By Adam J. Rose
He also went on the war path against Native Americans, calling for a look at the "scoreboard" of number of people killed since European settlers arrived, and insisting that "a bunch of Native Americans scammed us" in the deal to purchase Manhattan.
As found in the show's transcript, Limbaugh interprets Obama's version of events:
Insisting that he thought the presidential proclamation seemed like a "phony," "parody," "hoax" and "prank," Limbaugh then offered his own interpretation of the holiday's significance:
The host also argued that more people have been killed from lung cancer, "thanks to the Indian-invented custom of smoking tobacco," than from the arrival of Europeans and their wars and diseases. "Where are our reparations?" asked the well-known cigar smoker.
And despite his problems evaluating the recent Manhattan real estate market, Limbaugh had another look at the one from 1626. "We got shafted when we bought Manhattan," he claimed, saying that European settlers initially paid a Long Island tribe that didn't own the land, then had to repurchase it from the actual owners. "We got scammed ... we got hosed ... we paid for Manna-hata twice because a bunch of Native Americans scammed us."
In the long run, there hasn't been much buyer's remorse on behalf of the settlers.
As agitated as the conservative commentator was over Obama's buckle-hat tip to Native Americans, Media Matters notes that another well-known conservative named Ronald Reagan did the same in his 1981 proclamation:
In his first comments (above), everything Limbaugh said is false is basically true. Limbaugh doesn't provide any evidence for his anti-historical claims because he can't.
Trying to link Thanksgiving to the Constitution when there's no link is another lie. It's a blatant attempt to smear Obama as un-American.
In his second comments (above), it isn't clear who he's blaming for "socialism." The Pilgrims with their communal society and food-sharing? Then why don't we cancel this socialist holiday and replace it with something else?
Actually, the Indians did help the colonists learn capitalism. Their barter system of trade was a pure expression of free markets, unencumbered by taxes or regulation. Why do you think the colonists dressed as Indians at the Boston Tea Party...because Indians represented socialism? No, they did it because Indians represented freedom from Britain's government meddling.
Reparations for lung cancer? I don't think tobacco killed a lot of people until cigarette companies began adding chemicals to their products. But okay...after the US upholds all its broken treaties and pays Indians the full value of the land it took, then I'm sure Indians will be glad to pay reparations for lung cancer.
Natives = scammers?
The only thing that may be true in Limbaugh's rant is the part about Natives scamming the Dutch over Manhattan. I've heard that before. I believe it's just a speculative claim, not a historically proven fact.
Even if it's true, Limbaugh's mention of it is misleading. He makes it sound as if Natives were scam artists in general. If he had said, "The US scammed Natives thousands of times, but the Natives got even once," then his remarks would be fair. But he didn't say that because he's prejudiced against Indians.
Finally, it's a lie of omission to slam Obama for the same kind of proclamation made by presidents such as Reagan. Like other conservative liars, Limbaugh doesn't care about the truth. He cares only about scoring points against the black man in the White House.
For more on Limbaugh's prejudice against minorities, see Limbaugh: Indians = "Redskins," "Clowns" and Limbaugh Blames Flood Victims.