Rosa Parks, Elie Wiesel, and Rush Limbaugh


Repeat to infinity and beyond.

Trump, Limbaugh, medal, of freedom.

There was Mother Teresa, “a heroine of our times,” and Rosa Parks, “a living icon for freedom in America.” Elie Wiesel kept “watch against the forces of hatred,” while Jackie Robinson “struck a mighty blow for equality, freedom, and the American way of life.”

I wouldn’t have led with Anjezë Bojaxhiu aka Mother Teresa, since she was an enemy of freedom and not the friend to the poor she was made out to be; the other three are much better illustrations of the point. There are humanitarians, and then there are their opposites. Rush Limbaugh is their opposite. Limbaugh despises humanitarianism and mocks it for fun and profit.

Now, joining them and other recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award bestowed by the government on a civilian, is Rush Limbaugh, “the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet.”

Spoken like a true bully. What’s the highest value? Fightingandwinning!

“Rush Limbaugh, thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” Trump said.

Bollocks. Limbaugh got rich doing what he does; it has nothing to do with devotion to our country or to anything else that’s not Rush Limbaugh.

But before first lady Melania Trump could finish draping the medal around Limbaugh’s neck, critics of the talk-show host began to recirculate online some of the most derogatory and inflammatory remarks he’s made over the course of his career against women (whom he has regularly labeled “feminazis”), black people, Native Americans, immigrants and the disabled community, among others.

(Why “the disabled community” but not “the immigrant community”? Commonalities are not the same thing as communities. Bad journalistic habit.)

They pointed to the time Limbaugh — a divisive media figure who has been accused of racist and sexist remarks — called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” because of her support of women’s access to birth control. Or when he promoted the debunked birther claim* that former president Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Or when he questioned why Native Americans would be upset about their forced removal and ethnic cleansing since “they all have casinos.” Or when he compared asylum seekers coming to the U.S. border to the invasion of Normandy. Or when he said that actor Michael J. Fox was faking the symptoms of his Parkinson’s disease.

*the lie

Limbaugh’s fans and supporters, on the other hand, said it was fitting that such a role model would get public recognition. Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany thanked the host for having “inspired a generation.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) agreed, calling the honor “well-deserved.” Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, ripped Democrats for not rising to their feet in the House chamber for Limbaugh.

Yes, why wouldn’t they leap to their feet to applaud an honor given to a guy who makes a lot of money insulting and jeering at the underdogs of the world?

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