The Real Rush
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Why not be equal-opportunity offenders?
Putting The First Amendment First
As with most political commentators, Rush's career has not been without controversy - in fact, his success has made Mr. Limbaugh and his radio program a prime target of the Left. For decades, he has weathered attack after attack, and through it all, the Rush Limbaugh Program has stood strong.
The recent attacks on Limbaugh are no different. Liberals and leftist organizations across the nation would love to be part of the takedown of Rush Limbaugh, and so his every word and action are scrutinized for at least three hours every weekday.
In fact, much of the criticism of Rush Limbaugh, including some of the criticism I've read here in AND Magazine, should fall under the title "All I Know About Rush Limbaugh I Learned From Media Matters for America" (for those who don't know, Media Matters is a left-wing attack organization styling itself as a media watchdog).
Enter Sandra Fluke, the militant feminist who jumped into the middle of the contraceptive mandate fray. First she tried to interject herself into the middle of a hearing on religious freedoms. Then, the Democrats pretty much made up a hearing so that she could testify.
While Rush's initial comments about Fluke were unfortunate, they were only notable because Rush doesn't typically use words like "slut" and "prostitute" on his show. Naturally, the Left sprang into action almost immediately.
But for the Left to criticize just about any conservative commentator for crude language is the height of hypocrisy. As many on the Right have already pointed out, President Obama, who made it a point that he thought of his own daughters and wanted them to be able to speak out without being intimidated, refused to turn down $1 million in super-PAC money that had been donated by serial-offender Bill Maher (and this is entirely beside the point that the President had previously called super-PACs "a threat to our democracy").
The only halfway-coherent defense of Maher that I've heard is that his misogyny apparently doesn't count because he's a comedian, not a political commentator. This of course, is completely idiotic, besides being absolutely false. Maher does, after all, host a political show on HBO, where he spewed much worse insults at Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and others. Even Letterman jumped on the bandwagon of throwing inappropriate insults at Bristol Palin...but the President who is so concerned about his own daughters apparently doesn't give a damn about any conservative's daughters.
But the comedian defense just doesn't hold water. For years now, the Left has been relying comedians to provide their political commentary. After all, when the Left tried its grand experiment to combat conservative talk radio - the grand failure known as Air America - their two big-name headliners were Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, both former Saturday Night Live comedians. Al Franken even went on to become a United States Senator...so does this mean that we should ignore every word that Al Franken speaks on the Senate floor because he's a comedian and not a Senator?
Truth be told, most leftists really don't care about misogynistic remarks until it's a liberal woman who is being insulted - and even then, they'll make exceptions for liberal commentators; besides all of his remarks about the Palins, Bill Maher has made some rather inappropriate comments about Hillary Clinton, as well.
The bottom line is, when it comes to Democratic outrage over political commentary, Democrats never care about what other Democrats say, and it never matters how vile an insult is, as long as it's aimed at a conservative. It's only when Republicans or conservatives make remarks about liberals that even seem the slightest bit offensive that liberals go off the rails.
The contraceptive mandate wasn't really about contraceptives; it was an election year ploy used by the Obama administration to create a campaign of lies, smearing GOP candidates by claiming that they wanted to ban contraceptives. Even now they have created a new meaning for the word "access." According to the Left, "access" means "free," and if you want people to pay for goods or services, then you are guilty of limiting access to that good or service. The entire argument is idiotic - you could use the same argument for a lot of different medications, but the more the government mandates, the higher our insurance rates will go, and the more difficult it will be for people to get insurance. Maybe mandating contraceptive coverage will help some women, but only for as long as it takes for the government to destroy the health insurance industry.
And just as the contraceptive mandate wasn't truly about contraceptives, the Left's new calls for civility aren't truly about civility. Just look at each and every time the Left has called for a more civil discourse. Perhaps the most significant instance in recent history came in the aftermath of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. With absolutely no evidence to back up their claims, the media immediately claimed that Sarah Palin was responsible for motivating the shooter due to a graphic on her website. They even continued to cling to the allegation even after it was proven that the shooter had no link to Sarah Palin or her website.
Now it's happening again - now unfounded accusations against the Right are starting to come out in the turmoil over the shooting in Florida. Just a few days ago, a Democratic strategist laid the blame for the shooting at the feet of Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich - with no valid argument to back up her idiotic allegations. Meanwhile, race-baiters like Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan can advocated for and threatened violence, with no consequences.
This is how it works for the Left: they can spout hateful rhetoric as much as they want, but there is never a problem until someone on the Right makes a statement they object to. It's for America to decide: do we have Freedom of Speech, or don't we?
The Los Angeles City Council just passed a symbolic bill calling on radio stations to put an end to racist and sexist language on the radio - the legislation was specifically targeted at KFI AM's John and Ken. As a semi-regular KFI listener, I happen to know that John and Ken never go easy on LA's city leaders, so the LA City Council would have much more of a motive to shut John and Ken up than to bring a more civil discourse to the airwaves - just like the Democrats' real motive to get Rush off the air is to silence the nation's leading conservative media figure.
I don't defend the words Rush Limbaugh used to describe Sandra Fluke, but considering the nation's response (or lack of response) to much worse rhetoric that continually flows from the Left, I'm not worried about it. Even with leftist commentators say hateful things about conservatives, I really don't care. I've even been called a few nasty names personally due to my political opinions, and it doesn't bother me...because, for the time being, we have the right to speak freely in America. That is a freedom worth preserving, even if some people are constantly saying things that I disagree with or might find offensive. It's time for the Left in America to man up and try using reason to advocate for their philosophy, instead of constantly appealing to some contrived sense of offendedness that, for some strange reason, only applies to their political opponents.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)