Here’s A Thought, How About Do Your Jobs Instead?

Okay, here’s the deal.  If you were pissed off that Congress came together to condemn the Move On NYT ad that sought to rename General Petraeus General “Betray us”, then you don’t get to turn around and start cheering over what’s going on in Congress over Rush Limbaugh’s big “phony soldiers” debacle.

Not that what Rush said was okay.  It’s not.  In truth, when Rush Limbaugh called any soldier that is against the Iraq War conflict phony, he was not only very wrong, but offended a significant portion of the armed forces(you should really check out GTL’s main page, he’s gotta righteous multipost rage going on over this whole flap).  Indeed, by Limbaugh’s metric, the very soldiers we honor in our fundraising drive would be considered phony.

I beg to differ.

What was worse was that once his words hit the airwaves and people stood to denounce his remarks as reprehensible, offensive, and disgusting, Rush couldn’t even do the decent thing.  He didn’t apologize.  He bore no regret.  He should no signs of remorse as he immediately went on the attack claiming that all of this was merely a smear campaign against him.

But this rings similar to the argument you will here conservatives launch into the moment anyone questions their fearless leader.  “Oh, you’re just a Bush hater.  You just hate the man so much and that’s why you say bad things about him.”

I won’t deny this, Rush Limbaugh and Bush are both viciously hated.  But it’s rarely taken to the next step.  Hate for the man is declared as an attack, and few of these people bother to ask the natural follow up.  Why?

Why would so many people hate Rush Limbaugh?  BECAUSE HE GOES AND CALLS SOLDIERS WHO DON’T AGREE WITH HIS WORLD VIEW PHONY!  That might be a good starting point.  This is no different from what he does on practicaly a daily basis, only this time he did it against the troops on the ground.

Rather than debate issues, rather than arguing an issue based on the merits of the facts, he stakes out a hard right position, and then demonizes anyone and everyone who does not agree with him.  To him, America is not about differences of opinion, or finding ground so that the majority and the minority can coexist.  Instead, this is a White Christian Nation that loves war, and anything that does not fit into that mold is evil and unamerican.

And even when he is blatantly wrong, he cannot admit it.  He cannot do what an intellectually honest person would do, own up to the mistake, make amends, and move on.  Imagine how this whole thing would go if instead of trying to claim everyone’s out to get him, Rush went on the air and said:

My friends, I said something inappropriate the other day.  In the heat of the moment, I went a little too far and claimed that any soldier who opposed the Iraq War was “phony”.  That just isn’t true. Our soldiers are the best and the brightest this country has to offer and most ofthem serve honorably regardless of their own personal political beliefs.

I apologize for questioning the integrity of the members of our uniformed services sincerely, and officially wish to retract my statement.

That’s it.  Maybe thirty seconds on the air, and while there would still be a grumble from some on the left, I think it would have a net positive effect.  But instead he digs in and tries to defend comments that have no defence.  For this, he lacks the integrity, morality, and responsibility of a twelve year old, and yet he holds the ears of millions.  Millions of “dittoheads” are cutting their teeth in the national debate with this foul thing as their mentor.

So the hate is there, but it is warranted.

Regardless, chastising of Rush is for the PEOPLE to do.  Not Congress.  When Congress came out and passed a resolution condemning the Move On ad about Petraeus, I was hopping mad about it.  It’s not their job.  Their job is to legislate, and given the state of the union, they have an awful lot of work to do.  To take one second of time debating this in the House of Representatives or on the floor of the Senate is not only a waste of tax payer money, it is a slap in the face of the First Amendment, and it is a blatant disregard for the people who have hired them.

And with the ink still wet on that debacle, Congress turns around and goes on the attack against Rush Limbaugh.  It doesn’t matter if I personally agree with them on this issue, it’s STILL NOT THEIR JOB!  It is not their job to determine what is acceptable speech or not.  If any branch of government enjoys that power, it would be the Judicial branch who interprets Constitutional law whenever it is questioned.

Congress, is supposed to legislate.  That is what we hire them for, and since we hired the current Congress, they have fallen down on the job at virtually every step of the way.  Instead they have let what has traditionally been a proxy war between the left and the right in the market place of ideas spill out into the halls of Capitol Hill, and as a result, our democracy has died just a little more.

It is this kind of behavior that has people all across America disgusted with the political process in this country, and you can feel it-a reckoning is coming.  I just hope that our legislators get their crap together before it gets here.

6 Responses to “Here’s A Thought, How About Do Your Jobs Instead?”

  1. mick says:

    I just hope that our legislators get their crap together before it gets here.

    Don’t count on it. Isn’t it obvious yet that they’re playing political games? I agree that it’s unconscionable that they’re taking time with this shit when we have troops in harm’s way for no good reason, but since they have no intention of ending the war until it gets a Democrat elected president – and probably not then – they’re filling up time with nonsense to make points with a constituency that essentially is starting to hate their guts – and for good reasons. They think getting Limbaugh will erase the bad taste the MoveOn vote left in everybody’s mouth.

    Well, it won’t work. It just makes things worse. But they have little choice. They’re backing Bush’s war, and that’s pissing off the base. They rejected Webb’s amendment, and that’s pissing off the military. They denounced free speech (you’re right, of course, that’s just what the MoveOn vote was about) and that’s pissing off everybody. All they’ve got left after blowing the FISA vote, the habeus corpus vote, and getting all wet about the ridiculous Biden bill, is attacking Rush. It’s lame, it’s inappropriate, and it’s stoopid, but they have to do something. They’ve backed themselves into a corner.

    This is the result of a conservative-based strategy up against a party whose activists are overwhelmingly centrist (NOT center-right as Al From insists) or even liberal. They’re trapped because they’re basically Republicans wearing Democratic masks – at least the leadership is – and meaningless political theater is the only weapon they have to try to keep the base in line as they betray it.

    What the hell. It works for the Pubs.

  2. I will agree with you on everything (and warn you that you’re starting to write like us now, stoopid?), but want to add something. There needs to be prudence in how we proceed. This is one of the primary reasons I’ve been cautious in criticism of Democrats.

    (here we go)

    My biggest fear is that we’re going to cut off our nose to spite our face, that we’re going to put Republicans in power to punish the Dems.

    I”m not going to disagree with a single thing you’ve said (I’ll be moderately skeptical on how many and which democrats want the war to keep going, though buy off on the fact that the leadership is just fucked), but there has to be an endgame that is both feasible and amicable.

    This should be a movement to not necessarily punish the Democratic party because no third party is even close to poised to rise to national prominence, nor will one be within at least a few generations I think, and so the focus, I believe, should be upon the leadership, and working on striking down the influence that the center right and all points conservative have on the Party.

  3. mick says:

    My biggest fear is that we’re going to cut off our nose to spite our face, that we’re going to put Republicans in power to punish the Dems.

    That’s exactly what they’re counting on. I’d respond with 2 questions:

    1. What difference does it make who wins if the same policies are going to be pursued by the leadership in both parties? What? We get a few more bones thrown our way if the Dems win? With a Democratic party as willing as the GOP to throw the Constitution down a manhole, what exactly do we gain? And is it worth kissing our democracy good-bye for? Because that’s what it means if we let them get away with this shit.

    2. …so the focus, I believe, should be upon the leadership, and working on striking down the influence that the center right and all points conservative have on the Party.

    How? They ignore polls, massive demonstrations, thousands of phone calls, the netroots, and their own damn activists. So how exactly do you propose to get their attention, let alone force them off their conservative line? THEY’RE NOT LISTENING.

  4. 1. That’s easy. I’ll take a stalled government over a full on Republican government any day.

    2. That’s the hard one. What do you propose?

  5. mick says:

    1. Stalled? What’s stalled about it? So far the Republicrats have passed almost everything Bush wanted. They’ve gutted the Constitution, funded his war, refused to hold anyone accountable for innumerable illegal activities (in fact, they covered the Admin’s ass with the FISA bill), and are about to pass trade bills that are a crooked corporation’s wet dream. The only things that get “stalled” are the measures perceived as “left” by the leadership. Funny how that works out, eh?

    Give me one good reason to believe none of that is going to happen just because a DLC-backed pres gets elected.

    2. They’re deaf and in deep denial. Losing and losing BIG is about all that’s going to get their attention. That or a populist party making a sizable dent in their voting base by stealing all the issues they ought to be leading on. I’d suggest, to start with, abandonment of and concerted attacks on conservative BD’s and the leadership combined with identification and support of Dems like Lynn Woolsey who are willing to call a spade a spade.

    I think you’ve said this before, and I agree. We need to find, publicize, and support Democratic primary challengers who will take on BD’s and DLC incumbents and hopefully beat them. That’s the best chance to cut the grip of conservatives on the party structure.

    But there’s a warning goes with that: look what the Alliance did to Ned Lamont. They’re the reason Holy Joe is CT’s Senator. Any other maverick lib/prog is likely to be treated the same way if they beat an Alliance puppet in a primary fight: they’ll be abandoned in the general if not actively opposed.

    A third party may turn out, counter-intuitively, to be the only realistic strategy. Try to remember a third party doesn’t have to win, it only has to threaten to take votes away from the dominant party for its agenda to be absorbed (see the effects of populist and socialist parties on the Dems in the 30’s).

    But by all means try the primary challenges first.

  6. Dude… so totally sorry I didn’t pick back up, I got slammed at work with… well… work.

    I’ll try and pick it back up later but I’m going to try and knock a few posts down while I got at least a little bit of time.

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