Rush Limbaugh Embarrasses Himself While Trying to Police Sotomayor’s Grammar

On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh declared that Sonia Sotomayor butchers the English language more than George W. Bush if he got drunk again, but while criticizing Sotomayor, Limbaugh confused the terms providence and provenance, which made him look like a total fool. Check out the audio.

Here is the audio from Media Matters:

Sotomayor said, “All questions of policy are in the providence of Congress first.” Rush said, “Provenance, it is provenance of Congress, not providence. Providence is a city in Rhode Island, it’s also a record of, say you are a wine collector and you have some old classics and you want to sell them, you’ve got to be able to prove they are real, how you got them, where they have been, how they have been stored, that’s the providence of something. You know, questions of policy are the provenance, the right of Congress.”

A quick check of Webster’s Dictionary finds that provenance is defined as, “the history of ownership of a valued object or work of art or literature,” and providence means, “divine guidance or care.” Um Rush, you’re wrong. If you are like me you are thinking what kind of bozo would put together audio clips, spend 50 seconds criticizing Sotomayor for using the terms correctly, and incorrectly explain to his audience the use of the term?

The guy has 20 million listeners, and nobody that works on his show can pick up a dictionary and actually check the definitions before he goes on the air and makes an ass out of himself? This is why Limbaugh and his listeners, outside of the GOP, get treated like a bunch of morons. It is not that tough to do a little research before you criticize someone else for incorrect vocabulary usage.

By the way Rush, way to connect with your everyman audience by using as your example wine collecting. What blue collar person doesn’t come home from a hard day’s work and head down to the wine cellar to forget the struggles of life for a few hours? Good Lord Rush, when you do things like this, you start to make Glenn Beck look intelligent and prepared.

8 Replies to “Rush Limbaugh Embarrasses Himself While Trying to Police Sotomayor’s Grammar”

  1. […] about Rush Limbaugh as of July 16, 2009 Rush Limbaugh Embarrasses Himself While Trying to Police Sotomayor’s Grammar – 07/16/2009 On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh declared that Sonia Sotomayor […]

  2. You mistook what he said, province, for provenance. Province works well in this context, but providence isn’t exactly wrong, just awkward.

    Also, you failed to point out his real mistakes.

    1) He claims she meant to say “vagary” when she said “vagrancy”, but she corrects herself in the audio clip by saying “vacancies.” In this context, vacancy makes sense, but vagaries does not in any way make sense.

    2) He uses third grade tactics to criticize a woman on her use of the English language, which happens to be her second language, and which she speaks well enough that he could apparently only find 4 speaking “mistakes” that she has made during the course of her career.

  3. The more I listen to this audio, he used providence multiple times. I don’t think I am 100% off. If you look at the Media Matters link, they went with providence too. He could have misspoke and actually used a more appropriate term once, but it is a pretty weak argument that Rush threw up there today. He is arguing that she is somehow not qualified because she misspoke a few times.

  4. I think the correct sentence is “All questions of policy are in the province of Congress.” Rush is right to correct it that it is not providence, but in his rush–no pun intended!–to criticize, he misdefines “providence” by giving the definition for “provenance.” ( I guess he can’t qualify as a Supreme Court judge nominee, either.)

    “All questions of policy are in the provenance of Congress” doesn’t make sense. “Provenance” is not a “right”; it is a “place or source of origin.”

  5. the prolific commenter ‘anonymous’ wrote:

    ” Further last I checked he was not a SCOTUS nominee, and he freely admits he is self-educated. ”

    You are correct, Rush is not a SCOTUS nominee; as to being self-educated, apparently that equates to not being very well educated.

  6. He’s not saying she’s not qualified because she misspoke, he is merely pointing out that if this had happened to President Bush, Communist News Network would have jumped all over it. They would have used it over and over again and not have let him live it down. But since it’s a “wise latina” she is exempt from such criticism.

  7. Many have criticized Sotomayor for not expressing herself well in this instance; SHE has made the same self-criticism.

    The argument however is not about criticism, it IS about the comment debarring her from serving as a Supreme Court Justice, when weighed against the overwhelming balance of her judicial career. This is the reasoning of some who oppose her.

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