The Drug Policy Digest

Sunday, December 07, 2003
Rush to Judgement?
The New Republic Charges "The Orotond One" With Hyporcrisy

For those who haven't heard enough about Rush Limbaugh's drug addiction and early recovery, The New Republic's December 1, 2003 issue ("Notebook" section) does a pretty good job of summarizing his situation and a commentary on Rush's revisionist view of his drug use. An excerpt:

"People are saying that I am a hypocrite, as I was using drugs. Yet I was telling people to lead a moral life," Limbaugh explained. "[But] my behavior doesn't change right and wrong. ... There's no hypocrisy in this, because ... it didn't change the value of right and wrong simply because I didn't abide by it at a particular time." Umm, exactly. No one is arguing that Limbaugh's transgressions made taking drugs "right," merely that, as he himself admits, he was saying one thing and doing another--in a word, a hypocrite.

And, as readers of this column has heard before, The New Republic reports that Rush had held others to a higher standard than he held himself:

To take just a couple examples from his past, Limbaugh once opined, "We have alcoholics and drug addicts in our society, don't we? And what do we say about them? Well, they can't help it. ... [Y]eah, like that line of cocaine just happened to march into the hotel, go up to the athlete's room, and put itself right in front of him on his blotter." More to the point, he also once declared that "too many whites are getting away with drug use. ... The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them, and send them up the river." Now that Limbaugh himself has been found, however, conviction and a trip up the river do not appear to be the next steps in his personal program.

As he returned to his old style, Limbaugh returned to the familiar theme of liberal-bashing:

"[T]he problem with liberals," he explained, "is that they don't like themselves. ... All this phoniness, all this reaching out, all this: 'Please like me, please, we're not that bad, please, we don't want to hurt you, please get along with us.' It's not possible, my friends, because they don't like themselves. ... We're not trying to establish intimacy with [liberals]. We want to crush them."

Well, some people enter recovery and learn larger lessons about acceptance and tolerance, and some emerge with a renewed almost Puritanical desire to "crush" nonbelievers and others with divergent views.

Meanwhile, rumor has it that Limbaugh may be in for more scrutiny as federal investigators note that his bank withdrawals to support his illicit drug habit (amounts that seem to be designed to circumvent bank regulations to detect money laundering for, well .... illlicit drug commerce) show a disturbing and possibly illegal pattern of taking out money in amounts just below the "trip wire" reporting limit. More, I'm sure, will be revealed.

Stay tuned.