Sara Palin vs. Rush Limbaugh

Resigned Alaskan governor and rightwing activist Sara Palin has come out strongly against those that believe tossing around the “R-word” is acceptable in public discourse and should be included into the modern lexicon. I strongly agree. Though I remain baffled as to why Sara Palin will not strongly admonish radio host Rush Limbaugh for doing exactly just that to a very large listening audience.

It all began with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel referring to congressional liberal as “f—- retarded,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

A stern defender of the developmentally disabled, Sara Palin came out strongly against those who would use such derogatory language that hurts not just the people the insults are aimed at, but also injures the people that care for and love with all their heart developmentally disabled children as well.

“Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the ‘N-word’ or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities — and the people who love them — is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page.

While I would disagree that Rahm Emanuel should resign over his poor choice of words, I support Sara Palin in her indignation against this kind of language. It is important to note that Rahm Emanuel has apologized in public for his statement and there is no reason to believe it was anything but very poor choice of words and the expression of an honest opinion that illuminates exactly what I have long thought may be true of the White House chief of staff.

Under my observation, Rahm Emanuel is misguided in some of reasoning in so far as in my view he should be in support of the congressional liberal agenda and attempting to balance that against the presidential agenda if he were a “true blood” liberal / progressive himself. Somewhat like his boss, he is just not liberal enough for me. But I chalk it up to personal political differences between those of the “grassroots” left and the “big tent” left.

Enter conservative radio-talker Rush Limbaugh:

Limbaugh took the occasion to double-down on Emanuel’s remark. On his radio show, Limbaugh made an even more derogatory comment, insisting that there can be no insult in “calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards.”

The real news, Limbaugh continued, was that Emanuel had directed his “retard” comment at Obama supporters. “So now there’s going to be a meeting,” he said. “There’s going to be a retard summit at the White House.”

Not only did Limbaugh use this hurtful word repeatedly but he outright refuses to apologize to God’s children for his venom spread as a public figure. What is more, Limbaugh has decided to use the words “retard summit” to embellish his point which removes the question if we are talking about Limbaugh believing others to be simply misguided in their thinking and he is slurring them in sport, or if he is talking about a group of people as “inferior” examples of humanity than himself. The question of if we are talking about persons or talking about ideas is made clear in Limbaugh’s statement but Emanuel’s statement could be taken either way.

This combined with the large difference in stature between a radio shock-jock and a White House chief of staff makes for a situation in which surely Sara Palin must see the need to say more about Rush’s “slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities — and the people who love them” as there is no doubt it was and remains to be “unacceptable, and heartbreaking” that slurs and vile contempt for fellow human beings is so widely accepted in modern political lexicon.

There seems to be some confusion in the Sara Palin camp as to the seriousness of this kind of language being used by public figures in our politics. She has decided to issue an statement through a representative in regards to the offensive words of Rush Limbaugh rather than, as I believe is the proper format for a public figure of her stature, post her thoughts onto her Facebook page in regards to these onslaughts thrown at God’s children from the EIB studios.

This confusion persists as Sara Palin continues to hold her true feelings in about those who use mass media and public formats to attack the developmentally disabled in regards to this, possibly intentional, slight against her child and her family by Rush Limbaugh.

As it stands it appears that either Sara Palin was simply trying to score cheap political points by chastising Rahm Emanuel when “it doesn’t matter who said ‘r-word‘” or she has merely yet to properly address the seriousness of Limbaugh’s attacks against the developmentally disabled. There is no question that EIB & Rush Limbaugh thrown down the gauntlet against the rights of the developmentally disabled to be treated will respect and dignity. What remains to be seen is if Sara Palin will continue to waffle the issue by having her spokesperson, Meg Stapleton, speak for her or if she will stand proud and tall against all those who would cast such spiteful injuries unto those who deserve our greatest compassion in this modern lexicon.

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UPDATE!

Rush Limbaugh was won, unquestionably. Sara Palin has laid prostrate before his mighty slurs.

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Bill Clinton Downplays the Anti-Obama Rhetoric

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Former President Bill Clinton appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press and when asked about the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ that smeared him during his presidency he said this:

GREGORY: “Is it [the right-wing conspiracy] still there?”

CLINTON: “Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It’s not as strong as it was, because America’s changed demographically, but it’s as virulent as it was, .. I mean, they’re saying things about him [Obama] — you know, it’s like when they accused me of murder and all that stuff they did,”

I agree with the former president’s assessment that we have changed demographically as a nation and that the virulence of the right-wing smear factory is as virulent as ever, but Clinton failed to touch on two critical points surrounding this current crusade of baseless slanders against these two democratically elected leaders.

Point One:

The major platform to carry the broken logic of these claims was primarily talk radio when Clinton held the White House. Today these same kind of untrue slanders are carried by FOX News Talk Radio, FOX Cable News, and other talk mediums that include satellite broadcasting which did not even exist within the time he was in office. Then add on top of that a new spinster has come to rival Rush Limbaugh: Glenn Beck.

Point Two:

The McCarthyist and anti-democratic rhetoric coming from the right-wing did not start until several years into the Clinton presidency but have begun almost immediately in the Obama presidency.

Likely he seeks to try to disempower the media-jackals of FOX News, by evading the heart of the matter of the foundation-less smears directed against President Obama; he is trying to avoid giving them bait.

But it must be said: these smears have propagated themselves in much more virulent manner and much sooner than they did for Clinton. It took them years to get around to accusing him of anything even half as extreme as some of the myths about Obama that have been floated around from several months back.

What is worse is the very foundation of this conspiracy is not the same as the one that attacked Clinton. Only the tactics and one of the actors (Limbaugh) remain from that old sideshow.

This is far, far worse and I can not label it anything less than fundamentally un-American.

It seeks to undermine our very system of democracy and our very system of public discourse.



The government is trying to kill you and everyone not with you is a “shill”.

Or … if it’s not the wild conspiracy theories of those like Alex Jones, it’s the equally wild claims of those like Glenn Beck.



The government is trying to control your life and everyone who doesn’t think so is a “Marxist”.

All of this is simply designed to sow fear and distrust for both anyone who supports any not of their opinion then simultaneously spread fear about the government at-large.

In a democratic society we cannot afford to simply forgo coming to the table to discuss our positions with facts and reason then replace this with media-crusades and continuous vicious untrue labeling without dire consequence.

Those who refuse to educate themselves except from known liars need to be recognized as dealt with non-credible.

The insidious plot that is in play here is of another caliber entirely.

It is a giant media body larger and the message is wholly anti-democratic, then you add that we have race baiting going on against the first African-American president by both Beck and Limbaugh, but nobody on the right wing ever cares that they engaged in it and continue to do so at their whim.

A certain element of racism exists not just in what Jimmy Carter said about some white people in the US not feeling a black man should lead this great nation, but also within this intense rush to judgment of Barack Obama in terms of the full scope of his presidency.

The matter of those on the right who wished to keep their children home from school because Obama would address the class in a video is more short-term example of this same rush to negative judgment.

I personally will allow no person to wrap themselves in this claim that anyone is saying that everyone anti-Obama is by value of that a racist.

What is disturbing is the number of people who obviously have never looked into what people are calling “racist” or “racialist” on the left but truly have a high level of indignation more about the fact that the issue is being discussed than anything else.

To not even entertain thought long enough to form any kind of argument begs the question if they are within heavy stages of denial.

Make no mistake, once these neoconservatives no longer have an enemy to publicly defame and lie about they will go right back to trying to get people to vote for The Republican Party.

And the media in general is not helping by providing massive double standards in their intense questioning of Democrats, but constant softballs to Republicans.

Overt Race-Baiting From Limbaugh And Racial Politics At-Large

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“In Obama’s America white kids now get beat up with black kids cheering, ‘Yeah! Right on, right on!’”

“When is the last time Gen. Powell endorsed a white liberal for president?”

“This whole election [2008] was based on race.”

These are just a small taste of the flagrant racialist sentiments that have come from the Pro-Republican ultra-conservative rightwing-mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh.

Not once has any major Republican party figure come out to distance themselves from these shameless attempts to drum up anti-black sentiment against Barack Obama.

While Jimmy Carter expressed what I thought needed to be said, the larger part of my personal feelings on the matter is that of the unwillingness to question those that present themselves as conservatives or Republicans but in truth engage in viscous race-baiting.

It is the lack of togetherness around combating racism that leads me to such reasoning.

If their movement was so invested in racial equality, wouldn’t they want Limbaugh thrown off the air? Or at very least to stop calling himself a conservative and just admit to being a Race-baiter more than he is anything else?

But, no.

He is a mainstay in conservative-talk and even the Chairman of The RNC, Michael Steele, wouldn’t stand up to him on a matter as simple as if Limbaugh was an “entertainer“ or not.

Obviously Rush Limbaugh is a Radio Entertainer, but these quotes are examples of exactly what kind of entertainment his program really offers. Race-baiting against African-Americans and vile, political hatred for all who disagree with him all wrapped up in one package.

In that much alone, bringing no other examples, I could say almost the same words the former President Jimmy Carter spoke that have sparked controversy except more directed on to the shoulders of mainstream conservatives than the anti-Obama forces.

This failure to reject the racialist statements of a popular political-talker on any real level begs to question if indeed many support these untrue and racially divisive statements.

In short, it is this defense of figures like Limbaugh or the defense of racist cartoons that promotes the idea in minds of some that perhaps racial motivates do exist far more strongly than political motives in minds of others.

PORTSMOUTH, NH - AUGUST 11: Police stand near protesters outside Portsmouth High School where U.S President Barack Obama is holding a town hall August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. President Obama is in town to speak about the need for health insurance reform to a crowd of eighteen hundred. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

PORTSMOUTH, NH - AUGUST 11: Police stand near protesters outside Portsmouth High School where U.S President Barack Obama is holding a town hall August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. President Obama is in town to speak about the need for health insurance reform to a crowd of eighteen hundred. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

“We have to take our country back!”


“Get your government hands off my Medicare!”

There are two reasons why I believe some of the extreme sentiments in The Health Care Debate are perhaps more than merely political partisanship from the right.

(1) The Patriot Act expanded federalism and government power, as well as government involvement in our lives, without anywhere near the same level of intense resistance from these same groups who claim to stand only for limiting government power.

(2) Republican President George W. Bush initially expanded federalism, once more in a single presidency, to include market recovery spending again without anywhere near the same level of personal attacks on his character.

The ideals of conservatism state that we should have let the market fall and just let the chips fall where they may. The ideals of conservatism state that creating more government is always the wrong direction and only limiting it is the correct course.

If this resistance was in fact some ‘grass roots’, ‘bipartisan’, ’community event’ based on conservative ideals then these same people would have held protests and thrown tea parties at the actual expanse in federalism, and not at this late stage.

This talk of revolution and talk of oppressive government certainly begs any level of credibility with even the most elementary review of facts. A disconnect exists between the level of outrage and the stances they claim to hold dear.

It is important to point out, that I agree with Speaker Pelosi on the matter of astroturfing in the Health Care town halls.

I eluded to that in a previous post: “Marble-cake Federalism and Health Care Reform”.

‘Astroturfing’ is a political term you don’t hear often. It means that a big entity, like a medical insurance company, is funding the protestors by means of paid-provocateurs and organizers usually working as private contractors.

I am not trying to belittle or demean those that have issues with the Health Care bills or issues with the very notion of government Health Care Reform.

I am only saying that in my view all these events don’t add up.

The problems in Congress and the deficit issue or the many other points I have heard made never include addressing why these issues, that have been this way prior to the election of Barack Obama and during the presidency of George W. Bush, are suddenly such strong points of contention.

I would remind everyone of the Obama Stimulus and how a very similar message was present in those speaking out in public and in the media but none of them ever explained why they neglected to protest or even voice their opinion when Bush issued a Stimulus Check and bailed out the banks.

Non-explanations combined with a specific rejection of specifically this president combined with intense pre-judgments, like the charges of “indoctrination or despotism coming from people on the right wing when Obama merely addresses school children, are the reasons that I support Jimmy Carter in confronting the issue instead of shying away.

The Two Americas

Left versus Right political divides seem to be at all time highs.

We live in two different spheres of media and politics, where there is no common ground whatsoever.

Even within defining the past and simple definitions of words there is no mutual understanding between groups.

The Liberal versus Conservative Debate cannot take place under these conditions, and ultimately does nothing but aggravate social divisions.

Each side blames the other for this via biased-media and partisan rancor.

Partisanship is inevitable. Each side must strive to avoid not only personal bias when discussing politics, but also avoid media bias when consuming political media. Many mistake this suggestion as promoting only specifically formatted media shows as “appropriate.”

I instead suggest hearing both sides of the debate. Every liberal should boldly consume partisan media of the right as should every conservative boldly consume partisan media of the left. Bias is easily recognized by being completely unwilling to weigh both sides of a contentious issue.

President Barack Obama, spoke out early in his presidency against partisanship on the right and specifically named the radio conservative Rush Limbaugh. Obama specifically urged conservatives Americans to stray away from partisans like Limbaugh, and with good reason.

While we all have partisanship within us there are certain figures in media who exhibit a bias so strong it’s questionable if it is indeed genuine. Rush Limbaugh may well be far less partisan against liberals than he appears while on the air.

The bottom line is partisanship sells media. As long as media consumers of all political persuasions wish to only have their own opinions echoed back at them the partisan media will continue to thrive. This leads to the Two Americas of our politics today.

A land where intolerance of thought is standard. A land of our own creation.

Eric Lightborn
May 11th 2009

Shoe vs. Bush

The Shoe Heard ‘Round The World

I don’t pretend to hold any grasp of full cultural understanding in any culture outside my own, but I think it is safe to say that other cultures outside of America have their own versions of “flipping the bird” as we enjoy so well here in American society. The degree of the insult or how to avoid committing such an egregious insult in a foreign land is outside my ability to comment on, but there is no doubt that these gestures are both insult-oriented.

The shoe thrown at President Bush by a member of the Iraqi press-corps was a physical embodiment of the sentiment of millions across many nations and many peoples given flight. Expressed clearly, and with due consequence, so that there can be no doubt.

I commend President Bush for taking the situation light-heartedly and openly discussing the incident without an interruption for security considerations.

Were it another politician, I would write that claiming they did not know the motivations behind the outburst was an outright lie. In the case of President George W. Bush, I believe he was being truthful in his comment. I tend to believe that he has no idea that his actions in office, in their majority, have served to do lasting harm to this country that he and I both love.

I wish to add a Democratic voice into giving the Bush White House commendation for all efforts of humanitarian aid in Africa and all other humanitarian aid provided under their supervision. Were the Bush White House not instrumental in altering US military policy regarding torture, a war that is now admittedly started on suspect intelligence and the loss of privacy granted within the Patriot Act I would be able to give further favorable remarks to a President in his final days of office. If evidence were to come before me that Bush had prevented a major American terrorist incident then I would, first and foremost, commend his office in this operation.

I would be happy to write even more favorable commendations for a political figure, and a man, with whom I share very little common ideological ground but ultimately we both are doing what we believe it best for our nation. This sentiment is the foundation of bipartisanship and almost entirely devoid not only in our mass media machine but also within the national radio machine and the political internet machine. Literature and the wisdom of trusted elders being the only recourse left to the youth of America in this sad state of affairs.

I don’t subscribe to the Bush-hatred that spawned a shoe in the air and the ‘flipping of birds’ on the streets of America but I certainly didn’t vote for him, at any point. I was very critical, by recollection, of my peers in 2000 after Bush was elected (I feel the need to say legitimately) that he should fail horribly so he would be removed quickly.

I reminded them that wishing for the President to fail was the same as wishing for the country to fail. We all share in the consequences as Americans. On November 5th 2008, Rush Limbaugh put forth the sentiment to his audience that President-elect Obama held nothing of his support and wished him to fail horribly so he would be ousted from office in a matter of months or years. Ushering in a new conservative age in government.

Rush Limbaugh and similar counter-parts on television & radio by no means represent the conservative movement as a whole. Just as the Bush-haters, 9-11 Truth groups, atheist-agenda activists and a member of a foreign press agency do not represent as a whole the liberal movement, but these events and statements become more and more widespread under bad government and bad media in all their many forms.

George W. Bush has been the butt of many of my comedic efforts so for the sake of showing where my motivations lie I will say these words on Barack Obama:

Our, uh, rightfuly elected, President-elect, uh, sure, uh, likes to, think real, uh, hard, while the cameras are, uh, rolling. I, uh, sure, uh, hope that, he, doesn’t, uh, do that, in, uh, foreign negotiation. That would, uh, be, uh, annoying.

Take notice I didn’t use their titles and referred to them as men. Try to remember that intelligent men and women say unintelligent things and if they didn’t the comedians of the world would not have anything to joke about. Does anybody really think the cast of SNL was mainly a conservative cast in the Clinton years and switched to a liberal ideology when Bush came to office?

It is one thing to poke fun at the members of high office and another to spread falsehoods or misrepresentations of the character and ideals of real people. No side can claim innocence of these affronts to the voting American public. No matter what they tell you about being “the place for politics” or “fair and balanced” I just don’t think the idea of bipartisanship in politics is selling right now. Making bad media ever more popular.

Let’s talk solutions before anyone calls me a “doomsayer.”

The consumer solution is not to reject all alternative media but rather to not support the products and private promoters of the shows that resound the most negative influence in their broadcast. Boycotts are unadvised but never be afraid to tell a station owner or business owner of your choices and tell any interested friends why are doing it. Also don’t be afraid to support a host and their sponsors who you find wishes to be bipartisan, in as much as is possible, or seeks to bring more voices into political discussion.

Your views on exactly who those people are might include Rush Limbaugh but I still remain in my central point of this being a consumer solution to whatever you believe to be bad media.

The federal or state solution in a non-starter. There is already a law requiring on-air balance in campaign messages over the radio. The pro-Fairness Doctrine arguments I hear usually lack the perspective of history by not recognizing that the Mayflower Doctrine also exists in possible retro-active policy. That doctrine would ban editorializing of any form on the radio. Both doctrines only serve to crush free speech via microphone and remove the choice of the people from the radio formats.

The network solution is more handled than most people seem to think. Most the reason we do not see Democrats on FOX and Republicans on MSNBC is because they won’t go on. Not for lack for trying by any means on the part of the networks. Same with what I can see of hiring practices in all the major networks. They all have different people of different political stripes walking around those studios and offices. I have not and never plan to work any news network and I find it funny how many people in the media today seem to think they are fit to tell us about these issues. An example of asking a used car salesman or a mechanic about the quality of lot car’s engine comes to mind.

The burden falls to the nation to be more discerning in their media consumption.

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Media Bias Effects You Everyday

Let’s talk about the news media:



A lot of people on the internet are highly active in political commentary, but there is much to consider in the realms of social policy and being more than just a mere echo-box for party-line agendas.

In an article on The Huffington Post, Colin Powell addresses the nature of Rush Limbaugh doing harm to the Republican and conservative movements.

I am no fan of Limbaugh but I want to be very clear about the nature of my distaste. Limbaugh is by all shades of the definition a “master broadcaster” that is highly professional in the manner in which he handles material.

I would challenge anyone to say the same statement about Powell’s endorsement of Obama in different words and not sound explicitly racist in the process. Limbaugh has way of taking the hurtful and hateful and converting it into somewhat-tasteful baloney.

The title of “master broadcaster” is not shared by his clones within the radio media, by my estimation. Slander and false claims don’t amount to anything but a waste of everyone’s time.

Then we return to the concept of why we should care about media figures and what they say or do. No matter what your political leanings are if you have some then you are doing yourself a disservice by viewing only media that agrees with your core values.

I can be made extremely angry by comments made on the radio but I can also turn it off.

We have “freedom of media” in this country which means it is up to you, if you vote, to get the real deal story and not just buy what they sell at your political party gift shop.

This is far easier to start than you think. Just start taking time to consider how much of each side you have heard in your day and attempt to fit the opposite point of view through the media into the end of your day.

Local radio hosts tend to be less biased than national on both political sides, try tuning in to your local AM stations.

Failing everything else you can just click between Fox News and MSNBC instead of locking-in to one or the other.

If anyone thinks this issue is extremely unimportant or bad advise I say to you that we killing this country in partisan politics mainly because of the absolute loss of perspective from slanted media on every side.

We will lose this country with these attitudes, if not for yourself then certainly we must do this for our children.