October 5, 2003
by Doug Newman
Posted at Liberty
The Root, Free-market.net,
Rational Review, Rense.com, Drugwar.com, Flashradar and The Gilmer (TX) Mirror.
The recent flap over Rush Limbaugh’s remarks on ESPN about black professional quarterbacks, and his ensuing resignation as a football commentator, will merely amount to one more pathetic episode in the annals of political correctness.
Of far more profound importance will be the emerging story relating to allegations about Limbaugh illicitly purchasing thousands of addictive painkillers. Other than former drug czar Bill Bennett -- who fell from grace earlier this year when it was revealed that he had gambled away several million dollars – no one was a more enthusiastic promoter of the war on drugs than Rush Limbaugh. Indeed, the New York Daily News referred to Limbaugh as a “moralizing motor mouth.”
According to his former housekeeper, Wilma Cline, Limbaugh was addicted to several potent prescription painkillers. Over a four year period, she and Limbaugh had numerous secret meetings in support of his habit. Over one 47-day period, she claims that she bought 4350 pills for Limbaugh. Limbaugh went through detox twice. (For further details, please click on this link.)
If this is true, Rush had a serious jones.
Had the object of this probe been Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy or the-e-e-e Revvvrennnd Jacksonnnn, Rush would have more fun with the subject than a human being should be allowed to have. He would fulminate about how it exemplified the unspeakable depravity and Babylonian decadence inherent in the genetic blueprints of liberals.
But now, America’s Truth Detector Himself is on the hot seat.
In his opening remarks on his broadcast of October 3, 2003 – the first after the drug bomb dropped -- he mentioned the ESPN business and continued to discuss it throughout the show. However, he declined to discuss on the drug allegations. He simply stated that “The story in Florida is - it really is an emerging situation. I watch what's being reported on television and it changes from morning to morning, hour to hour, day to day. I don't know yet what I'm dealing with there, folks.”
Mr. Limbaugh needs to answer one very basic question. Are the Florida drug allegations true or false?
If they are false -- and merely sensationalism from the National Enquirer which broke the story to begin with – Rush needs to say so and say so now. He does not need to go into any great bombast about it;. He just needs to quote Bart Simpson: I didn’t do it!
And then just move on.
If they are true, Rush needs to admit his guilt and admit it now. For years he has been defending the war on drugs and all of its cruel and unusual ramifications. Had Rush Ramirez of Miami or Abdul Raheem Limbaugh of Detroit or Rush Shlabotnik of Nebraska been under investigation, Rush would demand that they be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
And let's not have any of these namby-pamby wimpy-girly prisons with weight rooms, cable TV and the Wall Street Journal for these offenders. No! No! No! Drug crime means hard time. SERIOUS HARD TIME! Send them to forced labor camps on the North Slope of Alaska.
I mean, after all, in addition to all the other evil they perpetrate, people who buy drugs support terrorists!
On his October 3 program, Limbaugh went into some detail on the failure of liberal social programs. He said that liberals never look at the actual devastation done by their programs, but only the intentions.
The drug war is very similar. Its proponents never look at the actual results, but only the intentions. We have a drug war so that we may stop people from taking drugs, keep drugs off the streets and eventually usher in a drug-free America.
Seventy years of various forms of drug prohibition and 30 or so years of a full-blown “war on drugs” have been a failure of positively monumental proportions. We have more drugs than ever, more dangerous drugs than ever, more drug crime than ever, fuller jails than ever and more violations of the rights of innocent people than ever.
Conservatives have done with the drug war what liberals have done with affirmative action and gay rights. If you dare criticize their drug war, be prepared for them to unleash all manner of rhetorical fury upon you. Conservatives can be just as politically correct as liberals. The facts be damned! Their political agenda must be defended at all costs. If Rush is guilty, he needs to admit it and to change his position on drug prohibition.
Another unfortunate by-product of the drug war is that the rich and privileged have their wrists slapped while the poor and obscure make license plates. You can bet your house that Rush will never don an orange jump suit.
Rush calls the charges against him a “situation”. When Noelle Bush, niece of the president and daughter of Florida governor Jeb Bush, was busted for forging a prescription, her father stated that, "It's a personal and private matter...It should remain a private family matter." (For some really juicy stuff, go to Google advanced search, and type “Noelle Bush” in the box labeled "exact phrase".) “Situations” and “private matters” for the Limbaughs and Bushes are crimes for thee and me.
Dittoheads from Maine to Hawaii will defend Rush just like Bill Clinton’s legions of admirers defended him in his numerous scandals. The first thing they will bring up is that it was the National Enquirer that broke the story. To be sure, the National Enquirer has about as much credibility as the Flat Earth Digest.
Every other paper in America has picked up on the story. Yes, these papers are almost uniformly liberal and their credibility is often doubtful. However, if this was merely sensationalism, why is Rush hemming and hawing so much about these charges? Why is he not just flatly denying them? Mr. Limbaugh is not acting innocent.
Just answer the question, Mr. Limbaugh. If you are innocent, just say so. If you are guilty, just say so. Hold yourself to the same standards to which you hold the rest of America. If you did do the crime, you must do the time. I am talking serious hard time.
To hear Rush tell it, liberals give all sorts of mealy-mouthed answers when accused of wrongdoing while conservatives let their yes be yes and their no be no. Rush has built an empire lampooning the hypocritical behavior of liberals over the years. Now he is acting like one.
We have a golden opportunity to strike a blow for constitutional government by removing all doubt about the total failure of the drug war. However, Rush will probably just have his wrist slapped, his fans will defend him just like Bill Clinton’s defended him and most will never question the insanity of the drug war.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Should you like to share this or post it on another site, please email me and include this URL.
Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman