Rush Limbaugh mocked the dying and suffering for laughs. Bringing up his own words is not the same thing.

Let his own words of hatred and cruelty be his legacy.

Yesterday, radio host Rush Limbaugh passed at 70.

There’s been a lot of talk about what it means to reflect on someone’s death, where honesty plays into that, and how accountability should be exercised for particularly egregious things they’ve said and done.

I am a big believer in redemption. I think grace is essential for acts of good faith in contrition. We’re all imperfect, and I think there’s a path for bettering ourselves, even in our darkest of chapters.

But that has to start with personal accountability. It has to involve acknowledgment of harm. It requires grace and humility.

Rush Limbaugh showed no true remorse over his career for the incredibly harmful things he said and did. He made no bid for redemption or understanding. He didn't believe in grace or humility. This was especially true for how he reflected on the deaths and suffering of others.

From celebrating the deaths of AIDS victims on-air to mocking Kurt Cobain after his suicide to mocking the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after her cancer diagnosis to mocking Eric Garner after he was murdered by law enforcement and on and on…

This was not a man who believed in compassion. Even his tiny moments of remorse ring profoundly insincere when followed by the same damn despicable behavior.

Now, I could tell you that Rush Limbaugh was a coward and white supremacist, that he aggressively and cynically exploited divisions in our country by weaponizing hatred and bigotry for his own personal gain, that he was in service to his own greed, prejudice, and hypocrisy, and that is how history will remember him.

I could tell you that if Rush Limbaugh deserves credit for anything, it his pioneering work in spreading disinformation and directly enabling our nation's current state of vast distrust of experts and spurning of good faith in the public discourse, that he will not be missed by rational adults.

I could tell you that Rush Limbaugh showed his true colors at the very height of his fame, back when he was on television — how he viciously mocked then-13-year-old Chelsea Clinton to a nationally televised audience by comparing her to the White House dog.

That is all true.

There are no shortage of things I, and many others, could tell you about the damage Rush Limbaugh did in his time on this earth with us, the sheer venom and cruelty he championed against the powerless for the simple sake of doing it.

Instead, I’ll leave it to Rush Limbaugh to tell you in his own words:

“Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”

-- Rush Limbaugh, to a Black woman caller on his program 

“[Black Americans] are 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“Obama’s entire economic program is reparations.”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“If you feed them, if you feed the children, three square meals a day during the school year, how can you expect them to feed themselves in the summer? Wanton little waifs and serfs dependent on the State. Pure and simple.”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“They’re out there protesting what they actually wish would happen to them sometimes.”

-- Rush Limbaugh, on women protesting sexual harassment 

"What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute."

-- Rush Limbaugh 

"So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“Let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do — let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“There are more American Indians alive today than there were when Columbus arrived or at any other time in history. Does this sound like a record of genocide?”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“You just gotta be who you are, and I think it’s time to get rid of this whole National Basketball Association. Call it the TBA, the Thug Basketball Association, and stop calling them teams. Call ’em gangs.”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“Holocaust? Ninety million Indians? Only four million left? They all have casinos — what’s to complain about?”

-- Rush Limbaugh, on the genocide of Native Americans 

“To some people, bankers — code word for Jewish — and guess who Obama’s assaulting? He’s assaulting bankers. He’s assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there’s starting to be some buyer’s remorse there.”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it’s an invitation.”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

"It's preposterous that Caucasians are blamed for slavery when they've done more to end it than any other race. If any race of people should not have guilt about slavery, it's Caucasians."

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“So you go into Darfur and you go into South Africa, you get rid of the white government there. You put sanctions on them. You stand behind Nelson Mandela — who was bankrolled by communists for a time, had the support of certain communist leaders."

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

“The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well... in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there’s a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn’t deserve.”

-- Rush Limbaugh 

"A lot of young people are spending a lot of time on the World Wide Web. I came across a post last night at, of all places, [Gawker] ... is a ... Basically it's a militant homosexual site, entertainment. Not militant. It's a gay site."

-- Rush Limbaugh 

"In this commercial he is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He is moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act. This is the only time I’ve ever seen Michael J. Fox portray any of the symptoms of the disease he has."

-- Rush Limbaugh, on Fox having Parkinson's 

"This is really shameless, folks. This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting."

-- Rush Limbaugh, on Fox having Parkinson's 


And this is just a small sample of his horrific remarks. This is clearly not a man who embraced understanding and compassion in his lifetime.

He did not ask for forgiveness. He did not show true remorse. He did not cede space for contrition. So, let his own words and their unresolved harm be his legacy.

I think that’s entirely fair.


Hi, I’m Charlotte Clymer, and this is my Substack. It’s completely free to access and read, but if you feel so moved to support my writing, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription: just $7/month or save money with the $70/annual sub. You can also go way above and beyond by becoming a Founding Member at $210.

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