Second is that I'd already dealt with it -- before Limbaugh even said it. When the GOP freaked out over MoveOn.org's "Betray us" ad, I totally called this. By introducing a resolution to condemn MoveOn.org, the right opened the door to it. "What would happen if the GOP were required to condemn every damned bit stupid-assed, simpleminded, and offensive spew that came from their side of the aisle?" I asked. "What if every time that Coulter -- or Pat Robertson, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly, Glen Freakin' Beck, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, ad nauseum -- opened their mouths, every member of the GOP were required to issue a statement condemning them? There'd be several such statements issued daily."
So, now we've got a Congress more interested in gotcha politics and defending people's reputations than they are in defending the damned First Amendment. You may not have noticed, but the bloated drug addict has the right to be a prick. The remedy for hate speech isn't to have the government step in and throw their weight around, the remedy for hate speech is more speech. In other words, people get to be pricks and other people get to call them pricks for it. That's the way this whole free speech thing works.
As always, this tempest in a teapot distracts from the real issue. Just as the freakout-fest over the "Betray us" ad distracted from what Petraeus actually said and what total BS it all was, Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comment distracts from a real issue he himself brought up -- what the people fighting in Iraq think about that war they're fighting.
Turns out -- big surprise -- the bloated drug addict's all wrong. When he said, "The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they're willing to sacrifice for their country," he was dead wrong. And that's not a matter of opinion, that's documented fact.
The American military -- once a staunch supporter of President Bush and the Iraq war -- has grown increasingly pessimistic about chances for victory.
For the first time, more troops disapprove of the president's handling of the war than approve of it. Barely one-third of service members approve of the way the president is handling the war, ac cording to the 2006 Military Times Poll.
When the military was feeling most optimistic about the war -- in 2004 -- 83 percent of poll respondents thought success in Iraq was likely. This year, that number has shrunk to 50 percent.
In that poll, taken in december of 2006, only 35% of respondents approved of Bush's handling of the war and only 41% thought we should've invaded Iraq in the first place. This is the most recent poll of its type.
In August, the L.A. Times ran a story on troop morale -- it's not good. "I don't see any progress. Just us getting killed," Times quoted Spc. Yvenson Tertulien as saying. "I don't want to be here anymore." "Here" being Yousifiya, 10 miles south of Baghdad. Spc. Tertulien's attitude is hardly a rare one.
Clearly, Limbaugh's doing what Limbaugh does best -- pulling "facts" out of his tremendous ass. And pointing that out is how you fight this sort of speech, not by using the power of government to shut him up.
Allow me to demonstrate how this sort of thing is supposed to work. In response to Limbaugh's comment, the veterans' organization VoteVets.org produced an ad that called bullshit on him. The ad features Purple Heart recipient Brian McGough, who challenges Limbaugh to "say it to my face."
Limbaugh responded to the ad as if someone had handed him a shiny new shovel -- he got right to work digging himself in deeper. "This is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said and then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media and a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into," Limbaugh said. "This man will always be a hero to this country with everyone. Whoever pumped him full of these lies about what I said and embarrassed him with this ad has betrayed him, they aren't hurting me. They are betraying this soldier."
Brilliant, Rush. When you're already catching flack for dissing soldiers, go ahead and compare one to a suicide bomber. McGough's Purple Heart was for injuries he sustained from a suicide bomb attack.
And here's where McGough shows us how to get this First Amendment thing to work. "So, Rush Limbaugh called me a 'suicide bomber,'" he said. "More slander from the high and mighty sitting in his chair nursing the boils on his ass. I can assure you that I am no suicide bomber and that I can think for myself."
I suppose there are three people out there who don't know it, so I should explain that the bloated drug addict sat out the Vietnam war because he had a cyst on his butt -- although the truth is that this condition wouldn't have kept him out the military. The real reason Limbaugh sat out the war (assumedly gingerly, because something was wrong with his butt) was because he didn't want to fight and his family had a lot of connections.
If the government doesn't pass another "watch what you say" resolution, then this will go on for as long as Limbaugh picks at it. He seems to be completely incapable of saying anything intelligent and just keeps digging himself deeper. The longer the bloated drug addict talks about this, the more apparent it becomes that Rush is a freakin' idiot and more military members will speak out about what they really think. Rush Limbaugh is participating in the process of publicly proving himself wrong. I say we let him.
An official censure or condemnation would end it. Part of the genius of the First Amendment is that it feeds plenty of rope to morons and Limbaugh's doing a great job of hanging himself with it.
See? It works.
Technorati tags: politics; war; iraq; military; poll; morale; Bush; Republican; media; MoveOn.org; First Amendment; Rush Limbaugh's an idiot -- let him prove it