Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 30, 2009

WHO PICKED A FIGHT?.... On Fox News this morning, John McCain was asked about President Obama having mentioned Rush Limbaugh by name, encouraging congressional Republicans not to take marching orders from the right-wing host.

"I don't know why [Obama] would do that," McCain said. "Mr. Limbaugh is the voice of a significant portion of the Conservative movement in America. He has a very wide viewing audience. He is entitled to his views. People listen very carefully to him. I don't know why the President would take him on. He's part of the political landscape and he plays a role."

Similarly, Kathleen Parker's column today argued that the president had been "baited by none other than the Master Fisherman." She urged Obama to remember some simple rules:

Never start a land war with Asia. Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel (or who owns the patent on the microchip). Never let rabble-rousers get under your skin -- especially those whose popularity in some circles compares favorably with your own and whose earnings make bailed-out bank presidents envious.

While we're at it, tread very carefully around the implication that conservatives cling to their talk-show hosts out of anger and frustration.

That may be true, but the backfire Obama felt in West Virginia was a gentle zephyr compared to the blowback that can be bellowed by El Rushbo.

I think there are a few angles to this. First, it's certainly possible that the White House (and Democrats in general) find it useful to make a right-wing loudmouth/drug-addict the public face of the Republican Party in 2009. The GOP is facing a leadership vacuum, and it seems plausible to me that Democrats want to fill it with a far-right clown who's publicly rooting for the nation's leadership to fail.

Second, like DougJ, I'm skeptical that Limbaugh's bellowing blowback is as severe as advertised. He has a large audience of conservative followers, and he can make some House Republicans perform like trained seals, but his electoral power, as a practical matter, is quite limited. As I recall, Limbaugh invested quite a bit of energy criticizing John McCain a year ago, imploring GOP voters not to give him the party's presidential nomination. How'd that work out?

And third, this notion that Obama "went after" Limbaugh has been wildly exaggerated. The president, speaking to Republican lawmakers behind closed doors, apparently said, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done." The point wasn't to go after Limbaugh specifically, but rather to note that if the White House is going to have a productive, cooperative working relationship with the minority party in Congress, it's better for everyone if GOP lawmakers don't rely on right-wing shock-jocks for wisdom and legislative strategies.

That's not picking a fight; that's just good advice.

Update: Amanda Terkel has the video of McCain's comments, and notes how odd they are.

Steve Benen 2:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (79)

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Comments

Obama should remember an old internet maxim: Please don't feed the trolls.

Posted by: Cazart on January 30, 2009 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Well put. I am amazed at your ability to distill an issue to its core. Good job. Now, on second thought, Rush does it too - distill I mean. Oh well, I thought it was a good post (among many others).

-- r

Posted by: DesiPanchi on January 30, 2009 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the whole point of the Obama remark was that Limbaugh is insignificant. If you tell someone they have shit on their shoe, are you giving the shit too much attention?

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on January 30, 2009 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bring him on. The blowhard needs to be dissed, repeatedly, by the President and all Democrats.

Make it clear that he not only carries ReThuglican water, he produces it, too, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 30, 2009 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Comments like that from Parker are what make her fuss over Sarah Palin so ridiculous. Not only is Limbaugh in love with Palin, he's one of the major things that has been pushing conservatism in the Palin direction for decades.

And frankly, Dems and libs tried the whole ignoring Limbaugh thing...and he ended up a commentator during NBC's presidential election coverage.

Mike

Posted by: MBunge on January 30, 2009 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

There are just some things that DC Insiders hold as dogma: for one thing, that Rush Limbaugh wields vast power over the public debate. Another is that immigration and gay marriage are issues on which conservatives can only win and progressives can only lose. There is precious little evidence that any of this is true, but it is all believed implicitly.

Honestly, let's just admit it--Rush is an idiot who doesn't know anything about public policy or, well, logic, and the only people who listen to him are dumber than he is. Someone who says that he hopes that Obama fails and calls himself a patriot clearly doesn't know what he's talking about.

Posted by: Lev on January 30, 2009 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

That's a hilariously good strategy--make Limbaugh the face of the GOP. Because he's about due for another breakdown--a drug relapse, or another Caribbean sex tour--just in time for the '10 elections, and more seats in the House.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on January 30, 2009 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Never start a land war with Asia."

While I was under the impression that RushBo had blimped up, I did not realize that he is approximating the land mass of Asia.

I would have thought that a beached whale would have been a more apt comparison.

Posted by: AmusedOldVet on January 30, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Republicans are acting like children. it's sad that their mothers never taught them how to behave. As for Rush, he's a complete idiot. No wonder the USA is so messed up. Anybody in their right mind that will listen to anything that nut says need to be taken to the wood shed. When I heard that the Republicans honored a FAG such a Rush L. I couldn't believe it. Now, Obama knows who he's dealing with...A BUNCH OF Nuts like Rush L.

Posted by: Wanda Jones on January 30, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

It's odd that the Republicans and their media surrogates are playing up the Rush story. He's a danger to Republicans who want to be seen as reasonable (Gingrey?). And yet he doesn't even have enough influence to affect a Republican primary. If they judge Rush on what he builds rather than what he destroys, he's rather feckless.

Posted by: Danp on January 30, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Limbaugh is the lion in winter - he has been around for a very long time, was arguably one of the biggest reasons the conservative movement gained the prominence and the clout that it did. But this is no longer the 1990s, and I'm with you - Obama and the Democrats in general see a tremendous upside to portraying an aging loudmouth extremist as the face of the "new" Republican Party.

It serves to remind the American public that Rush, and therefore the GOP, are wedded to the past, whereas Obama and the Democrats signify the future. Rush is a known commodity now - none of his bluster is new, he preaches to the choir and, increasingly, ONLY to the choir. His audience may be very loyal but there is virtually no chance of him reaching a wider audience; he, and his acolytes, find themselves defending a position that's already been overrun.

Posted by: bgno64 on January 30, 2009 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, McCain's just mad because he's even more irrelevant than Limbaugh.

Posted by: CatStaff on January 30, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama was trying to pick a fight with Limbaugh, he was very crafty in how he went about it. And I certainly believe it's beneath the dignity of the leader of the free world to engage in a 'fight' with a right-wing blowhard who's never held public office.

That said, if the right wants to pretend Obama is mixing it up with Limbaugh, good. It does make Limbaugh the de facto leader of the Republican party, Obama can only gain by the implication that he is Limbaugh's polar opposite, and contrary to what McCain and Parker think, criticizing Limbaugh isn't going to lose Obama the support of anyone who doesn't already oppose him anyway.

Conservatives really have no clue just how irrelevant they've become, do they?

Posted by: David Bailey on January 30, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kathleen Parker's comments should not be taken as a warning of Limbaugh's influence. They should be taken as an example of Limbaugh's influence.

And reading between the lines, they illustrate how cowed the MSM is by the Limbaugh-ites.

"If I were you, I wouldn't mess with Rush Limbaugh!"
We know you wouldn't, Ms. Parker. We know you wouldn't.

Posted by: ask2 on January 30, 2009 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Put another way, Kathleen Parker's advice seems to be "If someone is wrong, but powerful, then they are never wrong."

Or, for the nerds amongst us, "Let the wookie win."

Doesn't that just capture the American spirit at its finest?

Posted by: slappy magoo on January 30, 2009 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen wrote: "The president, speaking to Republican lawmakers behind closed doors, apparently said, 'You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.'"

That sounds to me more like a slap at the Republicans than at Limbaugh. Obama was basically saying the Republicans are a bunch of dittoheads.

Which I think in most cases is not quite true.

The "Republican lawmakers" are not mental slaves of Rush Limbaugh, like his ordinary listeners.

Rather, they are bought-and-paid-for tools of the same people who pay Limbaugh to spew lies and hate speech to weak-minded, ignorant, gullible, mean-spirited dupes.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 30, 2009 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

I think Republicans act like children because the public that votes for them think like children. I was astonished to hear (on NPR yesterday) that it took Lily Ledbetter (sp?) and her husband 20 years of living in the South and then being battered around by the (in)justice system to come around to vote for a Democrat ie., Obama.

And, the other thing I hear is about all politicians are the same kind of rhetoric. To use black and white analogic reasoning to arrive at conclusions is what children do. Your leaders mirror your own convictions (or whatever).

-- r

Posted by: DesiPanchi on January 30, 2009 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Limbaugh is the voice of a significant portion of the Conservative movement in America. He has a very wide viewing audience. He is entitled to his views.

Once again, a Republican conflates disagreement with censorship. Who, anywhere, said Limbaugh wasn't "entitled to his views"? Obama said that his views are dumb for responsible people to follow. This is not the same as saying he can't have them.


People listen very carefully to him. I don't know why the President would take him on. He's part of the political landscape and he plays a role

So is the President! Jesus Fuck this doesn't make an ounce of sense. The President, in so far as he "takes him on" (I think the "it's like they are proud of being ignorant" shot was more directly taking the conservative movement on, while this was simple advice.) is doing so in a political sense. Because he too is a political actor on the political landscape with millions of people who listen to him — and his role is to get things done. This is how it should be.

If Rush had an ounce of guts, he'd actually run for office to gauge the depth of his political support.

Posted by: Jay B. on January 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

The only people that need to fear Limbaugh are feckless Republicans like Gingrey(how absolutely pathetic was that whole display?) and pharmacists.

Posted by: GiggsisGod on January 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen wrote: "The president, speaking to Republican lawmakers behind closed doors, apparently said, 'You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.'"

That sounds to me more like a slap at the Republicans than at Limbaugh. Obama was basically saying the Republicans are a bunch of dittoheads.

Which I think in most cases is not quite true.

The "Republican lawmakers" are not mental slaves of Rush Limbaugh, like his ordinary listeners.

Rather, they are bought-and-paid-for tools of the same people who pay Limbaugh to spew lies and hate speech to weak-minded, ignorant, gullible, mean-spirited dupes.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

"As I recall, Limbaugh invested quite a bit of energy criticizing John McCain a year ago, imploring GOP voters not to give him the party's presidential nomination. How'd that work out?"

Everybody else got voted off the island.

Posted by: Marko on January 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think that the "don't feed the trolls" advice is misguided, and that Obama is on to something. If he consistently puts out the line that the Republicans are in thrall to Rush Limbaugh, some Republicans, especially those with competitive races, will feel pressure to show that they are independent of Limbaugh.

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

master fisherman? try master baiter.

Posted by: toys r ussr on January 30, 2009 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

A political writer for the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday made a similar point yesterday, and called it the president's first big blunder. I couldn't disagree more. Limbaugh wasn't elevated by Obama, he was tethered to the GOP like an anchor to a ship.

Posted by: JL on January 30, 2009 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, here you have the President of the United States singling out a private citizen because he has the audacity to voice his opinion on a matter of public legislation that is under consideration. Where is the liberals' defense of the little guy who is "speaking truth to power"? Where is the media? Is Rush the first on Nixon, err sorry, the One's new "enemies list"? LOL

Posted by: Chicounsel on January 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's comments weren't odd at all. He's likely to face a tough primary opponent coming at him from the right. McCain the "Maverick" might not win reelection next year. He's no fool. Not wanting to be retired just yet, he goes with the prevailing wind and right now it's blowing out of El Rushbo.

Posted by: NHCt on January 30, 2009 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

"If Rush had an ounce of guts, he'd actually run for office to gauge the depth of his political support." - Jay B.

But Rush knows that his support, like his knowledge, is like a lake that is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Posted by: Marko on January 30, 2009 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Rush is a name-calling tub-o-lard! The big fat ego in the room eating everything sane in sight, and puking out ugliness wherever he overeats! -Kevo

Do I take him seriously? NO! Do I take the fact he massages the hatefulness among us seriously? Oh, you betcha!

Rush needs to be the recipient of a focused campaign that puts his hatefulness up for all to see. His authoritarian meme needs to be continually exposed so we can begin to stop the stupid among us! -Cheers

Posted by: kevo on January 30, 2009 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

What are you talking about, Chicounsel- Rush has millions of listeners and dollars, so how is he "the little guy?" Honestly, Rush would love it if Obama made daily insults to about how destructive he is, because that would improve his stature. Obama did something else- he dismissed Rush as irrelevant to serious debate. The message was simply that you can listen to blowhards if you want, but it's time for serious lawmakers to put away childish things and focus on doing what's best for the country.

Posted by: Jurgan on January 30, 2009 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Our abject pandering to the wacko fringe right is driving moderates and independents away! We must appeal to moderates and independents by emasculating ourselves more before the wacko fringe right!

Posted by: gop on January 30, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

"As I recall, Limbaugh invested quite a bit of energy criticizing John McCain a year ago, imploring GOP voters not to give him the party's presidential nomination. How'd that work out?"

Would have worked out fine Steve, if only GOP voters were allowed to decide who "their" nominee would be. I believe McCain's victory is due solely to the vote of Dems and the other brain dead group of voters, Independents, who are allowed to vote in GOP primaries in some states. He never was nor would have been the choice of the GOP base.

Posted by: Chicounsel on January 30, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

those whose popularity in some circles compares favorably with your own

Uh, yeah, interesting way she frames that comparison. Lamebo is popular in "some circles" comprised of wingnuts who would never support Obama under any circumstances and who will never vote for him. IOW, it doesn't matter if Obama pisses off those people--never mind that he made the comment in private and in no way was trying to start a war with the fat druggie.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on January 30, 2009 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

He never was nor would have been the choice of the GOP base.

Damn straight! If we'd gotten who we wanted, we would have lost the general by double digits! Heave rightward, boys!

Posted by: gop on January 30, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

He never was nor would have been the choice of the GOP base.

Yes, that would have been Sarah Palin. Speaking for Democrats everywhere, we beg you to nominate her in 2012. Or, you can go with any white southern male and see if that works. Either way, I'm happy.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on January 30, 2009 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

How can Rush be convinced to run for the Florida Senate seat?

Posted by: Doofusguy on January 30, 2009 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Never star a land war in Asia"

So she's admitting Iraq was a mistake?

Posted by: mmc on January 30, 2009 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Chicounsel: It's not Rush's fault we only lost by seven points instead of 20.

Posted by: shortstop on January 30, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Where is the liberals' defense of the little guy who is "speaking truth to power"?

LOL! Lamebo isn't "little" in any sense of the word.

Where is the media?

Psst...Lamebo is part of the media. Three hours every day dominating the radio. You sound like a whiney little victim.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on January 30, 2009 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

PLEEEEASE nominate Palin in '12! I'll even contribute to her primary campaign!

Posted by: GiggsisGod on January 30, 2009 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

I don't care if Obama hearts McCain, McCain is an asshole.

Posted by: Scott F. on January 30, 2009 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Any one who has been dissed on Rush’s show (it happened to a friend of mine) knows the inevitable result is a mountain of hate mail from the ditto heads. Ask Robert Reich about this. The obvious conclusion is that a large fraction of the people who like to listen to Rush don’t understand what is going on but are eager to lash out at their perceived enemies out of ignorance and insecurity. This said, it’s easy to see why Rush gets so much traction with Republicans.

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on January 30, 2009 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel: "i just realized , yet again, that i am nothing more than a SHIT STAIN in Limballs DEPENDS .. fucking a .. I need to get back to work at the DEPENDS FACTORY ....... "

Posted by: :Chicounsel on January 30, 2009 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Obama was continuing the same rhetoric from the campaign--the non-dittoheads of this nation are tired of the "old way" of doing things. That meme worked well for him throughout the fall, and he reminded the Republicans of that when he met with them. The big gamble is that if the stimulus package works, the Republicans en masse will look completely out of touch with the problems our country faces and the solutions that are needed. Rush can say what he wants because, obviously, his followers don't base their opinion of him on whether his predictions are correct. Remember when he tried to get Republicans to vote for Hillary in the primaries? And now that he has publicly proclaimed that he wants Obama to fail, those who follow his marching orders will appear to want our entire nation to fail. We'll see who wins the war...

Posted by: Cindy McCant on January 30, 2009 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Limbaugh would never impugn the honor of Americans serving in the military.

Posted by: Razorwire on January 30, 2009 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

razorwire"

mr. limbaugh never impugned the honor of americans by serving in the military.

fixed.

Posted by: mellowjohn on January 30, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Yes. Go with the attitude that listening to Rush is foolish, that it is just a fact. Keep doing it until it's CW.

Like how Liberal became a dirty word and even liberals backed away from it.

.

Posted by: agave on January 30, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Limbaugh taken seriously is a sign of a very diseased state. He is racist and wrong--we need not give Himmler-lite further voice. Why is he not in jail for drug trafficking? Isn't there a "war" on such activities?

Posted by: Sparko on January 30, 2009 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Reason me this: if you were a smart Democratic president interested in authoring an historic party realignment -- uniting your own party with swing voters in the middle and the liberal elements of your opponent's party -- wouldn't you do everything possible to ensure that your opposition continued to be seen as more and more extreme? And wouldn't one way to do that be, first: Offer the olive branch of bi-partisanship again and again whether your opponent took it or not, knowing that this is what the public voted for in 2008 and also that your opponents will not be able to reciprocate because their base will not stand for it. And you know this because there are these right wing talk radio blowhards out there, controlling millions of right wing votes, who scare the bejeezus out of your conservative opponents who will not take on this blowhard under any circumstances.

So, two: Why not pick a fight with the biggest blowhard of them all? Get him to say something really nasty about you (like how you want America to "bend down and grab its ankles"). Then sit back and watch as your spineless opposite numbers soil themselves in their "Rush" to say really, really nice things about a guy that everyone else is Grade A jerk.

The likely result of this stragegy would be to confirm in the minds of the vast majority of the American public that your opponents are creatures from some other planet, thus stripping off whatever remaining support they might have had outside of their increasingly narrowing base.

Obama knows what he is doing, and despite calls from some liberals that he seek payback for the House Republicans voting 0 to 173 against his stimulus plan, I think Obama already thinks that House Republicans have repaid his peace-offering, with interest.

Every day the Republican Party shows more and more why it is a victim to a conservative monster it created to fight a culture war that has been over for a very long time, meaning that until it sheds this baggage it will spend a very long time in the political wilderness. It can't help itself. It's captive to a radical right wing base that wants no part of compromise or even engagement with the other side. And it refuses to give its elected Republican hostages a pass from orthodoxy. This is the sad, familiar story of most failed political parties which could could not adapt to the times. The Republican Party is already dead. All that is left is an empty shell which has been filled by a Conservative Movement that's outlived its welcome.

The 2008 election showed that, and Obama is just letting the relentless logic of that result take shape.

Even the mighty Limbaugh is not master of his own fate. He's built a large and loyal following based on invective and bile and he's got nowhere to go but down lest he lose ratings and the salary that goes with it. With just a little push Obama can start a death spiral that will end when the GOP collapses in its own extremism -- the perfect ending for this truly radical and hideous party.

Posted by: Ted Frier on January 30, 2009 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

mellowjohn 3:39 PM good statement.

We have only to recognize what a pimple on the ass evolved into.

Posted by: Ted76 on January 30, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I still want to see Michael J. Fox cold-cock that fat fuck for what he said about him. Old Butt-Rush Blimpy as the face of the GOP, that's really funny, and pathetic! Come on Sarah Palin, run for Prez in 2012. Old Blimpy can help you fire up the base, you can do it! Lordy, we need a Pentecostal Preznit!

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on January 30, 2009 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

chicounsel wrote: "Where is the liberals' defense of the little guy who is 'speaking truth to power'?"

If you really believe that Rush Limbaugh is a "little guy who is speaking truth to power" you are more pathetically stupid than I could possibly have imagined. Which is saying a lot.

Rush Limbaugh is a millionaire who was bankrolled by billionaires for the specific purpose of promoting their financial interests by spewing lies and hate speech to weak-minded, ignorant, gullible, mean-spirited dupes to con them into supporting corrupt politicians who consistently screw over middle-class and working-class Americans -- including Limbaugh's devoted listeners -- and steal from the American people to enrich their ultra-rich patrons.

The fact is, chicounsel, that Rush Limbaugh would just as soon piss on you as look at you. You are a joke to him, and he laughs at you and the rest of his dittohead mental slaves all the way to the bank.

And in return, you fawningly call him a "great man" and the "conscience of the conservative movement".

You are really pathetic.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 30, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Odd?
John Mc-Blinky again? Shades of debate timidness resurface. It's his morse code plea, "God forgive me for driving down this dismal path again."

Posted by: bodacious on January 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

People listen very carefully to him. I don't know why the President would take him on. He's part of the political landscape and he plays a role.

You could just as easily have Obama and Rush switch positions in these sentences ... and it would be just as stupid.

Posted by: inkadu on January 30, 2009 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

The advice, "don't feed the trolls" applies only to people like Chicounsel.

Posted by: AnnaMerkin on January 30, 2009 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

The bigger picture I see is how can one blowhart be the "voice" of the Republican Party?

Excuse me but NO ONE voted for Rush! If the Republicans can't make up their own minds on how to govern - as they WERE ELECTED by voters, then is there any hope for them? They are all WEAK and ADDLE-BRAINED to think going against a "comedian" will get them in "trouble". UGH!!!! They are the ones that need to grow a spine.

The Democrats don't get "marching" orders from any media personality. But if they think the "Media" IS their voters, then they need to OPEN their eyes.

DO WHAT IS RIGHT NOT WHAT IS "convenient" for the lazy and self-involved "Media". As we all have ADD, history will be kind if they do right for the country and make the right choices.

Posted by: Elsie on January 30, 2009 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

maybe someone can help me here - why is it "smart" when the right-wing uses the media - say the NY Times, as examples of what's wrong with America, but when Obama goes after Hannity or Rushbo, that's "picking a fight"? I just don't get it. bashing the media is like a sport to Republicans - but divisive when Obama plays the same game?

Makes no sense to me...

Posted by: Fred on January 30, 2009 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, a Republican conflates disagreement with censorship.

This is just one of the many stock dodges conservatives resort to when proven wrong, rather than do the honest thing and admit it. The other biggie is "(some random liberal) does it too!", but the list is endless.

But this one is always funny. The response to "you're an idiot" is "well, I'm allowed to be". Guess ya got me there, sparky!

Posted by: DH Walker on January 30, 2009 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

DH Walker wrote: "The response to 'you're an idiot' is 'well, I'm allowed to be'."

Hey, these are people who proudly call themselves "dittoheads".

Their response to "you're an idiot" is "damn straight, and proud of it too!"

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 30, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, here you have the President of the United States singling out a private citizen because he has the audacity to voice his opinion ...

Er, Obama disagrees with someone, and it's evidence of censorship? You got "Obama refuses to tolerate dissent" from that? Man, that must be some high-grade Oxy you got your hands on.

Where is the liberals' defense of the little guy who is "speaking truth to power"?

In what bizarro alternate universe is Limbaugh a "little guy"? Or speaks the truth?

Is Rush the first on Nixon, err sorry, the One's new "enemies list"? LOL

I'm curious - is there anyone on the right who hasn't zoomed off the cliff into total-batshit-crazyland?

And why are Limbaugh and his gullible yes-men obsessed with Obama as a messianic figure? Why do they think of him that way? It's never made any sense to me.

Posted by: DH Walker on January 30, 2009 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

It's not just that Rush can't garner the forces he used to. It's that he has a negative effect on swing voters who might otherwise be persuadable by reasonable Republican candidates. These voters might listen to Republican ideas, but the minute they hear "Rush Limbaugh" they shut down.

Limbaugh is poison. But he is a poison the GOP is addicted to.

Posted by: Chris Andersen on January 30, 2009 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Excuse me but NO ONE voted for Rush!

And this is a point that goes by largely unnoticed by the total morons who make up his listenership. If he's so smart and has so many answers, why doesn't he run for office? Any office?

Because the only place he can sound smart is on his show where the stupid things he says are not subjected to any actual scrutiny. If they were, he'd lose his ass in a landslide, and he knows it.

It really is meaningful to ask why someone as forthrightly obnoxious about his opinions just doesn't put his money where his mouth is. Speaks for itself, really.

Posted by: DH Walker on January 30, 2009 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK
Where is the liberals' defense of the little guy who is "speaking truth to power"?

To speak truth to power, the first thing is you have to speak truth, something Rush seems constitutionally incapable of doing.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 30, 2009 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Limbaugh would never impugn the honor of Americans serving in the military.

Other than when he's done exactly that, you mean?

Posted by: DH Walker on January 30, 2009 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, folks, just because there are people out there who genuinely think as chicounsel does, don't fool yourself into thinking chicounsel actually believes the crap he spews. He's just trying to get your goat. It's good to attack his points AS points, for the time you really find someone who is that stupid, but he doesn't believe a word of what he's writing, and giggling himself into piss fite that you take him seriously. Just saying, give your blood pressures a rest is all.

Posted by: slappy magoo on January 30, 2009 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I'm with slappy on this one. Chicounsel is an asshole, but not quite the same one he portrays here.

Posted by: shortstop on January 30, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

If one is going to go through the exercise of treating Rush Limbaugh as some kind of serious analyst and not the agitator that he is, then you have to look at his record. Now, there isn't really a whole lot of analysis to sift through -- mostly just name calling, smears, and innuendo ('cause that's what his braindead listeners can understand) but there is a little.

He's been a global warming denier since the 1980's -- only to have the hottest years on record follow his bloviating that it wasn't getting any hotter. Come to think of it, perhaps there is some causal connection there.

He has long denied any use for protecting the environment, suggesting that environmentalism was nothing but a cover for the socialist agenda the new "Communists," while environmental crises of breathtaking proportions have taken shape around him and threaten our very way of life.

He's a loon who brags about his profligate and wasteful energy use and how it benefits the economy while simultaneously claiming that transitioning from fossils fuels to renewable energy will destroy the environment.

In 2006 he repeatedly claimed there was no problem with the housing market, that the economy was doing just fine, and that the negative indicators were just a tissue of lies made up by liberals and passed along by the media to make Princess Bush look bad.

Just days before the last election he predicted that McCain would win in a "stunning upset." Was he trying to influence the election with those remarks? Probably. But unless he fesses up to that allegation it's just one more piece of evidence that he just really isn't that smart.

That's just a sampling of how dumb Rush really is when you treat him as if he were rational and sincere. Which he is not.

Truly, Rush Limbaugh is nothing but a big, fat idiot. And a venal, racist, porcine con man.

Oh, and he's a drug user who's argued that all drug users should go to jail with no leniency.

And all the stuff SecularAnimist said.

Posted by: trex on January 30, 2009 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Listening to Rush Limbaugh does not mean one should follow his ways and ideals. That is simply what Obama is trying to express.

For me it has been over twenty years listening to Rush Limbaugh and never calling or participating in his dialog, for me it would be a waste of time, but I marvel continuously as to the callers and types of people that call in the talk show. Regrettably our former Vice President and Karol Rove do called in often.

I deliberately listen to the commercials too and make a note “Not” buy any of his commercial products. Also make a note of his friends and associates which have been flushed out over the years. It is sort of like they all have been hidden in the closet like some gay’s who wish their privative lives be secret. That is understandable, but confusing when many desire and proclaim to want open marriage documented and certified in the public. It’s truly confusing and stressful adding to the social dilemma we already have.

Now that greater America has defined Rush Limbaugh perhaps it would be a better thing to help that part of America to understand that Rush Limbaugh is not a Conservative and is not good for the Republican Party.

Rather than to pull the plug on him or fight for equal fair air time, perhaps it is better to let him go on his rant his last days are near. My Conservative ideals line up with the Constitution, no matter what Newt Gingrich says that is the Contract with America, and follow the way a Republic should be run.

From my observations Rush Limbaugh never was a Conservative. Here deserves a special note to all Republicans “You don’t have to be a Republican to be Conservative” There are Democrats out there that are far better Conservative than many and like wise many that call themselves Conservatives that are really liberal extremist, Joe Lieberman is one of them.

Or come out with things like “Obama the magic negro”

Perhaps being Conservative and on a level playing field “Michael Steel is a magic Negro too”.

Posted by: Megalomania on January 30, 2009 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kathleen Parker's comments should not be taken as a warning of Limbaugh's influence. They should be taken as an example of Limbaugh's influence.

Exactly. Rushbo can still wiggle his little finger and get Republicans to fall all over themselves to do his bidding despite the Sarah Palin fiasco.

I remember during the campaign that someone pointed out that when they gamble, McCain chooses craps, which depends solely on luck. Obama, on the other hand, chooses poker, which combines luck with strategy.

The Republicans are doubling down on Rush because they're sure that THIS time they're gonna hit the jackpot just like they did in 1994.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 30, 2009 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Psst...Chicounsel=Lionel Hutz

Posted by: Ihadtosayit on January 30, 2009 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Haha, McSame thinks that Obama will tremble before Rush and his dittoheads just like Gingrey did. It is McCain who is trying to provoke these people, not Obama. Sure, they'll get all riled up, but Obama wasn't going to get their support anyway, so he doesn't care.

Strategy Fail!

Posted by: short fuse on January 30, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

My guess would be Limbaugh supervises the moderators.

Posted by: Brojo on January 30, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK


Megalomania,

I admire your attempt to pull the word "Conservative" out of the quicksand it stepped in the last few years, but you lost me with this: "liberal extremist".

A good argument can be made that Obama, say, is far more conservative than Rush, but Rush is nothing if not illiberal, as is anyone who promotes torture, extra-legal arrests, unnecessary wars, stands against civil rights and discounts the plight of the poor.

Note that all of these positions, except discounting the plight of the poor, are anti-conservative as well as anti-liberal. Liberal and Conservative are not opposites.

Posted by: Boronx on January 30, 2009 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

"...he little guy who is "speaking truth to power"? "

Sorry, chicocunsel, but I know little guys. Little guys are friends of mine. And Rush Lamebaugh is no little guy.

Not to mention the whole "truth" thing.

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on January 30, 2009 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

his is a great debate

Look at what happened when Obama called bullshit. That is when he said, "You can't listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done" In other words, if you guys are espousing Rush, you are not Serious People. He is a buffoon. (or at least that's how I interpreted it). It was an Emperor's New Clothes moment.

All of a sudden people (I mean right wing people) are in a tizzy. Defending Rush,(a losing proposition with the rest of America) or attacking him (a losing proposition with the, do they still call themselves dittoheads, Limbaugholics) or simply denying his importance. (See also Luke 22:54-62)

I think it is an example of a great Bully Pulpit Moment.

Posted by: marc sobel on January 30, 2009 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Well, All I have to say to you is to at least learn to listen and understand English. Dont just listen to your left wing journalists. Rush said he doesnt want OBAMA to do good ONLY when it comes to Socialism!!!! Nobody wants bad things to happen to America just so OBAMA doesnt look good. We just dont want SOCIALISM in America the only ones that do are people who dont like to work and think that someone that does work hard and makes the money whould give it to them and actually that would be most people on welfare and a lot of young people because their parents have aleays given them everything so now they want to replace their parents with government handouts. I lived under SOCIALISm and it isnt pretty and as far as socialized medicine I have lived with it too. Imagine being in a room in a hospital with 10 other people, imagine waiting in line to get approved so you can go and wait in line at the doctors office and once you do you barely get looked at. Imagine them telling you that you have to wait because womeone with a better job is more important than you are. Imagine if you have a handicapped brother or sister and the government tells you that they dont get to have the medicine they need because they arent worth as much as the next person who may be a lawyer or teacher or senator etc. I pray to God he doesnt win on these things,but if he gives the people a chance to better themselves , then I wish him well. Im sure Rush would wish him well too. We dont want OBAMA to fail in helping America but we do want him to fail if he is pushing SOCIALISM .. So may God bless our president even though I didnt vote for him and my GOD keep him honest and faithful to his country!

Posted by: biancaj2 on January 30, 2009 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus fucking Christ, are there any conservatives whose asses Obama *isn't* expected to kiss on his bipartisan unity tour?

Posted by: Chris on January 31, 2009 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

"The "Republican lawmakers" are not mental slaves of Rush Limbaugh, like his ordinary listeners."

I'm not so sure of that, SecularAnimist. You might want to revisit Phil Gingery's genuflecting visit to kiss the Lord's...ring. Yeah, that's it, his ring.

Posted by: azportsider on January 31, 2009 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

Biancaj2:

Considering the fact that Obama only represents "socialism" in the paranoid fantasies of crazed, uninformed right-wing morons, that pretty much undercuts your entire interpretation of what Limbaugh was saying.

Limbaugh, I think pretty clearly, doesn't want the American people to wind up thinking that Democratic solutions actually work, because that will be terrible for him. Nevermind whether or not they actually do work. That, he could give a damn about.

Posted by: DH Walker on January 31, 2009 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Imagine being in a room in a hospital with 10 other people, imagine waiting in line to get approved so you can go and wait in line at the doctors office and once you do you barely get looked at. Imagine them telling you that you have to wait because womeone with a better job is more important than you are. Imagine if you have a handicapped brother or sister and the government tells you that they dont get to have the medicine they need because they arent worth as much as the next person who may be a lawyer or teacher or senator etc.

We don't have to imagine any of that -- that's the system we have right now. The only difference is that you get to wait on the phone for hours to get your authorization instead of having to go down to the office in person.

Rich people get the best healthcare in this country. Poor people's babies get taken off of life support because their parents can't pay the bills. So you're not really going to be able to scare too many people telling them that government bureaucrats are going to restrict their healthcare. Most people's insurance companies are already doing that, assuming they don't cancel your healthcare outright while you're undergoing chemotherapy, leaving you to figure out how to pay for the rest of your cancer treatment out of your own pocket.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 31, 2009 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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