During his radio broadcast on Monday, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh used the recent scandal surrounding a VA hospital in Arizona as a way to compare President Obama to Hitler. He also suggested that the long wait times that veterans were forced to deal with when it came to setting up appointments to see a doctor represented the future under Obamacare. Basically, this is all a precursor to the ‘death panels’ that right-wing fear mongers have warned us about since the Affordable Care Act was first drafted. Below is an excerpt from the show’s transcript, where Rush is speaking to a caller about the veterans waiting on appointments:
RUSH: Now, is that just for an appointment or is that for the specific treatment that he needs?
CALLER: That is for an appointment, sir.
RUSH: I don’t know where that happens. I don’t know anybody who calls the doctor and is told three months. It may be, I just don’t encounter it.
CALLER: Well, luckily we have other insurance through my work and we have gone to another doctor.
RUSH: Yeah, but correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t the deal, didn’t you all think that should something like this happen, the government’s gonna take care of your husband? He’s a soldier.
CALLER: Absolutely. He put in a little over 20 years, and he is a retired veteran, and he is a disabled veteran as well.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, look, look, and by the way, I know in every group of people you’re gonna have some bad apples who try to exploit and take advantage of. But this is happening way too frequently. Forty people dying, a hundred people dying on a wait list designed to speed up their treatment. And I know some of you are saying, “Rush, Rush, don’t downplay this death panel business.” Hey, we all know it’s out there. For the sake of this discussion we’re gonna use the benefit of the doubt. I know the death panel is obviously a factor in certain cases, whether they want to admit it or not. But even if you take that out, this is just so much incompetence, it’s impossible to calculate.
Good for Rush to bring back the old ‘death panel’ talking point. It has been swept under the rug a bit, so bully for him. Always nice to be able to reach back and pull a classic out of mothballs.
Later on in the show, Rush just had to use a tried and true favorite — comparing Obama to Hitler:
RUSH: Reuters also has a story here: “Top Aide Says Obama ‘Madder Than Hell’ About Veterans Allegations,” and it’s a story quoting what you just heard — the chief of staff, Denis McDonough — on Slay the Nation yesterday. (paraphrased) “We’re gonna get to the bottom of this! We’re gonna get to the bottom of this and we’re gonna fix it, and we’re gonna ensure that it doesn’t happen again!”
Now, this is classic. This is exactly how stuff like this gets spun (“spinned,” for those of you in Rio Linda) in dictatorships and in totalitarian states since time immemorial. For example, “Gosh, if Lenin only knew all these people are dying in Ukraine! God, if Lenin only knew, he’d be so mad that he wouldn’t let this happen! If Stalin only knew!”
He was the genocidal dictator.
“If Stalin only knew! If Hitler only knew what was being done on his watch? Oh, my! Oh, gee! What if he only knew? If Castro finds out, oh, no! Who’s gonna have to tell Castro that this is not working? Oh, no!” And then when the problem becomes too big to ignore, we hear, “Boy, is Stalin mad now! Boy, is Castro really mad now!” This is how it all works.
These guys are in charge of everything!
Pretty sure that Rush can’t go an hour without comparing President Obama to Hitler, or at least pointing out that he is a dictator. In this instance, he just reeled off a bunch of names and claimed that Obama was the same and that he’s snowing the public when he’s really a ruthless dictator set on making America a totalitarian state.
The situation with the VA hospital in Arizona is shameful. And we should continue to investigate it. It is likely that we’ll see similar situations pop up in other VA hospitals around the nation. However, it seems Republicans just want to shine a spotlight on this particular incident because they are hoping to get a scandal out of it that will hurt the President. With the Benghazi investigation looking more and more like a bad joke for Republicans, conservatives are trying everything possible to find something that will finally stick to the President.
The fact is, there is a real scandal here. The scandal is that we sent over 2.6 million people to serve overseas in violent, dangerous wars. Out of those that came back, roughly half of them either came back injured, or developed serious mental and/or physical ailments in need of treatment. Despite the fact that we spent billions and trillions on these wars of choice, greatly expanding the VA hospital system and hiring thousands of more doctors and nurses to care for all of these new patients didn’t seem like a huge priority. Especially when you have a certain sector of our legislature more concerned with austerity and budget cuts than anything else.
So, while people like Limbaugh, Hannity, or House Republicans crap all over the VA and try to blame Obama for this somehow, they need to look at themselves in the mirror and realize what they’ve brought forth by cheerleading for two expensive wars halfway across the world that have killed thousands and injured over a million. They pushed for sequestration, and while the VA didn’t see any cuts, many other government services that veterans and the VA rely on did see massive, across the board cuts. So please stop with the sanctimonious BS about how you care about the vets, when at the same time your words and actions have helped contribute to this current situation.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).