I usually accept that. I understand that giving military aid to Israel at a level that is pretty close to aid to the whole rest of the region is something I can’t really stop. Never mind that Israel in my lifetime, and particularly under Likud, has consistently worked at cross purposes to US national security goals and perogatives in the region. That’s a fight I’m never going to win. Hell, I’m not even going to be allowed in the ring for it. There are weapons programs that I think should be cancelled, and I’m not a fan at all of subsidies for ethanol, among various things I would refuse to fund. I understand that I don’t get to pick and choose.
But there are some fights that are worth fighting. When I was in the Army in Europe, the first hour of the Rush Limbaugh show was on Armed Forces Radio for an hour every day. That’s still the case today. Back then, he was a LOT more popular than he is today, and whether I liked it or not, there was something to the point that, due to his popularity stateside, the Armed Forces Radio and TV Service had an obligation to play his show if they were to maintain their standard of popularity without respect to political viewpoint. Particularly after a bunch of whackjob Republicans (there used to be other kinds, I swear) in the House of Representatives made a stink about how our troops were being denied the right to listen to him. Leaving aside the fact that no one I knew except a couple of right-winger Medical Officers were fans, there was a point. Kind of. Just to make sure we’re all clear, very few people I know listened to AF Radio over there at all. Today, with eight channels on Armed Forces TV (there was one when I was in Germany) there’s even less reason to listen to the radio. That’s just the way the world is for everything. I listened to NPR when I was over there, but when I was in Afghanistan the last time, I streamed NPR over the internet when I could do so. To my knowledge, Limbaugh’s TV show was never on Armed Forces Television.
But today, there is no point to maintaining his show on AFRTS. He is nowhere near as popular as he used to be. His market penetration is but a fraction of its former level. His show has always been a showcase of racism, bigotry, and misogyny. Additionally, it’s an element of a climate that conservatives, both in and out of the military use to prop up the claim that the military is conservative or has conservative leanings. Now that the last trappings of popularity have fallen away from him, that is the last vestige of reason for his continued presence on AFRTS. It’s past time that we got rid of this hour of denigrating the women and minorities who serve honorably by a man who dodged the draft and is a convicted felon and drug addict. You all need to write and call your Congresspeople and Senators. This is one of those things that we can actually win. We should not be using taxpayer money to support hate speech, and certainly not to the military.
EDIT: H/T to commenters Svensker and JGabriel in thread–HERE is the Whitehouse.gov petition to SECDEF Panetta to remove the Rush Limbaugh show from AFRTS. I’ll note that petitions are great, but you should also call your Congresscritters and it wouldn’t hurt to call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111 and leave a message.