Team Swampland’s petty Obama strategy

Michael Scherer is at it again:

Team Obama’s Petty Limbaugh Strategy

President Obama won the presidency by promising to be a different, more substantive, less gimmicky leader. He said he would not waste our time on “phony outrage,” like fulminations on the meaning of “lipstick on a pig,” or silly characters like “Joe The Plumber,” a guy who was actually named Samuel and was not even a licensed plumber. No, Obama said he was going to solve problems instead. Now that he is in the White House, he still makes this case, almost every day. On Wednesday morning, during an address about contracting reforms, he referred dismissively to the “chatter on the cable stations.”

But what is the chatter on the cable stations? For most of this week, and for much of the last month, it has been about Rush Limbaugh. Hour after hour, daytime pundits are asked a litany of banal Rush questions: Does Rush really run the Republican Party? Why did RNC chair Michael Steele apologize to Rush? What does it mean that Rush addressed conservatives last weekend? As Jonathan Martin makes clear in the Politico today, this entire controversy has been cooked up and force fed to the American people by Obama’s advisers. In other words, it’s not the kind of change you can believe in.

[….]

Republicans in Congress are not the only losers. The American people also lose. At a time of unprecedented threats to the United States, a time of financial collapse, bank failures and record layoffs, at a time when the credit crisis has not been solved, and the stock market is in free fall, at a time of stagnating wars, rising terrorism in Pakistan and growing nuclear potential in Iran, the White House has done the easy thing. It has asked the American people to focus their attention not on solving the problems, but on a big-mouthed entertainer in Florida.

There’s all kinds of problems with this. First, the fact that Republican leaders regularly prostrate themselves before El Rushbo means that Rush does in fact speak for the Republican party; and most of what he’s doing is telling Republicans to oppose Obama. Hence, it is only logical that Rush should be part of any debate about whether or not Republicans will support any part of Obama’s policy.

Second, the idea that cable news would be focusing on “serious problems” if it wasn’t so busy talking about Rush is Just. Plain. Laughable. We know full well they’d be looking for missing white women or talking about beer pong herpes or worse if they weren’t talking about Rush.

Finally, though, there’s the part of this post where I have to get personal: why is Michael Scherer doing this? Is he an actual wingnut? Probably not, he used to work for Salon and Mother Jones. So the answer is clear: he thinks this is good for his career.

This is what it means when people like JMM say that Washington is “wired for Republican control.” Reporters believe that by attacking Democrats and going easy on Republicans — Scherer is probably the very worst example of this, but Jake Tapper’s a pretty glaring one too — that they’ll get ahead in the world of journalism. And the fact is that’s probably been true for the last 30 years. Doing so removed the “liberal bias” taint from a reporter and curried favor with Republicans, who have more or less been in power since 1968.

What’s fucked up about this is that reporters like Scherer hold up their slanted hackery as evidence that they’re straight-shooting tough guys in the mold of I. F. Stone and Eward R. Murrow. They’re not. They’re careerist sociopaths in the mold of Cokie Roberts and David Broder.

What makes Scherer particularly odious to me is that he does all of this while trying to look cool for his (mostly young, liberal) audience by quoting poetry and shedding crocodile tears for David Foster Wallace. If you’ve sold your soul, don’t try to pretend you still have one.

Update: From Boehner’s mouth to Scherer’s pen, apparently:

Political operatives in the White House are trying to divert attention away from the challenges facing our economy, the sinking stock market, and the irresponsible spending binge they are presiding over. This diversionary tactic will not create a single job or help a single family struggling in today’s economic crisis. That’s where our focus should be. President Obama has said we must change the way Washington operates in order to address the challenges we are facing. In the midst of a deepening recession, White House staff should have higher priorities than this cynical strategy.






149 replies
  1. 1
    Darius says:

    Well, you’re got to admire their coordination: at the same time Scherer posted his pathetic apologist screed, John Boehner put out a statement saying precisely the same thing.

    (Via Politico, your one-stop shop for GOP talking points.)

  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    If you’ve sold your soul, don’t try to pretend you still have one.

    Worse, they sold out cheap.

    Street hookers hold out for more.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    The comments over there are pretty amusing to read. The level of detail and profanity varies from comment to comment, but it all boils down to a crowd reaction of Epic Fail. And Scherer responded to at least one of them, so we know he’s read at least some.

    -dms

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    (Via Politico, your one-stop shop for GOP talking points.)

    I’m not a huge Politco fan, but Scherer is much worse than any of their main political reporters. Ben Smith is excellent and Jon Martin has his weak moments but has his strong moments too. And the Congressional guys are all solid.

  5. 5
    cfaller96 says:

    DougJ, I think the simpler explanation is that Michael Scherer is a "Tire Swinger," and he’s still pissed that Obama rumbled his man McCain in the election.

    Look back at Scherer’s loveletters to McCain during the 2008 campaign season, and you’ll start to see a pattern of resentment against the "new guy" reformer that Obama was perceived as.

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    Leaning to the right has sure done a great thing for the newspaper business.
    Following the traditional rw agenda, newpapers have cut international staff’s for years. Cut investigative reporting (and apparently hired stenoghraphers). Hired uninteresting rw columnist’s who bleat the exact same talking points.
    And now, they wonder why readership is down, and has been in decline for decades. And why advertising money is gone.
    You have an uninteresting product, that offers little in the way of real news. And you wonder?

    Hey, Scherer, WAKE UP!!!

  7. 7

    Uhmm DougJ Scherer basically WingNutted out last year during the campaign and just the other week he wigged out on the NYTimes for their Iseman "clarification". I know that Scherer used to do good work elsewhere but I think that the tides have changed in his tiny little mind.

  8. 8
    jrosen says:

    Not to mention, judging by the tenor of many wingnut comments in places like WaPo and the tendency of trolls to regurgitate Rush’s expectorations (how’s that for a disgusting metaphor?) , the Big One is a major factor in today’s politics and should be called out as such. Obama started the action, and now that Carville has been unleashed we should see a very satisfying smashup on the right, which has been brewing for some years.

    BTW, where is the Christian right? There is a deafening silence from that area lately. Have they bailed out? Is Rush too much for them as well?

  9. 9
    DougJ says:

    DougJ, I think the simpler explanation is that Michael Scherer is a “Tire Swinger,” and he’s still pissed that Obama rumbled his man McCain in the election.

    Ah, but why was McCain his man in the first place?

  10. 10
    Jay B. says:

    Isolate your enemies. Mock them. And control the message. This is straight out of Alinsky. Meanwhile, the President IS changing the tone. He’s not pretending that a fat, preening neo-fascist is some harmless voice, he’s paying Limbaugh the credit of taking his ranting seriously. If Limbaugh believes what he’s saying, and the GOP holds it up as virtuous, then it should be openly discussed, no? He’s shaming the Republicans into choosing a side — the adults or the kiddie table.

    What people like Scherer pretend not to understand can fill volumes as to why the Democrats sucked for so long.

  11. 11
    DougJ says:

    Uhmm DougJ Scherer basically WingNutted out last year during the campaign and just the other week he wigged out on the NYTimes for their Iseman “clarification”. I know that Scherer used to do good work elsewhere but I think that the tides have changed in his tiny little mind.

    I doubt he’s actually a wingnut. This is a career stance not an ideological one.

  12. 12
    Comrade Stuck says:

    He said he would not waste our time on “phony outrage,” like fulminations on the meaning of “lipstick on a pig,” or silly characters like “Joe The Plumber,”

    He also said he wouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight, so pick your parable Mr. Scherer, and be petty damn quick about it.

  13. 13
    Michael says:

    Over at the FReak, they’re saying that Baron Harkonnen has challenged the President to a debate.

    Gosh, Lord HawHaw is all things to all people – Baron Harkonnen, Jabbaugh the Nutt, John Galt….

    Now, if he seriously gets him some Jesus and starts talking about it, he can add Nehemiah Scudder to the mix.

  14. 14
    Jon Gurry says:

    Any bets on how long before Scherer apologizes for calling Rush a "big-mouthed entertainer in Florida" ?

  15. 15
    jrg says:

    One of the two major political parties wants this nation to fail. This is not some sort of strawman, this is well documented. How is this not important? How is this petty? Seems pretty f*cking important to me.

  16. 16
    Porkulus fka Media Browski says:

    So, in a nutshell, their attempts to derail the country are backfiring, and they blame Obama’s team for forcing them to own their mistake.

    Maybe a couple more years of this and they’ll realize that the American people have learned, through 8 years of hard lessons, that the GOP is a mendacious crime syndicate with the moral compass of a meth-head sociopath.

  17. 17

    DougJ

    Then what do you define as a wingnut? Is it what you say or what you actually do? Notice that as usual Scherer links to his butt buddy JMart in his post. He regularly teams up with Tapper, Martin, and (not lately) Ambinder to try to get Drudge sirens linked to their posts. If he isn’t a wingnut he certainly posts like one. I think its easy to try to dismiss it as just a career move but I don’t see that big of a demand for idiot conservative writers except for the old guard of Kristol, Kraut, Will et al.

  18. 18
    cfaller96 says:

    Ah, but why was McCain his man in the first place?

    Well, presumably because McCain makes a good dry-rub barbecue rib and makes Michael feel special and all gooey inside. I’m speculating, of course, but I’m alluding to the whole "Tire Swinger" label that TPM started putting on certain journalists during the campaign season. I don’t have a link because the TPM archives are a nightmare to try and search through, but I’m just going to assume that you’re familiar with the term "Tire Swinger"…yes?

  19. 19
    John Cole says:

    BTW, where is the Christian right? There is a deafening silence from that area lately. Have they bailed out? Is Rush too much for them as well?

    I know many of you will probably not agree with me, but the Christian right is going the Palin route, which is to duck and cover and not get smeared with the idiocy of the current nutters. When this bender ends, and the Republicans run out of hookers, booze, and blow, crawl themselves out of the gutter and have the “Mama didn’t love me tattoo” removed, take the tie they have wrapped around their head like a bandanna off and sober up, they will re-emerge.

    They may be a lot of things, but they are savvier than a lot of the idiots in DC. Look at their response to Ted Haggard- it may have been profoundly un-Christian what they did, but they knew what they had to do- they had to disappear him and quick. That guy was a serious damned threat to the narrative.

  20. 20
    mistermix says:

    This is a career stance not an ideological one.

    Yes, and in addition to trying to show his "serious" credentials to other Villagers, I think he’s also trying to "create buzz" as judged by the number of comments his posts generate. Rehashing Boehner’s latest talking point and tsk-tsking at the Democrats is a sure way to get a lot of comments from the Swamplanders, and their comment count has been down lately.

  21. 21
    cfaller96 says:

    Also, somebody should make note of Scherer’s response to a commenter pointing Rush’s "I hope he fails" statement:

    Scherer: "I don’t see anything wrong with saying you do not want any political leader to succeed in his policy goals. It happens all the time, and is the basis of a free democracy."

    Did everyone get that? Journalist Michael Scherer of Time magazine thinks it’s ok to root for the country’s economic failure (which is what will happen if Obama’s plan fails). Fascinating.

  22. 22
    me says:

    Scherer’s work isn’t entirely without merit, for example this. There are worse out there, take Mark Halperin, please.

  23. 23
    zoe kentucky says:

    This is not a distraction– most of the leaders of the GOP have very recently proclaimed their respect and admiration for Rush. In one way or another they’ve all said that Rush is a hugely influential, important figure for their party. Why the GOP is tying themselves to someone who thrives on saying outrageous, offensive things is beyond me. That’s because the answer is obvious– he is one of their leaders.

    The very few Republicans who dared criticize el Rushbo have turned around so fast to grovel and apologize that they nearly snapped their necks. Having the dems merely point out this very obvious storyline is merely picking the low-hanging fruit. They’d be positively stupid to ignore this. If the GOP wanted this to go away they’d stop talking about Limbaugh, they’d stop professing their love for him so publicly. Apparently they don’t know/care that Rush is not a popular figure among people who aren’t his dittoheads.

    Relax, folks, Obama and the dems are actually standing up and being proactive, they’re on the offensive against the GOP. It’s a GOOD thing. We’re just not used to it.

  24. 24
    SpotWeld says:

    The really sad thing is that Scherer’s post and the troll comments (see: Rustydog) seem to be greatly in agreement.

  25. 25
    Davebo says:

    Late this afternoon, in keeping with apologies to Rush Limbaugh from Georgia Republican Phil Gingrey and RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) issued the following statement:

    “I’m sorry Limbaugh called for harsh sentences for drug addicts while he was a drug addict. I’m also sorry that he’s bent on seeing America fail. And I’m sorry that Limbaugh is one sorry excuse for a human being.”

    Good One

  26. 26
    gwangung says:

    Career move or not, he’s functionally behaving the same as a wingnut, so treat him as one until he behaves differently.

  27. 27
    Darius says:

    Career move or not, he’s functionally behaving the same as a wingnut, so treat him as one until he behaves differently.

    I say, call him what he is: a Limbaugh apologist.

  28. 28
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @DougJ

    Ah, but why was McCain his man in the first place?

    Unlike most pols (smart ones, anyway), McCain would sit and yak for hours and hours with these hacks. It may sound silly, but ‘Shitty Politician Who Actually Talks To Me ‘ will get you very far with the MSM these days. McCain gave them unlimited access, swapped ‘Manly Stories’ – i.e. – ‘The Brazilian Dish’, and invites them over for BBQ and PRESTO!
    a love affair blossomed. All you have to do is give these people lots of access, and they will bendover backwards for you.

    The decline of the Press these last few years is really atrocious. It really says something when a poltical tabloid rag (Politico) pretty much runs the show in DC. Who gives a shit about good, solid reporting when you can get the latest update on the Steele V. Rushbo hissy fit from Johnathan ‘Fat Assed GOP Hack’ Martin?

  29. 29
    mistermix says:

    @gwangung:

    he’s functionally behaving the same as a wingnut

    Actually, it’s worse. He’s a wingnut enabler, serving as a conduit for moving wingnut talking points from the fringe to the "serious" media, and for legitimatizing criticism that most people think is out of bounds.

    If Limbaugh thinks that wanting the President to fail is A-OK, that’s one thing, but when Michael Scherer of Time Magazine defends it as the epitome of level-headed argument, that’s another kettle of fish.

  30. 30
    Bulworth says:

    @zoe kentucky:

    Yes. The best defense is a good offense.

  31. 31
    haha says:

    Rush gets taken seriously, even defended, because of his audience, yes? So by the same token Michael Moore, because his documentaries reach a lot of people, ought to be taken seriously.

    Now, imagine if Michael Moore had rooted for Dubya’s failure, explicitly and by his own admission. Imagine if he had said, "I hope President Bush’s war strategy fails"—not that he feared it would fail or suspected it would, but hoped that it did fail.

    How different would this situation be? How many Democrats would be expected to denounce Michael Moore, and who in the media would defend his rights to free speech, to root openly for failure in a time of crisis? I call bullshit. Quit demanding Democrats play by a different rulebook; if you must get all high and mighty and question their tactics on this matter, then at least have to decency to admit that the GOP is reaping the whirlwind for having employed the very same for years.

  32. 32
    va says:

    I think TIME makes its reporters take an oath of allegiance to 2004-style centrism. Ana Marie Cox of all people talked a wingnutty game at times when she was there. It seemed like she was professionally obligated to love John McCain. It was weird.

    Anyway, my theory is that TIME gives its reporters a Republican talking points quota.

  33. 33
    JenJen says:

    Is this the same guy who, unwisely, used to get into it with the commenters over at Swampland during the campaign?

    Oh, he was funny, if this is the same dude. :-)

  34. 34
    JL says:

    Anyway, my theory is that TIME gives its reporters a Republican talking points quota.

    It might be time to take Klein to the shed then. He has been doing some amazing writing as of late.

  35. 35
    Ned R. says:

    @John Cole:

    I know many of you will probably not agree with me, but the Christian right is going the Palin route, which is to duck and cover and not get smeared with the idiocy of the current nutters.

    I actually fully agree with this take.

  36. 36
    Shiva says:

    So the Republican position is that Obama is the person to blame for all the attention Rush Limbaugh is getting. I mean, it couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that LImbaugh has a radio show, which millions of people listen to. It has to be Obama’s fault.

  37. 37
    smiley says:

    On the other hand, Scherer was the one who got the big scoop about folks in the White House preferring Diet Coke over Diet Pepsi.

  38. 38
    sarah says:

    I don’t recall any democratic politicians saying they wanted the surge in Iraq to fail. they probably felt they had better ways of dealing with the situation but they didn’t wish for the out-and-out failure of the President’s policy. That’s probably why you don’t hear elected republicans wishing for the economic stimulus to fail. It’s unpatriotic, to say the least. And for reporters to enable that mentality…

  39. 39
    John Cole says:

    Republicans in Congress are not the only losers. The American people also lose. At a time of unprecedented threats to the United States, a time of financial collapse, bank failures and record layoffs, at a time when the credit crisis has not been solved, and the stock market is in free fall, at a time of stagnating wars, rising terrorism in Pakistan and growing nuclear potential in Iran, the White House has done the easy thing. It has asked the American people to focus their attention not on solving the problems, but on a big-mouthed entertainer in Florida.

    That is the part that pisses me off. Someone go through the rhetoric the past few weeks, to include the frakking not-SOTU address, and point out how utterly full of shit Scherer is. Obama has consistently stated how bad things are, and was met with accusations that he was “fear-mongering” or “talking down” the economy.

    You could start right here, with Michael Scherer’s own god damned piece about Obama honestly confronting the difficulties we face.

    Hack.

  40. 40
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    If Scherer wants to blame someone for keeping this in the news then he need look no further than to those Republicans who publicly criticized Limbaugh and then publicly apologized for doing so. It seems like only yesterday that a highly placed Republican went through the criticize/apologize cycle.
    It’s just another example of the "party of personal responsibility" reflexively blaming the Democrats for problems that they, themselves, create.

  41. 41
    Napoleon says:

    So maybe I missed it, but who in the White House is holding a gun to the head of the media and threatening to shoot them if they don’t run the Limbaugh story?

  42. 42
    The Populist says:

    Some observations:

    Rush needs to seriously lose weight. He’s a lot fatter than I thought. Sorry, Rushie old boy, but mix in a salad a bit more often, mmmkay? Watching your fat bounce up and down while you try to be funny is stressful to see. I thought conservatives were just that…people who don’t over do things. PIG.

    Rush sits here ruminating about a perceived loss of liberty. Why didn’t he take offense at the Bush Administration’s trashing of the Constitution, spying on Americans, etc?

    If the ACLU is so evil, why is it they come to the rescue of drug addled buffoons like you, Rush? That’s right, the constitution defends you as well as me and your perceived enemies too.

    I hear him gabbing about socialism yet why doesn’t he take offense at the socialism that Sarah Palin practices in AK?

    He once told Democrats to "shut up" until they actually win something. Now he wants them to shut up anyway? Hmmm, when they won they felt the need to gloat. When the public elects the Dems he still gloats about the need to be an obstructionist and won’t heed his own advice to shut the fuck up.

    This "recession" that Obama "created"? Explain please. Last time I checked it was your hero Bush who made it happen.

    When Rush whines about changing the face of America it’s really too bad his dittoheads can’t see the code he’s using. What he is whining about is that his greediness is driving his whining. Average people who buy Rush’s crocodile tears about being pickpocketed need to understand that if it was up to Rush, they’d be homeless, jobless and begging for scraps.

  43. 43
    mannemalon says:

    Posting this again in case it was missed. Morning Joe crew was clowning the heck out of Steele today. Straight tearing him down, to the point where I wonder how the RNC can even afford him being their chair. I think he’s done.
    Morning Joe crew on Steele

    This probably signals that Scarborough got word from the party bosses that its time to stick the nail in the coffin in the Michael Steele experiment. Added to the campaign investigations and his 50 minute turn around apology, this fool is done.

  44. 44
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    I know many of you will probably not agree with me, but the Christian right is going the Palin route, which is to duck and cover and not get smeared with the idiocy of the current nutters.

    They may also anticipate being left standing and relatively intact once the tumbrels stop rolling.

  45. 45
    woody says:

    Also, somebody should make note of Scherer’s response to a commenter pointing Rush’s "I hope he fails" statement:

    Scherer: "I don’t see anything wrong with saying you do not want any political leader to succeed in his policy goals. It happens all the time, and is the basis of a free democracy."

    Did everyone get that? Journalist Michael Scherer of Time magazine thinks it’s ok to root for the country’s economic failure (which is what will happen if Obama’s plan fails). Fascinating.

    Let’s be honest, shall we?

    I, personally, always wished that the Bushevik regime and agenda would fail.

    Did ANY of you (lefties) actually hope for the Bushevik regime’s success? I didn’t.

    I doubt that there is a liberal in the country who didn’t avidly wish that the GOPukes would fail abysmally, and universally.

  46. 46
    gwangung says:

    If Scherer wants to blame someone for keeping this in the news then he need look no further than to those Republicans who publicly criticized Limbaugh and then publicly apologized for doing so.

    No freakin’ kidding.

    Like I’ve been saying…Obama and team did VERY little. All the action has been done by REPUBLICANS.

    And who can stop it? REPUBLICANS.

    But who gets the blame?

    Frickin’ idjits…

  47. 47

    Political operatives in the White House are trying to divert attention away from the challenges facing our economy, the sinking stock market, and the irresponsible spending binge they are presiding over.

    That’s funny; I thought they were pushing stories about the economy as a scare tactic to get their legislation through; at least, that’s what the Republicans were saying a week ago.

  48. 48
    va says:

    @JL: Well, sort of. Klein’s writing on the issues is pretty shallow whether he turns a liberal or conservative argument. At his best he reports stuff he sees in the Mid East. But yes, maybe I should amend my theory: TIME gives reporters centrist and conservative "beats."

  49. 49
    The Populist says:

    BTW – Rush says he’s funnier than any dem comic. If this were true, I’d love for him to go up to the Improv and book a show. Let’s see how funny you are, fool. I bet we hear crickets or the sounds of paper rustling between thoughts (really, why does he shuffle his paper so much!?!?).

    If there is one fact in life is that liberal oriented comics are much funnier than ones that claim to be righties (ahem…Dennis).

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    There’s all kinds of problems with this. First, the fact that Republican leaders regularly prostrate themselves before El Rushbo means that Rush does in fact speak for the Republican party; and most of what he’s doing is telling Republicans to oppose Obama. Hence, it is only logical that Rush should be part of any debate about whether or not Republicans will support any part of Obama’s policy.

    Obama’s "attack Rush" strategy is a distraction, but it appears to be accelerating the collapse of the GOP. I heard a news story this morning where GOP bigwigs told RNC head Michael Steele to leave Rush alone;

    I have a fever for the First Amendment ("More Free Speech and more cowbell!"), and don’t give a rat’s ass over phony hand-wringing over the Fairness Doctrine. However, Rush is nothing more than an entertainer and willing shill for the GOP. If he gets tangled up in his own ego and conservative dopes want to defend his puffoonery, then I have no problems with Team Obama piling on.

  51. 51
    Stooleo says:

    So we got Limbaugh rooting for America to fall into some sort of Mad Maxian dystopia, and MSM rubs its collective chin and pronounces that this is perfectly in their right to do so. Where are the proclamations of "Why does Rush hate America"? Where are the lofty articles exploring for legal precedent for treason? Yet another installment IOKIYAR.

  52. 52
    The Populist says:

    Scherer: "I don’t see anything wrong with saying you do not want any political leader to succeed in his policy goals. It happens all the time, and is the basis of a free democracy."

    Bull, these nutters don’t fucking get it. If you disagree, GIVE US EXAMPLES AND THEN PROPOSE A COUNTERPOINT. Rush said he hopes OBAMA FAILS. Not his policies, not his ideas, THE MAN HIMSELF.

    Fuck this shit. These maroons should shut the HELL up until they can come up with better ideas.

  53. 53
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    It has asked the American people to focus their attention not on solving the problems, but on a big-mouthed entertainer in Florida.

    Um, yeah, a big-mouthed entertainer who is directing them all to oppose any efforts to fix the aforementioned problems – and succeeding.

  54. 54
    gizmo says:

    Scherer doesn’t seem to understand that the ruckus surrounding Limbaugh is driving a wedge into the Republican Party. Obama and Gibbs have played them like a violin.

  55. 55
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @woody: I, personally, always wished that the Bushevik regime and agenda would fail. Did ANY of you (lefties) actually hope for the Bushevik regime’s success? I didn’t.

    I think you’re misstating it a bit – I didn’t wish the Bush agenda would fail so much as I knew it would. My wish was that it cause relatively little damage. Oddly, I think I got my wish – things are utterly fucked, but they could have been lots worse, especially with what we’re now finding about how the Bush years were officially a dictatorship b/c of the OLC secret letters and all.

  56. 56
    FourtyTwo says:

    "Did ANY of you (lefties) actually hope for the Bushevik regime’s success? I didn’t."

    You are a dick.

    I hoped for success, especially so when the shit really hit the fan (Bear Stearns). I just knew they were going to do things the wrong way, but I hoped against hope that I was wrong.

    Who wants to see their 401K take a 40% haircut?

  57. 57
    Michael says:

    So we got Limbaugh rooting for America to fall into some sort of Mad Maxian dystopia…

    The only upside is that Harkonnen’s bloated carcass could feed a family of 8 for about week, assuming that they can stand really greasy, fatty meat that hasn’t seen a free range in years.

    Somebody needs to tell him to walk more, so if the Apokeeklipse comes, the folks who eat him can actually enjoy the meal.

  58. 58
    John Cole says:

    Scherer doesn’t seem to understand that the ruckus surrounding Limbaugh is driving a wedge into the Republican Party. Obama and Gibbs have played them like a violin.

    Alternate working theory: Scherer understands exactly what is happening, and this is why he is so upset.

  59. 59
    SpotWeld says:

    Alternate working theory: Scherer understands exactly what is happening, and this is why he is so upset.

    Additionally, he can’t report on that without having to apologize to Rush afterwards.

  60. 60
    bootlegger says:

    @dmsilev: No kidding, those readers are unanimous, epic fail. And they all have it right, the Reps and Jabba the Rush made this fiasco. Obama and Co. threw some fuel on the fire but given that the Cons have gone after Obama and Co. with tire irons and baseball bats they shouldn’t be surprised to see a Glock in their face.

  61. 61
    Church Lady says:

    I’m sorry, but I disagree with you. As I’ve watched (or read here) the constant limelight focused on Limbaugh, my thougts have basically been "WTF?". Who cares what Rushbo says? Who cares what he thinks? I don’t listen to him and I certainly don’t care to hear or read about his thoughts on anything.

    Having what radio personalities or cable pundits say discussed from the lectern of the White House Press Room is jarring. I don’t remember Bush’s White House taking on Olbermann, Maddow, Sam Stein, etc., from the White House Press Secretary. It just looks juvenile and Gibbs needs to stop. It elevates these people a level of importance that they just don’t have.

  62. 62
    El Cid says:

    I never "hoped" for Bush Jr. to "fail."

    I saw it as logically impossible for his / their a**hole plans to "succeed".

    The only thing I "hoped" for was that some day, a large enough mix of regular and influential people would finally deign to "see" the failures in front of them such that they might oppose or begin to reverse them.

    If your child came to you and announced his / her plan to build a staircase to the moon, do you ‘hope’ for him / her to succeed?

    And I mean literally at that task, not some fuzzy re-interpretation either.

    If George Bush Jr. had announced his intention to protect us from terrorism by building a miles-wide bonfire in the middle of the country, would you ‘hope’ for his success? If so, what would that mean?

  63. 63
    chrome agnomen says:

    hey, the president lit a fire way over there, and i keep going over and sitting in it, and my pants keep catching on fire, and that really aggravates the cyst on my ass. and why isn’t obama apologizing to rush. since we’re a center-right nation, that makes rush not just the conservative leader, but everyone’s leader too, and that’s no way to show respect for our leader, and my ass still hurts, and WWAAAHHH

  64. 64
    The Populist says:

    "Did ANY of you (lefties) actually hope for the Bushevik regime’s success? I didn’t."

    Fuck all who say shit like this.

    Big difference between questioning somebody’s policy decisions and wishing for somebody to fail.

    I never wanted Bush to fail. I didn’t LIKE Bush’s policies but I gave him the benefit of the doubt up until he invaded Iraq, shoved the Patriot Act down our throats and wanted to spy on Americans.

    When Obama is doing extreme crap like that come talk to me and I will criticize HIS POLICIES. Bush was my president. I hated that he was a moron, but he was still my president regardless.

    Those who are looking for excuses to hate Obama because you have secret race issues and want to project on us need to go away until you can grow up and make reasonable points.

  65. 65
    MBunge says:

    Scherer: "I don’t see anything wrong with saying you do not want any political leader to succeed in his policy goals. It happens all the time, and is the basis of a free democracy."

    If you knew someone who smoked, would you ever say "I hope they get cancer"?

    Mike

  66. 66
    cfaller96 says:

    Woody
    "Let’s be honest, shall we? I, personally, always wished that the Bushevik regime and agenda would fail. Did ANY of you (lefties) actually hope for the Bushevik regime’s success? I didn’t. I doubt that there is a liberal in the country who didn’t avidly wish that the GOPukes would fail abysmally, and universally"

    Woody, Speak for yourself. I wanted everything to succeed- Afghanistan, Iraq, homeownership boom, etc. If Dubya got credit for the success, I didn’t care. You know why? Because our country would have been full of success!!!!!

    Unlike some people, if given the choice I would rather be happy than right. Why some people can’t put aside their egos and be content with success, I’ll never understand.

  67. 67
    SpotWeld says:

    Maybe Scherer has got something cooking and he’s getting this blog post out ahead of things as a pre-apology to Rush?

  68. 68
    SpotWeld says:

    Maybe Scherer has got something cooking and he’s getting this blog post out ahead of things as a pre-apology to Rush?

  69. 69
    Stooleo says:

    Through the magic of YouTube, footage of Rush’s vision for America.

  70. 70
    The Populist says:

    The right hate Obama because he’s articulate and if he truly gets our deficit righted and our economy going, the right will be as dead as the Whigs.

    They hate anybody who can take bits and pieces of their best ideas, mold them down to work for everybody and then watch as the enemy succeeds. They HATE this as they will be exposed as the frauds and intellectually bankrupt idiots they are.

    They rip Obama for openly drinking a beer at a game YET their hero Bush was a drunk and drug user until one day he found God (and some think he still drank).

    They rip Obama for enjoying a performance by Stevie Wonder yet Bush had country artists and athletes over at the WH all the time.

    They rip Obama for not wearing a jacket in the oval office. Huh?

    They are bankrupt.

  71. 71
    Adrienne says:

    They may also anticipate being left standing and relatively intact once the tumbrels stop rolling

    Left standing to do what, exactly? It doesn’t do much good to be the only pillar still standing and intact on a house that burned to the ground.

  72. 72
    The Populist says:

    Alternate working theory: Scherer understands exactly what is happening, and this is why he is so upset.

    Yet he does nothing but whine about it? Either tell Rush to STFU or live with it. He is hurting their cause. PERIOD.

  73. 73
    jrg says:

    Did ANY of you (lefties) actually hope for the Bushevik regime’s success? I didn’t. I doubt that there is a liberal in the country who didn’t avidly wish that the GOPukes would fail abysmally, and universally.

    I can honestly say that I never hoped Bush would fail at the expense of the country. In 2003-04, I had my doubts about him (I was more moderate then), but I hoped he knew what he was doing – I even going so far as to defend him amongst my family and friends. That will be the last time I ever give a Republican the benefit of the doubt.

  74. 74
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Team Obama has created the most wide-reaching, self-perpetuating open thread ever.

    "Is there a Republican office-holder that actually disagrees with Rush? Discuss."

    The beatings will continue but I just don’t see how they can top this one.

  75. 75
    gwangung says:

    I’m sorry, but I disagree with you. As I’ve watched (or read here) the constant limelight focused on Limbaugh, my thougts have basically been "WTF?".

    Funny, that was my reaction to your post.

    WTF????? Are you reading the same things that I am? Obama and his team has done VERY little. All the action, all the reporting has been on REPUBLICAN figures. They could have stopped it weeks ago by doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

    I thought you were smarter than this, but this was just another bit of partisan hackery. Very stupid.

  76. 76
    WMass says:

    @woody:
    I am a raving bleeding heart liberal in the socialist state of western Massachusetts, and I never wanted Bush’s military adventure in Iraq to fail. It seemed pretty obvious that it was doomed to failure, at least to anyone with an IQ above room temperature, but I always hoped that somehow it would work out.
    You, sir, are a fucking asshole.

  77. 77
    gwangung says:

    I wanted everything to succeed- Afghanistan, Iraq, homeownership boom, etc. If Dubya got credit for the success, I didn’t care. You know why? Because our country would have been full of success!!

    No kidding. Being able to say "I told you so" is very little satisfaction.

  78. 78
    DougJ says:

    Did ANY of you (lefties) actually hope for the Bushevik regime’s success?

    Yeah, totally. I really hoped that the wars would be successful and not result in too many deaths. I hoped that the economy would continue to do well.

    I was hoping for the best 100%. I say that without an ounce of doubt or hesitation.

  79. 79
    CT says:

    There’s obviously a big difference between hoping a policy doesn’t get enacted because you think it won’t work and hoping for failure because you don’t like the approach behind the policy, irrespective or not of whether it works. I opposed the Iraq war, but I sure wasn’t rooting for it to fail, because as we have seen, that entailed a lot of misery for a lot of people.

  80. 80
    R. Porrofatto says:

    Shorter John Boehner: Shit. What can I do to distract attention from such a brutally effective strategy.

  81. 81
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Church Lady:
    The difference is that the Democrats don’t kowtow to the personalities whom you mentioned. They didn’t echo their talking points in floor speeches and, as far as I know, invited them to none of their official events.

  82. 82

    "Did ANY of you (lefties) actually hope for the Bushevik regime’s success? I didn’t."

    I spent March and April of 2003 rooting for our guys to accomplish a swift and thorough victory in Iraq, and cheered when they captured Baghdad and raised our flag there. Even as I was passionately opposed to the idea of the invasion, and doubted that it would accomplish what it promised, I was hoping against hope that I would be proven wrong, that a swift military victory would mean a swift political victory, a peaceful democratic Iraq and a swift return for our troops.

    So don’t give me that crap.

  83. 83
    FourtyTwo says:

    Personally, I think that 90% of the ideas emanating by the Republican caucus come (literally) directly from the mouth of El Rushbo. He knows it, and he loves it.

    They sand the edges to obfuscate the blunt verbage and then spin it off as their ideas.

    It’s like a strategery chat room, broadcast everyday. Why the hell wouldn’t you (1) Listen in on what the opposition is planning and (2) attack directly the foundations of the misguided policies?

    It’s not rocket surgery.

    Plus, that fat bastard really typifies what your average American expects a Republican to look like (not in a good way). He’s like the anti-DFH.

  84. 84

    After reading Mr. Scherer’s post in full, it seems that the case he is making is that any criticism of anyone/anything that reflects badly on the Republican party is bad for all Americans.

    Yes, in these perilous times we must rise above the politics of the last eight years and save our vitriol for those DFHs and the vengeance seekers on the evil Left.

  85. 85
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Adrienne:
    When Caesar’s army was passing through the Alps on its way to crossing the Rubicon and thence to Rome, it paused by a miserable village. One of Caesar’s lieutenants mocked the village and the villagers for their poverty and crudeness. Caesar replied that he’d rather be first man in that village than second man in all of Rome.
    -Paraphrased from Plutarch’s Lives of the Greeks and Romans

  86. 86
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    It The Republican leadership elevates these people Rushbo to a level of importance that they he just don’t shouldn’t have by repeatedly kissing his ring.

    Fixed.

  87. 87
    Martin says:

    Yawn.

    The GOP implosion bores me now. Let’s focus on real stuff and ignore the people in the weeds.

  88. 88
    El Cid says:

    When people tell you they intend to take all their savings and bet them on the lottery so as to pay off the bills they currently can’t pay, do you ‘hope’ they ‘succeed’?

    If so, what does that mean?

  89. 89
    Svensker says:

    @John Cole:

    BTW, where is the Christian right? There is a deafening silence from that area lately. Have they bailed out? Is Rush too much for them as well?

    I know many of you will probably not agree with me, but the Christian right is going the Palin route, which is to duck and cover and not get smeared with the idiocy of the current nutters.

    I dunno. My Christian Right brother loves him some Rush. Which I find fairly odd, considering he won’t watch Ingrid Bergman movies because she divorced her husband. The cognitive dissonance, strong it is.

  90. 90
    bootlegger says:

    @woody: Um, me. I always knew he would, from the time he took over the Texas Rangers (I’m originally from Texas). But I said more than once that I hoped he succeeded, that democracy rang out across the Middle East, that the working man’s boat rose as high as the yachts, that limited government stayed out of people’s personal business. I knew he’d fail, but success would have been fine by me.

  91. 91
    Adrienne says:

    @Dennis-SGMM: I might be having a slow moment, b/c I’m not quite sure what your point is:-) Not being a smartass in any way, shape or form. Explain.

  92. 92
    Stefan says:

    At a time of unprecedented threats to the United States, a time of financial collapse, bank failures and record layoffs, at a time when the credit crisis has not been solved, and the stock market is in free fall, at a time of stagnating wars, rising terrorism in Pakistan and growing nuclear potential in Iran, Michael Scherer has done the easy thing. He has focused his attention not on writing about these problems, but on a big-mouthed drug-addicted convicted felon entertainer in Florida.

  93. 93
    Adrienne says:

    My Christian Right brother loves him some Rush

    He wasn’t talking about people like your brother. He was referring to the organized leadership of the Christian Right – the politicos of the Christian Right, if you will.

  94. 94
    valdivia says:

    Sam stein is an idiot. If you read Gibbs’s response and then you read how Stein framed the article you see how he too is making a whole story about the’ growing backlash’ about Obama making these people the story. Huh? This article plus Scherer, plus a time piece and Cooper at TPM signal that The Village is coming to the defense of Rush. Stein? What happens to these people in DC?

  95. 95
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Adrienne
    Researching a book on the Middle Ages here so I’ve probably become too steeped in antique literature. My point was that the Christian Right would rather hold sway over the remnants of the GOP than be just another voice in anything else.

  96. 96
    chrome agnomen says:

    @shawn: kissing his ring…

    boy, does THAT raise some abhorrent imagery.

  97. 97
    Adrienne says:

    @Dennis-SGMM: That’s sorta what I thought you meant, but then I thought about how the metaphor using your example doesn’t exactly match…But, I do see your point nonetheless.

  98. 98
    forked tongue says:

    Loving this Paul Begala quote from the WaPo:

    "Rush is the bloated face and drug-addled voice of the Republican Party"

    By the way, can we call a moratorium on use of the terms "Rushbo" and "El Rushbo"? Those are names Fatboy gave himself. He likes them. We need much more disrespectful ones.

  99. 99
    Ash Can says:

    @woody:

    Did ANY of you (lefties) actually hope for the Bushevik regime’s success?

    Damn right I wanted it to succeed. And when I saw Bush building a bipartisan administration at the outset and seemingly acknowledging his "minority government" status, I had high hopes for that success. Alas, the whackos ended up taking over the asylum and wrecked every fucking thing in sight.

    If the right were the ones consistently and ostensibly trying to make this world a better place for all people to live, rather than blowing shit up for the sake of blowing it up, I’d be a rightie in a heartbeat. For several decades now, however, the right can’t seem to avoid turning most of what it touches into shit, and my garden has all the manure it needs. I’d LOVE to see the right stop failing. But it just can’t seem to help itself.

  100. 100
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Speaking of not hearing much lately from the Christian Right, could it be because Dobson is on his way out and the heir apparent is the more sensible Rick Warren?

  101. 101

    The Obama team has thrown out four or five one-liners about Rush Limbaugh since taking office. In the meantime, they’ve passed the stimulus, put together a new TARP strategy (or two or three), put together a housing rescue bill…yadda yadda yadda executive orders yadda yadda yadda.

    The idea that they’re "focusing on" this is absurd.

  102. 102
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @forked tongue:
    Jabba the Rush?

  103. 103
    passerby says:

    "…the problems, but on a big-mouthed entertainer in Florida."

    Looks like the Obama strategy is beginning to bear fruit. The Rightwing Opinion Brigade has begun to skewer their own.

    BwahHahHahHahHah!

    The few conservative grownups left in congress must be secretly happy. They’ve been SOL since before Palin.

  104. 104
    Porkulus fka Media Browski says:

    @woody: I thought the Bush Admin was wrong-headed and making the worst of all possible choices on Iraq, but I hoped that I was wrong, not them, because of the implications a military failure of that scale had for our nation as a whole. I wanted them to prove me wrong, find WMDs and show me they weren’t lying monsters and that our nation’s political culture wasn’t completely bankrupt.

    I guess that’s the real difference between conservatives and liberals: we’re the ones who truly understand "country first."

  105. 105
    Comrade Stuck says:

    I spent March and April of 2003 rooting for our guys to accomplish a swift and thorough victory in Iraq,

    On the subject of Iraq, for me it wasn’t a matter of wishing, I can honestly say, that from the day it was suggested by Bush, I have not had a single thought that it could succeed. I was happy that the invasion went fairly smoothly with a low casualty count for GI"S, and hoped we would then hi-tail it out of there before the shitted really started to fly. We didn’t, and it did. I came to my conclusion on the utter futility of such a mission from reading something called history, a neo con no no. 1400 hundred years of pretty much non-stop civil sectarian war, punctuated occasionally by failed foreign occupations and iron fisted dictators to keep the lid on, for a while.

    That is not the same as "wishing" for Iraq to fail. And notwithstanding the current relative calm, I have no doubt, none, nada, zip, that the shit will fly again when we leave, whether that’s next year, or 10- years from now, or at anytime in between, for that matter.

    I think wingnuts know this too, deep in their tiny black hearts. And why they are scrambling to hang their mistake around Obama’s neck.

    Glenn Thrush – Politico

    A group of 31 House Republicans have introduced a resolution "declaring victory in Iraq," which is bound to evoke images of "Mission Accomplished" and George W. Bush in a flight suit.

    The intention of the resolution isn’t actually celebratory. It’s intended to set a political trap by declaring, six weeks into Obama’s presidency, that all responsibility for the six-year conflict, which was initiated by President Bush on flawed evidence and incompetently pursued for much of his presidency, is now Obama’s to lose.

    From the article a quote from Ryan Crocker. which I think is true.

    The notion that we have already achieved a "victory" in the conflict is disputed by most experts on the conflict, including Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker who recently told author Thomas Ricks, "The events for which the Iraq War will be remembered probably have not yet happened …"

  106. 106
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    I wonder if those Republicans who called for a re-branding of their party are pleased that their new figurehead is a mulitply-divorced, drug-addicted, blowhard with more chins than a Chinese phone book.

  107. 107
    Porkulus fka Media Browski says:

    @Dennis-SGMM: you left out sweaty fat-fingered sex tourist who finds Parkinsons disease humorous.

  108. 108
    AkaDad says:

    I hope Obama fails too and we end up in a depression, because Liberal policies would be worse.

  109. 109

    Comrade Stuck,

    Like I said, "hoping against hope." It was an agonizing position to be in, once the war started. What was I supposed to do, not root for our troops? Not want things to go well for them? Not want Iraq to turn into the warmer version of Minnesota we were promised?

    And yet, I knew how screwed up the whole thing was. I knew the WMD scam was a scam. I knew it wasn’t going to look like Berlin after the Wall came down – but what was I supposed to do? What was I supposed to feel? Those were OUR TROOPS!

    What I sure as hell wasn’t going to do is what these scumbag Republicans are doing – actively hope for failure.

  110. 110
    Ash Can says:

    @Church Lady:

    Who cares what Rushbo says? Who cares what he thinks?

    Don’t ask us, ask the GOP.

    It just looks juvenile and Gibbs needs to stop. It elevates these people a level of importance that they just don’t have.

    Your sense of cause and effect is all messed up here. Neither Gibbs nor anyone else on the administration side did the elevating. The elevating occurred when GOP congressmen and governors publicly apologized for statements critical of Limbaugh. Subsequent to that, the Republican National Committee solidified this elevation when, through Steele’s apology, it all but confirmed that Limbaugh occupies a position of leadership in the party, and criticism of him is not to be tolerated. As a result of this, the Dems spotted a weakness and are exploiting it (and we rabble here are having our own fun bashing Limbaugh and his sorry band of Republicans). Can or should the Democrats in general and the Obama Administration in particular ignore Limbaugh? Only insofar as they can or should ignore the GOP itself. And within the context of a two-party system in which the GOP is the other party, that’s neither feasible nor prudent.

  111. 111
    Adrienne says:

    . In the meantime, they’ve passed the stimulus, put together a new TARP strategy (or two or three), put together a housing rescue bill…yadda yadda yadda executive orders yadda yadda yadda.

    You just yadda yadda yadda’ed through some of the best parts – signed the Fair Pay Act, gave the order to shut down Gitmo, unveiled his Iraq withdrawal plan to a thundering reception by service members, gave a quasi SOTU, stopped torture, ended extraordinary renditions, nominated 2 more commerce secretaries, given numerous press conferences about the economy, given his first address to the nation, held an economic summit, holding a health care summit,….

    For him to only have been President for six weeks, he’s slayin em. Dude is On. His. Shit.

  112. 112
    passerby says:

    Also too:

    "Rush is the bloated face and drug-addled voice of the Republican Party"

    These Rightwing pundits can read the writing on the wall and negative comments like this will increase in number until it becomes the prevailing opinion. Should happen quickly.

    Rush is riding high now but he’s definitely goin’ down. I doubt that he’ll become irrelevant but, as the mouthpiece for the mouthbreathers he’s got nowhere to go but down (and hopefully, out).

  113. 113
    jeffreyw says:

    @Dennis-SGMM:

    The Iron Law of Institutions

    link

  114. 114
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Like I said, "hoping against hope." It was an agonizing position to be in, once the war started. What was I supposed to do, not root for our troops? Not want things to go well for them? Not want Iraq to turn into the warmer version of Minnesota we were promised?

    I understand what your saying and agree. Was just using your quote as an opening to talk about Iraq:)

  115. 115
    zoe kentucky says:

    Over the past year or so I’ve made a point to tune into Rush a few hours a week. Why? Because whatever he’s babblling about today the gop will be talking about tomorrow. They really do listen to him and frequently pass off his ideas and talking points as their own. Hell, they even give him secret h/t from the Hill when they can- ie, whenever a gop congresscritter called the stimulus "porkulus" they were using a phrase coined by Limbaugh. There is a *much* stronger relationship between Rush and the gop than most people know, even stronger now that they lost so big last fall.

    The gop has made a better case for Rush as the de facto leader of the party than the dems ever could. This apparent silliness can all die down tomorrow but the Obama admin knows they can bring up this card again next time Rush says something racist/sexist and overall indefensible. He will and it will leave the gop tying itself in very painful knots.

  116. 116
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @jeffreyw:
    Beautiful and succinct: two things that my original post was definitely not. I bookmarked the site.

  117. 117
    Ash Can says:

    @Svensker:

    The cognitive dissonance double standard, strong it is.

    This is the term you’re looking for.

  118. 118
    terry chay says:

    I think that if there is one thing Internet has changed in politics it’s that Scherer’s strategy is no longer viable in the long term. Your words come back to haunt you.

    Right now the public is pissed with how the Republican Party and Rush Limbaugh have polluted the debate, they’re losing their jobs and their homes and just don’t have time to kow-tow to the outrage of the 20%ers.

    Just read the comments on Swampland. It’s like reading Balloon Juice back in 2004.

  119. 119

    […] || navigator.userAgent.indexOf("WebTV")>= 0) { document.write(”); document.write(”); } Team Swampland’s petty Obama strategy 04 Mar Show […]

  120. 120
    Church Lady says:

    @gwangung #75:

    Guess you missed Emanuel Sunday. Also must not have seen Plouffe’s opinion piece in today’s WaPo. To acknowledge him is to grant him influence, something I don’t beleive he has except with a small but constant percentage of deadenders like my in-laws and the idiots on cable. But, I think that if what now seems to be constant attention is bought to him, there is the danger that what he says can begin to resonate with some in the squishy middle, as they worry about their futures.

    This is, obviously, nothing but my somewhat worthless humble opinion. When you get in the gutter for a fight, even if you are right, you still get dirty. I think Limbaugh should be ignored and my psyche would be improved if I didn’t have to see him, hear him, or read about his opinion on anything.

  121. 121
    Comrade Stuck says:

    What I sure as hell wasn’t going to do is what these scumbag Republicans are doing – actively hope for failure.

    It is something that will take me a long time to forgive wingnuts for how they’ve played politically the Iraq mess.

    First they do something a normal person would find abhorrent and stupid, by invading a country that hasn’t attacked us and based on a trumped up casus beli, in a part of the world that is impossible to tame. Then put people like me and millions of others in the untenable position of wanting to support our troops and unable to support the war they are fighting and dying in, not to mention bankrupting the country. And being the assholes they are, they top it off by calling us traitors who hate America and the troops for not supporting their stupid policies.

  122. 122
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    To acknowledge him is to grant him influence, something I don’t beleive he has except with a small but constant percentage of deadenders like my in-laws and the idiots on cable.

    The small but constant percentage whom Rush influences comprises enough of the Republican base that GOP politicians find it necessary to publicly humiliate themselves should they in any way offend him.
    The R’s only hope at present is that associates of Jim Baker or Bush I dig up something so explosive that Limbaugh is blown off of the airwaves.

  123. 123
    gwangung says:

    Guess you missed Emanuel Sunday. Also must not have seem Plouffe’s opinion piece in today’s WaPo.

    Actually, not.

    But you seemed to have missed the actions of Cantor, Steele and many more Republican actors.

    To acknowledge him is to grant him influence, something I don’t beleive he has except with a small but constant percentage of deadenders like my in-laws and the idiots on cable.

    Then you believe wrong. And that is an empirical finding. Otherwise, Steele wouldn’t have been made to walk back and issue an apology.

    Sorry, but you’re STILL throwing up partisan hackery. It ignores AGAIN that the major players are Republicans (can’t get much higher than the chair of the Republican party) and that the majority of actions are by Republicans. And if the REPUBLICAN actors in this ignored Rush, there simply would be nothing to be discussed here.

    Again, I expected better from you than this willful denial of the facts.

  124. 124
    Legalize says:

    So the Republican position is that Obama is the person to blame for all the attention Rush Limbaugh is getting. I mean, it couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that LImbaugh has a radio show, which millions of people listen to. It has to be Obama’s fault.

    The winger line is to always blame someone else. They are never responsible for their own shit.

  125. 125
    Tsulagi says:

    the Christian right is going the Palin route, which is to duck and cover and not get smeared with the idiocy of the current nutters.

    That’s funny.

    Note to current nutters fighting on the front: When your Rapture Rider support battalions, the guys looking to be beamed up from the planet born 6,000 years ago with Adam and Eve riding to church on vegan raptors think YOU are looney…you have a problem.

  126. 126
    MikeJ says:

    To acknowledge him is to grant him influence, something I don’t beleive he has

    He’s the leader of the Republican party. Every republican anywhere near public office has to bow down before him. If they dare say one word against him they’re immediately slapped down and apologize within twenty four hours. He only has influence over the head of the RNC, republican governors, congressmen, and senators.

    Other than that he’s a marginal figure nobody listens to. I don’t understand why they line up to suck his dick and then deny that he’s the boss of them. Why are Republicans so ashamed of their leader?

  127. 127
    Napoleon says:

    The R’s only hope at present is that associates of Jim Baker or Bush I dig up something so explosive that Limbaugh is blown off of the airwaves.

    Wow, I can’t at all imagine something like that exist, so I guess we are stuck with Rush.

  128. 128
    Clio says:

    For fun, has check this out. The DCCC has jumped on the Rush train…

    http://www.dccc.org/content/sorrymail

    Is it wrong that I’m loving this so much?

  129. 129
    Tony J says:

    What I sure as hell wasn’t going to do is what these scumbag Republicans are doing – actively hope for failure.

    Which, to be fair, was what they were really hoping for with the invasion of Iraq. No flowering of democracy on sandy soil, just a bootprint on the way to Damascus and Tehran, flags flying and hi-tech guns blazing. They never wanted El Ex-Residente to succeed in his stated aim of bringing ‘peace’ to Iraq, it was always about the failure of namby-pamby ‘nation-building’ and the hope that everything would go so very wrong that America would have no choice but to expand the battlefield and grow to love kicking brown-people’s arses.

    The only thing the bulk of Der Base regret is that they didn’t get their Greater Middle-East War on. Which just goes to prove that Bush must have been a secret-moonbat, and Rush should have been the Leader all along. Also.

  130. 130
    JL says:

    Why is Michael Scherer spending so much time, bitching about other folks spending to much time on Rush?

  131. 131
    JL says:

    When I saw clips of Rush’s speech, he appeared to be sweating, talking rapidly, fidgety and wiping his nose a lot.
    Hmmmm!

  132. 132
    Tony J says:

    The winger line is to always blame someone else. They are never responsible for their own shit.

    And the big prize for wannabe-Villagers is to be the first Serious person to throw them a spin that blames the nasty DemoRats for all of it. Then everybody who matters is happy, and the story can go away.

    As the obvious influence of Limburgh on GOP policy is seen to increase through the actions of GOP officials, the greater the need for somebody to explain how it’s really a failure on Obama’s part. Otherwise, what are people going to think? That the Republican Party is fucked-up? What would that do to their electoral chances?

    Or, more importantly, who would Scherer have to talk to at parties? Democratic geeks? No thanks.

  133. 133
    les says:

    @gwangung:

    Again, I expected better from you than this willful denial of the facts.

    ! You did catch her moniker, right?

  134. 134

    Comrade Stuck,

    I understand what your saying and agree. Was just using your quote as an opening to talk about Iraq:)

    I know. I wasn’t angry at you; I was just remembering how helpless I felt then – and to make it worse, this whole time, I’m being called a traitor and accused of supporting Saddam Hussein!

    Then put people like me and millions of others in the untenable position of wanting to support our troops and unable to support the war they are fighting and dying in, not to mention bankrupting the country. And being the assholes they are, they top it off by calling us traitors who hate America and the troops for not supporting their stupid policies.

    Comrade, have you ever read about FDR and George Marshall in the runup to World War 2? Even as they knew the war was coming, they bent over backwards – going so far as to scale down rearmament – in order to keep the tiny-minority Republicans on board.

    That’s how a responsible, patriotic administration behaves. You keep the country together in the face of war, and make sure you have the widest public support possible before you put troops in harm’s way. The Bushies and Delays did exactly the opposite – the knew they were going to start a war, they knew there would be hundreds of thousands of American troops in a combat zone, and they deliberately did everything they could to rip the country in half, to make the war itself a wedge issue, because it gave them a political advantage.

    And then, when things go almost exactly as the anti-war Democrats said it would, they turn around and blame "dissent at home" for endangering the troops!

    You’re right, I can never forgive them.

    Present company excluded.

  135. 135
    The Populist says:

    Shorter John Boehner: Shit. What can I do to distract attention from such a brutally effective strategy.

    Apply more bronzer and cry more.

  136. 136
    The Populist says:

    The winger line is to always blame someone else. They are never responsible for their own shit.

    Yep, personal responsibility my ass. At least Obama has been man enough to admit when there was a misstep or a mistake.

  137. 137
    BDeevDad says:

    @Davebo: I know I’m late but the Grayson quote was almost as good as his previous one.

    Rush Limbaugh is a has-been hypocrite loser, who craves attention. His right-wing lunacy sounds like Mikhail Gorbachev, extolling the virtues of communism. Limbaugh actually was more lucid when he was a drug addict. If America ever did 1% of what he wanted us to do, then we’d all need pain killers.

  138. 138
    Blue Raven says:

    What I noticed about the average left-wing reaction to Bush II wasn’t that we were wishing him to fail. We were worried he’d fuck things up and wished he would be impeached, convicted, and thrown into Leavenworth. We got the former and not the latter.

    It’s all part of the Right’s general psychosis. They are unpatriotic, dictatorial, wasteful, and wanton, so we on the left get called all that and more.

  139. 139
    mcc says:

    So the Republican position is that Obama is the person to blame for all the attention Rush Limbaugh is getting. I mean, it couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that LImbaugh has a radio show, which millions of people listen to. It has to be Obama’s fault.

    Just like the economy!

  140. 140
    r€nato says:

    Scherer’s work isn’t entirely without merit, for example this. There are worse out there, take Mark Halperin, please.

    BZZZT! Wrong answer, please try again.

    Scherer gets NEGATIVE points for safely climbing on the "Bush sucks" bandwagon, AFTER Bush has left office, AFTER others like Greenwald have for literally YEARS been pointing out the very same things… only to be completely ignored or dismissed by Scherer.

  141. 141
    r€nato says:

    I wonder if those Republicans who called for a re-branding of their party are pleased that their new figurehead is a mulitply-divorced, drug-addicted, blowhard with more chins than a Chinese phone book.

    I’d say that’s probably the best they can hope for, considering that their party is known for family-values gay-bashing politicians who enjoy anonymous gay sex in public restrooms in their spare time.

  142. 142
    r€nato says:

    By the way, can we call a moratorium on use of the terms "Rushbo" and "El Rushbo"? Those are names Fatboy gave himself. He likes them. We need much more disrespectful ones.

    I like, "Thrice-Divorced Boy-Fucking Junkie".

    It doesn’t really roll off the tongue all that much. But, I like the sound of it nonetheless :-)

  143. 143
    Deborah says:

    Republicans are forced to mildly critique, and then slaveringly apologize to, Rush Limbaugh by evil White House operatives holding their families hostage. I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about this: pre-January Republican embarrassments are due to Frank, and post-January to Obama personally. Nothing the Republicans do is actually their own fault.

    You know, I really thought the people crowing over the death of the Republican party last fall were wildly over-optimistic and ignoring history, but if they still can’t pull it together to sound remotely serious or grownup or even in this century in a sense beyond twittering…

  144. 144

    […] Other bloggers weigh in: Andrew Sullivan points out the fact that the draft-dodger is thoroughly enjoying the attention, accolades and adulation; John Cole says the draft-dodger IS who he is being accused of being… […]

  145. 145
    DFH no.6 says:

    joe from Lowell says above:

    The Bushies and Delays did exactly the opposite – the knew they were going to start a war, they knew there would be hundreds of thousands of American troops in a combat zone, and they deliberately did everything they could to rip the country in half, to make the war itself a wedge issue, because it gave them a political advantage.

    That’s it exactly!

    Chief among the reasons for invading Iraq was domestic electoral strategy (Bush re-elected president, Republican gains in Congress). Cynical in the extreme, yes, but true nonetheless. Exploitation of 9/11 for purely partisan reasons; the ultimate "wedge issue" to reach for that Rovian "permanent Republican majority".

    Everything else, including the neocon PNAC fantasy of "spreading democracy" in the Middle East, was secondary. Worked, too, at first (especially the 2002 mid-terms, during the runup to war; somewhat less so in 2004, though Bush "the war president" got his second term, didn’t he?).

    Davis X. Machina has made this very important point much better than I in a number of eloquent comments on a variety of these weblog things over the past several years.

    That it didn’t work out in the long-term as planned is beside the point.

    If you have any doubts, consider this:

    Why did we invade Iraq when we did, in March of ’03? Wasn’t Hans Blix & Co. finding zilch, nada, zip in the way of the dreaded WMD? Yes, of course that was happening, because as we found out for sure later (and many of us suspected at the time) there were none to be found. Bush sent our military in when he did because he couldn’t wait for his cassus belli to be shown for the false premise that it was. Would’ve blown the whole thing and he knew it.

    Goddamn I hate Republicans with a white-hot fury! And their chief spokesman and apologist, Fatboy Himself, most of all.

  146. 146
    r€nato says:

    Why did we invade Iraq when we did, in March of ‘03? Wasn’t Hans Blix & Co. finding zilch, nada, zip in the way of the dreaded WMD? Yes, of course that was happening, because as we found out for sure later (and many of us suspected at the time) there were none to be found. Bush sent our military in when he did because he couldn’t wait for his cassus belli to be shown for the false premise that it was. Would’ve blown the whole thing and he knew it.

    Perhaps. What makes more sense to me, is:

    you don’t put that many troops in the field and then bring them home without a fight, absent the utter capitulation of Saddam Hussein.

    So, given that Bush/Cheney had put us in a situation where we really couldn’t back down without losing face, and Saddam could not back down without losing face (and his country, and likely his life), it was only a matter of what was the best timing for an invasion. Iraqi summers are brutal; the invasion had to happen in the spring if it was going to happen at all.

  147. 147

    […] Cole has commentary: . . . the fact that Republican leaders regularly prostrate themselves before El Rushbo means that Ru…   […]

  148. 148

    […] for the Democrats or that it means that Obama is the same as it ever was when it comes to politics. Michael Scherer is a tool. Not only is this an excellent tactic for the Democrats to use, it has the added benefit of being […]

  149. 149
    Mar says:

    Here’s an interesting article.

    "The ‘Rushification’ of the GOP is the natural and inevitable result of the fact that those who are supposed to provide leadership — Republican elected officials and party officers — are doing little to bring the party back," he said. "Nature abhors a vacuum, and there is no vacuum in nature as empty as the leadership of the Republican Party today."

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] for the Democrats or that it means that Obama is the same as it ever was when it comes to politics. Michael Scherer is a tool. Not only is this an excellent tactic for the Democrats to use, it has the added benefit of being […]

  2. […] Cole has commentary: . . . the fact that Republican leaders regularly prostrate themselves before El Rushbo means that Ru…   […]

  3. […] Other bloggers weigh in: Andrew Sullivan points out the fact that the draft-dodger is thoroughly enjoying the attention, accolades and adulation; John Cole says the draft-dodger IS who he is being accused of being… […]

  4. […] || navigator.userAgent.indexOf("WebTV")>= 0) { document.write(”); document.write(”); } Team Swampland’s petty Obama strategy 04 Mar Show […]

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