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February 02, 2010

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.

Just saying that you're not accusing him doesn't make it true. I'm not saying it's wet - but it's raining. What?

It's obvious he is fighting off a cold or some such thing. Sheesh!

This is a meme of sorts on the right. They did the same exacsmear to Sen. Baucus (D-MT). How unimaginative...

They can't attach his policy positions, so they fabricate lies about his character.

The GOP smear machine never sleeps.

True, this attack is scurrilous. But I got a newsflash for ya: it's not just the GOP that engages in character attacks. The Dems do it, too. And in his own way, so does our "independent" member of the Senate.

It's not about the GOP, it's about the disgraceful American style of politics.

It's "who was who."

Webber, it's true that the Democrats sling plenty of mud but, the GOP Slime Machine is much, much bigger and much more effective than anything that the Dems could ever put together. It's not becaue the D's are more virtuous, they just aren't as cohesive.

Think of what the GOP Slime Machine is made up of: Drudge, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sarah (Death Panel) Palin, All of talk radio, Roger Ailes & all of Fox News, Coulter, Malkin ... on and on.

The left wing has nothing close to the cabal of slime throwers that the right wing has. Nothing close.

so Leahy thinks that supreme court can not enforce the lst amendment in election financing, but it is perfectly ok for supreme court to strike down state laws regarding
abortion control (based on a so called bogus right to privacy), and state death penalty laws, including the recent supreme court ruling that prohibited th execution of an adult who rapes a child (in case from Louisiana)....
seems that Leahy only complains when his Demo ox is gored, as in Gore vs. US case

The death penalty is wrong and immoral in all cases and in all forms.

I applaud Senator Leahy for his speech, making it and the full content. I do think he appeared under strain. I wonder if he might be having a or had a small stroke to slow his speech because he sounded much more emotional than I recall ever hearing previously when he has spoken. Alos, he di a bit of arm waving and his clerk at one time moved away as if to avoid being caught up by the swinging arm. He also moved a lot from side to side and back and forth. My true concern is for his health.

It is always so easy to sit back and criticize a public speaker. Yet the criticizer needs to find some real courage and stnad for something of value, versus launching an attack on our duly elected public official.
And yes, it is who was who, as was is part of the verb, "to be" dictating subjective cases.

Levin is a worthless piece of shit. He has disgusted me ever since he got his pathetic start on Hannity show.

"The left wing has nothing close to the cabal of slime throwers that the right wing has. Nothing close."

Oh, please. That's your sad, naive, partisan opinion. Have you listened to Amy Goodman lately?

They're all frankly corrupt. Blow up the system, because it will never be fixed by the people who are currently in it. Get rid of all the private money and impose term limits, so that being a Congressman or Senator can no longer be a career.

Amy Goodman does not throw slime. I defy you to provide a quote.

What? She exists on slime. She feeds on it and dishes it out on a daily basis. Her questions to her ultra-left-wing "guests" (which are not really questions but rather mini-speeches that end with: "do you agree?") are absolutely loaded with the terms "right wing," "reactionary," "dictator," "corporate mogul," "wall-street type," "moneyed-interests," "wealthy lobbyist," "militaristic," and so on and so on and so on. She uses those words on a daily basis and so do her guests. What do those words mean? They are code (and not very thinly-disguised code, really) for "***hole" and "evil." Not to mention that her guests are doctrinaire, one-sided, naive, left-wing jokes who constantly make unfounded, illogical, and unprovable accusations of wrongdoing based on pure speculation and paranoia, and that her interview style is specifically designed to elicit anti-corporate, anti-conservative hatred. There is a reason that public radio won't air her show, and that's because it's not "news." It's a blatantly socialist, anti-corporate, anti-government, anti-Republican, anti-US slime-job.

If you think the Dems are not equally culpable in demonizing Republicans, I'd suggest you make a small donation to the Democratic Party (Vt. and national). You will then get on their mailing list, and you will receive their monthly attack mailings that slander and smear and distort the character of everyone in the Republican Party; that intentionally take quotations out of context and ridicule them; and that accuse anyone not in the Democratic Party of the most nefarious intentions.

Then get on the Republican mailing list and you will see the exact same thing. (I'm pretty sure, anyway, since I am not on their list.)

In fact, you could take either letter and write them yourself by just substituting the words and names from the opposing letter.

Ok, no, I haven't (yet) heard a Leftie commentator accuse a Republican Senator of being "drunk" on the floor. But just give it time.

Your argument is unconvincing. I asked for a quote, not a list of single words or phrases, taken out of context and without citation. I stand by my assertion. Amy Goodman is a responsible journalist who tells the truth and does not throw slime.

She is NOT a responsible journalist. She peddles unsubstantiated reporting, interviews with nutjobs, and unverified accusations. Her show is ultra left wing opinion/propaganda pretending to be journalism.

I'm sorry you're unconvinced but I don't really care. Guess we'll just have to disagree.

Down with IRV. Down with Kiss/Leopold.

Honestly, would he really go out there drunk? Seems to be a silly thing to suppose. He could've been exhausted, just eaten ice cream, had dental work, had problems with his dentures, be recovering from a hidden stroke...a million and one things. Or he could've just been very mumbly...happens to the best of us.

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