As many as 40 people were killed by Mother Nature and in accidents related to Hurricane Irene, and more than 8 million lost power during the storm that flooded areas of the East Coast, but there was nevertheless a great sigh of relief that the damage wasn’t as massive as initially feared. Rush Limbaugh, however, thinks that President Obama is disappointed that Irene didn’t cause more havoc. On Monday’s radio show, the conservative pundit lambasted the media for inflating the threat of the storm — a reasonably fair criticism with the benefit of hindsight — but he went on to accuse the president of craven opportunism. “I’ll guarantee you Obama was hoping this was going to be a disaster as another excuse for his failing economy,” he said. “If he’s out there blaming tsunamis, if he’s blaming earthquakes, and whatever natural disasters there are, this one was made to order, but it just didn’t measure up.” MediaMatters has the short clip below:
Look, this is an entertainment blog, and though Limbaugh’s extremely popular radio show technically falls under our domain, it’s not our habit to parse the outrageous comments of political commentators from the Right or Left. But this one blast is jarring: Limbaugh believes that Obama is disappointed that the country escaped greater damage… What kind of mind-set do you have to have to even make that accusation? I mean, there were also people who accused the Bush Administration of letting the 9/11 attacks happen for political gain. You can find their musings all over the Internet. They’re called wackos.
But Rush Limbaugh isn’t some dude stockpiling weapons in his parents basement and ranting about black helicopters and the Carlyle Group. He’s the leading conservative voice in this country — a tablesetter for the Republican party and its leading candidates’ talking points. When he speaks, people listen.
While some people might have no problem swallowing Limbaugh’s assessment of the president, I think his remark is a greater illustration of how his own brain works. Everything is political to this man — even natural disasters — meaning everything is analyzed and weighed for its possible implications in his eternal struggle against the Leftist Cabal That is Ruining His Country. I’m sorry he feels that way, but I’m also grateful I’m not him.
Hurricane Irene: What will you be watching?