I suppose I’ve just become too jaded and cynical after these many years following politics and the various actors who commit the act of politicking. That’s why I was immediately dubious when Sarah Palin began screaming for the head of Rahm Emanuel recently over remarks he made last August which included the use of the phrase “f***ing retarded.” I had to fight off a few pangs of guilt at first. I mean, the woman has a developmentally disabled child. That could be a serious sore point for her. But somehow I just had a feeling that her insistence that Rahm’s apology was simply not going to do and that he should immediately become persona non grata around the West Wing might have had a tiny bit more to do with political expedience than any true outrage.
But today the opportunity arose for me to be proven totally wrong. It was revealed by one of the liberal web sites that no less an influential conservative personage than Rush Limbaugh had uttered “the R word” not once.. not twice, but thrice or more.
LIMBAUGH: Our political 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. And I’m not going to apologize for it, I’m just quoting Emanuel. It’s in the news. I think their big news is he’s out there calling Obama’s number one supporters f’ing retards. So now there’s going to be a meeting. There’s going to be a retard summit at the White House. Much like the beer summit between Obama and Gates and that cop in Cambridge.
Considering that Rahm – long known for crude, if not violent, deranged behavior – had used the phrase when referring to some of the most steadfast members of his own party’s base and comparing that to Limbaugh’s harangue, I wondered if Palin would rise up in protest all the louder. I had my doubts, but they seemed to be allayed when I noticed Greg Sargent at the Plum Line pushing the screaming headline, Palin Camp Rips Limbaugh, Hits His “Retard” Comment As “Crude And Demeaning”
“Oh boy,” I thought. “This is going to be GOOD!” And I rubbed my hands together like that rich old millionaire on The Simpsons. Why? I don’t know. I guess I really have no life and spend far too long steeping in the rancid tea of political warfare. But still, I eagerly clicked through to see the “ripping” in progress.
“Governor Palin believes crude and demeaning name calling at the expense of others is disrespectful.”
I am Jack’s utter lack of satisfaction. (Too bad. I like Fight Club references. So sue me.)
She couldn’t even mention Limbaugh by name. And what’s up with “crude and demeaning?” That could mean that Rush was commenting on somebody’s big nose. Where were all the heartfelt wails of anguish about families dealing with the challenges of raising developmentally challenged children? Where were the calls for Limbaugh to be yanked from the airwaves?
You really call that “ripping” Greg? I have another news flash for you. The Pacific Ocean is rumored to be mildly damp.
Tomorrow Governor Palin will be taking the stage at the big Tea Party rally where she will be joined by Rick Perry and the opening act will be Ted Nugent. Now that it’s been revealed that Nugent called people who don’t support hunting “retards,” I’m sure that Ms. Palin will be refusing to appear unless this foul mouthed, crude, demeaning individual is removed from the program. Ah… here’s the release now.
(insert sound of crickets chirping here)
In politics, it’s fine to play the moral outrage card for tactical advantage, particularly if you happen to have a personal situation where it really strikes home. But for it to be effective you need to suck it up and be consistent across the board. This is a rookie mistake which exposed Palin’s tirade against the admittedly foul mouthed Rahm Emanuel as the fauxrage which it was.
Allow me to finish with an observation which will not leave our liberal readers fearing that I’ve switched over to their side. Picture, if you will, a face-off in 2012 between Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.
Empty Suit… meet empty waders.