Monday, October 17, 2011

No wonder Rush Limbaugh loved Palin

Many better writers than me have already covered the monstrosity of Rush Limbaugh reflexively supporting the Lord's Resistance Army because they are "Christians" and Obama is against them, but looking past that, what's actually slightly surprising about this is how literally ignorant Limbaugh actually is about the world.  He'd really never heard of the LRA:
Is that right? The Lord's Resistance Army is being accused of really bad stuff? Child kidnapping, torture, murder, that kind of stuff? Well, we just found out about this today. We're gonna do, of course, our due diligence research on it. But nevertheless we got a hundred troops being sent over there to fight these guys -- and they claim to be Christians. 
I think we usually assume that people like Limbaugh are worldly, knowledgable and extremely cynical, so, say, when Limbaugh is trying to rationalize Sarah Palin's serial of geopolitical ignorances, we figure he's well informed, but simply doesn't care.  This is too much credit.

Not knowing who the LRA are is not quite on the level of many of Palin's exposed ignorances, but for a middle aged man who does politics for a living, it's a remarkable testament to the self-imposed insularity of conservatives that he's really never heard of them.  I don't doubt if you did a poll, far less than a majority of the general public would have heard of them, but those people don't have internationally syndicated radio shows.  The LRA are not obscure, they've been at this for decades and as someone who doesn't pay particular attention to Africa or Uganda, I have heard of them multiple times over my years (and I'm much younger than Limbaugh).  Probably because they are just so extraordinarily awful, they get media coverage.  See this Google News query from 1 Jan 2008 to 30 Sept 2011 (before Obama's troop deployment).  The LRA are at the level of that old cliché that if you wrote a fictional book about a group like them, no one would believe it.

I'd like to see Katie Couric ask Rush what newspapers he reads or what the Bush doctrine was.  I'm beginning to doubt he would do much better under the glare than Palin did.

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