Quite frankly, the entire pseudo-controversy over Rush Limbaugh’s remarks headlined the Theater of the Absurd for the past week, and apparently continues its meager run on the stage. Michelle Malkin sees the strategy for exactly what it is — a payback for the beating that MoveOn took over calling General David Petraeus a traitor on the pages of the New York Times. Andy McCarthy practically has to pick his jaw up off the floor over the target selection of the Left:
There really was a news story, generated by the mainstream media of all people, about phony soldiers — poseurs who falsely claim to have put their lives on the line in our country’s armed forces, at least some of whom engage the pretense precisely to libel real heroes as terrorists and marauders.
Rush Limbaugh, one of this nation’s single-most ardent supporters of the military, was briefed on the news story by his staff and was, unsurprisingly, offended by it.
Rush alluded to the said phony soldiers during his hugely successful daily radio broadcast, prompted by what he reasonably believed was a caller’s reference to it.
As a result, he is being castigated for dishonoring authentic troops in a trumped up controversy generated by Media Matters — a left-wing propaganda machine with pockets lined by left-wing activists. The charge is being led by top Democrats who, when not busy defending other top Democrats for smearing our troops as “reminiscent of Genghis Khan,” terrorists, murderers, and comparable to “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings,” fall mute when the vanguard of their hard-left base, MoveOn.org (abetted by the New York Times), describes the general heroically leading our forces in Iraq a traitor.
And this is a story?
Yes, this is a story. It’s a story of intellectual dishonesty, partisan gunslinging, and distraction tactics designed to protect a major Democratic Party fundraiser. That’s the real story behind this latest absurdity.
Let’s start from Square One. In order to believe that Rush Limbaugh meant to slander the troops, one would have to believe that Limbaugh has some animus against the military. Anyone who has listened to Limbaugh even occasionally would laugh aloud at such a notion. Limbaugh has been one of the most vocal supporters of the American military — much more supportive that most of the mainstream news agencies now reporting on this supposed slur issued by Limbaugh. How many defenses of the American military does one read in the New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle — or Media Matters or Daily Kos?
The transcript of the show, as I wrote last week, shows exactly what Limbaigh meant by “phony soldiers”, as Byron York points out. He meant the phonies like Jesse MacBeth, who claimed to have been in Iraq and never was, or Scott Beauchamp, who claimed to have witnessed atrocities that never occured. It has become such a phenomenon that ABC News reported on it a few days before Limbaugh discussed it. After taking a couple of calls, Limbaugh explained exactly what he meant.
This isn’t about protecting the honor of American soldiers, a mission Media Matters has not exactly adopted in its reporting on Haditha, for instance. It’s a blatant attempt to misrepresent what Limbaugh clearly meant and what he clearly said on his show in order to discredit him and dent his popularity. At the heart of it, it’s about the fear that Media Matters has for Rush and the power he holds from the work he does on behalf of conservative causes.
The Theater of the Absurd continued yesterday, with Tom Harkin lashing out at Rush for possibly being “on drugs again”. Harkin lied about his own service record when he ran for President in 1992, when he claimed to be a combat fighter pilot in Vietnam. Harkin flew jets and served honorably, but did so stateside; he never saw combat. Why he felt the need to lie about his otherwise outstanding service is anyone’s guess, but clearly he’s the last person to publicly render judgment on Rush’s honesty.
This is all a stage, directed by Media Matters and its financial backers, and all of the Democrats howling about Rush merely its players. They may strut all they want, but they produce only sound and fury, signifying nothing — and in the process, put their intellectual bankruptcy on display for all to see.