Friday, February 13, 2009

The Limbaugh Way (2)

Writing on February 3 in The American Prospect, Paul Waldman of Media Matters for America accurately describes the current strategy of beltway conservatives:

And lately they have been holding their fire to a degree that seems downright weird to anyone who lived through the 1990s. Look what Fred Barnes wrote in the Weekly Standard: "For the foreseeable future, attacking Obama will be counterproductive for Republicans. He's both enormously popular and the bearer of moral authority as the first African-American president. So the idea is for Republicans to make Obama an ally by using his words, from the inaugural address and speeches and interviews, against Democrats and their initiatives in Congress."

Rush Limbaugh, who would invoke his (mythical) Second Amendment right to brandish a firearm if you called him a beltway or establishment conservative, is among the few on the right to take a decidely anti-Obama stand. On January 16 he famously declared

I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: "Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails." Somebody's gotta say it.....

....Why in the world do we want to saddle them with more liberalism and socialism? Why would I want to do that? 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.

In an interview with fellow rightist Sean Hannity taped January 19, Rush explained

....So I shamelessly say, "No! I want him to fail." If his agenda is a far-left collectivism -- some people say socialism -- as a conservative heartfelt, deeply, why would I want socialism to succeed?

And given by Hannity, who responded with the leading question "You want your country to succeed, and you believe that his views implemented represent failure, predictable failure, and conservatism would represent predictable success," Limbaugh still was unable to say that he wanted his country to succeed.

Limbaugh was still at it yesterday, on Friday the 13th, when he clearly stated

Of course I want this to fail. Of course I want Obama to fail. And after this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to fail.

On January 16th Limbaugh boasted "I am the last man standing" meaning, obviously, not in opposing the President's plan but in hoping that the President fails. On January 19, urged to profess his hope the country succeeds, Limbaugh took a pass. And on February 13, he disentangled the bill ("I want this to fail") and the President ("I want Obama to fail"). Pretty clear, even if our conservative friends at don't want to admit it.

And Rush's desire for the President of the United States of America to fail preceeded proposal of a stimulus package or even inauguration of Barack Obama. On January 19 Limbaugh proudly had proclaimed:

"Well, everybody wants him to succeed." Well, no. And it isn't based on race!....

(If Rush were talking about the job creation bill rather than the individual, he would have made no mention of race.)

He could have said that he opposes Barack Obama's policies. He could have said even that he opposes Barack Obama's policies and hopes they fail but that the country thrives in spite of those misguided policies. No, on this one point Rush Limbaugh is clear: he wants President Barack Obama, and the country he leads, to fail. Chalk this on up to: conflicted priorities.

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