A Bad Word — When Democrats Use It
Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, in a private meeting last August, referred to liberal opponents of President Obama's health-care plan as "[bad word] retarded."
Well, Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor, failed vice-presidential candidate and soon-to-be Fox News commentator, wasn't going to take that lying down, you betcha. Palin (who, you might remember, has a son with Down syndrome), quickly leapt to her recent political forum of choice, i.e., her Facebook page, to call for Emanuel's resignation immediately, if not sooner.
"I would ask the president to show decency in this process by -eliminating one member of that inner circle, Mr. Rahm Emanuel, and not allow Rahm's continued indecent tactics to cloud efforts," Palin wrote.
Emanuel apologized for his -comment, but that wasn't enough for Palin, who wrote: "Just as we'd be appalled if any public figure of Rahm's stature ever used the 'N-word' or other such inappropriate language, Rahm's slur on all God's children with cognitive and developmental disabilities - and the people who love them - is unacceptable, and it's heartbreaking."
Doggone right. I'm glad to see that Gov. Palin is taking a stand against the use of the word "retarded" to describe liberals. I look forward to her demand for the immediate firing of conservative radio host Michael Savage, who is constantly referring on his show to "liberal retards."
I also look forward to her calling for the immediate banning from the airwaves of conservative pundit Ann Coulter, who once wrote of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "Is no one going to remark on what a great country it is where a mentally retarded woman can become speaker of the House?"
Coulter is actually pretty fond of using the word; she referred to talk show host Bill Maher's audience as "MoveOn retards." And in an interview on Fox News' Sean Hannity program, she referred to former Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan as "retarded." "It's not offensive, it's accurate," Coulter insisted when challenged on it by allegedly liberal co-host Alan Colmes.
Hannity, it should be noted, never said a mumblin' word. So maybe Ms. Palin should be calling for his resignation, too.
Then there's bowtied Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, who's referred to Canada as "America's retarded cousin" not once, but twice. There's also frequently utilized wingnut talking head Dick Morris, who, after he got fired from the Clinton administration for letting hookers listen in on his phone calls to the White House, became the go-to guy for anyone who wanted a sound bite bashing the Clintons, Barack Obama or any Democrat.
Morris, on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," criticized Obama's stimulus package by saying: "What he didn't quite explain to me - and maybe I'm a little retarded about this - is how are you going to get banks to give people car loans when the government is elbowing them aside?"
I'm sure Gov. Palin missed that slur, but now that it's been called to her attention, I'm sure she'll be -calling for Dick Morris to be banned from Fox. It's going to get pretty lonely on that channel, but it's a small price to pay to defend against those who slur "God's children with cognitive and developmental disabilities."
While we're at it, I look forward to Ms. Palin expressing her outrage at every conservative blogger who's ever used the word "libtard" (a combination of the words "liberal" and "retard") to describe anyone to the left of themselves. A quick Google search of the Republican Web site "Redstate" for the word "libtard" turned up six long pages of hits.
And on Facebook, where the Resigning Woman is so fond of holding court, there are groups called "Al Gore is Retarded," "Liberals are Retarded," "Hollywood Is Full of Retarded Liberals," etc. Fortunately, since there's an easy way to ask for the administrators of Facebook to remove offensive groups, she can take a stand right away. There are only about 500 Facebook groups that use the word "retarded" in their names, so it shouldn't take more than a week or so.
If she's going to go after everyone who ever referred to liberals as "retarded," Ms. Palin had better get busy. But I know she will. Because if she's only upset by the use of the word "retarded" when a Democrat uses it, her outrage might seem, shall we say, a bit selective, even a bit hypocritical. And we know she's not a hypocrite, right?
Dusty Rhoades lives, writes and practices law in Carthage. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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