Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Laying the groundwork

Okay, Limbaugh has decided to go with it--torturing prisoners is acceptable, and now even desirable. In many ways, Limbaugh functions as a testing ground to see how well extreme ideas will go over. BushCo is being forced to apologize for torturing prisoners for now, but it's a good bet that they don't have any desire to actually make the necessary changes that will keep this from happening now. They can't change policy but they can't withstand a constant deluge of stories and images of prisoners being tortured, so the only solution is to get people to support prisoner torture.
Will people buy it? Who knows? That's where Limbaugh comes in. Everyday he has been escalating the rhetoric from making excuses to outright supporting prisoner torture. The next step is mocking anyone who suggests that there is something wrong with torturing people. In fact, he's already made moves in that direction:

I think the reaction to the stupid torture is an example of the feminization of this country.

In other words, "If you're against torturing prisoners, you're a pussy." If they can use this to get women out of the army, bonus! But the main strategy is keep Bush & Rummy away from criticism by shaming those who would criticize them. It's worked in the past. I hope that it doesn't this time.
The important thing is not to let it work. Al Franken has employed the strategy of reminding his resident Dittohead of exactly what the torture was every time he defends it, and it's been effective.
Of course, in the "marketplace of ideas" it's wise to hedge your bets. Limbaugh's doing the heavy lifting of seeing if defending torture will be effective. But in case that doesn't work, "blame the liberals" will be the back-up plan. Media Matters has the story.


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