Friday, January 15, 2010

Tahoe Ticker Column 20 – Pat, Rush, and Haiti

In my column in the Bonanza this week I poked a bit of fun at how easy the Right is making it to criticize them and bemoaned the lack of any intellectually serious conservatism.

And that was before this week when, in the immediate wake of the devastation in Haiti, Pat Robertson from the Christian Right (which, as I've said, I believe is neither) and the ever-reliable Rush Limbaugh on the political (read "wing-nut" right) made statements so unbelievable that, if they weren't so heartless and devoid of humanity, would get them laughed off the air.

In case you missed it, Robertson said, apparently in all seriousness but without a shred of supporting evidence, that in the early 1800's Haiti gained its independence from France by making an agreement with the Devil and all their trouble since have been a result of that. So I guess from Pat's point of view, those Haitian slaves should have just obeyed massa in France and not gained their independence, and the bravery of Toussaint L'Ouverture and his slave rebellion could not have been sufficient to break away on their own.

Really? The Devil? And I guess Pat's God is cruel enough to just keep making the Haitians miserable from time to time rather than either forgive or destroy them for it. Seriously.

Then we have the mouth that roared. Limbaugh has actually said (a) Americans should not give for Haitian relief – "it will just make them lazy," (b) the only reason Obama cares about Haiti is to curry favor among African-Americans ("both light-skinned and dark-skinned" in a side shot at Harry Reid), and (c) Obama took three days to respond to the Christmas Day attempt by the underwear bomber (Fruit of the Boom?) in which no one was injured or killed and that needed some investigation of what happened, but responded to the Haiti earthquake where thousands were killed and injured and millions left homeless (and by the way, let's forget that W took six days to respond to the shoe bomber).

The total lack of humanity in Robertson's and Limbaugh's statements, the cynical twisting of a natural tragedy to their own political ends is sickening. That people still listen to these clowns is mystifying. Thank God for the millions of dollars in aid and the volunteers who have mobilized to help the Haitians. If they had to depend on the right wing-nuts in America, they'd be seriously screwed.

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