The PoliBlog
Collective


Information

academic site


e-mail
c.v.
columns
legal
rss .92
2.0
The Collective
Friday, September 28, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

I have noted before that I am not prone to a lot of outrage, and I am not outraged by statements by Rush Limbaugh that service members who support U.S. withdrawal are “phony soldiers”, but I do think that it takes an awful lot of gall to make such statements after the over-the-top reaction to the MoveOn.org “Petraeus or Betray Us?” ad, as I thought it was supposedly verboten to call into question the integrity of our men and women in combat. Indeed, if MoveOn.org had called some of our soldiers in harm’s way “phony” one guesses that the same group who got up in arms over the Petraeus ad would be up in arms over this. (Not so much, it would seem).

None of this is surprising, but given the flap over the Petraues ad, it struck a chord with me.

Really, to me the more telling element of the whole affair is the basic dichotomization of the world into two camps (something Limbaugh excels at and has, sadly, inculcated/exacerbated in the minds of many of his listeners). The most obvious is the “real” soldier v. the “phony” soldier dichotomy, the notion that if any member of the military isn’t in lockstep with the administration, then they aren’t really soldiers (even if their only “crime” is that of having an opinion, yet otherwise doing their duty). The other dichotomy, also of the “for us or against us” type can be found if one reads the transcript. The first caller challenges Limbaugh on the notion that any Republican who wants to end the war isn’t really a Republican and is therefore a Democrat who “want[s] to lose the war.” Limbaugh dismisses the fellow and tells him that there is no way the fellow is a Republican.

Of course, part of the fallacy reasoning springs in the first place from the notion that what we have on the table are “winning” and “losing”-if only it was that simple…

On a political note, if Limbaugh really wants the litmus test for one’s Republican-ness to be full support for the war, he must not be interested in the party achieving majority status again any time soon, a if all those phony war critic Republican are ousted elections will be rather depressing events for the GOP for some time to come.

In regards to “phony” soldiers, Mona at Unqualified Offerings rather poignantly notes,
Apparently,”Phony Soldiers” Die, Too, as two of the members of the members of the 82nd Airborne who wrote a critical op-ed in the NYT died in Iraq recently. Too bad the enemy didn’t use phony weapons.

Update: Quite a bit more on this at OTB.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: Iraq, US Politics, Talk Radio | |

16 Comments »

  1. […] Other bloggers weigh in (the outrage is shared by many on the right as well as the left), courtesy in part to MemeOrandum: Talk Left; Think Progress; The Carpetbagger Report; Firedoglake; PoliBlog; Outside The Beltway (Right); Taylor Marsh; Thought Theater; Jules Crittendon (Right); The Van Der Galiën Gazette; Drudge Retort […]

    Pingback by Rush Limbaugh And Dittoheads Try Unsuccessfully To Spin His Anti-Troop Comment — Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 3:35 pm

  2. According to Captains Quarters ( http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/013920.php ), Limbaugh has found a “genuine phony soldier” — that is an ex-soldier who made incredible comments about atrocities, and is now serving time for lying about his record (”He was in the Army. … Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse Macbeth isn’t an Army Ranger, never was. He isn’t a corporal, never was. He never won the Purple Heart, and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen.”).

    I don’t know what Limbaugh really meant the first time, but he’s now got a pretty good explanation for the comment.

    Comment by Max Lybbert — Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

  3. It’s not a good explanation at all - he said “Soldiers”, as in PLURAL, not “Soldier”, as in one individual. The man insulted half of the military; something he’s had a long history of doing anyway when left-leaning military members call in to his show to disagree with him. He never thanks THEM for their service and is quick to call them liars and shout them down. He’s been doing that for years, by the way…

    Comment by The Gun Toting Liberal — Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

  4. I tend to side with GTL here-the transcription doesn’t seem to indicate that specific of a comment. Further, in the same sequence he equates anyone who wants to withdraw as a Democrat and one who wants to the US to lose.

    As such it is a strain to suggest that he is only talking about some dude who was in the military for a few days.

    The grand irony, of course, is that if that is the argument, Limbaugh is parsing his words in an almost Clintonian manner.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

  5. The other thing….

    Some source consideration has to come in play. Media Matters is a pretty far left group that listens to right wing shows for the specific desire to find things to take to the media.

    Looking at the transcript it looks like pretty small beer considering Limbaugh gives them 15 hours per week to work with.

    Comment by Buckland — Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 5:18 pm

  6. I read through it a couple times and I don’t buy the claims that Rush said what was claimed that he said. He wasn’t talking about any soldier who disagrees with the administration is a phony soldier. What he was talking about was a specific example of someone who really was a phony. How about citing the exact location where he said what was being claimed that he said. Then you can comment upon THAT. Try reading it next time.

    Comment by Greg Meadows — Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

  7. Did you see that Rush phonied up the version of the event when he put up his defense? In fact, the clip he aired omitted a full 1 minute and 35 seconds of discussion that occurred between Limbaugh’s original “phony soldiers” comment and his subsequent reference to MacBeth.

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200709280009?f=h_latest

    Comment by not the senator — Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 8:00 pm

  8. Greg,

    From the transcript:

    LIMBAUGH: There’s a lot more than that that they don’t understand. They can’t even — if — the next guy that calls here, I’m gonna ask him: Why should we pull — what is the imperative for pulling out? What’s in it for the United States to pull out? They can’t — I don’t think they have an answer for that other than, “Well, we just gotta bring the troops home.”

    CALLER 2: Yeah, and, you know what -

    LIMBAUGH: “Save the — keep the troops safe” or whatever. I — it’s not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.

    CALLER 2: No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

    LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.

    CALLER 2: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they’re willing to sacrifice for their country.

    Note the plural (soldiers).

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 9:33 pm

  9. […] Comments from other Bloggers: Wake up America, Don Surber, Media Matters for America, The Rude Pundit, RushLimbaugh.com Home, Flopping Aces, Right Wing Nut House, Captain’s Quarters, TalkLeft, The Carpetbagger Report, News Hounds, Sister Toldjah, Taylor Marsh, Jules Crittenden, Think Progress, NewsBusters.org, Macsmind, Central Sanity, Crooks and Liars, AMERICAblog, Chris Dodd National Blog, Outside The Beltway, The Van Der Galiën Gazette, Firedoglake and The Mahablog, The Moderate Voice, Huffington Post, CBS News, Think Progress, Brave New Films blog, TPM Election Central and Taylor Marsh, Blue Crab Boulevard, Liberty Pundit, The Gun Toting Liberal™, The Carpetbagger Report, PoliBlog ™ and JammieWearingFool, Horses Mouth, The Gun Toting Liberal™, AMERICAblog and Corrente, Horses Mouth, Think Progress and Taylor Marsh, Crooks and Liars, MyDD, Taylor Marsh, The Carpetbagger Report, Daily Kos, TPM Election Central and WTF Is It Now?!?, Think Progress, Crooks and Liars and Daily Kos, : Baltimore Sun and News Hounds, Media Matters for America, NewsBusters.org, The Corner, The Jawa Report, Dean’s World and BLACKFIVE, The Swamp and No More Mister Nice Blog […]

    Pingback by Chuck Adkins › Editorial: Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly and the Liberal Witch Hunt — Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

  10. […] Read it from the beginning to the end. -Political scientist Steven Taylor notes how Limbaugh even thinks in polarizing terms: Really, to me the more telling element of the whole affair is the basic dichotomization of the world into two camps (something Limbaugh excels at and has, sadly, inculcated/exacerbated in the minds of many of his listeners). The most obvious is the “real” soldier v. the “phony” soldier dichotomy, the notion that if any member of the military isn’t in lockstep with the administration, then they aren’t really soldiers (even if their only “crime” is that of having an opinion, yet otherwise doing their duty). The other dichotomy, also of the “for us or against us” type can be found if one reads the transcript. The first caller challenges Limbaugh on the notion that any Republican who wants to end the war isn’t really a Republican and is therefore a Democrat who “want[s] to lose the war.” Limbaugh dismisses the fellow and tells him that there is no way the fellow is a Republican. […]

    Pingback by Rush Limbaugh And Media Matters Exchange New Charges » The Moderate Voice — Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

  11. […] Cross-posted from PoliBlog: […]

    Pingback by Political Mavens » “Phony Soldiers” and Limbaugh’s Dichotomized World — Saturday, September 29, 2007 @ 9:52 am

  12. Have listened to the whole article by Rush. It never occured to me that Rush was talking about anyone other that those several ‘Soldiers’ or ex-soldiers who were being put out on the mainstream media as bonafied Soldiers who had devastating charges to make about their military experience.

    Upon critical examination, these ‘Soldiers’ proved to be ‘Phonys’. They were lying about their so-called experience. Some seemed to have been convicted and served time for their hoax.

    This was the context Rush was speaking from. I did not take his words to mean anything other than those several Soldiers who had been exposed as ‘Phony’ spokesmen for the military experience.

    Comment by Tony Lehman — Saturday, September 29, 2007 @ 12:10 pm

  13. It goes to show you. Two people can look at the same thing, and come to different conclusions. From my point of view, critics of Limbaugh are reading something into what he said that isn’t even there. From their point of view, they see a lack of strict adherence to precise attribution as having included a whole class of people not even mentioned. Limbaugh did not say “soldiers who want the US to withdraw are phony soldiers.” It is quite a stretch, in my opinion, to interpret it that way.

    Comment by Greg Meadows — Saturday, September 29, 2007 @ 6:36 pm

  14. “…isn’t in lockstep…”

    It’s fresh in my mind since I just used it in one of my posts, but the Nazis made Gleichschaltung (roughly translated as “marching in line”) one of the central aspects of fascism.

    I find how Rush defines being a Republican/conservative/American as sharing his politica views to be obnoxious and sickening.

    Comment by Hume’s Ghost — Saturday, September 29, 2007 @ 9:30 pm

  15. Limbaugh was responding to the caller’s assertion that “they never talk to real soldiers”, that they pulled these guys up “out of the blue”. Limbaugh says, “phony soldiers”, which I took to be agreement with the caller’s statement. Later on he calls them “fake soldiers” and names Jessie MacBeth as an example. He uses plural because there have been several “phony soldiers” that the left has pushed forward giddily (until they were proven to be liars): MacBeth and Scott Thomas (Beauchamp), to name two (which, where I come from, makes the use of the plural ok). There was another guy named Massey, if I remember right, also.

    Comment by Ted Strout — Sunday, September 30, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

  16. There has been a lot in conservative talk radio and online press/blogs (Rush, Malkin, NRO, Weekly Standard, etc) about falsified stories from current/former service members.

    Here’s my take:

    To someone who reads a lot of conservative stuff online, and leans that way, Rush’s comment was a passing reference to those soldiers who have been propped up by the left and then later found out to be, well, “phony” in one sense or another.

    To someone who doesn’t follow a lot of conservative stuff online, Rush’s comment was a direct slander of any service member who has voiced opinion about the war in Iraq.

    Comment by doug — Monday, October 1, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

The trackback url for this post is: http://www.poliblogger.com/wp-trackback-poliblog.php?p=12578

NOTE: I will delete any TrackBacks that do not actually link and refer to this post.

Leave a comment



Take a Look At This!
Inquiries

Visitors Since 2/15/03
Blogroll

---


Advertisement

Advertisement


Powered by WordPress