Rush and the women who love him
So Mary Matalin defended Rush Limbaugh on CNN last night. What else is new? She always defends him. (And Carville tediously plays the foil.) She loves the guy.Here she is during the Bush years calling the show to tell Rush how much.
[Y]ou inspired me this morning. There's no reason that I have to do that. I'm -- and at least I think I do, but when I listen to you, I get all the information I need, and I -- and I -- it is -- I have a confidence in the President, in the policies, in the goals. I have -- I know his conviction. I know he's right and I know he has the leadership to do it. What I don't have, and what I can only get from you, is the cheerfulness of your confidence --
The right gathers around him whenever he gets into trouble. And it's not infrequent. One of his worst moments was when he excused the Abu Ghraib torture. People were truly appalled, not to mention worried about the national security implications of this gasbag's words being used as propaganda. There was a lot of talk about getting him taken off of Armed Forces radio for that, but of course it went nowhere.
But the most amazing defense ever came from Kate O'Beirne in National Review. You really need to read the whole thing to believe it. Here's the essence of it:
Now comes a well-financed media campaign against Rush Limbaugh in a fruitless attempt to discredit him as a forthright apologist for the detainee abuse. Conservatives should take heart. First, the un-listenable (in every sense) Air America squanders buckets of liberal cash and now the Left is generously funding David Brock as their utterly implausible media watchdog. His first big target is Rush. The Left has always regarded the most-successful radio-talk-show host in history as a malevolent propagandist, and their acolytes in the White House press corps eagerly embraced the Brock smear and badgered Scott McClellan to repudiate the phony charge. They were sensibly blown off. But, a partisan parasite finding eager hosts among White House reporters is a depressing spectacle. And, just as calls for Don Rumsfeld's resignation are aimed at President Bush, the attack on Rush is designed to discredit conservatives.
Rush's angry, frustrated critics discount how hard it is to make an outrageous charge against him stick. But, we listeners have spent years with him, we know him, and trust him. Rush is one of those rare acquaintances who can be defended against an assault challenging his character without ever knowing the "facts." We trust his good judgment, his unerring decency, and his fierce loyalty to the country he loves and to the courageous young Americans who defend her.
Here's what Rush said, in case you forgot:
CALLER: It was like a college fraternity prank to stack up naked —
RUSH [LIMBAUGH]: Exactly! Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation, and we're going to ruin people's lives over it, and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer 'em because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time. These people, you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of needing to blow some steam off?
... The dog is scaring an Iraqi prisoner. (Gasping.) No! We're scaring them, too. Is that allowed in the Geneva Convention? We're scaring them with dogs?
Yes, my friends, we are. The dog didn't attack anybody, dog's not attacking anybody, dog is on a leash, both of them are. I've seen the picture. So, yeah, I mean I'd be scared too if I were nude and I'd been committing crimes against Americans, now the Americans have me in their prison and a couple of dogs barking at me? Yeah, I might be a little scared. So what? It's war! We all know what goes on in war.
"I'm sorry, folks. I'm sorry. Somebody has to provide a little levity here. This is not as serious as everybody is making it out to be. My gosh, we're all wringing our hands here. We act like, 'Okay let's just die,' you know? 'Let's just give up. What can we do to make these people feel better? Let's just pull out of there, and let's just go. Let's just become a neutral country. Let's just do that.'
I mean, it's ridiculous. It's outrageous what's happening here, and it's not -- and it's not because I'm out of touch; it's because I am in touch, folks, that I can understand. This is a pure, media-generated story. I'm not saying it didn't happen; I'm [not] saying the pictures aren't there, but this is being given more life than the Waco invasion got. This is being given more life than almost -- it's almost become an Oklahoma City-type thing. One more Bush sound bite, and the president continued explaining how real democracy works here."
"I don't understand what we're so worried about. These are the people that are trying to kill us. What do we care what is the most humiliating thing in the world for them? There's also this business of them all wearing hoods and how that's also very humiliating. You can see more guys wearing hoods at a [Sen.] Robert Byrd birthday party 40 years ago than we've seen in these prisoner photos."
"There's only one thing to do here, folks, and that's achieve victory over people who have targeted us for loooong, long time, well over 15, 20 years. It's the only way to deal with this, and that's why obsessing about a single incident or two of so-called abuse in a prison is nothing more than a giant distraction and could up being something that will really ties [sic] our hands and handcuffs us in what the real objective is here, which is the preservation of our way of life and our country."
That was, of course, the day after he'd admired that fact that it was "babes" doing the torturing and commenting that it reminded him a Madonna show and Sex in the City.
You can certainly see why the conservative ladies defend him. His special brand of misogynistic sadism is what passes for "decency and "good judgment" in right wing politics these days. They think they are defending their honor.