Rush Limbaugh rallies Joplin with praise -- and tea
Well, controversial conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh is at it again -- talking about American pride and helping each other, American exceptionalism and other ways of independent thinking in a political era that's made them sometimes seem outmoded.
Limbaugh showed up in Joplin, Mo., which suffered severe damage and more than 100 deaths during a May tornado. He was having a contest to find the American city with the most pride. No, Limbaugh did not pick hometown Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Limbaugh, as you know, is always going on about government interference and only attracting some 14 million loyal radio listeners in doing so.
Apparently, Limbaugh was impressed that Joplin isn't waiting for handouts and outside help and pointing fingers of blame at federal officials for not fixing the damage, like maybe perhaps officials did a few years ago after another major storm somewhere.
Joplin residents have already undertaken a massive rebuilding effort. American neighbors helping themselves and each other, if you can believe such a thing in 2011. For some weird reason this all impressed Limbaugh. (Scroll down for video of his complete remarks.)
So the famous talker showed up there to speak and hand out nearly 4,000 cases of his new tea product, Tea for Two or 2 Teas for You Too or Two If By Sea. Anyway, the bottled drink label has a photo of Limbaugh in a tri-cornered hat riding to warn Massachusetts that Michele Bachmann is coming or something.
You understand the principle of hard work and self-reliance. You understand the difference between self-interest and selfishness. You are not selfish. You all are going to be working your own self-interest. You’re going to rebuild your lives, and in the process, everybody else’s lives will be rebuilt right along with yours.
American exceptionalism is simply the result of our founding fathers understanding that our government is not to determine the quality of outcomes in life because we’re not all the same. Our country was determined to present equality of opportunity, and what you do with it is your business.
We’re 235 years old. We’re here on Independence Day. We are celebrating the biggest miracle in the history of human civilization. And as I grow older — I just turned 60 — I become more in awe, more appreciative of this country every day.
Have you ever heard anything so silly?
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photo: Gary He / Associated Press (Limbaugh, file).