Limbaugh Flashback: In 1995, Rush predicted “second violent American revolution”

From Howard Kurtz' 1996 book Hot Air: all talk, all the time:

In the spring of 1995, Rush Limbaugh began denouncing the notion that the incendiary talk radio hosts were contributing to the ugly climate that produced the Oklahoma City bombing.


I was writing a front-page story that day about President Clinton's denunciation of “the purveyors of hatred and division,” and quoted Limbaugh's comments right after Clinton's. My fax machine soon spit out part of a recent transcript from a Limbaugh broadcast, courtesy of the Flush Rush Quarterly. Limbaugh had been talking about growing anger in the west against federal restrictions on property rights and policies pushed by “environmental wackos.” He said that “the second violent American revolution is just about -- I got my fingers about a quarter of an inch apart -- is just about that far away. Because these people are sick and tired of a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington driving into town and telling them what they can and can't do with their land...”

Now I don't believe for a second that Rush Limbaugh, whatever his rhetorical excesses, encourages violence. But his prediction of a violent revolution, without the slightest expression of disapproval, was well worth noting.

Limbaugh's comments about a “violent American revolution” came on February 22, 1995, two months before the Oklahoma City bombing. On April 27, two days after Kurtz' article ran, Limbaugh claimed he had been “totally taken out of context” and played audio of his original comments:

You people know about wetlands, don't you? All you got to do is turn on your garden hose in your backyard and they can come in and look at it, say you got a wetlands here. You can't do anything to this. You can't mow it, you can't do anything. You got to leave it alone. It's natural wetlands--a swamp. You can't touch it. I mean, it is one of the most abused regulations. And all of this--I'll tell you something, folks. What is behind all of these things is an attack on private property.

There is a desire by militant environmentalists to, by way of federal regulation, take the use of one's property away from one so that they can--the federal regulators and the environmentalist wackos--can use whatever land they wish to serve whatever environmental purpose they desire, and since they don't own the land, since it's private property, they come up with all these regulations that limit what the private-property owner can do with his own land--ranchers--and when they can and cannot graze and how much they have to pay for the rights to do so. I mean, there is a--out West--you go out to Nevada, parts of California, there is--th--the second violent American revolution is just about--I got my fingers a quarter of an inch apart--it's just about that far away because these people out there are sick and tired of a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington driving into town and telling them what they can and can't do with their land, using all of these federal regulations.

Limbaugh's rant about private property may sound familiar: He has accused President Obama of “seizing private sector property.”