Dead: Rush Limbaugh

January 12, 1951 – February 17, 2021 (70)

Typically, when someone of particular interest to me dies, I publish a very short R.I.P. post to commemorate their life. Rarely do I bid them good riddance, and never have I said, “Let’s dance!” But I think this post by Robyn Pennacchia sums up how I feel about Limbaugh’s death so well, I thought I should just post it in full below.

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“Yes, We Absolutely Must Dance On Rush Limbaugh’s Grave, For The Good Of All Humanity

Robyn Pennacchia February 20, 2021 04:05 PM

“As we all know by now, Rush Limbaugh is dead — and the nation is divided. Divided between those of us who are quite happy to now be living on a planet without one of the most vile, hateful and cruel people to ever tread upon it, and those who love him and are mad at us for being so gleeful, but can’t quite think of anything nice to say about him either

“And of course, as there always will be, there are those who admit he was a terrible human being, but who don’t think we need to be so mean about him being a terrible human being or so gleeful over his death. Though not as many of them as there have been when other terrible people have died, I will say that. But The New York Times’ Frank Bruni has stepped up to the plate, asking the question “Must We Dance On Rush Limbaugh’s Grave?” and asking people to toe the line and acknowledge his terribleness in a more polite way. “Speaking ill of the dead needn’t mean cackling over their demise,” he says.

“Here, he describes the bad behavior he saw across the internet this week:

“BIGOT, MISOGYNIST, HOMOPHOBE, CRANK: RUSH LIMBAUGH DEAD.” Those were the words, capitalized and adrenalized, that HuffPost splashed across its home page. Several other left-leaning sites took the same tack and tone.

Of course, they were positively restrained in comparison with Twitter, which is basically talk radio’s less windy bastard child. “Rest in piss” had currency there. The F word, followed immediately by Limbaugh’s name, was taken out for a spin. There was speculation that Limbaugh had gone to a very hot place reputed to have nine circles and a red, horned ruler. There was wishing that he would rot there. One tweet said that Limbaugh “brought a lot of people a lot of joy by dying.” It was liked by more than 35,000 of the morbidly contented. I don’t begrudge them their relief that he’s no longer ranting. But is that really what they want to lavish a cute little heart symbol on?

“Oh no, not the F word. Won’t someone think of Frank Bruni’s virgin ears? Why, he can’t even say “hell” or even “heck.” He can, however, say “needn’t” and “begrudge” a lot. He is very good at writing, you can tell, because he uses 40,000 words when one would suffice. 

“He then suggested that we all follow the example of The New York Times by being a tad more gentle in our attacks against his rotting, fetid corpse:

The headline: “Rush Limbaugh Dies at 70; Turned Talk Radio Into a Right-Wing Attack Machine.” That nails his significance and signals his destructiveness without hurling slurs. Below those words, in a subhead, came these: “With a following of 15 million and a divisive style of mockery, grievance and denigrating language, he was a force in reshaping American conservatism.” Again, no sugarcoating Limbaugh’s behavior, no hedging about his tactics, but also no taunting, no seething, no celebrating. The paragraphs that followed that subhead also followed suit.

They certainly didn’t pay homage to him. 

But the nastier stuff that I saw elsewhere did, in its way — by accidentally reifying his aspersions against liberals as merciless jurists and by inadvertently validating his own style. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Limbaugh was just flattered to a fare thee well. He got posthumous company in the gutter, and I’m hard pressed to identify anyone who benefits from that.

“I do. You do. We all do. Sorry to use the F word, but it was fucking cathartic and fucking necessary after what he fucking put us through. It is good for us. It is, in fact, good for all of humanity because people should know that if they spend their lives mocking people with AIDS, mocking the homeless, saying horrible things about everyone else, that this is how they will be remembered when they are gone. They should know their awfulness will not be whitewashed simply because they are now dead. There are a few people out there who are so bad that they don’t deserve the “don’t speak ill of the dead” treatment — Charles Manson, Hitler, Jeffery Epstein, dictators, serial killers, and now, Rush Limbaugh. He is in the company he deserves. 

“So fuck it! Let’s dance!”

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Good riddance! The world is a better place because Limbaugh is no longer in it. Now to go pick out the music… Something fabulous!

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