Thursday, July 03, 2008

Rush Week for the Limbaugh Fraternity

In the summer of their discontent, American conservatives can celebrate this patriotic weekend by savoring the triumphs of their icon--a cover story in the New York Times Magazine and a new contract that will pay him $400 million over the next eight years.

The media universe works in mysterious ways. As an estimated 3.5 million listeners daily hang on his every word, Rush Limbaugh is not one of them. Afflicted with deafness, he is the Beethoven of political bile, creating symphonies of conservative certitude he himself can't hear.

But Limbaugh is a master of turning adversity to profit. Looking back at his headline troubles over abuse of pain killers, he now says, “I thank God for my addiction. It made me understand my shortcomings.”

According to the Times Magazine, the problem was "his inability to love himself sufficiently. 'I felt everyone who criticized me was right and I was wrong,' he confided.

"But, he says, he left his insecurities behind...'It’s not possible to offend me now,' he said. 'I won’t give people the power to do it anymore. My problem was born of immaturity and my childhood desire for acceptance. I learned in drug rehab that this was stunting and unrealistic. I was seeking acceptance from the wrong people.'”

But now, as the money and attention mount, the man who made rash judgments into an industry may be at peace with himself but he is far from happy with the lot of his faithful flock who face the distasteful choice of McCain or Obama.

But for three hours every weekday from now to November, Rush Limbaugh will have a lot to say about it.

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