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Rush Limbaugh Exposes the Weakness of the Democratic Leadership

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Out of the cesspool of politicians Americans have to deal with in Congress, there is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Today, Sen. Reid chose to prolong and amplify a debacle between Rush Limbaugh and a select group of people from the anti-war movement by making juvenile remarks on the floor of the Senate. In doing so, Sen. Reid lowered himself to the level of Rush Limbaugh, and in front of all of his constituents, he has jeopardized his integrity and career. Moreover, he has wasted time that could have been used to work towards bringing the troops home now.

The statement made by Reid was as follows:

His unpatriotic comments cannot be ignored. During his show last Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh was engaged in one of his typical rants. This rant was unremarkable and indistinguishable from his usual drivel, which has been steadily losing listeners for years -- until he crossed that line by calling our men and women in uniform who oppose the war in Iraq 'phony soldiers.' This comment was so beyond the pale of decency that it cannot be left alone.

Rush Limbaugh took it upon himself to attack the courage and character of those fighting and dying for him and for all of us...Rush Limbaugh got himself a deferment from serving when he was a young man. He never served in uniform. He never saw in person the extreme difficulty of maintaining peace in a foreign country engaged in a civil war. He never saw a person in combat. Yet he thinks that his opinion on the war is worth more than those who have been on the front lines. And what's worse, Limbaugh's show is broadcast on Armed Forces Radio, which means that thousands of troops, overseas, and veterans here at home, were forced to hear this attack on their patriotism. Rush Limbaugh owes the men and women of our armed forces an apology.

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Rush Limbaugh’s record has got nothing to do with anything and everything to do with nothing. Why does it matter Sen. Reid?

For the record, Sen. Reid’s reaction was a result of Rush Limbaugh referring to Iraqi veterans in the anti-war movement as “phony soldiers.” He has since clarified the statement saying he was referring to one “’genuine phony soldier' who had made up stories about atrocities he witnessed though he had never even served in Iraq.” If this is true, despite all of Limbaugh’s imperfections, he has every right to question a man who is fueling the anti-war movement with fabricated lies. That’s his job as talk show radio pundit to do that. And we expect nothing more from him and in the case of Rush, we expect loads of indecency when speaking about such men in the anti-war movement.

Limbaugh responded to Reid’s remarks made on the floor of the Senate saying tantamount to nothing because anyone who listens to his show would know this is what comes out of his mouth daily. But he did say this which may lead one to make the case that dogmatic ignorance can sometimes ring true:

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He's gotta be a nut. I cannot believe that they are actually going this far with this. I did apologize today to the troops, Senator Reid, for you, and for Media Matters for America. If anybody in this country has been trying to demoralize the troops, it is you, sir, and your members of the Democrat Party. You have waved the white flag of defeat.

Indeed, Sen. Reid, you have waved the white flag of defeat and demoralized them by keeping them in harm's way.

Sen. Reid, quit engaging in petty childish showdowns on the Senate floor. Quit condemning political organizations which publish puns that you deem to be “offensive.” Quit going after right wing nuts who are already regarded as right wing nuts and do not need you to bolster their platform based on right wing nuttiness. Do your job. Debate and discuss real legislation that can improve the situation or the status quo in America.

You have the power to end the war. Rush doesn’t. Rush can’t do anything to end the war nor can he stop you from bringing our troops home from Iraq. Don’t be a fool and let him distract you.

Quit complaining about not having the votes and publish the reports, do the analyses, organize the committee meetings, and hold the hearings so that we can get to a point where the troops can be brought home because Congress does have the votes.

Defund the war. Quit proposing legislation that sends more money to “support the troops.” If you really “support the troops,” bring the troops home.

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Mike Gravel gave all members of the Senate advice on how to end the killing last week, and you should take it. Vote 20 days straight on the war and eventually the American people will be banging down the doors of their congressman’s offices and senator’s offices telling them to get the troops out of Iraq already and end the madness. Americans won’t be able to turn on the television to their local news stations if every day they see that another vote failed and the troops are still not home. Plus, the blogosphere will be right behind you pounding away.

You don’t want to hold Bush or Cheney “accountable” by impeaching them and preserving what remains of our Constitution, well, than hold them “accountable” by voting on the war every day. Make a member of the Bush administration go out and justify the move to keep troops in Iraq every single day until the troops our on their way out of the Persian Gulf. Don’t leave this war for the next president. Do what your majority was called upon to do in 2006 and end the war.

You and Pelosi are making the Democratic Party weaker. You are making it a party that stands for nothing. Americans only support your party because the something Republicans stands for will do for our nation worse things than your party’s inaction will. That does not let you off the hook. And that does not make it acceptable to turn the Senate floor into the site of a three-ring circus either.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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