Conservative Talk Show Host Suggests Sen. Leahy Drunk on Senate Floor
A conservative talk show host's suggestion that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) was drunk while delivering a Senate floor speech last week is quickly being passed around on right-wing blogs and media outlets.
Mark Levin, a conservative yakker based out of New York City, made the unsubstantiated claims on his Friday program. His proof? That Leahy appeared to be slurring his speech.
Maybe we're just accustomed to Leahy's affectation, but he doesn't sound like anything more than perhaps a wee bit exhausted. He may have stayed up late after the State of the Union address the night before — who knows?
To give a listen to Levin's rant, click here to head to his show's site.
Some highlights: First of all, Vermont's secessionist candidates will be glad to know Levin is in favor of Vermont leaving the union. "Why don't you people from Vermont secede! Don't worry, we'll change the flag," spouted Levin. Why? We have both a "communist" and a "socialist" for senators. He didn't specify who was whom.
Calling Leahy a "moron," he openly asked: "Is he slurring his speech? I have to ask the question: I'm not accusing him of anything."
You know, I almost forgot that's how the "we report, you decide" paradigm works.
After playing a clip of Leahy, Levin added, "Now, you know I'm right, Mr. Producer. It's word after word, is it not? Now, this is entertaining: This is Patrick Leahy, who does not, in my humble opinion — I'm not accusing him — sound sober to me."
Riiiight. Not accusing him. Gee, I guess the old "When did you stop beating your wife, Senator?" routine is getting old.
While Leahy spoke, Levin played sound effects of drinks being poured followed by the sound of a car crashing.
Leahy spokesman David Carle called Levin's implication is "as ridiculous as it is patently false."
So, what was Leahy speaking about in his floor speech that so enraged Levin? The Citizens United decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court. You might think the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee would weigh in on such an important decision — one that many believe will further open federal elections to the influence of money from corporations and labor unions.
Leahy's speech was "a powerful rebuttal and they are obviously concerned with how much attention it has been getting," said Carle.
Here's a snippet from Leahy's invective against the 5-4 decision:
This is the most partisan decision since Bush v. Gore. That decision by the activist conservative bloc on the Supreme Court intervened in a presidential election. This decision is broader and more damaging in that they have now decided to intervene in all elections. Just as in Bush v. Gore, last week, the conservative activists currently on the Supreme Court unnecessarily went beyond the proper judicial role to substitute their preferences for the law. Last week’s decision is only the latest example — yet perhaps the most extreme — of the willingness of a narrow majority of the Supreme Court to render decisions from the bench to suit their own ideological agenda.
His speech drew more 10,000 views on C-SPAN's website alone and more than 600 views on the senator's website over the weekend. Blogs around the country have picked it up, Carle added.
"So in a situation like this, their MO is to level false charges at whim. It's a tactic they've been using more and more to poison rational debate," said Carle. "They're like the schoolyard bullies who gang up to smear and smack down anyone who dares to disagree with them or to stand up to them."
Media Matters for America has been tracking the trend of right-wing talkers making unsubstantiated claims of Democratic senators being drunk while giving speeches.