Friday, January 08, 2010

Making It Up

On January 7, MSNBC anchormen/women/persons David Shuster and Tamryn Hall were discussing Rush Limbaugh's recent treatment for chest pains in Queens Hospital in Hawaii. After playing a tape of Limbaugh saying "Real reform of the health care system would involve nothing like we have done in the House and Senate: Cost control, increasing access to health care," Hall commented "Is Rush kind of changing his tune? At first it was nothing was wrong with our system, and now he is bringing up what the Democrats have said all along: It's a cost issue."

This really got Rush's dander up and he claimed

Now, the real funny thing in this sound bite was that they quote me as saying, "There's nothing wrong with the US health care system," but what I was talking about in Honolulu was private health care. I got private health care.

As the video (below, but choppy) indicates, Limbaugh at the press conference upon his discharge stated

The treatment I received here is the best that the world has to offer. Based on what happened here, I don't think there is one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy and..... I got no special treatment.

Nothing in there about his care having specifically been "private health care." Nothing about the private sector, the public sector, fee for service, insurance companies; only "the best that the world has to offer," a system "working just fine, just dandy" and not just for him ("no special treatment.")

Perhaps Rush Limbaugh, inexperienced at speaking into a microphone, singularly inarticulate, and unfamiliar with health care issues (well, that part may be true), really had intended to talk solely about "private health care," as he claimed.

Or maybe he was lying. This is not so extraordinary in GOP-land. On November 24, former Bush 43 press secretary Dana Perino told Sean Hannity "we did not have a terrorist attack on our cuntry during President Bush's term" (video way below). On the December 27 edition of CNN's State of the Union, veteran GOP operative Mary Matalin imagined "I was there, we inherited a recession from President Clinton, and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation's history." On Matalin's calendar, September 11, 2001 preceeded January 20, 2001.

Now along comes former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who on ABC's Good Morning America on January 8 asserted "We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we've had one under Obama."

As tristero notes January 8 on Digby's Hullabaloo blog, there are the complicating matters of the anthrax terrorism, Richard Reid, the July 4, 2002 on El Al at LAX, and attacks on abortion clinics in 2001, 2005, 2006, and 2007. And those do not include the attack on the World Trade Center and related effort to hit Congress with a plane, which thankfully ended in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Presumably, Giuliani did not consider the 9/11/01 incident a "domestic attack" or forgot about it. He was only mayor of New York City at the time.

There is a point to the sarcasm. Rudy Giuliani did not forget, nor is his definition of a "domestic attack" idiosyncratic. He is not stupid, crazy, or being ironic. He was l-y-i-n-g.

And as if to confirm that impression: minutes earlier, at 3:33 p.m., CNN's Rick Sanchez read a release he received at that moment from a spokesman for Mr. Giuliani, who claimed the latter had been "clearly talking post-9/11 about Islamic attacks on our soil." Post 9/11? Clearly?

It's not just Rush, or about health care, anymore.




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