At the best of times, the Republican Party has seemed dissociated from our shared reality, unmoored from the currents of our day to day existence on this planet. They have fallen into the looking glass and lost their way, intent on a world that never is and shall never be.
Rush Limbaugh epitomizes the Republican loss of being as “the top media voice for political conservatives,” according to World Net Daily. I don’t know if he is the top media voice, but how do you grade degrees of appalling? I’m willing, for the sake of argument, to accept WND’s judgment on this. After all, if anybody ought to know appalling, it is WND.
What is weird is that Limbaugh said Monday there is something weird going on, that the GOP has somehow become liberal:
We are all inundated by each other, every day, with e-mails, phone calls, texts, what have you, of utter incredulity over what’s happened to the Republican Party. It’s just too weird, folks, there just isn’t any serious opposition to anything that the Democrat Party wants.
Nope. No opposition at all.
It is clear that Limbaugh is addressing some bizarre reality on a world none of the rest of us can see, a sort of inner, inner layer to the Fox News bubble.
“They’re not even going through the motions. They’re not even voicing phony opposition to Obama in order to placate the base. They’re actively targeting their own base. This is just too weird!”
It would be weird. If it were true. But Limbaugh insists the Planned Parenthood video, in its entirety a hoax, is true: “There’s nothing that was taken out of context here.”
He insists what Huckabee said about Obama leading Jews to the oven door is true, even though Jews say it is not and are horrified by the suggestion.
He said Trump never said what he clearly said about McCain, what you can hear Trump saying about McCain every single time you watch the video.
Limbaugh is not the first to try to cope with the paradoxes of the conservative multi-verse. We all remember Glenn Beck asking, “Why isn’t anyone talking about this?” when something popped into his head – usually something he invented.
Heck, Republicans even want to pass legislation on the lie they made up about Planned Parenthood.
After almost seven years of Republican-imposed gridlock, shut-down, and nullification, this is Limbaugh’s analysis of the state of the Republican Party:
But just the establishment in Washington, you can’t distinguish the difference between Republicans and Democrats there. They are all aligned. They are glued together. But the difference now is, the Republican Party doesn’t even go through the motions of trying to convince its voters that they’re opposed to the Obama agenda.
No, Rush is not living in our universe, and he is not alone.
The long night of the Republican Party is upon them, the consequences of going on two decades of binge drinking their own Kool Aid. The necessity that what they wish to be true, BE true.
The entire foundation of their constructed reality, its underpinnings, are fantasy. It follows that everything which proceeds from these fantasies must also be fantasies. But because all this must, according to their ideology, be true, they are left befuddled and dismayed.
One of these false assumptions is that the House could ever repeal the Affordable Care Act, as though it were just another bill up for a vote and not the law of the land. Twice upheld by the Supreme Court, no less. Another is immigration. Yet another, Iran. On all three, Republicans have found themselves stymied by a reality that refuses to cooperate with their preconceptions:
I mean, they’ve had all these phony votes. For example, repeal Obamacare votes,” he explained. “They’re not even going through the motions of that ’cause they know that people see through it and that they don’t mean it. They’re not even trying. I don’t care what the issue is. The big three: Amnesty, Obamacare, Iran. Nothing! Zilch! No opposition to anything. Now, can anybody say that immigration, as being policed or not policed by Obama is helping America? Can anybody? They don’t even try to make the case that’s happening. I mean, even the amnesty supporters do not do it on the basis that it’s good for America.
Never mind that studies show immigration makes the United States stronger. That there is no evidence that the flood of immigrants are like a wave of barbarians crashing against the frontiers of the new Roman Empire. His despair is evident:
They do it on the basis that it’s ‘fair; for the immigrants. They do it on the basis of social justice and fairness motivations and reasons. But they don’t do it it’s improving the country. The Iran deal. Does anybody think this is actually good for the United States? Yet there’s no opposition to it, no serious opposition.
Can anybody say that Obamacare is making health care better? Can anybody say that anything that Obama is doing is? Nobody even makes the case, other than Obama with some words now and then … that the country’s better off than it has been. They have to lie about employment numbers, they have to make things up. There’s not even any fake opposition to Obama.
Cognitive dissonance requires that Limbaugh find some other explanation for the unacceptable. In his mind, therefore, “It’s because the Republican Party wants to finally get rid of the conservatives, get rid of its base.”
Oh dear. The water has gotten deep, but that is only because Rush is laying first down in the very thin veneer of what passes for rational thinking in the GOP.
And Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner? Why, “They have turned to mush.”
There is a void in Republican leadership then, and Trump has filled it. Limbaugh’s conclusion followed from his premise, and would seem sound were it not that the premise was a flight of fantasy:
Admit it, folks. What has you bamboozled, what has you frustrated is you don’t see any opposition to any of it at a level of power that could do something about stopping it. There’s plenty of opposition in your neighborhood, plenty of opposition in your town, plenty of opposition in your family, plenty of opposition in your friends, but there’s none where it counts.
He’s right at last. There has been a whole lotta bamboozling going on and conservatives have willingly submitted to it, and in fact, crave more. Joining our shared reality at this late date won’t fix their shattered fantasies at this point. Only more lies will serve.
And so Rush Limbaugh’s long nightmare will continue.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.