Rush Limbaugh drew high praise from the right for his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Saturday — and predictably, criticism from the left.
In a speech that several cable news outlets carried live, the top-rated radio talk-show host told a wildly cheering crowd that President Barack Obama wants to “punish” those who succeed and who helped make America great.
He also said Obama and the Democrats are waging an “assault” on capitalism by raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000 and by expanding welfare, increasing the deficit, and giving the government an expanding role in Americans’ lives.
“We can take this country back,” he declared. “All we need is to nominate the right candidate.”
The online magazine Salon was among the liberal voices seeking to tear down Limbaugh for his address, stating, “Strip away the platitudes and cheap applause lines about freedom, self-reliance and the virtues of capitalism, and you're left with the subject that really interests Rush Limbaugh: himself.
“The conservative talker with the self-professed ‘talent on loan from God’ spoke incessantly in the first person. There were more ‘I's’ in his CPAC address than in an Idaho potato field . . .
“Limbaugh limped through the final half-hour, rambling and repeating points he had already covered. He may not have needed a teleprompter, but by the end of the speech what he most needed was the hook.”
The Synthesis Magazine blog opined: “If you watched Rush Limbaugh’s speech at CPAC and identified with the principles and ideology outlined therein, congratulations, you’re a complete moron!
“Limbaugh’s speech, combined with the woman on FOX News desperately trying to explain, with a straight face, that for people living on the coasts, California, Florida, New York, etc., that making ‘$500,000 a year really isn’t that much’ and that taxing these folks at the pre-Bush levels was somehow morally remiss, seriously made today a good day to be a liberal, as opposed to a party whose ideological hero is a radio talk show host, and whose rallying cry is that people who make over $250,000 a year already have a hard enough time making ends meet.”
Media Matters for America quibbled: “During his February 28 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed: ‘Congressman [Barney] Frank's definition of affordable housing is you get a house that you don't have to pay for, that everybody else in the neighborhood will pay for. And why? Well, because it's unfair that some people can have a house and some people can't. See, it's just unfair.’
“In fact . . . Frank has advocated for the expansion of affordable rental housing, rather than advocating for, as Limbaugh suggested, universal home ownership.”
Sam Stein weighed in at the Huffington Post: “The red meat speech was more than well received among the adoring conservative crowd, which punctuated his address with repeated standing applause. On the flip side, it is hard to see how the elected officials of the Republican Party welcome this.
“Limbaugh's first declaration of hope for Obama's failure put a lot of GOPers on the line: Did they stand with the brash talk-show host against the president? Though, to be sure, there was little push back. Now, however, Limbaugh's invited more of the same line of questioning.”
And the Daily Kos was short on details but strong on invective: “Does Rush prepare his own speaking material? Because I certainly hope he doesn't wish to take credit for that ball of garbage he wished to spew to Americans.”
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