Saturday, January 24, 2009

President Obama attacks Rush Limbaugh

Yesterday President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill that they needed to quit listening to Rush Limbaugh if they wanted to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package. (link to New York Post story)

I am sure this made Rush Limbaugh’s day. Rush will have a field day with this attack. It enhances his prestige and will energize his audience. Rush couldn't have paid for better advertising. I would think President Obama would be better off to simply ignore Limbaugh and relegate him to the fringe. Was this a harmless off-the-cuff remark or is there a strategy behind making Limbaugh the image of his opposition? I just got through saying I was a Will-Brooks conservative, not a Hannity-Limbaugh conservative, and now Obama is driving me back into the Limbaugh camp.

Years ago I used to make a point to listen to Rush if I was free to do so at the time he was on. I was a Rush fan. Over time, I grew tired of Rush and stopped listening. At times I found myself annoyed by him. Some his more outrageous episodes such as the attack on Michael J. Fox and his hypocritical drug use and his often-faulty logic and his mean-spirited humor caused me to loose any respect for him I may have had. I lost all desire to listen. Now, I am anxious to see how Rush responds to this attack so I will try to tune-in.

In addition to finding this attack on Rush interesting, I seem to recall something about Obama going to be the post-partisan President. Dismissing those who have legitimate questions about the proposed trillion-dollar stimulus package as followers of Rush Limbaugh does not sound like a guy who is trying to build bridges and change the way things are done in Washington. I think I am beginning to understand what Obama meant when he spoke about ending partisanship in Washington. I think he meant that if you didn’t agree with some of his policies you were to keep your mouth shut and roll over and play dead. Obama has only been President for two days and the warm and fuzzy is starting to fade.

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  1. I don't see much context at all in the NYP article...some of the text even comes off as conjecture ("Not that Obama was gloating. He was just explaining that he aims to get his way on stimulus package and all other legislation, sources said, noting his unrivaled one-party control of both congressional chambers.")

    "Sources said" should be banned along with "some people say"...I hate that casual, underhanded, suspicious way of counter-point.

    Anyway, I hope there will be some context in other coverage of this exchange.

    As for President Obama's point, I totally agree. The quote actually says, ""You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done." Emphasis added for effect. Sometimes reactions are based on pure projection onto the speaker to read into their quotes in the worst possible light. It makes me mad....

    There will be some commentators, bloggers, and pundits who will claim all kinds of things about how Obama wants to end freedom of speech, or bring back the Fairness Doctrine, or censor dissent, or other pure BS into that statement...all because they need a bully to play victim against.

    I do agree that people who only listen to others who share (or epitomize even) their already formed point of view run the risk of being radically partisan and therefore hold onto ideas simply because they have never known anything else. That goes for all sides as well.

  2. Oh and the headline is realllllly misleading.

    How exactly does this article indicate he attached Rush?????

    Sensationalist I think.

  3. When Limbaugh says "I hope Obama fails", it seems only reasonable for Obama to advise the Republicans he's working with to stop listening to him.

    Had that comment been made by a Democrat about Bush, he'd have been called a traitor. Which is pretty close to how Limbaugh comes off. But hey... he's free to say what he wants to say. And we're free to ignore him.

  4. How about paying attention to Pres Obams’s actual statement “you can’t JUST listen to Limbaugh” He didn’t say don’t listen to him - do take in other opinions. I can’t believe conservatives read that badly - they are intentionally wanting to appear as victims - their favorate pose!

  5. I can remember when Rush Limbaugh was new on the air back in the early 80's. EVERYBODY thought he was a nut case. Then, as the years passed, he developed an audience, using his convoluted logic and lies. You see, if you say stuff over and over again, even if it's total BS, a certain amount of gullible people will start to believe you. There have always been people throughout history that have been will to "carry the water bucket" for the rich -- and that is exactly what Limabaugh and Hannity and their ilk do. Passing off lies and spreading fear and hate for the rich elite that want to keep the working class in line. THAT is exactly what Rush has accomplished and is being paid HIGHLY for it. Limbaugh makes more money in one day that most of his listeners do in ten years. What do his listeners have in common with him? Absolutely nothing. It's patheitic how easily the masses are lead by their ignorant noses into voting against their own self interests.

  6. Isn't it amazing how people cling only to the words they want to hear?

    Not to take aim at you or the folks who have commented, but ~ as I see it those that have commented have taken your post completely out of context so far.

    To me it suggested that Obama believes Rush has some worthy input. (even if he is known to go off the deep end at times)

    happy 2009!

  7. Good article, and good comments. I think Obama feels like EVERYONE has worthy input. That's what is going to make him such a great president.

    A rant:
    I listened to Rush once for about 5 minutes, before I was ready to puke. I, honestly, can listen to people that are conservative and disagree with me, when they think logically - like Rod here! But Rush, and any of that "sort" of radio, drives me insane.

  8. WTF, at least El Rushbo is constitutionally qualified to be President!