- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2007

Phony accusation

“So let’s make sure we have this straight,” Andrew C. McCarthy writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“There really was a news story, generated by the mainstream media of all people, about phony soldiers — poseurs who falsely claim to have put their lives on the line in our country’s armed forces, at least some of whom engage the pretense precisely to libel real heroes as terrorists and marauders,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Rush Limbaugh, one of this nation’s single-most ardent supporters of the military, was briefed on the news story by his staff and was, unsurprisingly, offended by it.

“Rush alluded to the said phony soldiers during his hugely successful daily radio broadcast, prompted by what he reasonably believed was a caller’s reference to it.

“As a result, he is being castigated for dishonoring authentic troops in a trumped up controversy generated by Media Matters — a left-wing propaganda machine with pockets lined by left-wing activists. The charge is being led by top Democrats who, when not busy defending other top Democrats for smearing our troops as ‘reminiscent of Genghis Khan,’ terrorists, murderers, and comparable to ‘Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings,’ fall mute when the vanguard of their hard-left base, MoveOn.org (abetted by the New York Times), describes the general heroically leading our forces in Iraq a traitor.

“And this is a story? …

“Those tirelessly manipulating Rush’s words into something they weren’t contend that by ‘phony soldiers’ he was referring to those who’ve served honorably and now conscientiously object to the war. For anyone who actually listens to the program, that is simply a ludicrous interpretation.”

Who they are

Byron York, writing at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com) about a left-wing attempt to besmirch the reputation of conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, lists the political affiliations of the talk show’s accusers.

Independent-minded critics who look at Media Matters “might conclude that its political motivations are simply too strong to merit serious consideration,” Mr. York said.

“In addition to its ties to major Democratic donors and to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Media Matters is a deeply politicized organization down to its lowest levels.

“In the past few days, it has posted 11 stories on the Limbaugh matter. Those postings were written by, among others, Julie Millican, a veteran of the Kerry campaign, MoveOn.org, and the Democratic turnout organization America Coming Together; Sarah Pavlus, formerly of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Andrew Ironside, who worked for the Howard Dean campaign; Adam Shah, a lawyer who worked for the Alliance for Justice, the organization best known for opposing President Bush’s judicial nominees; Jeremy Schulman, a former spokesman for Colorado Democratic congressional candidate Dave Thomas; and Matthew Gertz, former deputy campaign manager for Connecticut Democratic congressional candidate Diane Farrell, as well as intern for New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer.”

Southern lilt

Republican Rudolph W. Giuliani compared New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to 1972 Democratic nominee George S. McGovern yesterday and chided his rival for adding a Southern lilt to her voice.

Adding to the perception that she’s unstoppable, Mrs. Clinton picked up the endorsement of the 1.4 million-member American Federation of Teachers, increasing her union nods to six, the Associated Press reports.

Positioning himself as the one Republican able to thwart another Clinton presidency, the former New York City mayor lambasted Mrs. Clinton’s recent comments about giving a $5,000 savings bond to every U.S.-born baby.

“It’s interesting that Hillary is taking something from the George McGovern playbook,” Mr. Giuliani said in Manchester, N.H., likening her idea to the former South Dakota senator’s proposal to send $1,000 to every U.S. resident.

Without naming Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Giuliani also alluded to an appearance this past spring in Selma, Ala., in which she slipped into what sounded like a Southern accent before a largely black audience.

Asked by reporters whether he can win religious conservative votes, Mr. Giuliani said: “I don’t have a different program for one group or another. I don’t have a different accent for different parts of the country.”

Paul’s cash haul

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, raised more than $5 million in the third quarter, rivaling the take of Arizona Sen. John McCain, who far outpaces him in nationwide polls.

The vehemently antiwar libertarian, who makes a splash in each debate and who is using the Internet to draw droves of supporters, next week will report raising $5.08 million over the summer months.

Mr. Paul is the only Republican candidate who is staunchly antiwar, and he often wins post-debate straw-poll votes. In the last Republican debate, the crowd was filled with supporters who applauded his every line.

“We’re very happy,” said Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. “We have $5.3 million in the bank today with no debt. When you look at money in the bank versus debt, we’re at the top of the Republican field.”

Mr. McCain is expected to report raising more than $5 million in the third quarter when numbers are filed by Oct. 15, but he holds $2 million in debt.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to report raising about $10 million, but he has loaned his campaign some $16 million.

“We expect to have the same amount of cash on hand as many of the other candidates,” Mr. Benton said.

Low-key reply

Republican presidential front-runner Rudolph W. Giuliani got a slap yesterday from Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke of St. Louis, who four years ago said he’d refuse Holy Communion to Democratic nominee John Kerry, a Massachusetts senator.

The outspoken archbishop told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he would deny Communion to Mr. Giuliani, a Catholic whose support for abortion rights contradicts church teachings.

Yesterday, Mr. Giuliani offered a low-key response to reporters in New Hampshire: “Archbishops have a right to their opinion.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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