Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 6, 2006
POLITICS: Rush to Judgment

xrlq:

For some odd reason, it's considered news that Rush Limbaugh won't be prosecuted for possessing drugs that had been lawfully prescribed to him. I guess they won't be charging any of his fans with orderly conduct, either.

(Hat tip: Jon Henke). Lots and lots of lefty blogs (like digby) owe Limbaugh an apology over this story. Don't hold your breath.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:12 AM | Politics 2006 | Comments (24) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Crank-

C'mon. You know what's up here. Rush has pontificated for years on the evils of drug abuse, and has called for harsh punishment of those violating the drug laws.

He's now been caught red-handed twice. Personally, I don't care, I think drugs should be legalized, and I actually feel sorry for Limbaugh, who's obviously got some personal problems to contend with. Maybe he never realized years back that he'd be so famous.

But as to the left's crowing? Of course! What's that they say about chickens . . . and roosting?

Posted by: Mike at July 6, 2006 9:20 AM
C'mon. You know what's up here. Rush has pontificated for years on the evils of drug abuse, and has called for harsh punishment of those violating the drug laws.

No, he hasn't - as if that mattered anyway.

He's now been caught red-handed twice.

No, he hasn't - as if that mattered anyway. He was caught "red-handed" only once, and then for feeding an addiction that derived from his legal use of a prescribed drug. This time, he wasn't "caught" doing anything wrong at all. He was just publicly humiliated for being in lawful possession of a prescribed drug that isn't even a narcotic.

Posted by: Xrlq at July 6, 2006 9:30 AM

I can't stand Rush, but I won't get on him for his addiction issues either. However, there is something so, well, satiric I guess is the word, about his being caught with Viagra, with someone else's name on it, just so he won't be embarrased. WOuld have been better to have his own name on it I guess.

Anyway, let's leave the guy alone. He's just an old softy (AND NO GROANING).

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at July 6, 2006 9:38 AM

Xrlq-

"He was just publicly humiliated for being in lawful possession of a prescribed drug that isn't even a narcotic."

Hmmmm, public humiliation? Rush has never done that, huh? Perhaps you didn't follow my chickens coming home to roost comment.

And, pardon me for mentioning this, but shouldn't you be turning in your conservative credentials? I mean, you're telling me the following bleeding-heart clap-trap fits in with the right wing tough-guy talk that you & yours normally use:

"He was caught 'red-handed' only once, and then for feeding an addiction that derived from his legal use of a prescribed drug."

Awwww, poor little Rush. He didn't mean to get addicted . . . his troubles just "derived" from a personal weakness. And, after all, he only got caught once. Everyone deserves a second chance, right?

Posted by: Mike at July 6, 2006 9:57 AM

The main point here is that a bunch of people claimed he was doing something untoward with Viagara, when it was in fact properly prescribed.

As to his prior run-in with the law: heck yes, I will make the argument that addiction to painkillers should be treated more leniently than addiction to, say, cocaine. Yes, addicts do bad things, but we reasonably distinguish levels of culpability based upon how they got addicted in the first place. Just put yourself morally in the position of the person who tries painkillers when prescribed by a doctor as opposed to the person who tries cocaine, and the effort to conflate the two collapses instantly. Everyone knows not to use coke or crack or heroin.

Posted by: The Crank at July 6, 2006 10:06 AM

Crank-

"Just put yourself morally in the position of the person who tries painkillers when prescribed by a doctor as opposed to the person who tries cocaine, and the effort to conflate the two collapses instantly."

I follow your point. I don't agree. I assume we both recognize it's futile to argue it out.

Nonetheless, I have to level one semantic objection. The distiction between one who uses & becomes addicted to cocaine vs. one who uses & becomes addicted to prescribed painkillers is *not* a "moral" choice. A choice based upon "the law," on "fear of punishment," on "social mores," of course.

But I simply don't see where "morality" comes into it. By way of a stark (and admittedly simplistic) example, a man who steals to feed his children may be breaking the law, he may be a danger to society, and he may deserve severe punishment. But I don't think he's "immoral" or "acting immorally."

Rush is an addict. The crackhead down the street is an addict. One breaks the law, the other does not (ostensibly). Morality isn't in play one way or the other.

Posted by: Mike at July 6, 2006 10:22 AM

Rush is an addict. The crackhead down the street is an addict. One breaks the law, the other does not (ostensibly). Morality isn't in play one way or the other.

Of course they're both breaking the law. Limbaugh didn't get addicted to opiates by taking them as directed. Nor was Limbaugh buying hundreds of narcotics off the street - assuming that's true - legal.

I am not a Limbaugh fan. I do not, however, share the left's glee over his plight.

Where I depart from my friends on the right though is when the sentiment is expressed that there is some significant distinction between what Limbaugh did and a street corner crack whore. There is no real distinction, or rather it is a distinction with no real difference.

Really. Its appalling to me what this has revealed about how conservative folks see people that are addicted to drugs. If Limbaugh wasn't rich he'd be rolling in the gutter or giving blowjobs for a fix just like the crack whore. The difference is money.

Posted by: Dwilkers at July 6, 2006 11:50 AM

I think that there should be some sort of legalization of drugs as the current policies are simply insane, ineffiecient and by and large do not work. In this country pot, which is widely used, can land you in the slam but do what Rush did (doctor shopping and illegal possession of a controlled substance) with oxycontin (also known as Hillbilly Heroin for its powerful effect and addictive nature) and you get to go to Quiet Meadows or some other white collar, private rehab "clinic".

Sorry Crank but trying to give Rush some moral high-ground (he also involved, what, his maid to do his dirty work to keep himself at least somewhat at arm's length from the fact that he was scoring huge amounts of oxycontin) simply because this drug is manufactured by a pharmaceutical company and prescribed by a doctor is bull. Rush wanted to get high. He liked getting high. He became addicted to getting high. Personally I don't give a crap.

I do care that because he has money, power and fame that his ability to get high is essentially OK with people who are not OK with people who don't have M, P or F getting high. I am also not wild about the thought that Rush scoring is fine because they are prescribed (although illegally) drugs. No doubt this was paid for by insurance. At least people buying pot or coke are generally paying their own way.

Face it. He is a big, fat hypocrite. He is also a liar and an addict. Funny how he loves the ACLU when they are defending his fat butt. To say anything else is disengenuos.

Posted by: jim at July 6, 2006 12:03 PM

Mike:

Hmmmm, public humiliation? Rush has never done that, huh? Perhaps you didn't follow my chickens coming home to roost comment.

Yes, I heard your lame "but Rush does it too-ooo!" argument the first time. I afforded that argument the degree of consideration it warranted, which of course is none. If you insist on pursuing this non-argument further, you'll get a lot more traction arguing with junior high students.

And, pardon me for mentioning this, but shouldn't you be turning in your conservative credentials? I mean, you're telling me the following bleeding-heart clap-trap fits in with the right wing tough-guy talk that you & yours normally use:

"He was caught 'red-handed' only once, and then for feeding an addiction that derived from his legal use of a prescribed drug."

If your cartoonish stereotype of a conservative is someone who ignores the circumstances and screams "string 'em up" every time he encounters even a technical violation of the law, then yes, I guess I'd better surrender my "conservative" credentials right here and now.

Awwww, poor little Rush. He didn't mean to get addicted . . . his troubles just "derived" from a personal weakness. And, after all, he only got caught once. Everyone deserves a second chance, right?

When the offense is a victimless crime which, in my view, probably shouldn't be considered a crime at all, then hell yes. Fortunately, liberal and hardcore libertarian propaganda notwithstanding, mere drug users (as opposed to dealers) generally do get a second chance, and a third, and a fourth, etc. The only reason Limbaugh was ever in any danger of NOT receiving a second chance is because he's Rush Limbaugh.

Dwilkers:

Where I depart from my friends on the right though is when the sentiment is expressed that there is some significant distinction between what Limbaugh did and a street corner crack whore. There is no real distinction, or rather it is a distinction with no real difference.

There's a distinction with a huge difference between Rush and the average crack whore, not in terms of how they behaved after becoming addicted (both should have sought treatment immediatley, and neither did), but in terms of how the addiction arose in the first place. Your contary claims notwithstanding, Rush did indeed become addicted to Vicodin by using it as directed by his duly licensed physician. That puts him in the same boat, morally if not legally, as any crack addict who became a crack addict by using crack as directed by his duly licensed physician.

Posted by: Xrlq at July 6, 2006 12:15 PM

Xrlq-

Thank you ever so much, my friend, for addressing my "lame" argument, which turns into a "non-argument" one paragraph later (which is it?); my "cartoonish stereotype" of your conservatism; those liberal & libertarian messages that are just "propaganda."

Wow! You're one angry, snarling attack dog, aincha? I guess you do deserve your Con-credentials afterall.

Posted by: Mike at July 6, 2006 12:36 PM

Rush did indeed become addicted to Vicodin by using it as directed by his duly licensed physician.

Huh?

How do you know that Xlrq?

Posted by: Dwilkers at July 6, 2006 12:41 PM

Dwilk-

Please address him as Dr. Xlrq. Don't forget the "Dr." part, please.

Posted by: Mike at July 6, 2006 12:53 PM

Personally, I don't see where Digby said anything in that link that he needs to apologize for...

I know that a good establishment liberal would refrain from even discussing the fact that Rush Limbaugh likes to go to one of the underage sex capitals of the world with a bottle of Viagra in one hand and God knows what in the other.

So, his drugs turn out to be legal? Nothing in the above statement changes as a result, nor has Rush explained himself. He would be having a grand old time if Ted Kennedy got caught at the airport with a suitcase full of "his doctor's" Viagra.

Goose. Sauce. Gander.

As for the debate about his status as an addict, any jackass that gets on his megawatt soapbox and condemns drug addicts as weak and morally inferior and demands their harsh treatment gets no freaking quarter when it turns out he is no better himself.

Rush broke the law to meet his addiction just the same as anybody else. Because the rich white men in charge of this society haven't seen fit to draw up draconian penalties for the behavior they and those like them engage in, he gets treated differently (ie: lightly).

For any of you to sit around here and criticize anybody for the gateway that led to their addiction is pretty fucking rich.

Posted by: Mr Furious at July 6, 2006 1:20 PM

Doctor shopping and having your maid buy drugs for you should not count as "legal" or "prescribed" any more than meth made from over the counter allergy medicine.

Posted by: Mr Furious at July 6, 2006 1:24 PM

Look, I'm not defending the things Rush did once he was an Oxycontin user. But really, really, you can't see any distinction between "I think I will take these pills my doctor gave me" and "hey, let's see what cocaine is like"? Really? No distinction whatsoever?

As to the original point of the post: lots of lefty blogs (and, yes, Drudge, who peddled this story) made like Rush got busted doing something illegal with drugs, as opposed to carrying a legal drug he had every right to have.

Posted by: The Crank at July 6, 2006 1:49 PM

Crank, the reason he was detained for the Viagra was that it was a possible violation of his parole (probation?) in that he was carrying a prescribed drug that was not in his name. Sorry, but when you are a law breaker sometimes stupid things like this come down on you. He knew the terms of his sentance and yet he chose to violate them. Yes, it was totally small potatoes. Welcome to the life of those convicted for drug abuse. I don't feel the least bit sorry for him. The laws are there, they are there to be enforced across the board, lots of drug laws don't make any sense and I am sure he supported every passage of every one of those laws. Sucks for him that he is now caught up in their sometimes non-sensical wake.

Posted by: jim at July 6, 2006 1:53 PM

Crank-

Of course there's a distiction; I'm not gonna be specious.

And the distinction: one's "illegal" and the other is not. Make what you will of that. But a "moral" issue it's not.

Posted by: Mike at July 6, 2006 1:56 PM

Look, I'll cop to jumping on this story too (a href="http://misterfurious.blogspot.com/2006/06/please-open-your-bag-sir.html">link). But I stuck pretty much to the facts. My only speculation was to why a guy on probation for drug offenses would be taking any chances.

It seems he was on the up and up.

As for this:

you can't see any distinction between "I think I will take these pills my doctor gave me" and "hey, let's see what cocaine is like"? Really? No distinction whatsoever?

Yes, I can see a distinction. They are shades of grey. Which is why treating drug offenders as if the issue is black and white (mandatory sentencing, third strikes, etc.) is wrong. There are circumstances and sad stories behind most addictions, I suspect, and should be treated that way.

Rush was not willing to afford any sympathy for anyone else, so he gets nothing but scorn from me.

Posted by: Mr Furious at July 6, 2006 2:01 PM
How do you know that Xlrq [sic]?

By all accounts I've read, Rush's problems with OxyContin began with his legal, prescribed use of the drug. All the illegal stuff - physician-shopping, etc. - came later, to feed an existing addiction.

So, his drugs turn out to be legal? Nothing in the above statement changes as a result, nor has Rush explained himself. He would be having a grand old time if Ted Kennedy got caught at the airport with a suitcase full of "his doctor's" Viagra.

Maybe he would, or maybe he wouldn't, but in any event your argument is factually off-based. Limbaugh was found with a single bottle of Viagra, not a suitcase full. And he was found with his own, not "his doctor's." It never ceases to amaze me how far some libs will go to bugger up the facts to create a moral equivalency where none exists.

Posted by: Xrlq at July 6, 2006 2:21 PM

Xrlq, the only things we know about Limbaugh's addiction came from Limbaugh and as anyone that has ever been around a drunk or a druggy will tell you the truth is not in them when it comes to their addiction.

I do not understand what people that are making this argument about Limbaugh think went on with him in his addiction. Limbaugh didn't take his prescription as directed for 2 years and suddenly wake up on the 785th day and become addicted.

What he did was fail to take his medication as directed. At some point - my guess is on the first bottle, if not the first dose - he realized the pills made him feel pretty good, and as any addict will tell you, if one feels good then 2 will feel twice as good, 3 will feel 3 times as good, etc. Typical drug addict thinking.

He made a choice. He chose to use the drugs in a way other than prescribed. The same choice the crack whore made.

He proceeded to over refill. And shop for multiple doctors to issue multiple prescriptions. And buy them on the street, even dragging his maid into it if what has been reported is true. All of which are choices he made and all of which are illegal.

I don't hate Limbaugh but I fully recognize that what he did is the same thing the crack whore did. He chose to break the law to get high. He is addicted to a chemical substance. It is amazing to me that people act as if his being prescribed the drug is an important distinction when he didn't take it as directed! Astonishing.

Big deal. Put it this way, I don't see Limbaugh being somehow superior to the crack whore with her chemical issues and I also don't see him being superior to George W. Bush with his chemical problems from years ago.

Posted by: Dwilkers at July 6, 2006 4:19 PM

Dwilkers-

Nicely put. I fear it'll fall on deaf ears though.

Posted by: Mike at July 6, 2006 4:42 PM

Xriq,

The pills in Limbaugh's suitcase were in his doctor's name "for privacy purposes." That is part of the reason there was an issue at the airport, as I understand it. That is a fact. And that is all I meant by that statement. Hence the quotes.

Posted by: Mr Furious at July 6, 2006 5:31 PM

Uh, is this not the same group that blew the Patrick Kennedy thing all over the place? Is that not the same thing as Rush's rush? IOKIYAR is a very powerful sentiment...

The difference with Dems is that they are FOR drug treatment programs, the Rush's of the world are not...but where does Rush run to when it is him caught with his hand in the oxy jar? That is the true definition of hypocrisy...

Posted by: AstrosFan at July 6, 2006 6:58 PM

Astro,

You're comparing apples with bicycles. I'm not here to defend Limbaugh, but to compare his situation to Kennedy's is way off base. Limbaugh wasn't the pilot on the plane. Kennedy was the driver while unable to properly opperate the vehicle due to whatever he ingested.

Posted by: LargeBill at July 7, 2006 11:35 AM
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