Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Comedian Limbaugh the Best the GOP Has?

Phil Gingrey, unfortunately of Georgia, in an interview yesterday told Rush Limbaugh to back off on his negative comments about President Obama. Limbaugh, taking a page out of Osama Bin Laden's book has been saying that he hopes Obama will fail. Like Bin Laden, Limbaugh apparently wants to see the United States go down in a ball of flames. The only good thing about that is that Limbaugh would go down also.

Today Gingrey put his tail between his legs and went groveling to Limbaugh asking his forgiveness. Can you believe it? A politician going to a nutcase like Limbaugh and asking his forgiveness? Does Limbaugh now control the Republican Party? If so, the GOP appears to be going down in its own ball of flames. When the party of Abraham Lincoln and even Ronald Reagan grovels to a radio talk show comedian like Limbaugh, it has reached rock bottom. When a man, who has nothing to offer but a big mouth and extreme right wing rhetoric, can cause a reputable politician to kneel before him like a slave to his master, I shudder to think where the Republican party has fallen.

Oh, by the way, Sarah Palin announced yesterday that she has started a PAC, headquartered in the anti-American section of Virginia. Presumably this is in preparation for her run for something in 2010 or 1012. The presidency? Lord save us all.

Don't Let the Facts Get in the Way of Nationalism

It has been over seven years since the September 11, attack on the World Trade Center and Bush's nation building attempt in Iraq. Of course there were some nations who refused to participate with the United States, quite frankly, because they knew better. The French, who often take heat from those in our country, who let their nationalism run amok, took quite a beating. Most of these overly nationalistic folks either forgot their history lessons or they never took the time to learn them, so they do not let the facts get in the way of a good story.

This morning I received a tired rerun of emails that circulated after 9/11. It is quite obviously written from a very nationalistic point of view and, as is the case with most of these kinds of emails, probably never actually took place. One paragraph reads:

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.'You have been to France before, monsieur?' the customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.' The American said, ''The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it. 'Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France !' The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at
Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to."

You could have heard a pin drop.

Whomever wrote this piece didn't let facts get in the way of a good French bashing. The fact of the matter is that the French underground had been preparing for the invasion, since being given prior notice of the date. They were ready to interrupt communications and wreak as much havoc behind the lines as possible on the day of the invasion. Those same French underground people, some 500,000 or so throughout the war, had risked their lives and their families' lives to save hundreds of downed allied airmen and escaped POW's. About 90,000 of them had been executed, tortured, and imprisoned by the German army. The Free French Army, under Gen. LeClerc, had fought its way across N. Africa and distinguished itself on many occasions. LeClerc and his men would join the Allied forces after D-Day and fight their way across Europe. Certainly, they were a small force, yet they were there doing their part.

I have, at times, gotten irritated with the French and their attitude. Yet, they have done a good job of protecting themselves by staying out of our sometimes overly aggressive foreign policy. They certainly were very smart to stay out of the Iraq disaster and probably, along with Germany, had good intelligence that told them Bush and his people were fabricating much of the intelligence that they were basing their policy upon. They have escaped the terrorist attacks, and they have provided good intelligence to assist this country and others with anti-terrorism efforts.

In the case of the French bashing after 9/11, there were those who, rather childishly, wouldn't eat french fries and renamed them to remove the French moniker. For whatever reason they continue to circulate this foolishness, even in light of the fact that we now know the French were quite correct in their decision to stay out of Iraq. I met a French couple recently, who were visiting our Old Courthouse museum and were quite impressed with our military exhibit. They were singing the praises of the U.S. and our efforts in WW II. Quite different from the response they might have received from some on this side of the Atlantic a few years ago, or maybe even today.