Skip to comments.(Vanity) The Rush to Judgment, or, Pin the Fail on the Donkey
Posted on 10/01/2007 7:38:58 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
Today (Monday October 1), the Rush Limbaugh radio talk show featured an astounding interview with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, but I was equally intrigued by some of the programming which aired after the interview. As it turns out, a number of Democrats in the United States Senate (in conjunction with some liberal groups) have been trying to make a stink over some remarks Rush Limbaugh said in conversation, about our fine troops in Iraq. Well, not exactly. I listen to Rush on occasion, and I heard his original remarksfar from being disparaging of the troops, they were harsh words of criticism for phony soldiers. The phony soldiers refers to people who claim to have been US soldiers, and who parade around in front of the cameras and liberal interest groups claiming to validate claims of atrocities and foul misdeeds by US troops. How convenient! Rush Limbaugh himself has said that this latest controversy is part of a larger plan by the Democrats to make themselves seem supportive of the troops, now that the Iraq surge is working. Rush even challenged Harry Reid (Featherbedder NV) to come out from behind the Senate microphone and to make his charges on Rushs own show, face to face. Such remarks got me thinking about other possible plans and motives which might be driving the Democrats.
First of all, look at Rushs comments about hiding behind the Senate microphones. What does this refer to? As it turns out, there is a speech and debate clause in the Constitution (Article I, Section 6) which basically immunizes members of the House and Senate for speech and conduct whilst debating within the hallowed halls of Congress(*). It says:
...shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony, and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their attendance at the Session of their Respective Houses, and in going to and from the same, and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
So, just as in the case of the First Amendment, which grants a risk-free hunting license to members of the media, the Speech and Debate Clause is being used by members of Congress to allow them to attack their political opponents with (relative) impunity. There are a several interesting observations to be made about this:
a) Rushs call to Senator Reid to come and debate me like a man is a double-edged sword. First, he is drawing attention to the hypocrisy of the Senate Democrats. The President is often condemned by Congress for hiding behind executive privilege. Why then is he Senate so insistent in hiding behind its own protections?
Second, if Reid does come on the Rush Limbaugh program to repeat these points, he may lose his immunity from suit!
b) In playing for the second of these events, Rush is hoping to do to Dingy Harry what it appears may be happening to Rep. John Murtha (Disgrace PA) in another connection. A Federal Judge has ruled that Rep. Murtha may NOT necessarily claim immunity from suit for defamation, in regard to remarks made concerning serviceman in an open forum; even though many of these remarks are identical to claims made from the floor of the House of Representatives. But rather than let the suit go forward directly, the Judge has ordered the Congressman to testify under oath, in order to clarify what and where the remarks were made.
But the link to Rep. Murtha brings up another important point about the Democrats strategy and a possible motivation for their remarks. First, as Rush pointed out, they are trying to distract attention from their own lack of support for the troops. But it might go further. Consider the following quotes from leading Democrats regarding our troops:
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you dont, you get stuck in Iraq. -- John F. Kerry (Pussy MA) (who by the way served his own interests in Viet Nam, and whose Christmas trips to Cambodia were seared into his memory), November,2006
``There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud," -- Ted Kennedy (Chappaquiddick MA), reported in The Associated Press, September, 2003.
And let me be clear, the violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al Qaeda said to these tribes we have to fight al Qaeda ourselves. It wasn't that the surge brought peace here. It was that the warlords took peace here, created a temporary peace here. And that is because there was no one else there protecting. -- Chuck Schumer (GunGrabber NY), September 2007
The reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief, -- Hillary Clinton (Cuckold NY) to General Petraeus (who by the way has a PhD from Princeton), September 2007
All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United States occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a "free" Iraq. -- John Murtha (Depends PA), November 2005
So obviously, the reason that the Democrats are accusing Rush Limbaugh of attacking the troops, is to draw attention away from their own behaviour. But there is one other reason why some Democrats may be objecting so loudly to the phrase Phony Soldiers.
Bill Clinton, Hillarys
meal ticket to fame husband, was a draft-dodger who said, I loathe the military.
Recall that John Kerrys campaign was derailed by a bipartisan group of Vietnam Veterans who served with him, and who loudly hinted that he didnt *really* deserve his three Purple Hearts. Apparently there have been conflicting accounts of how John Murtha received his war wounds. Interestingly, I dont see any indication that John Kerry has released his SF-180, nor that Murtha has released the paperwork on all of his war decorations
Is there just the chance, then, that the discussion of Phony Soldiers is hitting just a little too close to home for some people?
(*) If Rush thinks he has it rough (though I doubt he does, given his conversations with Justice Thomas about the sacrifices our troops are making), he should recall one episode during the debate over slavery, in particular, the situation in Kansas in the 1850s. Charles Sumner gave an impassioned speech entitled, The Crime Against Kansas. During this speech he linked Senator Butler of South Carolina to [that] harlot, slavery. In short order, Senator Butlers nephew, Congressman Preston Brooks, went over to Sumners desk and beat him unconscious with his cane. I have always wondered why this didnt cross the line of breach of the peace mentioned in the Speech and Debate Clause.
I think it hit too close to home for phony Vietnam vet Sen. Tom Harkin.
I question the limit of those protections. For one, is attempting to deny the 1st Amendment rights of a citizen a felony in any statute? Two, "Breach of the Peace" is a bit vague. Are there no mouthpieces out there that can stretch that a bit? Finally, and most applicably, suing for liable or slander doesn't involve arrest so the entire clause appears to my untrained eye to be irrelevant to that issue.
The only Soldiers TraitorcRats Support are Phony Soldiers
Pray for W and Our Freedom Fighters
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