|October 6, 2003
A Difficult Week for Republican Activists
The past week was a very difficult time for Republican activists. The Right Wing Radio host Rush Limbaugh started the week with racist comments on ESPN that led to his losing his sports commentator gig. His comments were largely defended by Republican activists. These were the same Republican activists who also rallied to Trent Lott over his racists comments. In terms of public relations, Republicans looked like racists. This was quickly followed by reports of Rush Limbaugh’s drug addiction and possible criminal investigation. These writers feel sympathy for his drug addiction health problem. We can only hope that Right Wing America will turn toward drug treatment instead of punishment as the correct approach to dealing with the drug problem now that Rush has become a victim.
Next, the Arnold as sex fiend/Hitler admirer comments came to light. The sexual acts being reported seem to be criminal in nature. They seem to have been a long-term behavior pattern. The issue is unlikely to go away after the election. Criminal investigations and lawsuits seem likely regardless of the outcome of the California Recall Election. While the Hitler comments were obviously stupid things to say, they are not as legally threatening as the sexual charges. Both reflect badly on the Republican Party in California and elsewhere. They are public relations disasters.
The WMD/Iraq War Controversy was focused on the outing of Valerie Wilson as a CIA covert operative as political punishment. She was exposed as punishment for her husband’s role in revealing the 16 words in Bush’s State of the Union speech claiming Saddam Hussein’s regime tried to buy weapons grade uranium ore in Africa were known to be untrue by the White House. It looks likely that White House connected Republican operatives shopped this information around to many reporters in clear violation of federal law about revealing the identities of covert CIA operatives. A history of political and financial ties between Karl Rove and Attorney General John Ashcroft has led to calls for a Special Prosecutor to investigate. The Republican PR machine is in high gear resisting such an independent investigation. The issues are serious in terms of law and public opinion. The hunt of Iraq weapons of mass destruction has basically found nothing significant. The White House is seeking $600 million to keep searching.
Column written by Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence (hosts of Democratic Talk Radio which is nationally syndicated on the ieAmerica Radio Network). You can hear them via the Internet several days a week from 2-4pm Central at http://www.ieAmericaRadio.com. You are invited to visit the Democratic Talk Radio site at DemocraticTalkRadio.com. They can be reached by mail at: 7A Planville Drive, Fayetteville, TN 37334. Reach DTR by phone at 931-438-1500 or 443-421-0287.
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