Limbaugh Defends Christie’s Decision to Lower Flags for Whitney Houston

Limbaugh Defends Christie’s Decision to Lower Flags for Whitney Houston

My mild mannered friend Brian McGovern got many readers a little heated yesterday, Save Jerseyans, when he advised you to “get over” the Christie/Houston flag lowering controversy.

In his defense, Brian didn’t really take the Governor’s side per se; he simply sees it as a non-issue at a time when there’s plenty else to worry about. And I totally get that. But I also understand some of the objections. At a time when our culture seems to be getting sicker and more dysfunctional by the day, should we really elevate someone who came to embody the deline? That’s all. No one is saying she should be burned, disgarded and denied Christian burial for God’s sake!

The Governor, for his part, isn’t treating this like a non-issue. He responded to the controversy directly by arguing that Whitney Houston, a Newark native, had achieved a high cultural status during her life that transcends her equally poor decisionmaking:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq44eWVgFYk

I know what you’re going to say: “Frank Sinatra and Count Basie didn’t die in a bathtub, Matt!” Granted, although I’m sure plenty of people almost did during the Rat Pack’s infamous binges.

To me, so much of this flap boils down to an as-of-yet unspoken issue, Save Jerseyans: whether you consider alcoholism/drug abuse to be a “disease” or strictly a “choice.”

Let’s get some outside perspective from a non-New Jerseyan? Someone who is unambiguously conservative, pro-military and, like Ms. Houston, someone who has publicly struggled with substance abuse…

Rush Limbaugh.

He kinda/sorta defended the Governor’s decision on yesterday’s show:

I have a question. If she did not have in her life a problem with drug abuse and alcohol — take a little out of it — and she died prematurely…? We don’t yet know what the cause of death was, but let’s assume that alcohol and drugs had nothing to do with it. Take that out of it. How many of you would be upset that the flag was lowered to half staff? How many of you are upset about it simply because, in your mind, “She was just an entertainer. Come on! We lower the flag for statesmen, for heroes. What is this entertainer business?”

As you may remember, Limbaugh entered rehab a few years ago after admitting to a prescription painkiller dependency.

Food for thought.

 

14 thoughts on “Limbaugh Defends Christie’s Decision to Lower Flags for Whitney Houston

  1. They shouldn't lower the flags for Rush, Whitney, or anyone else who lacks basic self-control. Society needs standards again!

  2. Matt, I expressed my thoughts on Brian's blog yesterday. I feel as though I am unable to articulate my point in such a way that is universally understood. I think most of that difficulty simply comes from a general lack of understanding of what the Flag (is supposed to) represent(s)on most people's behalf.

    I for one, can appreciate all of Whitney Houston's accomplishments, and can completely negate the fact that she was a substance abuser. Her addiction was only a part of her, the rest of her was a success story. That being said, I think that she ought to be honored in the highest regard, in a way that is befitting of her, and her impact on a particular, pop-culture group. Someone should have the duty to honor her as anyone else would be honored for the things that they have contributed in their lifetimes.

    This whole controversy boils down to a few simple facts, and really, just plain 'ole logic.

    Q: Who was Whitney Houston?

    A: She was a legendary singer, who will go down in history books as such.

    Q: Who wasn't Whitney Houston?

    A: A person who served her country via federal service, or a person of military service who died in the line of duty.

    Q: Should Whitney be honored?

    A: Of course!

    Q: Should Whitney be honored by a ceremony that is reserved for civil servants, and military personnel who have died in the line of duty?

    A: No!

    Q: Why should Whitney not be honored with a ceremony reserved for civil servants, and military personnel who have given their lives in service to this country?

    A: Because she was neither!

    Q: Okay, but regardless of the fact that it's a ceremony that is clearly defined, should we (or my state's governor) do it anyways?

    A: Paragraph M,from Section 7, of Title 4, Chapter 1, of the United States Code Flag Code: "The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of **principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff, and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia.** The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection —

    1. the term "half-staff" means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;

    2. the term "executive or military department" means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and

    3. the term "Member of Congress" means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.

    n. When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.

    o. When the flag is suspended across a corridor or lobby in a building with only one main entrance, it should be suspended vertically with the union of the flag to the observer's left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north, when entrances are to the east and west or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east."

    Q: So, there's a law that actually states, that what Christie did was wrong?

    A: Yep, there is.

    Q: Ok, but it's still not hurting anyone is it? Who really cares?

    A: You'll know the answer to "Who cares?" if you have a true understanding of the United States Flag and what it represents. You'll know the answer if you have ever fought for this country, or if you have ever lost a brother/sister-in-arms, a friend, or a child, or a husband or wife while they heroically defended our Flag.

    If you don't know the answer to that question, I suggest that you reevaluate your status as an American citizen, and reach down real deep to find out the costs that it takes to be free.

    Matt, I find your approach at talking to your readers much more intuitive than your buddy. I thought it was quite odd that for being such a "non-issue" for him, he sure made it in to one with his unfounded statements on the matter, and the subtle "slap to the face" of people with a different understanding of the US Flag than that of his own.

    As for Christie? Well, he may or not be reprimanded for his actions. Either way is of no concern to me. My only hope is that the pushback he has gotten on this issue will give way to a little bit of introspection on his part, and a reevaluation of his understanding of the US Flag, and what flying it at half-mast is meant for.

    FYI, as per your request, I fit all parameters, without being an addict.

  3. Does the fact that people are dying on this soil due to terrorism… DRUGS BEING NO RESPECTORS OF PERSONS AND ARE TERRORISTS GREATEST WEAPONS AGAINST THIS COUNTRY AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED. IF SHE WAS KILLED ON 911 WOULD THE GOVERNOR BE WRONGED? The loss of any life to drugs is a loss to AMERICA…A TERRORISTIC PLOT TO DESTROY WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE STAND FOR FAMILY LOVE HOPE ALL THE VIRTUES SHE SANG ABOUT YOU WILL NEVER HEAR A PATRIOTIC SONG FROM WHITNEY ANYMORE SCORE ONE FOR THE ENEMY

  4. The lowering of the flag is for our nations leaders and defenders ONLY. Not for celebrities and the rich. I feel slapped in the face as a two time Iraq war veteran, who lost many brothers in arms and good friends who didn't get to come home, WHERE WERE THEIR FLAGS? The flag should be flown at half mast everyday, two soldiers were killed last week, where's their flags Governor? I guess they didn't contribute enough to be honored and hailed as heroes. Maybe if I quit my job, starting drinking, get addicted to drugs, go to rehab then die I'll be hailed as a national hero because it seems that us giving our lives doesn't equal honor. But, I and my comrades know what we have done and we silently live among a nation of those who do not appreciate or honor those who defend their apathy, we hold our heads high for we know that we sacrificed it all and made it home and remember those who don't.

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