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Op-ed

Dems are hypocrites to attack Rush Limbaugh's presidential medal after awarding it to alleged rapists

Joe Biden and AOC should sit this one out

In a 2009 file photo, (from left) Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama and Joe Biden enjoy a laugh in the Oval Office. (Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)

Democrats clutched their pearls at the sight of First Lady Melania Trump awarding conservative talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Tuesday's State of the Union Address after "El Rushbo" announced on Monday's show that he was diagnosed advanced lung cancer.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted the commentator as a "virulent racist," an unsubstantiated charge echoed by CNN's Jim Acosta. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden criticized the decision to award him with the nation's highest civilian honor, describing Limbaugh as "a conservative media personality who has done as much as Trump himself to divide our nation."

The left's hypocrisy would be comical if it were not so profoundly indecent and downright shameless. Not only is it crude for anyone to smear Limbaugh as he's fighting for his life, liberals have no moral authority to do so.

To be fair, over a span of 30 years, Limbaugh has made his fair share of mistakes (some of which he has acknowledged and others that are now being grossly exaggerated by Democrats), but who hasn't? Within the context of his incomparable career, they pale in comparison to a lifetime dedicated to philanthropy and advancing conservative principles.

If the list of Medal of Freedom recipients is any indication, Democrats seemed to understand the dangers of judging people by their worst moments. Two past honorees come to mind: Former President Bill Clinton and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, both of whom were awarded the distinguished honor by none other than Biden's former boss, Barack Obama.

There is no moral equivalence between these men and Rush, as it would be unfair — to Limbaugh — to put his verbal faux pas in the same league as the alleged crimes of Kennedy and Clinton, both of whom are said to have sexually assaulted women. Kennedy was even involved with the drowning death of a campaign worker.

Since some in the media appear to have the memory skills of Dory from Finding Nemo, let's revisit the charges against the two:

  • Multiple women have credibly accused Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting them. Perhaps the most serious allegation was made by Juanita Broaddrick, who claimed Clinton raped her during his 1978 campaign for governor. According to the Washington Post, Broaddrick claims Clinton "forcibly had sex with her." Her upper lip was bruised and swollen from the encounter because, she claims Clinton bit her. "The last thing he said to me was, 'You better get some ice for that.' And he put on his sunglasses and walked out the door," she stated. Several of Broaddrick's friends have corroborated the story.
  • Long before Clinton was a household name, Sen. Ted Kennedy's boorish, and dangerous, behavior around women was the subject of national headlines. In July 1969, after a night of partying with campaign aides, Kennedy drove his car into a tidal creek off Chappaquiddick Island with a young woman, 28-year-old passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, trapped inside the vehicle. Not only did Kopechne drown as a result of Kennedy's negligence, the young senator swam across the channel to Edgartown where he returned to his hotel room, went to bed, and did not report the incident to the authorities until the following morning.
  • Kennedy is also reported to have sexually assaulted a waitress along with another Democratic senator. According to GQ, a drunken Kennedy tossed a 5-foot-3, 103-pound waitress on retired Sen. Chris Dodd's Laos and proceeded to rub his genitals against hers as the woman screamed.
Despite the media making no mention of Clinton and Kennedy's sordid behavior when Obama and Biden awarded them with presidential medals, their misconduct was no secret. Just as, surely, Ocasio-Cortez must have been aware of the late senator's history of abuse toward women when she went to work for him on Capitol Hill.

Even as he's battling cancer, "America's Anchorman" needs no one to defend him, nor am I suggesting that Clinton and Kennedy were unworthy of their awards. Clearly, to the degree to which one can look past their actions, the two men had significant accomplishments and made meaningful contributions to public life.

What it does mean is that Democrats, especially Joe Biden and AOC, live in awfully fragile glass houses to be casting stones at the moral character of any Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient — let alone a titan of industry like Rush Limbaugh. He should be allowed to focus on getting better and enjoy this moment in peace with his family, just as Kennedy (who was also battling cancer when he was awarded his medal) and Clinton were.

One last thing…
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