"Do Rush’s Senate Friends Still Think ‘There’s Nothing Inflammatory About Anything’ He Says?"
On the Senate floor and in the press, Sen. John Cornyn, who introduced the bill, was vitriolic in his rhetoric towards the ad, calling it a “a despicable political attack” that “crossed a historic line of decency.” He was joined in raucous condemnation by his Senate colleagues:
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “This amendment gives our colleagues a chance to distance themselves from these despicable tactics, distance themselves from the notion that some group has them on a leash.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “It is MoveOn that is the disgrace. And I think it is important that the entire Congress publicly repudiate these absurd charges.”
During the September 26 edition of his radio show, right-wing standard bearer Rush Limbaugh claimed that service members who support U.S. withdrawal from Iraq are actually “phony soldiers.” On the House floor last night, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) asked if those “who showed so much outrage towards MoveOn.org…will hold Rush Limbaugh to the same standard?”
There is a particular onus for Cornyn, McConnell and Hatch to put themselves on the record regarding Limbaugh, considering the fond relationship they’ve had with him in the past:
- “It dawned on me that Daschle’s probably never listened to Rush Limbaugh. I mean, there’s nothing particularly inflammatory about anything Rush Limbaugh says,” said McConnell in 2002. [Fox News Sunday 11/24/02]
- In 2002, Limbaugh headlined a fundraiser for Cornyn “where he predictably lambasted Democrats and liberals and helped raise almost $200,000″ for the soon-to-be Senator. “We need a Republican senate,” Limbaugh said at the event. [San Antonio Express-News 9/22/02]
- “I thank my father in heaven every day for people like you, Rush Limbaugh and others,” Hatch told Hannity in 2002 [Newhouse News Service 11/21/02]
Will Cornyn, McConnell and Hatch step up and hold their friend Rush to the same standard they laid out in their “Sense of the Senate” resolution?
UPDATE: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is calling on Limbaugh to apologize, telling Time.com’s Ana Marie Cox that “it reflects very poorly on him” and “he would be well advised to retract it and apologize.”
UPDATE II: Mitt Romney’s camp has now weighed in on Limbaugh’s comment, saying that “Romney would disagree with the negative characterization of those men and women who serve with honor and distinction in the United States Military.”