On September 20, 72 Senators voted for the highly politicized, “bait and switch” resolution that condemned a newspaper ad by MoveOn.org. The amendment, offered by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), expressly stated that the Senate would condemn “any effort to attack the honor and integrity” of “all members of the United States Armed Forces”:
(b) Sense of Senate. — It is the sense of the Senate —
(1) to reaffirm its support for all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, including General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq;
(2) to strongly condemn any effort to attack the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces; and
(3) to specifically repudiate the unwarranted personal attack on General Petraeus by the liberal activist group Moveon.org.
On his radio show yesterday, right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh attacked the “honor and integrity” of some members of the Armed Forces. Limbaugh attacked troops who hold a different viewpoint than his own as “phony soldiers.” Iraq war vet Jon Soltz writes that Limbaugh’s comments are directed at “the majority of troops on the ground in Iraq” because they “do not back the President’s failed policy.”
For all the Senators who rushed to make political hay over an empty resolution, the spotlight is on them. Will they now enforce their “sense of the Senate” and condemn Rush Limbaugh?
Yesterday, 341 members of the House voted to pass a companion resolution to that of Cornyn’s. They, too, face the same question.
UPDATE II: Greg Sargent notes that during the same radio show, Limbaugh also callously declared “Keep the troops safe. Or whatever.”
UPDATE III: Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) has issued the following statement:
“This disgusting attack from Rush Limbaugh, cheerleader for the Chicken Hawk wing of the far right, is an insult to American troops,” Kerry said. “In a single moment on his show, Limbaugh managed to question the patriotism of men and women in uniform who have put their lives on the line and many who died for his right to sit safely in his air conditioned studio peddling hate. On August 19th, The New York Times published an op-ed by seven members of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division critical of George Bush’s Iraq policy. Two of those soldiers were killed earlier this month in Baghdad. Does Mr. Limbaugh dare assert that these heroes were ‘phony soldiers’? Mr. Limbaugh owes an apology to everyone who has ever worn the uniform of our country, and an apology to the families of every soldier buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He is an embarrassment to his Party, and I expect the Republicans who flock to his microphone will now condemn this indefensible statement.”