Diary

What the heck does Rush Limbaugh have to do with anything anyway?

Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals , instructed to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” That’s exactly what Obama and the Democrats are doing right now, and if the Recent Politico.com article is to be believed, they’ve been planning this since October of last year. It wasn’t long after Obama won the election that he stirred the hornets’ nest up by invoking Limbaugh’s name for pretty much no reason at all. Proponents of the Fairness Doctrine say that is the exact reason why people like Limbaugh need their free speech regulated by the government, because they needlessly agitate people, but I guess it’s okay for Obama. His entire premise is that Republicans need to stop listening to Limbaugh because that’s why they lost the election. Instead they need to engage in bipartisanship, which means to do everything Obama wants them to and not raise a lot of fuss. That is, of course, ridiculous. The Republicans do not sit around and wait to hear Limbaugh’s show and then go out and make policy. Furthermore, they have most certainly not been listening to him for several years anyway, as Limbaugh has been quick to point out. And finally, Limbaugh certainly did not have much impact on the outcome of the election. To put things in perspective, he is an AM radio talk show host, plain and simple. He is an entertainer. He gets behind a mic and voices his opinion and takes calls. How can he possibly be bothering Obama right now and why does Obama need to go out of his way to start verbal fisticuffs with him as one of his first official actions in office? There are plenty of other radio hosts and bloggers out there that have been hammering Obama, so why the fixation on Rush?

The answer is because it’s a diversionary tactic, nothing more. We are seeing Obama’s skill as a community organizer in action, because this is how he operates. Rush Limbaugh is easily the most recognizable lightning rod of conservative talk radio controversy. By making Limbaugh an issue, he knows that two groups will emerge and start to fight it out: Limbaugh’s fans and Limbaugh’s haters. To make things worse, many media outlets are seizing on this story because of the Britney Spears-like sensationalism about it so it is getting a lot of coverage. Meanwhile, Obama and the Democrats continue to try and shovel his crap agenda through Congress as quickly as possible.

This is what Obama does, and he does it well. He has personalized and polarized Limbaugh as his target and people are now fighting with each other about him. This is one major point about Obama that his critics have brought up from the beginning: he is not a great unifier like his apologists have claimed, but a great divider, and he rides the ensuing waves of chaos to further his agenda. This is a good strategy for him because his agenda is crap and, unfortunately, several Republican big shots are too stupid to see this trap for what it is. Take Michael Steele, the newly elected RNC chairman, who seemed to be on a roll with announcing that the party would run primaries against all three GOP senators who voted for the porkulus bill.  For some reason, during a recent interview he smiled and nodded as he allowed himself to be boxed him into what amounted to an attack on Limbaugh. So that got conservatives who like Limbaugh and conservatives who don’t like him fighting amongst each other as well as against liberals who don’t like Limbaugh, and also revealed that Steele may not be quite ready for prime time, shaking a lot of people’s faith in him that were initially excited. If I were Steele I would have asked why the heck I was being asked questions about someone who is essentially a disc jockey and not about the Democrats wrecking the economy, but that’s just me.

So Obama beat Hillary Clinton, he got elected president, and he shoveled his porkulus bill through Congress virtually unchanged. How is Limbaugh slowing him down, again? The worst part is, Obama’s spending presidential prestige points by saying, “Wah, wah, wah, Rush Limbaugh won’t leave me alone, boo-hoo!” and I guess he is okay with that. So while Russia, Iran, Israel, Hamas, India, Al Quaeda, Pakistan, and North Korea are all testing Obama, he is busy sparring with a radio host and doing his best to suck as many of us as possible into this pointless fight. And as the master stroke, he and his surrogates are painting things as if it’s Limbaugh who is the cause of all this strife, as if the world would be a better place if we didn’t allow people to speak up with controversial thoughts without government regulation. Truthfully, it’s hard for me to be mad with Obama, because he is only preying on people’s stupidity on both the right and the left. Instead of having to answer questions about how the hell we are going to pay for all of the stuff he wants to do, he is laughing all the way to the bank to make a large withdrawal of our money. Actually, as Limbaugh recently pointed out, it’s not even our money because Obama is taking from future wealth that hasn’t even been created yet.

But hey, instead of worrying about the present and the future, let’s all get angry about Rush Limbaugh and pretend like his radio show is what will shape this country as opposed to the policies of Obama and the Democrats. The sad thing is, it seems to be working. Well played, Mr. President.

UPDATE: Based on some of the comments I think I should clarify that this post is not an attack on or being dismissive of Rush Limbaugh. When I say that he is an entertainer and a radio host, that’s not any different than how he has described himself. I am not trying to denigrate him, only to put things in perspective. No matter how much you may like Rush, he does not set policy or run the government. Also, as I pointed out above, he has had very little success in slowing down Obama. Of course, those of you who piously claimed in a comment to never even have read my post either because it had the word “h*ll” in the original title or because you just thought the title sounded disrespectful to Rush don’t have any clue about what I said anyway. That’s okay, though; please return to making the same comments on the latest Sarah Palin or birther post that you’ve already made on all the rest of them. Nothing else going on right now is more important than that.