None of this is surprising, but given the flap over the Petraues ad, it struck a chord with me.
Really, to me the more telling element of the whole affair is the basic dichotomization of the world into two camps (something Limbaugh excels at and has, sadly, inculcated/exacerbated in the minds of many of his listeners). The most obvious is the “real” soldier v. the “phony” soldier dichotomy, the notion that if any member of the military isn’t in lockstep with the administration, then they aren’t really soldiers (even if their only “crime” is that of having an opinion, yet otherwise doing their duty). The other dichotomy, also of the “for us or against us” type can be found if one reads the transcript. The first caller challenges Limbaugh on the notion that any Republican who wants to end the war isn’t really a Republican and is therefore a Democrat who “want[s] to lose the war.” Limbaugh dismisses the fellow and tells him that there is no way the fellow is a Republican.
Of course, part of the fallacy reasoning springs in the first place from the notion that what we have on the table are “winning” and “losing”–if only it was that simple…
On a political note, if Limbaugh really wants the litmus test for one’s Republican-ness to be full support for the war, he must not be interested in the party achieving majority status again any time soon, a if all those phony war critic Republican are ousted elections will be rather depressing events for the GOP for some time to come.
In regards to “phony” soldiers, Mona at Unqualified Offerings rather poignantly notes, Apparently,”Phony Soldiers” Die, Too, as two of the members of the members of the 82nd Airborne who wrote a critical op-ed in the NYT died in Iraq recently. Too bad the enemy didn’t use phony weapons.