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The Pain Game | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

The Pain Game

Apparently when Republicans were urging Americans to get tough on crime they were doing it to protect us from themselves. Just last week, Karl Rove went back to testify to the grand jury for the fifth time; we learned that the FBI is investigating the possible bribing by two defense contractor of Rep. Duke Cunningham and other unnamed lawmakers with free prostitutes, and then there was my old nemesis, Rush Limbaugh.

Like most bullies, Limbaugh, who still finds it funny to refer to Hurricane Katrina as Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel, is better at dishing out the pain than taking it. He was arrested on Friday and charged with prescription drug fraud, a felony, for buying 2,000 painkillers prescribed by four different doctors in a six-month period.

But oh what a difference an arrest makes.

In the past, Rush argued that drug users "ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up." Instead of going to jail, however, Limbaugh accepted a deal that requires him to pay a $30,000 fine and serve eighteen months of supervised probation to make certain he continues his treatment for drug addiction.

Some have expressed sympathy for Limbaugh, but before anyone writes a check to his defense fund think about the distraught person who draws the short straw and is stuck supervising the blowhard for 18 months. Talk about a job no American wants.

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