On The Big Story, discussing Rush Limbaugh's recent “phony soldiers” comments, Jonah Goldberg asserted: “I've never heard actually a conservative basically flat-out deny the patriotism of the opposition.” In fact, Limbaugh himself has done so. For instance, on his August 23, 2005, radio show, Limbaugh said, “It's time for somebody to tell the people on the left, you're damn right we're questioning your patriotism.”
On the October 2 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, discussing Rush Limbaugh's recent “phony soldiers” comments, National Review Online editor at large Jonah Goldberg asserted that “the Democratic base right now, they're like werewolves. ... These guys for a very long time, they've been driven crazy ... by people allegedly questioning their patriotism.” Goldberg went on to assert, “I've never heard actually a conservative basically flat-out deny the patriotism of the opposition.” In fact, as Media Matters for America noted, on the August 23, 2005, broadcast of his radio show, Limbaugh said, “It's time for somebody to tell the people on the left, you're damn right we're questioning your patriotism.” Limbaugh subsequently featured his self-described “brilliant El Rushbo monologue” on his website under the heading “You're Damn Right, American Left; We're Questioning Your Patriotism.”
Indeed, as Media Matters has documented, Limbaugh has questioned the patriotism of liberals and Iraq war critics numerous times, including:
- In a commentary segment on the September 7, 2006, broadcast of the CBS Evening News, Limbaugh said, “But some Americans, sadly, not interested in victory, and yet they want us to believe that their behavior is patriotic. Well, it's not. When the critics are more interested in punishing this country over a few incidents of Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay than they are in defeating those who want to kill us, when they seek to destroy a foreign surveillance program which is designed to identify those who want to kill us and how they intend to do it, when they want to grant those who want to kill us U.S. constitutional rights, I don't call that patriotic. Patriotism is rallying behind the country, regardless of party affiliation, to defeat Islamofascism.”
- On the August 21, 2006, broadcast of his radio show, Limbaugh said, “I want to respectfully disagree with the president on the last part of what he said. I am going to challenge the patriotism of people who disagree with him because the people that disagree with him want to lose.”
- On the September 17, 2004, edition of his radio show, Limbaugh said that half of 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's base “hates the military, hates America, hates Bush, hates the world except for France and Germany.”
- On the January 25 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh asserted, “By the way, we had a caller call, couldn't stay on the air, got a new name for Senator [Chuck] Hagel in Nebraska, we got General [David] Petraeus and we got Senator Betrayus, new name for Senator Hagel.” A day earlier, Hagel had sided with Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in voting to approve a nonbinding resolution declaring that Bush's escalation in Iraq was against “the national interest.”
- On the September 20 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh asserted: “Well, we've got another tape from -- I get these guys confused -- Usama bin Laden. Another tape says he's going to invade Pakistan and declare war on Pakistan and [President Pervez] Musharraf, which, ladies and gentlemen, puts him on the same page with a Democrat [sic] presidential candidate -- that would be Barack 'Uss-Obama.' " Limbaugh then aired an audio clip of a recent statement by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).
- In July, Limbaugh displayed a graphic on the front page of his website that depicted a screen shot of C-SPAN's Washington Journal, doctored to show Osama bin Laden appearing as a guest identified as “Mr. Osama bin Laden, D-Afghanistan.”
From the October 2 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with Gibson and Nauert:
GIBSON: Jonah, the other thing that's really strange about this is you never see the senators going after Charles Gibson, the anchor of ABC News World News Tonight. He and Brian Ross did this same story two days before Limbaugh did it. They called them “phony heroes,” and they identified the exact same character Limbaugh was talking about. So if they were so outraged, why don't they go after Charlie Gibson?
GOLDBERG: Because that -- look, I mean, the Democratic base right now, they're like werewolves, and every full moon they must feed, but they don't necessarily want to feed on Charlie Gibson. They want to feed on someone like Rush Limbaugh. These guys for a very long time, they've been driven crazy by these alleged -- by people allegedly questioning their patriotism.
And meanwhile, what they've wanted to do, in fact, is actually attack conservative patriotism. And so they're doing it with this sort of, phantasmagorical allegation against Rush Limbaugh. I've never heard actually a conservative basically flat-out deny the patriotism of the opposition. Meanwhile, you have senators, Democratic senators on the floor of the Senate outright saying that Rush Limbaugh is unpatriotic, which -- when Republicans do something a thousandth as dramatic as that, they are denounced routinely.
This is just -- this is a chance to vent because it actually shows in some way the powerlessness of the netroots. We've been told all this time that they're so powerful, that these MoveOn.org and Daily Kos types are controlling the Democratic Party, and it's turning out that they're not controlling anything at all. And so they're throwing them -- you know, Rush Limbaugh is the bone that they're trying to throw to these guys. I just don't think it's going to work.
GIBSON: So, I've got to thank Jonah Goldberg and [former] Senator [Rick] Santorum [R-PA]. I guess there are days like this where you're glad you're out of that craziness. Appreciate it, both of you.
SANTORUM: Many days.