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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Addiction: "Limbaugh Lower Now. How Low Can He Go?

"And the laws are good because we know
what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods,
which become consumed by them.
And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs,
they ought to be accused
 and they ought to be convicted
and they ought to be sent up."

--Rush Limbaugh, (October 5, 1995)

"Too many whites are getting away with drug use...
Too many whites are getting away with drug sales...
The answer is to go out and find the ones
who are getting away with it,
convict them,
 and send them up the river, too." --
--Rush Limbaugh, (1995)

Rush Limbaugh is an American radio talk show host and political commentator. He is often cited as an opinion leader of American conservatives.The "Rush Limbaugh Show" is the most listened to radio talk show in America, broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide.

In 2009, Limbaugh received the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) award for "Defender of the Constitution Award", a document originally signed by Benjamin Franklin, given to someone "who has stood up for the First Amendment ... Rush Limbaugh is for America, exactly what Benjamin Franklin did for the Founding Fathers ... the only way we will be successful is if we listen to Rush Limbaugh." (, February 28 2009.

Limbaugh admitted to listeners on his radio show on October 10, 2003, that he was addicted to prescription painkillers. Limbaugh said he started taking painkillers "some years ago" after a doctor prescribed them following a spinal surgery. His back pain stemming from the surgery persisted, so Limbaugh said he started taking pills and became hooked. ("Rush Limbaugh Arrested On Drug Charges," CBS News, March 5 2009)

But, Rush Limbaugh claims he didn't "doctor shop" for prescription drugs.

Prosecutors conducted a three-year investigation of Limbaugh after he publicly acknowledged being addicted to pain medication and entered a rehabilitation program. They accused Limbaugh of "doctor shopping," or illegally deceiving multiple doctors to receive overlapping prescriptions, after learning that he received about 2,000 painkillers, prescribed by four doctors in six months, at a pharmacy near his Palm Beach mansion.

The warrant alleged that sometime between February and August 2003, Limbaugh had withheld information from a medical practitioner from whom he had sought to obtain a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance.

Limbaugh's attorney opposed the prosecutor's efforts to interview his doctors on the basis of patient privacy rights and argued that the prosecutor had violated Limbaugh's Fourth Amendment rights by illegally seizing his medical records.

On December 12, 2005, Judge David F. Crow delivered a ruling prohibiting the State of Florida from questioning Limbaugh's physicians about "the medical condition of the patient and any information disclosed to the health care practitioner by the patient in the course of the care and treatment of the patient."

So, then Limbaugh and the prosecutors reached a deal calling for the only charge against  him to be dropped without a guilty plea if he continued treatment. The charge was dismissed after 18 months during which Limbaugh continued to seek treatment from the doctor he had seen for the past two and a half years.

No Rush To Judgment?

So, Rush Limbaugh got a deal from Florida officials. Considering his status and he contributions to good government, maybe he should get a break. After all, he has been so repentent. Or has he?

Let me give you a few examples of vintage Rush Limbaugh behavior and speech:

* In June 2006, Limbaugh was detained by drug enforcement agents at Palm Beach International Airport. Customs officials confiscated Viagra from Limbaugh's luggage as he was returning from the Dominican Republic. The prescription was not in Limbaugh's name.

After he was released with no charges filed, Limbaugh joked about the incident on his radio show, claiming that he got the Viagra at the Clinton Library and was told they were blue M&M's. He also stated that "I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it." ("Rush Limbaugh Detained With Viagra," CBS News, March 5 2009)

* In 2008, Limbaugh felt like flexing his venomous vocabulary. He said,"We thought that it was just liberal welfare policies and all that that kept blacks from progressing while other minorities grew and prospered, but, no, it is these wackos from Bill Ayers to Jeremiah Wright to other anti-American Afrocentric black liberation theologists with ACORN, and Barack Obama is smack dab in the middle of it, they have been training young black kids to hate, hate, hate this country, and they trained their parents before that to hate, hate, hate this country." (Transcript from The Rush Limbaugh Show, October 14 2008)

In a similar vein, here is Limbaugh's mocking take on the NAACP, a group with a 90-year commitment to nonviolence: "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."

* On July 13, 2010, Limbaugh commented on the death of longtime New York Yankess owner George Steinbrenner "That cracker made a lot of African-American millionaires."

* On October 14, 2011, Limbaugh questioned the U.S. move against Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army  (LRA), on the grounds that they were Christians. "They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them."

Later, Limbaugh stated that he would research the group as he was made aware of accusations of their atrocities, including kidnapping whole schools for use as child soldiers. The show's written transcript on his website remains with the title "Obama Invades Uganda, Targets Christians."

* On February 29, 2012, during his show, Limbaugh called Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a "slut and a "prostitute," based on her testimony before House Democrats. Fluke was appearing in support of mandating health insurers to cover contraceptive costs.

After liberal groups launched a campaign calling for advertisers to boycott Mr. Limbaugh’s show, a number of sponsors said they were suspending their commercials. So, in March 2012, Mr. Limbaugh publicly apologized to Sandra Fluke.

* In March 2012, as many of his sponsors dropped him, his stations began to follow suit. VoteVets, a coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, released a statement by female vets, including Katherine Scheirman, former chief of medical operations in the U.S. Air Forces, demanding that the American Forces Network drop Limbaugh from its programming.

They stated, "Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other -- women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect." ("FCC Should Clear Limbaugh From Airwaves," CNN Opinion, March 12, 2012)

The Real Rush

The narcissistic Mr. Limbaugh seems to be someone who cannot uphold his own "esteemed" opinions. His many supporters excuse his blithering comments while continuing to support him and, of course, his First Amendment rights. They ask, "Do we really want the U.S. government to use its power to enforce speech codes?" Of course, we don't. But, I, for one, want to expose his "intellect and knowledge" as nothing more than tasteless, scandalous expressions of inflammatory speech.

Limbaugh, denying that he had doctor-shopped for prescriptions, is a liar in denial. His inability to face the truth of his addiction means only one thing to me: Rush Limbaugh is still an addict who "abuses" -- he abuses rx drugs (And, he often talks about drinking alcohol.); he abuses a conservative political philosophy; and he abuses other people with his ignorant rants. Limbaugh lacks the will to stop his abuse.

In conclusion, I am well aware of other media personalities who use hate-mongering rhetoric under the guise of humor and get away with it. I am not defending any of them. But, Rush Limbaugh is guilty. He is guilty of doctor shopping, and according to his own words, the guilty "ought to be convicted and ought to be sent up." I believe Limbaugh is an example of someone who has abused his power and position. To compare such a man to a Founding Father and equate him to the definition of "success" is ridiculous.

How can he do justice to the brave souls who struggle with addiction and fight to overcome its terrible scars? How can he make a positive example of his dependency so that others can feel both compassion for his fall and the need to understand that the disease of addiction can strike anyone? How can he earn the public attention he so sorely desires? I think that is evident: Rush Limbaugh needs to "clean up" -- and clean up in more ways than one. Hey, Rush, start by telling the truth.

And, just for good measure, Mr. Limbaugh, here are a couple of proverbs from Poor Richard's Almanac and the pen of Ben Franklin you might ponder:

"If you wou’d be reveng’d of your enemy, govern your self."

"In other men we faults can spy,
And blame the mote that dims their eye;
Each little speck and blemish find;
To our own stronger errors blind."

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