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The Airing of Grievances
Friday, April 16, 2004
 
Rush Limbaugh Is A Big, Fat, Clinton-Obsessed Slanderer
Kudos to Atrios for linking to a blog that brought to light this utterly incredible allegation from Rush Limbaugh.

I am not a huge Hillary Clinton fan. While I agree with her stances on most issues, her political opportunism is a bit too much for me to stomach, to the point that I felt I had to vote for Long Island Guy, Rick Lazio, in the Senate election a few years back. I mean, she became a bandwagon Yankee fan to score points, for God's sake. But I'm going to defend her to the death on one point: back when Bill Clinton first got in to trouble with the Monica Lewinsky mess, Hillary was interviewed on, I believe, NBC's Today show and expressed her view that a "vast, right-wing conspiracy" had it in for Bill and was trying to railroad him on whatever trumped up charge it could muster. This newest witchhunt was the latest in 7 years of right-wing attempts to come up with anything they could on Clinton, including the Vince Foster hoopla, crazy stories of drug dealing out of the Arkansas governors mansion, millions of our tax dollars wasted on investigating Whitewater and her futures trading gains, I could go on.

The reaction from the right, predictably, was apoplectic. She's a paranoid kook, they said, in so many words. See what kind of nutcases we have running the show? was the implication. The right-wing talking heads, of course, loved the allegation because, as true a statement as it was, they could turn it around and use it to hammer home to their base just how awful the Clintons were. And windbags like Limbaugh and Sean Hannity owe their careers to moments like this, when they can use a soundbite to preach to their converted automatons about how horrible it was during those eight years of peace and prosperity, when most of the world respected the United States.

It is interesting now, though, to see the reaction when the shoe is on the other foot. We find ourselves in a war brought upon us in a deceitful manner, costing us tens of billions of dollars and most of our international alliances, extracation from which will be extraordinarily difficult in the rosiest of scenarios. The Bush Administration finds itself the subject of more ethics investigations in the past three years than the Clinton Administration faced in eight. The President, under extreme political pressure, gives a rare press conference and is unable or unwilling to explain why all of the claims made before the Iraq War haven't come anywhere close to being true and completely fails to offer a realistic plan for how we should proceed in the next few months.

How then, does an idealogue like Limbaugh spin such incompetence in action? Yesterday, I linked to a transcript detailing his view that Bush did a fantastic job on Tuesday night, parrying the slings and arrows of what is so obviously, to him, a liberal bias in the media. He asserted on his show that the media, in all of its evil liberal glory, is acting as a surrogate for the Kerry campaign in hammering Bush with questions on mistakes made, responsibility not taken, or failures in communicating his aims to the American people. (Of course, Rush sidesteps Bush's complete failure to directly answer any of the other 10 questions with any degree of clarity - talking about that might give comfort to the evil doers, or something like that). When Hillary Clinton makes an appearance with John Kerry, it is, in Limbaugh's estimation, not a highly regarded Democrat supporting her party's candidate, but more Clintonian machinations that, if not fulfilled to their liking, will possibly end in John Kerry's murder. That, dear reader, is paranoia at its most extreme. OK, maybe not its most extreme - the most extreme, I think, involves the Illuminati and tin-foil hats. But the fear, apparently, is of ...(drum roll) ... a vast, left-wing conspiracy.

And now, it begins anew with John Kerry. Already, the lies and mispresentations of his record are being bandied about, with the most damning indictment apparently being that he looks French. That's really been the only thing that can't easily be proven false with a simple Google search. This week we've seen the right's attempt to diminish his war record, something so hypocritical and offensive, it makes me sick. I mean, can you imagine the blowback if any public figure, Republican or Democrat, tried to criticize a soldier in the current conflict over the length of their time served or for not having a grisly enough wound to warrant one Purple Heart, much less three? My guess is that goldbricking chicken-hawks like Rush Limbaugh would be out for blood.

But you know why this doesn't really anger me all that much? Want to know how I can laugh this grand hypocrisy off? Because the extreme right never wins, it always loses. The 1994 Republican "Revolution" and the Contract On America failed. In 1998, the unncessary witchhunt that a majority of the American people didn't want failed. Whitewater? Failed. Travelgate? Failed. Vince Foster? Failed. The Boston Red Sox of presidential politics, the upper echelons of the right wing tried, for eight years, to bring Clinton down and they failed every single time. We know it still pisses them off, because they still can't stop talking about the Clintons. They have to get them on something before they die, and now have to resort to making shit up to get there.

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