Listening to Rush Limbaugh's radio show made my blood boil. He was complaining about President Obama's declaration that today (9/11/09) is a "National Day of Service and Remembrance" when he gave a speech at the Pentagon. The President was calling on all Americans to be strong, firm, and united to serve the nation while remembering the events of 9/11/01.
This all sounds very inspiring. But not to Rush Limbaugh. He called it an outrage and accused the President of using a solemn occasion (the eighth anniversary of 9/11) to push a socialist agenda by asking citizens to serve the state. (www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_091109/content/01125106.guest.html) I just saw the video of the President's speech and all I can conclude is that Limbaugh is delirious.
How is what Obama has proposed any different than President Kennedy's call to action in his 1961 Inaugural address; "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"? (www.bartleby.com/124/pres56.html) And how about President George H.W. Bush's call for community volunteerism with his 1988 " a thousand points of light" speech? (www.spansociety.com/2009/05/thousand-points-of-light.html)
Maybe I shouldn't be surprised after Limbaugh remarked that he wished Rep. Joe Wilson had not apologized for his rude heckling of "you lie" during the President's speech on health care to a joint session of Congress even after members of Wilson's own GOP party scolded him. (www.silobreaker.com/heckler-calls-obama-liar-5_2262589770112696325)
And this is also the same radio talk show host who said in regards to Obama's economic prescription for the nation during our deep recession: "I hope he fails." (www.huffingtonpost.com/.../limbaugh-i-hope-obama-fai_n_159397.html ) Not "I suspect he will fail" or "I disagree with his policies", but "I hope he fails." Isn't El Rushbo a great patriot?
Limbaugh has also continually called upon citizens to disrupt health care town hall meetings and protest with Tea parties, claiming these are ordinary Americans asserting their right of free speech while they display photos of Obama looking like Hitler. That is all well and good, the same had been leveled against President George W. Bush, but what of the President's call for civility?
Do we need to be yelling at one another? What will that accomplish? I had a close friend share her views at a recent local town hall meeting on health care. Bringing forward her desire for reform brought boos from the right, but when she mentioned she wanted to know how much this would all cost and how it would be funded, she got screaming from the left. One woman kept yelling "liar" to her and to anyone else who expressed any thoughts different from her own viewpoints.
It seems that this behavior has seeped into the Capitol. I agree with the President that "the time for bickering is over." I was glad to see him so "fired up" and "ready to go" delivering what may be a momentum changing address on this issue.
Last night I watched "Real Time with Bill Maher" that featured an interview with Bill Moyers of PBS that was originally aired on August 29, 2009. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gSQ2DWkVE0) Either Moyers is clairvoyant or President Obama watched the show. Moyers called on him to change the "metaphors" and take back the health care conversation from the right wing by expressing it as a moral issue while emphasizing the inadequacies of the present private insurance system.
And that is just what the President did in his eloquent speech. (www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/.../obama.speech/index.html) Perhaps it was the spirit of Sen. Ted Kennedy speaking through his posthumous letter to the President referring to "the great unfinished business of our society" and that "what we face is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country" that inspired Obama. Maybe his recent vacation allowed him to recharge his batteries. Whatever it was, he was never more on message or passionate than he was in delivering this televised address.
Maybe Rush Limbaugh senses Obama will gain momentum back on this historic bill and he is grasping for straws. Just as he was when he was critical of Obama's speech to America's school children saying the original intent was "right out of the pages of Kim Jong Il". (www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2334737/post) Yes, asking students to work hard and stay in school is a really Communist notion! He reminds me of a pit bull barking and nipping at the heels of the President. He doesn't want health care reform to pass so that the President will fail and he and his ideological right wing cronies (who have labeled this issue "Obama's Waterloo") can regain power in the next election.
It's up to us to seize this moment, follow the inspiring lead of our President and honor the legacy of Senator Ted Kennedy by urging Congress to pass health care reform this year. Let's end the partisan bickering and finally muzzle annoyances like Rush Limbaugh.