Today in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, a scathing editorial regarding Speaker Steve Tilley's (R-Perryville) decision to lock the public out of their own House to induct conservative blowhard Rush Limbaugh into the Hall of Famous Missourians:
On Monday, when the latest speaker of the House, Republican Steve Tilley of Perryville, closed the House chambers to the public while inducting talk-radio personality Rush Limbaugh into the same hall that contains a bust of Mr. [Mark] Twain, a quotation from Mr. Twain's autobiography came to mind:
"To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals."
That Mr. Tilley would sell his soul to Mr. Limbaugh, and offer a place in the Capitol rotunda for his likeness is hardly surprising. In fact, it's oddly appropriate; history will record that under Mr. Tilley's watch, the discourse in the House has not been too different from the sort of bile that is a regular feature of Mr. Limbaugh's show. Still, no House member has yet publicly called a woman a 'slut," as Mr. Limbaugh did in March.
Closing the chamber to all but selected Republicans who were invited for what ostensibly is a public event and then asking members of the Missouri Highway Patrol to bar the public from the stately chamber that belongs to them is beyond arrogant. It's insulting.
So, too, was Mr. Limbaugh's reference, from the House dais no less, to the Democrats who were locked out of the chambers as "deranged." That classless move firmly chiseled Mr. Tilley's legacy into state history. He won't need a bust.
Mr. Tilley forever will be known as the man who turned what lawmakers like to call "The People's House" into Rush's House.
On Tuesday, Mr. Limbaugh repaid the favor, lavishing praise on Mr. Tilley to his national radio audience and replaying clips of his induction speech.
Mr. Tilley, who has turned monetizing public service into an art form, sold out the people for 15 seconds of fame.