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What is Rush and Gov. Bill's real story?

Ned Cantwell

Who says the Hatfields and McCoys can’t get along?

Think Israel will never come to terms with Palestinians? Think again.

The war between the sexes will soon end. Ted Kennedy and Newt Gingrich will go fishing together. Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight is going to write a book called “My 10 Favorite Reporters.”

John Kerry is going to call a press conference to say, by golly, when you think about it, that George Bush fellow is a pretty good guy after all.

Why all this optimism? Thank Bill Richardson. Who would have ever thought the governor of New Mexico would go all kissy-kissy with Rush Limbaugh?

Rush, as you know, is the far-right demagogue whose confrontational style and vicious backbiting have made him a folk hero among conservatives who like to think of themselves as “ditto heads.” How flattering.

Rush, already a household name, became even more infamous this year when ESPN hired him as a sports analyst, then quickly fired him when the Limbaugh mouth started blathering racially insensitive nonsense. Just what ESPN had been expecting remains a mystery. Tolerance and fairness did not buy Rush a mansion in West Palm.

Bill Richardson, on the other hand, is a somewhat left-leaning Democrat who is in no way in sync with Limbaugh’s extremist views.

So what have these two, the caustic Limbaugh and the redoubtable Richardson, have in common? Well, nothing you would think. That is why we were shocked to learn Bill wrote Rush a love letter.

Not a love letter, actually. It was more like a sympathy card. Rush got hooked on pain pills, took the cure, but is under scrutiny of an investigation that seeks his medial records to find out if he was buying the drugs illegally.

Governor Bill wrote Limbaugh a letter expressing his dismay at the prosecution’s attempt to unseal the medical records. The Bill called the government tactics a “massive intrusion into your, and every citizen’s privacy.”

The New Mexico governor also said he believes the radio personality is a victim of overzealous federal prosecutors. Heavy stuff, and not without the potential of many happy returns from Limbaugh fans should Bill ever run for national office.

Richardson wasn’t the only liberal type to rally around Rush’s flag. The ACLU, who likes Limbaugh as much as Osama bin Laden likes Billy Graham, is supportive of Limbaugh’s case. Conservatives hate the ACLU and it is driving them nuts that the organization is helping one of their own.

You would think the New Mexico governor would be more comfortable taking High Tea with Hillary than sharing a root beer with Rush, but it turns out this isn’t the first time these two were caught holding hands.

Last year, Limbaugh used his radio show to heap praise upon Richardson for the governor’s personal income tax and capital gains tax cuts.

The governor told the media he does not regularly listen to the Rush Limbaugh show because he is too busy. That’s exactly the kind of diplomacy that landed Richardson in the governor’s mansion. What he really meant is that he would rather listen to screaming babies in a crowded church.

Ned Cantwell is a retired newspaperman living in Ruidoso. He welcomes response at:

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