Below The Beltway

I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal freedom that America used to believe in.

Rooting For Failure

by @ 12:19 pm on January 21, 2009. Filed under Barack Obama, Politics

Rush Limbaugh is injecting himself into the political debate yet again:

I got a request here from a major American print publication. “Dear Rush: For the Obama [Immaculate] Inauguration we are asking a handful of very prominent politicians, statesmen, scholars, businessmen, commentators, and economists to write 400 words on their hope for the Obama presidency. We would love to include you. If you could send us 400 words on your hope for the Obama presidency, we need it by Monday night, that would be ideal.” Now, we’re caught in this trap again. The premise is, what is your “hope.” My hope, and please understand me when I say this. I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, “Well, I hope he succeeds. We’ve got to give him a chance.” Why? They didn’t give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated the search-and-destroy mission had begun. I’m not talking about search-and-destroy, but I’ve been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don’t want them to succeed.

If I wanted Obama to succeed, I’d be happy the Republicans have laid down. And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him. Look, what he’s talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don’t want this to work. So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, “Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.” (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, “Oh, you can’t do that.” Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it

And in saying it, he’s achieved the one thing that Rush Limbaugh has been wanting for the past two decades — he’s got people talking about him. This isn’t about politics, it’s about making sure that his ratings stay up and making as much money as he can, both of which he’s entitled to do, of course.

But let’s not mistake entertainment for reasoned political rhetoric, especially when there are actual conservatives out there saying far more rational things.

Take Ed Morrissey for example:

People have asked me since the election how I will approach the Obama presidency, but it’s really not that much of a mystery. I’m not going to be rooting for his failure, because I’m rooting for America. I believe most people feel the same way; Obama won the election and for better or worse, he’s our president.

As Ed goes on to note, that doesn’t mean blindly accepting when Obama makes bad policy choices, or refraining from criticizing him from when criticism is warranted. It does, however, mean recognizing that a failed Presidency usually isn’t a good thing for the country — a failed Presidency is Herbert Hoover’s lack of faith in the ability of the market to right itself and fiscal and economic policies that led to the Great Depression, it’s Woodrow Wilson’s single-minded obsession with “making the world safe for democracy” that results in creating the seeds for the worst war in human history, it’s Lyndon Johnson and the disaster of Vietnam, it’s Jimmy Carter, and, it’s George W. Bush.

The United States usually doesn’t do so well when we’re forced to live with a President who’s a failure.

Which is why this comment is entirely correct:

Saying that it’s merely defying PC to wish the president failure ignores the glaring, obvious fact that the success of a nation and the success of a president are very closely tied. By saying that you want a president to fail, you are in essence wishing the nation ill, because a failed presidency hurts a country rather badly. That means that you’d rather see the country suffer than see the advancement of policies you disagree with. It’s heartless and selfish, not merely “defying the PC elite”.

I can understand conservatives not wanting to see policy implemented that they are contrary to, but hoping that that policy fails to the detriment of the nation in order to prove your point that it’s bad policy is astounding in its cynicism.

But then, that’s Limbaugh’s shtick.

3 Responses to “Rooting For Failure”

  1. D.J. McGuire says:

    The issue here is not whether one will root for President Obama to fail. If he enacts the policies he endorsed during the campaign, I am convinced he will certainly fail (see FDR revisionism, which is finally getting its due).

    What I hope is that he does not enact those policies, or, barring that, there are other factors counteracting the deleterious effects of those policies (see FDR and the economic stimulus of WWII), or barring either of those, that he gets the proper blame he deserves for the failure that will ensue if he does enact them.

    Neither are guaranteed (see opinions on FDR from 1945 to 2007 or so).

  2. Cargosquid says:

    “By saying that you want a president to fail, you are in essence wishing the nation ill, because a failed presidency hurts a country rather badly. That means that you’d rather see the country suffer than see the advancement of policies you disagree with.”

    What a bunch of hogwash. If I believe that a President’s policy is dangerous to the Union, I want that President to fail in his objectives. I felt the same about all of the Presidents. Your inclusion of GWB in the “failures” shows your own bias. While I believe that Bush was not an unqualified success, neither do I think that he was a failure. Only time will give us that perspective.

    However, I do know what policies Obama and his cronies in Congress favor. And I believe that they are very dangerous. So, while I wish America to be safe, and I wish America to succeed as a country, I do wish President Obama to fail and alternative solutions, based on smaller governtment, to be found.

  3. Libertarian says:

    Sorry, I don’t see the big deal with what RL said. If this is controversial, it’s just evidence of how much our political discourse has degenerated.

    It’s similar to the dreaded congressional “gridlock” that people complain about. I want to scream, “WHY does this upset you?!” The less the gov’t does, the better off we are. I would love to have a lot more gridlock.

[Below The Beltway is proudly powered by WordPress.]