Limbaugh tells Boehner to flip-flop and “defend Big Oil” — and the House Speaker does

When Rush Limbaugh says “jump,” the Speaker of the House apparently says, “Can I do a flip, too?”  John Boehner courageously supported ending taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil for 12 hours, as CP noted yesterday.

Obviously Boehner heard from Big Oil about his claim that oil companies are “not paying their fair share.”  But Think Progress has the story of someone else Boehner heard from:

As the White House and Democratic lawmakers congratulate Boehner on having “seen the light,” right-wing mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh is choking on Boehner’s betrayal. Aghast that Boehner failed to defend Big Oil’s slick situation, Limbaugh said that, were he a Republican political leader, “I would defend Big Oil“:

LIMBAUGH: [Boehner] “is open to the idea of reducing the so-called oil subsidies. and he used a phrase popularized by the left: “It’s about time the oil companies pay their fair share.” He’s open to them paying their fair share and open to the idea of reducing their subsidies when we need them the most. I understand the Republicans don’t want to get caught in the trap “” they think it’s a trap “” of having to defend Big Oil…. If I were a political leader and a Republican and the Democrats were hellbent on ending Big Oil subsidies and raising taxes on Big Oil in circumstances like we are in now, is it just me? This may be the difference between working in radio and working in politics. I would defend Big Oil! Especially now. We need supply!”

Listen here (via Media Matters):

Oil companies do not need more subsidies. In fact, they are on track to secure sky-high profits as gas prices continue to rise. This, of course, comes on the back of American taxpayers who doled out $3.96 billion in tax expenditures for Big Oil in 2010.

But, for Limbaugh, it’s less about what is correct and more about who must be wrong. “I know who the left’s enemies are. I know who’s on their enemy list,” he said. “And my instincts are to defend the people that they are targeting because I know who the left is.”

A Think Progress repost.

16 Responses to Limbaugh tells Boehner to flip-flop and “defend Big Oil” — and the House Speaker does

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Rush is lying, of course. He’s not defending Big Oil because “The Left” opposes them, he’s doing it because those are the people he hangs out with, and account for part of his income.

    As Ian Murphy pointed out, the mystery of Rush Limbaugh is explained by the fact that we share 90% of our DNA with pigs.

  2. Some European says:

    These guys keep surprising me. We’ve come to expect it but still… wow!

    Something else: election time is approaching in the US but also in Spain and we are observing the running presidents in both countries awake again to the harsh reality that climate change is still there. (Remember this piece from The Onion:,18431/ ?)
    Yesterday YouTube Worldview released a (subtitled) interview with Spanish president Zapatero.
    If you skip to 41:46 you’ll hear him say that climate change is the biggest challenge to the next generation. Nice to hear both Obama and Zapatero start talking about climate change again as the end of their term nears while they know perfectly well they didn’t do much to help the next generation. They don’t deserve young people’s votes. The reason they’ll get them anyway is that there’s no real alternative. What a depressing time to be young!

  3. adelady says:

    It’s not just taxes they don’t like paying. $3 an hour in wages for oil rig workers is probably good for the bottom line too.

  4. Gord says:

    Pigs are actually cute critters. Intelligent and clean with nice personalities.

  5. catman306 says:

    Boehner is the marionette. Koch, ADM, and Big Oil are the puppet masters. And, of course, Limbaugh is one of the strings, albeit a fat one. Easy picture, all we need are some scissors.

  6. PSU Grad says:

    Notice how Limbaugh starts out saying “so-called oil subsidies”, then in the next breath just calls them what they are….”subsidies”?

    I don’t suppose Limbaugh explains why companies making billion of dollars in profit need taxpayer financed subsidies. I guess the “free market” only applies to “the others”.

    Socialism for themselves, capitalism for everyone else.

  7. Leland Palmer says:

    It’s part of what Limbaugh does to earn his eight year 400 million dollar contract.

  8. Joan Savage says:

    Both Limbaugh and Boehner have mastered the art of creating an inference in listeners’ minds, without a more explicit statement.

    Limbaugh seems to want us to believe that oil subsidies have a big benefit to consumers, but he stopped short of saying that, at least in the clip. It seems doubtful that he could back it up, if he did say it. The subsidies have a benefit to investors, but that’s not “the general welfare” mentioned in the Constitution.

    Rep. Boehner gave a head-nodding willingness to “consider” eliminating some oil subsidies, without actually indicating any criteria that would require elimination.

    In a quirky moment I ran the numbers on what would have happened if the US had merely invested $4 billion in common stock in an oil company like Mobil Exxon between Dec 31, 2009 and Dec 31, 2010. It would have returned 10%, in a combination of capital gains and dividends. And the public would have gotten the $4 billion back. I’m not recommending public investment in private companies, it’s just an interesting comparison when looking at public benefit.

  9. Mike Roddy wrote in comment 1:

    Rush is lying, of course. He’s not defending Big Oil because “The Left” opposes them, he’s doing it because those are the people he hangs out with, and account for part of his income.

    I don’t know about that, Roddy. Us vs. Them tribalistic mentalities are pretty common, particularly among the US polical right. No doubt certain financial interests have been encouraging this since the 1970s — as a means for opposing government regulation — but it is there nevertheless. Hatred is a great motivator. Something that Rush excels in encouraging. This is likely one of Rush’s rare moments of honesty and transparency.

  10. Leland Palmer says:

    How long are we going to put up with this?

    Bring back the fairness doctrine!

    It might not stop him, but equal time for a Progressive counterpoint scheduled directly after his broadcast to set the record straight might slow down the lies a little. It could even destroy his profitability, if we are lucky.

    Each ton of oil produced will burden the earth system and future generations with retained solar heating equal to roughly 100,000 times the useful heat of combustion of the fossil fuel. If the methane hydrates destabilize, this retained greenhouse heat could equal millions of times the heat of combustion, and could trigger a methane catastrophe like the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or worse, like the End Permian mass extinction.

    Do we really need to subsidize this kind of public nuisance, or public suicide?

    Do we really have to put up with a system in which paid propagandists have this much power?

    They are our airwaves! They belong to the public, not to Limbaugh!

    Bring back the fairness doctrine!

  11. Robert In New Orleans says:

    I see Jabba is still controlling the minds of the feeble.

  12. Bob Doublin says:

    I think it’s about time the authors of that book on Limbaugh’s lies and errors from the early 90’s The Way Things Aren’t came out with Volumes II,III,andIV.

  13. William P says:

    This story illustrates how government, in its tone and its action, is being driven by right wing media. Right wing media is controlling your government, and primarily they are NOT for a country for the people of our country.

    We are infected today in America with a very large propaganda machine on the right. Like back fence gossips this media has found a way to discredit all attempts to bring us back to a government of, by and for the people of the nation.

    Anyone working for a return to such a government is bound to be targeted and smeared publicly on their mighty air waves – Limbaugh, Fox, Levin, Savage and many, many more.

    The Republican House Speaker forgot that – for a moment.

  14. Merrelyn Emery says:

    William P #13. The very large propaganda machine derives most of its power from the power of TV to suspend critical analysis and thought amongst individuated human beings, each isolated within their individuated viewing experience, and therefore, to allow the titillation of raw human emotion and excitement to overcome the ‘commonsense’ of people observing the world changing around them and discussing this with their neighbours to make ‘common sense’ of their perceptions.

    What we need right now is an almighty planetary blackout, a somewhat larger version of the tornado I fantasized will rip through Westminster Abbey on Friday night (Aussie time).

    But I am on safer ground here – the good old Sun is warming up, right on schedule! Maybe not really at its best but look at our ‘progress’ since the flares in the late 50s and 60s and Wow! One realy good flare could say something profound about our technological hubris!

    Sorry about all the !. I know, I am grasping at straws but something has to wake us up, ME

  15. MightyDrunken says:

    The most telling part of the audio clip for me is the part where Limbaugh attacks the left, “I know who the left’s enemies are. I know who’s on their enemy list,” he said. “And my instincts are to defend the people that they are targeting because I know who the left is. I know what their objectives are, I know what their agenda is, and I know what their policies’ outcomes will be. And if you sit around and let the left start targeting everybody but you eventually they’re going to get to you, and there won’t be anybody left to defend you.”

    He frames the left is a threat, with an agenda to help themselves and destroy you. It implies that it doesn’t matter what their policies actually are, they will always be self serving. An ironic claim in my view when compared to the American right.

    There has been so much hate fuelled rhetoric against the left that I believe it has infected a sizeable minority of the USA. No matter the policies of the “left”, if they go for the middle ground or the right they are wrong, evil if you will. Until the left has the media behind it, until the most popular talk show hosts and pundits lambaste the right for the loonies they are I don’t think this will change. The rhetoric of the right is spiritually and intellectually damaging.

  16. Chris Winter says:

    Bob Doublin wrote: “I think it’s about time the authors of that book on Limbaugh’s lies and errors from the early 90’s, The Way Things Aren’t came out with Volumes II,III, and IV.”

    Until that happens, you can make do with Toxic Talk from Bill Press.