CNBC's resident curmudgeon Mark Haines let talk show host Rush Limbaugh have it today. The media has suddenly rediscovered Limbaugh, and has taken him to task for saying he hopes Barack Obama fails. Limbaugh, has a commentary in today's Wall St. Journal called "My bipartisan stimulus."
"I'm just trying to build roads and bridges to the administration for bipartisanship and fairness," he said in his introduction.
Nobody will ever confuse Haines with the liberal media, so this exchange was significant.
Haines: I'm sorry, but a week after the inauguration, you said you "hope he fails." Are you now admitting that that was a stupid and mean-spirited thing to say?
Limbaagh: No, it was an accurate thing to say. It was an honest thing to say. It came after...
Haines: How is that bipartisan?
Limbaugh: Well,let me explain...
Haines: Well, so far you haven't.
Limbaugh: You're being contentious with no reason. It came after a thorough explanation on my part that liberalism, which is what Obama represents...
Haines: (Somewhat off microphone) Ah, geez....
Limbaugh: ... destroys the free market, destroys capitalism. This stimulus plan is all about re-FDRing America... the new New Deal and as a conservative, I want liberalism to fail. i want the country to succeed and that's what I meant and that's what I said over and over again. You've got to stop reading these left-wing liberal media...
Haines: I just listen to you, Rush, I don't listen to anybody. I listen to you, and what I hear is hypocrisy. You are saying in this piece, you say :
The American people are made up of Republicans, Democrats, independents and moderates, but our economy doesn't know the difference. This is about jobs now. The economic crisis is an opportunity to unify people, if we set aside the politics.
Haines: ... and yet the first thing out of your mouth is politics, about liberal and conservative and Republican and Democrat.
Limbaugh: (Stumbling) You know, this vote that happened in the house yesterday is actually a failure. The bipartisan vote was the defeat; 11 Democrats, 20 Republians. The partisan vote was all Democrats. He wants Republicans on the bill, Mark, because he knows this isn't going to work. He wants Republicans so he has cover, so they can't run for re-election, saying this wasn't his debacle. I'm trying to propose something here that will work, for the best of the country. How can that be hypocritical.
Eventually, Haines' co-host, took over the interview from Haines, reassuring America that what Limbaugh really meant was that he hopes liberalism fails.
But before ending, Haines got one more shot in.
Haines: Here's something I find interesting. You talk about the vote being roughly 54 to 46 in favor of Obama... but when the vote was 51-49, I don't remember you being this concerned about Republicans.
Limbaugh: I think bipartisanship is a joke.
The resurrection of Democrats in Washington is the best thing that could have happened to right-wing talk radio -- and Limbaugh's career in particular. It's led some to suggest that Limbaugh, rather than party leaders, is now the new face of the Republican Party.
Q: If Rush Limbaugh is the "new face" of the GOP, what would be his chances of running for President and winning in 2012?
A: Fat chance!
Rush Limbaugh has the same status he's always had;
He's a bigoted, hypocritical, hate-spewing propagandist.
If that's the new face of the Republican Party, the times are even darker than we can imagine.
Rep. Phil Gingrey from Georgia criticized Limbaugh, saying "I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks." He then got swamped with phone calls and mail to his office to the point where he felt the need to release a statement apologizing. He also went on Limbaugh's show to apologize.
How is that healthy for debate or for the party?
For criminy sakes Bob, this "Rush is the new face of the Republican party" meme is just a media conceit for ratings and newspaper sales. With Palin out of the limelight and Bush back in Texas, who else is MSNBC going to set up as the bogeyman for their gotchas and ad hominem attacks? A lot of Republicans don't even like Rush.
To the extent that Limbaugh is being honest he's doing us a favor. He's showing us that for republicans like him all considerations are trumped by ideology, an ideology that is impervious to facts or rational discussion. The primary mission of these idealogues is and always has been to erase the twentieth century. There's very little about the 20th century except for the collapse of the Soviet empire that these guys like (and the only reason that like that is because they attribute it to Ronald Reagan). From public education, to work safety standards, to voting rights, these guys consider the 20th century to have been a disaster. Of course this is fantasy masquerading as history pretending to be nostalgia but there you have it. Rush is telling you what Pawlenty won't, he's telling you he'd rather see the state collapse than see his ideology wane in popularity.
And remember, Limbaugh never presents any evidence that his ideology is actually good for the country, or that it's prescriptions work. On the contrary history has shown this ideology to have been a disaster in more ways than can be counted. Limbaugh doesn't push his ideology because it's produces good public policy, he pushes it because that's how he's gotten famous, and acquired power and he doesn't have anything else to offer.
It's important to know this about these guys, and it's nice that they are admitting it. It tells us that we are not where we are by accident. Republican's like Limbaugh and Pawlenty drove here deliberately because they'd rather push they're ideology even if it leads to disaster. It's like Seifert bragging about screwing people who voted for democrats, they'd rather assault their constituents than depart from ideology and they really don't care how much damage they do in the process.
The thing that I'm interested in finding out is how Obama may change the discourse in this country. Guys like Limbaugh will always be out there, but who's gonna be listening? The strange thing about Rush and Coulter, and O'Rielly is that at the end of the day all they do is whine and complain. They accuse other of being america haters but clearly no one hates this country more than they do. They spend all their time complaining about everything under sun and how marginalized they feel. They're really really negative and toxic personalities and you have to wonder- if the american people jump on the optimism train, are they gonna want to see or hear these toxic rants anymore? I wonder if people will turn more towards Oberman and Maddow?
// who else is MSNBC going to set up as the bogeyman for their gotchas
I have it good, Matt. Both MSNBC and FoxNews is on a tier of my satellite TV service that I don't have.
Cutting the non-essentials, you know.
Al Franken is for sure right about one thing, Rush is a big fat idiot. It must be killing Al to keep his mouth shut.
Mark Haines is just perfect. Limbaugh, the drug addled fat ass that he is, doesn't stand a chance against a guy like Haines.
Mark you being a liberal side is showing, Rush is right,read the bill they want to pass. SC.