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By comparing President Barack Obama and his policies to Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and a Nazi, has Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck gone too far?

California Republican Representative Darrell Issa and Georgia Republican Representative Jack Kingston agree that Rush Limbaugh should be denounced for his statements invoking Hitler and Nazism. Watch them here. Click on the button that says “click here to watch Overtime” at the upper left side of the homepage.

The Anti-Defamation League thinks Rush Limbaugh has gone too far. In an article posted at the Jerusalem Post website, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman made these comments:

“Regardless of the political differences and the substantive differences in the debate over health care, the use of Nazi symbolism is outrageous, offensive and inappropriate,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said.

“Americans should be able to disagree on the issues without coloring it with Nazi imagery and comparisons to Hitler. This is not where the debate should be at all.”

It appears Rush Limbaugh, “America’s Truth Detector,” can’t be relied upon to give us the straight facts about health care reform. And, that is a pity. For objective facts concerning the health care debate, visit PolitiFact.com. Be sure to click on the “Pundits” link at the PolitiFact website to check statements made by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists, interest groups, liberals and conservatives alike. You’ll be glad you did.

  • Will Rush Limbaugh retract his statements comparing President Obama to Mussolini, Hitler and Nazis?
  • Or, will Rush Limbaugh “double down” on his inflammatory rhetoric instead?
  • Does this type of rhetoric add to or detract from the national debate about health care reform? Why or why not?
  • How long will it take for Representatives Darrell Issa and Jack Kingston to apologize to Rush for denouncing him?
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In an interview with On the Record host, Greta Van Susteren, Rush Limbaugh acknowledges a faction of the Republican Party really doesn’t care for him. Then, he launches into his analysis of the friction he perceives between various wings of the conservative political party.

Did you notice that he never answered her question: “Why is it they [the Republican Party] don’t like you?”

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SC Gov Mark Sanford

SC Gov Mark Sanford

In a press release issued today, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford asked for forgiveness and promised to be more contrite and humble going forward. His press release can be read in full here.

Regardless of what you think of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, there is a lesson to be learned from this entire episode.

The biggest lesson for me is the difference in tone between SC Gov Mark Sanford and Rush Limbaugh upon Limbaugh’s return from 6 weeks of drug rehabilitation.

Mark Sanford:

  • apologetic
  • contrite
  • promises to be less strident in his approach to policy and politics

I’ve realized that as much as I have and will continue to advocate for things ranging from restructuring to responsible spending to school choice, my approach needs to be less about my will and more about looking for ways to more humbly present the greater principals and ideas at play. It needs to be less strident and more about finding ways to work with legislative leaders to advance the ideas so many of us believe in. It means less time fighting the tide - and a greater awareness of the fact that God controls it. In working with a few alterations to my approach, I think this could be a far more productive last session than the one that would have been had the tragedy that has unfolded not occurred, and in turn, people’s lives can be made better.

Rush Limbaugh:

  • non-apologetic
  • not contrite
  • more strident in his approach
    • rehabilitation didn’t change me into a “linguini-spined liberal”

What accounts for the difference, in your opinion?

Links to clips and articles about Rush’s return to his radio show on November 17, 2003:

  • Article at ChicagoTribune.com. This link includes additional links to audio files and a transcript of Rush Limbaugh’s earlier admission of addiction to prescription painkillers.
  • An article at about.com includes an audio clip of the first 5:07 mins of Rush’s first show back from rehab. Click on the “play video” button.

    From the Chicago Tribune.com article:

    Much of Limbaugh’s bluster returned intact on Monday.

    “I know the sky probably seems brighter to you no matter where you are,” he said. “The air is cleaner, the water is purer, and it’s not because of the environmentalist wackos. It’s because I’m back, right?”

    And after talking about his rehab, Limbaugh turned to a familiar subject — attacking Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy.

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I have enjoyed listening to Rush Limbaugh for over twenty years now. I clearly remember listening to him back in the mid-80’s while at work. I enjoyed the different perspective he brought to the day’s news and current events.

Now it’s time for Rush to learn some new tricks.

Anybody who has listened to Rush any length of time knows that he has the angry-white-conservative-male act down pat. You can count on Rush to give you the conservative WASP (white anglo-saxon protestant) perspective on any national topic of importance to him. Rush’s audience is comprised largely of males. According to David Frum’s Newsweek article from March 7, 2009, titled “Why Rush Is Wrong,” comes this bit of information:

Rush Limbaugh is a seriously unpopular figure among the voters that conservatives and Republicans need to reach. Forty-one percent of independents have an unfavorable opinion of him, according to the new NEWSWEEK Poll. Limbaugh is especially off-putting to women: his audience is 72 percent male, according to Pew Research. Limbaugh himself acknowledges his unpopularity among women. On his Feb. 24 broadcast, he said with a chuckle: “Thirty-one-point gender gaps don’t come along all that often … Given this massive gender gap in my personal approval numbers … it seems reasonable for me to convene a summit.”

He also has a firm grasp on the “I’m-scared-for-America’s-future” spiel, too. Many articles have been written by liberals about the sudden increase in pseudo-serious frantic rantings from the right since Barack Obama has entered the White House. Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, among others, join Rush Limbaugh with this type of talk on a regular basis.

However, Rush Limbaugh may stand alone in the “jovial-jester-who-speaks-truth-to-power” role. Rush’s sense of humor, irony, and gift for parody is unmatched by any of his right-wing co-horts. Two of the things that make Rush stand-out from any other radio talk-show host is his humor and his sharp wit.

But, now it is time for Rush to expand his repertoire–to move outside of his comfort zone and learn some new tricks.

For example, Rush could brush up on his “here’s-a-better-idea” act. As a matter of fact, the entire Republican Party should learn that trick. Just saying “no” to Obama and the Democrats is not a comprehensive strategy for a major political party.

Once he has mastered offering practical, workable alternatives to the policies tendered by the Democratics and President Obama, Rush could use some practice on his “here’s-where-conservatives-went-wrong” routine, too.

Few things are more disconcerting to the American public than the sudden shift from “everything-is-fine” to “the-sky-is-falling” and “the-country-is-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket” mantras coming from the conservative right. Everybody is left wondering how this economy could get so bad so quickly when nobody was sounding the alarm under President George W. Bush.

Now, on a daily basis, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity predict the imminent demise of this country and our way of life after only six months under President Obama.

What gives?

Finally, if Rush really wanted to stretch himself, he might even try the “Obama-has-done-some-things-right-since-taking-office” trick. Perhaps if Limbaugh used a small portion of his prodigous intellectual talents “on loan from God” he might be able to find at least one thing that Obama has done correctly since becoming President.

Give it a try, Rush.

Get outside your comfort zone.

We dare you.

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Forget about Rush Limbaugh defending Alaska Gov Sarah Palin for resigning her post as governor of Alaska. Rush is going to be busy defending himself against Presente Action, a progressive Latino organization, for his remarks about Sonia Sotomayor.

  • Is Rush Limbaugh in over his head?
  • Will Rush be able to defend himself from this attack?
  • Will Rush be able to defend himself and Sarah Palin at the same time?
  • Will Rush focus his energies on defending himself and let Palin fend for herself?


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It’s a good thing Rush Limbaugh’s vacation ends soon. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin needs him. And how. For the last week Rush has been on vacation visiting six golf courses in six days. While he was gone:

  • Gov. Sarah Palin announced she will be resigning at the end of July–she announced this on Friday July 3rd, Rush’s last day on the air before starting his vacation.
  • Criticism of Gov. Palin has been growing increasingly fierce.
  • And not all of the criticism is coming from liberals. See Los Angeles Times article titled Republican Pundits Open Fire on Sarah Palin

Fox News contributor, Liz Trotta, seems to have opened a floodgate of criticism against Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Now, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, a former Republican speechwriter, is getting in on the act. Some of what Noonan had to say about Gov. Palin in her Farewell to Harms piece:

She went on the trail a sensation but demonstrated in the ensuing months that she was not ready to go national and in fact never would be.

Ms. Noonan had more to say:

In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn’t say what she read because she didn’t read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn’t thoughtful enough to know she wasn’t thoughtful enough. Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. “I’m not wired that way,” “I’m not a quitter,” “I’m standing up for our values.” I’m, I’m, I’m.

However, George Joyce comes to Palin’s aid at his July 11th American Thinker blog

Why does Peggy Noonan find Sarah Palin so distasteful? Presumably, I am told, it’s because Noonan worships at the altar of Ronald Reagan, and Palin is no Reagan. Female friends of mine tell me of a deeper hatred: Noonan is troubled by Palin’s family first policy — that nagging and annoying call from nature which reminds humanity of its proper priorities.

George Joyce concludes with this message:

Think about it. On Iran, Palin would have vocally supported the Iranian demonstrators. On Honduras, she would have defended the Honduran people and their constitution instead of the thug Zelaya. She would have talked tough on North Korea. She would have thrown Sonia Sotomayor’s application into a dumpster marked “racist.” She would have stared down Nancy Pelosi on socialism, unchecked federal power, and the massive debt our children are destined to inherit.

Simply put, Sarah Palin would have done all of this while maintaining her treasured position as a loving mother and wife — hardly an inadequate achievement.

Now I think I know why Peggy hates Sarah.

Will Rush Limbaugh be as brave as George Joyce in coming to Gov. Sarah Palin’s defense?

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Liz Trotta seems to have taken the gloves off in coming after Sarah Palin. Trotta says Palin:

  • is inarticulate
  • is undereducated
  • uses her good looks and gender to get ahead in the political world
  • is not a great statesman of profound experience whose banner is integrity
  • has from the get-go been a flashy person who gets into a lot of trouble
  • has no credentials for any job

Here is a link to the Max Blumenthal article Liz Trotta mentioned.

The suddenness of Sarah Palin’s resignation Friday raises the question about whether Palin is leaving to avert a major scandal. One logical place to start looking is the affair that has Alaska political circles buzzing: an alleged scandal centered around a building contractor, Spenard Building Supplies, with close ties to Palin and her husband, Todd.

Questions to Ponder

What, in your opinion, prompted Liz Trotta to come after Sarah Palin so strongly? Why now?

Will Rush Limbaugh come to Palin’s defense? Or, will Rush sense a shift in public opinion against Palin and begin to distance himself from her?

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General Colin Powell responds to Rush Limbaugh’s criticisms of him. And, says it is “nonsense” to call US Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a “racist” or a “reverse racist.”

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Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resigns

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resigns

World reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s favored Republican party member began to trickle in ahead of Rush’s own reaction.

We will have to wait until Monday to hear Rush’s feeling on Palin’s blockbuster announcement on last Friday.

Until then, we have to settle for what others think of what Palin did.

The following is a just a sampling of comments made this weekend.

LATE-BREAKING UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh Comments on Sarah Palin Resignation
In a special announcement from an unknown location, Rush Limbaugh adds his insight into the Sarah Palin resignation:

RUSH: This is Rush. I’m on a golf vacation, parts unknown, all week long. Six cities, six courses, starting today. On this Palin business, you know, one of the reasons I haven’t said anything to anybody is I don’t know what it means – and I think all of this is just speculation. We don’t know what her reasons for doing this yet are. The speculation here and the predictions rival some of the irresponsibility I saw with people speculating on the cause of death of Michael Jackson when nobody knew – and we still don’t know with Michael Jackson. We think we do but we don’t. We haven’t had an official autopsy report.

As far as I know, nobody in Palin’s camp or Palin herself has said what the hell this is about and why she’s doing this. So everybody’s guessing and everybody’s applying their own, either inside-the-Beltway formulas to this… All I know is this: If Sarah Palin has any desire to do a TV show, to do speeches, to raise money, to earn money – whatever it’s for – if she has any desire for a future, be it in politics, be it in media or whatever, she’s going to have to do it in the Lower 48. She cannot do it in Alaska. It’s not going to get it done.

Reactions from Political Pundits

This in from New Yorks Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd’s piece titled “Now, Sarah’s Folly“:

 Why “milk it,” as she put it, when you can quit it? “Only dead fish go with the flow,” she said, while cold fish can blow out of town. Leaving Alaska in the lurch is best for Alaska. She can better “effect change” in government from outside government. She can fulfill her promise of “efficiencies and effectiveness” by deserting Juneau midway through her term — and taking her tanning bed with her.

“We need those who will respect our Constitution,” said Palin, who swore on the Bible to uphold the Constitution. She said she can’t fulfill that silly old oath of office in the usual way because she’s not “wired to operate under the same old politics as usual.”

Naturally, she dragged the troops in, saying that her trip to see wounded soldiers overseas “fortified” her decision to give up because “they don’t give up.”

Sarah Palin’s home newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News, had this to say:

If Sarah Palin is stepping down as governor because she has national political ambitions — and she did not say she intends to run for president — her move did nothing to shake what GOP pollster Whit Ayers called “the ‘lightweight’ monkey on her back.”
“If you’re a serious politician and you’re seriously interested in higher office, the best thing you can do is as good a job as possible in the current office,” Ayers said. “I suppose it frees her from the responsibility of a full-time job. It does nothing to enhance the image she has that she’s not material for the president of the United States.”

In the same July 3, 2009 article mentioned above from the Anchorage Daily News are these comments from Sarah Palin’s supporters:

Palin’s staunchest supporters in the anti-abortion movement, however, said they were pleased and appreciate continuing to have a high-profile role model who opposes abortion. They firmly believe that whatever she does next will have an “equal and profound impact,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, who co-founded the Team Sarah social networking Web site popular with Palin supporters who oppose abortion.

“Sarah Palin has always been an intensely independent woman — always true to her faith, her family and call to public service,” Dannenfelser said.

National Public Radio’s Scott Simon gives a thoughtful audio reminder in his radio essay “Politicians Are People, Too” found here

It’s very hard for most of us to appreciate the pressures under which politicians live.

Every word they utter can be quoted. Smart people know they can advance their careers by bringing them down. Their lives get X-rayed like diseased spleens, making beauty marks into warts. Their families become fair game. If most of us make a lame joke, people groan. If politicians do it, or don’t know the name of the leader of Andorra — Jaume Bartumeu; we looked it up — they’re portrayed as idiots.

I can understand if sometimes, one of them just wants to get off the merry-go-round for a while.

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On September 19, 2008 Rush Limbaugh thought the world of Sarah Palin.

Today, Sarah Palin announced that she is resigning the governorship of Alaska effective the end of July.

I wonder what Rush Limbaugh thinks of Governor Palin, soon-to-be-former-governor, now.

I suspect he will continue to be four-square in support of her and will praise her for following her political instincts. At the same time, he will berate President Obama for creating the political climate that made it impossible for her to finish her term, similar to the arguments Rush made in defense of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

Question for Readers: What do you think Rush will have to say about Palin’s resignation?

In Her Own Words

Here is Governor Palin explaining clearly and plainly why she is resigning her office:

Can somebody please tell me what she just said?

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