Rush Limbaugh, R.I.P.

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Rush Limbaugh was often at his best when the country’s fortunes were at their worst.

During the dark days of the Clinton and Obama presidencies, for instance, Limbaugh shined light on the harmful policies and preposterous pronouncements of the two gifted charlatans. He also did it in hilarious fashion, causing many a listener to laugh out loud while tooling along on Route 128.

One favorite:  Rush’s “boxed set” of Christmas-theme songs that included the melody of “Carol of the Bells” with Paul Shanklin as Bill Clinton singing “I told a lie, I don’t know why / I told a lie, I don’t know why …”

Another:  Rush’s false endorsement of Bill Clinton in August 1992, a send-up of Clinton’s excuse-making that included the following retort to an uncomprehending listener:  “Everybody wants to look into my past. It was 23 minutes ago. You keep talking about something that happened 23 minutes ago. It’s irrelevant. … I was younger 23 minutes ago. Cut me some slack.”

Limbaugh, who died today of lung cancer at age 70, used to prepare his listeners for this event, noting that there would come a time when he wouldn’t be here. It was inevitable, but the world feels emptier.

Left-wing media is predictably focusing on inaccuracies and off-the-mark insults Limbaugh engaged in. To that you could throw in ego – of titanic size, to be sure, fueled by his prodigious talent and success.

But that’s Limbaugh at his worst. He was much more often friendly, funny, and right.

Always relevant, Limbaugh was especially valuable during the pre-Internet time when left-wingers controlled most media in the country. Among his accomplishments:  Limbaugh played an outsized role in defeating Hillary Clinton’s universal health care scheme during the 1990s. And when mainstream media figures maliciously tried to drown out every objection to President Barack Obama as racism, Limbaugh stood firm in the maelstrom.

One of the best moments of the Trump presidency occurred a little more than a year ago, when the president surprised Limbaugh during the State of the Union with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He deserved it. Few Americans have done as much to stave off attacks on freedom, family, and country.

Yet there’s more to life than public policy. He also made the lives of many people cheerier, just by listening to him.

Farewell, Rush.  Godspeed.