(Painting by Ima Wizer)
While the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates induced a sigh of relief from hundreds of millions of Americans, one man became positively unhinged over what he called "puking reporting by the drive-by media." During the first hour of his show, Rush Limbaugh raved incoherently about President Obama's role in the rescue, hitting his stride with an idea for a movie called President Obama Turns On Somali Counterparts:
I have an idea -- preliminary idea here on the movie that will be made by Hollywood that will immortalize this brilliant episode in American foreign policy led by President Obama. [Note: One can only imagine the snarling cynicism and sarcasm that accompanied this remark.] I don't -- we don't have a working title of this movie. I've been thinking about President Obama Turns On Somali Counterparts. The merchant marine organizers, the Somali version of ACORN, and yet President Obama rose to the occasion and saw to it that the Somali merchant marine organizers would not get away with the same tactics that the domestic American organizers get away with.
Rushbo hit the ground running to start of the second hour of his show, resigned to the fact that the rescue of Captain Phillips would almost certainly drive up Obama's approval rating. Rushbo darkly predicted that Obama would use the rescue to justify a domestic agenda hell-bent on crippling capitalism, robbing Americans of their individual liberties, and generally ending life as we know it. He even offered proof in the form of this statement from President Obama:
Now, as we work to ensure America's safety out on the seas, I want to discuss what we're doing to restore economic security here at home -- to revitalize our nation's infrastructure and create good jobs across America.
Thank God for Rush Limbaugh: Without him, we might have gone about our day completely ignorant of the Stalinist subtext in this remark. As it is, we can oppose rebuilding our infrastructure and the creation of jobs knowing that our opposition serves a higher purpose: The preservation of truth, justice, and the American Way. (BTW, has anyone ever noticed that this phrase implies that truth and justice are not part of the American Way?)
By the time Rushbo lurched into the final hour of today's program, even the dittoheads had become confused. Was Rush -- he of the "big juicy brain" -- being sarcastic in his praise of Obama or did he mean it? And, when you get right down to it, what was wrong with rescuing Captain Phillips? Well, for one thing, the rescue of a single American meant that Obama had "flipped the bird" to the international community because he hadn't taken their input into account. When Rushbo decided that response of the international community to anything was worth considering remains an open question. Equally open is why this particular incident merited the setting aside of American Exceptionalism, a concept to which Rush is deeply devoted.
The undeniable highlight (if you want to call it that) came when Rushbo compared the Somali pirates to Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean before offering this unique perspective:
Now, these pirates are kind of disappointing me. The Somali merchant marine organizers actually sound like they're entitled. Their feelings are hurt. They think they're entitled to these ransoms that are being paid, and I get the impression listening to them that they expect to be told, "Good job, pirate. Good job." They're acting -- they're acting offended as hell here that our captain was rescued by our president, ordered by the Navy SEALs to rescue, and they didn't get the ransom as though they're entitled to it. These people have an entitlement mentality. I could have sworn that they are originally Americans who maybe fled. Maybe they were illegal immigrants or something who got here, come here with an entitlement mentality, didn't like it, fled the scene because Republicans drove them out of the country in the last election, so they went over to Somalia and started pirating things. Because they have the attitude of entitlement just like a lot of American citizens do.
There you have it: Somali pirates = American citizens. This begs the question of why, then, Captain Phillips needed to be rescued at all if were being held by like-minded compatriots. With any luck, Rushbo will address that tomorrow...