Limbaugh: "America is hanging by a thread"

Radio host goes on rant against healthcare reform passage, says "will of the people was spat upon"

Published March 22, 2010 8:45PM (EDT)

Rush Limbaugh is not one to be out-blustered. So, during his show on Monday, he went the John Boehner route with a full-on angry rant about healthcare reform that went even further than Boehner's did.

"Today, as we start the radio program, America is hanging by a thread. So we have to see what we can do with a thread. At the end of the day our freedom has been assaulted. This is the kind of change that people did not think they were going to get when they voted for Barack Obama," Limbaugh said, continuing:

I'm asking myself what kind of country are we today. We're not a representative republic. The will of the people was spat upon yesterday. The will of the people is of no concern to the people who now have power and authority from the White House all the way down to Capitol Hill. The will of the people is something to be crushed. So we're not a representative republic. You can't even say loosely defined we are much of a democracy. We have to restore these things. We have to do this by getting rid of these people at the ballot box. We must get them out of office. That's the only thing here.

Beyond the totally overheated rhetoric, there's a real irony here: What Limbaugh's talking about all comes down to opinion polls, and those have absolutely nothing to do with our actual system of governing. The Founding Fathers didn't put polling in the Constitution, and the first poll in American history wasn't even conducted until 1824.

So, yes, the polls show right now that the public is generally against the bill that House Democrats passed last night. But the vote in 2008 -- the only thing that actually matters in our system -- indicated that the public did want this kind of reform. (You can, of course, point to Scott Brown's recent election as evidence on the other side, but that's a single special election in a single state, and Brown's constituents don't vote for most other members of Congress.)

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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