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(guest post by Taylor Marsh)

There are two signs that a Republican is in trouble. One is they start talking about Bill Clinton. The other is they book an interview on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. It’s a coveted spot. A request and opportunity that can’t be denied.

Rush Limbaugh rarely does interviews on his show. It’s all bluster, all b.s., all the time. But when his boys and girls get in trouble, they can always count on Rush inviting them in for a little informal chat. He’s done it with Deadeye. Yesterday he did it with Rummy.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: … … We have people in the country who have been attempting, ever since shortly after the war with Iraq commenced, that are trying to gin up as many anti-war support amongst the American population as possible. Yet here you are as a member of this administration with a stated goal where Iraq and the war on terror is concerned. You have to be aware of it anti-war opinion of those in the country who have it and you’re aware of the people who are trying to foment it and make it larger. How do you as a public servant square the attitude of the anti-war people if you think it’s a large group of people with what are your stated goals and what the president stated goals are? How do you put those two together and end up formulating a policy and sticking to it?

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: … There have always been people who have opposed wars. Wars are terrible things. On the other hand, if every time there were critics and opponents to war, we wouldn’t have won the Revolutionary War and we wouldn’t have been involved in World War I or II, and if we had we would have failed, and our country would be a totally different place if it existed at all, if every time there were some critics that we tossed in the towel. I think we just have to accept it, that people have a right to say what they want to say, and to have an acceptance of that and recognize that the terrorists, Zarqawi and bin Laden and Zawahiri, those people have media committees.

Rush Interviews Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

He’s blaming his bad press on bin Laden and Zawahiri’s media committees? Talk about a walk into unreality.

What about Bush’s propaganda campaign to boost Zarqawi’s terror image in Iraq back here at home? Not a word, of course.

Donald Rumsfeld went on Rush’s radio show yesterday not only to save himself, but to also continue the smear against Democrats and anti-war individuals, who now comprise the majority of this country, including Republicans, Independents and many people who weren’t political until the Iraq war. Rumsfeld wants to paint us all as being duped by some terrorist committee, while perpetuating the myth that we don’t want to fight terrorism, and Rush’s terrestrial radio show helped him do it.  (As an aside, I had a radio show, though it’s not on the air right now — like so many other progressives — so I’ve been studying right-wing radio since the 1990s.)

What Rush and his right-wing rabble on radio do, however, is to continue the campaign that got us into the war in Iraq in the first place, by conflating Iraq with the global war on terror, trying to remind people that staying in Iraq is fighting terrorism. That the progress isn’t being reported. However, what staying in Iraq is doing is making our global position weaker and our ability to fight terrorism weaker, as well. In fact, we have made Iraq a breeding ground for terrorism, with terrorist attacks up around the world.

Yes, Rummy is in trouble (so is Bush and every other Republican). So see Rummy run to Rush. Right-wing radio has saved Republicans before, not to mention helped win an election or two, through appealing to the emotions of the listeners and leaving the facts behind. It’s a perfect propaganda format for Donald Rumsfeld.

photo via Think Progress