Hypocrisy, Reality and Rush Limbaugh

You almost have to feel sorry for the holier-than-thou set these days. They keep finding out their heroes are human.

This startling discovery, of course, means they have to resort to some tired clichés to explain why it really doesn’t matter that the icons of their holier-than-thouness ain’t up to the standards they demand of everyone else on the planet.

That’s where the fun begins, watching the sanctimonious set scramble to defend Rush Limbaugh, the loudmouth that roared, the pantheon of piety, the high prince of hypocrisy.

Limbaugh, who insists that he is always right and everyone else is always wrong, finally went public on his drug habit, a longtime addiction to pain killers that he blames on a bad back. This startling admission came as the law closed in on the tart-tongued talker. Seems his maid, who Limbaugh used to score vast quantities of prescription pain pills (without a prescription), ratted him out.

“You know I have always tried to be honest with you and open about my life,” Limbaugh said on his radio show last Friday. “So I need to tell you today that part of what you have heard and read is correct. I am addicted to prescription pain medication.”

That example of being “honest with you and open about my life” only came after the National Enquirer broke the story of Limbaugh’s addition and a police investigation into his illegal habit of buying drugs without a prescription.

“Immediately following this broadcast, I am checking myself into a treatment center for the next 30 days to once and for all break the hold this highly addictive medication has on me,” he added.

Limbaugh’s fans jumped immediately to his defense, saying the talker deserved compassion and leniency – the height of hypocrisy from a group that shows little compassion and allows no room for leniency.

In 1995, Limbaugh said “too many whites are getting away with drug use” and demanded that all drugs users be punished.

“Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. … And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up,” Limbaugh said on national television.

Good advice, but the holier-than-thouers say that doesn’t apply to Limbaugh. After all, he wasn’t snorting cocaine or shooting heroin.  He was just popping pills – and prescription pills at that.

Alcoholics who drink beer often use the same kinds of flimsy excuses. It’s just beer, they say. As a recovering alcoholic with nine years, four months and nine days of sobriety under my belt, I can tell you there ain’t no difference. Beer is alchohol and alcohol is a drug, just like cocaine, heroin or prescription pain killers. I’m an alcoholic and will always be one. Rush Limbaugh is a drug addict and shall be for the rest of his life as well.

When it comes time to face the beast, you must first look in the mirror and say “OK, it’s my fault, it’s my life and it’s my job to take control of it.” It will take work, and the help of others who have faced down the beast but no amount of time in rehab, no fancy clinics and no number of public confessions will mean a damn thing until you look yourself in the eye and say “it’s me. I fucked up and I’m the one that’s got to fix it.”

Some might say Limbaugh did that on his show last Friday. Perhaps, but he’s tried rehab twice before and failed. He went public only after word got out and the law was closing in. Time will tell if this was honesty or just a ploy to avoid jail time.

In the meantime, however, Rush Limbaugh is not the only one who needs to face the beast. The holier-than-thou crowd could use a little face time in the mirror as well. It’s time they met their real enemy.