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Getting a taste of their own medicine

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By John Barnhart

    Rick Howell should stop listening to Rush Limbaugh. Judging from the tone of his frequent references to Limbaugh in The Liberal Agenda, Limbaugh’s radio program obviously raises Mr. Howell’s blood pressure to dangerous levels. Like me, Mr. Howell is over 50, and it’s really risky for guys our age to get that upset. He’s liable to give himself a heart attack.

    I’ll agree that comparisons between Obama’s health care reform logo and a Nazi symbol requires a real stretch of the imagination. The Nazi symbol in question is an eagle perched on a large circular wreath containing a swastika in the center.. It was worn on the uniforms and caps of German soldiers, sailors and airmen during World War II as well as appearing on German government documents of the time.

    Obama’s symbol also has a circle, the lower half containing red and white stripes with a field of blue in the upper half. A Caduceus runs through the circle. The Caduceus is a staff that has two snakes twined around it and spread wings at the top of the staff. It’s been the symbol of medicine in North America for a long time. It appeared on the uniforms of Army hospital stewards 150 years ago, was adopted as the symbol of the Army Medical Corps in 1902 and by the Navy Hospital Corps a bit later. Wikipedia has an illustrated article on the Caduceus at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caduceus.

    Actually, liberals’ reaction to Limbaugh’s exaggeration is amusing because they are just getting a taste of their own medicine — and they don’t like it.

    For more than a quarter of a century, conservative speakers have been shouted down when speaking at universities. It hasn’t happened at all universities, but it happens anytime there is a substantial contingent of left-wing students in the crowd. Contrast that to the reception Ted Kennedy got several years ago when Jerry Falwell invited him to speak at Liberty University. The students listened politely.

    Protests against the Iraq War, during the Bush Administration, included a group named Code Pink. These were female protesters who disrupted government meetings that were open for citizens to attend as observers. In 2007, some of the protesters who annually gathered in Washington D. C. to demonstrate against the war engaged in some minor vandalism with paint.

    During the 2004 election, some “Democratic” Party activists compared George W. Bush to Hitler and I understand that Nancy Pelosi has referred to people protesting her health care overhaul as Nazis and un-American. This is rather ironic as one of the people who spoke, politely, against President Obama’s programs in Bedford’s Town Hall meeting with Congressman Tom Perriello actually fought Nazis, and came close to being killed on more than one occasion in the process. That was Ray Noell who spent 100 days under fire from Hitler’s soldiers in the hedgerows of Normandy and in German forests. He received the Silver Star for heroism in combat and the Purple Heart for being wounded in the process of helping end the Nazi regime.

    I don’t approve of the fact that some conservatives have adopted the liberals’ tactics of political rudeness. Liberals, however, need to lighten up. If their health care overhaul truly is as wonderful as they claim, then they should be able to rationally defend it with out name-calling, compiling enemies lists or accusing their critics of being paid stooges of special interests.

    Liberals should also realize that they, too, dished out generous servings of boorish behavior when they were politically on the outside looking in. Maybe they will remember how it feels and behave in a civil manner the next time they are out of power and exercise their Constitutional right to criticize the government.