Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Phoney Americans

For those of you who haven't heard, Rush Limbaugh used the phrase "phony soldiers" on his show last week. He claims he was referring only to a case like Jesse MacBeth who claimed to have witnessed atrocities but didn't. Others claim that the context indicates he was talking about liberal soldiers who criticize the war. I tend to believe the later, but it was probably more subconscious than conscious. I doubt if, for example, Rush was thinking of those seven soldiers who wrote a New York Timees Editorial a few weeks back criticizing the surge, for example. If he had thought of them, he wouldn't have used that phrase; he's smart enough to know how that looks.

To Rush though, to be an acceptable anything one has to adhere to Conservatoid principles. Rush hate university professors; but conservative ones deserve praise. He hates the New York Times; but quotes it approvingly when it agrees with him. He loves Americans but hates liberals. Many Americans are liberal to be sure, but they aren't really American (see also, Sean Hannity's position on "Great Americans."

So the idea of a patriotic liberal soldier is a bit of an oxymoron to Rush, and one he steers clear of as much as possible (although he's certainly willing to flag up the sad case of Jesse MacBeth). But the truth is when he sees a soldier espousing Liberalism, he's naturally going to look for the dark underbelly he knows is certain to be there.

Hence the rather regrettable position he finds himself now - having to spend nearly a week assuring his listeners that he really does respect the troops.

For more insight here's Media Matters for America and Salon's War Room.

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