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Hypocrisy on the Right Side

October 14, 2003

Re "Limbaugh Admits Painkiller Addiction," Oct. 11: How do you spell "hypocrite"? I spell it "Rush," as in Rush Limbaugh. For years Limbaugh has taken the hard line against drugs and drug abusers while all the time knowing that he himself was an addict. Now we are supposed to pray for his recovery and wring our hands for this paragon of virtue who has fallen to this terrible addiction.

One could certainly sympathize with Limbaugh if he had ever shown a modicum of empathy for people who suffered from similar addictions or perhaps were just self-medicating to escape the tragedy of their lives. But it is hard to conjure up much sympathy for a man who was at the forefront of the zero-tolerance, no-on-medical-marijuana conservative do-gooders who lumped all illegal drug users into one big pile and took the "put them in jail and throw away the key" approach. Now Limbaugh can join that other right-wing hypocrite William Bennett, and we can only hope that the embarrassing revelations about their personal lives teach them the meaning of tolerance.

Bill Tapp

San Diego

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Limbaugh's hypocrisy and clever use of language does not obfuscate the fact the he is, by any other name, a drug addict. OxyContin, morphine or heroin -- they are all the same: opiates. Although Limbaugh continually uses the term "prescription pain medication," he fails to acknowledge that he obtained this very popular street drug the same way that the "addicts" he rails against get it -- illegally, without a prescription.

Limbaugh, yet another family-values conservative hypocrite, is an outstanding example of the double standard used in the war on drugs: If you're rich and powerful, you are addicted to "prescription pain medication" and you receive help. If you're poor, you're a "drug addict" and you receive a mandatory jail sentence. I wish Limbaugh well in his recovery efforts. I would not want to send him to jail for his illegal drug use. I would, however, like to give him a life sentence for his hypocrisy.

Tomas Fuller

Santa Monica

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I thought painkillers were for the Limbaugh audience.

Mark Arnold

Bakersfield

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