Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rush Limbaugh's Bipartisan Stimulus Plan

You may have heard by now about the back and forth between President Obama and conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh. If not, here's a quick recap:

First, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh said on the air that he was rooting for Barack Obama to fail and resented efforts, presumably by friends, to give the new president a honeymoon.

We are being told we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over and grab our ankles ... because his father was black, because he's the first black president, we've got to accept this.

Charitably, maybe Rush meant that he hoped the president's liberal agenda would fail.

On Friday, Obama told Republican lawmakers that bipartisanship over his mutli-gazillion-dollar stimulus plan requires good faith on both sides. "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told them.

So Limbaugh's response was to write an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal which he discusses in this transcript:
ERIN BURNETT: The fear is that Washington's new spirit of cooperation is already gone. Now, sit down. Prepare yourself. You see this, "My Bipartisan Stimulus"? This was written by Rush Limbaugh making a bid to keep bipartisanship alive. That's the op-ed he wrote this morning. He joins us on the news line. Rush, a lot of people are skeptical with a headline from you: "My Bipartisan Stimulus."

RUSH: Why skeptical? I'm just trying to build bridges and roads to the administration for genuine bipartisanship and cooperation and fairness. The president says that he still wants to work with Republicans.

MARK HAINES: (snorting)

RUSH: Here I am. We can work together and do what's best for the American people.
As a result of all of this recent noise while there is an obvious power vacuum at the top of the Republican party many have started speculating that Rush Limbaugh is fast becoming its new de facto leader. Now remember, this man was never elected to any political body or position and has never been an appointee to anything; he's a political commentator, an entertainer. I think Obama was right to denounce him and should not do anything further to legitimize him but that is easier said than done.

Limbaugh has an expansive voice and an extremely loyal following through his radio show, so much so that a Republican congressmen has recently refused to disagree with him on air concerning his comments above about Obama's father's race and another went on Limbaugh's show yesterday to apologize for saying that Limbaugh wasn't on the same level as the party's elected leaders. Clearly when United States congressmen are forced by their constituents to kiss your ring you are a powerful man, so what should Obama do?

If he fires back at Limbaugh he lets himself get entangled in a public brawl with an entertainer and that is never good for a sitting president but if he dismisses Limbaugh's plan out of hand then he will be crucified by the right for not heeding his own call for bipartisanship. So I propose that he do this: release a public statement thanking Limbaugh for his ideas which also says that the Obama White House has a page on their website created specifically so that American citizens like Limbaugh can send in their ideas to the president and his staff for review.

Done. Obama will have adhered to his own policy of inviting any and all ideas to the table while simultaneously relegating Limbaugh to his proper place as a private citizen rather than an elected official, and he will have appeared gracious and egalitarian in the process. Limbaugh will scream discrimination and dismissal to his fan base but he will essentially be neutralized as far as trying to put himself on the same level as the president. If President Obama is reading this he has my permission to use this idea free of charge; all I want is the credit.


JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

President Obama made an error by mentioning Rush Limbaugh. Presidents have better things to do with their time than worry about what this joker says.

As a fan of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley (Not all his views. I don't want the Nihilists shunning me) I believe President Obama needs to adopt the strategy he used against Mike Royko. When asked about something Rush said, Obama simply answers; "Who's he?"
Ultimate disrespect. And Rush isn't going to say or do anything nice for Obama. Why waste time sucking up to this clown and giving him any shred of relevance?

JBW said...

I agree that he made a mistake mentioning Limbaugh T101 (Hannity still gets off playing sound bites of Obama talking shit about him), but now that he has he needs to neutralize him as soon as possible, but only if he's hounded by the press.

Anonymous said...

President Rush Limbaugh, 2012?