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“Rush Week” and the Neverending Campaign


From Chris Cillizza at WaPo:

Democrats are engaging in a concerted campaign to link the national Republican Party to conservative talk-radio show host Rush Limbaugh, an effort that will ramp up over the next few days in the form of another round of television ads and an increased rhetorical focus on the issue from Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, according to sources familiar with the plans.

“Rush is the bloated face and drug-addled voice of the Republican Party,” said Paul Begala, a longtime Democratic strategist who rose to prominence during Bill Clinton’s presidency. “Along with lots of others, I intend to continue to turn up the heat until every alleged Republican either endorses or renounces Rush’s statement that he hopes our President fails.”

Americans United for Change, a liberal group that draws funding from unions and other Democratic interests, is planning a second ad hitting Limbaugh that will reach the airwaves later this week after its first television foray drew massive coverage and set off a national discussion over Limbaugh’s role within the party.

Kaine, the governor of Virginia, issued a statement late Monday attacking Limbaugh as “the leading force behind the Republican Party, its politics and its obstruction of President Obama’s agenda in Washington” and officials at the DNC said Kaine would expand on that critique in a series of television appearances today.

The ramping-up of the “Republicans equal Limbaugh” strategy began over the weekend when White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” argued that the talk-radio host “is the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party.”

The Kool-aid blogs are in full wankfestivus mode over Limbaugh and have been for a couple days.  I got a bad feeling about this – it’s reminiscent of G-Dub declaring “Bring ’em on!”  Why pick a fight with people who have nothing left to lose?  Let lying dogs sleep.

One thing is certain – the fat man will be laughing all the way to the bank.

71 Responses

  1. Disgusting Pigboy’s 15 minutes of fame should have been up a long time ago

    • Smoke and mirrors. If this is what they want us to focus on, we need to take a good, hard look around for what it is they don’t.

      • The Dow Jones is one

      • Yup. The focus on Rush is the latest smokescreen, possibly meant to divert focus from the Obama DOJ’s toxic state secrets campaign, not to mention the O-team’s increasingly awful economic moves. So far, bread and circuses seem to have been a winner with the slumbering populace. So what’s to lose (over the short term) by keeping the shtick going?

        BTW, TC is loading/refreshing verrrry slowly, dear moderator. Did something important get unplugged?

    • Which “Pigboy”… Rush or Rahm?

  2. I have to say I’m glad to see it. Ultra right-wingers worship this gasbag within the confines of their own discussion rooms. If the righties are so crazy about Rush, let them come right out of their closets and embrace him. Either that or denounce him openly. I like this strategy. It’s reminiscent of the Clinton philosophy of, “…if your opponent is drowning, throw him/her and anchor…”.

    • “…an anchor…”

    • The GOP was flopping around like a headless chicken.

      The first rule of politics is “When your opponent is self-destructing, stay out of his way”

      • Another first rule of politics is:
        “Get in, and stay in as long as you possibly can.”

    • I actually sat through the entire Limbaugh speech/rant. I’m sorry but the Dem spin is just more political hype. The big one actually had some glowing things to say about the One that I thought were unneeded garbage.. He was very clear that he wanted O’s plans aimed at nationalizing banks and taxing the rich to fail. That is a surprise to the Dems? Get over it.

    • It’s a bad strategy. For one thing it has rehabilitated Rushes image and elevated his status; it has also allowed the elected Repubs to “pretend” they’re horrified but at the same time the failure message gets out to the “folks”, as O’Reilly calls them, via someone else.

      Dems disparaging Rush doesn’t hurt Rush with his audience in the least and the Dems know it. so why waste their time on Rush? Diversion, smoke secrren strawman/scapegoat; anything to keep people from noticing that NOTHING THEY TRY IS HELPING THE ECONOMY

  3. Mr. Obama’s administration is in serious trouble. As the economy tanks, so do a lot of hopes of democrats holding on to the number of seats they currently have.
    Any distraction they can come up with they will use.
    Who really gives a hoot about Rush? They have turned a non-story into a bigger non-story.

  4. Rush and Coulter are the shock jocks of the wingnuts.

  5. I guess they are trying to keep the vapid Obama followers frothing at the mouth? I think everyone knows Limbaugh is an entertainer and will do anything to keep his audience up. He is also known as a drug addict so who but a bunch of koolaid drinkers would be impressed with this campaign. I am with Cinie, if this is what they want us to focus on then we need to take a good hard look around at what the real story is.

  6. This is laughable. First, to call Rush the force behind RNC is like calling Tweety the voice behind DNC. Their interests intersect, but to call Rush the driving force behind it is intellectually dishonest. Second, the Republicans will laugh at this and nobody will suddenly declare Rush their enemy. Third, watch Rush’s ratings go up up up!

    I also want to know why in our current economic climate this is what the DNC is spending its money on. Is there something else they don’t want us paying attention to?

  7. After PM Brown and Teh One earlier today, the markets started going down again.

  8. I don’t really like Rush, but at times he has made some pretty good points. What I fear is this movement to silence anyone that says things the administration doesn’t like. I say, let people say what they want and leave it to others to judge based on the merits of what the saying.

    If Rush’s criticism of the administration wasn’t valid, then it would seem easy enough to attack and refute his message without having to attack him (personal attacks against a talk show host just seem so low class, not the type of activity you would expect the president to engage in).

    And, perhaps the Democrats want to focus on Rush so no one bothers asking questions like the one about who we’re really propping up with the AIG bailout:


    • opps …. should read merits of what “they’re” saying and not “the” saying

    • Of course, the Obamacrats’ central strategy throughout the election was to demonize their opponents rather than offer substantive critiques or honest policy debates. At least this time, now that the opponent isn’t Hillary or Sarah Palin, the demonization can’t rely on sexism.

      And I totally agree–this will only aggrandize Rush and his rushtards–while pissing off more sensible Republicans (who do exist). It reminds me of a past effort among some in the media to require all AA leaders to either endorse or renounce Farrakhan, an effort that I found similarly offensive.

  9. ummm. me thinks these Kaines and Bagalas need to remember it was THE PRECIOUS that told repubs to quit listening to Rush Limbaugh, I do think he’s the first ever President that called out a radio talk show person because he doesnt like Obama’s plans to take the country down the road to financial destruction.

    Maybe they will better understand what Rush is saying when the raised taxes on the wealthy take effect. Then again, maybe they dont pay taxes like some Obama has tried to put in certain positions.

  10. WTF!!! Could somebody please text Obama on his blackberry to get off the TV for a while. He’s on there…almost every day, right….what the hell is his problem?! It sends so many messages both subliminal and “liminal” like, I have nothing better to do with my time, if I’m here who’s minding the economy?, I want to scare you more with words like catastrophe, I’m a great speechifier. I want to start a “watch”, how many days during Obama’s first 100 days will he be on TV. It might be tricky but it’s worth knowing. The guy is all presentation and no substance.

    • I would like him to stay off the TV for a while, because almost every time he opens his mouth the market goes even lower.

    • The biggest pitfall of celebrity is overexposure. Obama’s about due for the yawn-and-switch-the channel phase. At bottom, he just isn’t all that fascinating, a sea of tacky commemorative plates notwithstanding. Obama’s basically a figment of media manipulation, someone who doesn’t stand to wear well over the long term. Unlike, say Lincoln and FDR (cough), he has no core substance shaped by sleepless nights and painful reckonings, by true intellectual curiousity, by a deep sense of doing right by a nation. He seeks no pole star, as that would be merely redundant in a self-contained universe.

      • ITA. I really wonder how much kool-aid one can ingest before reaching the point of getting sick at the sight of it. IMO, we’re approaching the saturation point at breakneck speed. Admittedly I’ve never been a kool-aider and my threshold was broken long ago but, really, how much more can people stand before they toss it all up.

      • very poetic Kat.

  11. I agree with you, Myiq, something is up. Why does the Democratic Party have time to take shots at Rush but can’t figure out a stress test for the banks? I think they’re walking into a trap because they’re so obsessed with Obama’s historic legacy.

  12. Rushbo’s base will eat this up with a spoon – it validates his importance in their eyes.

    • I agree. I think this will backfire on the Dems and Obama. Hannity loved it when Obama attacked him during the campaign too. It’s like throwing red meat to hungry sharks.

  13. Peter Daou agrees with me:

    There’s precious little benefit in making Limbaugh more of a central player, in engaging him directly from the White House podium, in raising his stature, in stamping, sealing and approving the years he’s spent bashing his political opponents. There was a moment, a brief moment, after Barack Obama was elected president, a moment long gone, where the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity could have become marginalized, bit players rather than media movers and shakers, the detritus of a sorry era. But instead, they have been granted more power — out of some contrived political calculus. This, at a time when we don’t need political calculus, we need single-minded determination to get us out of this economic calamity and to restore sanity to our government.

  14. OT, it’s primary election day in Chicago for Rahm’s seat.

  15. http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2009/03/obamas_change_is_capital_on_st.html

    Obama’s change is capital on strike …. just what a failing economy needs.

    I’m disgusted by the behavior of the CEO’s that took millions as they over exposed their companies to bad mortgages … but, we should all realize who ends up paying in the end if we set up an environment that is too punitive for businesses to prosper.

  16. I guess this is an example of the 11 dimensional chess we keep hearig about..

    What makes any of these yo-yo’s think that they can force the Republicans to endorse or renounce Libaugh on a blanket basis? Why won’t they just say that they endorse some of his views and disagree with others?

    As for wanting “our President to fail” stuff, besides it being unctious, hero worshipping BS that is as obviously phony in its false piety as a three dollar bill, why can’t the Republicans just respond, once again, with a partial endorsement/partial denial? “Of course we do not want our President to fail when it comes to revitalizing our economy, and we don’t think that’s what Rush meant, but we do hope, along with Rush, to prevent President Obama from succeeding in his plans to promote the culture of death, the homosexual agenda, class-warfare, and so on and so on.”

    Also, the notion that Limbaugh somehow calls the shots for the GOP is laughable, and everybody knows it. Limbaugh endorsed Romney in the primaries, and was a relentless critic of McCain. Limbaugh is calling on Congressional Republicans to “obstruct” Obama’s agenda, but, obviously, that is what they would be doing with or without his advice. And isn’t that what an opposition party is supposed to do, anyway? Maybe some Democrats think this tactic is so brilliant because, when they were in the opposition, they just rolled over, barked and begged whenever President Bush snapped his fingers, and they assume that’s how it’s supposed to be!

    The whole thing is laughable. Limbaugh is a blowhard who serves up raw, red meat for the extremists in the GOP base. But he has almost no influence in the regualar party organization. And only rarely, and then only in conjunction with other voices on the extreme right, does he have any actual influence over how GOP politicians vote.

    The big give away is the Begala quote. Who cares about the size of Limbaugh’s face or his drug use? Empty, logically fallacious ad hominem attacks on radio personalities may fire up all the kool aid drinkers on Daily Kos, but I doubt it will have much effect on Washington Republicans or on the electorate at large (which expects the GOP to oppose Obama, Limbaugh or no Limbaugh).

    In any event, “our President” has already won his campaign. He doesn’t face another one for years. He has large majorities in both houses of Congress, including, with the help of a couple of blue dog GOP Senators who don’t need to establish their disagreement wtih Limbaugh, a filibuster-proof Senate. Let him get on with governing. He can get passed any damn thing he wants, with or without Republican support. Barky needs to stop electioneering and start doing his damn job.

  17. I agree with all the commenters who point out that Rush ruckus is all just misdirection. It’s seems to be one of the things Camp Obama does really well.

    Today CNN is running one of their kool-aid polls again, asking “who do you find more compelling,” BO or MO. And of course there’s not an option to vote “neither.”

    The reality TV celebrity cast of the White House version of Big Brother is getting on my last nerve. Hey, kids, you’ve got a country to run!

  18. Why give him so much attention? Why suggest he has so much power? Seems like a stupid strategy to me.

    Yes Rush Limbaugh is a loudmouth that appeals to the far and now even some not so far right. So what? Are they not allowed a voice just because we don’t agree with it?

    The left has it’s own loudmouth pundidiots led by the Big Dumb Olbermann at MSNBC. Should his voice be silenced just because some don’t agree?

    I have my own censorship device. It’s an off/on or change channel device and I use it whenever either of these cretins are on.

    As for Ann Coulter? Not watchable IMHO. Same goes for the Coultergeist of the Left, Jenine Garofalo.(spelling)?

    Ranting and raving about these folks makes them more important than they deserve.

    Begala and the DNC going to war with a talk show host makes them seem mighty small IMHO.

  19. Wait, CNN wants to know who we find more compelling, BO or MO? That is funny! The inanity of it never ceases to amaze.

  20. Why is it that PUMAs seem to be about the only ones who see these things clearly. The CPAC blowback is so clearly a diversion. It was attended by only 8500 people!!! Obots, get a life. You have just given life, hope and fame to the dead and dying.

  21. Well, I do admit that shutting up Olbermann has its attractions.

  22. Pass me the bucket:

    I think I am developing a crush on America’s first lady. Michelle Obama is more compelling than her husband. He’s good, but she’s utterly fascinating.

    Mrs. Obama has blown away the stale air in a White House musty from eight years of the Bushes. It’s like the sun came out and a fresh spring breeze began wafting through the open windows.

    • I’m guessing kool-aid goggles are a lot like beer goggles.

    • But didn’t he have anything to say about her freebie designer clothes she’s getting?

    • This one calls for an entire trough. The Sun Queen? MO and maypoles and daffodils and gentle breezes? Dry heaves all over again.

    • Hi everyone! gary at electric blues has a great post on cafferty on his blog today. lets him have it but good.

      • Forget it. I gave it a shot, wrote a short ‘bad Cafferty’ comment, and CNN apparently torched it.

    • Maybe that’s just the Febreeze.

  23. Along with the Rush crap…has anyone watched Hannity since comb-over left? He has taken a big lurch to the right (not that he wasn’t there already).

    I keep getting sick of him hearing “bankrupted Social Security”. Shit! It’s fine for awhile if they’ll leave it alone damnit! If they want to do something, lift the cap on income subject to S.S. withholdings.

    • well that was a convoluted mess…

      I ‘m getting sick of hearing him say “bankrupted Social Security”…

  24. Let lying dogs sleep! That was a good one.

  25. …nice post; but I disagree slightly.

    Limbaugh reaches over 13 million people in his broadcasts; he distorts and oversimplifies, as well as flat out lies to get his points across. That’s why you have “rush is right” bumper stickers; the man is horribly convincing at selling commercially packaged political “philosophies” to the average Joe.

    I’d be willing to bet Limbaugh reaches more people and impacts them politically than “rock the vote” does. And his audience is just informed enough to always take an “I hate dirty liberals” stance and vote whatever way they imagine a “liberal” would hate.

    Yes, it’s foolish to think Limbaugh is the master behind the RNC, but it’s careless to think the RNC matters more than the unnamed plotters who are part of conservative think tanks planning a “100 year majority” by creating multimedia infrastructure. Rush Limbaugh is a major part of that infrastructure, and he has a very large, only-half-the-story-please- audience.

    You counter disinformation by addressing it, and then correcting it…Limbaugh has been a festering sore, spreading lies, hate, and disinformation for decades. To think he’s not a big part of it is to underestimate the impact on the average Joe voter.

    • Attacking Limbaugh won’t hurt him with his audience – it will raise his stature.

      If you want to give him what he deserves then you should ignore him.

    • The DNC is in no position to preach. It’s as dirty and is filled with as many liars as the RNC and Rush. And by taking on a talk-show host the DNC and the White House are giving Rush nothing but free advertising. If Obama is afraid of Rush – then he has no business taking on Osama, Ahmadinnerjacket, or Putin.

    • the man is horribly convincing at selling commercially packaged political “philosophies” to the average Joe.

      Gee…I wonder who that sounds like? (hint: Axelrove/Obama)

  26. Nice smoke screen from the democratic party. Have the media and citizens talking about Rush…take a little heat off them. I had never heard Rush before his talk at cpac. Had never really heard about cpac. Didn’t think he was too far out in left field.

  27. First of all let me say, i am no fan of Rush, however in his defense the Democrats should tell everything he said in this “I hope he fails”bit. Prehaps they should ask FOX fo a copy of the tape of Hannidy’s show where he made the comment. I saw the show and the statement has been taken completely out of context. I can not quote verbadim but what he said was that ,if Obama is going to lead the country down a socialist road, “then I hopes he fails.” He had many glowing comments regarding Obama before he made the comment. This is one of the reasons that I left the Democratic party and registered as a non-partisin.

    • And Lord knows Rush and the repubs never take things out of context for their advancement.

      • So now it’s ok for the Dems to be acting like the Republicans? That’s a justification for this behavior. Brings back instant memories of the primaries. Let’s attack and be hypocritical so we can get our way–end justifies the means. They have stooped to the same standards, and that’s why I am no longer identified with this Dem party. They decided to abandon the high road to get their way. Sounds just like Rove & Rush to me.

  28. “Along with lots of others, I intend to continue to turn up the heat until every alleged Republican either endorses or renounces Rush’s statement that he hopes our President fails.”

    This is a perfect example of why I can’t stand the “new” Dem Party. Instead of explaining to us exactly why BO’s plans are supposed to be effective and good for the country, they are focused on WHAT? Demonizing Limbaugh? That’s the best that wimpy Begala has got? Let’s act like whiny Republicans–that’s the new Obama strategy that he has employed all year. Very unappealing. The reason they are attacking Rush is because he is one of the only media outlets that does not salivate over every O pronouncement. Must silence all dissent in Omerica. Every citizen must weep when he Orates. No thanks. And FYI: Limbaugh did not say he wants Obama to fail per se–he said he wants his dishonest policies to fail. Look at what O has made of me: a Rush defender. Yuck.

    • Yes you have become a Rush defender. Its very subtle but I am seeing the backlash to Obama turning into an acceptance of the repubs. I don,t like Obama, never have and baring a miracle never will. I also will detest every repub that got us into this mess we are in. Rush deserves to burn for the lies he has told and the manipulations he has pulled. Call me a hypocrite if you want (oh you already did) but I for one can learn from history. I won’t feel sad for any mistreatment of the repubs. I say nuke em till they glow then shoot them in the dark.

      We set here and pontificate about the spineless Demos then feel sorry that someone may have hurt Rushs feelings. Pooh bah!

      For the record I have always seen Rush as a blowhard entertainer and have ended many a conversation where he was cited as a reference with: ” When you are ready to have a serious discussion let me know” and walked away. I also agree that to ignore him trivializes him and his silliness like nothing else can it also doesn’t allow some one to get defensive about him.

  29. Can someone remind these a$$hats that Rush doesn’t write or enact legislation? That is the job of our Congress & President. So why don’t they start doing that instead of wasting time on radio ENTERTAINERS?
    What’s next — attacking Howard Stern’s position on Israel?

  30. Maybe piling on Limbaugh is just arrogance. Kind of like, “Ha ha, we won so we get to pick on you now.” It really could be just that childish with this group.

  31. I don’t care if Limbaugh laughs all the way to Fort Knox, if he takes the GOP with him, so much the better. The GOP is really stupid for allowing this idiot to de-facto claim the leadership of their party. Sure, he’s got 20 million listeners… Good for him. But there is a name for a party with that kind of base of support: permanent minority…

  32. I also think it’s noteworthy who among the GOP did not join the parade of officials echoing Rush’s hope that Obama fails. Did any GOP presidential hopefuls join the bandwagon? Sarah Palin certainly doesn’t seem to have done so. Maybe she understands how self-destructive it is for a party that a president (or his policies, same diff…) fail in a time of crisis like this.

  33. The more the focus on Rush Limbaugh the more popular he becomes and the more the Republicans will rush to embrace him. He is the anti-bambi, and thus becomes the anti-hero. This attack on Limbaugh is going to backfire big time, and I can’t believe they don’t understand this. Limbaugh will be this undeniable magnet that attracts everyone who dislikes bambi, and that group is growing at a steady pace. They are giving Limbaugh power that he did not have before, and why they don’t understand that is beyond me. If they ignore him, he’ll self destruct. If they don’t, he becomes the poster child of the anti-bambi movement. Yuck.

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