Barack Obama said he was going to go to Washington to change politics as usual.
But after two decades of left-wing attempts to silence Rush Limbaugh, Barack Obama and his “progressive” tolerance police are still…trying to silence Rush Limbaugh. As usual.
To which I can only say:
When Obama isn’t dialing for dollars, he’s dialing for cheap prog brownie points. This is another beer summit moment illustrating the utter pettiness of a White House willing to insert itself into a sideshow fray manufactured by femme-a-gogues for plain political gain.
Kirsten Powers recites the very familiar litany of slime against conservative women that goes uncommented on by the Obama administration every single day of the year. Been there, done that.
But it’s ok. Conservative women don’t need coddling phone calls from Obama. We just need him to get out of the White House and out of our lives.
Harangue Rush Limbaugh on your own damned dime.
Reminder: As I reported in February 2009 — after Obama specifically name-checked and targeted Limbaugh in concert with the umpteenth attempt by the Left to “hush rush” — using Rush as a left-wing bogeyman and failing to bring him down is as old as the hills. From my piece for the NYPost:
President Obama is throwing a bipartisan Super Bowl party Sunday at the White House. But one leading conservative football fan won’t be in attendance: Rush Limbaugh. The much-heralded new era of outreach and cooperation in Washington does not extend to the Right’s most powerful voice on talk radio. With his explicit attack on Limbaugh during a Capitol Hill meeting last week, Obama has signaled the end of Bush Derangement Syndrome – the defining mental illness of the Democrats for eight years – and ushered in the age of Rush Derangement Syndrome.
You would think that victories in the presidential race and Congress would be enough for the Left. But no. Like Captain Ahab, Sen. Lindsay Graham still bristles at the “loud folks” in conservative talk radio. Democrats even drafted a petition denouncing Limbaugh last week, showing that trying to save the economy doesn’t wait for petty personal attacks.
Too bad Obama hasn’t learned the lessons of his predecessors. Limbaugh not only has survived countless protests, boycotts, media smears and political attempts to kick him off the airwaves. He has emerged each time with a higher profile, greater influence, and a strengthened hand.
In a repeat of anti-Rush history (see “vast right wing conspiracy,” et al), the White House broadside backfired – disseminating his biting critiques of the trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill to a wider audience. Rather than dividing the GOP, it united them. Not a single Republican voted for the Obama plan after unprecedented wooing, courting, and cajoling. The Rush Effect is incontestable.
Which begs the question: Why did Obama – who told House GOP leaders “you can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done” – even bring him up?
It could have been unscripted, one of the president’s first political misspeaks. Or it could have been calculated (rather miscalculated), an effort to drive a wedge between Beltway Republicans and the outside-the-beltway king.
I think it points to a neurosis on the part of Democrats. By defining themselves more by who they oppose rather than who they are, they find themselves lost without an enemy.
The stimulus bill is a prime example – a collection of pet projects connected by no coherent ideological strategy except spending. Do Democrats really support it because it’s a good bill? Or is it simply because Republicans oppose it?
Either way, picking a fight with Rush was disastrous for the White House. Obama’s criticism of Limbaugh – and by extension, the broader influence of conservative talk radio and grass-roots activism – galvanized the base. Let’s face it – there’s been a little bit of moping since the November losses. Conservatives retreated into think tanks and blogs, trying to figure out what went wrong, sure that the public mood for empty promises would sour soon enough.
It didn’t take long. My colleagues here at the New York Post tell me after the newspaper ran its story about Obama calling out Rush, the article vaulted to No. 1 on its Web site for three consecutive days – and garnered more than 4,200 comments.
I asked Limbaugh this week why his enemies on the Left repeatedly fall into the trap of distorting his words and overreaching in their anti-talk radio demagoguery. Why, after 20 years, don’t they learn?
“On the contrary,” he said, “I think they believe all of these campaigns to have been profoundly successful. Their objective is to use their brethren in the drive-by media to echo their charges against me for the purpose of ensuring that I do not become ‘mainstream’ in the popular and political cultures. They strive to have the general population, particularly those who do not listen to the radio, hate me (and by association, all of conservatism). This happens for one reason: I am effective and thus have to be marginalized as an extremist, fringe figure.”
They are: ProFLowers, Quicken Loans, Sleep Train and Sleep Number, Citrix Systems Inc., Carbonite and LegalZoom.
William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection issues a call to arms:
I am dead set against the tactic of targeted boycotts used as a means of suppressing speech, as I have said many times here. But simply speaking out against the tactic is not working.
People can criticize Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity, or anyone else. That’s okay. The answer to speech one does not like is more speech, not silencing others. Carbonite has joined the side of those who want to suppress speech.
It’s time to take a stand against those advertisers who succumb to the pressure. We should not expect advertisers to take sides, and I would not want Carbonite to stop advertising on the Ed Schultz show. Carbonite should return to its prior, politically neutral position.
We need to send a message that we will not acquiesce in the new left-wing tactic of trying to force conservatives off the air by targeting advertisers.
Carbonite is the place to start.
September 3, 2008 The Four Stages of Conservative Female Abuse
September 19, 2008 Sandra Bernhard calls Sarah Palin “whore” and “turncoat bitch”
April 16, 2009 Matt Taibbi: “Now when I read her stuff, I imagine her narrating her text, book-on-tape style, with a big, hairy set of balls in her mouth. It vastly improves her prose.”
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Donna Brazile admits tipping off Hillary campaign, but the Russians made her do it (Sunday open thread)
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