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Rush Limbaugh: Health-care reform is 'reparations,' a 'civil rights act'

Rush Limbaugh is partying like it's 1965 ...

I think it plausible that racial anxieties are behind some of the opposition to Barack Obama's health-care reform plan. There's even some experimental evidence suggesting that this is the case. But I don't know what's in the hearts of men. I only know what comes out of the mouth of Rush Limbaugh. And comparing an African American president's health-care reform bill to reparations and the Civil Rights Act in the same sentence? Well, that there's some racism, or at least an attempt to play off racial anxieties.

By Ezra Klein  |  February 22, 2010; 4:42 PM ET
 
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Comments

You quoted Rush out of context. This narrative came out of a conversation regarding the government control over rate increases and language in Obama/Pelosi's bill that ambiguously say that the federal government can arbitrarily correct for disparities in healthcare services arising out of income equality.

Please listen to the whole portion and not pull a Soros' Media Matters number on the truth!

Posted by: FastEddieO007 | February 22, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

didn't you know that's how this idiot rolled? The Donovan McNabb episode years ago should have told you that.

And when did Dems denounce ACORN and Moveon.org? Now they defunded them when they were FORCED to by the outcries from the right but that doesn't mean they're not still in tight with them when it works for them. And it certainly doesn't mean they won't do each others bidding come 2012.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 22, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"...but Republicans feel no compunction to run from this hatemonger."

It is worse than that, they can't stand up against him at all. They are all afraid of him because the Republican party has shrunk so much that Limbaugh's dittoheads now make up a much larger chunk of the Republican party than they used to. Like it or not, Limbaugh is now a major Republican power player, not just an entertainer.

Posted by: nisleib | February 22, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Get real. There's no "hate" in that context -- except perhaps hate for the left's agenda of redistribution.

Any reference to race is pure speculation about why Obama thinks the US is such an unjust place.

Posted by: cpurick | February 22, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

On the bright side, Ezra, this is a good way to get yourself mentioned on Limbaugh's show.

I've read your stuff. Let's just say that Limbaugh would probably find it "exemplary."

Posted by: cpurick | February 22, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The so-called Mainstream Media's performance on holding Republicans accountable for failing to distance themselves from people far-right reactionaries like Limbaugh and Glenn Beck has been totally lacking.

Hooray Ezra Klein for recognizing truth.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | February 22, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Feel the conservative love, Ezra.

Posted by: scarlota | February 22, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

@nisleib: "Like it or not, Limbaugh is now a major Republican power player, not just an entertainer."

As someone who believes the GOP needs a massive public failure to reset its standard operating procedures, I most certainly like it. Having an unaccountable shock jock calling the plays for a quite-accountable political party is a dream come true. Too bad elected Democrats have no idea what to do with the opportunity (as always).

Posted by: BigTunaTim | February 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Let's be honest -- take out the racism and sexism, and the teabaggers dwindle to nothing.

Posted by: AZProgressive | February 22, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party movement has been symbolized by the brilliant leadership of Col Allen West and Angela McGlowan, as well as the sight SEIU Members beating black citizens who dare to break away from the Democrat plantation!

Posted by: FastEddieO007 | February 22, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Rush for reminding us of what you really are, deep down in your core.

Posted by: EricS2 | February 22, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

There's still the nativism.

Posted by: zimbar | February 22, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The comments here should explain to you why there's no compunction to run from Limbaugh, Ezra. They embrace him and his madness wholesale. There's no incentive to run from it, because they agree with it.

Posted by: kryptik1 | February 22, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, it's your brethren in the corporate media who never hold the gop accountable. If Move-on says something the least bit inflammatory, every media outlet sticks a microphone in a Dems face for reaction. When has the corporate media forced goopers to defend the racist remarks of Beck.

Posted by: TigerCats | February 22, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

fasteddie its great that you are able to see rush in context and are therefore not able to pull any racial anxiety out of his words no matter how racially charged they would be

however, I know many people who listen to him, including phds in finance, who extrapolate his meaning in a much simpler way and have gone on to simply view all attempts at health care reform as reparations and further gone on to claim that all the ills of this country started with allowing intermingling of the races.

so if it is allowable for rush to say these things on the radio then they figure it must be ok for them to say these things in the workplace among people of color like myself

now Rush is free to say to say what he likes in a free country but don't defend him by saying he was quoted out of context. "comparing an African American president's health-care reform bill to reparations and the Civil Rights Act in the same sentence" whatever the context is simply a way of setting a tone for his audience.

and what Ezra appears to be addressing here is not a policy matter per se but the perception of what is in the bill. this perception is accomplished by associating the bill with code words such as reparations and Civil Rights Act that in many people's minds (although apparently not yours) cloud out the details of the policy.

as health care policy is not the most entertaining subject in the world charged subject matter such as racism code words easily distract and refocus the populace on matters unrelated to the subject at hand. which is what I believe Ezra was trying to point out here.

if Rush was indeed pointing out some grand injustice by Pelosi it is indeed surprising that I did not hear about it from my conservative friends who were quick to point out the connections with reparations and the civil rights act

Posted by: hector23 | February 22, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

BigTunaTim - What on earth makes you think the GOP is accountable? Look at the way they blame the deficit on Obama and the Dems. What party passed the tax cuts for Paris Hilton, Medicare Part D and two wars without paying for any of it? Now they are blaming Obama for all of their past sins. They aren't accountable, far from it.

PS - I love the name.

Posted by: nisleib | February 22, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

no ezra, you're wrong. there's no longer any such thing as "racism". everyone knows that went out with jim crow. the thing you have to be ever-vigilant against these days is "reverse racism".

Posted by: freaktown | February 22, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't accept that it's an "oddity of American politics." That term you use implies that it's something that can't be changed. But it can be changed. The Democrats have a fractured and weak national communications apparatus. Is there any doubt that if Rachel Maddow said something this bombastic that it would be on the script of every GOP talking head and lawmaker who appears on TV. No, there isn't. Until the Dems pull it together and decide they want to create a political culture that is less hostile to the center-left, they will deal with this crap. I know it's easy for me to sit here at a computer and take shots at people but the Dems are absolutely awful at politics. Absolutely, freaking, horrible. As a Philadelphia sports fan, I should be used to seeing my team get the crap kicked out of them all the time, but I'm getting tired of it now.

Posted by: phillycomment | February 22, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I like Rush Limbaugh. He and Dennis Miller are my favorite of the right wing talkers (Hannity is a continuous advertisement for whatever Hannity is going to do next, and irritates me anyway, and Beck comes off as a little koo-koo for Cocopuffs).

That being said, I think this comment intentionally implies a racial relationship between Barack Obama and reparations because it's an intentional tweak of the media. I don't think he's blind, or completely unmoved, by the fact that each time he tweak the media in this manner, it's trumpeted everywhere, and his ratings go up.

And it's this kind of comment specifically. He's done several of them recently--he doesn't say "Because Barack Obama is black, he wants reparations, because that's what those black people want." He's making a comparison to a policy associated with Obama--although arguably written by a bunch of white liberals in the House and Senate, but lets not get bogged down with details. He's walking a line where right wingers and dittoheads will respond just like FastEddie (which I think is a perfectly reasonable response, just to be clear) that's it's nothing, taken out of context, and be objectively justified in their opinion. After all, it's not like Rush said "Obama wants reparations because he is a black person, and if you had elected a white socialist you wouldn't have this problem."

But he did use reparations, instead of talking about it in context of a Marxist form of wealth-redistribution, as he often does. And that's on purpose. That is specifically *for* MediaMatters to pick up. That's to get it into the loop in all the cable shows and to have it go viral on the Internet and be in all the blogs . . . it's not to make the ignorant savages that the left believes populates the red states get all askeert of them brown-skinned people coming for them rep-ar-ations.

It's an effort to get greater exposure, and increase listernship--and ratings--and thus be able to increase his confiscatory advertising rates.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 22, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Remind me, why would we denounce ACORN or Moveon.org?

Posted by: adamiani | February 22, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

@AZProgressive: "Let's be honest -- take out the racism and sexism, and the teabaggers dwindle to nothing"

Yes, that's exactly right. If the world were nothing but white males, all those folks would get behind the liberal agenda and there'd no longer be any disagreement about anything.

You're seriously saying that men and women who don't like taxes, want a smaller government, and think government regulation is encroaching too far into their lives, hold those positions because they don't like black people and women? What about black conservatives? Statistically rare, one must admit, but still there. Self-hating?

If the reverse was said--get rid of the man-haters and the anti-white crowd and the American progressive movement would dry up--would that make sense to you?

Very thoughtful. Contemplative, even.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 22, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Why should ACORN and Moveon.org be treated similarly? Generally, ACORN is regarded by the right as a tax-payer funded tool of Democratic vote fraud and electoral shenanigans. Moveon.org is a constitutionally protected tool of liberal propaganda.

Different things.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 22, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"Until the Dems pull it together and decide they want to create a political culture that is less hostile to the center-left, they will deal with this crap. I know it's easy for me to sit here at a computer and take shots at people but the Dems are absolutely awful at politics."

I'm very partial to this read of the situation. But I also recognize the problem Dems have to deal with in this regard. It's easier to spout a ceaseless barrage of talking points when you can easily get away with backstopping those points with an appeal to authority. Dems' authorities, by nature of both the issues that we prioritize and our generally preferred style of argument, are mostly empirically-based: science and academia come to mind. Republican authorities are their imagined versions of the Free Market, Jesus, and the Constitution. Empirically-based authorities are something you can argue about. You can't argue about an idiosyncratic figment of a Republican's imagination.

Consequently, Democrats more easily fall into arguments over our issues almost by default, which means we are disadvantaged when we're up against someone who only has to start their argument with "Jesus says...". There's a reason that Obama is often criticized as being "too professorial" by not only Republicans but by much of the establishment media as well. And there's a reason that I, as a Democrat, prefer Obama's style over his predecessor's. Start sounding more like Republicans, Democrats lose me and others like me in their base. Stay as they are, Democrats lose Republicans and much of the media. It's a lose-lose. Our only hope, as Democrats, is for our representatives to be able to walk a very fine line (like the one Obama walked during his campaign) between styles of argument or to try to get more preferring our style. Neither of which is an easy thing to do.

Obviously, the above assertion isn't comprehensive, by any stretch. For starters, there are a couple of authorities that Democrats do use as backstops for our arguments, the most useful of which are our value-based appeals to "equality" and "justice". This is why the right has spent the last 30 years attacking those particular appeals as being "politically correct" (gasp!) or "victimology". Our biggest problem isn't necessarily with those idiotic attacks; it's that those appeals don't really work as influencers when we don't live up to our supposed values. Like when we're opposed to gay marriage or prosecuting war crimes. So, if we want to be able to appeal to values more assertively, then we have to be willing to be a little more consistent in following them.

Posted by: slag | February 22, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I just googled "reparations and health care", and came upon the site of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'Cobra)and their platform cites "elimination of laws and practices that maintain dual systems in the major areas of life including...health" as being among the many ways of eliminating "white skin privilege". So I guess Rush ain't the only one playing off of racial anxieties. :)

Posted by: bgmma50 | February 22, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"You're seriously saying that men and women who don't like taxes, want a smaller government, and think government regulation is encroaching too far into their lives, hold those positions because they don't like black people and women? What about black conservatives? Statistically rare, one must admit, but still there. Self-hating?"

I could make a very reasonable hypocrisy argument over "smaller government" or government encroachment concerns vis a vis people holding anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, pro-torture signs at rallies, but why bother? There are people who want "smaller government". And there are teabaggers. The two groups may overlap to some degree, but neither group encompasses the other. Rush Limbaugh is appealing to at least some segment of teabaggers with this argument, and that segment is not necessarily the "small government" folks. Unless you are suggesting that, by default, "small government" is somehow related to reparations and civil rights, that is.

Posted by: slag | February 22, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin_Willis:

"it's not to make the ignorant savages that the left believes populates the red states get all askeert of them brown-skinned people coming for them rep-ar-ations.

It's an effort to get greater exposure, and increase listernship--and ratings--and thus be able to increase his confiscatory advertising rates."

I thinks it's both. First for the 'pocket-book'. Second, the conservative front.

I think he knows full-well that he's stirring up the volatile masses who are "soft and puppy-brained and as easily influenced as a banana" (-John Irving).

Posted by: onewing1 | February 22, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"But he did use reparations, instead of talking about it in context of a Marxist form of wealth-redistribution, as he often does. And that's on purpose. That is specifically *for* MediaMatters to pick up. That's to get it into the loop in all the cable shows and to have it go viral on the Internet and be in all the blogs . . . it's not to make the ignorant savages that the left believes populates the red states get all askeert of them brown-skinned people coming for them rep-ar-ations."

Kevin_Willis,

I completely agree with onewing1. The REASON for this stuff is to create blowback (publicity) that increases ratings and lines Rush's pockets. He is a showman. A vile showman, but a showman all the same.

However, it also helps line Rush's pockets that the blowback increases his listenership by getting people who actually ENJOY his racist dog whistle rehtoric to tune in and hear what they want to hear.

You can't really separate the publicity from the audience said publicity attracts.

And nobody is surprised that FastEddie is a devoted daily ditto head that is eager to tell us the context of Rush's pearls of wisdumb....

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 22, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

It must be the word "reparations" that has awakened Klein's hyper racial sensitivity, because he and his doddering followers are long time proponents of the idiocy that health care is a civil right. (It ain't.)

However, a look in the dictionary for "reparation" finds no discrete connection to issues of race, so maybe the racism is in Klein's tiny mind. And, of course, "reparations" (without progressive projections of their own dimnesses) as applied to the coming "reform", with its great transfers of wealth, is a pretty good description. Further, of course, once all that money is transferred, it'll be gone.

Posted by: msoja | February 22, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"However, a look in the dictionary for "reparation" finds no discrete connection to issues of race, so maybe the racism is in Klein's tiny mind."

1. If you were not already aware of "the connection to issues of race" and the word "reparations," so that you had to look in the disctionary to understand the reference, you are very out of touch with modern politics and sociology, and Rush would not have much patience with an uninformed listener like you.

2. You need a newer dictionary. Here's some help for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reparations_for_slavery

Hopefully you are all up to date now?

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 22, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Patrick_M. Ooo, reparations "for slavery". It's one of them sooper secret code word things brain dead liberals like to imagine motivates the inscrutable other. Perhaps you can explain "niggardly" to me, too.

As that may be, "reparations" is a pretty good word for a process that, on the basis of the invocation of an imaginary right, transfers (by force) billions and billions of dollars from one segment of the population to another.

Posted by: msoja | February 22, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

No amount of reparations will compensate the overwhelming majority of Americans for the brain-cells killed by Limbaughism. He's like an auditory version of glue-sniffing.

Of course if there wasn't a Limbaugh, there would probably be someone like him filling in his gaseous void. There will always be ditto-heads.

Posted by: JPRS | February 22, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

--"ditto-heads"--

quote:

Prejudice refers to a positive or a negative attitude or belief directed toward certain people based on their membership in a particular group. The root word of prejudice is "pre-judge." It is "a set of attitudes which causes, supports, or justifies discrimination. Prejudice refers to a tendency to "over categorize." Prejudiced people respond to others in a more or less fixed way (Farley, 2000:18).

//end quote

http://www.delmar.edu/socsci/rlong/race/far-02.htm

Posted by: msoja | February 22, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

msoja:

Is it "prejudice" to call Rush's fans by their own chosen name?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dittohead#Dittoheads

The show came up with the term ditto head.

It often helps to know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 22, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Patrick_M. I can always count on you to go for the easy score (you could also have pointed out that I lumped you in with "brain dead liberals") while ignoring the more pertinent point: Is it Limbaugh playing the race card, or is it Klein, in his cheap, smarmy, backhanded way? I don't read Klein every day, but I have noticed his tendency to work various smears along these same lines.

In Limbaugh's case, one has to add meaning to what was said. Klein is right there holding the race card up, grinning the snake oil salesman's grin.

Posted by: msoja | February 22, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

"I think it plausible..." You are just an idiot. You mean, if Obama were caucasian, people would not mind having their lives turned upside down, all the medical arrangements thrown into uncertainty, and having to beg a bureaucrat for the lives of their disabled children?

Posted by: truck1 | February 22, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"Men, when they're out of work, tend to become abusive," the majority leader [Harry Reid] added".

Klein? What kind of ignoramus are you all admiring of?

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/82803-reid-men-when-theyre-out-of-work-tend-to-become-abusive

Posted by: msoja | February 22, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

"Is it Limbaugh playing the race card..."

Yes, it most certainly is.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 22, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Tell you what, Patrick_M, allow me to be free to ignore anything that emanates from the offices of that despicable moron Harry Reid, and I'll grant you the right to not listen to Rush Limbaugh. Deal? Or can't you grant that freedom to your fellow man? And if not, what does that say about YOUR despicable character?

Posted by: msoja | February 22, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

msoja,

You have every right not to listen to Harry Reid, or to not listen to Ezra Klein, or to not listen to me, or to not listen to anyone else you don't want to listen to.

You have that right even if I don't "grant" it you, but if you feel better thinking I must "allow" you this right, by all means, go in peace.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 22, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

So I won't be threatened with jail if I don't buy the government-mandated health insurance?

Or will I?

And how do you sleep at night, being party to it?

Posted by: msoja | February 22, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Quit costing us taxpayers money with your emergency room bills, deadbeat, and buy your health insurance. Bootstraps, with the pulling, etc, etc., chop chop.

Sorry, that was my channeling of a conservative. What I mean is, you'll be required to have health insurance, purchased by you if you don't already have it through your employer, but we will provide you with generous subsidies to help you purchase it within your means, Deadbeat.

So you're welcome, and I'll be sleeping like a baby knowing you'll be getting medical care when you need it, providing you with many happy, cognitive-dissonance-free future years of listening to Rush Limbaugh spew his typical bile.

Posted by: tracy2 | February 23, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

msoja:

"So I won't be threatened with jail if I don't buy the government-mandated health insurance?

Or will I?

And how do you sleep at night, being party to it?"

You question is off topic, but since you asked:

Had you read the news of the day, you would already know that there is no jail for non-compliance. The maximum penalty under the Obama proposal if $750 per year, and there are waivers for hardship and special circumstances.

No ball and chain for you, my friend, if you break the law. Sorry to disappoint, and I am sleeping just fine, thank you very much, with the thought that perhaps soon no American family will be excluded from access to health care because of pre-existing conditions or personal financial hardships.

So, once again, it is often a good idea to know what you are talking about before you talk. You really ought to give that a try!

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 23, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

--"[W]e will provide you with generous subsidies"--

You have a rich mouse in your pocket?

And you're lying. YOU won't provide ME anything. I'm already providing for me. Instead, YOU are going to FORCE me and others to provide something for someone else, all the while killing what's left of a market that has saved millions of lives around the world.

In the process, you will be destroying, not only health care, but the fragile underpinnings of that greatest of human ideals: freedom. Behind your spastic bleat of good intentions lies failure upon failure.

Posted by: msoja | February 23, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

--"[T]here is no jail for non-compliance."--

That's another little lie, isn't it?

Suppose I refuse to pay the "maximum penalty" of seven hundred and fifty dollars?

Hugo Obama is going to shrug his narrow shoulders and give me a pass?

What sort of dream land do you live in, Patrick_M?

Posted by: msoja | February 23, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

"What sort of dream land do you live in, Patrick_M?"

A dreamland in which a party ran on a platform that included healthcare reform. The voters elected that party to the Presidency and gave that party a majority in both houses of Congress, and so that party went about the task of fulfilling its campaign promise to reform health care.

SUMMARY: The folks that the voters elect do the job they were elected to do. That's the freakin' dreamland where I reside.

Yes, if you are a gigantic moron and decide you are above the law and refuse to carry insurance or pay the tiny fine, you might eventually go to jail, where you will be given FREE health care, FREE lodging, FREE food, and FREE clothing, so you can take that FREE ride, at my expense, because I am happy to pay my taxes and follow the law. Such a deal!

If you want to live somewhere with no government and no laws, try Somalia or Yemen. I hear they are beautiful this time of year, that anarachy thing really works out well for them.

Unless you have something to add regarding the actual topic (Rush Limbuagh's comments...topic, remember that idea?), I will mercifully end this thread-killing exchange here. Here's hoping the black helicopters don't come landing on your lawn to incarcerate you tonight.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 23, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Bill Frist, when he was Republican Senate Majority Leader, lead the fight to end racial disparities in health care. He didn't use the R-Word for these noble, bipartisan efforts. See: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1346914

Listen to the clip. The discussion on "discrimination in favor of Highly Compensated Employees" is amazingly uninformed - these HCE provisions have been in federal pension law for decades, supported by both Republicans and Democrats. It's not a new idea - if you're going to get a tax break for pensions, you need to cover everyone, not just the CEO.

Posted by: eunomia | February 23, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The REAL untold story in all of this is the very despicable way Democrat-party cronies at SEIU are attempting to intimidate blacks from participating in the Tea Party movement!!!!

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0geu76F34NLSjIAfbpXNyoA?p=Missouri+%22Tea+Party%22+Townhall+SEIU+gladney&fr2=sb-top&fr=yfp-t-892&sao=1

The emergence of Col Allen West and others like him have proven that no matter how dirty Democrats and Obama suppolrters are willing to get, it WON'T STOP GOOD AMERICANS FROM STANDING UP TO THEIR RADICALISM!!!

Posted by: FastEddieO007 | February 23, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I still laugh thinking about how much Limbaugh enjoyed the health care in Hawaii until he found out it was "socialist."

Posted by: ottoman88 | February 23, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

US Armed Forces Radio in Frankfurt/Germany used to be the source of my access to Limbaugh during Clinton's Admin. His programme came along with other neocon family programmes directed at Armed Forces families - besides baseball (my reason!).

Now, what you guys need to know about Limbaugh and his family clan is that they originate/migrated from the Baltics. And brought their conservative values with them.

I've been arguing - more or less alone - that the attack on Obama is principally because he ain't a WASP! American white's are used to WASPs occupying the Oval Office - not a blackman. Majority of them are college educated white's to boot....

Posted by: hariknaidu | February 23, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"I still laugh thinking about how much Limbaugh enjoyed the health care in Hawaii until he found out it was 'socialist.'"

It wasn't socialist for him, he paid his own bill.

I love how the picture Media Matters uses is one that's several years old, cuz he's looks a lot fatter. Not-so-subtle weight-ism there. Trying to provoke the anti-fat resentments of the lattes-and-pilates crowd.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 23, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Why are people so naive? Do people really believe the Marxist rhetoric that we are all equal? Do people really believe that everybody is going to love one another? Or that government can enforce such rhetoric?

Posted by: TheProfit | February 23, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

--"[I]f you are a gigantic moron and decide you are above the law and refuse to carry insurance or pay the tiny fine, you might eventually go to jail"--

And if I refuse to go peacefully with the deputies you send? Your stupid socialism is all geared up to use lethal force to make an example of me (and others). Is forcing people into socialist health care so important to you that you're willing to sanction lethal force to make it happen?

And if enough people refuse your socialism, will you build a sort of Berlin wall around the country so people don't start trying to escape your despotism? And after that, will you build labor camps, so that people don't think they can slack off and help themselves to those reparations because they're tired of you and the Kleins of the world stealing everything they produce?

And I don't care how YOU characterize it, the "job" you've charged the politicians with is not the "job" that the founders in their grand paean to liberty envisioned for them.

Posted by: msoja | February 23, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

--"See: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1346914"--

//begin cite

And yet, fulfilling his comments on the campaign trail, President Obama may bring some of the substance of reparations without the rhetoric. As I write this Article in early 2009, he just signed a huge stimulus package. The law makes historic investments in education, infrastructure, and jobs; almost unnoticed in the political debate was an additional $87 billion for Medicaid and billions more for investment in health information technology. The Obama Administration is making health care reform a top priority. Major health care reform might provide near-universal coverage and make significant headway against racial disparities in health. President Obama appointed Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General, and plans to step up enforcement of civil rights laws. But when Holder called Americans a “nation of cowards” on confronting racial issues, President Obama distanced himself from the remark:

I’m not somebody who believes that constantly talking about race somehow solves racial tensions . . . I think what solves racial tensions is fixing the economy, putting people to work, making sure that people have health care, ensuring that every kid is learning out there. I think if we do that, then we’ll probably have more fruitful conversations.

President Obama has exiled reparations talk to the political wilderness, ignoring the impressive body of work on reparations theory. But he is talking about health care reform, education, and the needs of average Americans. If he achieves a higher quality, lower cost, and more comprehensive health care system, then Blacks will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of improved health status. He does not talk the talk, but walks the walk; avoiding reparations rhetoric in order to achieve reparational results.

//end cite

The guy must be a racist.

Posted by: msoja | February 23, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

There is no doubt in my mind when you listen to the context of Limbaugh's comments he is most certainly playing the race card. Limbaugh represents the worst kind of thinking in our society, a civil society no less. He's angry, manipulative and a racist. He thrives and feeds off of fear and ignorance.

Posted by: freeworld23 | February 23, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

--"Limbaugh represents the worst kind of thinking in our society, a civil society no less."--

A "society" that lays claim to a portion of the value produced by its most productive members as a matter of invocation of arbitrary "rights" is not a civil society. The force at the root of health care "reform" puts the lie to that little bit of nonsense.

A civil society would be one where a significant majority respect the property and freedom of all its members. That distinction can no longer be claimed for the United States.

Posted by: msoja | February 23, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

get a load of this fool slag

"You're seriously saying that men and women who don't like taxes, ...

as if there was a large group of people who LIKE paying taxes

let's call these whiners what they are

a bunch of unpatriotic screwballs

nobody likes paying taxes, but most adults accept the fact that we need government, and government runs on taxes

we should stop listening to stupid people who think that yelling at the wind is an effective system of weather control

taxes are a part of life. unpleasant but necessary

stupid tax protester just confuse the debade

these children and anacarcists should be relegated to the kiddie table

let the adults discuss reality slag. you run along and tilt at windmills or something

just shut up and get out of the way of democracy

Posted by: nada85484 | February 23, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

theProfit says

Do people really believe the Marxist rhetoric that we are all equal? Do people really believe that everybody is going to love one another?

Marxist rhetoric ???

Jesus and Thomas Jefferson were marxist ???

when did that happen ???

do you mean Karl or Groucho ???

Posted by: nada85484 | February 23, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

--"these children and anacarcists should be relegated to the kiddie table"--

Stalin tried that. Mao tried that. Castro runs on the same principle, too, no? Kim Jong-il, too.

Your "adults" are the megalomaniacs who think they know what's best for everyone else, when all they are ever capable of is creating widespread misery.

To nada85484 - I believe you are deliberately misunderstanding the ineptly worded meaning of theProfit's comment.

Posted by: msoja | February 23, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

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