steven ivory

Steven Ivory

*Frankly, I didn’t want Rush Limbaugh to apologize.

His official half hearted expressions of regret to Sandra Fluke I hoped he’d continue to stubbornly withhold, thus allowing his vile and unprovoked verbal attack on  her–along with his initial defiant decision not to apologize–to simply sit and marinade in the stewpot of  public  opinion.  I reasoned that perhaps if  Limbaugh’s steaming pile of ignorance festered long enough, some of his fans might actually reconsider what the man is made of.

In any case, in the audacious words of Aretha Franklin, let’s call this song exactly what it is: Limbaugh’s  latest rant had nothing to do with insurance, contraceptives, Ms. Fluke or the Catholic Church.  It has to do with Barack Obama being President of the United States.

It’s killing them.  Everyday that Limbaugh and  his ilk awaken and eat breakfast in an America where the Commander-in-Chief is a black man is a day of misery, and it’s  driving them insane.

This transparent collective of men and women politicians,   pundits, journalists, bloggers, entrepreneurs and assorted talking heads have upped their mephitic campaign of racism, sexism and garden-variety inanity ever since Obama took office. They’ll push back against anything his Administration embraces or suggests, no matter what.

They are so gripped by their  rancid hate and stupidity that,  unlike others who share their views discreetly, they are unable to contain themselves. Consequently, from their pathetic psychosis they have fashioned  careers.

And what they peddle, in assorted strains of bombast, is fear: fear of change, fear of losing what crumbling chunks of the status quo remain,  fear of the very different place America is fast becoming.

Their paranoia can’t possibly be eased by the choices they’re stuck with to run against Obama in the coming Presidential election.  Take a concentrated listen and you come away with the sneaking suspicion that somewhere out there, a circus is missing some clowns.

This sad assemblage will say just about anything to get attention or  convince constituents of their worth. There’s no vow that Mitt Romney won’t  make.  “Mr. Nervous” Romeny who, when compared to his Republican and Independent rivals, seems sane,  the other day in Michigan stopped short of  promising to bring Motown Records back to Detroit.

Ron Paul resembles a rickety, old poor man’s Timothy Leary wannabe after taxes whose often wacky outlooks are the result of  too many drugs early on.  Newt Gingrich, appearing on any TV program that will dedicate a working camera, seems hell bent on saying whatever enters his mind.  It’s as if someone  with a stopwatch motions “Go!”  after which Gingrich simply empties his brain of words.  So far, he’s blamed Obama for everything except the death of Elvis.  It all looks so very desperate.

Rick  Santorum,  a man who knows fake theology when he sees it, who holds three college degrees and who no doubt wants his own children to pursue higher learning,  calls  Obama–for wanting  all Americans to have the option of a college education–“a snob.”

Indeed, there are Americans who, once the intelligent, educated and reasonable Obama showed up, decided that being academically prepared for life is unabashed “elitism”–which of course is their code word for “uppity.”

Funny–throughout my inner city grade school years, over and again my teachers impressed upon us that out in the real world, WE wouldn’t be afforded the luxury of being as good as others; we’d have to be BETTER.

Never in a million years could  anyone fathom some Americans, in their frustration and disdain, angrily seeking to alter the rules altogether. Suddenly, a sound education is declared overrated.

By the way, Rush–there are many women whose use of birth control pills,  no matter how they acquire them, has absolutely nothing to do with having sex. They use the pill to address other health issues.

While age 50  may be hailed as the new 30 and foreclosure and bankruptcy may be the new black (as in fashion), dumb-as-hell will never, ever be the new smart.  But boy, are they ever trying.

You know, maybe that circus is actually hiding from those clowns.

Steven Ivory, journalist and author of the essay collection Fool In Love  (Simon & Schuster),  has covered popular culture for magazines, newspapers, radio and TV for more than 30 years. Respond to him via [email protected].