Donald Trump is in such severe freefall, both in terms of his popularity and his mental capacity, that a number of people on his own side are now deserting him. Republican Senator Bob Corker basically said this week that Trump is an unstable toddler. Trump’s own staff let it leak today that they’re afraid to let him do interviews and they’re afraid the 25th Amendment is going to be invoked. Now it appears Trump has even lost Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh has built up his hate-filled radio audience by gleefully saying racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive things. Yet for some reason he’s suddenly spouting the opinion that Trump is in the wrong for telling black NFL players they shouldn’t be allowed to take a knee during the national anthem. Limbaugh doesn’t agree with what the players are doing, but he says it’s not the president’s place to come out against free speech (link). This particular viewpoint is currently held by a lot of Americans. What’s bizarre is that Limbaugh of all people is suddenly taking the position.
Rush Limbaugh gains nothing by defending black athletes in front of his largely racist and almost entirely conservative white audience. Yet he’s decided to go ahead and take this particular stand against Donald Trump. We’ve seen in the past that Limbaugh has no real views of his own, and is willing to say whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear. The upshot here seems to be that Limbaugh is coming out against Trump on this issue simply because he senses that his audience is turning against Trump.
This doesn’t mean Rush Limbaugh is about to call for Donald Trump’s impeachment. Instead, it appears Limbaugh has calculated that his audience is about ready to start giving up on the increasingly erratic and failing Trump, and he wants to get out ahead of it. If this keeps up, we could see a trend where former Trump supporters begin tripping over each other to get off the ship before it sinks.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report