Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Limbaugh Has Gone Bananas

Here’s one of the most idiotic statements you are ever likely to hear:

LIMBAUGH: What I’m afraid of is that what Obama did with this executive order is actually make it easier for the media to go get Bush documents. Because you know Pelosi and some of the guys over in congress are talking about war crimes trials and charges and so forth. […]

What I’m afraid of is what Obama’s done here is made the gathering of the information for this kind of stuff- This is not American. This is not America. This is not what America does. We don’t- This is Banana Republic kind of stuff.

Wow. Even for Limbaugh, that is off-the-scale stupid. No Rush, you have it exactly wrong. The notion of a press with an obligation to act as a watchdog on the government and expose its actions is quintessentially American – and entirely foreign to banana republics, where strongmen thugs of the kind that George W. Bush aspired to be engage in intimidation and violence against newspapers and the press.

Here are a few statements Thomas Jefferson made on the subject. In a letter to Edward Carrington:

“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

In a letter to John Jay:

“Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.”

In a letter to John Tyler:

“No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.”

Un-American, indeed.