Friday, May 22, 2009

Looking for love from Rush Limbaugh

Original Link:

By Connie Schultz

Last week, while the rest of America focused on our economic woes, Republicans released a new video suggesting we're this close to another terrorist attack.

The video was apparently the brainchild of House Minority Leader John Boehner, a congressman from Ohio.

I hate when that happens. Here I am, championing the wit and wisdom of America's heartland, and then Buckeye Boehner shows up slinging his hash. You just know that TV viewers saw the video on the news and thought, "Ohhh, he's from Ohiiiio."

The YouTube video features dark music and Republicans talking about the dangers of closing Guantanamo Bay and releasing Bush-era memos about interrogation tactics. Then we see President Barack Obama hugging the Saudi king and shaking hands with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and an American flag in flames.

It ends with an image of the Pentagon burning after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

An unnamed Republican aide acknowledged to CNN's Dana Bash that national security is not the big issue right now.

"It's an issue that traditionally plays well for us," the aide said. "From a political perspective, it will be beneficial over the long run."

An FYI for the gabby member of Aides Anonymous: A CNN/Opinion Research Corp poll last month indicates otherwise. When asked if Obama's actions increase the chance of a terrorist attack, 26 percent said "yes"; a whopping 72 percent said "no."

Far be it from me to suggest that this brand of Republican is as disconnected from reality as a spurned lover crashing her ex-boyfriend's wedding and wondering why no one wants her to sing. Much better to hear it from someone like former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

In an interview on Sunday's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory aired a clip of the video and asked Scarborough, "Is that the tone that Republicans should be striking now?"

"No," Scarborough said.

He continued. "It seems very discordant right now. The president has just gotten in. We can disagree without being disagreeable right now."

Republicans, he said, "need to keep their head down. They need to come up with a policy, a conservative blueprint for where they want to lead this country on the environment, on a lot of other issues. No, I don't think that's helpful."

Why couldn't Scarborough be from my state?

I meet a lot of conservatives like him, including here in Ohio. They disagree with me on many issues, but they respond with ideas, not insults. Increasingly, they object to conservatives who claim to share their values but refuse to live by them.

Which brings me, once again, to Rush Limbaugh.

On Sunday, I was interviewed on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal." When host Steve Scully asked what I thought of Limbaugh, I said he fuels a lot of anger and hate. I was thinking of Limbaugh's repeated claims that he wants Obama to fail, for example, and how he aired a song titled "Barack the Magic Negro" during the presidential race. Little things like that.

The next day, Limbaugh weighed in on his show.

"There's no hate on this program," he said.

Then he called me "blitheringly ignorant" and a "ditz," and suggested my IQ is under 100.

Soon, his minions were dutifully firing off messages insisting they were full of love and Jesus even as they hammered away at my appearance, my gender and my intelligence.

Is it just me? I'm having a hard time feeling the love here.

What would my parents do, I wondered? Dad would already be on the road to Rush Limbaugh's house. Not a good plan.

Mom would have repeated for the umpteenth time that any boy who's mean to me has a crush.

Oh, my: The clouds are parting and the choir has begun to sing.

That's it, isn't it?

Well, I'm touched, Rush. Really, I am. But this romance is going nowhere.

Call me ditzy, but I just don't feel the love.

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