Published on Monday, July 24, 2006 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
by Greg James
Teddy Roosevelts they're not.
Rush Limbaugh's recent incident at the Palm Beach airport in which he was caught with a questionable prescription of Viagra may be another clue in figuring out just exactly who the neocons and their most vocal supporters really are. Remember, Limbaugh is the tough-talking Vietnam War avoider who spent countless hours railing about President Clinton for alleged sexual misconduct. Could it be that the three times divorced Limbaugh was more envious than outraged when it came to Clinton?
You don't have to be a psychologist to see a predictable pattern with this administration and its most vocal conservative supporters: they project one thing and do another. Or more to the point, they try to project a manly Teddy Roosevelt "rough rider" image; in reality they are a bunch of overweight middle-aged men who mostly avoid wars and real action in favor of sending others to do the dirty work.
In many ways, I suspect this is at the heart of why Iraq is going so wrong, and why our country is in such turmoil. Maybe the U.S. is finally waking up to the scare tactics, orange alerts and right-wing "talkers" and coming to terms with who they really are.
Recently, Rep. John Murtha took presidential adviser Karl Rove to task for his "cut and run" comments and called a spade a spade. He didn't mince words as he described Rove as a fat Washington-based spin doctor who sits in an air-conditioned office and has no problem pushing a war in which he'd never die. Thank God someone finally found the guts to go after the cheerleaders and actually point out what they really are -- sissies who talk tough but do little.
From President Bush all the way down, a quick look finds the "big talkers" in charge and promoting a kind of "do as I say, not as I do" agenda. As a veteran myself, it's hard not to be outraged by this crowd. Bush, who has so vocally pushed the war in Iraq, was himself a cheerleader (yell king) in college and avoided Vietnam with a cushy job in the Air National Guard.
Vice President Dick Cheney took numerous deferments from the draft and, as the poster boy for the National Rifle Association and tough guy hunters, shot a friend in the face at close range while blasting pen-raised quail in Texas. Limbaugh, along with Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Mike Medved and the majority of right-wing radio's most vocal "tough talkers" also fall squarely into the "did not serve" crowd.
The most offensive thing about this bunch is they have no problem attacking people such as Murtha, Sen. John Kerry, former Rep. Max Cleland and retired Gen. Eric Shinseki (the guys who actually did fight in Vietnam) while they sit around sipping lattes in their protected, mostly white, upper-class enclaves.
As with Limbaugh and his constant attacks on Clinton, you have to wonder if this isn't actually some type of perverse psychology playing out on a national scale where the sissies actually tear into the tough guys because they've developed sharp tongues as a response to their own perceived shortcomings. (In this case, a lack of real courage.)
It has often been suggested that if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.
In a similar vein, I suspect the Iraq war would have had a whole lot more thought put into it if the "cheerleaders" actually had to fight rather than sitting on the sidelines talking and urging others on.
Greg James lives on Mercer Island.
© 2006 Seattle Post-Intelligencer