There's another Rush. And this other Rush wrote something on Monday that's darker and uglier than anything Rush Limbaugh has said recently, if that's even possible. (And no, this has nothing to do with the excellent Canadian progressive rock band.)
His name is Erik Rush. In addition to hosting a daily podcast called Full Contact, he's a regular Fox News contributor whose big claim to, well, infamy was that he broke the story about Rev. Jeremiah Wright during the 2008 campaign.
He also believes President Obama might be part of a Satanic cult. But that's not all, Rush once said that Obama is a communist operative, "Damien" from The Omen and the president will soon be "herding people into cattle cars." Channeling Alex Jones, Rush said that the Navy Yard massacre was a false flag to prevent the president from being arrested for treason.
On Monday, according to Right Wing Watch, Rush said that anyone who criticizing him should be tossed in jail for, yes, treason. Last week, while hosting conservative activist Jim Garrow on his podcast, Garrow and Rush agreed that Obama should be executed. Why? Because the president, working in tandem with George Soros, plotted to fire nuclear weapons at various American cities, killing most of the U.S. population.
He's a bigtime wackadoodle.
But it gets worse.
On Tuesday, Rush posted a column titled "It is Time... to Revolt Against a Tyrant." In it, Rush, for the umpteenth time, accused the president of treason because [insert kooky far-right word salad here.]
Then he called for the president and most of Congress to be "neutralized... by any means necessary."
He continued by writing, "So Obama and his cabal, and in all likelihood a substantial segment of Congress must go."
Here's a theory: he's baiting the government to lock him up by threatening the life of the president. "By any means necessary" includes assassination, and by arresting Rush, it'd be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Obama "cabal" would be attempting to silence him because the administration is a traitorous/treasonous/nuclear-weapon-using/people-herding/Satan-worshiping/Erik-Rush-hating criminal regime that must be stopped.
Whatever. It's really not worth our time to parse too deeply into what Erik Rush wrote because it's pointless. He's either seriously mentally ill, or he's doing this for cash and ratings, or both.
Indeed, this sort of harrowing armed revolt and assassination fetishization generates a not insignificant revenue stream. It's become its own subsidiary of the conservative entertainment complex, as David Frum called it. Located just adjacent to the anti-Obama conspiracy theory section of the store, the violent-overthrow cosplay shelves are loaded with highly potent crazyswag. For a price. Read the crazy, but subscribe first. And don't forget to bulk-purchase the hastily-assembled ghost-written book.
Obama Derangement Syndrome sufferers comprise a market segment ripe for exploitation, so Rush and too many others are selling bread and circuses to these angry, hateful people -- twisted with rage and ignorance -- as a way to ease their pain over an African-American liberal in the White House who's (gasp!) giving people healthcare and allowing gays to get married. Rush, Glenn Beck and others provide a what-if fantasy for the screeching masses who wouldn't dare raise a firearm in the direction of the president or the army surrounding him. Hell, they can't attend a peaceful tea party rally without lawn chairs. How could they ever possibly muster the energy to take on the U.S. military in a civil war? It's imagineering. Make-believe.
And, really, it's fascinating to observe these eliminationist screeds about violently overthrowing the government of the United States "by any means necessary" coming from the same fire-eaters who, just a few years ago, told us that merely criticizing the commander-in-chief during wartime was not only unpatriotic but it was undermining the troops.
So tell us then, what does it mean when someone calls for the assassination of the commander-in-chief while troops are in harm's way? In any scenario, for any reason, such talk is inexcusable. But as long as it sells, it'll continue unabated.