On Donnybrook a few weeks back, I said it wasn’t a big deal whether Rush Limbaugh's bust is added to the state Capitol's Hall of Famous Missourians. He fits the criteria for induction and, love him or hate him, he is famous.
But with fame comes public scrutiny, and any event honoring a famous Missourian should be open to all Missourians.
Instead, House Speaker Steve Tilley (R-Perryville) made the event invitation-only, ensuring there were Missouri State Highway Patrol officers at every entry point. Tilley conceded that the induction was controversial, which I think is too strong a word.
Silly. Partisan. Embarrassing. These are better words for Tilley’s choice. It also disturbs me that Tilley made his choice and really didn’t have the fortitude to subject Limbaugh to some type of demonstration.
He’s a big boy. He can call a college girl a slut, but he can’t take his chances with a disgruntled Missourian? Limbaugh wouldn’t back down, so why did Tilley?
My guess is that no one would have heckled. No one would have made flatulent noises while he spoke or later questioned his faith or citizenship.
Those things go on in the Missouri House, for sure, but Rush didn’t have to worry.
Right now, the Republican-controlled legislature is talking real tough. But it seems to enjoy picking on the weak. Bullying is A-OK in Jefferson City.
When it comes down to action, our brave GOP members are cutting money for preschools that serve financially challenged families. It’s gutting education and seemingly eying programs that they don’t like politically—some are successful and relatively inexpensive like the Sue Shear Institute.
Yes, Limbaugh has every right to be in the Hall of Famous Missourians. It’s too bad that most of his backers are too frightened to truly stand behind their man and let him face the public.
How proud can you be of your choice if you guard the doors from the people who paid for the bust?
Commentary by Alvin Reid