Rush & Me: Peas and Carrots

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I get home to find Keith Olbermann outraged again.  I got tired of Olbermann’s outrage shtick long, long ago, and I frequently disagree with his analysis or opinions, but when he stops clutching his pearls, he can be pretty funny.  And he has interesting guests.

Anyway, Keith was outraged this time over Rush Limbaugh’s saying Obama is doing al-Qaeda’s job for them.  Crossed a line.  Over the top.  Over the edge.  Blah blah blah.  The usually very sensible Gene Robinson agreed.  I didn’t.

I said the same thing about the Bush administration.  And it was true.  Cheney is still trying to do al-Qaeda’s job for them.  Rush is doing his best to chip in.  Specifically, as I’ve said before in various ways: al-Qaeda (and the Taliban) are paternalistic authoritarians who see the world in black and white and use extreme violence to rigidly control those they don’t approve of, which is pretty much everybody who isn’t just like them.  Bush, Cheney, Libby, Addington, Yoo — the whole gaggle of them — are also paternalistic authoritarians who also see the world in black and white and also use extreme violence to rigidly control those they don’t approve of.

Did they do it to the same degree as al-Qaeda or the Taliban?  Clearly not.  Nowhere near.  But they did move America decidedly in that direction, decidedly closer to al-Qaeda and the Taliban’s vision of the good society.  They made us more like them.  They sold our soul for . . . I forget what, exactly.

So I don’t think Limbaugh crossed any line of good taste or proper rhetoric.  (Which is the exception with him.)  I’ve got no problem with the saying of what he said.

That doesn’t mean I agree with what he said, obviously.  Except insofar as Obama has perpetuated some Bush policies, I think he’s spectacularly wrong on the facts.  (Actually, it’s hard to even know what facts he has in mind, since he doesn’t seem to have named any specific policies.)  I also think the contexts are different in important ways — the main one being that Limbaugh and his fellow travelers have been trying for a year or more to sell America on the idea that Obama is a secret Muslim who hates America, especially white people.

I’m pretty sure I never said anything similar about Bush.

Update (6/5/09 5:57 pm): Yglesias makes a related point in the context of Obama’s Cairo speech.

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3 Responses to “Rush & Me: Peas and Carrots”

  1. jazzbumpa Says:

    Did they do it to the same degree as al-Qaeda or the Taliban? Clearly not.

    Whoa, now – hang on a minute. 9/11 killed 3000+, mostly Americans. The illegal war in Iraq has gone far beyond that number, along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties, and millions displaced.

    They sold our soul for . . . I forget what, exactly.
    I nominate the greater honor and glory of Haliburton. Or was it Blackwater? Or maybe it was ExxonMobil.

    Anyway, the reason Rush did cross a line is because of his fundamental dishonesty.

    Still can’t find my pearls.

  2. urbino Says:

    My point wasn’t really about body counts. It was more that, even though the Bush administration made us decidedly more like AQ and the Taliban’s vision of society, we still don’t look anything like Afghanistan when those guys were running the place. Not even in the same ballpark.

    Have you checked under the seats in the car?

  3. It’s How They Do « Hungry Hungry Hippos Says:

    […] Giving nutty extremists exactly what they want is what conservatives do.  (It’s what the current generation of conservative leaders do, anyway.) […]

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