If I thought Senator Tom Daschles reckless remarks against my brother Rush were just a spontaneous outburst, Id pass on an opportunity to comment on them-OK, Im lying; I probably wouldnt-but Im convinced they were delivered after cool, calm reflection.
Dont get me wrong. I dont want to look a gift horse in the mouth. On balance, its always gratifying when your political opponents shoot themselves in the foot (sorry to use violent allusions here).
How do I know Daschles comments were premeditated? Because his Democrats just got trounced in the elections. Democrats never believe they lose because their message didnt resonate. Theyve always got to find a scapegoat. Rush is perfect, because the mere mention of his name rallies the liberal base like nothing else.
Also, listen to Daschles words. "We were just talking with some experts a couple of days ago about how if were going to try to break through as Democrats, we have to have the same edge that Republicans do." Then, the next words out of his mouth were, "You know, Rush Limbaugh and all of the Rush Limbaugh wannabes have a very shrill edge, and thats entertainment." He uttered that cuss word "Rush" twice in the first nine words.
As plain as a properly Mirandized confession, the agitated senator admitted that he and his cronies summoned strategists who apparently told them they needed to get "the Rush edge." I could have saved them some time by reminding them theyve tried that repeatedly without success. How many leftists have they trotted onto the radio waves, only to be slapped down by unforgiving market forces? Aint free speech a bear?
Daschle wasnt using the terms "entertainment" or "edge" innocuously. He implied that Rush uses the vehicle of "entertainment" with a shrill "edge" to incite people to violent action. You think Im exaggerating?
Daschle said, "What happens when Rush Limbaugh attacks those of us in public life is that people arent satisfied just to listen, they want to act because they get emotionally invested." Well, I hope so, Tom. I hope Rush motivates them to political activism. But no. Thats not quite what Tom had in mind. His next sentence: "And so, you know, the threats to those of us in public life go up dramatically . . ."
Then, Daschle crossed the line further, slandering Rushs audience by analogizing them to terrorists. "We see it in foreign countries, and we think, Well, my God, how can this religious fundamentalism become so violent? Well, its that same shrill rhetoric, its that same shrill power that motivates. Somebody says something, and . . . it becomes a little more shrill . . . and then more shrill the next time, and pretty soon its a foment that becomes physical in addition to just verbal. And its happening in this country." (Note that Daschle said "is happening" not "could happen.")
Its ironic that Daschle is resorting to this tactic, considering that its he and his cohorts who are guilty of distorting facts to disturb people-such as with Mediscare and school lunches. But theres something else that concerns me about this whole thing.
Can we not see an insidious pattern of deceit here by Daschle and his leftist brethren aimed at muzzling their political opponents? The misnamed "liberals" are often enemies of freedom when they dont like its results, as is clearly the case with the economic market and is increasingly so in the marketplace of ideas.
Just think of the Lefts eagerness to suppress disagreeable (politically incorrect) speech on college campuses, which are supposed to be bastions of free expression. And they have no problem regulating political speech through campaign finance reform. Dont be surprised if Daschle was just laying a foundation to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine, designed to silence the political speech of his opponents.
The Left has learned how to get around the 1st Amendment when it suits its purposes. It warns of a "greater" harm: violence. Think about it. Thats how they have been able to pass "hate crime" legislation, where not only speech, but thought is punished criminally under the pretense that certain thought leads to violence. Its also how they justify banning politically incorrect speech. And now they are trying to make an overt connection between Rush radio and violence. A prelude to regulating Rush radio?
Just remember, for these moral relativists its not the principle (free speech) thats worthy of protection, but the outcome (the prevalence of liberal ideas, values and policies). The end justifies the means, and as ridiculous as Daschles remarks are, we better keep a sharp eye.