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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Limbaugh's finest hour

The voice of conservatism was silenced today as lung cancer took Rush Limbaugh at age 70.

The tributes will be many and all are earned. 

The mainstream media will say this or that about the man. Obituaries for conservatism will be posted. I won't care. Let News Busters and other watchdogs of the media bark. I refuse to let crazy people on the left upset me.

I seldom listened to Limbaugh because his show was on when I was working. Even at a newspaper that marketed itself as conservative, the staff would not allow his show to be aired. Then my hearing disintegrated.

My memories of Limbaugh as a broadcaster are limited to his speech to CPAC on February 28, 2009. His performance was so outstanding that Saturday afternoon that it defined him and the two generations his national radio show spanned.

By the way, he saved AM radio by giving hundreds of stations on that dying medium a 12 pm to 3 pm (Eastern) tentpole whose ads covered the station's expenses.

He closed that CPAC convention in the miserable days of the nascent Obama regime. Conservatives were devastated by the failure of McCain to keep the Reagan dream alive. 

Into this depression, Limbaugh waltzed. His stirring, extemporaneous speech was his finest hour. Being Limbaugh, it lasted 90 minutes. C-Span archived the video.

Memory recalls how uplifting Limbaugh was that day. He turned despair into hope.

He began with a nod to Fox News, which was a conservative channel because Roger Ailes was still in charge.

Then Limbaugh told a joke, "I would like to introduce to you my security chief, a man who runs all of my security. His name is Joseph Stalin. Joseph, would you please stand up. I am safe from any liberal attack, in public, because they would be afraid of offending Stalin."

After a second joke at his own expense, the man with talent on loan from God reminded us of who we are.

Limbaugh said, "For those of you watching on C-Span as well, and on Fox, I want to tell you who we all are in this room. I want to tell you who conservatives are. We conservatives have not done a good enough job of just laying out basically who we are because we make the mistake of assuming people know. What they know is largely incorrect based on the way we are portrayed in pop culture, in the Drive-By Media, by the Democrat Party.

"Let me tell you who we conservatives are: We love people. When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don't see groups. We don't see victims. We don't see people we want to exploit. 

"What we see -- what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work. We do not see that person with contempt. We don't think that person doesn't have what it takes. We believe that person can be the best he or she wants to be if certain things are just removed from their path like onerous taxes, regulations and too much government."

On and on he went. He was relentless and entertaining. There was no complaining. There was no vitriol. There was only an uplifting message about and for conservatives.

Everything he said resonates today.


He was shoving back at the deplorable smear nearly 8 years before Missus Clinton said it.

Limbaugh said, "Let me deal with this head on. You know what the cliché is, a conservative: racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe. Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen of America, if you were paying attention, I know you were, the racism in our culture was exclusively and fully on display in the Democrat primary last year."

He also said make America great again. He mentioned greatness many times. The first time was when he said, "We love the people of this country. And we want this to be the greatest country it can be, but we do understand, as people created and endowed by our creator, we're all individuals. We resist the effort to group us. We resist the effort to make us feel that we're all the same, that we're no different than anybody else. We're all different. There are no two things or people in this world who are created in a way that they end up with equal outcomes. That's up to them. They are created equal, given the chance."

Not only was the message good, his delivery was perfect. Usually the spoken word does not hold up when read, especially if the speaker has no script. That day, Limbaugh spoke in clear and complete sentences throughout. He was at his peak when we were at our nadir.

He had to be. Conservatives felt alone. The media had ruined Sarah Palin while McCain just sat there with a goofy grin. Democrats held the House by 40 seats and the Senate by 18.

Limbaugh showed the brilliance of being positive.

He said, "Now, let me speak about President Obama for just a second. President Obama is one of the most gifted politicians, one of the most gifted men that I have ever witnessed. He has extraordinary talents. He has communication skills that hardly anyone can surpass. No, seriously. No, no, I'm being very serious about this. It just breaks my heart that he does not use these extraordinary talents and gifts to motivate and inspire the American people to be the best they can be. He's doing just the opposite. And it's a shame."

He contrasted the messages of conservatives and liberals.

He said, "Ronald Reagan used to speak of a shining city on a hill. Barack Obama portrays America as a soup kitchen in some dark night in a corner of America that's very obscure. He's constantly telling the American people that bad times are ahead, worst times are ahead. And it's troubling, because this is the United States of America."

He also pegged Obama's stooge, saying, "Joe Biden, ladies and gentlemen, was watching CBS -- when did you start here? Thursday. You might have seen this. The days run together. It might have been Wednesday, but Biden was on the CBS Early Show. And he was asked -- the anchorette -- sorry. I'm trying to change my ways. I've been doing women summit programs so not to offend women. The anchor, Maggie Rodriguez, went out and got some man-on-the-street questions. And one guy, woman, I think question for Biden. What is in the stimulus package for small business? Biden was clearly stumped because there isn't anything in the stimulus package for small business. So what Biden said, honest to God, what Biden said was: Well, if there's a bridge to your small business, we're going to make sure that bridge stays open so that you can get to your small business and your customers -- honest. I kid you not. Now, of course, the media today is a bunch of hacks, they're out there as PR agents; they're starting to get a little embarrassed. Maggie Rodriguez says, Senator Biden, there's a website that answers all these questions. What is the name of the website and Biden says I don't know. He looks off stage. 'Does somebody have the website number?' "

Limbaugh then broke the fourth wall and talked directly to TV viewers, as he said, "I realize those of you watching at home during my first address to the nation, you have never heard liberal Democrats be made fun of in this way. Get used to it."

Closing CPAC, Limbaugh was the lion who stood alone against what appeared to be a tidal wave of socialism.

That was 12 years ago.

He was not alone this time. Nor is Donald John Trump standing alone. There are 75 million of us and counting. The America Limbaugh faced that day is not the America we are in today. The divide has widened, true, but conservatives have the wind at their back. We are winnowing our leadership. 

On that day a dozen Februaries ago, Limbaugh said, "Conservatives are naturally happy. We seek happiness. We pursue it. It's part of who we are. So what can you do? Live your life. I swear, folks, you do not know in just the everyday life that you live in your homes, your neighborhoods, the favorite word of this administration, your 'communities.' Remember the root word there is 'commune.'

"Be happy, live your life according to your values and principles. Know you're going to fail, no human being is perfect, you're going to make mistakes, but live your life -- you'll be stunned at how many people you impress. Don't be afraid to tell children that they're wrong. They don't know what you do. They simply haven't lived long enough. It's not their fault, but they're being fed a bunch of garbage in school and don't be afraid to tell them that they're wrong."

The speech went so long that organizers panicked. They had a deadline to clear the room and leave.

Limbaugh ended his speech, "The things that by virtue of your listening to my radio show and being active in this movement that we all cherish and love, you have meant more to me, my family and my life than whatever it is I might mean to you, even though I know that's considerable.

"You still can't outdo the absolute joy and awe and thanks I feel for all of you. I've been doing this for 20 years and the numbers just keep growing. And I can't tell you how appreciative I am and proud to be in a movement with the same passions, desires and core beliefs that all of you have, because we know that it's right for the country, and we know it's right for people. It's not something that has to be forced on them. It's not something that has to be authoritatively pressed on them. We are what is, and that's why we are an enemy because we're effective. The people that do want control look at us as the enemy. We're always going to be -- don't ever measure your success by how many Drive-By Media reports you see that are fair to us. Never going to happen. 

"Don't measure your success by how many people like you. Just worry about how they vote. And then at the end of the day how they live, but that's really none of your business once they close the doors. Thank you all very much. It's been great."

God loaned him his talent. Today, Limbaugh returned that talent to its maker.

Don't be sad that Limbaugh is gone. Be glad that he was here.


  1. Don, well said, very well done! I listened to Rush since October 1988. He was a Lion of a Conservative. It is time we ALL BECOME LIONS!

  2. Thank you, Don. Yours is talent on loan from God as well and I am grateful.

  3. One of your best posts EVER! Thanks, Don. Doesn't make it any easier that he's gone. Will try to be grateful he was here.

    John G

  4. Another horrible blow. The hits keep coming.

    Lord rest his soul. Listened to him since the beginning, and there will never be another like him. I can't quite believe he is truly gone. He was the radio version of Ronald Reagan - happy, cheerful, upbeat, and optimistic. Just devastated.

  5. My heart has been ripped out. He didn’t do it, just like Mom didn’t do it when she left us to be with Christ in Heaven. G-d didn’t do it, let me make THAT clear. Who the hell did it?

    Life did it. We are always regularly gonna lose a few, and the greatest of those are gonna hurt the most because they made such an impact.

    When I was six, it was 1971, and I wanted to be on the radio. The old man bought me sound effects records, and I created my own radio plays via my tape recorder. I never got into it until age thirty, because of condemnation of such a possible career move by my dad (and lesser extent my mom) discouraged me.

    I finally said “F it” in 1995, and went for it. This newbie rose through the ranks through sheer tenacity to become Ops Mgr for Rush’s charter affiliate in Jackson, Mississippi that next year. I stayed in as long as I could, finally changing careers last year because the radio industry has automated personnel entirely out of any given station you’d want to name.

    But Rush gave me the courage to at least try (albeit late in the game) so try I did. And succeed I did, beating veteran broadcasters to become an Ops Mgr for a 50,000 Watt AM blowtorch, then moving along to managing music stations, and honing my un-PC humor further.
    They beat Rush down countless times, and he came back countless times plus one!

    He inspired me, made me laugh, changed my attitude, and truly IS the older brother I never met. G-d worked through Rush. And for those who don’t believe Rush Limbaugh did not believe in Christ, he did. Check his show a few weeks back. No I don’t have a link, but he (in thanking the audience for their prayers) mentioned his importance in having faith in Christ.

    My former pastor and ex-friend once told he he didn’t believe Rush was saved. Isn’t it amazing that such a half-wit preacher was able to look directly in to Rush’s brain and determine the state of his eternal soul. Holy...cow...aforementioned pastor must have been tops in his class. Sarcasm off. Sarcasm not recognized very much these days.

    There will never be another. My heart is heavy. Obvious question: “What advice would Rush give?”
    “I was America’s cheerleader. Rugged individualism is what I preached. Take it, and share it with others. You can do it too. Now, go do it, with a smile on your face, and he of good cheer!”

    1. Long time Rush listener on WJDX AM 620. That signal carries long and far and has had a positive influence on many.

    2. Well, we could have been neighbors, Mr. Lardmaster.

      I was at NewsTalk 1180 WJNT, and when owner Bob Buchanan switched from music format to talk back in 1988, and signed on with Rush’s newly syndicated program that year...what more can be said about that? Except, G-d smiled on Bob that day!

      Later Mississippi Network cranked up SuperTalk FM in Jackson in 1997 and offered a serious chunk of change to Rush’s people for the show. They turned it down because ‘JNT had been with them from the get go (and also, the WJNT signal of 50K watts is nothing to be trifled with)

      I was always impressed by that move...Rush could have gone for more money from the new kid on the block with cash to throw out there, but stuck with the original station. There is just something just so right about that.

      All the best!

  6. It almost seems America is dying just a bit, week after week. First we lose Pres Trump who genuinely loves the country and sacrificed dearly trying to roll back some of the damage from liberals, now we lose Rush. The hits just keep on coming.....

  7. The flag hasn't fallen .Rush would want US to take it up and into the battle.
    Thanks, Don.

  8. The flag hasn't fallen .Rush would want US to take it up and into the battle.
    Thanks, Don.

  9. And now it's time for a transfer of leadership. Rush to Donald.
    Thanks, Rush, for all you did. Miss you.

  10. Rush was one of a kind. He leaves some giant shoes to fill.

    2020 sucked, but 2021 is vying for the title.

    1. Liar.

      Back on Pirate's Cove, you called him Rush Limpballs and made fun of his drug problems.

      Jeffery, you're still a hypocrite no matter how you try to mask it.


  11. God bless, Rush Limbaugh. He kept us sane yet alert to a nation being run into the ground by scumbag politicians. I only wish he--and the rest of us--could have witnessed Trump being re-elected. (Well, in truth, he did. And he saw the Left steal it through fraud and lies.)

  12. I didn't listen to him when he first came on in 1988. The media would put on clowns who claimed to be conservatives like Morton Downey Jr, who eventually admitted he wasn't a conservative and everything was an act. So I thought Rush was one more of them. A friend kept insisting I listen to him because Rush says what we say.

    The brain dead media thinks we were led by a Pied Piper because they couldn't understand Rush. He articulated what we already believed.

    Once I started, I can count on one hand the number of shows I missed. I listened to him on WABC in NYC. If I missed a show, I'd stay up to listen to the midnight rebroadcast. I'd hook up cassette tape recorders with timers to my radio. Then when VCRs came out, I used them. When he started a website, I subscribed so I could download his podcasts. If that sounds extreme, in that era, there were zero conservative outlets and he was the sole source of conservative news as well as a fantastic entertainer.

    When Rush was on Compuserve, I used to chat with him. He read a couple of my postings on the air. He then wrote his book and it was everything I always wanted to say. His chapter on Thanksgiving should be required reading because that was actually taught when I was in school, not the nonsense about the Indians saving the Pilgrims.

    His personal generosity was well known. In addition to the various charities to which he donated, he was personally generous. He left $5,000 tips for dinners and treated those who worked for him very well.

    God bless him.

  13. Rush Limbaugh Dies, Pointing to His 'Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ' in the End

    1. Here's the quote:

      "I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is of immense value, strength, confidence and that's why I'm able to remain fully committed to the idea that what is supposed to happen will happen when it's meant to," he said during one of his final programs.

  14. And half his brain was tied behind his back . . .

  15. I'll see you on the other side, Rush. We loved you so much.

  16. My heart is in a million pieces... Rush was so amazing. Even though I knew this day was coming, I just can’t absorb the gut punch of his leaving this world. I am so grateful for the years of wisdom and humor and strength he gave us, his listening audience.

  17. Rush was the gold standard of radio talkers, setting the example for many more to fill the airwaves. He will be missed.

  18. Excellent post.

    Rush was a genius. A natural. An incredible communicator. How lucky we were to have attended his lectures at the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. Godspeed Professor Limbaugh.

    1. Genius is the right word. As you say, an incredible communicator.



  19. Rush Limbaugh's Ribbons:

  20. Incredible post. Very eloquent.

    The thing about Rush was he was always a gentleman. Trump is a street fighter, but they both were never afraid to fight back.

    How important was he?

    In the old days, when somebody read the Lefties correctly, they'd say, "You're just being paranoid. We're people like you. Would we do such a thing?". And then said Conservative would ask him/herself (we only had 2 genders in them thar days), "Am I the only one who sees this?".

    Then Rush came along and people realized, no, they wren't being paranoid, the Lefties aren't people like us, and they would do such things every chance they got, but, most of all, they realized they weren't the only one who saw it.

    A revolutionary on the scale of Thomas Paine.

  21. Many memories, many resulting smiles. Here’s one:

    Family trip to Great Falls, MT in 1996. We flew from DC to MPLS to visit Brother No. 2 for a couple days, then rented a car and drove. It’s a haul. Son was 13, Daughter 9, not exactly the best ages for long distance car trips. But on the way back, Rush spent his show just pwning Ted Kennedy, who the previous day had one of his mouth disconnects at a campaign event. “And we’re going to re-elect Bill Clinton as the khgfjhgfihgfjhbvjhvg!!!” It sounded like a drowning raccoon. And I was laughing my ass off as he played the clip over and over, daring people to call in and decipher it, and the wife was laughing, and suddenly I realized that the kids were locked in on the show too. Pretty soon THEY were laughing and coming up with their interpretations. And it hit me: THAT’S the way you convert people. With humor. With laughter. With entertainment.

    Rush was saved. That’s a YUGE comfort to me right now. Say hi to George and Abe for me, brother. Having now a direct line to the Creator of the Universe, I expect to see many good things happening in the near future.

  22. I remember that show Z and the million times he played that clip over the ensuing years.

  23. Conservative Projection: "[Obama] has communication skills that hardly anyone can surpass".

    It lifts up the projectee.

  24. BTW, regarding Obama the Teleprompter king. This is a properly gifted speaker.

  25. Rush Limbaugh proved that one person can make a difference.....a huge, consequential difference. He and his team saw an enormous market opportunity that merged the moribund medium of AM radio with the undermarketed, undeveloped messages of conversative, working-class America. Rarely has an entrepreneur of intellectual capital been so successful.

  26. This just sucks on so many levels, sigh. Rush was born a few days before me so I've always thought of him as the older brother I never had. We were much alike…with a taste for rock’n’roll without the lifestyle that often accompanied it. We both golf and love history….”great minds” think alike, of course. I’ve been listening to him for over 30 years and always knew this day might come, but it's much too soon, sniff. God bless ya, Rush! We love you! RIP!


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