Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is Rush racist?

Every conservative discovers, sooner or later, that to criticize liberal ideas is to be adjudged guilty of some "-ism" or diagnosed with a "phobia." Nowhere is this more true than in the realm of race.

Steve Benen has one of those "a-ha!" moments with a segment of a recent Rush Limbaugh monologue:
"The [economic] deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps. But in the Oval Office of the White House none of this is a problem. This is the objective. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation's wealth and return to it to the nation's quote, 'rightful owners.' Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on."
RAAAAACISM! (Remember, bloggers, there are five A's in "RAAAAACISM!" Some of you have been slacking off and trying to get by with four.) Benen pronounces Limbaugh's suggestion "nauseating," but as always, we must ask the question, "Is Rush right?"

Would any honest "progressive" deny that the aims of their redistributionist economic program -- to tax the evil "rich" for the benefit of the sainted "poor," in Robin Hood fashion -- are motivated by notions of "social justice"?

Is it not a fundamental tenet of this "social justice" ideology that the wealthy gain their riches by the exploitation and oppression of the poor? And is it not furthermore true that, vis-a-vis the racial aspect of "social justice," progressives believe that black people have been especially victimized by capitalist greed?

From such a chain of premises, it follows that a policy that purposefully hinders the private free-market economy and expands government entitlement programs -- the "Cloward-Piven Strategy," as it has been called -- is to some degree intended by the authors of the policy as "forced reparations," just like Rush says.

In other words, is Limbaugh being denounced as a racist merely for describing this policy accurately?

In The Vision of the Anointed, Thomas Sowell describes how liberals employ "mascots" and "targets" to advance their policy aims. By positioning themselves as defenders of "mascots," liberals set a rhetorical trap whereby any attack on their policies is denounced as an attack on the (allegedly) victimized and downtrodden people whom those policies are supposed to benefit. Ergo, anyone who criticizes the cost of Medicare is accused of wishing to deprive the elderly of health care, and anyone who criticizes affirmative action is accused of hating women and minorities.

The problem, of course, is that this prevents rational discussion of policy. Limbaugh would surely argue that black people would benefit more from a flourishing private-sector economy -- which offers them jobs -- than they would benefit from an expanding program of entitlements, which offers them only government handouts.

Furthermore, we have seen that the "Cloward-Pivens Strategy" brings disastrous results for the poor people its architects claim to care so much about. Go read Fred Siegel's The Future Once Happened Here if you want to see how this kind of liberal policy has devastated America's great cities and brought misery to the urban poor.

If liberal policy is demonstrably bad for black people -- as Limbaugh, Sowell and Siegel would argue -- then in what sense is it "racist" to oppose liberalism? In fact, given the clearly evident socio-economic disaster inflicted on the black community by decades of liberal policy, is it not liberals themselves who ought to be attempting to defend themselves against such accusations?

The real problem with modern liberalism is the concept of "social justice." As Friedrich Hayek explained, "social justice" is a mirage, a will-o'-th'-wisp that, however enthusiastically pursued, can never be achieved. And "social justice" harms those it aims to help, in part because it destroys the only legal and economic system -- free-market capitalism -- wherein the downtrodden have ever been able to improve their fortunes to any great degree.

The great irony of all this is that, even if you favor government aid to the poor -- or perhaps, especially if you favor such aid -- the health of the free-market economy should be paramount in your considerations.

After all, government can't conjure money out of thin air. Ultimately, government can only spend on aid to the poor what it takes from the private economy in taxes. So if liberals pursue policies that harm the private economy, they're killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. (Anybody tried applying for food stamps, health care or student loans in Zimbabwe lately?)

So the accusation of "racism" against Rush Limbaugh is transparently false, its entire rhetorical basis being the liberal conceit that only mala fides (bad faith) can motivate opposition to liberalism.


  1. It's a straw man diversionary tactic designed not to deal with the real issues or the issues being discussed. It's labeling used to stifle commentary. On the other hand, Rush is a big boy that gets paid well to do what he does, IE successful. He can take care of himself.

  2. Well said. But that makes you a sexist, racist, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobe, too.

    And since you use reason and logic, you are an ignoramophobe as well. Stacy McCain hates stupid people! Down with The Other McCain.

    (Rumor has it that you are a doodyhead, but the source is somewhat weak so I will refrain from using it.)

  3. What is a really repellent component of the personalities of most of the liberals I have met is their ideas on how they are best able to decide for others, best able to think for others, because they are better than everybody else.

    It is only they who can make big decisions, therefore they need to be the leader, they need to be the important one, they need to have the responsibility...just a bunch of fucking assholes that are impossible to deal with on a human level.

    I work in a college town, I see these jackasses a lot, and none of them are conservative, all are big time libs.

    It is no wonder all dictatorships come from the left. They are the people more interested in power seeking and collectivism (of others, not themselves) above embracing humanity.

    Awful people, to a "T". Charlie Mansons on a smaller scale.

  4. Would any honest "progressive" deny that the aims of their redistributionist economic program -- to tax the evil "rich" for the benefit of the sainted "poor," in Robin Hood fashion -- are motivated by notions of "social justice"?I admire your optimism. If this were the case, their hearts would at least be in the right place, the whole saying about what constitutes the pavement material of the road to Hell notwithstanding.

    However, I can't do anything but ascribe cynical, evil motives to their true desire: to enslave entire communities for the sake of creating a devoted voting bloc to keep them in power. These are people who support the utilitarian wholesale slaugher of unborn children after all, so convince me they can't possibly be so calculated and nefarious in other areas.

    Terry in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

  5. Those who are slated to benefit from liberal and "socially progressive" programs are in a deep denial about who really has their back. Anyone criticizing any policies perpetuated or prolonged by this administrations (pardon the loose alliteration) is going to be labeled a racist so guess folks might as well get used to it. If that's the only weapon in the liberal arsenal that carries any weight, then I suggest developing thicker skin.

  6. The problem, of course, is that this prevents rational discussion of policy.Here, let's fix that sentence:

    The intent, of course, is that this prevents rational discussion of policy.You elaborated the point well enough in the remainder of your post, but allowing the sentence to stand anyway just seemed silly.

  7. I hope Blimp-baugh's kidney's fail while he's on air...
    Could there be a more appropriate way for karma to dole out it's special brand of cosmic justice?
    Hey, relax. I'm just making like a golf analyst....

  8. BTW, for those confused by Rush's silence about Sykes: didn't Fox just sign Sykes for some talk show or something?
    Also, he probably couldn't think of a comeback that didn't involve Sykes skin color.
    Which is why he's always harping about how he can't criticize BO for fear of being labeled a racist.
    Which makes me wonder what BO's race would have to do with any criticism of the job he is doing?
    I bet Rush could find a way, and he's just so frustrated that he can' least on air.

  9. Stacy - Great post! Moving on from the Prejean nonsense? I know many ''progressives'' that do take offense at calling their aims redistributionist. They claim to be so much above even that. To them it is a higher metaphysical calling that drives them to 'Robin Hoodism'. Glad to see great content here.....All in favor of moving on from topless lesbian stories say 'aye'.

  10. Left Coast Rebel: Are you saying that topless lesbians are not a serious public-policy issue? Or are you suffering from . . . lesbomammaphobia?

  11. Stacy - My 'topless-lesbian' quip was just poking fun, if it is possible for one to be guilty of 'lesbomammaphobia', then guilty be I. Well said sir.

  12. I hate having to break out the Clue-Bat(tm) before noon...

    But the word "reparations" does NOT implicitly refer to black people, no matter how much liberals enjoy torturing the dictionary [see also retard (slow), queer(strange), and marriage(man+woman)]. The context clearly demonstrates the concept of "reparations" being made from those nasty exploitive "rich" people to the "poor" people whom they have supposedly wronged.

    Unless "poor" is a "race," then it ain't racism.

  13. Excellent post, sir! I see you're still actively 'whetting the blade,' so to speak.

    I was hoping to see some unhinged lefties in here calling names, but I see logic, fact, and utter undeniable truth have rendered them speechless. Bravo!

  14. The loudest and most virulent shrieks of "Get that nigger off my street!" I ever heard came from a man in a tux and a Rainbow Coalition ribbon on Stone Canyon Road in Bel Air.

    And you don't want to know how those proud Obama voters reacted to the '91 riots. Think Night of the Living Dead crossed with the evacuation of Kuwait.

  15. Captain Obvious -- only black people are poor in America. You should know that.