Rush took the ticket

In light of this reported estate plan, there really aren’t too many questions about Rush Limbaugh having served as a gatekeeper for the Right once he reached the top:

A decade ago, the late Rush Limbaugh scoffed at the notion of leaving any of his money behind. We know this because he was reacting to us. Our coverage of Steve Jobs’ no-tax estate plan made a lot of waves. Rush felt the need to insert himself into the narrative by sharing his thoughts about legacy.

They were terse and tough. He didn’t want to leave anything behind. If he spent everything and died broke, he’d be happy, he said.

Now, a year after announcing he had terminal cancer, he’s gone. And as far as anyone can tell, he left a whole lot of money behind.

Some estimates put his net worth above $600 million. That’s probably just career earnings and not a real net figure, but it provides a sense of the amount of cash flowing into his operation over the years.

He was the biggest name in radio. It takes a vast amount of work to burn as much as $85 million a year and have absolutely nothing to show for it. We know that his “Southern Command” in Palm Beach alone can be worth up $50 million to his estate under the right conditions.

It’s unlikely that his widow will keep it around forever. She was decades younger than he was and has a lot of living left to do.

Either way, unless Rush made a whole lot more effort to look out for his posterity than anyone but the tabloids suggests, she’s the boss now.

There were no kids. She inherits it all.

Unlike most ticket-takers, however, I don’t think his initial success was the result of his ticket-taking. His success was unexpected, original, and almost certainly organic. It looks more as if his wife was the prize, and while his talent was returned to God, his massive accumulation of assets went to the Devil.

I always wondered how Rush could go so far and absolutely no farther no matter what information came to light, given his obvious intelligence and analytical skills. And I assumed that it had something to do with his desire to maintain his position in the media; his humiliation during the NFL debacle clearly clarified his thinking with regards to the difference between influence and power. But it appears he may have been even more compromised than I had assumed.

It is intriguing to observe that the more successful you are, the more fearful you appear to become if you do not fear God only. If your soul has a price, whatever it might be, sooner or later the Devil will find a way to make you an offer.