Oct 072007
Authors: Sean Reed

It’s good to know that our elected representatives in Washington are keeping busy with issues important to our national interests.

Last week, 20 Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a resolution condemning an “unwarranted slur” by conservative talk show host extraordinaire Rush Limbaugh.

While speaking with a caller who only identified himself as “Mike,” an active soldier and Iraq war supporter, Limbaugh insinuated that soldiers that criticize the war effort are “phony soldiers.”

The caller had been complaining about the media’s coverage of the war, and said that when they spoke to members of the armed forces, they never talked to “real soldiers.”

Limbaugh has since said that he was referring to one veteran in particular and not active duty troops critical of the war. However, in the audio of the broadcast, this specific veteran is not referenced until about two minutes after the original comment was made.

Transcripts released by Limbaugh, of course, omitted this space. It was a nice try, but unfortunately for him, the Democrats did their homework on this one.

Liberal media groups including the watchdog group Media Matters, have had a field day, and they, along with more than 40 congressional Democrats, have signed a letter to the broadcasters airing the show condemning Limbaugh, according to the New York Times.

One group, VoteVets.org, is even taking out an advertisement to be aired Wednesday criticizing the comment. In some areas this commercial will run during Limbaugh’s show, according to the same Times article.

This comes shortly after a similar stir caused by a full page New York Times advertisement taken out by the anti-Bush group MoveOn.org criticizing Gen. Petraeus after his report on the war in Iraq.

The report, hotly contested by Democrats, endorsed a slow pullout of additional troops added to stabilize Iraq, but warned against “rushing to failure.”

Both Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of Congress threw a fit and members of both parties signed a letter condemning the group and the New Times.

However, in the Limbaugh case, Republicans aren’t willing to get involved in the fray. In fact, should the Democrats formally introduce their resolution to the floor, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-FL) plans to introduce a separate resolution commending the host.

I’m still waiting for the resolution condemning the Collegian, but maybe college papers aren’t important enough to hit the Congressional radar. Or maybe they agreed with the sentiment. Okay, probably not.

I find it hard to believe that the small issue of an idiot radio host making a controversial comment about the Iraq War and our military is being made into a federal issue.

Rather than focus on ways to galvanize the war effort so the Iraqis can have their country back, our representatives are arguing about two words that, in the grand scheme of things, aren’t even that big of a deal.

Limbaugh is entitled to his opinion, as am I entitled to think he is wrong.

Individual members of Congress can think what they want about it, but the time to express their displeasure is not during active sessions. When they are on the taxpayers’ dime, they should be doing the taxpayers’ work.

Leave the condemnations to the watchdogs – that’s what they get paid to do.

Editorials Editor Sean Reed is a junior political science major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com

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