Hypocrisy 101

By Jeffrey Page

All you needed to know was that President Obama was in South Africa for the final tribute to Nelson Mandela and that no matter what he said or did, he would be mocked and dismissed by Limbaugh and his fawning acolytes.

Sure enough, President Obama spoke movingly about what Mandela had achieved for his country after 27 years in prison, having been convicted of the South African felonies of being black and wanting freedom and equality. President Obama’s described the love the South African people have for Mandela, and for this Limbaugh savaged him. The First Amendment says you can do this; common decency forbids it.

Limbaugh’s hypocrisy is astonishing. For example, he spoke for the hard conservative core in his contempt for the Johannesburg handshake, the one between President Obama and Raul Castro, president of you-know-what and brother of you-know-who.

The handshake served as the catalyst for Limbaugh’s millionth dismissal of President Obama as “a socialist” and/or “a narcissist.” How does he make this connection? “He doesn’t get a thrill shaking Raul Castro’s hand,” Limbaugh said. “He’s hoping Castro gets a thrill shaking his hand.” (That’s been a Limbaugh trademark; to inform his listeners precisely what the people he loathes are thinking at any given moment.)

The Limbaugh line of course is that good people don’t go around shaking the hand of a guy named Castro from an island called Cuba. But let’s see just how consistent Limbaugh is.

In 1985, President Reagan agreed to lay a wreath at the Bitburg Cemetery in Germany, the last resting place of about 2,000 German soldiers who died in World War II. All right, time heals many wounds and 40 years after the war ended, the United States and Germany were allies and remain so.

But there were other interments at Bitburg, such as the graves of 49 members of the Waffen-SS, which was essentially the 1 million-member private army of the Nazi party commanded by Heinrich Himmler. These were the troops that provided the military muscle to carry out the Holocaust.

Americans were aghast that President Reagan would go anywhere near the SS graves, but he rejected their pleas.

The Limbaugh connection to Bitburg? There was none. I checked the internet, The New York Times and other sites looking for a cautionary word from Limbaugh condemning, or merely questioning Reagan’s judgment. But from 1985 through yesterday Limbaugh apparently had nothing to say. What I did find was that 11 Republican senators (and 42 Democrats), plus 84 Republican House members (and 173 Democrats) condemned Reagan’s planned trip to Bitburg, which, incidentally, was scheduled to be made immediately after an earlier stop at the Bergen-Belsen death camp, where the Nazis murdered 50,000 Jews. If anyone can point out a negative reference by Limbaugh to Reagan’s Bitburg atrocity, I’ll be happy to print it.

So, President Obama shaking hands with President Castro, or President Reagan laying a wreath for some SS troops? For Americans there are two questions: Which is more offensive, which is more nauseating?

The answers are not complicated.

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2 Responses to “Hypocrisy 101”

  1. Bennett Weiss Says:

    I love the line “time heals many wounds”. After all, there are some incurable afflictions and unforgivable transgressions. But successfully overthrowing the Mafia-ocracy of Batista is not one of them. At least not to the rest of the world which now has normal relations with Cuba. Talk about American exceptionalism.
    Exceptionally stupid, cruel and backward thinking in this case.

    Obama should not only have shaken Castro’s hand, he should have pledged to re-establish friendly US/ Cuban relations.

    Now in fairness to Rash Limberger, he didn’t start his national radio show until 1988, three years after Reagan’s Bitburg visit.
    But of course your point regarding the knee-jerk idiocy of Rash and his hateful band ditto heads is spot on. This propagandist, along with Hannity, Levin, Savage and a long list of imitators continue to thrive while their rough counterparts on what we in America call the “left”, Keith Olbermann and Phil Donahugh, are excluded from the corporate media.

  2. Jeffrey Page Says:

    Right you are about Limbaugh’s not going national until 1988. My apology for this boneheaded error.


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