When Rush Limbaugh took to the airwaves to deliver a fact-free defense of the Lord's Resistance Army, he left numerous angry listeners with the impression that President Obama had sent troops to "kill Christians in Africa."
Last week, Obama ordered 100 U.S. troops to Africa to help combat the LRA, a violent cult that has engaged in murder, torture, and rape and has kidnapped children and impressed them into military service.
On Friday, Limbaugh added his own spin to a straight-forward ABC News report on the matter. Limbaugh declared, "Obama Invades Uganda, Targets Christians." According to Limbaugh, "Lord's Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them." Limbaugh added, "So that's a new war, a hundred troops to wipe out Christians in Sudan, Uganda. ... Now, are we gonna help the Egyptians wipe out the Christians? Wouldn't you say that we are? I mean the Coptic Christians are being wiped out."
Several minutes after Limbaugh's rant began, conservatives on Twitter began to echo his claims. A few examples:
Some Limbaugh listeners even appear to have contacted Congress to protest Obama's supposed assault on African Christianity. A congressional staffer, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the record, told Media Matters that his office received an email and a phone call from constituents who "claimed that it was an attack on Christians and said Obama was supporting [an] Islamic regime."
So Michelle Obama vacations in Spain with her daughter and an expensive posse, leaving her husband alone on his birthday and undermining his party's political chances (bad recession 'optics'). This is the sort of story on which I suspect there are three levels of perception:
1. Unsophisticated: Jeez, they must have had some kind of fight. She's pissed! This is a big 'screw you.'
2. Sophisticated and well informed: At their level everyone is too smart and experienced to let any kind of spat affect state affairs. These things get planned out well ahead of time by staff. Only the unsophisticated jump to conclusions on the basis of crude external appearances.
3. Real Insider: Jeez, they must have had some kind of fight. She's pissed! This is a big 'screw you.'
So, based on nothing more than the fact that Michelle Obama is in Spain, Mickey Kaus suggests that she and Barack Obama are fighting. It's almost hard to believe such a reasonable and thoughtful person only got less than six percent of the vote in the California Senate primary, isn't it?
But Kaus's complete lack of evidence is plenty for the Newsbusters crew: Melissa Clouthier quotes Kaus and hints darkly about "what's going on between President Obama and his wife," concluding that "Barack and Michelle are fighting and she is so selfish she doesn't care how it looks" and Mark Finkelstein compares Michelle Obama unfavorably to his mom.