COMMENTARY | Rush Limbaugh, in another of his efforts to be an "entertainer," took it upon himself Tuesday on his radio talk show, according to Mediaite, to offer yet another of his accusations, assumptions, and insinuations better known as "jokes" or "hypotheticals."
He did so by saying that President Obama was gay and asking for tolerance for old white straight men.
Limbaugh spoke about the Politico article that showed the Obama re-election campaign as attempting to paint presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney as a "candidate of old, straight, white men." Going straight for polarity, the controversial commentator asked his audience, "So does that mean you should vote for Obama because he's a young black gay man?"
So that's the kind of logic at work here? Politically pushing a candidate as the favorite of old heterosexual white men automatically makes President Obama gay? By that same logic, when the Romney campaign said they believed Obama was a Christian, it must have meant that Romney was actually a Muslim.
Limbaugh continued that the media hold that "Romney is to be tarred and feathered, not to be trusted, voted against, because he's the candidate of old, straight, white men." For good measure, he switched from labeling the president as gay to: "What does that make Obama, the candidate of young black gay men? Where's the tolerance… the compassion?"
Limbaugh, 61 and apparently the self-appointed spokesperson for old straight white men, sarcastically asks for tolerance and compassion for his demographic while insinuating not only that the president is gay but that his core constituency is young black gay men. Of course Limbaugh, if confronted, will attest as he usually does that he's joking, that liberals have no sense of humor, and that he was simply going where the logic points him.
Limbaugh is the kind of guy that instigates fights from the safety of the sidelines. He would never admit to degrading President Obama because he's a black man, just point out that he's "half white," and let society's biases take over. He would never agree that calling the president gay was an attempt at emasculation, just allow that part of the social structure that finds homosexuality effeminate to respond. But he would most likely agree that he attempts to paint Obama as one of "them" as opposed to one of "us," often disguised in references to the president's supposed socialist ideals. Regardless, no matter what he says, it is to "entertain." It is hypothetical or said in jest.
But his logic isn't one of tolerance, it is of exclusion -- and exactly the type of mentality that the Obama campaign wants to color as representative of the Romney constituency. It is a logic that actually approves of intolerance. And Limbaugh, not to mention his approving audience -- the "dittoheads" -- that religiously hang on his every word, has proved that time and again over the years with his "jokes" and "entertaining" hypotheticals.
Limbaugh's history of anti-gay remarks are well-documented, as can be attested by Huffington Post. One of his more egregious comments came when he made an insulting comment about the Democratic Party, as noted by Media Matters, in answer to a caller on his radio show that "Democrats will bend over, grab the ankles, and say, 'Have your way with me,' for 10 percent and 2 percent of the population?" (The 10 and 2 percent to which he refers are African-Americans and gays, respectively.)
There are also the anti-female remarks, as compiled by About.com, where he has degraded women like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the "Sex-cretary" of State or went on an hours-long rant labeling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" for taking birth control pills and having sex. Or that he learned the most about female behavior from his cat -- they do whatever they want in the house and approach when they need to be petted or fed.
Limbaugh's constant forays into making disparaging racial remarks, as a list from News One suggests, also indicates the type of "entertainer" he is. He has been unrelenting in making offensive remarks about African-Americans in sports, once called the president "uppity" (a traditional racial slur often followed by the even more offensive "n-word"), and even said that the only reason Obama and Oprah Winfrey were successful was because they were black.
So where is the tolerance and compassion from a guy that calls the president gay, whose entire schtick is founded on bigotry?
No, tolerance isn't one of Limbaugh's strong suits, so when he speaks in favor of it, he truly is speaking in the hypothetical. Because tolerance is just a joke to him. It's entertaining.