Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Repost of a Year-Old Letter to Rush

This was fired off to Rush Limbaugh on the occasion of Rep. Jack Murtha's (D-PA) surprising but apt call for a phased withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq late last year. I was burrowing through the Whippersnapp archives and found I'd posted it up there as well. Since it's a year later, the troops aren't home, things are still getting worse over there and Rush is at least just as wrong as he was then, and since we have a Rush-only blog now, I decided to repost it here.

A-hem ...

Mr. Limbaugh:

Greetings from an American Democrat in New York. I listen to your show when I can and I enjoy it. I'm 22 years old and still in school. I opposed the Iraq war from the get-go, not because I'm some clueless peacenik, but because I felt we as Americans had bigger fish to fry.

Again, while I consider myself a liberal, it's more in the classical, Lockean sense. After the Sept. 11 attacks four years ago I posted an article on the door of my NYU dormitory room titled "To be anti-war is to be pro-fascist," which was ripped down before my door was vandalized. I'm pro-war when America is fighting the correct war.

I'm writing because I believe you are misrepresenting to your audience the recent statements by Congressman Jack Murtha regarding withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. Rep. Murtha's resolution endorsed the termination of the deployment of US troops "as soon as is practicable," meanwhile, the resolution put forth on the House floor by Republicans last Friday called for "immediate" withdrawal, which would be a blunder, to be sure. You also praise Congresswoman Schmidt for calling Murtha and his supporters "cowards," but neglect to mention that Rep. Schmidt requested her statement be stricken from the
record, which request was granted.

Partisan wrangling aside, as far as I'm concerned, we have won the war in Iraq, and forgetting what I and many other Americans feel was a duplicitious and misleading enticement by the President to take on Saddam Hussein's regime, we can take pride as a country in the fact that a murderous tyrant was removed and captured, and the Iraqi people ratified a constitution and elected a government with our help.

When our country was fighting for its independence from foreign oppression, no third party held our hand until we were ready to stand on our own. As a nascent republic, surely we faced some of the same threats the Iraqis face today; a violent insurgency, a lack of bureaucratic and military organization, meddling in our affairs from other countries. We faced those problems head-on; we did not throw up our hands and declare that this democracy thing wasn't worth fighting for.

I wonder now, what conditions would have to take hold in Iraq before the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans decided America could safely withdraw our troops. We were, after all, promised a quick, inexpensive war with a short-term occupation. Must a spontaneous peace break out in this country before we let its citizens handle their own affairs? And in the meantime, we face grave threats from Iran and Syria among others, but so long as our military is committed to Iraq, we will be unable to respond to these aggressors should these threats escalate.

I stand behind Rep. Murtha's assertion that our mission in Iraq has been accomplished; we must now bring our troops home and get them some rest. For the war on Islamic terror is not over with, and so long as we occupy this country, we are fighting it with a handicap.

Warm regards,
Brendan Rogak
Brooklyn, NY

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dear God I Hope HE Uses Contraceptives, Because Lord Knows He's Not Abstinent

Rush is back from vacation! Check it out!

Oh gee... I hate to point this out, but... Did Rush get dumber while he was away? I mean, I know he has a problem understanding statistics (like much of the Right Wing), but c'mon...

Let's spell it out for him. Yes, Rush, Abstinence works every time it's tried. The point of the study was to show that despite "abstinence only" education programs, the teenagers are not going to try it. If you want to curb teen pregnancy, you need to first teach the whole truth, including contraception. Personally, I think if you want to curb teen sex in general, you need to make greater changes across the board, such as giving teenagers something more engaging to focus on. Tall order, I know, but that's a debate for another day.

Does Rush really think that researchers, who spent all that time and education culling data and putting together a report, are so stupid as to think that girls are getting pregnant by NOT having sex? No, I don't think Rush is, in turn, that stupid. I do think he's playing dumb in order to make yet another inane political point (which obviously falls flat on its own face).

Monday, November 13, 2006

Somebody Needs To Introduce Rush To A Dictionary (CS)

Today I'll be pulling from the 11/10/06 Rush Is Right (HAHAHAH) rant, titled (also hilariously) "Liberalism Didn't Win Anything This Week."

Let's begin with this one:

I told you yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, the thing that you have to keep in mind here about the Democrats -- and this is serious -- is when they sit down to plot their agenda, their future, whatever, it's got one objective, many objectives. The number one objective is to never, ever lose this power again

I don't think Rush thought that one through. Or if he did, he might actually be as stupid as I tend to make him out to be. Let me break it down.

  • Obviously people want to hold on to power. It's pretty hard to block or enact legislation when you're not in power to do so.
  • Did the Republicans not want to retain power at any cost? Why was there such a coverup of the Foley incident and other scandals? Was that somehow not self serving or am I missing something? Doesn't this criticism of Rush's explicitly explain why the decisions for change made this November were the correct ones?
  • If the Democrats WERE to actually use their power only to retain it, if they were not to move forward, be progressive, and challenge the status quo, then they will be betraying the people who put them there and, most likely, lose power. If the movement that initiated the change in the House and Senate is to keep its momentum, these Democrats are going to be less concerned with keeping power than they are with making progress (which will, conincidentally, help them retain power).

The point Rush is really trying to get at in this rant, though, and the statement that is probably going to become part of his mantra in trying to get assholes back into power is within this:

I think these Democrats are going to really fool themselves if they convince themselves that liberalism won.

Oh silly silly Rush, going and abusing the word "liberalism" again as if he knew what it means. Liberalism is about being open to change. It is about being unsatisfied with the status quo. Because of people like Rush Limbaugh perverting the word "liberal," many people considerate of the reality of a world that is always changing, people seeking ideas that move forward rather than stagnate, have resorted to the label (where they will accept one) of "progressive." Liberalism won because we have a change of balance. Liberalism won because the people rejected the current status quo (which, given the facts about Iraq, Afghanistan, the US economy, etc, etc... Was a pretty damn shitty place to be). Oh and as for Rush's probable definition of liberalism as specific party platforms? Well, the people voted largely against the direction of the war, voted FOR minimum wage initiatives, voted FOR pro-choice initiatives, and in one case even voted AGAINST a gay-marriage ban. So even in Rush's own convoluted definition of the word "liberal" he isn't right when he says "Liberalism Didn't Win Anything."

Do you need more proof that Rush is completely confused as to what is "Left" and "Right"? Well here's his grand conclusion:

What really happened in this election... I think one of the reasons Reagan Democrats and some of these moderate, so-called independents, one of the reasons they left is because the Republican Party in Washington took this country too far left. It embodied elitism and out-of-touchism, and that's the real nature of our problem.

The Republican Party took the country too far left? This is the same party that took the country so far to the Right that a mainstream press largely Right of Center could be criticized as (relatively) liberal, right? This is the same party that has spent the past several years floating anti-choice, anti-science, and anti-gay legislation, right? That sounds awfully Right, right?
And if we're going to talk about elitism and out-of-touchism, let's look at some prime examples:
I mean conservatism won, but we made the mistake of assuming that the country at large or a majority of it had intellectually crossed over and understood it. That wasn't the case. So we immediately started implementing things that shocked a lot of people because they were not ideologically prepared

Hmm, accusing the majority of the nation of not being intellectually up to speed. MUST be coming from some North Eastern academic right? Or how about this one:
you've got a large aging population in Pennsylvania that doesn't care about anything in the next five years because they may not be alive more than that, and all they want to know is are they going to be taken care of in the next five years. They're not worried about their kids and their grandkids

Whoa, there. Talking DOWN to "The Greatest Generation"??? Gotta be some holier-than-thou Democrat, right? Nope, both of those quotes are from Rush himself, in the very same portion of his show where he was criticizing elitism.
When Rush rants on like this, you'll often hear a loud *THUD*.... Don't be worried, that's the sound of liberals smacking their heads against their desk in frustration and conservatives passing out as their brains short out trying to buy into Rush with his contradictory and illogical leaps.

Friday, November 10, 2006

For reference purposes, you can find today's bag of swill if you follow the hypertext.

What's In A Name?

Poor George Allen. He's been characterized as "shell-shocked" after these recent mid-term elections unseated him from power. And really, why shouldn't he be? No defeated incumbent experienced as much of a public whirlwind plummet in the polls than Allen. And much of it was spurred by his little flub.... "macaca."
Now Rush is telling his audience that we can't really fault Allen for using the word "macaca." That we unnecessarily saddled Mr. Allen with the baggage of accusations of racism. Let's dissect...
"When George Allen uttered the word "macaca," the crowd at the appearance,watching the slurree, the macaca, didn't even what the word meant. Nobody knew what it meant."

Or at least, so says Mr. Limbaugh. As it turns out, the "sluree" knew what it meant. So did the media (or else why would they have cared?). Would we have let it slide if someone had used, but been ignorant of the implications of a term like "chink" or "negroe" or even "heeb"? Along those same lines, If Allen didn't know what it meant, isn't this a flaw of ignorance? Isn't this an indication of inculcated and institutionalized racism? The term itself is obviously racist. Rush even refers to the person it was directed at as a "sluree." This was EXACTLY the problem with Allen. He was TOO dumb and TOO racist to even recognize that he WAS being racist. His initial refusal to apologize just backs this up.

And the fact of the matter is, "macaca" led to an inspection of Allen's character and we found out much more about Mr. Allen that confirmed the idea of his racist inclinations. Should these things not have been an issue? Should we not have investigated at all? Which brings me to.....

Conservative vs. Investigative

The big thing at issue here for Mr. Limbaugh is that the media (and the Left) goes too far in examining public figures. He outright criticizes the effort to "dig deep." But I would ask, what is wrong with digging deep if there are things to find? What is wrong with criticism if there are concrete aspects to criticize?
If the accusations against Allen did not hold water, they could have been shot down outright. But as item after item popped up, Allen's tendencies towards and associations with racism could not be ignored.
The Conservative tendency, as expressed here by Mr. Limbaugh, is to accept things at face value. To accept the status quo. The opposition to this sort of attitude is rightly labeled as "Progressive." If we want to move forward and actually make things better we should actively pursue issues. We should exam. We should analyze and push our analyzation further. If you will not challenge yourself and the world around you, then you deserve to be passed on by.

And one last thing I just can't let slide.......

So Rush, at the beginning of this rant on Allen and "macaca" invokes the good ol' J man.

"Jesus Christ could come back and announce he's a conservative, and they would give him baggage."

1) Would J.H.C. be down with us not being inquisitive, critical beings? If Christ and Faith aren't questioned, what's their value at all?
2) I realize that it's just an example, but Christ wouldn't announce he's a conservative. The guy was anti-violent and anti-establishment. Would you call that Conservative? (granted, i don't think the dude would call himself a Liberal either...)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Definition of "Rush To The Bottom"
Why are we here?

Time and time again, I argue with my grandmother about politics, and time and time again she'll start quoting from that Conservative Mouthpiece, Mr. Rush Limbaugh. Then I dissect Rush's arguments, bust them down, and there's nothing left, but Mr. Limbaugh's hot air. That is pretty much what I intend to do with this blog.

But Craig, Why would you take on such an easy target? Well folks, that's exactly my problem here. Rush SHOULD be an easy target. The problems in his research, reasoning, and ideaology are so obviously flawed that there's no reason why this blog should have to exist. And yet, Rush is promoted and quoted. Rush is held up as a paragon of Right Wing ethos. Rush is wildly popular. In fact, when all avenues of reason have been explored and I've destroyed Rush's arguments where they breath, the most popular argument my Grandmother comes back with is Rush's popularity, as if this gives him validity, gravitas, righteousness, or a mandate. And besides, Why should Al Franken get all the fun?

I want this blog to be a place you can come for talking points on Rush's talking points. I want this blog to be a place where you can submit your own ideas where Rush and the Right Ethos fails. Most of all, I want this blog to be an exercise in the obvious, an exploration of the things that SHOULD be occuring to the majority of the Nation as they listen to bloviating gasbags like Limbaugh rant on with sound and fury signaling nothing. That is, if they can exercise a bit of education and common sense. If we can all learn to use just another ounce of reason, we can finally turn the radio off (or at least WABC) and put this very blog out of business. Then maybe I can finally get to writing about sandwiches.