Friday, April 28, 2006


Rush Limbaugh was arrested today, his mug shot and fingerprints taken, and he appeared before the judge in what appeared to be a pre-arranged agreement. Rush received no jail time for doctor shopping in search of pills for his Oxycontin addiction, but has to pay $30,000 in costs, continue treatment for his addiction for at least 18 months, at which time his record will be wiped clean.

Nice justice if you can get it! One cannot help but wonder if Joe Schmo, your friendly neighborhood drug addict, would get the same deal. One cannot help but wonder if Poor Joe would be sent to the Slammer in a heartbeat, and if his Rap Sheet would follow him around all of the days of his life.

This is, in my opinion, selective justice. Limbaugh, poor soul, was caught in this terrible addiction because he claims he has been in terrible pain. Be that as it may, I suppose Joe Schmo could make the same claim for sympathy. And what about that marijuana law in California, where medical use of marijuana was okayed by the voters of that state, only to have the Feds crack down? No pity there for excruciating pain!

Ordinarily, I would feel some sympathy for any drug user. Once addicted, they are caught in a trap from which there is no escape, without some help. Even then it is a difficult and sometimes impossible task, whether that addiction is for drugs or alcohol. They are locked behind bars as surely as any prisoner is locked in a cell, and it takes great perseverance and assistance to open that cell door and escape into the fresh air.

Even with Rush Limbaugh, I can feel some flicker of pity, trying to imagine the inner struggles of this man who placed himself on such a political pedestal, fed his nonsense to the willing ears of avid rightwingers, his manure spreading hatred of the poor, of blacks, of drug users, of unions, etc. etc. keeping them enthralled year after year. He still does it, and has never stopped. In America, every drug user should go to prison, the rightwingers believe, except Rush Limbaugh, who is to be pitied. And Rush is still preaching hate on a daily basis.

Rush has even been a guest at the White House, so influential he became. One can picture him swallowing Oxycontin in the Lincoln Bedroom, his stash hidden in his expensive luggage. Because, to Rush, $30,000 to repay court costs is chicken feed. To Joe Schmo, it would be a lifetime of debt after the jail sentence was completed.

Drug addicts, Rush has said, deserve to go to jail. But I will wager his opinion has changed, at least where fine, upstanding folks like himself are concerned. Mind you, Rush didn't just swallow a few stray pills. From what I read, he bought them by the cigar box and sent his staff to complete the deal. And, if the government charges are true, he shopped around with the doctors to replenish his supply.

Which makes it more than a little difficult for some folks today. Doctors are so afraid of being a part of doctor-shopping or drug-dealing or whatever that they hesitate to prescribe narcotic pain pills, lest the FBI come calling. Which means that many terminally ill or chronically ill patients are screaming in agony with no relief! Which means that pain can invade your existence and wipe away any reason, any thought, any philosophy, just a white-hot knife of searing misery cutting you in half, robbing you of peace, of quiet, of any life at all!

The truth is, in this situation, a little pill, a little medication, can ease the knifelike thrust of this invader and give you back your life. And it is folks like Rush who have brought about this sorry state of affairs. I know a lady who says that she and her children sit at their breakfast table in the morning and listen to the moans and screams of her very ill husband coming from the bedroom. Not a palatable moment at the breakfast table, I assure you!

I also know a young man afflicted with an orphan disease, one of those genetic things involving recessive genes, etc., with very little research done to alleviate the suffering it causes. This young man screams....literally screams...throughout the day and night, confined to his bed, his muscles deteriorated, his legs drawn up in twisted agony....and his parents, who are his sole source of care, cannot get a doctor to give him relief with medication.

This is why I have very little pity for Rush Limbaugh. He selected the pedestal he put himself on, becoming the voice of the Neocons, the New Conservatives, criticizing every facet of liberal America, labor unions, factory workers, Blacks, welfare recipients, the elderly, etc. etc., in a daily spate of hate that brought about an election that could not really be called an election and has buried our country's values in greed and corruption.

While Limbaugh has grown rich enough to afford cigar-boxes filled with his drug of choice, he has led this giant crew of radicals, presenting himself as Christian, railing against the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens, and somehow disguised the fact that he is a thrice-married divorcee with a huge drug problem, no different than that Black Youths he is complaining about, and with many, many more advantages.

Other than a slight "I told you so!" attitude toward Republicans, I suppose it would do no one any good to have Rush Limbaugh or anyone else lapse in jail for a drug problem. What is needed is Rehab and, fortunately, Limbaugh can afford it, while most people can't. Even so, one can certainly complain about the selective justice displayed with this case. Limbaugh is just lucky the judge didn't follow the advice he gave for others with the same problem on his radio program. I hope he appreciates that fact.

Like I always say, it pays to be rich and powerful and claim to be Christian in our country today. If these folks can push a camel through the eye of a needle, they are going to do it, if they have to hack the camel into tiny pieces and find a needle with an eye as big as a cigar box!