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Obama Should Debate Rush Limbaugh

Posted by John Wellington Ennis

As pointed out here on Huff Po by Earl Ofari Hutchinson, the drawn-out battle between the White House and Rush Limbaugh has served to expand Limbaugh’s ratings numbers. Back in his sweet spot as an underdog, Limbaugh’s ballooning numbers have matched his inflating ego ever since President Obama first suggested to Republican leaders: “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.”

This frank acknowledgment to me indicates what a normal guy Obama is, still grappling with the Presidency that transcends him. This same simple talk slipped last week at his town hall when he stopped himself from referring to low-paying jobs at “Mickey…” (as in Mickey D’s, how many other Chicagoans refer to McDonald’s) then correcting himself to say “fast food.”

Yet dignifying one heavyweight right-wing talk show host is not particularly presidential, though in the ensuing smoke-out of the GOP, their leaders have behaved as Keystone Kops in Brooks Brothers suits, chasing the case of “It’s the Great Socialist, Charlie Brown!” In this leadership vacuum that even the most ardent conservatives deride, it is no surprise more disillusioned conservatives have gravitated to Rush’s rants and Fallacy Fests.

I expect the debate would be in late fall of 2012. By that point, Limbaugh would have secured the Republican nomination for President, and in the tradition of our great country, it would be his right to debate the incumbent president.

At this point, there is a real disconnect brought on by the world as defined by Limbaugh to his Dittoheads (people who proudly adopt the nickname of “what he said, me too”) and the world as it actually exists. What Limbaugh frequently charges the Obama Administration with would come out in the wash under the scrutiny of the mainstream press corps, however tabloid their tastes.

That is why I feel strongly that President Obama should take up Rush Limbaugh on his challenge to a debate.

What’s more, I propose a series of debates. No hurry, I expect the time would be in late fall of 2012. By that point, Limbaugh would have secured the Republican nomination for President, and in the tradition of our great country, it would be his right to debate the incumbent president. Since Limbaugh has so much to say, I am sure he would be very eager for a face-to-face opportunity to tell the president, and the world, how he will lead the country in the right direction, back to 1981.

Of course, that assumes that Rush Limbaugh would dare step outside of the insulated radio studio where he famously talked himself deaf. This also presumes that he would survive the thorough vetting in the public eye, and will have satisfactorily explained his pill addictions, prescription shopping, and sex tourism, like when he bragged after being detained at a Palm Springs airport with illegal Viagra: “I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it.”

It also should go without saying that the Republican Party would embrace their nominee despite his three divorces, his lack of religious conviction, his lack of a college education, his lack of political or campaign experience, and even his lack of actual debate ability.

Finally, Rush would have the opportunity to explain to all of America, not just his audience, about how he would be a better leader for America, because he hoped the current leader of America failed, as if it were a rival nation.

His campaign would easily be self-financed, since he has a $400 million contract, and many of his white working-class male listeners will still be unemployed thanks to the laissez-faire economics Rush preaches, the only French he knows.

And at that point, after decades of spewing attacks on our government and its leaders, will we get to hear what Rush Limbaugh would actually do besides eliminate his own taxes and take away welfare from poor people, because according to him, welfare destroys families because it makes them not rely on the father.

I think a lot of people would like to see this event. It might not be exactly what Rush envisioned, though. I suspect he fantasized that Obama would call in to his show, and he could put him on hold, and then tell his audience: “Look! I put the President of the United States on hold! I’m Rush Limbaugh!” Rush could then interrupt and re-direct the conversation with his sweeping unanswerable questions, like: “Where is the compromise between good and evil? Should Jesus have cut a different deal?” And then he could play his ring tone of “Barack the Magic Negro,” and ask Obama what’s so offensive about it.

Or, maybe not. Maybe Rush Limbaugh is a bitter, bullying, bloviating blowhard bent on bashing anything that allows him to argue arrogantly about any ideas that he can tie back to himself, without fear of accountability. Maybe given the opportunity to see these two men compared together, many other people would see that as well.


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