2009-03-12 The White House Misfires on Limbaugh/Woozle

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Rove the spinmeister at work again...

But the Obama White House is the first I am aware of to pick targets based on polls.


Even Richard Nixon didn't focus-group his enemies list.

  • Neither does Obama
  • Obama doesn't have an enemies list
  • Nixon did

...decided to attack Rush Limbaugh after poring over opinion research.

Show us your sources, Rovey. You make this stuff up out of thin air, and we know it now.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod explicitly authorized the assault.


Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel assigned a White House official to coordinate the push.


And Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gleefully punched the launch button at his

podium, suckering the White House press corps into dropping what they were

doing to get Mr. Limbaugh.


Was it smart politics and good policy? No.

Obama made one off-hand comment about Limbaugh, after Limbaugh specifically picked a fight with Obama ("I hope he fails"). It was very mild, and it was accurate. Sounds like good policy to me.

For one thing, it gave the lie to Barack Obama's talk about ending "the political strategy that's been all about division" and "the score-keeping and the name-calling."

What, that one comment disproves Obama's bipartisanship, despite all the compromises he tried to make with GOP lawmakers? That just shows that "bipartisanship", in the Right's dictionary, means "following our agenda and cleaving unto no other, because you're either with us or you're against us".

The West Wing looked populated by petulant teenagers intent on taking down a popular rival.

Pssst, Karl -- that was what happened under Bush. We have an adult in charge now. Sorry you don't like it.

Such talk also shortens the president's honeymoon by making him look like a street-fighting Chicago pol instead of an inspirational, unifying figure.

Sez you. Makes him look like he's willing to state the truth instead of worrying about how the Right-wing noise machine might spin it.

The upward spike in ratings for Rush and other conservative radio commentators shows how the White House's attempt at a smackdown instead energized the opposition.

What upward spike would that be, Karl? All the ratings I've seen show approval... unless they're carefully screened to focus on the Right.

Did it do any good with voters not strongly tied to either party? I suspect not.

At least he admits this is pure speculation. Again, the polls say otherwise.... and even if Rove's speculation miraculously turns out correct, who cares if it "did any good with voters" at this stage? Isn't the point of governing, now that he's in office, to govern, rather than worrying about polls? Wouldn't that be "tyranny of the majority", preventing the leader from making wise but unpopular decisions in a time of crisis?

In fact, isn't this whole rush to defend Rush a bit of a distraction? But of course, that's what the GOP specialize in. They did it with Clinton, and now it's Obama's turn. Poor GOP, they probably won't be able to catch Obama in a sex scandal, so they have to make mountains out of even smaller molehills than usual.

With stock markets down, unemployment growing, banks tottering, consumers anxious, business leaders nervous, and the economy shrinking, the Obama administration's attacks on a radio talk show host made it seem concerned with the trivial.

Look in the mirror, Karl. Who's attacking who, here? Who's working on fixing the economy, and WHO SAID HE HOPED THAT THE ATTEMPT TO FIX IT WOULD FAIL?

Karl loses. This is petty crap which he is trying to polish up into something statesmanlike and Important-sounding.

I don't think I need to waste time on the rest of this article.