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Tuesday, October 07, 2003


Bush’s Concept of A Great American Versus Reality
People want to know what I think about George W. Bush’s recent support for Rush Limbaugh in light of alleged problems with narcotics; they also want to know what I think of Bush calling Limbaugh “a great American.” Here’s The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page's take (keep in mind these are the same clowns who, like Limbaugh, flogged every paranoid anti-Clinton tale including the Mena drug-smuggling allegations; they also refer to the serious allegations that senior Bush officials outed an undercover CIA agent as a “kerfuffle.”):

As for the rest of us, there have always been two ways to read the parable about the woman caught in adultery and not casting the first stone. The first is to argue that standards simply don't matter. The other way--the way it has been read for 2,000 years--is to remind us that we are all human, fallen creatures.

We're fairly sure we know which reading President Bush was taking when he called Mr. Limbaugh a "great American" and said he hoped he would "overcome any obstacles." After all, this is a President who not too long ago fought a drinking problem. The accusations about abusing pain-relieving drugs are more serious because they point to breaking the law, and they hurt not only Mr. Limbaugh but the millions of those who looked to him for better. It does not excuse anything he may have done to say America will not know the full measure of the man until we see how he responds.


This is wrong is so many ways:
If the parable about the adulterous woman is supposed to be message that we ought to lay off Limbaugh, I have one thought about that: fuck that noise. When it comes to casting stones, throwing sucker punches, and kicking people when they’re down, Limbaugh is the grand master (the WSJ’s editorial page is close behind). Limbaugh is more similar to the hypocritical religious leaders with stones in their hands than he is to the adulterous woman. Just one example out of dozens, scroll down to read all the talk radio junkie’s vicious and untruthful attacks on Wesley Clark.

Limbaugh’s web site even had a headline: “Clark's Behavior Borders On Pathological.” This is hardly surprising. Raising questions about a political opponent’s mental health is de rigueur for Limbaugh. During the 2000 primaries, to supplement the Bush team’s whisper campaign that John McCain was mentally unbalanced, Limbaugh had a vicious parody of the Caine Mutiny which he called “The McCain Mutiny” in which the paranoid Captain Queeg was portrayed by a McCain sound-alike.

The Journal’s editors think “America will not know the full measure of the man until we see how he responds.” They should speak for themselves. Americans familiar with Limbaugh’s words and deeds know him for what he is: a blustering bullyboy. Taking on a bullyboy like Limbaugh is not casting the first stone, it’s self-defense.

George W. Bush spoke of wishing that Limbaugh would “overcome any obstacles.” The Journal editors view this as an embodiment of Christian redemption. My ass. As an article from Salon from 1999 points out, when Bush ran for governor, he shamelessly demagogued against Governor Richard’s programs to help nonviolent drug offenders with treatment instead of harsh sentences. Bush called it “Penal Code Lite.” For drug offenders who don’t do Bush’s political dirty work like Limbaugh, Bush has one terse thought: "Incarceration is rehabilitation." From the Salon article:

In one typical case recently, a 27-year-old mother of two pled guilty to an eight-month sentence for trace amounts of cocaine in an empty pipe that had to be lab-tested in order to uncover the evidence needed to convict her. She was a first-time offender.

The police claimed the car she shared with two companions was illegally parked, and that she had made a "furtive movement." Thus armed with probable cause, the police searched until they found the non-smoking gun in her purse.


If there’s anyone who closely resembles the adulterous woman about to be stoned, it’s someone like this woman. If someone like Limbaugh who bought his hillbilly heroin by the barrel is a great American, as Bush claims, then this woman deserves a ticker-tape parade.

Bush’s assertion that Limbaugh is “a great American.” Let’s examine Limbaugh’s response to some events in recent American history: 1. Right after the Oklahoma City bombing, President Clinton made some general statements (click here and scroll down) warning about hate speech on the airwaves that instigates people to commit violent acts (Clinton’s claims were, of course, true). Limbaugh exploded on his radio and television show, accusing Clinton of accusing him of causing the Oklahoma City bombing, even though Clinton made no mention of Limbaugh. 2. Right after 9/11, former President Clinton gave a speech at Georgetown that was supportive of the fight against terrorism. A Washington Times reporter/operative twisted Clinton’s words to suggest that Clinton blamed America for the terrorist acts. The next day, Limbaugh got on his show and said that Clinton’s speech was worse than what Jane Fonda did during the Vietnam War (Click here for a detailed discussion of this). 3. During the Iraqi War, Limbaugh was on the forefront of the right’s attempt to smear anyone who raised questions about Bush’s veracity or the case for war as unpatriotic and pro-Saddam. 4. When it was reported that senior Bush administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA agent responsible for stemming the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Limbaugh’s response was to accuse those who were calling for a thorough investigation were “obsessed with hatred and blinded by rage.” Limbaugh then, without a shred of evidence, concluded that there was no wrongdoing by the Bush administration. In fact, Limbaugh concluded that “a dangerous atmosphere” was being created—not by those who blew Plame’s cover—but by those who wanted to determine who committed these criminal and traitorous acts.

These are the actions of a good American only if one's definition of being a good American entails being a hack for the Bush crowd. What a pity.

Note: Thanks to Leigh of Kentucky for technical assistance.


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