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March 05, 2009

So Much for "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism"....

Suddenly, the precious right of dissent is a threat to the Republic and the American way of life? This is a presidency (and a party) on the defensive:

Team Obama is continuing to push back against critics on talk radio and cable TV, prompting some observers to wonder if the White House is instead giving the complaints a wider audience.

Conservative radio king Rush Limbaugh, who recently said he is hoping the president fails in his efforts to "restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation," took the first hits. Obama challenged House Republicans not to let Limbaugh, with a weekly audience of more than 13 million arch conservatives, direct their votes.

Today, the drumbeat continued. In an Op-Ed article in this morning's Washington Post titled "Minority Leader Limbaugh," former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe warned Republicans:

If the GOP sticks with its strategy of failure as the only option, further eroding its brand with the people who decide elections, we may find out what it means for a political party to hit rock bottom.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also weighed in this morning with a website mocking GOP leaders like Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele for first criticizing Limbaugh and then, in the face of an enormous brush back from his fans, apologizing. The website allows visitors to create their own apology to Limbaugh but offers this template:

You and I both know that in reality, you simply want President Obama to fail in this time of economic collapse. How can I disagree with that? Please accept my sincere apologies, oh great leader of the Republican Party.

What on earth are these folks so deathly afraid of? Their opponents have broken the 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Criticize The Won.

If someone had told us before the election that a mere talk radio host could provoke an entire party to fits of paranoid jibberish, I'd have said you were smoking crack. Apparently, I would have been wrong:

Once upon a time, you could drive to the most remote reaches of the United States and escape Rush Limbaugh. But from the Mogollon Mountains of New Mexico to the Badlands of South Dakota, where only the delicious twang of a country tune or the high-pitched pleadings of a lone lunatic came over the AM dial, there is now the Mighty El Rushbo.

As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, I used to find Limbaugh to be an obnoxious but entertaining companion, his eruptions more reliable than Old Faithful. But now that Limbaugh has become something else — the face of the Republican Party, by a White House that has played him brilliantly — he has been transformed into car-wreck-quality spectacle, at once scary and sad.

Scary??? Someone needs to get a grip. Try turning off the radio. Put a CD in - maybe some Zamfir. What - exactly - is the complaint here? That too many people are listening to something you don't agree with? I think Keith Olbermann is a gigantic horse's ass, but I don't go into paroxysms every time he makes an ass of himself on national TV.

After mocking him mercilessly a few times, I got bored and just decided to ignore him.

The President needs to develop thicker skin. Wasting time firing off spitballs at every pundit or journalist who doesn't approve of you only demeans the office of the Presdency. If Obama can't take a little criticism, he doesn't belong in the job.

Posted by Cassandra at March 5, 2009 06:33 PM

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Along with a thicker skin, he also needs to learn how to respectfully gift foreign leaders.

I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: airforcewife at March 5, 2009 06:55 PM

"If Obama can't take a little criticism, he doesn't belong in the job."
*rises from trench to say*,
Yes and Yes!
*duck back down and resumes entrenching myself deeper into my beliefs on this very issue*

Posted by: bt_card-carrying-member-VRC-since-1972_hun at March 5, 2009 07:05 PM

"If Obama can't take a little criticism, he doesn't belong in the job."

Oh, I don't know. You've probably missed the new commandment: Thou shalt not mock the African-American.

Posted by: vanderleun at March 5, 2009 09:17 PM

Even if Obama does develop a thicker skin, I still don't believe he belongs in the job.

Posted by: Barbara at March 5, 2009 09:51 PM

former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe warned Republicans:

Apparently, the LA Times isn't paying attention to the 3-4 emails Team Barry sends out each week, because Plouffe still signs them "Campaign Manager," at least in the ones I get.

At least they aren't asking for money.


Posted by: William Teach at March 5, 2009 10:44 PM

Have you ever lived in California?

After years of reading the WaPo, I nearly starved to death on the Times. It was kind of a joke most of the time. Seems to have gotten a bit better lately.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 5, 2009 10:46 PM

He Won! Didn't you get the memo?

And of course, the "wrong kind" of dissent is double-plus ungood, so just watch it out there.

I have noticed (duh me) that Insta-Reynolds has been touting all the "Tea Parties" around the country, trying to fire up some kind of grass -roots taxpayer revolt. I am worried about this for a couple of reasons.

1. If this sort of thing actually starts to take hold, Astroturf Axelrod will start counter-organizing (organizing political street politics is what he does best!) to confront the Tea Party movement. Ugliness may ensue. Don't doubt that the Obama people (pods that they are) will not recognize this sort of thing as the threat that it is. They may plant people inside to do something ugly to discredit them, too.

2. These things are going to start to need a real focus, or the potential energy will be lost and people will withdraw in frustration.

Aren't the "LA Times" and "NY Times" going bankrupt? The Times, they are a-changin'.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at March 6, 2009 12:12 AM

"And of course, the "wrong kind" of dissent is double-plus ungood, so just watch it out there."

Sooooo......does that mean that we're all on double-secret probation? [language warning]
Probably a good thing I'm not the rebellious type, eh?

Posted by: DL Sly at March 6, 2009 01:22 AM

"If Obama can't take a little criticism, he doesn't belong in the job."

Yeah, well...not to belabor the point, but he doesn't belong in the job, regardless.

Posted by: camojack at March 6, 2009 04:03 AM

I don't think this has anything to do with Obama's thin skin and I think you're assuming the Obama team has the same motivations you have when you object to Olbermann. Simply put, Obama isn't offended by Limbaugh; this is the standard Obama team tactic of destroying opposition. I think if we attribute this response to Obama's thin skin, we fail to point out the pure maliciousness of the left.

Posted by: JimU at March 6, 2009 05:07 AM

Limbaugh is a successful entertainer -- bombast is his schtick, exactly as ditziness was Gracie Allen's.

The Rush Derangement Syndrome rampant throughout the DNC only means the Libs aren't sufficiently *nuanced* to get it...

Posted by: BillT at March 6, 2009 07:25 AM

BTW, jackasses are *supposed* to be thin-skinned.

If they weren't, they'd be pachyderms.

Posted by: BillT at March 6, 2009 07:27 AM

It is apparently escaping the media and the left that Rasmussen just published a poll asking essentially if Rush is seen as the 'leader' of the GOP. A piddling 11% of those that identified as Republicans said yes. About half the democrats said he was. I think 20-odd percent of independents said yes.

Talk about an echo chamber on the left...

Posted by: Falze at March 6, 2009 09:20 AM

I... I... I... I mean, ah... ah... ah... ah... Oh, OH YEAH! Gufffawwwww.

Posted by: bt_card-carrying-member-VRC-since-1972_hun at March 6, 2009 10:05 AM

As noted above, this is an updated version of Bush Derangement Syndrome writ large. Former President Bush, in the eyes of the far left, represented the Bible thumping, gun loving, racists they equate with conservatives. The attack on Limbaugh was predictable starting with Palin, McCain once he became the front-runner, Jindal, Steele and now, for want of a better target, Limbaugh.

It is classic smoke-and-mirrors as the left, of which Obama is a far-lefty, will be on the attack in this political whack-a-mole everytime a future leader of the right sticks his/her head up. We need to accept it, expect it, and develop a COIN to deal with it. Emanuel, Carville, and Begala are the leaders of this democratic version of the Bush/Rove/Cheney "Death Star" the dems railed about for so long and have now adopted as their own.

We have to stop reacting and go on the offense. We are systematically being distracted from the socialization of our economy through the use of the standard tool of the left, namely, demonization and ad hominem attacks. We need to return to our kindergarten roots; Sticks and stone will break my bones but words will never hurt me."

Stay focused folks and don't be distracted by the Conservative Derangement Syndrome. Call a spade a spade and deal with the facts. That is the weakness of Obama. That and his reliance on teleprompters which speaks volumes about his shallowness and vulnerability of the left. Remember the "Bell Curve?" The Bell is comprised of arguably as many center left voters as center right. The center left are losing as much money in their portfolios as the rest of us. We share that condition with them which is why Obama and his staff are trying to get us to look over the faltering economy to a dreamy nanny-state future.

We have much to do!

Posted by: vet66 at March 6, 2009 10:48 AM

"The center left are losing as much money in their portfolios as the rest of us. We share that condition with them which is why Obama and his staff are trying to get us to look over the faltering economy to a dreamy nanny-state future."
Indeed... Not to mention that the freedoms we inherited ( I One!'s phrase du jour ) are in jeopardy of withering before the eyes of our children and their children.

Yup, this utopian mirage I One! and the Congressional sideshow barkers are selling will soon be revealed to be the distorted reflection of every other decaying/decayed socialists state that has gone before.

As I've said a time or two, some folks need to feel the pain of a cosmic 2x4 up side their touchy-feely-PC assumptions. And if history is a guide in this case, and the evaporating and deflating net worth of the nation says that it is, their clarity of perception and their grasp of the realities of the world as it is, not as they really, really, really, like totally dude, wish it were, will align when sufficient pain registers in their blissfully euphoric yet cognitively detached neural net.

I figure that I One! has maybe six months in which to soak his carcass in brine. He's gonna need a tough hide no later than...

*back to the trench*

Posted by: bt_card-carrying-member-VRC-since-1972_hun at March 6, 2009 11:36 AM

I think it's pretty interesting that Pres. Obama and his staff have assumed the authority to appoint the new head of the Republican Party. Obviously they've set him up as a straw man to be used to discredit the actual Republican party.

One way to combat this would be for the Republican Party's actual leader(s) to stand up and start leading. Fat chance of that happening, though.

Posted by: RonF at March 6, 2009 12:05 PM

I've never been in the habit of listening to any radio, or to Rush in particular, but I've considered it my duty to tune in every so often, now that I'm being instructed not to do so. I find that I don't care for Rush's style, but I agree with him more often than not.

Something that amuses me is how often, on public comment sites such as that of my local newspaper, any conservative argument is met with a chorus of responses saying, "Stop quoting Rush." He certainly is monopolizing the attention of the progressives. They seem unable to imagine that conservatives believe what they do before Rush tells them to believe it. I'm not even sure that a lot of them understand that conservatives have a coherent belief system that's applied to a commonly accepted set of facts. They just figure we read from the oft-mentioned "talking points memo."

What really cracks me up is how often I'm accused of being a paid operative. Now THERE'S a gig that might repair my retirement portfolio, last seen heading south in a big way.

Posted by: Texan99 at March 6, 2009 12:14 PM

"One way to combat this would be for the Republican Party's actual leader(s) to stand up and start leading. Fat chance of that happening, though."
Hope springs eternal...

Posted by: bt_card-carrying-member-VRC-since-1972_hun at March 6, 2009 12:14 PM

...any conservative argument is met with a chorus of responses saying, "Stop quoting Rush."

Heh. Standard Lib response to anything smacking of common sense. If Limbaugh'd actually said everything they attribute to him, Bartlett's would be a two-volume set...

Posted by: BillT at March 6, 2009 12:30 PM

"Republican Party's actual leader(s)"

There is no such thing. All the Republicans have are eunuchs like McConnell and Boner. They are a joke. They ran an idiot like McCain and were buried. I quit the R party because they are useless. I am an independent.

Obama is an affirmative action clown. This helps shed some criticism but intensifies other. Obama is a blatant fascist who would stifle all dissent were he able. Well, he is not and presents a ripe target. He just is not very bright and amateur hour in the Whitehouse is a travesty.

Obama is very thin skinned. He has not even absorbed the basic principle of ignoring criticism. He responds to Limbaugh and gets his ass handed to him every time. Obie is a slow learner.

Diane Feinstein, Senator Forever, once took great umbrage at Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle. Caen dubbed her DiFi and Princess Di. She elected to savage Caen and was tossed into the briar patch. Caen savaged DiFi and the nicknames stuck. Obie isn't even as bright as DiFi.

Posted by: Mark at March 6, 2009 12:52 PM

Cass, you just don't understand. You have to realize that the Hard Left is composed of grim, humorless people. They are like the Taliban or Iranian Mullahs. These are the people that willingly became the commissars of the Soviet Revolution and gladly rounded up their neighbors for execution or the Gulag.

For these die-hard fanatics, there is one, and only one acceptable way to live -- their way. All non-believers are heretics and infidels or, in their lexicon, counterrevolutionaries, who must be exterminated and crushed. Just like the Mullahs will impose a monolithic theism based on Sharia law, and gladly execute all unbelievers, the Left will do the same based upon strict adherence to their ideology.

I have long held that the die-hard Left favors terrorists because they are fellow-travellers. The Left has simply substituted their Marxist ideology for Islamic dogma, but they are just as religiously zealous in supporting it. Look at history, the first thing communists do in every country they have seized power is to start a reign of terror (purges) where they massacre all ideological enemies or even suspected enemies.

When I look in Hillary's cold, dead eyes, I see someone who would not hesitate to shoot her enemies in the back of the head and dump them into mass graves. As Stalin proved, its only a war crime if you lose the war. The victors are forgiven everything.

Posted by: a former european at March 6, 2009 01:42 PM

AFE, you are right about Super Bitch. Hillary is an apparatchik. She would aprentice as a leichentrager.

Why does no one turn on the left? All I see are wimps apologizing and submitting. James Joyce wrote a very interesting novel "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", wherein Steven Daedalus refuses to submit. Submission is the stuff of slaves. And, yes, this applies to Islam.

Posted by: Mark at March 6, 2009 02:01 PM

> a mere talk radio host could provoke an entire party to fits of paranoid jibberish, I'd have said you were smoking crack.

You're kidding, right?

Bush is receding into the background as a blame tool and a focus of all that vitriol that is the center of the Boomer life. They NEED SOMETHING to target, so what would you expect?

McCain? He's the Al Gore of the 2008 elections, no one cares.

Palin? She's a good target, but not visible enough at this point that they can use her.

Rush, while I can't see as my first choice for target, is obviously in-line with sensible predictions for such, since they've always hated him anyway, and, now, he's probably inarguably the single most powerful force in the conservative movement. If it's going to reform, he'll be strongly involved in that reformation, that much is clear. And the idea that it might reform terrifies them, since they know they won't be around to kill it a second time.

And of course, if they aren't there to save the world from eeeevil neoneoconism, who will be able to do it?

That sort of malignant narcissism is at the very heart of all this.

Would I have predicted Rush as the lightning rod in Bush's absence? Not offhand. But in hindsight, yeah, they desperately need one, and he's by far the best candidate standing.

Without somewhere to direct all that self-hatred, someone to project it onto, it could only be turned back on themselves. There's a huge chance of this anyway. Look at the way Obama's and Hillary's proponents were duking it out.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at March 6, 2009 03:04 PM

> That too many people are listening to something you don't agree with?

DUH, yes?

Why do you think they want the "Fairness Doctrine" reinstated -- so that they can shut dissident voices like Rush up.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at March 6, 2009 03:50 PM

"Why do you think they want the "Fairness Doctrine" reinstated -- so that they can shut dissident voices like Rush up."
Or drown them out with pink noise. But the plan is more likely to bleed dry those forced to air the leftist view point of their advertisers/sponsors revenue streams. I can't see how anyone could argue otherwise given that the audience will be composed of those on the discharge side of the Gub'ment asset seizure pump. After all Progressive talk radio (Air American), print media(NYT- LAT et al.) and televised opinion(MSNBC) programming has been such a resounding success in the marketplace of ideas thus far. For example, Air America's stellar performance, not to mention their above reproach ethical conduct.

When opposing views are mandated by the government, think ultimate unfunded mandate, media will sink even faster than it has to date. And history would suggest that less media is a good thing in the Progressives book.

Now when it comes to funding approved propaganda, the gub'ment will spare no taxpayer expense. They will just issue the edict that there will be a transfer of funds from the taxpayers or other surviving cash-cows to those who are being forced to give a platform to the views and pronouncements of those who can not sell their ideas or sustain their presence in the a marketplace without a government mandate.

*back to the trench for me before I mention how much I truly detest these people*

Posted by: bthun at March 6, 2009 05:26 PM

Why does no one turn on the left? All I see are wimps apologizing and submitting.

Honestly Mark, I think right now that would be counterproductive.

Our culture has changed. Median values have changed. We are made uncomfortable by anything perceived to be judgmental or adversarial.

Do I agree with this? Hell no. It's hard for me to reign myself in most of the time. But I'll be damned if I'll shoot myself in the foot on the off chance the bullet will richocet off and hit my opponent in the tuckus :p

Newt Gingrich, years ago when he started the Contract with America, wisely concentrated on issues that would poll at least 60% approval. There's a reason for that - you need a majority to win an election.

He was phenominally successful and that's why he's a better figurehead than Rush. I agree with Rush some of the time. But I also think that sometimes he's intentionally inflammatory in a Coulterish way that literally hands ammunition to the opposition and makes us look like fanatics. I don't have to agree with most of America to see how they react to this sort of thing.

If you want to win votes, you can't go in with guns a-blazing. That is red meat for your base, but the base alone - in either party - can't put anyone in office.

We have to deal with the real world, even when it galls us. Any other strategy amounts to fighting harder, not smarter.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 6, 2009 07:25 PM

Cass, you just don't understand.

You've got that right! I'm a lot angrier than I let on at times but I genuinely believe it's counterproductive to fulminate.

I try to keep my criticisms as unemotional and centrist as possible. I think there is a centrist case to be made against Obama's policies, and though I can make plenty of arguments that no conservative would disagree with, it's not conservatives I'm trying to persuade. They already are inclined not to support Obama.

I'm going for the center b/c we need that to win elections.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 6, 2009 07:33 PM

This is precisely why I would make the world's worst politician.

Posted by: a former european at March 8, 2009 04:52 AM

That, and kissing screaming babies :p

Don't get me wrong, afe. I am just sick about what Obama is doing to this country. I don't trust him and I never have.

That's why we need you to run the Glorious People's Revolt!

Posted by: Cassandra at March 8, 2009 06:08 AM