Wednesday, January 13, 2010

politicizing disaster

As anyone who does not live under a rock already knows, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere was hit by a devastating earthquake yesterday. Times of disaster in the past have been where people put aside their partisan differences and did all they could for those who lost everything they had. In this country, Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 come to mind. Most of the United States is devastated by the news in Haiti, and many are doing all in their power to help. However at least two Americans used this disaster as an opportunity to politicize it, and show their true colors—their names are Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson. Now that a precedent is set, how long before other crazy fright-wingers come out of the woodwork with such statements (Glenn Beckkk I’m talking about you)?

El Rushbo is not a friend of President Obama and will do all in his power to bring him down. This is not a surprise to anyone. He’s also an incredibly racist man and his racism has shown since the election of President Obama. He makes this no secret. But today Rush took his racism to a whole new level. Courtesy of Media Matters, here are a few gems from Limbaugh’s show today:

“I want you to remember it took [Obama] three days -- three days -- to respond to the Christmas Day Fruit of Kaboom bomber. Three days. And when he came out after those three days, he was clearly irritated that he had to do it. He didn't want to do it. He comes out here in less than 24 hours to speak about Haiti.
Oh, this is what he lives for. He lives for serving those in misery. Now don't misunderstand here, folks. See, this is -- I wonder -- I don't have the whole press conference, but I wonder: Did he apologize for America before acknowledging we are the only people on Earth that can possibly help them out down there in any significant way? “

“That place, Haiti, has been run by dictators and communists. And how long is it gonna be, how long is it gonna be before we hear Obama and the left in this country say that what we really need to do is reinstate the communist Aristide to the leadership position down there to coordinate putting the country back together? The Haitian economy is entirely dependent on foreign aid. They produce nothing -- zilch, zero, nada.”

“Yes, I think in the Haiti earthquake, ladies and gentlemen -- in the words of Rahm Emanuel, we have another crisis simply too good to waste. This will play right into Obama's hands -- humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their -- shall we say -- credibility with the black community, in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community, in this country. It's made-to-order for 'em. That's why he couldn't wait to get out there. Could not wait to get out there.”

And the final Limbaugh gem, a conversation with a caller

LIMBAUGH: Would you trust the money's gonna go to Haiti?
LIMBAUGH: But would you trust that your name is gonna end up on the mailing list for the Obama people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes?
CALLER: Absolutely.
LIMBAUGH: Absolutely right.
CALLER: That's the point.
LIMBAUGH: Besides, we've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax.

And that brings me to my second creep of the day—good old Pat Robertson, who with the other hate-mongering Christian “minister, ” the late Jerry Falwell, blamed gays, abortionists, feminists, and the ACLU for 9/11. Here are his words (talking with co-host Kristi). These quotes are again courtesy of Media Matters.

“And, you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, "We will serve you if you will get us free from the French." True story. And so, the devil said, "OK, it's a deal."

And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It's cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti; on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, et cetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I'm optimistic something good may come. But right now, we're helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable.”

I am at a loss for words here.

If any of you want to do something that these two incredibly wealthy men can't do any donate some money to Doctors Without Borders, who was in Haiti providing health care to the citizens before the earthquake, and is continuing to help out.

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