It’s interesting that the Dems’ attack against Rush is taking place at the same time Clarence Thomas’s riveting autobiography hits the bookshelves, because both illustrate one of the central features of contemporary politics: the Left’s loss of intellectual coherence and confidence, and its consequent turn to the vilification of individuals. Unable to deal with Thomas’s arguments, his political enemies–just as they had done with Bob Bork–went all out to destroy the man, seizing on a flimsy pretext to assault his character. They failed then, and they are going to fall again today in their primal whine against Rush.
As Mark Levin has pointed out, there have been many cases of people falsely claiming to be soldiers, and in some cases they are now the subjects of criminal investigations. Rush’s calling out these phony soldiers is certainly legitimate. If the Left had been smart, they would either have let it pass, or simply observed that there aren’t many of these people, and there are plenty of legitimate critics of Bush’s policies, including some who served in this or other wars. Donning a uniform doesn’t translate into a single political view.
The Left hates Rush, above all–as in the case of Thomas–because of the quality of his mind and the effectiveness of his work. They know he is uniquely effective in undermining their political movement, and they desperately want him off the air. This desperation drove them to seize on a very flimsy reed with which to attack him–for it is he they are attacking, not his ideas–and they now must struggle to use that reed to stay afloat. This is what happens when a once-dominant ideology falls apart. The Left cannot explain the world, its models and its rhetoric are antiquated, and they lose most of the important debates, above all in national elections. So, in order to gain and retain political power, they must attempt to destroy the conservative icons. Yesterday, Clarence Thomas, today Rush Limbaugh. It’s an ugly spectacle.