The blogosphere has weighed in on Rush Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails” comment regarding the Obama presidency. And now it’s my turn.
To just take those four words from Mr. Limbaugh’s interview with fellow right wing radio host Sean Hannity would not be fair in this debate.
Here is the entire quote:
“If he does not eliminate the Bush tax cuts, I would call that success. So yes, I would hope he would succeed if he acts like Reagan, but if he’s going to do FDR, if he’s going to do the new, new deal all over which we will call here the raw deal, why would I want him to succeed?”
“Look, he’s my president. The fact that he is historic is irrelevant to me now. It matters not at all. I — if he is going to implement a far left — look it. I think it’s already decided. $2 trillion in stimulus? The growth of government. I think the intent here is to create as many dependant Americans as possible looking to government for their hope and salvation. If he gets nationalized health care, I mean, it’s over, Sean. We’re never going to roll that back. That’s the end of America as we have known it because that’s then going to set the stage for everything being government owned, operated, or provided.”
“Why would I want that to succeed? I don’t believe in that. I know that’s not how this country is going to be great in the future; it’s not what made this country great. So I shamelessly say, no, I want him to fail, if his agenda is a far- left collectivism, some people say socialism, as a conservative heartfelt, deeply, why would I want socialism to succeed?”
The argument here is that Mr. Limbaugh and many far right conservatives continue to equate President Obama’s stimulus package and other policies to socialism. This is the same argument that Senator McCain, Governor Palin, Joe “The Plumber”, and the Fox Network cadre made during the campaign. So for Mr. Limbaugh to repeat such assertions are not unexpected.
The real debate here is the stimulus package and what it means ideologically to the right wing. Since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, we have rolled back the gains of FDR’s New Deal. And now, we find ourselves facing a similar economic situation ala the Herbert Hoover era. When FDR assumed power, the Republican Party had similar qualms of FDR’s plans as conservatives have now of Barack Obama’s prescription for economic solvency.
The economic and political scenarios that President Obama confronts today are EXACTLY what FDR faced in 1932. Conservative politicians and columnists warned about the grave dangers of FDR’s plans. Not coincidentally, FDR was also referred to as the “Messiah”. And like Rush Limbaugh, some hoped for the failure of the New Deal just for the sake of ideology.
Contrary to the revisionist history that is being spun today, FDR’s New Deal worked. We must keep in mind that at that time, the banking system of this country was nearly bankrupt. People were starving, yes starving, in this country. The stock market had crashed 3 years prior to FDR assuming power while the Republican, Hoover, was president. Hoover inherited (a Republican favored term) and then exacerbated this disaster. The two previous presidents, Harding and Coolidge, were Republicans.
So, I am not surprised that Mr. Limbaugh and others sharing his views wish failure upon President’s Obama’s policies. Success would deal a mighty blow to conservative ideology as FDR’s success did in the 1930’s (Democrats held power uninterrupted for nearly 20 years afterward). Conservatives would be well advised to read up on this nation’s political and economic history.
Mr. Limbaugh’s hope for failure is not motivated by hatred but by fear!