Rush Limbaugh: A Great American

Liberals were horrified when President Trump awarded Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the State of the Union speech, recognizing his decades of service to the cause of American freedom. The context, of course, was Rush’s tough cancer diagnosis. In the aftermath, Scott and I both emailed Rush to extend our best wishes and add our small voices to the millions who are encouraging Rush as he battles the deadliest of enemies.

I didn’t really expect to hear back from Rush, who must be deluged with such emails, but I did. And so did Scott. I won’t violate any confidences, but Rush graciously acknowledged our good wishes. I don’t think he would mind if I quote this from his email to Scott, who modestly introduced himself as one of the Power Liners:

Scott! I know who you are!! You are huge, a giant in the movement and blogosphere…all of you at PowerLine are inspiring and always supportive…you always seem to understand when others don’t “get it”. It’s greatly appreciated.

And from Rush’s email to me:

John!!! Thanks so much for the note…the outpouring has been incredible and I am so grateful for it all. I sincerely appreciate it.

Here’s the thing about Rush: everyone who knows him likes him. He has done more to boost the careers of other conservatives than pretty much anyone. On the air, his tongue-in-cheek “El Rushbo” persona pretends to be arrogant. This is part of his effort to speak for the unheard millions who rely on him to be their voice–a strong, fearless voice. In real life, Rush is modest, kind, and forever thinking of how he can help others to succeed and thereby advance the American cause. Ask anyone who knows him.

We are proud to have been quoted many times, over the years, by the great Rush Limbaugh, who has occasionally found our stuff worth reading and dissecting on the air. Rush, get well! Your country needs you.

STEVE adds: I didn’t send Rush a note, but I think I get to claim that “I knew Rush Limbaugh before he was Rush Limbaugh!” I did get to tell Rush on the phone once (he called me up about my Reagan books) what I meant by that. Back around 1986, when Rush started out on KFBK radio in Sacramento, and I was starting to get involved in state politics and going to Sacramento a lot, one of my best friends from college, Ted Gaines (now a member of California’s State Board of Equalization—and who I am trying to persuade to run for governor against Gavin Newsom in 2022), called me up to say: “You’ve got to listen to this guy on our local radio show. His name is Rush Limbaugh. You won’t believe it!”

Ted was right. I couldn’t believe how awesome he was. Quoting from National Review, the American Spectator, and other leading conservative journals. Funny as hell. Scott mentions listening to him around the time of the Clarence Thomas hearings.  I was in Sacramento during the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987, and Rush was totally on fire. I’d sit in the car after I arrived at a destination to listen to more. You couldn’t turn him off.

When I heard in the summer if 1988 that Rush was going national with a syndicated show starting on a handful of stations, I told everybody, “Watch this guy—he’s going to be HUGE.” I wasn’t the least surprised that he quickly became a national sensation.

God bless Rush Limbaugh, and get well soon.