Rush Limbaugh’s NFL Gambit; What’s Really Going On?

rush-kkkThere has been a lot of ink, most of it male and liberal and white, about Rush Limbaugh’s failed attempt at becoming a National Football League franchise owner. Though I agree with many of the commentaries and critiques I think they are missing the point in all of this. Like this piece by Dave Zirin breaking down what he calls Limbaugh’s ‘defeat’ at the hands of Limbaugh’s “compadres on the right”. True, but I smell a rat. While I don’t agree with Limbaugh and the point of view he advocates, it doesn’t sound as if he is an unintelligent man. Despicable? Yes. But he’s not stupid. He had to know this NFL franchise ownership thing wouldn’t go. He didn’t actually lose any money in this scheme and his ratings will go up at least temporarily from it for sure. So what is really going on here?

Rush Limbaugh knew this deal would fall through, as it has. And this scheme fits right in perfectly with the way the ruling class handles the right wing populace of the United States. Constant victimization by liberals/nonwhites/feminists, you get the picture. Limbaugh knew this would be shot down and then he would turn around and… Well, he doesn’t have to actually say anything much. The right wing impulse to search for an angle of victimization runs deep enough that the script already runs inside their heads. This kind of stirring up of the right wing base is what the endless so-called fight to end abortion is all about, the ten commandments in public buildings and things like that. Fights that will last forever and keep alive the idea of being oppressed and victimized by various groups even as the right wing consolidates more and more national and international power. Forever a victim.

I see this as a particularly dangerous moment. Perhaps not but it does seem to signal a shift in the scale of gimmicks and tactics employed by the right wing in stirring up their people. Sports is a very large stage for sociopolitical messaging. And the NFL is the largest of the Big 3 pro sports messaging vehicles. I guess we will see how this continues to unfold but it doesn’t add up to me that this was a misstep by Limbaugh, that he didn’t predict the pushback and striking down of this effort. These things were certainties.

White supremacy, always the prime political mover in this country, has been on the upswing in the United States since the candidacy of Barack Hussein Obama gained momentum. It continues to arc upwards and this Limbaugh stunt just appears to be another episode in what may turn out to be a particularly sordid, and maybe violent, chapter in this country’s white supremacist history.

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