Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rush Limbaugh Is Worse Than James Carville

I was going out for breakfast this morning when I heard Rush Limbaugh mentioning this story from FOX News on his radio show:

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just minutes before learning of the terrorist attacks on America, Democratic strategist James Carville was hoping for President Bush to fail, telling a group of Washington reporters: "I certainly hope he doesn't succeed."...

...Minutes later, as news of the terrorist attacks reached the hotel conference room where the Democrats were having breakfast with the reporters, Carville announced: "Disregard everything we just said! This changes everything!"

The press followed Carville's orders, never reporting his or Greenberg's desire for Bush to fail. The omission was understandable at first, as reporters were consumed with chronicling the new war on terror. But months and even years later, the mainstream media chose to never resurrect those controversial sentiments, voiced by the Democratic Party's top strategists, that Bush should fail.

That omission stands in stark contrast to the feeding frenzy that ensued when radio host Rush Limbaugh recently said he wanted President Obama to fail. The press devoted wall-to-wall coverage to the remark, suggesting that Limbaugh and, by extension, conservative Republicans, were unpatriotic.

Now I'm no apologist for or even a fan of Carville (and to be honest, he also creeps me right the fuck out) but if I'm not mistaken, didn't he say this before 9/11? Doesn't that then make it the dangerous and to forevermore be avoided "pre-9/11 thinking"? Because after all, "9/11 changed everything", right? Nothing's the same, so now we must spy on our own citizens, disappear them into black prisons and then torture them just in case they know something about anything.

Logical? Barely. Fascistic? Most definitely. But it also means that Carville's idle comments on a sunny Tuesday morning eight years ago are not comparable to Limbaugh's announcing to America that he hopes President Obama fails trying to save our nosediving economy in the midst of two (three if you count the amorphous war on terror) intractable wars.

But my favorite part of the broadcast was when Limbaugh mentioned the media accounts of his admission, saying that it was the #2 story in the news last week "according to some media group". According to "some" media group? Why doesn't he just say "according to the Internet" while he's at it? According to my Grandma, I'm the smartest and most handsome young man in my class. And according to Big Al, dogs can't look up (double props if you get that one).

[Update: Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly also had this to say about the comparison:
...the anecdote from Fox News' Sammon does more to reinforce the progressive argument than undermine it. Note that Carville was bashing Bush, right up until he learned of a major crisis, at which point the Democratic consultant said, "This changes everything!"

And that's largely the point. In 2001, in a time of crisis, even the most die-hard Democrats changed direction and said they hoped a conservative Republican president succeeded. And in 2009, in the midst of another crisis, die-hard Republicans are still putting party and ideology above patriotism.

A point I failed to recognize but I agree with it just the same.]


Van Zan said...

Cute dog.

About the last bit...
While I agree to an extent, I would point out that it's always easier to rally together against an external threat, particularly if it's a mortal one.
People feel that they can find their way better if there is someone to hate... and who can you hate in a financial crisis?

The question isn't entirely rhetorical.
Unfortunately the less appealing element of the Republican party will tell you who you can hate. For their convenience it's the same people as always: welfare recipients, gays, liberals, minority religions, atheists, feminists, pornographers, environmentalists, illegal immigrants, the poor.

And France if they can figure out a way to blame them as well.

Pathetic isn't it? One wonders if, perhaps a decade or two from now, we'll look back and say "wow! they were such a bunch of wankers back in 2009 but they tossed their (Palin, Limbaugh) crap overboard, thought deeply about what they really want to represent, and... lo and behold... the part of Lincoln is back, and maybe they're worthwhile."
One wonders..

Anonymous said...

who can you hate in a financial crisis?

You can hate bears. Colbert is right.

Van Zan said...

"...gays and liberals and bears, oh my! gays and liberals and bears, oh my!..."