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Wag the Blog: Rush Limbaugh vs. MoveOn

A few weeks ago when MoveOn.org funded an ad referring to Gen. David Petraeus as "General Betray Us", it set off a huge controversy with Republicans calling on Democrats to denounce the ad. It even led to votes in Congress that voiced displeasure with MoveOn.

Now, a new controversy is dominating the chattering class in Washington. Late last week on his radio show, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh said that veterans who oppose the war in Iraq were "phony soldiers."

Democrats in Congress have responded angrily. Rep. Mark Udall (Colo.), who is running for Senate in 2008, has authored legislation condemning Limbaugh's remarks; Senate Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), sent a letter to Clear Channel Communications, which airs Limbaugh's show, asking the company to publicly break with Limbaugh's remarks. (They didn't.)

Limbaugh, for his part, fought back on his radio show -- insisting that Democrats were trying to "smear" him and purposely taking his comments out of context.

For today's Wag the Blog question, we want to know whether there is a difference between the MoveOn/Petraeus brouhaha and the Limbaugh/phony soldiers fight. If so, what specifically makes the two matters different?

As always, the best/most thoughtful responses will be excerpted in a post of their own.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 4, 2007; 4:50 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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Comments

My first time doing this so bear with me please.
First, the Op-Ed piece by General Petraeus on Iraq referred to in previous blogs was written by General Petraeus on September 26, 2004 and published in the Washington Post and carried in other papers. At that time General Petraeus was in charge of training Iraqui security and military forces. The article speaks of all the "progress", "optimism", "successes" that we are accomplishing in training Iraqui armed and security forces. It talks of numbers of trained and ready Iraqui forces that no one even refers to these days. The unfortunate reality is those nice numbers of fully trained Iraquis have never materialized. The article is written six weeks before the 2004 General Election which saw George Bush elected in large part because we were told tings were going very well in Iraq with amazing "progress", "as they stand up we will stand down"" (the task that General Petraeus was supposedly accomplishing) and there were just a few "diehards" to deal with. Funny how things have just not turned out that way. The article was in my opinion a thinly veiled political endorsement.
Second, the Petraeus Report to Congress was put together with tremendous input from the White House, despite the backpedaling statements from the Bush Administration after this became common knowledge. There are multiple references to this in many media sources. This report was a political statement / justification for extending the Iraq War with no strategic changes. For some strange peculiar to American rationale we are supposed to believe it is without bias and political agenda because it was given by a military officer. Our military history shows us that our military leaders have always been very aware of, and often supported the political agendas of their civilian leaders. The Iraq War along with Vietnam have been the the most politically compromised wars in our history. Why do you think they have not been successful. Does anyone actually believe that the Bush Administration would actually pick a military leader for Iraq who was not willing to actively support their political goals (that dog don't hunt). The Bush Administration history since 2000 shows us that loyalty is the prime requirement to serve in this administration.
With the two above points in mind General Petreaeus is both a public and political figure. (in fact I would bet my dog that there are many Republicans who not only know this but want it, can you say 2012 candidate ) He was fair game for the Move-On ad. It might be more beneficial to all concerned if one actually looked at the points being made by the ad. The format of the ad could have perhaps been better done. But, unfortunately we seemed to be more concerned with cute and sarcasm in our political ads at this time.
History has repeatedly shown us that the difficulties we are facing now as a nation over the Iraq War, will probably unfortunately pale in comparison to the difficulties we will face in the future as a result of the war. We prefer to talk about and reward attack and bias over substance, hence the Move-On style of ad.
As for Rush Limbaugh and those that believe and follow his "facts" and reasoning. For them "lack of control is my dilemma, obsession with self is my malady". They are always found in democracies, they need only be held accountable for their actions as others are. When accountability is applied they will always claim to be a victim, that they meant something else, that our accountability of them has to do with our failings not theirs. It's just the way it is.
As for Congress, we elect them. I believe that most would rather deal with the silly nonsense of "he said, she said", then actually show some leadership, representation, and just plain "guts" and come up with some way out of this mess. I personally don't have a lot of hope this will change. They have a long history of accepting lies, ridiculous rationales, no knowledge of history, and self-serving voting when it comes to the Middle East.
Free speech is a primary right in a democracy. Unfortunately, I find this whole Move-On / Rush controversy to be more of a comment on the state of our Nation and it's "leaders"; than a objective discussion concerning our democratic ideals, the Iraq War, or our political process. Yet, Americans, Iraquis, and others die; the United States plummets in the eyes of the World (and this will cost us); we go further into debt; the goals / words of the dictators / zealots of the World are only reinforced by our interventions; etc. No one can OBJECTIVELY / FACTUALLY explain why we are in Iraq, and using OBJECTIVE / FACTUAL information explain how we are moving toward the OBJECTIVE / FACTUAL goals that a DEMOCRATIC / NON-COLONIAL nation would have. We would rather throw around adjectives, disparage and mis-represent those we don't agree, and play "he said she said".

Posted by: Mark | October 10, 2007 4:28 AM | Report abuse

The controvesry is only in dittoheads twisted mind, david.

We have the tape and the transcipt. You are fighting a lost, propoganda, cause. Those taht want to know the truth do. Those that don't, don't.


Regardless rush is done. Now we cna move to rebuild this great nation again. Without the liars and propogandists for profit.

Posted by: rufus | October 9, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The difference is the senate took action against Rush Limbaugh by writing a letter to his employer. The constitution is clear that congress will not take action against individuals regarding free speech.

The difference is the senate resolution regarding General Petraeus does not mention MoveOn.Org at all in their resolution. Both the Senate and House bills mention Rush Limbaugh by name.

The issue of free speech is the same. The difference is how it is being handled by Congress.

There is controversy regarding what Rush said or meant. There is no controversy regarding what MoveOn.Org said or meant.

David Longstreet

Posted by: David Longstreet | October 9, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"""The weekly update from Media Matters for America

Here at Media Matters, as in many other places, this was a week of Rush Limbaugh, not only because of what he said about American soldiers and veterans who oppose the Iraq war, but because of what he said about us. There has been some wild spinning coming from Limbaugh on this issue, so let's do a brief recap of what he has said and done since this whole to-do began:

Wednesday, September 26: On his radio show, Limbaugh gets into a discussion with a caller about people who oppose the Iraq war. "It's not possible, intellectually, to follow these people," he says. The caller replies, "No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media." Limbaugh then interjects, "The phony soldiers," to which the caller responds, "The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve." The two then go on to talk about how real soldiers want to be in Iraq. A full one minute and 50 seconds later -- after the caller went on to discuss the purported presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and after Limbaugh thanked the caller for calling -- Limbaugh brings up Jesse MacBeth, who had claimed falsely to have served in Iraq and witnessed atrocities.

Friday, September 28: Responding to the controversy aroused by his "phony soldiers" comment, Limbaugh claims on his show that he had not been talking "about the anti-war movement generally," but rather "about one soldier ... Jesse MacBeth." He then tells his listeners he will present to them the "entire" segment from the day before, so they can hear what he actually said. But the clip he airs actually cuts out a full 1 minute and 35 seconds of discussion that occurred between Limbaugh's original "phony soldiers" comment and his subsequent reference to MacBeth, making it appear as though he had segued directly from "phony soldiers" to MacBeth, when this was not in fact the case. Limbaugh also claims he was "talking about one soldier with that 'phony soldier' comment, Jesse MacBeth," when in fact he said not "soldier" (singular) but "soldiers" (plural). Limbaugh also states during his program, "And by the way, Jesse MacBeth's not the only one," adding to his list of "phony soldiers" Congressman John Murtha, a Vietnam combat veteran and recipient of a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts whose service on active duty and in the Marine Reserve spanned 37 years before he retired as a colonel.

Tuesday, October 2: After the group VoteVets.org airs a television advertisement in which a wounded Iraq veteran, Brian McGough, criticizes Limbaugh for the "phony soldiers" comment, Limbaugh compares McGough to a suicide bomber. "He discusses his service in Iraq, the wounds he suffered there," Limbaugh says, "and he says to me in this ad, 'Until you have the guts to call me a "phony soldier" to my face, stop telling lies about my service.' You know, this is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said, then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media in a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into."

Thursday, October 4: Displaying his ongoing commitment to reasoned discourse, Limbaugh puts up a picture on his website of Josef Stalin sporting Media Matters' logo on his chest. Because posting audio and transcripts of Rush Limbaugh so people can see what he says is pretty much like heading up one of history's most brutally repressive regimes and murdering 20 million or so people. Just about, anyway.

Now that we're all caught up, we can talk about what this means. In order to understand it, you have to realize that Limbaugh's attack on soldiers who disagree with Bush's policy on the war is in perfect keeping with statements he has made in the past. While most commentators will at least nod to the notion that those who disagree with them can still love their country, Limbaugh has stated on numerous occasions his belief that people who oppose the war are unpatriotic. To take just one example, this past August, he said, "I want to respectfully disagree with the president on the last part of what he said. I am going to challenge the patriotism of people who disagree with him because the people that disagree with him want to lose."

Once you've constructed and maintained this argument -- that only people who hate America could possibly disagree with George W. Bush on national security questions -- what do you do when you encounter veterans who do, in fact, disagree? People who have put their very lives at risk in order to serve their country? So much of the rhetoric coming from people like Limbaugh operates on the premise that people who hold different opinions aren't merely wrong or mistaken, they have bad motives.

Think about how much time and effort they expend on convincing Americans that progressives and Democrats are "anti-military," "hate the troops," and even "hate America." So any progressive veteran who criticizes Bush administration policies represents a profound threat to all the arguments they have made. It becomes particularly thorny when nearly the entire current leadership of the conservative movement -- not only media figures like Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, but also political figures including President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and many others -- were of draft age during the Vietnam war but managed to stay out of harm's way.

Let's be clear: I'm not arguing that any particular individual on that list didn't have legitimate reasons to avoid serving in Vietnam -- some may have. Nor am I arguing that the opinions of veterans on matters of national security are necessarily more valid simply because they are veterans. The point is that accusations of troop-hating and insufficient patriotism are difficult to wield at veterans, particularly when thrown by those who were subject to the draft but managed to avoid it.

Unless, that is, they can argue that the veteran in question isn't a real veteran, that his service wasn't real service, that his sacrifice wasn't real sacrifice, and that his patriotism isn't real patriotism. So that's exactly what they do.

If this were the first, or second, or even third time this had happened, one might be able to come up with another plausible explanation. But what we heard this week with Rush Limbaugh was a replay of a record we've heard many times before: a war critic with a military record emerges, and the right responds by attacking his patriotism, arguing that his service wasn't real, or both. Consider the following:

John Kerry, a Vietnam veteran and recipient of a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts, saw a campaign of truly epic dishonesty waged during the 2004 presidential election to convince the American people that he didn't deserve his medals and that the injuries he sustained in combat were phony. Among the many ways conservatives got into the act: At the 2004 Republican convention, delegates wore Band-Aids with purple hearts on their cheeks to mock Kerry's medals. ABC News anchor Peter Jennings asked Newt Gingrich at the time whether the purple heart Band-Aids made him uncomfortable. "No," Gingrich replied, "I think it's funny." (The conservative Media Research Center cited this exchange as an example of liberal media bias because it was shocked that anyone would take offense at a gesture "meant to make light of John Kerry earning purple hearts in Vietnam for superficial wounds.")
Max Cleland, who lost both legs and one arm in Vietnam, was the subject of an attack ad from challenger Saxby Chambliss (reason for avoiding Vietnam service: bum knee) featuring photos of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, claiming that Cleland was hindering efforts to fight terrorism. "Max Cleland says he has the courage to lead," the announcer said, "But the record proves Max Cleland is just misleading."
When Congressman John Murtha -- to repeat, a Vietnam combat veteran, recipient of a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts, whose service on active duty and in the Marine Reserve spanned 37 years before he retired as a colonel -- became critical of the Iraq war, he was attacked relentlessly by conservatives. Ann Coulter said that Murtha is "the reason soldiers invented fragging," slang for soldiers killing a member of their own unit. Coulter later said that if Murtha "did get fragged, he'd finally deserve one of those Purple Hearts."
Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, a decorated Vietnam veteran, was called "Sen. Skeptic (R., France)" by the National Review when in 2002 he raised questions about the Bush administration's push for war -- in other words, Hagel didn't represent the United States but a foreign country. More recently, Rush Limbaugh has said: "By the way, we had a caller call, couldn't stay on the air, got a new name for Senator Hagel in Nebraska, we got General Petraeus and we got Senator Betrayus, new name for Senator Hagel."
When Rep. Joe Sestak, a retired rear admiral, walked in a Memorial Day parade wearing his uniform during the 2006 campaign (without doing any campaigning, as per military regulations), the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania sent out a press release titled "Sestak's Got No R-E-S-P-E-C-T For Uniform" according to an August 7, 2006, article in the Navy Times.
In 2006, incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick held a press conference in which he presented an Air Force major named Kevin Kelly who accused Fitzpatrick's challenger, Democrat Patrick Murphy, of claiming to be more of a combat veteran than he was. As The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on October 11, 2006, "Kelly claimed that Murphy, who was in Baghdad during 2003 and 2004 as a captain and lawyer with the 82d Airborne, exaggerated his combat experience. But in response to a reporter's question, Kelly could not cite any place, incident or publication where he heard Murphy make such claims."
Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran, ran for Congress in a special election in Ohio in 2005. Rush Limbaugh said of Hackett, "it appears that, you know, he goes to Iraq to pad the résumé."
We could go on to list the many Democrats who have had their patriotism assaulted -- like Air Force veteran Tom Daschle, who was accused of treason by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) (Davis said that comments Daschle made in 2002 questioning the success of the war on terror had "the effect of giving aid and comfort to our enemies," language taken directly from the Constitution's definition of treason), and was the subject of a press release by since-disgraced Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) titled "Foley Questions Daschle's Patriotism." But that would take far more space than we have at hand. One thing that all these cases have in common is that no one in the media even considered referring to these conservative attacks as "anti-military," while media figures routinely characterize progressives as "anti-military" if they take issue with policies like the Iraq war, not to mention the converse, that Iraq war supporters are by definition "pro-military" folks who "support the troops" (see here, here, here, here, or here).

So let's consider Limbaugh's comment about Hackett. As far as Limbaugh is concerned, a progressive can't possibly join the military out of a commitment to national service or simple patriotism; if a progressive joined the military, his or her motives must have been dishonorable, in this case to "pad the résumé." By the same token, if a soldier opposes the war, he must not be a real soldier. After making the "phony soldiers" statement, Limbaugh and his caller went on to discuss how real soldiers want to be in Iraq. "They joined to be in Iraq!" said Rush.

Yet you would have had trouble finding too many Republicans in Washington willing to step forward and condemn Limbaugh, or do what Democrats are asked to do whenever a progressive anywhere says something controversial, and "distance themselves" from his remarks. Why? Because Rush Limbaugh is one of the most important components of the conservative spin machine. After all, when Republicans scored their dramatic electoral victory in 1994, they named him an honorary member of the 104th Congress. He'll have to go a lot further than insulting soldiers to get them to turn on him.

At one level, one can have some sympathy for O'Reilly and Limbaugh. Every day, they spend a lot of time on the air -- three hours in Limbaugh's case, and three more for O'Reilly (one hour on television and two on radio), talking extemporaneously about the issues of the day. As seasoned performers, they both know that passion and anger, whether genuine or feigned, are necessary elements of their oeuvre. Given all that, it would hardly be remarkable if every now and again they said something they regretted.

But to hear them tell it, they never regret anything they say. No word that escapes their mouths is anything other than exactly what they meant. If people are offended, they just don't understand, or they've been manipulated by the enemies of the right.

When people do get offended, or fed up at the seemingly unending stream of falsehood and misrepresentation, the right-wing media do what they always do: attack the messenger. So lately, Media Matters has been the subject of some awfully nasty comments from Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and their allies; a recent favorite is Bill O'Reilly calling Media Matters President David Brock "the biggest villain, in my opinion, in the country" (eat your heart out, terrorists!). And don't even ask about the emails we get -- let's just say Rush and Bill's fans are extremely angry and prone to vulgarity, and need to work on their spelling.

This strategy isn't hard to interpret. If you can get people talking about a sinister left-wing conspiracy, then suddenly they aren't talking about you and your statements anymore. And for the likes of Limbaugh, it's always somebody else's fault.
"
"
"

Posted by: so the liars and propogandists can't lie | October 8, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

""The weekly update from Media Matters for America

Here at Media Matters, as in many other places, this was a week of Rush Limbaugh, not only because of what he said about American soldiers and veterans who oppose the Iraq war, but because of what he said about us. There has been some wild spinning coming from Limbaugh on this issue, so let's do a brief recap of what he has said and done since this whole to-do began:

Wednesday, September 26: On his radio show, Limbaugh gets into a discussion with a caller about people who oppose the Iraq war. "It's not possible, intellectually, to follow these people," he says. The caller replies, "No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media." Limbaugh then interjects, "The phony soldiers," to which the caller responds, "The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve." The two then go on to talk about how real soldiers want to be in Iraq. A full one minute and 50 seconds later -- after the caller went on to discuss the purported presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and after Limbaugh thanked the caller for calling -- Limbaugh brings up Jesse MacBeth, who had claimed falsely to have served in Iraq and witnessed atrocities.

Friday, September 28: Responding to the controversy aroused by his "phony soldiers" comment, Limbaugh claims on his show that he had not been talking "about the anti-war movement generally," but rather "about one soldier ... Jesse MacBeth." He then tells his listeners he will present to them the "entire" segment from the day before, so they can hear what he actually said. But the clip he airs actually cuts out a full 1 minute and 35 seconds of discussion that occurred between Limbaugh's original "phony soldiers" comment and his subsequent reference to MacBeth, making it appear as though he had segued directly from "phony soldiers" to MacBeth, when this was not in fact the case. Limbaugh also claims he was "talking about one soldier with that 'phony soldier' comment, Jesse MacBeth," when in fact he said not "soldier" (singular) but "soldiers" (plural). Limbaugh also states during his program, "And by the way, Jesse MacBeth's not the only one," adding to his list of "phony soldiers" Congressman John Murtha, a Vietnam combat veteran and recipient of a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts whose service on active duty and in the Marine Reserve spanned 37 years before he retired as a colonel.

Tuesday, October 2: After the group VoteVets.org airs a television advertisement in which a wounded Iraq veteran, Brian McGough, criticizes Limbaugh for the "phony soldiers" comment, Limbaugh compares McGough to a suicide bomber. "He discusses his service in Iraq, the wounds he suffered there," Limbaugh says, "and he says to me in this ad, 'Until you have the guts to call me a "phony soldier" to my face, stop telling lies about my service.' You know, this is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said, then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media in a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into."

Thursday, October 4: Displaying his ongoing commitment to reasoned discourse, Limbaugh puts up a picture on his website of Josef Stalin sporting Media Matters' logo on his chest. Because posting audio and transcripts of Rush Limbaugh so people can see what he says is pretty much like heading up one of history's most brutally repressive regimes and murdering 20 million or so people. Just about, anyway.

Now that we're all caught up, we can talk about what this means. In order to understand it, you have to realize that Limbaugh's attack on soldiers who disagree with Bush's policy on the war is in perfect keeping with statements he has made in the past. While most commentators will at least nod to the notion that those who disagree with them can still love their country, Limbaugh has stated on numerous occasions his belief that people who oppose the war are unpatriotic. To take just one example, this past August, he said, "I want to respectfully disagree with the president on the last part of what he said. I am going to challenge the patriotism of people who disagree with him because the people that disagree with him want to lose."

Once you've constructed and maintained this argument -- that only people who hate America could possibly disagree with George W. Bush on national security questions -- what do you do when you encounter veterans who do, in fact, disagree? People who have put their very lives at risk in order to serve their country? So much of the rhetoric coming from people like Limbaugh operates on the premise that people who hold different opinions aren't merely wrong or mistaken, they have bad motives.

Think about how much time and effort they expend on convincing Americans that progressives and Democrats are "anti-military," "hate the troops," and even "hate America." So any progressive veteran who criticizes Bush administration policies represents a profound threat to all the arguments they have made. It becomes particularly thorny when nearly the entire current leadership of the conservative movement -- not only media figures like Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, but also political figures including President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and many others -- were of draft age during the Vietnam war but managed to stay out of harm's way.

Let's be clear: I'm not arguing that any particular individual on that list didn't have legitimate reasons to avoid serving in Vietnam -- some may have. Nor am I arguing that the opinions of veterans on matters of national security are necessarily more valid simply because they are veterans. The point is that accusations of troop-hating and insufficient patriotism are difficult to wield at veterans, particularly when thrown by those who were subject to the draft but managed to avoid it.

Unless, that is, they can argue that the veteran in question isn't a real veteran, that his service wasn't real service, that his sacrifice wasn't real sacrifice, and that his patriotism isn't real patriotism. So that's exactly what they do.

If this were the first, or second, or even third time this had happened, one might be able to come up with another plausible explanation. But what we heard this week with Rush Limbaugh was a replay of a record we've heard many times before: a war critic with a military record emerges, and the right responds by attacking his patriotism, arguing that his service wasn't real, or both. Consider the following:

John Kerry, a Vietnam veteran and recipient of a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts, saw a campaign of truly epic dishonesty waged during the 2004 presidential election to convince the American people that he didn't deserve his medals and that the injuries he sustained in combat were phony. Among the many ways conservatives got into the act: At the 2004 Republican convention, delegates wore Band-Aids with purple hearts on their cheeks to mock Kerry's medals. ABC News anchor Peter Jennings asked Newt Gingrich at the time whether the purple heart Band-Aids made him uncomfortable. "No," Gingrich replied, "I think it's funny." (The conservative Media Research Center cited this exchange as an example of liberal media bias because it was shocked that anyone would take offense at a gesture "meant to make light of John Kerry earning purple hearts in Vietnam for superficial wounds.")
Max Cleland, who lost both legs and one arm in Vietnam, was the subject of an attack ad from challenger Saxby Chambliss (reason for avoiding Vietnam service: bum knee) featuring photos of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, claiming that Cleland was hindering efforts to fight terrorism. "Max Cleland says he has the courage to lead," the announcer said, "But the record proves Max Cleland is just misleading."
When Congressman John Murtha -- to repeat, a Vietnam combat veteran, recipient of a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts, whose service on active duty and in the Marine Reserve spanned 37 years before he retired as a colonel -- became critical of the Iraq war, he was attacked relentlessly by conservatives. Ann Coulter said that Murtha is "the reason soldiers invented fragging," slang for soldiers killing a member of their own unit. Coulter later said that if Murtha "did get fragged, he'd finally deserve one of those Purple Hearts."
Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, a decorated Vietnam veteran, was called "Sen. Skeptic (R., France)" by the National Review when in 2002 he raised questions about the Bush administration's push for war -- in other words, Hagel didn't represent the United States but a foreign country. More recently, Rush Limbaugh has said: "By the way, we had a caller call, couldn't stay on the air, got a new name for Senator Hagel in Nebraska, we got General Petraeus and we got Senator Betrayus, new name for Senator Hagel."
When Rep. Joe Sestak, a retired rear admiral, walked in a Memorial Day parade wearing his uniform during the 2006 campaign (without doing any campaigning, as per military regulations), the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania sent out a press release titled "Sestak's Got No R-E-S-P-E-C-T For Uniform" according to an August 7, 2006, article in the Navy Times.
In 2006, incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick held a press conference in which he presented an Air Force major named Kevin Kelly who accused Fitzpatrick's challenger, Democrat Patrick Murphy, of claiming to be more of a combat veteran than he was. As The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on October 11, 2006, "Kelly claimed that Murphy, who was in Baghdad during 2003 and 2004 as a captain and lawyer with the 82d Airborne, exaggerated his combat experience. But in response to a reporter's question, Kelly could not cite any place, incident or publication where he heard Murphy make such claims."
Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran, ran for Congress in a special election in Ohio in 2005. Rush Limbaugh said of Hackett, "it appears that, you know, he goes to Iraq to pad the résumé."
We could go on to list the many Democrats who have had their patriotism assaulted -- like Air Force veteran Tom Daschle, who was accused of treason by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) (Davis said that comments Daschle made in 2002 questioning the success of the war on terror had "the effect of giving aid and comfort to our enemies," language taken directly from the Constitution's definition of treason), and was the subject of a press release by since-disgraced Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) titled "Foley Questions Daschle's Patriotism." But that would take far more space than we have at hand. One thing that all these cases have in common is that no one in the media even considered referring to these conservative attacks as "anti-military," while media figures routinely characterize progressives as "anti-military" if they take issue with policies like the Iraq war, not to mention the converse, that Iraq war supporters are by definition "pro-military" folks who "support the troops" (see here, here, here, here, or here).

So let's consider Limbaugh's comment about Hackett. As far as Limbaugh is concerned, a progressive can't possibly join the military out of a commitment to national service or simple patriotism; if a progressive joined the military, his or her motives must have been dishonorable, in this case to "pad the résumé." By the same token, if a soldier opposes the war, he must not be a real soldier. After making the "phony soldiers" statement, Limbaugh and his caller went on to discuss how real soldiers want to be in Iraq. "They joined to be in Iraq!" said Rush.

Yet you would have had trouble finding too many Republicans in Washington willing to step forward and condemn Limbaugh, or do what Democrats are asked to do whenever a progressive anywhere says something controversial, and "distance themselves" from his remarks. Why? Because Rush Limbaugh is one of the most important components of the conservative spin machine. After all, when Republicans scored their dramatic electoral victory in 1994, they named him an honorary member of the 104th Congress. He'll have to go a lot further than insulting soldiers to get them to turn on him.

At one level, one can have some sympathy for O'Reilly and Limbaugh. Every day, they spend a lot of time on the air -- three hours in Limbaugh's case, and three more for O'Reilly (one hour on television and two on radio), talking extemporaneously about the issues of the day. As seasoned performers, they both know that passion and anger, whether genuine or feigned, are necessary elements of their oeuvre. Given all that, it would hardly be remarkable if every now and again they said something they regretted.

But to hear them tell it, they never regret anything they say. No word that escapes their mouths is anything other than exactly what they meant. If people are offended, they just don't understand, or they've been manipulated by the enemies of the right.

When people do get offended, or fed up at the seemingly unending stream of falsehood and misrepresentation, the right-wing media do what they always do: attack the messenger. So lately, Media Matters has been the subject of some awfully nasty comments from Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and their allies; a recent favorite is Bill O'Reilly calling Media Matters President David Brock "the biggest villain, in my opinion, in the country" (eat your heart out, terrorists!). And don't even ask about the emails we get -- let's just say Rush and Bill's fans are extremely angry and prone to vulgarity, and need to work on their spelling.

This strategy isn't hard to interpret. If you can get people talking about a sinister left-wing conspiracy, then suddenly they aren't talking about you and your statements anymore. And for the likes of Limbaugh, it's always somebody else's fault.
"
"

www.mediamatters.org

Posted by: rufus | October 8, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

So many of these comments are based on a falsehood. I was actually listening to the shows that week and the false soldier comment was only one of a series of comments about that idiot puppet of the left who lied about his service and defamed our soldiers. And, there are many others who have lied about their service. To accuse Rush of this is absurb.

I think there is no more fairness in this country when someone like Rush and Hannity or any other target of the left like Imus (thanks to Hillary and Media Matters) are recorded and listened to; Every word is analyzed by drooling lefties rubbing their hands together in glee when they find something for their boss and who get paid to attack the "enemy" hoping to find something - anything that they can twist into a smear that they can use. This is akin to nazis or communists who want to find something, anything to ruin those who oppose them, who happen to have another view of things. What is next re-education camps?

What happened to the "Diversity" that you libs like to espouse? Freedom of speech is convenient for you when you want to burn flags, or entertain some foreign dictator who happens to think all Jews and Americans should die, or convince the world that global warming is caused solely by man, but it is an "inconvenient truth" when anyone says something that doesn't jive with your own thinking.

Why do you use force to get your points across? Because that is the only way you can convince. Why do you use liberal judges to legislate that which would not be approved by the majority or a vote? Can you really be this twisted in your hearts and brains or are you really stupid enough to think communism can work here when it hasn't worked anywhere else on earth?

Your arguments cannot stand much scrutiny that is why you would rather destroy and smear people and dodge tough questions than debate. Why are the Dems afraid to debate on Fox? Becasue they cannot stand much scrutiny.

Posted by: Lynn | October 8, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"The weekly update from Media Matters for America

Here at Media Matters, as in many other places, this was a week of Rush Limbaugh, not only because of what he said about American soldiers and veterans who oppose the Iraq war, but because of what he said about us. There has been some wild spinning coming from Limbaugh on this issue, so let's do a brief recap of what he has said and done since this whole to-do began:

Wednesday, September 26: On his radio show, Limbaugh gets into a discussion with a caller about people who oppose the Iraq war. "It's not possible, intellectually, to follow these people," he says. The caller replies, "No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media." Limbaugh then interjects, "The phony soldiers," to which the caller responds, "The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve." The two then go on to talk about how real soldiers want to be in Iraq. A full one minute and 50 seconds later -- after the caller went on to discuss the purported presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and after Limbaugh thanked the caller for calling -- Limbaugh brings up Jesse MacBeth, who had claimed falsely to have served in Iraq and witnessed atrocities.

Friday, September 28: Responding to the controversy aroused by his "phony soldiers" comment, Limbaugh claims on his show that he had not been talking "about the anti-war movement generally," but rather "about one soldier ... Jesse MacBeth." He then tells his listeners he will present to them the "entire" segment from the day before, so they can hear what he actually said. But the clip he airs actually cuts out a full 1 minute and 35 seconds of discussion that occurred between Limbaugh's original "phony soldiers" comment and his subsequent reference to MacBeth, making it appear as though he had segued directly from "phony soldiers" to MacBeth, when this was not in fact the case. Limbaugh also claims he was "talking about one soldier with that 'phony soldier' comment, Jesse MacBeth," when in fact he said not "soldier" (singular) but "soldiers" (plural). Limbaugh also states during his program, "And by the way, Jesse MacBeth's not the only one," adding to his list of "phony soldiers" Congressman John Murtha, a Vietnam combat veteran and recipient of a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts whose service on active duty and in the Marine Reserve spanned 37 years before he retired as a colonel.

Tuesday, October 2: After the group VoteVets.org airs a television advertisement in which a wounded Iraq veteran, Brian McGough, criticizes Limbaugh for the "phony soldiers" comment, Limbaugh compares McGough to a suicide bomber. "He discusses his service in Iraq, the wounds he suffered there," Limbaugh says, "and he says to me in this ad, 'Until you have the guts to call me a "phony soldier" to my face, stop telling lies about my service.' You know, this is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said, then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media in a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into."

Thursday, October 4: Displaying his ongoing commitment to reasoned discourse, Limbaugh puts up a picture on his website of Josef Stalin sporting Media Matters' logo on his chest. Because posting audio and transcripts of Rush Limbaugh so people can see what he says is pretty much like heading up one of history's most brutally repressive regimes and murdering 20 million or so people. Just about, anyway.

Now that we're all caught up, we can talk about what this means. In order to understand it, you have to realize that Limbaugh's attack on soldiers who disagree with Bush's policy on the war is in perfect keeping with statements he has made in the past. While most commentators will at least nod to the notion that those who disagree with them can still love their country, Limbaugh has stated on numerous occasions his belief that people who oppose the war are unpatriotic. To take just one example, this past August, he said, "I want to respectfully disagree with the president on the last part of what he said. I am going to challenge the patriotism of people who disagree with him because the people that disagree with him want to lose."

Once you've constructed and maintained this argument -- that only people who hate America could possibly disagree with George W. Bush on national security questions -- what do you do when you encounter veterans who do, in fact, disagree? People who have put their very lives at risk in order to serve their country? So much of the rhetoric coming from people like Limbaugh operates on the premise that people who hold different opinions aren't merely wrong or mistaken, they have bad motives.

Think about how much time and effort they expend on convincing Americans that progressives and Democrats are "anti-military," "hate the troops," and even "hate America." So any progressive veteran who criticizes Bush administration policies represents a profound threat to all the arguments they have made. It becomes particularly thorny when nearly the entire current leadership of the conservative movement -- not only media figures like Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, but also political figures including President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and many others -- were of draft age during the Vietnam war but managed to stay out of harm's way.

Let's be clear: I'm not arguing that any particular individual on that list didn't have legitimate reasons to avoid serving in Vietnam -- some may have. Nor am I arguing that the opinions of veterans on matters of national security are necessarily more valid simply because they are veterans. The point is that accusations of troop-hating and insufficient patriotism are difficult to wield at veterans, particularly when thrown by those who were subject to the draft but managed to avoid it.

Unless, that is, they can argue that the veteran in question isn't a real veteran, that his service wasn't real service, that his sacrifice wasn't real sacrifice, and that his patriotism isn't real patriotism. So that's exactly what they do.

If this were the first, or second, or even third time this had happened, one might be able to come up with another plausible explanation. But what we heard this week with Rush Limbaugh was a replay of a record we've heard many times before: a war critic with a military record emerges, and the right responds by attacking his patriotism, arguing that his service wasn't real, or both. Consider the following:

John Kerry, a Vietnam veteran and recipient of a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts, saw a campaign of truly epic dishonesty waged during the 2004 presidential election to convince the American people that he didn't deserve his medals and that the injuries he sustained in combat were phony. Among the many ways conservatives got into the act: At the 2004 Republican convention, delegates wore Band-Aids with purple hearts on their cheeks to mock Kerry's medals. ABC News anchor Peter Jennings asked Newt Gingrich at the time whether the purple heart Band-Aids made him uncomfortable. "No," Gingrich replied, "I think it's funny." (The conservative Media Research Center cited this exchange as an example of liberal media bias because it was shocked that anyone would take offense at a gesture "meant to make light of John Kerry earning purple hearts in Vietnam for superficial wounds.")
Max Cleland, who lost both legs and one arm in Vietnam, was the subject of an attack ad from challenger Saxby Chambliss (reason for avoiding Vietnam service: bum knee) featuring photos of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, claiming that Cleland was hindering efforts to fight terrorism. "Max Cleland says he has the courage to lead," the announcer said, "But the record proves Max Cleland is just misleading."
When Congressman John Murtha -- to repeat, a Vietnam combat veteran, recipient of a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts, whose service on active duty and in the Marine Reserve spanned 37 years before he retired as a colonel -- became critical of the Iraq war, he was attacked relentlessly by conservatives. Ann Coulter said that Murtha is "the reason soldiers invented fragging," slang for soldiers killing a member of their own unit. Coulter later said that if Murtha "did get fragged, he'd finally deserve one of those Purple Hearts."
Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, a decorated Vietnam veteran, was called "Sen. Skeptic (R., France)" by the National Review when in 2002 he raised questions about the Bush administration's push for war -- in other words, Hagel didn't represent the United States but a foreign country. More recently, Rush Limbaugh has said: "By the way, we had a caller call, couldn't stay on the air, got a new name for Senator Hagel in Nebraska, we got General Petraeus and we got Senator Betrayus, new name for Senator Hagel."
When Rep. Joe Sestak, a retired rear admiral, walked in a Memorial Day parade wearing his uniform during the 2006 campaign (without doing any campaigning, as per military regulations), the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania sent out a press release titled "Sestak's Got No R-E-S-P-E-C-T For Uniform" according to an August 7, 2006, article in the Navy Times.
In 2006, incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick held a press conference in which he presented an Air Force major named Kevin Kelly who accused Fitzpatrick's challenger, Democrat Patrick Murphy, of claiming to be more of a combat veteran than he was. As The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on October 11, 2006, "Kelly claimed that Murphy, who was in Baghdad during 2003 and 2004 as a captain and lawyer with the 82d Airborne, exaggerated his combat experience. But in response to a reporter's question, Kelly could not cite any place, incident or publication where he heard Murphy make such claims."
Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran, ran for Congress in a special election in Ohio in 2005. Rush Limbaugh said of Hackett, "it appears that, you know, he goes to Iraq to pad the résumé."
We could go on to list the many Democrats who have had their patriotism assaulted -- like Air Force veteran Tom Daschle, who was accused of treason by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) (Davis said that comments Daschle made in 2002 questioning the success of the war on terror had "the effect of giving aid and comfort to our enemies," language taken directly from the Constitution's definition of treason), and was the subject of a press release by since-disgraced Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) titled "Foley Questions Daschle's Patriotism." But that would take far more space than we have at hand. One thing that all these cases have in common is that no one in the media even considered referring to these conservative attacks as "anti-military," while media figures routinely characterize progressives as "anti-military" if they take issue with policies like the Iraq war, not to mention the converse, that Iraq war supporters are by definition "pro-military" folks who "support the troops" (see here, here, here, here, or here).

So let's consider Limbaugh's comment about Hackett. As far as Limbaugh is concerned, a progressive can't possibly join the military out of a commitment to national service or simple patriotism; if a progressive joined the military, his or her motives must have been dishonorable, in this case to "pad the résumé." By the same token, if a soldier opposes the war, he must not be a real soldier. After making the "phony soldiers" statement, Limbaugh and his caller went on to discuss how real soldiers want to be in Iraq. "They joined to be in Iraq!" said Rush.

Yet you would have had trouble finding too many Republicans in Washington willing to step forward and condemn Limbaugh, or do what Democrats are asked to do whenever a progressive anywhere says something controversial, and "distance themselves" from his remarks. Why? Because Rush Limbaugh is one of the most important components of the conservative spin machine. After all, when Republicans scored their dramatic electoral victory in 1994, they named him an honorary member of the 104th Congress. He'll have to go a lot further than insulting soldiers to get them to turn on him.

At one level, one can have some sympathy for O'Reilly and Limbaugh. Every day, they spend a lot of time on the air -- three hours in Limbaugh's case, and three more for O'Reilly (one hour on television and two on radio), talking extemporaneously about the issues of the day. As seasoned performers, they both know that passion and anger, whether genuine or feigned, are necessary elements of their oeuvre. Given all that, it would hardly be remarkable if every now and again they said something they regretted.

But to hear them tell it, they never regret anything they say. No word that escapes their mouths is anything other than exactly what they meant. If people are offended, they just don't understand, or they've been manipulated by the enemies of the right.

When people do get offended, or fed up at the seemingly unending stream of falsehood and misrepresentation, the right-wing media do what they always do: attack the messenger. So lately, Media Matters has been the subject of some awfully nasty comments from Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and their allies; a recent favorite is Bill O'Reilly calling Media Matters President David Brock "the biggest villain, in my opinion, in the country" (eat your heart out, terrorists!). And don't even ask about the emails we get -- let's just say Rush and Bill's fans are extremely angry and prone to vulgarity, and need to work on their spelling.

This strategy isn't hard to interpret. If you can get people talking about a sinister left-wing conspiracy, then suddenly they aren't talking about you and your statements anymore. And for the likes of Limbaugh, it's always somebody else's fault.
"

Posted by: So you goper's can't lie your butts off | October 8, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Does anyone have any trouble with the US Senate taking action against a private citizen?"

"strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces"


Read whast you posted again Crawdad. Go back to bottom feeding. Hypocrite gop

Posted by: Bob | October 8, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The senate did not condemn Moveon.org nor did they mention the organization by name. The resolution reads...

"To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces."

S.Amdt.2934 & s.Amdt 2011.

Everyone that supports Rush L. right to free speech needs to visit and sign

http://www.standwithrush.com/

Does anyone have any trouble with the US Senate taking action against a private citizen?

Posted by: Crawdad | October 7, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

'Petraeus/Betray us' is parody..
"Phony soldiers" is slander.

Posted by: Donald Mallow | October 7, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I respectfully ask if you have read more information surrounding Rush's explanation of what occurred on his talk show. From what I have read it seems at least plausible, if not outright obvious, that he was referring to a separate issue. To me there is a clear difference between the Moveon.org issue and the Rush Limbaugh episode. Moveon.org maligned our top military officer with deliberation and forethought. The charges that liberals are leveling against Rush do not hold water, after I read more thorough accounts of what he actually said on his radio show.

Posted by: Danny DeLoach | October 6, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh is one of the most destructive forces in our Democracy. He casts doubts on even the most well intentioned. When he is finally off the air we will be freed of the Tokyo Rose kind of propoganda that he has been spuing for these many years. He doesn't have the courage or humility to admit when he mis-speaks. If I never here is cynical voice again it won't be soon enough.

Posted by: autofill | October 6, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

General Petraeus is an ally of Bush II which is why Bush II selected him after firing all the generals who did not agree with him and interviewing many other generals who did not accept Bush II's military plan. Petraeus ignored many facts to come up with his flawed strategy so is fair game for political attacks. Remember how Bush II kept saying since May, Wait for General Petraeus in September to make an assessment, knowing that Petraeus would be the echo chamber of Bush II, the phony general.
Rush Limbaugh is so desperate to have his view of the Iraq war prevail that he is attacking anyone who does not accept his views. Iraq soldiers are attacked as being phony soldiers and Republicans are attacked as phony Republicans if they advocate an end to US fighting in Iraq. Limbaugh is a friend of Cheney/Bush II so is their mouthpiece to the world and shows how desperate all of them are to keep this war going amidst all the US population demands that the war end. Do not forget we have not secured the Iraqi oil yet which is what this war is all about.

Posted by: mascmen7 | October 6, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that most of you bloggers don't get your facts right before you open your mouth and put it on the blog. The we
see how stupid and biased you realy are!!!

Read the transcript on what Rush said and you will see he was taken out of context and was referring to someone who claimed to be a soldier and was not.

Chris wrote this story like the typical media journalist and obviously didn't do
his research or he perhaps would not have said what he said. But like a lot of journalists today he wouldn't have had a story if he told the truth!!
Thanks to Tarheel he got it right!!
I had to laugh at David's commments - Rush is repulsive but MoveOn.org is not!! Probably most of you don't know that George Soros is the money behind MoveOn!
And you probably don't know he was kicked out of England for causing problems in their financial markets and in their politics. Mr. Soros is now trying to push
his political agenda in the U.S. The little people who follow this group are just pawns in Mr. Soro's game!!
Rufus - You act like you know a lot but
you really don't!! You don't have your facts right. How far in school did you go anyway?? You sound like an idiot most of the time!
Jan - you are a ditto head for the libs!!
You don't have your facts right either!!
Jim D in FL thanks for your comments. At least there are a few rational, logical and knowledgable people on the blogs!!

Posted by: SCSOCAL | October 5, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I like 15 year old pimple face cowards, fresh meat

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

fascists fascists everywhere

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

"http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

""And I Used To Walk On The Moon"

by digby


I don't know if you've heard the latest on Rush's scramble to dig himself out from under his nasty comments about phony soldiers and suicide bombers, but it's pathetic. (Via Media Matters, of course.)


LIMBAUGH: All right, anybody care what I actually said about this? Would you like to hear what I actually said? This was Tuesday on the program, and I was talking about the ad that they are running.

[begin audio clip]

LIMBAUGH: You know, this is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said, then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media in a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into. 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're not hurting me, they're betraying this soldier. Now, unless he actually believes what he's saying, in which case it's just so unfortunate and sad when the truth of what I said is right out there to be learned.

[end audio clip]

LIMBAUGH: I called him a hero. I called him a hero. The other reference is to where the drive-by media runs in, blows things up, creates all these messes, and then heads on down the road to create another one. I called him a suicide bomber -- you see how this works. I didn't call anybody who legitimately serves a "phony soldier." I didn't call this guy a suicide bomber. That's out there -- I called him a suicide bomber. [laughter] Here's McGough. He was on MSNBC last night talking about the fact that I called him a suicide bomber.

McGOUGH [audio clip]: My reaction is disgust, how someone can sit in that chair and say that I am a car bomber, or excuse me, a suicide bomber, is disgusting. I've seen the aftereffects of a suicide bomb. I've had friends that were hurt in suicide bombs. It makes me mad down to a place where I can't even think to describe. It's just repugnant.


I suppose Limbaugh's mouth breathing fans will buy that. They'll buy anything, obviously, since they listen to Rush and vote for George W. Bush. But it's quite clear that he was using the metaphor of a suicide bomber to describe this soldier. Even George W. Bush could see that.

But I think the smear is even more insidious than that. He was describing someone who didn't know his own mind, couldn't think for himself, had these "lies" strapped on him and was "sent out" to "walk into as many people as he can walk into." The image is of a brain damaged person --- or a child --- who was sent out with explosives strapped to him, not knowing what they were asking him to do. Why, even if the poor deluded fellow actually "believes" what he's saying, it's sad and unfortunate.

You've seen the ad by now I'm sure. (If not, watch it here at C&L.) Brian McGough was wounded in Iraq and suffered a traumatic brain injury. It did not affect his ability to think or speak, as is obvious from the video and his subsequent appearance on Keith Olbermann. But the subtext of Rush's suicide bomber statement is that he is some sort of automaton whose brain isn't functioning properly or he would never have made that video. It's extremely insulting.

We know Rush thinks this way. He's done it before. You'll all recall that he disgustingly went after Michael J. Fox last November, saying that Fox was "acting" or that he was too addled to know what he was doing and was "being used." He knows exactly what he's saying and what his audience hears when he says it.

As I wrote about the Fox insult:

[Rush said:]


This is a script that they have written for years. Senate Democrats used to parade victims of various diseases or social concerns or poverty up before congressional committees and let them testify, and they were infallible. You couldn't criticize them. Same thing with the Jersey Girls after the 9-11 -- and in the period of time when the 9-11 Commission was meeting publicly. Victims -- infallible, whatever they say cannot be challenged. I don't follow the script anymore.


That's absurd, of course. The right holds up all kinds of people as being unassailable, particularly (Republican) [soldiers and]veterans and religious figures. But that's not even the point. Nobody says you can't criticize a "victim's" point of view or disagree with their take on the issue. Rush could have made a straightforward argument that stem cell research is wrong. But the right wing almost never does this on any issue anymore. Virtually every time, they attack the person's character.

They do this for a number of reasons. The first is to give their followers some reason to reject a compelling argument like that set forth by Fox. They send this idea into the ether that Fox is faking it and create a controversy that suddenly makes what seems to be self-evident --- Michael J. Fox is suffering horribly from a dread disease that might be cured with stem cell research --- into a matter of interpretation. It furthers their meme that Democrats are phonies and flip-floppers who don't stand for anything. It helps their base come to terms with their own internal contradictions. They have turned spin into a worldview.

But they also want to advance the idea that the message always depends upon who is delivering it and you can accept or reject it purely on the basis of tribal identification. ("Don't think, meat.") And to do that they've introduced a form of congitive relativism in which there is no such thing as reality. The press's lazy "he said/she said" form of journalism reinforces it.


He went after soldiers this time and it's caused him some grief because it came on the heels of their magnificent Man Called Petraeus pageant, where they trotted out a powerful, political general as being "infallible, whatever they say cannot be challenged." Rush was obviously criticizing veterans who don't agree with him.

Indeed, just prior to the phony soldier comment was this:


LIMBAUGH: Mike in Chicago, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER 1: Hi Rush, how you doing today?

LIMBAUGH: I'm fine sir, thank you.

CALLER 1: Good. Why is it that you always just accuse the Democrats of being against the war and suggest that there are absolutely no Republicans that could possibly be against the war?

LIMBAUGH: Well, who are these Republicans? I can think of Chuck Hagel, and I can think of Gordon Smith, two Republican senators, but they don't want to lose the war like the Democrats do. I can't think of -- who are the Republicans in the anti-war movement?

CALLER 1: I'm just -- I'm not talking about the senators. I'm talking about the general public -- like you accuse the public of all the Democrats of being, you know, wanting to lose, but --

LIMBAUGH: Oh, come on! Here we go again. I uttered a truth, and you can't handle it, so you gotta call here and change the subject. How come I'm not also hitting Republicans? I don't know a single Republican or conservative, Mike, who wants to pull out of Iraq in defeat. The Democrats have made the last four years about that specifically.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Mike, you can't possibly be a Republican.

CALLER 1: I am.

LIMBAUGH: You are -- you are --

CALLER 1: I am definitely a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: You can't be a Republican. You are --

CALLER 1: Oh, I am definitely a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: You are tarnishing the reputation, 'cause you sound just like a Democrat.

CALLER 1: No, but --

LIMBAUGH: The answer to your question --

CALLER 1: -- seriously, how long do we have to stay there --

LIMBAUGH: As long as it takes!

CALLER 1: -- to win it? How long?

LIMBAUGH: As long as it takes! It is very serious.

CALLER 1: And that is what?

LIMBAUGH: This is the United States of America at war with Islamofascists. We stay as long -- just like your job. You do everything you have to do, whatever it takes to get it done, if you take it seriously.

CALLER 1: So then you say we need to stay there forever --

LIMBAUGH: I -- it won't --

CALLER 1: -- because that's what it'll take.

LIMBAUGH: No, Bill, or Mike -- I'm sorry. I'm confusing you with the guy from Texas.

CALLER 1: See, I -- I've used to be military, OK? And I am a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: Yeah. Yeah.

CALLER 1: And I do live [inaudible] but --

LIMBAUGH: Right. Right. Right, I know.

CALLER 1: -- you know, really -- I want you to be saying how long it's gonna take.

LIMBAUGH: And I, by the way, used to walk on the moon!

CALLER 1: How long do we have to stay there?

LIMBAUGH: You're not listening to what I say. You can't possibly be a Republican. I'm answering every question. That's not what you want to hear, so it's not even penetrating your little wall of armor you've got built up.


Rush believes that anyone who disagrees with him must be a Democrat in sheep's clothing and that Democrats all want to "wave the white flag." And he doesn't believe that anyone who holds the views that this caller holds could possibly have been in the military. ("And I, by the way, used to walk on the moon.")

When confronted with undisputed veterans who disagree with him he implies they have been brainwashed or brain damaged and are being used by others. He simply refuses to acknowledge that the military is not an adjunct of the Republican Party and that there are many people in it who disagree with what he's saying. (He can't even admit that there are civilian Republicans who disagree with what he's saying.)

The Republicans have so fetishized the troops that it causes severe cognitive dissonance (and a potential fracture with their base) for Rush to come right out and say what he wants to say, which is that veterans and soldiers who disagree with the president on the war are traitors. But it slips out in little ways: "staff puke" and "phony soldier" and his insistence that you can't be a good "Republican" (soldier) and be critical of the war. This time he got caught in the middle of a political firestorm about criticizing the military and so had to defend his comments. But it's not unusual. It's what he thinks. It's what a lot of Republicans think.

It's all wrapped in the warped worldview I described above, in which the Democratic party is not just wrong, it's fundamentally illegitimate. And anyone who disagrees is a traitor, including, apparently, the vast majority of Americans who do not support this war.

And that is why I truly resent my tax dollars being spent to help this man spread extremist, ultra partisan lies about Democrats and liberals all day, every day, to American troops overseas on Armed Forces Radio. He can do it all he wants in the free market here in the states. And if Clear Channel wants to start a radio network in Iraq and feature him 24 hours a day, they can have at it. But this man's only purpose is to spread lies about me and lies about soldiers like Brian McGough and spew rank partisan propaganda on behalf of the Republican Party on my dime.

I'm with Wes Clark on this. Rush can say what he wants on the air, and if he thinks I'm a traitor he has the right. He can operate as an arm of the Republican party, take his orders from the white house and spread GOP propaganda far and wide. We have free speech in America. But there's nothing in the constitution that says I have to pay for it to be piped to troops on the battlefield.
"

Posted by: digby (r) | October 5, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"Chris Matthews: White House Pressured MSNBC To Tame Hardball
By: Logan Murphy @ 2:15 PM - PDT NOW he tells us...

AttyTood:

Don't you just love these truth tellers in American journalism like Katie Couric and Chris Matthews who are suddenly here to complain that the Bush administration has manipulated Big Media like them, and they're not going to take it anymore? At least not now that George W. Bush and Congress have a record-low approval rating, and after 3,809 U.S. troops have died in Iraq.

Here is MSNBC "Hardball" host Matthews:

In front of an audience that included such notables as Alan Greenspan, Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy, Matthews began his remarks by declaring that he wanted to "make some news" and he certainly didn't disappoint. After praising the drafters of the First Amendment for allowing him to make a living, he outlined what he said was the fundamental difference between the Bush and Clinton administrations.

The Clinton camp, he said, never put pressure on his bosses to silence him.

"Not so this crowd," he added, explaining that Bush White House officials -- especially those from Vice President Cheney's office -- called MSNBC brass to complain about the content of his show and attempted to influence its editorial content. "They will not silence me!" Matthews declared.

As Nicole wrote recently, Matthews' behavior is puzzling at times to say the least -- but even with his staunch opposition to the occupation of Iraq, it's really egregious that he hasn't talked openly about this up to this point. PERRSpectives looks at some of the glowing things that Tweety has said about these "thugs and criminals".

"

Censure zouk, if you must

Posted by: gop gameplan. If you can't win, cheat | October 5, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Your a coward zouk. I got kim washing my dishes and at my beck and call. She says you are a 15 year old pimple face coward. i agree

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I farted and the phone in my butt rang, guess which happened first

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"GI to her family: Ask many questions if I die
By: Nicole Belle @ 10:39 AM - PDT Sadly, after Pat Tillman, this doesn't seem so hard to believe anymore...and if her death was the result of a Blackwater employee, the administration and Department of Defense will likely do everything in their power (and given the news yesterday, a few things technically not in their power) to force this story down the memory hole.

Patriot Ledger (h/t Heather):

Ciara Durkin was home on leave last month and expressed a concern to her family in Quincy: If something happens to me in Afghanistan, don't let it go without an investigation.

Durkin, 30, a specialist with a Massachusetts National Guard finance battalion, was found dead last week near a church at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. She had been shot once in the head, the Army says.

Fiona Canavan, Durkin's older sister, said today that when her sister was home three weeks ago, she told family members that she had come across some things that concerned her and had raised objections to others at the base.

''She was in the finance unit and she said, 'I discovered some things I don't like and I made some enemies because of it.' Then she said, in her light-hearted way, 'If anything happens to me, you guys make sure it gets investigated,"' Canavan said. ''But at the time we thought it was said more as a joke."[..]

Canavan said that her sister was openly gay, but that the family had no specific reasons to think that had anything to do with her death.

Filed Under: Military, War Coverage

"

WWW.CROOKSANDLIARS.COM

Posted by: RUFUS | October 5, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

wORSE STILL WILL. tHINK ABOU TTHE THOUSANDS OF DEAD SOLDIERS, LIKE pAT tiLLMAN OF SAN JOSE CA. their dead now. Who will speak for them? Are they phoneies?

Yvonne. Your party is a party of fascists hypocrites .You get what you deserve.

Rush, coulter, hannity ,o'reilly. FASCISTS. They are you standard bearers? I feel sorry for the children of gop parents and grandparents.

Posted by: RUFUS | October 5, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Move On (who has millions in membership)."

Posted by: a lie | October 5, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I was in uniform from 1967 to 1971 and took every opportunity I could to denounce that war, while serving my country at the same time. I wasn't drafted; I enlisted voluntarily. I suppose Limbaugh would have called me a phony soldier. And for my part back then, I didn't have much nice to say about the likes of Westmoreland, similar to some perspectives on Petraeus today.
These days I look at people like Limbaugh, Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and others who have always been willing to put someone else's life on the line for our liberties, and wonder, How did we ever let this bunch of losers take control of our country?

Posted by: Will Dresser | October 5, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What bothers me most is... unless it is slander, we are supposed to have freedom of speech or opinion. In the case of slander, it is taken to a civil court through a law suit. However...why is Congress making it an issue when someone disagrees? And why did some of the very people in Congress that Move On helped put in office and have worked with Move On participate in attacking them for their opinion? Pressured or deals made? As far as Rush, he is always looking for outrageous publicity it seems, I don't believe he is really as stupid as he sounds, he is the style of talk show host that was popular a time back, in fact that is how his show started, where being obnoxious and yelling at people in his studio was what it was all about. He still should have, as we all should, freedom of speech. Getting a slap on the hand from Congress just for the purpose of a "back at ya" would be acting just like the Republicans did with their Congressional "discusion" putting down the free speech of Move On (who has millions in membership).

Posted by: Yvonne | October 5, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Come on JD, I have read the complete transcript. Rush's "clarification" is an attempt to re-write the record.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 5, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Rush with his "phony" soldiers, O'Rielly with his racist remarks....they can deny what they said all they want. I've heard the tapes, read the transcripts (all in context). There's no defense. MoveOn stood by their ad. It was a sad day when the President used a military man as a political football, like Lucy pulling the ball away from Charlie Brown, to take the heat off himself. I agree that Congress should spend their time more wisely and stay above this fray. And Perino was out of line by planting a Fox reporter in the back of the press room to ask Bush the final question during his press conference (allowing no follow-ups) about the MoveOn ad allowing him to give his opinion of it.

Posted by: Laurie | October 5, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Why they can."

Wait, they can. That is.

The gop is done. This is a microcasim of why

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Well said larryb. Thank you.

And the spin machine needs to be labeled for what it is.

As far as medidamatters goes. They smear no one. The reason they post the right-wings garbage on their site is FOR THIS SPECIFIC REASON. So rush and 'oreilly and savage can't say "I've never said that"..
Why they can. And the dittohead fascists will STILL believe them. What country are we living in?

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Congress shouldn't just be questioning Prince about Iraq; it should be prohibiting any activity of mercenaries on our soil, and investigating the crimes committing in tyhe course of this administration's determination to gut the Second Amendment and to give the executive his own bloody army of proven torturers, ready to train on citizens here as well as at home.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Remember: Italy was a parliamentary democracy -- with newspapers, cinema, a wide span of political parties, dissent and a vital modern culture -- when the Blackshirts began to beat selected individuals in newspaper offices, in the countryside, around voting booths. Italy was still a democracy when the Blackshirts murdered a major opposition figure, shocking a society that was still technically free into silence. Same tactic was used by the National Socialists -- who studied Mussolini -- before they came formally to power. In what was still a working democracy a targeted paramilitary responded to Hitler's directives - intimidating protesters, beating up critics, essentially taking ownership of the streets -- even while Germany still had a working Parliament and Constitution. Remeber when TSA officials were making passengers at the airport drink their baby's milk -- including human breast milk? Both the Blackshirts and the Brownshirts forced citizens to drink liquids such as emetics as anintimidation tactic.

Reports are coming in from around the US that passengers in line at airports are being told by TSA agents to `FREEZE!!' in line -- for up to half an hour. A Mills College professor was taken into a holding cell (most of us don't know that US airports now have what are essentially interrogation cells -- Maher Arar was kept in one for two days and prevented by US agents from calling his lawyer -- then rendered to Syria for torture). She was told that if she moved she would be considered to be assaulting her interrogator. For the record, National Socialists forced their prisoners to freeze in place -- sometimes until they dropped.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I note that Congress is outraged that there were plans to stage a fake scenario of a dirty bomb detonation in three US cities next week -- plans that were not fully revealed to Congress. The second stage of a fascist shift on the blueprint I identified in The End of America calls for disorienting public spectacles, sudden scenes of shocking violence against civilians (see the tasering of a student in Gainesville, Florida, and the death of a woman who looks like you or me in a holding cell in the Phoenix airport) and the declaration that a situation is unstable so call for a paramilitary force in order to keep the people safe.

Congress doesn't get who Blackwater contractors are. Prince likes to wrap his people in the flag and say they are facing `bad guys.' Prince actually systematically recruits the baddest of the `bad guys': Jeremy Scahill reports that Blackwater intentionally recruits former military and paramilitary personnel from regimes that specialize in neofascist repression of their own populations and who train their paramilitary and military in the torture and subjugation of their own critics, journalists, political leaders and other civil society figures: Ecuadorans, Nigerians, Chileans, Syrians. That is who we can find ourselves facing in the streets of New York -- or Kansas City -- tomorrow unless Congress rolls back the horrific laws that gave the President and Prince these dark-side powers.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

What still evades the framing of this debate, though, is that the violent lawlessness perpetrated against civilians in Iraq by this newly created thug caste is a taste of what is in store for us at home -- unless Congress confronts the President's and Prince's plans to bring Blackwater increasingly to a neighborhood near you. It is remarkable that the hearings focus on what Blackwater is doing in Iraq -- but not on what Blackwater plans to and is legally able to do here in the US when the President determines there is a `public emergency' that requires the restoration of `public order' -- a power that he arrogated more completely with the 2007 Defense Authorization Act. The second phase of the blueprint of what I have called in The End of America a `fascist shift' is what we are beginning to see now: increasing physical intimidation of civilians and increasing staging or provocation of situations in the a federalized national guard or a Blackwater paramilitary force is sent in at the behest of a leader -- over the heads of the people's representatives -- to `restore public order.'

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Congress is finally asking questions of Erik Prince, the head of Blackwater, the private mercenary organization that massacred seventeen civilians in Iraq recently. As I mentioned before, Blackwater operates in Iraq entirely outside the rule of law and has close ties to the White House. The New York Times today reported just how close -- Prince's sister-in-law is a major Bush fundraiser and ally.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I did my six in the USCG. That doesn't make me any kind of Audie Murphy, but I know a little bit about long, lonely hours in government service far from home. What I don't understand is all of this reverence for a f**king general officer. Doesn't anyone read Catch-22 or The Pentagon Papers anymore? Generals aren't gods. Frequently, they aren't even very admirable. We hope they are at least competent warriors, but that's not a given either. What they most definitely are, is politicians. You cannot play the military game at their level any other way. Petreus was setup by Bush as his latest white knight to Save the Union in Iraq. Petraeus could have used his platform to force the Washington Pols to deal with the situation in Iraq but chose to support a failed status quo instead. Bravo to Move-on for calling him on it. BTW, I highly recommend Andrew Bacevitch's excellent article "Sychophant Savior" (http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_09_24/article2.html) in the American Conservative for a write-up on what a "good" political general could have done in Petraeus' place.

Posted by: LarryB | October 5, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, JD -- Rush has 'clairifed' -- you mean, backtracked and lied. Try being less gullible. He has since gone on to call a group of Iraq veterans who complained about his first comnet 'sucicide bombers.'

He is an indefensible scumbag.

'I'm used to being yelled at by emotional basket cases, after all I'm married.' -- I pity your wife

Posted by: jan | October 5, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

' no small thing after the Oklahoma City bombing when the president of the United States tried to blame me for it through his spokesman. '

rush is not only evil, but severaly demented

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Everyone forgets that the MoveOn.org ad was in direct response a day or two before his testimony that the White House, read Bush, would write the report and that there would be NO TRANSCRIPT. They obviously don't have the brains to figure out that the whole thing would be recorded by c-span, which is just as good as a transcript. And in spite of the GENERAL'S opening statement that he had prepared the report himself, he and the Bush administration have told so many lies you have to be brain dead to believe anything they have to say.
Just yesterday, in her White House Briefing, Dana Perino stated AGAIN that IRAQ attacked us on 9/11/01, just before she said "This country does not torture."
Rush is just a blowhard idiot in the same vein as Ann Coulter. In any case, the democrats shouldn't have caved to the idiots and they should all get on with the business of stopping the war.

Posted by: Laura Nason | October 5, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

your party is done JD. We both know this. Hypocrites. Fire Battiste from cbs for speaking his mind? Why? The gop was offened? I'm offended by rush and fox. Practice what you preach you hypocrite. Your party is done. The time for you fascists to reap what you have sow is almost at hand.

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"My problem is that former Gen.Battiste spoke out "truthfully" about what was "really" happening on the ground in Iraq and he gets lambasted by the right-wingers as a traitor.Why??"

aND HE WAS FIRED FROM cbs, for speaking the truth. I have boycotted cbs since. Fire a general who retired to speak his mind? Free Speech? Only if you are gop

Posted by: JKrish | October 5, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

jan, you didn't read my comments. It's OK, I'm used to being yelled at by emotional basket cases, after all I'm married.

What I said, is, that Rush has since clarified his remarks that he was only referring to Jesse and the other FAKE SOLDIERS who've been trumpeted by the left. He's said this many times on his show.

Moveon.org has done nothing to 'back off' of their ridiculous ad.

Get it now?

I accept your apology in advance.

Posted by: JD | October 5, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

My problem is that former Gen.Battiste spoke out "truthfully" about what was "really" happening on the ground in Iraq and he gets lambasted by the right-wingers as a traitor.Why??
It was toyed around in the media for weeks that the White House had actually written the Petraeus report,yet he stated that he wrote it without showing anyone before presenting it to the hearing.That alone I find impossible to believe.
And why did George "sneak" into Iraq a week before the report was due??????????
Every General before him that seemed to disagree with the White House was either fired or told to retire. So shy is it that Petraeus is still around, because he says what the neo-clowns want him to say???? Heck,even the head of Central Command had bad words to say about Petraeus.(Chicken sh#t,a$s kisser). It's just the same old story for the last 7 years, all lies. So why should this be any different?

As for Limbaugh, I wouldn't even think of listening to him,so I don't. He's nothing but a coward hiding behind his microphone spewing nonsense. He should be in jail for that drug business he was involved with,but he has friends in "high" places,so he's not. If some black youth had been caught with what he had,Oxycontin,and how he got them,doctor shopping,he would have been put away for a long time,a long time ago.
Why wasn't he put in jail for that????????

Posted by: jime | October 5, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Check out the cover of "The American Conservative" magazine: General Petraeus beneath the headline "Sycophant Savior." The story inside says Petraeus should have asked for more troops to continue and escalate the surge if it is working. By not doing so, "he has broken faith with the soldiers he commands and the Army to which he has devoted his life. He has failed his country." Betrayed us, indeed. Where's the outrage?

Posted by: dpdean | October 5, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

rush"Now, having said that, Chris, being concerned that whatever the Drive-Bys put out there sticks and that there's nothing anybody can do to change it, look, I'll use myself as a personal example on this. I'm in my 20th year of doing this, and over the course of these 20 years, I've lost count of the number of episodes like this one. There have been many. This one may take the cake, but, hey, it was no small thing after the Oklahoma City bombing when the president of the United States tried to blame me for it through his spokesman. That's no small thing, folks"

Posted by: Think about the big picture | October 5, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, if everyone would ignore Rush and Moveon.org then could all move on and forget these lousy pieces of garbage dragging down our society at large. I'm a Conservative Republican, but I have no use for Rush or Moveon.org I think they both represent everything that is wrong with politics today. Nothing but people bashing. Not policy bashing, but people bashing. We need to move politics back to policy discussion vs. people bashing and personal campaigns against a particular person. Rush and moveon do nothing but people bash for their own gain. What a distasteful organization and what a pathetic human being.

Posted by: reason | October 5, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah Rush should what he does. "

shouldn't do what he does. Murders shouldn't muder people. Who do you stop them? Pray they stop killing people? No. you do something about it. You hold them accountable for their actions. This si a foreign concept to the gop

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Great preaching. But Rush has been on the air for 20 years and has not changed. We can pray for world peace all day. We can pray we will be able to fly with no planes also. Praying only get's us so far. What are we going TO DO?

Yeah Rush should what he does. Will he? He makes millions doing what he does. Do somethign abou tit, or don't. Mediamatters is doing somethin, but not smearing. They merely repeat these people's words back to them.


LAst post. This is a waste of time. I have been trying to help bring our people together. After today I see this is impossible. The gop will never give up their avatars willingly. they will never right their own ship as the previous congress showed us. The left must do ti for them, as moveon and mediamatters are trying to do. But they are the bad guy"s, huh? Who else is going to stop these fascists and lying propogandsits? Are they goign to walk off the air themselves. Are they going to stop the tactics they have been ussing their entire carrer? This nation has no hope. I'm fleeing to canada or western europe. Good luck america. Your going to need it.

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

A senior U.S. military official tells the Washington Post that the Sept. 16 firing incident at Nissor Square involving Blackwater USA was unprovoked and that the 11 civilian victims were unarmed:

"It was obviously excessive, it was obviously wrong," said the U.S. military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the incident remains the subject of several investigations. "The civilians that were fired upon, they didn't have any weapons to fire back at them. And none of the IP (Iraqi Police) or any of the local security forces fired back at them."

Military reports also "appear to corroborate the Iraqi government's contention that Blackwater was at fault."

Separately, an Iraqi investigation "recommends that the security guards face trial in Iraqi courts and that the company compensate the victims." A panel led by the Iraqi Defense Minister said that "Blackwater guards sprayed western Baghdad's Nisoor Square with gunfire Sept. 16 without provocation.

Posted by: blackwater evil | October 5, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh and moveon.org are opposite ends of the same problem. Both attempt to control the political subjects discussed by making radical stmts, false comparisons and outragious accusations. They both are seeking a greater audience by inflaming public opinion. Both do this for their own aggrandizement and enrichment, not for the benefit of a country that is desperate for serious discussion of very serious problems (war in Iraq, mounting deficits, health insurance costs, growing environmental concerns, etc). The solution is not congressional condemnations or support, it is too become aware of the tactics and arguments employed by these people to incite strong emotional reactions so they can control the political discussion. The false arguments they use need to be understood by the general public, e.g. straw man comparisons, circluar arguments, false analogies etc. These people need to be called on their use of these fake arguments and there selfish motives for employing them to immunize people to their effects. We need to insist on genuine arguments where people can disagree without being labeled, traitors, communists, dupes, liars or nazis. We don't need inflamatory entertainment masquarading as political discourse. These people and the issues they attempt to incite should be ignored. Ignominy is the fate they both richly deserve and what they fear the most.

Posted by: kchses | October 5, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

ummary: On October 4, Rush Limbaugh asserted that he "didn't call" wounded Iraq veteran Brian McGough "a suicide bomber" on his October 2 show and said he was "grateful" for McGough's service. Limbaugh said on October 2: "[T]his is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said, then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media in a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into."

On the October 4 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh asserted that he "didn't call" wounded Iraq veteran Brian McGough "a suicide bomber" on his October 2 show and said he was "grateful" for McGough's service. McGough appeared in an ad released by VoteVets denouncing Limbaugh's September 26 characterization of service members who support troop withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers.

Posted by: ruben is a moron | October 5, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

With Limbaugh and MoveOn, we are dealing with elements on the left or right fringe. What they say or do has little impact on the election. Those who love to hate Limbaugh will denounce him, just as those who love to hate MoveOn will denounce that group.

The large block of independent voters, the ones who actually have to be convinced to vote one way or another in the election, could care less what Limbaugh and MoveOn say.

Posted by: alan in Missoula | October 5, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The difference is that the MoveOn ad, while harsh and ugly in execution, was based in fact -- the General's statements to Congress were misleading. The ad was designed to stir debate and discussion. Limbaugh's statements were slanderous and rediculously untrue -- more than anyone, men and women serving in Iraq have earned the right to weigh in with their thoughts on the war. Limbaugh's comments were designed to stifle debate and choke off discussion. HUGE difference there.

Posted by: Ben from Richmond | October 5, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"Do not speak to fools. They scorn the wisdom of your words"

Posted by: Nas | October 5, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Ruben

Have you read the transcript - anyone who has could not possibly make the statement you did. As JimD said:

"I have read the complete transcript of Rush's conversation, I do not see how anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the English language can plausibly maintain that Rush was talking about Jesse McBeth. The real phony soldier does not enter the discussion until well after the phony soldier comments."

Posted by: Read the transcript | October 5, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"Innuendo and, increasingly, explicit claims of anti-semitism have become political weapons of the war-hungry Right in all sorts of foreign policy debates, most frequently now with regard to Iran. That is the real goal of constantly labelling liberal blogs and anti-war groups as Nazis, Hitler, Brownshirts, Gestapo troops, etc. Groups such as the ADL which claim to be devoted to opposing such tactics seem extremely reluctant -- to put it generously -- to condemn these tactics when used by those expressing unrelated political views that they seem to embrace (such as a hard-line against Iran). If they really believe in their ostensible principles, they ought to apply them equally.

-- Glenn Greenwald

"

Posted by: greenwald | October 5, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Rush was referring to actual phony soldiers, based on an ABC News report about one of the anti-war left's champions, an "Iraq War veteran" who was testifying that U.S. Troops were killing civilians. Turns out, the kid had never been to Iraq and had been discharged from the army having only completed boot camp. That "phony soldier" was defaming our troops and lying about them. This is not the first time that someone claimed to be an Iraq veteran or claimed to view atrocities. More often than not, they turn out to be lying or faking.

Posted by: Ruben | October 5, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"Still, all of this leaves unanswered the central question raised in that post. Bill O'Reilly's show is the highest-rated cable news show in the country, and for months, he and his special guests have been repeatedly -- sometimes on a nightly basis -- casually smearing mainstream liberal groups and blogs as Nazis and Hitler-like. By comparison, most of the other incidents the ADL has stridently condemned are insignificant in terms of both impact and reach. The ADL is now aware of these incidents, which are all documented in my post with links to transcripts or videos. Indeed, Foxman, in his response, said this:

Had you bothered to contact us before writing your piece we would have been glad for the opportunity to condemn the use of Holocaust imagery and those who routinely use Nazi references as a political attack tool, including the recent examples you cite. Many of these individuals you use as examples have been on our radar screen, and we would have been prepared to share with you our file on the subject, which is more than two-inches thick."

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/10/05/adl/

Posted by: greenwald | October 5, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I vote that we put Rush and the Move On buttheads in the same sack with a rabid squirrel and toss it into the Potomac.

Posted by: DFC | October 5, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

THESE PEOPLE(rush supports) ARE LOST. No acknowledging of reality.

I hear the arguements above. I see you all mentioning people's rights and blah blah blah. What you are not acknowledging is the gOP censured moveon, for the ad. They censured them.

Sad day in america. Thank you cc. Thank you for showing me these people will never change no matter how much truth you put in there face. I didn't realize the term dittohead was this actual.

Sorry CC. What I did was all for the good. But I have been wasting my time here. I see that now. our country has no hope. I'll go back in my cave. I'll go back in hiding and work on my book. Thank you for this post cc. It really helped me see that I was fighting a unwinable battle.

Peace. God Bless. Remember this

GOD IS GUILT. GOD IS HOPE. GOD IS LOVE

Only God can save us now

Posted by: RUFUS | October 5, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

These are non isssues that don't deserve the attention of congress or the media. Political extremists will continue to make unfounded, vitriolic charges toward anyone who disagrees with them, and it will have little effect other than the undeserved attention that politicians pour upon it by trying to associate their rivals with these groups. The idea that politicians are somehow required to "denounce" any idea they disagree with is laughable. Dittoheads and members of MoveOn, already trapped in their own warped minds and universes, will continue to drink the ridiculous kool-aid poured out by Rush and MoveOn, but the rest of us should operate in and be concerned with the real world.

Posted by: Kevin Steimel | October 5, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Not much difference at all Chris. Both incidents open up the question as to just how free free speech really is. From how the two matters have been handled thus far, it appears that right wing blowhards get more free speech than does the left. Congress actually passed a resolution condemning Moveon.Org whereas a similar measure proposed by democrats failed even though the democrats have the majority.

What does this tell us? It tells us that the democrats take free speech far more seriously than the GOP. And as for Limbaugh: Chris, I have listened to him for years. I am intimately acquainted with the technique he uses. Limbaugh is an incorrigible exhibitionist. He deliberately couches his bigotries, prejudices and hatreds in an ambiguaous rhetoric that lends itself to confusing and distracting interpretations. Upon hearing his "phony soldiers" comment, I had no doubt as to precisely whom he was referring to: he was indeed ralking about organizations and individuals--like those at Votevets.org--who oppose Bush and the Iraq war.

And his accusing MediaMatters.org as being a partisan tool of George Soros is laughable. Not as to whether it is factual or not. I mean who cares? But laughable in the sense that if it is factual, how in God's name is that any different than a couple of right wing hacks for Bush in 2004 orgainizing Swiftboat Veterans for Truth.org?

Obviously Limbaugh, like the entire GOP, sees free speech as being only available to them and not to anyone who disagrees with them. And they get away with it. I blame the good, old, masochistic, liberal driveby media for that Chris. They are Limbaugh's greatest enabler.

Posted by: Jaxas | October 5, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Beltway thinking: The MoveOn ad was a mistake for the left to support and a winner for the right to take on.

Reality of the situation: Though it may have helped rally the rightwing base, the MoveOn ad was a huge distraction at a time when the right wingers should have been better focused on Patreaus and the continuation of the war. Whatever attacking the ad did for Republican coffers, you can be damn sure it will be matched and surpassed by money MoveOn.org made for such publicity.

As the election of 2006 showed, the country is in an anti-Bush, anti-Republican mood. Most Americans agree with MoveOn about just how legit Patreaus's assessment of Iraq is, and whether or not he is 'betraying' the American public by not being more on the level. While I don't agree with labeling the general as 'Betrayus', I find it humorous that the right wingers, who have no problem lambasting the patriotism of others and calling treason at the slightest thing, were suddenly aghast that their side should face similar tactics. Even then, the ad has been forgotten as SCHIP, Blackwater, and secret torture memos dominate the headlines. Rush Limbaugh is the least of the right's problems these days...

Posted by: ErrinF | October 5, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Britain 'no longer closest Bush ally'

By Toby Harnden in Washington

The White House no longer views Britain as its most loyal ally in Europe since Gordon Brown took office and is instead increasingly turning towards France and Germany, according to Bush administration sources.

"There's concern about Brown," a senior White House foreign policy official told The Daily Telegraph.

The White House official added that Britain would always be "the cornerstone" of US policy towards Europe but there was "a lot of unhappiness" about how British forces had performed in Basra and an acceptance that Mr Brown would pull the remaining 4,500 troops out of Iraq next year.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Its amazing to me that Rush spews his hate and people will back him no matter what because they drink from his koolaid. Now Move on.org makes an add all the GOP boot lickers get bent out of shape. So were was your scorn when the GOP came to Georgia (Even Bush came) and compared Max Cleland to OBL? Or their outrage during the Swiftboating of John Kerry? Even Bush was asked in 04 if he disagreed with the Swiftboat ads and wanted to denounce them, showing his true colors he did neither. So the lesson here gang is if you are a Dem and actually serve your country, get wounded and pickup a few medals, regardless you are scum in the GOP's eyes. Yet if you are a GOP supporter and wore the uniform but for some reason couldnt make it to the battle field, you are on par with Gen. Patton. And we wonder why this country is going down hill fast....

Posted by: American First | October 5, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Seems the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Michael Mullen, has banned the use of the phrase "Global War on Terror" (GWOT) and has prohibited using it "in any future correspondence," according to a Sept. 27 e-mail from a Mullen aide.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"I got a lot of PhD types and smart people around me who come into the Oval Office and say, 'Mr. President, here's what's on my mind.' And I listen carefully to their advice," he said, according to a White House transcript.

"But having gathered the device [sic], I decide, you know, I say, 'This is what we're going to do.' And it's 'Yes, sir, Mr. President.' And then we get after it, implement policy.

Posted by: president moron | October 5, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Petreus was reporting the Bush Report, as a Politial Hack for Bush.

Our brave soldiers are putting their lifes on the line 24/7 for what 70 percent of them think is not worthwhile

Posted by: R Mills | October 5, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

What's happening, presumably, is that modern movement conservatism attracts a certain personality type. If you identify with the downtrodden, even a little, you don't belong. If you think ridicule is an appropriate response to other peoples' woes, you fit right in.

And Republican disillusionment with Mr. Bush does not appear to signal any change in that regard. On the contrary, the leading candidates for the Republican nomination have gone out of their way to condemn "socialism," which is G.O.P.-speak for any attempt to help the less fortunate.

So once again, if you're poor or you're sick or you don't have health insurance, remember this: these people think your problems are funny.

Posted by: Paul | October 5, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The notion that Gen Petraeus "has to follow orders as a military man" are true but misleading. Petraeus is also a senior military leader who is charged with providing advice to our political leaders. Otherwise, we should just put political appointees in those jobs instead of Generals.

Gen Petraeus not only has a responsibility to those above him (political leaders) but also to those below him (soldiers) not to mention the nation as a whole. Also, make no mistake that when he went before Congress that he is not allowed to parrot what the President has asked him to say (that would be perjury), he has to provide his own answers.

There is precedent for senior military leaders to dispute that which is said by both civilian and other military leaders without violating the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). The most powerful weapon in Gen Petraeus' arsenal is that he could quit in protest. He does not even need to speak out before, during or after his departure but he can make it clear to the President that that is why he is leaving. See the "Revolt of the Admirals" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolt_of_the_Admirals

All this being said, I do not think Gen Petraeus feels the need to do any of this. He was chosen for his current post due to his support for the surge and has long been saying how things are working (and will improve) in Iraq.

To answer the original question, I believe that the MoveOn add was in poor taste and deserved criticism. However, I can see where they were coming from and Gen Petraeus was fair game. The administration and Gen Petraeus put him out there as the "face of the surge".

Mr. Limbaugh's comments were also quite deserving of what came his way. I have read the whole transcript and I do think the left is blowing it out of proportion. However, at any level beyond calling out a specific instance (and Mr. Limbaugh clearly goes beyond the one phoney soldier his defenders claim) he is attacking anyone who serves in uniform that does not eat GOP talking points for breakfast. That is a violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.

inthePentagon

Posted by: inthePentagon | October 5, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

After a rigorous 12-step program, I was able to stop writing blog posts about right-wing clown Ann Coulter, who goes out of her way to say stupid things in exchange for media attention.

Alas, I'm off the wagon. Telling the New York Observer that women shouldn't vote is too good not to mention.

"If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

this is getting a little ridiculous but, having read the complete transcript of Rush's conversation, I do not see how anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the English language can plausibly maintain that Rush was talking about Jesse McBeth. The real phony soldier does not enter the discussion until well after the phony soldier comments.

I am amazed at the ability of right and left wing partisans to inhabit a different reality when it comes to the outrageous statements made by the extremists in their groups. Both Moveon.org and Rush Limbaugh made offensive comments, as is their constitutional right to do, but this bickering about which comment is worse based on one's ideological slant is akin to medieval theologians arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 5, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Here's an amusing postscript to the whole Rush Limbaugh flap: Far from conceding that there's anything wrong with Rush's remark that troops who don't agree with Bush are "phony soldiers," Republicans in D.C. are now raising money off of Rush's sliming of antiwar troops.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has just sent out a blast email to supporters asking them to sign a petition protesting the Dem persecution of Rush. At the top of the email is a link back to the NRCC's donations page where you can contribute money. The petition -- sent our way by a D.C. pal -- was written by GOP Rep. Eric Cantor, a leading Rush defender.

And the link to donate to the NRCC, while not explicitly embedded in this text, is at the top of the email.
Just to be clear, I'm not hitting the outrage button here. I'm just pointing this out because it's such a perfect illustration of the way your modern GOP functions in these situations. To fully grasp this, try to picture the Democrats reacting to the GOP's assault on them over MoveOn's anti-Petraeus ad by refusing en masse to condemn the ad and then blasting out an email, complete with a fundraising link, lamenting the persecution of MoveOn.

It just wouldn't happen -- out of both politics and principle. Dems have internalized the idea that the parameters of the debate in D.C. are such that doing such a thing would amount to instant mass political immolation. And -- agree with them or not -- some Democrats actually would hesitate to do this out of a genuine belief that Petraeus shouldn't have been called "General BetrayUs."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

One of the last justifications for continuing the U.S. occupation of Iraq despite overwhelming opposition from Iraqis, Americans and the rest of humanity has come down to this: U.S. forces must remain in order to battle "al Qaeda in Iraq."

Like so many of the arguments presented in the United States, the idea is not only intellectually bankrupt, it's also the 180-degree opposite of reality. The truth of the matter is that only the presence of U.S. forces allows the group called "al Qaeda in Iraq" (AQI) to survive and function, and setting a timetable for the occupation to end is the best way to beat them. You won't hear that perspective in Washington, but according to Iraqis with whom we spoke, it is the conventional wisdom in much of the country.

The Bush administration has made much of what it calls "progress" in the Sunni-dominated provinces of central Iraq. But when we spoke to leaders there, the message we got was very different from what supporters of a long-term occupation claim: Many Sunnis are, indeed, lined up against groups like AQI, but that doesn't mean they are "joining" with coalition forces or throwing their support behind the Iraqi government.

Several sources we reached in the Sunni community agreed that AQI, a predominantly Sunni insurgent group that did not exist prior to the U.S. invasion -- it started in 2005 -- will not exist for long after coalition forces depart. AQI is universally detested by large majorities of Iraqis of all ethnic and sectarian backgrounds because of its fundamentalist interpretation of religious law and efforts to set up a separate Sunni state, and its only support -- and it obviously does enjoy some support -- is based solely on its opposition to the deeply unpopular U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/64429/

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

The Post fronts word that U.S. military reports on the Sept. 16 shooting involving Blackwater guards say the contractors weren't provoked and used excessive force, which would appear to confirm the Iraqi government's view that the contractor is to blame for the incident.

The paper also seems to confirm what the NYT revealed earlier this week that a group of Blackwater guards were involved in a second round of shooting against civilians after they had moved more than 100 feet away from Nisour Square. Besides statements from witnesses, the U.S. military also reviewed video footage from the scene

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

How much do you want to bet that Limbaugh has big money invested in companies that are hugely profiting frm this war? How much do you want to bet that he wants it to go on forever, no matter how many die, because he is personally profiting, in a very big way, from it?

His motivation is money, no matter how bloody.

Posted by: Sue | October 5, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Not having heard Rush's show myself (nor having any desire to), and with both sides of this firmly convinced that they are in the right, all I will say is that the liberals' version is completely consistent with Rush's track record, and not hard at all to believe. Rush defenders do not have history on their side.
But as I said earlier, it's free speech. Both MoveOn and Rush have the right to say what they said, just as I have the right to say that I believe Rush cynically exploits the fear, resentment, and (in some cases) intellectual simplicity of those whom he knows rely on him as a source of news. He himself may or may not believe in or even care tht much about the truth of what he says, but it has kept well-fed and supplied with OxyContin for many years.

Posted by: Bokonon | October 5, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

The continued attacks on George Soros are a very thinly-veiled anti-semitism. The man is a Holocaust survivor who came to this country and made a personal fortune by hard work. the very story of the American Dream. And now he tries to make a difference in the country he loves, dares to exercise his right to free speech -- and gets attacked by it, by rabid right who want to silence him.

Free speech is only for republicans you know.

Posted by: Sick to my stomach | October 5, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Falker out :)

Its Focker out you idiot

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

'Rush's comments were off the cuff, and he has repeatedly said he was only referring to those fake 'soldiers' who have trumped up, false resumes and are feted by anti-war groups.'

BALONEY, JD. and you know it. Limbaugh spends his life-- and makes lots of money doing it -- attacking democrats. that's all he does, every day. whether they are in military and serving their country -- it doesn't matter. he's a vicious attack machine -- tht's all he lives for -- a scum-sucking, bottom feeding lowlife. if you want to defend him, it only shows that you are so partisan you don't give a damn about human decency.

Posted by: Jan | October 5, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Whether or not Petraeus is a public figure has nothing to do with whether or not he is a military man. Plenty of military people are public figures. In addition, I will point out, again, that yes, he has to obey orders. He does not have to write editorials a few weeks before the 2004 election strongly suggesting that we must continue this wonderful progress in Iraq because the enemies of Iraq know what's at stake. I do not think he got an order to send a thinly veiled endorsement of Bush to the Washington Post.

Posted by: Jen | October 5, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

BEST COMMENTS, ALL BY MILITARY PERSONNEL:


'As far as I'm concerned, MoveOn questioned the information that Petraeus was bringing to Congress. The reason why he betrayed us (I'm from a military family) is because he extended the deployments of combat troops, in theatre, at the END of their tours... and STILL didn't get the political solution the surge was to bring to the situation.'


'I think Rush's comments are far more offensive. Gen. Petraeus was supposedly given the nickname "Betray Us" by his own soldiers first...and while the Move-On ad was clearly in very poor taste, it did not attack the army, or any sector of the military, in particular. Compare that to Rush's comments, which attacked a wide swathe of the military--simply for not agreeing with him. Rush contests that his comments were taken out of context, and perhaps they were to some degree. But I read the transcript, and he clearly mentioned Congressman Murtha, who is certainly an actual veteran, and he further stated that any soldier who joined after 9/11, and knew they could get called up to Iraq, has no right to complain. I am such a soldier; I joined in the years after 9/11 and I knew I was going to Iraq. It didn't bother me; I wanted to serve my country. It wasn't until later, during and after my 2005 service in Ramadi, that I realized how misguided our disasterous invasion of Iraq was, and I am now very much against the continuation of the Iraq war. I think my Republican party has horribly mishandled the war, and never should have waged it, certainly not until we were finished in Afghanistan. I personally take offense to Rush's remarks, as do many others in the military that I have seen. None of us were that bothered by one of our Generals being attacked. A General such as Petraeus has his own voice and power. We nameless, faceless anti-Iraq war soldiers do not--and we are the ones dying, not the Generals.'


'As a member of the military, I definetly feel more insulted by the comment made by Rush Limbaugh. While the comments made by Move-on against General Petraeus were wrong, the comments made by Rush, which I have listened to and read in their entirety, are much worse than anything move-on said. In this soldier's opinion, Rush Limbaugh deserves a real tour in Iraq, in army fatigues with an M-16 in his hands. The world would then see who the phony one is, and it isn't the soldiers, its Rush Limbaugh.'

Posted by: BEST COMMENTS | October 5, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I still don't understand how anyone can think Rush was talking about Jesse McBeth. Rush didn't mention him until several minutes after the "phony soldiers" remark. And the caller said that "If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve." That's what the phony soldier remark was about. The only soldiers who oppose the war are phony soldiers; real soldiers are proud to serve, they want to be in Iraq, and they're willing to sacrifice.

If Rush was talking about McBeth, why didn't he mention McBeth for several more minutes? Rush and the caller were discussing a previous caller to the show, who claimed to be an anti-war soldier. Rush and the second caller agreed that the first caller couldn't be a Republican or a soldier, since he was against the war. That's the context.

Just be honest. Admit that Rush Limbaugh said only Democrats and "phony soldiers" oppose the war. Limbaugh has said far worse and more inflammatory things in the past. He makes a living out of bashing liberals and making inflammatory statements. Don't pretend that he doesn't. Just admit that he was a jerk and get over it.

Posted by: Blarg | October 5, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Let's get the hyperventilating done with, shall we? I've read the complete transcript and looked carefully at the timeline.

The simple difference is this: Media Matters and the people piling on Rush KNOW they're making a long reach by trying to decontextualize his statement and impose an interpretation on it that they know is untrue. They KNOW his reference was to Jesse McBeth et al but just don't CARE: the attack is too choice to let go.

By contrast, MoveOn's juvenile, politically stupid ad was a direct, personal attack on Gen. Petraeus. There was no room for ambiguity or interpretation.

Look, if I ran the Soros --excuse me, Democratic -- Party and the Moveon/Media Matters/MSNBC apparat, I'd probably pile on Limbaugh too, just to get the news off of the Moveon screwup.

Posted by: Deeper | October 5, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

and now that everyone's weighed in on Moveon.org vs Patraeus, let me threadjack:

Very telling article on Rudy today on MSNBC, it recounts moments from when he had a radio show, answering questions (and complaints, whines, and accusations) from NYers

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21124453/

Frankly, this is the Rudy I remember, not the 9/11 version; he's an honest, straight shooting guy. You can love him or hate him, but at least you know where he stands. Actually, he reminds me of Obama a little bit (ie, he won't spend 10 minutes parsing words or generating fake laughs...)

Posted by: JD | October 5, 2007 8:14 AM | Report abuse

PAWLEYS ISLAND, South Carolina (AP) - Republican John McCain said Thursday that as president he would appoint Alan Greenspan to lead a review of the nation's tax code -- even if the former Federal Reserve chairman was dead.

"If he's alive or dead it doesn't matter. If he's dead, just prop him up and put some dark glasses on him like, like 'Weekend at Bernie's,"' McCain joked. "Let's get the best minds in America together and fix this tax code."

The 81-year-old Greenspan served as chairman of the Fed for 181/2 years.

Campaigning in early-voting South Carolina, McCain was asked about his support for a flat tax.

"If the fair tax crossed my desk, I'd sign it. If a flat tax did, I'd sign it," McCain said while noting criticism of the concept. "What we all agree: It has to be made simpler and fairer."

Posted by: umm... wtf? | October 5, 2007 8:06 AM | Report abuse


Another influential lawmaker, Rep. Henry Waxman, another California Democrat and chairman of the House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee, has harshly criticized the State Department and its inspector general for failing to follow up on allegations of malfeasance and fraud by the embassy contractors.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Moveon's comments were deliberate and pre-meditated, and the wounds are very self-inflicted. They have not apologized for them, nor have Hillary or most other Democrat candidates denounced them.

Rush's comments were off the cuff, and he has repeatedly said he was only referring to those fake 'soldiers' who have trumped up, false resumes and are feted by anti-war groups.

The only thing they have in common is, the Senate should not be wasting one moment discussing either one; there is far more important work to do.

Posted by: JD | October 5, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON (AP) -- The opening of a mammoth, $600 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which had been planned for last month, has now been delayed well into next year, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The Vatican-sized compound, which will be the world's largest diplomatic mission, has been beset by construction and logistical problems.

"They are substantially behind at this point," and it would be surprising if any offices or living quarters could be occupied before the end of the year, one official told The Associated Press.

Problems identified so far are related to the complex's physical plant, including electrical systems, and do not pose a security risk, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The official also said the delays would have no direct cost to taxpayers because contractor First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting Co. had agreed to deliver for a set $592 million price.

That official, and another who works in Iraq, said it had been clear for some time that the promised September completion date could not be met and that State Department officials had been overly optimistic in insisting the timeline was realistic.'

$600 million - 'world's largest mission' -- gee, sounds like we'll be there forever, doesn't it?

Posted by: Sam | October 5, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

(CNN) -- Ray Herrera does not mince words about what his 12-year-old son, Jack, went through.


Jack Herrera is one of six people to die this year because of the naegleria fowleri amoeba.

1 of 3


"It's beyond description to watch your most precious, beautiful, wonderful, loved one become a vegetable essentially and then die," Herrera said.

In August, Jack returned from summer camp that included swims in Texas' Lake LBJ. Five days after coming home he was dead, killed by a microscopic amoeba.

"He was the happiest boy anyone ever knew," Herrera said.

Jack is one of six people to die this summer in the United States from the naegleria fowleri amoeba.

All were believed by health officials to have contracted the amoeba from swimming in warm, freshwater lakes, rivers or natural springs. There is no risk from properly chlorinated swimming pools, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The amoeba enters the human body through the nose. It then travels to the brain, where it begins to feed.

Symptoms of the amoeba's rampage begin 1 to 14 days after infection and resemble the flu. At the onset of those symptoms the amoeba victim's health swiftly declines.


Until this summer there were only 24 known cases of the virus in the U.S. since 1989, according to the CDC.

Health officials cannot explain the spike in cases this summer, except that weather plays a factor.

"Because it's been such a hot summer, that has contributed to warmer water temperatures and lower water levels and that makes an ideal environment for the amoeba," said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine of the Arizona Department of Health, which is investigating a death last month there tied to the amoeba.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I think that the resolution on Limbaugh is just the Democrats' attempt to see the Republicans' bet and raise them in the card game of political absurdity. The Republicans have a long tradition of mock indignation over anything from hair cuts to comments on Daily Kos to newspaper ads. The Democrats finally responded with the threat of mutually assured absurdity. Congress could vote on resolutions denouncing Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michael Moore, and MoveOn.org every day--or it could do some old fashioned governing and pass a few laws.

The ball is now back in the Republicans' court; Republicans can call a draw or play out the last days of their terms and the Bush administration lobbing non-binding resolutions at Democrats.

Posted by: saltthefries | October 5, 2007 3:55 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, dingy harry and the other nitwits took what Rush said out of context. He actually was speaking about some "phony" soldiers - people that pretended to be soldiers from the war in Iraq and were lying...dont let the facts get in the way of liberal hatred...and jealousy...

Posted by: Darrell | October 5, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

I am a left leaning Democrat who hated the MoveOn ad about Petraeus as much as I hated Rush Limbaugh's comments.

I offer two thoughts:

1) In no way can Petraeus be considered a public figure. He is a military man who has no choice to do what his commanding officer asks of him. I think everyone -- regardless of party affiliation -- needs to be reminded of this.

2) Rush Limbaugh, on the other hand, is a public figure -- and this he chose. That said, I once asked a very smart, right wing Republican friend, why he listens to Rush Limbaugh when he's too smart to know that half of what comes out of the guy's mouth is just plain idiocy, and he said, "he's entertaining." My friend was right - in that Rush is, first and foremost, an entertainer. The really sad part about Rush Limbaugh is that the average American doesn't know the difference between entertainment and fact.

So from my point of view, while I have a problem with both the MoveOn ad and Limbaugh's comment, I'm simply glad that I live in a country where both a group and an individual have the freedom of speech to say whatever it is they want to say -- no matter how idiotic. Further, those of us who are offended have the power to stop of them if we dare try, and it's really very simple. In MoveOn's case - ignore them and whatever you do, don't give them money. In Limbaugh's case, don't listen to him; if he loses the ratings, he loses his show. And to this point, I propose we don't discuss Rush or MoveOn after this post for as long as they get attention, they become significant. In my world anyway, neither has any significance whatsoever.

Posted by: FemaleNick | October 5, 2007 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Professional soldiers are supposed to obey orders and defend the nation's interests. Publicly criticizing the war is not part of the job. Critical thinking, in fact, may be detrimental to a soldier's performance.

Some journalists have pointed out that RL's "phony soldier" remark was within the context of a discussion about Jesse MacBeth, a former soldier who lied about having served in Iraq. "Phony" would be a good way to describe MacBeth.

The Moveon.org controversy was blown way out of proportion, it seems. Though the ad was childish, I don't think it warranted the outrage it received. Instead of being offended and denouncing the ad, Republicans should have argued against the suggestions implicit in it. They should have also pointed out how juvenile it was to alter General Petraeus' name like that. Instead they let their emotions get the best of them and denounced the ad as unpatriotic and treasonous. They ended up looking just as immature as Moveon.org.

Rush's comment differs from Moveon.org's in that his could only be construed as name calling when taken out of the context of his discussion on Jesse MacBeth. The word "phony" isn't used exclusively in name calling, but Moveon.org's ad was definitely name calling.

Posted by: Lcs210 | October 5, 2007 12:28 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter. No votes are won or lost on these things because the only people who listen to Rush or go to Moveon.org are just people who already agree with such ideas.

Posted by: jojo | October 5, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

To Rush Limbaugh. My boy PAt Tillman from San Jose, CA. Was a phoney soldier.

Posted by: rufus | October 5, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is this. Rush Limbaugh is a crud-sucking, pill-popping bottom feeder that will say anything to reenergize his career. MoveOn actually believes they are trying to save lives. When it comes down to motives (which, realistically speaking, is what drives everything that we do.) I think I'll listen to MoveOn's hyperbole rather than the snake trying to tempt Eve into eating that particular batch of hash brownies.

Posted by: chemborg1 | October 4, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

great post Li, couldn't agree more.

Posted by: Rob Millette | October 4, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I think Rush's comments are far more offensive. Gen. Petraeus was supposedly given the nickname "Betray Us" by his own soldiers first...and while the Move-On ad was clearly in very poor taste, it did not attack the army, or any sector of the military, in particular. Compare that to Rush's comments, which attacked a wide swathe of the military--simply for not agreeing with him. Rush contests that his comments were taken out of context, and perhaps they were to some degree. But I read the transcript, and he clearly mentioned Congressman Murtha, who is certainly an actual veteran, and he further stated that any soldier who joined after 9/11, and knew they could get called up to Iraq, has no right to complain. I am such a soldier; I joined in the years after 9/11 and I knew I was going to Iraq. It didn't bother me; I wanted to serve my country. It wasn't until later, during and after my 2005 service in Ramadi, that I realized how misguided our disasterous invasion of Iraq was, and I am now very much against the continuation of the Iraq war. I think my Republican party has horribly mishandled the war, and never should have waged it, certainly not until we were finished in Afghanistan. I personally take offense to Rush's remarks, as do many others in the military that I have seen. None of us were that bothered by one of our Generals being attacked. A General such as Petraeus has his own voice and power. We nameless, faceless anti-Iraq war soldiers do not--and we are the ones dying, not the Generals.

Posted by: Li | October 4, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

The fact that so many Congressional Democrats were willing to "sell out" General Petraeus in return for moveon.org campaign contributions is an example of how corrupt our Congress really is. Too many in Congress seem like little more than "prostitutes" who sell votes and influence in return for campaign contributions and other perks.

Posted by: Chris Baker | October 4, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

everyone knows rush hates the military if he ever got off his ass and left the country they would all shoot him by "accident"

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I am a phoney soldier there is a phone in my butt

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

This is Petraeus' editorial. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49283-2004Sep25.html If you don't bother to link to it, it appeared 6 weeks before the election and does have language in it about "the enemies of Iraq realize what is at stake...." It was widely interpreted as an endorsement of Bush and a misleadingly upbeat characterization of the war. I admit I had not read the original text, only excerpts, and you do have to kind of read between the lines to get the Bush endorsement out of it. Still, I don't think it was particularly appropriate and I think you can infer his motives from it.

Posted by: Jen | October 4, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that if you Democrats and liberal are so Inteligent, that you could not tell the difference by reading the transcript or listening to the full story, instead of listening to the sound bites. Maybe you are like me and are to lazy to read the story. I myself listened to the full 8 minutes and made up my own mind. Thats the difference between a follower and a leader. I think for myself

Posted by: Wes | October 4, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

As a member of the military, I definetly feel more insulted by the comment made by Rush Limbaugh. While the comments made by Move-on against General Petraeus were wrong, the comments made by Rush, which I have listened to and read in their entirety, are much worse than anything move-on said. In this soldier's opinion, Rush Limbaugh deserves a real tour in Iraq, in army fatigues with an M-16 in his hands. The world would then see who the phony one is, and it isn't the soldiers, its Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: Rob Millette | October 4, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

tarheel--I DID take a few minutes to listen to the tape. He said exactly that anti-war soldiers are "phony" soldiers.

Until you show me a Rush quote where he says that anti-war soldiers are just as good and brave as the pro-war soldiers, you have no case, none.

Posted by: roo | October 4, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I'd say the ratio of actual outrage to phony outrage for both events is pretty equal. Which is to say, pretty damn small.

Democrats would have been better off waiting a few more weeks before going after Limbaugh so that it didn't smack so much of revenge. Limbaugh regularly says things that are over the line and it would not be hard to find something to go after him with. Plus, Ann Coulter is out with a new book. Surely there is something outrageous in there.

I'm pretty tired of both parties playing the "gotcha" game and demanding apologies from each other.

Posted by: Teresa | October 4, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

CC: Both issues are a temptest in a teapot and not worth all of the media attention or political capital.

I wish our legislators would focus on the REAL problems facing our country, and the media on reporting the true progress, or lack of it, on those problems.... keep things in perspective.

Perhaps real leadership in DC after the 2008 elections will (hopefully) refocus the nation. Everyone hum.... "I can dream, can't I?"

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | October 4, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

If you took the time to actually listen to the clip and the few minutes that followed, Rush was not saying that all troops that oppose the war are "phony" just a certain soldier that made up a fake bio claiming that he fought when he really didn't.

Chris, take the time to report the facts buddy.

Posted by: tarheel | October 4, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

he's got balls. Brains, lacking

"RUSH: As you know, Wesley Clark yesterday all over television lying through his teeth about me. He was claiming that I have a long history of disrespecting and criticizing uniformed military personnel. So I decided to hit back, call him on the lies, and then ask him again, "How are you sleeping at night, General, knowing you could have done something about the genocide of 800,000 Rwandans?""

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Cowards .I'm really am done now. All the scare cockroaches can come out. I'm not shining the light on your lies, gop cockroaches. Continue your lies and smears.

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

""Precedent" and "precedence."

Posted by: Grammar Police | October 4, 2007 07:36 PM
"

Sorry. I don't worry abou tthat. As long as you can sound it out. I'm good. Posting to many posts to worry about something as trival as spelling :)

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"Now, there's something I can do, and I'm in the process of doing it. It's the least I can do. Your organization is choosing to raise money, using my name, and I'm happy about that. It's the least I can do for you guys. If you need to raise money, and my name raises money for a lot of people, you go right ahead because, Brian, it's going to come back to me. Here's how it works. You keep using your money that I raise for you to run ads on radio. If you buy time on my affiliates -- and it's smart to do, that's going to reach you the largest audience -- we use your money to make money for my station. So it's a win-win here, Brian. I'm happy to raise money for you, and I'm happy when you give it back to me."

Posted by: Searing the troops for personal profit | October 4, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

"Precedent" and "precedence."

Posted by: Grammar Police | October 4, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

"I will censure you for being ignorant about the Constitution. You should be censured for being a fool. If we're going to start censuring people, let's start censuring John Kerry, and Jack Murtha, and Dick Durbin, and Harry Reid. These are the people talking down the troops. Let's censure them! "

wow. This guy deserves the millions he makes?

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"RUSH: I was wondering this morning when I got here to the EIB broadcast complex, I was wondering if the Democrats might be feeling as though they had opened up a Pandora's Box. Did you hear about Ken Salazar? Ken Salazar, a senator from Colorado, wants to censure me? This guy, he might be smarter than we think. Now, I don't know if he knows the Constitution. When is the last time, Senator Salazar, that you read the Constitution? You have no power to censure me or any other private citizen. Do you realize what a fool you sound like when you want to censure me? You'd have to make me a senator to censure me, and you might want to do that because then I couldn't do the radio show. I'd have to take a pay cut, give up the radio show, and then become a senator. But if you did that, I would tilt the majority to the Republicans in the Senate. That's the only way you can censure me. You can't censure private citizens, even though you're talking about doing it. But I do have an idea.

Senator, I will censure you. I will censure you for repeating lies about a private citizen! (laughing)"

Posted by: rush's take | October 4, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Well said jan. Same with o'reilly. I think this was all a setup. Like the movon outrage, to silence the left.

IF it was an honset mistake they would just, pardon the pun, moveon. But thye didn't. They turned it into a partisan witchhunt. they are done, and deserve all the embarrasment and pain that this get's them

Posted by: Jkrish | October 4, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned, MoveOn questioned the information that Petraeus was bringing to Congress. The reason why he betrayed us (I'm from a military family) is because he extended the deployments of combat troops, in theatre, at the END of their tours... and STILL didn't get the political solution the surge was to bring to the situation.

(Other Generals who betrayed our trust -- Powell, Miers, and Pace. Most all other Generals did as honest a job as possible under this C-i-C.)

Rush Limbaugh had better things to do than serve in the military when it was his turn, yet he makes blanket statements about combat troops who served in this combat situation and simply don't share his opinion. To do that to the VETS of the war that he's arguing over is despicable.
He refuses to even debate with VetsVote.org!

I think what he said is forgivable. What's not forgivable is that he tries to back out of what he clearly said. There's a tape and a full transcript! Does he think we're all just stupid?

His fans are proud to be called "Dittoheads." That tells me all I need to know about them. Possibly the world's most gullible human beings. Sad.

Posted by: Jan | October 4, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"but it is legal under US law"

But agaisnt international law. So is that illegal. Obviously, you are saying international law means nothing and petreus is only bound by his code of conduct. I disagree. That's fine. the constitution gives us freedom to disagree. or does it? Only republcians have free speech. The rest of us have to pay for what we say. Don't put out a censure on me :)

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

"We can debate the wisdom of the invasion (I think it was a colossal blunder) but it is legal under US law.
"

Invading a country to take their resources is legal? I am a former army infantry soldier. Lets see if I can prove you wrong.

"Articles 41 and 42 of the U.N. Charter declare that no member state has the right to enforce any resolution with armed force unless the Security Council decides there has been a material breach of it resolution, and determines that all nonmilitary means of enforcement have been exhausted. Then, the Council must specifically authorize the use of military force, as it did in November 1990 with Resolution 678, in response to Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in violation of Security Council resolutions passed the previous August. The Security Council has not authorized any use of force for subsequent violations involving Iraq."

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

"Ok. I feel your side in terms of rush. But how did the REPUBLICANS LET THEIR REPRESENTATIVES censure moveon's free speech. I feel you. Believe me. Like I said I wish they wouldn't have censured moveon and opened this can. But they did. We can't live in the past. We must look towards the future."


One more point. I don't think you republcains realize the concept of "PResidence". PResidence. Bush is setting president for new presidents, unless we say "this is not ok."

The moveon ad set a "presidence" in america. That you cannot say what you want and the public shpere. tHE RULES MUST APPLY to all if we are a country of laws. That is my point. If the gop is going to set teh standard then they cannot complain when the same standards are applied to them.

Right?

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

" I just think, as I think Mark and Blarg were saying, that we have to acknowledge that like it or not, we live in an economic and legal system in which it is permissible for Limbaugh to be as offensive as he wants (within FCC guidelines, of course). "


Ok. I feel your side in terms of rush. But how did the REPUBLICANS LET THEIR REPRESENTATIVES censure moveon's free speech. I feel you. Believe me. Like I said I wish they wouldn't have censured moveon and opened this can. But they did. We can't live in the past. We must look towards the future.

The gop set the rules. I'm just playing by the rules they set. Don't blame me.

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

"uNLESS they are givin what they feel is an unlawful order. Then their duty is to stand down. that was a political choice that Petreus made. Sorry. I was reading and couldn't let that slide unchalleged."

Posted by: JKrishnamurti


As a retired military officer, I am very familiar with the concept of legal versus illegal orders. There is nothing illegal according to US and the Uniform Code of Military Justice in what General Petraeus is doing in Iraq. While some soldiers may have violated military law in specific incidents, the invasion was authorized by Congress. Iraq was in violation of a number of UN resolutions. We can debate the wisdom of the invasion (I think it was a colossal blunder) but it is legal under US law.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 4, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Rufus, me no fascist. Not even close. I just think, as I think Mark and Blarg were saying, that we have to acknowledge that like it or not, we live in an economic and legal system in which it is permissible for Limbaugh to be as offensive as he wants (within FCC guidelines, of course).
Freedom of speech, dude - the same freedom that allows you to go on and on about fascists and the "Yale plan." I hate what Limbaugh says and stands for, but I would rather go on hating that than live in a society where he was forbidden by the government from saying it. I'm glad that MoveOn was able to say what they said about Petraeus (although I don't think it really changed any minds), and of course I think that's more defensible logically and morally than Rush's stuff, which comes up to the line of slander but doesn't cross it. Look at it this way - their right to say what they said is also your right, and everyone else's. I'd rather continue to ignore Rush than not be able to speak my mind.

Posted by: Bokonon | October 4, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Great point above.

The differance is,

The left has to pay for what they say. the right get's paid for what they say. Who is more at fault? How can we fix the nation? Who is to blame for dividing us?

Posted by: JKRish | October 4, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Oops...the third item I started to add (but deleted) was that Rush extended the comments he denied making (by calling Rep Murtha a 'phony soldier' and comparing another anti-war soldier to a suicide bomber).

That was too long, so I dropped it & then forgot to change "three differences" to "two differences". So sorry. :-)

Posted by: Scott in PacNW | October 4, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

If "everybody is thinking" what Rush is saying, we are stupider as a nation than I had thought we were. I would guess that not everyone was on the same page as the Great White Whale - I know that my own thoughts were somewhat different.

Posted by: Bokonon | October 4, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

And that is why he must be removed nonp. He's making to much money to willingly do what's best for the nation. Same with Fox.

They are making a fortune. they are supported by big oil big drug and defense contractors. THEY ARE PROPGANDISTS. The same cannot be said of moveon, or meidamatters. The left groups are doing what's best for the nation, in their minds. Rush and o'reilly hannity and fox are doing what's best for their bottom line.

And you people say you want to raise the level of political discourse inthis country? Do something about the people who are making millions destroying the country and pitting us agaisnt each other.

That's all I've said here. Once these fascists are gone so am I. But not until then, Mark, boko, blarg.

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

The two incidents are remarkably similar, with three differences: (1) the sides, which reversed; (2) MoveOn.org paid to publish their statement, whereas Rush was the one being paid for making his statement.

Posted by: Scott in PacNW | October 4, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Of course there's a difference between MoveOn and Limbaugh. Its apples and oranges.

MoveOn's ad headline was an ill-considered insult in the political arena which made it through their editorial process.

Limbaugh's comments are always made with the knowledge that he is in the entertainment arena where "there's no such thing as bad publicity." As long as his name is in the news he gets ratings and ratings = bucks.

We contribute to that each time we chime in with a comment either in condemantion or support. Limbaugh makes money either way.

Posted by: NonP | October 4, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I found Moveon's characterization of Petraeus needlessly inflammatory, but not inaccurate: Petraeus appeared before congress to sell the Bush administrations failed war plan one more time. The administration has not taken good care of the US troops, or US policy.

To cite one example, Bush refused the recommendations of the Iraq study group for true regional diplomacy. He prefers to stick with his 'gut' reflex for military action, even when all the experts agree the problem is political.

Petraeus, for reason's of his own, has lent his own credibility to shore up Bush's tattered authority. Betrayal? That's a little strong. No one was suggesting Petraeus was actually a traitor. But many US soldiers will die needlessly in this prolonged war.

Limbaugh, on the other hand, is impugning serving US troops -- some of whom have died in the line of duty recently. He's doing it as just the latest instance of smear tactics. Everyone who opposes Limbaugh is a traitor.

Bush supporters have been trying for years to kindle a shouting match in which opponents of the Bush policies can be painted as denouncing the troops. But the rhetoric is coming from the right.

Posted by: alex | October 4, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"I do not want to belabor the point, but I am hoping you understand that if you condemn my political speech that is YOUR right, but Congress is prohibited from deciding that my non-violent political speech is beyond the pale of acceptability, or from deciding that your criticism of it is unacceptable"

you people are full of it mark. Where was the free speech outrage back then. Why did you not stand by the constitution then?

The road runs one way. We both see this. No fair minded person could see anything differant after the last month or so.

YOUR PARTY IS DONE FOR A GENERATION.

Now you know why.

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Simple. The cowardly Democratic leadership jumped on board to defend Move On while the immoral GOP defends Rush. Sad, really. Also, I am sure Matt Lauer went on the air to defend Rush, mostly likely by saying, "well, he's just saying what everybody's thinking."

Posted by: Greg in LA | October 4, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"Petraeus wrote editorials about the course we must take in Iraq. He wrote editorials about how we had to re-elect Bush." - Jen

This is the first time I've seen the re-elect Bush editorial comment. Jen, do you have a source for that?

That would be highly inappropriate for an Active Duty officer, or worse.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

BUT "Congress shall make no law abridging...the freedom of speech" AND IT HAS NO BUSINESS passing resolutions intended to intimidate Move.On, or Limbaugh, or Rufus, or Mark in the pursuit of political speech."

But that goes agaisnt what you have been saying all day today. Trying to get cc to silecne me. How do you justify your double think?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

You know me. I'm for us all posting our posts and paying for articles and letting the voters make up their mind. the gop does not agree with that. they try and force their will and opinions on others. does that street run both ways?

So if O'Reilly and Hannity and Rush are trying to silecne and get leftists fired, what is there stoping me from recipricating? O'Reilly gets people fired everyday, for a living. Becasue he is "offened" by what he says. Fox/rush/hannity/oreilly offends me bneyond beleif. Do the same rules apply?

The differance is, one side tells the truth. One side is trying to SAVE lives one side is trying to TAKE lives. Which is more offensive. Fox and rush have the blod of thousands on their hands. Moveon?

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

If they are going to censure moveon or meidamatters or any left orginization, the same rules apply to the left."

to the right

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I feel you ghost writer. I was strongly agaisnt the moveon ad and though tit stifled MY free speech. I said, "If they can cenusre moveon, how is rush fox and o'reilly still on the air."

so I don't feel like I am being a hypocrite. The gop seems to make all the rules. do the rules run both ways or one way. If one way, we have a fascist goverment that is not free. If they run both ways then we know the runs and know what to work with.

If they are going to censure moveon or meidamatters or any left orginization, the same rules apply to the left. I would have prefered that the republcaisn left the ad alone. But they didn't do that did they. So who's fault is this really?

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Rufi, obviously that was me at 6:15P. I am outta here!

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 4, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

And rufus, if you go back a couple of days, you will find that I was critical of Limbaugh, too.

I do not want to belabor the point, but I am hoping you understand that if you condemn my political speech that is YOUR right, but Congress is prohibited from deciding that my non-violent political speech is beyond the pale of acceptability, or from deciding that your criticism of it is unacceptable.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 4, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Petraeus wrote editorials about the course we must take in Iraq. He wrote editorials about how we had to re-elect Bush. He did neither one at the direction of civilian leadership. I hope.

Posted by: Jen | October 4, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

rufus, you make my point. I was disgusted with the Move.On ad and later, with what Limbaugh was reported to have said.

Both would, in my view, deserve scorn.

BUT "Congress shall make no law abridging...the freedom of speech" AND IT HAS NO BUSINESS passing resolutions intended to intimidate Move.On, or Limbaugh, or Rufus, or Mark in the pursuit of political speech.

And I personally thank you for being on topic!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Should cc censure you mark. For talking out of both sides of your mouth. At least I have principles.

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

""Were he not a public figure, the statement would be defamatory unless proven true. Public figures are fair game for otherwise defamatory statements because of NYT v. Sullivan and the reach of the 1st A.
That does not make it right.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 11, 2007 05:10 PM
"

"

What changed in two weeks mark?

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

They are the same insofar as neither statement is getting us any closer to fixing the real problem in Iraq. Can we please stop caring about this?

Posted by: pamackie | October 4, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"Were he not a public figure, the statement would be defamatory unless proven true. Public figures are fair game for otherwise defamatory statements because of NYT v. Sullivan and the reach of the 1st A.
That does not make it right.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 11, 2007 05:10 PM
"

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

coveiant mark. Let's see what you said about the moveon ad

"I wrote this morning at 8:33A:


Suggesting that Petraeus is trying to "cook the books" and that he will "betray us" falls short of calling him a traitor, but it does impugn his character and accuse him of dereliction of duty.

I think that MoveOn deserves universal scorn for this tactic. It was the kind of gratuitous insult, with sophomoric wordplay, that characterizes the effluent of Ms. Coulter, among others.
------------------------------------
By now, MoveOn has heard the general testify that he does not know if there is any connection between the tactical successes and our national security.
___________________________________
Nevertheless, I suspect that they will not apologize.
I suppose they and you who believe that calling a general guilty of a court martial offense [violations of at least Articles 107 and 131-134] for testimony you ANTICIPATE you will not agree with all think you are morally and culturally superior to Ms. Coulter. Get over it. Colin, you of all people know better.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 11, 2007 04:47 PM

"

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2007/09/moveonorg_m_or_menace.html


This is why your party is done for a generation. The party of hypocrites.

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Stupid grandstanding=stupid grandstanding, except that one set of stupid grandstanding resulted in actual action by the U.S. Congress and was the obsession of the news media, and the other is as yet just garden-variety stupid grandstanding.

Posted by: SDM | October 4, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I think that every Senator who voted for Cornyn's resolution against Move.On has no respect for the First Amendment and I think that every Congressman who wants a resolution condemning Rush for his political speech is exactly as bad as the Cornyn supporters.

Whatever qualitative difference you try to draw between the two outrageous but protected statements misses the real point:

The Congress has no business here.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 4, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"I understand Jen's argument that General Petraeus is a public figure, however, military officers must follow the direction of the civilian leadership."

uNLESS they are givin what they feel is an unlawful order. Then their duty is to stand down. that was a political choice that Petreus made. Sorry. I was reading and couldn't let that slide unchalleged.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | October 4, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I am one of the liberal/centrist democrats who was appalled that Move On had the ad run even before the speech was given. It showed very low class. As for Rush Limbaugh we all know Pigs and Swine love to roll in slop and he does that so well every day. If we could just kill him for the bacon we could feed a whole town for a week. Nothing like a mean low self esteemed hypocritical drug addicted obese glutton to add spice to the world.

Posted by: Loki1967 | October 4, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

cOWARDS.

Now you see why I do what I do daily, and have zero pity for the mark austins and zouks of the world.

Cowards. You don't want real political dialogue. You want everything your way at all times. You refuse to sacrafice. you refuse to compromise.

Can I play by your rules gop? Yes I can.

Thanks for trying CC. Thanks for adding some form of balance to this site. I for one appreciate it. If we had real conversation, like these people claim, I wouldn't have to do what I do. But they don't wnat they, as I do. Do they?

But because if this, today, I will take it easy. Thanks CC. Your a good man. Misguided, but a good man :)

See you all next week.

Rush is going down. O'reilly will follow soon. It is not my fault. It is theirs. The people on this blog always complain about the level of political conversation. Rush Hannity and O'Reilly and the causes of this.

TO STOP THE EFFECT YOU MUST LOOK AT THE CAUSE.

If we want to start having real political conversation. We need to marginalize the people who are hindering that. Rufus is hindering the conversation on this blog, with the ten posters that are here. Rush hannity oliely and fox are reaching MILLIONS.

One post for cc, on this topic and I'm done fo r the week.


Petreus put himself in the political game. He did lie as moveon said. That is treason. If he is following an unlawful order he is to step down and face the repercussions. He CHOSE not to do that. Hence the moveon ad. It was truthful.

Rush on the other hand told a republcian vet caller he could be a republcian if he wanted the troops home. Then called all democrat soldiers phonies. Then mocked the soldier who was offened by called him a suicide bomber. When a real suicide bomber gave him a purple heart, and almost took his life. Unconsinable.

The differacne. Petreus went to congress and lied for the president. The soldiers and COUTRNY that rush attacked didn't deserve that. Petreus did, imo.

Falker out :)

Thanks again CC. I know your not really a fascist. You just want to keep the fascists involve. Like me. We do it in differant ways. It's not the left that is holding up progress. Peace out.

ONE WORLD ONE PEOPLE

Posted by: RUFUS | October 4, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The difference to me is, that while Limbaugh is an extremely highly paid corporate 'celebrity', who is hugely supported by the Republican party, and seems to have virtual immunity no matter what he says, MoveOn is a grassroots movement powered by 'little people' who give $10 or $20.

What MoveOn said was that General Petreus was toeing the Administration line. What Linbaugh said was that soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who didn't agree with the administration's policies were 'phony soldiers.'

Tell me, which is worse?

Posted by: drindl | October 4, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Here is the difference in my humble opinion

First, MoveOn posed a question. They asked "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" I believe that is important for us all to remember. In my opinion they were asking people to not just accept what General Petraeus said in front of congress to be the one and only truth. MoveOn went to pretty great lengths to cite their reasons for urging caution to what General Petraeus said.

Mr. Limbaugh on the other hand made a quick and pointed attack at someone who disagreed with him. Not allowing open dialogue and an alternative point of view. Shame on Mr. Limbaugh for his my way or the highway mentality. Our soldiers deserve better.

Posted by: Justin W. | October 4, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Aside from raising the specter of the HUAC and SISC hearings of the 1950s, what possible result can come from an arm of the federal government proclaiming by resolution that it condemns any American's political speech?

Has the Congress become an arbiter of good taste? Is it the repository of truth?
And most important, what does it mean when our Constitution says "Congress shall make no law abridging...the freedom of speech?" I think that these resolutions are designed to intimidate. And the intimidation of free speech by our Congress is ultimately
intolerable.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 4, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Political pundits' have the unenviable job of selling themselves and their opinions to the public in order to make a buck and sell advertising. They prostitute their ideas with catchy phrases designed to provoke and ignite passion, sold to the highest bidder. Rush Limbaugh is good at what he does, yet his words should be called into question by the public.

Of course that is vastly different than an active duty Army General who was required to provide information to Congress, and did so in the most matter-of-fact manner one could hope for. Gen. Petraeus' trustworthiness and honor was called into question by Moveon before he uttered one word on Capital Hill; a cowardly preemptive attack on an honorable man who has served this country with distinction for decades. Despite what the leftwing would have people believe, Gen Petraeus words are not for sale. Petraues' testimony was meant to be parsed and probed, but to call him a liar who would betray his own country is far, far different than objecting to a paltry quips from a paid pundit.

Congress' expression of outrage seems misdirected and the worst example of shameless political motivation. As Jim Clyburn stated, what they have created is "a real grave problem" for themselves, no question about it.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | October 4, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs when people holding important positions of public trust waste so much time and energy debating which partisan was the most outrageous.

I understand Jen's argument that General Petraeus is a public figure, however, military officers must follow the direction of the civilian leadership. I think the fact that the administration tried to make a well respected general the public face of their Iraq policy shows how desparate they are. I am not a fan of Moveon.org and I think they undercut their own cause by making an ad hominem attack on the general. It was stupid and insulting to a soldier who has risked his life in service to the country.

Rush Limbaugh is the poster boy for what is wrong with political discourse in this country. I read the complete transcript of his conversation with the caller criticizing anti-war veterans. The phony soldier comment came well before the discussion of the fake soldier. Why anyone is surprised at the latest ridiculous comment by Limbaugh amazes me. He has never allowed facts to get in the way of his diatribes.

PS: I think the anti-Rush ad by the anti-war veterans group is very compelling.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 4, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

What bsimon said.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 4, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"Exactamundo. Well said."

david. One lies one tells the truth

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Both Limbaugh and the Netroots (of which MOVEON is a part of) represents the return of the partisan media which used to dominate American political discourse (during the 19th century) prior to the rise of network television and radio news broadcast. With the advent of cable, the Internet, and talk radio, the way in which Americans get their news has returned to the past. Both are latter-day partisan "newspapers" in a different form.

The "controversies" are intended to spark outrage with the true believers. This is healthy for a democracy (even though I personally loathe Limbaugh) and is natural byproduct of a closely divided electorate, similar to late 19th century politics. Neither episode has inflamed me but I am a liberal who can't stand the Netroots.

Posted by: jeff | October 4, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Mr Limbaugh is repulsive and genuinely harmful to our political discourse and the health of our nation. Move On is not.

Posted by: david | October 4, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Exactamundo. Well said."

Thanks. I tried to phrase it in a way where both sides would be equally offended.

Posted by: bsimon | October 4, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I think they're different. The similarity is that both lodge a personal attack on the other person's character for essentially having an opposing viewpoint. I don't condone that, and I don't condone either of those statements. But I think the Moveon.org ad is slightly more defensible because General Petraeus is a public figure, and a person of power. And he has held himself out to the public and by the very nature of his position and by his statements and editorials, he has invited criticism. The substance of the ad took on things like the Pentagon's methodology for body counts, which is certainly fair game for criticism. The offensive part of the ad is the use of the phrase "Betray Us", but in the context of the criticisms of the advertisement it is clear that the alleged betrayal is of the American people and on the side of the president. That is rather different from saying someone has betrayed the country by, for example, committing treason. On the other hand, Rush Limbaugh leveled a personal attack on soldiers which questions their loyalty also. It could be argued that the smear on their loyalty was no stronger than the MoveOn.org ad. Even conceding that, though, I think the circumstances are different. These are soldiers who are in Iraq because we sent them there. They are the ones paying the price for this war. They are paying it with their legs, and arms, and heads. They are paying it with their time. Their families are paying it. Despite what our president thinks, those of us watching it on television, no matter how disturbed we may be by it, we are not paying any price for this war. And if the people fighting this war have an opinion about it that is different from Rush Limbaugh's, they more than anyone, and certainly more than him, have earned the right to express that opinion without having their loyalty questioned by a talk show host. There is no underlying viable and defensible criticism underneath that statement as there is in the MoveOn.org ad. There is simply the insult, and it is profoundly undeserved.

Posted by: Jen | October 4, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The difference is that MoveOn is a liberal group and Limbaugh is a conservative. Obviously, there is a huge different when either launches an unwarranted attack on our men and women in uniform.

Posted by: Zach | October 4, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

bsimon,
"the Congress and the 'chattering class' spend their energies debating whether a pompous windbag or a bunch of peacenik fruits are more offensively exercising their right to free speech. It is truly pitiful." Exactamundo. Well said.

Posted by: Dave! | October 4, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

This is just more sad political bickering from both sides in Washington. What MoveOn and Rush said were both horrible. However, it is a waste of time for Congress to be spending time on it. They could be using that time to fix this war.

I think I along with many others are tired of the constant battle between the far left and far right in the media. Both sides constantly complain that they are not getting fair treatment from the media. How about quit whining and start helping America.

Posted by: Democratic Nole | October 4, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

DOn't even try to compare Limbaugh with MoveOn. Rush is a self promoting baffon that wll say anything and do anything for a buck....sounds a lot like Hillary...humm... MoveOn, on the other hand, is a disorganized collection of genuine liberals who are concerned about the country's direction and advocate change as best they can. In the case of Gernissimo Betray-us, they walked into a Republican operative laid mine field. I hope they learned! Limbaugh, on the other hand, was merely parroting the crap we heard from Rove and Bush over the years about liberals not serving in the miliary and not being willing to fight. Rather stupid and easily disproven when you look at people like me, my sons, rufus, etc.

Posted by: MikeB | October 4, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Petraeus is a general, and has most of the time a desk facing him. He hardly is against the daily deadly dangers soliders have to face, like the ones slandered by Limbaugh. Why should Petraeus have a voice and express what he has to say to Congress and the soliders who are actually out on the front not be able to speak out?

Posted by: Sam | October 4, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Chris writes
"Now, a new controversy is dominating the chattering class in Washington."

It is truly sad that this kind of bickering is what dominates the focus of Washington for weeks at a time. Our country is at war, during which there are credible allegations that our government is pushing the boundaries of our own and international laws with rendition programs and torture of prisoners, yet the Congress and the 'chattering class' spend their energies debating whether a pompous windbag or a bunch of peacenik fruits are more offensively exercising their right to free speech. It is truly pitiful.

Posted by: bsimon | October 4, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Print the actual statement in its correct form not just what you want the average uninformed american to see.

Posted by: Bill | October 4, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

WWWHOOOAA. Thank you for being balanced chris. I'm done for the day. I'll watch what is posted.

God Bless, all.

Posted by: rufus | October 4, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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