I don’t suppose there’s much point in reading Zev Chavet’s exciting new hagiography, Rush Limbaugh: He Is Ever So Dreamy, when even the timidest attack lamb of the NY Times books section is disgusted by it, and when it contains featherweight fluff of an especially featherbrained class:
About the photos of American soldiers and Iraqi prisoners that emerged from Abu Ghraib, the book says only this: “Rush dismissed them as examples of high-spirited bad behavior akin to hazing at a college frat house.”
Only that! Well, OK then.
And there’s a lot more where that came from. David Frum got a whack at the book in the WaPo, with comical results, especially the long excerpts about Limbaugh’s ghastly house:
Largely decorated by Limbaugh himself, [his Palm Beach house] reflects the things and places he has seen and admired. A massive chandelier in the dining room, for example, is a replica of the one that hung in the lobby of New York’s Plaza Hotel. The vast salon is meant to suggest Versailles. The main guest suite, which I didn’t visit, is an exact replica of the Presidential Suite at the Hotel George V in Paris. There is a full suit of armor on display, as well as a life-size oil painting of El Rushbo. Fragrant candles burned throughout the house, a daily home-from-the-wars ritual.
Which reveals a level of taste that is not so much nouveau riche as it is doucheau riche.
Frum makes hay out of how such frippery clashes with Limbaugh’s braying Joe-Sixpack populism, which is fair enough, as far as it goes — except for the reality that for Limbaugh’s fanbase, flaunting obscenely expensive gimcrack Gatsbyish crap is not merely the American Dream incarnate, but indeed its own self-justification for pretty much everything. See, you may sneer at Limbaugh, lieberal feminazi, but ha ha sucks to be you, he is rich.
Frum’s alarm at how Limbaugh appears to be the Intellectual Leader of 21st Century Conservatism is thus completely besides the point, as it is grounded in a fear that Limbaugh’s abrasive idiocy is going to drag down the GOP.
Why on earth should Limbaugh even care? Or Glenn Beck, either? Or Fox News? Like Frum, OTB frets that Limbaughism killed the Republicans in ’08:
You could see this triumph of low-browism in full force during the 2008 General Election from the adulation given to a totally unknown Governor who virtually celebrated anti-intellectualism, to the attention given an unlicensed plumber from Ohio who managed to get himself YouTube’d repeating a GOP talking point, to the unstated assumptions that many had about Barack Obama that just weren’t true.
And you could see just how well that went over on Election Night.
Went over beautifully. Hell, it probably bought Limbaugh his horrible chandelier.