They tried it in 1996, in 2000 and again in 2004. Liberals who fear conservative talk radio — and most of all its commander in chief, Rush Limbaugh — tried to discredit and silence Rush. They failed, and now — given the fragility of their all-but-certain nominee, Hillary Clinton — they’re desperate to take another shot at getting Limbaugh out of the way.
Last week, replying to a caller about soldiers who were not what they claimed to be, Limbaugh called them “phony.”
Reasonably read, Rush wasn’t talking about all our troops: just those such as Scott Thomas Beuachamp who became tools of the liberal media by willingly making up stories of atrocities and failure, and others who never served in Iraq but pretended they had..
Reacting quickly, the hyperlib smear merchants of Media Matters launched a hit job on Limbaugh claiming he used the term “phony soldiers” to describe military members opposing the war.
Shortly after the on-air exchange, Limbaugh made reference to exactly the kind of people he was talking about. The transcript reads, “Here is a Morning Update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. They have their celebrities and one of them was Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth.”
Media Matters, of course, didn’t bother to include that in their attack.
Now the House and Senate have weighed in. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) and Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin have demanded Limbaugh apologize. But who are these stalwart soldiers of Democracy who are so quick to stand up for the troops? They are the selfsame senators who have, ever since the Iraq invasion, missed no opportunity to trash the troops.
Reports last week that 204 troops were mistreated at Oakland Airport in the Bay Area have prompted no statements from these Limbaugh critics. The troops — who these politicians claim to care so much about — only count when they can be used for the Democrats’ purposes. And what the Dems — Reid, Kerry, Durbin, Murtha, Harkin and the rest — have said and done is a matter of record.
Let’s start with one of the real “phony soldiers”, Limbaugh critic Tom Harkin who said in September, “The simple fact is that asking General Petraeus to evaluate the surge he has overseen in Iraq is like asking a college student to grade his own term paper.”
According to the book "Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History":
“During a 1992 bid for the presidency, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa claimed that he had served as a pilot in Vietnam…Harkin finally admitted he had not seen combat…When pressed by reporters to explain how much time he really spent in Vietnam Harkin estimated that over a year he flew in and out of Vietnam a dozen or so times. But Harkin’s military record showed no Vietnam service decorations. He finally conceded he had not flown combat air patrols in Vietnam and began describing himself as a Vietnam era vet.”
Harkin called Limbaugh’s comment “despicable” and “provocative” but his own lies about military service leave Harkin in no position to criticize Limbaugh. .
The fact is that Limbaugh has been an avid supporter of the war and of American troops from the beginning.
He has said, “Patriotism is rallying behind the country, regardless of party affiliation, to defeat Islamo-Fascism. Patriotism is supporting our troops on the battlefield, not undermining the mission and morale.”
Reid has never expressed this kind of support for the troops. In fact, he is famous for saying the war was “lost” earlier this year and claiming he would not believe a positive report on the surge from Army Commander General David Petraeus.
While Limbaugh was referring to actual — and political — “phony soldiers,” (such as Jesse Macbeth) Reid and his cohort have attacked the troops directly, as well as defaming and disrespecting their commander, Gen. Petraeus. Here’s a small sampling:
John Kerry has accused US troops of terrorizing Iraqi women and children: “"[T]here is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children …" (CBS’ "Face The Nation," 12/4/05)
Speaking about the alleged killing of Iraqi civilians by US Marines, Rep. Jack Murtha said the Marines had, killed “. . . innocent civilians in cold blood" and further accused the Marines’ superior officers of a coverup.
Kerry, as we all recall, was so derisive of the troops he once told a college audience, “You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t you get stuck in Iraq.”
That was after Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Il) compared US troops to Nazis: "If I … did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners [at Guantanamo] in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their Gulags, or some mad regime, Pol Pot, or others that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners." (Sen. Richard Durbin, Congressional Record, 6/14/05 p. S6594)
But it was before Barack Obama (D-Il) said, “We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.” (“Obama: U.S. Troops In Afghanistan Must Do More Than Kill Civilians,” FoxNews.com, 08/14/07)
Reid, Kerry and Harkin sided with MoveOn.org by voting against the Senate resolution offered by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) that criticized the MoveOn ad and took the side of the troops by supporting the character of their commander, Gen. Petraeus. (Yes, gentlemen: that’s “Petraeus” with a “P”, not a “B”)
Reid and the rest who are going after Rush don’t have the troops’ interest in mind. Just like the phony soldiers Rush was criticizing, the Democrats are phony critics, trying to take one of Rush’s comments out of context, distort it and try to discredit him with it.
But like their tries at Limbaugh in every election year since his show went national, this one will fail, too.
Limbaugh has traveled to Afghanistan to visit the troops and has supported President Bush’s objectives and the military mission in Iraq all along. He has said, “I’ll be damned if I believe that the country wants to lose and wants the military defunded and dragged out of there in humiliation — and that’s what the defeat would be.”
The GOP is standing behind Limbaugh proposing a resolution that commends him for his support, having “consistently used his broadcast time to praise American troops and support them during their ongoing efforts to secure peace in a troubled world…” The Dems will vote against this one just like they voted against the condemnation of the MoveOn.org ad. They’ll always stick up for the MoveOn.org crowd, but never for the troops.
These are the only Democrats who have not condemned Rush: