Updates: Limbaugh clarifies threat; Directs racist 'Massa' quip at NY governor

For years, promises to leave the United States in the wake of an undesirable political development have been the domain of liberals. Celebrities such as Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon all at some point suggested they would move to Canada if a Republican won the White House.

(There's even a Facebook group around to motivate them, complete with a helpful link to Canada's department of citizenship and immigration.)

While most of those were empty threats, there are notable exceptions: Film director Robert Altman moved to France after George W. Bush's victory in 2000; Law & Order star Michael Moriarty shipped off to Canada well before that.

But now the decidedly non-liberal Rush Limbaugh has made a similar move, telling his audience he will move to Costa Rica if health care reform becomes law. And now the only question that remains is whether Limbaugh will make good on his word, or join the ranks of the empty-promisers.

"If the health care bill passes, where would you go for health care yourself?" a caller asked Limbaugh on his radio show Tuesday.

"I’ll just tell you this, if this passes and it’s five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented — I am leaving the country. I’ll go to Costa Rica," Limbaugh replied.

This audio is from Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, broadcast March 8, 2009 and uploaded by Media Matters.

Limbaugh clarifies threat; Directs racist 'Massa' quip at NY governor

Limbaugh clarified his threat.

Right-wing radio talker Rush Limbaugh must be confused.

During a recent broadcast, he vowed to "go to Costa Rica" if President Obama is successful in passing his health reform legislation. Most assumed he meant the statement in the vein of his promise to leave New York City over its tax rates, which he did. Now Limbaugh is saying he will not leave the U.S., as in, move away. Instead, Limbaugh claims that he will simply "go to Costa Rica" for his medical care.

Interestingly enough, even as the Republican icon has made many a dollar damning proposals for public health care in the United States, his future hospital bed in Costa Rica will be watched over by the same "socialists" he's so known for deriding.

Costa Rica, you see, has socialized health care operated by a government insurance monopoly, which provides a remarkably high quality of service for a fraction of the costs routinely seen in the United States.

Limbaugh is getting blasted for saying something that many critics believe might be the most racist thing he has ever said yet.

Huffington Post notes, "Discussing the resignation of Rep. Eric Massa and the possibility that Paterson would appoint his replacement or call a special election, Limbaugh invoked Massa's last name in a reference to slavemasters, also known as "massas."

"I am reasonably sure that Paterson will be appointing the replacement, assuming that he, you know, doesn't resign in the next 60 or 90 days," a caller said to Limbaugh.

"Let's assume you're right," Limbaugh responded. "So, David Paterson will become the massa...who gets to appoint whoever gets to take Massa's place. So, for the first time in his life, Paterson's gonna be a massa. Interesting, interesting."

One blogger complains, "If this level of racism, by a minority radio commentator, was directed at white people there is no way in the world he would still be broadcasting. No way period! I don’t care what people say about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I don’t care what videos of Louis Farrakhan that Fox News drags out and airs every hour on the hour. If America was really post-racial then this fool would not have an audience."

At Firedoglake, blogger Attaturk remarks, "Wow, real subtle. KKKlassy even."

This clip was posted by Media Matters, taken from the March 9 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show: