With Rush Limbaugh, the death of a Republican kingmaker
The death of the media giant even provoked former President Trump from the sequester.
He had made a voice for history.
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III died Wednesday after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 70 years old. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, his death was immediately mourned by former President Donald Trump on Fox News. For the first time since leaving Washington last month, the former commander in chief has given an interview. He died in Palm Beach, just a few miles from the former president’s compound in Mar-A-Lago.
Limbaugh was the conservative godfather of a generation for decades, a provocative talk radio pioneer and broker for elite up-and-coming Republicans. “You know I didn’t know Rush at all,” Trump told Fox. “And then, when we came down the escalator, he liked my rather controversial speech,” Trump said, referring to his campaign kick-off in June 2015, which began his rise to the White House.
Limbaugh was born in Missouri on Cape Girardeau on the Mississippi, about two hours northwest of Memphis and two hours southeast of St. Louis. In 2012 he was inducted into the Missouri Hall of Fame (with his bust granted 24-hour security). If Miss Twian Mark Twain armed the novel for political impact, fans and haters will acknowledge that Limbaugh turned radio into hay.
Like many in his field, Limbaugh was essentially a significant other, beginning at a young age when he dropped out of college and worked as a peripatetic journeyman – in Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Sacramento, and then New York – before making it big. As a restless and dyspeptic personality, he has been fired repeatedly. He left the radio briefly and worked in sports sales. But “Bachelor Jeff,” as he called himself on-air at the time, was about to become the greatest in Republican politics.
After he was 40, Limbaugh’s rise merged with that of Newt Gingrich when Republicans came to power in Congress and took over the house for the first time in half a century. When the new congress was sworn in, time The magazine, which was still in its prime, glued it to the cover in all its cigar-smoking valor. The headline read, “Is Rush Limbaugh Good For America?”
In the years to come, Limbaugh would become a cipher by which the success of the post-Reagan conservative movement could be measured. Followers would praise Limbaugh’s world-class product, the monster ratings, and the contributions he made to GOP conquests in Washington. For critics, Limbaugh-style politics was part of the problem: some whispered quietly about an avowed Christian conservative with a nasty drug habit (and three nastier divorces), the man’s penchant for flash-over politics, and his tendency to choose Popular culture people like NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb or liberal law student Sandra Fluke don’t really pick Republican government officials.
From Gingrich’s triumph and the treaty with America, to George W. Bush and the Iraq war, to the rise of Trump (although he initially rejected and the former president may forget the talk radio legend that once favored Ted Cruz), Limbaugh was a loyalist to the Republican cause for 30 years and supported almost every development of the party. The radio personality was a team player for a quarter of a century despite all the distortions of conservative politics. She saw little contradiction between the petty government ethos of the 1990s, the expansive war on terror of the Aughts and the return to petty government style in the Tens and the sudden, populist-nationalist emergence of Trump in the present moment.
Limbaugh’s tremendous success, perhaps coupled with hypocrisy, weighed on the left. Loyalty to his legacy is likely to become a litmus test in the Republican Party in the coming months, and the Conservatives were quick to defend the deceased on Wednesday. “I wish people could honor a person who changed the media forever without being cruel. You didn’t like him? Fine. Keep it to yourself for a few days. ” said J.D. Vance considering possibly a Senate run in Ohio. “Rest in peace.”
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