Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Palin Defends Limbaugh

Sometimes with Sarah Palin you say: She didn't just say that, did she?

Interviewed by Chris Wallace on GOP News Sunday, the former Governor explained

Name calling by anyone -- I teach this to my children, you teach it to your children and your grandchildren, too. Name calling by anyone, it's just unnecessary. It just wastes time.
Let's speak to the issues and --

As Bush 41, characteristically avoiding pronouns, would have put it- good idea, can't disagree with any of it.

There would be only one problem. In her response immediately prior to that, when Wallace referred to Limbaugh saying "I mean, these people, these liberal activists are quote, kooks." Should Rush Limbaugh apologize?" And Sarah Palin- honest- replied

They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh.

No, we wouldn't want to engage in any name calling- unless the name is "kooks" and the people so described aren't right-wing.

This would be startling, were it not Sarah Palin. The "kooks" remark, in which Mrs. Palin did not engage in name-calling, came as Wallace asked whether Rush Limbaugh should apologize for what the former referred to as "the R word."

After calling people she disagrees with "kooks," Palin claimed "Rush Limbaugh was using satire to bring attention to what this politically correct --" It is less likely Limbaugh was using satire than, say, he was experiencing unnatural excitement at repeating the reportedly offensive term. He exclaimed:

We didn't do anything about it, you F-ing retards." I think the big news is the crack-up going on. But our politically correct society is acting like some giant insult's taken place by calling a bunch of people who are "retards," "retards." I mean these people, these liberal activists are kooks. They are Looney Tunes. I'm not going to apologize for it. I'm just quoting Emanuel. It's in the news. I think the big news is that he's out there calling Obama's number one supporters "F-ing retards

That would be four times using the "R" word; nothing pithy, wry, ironic, subtle, or vaguely satiric about it. The tipoff: Rush slammed "our politically correct society," thereby hinting he believes there is absolutely nothing wrong with the term- only with the people who were the object of Emanuel's attack.

Palin went on to assert "I didn't hear Rush Limbaugh calling a group of people whom he did not agree with "F-ing retards." And we did know that Rahm Emanuel, it's been reported, did say that. That's a big difference there."

If Palin is right that Limbaugh did not call "a group of people whom he did not agree with "F-ing retards," the talk show host must really like those liberals. Otherwise, he wouldn't have remarked "But our politically correct society is acting like some giant insult's taken place by calling a bunch of people who are 'retards,' 'retards.'"

A little historical perspective is due here. Once upon a time in America when the term "retarded" was completely acceptable (and in fact considered more appropriate and favorable than "handicapped"), there was a word considered completely offensive. That word was "retard" because a retarded person was not a "retard." There is a difference between bigotry and hostility, the latter displayed by Emanuel. Rush Limbaugh's rant was not only offensive but also bigoted, coming not in a moment of anger but after some reflection. And if Sarah Palin had any integrity, she would have said so.

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