Your Newest Senator Says: “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot”

Sometime in 2007, I picked up Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, by Al Franken, at a used book store. I generally like the book, although his writing style is a bit too casual for my taste. It’s a bit too conversational, and it meanders a bit. I guess I’m just used to reading things that are a bit more formally constructed. That’s my only real complaint about the book. The only other caveat is that it was published in 1996, so it’s slightly dated.

As I was reading it, I saw several passages that relate directly to the topics we cover here, so I transcribed them into a text file. I was planning to write some sort of book review, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to incorporate these excerpts.

The file has been sitting on my hard drive for well over a year. I sort of forgot about it. Now that Franken has apparently won the Minnesota Senate seat, it reminded me that I have these notes. This is as good a time as ever to dust off that file and see what I can do with it.

Most of these excerpts are actually self-contained and self-explanatory, so I’ll just do the simplest thing: Let you have them as is. Herewith are some of the highlights of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations.


Page 45, ¶1
“My brother Owen, who also had become a wiseass, though not professionally, was now a photographer, and he suggested I ride the press bus with him in New Hampshire and follow Ronald Reagan around. Reagan was one of those guys who in 1964 opposed the Civil Rights act. Can’t legislate morality was the rationale.”

[RB note: How times have changed. That’s all the Republicans do these days (including President Reagan!).]

Pages 54-55
He reminds us of the Newt Gingrich divorce story.

Page 87, ¶6
“Frankly, I’m getting a little sick of cranky Republicans who can’t keep their own families together telling everybody else about family values. Quick. What do Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Phil Gramm, and George Will have in common? Answer. They’ve all been married only one less time than Rush Limbaugh.”

Page 88, ¶3
“I know I don’t buy the Christian Coalition argument that sex education created promiscuity. I believe promiscuity grew with the wide availability of the pill and smut like Newt Gingrich’s novel 1945.”

Page 89, ¶4
“Which brings me back to masturbation. And here’s the point I wanted to make in the first place. America is a masturbatory society. Just register at any hotel that caters to businessmen, most of whom are angry white men, and check out the movie menu. For every Forrest Gump there are twenty Romancing the Bone‘s. Why? Supply and demand. Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand,’ so to speak.”

Page 90, ¶2
So next time Bob Dole starts bitching about casual sex in movies, ask him one question. How is it possible that he’s crisscrossed this great country, stayed in two hundred hotels, and still hasn’t seen Forrest Gump?”

Page 93, ¶2
“This is why I’d make a terrible politician.”

Page 124, ¶2-6
“Speaking of damnation, I’m very upset with the people at Delacorte [his publisher]. I begged them not to put the Universal Product Code on the back of the book. They argued that every retail item these days has to have the UPC bar code, and I said, ‘Exactly! That’s why the UPC is the Mark of the Beast!’

“Of course, the Delacorte people pretended not to know what I was talking about. So we had to go through this little charade where I showed them the passage in Revelation: ‘No man will be able to buy or sell without the Mark of the Beast.’ And they acted like they had never seen it before. And then I pointed out the passage in Pat Robertson’s book The New World Order:

…Can any of us doubt the truth expressed in the Book of Revelation that all credit could one day be controlled by a central one-world financial authority and that no one could buy or sell without its approval?

“…Long story short, the back cover bears the Mark of the Beast. I’m sorry.”

Page 199, ¶1
“One of those absolutes is the belief in the superiority of Christianity. When asked about that earlier this year, [Pat] Buchanan said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and is actually God and that that is the path to salvation, so quite obviously I believe it’s superior to Buddhism and Taoism and other faiths, yes.’ I’m fine with that, I guess. But, not to be flippant, will someone explain to me how Jesus can be both the son of God and also God. Does it have something to do with the Holy Trinity? Help me here; I’m from an inferior religion.”

Page 228, ¶3
(quoting Rush…)
“My views on the environment are rooted in my belief in Creation. … I refuse to believe that people, who are themselves the result of Creation, can destroy the most magnificent creation in the entire Universe.”

Page 243, ¶1
“Instead of ‘With talent on loan from God,’ Rush Limbaugh should open his show by saying ‘With fat on loan from the American Beef Council.”

Page 248, ¶2-3
He went to a Ross Perot United We Stand America convention in 1995. The Alan Keyes for President booth was playing a graphic video of an actual abortion. “This violated an agreement that the presidential candidates would show only campaign videos. The Keyes people said the abortion video was their campaign video, but the Perot staff and police came in to close down the booth.

“A Keyes campaign worker, who was wearing a T-shirt with an American flag and a cross, started chastising the cops at the top of his lungs, calling their actions ‘an abomination against the Lord.’ … A couple of minutes later it was all over, and the guy who had been preaching came up to me and told me he liked my work. Then a friend of his spent ten minutes trying to convert me to Christ.”

Page 276, ¶1
He calls Bill Clinton the greatest president of the 20th Century:

“I know what you’re thinking, ‘Wait a minute, Al. Franklin Roosevelt was the greatest president of the century.’ And I suppose an argument could be made for FDR. Or Truman, I guess. Or Wilson, Kennedy, or Johnson. Or the other Roosevelt, if you’re a Republican. Or Reagan, if you’re a fucking idiot.”

The entire chapter is about the Christian Coalition.

Page 281, ¶2
“I learned that Pat Robertson believes that a satanic conspiracy led by Jews has threatened the world for centuries.”

Page 283, ¶4
Quoting Robertson:
“There is no hard evidence to prove it, but it is my belief that John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated Lincoln, was in the employ of the European bankers [i.e., Jews] who wanted to nip this American populist experiment in the bud.”

Page 287, ¶1
Quoting Robertson:
“The feminist agenda…is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft and become lesbians.”

Page 287, ¶2
“I reentered the hall to hear [Ralph] Reed introduce Newt. ‘Newt Gingrich was pro-family before pro-family was cool.’ I tried to figure out if that meant being pro-family became cool before or after Newt got those blow jobs from the wife of a fellow college professor.”

Page 291, ¶3-7
“Ollie North spoke about the importance of electing local officials. And the Coalition has had tremendous success recently in taking over local school boards. All part of its attempt to rid curricula of ‘politically correct’ liberal ideas like, say, evolution.

“In fact, Creationism routinely won enthusiastic applause at the conference. I asked a nice 40-year-old woman named Pat from Florida about her views on the subject. She told me that God created man in his own image ten thousand years ago, not four billion, as those godless ‘experts’ at universities believe. ‘Ten thousand?’ I asked.

“‘Ten thousand.’ She nodded.

“I asked her if she had seen Jurassic Park. She said that she had and that her entire family loved it. I tried to explain to her that she had to choose. Either Jurassic Park or Creationism. You can’t have both.

“Pat didn’t seem to get my point. But she was very nice, noticed I was ill, and wordlessly led me by the hand to her hotel room, where we spent an evening of unbridled passion.”

Actually, he admits that last part is a lie.

7 Responses to “Your Newest Senator Says: “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot””

  1. vjack Says:

    I don’t think Franken is a done deal yet. He still hasn’t been seated by the Senate. I sure hope he makes it though. That was a good book, but I thought his next one was even better.

  2. Kevin Says:

    yeah, Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them was better, although i still haven’t gotten around to reading is third one, The Truth (With Jokes).

    here’s hoping Al makes it!

  3. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I really think he will. The relatively conservative judiciary of Minnesota (which are now suddenly “activist liberals”) have supported Franken’s side or the Minnesota Election Board’s side (whichever one was being sued during all the suits) every time so far. All the allegations of improper vote counting are garbage. They are made up by people nowhere near Minnesota. Each hand-counted vote was examined by officials from both campaigns and challenged when they felt it was appropriate. Now all challenged votes are ruled on (really, how long can you examine the same voting card?) and that’s just that. Of course Coleman wants the new results thrown out because the old results favored him.

    I can’t wait until it’s official because on that day, Bill O’Reilly’s head will explode into a million little pieces.

  4. Thomas Says:

    I was reading this book when I took the SAT. I went to high school in the deep south and, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have chosen to take that particular text along when I knew that I was going spend four hours sequestered in a room with thirty of my high school compatriots whilst undertaking an endeavor that would make them all feel stressed and stupid.

    It was not a fun morning. On the up side, I think Al Franken’s words contributed to my 1490.

  5. Lindsay Says:

    Pertaining to the first excerpt…my boss sent me a forward today of different “existential” questions. My favorite one was:

    If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

    How appropriate!

  6. cognitive dissident Says:

    You got all of my favorite passages, except for this one:

    “Reaganomics worked. This is the crown jewel in Rush’s crown of bullshit. This is the big lie – the one he desperately needs the working-class members of his audience to believe. If Reaganomics worked, Rush is a straight-talking champion of the little guy on a populist crusade to take the country back from those pointy-headed liberals who think they know what’s good for everybody and are drunk with the power of sending out welfare checks. If Reaganomics didn’t work, Rush is the carnival clown hired to distract the crowd while paramedics carry the mangled bodies from a derailed roller coaster. He does a little juggling, pulls some flowers out of his hat, and when the crowd begins to get a little anxious about the rising body count, he starts shrieking hysterically that this never would have happened if it weren’t for those goddam liberal safety inspectors.” (p. 124)

  7. Ron Britton Says:


    You’re right. That one is especially good.