Daily Archives: November 9, 2010

Quote of the Day II: Rush Limbaugh, Dessert, and Liberal Lies

To insanity and beyond.  This used to be an SNL skit.  Now it’s real life.  Rush Limbaugh advises his listeners:

What have I told you about diet and exercise?  Exercise is irrelevant…. “How do you know all this?”  One of the reasons I know what I know is that I know liberals, and I know liberals lie, and if Michelle Obama’s gonna be out there ripping into “food desserts” and saying, “This is why people are fat,” I know it’s not true.  “Rush, do you really believe that? It’s that simple to you, liberals lie?”  Yes, it is, folks.  Once you learn that, once you come to grips with that, once you accept that, the rest is easy.  Very, very simple.  Now, my doctor has never told me to restrict any intake of salt, but if he did, I wouldn’t.  I’d just spend more time in the steam or the sauna sweating it out.

(Via the Daily Dish)

Quote of the Day: “The Big Lie”


Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it!  Barack Obama’s trip to India is costing 200 million dollars a day!!

Libertarian conservative Andrew Sullivan in a post today characterizes the last two years as the “era of the Big Lie.”  It’s no secret who’s to blame.

Money quote:

It seems to me that the last year or so in America’s political culture has represented the triumph of untruth. And the untruth was propagated by a deliberate, simple and systemic campaign to kill Obama’s presidency in its crib. Emergency measures in a near-unprecedented economic collapse – the bank bailout, the auto-bailout, the stimulus – were described by the right as ideological moves of choice, when they were, in fact, pragmatic moves of necessity. The increasingly effective isolation of Iran’s regime – and destruction of its legitimacy from within – was portrayed as a function of Obama’s weakness, rather than his strength. The health insurance reform – almost identical to Romney’s, to the right of the Clintons in 1993, costed to reduce the deficit, without a public option, and with millions more customers for the insurance and drug companies – was turned into a socialist government take-over.

Every one of these moves could be criticized in many ways. What cannot be done honestly, in my view, is to create a narrative from all of them to describe Obama as an anti-American hyper-leftist, spending the US into oblivion. But since this seems to be the only shred of thinking left on the right (exacerbated by the justified flight of the educated classes from a party that is now openly contemptuous of learning), it became a familiar refrain – pummeled into our heads day and night by talk radio and Fox. If you think I’m exaggerating, try the following thought experiment.

If a black Republican president had come in, helped turn around the banking and auto industries (at a small profit!), insured millions through the private sector while cutting Medicare, overseen a sharp decline in illegal immigration, ramped up the war in Afghanistan, reinstituted pay-as-you go in the Congress, set up a debt commission to offer hard choices for future debt reduction, and seen private sector job growth outstrip the public sector’s in a slow but dogged recovery, somehow I don’t think that Republican would be regarded as a socialist.

Joseph Goebbels infamously observed, “The bigger the lie, the more likely it will be believed.”  The RNC/FNC conglomerate seems to be betting on that.

Frye on fascism and oligarchy:

Fascism is an oligarchic conspiracy against the open-class system, deriving its real power from the big oligarchs and its mass support from would-be oligarchs, the “independent” (i.e. unsuccessful) entrepreneurs.  (CW 11, 252)

This is apparently how free people become eager accomplices in their own enslavement.

An earlier post, “Mendocracy,” here.

Ivan Turgenev

Today is Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev‘s birthday (1818-1880).

Frye on Russian literary language in an interview with Matthew Fraser, “Northrop Frye: Signifying Everything”:

Fraser: The language of literature is often very different from the common spoken language of a country.  For example in Russia, because of the strong influence of Pushkin, the literary language is divorced from spoken Russian.  In North America, however, the literary language is virtually the same as our spoken language.  Why do you think that in some countries there is such a gap between literary and spoken language, and in other countries there is no difference at all?

Frye: I think that with Russia it has something to do with the rather late development of their literature.  And of course there are other countries like Norway where the literary language is almost an invented language.  I think that the gap between literary language and ordinary spoke language is a very unhealthy thing, especially in fiction where the dialogue, at any rate, has to capture the spoken word.  I don’t know how countries get along if there is too great a gap between literary language and the colloquial language, but certainly in North America that battle was fought out as early as Huckleberry Finn, where it was clear that the language spoken by the people is the literary language as well.