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Charge of the Phony Brigade

I don't know why everyone is so worked up over Rush Limbaugh's claim that those soldiers who support withdrawing from Iraq are "phony". These sorts of "foot-in-mouth" episodes are par for the course when it comes to Rush. That he always seems to slink by with nary a follicle out of place (sans the ones lost to a rapidly receding hairline) is a testament to how powerful the right wing media machine has become.

But I want to examine Rush's claim that soldiers who don't support the war in Iraq are "phony". If they are "phony" shouldn't we be doing something about it? I mean, if it's demoralizing to have gays openly serving in the armed forces, it must be equally demoralizing to have soldiers serving who don't support the war efforts 110%. Why not institute a "Do Ask, Do Tell" policy and any soldier found to be in favor of withdrawal be jettisoned before they are able to infect the rest of their units with similar sentiment. You know, like the gays do.

I am of course being facetious. Rush on the other hand is not and should be denounced for his comments. That his Oxy-Contin addled brain doesn't get that those soldiers who he derides as "phony" have fought and died so that he could speak his mind just shows who the real "phony" is in this debate.

More from Tim Grieve.

Update: Greg Sargent has another great catch. According to Rush, it's "not possible intellectually to follow" those people who favor withdrawal because their basic argument thus far has been "It's gonna bring our troops home. Save the troops. Keep the troops safe. Or whatever."

Greg boils it down:
The point here is that for Limbaugh, Boehner and other war supporters, the lives of the troops simply aren't part of the equation in any meaningful sense, and once in a while, this dirty secret slips out.

Defenders of the Bush administration often say that in order to really support the troops you must support the war. They are unable to differentiate the Cause (the war) from those fighting it (the soldiers). To them they are one in the same and Rush's commentary points to that inability to separate the two. People like Limbaugh just can not fathom the idea that each soldier is an individual with his or her own opinion. So when soldiers who choose to voice that opinion speak up, they are labeled "phony" to help preserve the integrity of this believed indistinguishableness.

To guys like Rush, the soldiers are just pawns to be moved about the chessboard of war. And should they fall, the collective reaction from righties is always the same.


(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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