Free Markets, Free People

Why The Surprise That Limbaugh Wants Obama To Fail?

 You know I’ve been reading all the opinions being tossed around about that statement by Limbaugh, and I’ve thought about it for a while, and I just can’t find anything wrong with it.

Here’s a confession: I’d be lying out of my 3rd point of contact if I said I wanted him to succeed. That’s because “success” would mean the subversion of everything I find important into something I loathe. It would mean the supplanting of free market and capitalistic economic mechanisms with those designed by government. It would mean sanctioning and approving govenment driven market distortions. It would mean approving government picking economic winners and losers. It would mean agreeing that it is the job of government to provide health care, welfare, and retirement. And on and on we go.

So I’d be absolutely full of it if I said, with a smile, “of course I want Mr. Obama to succeed, he’s our President and no patriotic American wants to see a President fail”.

Well, except those patriotic Americans of the left during the last 8 years.

But you know, that doesn’t count. 8 years of  claiming to be “in the darkness”,  governed by “a loser” and an “incompetent” who was taking us down the road to “totalitarianism” and who had to be stopped wasn’t at all the same as Rush Limbaugh stating he wants Obama to fail.

That was then, this is now. Then it was patriotic dissent. Now it’s an unspeakable outrage.

Well, let me go on record here, not that it counts for much. It’s nothing personal toward Mr. Obama. He’s a nice enough guy for someone who I think has an agenda which will destroy this country and the institutions which have made us the most prosperous and powerful nation in the world. So it’s not personal. It’s political.

It’s about what he represents politically. It’s about his political agenda. And since he’s the driving force behind his political agenda it’s rather hard to separate the man from the movement, wouldn’t you say?  I guess I could be real cagey about it and say, “of course I want to see Mr. Obama succeed, but I want his agenda to fail”.

Makes no sense does it?

Nor does saying, “this has nothing to do with Obama, it’s about the agenda, and I want it to fail”. That’s as false as any other statement which tries to separate Obama from his agenda. And that bears saying again – it’s “his agenda”.  If Iraq was “Bush’s war”, this spending monstrosity and the plans that go with it are “Obama’s agenda”, aren’t they?

Well, unsurprisingly, I want that agenda to fail.



If you want to interpret that to mean I want Obama to fail, so be it – that’s up to you.

But don’t even try to pretend that this is something new or unique to the right after the last 8 years. And for the record, I wanted much of Bush’s agenda to fail as well – Medicare Part D, NCLB, etc.

So save your self-righteous hypocrisy about Limbaugh’s desire to see Obama fail for someone who cares. To be perfectly clear, I want to see the Obama agenda to go down in flames too. If that happens to take Obama with it – oh well.


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45 Responses to Why The Surprise That Limbaugh Wants Obama To Fail?

  • The better question is why all this attention is being paid to a talk radio host whose only real goal is higher ratings and more money.

    The guys a shock jock, the political equivalent of Howard Stern. I’m convinced he says what he says so people will pay attention to him.

    • You and I have different definitions of “shock jock” then.

      Regardless of who it is saying it or their reason, do you want Obama to succeed?

      • Bruce,

        It depends on what your definition of “succeed” is, I guess.

        Do I want his health care plan to succeed ? No.

        Do I want the economy to continue in a free fall for the next four years ? No, and quite honestly even a modestly successful plan on Obama’s part would be better than what would happen if things got that bad.

        And my definition of “shock jock” is a radio host who says things, on the air and in public, designed to incite controversy and cause people to tune in to hear what else he might say. I’ve been listening to Limbaugh off and on for more than 20 years — starting when he first came to WABC in New York before his syndicated program had even started — and I’m convinced that’s exactly what his game is. I don’t think he cares about the ideas, or the fortunes of the GOP. He cares about ratings, ad revenues, and the next contract.

        There’s nothing wrong with that in my book. He’s a capitalist and so am I and if he can make millions with his schitck, more power to him.

        I just learned early on not to take him seriously as a political commentator.

        • “Succeed” means pass and execute his agenda, Doug.

          I’m willing to risk the possibility of a free-fall without out it vs. what I feel will be the long-term disastrous results of its implementation, even if, in the short run, it might soften the landing a bit. And trust me – at my age, I’m talking about a big risk.

          As for “shock jock” I suppose I don’t define it that broadly.

          • Succeed could also mean governing the country successfully. Would Limbaugh say that he wants Obama to fail in a confrontation with a foreign government if it would advance his agenda ?

            But, the debate over what Limbaugh said about Obama “succeeding” is irrelevant, at least it is to me.

            The question is whether Limbaugh is or should be the voice and face of the GOP.

            If that happens, I think it’s gonna be a long time in the wilderness for them.

          • But that’s not what I’ve talked about (or Limbaugh, for that matter) when talking about the success of his agenda. Again, its not about “governing” per se or foreign policy. It’s about the domestic political agenda (see post) he’s put forward and the huge shift to the left it portends.

            As for who is or isn’t the face or voice of the GOP, I really don’t care. When the new RNC chairman agrees on TV that his conference was reminiscent of Nazis, they’re certainly not reaping any leadership rewards there, are they?

  • Someone wrote it perfectly- when it comes to Obama, I’m rooting for the team, not the coach.

    And it’s not like we’re sitting here hoping we lose a war and have more Americans killed like the left was for the past years…

  • Sometimes I think if Rush didn’t exist, we liberals would have to invent him.   Other times, I think we did :^)

    • If it wasn’t for retarded liberals on this  blog, we would have to invent someone so singularly stupid and lickspittle.

  • Yeah, funny, I thought when I voted for McCain I was voting for Obama and his policies to fail. Silly me, I thought voting was some kind of right or something.

    “I’d be lying out of my 3rd point of contact if I said I wanted him to succeed.”

    It’s supposed to be balls of feet, calves, thighs, 4.buttocks, pullup muscle. If you’re hitting feet, head, ass, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Hello TomD did you want BUSH to succeed? You know with tax cuts, (for the Rich) or privatized Social Security, or in Iraq (Illegal, War of Nazi-like Aggression)? Did Harry Reid? No, you didn’t, did you? Why should I want Obama to “succeed?”

    He defines success as higher taxes, socialized medicine, larger government, higher gas/electricity prices…which all lead to lower economic growth and prosperity for ALL. That’s what he wants to do, that’s how HE defines Success, and I guaran-D@mn-Tee you if he doesn’t get those things, he and his supporters are going to be very disappointed…

    So I have NO problem saying I want him to fail…as is continually said, IF Obama succeeds America fails…

    I like the dismissal of Limbaugh as an “etnertainer” or “Shock Jock?” What was Michael Moore, was he speaking Truth to Power or was he just a shcok jock looking for ratings and $?

  • And I want Obama’s foreign policy to fail, too…I DON’T want $900 million going to Hamas in Gaza….I DON’T want multilateral talks with Syria, or pressure on Israel to make them “concede” to the demands of the people that hate them….

    All these people who talk about successful governance remind me of Chris Buckley, talking about the THEORETICAL Obama, rather than the ACTUAL one…the actual Obama has some pretty lousy ideas, at home AND abroad. So I want the real Obama to fail, not hope that some “Chastened” Obama will realize the error of his ways and turn away from error. I don’t see it happening…if it does it’s electoral doom for Obama…ask Jimmy Carter how the whole “I’ve had to question everything I knew about the Soviet Union” sort of statement aided him in 1980? So, Obama isn’t going to change, and isn’t going to prosper with his current ideas. So again, why do I want him to “succeed.”

  • Pretty bad when the President of the United States just HAS to respond to a radio personality.    It’s a look underneath the mask gang.  Don’t argue with the President, your right of free speech does NOT extend to arguing with THIS President.  Get it?  And Gibbs (an idiot) gets it all wrong, they ARE elevating Rush, tremendously.  It’s been amateur hour at the White House since the inauguration, same plot line this week.

  • In the same vain they used during the Iraq war with “I support the troops, but not the Mission”

    “I support the President, but not his Agenda!”

  • What Limbaugh said was stupid in the extreme.  Obama is going to get his agenda passed whether we want it or not, because we can’t stop it.  Rush could have said something like  “What I want is not important, Obama WILL fail because socialism always fails”  But if he had said that it would not have gotten as much coverage right? This is not the first time he has stepped in it, remember the Donovan McNabb thing?

    He plays the same game Ann Coulter does, though not as extreme. Say something hateful and outrageous and then get your new book sold from all the free publicity.  It doesn’t really matter what he says, but it does matter that Republican politicians not get too cozy with him.  If we hope to reach out to the swing folks in the future you cannot get too close to damaged goods.

    For better or worse he is, in the minds of perhaps a majority, a mean spirited, dope using bigot.  That may be unfair, but it is entirely of his own creation.

  • I think he’s pretty much doomed to become a failure whether he succeeds in his agenda or not.  about the only thing that can save him is a 180 on his agenda.  If he succeeds he will go down in history as the president who destroyed the greatest nation on earth.  If he fails in his agenda he will simply be remembered as a failure.

    • Yep. When you push policies that are proven failures, you are striving for failure.

  • What Limbaugh said was stupid in the extreme. Obama is going to get his agenda passed whether we want it or not, because we can’t stop it.

    No it wasn’t stupid, in the extreme. Because if we’d have adopted your Pissy-Willow attitude in 1992 we’d have socialized health care RIGHT now! You do remember the last time a big liberal came to DC, right? Funny, he had Congress too…but not for long. because people opposed him! Didn’t try to reach out to the other side, didn’t try to make a BAD bill better…they opposed him. They didn’t want him to succeed, they opposed him. And Limbaugh helped mobilize that movement. So, no it’s not stupid in the extreme.

    Rush could have said something like “What I want is not important, Obama WILL fail because socialism always fails” But if he had said that it would not have gotten as much coverage right? This is not the first time he has stepped in it, remember the Donovan McNabb thing?

    Funny thing McNabb STILL hasn’t won a Super Bowl…and funny thing is, people, in sports agreed, McNabb is OVER-Rated…but because he’s Black, well we still can’t say that, can we?

    It doesn’t really matter what he says, but it does matter that Republican politicians not get too cozy with him. If we hope to reach out to the swing folks in the future you cannot get too close to damaged goods.

    You mean like McCain did? Or like Reagan did? The nasty truth is “swing voters” aren’t too smart, or engaged…they don’t have an opinion…so this desire to appeal to some mythical moderate or swing voter is a farce. You win by convincing THEM, that you’ll do better by them than the other guy. By making them think that you’re way, Left or Right, is a better idea than the other guys, not by running away from your base. Oh and calling your own party a Nazi Convention…or calling one of your strongest assets ugly and incendiary…unless of course you want to remain in the minority…which is comforting, you can be right, get an occasional earmark, and mayhap hit the golf links early….

    Socialism fails every time it’s tried, Dude, BUT the cost it inflicts on a nation lasts decades…ask East Europeans. So we don’t want to have to pick up the pieces. We want to stop it here and now, in its tracks!

  • I want the Office of the Presidency to succeed.

    The current occupant of that office:  not so much.

  • Well Joe, DUDE, you are simply mistaken.  We were able to defeat the medical bill in the Clinton administration for a number of reasons. First of all they drug their feet and let it drag out till just before the mid term elections, so it became a political issue.  Also, the number of republicans in both houses at that time was very close.

    We are NOT, going to defeat anything they want to do this year. at best we can cause them to moderate something around the edges if we raise a big enough stink.  They simply have too many votes, and unlike Clinton, Obama actually seems to want to get his agenda passed more than just stroke his reelection.

    At any rate Limbaugh put his foot in it, you can deny that all you want but the proof is in the pudding. He gave all his enemies a huge amount of ammo, and no one outside of the rank and file will bother listening to the spin.  We will get no where if we let that man become the poster boy for our party.

    • If we can’t stop it we might as well let everyone know what we think about it.

      And I don’t see what’s wrong about wanting Obama to fail. I want him to fail, for the sake of the nation.

  • Well then Kyle* kiss the US goodbye….

    Because Socialized medicine is the “tipping point” from which you don’t return…so we’d better by G*D stand up and rabble rouse, and get Specter, and Snowe and the Blue Dogs in the House upset too. And we don’t do that by being “nice” We do that by raising the roof and speaking out….

    Who do you propose as our poster boy? If not limbaugh, who doesn’t represent the GOP, he represents CONSERVATIVES…

    I think yo are a REPUBLICAN, I’m a CONSERVATIVE…there is a lot of over-lap but it’s not a one-for-one homomorphic mapping.

    Do you think Maverick McCain is the man, who?

  • I see “put his foot in it” means the same as “Swift-Boating” it means telling the Truth about Liberal Democrats

  • <blockquote>He’s a nice enough guy for someone who I think has an agenda which will destroy this country and the institutions which have made us the most prosperous and powerful nation in the world. So it’s not personal. It’s political.</blockquote>

    G*d knows he couldn’t be more destructive to our insitutions than the prior president.

    <blockquote>Fourth Amendment protections against unwarranted search and seizure, for instance, did not apply in the United States as long as the president was combatting terrorism, the Justice Department said in an Oct. 23, 2001, memo.
    “First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo wrote, adding later: “The current campaign against terrorism may require even broader exercises of federal power domestically.”
    On Sept. 25, 2001, Yoo discussed possible changes to the laws governing wiretaps for intelligence gathering. In that memo, he said the government’s interest in keeping the nation safe following the terrorist attacks might justify warrantless searches.</blockquote>

    When the chips were down, you fell in line for the most viciously anti-constitutional presidency of the last 60 years, and then you turn on a dime and start ranting about the threat to your “freedoms” from a potential five percent tax hike. “Small-government conservatives” who supported every  George Bush and now talk hyperbolic about Obama “destroying our freedom” seem like craven hyprocrites to me, and they always will. I’m spoiled on them forver.

    If anyone ever released a memo like that from the Obama DOJ, you folks would cra* yourselves. Even now, the only thing you regret about the guy was his Medicare plan. Real libertarians

    • ” the most viciously anti-constitutional presidency of the last 60 years”

      I guess you were too busy clebrating ignorance day in January to check any news since then. Obama’s already violated the Constitution once (Clinton),  promised to do it again (DC vote), and hopes to violate it a third time with the census. Not to mention the 10th amendment. It hasn’t even been two months, and he’s passed the accusations against Bush.

    • You have become a caricature of the lefty troll, glasnost. Ignore the post, introduce something off topic and assume, without evidence, that I or anyone else here would support such nonsense.

      And of course it doesn’t change a thing about the topic of the post.

      You’re pitiful.

      • Glasnost , Sarcastic, and the rest of these guys revert to type, i.e.  a mindless mkultra, rabid, spittle flying lunatic 

      • I certainly never read on this blog, “I want President Bush to fail.”
        You can call me names too if you like, but despite all of the entitlement spending and fiscal irresponsibility we saw from GWB and the Republicans – although you did indeed criticize them from time to time – we never did read these words then that we now see from you and Limbaugh. 
        Rather than outright calling for the failure of our President, a little bit of help with semantics could go a long way.  Calling, “I hope President Obama fails in taking this nation down a path of socialism.” would help to alleviate the ire towards Limbaugh and those who spit in the same direction.  If Obama succeeds in righting the ship – and I know you don’t think he will, and if the ship is righted, you certainly won’t cede that it had anything to do with Obama – but no matter the ideology, it’s good for all of us.

        The problem with Limbaugh is that he has no credibility to merely claim he is hoping for Obama’s ideology to fail.  He is an admitted partisan hack.  I remember tuning in to his radio show the day after the GOP’s big loss in the ’06 midterms.  I specifically remember him saying that he glad that they lost, that he was tired of “carrying their water.”  He blatantly admitted to be a party hack.  I remember having to hold up my jaw whilst riding down the road.  I was in disbelief, not that he’s a party hack, we all know this, but because he admitted to being so.
        It was a remarkably stupid thing to say then, and now he remains with his most recent vulgarity, a bloated gas bag puking curdled ribaldry that his disciples eagerly devour.  And there are so many in his dominion, that republican politicians and the like have to grovel in penance and swear fealty to El Rushbo for merely appearing to stray from Limbaugh’s realm.
        And that’s what’s truly pitiful.


        • Really? That’s because, just like with Obama, we were more concerned with President Bush’s agenda.

          And, unless I’ve missed it, I’ve made it clear I want to see President Obama’s agenda fail, just like I wanted portions of President Bush’s to fail – Medicare Part D, NCLB, etc.

          But hey, don’t let that get in the way of a good strawman rant, Pogue.


          • And, unless I’ve missed it, I’ve made it clear I want to see President Obama’s agenda fail, just like I wanted portions of President Bush’s to fail – Medicare Part D, NCLB, etc.

            Ah.  So now were down to “portions”.
            Keep working on those semantics, McQ.  You’ll get there eventually.

            Strawman rants, eh?
            Hey man, you wanna go off on how you want Obama’s socialism to fail, then by all means.  But if you bring along a sack like Limbaugh, then you’ve got to carry all of the manure inside of it.


          • So it’s all or nothing Pogue? I can’t support some things but not others?

            Gee … Mr. Black and White visits QandO.

            I guess there’s no use in trying to point out that there would likely be much less I’d support in the Obama agenda than the Bush agenda. Far to nuanced for the stark view you have, huh?


          • Well to his class it is Obama uber alles (Obama above everything else).

            After all you are speaking heresy

        • We never mentioned you Pogue.  We mentioned Glasnost and Sarcastic as mindless lefty trolls.  (Unless you are actually a sock puppet for them)

          But if you feel that appelation fits, then wear it with pride, son.  😉

          • For all of your rubbing against me, I refuse to wear your stink.

            Keep your toilet paper cupped, and for the benefit of all of us, please go from front to back.

  • Put me in the camp of wanting Obama and the collectivists to fail miserably.  Everything they stand for is 180 degrees from my beliefs.  Why on earth would I want them to succeed?  That would be hoping he succeeds in turning the USA into the Soviet Union.  No!  I want him to crash and burn.

  • The thing that makes me laugh about this is that the country is going to crap and Obama and Rahm Emmanuel are fighting against a radio personality and a republican minority that has no power whatsoever.  

    Hey, didn’t they win an election?  Somehow that is very telling.  They have no real plan and are slowly running out of people to blame

  • Kyle8, you made one flawed assumption…you said, “Socialism always fails”…you make a flawed assumption in that you think, because it fails to deliver on its policy outcomes it fails, politically. Socialism is doing just FINE, in Britain, France, Italy, Germany, in fact all throughout Europe. Since 1945 these nations have adopted varying degrees of Socialism, and have they gotten rid of it, even though it has failed to deliver the fair, prosperous, green socio-economic outcomes it promised? No, so though Socialism always fails, for the People, it almost never fails for the POLITICIANS…that’s why we must fight it, now…not wait for it to “fail”. Because once implemented it really can’t be made to go away….

  • I said at my own place on this topic, this morning, particularly as regards Steele’s one-cheeked reaction to Limbaugh:

     It certainly appears to me that the takeaway from this  Steele v Limbaugh exchange, whatever else might be said, is that Limbaugh is not as the Democrats have been trying to cast him, a part of the Republican leadership. He is, in fact, part of the much Republican maligned grassroots, albeit one of the more visible members.
    Why would the Democrats try to mislabel Limbaugh as the leadership of the Republican party? The answer is fairly simple; They’re trying to get the Republican leadership to back away from it’s grassroots, and thereby from Republican… and dare I say.. conservative principles. Get the Republicans to disown Limbaugh, and you’ve disconnected them from their grassroots, thereby crippling them.  Given Steele’s comments it nearly worked.
    It would be understating the thing on an order of scale to suggest that I’m disappointed with Steele in this. He has but one choice to overcome this. He needs to understand first that Limbaugh is as popular as he is because he speaks what is already on the minds of the Republican grass roots, not because he does their thinking for him or that he is particularly entertaining.  He would thereby be far better learning from Limbaugh and not disowning him as the Democrats have been demanding of late. Growing a pair and an ability to stand on conservative principles wouldn’t hurt matters, either.


    So, here’s the message for McCain… for Eric Cantor, and for Michael Steele, and anyone else who is uncomfortable with the Republican grassroots:

    I want the policies of this administration to fail, because I want this country to succeed. Allowing Obama to succeed in his plans means America fails. Those two points are directly linked.  If you cannot get your mind around that concept, and state it flatly and publicly, and adopt it as your position, and the position of the party, and the motive behind everything you do in your leadership role in the party, then I want you out of the leadership of the Republican party.

  • Socialism is doing just FINE, in Britain, France, Italy, Germany, in fact all throughout Europe.

    Clearly, you are unaware they they’re in worse shape then we are. the EU is going bye bye as we speak.

    • Read what I said dude…socialism is doing FINE in Britain and Europe’s politicians. From Cameron to Brown to Sarkozy, Europe’s politicians are doing well, still…Their economies and their peoples may be in trouble, but the chattering classes are doing well, and so Socialism succeeds, even if Europe fails. You make the same mistake in assuming a macro-level fail equals a micro-level fail…that if the SYTEM is failing that all it’s parts are failing too. That’s not the case with Socialism.

  • You have become a caricature of the lefty troll, glasnost. Ignore the post, introduce something off topic and assume, without evidence, that I or anyone else here would support such nonsense. And of course it doesn’t change a thing about the topic of the post.

    Here, enjoy a brief taste of the old days for a minute – you have a point here. The first time you called me a troll, it was basically for disagreeing with you, but now I am indeed posting off-topic and not bothering to argue with you. The prosecution rests.

    Of course, if there was even a thread about how the office that decides what’s legal for the president to do decided that the several of the original 10 amendments and various federal laws don’t apply to him at all, then I’d be in that thread. But there isn’t one.

    I don’t agree with libertarians. I have some sympathy for their instincts,  but from what I can see their policies deliver  fail in practice. But I don’t actively dislike or disrepect them.  I support some of their policies and they sometimes have smart insights about the downsides of policies I support. Someplace like Reason or Cato may irritate me with wrong arguments, but at least they have a genuine philosophy that they actually live by.

    Which brings me back to topic.

    We’re on a “neolibertarian” website that has no thread about the release of legally binding executive branch memos that said the following:

    which stated that if the government used the military to fight terrorism inside the United States, (1) the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures would not apply to limit domestic military operations, (2) that the First Amendment’s guarantees of speech and press might have to be subordinated to military necessity, (3) that the Posse Comitatus Act, which makes it illegal to use of the military for domestic law enforcement purposes, would not apply.

    So spare me your lawyer-like hairsplitting that I’ve never demonstrated that you supported this. That’s pretty irrelevant. It’s enough that you simply don’t appear to give a damn.  I argued with you for years that the DOJ and Bush administration were breaking the law and violating the Constitution, and you had about eight posts to the effect of  “speculation, hysteria, unproven allegations, who fuc*ing cares?” This is pretty strong circumstantial evidence that you were wrong, not that the revelation of the James Comey / Alberto Gonzales confrontation on Ashcroft’s hospital bed wasn’t a pretty giant clue.  Pretty soon, the evidence will come out that the Bush DOJ wiretapped all kinds of US citizens – not just dudes in Gitmo and green card holders. I fully expect that to be beneath your notice as well.

    So I weigh my crime of being snippy and off-topic on your blog forum against your crime of massive hypocrisy to your stated beliefs, and I don’t really feel guilty. If you want to justify your behavior, go ahead and justify it. Write a post making a coherent argument that it doesn’t really matter, or isn’t really the most sweeping legal disavowal of the US Constitution by a US president in the past 100 years. Make some kind of argument. Right now, it looks like you find reality inconvenient to your highly selective partisan outrage.

    See, I used to think you were someone worth arguing with.  Nowadays I’m pretty much asking for you to kick me. In case I haven’t spelled it out for you, I think you’ve acted like a complete political hack. I find it easier to read Hot Air, the Corner, Volokh, Commentary, than your QandO posts. Not just the RINOs. I can’t control my anger with this website enough to comment productively these days. Hacks who have always been hacks I can laugh off, and ideologues who confront both sides I can argue with, but Ideologues becoming hacks make me mad.

    I know you criticised George Bush – on a set of issue-based pet peeves. But those issue-based pet peeves don’t add up to libertarianism. Or neolibertarianism. Maybe if you came out of the closet like Glenn Reynolds and admitted that you’re not a neolibertarian anymore, but a movement conservative, I could get over your descent into manipulating your audience.

  • But I don’t find it particularly outrageous that Rush Limbaugh wants Obama to fail. That’s politics. Look, I’ve satisfied the letter of the norm, for whatever difference it makes.