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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Comments

Yes, I'm disgusted that he'd apparently rather see more Americans lose their homes and jobs than see his political philosophy undercut if the president's various bailouts and stimuli succeed.

Actually, if you listen to Limbaugh carefully, he is saying, with some justification, that the "stimulus" bill isn't about stimulating the economy at all. And he's">http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9987/Gregg_Year-by-Year_Stimulus.pdf">he's not the only one. He's arguing that it's about building a Democrat political majority using taxpayer money. If it were truly just about stimulus, you would not see sops to Democrat front groups, or unions as part of this effort. Why include repeal of successful welfare reform, while short changing important projects like this? Why ignore warnings of future problems. It seems clear that Obama and the Democrats are more concerned with furthering their political agenda than making sure that Americans don't "... lose their homes and jobs".

Shortly after the U.S. invaded Iraq, for example, I asked opponents of the invasion—mostly my fellow liberals—if they hoped our troops would find those hidden weapons of mass destruction the Bush administration cited to justify the attack.

Wow, a line like that almost makes you want to choke. Here's a little history lesson for lefists. Of course, there are countless news articles and video segments justifying Clinton's actions against Iraq on the grounds that Saddam had, "nuclear, chemical and biological weapons", written and produced while Bush was still in Texas. So, please, stop with the "Bush lied", lie.

Then there's this:

Marxist revolutionaries reportedly coined the phrase "the worse the better" to reflect the view that when the masses hit hard times, it improves the prospects for political change.

Someone">http://www.moonbattery.com/&feature=player_embedded">Someone call Rahm Emanuel's office.

Hi Art,

What do you think Limbaugh means when he refers to "the dirty little secret" of Republicans? He isn't talking about opposition to the stimulus plan or the belief that the plan isn’t a stimulus, that it’s pork-filled or that it won’t work. Those views aren’t dirty little secrets in the least. Republicans are saying those things out loud until they are blue in the face to anyone who will listen.

The "dirty" little secret he's referring to—the secret that is not being spoken aloud by Republicans—is the hope that Obama's plan, in Limbaugh's words, "blows up in their faces" and that "the recession is prolonged." That's what most are feeling, but not saying. Republicans want to deny that Limbaugh said it precisely because it’s, in Limbaugh's words, a dirty little secret. That’s the point of calling it a dirty secret. It’s something people don’t want to admit to.

Zorn’s point is that partisans both left and right do the same thing. But both sides seem to believe that human frailty only afflicts the other guy. Only the other guy has “dirty little secrets.” Both sides deny that they experience such wishes, but people on both sides frequently hope that things will get ugly under the policies of the opposition. Both sides want the opposition to fail and both sides love to say I told you so.

Limbaugh has been honest about this and some on the right wants to make him into a dishonest man to cover up the fact that they share a common human desire to see themselves vindicated in the failure of their opponents, even if that desire requires the prolonged suffering of others as a “prolonged recession” would require.

Zorn's piece has nothing to do with whether Limbaugh's assessment of Obama's policy is correct or not. He’s writing about an ugly dimension of human character we frequently see in partisans of all stripes. We can see the same thing occur outside of politics, as well. People with strong opinions usually like to see their opinions vindicated, sometimes with ugly implications.

I don't know if his admission makes Limbaugh better or worse than most of the rest of humanity. On the one hand, in this area, he's more honest than many are. On the other hand, he seems to feel less guilt and shame about his wish to see suffering “prolonged” for the sake of his vindication. Thus, unlike most Republicans who, according to Limbaugh, are keeping a “dirty little secret,” Limbaugh almost seems be gloating about having these feelings.

Dr. X,

First, I take his point about human nature. I understood what he was saying when I read the article. It is, of course, natural to want to be proven right. I disagree, however, with the assertion that Limbaugh is wishing ruin on his countrymen as vindication of his world view. The quote from "Media Matters", a George Soros funding front organization, not withstanding.

Second, while the ginned up controversy about what Rush Limbaugh said, or did not say, makes for semi-interesting conversation, following Obama's ongoing vetting disaster and his missteps in foreign policy it's quite obviously little more than a manufactured distraction meant to keep the public focus from what is starting to look, even to his defenders on the left, like gross incompetence.

I doubt that if all of this were occurring during a Republican administration, the media and the left would be willing to indulge conservatives with a discussion on the feelings of Keith Olbermann.

Limbaugh obviously believes that Obama's policies will make the recession worse. He is far from alone in this belief:

The Dow Jones industrial average, actually, has reacted to Obama by plunging nearly 20 percent since he became president. That's an obliteration of wealth that no stimulus bill will recoup. Since Election Day, the market has lost nearly 30 percent of its value—trillions of dollars, not from CEO bonuses, as you may have hoped, but from your 401(k) and the private sector.

"The stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics. It bobs up and down day to day, and if you spend all your time worrying about that, then you're probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong," Obama recently explained.

You know, Mr. President, not everything is like politics.

The market is a forward-looking entity, indeed, but it is driven by the decentralized actions of millions of investors every second. It's the opposite of politics. And this setup surely offends the sensibilities of the statist planners occupying Washington. Unlike politicians, markets don't lie. And this market has been in freefall for a year.

So, what to do? Obama, who promised not to raise taxes during a recession, now plans to raise nearly $1 trillion in new taxes directly from the investor class. He plans to raise capital gains taxes (a disincentive to investment), corporate taxes (for you, the consumer, ultimately to pay) and on the "rich" (which the nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimates will affect 1.3 million small-business owners).

David Harsanyi, "Now You Own It, Mr. President", Reason Magazine

He also believes that the policies and programs that Obama and the Democrats are proposing and enacting represent a radical departure, not only from the promises he had made during the campaign, but from the economic system that Americans have built and which has served them well since the nations founding. In essence, Obama and the Democrats are about remaking the U.S. into a European type socialist state. Including a dysfunctional, second rate health care system. In this effort, he wants him to fail. And so do I.

When Limbaugh refers to the " ... dirty little secret" he is chiding Republicans for their temerity in confronting Obama. He correctly sees them hesitating because of Obama's current, though falling, popularity. He is hoping to shame them into action.

I think that this truncated quote from Limbaugh sums up his position nicely:

We want him to fail because we want to preserve our country as we found it. We do not want to see a successful attack on capitalism.... - Rush Limbaugh

And by success, I think he means perceived success, not actual.

P.S. I, like you apparently, believe in hearing the other side out and even though we don't see eye-to-eye politically, I enjoy your blog. The pictures are amazing. Thanks for the effort you put into it.

The Democrats are now admitting openly that the attack on Limbaugh was a strategy aimed at distracting the public and keeping the focus off of Republican criticisms of Obama's policies:

The Democrats' new plan follows the private complaints of some Democrats that Obama let the GOP get the better of him during the debate over pork in the budget bill he just signed, and growing concerns among some Democrats that charges of big spending could stick to the president.

A participant in the planning meetings described the push as a successor to Democrats’ message that Rush Limbaugh is the Republican Party leader. “We have exhausted the use of Rush as an attention-getter,” the official said.

David Plouffe, manager of Obama’s presidential race, helped design the strategy, ...

Link

What's disturbing is the extent to which our supposedly objective, non-partisan media played along. And, of course, how easy it is to manipulate the public.

Yes, see this post. I might be wrong about this, but it may have been a bad idea for conservatives to energetically jump to Limbaugh's defense, contributing, in effect, to a perception of Limbaugh as a the Republican standard-bearer.

Perhaps they're right. Perception is reality. I know that Limbaugh is very unpopular with people who openly admit that they have never listened to him. Maybe Democrats can exploit that.

Limbaugh insists that his audience has been increasing and that commercial spots for the year are nearly sold out. If more people actually start listening, maybe that's bad for the Dems. Who knows?

While all this makes for interesting political theatre, I don't believe that Obama will be able to continually shift the focus and responsibility forever. At some point, he'll have to go all in and explain and defend specific policy decisions. It should be interesting.

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