It's obvious the key sentences were these:
CALLER: No, it’s not. And what’s really funny is they never talk to real soldiers. They pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media.He didn't refer to anyone in particular as being phony such as Jesse MacBeth or even Mike the previous caller. That's why this is nothing close to the Moveon "Betray Us" ad, which targeted an individual preparing to testify in front of Congress.
RUSH: The phony soldiers.
CALLER: Phony soldiers. If you talk to any real soldier and they’re proud to serve, they want to be over in Iraq, they understand their sacrifice and they’re willing to sacrifice for the country.
But his lack of specificity also works against Limbaugh. He could have been referring to all war dissenters as phony. He did preface his phony remark by telling the previous caller Mike #1 that his anti-war stance meant he couldn't possibly be a Repub. While it's not clear whether Mike #1 was a genuine caller or a seminar caller it IS clear Rush falsely asserted that real Republicans have no disagreement about Iraq, which is absurd. I know a few myself--including a former tank commander during the Gulf War.
Since it's not crystal clear he should offer a targeted apology to anyone in the military who might have been offended by those remarks. It's fine to stay with his MacBeth defense, hell, it's probably correct. But it's not hard to stipulate and apologize for any possible offense. It might even win him a few new fans.
But let's turn the tables. The left screamed the Betray Us ad outrage overshadowed their real message, whatever it was. The same might happen here. Media Matters and the blogs are trying to diminish Rush's voice as we dive into the primaries and they know Iraq is an unavoidable topic. They are desperately trying to shape that debate as one of errors and failure because it's the only way to win.
The last thing they want is a conversation about our strategic interests in the region and the WoT. Let's remember, the 9/11 Commission report--the same one the new Democratic Congress vowed to follow by enacting all its recommendations--made a point of illustrating how past hasty retreats from Muslim conflicts had left a lasting impression on bin Laden, which contributed directly to the attacks (it left the same mark on Saddam).
Yet stunningly the Dems are suggesting we should GO RIGHT BACK THERE AGAIN, taking the road already traveled and littered with pot holes. They simply do not want the American public to engage in such a debate before Hillary is elected--period. It's about the failures, stupid! And the cruelest irony of all is the new spokesman leading this charge.