During a first-of-its-kind display during the State of the Union, President Trump instructed First Lady Melania Trump to award right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- right there during the speech as Limbaugh sat in the guest of honor section. According to the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, that honor should be reserved for "patriots and heroes, human rights leaders and artistic trailblazers."
Limbaugh history of racist, sexist, and all-round xenophobic rhetoric goes back decades -- a history that underscores a simple truth, according to Rubin: "He is the embodiment of divisive, hateful right-wing media rhetoric, which, just like Trump, casts Democrats as evil and the media as enemies of the people."
"In a sense, Limbaugh is the perfect idol for Trump and his cultist followers, who seal themselves off from reality and immerse themselves in conspiracy theories," Rubin writes. "A president who considers himself as president of only his supporters and who has debased and cheapened our language and our politics, making the reprehensible perfectly acceptable, would of course want to honor someone of Limbaugh’s ilk."
Rubin contends that journalists should confront Republicans with Limbaugh's history and see if they can still cheer the award.
"Ask them if the president of the United States should honor birthers or openly misogynistic media personalities," writes Rubin. 'When the next Republican spinner or campaign operative talks about Trump seeking to make headway with African Americans or Hispanics, ask whether honoring Limbaugh sends a message about Trump’s real attitudes.
"Trump’s great lie is convincing Americans that white males no matter what their conduct — Brett Kavanaugh, convicted war criminals and, most of all, himself — are victims of elites."
Read her full piece over at The Washington Post.