by Scoobie Davis
Whipping Up The Dittoheads
Drinking game idea: surf right-wing talk radio shows and take a swig every time someone says “the criminalization of politics.” (Rush also used the phrases “criminalization of policy differences” and “criminalizing the political process”). Even though I’ve significantly reduced my exposure to right-wing talk radio (reason one: it was driving me fucking crazy; reason two: Media Matters and other people are taking up the slack), I had to listen to the various talk radio jocks do their Fitzmas Eve rants this morning. I listened to Limbaugh, and Rush clone Dennis Prager and they were basically reading off the Republican talking points: there was no crime in outing Plame; Plame was a desk jockey; Joseph Wilson is the liar, not Rover or Libby; Wilson is to blame for his wife’s outing; Republicans are victims; Peter Fitzgerald is a partisan hack; Rove didn’t know that Plame had been undercover; the press wants the Bush administration taken down; Plame got Wilson the Niger assignment; the DeLay indictment is “phony”; an indictment of perjury or obstruction would be a indictment of Democrats are the ones who go after their opponents unfairly (they must have forgotten about the years 1993-2001 and about Karl Rove’s entire career). Last Friday, I heard Hannity’s apologia over an expected perjury indictment of Karl Rove: that Rove will be persecuted over forgetting small details but that Bill and Hillary Clinton “forgot” hundreds of things when questioned about Whitewater and the Rose Law Firm billing records but were not indicted. Today, Limbaugh added insult to injury by saying that Valerie Plame--who was a covert agent without official cover, meaning that she would have dead meat if a foreign government caught her—-was “not brave.”
While witnessing these right-wing hacks having hissy fits is a great Fitzmas present, and it’s fun to hear the same people who lecture minorities against victimization politics whining their lame asses off, there is a huge problem: their rhetoric is creating a potentially dangerous atmosphere. The kinds of people who take Limbaugh seriously are angry, not-too-bright people and Limbaugh is whipping them up--big time. A case in point, today Limbaugh bellowed to the Dittoheads:
If this turns out to have indictments about these these these whatever these recollection problems, and so forth—if there’s no original crime committed here—if the purpose of this investigation shows no crime was committed and, in fact, we have so-called crimes covering up a non-crime, I am going to be livid, folks. I don’t whether this is a prosecutor’prosecutor; I don’t care whether he’s Republican or Democrat. This business of politicizing [sic] the political process and dragging people in . . .
When a demagogue like Limbaugh engages in such inflammatory rhetoric to the mouthbreathers, it isn’t just bombast--it’s a call to action. Mark my words; right-wing violence will result from this kind of irresponsible rhetoric—especially if Rove and/or Libby are indicted.