Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rush Defenders Trying to Have it Both Ways

I must say it's pretty entertaining watching the Republicans bend over backwards intellectually trying to defend Rush's claim that he wants Obama to fail, but the country to succeed. Here's Tim Pawlenty's attempt:

"He was wishing his socialistic policies fail. Not the country. There is clarity around that.... From my standpoint we need to wish President Obama well. We don't need to agree with him on everything. Rush Limbaugh made it clear he doesn't like President Obama's policies. That is a fair critique from his perspective. I don't think he is saying Barack Obama is a failure, I wish ill will on the country. He says I don't like these policies and I hope they are failures."

This is double talk! It's like saying you want the coach's strategy to fail, but you want the team to win! It's nonsensical. Please, anyone out there who disagrees and actually thinks there is coherence in saying you want policies adopted by the country to fail, but you don't want the country to fail; describe for me in detail what that would look like. No hand-waving vague generalities. Specifics. What will the markets look like, what will the unemployment figures look like, what will the government budget look like? Show me how this isn't an obvious and idiotic contradiction, because frankly I don't think it is possible. Pawlenty, like too many in the GOP, are twisting themselves in knots making sure that in the end they bend over and say "thank you Rush!".

Then there's Michael Steele, playing revisionist history a la Michelle Bachman and claiming he didn't say what he plainly did [hat tip ed Brayton].

What drives me nuts here is the "well how is this different than what was done to Bush" nonsense retort from Steele when called on the carpet for Rush wanting Obama to fail.

Here's why it's different:

1) No one said they wanted Bush to fail. No one. What was said was he *IS* failing, and he got criticism for being an incompetent BECAUSE he failed, and we wanted him to succeed, which is why we were so critical in the first place. Really, this isn't rocket science.

2) How is what was said about Bush the slightest bit relevant to what we should do now with Obama? Is Steele arguing that we should do wrong now because we did wrong before and being consistent is more important than being right?

Just once I'd like these lazy media people to be prepared for these totally predictable dodges. They're easy to spot. If you ask someone about the current president and they start talking about past presidents, they're dodging, and need to be called on it.

On the deny-Rush-while-defending-him, get a clue guys. Obama knew that's a losing strategy for you, and that Rush would go along with it because it fills his pockets. Why do you think they chose this strategy? But, but, but, you say, OMG Rush has a listening audience of 20 million. Yes he does. And did you notice the figures on the last presidential scoreboard? Obama 67 million, McCain 58 million. 20 million won't cut it when kissing their leader's ass alienates everyone else.


memphisto said...

DISCLAMER: Not a Republican. Don’t want Obama to fail. Hope the country is somehow able to ameliorate the damage to the economy done by (primarily) the banking industry.

Having said that, there still seems a big difference in saying you hope an administration that wants to greatly increase the role of government in the private economy to fail at that, while hoping that the country succeeds by a return to free market principles and limited government intervention. So it is possible to hope that a bad idea in government fails while hoping the country succeeds. In fact, hoping a bad idea fails is the same as hoping the country succeeds.

Both sides are lying about their aims since neither is actually in favor of government getting out of the way. The GOP is in favor of bailing out the affluent in the banking industry while the Dems are in favor of bailing out homeowners who made bad decisions about personal debt load. The problem is that in both cases government encouraged the bad behavior in the first place. Continuing to interfere now that the results of those policies have proved disastrous is the definition of insanity.

Jeff said...

That's the same attitude Jindal adopted in his terrible speech about the government's mishandling of Katrina. Just because the Republicans are a bunch of incompetent hacks and acted like it during their decade of government control doesn't mean that the Democrats shouldn't even try.

ScienceAvenger said...


It's one thing to say "I wish the president would have chosen a different solution to the problem, because I think the alternative option will produce better results than the one he chose". Had Rush said this, I'd have had no problem with it. But saying "I hope the president fails BECAUSE I want him to choose another option" is putting partisian politics ahead of the country. It completely ignores the possibility of success of the president's chosen plan.

To continue my sports analogy, it's like a fan saying "I hope Coach Smith fails so they'll give Coach Jones a try, because I think Coach Jones will get us to the title game. The fan is completely ignoring the possibility that Coach Smith will succeed in that.

ScienceAvenger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
memphisto said...

>"I hope the president fails BECAUSE I want him to choose another option" is putting partisian politics ahead of the country.

And I admit, I'm working from a position of devil's advocate (and considering that my client is Rush Limbaugh...) I wasn't saying that Rush actually cares if the country is successful (I suspect that he feels more unemployed, pissed off people would be the best thing in his world for his ratings) or that he said what he said well. All I was saying was that hoping failure of your political opponents while wishing for the success of the country is not mutually exclusive.

Likewise, I'm not convinced that your sports analogy is wholly convincing since I've known plenty of sports fans who love a team but hate a particular player or coach. Steinbrenner and the Yankees come immediately to mind.

Tiger, Jindal wasn't actually saying that the Dems shouldn't try. He was saying that 'those Republicans over there failed but they didn't really espouse classical GOP policies'. This may be poor rationalization for giving them another try, but he is right that Bush cost the party a lot of Goldwater conservative.

Of course, the GOP is in the position of having virtual carte blanch for several years and making a complete mess of things. What is Jindal going to say? Rush is a dishonest mental deficient and doesn't seem to have have any loyalty to anybody but himself. But to say that you can't hope that you hope your political enemies fail so that the country can finally see how right you are is to ignore all the scheidenfreud that the liberals have indulged in since the election.