Obama, Rush, and Failure

The White House, the DNC, and Americans United for Change are all apparently about to double down on their "Republicans equal Limbaugh" strategy. My thoughts on this are summed up by a comment on Ann Althouse's blog highlight by Instapundit: "Does anyone really think Team Obama's focus on Limbaugh reflects their success so far in office."

This should be the only talking point when conservative surrogates are brought on TV to talk about this compleltely fake controversy: The only reason the Obama White House is attacking Rush Limbaugh is because Obama already has been a complete failure in office. Since his election in November the market has lost 25% of its value and every single one of his policy announcements has only been followed by hundreds of thousands of more lost jobs.

Obama, the Democrats, and the left desperately want to change the subject from Obama's performance. That is why they are investing time, resources, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in demonizing Rush. How does any of this help the American people?

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (6 votes)


A Revelation.

"Does anyone really think Team Obama's focus on Limbaugh reflects their success so far in office."

This should be the only talking point when conservative surrogates are brought on TV to talk about this compleltely fake controversy

Obama, the Democrats, and the left desperately want to change the subject

Your post certainly shows that it is the left that is desperate to change the subject. How could I not have seen that before. Thanks for opening my eyes.


Where is the "focus" on Limbaugh? I can recall the Obama comment, made almost in passing, one things from Gibbs, and Rahm this past Sunday. That's it. That's all it took.

In short - I believe it has taken the Administration more effort fo find a suitable dog for the Obama children than it has for them to ignite this nasty dusty-up.

And, funny me, I no longer accept "the market" as an oracle of wisdom. Why do you?

It's a push by the White

It's a push by the White House. Pay attention

Oh, that is rich

So, suddenly, every word of the MSM is gospel? You know there is a White House push on becasue the LA Times says so? If I give you a link to an LA Time story calling Bush the most reckless spender in the history of the presidency, have I proven my case?

There is little more in that article than what I was able to pull off the top of my head in my post - still nothing that adds up to any time or effort spent on this by the administration. The Republicans are doing it all to themselvesl.


Obama's comment was a throw away, but it caused such a media snit that Rush could not avoid blovating upon it. What is so amusing is the conservats took to the bear baiting and still continue trying to bite it. Don't conservatives notice that the dems want Rush to be the face of conservatism? The dems are not trying to destroy Rush. They want him to succeed as the only voice of conservatism. The dems are trying turn conservatism into a dirty name and using Rush makes it easier to point out how out of touch conservatives are when they can point out who the 'true' leader of the GOP.

I noticed Rush called out the reform conservatives (they need a catchier name, Mod Cons - short for Modern Conservatives), but, of course, the silence is deafening. The Rushification of the party continues.

People laugh when I say Palin is the only one to move the party out of this rut; that she is the only conservative force who has the heft to challenge Rush-bo hide-bound thinking. I'm not holding my breath, though.

I wouldn't laugh about your Palin theory

I think you're onto something (not necessarily good for the GOP) in thinking that Palin is the only person who could possibly, ever so tentatively, ever so slightly, challenge Rush to tone down the 'fail' rhetoric and not be forced to come crawling with an apology -- and better yet, use it to assume his mantle as de facto leader.

She's a creature of Rush's making but unlike Jindal, who is still dependent on Rush's good graces, Palin has grown beyond him to have her own dedicated following among the same demographic.  Rush would come across to many of his listeners as unchivalrous if he were to skewer Palin in the same way he did Steele.  GIven his recent acknowledgement of his popularity gap with women, he may feel it wouldn't serve him very well to beat up on the little lady. 

But take your thought a littler further and play with the idea that she would actually choose to do that.  I have no idea if she would, but theoretically she wants to see the GOP retain some hope of winning a national election if she has presidential ambitions.  If she is convinced his act is at least not helpful to her long-term ambitions, if not damaging to them, it's not beyond the realm of possibility she would at least oh-so-politely distance herself from the fray by mildly rejecting or suggesting he soften the most inflammatory rhetoric.

So where does that leave us?  The official head of the GOP (among others) has already been forced to concede deference and standing to Rush; in turn, Rush is forced to concede deference to Palin, whereby she becomes the de factor leader of the party.  (And as another poster said, Rush would probably be relieved to have an opportunity to walk back expectations of him as a leader; he wants the perks, but not the responsbility, of leadership.) 

So, much to the Dems' delight, she of "I can see Russia from my house!" fame, becomes the most influential person in the GOP and leading 2012 contender if she wants it.  Cue the SNL skits...


You badly misread the GOP = Rush strategy

Obama, the Democrats, and the left desperately want to change the subject from Obama's performance. That is why they are investing time, resources, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in demonizing Rush.

You are badly misreading what the Democrat's strategy is and what the stakes are. Your argument such as it is seeks short-term reassurance by promoting a naive complacency about our real situation.

Your argument stands or falls on the claim that Obama is concerned about his poor performance. Let's look at the polling. Obama's approval is pushing 70%, the GOP congressional caucus is barely at 20% and has been trending down since the conclusion of the stimulus fight while approval of the Democratic caucus is rising. Based on these numbers, there is no factual basis for the claim that Obama is concerned about his performance. Therefore, your argument is not credible.

But more dangerously, you have gotten their strategy completely backwards and therefore totally misunderstood the stakes. First, they are not trying to demon Rush. They are using Rush to demonize the GOP. Rush's approval/disapproval is highly polarized. Either you're with him or you're against him and about 70% are against him. By tying the GOP to Rush, the Democrats are seeking to similarly polarize the GOP's approval/disapproval. Second, this stategy has nothing to do with the short-term. It is all about 2010 and 2012.

Stop trying to reassure me that things are going our way. They are not. Rather help me understand how to fight back effectively.

Bingo! This was as brilliant


This was as brilliant a chess move as I have ever seen. That Steele would prove Rahm's point not 32hrs after he made it was nothing short of pure gold.

Actually the biggest thing

Actually the biggest thing they are hoping for with Rush is to cover Obie's ass if the economy continues to tank.

They are trying to make it seem like Obama wants to save the economy but Rush wants him to fail. Rush wants Obama to fail in "remaking the fabric of our country".

But the media will still push the Obama=economic recovery and Rush=wanting Obama to fail regardless of what it does to the economy. Tying Rush to the GOP is secondary, just a way to lump us all together.

The Fabric Has Changed

Obama ran on change. People voted for change. He wins by the biggest margin of a nonincumbent in a half-century.

Of course he's remaking the fabric of the country. That's what he said he would do. No hidden plots or schemes. No subterfuge.

Also, isn't Rush the "Old" Right.  What is the "Next" Right?

As I said

This is not so much a strategy, but a 'gimme'. Rush has been very vocal on Obama failing. And he has Steele apologizing and others apologizing or letting him do it. Rush is a gift to the dems. Now all the legitimate criticism of Obama seems politically motivated.

This is an easy call by the Obama team. Low risk, high payoff. And why do they have to do? Utter a few comments here and there and let the press run it up. And then of course, the blogs amplify it.

The GOP need to stuff Rush down a dark hole and shit on him till he chokes.

You badly misread my post

I'm not trying to assure you "things are going our way". The media is buying this White House fake controversy hook line and sinker. We can't let them get away with it, which is why we have to call them out on tehir BS.

And nobody has to convince me, we need to think long term. My last post made that exact point. And in the long term, we can't let Obama change the subject from the bad economy to Rush Limbaugh. For conservatives to succeed the topic must always be the economy is terrible and it is because Barack Obama's policies are really just Bushonomics on steroids.

Blaming Obama for the economy he inherited

Blaming Obama for the economy he inherited -  good one. I look forward to your post laying the deaths of 4,200 American servicement in Iraq at his feet.

Thanks Conn

Look the controversy is not only a creation of the White House. Rush has been all too happy to push his "I want them to fail" line. The nuances really don't matter as Rush knows better than anyone. The media thrive on drama and he seems more than willing to provide it. That's good for him.

Obama and the Democrats are happy to play up the drama as well by pushing the idea that Rush represents the GOP mainstream. That's good for them.

In the meantime, the epic struggle between Rush and Obama leaves GOP officials in a pretty tough bind.

Clearly the case that the country's economic woes are on Obama is seen by many (read, most) Americans as premature. Unless they only tuned in during the last few weeks they are going to give Obama the benefit of doubt for awhile yet. He's got 70% support and 52% voted for him. For the GOP to go abroad the land saying this is his mess alone is discrediting on the facts and rubs against his "let's all pull together during these hard times" theme. Methinks the GOP believes it can gain more traction than is really possible right now.

Obama Approval Ratings are Falling with the Market

Obama no longer has 70% approval.  According to the Real Clear Politics average, his lowest approval rating is 57 and his highest is 68, with a 62.6 average. 

Break down approval by affiliation

Gallup poll after last week's speech showed Obama approval ratings at 86% among Democrats,  62% among Independents and 42% among Republicans!

To provide a little context, the gap between Obama's current and Bush's final approval ratings AMONG REPUBLICANS is just 15%.

RCP are hypocrites.

they aren't including Research 2000 polling, which has him at 71%.

Could you be setting yourself up for a painful reversal?

There are several risks you run in trying to tie Obama to the deteriorating economy.  First, a large number of people are motivated by a desire for fairness.  This group will look at what Obama inherited and give him the benefit of the doubt at least for awhile.

Those congressional Republicans (with very few exceptions) who are saying "no" to everything the President wants to get enacted are not immune themselves from public criticism. In fact, they will likely become easy targets for Democratic counter attcks which we are already seeing in some national ads. It's somewhat risky to be seen as standing in the way of the improvement of the lives of ordinary people who Obama thinks will benefit most from his emphasis on government intervention to fix the problems of education and health care in particular.

And most devastating of all for your "blame strategy" would be a sustained rebound in the market.  This is not at all impossible. If the DOW surges, what will happen to your argument and how would you then try to arouse your base? Would the GOP resort to something akin to the Wright/Ayers pitch? Would Republicans return to a reliance on wedge issues in lieu of ideas and programs of their own that they could present to the American people instead of empty slogans?  If you think I'm wrong in my analysis, please tell me where.. I really do welcome an exchange of ideas

It's all about the markets - watch The Commanding Heights

Honestly, unlike Rush Limbaugh, I almost hope I'm wrong - that we can sustain a mixed economy (social democracy + capitalism) and regain our momentum toward prosperity.  Notice I didn't say "great wealth" - prosperity is where the people on the bottom are raised toward the middle and upper middle.  All boats rise in that high tide. 

The problem I see with Obama's policies is that instead of raising the bottom, he's lowering the top by punishing the wealthy.  Who wants to work harder, take risks and push themselves past their limits to be punished? 

I welcome your open-mindedness, and highly encourage you to watch the very best documentary possible on why I insist on not giving up on the free market and why I completely resist moving further toward statism and a government-controlled economy.  It's called The Commanding Heights - The Battle for the World Economy, and it's available at Amazon, PBS and you can rent it on Netflix.  Please, please watch it for a historical perspective on which economic policies really work and which do not, and definitely let's discuss!

<<  prosperity is where the

<<  prosperity is where the people on the bottom are raised toward the middle and upper middle.  All boats rise in that high tide.>>

But that did not happen under Bush with 8 years of tax cuts. At the same time we had middle class jobs go overseas, factories closing, more people without healthcare insurance, and loss of pensions, cities and states going broke, and deficits and debt.

This is the part that failed and how do you fix this?

once you reach a certain amount of income or wealth

the numbers don't matter anymore. does it really matter whether you have one porsche or twenty?

Also, most smart businessmen like to be taxed. Just like henry ford, offering all the money to his workers (paying double the going rate)... they see taxes as a way to equitably distribute money -- Which they can collect Again!

The working rich will always be wealthier than the rest, because they're smarter and carefuller with their cash... Why do they want to be rich? Status, mostly. Prestige.

At some point, the dollar signs that you've got don't matter so much. Really, it's true.

Partially right on the first

Partially right on the first point. People will be patient with Obama, but now many of his moderate backers (see David Brooks) are having second thoughts or "buyers' remorse" as lagomorph put it. People are patient, but that patience is already wearing thin. Obama was supposed to be the second coming of Lincoln/FDR, if not the Messiah, remember?

I disagree with your second paragraph. For the most part, Congressional Republicans cannot be credibly blamed for standing in the way of Obama's policies. Barring only but the narrowest of circumstances -- that the Dems are unable to pick off any of the GOP Senators, and if Specter, Snowe and Collins will vote for the Generational Theft Act, they'll vote for anything -- the Republicans have no ability to stop the Democrats from implementing their policies.

I agree with you regarding the risk of this strategy, in that if the economy does recover, the Democrats will be able to claim the credit for it. However, I think that the likelihood of this occuring is unfortunately low. "[A]fter five weeks in office, it's become clear that Mr. Obama's policies are slowing, if not stopping, what would otherwise be the normal process of economic recovery." (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123604419092515347.html) We can see what policies similar to these have done in states and other countries. In this regard, I don't believe that America is exceptional. If a policy works out poorly in California, it will work out poorly for the country as a whole.

god that's idiotic.

we are NOT england. california is the world's tenth largest economy. policies that turn out poorly for california are INEVITABLE, unless you relish restoring the bubble economy.

Great job Johnson Springs

Your right on in your post.

So many just refuse to deal in facts and this blogger misses the boat by not educating himself as to the facts.

Thanks, Bulldog

It is frustrating to see people so badly misunderstand what is going on.

Terrible post . . .

1. Why is commenting always hyped up to 'attacking'.

2. Not really all that much has been said about Rush by the Obama admin, but they may be right. Why in f*%^ is Steele apologizing to Rush? Is the GOP that ball-less that they're being such pussies to a fat, childless, pill-popper? Why is Rush elevated in the republican party? It's bad, bad joke. This is why GOP is so low. I can't help but say, where is THE NEXT RIGHT? Rush to me symbolizes the old right. I still say Reps are going to loose the next two election cycles because of this. Old leadership hanging on to old rhetoric and old strategies.

3. According to opinion polls, Obama is doing fine. Of course, well see in a year, but it's early to say a "complete failure". Quite the opposite. He's been getting just about everything he wants.


4. Actually on rereading and considering, I add this thought: Dems aren't focusing on Rush, but yes, they probably will take the 'gimme' that reps are giving them to tie Rush to Reps. As long as Reps give so much space to the guy, Dems will use it not a some grand strategy, but just a point score. It's a bonus.

Dow dropping due to Bush's Ownership Society.

that is all.

Wrong. Obama inherited it, but it's HIS failed economy now.

Spend 10 minutes on CNBC, KPBS, NPR or ABC News and you'll hear the Independents and Democrats who voted for Obama are all blaming him for instilling fear in the market, and are blaming Geithner for being invisible, absent, and having no plan whatsoever. 

Overheard last night and this morning on the above channels:

"We were so sure that Obama was going to govern from the Center, but we certainly can't say that any more".

"We support Obama's health care, education and energy policies but NOW is NOT the time to deal with them when the economy's completely on fire".

"Yes, Obama inherited the problem but he won the election on November 4 and this has been the earliest accession of power in the history of the United States Government.  Geithner has had five months in which to develop a plan for the toxic assets, and so far has come up with absolutely nothing. Obama announced he'd present a detailed plan the day after his first major press conference, and all we have is a placeholder."

"Bernanke and Geithner are going to be making appearances today.  Let's see whether we get the Bernanke Bounce or the Geithner Gouge."


"Obama is doing nothing except implement the same failed economic strategies of the Bush Administration.  The difference between Hank Paulson and Timothy Geithner is like the difference between the 6th and 7th floors at Goldman Sachs". 

The market was beginning to stabilize prior to January 20, then started diving from that day forward and has continued doing so ever since.  His extraordinarily wasteful spending package and revolutionary socialist budget, which will result in $1 Billion per day in interest over the next 10 years, indicates his complete denial over the economy.  Most striking was Jake Tapper's remark to Charlie Rose last night about Obama's demeanor.  "He's so cool," said Tapper.  "Not cool like The Fonze, but completely, utterly unconcerned.  I find this amazing, considering the striking decline of Wall Street on a daily basis."  Both Rose and Tappers' eyes widened at this statement.  Why is he so cool?  Perhaps it's because things are going exactly as planned.  I would say to Rush Limbaugh, "be careful what you ask for because you may very well get it."

The centrist liberals in the media are pivoting away from the honeymoon period with Obama.  If you're paying diligent attention to the DJIA and how the reporters are interpreting it, this should alarm you.

The honeymoon is still very much on

Gallup poll after last week's speech showed Obama approval ratings at 86% among Democrats,  62% among Independents and 42% among Republicans!


That was last week, this week is much different

I listed the stations in my previous post on which I overheard the comments articulated by those who had voted for Obama and are now absolutely staggering from the mismanagement.  You don't have to believe me, you can tune in to MacNeil Lehrer, Charlie Rose, Squawk Box, Squawk on the Street, Fast Money, Mad Money, ABC News, Meet the Press, This Week With George Stephanopoulos, Washington Week with Gwen Ifil, C-SPAN Washington Journal and Q&A, and so forth and so on.  Or you can just watch the same old adoring pundits on CNN, MSNBC or The Daily Show and read last week's polls.  Totally your choice. 

Notice I made no mention of Fox.  Fox doesn't even enter into the equation because I don't take its opinion seriously except, on rare occasion, in the case of one show:  Special Report.  Last night on the panel, Mara Liasson, NPR pundit who voted for Obama, said she can't believe he would pursue such an ambitious set of policies (health, energy and education) prior to stabilizing the economy. 

Talking heads, the Dow Jones, and voters.

Of the three, I'm going with voters.

That's understandable

Since the markets are totally hatin' on Obama and his "Economic Team" led by the Secretary of Tax Cheats. 

nevermind that 50% of the people employed the same way

made the same mistake.

Timmay ain't my favorite guy, but he was better than the alternatives. Just like Bernanke, they picked for the future.

Don't sweat the dow, it doesn't mean much.

care to listen to what a republican strategist has to say?

Obama's trying to get the focus away from America for a bit, before he actually fixes some of these problems.

I agree, he's getting pressure. Next question: does he WANT pressure?

I hope to god the answer to that is "hell yes!" Because I don't like what he's been doing with the zombie banks, and if we have to force him to nationalize, so much the BETTER.

But, hell, put yourself in the man's shoes. (The Man's as well) How much taxpayer money would it cost you to sacrifice your daughters? [not fucking joking, not being paranoid about this one]

Geithner has a plan, it may not be a GOOD plan, but he does have one. wait for switzerland, though.

I certainly hope

You weren't calling for extra Friedman units during the war. :)

Where is our new economic team????


Where the hell  has Treasury Secretary Geithner and Larry Summers been??? These guys are AWOL as the stock market and the entire financial system melts down.   The republicans lead us into this mess but where the hell is our new team!!!!
Four critical things must happen to stabilize this market and no one is getting off their asses and getting anything done!
1.        Reinstate the “Uptick rule” for all short selling that is regulated by the Security and Exchange Commission. This rule was changed in November 2007 and had been in place since 1934 in the aftermath of the great depression.  
2.       Temporally suspend FASB 157 “mark to market accounting” and allow “hold to maturity” accounting for bank asset where markets are so thinly traded that true value cannot be established by means of a trading market price. Also FASB 157 went into effect in November of 2007 just after the stock market started its historic downward slide.  
3.       Temporally raise taxes on short term trading of stocks and indices to 50% for trades held less than 3 months on both individual and institutional traders. There is a predominate perception in the stock market that long term ownership of stocks that represent real businesses is dead. Day-trading and short term trading is the only way to make money in the market. This is commonly called hot money that moves quickly in and out of the market, it’s time to throw a little cold water on that hot money.
4.       Temporally lower long term capital gains to 5% on investments held over 2 1/2 years.


Um, Not.

1. Wait, the Dow's drop is all the short sellers fault.  My question to you is, why not stake out your on short position. Short sellers were never the problem.

2. I.E., otherwise known as lets stick heads further in the sand and not pretend this CDO I'm holding has not just evaporated?  Way to tackle the problem head on.

3. More taxes? This idea is actually more bone-headed than the one above.

4. Lower Capital Gains Tax? You guys love to cop that feel don't you? Market's down 50% and you still want to lower Capital Gains.  If you were really clever you'd raise them to further hit the short sellers since they're the only one making money in this market.

Here's a little advice. Get out of stocks. Why aren't you in cash?


cash is dumb.

predicting massive inflation to get our way out of this debt.


Here's a little advice for you

Try taxing business sales profits instead of capital. 

why do you figure that will help more?

it seems rather orthogonal. taxing capital gains is one way to ensure that everyone has to pay taxes. not so much about corporations.

also, there are substantial businesses in which the shareholders have to pay their own taxes -- would that allow them to shield themselves from much of the tax liability via partnerships?

Obama Knows

Obama knows his rhetoric and policies will be an anethema to the investors and Wall St.

He wants to remake the US in to a European style welfare based economy. He has made no secret about this. Rush, in saying that he hopes Obama fails in THIS endeavor, has provided Obama with a straw man to distract from the real economic issues(the ones that have pummeled my 401(k)).


obama is on the job

he doesn't need rush-distraction, because he is busy. doing what we elected him to do -- fixing the damn mess.

Know something? It's not the governmental support that makes Europe succeed so much less well at entrepreneurism than America does. Check out Dr. Schodt's work on the subject.

Why has Europe become a dirty word for conservatives?

I am an American who has lived in France and in Canada and I can tell you that there are a lot of things you would like about these societies if you ever had the opportunity to live there. One does at times have to wait in line to receive medical services but the quality of service is very good. No one pays for health care out-of-pocket. You present your national health card and that is that. People don't have to worry about losing everything they own because they fall ill.  As a result their lives are a lot freer from stress.

 They and their children don't have to incur mountains of debt to obtain a college education.  Lengthy paid summer vacations are seen not as a privilege but as a good investment of tax dollars because people renew themselves and derive more enjoyment from life.

What has always amazed me is that in general people don't bitch a lot about paying high taxes and the taxes are quite high. Their answer more often than not is "Well, we get a lot more for our money than you do." Taxes are not seen as something evil as is so often the case in the U.S.

It's puzzling that conservatives want to warn us about creating a society in the European or Canadian mode as something very undesirable without ever acknowledging their many positive aspects. I guess it's easier to apply labels than try to get informed.


Liberals were rightly called out

When they thought Bush set up some secret conspiracy to put money into Cheney's pockets by starting the Iraq war. Same for when they make up ridiculous 9/11 conspiracy schemes. And rightly so.

So where are the same conservatives now, that should be decrying the idea that Obama is deliberately wrecking the economy to radically change our economic structure?

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

The strategy has already proven effective as Limbaugh and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele spent the day sparring following a television appearance in which Steele called Limbaugh's show "ugly" and "incendiary". Limbaugh went after Steele on his show on Monday and the chairman quickly backed down, offering his apologies for what he described as a misunderstanding.

Chip Saltsman, a former Tennessee Republican Party chairman and RNC candidate earlier this year, acknowledged the success of the Democratic strategy -- at least for today. "Any time you get your opponents to fight amongst themselves, that's a good day," said Saltsman. "Point to the White House."


why all the sad faces?

didja forget your popcorn?

*munches down on my popcorn*

Nerve successfully struck

Conn, given that this thread is being dominated by left-wingers who themselves are desperate to change the subject from Obama ever harder to ignore failures, I'd say you struck a nerve.

Every time Obama opens his mouth with another policy proposal, the market dumps another 200-300 points.  They know it, and they are desperate to change the subject before the "Obama lied, the economy died" meme is set in the public conciousness.  And besides, if Obama can't even keep squishes like David Brooks and Christopher Buckley in his corner for even two months, how the heck is he going to keep the majority of Americans there?

Hope the libs enjoyed the election, because that will prove to have been the high point of Obama's tenure.


Using the movements of the market to prove your points

I am amazed that after everything that went on last year that anyone would use the movements of the market as supporting evidence for their points. Whats next: quotes from George W. Bush?

Rush as the "bloated and drug-addled face of GOP"

will ensure that that GOP is both a marginal and regional party for a generation. A 70 seat majority in the senate and control of a majority of state legislatures will require the Limbaughization of the GOP. GOP did it with Ted Kennedy. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

If you think Democrats will be rewarded with a 70 seat majority

You must be smokin' something really good. Republicans currently cannot find their way back from the wilderness with a blow torch and a machete, but that may actually be quite moot once Obama appoints a few more tax evaders and former lobbyists, escalates the doomed-to-failure (not to mention grindingly expensive) War in Afghanistan for no particular known reason, and drives the Dow into the 5000's.  And oh, by the way, sharper minds than mine indicate that's where the DJIA is headed next.