Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rushing to rehab...

According to an article, conservative talk show pundit Rush Limbaugh was arrested on drug charges. Apparently, he was caught "doctor shopping" for painkillers. For those of us who aren't drug addicts, that means that he was illegally deceiving numerous doctors so that he could receive overlapping prescriptions. Though he pled "not guilty" to the charge, there's no secret that the guy's a serious addict.

A part of me felt sorry for him. Anyone who has developed such a strong and uncontrollable addiction to drugs has my sympathy. But, after the eight second sympathy period I had for him, I've been laughing at him ever since.

Here are a few interesting quotes that I dug up:

"Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. 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."
-- Rush Limbaugh

"What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use, too many whites are getting away with drug sales, too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too."
-- Rush Limbaugh

"It's kind of like sentencing. A lot of people say that we have a heavy sentence for this crime and a light sentence for another crime, and what we ought to do is reduce the heavy sentence so it's more in line with the other. Wrong. In most cases we ought to increase the light sentence and make it compatible with the heavy sentence, and be serious about punishment because we are becoming too tolerant as a society, folks, especially of crime, in too many parts of the country."
-- Rush Limbaugh

What's interesting to note about this whole thing is that Limbaugh's offense can be dismissed in 18 months if he stays in treatment and gets his act together. He is also required to pay the State of Florida a $30,000 restitution for the cost of the investigation. So apparently, despite his strong arguments suggesting that drug offenders need to be hit with heavy sentences, he'll be receiving a mere slap on the wrist.

Ironic, isn't it?

- ACL

7 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

djg said...

Dang it Andre, you beat me to it!! :) We must have been reading that article at the same time. The last quote here is enough to give me a migrane. Barnacle Boy, how I loathe that man!

thehc said...

Great picture Andre!
God loves irony. Be careful what you say. I actually listen to Rush every once in a while, (to get the far, far, right point of view) he defends himself by saying that he was never talking about prescription drugs. The law also takes this view, my younger brother O.D.ed twice on Oxies and the law only cares about illegal drugs. These script writers come into this country (they're usually foreign born) and kick out hundreds of these scripts a day and charge Medicaid for the office call. If they're caught the worst that can happen to him is he'll lose his license to practice, at which point he takes his million$ and goes back to his home country to practice. This has to stop. But be careful picking on Ol' Rush, he can take you on with "half his brain tied behind his back" And apparently, his hand in a bowl of Oxies.

Andre said...

@ djg: I'm sorry for beating you to the punch. But, if it makes you feel any better, a bunch of people beat me to it also...

@ HC: I totally agree with you on this one. I've always been amused at how the government's crackdown of "illegal" substances allows a safe passage for the "legal" ones.

But, when you think about it, this hypocrisy can be traced back to the "founding fathers". Back in the mid 1700's, one of the most lucrative businesses in the land was cotton production (hello? Slavery...). But, unexpectedly, hemp was found to be a lot more practical, versatile, and durable (little known fact: The paper on which the Constitution was written is made of hemp). So, to combat the widespread use of hemp -- as a replacement to cotton -- it was outlawed.

This goes to show that the practice of banning substances that threaten mainstream markets is not unique to our time...

josh said...

I don't want to be a complete pain, Andre... but are there any recent transcripts that contain evidence of hypocrisy? I can scarcely fault someone—even a bloated, guy like Limbaugh who makes us conservatives look bad-if all I have to go by is something he said years ago.

I frequently make a hypocrite of myself in less than twenty-four hours...let alone years and years. Then again, that might be why I don't have a radio show and a drug habit.

Andre said...

@ Josh: I'll admit that you raised a great point. But, I'm also sure that if I explored it enough I could find some recent comments he's made about drug users. I mean, conservatives championed him as one of the toughest guys on drugs. Man...if they only knew him as the toughest guy [who was] on drugs...

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I would call a $30,000 restitution "a mere slap on the wrist"

Andre said...

@ anonymous: I don't think that Rush's "punishment" is all that big of a deal. Chances are, he's not going to wind up paying the restitution himself, anyway. I mean, he's got lobbyists, other conservative pundits, and a host of other connections who can offer their support.

This "punishment" represents a much bigger picture. If this case involved a minority who was charged with marijuana; without celebrity or influence, and without connections and "friends in high places"; I guarantee that jail time would be included.

It's no coincidence that the offenses that are the most heavily punishable are the ones committed primarily by minorities...