Rush calls for paternalistic programs to alter the culture in Haiti
Returning to the topic of Haiti, Rush responds to the allegation that he
discouraged donations to the stricken country, saying that he only meant to discourage people from donating through the government. However, the White House website is providing links to organizations like the Red Cross, not taking donations itself. Then, from the comfy monogrammed chair in his studio, Rush goes on to blast the slow pace at which aid is reaching Haiti:
LIMBAUGH: Sorry, folks, it already is. It's worse. The aid hasn't yet been distributed. Seventy-two hours, they said -- by the way, they were lying. Seventy-two hours, Bush dithered, didn't do anything. It's been 72 hours. If you were watching Sky News -- I was watching Sky News streaming video. It is an utter catastrophe. Sky News discussing Haiti as utter pandemonium. Sky News showing people screaming, at the top of the hour, "We need help. We're getting nothing. We're going to die." People were not even buried under concrete in New Orleans.
Seventy-two hours is the benchmark. So, if they're going to say Bush dithered for 72 hours, Obama certainly has made a lot of speeches, he's made a lot of comments, and we've seen pictures of airplanes landing and so forth. We've seen a lot of pictures of the media standing around down there, but in terms of the aid being distributed, you can't tell that it's happened yet. And not that it won't. But I'm just saying keep this in context here. They're building a case that Bush screwed around and dithered and Obama is on the case.
His primary point, which he harps on throughout the show, is that the media coverage of Haiti is being distorted into an unfair comparison to Bush's response to Katrina. To this end, he
claims that federal response to Katrina was not, in fact, botched, and that "local Democrats" were responsible for preventing federal aid from reaching those in New Orleans. To support his conclusion of media bias, he reads extensively from the AP article, headlined "Analysis: Obama heeding lessons of Katrina."
While he's on the topic, Rush finds time to throw in a
falsehood, saying that Obama wants to eliminate the tax-deductible status of donations and predicting that this will decrease the amount of donations. He then suggests that Obama's response to Haiti is "about domestic U.S. politics" and calls the U.S. military "Meals on Wheels":
LIMBAUGH: So, President Obama was quick to claim that it cost U.S. taxpayers a billion dollars for every 1,000 soldiers sent to Afghanistan, remember this? And he has yet to mention how much it costs to send a soldier to Haiti. He has not -- he didn't fact-- it didn't even matter to him. But it was a factor in sending soldiers to Afghanistan. That's about U.S. national security.
This is about domestic U.S. politics. Haiti is about domestic U.S. politics, in addition to the humanitarian effort that is behind this. By the -- of course, we are not suggesting that we shouldn't send soldiers to Haiti. Do not misunderstand. But why is there no concern about the cost from the White House, when there was so much concern about Afghanistan? After all, isn't the job of the U.S. military, first and foremost, to protect the national security and interests of the United States? No, it's not. The U.S. military is now Meals on Wheels. It always is with Democrat presidents.
As evidence that Haiti is being politicized, Rush repeatedly reads a number of gruesome headlines about the destruction there before returning to the subject of donations. He reads from a
New York Times column by David Brooks, which he claims says "the same thing" he said about the inefficiencies of making donations to Haiti. The piece draws a comparison between sending aid to Haiti and our domestic war on poverty. Rush takes this and runs with it, suggesting that the money we put toward ending poverty is largely ineffective and that our back pockets are being "looted" for the purpose of redistribution of wealth. Echoing the column, Rush says that the only way to end poverty is through intrusive paternalistic programs that forcibly change cultural factors that keep a population in dire straits.
Closing out the hour on a hiatus from Haiti, Rush levels some familiar attacks against Obama and the Democrats, accusing Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid of radicalizing the party with the objective of creating a permanent welfare state. He compares Bush's failed initiative to reform Social Security to health care reform, saying that similarly low rates of approval on those two efforts mean that the country has essentially voted on health care and that Obama should "drop his ego" and apologize.