The Democrats’ fight against Rush Limbaugh is not exactly going as planned. Last week, Rush Limbaugh called out the Left’s using “phony soldiers” to attack the war effort — soldiers who had claimed to have been in Iraq participating in war crimes when they had not in fact set foot in the country. George Soros’ Media Matters organization blasted out notices to the media that Rush had labeled all anti-war soldiers “phony.” The facts quickly became irrelevant as the Democrats sought to use the controversy to bounce back against Republicans who had been hammering them over attacks on General Petraeus’s character.
Democrats in Congress ran to the floors of the House and Senate to denounce Rush and offer resolutions of condemnation. Hillary Clinton saw no irony in her failure to denounce Rush while she defended MoveOn.org’s attack against Petraeus. Richest of all, however, was Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) denouncing Rush from the floor of the Senate and accusing Rush of being under the influence of narcotics. Harkin, of course, saw his hopes for the Presidency sink in 1992, when it was revealed he had lied about his own war record.
If the Democrats really though Republicans would run away from Rush Limbaugh, they were sorely mistaken. Not only did the Republicans go on defense for Limbaugh, they seized the opportunity to again attack the Democrats over the Fairness Doctrine. Blogging at RedState, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) wrote, “The Left has long targeted conservative talk radio. They have tried everything from regulation to launching their own liberal network. . . .Faced with such defeat, they are now looking to revive the Fairness Doctrine. And with Media Matters leading the way, it seems they are attempting to take their first step.” He also pointed out that ABC News Correspondent Brian Ross, in a story about Jesse MacBeth (one of Limbaugh’s phony soldiers) called MacBeth and those like him “phony heroes.”
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) echoed Kingston, writing, “I believe these attacks on talk radio are a precursor for returning censorship to the airwaves of America in the form of the Fairness Doctrine.”
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who herself suffered an attempted political assassination by MSNBC and MoveOn.org last week, also raced to blog at RedState. She wrote, “This is the second time in as many weeks that the MoveOn.org crowd has attacked conservatives without checking their facts. There is a saying in the mainstream, drive-by media: “Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?”
Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY) joined in the blogfest writing, “Rush Limbaugh is a favorite target for the left, but his support of our men and women in uniform is unquestioned,” and Scott Garrett (R-NJ) blogged, “This recent allegation that Limbaugh was bashing a war veteran is ludicrous. It’s clear to anyone that read the transcript that Limbaugh was just stating that he is sick and tired of Democrats using soldiers with phony stories to attack the Iraq war and discredit the hard work our men and women in uniform are doing.”
Within one week of Rush stating the obvious and the Democrats launching their attack, Rush had been publicly defended by numerous House and Senate Republicans, including the third ranking Republican in the House, Eric Cantor (R-VA) who started a petition of support at www.standwithrush.com.
Not to be outdone, even the Republican Presidential candidates sought to get into with Fred Thompson going to RedState and then his own website to write, “Congressional Democrats are trying to divert attention from insulting our military leader in Iraq and pandering to the loony left by attacking Rush Limbaugh. He is one of the strongest supporters of our troops, yet Democrats claim he is not being strong enough. I wonder who General Petraeus and his troops think is most supportive?”
The Democrats continue to orchestrate a media blitz over their misrepresentation of Rush Limbaugh’s statement, but so far only Republican Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) is falling for it. Jones’s primary challenger, Joe McLaughlin, is already on the air attacking Jones for his failure to stand with Limbaugh.
The Republican attacks on the MoveOn.org ad successfully caused the Democrats to buckle. Thus far, it seems the Republicans are holding to Margaret Thatcher’s advice to not go wobbly on this issue.