Rush Out

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The Claremont Institute regrets to inform me that

Rush Limbaugh will not be in attendance at the Institute's annual Churchill Dinner on Friday, November 21, 2003. Mr. Limbaugh was to receive the Claremont Institute's Statesmanship Award at that time.

From his New York studio, Rush said, "Because I must limit my travel for the remainder of this year, I am unable to attend the Claremont Institute's Churchill Dinner on November 21. I deeply regret the inconvenience and disappointment caused the Claremont Institute by my having to postpone my appearance at such a late date. However, I am hopeful that we can re-schedule my attendance at another event in 2004."

The institute, ever tactful, does not explain further, but presumably Limbaugh was cautioned against leaving the state because of his recent drug-related legal troubles. His replacement as keynote speaker, naturally, is Bill Bennett, freshly anointed a Washington Fellow of the institute, who this week explained why his excessive gambling was not as bad as Limbaugh's pill popping. But if you ask me, Limbaugh, a functional narcotic addict, was a better choice to speak at a dinner honoring Churchill, a functional alcoholic.

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  1. “I deeply regret the inconvenience and disappointment caused the Claremont Institute by my having to postpone my appearance at such a late date.”

    “Disappointment”? I think he needs to lay off those pills. Does this jackoff seriously believe his own hype?

    I’m surprised he didn’t ask for the dinner to be sent to him, the fat fuck..

  2. I am just disappointed that the LONG OVERDUE NATIONAL DEBATE on the Failed War On Drugs? still seems years away. And Rush (god is that name so apropos) doesn’t seem to be helping much (yet?).

    Not with a bang, but a whimper I suppose.

    Regards,

    Steve in CO.

  3. Jacob,

    I’m interested in how you define “functional”. It may be that Rush lost his hearing in just a few years, due to drug abuse, as has been reported in the press. If this is the case, is someone really functional if they’ve gone that far? What’s next, liver failure? It seems like a functional alcoholic or pot smoker can go decades without suffering such extreme damage in such a short time period.

    I’m all for fighting for one’s right to party, but with these types of narcotics having such devastating side effects, are we going to far?

  4. Perhaps, trainwreck, it’s somewhere in the middle where this kind of dialogue will be the most productive.

  5. “I am just disappointed that the LONG OVERDUE NATIONAL DEBATE on the Failed War On Drugs? still seems years away. And Rush (god is that name so apropos) doesn’t seem to be helping much (yet?).”–Steve in CO

    If we took a poll of Americans to measure approval of “Click it or ticket,” what would you guess? I’d say about 60 percent approve. That’s why “national debate” is wishful thinking.
    We can only take refuge here in cyberspace.

    That said, I guess I’d give Rush credit for enabling national debate… as much as it’s capable of being enabled.

  6. True Ruthless, true. 90% of Americans believe they are “above average,” drivers as well.

    πŸ™‚

    And over sixty percent believe “free speech,” goes to far… so thank goodness we don’t have a “direct democracy.”

  7. Steve in Co,

    65% believe that UFOs have landed and abducted people.

  8. Jean Bart,

    As George Harrison would disturb Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch in saying, “Are you one of them?” πŸ™‚

  9. As much fun as it seems at first, citing American’s silly beliefs, (UFOs, Psychics, ghosts, bigfoot, demons, gods, homeopathy, acupuncture, on and on) becomes rather depressing.

    πŸ™‚

  10. It’s not clear that Rush’s narcotic use had anything to do with his hearing loss. The association to which people have been referring was found in a group of people who had suffered hearing loss and had also been heavy consumers of Vicodin-like combinations of hydrocodone and acetaminophen (not OxyContin, another drug Limbaugh reportedly used). Although physicians are now warned that hearing loss is a possible side effect of such combinations, the association may or may not reflect a causal relationship. If it does, the side effect is quite rare. See, e.g., http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-091001vicodin,1,1591478,print.story.

    In any case, when I call Limbaugh a “functional” addict, I don’t mean the habit had no bad effects. Hearing loss, assuming it was caused by the drugs, certainly would count as a bad effect, and so would whatever private anguish his addiction caused. I mean only that he continued to excel at his profession, and you would not have known from his public performance that he was an addict.

  11. My, my, my, don’t we sound like a bunch of normative conservatives when we snarkily judge others as they snarkily judge everybody else. One of those very rare moments when Reason.com makes me feel unclean.

  12. I mean only that he continued to excel at his profession, and you would not have known from his public performance that he was an addict.

    I don’t know. I always assumed something was wrong with him. (Yes. I am kicking him while he’s down.)

  13. Oxycodone doesn’t harm your liver. The stuff it’s sometimes packaged with, e.g., Acetaminophen in Vicodin, DOES harm your liver.

    Maybe I’m sidetracking this political/personal argument with medical facts, but by itself, oxycodone is totally harmless to any and all of the tissues in your body. Death due to overdose results from CNS depression and the resultant heart failure. But regular, constant ingestion of amounts insufficient to cause overdose won’t harm any of your organs or tissues. Your liver would be fine.

  14. Just to drive home the point about how relatively harmless the opioid painkillers are, ALL of the non-narcotic painkillers can be overdosed on, as well. Taking too much aspirin will turn you into a pain-crazed bloody mess as you hemmhorage to death. Most non-narcotic painkillers are also damaging to your liver with regular use. So, relatively speaking, stuff like oxycodone is safer than most pain medication as long as you don’t take doses that are unusually large for you. All things being equal, it’s no more dangerous than most of the other pills – even including vitamins – we keep around the house. ‘Course, vitamins aren’t addictive…

  15. It’s just getting too confusing with all these addictions. What we need is for Rush to show up at a Rageaholics Anonymous meeting by mistake: “Was I talking to you, pinhead?”

  16. “But regular, constant ingestion of amounts insufficient to cause overdose won’t harm any of your organs or tissues. Your liver would be fine.”

    Cool, I gotta get me some of that stuff.

  17. Well, Winston Churchill liked to have a whisky diluted with a lot of soda after breakfast and he usually had to have a glass of hock and a sip of champagne at lunchtime. Not liking tea that much, he might have sipt some champagne in the afternoon, and he washed down his dinner with some claret, having a glass of port afterwards, and he finished his day dictating his secretaries with a glass of brandy in his hand. A hard drinker? You bet!

    But a “functional alcoholic?”. Depends on how do you define “functional” I’d guess.

  18. “Depends on how do you define “functional” I’d guess.”

    Well, he had some hand in keeping his country from becoming a German province, and he managed also to win the Nobel Prize for literature. A lot more than I’ve gotten done, and I don’t even drink that much.

    I seem to remember that he also liked ending his day with a fifth of Scotch, but I could have that wrong.

  19. Well, Douglas, he even managed to die of old age (at 91) without falling prey to liver cirrhosis. heavy drinking notwithstanding.

    I don’t know whether he felt any compulsion to drink (perhaps he did), but since he apparently showed no loss of control or signs of physical dependence, and obviously didn’t need to drink greater amounts in order to “get high,” I’d think Churchill was not an alcoholic at all, functional or not functional, thus the comparision to Rush seems to be a bit farfetched.

    However, since Churchill also happened to be into gambling on occasion – he preferred Chemin-du-fer or Baccarat – I wouldn’t think Bill Bennet being out of place to speak at a dinner honoring him.

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