Opinion: Hoy, el senor Limbaugh speaks en espanol about Obama


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A little different sound to Rush Limbaugh’s show today.

Some of it will be in Spanish. Si. Espanol. Some of those 14 million listeners across the country may drive off the road, thinking they’ve somehow got the wrong station.

But El Rushbo is angry now, in a show-biz kind of way. He’s totally steamed that the Barack Obama campaign took some of his remarks out of context and used them in a Spanish-language ad.

Awhile back on air, Rush went on (in English) about what he called Limbaugh Laws, a series of seemingly harsh restrictions that should be imposed on immigrants, including required work and language skills, no welfare and social benefits, required savings to immigrate, restrictions on what land they can buy, no demonstrations or foreign-flag waving, etc.


The kicker that day was that all these laws are already in place -- on immigrants into Mexico.

The Obama campaign lifted one line: ‘Shut your mouth or get out!’

So Rush will rebroadcast today exactly what he really said in Spanish. He’s got a couple of others prepared too, lambasting the freshman Illinois senator for inflaming racial hatred and using a two-tier campaign approach -- ‘Chicago tactics behind the scenes, new politics imagery in front of the cameras.’

That, too, en espanol.

The No. 1 talk radio show host had been taking his usually voluble but unusually relaxed attitude toward the current presidential campaign, given his longstanding antipathy toward John McCain’s suspect conservative credentials.

But then the Arizona Republican senator picked conservative Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his VP running mate, and like many others Rush was smitten, politically speaking. The choice of the well-spoken, pro-life Palin caused the cigar-chewing broadcaster to turn to mush, as The Ticket chronicled.

And now Obama’s ads have really engaged the Miami Mouth.

Democrats don’t listen much to Limbaugh; it’s not good for their blood pressure. And any Spanish speakers startled by today’s bilingual diatribes are probably more likely to be Cuban emigres already voting Republican.

So the impact, if any, is likely to be invisible for the moment, a continued silent mobilization of the Republican base that, like Rush, wasn’t much into this presidential race -- until recently.

-- Andrew Malcolm