Today we enter Day 24 of wildly entertaining right-wing radio, and the meltdown continues on every level! There are a couple of recurring themes I’ve heard over the last few weeks that I find absolutely remarkable. First is the incredibly low bar conservatives are setting for Democrats to jump over. By right-wing radio reckoning the first 100 hours of the new Congress will consist of passing legislation compelling forced abortions performed by gay military doctors in the trunk of your government-mandated electric car while earning a minimum wage of $100,000 per year.
The hysteria knows no bounds. Think I’m kidding? Consider this nugget from Roger Hedgecock who was filling in for Rush on Tuesday—Roger accused Democrats of wanting to regulate breathing...and called it part of a "Democrat (sic) strategy to violate our civil rights." No, Roger wasn’t being ‘tongue-in-cheek’ when he said this. It wasn’t part of a bit. Seriously, folks, these are heady days when something they actually say is funnier than something The Onion would make up!
But this isn’t a day for bashing the substitute teacher. It’s time to take another journey down into the entertaining-as-all-get-out, ghetto-fabulous hell of mainstream right-wing radio!
Sean Hannity: Paragon of Fair and Balanced Journalism
As everyone knows, Sean’s never been one to rush to judgment. Wait...oh, that’s right...we’re talking about Sean HANNITY. He hasn’t met a judgment yet that he couldn’t wait to race to. Okay, well pretend for a minute that we don’t already know that, and that everyone thinks that Sean is fair-minded.
BUA-HA-HA-HA...okay, even I couldn’t do that. You’re going to have to meet me half way here. Let’s branch out into the realm of Science Fiction wherein it is possible that there are things over which Sean Hannity hasn’t already made up his mind.
Okay, so I’m listening to Sean yesterday during his top of the hour monologue (which, if you find yourself pressed for entertainment time, you can never go wrong with a top of the hour Sean Hannity monologue), and I hear him preface his comments by saying "
[Editorial Note: As many of you know Sean doesn’t transcript his show publicly. Thus the following boxquotes are based on my best-faith recollection of the monologue]
Let Freedom Ring...three hours a day, every day that’s all we ask...now more than ever...yadda, yadda, yadda.
I know that what happened in NYC was a tragedy. No one is disputing that. A young man who was going to be married in a few hours was shot and killed by police, and that’s just awful. But there’s two sides to every story, and I don’t think we should make up our minds about this until we know all the facts.
That’s right, folks...don’t rush to judgment, because there’s 2 sides to every slaughter! Sean continues...
[Again, not a direct quote. Just a best-faith recollection]
This is just like what’s happening in Iraq! There are literally thousands of great things that happen in Iraq every day, but you don’t hear about it in the liberal media! You don’t hear about all the great things that are happening all over that country. You only hear about the bad things that happen in a few isolated areas.
I’m gonna give Sean credit for this one. I never would have thought to compare what happened in NYC with what’s happening in Iraq. But now I do in fact see the parallel between an unarmed man being shot 33 times by police while leaving his bachelor party and Iraqis being burned alive by a militia while the Iraqi Army watches.
Oh, and if you’re interested in making a conservative’s head explode like in the movie Scanners, have them try this statement on for size - "Iraq is a triumph of the second amendment." Think about it. The Founding Fathers ™ wanted a well armed militia to keep the country safe and the government in check. Well I look at Iraq and think Mission Accomplished!
Try it. Trust me...they HATE it!
Anyway, I always get a kick out of the Good-Things-Are-Happening-In-Iraq-Everyday-nistas because they usually fail to mention anything good that’s happening there when they bring it up. Sometimes they bring up the fact that girls are going to school now, but unfortunately for them, girls were going to Iraqi schools before the invasion. It’s Afghanistan where girls weren’t allowed to go to school before the invasion, and as great as that accomplishment was it’s about to be rendered moot by a resurgent Taliban.
Still, the point remains simultaneously hilarious and disgusting. It’s the "at least the trains are running on time" version of the Iraq war. Like the only way to avoid a liberal bias would be to have a headline like "23,864,932 Iraqis NOT Brutally Killed Yesterday!" I hate to break this to you, Sean, but there are certain things that happen in the world that are terrible tragedies regardless of the circumstances. There is no bright side to the genocide in Darfur, there’s no silver lining to a mudslide in the Philippines, and when cops shoot an unarmed man 33 times you’re allowed to say it’s a bad thing without waiting for all the facts to come in.
Rush Limbaugh Calls for Immediate Withdrawal of Troops from Iraq
Maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe that’s not what he means when he says the following [this time the actual words courtesy of Media Matters]:
Let's just have the civil wars and let the crumbs crumble and the cookie crumble where -- because I'm fed up with this.
Fine, just blow the place up. Just let these natural forces take place over there instead of trying to stop them, instead of trying to use -- I just -- sometimes natural force is going to happen. You're going to have to let it take place.
You can spend all the time you like with diplomacy, and you can spend all the time you want massaging these things with diplomatic -- you're just -- you're just delaying the inevitable.
But to me that sounds an awful lot like "let’s cut and run and just help them pick up the debris when their done." The genesis for this strategy is the famous "Limbaugh Doctrine." For those unfamiliar with the aphorism, it states quite simple that "peace follows victory." The underlying idea being that until one side emerges with a clear victory there will always be strife. Sort of a "Sit down, shut up, and know your role" approach to diplomacy. I guess that means we won’t be hearing from Republicans anymore what with the Democratic victories in the House and Senate.
But I digress.
This whole tirade was brought on by Rush listening to King Abdullah saying the following to George Snuffalupagus:
George, the difficulty that we're tackling with here is we're juggling with the strong potential of three civil wars in the region. Whether it's the Palestinians of Lebanon or of Iraq, and I hope my discussions at least with the president will be to provide whatever we can do for the Iraqi people, but the same time we do want to concentrate ourselves on the core issues which we believe are the Palestinians and the Palestinian peace process, because that is a must today.
Regardless of whether he means it or not, he’s right. The Middle East is teetering on the brink of a conflict of unimaginable proportions. Religious and tribal factions arbitrarily brought together by outsiders stand ready to draw their own borders with the blood of the non-believers. Literally thousands of years of rivalry threaten to overflow a seething cauldron of sectarian hatred. And when the whip comes down, you’d better believe that the rest of the world will be taking sides in the outcome. That stuff in the ground underneath all that fighting is just a little too valuable to everybody else.
So we’re standing on the precipice. We’ve got maybe one last chance to keep this thing from degenerating into an all out, unimaginable, nasty global conflict. And Rush’s response?
Oh, give me a break. All right, well, let's just have them. Let's just have the civil wars and let the crumbs crumble and the cookie crumble where -- because I'm fed up with this. The Palestinian situation -- for 50 years we've had the Palestinian situation, and it's not going to be solved until the Limbaugh Doctrine is imposed or tried. And that is, this is a war, and until somebody loses it, it isn't going to stop. And now, you know, we've done everything we can to make Lebanon a democracy, and it's crumbling because Syria keeps killing the popular leaders there. Meanwhile, the Hezbos...
That’s what Rush calls Hezbollah. Get it? Like "Lezbos" only with an "H." GodDAMN that Mutherf*&$er is clever. Back to the tape:
...keep expanding their influence in Lebanon.
But what the hell! We're going to bring Syria and Iran in to fix Iraq, why not let them just fix the whole region? If we're heading to civil war -- I mean, everybody comes to us: "You got to fix this and you got to fix that." So we go and try to fix it, and our own people, Democrats and the left in our country do their best to sabotage our efforts, and then we get blamed for trying to clean up the messes that these people start.
Rush is right! Why should we have to fix that mess in Iraq when it's Iran and Syria that started in the first place! Oh...wait. Shit. Well, still, it’s the DEMOCRATS fault that Iraq got so messed up! Remember when Bush tried to implement his Iraq Peace Plan and Democrats blocked it? Remember!? Do you!?!?!?
Look, just because it never happened doesn’t mean it never happened! I mean, I am just so sick of you whiney liberal bloggers with your Monday Morning Quarterbacking who...who...um...
Whoa...sorry about that, guys. I kinda slipped back into my right-wing media mindset for a minute there. God...I guess I’ve been listening to a little too much right-wing radio without my tinfoil hat securely in place. Those harmful rays really know how to permeate the ‘ol noggin.
Anyway, the point is this. Rush, Sean, Fox News, and Co are preparing the Dittiot Nation for the inevitable withdrawal of troops from Iraq. But they’re doing it on their terms so that when it happens they can declare it a conservative triumph over liberalism. I know, I know. It’s makes the ‘ol noggin hurt just trying to contort to this logic, but trust me. It’ll happen.
And when it does, I’ll write about it. Because that’s what I do...apparently. !8)