Friday, February 12, 2010

51. Sarah Palin

I have never written about politics on this blog. If you want politics, you can read a newspaper or watch TV. But it's becoming clear to me that I need to say a few things about Sarah Palin.

I know that a whole lot of people in the Ds community are fervent supporters of Palin. I also know that a whole lot of them aren't. You can officially count me in the latter group. I'm not going to go into all the details of why I dislike Sarah Palin. Half of you know exactly why, and half of you don't care to hear it. So let's just push aside the appetizer and go straight for the main course:

The "fucking retarded" debacle, with a side of new potatoes and asparagus. Pairs wonderfully with merlot.

Rahm Emanuel was out of line when he used that slur in a staff meeting. End of discussion. And normally I would say that it's great that someone drew attention to it, got the press involved, etc. Normally I would be very happy about that. Unfortunately, the person who chose to call him out was Sarah Palin. As someone who does not support Sarah Palin, as someone who questions her motives, I thought I smelled a rat. I suspected that this was a calculated political maneuver. But I gave her the benefit of the doubt, because this issue is very personal to me. It's an area where I will happily set aside politics and personal feelings and get behind someone from the other team. I WANTED to believe.

And for about five minutes, I did believe. And then, Sarah Palin found herself backed into a corner by a guy who plays chess, not checkers. Rush Limbaugh. I'm not entirely clear about the nuances of Rush's motivations. I don't know if she just caught him on a bad day, or if Rush was trying to kneecap Palin before she becomes a larger problem for the Republican party as they begin laying the groundwork for the next election. Either way, Rush saw an opportunity to grab some of the spotlight for himself at Palin's expense. And so he took a turn tossing the "R" word around, to great effect. Which, I think, is the last thing Palin anticipated.

And then - the moment of truth. It was time for Palin to stand up for the Down syndrome community, for realsies. It was finally time for her to stand up for Trig, and for Ozzie, and for me. No politics.

But she didn't.

Palin handed Limbaugh a free pass. She knows that Limbaugh's audience is larger than the Ds community. It's a simple numbers game. So Palin sold her child's dignity for thirty pieces of silver. And try as she might, she isn't articulate enough to spin herself out of this, no matter how many notes she has written on her hand. Her naked ambition is on full display. And so, from this point out, Palin will never again get the benefit of the doubt - not from me.

I'm late writing about this. The reason I'm late is because I didn't ever plan on tackling this one. I didn't want to alienate any readers who happen to disagree with my politics. I have a broader message to share, and I would like to think that all people - no matter their political or religious leanings - could feel comfortable visiting this blog. I still hope that's possible. But the longer I sat on this issue, the more uncomfortable I became. Because it slowly became clear to me that I was doing the very thing that Palin did, the thing that disgusted me and made the bile rise to the back of my throat. I was giving Palin a free pass, letting her slide, to keep from losing my readers. I was playing a numbers game of my own. And it's a game I have decided I will play no longer, because Ozzie's dignity is worth more than that.

Ozzie deserves better than Sarah Palin.


one_plustwins said...


That did not take long at all, Dan, don't apologize. You did what was right, I could tell in our email the other night you were really struggling with this one. Like, Lisa (Finnian's Journey) said, I will give Sarah the benefit of the doubt no more. I am glad you won't either.

We all deserve better than Sarah and that is why WE are here.

"Those that mind won't matter, and those that matter won't mind" what you have said about Sarah. There were no political lines drawn here.

BRAVO, brother! BRAVO!

Joyce said...

Right on Dan. Couldn't agree more.

Tara said...

I think there was little doubt where you stood politically...far across the room from me. :) But, on this, we completely agree, my friend.

JRS said...

Thanks for writing this and thanks to our Palin supporting friends who have the courage to put family BEFORE politics and speak out against this hypocrisy.

Lisa said...

Awesomely well said, Dan.

Ann said...

I really wish that all politicians, entertainers, and writers would refrain from giving excuses for using the word "retard". It is certainly not satire, nor is it funny. The excuses that are made defending people's right to use the word are often on par with the original offense.

Limbaugh, Emanuel, Colbert, that "tropic thunder"guy, don't need defending. They speak for themselves. Sarah Palin needs to speak for herself... it is most certainly not satire. It is demeaning!!!!

Lisa said...

No passes. EVER. For any reason. Glad you posted this...

Jessica said...


Anonymous said...

It might be crossing a line, but I might go so far as to say that Trig deserves better than Sarah Palin... or at least her two-faced rhetoric.

(Are you sure about the merlot, though? I was thinking maybe a chardonnay would go better with the potatoes and asparagus...)

Dovic said...

Hear Hear (or is it here here?). Anyways, could not agree more. And that's a view point from abroad.

So much more I could say but won't. You already said most of it.


DownTownDan said...

onlywhoiam -

I doublechecked with our sommelier, and he assures me that the merlot best brings out the full flavor of the debacle. And he is very snooty, so I believe him.

Fragrant Liar said...

All true and well said. Further, Palin doesn't know what satire really means. If she'd been asked that question, the befuddled answer would have blown up all over the media.

Interesting site you have.

SunflowerMom said...

you took the words right out of my mouth!!! thanks. linking & FBing.

Jennifer said...

I'm glad Deborah from Sunflower Mom sent me this way. Right on! I'll have to link this, too!

G-Zell said...

I totally agree! She is something else. Then again on Fox she was given another chance and then O'reilly asks her again why she didnt condemn Rush.. dodge dodge dodge..... so dissappointed in her conduct.

Great post!

Stephanie said...

Exactly what wa being said on her site this morning - until it was censored. She doesn't want to hear it....she doesn't get it, because she doesn't live it. Not really.


chaos diaries said...

We're obviously on opposite sides of the political wine cellar, but I agree with you totally on this one. Limbaugh's comments were not satirical.

I eschew political correctness. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth that even the finest merlot cannot conquer. But the R word isn't about political correctness: it's about making a joke or a point at the expense of those society should be seeking to protect.

Jasmine said...

Dan, first of all I appreciate you sharing your opinion. This issue is open for dialogue.

The thing that baffles me is if our children deserve better than Palin - why approach Palin for help?

Let's get someone else to be our voice then. I think it's a bit hypocritcal to continue to have people sign a letter to Sarah Palin when people believe she's sitting on a fence.

If we deserve better - then get better.

Again, thank you for the open forum to share our mind.

Please understand this has nothing to do with religious beliefs. It has to do with the fact that we are not doing any better either - we're sitting on the fence too.

I signed that letter because I believe in her and will support her promise to be an advocate for the special needs community. If I didn't believe I would not have signed the letter nor ask others to do the same.

Windmills and Tulips

Anonymous said...

I'm a little late to the dinner party here I realize. The outrage you show toward Sarah Palin is outrageous! You are condeming her for speaking out against this person, but not that person. You are horrified by her selective admonishments? Really? So, I suppose if I look back through your blog I will find you being equally outraged by the words Emmanuel said? What about the crack from the President himself? What? Didn't "feel" political back then? Looks like you are guilty of the same things you accuse Palin of if you ask me.

Look, I'm a Palin supporter, but I'm astute enough to realize that this is about politics and not about protecting anyone's kids. I can admit that she screwed up with the Limbaugh deal, doesn't change my opinion of her. Just like the couple of slams that came out of the White House (THE WHITE HOUSE!!!) didn't change your politics either. Why don't you hold the President to the same high standards you hold Sarah Palin, private citizen to?

And the crack about Trig deserving better than Palin? Ha! Do you think Trig would have seen the light of day if he had been Trig Obama?

DownTownDan said...

Well Anonymous, if you will look back through my blog, you'll see that I haven't talked about politics at all until now. Know why? Because I don't care to talk about politics on my blog. But the Palin thing has been so huge it has opened up Pandora's box, and I feel it's my duty to speak out for my child.

The crack from the President hurt - it hurt badly. But he apologized, and his apology was accepted. He isn't still running around making "Special Olympics" jokes. He isn't doing more damage. What he said seemed like a genuine, human slip that was a mistake. Sure, it gave us all a peek inside his head, and I didn't like what I saw there, but what he said was no different than the things I hear at my own office almost every day. I'm willing to forgive when someone says something unintentionally and then apologizes profusely and doesn't do it again.

Palin, on the other hand, is playing politics. I don't appreciate being used as a pawn, and I get really steamed about my child being used as one. And since she seems to be the person everyone turns to on these issues, and since she's not going anywhere for awhile, I felt the need to speak up.

And are you actually, seriously saying that Obama would have aborted Trig? Based on what? That's pretty fucking offensive. I invite you to go read someone else's blog. I also invite you to show your face instead of commenting anonymously.

kara said...

Anonymous, to your assertion that the Obamas would have aborted a child with DS, I also ask "based on what?"

I am a person with liberal political views. I have a child with DS who was diagnosed prenatally at 13 weeks.

What an assumption. Judge not.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to remain anonymous if that is OK. I have found in the past that a dissenting point of view can sometimes generate personal attacks and move the focus from the issue.

Anyway, I don't have any idea why you lump what Rush did to what Rahm did. A bit of White House Kabuki theater and all is well? So you honestly think that all the self advocates and advocates hastily invited to the White House for the photo op wasn't "playing politics"? I was all about the politics.

When Limbaugh said retarded over and over and over again he was shedding light on the ugliness of the word. Someone like me or you might do the same thing if someone said it flippantly to us.
"Retarded? Did you say retarded? What do you mean by "retarded"?
Or some of us may do a slow internal burn and leave. Which method is most effective in making the other person realize the error of their word choice? When you hold a mirror up to someone, they sometimes get a chance to see themselves in a different light, and that is what Limbaugh was doing. A quick and understated "retarded" suddenly becomes highlighted as offensive. I seriously cannot understand how people see Rush's rant as an attack on people with DS. Like he would actually want to do the same exact thing as the person he was villifying.

The media, of course, chose to highlight Rush out of context, downplay Emmanuel, Highlight the bit of WH Kabuki theater and voila, everyone thinks Rush is nasty and Rahm is just soooo sorry for using "F-ing retarded".

Come on folks. I have to believe you have the critical thinking skills to see through the manipulation, regardless of your politics.

My "Trig Obama" comment was in reply to another comment:
"It might be crossing a line, but I might go so far as to say that Trig deserves better than Sarah Palin... "

Well, that's a bit of nastiness that went a little too far. What about Michelle Obama talking about her daughter's weight problem to the whole country? Wouldn't you just die if you came home to hear your mom talking to her friend about your weight? Where is the 911 call to Children's Aid on that one? Let's just try to be even handed when doling out the I-as-parental-authority judgements.

Remember, *judge not*.

Well, OK, just judge Limbaugh, Palin and whoever else is of the wrong political color...isn't that what you mean?

And finally, yes, I am of the opinion that the Obama's would not have a child with special needs. I don't think that is an offensive opinion. Why would you think that's offensive? With his record of voting against the infants born alive protection act, as well as his assertion that he would not want his daughter's "punished" with a baby (I can only imagine a child with special needs would be an even more spectacular punishment) well, let's just say it's a hunch I have.

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute my opinions to your post. I realize you do not have to include them.

DownTownDan said...

Just to clarify, Anonymous, here is a direct quote from Rush Limbaugh:

"Our politically correct society is acting like some giant insult's taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards ... I'm not going to apologize for it."

How is that satire? How is he shedding light on the ugliness of the word? He is using the word exactly as Rahm did. It's exactly the same. It's not satire, it's just Rush being a jerk. And if my own father used it this way, I would call him a jerk, too.

Let's go back and touch on your original point - I'm a hypocrite for not jumping on Obama or Rahm when they slipped up and made offensive comments, that I only jumped in when I had a chance to take on Palin. Well, Palin has become the de facto spokesperson for Ds. She is the one jumping into the limelight, the one people turn to to get the sound bite on these issues. She is speaking for my community, like it or not. And if she's going to carry that torch, I would prefer she speak intelligently. I would prefer Palin actually stand up for Ds all the time, not just when it's politically advantageous. And when she doesn't do that, I won't stand by silently, even though I don't care to talk about politics on my blog. I wasn't going to mention it at all on this blog, but so many people asked my stance on it - so many people sent me these links - that I finally decided to speak out and set the record straight.

The media were all over this because it was a clear cut case of hypocrisy. They don't get clearer than this. Palin dragged this whole thing out into the light by jumping all over Rahm Emanuel. The media went right along with her - it was a great story. And then she tripped up this time by not slamming Rush, and you can watch it right on the video. That's not ME playing politics, that's HER playing politics. And that's when the story got even juicier.

Saying The Obamas would have aborted Trig because you were mad at someone's else's comment is just a poke in the eye. You don't like Democrats, great. Fine. Sling some mud.

Michelle Obama's weight comment is completely off topic, that's just you grasping for straws. Yes, how inconceivable it is that a woman who has made it her role to focus the nation's attention on weight control would point out the failings of her own family. Just inconceivable. She should have pointed out a fat lady in the crowd, I guess. I think she was doing her best to say that even they aren't perfect, even the Obamas need to work to fight obesity. Oh, the horror.

TUC said...

I would like to jump in here and say that I am pro-choice, and I made the choice to have my child with Ds. It is offensive to just assume that someone would abort their baby based on how they vote and what public policies they support. It is a very personal decision, and I don't think it is fair to say what anybody else in that position would do.

Anonymous said...

So what Rush needed to add to the end of the quote you provided was "...and my boss is the president.."

Satire a la Family Guy.

You think that Rush Limbaugh, in an effort to admonish Emmanuel, would join in on the same activity? Kind of neuters his argument wouldn't you say?
That was perfect satire and the fact that you were offended makes it look like textbook, or at least dictionary definition satire:

"2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly."

Should Limbaugh invent some sort of auditory "sarc, /sarc" for listeners?

Palin isn't "jumping" into the limelight. She comments from her Facebook page (as does her daughter as a sibling of someone with Ds), and people have to go looking for her comments. The last time I looked at one of my Facebook associations (I *heart* someone with DS) there were many more than just Sarah Palin out there opining. I, personally, (and even though I'm admittedly a fan) do not think Palin is the last word for me. The last word for me, is me. Palin is a perfect example of a mother sticking up for her child though, although the media will parse her words and spin her meanings to marginalize her (it is in the best interest of the left to cut her down and if they think that Palin may ever generate one "sympathetic" vote, well, just can't happen can it?) How excellent to divide us advocates into "factions" and use the very disability we all attest to stand up for to divide us. I wonder where that is coming from?

As I said, I don't believe for a minute that Limbaugh was trying to marginalize people with special needs. At one point in the show (which I presume you listened to, to validate your points) a woman called in so sad that he was talking that way, and he continued to speak that way to her, to completely illustrate the human pain the word causes. It was a painful lesson, but a much needed one for the folks who a) think we are all just getting a little "too PC" b)it's funny. Your quote demonstrates how he was mocking the PC crowd.

The fact that you and I and the caller into his show were so mortally wounded (yes, I cringed each time he said it) indicates what he was trying to do, drive home the emotional response the word inflicts, a lesson for the shoulder shruggers who don't think it's a big deal.

He was making a point. It was satire. Yes, it was and Palin understood that and so do I. I guess people just have to make a choice about what to believe Limbaughs intentions were.

It just makes no logical sense that Limbaugh would join into Rahm's sleight and then admonish Rahm for what he said. You have to choose to go against logic and be swept up with the media's distortion to think Limbaugh was being sincere. Hey, it's your choice though.

Whoa, blogger thinks I have way too much to say on the topic...must split the, con't below

Anonymous said...


Maybe he should have said nothing, and the human drama of the White House photo op could carry the day and everyone could go back to "retarded" as their vocabulary crutch without too much stress for anyone involved.

Do we heave a sigh of relief thinking the world is a better place because Rahm Emmanuel promised to take an online pledge and Obama made a phone call to Tim Shriver? (Who, as an advocate for many years was wise enough to tell Obama that he could not accept the apology of every person's behalf...wait, that was Emmanual's telephone call. Darn it! No free pass stamped by Special Olympics for Rahm? WTF? Now what? So something had to take place. *Shriver accepted Obama's apology though. Apparently Shriver could speak for all people with special needs that day.*

Did you know about all that? All the back story to Rahm's r-word bomb? It wasn't so much in the news.

And, you are OK with the Obama's "using" their daughters as props for policy (by the way, you musn't understand preteen girls very well, nothing could be more mortifying than anyone besides your pediatrician discussing your weight. How about a national broadcast about it then?) Oh well, they are taking it for the team I suppose.

So, to sum up, Michelle Obama using daughters as chubby examples of a country's flab..good.
Sarah Palin carrying Trig Palin on her hip...bad, in a french loaf kind of way.

The interesting thing here is, why do you see Palin as using Trig, when you don't see Obama as using her daughters?

This is why I brought it up, as an example of how colored by our politics we are.

I would hope that as a group of advocates for our kids we would find ways to stay connected. We are more powerful, more successful and stronger advocates when we work from our common bond, not from the one most devisive thing that we all seem to carry in our back pocket. I think we all need to be careful when those who do not have any connection to our "world" start to distort our view, our experiences and our "cause". One person does not represent all of us and when the powers that be start to marginalize us by creating ghosts, we all lose. Don't you find it so interesting that, at the end of the day, all the r-word venom is being spewed, by "us", at Sarah Palin? Not so much Limbaugh, Not Emmanuel, not Obama?

Kind of freakishly genius if you ask me. Who on God's green earth would want to do that? If I could use such fiendish tactics here my kids would clean up after themselves. Dinner would get cooked for me! My wacky neighbour would stay away...I'd be queen of the world!!

Again, with thanks.

DownTownDan said...

Well Anon, here's the Feb. 3 Rush Limbaugh transcript so everyone can read it for themselves. It's just awesome satire:

Rush is being a dick. He may call it satire, you may call it satire to help swallow it a bit better, but it's Rush being a dick. Mentally disabled people be damned - he is using them as cannon fodder.

And yes, I think you have uncovered a grand conspiracy. The press, the Democrats, probably the Shriners and the Illuminati are all conspiring to divide the all-powerful Ds voting bloc. They are making Palin look foolish to foster infighting among us. It's so ingenious, such a perfect plan. I wish I still worked back at my old newspaper so I could be involved in those daily meetings where the details of this plan are surely being passed back and forth across the table. Yep, I was part of the "liberal" media for many years. We were the liberal media to Republicans. Of course, our liberal subscribers disagreed - they were always enraged at our obvious Republican slant.

And now, let's go completely off topic into the weight thing once again. Yes, I am perfectly okay with the Michelle Obama referencing her daughter's weight as part of a discussion on the national waistline. And I'm also okay with Sarah Palin campaigning with Trig on her hip. What I would not be okay with is Michelle telling Democrats that her daughter is fat, and then telling Republicans that her daughter is thin. And that's what I dislike about Sarah Palin's position.

No one is dividing the Ds community. I'm not being manipulated by the media. Half of us like Sarah Palin, half of us don't. That's to be expected, since she is such a divisive figure. However, many of us who don't like her politics recognize that Sarah Palin can do great things for the Ds community. I just wish she would talk out of only one side of her mouth.

Anonymous said...

"I’m just quoting Emanuel. It’s in the news. I think the big news is that he’s out there calling Obama’s number one supporters “F-ing retards.”"

So, here is the moment Rush states exactly the weapon he will wield satirically. It is Emmanuel's own words. He states right there why he is using the word. He understands how vulgar it is, so why not hang it on Rahm's neck, again and again and again. He understands that anything bad he could ever say about Emmanuel wouldn't compare to using Emmanuel's own sick verbiage to describe him.

He makes a strong point. I don't think you read through the transcripts (and hey, I don't blame you if your sensitive to slams against fellow democrats). To the callers who reveal they have family with special needs, he commiserates with them over the hypocracy from the "compassionate" left. Political for sure, but he is not slamming people with special needs, he seems to, in the transcripts, be demanding some more respect from the WH for those with special needs.

I know that YOU are OK with hearing about the weight issues of the Obama girls, I strongly suspect however that they are not. I understand you want to keep this topic as unrelated, but
I think it is.
I have been told, through the media that it is bad to make a big deal about a girls weight. (I have a preteen daughter myself) I guess doctors are afraid that it can damage a girl's self esteem. Dove most recently had an excellent ad campaign addressing this exact issue.

Maybe they didn't mean presidential girls though.

So, it seems that it is a different standard for the Obama girls. They got the poopy end of that double standard. Their weight is absolutely none of our business. Michelle's job as a mother is to make sure they are eating well and getting enough exercise, not drag her daughters into some sort of starring role in a government "The Biggest Loser".

So it's not Fat for Democrats, thin for Republicans. It's a simple case of using children to further a parental goal. Kinda the same theme the unbiased media talked a lot about when Palin was campaigning. You see Palin as using Trig as a political tool, and here are the Obama girls, conveniently plump and conscripted into modelling service for demonstrative purposes. It's the same thing. Except, for some odd reason, one is bad, the other, good.

As for you not attending your mandatory meetings back at the newspaper office, I'm off to dig through that unbiased media you speak of, going back over more than a year to see how many "nice" or even "neutral" stories there are about Palin. I suspect there will be armloads.
Maybe you can point me in the right direction.

With thanks.

DownTownDan said...

Yeah, I noticed you didn't repeat this quote:

"Normally if you call somebody a retard, you apologize to them for calling them a retard. But he has apologized to the retarded people for daring to lump them with Democrats."

So funny. As I said - cannon fodder. He's being a dick, and you don't get it. He's making a joke, and he doesn't care that he's insulting "retarded people" in the process. Swallow that pill with your spoonful of honey.

And the weight thing. On and on and on. You aren't bringing a lot to the table here. I don't care if the Obama daughters weigh 500 lbs. each. It has nothing to do with anything. It's a nonissue, it has no bearing on Sarah Palin's ambition. Trying to lump it into some media conspiracy/double standard is a huge stretch.

As I said before, I don't care if Palin uses Trig to further her own goals. If she is carting Trig around and raising awareness for the Ds community, that is a good thing. Trig SHOULD be important to Palin, and he SHOULD play some role in her politics. Trig Palin may be the only chance some people get to see a person with Ds, and he may help change people's opinion of Ds for the better.

But if Palin is going to tap into the Ds community's good will like that, she damn well better be genuine about it. Which she was not in this instance, no matter how you want to slice it. It's on tape, on camera, right in front of your nose.

And also, it's not the media's role to write nice stories about Palin. Neutral: yes. Nice: no. I'm quite sure there are plenty of neutral stories out there (although I would argue that nothing is ever completely neutral). But the media is also expected to point out obvious things that might indicate that a person is not qualified to serve as the Vice President. And there have been so very many of those things to report. I guess you would rather the media have talked about how nice her hair was during the campaign. That would have been a nice story.

Anonymous said...

"Normally if you call somebody a retard, you apologize to them for calling them a retard. But he has apologized to the retarded people for daring to lump them with Democrats."

Who's being slighted there? It reads as a hit on democrats. He is apologizing to "retards" (Rahm's word choice) for lumping them in with democrats. Limbaugh says Emmanuel is apologizing for the fact that people with special needs are being associated with liberals. That is a slam on liberals, not people with special needs.

Why would Palin admonish Rush for making fun of liberals?

You can post the whole interaction, it was a bona fide hit on Emmanuel from start to finish. Are you thinking that Rush was too harsh on Emmanuel, because if you read the transcript, Limbaugh only ever slammed him, by using his own words.

I think you are outraged at something that doesn't exist here. Read the transcript yourself. He defends people with special needs multiple times in the transcript.

Choosing to hang this on Sarah Palin is misguided, but you can do whatever you like. For those who want to be accurate with their venom, I suggest going to the source. Palin did nothing wrong here. Slam her for her politics or how she wears her hair, but find an authentic reason to slam her at least.

I am fully aware that it is not the media's role to write puff pieces about Sarah Palin, just Obama. I so get that.

DownTownDan said...

I did read the transcript. You're right, Rush certainly was making fun of liberals when he said that - he was making a joke. It just so happens that he trampled the "retards" in the process.

He doesn't care. He wasn't trying to use satire to make some grand point about how much he respects the mentally disabled. He was making a joke that liberals were EVEN WORSE than "retards." He was slamming liberals, and callously slamming "retards" in the process. It was offensive.

You have convinced yourself that it wasn't, because you can't stomach the fact that Rush was being a jerk. And that Palin was being two-faced. I suffer no such delusions, which is why you have to work so much harder than I do as we debate.

Hey - look over there! Michelle Obama just said her daughter is fat! Conspiracy! Kabuki theater! Buzzword, buzzword, buzzword!

TUC said...

All right you two, break it up... Call a truce or something cause clearly neither one of you is changing your opinion of the situation any time soon :-)

Anonymous said...

That is how we are going to have to leave it because I don't see it that way. There were two groups involved in this whole dust-up started by Emmanuel, democrats and people with special needs. Rush did not pull either group out of thin air. Rush let democrats get a sense of owning the a r-word type label. He was demonstrating how it feels to be the group being maligned.

You have to choose to make the people with special needs deficient in this one. I prefer not to. It could be any group being pushed into the comparison, Rahm was the one who provided the group of people who are like my son. I think we are supposed to feel sorry for people with special needs here, that they are being compared to liberals. Limbaugh, in my opinion, was brilliant in letting the WH liberals get a feel for how hurtful the word is. Kind of a "please quit acting like such a liberal".
Let's point the finger of accusation in the right direction. Had Rahm Emmanuel not let loose his r-bomb, Limbaugh would have been talking about the healthcare bill that day. Instead, Rahm provided the fodder. To believe that Limbaugh thought "Hey, it looks like denigrating people with Down syndrome is getting headlines, I'm going to run with it, because I suddenly want to emulate the liberals that I have spent 20 years mocking, satirizing and admonishing is asking for a huge stretch in rudimentary logic.

You have to forgo logic by assuming what you do about Rush. What sense does it make to villify a person by joining in on their depravity? You would emasculate your whole argument.
The comments he makes to the family members of people with special needs are also sympathetic and go on to berate the WH insensitivity.

Facts are facts, but they can all be interpreted differently I guess. In this type of situation there can be no meeting of the minds.

I will finally take my leave and thank you for your graciousness in providing space on your blog for my comments. I have enjoyed the debate from start to finish.

DownTownDan said...

I don't think it requires a leap in logic to recognize that insensitive people can say insensitive things. I don't think it requires a leap in logic to believe that Limbaugh could insult one group (people with mental disabilities), perhaps unintentionally, while he was trying to insult a different group (Democrats). Nor do I think it requires a leap in logic to believe that a person who makes a living saying volatile and inflammatory things, and has hours of dead air to fill each week, could step over the line and make statements that were volatile and inflammatory and not very well thought out.

Rush may have had no absolutely no intention of insulting people with mental disabilities that day. I'll give you that - they are not the group centered in his crosshairs. But my assertion is that he walked all over them to get to the Democrats. I don't think he gave people with disabilities much thought at all - I think he used them for comic effect. I think it was mean and rude, and a whole lot of other people agree with me. A whole lot. So clearly, whatever his intent, it was not Limbaugh's shining moment.

Setting aside our personal beliefs for a moment, Anonymous, I do want to stop and thank you for taking lots of time to debate this point on my blog. It didn't get too nasty, you said some interesting things, and you shed light on how polarizing something like this can be. There are two sides to every story, and you offered the other side. I'm happy you decided to share your opinion, and I enjoy being challenged about mine. So thank you very much for the discussion.