After the MoveOn debacle, lefties are just itching for political payback, and they've seized on the Limbaugh story like a junky pumping up his last spoon of smack. Yet, while Limbaugh's comments were ill-considered, what was said has been taken out of context: The remarks were off-color statements during a broadcast, in contrast to MoveOn's high-profile smear against the highly decorated four-star commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.
Karen Tumulty at Swampland provides a quote that captures the hard-left's outrage against Limbaugh:
Any American who risks his or her life to defend us has earned the respect and gratitude of every American citizen, irrespective of their views on this war. If Mr. Limbaugh made the remark he is reported to have made, it reflects very poorly on him and not the objects of his offensive comment. I expect most Americans, whatever their political views, will have the same reaction. He would be well advised to retract it and apologize.I agree, but Limbaugh's comments were more particular than has been portrayed. Be sure to see the whole transcript. Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" remark was predicated on the actions of guys like Jesse MacBeth, an antiwar hero who invented stories of American atrocities in Iraq.
Yet from the left blogosphere's attacks one would think Limbaugh impugned each and every member of the military who's had reservations about the war, which is not true.
Jules Crittenden puts things in perpective, noting that Limbaugh's a blowhard, and his comments were dumb:
Remind me not to vote for him for president. Not because he said something stupid and offensive, but because he’s a professional blowhard....Crittenden adds a footnote acknowledging the unintentional nature of what Limbaugh said, while still renouncing blanket criticism of U.S. troops who disagree with current policy.
Anyway, “phony soldiers” was a stupid and offensive thing to say about people who are doing their duty and could be killed or maimed whether they agree with what they’ve been asked to do or not. I’d be more inclined to call them “short-sighted” or “ill-informed” or maybe “disgruntled” soldiers. Beauchamp, now, that guy I’d call a phony soldier, even though he’s serving overseas and could get his head blown off. But that’s because of the sockpuppetry, the lies, the dishonoring of his comrades.
Should Congress condemn Limbaugh? The lefties are congratulating themselves for considering themselves above that, which is actually a way of saying they are PO’d that their Democratic-led Congress voted overwhelmingly to smack the New York Times and MoveOn last week.
A shock jock blurting out something stupid is an order of magnitude or two below one of the nation’s leading newspapers running a full-page ad, a half-price, full of insulting distortions about a wartime commander in the midst of critical hearings. I’d be inclined to think Congress has better things to do than waste its time trying to influence the New York Times or Rush Limbaugh, but seeing what Congress has been wasting it’s time with lately, the NYT vote was an improvement. And got more votes than most of what Congress has been wasting its time with lately. If they do go after Limbaugh for an offhand remark, they’ll have lowered the threshold so far that they won’t be able to not accomplish anything else, they’ll be so busy condemning idiotic and tasteless ads, blurtings, comic sketches, etc.
Limbaugh's comments, though poorly conceived, compose the left's current red herring in its efforts to squirm out from under the ignominy of its anything-goes-campaign to end the war. The Democrats, unsurprisingly, are gleefully outraged by the comments.
I don't listen to Limbaugh, and I've never cared for his style of attack broadcasting. I'd be among the first to denounce him if he slandered our troops. Based on the transcipts of his broadcast, that's not the case. The "phony soldiers" incident is a scam - like "phishing" - a trick perpetuated by leftists to get folks to "buy" a new meme, and ultimately to draw attention away from its real smear campaign against the military and supporters of the war.
Update: From the comments section of a lefty milblog criticizing Limbaugh:
Outstanding response to Rush! That drug-addled fat fuck needs to have his microphone shoved up his ass. You did a pretty good job of doing it, too.As I noted in the post, Limbaugh's comments were ill-considered. Such nasty ad hominem attacks do nothing to further the discussion.
Update II: Crooks and Liars steps to double-time their Limbaugh smear campaign with a link to the new attack video from Vote Vets:
The more pressure put on Limbaugh the better...Contact your representatives...and let them know you want them to condemn Rush’s disgusting and un-American statements about our troops and veterans.Contact Crooks and Liars and remind them to read the text of Limbaugh's broadast.