Friday, February 27, 2009

The GOP And America

Now it's not just Republican Party head Rush Limbaugh. It's also The Exterminator, former House Speaker Tom DeLay. You'll recall Rush on January 16, 2009 proudly proclaiming

I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: "Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails." Somebody's gotta say it.... So I can answer it, four words, "I hope he fails." And that would be the most outrageous thing anybody in this climate could say. Shows you just how far gone we are. Well, I know, I know. I am the last man standing.

Limbaugh wants Obama to fail because he hopes Obama's policies fail. But he unabashedly declared of the President of the United States "I hope he fails." And yesterday, excusing the statement of Governor Mark Sanford (R.-S.C.) that "anybody who wants him (Obama) to fail is an idiot," Limbaugh reiterated his hope that America fails, commenting

But, see, politicians have different audiences than I do and they've gotta say things in different ways, so after he said, "Anybody who wants Obama to fail is an idiot," then went on in his own way to say, "Gosh, I hope this doesn't work." But he just had to say, "We don't want the president to fail." Hell, we don't. We want something to blow up here, politically, we want something not to go right.

And Tom DeLay? This exchange (video below) took place today at he Conservative Political Action Conference in the interview by Think Progress with DeLay:

TP: Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh that we shouldn’t hope for President Obama to succeed?

DELAY: Well, exactly right. I don’t want this for our nation. That’s for sure.

So Tom DeLay has joined Rush Limbaugh in praying that the President of the United States fails. Steve Benen (before DeLay, responding to Rush) on February 14 in The Washington Monthly noted the double standard:

Keep in mind, of course, that such talk under Bush's presidency would force someone from the airwaves. If a prominent progressive figure said, just as the president was sending troops into war in early 2003, "I want everything he's doing to fail. I want the war in Iraq to fail. I do not want the president's national security agenda to succeed," he or she would lose all advertising revenue and be fired. In the midst of a crisis, Americans rooting against America, based on nothing but ideological rigidity, are pariahs.

We can't trust this theory because no prominent, mainstream liberal has argued in public for the failure of this country. However, we do know what happened to comedian Bill Maher when he stated on his ABC program Politically Incorrect on September 17, 2001

We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly.

Nothing unpatriotic- only recognition that murderous terrorists, no matter how evil, are hardly cowardly when willingly giving up their lives for their misguided cause. When ABC buckled under pressure, Bill Maher lost his network show, eventually ending up on HBO.

Rush and Tom can say all they want to entertain, as in the former's case, or to demonize, as in the latter's case. Still, it's up to the rest of us to view their statements in the context of the hostility they hold toward their country.

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