affair also created an opportunity for women in the media. Greta van Susteren, who rose to fame on the O.J. Simpson murder trial, emerged as a leading legal voice. Attractive women, generally blondes in short skirts, took on prominent positions at Fox, adding feminine outrage to what was already a sex scandal. Their attractiveness stood in stark contrast to the “uglo-American” women (Limbaugh’s term) and the “mean-faced, clipped-haired women” that Michael Savage often talked about, referring to emasculating lesbians. Liberal women stood by silently, or openly praised Bill. It was mind-blowing hypocrisy. Nina Burleigh, who fit the profile to a tee by working at PBS, said she would happily provide oral sex to Bill Clinton because he protected abortion. The visual imagery of this act taken to completion compared with God’s purpose for life made the quote even more nauseating.

Limbaugh added more skits and “Clinton voices.” He annihilated the President. Paul Shanklin sang parodies of “Hey, Paula” using Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee whose sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton had opened the floodgates of the scandal in the first place. A Clinton sound alike sang “Mrs. Jones You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”

But none of that is what ultimately hurt either of the Clinton’s legacies. It was embarrassing, it was un-Presidential, but it would have “blown over,” pardon the pun. But the Clintons made three vital errors that have dogged their legacy forever, destroying Bill’s chance to attain Rushmore status, and possibly destroying Hillary’s ultimate goal, the White House.

In order to deflect media attention of the Lewinsky scandal, he bombed Serbia. A civil war between Muslims and Christians was taking place; one of several conflicts involving “breakaway republics” of the former Soviet Union. Clinton chose the Muslim side. He broke major American laws and protocols by painting U.S. warplanes with U.N. markings, then dropped heavy ordnance on magnificent Christian churches that had stood since medieval times, surviving Communism . . . but not Bill Clinton. ^^xlviii^^

Limbaugh criticized it, but only in passing. Michael Savage was furious, passionately denouncing it as the worst kind of atrocity, and he denounces it today as vociferously as he did then. Siding with the Muslims in Serbia can be looked back upon with a sense of supreme irony. After that, Clinton had a chance to kill Osama bin Laden with a drone strike. He chose not to. Before that, he left Americans hung out to dry in the “Black Hawk down” incident at Somalia, bugging out rather than coming down with a heavy scythe against the Islamists.

These acts of pseudo “kindness” towards Muslims obviously created absolutely zero goodwill in the Islamic world. They bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, later a Naval ship and an embassy. President George W. Bush, whose family was very friendly with prominent Muslim families, did nothing to foment anger against Islam, but 9/11 happened anyway.

Still, with the exception of Michael Savage, Clinton apparently “got away with” bombing Christian churches. But that was not all. The Lewinsky scandal, coming on the heels of the Paula Jones affair, was part of a long pattern. The stories of Bill’s womanizing in Arkansas were legion. Many theorized Hillary was lesbian. In 2015 the widow of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, claimed to have had an affair with her. The Gennifer Flowers scandal dominated the 1992 campaign. Hillary was put in charge of “bimbo eruptions,” the purpose of which was to destroy the poor women who came forward, or just as likely, were “outed” by others. ^^xlix^^

But most of these women were not terribly sympathetic. They were mainly willing sex partners of the young Governor of Arkansas. But not all of them. The Lewinsky scandal brought forth a host of women who claimed Bill Clinton raped and sexually assaulted them. After one attack, as always protected by his State Troopers who were used like mob enforcers, Clinton blithely told a victim she had “better put some ice” on the bruise he left on her face. Most of these women had been one-time supporters, even associates of him; Democrats. Again, it was not Limbaugh, a man with a wandering eye for the ladies himself, who expressed the greatest outrage. That was mostly Sean Hannity, a devout Catholic and family man, as well as Savage, another strong family man. ^^l^^

Hillary orchestrated a White House-led effort to discredit and destroy them. It was merciless and ruthless. Ultimately, this will be a lasting image that, recalled at just the right time, could derail her in 2016. The women were not “bimbos.” They were instead victims of an actual “war on women,” a Democratic talking point to try and make it seem that horror over aborting millions of children, or asking a woman to spend $9 for a box of rubbers at CVS Pharmacy, instead of getting it from the Catholic Church, is a “war.”

Then came the lie. Ultimately Clinton – who did some good things and worked well with Newt Gingrich – will be remembered as an official liar and an Impeached President because of it. Testifying in the Paula Jones case, he adamantly declared he had not had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. She had tapes, testimony and even a DNA sample to prove otherwise. He was charged with “high crimes and misdemeanors,” having lied under oath (perjury). His most famous parsing of words was couching an answer depending on “what the meaning of is is.” It was not what Ronald Reagan, who once said despite what his “heart” told him, he admitted facts told him otherwise, would have said.

The Republican reaction to all of this can be debated forever. There are many, like Ann Coulter, who have long memories of “soft” Republicans who, as Margaret Thatcher might have said, went “wobbly.” First, the GOP hammered the President. It went to the Republican-majority Senate. Ultimately, the Lewinsky affair on its own – standing aside from his Arkansas “crimes,” the rapes and assaults – was not worthy of Impeachment. Many a Republican Congressman and Senator had fooled around, many with the staff. Lying in order to cover up this kind of thing was human nature. Cowed by the media, they did not want to look like Christians judgmentalists. The vote failed to convict him (although he later lost his law license).

Like so many other events, if the Republican Party thought the final decision to let Clinton off the hook would win them some goodwill, they were mistaken. The media ripped them a new one and they lost key seats in the mid-terms. Had the tables been turned, and it was Reagan who lied, the chances the Democrats would have given him slack does not exist as some kind of thing.

 

“Having too much fun than should be allowed to have”

 

In 1997 Limbaugh moved to Palm Beach, Florida. It is a strange place; a conundrum. There are only a handful of places in America like Palm Beach: in California, Marin County, Beverly Hills and L.A.’s Westside; in New York, Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue; in Connecticut, think Greenwich; in Florida, Palm Beach. These are wealthy enclaves, normally bastions of the GOP that advocate low taxes and a desire to keep the country that gave them what they have – America – safe at all costs. The first recruits to the OSS during World War II came from these kinds of families because “Wild Bill” Donovan wanted people with the most to lose to make sure they never lost it.

But these neighborhoods are liberal. Not just liberal; wildly, elitist liberal. It does not make a lot of sense that wealthy enclaves of Los Angeles like Pacific Palisades and Palos Verdes Estates are reliably Republican, while wealthy places like Beverly Hills and Malibu, despite being next door, are reliably liberal.

There are theories. Many argue that Palos Verdes Estates, to use one example, is populated by people who earn their livings. It has a heavy concentration of aerospace professionals who make up the Military Industrial Complex, not to mention the CIA and FBI have a presence in the nearby South Bay. Marin County, on the other hand, has little corporate or industrial base and consists of many trust fund children who inherited their wealth, and remain resentful of their parent’s success.

Still, Limbaugh felt at home there. Once outside Palm Beach’s gated privacy, he found himself amongst Floridians who listened to his show. He liked to drive his car, which was hard to do in Manhattan. He enjoyed the warm weather and golf. He liked the state’s tax rates.

While at first it seemed he had moved away from the action, New York being the center of the Universe, it turned out he was in ground zero of one of biggest stories in American history, the 2000 George W. Bush-Albert Gore Presidential campaign.

Gore was the odds-on Democratic choice. He came from political royalty, although the fact his father, U.S. Senator Albert Gore, Sr. (D.-Tennessee) opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964-65, was a constant reminder by the Right. He was handsome, built like a football player, Ivy League-trained, and had even served in Vietnam. He had a good record in the Senate and was considered one of the leading experts on “global warming,” at that time just beginning to emerge as a hot button topic.

But he had a tendency towards exaggeration; the kind that is overlooked in a Senate campaign, not in a Presidential one. At Harvard he roomed with the actor Tommy Lee Jones. Jones liked him and endorsed him, but one sensed he thought Gore just a bit of a yahoo. It turned out Gore liked to say he and his wife, Tipper, were the models for Erich Segal’s Love Story, a wildly successful novel and movie about a young Harvard couple who fall in love against social restrictions, until the woman (played by Ali MacGraw on screen) gets sick and dies young and beautiful.

This combined with Gore’s assertion he “created” the Internet was fodder for the likes of Rush Limbaugh. By 2000, conservative talk radio was a fully functioning industry. Liberal attempts to create a Leftist talk industry failed brutally, a major embarrassment. The conservatives claimed they won in the “marketplace of ideas.” This combined with Fox News, destroying TV competition, seemed to affirm that, but if so, why did they not win every election? Why were there still liberal parts of the country, including many whole states?

The conservatives, in particular Michael Savage, painted a picture of Democrat corruption; a cabal of illegal aliens, voter fraud, gerrymandered districts, corrupt judges and lobbyists. The nation was divided along racial, religious and geographical lines. Protestant Christians, particularly evangelicals, were hard-core conservatives, but not completely reliable when it came to getting out the vote. Many just disliked the corruption of politics on both sides. They saw the work of Satan and stayed out altogether. They were then and remain today the “elusives” who, if harnessed, can create the kind of landslides they gave Ronald Reagan and Dick Nixon. Blacks, Latinos and most minorities voted solidly Democrat; whites were a Republican majority, but not a bloc by any means. Evangelical Republicans were frustrated that they had so much in common with black evangelicals, but could not translate that into an appreciable dent in African-American loyalty to the Democrats, to the tune of some 80-90 percent since Jimmy Carter.

But the Republicans had sown up the South. Consultant Lee Atwater knew the territory and how to win there. The Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was the last Democrat to make any in-roads in Dixie. Despite being one of them, it was still hard for him. There was hope Gore, the Tennessean, would pick off a state or two, but those days had passed.

The Atlantic Northeast, once moderately Republican Nelson Rockefeller and even Richard Nixon country, was all Democrat. The Rocky Mountain West was generally Republican. The “Left coast,” as Limbaugh called California, Oregon and Washington, had fallen like the French Army in 1940.

California was a mystery. To say it went Left because of environmentalists and illegal Mexicans, as Michael Savage would assert, is too simplistic. The state’s GOP took a tremendous hit for supporting a law restricting state benefits for illegal aliens. The homosexual lobby could be blamed, but as recently as 2008 the state, despite being hard Left, voted against gay marriage.

In 1994 California participated wholeheartedly in the “second conservative revolution.” It had been Republican since Lincoln; even before. In the 1920s they were the most Republican of all the states. They rejected Socialism in the 1930s despite the Great Depression. Some Hollywood studios were de facto Republican campaign organizations. Ronald Reagan won landslides opposed to everything the 1960s stood for, and he was handsomely reward by the Golden State in two Presidential elections. George H.W. Bush, who had virtually no association with California beyond Reagan and a short stint in sales in the state when starting his career, took the state handily from “the loser,” as Limbaugh called Michael Dukakis.

In 1996 and 1998, the state rejected the Republicans hand over fist. James Rogan, a Congressman from the L.A. suburb of Glendale, was ousted for his role in Clinton’s Impeachment. Perhaps most dispiriting for the GOP was the dearth of talent. No longer electing high-ranking Republicans with national appeal and the ability to attract California’s wealth of electoral votes, it suddenly was a non-starter in Presidential politics. Those delegates would have to be found someplace else.

Perhaps the terms “red states” and “blue states” had existed prior to 2000, but that was the year they became truly relevant and appropriately described the division in the nation. The Republican nominee was George H.W. Bush’s son, George Walker Bush. He was a divisive figure, a Texan, easy for elite liberals to dislike and ridicule. Even though his dad was an Ivy Leaguer, as was he, he was viewed as a hard Right conservative and Southern “red neck.”

Known as “W,” or “Dubya,” to differentiate him from his father, he was raised an East Coast patrician until junior high, when he entered a public school in Midland, Texas, where his father, using financial backing from his Wall Street connections, had forged a successful oil company. The old man was an impossible figure to measure up to; heroic combat pilot, baseball star, millionaire oilman, with an incredible resume, followed by the Vice-Presidency under “Ronaldus Maximus,” a role in winning the Cold War, and a Presidency highlighted by the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard. After eight years of Bill Clinton’s shenanigans, many had “buyer’s remorse,” feeling they had failed to re-elect the better man in 1992. His son represented a chance to remedy that “mistake.” He was immediately touted as the GOP frontrunner, winning the primaries fairly handily over Arizona Senator John McCain.

The press dogged him, but to those paying close attention, 2000 was the one election year in which a Republican was cut just a little bit of slack. It has not happened since. The reasons are murky; most likely after eight years of Bill Clinton’s “lies,” there was some feeling of responsibility for having propped a man like that up to such a high place. The 2000 election was a chance to even things out, at least a little bit. They were just a little fairer to W than to other Republicans.

But he had his faults and they were fair game. He was the one member of his family with a strong Texas twang. He completely identified with the Lone Star State, chewing snuff tobacco, wearing cowboy boots and a 10-gallon hat. He was a screw-up growing up, although that has been exaggerated. He went to Yale, was a member in good standing of the ultra-elite Skull and Bones, and graduated with decent grades. He became a fighter pilot, an area of great controversy that ultimately made his detractors look pretty dumb, for it was Dubya they called dumb.

A former Marine Corp fighter pilot named J. Frank McCormick, who flew with many Blue Angels, was once asked who “the best fighter pilot you ever flew with was?”

“All of ‘em,” he replied.

“What do you mean?”

“Their all great pilots. The ‘bad’ pilots ‘wash out,’ and never become pilots. They are unheard of.”

Bush had not “washed out.” There are few, if any, programs more difficult than flight test followed by flight school. To make it through the physical and mental grind is to be an elite above and beyond most any other elite, yet the “elites” tried to make him out to be “dumb,” namely due to his Texas accent. Many an Annapolis grad has “washed out” of what Bush made it through. Favoritism plays no part; the military does not put scions in charge of multi-million dollar equipment only to see him crash and burn.

His detractors said he avoided service in Vietnam. Choosing to become a fighter pilot in 1968 was not the way to avoid service in Vietnam. Around 1972-73 he took some time off from his once-a-month Air Guard drills to work on a political campaign. It is a very common practice in the Reserves. Again his detractors tried to make it sound like he was a deserter. They did not look smart in so doing.

Bush earned an MBA from Harvard, which is also not a normal sign of ignorance. But he was far from having found himself. Bush was a heavy drinker and womanizer. His work history was spotty. He tried politics but lost a campaign for Congress. He settled down and married the smart, attractive Laura Welch. His father set him up in the oil business. He had marginal success, carried by his dad. He loved baseball and wanted to be Commissioner.

He quit drinking and became a devout Christian; the turning point in his life. He helped his father win election in 1988, and then headed up an ownership group of the Texas Rangers. He was the driving force behind building a gleaming new ballpark. This gave him the momentum to beat the incumbent Ann Richards for Governor of Texas in 1994. Re-elected by a landslide, he immediately vaulted to the top of the Republican wish list.

During the campaign, Limbaugh made an observation and began a regular trend that carries on to this day. Bush was selecting his Vice-President, and the leading choice was Richard Cheney, the Secretary of Defense under his father, one of the architects of victory in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The regular cable talk shows – by 2000 there was CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CNBC, to name a few, plus the networks – discussed the issue. Limbaugh heard the word “gravitas” applied to Cheney; the man had the experience, the background and the know how, the inference being George W. Bush did not. Limbaugh regularly combed through the news programs, particularly the Sunday morning programs. If anybody mentioned him, which happened regularly, he would re-play it and, to the delight of his fans, if he detected a lie or mis-statement, he would go to his archives, find out what he really said, and demonstrate why the miscreant was wrong. It actually looked like he really was “almost always right 97.9 percent of the time.”

In this instance, Limbaugh noticed everybody in the media had gravitated to this phrase, “gravitas.” He had his staff pieced together a montage of “talking heads” throwing out the word “gravitas” to describe Cheney. It was hilarious, but instructive.

Since then, Limbaugh often identifies a phrase or talking point, usually something “dumb” stated by liberals, and plays montages of liberal media personalities repeating themselves. It makes them look unoriginal and plagiaristic. Compared to Limbaugh, on the “cutting edge of societal evolution”; a man who has enemies and makes mistakes, but never lacks for boldness or originality, these people look like media midgets.

The “gravitas” montage also was truly a “teachable moment.”

Love him or hate him, Rush Limbaugh understands the media better than anybody. He calls them “drive bys”; a pack of news wolves that come to a story, take their shots, and move on before they get hit themselves. Limbaugh on the other hand was raw and unguarded, taking his shots every day for three hours, hardly filtered, giving his audience at least his version of the truth. Many felt it was the only place they could go to get the real story. Here was “the man in the arena,” to quote Teddy Roosevelt.

Perhaps Limbaugh’s greatest attribute, at least in explaining his popularity and loyal conservative fan base, is the speed and thoroughness in which he refutes liberal talking points. Others, like Mark Levin, Michael Savage and Sean Hannity, have learned to do the same thing.

Some day a liberal Oval Office staffer will reveal just how frustrating this is to them, as Bill Clinton did when he complained that an American citizen be allowed to go on the airwaves three hours every day, and dare to dispute his pronouncements.

Limbaugh, and others, are so effective, it actually begs the question, how do Democrats overcome it? The answer to that is not easy. Many say it is because Limbaugh and conservative hosts are only “talking to each other,” not reaching the undecidedes or the independents. Some might go so far as to say the Democrats rely on the stupid, or what Limbaugh calls the “low information voters,” to win elections. These people are not listening to news, talk, certainly not reading any sort of thing that will enlighten them or edify them with the knowledge they need to be an informed citizen. To them Limbaugh is John the Baptist crying in the wilderness.

But the bottom line is that for decades now, Democrats make public statements in front of the press, or in public settings, or in the form of speeches. They are applauded. Their handlers tell them what a good job they did. Then comes conservative talk radio.

Limbaugh is on at nine in the morning on the West Coast, noon Eastern. The others come on at other times, usually after him, picking up the coattails of his huge audience on the same stations that carry him. They replay the Democrat in question, then tear him limb to limb. They mock, they replay earlier statements the same person made proving them a liar, a hypocrite, or worse. They juxtapose statements and quotes, create skits and songs. Their researchers have at their ready disposal facts and answers to dispute them.

When Clinton made his complaints of Limbaugh in 1994, computer search engines were in their infancy. Today, the algorithms of search make it possible for conservative hosts to accumulate an archive of facts and sound bites at their ready disposal, able to “prove” in real time the essence of what some liberal said is in fact an untrue statement They continue to complain about it, demanding return of the Fairness Doctrine.

But Limbaugh and his people insist they are, as Rush calls himself, “equal time.” They have power, that is true, but they point out they are not elected officials. They lack the “bully pulpit” of the Oval Office, the Senate floor, or the Supreme Court. They are up against an institutionalized form of liberal correctness taught from public schools all the way to graduate programs. They have been demonized, as Rush says, as “bigots, racists, homophobes.” They are “mean spirited” and do not care for people. They want to “starve kids,” to “throw grandma from the train,” and desire “dirty air and dirty water.” The word “hate speech” has managed to get into the lexicon and many apply it to them. They are up against three networks and several cable news outlets offering Left-wing propaganda. They and Fox have the ratings, they are the “winners,” but do not have those “low information voters.” Hollywood is solidly arrayed against them, as is TV, comedians, rock music, and many things thought of as “cool” by kids. They have country music and middle America, but these voices are drowned out in what Limbaugh calls the “dominant media culture.” A citizen of Texas or Alabama lives in Limbaugh’s world and might think it dominates, but in the blue states Limbaugh’s people feel they are living in enemy territory. But the typical Limbaugh or conservative talk aficionado might identify with a line, oddly enough uttered by the liberal Matt Damon, in The Good Shepherd. A mob boss played by Joe Pesci tells Damon, a CIA man, that various ethnic groups have their slice of America – the church or music, for instance – but what does Damon, the WASP American, have?

“The United States of America,” Damon replies.

“And don’t you forget it,” Limbaugh’s people say.

Perhaps Limbaugh’s greatest strength comes the day after a Democratic President makes a speech, or some great pronouncement is made, or an election decided one way or another. Whether something Limbaugh likes or dislikes, it makes no difference. He gloats at victory for a short time, but never lets defeat make him sound sour or bitter. His audience waits every day with baited breadth to hear what he has to say, to give it the conservative analysis, to dissect and often destroy the enemy message. Limbaugh and the others who do what he do specialize in this, and it drives Democrats out of their cotton pickin’ minds.

Then came Election Day, 2000.

 

It was the closest election in American political history. Bush-Cheney led all the way but not by much. At one point Cheney identified a New York Times reporter as the hole in a human’s bottom. They went up in the polls, America in agreement. The media gave them relatively fair treatment, but of course turned on them at the end. When it was “over,” or at least they thought it was over, Al Gore had won the popular vote but the Electoral College was undecided. In question was Limbaugh’s new state, Florida. A matter of a few hundred votes favored Bush. A re-count was ordered.

In the case of Limbaugh, it was “election day” every day, his millions of listeners turning into him each day to hear what he had to say about what everybody else had to say. Republicans were convinced corrupt Democrats would steal the election. This was not of good value to fans of the Kennedys; it revived the old stories about how they pilfered the 1960 election. That was in fact the motivation behind Watergate, which certainly did not go the Republican way. This seemed to be cosmic justice, at last. Would it too be stolen from them?

Technically, the long re-count, which reached into December, was just that, technical. It concerned “hanging chads” and supposedly confusing ballots that caused old people in Palm Beach, where Rush now lived, to mistakenly vote for Bush or, God forbid, Pat Buchanan, the Marley’s ghost of the Grand Ol’ Party. Limbaugh was, Having too much fun than should be allowed to have.”

But of course perception meant everything, like the way an accused criminal faces the “jury of public opinion” before an actual jury. Conservatives might have made the difference. With Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, G. Gordon Liddy, and Fox News going from directly hammering Gore, his running mate Joe Lieberman (“Sore-Loserman”) and the Democrats every day, to at least reporting a “fair and balanced” account, a solid percentage of the public believed Bush to have been the legitimate winner of the election. He was and it was finally declared so officially. The media spent months trying to prove otherwise but finally, in the spring of 2001, publications like the New York Times, the Miami Herald and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reluctantly reported that, alas, George Bush had actually won the thing fair and square. To conservatives, this was like telling them they had discovered that the New York Yankees, who won the World Series in October, 2000, had actually won the World Series in October, 2000. It was not news.

 

Iraq

 

For Republicans looking for ways to embarrass Hillary Clinton by pointing to really disturbing things done by her husband, they could do no worse than simply highlighting the pardons “Slick Willie” granted before leaving office in 2001. Clinton favored an array of criminals, corrupters and unsavories, apparently as rewards for payoffs and backroom deals over the years. There were further reports of Clintonistas trashing the White House, their dirty deeds discovered by the in-coming Bush team.

The new President faced some challenges, but it was hardly a nation or world in crisis. The economy, powered by the Internet, had flourished under the guidance of Clinton and Newt Gingrich. In Clinton’s last year it tanked badly, as the Internet “bubble” burst. Still, the economy is what Republicans do best. They had picked up a few Senate seats in November and were in position to lower taxes, which historically spurred growth.

Bush’s greatest attribute was the issue of “character.” His story, of a reformed womanizer and drunk lifted by Christian epiphany into sobriety and faith, was just what the Right wanted to hear. In contrast with Clinton, it was political gold. The economy made some small but steady improvement.

Then came 9/11.

Perhaps the most telling political statement post-9/11, emphasized by Limbaugh and his talk show cohorts, was one Bill Clinton made. The former Commander-in-Chief said he was disappointed it had not happened on his watch; the absence of such a dramatic challenge deprived him of the chance at greatness, relegating his Impeachment to a place other than headlines describing his Presidency.

President Bush 43 (43rd President of the United States), as he was now being called to separate from his father, Bush 41, made many a mistake in eight years. His decisions can be argued ad infinitum, but his performance immediately after 9/11 and for the better part of a year after that, cannot be honestly argued against.

He provided inspiration to America. The comparisons with Winston Churchill make his detractors seethe, but they are valid. Perhaps it was his Christian faith that shone through and gave hope to Americans. His approval ratings were at 90 percent. It was eerie; that where his father had been in 1991. He and New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani came through and led when the going got tough. ^^li^^

What happened after that has been sifted through for years and will be for years to come. Many believe 9/11 (if not the Black September murders of Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympics in 1972) started a 1,000-year religious war between Western Civilization, i.e., Judeo-Christianity, and Islam, or better described, Islamic jihad. This is the current argument and it will not likely be an argument won one way or another in our lifetimes. Many “blame” Bush, but he did not fly those planes into the twin towers.

The general attitude towards Bush as Commander-in-Chief is that he was an inspiration who did the right thing by sending troops into Afghanistan, where the Taliban gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden. This resulted in Osama Bin Laden forced to escape to the hinterlands, left essentially without much strategic power. It routed the Taliban and gave some sense of freedom and Democracy to Afghanistan. It seemed a victory. Eventually Bin Laden was killed, but Afghanistan has not held tightly to the freedom bestowed upon them for at least a time in the 2000s by George Bush and the American military.

Here was one of the great questions of the 21st Century. At its heart was one of the most noble, least-racist political ideals this side of the Emancipation Proclamation; that Muslims, or Arabs, or whatever religious-ethnic term is applied to them, want freedom, are capable of Democracy, and have the intestinal fortitude to, as Reagan said, fight for it, each generation anew.

As it stands in the Year of Our Lord 2017, the unfortunate answer to that questions appears to be, “No.” Therefore, all that followed, all the sacrifice, all the blood and treasure; the lives and bodies of thousands of soldiers, of Afghans and Iraqis, of Syrians and Egyptians and others, is thus in vain. Judging Bush therefore is easy from the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, but it is more complicated than that. The opposition of the Democratic Party must be judged in its entirety, too, from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 to the caliphate established by the Islamic State in 2015. Their hands are not clean.

It has been in observing, judging, commenting and philosophizing over all this that Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio has made its biggest mark, established its most loyal fans, and made its most mortal enemies. Bill Clinton was “fun ‘n’ games.” This is deadly serious.

With Afghanistan essentially a victory, or at the least going forward the way Bush and his team wanted to it in 2002, the new President then set his sights on Iraq. The basic facts have been broken down many times in other places. Bush did not create the coalition his father did in 1990-91, but he did get Congressional approval in 2002, U.N. approval in 2003. When a freelance diplomat named Joe Wilson claimed he got the U.N. vote via a false report of uranium in Africa, the media reported what it had long known in Washington, that his wife worked for the CIA. It was reported she was a covert agent. She was not. If she had been she and her husband would not have appeared looking like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on the cover of Vanity Fair, or let Hollywood make a movie exposing all of it. Covert agents do not do that.

Bush’s motivations for invading Iraq were not entirely about national security. It was personal. He felt – his parents disagreed with him – that his father lost to Bill Clinton because he had not pushed into Baghdad and held it as a strategic outpost of the American Empire in 1991. He was also determined to get the man, Saddam Hussein, who had tried to assassinate his father.

There were reports that Saddam’s Iraq was in league with bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. It was not a stretch and it seemed possible, although they had different goals. Bin Laden was bent on an apocalyptic vision of the Koran. Saddam was more secular; a Fascist-Socialist in the model of his hero, Joseph Stalin, bent on absolute power, and dominion over his region. Later it was determined that reports of the Iraq-Al Qaeda linkage were not accurate.

The CIA reported that Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction. Essentially, that was true, in that Saddam had used them on the Kurds towards the end of the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. President Clinton’s stated public policy had been that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, and it was the goal of the U.S. to remove them.

Many of the weapons his Army and terrorists in his name used could be deemed to be WMD, but not at the level described by Secretary of State Colin Powell in his address to the U.N. Some have speculated that he tossed them in the Tigris River or shipped them to Syria, to be used to this day in an on-going conflict there. The CIA eventually informed a chagrined Bush that Saddam either did have them but destroyed them at all, or he just wanted the world to think he had them! He wanted his neighbors to think him a strong man, an Islamic tiger; his enemies to believe he was a modern day Saladin.

The lesson from this is profound, and addresses first Osama bin Laden’s decision to destroy the World Trade Center, second the Taliban’s decision to defy America and harbor Al Qaeda, and third Saddam’s decision to court an American invasion over weapons he knew he did not have.

History is replete with such calculations. They are as old as Hannibal choosing to cross the Alps and make it to the gates of Rome, only to lose a war of attrition; Napoleon Bonaparte’s failure to envision a unified European alliance to stop him; Kaiser Wilhelm’s belief that America would never enter World War I; Turkey’s conclusion Germany would win that conflict; or Adolf Hitler’s analysis that the American military under Franklin Roosevelt was too weak to stop the Nazi machine.

These Muslim men of war apparently failed to understand American politics. In 1961, Nikita Khrushchev understood that a young, inexperienced Democrat, John Kennedy was less likely to confront him than a rabid anti-Communist Republican just itchin’ for a fight, named Richard Nixon. JFK proved him right at the Bay of Pigs. The Soviets built the Berlin Wall and put missiles in Cuba. They would not have done that had Nixon been President. ^^lii^^

But Osama bin Laden and, despite vast experience with Bush’s father and, theoretically at least, understanding the differences between more pacifist Democrats and more hawkish Republicans, Saddam Hussein, both acted essentially as if America is America, regardless of what party is in charge.

So, events were put in motion: 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, now total chaos in the Middle East. To the extent that there were masterminds of Islamic jihad, that it was Bin Laden or Hussein or others, one thing is quite clear: had they known what Bush would do, they would not have done what they did. There is no scenario in which Bin Laden wanted the United States to occupy his base country Afghanistan; banish him to a cave; and shoot him dead, only to reveal to the world he had pornography in his computer. Neither he nor Saddam would possibly have wanted the United States to occupy Iraq, capture and hang Saddam after killing his sons, effect a “Surge” in 2007 that resulted in an actual military victory, with the result being free elections, Iraq standing as an ally of America, and the U.S. firmly entrenched as a strategic military power with a base in the Middle East, similar to those in Europe and Asia.

Bin Laden looked at George W. Bush and saw no difference from Bill Clinton, who bugged out of Somalia, did not react to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, left Rwanda to genocide, “shot a camel in the butt” (Bush’s quote) over bombings of ships and embassies, chose not to kill Bin Laden himself when he had him in his sights, and favored Muslims over Christians in Serbia.

Osama bin Laden may go down as the worst strategic thinker of all time. Much of this is so obvious on its face, like a trial decided the first day by summary judgment, that it is well beyond opinion, and rather just is the thing actually known.

Hussein’s underestimation of Bush, his mortal enemy and son of the man he tried to kill, all coming when American blood was hot after 9/11, must rank with Bin Laden’s overwhelming stupidity.

Then there were Bush’s actions. History is not over and judgment perhaps is too early to render in a conflict some on both sides see as a century-long holy war. Many on the Left said 1 million Iraqis died; it is not true. The total figure is not and probably never will be known. It is between 35,000 and 50,000. Over 5,000 U.S. servicemen were killed; many badly wounded. From this prism, based on the results, even with the victory General David Petraeus achieved with “the Surge” in 2007, it is not fair to say the deaths of all those great military men was “worth it.” ^^liii^^

But Michael Savage often separates such human toll from strategic analysis. The toll of the Civil War was carnage beyond worth, but over 100 years later the benefits, sterilized by history and the living, makes it worth it.

So an analysis of Bush’s handling of the War on Terror can be made at this time. His straightforward military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, in which large cities like Kabul and Baghdad were captured in short order due to “shock ‘n’ awe” American firepower, will be studied in war colleges for years. His approval ratings after these invasions ranged from 70 to 80 percent, close to where his father was at a similar point in their Presidencies. Limbaugh reprived a parody with roots in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the 1991 Persian Gulf War, based on The Beach Boys’ song “Barbara Ann.” The lyrics changed from “Bomb, Bomb Iran” to “Bomb, Bomb Iraq,” using the “voice” of Senator McCain. The country wanted this war. But President Bush’s handling of insurgent terror is a more complicated matter. ^^liv^^

The day after 9/11, President Bush looked at the state of the world. He realized Western Civilization was at war with Islamic terror. It was called Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Abu Nidal, Hamas, the Taliban, and numerous other fronts and groups, “headquartered” in the Middle East, south Asia, Asia, and points north, south, east and west. The “battlefield” was the West: Europe, the United States, embassies, U.S. military installations, interests and spheres of influence. It had been going on since the 1972 Olympics, if not since the Sykes-Picot Treaty and Lawrence of Arabia. In other words, it was being fought on his home field. For armies to win, they must advance and conquer on enemy turf: Germany, Japan, Atlanta.

So, George W. Bush decided to alter the game and take the cause to the enemy “at a time and place of our choosing.” He told Americans to live their lives normally; he would protect them. Capacity crowds filled Yankee Stadium for the 2001 World Series. Somewhere, Osama bin Laden saw that, his heart sank, and he realized he had failed and unleashed what Isoruko Yamamoto called “the sleeping giant.”

Bush’s plan was to identify two places in the Muslim world that were already “hellholes,” Afghanistan and Iraq, and attack there. This would draw thousands of terrorists who otherwise would have been attacking New York, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and other Western capitols, into these tightly contained areas. Then he encircled them the way Otto von Bismarck encircled Paris in 1870, and with coalition forces in wholesale manner, killed them. Those he did not kill he captured, coerced into spilling actionable intelligence, and used that to kill and capture thousands more.

The “casualty lists” of so-called Iraqi “civilians” often cited by liberals as an abomination of George Bush’s war may well include among them 50 percent terrorists, many trying to blend in to the civilian population when America came hard and heavy.

From 2005 to 2006, Iraq was in chaos. The conclusion of the Left was that “the war is lost,” as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nevada) announced. That statement may not have been treasonous; then it again it might have been. If Ezra Pound or “Tokyo Rose” said it during World War II they would have gone to jail, which they did. The best and the brightest America had to offer, wonderful young men willing to voluntarily serve absent a draft, lost life and limb in Iraq. It was heart breaking. It was not “worth it.”

The Left advocated the U.S. “cut ‘n run,“ bugging out of Iraq as we had in Vietnam in the 1970s, and Somalia in the 1990s. Many of Bush’s supporters lost faith and half-agreed. But Bush did not want the sacrifice of all those soldiers to have been made in vain. He held tightly to the least-racist notion perhaps ever advocated; that Arab Muslims wanted and could handle freedom and Democracy. He was mocked.

Then he appointed a youthful West Point general named David Petraeus to take over and put into place a theory he specialized in; counter-insurgency measures against urban terrorist insurgencies. He had studied it since early in his career, spurred by a desire to defeat guerilla tactics the Viet Cong used in Vietnam.

Incredibly, by early summer, 2007, these tactics, known as “the Surge,” had actually worked. Iraq was a victory. General Petraeus’s “Surge” may not be the greatest military accomplishment since Hannibal crossed the Alps or Douglas MacArthur took Inchon. The Left would never admit it. Then again, it might have been.

The immediate reaction of the Republican Party was that it might save them in the 2008 Presidential campaign against the perceived Democratic nominee, U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York. Senator Clinton could not afford to have the United States achieve victory in Iraq. It stood as the polar opposite of all she and her party stood for. She declared General Petraeus’s achievement required a “willing suspension of disbelief.” ^^lv^^ The New York Times ran a headline stating Petraeus’s victory was instead a question, posed as “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” ^^lvi^^

These kinds of statements and headlines were the stuff of constant conservative talk show fodder for years. The two most vocal critics of this liberal line were Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Michael Savage. Their techniques were different, their angles and level of outrage not the same, but both claimed a historical truth.

Limbaugh stated that the Democratic Party simply wanted America to lose in Iraq. He made no bones about it. Senator Reid’s statement was cited, along with Senator Clinton’s disparaging of General Petraeus and the New York Times headline, but these were just highlights. The negative drumbeat was constant, almost from the very beginnings.

The invasion took place in March of 2003. Fighting was heavy for a few weeks. Newsweek ran a cover photo of desperate soldiers carrying their wounded, announcing that the U.S. – President Bush – was “Hell Bent on War.” The tone of the piece tried to make it look like U.S. forces were losing.

A week or so later they had won and Bush made a triumphant announcement on board an aircraft carrier announcing, “Mission Accomplished!” A few months later, after cornering and killing his two sons, the U.S. cornered and captured Saddam Hussein from a “rat hole.” The Left said it was inappropriate that they display photos of a “national leader” covered in grime, unshaven, his hair a “bird’s nest.” To add insult to injury, the operation used to capture Hussein was code-named “Red Dawn,” its particulars called “Wolverine I” and “Wolverine II.” These were references to a 1984 film called Red Dawn, a movie hated by liberals, despite the fact it was a blockbuster then and is re-played constantly, most notably by WTBS in a series called “Movies For Guys Who Like Movies,” featuring the gung-ho fare of Dirty Harry, Die Hard, and the like.

In San Francisco Bernie Ward, displaced by Michael Savage to the wastelands of radio, was forced to admit this enormous American triumphant would, he sadly reported, resulted in President Bush’s re-election. It did.

Based on a Congressional resolution authoring force, the Republicans won historic mid-term elections in 2002, a rarity in that the party in the White House usually loses the first midterms two years later. The Democrats looked practically non-existent, forced to put a “nobody” Governor, Gary Locke of Washington state, on air as the “loyal opposition” after a speech by President Bush.

In 2004, Bush was re-elected and he had solid “coattails,” America backing the Republican Party with House and Senate gains. But the general attitude among many was the U.S. had, as in Vietnam, been forced to fight Al Qaeda with their “hands tied behind their backs” for two years. Fearful of the liberal media, backlash, and the 2004 elections, Bush had, according to this way of thinking, not “taken the gloves off.”

The day after his victory, Bush told the press he had “political capital,” that he planned to use it because that was “my style.” Hawks hoped this meant he would come in with a heavy scythe on the insurgent terrorists of Iraq and elsewhere. Michael Savage was hopeful and optimistic, stating that he could hear “the bees are buzzing” in an assemblage of heavy weaponry and air power that would wipe the enemy out, regardless of collateral damage.

This did not happen for another two-and-a-half years, until General Petraeus’s “Surge.” By that time, the tide had turned politically. The fact Bush had not “lied” about WMD was plainly known. It was a failure of intelligence; Saddam wanted America and his Middle East rivals to think he was an “Arab tiger” stockpiling weapons in defiance of the infidel. It did not stop Democrats like Senator Kennedy, despite knowing otherwise, from choosing of his own free to open their mouths and say it anyway. Bush’s statement the war was in essence to secure Saddam’s WMD were “lies, lies, lies,” said Kennedy.

“Bush died, people died,” was the chant of Code Pink. The country was badly divided. Columnist Charles Krauthammer, a trained psychiatrist, called it “Bush derangement syndrome.” ^^lvii^^

Glenn Beck, a relative newcomer of conservative talk radio, echoed the general assessment that military action was necessary, as was the case at the time, and that liberal notions of peace were naïve. He related a story; seeing a bumper sticker that read, “Free Tibet.”

“How does he propose we free Tibet, unless we send in the 101st Airborne Division?“ Beck asked on the air.

When the Abu Ghraib prison scandal roiled the country, Beck was flabbergasted, stating nothing could help the enemy more than such a thing. But Michael Savage thought such concern over a handful of terrorists forced to share a room with menstrual stained underwear, or facing a barking dog, was of no real concern. He advocated that we “grab and Arab,” a refrain on Abu Ghraib.

The “water boarding” issue was incredibly divisive. Liberals and the Left-leaning international community declared it was “torture,” a concerted effort to embarrass George W. Bush. Several simple facts reveal it not to be torture. The CIA says only three terrorists were water boarded; the worst of the worst, and that it resulted in the actionable intelligence used to kill Osama bin Laden. The actual act consisted of holding a man down, placing a washcloth over his face, and pouring water on him for 10 seconds. Anybody can duplicate its effects while showering. The cumulative effect is psychological, not physical torture. Navy Seals, CIA agents, Special Forces, and others are water boarded in training. If it were torture, this would not occur.

The water boarding took place at a detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Left opposed Guantanamo for reasons that have never really added up, other than they opposed Bush and wanted to make him look bad. But the issue turned against them. Prisoners were treated well, given Korans, prayer rugs, time to pray to Allah, Muslim dietary dishes, clean clothes and beds, entertainment, exercise, and other “luxuries.” Over time, this was contrasted with Muslim atrocities: cutting off heads slowly with rusty saws; mass be-headings; mass shootings and killing; burning people alive; mass drowning in cages; rape of Muslim women; using children as human shields; persecution of Arab Christians; genocide of fellow Muslims; sectarian hatred; and scores of other abominations.

Rush Limbaugh gleefully contrasted these horrors to a few terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, nicknamed by the Marines “Gitmo.” He called it “Club Gitmo,” using one of his parody skits to create a faux Club Med-type “commercial” promoting the place as the perfect “vacation spot” for jihadists. Liberals seethed. Conservatives laughed.

Liberal documentarian Michael Moore made a film called Fahrenheit 9/11, a take-off of the Ray Bradbury novel Fahrenheit 451. It packed theatres and had the Left in a tizzy, feeling it would lead to a revolution against the war. Even Fox News’s reporter called it “compelling” after it premiered to cheering audiences at the Cannes Film Festival. But many conservatives recall the first time they knew Bush would win re-election was when they saw it.

Limbaugh echoed the sentiment that it was cartoonish and untruthful. He mocked it and pointed out that despite wild exaggerations of its popularity, its rentals were about the same as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Bush did win and the film proved to have no “legs,” as Red Dawn did.

Had U.S. forces achieved by mid-2005 what they achieved by mid-2007, the world today may look quite different. Bush made many mistakes, especially in his second term, but ultimately his failure to find a timely hard solution in Iraq cost him and his party dearly. His second term is considered a failure; his Presidency, which seemed promising in 2004-05, is deemed a disaster by many even on the Right.

In 2006, reaction to Iraq spurred the Democrats to sweeping mid-term Congressional victories. This foreshadowed even greater gains, including the White House in 2008. It certainly gave the world Barack Hussein Obama. There are a number of reasons Obama defeated the favorite, Senator Hillary Clinton, in the 2008 primaries. Hillary’s tacit support of the Iraq War in 2002-03 was an albatross around her neck, even though many of her fellow Democrats – they do not “admit” as much even though it is all on the record – voted likewise.

Gleaning lessons from Iraq and the entire War on Terror is probably too early to make any conclusive statement. The Chinese, an ancient culture, famously take the long view. Zhou Enlai was once asked what he thought about the “French Revolution” (1789). He was reported to have replied it was, “Too early to say.” It is a conflict that could easily last the entire lifetimes of any person reading this and beyond; an international “clash of civilizations” echoing the Crusades.

But there are political realities to be learned from the post-9/11 era. Few if any of the conservative talk radio hosts of the past 15 years have truly grasped these lessons. Limbaugh seemed to understand it in part when he said of what he considered Democratic disloyalty “someday” they would pay a political price for the way they acted during Bush’s tenure.

Limbaugh compared the Democrats of the 2000s to Democrats of the 1970s who “sold out” first U.S. troops, then U.S. allies, in Vietnam. Senator Edward Kennedy refusing funding of the South Vietnamese military, fending off a Communist invasion after Watergate, symbolized this. The Democrats won huge victories and by 1976 might even have thought, hubristically, they were the “winners of history.” They won enormous 1974 mid-term victories and swept everything, including the White House, in 1976. But the Communists in Southeast Asia killed 1.5 million people from 1975-79.

Ronald Reagan called Vietnam a “noble” effort to beat back an ideology that has killed over 100 million human beings. The “killing fields” of the post-Vietnam War era are proof, Reagan’s supporters say, that fighting to stop a political-military entity capable of such a holocaust “proved” it was “noble” in the first place. The liberal answer, that America, who they always “blamed first,” according to ex-U.N. Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, had caused the carnage was similar to what Limbaugh pointed out in the War on Terror.

The Left has insisted that Islamist terrorists do what they do because of America. This ignores the Sykes-Picot Treaty, the role of France after World War I, Muslim complicity with Adolf Hitler, post-colonial secularism, and the horrendous fact that since the creation of Israel, Muslims have killed 11 million of their fellow Muslims. It is speculation, but the Ottoman Empire may have equaled those statistics before Great Britain defeated them in World War I. 11 million is around the number of human beings murdered in the Nazi holocaust. ^^lviii^^

But Limbaugh pointed out that what goes around does normally come around; as it did when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in a landslide in 1980, starting a 12-year Republican winning streak. Heading into 2016, the election is impossible to predict, but all indications are that it is the Republicans’ to lose. Nobody should ever “mis-underestimate,” to quote George W. Bush, their ability to blow it, but if they do indeed win, it will be largely for the same reasons Reagan won in 1980; refutation of the Democrats, seen as advocating a loss in a war until it became a self-fulfilling prophecy on their watch. The Republicans have already smashed the Democrats in the 2010 and 2014 Congressional mid-terms. These combined with many other historical indicators favor a GOP landslide.

If this happens, the most prophetic of all will be Rush Limbaugh, to the utter consternation of his haters on the Left. It was Limbaugh who early and often stated the Democratic Party was openly doing all in their power to assure American defeat in Iraq. This was necessary for them to win in 2004. It did not happen, and they lost. They continued to press for defeat, Limbaugh daily asserted, after the election, with an eye towards 2008. General Petraeus’s “Surge” of 2007 was a set-back to them, perhaps as dispiriting a statement of who they are as can be made, but essentially irrefutable. They won in 2008 because of two factors: fatigue over Iraq – “the Surge” was too little too late – and a “one off” political phenomenon named Barack Obama. Would John McCain have defeated Hillary Clinton? Maybe.

But “the Surge” may ultimately prove to be their worst albatross yet. It took away their great argument, as Senator Reid stated, that “the war is lost,” and lost during Bush’s Presidency. It was a “victory,” at least a temporary one, and that victory was holding firmly in both Afghanistan and Iraq on January 20, 2009.

Heading into 2016, that can no longer be said. The details can be found in many other places; it is not a final history yet. But it can be said that Obama, to quote a sports term, “snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.” Why? Again, it would almost require a psychiatrist to get the answer.

Not only has Iraq become a complete mess, all that was fought for, all the victories, all the sacrifice, all the blood and treasure and heart break, has gone for naught under President Obama. This scenario has played itself out all over the Middle East; in Syria, Egypt, Libya, and beyond. The Islamic State is winning and establishing a caliphate the size of several large American states. As if that were not bad enough, Obama abandoned the only “friends” the U.S. had in the region, namely Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Gaddafi, a former foe, was literally cowed into cooperation by Bush; giving up his WMDs. It was as if being an asset or friend of America made one an enemy of Obama.

It did not end there. Instead of backing freedom-loving revolutionaries in Iran, he made what Rush Limbaugh called an “apology tour” of the Middle East, blaming all ills on the country he supposedly led. He said nothing about the dictator in Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He practically cut off relations with Israel; Benjamin Netanyahu is a conservative who once worked in the same investment firm as Mitt Romney, apparently worthy of enemy status in Obama’s world. Then he cut an insane deal that will most likely assure Iran has nuclear weapons, which they have literally and actually said they will use on Israel. An analysis of all this reveals things that are too terrible to believe could be true, and would not ne believed if told about ahead of time; yet here they are, reality in our face. Michael Savage by 2015 flat came out and called him a traitor; the others have refrained from this accusation, although the Internet is filled with such talk.

The implications of this are too horrendous to predict or think about: nuclear destruction of Israel or an American city; bio-chemical “dirty” bombs unleashed on the West; an Islamic invasion like the one that occupied Spain and was not stopped until the Battle of Tours in 732 A.D. Michael Savage, by far the most knowledgeable historian among the radio hosts, speaks of this often.

But it is Limbaugh who appears to be getting the last word, when he first said the Democrats were trying to “assure defeat,” but that it had to happen under Bush. That it has happened under Obama will likely prove Limbaugh the most astute political analyst if it will fulfill his prophecy that a day would come, as it did in 1980, when the Left pays for their sins.

Savage has made very cogent points about the news media during the War on Terror. This needs analyzing first by going back to the famous Henry Luce-Theodore White imbroglio during World War II, as described in David Halberstam’s The Powers That Be. The basic facts then were that Time’s ace reporter insisted on printing truth; Chiang-kai Shek was corrupt, the Kuomintang was losing to Mao-tse Tung’s Communists. ^^lix^^ This could not be printed, Luce said, because it would discourage vital American-Christian propping up of Chiang. White’s view prevailed; Mao won. 70 million died in Red China. ^^lx^^

While Luce advocated a form of “propaganda,” it seems propaganda was what should have been allowed, if it was needed to prevent 70 million murders. While Joseph Goebbels and the Nazis are most often identified with the term, Savage pointed out it was propaganda that helped with World Wars I and II, then the Cold War. Watergate figure Howard Hunt in fact was a CIA propagandist. He wrote for a CIA-run “public relations” firm and wrote daring, patriotic novels for a Company-run publishing house. He specialized in anti-Communist graffiti painted on walls in Latin America in the 1950s.

William F. Buckley was reputed to have done similar work for the CIA. American journalists were unabashed patriots who rooted for America. They saw their job as part and parcel of their countries’ interests. Not so during the Iraq War, said Savage. He expressed particular vitriol over an international film crew that displayed American battlefield deaths in 2006. The footage and general tone was discouraging, implying the war was being lost. It was particularly discouraging to the loved ones of those fighting; they saw their sons being killed, what they fought for was a defeat in progress. This was tantamount to treason, Dr. Savage reiterated. He advocated the miscreants be tried and convicted, locked up with long prison sentences. One can never be sure where Savage’s true beliefs and hyperbole separate themselves. He is a passionate man who routinely says somebody or other he dislikes should be thrown in jail, “in my opinion.”

But Savage also put his money where his mouth was, more so by a long shot than other conservative personalities. While Bill O’Reilly and others strongly backed the Wounded Warriors organization, Savage was aghast at various American military personnel facing murder and other charges for doing their jobs “too well.”

Several faced murder charges for killing Iraqis in the line of fire. The idea, Savage pointed out, of sending a young man into a killing zone as dangerous and horrible as Iraq; usually urban, door-to-door fighting against an enemy without uniforms, using women and children as defensive shields, and then threatening them with prison when honest mistakes were made, was anathema to him and the Right. The soldiers had no advocates among the liberal elites, who said it should be fought like a law enforcement issue, complete with the reading of “rights” on the battlefield after an arrest complete with “probable cause.”

Incredibly, one of the most hypocritical of all acts came when Obama instituted his drone strike program. Here he was killing people, including as many women and children as Bush. No terrorists were being captured, coerced and made to give up actionable intelligence. Somehow killing a man and his whole family was “better” than putting a wet cloth on his face for 10 seconds. Had Bush done this to such a level he would have faced the Nuremberg Trials. It was insane.

In the end, or at least in 2016-17, which is not the end, there are some valuable political lessons which the Republican Party, if they are smart, will learn from. The Democrats seem to have a psychological affliction that does not allow them to reflect and learn in such a way that they will not make the same mistakes again.

The Republicans, unfortunately, did not learn from Vietnam. In 2003-04, when they were winning battles and elections, it was easy to think they were like their nation “exceptional,” that America had figured out a new way to fight wars, to achieve what previous powers – England and Russia during the Great Game, the Soviets in Afghanistan – had failed to achieve. Even Vietnam was in light of Reagan’s Cold War glories, a strategic move in a larger chess game. But Iraq was real life kids getting killed.

In setting in stone the premise that America had to lose, the Democrats committed themselves to that aim, even to their own detriment. President Obama made the architect of victory, General Petraeus, his Director of Central Intelligence. It seems in retrospect it was a set-up.

In 2012 Petraeus was forced to step down and face charges because he had an affair with a West Point graduate with a security clearance writing his biography. Apparently Petraeus “moved” classified documents from a secure room to an unsecure one for these purposes. It did not compare with Hillary Clinton’s blatant lack of security and control over thousands of sensitive emails when she was Secretary of State, but Obama had neutralized a man who many felt might be a future Republican Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidate. More important, Petraeus was a man who knew “where the bodies were buried.”

Petraeus’s actions also did not compare to the Obama Administration openly giving classified information to a Hollywood filmmaker in order to make Zero Dark Thirty, a 2012 film glorifying him in his re-election year.

America made note of all this, none of which was helpful to Obama.

But Republicans would be wise to heed the fact America is a fickle nation. It elects Republicans and it elects Democrats. Both parties have felt at times they had achieved a “permanent majority,” but such a thing does not exist and likely will not exist.

Twice bitten the GOP had better be “once shy” the next time they face a war. In 1973 Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger achieved the long-desired “peace with honor” in Vietnam. Watergate destroyed that; all was lost. In 2007, Bush and Petraeus achieved victory. Obama destroyed that; all was lost.

“There is no substitute for victory,” as Douglas MacArthur said, but in the media age, with the Internet, the kind of battles men like MacArthur and George Patton won cannot be replicated. They are too bloody and horrible to be shown nightly in color.

Any war won by a Republican administration can only be assured if a subsequent GOP President wins the peace. If the opposition gets in power, history tells us they will rip it apart regardless of morality, righteousness or American interests. This lesson seems to be a very grim one: don’t fight wars, regardless of how just a cause.

There are two winners if America abdicates its role as leader of the Free World: Islamic terror and Satan.

 

The new media

 

The world Rush Limbaugh grew up in was a simple one. There were divisions in the Republican Party, particularly during the 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign. Old-timers swear the party establishment did not like Ronald Reagan when he first came on the national scene like gangbusters in 1976.

But when Limbaugh went national in 1988, he was a Republican and that was just that; a so-called “big tent” allowing for disparate ideas. A Republican could support gay rights, maybe even be gay. Before people realized just how many babies were dying by abortion, or what a fetus looked like in an ultra-sound photo, or worse, what a pile of them looked like outside a Planned Parenthood clinic, even abortion was an issue the GOP could agree to disagree on.

George H.W. Bush was a Republican; Reagan’s guy. So were Jack Kemp, Bob Dole, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Pete Wilson . . . and Rush Limbaugh. One big happy family. While he had begun a genre known as conservative talk radio, Limbaugh undoubtedly represented the establishment. He was old school; he dressed the part, was a product of 1950s middle America. His views on women, a bit it on the sexist side, were part of the past, like an episode of Mad Men. He smoked cigars, for God’s sake!

When George W. Bush ran against John McCain in the 2000 Republican primaries, even knowledgeable members of the party could not easily identify policy differences. They were both fighter jocks, one Navy the other Air Force. If anything, Bush was viewed as the more immigration-friendly of the two. He spoke Spanish and his brother was married to a Mexican woman. Nobody was pointing out issues such as conservative purity, not even Mr. Conservative, Rush Limbaugh. Neither were the other talk hosts of radio and TV; at the time they included Michael Savage, G. Gordon Liddy, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Fox News was a powerhouse in the media after only four years on the air. Traditional newspapers and magazines were beginning to lose their audience. The Internet was largely to blame, but the conservatives – all still going strong – had no problem blaming their woes on unpopular liberalism. The Los Angeles Times, as recently as a decade earlier generally thought of as the best paper in the world after surpassing the New York Times’s subscription base, had cut themselves loose from the conservative Otis Chandler. After that they sank like the Titanic, and by the New Millennium, heresy of heresies, the Chicago Tribune now owned them. ^^lxi^^

W was thought to be a Texas conservative, the best kind. His reaction to 9/11 was straight out of the Right-wing playbook, a hawk all the way. Limbaugh had no time to formulate much assessment of President Bush prior to the event; after that all anybody judged him on was the War on Terror. The American Right wanted to crush Islamic jihad like the Americans had crushed the Japanese and the Nazis. War fever literally gripped the nation; there was legitimate bloodthirstiness, a desire for revenge mixed with old-fashioned patriotism and the realism that a country many had almost given up on, dead to “political correctness” and unimpressiveness, was now performing acts of greatness. Soldiers, firefighters and policemen were now national heroes. The Right was out for blood. Everybody honored Bush. African-American actor Morgan Freeman, who normally would have looked at a guy like George Bush like a microbe, stood up and publicly thanked him for his great work.

Bush’s “war Presidency” actually overshadowed probably his greatest accomplishment. 9/11 initially seemed to have accomplished Osama bin Laden’s greatest goal, which was to freeze the American economy. Nothing symbolized that more than the World Trade Center. Just as the Soviets, rumored to have orchestrated the 1987 Wall Street crash, would have watched in agony as Reagan’s economy roared back, kicking Karl Marx each step of the way, so too did Bush’s economy, drop-kicking the Islamists whose only answer was an occasional VHS cassette of Bin Laden promising this or that. It grew and grew and grew between 2002 and 2007. The economy of 2006-07 was possibly the all-time best in U.S. history; at least within shouting distance of the Roaring ‘20s, the Eisenhower ‘50s, and the Reagan ‘80s. The stock market reached its all-time high in 2007. Unemployment was low, wages up. To achieve such a thing in the middle of an international terror alert was nothing less than remarkable.

During the 2004 election, a former Naval officer named John O’Neill appeared on the Sean Hannity radio program. Those who tuned in and heard that day were quite sure Hannity was going too far in allowing him to tell his story. Kerry, said O’Neill, did not deserve the medals he earned in Vietnam. His record was exaggerated, sometimes an outright lie.

Most Americans first heard of Kerry when he won a campaign for Senate in Massachusetts during the Reagan landslide of 1984. He was hailed as a war hero, be-medaled from Vietnam; a rarity among Democrats, immediately making him a rising star. He was an Ivy Leaguer, wealthy, intelligent; he was on the fast track.

But O’Neill told a different story. Kerry did not support the war, it was stated; rather he joined the Navy to give himself a war record on his resume, but also imprimatur when he spoke out against Vietnam. It was alleged he brought his personal cameraman along to record his derring-do, an unheard of act. Kerry himself claimed some things he did were “war crimes.” According to one story, he chased a half-naked Vietnamese native in a loincloth until he shot him in the back. The sailors on his Swift boat, a small craft in dangerous waters, like the one in Apocalypse Now, despised and did not trust him, said O’Neill. Then Kerry, after absorbing some minor scratches – some even alleged were self-inflicted – used his political contacts to get assigned out of Vietnam well ahead of his rotation, when the others had to stay and fight, and on top of that was awarded medals for his scratches. That was not the worst of it.

Upon return, now a civilian with long hair, Kerry participated in the Winter Soldier hearings, in which he appeared in front of a crowd of anti-war protestors on camera and accused his fellow sailors of war crimes rivaling Genghis Khan. Massachusetts Republicans were the only ones who seemed to know about any of this, but in 1984 there was no Internet, the papers and news shows were all reliably Democrat, and it was brushed aside. Nothing to see here.

O’Neill’s initial interview with Hannity shocked many, but the average conservative, while happy to hear such terrible things about a liberal, felt that attacking a war hero would backfire. Then O’Neill’s other Swift Boat Veterans for Truth came on the scene. They appeared regularly on Hannity’s popular Fox News TV show, and on many other conservative programs.

It was obvious they were telling the truth. They were upright Vietnam veterans, officers, many Annapolis men; the last people in the world to lie about a fellow officer. They despised Kerry. Kerry and his party disputed them, saying they were being “Swift boated,” but he was toast after that.

It did not help when the Democrats tried to make up a similar anti-Bush story. Bush took leave from duty in the Texas Air Guard for a time to work on a political campaign in Alabama. It is common practice in the Reserves. It did not make him look like Jimmy Doolittle, but there was no there there, until one of his old commanders produced “documents” claiming he was AWOL, shirking his duty. Then it was discovered the documents were forged. The fact Dan Rather of CBS would not have done the same thing to Kerry, just as Carl Bernstein (Bob Woodward, a Republican, was a different story) and the Washington Post would not have investigated a Democrat, any more than they investigated Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson for doing what Richard Nixon did, or did not investigate Kennedy pilfering the 1960 election from Nixon; well, that fact just placed itself in front of the American people as manifest, the thing thus known.

In many ways, it was the last time, at least until 2016, that liberal bias actually helped Republicans. This was a phenomenon Limbaugh identified and manipulated early on. Sometimes the Right feigned a little extra outrage for dramatic effect, but after Watergate, the perception was indelible; the media is liberal. They actively hurt Republicans, according to Republicans. Since half the country is Republican, in theory at least, this means the media makes half their audience mad. This did not matter to them, Limbaugh asserted; Rather himself did not care about ratings. The news divisions were not to be judged by ratings or advertising revenue. They were above that. They had a higher calling, to rat out those dastardly Doolittle’s of the Right.

 

In 2007, Limbaugh had a face-to-face with ex-President Bill Clinton, at the Kobe Club in Manhattan. Rush was on a date when he saw Clinton approach their table. According to Clinton, he was engaged in an act of “Christian forgiveness,” that after having endured heart surgery he would forgive “all the mean things he said about us over the years.” They shook hands.

But a radio interviewer told Clinton Limbaugh’s recollection was much different. Rush said he “used” his friend, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to “distract” Limbaugh while Clinton made a pass at his date. Clinton replied Limbaugh should be “ashamed of himself,” that Rush’s date seemed a “perfectly nice woman, but I spent my time talking with him.”

Limbaugh played the clip on the air, then went into his infamous “Clinton accent,” saying it was Clinton who should be ashamed since “he’s a married man.” Nobody would believe Clinton hit on his date, Limbaugh reiterated, adding it was certainly “out of the bounds of Presidential propriety . . .”

Limbaugh said that he had not realized who Mayor Villaraigosa was; when he heard his name in the introductions, he made a point to go over and shake his hand, at which point he claimed Clinton slid over to again hit on his date. The paparazzi got wind of this epic confrontation, and were flashing pictures outside the Kobe Club, where Clinton now “acted like he didn’t know who I am,” said Limbaugh, adding the whole thing was “a fun night.” ^^lxii^^

In the early fall of 2007, Limbaugh spotlighted the case of a man named Jesse MacBeth. MacBeth was appearing at anti-war rallies, billed as a “former U.S. Army Ranger and combat veteran.” MacBeth was reporting American war atrocities in Iraq. Limbaugh revealed that MacBeth had falsified a Department of Veterans Affairs claim, and in fact had “washed out of boot camp” after 44 days. He “spread his lies,” Limbaugh said, much like John Kerry at the 1971 Winter Soldier hearings. “Fiction serves their purposes; the truth, to borrow a phrase, is inconvenient to them,“ Limbaugh said. Later he told a caller the Left used “phony soldiers.” The issue was for all the practical purposes why Limbaugh and people like him choose conservatism. They see the Democrats lie and, of their own free will, choose therefore not be damn Democrats.

Among the biggest detractors of Limbaugh, Savage and others on the Right is an organization called Media Matters. It was formed by Hillary Clinton and allegedly George Soros, a shadowy billionaire Leftist operating from out of the country, where his fingerprints could not be entirely proved to be on the various “crime scenes” he orchestrated He was also said to be behind Snopes.com, similarly billed as a “watchdog” of sorts, actually a Left-wing “fact checker” spinning a positive light on liberal issues, a negative spin on conservatives.

To many conservatives, Soros is seen as the epitome of evil, an anti-Christ almost, the worst possible man operating in a world that no longer sees Hitler, Stalin and Mao walking the Earth. An atheist Jew, he worked with the Nazis to kill his fellow Jews during World War II, claiming either he did it or somebody else would. He became a billionaire and in the early 1990s broke the British pound, which he bragged about. He is the main moneyman in the American Democratic Party, as well as liberalism worldwide, and is said to be the man behind the rise of Barack Obama. Again, to people like Limbaugh, they see that somebody like Soros is a Democrat and freely decide whatever it is they are, they will be the opposite of it.

Media Matters spun the Limbaugh-MacBeth comments, choosing not to reveal that MacBeth was a liar who never served in Iraq; instead claiming Limbaugh was “unpatriotic,” as Senator Harry Reid reiterated on the Senate floor. Reid stated Limbaugh called “our men and women in uniform who oppose the war in Iraq, and I quote, ‘phony soldiers.’ This comment was so beyond the pale of decency, and we can’t leave it alone.” ^^lxiii^^

Limbaugh was as pro-military as any American citizen, and wildly popular with service personnel. During the Persian Gulf War he visited troops, was allowed to ride in high-tech craft, given tours, cheered like crazy, and treated to “red carpet” receptions. The Armed Forces Radio Network played his program, which received insanely high ratings, until Clinton – unable to enforce the Fairness Doctrine in America – told them to offer alternative programming. They still found ways to listen to him, and by the 2000s were hearing him on the Internet worldwide. He was received by the troops during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars as enthusiastically as he had been in the 1991 conflict. He was literally loved almost universally. The fact that the finest, bravest and most outstanding Americans in America loved Rush Limbaugh was a devastating blow to the Left.

Obviously, Reid was not telling the truth. Limbaugh never called “our men and women in uniform who oppose the war in Iraq, and I quote, ‘phony soldiers.’ ” He had called Jesse MacBeth a “phony soldier,” as well as others who claimed to have seen combat but lied and had not. Limbaugh never spoke out against any actual combat veterans actively opposing the conflict, possibly because none could be found roaming the Earth.

Senator Reid was in over his head. He wrote a letter to Clear Channel Communications demanding retractions. 40 Democratic Senators and Socialist Bernie Sanders signed the letter. Limbaugh called Reid “Dingy Harry. “Charging Limbaugh with disrespecting American soldiers was like calling the Pope an atheist,” wrote Zev Chafets.

Limbaugh humiliated Senator Reid, announcing the letter would be kept in a titanium case “manufactured by Halliburton,” one of the “great Satans” of American corporatism according to the Left, until it could be auctioned off on eBay, with proceeds going to a Marine Corps charitable organization. The letter was purchased for $2.1 million, and Limbaugh added $4.2 million. Reid was forced to go on the Senate floor and practically thank Limbaugh for such a worthwhile cause. Paul Shanklin added to Reid’s woes by doing a parody of The Box Tops “The Letter,” feigning Reid’s whiny voice as he sang, “I never should have sent the letter.”

The lesson of the event was a head-scratcher. Why did the Democrats keep trying to bring Limbaugh down using untruths and lies, when Limbaugh could so easily identify them as untruths and lies, tell 20 million people they were untruths and lies, and therefore have 20 million people understand as manifest fact that the Democrats were uttering untruths and lies?

 

As the Bush years came to an end and the Barack Obama years began, Limbaugh and conservative talk radio remained a powerful force on the American political scene. This was an incredible accomplishment, not just a testament to their longevity, talent and passion, but to their ability to withstand the changing tides of sentiment and communications. Great sports coaches like John Wooden and Bear Bryant were said to be great because they remained successful during major transitions of race, society, youthful rebellion, and other factors that brought others low.

Conservative talk radio withstood liberalism in print journalism, which by the late 2000s were losing their readership in astronomical numbers. The popular wisdom was that the Internet and social media were responsible, but the Wall Street Journal, a moderately conservative, business-friendly national newspaper, continued to thrive. Conservative magazines like Newsmax were actually growing, on the way to creating an on-line television station. Human Events, featuring Ann Coulter’s regular columns, was still a must-read of conservatism. WorldNetDaily.com, one of the first conservative web sites and the brainchild of Limbaugh’s early co-biographer, Joseph Farah, was a huge hit on the web and in book publishing.

Conservative books, many published by Regnery, continued to make best-seller lists. Conservative authors like Coulter, Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, David Limbaugh and others continued to write very popular political tomes.

Was it possible that Limbaugh’s original put down of “phony baloney plastic banana good time rock ‘n roll FM types” was true; that liberals were indeed “low information” voters, once FM music listeners, now addicted to games on their phone, or Twitter, Facebook and other non sequiturs of idiocy? Was it true the Right, on the other hand, was the last bastion of honest intellectualism and thought, the readers of newspapers, magazines and books, who chose to listen to edifying nuggets of information, news and history, instead of rap music? Who preferred documentaries about The Men Who Built America and profiles about the military genius of George Patton, to movies about sluts and white males depicted as stupid goofballs?

Limbaugh, a great admirer of technology, openly stated Silicon Valley was geared to the Left. It was in fact a strange combination of Zen hippies and the Military Industrial Complex. The presence of military installations during World War II, mostly centered around aviation and later space exploration instead of missiles (as with the Southern California sector) started it, but its location in the Bay Area after the Summer of Love made it a hub of youthful anarchy, its life blood.

In the early years Limbaugh favored cell phone calls to land lines, figuring the cell callers were working people on a commute, and therefore worthy of exceptional treatment. He lauded an early Internet device called CompuServe. He followed the careers of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates like an avid fan, and lauded Gates for having created many multi-millionaires courtesy of his inventions and company.

But he said Google, for instance, favored the Left. The Right was convinced that search engines created algorithms that more often than not led to positive stories of Barack Obama, negative stories of John McCain and Mitt Romney. AOL was quite open about it; their users would be met on their home page upon signing in with an offer to wish “Michelle and Barack a happy anniversary,” or a birthday, or some other joyous ode to the First Couple. After ObamaCare, AOL’s home page would point people to the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment, or even placed ads stating Obama was “generously” providing subsidies for homeowners. Many radio “advertisements,” sometimes even placed during Limbaugh’s show or other conservative programs, were disguised taxpayer-paid government spots, especially those emphasizing how minorities could report housing discrimination. The general idea of these spots was the subliminal message that minorities live in a racist American society in which whites were to blame for their ills.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was a strong liberal. Conservative Facebook members are convinced nameless Facebook minders scrutinize posts critical of the Left, as they often encounter their pages freezing until the politically incorrect messages can be vetted, maybe even removed. Michael Savage had incendiary postings about Muslim extremists taken right down. Similar instances involving the Left, whether on these or other forums, seem to lack existence. All of this makes conservative talk radio stronger. It is here that the Right gets their “revenge,” hears the “truth,” or at least what they want to hear.

Ultimately Limbaugh and the genre he created have succeeded amidst the brave new world of the Internet and social media. They seem to have mastered it, in fact. Limbaugh often says people ask him to bring his TV show back, to which he says his program is on TV. It is every day via what he calls the “ditto cam.” People pay good money for the “ditto cam,” on his web site, as well as The Limbaugh Letter, still printed on old-fashioned paper and mailed monthly. Mark Levin eventually started LevinTV.com.

Newsmax TV was a hit from its inception. Michael Savage’s Internet listenership is often the highest of any of the hosts, possibly indicating his international audience is larger than many of the others. Glenn Beck started an Internet site called theblaze.com, a cutting edge TV-style series of talk and news programs with a huge audience.

Fox News originally had the highest cable ratings; now it just has the highest ratings, period. Almost everybody has cable now, anyway. CNN lags far behind. It is rumored that somebody actually watches MSNBC. Who that is remains unknown. ABC, NBC and CBS struggle, their news divisions propped up by sports or entertainment programming meant to hold audiences. The combined influence of conservative radio and the 24-hour news on Fox dwarfs the “liberal” media. Left-wing radio fell by the wayside. But Limbaugh says the battle is not won; that Democrats win via the “low information crowd” who, as Jesus said of the poor, “will always be with us.”

Many old mediums have died in the era of the new media. Soap operas, for instance, have lost a tremendous percentage of their audience. A Guiding Light, going back to its radio days the longest-running soap in history, went off the air ostensibly because of on-demand television choices; the ability of the TV viewer to choose what he wishes to see at two o’clock in the afternoon instead of what is only available programming scheduled at that time. Yet conservative talk radio has consistently not just weathered this trend; it has proved itself the superior choice in the marketplace of free ideas and open expression. The Left hates this and disputes it. It does matter. It remains manifest; simply that with which in what Rush Limbaugh calls “Realville.”

 

Voices of the Right

 

For six years, between 1988 and 1994, Limbaugh toiled as the sole conservative voice.

In 1994, when the Republicans pulled out a huge win, it was a major repudiation of the Clintons and the longstanding Democrat hold on the Senate and especially the House. In 1995, conservative talk radio spread. Ken “the Black Avenger” Hamblin, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Savage, Michael Reagan, and a host of other local and national shows suddenly replaced music, sports and often liberal opinion on radios from coast to coast, most syndicated nationally.

 

Ken Hamblin

 

Ken Hamblin called himself the “Black Avenger.” Operating out of Denver, he represented the new “black conservative” movement, which unfortunately has never materialized among blacks, but in a weird twist on affirmative action has become extremely popular with whites. Hamblin proposed a book with the questionable title Please Don’t Feed the Blacks, and was excoriated by the “brothers” for selling out. In the mean time, he doled out intelligence, patriotism, decency and common sense in huge doses, not concerned with any lack of so-called “street cred.” Larry Elder followed Hamblin’s lead as a black conservative on KABC, the former L.A. sports station that has been conservative ever since.

 

Michael Reagan

 

The former President’s adopted son, Michael unlike his offbeat brother Ron is rock solid. Michael was totally unflappable, and loyal to his father in the manner of a true believer. His greatest trait was research and total knowledge of issues, including the most arcane policies, legislation, budgetary matters, and the like. He managed to dispense this while staying interesting, although he did occasionally go over his listeners’ heads.

 

Laura Ingraham

 

Ingraham is an attractive blonde whose good looks make her a regular substitute on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor, but her droll humor, grasp of issues, and unabashed patriotism shines through on radio. She is an attorney who “prosecutes” issues. It is not a coincidence several of the successful talk hosts are lawyers; the debate skills and logical analysis required in the law are just as necessary skills on the radio.

 

Dennis Miller

 

Miller “converted” to conservatism after a lifetime on the Left following the 9/11 attacks. He was a particularly erudite, sophisticated comic and actor, with a very foul mouth. Miller did a stint as a color commentator on Monday Night Football, adding tremendous wit and cultural reference to his analysis. He seemed to literally “see the light” after 9/11 and became a regular guest on The O’Reilly Factor, even touring the country with Bill O’Reilly. He did occasional comedy specials to conservative audiences on HBO, which despite its penchant for Left-wing fare was almost schizophrenic in its balancing this with sometime conservative views. Miller’s radio show is political but filled with cultural references, particularly films and music. Only The Savage Nation is as varied, straying from straight politics, as much as Miller’s program.

 

Glenn Beck

 

Beck is a very Christian fellow who constantly advocates that people “return to God” in seeking answers to the world’s problems. He uses history as well as anybody and seems to see things from a very spiritual perspective. He warns of a return to Communism, which he does not see as a threat in the old Marxist mold, but as a pernicious evil manifesting itself in different guises. He points out liberal malefactors of the past, including the Darwinian offshoots of Margaret Sanger, Malthusianism, and George Bernard Shaw, who advocated before Adolf Hitler that “undesirables” should be euthanized. His exposition of Obama aides Van Jones (as an actual Communist) and Anita Dunn (who called Mao Tse-tung her “hero”), got those people fired and stirred up a huge controversy. The Left despises him and mocks the fact he seems to find Marxism everywhere, but carefully demonstrates that policies of modern day Left-wingers parallels economic policies of . . . past Marxists. He also compared Obama to Hitler, a very dangerous and, at first at least, seemingly crazy idea. Then he compared the propaganda techniques of Joseph Goebbels to those used by the Obama team, finding chilling parallels of demonization in their Alkinskyite tactics. MediaMatters.org particularly went after Beck, but efforts to silence him have not worked. He frustrates his enemies by always emerging stronger, both on the radio and his mega-empire of a web site, theblaze.com.

 

Sean Hannity

 

Rush gave Sean Hannity his start, when he filled in for him. He was the most traditional, straightforward of the Republican hosts (he calls himself a “registered Conservative”). Hannity made good ratings in Atlanta, paving the way for a national radio program and a show on Fox News. Hannity was a good Catholic boy from Long Island, very strict and proper in his views regarding language, religion, morality, family values and the proper treatment of women. He was not afraid to have liberals on his show, and he was respectful towards them, drawing them in and frankly, learning from them. His show lacked the fireworks of Savage or G. Gordon Liddy, and the factual evidence presented by Rush or Michael Reagan. It became slightly bland at times. Hannity co-hosted a Fox News program called Hannity and Colmes, with liberal counterpart Alan Colmes, then just The Sean Hannity Show. He is well suited for TV in appearance and smooth delivery. Colmes is a good man, but one felt a little sorry for him because, especially during the height of the Bush Presidency, the conservatives were winning most of the battles. His attempts to oppose them, to meet the show’s debate-style format, left him grasping. Hannity needed to tone down his gloating just a little bit, but he was a gentleman (as was Colmes). Colmes remains one of the smartest, well-informed, and capable debaters of the Left.

Hannity maintained good relations with other conservative personalities, many of whom occasionally appeared on his show. More so than the others, he emphasized on both radio and television the many women assaulted and allegedly raped by Bill Clinton. Barack Obama cited Hannity as one of the voices of the Right he wanted to overcome or even silence, but he lived his life like a choir boy, faithful to his wife, a good father, “overpaying” his taxes, and leaving nothing for liberals to go after.

Hannity wrote a successful book, but he lacks formal education and is not seen as a scholar like his friend, Mark Levin. He regularly breaks down the argument that Islam is the “religion of peace,” bringing on guests escaped from the Middle East who describe its horrors. Actor Alec Baldwin criticized Hannity for having worked in construction as a young man, a point of honor Hannity emphasizes.

Then Baldwin was given his own radio program on a liberal channel. Despite being a trained thespian and very smart Democrat, Baldwin proved that talk radio is a business requiring a very unique skill set. Hannity regularly played a tape of Baldwin fumbling around, utterly unable to handle the challenges of the format. Baldwin was gone almost before he started, like another liberal, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who despite all his education and smarts was a complete dolt behind the microphone. ^^lxiv^^

Most of the other highly rated hosts feature one or several points that make them stand out. Hannity does not particular highlight any single thing. Perhaps his most effective tool is his ability to spotlight “liberal hypocrisy,” although Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and several of the others are every bit as effective. For instance, the media might jump all over a Republican for exaggerating, or supposedly not telling the truth, or stating outrageous things. Hannity has a full archive of sound bites and facts at his ready disposal, and to the delight of his audience will demonstrate video of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, or any number of Left-wing figures caught stating things that not only turned out to be untrue, but were untrue at the time they said it, apparently of their own free will despite knowing the lack of truth. This can create a certain false comfort for his viewers and listeners, who ultimately are frustrated that despite demonstrating their arguments clearly, the opposition often refuses to acknowledge it.

 

 

Bill O’Reilly

 

Bill is a TV star on Fox News. His foray into talk radio was met with mixed reviews. O’Reilly may be the most opinionated of all the opinionators (with the possible exception of Rush or Savage). He is an Irish Catholic from the Boston area. His views are less conservative and more oriented towards common sense. He bills himself as an independent or a libertarian, which is the official line of Larry Elder and Savage, as well. Like Savage, he criticizes the Republicans and makes a point of not walking in lock step with the party, which Hannity does and perhaps Reagan appeared to do. O’Reilly’s “non-partisan” assessment of himself is the party line of Fox News, which is accused of conservative bias. Like Fox, O’Reilly’s approach walks a relatively new line. He calls his TV show, The O’Reilly Factor, a “no spin zone,” asserting that only facts are allowed no matter how it plays out. O’Reilly is definitely conservative, but he is also right most of the time, which begs the question, If something that is right is considered conservative, then is it conservative or just right?

Some conservatives got irritated with O’Reilly because he calls it against the Republicans when he sees it that way. One can imagine that he would have jumped all over Nixon during Watergate. His show coincided with the Clintons, who were such easy targets. The Bush Presidency was easy to support, but when things went south O’Reilly found fault with them. O’Reilly was by no means a supporter of President Obama, but amid great vitriol and anger expressed by conservatism towards him, O’Reilly remained the most temperate.

What sets O’Reilly aside from Rush in particular is his attachment to non-political issues, especially involving children. He is seen as the champion of ordinary people, which fits with his blue-collar background (although his education, which includes places like Harvard, is top notch). O’Reilly is a bit full of himself. He takes himself way too seriously. Of course, there is no doubt that he is a power in this country. ^^lxv^^

He has authored many books, but obviously he has “ghost writers”; nobody could work a TV program every day and still have time for the research and writing that go into his books, which are published prolifically. His latest stock in trade is the “killing of” books, which include Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, and Killing Reagan. These books sell like hot cakes, along with his No Spin Zone cups, hats and other gear, largely because he relentlessly promotes them to his vast daily audience. This is frustrating to many authors and historians who put more personal research into their books but do not realize the same kind of sales.

The “killing of” series features a crime detective approach to the famous killings of such disparate historical figures as Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, as well as the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan in 1981. These books purport to offer “new information” previously undisclosed. The most celebrated of these was Killing Kennedy, made into a movie starring Rob Lowe as JFK.

Killing Jesus irritated many Christians who felt such an examination of the One True God, not to mention such a provocative title, was sacrilegious. Perhaps the greatest criticism came from Killing Reagan, since so many of the former President’s top people are still around and vibrantly recall Reagan’s tenure. One of the most vociferous was Mark Levin, who was a top aide in the Reagan Justice Department and literally reveres his memory.

O’Reilly’s re-examination of Reagan was quite typical of his style. It is a given that he is a conservative; his criticisms of the Clintons and Obama are sharp and pointed, but he seems determined to assuage his attacks on the Left with at least some attacks on the Right, even if such attacks are really not always merited. He insists he is, like his network, “fair and balanced,” but bending over backward to find fault with the Right, which obviously has its faults, even when in a particular instance the fault is nebulous at best, strikes his critics as disingenuous. The Reagan book featured many descriptions painting Reagan as out of tough, old, forgetful, manipulated by others, not as sharp while dealing with the Soviets as history tells us he is, as well as other critical examinations. It seems to give merit to some of the Left’s descriptions of President Reagan, which conservatives feel almost duty-bound to discredit at every turn. O’Reilly doing their “bidding” is quite irritating in this regard.

The wholesale denial of the O’Reilly examination by some many top Reagan – as with other issues – advisors tends to make O’Reilly look as if he was grasping at straws to make liberals believe he is not a shill for the Right. Honesty is, however, the best policy. He is an honest man but still just a man, subject to the temptations of perversions of celebrity, popularity, and its perks.

 

G. Gordon Liddy

 

“The G Man” drove the liberals as batty as Rush, because he was an official Republican “bad guy,” the man behind Watergate. So what did he do? He drove a fancy sports car with the license plates, “H20GATE.” Liddy, like Oliver North, made no effort to hide behind his official actions, and was elevated to high status by the opinion of millions of American citizens who felt what he did was actually good. In Liddy’s case, many people view Watergate as something Kennedy and Johnson had done, and in light of the “civil war” atmosphere in the streets, and the desire not to let the Kennedys steal another election, the break-in was almost justified.

Liddy was among the most educated and intelligent of the talk mavens. His father was a prominent Wall Street attorney. Liddy grew up in Hoboken, New Jersey, a sickly, frightened child. He taught himself to overcome his fear of lightning and rats. He sat on top of his house and weathered a lightning storm, then cooked and ate a rat.

A German maid taught him to speak German and secretly listened to speeches with him, by Adolf Hitler on the radio in the 1930s, until Liddy’s father forbid it. Liddy admired German strength and culture, at least until World War II.

He was trained by the Jesuits and graduated from Fordham University, where he ran cross-country, and became an officer in the Army during the Korean War. After the war he followed in his father’s footsteps to Fordham Law School on the G.I. Bill, but upon graduation chose not to work in his fancy Manhattan law firm.

Instead, he entered the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and affected the appellation G. Gordon (George Gordon) as paean to J. Edgar Hoover. He participated in many daring arrests in the 1950s, but one of his most compelling came while serving in the Denver field office.

A wanted criminal was known to be in a small Rocky Mountain town. He frequented a popular brothel. Liddy and his partner, dressed in suits and affecting a typical FBI approach, asked the madam about the whereabouts of the fugitive. She basically told them to jump in the lake. Liddy’s partner was ready to write up the report and move on. Liddy however knew a major high school wrestling tournament was being held in town. He scouted the brothel until a car pulled up and four beefy men he said “could only be high school wrestling coaches,” emerged and headed towards the brothel.

Liddy departed his vehicle and approached the men, identifying himself as a local consumer affairs reporter interested in knowing why they preferred this particular whore house, as opposed to other whore houses in the area. The men turned tail, got back in their car, and departed the scene, whereupon the madam came running out of the brothel demanding to know why he was chasing away business. Liddy calmly told her he would accost each customer all night until she released knowledge of the fugitive’s whereabouts. She immediately sang like a bird and the man was apprehended.

Liddy met a smart, attractive woman and decided to marry her. He had an FBI background check run on her to satisfy his bosses that she was not a radical of any kind. With a young family, he needed to make more money and reluctantly returned to Manhattan and his father’s corporate law practice, but eventually decided it was not for him.

Liddy became a district attorney in Duchess County, New York, a wealthy, Republican bedroom enclave of New York City. During this time, the infamous Harvard professor, Dr. Timothy Leary, was occupying the Millbrook estate in the area, where he was experimenting with LSD, attracting young people, including girls who engaged in orgies and wild sex parties. The local gentry were aghast and required law enforcement do something, whereupon Liddy sprung into action. ^^lxvi^^

According to Liddy, he and his squad of lawmen burst into the estate where Liddy saw one of Dr. Leary’s girlfriends wearing a “diaphanous” gown. The good doctor himself appeared at the top of the staircase. He wore a shirt and no clothes below the waist, affording Liddy, staring up at him, quite the view. Arrests were made, which immediately vaulted Liddy into the public eye. Oddly, Liddy and Leary began a strange friendship that would materialize later.

Bit by the political bug, Liddy decided to run for the Republican nomination for the House district seat, except a Republican, Hamilton Fish, already occupied it. Fish told Liddy if he would back out of the race, he would introduce him to Richard Nixon’s team. Nixon was leading the polls for the 1968 Presidential election and would win. Liddy agreed and Nixon brought him on to work in the Department of the Treasury.

In 1971, the New York Times published the “Pentagon papers,” classified material detailing mistakes and blunders made in the run-up and prosecution of the Vietnam War. While the material shed its harshest light on Democrats Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson, President Nixon was furious. The Times, he asserted, was bordering on treason by publishing it. It sent a message to friend and foe alike that classified material would not remain secret. Worse, it was part of a larger mosaic of “leaks” coming out of the administration, undermining Nixon. Later it was determined one of the biggest leakers was his own National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger.

At the same time, the streets were on fire with protestors demanding unilateral withdrawal from Vietnam. Nixon and Kissinger were in the middle of delicate negotiations with the Communists in Paris. They felt this combination of negative factors: the “Pentagon papers,” shaky relations with allies due to leaks, street protests Liddy himself said looked like the Civil War, led Nixon and his people to make a decision, which was to find out who the leakers were, then stop it from happening.

Through discussion it was determined the leaks needed to be “plugged,” thus the term “plumbers.” But the directive went beyond just that. They were tasked to engage in acts of defamation against their enemies, making them look bad in public.

Liddy, who had come to Nixon’s attention earlier by writing a memo the President said was one of the best he ever read, was recruited to run the operation. He had a clandestine background from his work in the FBI. Already a “cowboy” with a wild streak, a love of “cloak and dagger,” he took to the operation with enthusiasm, seeing himself as a real-life James Bond.

Liddy worked under Attorney General John Mitchell, who took over as President Nixon’s campaign manager. The thinking was that this was not an official government operation, and would provide cover to the White House if it went awry. Liddy brought in E. Howard Hunt, a CIA operative, who in turn recruited Cuban veterans of the Bay of Pigs operation. They all blamed John Kennedy for failing to back them up and were happy to help a Republican President; particularly since there was at the time strong belief that Ted Kennedy would run in 1972.

Their first operation was the break-in of a Beverly Hills psychiatrist’s office, since he had treated the man who leaked the “Pentagon papers,” Daniel Ellsberg, for depression and apparently knew very damaging personal details of his sex life and immoral activities. If this information could be leaked, Ellsberg would fall from his perch as a big hero of the Left, at least in theory. The break-in resulted in little useful information. In addition, during the 1972 primaries, the Republicans engaged in a “dirty tricks” campaign meant to discombobulate the Democrats.

Liddy came up with a scheme to recruit prostitutes who would infiltrate the Democratic National Convention. “Prostitutes!” he exclaimed at a strategy meeting. “Prostitutes I say.”

The plan was for them to have sex with high-ranking Democrats, who in turn would brag and discuss inside politics with them, revealing plans and strategies the Republicans could use against them. Liddy and one of the Cubans indeed did “recruit” prostitutes.

“My partner, being Cuban, preferred fiery, dark-haired Latino beauties,” Liddy told a sold-out crowd at the University of Southern California in 1983. “I being of Nordic descent preferred fair-haired flaxen maidens.” When Mitchell turned down the operation, Liddy protested, “But General, these are finest girls in Baltimore.”

Increasingly paranoid of Ted Kennedy, Mitchell did give Liddy the go ahead to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at Washington’s Watergate Hotel in June of 1972. Liddy may have been a smart guy and whiz at the FBI, but his handling of this as well as the Beverly Hills break-in ranged from amateur to comical. The break-in and bugging of the Watergate was meant to elicit nuggets of inside politics, Kennedy’s plans, and other intelligence that could be turned against them. Instead they heard secretaries making hairdresser appointments and other useless things. They broke in twice, and the second time were caught.

One of the Cubans had an address book with a phone number linked to the White House. Liddy was soon identified as the ringleader. He refused to cooperate, but everybody else spilled the beans and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post broke the entire operation. Liddy remained steadfast. At one point he volunteered to stand on a street corner and wait for an assassin’s bullet. He also volunteered to assassinate columnist Drew Pearson, not to mention White House counsel John Dean, who completely turned on Nixon at the hearings. Ultimately, Liddy never cooperated. Stories of Liddy’s machismo were a major source of the stories’ appeal and interest. One anecdote concerned Liddy placing his hand over a flame until his skin burned. The trick, he said, was “not minding.” Despite his marriage, he was reputed to be a big ladies man.

While the others received soft sentences, Liddy was given hard prison time. History generally concludes President Nixon knew enough about the operation to be culpable. His aides tried to shield him enough to give him “plausible deniability,” but in the harsh light of the Watergate hearings and investigation, that was a thin veneer.

In prison, hardened criminals, many black, confronted Liddy but he had been trained to defend himself in the Army and the FBI. He knew karate, and fended off attacks. Then he offered free legal advice to fellow prisoners, which made him a cult figure to them. When the prison warden stole his mail and tried to break up his marriage by leaking communications from a paramour, Liddy took the warden to court. Dressed in a suit and tie, he told him, “You’re in my courtroom now, warden,” proceeding to win the case, then returning to the prison a conquering hero. He was eventually pardoned by President Jimmy Carter, but did not fade into that good night, as most of the other Watergate conspirators sheepishly did.

After conducting a fascinating interview with William F. Buckley on Firing Line, he wrote a devastatingly honest biography and account of his role in Watergate, white washing nothing. In fact, he stood tall, proud of what he did. The book was an enormous best seller and made into a movie starring the macho Robert Conrad as Liddy. One scene in the movie depicts Liddy called before his children’s school principal. The kids, picked on for having crew cuts and wearing Nixon buttons, beat up other children. Confronted, Robert Conrad as Liddy states, “Madam, may I remind you that in the 1930s, French children were taught pacifism, while German children were taught to aggressively assert themselves. Given that Germany invaded and occupied France within 40 days, I prefer the German way!”

Liddy went on a book tour with Dr. Timothy Leary, of all people. He said they were friends, that he admired Leary’s “Irish wit.” During his appearance before the jam-packed auditorium at the University of Southern California in 1983, Liddy took questions from the students. One pretty sorority sister stood up.

“Mr. Liddy, our campus is located in a dangerous part of town,” she said. “Some women are afraid to go out after dark. What suggestions would you have?”

“I understand your predicament,” Liddy replied in his crisp, authoritative delivery. “I too attended a university, Fordham, located in a similarly crime-ridden section of New York City. I would suggest that you organize groups – tough guys – from the swim team, the football team, guys willing to defend themselves, and patrol these streets in vigilante style, then take back what’s yours!”

Bovard Auditorium erupted in spontaneous applause, foot stomping, and chants of, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” During these appearances, Liddy declared that despite having grown up a Roman Catholic, he had at some point lost faith, which he described as “liberating” himself from dogmas that held him back. He utterly re-invented himself. Already a very handsome, dashing figure, he got heavily into bodybuilding and had many photos taken of him in swim trunks. He learned how to fly planes and had something of an acting career, highlighted by an appearance as an arm’s dealer on an episode of Miami Vice. His character was asked to prove that he indeed was killing Communists in Nicaragua. Liddy produces a bag and dumped its contents onto a table. Asked what it was he replies, “Ears. Sandinista ears!”

He stayed married and his male children became Marines and Navy Seals. In the mid-1990s, Liddy started in conservative talk radio. He was an absolute natural. There is no training for this occupation. Either one has the charisma and natural abilities to carry it off, or he does not. Liddy had it in spades. His incredible life story, filled with wild, colorful, many tales told out of school of famous politicians, was enormously entertaining. His vocabulary was incredible, his intellect unimpeachable.

He called his show “radio free D.C.,” but often joked about some on-air malfunction that he was working with “East German equipment.” Liddy played to highly macho sensibilities, was extremely sexual, loved guns, had a Pattonesque view of warfare, and took on a conspiratorial, partisan view of the Clintons and Obama. He was nobody’s fool, speaking several languages, and his education was first rate. He also had his pet peeves, such as “prison guards,” who he had low regard for because they were his overseers when he served time.

When Clinton’s legal counsel, Vince Foster, supposedly killed himself in a Washington, D.C. park, Liddy practically blew the lid off the official story. He had sources with the FBI who contacted him to say it was all a set-up, that Foster was murdered, and if so, probably on the order of the Clintons, already rumored to have murdered many of their associates in Arkansas. Liddy described the irregularities at the crime scene, picking apart the official line bit by bit, making it seem quite obvious it was a crime, not a suicide. Ultimately the Clintons did get away with it.

During the 1990s, when the “militia movement” was big after the Waco and Ruby Ridge events, Liddy made controversial statements about gun use and how the Second Amendment gave citizens the right to resist tyranny, then seen as coming in the form of Attorney General Janet Reno and his beloved FBI run amok under liberals. He advocated people get proper gun training – including women – and told them that when he was a federal officer he was taught that he should never shoot to wound, but rather to kill; that despite being a Roman Catholic he should kill whomever he shot at, then pray for their mortal soul later. On his show, Liddy told his listeners they should aim for “center mass.” His detractors said he was telling people to kill FBI agents.

At some point, however, Liddy found the Christian faith he had lost earlier in his life. A student of Friedrich Nietzsche, whose “will to power” was seen as the philosophy behind the Nazis and Stalinism, Liddy find his way back with the help of another Watergate figure, Chuck Colson. Colson became a prison fellowship minister during and after his incarceration.

Liddy created calendars he called “stacked and packed,” featuring him in skimpy bathing shorts promoting his “package,” while surrounded by well-endowed girls in bikinis, carrying machine guns and the like. He was like Hunter S. Thompson in that much of what he said seemed a put-on, in particular his “descriptions” of dalliances with women. He would speak openly of these things, then say he sheepishly returned home to his angry wife. She would read him the riot act. Asked what she thought of his scandalous behavior, he replied, “She doesn’t like it very much.” Yet they remained married, apparently happily. How much of all this was true was not disclosed; it was most likely an act meant to make his program more entertaining, which it certainly did.

 

Mark Levin

 

Levin was an attorney in the Reagan Administration and a genuine Constitutional scholar who authored some of the finest books on conservative legal principles. Men in Black (2005) unmasked terrible Supreme Court rulings like Roe V. Wade. Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America (2012) stripped all veneer of respectability off political move after move by President Obama. However, if the conservatives ever again ascend to heights of power and popularity comparable to Levin’s hero, President Reagan, Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto (2009) and Michelle Malkin’s Culture of Corruption (2009) will stand out as a modern “Battle of Midway” in this longstanding struggle. Both books came out with the new President Obama astride the world like a liberal giant. At the time, despite being cutting and brilliant, both Levin and Malkin seemed like John the Baptist crying in the wilderness. But one by one, the accusations and truths pointed out by both these intellects of the Right exposed the Obama Administration, coming to light more and more leading to the 2012 election.

In 2015 he published Plunder and Deceit, a scathing description of how the Democratic Party, often aided by unethical, power hungry Republicans, destroyed the nation by plunging American into what is now a $20 trillion debt, thus robbing young people and future generations of their birth right as American citizens. It like all Levin’s books is so brilliant, well researched, informative, and filled with so many undeniable facts, as to lay out in plain English the superiority of conservatism over liberalism. Levin’s books differ somewhat from Ann Coulter’s diatribes and descriptions of Democrat abominations, in that Levin delivers a positive message of his philosophy like a lawyer influencing a jury to his side. The problem is that many people are simply not smart enough, let alone curious enough, to read such a book, absorb it, and upon learning its lessons, adopt truth and righteousness over previous misconceptions.

Levin is particularly irritating. He has a bombastic style and cutting, scratchy voice that, if aimed at liberals is filled with partisanship, absent any good feeling or curbing not only of criticism, but also of mocking, outright attack. However, his academic credentials are so extraordinary that he is hard to fight against. Levin uses facts as his anvil, the courts of law his special battleground. He posed a particular challenge to President Obama because he would propose a law, a mandate or a policy in the morning, only to have Levin that very afternoon use history, law, precedent and common sense to totally cut it to shreds. Liberals complain that they have nobody like Levin on their side. Conservatives counter they have nobody like Levin because Levin is right and, since liberals are not right, this is why they do not have somebody who is right, on their side. Consequently, that is why conservatives, of their own free will, choose not to be liberals.

An observant Jew, Levin is still very friendly to Christianity and critical of Islam. He mocks the Muslims who claim civil rights protections, often using U.S. laws to mask terror activities. He reads news reports of Muslims with Arabic names from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or from the Middle East, and purposefully mis-reads pronunciations of the name only to dismiss such person as, say, “Abdoool Rockmahn . . . uh. . . yabba dabba doo.” ^^lxvii^^

But Levin by no means aims his barbs only at Democrats. He absolutely cuts “RINOs” (“Republicans in name only”) to shreds for giving in to Obama, acquiescing to spending hikes that will bankrupt the U.S., and giving in to a corrupt appetite for power. Having worked in government he is uniquely qualified to speak about his old boss, Ronald Reagan, and the vagaries of government corruption. He aims particular disdain at Republican U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who at times practically acted like Obama’s sock puppets, in particular giving him the leeway to sign an atrocious deal that will probably lead to Iran getting nuclear weapons, which they may very well use some day on Israel and even America.

Levin lambasted House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, both moderate Republicans. He revealed that McConnell played untrue ads implying his Republican primary opponent in Kentucky was a racist, which Levin felt was especially nasty. He lampooned both men and developed a very good imitation of McConnell’s Southern accent, joking “the Senate’s working” in a mumbling, bumbling way.

Levin’s legal skills made him particularly adept at discussing the legalities in a number of shootings, usually featuring white police officers and black suspects. The problem with that is it takes a fairly intelligent mind and willingness to be logical in order to understand the legal building blocks set forth. Many of his listeners have those qualities; those screaming for the death of police officers do not and are not persuaded by the likes of Levin. He soldiers on anyhow.

Levin may be most effective in discussing bad Supreme Court decisions. A former solicitor general who worked for Attorney General Ed Meese, he is an expert and uses the Constitution to build up or break down legal arguments. There is no greater advocate of the U.S. Constitution than Levin, a scholar of the Founding Fathers, the Federalist Papers, and the meaning as well as proper interpretation of ultimate law.

He breaks Democrats down, showing precisely why they hate the Constitution, at least when it prevents them from getting their way. Levin points out that Democrats use the system to their ultimate advantage. What they cannot attain via the vote they will attempt to attain by ballot measure, judicial activism, executive order, or downright chicanery, all of which is antithetical to American Democracy. The passage of Obamacare through illegal procedural methods, despite Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown providing the pivotal, filibuster-proof 60th vote against it, was a good example.

A Democrat like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or Harry Reid will make a pronouncement in the morning, or make a speech. Levin will play it, stopping it and then inserting commentary, in the form of devastating counter-arguments, demonstrating why what the speaker in questions says is wrong. To his fans it is wondrous and almost makes it seem the Left cannot prevail against such withering logic, but they still manage.

Levin is one of the greatest critics against the liberal argument of man-made “global warming.” When the temperatures stopped going up, he pointed out, they changed the mantra to “climate change.” Limbaugh was the first to address this issue, adroitly pointing out the Left began speaking about it almost as soon as the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union fell. It has replaced traditional Socialism-Communism but espouses the same tenets of one-world government.

The climate change argument has been a difficult one for conservatives. It is taught as “settled science” in public schools, advocated as such by Hollywood, Democrats in government, and the elites. Unquestionably, the climate has changed over the past two decades, giving some credence to the liberal argument. But Levin and others have pointed out large swaths of legitimate science literally shut out of the argument by the academic totalitarians. When men as brilliant as Levin put their reputations on the line, claiming it a “fraud,” it gives enormous moral courage to the Right instead of just giving in. Many on the Right openly mock the Left, saying they treat it as a “religion,” which vaguely connotes something evil, as in Satan’s way of using false prophecies to lead people away from truth. Either way, like many other aspects of conservatism, it ends with the Right being better informed. The Right certainly hears all the liberal arguments, but the Left often does not even know about the countervailing science. They are literally ignorant.

Less discussed is the premise that even if it is man-made, it might not be as severe a problem as predicted by doomsayers. It could result in a few icebergs breaking from the Arctic, a few displaced polar bears, maybe some flooding, but this is not Armageddon. Some have pointed out the benefits to agriculture, the economy or other things when the weather is warmer

Levin also pounds the Republicans for not following through on their occasional threats to shut the government down. Like Rush Limbaugh, he points out the past, occasions when the Right shut the government down, or took a hard line on immigration, only to win the next election. Most significantly, Levin pointed out that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) filibustered the Senate floor, “shutting down” the government for a few days. He was criticized in the press and the party supposedly was hurt in the polls.

But Levin and Limbaugh led the charge in pointing out that in the next election (2014) the Republicans defeated the Democrats in one of the most total thrashings ever. This completely destroys the argument often made by squishy Republicans who falsely think if they are nice to Democrats they will get some fair treatment instead of getting stabbed in the back. Levin and Limbaugh regularly point out numerous examples of this using history, a favorite tactic of Reagan himself.

Levin also enjoys pointing out that his show comes on at night, after the government has “shut down” for the day. They are “shut down” every Friday until Monday, and on holidays, yet none of this results in panic or disruption of the American way of life. He takes it a step further; when the government shuts down they cannot do damage. Government employees always get paid even after shutdowns.

He also uses the Second Amendment of the Constitution to break down liberal arguments for gun control, pointing out how laws have not and would not stop the vast majority of mass shootings; but “good guys with guns” would have. One such example included Islamic terrorists shooting up military facilities in which soldiers were not armed to defend themselves. He and the others always point out that the cities with the strictest gun control laws, most notably Obama’s Chicago, are killing zones rivaling Anbar Province during the Iraq War. Along these lines, Levin was a leading critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, pointing out that a handful of white police officers have shot black criminals, usually to stop them from committing a crime, but black-on-black murders, if added up and looked upon not as an American social problem but a war or crime, would rival the worst 15 or 20 genocides in world history. The same is true of abortion: approaching 60 million and counting in America. In China, who knows? A billion?

Crime in the inner cities, some conservatives like Levin point out, is the ultimate result of the Great Society, a series of laws and initiatives presided over by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964-65. From 1945 until 1967, the year the Great Society really began to kick into gear, blacks made impressive gains. They were normally made up of nuclear families, the father presiding over his unit, with Sunday church attendance the bedrock of their communities. African-American income made substantial, incremental gains during these years. Blacks made consistent improvement in social standing, through entertainment, athletics, jobs, small business ownership, and especially in education. Integration was in full operation by 1967.

1967 was the year of the Summer of Love, when rock music and drug use became widely prevalent in the U.S. and abroad. While most of the middle class white kids caught up in this vortex eventually returned to parents capable of nursing them back to health, many African-Americans lacked the family structure to effectuate their recoveries. The welfare state was beginning to erode black families, making black fathers less and less relevant. Consequently, many blacks took to crime; drug dealing, prostitution, and worse. Year after year, the percentage of black fathers marrying the mothers of their children and staying in place to provide for them declined.

The “boat people” from Vietnam represented a particularly embarrassing example of African-American failure post-Great Society. Refugees from the war, they came to America with nothing. They did not speak English, looked funny, and were reviled as ungrateful for U.S. sacrifices. “Affirmative action” did not apply to them; they had no education, no political backing or representation. But they worked hard, stayed married, often buying small but well kept stores in bad inner city neighborhoods, with blacks sellin’ dope or pimpin’ their women on the street corners outside. Patrons noticed over the years that the Vietnamese were expanding business, buying property, and bragging about how their kids were now at Berkeley or UCLA. They were rising in America.

Meanwhile, the blacks were still sellin’ drugs and pimpin’ their women on the same street corners.

Today it is practically a given that an African-American kid in the inner city grew up with a single mother and likely does not know his father. The results of this, again, if looked at as a mass crime instead of sociology, and if pinned on its main proponents and advocates, the Democratic Party, would make that party a criminal organization like the Mafia.

As conservatives like Limbaugh, Levin and O’Reilly point out, this is not unplanned, which makes it so insidious as to be a crime, not mere politics. The Democratic Party needs poor people with no real hope other than the crumbs they provide, as the core of their voting constituency. If these people improved within a decade or two they would cease to exist as a party; too many Americans would be successful and vote for their opponents instead.

As Levin and others have aptly stated, the Obama Presidency, despite all the damage done, may ultimately be the tipping point that leads to large numbers of blacks leaving this “reservation,” to coin a term. So much hope was invested in the first African-American President, but Levin has used statistics demonstrating that African-Americans have taken the worst hit among all minorities.

A significant portion of them may in turn be more likely to turn from old, tired, unhelpful prescriptions, especially when those prescriptions are again being uttered by tired white men and women like so many that preceded Obama. This is yet to be established, but if this thesis materializes in any significant form, it could represent one of the greatest voting shifts since 1960, when John Kennedy persuaded African-Americans, roughly half voting Democrat, to swing towards him in large numbers. By the late 1970s they were approaching 90 percent Democratic reliability, and this has held ever since.

If the Great Society were broken down not as a series of “helpful” acts by Democrats on behalf of blacks and minorities, but instead simply viewed by counting its victims and carnage, it would likely pass the Great Inquisition among the world’s worst atrocities committed against a peoples.

Levin specializes in spotlighting liberal hypocrisy and lies. He is amazed that elected Republicans, despite holding more state and federal offices than any time since the Civil War, continue to be defensive. Levin on the other hand is one of the most aggressive of all the conservative radio personalities, and is a regular guest with his friend Sean Hannity, who calls him “the Great One,” on Fox News.

****

While conservative talk radio has played an enormous role in the post-Reagan years, it has also created a backlash against it. The nation is terribly divided, more so than any time since the Civil War. While the medium has undoubtedly created many conservative converts and “Rush babies,” as Limbaugh refers to kids who grew up listening to him and others, crediting these voices with their political development, it must be pointed out that some were turned off by their angry, loud vitriol. It has enlightened many who did not understand how they were being affected by liberalism, almost like being in a pot of hot water, not realizing it was boiling until they were too numbed to get out. Its greatest affect has probably been in turning people away from the liberals, more so than galvanizing a big Republican constituency. However, it has mirrored some of the GOP’s greatest electoral triumphs (1994, 2002, 2004). While it did not prevent Democrat mid-term sweeps (2006) or President Clinton and President Obama from winning twice, it coalesced opposition to them better than any previous force. While it cannot be verified, conservative talk radio, in conjunction with the Tea Party, is probably the biggest reason the Republican Party repudiated Obama’s Presidency as thoroughly as it did in the 2010 and 2014 mid-terms.

It is by no means a monolith, however. Intense criticism of Republican policies, officials and candidates, particularly President George W. Bush and 2012 candidate Mitt Romney, as well as Republican leaders like Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Congressmen John Boehner, frustrated many listeners who said such talk hurts GOP chances.

 

Savaged!

 

“Paranoia, the destroyer.” The lyrics come from a band Dr. Michael Savage apparently likes, because he uses a song by The Kinks, “Living on a Thin Line.” It is about how the British Empire, after all their struggles, wars and sacrifices, became a shell of their once proud self. A caution for a great nation called America.

Dr. Savage is paranoid. There are mighty forces arrayed against him. Shadowy conspiracies, enemies plotting his demise, and all he holds dear. He did not want his picture taken. He calls you, you do not call him. His phone number is blocked. He does not want his email address shown to anybody. Nobody knows what his wife looks like. He owns several residences and rotates where he lives, apparently to confuse those who might seek to harm him. Where he broadcasts from is often a mystery. He might be in San Francisco, Marin County, possibly in Florida? Oregon maybe? There was really not even a public mailing address for his radio program. Even his show’s producer went by a literary name, Beowulf.

Oh, one more thing: his paranoia is totally valid. This is a man who if his descriptions were only 50 percent accurate was the most qualified man not to be hired by academia. A man who once had his home address broadcast on air by a radical Left-winger who told his listeners when Savage entered the same studio, “I hear the white sheets rustling,” a KKK reference, and then told his audience to go to his house and make life bad for his family. This was a man targeted by Islamic “thought police” at the height of the War on Terrorism; considered enemy number one (or close to it) by political factions trying to get the FCC to institute a Fairness Doctrine forcing him off the air; and fired from a TV gig at MSNBC after approximately 10 seconds because he failed to bow at the altar of the gay lobby, which viewed him about the way a certain sailor named Ahab viewed a certain large white mammal of the seas. This is a man considered an official enemy of blacks and Latinos, the sacred cows of modern American politics; with an entire political party (the Democrats) who if left to their own devices would go all Pol Pot on his you-know-what; is barely more tolerated by the Republican establishment; is persona non grata on Fox News, left out of the fraternity of conservative talk show hosts, and oh, one last thing: is actually banned from America’s best friend and ally, the nation of Winston Churchill and the “special relationship,” Great Britain, his name put on a list, like something Laurence Olivier would come up with in Spartacus, along with skinheads, murders and the lowest kind of scum.

Yes, he is paranoid, you would be too, and Dr. Michael Savage, who “meets stress head on,” got the last laugh. His enemies are left to weep and gnash their teeth.

 

“I’m a shunned figure in the media, yet I have a very powerful radio show and I’m a bestselling author over and over again,” said Dr. Savage. He likes it that way. It is in many ways the key to his success; like his literary hero Jack Kerouac, the misunderstood outsider who shuns much of the material trappings his success has brought him in favor of pedestrian pleasures; good spaghetti, cold beer, a great movie on television. He is an Everyman who is also so complex his life story should be a full-length biography, a documentary, maybe even a movie if Hollywood would dare (which they will not, at least not until they get to the H.L. Mencken bio-pic first). ^^lxviii^^

He is brusque, hard to like, pushy, very impatient; then seconds later formally polite and cooperative to a fault. He suffers fools badly (seemingly assuming all are fools?), is easily exasperated and put upon; then just as quickly, efficiently fulfills all requests. At once he protests that he has no time, then gives of his time with generosity of spirit. He is very shy, yet robustly self-important with a huge ego he readily admits to and says he could not succeed at his profession without. He is right. He hides details of his life then, a few hours later on the air, lets it all hang out for millions of listeners.

 

Rome of the New Republic. “Everyone walked around knowing that New York was the center of the world and that America was the center of the world; New York was the center of the center,” Dr. Savage said of his childhood as Michael Weiner, in the Bronx and Queens. “That was the attitude then . . .

“I’ll never forget it personally as long as I live,” Dr. Savage said of the Atomic bomb. “I ran down the street with the newspaper screaming, ‘The world is coming to an end, the world is coming to an end.’ Somehow it affected me deeply. Some probably thought I was a nut. Some thought, as I have described in the Bible, ‘ . . . your young shall prophesy, and your old men shall dream dreams.’

“I hope I wasn’t a prophet but the fact of the matter is that ushered in again an existential cloud of the world ending over us in a few minutes, which we’ve all lived with ever since. Think about that one. Prior to the Atomic weapon, nobody perceived the entire world could end in a few seconds, in a few minutes.” ^^lxix^^

His father was an immigrant shopkeeper without a formal education, but he read the newspaper every day and was astute on political affairs. He told his son he voted Democrat because they looked out for “the little guy.”

“My father in his little store, I mean, without using words such as honor, told me never to cheat on anyone, and if somebody didn’t like something, take the object back and give them their money back, that kind of thing,” Dr. Savage recalled when asked when he first grasped the meaning of “honor.” “I think you have to teach it through actions, let’s put it that way; or learn it through actions.” ^^lxx^^

New York in the 1950s was “Sinatra swank,” an era of big bands, jazz, Yankees dominance, mob “wise guys,” racial awakenings via movies like West Side Story, blues music, and the like. These cultural touchstones created a huge melting pot of ideas and common perceptions that play out on his show, The Savage Nation, which at its peak reached an audience of 8-10 million people, according to Talkers magazine (Savage also boasted that he is number one on the Internet according to studies). ^^lxxi^^

“That period of time was quite unique, and it produced vibrant men – the ones that came home, the ones that survived – full of life, full of zest,” said Dr. Savage. “America was a nation that had just produced a major victory, wasn’t it? So the nation was tremendously confident in itself, tremendously confident in its vision for the future, and look at the amazing things that were produced in the post-World War II era, from design to inventions, I don’t have to list them. Look what burst forth on the scene.” ^^lxxii^^

Michael Savage attended Jamaica High, near where Shea Stadium was eventually built.

“When I was in high school, you know, I was in with the typical crowd of kids,” he recalled. “They were all kind of driven in some way, in one way or another, in that many of them were the sons of immigrants . . . you know, I was the son of an immigrant, I don’t think they were, but they were driven and were severely hard driving kids.” ^^lxxiii^^

From there it was on to Queens College. On his show he discusses the education at this average public university then as being better than what Left-wing “ethnic studies” majors are receiving at Harvard today. Considering the average college education is often taught on-line at Cambridge the same as College of Marin, he is probably not far removed from reality.

 

Literary influences. At a young age, Dr. Savage was motivated to write when he read about a vivacious French teenage girl who wrote a blistering bestseller that sold enough for her to buy a black XK120 Jaguar (semi-modernized in the French film Swimming Pool and the Showtime series Californication). From there Jack Kerouac influenced him. A classmate described On the Road as “this crazy wild story where somebody just drives across America and has a lot of fun and has a lot affairs, so we all read it,” he recalled. “You know, we didn’t know quite what it was about, other than having escaped responsibility and getting stoned and driving around in a car across the countryside, and meeting beautiful women, and having affairs in Mexico.” ^^lxxiv^^

Kerouac was “the same type of character” as Savage, “introspective, loner, outsiders, but not shunning action when necessary,” who’s influence on him was extended later in his writings of Marin County, California, a far away land that Dr. Savage romanticized as a place where deer, unheard of in Queens, wandered into backyards. Kerouac was a devout Catholic who tried to have his deceased brother beatified. Savage ascribed the same saintly qualities on his own brother, Jerome, who passed away young. He also pointed out that Kerouac, “who had been a great, great role model of mine,” was a former football player and Navy man, supported President Richard Nixon, “shunned the entire, the entire Left-wing (B.S.)” and “was a die-hard anti-Communist, anti-liberal.” ^^lxxv^^

Ernst Hemingway’s “heroic” characters further shaped the young man, still known as Michael Weiner, morphing with his sense of himself as a New Yorker who lived in a city representing the greatest of all empires. ^^lxxvi^^

“Again, there was a sheen of bravado in his persona that appealed to me greatly as a young man; the safaris, women in the tent, the khaki clothing, you know what I’m saying?” Dr. Savage said. “That kind of whole imagery, of the heroic imagery . . .” There was another aspect of their influence.

“Now remember, a lot of those guys in that era, whether they be Hemingway, Kerouac or Miller, they were all heavy, heavy drinkers, and they boasted about being alcoholics,” he said. “That was the thing of the literary ‘40s, ‘50s, the drinking, right? . . . Again, that was a negative influence in that regard: ‘Oh, I’m gonna be a wild writer, I’m gonna get drunk in bars.’ But it was stupid, just stupid.”

The same appeal as Kerouac: “there was a nobility in Hemingway’s writing, and a nobility in his characters, the heroic male who was usually a loner, usually misunderstood, somewhat introverted or, shall I say, introspective, was extremely appealing to me because it matched my character. So I was drawn to that same type of personality.” ^^lxxvii^^

J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye spoke to his generation, but Dr. Savage is quick to point out that Salinger, like Kerouac, was a World War II veteran of both D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge; facts the liberal literary establishment omits because “it would make him look too American.” ^^lxxviii^^

Perhaps more influential was Henry Miller; not Tropic of Cancer, the graphic sex of which was mostly made up, but Black Spring, “and if you read Black Spring, you read one of the greatest books ever . . . I read that book over and over again. As I got older I read it again, especially when I was stranded in Fairfax for many years, I came to understand Black Spring even better, because I lived through a gigantic Black Spring,” Savage said of years he spent in the Marin County, California town of Fairfax.

“Allen Ginsberg was very influential on me, because I confused him as a prophet,” said Dr. Savage. “There he was, the rabbinic figure, Jewish voice, Jewish name, right? Deep, sonorous voice, he was devil incarnate, probably one of the most evil men in modern American history, like a Rasputin of the literary world. Not that he personally hurt me in any manner, but I got to know him very well in the East Village. I thought he was kind of a demi-god rabbi.”

Kerouac “hated Ginsberg as the devil incarnate – said he misled him in his early life,” said Dr. Savage. He did not address the issue, but according to literary gossip, this era of which is plentiful, Ginsberg tried to turn Kerouac into a Communist, and after plying him with drugs and alcohol, had some kind of sexual tryst with him. William Burroughs was also alleged to be homosexual, as was Gore Vidal. According to many who insist homosexuality is not a trait all gays are 100 percent born with, these men tried to ply young writers to “their side” through homosexuality, which apparently Kerouac hated Ginsberg for. There is further rumor that a well-publicized on-air fight between the conservative William F. Buckley and the liberal Gore Vidal was over this issue. ^^lxxix^^

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, owner of the famed City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco’s North Beach that influenced many of the beatniks of this era, was “another fraud, one of the biggest fakers in the world, another one who makes believe he’s down with the people.”

A.E. Housman wrote very dark poetry: “ ‘On your midnight pallet lying . . .’ ” Savage read from A Shropshire Lad. “ ‘When I was one-and-twenty, I heard a wise man say, Give crowns and pounds and guineas, but give not your heart away; Give pearls away and rubies, but keep your fancy free. But when I was one-and-twenty, no use to talk to me.’ How’s that for a poem? It was very much like Plato wrote about in his Dialogues, where he takes a slave kid and through logic shows the reader that the reader knew mathematics in a previous life, because he had logic, okay? So I read poetry in a previous life type of thing,” not unlike one of Dr. Savage’s heroes, General George Patton.

“Nobody’s ever heard of the Housman story, that’s an important part of this interview,” continued Dr. Savage. “That’s because as a young man, who had a sense of mortality, I was going through the sufferings of young angst, where you over emphasize your own value, where we’re all so tragic, because we’re gonna die one day, right?”

Norman Mailer never touched him, but instead Dr. Savage later felt “he was a seminal figure for the same self-promotion I’m famous for. I mean, I’m pretty clear on that, because if I don’t promote myself, who will?” ^^lxxx^^

He calls Democracy in America “over discussed,” a sign of how much better read he is than most of the “experts.” Lastly, the young Weiner was an associate of famed LSD guru Dr. Timothy Leary. It was the local prosecutor, G. Gordon Liddy, who gained initial fame by busting Leary before his own Watergate imbroglio and later, like Michael Savage, a successful career in conservative talk radio.

 

Cultural influences. Dr. Savage’s tremendous literary expertise is matched by his love of great classical painting, sculpture and music – which he readily compares to rap music, letting the comparison speak for itself – movies, and television dramas. This, along with his great knowledge of history, ability to quote the Bible extensively, and far superior academic credentials, separate him from most of the conservative talkmeisters like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and many others. Many conservative talk hosts tend to be policy wonks whose expertise is politics or the law. Dr. Savage’s eclectic interests draw a much wider variety of erudite, educated listeners to his show. The Left places forth the fiction that Right-wing audiences are troglodytes or “hillbillies,” but that is untrue. Only Dennis Miller’s variety of interests is comparable. ^^lxxxi^^

The beatniks began America’s degeneracy, which Dr. Savage has “long played with the idea of writing a long essay on . . . who destroyed America’s psyche . . . and it was a troika; it was Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and in the legal sphere, he made the law into a mockery, it was William Kunstler.” When Dr. Savage refers to 1960s civil rights frauds that were in it only to “meet girls,” he means Kunstler.

“Now you could also enter into that troika the women’s movement, because it was not based upon equality, it was based upon hating men. There’s a difference between equality, which we are all for, and hatred of the male. Those elements shifted the nation from optimism and production into something entirely different; looking over your shoulder, questioning yourself, doubting the history of the nation, that’s the result of only a very few people, a handful of revolutionaries.” ^^lxxxii^^

 

Personal experience with “affirmative action.” But none of the influences effected him nearly as much as what happened in the late 1970s. He rejected Ginsberg and Leary, but was still probably a “liberal” by the standards of the day. He worked as a social worker, where his “clients” made more money on government welfare checks than he did on government pay checks. He became active in the growing field of herbal nutrition, becoming a legitimate pioneer on the subject who lived and studied on South Pacific islands, providing valuable research and writing six books. ^^lxxxiii^^

Married with two young children, he earned two master‘s degrees, in medical botany and medical anthropology, which he points out were not “in ethnic studies, or Chicano studies, or black studies, or women’s studies, where they grant degrees in such rubbish.”

The professors told him he needed a “union card,” a doctorate, in order to become a full-fledged professor. He earned one in three years from what he called “the greatest university in America,” the University of California, Berkeley. What happened next defined now-Dr. Michael Savage. Whether there is any exaggeration or hype to his description, it is immaterial, for it describes a time and new way of thinking in America that has divided this great nation like few other issues. ^^lxxxiv^^

Getting a Ph.D. in three years, he says, is almost impossible, which may or may not be true, but to Michael Savage’s perspective – no scholarship, not originally a California resident, not a rich man, the pressure of supporting his family – it was. He claims he received 200 rejection letters

“Why?” he asks rhetorically. “Certainly not because I didn’t have the academic credentials. I had committed the greater crime. I was not born a black, a Hispanic, and I was not an illegal or a preferred minority. And I wasn’t a woman. Because ‘affirmative action’ had clicked in, where ‘white males need not apply.’ And I must tell you, when your . . . 36 years old, and you’ve killed yourself to support yourself without scholarships to get two master’s degrees and a Ph.D., and you have two young children, and you’re not hired because you’re of the wrong race, or sexual orientation, it tends to make you think very hard about your society, and then you find out that society is all twisted. I’ll never forget as long as I live what the ACLU published in those years, the darkest years of my life: ‘some people will have to put their lives on hold so that others may advance.’ That was the ACLU’s writings on the issue of not hiring white males. I think that pretty much defines when I became a conservative.” ^^lxxxv^^

Few issues – Alger Hiss vs. Whittaker Chambers, McCarthyism, Vietnam – have created a greater schism. Before this time, blacks, Latinos and minorities got the relative shaft in the United States. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society attempted to rectify that. There is a very large political element at work then and now that simply says the Michael Savages of this world – whether WASP, Irish Catholic, Jewish – had it made once and they must now be forced to the proverbial back of the bus so the ancestral sons and daughters of the dark-skinned, impoverished and plundered can take their place. To the white men suddenly denied what they believe to be their American birthright, no amount of logic, compassion or guilt over past injustices can legitimate this policy. Some even go further and point out that a black man who was never captured and enslaved in America either died of war or disease in Africa, or his ancestors, if they survived, is probably in the torture chambers of a Robert Mugabe, or an Idi Amin . . . while the ancestor of the slave became a jazz singer in New Orleans, or a basketball player in New York, or a welfare recipient in L.A. A simplified view, but not an invalid one.

“I should add a footnote to that little story; I’ve done very well in life, financially,” stated Dr. Savage. “But I’ve crawled over broken glass, I’ve rolled over hot coals, I’ve had people scar my body and my soul, but I’ve done well. But what about the millions of white men who haven’t been as fortunate and didn’t have as much drive as I had, who are fine people, who have the degrees and have the brains, but were locked out, permanently underemployed, so that lesser qualified, lesser talented, lesser intelligent people can fill the ranks of bureaucracies, academia, and corporate books. Take a look at America today, as a result. Just take a look at it.” ^^lxxxvi^^

The Bakke Supreme Court decision of 1978 slightly alleviated the burdens of “affirmative action,” but apparently did not prevent Dr. Michael Savage from entering his “wilderness years.” Having read Kerouac’s Dharma Bums, he gravitated to Marin County, where the writer spent some formative years, and whose scenes of deer in backyards enticed the man. Oddly, while Kerouac influenced Savage from a conservative point of view, his Bay Area connection, which infuses most of his work, is credited in large part for the area’s tilt to the Left.

 

Angry white male? A loser. Bitter. An angry white male. These might describe Dr. Savage during these “wilderness years,” but the facts do not agree. He is a fighter. He struggled like a character out of Rudyard Kipling, T.S. Eliot, or Hemingway; any of a number of the many books that formed his character. Like his father, the little shopkeeper who died young, broken down by hard work and stress. While this unknown man would someday be sought out by Presidential candidates like Mitt Romney for advice, consultation and even approval, it was his academic record, the books he wrote on nutrition, that make him the proudest.

Unhired? He pursued his profession anyway; studying, writing and becoming published. In granting an interview, and in his daily radio show, his political views, his opportunity to lash out and stomp on the memory of the many losers who once posed obstacles to his success, do not dominate his thinking. Instead he insisted on literally reading, word-for-word, from one of his theses on the healing power of plants and natural alternatives for the prevention of disease.

“So, that’s important, that’s a big part of my life that someday somebody will remember,” he states. ^^lxxxvii^^

 

When Bill Clinton was elected President, a tremendous conservative backlash swept a tsunami of Republicans into elected office during the 1994 midterms. Much credit for this was given to a chubby former disc jockey with no college degree, fired multiple times, a one-time Kansas City Royals employee who made so little he “shopped” at 7-11 because they accepted his credit card, kept alive via minimum payments. His name was Rush Limbaugh. This certainly seemed a strange conundrum to Michael Savage, Ph.D., M.A., but something clicked and he created a tape of a proposed conservative talk show, not unlike Limbaugh’s. He sent it to some 200 radio stations. Local San Francisco station KGO hired him. Challenge number one, coming up.

 

Bernie Ward, pervert. KGO’s star was a lapsed Catholic named Bernie Ward, who hosted something called “God Talk,” which did not attempt to dissuade atheists from not believing.

“That S.O.B. tried to kill my radio career from the day I started,” stated Dr. Savage. “I’d be on the air and I could smell him, he stunk so bad in the other studio at KGO, and he’d say, ‘I hear the white sheets rustling,’ that S.O.B. He personally stank. I don’t know if you know that, but nobody would go in the studio after he had been in there, until a cleaning crew had been in there, and deloused the room. He was physically, and this is an important point; you know they say cleanliness is the closest thing to Godliness! This man stank; he would leave garbage, food on the floor, no one could be around him, and look how he wound up. I have found that people who are physically repulsive are spiritually degenerate as well. It doesn’t mean that everyone that’s clean is good, but this whole Occupy Movement is filled with Bernie Wards.” ^^lxxxviii^^

The story of Bernie Ward and Dr. Michael Savage mirrors his entire career, his life. First, Ward gave out Dr. Savage’s home address on the air, urging his listeners – night zombies, druggies, degenerates – to go there and “protest” his . . . existence. But Savage ascended to the heights of power and prestige on the American political-media stage. Ward continued to “preach” to his night zombies, druggies and degenerates, until a few years ago he was arrested, tried, convicted and jailed for lascivious, pornographic acts involving minors. ^^lxxxix^^

Ward’s scandal received scant attention in the Bay Area media, which covered it up. Dr. Savage pointed out that had this happened to him, or any conservative anywhere, it would have been broadcast from the mountaintops with the full force of whatever voice CNN and the New York Times have not lost to Fox, the Wall Street Journal . . . and Michael Savage. Thus did Bernie Ward have to sit in a jail cell knowing that the man he accused of being in “white sheets” (KKK) was single-handedly making sure that, over the course of a few months, some 10 or 20 million American citizens were clearly hearing the details of his home-pederast phone calls to a sex mistress and his lewd chat room postings, mainly about how he masturbated while watching the male friend of his son.

 

Radio waves. Beginning in 1994-95, conservative talk radio exploded. Joining Limbaugh was Ken “the Black Avenger” Hamblin, President Ronald Reagan’s son Michael Reagan, G. Gordon Liddy, Larry Elder, Sean Hannity, and Dr. Michael Savage. The competition was harder than academia, but this time, absent “affirmative action” politics, allowed to thrive in the free marketplace of ideas, the only judge the American public and the advertisers who wanted to air commercials on his show, Savage exploded to the very top. By 2000-01 he was one of the most popular, most controversial, most-listened to talk hosts of all time.

Savage utterly savaged the Clintons. He despised Bill Clinton for bombing medieval Christian churches in Bosnia, favoring the Muslims, just to cover up the Monica Lewinsky affair. He railed on and on about bums in the streets of his adopted town of San Francisco; of garbage on the sidewalk; and of bath houses allowed to stay open, hosting wild gay orgies unquestionably spreading AIDS. He was sure the “AIDS epidemic” in Africa was a host of other diseases, called AIDS for political purposes. After President George Bush initiated a multi-billion dollar AIDS relief campaign, Savage was proven mostly right. He went after Congressman Gary Condit (D.-California) for having an affair with a staffer who was found dead; eerily similar to the Clinton-Lewinsky imbroglio with a touch of the Vince Foster killing. When a group of illegal Haitian immigrants was allowed to land a boat on American shores he lampooned them as the “good ship Democrat.”

He was mad, loud, pissed, vitriolic. It was very easy to view him as unhinged, beyond the pale. He was routinely called prejudiced, bigoted, homophobic, a symbol of hate. The problem is none of those terms actually fit him. They are reasonable terms to a person who listens to a few minutes of him, but to his loyal listeners, they see the complete picture. He is an immigrant son who grew up with all the races of Queens, New York. He loves intelligence and despises stupidity. Rap music infuriates him, but rather than just rail on and on about it, he plays Wolfgang Mozart and Pyotr Tchaikovsky as pure evidence of its superiority, ragging rappers and dumbellioinites about their “superiority”; complete with “savage” criticism of their pants hanging half-way down, exposing cracks and underwear, stupid hats turned backward or sideways, ignorance personified.

He is not always right. Limbaugh jokes he is correct “97.9 percent of the time.” That may be an exaggeration but not nearly as big as his detractors insist. Mark Levin is uncannily accurate, a lawyer prosecuting a case with facts as his weapon. Savage says many things, some for effect, some out of emotion or passion. His predictions are often incorrect, his analysis not to be counted on as rock solid. He will announce a particular candidate or ticket will win, maybe in a landslide, but ultimately be proved entirely wrong; only after he reverses himself several times during the process. What he says must be taken with a grain of salt. He is impetuous and emotional. His ego is utterly and absolutely gigantic, maybe the biggest of all the conservative talkers, if not bigger even than all the pols he talks about, many viciously. That said, he is the first to admit it, stating that to absorb the slings and arrows of his business requires just such confidence and bravado. He is probably right.

He would not do well in a company environment, forced to get along with people, although he is smart enough to tone it down when need be. He insists he could never handle a government Cabinet position. He is “me, me, me,” bragging about his ratings, obsessed with anything written about him, instantly making enemies of his critics. He requires sycophants kiss his butt; to cross him is to earn a spot on his “list,” but apparently the list is not finite. He forgets slights after a while and lets by-gones be by-gones. He is one heckuva conundrum, an enigma, and readily admits just that. He can laugh at himself. He was obsessed on the air over a profile on him in The New Yorker, in his youth the great literary magazine, now a colloquialism of itself. But Savage constantly discussed the piece, his emails with the writer, Kelefa Sannahe (he gave him total access, including an invite to his home), re-playing Sannahe’s interviews about the piece. He was like a former baseball superstar who calls a friendly writer with a Hall of Fame vote every year inquiring, “Not that I care . . . but do you think I’ll get in this year?” ^^xc^^

He was thrilled with The New Yorker story on him; he grew up reading that magazine, considered the epitome of the literary world in his day. The article was very fair and Savage laughed when Sannahe describing how Savage was not what everybody thought he would be. He was not a lock step Republican or even conservative; he disliked Rush Limbaugh and other conservative personalities; he had a wide-range of interests and was incredibly well read, to the point of great poetry and historical literature, according to the piece. He liked to drink at night, a point Savage chuckled at on air when he played the tape. When Gentry magazine ran a positive piece on Savage in 2012, he read it word for word on the air, getting special joy over the descriptions of his old nemesis, Bernie Ward, now rotting in jail.

He disdains sports, thinking fans are idiots with hats on backwards, but this fails to consider the important role sports has played in American society: integration, morale during wars, a symbol of American Exceptionalism. He does, however, like the ultimate fighting competition, not unusual since his son is closely associated with it on the business end. He sees in the manly men who fight a sense of American greatness, the last hope if the nation is to ward off Islamic terror and political stupidity in the form of women falsely elevated to the role of he-men, gays glorified as heroes, “political correctness” leading to social experiments de-balling the military and the things that made the nation strong. He loves the program The Vikings, which fascinates him partly from a racial point of view, but more in that he sees in their story of manliness, warrior code, and eventually civilizing via Christianity, an American parallel.

He endlessly talks about himself and how he overcame all the odds from poverty to lack of position to “affirmative action,” willing himself to rise above the peons. In this his rhetoric is similar to G. Gordon Liddy. Savage may be the most brilliant man on the radio, which is saying something. Limbaugh, Liddy and Levin are all savants, geniuses, or least men with a genius for talk radio, but Savage is almost astronomically intelligent. He is in fact scary smart. He probably is even smarter than he lets on; to let it all hang out would require near God-like perception to understand.

The others with some exceptions (Liddy, for instance, before his retirement) specialize. Limbaugh is under-educated but ridiculously intelligent, genetic traits of his attorney father and grandfather. He knows football and he knows politics. He is funny and entertaining, but has been known to be uncomfortable, at least in his earlier years, around intellects like William F. Buckley.

Levin is a world-class legal mind, but his entire show is politics and the Constitution. He and Savage share one thing in common: love of dogs. Savage speaks constantly of his dog, Teddy. Levin even wrote a book about the pain of his dog passing away.

Almost as if to poke his San Francisco neighbors in the eye, Dr. Savage reveals great enthusiasm for the city of Los Angeles, a place looked upon with a mixture of envy and hatred by denizens of the Bay Area. Savage has broadcast from there regularly and enjoys its ambience, it excitement and especially the culture of people watching in Hollywood.

Savage briefly had a television career, oddly enough on MSNBC, the most liberal network. In record time, he managed to alienate most everybody. The black ex-basketball star Charles Barkley, supposedly a Republican, was on a panel with Savage, who said Barkley was an “ignoramus” who did not know history. As if to prove Savage’s point, Barkley replied, “I don’ need to know history I know now.” But Savage’s stance on homosexuals infuriated the network and its audience. His argument was the health issue; gays were spreading AIDS through unprotected sex, especially in gay bathhouses in big cities that failed to close them down out of “political correctness.” Almost as soon as he was introduced he was booted off the show.

Savage can be petty and turns on those who do not pay him fealty in a “New York minute,” but he is careful in his choices. He loves to hear from New Yorkers who identify with his stories of growing up there in the 1950s and 1960s. He occasionally fields calls from men who say they were once in the Mafia, and milks these calls for all they are worth, finding a strange form of “code” or “honor” in their way of life.

He loves to watch movies and is a tremendous film buff who often uses clips from The Godfather or other films to accentuate a political point. One example is the Senate testimony of a family hit man who tells investigators, “The family had a lot of buffers, Senator,” which Savage equates with Obama or other corrupt politicos using others to shield their actions from public scrutiny. He makes no bones about his love of alcohol, although he coyly evades revealing just how much booze he consumes. It is quite apparent that he enjoys sitting around at night drinking wine or beer while watching movies showing on HBO or Showtime.

Despite rants about homosexual behavior, it is the glorification of the act, or use of gays as a tool of social engineering, particularly in the military, that arouses his ire. He takes calls from gays who agree with him and is very respectful. When blacks and Muslims call his show, if they show some intelligence and respect, he goes out of his way to be nice to them. Only when they are critical of him does he let them have it; vituperative outbursts followed by hanging up the phone. Many ordinary whites, if not from New York, are given short shrift. It is not generally a good idea to call his show. He almost never lets most callers get their points in; talking over them, cutting them off, and being rude in many cases.

He is mercurial to the extreme. He supported Mitt Romney in 2012 and at one point announced that a Romney-Sarah Palin ticket would “wipe out” Barack Obama. He was obviously incorrect, that the ticket would be formed and that Romney would win, although he was mystified by the campaign. First, he eventually turned on Palin, as well as another conservative, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, practically calling both of them incompetent. But the Romney campaign made no sense to him.

Before announcing for the 2012 nomination Romney invited Dr. Savage to dinner during a visit to San Francisco. He obviously wanted his support, but also wanted to pick the talk host’s mind. They sat down and according to Savage Romney asked, “What’s good here?”

“Try the veal, it’s the best in the City,” Savage replied, parroting a scene from The Godfather when the police captain played by Sterling Hayden sits down at the most Italian restaurant in the world and asks, “How’s the Italian food here?” The mobster tells him the veal is “the bet in the city.” Savage played that clip over and over, to laughter.

At the dinner Savage emphasized to Romney that he needed to crack down on illegal immigration. He claims he knew Romney was in trouble when he told him if he hit the issue too hard he would be accused of racism.

Romney destroyed Obama in an early debate and led in the Gallup poll by seven points some 18 days before the election, but managed to lose by four. If Gallup is to be believed, Obama swung an airtight campaign 11 points in a little over two weeks, leading Savage to speculate that Romney, and the Republican Party, purposefully threw the election for reasons never explained. Perhaps, as some speculated, they preferred the role of outsiders and oppositionalists to the role of a governing power. Romney was “too nice,” he proclaimed.

 

After 9/11, Dr. Savage found himself at “war” with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who he and most on the Right consider a front for jihad just as Sinn Fein was a front for the IRA’s bombing campaign against Protestants. For those who do not listen and understand Dr. Savage, he is castigated as a man who hates Muslims. This is fiction. He gets a fair number of Muslim callers who agree with much of what he says.

“What they hate most about this country is cultural degeneracy,” explains Dr. Savage. “A Muslim family man who is religious and is not a fanatic does not want porn, does not want his daughter to end up like Britney Spears, or his son like Jeffrey Katzenberg, tries to limit the effluence of the Hollywood sewer pipe, detests Western culture, which has become the antithesis of Western Civilization. He might embrace the ideals of Western Civilization, such as religious tolerance, but all he hears is degeneracy, and does not want his daughter to look like a Hollywood slut.”

Next on the litany of liberal accusations is that Dr. Savage is a racial bigot who hates blacks because he was denied a professorship in 1978. Again, it requires somebody to listen to him over a long time to get the whole picture, but that picture clearly says he is not. It requires a suspension of disbelief also since he is an unabashed admirer of African-Americans Herman Cain, Congressman Allen West, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He is not immune from criticism of so-called “Uncle Tom” black conservatives. He also found former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to have been out of her depth.

However, this brings up a very interesting point applying to Dr. Savage’s views not only of Islam, but also of blacks, gays, illegals, and liberalism. His detractors use the words “bigotry” and “prejudice.” Consider, however, that bigotry is defined in part as “devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices,” and that prejudice is based on the concept of “pre-judging.” Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.”

Basing Dr. Savage on these definitions, consider first that he is listened to daily by as many as 13 million human beings, only to grow and gain popularity. Obviously great “light” shines on what he does, and certainly has not “contracted,” as his nemesis Bernie Ward did when the light shone upon his activities. But bigotry and prejudice require a person to be stupid, to lack knowledge, to judge things before he learns the truth about them. Nothing could be further from Michael Savage’s truth. He provides astounding dissertations on the history of Islam no other talk host comes close to, so he certainly is not ignorant of them.

Asked if in the history of the world, are dark-skinned, indigenous people better off for coming into contact with white Europeans, or worse off, Dr. Savage replies this is “a loaded question,” but answers with facts and knowledge, not ignorance or “pre-judging.”

“Look at Haiti,” he says. “Is Haiti the most impoverished island nation in the Western hemisphere? Yes, is that correct or incorrect? Yes, look at the history of Haiti. Haiti is the only nation, island nation, to have successfully fought against colonialism, and successfully evicted the colonialists, their slave masters from the island. That’s a fact. What happened after they evicted the white man from their island? Take a look at Haiti today. They did not have the capacity to support themselves, sustain themselves. The same is true in ex-Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe under Mugabe. They kicked the white man out of this nation called Rhodesia, which was once a food exporter, and is now the basket case of Africa. Can’t raise enough food to feed its own people. Sorry.”

Facts are . . . facts. They exist and are much different from “pre-judging” and ignorance, which is the basis of real bigotry.

Liberalism? Unlike Limbaugh, Levin, Hannity, Beck and others who are lifelong “true believer” conservatives, Dr. Savage – like David Horowitz – lived in the “belly of the beast,” and experienced the philosophies of Ginsberg, Leary, San Francisco, and Marin County up close and personally. “Affirmative action” was not a theory to him; it was a scythe cutting down the hopes and dreams of his lifetime.

Gays? Only regular listeners really know Dr. Savage is almost a social liberal, in that he could care less how people live, but does care when they force him to call Mike and Tom Mr. and Mrs.; force their way into his home via TV shows that glorify the gay couple as the wise folks, the ones to turn to for relationship advice, superior child-rearers, more tolerant, and above his traditions. He says he is not religious, yet has devoted his life to seeking God and knows the Bible – which he quotes at great length on air – back and forth.

“I once read a book 30 years ago called Peace of Mind, by a former rabbi, who wrote that if he believed God was omnipotent, he would cease believing immediately, because there’s so much tragedy on Earth, right?” he says. “So he said if you believe God is omnipotent and controlled everything, he would cease believing in God . . . So he definitely believed that God was omni-present, not omnipotent, meaning he’s everywhere but he doesn’t control everything. What’s the good of a God like that, you may say. . .

“Evil exists so we know what goodness is. That’s what the mystical rabbis teach, that without evil there can be no good. So the evil exists in order for us to understand what good is. And we should not shun evil. We should understand it, in order to understand what goodness is,” pointing out the “evil impulse” is in every man, “And the object of the evil impulse is to overcome it.” Man is in “bondage” to God. Atheists are wrong to call Christians “hypocrites” for sinning, since all men are sinners and a Godly life is an “ideal” to be strived for, not attained.

“But what if you never try to reach that ideal, then what are you? Then you’re the Left, they’re the ones who defecate in public places, so that’s not hypocrisy, that’s depravity. Who teaches these things any more, Steven? No one teaches these things any more.”

Savage often points to Leviticus and other Old Testament passages as examples of religious violence, only to be rejected by modern Judaism, which he says must happen before the world will be at peace with Islam. However, not being a true Christian, certainly not a Calvinist or evangelical, he lacks an understanding of the meaning of Leviticus and other passages which order the stoning of adulterers, even the killing of people for picking up sticks, seen as doing “work” on the Sabbath.

The birth of Jesus Christ rendered the old Jewish laws, including dietary restrictions, mostly obsolete. The stoning of sinners was shown by Calvinists and enlightened Christian theologians to be a picture of sin; God views all sin as equally offensive. This is virtually impossible for man in his limited mind to conceive. Genocide is equal to adultery? Yet one can understand man’s relationship with God, and the true nature of saving grace as being a free gift unearned by works, only by coming to grips with this concept. Savage is too “smart,” too iconoclastic and oppositionalist, to agree with this, yet he respects the Christian mind that attempts to do just that.

His stance on illegal immigration can be summed in three words: borders, language, culture.

All of this landed Dr. Savage on a list of rapists, murders and brutallions actually banned from Great Britain, a country he greatly admires. His many legal attempts at removing his name from their “no fly” list have, despite the election of the conservative David Cameron, gone for naught. There are few more egregious examples of liberal antipathy towards actual free speech than this ban, which has lasted for years now, possibly emanating from Dr. Savage’s tirade against a gay criticizer who he told should, “Get AIDS and die, you pig.” Sometimes he, as Dennis Hopper said of Marlon Brando’s Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, “goes too far,” and perhaps as with the Kurtz character is “the first one to admit it,” or not. As wrong as it might be to say such a thing, Michael Savage exists in a world in which Bill Maher calls conservative women “sluts,” “whores,” “c—-s,” and worse, while Leftist filmmakers make movies detailing how to assassinate George W. Bush; all merrily traveling about in willy-nilly manner, while he cannot legally visit Big Ben.

Dr. Savage has many Southern fans that share his “world view of how the world really should be,” because of the way “the media shapes our mind into that world. Look at what just happened with gay marriage. They wanted us to believe that, ‘Oh well, that’s Neanderthal, everybody’s in favor of gay marriage’ . . . oh really, what happened in North Carolina, what happened every time it’s been voted on in 31 states?” he said in 2012. “No it’s quite true that most of the world doesn’t see the world the way the media portrays it, and so the guys in the South like an outspoken man whose willing to speak his mind in a clear, strong voice.”

 

So Michael Savage is a darling of the Republican Party, right? Not so fast, Johnson. Dr. Savage excoriates many on the Right, including former President George W. Bush, when he finds fault in them. His attitude towards Mitt Romney ranged from tepid hopefulness to outright frustration. He said the GOP establishment wanted Barack Obama to be re-elected because their money all comes from the same place, their “bread buttered” on the same plate. His attitude on this and many like issues is cynical to the extreme, the view of a man who knows he lives in a world that can produce the Nazis and the Communists within a few years of each other. When the establishment wanted President Obama’s birth certificate issue to fade away, Dr. Savage interviewed people who said hospital officials in Hawaii covered up his birth in Kenya. He revealed a pamphlet from Obama’s literary agent in 1991, stating the young author-hopeful was born in Kenya, then raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. Dr. Savage doubted it would be taken seriously, knowing nobody wanted to call him a prophet. He likes the Tea Party, and loves to compare how they abide by laws and pick up after themselves, while the Occupy movement gets arrested, breaks thing, defecates in parks, rapes women, and spreads disease. The Tea Party has “self-respect.” When he looks at Occupy he sees Bernie Ward, who he said literally had feces dripping from his orifice in the KGO studios.

Dr. Savage’s book, Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama’s Dream of the Socialist States of America, was just one of several bestsellers. It provided a blueprint first of President Obama’s perceived failings and, worse from the conservative standpoint, successes. Dr. Savage hoped it would help accomplish what his previous book, Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama’s Attack on Our Borders, Economy and Security, did when it helped the Republicans win crushing mid-term victories in 2010. The Left despises Dr. Savage’s success. He claims the New York Times manipulates their bestseller list so Dr. Savage’s works are not rated as high as they actually are. Callers constantly tell stories of liberal booksellers who hide his books from major shelf placement, which he compares to the Nazi book burnings as an example of liberal hypocrisy against free speech. None of it matters. His success is the mote in their eyes, the pebble in their shoes.

He calls man-made “global warming” a hoax orchestrated by a “fraud,” former Vice-President Albert Gore, all to enrich himself. This is a very important and influential point on the part of Savage and other conservative talk hosts. “Global warming” is considered “settled science” in public schools and academia. Its skeptics are painted as dumb, compared with those who said the world was flat before Christopher Columbus proved it untrue. But Savage is not just brilliant to the point of genius thinking, he is a medically trained scientist. He may not be a climatologist, but his education was centered on a study of the environment and its relationship to living things, both plant and animal life. This gives his opinions far greater credence than those of other conservatives.

He compares the Nobel Prizes, Oscars, and Pulitzers that liberals honor each other with to the golden calf of the Old Testament. He agrees, with some hesitation, that Hugh Hefner is a pornographer who ruined men by “airbrushing” the “shiksa in the Vermont cabin, who was perfect and had perfect breath, right? Who smiled all the time . . . and never had a bad moment in her existence. Who could lift you out of your despair with one wink!” But Playboy centerfolds were “angels” compared to the “craven” sluts Larry Flynt created; silicone-breasted chicks whose only need is a roomful of men with “gigantic” equipment to anoint her with the devil’s “holy water.”

Perhaps his greatest complaint is corruption and liberal hypocrisy. He railed on and on about California’s U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi entering politics as middle class, leaving as “the wealthiest woman in Congress” (Pelosi). Nobody in the media comes close to capturing their essence like Dr. Savage when he quotes Isaiah in describing how, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles . . . As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

Dr. Savage despises Communism because 55-70 million were killed by Mao Tse-tung, 110-120 million by the ideology since 1917. He’s funny that way. He is well-versed in Venona, which when Soviet archives were opened in the 1990s, revealed that many top Democrats in President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration were paid Communist traitors.

He, like many on the Right, have a sense that while Communism was “officially” defeated by Ronald Reagan with the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union, it continues in other forms: the ACLU; 1960s Communist fronts supported and financing much of the anti-war movement from Vietnam to Iraq; Saul Alinsky, Barack Obama and the cottage industry of race extortion; “global warming” as a perfect international mantra. He has devoted his career to exposing how their organizations are tied to each other; and how Communism, whether Soviet-controlled or home grown, has morphed into something that never dies, a kind of cancer on society opposing all traditions like Christianity, family, patriotism, military valor, and rugged individualism.

Asked to define it, he uses the word “rebellion,” an interesting term that Biblical scholars often use to describe man’s sinful nature in turning from God. Asked to explain further he insists he is not “religious” and does not “want to talk about metaphysics because I don’t have an answer for any of that. I mean, I live in this world. I leave that to God and the experts. I have no answer. I mean, why does evil exist?”

Perhaps Dr. Savage’s most true statement, and the title of one of his books, is Liberalism is a Mental Disorder. On the face, this seems nothing more than a put-down of the Left. Surely there are “good liberals,” decent people conservatives simply disagree with. Most conservatives know friends and family members who are liberals, but they love them dearly with all their heart. Yet down deep many look at them and pray as Christ prayed upon the cross: “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

Conservatism is mis-understood and badly maligned. Most liberals do not have the slightest idea what makes it tick. They put it off as small-minded, even racist. The conservative knows these appellations are not true, yet no matter how logically they explain themselves, no matter how sincerely they express intelligent thoughts, it does not seep through. Conservatism is like the Holy Spirit, which magically comes to a person and imprints their soul. Only God chooses whose name is written in the Book of Life. Proverbially, one can “lead a horse to water, but they cannot make them drink.”

Public schools controlled by Democrat agendas; elite academic institutions protecting their fiefdoms; a media inspired by Watergate; Hollywood and advertising creating cookie-cutter, cartoon conservative characters; for whatever reason only some people are capable of seeing past this. Sometimes a liberal will magically “see the light.” Conservatives almost never turn liberal. Ex-liberals often call people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage to thank them for the role they played in this conversion. There are virtually no examples of conservatives thanking whomever for straightening them out on the path to liberalism. Millions never get to conservatism, and Savage, the Ph.D. and Freudian psychologist, has no explanation other than to say it is literally a “mental disorder.” There is much evidence that he is correct. Frustrating as it is, conservatism often comes down to somebody simply knowing what somebody else does not know. It is like the scene in Patton when George C. Scott is admonished by an aide that “sometimes the men don’t know when you’re acting.”

“It’s not important for them to know,” Scott’s General Patton replies. “It’s only important for me to know.” There is something Platonic in this; an ultimate Truth known by a human being. It is Truth even if a million people do not know it is Truth; if only one man knows it to be Truth. Even if that one man is crucified, forced to drink hemlock, spit upon in the public square . . . or excoriated by the New York Times. But not everybody simply lacks knowledge of the Truth. There are many who on the Left who know conservatism is the superior ideology, yet of their own free will open their mouths and utter the lie that it is not. God will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy on.

Civilizations, Dr. Savage continued, erode because of “comfort” more than decadence and “not paying attention to what’s going on around you. Why struggle if you don’t have to? Everybody seems to want a life of comfort and plenty. That seems to be the goal of civilizations,” which he uses in studies of animals – like Charles Darwin – as examples of. ^^xci^^

He is probably a millionaire several times over from bestsellers and his number three-rated nationally-syndicated program, but he seems most proud of his Ph.D. and the obscure academic books he wrote in his “wilderness years.” Instead of hob-knobbing with the rich and famous, he watches HBO and, therefore, provides the most concise cultural analysis of anybody on the air. He is a film expert who loves The Godfather and thought the acting in Training Day (Denzel Washington, 2001) was “astonishing.” He loves noir and spy thrillers (Munich, The Good Shepherd), and sometimes interviews the filmmakers of such movies. He despises Bill Maher and Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, decrying the “weak Jew” destroying a great religion by practically being what Hitler said they were. In this respect he speaks with knowledge because he has seen these programs. He loved the early years of The Sopranos and accurately predicted a show’s demise after one or two episodes (Luck). He interviews ex-gangsters and “wise guys” (not just low level muscle but actual “button men”), CIA experts and movie directors.

He dispenses “life advice” and talks as much about nutrition and child rearing as politics. It is perhaps his greatest “last laugh,” the Ph.D. unhired because “white males need not apply” discussing his chosen medical expertise to an audience of 13 million.

He is not always right, his predictions do not always come true, and he changes his mind constantly; savant-like in his train of thought, a stream of consciousness, some times synapses in the air. He has tapped into something substantially different from most of the other conservatives in the media, a fascination not just to Right-wingers but also to literate people with a love of history.

Savage is the greatest defender of Western Civilization as the true enlightenment of the world, derided as racist by the modernists. In this he finds himself the ultimate defender of the white race, particularly white males.

We live in the “information age.” Today it seems everybody goes to college. People who study filmmaking from their youth make movies. Still, it seems the more we “know,” the dumber we are. Movies are not as good today as they were when they were made by people who almost seemed to fall into the business by accident (think of roustabouts like Robert Mitchum and Steve McQueen). Michael Savage is a throwback, when people read books and thought issues through instead of tweeting or posting.

“I’m an enigma within an enigma,” he said, laughing (he has under layers of great seriousness a sparkling sense of humor). “I am the double Chinese fortune cookie. I am the DNA inside Rubik’s cube. I hold the key to Houdini’s locker. ‘The key to Houdini’s locker . . .’ I am an enigma within an enigma.”

He laughs more uproariously. “That’s funny. Those are the bullet points.”

 

Blood feud

 

In recent years, social media has given voice to average conservatives, but it is not a competition in the marketplace of free expression. Anybody with a computer or “smart phone” can “blog” or display anything he or she wants. Liberals own these devices as much as conservatives, and it is theorized they do not work regular jobs as much as Republicans, so they have more time to add to the “discussion.”

Perhaps the greatest “evidence” of conservative superiority is the fact its views “sell” more. Liberal movies generally fail at the box office. A Leonardo DeCaprio, for instance, may star in a box office smash with no particular political message, but when he wins the Oscar for it he is given the platform to prattle on about “global warming” . . . which explains (along with the selection of a host as absurd as Chris Rock) why the Academy Award ratings go down year after year after year after year after year.

Fox News dominates while MSNBC and CNN are rumored to be seen by people. The Wall Street Journal continues to thrive while the now-liberal L.A. Times is a shell of its once-proud self.

Conservative talk radio ascends. Liberal talk radio is no longer some kind of thing on the planet.

But to be a conservative talk host requires an ego as big as the national audience they reach. Some puff themselves up more than others. Sean Hannity tries to stay centered. Mark Levin cannot contain his self-importance. Rush Limbaugh calls himself a “harmless, lovable little fuzz ball,” but he makes no bones about how influential and important he knows he is to a vast number of people. Bill O’Reilly is so into himself he practically sports peacock feathers. Dr. Michael Savage is like a planet in the center of his own Universe; he admits as much in explaining his success.

Naturally, men with such egos clash with each other. These are chiefs, not Indians. They are not soldiers; each is a general. Limbaugh may be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but all are political and aspire to that rank.

Seemingly only talk radio has given voice to the people, yet this medium has also proven a source of great frustration. Many people listen to disparate conservatives at different times of the day or night; they desire some unanimity of purpose. While the enemy is generally identified in the form of Barack Hussein Obama, the Clintons, the Democrats, liberalism, and its offshoots, many spend so much time criticizing themselves they get side tracked. Audience loyalty is split up. Callers to their shows will air complaints about what some other host said . . . occasionally about them, or a pet cause or issue they espouse.

The conservative hosts are as split as the rest of the party and the country. While many of the personalities claim a bloc of loyal listeners, most of whom favor a particular one, many conservatives listen to all, or most, of the Right-wing talkers. They are frustrated that only a select few seem to get along. Talk of a “conservative talk radio convention,” in which all the disparate voices of the Right get together, find common cause, and get behind a single idea or candidate in a final “big push,” a sort of Argonne Offensive against liberalism to push them out once and for all, remains largely a fantasy with no immediate chance of coming to fruition.

Joseph Farah, once Limbaugh’s co-writer and founder of WorldNet Daily, one of Michael Savage’s leading intellectual sponsors, lays claim to having done it.

“I did manage to get them together after Obama was elected,” he stated. “The Fairness Doctrine was up for grabs with a Democrat Congress, and they all gathered to defend freedom of speech.” ^^xcii^^

This was one narrow issue, in which they were on the defensive. What would happen if they gathered as a bloc in support of a single candidate or cause, at a convention, taking aim with all their rhetorical power at a liberal President or threat? Many of them do appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or the Republican National Convention, but somehow the heft of their collective intellectual weight is never mustered to its full extent. Maybe it cannot happen. They are despite accusation against this theory, very diverse. Perhaps they already do all they can do, on the radio or television or both.

Unless one of them were actually elected President or placed on the Supreme Court (only a few of them are attorneys), it is doubtful any would effectuate more power and influence as a Senator or Cabinet officer than they do behind their respective microphone. That does not stop their vast collective audience from hoping some how they could do more, and that by forming a single coalition, a team instead of uniquely rugged individualists, they could become so powerful their will would be unstoppable by liberalism in all its forms.

According to Zev Chafets, after 2008 Limbaugh’s popularity and audience grew considerably. “Nobody else was (or is) close,” Chafets wrote. Sean Hannity at the time trailed by over a million, and Savage was at number three, he wrote in An Army of One. “Savage isn’t in my rearview,” Limbaugh said. ^^xciii^^

Limbaugh generally likes Bill O’Reilly but calls him “Ted Baxter.” He never listened to Don Imus, Garrison Keillor or Laura Ingraham. “I wouldn’t even know how to find NPR on the dial,” Limbaugh said. ^^xciv^^ He does not mention others on air and, “I don’t engage in rivalry crap” ^^xcv^^

Limbaugh generally supported Hannity, Mark Levin and Glenn Beck but “doesn’t really consider them, or anyone else, in his league,” wrote Chafets. He did go way out of his way to promote Levin’s book Liberty and Tyranny, which published just as Obama was taking over the White House. That book was, like Limbaugh offering a “guiding light during times of trouble, confusion, murkiness, tumult, chaos and national distress,” something that gave hope during a hopeless period for conservatives. It used history and the Constitution to shed light on the nefarious ways the Democrats and progressives usurp the Constitution and take power not granted them by the ballot box. It was a road map on how the Right could possibly walk the long, lonely road of minority status back to a position of influence; once there it described how to make the most effective use of said power. Limbaugh joked that people would carry Levin’s book in “brown paper bags,” passing it along to each other like early texts of The New Testament or some forbidden tome in a dark culture, handing it to friends in corners and alleys.

Limbaugh is the “mother ship.” In the beginning, he was the cause, the genesis of all that followed, and fealty was paid him. Many, in particular Sean Hannity, got their start guest-hosting his program. There seemed to be no dissension until 2006, when the immigration issue split the party, and the conservative movement. In the 2006 mid-term Congressional elections, all the gains meticulously made since 1994 – and particularly in 2000, 2002 and 2004 under President Bush – were lost. The talk hosts mirrored the political situation.

Michael Savage came of age in the wake of Limbaugh’s popularity. He often spoke of “Rush,” calling him by his first name as a sign of friendly familiarity. When the Left went after Rush, they went after him, and all conservatives. That was the thinking, a sort of “all for one, one for all” mentality. Then one day Bill O’Reilly interviewed Limbaugh. Savage’s name came up. Limbaugh was utterly dismissive of Savage.

“Oh, he’s a nut,” he said. ^^xcvi^^

After that, it was a free-for-all. By 2009-10, Savage was at his peak in listenership, and was also trending very high in the growing world of on-line and downloaded apps. Like cable television, namely Comcast and to a lesser extent Netflix, on-demand content was dominating. People no longer needed to hear or watch a show when it aired; they could go to a podcast at their convenience. Conservative talk radio still thrived during drive time hours in the morning and late afternoon, as the bulk of their audience were working people who commuted to jobs. Savage liked to point out that he had a growing international audience; many were Europeans disgusted with liberal policies allowing their countries to be taken over by Muslims.

When Limbaugh used that single word – “nut” – to put down Savage, it seemed to open a floodgate coming and going. But the comment was not a well thought-out one; Limbaugh said it dismissively but also the way a man would talk about something he heard about, but did not really know anything about. It did not appear Limbaugh listened to Savage; he was busy with his own program, the voluminous show preparation that he, a workaholic, always engaged in, plus he has an active social life. Limbaugh, married numerous times, enjoys golf, travel, drinking, hobnobbing with the rich and famous, pro football, has quietly dated his share of women, plus other activities that prevent him from sitting around listening to his competition. Knowing Limbaugh, he would admire Savage’s intellect, his success in the publishing world, and ability to overcome difficult obstacles, as he himself has done. But Savage is a decidedly acquired taste. Many of his listeners disliked him for five, even 10 years before “getting” him.

But Savage, for all his toughness and overcoming of roadblocks set before him, is thin-skinned to the extreme. He came down hard on Limbaugh, and then seemed to declare war on all the others. Savage suddenly put down Limbaugh at every turn. He called him “the golfer,” a reference to his love of the links.

“And yet here in America, I’ve had some people come to my aid,” Savage said after he was literally banned in Great Britain. “They see the bigger picture. They’re not like [Bill] O’Reilly; they’re not like Limbaugh, who’s the biggest disappointment of all. Limbaugh has turned out to be the biggest phony of all of them, all of them. Amongst all of them, he is the biggest fraud. Rush Limbaugh is a fraud. When he was accused of the drug usage, I supported him. But that man is a one-way street. It’s all about him. He’s in it for nobody but himself.”

Savage has defended many people. His reference to Limbaugh’s drug usage came when Limbaugh acquired prescription painkillers to allay pain after back surgery. Savage strongly defended Kobe Bryant when he was accused of rape, and came to the aid – often in the form of fundraising and personal donations – of soldiers accused of crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. In some cases the soldier’s showed little or no appreciation. Savage would one day bitterly complain about the lack of appreciation. The next day he would say he understood why, often with his usual dismissive “that’s all.”

Savage was particularly miffed that nobody really came to his defense when he was banned in Britain, and that he was effectively “banned” from Fox News; he blamed O’Reilly and Roger Ailes first and foremost, and to a lesser extent Sean Hannity. Limbaugh never responded. He appeared to stay above the fray, but his reasons and motivations may not have been revealed. For O’Reilly, a staunch defender of the First Amendment who owes his fortune to free speech, there must be some personal grudge preventing him from lifting so much as his little finger to defend a man’s right to travel and speak. This would seem to resonate with each of them; put aside petty differences and defend a man’s right to speak his mind in any country. But not so with Michael Savage. He is “God’s lonely man.”

Free speech is not the only issue. Savage is one of the most successful authors in the world. He viciously complains that his books reach high places at Amazon.com and the New York Times best-seller list without “promotion,” although that is mis-leading. His audience of millions of people is constantly bombarded with unmitigated self-promotion of all his books, but that said, most of the hosts interview each other; there is an incestuous relationship in which they help each other out. Not so Savage. In particular, he never gets the chance to peddle his books at Fox News; not just with O’Reilly or Hannity, but with Great van Susteren, who seems to get along with everybody. Not with Judge Jeannine Pirro, an attractive weekend hostess whose law ‘n’ order politics and New York pedigree would seem to align with Savage. In recent years at least, only Laura Ingraham had him on as a guest on her radio program. Half the conversation centered on Savage lauding her for being so fair with him.

He also asks callers to identify bookstores that “hide” his books, no doubt the work of liberal store workers who want to keep him down. The result is the opposite, however. Savage’s listeners call the show informing the world that this store or that store, in this mall or that mall, in Anwyown, U.S.A., either “mis-places” his books, fails to stock them, or has employs who “criticize” them. In a capitalistic society, especially with bookstores failing left and right, this is practically economic suicide, or what Savage literally says of liberalism, calling it a “mental disorder.” All of this is very disconcerting to the Left, who think of themselves as intellectual elites and the literary/book world as their last vestige. This is of course a misnomer as they win elections mainly because of illegals and ignoramuses in inner cities who, as Savage points out, wear their hats backwards or sideways, with their underwear showing, listening to rap or playing stupid video games instead of reading. Meanwhile, many American citizens “vote with their feet” (buying books by conservatives) and literally, by virtue of economic math, “prove” that conservatism “wins” in the market of open expression.

Geography could have something to do with the “blacklisting” of Savage. He is in San Francisco, but he sometimes broadcasts from Florida – where Limbaugh has been for years – and Los Angeles, a media capitol. The networks are on the East Coast; New York, Washington, Atlanta. But that is not a legitimate excuse, especially in the age of Skype and remote satellite broadcast capability.

“And in the last year alone, we’ve seen some hilariously over-the-top rhetoric tossed out between the two sides,” wrote Andrew Kirell in Mediaite.com in 2013. “As it turns out, Hannity is getting so tired of Savage’s verbal assaults that he wants out of his Cumulus contract so he can go up against Savage and shut him up by beating him directly in the ratings.

“So grab the popcorn – but none of that low-fat crap, you granola libs – and enjoy some of the best moments in this seemingly never-ending feud below.”

Kirell added that Savage asserted Hannity and Limbaugh were George W. Bush’s “public relations agents.”

“It’s no secret that some of the top conservative radio hosts in the country absolutely detest each other,” he added. “Think of Right-wing talk radio as the racially-neutral version of West Side Story: Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity are the Jets; Michael Savage alone makes up the Sharks. Both sides want to protect the same thing: Maria, a.k.a., their position as the best in talk radio.

“Yes, that is an infinitely tortured metaphor, but you get the picture. There’s metaphorical dancing, snapping, knife fighting, etc. Both sides get pretty ugly. (As you’ll quickly learn, most of the feud is just Savage punching at the other three. But they do often return the blows.)” ^^xcvii^^

Dr. Savage is a New York street fighter, a verbal brawler. It is not that he is unafraid to put up a fight; rather, he is inclined to fighting, to the point of “savagery.” He finds great fault with the others. Aside from calling Limbaugh “the golfer,” Bill O’Reilly is derided as “the leprechaun,” Sean Hannity as “the wall banger.” Glenn Beck’s academic credentials are pitiful, he states, and his animosity towards Mark Levin is palpable. There is some frustration among conservatives over these rivalries and jealousies, since the ultimate goal of 2012 and 2016 was to defeat President Obama and Hillary Clinton, re-establishing conservatism as the winning ideology of history. If all these powerful voices got together would that not further this goal? It does not seem likely to happen soon.

Many wish there was some coordination between the different hosts. O’Reilly and Dennis Miller go on tour together. Limbaugh and Hannity are apparently close friends. O’Reilly has promoted Beck, but appears to consider Limbaugh a rival. Savage is on the outs with almost all of them, except for Ingraham (the only woman, she gets along with all of them). Savage does not hide his disdain for most of the others. Hannity and Levin apparently conspired against Savage in some capacity, and Savage despises both of them. There is rivalry over ratings and book sales, particularly between Savage, O’Reilly and Levin. Savage constantly complains how O’Reilly, Hannity and Fox News do not interview him to promote his bestsellers. Many Republican officials will not go on some of these shows, most notably Savage’s.

Savage rails on and on about Fox News, undoubtedly the only conservative-friendly cable or network TV news organization. He seems to have particular disgust with their regular line-up of attractive women. Fox more than any other station features a bevy of women, mostly youthful and ranging from attractive to downright hot, who tend to wear short dresses, their tanned legs crossed in a manner unquestionably meant to provoke sexual desire in their male audiences. This is a joke to Savage, who berates them as under-educated, lacking any real expertise or intellectual gravitas. There seems little doubt this criticism is rooted in jealousy. That they are on TV and he is relegated to the radio, is surely a major annoyance to him, although his ultimate power and reach via that medium is probably greater, given that he is given virtual free reign he never would get on the tube, to say whatever he desires.

But Savage echoes a widespread complaint among male members of the media over the past 20 years. Minorities began chipping away at the jobs held by middle-aged white males in the 1970s, but the tendency to promote beautiful young women has practically gotten out of hand. There is no place where this is more prevalent than in TV sports media, where jocks and crusty old sports pros are relegated to the sidelines while smoking hot girls in their 20s, wearing mini-skirts, try to “inform” audiences about injury reports, the “true red dog blitz,” or how a pitcher’s fatigue causes him to resort to more off-speed pitches.

By the time these women reach 30, they are discarded for younger, sexier chicks. It is a given that many of these girls sleep their way to the top, providing sexual favors to their bosses, not to mention the athletes who in turn grant them interviews and access, all to the consternation of their male counterparts. Rumors of these dalliances flood the Internet, but there have been serious scandals that have ended marriages, as well.

Politicians who do not wish to appear on Savage’s program are roundly criticized for their lack of courage. During the 2012 campaign, Savage constantly criticized Mitt Romney for not granting an interview after Romney had sought out Savage’s advice and possibly his endorsement during a dinner meeting in San Francisco. Callers to Savage’s program told him they sent copies of his book, Trickle Up Poverty, to the Romney campaign. There is little evidence Romney benefited from any of Savage’s wisdom, disappearing instead into the sunset of moderate Republicanism.

But Romney, like so many others, was afraid to appear too close to Savage, most likely for fear of being tarnished as a racist or extremist. This charge, routinely leveled at most of the hosts, is most often used to paint Savage into a corner, and at first glance it sometimes appears there is a basis of truth in this. He truly more than any of them is the one host complex enough that he must be heard regularly before he is understood. He certainly is the single one of them willing to say what might be interpreted as things that are “too true” for the airwaves. Others steer clear of this subject matter, Savage says, for fear that listeners might get “the right idea.” Savage says there are things that the powers that be, both Left and Right, simply do not think the public is capable of hearing. He has taken particular exception to U.S. Senator John McCain, on everything from immigration to international relations with Vladimir Putin.

O’Reilly’s books are huge hits. While Savage’s books do extremely well, it burns him that O’Reilly, who has the powerful visual TV platform every night at prime time and is also granted access to all the other programs during his book tours, outsells him. But O’Reilly’s radio program did not have the same numbers as the other top conservatives. It could be argued, and is probably true, that between his TV program and writing schedule, he does not have the time to devote to the radio medium. Savage leads a chorus of those exclaiming that researchers heavily ghost O’Reilly’s books while he takes all the credit. O’Reilly has the image of an imperious king, looking down upon the serfs, and Savage’s ego is far too huge to be regarded as a serf. Supporters of both men are dismayed, as there is little doubt the two must have much in common if they ever allow themselves to know each other. When an assistant or “ghost” wrote a few pages of a proposed Savage book a few years back, he freaked out and got rid of him immediately. He writes his own books, word for word.

Listening to Savage and Levin lob stealth verbal bombs at each other is the ultimate in Haiku, understood only by those in the know. While Savage has been a national voice for many, many years, Levin is a relative newcomer. His top-notch legal education and experience in the Reagan Justice Department gives him major standing, consolidated by his book Men in Black, establishing him as the leading conservative voice when it comes to the Constitution and the Supreme Court. A good friend of Hannity’s (who calls him “the Great One”), Levin was able to promote his radio program, first guest-hosting for Limbaugh, then appearing with Hannity on Fox News.

Levin’s voice expanded in a national way largely with the 2008 elections, and the events marking Barack Obama’s Presidency, combined with the perceived spinelessness of the Republicans in “opposing” him. This made Levin arguably the most influential of the Right-wing talkers. This has not made Savage happy. Savage, while still a huge voice with a tremendous audience, has not garnered the same ratings as he did around 2009-10; Levin’s subsequent climb may have contributed to that. During the Bush years, Savage had major, direct impact on immigration, the “Gang of 14” judicial nominations led by Senator McCain, the Dubai ports controversy, the Harriet Miers nominating fiasco, and other events that hurt George W. Bush in his second term. Levin has been influential in more recent Republican Senate and Congressional actions, including primary elections, and the passage or opposition to major legislation. He has become a “go to” source for conservatives; not just listeners, but inside-the-Beltway politicos gauging public sentiment.

Savage despises him so much that he refused to grant an interview with a Bay Area magazine unless they deleted a sentence crediting Levin among the most influential conservative radio personalities. The origins are not clear; it seems when Savage began to call Hannity “the wall banger” that did it. In 2013, Levin called Savage “a troll” and “a snaggletooth” on the air.

He also called him by his real name, “Michael Weiner.” This has been interpreted by some as refutation of his Jewish roots (Levin is a proud, practicing Jew). But this argument does not hold up to scrutiny. Savage regularly speaks about his parents and their hardscrabble upbringing as Jewish immigrants escaping authoritarian Russia and making it in America by dint only of hard work and dignity . . . not welfare.

He says his childhood household was one of knowledge – newspapers, books, stressing education – but was not religious. Savage never says he is atheist, but he is, by nature really, a contrarian and a questioner. God is not an exception. In the long run, he must be counted as a religious person, even a believer. He places enormous value on the Old Testament, citing it virtually to the exclusion of the Christian Testament.

His use of the name “Savage” instead of Weiner is quite obvious. It fits his personality and his show’s attack-dog format. Weiner of course is an unfortunate name in the English-American lexicon, connoting a male body part or if pronounced another way, it sounds like “winer,” which Savage abhors.

In recent years, long after Savage chose his stage name, a Democratic Congressman from New York named Anthony Weiner, married to one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides (Huma Abedin, reputed by some to have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood), became a laughing stock when he sent compromising photos and tweets of himself to women, including porn stars. Having a last name like Weiner did not help his cause. ^^xcviii^^

Levin still went after Savage, making fun of his name. “He changed his name,” Levin said, “but you can’t blame him, he’s named after male genitalia.” Levin called Savage “a real cancer on this business. He is a phony, fake conservative. All you have to do is Google his name, Google ‘Allen Ginsberg,’ Google ‘Fiji,’ and all kinds of stuff comes up.” ^^xcix^^

Savage did have an association with the beatnik-poet Allen Ginsberg, who he now calls “evil incarnate.” In a 2012 article in Gentry magazine, Savage openly spoke of how Ginsberg and others of his ilk drugged and then had homosexual sex with young men, possibly even Jack Kerouac, in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Savage did do medical research on the island of Fiji, eventually earning a Ph.D., but there are some darker rumors swirling around his youth. ^^c^^

Google does indeed quickly lead to several “sources” that insinuate young Weiner and Ginsberg were gay lovers, swam naked together, that Savage is gay, maybe even trans-gender, and other things. Savage is of course viewed as wildly homophobic, but he is not. Only his real listeners know the truth; he is a “sexual libertarian” who finds fault not in homosexuality, but the glorification and/or politicization of it and AIDS, the liberal refusal to close gay bathhouses and other dangerous activities that helped spread the disease, and of course the use of the military and government as gay social experiments.

It is possible Weiner was bi-curious in his youth, but this is most likely a lie, a very common tactic of the Left, who promotes homosexuality at every turn but loves to “out” conservatives; hypocritically and only then is homosexuality a negative thing. For most straight men, there are few things worse to be accused of than being gay, but once that accusation is out there, especially since the Internet, it becomes impossible to shake. Hall of Fame baseball star Mike Piazza, a very handsome fellow and notorious womanizer, somehow had to fend off rumors he was gay. He seemingly put them to rest when he married a Playboy model, but the story never completely evaporates.

For Savage, the father of a man involved in the promotion of the ultra-macho sport of ultimate fighting, such an accusation is particularly hateful, especially since it is almost surely a liberal lie. His son, by the way, has been a public figure who once ran for elected office and still goes by the name Weiner.

It is one thing to be slandered and libeled by the Left; conservatives accept it as a fact of life, even a badge of honor, but to hear such rumors slung around, especially by a man like Levin, an attorney who knows how easy it is to sue another person; to speak of such things to an audience estimated at 7.75 millions people, was beyond the pale.

“Now, he goes on the airwaves and trashes and he trashes a couple of my friends,” Levin said on his program, “Rush [Limbaugh], Sean [Hannity], claiming they’re not conservative enough, you know like him . . .

“I don’t know, I’ve never seen ‘Weiner nation’ at a Tea Party rally. I’ve never seen ‘Weiner nation’ helping the conservative movement.” Levin claimed he beat Savage and forced him out of the time slot.

“You little troll, you little nobody,” Levin said of Savage. “I kicked your butt in the ratings, head to head, one end of the nation to the other. That’s why you’re late night. Got it? I’d like you to come back at six P.M., against me, Eastern of course, so I could do it again, snaggletooth . . .

“I think I might do a one hour special. ‘The Weiner We Didn’t Know.’ You like that, Mr. Producer? No, ‘The Little Weiner We Didn’t Know.’ Actually, ‘The Transgendering Weiner.’ Or something like that, I’ll figure it out.”

When asked about reconciling with Levin, Savage said it was up to Levin to apologize and recant before such a thing was possible. This has heretofore not come close to happening. Since Levin made these most unsavory comments, the battle has become coded, for the most part, a source of quite a bit of amusement for the audience they largely share, since they follow each other (Savage at three Eastern, Levin at six Eastern) and are mostly on the same stations. ^^ci^^

Levin is the serious Constitutional scholar who uses the law as his anvil in deconstructing the Left’s obfuscations, tyrannies and authoritarian dictates. He concentrates on Obama, his willing Democratic accomplices in the House and Senate, and the Republicans who promise to oppose him in Congress but almost never did. Levin rails on and on about Republicans who have disappointed him and let the nation down. Savage, on the other hand, is very mercurial and often says “I can’t do this anymore,” when it comes to Obama and politics. In so doing, he makes fun of Levin, although it requires serious listeners of both to know this, since it is off-hand and he does not name names on the air.

But Savage will mock “those” who go on and on about the Constitution; who have nothing to say except to complain about politics. Savage veers into wildly divergent areas of interest. Frankly, it is what makes him possibly the most entertaining of all the programs. These areas include child nutrition; botany and science; his father, New York in the 1950s, mob characters, and unique aspects of life from his point of view. He talks about movies and TV shows, about his alcohol consumption, and frequently speaks about food, about restaurants he frequents, and service he receives. He gets quite ethnic, talking about inscrutable Orientals who run Chinese restaurants he eats at, but openly wonders about their cleanliness, all but accusing some place or another of having dogs roaming the kitchen, maybe even getting cooked in unwary manner. He waxes on about how to cook spaghetti and meatballs and other dishes. Levin mocks this unmercifully, saying he has more important things to address than meatballs.

Once Savage began a discussion about porn addiction. It is obvious from Savage’s subject matter he is no saint and has not lived his life like a monk. He understands the dark side of humanity, probably because he has seen it up close. Levin may be one of those rare choirboys who have never ventured into such murky waters. Certainly his friend Hannity openly states how innocent he himself is; he barely drinks, swears, hardly dated women before his wife, and the like.

Savage has walked the mean streets of New York and seen the immoralities of San Francisco, which is not a town fit for those just off the turnip truck. He is a troubled man with secrets, like most people, but since he is a philosophizer on par with Aristotle, his conversations are laced with self-analysis and oft-Biblical messaging regarding sin and the human condition.

After Savage asked his audience to call in and discuss their addictions, mainly to pornography, Levin . . . savaged him, again without using his name. Perhaps this infuriated Savage even more than if he did call him Michael Savage or Michael Weiner.

If Savage and Levin were to ever find common ground, it would be the subject of dog ownership. Savage speaks lovingly of his dog Teddy. Levin even wrote a book about losing one of his dogs, and mentions his living dogs regularly. Both men frequently take calls from people with “dog issues,” and both address them heartily.

But Savage is not alone; not by a long shot. In 2011, Donald Trump made some noise about running for President. Many were drawn to him immediately, but Levin lambasted him, pointing out that he was not a serious conservative, had backed Hillary Clinton and Democrats, and had a checkered personal life consisting of high-profile divorces, break-ups and affairs with beautiful women, all displayed in the New York tabloids. Trump had also submitted himself to an infamous “roast” on Comedy Central. These are among the most vile, immoral events publicly aired anywhere. Usually featuring comics insulting each other or some infamous celebrity like Charlie Sheen or Hugh Hefner, they are incredibly misogynistic and utterly racist. One regular participant, Lisa Lampanelli, has created a cottage industry out of supposedly having sex, all graphically described, with “black guys.” Another comic, Gilbert Gottfried, in turn routinely starts out sentences, “Lisa Lampanelli has f—-ed so many black guys . . .” that some orifice or other . . . the connotations are too foul to repeat. All of this is on and of the Left; the so-called arbiter of culture in modern society, and consists of actual terrible things said about women, gays, blacks, and everybody, that of course they accuse the Right of doing or being, but they never are. It is transcendence beyond what any psychiatrist would analyze it to be. Levin was appalled that a man like Trump, who called himself a Republican, would stoop to appear with such miscreants. Savage’s wholesale sponsorship of Trump in 2015-16 upped the rhetorical ante between the two of them.

Levin has long kept himself at arms length from O’Reilly. O’Reilly and Hannity, despite their dual identity at Fox News, long appearing until recent years right after each other, have no public friendship. Neither promotes the other’s programs beyond the minimum, although they promote other hosts and programs regularly. They are natural rivals for ratings, with O’Reilly, the more middle-of-the-road of the two, generally winning. Unquestionably, they are the two longstanding, from-the-beginning superstars of a cable news network that has dominated the landscape almost from its inception in the 1990s. The eventual retirement of either one will be as impactful as Limbaugh’s leaving the scene. For many, these people are conservative media, and the genre will not survive, or at least will change drastically, once they leave.

Levin’s loyalty to Hannity is obvious and probably explains his attitude toward O’Reilly, but in 2015 O’Reilly went too far in Levin’s mind. O’Reilly had already written several bestsellers, but in recent years had specialized in his high-selling “killing” books, featuring titles such as Killing Kennedy, Killing Lincoln, and Killing Jesus. This last title engendered some passionate viewer mail, with many complaining that O’Reilly had breached sacrosanct territory in exploring the killing of the Lord and Savior. One even suggested that in so doing the TV host was sentencing himself to hell.

O’Reilly claims to be a believing Christian. He is an Irish Catholic and product of parochial schools, but has spent years in the secular media and is most worldly. When evangelist Pat Robertson spoke of an old tale that Haiti overcame Napoleon Bonaparte’s forces only after making a “deal with Satan,” promising to practice voodoo, O’Reilly made fun of Robertson, as if Satan did not exist or have any power. True Christians know he does exist and certainly has power and influence in the world.

But Levin lambasted O’Reilly over his 2015 book Killing Reagan. First, unlike the others, Reagan was not killed; a 1981 assassination attempt barely missed its mark. Then O’Reilly suggested that Reagan was not terribly bright, that the Alzheimer’s disease that ended his life 15 years after leaving office was already affecting him in the Oval Office, and that despite standing as perhaps the greatest of 20th Century presidents, his ranking in history was overrated, or seen through rose-colored glasses.

Levin, a loyal Reaganite who greatly admired his immediate boss in the 1980s, Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese, was appalled at O’Reilly’s characterizations and spent the better part of a show one day tearing Killing Reagan apart. This was no small event; Levin and O’Reilly share the same demographic and appeal to the same people. When conservatives at their level criticize each other, it is noticed far more than some liberal who lacks much credence or respect in their worldview.

Levin also beat Fox News’s conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer to pieces, especially during the 2010 Congressional primaries. Krauthammer is one of the most intelligent, erudite men in the media. When he speaks, he is granted the voice of authority. A former Democrat, his conversion to the Right is viewed as imprimatur; to a lifelong conservative like Levin there is nothing to admire in ever having worked for Walter Mondale, as he once did. Krauthammer and George Will often criticized Republican candidates challenging establishment incumbents, or anybody they deemed unintelligent.

Much of this criticism stemmed from lost opportunities. In 2010 the Republicans were beaten in the Delaware and Nevada Senate elections. Both were eminently winnable for them. In Delaware, a woman named Christine O’Donnell defeated an establishment Republican Congressman named Mike Castle in the primary, but lost to a self-described “bearded Marxist” named Chris Coons in the general election. In Nevada, a woman named Sharron Angle managed to capture the Republican primary. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who had once stated, “The war is lost” practically on the verge of General David Petraeus winning in Iraq (2007), was one of the most despised politicians America had ever seen. He appeared not just an easy target, but defeating him was viewed as a kind of “holy grail” for the GOP. Angle’s failure to do so was a bitter disappointment.

Mark Levin, along with 2008 V.P. candidate Sarah Palin, had enthusiastically backed both candidates. They were both deeply flawed, but Levin saw only politics; O’Donnell and Angle were “purist” conservatives, but neither was very bright. O’Donnell had a spotty work history, and little background of substance. Levin pointed out her past was probably more impressive than Barack Obama’s, the “community organizer” voted into office two years earlier. The usual “talking heads” tore O’Donnell and Angle apart, which was to be expected, but reliable Republicans like Charles Krauthammer, George Will, and former Bush advisor Karl Rove, now a regular at Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, joined in the criticism of them. Pointed remarks, especially by Krauthammer, had a direct effect on O’Donnell dropping in polling just before election day. It did not help that O’Donnell had once tried to be a “witch” or some such thing, apparently a Halloween joke or prank rather than a religious belief She made an even bigger mistake, going on the HBO program of Bill Maher, labeled “a scumbag” by Michelle Malkin, to declare in Nixonian manner, “I am not a witch.”

Levin had a long memory. His lambasting of Krauthammer, Will and Rove continued long after the election. He claimed he hardly knew Rove, whom he at first said appeared to be a “nice man.” But Levin developed tremendous antipathy for him. Rove eventually formed a group called American Crossroads, and in so doing consolidated what many had never really thought would happen; a true division within the Republican Party.

The GOP had long said they operated a “big tent” in which many different voices were allowed. These had included the Log Cabin Club (gay Republicans) and even “pro choice” people. A “moderate Republican” had never seemed to be all that much different from a conservative. Rove himself had long been considered a true conservative, and a Christian. But so had George W. Bush. There was grumbling that “old man Bush,” his father, had never been a true believing Reaganite, but W claimed Reagan as his number one political hero (with Christ the “father” he most admired).

Bush appeared to have all the moves. He had the Texas swagger, was a hawk who came in hot against Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and was willing to tackle one of the Big Issues of the 21st Century, social security. But he came from a political culture. His father spent the better part of 20 years in Washington, and it rubbed off on W. To Levin, his top advisor Rove was a political animal of the D.C. establishment. Nobody could truly pin down what the “Republican establishment” was exactly, but during the Obama years it began to materialize as a telling phrase for all the conservatives despised the most, aside from Obama and the Left. ^^cii^^

Conservative talk radio hosts like Levin were putting names and faces to the establishment: Karl Rove, all the Bush’s; Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Mitch McConnell; Congressmen John Boehner and Peter King; consultant Steve Schmidt; and media dinosaurs like Krauthammer and Will.

Levin began a long, relentless march against Rove. It started off professional but became increasingly personal. Rove resisted joining the fray, but it had to sting. Levin pointed out that aside from fealty to the Bush family more than the conservative movement, Rove had failed to secure the popular vote for Bush over Vice–President Albert Gore in 2000, even though his candidate did win by virtue of the Electoral College. Levin felt Gore had been such a dunce and overall bad candidate, sidled by the sexual immoralities of his boss Bill Clinton, that Bush should have trounced him. He might have but-for a last-second revelation of a decades-old drunk driving incident the New York Times deviously waited until the last weekend to reveal. Pundits said it cost Bush four points, reducing a 52-48 win to a 50-50 tie.

But Rove did orchestrate Bush’s huge victory over Ann Richards in 1994, an enormous re-election as Texas Governor in 1998, then the historic Republican trouncing of the Democrats in the 2002 mid-terms, the first time since the Eisenhower Administration a first-term President’s party prevailed. Then he engineered a huge win by Bush over U.S. Senator John Kerry (D.-Massachusetts), complete with GOP Congressional coattails, in the 2004 Presidential election. Levin did not mention those triumphs.

When Rove left the White House and took a job as a Fox News political analyst, many felt he would have more influence than ever, grinning like a Cheshire cat while using his grease board to demonstrate GOP superiority. It did not happen. His party was trounced in 2006 and 2008. In 2012 Rove refused to believe the Fox analysts when they projected an Obama victory over Mitt Romney, and ended up looking churlish. Levin pasted him over that one.

But Rove consistently backed moderate Bush-type Republicans over conservative Levin favorites in a number of primaries in 2012 and 2014, including the 2014 Kentucky Senate primary. One of Levin’s favorite punching bags, Mitch McConnell, had to pull out all the stops to defeat Tea Party favorite David Adams in the GOP primary. The media predicted a close general election, seemingly preposterous in red-state Kentucky. They were wrong. McConnell won to become the new Senate Majority Leader, but this did little more than engender endless sarcastic criticism from Mark Levin.

Rove also supported Congressman John Boehner, a Michigan Republican who must rank among the parties’ all-time disappointments. Given the majority leadership post of the House by a huge margin in 2010, then by an even bigger one in 2014, he was, at least to Levin and his Tea Party fans, little more than an unofficial aide in the Obama Administration. Levin, Michael Savage and most of the conservative intelligentsia gave him endless crap until he finally resigned out of exhaustion in 2015.

Entering 2017, there does not appear to be any sign of a truce between Mark Levin and Michael Savage; between Levin and Karl Rove; or Savage and Bill O’Reilly; or any of the other internecine battles for ego-supremacy of the airwaves. Joseph Farah was able to get them together over the Fairness Doctrine. To duplicate that feat now appears to be a miracle, but as Christ said in the Gospel According to St. Matthew, “With man nothing is possible; with God all things are possible.”

 

“Be careful what you wish for”

 

During the 2008 Republican primaries, Rush Limbaugh surveyed the field and decided he did not favor Senator McCain. On paper he was perfect; war hero, married to a beautiful, statuesque blonde, and “next in line,” according to the general Republican way of electing the man who lost the previous primaries (Reagan, the elder Bush, Dole).

But Limbaugh did not think him sufficiently conservative. He employed numerous parodies and skits making fun of McCain, who despite his image as a fighter jock and one-time ladies’ man, had a funny voice easy to mock. McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham were so close some people joked they were gay. McCain did not try for Limbaugh’s blessing, to his peril.

While McCain was still running for the nomination, Limbaugh told writer Zev Chafets something that nobody would have guessed. He wanted a Republican to win, but was not deeply invested in it. “It’s like the Super Bowl,” he said. “If your team isn’t in it, you root for the team you hate less. That’s McCain.” Limbaugh had said something similar to Charlie Rose in 1992.

Limbaugh was against Democrats more than he was for Republicans. After Reagan, few had fueled his fire. In 2008 he invested far more energy in “operation chaos,” discombobulating Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, than he did picking sides amongst the Republicans. None of McCain’s opponents excited Limbaugh, and McCain won as much by attrition as any other way.

But when former President Bill Clinton began to make remarks interpreted by the hyper-sensitive Obama and his people as “racial” in character, comparing him to Jesse Jackson, Limbaugh saw hypocrisy and jumped right in. In February of 2008 Limbaugh joked that he was going to hold a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, and before the Texas and Ohio Democratic primaries in March gave his listeners marching orders. With Hillary losing, he instructed his listeners to go and vote for Senator Clinton.

“The strategy is to continue chaos in the party,” he said of the Democrats. “Look, there’s a reason for this. Obama needs to be bloodied up. Look, half the country already hates Hillary. That’s good. But nobody hates Obama yet. Hillary is going to be the one to have to bloody him up politically because our side isn’t going to do it. It’s about winning folks!” ^^ciii^^

120,000 Republicans crossed over in Texas and “voted” for Hillary Clinton in order to even the delegate count. When told about Limbaugh’s influence, Hillary said to the media, “Be careful what you wish for, Rush.”

When Hillary won in Ohio, ostensibly because Republicans used the convenient voting laws always espoused by Democrats to make it easy for illegals to cast ballots, seamlessly moving into the Democratic column and supporting Hillary, suddenly Obama wanted an investigation. The Right chortled; he would never call for such a thing if millions of illegal Mexicans gave him the vote. The national press was all over it, “crediting” Limbaugh.

Obama won in Mississippi with their enormous African-American vote, but Hillary came close because so many Republicans voted for her. “Rarely in American politics have so many people ever intentionally voted for a candidate they hate so much,” wrote John K. Wilson in the Huffington Post. “Approximately 40,000 Republicans in Mississippi decided to vote for Hillary Clinton in order to help her destroy the Democratic Party this year with a divided convention . . . The only hope for Hillary Clinton is that Republican voters will help her reduce the gap against Obama, and that the super delegates will somehow be convinced to obey the will of Rush Limbaugh and his acolytes by stealing the election from the legitimate voters.”

It was especially galling; not only was Limbaugh demonstrating his awesome power, but also the Democrats had nobody who could do anything similar on their side of the aisle.

“ ‘Operation chaos,’ “ he announced over the air, “we can safely say, is exceeding all objectives.”

Hillary was very unpopular in Indiana, next door to her native Chicago. It was if those who knew her best despised her the most. She had no business beating Obama, who came out of Chicago politics, but 12 percent of the votes were Republicans voting “for” her. “Limbaugh’s project worked in Indiana – it cost us that victory . . .” wrote Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe in The Audacity to Win.

But as Hillary said, “Be careful what you wish for.”

“Operation chaos” did extend Obama’s primary victory into June, before Hillary finally conceded. “Mission accomplished,” Limbaugh announced.

Indeed it had; Hillary was until 2008 considered anywhere from unbeatable to formidable. In 2008, she was very formidable. It was a Democratic year, the economy was dipping, the Iraq War had lost support, Bush was unpopular; a Democrat was likely going to win. But if Hillary could be upended, all bets were off.

The initial reaction was that Obama was a nobody from nowhere, although nobody was saying he had no chance. He had campaign skills. Even Limbaugh had said, “He’s got it,” the charisma and ability to connect with voters. Bill Clinton had said George W. Bush had that gift. Hillary did not.

But especially after the Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers revelations, it seemed preposterous such a fellow – his birth certificate was still in question, thanks to Hillary – could beat a respected Senator and war hero. Then again, it had seemed incongruous a draft dodging pot smoker could beat the “resume candidate” and war hero, yet Bill Clinton had done just that against George H.W. Bush.

When Obama did beat McCain, many attributed it to his shining skills, but a look back at “operation chaos” from the perch of 2016 tells a different story. When it became obvious that Hillary was in deep trouble against one of the worst candidates imaginable, the outright Socialist Bernie Sanders, the fact that she is simply unpopular, a bad campaigner, and unelectable, became apparent. Based on that, Obama beating such a poor opponent no longer looked so impressive. Yes, he did beat McCain, but he had never galvanized the Right; certainly not the Limbaugh Right. If Obama was so divinely inevitable, how did he manage to fall behind the McCain-Palin ticket by five points in mid-September? Only the sub-prime housing crisis, coming so suspiciously at the worst possible time for a Republican, had given him victory.

It was the most obvious example of Limbaugh’s ability to galvanize the populace when he put his mind to it; at sat least since Dan’s Bake Sale in 1993, when Limbaugh urged 35,000 people to show up in Ft. Collins, Colorado to “raise money” for a guy named Dan Kay to afford his subscription the Limbaugh Letter. It served to utterly mock President Clinton’s suggestion that school children hold bake sales to pay down the national debt. No school children were motivated. Limbaugh’s listeners were, all to the laughing detriment of Clinton.

Operation Chaos t-shirts became the biggest sellers of Limbaugh gear since the Club Gitmo Collection.

 

Conspiracy theory

 

The first thing that must be stated is that Barack Obama did not fail. He succeeded. In this succinct statement lies profound philosophical conundrums; the heart of which is a disturbing belief on the Right that because he succeeded, all is lost and can never be recovered; that when he set out to “fundamentally change America,” he did so. To again use a sports metaphor, this would be like a new manager of the New York Yankees, the greatest of all sports franchises, taking over and announcing that all the methods that made the Yankees great since 1920 will be discarded in favor of a fundamental transformation in which the team will no longer win pennants and World Championships, but in order to be fair to the rest of baseball, will wallow in the second division for a few decades, or more, so the also-rans can catch up. To conservatives, they are the Yankee fans forced to watch their favorite team lose; the liberals are New Yorkers who never thought it right that one team produce so much excellence in the first place. Go Royals.

This line of negative thinking, which runs contrary to conservatism in the first place, is not a winning formula for politicians and was not used by any of the Republican contenders for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination. It has also been eschewed by Rush Limbaugh himself, who in 2016 stated, “I still believe in the exceptional nature of America. Call it faith; not religious faith, but faith that this nation will find a way to recover. How they will do this I do not know, but I believe it will happen.”

Using history as a guide takes one only so far. It can be argued that America had fallen so far by the late 1930s that she would never recover. Many questioned the value of capitalism and favored Communism or Socialism as the only viable economic system for America and the world. So weak was the U.S. military that Adolf Hitler and Hideki Tojo were emboldened to start a world war, figuring the United States would either not fight, or if she did would not be strong enough to prevail. In fighting and prevailing, only this way did the U.S. emerge not only victorious, but suddenly as a global power eclipsing Caesar’s Rome, Alexander’s Greece, or any other empire.

This is quite dreary, for it concludes that for the U.S. to pull out of its current predicament, it must endure another world war. An Islamic dirty bomb or nuke destroying an American city; thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands dead; a long struggle to mobilize and find a winning strategy; followed by a hard-earned victory, most likely not achieved until a Hiroshima-style nuclear explosion in Mecca and Medina, finally rendering the Islamic world as pacified as Japan and Germany in 1945. The roles of China and Russia in this scenario are too complicated to predict. Nobody in their right mind is rooting for such a scenario.

So what then?

 

No matter how much conservatives despise Barack Obama – and they do despise him – nobody can honestly call him irrelevant. He will mark history, for he has left a legacy that will stand the test of time. For one thing, he taught America just what happens when a true liberal governs for eight years and imposes his policies on the country. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out, by the time he was elected in 2008, few in this nation could really recall exactly what that meant.

Jimmy Carter’s Presidency had lasted four years, was marked by impotence, and most traces of his impact were wiped clean bv Ronald Reagan. There were grainy black-and-white images of hostages held in Iran, but Reagan sent all of that into the “dustbin of history,” as he liked to call it, so fast that it seemed little more than an episode of That ‘70s Show.

Even Bill Clinton’s supporters admitted that after 1994 he governed “as a Republican,” as one pundit said on television. Newt Gingrich might as well have been writing the policies that fueled, along with one of the great windfalls ever – the Internet – the economic expansion of the 1990s. ^^civ^^

To find true liberal policies enacted on the United States, one had to go back to the Great Society under President Lyndon Johnson. If somebody were willing to study the Great Society not as well-meaning laws and policies, but instead as a series of acts with consequences felt by people, it would rank somewhere below the crimes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao, but perhaps equal to the Spanish Inquisition, as criminality worthy of the moniker “genocide.” This of course engenders laughter and scorn . . . until the facts are spelled out.

If somebody could in 1964 have used a time machine and showed the reality of what would follow; the destruction of families, the welfare state, the escalation of crime, drugs, prostitution, and poverty on a mass scale; the literal genocide of black-on-black murders, then the laws so heartily passed in 1965 never would have been passed.

But the Great Society did not end there; it gave impetus to the Griswold v. Connecticut decision, which in turn gave impetus to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision, making abortion legal in every state. 60 million babies have been killed in the years since. That is six times greater a number than killed in the Holocaust.

The Right, being more religious in nature, tends to view such things from the standpoint of good and evil, or perhaps more appropriately, with the understanding that there is a battle between God and Satan, that it takes place on this Earth, and that this war is one in which sides must be taken. Taking the wrong side can have profound impact on where one spends eternity.

Liberals consider such philosophy hogwash. A typical Leftist, confronted by this, might say something pithy like, “That doesn’t pass the B.S. test.” Christians sigh and hope to God that their prayers of transference for such a person are heard and answered with mercy.

But considering the weighty issue of God vs. Satan, Christians do indeed spend a fair amount of time and energy pondering such questions as the End Times. Sean Hannity played a recording of Paul Harvey from 1965, inspired by enactment of the Great Society, titled “If I Were the Devil,” in which Harvey incredibly describes verbatim the events under Obama. ^^cv^^

Dr. Michael Savage regularly interviewed Pastor John Hagee, a leading expert on what might be called Judgment Day. ^^cvi^^ Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey created a Biblical mini-series with ratings through the roof. In that mini-series, the devil was portrayed by an actor who, as Rush Limbaugh accurately pointed out, was the “splitting image” of Obama. ^^cvii^^ Many Christians felt this was God warning the world that evil incarnate was afoot.

A 15-year old Israeli boy named Natan went into a mysterious coma, was pronounced dead by doctors, then miraculously came out of it, immediately claiming he had been to “Heaven,” where he met the Mashiach, the Jewish version of the Messiah (Christ). He described him as a living person walking among us (like Jesus), who warned of “Gog and Magog,” the Jewish version of the devil, or anti-Christ, at this time on the planet ushering in the Apocalypse. Asked who “Gog and Magog” were the boy replied, “Barack Obama.” ^^cviii^^

Obama’s election in 2009 did engender a fair amount of Internet speculation on whether he could actually be the anti-Christ. His birth in Hawaii and sudden, spectacular ascendance amid wild cheering and hope added to that speculation, as the enemy is according to the New Testament an “angel of light” who emerges from the sea. Limbaugh and the other conservatives in the media avoided specifically discussing this kind of thing. Nothing brings about more scorn and hate from the secular Left than fundamental Christianity in the form of actual Judgment. Only Savage has veered in this direction, speaking of seeing “evil” in Obama’s eyes, while eventually going so far as to speculate that he is an actual traitor; a mole or sleeper of some kind implanted into America by an enemy, probably Muslim jihad.

Liberals would say that to even discuss such things is evidence the Right is crazy and hateful, but it is really the other way around. That a man has come along and done things so radical that apparently decent people think it more than mere politics, but rather actually evil, is evidence really of just how total the divide has become. There seems little chance the two Americas can ever find common ground. The fact that Christians, aside from being persecuted and tortured in the Middle East, are viewed by many as bad people, is to the Christians at least pure prophecy; Jesus Himself warned this day would come. Either way, all of this was fodder for a battle of . . . Biblical proportions, a battle between Barack Obama and a host of conservative voices convinced that they alone possessed the moral clarity to stand up to him. Elected Republicans for the most part did not have the nerve. The battle started while he was still running for office, and continued unabated during the entire course of his Presidency.

 

For Rush Limbaugh and those who followed in his path, President Obama was the Moby Dick – a mixed racial metaphor, for sure – of political targets. Previous Democrats like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy, Harry Reid, Robert Byrd, Nancy Pelosi, and a host of lesser lights were no match for the intensity of feeling and visceral reaction engendered by Obama.

Obama’s entire story, from well before his birth to his last day in office, was anathema to his detractors. The fact that he was popular and had many loyal followers was to his enemies a sign not of his prowess, but of a deep, dark void in what Reagan called the “shining city on a hill.” Obama seemed always on the opposite of some track or other. Reagan was a very well respected former President, deceased almost five years when Obama took office, but has grown to mythical proportions since, replacing the old icon John F. Kennedy as the most popular ex-President. This likely would not have happened had his image not been so contrasted with Obama.

Obama could be a product of John le Carre or Robert Ludlum. He could be all his detractors say he is. Or he could be a decent Christian man who just disagrees with Republicans on principle. Nobody seems to have been able to look into his heart. His accusers accuse away, on talk radio, on the Internet, and elsewhere, but the final proof needed to imprison or disgrace him has never been provided and probably never will. If the very worst said of him is incontrovertibly proven true, many would shrug and say as Limbaugh often does, “See, I told you so.” But he is carefully constructed and not so easily destroyed. Ever since Alger Hiss, the Left has learned to protect their icons and not let them be subjected to the unfettered devastations of the Right, as Richard Nixon was so publicly broken by the Left during Watergate.

Conspiracy theory is of course a cottage industry within many subjects. Among the conservative talk show hosts, most avoid it. Rush Limbaugh studiously steered away from the “birther” issue surrounding Obama, or other like suggestions, unless somebody else did so very publicly and he could use it to make a point. Mark Levin is an attorney who steadfastly stays only with evidence he can use to prosecute. Television rarely goes into this kind of issue, relegating it to radio and the Internet, where anything goes. Michael Savage avoided it for a long period, but eventually, as Obama’s second term moved along, and he saw an increase in the President’s use of executive orders and what many felt were obfuscations, at best, Savage eventually gave voice to what many think. The general attitude among Obama’s supporters and even many Republicans is that such conspiracy theory is for “nut jobs,” but this is an easy way out. A conspiracy theory is really nothing more than a thinking person wondering about something. Anybody who studies world history would be a total fool if they believed all that was taught or known is simply as it is written by history.

A “nut job” would generally be a dumb person, an idiot, maybe a mentally imbalanced one. The term is used to avoid any credence given to a concept, such as whether Obama was born in Hawaii; his birth certificate was questionable. That is not in dispute. Part of the blame for that goes to the state of Hawaii and what they consider a valid certificate. It is different than most any other state and can be manipulated. Lost in the “birther” issue, however, is the fact that whether Obama was born in Honolulu or Kenya, it would not have affected his eligibility to be President since his mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth. Based on similar birth certificates issued to the likes of Barry Goldwater, John McCain, Ted Cruz and others, this was all that was necessary. In this respect the “birthers” lacked an understanding of Constitutional law more than they had any “smoking gun” that could have derailed Obama, but it did not make them “nuts.”

In the 20th Century, it is virtually established fact that John F. Kennedy “won” the 1960 Presidential election over Richard Nixon on the strength of “tombstone votes,” i.e., dead people, in the state of Texas and in Cook County, Illinois. Lyndon Johnson’s biographer, Robert Caro plainly described how LBJ used old ballots by deceased Texans. He did it to win the 1948 Senate election, and again in 1960. Mayor Richard Daley similarly manipulated voter fraud in Chicago, enough to give JFK the electoral votes he needed in Illinois. Democrats do not like hearing it and try to say the issue is not resolved one way or another. Nixon never pursued legal action because he manipulated votes elsewhere, they say, but nobody calls those who speak of this issue “nuts.” ^^cix^^

JFK’s assassination is practically a given that some conspiracy of some kind existed, exactly how and why not determined beyond speculation, which is all a conspiracy theory really is. There are of course conspiracy theories that are so outlandish that a certain amount of derangement is necessary in order to contemplate it, such as the notion that President George W. Bush orchestrated the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, simply to give himself the political motivation to go to war in the Middle East. In this case, actual evidence exists in large scale demonstrating that this accusation is baseless, but Presidents have done similar things.

In 1964, President Johnson almost surely manipulated the Gulf of Tonkin incident in order to give himself political cover to start the Vietnam War. There has been ample discussion, probably falling short of hard evidence but not enough to dissuade the accusation that President Franklin Roosevelt “allowed” Pearl Harbor to be attacked so he could join Winston Churchill in a World War II alliance. If FDR did this, he likely was hoping there would be some kind of incident he could use, as later with the Gulf of Tonkin. He unquestionably would not have “allowed” the Pacific fleet to be so devastated when his aim was to fight a war, but there could have been a miscalculation.

For somebody as rabidly anti-Communist as Rush Limbaugh, it seems odd that he almost never mentioned the Soviet spies inside FDR’s administration. However he, like most of the conservative hosts, deals mainly in the here-and-now. In 2003 Ann Coulter wrote an incendiary, damning indictment of historical liberalism called Treason, in which she meticulously outlined all the espionage and treachery of many top Roosevelt officials, then continuing in the years of McCarthyism and the Hollywood Blacklist.

Herbert Romerstein wrote a book called The Venona Secrets, which detailed the Venona Project. This subject, along with the JFK-stole-the-election story and other major events of American history, is a typical example of how what Limbaugh calls the “dominant media culture” control the narrative of so much of what people think they know; conversely, it is the best example of why conservative talk radio succeeds. This forum above all others is the place where these issues, ignored by the “mainstream media,” are inserted into the conversation. Conservative talk radio was always subversive, to an extent, but with the Internet these kinds of issues are even more subversive. They may not be discussed by Hollywood, the networks, even Fox News, but Michael Savage talks about them and eight million people are listening to him alone. Those are eight million potential tweets, Facebook postings, blogs, and water cooler conversations. This was once the “silent majority,” but today they are the “angry voices” of people who are angry, and say they have a right to be.

To use Venona as a prime example, it does not matter if liberal professors at Harvard choose not to teach this subject; millions learn about it from Michael Savage or other sources that did not exist 20-plus years ago. Venona is an example because if it were turned around, it would be taught to every seventh grader; awarded Oscars by Tinseltown; and used by the Left to destroy historical Republicanism.

In essence, Venona was a project run by the Army Intelligence Service during World War II. The mere fact it was necessary was an indictment against President Roosevelt. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany originally aligned with each other. In 1941 Germany reneged and attacked Russia. Before Stalingrad turned the tide of the Eastern Front, there was grave concern that the Soviets would capitulate and even re-join forces with the Nazis, possibly then turning their army against the United States. President Roosevelt did not give credence to this prospect, but the men in Army Intelligence realized it was an existential threat. Agreeing with their President’s policies was one thing; survival trumped that.

So, they began to monitor Soviet cable traffic, to see if they were in league with the German government. They were not, but in monitoring the traffic they heard even more startling things. There were high-placed Soviet spies inside the White House! These were traitors, and they were all Democrats. The information was passed on to the FBI, and then to FDR personally. FDR literally told the FBI, “F—k you.” What does this mean? Either Roosevelt refused to take seriously one of the gravest threats ever, apparently to protect Democrats; or worse, knew it was going on but let it happen anyway.

It was allowed to happen, past FDR’s death and into the Harry Truman Administration. A Soviet spy who would later be convicted, Alger Hiss, despite the FBI already knowing who he was, actually formed the United Nations Charter in 1945 enslaving Eastern Europe to Joseph Stalin. Considering the genocide that followed, it can be reasonably argued Roosevelt’s failure to act on the information – if indeed he even opposed what these men were doing – makes him a major abettor to some of the worst crimes in human history.

The FBI knew all about it but did not largely make it public because J. Edgar Hoover did not want the U.S.S.R. to know how much he knew about KGB operations. He did let some political allies like Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy know they were on the right path in going after this kind of activity. Nixon played it smart, convicted Hiss, and rose accordingly, albeit engendering lifelong hatred by the Left. Senator Joseph McCarthy did not play it smart, and thus gave his enemies enough ammunition to tarnish the whole accusation, which does not change the fact that the accusation had merit.

All of this was spelled out in detail by Whittaker Chambers in Witness, and finally after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the opening of the Soviet archives revealed Venona; all Chambers, Nixon and the Republicans said about the international Communist conspiracy was largely correct. It was not a “witch hunt.”

But of course, as Limbaugh said, the narrative was controlled by the “dominant media culture.” The citizenry cares about today’s headlines. Hollywood was happy to make movies about the Holocaust, but not the gulags, which killed far more human beings; not without a little help from the American Democratic Party. If only Steven Spielberg could have discovered “Republican Nazis,” or Republican Confederates, Republican Ku Klux Klansmen, Republican segregationists, or Republican Communists; oh what a movie waiting to be made! It could not be made, because such Republicans could not be identified as ever having walked around on the Earth. All the Communist spies, Confederates, Klansmen, and segregationists were in fact Democrats, but “Katzenberg, Matzenberg, Ratzenberg & Spielberg,” as Michael Savage likes to refer to the cabal of liberals and gays who make up the Hollywood hierarchy (Jeffery Katzenberg, David Geffen, Spielberg; the DreamWorks founders), were not about to tell America all of that.

Somehow, this very cabal oft paints Republicans as “Nazis” and “Fascists,” a great oddity since the majority of those who really fought and stormed beaches were Republicans; also ironic in that there is no indication Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini preferred “rugged individualism” or “small government,” hallmarks of Republican ideology.

Limbaugh trumpeted the release of the Venona Papers in the early 1990s, but it had a short shelf life. None of the other major conservative media existed yet. Dr. Savage has interviewed Romerstein and spoken of Venona in context with modern events, but he seems the only one aside from Glenn Beck, a man he lambastes, who truly uses history as part of his show. Mark Levin does, although his focus is strictly Constitutional, and Bill O’Reilly does it mainly to promote his books.

But a study of Venona, Hiss, the Communist traitors in FDR’s White House, not to mention Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Saul Alinsky and Bill Ayers, brings up two important points. One is that espionage and treachery are as old as man. They are not “one offs,” in which a few “idealistic” Communists rose out of the Works Projects Administration, attained a high place in President Roosevelt’s White House, spied on behalf of the U.S.S.R., and largely got away with it, at least until Venona. Treason goes back to the earliest armies, nations and empires; to Greece and Rome; to France, Great Britain and Spain; to the American Revolution, the Civil War, and in World War I, it was embodied by the likes of “Red Emma” Goldman and the Anarchist movement.

This way of thinking, this form of oppositionalist politics, this strain that runs through human psychology, did not die with the Rosenbergs, but after McCarthyism, it became popular and worse, not prosecutable! In the 1960s it found a happy home inside the anti-war movement but formed itself in contrast to so much of what people assumed made America great. The sudden exposition of American crimes against Indians in the 19th Century became fashionable; kickback against John Wayne’s version of the country. “White guilt” became one of the most powerful motivators of politics worldwide, and in the United States, activities that got people like Ezra Pound and the Hollywood Communists arrested and convicted, simply became the politics of the Left. Aided and abetted by the “dominant media culture,” these people were elevated to elite status in society, and found homes in academia, education, Hollywood, gay rights, the environmental movement, the post-civil rights movement, and the Democratic Party.

Men like Saul Alinsky and Bill Ayers; groups like the Zebra killers and the Symbionese Liberation Army; in Europe the Red Army Faction and the Baader Meinhof Complex, just to name a few; are proof that this form of treason is not merely a new form of politics, but occasionally manifests itself in the form of direct action. A conspiracy.

 

Dr. Michael Savage is essentially a conspiracy theorist. He is incredibly intelligent and despite what his detractors say, is no “nut case,” as so many say conspiracy theorists must be when they question the world around them.

Secretly, Savage is an admirer of Hollywood and probably would relish being a director or producer. He loves talking about movies and TV shows he watches on a regular basis. He sometimes interviews screenwriters and filmmakers. But he also makes note of the cultural touchstones found in the film medium, for it does reflect a certain form of reality even if it is “make believe.” For instance, films about New York and San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s (The French Connection, Dirty Harry, and others) reflected the dirty streets, the corruption, and the criminal grime gripping these cities before the likes of Rudy Giuliani changed their cultures. Savage more than any other conservative radio talk host uses film to make his points, and in the Obama years he has upped the ante.

In 1987 Kevin Costner starred in a movie called No Way Out. It was a Cold War thriller reflecting the realities of U.S.-Soviet espionage at that time, the Reagan years. The kicker was not revealed until the end, when the audience is shocked to learn that Costner is indeed “Yuri,” most likely a child born in the U.S. but raised as a Soviet “sleeper” to rise to high places in the American government, which he does, becoming a top aide to the Secretary of Defense, played by Gene Hackman. Only a freak occurrence, the killing of his lover (Sean Young), creates the circumstances that force him to go back to his KGB handlers, seeking protection.

This premise was not then and especially is not now outlandish; such attempts were made throughout the Cold War, by both sides, to plant sleepers, moles and spies inside the rival nations, seeking not just advantage, but ultimately to influence policy from the highest places. Men like Lauchlin Currie, Harry Hopkins and Alger Hiss apparently chose to commit treason against the United States because of political ideals they came to adopt in the course of their lives in America, accentuated by the trend towards Socialism brought about by the Great Depression, but there was no “guarantee” such men could be found, turned and trusted by the KGB. The closest thing to a “sure fire” method of planting sleepers would be for them to be homegrown; from their earliest youth carefully nurtured to do this work, like a child born to generations of great baseball players or circus performers. It is in their “genes.”

Another film, Little Nikita starring Sidney Poitier (ironically a pseudo Communist along with Paul Robeson and Harry Belafonte in the 1950s) and River Phoenix, touched on this subject, but in the 2000s and 2010s, the subject really found root in Hollywood.

The Good Shepherd, a CIA epic, was based on the premise that the son of a top CIA man (Matt Damon, based on James Jesus Angleton and Allen Dulles) becomes an agent but unwittingly reveals the plans for the Bay of Pigs to his African wife. The Company was a TV program starring Michael Keaton, this time a cross between Angleton and William Colby. The Company has an interesting, revealing conclusion, in which the 1987 stock market crash is the work of a KGB plot against the U.S. economy; their plans however are crushed because free market capitalism unleashed by President Ronald Reagan cannot be destroyed, and the Dow Jones Industrials roar right back with a vengeance, as it did. The U.S.S.R. actually imploded shortly thereafter. It also reverberates in history in the form of Harry Dexter White, a known Communist traitor who some say orchestrated the Pearl Harbor attack so America would ally itself with the U.S.S.R., who had been invaded by Germany earlier in the year. White like Alger Hiss wrote some of the most important charters in history. Hiss played a huge role in creating the U.N., while White influenced the Bretton Woods Conference that formed post-World War II economic policy. While this event is not viewed as a major detriment to the U.S., it did advocate Keynesian philosophy on a global scale.

Destroying the U.S. economy, and with it the global financial markets, remains the one way our enemies are able to make a dent against us. This was the premise for the destruction of the World Trade Center.

Obama’s election in 2008, whether coincidentally or not, gave rise to the creation of entertainment focused on conspiracy, espionage and treason. This has not gone unnoticed by Savage. Most of this has found a home on a relatively new platform, cable television, which in recent years has replaced major theatrical releases as the place for the edgiest, smartest writing and acting.

Savage regularly references two TV programs: True Detective and Homeland, but another program, The Americans, falls into the same genre. True Detective does not concern itself with espionage, but it does delve into political corruption at high levels. The first year, starring Woody Harrelson and Matt McConnaughey, centered on a Satanic cult. Hollywood is not known for its Christian themes, but wittingly or unwittingly has promoted the Christian theme of good vs. evil by revealing the devil’s methods. The second season, starring Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams, concerns itself with official corruption stolen right out of the headlines; a high-speed rail line of dubious value, being promoted at enormous cost to the taxpayers by California Governor Jerry Brown, which in the show is a prime opportunity for mobsters, the Russian syndicate and other nefarious criminals to buy up land, squeezing from the government trough. Savage pointed all of this out.

But Homeland touched on so many questions about America, the War on Terror, and treason in the post-Cold War era, that it begs the question, Why did Barack Obama not talk his friends in Hollywood out of making such a thing? Even though the show’s British star, Damian Lewis, enthusiastically supported Obama, calling him “charming, impressive,” and a symbol of America, the show is unquestionably what its viewers want it to be. For Savage and conservatives, it is a near-indictment of Obama.

Based on an Israeli TV program, it has aired five years (2011-15). The original premise was based on Lewis playing a U.S. Marine captured by Al Qaeda in Iraq. He is “turned” by a shadowy Osama bin Laden-type figure, his “capture” by Special Forces orchestrated in such a way that he returns to America a hero, rises high in political circles, is elected to Congress and elevated to the favorite’s position as the next Vice-President. All this time he follows his Islamist handlers, providing valuable information, and at one point coming extremely close to blowing up the Vice-President and most of the Cabinet. All of this closely parallels the original The Manchurian Candidate, a film Michael Savage regularly references and even goes so far as to call Obama “the Manchurian candidate.”

A CIA agent played by Claire Dames, first following a lead from a source in Iraq, suspects the Marine is a traitor but cannot prove it until finally he is cornered and then used by the American government to infiltrate Iran, kill its head of intelligence, and help install a compromised Iranian official into replacing him. He is now an asset of the CIA. This might have been seen by some liberals as paralleling some kind of ingenious back story behind President Obama’s controversial decision to release sanctions and give billions to Iran, which Israel and his detractors are convinced will lead to a functional Iranian nuclear capacity. However the filmmakers envisioned this scenario long before Obama’s deal was finalized.

After Lewis’s Sergeant Brody character is hung by the Iranians, the show turned to Dames’s Carrie Mathison running a drone operation in Afghanistan, in which she kills numerous civilians, not to mention a few Americans accidentally caught by “friendly fire.” This too mirrored Obama, who strangely rejected the questioning of terrorists at Guantanamo in favor of killing them, their families, and anybody else close by. Somehow according to this theory having a wet cloth placed over their faces was crueler and less reflected American values than burning women and children alive – some actually U.S. citizens – en masse without trial or really knowing for sure who they are or are supposed to be.

Finally, in season five (2015), the show came right out and laid it all on the line. This utterly amazed Savage, convinced the entertainment industry would never state true things about their hero, Obama; yet they did. So true Savage taped and re-played the first episode of the fifth season, which begins with CIA agent Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) testifying in a classified session before Congress. Having spent the previous year in Syria, which mirrors the rise of the Islamic State, Quinn tells the committee that there is no strategy in Syria, graphically indicting not just the government in Homeland, but the actual government led by Obama. The entire theme of Homeland from season one has always been the very politically incorrect thesis that the enemy of the United States is Islamic jihad, and very likely propels the concept that the West is literally in a war with Islam itself; the opposite of Obama’s argument.

In 2016 a TV “re-make” of Damien aired. As in the original film versions, the anti-Christ is said to emerge from “the world of politics.” San Francisco Chronicle film critic Mick LaSalle made a pithy comment about “inserting commentary” at that point. While he was tacitly making fun of Christians who believe it possible Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, in a strange way he was providing some evidence of it. He obviously meant Obama, and whether it was preposterous or not, it was Obama who came to his mind when contemplating this “possibility.” cx

Finally there is The Americans, which plays on the themes of No Way Out and Little Nikita. A young couple in the Soviet Union is trained to speak flawless American-style English, and learn every nuance of Americanism, until paired as married people, sent to live in the Washington, D.C. suburbs and act as KGB sleeper moles. The show is set in the 1980s, reacting to Soviet pre-Mikhail Gorbachev fears of new President Ronald Reagan, who has ended détente and begun an aggressive action against Communism in Central America, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. One of the show’s themes plays on something the CIA learned in the years prior to 9/11; some Muslim jihadists sent to America to commit terrorism actually fall in “love” with the U.S. and drift away from terror. In The Americans, the wife (Keri Russell) remains a dedicated Soviet agent who hates America and capitalism. The husband (Matthew Rhys) runs a successful travel agency and begins to fall for the ways of freedom and economic prosperity. The couple have two children. Heading into season four (2016), the biggest challenge is their daughter (Holly Taylor).

Their handler’s have suggested she be briefed on who they are and be “recruited” into joining the “family business.” Aside from the obvious security fears, she has become a devout Christian, which normally would make recruiting her to Communism a non-starter, except that her pastor is indoctrinating her in a form of “liberation theology,” which grew beginning in the 1960s and sympathizes with Socialism and even Communism.

This also mirrors Barack Obama, who joined a radical “liberation theology” church run by a fiery preacher named Jeremiah Wright, who railed on and on about the evils of America and capitalism for years. As for further conspiracy theories, the “danger” of a child raised in America and by osmosis really falling in love with the country, reflects itself in part on Obama’s life story, and in part in the theories some detractors have proposed about him.

These theories vary. There is little in the way of proof. The Internet is filled with real people from Obama’s past, in Hawaii, in the Ivy League, and in Chicago, who claim they heard this or that; saw Obama do something; or knew a CIA agent or Secret Service agent who told them secrets. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, an ex-Navy Seal, swore he knew about Obama’s involvement in the CIA in the 1980s, which according to the general theory proposed can be used to thread together events before and after that time telling a more complete story of a man whose background actually is shrouded in mystery. Obama’s college records and most health records are sealed. His income and ability to pay for his education, not to mention his cocaine, has never been revealed. He achieved the highest office in the land without having accomplished anything of real value prior to his election. If he had applied to be in the Secret Service, FBI, CIA, for a military commission, maybe even a place in the local police department, he would have been rejected due to his radical associations, which include several people whose names are at top of lists among those to be rounded up and questioned as enemies of the state, should the U.S. enter a major war.

These theories revolve around various “crazy” concepts, not the least of which says Obama is a homosexual and his wife, Michelle, was really a man named Michael who had a sex change operation, their children adopted, all apparently arranged by mysterious “enemies.” Then of course there are the persistent rumors that he is the anti-Christ, who many see as using Communism – the tacit accusation being Obama is really a Communist – as his preferred political ideology, used to seduce man via class and race distinctions, as his enemies say Obama routinely does.

Detailing what the conspiracy theory is risks one of being accused of being a “nut,” a “hater” or “crazy.” Racism is the ultimate cover Obama and his supporters use; everything from disagreement with policy to all other form of hostility is chalked up to white hatred, which is exactly how Paul Harvey said he would do it “if I were the devil” on his radio program in 1965.

But the history of the world is filled with crazy, unbelievable events that nobody ever would have believed had they not been proven to happen, and it is worth noting that sometimes the very best way to avoid detection is to be almost obvious, or to “hide in plain sight.”

Obama’s conspiracy theory starts with his grandparents, white folks from Kansas. They were liberal to the point of being radical, and involved in academia. It is not inconceivable they were approached by the FBI or the CIA in the 1950s, asked to inform on radical elements within the academic world. This was very common at the time.

They had a daughter who by all accounts was beyond liberal; she was filled with “white guilt” and was willing to give herself sexually to the black man, a form of “reparation” also not uncommon. Apparently, an arrangement was made by the grandparents between the daughter and a black man from Kenya they had befriended through academic circles. This took place in Hawaii, only recently made a state in 1959; a child born there would be a “naturalized” citizen. If the grandparents were CIA assets, it seems this association ended with their alleged role as moles within radical academia.

The connection between Obama’s parents and his birth in Honolulu, 1961, offers little evidence, so to speculate on anything nefarious requires a bit of imagination, a la Robert Ludlum. His detractors point to his birth certificate, the issue of which almost has the look of a smokescreen meant to veer away from the real story. Years later it could either not be produced or, when produced, it differed from most birth certificates of the era. There were supposedly affidavits from hospital workers at Kapiolani Hospital that the wing he was born in did not exist in 1961. Those could be pure invented lies or true facts; the truth is really not known and if it is the liberal media calls it a lie. A notice in the newspaper announced Barack’s birth; anybody could write it up and mail it to the Honolulu Star-Adviser and expect it to be printed. As President, Obama produced a “long form” birth certificate to prove his citizenship, but likely timed to make Donald Trump and Right-wing “birthers” look stupid. The diehards said the CIA could easily have doctored up such a document.

The birth issue only makes sense if a “naturalized” citizen is one born in the U.S. According to those who argue Barry Goldwater (Arizona territories), John McCain (Panama Canal Zone) and Ted Cruz (Canada) are not citizens, only then does Obama’s alleged “birth” in Kenya shed doubt on his eligibility. Mainly, the issue has resonated more as an indictment against what he stands for, with racial overtones more than legal ones.

All of this hides what could be a more sinister plot; one seen over and over in No Way Out, Little Nikita, The Americans, and other entertainment serving as a form of “game theory” revealing actual events almost as algorithms, like the way odds on sporting events are calculated based on the popular line of betting.

To advance this theory requires an understanding of the world in 1960-61, the years in which Obama was conceived and given birth to. It was the height of the Cold War and both the CIA and KGB were engaged in highly adventurous, risky, dangerous, and ingenious new ways of getting one up on the other. Take for instance the CIA’s “mongoose” plan, which was to poison Fidel Castro’s cigars in order to induce his death.

Further consider the Third World, at that time a raging battleground fought over by the Soviets and the U.S. In the Belgian Congo, an alleged Communist, Patrice Lumumba, led a revolution; the CIA allegedly assassinated him. Che Guevara was running revolutions in Latin America until he would be assassinated by the CIA. In Iran, Dwight Eisenhower had Mohammad Mosaddegh replaced by the friendly Shah of Iran. A client of the U.S.S.R. named Gamal Abdel Nasser suddenly ran Egypt, crown jewel of the Arab world and a tacit ally of British forces fighting to upend the Ottoman Empire in World War I.

Would it be a stretch of the imagination to conceive that the Soviet KGB and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood formed an unholy alliance of some kind? It is not a stretch; it is rather a likely scenario. Their mutual enemies? America, the West, capitalism, freedom and Democracy. Would it further stretch the imagination to believe that after the Shah was deposed, the Soviets made the “enemy of my enemy my friend” (Iran), creating a client relationship to this day? Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan occurred shortly thereafter, and had the Communists succeeded having an “ally” next door would not have hurt Iran.

Then there is the idea of an “anchor baby” conspiracy to pair women with men and have them give birth to children, to be raised in some capacity overseen by joint handlers of the KGB and the Muslim Brotherhood, tasked with growing up and ascending to high places in the U.S. hierarchy, all while spying for the Soviets. This is essentially the plot of No Way Out and a side plot of The Americans; nobody has ever suggested that these are merely entertainment vehicles with no basis in fact. Michael Savage often speaks of “red diaper doper babies,” who he says are the children of Communists, usually bred out of academic environments in New York City after World War II. He generally says the parents were card-carrying members of the Communist Party or “fellow travelers”; their children grew up steeped in liberal ideology. It is not a stretch to assume among these people were actual sleepers planted here by the U.S.S.R. A reading of Witness by Whittaker Chambers leaves little doubt of it. The Nazis had a “baby factory” of their own, based more on racial purity than indoctrination. It was the plot of the thriller The Boys From Brazil. These are not fantasies.

There is no evidence, at least not hard evidence, Obama’s mother and father were part of this program, but if they were, the choice of an inter-racial pairing has interesting implications that could be viewed as progressive or enlightened. In this respect, a political prognosticator of the early 1960s might look upon the landscape of the civil rights movement, which was picking up steam among whites and especially liberals. It was a major Communist target. Stephen Ross’s Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics detailed how deep Harry Belafonte was into this, to the point of outright treason in league with Paul Robeson. Sidney Poitier was right there with them but suddenly, possibly given good advice by somebody with common sense, dropped it like a bad habit. Baseball star Jackie Robinson testified to the House Un-American Activities Committee and told them while he knew the Communists were trying to infiltrate the black community, African-Americans were “too Christian” and “too patriotic” to fall in line. But the politics of Belafonte was morphing from what was undoubtedly treason into a new form of liberalism. Based upon this, the progressive strategist might envision a day in the not-too-distant future (the 2000s) when a child born then would be in his prime (40s) and actually benefit from being a man of color.

If there was a plan beyond mere biology, apparently it did not include Obama’s father, who split the scene in record fashion to enter politics in Kenya, rife with revolution and Communist intrigue as they strove to achieve independence from Great Britain. But Obama’s mother met and married another Third World guy, Lolo Soetoro, and he moved the family to Indonesia. Obama entered into a Muslim madrassa, long hot beds of anti-American hatred. What is to be made of this?

If this is a plan by the KGB and/or the Muslim Brotherhood, what is its purpose? Consider the “problem” of raising a young child in America into an enemy of the United States. Left to his own devices, a child might fall in love with the Dallas Cowboys or the Boston Celtics; he might enjoy John Wayne movies; God forbid he might accept the notion that Jesus Christ is Lord! How to avoid such a calamity? Put him in a Muslim madrassa from age five to nine.

But an actual, proven event during this period sheds greater light than the speculation behind conspiracies and Communism. That is the hiring of Soetoro to an executive position with an American oil company located in Indonesia. Soetoro came home to his wife excited with the news that he had been promoted to a high position and would be making good money. Hooray.

Obama’s mother left him on the spot. She literally could not stay married to a capitalist. How did she survive after that? Who provided her the funds she needed to raise her only son? This appears to be an unanswered question. But what is known is that she moved back to Hawaii. Next comes the most plausible piece of evidence in the general question about who Obama is and what he believes.

Between the age of nine and 18, a man named Frank Marshall Davis mentored Obama. Davis was black, and a card-carrying Communist who came out of the era producing both Paul Robeson and Harry Belafonte. He apparently was friendly with Obama’s grandparents. Had a war with the Soviet Union or Red China broken out during this time, Davis’s name was on a list of potential seditionists to be rounded up as enemies of America. His sexuality remains an open question. Some have suggested he, not Obama’s Kenyan father, is his true biological father. It is also rumored that he was not only gay, but also a child molester. This may be slander meant to disparage his reputation; a strange conundrum in that the Left embraces homosexuality and the ACLU is “in bed” with the National Association of Man-Boy Love.

However, this follows a well-known narrative, understood by those who study Communism; a reading of Upton Sinclair’s Oil! is practically a primer on how the Soviets recruited people. This narrative is also seen in Whittaker Chambers’s story; he was gay, open to blackmail, but eventually became married and possibly turned away from that lifestyle – and the Soviets – through adherence to Jesus Christ.

Joseph Stalin and the Soviets shunned homosexuality as unnatural and not conducive to the kind of disciplined, militaristic man they needed to enforce Communist doctrines. However, they looked for homosexuals among the population of their enemies. Aside from blackmail, they saw homosexuality as antithetical to American values, of basic goodness and decency seen as part of the “God, mom and apple pie” image the nation projected.

It has been suggested that Davis taught Obama the basic skills of homosexuality. Obama hung out with a group known as the “Chum gang,” young boys loitering about the beaches of Waikiki. Such activity has long been associated with gay prostitution and drug dealing. Obama attended the Punahou School, another source of major questions. Punahou then and now is one of the most expensive, elite private educations in America. To this day nobody knows who paid his tuition. The Internet does contain supposed “eye witnesses” who met a young “colored guy” named Barry who arrogantly claimed he was a “prince,” derived from “African royalty,” and that his future in American politics was assured. Who knows?

He managed to get into Columbia University. His grades have never been made public, but we are expected to believe a guy who hung out with a gang of low lifes who dealt drugs and provided blowjobs on the beach somehow made the kind of great grades needed to get into a prestigious Ivy League university. Who was pulling the strings? Were there Communists on the Columbia admissions board who greased Obama’s way? Was he admitted under some form of “affirmative action” reserved for Muslims or foreign students? Again, this information has been kept tightly secret.

Obama himself said he snorted a lot of cocaine during these years. Again, aside from his extremely expensive tuition, who paid for his living expenses, his food, his clothes, and the other necessities of social life among the Columbia elites? Who paid for his cocaine? Did Obama use the homosexual skills taught him by Davis to service drug dealers who in turn gave him coke? All of this is unknown; the speculation of such things is seen as racist and beyond the ken. If a Republican had such a background the New York Times would have scrutinized it from “soup to nuts.” The GOP would never entertain such a creature in the first place. The revelations made public by conservative media are instead called a conspiracy theory devised by “nut cases.” This is an easy pejorative and smear that does not change the fact these sources did find evidence of these things. One conservative, Dinesh D’Souza, who dared to write a book and make a documentary about these aspects of Obama’s life, was literally arrested. This is the kind of thing that seems impossible in America, but it happened in Obama’s America.

If all of this can thread back to the disparate elements with mutual interests, it is the KGB and the Muslim Brotherhood. It is worth noting that it was around this period of time that Egypt’s leader, Anwar Sadat was murdered . . . by the Muslim Brotherhood. Vladimir Putin was rising in the KGB. Events in Egypt, Iran and Russia took very unpredictable turns during Obama’s Presidency. There might not be anything to it. Or maybe there is something to it.

Obama literally wrote in his autobiographies that he gravitated to “Marxists” and “radicals” at Columbia. This somehow was not viewed the same way as somebody saying he gravitated to “Nazis” and “white supremacists,” which represent a terrible political ideology whose “body count” does not approach the dead resulting from Marxism. Jesse Ventura and others – Ventura’s “swears” this, other speculate – that Obama was a CIA or FBI asset during this period, just as they say his grandparents were in the 1950s. The Reagan Administration stepped up infiltration and scrutiny of homegrown Marxism during this vital, highly confrontational period of the Cold War. Such an arrangement could easily have given the young Obama tremendous contacts within the intelligence community and government, to be exploited when the time came.

Obama smoothly made it through to graduation from Columbia and then acceptance into Harvard Law School, one of the most difficult applications on the Earth. He moved right in as if helped by an unseen hand. His grades and application? Unrevealed. George W. Bush, John Kerry, John McCain, Mitt Romney? Among almost all others, their academic and medical records were revealed and widely distributed, sometimes to their detriment, as when it was discovered the “dumb” George W. Bush had better grades at Yale than Kerry (which probably explains how he made it through jet training), or the rumor that McCain had “genital warts,” not to mention rumors that Laura Bush was the “go to” source for drugs at Southern Methodist University. All of these things seem fair game. Obama? Sealed tight.

(As President, Obama’s health records revealed he had an alcohol problem; his wife was also said to spend tremendous amounts of tax dollars on expensive Champagne. After the report was released, his health records were sealed like his academic records.)

Nobody seems to remember much about Obama at Harvard. He was not a stand out student, but he made friends with a series of radical Left-wing law professors, race being the driving issue of all this. Despite no written record or accomplishment, he rode his race to a position as head of the Harvard Law Review. He appears the only head of the Harvard Law Review who never wrote anything. This was based on a compromise made between disparate groups at Harvard, with the conservatives actually giving him the final vote needed. He managed to graduate, apparently an actual accomplishment, and apparently passed the Bar examination, another actual accomplishment.

But what happened next says as much about Obama as any factor. Around 1991, fresh from Harvard Law School, Obama could do anything he wanted. A black Ivy Leaguer could write his own ticket. But Obama decided he wanted to be a writer. His influences? Certainly not Ernest Hemingway or Tom Wolfe. Nobody really knows any books he ever read or was influenced by. One might imagine he saw himself a black polemicist in the mold of James Baldwin. But Obama landed a literary agent; telling in that anybody who ever tried to become a writer can tell you landing a literary agent is one of the most difficult parts of becoming a writer. It just landed in Obama’s lap.

The agent created a pamphlet promoting Obama. The pamphlet read that Obama was a Muslim born in Kenya. Now this issue, which later energized so much anti-Obama rhetoric, says a great deal, but not about whether he is a Muslim or born in Kenya. Assuming neither is true, then the statement is a lie, but many people, especially writers, are professional liars. But here is an American citizen who denounced his citizenship, not to mention choosing an alien religion that he does not seem to actually practice, if his drug habit and other “activities” are examined. He did not identify himself as a patriot. He saw himself as an other, a member of the oppressed, the victimized, the downtrodden, those who by virtue of their race, color and place in the class struggle, are granted free reign to complain and rail on about their condition. A man whose grandparents were white, affluent and academic; who attended elite private schools from age nine to his mid 20s; who never knew poverty, and knew not racism but the reverse of racism, yet would like people to believe he was “down with the struggle,” as Rush Limbaugh disparagingly said.

It was around this time that he met his wife, Michelle. Now assuming the rumors that Michelle is really a man or trans-gendered are false, and the photos showing her “package” are doctored, it is worth examining this pairing. She was also black and of the Ivy League, propelled largely by a friendship in Chicago with Jesse Jackson’s family; a connection that is gold among African-Americans. Her background was of privilege, which led her to Princeton, where despite being fawned upon as a black princess, she wrote a thesis complaining about what a difficult rode to hoe it was to be black at Princeton.

If the conspiracy theory about Obama being a creature of some combined forces of the KGB and the Muslim Brotherhood has any validity, then this period is the key point in time. The Soviet Union has imploded, the Berlin Wall has fallen, and the Venona Project is unearthed, revealing that Alger Hiss and many top Democrats were in fact, despite decades of protection from the New York Times, actual traitors. If an espionage program called “project anchor baby” or something like it; something that produced homegrown moles as described in No Way Out or The Americans is in fact real, would it not be in Venona? Or would the Russians, as ordered by their former KGB head Vladimir Putin, pull such files from the archives, to be used later, as part of a blackmail operation, or to benefit themselves in some capacity?

If indeed the Muslim Brotherhood, or some Muslim intelligence service, were jointly sponsoring Obama, would they not take a more prominent role during this time? President George H.W. Bush had defeated Saddam Hussein’s Revolutionary Guard in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Islamic jihad was on the rise. In 1993 Al Qaeda bombed the World Trade Center for the first time. Osama bin Laden was rising as the titular head of a new, virulent strain of anti-American hatred. The U.S. now stood all by itself, the lone global superpower, and the ultimate target. It was the age of a “new world order.”

Obama tried to practice law but quickly quit, saying he felt like working in a capitalist organization was like joining “the enemy,” a similar refrain of his mother’s who divorced Lolo Soetoro when he came home to tell her he had been hired by an American oil company in Indonesia. He became a “community organizer” in Chicago, perhaps the most corrupt city in America; involved in a group called ACORN, whose essential mission apparently was to talk poor black women into aborting their children. Over the following decades, the black population would decrease. The reason for that is abortion.

Michelle Obama would be given a job as a hospital administrator. She was paid handsomely but not required to actually work; just appear at the occasional board meeting. It seems likely a pay off, Jesse Jackson-style, to avoid pickets and protests over “discrimination.” It is the “Chicago way.”

But if the conspiracy theory has any merit, perhaps the next stage in Obama’s career should be examined most closely. Obama learned skills originally taught by a Chicago street agitator and Communist named Saul Alinsky. Alinsky was part of the Communist Party’s effort to infiltrate the civil rights movement not by peaceful, Christian, Martin Luther King-type petition, but by “direct action,” the polarization of the “enemy” as racist by use of street violence and rhetorical agitation. Alinsky had literally and actually dedicated his book to Lucifer, and as students of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf can warn us, it does not behoove the world to ignore what people write.

A tangible link in the thread is found in the person of Bill Ayers. Once a member of the Weather Underground, Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, tried to blow up the Pentagon and other American institutions. Perhaps the most telling aspect of the post-McCarthy America is the fact that such a man is not only allowed to freely walk around, but is made into a tenured professor. The Left is filled with people like this; who once would have been arrested and jailed for what is now their everyday politics! Today “Red Emma” Goldman would be a hero of the Democratic Party. ^^cxi^^

Was Ayers linked to a Communist handler, perhaps a thread back to his days in the Weather Underground, an organization doing the bidding of Communism when America was fighting Communism in Vietnam? This is not proven, but does that mean it is impossible to conceive? Ayers identified Obama as a “rising star” in Chicago politics, or was used by handlers to facilitate his entry into the same. Obama has been called a “Constitutional law professor,” famously so by the Woody Harrelson character in Game Change, a film meant to disparage Sarah Palin. He was not a Constitutional law professor. He was an adjunct who “taught” perhaps once a week at the University of Chicago, a position arranged by Ayers so Obama would have income while running for the Illinois state Senate.

While in the legislature, he accomplished nothing meaningful; his efforts were largely spent on a law making it easier to abort babies. Despite not having done anything of merit, Obama was narcissistic and prideful enough to write not one but two autobiographies. It is widely rumored Ayers wrote all or most of at least one of them.

He also began attending a “church” in Chicago. Whether the Reverend Jeremiah Wright can be linked to the theory in question, along with the likes of Bill Ayers, is mere speculation, but the choice of Wright is as telling as Obama’s decision to promote himself as a Muslim literary figure born in Kenya. Some of have speculated Obama never became a believing Christian, but was “told” by somebody he needed to be one if he was to rise high in politics. Wright was a “liberation theologist,” a form of Christianity hijacked by Communism, namely in Latin America during the Sandinista era. If Obama did find faith, it sure did not have the same affect on him as it did on a previous Communist, Whittaker Chambers, who upon realizing Jesus is Lord went to the FBI and told them Alger Hiss was his handler.

In an act of cosmic truth, Reverend Wright’s reaction to 9/11 was to do a little dance and chortle that the destruction of the World Trade Center was the “chickens come home to roost,” and that God not bless America, but instead damn her to hell. This leaves some strange questions, at least as it pertains to Wright. If Wright actually believes there is a God who has the ability to damn an entire nation to hell, is this a sign that he is some sort of believer; or if he advances the prayer that an entire nation is damned to hell does that mean he was doing the work of Satan, the purveyor of hell? Either way Obama and his wife sat in his pews and listened to this kind of rhetoric for years.

In 2004 Obama decided to run for the United States Senate. He was selected to speak to the Democratic National Convention, where he told the assembled that if John Kerry were re-elected President, Arab-Americans would no longer have to “cower in fear in the night.” George Bush was re-elected President. Arab-Americans never did “cower in fear in the night.”

The day after his speech, however, no less a conservative voice than Rush Limbaugh announced that “he’s got it,” the charisma of a rising political star. But Obama faced a difficult election in Illinois. His opponent was a handsome businessman named Jack Ryan, who had once been married to a bombshell blonde actress named Jeri Ryan. State law in Illinois was explicit; divorce records remain sealed. Numerous laws were broken on behalf of Obama when Ryan’s records were unsealed, revealing that while married he once asked his wife to have sex with him in what might have been a public place. Obama faced no prosecution or criticism from any fair political practices organization. The GOP dropped Ryan like a fly and Obama was off to the races. It was too perfect; something a novelist might envision, or a dark prince.

Obama hardly even attended Senate hearings; by 2007 he was running for President. His opponent: Hillary Rodham Clinton. As soon as Obama started winning, what was her strategy? To reveal that Obama was born in Kenya. Yes, this rumor was started not by Rush Limbaugh or some Republican, but by Hillary herself. At this point, Limbaugh stepped into the breach. Added to the “birther” issue was video footage of Reverend Wright screaming like a madman that God did not bless America but was damned by Him instead.

This footage played over and over, like a reversal of the Rodney King beatings. It gave Hillary enough momentum to get back in the race; she and Obama trading off primary victories in early 2008. But it was Limbaugh who proved his power perhaps beyond any other action. It also may well have created the ultimate form of political blowback.

Limbaugh began what he called “operation chaos.” It was an extraordinary demonstration of his influence, as it unquestionably worked and indeed did create chaos. Eventually, Obama did win, leaving pundits to ponder the fact that the Democrat Party actually preferred a man whose pastor wanted the nation to go to hell, and who might have been an ineligible Muslim born in Kenya, to the varying alternatives.

Limbaugh’s “operation chaos” was reflected in a film starring George Clooney called The Ides of March. It also called into question whether he was too smart by half. At the time, Hillary Clinton was a demonic figure to conservatives. Sean Hannity opened his radio program calling it the “stop Hillary express.” Keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House was job one as far as the Right was concerned.

After two terms, the general consensus among this group was that Barack Obama was even worse, and that he destroyed America beyond recognition. While this remains an open theory, there are two ways of looking at the results of “operation chaos.” While it may have resulted in Obama instead of Hillary, had she won in 2008 and served two terms, Obama would be in his mid-50s and in his prime by 2016; still relatively young in his 60s by 2020 or even 2024. As it stands, he is gone forever from the Presidency.

If Hillary Clinton succeeds him, then “operation chaos” can be viewed as Limbaugh’s greatest error. If Clinton fails and fades away, then Limbaugh might get some tacit “credit” for “limiting the damage.” Of course, the goal in the spring of 2008 was to damage the Democratic brand enough to help John McCain, who may have won had he taken advantage of any of it. But Senator McCain was utterly flummoxed by Obama. He did not even allow TV commercials that called Obama by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama. When an elderly supporter said Obama was “an Arab,” McCain said no, he was a “good man.” When his running mate, Sarah Palin tried to make hay of Wright and the fact Obama “palled around with unrepentant terrorists” (Ayers), McCain’s handlers put the clamps on her.

Despite all of this, Palin energized the ticket and by mid-September they led by five points. As if produced by dark forces at will (George Soros?) the sub-prime housing crisis hit without warning and all of this resulted in a thorough trouncing along with major Democrat “coattails.”

Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg wrote a book about the campaign aptly titled, A Slobbering Love Affair. The incredibly slanted coverage given Obama by a media desperately rooting for him was the source of great criticism, by the conservatives. It was vaguely reminiscent of the North Vietnamese strategy during the war; let the liberal U.S. media and forces of peace activism defeat a nation they could never beat in battle. It was odd that the press turned so thoroughly on McCain. Long considered a “maverick,” he was their darling up until 2008, thought to be so well respected by both Left and Right that John Kerry asked him to be his Vice-Presidential running mate four years earlier.

If anybody thought that would continue once he was the Republican nominee against “the anointed one,” as Sean Hannity called the messianic Obama, well that was quickly disabused. McCain seemingly had zero support beyond some guy named “Joe the plumber,” captured on video asking Obama a question that elicited the response that if elected he would “spread the wealth around,” longtime Marxist phraseology.

In the days leading up to Obama’s Inauguration on January 20, 2009, former NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw appeared with Charlie Rose on his popular interview format. It was quite obvious both men supported Obama, but despite this their natural journalistic instincts got the better of them. They openly questioned, “Who Barack Obama is?” They said they did not know the “universe of this thinking,” what his influences were, what books he had read, or much of anything about him. They expressed shock that somehow, suddenly they realized huge issues like terrorism and China, among others, had not really been hashed out by the campaign. Bloggers looking for “gotcha “ comments seemed to make up the Obama strategy.

It was a stunning admonition that almost flowed from their mouths beyond their ability to control, truth being poured upon a sea of lies. Rush Limbaugh practically fell over himself when he heard it, re-playing it over and over for years; always in amazement that such a thing could happen. A phenomenon of culture and politics had occurred in plain sight.

The daughter of famed actor William Windom walked into a restaurant the day before the Inauguration and breathlessly asked a man at the bar, “What do you think of Barack Obama?”

“I think he’ll be the worst thing that ever happened to black people,” the man replied. “Because they will expect so much and not get anything they expect; then they will turn inward and blame America for being racist instead of realizing Obama did not achieve his goals for them. Race relations will suffer with the result being blacks hating whites, whites losing all respect for blacks.”

“Are you a Christian?” she asked the man, as if saying yes explained all his perceived ills.

“Yes, I am,” he replied.

Obama felt invincible, though, and called a meeting of a group of conservative columnists, led by George Will. He took charge of the agenda, which was to get them to see his way of thinking and “not listen to Rush Limbaugh.” Limbaugh said, “I hope he fails.”

Black comic Wanda Sykes responded, “I hope one of his kidneys fails.” Perhaps never more than this period of time did listeners of conservative talk radio feel more marginalized. Never did they need a voice like Rush Limbaugh to give them encouragement during times of “murkiness and distress” as they did then, when the mainstream media was hailing the dawn of a new era and the death of Reagan conservatism. They felt utterly marginalized and unheard. McCain had led by five in mid-September; they surely were out there, yet it had all been pulled out from under them. By what forces? By Soros and the sub-prime scandal? By a dark conspiracy?

The kind of theories espoused herein, while laughed at by liberals, did resonate among conservatives. These possibilities, whether true or not, do not sound entirely unreasonable or impossible to them. This is a major impetus of talk radio, and why it thrives. Right or wrong, it gives its listeners what they want to hear and do no not hear anywhere else. It offers some scapegoat or explanation for things they cannot understand and do not want to believe. For conservative evangelicals, it feeds a vague dred, that evil has seeped into the foundations of our lives, through abortion, Communism, and race extortion; that Paul Harvey was right when he said the devil would only be happy if he could get “the ripest apple on the tree.”

Perhaps most depressing if any of this has any ring of truth to it, is the realization among the kind of people who make up much of Michael Savage’s and Rush Limbaugh’s audience, that if a man like Barack Obama ascended to the White House by virtue of a Soviet plot, it would actually be better that way. He and his co-conspirators could be arrested, convicted and sent to prison for the rest of their lives. Instead, it is believed by many such sentiments are simply the modern sentiments of the Left, and to enact these sentiments into law and national policy is perfectly legal. This is believed by them to be the last laugh of our enemies. Savage continued to try and make sense of what this guy was. One day in 2015 he just offered that the only way to deal with Obama was to “forgive him,” in an act of Christian charity. ^^cxii^^

 

On Inauguration Day, Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office. When he came to the President’s full name, Barack Hussein Obama, he stumbled over the words. It was speculated by some that Roberts looked into Obama’s eyes and saw the anti-Christ. The oath was not properly administered. It had to be re-done the next day at the White House.

In secret.

 

What is treason?

 

2016 Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson often stated that if a traitor was elected to the White House, he would govern . . . the way Barack Obama governed. This is a slick way of criticizing Obama. It is not direct accusation, but rather faint speculation.

What would a traitor do if he were elected President? If he were a sleeper since his youth, even his birth, he would have had decades to prepare, but every Presidential cycle is different and offers unique challenges. If one were handled by the KGB, the fall of the U.S.S.R. would profoundly alter his goals and the sponsoring nation’s ability to make full use of this kind of asset. If he were working on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood or some kind of jihadist group, then he would find himself arriving on the stage at precisely the right moment in history to affect the greatest impact. This would be the predominant theme if such a sleeper ascended to this position at any time after 1991, the year of the Persian Gulf War and dissolution of the Soviet Union, when Middle East issues became front and center in American and world affairs. This would only have been accentuated after September 11, 2001. The reaction to 9/11 would never have occurred if such a sleeper were installed, but if placed in such a position after it; in particular after the initial impact of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts was fading, as it was by 2009, this individual would find himself to be destiny’s child.

If such a man arrived on the scene in 2009, what would he do? First, there is a list of things he would not do. He would not, for instance, blow up American cities or nuke Israel. First, such things would fire up the conservative base with such patriotic fervor and war fever that they would demand that the American military, which Rush Limbaugh states is built primarily to “kill people and break things,” do just that with the same kind of “righteous anger,” as Franklin Roosevelt called it, after Pearl Harbor . . . not to mention 9/11.

9/11 has rarely if ever been analyzed from the standpoint of our enemies. Nor has the basic question, What if America had not responded? The first question goes to the motivations of Osama bin Laden, who was hell bent on destruction without much strategic foresight. His first goal was to destroy the American economy, namely via fear. When less than two moths after the twins towers crashed down Yankee Stadium was filled with wild baseball fans, Bin Laden must have realized he had failed. When over the next two years-plus the economy came roaring back, by 2007 reaching the stock market highs of the previous Internet bubble, complete with low unemployment and a technology re-birth, he must have despaired that he was up against something he could never defeat. The strategy then became more of a long game; break the enemy down morally over 100 years, like the Roman Empire crumbling amidst public acts of homosexuality, child molestation, and orgy sex. Few have sensed this aside from Michael Savage, who said it was not American Exceptionalism the Muslim world resented, but rather the “Hollywood sewer pipe” bent on turning their daughters into “sluts.”

Bin Laden incredibly seemed to base his calculations on the policies of Bill Clinton, as if there would not be an essential difference between Clinton and Bush. This might have been an old construct, since American administrations more or less dealt with Cold War threats the same way regardless of who was in office. But times had changed; from George McGovern’s affect on the Democrats to Clinton’s decision not to kill Bin Laden when he had him in his cross-hairs, the two parties’ were now profoundly different when it came to national security. Bib Laden seemingly failed miserably in calculating that.

Surely had Bin Laden clearly seen what would happen between 9/11 and 2007-08, he would not have given the order. He seems to have believed there would be a limited retaliation at best. Had he seen that Kabul would be liberated by American forces, the Taliban routed, and he would be forced into mountainous caves, he would not have. If he could have been shown that Saddam Hussein’s Revolutionary Guard would be destroyed, Baghdad occupied by the enemy, and by 2007 the Iraq War won by the infidels, he surely would have done whatever need be done to avoid such a calamity.

Or did he know something; that a sleeper existed who would undo all the gains and sacrifices of the American military in the Middle East after 9/11? Even a sleeper who would give the order to have him killed, an act of sacrifice in the cause of the “greater jihadist good”?

But what if the U.S. had not responded to 9/11? If George W. Bush had not invaded Afghanistan; going after Bin Laden, crushing the Taliban, laying waste to terrorist training centers, and killing top Al Qaeda leaders; there would have been calls for his Impeachment from Democrats as well as Republicans.

But Iraq was different. Liberals do not like to admit it, but both the Congress and the United Nations gave President Bush approval to invade Iraq. The U.N. vote was later called a manipulation, in that Bush got Secretary of State Colin Powell to hint of a nuclear threat that was not valid in the form presented, but the possibility that Islamic jihad could get a nuke and use it against the West was and is very real indeed, no matter how it manifests itself.

Had Saddam been kept in power, he would have been seen as an “Islamic tiger” standing up to the West, a hero. He viewed himself as Saladin, the Muslim general who ultimately drove the Christians out of Jerusalem during the Crusades. He may well have pursued the nuclear weapons the U.S. thought was a “slam dunk” that he already had. Alignments with enemies of America, both states and terror organizations, may well have been formed. The fate of Israel and the Kurds might have been drastically altered. The 4,400 dead Americans lost in the Iraq War may well not be worth the price of what was achieved, but after General David Petraeus orchestrated the Surge in 2007, the soldiers who sacrificed over there overwhelmingly felt the satisfaction of victory.

So what would a sleeper President do if he took office in 2009 tasked by his KGB and/or Muslim masters with the “destruction of America”? He could not of course physically destroy cities or wipe out allies; to do so would risk Impeachment, political blowback, and worse of all, conservative momentum, the most unstoppable of all forces. He would need to keep the conservatives off balance, confused, unsure, arguing amongst themselves, distracted by side issues like birth certificates, tax-paid vacations, and race extortion.

Television again gives us a glimpse into reality. In The Company, the Soviets manipulate the 1987 stock market crash hoping to destroy the U.S. economy, only to find that capitalism is too powerful. Osama bin Laden’s destruction of the World Trade Center, symbolic as it was, ultimately led to President Bush’s finest hour, first in leading the crusade against terror, second in leading the American economy to unprecedented heights by 2006-07. In 2001-02, many investors felt they would never see bright financial days again, but here they were.

So what would the sleeper make of all this? He would realize a mere stock market crash or symbolic falling of the twin towers would be only that, symbolic. It would take more than that; much more. But what if his predecessor in the opposing party paved the way for him?

Nobody knows or likely will ever prove that the same man, George Soros, who broke the British pound in the early 1990s, caused the sub-prime housing crisis of 2008. It will just have to maintain itself as an incredible stroke of good luck for any man running against the Republican Party in 2008, just as President Bush made the decision to literally go against what he himself said were the sound financial principles he knew to be the bedrock of capitalism, all because it was “too big to fail.” Thus came the first Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and with it the Grand Ol’ Party paved the way for Socialism on American shores, like Paul von Hindenburg welcoming Hitler as the new chancellor of Germany in 1933.

The sleeper would say while campaigning that adding to the national debt is “unpatriotic,” yet literally now have permission to double down on his predecessor’s move. In one fell swoop, within a few short weeks of taking the oath, he would sign a second TARP, and in the blink of an eye the United States of America will have added $1 billion to its debt.

Emboldened by bullet-proof majorities of his own party and a “loyal opposition” cowed into abject silence, he would continue spending until within a very short time, he has doubled the national debt from $10 million, headed to $20 million by the time he leaves office. More debt than accumulated by all of Mankind since the birth of Jesus Christ Himself. Not a nuclear bomb; no, the infrastructure of the mighty America must be kept intact so it can be stolen by enemy forces. Suddenly such debt accumulation would no longer be “unpatriotic.” Such a thing might cause the stock market to tumble from a high of 14,174 under President Bush (2007) to 6,507 by March of 2009.

It would be a debt that can never be re-paid. A single act with repercussions that cannot be overcome, for no President, no Congress, no party can ever install cuts and policies so draconian, so deep, and affecting so many people that it would reduce a $20 trillion debt to any kind of manageable amount. Instead, a Satanic dollar figure, with interest rates so terrible that even if cuts were made to reduce it, the interest would never let it be reduced. So inter-twined and complicated by thousands of pages of rules, regulations, codes and taxes that no man can understand it, let alone tame the beast. On top of that, a system called “baseline budgeting” that will literally not allow actual budget cuts of any meaningful amount, because the increases are built into it in such a way that a “cut” is automatically an increase.

The sleeper, especially if his handlers are the Muslim Brotherhood or some nefarious jihadist group, would then venture into the land of Islam and make speeches apologizing for his country, telling the world’s oppressed, most notably our enemies, that we are historically the root of the word’s problems: wars, racism, inequality, stolen resources . . . blame the white man first and America the most.

The sleeper would try to take guns away from Americans and kick back against the Second Amendment. He might invent a government program called Fast ‘n’ Furious meant to discredit gun ownership, and it might backfire, with guns getting into the hands of Mexican drug lords used to kill DEA agents. He might empower the EPA and an alphabet-soup of government agencies to hamper and hold down the private sector with endless rules, regulations and orders. Under such a man the wealthiest neighborhoods in America would become the suburbs near Washington, D.C. where government bureaucrats now live off the fat of the land.

The sleeper would fulfill a decades-long liberal fantasy of socialized medicine so onerous that companies could no longer hire enough employees to fulfill its mandates, or give the workers they do have enough hours to meet the law’s minimum requirements. This would stunt the economy; wages would stagnate and never go up. There would never be real recovery.

The sleeper would enact by executive fiat immigration orders that break U.S. laws, and when a state like Arizona tries to enforce the law, he would sue them. He would weaken border security and encourage citizenship for illegals so they would vote for his party, because such a man knows that such a party can only stay in power so long as a permanent underclass of the poor, the uneducated, and the unskilled exists, dependent on his government to give them the handouts they need . . . to exist. He would encourage groups to oppose the Tea Party and might call them Occupy Wall Street. They would foment class envy, raping women and defecating in public parks. He would empower the IRS to use its power to harass the patriots in the Tea Party, just enough to prevent them from rallying enough people to defeat him in his re-election bid, and would manage to figure out some sort of scheme that would allow him to come back from seven points down in the Gallup poll 18 days before the election, to a four-point victory on Election Day; an 11-point swing in an election that was airtight for months before that.

After creating Occupy Wall Street, the sleeper would unleash the hounds of race extortion. He would call them Black Lives Matter and fill African-Americans with hatred for whites, using Saul Alinsky tactics to fill the streets with agitation and violence. Instead of focusing on the genocide of black-on-black murders since the Great Society was initiated, he would claim police shooting criminals is pure racism aimed at all blacks.

He would break down social norms, promoting gay marriage and abortion. He would ignore Hillary Clinton destroying the lives of women raped and assaulted by her husband and say the “war on women” was Mitt Romney carrying “binders of women” while Sandra Fluke was forced to pay $9 for her rubbers at CVS Pharmacy! The traitor – more precisely the anti-Christ – would force Christians and Catholic hospitals to go against their faith and beliefs; made by the government to perform abortions, to participate in contraceptive practices that go against their values, until they have compromised their very souls.

He would destroy one of America’s crown jewels, NASA, and task its new director with re-making the agencies’ mandate to make Muslims feel good about themselves. He would by-pass Congress and the Constitutional Republic that made America great with a flurry of executive orders ignoring the will of the people.

But beyond doubling down on the national debt, so the greatest nation on Earth would now be on the road to bankruptcy, with stock market prognosticators predicting an 80 percent decline in its value, above all other tasks the sleeper would have to answer to his Muslim masters and do their bidding.

He would have to undo all the work of his predecessors. All that was accomplished, sacrificed for, fought over and achieved; not just by modern soldiers in the Middle East, but also by generations of men who defeated Hitler and Communism. He would have to de-legitimize the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and set out to make his self-fulfilling prophesy that Guantanamo Bay was a “recruiting tool” for jihadists into the reason for closing the place, returning hardened terrorists to the battlefield to kill Americans, trading them for deserters.

The sleeper would refuse to call the enemy, Islamic terror, by its name: Islamic terror. He would claim the real threats are white soldiers returning form Iraq. He would refuse to secure embassies in Islamic countries, placing forth the fiction that “Al Qaeda’s on the run,” and when hordes of terrorists overrun them and kill his ambassador, he and his diplomats would all lie and claim they were motivated by “a video.” But the sleeper would claim his is the “most transparent” administration ever.

The sleeper would have to destroy the heroic soldier and potential Republican political figure who put the lie to the claim the Iraq War was lost by winning in 2007. The sleeper would most assuredly favor America’s enemies and abandon her friends. Israel would feel existentially threatened, waiting for the worst, under such a sleeper. When freedom-loving street protestors take to the streets of Iran, the sleeper would not lift a finger in support. He would let the Kurds, the Yazidis and the Christians be slaughtered. He would oversee the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, one of the few friends of Israel. Perhaps this would be his original marching order, meant to replace Mubarak with the Muslim Brotherhood,

The sleeper would identify the leader of Libya as a man who ostensibly became an example of President Bush accomplishing his goals. Giving up his nuclear weapons program would earn Muammar Gaddafi abandonment by “America.”

However, the sleeper would not overthrow Bashar al-Assad, the legitimate enemy of America and Israel. Instead a stronger terror caliphate than Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, would emerge, wreaking havoc across the region, destroying George Bush’s dream of Democracy. The sleeper would not call them the Islamic State, but use the acronym ISIL, meant to delegitimize Israel.

Finally, the coup de gras, perhaps the ultimate purpose of the sleeper. The trump card. He would identify the one country that since 1979, throughout the aftermath of the Cold War, has remained the greatest of all American enemies, a nation President Bush said was part of the “axis of evil,” Iran. Having stood silently while Iran gunned down freedom protestors in their streets in 2009, the sleeper would lift decades of crippling sanctions against this terrible regime, allowing them to rebuild the Persian Empire, become masters of the Islamic world, freely spreading terror against the West, and finally let them have the nuclear weapons they long have wanted. To be used against Israel, as they have plainly threatened to do? Against an American city after the sleeper is gone?

Iran, a nation of religious mullahs with an Apocalyptic vision in which destruction of their enemies as well as themselves in a nuclear holocaust is viewed as fulfillment of their destiny. A nation that does not recognize Israel, and threatens to wipe them from off the face of the earth. A nation that chants “death to America.” The sleeper and his apologists would ignore Mein Kampf and also such threats.

Has the sleeper made a deal with Islamic terror to hold off, only to unleash hell on his Republican successors after he is gone? Either way, all that was gained has been given back. The sleeper has succeeded.

 

Certainly Rush Limbaugh would agree that Barack Hussein Obama has not failed; he has succeeded. The previous scenarios mark not an opinion but an encapsulation of his Presidency. The Republicans have not only failed to stop him, but many on the Right say they are in on it, “useful idiots” of a different sort, too weak and morally compromised to stand up to such audacity, to use Obama’s own favorite word.

The notion that a sleeper, a traitor, has been elected and these scenarios are the handiwork of such a traitor, animates a tremendous portion of the conservative talk radio audience. Nobody, not even Michael Savage, has dared utter such blatant accusations. To do so would engender hatred and controversy beyond previous imbroglios, to the point of pickets and loss of sponsorships. Yet if asked and assured they would not be quoted, most would either agree with this assessment, or consider it something less than a total fantasy.

True conservatives, especially evangelicals who make up the Tea Party, whose opinions are plainly stated on social media, find these scenarios not a fantasy but a real-life nightmare. Yet Obama still has his diehard supporters. They place no credence on such accusations, blanketing all criticism with the tacit brush of racism. But it delves deeper than that. For the most part, the scenarios described mark things these people like. Nobody on their side, for instance, denies that 60 million children have died since Roe v. Wade, but they still love Roe v. Wade. When the name of God was evoked at the 2012 DNC, many of them booed. When Obama apologized for America, they agreed with him.

This is not the Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy. This is the new normal.

 

A house divided

 

When Rush Limbaugh first went national in 1988, one of his central messages was that conservatives need not feel like minorities; they were the majority in America and in much of the industrial free world. He gave the Right hope, not to mention talking points in arguments with liberals. His influence was vast and often found its way into media discussion.

Many felt – and liberals were afraid – that Limbaugh would consolidate a Rightist monolith that would overwhelm the Democratic Party. The GOP has had its moments of glory, and Limbaugh has been credited with his share of that glory, but if anybody ever felt the Democrats would split up, that the nation would go conservative in wholesale fashion, or that the “dominant media culture” would fall in line with Rush Limbaugh; well, that never happened.

But it has gone beyond that. Whether fault is Limbaugh’s, or conservative talk radio in general, cannot be entirely verified, but what is not disputed is that there is a major split in conservative circles. There has always been one, at least since World War II, but it appears larger today than ever.

The “party of Lincoln” enjoyed dominant popularity outside of the South until the Great Depression. Despite the fact both American Presidents during World War II, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman were Democrats, the prevailing view was that the war was one by “Republicans” of a sort (generals and patriotic citizens, many from rural areas as opposed to fuzzy New York liberals). The peace needed to be protected by hawkish types in line with GOP philosophy.

Most of the great generals were Republicans. Many of the young veterans elected after the war were Republicans. Dwight Eisenhower was a Godsend when he declared himself a Republican. Conservatism was the natural enemy of the new, great threat of Communism.

Eisenhower was chosen by his party over the old standard bearer, Ohio Senator Robert Taft. Taft was the son of President William Howard Taft (1909-13), and was given the sobriquet “Mr. Republican” in the 1940s. But he was an isolationist. Isolationism has always been a strain in the GOP, establishing itself after wars, particularly in the 1920s after World War I. But the post-World War II landscape was too dangerous for this thinking to succeed. The Republican Party saw itself as protectors and cheerleaders of a muscular America ordained by God to defeat the evils of Nazism and Communism. Nobody embodied this idea better than Eisenhower.

Ike’s Vice President, Richard Nixon, lost a close election to John F. Kennedy in 1960, and in 1964 there were major rifts in the party. Ostensibly, the battle was between the old, established wing led by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and the more conservative, Western-leaning views of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. But there were internecine battles within conservatism; between the secular libertarian readers of Ayn Rand, and the “Christian soldiers” who saw a Communist plot around every corner, embodied by the John Birch Society. The landslide election of Lyndon Johnson seemed to defeat all of that, as he put together a coalition to beat all coalitions. LBJ had the civil rights movement as well as the Southern segregationists. He also had the hard-line anti-Communists who wanted to “bomb Vietnam back to the Stone Age,” but by 1968 this plan had blown up in his face.

Richard Nixon consolidated all elements of the Republican Party in a masterstroke, first in 1968 and then in landslide fashion in 1972. His great accomplishment was beginning the process of husbanding the South into the mainstream of modern politics. Watergate seemed a potential death knell of the GOP, leading to another battle between the moderates of President Gerald Fiord and the conservatives of Ronald Reagan. Reagan won that battle and the Presidency in 1980; then consolidated the party, especially the South, even the country, over the next eight years. Seemingly, with the arrival of Limbaugh and the election of Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988, the Grand Ol’ Party was at last one big, happy family.

Some 28 years later, entering the 2016 primaries, the party had not nominated another true Reagan conservative. The results have been one term for the first Bush, a disappointing second term for his son, and a series of lost Presidential elections. There have been triumphs: mid-term landslides in 1994, 2010 and 2014. But the party has struggled to find an elected conservative voice to replace House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich of Georgia. In the second George W. Bush term, major arguments ensued between the conservative and moderate elements of the party with the moderates, led by their 2008 Presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, having their way leading up to the 2016 elections. Frustration has marked the fact that despite two midterms that can only be called national repudiations of President Barack Obama, the Republicans have lacked the spine to enforce the will of the people.

But something happened in America, something indefinable, in the 2000s. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when, but the Republican Party began to split apart. It was slow and imperceptible at first, noticed only by the keen-eyed, among them Limbaugh.

In 2004, Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry, a Senator from Massachusetts, asked his good friend and Senate colleague, Arizona’s John McCain to be his running mate. On the surface it seemed a desperation move by the Democrat, but the fact a Republican was even thought palatable by the hard Left, as Kerry was, actually said more about McCain. McCain declined, but he came out of it looking suspect.

But after Bush’s re-election victory in 2004, it was the Right itself that began to self-inflect their wounds. They began to crumble, to splinter, accuse each other. Limbaugh was part of it, and most (not all) of the other conservatives in the media followed his lead. Or they followed the lead of Michael Savage, who was the most vociferous of them all.

Savage never marched to the beat of the other Right-wing drummers. In many ways he was the hardest Right; in other ways he was socially liberal. He could not be boxed. In 2003, when just about everybody Republican extolled the virtues of Republican actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s winning election as Governor of California, Savage called him an “empty suit,” favoring a solid GOP state legislator named Tom McLintock, who had no chance.

In the mid-term period of 2006-07, the bloom was off the “yellow rose of Texas,” George W. Bush. By June of 2007, the nation had been at war in Afghanistan for six years, while daily the media recorded horrendous images of IEDs (improvised explosive devises) blasting Americans to Kingdom Come, since 2003.

Despite a good economy and the Iraq War finally taking a turn for the better that summer, Bush was a “lame duck” president and the party was in tatters. The Democrats in the midterms smoked them, and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi now controlled the legislative agenda. There were in fighting and accusations. The conservative media joined in with both feet.

The fissures became very apparent with the “Gang of 14” organized by Senator McCain to push for a compromise allowing some of Bush’s judicial nominees to be allowed confirmation. It was a backroom deal with Democrats, revealing McCain to be a man who happily got along with his across-the-aisle colleagues. There was a time, not all that long before all of this, that such a quality would be thought admirable. Bush campaigned hard on his record as Texas Governor, when he and Democrats joined together to accomplish things. Those days were done.

Judicial issues were at the forefront. Bush tried to nominate Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was a crony nomination; she was an old friend of his from Texas. Her strong Christianity was attractive to Bush, but she was not qualified. Venerable conservative columnists George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and William Kristol opposed her on principle. So did Limbaugh. But the vitriol of Savage may have been her death knell. He ripped her up one side and down another, not personally, but professionally. Bush relented, her name was withdrawn, and Samuel Alito ascended.

Immigration also emerged as a hot button topic. This was right down Savage’s alley. He promoted his show by emphasizing, “borders, language and culture,” all code words if not straight-up jingoism extolling old-fashioned Americana in the form of his show’s regular playing of 1950s rock music, and other images of the ‘50s zeitgeist. Three things were becoming apparent. One, the Mexicans were coming and some day would create a nation of 50 percent or more Latinos. Second, the Democrats knew it, they recognized the illegals voted for them, and if they could not get Americans to vote their way, they could stay in power by giving these Mexicans the ballot.

Third, and most troublesome to the nativists, was a different form of Latino anger. By the mid-2000s, public schools had been teaching new forms of political science, and they were not your grandfather’s political science. Out of this came a theory that the American Southwest had been “stolen” from Mexico. This was completely untrue.

Manifest Destiny, the decision to Americanize the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific, was not merely a land grab. It was in fact a strategic move of international importance. Had the United States not done what they did, England, France, Spain, Mexico, Russia, and possibly Holland would have laid claim to various cross-sections of the continent. As the Industrial Revolution heated up, a competition for world domination developed. This in fact became World War I. Had the U.S. not consolidated the West, World War I, or a form of it, may well have been fought in the American West among some or all of these powers.

As for Mexico, they achieved independence from Spain shortly after the Napoleonic Wars. France had laid claim to parts of the Spanish-speaking world; they also made a huge blunder, selling Louisiana in favor of adventurism in Haiti. After Napoleon, the Austro-Hungarian Empire emerged as a major world power; their alliance with the German-speaking peoples (and what eventually become a unified Germanic state) gave them all great influence. Austria initially aligned with Mexico, filling the power vacuum left by Spain, but quickly determined the cost of maintaining and defending this poor colony was not worth it. Potential belligerence with the growing regional power America played a role in this decision; they had no desire to fight a nation that defeated the British twice within 35 years.

Mexico was left to its own devices. They claimed the region known as Texas to be theirs. Poor Mexican farmers tilled the soil, but Mexico could not afford to defend Texas from the Indians, who raided the farmers every year at harvest time. The Indians were smart; instead of killing all the farmers and stealing all their crops, they left enough for the Mexicans to survive so they could grow crops the next year for them to steal. The situation was quite intolerable for the Mexican farmers. The government, unable to protect them, decided on a different course of action.

They began what might be called a “public relations campaign,” essentially placing advertisements in American newspapers, generally in the South, specifically in Tennessee. These ads called for “men with guns” to come to Texas. There, they would be free to farm the land, catch wild animals, keep the skins, sell their wares, make profits, pay little or nothing in taxes, and as an extra inducement, it was inferred that the Mexican senoritas were attractive and liked rugged he men such as themselves. All they had to do was kill off the Indians when they came raiding villages. The call for “men with guns” was basically the same as the premise in the 1960 classic The Magnificent Seven.

Among the Tennesseans who ventured to Texas were Davy Crockett, who after losing his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives famously told his old constituents, “they might go to hell, and I would go to Texas.”

The arrival of the “men with guns” from America profoundly changed Texas. Quickly, the Americans became the biggest landowners, the biggest employers, the wealthiest and most successful people. They married the prettiest woman. Jealousy ensued. It was not unlike the arrival of Jews escaping the Communist Revolution and coming to Jerusalem in the 1920s. Within 10 years, the immigrant Jews were the most successful people, employing the Arabs, owning the land, and becoming a political force that would eventually create the state of Israel. In Texas, it was quickly apparent the state was now American by nature, by culture, by language, and by dint of pure excellence.

The Mexican government claimed these successful Americans were Mexicans; they owed Mexican taxes, and fealty to the Mexican government. They reneged on their original promise. The result of course was the battle at the Alamo, eventual Texas military victory, and statehood.

Tensions between Mexico and the U.S. escalated, and in the late 1840s the two nations fought a war, which was won by America, thus consolidating the Southwest territories into the United States. The American Army advanced into and occupied Mexico City; they could easily have colonized Mexico. They chose not to hold onto Mexico; like Germany and Japan in the 20th Century, they gave back what they conquered. Obviously, they did not “steal” the land that had been abandoned by Spain and could not be properly protected by Mexico. The rest is history.

But this history was too true and politically incorrect to be told to Americans, much less school children outside Texas. In 2006, illegal Mexicans engaged in many marches, waving Mexican flags, and claiming the Southwest to be their legitimate land rights. That was not going to happen, but granting them citizenship and voting rights in America became the driving issue. For conservative media, this was absurd; making citizens out of people who by their very actions were engaged in sedition.

Limbaugh said “words mean things,” and among the words he said meant something was the term “illegal alien.” There was a time in which this was cut-and-dried. The Democrats would support the illegals, the Republicans would resist. Not any more. Karl Rove had advised President Bush that the Latino voting bloc was growing and, if harnessed, could make for a “permanent majority.” It helped him win re-election in 2004. John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham (R.-South Carolina) joined forces with the likes of Senators Kennedy and Reid, and tried to legalize millions of undocumented Mexicans.

“This bill is worse than nothing,” Limbaugh said. “The thing about this that just doesn’t make any sense is that we’re treating the illegals as though we are doing something wrong, as though we’ve been bad and we’re guilty of something. We want them to forgive us!” ^^cxiii^^

“Rush was with Davy Crockett, not Santa Ana,” wrote his biographer, Zev Chafets.

This issue, along with the “Gang of 14” judicial appointments imbroglio, created a schism in the GOP that exists today. Many Republicans took the view that the nation was becoming more and more Latino; they had to reach out and get a share of this vote. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, later dubbed the “U.S. Chamber of Crony Capitalism,” by Mark Levin, an emerging author and commentator, favored the amnesty of illegals because they provided cheap labor. Large swaths of the American economy, business people normally favoring conservative Republicanism, found themselves advocating amnesty because the illegals worked cheap without benefits. Blacks meanwhile were incensed that these illegals were becoming the new “scared cows” of victimhood.

Limbaugh pointed out some obvious facts that somehow, despite being obvious, were not understood by conservatives. President Bush favored relaxed immigration policies, as did many in his party, but it did not result in any advantage in the 2006 midterms. The GOP was swamped. The argument that “cow-towing” to Mexicans would buy their votes was a non-starter, a “straw man” argument without merit.

But Limbaugh continued to support Bush, despite his failure to “drain the swamp” of Middle Eastern terrorists, or his liberalizing domestic policies. Limbaugh found him honorable and decent. Bush invited Limbaugh to the Oval Office and explained his positions to him. Limbaugh listened respectfully. He felt the President was “a good man . . . full of class and dignity.” Bush refused to lower himself to the level of his war critics. He had thick skin and stayed above the fray, despite many who wanted to see him level the liberals.

“Bush wasn’t one of our greatest Presidents,” Limbaugh said, “but under him there was no corruption, no Lewinskys. He didn’t diminish the office of the President. And someday, after we are all gone, people will say that Bush dealt with a lot of dangerous things that had to be dealt with.”

The immigration issue raised the ire of Michael Savage, but for somewhat different reasons. Savage’s main premise was to protect American culture, which he saw as sacred. Many accused Savage of racism or xenophobia; to do on his show was to elicit a tongue-lashing and public scolding unlike Limbaugh, who was always polite even to his detractors.

On top of everything else, in 2006 the Dubai Ports World controversy occurred. The Bush Administration wanted to sign a deal allowing the United Arab Emirates to manage U.S. ports. In the middle of the War on Terror, this brought up major security concerns. Dr. Savage vociferously opposed it, and incredibly joined forces with one of his archenemies, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D.-New York), who also opposed it. Savage absolutely ripped the Senator up and down before that, and after that, but on this one thing they agreed and Schumer even appeared on his show. Savage’s opposition was likely the major impetus behind the deal not closing, and undoubtedly demonstrated that he was one of the most powerful voices in the media, on par with Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and others. ^^cxiv^^

But by 2008, there was no unanimity among the hosts. They reflected, or possibly drove, the split in the Republican Party, more and more identified as moderate establishment types on the one hand, and conservatives with a social ax to grind on the other.

Limbaugh often spoke of anecdotal events, in which well-heeled business people told him the “hill billys” demanding an end to abortion, opposition to gay marriage, and actual belief in the divinity of Christ, would bring the party down. Erudite, the one-time Manhattanite and hail-fellow-well-met Limbaugh seemed to straddle both worlds, to give the establishment the impression he really stood with them. To those who really listen to him, though, he is a grass root hard Right conservative: abortion and gay marriage oppositionalist, hawkish militarist, and all.

Bush was re-elected in 2004 with more votes than any President before or since. He told the press he had “political capital,” but his intention of using it was met with resistance. Whether history will consider his tenure a failure or not is not fully fleshed out; it was mixed. He both energized the Grand Ol’ Party, winning enormous elections in 2002 and 2004, and dragged them down, losing disastrously in 2006 and 2008.

Bush’s handling of the Iraq War created a tremendous divide. The Left decided it was a terrible mistake and foreign policy disaster, tearing it down at any cost, including the security of the homeland and our allies, namely Israel. The Right looked at it as Vietnam-lite, a war that should have been won by 2005. The extra two years it took before General Petraeus’s Surge cost the party and likely gave the world Barack Obama. The abandonment of that victory reminded them of Cambodia after Senator Edward Kennedy refused to write checks to fight Communism in the late 1970s. Whether the backlash will be as total as it was in fueling the Reagan Revolution remains an open question.

But the most hard-hitting, accurate criticism of President Bush addresses the divide of the Republican Party. Mark Levin often informs audiences that the GOP establishment, which in the 1970s was embodied by President Gerald Ford and the man he chose as his Vice-President, Nelson Rockefeller, once distrusted Ronald Reagan. Sean Hannity told his audience that the term “amiable dunce,” long thought said of Reagan by Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts, actually emanated from Republicans.

But there was no conservative talk radio in the 1970s; Reagan was almost out of office when Rush Limbaugh went national. There was no Fox News, no Washington Times. William F. Buckley’s National Review was viewed without suspicion, a safe organ of conservative opinion. Whether or not the “new media,” consisting of a plethora of Right-wing voices on the radio, cable TV, and the Internet, is too blame for dividing the Republican Party, the fact is it started to fray under Bush in 2005-06.

It happened piecemeal, a slow speed train wreck, one thing after another: the “Gang of 14” compromise led by Senator John McCain, the Harriet Meirs fiasco, the Dubai Ports controversy, the sudden desire by mainstream Republicans to give amnesty to illegal aliens. Mark Levin exposed the Chamber of Commerce, an unquestioned, longtime organ of the GOP. In 2015 it was revealed that they decided to fund electoral efforts against conservative Republicans opposed to it.

At some point, the “conventional wisdom” became a mantra; the GOP needed to reach out to Latinos or lose. Limbaugh and others chortled at the notion that this “advice” from the Left was their way of telling Republicans how to beat them in the future, a preposterous motivation. Nevertheless, this idea took root in the GOP establishment and became a huge argument.

The 2000 Presidential election, which was such a terribly divisive event with George Bush and Al Gore locked in a flat-footed tie until the Supreme Court, in a straight party vote giving the Presidency to Bush, seemed almost innocent by 2006. Back then, Bush’s advisor Karl Rove was seen far and wide as a guru of genius proportions by the Republicans. Bush himself was an unquestioned conservative with Texas swagger.

There was very little resistance to ideas propelled by Rove and given voice by Bush, to embrace Latinos, even to the point of making it easier for them to come and stay in America. Bush spoke Spanish, had many Latino supporters in Texas, and it was viewed as great politics. Bush won a large portion of the Latino vote in both of his winning Presidential campaigns.

9/11 focused everybody on national security. But at some point somebody began to notice that it was pretty easy for a terrorist from the Middle East to cross the southern border illegally. Nobody hammered this issue more than Dr. Michael Savage, whose mantra of “borders, language, culture” had propelled him since he first went on the air in 1994-95.

Had Senator McCain won in 2008, all might have been forgiven and forgotten, but his loss combined with Mitt Romney’s in 2012 created a paradigm shift in Republican thinking. “Many conservatives were not alive and never able to vote for a conservative,” Mark Levin said of the fact the last “true conservative,” Reagan, had run his final campaign in 1984. George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, McCain and Romney were viewed as moderates. Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, it dawned on people that George W. Bush was a moderate, too. Levin began to criticize Karl Rove. It started out as tepid and became vociferous.

President Bush has his supporters. When he and his father appeared to throw out the first ball at a World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers in 2010, the fans at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington gave him a huge, Texas-style standing ovation. President Obama, booed heartily at the All-Star Game in St. Louis just a year earlier, was probably displeased.

****

The idea that the 2008 election was a wave or a new trend failed to note the chance that Barack Obama was a highly unusual “one off” candidate, an articulate black man engendering great buzz and excitement manifesting itself in a rather short-lived political surge, rather than a trend as might be attributed to the Goldwater campaign of 1964 giving rise to Reagan, a series of Republican winning streaks, and even a “lock” in the New South, as political consultant Lee Atwater called it.

The Right, or at least the conspiratorial Right, took the 2008 election one step further. History, which includes a fawning Obama documentary by Edward Norton, paints the picture of a political messiah, “the one we’ve been waiting for,” to use Obama’s own words. His arrival and election is in their view a form of secular prophecy, but does not address the fact that after Sarah Palin was added to the Republican ticket, by mid-September, 2008 John McCain led by five points. Perhaps some day facts will come out or an investigation will reveal more than is known, but many Republicans view what happened next to be almost impossibly “coincidental,” and more than a little bit sinister.

No sooner had McCain ascended to a five-point lead than the “sub-prime housing” crisis hit the American economy like a thunderbolt. In a nutshell it was the work of former President Bill Clinton and Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank making it easy for minorities to “own” homes even if they could not keep up with the mortgage payments. By 2008, the “chickens were coming home to roost.” All of this is easily explainable, but the timing is a conspirator’s dream, or nightmare. That a sitting President like George W. Bush, rooting for his own party to succeed him, could not foresee something that was “too big to fail,” and not at the very least put it off until after the election, rather than have it explode as the ultimate “September surprise,” suggests a sinister opposition plot.

That sinister opposition in the eyes of conservatives comes in the person of George Soros. Soros was virtually unknown prior to 2008, although he had single-handedly brought down the British pound in the 1990s. A man who can “bring down” the British pound (and actually brag about it) may just be powerful enough to start a “sub-prime housing crisis” just in time to destroy a Republican and elect a liberal Democrat. Soros would also be smart enough to keep his fingerprints off his crimes.

But the mainstream media did not have any desire to attribute Obama’s victory to such a conspiracy any more than Hollywood wanted to make a movie about “Old Man Joe” Kennedy stealing the 1960 Presidential election from Richard Nixon.

After that, the electorate was subject to a form of psychological subversiveness that can be metaphorically described as a lobster placed in a bucket of water, unaware that the heat is slowly turning it into a boiling cauldron. By the time the heat has reached its full force, the lobster has fainted and does not feel pain; he is just dead. This was America under Obama.

One form of his subversiveness came in the form of his use of taxpayer dollars to pay for radio advertisement. Many Americans are unaware that the government runs ads. They usually are rather obvious “public service announcement.” Not so in Obama’s case. Michael Savage is the most adept of all the talk hosts when it comes to understanding these trends. Advertising, as anybody who watched Mad Men can attest, is a form of mirroring reflecting American society.

Over many years, decades even, typical American advertising has bent over backwards to include black people. The backyard barbeque or group of friends depicted having dinner at a restaurant must contain the obligatory black couple. Eventually they went beyond that and showed inter-racial couples. But at some point, at least by the early 2000s, ads showed dumbass white fellows who have no clue how to hook up computers, or deal with electronics in any way, or handle his finances, or any number of ordinary activities. He turns to his black, or ethic neighbor or, who is connected to the nth degree, or understands finances, or possesses the wisdom to see truth the white is incapable of recognizing. The neighbor of color has a bemused little smile as he suffers the white fool, then turns him on to some web site, some smart broker, some technologically savvy operation that will save him from his own stupidity. The sort of thing depicted on TV that generally does not occur in real life.

Dr. Savage made particular note of a series of commercials involving actor Charlie Sheen and basketball legend Michael Jordan for Hanes underwear. Jordan achieved such a high hero status that he practically stood as singular refutation of actual prejudice in America. In the commercials, Sheen would see Michael, then genuflect before him as if the black man was a god, showing him his underwear, relating that he too wears Hanes as does the great man; hero worship bordering on pagan idolatry. Jordan would smirk, put upon by this stupid white, but he would calmly and patiently suffer these antics. He stood above it, was superior to it.

The back fellow is just better than the white man.

Obama’s people understood advertising and created an ingenious series of commercials generally devised to dissuade people from the likely truth about the sub-prime housing crisis that ultimately delivered him to the White House. Its actual purpose was the opposite of prejudice; to make it easier for minorities to but houses they could not afford. It was literally the government allowing them to buy on a form of margin, which history tells us caused Black Monday and the Great Depression in 1929.

George W. Bush could have changed history by ending the program started by his predecessor and Congressman Barney Frank, but that was politically incorrect. By 2007, he lost the Congress and could not accomplish this task anyway.

Limbaugh and others immediately pointed out what caused the sub-prime housing crisis. These facts were too true to be heard by the American public, so Obama created ads, many of which actually ran during Limbaugh’s program. The first depicted some poor black fellow who calls an insurance broker and is informed that he is in, the apartment is his. Then he shows up and we hear her say to herself something, “Oh my God, he’s black.” Then she makes up some excuse about paper work or a mistake or a credit score not being high enough; in the end he is discriminated against. The audience is encouraged to be good little Anita Hills and rat out such bad behavior to the EEOC.

Later commercials depicted some broker encouraging a buyer of a house to make sure they meet “Mike,” who pipes in that, “I’m African-American just like you.” He of course is made to be a tool of the evil white predatory lender, who we discover has given them confusing paperwork that he will later use to seize their house when they cannot pay back the loan. “Predatory lending,” Obama’s administration wants people to believe, was responsible for the sub-prime housing crisis, not liberals whites like Bill Clinton and Barney Frank who wanted blacks to own homes even if they could not pay back the loans.

This kind of thing had been going on for years. People like Michael Savage shed light on it. This is why millions and millions of American citizens, who vaguely feel like they are being faulted, blamed and looked down upon, accused of racism or bigotry they are not actually guilty of, choose to listen to the likes of Michael Savage.

But the political class, the Republican establishment if you will, was inundated by this in Washington, D.C. Destroyed by a hostile media, then made to be docile by Obama and his legions, they chose to adopt this “blame me” attitude in their policies.

Conservatives were not pleased.

 

While Mark Levin had been around a number of years, and was already a well known author, his ascendance along with Sarah Palin in 2008 seemed to encapsulate the new demands the Right, the so-called “ideological purists,” were making of the Grand Ol’ Party. The era of the “big tent” seemed to have been replaced by a divisive fundamentalism, as much reaction to gay marriage, unfettered abortion bordering on genocide, a national debt resembling an untamed monster; all while Socialism, long popular in Europe, was no longer hated as a wing of Communist mass murderer. For the old Buckleyites, who believed as Bill Buckley did that America was a special country ordained by a living God to do His will, namely destroy the Communists, this new state of affairs was a slap in the face at their Christianity. With the Berlin Wall down, many reasoned, was America, having achieved this monumental goal, now done, just another land mass? This was hard to accept.

Of all the conservative talkmeisters, Levin emerged as the one most closely approaching Limbaugh in influence. On the narrow issue of ideological purity, it would be Levin, more than Limbaugh, certainly more than Savage, or any of the others, who would apply this test to Republicans. Over the next years his audience would grow and he would directly contribute to election victories, particularly by Tea Party conservatives running against establishmentarians, both in primaries and general elections. Some incumbents would fall, drawing anger his way. Levin would miss the mark here and there and be blamed with the loss of a few elections that should have gone in the GOP column, but he and the Tea Party – “He is the Tea Party,” as his promotions state – would rise and become a growing force in American politics with few equals.

He and Michael Savage would develop a heated rivalry. Savage’s audience would grow to its greatest heights, but at least on U.S. airwaves, recede over the last five years whiled Levin ‘s sway would become greater. Savage would be as mercurial as ever, switching subjects, veering from the “Republican good, Democrat bad” rhetoric that oft marked conservative media.

But overall, while the world was changing, while the Internet and apps were taking over, newspapers and magazines dying, TV ratings falling, and books becoming a thing of the past, somehow talk radio – the radio, that relic of the Roaring ‘20s – would gain strength and, by 2016-17, arguably sit at the top, its influence and potential as an American kingmaker at all-time highs.

The Republican Party slowly began to re-think its meaning, its raison d’être. Was it the party of Reagan or the party of Nelson Rockefeller? The party of Mark Levin or the party of John McCain? The reaction to the Tea Party must rank among the great mysteries. Think of a Major League baseball team that is failing and drawing no fans to their games. They are an after-thought. Then a group of homegrown baseball fans emerge and start holding rallies drawing attention to the team. Huge numbers of people begin attending these rallies, holding photos of their greatest stars from the 1940s or 1950s, urging that the team return to its roots and play baseball again with the joy and verve of past championship seasons.

Suddenly, these fans begin to fill up the team’s stadium. The players on the team are fired up and begin to play with enthusiasm. They start to win again. The money flows through the turnstiles. Spurred by these unexpected developments, none of which was the club’s doing in the first place, the team wins the pennant.

Think of the Cleveland Indians in the movie Major League. As in that movie, the club’s front office is so thankful and happy that the team is now a champion again that they decide to move to another city; Las Vegas perhaps.

This is how much the Grand Ol’ Party seemed to appreciate the Tea Party. They were an unorganized group of ordinary citizens. Nobody [aid them. They just rose. It was as if the Republican establishment literally did not want to win, much less handle the responsibility of governance. Then what? Then the media would scrutinize and criticize them. Then they could be blamed. It was a lot easier to just blame Barack Hussein Obama, who very quickly became a target to dwarf all previous targets.

But the Tea Part without any question was responsible for historical Republican mid-term, victories in 2010 and 2014. They must be considered the heart of the Donald Trump phenomenon of 2016. So formidable were they that President Obama used the IRS, an abuse of power perhaps greater than any other he wielded, to silence them in 2012, only to have revelations of this crime spur them to even greater acts of vengeance in subsequent campaigns.

The 2010 midterms were a direct refutation of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a true San Francisco liberal. Michigan Republican John Boehner replaced her. At first Congressman Boehner seemed up to the task. He came in with the 1994 “Republican revolution,” which was weaned on Reagan conservatism. Hooray.

But Michael Savage so often quotes Lord John Dalberg-Acton, an English political figure who accurately stated, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.” This could describe better than any other factor why conservative radio has survived pretty much on the same merits today as when Rush Limbaugh started it.

Limbaugh, Levin, Savage; they all like to say they lack real power. They are not elected to anything. They cannot sign laws into being. But elected officials can. Limbaugh very cogently points out that the District of Columbia acts as a corrupting influence. No matter how pure, how ideologically driven, any man or woman who goes there is seduced by it. They want to be invited to the most prestigious cocktail parties. They want the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the networks to approve of them. Nobody more assiduously cultivated such a reputation than Senator McCain.

McCain and many in his party lost the lesson of 2008. Long the darling of the D.C., press corps, the “maverick” who took on the Bush machine in 2000, if McCain thought for a second any of this good will would translate in his race against Barack Obama, he was sadly mistaken. He and his beautiful blonde wife Cindy were reduced to wining about biased treatment during an appearance on The View, which any conservative would have realized was an exercise in futility. If McCain were truly as smart as he thinks he is, he would have realized he would never really be one of them so long as he was a Republican. But in 2008 he literally disrespected Limbaugh, thinking he could win without him. He was beaten. “Joe the plumber” could not equal Right-wing radio.

As for Boehner, he went through the motions of opposing Obama. The Senate had the votes to defeat Obamacare after Scott Brown won in Massachusetts. Senator Mitch McConnell (R.-Kentucky) had gone so far as to say it was his goal to keep Obama to a single term.

It is true that Obama’s and Harry Reid’s illegal tactics in changing Senate rules in order to force Obamacare down America’s throat in 2010 without a single GOP vote, could not have been stopped by Boehner or McConnell. However for the most part the two of them did little more than give “lip service” to the notion that they wanted to stop the President. They were establishment Republicans of the “go along to get along” variety. They spent more time and exerted more power keeping younger Republicans in line than they did opposing Reid or Obama, who ran roughshod over them, often using illegal, un-Constitutional, Alinskyite measures.

In this respect they went directly against the will of the American people. Limbaugh very accurately stated that the 2010 sweeps carried a straightforward message, which was to stop Obama from doing what he was doing. Obama himself had stated that if the Republicans did not like what he proposed, then they should win an election. When the Republicans did win an election, Obama changed his tune and just rammed everything through in the form of executive orders, or bad judicial decisions, or fiat in some other unlawful way. He was not stopped.

Limbaugh said that if Obama had campaigned honestly by telling America what he later actually did, he never would have been elected, but when he did these things the only people who could oppose him, Boehner, McConnell and the establishment, laid down their arms. It was a disgrace.

Boehner and McConnell were running their parties as if it was 1950 and they were Bob Taft enjoying a cocktail with all their colleagues in an era of collegiality. But the 2010 elections introduced new voices to the GOP. Among them were two firebrand Cuban-Americans, U.S. senator Marco Rubio (R.-Florida) and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R.-Texas). Rubio in particular was a Tea Party favorite identified by Mark Levin as a rising star, who defeated the incumbent Charlie Crist in the Florida primary.

Obamacare survived in 2012 when Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts – the man who hesitated giving Obama his oath of office, some said, because he looked in his eyes and saw the devil – made perhaps the worst vote since Roe v. Wade and declared it Constitutional. Charles Krauthammer and others surmised that the decision would give Mitt Romney victory in the fall, as abolishing Obamacare was popular with the people and a great campaign slogan.

But Romney had horrendously instituted something similar to Obamacare during his tenure as Governor of Massachusetts. Instead of highlighting all the people in that state who hated it, the tepid Republicans ignored the issue. Obama won. Romney was “too nice,” said Michael Savage. He was, Limbaugh pointed out, up against vile, deceitful, vicious quasi-criminals making up the Obama campaign, yet he fought with Marquis of Queensberry rules. Limbaugh reiterated as he long had that the Republicans should not work with Democrats; they should only defeat them as General MacArthur defeated the Japanese.

Senator Cruz realized he was alone; his “leaders” would not do the will of the people. In 2013 he took to the Senate floor and filibustered over Obamacare in an effort to defeat it. This can be described as that moment of great fissure that split the party in half and helped give rise to Donald Trump two years later.

As Levin pointed out, the reaction to Cruz by his fellow Republicans may have been more vociferous even than the Democrats. They made him un-officially persona non grata with the GOP establishment, which would work against him in 2016. The American public felt utterly devoid of any say in their Democracy.

When Rubio joined the “gang of eight” and argued on behalf of a form of amnesty for illegals, it further split the party. The public was undoubtedly opposed to illegal immigration, yet he Republicans were in cahoots with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce trying to document all these people so they could have cheap labor that kept wages low.

But Limbaugh as always was the most prescient and by now was saying he was no longer correct “97.9 percent of the time,” but was now correct “98.9 percent of the time.” The big argument against Cruz’s filibuster was that it would hurt the party in the 2016 elections. The big example always brought up was 1995-96, when House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich (R.-Georgia) orchestrated a shutdown of the government. In addition to Cruz’s filibuster, the Republicans again shut down the government in opposition to a sequestration spending arrangement giving the Democrats free reign on spending, all with the national debt approaching $20 trillion after it had been $10.6 trillion on Obama’s Inauguration Day.

In 1996 President Bill Clinton won re-election, but that was not because of Gingrich’s shutdown. It was because U.S. Senator Robert Dole (R.-Kansas), the party nominee, was tool moderate; an old, out-dated candidate destined to do Viagra commercials. The GOP actually did well in several Congressional races. It was their decision to go hard after Clinton on Impeachment after the election that led to a poor showing in 1998.

If the Republicans hoped to win in 2014, it was reasoned, they would have to cease shutting down government, soften their approach to the charismatic young President over his signature health issue, and especially grant amnesty to all those hapless Mexicans just begging to become American citizens. They were just “doctors and lawyers” waiting to dispense their services to America if she would only let them in, if the Left-wing propaganda was to be believed.

Limbaugh used history to dispel these myths. President Reagan signed a form of amnesty in 1986, then promptly saw his party lose the Senate that fall. Bush played nice with the Democrats and increased taxes in 1990, only to lose the White House in 1992. Proposition 187, limiting social services to illegals, led to the last big Republican victories in California (1994).

“Conservatism,” said Limbaugh, “works every time it’s tried.” This was a refrain on his earlier statement that, “Abstinence works every time it’s tried.” All of this wisdom continued to be too darn true to convert most Democrats.

The government shut down led Mark Levin to joke as he closed his show each day that the government was now “shut down for the night”; on Fridays they were “shut down for the weekend,” or for a holiday. Life continued to go on, workers getting paid, emergency personnel at the ready if needed. In fact, if the government were shut down, Levin reasoned, they were in a position to do less harm than usual.

But Levin, with his scratchy voice and his vitriolic East Coast style, hammered away at the Republican establishment, backing Tea Party favorites, while “primarying” selected “RINOs” (Republicans in name only). Orientals speak of “saving face,” giving opponents an opportunity to back away from a bad situation before getting embarrassed. Not so with Levin. He did not give his targets a chance to save face; instead he got in their face. He spotlighted selected Republicans he identified as lacking spine and conservative credentials, the “blue blood, country club Rockefeller Republicans.”

Limbaugh continued to tell stories of elites at cocktail parties urging him to disassociate with “banjo pickers,” Southerners who “embarrassed” the party with opposition to gay marriage and abortion. He spoke of his “top 10 Republican moderate moments,” which included George H.W. Bush’s loss to Clinton (1992), Dole’s defeat to the same man (1996), Gerald Ford’s nomination over Ronald Reagan (1976), McCain’s 2008 disaster, along with Colin Powell endorsing Obama over his fellow veteran and patriot McCain.

“Do you see a pattern here, folks?” Limbaugh asked his audience.

The pundits all agreed, and party leaders heartily endorsed the idea of reaching out to Latinos, blacks, gays and moderates, but that was not the impetus behind the 2014 sweeps, which Limbaugh pointed out occurred despite the shutdown, the opposition to amnesty, and refusal to give in to Obama.

Moderates like Senators Lamar Alexander, John McCain and Lindsay Graham; Virginia Congressman Tom Davis; and ex-RNC chair Michael; Steele; endured the ire of Mark Levin. Sean Hannity remained neutral, although his admiration for true conservatives could not be hidden. Glenn Beck practically gave up on the Republican Party. Charles Krauthammer at first endorsed the idea of backing moderates, that hardliners like Levin and Ted Cruz were hurting the party, but he seemed swayed by the 2014 victories.

 

As President Abraham Lincoln once famously said (para-phrasing The Bible), “A house divided cannot stand.” Yet, the Republican Party did divide itself after George W. Bush was given more votes than any President in U.S. history in 2004. All they gained was lost. Victory in Iraq in 2007 was turned into defeat when a new party bent on destroying everything Bush stood for took office. The House and Senate, then the Presidency, were lost.

The GOP cannibalized itself. Barack Obama could barely contain his laughter. The Obama Presidency would be a major challenge for conservative talk radio. Coming on the ascendancy of new forms of digital and social media, there were many thinking talk radio in its old form would fall by the wayside, as much a victim of changing technology as changing times. Could this mean a victory for historical liberalism; the end of the Reagan era once and for all?

Over the next eight years, Obama would attain some victories, but headed into the 2016 Presidential election, he has been denied the legacy he sought, and faces the distinct possibility of total, or near-total, repudiation of all he stands for. If this happens, the credit will not go to John Boehner or Mitch McConnell or the Republican Party in any traditional established form, but it will go to Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Dr. Michael Savage, and others who have stood toe to toe and fought an epic struggle, often having to overcome their own party, for what they certainly believe is the soul of the country.

President Reagan once said that each generation must fight for the freedoms the previous one secured. The generation that came of age in the late 1960s and 1970s is the first to fail in that calling. These were the Baby Boomers; spoiled, over-educated, over-privileged, entitled crybabies who gave the nation Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. By 2016, many believed the nation was lost at least during their lifetimes and probably their children’s; that Mitt Romney’s defeat-clutched-from-the-jaws-of-victory in 2012 was the last hope before hope was lost. They could be right, but Limbaugh, Levin, Savage and a hearty band of Americans, perhaps believing as the Old Confederacy once did, that the best causes are lost causes, refused to give in.

The story is not over yet. Despite incredible events, triumphs, disappointments and struggle, marking the era between Rush Limbaugh’s first national broadcast in 1988 and the day early in 2009 when he said of President-elect Barack Hussein Obama, “I hope he fails,” the next eight years, the years of Obama’s two terms (2009-17) marked conservative talk radio’s most momentous moments and influence, and ultimately maybe its greatest triumph. But triumph or no triumph, they did split the Republican Party. If and when that party re-makes itself, the image it will re-make itself in remains to be seen.

Either way, heading into the 2015-16 Presidential election season, the soul of this Grand O’ Party and of America itself hung in the balance

 

“Your guiding light through times of trouble, confusion, murkiness, tumult, chaos, despair . . .”

 

There have been elections and moments in time when a particular party, philosophy or empire might have believed they were the “winners of history,” for lack of a better term. Perhaps when Alexander consolidated the mysterious East, or Caesar “crossed the Rubicon” after defeating Gaul, or in the 19th Century when the British Empire believed that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution explained their mental superiority, when despite small numbers, Britain ruled vast numbers of people and territory that the sun never set upon.

The 20th Century saw many clashes of modernist philosophy, with a consolidated Germany believing they could be the “winners” of the Industrial Revolution; their culture a testament to the superiority of the Aryan race. The Communists believed they were the “wave of the future,” as recently as Nikita Khrushchev brandishing his shoe at the U.N. and declaring to the West “we will bury you.” The jihadists are convinced they will emerge even if it takes 1,000 years.

Greek Democracy failed, but the American Founding Fathers believed they could “form a more perfect union,” a Constitutional, representative Republic modeled on the Roman Senate that had been dissolved when Julius Caesar assumed dictatorial powers. After defeating the British twice, winning the Civil War, ending slavery, “making the world safe for Democracy,” and defeating Adolph Hitler, the United States felt they had achieved this lofty status, “winners of history.”

Victory in the Cold War during 1989-91 did not diminish the theory; in fact Francis Fukuyama even put it in writing when he wrote that we had reached the “end of history.” In the early days of the Iraq War (2003), many argued this point more forcefully than ever; we were a lone superpower, the lessons of failure (Vietnam) did not apply to us. We presided over a New World Order, and the combined forces of conservatism and Christianity were indeed the “winning ideology” of world history.

The Greeks had a word to describe such grandiose self-importance, which was hubris. History tells us there really are no winners in the final sense of the word, like a baseball team that wins the World Series while their fans chant, “We’re number one!”

Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio served as modern scribes and orators, like those who would stand in Rome’s public square to declare news of the Legion’s latest conquest. It certainly seemed that way during Limbaugh’s first two decades. He oversaw “Ronaldus Magnus’s” magnificent achievement, the fall of the Berlin Wall and then the Soviet Union. Absent any world opposition, his successor, George H.W. Bush, ran roughshod over Saddam Hussein in a flawless victory lasting mere days, his approval ratings at 91 percent. His son, George W. Bush, did the same thing – at least in the monumental, initial conquest of Baghdad – and by May of 2003 the war seemed won, Bush’s re-election secure, his approvals near his father’s 90 percent. Republicans held firm majorities in the House, Senate and state legislatures.

The Democrats appeared vulnerable not just to defeat, but to splitting asunder. The lessons of the next decade-plus are profound. One is that in a Democracy, winning a war is not enough; certainly not if the opposition party will win subsequent elections and un-do all the victories just to “prove” their opposition to it was legitimate in the first place. But that is just politics, and not wholly unpredictable.

What is mind boggling – indeed, future students will likely not believe it actually happened – is that a nation, indeed an empire as powerful and resplendent in world glory as the United States was in 2003-04 could a mere four-plus years later, not just see its policies overturned, but its greatest documents, historical philosophies, and its Constitution, practically ripped to shreds.

But just as there was backlash to President Bush and the war he thought would be won by 2004 that was not actually won until three years after that, there has been backlash to what followed. The idea that any one victory or momentum shift signals a sea change, despite the incredible turn to the Left taking place over the last eight years, with lasting meaning over many decades, appears preposterous. There is the here and now; in 2016 all indications were that the Republican Party might win enormous victories in the November elections. The total and complete repudiation of all that Barack Obama stands for appeared somewhere between predictable and likely. The 2010 and 2014 mid-terms; state legislatures and governorships; the size of primary crowds and voter turnout; televised debate ratings; the general enthusiasm and interest in their candidates; along with the economy, record-low labor force participation and wages, stock market plunges, and stagnancy caused by over-regulation and taxation; all pointed in this direction. Beyond that, there is no exaggerating the GOP’s ability to shoot themselves in the foot, and in this highly-charged us vs. them world, all gains made today could be squandered tomorrow in endless vicious cycles.

While all of this may be true, after Barack Obama’s 2008 election, there was genuine punditocracy emitting the idea that conservatism was dead; the age of Reagan was over; that whatever world John Maynard Keynes envisioned when he formed the economics of the Versailles Treaty following World War I, it was his vision, not that of Milton Friedman or Friedrich Hayek, or Reagan or Limbaugh or Ayn Rand or William F. Buckley, or any of those dinosaurs, that had prevailed.

As if to rub salt in the wound, it was during the election year of 2008 that HBO ran a fantastic mini-series called John Adams, starring Paul Giamatti as the celebrated Founding Father. Rush Limbaugh lavished praise upon it, using examples from the episodes to point to the exceptionalism of America, and how if we would only use these as examples in the modern era, we could regain our footing during perilous times. Then the show won numerous awards at the Golden Globes, including one for Laura Linney, who played Abigail Adams. In accepting her award, Linney told the TV audience that John Adams had been a “community organizer.” It was a well-placed knife thrust at Obama’s detractors, who could not understand how a community organizer, essentially a race extortionist from the streets of Chicago, could be elected President.

Others said Jesus Christ had been a community organizer. The conservatives and the Christians correctly pointed out Adams was a Founding Father, Christ Himself Our Lord and Savior, neither of which is a community organizer, but at that time the Left was bound and determined to get their revenge against the Right, and against conservative talk radio especially.

It was going to be a new age. Obama won in impressive fashion over the moderate John McCain, and the Democrats were able to add on to their 2006 mid-term victories. In Minnesota, oddball comedian Al Franken, whose book was titled Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, defeated incumbent U.S. Senator Norm Coleman by a tiny margin. The election took months to decide, and many Republicans felt it was stolen, but in 2008 everything was swinging the Democrats’ way. They had the precious 60 votes that made them filibuster-proof. ^^cxv^^

It was truly a period in which Limbaugh was needed as the “guiding light during times of trouble, confusion, murkiness, tumult, chaos and national distress,” as he always stated. Not only were the Republicans at a low ebb, a period comparable to 1932, 1964, 1976, and to a lesser extent 1992, but conservative media faced an existential crisis. There was the usual concern over the Fairness Doctrine; would Obama and the Democrats be able to muster enough power to end it, not to mention upend the Second Amendment, and other cherished American liberties? Fox News continued to rule the ratings wars and was not going away. Liberal talk radio was dead on arrival, but social media – Facebook, Twitter, Google, apps, games, “smart phones,” eBooks – which already by then had practically destroyed the newspaper and magazine business, threatened old talk radio. That was a part of our past, as was conservatism and the Republican Party. It was John Wayne and Ted Williams and old white guys. The future belonged to Obama’s youth brigades of differing ethnicities, filled with the moral superiority of the young and idealistic. The conservatives were Dustin Hoffman’s immoral parents in The Graduate. ^^cxvi^^

Limbaugh was reeling personally. It had been a tough decade. It had started out with so much promise, George Bush defeating Albert Gore, then General Tommie Franks’ moving through Saddam’s Republican Guard as George Patton said, “like s—t through a goose,” only to have it all fall apart. Limbaugh had suffered another divorce, and an embarrassing firing from ESPN after he said Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb had been favored because the media wanted a black to succeed at the position. He had been nailed acquiring illegal painkillers after back surgery, and was in the process of being thwarted in his efforts to buy the St. Louis Rams NFL team.

But if the industry Limbaugh built – and Limbaugh himself – were on the way out, nobody told his syndicators, who still saw enough audience and advertising revenue to sign him to a $400 million deal over eight years in 2009, complete with a signing bonus of $150 million.

“I think it’s a monster error,” Vanity Fair media critic Michael Wolff said on CNBC. “I’m sitting here saying, ‘What are these people smoking?’ You know, the truth is that Rush Limbaugh has ridden the rise of conservatism for 25 years . . . Maybe nobody quite – quite has been following the news, but that’s coming to an end. It’s going to be over, and Rush Limbaugh, in a relatively short period of time, is going to look like a kind of really-out-of-it oddity. And I cannot, for the life of me, imagine how someone could have made this deal.”

Wolff also wrote: “The most elemental fact about the Limbaugh career might be that, outside of corrupt dictatorships, nobody has made as much money from politics as Rush Limbaugh.”

In reality, according to Talkers Magazine, Limbaugh’s audience grew by 1 million listeners on Clear Channel during the Obama election and early Presidency. “First and foremost, I’m a businessman,” Limbaugh said. “My first goal is to attract the largest possible audience so I can charge confiscatory ad rates.” That was exactly what he had said on 60 Minutes almost 20 years earlier. This added up to about 45 minutes of airtime Limbaugh “sold” to advertisers per week

“Rush Limbaugh saved AM radio,” said Michael Harrison of Talkers. “He created the modern talk format. He’s Elvis and The Beatles combined. He’s been number one in the ratings for the past 20 years, and if stays on the radio for another 20 years, nobody will surpass him.” ^^cxvii^^

In 2009 his weekly listenership was 14 million. According to David Hinckley of New York Daily News, however, that year Dr. Michael Savage surpassed Limbaugh and reached his apex of 20 million listeners, although he added Savage was still the second-most-listened to host. By this time Internet listenership, especially via iHeart radio, was a formidable force. Savage himself boasted long and loud that he was “number one on the Internet.”

Savage was certainly a newsworthy figure. While Limbaugh had stopped writing books in the 1990s, Savage was pumping out political best sellers on a regular basis. He would later try his hand at novels, political thrillers loosely similar to the Tom Clancy genre. Like Limbaugh, he was not just controversial because of his views, but had ventured into television only to get burned. During a brief period in the 2000s he appeared on MSNBC, of all places; easily the most Left-wing TV network in the U.S. He was almost just as quickly fired for inflammatory comments he made about gays and AIDS. By 2009, he was at “war” with seemingly everybody; he certainly spent a lot of his own money, whether it was to create legal defense funds for Iraq War veterans on trial for “criminal” acts in the heat of combat, or his constant battle with the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), a group that supports the terrorist group Hamas and could be compared to Sinn Fein during the height of the Irish Republican Army bombing campaigns. ^^cxviii^^

But that was only the half of it. Savage was literally banned from Britain, who felt his views on Islam were hate speech, which is not protected in the U.K. Savage had been a local San Francisco host for most of the late 1990s until finally going national, but his audience was large and loyal. He had always been eclectic and eccentric. He practically went off the rails venting about the “vermin” who he said were duplicitous traitors giving comfort to our terrorist enemies in the Middle East. He despised Obama. Many listeners were surprised that Limbaugh seemed to hold back when it came to his personal opinion of Obama. As critical as he was from the start – and he was biting – it never sounded personal. Not so with Savage, and his increase in listeners during this period made sense. The vitriol and visceral hatred many felt for Obama was looking for a release, and found it in Savage. Many Christians were forced to their knees in prayer to Almighty God, asking for forgiveness that they felt this way about another human being. The theory that he was the anti-Christ was almost a relief; if he was Satanic then rejection of his lies and false works was a Biblical commandment. If on the other hand the man was just a well-meaning liberal whose pronouncement during the campaign that he was a Christian could be believed, then this hatred needed forgiveness.

If the Left-wing media felt Obama’s election would catapult them back to the top of the ratings game, they were sadly mistaken. Aside from Limbaugh, Savage, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and an ascending relative newcomer, Mark Levin, all reached record numbers. Fox blew away the usual suspects: CNN, MSNBC, and even the traditional networks: ABC, NBC and CBS.

Larry King of CNN had always been something of a joke to the Right. Many called him “Larry King alive,” as if he barely were. He was a liberal hero and an icon, but never sniffed the numbers of his conservative counterparts.

Limbaugh actually disliked King, who always worked to undermine him but when placed head to head with Limbaugh “bombed.” By 2009, Air America was in the “dustbin of history.” A host of liberals – Mario Cuomo, Jim Hightower, Gary Hart, Al Franken, Janeane Garafolo, Randi Rhodes, Alec Baldwin – all failed. Air America had been funded by Left-wingers from the beginning, and was a never a capitalistic venture. It went bankrupt after two years.

Air America was a “total bomb-out of a failure,” Limbaugh remarked. In 2008 at height of the Obama campaign Air America, now bought by a liberal named Mark Green and his brother Stephen, had a 0.5 Arbitron rating.

Al Jazeera was arguably not even a news outlet, but rather an organ of Islamic terror. Almost as if to prove Democrats were traitors, or sympathetic to their cause, Al Gore funded them. They have subsequently failed. ^^cxix^^

“There’s no hiding on talk radio. When your ideas sound stupid, it’s out there to be exposed for one and all, and that’s why Air America and liberal talk radio doesn’t get an audience – because it’s not worth listening to.” ^^cxx^^

The Obama election can be summed up in a book by Fox News commentator Bernard Goldberg called A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media. The title was self-explanatory. While conservatives in the media had always enjoyed tearing their liberal counterparts up, this period reached a white hot pitch.

Sean Hannity called it the “death of journalism.” That was not so far from the truth; examples could be found in the leading journalism schools. The old methods and standards were replaced by “gotcha” quotes, Twitter feeds, and sensationalism. Traditional shoe leather reporting was for . . . old timers.

Savage had particular vitriol reserved for Jake Tapper of ABC (later CNN) and Anderson Cooper. His criticism was particularly sharp, as he would describe the shape of their mouth and the spittle emitted on their lips. In the case of Cooper, who eventually revealed he was gay, their seemed a sense of homosexual reference to all this talk about his mouth and what he did with it. Savage would discuss a person’s body parts, the shape of his head, his or her clothing, refer to them as an incompetent who should run a seltzer shop in Brooklyn, or a garment store in the Bronx. He used this kind of imagery describing Barbara Boxer and Charles Schumer. This was vaguely anti-Semitic, or so it seemed, although it is doubtful his true intent was to find extra fault with Jews.

But Savage would talk about “loyas,” using a heavy, Jewish-style New York accent and reference a profession known for “shysters” What Savage disliked the most were not Jews, but Jews who dishonored their heritage. He despised Larry David, a “weak Jew” who once on his program referred to his cousin as “the reason for anti-Semitism.” In another episode David was so physically scared of somebody he was shown running in exaggerated manner, the picture of cowardice. Savage also hated the movie Meet the Fockers, in which Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand played new age Jews lacking any moral precepts. He despised Hollywood and its liberal, Jewish-heavy dominance. During the period 2008-09, the Bernie Madoff case was in the news. Savage was apoplectic that a Jew could rip off other Jews; after centuries of persecution could people turn on their own so easily in the modern promised land? Savage would talk about the “great Jews” of history like Albert Einstein, who had contributed so much. He loved strong Jews like Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. It was these kinds of people he felt would save the world from its weakest links.

Mark Levin demonstrated antipathy bordering on pathology in describing the “daily Schmoe” over at “MSLSD” (MSNBC), a former Republican Congressman named Joe Scarborough. Chris Matthews was “a drunk” to be mocked for saying Obama’s election caused him to get “a thrill up my leg.”

In the meanwhile Limbaugh pointed out hypocrisy and irony, but never got personal as Levin and Savage often did. He won four Marconi Awards and was named Syndicated Radio Personality of the Year by the National Association of Broadcasters. He was elected to both the Radio and National Association of Broadcasters Halls of Fame. His show proudly boasted he was the biggest talk radio personality “of all time,” and he is.

“Rush is just an amazing performer,” said The American Life host Ira Glass. “Years ago, I used to listen in the car on my way to reporting gigs, and I’d notice that I disagreed with everything he was saying, yet I not only wanted to keep listening, I actually liked him. That is some chops. You can count on two hands the number of public figures in America who can pull that off.” ^^cxxi^^

He added Limbaugh and Howard Stern “both created an entire radio aesthetic.” Limbaugh was the “smart-ass outsider.” He and Stern were both “radical inventions.” Mark Green added Limbaugh was “braggy,” yet the “happiness of the show – is what makes it play when the sun is still up.” ^^cxxii^^

The pushback against Obama was a slow, steady progression. He was practically a sainted figure. One scene captured on camera showed one of his typical supporters, at an event after his election. The man was multi-ethnic, with long Rastafarian-style hair, gulping and gasping for breath as he genuflected before the President-elect, basically thanking him for existing. There were reports of people fainting in excitement at Obama rallies, with the cool young politician telling them to take a breath, but if it was too much medical help was available. Video captured school kids singing a song about Obama in a manner eerily reminiscent of Chinese children singing about Mao Tse-tung or North Koreans doing the same to honor Kim Jong-un or his predecessors.

Limbaugh used the song with the kids singing, “Barack Hussein Obama, um, um, um,” and completely turned it on the President. He would declare his policy failures, which started almost immediately and piled up, one on top of the other over the course of his eight years, and then mimic the kids, saying it was all the work of “Barack Hussein Obama, um, um, um.” Obama’s own celebrity and high expectations ultimately worked against him. He was supposed to literally roll the ocean tides back, a promise he actually made.

The talk radio crowd was effective in showing the Alinskyite tactics of Obama and the Left. Obama and his supporters would say in order to solve a problem, then A, B and C would have to happen. Limbaugh and his compatriots would demonstrate that A, B and C had been put into place by laws initiated under Obama when he had a bullet-proof Congress, or often these laws, rules and policies had been in place since the Great Society. The fact these laws, rules and policies had not worked was because they do not work. It was not an opinion; it was just the thing known by people who knew . . . things.

This would not stop Obama – Limbaugh pointed out that he was skilled at this Alinsky technique – from complaining about the law, rule or policy, that either he or the Great Society had signed into law; as if he or people who thought like him were needed to make these laws successful. The only way anybody believed such drivel, Limbaugh said, was if they were a “low information voter,” a coded word, truth told probably tinged with some racial connotation, for dumbasses dotting the Democratic Party.

In 2016 for instance, two of the biggest issues in the Democratic primaries were health insurance and the improvement of life in the African-American community. Socialist candidate Bernie Sanders railed on and on about health care, as if Obamacare was not some kind of thing on the face of the Earth. This was of course because it had not actually provided benefits to people. The same could be said for the Black Lives Matter movement, which inflamed cities across the country as if a hooded Klansman was in the White House instead of one of their own. While certain members of the media, namely a few sharp men and women at Fox, spoke of these issues it was Limbaugh and conservative talk radio that shed the real light on all of it.

But it was his parodies and songs that dented Obama most effectively. Perhaps this is Limbaugh’s greatest genius, the ability to use humor and sarcasm to belittle his opponents. It was long a tactic of the Left; certainly Saul Alinsky polarized the opposition not with humor but with putdowns and biting disregard for their legitimacy. This was Obama’s way; he had risen through Chicago politics doing this, or using his surrogates to illegally reveal that his 2004 Senate opponent had once asked his wife to have sex with him in a semi-public place.

Ever since McCarthyism, the beat movement, and the implosion of foul-mouthed comedians, liberals had dominated this aspect of culture. Movies, TV programs and comedy sketches routinely made fun of conservatives and family values, glorified homosexuality, and accused Republicans of racism. There were very few conservatives in these mediums, and those who were successful did not fight back, for fear of ostracism from the club.

The Republican Party was absolutely frozen with fear at accusations of racism. At one function they found out a black Obama impersonator had been hired. His skit was quite innocent, but he was quietly removed. A rodeo clown made to look like Obama was not just dismissed, but practically imprisoned. Racist accusations against both Bill and Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries left deep scars and divisions with lasting impact. The Right knew just how mean Obama and the Left could get. When Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied, and forced their minions to lie and say a raid that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens had been caused by a video, instead of owning up to their lie, they imprisoned a filmmaker for the better part of a year as if to justify their line of reasoning,

Obama was very thin-skinned. He had grown up favored and given special privileges his entire life. Many like Michael Savage intimated these special privileges came from nefarious enemies of America, whether Communist or Islamic or both. Therefore, Limbaugh knew just how to get his goat. He said on the air he knew that Obama despised him the most because he knew precisely where he lived; he nailed him on exactly who and what he was. He could not “hide in plain site” from him. His thin veneer of competence, intelligence and accomplishment – he was given the Nobel Peace Prize when he “sneezed,” said Savage – was stripped bare.

Limbaugh and his partner, the “white comedian” Paul Shanklin, created parody after parody of Obama singing riffs of Sammy Davis songs, or numerous other classics, or making faux “public service announcements” that excoriated the President and everything he stood for. The genius of all these skits and parodies was not just the humor and the fact they were based on truth, but the contrast with the likes of Bill Maher, Janeane Garofalo, Sarah Silverman, and Chris Rock, or numerous other Left-wing comics whose acts were filled with vile and bile, with foul words unsuitable for audiences below age 35, filled with excrement humor, actual racism and homophobic rage. Silverman once started to talk about Republicans and then, as if she simply could not help herself, went off script and accused them of being homosexuals. The hypocrisy is breath taking in that gays are “superior” people in their view . . . except when they are Republicans. Patton Oswalt, a talented comic who starred in a very interesting movie called Big Fan, was given a major network special. People paid to watch it . . until about seven minutes in he mentioned that Republicans were not smart enough to read books. Millions of people tuned him out on the spot. He has returned to small nightclub gigs.

The amazing thing about the likes of these comics is that if one sits back and just listens to them absent the mob-mentality of a crowd or the expectations that some form of out of the closet, banned from Boston hilarity is in the offing, there is little talent or comedy there. It is just hate, pure transference in which they were all the things they said conservatives were but are not (Savage is the one very occasional exception when he goes overboard). Shanklin and a few other comics of the Right never reverted to swear words and shock, any more than Bob Hope did, but there is no doubt their spot-on imitations and expositions of Obama cut him to the bone in ways some stupidity uttered by Sarah Silverman never pierced George W. Bush’s radar. This could be the ultimate weapon held by conservative talk radio, and especially by Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh practically revived the sound of African-American musician Bo Diddley. Rush and Mike Maimone, working out of his Sixth Avenue Studio in Manhattan, created most of the parodies and promotions. A short list of them, included “An army of one”; “A weapon of mass instruction”; “America’s anchor man”; “They used to get away with it, but not anymore”; and “Annoying the Left from coast to coast.”

72 percent of “ditto heads” are men. Limbaugh is considered the anti-Oprah Winfrey, similarly popular with women, and just as successful. Limbaugh enjoyed rubbing his success in the noses of his detractors, oft speaking of trips he made, golf outings with celebrities, dropping names of the rich and famous he calls his friends.

“Rush lives the way Jackie Gleason would have lived if he had the money,” Fox News impresario Roger Ailes said. “Some people are irritated by it because they don’t have the balls to live that way.” ^^cxxiii^^

After the death of William F. Buckley, Limbaugh “clearly saw himself as the thought leader of the movement,” wrote Zev Chafets. He was the “intellectual engine.”

“I take responsibility that comes with my show every day,” said Limbaugh. ^^cxxiv^^

Jay Nordlinger of National Review said many bright Ivy Leaguers, when asked why they became conservative, stated it came from listening to Limbaugh. Despite being on the air every day for three hours from 1988 to 2016, to this day the only hosts as “wonky” in terms of their grasp of issues and policy have been Ronald Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan (no longer on the air), and on the specific issues of the U.S. Constitution, Mark Levin.

The Pew Center studied Limbaugh’s audience and found them to be the most-informed, high-information people in all of media. This applies to almost all the conservative hosts, direct refutation of what liberals say to the point. Despite knowing these facts, which are easy to obtain, they saw say what they say anyway. This does not stop them from perpetuating their lies.

Professor Marc Cooper of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School For Communications and Journalism, called these people with “dead-end lives,” despite no evidence of this; the evidence actually points in the opposite direction. They certainly are people with jobs. The drive-time audiences made up of people going to work is the core of this group and has been since the beginning, which was why the conservatives dominated those prime time slots while everybody else settled for the dregs of late-night or “zero dark hundred” off hours.

Todd Gitlin of the Columbia School Journalism literally advocated the government take Rush off the air. He said Limbaugh was “a liar.” Limbaugh points out often that nobody could stay on the air lying.

“If people don’t trust me, they won’t listen, and I won’t have any sponsors,” Limbaugh said. He often says he has no reason to say untrue things because it would not ultimately benefit his cause. ^^cxxv^^

Limbaugh has never been given credit for this, but he played an enormous role in the rise of cell phones and Internet usage. In his early years he openly favored calls from cell phone users, the theory being that people with cells were busy, had jobs, and were productive members of society, as opposed to a person sitting at home during work hours using a landline. His early advocacy of the Internet, a provider called CompuServe, and eventually Apple Computers, helped popularize these mediums.

In 1985 45 percent of the U.S. thought the media was biased to Left. By 2009, 60 percent thought so. Thomas Sowell pointed out liberals literally think there is “no argument” refuting their orthodoxy. This sort of rigid thinking may help explain how liberalism, which Savage called a “mental disorder,” when left unchecked, has become Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, or Mao Tse-tung so many times it is not an opinion. This is not merely a Right-wing diatribe, but a forceful fact of human history requiring Freudian insight and an understanding of the true nature of good vs. evil. Throughout time, men have failed to understand this, and the result has often been mass murder. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, mass murder has expanded into genocides and holocausts. Conservatives, on the other hand, if left to their own devices, can be expected to do something really dangerous, like write the Constitution or de-regulate the phone company. The argument that the Nazis (National Socialists) were conservative or of the Right, does not get past the quick rejoinder that Hitler did not much care for conservative precepts such as rugged individualism, small government, and “keeping the government off people’s backs.”

Savage often says it is only because large numbers of people who think like him live in America that his warnings will never actually come to full fruition, but history can twist in strange ways. The global warming issue, seemingly innocuous, offers some caution. The Left, as Sowell pointed out, do not consider opposing opinions worthy. There is no way to really foresee how this could happen, but if liberals did indeed “take charge” of the environment, and somehow made a terrible mistake causing it to become deadly to the human race – a toxin, a virus, an epidemic originally caused by “good intentions” – then the results could be catastrophic.

Limbaugh advocates defeating liberalism, and sees little value in political compromise. This might be necessary when Congress is divided, but Limbaugh stresses the creation of a political reality in which Democrats simply are not elected by free thinking American citizens; they would not hold the offices needed to be fought for or compromised with.

Logic would seem to dictate his mantra. A city like Detroit, for instance, run entirely by radical Democrats, went from being the wealthiest American city in the 1960s to a Third World place. The same can be said of city after city in the urban North and West; the South under Republicans has not suffered in this manner. This is the kind of 1+1=2 equation that literally says the fact conservatism is superior to liberalism is just that; a fact, rather than opinion. None of this changes people in Detroit not only from voting Democrat, but literally despising Republicans. In the South, a similar Platonic math tells us that in all the years Dixie was largely uneducated and racist, they were Democrats. When they modernized, largely via the Nixon/Reagan influence, and became educated and not racist, they voted Republican. Again, not opinion, but the kind of logic the Greek philosophers felt could move Democracy from a “mob” to political science.

Liberalism may actually be a mental disorder. Frankly, all of this is too highbrow for the “low information” voter, anyway. On the other hand, President George W. Bush did say that real bigotry was the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

In 2008 Limbaugh told the Conservative Political Action Committee that liberals are “our enemy. In a political arena of ideas, they’re our enemy. They think we need to be defeated!” This became a mantra of the Obama years; do not work with them; defeat them.^^cxxvi^^ President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel called Limbaugh “an intellectual force” to be reckoned. ^^cxxvii^^ When Republican chairman Michael Steele called Limbaugh an “entertainer,” Steele quickly apologized, but that was the end of Steele. He disappeared and has not been heard from since.

Obama made Limbaugh a bigger obsession than ever. His friends in the media culture all tried to help him. There were Saturday Night Live skits, New Yorker and Washington Post pieces, and a David Letterman diatribe; all chided Limbaugh, to no effect. Susan Estrich, who as Governor Michael Dukakis’s campaign manager had seen her candidate’s lead shrink 17 points seemingly in direct relation to Limbaugh’s emergence on the national scene in 1988, warned Democrats in 2008-09 that he could not be wiped away. He could not be beaten “at his own game,” Estrich said. Her appearances on Fox News and other networks were a stark reality check.

Estrich, a strident feminist with an annoying voice, had at one point been an object of great disdain by the Right. She was viewed as the face of liberal Democrats. After the Dukakis defeat she became a law professor at the University of Southern California, but continued for years as a regular guest on news talk programs. Her views were now disconcerting; Estrich had become a moderate Democrat. Her views had not changed, but her party had shifted so far to the Left that the Democratic Party of Michael Dukakis in the Reagan ‘80s was now unrecognizable. Compared to Barack Obama, Estrich now almost sounded like a Republican. She was not the only one. Former New York Congresswoman and 1984 Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries, had been considered a liberal Democrat and another feminist of her era. Now she like Estrich was far removed from what her party had become. She went so far as to announce that Obama had gotten the nomination and ascended to high status not based on any accomplishment, but – oh no! – because he was black. It was heresy, and all her years of service to liberalism were thrown out while the new Democrats supporting Obama screamed for her head. Like a naysayer poisoned by Vladimir Putin she quickly disappeared when she got sick and conveniently passed this mortal coil. Even Hillary Clinton, the author of Hillarycare whose liberalism was on such naked display in 1993-94, leading to the backlash of the 1994 Republican sweeps, was thought “conservative” during the Obama years in comparison to the majority of the people running her party. The media bought into Obama hook, line and sinker, trying to convince themselves that the Limbaugh influence was waning, that the Republicans were just “listening to themselves.” ^^cxxviii^^

Newsweek tried to say Rush was to the GOP in the 2000s what the Reverend Jesse Jackson was to the Democrats in the 1980s, which was a confusing message. Jackson was another icon of the Left, but now he was being “thrown under the bus” by his own people who were pointing out that his strident black rhetoric had hurt their cause, as if Limbaugh’s conservatism was hurting the Right. Meanwhile Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, and now Mark Levin, if indeed they were “talking to themselves,” then “they” consisted of a combined 30-50 million American citizens every day. The elite dismissal of such a huge portion of the electorate was typical, and reason number one why they were disdained by people fed up with their movies, their comedy, their indoctrination of their kids, their CNN and PBS and MSNBC and public schools and most everything they touched. The tacit accusation that Limbaugh and his legions were merely “talking to themselves” rang up Hillary’s Monica Lewinsky-era statement that only a “vast Right-wing conspiracy” opposed her husband, when in fact this “conspiracy” consisted by millions and million and millions of patriotic American citizens who registered and voted, many in the 2000 Presidential election that repudiated Bill Clinton by turning back his Vice-President, Al Gore.

As the Obama Presidency materialized it became evident that these might be Rush Limbaugh’s finest hours. He was to a dispirited conservative movement what Winston Churchill had been to the British people when they were all alone against Hitler’s Germany. Rich Lowry of National Review said if the Right did not have him they would have to “invent him.” Limbaugh’s impact could also be felt in the level of vitriol directed at him. Anybody in public life, whether an athlete or opinion-maker, knows the time to worry is when they stop talking about you. Only then is somebody irrelevant. Echoing Al Franken’s book title Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, liberal radio host Ed Schultz called him a “fat pig.” Since there is a question as to whether Schultz is actually heard by people, it could be compared to a tree falling in the forest; does it make a sound? In the mean time Limbaugh proved Schultz a liar in real time by slimming down.

During Obama’s first year in office, Pew reported that eight percent of all campaign stories were Limbaugh related. To the further consternation of his detractors wishing he would become irrelevant, when Internet numbers came out it was Rush who dominated that medium, as well; Savage was also a major force. Limbaugh had tremendous paid subscription numbers, which almost nobody else could get. He was back up to 20 million listeners and was number one in every major media market in the U.S. except San Francisco, where he was second. Savage, who was very San Francisco-centric in terms of his daily subject matter, picked up the slack there. In the most Left-wing of American cities, there were no popular liberals on the radio.

But there were elements within Republican circles that felt it unseemly that Obama should be criticized. General Colin Powell, once a moderate Republican and potential Presidential contender, had joined with several other Republicans in support of Obama. He began criticizing Limbaugh. Limbaugh pointed out, apparently correctly, that the African-American Powell was putting race ahead of principle. USA Today polling easily showed Limbaugh to be the most influential voice in the in Republican Party; since then Powell has dropped off the map absent an occasional tweet. No Republican seeks his endorsement anymore. The man he supported, Obama, has upended every principle Powell ever espoused in a long, distinguished public career. The old general is forced to sit idly by and watch it all unfold.

 

In March of 2007 the L.A. Times ran an op/ed by David Ehrenstein called “Obama the Magic Negro.” He is a “fantasy” of the white imagination used to absolve him of slavery and guilt, Ehrenstein wrote. In the piece he referred to Al Sharpton’s criticism of Obama as “inauthentic”; blacks would not like him because he was not one of them like the rapper Snoop Dogg.

Limbaugh created a parody based on “Puff the Magic Dragon,” using the “Magic Negro” reference in a voice that was a complete knock off of Sharpton’s. At first it created outrage; finally Limbaugh had gone too far, his out-and-out racism was on naked display, and now the FCC had no choice but to silence him, banning him from the air.

Then it was revealed that the term came from David Ehrenstein and the now-liberal Los Angeles Times (once a conservative Otis Chandler paper, now a shell of itself owned by the Tribune Company). Even Sharpton called it “clever.” The Limbaugh parodies of Sharpton were absolutely out of this world. In addition to “Barack the Magic Negro,” he had helped create the “Justice Brothers.” This was a satire of Sharpton and Jesse Jackson showing up at every perceived racial incident demanding “justice,” while leading chants of “No justice, no peace.”

The “Justice Brothers” were a pseudo “law firm” run by Al and Jesse. Their voices were captured to ebonic perfection; in so doing they could barely be understood. Jackson in particular seemed unable to grasp the nuances of the English language.

The “Justice Brothers” along with “Barack the Magic Negro” were passively aggressive racist, yet it touched on truth. This was the new reality in Obama’s America: racism was having the temerity to know, and actually say, true things. Limbaugh was a master at it. He is not a racist; Limbaugh loves and wants good things for all people, but is disgusted by hypocrisy and stupidity, especially in promotion of liberal causes he knows hurt African-Americans.

“I’m not going to bow to political correctness,” Limbaugh said. ^^cxxix^^

Charles Steele, the head of Martin Luther King’s organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said Obama had “no slave blood in him.” Michelle Obama stepped into it, saying she had never been proud of America until her husband was nominated for President. Limbaugh gave the country history lessons on Jim Crow and the Southern Democrats who made up the KKK. He pointed out that Obama would slip into sing-song when speaking to black audiences, although nobody was more foolish than Hillary with her lame attempts at black dialect. Bill Clinton’s mentor, Limbaugh pointed out, had been the segregationist Arkansas Senator William Fulbright. His main ally and fellow Democrat had been the segregationist Tennessee Senator, who happened to be the father of Clinton’s V.P., Albert Gore.

The press was discovering a form of truth in the old adage, “Never start a fight with anybody who buys ink by the barrel.” In this case, Limbaugh had a microphone reaching 20 million people, three hours per day, five days a week

When Wanda Sykes responded to Limbaugh’s admonition that he hoped Obama “fails,” saying she hoped Rush’s kidneys failed, she had added that in criticizing the first black President Limbaugh was a “terrorist” and a “traitor.” It was around this time, Limbaugh told his biographer Zev Chafets, that he actually feared for his life. The Black Panthers, a militant force in racial politics in the 1960s and 1970s, had seemingly disappeared, gone with the wind, but Obama’s campaign resurrected them. They had openly taunted and intimidated white voters in Pennsylvania. Had they been whites intimidating blacks or Latinos, it would have been international news, prosecuted at the highest levels. Under Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder nothing happened.

It was another case of transference; the Left actually doing what they accused the Right of doing that they actually did not do . . . but the Left did. Many Republicans pointed out that they could not “disenfranchise” black voters, as Jesse Jackson often accused them of doing. To vote one needed only apply for an absentee ballot, fill it out, affix a stamp, and place it in the U.S, mails. To be disenfranchised when the process was so simple, Jackson did not realize he was saying, was to infer blacks were so darn dumb they were incapable of applying for absentee ballots, could neither read nor write and therefore were unable to fill them out, could not afford a single postage, stamp, or find a mail box.

The images of the New Black Panthers were ominous and reminded many that some of the most murderous regimes of all time had started off as innocent Socialist movements led by humble school teachers and professors like Pol Pot, who returned from Communist indoctrination in Paris to his native Cambodia, only to murder 1.5 million of his fellow citizens. The reality of Chairman Mao, Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler was that at some point each orchestrated their own version of the “night of the long knives.” It seemed incredible that political opponents could be silenced and killed in America; surely there were too many people like Rush Limbaugh who would not let it happen. Unless Rush Limbaugh was silenced. Conservative media maven Andrew Breitbart dropped dead out of nowhere of a “heart attack” at 43. Republican documentarian Dinesh d’Souza was jailed after making films criticizing Obama. Rather than own up to their lies about the Benghazi attacks being the product of “a video,” Obama’s thugs jailed the filmmaker.

In 2016, when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead in a resort in Texas just as he was about to decide a series of important cases that determining Obama’s legacy, Michael Savage made no bones about it; he suspected Scalia had been assassinated.

Limbaugh hoped only that he and his kind had too much light on them to be victims of such tactics, but he worried anyway, because he knew history: Left-wing Socialists – and Obama was one – if left unchecked would go “all the way.” History and human psychology showed this to be a truth.

As for Sykes’s charges that Rush was a “traitor” and a “terrorist,” he felt it was a “teachable moment” to return to the archives and re-play Obama’s pastor and good friend, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, saying of 9/11 that the United States deserved the attack and literally would be damned to hell because “it’s in the Bible.” What Limbaugh and others also pointed out was not just Reverend Wright’s words, uttered by the way in the same sing-song manner Obama used when speaking to blacks, but that the pews – the same ones Obama and his family sat in for years – were rocking and cheering Wright with black Americans from Obama’s Chicago, acting like the Bears had just won the Super Bowl.

To make the point further, Limbaugh merrily pointed out that the blacks cheering Wright’s pronouncement that America be damned showed even more enthusiasm than Arabs captured on camera cheering, dancing and handing out candy after hearing news of the World Trade Center’s destruction.

But in such a world, filled with so much hate, division and animosity, how easy would it be for somebody – an Obama superfan, a Muslim terrorist, a Left-wing lunatic, or a former KGB agent afraid the Right was getting too close to the truth – to seek out the “harmless, lovable little fuzz ball” Rush Limbaugh at some gold course, or outside his Palm Beach studios, and let him have it with a gun or knife? This did not even account for Hillary Clinton, who still planned to succeed Obama as President. How many had died in Arkansas, members of the infamous “Clinton body count”? Rush Limbaugh was playing hardball.

He was dealing with a man who dedicated his book to Reverend Wright, and his other book to a known Communist who dedicated his books to the devil and Robert Kennedy’s murderer, Sirhan Sirhan, yet it was Michelle Obama who called America a “mean country” for discovering these actual things about her husband.

If Limbaugh was actually fearful as he told Chafets, it did not stop him from going to town on Obama. One of his favorite techniques was replaying media sound bites, many culled from the Sunday talk shows, in which everybody would pick up on a single word or theme and say the same thing, re-played over and over on Limbaugh’s program. He had captured this when everybody said Richard Cheney was picked to be George W. Bush’s Vice-Presidential running mate on the strength of his “gravitas.” The media had similarly tried to compare the Obamas to the Huxtables, the fictionalized black family led by Bill Cosby in a popular 1980s TV program. Limbaugh played that over and over. Obama’s detractors were happy to be reminded of the Huxtable reference some years later when Cosby was nailed for drugging and sexually assaulting women, which also reminded them of Bill Clinton (at the time caught taking sex vacations with a billionaire molester of underage girls).

Limbaugh and his fellow talk mavens began to find their stride. There were Obama’s oversized ears, causing many to call him “Dumbo.” Michael Savage called him “B.O.” (as in body odor) or “O-bummer.” There was Obama’s own story about his white grandmother, who he “threw under the bus” by describing basically as a typical white woman afraid of blacks because she feared they might be criminals. This mirrored Jesse Jackson’s comments that when walking on certain dark streets in New York City he was relieved to turn around and discover the footsteps behind him belonged to white people.

The talk hosts made endless fun of Obama’s hero status in the media. Even Hillary Clinton had called him “the messiah” during the primaries. Sean Hannity mocked him as “the anointed one.” The lack of criticism from the usual cultural sources – comics, SNL, David Letterman – seemed to leave the field wide open for the Right. This vacuum left open by Obama’s faithful seemed to make their cutting barbs stand out and sound even more on point.

At first Obama felt impenetrable and able to stay above it all. While campaigning for the Presidency, then-Delaware Senator Joe Biden called him “clean,” as if to say that he was an exception to the rule; most blacks were neither “clean” nor articulate, by such logic. Biden and Hillary Clinton were caught making intemperate remarks about Hindus, including the notion that all 7-11s were run by Indians. After the election, Biden warned that the nation would be repelled by Obama’s policies, but despite this they owed it to the first black President not to be . . . repelled.

Liberal hypocrisy was easy to spot and put on display, and used to show a double standard in which conservatives could point to it and say that if they said such things, they would not get a pass. But Obama stood like a . . . skinny, scrawny guy above it. Early in his Presidency, rapper Kanye West jumped on stage to “steal” an award given to the beautiful white pop star Taylor Swift. Beyonce, also beautiful but the black wife of Obama’s good friend, the former drug dealer Jay-Z (many speculate he is or was the President’s supplier), should have won, complained West.

It was one of those issues Obama felt safe enough to stick his nose into in those days, when it seemed he could do no wrong. He looked benevolent, saying Swift seemed like a nice enough person. It was as if only when Obama gave the okay did it become safe for Swift to actually merit some praise and awards. West’s response was to announce he was leaving the country because it was racist. A posting of this on Facebook drew several million responses saying, “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”

But Obama’s façade was slowly chipping away. Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and others made ceaseless fun of his use of teleprompters. Usually used only for very formal speeches, Obama used his everywhere. They are made to look practically invisible, ubiquitous monitors that allow the speaker to look like he is making eye contact with the crowd while reading words only he can see. But Obama’s teleprompter stopped working a few times, and he was left stumbling and mumbling. The Left had long made fun of George W. Bush’s intelligence. Mark Levin and others delighted in playing Obama sound bites in which he seemed to have a touch of the dumbass. It began to occur to some people the superstar young President was overrated, a term Ted Williams had given to John F. Kennedy, a similarly sainted figure. By the end of 2009, Obama was on the defensive. His signing of TARP had ushered in the worst economy since the Great Depression. He was excoriated for apologizing for America in Egypt and elsewhere. West Point students were captured on film practically sleeping with boredom while he droned on in a speech. Commentator Chris Mathews said he was in “enemy territory” on their campus, which came perilously close to admitting Obama was actually a traitor of America. St. Louis booed him like crazy at the All-Star Game. A chance to help Iranian freedom fighters was ignored, and his doctor publicly acknowledged the man had a drinking problem. On top of all that the “birthers” were out in force claiming he was not eligible for the White House, Tea Party rallies depicted him as Adolph Hitler using Nazi propaganda techniques perfect by Joseph Goebbels, while pictures made it look like his wife was a man with a substantial “package.” By the time he “won” the Nobel Peace Prize, it was the final straw for the Right, who had endured the terrorist Yasser Arafat, the clown Jimmy Carter, the fraud Al Gore, and the anti-American filmmaker Michael Moore winning Nobels and Oscars, which Savage now called modern “golden calves,” worshipped as new pagan idols by the Left.

Inevitably, the “honeymoon” was over and now Obama had a record he had to defend and his detractors could analyze . . . then pick apart. Eventually, Bill O’Reilly picked up on Obama’s general strategy. At first the young President seemed so sure of himself he could change the world, and the culture. That was why he gathered moderate conservatives like George Will and David Brooks together just before his Inauguration and told them not to listen to Limbaugh. To think he could actually effectuate such a thing was hubristic to the extreme, but it was who Obama was. Never criticized, passed along by “affirmative action” all the way up the line, beneficiary of criminal aid in destruction of a Senate opponent, he was an Alinskyite who did just that: destroy the character of his opposition. It had always worked, but he was also unprepared by training or experience for the White House. Rush Limbaugh had seen Presidents come and go. He was the master.

But it was O’Reilly who pointed out that Obama liked to “poke his opponent’s in the eye.” After he lost the Congress and sides became settled, a kind of permanent “no man’s land” existed in which Obama and his detractors found no middle ground. Obama went out of his way to make them mad. His strategy was obvious; he wanted white conservatives to get so mad they would say stupid, and eventually even racist things. Obama could then return to his base and say, “See what I have to deal with? This is why I use executive orders and don’t compromise.” It is either a miracle that in eight years, nobody ever uttered anything racist, or the results of the fact conservatives actually are not racist. As Fox News says, “We report. You decide.”

Obama nominated a woman named Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sotomayor said a “wise Latina woman” was smarter than a white man. While Limbaugh lampooned this kind of thing, Savage . . . savaged her. Savage saw the Obama Presidency as something beyond liberal hypocrisy and incompetence. To him it was evil, and as a Biblical man he understood that the devil uses man’s ancient fears of race and ethnic hatred to divide people. In this he began, more and more, to become for lack of a better term the “defender of the white race.” Naturally this approach engendered accusations of racism, even Nazism, which further led to people call him a “a self-hating Jew”; none of that was anywhere near the mark. Savage was engaged in a conversation about taboo subjects that in the 21st Century – indeed, since the early 1990s – could no longer really be talked about. That said, he was living in that new era in which racism today is having the temerity to . . . know things. Savage had broken down the word “prejudice” before; it means to “pre-judge,” in other words to thinks something bad before finding out what it really is.

Limbaugh had dealt with the racist allegation since he got started. His detractors once tried to say he said “slavery had merit” and he “missed” James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King’s assassin. These were totally over-the-top accusations, and of course both were disproven when transcripts of Limbaugh’s entire statements were quickly made available, as always. Conservatives also delight in pointing out that Dr. King was a Republican.

But what happens when somebody does find out what something really is and then, armed with intelligence and strategic analysis, comes to the conclusion it is bad? Stupidity is easy to counter, but O.J. Simpson’s prosecutor, Chris Darden said he was most disconcerted when he discovered the alleged racist cop Mark Fuhrman was wicked smart.

This was not a blanket assessment of “blacks” or “Latinos,” but rather the new militancy of professional victims and race baiters, with a long history embodied by Saul Alinsky, now practiced and perfected at the highest level by Barack Obama. Robert Gibbs, Obama’s press secretary, literally warned against criticism of Sotomayor the way a mob boss might maintain order via veiled threats.

Limbaugh found the whole thing hilarious. Here was the Democratic Party dispensing “free political advice” to the GOP: support Latino causes or lose the Latino vote. To take Gibbs and the Democrats seriously one had to believe they actually wanted the Republicans to make vital changes in strategy that would allow them to defeat Democrats.

Limbaugh, who likes to say he is the “mayor of ‘Realville,’ ” pointed out that John McCain supported immigration reform, arguing the illegals were “God’s children” like everybody else. This “enlightened” view had resulted in his getting killed on the 2008 Latino vote. Savage pointed out that insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

The rivalry between Obama and Limbaugh got so heated that ABC’s Jake Tapper actually found it necessary to look into it and “discover,” as if this was not already a well known fact known by people, that attack ads launched against Rush were false. Limbaugh thought it amusing but did not need Tapper. One of his greatest tools was the use of videotape, of himself and others, as well as a running transcript available at his own web site.

Whenever anybody would make accusations against Limbaugh, within hours his crack researchers would find the actual tape in question and re-play it, showing that Rush had been quoted out of context; the accusation only included a part of the quote that left on its own was damning, but combined with the complete paragraph was easily explainable; or the accuser was just lying. They also regularly showed the accuser or some compatriot earlier saying something totally hypocritical or damning to their argument. It was brilliant and easily what kept Limbaugh number one.

That along with Limbaugh‘s impeccable way of breaking down Democrat arguments. Obama would make a big speech or pronouncement, or some liberal would make news proposing or accusing. The next day millions wanted to hear what Limbaugh had to say about it. More often than not, Limbaugh would deliver with facts and often archived tapes displaying in full detail why what Obama had said the night before was not just incorrect; rather, Obama had known it was incorrect . . . yet said it anyway. O’Reilly would do the same thing and then say something sly like, “There’s a word for that.” He would not need to say what the word was. Millions of listeners and viewers sitting at home would utter, “Lie.” Sometimes he would use words like “obfuscate . . . prevaricate . . . canard”; words his smart listeners understood, but “low information voters” did not. This is power, and it explains why conservative media succeeds where liberalism fails.

Millions of young people are brought up told Rush Limbaugh lies. Many never investigate and find out the truth. His show, and the programs of most of the others, requires regular listeners to know what they are really about. Savage in particular, if one only focuses on a few unfortunate things he occasionally says when he gets emotional, would think him a hater. An entire country took a few out of context quotes and used them to ban him from Great Britain. They have never listened to his scholarly dissertations on antiquity, even the historical beauty of Islam.

Many never invest themselves into finding out who they really are, but many do. One of Limbaugh’s or Sean Hannity’s great achievements – Hannity calls it getting “Hannitized” – is when a Left-winger finally sees the light. It literally is a mirror of Jesus Christ saying, “The truth shall make ye free.” This is not saying they are on par with God, or even that they are infallibly right. One can disagree with them or have a differing point of view, but it is not correct to say any of the major conservatives have built their careers on lying. Wrong on occasion, but not lies.

Slowly but surely, Limbaugh and Hannity were beginning to make Obama tear his now-graying hair. When a friend of Obama’s from Harvard, Professor Henry “Skip” Gates was arrested trying to “break into” his own home, Obama first said he “didn’t know all the facts,” but rashly said the Cambridge, Massachusetts police “acted stupidly.” Limbaugh told Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren Obama “has a chip on his shoulder.” The facts of the case slowly filtered out. It was the kind of case that, left only to the devices of CNN or CBS, would never have revealed the whole truth, but between Van Susteren, Hannity and others, it was revealed in fact Gates had locked himself out of his own home, then was seen trying to force his way in, which caused a neighbor who did not know who he was to call the cops. Instead of calmly explaining his predicament, Professor Gates acted the role of a petulant, put-upon black.

But there was payback. Nobody proved or may ever prove Obama thwarted Limbaugh’s chances at owning the St. Louis Rams, but somebody saw to it Limbaugh would not become a member of this exclusive club. For one of the world’s biggest football fans, it was a real setback. Limbaugh never really talked about his true feelings on the air, but it hurt. It was an example of the fact that there is no real “free speech” in America anymore. Speech is protected by the Constitution in America, but it is an inter-connected global world. Michael Savage had one of his most basic rights, the ability to travel to a friendly country, Great Britain, taken from him because of things he said. Limbaugh had a major business opportunity taken from him because of things he said. When he had briefly appeared on ESPN as an NFL commentator, ratings went up 10 percent. Interest in Limbaugh as a pro owner would have greatly benefited the league. While an American cannot be banned or jailed for speech (unless it is something literally dangerous like causing a riot by yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre), he or she will lose employment, educational opportunities, speaking engagements, and many other things because of an expressed opinion.

The shocking thing is that virtually all these cases are about conservatives being silenced; never liberals. Many radicals who literally express hatred for America, providing aid and comfort to our enemies, saying and doing things that in the 1940s and 1950s would have landed them in jail, are freely allowed to speak. Bill Ayers, for instance, is able not just to walk around (is not attempting to blow up the Pentagon a crime?), but is given tenure as a college professor. Comics say the most vile and foul things with impunity. Movies depicting how to assassinate George W. Bush are freely allowed to air, but a cartoonish video criticizing the Prophet Muhammad not only gets falsely blamed for the death of the Ambassador to Libya, it lands the filmmaker a lengthy jail sentence. Michael Moore, on the other hand, is given Oscars and a free lunch at Cannes.

Ann Coulter, a conservative columnist, has been banned from certain college campuses. The world is today run by dark forces. The American military likes to think they are fighting to protect our freedoms. The fact is many of the people who support them the most are the ones who are not allowed to benefit from the freedoms they provide.

The lies and false works of Satan seem to be the prevailing order. Michael Savage often quotes Protestant pastor Martin Niemoller, who famously spoke of how he did not speak up for the Socialists, the Communists, or the Jews rounded up in Nazi Germany, because he was not one of them. “Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me,” he said of his imprisonment in a concentration camp. In Ronald Reagan’s famous 1964 speech, “A Time For Choosing,” he said that the people who benefit the most from our freedoms are the ones who do the least to secure them.

Limbaugh, who says he is “on the cutting edge of societal evolution,” certainly was in his assessment of Wall Street and elite money. In this he presaged, in an odd way, the Occupy Wall Street Movement, the “one percent” theory, Socialist Bernie Sanders’s popularity, and even the rise of Donald Trump.

It has long been assumed that Wall Street, the wealthy, the Chamber of Commerce, and those kinds of rich business institutions are Republican by natural construct; they always used to be. But Bill Clinton’s Presidency and Hillary Clinton’s candidacy revealed a revolving door of Wall Street money, particularly Goldman Sachs, with government and elite universities. The Obama Presidency exacerbated this 10-fold. While the nation reeled under the worst economy since the Great Depression in 2009-10, statistics revealed that suddenly the wealthiest zip codes in the United States were the northern Virginia suburbs inhabited by Democrats working in government. It was utterly shocking, something straight out of Atlas Shrugged.

Brian Sussman, a San Francisco talk host who often substitutes for Michael Savage, pointed out that the $1 trillion expended from TARP had gone first to the beautifying of a few parks, which quickly became inhabited by drug dealers and the homeless. The rest went to rich bureaucrats living off the fat of the land in Obama’s America. Limbaugh was the first to pick up on this. Mark Levin blew people away when he went after the Chamber of Commerce, always thought to be a rock-ribbed Republican organization, yet he showed they wanted amnesty for illegal aliens at the expense of the country in favor of cheap labor for the hotel and restaurant industry. Clinton Cash by Peter Schweitzer told how the Clinton’s had long ties with Wall Street, Obama and the modern Democrats with Goldman Sachs. Limbaugh pointed out this incestuous relationship was how they “keep each other rich,” with donations and huge fees for 15-minute speeches to the Clintons; or enormous “contributions “ to the Clinton library and “global initiative,” which Limbaugh laughingly called the “Clinton library and massage parlor.” It was all ludicrous.

Charles Murray wrote in the Wall Street Journal that “elites” occupying certain very high-end neighborhoods on Park Avenue, Beverly Hills and few other places, were so far removed from society that they simply no longer thought the way the rest of the nation does. Despite their wealth, they were now liberals. This has only materialized since Reagan. Before that such people were thought of as “class traitors,” a term applied to Franklin Roosevelt.

Limbaugh pointed out despite its pin-striped, country club image, Wall Street was now a Democrat stronghold. Limbaugh laughed at the “math” the Occupy Wall Street crowd used in accusing the “one percent” of stealing wealth from the other 90 percent. This is the old theory that a man with $1 million can steal $10 million from a man with $1000.

Conservative filmmaker John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn) demonstrated the reality of wealth “transfer” in the film Geronimo. Some native Indians in war paint come across some white men extracting natural resources from the ground. The Indians accuse them of stealing their land. The white man explains that they came to this land, extract valuable minerals from it, using methods they invented and the Indians can only shake their heads at, and use those minerals to create valuable commodities needed to help people and make life better. Then the Indians murder them in cold blood.

The fact is that throughout history, the greater the discrepancy of income between the wealthy and the middle class, the better everybody is for it. The example is the wealthy man who makes $1 million and the man who makes $50,000. The wealthy man buys the company that employs the man who makes 50 grand, and improves its profit margin through shrewd business moves. Five years later, he is making $10 million a year,

but the other man has improved from $50,000 to $150,000. The “income inequality” between them has grown from $950,000 to $9,000,050, yet the man making $150,000 now can afford to buy a house, put his kids through college, and maybe join the same country club as the man with $10 million. On top of that, his prospects improve yearly, and some day he may be the one with $10 million employing a younger man making $150,000.

The beauty of capitalism, as many of the conservatives point out, is that it is literally miraculous, like the birth of a child; wealth can be created seemingly out of nothing beyond a good idea and willingness to work hard. It is the opposite of what Oliver Stone has Michael Douglas say in Wall Street, which is that it is a “zero sum game.” Again, the math does not add up, i.e., see the story of the man with $1 million “stealing” $10 million from a man with $1000. Even the “stealing” of land from the Indians by settlers, or the development of gold mines in South Africa, or other industrial works in colonized nations, can not really be called “stealing” if the people on the land in the first place never would have known how to turn the land into wealth. This does not even speak to the creation of schools and hospitals by the colonizers benefiting the colonized. In fact, if the colonizers never colonized the natives, they would be accused of racism for not sharing their inventions with them. Barack Obama’s own half-brother said he felt Kenya would have been better off if the English had stayed longer before granting the nation independence in 1963.

Capitalism is an expanding pie that grows wealth. The problem with Socialism, as Margaret Thatcher said, is that it “eventually runs out of money.” But Limbaugh very brilliantly noted a phenomenon of the Obama years, which is that the income divide, which based on the previous example benefits society, no longer does. Perhaps for the first time in American history, the wealthy are getting wealthier, but the poor and the middle class are receding. The old “trickle down” economics made famous under President Reagan no longer applies under Obama. Obamacare is partly to explain; only large employers can hire people. Mid-sized companies must keep employers under 30 hours a week and off full-time status because they cannot afford Obamacare. The result has been a double-whammy. People with jobs make less than they did just a few years ago under President Bush. Many jobless give up and never enter the work force, which explains why the number of American citizens not working is at an all-time high. This is the reason for growing income disparity. The welfare state that keeps them fed half explains why the national debt has doubled in Obama’s years to $20 trillion; the other half-reason are wealthy bureaucrats and revolving elites getting rich off government.

Limbaugh aptly pointed out that “low information voters” were too dumb to understand these relatively simple economics, and they made up the Occupy Wall Street movement and Bernie Sanders’s popularity. But Charles Murray aptly noted these economics were the force behind Donald Trump’s populist surge.

White middle class workers, often living in “fly over country,” consider themselves to be the outcasts of Obama’s America. It reflects itself in their economic condition, their racial identity, and the growing feeling of persecution over their Christian faith. This is not new; when harnessed it is the single, most unstoppable force in American politics. It fueled Richard Nixon’s 1972 and Ronald Reagan’s 1984 49-state sweeps. It was described most perfectly by Theodore White in his book The Making of the President 1972 when he wrote of the crowd reaction to Nixon in small Midwestern and Southern towns.

What was most frustrating to Obama and his supporters, who had gleefully predicted, trying to create self-fulfilling prophesies, that his electron ushered in a new era of liberalism and that old school conservatism had finally bit the dust, was that the rise of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and conservative media proved the opposite was true. For Limbaugh and many like him – for Levin it was his great “coming out” party – it was possibly the highlight of their careers. The demise of Limbaugh had been predicted before, when the Clintons ascended to power in 1992-93. Limbaugh announced the opposite to be true; that criticism of Democrats was his specialty, even more fun that supporting conservatism, and was probably what he most excelled at.

Clinton himself complained that after he finished a speech or press conference, there was old Rush with three hours to break him down brick by brick. Post-Reagan/Bush efforts to get rid of the Fairness Doctrine had not succeeded. It was Limbaugh’s finest hour.

Absent people like Rush Limbaugh, the general public would have believed the 2008 sub-prime housing crisis was all George Bush’s fault. It was Limbaugh who pointed out the genesis of it, a bill originated by Barney Frank, signed into law by Bill Clinton, that in plain words made it easier for minorities to own homes even if they could not pay for them. Any eighth grade math student could figure out such a plan was doomed to fail; in 2008 the chickens came home to roost. Limbaugh did not engage in the conspiracy theory that somebody like George Soros waited until just the right time to let the bottom fall out from under it, at precisely the right time to boost the flagging candidacy of Barack Obama, trailing the McCain/Palin ticket by five points in September of 2008.

Limbaugh’s parodies worked better when Democrats were in power. Frank must really wish one of Limbaugh’s kidneys would fail. After it was revealed Frank’s gay boyfriend was running a homosexual prostitution ring out of his apartment, Limbaugh’s “Barney Frank up-date” was “My Boy Lollipop,” a 1960s crossover hit. Questioned on 60 Minutes Limbaugh played it innocent, pretending he just liked the song, not the connotation. After the sub-prime scandal, Limbaugh and his parody experts came up “The Banking Queen,” based on “The Dancing Queen” by Abba.

When New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, a leading star of the Democratic Party, was nailed for seeing hookers, Limbaugh came up with a brilliant take on the old classic “Love Potion Number Nine,” this time called “Love Client Number Nine.” Obama’s high taxation policies engendered the parody “Every Cent You Make” (Obama will take), based on the “Every Breath You Take” by The Police.

Limbaugh and his compatriots used every word the Democrats said against them, daily demonstrating their lies and hypocrisies. It was probably the best tool of conservative talk radio, and conservative media overall. There was no regular, orchestrated liberal media that could so effectively do the same against Republicans, who were certainly not immune to lies and hypocrisy either. The best tool at their disposal was MediaMatters, a web site funded by Soros and started in part by Hillary Clinton, along with MoveOn.org, another liberal site devised to make the public want to “move on” beyond the Monica Lewinsky affair. Even these tools were of limited value; Limbaugh and Levin in particular had many facts available to demonstrate that something these organs said was incorrect, or something they said was correct in its full context.

Television, whether it be networks, MSNBC or CNN, is not equipped for the sound-bite power of radio, teed up by a practiced producer and ready to go at the most devastating moment. Limbaugh and the others used their enemies’ words against them over and over. They pointed out flaws in Leftist statements the very next day, exposing them by using their own words of what they say about him against them, to their frustration.

Limbaugh explains better than anybody, making the “complicated understandable.” The Left would say something about the GOP. Limbaugh and Levin would point out that Chuck Schumer on this occasion; Harry Reid on that occasion; Barack Obama here; Barbara Boxer there; said things far worse and far more often.

Michael Savage had a field day, noting that Obama had “fist-bumped” the Socialist dictator from Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who in turn gave him an anti-American book to read. Obama had already been photographed carrying a book that detailed how the world would look after America lost its standing as a great power, also the kind of thing a traitor would read and glean lessons from. Photos of Obama bowing down before Muslim dictators – some called them his “Muslim masters” – spread like wildfire all over the Internet, along with pictures of patriotic soldiers saluting the flag while Obama stood with his hands on his crotch.

The liberal Pew Institute listed global warming dead last of 21 issues the public was concerned with. Temperatures, which had reportedly been going up since 1998, began to recede. Satellite images of ice floes in the Arctic revealed much of the lost ice was frozen over again; the Antarctic had never experienced wide variances in the first place. On top of that, photos of polar bears stranded on floating ice were discovered to have been altered. Weather events as in the mid-2000s were not happening as before, and it was pointed out that the temperatures and severe weather of the 2000s was a cyclical event happening every 70 or 80 years, as in the 1930s when hurricanes blew into Florida and Oklahoma experienced the “dust bowl.” Savage and Sean Hannity felt ironic events as such global warming advocate Al Gore’s appearances coinciding with the coldest days of the year were, as Savage called it, the result of a “God who watches and waits.”

Limbaugh had a great time with an email scandal out of England, in which noted climatologists admitted global warming was a hoax that had to be propped up by them if they were to continue to get grants for research. He had long called global warming a “hoax.” Now fellow hosts, notably Savage and Mark Levin, followed suit without reservation, and even cautious politicians finally felt emboldened to say the same thing.

Air America shut down for good in 2010; it was the proverbial tree falling in an empty forest. The station had not actually been heard by people in years. Fox News, long a powerhouse, ascended to the top, voted the most trusted news organization by the American people. This on top of Limbaugh’s awarding as the most influential news commentator not just of the 2000s, but as his promotions stated, “of all time.” The consolidation of cable TV was complete. Now Fox had higher ratings than the old networks. This reflected itself in the sports media, too as ESPN was granted most of the big games and events traditionally awarded to networks.

 

Victory . . . at Tea Party

 

By 2010, the nation was beginning to repudiate Obama. Limbaugh and liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman were named the most influential commentators in the country by The Atlantic, which was like saying that Ted Williams and Pete Runnels were the best hitters in baseball. Throughout post-war American history, polling generally recognized that about 40 percent of the nation considered itself conservative, 18-20 percent liberal. This was not always reflective in voter registration. Most people registered as Democrats; Republicans won elections by getting Democrats to vote for them. The opposite was far less likely.

In 2002-04, for a brief time Republicans overcame Democrats in voter registration, but by 2006-08 the Democrats regained their advantage. The Obama phenomenon revealed what looked like stark reversals in political identification, with some 30-35 percent of Americans calling themselves liberal and many Republicans, including some prominent ones, now voting Democratic. A fair number were doing so publicly. If this was lasting, then Reagan conservatism really was over. Almost overnight liberalism had practically doubled.

But as 2009 was turning into 2010, Gallup polling revealed a return to normal: 40 percent conservative, 35 percent moderate, 21 percent liberal. In the summer of 2009, Democratic Congressmen were shocked when they returned to their districts and attended constituent meetings. Many stopped doing it. In less than a year, the nation completely turned around from Obamamania to Tea Party conservatism. Atlas Shrugged was selling like hot cakes with a motion picture, long planned but never consummated, finally in the works. Nancy Pelosi called the Tea Party, literally named after famous Americans who started the American Revolution by spilling English tea in Boston Harbor, and wore colonial era clothes, “un-American”

The Tea Party began when Barack Obama signed TARP, setting off the worst economy since the 1930s, and sending the stock market to one of its biggest crashes in history. Rick Santelli, a CNBC commentator standing on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, ranted on camera and said the nation should rise up against the President and have a “tea party.”

Almost immediately, groups began to form all around America. Many people, previously uninvolved in politics, showed up at these rallies. The liberal media immediately began to report acts of violence. Then it was determined these were Obama supporters fomenting them via infiltration. One of them bit the finger off a Republican. Oddly supporters of Lyndon LaRouche, a fringe figure in America, infiltrated the group. Photos of Obama doctored to look like Hitler were seen. It was explained that he used the same propaganda techniques. Conversely, the Occupy Wall Street Movement was very violent, with numerous cases of rapes and public defecation.

The Tea Party consisted of average Americans who had enough and wanted to get involved. Limbaugh made this observation, and while most Tea Party supporters were generally conservatives who listened to talk radio, there was no one host or media person who emerged as their leader or spokesman. It was organic, but massively so. That one radio host who did make an effort to identify with them in an overt way was Mark Levin, who created promos saying, “He is the Tea Party.”

Anderson Cooper of CNN called them “tea baggers,” adding it was “hard to talk while you’re tea bagging.” Most people did not really know what the heck he was talking about, other than homosexuals. Cooper was using a down low term describing a nude man placing his genitalia above the mouth of another man . . . a foul act, and when Cooper revealed he was homosexual, the public realized Cooper knew what “tea bagging” was from personal experience.

What drove the turn against Obama most notably was Obamacare. Socialized medicine had been a Democrat pipe dream since President Harry Truman. When Ronald Reagan first met his future wife, Nancy Davis, he at first confused her with a Communist actress with the same name. She explained not only was she not a Communist, she was a Republican. At their first dinner she said that her father, a prominent physician in Chicago, was warning how much the proposed nationalization of health care by the Democrats would hurt the medical profession.

Hillary Clinton took over her husband’s big push for socialized medicine in his first year in office, 1993. The nation roundly rejected she and Hillarycare in the 1994 Congressional elections, but the Democrats kept trying and trying and trying. When Al Franken was finally confirmed as the 60th Democratic Senator in 2009, they finally had their filibuster-proof majority.

Sarah Palin was excoriated for warning that Obamacare contained “death panels.” It turned out there were. Elderly patients at the prestigious Stanford University Hospital faced a panel of surgeons, who often needed to see that the patients in question had a loving and supportive son or husband willing to care for them after the operation, before they agreed to do it. Just saving lives or following the Hippocratic oath no longer applied in this dark age.

The lies Obama and the Democrats were forced to utter in order to convince the nation of Obamacare were shocking, all exposed by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and the others. This was a tremendous reason for the rejection of their policies. When Obama told a New Hampshire audience he did not favor a single-payer plan, Limbaugh had at his ready disposal a 2003 tape of Obama clearly a “proponent” of the single-payer system. When Obama told everybody, ”If you like your doctor you can keep him,“ the conservative media immediately identified this as a lie. After the law was implemented it was proven to be a lie. Even the Washington Post gave Obama their infamous “Pinocchio nose” as a result.

Zev Chafets asked a high-ranking Democrat if he could arrange for Limbaugh to play golf with the new President, ostensibly to discuss differences of opinion over Obamacare. Obama replied that, “Limbaugh can play with himself.”

Obama began to understand the magnitude of his fall in popularity at least by the summer of 2009 when St. Louis booed whim lustily at the All-Star Game. He determined these kinds of events, throwing out first balls and appearing at big sports contests, long a staple of Americana, would no longer happen on his watch. He chafed when both George H.W. and George W. Bush were cheered like Caesar returning from Gaul at the 2010 World Series in Texas.

But the 2009 off-year elections, followed by a special Senate election in early 2010, were rude awakenings. These were not polls or stories requiring protection by his media handlers. This was direct repudiation of Barack Obama, just as the 1994 midterms were direct repudiation of Hillarycare.

In November of 2009, Bob McDonnell was elected Governor of Virginia, and Chris Christy elected Governor of New Jersey, both by wide margins. Virginia had long been a “red state,” part of the Southern coalition built by Ronald Reagan, consolidated by Lee Atwater. But the Obama election of 2008 changed the dynamics of the state. The northern suburbs were filled by Democrats suddenly making loads of money off the federal government; bureaucrats, lobbyists and assorted consultants. Almost over night, this became the wealthiest enclave in the nation. It was like the Soviet Union, with friendly Communist elites given nice dachas as reward for their subservience.

A landslide election for Governor by a Republican meant the tilt the Democrats needed in order to consolidate their hoped-for new majority was not in place. The New Jersey election might have been thought more of a “one off,” but voters in the Garden State plainly voted against Obamacare. These were reliable liberals voting against their hero, a liberal President and his liberal policies. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco tried to spin it, emphasizing the special election of Democrat Bill Owens in New York state’s 23rd District, long held by the GOP. What she conveniently failed to mention, but Limbaugh did, was that Owens won only because the vote was split between two Republicans, one running as an independent. Limbaugh predicted the district would swing back to the Republicans, which it did when Tom Reed won it in 2014. “Don’t doubt me,” as Limbaugh liked to say, joking he is almost always proved correct, now up to “98.9 percent of the time.” The Democrats, Limbaugh added, were run by “a radical.”

“How is that hope and change working out for you?” Limbaugh chided the opposition. The economy under Obama in 2009 was near all time lows. Sarah Palin’s book, Goin’ Rogue was an enormous best seller, to the consternation of her detractors. Books by George W. Bush and Karl Rove kicked back against liberal criticism of the Iraq War.

With the Tea Party organically growing into tremendous strength, the Republican Party continued to win large victories in 2010. U.S. Senator Edward “Teddy” Kennedy (D.-Massachusetts) had been a stalwart of his party and the man to carry the flame of the Kennedy name for decades. Prior to Obama, only the Clintons had been the target of Limbaugh’s ire more than Kennedy, who provided ample ammunition in the form of his deserting a drowning women at Chappaquiddick, his dalliances, public divorce, family foibles, and ultra-partisanship, as when he accused President Bush of “lies and lies and lies” in his prosecution of the Iraq War in 2004. Vietnam veterans despised him with added fervor since he had literally given the Communists the victory they failed to win on the battlefield, refusing to fund the South Vietnamese against their invasion after Watergate. In 2009-10, these events were again in the news, since Obama was not just promising to remove the U.S. military from Afghanistan and Iraq, both secure at the time of his election, but was telling the enemy when he was going to do it. It was correctly pointed out that this would be the kind of thing a traitor to America would do, which did nothing to help the Democrats in the eyes of veterans and patriots.

After Senator Kennedy’s passing in 2009, the party was dealt a massive blow in Massachusetts when, in early 2010 Republican Scott Brown was elected to Kennedy’s old Senate seat. This was complete rebuke of Obama; not just a GOP landslide in a total “blue state,” but it was the “Kennedy seat.” No Democrat stalwart had backed Obama more than Senator Kennedy. Nobody favored socialized medicine more, either. All they stood for was repudiated by the Brown election. The GOP was giddy, asking themselves if it was really going to be this easy?

“This one’s for you, Mary Jo. This one’s for you, Judge Bork,” Limbaugh said after Brown’s win. These were references to Mary Jo Kopechne, the girl who drowned when Senator Kennedy ran from the scene of his crime in 1969, and Judge Robert Bork, an eminently qualified jurist denied the Supreme Court, in an effort led by Kennedy in 1987. To be unfairly denied after that was known to be “Borked.”

Democrats who voted for Obama’s stimulus package were in huge trouble heading into the 2010 midterms. The party of a first-term President usually loses in the first mid-term, but in 2010, Barack Obama’s first term, the Democrats took what Obama himself called a “shellacking.” In fact, the treatment of the elections by the so-called “main stream media” (essentially the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Associated Press, Time, Newsweek, ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN; dubbed the ”lame stream media” but Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, or the “drive by media” by Rush Limbaugh) was as telling of their agenda as can be deciphered. This not by what they said, but by what they did not say.

Sports metaphors only go so far in politics, but if the mid-terms were a football game the score would have been Grand Ol’ Party 63, Democrats (in reality, Barack Obama) 3. It is difficult to make comparisons with past elections, since the Electoral College changes each 10 years due to population growth and shift, but it was arguably the greatest, most total “shellacking” one political party had ever administered to another in American history. Historians compared it to 1938, not to mention big GOP gains in 1966 and 1994, but this was an overwhelming tsunami, or “wave” election.

Two years before, the Democrats had captured huge victories, consolidating the House and Senate with victories credited to Obama’s “coattails.” These coming on the heels of their 2006 mid-term victories had the mainstream media chortling that the “conservative revolution” of Ronald Reagan was effectively dead. But there were flaws in that argument.

Conversely, the Republicans’ 2010 victories, amid shifting sentiments among the American electorate towards conservatism, was the last thing they wanted to highlight. Instead, they tried to pick it apart. They began to preach that the Republican Party would need to reach out and capture more blacks and Latinos if they hoped to survive, which again using sports metaphors is like the coach of the team that just lost 66-3 telling the coach who just won 66-3 that if he ever hopes to win again he will need to recruit more of the kinds of players on the team that lost 66-3. While getting blacks and Latinos to vote Republican is laudable and always a worthwhile pursuit, this was – at least based on the election results – an absurd argument, a fact pointed out by Limbaugh, Levin and others. Limbaugh especially made fun of it, “thanking” the Democrats for all their “free” political advice on how to beat them in the future. In essence, whatever the mainstream media was saying, he asserted, to believe and act on the opposite was the wisest course.

After the dust settled, the Republican Party had won an astonishing 63 House seats and six Senate seats. It did not end there. They captured enormous majorities in state legislatures and a majority of the Governor’s races. Limbaugh’s broadcast the next day started off with James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” It also dispelled much of the conventional wisdom of polling based on generic concepts such as whether the public preferred the Republicans to the Democrats; what party led in registration; what the popularity of Congress was; or other criteria meant to dissuade the Right from believing they were indeed the majority in America, the point Limbaugh hammered home since he first went on the air.

Despite the lopsided win, the Republicans had some room for a little “Monday morning quarterbacking.” In Delaware, they ran the little-known Christine O’Donnell. She had solid conservative beliefs, but was a terrible candidate. She had accomplished little and was even slightly odd. Mark Levin backed her, though. For a smart man, it was a mistake for Levin to put ideological purity over the practical necessity of winning the Senate. She ran in the primary against a Congressman named Mike Castle. Congressman Castle was one of those old-fashioned “Rockefeller Republicans,” as befits a member of the GOP who hopes to get elected in the Northeastern Seaboard. Coming from Philadelphia, where electing Republicans is no easy task, Levin might have been expected to understand this dynamic. He made the mistake of backing O’Donnell, who upset Castle.

Her Democratic opponent in November was Chris Coons, the man literally referred to himself as a “bearded Marxist.” There was a time such a term not only automatically meant no chance of being elected dog catcher, but might well get one thrown in jail, or at least place on the Blacklist. But Saul Alinsky had helped create a new world, and that was a world in which a man who studied Marx for a decade in the bloom of his youth, then could be elected President using Alinsky tactics .

When it was revealed that at one time in her youth O’Donnell called herself “a witch,” suddenly Delaware was Salem in 1692. She lost to Coons.

The other lost opportunity was in Nevada, where Sarah Palin led Tea Party rallies against U.S. Senator Harry Reid. At the height of the Iraq War Reid declared, “The war is lost,” just before General Petraeus won it. Like President Obama telling our enemies when he planned to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq, it was essentially what a traitor would do, which is why Republicans choose not to be Democrats.

Despite Reid being inherently beatable, the Republicans somehow could not find a better candidate than a mediocre pol named Sharron Angle, who managed to lose to Reid. That case was less stark than the Delaware situation, in which polling clearly showed Castle would have beaten the “bearded Marxist,” but mistakes had been made and lessons needed to be learned.

Again using a sports metaphor, the O’Donnell and Angle defeats, compared to the overall total victory the Republicans enjoyed in 2010, was like writing the headline, “Key penalties mark big game” in a story about a team that just won 66-3, but had committed two penalties in the process. If scoring another touchdown making the score 73-3 would have set some kind of all-time record, then the penalties would have meant something, or so the feeling was. Either way, Rush Limbaugh analyzed the run-up, in which Republicans had supposedly made this mistake or that, all of which supposedly would doom them to defeat, only to win resoundingly, and chortled that he again had been “proven correct.”

The election infused the GOP with fresh new talent that would be on display for years, giving them hope in future elections, not to mention righting a listing ship in key states. Some of the big Senate winners included Mike Lee (Utah), Marco Rubio (Florida), Rand Paul (Kentucky), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), and perhaps most hurtful to President Obama, Mark Kirk taking his home state of Illinois.

29 Republicans were elected Governors, giving the party plus-six nationally. Emerging stars included Brian Sandoval (Nevada), Jan Brewer (Arizona), Susana Martinez (New Mexico), Rick Scott (Florida), Nikki Haley (South Carolina), Paul LePage (Maine), John Kasich (Ohio), and Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania).

The Governor victories especially set the stage for future Republican triumphs since it was a census year; they would be appointing the special masters re-districting the nation beginning in 2012.

The 2010 victory brought to bear some startling truths. The first was based on something Limbaugh said during the Iraq War, when the Democrats turned on the effort and engaged in acts that at one time would have resulted in convictions for treason. Limbaugh came of age in the 1970s when Senator Kennedy and his party did the same thing, and recognized that they repeated the behavior in Iraq. The result in the 1970s was not merely an American embarrassment, but genocide in which several million people died because of their failure to support our allies, the South Vietnamese.

At first it looked like they would not just get away with it; they would benefit from it. In 1976 their philosophies, honed by years of anti-American, anti-establishment rhetoric starting with Allen Ginsberg, carrying over to Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, the hippies, and the anti-war movement, looked to have won the long battle for the soul of not just America, but the world. It was an age of détente, of accommodation with the Soviet Union, of acceptance of Communist adventurism in the Third World, of peace marches and anti-nuclear demonstrations in European cities.

But Limbaugh stated that he looked at all of this and it was not unlike the Biblical passage, “This too shall pass.” At some point – when he was not sure – the Left would pay for their sins. It happened sooner rather than later, in the form of Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory over incumbent President Jimmy Carter in 1980, followed by GOP winning streaks over the next decade-plus.

President George H.W. Bush’s fall from grace in November, 1992 after enjoying 91 percent approval as recently as June, 1991 was a lesson in politics not to be forgotten. His son reached similar approval after 9/11 and early in the Iraq War, but after his re-election it was obvious that the tide was turning. Senator Reid’s declarion that the “war is lost,” Ted Kennedy’s assertion of “lies and lies and lies,” Nancy Pelosi’s cheering of U.S. battlefield defeats, and the media’s willingness to make it look like we were losing when we were not, certainly did not seem to hurt the Democrats in 2006 or 2008. Again, as in 1976, it appeared to have propelled them, to the point where the confident and hubristic among them were predicting a generational shift in philosophy. No longer just an unknown young man trying to find his way, now a world-famous radio personality, Limbaugh felt the same thing he did in the post-Vietnam 1970s.

“Some day, and I don’t know how or when, but some day the Democrats will pay a price for what they are doing to this country,” Limbaugh said.

Beyond conservative or liberal philosophy, Limbaugh touched on something very primal in American politics, which is that the people of this country react in a big way when one party swings too far to one side or another. Limbaugh came to grips with the 1994 Republicans sweeps.

“The mistake we made was that we thought it meant the country was now conservative,” he said.

America is a center-right nation. Most European countries vary from center-left to Socialist, but America is unique at 40 percent conservative, 20 percent liberal. Out of this is a middle ground of stupid voters and independents. Many who call themselves conservative are Democrats; getting them to vote Republican, which is problematic and no easy task but can be done, is the key to GOP victories when they happen. But the 1994 elections were as much a backlash to Bill Clinton and, in particular, Hillarycare, as any other factor. It did not mean that suddenly the majority of Americans adopted William F. Buckley’s politics.

Buckley himself was asked if he felt that he had “won” his lifetime battle for the American conscience. He thought about it and responded that his man, Ronald Reagan had won two landslides; that the Soviet Union had lost the Cold War; that free market capitalism was now the pressing economic theory (even in China); and concluded, “Sure, we won.”

Maybe he was right, but Limbaugh pointed out that even when the Republicans win big, at some point in the future the public will feel it is “safe to vote for liberalism again.” Ronald Reagan warned America that the freedoms secured by previous generations needed to be secured by each succeeding generation, that “freedom is not free.”

The Obama years threatened to put a hole in this long held tenet of the American character. The 1960s, a terrible, uprooting decade in which wholesale groups of this nation’s youth utterly rejected everything that had made America great, followed by the 1970s, when they just adopted mediocrity and narcissism, looked to have finally come home to roost. This group looked to be the first generation to fail to heed Reagan’s clarion call. It was a generation of drugs, long hair, rock music, and utter stupidity. Older Americans, if given a portal into the future from a mere 10 or 20 years earlier, would not have believed for a second these were their kids, but they were.

A psychiatrist might have had a field day attempting to analyze the national psyche. Michael Savage regularly attempts such therapies. The “patient” could be broken into two groups: the young who supported the country even during the Vietnam War, and those who did not. These could be divided between the conservatives and liberals.

The “father” could be described as a stern white man molded by the Great Depression who answered the call of his country to fight in World War II. He fought hard and valiantly. He had secrets. Maybe he had shot a few Nazis who were surrendering, or perhaps he was motivated by racial hatred toward the Japanese. But he survived, and came home with medals.

He earned a degree on the G.I. Bill. He married a pretty girl in his hometown. He went to work and made a living. He had two sons. He built his business until he was successful, maybe even wealthy. He was an honored member of the community, feted by the American Legion and the Chamber of Commerce. Sometimes he swore too much, or drank too much. He generally did not have a lot of respect for blacks, but if they had the gumption to make something of themselves, he grudgingly accepted, even liked them. Maybe he hired some of them. But occasionally on business trips he had dalliances with other women. His wife knew but kept her mouth shut.

He raised his kids to be hard in a competitive world. He taught them to hunt and fish, to play baseball and football, to succeed in school and go to college, to work hard an overcome their competitors. If called on by their country, he told them they would have to fight as he once had.

His two kids grew up. The first son idolized his father. He was a towering figure whose accomplishments the son could never hope to match. Through luck, the son had never had to fight in war like his father had, but for this reason he felt he could never really be what the old man had been. His father had been hard on him, but loved him and encouraged him, even if he could not reach his level of greatness. But the son realized that even though he might not be as great as his father – he would never win medals for saving the world – he could find his niche, something he was good at, and excel in that. It might be different from his father, but he would make the old man proud., he would find a girl and marry her, have kids, buy a house, have a career, and feel good about himself. This is the “conservative.”

The other son was raised the same way, but at some point began to have doubts. Perhaps in little league when his father pushed him hard, but try as he might he was not as good as his older brother, who would be a good athlete in high school, while the other son was cut from the team. He grew his hair long and started hanging out with some miscreants, smoking a little dope out by the tennis courts at school.

The father scolded him, yelled at him. The mother understood and tried to comfort him. His brother had a nice All-American girlfriend; he could not get a date. What was wrong with him? He heard his father call him a “fairy” in conversation with his mother. He began to hate his dad.

He went to college but dropped out. His dad got him a job with one of his friends but he quit. At some point, this son went from resenting his father to convincing himself the old man was not really “great.” He was not a war hero; he was a killer. He cheated on his mother and was racist. He had not “built” his business, he stole profits from deserving minorities. He justified his drug use, saying his father’s drinking was worse. His brother was a “sell out.” This son is the liberal.

Using this model, one begins to understand the allure of liberalism. It is as old as Mankind. Why work hard when it will be “stolen” from you, anyway? Blame others; find scapegoats. They are to blame. Your failures are not your fault. The Communists blamed the capitalists. The Germans blamed the Jews. The blacks blamed the whites.

Liberalism is a seductive ideology, and Limbaugh realized man would always seek it out. The rugged individualism of American conservatism is equally seductive and far more romantic, but to expect a large segment of the population to follow its precepts is to ask too much. It is uniquely American, related in equal part to the romance of liberating revolution, as embodied in the works of filmmaker John Milius, and the lone cowboy, as embodied by Duke Wayne.

Countries filled with people whose ancestors were serfs, slaves, indentured servants and the oppressed are not likely to produce this kind of vision. That is why the view of themselves as victims and the oppressed, the new Democratic theology, is so very un-American. The only people with any legitimate history tracing to this kind of thinking are African-Americans, but logic should not dictate their falling victim to this status. In fact, they did not; victimology was not the dominant theme of blacks until Franklin Roosevelt created the welfare state. The thinking black, tracing the timeline of his own family ancestry, should in fact come to the conclusion that if his ancestors did not “get on that boat,” as Muhammad Ali said of his (“ . . . and thank God they did,” he added), then they likely would not exist today as some kind of entity upon the Earth. Their ancestors probably would have died of disease or in tribal or civil war, imprisoned and killed by a dictator or warlord, or some such fate. If they were still alive, instead of living in Los Angeles or St. Louis, playing on the high school basketball team and enjoying rap music with their friends in the relatively safe confine of modern America, they would be living in a hut in Rwanda or trying to survive the scourge of post-colonial South Africa or Zimbabwe. Of course, the ability to understand the profound philosophical truths inherent herein relies somebody who is more than a “low information voter.”

But the modern conservative need not hang his head in shame over African-American history. There are many reasons for this, and history usually is the best source. Take for instance African-American jazz artists of the 1920s. Many went to perform in Paris. They returned raving over their great treatment, which included large, raucous crowds and the affections of pretty mademoiselles. The initial fallback is to consider the shame of America, where it is inferenced they received ill treatment in comparison with the enlightened Parisians (who it should be noted within a decade-plus of this time were enthusiastically collaborating with the Nazis in an effort to exterminate Jews from their nation).

Then the thinking person stops and thinks. An idea strikes.

Suddenly it occurs to said thinking person that all of those jazz artists were invited to Paris in the first place because they were already successful and famous in Harlem, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Kansas City, which via Google can be verified to have been cities in America at that time. They did not get rich and famous in Paris and only then come to spread their fame in America. It never works out that way.

Which leads to another profound fact, which the victimologists really do not want you to think about, because it practically wipes out their thesis. This is to ask: who are the 100 most famous black people in world history?

Of course, America gets off to a slow start, since the passage of all things that ever happened throughout all the time man has lived occurred prior to the founding of America in 1776. Who do we have? Well, perhaps the Carthaginian general Hannibal, except he is believed more of an Arab than an African? How about Shaka Zulu? Really, there must be somebody else? Othello? A literary figure invented by a white man, William Shakespeare.

Then we must forget about the first four score and seven years of America, in which most of the blacks were too enslaved to become famous, but finally around the age of Abraham Lincoln we begin to see a few: Frederick Douglass, then later Booker T. Washington, then some of those jazz artistes, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk, and pretty soon we are into Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, and the list extends from there.

Eventually we narrow our list to 100 people. We look at it and ponder. There is Nelson Mandela, a rightful member of the group. Then the other 99. It occurs, to the thinking man at least, that the other 99 are all Americans (Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Sidney Poitier,. Dianne Carroll, Barry Bonds, Thurgood Marshall, et al). How can this be? Is not America a racist country? How come none come from France or England (have we unfairly excluded the decathlete Daley Thompson and maybe an actor or two whose names we cannot remember?). Eventually we have to accept the fact America is where slavery came to die, a sentence Barack Obama would never utter because to do so invalidates his raison d’être.

The race business has always been around. A major division occurred during the early part of the 20th Century when W.E.B. Dubois, founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, developed the idea of “elite” African-Americans, generally light-skinned, who should semi-segregate themselves from society. Booker T. Washington believed in the integration of society; acceptance of blacks by whites, and vice-versa. Washington’s view was furthered by the participation of black troops in World War II; integration of the Army; success of Jackie Robinson; and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “dream.”

The Dubois view was roughly adopted by Malcolm X and the Black Muslims, the Black Panthers, and after failing to succeed in Presidential politics, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, then the Reverend Al Sharpton. It is today unquestionably the politics of Barack Hussein Obama.

One of Obama’s goals, which Bill O’Reilly identified as his constant attempt to “poke” conservatives “in the eye” with “in your face” racial and radical political moves, has been to enrage his opponents until they would do something stupid, i.e., engage in racial epithets. One of the greatest credits of talk radio, conservative media, and the Right has been to refrain from this at all costs. It is in truth practically a miracle, but there are virtually no episodes or examples of out-and-out racism on the Right.

The 2010 Congressional sweeps redefined President Obama’s strategy. He could no longer stand above it all, as he did when he so benevolently called Taylor Swift a “nice person” after Kanye West so rudely implied her award should have gone to Beyonce. He could no longer look like he thought any white person, or any white conservative, was a worthy individual. White liberals also had to shift and now pander to blacks, genuflecting in white guilt.

After such total victory in November of 2010, the Grand Ol’ Party began to think they could get it all back. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky went so far as to say the goal of his party was to defeat Obama. The American people clearly spoke; they wanted the Republicans to stop Obamacare, high taxation, regulations, giving up what was gained in the Middle East under Bush, radical Supreme Court appointments, Satanic deficits; all of this was clearly hurtful to the country. First the victories of Chris Christy, Bob McDonnell, Scott Brown, then the entire party, was a mandate, pure and simple. A slight victory giving a small edge to one party or another was one thing; this was a “shellacking.”

For Rush Limbaugh, it was validation. He often pointed out that most polls were conducted by liberals and steered to achieve “results” favoring liberals. Nobody had seen coming the tsunami victories of the Republican Party, except for Limbaugh and those with their pulle on the nation. One point was hammered home; a poll is just a poll, but an election is real, it is solid and irrefutable. America was turning Republican.

On the opposite end of this, Obama was fuming. What had happened? Just two years earlier his media allies were touting Ronald Reagan’s demise. Now he could not move forward with his legislative agenda. Or could he? Anybody who had ever read Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals knew what Obama’s strategy would be.

The Republicans now had a solid majority in the House and six additional Senate seats. John Boehner, a congenial Congressman from Michigan, was now their party leader. But Boehner was a moderate, a traditional establishment “go along to get along” Republican. He was deathly afraid of the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC, CNN, and the race extortion wing of the Democratic Party. He was the opposite of Limbaugh. He would do almost anything to avoid accusations of racism. He wanted inclusion in the D.C. cocktail party circuit. He was practically an invention of Allen Drury’s Advise and Consent. When Obama told conservative journalists they had to “stop listening to Limbaugh,” those words were meant for Boehner, and he was receptive to them. If Limbaugh was the “titular head” of the party, then it was a divided party, with Boehner representing a moderate element that looked at the likes of Limbaugh, and the Tea Party, as an impediment to good governance. To pass laws, to avoid obstructionism, to make a straight path for establishment Republicanism; that was Boehner.

It was practically insane. Boehner undoubtedly owed his new majority perch to Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Fox News, and perhaps most especially, the Tea Party. The Tea Party had grown out of nothing, with no single leader, little organization, no central plan of action. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R.-Florida), U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R.-Arizona), U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R.-Oklahoma), and after the 2012 elections, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R.-Texas); these and a number of new Congressman, most of the talk radio crowd, and millions of American citizens who, like Hillary’s “vast Right-wing conspiracy” registered and voted; this was the Tea Party.

The establishment included Congressman Boehner, Senator McConnell, U.S. Senator John McCain (R.-Arizona), U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R.-South Carolina), former Governors Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Jeb Bush of Florida, the Bush family, and the Republican National Committee led by RNC chair Reince Prieubus. They were now aligned with the Chamber of Commerce, favoring amnesty for illegal aliens. It was as if all the lessons of the 2010 elections had been forgotten. They had achieved total victory courtesy of an electorate firmly opposed to amnesty, and as soon as power was given them, they were adopting policies opposite of what the voters who put them there wanted. It was some kind psychosis. Limbaugh was aghast; what did elections matter if the will of the voters, the mandate of the voters, was ignored? Nobody understood the American public better than Limbaugh, who had been fielding calls from all of them for decades.

Still, the talk media and the conservative public were willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Surely, when the rubber hit the road, they would act like conservatives, or at least like Republicans. They would not rubber stamp Obama’s agenda. Would they? Would they?

The Tea Party was a triumph of the will. Obama despised them. They were everything he hated the most: majority white, conservative, many evangelical Christians, who loved America and all she stood for. Obama, as Limbaugh often pointed out, felt America to be an immoral, unjust society, the recipient of ill gotten gains stolen from Indians and colonized dark-skinned peoples of the world. They plundered the land and invaded countries, attained wealth via the barrel of a gun. They were racist and selfish, hiding behind a false Christ. They aligned with colonizers and dictators in a fake Cold War against a demonized Soviet Union that was not the threat the Right made them out to be. Now that this enemy was vanquished they went in search of others, the poor Muslims. The last thing Obama was ever going to do was point out that the old enemy, threatless Communism had murdered 120 million people, or that the new enemy, threatless Islam, had murdered 60 million . . . fellow Muslims since the creation of Israel. There are not accurate records, but the Ottoman Empire probably murdered that many during their years of dominance in what was called Asia Minor, prior to Lawrence of Arabia.

The years in between the two enormous Republican triumphs (2010, 2014) saw tremendous strain between President Obama and the Right. The impetus opposing Obama normally did not emerge from the two leaders, Congressman Boehner and Senator McConnell, but from insurgent, non-establishment types like Senators Lee, Rubio, Cruz, and Paul; Governor Brewer; Fox News and talk radio. Levin and Savage absolutely hammered Obama, but also hammered mediocre Republicans for their squeamishness as well. Limbaugh joined in but with his usual restraint. He was the master of playing all the angles.

When Obama refused to do his sworn Constitutional duty of protecting the American borders and enforcing existing immigration laws, Governor Brewer took it upon herself to enforce those laws within the state. She and Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio found themselves in Obama’s crosshairs in the form of lawsuits and criminals proceedings. It was, quite simply, what a traitor would do.

But perhaps the most telling and embarrassing event from Obama’s perspective was the success enjoyed where Republican policies were instituted vs. the blatant, obvious failings where Democrat policies were in force. Democrat states and cities were atrocious; crime, high unemployment, and poor quality of life. Life under “Barack Hussein Obama . . . umm, umm, umm,” was basically a test to survive the kill zone for millions of urban blacks. States run by Republican Governors, on the other hand, were thriving. This had an odd effect, not unlike the Cold War victories of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush leaving President Clinton with a peaceful world, then the fiscal policies of Newt Gingrich and John Kasich helping his economy. Republicans are often victims of their own success. The overall unemployment rate began to recede before the 2012 elections, courtesy not of Obama but the GOP Governors seeing low taxes and de-regulation kicking in.

But the 2012 Presidential elections were strangely devoid of the kind of enthusiasm the Tea Party produced in 2010. It was not until after the election that it was discovered Obama used the Internal Revenue Service to harass them into silence through audits, regulations and threats. It was straight out of . . . threatless Communism.

 

On September 11, 2012, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the American Embassy at Benghazi, Libya was attacked. It was part of a new era in the Middle East. The previous era had started with 9/11. General David Petraeus’s victorious Surge of 2007, along with victories over the Taliban in Afghanistan, could have been over by 2012 had George W. Bush’s successor maintained the course he kept. But Obama was bound and determined to undermine everything his predecessor did. The reasons behind this can be debated. On a purely personal level, Obama may have wanted to justify his 2008 campaign promises and render to history those of Bush to be illegitimate. Then of course he simply did what a traitor to America would do. The question may be whether Obama is a traitor or not, but there is no question he governed like one. His politics and the politics of his party, which had at least under Bill Clinton generally favored America on most big issues, no longer did. Obama made it fashionable among the Left to advocate what in past years would land people jail sentences. Michael Savage routinely called for the miscreants to be locked up. There was the sense that such rhetoric was unhinged, but conservatives who knew history understood precisely what he meant.

It started in Egypt. Anderson Cooper of CNN and other liberals labeled it the “Arab spring.” Even George W. Bush at first thought it a positive development, the rise of “freedom” in the Muslin world, which was his ultimate goal from the beginning. It was the opposite. It undid all he accomplished. Obama completely undermined Hosni Mubarak, long a staunch friend of the U.S. and one of the few Arabs who were friendly with neighboring Israel. Mubarak was part of a long tradition starting with Anwar Sadat, his predecessor who made peace with Israel after losing two wars to them in 1967 and 1973. Sadat paid for his courage with his life when the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated him in 1981.

`The Muslim Brotherhood, the architect of all historical Muslim terror since 1928, had long been kept down by Mubarak. For the conspiracy theorists who somehow believe Obama was a plant or sleeper of some sort of KGB/Muslim Brotherhood plot perhaps dating to the arranged marriage of his parents, the deposing and jailing of Mubarak, followed by the Muslim Brotherhood taking over in Egypt, looked deliciously ironic.

Then came Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Unlike Mubarak, Gaddafi was long an enemy of the U.S. President Reagan had once felt the need to bomb his compound, killing one of his daughters. But after George W. Bush invaded Iraq looking for Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi was so frightened that he was that he voluntarily produced his arsenal, giving them up to international inspectors. But the fall of America’s enemies; Saddam, Gaddafi, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, would not be the goal of a traitor. It was certainly too favorable to America’s global interests, and would ultimately make President Bush too successful in the eyes of history, to be allowed to stand.

So Obama, who had failed to back a popular uprising to depose the Iranian genocidalist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, instead failed to back both Mubarak, a friend of the U.S., and Gaddafi, cowed into a non-threat by Bush. The result has been a complete destabilizing of the Muslim world. All that was won in Iraq and Afghanistan was lost under Obama. In Syria, Obama failed as he had in the case of Ahmadinejad to oppose another enemy, Bashar al-Assad, giving rise to Russia, a once-defeated empire now allowed to re-establish their dominance in the Middle East. Again, for the conspiracy theorists that see a linkage between Obama’s connection with Frank Marshall Davis, Saul Alinsky and Bill Ayers, with the Muslim Brotherhood and a KGB once run by Vladimir Putin, it was more irony. Some felt it was beyond irony, it was treachery so obvious hiding in plain sight that it could not be detected in a world of Satanic lies.

But heading into the 2012 election, Obama had a template. Bin Laden was dead and al Qaeda was “on the run.” A body purported to be bin Laden’s had been dumped into the ocean before anybody really got a good look at it, but Al Qaeda was not “on the run.” Instead, they had become the Islamic State, and were in the process of becoming more powerful than Al Qaeda ever dreamed of being when George Bush prevented them from being powerful. Under Obama, who called them “the JV team,” they ascended, the way a Muslim traitor of America would want them to.

When jihadists raided the U.S. Embassy in Libya, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to raise security in order to combat them. If jihadists were attacking the American Embassy, then that meant they were not “on the run.” Instead they blamed it on an obscure YouTube video.

Evidence that it was not a video surfaced almost immediately, and spread like wildfire on conservative talk radio and Fox News. Obama’s incompetent NSC advisor, Susan Rice, immediately uttered the lie it was “a video,” and Obama stated the same lie over and over. The fact they were lying was plainly shown every day on conservative media, but Obama’s protectors at CNN, MSNBC sand the New York Times, kept repeating the lie.

Heading into Election Day, every indicator favored Mitt Romney. Romney had been thought to be conservative, but talk radio and his GOP primary opponents had torn much of that veneer away from him. Still, he looked to be a winner.

Presidential elections are of course not possible to be predicted with certainty, but there are indications that historically tell us likely scenarios. One of the best is midterms. The 1966 (Republican), 1974 (Democrat), 1978 (Republican/California’s Proposition 13), and 2006 (Democrat) midterms had all pre-cursored the winning party. Then there was the economy, which under Obama was the worst since the 1930s, had seen the stock market lose trillions in market value, and produced unemployment over 10 percent. Limbaugh and his cohorts happily pointed out that even the unemployment figures Obama ‘s administration released were cooked; the labor participation rate was at an all-time low and wages were utterly stagnant .

Obamacare was a total disaster, its implementation lampooned by Sean Hannity and Fox News every night. The web site was a joke. The President was unpopular and incompetent (although the likes of Michael Savage pointed out that when it came to Alinskyite tactics like race extortion and political organization, he was a master). Polling asking for party enthusiasm easily favored the GOP. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s resounding victory over union forces appeared to portend GOP victory. Conservatives were in place in most European capitals.

One study that had successfully predicted every post-war election easily favored Romney, who led by seven with a little over two weeks to go. Republicans recalled the McCain/Palin ticket leading by five in September of 2008. They could not dissuade themselves from the image of an unseen “black hand” (George Soros, Satan?) intervening and giving it to the bad guy. If the Gallup Poll, long thought the most reliable of all polls, is to believed, Obama swung the election by 11 points between mid-October and the first Tuesday in November. It added to a long list of things, like the IRS using its power to keep the Tea Party irrelevant, in which bad things always happened to them by nefarious means. But such righteous indignation is the stuff revolutions are made of.

 

If the 2010 election could be made into a football metaphor, with the score Republicans 66, Democrats 3, then the 2014 mid-terms would be scored Republicans 73-0.

The Republicans gained control of the Senate for the first time since 2006, and increased their majority in the House. The Republicans also gained two seats in governors’ races. Overall, the elections resulted in the largest Republican majority in the entire country in nearly a century, with 54 seats in the Senate, 247 (56 percent) in the House, 31 governorships (six percent), and 68 state legislative chambers. Moreover, Republicans gained their largest majority in the House since 1928, the largest majority in Congress overall since 1928, and the largest majority of state legislatures since 1928.

Political scientist Gary C. Jacobson argued that the voters treated the election as a referendum on the economy and especially on Obama’s Presidency. The result was the most partisan, nationalized, and President-centered midterm election in at least 60 years. Rush Limbaugh told his audience that the numbers needed to be examined based on increased population and gerrymandered districts; in which case the GOP now held more offices not just since 1928, but since the Civil War, when the Union was Republican and the secessionist Confederates were Democrats.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R.-Texas), a Tea Party favorite, said Barack Obama was the greatest gift the Republican Party ever had. He had inspired more people to vote Republican than ever before! Aside from Cruz, victorious Republican Senators included Cory Gardner (Colorado), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Tom Cotton (Arkansas), David Perdue (Georgia), Thom Tillis (North Carolina), and Bill Cassidy (upending incumbent Mary Landrieu, Louisiana).

Conservative talk host John Batchelor had cited polling indicating Republicans Pat Roberts of Kansas and even Mitch McConnell of Kentucky were in deep trouble. Limbaugh’s longheld contention that most polling is done by Democrats to help liberals was proved correct – or “98.9 percent of the time” – when both Roberts and McConnell won handily. The McConnell campaign, which as it turned out was for the Majority Leadership in the Senate, was criticized relentlessly by Mark Levin, who “primaried” McConnell. The Tea Party supported businessman Matt Bevin. McConnell infuriated Levin, who vowed he would never vote for McConnell again – even against a Democrat? – after he insinuated Bevin was a racist. McConnell ran totally dishonest ads playing to black fears. It was very disgusting.

It also stoked fears that Levin was playing with fire and the Senate could be lost, as the 2010 O’Donnell (New Hampshire) and Angle (Nevada) defeats were partially blamed on him. He was 100 percent political and never veered from his course with homilies or stories, even criticizing the likes of Savage for occasionally veering from “Republicans good, Democrats bad” subject matter all the time. Levin had always been, and now more than ever was a conservative purist insisting on across-the-board orthodoxy from Republicans. His audience was large and loyal, but he made a lot of people mad. Many would turn him off, unable to take it any more. His heated criticism of Republicans seemed to play into Democrat hands, but there was a happy ending in Kentucky. After losing to Senator McConnell in the GOP Senate primary, Matt Bevin again went against McConnell and the establishment, becoming the third Republican Governor in the state since World War II. His running mate was Jenean Hampton, an African-American woman and military veteran, who immediately vaulted into a star’s spotlight in the Republican Party.

In other gubernatorial campaigns, all eyes were on Greg Abbott, succeeding the popular Rick Perry in Texas. Abbott defeated Democrat Wendy Davis, who campaigned hard in favor of abortion. Her 59-38 trouncing was said to be a major referendum favoring life. Mary Fallin (Oklahoma), Asa Hutchinson (Arkansas), and Rick Snyder (Michigan) also won. Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin made him a national figure. Larry Hogan’s win in liberal Maryland was a shot across the bow against the Democrats. Obama was again forced to see his home state repudiate his policies when they elected another Republican, Bruce Rauner as Governor of Illinois. A television show starring Kelsey Grammer as the Democratic Mayor of Chicago (Boss) was largely based on Obama and the brutal style of Chicago politics. The show’s theme song invoked Satan’s kingdom, and was a thinly veiled allusion to Obama as somewhere between the devil and evil.

But for all the Republican blowout wins in 2014, perhaps the most telling campaign was a Virginia Republican House primary in June in which the powerful Eric Cantor, number two behind John Boehner, was roundly beaten by a novice named Dave Brat. Cantor was soft on immigration. It was a clarion call of the 2016 Presidential season, a warning to the Grand Ol’ Party to listen to the people of America. Beyond that, suddenly the GOP featured a roster of talented black, Latino, woman and even gay elected officials. The Democrats looked old and mostly white. Their women were what Limbaugh called “femi-Nazis” and their African-Americans were a host of Muslim radicals and black militants.

Through it all, conservative talk radio carried the day. This old medium, thought to be dead, said to reflect an ideology that was no longer relevant, called racist and not part of the modern mainstream, had established itself as the most powerful medium of them all.

President Obama, who had once said if the American people wanted something, they should vote for it, turned further from that theory, as he had after the 2010 “shellacking.” Entering 2016, policies, ideas and political theories he advanced had not come close to winning any kind of election during his entire Presidency. He had been repudiated time and time again. Any other President, especially a white male, and more especially any Republican, would have been virtually drummed off the stage by a press corps reflecting the will of an angry electorate, yet Obama still had his protectors, or what Levin called his “Praetorian Guard” (media) and “clapping seals “ (liberals).

He became a quasi-dictator with a “pen and a phone,” going against the will of the American people at every turn with executive orders on immigration, gay marriage, health care, the debt, and the judiciary.

But heading into the pivotal 2016 Presidential elections, the question as to whether he had “failed” or not was very much up in the air. Based on the Limbaugh theorem, he had not failed. In this respect, “fundamentally transforming America,” he had succeeded. The U.S. debt had gone from zero in 1959 under Dwight Eisenhower to $12 trillion in 2008. Under Obama it almost doubled to $20 trillion by 2017. This is the fundamental act that a traitor would orchestrate; the bankrupting of a nation. Obama literally called such a thing “un-patriotic” before doubling down on the act.

He had undone all the victories achieved by Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq; now the entire Middle East was in flames. He had defied all Republican efforts in signing a nuclear arms deal with Iran that very likely will some day result in Israel, if not the U.S. itself, victimized by a nuclear attack. He had opened up Cuba without asking the Castro brothers to establish any political freedoms at all.

Many, many American citizens were convinced all hope was lost; the nation was gone forever, or at least the rest of their, and probably their children’s lifetimes. But the Republican Presidential contenders refused to hew to this line. Neither did Rush Limbaugh. He said somehow, and he did not know how, but somehow the nation would right itself. He had faith in her. But in the conventional sense of American politics – the economy, military affairs, patriotism and common values – Obama had failed. All he had was race extortion politics, as extolled by the hideous Black Lives Matter movement. Under Obama, race relations were the worst they had been since Martin Luther King’s assassination.

Obama’s Presidency unleashed a massive repudiation and lack of faith in government. All trust was gone. This manifested itself on both sides of the aisle, giving rise to a loser Socialist Senator from Vermont named Bernie Sanders; two Tea Party favorites, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida; and a billionaire real estate mogul named Donald Trump.

Establishment figures such as Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the Republicans especially, ex-Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Governor John Kasich, normally excellent candidates with vast executive experience who would find favor in GOP primaries, now found themselves on the outside looking in.

It is hard to say who was the most influential of the conservative talk hosts during the 2014-16 period. If someday the Republican Party re-establishes its old dominance, namely the hold they had on the nation from the Civil War until 1932, and during the Reagan/Bush years (1980-93), this will be the time historians point to and say it all started. If by some miracle the United States can recover from what Obama did to it, namely indebting all of her children and grandchildren to the tune of $20 trillion and growing, then this also be when it will be said somebody started to change it.

Limbaugh remained a powerful voice. Whenever Obama would make a pronouncement, or some momentous policy would be announced, with all attendant liberal media buzz, millions of Americans continued to turn to Limbaugh the next day in order to get his take, to here somebody tell them what they were thinking. But it is possible that both Michael Savage and Mark Levin – who continued to despise each other more than ever – entered the pantheon of great influence.

Levin played a major role in the 2010 and 2014 midterms, arguing vociferously on behalf of Constitutional conservatives and Tea Party favorites, at the risk of engendering the ire of the GOP establishment. He backed many Tea Party primary candidates, and no small number of them rode his support to office. If any of them veered from Levin conservatism, he turned on them. Levin, for all his intelligence, could be very petty. He could get personal, remarking about somebody’s personal appearance, the pronunciation of their name, mocking and ridiculing them. He turned on RNC chair Reince Preibus as he had on Michael Steele.

This was a conundrum. Again using the sports analogy, firing Steele after the 2010 victories was like getting rid of the manager of a baseball team that just won 105 games because of a personality conflict with the owner. In real life it could be compared to the San Francisco 49ers “firing” Jim Harbaugh, easily one of the greatest coaches in pro football, because he did not see eye to eye with the youthful son of the team’s owners, Jed York.

Criticism of Preibus after the 2014 blowout win had a similar ring to it. On paper he had achieved all that could be asked for, but Levin, and many in the Tea Party clambered for purity.

He especially despised both House Majority Leader John Boehner and Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and was probably the leading voice in forcing Boehner’s resignation in 2015. Levin was the man who led a Republican revolution against his own party. People had voted them in with massive majorities to stop Obama, and they had failed to do so. Whether this was a wholly justifiable expectation or not, it fueled the 2014 midterms and the 2016 Presidential campaign, particularly the primaries.

What resonated the most out of this was the genuineness in the Republican voter complaint. Yes, they were complaining about their own party, but they were doing something about it and it promised to eventually find its way into actual good government.

Levin excoriated McConnell for his race extortion and played a major role Matt Blevin’s election as Governor of Kentucky. He despised Senators McCain and Graham. Every day he gave his audience what otherwise would be an expensive education on the Constitution. Levin also wrote an amazing book called The Liberty Amendments, and proposed an absolutely brilliant idea rooted in Madisonian writings (The Federalist Papers). This was to create a Constitutional ability of states to overturn unpopular Supreme Court decisions with three-fifths of the vote. But the role of conservative media in the rise of Donald Trump was the most extraordinary aspect of the 2015-16 political season.

 

Hostile takeover

 

In 2011, Donald Trump had implied a potential run for the White House in 2012. There was genuine interest in him. He had talked about it before, even approached George H.W. Bush as a possible V.P. pick in 1988. He was generally thought to be a Republican, but not a hardcore conservative. He had existed in the world of New York politics, business and the media; this was not a place for Right-wingers. He had opposed the Iraq War, which by 2015 had turned badly, although it had been a victory when Bush handed it off to Obama. The lesson of that is that if you are to “secure” a military victory, “secure” political victories at home for several elections at least so your opponents do not undo all of your accomplishments. General Petraeus’s Surge or no Surge, however, the almost 5,000 casualties in Iraq had not really been worth it. The Iraqis certainly did not appear to deserve such sacrifice on their behalf.

But when Mark Levin lampooned Trump in 2011, that did him in. Levin particularly made hay of Trump’s “roast” on Comedy Central, which was raunchy to the point of absolute immorality. Romney won the nomination and added to the growing legend of the Republican’s ability to blow elections (see Bush ’92). But when Trump entered the fray in 2015, he was given a very solid reception from conservative talk radio. It was Fox News, of all places, where he clashed, in particularly with beautiful, popular host Megyn Kelly, an attorney and quick wit.

 

Trump was a New Yorker whose father had been a successful real estate developer. He was willed $1 million and used it to turn into a multi-billion dollar business empire, one of the most successful in all of history.

A product of the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Trump had it all. He was wicked smart and devastatingly handsome, with a shock of blonde hair and beautiful women always at his side. He became a bon vivant of the Manhattan and West Palm Beach party scene, but did not drink. He easily straddled the world of high finance, Hollywood and celebrity, but he was a workaholic. His wives were forced to take a back seat to his business.

His marriages, divorces and flings were all over the tabloids. Men admired this brash, arrogant New Yorker who seemed irresistible to women. He supported Reagan but by necessity established relationships with New York Democrats, some of whom he gave money to. He worked both sides of the political lines; thought a moderate, even liberal New York Republican in the mold of Nelson Rockefeller, John Lindsay, and even Rudolph Giuliani. He flirted with the Reform Party but abandoned that effort when former Klansmen David Duke tried to infiltrate his way in. He had his ups and downs, but his failures were similar to those of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Rallying from setbacks and defeats became the stuff of business legend. He became a reality TV star and possibly the most recognized celebrity on the planet, up there with George Clooney or Barry Bonds or Peyton Manning. He seemed capable of achieving anything. His ego was so huge that the Presidency seemed an irresistible allure. His daughter looked like a supermodel and his latest wife, Melania, was a supermodel who had done risqué photo shoots bordering on soft core and bi. This did not hurt him with straight males one bit.

In the 2010s, Trump was a regular with Greta van Susteren on Fox News. He appeared with many radio hosts, as well, and occasionally on some of the higher profile TV programs. He was obviously friendly with Bill O’Reilly. They seemed to share the same common sense politics. What propelled him with Republicans were his blistering criticisms of President Obama. Obama was “the worst President” in American history, Trump repeatedly told van Susteren.

He had imprimatur in that he could not be accused of racism. Trump had for years hung out with black celebrity athletes and entertainers. He smilingly absorbed the slings and arrows of their “roasts” on Comedy Central and moved easily in this rarefied world. While he was a Republican, he was not the kind of hardcore Right-winger who so despised Obama. He seemed very reasonable. His equally hard-hitting attacks on the Iraq War somewhat inoculated him from liberal criticism. He lambasted China, a nation he had dealt with for decades on trade and business issues. He knew what he was talking about. He had “walked the walk,” had survived in the most cutthroat world of international business for decades. He had occasionally fallen only to come back up stronger than ever. He was like a pinstriped Rocky, an American success story, the epitome of attainment in the promised land. Americans could not get enough of Donald Trump.

Prior to the 2012 election, Trump raised the issue of Obama’s birth certificate in Hawaii. While liberals called him the usual names – “nut case” or “conspiracy theorist” and of course “birther”– none of it stuck. The fact was Obama’s birth certificate had legitimate question marks. All the normal talking points of Chris Matthews and the Left, that his birth in Honolulu had appeared in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, were easily explained. Anybody, like a spy or mole of some kind, or just somebody whose son was born in Kenya or Indonesia, but they wanted people to think was born in America, could type up a few lines and expect it to be published in the local paper.

One Republican who had once worked for Richard Nixon, Robert Dole and Ronald Reagan, a man named Michael Woodson, had been born in Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu. For months, then years, Obama either could not or would not produce his birth certificate. Liberals said it was an old certificate and difficult to produce. Woodson, in order to demonstrate how easily such a document could be attained, wrote the hospital and within two weeks received his in the mail. He had been born two weeks after Pearl Harbor. If anybody had an excuse not to obtain his birth certificates it was he.

It was an odd issue. It seemed cut and dried, easy to prove or disprove, but like so much of Obama’s life, was elusive. Conservative media reported on a wing of the hospital he was supposed to have been born in that did not exist when he was born. Hospital workers allegedly signed affidavits swearing he had not been born at Kapiolani; that they had been coerced or silence by Democrat henchmen. It was like the mailers Richard Mellon Scaife sent out about the Clintons in the 1990s, claiming his “octopus squad” killed witnesses to their crimes, corruptions and misdeeds. The normal rebuttal was that Republicans were saying these things, and this was the reason for Democrats not to believe them. These were non-denial denials, to use a Watergate phrase, negatives that could not be proved. “When did you stop beating your wife?”

But Trump gave them sunlight. The mainstream media paid zero attention to the issue. Fox News ignored it. Only Michael Savage, as conspiratorial, cynical and suspicious as they get, dug into the birth certificate question. But when Trump went on all the programs talking about it, it infuriated Obama and gave credibility to the issue.

Trump said he thought Obama was born in Hawaii, that he probably was, but added, “I really don’t know. I don’t know why he wouldn’t release his records,” adding, “Do you know Hillary Clinton was a ‘birther?’ ” The issue started with her in 2008, not some “vast Right-wing conspiracy.” ^^cxxx^^

The fact is it was a very legitimate issue, but not just because it would or would not affect his eligibility to be President. His mother was a U.S. citizen without question, and under most judicial opinions (though not ultimately adjudicated by Congress or the Supreme Court), a child like John McCain, Barry Goldwater . . . or Barack Obama born to an American anywhere was a “natural born citizen” eligible for the Presidency. The general legal opinion was that the law was written not to prevent children born beyond the borders or their control from being President, but from preventing a foreign-born adult, like Henry Kissinger or Arnold Schwarzenegger – or some Muslim man from Iran? – who might have allegiance to the old country, not the U.S., from being Commander-in-Chief.

But if there was a question about the document, and if that question emanated from suspicious behavior by his mother, well known for her radical liberalism, whose parents were well placed radicals, allegedly academic moles for the CIA, was it not possible she had something to hide, was involved in something nefarious and maybe un-American? Obama’s string of associations from an Indonesian madrassa to a Communist tutor to Marxist Ivy League professors; to a literary agent advertising him as a Muslim, to a former Communist “community organizer,” to an un-repentant terrorist who once tried to blow up the Pentagon on behalf of our Communist enemies; to a black liberation theologian preacher advocating America’s damnation; then to a series of Communist and Mao-inspired aides in his own White House; followed by apologies for America; aiding Muslim enemies and destroying friends, leaving Israel without aid . . . these added up, like the evidence any good prosecutor builds a case upon.

For these reasons, Trump’s accusations carried weight. Then Obama released his “birth certificate.” He may have been holding onto it all along, waiting for the perfect time to tarnish some white Republican with allegations of racism, for that was the real issue at hand. He was black, his people said, and that could not be accepted. Of course, the people supposedly thinking like this were men like Michael Savage, but he openly admired Justice Clarence Thomas and loved Congressman Allen West, both African-Americans. That disintegrated that issue.

It certainly did not backfire on Trump or embarrass anybody. Instead, all the issues herein mentioned – the Communist background, the possible mole, the associations with horrendous people – were advertised as being representative of Obama from “soup to nuts.” On top of that, savvy people standing around water coolers said things like, “The CIA could have made that document in a day.” Which they could have. Finally, when Trump raised similar questions over Ted Cruz’s birth in Canada, it ended talk that it was strictly a “get Obama,” or racial issue.

As Obama’s Presidency moved into its eighth year, a disconcerting fact manifested itself. All the arguments against him in the beginning, the accusations and questions, had never disappeared. A great President, at least a relatively decent one, accomplishes something that people can give him credit for. Jimmy Carter had gotten Egypt and Israel together. That was a solid act of statesmanship. Bill Clinton had presided over prosperous times. But Obama was a metastasizing sore, a cancer on the American body politic. His political opponents despised him more than ever. He lost many, many avid supporters. His die-hard “true believers” were forced to tell the most obvious lies to prop him up. When press spokesman Jay Carney quit, he looked like a man let out of prison. He had been made to say so many untrue things that his face looked like a map of infidelity.

Even issues that Obama might have been able to handle with a little competence were too big for him. One was the proliferation of diseases and viruses coming into the United States. For Dr. Michael Savage, the Ph.D. and scientist who had anonymously studied and wrote about this for years, it was right down his alley.

There are any number of philosophical differences between conservatism and liberalism. Some are just that, philosophical. Others are mathematic or scientific, so cut-and-dried that the superiority of conservatism is separated from opinion and becomes self-evident truth. This was one of them. Savage had for years argued that open borders allowed un-checked diseases from the Third World into our country, with obvious ramifications. The Obama years saw case after case of this. In some instances Obama sent U.S. military personnel into dangerous places, exposing them to risk. An out-of-print book Savage wrote called Diseases Without Borders was re-issued as an eBook, ascending high on the Kindle bestseller list.

Mark Levin and others had addressed this issue, as well. One of the great spotlights of conservative radio had been Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962). Generally credited with launching the environmental movement, the book advocated the elimination of DDT, supposedly harmful to kids. Governments followed suit and DDT was taken out of use.

Then malaria, a terrible tropical disease that had spread like wildfire among U.S. troops fighting in the South Pacific during World War II, which had in the following years been wiped out, re-emerged. Absent DDT, crop devastation caused mass starvation in Africa and the Third World, killing 50 million. ^^cxxxi^^

This was like the Great Society, started with the good intentions of ending poverty in urban cities. Its ultimate affect, according to the American Free Press, is that 324,000 black males have been killed by other black males in street crimes as a direct result of the failure of President Lyndon Johnson’s policies. 125,000 – 130,000 died in the Spanish Inquisition. ^^cxxxii^^ To quote the Democrat Harry Truman, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” ^^cxxxiii^^

****

In 2002, U.S. Senator Trent Lott (R.-Mississippi) stood on top of the world. He had helped usher a resolution through Congress authorizing President Bush to go to war in Iraq, and the Senate had turned Republican again. In a month or so he stood to become the Senate Majority Leader.

In December of that year he attended a party for former U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond (R.-South Carolina). In 1948, Thurmond had run for President as a segregationist on the old Dixiecrat platform, formed by a group of Southern Democrats. After the Republicans helped President Johnson pass the Civil Rights Act, Presidents Nixon and Reagan husbanded the South into the mainstream of the union. Thurmond became a Republican and repudiated his old views.

At the party, Senator Lott had a littlie too much to drink. Asked to make a toast, he got up and addressed the partygoers. “I want to say this about my state: when Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him,” he said. “We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years either.” ^^cxxxiv^^

It was captured on video and quickly became a national story. Lott was forced by President Bush to relinquish his Senate leadership position.

In 2012, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was campaigning for President. Having wrapped up the GOP nomination, he was struggling to find his footing against the sitting President Obama. He kept trying to say Obama was “a nice guy,” he just disagreed with his policies. That never helped him any more than Senator McCain’s 2008 admonition that Obama was “a good man.” It seemed an enormous portion of the United States did not think Obama to be “a nice guy” or “a good man.” They wanted a feisty guy to tell the truth about him.

Governor Romney addressed a private group of donors and supporters. In that address, he told them that “47 percent” of the American population would not vote for him because they were, in essence, slackers living off Obama’s welfare state. Why work when the government can keep you on the dole? There was no mention of race in the remarks, but everybody knew a large percentage of these people were minorities. A video displaying an illiterate, gap-toothed black woman exclaiming she was voting for Obama because he gave her “Obamaphone” added to this perception, along with another tape of unemployed blacks, barely able to speak English, telling an interviewer they expected washers, dryers, and assorted other free stuff “from Obama.” ^^cxxxv^^

Rush Limbaugh had long made hay of this type of thing. One of his earliest issues had been the homeless. When Ronald Reagan was President the media tried to tell the country that homeless were swelling the nation’s cities from one end of the fruited plain to another. It was Limbaugh who showed this to be untrue. When video and commentary from the homeless were often shown, Limbaugh called them the Democratic “constituency,” just as Michael Savage called a boat full of Haitian immigrants the “good ship Democrat.”

When Clinton took over talk of the homeless ceased.

Limbaugh’s approach and Romney’s differed, to Romney’s disadvantage. Limbaugh doubled down, paying no heed to criticism. Had Romney done the same on his 47 percent remark, making a media tour, telling the country how bad it was that so many people were rendered unproductive by a political party that needed them to be unproductive – in essence dumb, happy Democrats – he would have defeated Barack Obama, who was unquestionably “landslidable,” as Limbaugh said of him.

Instead, Romney did what Trent Lott did. He went to the mainstream media, bowing and scraping for forgiveness for his insensitivity. Any political figure worth his salt, hoping to get a sense of what makes America tick, would have taken the time to listen to callers to Limbaugh, Savage, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and by 2012 Mark Levin. The smart ones would have learned what Donald Trump, who was indeed listening to Michael Savage regularly, did learn.

The two incidents, coming a decade apart, were part of a pattern that had existed at least since the end of President George H.W. Bush’s Presidency and continues to this day. For lack of a better term, this pattern reflects itself in the term “political correctness.” It emanated out of the “year of the woman” 1992 campaign; its genesis was the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings, the “tail hook” incident, and other forms of victimhood allegedly perpetuated by white male Republicans against poor women, blacks and the oppressed, who could be anybody and just call themselves oppressed in order to achieve this status.

The smart cookie would have listened to conservative callers addressing the Lott, Romney and hundreds of other incidents in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Time after time, some Republican would get “caught” saying something thought intemperate; they would genuflect before the gods of liberal correctness hoping for salvation; only to be thrown to the jackals every time. The apology act never works.

What millions upon millions of American citizens were just begging for, was somebody, just once, who would not give in; who doubled down and told it like it is. That man would be accorded status like few before him. He would be a hero, a shining knight riding to the rescue on a white horse.

 

It was not so much what the conservatives said but did not say that propelled the notion they were for Donald Trump. In this case, at least early on, not being against him was perceived as being for him. Sean Hannity was very receptive to Trump’s business record, and Bill O’Reilly openly admired him. O’Reilly had known Trump for many years; they were obviously social friends and like-minded New Yorkers, both larger than life figures on the American scene. When Trump would say outrageous things, Trump would practically correct him in interviews, saying that he really felt Trump meant to say this, or really did not mean to say that. Trump agreed sometimes, disagreed other times, but the O’Reilly interviews moderated him to some extent.

Limbaugh remained even on the Trump issue, but by not scolding and opposing Trump, he gave him tremendous imprimatur with conservative voters. Levin did a total about-face from his 2011 stance on Trump, and in 2015 and early 2016 agreed with much of what Trump had to say. He began to gravitate to Senator Cruz, generally the most qualified conservative in the race, and also criticized Senator Rubio. Levin was openly contemptuous of the moderates; Bush, Kasich, to a lesser extent Chris Christy. He openly despised Graham, who received zero support and was mocked out of the race early on. Many Republicans continued to take major issue with Levin. Smart as he was, he was a firecracker, almost a ticking time bomb.

His caustic, comtemptuous criticisms of Republican moderates and “old school” journalists, ranging from Mitch McConnell to John McCain, to Charles Krauthammer and George Will, then even the Tea Party favorite Senator Rubio – all once heroes of what Levin had helped turn into a divided GOP – truly irritated many of his own listeners. In some ways the man was too smart, even too pure for his and his parties’ good.

But Levin lost patience with Trump’s bombastic remarks. When Trump openly stated that President Bush was to blame for 9/11, and that he went into the Iraq War in 2003 based on false pretenses – all incorrect and well documented to be so – Levin turned on him. But Trump had magic and continued to get support. When it was reported he had actually supported invasion of Iraq in 2002 before the war, it did not matter. Trump represented what the American people wanted: the anti-Obama. Instead of an unqualified nobody from nowhere, known by nobody. Trump was one of the most accomplished men in American history, every single thing he had ever done exposed in New York tabloid style since the 1980s. There were no revelations with Trump; he was an open book.

But it was the support of Michael Savage that lifted Trump the most. Trump happily went on The Savage Nation and was unafraid of Savage’s controversies. Savage, almost unable to control himself, “savaged” Rubio and was often harsh on Cruz, which bothered many of his listeners, who despised hearing Republicans and conservatives criticize each other. Many felt Trump did not need to engage in the kind of pot shots and insults that were so much a part of his style, but through the South Carolina primary in February it did not seem to hurt him at all. For many Republicans, they could put up with his insults of Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz because they were licking their chops, just waiting to hear him go off on Bill and Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. When Hillary chimed in that Trump had a poor record with women, Trump savaged Bill’s record of rapes and assaults. This was music to the ears of Republicans, tired of genteel make-nice politics that had led to devastating defeats at the hands of vile, vicious, foul Democrats who cheated and used every dirty trick to defeat them. When the Socialistic Pope Francis claimed Trump was “not a Christian” for protecting the U.S. borders from illegals, Trump came back swinging, saying that it was he who planned to restore Christian traditions abolished by Obama, and it was he who would protect Christians left hanging by Obama, persecuted by Muslims in the Middle East. He was cheered heartily.

2016 was payback time!

****

Trump, who led in the polling throughout 2015, won important early primary victories, but Texas Senator Ted Cruz won a tight Iowa caucus. Throughout February and into March, Trump continued to win, but his lead, based on proportionate delegate counts, was tenuous. It became obvious that he gained a big advantage by the large number of other candidates. Trump had very passionate supporters, many of them disaffected Democrats who either registered as Republicans or crossed over to vote for him. There was concern that this was orchestrated in some way; a reversal of Rush Limbaugh’s famed “operation chaos” in 2008. However, this was not the case. There was certainly no effort on behalf of the Democrats, and they had no media voice comparable to Limbaugh, or any other conservative radio voice, to urge them to do anything in a concerted manner.

Trump argued that this meant he was expanding the GOP, turning them into a new, bigger and better party. There was much to value in this prospect. “What I am doing is, I am making the Republican Party bigger,” Trump said. ^^cxxxvi^^

He undoubtedly spoke for disaffected white males, but minorities began to organize against them. He remained unpopular with Latinos, African-Americans and women. Callers to Limbaugh would point out that he was bringing people in, but Limbaugh openly worried that for every “Reagan Democrat” Trump attracted, a moderate Republican would be lost. Incredibly, many Republicans not only disavowed Trump, but threatened to vote for the Democrat, which increasingly appeared to be one of the most demonized enemies of conservativism of all time, the utterly despised Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was absolutely topsy-turvy. Trump’s only hope was that in the end these Republicans would “hold their nose” and vote for him. They were needed; if they sat out, as they had for McCain and Romney, the election would be lost.

There was talk of a brokered convention, of establishment strategy to stop Trump, and his negative effect on Senate campaigns, which were more competitive in favor of Democrats than they had been in the 2010 and 2014 GOP sweeps. The hand wringing and concern kept many conservatives awake at night. Rarely had the Democrats been more vulnerable. They had to defend a miserable, failed eight years of Barack Obama. They disgraced themselves by largely backing a Marxist, Bernie Sanders. Their hero and savior, Hillary was a criminal, very possibly a murderer, even a mass murderer, who faced indictment for crimes committed as Secretary of State. Only a corrupt Obama Administration choosing not to prosecute her for leaking classified emails to every possible enemy of America could save her skin. Trump and the Right assumed they were just that corrupt and she would not face the criminal consequences of her actions. She would, as the Clintons always do, get away with it.

There was something profoundly crazy about the fact that Trump, who trailed Hillary by fairly large margins – at one point even Sanders led him in national polls – was the party frontrunner while the likes of Senators Cruz and Rubio, even Governor Kasich, led her. Rubio in particular looked strong in a head-to-head match with her. There was a general belief that Governor Jeb Bush had the goods to beat Hillary, although his families’ odd friendship with the Clintons made him look untrustworthy. Trump, on the other hand, was willing to play hardball with the Clintons. This was one of his great selling points, but it did not lead to his moving ahead in the polls.

Even after former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg chose not to enter as an independent, the Republicans floated the idea of creating a third party of their own, which was nothing less than contemplating suicide. Trump had vowed not to run as an independent, but this hung over everyone’s heads, as he threatened “riots” if he were denied the nomination in a back-room deal. He certainly understood that if he were to run as an independent he would the Republicans would lose to Hillary, and he would go down in history like Ross Perot; an enemy of the nation. But his ego was so huge, his arrogance so larger-than-life, that he seemed at times drunk with his own power and desire to dominate politics as he had everything else he touched.

The campaign was a terrible cavalcade of insults, vulgarities, swear words, and embarrassments. Perhaps the worst thing was the Trump campaign threatened to remove the veneer of moral superiority long held by the Grand Ol’ Party. It was the Democrats who utilized Saul Alinsky techniques, polarizing and marginalizing opponents with vicious attacks, the “politics of personal destruction.” This was the Clinton method, and Obama was steeped in it ever since he started working for ACORN in the 1990s.

Levin went so far as to ask whether Trump might be a spoiler of some kind; a plant by Hillary and the Democrats to assure her victory. This seemed preposterous, but Republicans were aghast. One day they would be convinced he was the ruination of the party, but the next considering he might be its savior. But Levin also asked a rhetorical, very logical question, which was in essence: why? The fact is that Trump’s arrogance, vulgar language and ultra-macho non-PC behavior was not necessary. He did not need to take it as far as he did. He did not need to be so insulting. He could have wrapped up the Republican nomination with far less controversy and maybe more votes – not to mention good will – had he been less incendiary. It was simply his nature. Many loved him for it. He was absolutely real; this was who he was. It was the opposite of Obama, the child Muslim Marxist now trying to convince people he was a Christian moderate.

There was no questioning the enthusiasm Trump brought to the party and the primaries. The crowds, the turnout, the interest exceeded even the Obama phenomenon of 2008. In truth, what was worse, Trump making an intemperate remark about women or taking a hard line stance against terror, or a candidate who sat in the pews of a radical essentially saying America was so evil she should be damned; or “palling around” with a guy who tried to blow up the Pentagon? These were the kinds of logical questions asked on conservative talk radio . . . which is why conservative talk radio is listened to by 30 million-plus American citizens every day.

The Democrats saw all of this and were frightened out of their minds. They said they wanted to face Trump, that he would be landslidable; they knew this was likely not true. McCain and Romney refused to stoop to their opponent’s level, and it did them no good. This was not just a political campaign; it was for the future of the nation. Many felt 2012 was the last gasp. Nothing could save them from what Obama had done. The debt alone was beyond repair. But human beings go on living, and striving, often against all hope. Many were desperately waiting and hoping to see a Republican go after a Democrat with the same viciousness they had long unleashed on the GOP. It was utterly primal, but Trump’s lies and toxic approach against splendid, respected candidates like Bush, Cruz, Rubio and others were beyond the pale. It was perhaps the most disgusting and hurtful political campaign since the Civil War. Trump simply stated untruths and called Cruz “Lying Ted.” It was foul. Michael Savage “savaged” Rubio and at times beat Cruz to a pulp; the next day he would have relatively nice things to say about him.

By 2016 it was war, and “all is fair in love and war.” Trump re-wrote the rules, and in this way mirrored talk radio’s popularity. It was the willingness of the Right-wing media to remove the gloves and go after the Left no hold’s barred that made them popular in the first place. Never had a major political figure of the Right been willing to do that . . . until now.

Trump won victories on Super Tuesday and captured states heavy with evangelicals, which was supposed to be Cruz’s strength. After defeating native son Marco Rubio in Florida, Rubio dropped out, leaving Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich opposing Trump. Kasich had no shot but was obviously trying to position himself for a convention deal. It seemed the party had blown it in that too many candidates had spread the vote in early primaries, giving Trump a large, close-to-insurmountable lead. Had Cruz been allowed to challenge Trump one-on-one from the beginning, he likely would have emerged the winner, but now there were not enough states left to pick up the votes he needed. Trump led in early polling in California, the last state to vote in a primary. Victory in such a populated primary could make him the winner. Day by day, Republicans were resigning themselves to the inevitable, that Donald Trump was going to be their nominee.

 

The Trump movement needed to be explained. There was no lack of attempt on the part of all the media, worldwide, to analyze what it all meant. Perhaps never had anything so singularly explained why conservative talk radio is popular and cannot be beaten, than the Trump campaign. While Michael Savage was with him from the beginning, and on the verge of increasing his power and influence in enormous ways because of him, many others had opposed him. Levin had “tolerated” Trump before turning on him in favor of Cruz. Glenn Beck went to war with Trump. Bill O’Reilly could not contain his fondness for him. Neither could Sean Hannity. But it was naturally Limbaugh, who remained as neutral as he could, who more brilliantly than ever defined Trumpism.

Limbaugh has an expression that he uses to explain different scenarios. For instance, when it comes to the issue of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, he states, “Abstinence works every time it’s tried.”

He often says a similar thing when discussing politics. “Conservatism works every time it’s tried,” he has said for years. There is little if any evidence to dispute this, at least in the United States. Moderate Republicans have compiled a long list of dispiriting defeats, but ever since the ascendance of Barry Goldwater, Reagan conservatism has been a winning formula. It has been in convincing Republicans to have the spine and courage necessary in defending the country via conservative values that Limbaugh has extended his greatest energy.

In 2011, when Trump was talking about running against Obama the next year, Limbaugh used this phrase. Tacit in so doing was his admonition that Trump was not a real conservative. In 2015-16, however, Trump out-conservatived many on the Right with his rhetoric about immigration, a wall on the Mexican border, a hard line against Islamic terror, and other a security issues. Was he a conservative? It does seem he had learned lessons offered on air by Rush Liumbaugh.

Limbaugh did not try to define him. Savage openly stated he was not lock step with every conservative principle, and for this reason he could support Trump, a man he might not have found favor with during a normal political year. This was not a normal political year.

But in February 2016, Limbaugh nailed it with one of his most astute dialogues. In the first Republican debate, Fox commentator Megyn Kelly tried to knock Trump’s feet out from under whim with an anecdote from his reality program The Apprentice, when Trump supposedly made a remark that was supposed to have alluded to a contestant in a sexual manner. But Trump struck right back and received enormous cheers when he declared that he was not politically correct, adding “political correctness” was the bane of America. It was his number one job to end its scourge. This is what resonated with Limbaugh:

 

Do you remember after George W. Bush was reelected in 2004 – some of you may not remember this – but we found out down in Boca and in Ft. Lauderdale and areas south that troubled Leftists were going for counseling. They couldn’t deal with the fact that Bush had won and a number of therapists set up specific counseling sessions for Democrats who were near suicidal over the fact that Bush won. It was an offshoot of what had happened after the Florida recount in 2000.

Well, the Washington Post has a story: Psychologists and massage therapist are reporting “Trump anxiety” among clients, by Paul Schwartzman. “To the catalogue of anxieties her patients explore during therapy – marriage, children, and careers – psychologist Alison Howard is now listening to a new source of stress: the political rise of Donald Trump. In recent days, at least two patients have invoked the Republican front-runner, including one who talked at length about being disturbed that Trump can be so divisive and popular at the same time, said Howard.”

So we’ve got two people who’ve gone to see a shrink in their inability to deal with Trump, and this is a huge story in the Washington Post. And make no mistake about something. In Washington, the Washington Post is the Bible, not the New York Times. The Washington Post is what they all read. The Washington Post is what they all react to. The Washington Post is where they want praise. The Washington Post is where they don’t want to be ripped or criticized, for people who live and work in Washington.

What had happened to Trump during his childhood, the patient wanted to know, to make him such a “bad person?” “He has stirred people up,” Howard said. “We’ve been told our whole lives not to say bad things about people, to not be bullies, to not ostracize people based on their skin color. We have these social mores and he breaks all of them and he’s successful. And people are wondering how he gets away with it.”

“A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll showed that 69 percent of Americans said the idea of ‘President Trump’ made them anxious. For some, Trump’s diatribes against undocumented immigrants, Mexicans and Muslims evoke unpleasant flashbacks of dictators. For others, his raw-toned insults conjure memories of high school bullies.”

Are you kidding me? Two people have shown up with these complaints to a shrink, and somehow the shrink lets the Washington Post know, and there is a big story about this? You want me to explain this? Well, no. I will explain to them what they’re asking their shrink. Here you have a bunch of people who have enforced touchy-feely political correctness on everybody, and what have they emphasized? No competition. To these people, competition is the root of all bad behavior. Competition is the root of unfairness and inequality because one person wins and everybody else loses, or one team wins and every other team loses. It is the epitome of unfairness, competition.

So here comes Trump, and Trump is no more an average guy. Trump’s speaking in ways that men today still speak, when they’re not hounded by the modern eclipse of feminism and its supporters. Men speak this way to each other. They crack jokes this way to each other. It does not make them bad people. And I think there’s a yearning for it among a whole segment of the population, women, men, they want this kind of gruff, fearless, tell-it-like-it-is persona. They don’t think it’s destructive. They don’t think it says anything bad about the country. They don’t think it says anything bad about the people who speak it.

And it may be over the top, but the reason it’s happening is because there have been so many invisible shackles put on people who are walking around on eggshells in this country for the last 30 years, afraid to be themselves, afraid to say what they really think, be who they really are, for fear they’re gonna get fired, for fear that somebody’s gonna lodge a complaint against ‘em and be called before some tribunal to explain themselves, when there’s nothing wrong with them.

They don’t have the freedom or the ability to behave this way in their lives because somebody’s gonna come down on ‘em, somebody’s gonna fire them, somebody’s gonna call them before some tribunal at the company, give ‘em a bad recommendation or something. No, I’m just trying to explain how it is happening, and why. I’m not endorsing any of it, folks.

I really think, folks, that what we’re witnessing here is a pent-up – it may be over the top – I think it’s a pent-up reaction to the censorship that has gone on in this country for 30 years, that it’s rooted in political correctness. I’m not saying that from the standpoint that a Trump attribute is that he blows it to smithereens. He does, but I’m not saying this as a means of supporting Trump. I think this is bigger than Trump in this sense, that this stuff is happening in a Presidential debate and not being condemned. I think there are people that you can’t understand, well, these people can’t, who have been fed up for the longest time since the modern era of feminism hit.

People will never understand this unless somebody takes time to explain it to ‘em. The modern era of feminism was one of the most transformative for the worst eruptions in our society that has happened in my lifetime. It totally, totally attempted to obliterate human nature. It took a bunch of central authoritarians using the power of government to enforce speech codes, behavioral codes that were in direct violation of human nature.

What was standard, ordinary just good back and forth between men and women ended up becoming criminalized. Fathers became known as ‘predators.’ They were not allowed even to see their children in many cases. They were never granted custody. All kinds of horrible, rotten things happened, with just the advent of the modern era of feminism. And with all of these things like feminism and the other things that came along with it, political correctness was attached – and that was censorship.

People had to shut up. They had to stop thinking the way they think. They certainly couldn’t speak the way they could before, and all this is like a champagne cork popping after years and years and years of being shaken up with all kinds of pressure building and no outlet for it. There is more anger and frustration subdued, contained over what the Left has done to this country, to this culture, to our society, and it’s just blowing.

And the reason it’s such a surprise to everybody is that the architects of this political correctness all think that, A, it’s wonderful and great – all this multiculturalism, all this attack on what has been known as traditional Americanism – and the people who believe this has been a good thing think that they’ve persuaded everybody to agree with them, that the way America used to be was rotten and mean-spirited and all these other things. And the people who have been silenced actually have been forced into shutting up and behaving in restrained ways, have never thought it was good.

They have never thought that all these things the Left has imposed on people like no scores in softball games or football games in high school are good. And this is one example. But there are countless zillions of others. There has never been unanimous support for this. The people who oppose it have been bullied, threatened, blackmailed into shutting up and accepting it. And all it’s taken is one guy running for President to blow it to smithereens, and it’s providing an outlets for a lot of people, and the Republican establishment is scared to death that all this . . .

“Well, there’s racism out there. Look at all this bigotry!” It’s nothing of the sort, and because that’s been attached to it, those allegations have made people mad. People who are not racist have been called racist. People who are not bigots have been called bigots. People who are not homophobes have been called homophobes. People who have deeply held religious beliefs have been attacked as the problem in this country when they were not.

They are the solution to the cultural rot taking place. There’s a whole bunch of people from all these different groups that are finally erupting here, for whatever reason. It may not even be Trump. It was gonna blow at some point. It was gonna blow at some point. Seven years of Obama could well be enough to make it blow.

One more thing about this. The people who are wringing their hands over all over this depravity and cultural rot in these debates, they don’t say a thing about it when it happens on a television show. I mean, I listen to the people on the radio routinely use the words I won’t use, the P-word talk about being angery and the A-word that describes the rear – the derriere. These are common words now, and nobody condemns it when you have this kind of vulgarity expressed on television shows or movies or music.

It’s applauded!

It’s said to be cultural expansion, art. It’s exploration of our deeper selves and so forth. When it happens here in a Republican debate, “Oh, no, we can’t have that! This is horrible.” Well, why is it horrible here and not there? The very people that promote it and defend it are the ones wringing their hands and act like, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! What’s happening to our country? What’s happening to our politics?”

You don’t think people are fed up with having to go to sensitivity training seminars at work, sensitivity training for race, sensitivity training for sex, sensitivity training for sexual harassment? You don’t think people are boiling over this? And all of it’s done because the employers need to protect themselves against lawsuits that come down the pike, thanks to the plaintiff’s bar which is owned entirely by the Democrat Party.

There are reasons all this stuff is happening. ^^cxxxvii^^

 

The rest of the media was perplexed. It was a telling moment in which Limbaugh’s brilliance was put on display. Many “good conservatives” simply did not understand what was going on. Many were appalled.

“Is there anything, anything that would embarrass his supporters, mainly his supporters on conservative television and radio who have fallen madly in love with Donald Trump and who slobber over him in just the same way as liberals in the media slobbered over Barack Obama?” asked Fox News contributor Bernie Goldberg, who in 2008 had written A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Love Affair Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media. ^^cxxxviii^^

A cartoon by Hart Handelsman showed a perplexed Albert Einstein standing in front of a chalk board containing the theory of relativity, next to the quote: “. . . But I still can’t explain Trump.” ^^cxxxix^^

Others tried to say that it was not so much a Trump phenomenon as the failings of his mostly conservative opponents. Ted Cruz “makes no appeal to moderates or racial minorities,” wrote Michael Scherer and Zeke J. Miller in Time. “Instead he seeks to turn out millions of conservative white voters who have sat out past elections, with appeals based in talk-radio outrage, ideological purity and religious devotion.”

“No one is organizing a campaign with different message hits each day,” said Stuart Stevens, Romney’s top 2012 strategist. “No one has brought in victims of his bankruptcies, gone to Atlantic City and held press conferences, attacked him on the cultural stuff.” ^^cxl^^

“He has boiled the entire election down to that fear in the pit of millions of stomachs that globalization is a rigged game in which Americans are marks,” wrote David Von Drehle of Time.

“Clinton allies acknowledge he is a force like no other: an utterly unpredictable candidate who has judo-flipped the entire political apparatus.”

“What I’ve been concerned about is his ability to dominate the news cycle and shape it,” observed David Brock, a former Republican journalist turned gay Democrat (apparently one of two conservatives in history to go from Right to Left, the other some guy who worked for Bush; Brock wrote that Anita Hill was “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty” for The American Spectator). “He is totally on offense, 24/7.” ^^cxli^^

David Von Drehle called his ratings power the “Tao of Trump.” Hillary knows, “I am the last person on Earth she wants to run against,” Trump said.

Veteran politicians were saying “they’ve never seen anything like his rallies – the crowds are so huge and rapt. Trump calls it love,” wrote Von Drehle. ^^cxlii^^

“Trump hasn’t dragooned supporters into believing he’s a conservative; he’s leading a willing rebellion against modern conservatism itself,” wrote Alex Altman, also in Time magazine.

“He’s one of us,” said Natalie Ventura, 44, a Navy veteran from Summerville, South Carolina. “I don’t always agree with the message, but we aren’t voting for the message. We’re voting for the messenger.”

“One of us” was a term applied to Richard Nixon, who in the film Nixon remarked that when people saw John F. Kennedy they saw what they wanted to be, but when they saw him they saw what they were. This identification was at the heart of Theodore White’s analysis of Nixon in his book The Making of the President 1972; in particular his description of the rural America crowds who showered him with love. Despite Trump’s pedigree of wealth and Ivy League education, he somehow managed to connect with average voters in a way not seen in years.

“But nobody does tribal warfare like Trump,” wrote Altman.

“It’s us-against-them politics,” said longtime Republican strategist Roger Stone, a Trump backer. “You define yourself by who your enemies are.”

“Trump has been a master of this for much of his life,” wrote Altman. “He has learned how to “sow discord for personal gain. Now the same knack for divisive rhetoric could tear the Republican Party in two, leaving Trump as the commander of a new tribe, a coalition of the disaffected.” ^^cxliii^^

Trump’s assertion that Bush had not protected the World Trade Center, and “lying” about weapons of mass destruction – all proven to be false, and therefore literal lies out of Trump’s mouth – did not hurt him because people recognized he did not say these out of unpatriotic rancor against America, which propelled most Left-wing rhetoric. Rather, they knew he was a patriot who loved the country. Whether he would be a good President was far assured; that he loved the nation and would try was known, as opposed to Obama, who hates America and actively did all he could to destroy her.

Trump’s ratings were through roof; not just on TV but via Twitter followers, Facebook “likes,” and social media. Trump called out the media for not showing the size of his crowds, which were unprecedented, greater even than Obama in 2008, when television coverage did all they could to make the attendance look even greater than it was. Democrats were hoping Democrat crossover in the primaries was a 2016 version of Limbaugh’s “operation chaos,” but it appeared they just liked Trump and were the new incarnation of “Reagan Democrats.”

“There are a lot of things that he says that are sort of against Republican orthodoxy that he’s getting criticized about that a lot of swing voters will be open to,” said David Plouffe on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program. 

“He sucks all of the oxygen out of the room. He’ll say anything about anyone any time. That’s a tough thing to deal with, as we’ve seen . . .

“He says, ‘I’m not going to throw out the Iran deal on day one,’ “ noted Plouffe. “He thinks the carried interest loophole ought to be closed. He says some things that if people can listen to him, if they can get by the bluster and bigotry, he’ll have a chance.” Plouffe, one of the architects of the Obama victory and a Hillary Clinton supporter, warned his party to take Trump very seriously. ^^cxliv^^

Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal, one of the most respected, moderately conservative columnists, was aghast at Trump, warning his party to reject him before disaster befell them. On February 23, 2016, he called out conservative talk radio for tolerating him until it was too late; in some cases still supporting him.

“Where was Mark Levin when Trump was still a big bubble waiting to be popped?” wrote Stephens. Levin was “hedging his bets” on Trump, wrote Stephens. Limbaugh and Levin “provided Mr. Trump with the margin of respectability he needed in the early months to make his campaign credible with Republican voters,” he continued.

Regarding 9/11 on Bush’s watch, Trump “sounded like any average host on MSNBC,” Limbaugh had said. He defended “Planned Parenthood in language used by the Left,” Limbaugh added.

“He sounds like a radical kook,” Levin was finally saying, but was it too late? “To have the leading Republican nominee for President of the United States to make these kind of statements – and he’s been praised by Code Pink. He should be praised by Code Pink and every Left-wing kook organization that hates America. To have him praised for what he said? Terrible. Absolutely terrible.”

“Trump can survive this,” Limbaugh said after he made a particularly egregious remark disparaging Senator McCain’s status as a war hero. “Trump is surviving this . . . The American people haven’t seen something like this in a long time. They have not seen an embattled public figure stand up for himself, double down, and tell everybody to go to hell.”

“The Republicans are impotent!” said Levin. “And now this guy, who may not be a down-the-line conservative, is standing up to them. And he’s kicking them all over the place.” ^^cxlv^^

Trump “is playing directly to authoritarian inclinations,” and the ceiling on his popularity was much higher than most analysts think, according to Matthew MacWilliams, a University of Massachusetts political scientist. He asserted that 49 percent of the GOP, 39 percent of independents, and 17 percent of Democrats responded to his “authoritarian tendencies.” This gave rise to comparisons with Adolf Hitler and the Fascist Benito Mussolini. Hitler once said that people do not wish freedom; they prefer security. The comparisons of Trump to such infamous political figures did not hurt Trump; it made him look slightly sympathetic and his critics over the top, and besides, did not America dispel Hitler’s notion of security vs. freedom? Did not conservatives prefer “rugged individualism,” a small government that stayed off their backs? ^^cxlvi^^

Didn’t we?

 

The March, 2016 issue of Newsmax carried a long piece by Marty Matalin, a longtime Republican strategist. Matalin was thought generally moderate, and in some quarters suspect because of her marriage to an avowed Clintonista and enemy of the GOP, James Carville, but in her article she displayed something not seen much of in recent years; intelligence and historical insight. In the most enlightened analysis of the Trump phenomenon this side of Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, the piece began with George Washington warning against “the baneful effects of party, generally,” which has at its root “the strongest passions of the human mind.” When allowed to, “party spirit” in its “popular form” becomes the “greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy.”

“From the execution of Socrates to the attempted decimation of Tea Party activists, their primary organizing principle is to marginalize or outright destroy ideas and people, with no regard to which ideas and people produce success and which always wreak havoc,” Matalin wrote of progressives from Saul Alinsky to Barack Obama to the Clintons, in regard to Trump. She called them “a completely, utterly, irrefutably, unsustainable philosophy of governing – in this country or any other in history.”

Unwritten but understood was the odd fact that all the progressives say needs to happen in order to make the world better, has happened, continues to happen, and exists as the thing happening in real time, since 1965! The fact these philosophies are failed simply does not register with the Left, which might give credence to Dr. Savage’s assertion that “liberalism is a mental disorder.” It was an after-shot of the exclamation that the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing that fails, always to expect a different outcome.

Echoing Limbaugh’s assertion that backlash against political correctness, in other words the way people are and inter-act, Matalin wrote the suppression of the “natural” produced Trump, continued that he “signals a rebalancing, a homeostasis to common sense . . . God-given rationality,” thus explaining the reaction to out of control immigration. Trump/Cruz and conservatism, she asserted, “emanates from the same fear that rewards individual merit and rejects a group allegiance to demonstrable failure.”

Matalin found genesis of the 2016 mania in the 2009 TARP deal, which she wrote began the “age of Trumpism.” She quoted Angelo Codevilla, a Boston University professor who identified in The American Spectator what happens when a majority realizes that nobody in power takes their objections seriously. The base of the party, identified in a sidebar of Matalin’s piece, was the Tea Party, Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and conservatives who view the $19 trillion debt TARP jumpstarted, as a threat to liberty. Beyond were a disparate group of hawks, people who see immorality in abortion/gay marriage, and then the establishment, which must adjust; this being their challenge in 2016-17.

Many on the Right need no group approval. Family equity never recovered from TARP/Obamacare. The establishment failed to understand this; Limbaugh often pointed out they protect themselves, are employed by themselves, and pay each other exorbitant speaking fees, on both sides. She compared GOP leadership to royalists “quartering and carousing with the enemy.”

The grass roots were being called “extremists, bigots, homophobes, wacko birds, and my personal favorite, tea baggers,” Matalin wrote, echoing a Marco Rubio ad. Talk radio “galloped over the hill,” while the establishment complained about them. Casualties included Congressman Eric Cantor and former House Speaker John Boehner. Trump, it was pointed out, said he and the citizenry had a right to be angry, mirroring the old “angry white male,” thought a pejorative, now a movement. This is as old as the Republic, seen over and over (Huey Long, George Wallace, Peter Finch screaming in Network, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore”). It is the DNA of America. In a sidebar, David Patten mentioned the number one complaint was the attempt by all sides to “rig the outcome,” especially against Trump.

“All men may be created equal, but not all men equally create,” Matalin continued. Talent should be rewarded, not demonized. Mark Levin talks of the “invisible hand” of capitalism, so much better than “top down planning,” which creates organic order that can be seen in things like traffic as observed from a tall building. He played the story of the making of a pencil; capitalism in a nutshell. This is De Tocquevillian Democracy. Thomas Jefferson said party’s divide between those who fear the people (Democrats/Communists) and those who have confidence in them (conservatives/Founders). The sentiments of the French Revolution can be found in the same human qualities of modern America, just fighting over different things.

“We can live with Trump,” veteran D.C. lobbyist and insider Richard F. Hohlt told the New York Times. “Do they all love Trump? No. But there’s a feeling he is not going to layer over the party or install his own person. Whereas Cruz will have his own people there.”

Trump’s political inexperience, therefore, might have made him more palatable than Cruz; Trump would use known, respected business people and intelligence/defense experts from the Reagan/Bush years, whereas Cruz would have a lot of new names to confirm. Matalin further pointed out that the incredible failures of the Democrat Party would possibly outweigh Republican misadventures.

“To be sure, the conventional wisdom had underestimated the staying power of Trump and his precursor, the Tea Party strength, at every stage of the game. That’s because they are attributing the attraction of both men, rather than an ideal.”

Trump may be the “town crier” of the Tea Party. The question she asked was whether he would also be the one to cross “the Delaware.”

“No amount of destabilization, destruction, or despair can quell mankind’s quest for self-determination . . .

“What we’re seeing in 2016 is the politics of creative destruction,” Matalin wrote, adding the verse from Ecclesiastes that ”the sun will come out tomorrow.”

Matalin concluded with the hopeful John Adams/Thomas Jefferson example of how the GOP can come back together. ^^cxlvii^^

 

“It is abundantly clear that this primary season has challenged the rulers of both parties in historic ways,” wrote Dick Morris, in the March 16, 2016 edition of Newsmax, but many Republicans found little comfort in anything he said anymore. He had GOP hopes of a huge Romney win over Obama in 2012 up, right until Election Day, only to be proven dead wrong.

Trump was threatening to create an LBJ-style 1964 coalition. In that landslide victory, the former Texas segregationist had the support of civil rights leader and the votes of the KKK, still controlled by the Democratic Party. The nation was so bad after Obama it could not get worse, reasoned millions. In the film Milius, director Michael Mann (Ali) spoke of how after the fall of the studio system, the audience had left Hollywood, so young film school graduates suddenly were being hired.

“The way people get out of slumps is by making some radical choices, it’s the radical choice that becomes the hit, that pulls everything out of a slump, it’s not by being conventional,” he said. He might as well have been speaking of Trump.

Limbaugh often points out something New York Times film critic Pauline Kael said after Richard Nixon won 49 states and over 60 percent of the vote in 1972.

“How could Nixon have won?” she asked. “Nobody I know voted for him.” Many people were unable to see Trump’s gift; they knew nobody supporting him, but that did not mean nobody supported him!

Events in the real world continued to augment Trump’s argument. He wanted to ban illegal immigration; an illegal killed a beautiful white girl in San Francisco, which was ignored by Obama, who only seemed to identify with black criminals killed by cops or nefarious immoralists making up his constituency. Every time Trump spoke of stopping the importation of Muslims into the U.S., or going hard after terror, an American or European city would blow up. When Muslim immigrants, not rounded up by the Belgian security due to political correctness, exploded a large bomb in Brussels, Obama was doing the wave at a baseball game, in the company of the Communist dictator Raul Castro, who with his brother was responsible for some 1 million murders over the years.

Obama agreed with Castro’s allegations against America, and made a speech in Havana accusing America of racism because of miscegenation laws that existed before his birth. The optics of all this perfectly explained Obama. Newt Gingrich told Fox News that he was the “first anti-American President” Callers to Levin’s program echoed the sentiment. One called him “a disgrace.”

Where Limbaugh accurately gauged Trump’s popularity was a reaction to political correctness, Dr. Savage was equally brilliant when he declared, “The ‘silent majority’ is not silent anymore.” What was happening was “revenge,” against a coterie of liberal enemies holding patriotic Americans down; revenge against the “TV mockers . . .” who he called “vermin” for breaking down patriotic sentiment for decades, telling the young their country was not good, their history a lie.

When told the Castros had killed a million, Mao Tse-tung 70 million, many liberal Americans indoctrinated by public education bitterly asked, “How many people did America kill?”

The answer, conservatives would say, was “60 million.”

The number of aborted babies since Roe v. Wade.

Movements spurred by Georg Wilhelm Hegel and Jean-Paul Sarte were brought up, with Trump representing the opposite to this form of existentialism. He was “reality,” the Tom Berenger character in Platoon.

“If you want to understand the angry support for Donald Trump, seek out your local German Idealist philosopher,” wrote Ralph Peters. “And to help you face your own responsibility, contact your friendly neighborhood Existentialist . . .

 

Hegel offered one of our most valuable insights into the individual and his relationship to society: the concept of Anerkennung, or ‘recognition.’ Simply put, Hegel proposed that all humans crave recognition from other humans. He didn’t mean they expected adulation, but only that the individual requires the validation he receives when other men acknowledge his shared humanity (however humble his station). The janitor would like you to say, “Good morning!” as you rush past.

Donald Trump possessed the genius to grasp the craving for recognition in a huge swath of the electorate ignored or actively insulted by the (previously) reigning political parties. Dismissed by the custodians of wealth; badgered by the politically correct; and taken for granted by those who make our laws; forgotten millions were ripe for Trump’s message — which reduces neatly to “You matter!

Those of us who value developed ideas miss Trump’s essence. His stage persona embodies the anger of those who feel left behind, who feel threatened, who feel cheated, and who feel the basic human need to blame somebody else, whether a horned devil or a government, for their disappointments. The unnerving dynamism of a Trump-for-President rally comes from the symbiosis between the would-be candidate’s narcissism (the need for recognition run amok), fed enthusiastically by the crowd, and his willingness to absolve the crowd’s members of social or personal guilt (Trump’s cadenced repetitions are those of a skillful preacher). Whereas other candidates, of either party, ask us to blame ourselves or take responsibility, Trump tells his followers “Nothing’s your fault. It’s them, it’s them, it’s them.”

Trump gives his supporters recognition by the private plane-load. In turn, his enchanted acolytes have no ears for his contradictions, hypocrisy, and vacuity. Nothing matters except the cult-like faith of those who believe that, at last, a candidate speaks on their behalf — and offers them that lip-smacking dish, revenge.

The greatest mistake political commentators have made in regard to Trump has been to believe that logic and substance must triumph. Populist movements are never about the rational side of existence. They’re about the inchoate revolt of the unrecognized. The great mass movements of the 20th century had varying degrees of ideological coherence, but all appealed viscerally to the “forgotten man.”

We, the fortunate, created Trump when we failed to shake the hand of the repairman.

To collectivize and simplify a message of Existentialist philosophy, our humanity lies in our freedom to choose. Attacked by a furious dog, we still have the choice of fighting back, attempting to placate the beast, or running away. Our choices when assailed by life’s dilemmas validate our worth as human beings.

But the odious Sartre and admirable Camus also recognized that the reality of our lives, from laws to family ties, constrains our choices — we do not exist in isolation. But when the constraints become intolerable — when the walls close in — the individual of character rebels, despite the consequences.

The political, intellectual, financial, and cultural elites of the United States of America intolerably constrained the choices available to tens of millions of citizens they disdained. The political parties gave only the illusion of choice. The intelligentsia mocked the white working man and the working woman without a college degree (feminists must be slender and articulate). Financial elites exploited and discarded the paycheck poor. And our cultural elites championed those who live on government handouts while stereotyping the working class and lower-middle class as boorish, benighted, and bigoted.

How can believing Christians support Trump, whose demonstrated values run counter to every teaching of the Sermon on the Mount? For those weary of unanswered prayers, he offers an electoral catharsis, an End of Days for unacceptable compromises in Congress.

In all these cases, those in power mocked, badgered, and dismissed the many who now imagine a savior in Trump. We refused to recognize the validity of our fellow citizens who couldn’t afford a Tesla. We did our best to deny our fellow Americans a public voice and reasonable choices. So we should not be surprised when they shout in support of an unreasonable choice.

Now the rest of us, we who, with a muttered curse, race past the battered pick-up blocking traffic, may face a terrible choice of our own in November. ^^cxlviii^^

 

On March 21, 2016 Limbaugh made a very simple, yet very brilliant point: Trump’s support came from the Tea Party. They had pre-cursored him, now he was what they were. He explained them better than anybody had.

“One can disdain everything the Tea Party stands for, but you cannot be anything but admiring about what they have accomplished,” observed Dan Cantor, the national director of Working Families Party, hoping liberals can replicate it (Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter “proved” it cannot happen in America). “They’re incredibly powerful as an organization.” ^^cxlix^^

If Trump were to start or be the cause of a third party, this threatened to make him an “enemy of America” in the eyes of Republicans, as Ross Perot is thought to be. In the film Lawrence of Arabia, the General Edmund Allenby character said of Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence that he was “riding the whirlwind.” Pick your metaphor. Some might say Trump had a “tiger by the tail,” or the “tail was wagging the dog.” Whether Trump was really in control of what he had created was not yet determined. The term General Allenby used is Biblical; it refers to the Book of Revelation, of events beyond human ability to dictate. The Republican Party certainly was not in control of this particular “whirlwind.”

But as spring came, it became increasingly possible that Trump was the main cause of a coming disaster. In a year in which every single indicator, every historical factor – a terrible Democrat President (Obama) and an equally lousy Democrat Presidential candidate (Hillary or Sanders) – might have favored Republicans, yet their ability to blow it was on greater display than ever before. Many conservatives in the media openly wondered whether the party elites preferred Hillary. It was nothing less than insane, and yet it was a slow-speed train wreck everybody seemed powerless to stop it.

Newsmax magazine ran a long analysis about “The Apocalypse,” openly offering the possibility that all of the terrible events ushered by 9/11 and then Barack Hussein Obama were in fact signs of the End Times, including the 15-year old Israeli boy returned from clinical death who said he had met the Maschiac (Messiah), warning that Obama was “Gog and Magog” (the anti-Christ). ^^cl^^

That article basically said that a chaotic campaign, caused largely by Trump, was out of the hands of Mankind; that God would bring about the end on His terms. It also pointed out, however, that the Muslim Shiites of Iran believe it is their duty to bring about a man-caused Apocalypse (via nuclear weapons); that Iran considers its mullahs the protectors of this cause until the return of “the Mahdi”; and of course it was Obama who worked out the political deal allowing them to have said nuclear weapons.

More and more, the media was “blaming” conservative talk radio for Trump’s rise. “I am not going to support anyone who engages in assassination by innuendo,” Michael Savage was by writer Nick Corasaniti in the New York Times. This referred to a recent dispute between Trump and Senator Cruz over tabloid placement of scandalous marital stories.

Savage was Trump’s greatest supporter. Trump listened to his show and took his advice. Savage had long said that Republicans who were “afraid” to come on his show, lest they be tainted by controversial allegations of racism or extremism, were setting themselves up for defeat. McCain and Romney – after a brief private flirtation with Savage – had not appeared nor heeded much if any of Savage’s advice. Both lost races they should have won against a very beatable Obama (“landslidable” in 2012, according to Limbaugh). Cruz had chosen to disdain Savage up to this point, and he too was on the verge of defeat.

While Savage and Trump “made up” shortly thereafter in a “fawning” interview, the article pointed out that if somebody like Savage was ready to turn on Trump, there was little hope he would maintain the support he had enjoyed up to then.

“Long a powerful and potent agitator of right-wing politics, conservative radio hosts are one of the few forces that can sway the opinions of the Trump electorate,” wrote Corasaniti. “And with Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz now tearing each other — and the party — apart, the biggest names in the field are delicately navigating how to address Mr. Trump’s latest provocations without alienating listeners.”

“Talk radio has a really unique way of being able to penetrate its way into Republican primary politics around the country,” said Doug Heye, a Republican strategist and deputy chief of staff for former Representative Eric Cantor. If leading conservative hosts united in opposition to Trump, Heye said, “in theory, it could absolutely hurt him, in part because that’s where a lot of his supporters are.”

Corasaniti wrote that Limbaugh elevated Cruz and Rubio, saying Cruz was “the closest in our lifetimes we have ever been to Ronald Reagan,” while defending Rubio against charges of amnesty for illegals. Limbaugh had walked a tightrope for months, however, refusing to condemn Trump as Beck and National Review long had done, and Levin had begun to do early in 2016. Trump, said Limbaugh, had struck “a nerve in this country,” which he certainly had done. Levin was quoted by the Times calling Trump’s rhetoric “stupid talk.” Beck was aghast that any Christian could defend Trump, yet many evangelicals already had. Trump had defeated Cruz in evangelical-heavy early primaries, the greatest source of his strength and delegate lead by April. This was a true conundrum, but Trump had defended Christianity, on Biblical display as it was facing prophetic persecution by the Islamic State, not to mention calling the Pope out for saying Trump’s stance on immigration was not Christian.

“But Mr. Trump’s candidacy forced a realignment,” wrote Corasaniti. “Mr. Savage routinely has Mr. Trump on his show and condemns Mr. Cruz as ‘an insider.’ He sees Mr. Trump as galvanizing disaffected voters who have both powered his strong ratings for decades and been ignored by previous Republican nominees.”

“He’s speaking to the demographic of the electorate that has been ignored and castigated,” Mr. Savage said in an interview. “That’s what I see.”

“Who am I to come in and tell them to vote for this person?” Sean Hannity asked in an interview, referring to his listeners. “I don’t think I serve them well that way.” Hannity warned that any effort to deny Trump if he came close to the 1,237 majority of delegates would be the downfall of the Republican Party.

“If they try to steal this nomination or disenfranchise the voters, it would be the end of the Republican Party,” he said. “I guarantee you, it’s over . . . Trump supporters are walking. If it’s Cruz, Cruz supporters are walking. And they’re not coming back. And I’ll walk with them.”

“There are a lot of purists out there who, if they don’t get everything checked off on their little bucket list,” then they say “take your pail and go home,” said Laura Ingraham. “Come to the real world.” Beck called Trump “a clown.”

“The rule of talk radio is always ‘Don’t get ahead of your listener,’ ” said Rick Tyler, a political analyst on MSNBC and former communications director for the Cruz campaign. “You can educate the listener, and you can bring them along.”

“Our principles are our only things that have kept us going and going on our air,” Beck argued. “And if you abandon your principles for interest, you’re done.” ^^cli^^

After the article appeared, Savage seemed quite pleased with himself. He grew up a literary man. His father, he said, was an avid newspaper reader, and Savage regularly read the New York Times and The New Yorker. To see his name in print in these august publications – even though they were liberal – was validation for him. Oddly, these and other supposedly “enemy” newspapers and magazines had gone out of their way to be fair to Savage. The New Yorker profile of him from several years earlier was downright positive, and Savage liked being called a “potent agitator of Right-wing politics,” which had described him in a flattering photo accompanying the story.

But Savage’s self-satisfied on-air comments energized the odd kabuki theatre long exercised by the idiosyncratic San Francisco host and his archenemy from Philadelphia, the “principled Constitutionalist,” Mark Levin. In 2010, Savage entertained an article written after Scott Brown was elected to the “Ted Kennedy seat” in Massachusetts. Titled “Repudiation of the criminal Barack Hussein Obama,” Savage had said it was “an excellent article,” but agreed to post it on his web site, michaelsavage.com, only if a sentence crediting Levin as an “influential” conservative radio host be excised. ^^clii^^

Levin “savaged” Savage on air for loving to read his name in “the ‘New York slimes.’ ” As usual, he did not name him by name. Only dedicated talk radio listeners knew who he was talking about. Savage did not regularly engage in this battle on air, telling only confidantes how much he despised Levin. Levin called Savage a narcissist, going against career principles just to support one candidate. But as the Times piece pointed out, if he was losing enthusiasm for Trump, it would likely be the end for Trump. Savage’s power was immense; perhaps this was what frustrated Levin so much. Levin often rambled about how much he “wished” he could reveal his impressive on-air ratings, which apparently were not generally available or known; meanwhile Savage routinely claimed to be beating his competition.

Bret Stephens, the principled, mainstream conservative, had long chastised his own party for supporting Trump, and on March 29 wrote, “Trump is Obama Squared.” In that column he pointed out the similarities between Trump and the President. This was a different tack. By 2016, a huge portion of America, having experienced seven-going-on-eight years of Obama, decided whatever it is he was, he stood for, believed in, represented; whatever policies he endorsed or methods he used to govern; America wanted the polar opposite of that. They wanted the “anti-Obama.”

Trump was supposedly the “anti-Obama.” Obama was an enigma, his past hidden, his associations kept in the shadows, his philosophies unknown. Nobody knew books he read, who his heroes or inspirations were. He was a nobody from nowhere.

Trump was the most well-known, well-recognized celebrity on the planet. Everything about Donald Trump was known, had been exposed in the New York tabloids since the early 1980s, and he was an open book.

Obama was a Marxist, maybe a full Communist like his mentor Frank Marshall Davis. Perhaps he was even a KGB plant or an evil figure prophesied by the Bible. Trump was a total capitalist advocating a return to Christianity and revenge for those martyred by the Islamic State. Obama had accomplished zero. Trump was one of the great businessmen in history. Obama appeared to be on the side of the Islamists. Trump bordered on xenophobia in his efforts to secure the country from Muslim jihad. Obama seemed to despise America, thinking she was immoral, racist and illegitimate, the product of stolen, ill-gotten gains. Trump loved his country unconditionally and wanted to “make America great again.” Trump was one of those guys “Wild Bill” Donovan picked to form the early OSS because he wanted patriots so personally invested in the future of the U.S. that their loyalty was unconditional. Obama would have failed an application to West Point because of his radical past.

Despite these huge discrepancies, Stephens attempted to find linkage. “The President and the Donald are two epic narcissists . . .” he wrote. This was entirely accurate. It would be hard to figure who was more in love with themselves, although Trump had accomplishments justifying this attitude. Obama had none.

“Both men see themselves as movement leaders,” Stephens continued. “Both are prone to telling fairy tales about their lives and careers.”

This was partially correct. Both were movement leaders. Obama did indeed tell fables about who he wanted people to think he was. Stephens was referring to Trump’s varied business failings, but missed an essential American point in this regard. Trump was the epitome of American entrepreneurialism. Like Steve Jobs and many others he had failed and rebounded. This is part of the American success mythology, applicable to sports figures like Babe Ruth, John Elway and Peyton Manning, among others.

Both, Stephens asserted, “believe they are better than anyone else.” Yes on both men. He wrote that in the 21st Century old optics of success, honesty and achievement were replaced by hordes of people who heard what they wanted to hear. In the case of Obama, they were virtually insane. He advocated policies that only he could institute to make America great; in fact they were old policies in place already for half a century with a dismal record of failure. Insanity is to believe these old policies would suddenly be a success.

Both men were “cult of personality” figures. People projected their hopes onto both men. “They both bend reality to suit their conveniences and conceits,” Stephens wrote. Finally, Stephens wrote that the same miscalculation of political constituencies that elevated Obama were now elevating Trump. He did not discount the possibility Trump could be elected President. ^^cliii^^

On March 31, Daniel Henninger wrote a frightening column in the Wall Street Journal. Whether Henninger realized it or not, he was digging into something dark and conspiratorial; something ripping at the souls of decent Americans for years. Something people long suspected but could not truly grasp what exactly it was. The piece was titled “Obama’s Greatest Triumph,” and in it Henninger wrote that Obama had achieved his goal of splitting the GOP in two, perhaps disintegrating it forever. Proof of this, he wrote, was the rise of Trump, an unconventional “Republican,” perhaps not a real “conservative.” The voters distrusted the Republican establishment. The Right was turning on themselves. Meanwhile, Obama was achieving his goals; the goals of the post-World War II Democratic Party since Harry Truman’s call for socialized medicine. Henninger did not write that Obama had murdered Antonin Scalia, as Michael Savage was openly suggesting on his show, but he pointed out that without his fifth conservative vote, a coterie of Left-wing causes were allowed to become law in 2016. Two Republican landslides had not stopped Obama, and a Trump candidacy threatened not just the White House but also the Senate.

“Barring a miracle in Cleveland, they likely are six months away from losing two of those three plus the Supreme Court,” wrote Henninger, a regular on Fox News as well. According to the column, the Reagan legacy was in dire peril. Many good people were being “ostracized” by angry Republican voters, while Obama sat back with his “Cheshire cat grin.” Henninger described America’s “death spiral,” detailing Obama’s destruction in chronological order. The Democrats were able to stay together; the GOP fractured even while winning two massive midterms. ^^cliv^^

What Henninger had written, even without fully understanding it, was of a historical referendum. In 2009 Rush Limbaugh said, “I hope he fails.” Obama had not failed. Henninger’s piece was proof positive. But the nasty truth is that Obama did not “succeed” by “improving” America. He “succeeded” in leading it down some very terrible steps towards her destruction. Senator Rubio had partially understood all of this when he exclaimed that everything Obama had done was “intentional.” Michael Savage understood this dynamic better than anybody. Whether he simply felt constrained from stating such truth or not was heretofore known, but Obama was either a traitor or simply governed like one. All in plain sight. He had effectively ushered his party – they had been on this path since FDR, Alger Hiss, and Vietnam – into simply adopting “treason” as their politics. What got “Red Emma” Goldman and Ezra Pound thrown in jail was now party orthodoxy.

This had been an organic occurrence. It was not the result of Mikhail Gorbachev or Vladimir Putin or any other Communist leader circa 1989-90 getting together and planning it out, yet it was a triumph of Communism. History is fluid and not “over,” as Francis Fukuyama tried to state around that period. What Obama wrought and what America is in 2016-17 may not be what she is in 2030 or 2050, but in many ways nobody living today will likely see the resurrection of the U.S. If lucky our grandchildren might see it, but the debt, approaching $20 trillion and rising steadily with unfunded liabilities approaching $200 trillion, is a noose hanging around our necks that cannot be undone. Only a massive event like World War III, complete with an American victory costing some 400,000 U.S. lives, offers some kind of change in this scenario, and nobody would hope for such a thing. Besides, America is so weakened by Obama, it is doubtful she would win World War III. An enemy from within, probably already implanted by Obama, would likely prevent such victory, anyway.

But Communism, the most evil political ideology in all history – the preferred governing “policy” of Satan? – has not been stamped out. Now it has found its way into the American system. Everything the House Un-American Activities Committee warned was subversively being taught is now standard political correctness, its teachers being Hollywood, public schools, elite academia, and government regulatory organizations. Limbaugh accurately noted that “global warming” filtered into the consciousness after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and it has fueled the one-world government goals of Communism that embody themselves today in the form of the United Nations and the European Union. Even the Pope, once a staunch anti-Communist who helped win the Cold War, is now a Socialist.

These are not merely short-term policy victories won by Barack Hussein Obama between 2009 and 2016, as Daniel Henninger wrote. Rather, they are the victories of evil over righteousness happening right before our eyes. Obama is the puppet master of this grand horrendousness, but there are many adherents, some witting, some unwitting. Obama is undoubtedly among the witting. Some day humanity will wake up to what he is and rue our failure in fighting such a thing, as we failed to stop Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung.

Among those who rue their failings will not be the conservative talk hosts who, like John the Baptist crying in the wilderness, have called this out for years, yet even they have allowed themselves to be divided. Glenn Beck, one of the first to recognize Obama as a Communist, had long been trashed by Michael Savage and now was being trashed by half the GOP for actively opposing Trump. Somehow the Right had been diverted from going after the real enemy – Obamaism – and instead were fighting amongst themselves, like the enemies of Hitler, Stalin and Mao of old, while Obama maintained what Henninger called his “Cheshire cat grin.”

 

On April 5 Limbaugh, by now stating he was correct “99.7 percent of the time,”
demonstrated for the millionth time just why his is the most popular and powerful show in all of media. First he played a sound bite of the liberal Joy Behar on The View, in which she disparaged Limbaugh by pointing out that Rush once said America would not want to watch a woman age in front of their eyes over four or seven years. This was a reference to Hillary, who was aging in front of America’s eyes at that time in real time.

The crowd booed and hissed Limbaugh; this was the so-called “war on women” that in 2012 was represented by Sandra Fluke, who apparently needed so many rubbers to handle her ”needs” that only the federal government could afford it. Paying $9.75 at CVS Pharmacy was, as Sean Hannity and Limbaugh pointed out, too great a hardship.

Then Limbaugh reached into his trusty archives and came across tape of Whoopi Goldberg during the Obama-Clinton campaign saying the same thing Limbaugh had supposedly said. The African-American Goldberg, a strong Obama fan, indeed did say America would not want to watch Hillary age for eight years. Limbaugh’s comments had been in response to Goldberg’s, and in fact were a kind a defense of Hillary. It was the opposite of what Behar was saying, and of course why Limbaugh calls himself “America’s truth detector.”

In the mean time, America watched the women of The View age before their eyes. In real time.

 

Prior to the suddenly very important New York primaries, close races on both the Democrat and Republican sides, the influential Peggy Noonan chimed in. A former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan who wrote a loving memoir of the former President, Noonan could be counted as an “establishment” Republican, moderately conservative, and full of common sense. Only a few years earlier, she was what the Right stood for. Now she was in a camp, self-segregated from the ideological purists, of which Mark Levin and maybe even Ted Cruz could be included. Her weekly column appeared every Saturday in the Wall Street Journal, must-read opinion among the D.C. and Manhattan intelligentsia. She figured out early that Obama was a nothing man, an “empty suit,” to use a Michael Savage phrase. She also did not like Trump or what he stood for, but in her piece (“New York’s Vote Matters for a Change”), Noonan came close to understanding the phenomenon playing out every day before our eyes.

“There’s nothing easy about Mr. Trump,” she wrote. “He leaves his supporters’ hearts in their mouths. He leaves his enemies happy then self-doubting, triumphant then fatalistic. But what we have witnessed the past few weeks is his deflation, a real one, and the worst kind: It was all his fault. It wasn’t the anti-Trump forces and it wasn’t Ted Cruz, it was his lax, louche indiscipline.” ^^clv^^

There it was. Trump would no doubt dismiss such commentary. Noonan was not somebody he “respected.” “Nobody reads” newspapers (the Wall Street Journal was still doing well, an exception). This paper or that was “going out of business.” Unless the coverage was fawning, Trump hammered it. It was black or white with him, and this was his Achilles heel.

He did not need to do it that way! Or, as Noonan wrote, “It was all his fault.” Mark Levin had tried to like him. As influential as any talk host in the Obama years, the voice of the “new Right,” the purists, it was when Levin turned on him early in 2016 that Trump’s support slowly began to chip away. If Trump had just been a gentleman, played it smart, laid off all the other Republicans, he probably would have had the nomination sewed up heading into his home state. Instead he faced a contested convention and the very real possibility all those he be-littled and made fun of would get sweet revenge, all to the very possible detriment of the Republican Party. If so, then the country. It would be the awful Hillary or the quasi-Communist Bernie Sanders. Obamaism would be embedded as Roosevelt’s New Deal was. Living Americans would not experience recovery. All in a year the GOP had the wind at their backs, an election theirs to take by landslide, but no, they were going to blow it, and Noonan saw that it was Trump blowing it loudest and hardest. It was a slow speed train wreck.

****

Using athletic metaphors in politics only goes so far, but it does tend to galvanize something, or as Rush Limbaugh says, makes the “complex understandable.” Donald Trump, it seemed, could not be brought low. No matter how crass, no matter his lies, he continued to win; on the Atlantic Seaboard, in the heartland, and even with evangelical Christians. The best “answer” for this phenomenon might be that evangelicals actually believe Obama and Hillary to be evil, as in Satanic evil, and whatever is needed to destroy such immorality is suddenly okay with them!

After sweeping the Northeast, easily capturing New York state, and finally vanquishing Senator Ted Cruz in Indiana – Cruz’s “last stand” – he sewed up the Republican nomination, forcing Cruz’s capitulation. Headed into the home stretch and an uncontested California primary, he now appeared to have the necessary delegates to capture the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

But the sports analogy is worth studying. Take for instance the 2005 Texas Longhorns. This was a great college football team led by a superstar quarterback, Vince Young. They were unbeaten and won the national title. In the pantheon of collegiate football, they rank near the very top of all-time great teams. Why? Why are the 2005 Longhorns rated ahead of, say, the 2009 Alabama Crimson Tide, or the 1976 Pittsburgh Panthers, or the 1969 Longhorns, all unbeaten teams who won national championships?

Because the 2005 Longhorns defeated a USC team at the Rose Bowl that was considered, until they were beaten, the greatest college football dynasty in history; a team with a 34-game winning streak, having won three of the last four Heisman Trophies, going for an unprecedented third straight national title.

Trump had defeated a man, Senator Ted Cruz, who was eminently qualified to be President. He was a solid conservative, incredibly intelligent, with a superb education and grasp of the U.S. Constitution. He was the anti-Obama in that Cruz had accomplished great things, whereby Obama accomplished nothing.

Not to mention former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in past years the man who most likely would have won the nomination; or Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who was attractive, articulate and a star of the party. The GOP roster was deep and strong, but Trump had beaten won of the great fields in recent elections. He had done what the 2005 Texas Longhorns had done and thus, when the dust cleared after Indiana, risen far above his previous place in the pantheon.

He also had momentum. While Hillary Clinton stumbled and lost, including an embarrassing defeat to Bernie Sanders in Indiana, it was Trump who now had a winning streak resembling the 1969 New York Mets or 1951 New York Giants. In a very short matter of time, the perspective of Donald Trump changed dramatically.

But Trump’s triumph en route to the GOP nomination was every bit a triumph for Dr. Michael Savage, on several levels. Savage started locally in San Francisco in 1994-95, and after some five years went national. His ratings by 2009 were out of this world, approaching Limbaugh. He has maintained a high profile and is particularly popular on the Internet. But Savage has always separated himself. He is conservative, yet he is not conservative in an orthodox way. He undoubtedly is quite different from Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, and particularly Mark Levin.

Levin maintained a “wait and see” attitude towards Trump throughout 2015 leading to the primaries, but viciously turned on him, even after Trump locked up the nomination. Limbaugh stayed neutral, fair and analytical. Hannity and O’Reilly could not contain their New York rooting interest in Trump, who certainly helped their TV ratings. Glenn Beck was forced to grit and gnash his teeth.

But Trump’s triumph was Savage’s triumph. It was Savage who backed him wholeheartedly. He replayed a 2011 interview in which he expressed admiration for Trump as a businessman who might be our only hope against Obama, well on his way to destroying America. By 2016, Obama had destroyed the country, economically and morally. It was a fallen empire, a cultural rot. The chances anybody could fix the damage Obama wrought were remote, but only a long shot, a totally unorthodox figure, according to a majority of the Republican voters at least, had any chance to turn it around in any appreciable way. Savage represented this way of thinking.

Oddly, after Trump locked it all up in Indiana, Savage took it in stride “Sort of anti-climatic,” he said. “Sensed he would be the nominee for months.” He called Cruz “a pest.” ^^clvi^^

It also represented a huge “victory” over Mark Levin, but Savage revealed why he had not responded to Levin’s constant coded bashing. “I don’t want to start a war,” he said. ^^clvii^^ This was telling; why start a war when it appeared he already had won it?

“Long before Trump’s arrival on the scene, it was conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, the ideological godfather of ‘Trumpism,’ who galvanized this insurgency,” wrote Robert Hennelly in Salon.com. “Savage gave it a voice and a powerful narrative, one that proved extremely helpful to those, like iconoclastic Senator Ted Cruz, who rose to prominence taking on the very same GOP beltway insiders that Donald Trump is now making so nervous.” ^^clviii^^

Hennelly continued that Savage’s program was both one of the “most addictive” and “least predictable” on the air, an apt observation.

Savage said things to Trump like: “In a world of malleable, changeable positions, we are like mountains, Donald. And they don’t like mountains, they want to grind us down into sand.” ^^clix^^

Or sometimes he would toss him some softball, like “You must have been a heck of a street fighter in Queens, because you know how to get a guy on the ground and really let him have it, Donald.”

“It’s the effortless, undecorated B.S. of two guys who’ve figured out how to game anger, to turn the disenfranchised white conservative individual into the disenfranchised white conservative mob,” wrote Kaleb Horton in MTV.com. “My audience is your core,” Savage told Trump in January, 2016. “You know that. We’ve been with you before others jumped in when they saw you might win.”

“There’s another thing you can tell, if you listen to either of them long enough: These guys know it’s their day,” continued Horton. “They know their time has come . . .

“Savage was a problem for the GOP establishment. Trump is a problem for the GOP establishment. If you hang around the mainstream political arena too long, you’ll begin to think both men are grotesques that cannot be celebrated nor possibly draw enough crowds and followers to elicit comment. But neither man is a problem for those angry people in those certain towns — you remember them, the ones three careless sentences away from saying ‘those goddamn Mexicans,’ and there are a lot of those people out there. You make yourself blind.”

“Hispanics swill vote for Trump because the Hispanic culture is a macho culture,” said Savage. “Men don’t like reporting to a woman. It’s just the way the culture is.

In addressing just what exactly Trump’s appeal was, perhaps – and fittingly – it is Michael Savage who explains it best.

“I watch a lot of historical documentaries,” he stated. “Nothing infuriates me more than when I watch all these white men who defeated Hitler and Japan. The ‘Eddies,’ the ‘everyman’ who defeated the ‘superman.’ The sacrifice they made for this nation, to make us the greatest on Earth, and then I think what Obama has done to us, how white men are the last political enemy it is fair game to disparage and put down. All the sacred cows who must have their rear ends kissed, but the ‘Eddies’ who won the war are called racists.

“Now . . . finally, we have a man speaking up for us, and that is why he resonates. That about summarizes my point.” ^^clx^^

Savage was a man singularly acquainted with the rise of Trump, and whether Trump meant to or not, he was increasingly seen as the “great white hope.” But this was not merely an American phenomenon. It was increasingly a global movement, and in this Savage’s role cannot be diminished. He was the man who cheered Western Civilization, and it was in liberal Europe where conservative parties were on the rise in response to rampant immigration, the European Union, and a loss of traditional identity. Europeans were burdened by history, most recently the Nazis and the Communists, white genocidalists, but pride in themselves, suppressed for so long, was coming back. Repudiation of Obama, who found such philosophy jingoistic and immoral, was slowly becoming a wave. In America, a nation uniquely not burdened by a Holocaust, but instead proud to have been the ones who brought it to an end, Trump and Savage were riding it.

 

Heading into the 2016 general elections, the Republicans were a divided party, but every indication again favored them, just as it did in 2012. The cautionary tale remained: never underestimate their ability to blow it. In 2015 for the first time in a decade, Republican voter registration was greater than the Democrats. Ratings for Republican debates and turnout for Republican primaries was far greater than the Democrats. It was their year, their election to lose.

Meanwhile, Michael Savage continued to extol the virtues of traditional European male virility, touting a TV show called The Vikings and the work of the UFC. Liberals continue to fret over the fact that 90 percent of the greatest things ever done by humans were done by white males who probably either had no real respect for blacks or were outright slave owners

Whether there will ever be a “winner of history,” some combination of American conservatism meshed with Christianity laced with De Tocquevillian principles; something that lasts not an election cycle but a century; something that saves America from debt and treachery; this remains to be seen. If it does happen, history will remember its original scribes as the American conservatives of talk radio!

Conservative talk radio stands tall today. It has outlasted its enemies. While Rush Limbaugh and the others maintain their mighty position as Colossuses on the America stage, the likes of Al Gore, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama; soon Al Franken, Debbie ““Blabbermouth” Schultz, Maxine Waters, Rahm Emmanuel, and Nancy Pelosi; all will be deposited into what Reagan called the “ash heap of history,” where the U.S.S.R. so rightfully ended up.

The end.

 

is father His fasther Dustcover

 

“Let me tell you where I was the first time I heard you.” Almost daily, one of Rush Limbaugh’s 20 million listeners tells a similar story; they were driving their car on a freeway, on a familiar street, they heard him on a friend’s radio, and from there “my life has never been the same.” President Bill Clinton complained whenever he made a pronouncement, Limbaugh had a platform to refute it within 24 hours. President-elect Barack Obama gathered together conservative columnists days before his Inauguration in an effort to usurp the influence of Limbaugh. A substantial portion of the Republican Party routinely advises its constituents “not to listen to Limbaugh.” In 2016, after nearly eight years of Obama, the United States of America is more divided and hateful than it has been at least since Vietnam and the Civil War; in many ways worse. Race relations are at an all-time low. A large percentage of the chattering class blamed Rush Limbaugh.

In 1979, the great author and historian David Halberstam wrote his seminal book on the American news media, The Powers That Be. Since that time, the nature of journalism has changed drastically with the rise of computers, cable TV, the Internet, smart phones and social media. The giants of journalism have seen their influence wane drastically; some have been driven out of business, yet what Rush Limbaugh started when he went national in 1988 continues to grow and grow and grow. Many others have successfully followed in Limbaugh’s footsteps, creating an entire cottage industry known as “conservative talk radio.” Without Limbaugh, Fox News likely never would have been formed.

Right-wing radio is uniquely American; there is little evidence that this phenomenon exists in England or Australia or any other industrialized Western Democracy, at least not close to the U.S. version. Attempts by liberals to duplicate it have failed miserably. Traditional media opposing the conservative model has little audience in comparison, but has been replaced by what Limbaugh calls the “dominant media culture”: Hollywood, the comedy circuit, academia, public schools and underground anarchists. The result has been what commentators Patrick Buchanan and Bill O’Reilly refer to as the “culture wars.”

In a country so divided, there is plenty of blame to go around. The great question is whether what Limbaugh has wrought is the legitimate source of that blame. Pontius Pilate once asked Jesus Christ, “What is truth?” Inherent in that statement is the essential fact that man is corrupted by lies.

 

This book begins with a chapter on the seminal moment in journalism history, when Time’s Theodore White disobeyed publisher Henry Luce and published stories about Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang-kai Shek’s corruption and military failures. In light of the fact that some 20-plus years later, Mao-tse Tung murdered most of the 70 million who perished in Red China after Chiang’s defeat, the morality of White’s “truth” and Luce’s “propaganda” is worthy of debate.

The modern chasm encompasses unbridgeable divides over illegal immigration, the relationship of cops and the black underclass, gay marriage, religion, global warming, attitudes toward Islam, economic inequality, capitalism itself, and the role of America in the world, creating a battle over the literal interpretation of our history. Is this the fault of conservative talk radio?

This book examine Rush Limbaugh’s improbable popularity, and the 1994 Republican mid-term sweeps, a direct refutation of President Clinton’s first two years in office. Since then disparate voices such as G. Gordon Liddy, Ken Hamblin, Michael Reagan, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin have developed huge audiences. Each is extremely unique. None are copycats. Each are profiled.

But have they created as much energy to oppose them as have supported them? Limbaugh emerged just in time to “take credit” for Vice-President George H.W. Bush’s hard-earned victory over Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, and the 1994 mid-term sweeps, but he was unable to prevent Bill Clinton from winning twice. Conservative media was again seen as the impetus of enormous Republican gains from 2000 to 2004, but was rendered John the Baptist crying in the Wilderness from 2006 to 2012. Is it all just sound and fury? Does reaction merely countermand action? Today the Democratic Party freely offers a popular Presidential candidate operating under the flag of an ideology – Socialism – that was the driving force behind international genocide making Adolph Hitler look like a piker! Is conservative talk radio responsible for such a wide division of ideology?

Today, “moderate” news coverage seems a quaint notion. The Right argues such a thing never existed, that Walter Cronkite advocated for Democrats under the guise of objectivity. Only when a different perspective was offered did the American public, it has been stated, wake up to this dynamic.

Michael Savage argues for the positive power of propaganda, a word associated with Joseph Goebbels, but propaganda was a major tool of the Central Intelligence Agency in their battle to win the “hearts and minds” of those enslaved under Communism in the 20th Century. The Right firmly believes that not only does God exist, but that he literally chose America as a new Promised Land tasked with extolling liberty, ending slavery, making the world safe for Democracy, destroying both Nazism and Communism, all while creating technologies making it possible for the word of Jesus Christ to reach the largest number of human ears as possible! The party of William Jennings Bryan, on the other hand, literally booed God at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and sneers with undisguised contempt at such religious pomposity. Patriots John Glenn and James Webb registered nary a blip among Democrat primary voters.

At this point in world history, two essential ideologies are at war with each other. One is class envy, racial division, economic divide, and the rising hatred of the have-nots convinced they will never have, and that the haves are the source of their troubles.

The other is possibly the most powerful political force ever conceived, which is a conservative movement fueled by Christian absolutism. This way of thinking, which has been the engine of Right-wing talk radio for almost 30 years, threatens to ride the whirlwind in Biblical fashion. If fully realized, nothing can stop it, and as Lord Action once stated, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

But most presciently perhaps was the decision to write this book in 2016-17; the year of Donald Trump. In the end, as the book points out, Trump’s success mirrors that of Michael Savage, more so even than Rush Limbaugh’s, and tellingly marks a triumph by Savage over his arch-enemy, Mark Levin.

 

Steven Travers, a former professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Oakland A’s organizations, is the author of 30 books, including the best-selling Barry Bonds: Baseball’s Superman, nominated for a Casey Award as Best Baseball Book of 2002; and One Night, Two Teams: Alabama vs. USC and the Game that Changed a Nation (a 2007 PNBA nominee, subject of the Showtime documentary Against the Tide and the CBS/College Sports TV documentary Tackling Segregation; soon to be a major motion picture). He pitched for the Redwood High School baseball team in California that won the national championship in his senior year, before attending college on an athletic scholarship and earning all-conference honors. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Steven coached at USC, Cal-Berkeley and in Europe; served in the Army; attended law school; and was a sports agent. He has written for the Los Angeles Times and was a columnist for StreetZebra magazine in L.A., and the San Francisco Examiner. His screenplays include The Lost Battalion, 21 and Wicked. He has a daughter, Elizabeth Travers Lee, and lives in California.

 

Books written by Steven Travers

 

One Night, Two Teams: Alabama vs. USC and the Game That Changed A Nation (also documentaries, Against the Tide, Tackling Segregation, and soon to be a major motion picture)

A’s Essential: Everything You Need to Know to Be A Real Fan!

Trojans Essential: Everything You Need to Know to Be A Real Fan!

Dodgers Essential: Everything You Need to Know to Be A Real Fan!

Angels Essential: Everything You Need to Know to Be A Real Fan!

D’Backs Essential: Everything You Need to Know to Be A Real

The USC Trojans: College Football’s All-Time Greatest Dynasty

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Los Angeles Lakers

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Oakland Raiders

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly San Francisco 49ers

Barry Bonds: Baseball’s Superman

Pigskin Warriors: 140 Years of College Football’s Greatest Games, Players and Traditions

The 1969 Miracle Mets: The Improbable Story of the World’s Greatest Underdog Team

Dodgers Baseball Yesterday & Today

A Tale of Three Cities: New York, L.A. and San Francisco During the 1962 Baseball Season

What It Means To Be a Trojan: Southern Cal’s Greatest Players Talk About Trojans Football

The Poet: The Life and Los Angeles Times of Jim Murray

The Last Icon: Tom Seaver and His Times

The Duke, Longhorns, & Chairman Mao: John Wayne’s political odyssey

Remembering the Stick: Candlesticdk Park 1960 – 2013

God’s Country: A Conservative, Christian Worldview of How History Formed the United States Empire and America’s Manifest Destiny for the 21^st^ Century

Angry White Male

The Writer’s Life

The USC Mafia: From the Frat House to the White House to the Big House

Ambition: My Struggles to Fail and Succeed in Baseball, Politics, Hollywood, Writing . . . and the Rocky Path I’ve Walked With Christ

The Reaping: What the O.J. Simpson Case Did to America

 

Praise for Steve Travers

Steve Travers is a very smart man.

- Conservative talk show host Dr. Michael Savage

 

Steve Travers is the next great USC historian, in the tradition of Jim Murray, John Hall, and Mal Florence! . . . the Trojan Family needs your work. Fight On!

- USC Head Football Coach Pete Carroll

 

. . . Steve Travers tells us all about the exciting and remarkable football . . . . that not only changed the way the game is played; it . . . changed the world.

- Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump

 

Steve Travers combines wit, humor, social pathos and historical knowledge with the kind of sports expertise that only an ex-jock is privy to; it is reminiscent of the work of Jim Bouton, Pat Jordan and Dan Jenkins, combined with Jim Murray’ turn of phrase, Hunter Thompson’s hard-scrabble Truths, and David Halberstam’s unique take on our nation’s place in history. His writing is great storytelling, and the result is pure genius every time.

- Westwood One radio personality Michael McDowd

 

Steve Travers is a great writer, an educated athlete who knows how to get inside the player’s heads, and when that happens, greatness occurs. He’s gonna be a superstar.

- San Francisco Examiner

 

Steve Travers is a phenomenal writer, an artist who labors over every word to get it just right, and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of sports and history.

- StreetZebra

 

Steve Travers is a “Renaissance man.”

- Jim Rome Show

 

He is very qualified to continue to write books such as this one. Good job.

- Marty Lurie/Right Off the Bat Oakland A’s Pregame Host

 

Steve’s a literate ex-athlete, an ex-Trojan, and a veteran of Hollywood, too.

- Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton/XTRA Radio, San Diego

 

You’ve done some good writin’, dude.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. KFOG Radio, San Francisco

*
p<>{color:#000;}.

Steve Travers is the best writer ever to grace the pages of Gentry magazine.

- Former Gentry magazine editor/publisher Sloane Citron

 

Bibliography

 

abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2013/03/history-says-satan-does-not-look-like-

obama/.

albertpeia.com/oxfordassault.htm.

Aldrich, Gary. Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House.

Chicago: Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 1998.

Altman, Alex. “Tribal Warrior.” Time, March 16, 2016.

americanfreepress.net/in-just-35-years-232000-u-s-blacks-killed-by-other-blacks/.

answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060903192705AAZ0Dnd.

articles.latimes.com/1993-06-19/news/mn-4709_1_air-force-officials.

Berry, Jeffrey M and Sarah Sobrieraj. The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion and the

New Incivility. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Beck, Glenn. An Inconvenient Book: Real Solutions to the World’s Biggest Problems.

New York: Threshold Editions, 2007.

__________. Arguing With Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government. New

York: Threshold Editions, 2009.

http://blog.sfgate.com/mlasalle/.

Blum, Edward J. and Paul Harvey. The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of

Race in America. Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012.

Bunch, Will. The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid

Politics in the Age of Obama. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2010.

businessinsider.com/rick-santelli-tea-party-rant-2014-2.

Caro, Robert. Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Vintage, 2003.

Censorship: 500 Years of Conflict. New York: Oxford University Press, 1984.

Chafets, Zev. Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One. New York: Sentinel, 2010.

countercurrents.org/polya090915.htm.

discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1259.

eagleforum.org/psr/1998/june98/psrjune98.html.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubai_Ports_World_controversy.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Michael_Boorda.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Savage_Nation.

Falwell, Macel. Jerry Falwell: His Life and Legacy. New York: Howard Books, 2008.

foxnews.com/story/2002/12/12/lott-apologizes-for-remark.html.

Franken, Al. Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot And Other Observations. New York:

Delacorte Press, 1996.

Frizzell, Sam. “How Bernie Sanders’ campaign could spawn a liberal Tea Party.” Time,

March 14, 2016.

gallup.com/poll/116500/presidential-approval-ratings-george-bush.aspx.

Goldberg, Bernard. A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Love

Affair Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media. Chicago: Regnery Publishing, 2008.

gawker.com/5961504/matt-drudge-uses-betraeus-headline-is-unrepentant-hypocrite.

google.com/?client=safari&channel=mac_bm#channel=mac_bm&q=There+were+other+

reports+of+the+Clintons+forcing+highranking+officers+to+carry+trays+of+food+at+parties%2C+like+waiters.++++.

Handelsman, Hart. “But I still can’t understand Trump” (cartoon). The Week, February

26, 2016.

Halberstam, David. The Powers That Be. Champagne, IL: University of Illinois Press,

2000.

Hannity, Sean. Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism.

New York: ReganBooks, 2004.

Henninger, Daniel. “Obama’s Greatest Triumph.” Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2016.

Hinckley, David. “Barack Obama critics, like Rush Limbaugh, top annual list of influential radio hosts.” New York Daily News, February 24, 2010.

historynewsnetwork.org/article/148754.

img.rushlimbaugh.com/home/parody.guest.html.

iraqbodycount.org/analysis/numbers/2011/.

Jamieson, Kathleen Hall and Joseph N. Cappella. Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and

the Conservative Media Establishment. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Jennings, Brian. Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio. New York: Threshold

Editions, 2009.

Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. Mao: The Unknown Story. Anchor, 2006.

Lankford, Jr, Ronald (editor). Censorship. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale and Greenhaven

Press, 2010.

Liddy, G. Gordon. Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy. New York: St. Martin’s

Paperbacks, 1991.

Limbaugh, Rush. The Way Things Ought to Be. New York: Pocket Books, 1992.

_____________ . See, I Told You So. New York: Pocket Books, 1993.

_____________ . Rush Revere and the First Patriots: Time-Travel Adventures with

Exceptional Americans. New York: Threshold Editions, 2014.

Levin, Mark. Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. New York: Threshold

Editions, 2009.

__________. Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America. New York: Threshold Editions, \

2012.

__________. The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic. New York:

Threshold Editions, 2013.

__________. Plunder and Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young People and

the Future. New York: Threshold Editions, 2015.

Manchester, William. American Caesar 1880-1964. New York: Back Bay Books, 2008.

Matalin, Mary. “Mary Matalin on GOP Armageddon.” Newsmax, March 2016.

matzav.com/video-boys-claims-to-have-had-out-of-body-experience-describes-the-

coming-of-moshiach-and-war-of-gog-umagog/.

McDougal, Dennis. Privileged Son: Otis Chandler the Rise and Fall of the L.A. Times

Dynasty. De Capo Press, 2002.

mediaite.com/online/mark-levin-tears-apart-michael-savage-troll-thigh-rash-

transgendering-weiner/.

mediaite.com/online/the-8-craziest-moments-in-americas-longest-standing-right-wing-

radio-feud/#0.

Morris, Dick. “GOP’s Journey: Can the Scars Heal in Time?” Newsmax, March 16, 2016.

nationalreview.com/article/312211/huma-abedins-muslim-brotherhood-ties-andrew-c-

mccarthy.

mtv.com/news/2752425/donald-trump-michael-savage/.

Newsmax. “Campaign ’16: Talking Points.” March 2016.

newsmax.com/Headline/david-plouffe-predicts-trump-wins/2016/03/16/id/719364/.

newyorker.com/magazine/2009/08/03/party-of-one-2.

Noonan, Peggy. “New York’s Vote Matters for a Change,” Wall Street Journal, April 9,

2016.

nysun.com/national/clinton-spars-with-petraeus-on-credibility/62426/.

nytimes.com/2016/03/30/us/politics/conservative-talk-radio-trump-cruz.html?_r=0.

Olbermann, Keith. Pitchforks and Torches: The Worst of the Worst, From Beck, Bill, and

Bush to Palin and Other Posturing Republicans. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011.

O’Reilly, Bill. The O’Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous

in American Life. New York: Broadway Books, 2000.

___________. The No Spin Zone: Confrontations With the Powerful and Famous in

America. New York: Broadway Books, 2001.

___________. Culture Warrior. New York: Broadway Books, 2006.

___________. A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity. New York: Broadway Books, 2008.

Patten, David A. “Talk Radio’s Warlords.” Newsmax, December 2105.

Peters, Ralph. Valley of the Shadows. Forge Books, 2015.

prnewswire.com/news-releases/newsweek-cover-hell-bent-on-war-74017562.html.

Regan, Donald T. For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington. Orlando, FL:

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1988.

Ross, Steven J. Politics Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics.

Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2013.

rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/11/25/i_just_dropped_in_to_see_what_condition_my_con

dition_was_in.

rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2016/03/04/trump_phenomenon_is_the_cork_popping_after_ye

ars_of_political_correctness.

rushlimbaugh.com/rssRSS.

rush-matters .com/current-events/cat-fight-michael-savage-savages-rush-limbaugh.

Viguerie, Richard & David Franke. America’s Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New

and Alternative Media to Take Power. Chicago: Bonus Books, 2004.

salon.com/2016/04/06/the_talk_radio_godfather_of_trumpamania_what_michael_savage

_can_tell_us_about_americas_white_working_class/.

Savage, Michael. The Savage Nation: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our

Borders, Language, and Culture. Nashville, TN: WND Books, 2002.

_____________. The Enemy Within: Saving America From the Liberal Assault on Our

Schools, Faith, and Military. Nashville, TN: Nelson Current, 2003.

_____________. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder. Nashville, TN: Nelson Current, 2005.

_____________. Abuse of Power. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2011.

_____________. Stop the Coming Civil War: My Savage Truth. New York: Center

Street, 2014.

Scherer, Michael and Zeke J. Miller. “The Brief.” Time, March 7, 2016.

sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bernie-Ward-gets-7-plus-years-for-child-porn-3271266.php.

sfgate.com/opinion/article/Anita-Hill-hit-man-recants-2904817.php.

Shakespir.com/extreader/read/498156/1/a-murderous-campaign-a-political-thriller-by-

steven-travers

Spence, Gerry. Bloodthirsty Bitches and Pious Pimps of Power: The Rise and Risks of the

New Conservative Hate Culture. New Yortk: St. Martin’s Press, 2006.

Shakespir.com/extreader/read/498156/1/a-murderous-campaign-a-political-thriller-by-

steven-travers.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006.

Stevens, Bret. “The Trumpkins’ Lament.” The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2016.

__________. “Trump is Obama Squared.” Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2016.

theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-bill-clinton-became-a-republican-hero/.

theatlantic.com/photo/2012/04/20-years-since-the-bosnian-war/100278/.

thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/campaign/126789-the-truth-about-the-2008-minnesota-senate-recount-a-response-to-democratic-party-still-disenfranchising-and-oppresing-

votes.

thepoliticalinsider.com/donald-trump-asked-about-obamas-birth-certificate-his-response-

is-brutal/.

Time. “Is God Dead?” April 8, 1966.

Time. “Obama’s New Elite Club: Two-Time Persons of the Year.” Time, December 19,

2012.

Travers, Steven. “Repudiation of the criminal Barack Hussein Obama.”

michaelsavage.com, January, 2010.

_____________. The Duke, the Longhorns, and Chairman Mao: John Wayne’s Political

Odyssey. Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade, 2014.

____________. “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma.’ ” Gentry, July

2012.

____________. God’s Country: A Three Volume Conservative, Christian Worldview of

How History Formed the United States Empire and America’s Manifest Destiny For the 21^st^ Century. Unpublished manuscript.

____________. What is Truth? The shifting history and impact of communications,

movements and the media. Unpublished manuscript.

Tuchman, Barbara. Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-45. Grove Great

Lives, 2001.

Von Drehle, David. “Destination Unknown,” Time, March 16, 2016.

w3.newsmax.com/General/NMM/LP/Mag-2016-Apr?dkt_nbr=6qmgpbk3.

Warner, Margaret Garrard. “Bush Battles the ‘Wimp Factor.’ ” Newsweek, October 19,

1987.

washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2013/03/04/why-mitt-romneys-47-percent-

comment-was-so-bad/.

whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/BODIES.php#axzz3tm6CRolh.

westernfreepress.com/2014/07/19/could-obama-be-plant-of-kgbmuslim-brotherhood/.

White, Theodore. The Making of the President 1972: A narrative history of American

politics in action. New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1973.

_____________. In Search of History: a personal adventure. New York: Warner Books,

1979.

worldnewsdailyreport.com/yoko-ono-i-had-an-affair-with-hillary-clinton-in-the-70s/.

youtube.com/watch?v=PfuUBKWRo_c.

youtube.com/watch?v=H3Az0okaHig.

 

iPrologue: What price journalism?

 

ii Brian Jennings, Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio (New York: Threshold Editions, 2009), p. 97.

iii Lankford, Jr, Ronald (editor). Censorship. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale and Greenhaven Press, 2010.

iv Lankford, Jr, Ronald (editor). Censorship. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale and Greenhaven Press, 2010.

 

“Who is this guy?”

 

v Author interview.

vi Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 2.

vii Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey. The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012), p 5.

viii David Halberstam, The Powers That Be (Champagne, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2000), p. 307.

ix Time. “Is God Dead?” April 8, 1966.

x Margaret Garrard Warner, “Bush Battles the ‘Wimp Factor.’ ” (Newsweek, October 19, 1987).

xi Time. “Obama’s New Elite Club: Two-Time Persons of the Year,” December 19, 2012.

xii Rush Limbaugh, The Way Things Ought to Be (New York: Pocket Books, 1992), p. 6.

 

xiiiMiddle America

 

Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 11.

xiv Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 15.

xv Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 20.

xvi Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 20.

xvii Rush Limbaugh, See, I Told You So (New York: Pocket Books, 1993), p. 19.

xviii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 37.

xix Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 38.

xx Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 38-39.

xxi Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 39.

xxii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 42.

xxiii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 42.

xxiv Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 42.

xxv Henry Kissinger, White House Years (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), p. 12.

 

“A harmless, lovable little fuzzball”

 

xxvi Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 42.

xxvii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 51.

xxviii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 52.

xxix Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 56.

xxx Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 60.

xxxi Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 60.

xxxii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 65.

xxxiii Rush Limbaugh, See, I Told You So (New York: Pocket Books, 1993), p. 69.

xxxiv avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-world/sub-saharan-africa/south-africa

 

The second conservative revolution

 

xxxv Gary Aldrich, Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House (Chicago: Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 1998), p. 103.

xxxvi whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/BODIES.php#axzz3tm6CRolh.

xxxvii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 81.

xxxviii http://articles.latimes.com/1993-06-19/news/mn-4709_1_air-force-officials.

xxxix en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Michael_Boorda.

xlgoogle.com/?client=safari&channel=mac_bm#channel=mac_bm&q=There+were+other+reports+of+the+Clintons+forcing+high-ranking+officers+to+carry+trays+of+food+at+parties%2C+like+waiters.++++

xli Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 77.

xlii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 80.

xliii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 80.

xliv Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 87.

xlv quotationspage.com/quote/33739.html.

 

Why the Right went after the Clintons

 

xlvi eagleforum.org/psr/1998/june98/psrjune98.html.

 

“. . . This vast Right-wing conspiracy”

 

xlvii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 90.

xlviii theatlantic.com/photo/2012/04/20-years-since-the-bosnian-war/100278/.

xlix worldnewsdailyreport.com/yoko-ono-i-had-an-affair-with-hillary-clinton-in-the-70s/.

l albertpeia.com/oxfordassault.htm.

 

“Having too much fun than should be allowed to have”

 

Iraq

 

li gallup.com/poll/116500/presidential-approval-ratings-george-bush.aspx.

lii historynewsnetwork.org/article/148754.

liii iraqbodycount.org/analysis/numbers/2011/.

liv gallup.com/poll/116500/presidential-approval-ratings-george-bush.aspx.

lv nysun.com/national/clinton-spars-with-petraeus-on-credibility/62426/.

lvi gawker.com/5961504/matt-drudge-uses-betraeus-headline-is-unrepentant-hypocrite.

lvii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 102.

lviii countercurrents.org/polya090915.htm.

lix David Halberstam, The Powers That Be (Champagne, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2000), p. 37.

lx Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story (Anchor, 2006), p, 1.

 

The new media

 

lxi Dennis McDougal, Privileged Son: Otis Chandler the Rise and Fall of the L.A. Times Dynasty (De Capo Press, 2002), p. 408.

lxii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 107.

lxiii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 109.

 

Voices of the Right

 

lxiv Sean Hannity, Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism (New York: ReganBooks, 200), p. 39.

lxv Bill O’Reilly, The O’Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life (New York: Broadway Books, 2000), p. 98.

lxvi G. Gordon Liddy, Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy (New York: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 1991), p. 57.

lxvii Mark Levin, Plunder and Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young People and the Future (New York: Threshold Editions, 2015), p. 152.

 

Savaged!

 

lxviii Steven Travers, “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma,’ ” Gentry, July 2012.

lxix Steven Travers, “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma,’ ” Gentry, July 2012.

lxx Author interview with Dr. Michael Savage, 2012.

lxxi en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Savage_Nation.

lxxii Author interview with Dr. Michael Savage, 2012.

lxxiii Steven Travers, “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma,’ ” Gentry, July 2012.

lxxiv Author interview with Dr. Michael Savage, 2012.

lxxv Steven Travers, “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma,’ ” Gentry, July 2012.

lxxvi Michael Savage, The Savage Nation: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Borders, Language, and Culture (Nashville, TN: WND Books, 2002), p. 27.

lxxvii Author interview with Dr. Michael Savage, 2012.

lxxviii Michael Savage, Liberalism is a Mental Disorder (Nashville, TN: Nelson Current, 2005), p. 215 .

lxxix Steven Travers, “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma,’ ” Gentry, July 2012.

lxxx Author interview with Dr. Michael Savage, 2012.

lxxxi Michael Savage, The Enemy Within: Saving America From the Liberal Assault on Our Schools, Faith, and Military (Nashville, TN: Nelson Current, 2003), p. 109.

lxxxii Steven Travers, “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma,’ ” Gentry, July 2012.

lxxxiii Michael Savage, Stop the Coming Civil War: My Savage Truth (New York: Center Street, 2014), p. 57.

lxxxiv Michael Savage, Liberalism is a Mental Disorder (Nashville, TN: Nelson Current, 2005), p. 114.

lxxxv Author interview with Dr. Michael Savage, 2012.

lxxxvi Steven Travers, “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma,’ ” Gentry, July 2012.

lxxxvii Author interview with Dr. Michael Savage, 2012.

lxxxviii Steven Travers, “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma,’ ” Gentry, July 2012.

lxxxix sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bernie-Ward-gets-7-plus-years-for-child-porn-3271266.php.

xc newyorker.com/magazine/2009/08/03/party-of-one-2.

xci Steven Travers, “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma,’ ” Gentry, July 2012.

 

Blood fued

 

xcii Author interview with Joseph Farah, 2016.

xciii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 123.

xciv Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 124.

xcv Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 124.

xcvi mediaite.com/online/the-8-craziest-moments-in-americas-longest-standing-right-wing-radio-feud.

xcvii mediaite.com/online/the-8-craziest-moments-in-americas-longest-standing-right-wing-radio-feud/#0.

xcviii nationalreview.com/article/312211/huma-abedins-muslim-brotherhood-ties-andrew-c-mccarthy.

xcix mediaite.com/online/mark-levin-tears-apart-michael-savage-troll-thigh-rash-transgendering-weiner/.

c Steven Travers, “Michael Savage: ‘I am an enigma within an enigma,’ ” Gentry, July 2012.

ci Author interview with Dr. Michael Savage, 2015.

cii Mark Levin, Plunder and Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young People and the Future (New York: Threshold Editions, 2015), p. 201.

 

“Be careful what you wish for”

 

ciii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 117.

 

Conspiracy theory

 

civ theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-bill-clinton-became-a-republican-hero/.

cv youtube.com/watch?v=H3Az0okaHig.

cvi youtube.com/watch?v=PfuUBKWRo_c.

cvii abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2013/03/history-says-satan-does-not-look-like-obama/.

cviii matzav.com/video-boys-claims-to-have-had-out-of-body-experience-describes-the-coming-of-moshiach-and-war-of-gog-umagog/.

cix Robert Caro, Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Vintage, 2003), P. 310.

cx blog.sfgate.com/mlasalle/.

cxi Shakespir.com/extreader/read/498156/1/a-murderous-campaign-a-political-thriller-by-steven-travers.

cxii westernfreepress.com/2014/07/19/could-obama-be-plant-of-kgbmuslim-brotherhood/.

 

What is treason?

 

A house divided

 

“Your guiding light through times of trouble, confusion, murkiness, tumult, chaos, despair . . .”

 

cxiii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 105.

cxiv en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubai_Ports_World_controversy.

cxv thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/campaign/126789-the-truth-about-the-2008-minnesota-senate-recount-a-response-to-democratic-party-still-disenfranchising-and-oppresing-votes

cxvirushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/11/25/i_just_dropped_in_to_see_what_condition_my_condition_was_in.

cxvii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 123.

cxviii David Hinckley, “Barack Obama critics, like Rush Limbaugh, top annual list of influential radio hosts,” New York Daily News, February 24, 2010.

cxix Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 124.

cxx Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 124.

cxxi Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 125.

cxxii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 125.

cxxiii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 134.

cxxiv Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 135.

cxxv Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 139.

cxxvi Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 146.

cxxvii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 147.

cxxviii Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 148.

cxxix Zev Chafets, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (New York: Sentinel, 2010), p. 157.

 

Victory . . . at Tea Party

 

cxxx thepoliticalinsider.com/donald-trump-asked-about-obamas-birth-certificate-his-response-is-brutal/.

 

Hostile takeover

 

cxxxi discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1259.

cxxxii answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060903192705AAZ0Dnd.

cxxxiii americanfreepress.net/in-just-35-years-232000-u-s-blacks-killed-by-other-blacks/.

cxxxiv foxnews.com/story/2002/12/12/lott-apologizes-for-remark.html.

cxxxv washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2013/03/04/why-mitt-romneys-47-percent-comment-was-so-bad/.

cxxxvi David Von Drehle, “Destination Unknown,” Time, March 16, 2016.

cxxxvii rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2016/03/04/trump_phenomenon_is_the_cork_popping_after_years_of_political_correctness.

cxxxviii Bernard Goldberg, Bernard, A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Love Affair Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media (Chicago: Regnery Publishing, 2008), p. 1.

cxxxix Hart Handelsman, The Week, February 26, 2016.

cxl Michael Scherer and Zeke J. Miller, “The Brief,” Time, March 7, 2016.

cxli sfgate.com/opinion/article/Anita-Hill-hit-man-recants-2904817.php.

cxlii David Von Drehle, “Destination Unknown,” Time, March 16, 2016.

cxliii Alex Altman, “Tribal Warrior,” Time, March 16, 2016

cxliv newsmax.com/Headline/david-plouffe-predicts-trump-wins/2016/03/16/id/719364/.

cxlv Bret Stephens, “The Trumpkins’ Lament,” Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2016.

cxlvi “Campaign ’16: Talking Points,” Newsmax, March 2016.

cxlvii Mary Matalin, “Mary Matalin on “GOP Armageddon,” Newsmax, March 2016.

cxlviii Ralph Peters, Valley of the Shadows, Forge Books, 2015.

cxlix Sam Frizzell, “How Bernie Sanders’ campaign could spawn a liberal Tea Party,” Time, March 14, 2016.

cl w3.newsmax.com/General/NMM/LP/Mag-2016-Apr?dkt_nbr=6qmgpbk3.

cli nytimes.com/2016/03/30/us/politics/conservative-talk-radio-trump-cruz.html?_r=0.

clii Steven Travers, “Repudiation of the criminal Barack Hussein Obama” (michaelsavage.com, January, 2010).

cliii Bret Stephens, “Trump is Obama Squared” (Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2016).

cliv Daniel Henninger, “Obama’s Greatest Triumph” (Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2016).

clv Peggy Noonan, “New York’s Vote Matters for a Change” (Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2016).

clvi Author interview, 2016.

clvii Author interview, 2016.

clviii http://www.salon.com/2016/04/06/the_talk_radio_godfather_of_trumpamania_what_michael_savage_can_tell_us_about_americas_white_working_class/.

clix http://www.mtv.com/news/2752425/donald-trump-michael-savage/.

clx Author interview, 2016.

235


WHAT IS TRUTH? CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO IN AMERICA 1988-2016

“Let me tell you where I was the first time I heard you.” Almost daily, one of Rush Limbaugh’s 20 million listeners tells a similar story; they were driving their car on a freeway, on a familiar street, they heard him on a friend’s radio, and from there “my life has never been the same.” President Bill Clinton complained whenever he made a pronouncement, Limbaugh had a platform to refute it within 24 hours. President-elect Barack Obama gathered together conservative columnists days before his Inauguration in an effort to usurp the influence of Limbaugh. A substantial portion of the Republican Party routinely advises its constituents “not to listen to Limbaugh.” In 2016, after nearly eight years of Obama, the United States of America is more divided and hateful than it has been at least since Vietnam and the Civil War; in many ways worse. Race relations are at an all-time low. A large percentage of the chattering class blamed Rush Limbaugh. In 1979, the great author and historian David Halberstam wrote his seminal book on the American news media, The Powers That Be. Since that time, the nature of journalism has changed drastically with the rise of computers, cable TV, the Internet, smart phones and social media. The giants of journalism have seen their influence wane drastically; some have been driven out of business, yet what Rush Limbaugh started when he went national in 1988 continues to grow and grow and grow. Many others have successfully followed in Limbaugh’s footsteps, creating an entire cottage industry known as “conservative talk radio.” Without Limbaugh, Fox News likely never would have been formed.

  • Author: Steven Travers
  • Published: 2016-07-06 20:48:02
  • Words: 140442
WHAT IS TRUTH? CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO IN AMERICA 1988-2016 WHAT IS TRUTH? CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO IN AMERICA 1988-2016