September 22, 2006

I've hesitated mentioning this because it's basically had 24/7 coverage on the MSM channels since Thursday, but Jeff Cohen at Alternet brings up a valid point about the Right's outrage over Hugo Chavez calling Bush "El Diablo" at the U.N.:

Among those exercised (and exorcized) about Chavez' name-calling were some of the loudest name-callers in American media today -- including Rush Limbaugh and other rightwing talk hosts. Limbaugh tried to equate Chavez' remarks with the alleged Bush-bashing that comes from top U.S. Democrats. In case you've forgotten, it was Limbaugh who ridiculed Chelsea Clinton, then 13, as the "White House dog."

It was Limbaugh in 2001 who routinely referred to Democratic leader Tom Daschle, literally, as "El Diablo." Along with "Devil in a Blue Dress" theme music, Limbaugh would carry on at length about how Daschle may well be Satan in soft-spoken disguise. Bellowed Limbaugh in July 2001: "Just yesterday, as Bush winged his way to Europe on a crucial mission to lead our allies into the 21st century...up pops 'El Diablo,' Tom Daschle, and his devilish deviltry, claiming that George Bush is incompetent."

[..]Let me be clear: Those of us who use facts instead of rant; reason and argument instead of name-calling and personal attacks; evidence instead of intimidation and accusations of disloyalty -- we have the moral authority to tell Hugo Chavez that his comments were out of line.

But the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Scarboroughs and O'Reillys are in no position to point any fingers. Nor are the executives at Disney, GE and News Corp who have made them the loudest voices in American media.

Read the whole blog here.

I'm not particularly taken with anyone lowering themselves to a schoolyard bully level of calling names; it debases the discourse and cheapens the debate. So I am by no means defending Chavez. My Logic professor used to say that when you've got no place to go but an ad hominem attack, you've lost the debate. However, as much as they are outraged and seeking to taint all Democratic party members with Chavez's questionable choice of words, it does seem to be the favorite tactic of these right-wing pundits.

Deepak Chopra comes from another tack at HuffPo.

(update by Jamie)

A new poll came out from SUSA this week and currently has Schmidt ahead by 3 points (well within the MOE), which is amazing for how conservative the area is here in southwestern Ohio. This has become a vital race for the Democrats, as well as the race for Mary Jo Kilroy to defeat Republican incumbent Deborah Pryce in Central Ohio. These races can very well turn into two big pickups for Democrats this fall.

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