As I noted yesterday, radio pundit Rush Limbaugh has made it sound like President Barack Obama is waging war against freedom-and-democracy-loving Christians. At least, that’s Limbaugh’s interpretation of Obama’s decision to send U.S. troops to Africa to aid in the fight against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
Toward the end of his show, Limbaugh acknowledged that the LRA might not fit that description, after all (transcript from Limbaugh’s October 14, 2011, show, “Obama Invades Uganda, Targets Christians”):
“Is that right? The Lord’s Resistance Army is being accused of really bad stuff? Child kidnapping, torture, murder, that kind of stuff? Well, we just found out about this today. We’re gonna do, of course, our due diligence research on it. But nevertheless we got a hundred troops being sent over there to fight these guys — and they claim to be Christians.”
Now, if Limbaugh doesn’t know about the history and ideology of the LRA, that’s fine, lots of people don’t. But you’d think that — not knowing much about them — the responsible thing to do would be to avoid accusing Obama of targeting freedom-fighting Christians until you have learned about the history and ideology of the LRA. That is, offer your commentary after your “due diligence research”, not before.
Naturally, this sort of ill-informed rhetoric is typical of politicians and pundits these days. They offer the worst interpretation of an opponent’s actions without bothering to learn the most basic, relevant information regarding those actions.
And, also naturally, this error in judgment probably won’t hurt Limbaugh at all. As often as politicians and pundits say or do things that are outright inappropriate, their supporters will overlook it for the sake of political expedience. Shoot, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) left Mary Jo Kopechne for dead at the bottom of a tidal pool, and that didn’t stop his supporters from giving him another 40 years in the Senate. I hardly think Limbaugh’s fans will be any less forgiving.
But that’s just the state of our political discourse these days, isn’t it?