By William Fisher
These days, trying to identify the most outrageous news story of the month presents an embarrassment of riches. Just think of what we have to choose from. The options range all the way from the U.S. Senate debating about whether to have a debate on President Bush’s “surge” of troops in Iraq, to the President telling us we’re making “slow progress” in that death-ravaged country, to Vice President Cheney proclaiming that the administration has achieved "enormous successes" there, to the neocon renaissance ginning up a war with Iran.
But then comes an event so bizarre that it easily breaks through the fog of delusion to rise right to the top of the list. That event was the nomination of Rush Limbaugh for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The nomination came from something called the Landmark Legal
Foundation, which describes itself as the leading conservative public interest law firm in the United States.
The nomination letter, signed by Landmark’s president, one Mark R. Levin, called Limbaugh “the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today.”
Levin went on to praise the nationally syndicated radio talk show host for his "nearly two decades of tireless efforts to promote liberty, equality and opportunity for all humankind, regardless of race, creed, economic stratum or national origin.”
Rush Limbaugh, Mr. Levin wrote, “is the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today. Everyday he gives voice to the values of democratic governance, individual opportunity and the just, equal application of the rule of law -- and it is fitting that the Nobel Committee recognize the power of these ideals to build a truly peaceful world for future generations."
And just who is Mark Levin? He is a contributing editor of National Review, as well as a frequent contributor to the Washington Times and Human Events. And he played a role in supporting Paula Jones during the Clinton sexual scandal by receiving funds from the Scaife Foundation and finding lawyers for Jones.
He’s the man who, during the 2004 presidential campaign, asked, “How can [John Kerry] support an organization [the United Nations] that anti-Semitic? I would like to know how the U.N., given the make-up of the august
body, is any different than the KKK or all the rest of it. They've got people in that U.N. that are torturers, mass-murderers, anti-Semites, anti-Americans, anti-freedom, and we're supposed to keep conferring our decisions to them. Why?”
Levin is also the man who said, “We are also challenging what may be the most insidious legacy of modern liberalism – judicial activism and the radical judges who use it to advance an extremist social agenda. America’s courts have become the final bulwark for the advocates of big government who have been defeated time after time at the ballot box at the local, state and federal level.”
And what is the Landmark Legal Foundation? It is a not-for-profit supported by Exxon-Mobil and some of the nation’s most extreme right-wing foundations. It tells us, “Through an aggressive and multifaceted public education campaign, Landmark’s Judicial Reform Initiative is helping to reshape the public debate and crystallize public sentiment about the mission of America’s courts and the proper limits on their authority.”
In other words, reigning in those “activist judges” and their contempt for the rule of law.
According to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, LLF “focuses primarily on education and environmental litigation, in an attempt to dismantle institutions that preserve universal public schooling and that promote and fight for a clean environment. It assists state legislators in their pursuit to enact educational reforms such as providing school vouchers, private management of public schools, and other voucher initiatives.
It is a member of Kay Daly’s Coalition for a Fair Judiciary, along with Free Congress Foundation, American Conservative Union, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the Christian Coalition.
And what has the Nobel nominee said that would support his candidacy?
Thanks to Google, Rush’s rants are knowable beyond the 20 million people who listen to him on 650 radio stations every day. Here are some of the more insightful items:
ON GITMO: A picture of religious freedom that “may be a great vacation spot for oppressed Christians in the United States.”
ON AIDS: "And one of the things that -- that the -- the AIDS activists said regularly back then was, oh, this is only a matter of time before it spreads to
the heterosexual community. It's only a matter of time. And they used that as -- as one of the weapons to try to get people like Reagan to start talking about it
from their standpoint. And of course it -- it hasn't. It -- it didn't, and it hasn't, other than in Africa, and in Africa it is -- it is being spread not just by -- it -- it -- it's promiscuity that -- that -- that spreads this, if you want to know the truth. It's promiscuity. But it -- it hasn't made that jump to the heterosexual community."
ON AFRICAN-AMERICANS: "Why should Blacks be heard? They're 12% of the population. Who the hell cares?”
ON CHOICE: "I think this reason why girls don't do well on multiple choice
tests goes all the way back to the Bible, all the way back to Genesis, Adam and Eve. God said, 'All right, Eve, multiple choice or multiple orgasms, what's it going to be?' We all know what was chosen.”
ON CITIZEN SERVICE: “Citizen Service is a repudiation of the principles upon which our country was based. We are all here for ourselves."
ON CONDOMS: “Condoms only work during the school year."
ON DRUG ABUSE: "And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs,
using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up."
ON EARTH: "The Earth's eco-system is not fragile."
ON FEMINISM: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive
women easier access to the mainstream of society."
ON HOMELESSNESS: "One of the things I want to do before I die is conduct the
homeless olympics...the 10-meter shopping cart relay, the dumpster dig, and the hop, skip, and trip."
ON PRISON ABUSE IN IRAQ: “This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard
of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?”
ON MICHAEL J. FOX’S SUPPORT OF EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH: "He is exaggerating the effects of (his Parkinson’s) disease. He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act. . . .This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting. This is the only time I've ever seen Michael J. Fox portray any of the symptoms of the disease he has. He can barely control himself."
ON THE NAACP” "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies"
ON NUCLEAR ARMS REDUCTION: "The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them."
ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT: “Sexual harassment at this work station will not be reported. However...it will be graded!!!”
ON THE RICH-POOR GAP: "Don't let the liberals deceive you into believing that a decade of sustained growth without inflation in America (in the '80s) resulted in a bigger gap between the have and the have-nots. Figures compiled by the
Congressional Budget Office dispel that myth.”
ON THE CONSTITUTION: “You know why there's a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one.”
Now, isn’t it refreshing to find someone courageous enough to spend his life consistently challenging conventional wisdom?
And can’t you just picture Rush sitting in the Nobel Pantheon along with Shirin Ebadi, Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, Kim Dae Jung, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Dalai Lama, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Lech Walesa, and Mother Theresa?
And let’s not forget how his $1.7 million prize would come in handy: After all, Oxycontin isn’t cheap!