A group of 20 House Democrats this week proposed a resolution to condemn conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh for using the term “phony soldiers” on the air. Limbaugh’s critics say the term was an “unwarranted slur” against soldiers who voice opposition to the Iraq war. Limbaugh says he was referring to a specific war critic who falsely claimed to be a veteran.
The real phonies here are the senators who are attacking Limbaugh over nothing, said John O’Neill in HumanEvents.com. Limbaugh’s on-air comments last week were directed at Jesse Macbeth, a “confessed and convicted” liar who made up stories about having served in Iraq to give his criticism of the war more weight. “Macbeth follows a grand tradition of fake soldiers whose ‘war crimes’ confessions have been used by the Left to slander the service of our troops.”
“Simply because a majority of our troops who return from Iraq disagree with Rush on Bush's failed war policy,” said retired general Wesley Clark on The Huffington Post, “does not give him the right to dishonor their service.” Congress should go beyond condemning Limbaugh. It should yank his program from Armed Forces Radio. Tax money shouldn’t be used to pay for his “outrageous” talk. “Our armed forces have served us honorably in Iraq, and the least we can do is respectfully listen to what they have to say.”
The “slander at the center of this phony storm” is “preposterous,” said Andrew McCarthy in National Review Online. Rush Limbaugh is one of the most unwavering supporters of American soldiers you can find. He provides millions of dollars “out of his own pocket” to provide scholarships for children of fallen Marines—and he doesn’t ask them to pass an ideological test before giving them the money.
It’s no coincidence that the outrage over Limbaugh’s remarks came after the furor over MoveOn.org’s ad in The New York Times referring to Gen. David Petraeus as “General Betray Us.” Republicans got Congress to condemn the ad, and Democrats are responding in kind. Republicans used to be the masters of “drumming up a quick controversy over some actual or perceived” outrage, but Democrats “are catching up fast.”