Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 14, 2009

ROOTING FOR FAILURE.... Rush Limbaugh caused a bit of a stir about a month ago, when he told his audience, "I disagree fervently with the people on our [Republican] side of the aisle who have caved and who say, 'Well, I hope [President Obama] succeeds.' ... I hope Obama fails. Somebody's gotta say it."

The right-wing host went on a similar tirade yesterday when talking about the economic recovery package: "I want everything he's doing to fail... I want the stimulus package to fail.... I do not want this to succeed."

Limbaugh is, without ambiguity, rooting for failure. In the midst of an economic crisis, Limbaugh quite openly admitted that if Obama's economic policies are successful, it would undermine the talk-show host's worldview. As such, Limbaugh wants desperately to see more Americans suffer, more workers unemployed, more businesses close up shop. The key here is philosophy -- if government spending can stimulate the economy, as it always does, then the right is wrong. Limbaugh would much prefer a suffering nation than a reevaluation of conservative ideas.

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.

Or, at least, they used to be.

Similar sentiments are even found coming from members of Congress. Take Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), best known for getting caught in a prostitution scandal, talking to a Federalist Society gathering this week.

According to Vitter, the GOP is basically betting the farm that the stimulus package is going to fail, and the party wants Democrats to go down with it. "Our next goal is to make President Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress own it completely," he said. Instead of coming up with serious measures to save the economy, the party intends to devote its time to an "we told you so" agenda that will include GOP-only hearings on the bill's impact in the coming months to highlight the bill's purportedly wasteful elements and shortcomings.

While Vitter seemed to think this was a brilliant new political tactic, voters might be less enthusiastic than Federalist Society members about politicians who spend the next 18 months rooting for the economy to get worse, just to prove a point.

But, in Vitter's world, that's the price you apparently have to pay for sticking to your principles, call girls be damned.

Remember, these clowns like to maintain the fiction that Republicans have the high ground on patriotism.

Steve Benen 12:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (70)

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Comments

they behave like clowns, but what they are is authoritarian thugs.

Posted by: howard on February 14, 2009 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

The next step in this is that the Repubs will blame everything from drought to bad breath on the stimulus bill. Fox News will be right there with them.

Posted by: tomeck on February 14, 2009 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

they should be ridiculed on the media and have those comments repeated ad nuasium in 2010 and 2012 irregardless of the state of the economy with the simple statement that "Republicans want a Depression" with pics from the 1930's.

Burr is already in trouble in NC and with a competent opponent (not Bowles), he's going down and big phama has one less friend.

Posted by: Chuck on February 14, 2009 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

I think you just used "conservative" and "ideas" in the same sentence. That's a violation of the laws of nature.

Posted by: craigie on February 14, 2009 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Vitter's thing for diapers is a necessity and not a sexual fetish. He sounds pretty scared to me.

Posted by: JoeW on February 14, 2009 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

If a liberal media pundit had said that he wanted the Iraq war to fail, losing a job would have been the least of it. He would have been bombarded with hate mail and death threats. But you didn't have to say such a thing to be accused of doing so, because Bush's loyal followers, with their well known talent for mind reading, regularly accused those of us who opposed the war of "wanting" it to be a failure. It's no use trying to explain to people the difference between predicting a likely outcome and wishing it into existence.

But Rush, of course, will suffer no consequences for his country-last attitude, any more than Republicans who opposed Clinton's military actions suffered consequences. That's the great benefit of preaching to a very ignorant choir.

Posted by: T-Rex on February 14, 2009 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

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.

You don't even have to make it a hypothetical or go that far. Phil Donahue WAS fired in early 2003 for having guests on his show who didn't think the war was a good idea. Not hoping it would fail, just having the courage to be anti-war at all.

Posted by: Shalimar on February 14, 2009 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Their strategy is very risky. If the Democrats own the stimulus completely, and the economy improves, GOP candidates are toast in 2010. What a glorious thing it would be to see them wander in self-imposed exile for a generation. Well, a fellow can dream, can't he?

Posted by: demisod on February 14, 2009 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe, just maybe, the repubs in congress are just selfish ass-clowns, wanting the country to fail to prove a silly political point. In order to achieve their point they will oppose, drag their feet, sabotage and do everything within their power to ruin the recovery, thinking somehow that this might be their path back to power.

Silly and dangerous.

Posted by: Tom Stewart on February 14, 2009 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds almost like Harry Reid saying the war in Iraq was lost last year.

Posted by: Mike K on February 14, 2009 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

I can imagine these budget saviors showing up at all the ribbon cuttings and taking credit for all the money being brought home to their districts.

Putting the entire country on a more solid foundation just ain't their style. They would prefer to ration and put the entire country on a starvation diet by tax cutting and then take all the credit for a few crumbs they bring to their districts by way of earmarks. There is something about their governing philosophy that just does not fit all together.

Posted by: lou on February 14, 2009 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine if Limabaugh said he wanted Israel to fail....

Posted by: McGump on February 14, 2009 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

The key here is philosophy -- if government spending can stimulate the economy, as it always does, then the right is wrong.

Always? Way to leave some room for self-doubt. How has government spending worked for Japan or in its extreme case Zimbabwe? How well did it work for the Weimar Republic?

Is this the "progressive" version of "you're either with us or against us"?

Limbaugh would much prefer a suffering nation than a reevaluation of conservative ideas.

Speaking of suffering nations and re-evaluations of values. Will Pres. Obama be willing to re-evaluate his position on Iraq given their successful elections?

I am not a Limbaugh fan, but I will say this in his defense. He made many accusations against Iraq-war skeptics about being "invested in failure". All he is really doing is responding in kind.

He's being consistent. Which isn't always admirable, but at least with a little bit of analysis, one can see where he is coming from.


Posted by: LV on February 14, 2009 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

. Will Pres. Obama be willing to re-evaluate his position on Iraq given their successful elections?

He wants us out. They want us out. And we would not have to leave if we never went in.

What's to re-evaluate?

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on February 14, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

All the bleating by Goopers about the stimulus, and pretty much everything Democrats propose, now and forever amen, is a calculated and concerted attack to regain power. The GOP is not just rooting for failure in the hopes that Democrats will get blamed if bad things happen, they are actively working as hard as they can to make sure that bad things actually do happen. Limbaugh et al putting country first? Not in this lifetime.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on February 14, 2009 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K - Did you watch Rachel Maddow last night? She was interviewing Ray LaHood, Transportation Sec. (and Republican). He said Judd Craig had asked Obama to consider him for Commerce and then lobbied people on the transition team.

Posted by: Danp on February 14, 2009 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

He made many accusations against Iraq-war skeptics about being "invested in failure". All he is really doing is responding in kind.

Wow. In my world, "responding in kind" is in reference to something other people actually do or say, not to your own vicious and false characterization of them. "I accused him of murder, your Honor, so I was really only responding in kind when I shot him."

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on February 14, 2009 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's the country's commitment to free speech and our brave young men and women's sacrifices around the world that protect Rush's on-air privelege to say what he wants.

And it will be our fun pasting his smug, pudgy face alongside every GOP member's face in Democratic 2010 campaign ads, as in "Guess who voted with failure-monger Rush Limbaugh 98 percent of the time? You guessed it, your congressman . . ."

Rush will find that shit attracts flies.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 14, 2009 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of suffering nations

You do realize that the reason for Iraq's suffering is nearly two decades of US aggression towards them, right? The post-WWI style sanctions brutalized them, the 2003 terror-bombings (what else can you call 400 bombs used to "shock and awe" a non-aggressive populace into submission?) and subsequent destruction of their infrastructure ensured that the suffering would be long term. And the selection of massively corrupt contractors help make matters worse.

Without the Republican ideology of hate, the Iraqis would be much better off. The best thing we can do, is the same best thing we could have done at any time after Bush's unprovoked invasion, build a coalition of their neighbors, get the fuck out, and pay reparations to the people of Iraq for as long as it takes to get them on their feet. Will that cost much needed money? Of course it will. But to not do so would be to compound the massive criminal act that was Bush's brutal war.

Posted by: Relentless Patriot on February 14, 2009 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Demisod @ 12:25 had it right.

This could be the worst political decision by Republicans since they decided to get tough on immigration.

Irrespective of how successful the stimulus ends up being, Democrats are going to be able to stand up and say that we tried to help you and the Republicans did not. This will be especially damagaing against Republicans who voted to bailout the banks, but not ordinary people.

When will Republicans realize that while smaller government sounds nice in the abstract, most people actually like big government since they like the services that government provides?

Hopefully never!

Posted by: mfw13 on February 14, 2009 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Here you go again! Getting on the case of my BFF Rushbo.

What you fail to understand is what I have been telling people forever: Whatever you want to hear, you can find someone to tell you!

If you are a racist, homophoebic woman-hating male; then Rushbo is just what you want.

Rush just tells his audience what they want to hear. Consistency and honesty are not part of the job requirements.

Posted by: SadOldVet on February 14, 2009 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

"I am not a Limbaugh fan, but I will say this in his defense. He made many accusations against Iraq-war skeptics about being "invested in failure". All he is really doing is responding in kind."

What is consistent about falsely accusing people of wanting the U.S. to fail and calling them traitors, then later rooting for the U.S. to fail when the other party is in charge?

Sounds to me that by his own standards, Rush is a traitor. Or whatever you call someone who roots for seriously bad things to happen to the country when the enemy is an economic crisis rather than a foreign country.

Posted by: tanstaafl on February 14, 2009 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

It really can't be said often enough: Rush Limbaugh is anti-American.

Posted by: Tom Nawrocki on February 14, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Can any 'conservatives' be trusted in positions of power related to stimulus implementation? People who not only think you will fail, but also hope that you will, can never be your allies.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on February 14, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

what these clowns are doing is akin to rooting for the germans and japanese during world war II just to get roosevelt out of office.

loyal opposition? what a joke. lives are at stake literally and all they want to do is play politics.

republicans don't have to give obama and the democrats a rubber stamp; critical analysis is a good thing. but to offer nothing but opposition in the hope of gaining political advantage is obscene, and they will pay.

whatever happened to country first?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on February 14, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Always? Way to leave some room for self-doubt. How has government spending worked for Japan or in its extreme case Zimbabwe? How well did it work for the Weimar Republic?"

Sometimes government spending does stimulate the economy but it just isn't adequate to the scale of the problem. Economists, Japanese and otherwise, say that the big reason their economy took so long to recover was that the government there was too timid in its response. Some think the U.S. is making the same mistake.

The real danger to Rush and the Republican congress rooting from failure is that it is a short step from their to doing their best to sabotage the recovery. Which is what it sounds like if they really are planning this:

"Instead of coming up with serious measures to save the economy, the party intends to devote its time to an "we told you so" agenda that will include GOP-only hearings on the bill's impact in the coming months to highlight the bill's purportedly wasteful elements and shortcomings."

Posted by: tanstaafl on February 14, 2009 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

A couple of more points on this important blog of yours, Steve:

Yes--they're rooting for failure AND mocking any Republicans who seem to 'stray from the fold' as was evidenced by the Republican Congressman (can't remember who) recently who was recently teased (by a Fox interviewer): "Must be nice to be wined and dined by the White House" --to which he replied, "I think for myself, I have my own mind". (paraphrasing)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
As Jimmy Carter pointed out on Olbermann yesterday,
most Republicans are 'robots' now.

IMO,they are getting their marching orders from the likes of Steele and Limbaugh and Boener (god, is he creepy, or what?)and they're becoming emboldened in a way they haven't known for a while--they are fighting the idealist Terrorist-loving, Socialist, Big Government President and Democratic Party. They are becoming Nazi-like with regards to their rhetoric, with regard to their blind obedience --and I say it's really rather frightening.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And note too the Documentarian Maddow had on her show yesterday: She has produced an HBO special to debut this Tuesday I believe-- about the "Right feeling Wronged"--she discusses the utter anger and hate that is prevalent in the wake of Obama's win.

It's all very creepy. And remember, when times are tough (and they couldn't be tougher), many are reduced to their lowest common denominator. The Democrats are clearly being scapegoated big time.

Posted by: They hate us and any who are disloyal to their Facist ways on February 14, 2009 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with this post while understanding there are nuances. Actively rooting for bad things to happen should be denounced by one and all. But that doesn't mean one has to support Obama's plan. I think the Republicans were entirely right to vote en masse against the bill. It does go against their principles (whatever that means), so they're doing what an opposition party should be doing. As long as they didn't have the power to stop the bill and plunge the nation further into crisis, I have no problem with their taking this stand.

So I disagree with the Mother Jones writer who writes, " Instead of coming up with serious measures to save the economy . . ." That's not the Republicans' job. They lost the last two elections decisively. The Democrats get to rule, though constrained by the need to please a couple "centrist" Republicans. But the job of the rest of the Republican party *should be* to oppose. It should be done respectfully; i.e., "in this crisis, we pray that the President's plan helps, but we seriously disagree with that plan and believe other options would have been better."

Let them oppose in a respectful manner and let the Democrats lead. And let Rush bloviate. Sounds like an acceptable solution to me.

Posted by: santamonicamr on February 14, 2009 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

They hate us: "Republican Congressman (can't remember who) recently who was recently teased (by a Fox interviewer): "Must be nice to be wined and dined by the White House" --to which he replied, "I think for myself, I have my own mind". (paraphrasing)"

That was Sen. Specter. Not that I necessarily agree with him - he usually talks tough and then caves. Nice to see that he stuck to his guns on the stimulus bill.

Posted by: Hannah on February 14, 2009 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Republicans were entirely right to vote en masse against the bill.

There is something strange and mechanical about the Republican's block voting.

I'm sorry, but the word "nuance" should go to the same trash bin that contains "bipartisan." It suggests an empty mind; not an open one.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on February 14, 2009 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

So I disagree with the Mother Jones writer who writes, " Instead of coming up with serious measures to save the economy . . ." That's not the Republicans' job. They lost the last two elections decisively. The Democrats get to rule, ...

This is wrong. Opposing policies they disagree with is an appropriate function of the minority party. But when faced with a real crisis, they do have an affirmative duty to offer realistic alternatives.

The alternatives they have offered so far have been "do nothing" or "don't spend any new money, give it away in tax breaks". If the stimulus bill does fail, they should only get credit for opposing it if they can convince people that their alternatives would have done better, and there is just no credible way to do that.

Opposition solely for the sake of opposition is not principled.

Posted by: tanstaafl on February 14, 2009 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm sorry, but the word "nuance" should go to the same trash bin that contains "bipartisan." It suggests an empty mind; not an open one."

I disagree, nuance is important.

However, I do find it ironic to see it used in a post defending Republicans.

Republicans don't do nuance.

Posted by: tanstaafl on February 14, 2009 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Sounds almost like Harry Reid saying the war in Iraq was lost last year."

Well, sure, if you're a moron. To the rest of us, not so much. See if you can figure out the difference between these two statements, Mikey:

1. "I want it to fail; I hope it fails."

2. "I think it has failed."

Most of us can see the difference, Mikey. Can you?

Posted by: PaulB on February 14, 2009 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, thanks for pointing out an example of my point in the immediately previous comment.

Posted by: tanstaafl on February 14, 2009 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

These are the people who want to privatize Social Security.

Posted by: alan on February 14, 2009 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

And all during this ego maniac's rant .. a rant that equals our country collapsing .. there was john mccain with his pants down, bent over, letting limbaugh 'have his way' with him, and screaming ever louder 'harder, harder' ........ next in line was draq queen lindsay graham , a scorned drag queen for sure, in the middle of her menopause, squeaking 'me, me, me' ... then of course there was phil 'you whinners' graham , next in line, complaining about the whinning of the draq queen ...and so it goes for these evil repiglicans....

Posted by: stormskies on February 14, 2009 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, these clowns like to maintain the fiction that Republicans have the high ground on patriotism.

Real Republicans, once upon a time, if we stretched the truth a good bit---maybe. This infestation of rotpublicans we're dealing with now---not in the least bit, even in an LSD-induced hallucination, on the thirty-second day of February. They're not even capable of claiming the high ground in an argument with a burlap sack of dehydrated Mohave-desert pond scum.

Posted by: Steve W. on February 14, 2009 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

The Republican answer to our economic crisis (do as little as possible, let the middle and lower classes fend for themselves) is much the same as what Bush did after Katrina. Now we can see that the lack of response after Katrina was not merely a Bush decision, but was a Conservative Republican decision.

The Republicans wanting the stimulus to fail, are the same Republicans who sat back and did nothing to help New Orleans and the Gulf area after Katrina and Rita because they wanted to the districts to re-emerge as republican strongholds. That is why Karl Rove was put in charge of the area after the hurricanes.

Today, the very same game plan is being used on a wider scale. Repubs are hoping that the damage to the citizens will be so severe that a political minority can again grab the reins of power, because the rest of us are concentrating on surviving.

Katrina was the wake up call to the rest of the nation that we were being led by people we could not trust to do the right thing, and who did not have any talent for working for the public good.
These are the same people wanting the stimulus to fail today.

Posted by: jcricket on February 14, 2009 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Will Pres. Obama be willing to re-evaluate his position on Iraq given their successful elections?

If the Iraqi elections were successful, why do we need to stay?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 14, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Today, the very same game plan is being used on a wider scale. Repubs are hoping that the damage to the citizens will be so severe that a political minority can again grab the reins of power, because the rest of us are concentrating on surviving.

It's Shock Doctrine 101, the political equivalent of rear-ending someone's car so you can rob them while they're still shaken up.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 14, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the thing, so far, President Obama has approached all of his challenges with an eye towards pragmatic solutions to problems. He does not really get bogged down with petty politics, revenge, ideology, name calling, etc.

I'm a proud left liberal, and some of his compromises with conservative policies and politicians bug me a little, but I also fully appreciate that the President picks his battles, and does not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

So let Limbaugh, Card, Cheney, Vitter, and Rove sling their muck and pray for failure. As for me, I'm going to roll up my sleeves and get out there and do all in my power to help the President succeed.

Setbacks, disagreements, and plan adjustments are normal in any endeavor. What matters is getting the best outcome for the people.

Posted by: Wionkandanod on February 14, 2009 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

If the Iraqi elections were successful, why do we need to stay?

Wait here a few hours, and you'll hear it: 'To honor our dead, we must stay' -- creating more dead thereby, of course.

We saw this movie before, back in '69-'72.

Remakes suck. Sequels suck. This is the sequel to a remake.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on February 14, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

It is possible to disagree vehemently with a package like this and still be a decent, moral person, of course. I hope no one here denies that. Limbaugh is neither decent nor moral. If he were, he would say, "I don't think this will work. I don't see how it could possibly work. I think it will also lead to many other bad things happening. BUT I HOPE I'M WRONG."

The most important thing to Limbaugh is Limbaugh. He would rather see the whole nation suffer than have to re-evaluate his own world view.

Posted by: Tim H on February 14, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

This is why it was a mistake for Obama to put all those tax cuts in the stimulus bill. He should make them fillibuster. They are the party of no and their agenda sucks. The midterms would be about Obama's ideas versus theirs. Adopting this sad old it takes 60 votes to get something done is a recipe for mediocrity.

Posted by: alline on February 14, 2009 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. In my world, "responding in kind" is in reference to something other people actually do or say, not to your own vicious and false characterization of them. "I accused him of murder, your Honor, so I was really only responding in kind when I shot him."

You believe that is a credible analog? Stimulus dissent is tantamount to murder?

Are you mad?

It's really quite simple. OIF could be considered (only in the least amount of criticism, i.e at its best) to have been a prescription to what ails the Middle East whose worst symptoms include psychotic religious fanatics.

Iraq-war skeptics purported dissent for this prescription. Thus, they were invested in its failure for their own competing prescription.

Conversely, if I have to spell it out for you. Stimulus skeptics are dissenting to the socialist prescription for what ails us for their own alternative prescription.

Neither of the two are "anti-American" on their own merit simply for dissenting the prevailing prescription. Calling dissenters, un-patriotic, simply for dissenting, is for the intellectual pedestrian. This would include Rush Limbaugh, and the author of this blog post.

Posted by: LV on February 14, 2009 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Why does the Limbaugh hate America so?

But my head scratch is what fantasy of common sense enables this rube such a significant platform from which to spew forth? Is this a rich country or what!!!

Posted by: Kevin on February 14, 2009 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

You do realize that the reason for Iraq's suffering is nearly two decades of US aggression towards them, right?

Far longer than that. Since the late 1940s.

The best thing we can do, is the same best thing we could have done at any time after Bush's unprovoked invasion, build a coalition of their neighbors, get the fuck out, and pay reparations to the people of Iraq for as long as it takes to get them on their feet. Will that cost much needed money?

Here's an example of a competing prescription. Complete with profanity to emphasize its merit. Naturally, I would surmise that she/he would be invested in seeing the prevailing prescription fail. This is evident by the use of characterizing the prevailing prescription as that of "hate" and other adjectives to present it as forboding.

His/her dissent as is, is not enough to call this person "anti-American".

Posted by: LV on February 14, 2009 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Annnnd I predict that the political geniuses within the Democratic party will not make the slightest effort to tie Rush's statements around his neck like the anchor it should be. There will be no concerted, organized campaign of criticism, there will be no radio or TV ads, there will be no gatherings on the Capitol steps to highlight Limbaugh's lack of patriotism, there will be no coordination with progressive interest groups to communicate to the America outside the Beltway just how odious Limbaugh's statements are. For all their faults, one huge advantage that the Republicans have over Democrats is their enthusiastic embrace of marketing-driven communications. They determine their goal and then relentlessly hammer their message in furtherance of that goal, with the active aid and support of the mainstream media, and with a unanimity that Democrats can only dream about.

Instead, we have Pelosi and Reid at each other's throats, and a new administration that seems to have problems putting its Cabinet into place while at the same time trying to reach out to those same Republicans who mindlessly repeat Limbaugh's smears.

Posted by: bluestatedon on February 14, 2009 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes government spending does stimulate the economy but it just isn't adequate to the scale of the problem.

That wasn't what was posited in this article. It ALWAYS works.

Economists, Japanese and otherwise, say that the big reason their economy took so long to recover was that the government there was too timid in its response.

Their debt is 180% of their GDP Source. How can anyone of sound conscious surmise that it wasn't enough?

Some think the U.S. is making the same mistake.

This is affirming the consequence. If we lose jobs, it was because it wasn't enough. If we remain the same, it was because the stimulus saved jobs. If it adds jobs, the stimulus worked.

No matter what, the stimulus theory cannot be falsified. All its spending will remain on the budget, no Democrat will ever cut it (so much as history is our guide).

>>"Instead of coming up with serious measures to save the economy, the party intends to devote its time to an "we told you so" agenda that will include GOP-only hearings on the bill's impact in the coming months to highlight the bill's purportedly wasteful elements and shortcomings."

This is bad, why? The President has asked the people to hold this theory accountable. So when or if it does "fail", one could blame the people for not being vigilant.

I actually agree with this, however, we do have a representative government, we get what we vote for. We voted to increase our consuming ways and spend money with which our children will have to repay.

Posted by: LV on February 14, 2009 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Complete with profanity to emphasize its merit.

Oh my! Heavens to Betsey! Dear me, LV, you seem to have fainted dead away with shock. Here, unclutch your pearls and have a whiff of these smelling salts. I know a retired schoolmarm like you isn't used to the rough, salty language that's used here in the comments section of Political Animal. You must watch yourself, dear, a manly dockyard like this isn't for someone of your, ah, tender sensibilities.

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2009 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K - Did you watch Rachel Maddow last night? She was interviewing Ray LaHood, Transportation Sec. (and Republican). He said Judd Craig had asked Obama to consider him for Commerce and then lobbied people on the transition team.

Posted by: Danp

Ray LaHood is part of the corrupt Illinois machine. Do you know anyone in Illinois ? He was a lousy Republican Congressman and up to his ears in the same corruption that Hastert was involved in. Ask somebody from Chicago about these guys. It's not a plus for Republicans to have people like LaHood and Hastert representing them. I simply don't believe him and think this is administration spin.

They were part of the group that directed Republicans to govern like Democrats. It was no surprise that voters chose the real thing if they want Democrats. Hastert's seat was lost in a special election but should come back in 2010 if they recruit a decent candidate.

Posted by: Mike K on February 14, 2009 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

This behavior meets the definition of a "Fifth Columnist", and most surely would have been condemned and purged under the Bushies.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on February 14, 2009 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Adopting a view that will perhaps be vindicated if a policy fails, and actively and vocally rooting for a policy to fail, are two completely distinct things. Trying to elide them with a weasel phrase like "invested in failure" is the sure mark of a liar.

Posted by: kth on February 14, 2009 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen noted:

The right-wing host went on a similar tirade yesterday when talking about the economic recovery package: "I want everything he's doing to fail... I want the stimulus package to fail.... I do not want this to succeed."

Here's what millionaire Rush Limbaugh is really saying to his adoring audience:

"I want you to lose your job and lose your home and have to live on the street and sleep on a steam grate and line up at a soup kitchen for food."

And the response from his weak-minded, ignorant, gullible, mean-spirited mental slaves is "Ditto That, Rush!"

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 14, 2009 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

You believe that is a credible analog? Stimulus dissent is tantamount to murder?
Are you mad?

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don't comprehend even what you yourself wrote. I said nothing about "stimulus dissent." My analogy was to your rather asinine claim that by hoping the stimulus plan fails -- which, by the way, is far from mere dissent -- Limbaugh is just "responding in kind" to what he accused war critics of doing -- not to what his opponents actually did, but to what he accused them of doing. BTW, opposing the Iraq debacle = "invested in failure" (and much worse) only in Limbaugh's mind, and apparently, yours.

Bonus laffs: not even Limbaugh offers this ridiculous "I'm only responding in kind" excuse, just you.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on February 14, 2009 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK
Here's what millionaire Rush Limbaugh is really saying to his adoring audience:

"I want you to lose your job and lose your home and have to live on the street and sleep on a steam grate and line up at a soup kitchen for food."

And the response from his weak-minded, ignorant, gullible, mean-spirited mental slaves is "Ditto That, Rush!"

Exactly. I've heard Limbaugh with my own ears shrieking his adamant opposition to unemployment insurance because it keeps people from seeking work -- hardship being the only real incentive that will stir the lazy unemployed to get off the couch. I sometimes can't believe his audience is this moronically self-destructive.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on February 14, 2009 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans know the stimulus jobs package will not have had time to work by mid-terms. It will stop unemployment from getting worse but the new projects will not have taken effect by then. Rove's op-ed tells their strategy plain enough by claiming the economy would have rebounded by 2010 all on its own if the stimulus package hadn't slowed it down.

Rush's rhetoric is extremely seditious this time by saying he is hoping for the 'recovery' package to fail when if he cared at all about America he would be hoping (even if he didn't 'think' it would)that it would succeed just for the sake of the American people.

Regardless of politics, Rush in just saying this shows himself to be un-American and a real low life. To think that Bush and Cheney actually invited him to the WH and interviewed with him is disgusting. A gang of murderous thieves masquerading as patriots.

Look what happens when America goes slumming...we get Rush voices

Posted by: bjobotts on February 14, 2009 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Edited for further clarity ....


Here's what millionaire Rush Limbaugh is really saying to his adoring audience:

"I want you to lose your job and lose your home and have to live on the street and sleep on a steam grate and line up at a soup kitchen for food ... so my rich, fat-cat, corporate masters can continue to carry off trillions from the Treasury - which your grandchildren will be paying for many decades to come - while you're all too miserable to pay attention."

And the response from his weak-minded, ignorant, gullible, mean-spirited mental slaves is "Ditto That, Rush!"

Posted by: Otolaryx on February 14, 2009 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

"That wasn't what was posited in this article. It ALWAYS works."

Oh, garbage. Not only was it not "posited," it's completely unnecessary to the point the article is making, a point you continue to evade.

"Their debt is 180% of their GDP Source. How can anyone of sound conscious surmise that it wasn't enough?"

ROFL.... Moron, over what period of time was that debt accumulated? And how was it accumulated? We doubled our national debt over the last eight years and yet, "it wasn't enough," mostly because the policies that doubled our national debt were incredibly foolish.

"This is affirming the consequence."

No, it's pointing out the obvious.

"No matter what, the stimulus theory cannot be falsified."

Why yes, actually, it can, just as we "falsified" the idiotic notion that tax cuts are good for everything. The evidence is right in front of you.

"All its spending will remain on the budget, no Democrat will ever cut it (so much as history is our guide)."

ROFL.... Moron, damn near all of the bill is short-term, not long-term. There is nothing to "cut." You cannot say the same for the Republican counter-proposals, which would have cost considerably more and delivered less.

"This is bad, why?"

For two reasons. The first is that they have no positive agenda of their own, and no intention of creating one, and the second is that they have no intention of giving the bill a fair hearing.

"I actually agree with this, however, we do have a representative government, we get what we vote for. We voted to increase our consuming ways and spend money with which our children will have to repay."

As compared to the Republican alternative, which we have already seen has doubled the national debt and given us nothing, and which would have continued to grow the debt by trillions of dollars, all of which "our children will have to repay." Did you have a point to make or do you want to continue to spout mindless partisan drivel?

Posted by: PaulB on February 14, 2009 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K - why do I get the impression you don't believe Jedd Gregg was the one who asked for the Commerce Sec. job, simply because it fits what you want to believe. Has Gregg denied it? Wouldn't he deny it if it weren't true? What did Gibbs or LaHood have to gain by saying it?

Posted by: Danp on February 14, 2009 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

I am not a Limbaugh fan, but I will say this in his defense. He made many accusations against Iraq-war skeptics about being "invested in failure". All he is really doing is responding in kind.

He's being consistent. Which isn't always admirable, but at least with a little bit of analysis, one can see where he is coming from.
Posted by: LV on February 14, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Condemning others for violating a moral standard, and then later violating a very similar standard yourself, is not consistency. It's hypocrisy. If Limbaugh really thinks "investing in failure" is wrong when his enemies do it, then he shouldn't be "investing in failure" himself the minute a new leader does something he doesn't like.

Posted by: Shalimar on February 14, 2009 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Oh my! Heavens to Betsey! Dear me, LV, you seem to have fainted dead away with shock. Here, unclutch your pearls and have a whiff of these smelling salts. I know a retired schoolmarm like you isn't used to the rough, salty language that's used here in the comments section of Political Animal. You must watch yourself, dear, a manly dockyard like this isn't for someone of your, ah, tender sensibilities.

Heh. And I wasn't even here to tell him to man the fuck up.

Posted by: Blue Girl on February 14, 2009 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Danp - Mike K is just applying the alternative reality recipe fairly common among right-wingers:
I don't want this to be true, therefore I am entitled to refuse accepting that it is true, therefore it isn't rue, qed.

Posted by: SRW1 on February 14, 2009 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, thanks for taking on most of the response to LV. A couple quick points to add:

First LV, you continue to blatantly ignore the distinction that has been repeatedly pointed out betwen "I think you will fail" and "I want you to fail". Rush Limbaugh has now repeatedly and very distinctly said the second in respect to Obama and the stimulus bill.

Despite your slanderous statement that, "Iraq-war skeptics purported dissent for this prescription. Thus, they were invested in its failure for their own competing prescription," you will be very hard pressed to find anyone on the American left that has a tenth of Rush's public prominence or political connections and that actually did root for the failure of OIF once the country was committed to that course.

And second, the Republican party has not come up with any rational alternatives to the stimulus bill. So when they vote against unanimously in the House and overwhelmingly in the Senate and then turn around to alternately brag to their constituents about the good things coming home in the bill and complain about it's fiscal irresponsibility, it is reasonable to suggest that they are more concerned about politics than about the good of the country.

Finally, when Democrats objected to OIF, they did offer alternatives like keeping the focus on Al Qaeda and the Taliban, using our allies to shut down terrorists sources of funding, etc. Meanwhile, many of them actively supported the war and even those that didn't mostly supported funding bills and sought to negotiate over the details when those bills came before Congress. And the Republicans still used anything less that 100% cooperation from any Democrat as a club to attack every Democrat with come election time.

Posted by: tanstaafl on February 14, 2009 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

skeptics purported dissent for this prescription. Thus, they were invested in its failure for their own competing prescription,

WTF?

Since when does skepticism about a particular course of action translate and preference for an alternative translate into "investing in its failure?"

My God man, that means that every parent who has doubts about their child's choice of mate are actively rooting for their marriage to fail.

That means that every subordinate officer who request "permission to speak freely" in order to express doubts about a particular order can never then turn around a dutifully execute that order.

That means that every rabid Cubs fan who just doesn't think the can win the big games actually wants them to lose those games.

Who knew?

Posted by: lobbygow on February 14, 2009 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

I would really like to see the media insist, of every republican in D.C., to either comdemn Limbaugh or embrace him. Force the republicans to take a stand, so that the general public knows whether that politician wants America to fail or not.

Posted by: R J Contreras on February 15, 2009 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Rush has the entire Rethug party sharing his oxycontin-fueled delusions now.

Posted by: Jim on February 15, 2009 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

Anybody notice that Clear Channel, Limbaugh's employer with whom he recently inked a $400 million dollar deal, is considering bankruptcy? Maybe El Rushbo's shrieking so loudly because he's afraid his cozy little empire is about to go down the toobz...

Posted by: dalloway on February 15, 2009 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

if government spending can stimulate the economy, as it always does,

"Always"?

I've never been comfortable with the data enough to use that word.

The data suggests to me that Keynesian stimulus spending is worth a shot and no one else is suggesting anything that makes sense. That's as far as I'll go.

The right's only answer is bigger tax cuts than Bush has given for 8 straight years of anemic growth and slow-motion collapse.

I'm open to a third way, but it hasn't reached my ears/eyes yet.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on February 15, 2009 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

It's a shame that so many Americans want the economy to get worse, so the epublicans can do well in the 2010 elections. People really are suffering. I'm probably more conhservative than Obama about many things; I'm not a big fan of labor unions, for example. But I absolutely believe that Obama really cares about, and wants to help, the literally millions of people who have lost (or may soon lose) their homes. So what if I disagree with Obama about some political issue? Maybe he's right! All that matters is that we wish him well (as he wishes us well). I've spoken with two of my Republican neighbors, and I'm shocked by how PASSIONATELY they want Obama to fail.

Posted by: ming on February 16, 2009 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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