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Redeploying the Phony Brigade

A surprising thing happened on day two of "Rush to Condemn Rush". The Democrats, whose response to such incidents can usually measured at a glacial pace, moved rather quickly to scold Rush for his jab at soldiers favoring withdrawal. Word has it there will even be a House resolution introduced Monday to formally condemn his statements ala the MoveOn.org amendment. But as deserving as the Dittohead-in-chief is of condemnation, I wonder how much of this fracas is merely to get back at the GOP for forcing a response to the MoveOn Maelstrom. If that is the case, I don't think a resolution is warranted (for the record, I didn't think MoveOn should have been censured either). Issue a press release or hold a press conference, sure. But for the most part Congress should avoid these tit-for-tat resolutions.

And really the Dems should know better than to play this game, because the rules are always pliable when it comes to the GOP. As much as it might feel good, this is exactly the sort of thing the GOPers want. Because I'd bet good money that should a resolution come to the floor condemning Limbaugh, the GOPers will scold the Democrats for wasting the Congress' precious time on frivolous trivialities. I know it doesn't make much sense given the apoplexy over the importance to condemn MoveOn but when has anything the GOP done made sense?

Allowing any resolution that seeks to condemn free speech, even that which many find contemptible, only further illustrates the misplaced priorities of the Congress. And it shows how petty and sophomoric our political discourse has become. We already get enough of that from Rush, we don't need it from Congress as well.

Update: Upon further reflection, I find myself of two minds about whether 'tis wise for the Democrats to put forth a Rush resolution. On the one hand, as I note above, the GOP will surely bemoan the meaninglessness of the whole affair. But I am also sympathetic to the argument that bringing such a resolution to vote is designed to highlight that hypocrisy. Still further, the argument could be made that not seizing on this gifted opportunity could be a sign of weakness. The GOPers may harp on the fact that despite their widespread condemnations, the Dems won't follow through on their convictions. They have already locked themselves onto that course and were they to back off now, like a shark catching his first wisp of blood, the GOP will go into frenzy mode. Such are the tribulations of these vicious cycles of escalation and counter-escalation. All the more reason they should be avoided.

Sadly given the current partisan rancor that exists on both sides, that is unlikely to happen any time soon.

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