For some time I have watched, with amazement, the popularity of Rush Limbaugh grow. Wanting to understand this phenomenon, I have occasionally listened to him. His Sunday program of April 25 was most enlightening.
Limbaugh read and interpreted a quote from the Federalist Papers. Limbaugh then informed his audience that the quote was from Federalist #10. He then proceeded to interpret the quote. I have studied the Federalist Papers myself. I disagreed with his interpretation for some very technical reasons.What also bothers me is the quote is not from the very famous #10 but the less famous #47. One can, perhaps, forgive his interpretation, but how could he mistake #47 for #10? Was he lying or just sloppy?
I also viewed Limbaugh on the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour one evening. He appeared with a congressman and Norman Ornstein, a renowned congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. AEI is a conservative think-tank. I don't remember the exact details, but the congressman and Ornstein were laughing at what Limbaugh said - and with good reason. What Limbaugh said was totally inaccurate and naive.
Please don't get me wrong. When Limbaugh was discussing other subjects, I thought he was hysterically funny. But as a political commentator, he is woefully inadequate. I am a conservative Republican and I share his biases, but as finishing Ph.D. and assistant professor of political science, I can tell you the man is terribly misinformed about politics. He should stick to entertainment. He seems to do that very well.
Krista A. West