The recent spate of selective moral outrage about Rush Limbaugh’s comments, which referenced Sandra Fluke’s surreal testimony before a faux Democratic House committee on Capitol Hill, brings to mind the Moscow Show Trials of the mid-1930s.
The petitions circulating on Facebook, and other virtual meeting spaces on the Web, calling for Clear Channel to take Limbaugh off the air are illustrative of the Progressive Left’s instinctive leaning toward totalitarianism and the Soviet Politburo style of destroying those who disagree with their ideology.
It is also illustrative of the Left’s success in its propaganda war against Limbaugh. The Left has developed a caricature of Limbaugh as a racist, homophobic, misogynist, drug-addled hypocrite who spews hate over the airwaves. It’s very similar to the way totalitarian governments portray their enemies as sub-human monsters to make it easier for the general populace to turn the other way or actively engage in atrocities.
Most people who have a negative opinion of Limbaugh have never bothered to listen to him. Instead, they believe in the paper mache Limbaugh created by his detractors.
Andrew Breitbart wrote about this in Righteous Indignation: “One day I asked him [Breitbart’s father-in-law, Orson Bean] why he had Rush Limbaugh’s book, The Way Things Ought to Be, on his shelf. I asked him, ‘Why would you have a book by this guy?’ And Orson said, ‘Have you ever listened to him?’ I said yes, of course, even though I never had. I was convinced to the core of my being that Rush Limbaugh was a Nazi, anti-black, anti-Jewish, and anti–all things decent. Without berating me for disagreeing with him, Orson simply suggested that I listen to him again.”
Listen he did, and we all know the rest of the story, a story that those who live in their parochial bubbles find remarkably similar to Limbaugh’s as a racist, homophobic, misogynist right-wing loon. But for those of us who consume a wide range of media – from “mainstream” to left, right and everything in between – we see someone who courageously exposed the absurdities of a PC world gone mad.
I purposely chose the word “courageously” to describe Breitbart’s frontal attack on the conventional wisdom of the PC, totalitarian Left to contrast the Left’s so-called “courage” in its attack on the supposed bogeymen of our day, like Christians and Sarah Palin.
It is very easy for any flash-in-the-pan penny-ante celebrity to “courageously” attack the usual suspects on the Right. Their “courage” is awarded with accolades and applause at any pretentious awards-night gathering of their peers. This courage dissolves, however, when the subject is Islam or any other left-wing pieties.
While it may be “courageous” to say that Christians, and Catholics in particular, are waging a “war on women,” it would be utterly foolish to say the same thing about Islam, though Islamic societies are notorious for their ill treatment of women.
Thus the free speech double standard of the Left whereby speech is free as long as you believe what they want you to believe. Having all the requisite left-wing bona fides means never having to say you’re sorry. Conversely, having conservative beliefs means not only having to say you’re sorry, but having to disappear from public life altogether for your sentence to The Gulag Archipelago.
In Rush Limbaugh’s case, he has been the subject of any number of boycotts and petitions to get him off the air. I don’t recall seeing similar petitions making the rounds on the Internet when Keith Olbermann called Michelle Malkin a “mashed up bag of meat with lipstick on it.”
This example is a relatively tame one compared to the disgusting personal attacks left-wing celebrities and talk show hosts have waged on conservative women, yet nary a peep of protest from those supposed supporters of feminism, other than liberal (and feminist) columnist Kirsten Powers.
Another reason you don’t see a spate of petitions each time a liberal celebrity opens his big mouth to denigrate a conservative woman with all manner of misogynist, personal venom is due to the fact that conservatives really believe in free speech.
Unlike many on the Progressive Left, conservatives do not fear words. While conservatives express their outrage they do not seek to destroy someone’s career and stifle the free flow of ideas in the market. The Left, however, engages in a modern version of the Moscow Show Trials as a means of stamping out any speech they find offensive.
President Obama drones on and on about “civil discourse,” but what he really means is that conservatives need to shut up. Civil discourse, apparently, is something that must be practiced only by conservatives. At least that’s the impression I get when comparing President Obama’s words to his actions.
While Sandra Fluke received a compassionate phone call from the Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Civil Discourse has had no words of compassion for the misogynist hit parade against conservative women, even sitting members of Congress, as when Jimmy Fallon’s band struck up Fishbone’s Lyin’ Ass Bitch as an intro for Michele Bachmann.
Then again, I suppose a 30-something perpetual student is far more sensitive and thus more deserving of a call from the President than a woman who has actually accomplished something other than finding creative ways to finance her sex life. As Dennis Miller put it, “I had a whole different take when I watched [Fluke] up there. I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, that just seems so helpless.’”
Let’s face it. Sandra Fluke is no Rosa Parks, though she has been compared to Parks by leftist pundits. So let’s get this straight… Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., to protest the unequal treatment of blacks in the segregated South while Sandra Fluke wants the taxpayer to foot the bill for her sex life. Which of these is unlike the other?
Yet, because Ms. Fluke’s cause is just and righteous, she is unassailable. During George W. Bush’s term in office dissent was patriotic. Now, dissent is racist, misogynist and homophobic and must be stopped in its tracks in the name of civil discourse. It’s a kinder, gentler Utopia in which the kindness and gentleness is reserved only for those with the proper ideology.
It makes me wonder how far off onerous “hate speech” laws are from being implemented in what was at one time the land of the “free and the brave.” A nation can be neither free nor brave when its people are afraid to speak their minds.