So, What Were You Planning on Doing in the DR With That Viagra, Rush?

So Rush Limbaugh was caught at the Palm Beach airport on the way back from the Dominican Republic with Viagra in his suitcase, for which he did not have a prescription (it was made out by his doctor to another doctor, probably to hide the fact that he’s using it). And while it’s fun to snicker about this little development, here’s something that should give us all pause. From commenter amyc at Tbogg’s place:

The Dominican Republic apparently has a booming sex trade (or rape trade, if you’re like me and don’t believe 13-yr-old girls really consent to be whores for rich tourists). As nightmare-inducing as the answers might be, I think The American People need to ask why an unmarried Christian man would take a suitcase full of dick drugs on a Third-World sex tour. (Although perhaps we shouldn’t rule out missionary work.)

Indeed, the DR is one of the world’s biggest destinations for sex tourism:

“There is always a demand for sex,” said one Dominican prostitute as she lounged at one of the town’s waterfront bars. “Men will always pay for it, especially in here … where they can get anything they want at a discount.”

Indeed, the Dominican Republic is one of the biggest sex tourism destinations in the world, thanks in part to Internet sites that extol the country as a “single man’s paradise.”

I wonder if that’s intended to give it some kind of veneer of consensuality, like it’s just dating rather than exploitation. Hey, a bachelor’s entitled to play the field!

But this sunny vacation mecca has a dark side: The area’s thriving commercial sex industry has given it one of the highest HIV rates of any region in the country, according to the World Bank.

The tourism boom didn’t hit this island nation until the 1990s, when resorts gobbled up miles of virgin beachfront property. Today, men looking for local action can choose from customized love vacations that include room, board, 20 alcohol drinks a day and the company of one or more local women.

Ah, yes. “Love” vacations. How romantic, sharing an island getaway with rented women and copious amounts of booze. The delusions don’t end there:

The pricing schemes vary, but the content is the same. It’s a war of sex-oriented bragging: Members send in their R-rated travel reports in which they boast about the number of women they’ve “nailed,” including naked photographs of their conquests. They share tips and warnings, such as this post from a tourist who visited Boca Chica, a beachside town in southern Dominican Republic:

“If you go there, beware of a girl named Caroline. Bad, bad news: underage, pregnant and on drugs….”

At TSM, one of the busier destinations, a man describing himself as a retired Canadian steel worker now living in Puerto Plata wrote: “(I) love the Latin lifestyle: one wife and as many girlfriends as you can handle…. I would like to pass on my report on these bars in the Puerto Plata area with photos of my favorite girls that work in them.”

Emphasis mine. What escapes me is why they brag about how many women they’ve “nailed,” as if they’re not paying for this. I mean, it’s a canned bird hunt. There’s nothing to be proud of when you pay for sex and you get what you paid for. It’s a simple business transaction. The prostitute is not your wife, or your girlfriend, and there’s a damn good chance she wouldn’t have fucked you if her livelihood weren’t involved.

I mean, is it this fantasy that allows men to have sex with prostitutes and not think about what they’re doing to these women and girls (and boys)? Do they really believe that the prostitutes would “do it for free,” like I’m sure they’re telling their clients?

What’s amazing is that they talk this way about the prostitutes, in such intimate terms, and yet pick out their conquests like melons at the market:

The global reach of the Internet has resulted in a tremendous increase in the sex tourism industry, said Donna M. Hughes, a professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Rhode Island.

“The Web has broken the industry wide open,” Hughes said. “The scope and detail of this exchange is without precedent. These women are viewed as objects and rated on everything from skin color to presence of scars and firmness of their flesh. The guys running these sites are pimps.”

And of course, the women who are in the trade are doing so because they have few options. Problem is, the sex trade is so dominant in the area that women who have managed to escape its clutches are assumed to be available just because they exist:

In Puerto Plata there are so many streetwalkers competing for the attention of vacationers that one hair stylist said she doesn’t leave her home after dark because she doesn’t want to be mistaken for a puta. In the town’s discos, bars and restaurants, solitary women stare suggestively at male tourists or rub up against them like cats.

The industry that has sprouted up to satisfy the sexual desires of rich tourists has taken a terrible toll on the region, even for those not directly involved in the trade.

Its reputation for cheap and easy sex has given the Caribbean the second-highest AIDS rate in the world after sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Bank, which recently announced plans to devote $150 million to fight HIV/AIDS in the region’s islands.

But that sobering statistic hasn’t stopped the flesh trade on this sun-sparkled land. In some areas of the Dominican Republic, HIV infection rates among prostitutes top 12 percent, according to local activist groups.

Public health campaigns exhort men to use condoms with prostitutes to protect their families from the disease, which is the primary cause of death among Dominican men under age 45.

And what, exactly, is the mindset of a man who will fuck a 10-year-old in Thailand or the Dominican Republic but consider someone who does that at home to be a pedophile?

This paper (pdf) gives some background into how the sex tourism trade, particularly the use of child prostitutes, came to be in the Dominican Republic, in part due to loss of arable land and the poverty that results. I’m issuing a call to Chris Clarke to address this issue more thoroughly than I can.


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67 Responses to So, What Were You Planning on Doing in the DR With That Viagra, Rush?

  1. j swift says:

    I once knew of an alcoholic that found Jesus and became a zealot fundie activist (busybody). I figured he was just changing addictions. Maybe Rushbo has too.

  2. Thomas says:

    From the paper Zuzu linked, it appears that we know that the Nice Guy(TM) evolves into:

    But then situational abusers of under-age prostitutes often voice the same kind of self piteous narcissism (western women refuse them access to what they ‘need’ sexually, they prefer ‘jerks’, they ruin them financially through divorce settlements, etc.).

    Having read some of that paper, I now need to shower. With Lysol.

  3. nik says:

    Perhaps he just wanted to have a wank?

  4. Ack Ack Ack Ack says:

    I really wouldn’t be surprised to learn Rush is a pedarast. We already know he gets off on his power-trip of a radio show.

  5. Qusan says:

    This total reject of a jerk at my job who was obviously inept at dating in America went off to the Philippenes and bought (well, he brokered a deal with her parents) and bought a child-like wife. For a while, she would spend every afternoon sitting in our cold kitchen/breakroom staring into space. It irritated the heck out of me hearing that “baby” voice reverberating all afternoon. But someone else got just as fed up, complained about it and he was told she couldn’t come in anymore. (We don’t have daycare for kids. Definitely not purchased brides). He tries to get into conversations with the other guys who have “real” wives but he always ends up sounding wierd. He creeps the hell out of me and I think he even creeps out the men.

  6. Kate AuH2O says:

    I just read “Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl” and was feeling pretty pro-prostitution. But this post sure puts things in perspective.

  7. ew says:

    Limbaugh joked about the search on his radio show Tuesday, saying Customs officials didn’t believe him when he said he got the pills at the Clinton Library and he was told they were blue M&Ms. He later added, chuckling: “I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it.”

  8. Natalia says:

    The sex trade is such a huge tragedy, involving millions of lives, and billions in cash. And for as long as rich, callous perverts are allowed access to poor women and men, it will continue.

    Exile.Ru is a website where men routinely brag about buying women for pleasure. It’s gruesome. Someone needs to declare a flame-war on these assholes.

  9. KnifeGhost says:

    “(I) love the Latin lifestyle: one wife and as many girlfriends as you can handle….”

    If that’s not racist, it’s close enough to borrow racist’s ID.

  10. Esme says:

    What escapes me is why they brag about how many women they’ve “nailed,” as if they’re not paying for this. I mean, it’s a canned bird hunt. There’s nothing to be proud of when you pay for sex and you get what you paid for. It’s a simple business transaction. The prostitute is not your wife, or your girlfriend, and there’s a damn good chance she wouldn’t have fucked you if her livelihood weren’t involved.

    Sounds a lot like someone who describes himself as a hunter when what he means is he gets drunk and shoots tame quail.

  11. jack larkin says:

    Talk about adding 2+2 and getting 5. Last I heard Rush was dating a CNN commentator of all people. If someone said this about a democrat politician you’d be ranting on about smearing him etc.

  12. kate says:

    Other highlights for those who didn’t have time to read the 31 page report, or Rush’s comments about his ‘trip':

    Interviews with sex tourists,

    They let you do things here an American girl’d never dream of doing. I can’t even say to you what they let you do. You’d be shocked, really its shocking what they’ll do just to please you…they’ll even let you beat them and they get excited. It turns them on.”

    “Sometimes, Mr. Jones went on, 10 years old come down from the mountains, and when they’re all dressed up you can’t really tell, they look 16 when they’re all dressed up.”

    and another who comments that he sees himself helpless to act on his moral outrage at tourists, while enjoying young women himself describes

    “An American sex tourist describes witnessing a German sex tourist trying to drag a young boy out of a bar and how the child was desperately resisting, crying and attempting to hide under a table. The American was so disturbed by this that he went and asked a Dominican standing nearby what was going on. The Dominican told he was with the German who had already paid for him.”

    Rush says of his trip

    Limbaugh joked about the search on his radio show Tuesday, saying Customs officials didn’t believe him when he said he got the pills at the Clinton Library and he was told they were blue M&Ms. He later added, chuckling: “I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it.”

    Let an asshole speak and all you have to do is listen to find all the answers you need.

  13. zuzu says:

    Jack, you’re a little behind the curve. Rush and Daryn Kagan broke up in February.

  14. j swift says:

    Jack, if a democrat politician got on the air most everyday and tried to blow smoke up everyone’s ass about his talent on loan from God and his moral superiority I would be calling him a hypocritical fuck too.

  15. scott says:

    Perhaps he just wanted to have a wank?
    -and conversely “perhaps” you’re just a wanker?
    Maybe the idea of some sweaty,fat white git flush with money and power who enjoys abusing 3rd world children for his own panting sexual gratification strikes you as funny?Twit.

  16. raging red says:

    I think Nik meant, perhaps he just wanted to jerk off.

  17. raging red says:

    Which wouldn’t require a solo trip to the Dominican Republic. He probably does that while he’s on the radio.

  18. Mark says:

    It is, of course, one thing to giggle with schadenfreude at the detention of one of the most famous and eloquent voices of the “enemy” (conservatives).

    It is quite another thing to use innuendo to accuse the possessor of that voice of some heinous conduct, based in part on the unsubstantiated comments of a former blogger who suggests that Mr. Limbaugh had been “on a Third-World sex tour.”

  19. amyc says:

    Oh, Mark, cry me a river for poor, heinous-innuendo-bedeviled Rush Limbaugh, inventor of the modern heinous innuendo (“Vince Foster was murdered in an apartment owned by Hilary Clinton” — ring a bell?). We’re merely hoisting him on his own petard, as it were.

    Odds are he was using that Viagra for something down in the DR. He’s not married, he traveled alone, and Viagra is a “special occasion” medication — not something one would need to take every day (like BC pills). Why would he need an erect penis if he were, say, just lounging on the beach and reading the Bible?

    As Peggy Noonan once said, “Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.”

    Love,
    amyc, former blogger who is tickled pink to have been quoted by such a great site

  20. Ack Ack Ack Ack says:

    It is, of course, one thing to giggle with schadenfreude at the detention of one of the most famous and eloquent voices of the “enemy” (conservatives).

    You forgot disingenuous.

    It is quite another thing to use innuendo to accuse the possessor of that voice of some heinous conduct, based in part on the unsubstantiated comments of a former blogger who suggests that Mr. Limbaugh had been “on a Third-World sex tour.”

    Why would any single older man go to the DR with a bottle of Viagra? It’s not really a destination hotspot otherwise.

  21. ginmar says:

    God, if there’s anything more pathetic than guys boasting about canned hunts, it’s dittoheads getting offended that Rush is getting what he dishes out.

  22. zuzu says:

    Mark, innuendo from the likes of us is the least of Baby Boy’s worries.

    After all, he’s very likely violated his plea deal and he could be looking at doing time.

  23. Thomas says:

    Limbaugh is a pustule. His defenders should be keel-hauled on an aircraft carrier. If you show up defending that asshole, nobody here cares what you think.

  24. nik says:

    After a brief look at the Pfizer marketing website it’s clear I was deeply misguided in my comment above. It’s clearly not possible for a mere onanist to exploit this drug in order to further his own debasement. The only people who gain any benefit from Viagra are big studs who are going to be getting loads.

    I fear I’ve made myself look silly. The idea that an unmarried, Christian, older man, who travels alone on holiday could ever wish to retire to his hotel room for a sly wank is just preposterous. I feel ashamed that I could even conceive of such a possibility. If that sicko wasn’t using these drugs so that his artificially blood-engorged phallus could be used on a vile kiddie-raping expedition, then what was he using them for? I think we need to be told.

  25. I think that amyc’s speculation, as speculation, is valuable. I’m glad somebody pointed this out. If nothing else, it’s made me (and others, presumably) more aware of some of the problems in the DR.

    On the other hand.

    Given that it’s likely that few feminists think highly of Limbaugh, I wonder why Thomas needs to start getting so violent in his language as regards people (like Mark) who suggest that maybe these speculations don’t carry much weight. Is suggesting that amyc might be wrong in some way defending Limbaugh? I don’t think so, anymore than standing up to Senator McCarthy makes one a communist (hopefully amyc will forgive my analogy–she isn’t, of course, anything like McCarthy; I just saw “Good Night, and Good Luck” the other night, so that’s the first ‘poisoning the well’ example is the first that comes to mind). Limbaugh is a pustule, Thomas, but that doesn’t mean that he’s a guy who goes to the DR to have sex with children; it also doesn’t mean that suggesting he may not have gone to the DR to have sex with children means one thinks he’s not a pustule.

    Does going to the DR with a bottle of Viagra (which isn’t yours!) mean that you like having sex with children? Nope. Is it suspicious, worth speculating about? I think so. But here’s some more speculation, as a reaction to something else amyc said in these comments:
    “Why would any single older man go to the DR with a bottle of Viagra? It’s not really a destination hotspot otherwise.”
    First off, there are lots of reasons to go to DR, apparently, from a glance at Wikipedia. Secondly: What does being single and older have to do with it? Single people have sex; old(er) people have sex. And it’s likely that Limbaugh carries a bottle of viagra with him wherever he goes, in the hopes of getting some–and he probably takes it on vacation with him because he’s more likely to meet women in another country who don’t know who he is, and is thus more likely to get laid.

    Do any of my speculations mean that we know why Limbaugh went to the DR, or what he did there? Nope. But it seems to me that making speculations that Limbaugh may have hoped for a hook up while on vacation that had nothing to do with prostitution or children ought not warrant being keel-hauled on an aircraft carrier, as Thomas puts it.

    (And all of this ignores the fact that Limbaugh, who presumably puts forth all sorts of ‘conservative values’, ought not be having sex out of wedlock anyway and such. There are lots of things that he can be called out on, of course, short of being a man who likes to have sex with children.)

  26. I screwed up, and attributed what Ack Ack Ack said as something amyc said. My apologies to all involved. :(

  27. Wait, so Jeff, are you agreeing with my insinuation that being a pedarast is somehow worse than having sex with an under-aged female prostitute? Because that was totally tongue-in-cheek.

  28. Ack Ack Ack Ack–
    Sorry, I don’t understand the question. Really.

    I didn’t think I was addressing comparisons between being a pedarast and being a person who has sex with under-aged female prostitutes at all. I quoted your question (which I mistakenly attributed to amyc–again, apologies to both of you) about why else would Limbaugh to to the DR but to have sex with underage prostitutes. Presumably, that wasn’t tongue in cheek.

  29. he probably takes it on vacation with him because he’s more likely to meet women in another country who don’t know who he is, and is thus more likely to get laid.

    Uhh. Ignoring prostitution, he’s more likely to get laid because he’s a rich white guy in a poor country. Don’t project your Western world-view onto these women. There is a wealth of ethnographic data about women in tourist-dependent countries erringly, though understandably, believing they can meet and marry some white guy as a means of escaping poverty. It’s utterly racist and reprehensible.

  30. ginmar says:

    Well, after all, it’s not like Rushy boy has a history of being a woman-hating, sexist asshole. Nor of lying or being a hypocrite and not being able to stay married. Nope, no reason to suspect the lying fucker at all.

  31. Thomas says:

    Jeff, Mark gets the back of my hand. Here’s what he said:

    one of the most famous and eloquent voices of the “enemy” (conservatives).

    So he’s obviously a fan of the pustule and an enemy of the readership of this blog. Sure, it’s ad hominem to reject his arguments because of who he is, but while that’s a logical fallacy, it is a screening mechanism most of us use all the time.

    If somebody who we know says, “hey, I don’t like him either, but that’s a bit of a leap,” I think most of us will concede that there is nothing here but preliminary speculation. But we’re not here to mollify our ideological enemies. He’s asking us not to kick Mr. “White House Dog” (no, I’ll never forgive that) when he’s down. He can go fuck himself.

  32. eteraz says:

    we should be aware that classist exploitation of women is rampant around the world.

    not only that, but tunisia is a hot spot for numerous european men going there for the male sex trade.

    so its not just limited to conservatives. i imagine that there are ‘liberals’ and ‘greens’ and ‘marxists’ amongst those going to northern africa.

    we should look at the broader problem instead of identifying who is more or less wont to do stuff like this.

  33. Uhh. Ignoring prostitution, he’s more likely to get laid because he’s a rich white guy in a poor country. Don’t project your Western world-view onto these women.–Ack

    I was speaking specifically of Limbaugh–what woman who knew who he was would have sex wtih him? And in this case I was referring to him on vacation anywhere that people didn’t know who he was, for that reason. I wasn’t saying anything about ‘women in a poor county’–I was talking about ‘women who don’t know who Limbaugh is’.

    I see your (implied) point, however, that it’s likely Limbaugh chose the DR if he was hoping to get laid while on vacation because he might think he’s got a better chance being rich…who knows what he’s thinking.

  34. Shannon H. says:

    If somebody who we know says, “hey, I don’t like him either, but that’s a bit of a leap,” I think most of us will concede that there is nothing here but preliminary speculation. But we’re not here to mollify our ideological enemies.

    Put me in the “a bit of a leap” camp. I don’t know that it’s beyond Limbaugh to sleep with teenage (or younger) prostitutes, simply because I don’t know him. Neither do any of us.

    I just get nervous when liberal/anti-Bush folks start using the same smear techniques as Limbaugh and other bad guys.

  35. Thomas–
    I am likely just incredibly naive–I didn’t read Mark that way. I assumed he was using ‘eloquent’ in some sarcastic sort of way; I see though, that it’s entirely possible he was being sincere, and as such, it’s much more likely he’s ‘the enemy’. I thought he was saying “hey, I don’t like him either, but that’s a bit of a leap,” or something like it, but I appreciate you pointing out that is perhaps a poor assumption on my part. And if you want to discount what he says as a screening mechanism without examining it, fine. How about what I’ve said? I’m not Limbaugh fan, despite what you might think, and I think speculation about his motives ought to include various possibilities, including that he’s a complete creep and evil but perhaps not a pedophile/supporter of child prostitution.

    Also, I’m not sure what everybody else feels–and you may not care at all, but I, for one, don’t appreciate your use of physically violent terminology when addressing those you disagree with, even if you’re just dismissing them instead of arguing with ’em. “Back of my hand” sort of language isn’t welcome by me, just so you know; I think it smacks of priveledge and patriarchy, especially coming from a man.

  36. Dilan Esper says:

    Remember, also, that Limbaugh is an advocate of the Administration’s abstinence education programs, which teach that ALL unmarried people (not just teenagers) should abstain from having sex. By that moral standard, which he espouses and which many of his more religiously conservative listeners claim to believe in, Limbaugh shouldn’t have a bottle of Viagra with him at all, unless he was planning on a quickie marriage down in the D.R.

  37. zuzu says:

    Eteraz, nobody’s not looking at the broader problem or claiming that it’s a thing that only conservatives do. Where are you getting that from?

  38. Terry says:

    “i imagine that there are ‘liberals’ and ‘greens’ and ‘marxists’ amongst those going to northern africa.”

    Not this Liberal, ever. I spent 4.5 years in the Navy, including three tours to Vietnam, and spent a lot of time in “Navy towns” with sexual services available for very cheap.

    I’m not religious, and I am very heterosexual, but I never touched a bar girl or a prostitute. I thought then, and still think now, that the economic disparity argument is overwhelming.

    I don’t, in fact, understand men who can do that and actually enjoy it.

  39. Thomas says:

    Jeff, I see your point about “back of my hand,” specifically, though I have no intention of avoiding violent metaphors.

    As for Limbaugh, all we have right now is a bottle of viagra and a theory: not much evidence. If it stays that way, the speculation goes nowhere, but if the speculation spurs someone to look closer and something comes out that underlines the possibility, then so much the better.

    About Mark, I thought the subtext was clear. He called Limbaugh eloquent, which nobody on our side believes. He called him “Mr. Limbaugh.” He put “the enemy” in scare-quotes to hold it at arm’s length, showing that he was not adopting our characterization, and then put “conservatives” in parentheses — something that was unnecessary unless he wanted to further underline his disagreement with out characterization. If he’s on our side, he’s engaging in General-level irony, with not a single sideways glance to indicate to the audience that he’s being ironic. But nothing he said was over-the-top enough to be parody, which is what makes the General (or any parody) funny. On top of that, we have no idea who he is. I can’t recall seeing him before and he leaves no link, so we have no extrinsic evidence from which to draw a conclusion that his actual meaning differs from his literal meaning.

    I infer that he got a link to this blog’s mention of Limbaugh, and like a good dittohead, he rushed out (PTP) the “no evidence of that” talking point; here, and probably elsewhere.

  40. j swift says:

    It is obvious that that Rushbo did not go to DR to have sex with young girls or older prostitutes because it is obvious that Rushbo is such a stud that he wouldn’t have to pay (even though he has a lot of it). It is also obvious that he did not go chase women and girls because he is obviously a pious and moral man. He is, at present unmarried and would not commit something as pedestrian as fornication. Finally, he did not go to jerk off, because this to is morally repugnant to such a great man.

    why did he have Viagra with him?

    Well, the answer to that is quite clear. Bird watching is very popular in DR and Rushbo needed some place to hang his camera so that it would not get tangled with his binoculars.

  41. Thomas says:

    See, now that’s good satire.

  42. rosie says:

    of course rush can get laid in this country, i’m sure there’s PLENTY of dim witted conservative sluts who would throw themselves at the fat fuck, if given the opportunity. but it seems to be that the higher the “moral superiority”, the sicker the fetish is under the surface. rush just wanted to get his sick kiddie prostitute fetish off without (hopefully) getting caught by the overly ambitious american paparazzi around every corner with hungry fangs. he’s just a dumb ass for not getting rid of the evidence before getting on a place, probably too fucked up to remember they were in his pocket. i mean seriously, blue M&M’s??????? not everyone is retarded enough to listen to your show or believe you rush.

  43. ginmar says:

    I love it how his defenders act like inventing the word ‘feminazi,’ calling twelve-year-old Chelsea Clinton the white house dog, and a long history of hateful statements don’t indicate that Rushy has trouble with women.

  44. Antigone says:

    Rosie, be careful throwing the word “Slut” around. It’s a very gendered insult. And seriously, we all know Rush is fat, but seriously what does that have to be with him being a hateful, spewing moron?

  45. I think Nik meant, perhaps he just wanted to jerk off.

    People resort to Viagra to jerk off? That’s serious desperation, there.

    After all, he’s very likely violated his plea deal and he could be looking at doing time.

    For possession of Viagra? Since you’re a lawyer and I’m not, I’ll take your word for it, but that sounds like a disturbing law.

    Unless you mean he’d be doing time for raping an underage prostitute in the DR.

  46. zuzu says:

    From what I’ve read, he agreed to stay out of trouble for 18 months, and possession of prescription drugs without a prescription is trouble. Particularly since his crimes involved prescription drugs and doctor-shopping.

  47. Hattie says:

    Yes, let us not stoop to calling Rush a big fat idiot, for instance.
    I think all this does is to confirm him and his audience in those notions of superiority with which they disguise their mediocrity from themselves, each other, and the rest of us. Conservative guys have lousy morals and figure that liberals are too dumb to figure that out. Hence Rush’s sniggering about what he was up to in the DR. His audience admires this sort of thing. He’s getting away with it, which is practically the conservative credo.
    The world is full of manic losers like Rush, and in him they have found their voice.Obviously, his judgment is way off and he’s on a death trip. He looks terrible. But I feel sorrier for anyone who has to have sex with him.

  48. Mark says:

    Jeff, I see your point about “back of my hand,” specifically, though I have no intention of avoiding violent metaphors.

    I’m not terribly concerned about your use or nonuse of violent metaphors. I’ve met plenty of Internet tough guys. I have yet to be intimidated by any of them. Nor have I ever been afraid to punch back.

    As for Limbaugh, all we have right now is a bottle of viagra and a theory: not much evidence.

    Correct.

    If it stays that way, the speculation goes nowhere, but if the speculation spurs someone to look closer and something comes out that underlines the possibility, then so much the better.

    It’s still speculation. Somehow, I doubt law enforcement officials are looking at blogs like this one to develop their investigatory or prosecutorial strategies.

    About Mark, I thought the subtext was clear. He called Limbaugh eloquent, which nobody on our side believes. He called him “Mr. Limbaugh.” He put “the enemy” in scare-quotes to hold it at arm’s length, showing that he was not adopting our characterization, and then put “conservatives” in parentheses — something that was unnecessary unless he wanted to further underline his disagreement with out characterization. If he’s on our side, he’s engaging in General-level irony, with not a single sideways glance to indicate to the audience that he’s being ironic. But nothing he said was over-the-top enough to be parody, which is what makes the General (or any parody) funny. On top of that, we have no idea who he is. I can’t recall seeing him before and he leaves no link, so we have no extrinsic evidence from which to draw a conclusion that his actual meaning differs from his literal meaning.

    You post a lot of words to say very little. Where is your link? To what extrinsic evidence of your own positions do you point?

    You also seem to be claiming to speak for many people. Where is your support for such claims? Notice that not all commenters here are agreeing with your statements.

    I infer that he got a link to this blog’s mention of Limbaugh, and like a good dittohead, he rushed out (PTP) the “no evidence of that” talking point; here, and probably elsewhere.

    You infer incorrectly. For one thing, I saw this blog’s mention of Rush Limbaugh’s troubles at the airport right here, at this very blog. For another thing, I have not posted elsewhere about this issue. Further, I’m no dittohead; I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh’s radio program.

    For what it’s worth, I am not a fan of Mr. Limbaugh. I don’t dislike him either. We can certainly differ about his eloquence or lack thereof, but that is at best a side issue.

    I posted a statement of my concerns about what I consider to be idle, reckless speculation about Limbaugh’s activities while he was in the Dominican Republic. You wasted little time in starting your personal attacks upon me. If you want to point out examples of groupthink, you would do well to mention the numerous commenters here who are effectively saying, “Rush Limbaugh is an idiot. He most likely went to the DR to engage in sex with underage prostitutes.” That is not logical.

    If you want to trade personal attacks, I’m game. Hell, I’m more than game. However, out of respect for this blog, let’s take it to e-mail. You can contact me at the following address.

    mrkzarate@yahoo.com

  49. ginmar says:

    Does anyone else find neutrality in a decidely non-neutral situation, of a man who’s made hatred his success story, extremely disturbing? You don’t like him, yet you don’t dislike him. I don’t see how it’s possible to be neutral about someone who’s been so incredibly non-neutral all his life.

  50. Mark says:

    Does anyone else find neutrality in a decidely non-neutral situation, of a man who’s made hatred his success story, extremely disturbing? You don’t like him, yet you don’t dislike him. I don’t see how it’s possible to be neutral about someone who’s been so incredibly non-neutral all his life.

    I do not have to dislike Rush Limbaugh any more than I have to like him. Why do you call this a “decidedly non-neutral situation”? As I suspect is the case with most individuals, some people like him, others dislike him, and still others are neutral. I am in the last category. The world is not a black-and-white, polarized space; it is rich with many colors and nuances.

  51. ginmar says:

    My point–which you appear to be dodging—is that Rush is not a neutral person. He does not say neutral things. In fact, he says hateful things. How can one possibly be neutral about such a person?

  52. Thomas says:

    I’m not terribly concerned about your use or nonuse of violent metaphors.

    I wasn’t talking to you, Mark. I was addressing Jeff’s concern, because I care what Jeff thinks. Not so you.

  53. Mark says:

    My point–which you appear to be dodging—

    Time out, ginmar! Stop it right now. You have all sorts of anger and hostility in you. DO NOT direct that to me.

    is that Rush is not a neutral person. He does not say neutral things. In fact, he says hateful things. How can one possibly be neutral about such a person?

    You are telling me I must have an opinion about Rush Limbaugh. You are way out of line here. I do not have to have a positive or negative opinion about anyone if I don’t want do, and you are in absolutely no position to demand that I have one. Whether someone says hateful things is irrelevant. I have no obligation to hate anyone. You say many hateful things about men. I do not yet have a negative opinion of you. However, if you persist in telling me how I must feel, that could change.

    You may be able to bully other people in the blogosphere, but it will NOT work with me. Understood?

  54. Jill says:

    Time out, ginmar! Stop it right now. You have all sorts of anger and hostility in you. DO NOT direct that to me.

    Now, I’m just a casual observer here, but Ginmar’s comment didn’t seem particularly hostile to me. In fact, as far as I can tell, you’re the one using exclamation points, italics and capital letters.

  55. zuzu says:

    Settle down, Mark.

  56. ginmar says:

    So let me get this straight. Mark doesn’t have an opinion about a famous misogynist like Limbaugh, but he does have an opinion about something he can’t possibly know.

    My point, Mark, remains the same and remains simple: You’re not fooling anybody claiming to be neutral, nad your outburst was proof.

  57. Mark says:

    So let me get this straight. Mark doesn’t have an opinion about a famous misogynist like Limbaugh, but he does have an opinion about something he can’t possibly know.

    I have an opinion about the speculation that started this thread. That is germane to the discussion. Your repeated attempts to demand that I have some other opinion are entirely off-topic.

    My point, Mark, remains the same and remains simple: You’re not fooling anybody claiming to be neutral, nad your outburst was proof.

    You must be talking about your own repeated baiting. Sorry, but I have better things to do with my time than to argue with rabid misandrists like you.

    If my daring to stand up to you draws further demands that I “settle down” or gets me banned from this site, then so be it. Of course, if that’s the case, I am confident that none of the powers that be will take you to task for your harassment.

  58. ginmar says:

    You’re daring to stand up to me? God, you don’t get out much.

  59. ginmar says:

    Oh, wait, never mind: rabid misandrist is the sure sign of a troll.

  60. jt says:

    Ho boy. Look, I’m not going to claim to be “neutral” about Limbaugh – I think he’s about as much of an asswipe as, well, any right-wing talking head. But accusing the guy of banging child prostitutes on the grounds that he had some Viagra in his carry-on? A bit flimsy of a case, don’t you think? You might think he deserves it because of horrible things he’s said about Chelsea Clinton or whatever, but, y’know … that doesn’t make it true.

  61. zuzu says:

    JT, in the words of Peggy Noonan, irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.

    I certainly think that there are questions that need to be asked about this, given the arrest, the potential violation of his plea agreement/parole and given his comments that he wished he could tell his listeners what he was doing in the DR. But what really motivated me to write this was that I hadn’t known about the sex tourism industry in the DR.

  62. ginmar says:

    JT, as people have said several times, Rush Limbaugh has done and said many things to lead people to have good reason to distrust him. Now he’s violated his parole. He hasn’t earned trust.

  63. Tapetum says:

    Mark, side me in with Ginmar here. Even if you’ve never heard Rush Limbaugh speak a word, you know, just from reading these comments that he has publicly insulted a twelve-year-old girl, violated his parole, and carries a drug specifically intended for sexual purposes, despite his public support for a world in which sex is only available within marriage – and he’s not married.

    To proclaim absolute neutrality towards Mr. Limbaugh under those circumstances bespeaks an apathy so breath-taking as to leave me flabbergasted. You’re not required to hate him. I don’t particularly hate him myself. I’m just not into hating people. But I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him, and a little speculation as to what use he was putting those drugs he put so much effort into obtaining (you’re not going to convince me that his doctor forced them on him, nor came up with the second-person labelling scheme without prompting), seems perfectly appropriate to me. Speculation is not the same as conviction.

  64. Mark says:

    To proclaim absolute neutrality towards Mr. Limbaugh under those circumstances bespeaks an apathy so breath-taking as to leave me flabbergasted.

    To call it “absolute neutrality” is probably overstating the matter a bit; however, feel free to call me “apathetic.”

    You’re not required to hate him. I don’t particularly hate him myself. I’m just not into hating people. But I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him,

    Ginmar apparently doesn’t believe others ought to have such freedom of choice concerning their discernment about people. If one disagrees with ginmar, one may be quickly labeled as a “dittohead,” a “troll,” or someone who, uhm, doesn’t “get out much.” She’s certainly entitled to her opinion of me, but I hope you’re not mistaking such ranting for rational argument.

    and a little speculation as to what use he was putting those drugs he put so much effort into obtaining (you’re not going to convince me that his doctor forced them on him, nor came up with the second-person labelling scheme without prompting), seems perfectly appropriate to me. Speculation is not the same as conviction.

    Speculation need not be the same as conviction to be unfair.

    I began my first comment on this thread with a mild complaint about rejoicing at another’s suffering. Let’s not forget that as yet another problem with this thread.

  65. You’re not really saying that Rush is suffering because of this incident, are you?

    And frankly, the insinuation that I’m rejoicing over speculation that Rush visits Third-World child prostitutes is utterly insulting.

  66. zuzu says:

    I began my first comment on this thread with a mild complaint about rejoicing at another’s suffering. Let’s not forget that as yet another problem with this thread.

    Mark, are you expecting sympathy or something? You managed to turn a discussion about the abuses that women, girls and boys in the Dominican Republic suffer at the hands of sex tourists into an extended apologia for Rush Limbaugh, poor misunderstood Rush Limbaugh.

  67. ginmar says:

    Behold the power of the poor beleagured white boy. Anything less than sympathy and complete nonjudgementalism is taken as an attack. Betcha Mark doesn’t go around defending feminists from dittoheads.

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