The wrath falling upon Rush Limbaugh is overwhelming. In the last week I have counted more than 300 editorials condemning Rush’s remarks; 20 (if not more) of his sponsors have pulled their advertising; and the Sunday talking-heads have generally agreed that Rush’s market share has plummeted since his three days of insults.
So why am I taking on this thorny topic? Can my comments add or detract from this entanglement of briar patch that Uncle Remus was so fond of using in his morality tales? Maybe. Maybe not.
Monday evening I finally got around to reading my newspapers and found a short but interesting column in The Kansas City Star concerning the Hall of Famous Missourians. Yes, we have such a place and it includes Walt Disney, Samuel Clemens, Walter Cronkite, J.C. Penney and others. And in the near future — Rush Limbaugh?
OK, does the Hall of Famous Missourians include the nefarious and infamous Missourians, because that is really where Rush belongs after his lambasting of Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke last week. And did you hear what he called our own Claire McCaskill? OMG!
As of Tuesday, 20 companies have pulled their sponsorship from Rush’s radio program with more expected to follow.
Then there is Rush’s non-apology apologies; at least two written and three on air. Not one of them said what needed to be heard, "I'm sorry, I screwed up, and I beg for forgiveness."
At a local restaurant last night, I overheard two couples, farmers in their late 60s, discussing how more companies need to pull their advertising because of the non-apologies and that the Columbia station that airs Rush’s programs needs to stop.
The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor and even Republican elder John McCain have condemned Limbaugh's comments and apologies as "totally unacceptable." But the Republican presidential candidates? Not so much.
Mitt Romney said, "It's not the language I would have used." Does he have a better metaphor for "slut"? How about femme fatale, floozy, harlot, hussy, jade, scarlet or tart?
Rick Santorum avoided the question altogether on the Sunday political shows. Does that mean that Santorum agrees with Limbaugh but does not want anyone else to know?
The Tucson Citizen reported Newt Gingrich’s response,"Limbaugh was 'right to apologize' on ABC's 'This Week,' before decrying the 'elite media' and the way the debate has been framed." Was he saying that this whole fiasco is the media’s fault?
Only Ron Paul has condemned Limbaugh’s sexist and derogatory remarks. On "Face the Nation," Paul said, "I don't think he's very apologetic. He's doing it because some people were taking their advertisements off his program. It was his bottom line that he was concerned about."
It is a given that Limbaugh’s remarks were callous and sexist. It is a given that his apology was extremely impersonal and was forced by the loss of revenue. However, the GOP and its presidential candidates’ failure to condemn Limbaugh will be extremely detrimental to the GOP's stride toward the White House.
But a bust of Limbaugh in the Hall of Famous Missourians? When interviewed by Kansas City’s KMBC news, sponsor and Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, said that "no one would deny the fact that he would qualify as a famous Missourian …"
Why waste the time under the Gray Dome when Rush’s hometown of Cape Girardeau doesn’t even have a sign acknowledging that tidbit of fact?
It appears that the Missouri GOP is also saying that Limbaugh’s diatribe and false apologies just don't count. The speaker is saying that Limbaugh is "deserving to be in the Hall of Missourians" and he's honored to be the one to put Rush's bust in the hall.
If only a few national Republican leaders have condemned Limbaugh for his language, if the Missouri GOP has said nothing, if Speaker Tilley is praising the man with terminal foot-in-mouth disease, the voting public must ask themselves, along with me and all together now, "What is wrong with this picture?"
Has the GOP become a modern day Brother Fox? Or Wile E. Coyote? Or to paraphrase the great hunting philosopher Elmer Fudd, of the Missouri Republican party, one should be afraid, wery wery afraid. Hahahaha.
David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics.