Rush on stage

Two articles on the front page in yesterday morning’s Washington Post (Friday, March 6, 2009) tell us more about the kinds of drama in our daily life than perhaps we really want to think about. At the bottom of the page is an article on starvation in North Korea. We have become accustomed to these stories of starvation, desolation, loneliness and loss. We are obligated out of some sense of shared humanity to read these stories though most of us do nothing beyond that. On the other hand, up in the left hand corner, the readers left hand, a picture of Rush Limbaugh seems to shout for our attention. Limbaugh is la mosca, the fly in Renaissance Drama. That character, the fly, moves the action by buzzing and stinging the protagonist with rumors and slanders to force a reaction and pushes the story line to its conclusion. Iago is the most famous fly in the English language; but Limbaugh is a cartoon caricature. It is his flailing, wing beating, bristling quality in the angry comedy that we see; but it is his own “heroic journey” that moves Mr. Limbaugh out of being the mosca that we see , and into the role of victimized protagonist in his own melodrama. It is that confusion that we experience when we think of how he performs and his popularity. And it is that confusion that warns genuine conservative politicians away from challenging him. They are rightly afraid that he can and will raise a swarm to avenge any interference  in the drama he has chosen to produce.


  1. A swarm of angry ditto-heads is something to behold. They have the moral compass of killer bees. Fortunately for us all young ditto’s aren’t signing on.

  2. Superb analysis of Rush. I also feel his comments echo those of
    the suddenly-naked far right. Their discourse has become so
    mean-spirited and vitriolic they are marginalizing all principled
    Republicans. Rush is a smart guy. So there’s some
    reason he and his sponsors feel that their only recourse is
    a resort to extremely small-minded and cruel diatribes. There are
    plenty of thoughtful, intelligent grounds to question the Democrats’
    initiatives. Too bad Rush is taking up so much oxygen — too bad if
    you’re a Republican. If you’re a Democrat, you’re delighted to see him
    putting the GOP into a coffin. But, then, we need shovel-ready projects.

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