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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
     Friday, October 17 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Rush to judgment

The cover story of the current Newsweek excoriating conservative radio talk magnate Rush Limbaugh and elevating the larger issue that has embroiled him, his exposure in the tabloid press as an addict to prescription pain killers and their illegal acquisition, may seem to prompt some comment from me as an occasional champion in these pages of conservative socio-political theory and such of its proponents as Limbaugh. Though I haven't listened to Limbaugh's program for some years, I must own up to having found considerable comfort in it during the rise to popularity of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their subsequent installation in the most powerful secular office in the free world. Having seen them in clips from an interview on 60 Minutes near the beginning of their first bid to national office, I considered them formidable threats to most of what I hold dear, and they frequently proved, and continue to prove, my estimation to have been right. But my early enthusiasm for Limbaugh wore off. His boastful bravado, his failure to grasp the importance of voucher schools and his pleading ignorance of the moral depravity of the culture of death represented by abortion, and in general, seeing nothing in his expression as grounded in a lively personal relationship with God, turned me off. Like Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News Channel's ratings poster boy, Rush's conservatism strikes me as superficial at best and self-serving at worst (which "economic conservatism" divorced from "social conservatism" is, I think, by definition).

Having said all that, however, I have to say his program is entertaining and, if I were out on the road every day when he airs, as millions of Americans are, I would probably also have him on as the best antidote to road weariness. Economic conservatism is still better food for thought than secular humanist liberalism, any day of the week. I won't try to take up Rush's cause, however, because attorney-author-and television commentator Ann Coulter has done this with much more enthusiasm and biting incisiveness than I could ever muster.

Several of Coulter's points are so brilliantly put that they deserve repeating:

The reason any conservative's failing is always major news is that it allows liberals to engage in their very favorite taunt: Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy is the only sin that really inflames them. Inasmuch as liberals have no morals, they can sit back and criticize other people for failing to meet the standards that liberals simply renounce. It's an intriguing strategy. By openly admitting to being philanderers, draft dodgers, liars, weasels and cowards, liberals avoid ever being hypocrites. ...But the only perfect man hasn't walked the Earth for 2,000 years. In liberals' worldview, any conservative who is not Jesus Christ is ipso facto a "hypocrite" for not publicly embracing dissolute behavior the way liberals do.

Her point here brings to mind the rants of three of conservatism's and Rush's most outspoken opponents: Al Franken, Bill Maher, and Michael Moore. All three of these younger-generation liberal firebrands seem to have as their leitmotif, "no one measures up to the standards Limbaugh, William Bennett, and other conservatives preach, so anyone who even holds up standards is an obvious hypocrite." But in her irrepressibly over-the-top way, Ann Coulter has expressed it much better.

She also says something about Rush's addiction which my quoting may let me make partial amends for a column I once wrote in the Journal (circa 1957), entitled, "Why Elvis Can't Act":

There is a fundamental difference between taking any drug legal, illegal, prescription, protected by the 21st Amendment or banned by Michael Bloomberg for kicks and taking a painkiller for pain.

How true and eloquently put. To the Franken-Maher-Moore mindset (shared no doubt by a large cross-section of liberals in general), Elvis Presley's addiction (and Rush's) to prescription medicines is the equivalent of Janis Joplin's, Jimi Hendrix's, or River Phoenix's ultimately fatal abuse of cocaine and/or heroin. It's a point that may find "easy sell" in smoke-filled nightclub conversations, but it doesn't hold up in the light of day and truth.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Think about it (but not too long)

Two termites walk into a bar. One asked, "Is the bar tender here?"

—Sent by Bill Dalrymple 

Thought for today

I AM THANKFUL

FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE.

— Sent by Alice Prewett 

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