Rush Limbaugh defended liberal author Kirsten Powers on his radio show, calling her “gutsy” for exposing liberal intolerance in her new book The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech. Since the May 11 release of the book, left-wing commentators have roundly attacked and denounced Powers, a lifelong Democrat who served in President Clinton’s White House administration. These attacks seem to only prove Powers’ point: that today’s left seeks to aggressively shut down and punish dissenters rather than allow meaningful debate.
Limbaugh, who rarely spares kind words for liberals, praised Powers for “demonstrat[ing] an openness rather than a closed-mindedness about aspects of liberalism.”
“I mean, she goes after ‘em, folks,” Limbaugh told his listeners on Thursday. “This is not a soft-pedaled little commentary or analysis on theory. She goes after these people with explicit, undeniable examples of how people on the left are literally trying to deny average, ordinary Americans access to the First Amendment.
“They are literally trying to destroy people. And as a liberal, it bothers her. She is the old classical liberal, I think is the term. An old classical liberal is not what a liberal is today. Liberal today means extreme, fascist, statist, intolerant, full-fledged, almost Stalinist type person. And it bothers her. She has written about it complete with examples, and because she comes from the left doing this, she has become this immense target of these people. I don’t know that she was prepared for it. She said she was, but I don’t know that anyone is.”
Indeed, Powers has expressed surprise and dismay at the level of vitriol she has faced on Twitter in the past week. She has been called a “fascist t***” and accused of being anti-gay—despite her support for gay rights and same-sex marriage. Left-wing commenters have pointed to Powers’ work on Fox News as “proof” that she’s not a real liberal—despite a lifetime of evidence to the contrary.
But The Silencing has also drawn high praise and support from staunch defenders of free speech like Limbaugh, who again recommended the book to listeners on his Friday show. “Folks, there are all kinds of examples here, in her book, of efforts the left is making—some successful—killing free speech, and it’s fascinating to read this from a left-wing perspective. It is utterly fascinating, and the passion in the book—so I wanted to remind you of that, Kirsten Powers, The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech[.]”