On page 15, Franken quotes from Rush to show just how lacking in compassion he supposedly is. The date of Limbaugh’s quote, which Franken does not mention, is April 1, 1992. We all know the significance of April 1. Here is the quote:
The poor in the Country are the biggest piglets at the mother pig and her nipples. The poor feed off the largesse of this government and give nothing back…. We need to stop giving them coupons where they can go buy all kinds of junk. We just don’t have the money. They’re taking out, they put nothing in. And I’m sick and tired of playing the one phony game I’ve had to play and that is this so-called compassion for the poor. I don’t have compassion for the poor.
Now, Rush was dead serious about the issue itself, but the context he said this in was “Demonstrating Absurdity By Being Absurd,” as he often characterizes such bits. Rush was not actually complaining that the poor “give nothing back” and “put nothing in.” This is what Rush says about it in his book:
My April Fools’ joke illustrated how quick people are to take offense even when I am obviously–at least I thought it was obvious–being absurd. Of course, I don’t believe the poor should pay more taxes. The only way they can escape poverty is to have a chance to keep what they can earn. America does have the richest poor in the world, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of misery in this country.
We do, however, have to wean people off the government pig. The country is losing its self-reliance and becoming a subsidy hog. But, of course, that is not the fault of the poor. The blame for that can be laid at the feet of liberals who use the plight of the poor to advance their goal of dominating society.
Leaving his readers oblivious to the context, Franken quips, “I guess it’s easy to be overcome with compassion fatigue when you’re carrying an extra hundred and forty pounds.”