Stop! Don’t touch that dial. There’s nothing wrong with your radio. That piercing, high-pitched sound you hear is not a mechanical malfunction. It’s just Rush Limbaugh, whining into the microphone.

Silly me. And I thought conservatives were real men. You know: stand-up-and-take-your-medicine-like-a-man kind of men. Limbaugh is just the opposite. He’s a crybaby conservative. He wants to take his medicine – mountains of those little blue pain pills – and suffer no consequences.

At first, I admired the way Limbaugh handled his drug problem. True, he didn’t come forward until he was outed by his maid. But once the story hit the media, he fessed up. He admitted he was a drug addict. He didn’t deny that he fed his habit by obtaining an excessive supply of drugs illegally. And he checked himself into rehab. Good for him.

The problem is, ever since he left the detox center and returned to the airwaves, Rush has never stopped complaining. He insists the police have no right to look at his medical records. He accuses the Palm Beach County district attorney of conducting a politically motivated investigation. And he says they’re only going after him because he’s so famous.

Have you noticed? Rush Limbaugh is sounding more and more like Michael Jackson. Now it’s Rush’s turn to weep: “I’m a victim!” His attorney, Roy Black, even had the gall to ask: “Why is Rush Limbaugh the only person treated like this in America?”

Whom does he think he’s kidding? Thousands of Americans are treated like that every day. The only difference is: Most of them aren’t zillionaires. Most of them can’t afford to hire lawyers like Roy Black. And most of them go to prison, not to some fancy Arizona rehab resort.

Whether Limbaugh is cured of his drug habit or not, there are still serious, unresolved issues. Was he, as his former maid alleges, buying drugs on the black market, using her as an intermediary? Was he also, as his medical records indicate, seeing four different doctors at the same time to get more of the same pills? Was he, as his bank records suggest, laundering money in order to buy the drugs?

We don’t know the answers. But we do know those actions are felonies and Rush is suspected of every one. The district attorney would be derelict in his duty if he dropped the Limbaugh matter without investigating possible criminal activity. That’s law enforcement’s job. It has nothing to do with politics. After all, as Rush never tired of reminding us, not so long ago, not even a president of the United States is above the law.

It is also laugh-out-loud funny to hear Limbaugh complain about police having access to his medical and bank records. At one time, such records were considered private. But no longer. Any time they want, police can now snoop into our bank and medical affairs, as well as our e-mail, credit card accounts and library books. It’s all part of John Ashcroft’s Patriot Act – which Limbaugh gleefully supported.

Of course, Limbaugh denies he’s a crybaby. He also denies he’s a hypocrite. Yet here’s what he told his listeners in 1995: “Too many whites are getting away with drug use. . The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them, and send them up the river.”

When he made that and numerous other attacks on those with drug problems, Limbaugh was, by his own admission, popping piles of pills himself. Saying one thing while doing just the opposite – if that’s not the definition of a hypocrite, I don’t know what is.

Not once in all his comments on drugs did Limbaugh show any tolerance for drug addicts. Not once did he suggest that they be treated with respect and sent to rehab.

We’ll know Rush Limbaugh is really cured of his problem when he stands up like a man and admits: “I was wrong. Drug addiction is a medical problem, not a criminal problem. It makes no sense to put nonviolent drug offenders in jail. Every drug addict deserves a chance at rehabilitation, just like me.”

OK, I know: It’s too much to expect Rush Limbaugh to apologize. So instead, on behalf of all of us who choose or are forced to listen to his drivel every day, I make a more humble request. Please, Rush, stop whining!

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