01/11/11-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Rush Limbaugh tried the shotgun approach to attacking the Left for their criticism of the incendiary rhetoric that appears to have served as the inspiration for Jared Lee Loughner’s violent outburst. He is angry that anyone would dare confront him and others for linking Loughner’s rhetoric to that of Sarah Palin and the Right. Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman has compiled the list of what Limbaugh said on his radio show today when he spent the entire hour trying to fight back.
Limbaugh’s talking points are a guide to the ways in which the political right — from establishment Republicans in Washington to the Tea Party at the grassroots level — will fight back against attempts to tie them to Jared Lee Loughner.
His very long list of points:
* LOUGHNER IS A LONE NUT. Even “the Obama government” — the FBI — calls Loughner a “deranged, insular irrational kid” who acted alone, Limbaugh said. “The kid was evil. He was into the occult. He had an altar with a skull in his yard. Was God in his life? He was stalking the congresswoman.”
That Loughner was a ‘lone nut’ is not denied. In fact, we all know that he was a loner and likely insane. The problem here is that he still was swimming in a sea of Right Wing rhetoric, as shown by his own rantings.
* HEAVY METAL. “The guy listened to heavy metal, and some of that anarchist stuff. We’re dealing with an insane individual.”
Many sane people listen to Heavy Metal. There has never been a proven link between violence and heavy metal except from the Right. It is a false argument.
* DIDN’T WATCH FOX. “There is no evidence that he listened to talk radio. There is no evidence he listened to Fox News. There is no evidence that he saw Sarah Palin’s Facebook page. No evidence he saw her lame website with the crosshairs.”
There is also no evidence that he did not. In fact, so far, there is no evidence one way or the other except that he believes the exact same things as many on the Right.
* BLAME THE PARENTS. “Where are the parents? Are they derelicts? He was so devoted to marijuana he wanted to make it the new U.S. currency. Did anyone try to institutionalize him?”
He lived at home with his parents. Incidentally, he wanted a currency backed by gold and silver, something supported by GOP Rep. Ron Paul. A person cannot be institutionalized without their consent if they are over 18 unless they are proven to be a danger to society.
* SHERIFF COVERING HIS OWN BUTT. “This kid sounds like he was very well known as a dangerous element around town. If there is a file somewhere about this kid in the sheriff’s office,” said Rush, and the sheriff had failed to act, then he would be partly responsible for the tragedy in Arizona on Saturday. “If he was so concerned about the Tea Party, where was security for this congresswoman’s event on Saturday?”
He had one and only one run in with local police.
* DUPNIK IS A DEMOCRAT. “This Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, is an anti-conservative.”
Dupnik being a Democrat has nothing to do with it, and Limbaugh cannot prove that he is anti-conservative.
* WHERE’S THE SAFETY NET? “Loughner is obviously deranged, so where’s the left’s safety net? Haven’t we spent trillions of dollars to build a system to catch these disturbed people? Where is the evidence that their compassion works?”
The Republicans have, over the last several decades, cut funding for treatment of the mentally ill. What is more, he cannot be committed unless he is a proven threat to society.
* THE OKLAHOMA CITY TEMPLATE. “Sad tragedies, where people die, are seen first as political opportunities by these people,” Rush said. “The Republicans had nothing to do with the bombing at Oklahoma City, but it was seen as a political opportunity for Bill Clinton. This is now the same template.”
The Republicans had a history of anti-government rhetoric. It is the same rhetoric that they are using now, and trying to get away with- again.
* CRIMINALIZING SPEECH. “They’re shutting down any opposition and criminalizing it. They’ve had a plan filed away in a drawer to take away as many of our political freedoms as they can. The Democrats just lost an election, and now the only other thing they can try to do is silence the opposition.”
Actually, they are condemning the use of violent speech, not trying to criminalize it. This statement is not far off of Loughner’s belief that the government is trying to control his mind via grammar.
* HYPOCRITES ON VIOLENCE. It’s not the right, Limbaugh said, but the left that glorifies criminal behavior and violent imagery. “‘No, no,’ they say, ‘that’s art!’ Rap music? ‘That’s art!’”
The Left has vocally criticized violent rap, but unlike Limbaugh, they have not called for it to be banned.
* DEMOCRATS ARE GHOULS. They privately are thankful for Tucson because “they think it advances their sick and perverted purposes.” Mark Penn, who was Bill Clinton’s polltaker, said — before Tucson — that “Obama needs his own Oklahoma City.”
And when Mark Penn said that, many on the Left rushed to condemn his statement.
* DEMOCRATS v. THE MAJORITY. By linking Loughner to the right, Limbaugh warned, Democrats are “taking aim at a majority of the people in the country. This is not 1988, or 1993, when the drive-by media had total control. I am not going to be silenced,” he said, but now he has too many allies. “They’re accusing a majority of Americans of being accomplices to murder.”
No, they’re accusing the Tea Party, who are a very small group of people, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and more of having created this environment.
* A DIRECT DENIAL. “At no time has anybody ever called for violence,” Limbaugh said. “We’ve never subtly promoted it.” And, by the way, the Democrats’ language is and was worse.
Democrat’s language has never been worse. They have never put gun sights over districts, or talked about “Second Amendment Remedies”. They have never talked about armed insurrection if they did not win the election.
Rush Limbaugh is trying desperately to regain the high ground here knowing that he and his are responsible. LGR has already spent quite some time refuting the Right’s attempt to claim that this is not their fault having pointed out where Loughner’s rhetoric is identical or similar to those of the Right. Limbaugh’s points can be easily refuted, and it would have been nice to see Fineman spend some time refuting them how ever cursorily and quickly as I have done here.
The Republicans and Limbaugh are trying to mitigate the damage that they know has been done by Loughner’s actions. This time, it is not for the Democrats and the Left to silently let them get away with this, but to refute them point by point over and over again.