What I Don't Understand About (Some) Americans Today
Published on October 13, 2003 By Larry Kuperman In Current Events
I don't hate Rush Limbaugh. Oh sure, I disagree with him strongly about most (well, maybe every) topic. But I don't hate him amd I find nothing joyful in his personal problems. And I don't understand why anyone would.

When I came home today, I found that Michael Moore was in Ann Arbor, where I live. Mr. Moore was on a speaking tour for his new book "Dude, Where's My Country?" He had this to say about Rush Limbaugh: "I have been trying for the for the last 48 hours, with every single bone in my body to feel an ounce of sympathy for Rush Limbaugh, but I just can't do it. What of the million people sitting in prison with a drug problem who aren't getting rehab?" Mr. Moore went on to say that Limbaugh shouldn't be allowed to just go into rehab.

To me, that reveals a smallness of spirit, the same smallness of spirit that I reject when it comes from the Right. It is the inablity to to understand that we all make mistakes, that we are all human. Certainly, I can understand the irony of someone who has been unsympathetic to the problems of others, facing those same problems themselves. But, while you can disagree with someone, but you don't need to wish them ill. Had Mr. Moore taken the high road it would have been more humane and probably more effective.

I was thinking that this same smallness of spirit is what leads fans to attack baseball players (Yankees vs. Red Sox). It is the loss of perspective that leads us to say "You are either with me or against me." What ever happened to the concept of "Worthy opposition?" Where is the "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game" spirit? When did we replace that with "By any means necessary."

I doubt that Rush Limbaugh ever did anything against Mr. Moore or his family. Rush Limbaugh doesn't make government policies. He has little power to do anything except persuade. Why wish him ill?

I save my anger, my rancor for those that blow up buildings, that kill people. Whether in Oklahoma City or at the World Trade Center, my enemies don't host talk shows.

I hope that Rush Limbaugh recovers from his adversity and I wish that it makes my a touch more sympathetic to the plight of others. But regardless of that, whether I agree with his opinions or not, I will defend his right to express those opinions. Just my thoughts.
on Oct 14, 2003
For anyone else, I'd say 'rehab'. Considering Rush's 'holier-than-the-lot-of-you' attitude, and his known opinions on the subject, no, he should not get rehab. He should get jail time. Lots of it. My personal opinion is that the war on drugs is a complete waste of time and money that has done nothing except build up organized crime. Rush, on the other hand, prefers jail time. Let's see if jail time works for him.

A Rush quote on the subject (found via a quick google search)
"What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too." -- Rush Limbaugh show, Oct. 5, 1995
on Oct 14, 2003
It is pretty interesting how many people will preach "by the sword", but would never want to die by it.
on Oct 14, 2003
Sarcasm mode on:

As long as we are determining whether a person should get jail time or be allowed to enter rehab according to his politics, I'd like to add a few other criteria.
After all, we already use the criteria, to a certain extent, of whether you are rich, powerful, connected, etc.
So..., it really bothers me when people misspell words, especially if it's a business owner and there is an obvious misspelling on the marquee atop his building. Or the neighbor that puts out a sign that says 'garge sale' instead of 'garage sale'. I think these people should go to jail if they wind up addicted to drugs and not be allowed to go to rehab.
And another thing, you ever see those men that wear nice pants with the shirt tucked in, but no belt? No rehab for them either! And so on ...

Sarcasm mode off

I guess political persuasion is the basis of a new bigotry
on Oct 15, 2003
Political bigotry? I don't think so. Is it bigotry to advocate that Rush get the treatment that Rush advocated for others? I don't believe so. (I could be wrong, of course).
It's far from nice, I'll certainly admit that. I'll certainly admit that I don't want longer jail time to be the normal way of treating drug addicts. I'll also admit that I should be a much better person and advocate for Rush to get rehab and minimal jail time, so as to show him the right way to do things.

As it is, I'm not a better person. Perhaps I'm not even much of a better person than Rush. But at least I can admit I might be wrong, which puts me one up (at least in my book).
on Oct 15, 2003
Yes, political bigotry. Would some wish the worst for Rush because they don't like him personally? Probably. Would some wish the worst based solely on his political views? From some posts, quotes, and articles I've seen, apparently.

Don't get me wrong, if Rush broke the law, he should be punished like anyone else. But to suggest he be punished, without any proof or finding in a court because he is seen as a member of a particular political ideology is bigotry.

I find the idea of criminals getting the sentence they 'prefer' interesting. Wonder what sentence most criminals would choose.
on Oct 15, 2003
Rush could go to prison? Did you hear his reasoning behind it? The man has 2 ruptured disks and a spinal injury.

In a world where hollywood stars go into rehab constantly for cocaine and heroine it's incredibly disengenous to equate the two. Rush got addicted to a prescribed medication. The people he has condemned (rightly so) intentionally got addicted to things they knew were illegal from day 1.

There's a big difference in that. What excuse does a heroine addict or crack addict have? "Chandler" on Friends has been to rehab multiple times for cocaine addiction. What's his excuse? Cocaine is always illegal.

on Oct 15, 2003
If I'm not mistaken (and IANAL), the police can't send Rush to jail anyway. Unless there are different rules for large-scale drug crimes, the cops can't do diddly to you unless they catch you WITH THE DRUGS. Thus clinton confessed that he had used pot in the past and was never prosecuted. By the same reasoning, Rush can't be prosecuted since he hasn't been on the painkillers for some time (by his own confession)...
on Nov 17, 2003
You are dreamimg! Or are you on oxycontin, too?
No one goes to jail for using a small amount of pot, inhaling or not! Lardass committed mulitple crimes in the feeding of his habit! Big time felonies! Oh. joy! It's so much fun to watch you right-wingers spin your wheels and manufacture fantasy reasoning and excuses when your pitiful heros fall on their asses!
on Nov 17, 2003
And Arnold did many drugs, by his own admission.
And when Clinton lied, no one died...and on and on.
It's going to be a blast watching the lardass wiggle on the hook.
on Nov 17, 2003
enjoyed your article. it was one of the few from people who disagree with mr limbaugh that wasn't totally mean spirited, vindictive and gleeful,over his predicament.
if only all people could be as objective and compassionate as you.
on Dec 04, 2003
Are you stupid? Mr. Moore is trying to prove a point. Rush Limbaugh is angry white man who says that all drug users should be locked away. Now that Rush is the drug user it is ok not to go to jail. That is what we call a hypocrite. It is people like you that need to get a brain and wake up. We need stop forgiving famous people, exspecially one with no college degrees and start treating them the way we treat everyone else.
on Dec 05, 2003
Anyone who claims that drug addicts should not get jail time but instead should get rehab, and then turns around and advocates stiff punishments for *certain* people based on nothing more than opinions they have expressed in the past, is a hypocrite.
It is simply amazing how quickly the supposedly morally superior humanitarian compassionate liberals turn into revenge seeking thought police when given an opportunity to gang up on a percieved enemy when they are down.
It has nothing to do with fairness- as well as the pot smoking, Bill Clinton had surgery for a deviated septum from *his* drug days while in office, and most people didn't hear a peep about it, it was very well hidden from the press. And of course any disclosure would have been a "vast right wing conspiracy" anyway...

Bottom line is that anyone pointing fingers at Rush Limbaugh now saying that this is definitive proof that he contradicts himself is about 15 years behind the curve- it's a SHOW, people, it is totally done as entertainment and to sell ad time on radio stations, and the contradictions are part of the schtick. He's always been a pompous blowhard with very little real credibility as an informed commentator on political issues. He just sounds authoritative; frankly I don't think he gives half a crap about politics at all other than is required for his show, he has everyone fooled just like Rock Hudson had everyone believing that he had some great sexual chemistry with Doris Day.
Rush's big aspirations are to get high, play golf, smoke cigars and watch sports with his powerful buddies. He's a political groupie. His on air persona is as real as Phil Hendrie's guests. Like Phil, he can make people believe his phony persona BS. Don't believe me? Look how many people he had convinced that he would never touch illegally obtained drugs or could become an addict who lied daily about his sobriety. He's good.
on Dec 12, 2003
All I can think of in this Christmas season is Dickens' classic A christmas Carrol. It is such a political allegory where the conservative perspective is represented by the hard unfeeling businessman, EboneezerScrooge, and the liberal perspective is represented by the compassionate spirit of Christmas. Ultimately, the hell-bound Scrooge is granted the very thing he denied everyone else his whole life... mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and the chance to make amends. As much as the loathsome, odious consrvaties such as Limbaugh, O'Rielly, Hannerty, Buchannan, Falwell, Novack, O'Beirne, Carlson, Noonan and the-like, deserve the full measure of their own harsh judgements reflected back at them... may the spirit of Christmas save them from their own negative karma. As I am want to say, "Come judgement day, all conservatives will pray for a jury of liberals." Zollerzade-
on Jan 05, 2004
The power to persuade is indeed a great power, one that Limbaugh has used to incite hatred, and the irrational, stubborn views of the right.