Rush Limbaugh's drug problems were mentioned in Monday's and Tuesday's installments of the Boondocks comic strip. (I link to the UComics.com Boondocks page because the official Boondocks site hasn't been updated in three years.) To Aaron McGruder's credit, he didn't play the race card based on Rush's misinterpreted comments on ESPN's NFL Sunday Countdown, so I didn't use the obvious headline "Aaron McGruder is overrated because the liberal media wants to see a black cartoonist succeed". (Well, I wouldn't exactly say McGruder's "overrated", but they've done a couple of weeks of reruns lately. Plus, he introduced all those great characters in 1999 like Mr. Petto, Huey's teacher, and Riley's former-prison-guard-babe-turned-teacher, and rarely uses them.) Still, I was hoping he'd have something inciteful to say, but he seems content to just take cheap shots at Rush and implied shots at his listeners.
Since they'll be gone from the free part of the UComics.com site in two weeks, I'll transcribe and Fisk Tuesday's strip here.
Cesar: The people I feel most sorry for are Rush's followers, who now have to swallow the fact that he's a fraud and a hypocrite...
Okay, first of all, Rush's "followers"? Typical liberal condescension towards conservatives. Rush doesn't give marching orders, he's a guy on the radio people listen to and can agree or disagree with. Why not just "Rush's listeners"?
Secondly, "he's a fraud"? How so? He's not pulling a fast one on anyone... he's not claiming to be anything he's not. He gets paid handsomely, but that's all above the table. So what? We just found out he's not perfect. No one's perfect. It's certainly not like he shot a cop, or anything like that... no, wait, if he had shot a cop, we'd have all sorts of Idiotarian celebrities supporting him.
"And a hypocrite". Well, in the liberal world view, being a hypocrite is about the worst offense possible, right up there with homophobia (which, of course, can be defined as disagreeing with a self-proclaimed "Queer" activist on anything). What is being a hypocrite, really? Saying one thing but doing another. First of all, we're all hypocrites to some degree. Just in this blog, I tell people not to take public transit when the maintenance workers' union starts taking juvenile actions, but I take public transit anyhow (because I don't drive). If a hypocrite has a good point about something, his point is inherently valid; it's not invalid even if he fails to live up to his professed ideals. Also, like I pointed out before, in the specific case of Rush Limbaugh, the quotes against drugs the media is dredging up are from The Way Things Ought to Be, published in 1992, and See, I Told You So, published in 1993. Not only are they outdated, a very pertinent fact is that they were written several years before his back problems for which he received the medication commenced, so he wasn't even being hypocritical when he made the comments. Honestly, he hasn't talked much about drugs in years, at least not as much as he did during the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations, and even if he talked about it more on days on which I wasn't listening, he's a guy with a weakness, and one that isn't really his fault and one which he took it upon himself get over. Cut him some fricking slack.
Cesar: I mean... can you imagine what it would be like for millions of conservative white men to find out America's most brash right-winger is strung out on drugs? It's like... it's like...
"Conservative white men"... way to paint all of Rush's listeners with the same brush. Women and minorities do listen, ya know?
"America's most brash right-winger"... I can think of a lot of conservatives and libertarians whom are a lot more brash than Rush is. Michael Savage for one. Also, Ann Coulter, subject of Wednesday's strip. Mark Steyn, if he counts as American. And, of course, bloggers like Emperor Misha I.
"Strung out on drugs"... See, McGruder actually uses a stereotype of drug users from conservatives just to paint Rush as a helpless addict, spread out on the couch in a daze in his stained underclothes waiting for the postman to put the welfare cheque in the mail slot so he can cash it and buy a few more hits. The truth is, most drug addicts can function normally in society to some degree. But Rush ain't Marion Barry smoking crack in a hotel room on video. Rush is a guy that got addicted as a side-effect of the painkiller OxyContin which he was *prescribed*. It's an notoriously addictive drug, as addictive as heroine, so Rush just has the same human frailty as thousands of other people. It's not like he set out to become an addict by buying an illicit narcotic on the street. Plus, of course, McGruder implicitly assumes that, by being associated with the word "drugs", Rush will have a figurative scarlet letter on his forehead in right-wing circles, ignoring that many conservatives and most libertarians support legalizing some or all narcotics, the war on drugs being a huge financial drain, with the vanguard of the conservative war against the war on drugs being at National Review. So, no, sorry Aaron... erm, I mean, "Cesar and Huey", despite what you may want to see happen, Rush ain't becoming a pariah with conservatives... if anything, Rush is getting more love and support than ever from his millions of friends on the right.
(By the way, I got prescribed pain-killers myself when I had my impacted wisdom teeth removed in September 2002. I didn't get much of a buzz... not even when I combined it with alcohol, and we're talking 9% La Fin du Monde beer. I don't see what the fuss was about, but I guess I just wasn't using OxyContin.)
I don't really have anything else to say, but I'll finish transcribing the strip regardless.
Huey: Louis Farrakhan going to Heaven and finding out that God is a white woman who likes pork sandwiches.
Cesar: Something like that.
Assuming Louis Farrakhan goes to Heaven, of course.