Patterico's Pontifications

3/7/2009

Poll on Limbaugh’s Meaning

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:57 pm

I asked this in yesterday’s thread, but it got lost amongst a lot of other words. I want to bring it front and center because it lies at the heart of the Rush Limbaugh controversy, and it’s an issue being ignored by too many people.

I’m not a leftist and I don’t think Rush Limbaugh wants to see Americans suffer. I know he doesn’t want Obama’s policies enacted because he thinks they are bad for the country. I completely agree with him on that.

However, when he says “I want Obama to fail,” what did he mean? His line could have meant one of two things:

  • 1. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. He hopes Obama’s policies are never enacted to begin with. However, if they are enacted, as seems likely, he wants to see them succeed. He wants the economy to do well. He doesn’t want Americans out of work.
  • 2. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. So, even if the policies do get enacted, Rush still wants them to fail. This is not because Rush wants more suffering for the American people. But he feels that, in the long run, the quick and dramatic failure of the policies might lead to Rush’s own proposed policies being adopted: namely, spending less and employing the free market. In the long run, this would be best for America.

#1 is a no-brainer for conservatives. And at times I have assumed that’s all he meant. But when I go back and read his words, I’m not so sure. People argue that he has been crystal clear about what he meant, but I don’t think he has clearly said whether he means #1 or #2.

So which is it? Does he merely want to see Obama’s policies blocked from being implemented? Or is he going further, and saying that, even if Obama’s policies are passed and implemented, that he hopes they fail and that the economy continues to spiral downward in the immediate future — so that we can all see the failure of socialism, and eventually revert to capitalism as our governing economic principle?

I want to make a rule for this thread. The first time you comment, you must say which of the above things Limbaugh means: #1 or #2. I know some of you answered this question yesterday; if you could just remind us (ideally with a link or a quote or both), that would be great.

I’ll see if I can write about something else today as well in a different post. But for this post, any comment that fails to observe the above rule will be deleted. Your first sentence should say “I think he meant #1″ or “I think he meant #2″ in some form — or I’ll just delete it.

UPDATE: Put another way, Point A is the point where the policy is either enacted or not. Point B is the point where the policy, which has already been enacted, either fails or not. We all know he wants the policy to “fail” at point A and not be enacted. But what does he “hope” at point B?

Quite a few commenters are saying (in comments I’m deleting) that Rush is so confident that the policies will fail that he isn’t even expressing a hope one way or another. He is expressing a certainty.

OK, fair enough. There’s nothing courageous about that at all, but maybe that’s what he means.

In that case, he phrased his comments poorly — because a lot of people think he meant #2. Not just the drive-by media; not just idiot Americans who didn’t listen to him; but a lot of you. Plenty of commenters chose option #2. So don’t tell me that people are dishonestly distorting his comments by reading them as saying #2. Because a lot of you did.

Final point. Read the comments below. Here are some of the responses:

“It was #1, and no doubt about it.”

“Patterico, I think it is very clear that Mr. Limbaugh means #2″

“#1 obviously.”

Of course Limbaugh meant #2.”

And I’m supposed to refrain from criticizing Limbaugh for communicating his ideas poorly? I’m supposed to know that what he said was crystal clear?

OK, say what you like now. I’m going to stop deleting comments.

UPDATE x2: Not only am I going to stop deleting comments, I’m going to go back and approve the comments I deleted.

167 Responses to “Poll on Limbaugh’s Meaning”

  1. It was #1, and no doubt about it. The whole balance of his speech was about wanting every American to succeed and prosper – and to believe he meant #2, which would likely be harder on the pobrecitos in the short term, you’d have to believe he was faking the whole balance of the speech.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (673620)

  2. Anyone who is being intellectually honest knows that Rush wants Obama to be thwarted in Congress. If Obama gets his policies enacted, Obama is successful in the short term, even if the long-term effect is negative on the U.S. Obama is perceived as successfully navigating Congress to get his policies passed.

    So obviously, Rush wants Obama not to be successful in navigating Congress.

    w3bgrrl (5b8906)

  3. Patterico, I think it is very clear that Mr. Limbaugh means #2. He is all about overstatement and hyperbole. And being outrageous. He absolutely doesn’t care about much other than ideological purity.

    Hmmm. Where else have I found that philosophy?

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  4. Oh, and to follow up: I didn’t post the above to fight with people, or be an OUTLAW or make jokes about anyone’s sexuality.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  5. I just deleted a comment that did not follow the rule. Odd as it seems, I’ll reproduce the comment here, so you can see why I deleted it:

    Anyone who is being intellectually honest knows that Rush wants Obama to be thwarted in Congress. If Obama gets his policies enacted, Obama is successful in the short term, even if the long-term effect is negative on the U.S. Obama is perceived as successfully navigating Congress to get his policies passed.

    So obviously, Rush wants Obama not to be successful in navigating Congress.

    Yes, that is obvious — in fact, so obvious that it completely misses what I’m getting at in this post. Every conservative wants Obama to fail at getting his policies through Congress. But what if Obama succeeds (as he will) in getting his policies passed? Then, we reach a point where the road diverges in the wood. You can take only one path:

    1. The path that says, “Now that his policies are passed I want them to succeed — because to say otherwise is to say that I want more Americans out of work, and I’m not willing to say that.”

    or

    2. The path that says, “Now that his policies are passed I want them to fail — even though I know it means more Americans will be out of work in the short run. Because Obama’s failure will restore capitalism, and in the long run that’s best for America.”

    THIS is where the rubber meets the road, and the comment I deleted fails to grapple with that issue. So I deleted it.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  6. Neither #1 nor #2. Bad premise in the answer possibilities.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  7. I’ll choose door number two.

    What did I win?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  8. What’s the bad premise, John?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  9. 1. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. He hopes Obama’s policies are never enacted to begin with. However, if they are enacted, as seems likely, he wants to see them succeed. He wants the economy to do well. He doesn’t want Americans out of work.

    2. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. So, even if the policies do get enacted, Rush still wants them to fail. This is not because Rush wants more suffering for the American people. But he feels that, in the long run, the quick and dramatic failure of the policies might lead to Rush’s own proposed policies being adopted: namely, spending less and employing the free market. In the long run, this would be best for America.

    How about this. Rush opposes Obama’s policies. Rush is convinced that Obama is a committed socialist and statist. Obama and his policies are one and the same. It is not #1 or #2 because you could have a massive growth in government and a possible middling recovery. That might encourage more “experimentation” which could be devestating in the long run (since it is very difficult to reverse entitlements once they are put in place).

    But I think it is simplier than that. Rush is convinced that he is right and Obama is wrong. #2 is closer, but it is not that he wants these policies to fail, he knows these policies will in the long run fail. The longer such policies are in place, the worse the situation will get.

    A guide to dealing with Jeff G. and Patterico

    Dan = Nice, Reasonable, No Downward Spiral.

    Jeff = Outlaw!

    Patterico = Prefers to deal with Dan but not Jeff

    daleyrock = understands Patterico

    Me = pot stirrer

    Carrin = Gets but disagrees with Patterico

    Jeff + Paterico = Downward Spiral

    Joe (dcebbd)

  10. I believe that Rush is putting forth #2. He has always believed in the free market and that there is pain and joy in such. Pain if you fail to bring to the marketplace what it wants/needs and joy if you give it what it want/needs.
    Additionally, I can’t help but shine a light on this nagging thought that he is feeding the Dems what they fed us, that they wanted Bushs’ Surge to fail- regardless of the probable increased loss of American lives.
    I am sure that he understands that an abject failure will bring pain and suffering to Americans, but- and I am projecting here- that it would be for a far shorter period of time.

    pitchforksntorches (4dd8c4)

  11. Assuming Obama gets his stuff through congress, the plans will fail. It is not a matter of whether anyone wants them to succeed or not. They will fail.

    That part of the two options is where the premise is wrong. When Dusty Baker strikes out, you don’t hope the Dodgers get credited for a 4-bagger. You know that at-bat failed.

    (I’m not trying to be a contrarian, it comes natural, but I can’t vote for two false options.)

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  12. Patterico : There is a third and more likely possibility. That, if the policies are passed, those policies, by their very nature, will put more Americans out of work, cause more business failures and create a greater economic and financial mess. The question is not a simple “either/or” but a more complex question with many unforseen occurences.

    Longwalker (4e0dda)

  13. I’ll repost here what I wrote about the poll at pw, if you will, Pat. I think I may be agreeing with John in this but will leave that for him to say. In addition, I wrote here yesterday that I thought Limbaugh actually addressed the question you’ve been asking during his show at about 12:45ET, searched out the transcripts today and re-printed the relevant portion, again at pw in the On Patterico thread.

    I think Pat’s poll presents a too limited and hence a false choice of Limbaugh’s belief. Limbaugh won’t wish for the failure of Obama’s policies once enacted. He simply believes, a priori if you will, that those policies cannot succeed, so wishing or hoping for another possibility would, for him, be an absurdity. What he hopes is that they are abandoned as soon as is practicable or possible.

    sdferr (8643ba)

  14. I agree with John Hitchcock. Limbaugh is certain Obama’s policies will inevitably fail, and fail dramatically. Success is not an option, if we follow Obama’s policies. So Limbaugh hopes Obama will fail, so we won’t have to suffer through those bad policies.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  15. I think he means 2. If the Obama’s ideas fail before they are enacted that is a good thing. If he succeeds in enacting them then he hopes they fail then. I would figure the guy rather have the economy tank in the next 4 years than live in a socialist shithole where over half the country was voting themselves a handout every year in perpetuity until we went bankrupt. Add in a total loss of freedom that would entail as the government gained control of our doctors, banks, and thru the banks our private property. If the economy tanks while he is in office he will get the blame and hopefully be thrown out with his policies realized as the cause. If the market succeeds in spite of his best efforts at killing it, it will not be because of his policies but in spite of them. Then when a future president has to confront his huge deficits and shitty programs, he will escape blame. So why not hope he fails at both levels?

    Mr. Pink (0ee368)

  16. Darn. In the time I took to compose my reply, #12 said it much better.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  17. I meant sdferr’s answer, not to praise my own! Numbering seems to be out of step with what I saw earlier.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  18. sdferr @ 12 – I believe you have expressed option 2.

    Joe – WTF are you talking about?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  19. I’m putting a lot of comments into moderation because they’re noncompliant. Doesn’t mean I’m ignoring the argument; I’m composing a comment that responds to the argument. But I want to keep the rule.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  20. It’s definitely not Number 2. Rush is an existentialist. He understands “First fill their bellies, then teach them virtue conservatism”. I do not wholly accept Number 1, but if dialectic is the rule so be it.

    nk (502275)

  21. I for one am not going to hope this crap succeeds. Why the hell should I? Should I hope communism succeeds next? If I could be given a standard of living equal to what I have now and it was completely provided by the government but with no chance of upward mobility I wouldn’t take it.

    Where is there the possibility of success anyway? Ok so the government is going to vote shit out of the pockets of 2% of people and then use it to hand out skittles to the rest. Ok fine I get it. Then what? What is the next step, what is the endgame? The endgame is complete dependence on the government and their largess and the destruction of individualism.

    Mr. Pink (0ee368)

  22. I don’t know whether I should respond to daleyrock’s comment “I believe you have expressed option 2.” here or not. In any case, I think I disagree with you daleyrocks, all turning on the meaning of the word “wants”.

    sdferr (8643ba)

  23. I think Limbaugh meant interpretation #2 …

    because Barack Obama is not America.

    No matter how much Obama may wish it otherwise, he still can’t say “L’etate, c’est moi!” and get away with it.

    Mike G in Corvallis (70f47e)

  24. Given Rush’s comments the last couple days, it seems clear that he meant #2.

    JD (fe7949)

  25. … or even “L’etat”

    Dammit, where’d that “e” come from?

    Mike G in Corvallis (70f47e)

  26. At the risk of being deleted, I think you got the matter confused. If Obama fails, the country succeeds. If he gets his policies passed in Congress, and he has gotten one passed already, is immaterial. They are bad for the country. The only thing that will save us, short of a St-Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus moment, is for Obama to fail. What will save us is the Republicans taking one house of Congress in 2010 or getting close enough to team with moderate Democrats to stop Obama.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  27. Is it o.k. to say “3″?
    3. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. He hopes Obama’s policies are never enacted to begin with. [full stop] = Rush hopes Obama fails [in getting his policies enacted].
    I expect that transcripts or videos of the all contexts in which Rush has said “I want Obama to fail” might be dispositive–and I haven’t done that research.

    m (1d0bcd)

  28. #1 obviously.

    He referred to Obama, not his policies.

    Also, your number 2 is ridiculous because we all know that if his socialist policies fail, it will not be capitalism that we turn to. It will be slave labor camps.

    Molon Labe (640aad)

  29. Many commenters are refusing to answer the question because they believe a false premise is built into the question. Let me quote some of the comments that I have put into moderation:

    Assuming Obama gets his stuff through congress, the plans will fail. It is not a matter of whether anyone wants them to succeed or not. They will fail.

    That part of the two options is where the premise is wrong. When Dusty Baker strikes out, you don’t hope the Dodgers get credited for a 4-bagger. You know that at-bat failed.

    (I’m not trying to be a contrarian, it comes natural, but I can’t vote for two false options.)

    I think the argument here is that Obama’s policies will inevitably fail. But nobody knows that. You can have that opinion, but nobody here is God. So you’re faced with a choice: do you hope they fail or hope they succeed? Even if you feel certain they will fail, what do you HOPE?

    Which did Rush mean? Because he used the word HOPE.

    Another commenter:

    Patterico : There is a third and more likely possibility. That, if the policies are passed, those policies, by their very nature, will put more Americans out of work, cause more business failures and create a greater economic and financial mess. The question is not a simple “either/or” but a more complex question with many unforseen occurences.

    I’m not asking for what you think/know will happen, or what Rush thinks/knows will happen — but what he HOPES.

    It’s one or the other. He either hopes the policies (once enacted) will succeed or not.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  30. sdferr – Doesn’t seem like a disagreement over substance. Rush knows Obama’s policies will fail and wants their failure to become obvious as soon as possible so that corrective measures can be taken. IMHO.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  31. I think the fundamental question should be, do we want to see Barcky’s dirty little socialism and nanny-statism fail now, or later. Because failure is inevitable, it is more a question of how big of a wake of destruction he will leave in his path.

    JD (fe7949)

  32. 1. To those of us who fear that the agenda is socialism then yes, I want him to fail because I am a capitalist. Should I be required to embrace Protestant principles as a Catholic if a
    “liberal” pope happened to emerge with the smoke from a Vatican chimney? There would be pressure to do so; mayby even threats of eternal damnation. I want him to fail even if, in the short term, there is less unemployment (gov. jobs?) because no socialist society has thrived as has the United States with capitalism. A dash of American Exceptionalism, perhaps, which is antethetical to socialism. ric

    ric (462b0c)

  33. Number 2, no question in my mind. The sooner this massive grab at transformation from a free market capitalistic system to a European – style regulated one fails the better for all of us. The bad debts, the underwritten assets, the underwater mortgages – all of them must be allowed to bottom out and begin the slow re – absorption into our economy. Anything else is just kicking the can down the road to an even bigger reckoning.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  34. Siffice it to say that merely pondering this issue makes us all fascist capitalist running dogs, racists, traitors, xenophobes, and imperialistic homophobes. I denounce all of you.

    JD (fe7949)

  35. Me thinks you have not listened very well to the broadcasts! You are trying to over reach. I have not heard any reference to the policies succeding and what Rush would like to happen if they did.

    EART (e3cab8)

  36. Number 2 with qualification that Rush knows this will fail and why not given this:

    The real views of many in Obama administration were laid bare by a State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit, who reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.

    The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: “There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.” The apparent lack of attention to detail by the Obama administration is indicative of what many believe to be Mr Obama’s determination to do too much too quickly.

    In addition to passing the largest stimulus package and the largest budget in US history, Mr Obama is battling a plummeting stock market, the possible bankruptcy of General Motors, and rising unemployment. He has also begun historic efforts to achieve universal healthcare, overhaul education and begin a green energy revolution all in his first 50 days in office.

    Too tired? WTF?

    And who could this be:

    The Sunday Telegraph understands that one of Mr Obama’s most prominent African American backers, whose endorsement he spent two years cultivating, has told friends that he detects a weakness in Mr Obama’s character.

    “The one real serious flaw I see in Barack Obama is that he thinks he can manage all this,” the well-known figure told a Washington official, who spoke to this newspaper. “He’s underestimating the flood of things that will hit his desk.”

    Joe (dcebbd)

  37. I hope Obama fails. If he gets his way, his plans will fail. I don’t hope any of his plans will succeed and I don’t hope any of his plans will fail. I know his plans will fail. Hope is not involved in the second part of each answer and is irrelevant.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  38. Yeah, he used the word hope at a time the policies had not been enacted. So, hewing as strictly as I can to the question of his beliefs, I’d say he hoped that the policies wouldn’t be enacted and he expects that they will fail once they are implemented and therefore once again gets to hope that they are abandoned as soon as possible. This beliefs of others stuff can be very tricksy. Play on.

    sdferr (8643ba)

  39. I think he meant #2. Even if Obama could successfully nationalize health care, banking, and other businesses (he’d be the first), Rush doesn’t believe this is what America’s about or what makes it great.

    Brent Logan (11e11d)

  40. It is actually #2, not #1, because Rush knows Obama’s policies will fail. This place does not exist.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  41. Socialism always works until the money is spent. At that point there is no capital left…there will be no capitalism to turn to.

    Or what little appetite there would be for it would be overwhelmed by darker authoritarian forces.

    There is no way Rush is cheerleading for failure of Obama’s socialist policies themselves because the end state is indeterminant. There is nothing to guarantee that we would turn to capitalism, and based on my point above it’s not even clear we could.

    There is nothing in the history of civilization that sees man turn toward freedom and liberty when society collapses. The next stop after socialism is serfdom.

    Molon Labe (640aad)

  42. Since when did a President have total control of the economy to the point we view our economic success based only on his actions? Screw that.

    Mr. Pink (0ee368)

  43. Similarly, sdferr says:

    Yeah, he used the word hope at a time the policies had not been enacted. So, hewing as strictly as I can to the question of his beliefs, I’d say he hoped that the policies wouldn’t be enacted and he expects that they will fail once they are implemented and therefore once again gets to hope that they are abandoned as soon as possible. This beliefs of others stuff can be very tricksy. Play on.

    Again, this doesn’t answer the question. Point A is the point where the policy is either enacted or not. Point B is the point where the policy, which has already been enacted, either fails or not.

    It’s a fair question for me to ask, because the media is saying that Rush argues he wants Obama to fail at point B. Now, that may be a distortion — but the kind of distortion it is depends on what Rush wants to see happen at point B.

    If he wants success at point B (even if he thinks/knows it’s certain that success is impossible) than claiming he wants failure at point B is one kind of distortion.

    If he wants failure at point B (but only for the LONG-TERM success of the nation), then claiming he wants failure at point B is accurate — but misleading if it omits the reason he wants failure at that point.

    We can’t discuss the nature of the distortion if we don’t know which he means.

    If nothing else, this poll should illustrate that, while he may have been clear about what he hopes for at point A, he hasn’t really been clear about what he hopes for at point B.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  44. Well you didn’t delete it, but whatever. Delete or don’t delete. My response answered your question AND followed your rule:

    However, when he says “I want Obama to fail,” what did he mean?

    I want to make a rule for this thread. The first time you comment, you must say which of the above things Limbaugh means: #1 or #2.

    I did not comment on your second portion of #1 because who could believe simultaneously that a) you hope the policies do not become law because they will destroy the economy, but if b) they do, you hope they are successful? The hope that they do not become law is predicated on the believe that they are harmful. Just because they are law doesn’t mean you willingly suspend disbelief and suddenly support them.

    w3bgrrl (5b8906)

  45. sdferr, in a comment I deleted because it didn’t follow the rules of the thread, says:

    I think Pat’s poll presents a too limited and hence a false choice of Limbaugh’s belief. Limbaugh won’t wish for the failure of Obama’s policies once enacted. He simply believes, a priori if you will, that those policies cannot succeed, so wishing or hoping for another possibility would, for him, be an absurdity. What he hopes is that they are abandoned as soon as is practicable or possible.

    That’s the language that daleyrocks said appeared to be option 2. I don’t think it is. I think it avoids the question. That’s why I deleted it.

    sdferr himself (in another deleted comment) said: “I think I disagree with you daleyrocks, all turning on the meaning of the word “wants”.”

    But we’re told it’s a distortion of Rush’s comments to say he hopes Obama’s policies fail in the sense that he hopes for an economic downturn once Obama’s policies are enacted. Again, whether it’s a distortion or not depends on what Rush believes. Some people here think that’s exactly what Rush meant — and they support him in that hope.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  46. And another thing… if the policies are “successful,” meaning passed and beginning to effect the economy, it will mean that more people are out of work, more capital transferred to the government, more small businesses closing their doors, more than half the country off the tax rolls, etc. So why, if they are passed, would I, Rush Limbaugh or anyone else want them to succeed? I would want them to fail at what they are actually intended to do, which is not what Obama is saying they are meant to do.

    w3bgrrl (5b8906)

  47. Of course Limbaugh meant #2. He wants Obama to fail miserably. Limbaugh already knows that Obama’s policies will fail (choice #1), since they have failed in every place they’ve been tried.

    Logically, if Limbaugh wants Obama to fail, he doesn’t want Obama to succeed, and he already knows that’s impossible because Obama’s policies will fail. However, by saying he wants Obama to fail, instead of only predicting that his policies will fail, Limbaugh will get some schadenfreude later on.

    Official Internet Data Office (192d18)

  48. Have you turned to his words, uttered yesterday, Pat, in order to begin to sort out what it is he does intend? Perhaps the additional input will help us, perhaps it won’t, but I think it’s at least worth a viewing and rumimation.

    sdferr (8643ba)

  49. A daredevil announces his plan to jump out of a plane without a parachute. A bystander says; “I hope you fail.”

    The daredevil’s mom hears this and says: “I can’t believe you want him to die!”

    Is that a distortion of the comment? It depends.

    1. Maybe the bystander wants the daredevil to fail in his plan to attempt such a risky thing. But if the daredevil jumps out of the plane without a parachute, the bystander hopes he lives. He knows the daredevil won’t live– but he can hope against hope that the daredevil does live.

    2. Maybe the bystander wants the daredevil to fail in his plan to attempt such a risky thing — and if the daredevil jumps out of the plane without a parachute, the bystander hopes he dies. It will serve as a lesson to future daredevils not to do such a stupid thing. It will keep children from trying to do stupid things.

    In option 2, the bystander does not wishes more death. Because, first of all, he wants the daredevil to live. And he wants children and potential copycats to live.

    But the extent to which mom’s comment is a distortion depends on which he means.

    And you can’t avoid the question by saying: “He knows the daredevil will die and that’s that. So? What does he HOPE will happen?”

    It’s a relevant question because he used the word HOPE. He said I HOPE he fails. What did he mean?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  50. Some of the responses:

    “It was #1, and no doubt about it.”

    “Patterico, I think it is very clear that Mr. Limbaugh means #2″

    “#1 obviously.”

    Of course Limbaugh meant #2.”

    Of course! It’s so obvious, I don’t know how I could have missed it! For anyone to say otherwise is a clear and obvious and clear distortion!

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  51. Bystander is hoping neither 1 nor 2.

    He is hoping that Daredevil is thwarted in his plans to jump from the plane and that’s that. He doesn’t think beyond Daredevil succeeding in his plan to jump from the plane without a parachute because he is, to his own satisfaction, absolutely certain of the result.

    Again, Bystander is absolutely certain he is right that the act itself is certain death. So in saying he hopes Daredevil fails he is stating his opinion on the attempt and nothing else.

    w3bgrrl (5b8906)

  52. It is not 1 or 2. He wants the bills to fail because he knows if inacted they will fail and severely damage America.

    GI (aad26d)

  53. With all due respect, while it’s obvious I’m not a lawyer, nevertheless this illustrates why I never became one in the first place – the parsing of words usually exhausts the senses after awhile.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  54. sdferr asks that we turn to Limbaugh’s words from yesterday for clarification. I tried looking them up but couldn’t find them. If he wants to e-mail me the link, it’s patterico AT gmail DOT com.

    I’m sorry I have to delete a lot of comments, but I’m not convinced it’s a false choice. Calling it a false choice, I think, is a lazy or cowardly way out of making the tough call.

    I mean, saying you want Obama’s policies not to be enacted is not bold. That’s not blunt. That’s not OUTLAW. That’s standard conservative fare.

    The real issue is, what about when they’re enacted? What do we want to see happen then?

    And if he means #2, then yeah, we’re now talking controversy. And there’s an argument to be made for #2. But then it makes it tougher to whine that a distortion is taking place when they say you want American to be unemployed. Because with option #2, you do. As a cleansing.

    With option #1, even if you are DEAD CERTAIN the policies will fail, you can at least hope they succeed.

    It’s one or the other and it’s NOT a false choice.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  55. Here you go Pat. I think the relevant passages for your purposes will be found about two-thirds the way down the transcript. I found this bit applicable:

    RUSH: But I apologize. I apologize for calling you Obama voters dummkopfs. I know you want the best for America, except for the rich, as you can get. I apologize for calling you Looney Tunes. But I do have a serious question. Of course this won’t work. Of course it isn’t gonna work. But why do we want to wait all those years and undergo all of this economic pain and suffering before people realize it? Of course you cannot reward a lack of achievement, you cannot reward inefficiency and have this country prosper and remain a superpower and be able to protect itself and be able to feed itself, you can’t do any of that. But do we want to go through soup lines again? Do people realize this? Do we want to have to go through another terrorist attack that we can’t stop or do anything about in order for people to realize this?

    Of course it won’t work, but I don’t want to wait ten years for people to figure it out. I’d rather spend a lot of time trying to educate people right now that it won’t work and tell ‘em why and effect electoral outcomes in 2010 and 2012. But I guess that makes me too combative. I’m sorry, folks. That makes me too combative and too rabble-rousing. So forgive me. I take all that back. Let’s just sit around and suffer together for the eight or ten years it’s going to take for people to figure out how all this doesn’t work, and then we’ll get together and have a party when we start to come out of this.

    sdferr (8643ba)

  56. Oops. Sorry.

    sdferr (8643ba)

  57. Bystander is hoping neither 1 nor 2.

    He is hoping that Daredevil is thwarted in his plans to jump from the plane and that’s that. He doesn’t think beyond Daredevil succeeding in his plan to jump from the plane without a parachute because he is, to his own satisfaction, absolutely certain of the result.

    Again, Bystander is absolutely certain he is right that the act itself is certain death. So in saying he hopes Daredevil fails he is stating his opinion on the attempt and nothing else.

    OK, I’m going to break my rule and let that comment stand because you’re listening to me and reacting to what I say.

    The question becomes this: the bystander is not God (just as Rush is not God). So if you held a gun to bystander’s head and said: “I know you think you KNOW what will happen but you don’t. So now I’m asking you what you HOPE. Do you HOPE the daredevil dies? Or do you HOPE he lives? Tell me or I pull the trigger.”

    If Rush were forced to answer the question: “Look, I know you think you KNOW what will happen once Obama’s policies are enacted, but tell me this: do you HOPE they will succeed?” which would he say, do you think?

    I know in real life he would try not to answer, and continue to say the idea is impossible. But I’m asking, if he were FORCED to answer.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  58. I think it matters very little what Rush actually meant. He could have said “I hope Barcky’s collectivist programs succeed beyond my wildest dreams” and the MSM and the grievance pimps would still maintain that it was traitorous and racist.

    JD (4b1a03)

  59. #2, of course. I’m not even sure that #1 is a failure for Obama.

    htom (412a17)

  60. Patterico:

    Meant (2), and I agree with (2).

    Dafydd

    Dafydd the Succinct (db2ea4)

  61. I think he meant #2 – as would I. Quick and sudden spectacular failure on the part of Obama would serve as a good lesson to the country if an opposition party was coherent enough to use it as such, and would be less damaging in the long run.

    We’ve gotten ourselves into this place, and now we need to pay the penalty. Just as you’ll hear about a drug addict’s family hoping that the kid only ends up in jail rather than dead, I hope we end up with a short period of economic stagnation and hardship rather than descending into a full-blown socialist hell.

    Dan G. (d354f8)

  62. OK, say what you like now. See the update. I’ve acknowledged the third interpretation some are arguing.

    And I’m going to stop deleting comments now.

    But the comments I deleted, I’m going to leave deleted. I think it’s valuable for the reader to scroll down the first couple dozen comments and see clear answers.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  63. Patterico:

    I semi-responded to you on Big Lizards, if you haven’t seen it yet.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd the Shameless Promoter (db2ea4)

  64. #1 is a no-brainer for conservatives. And at times I have assumed that’s all he meant.

    What? A no-brainer? I don’t get it.

    The nature of #1 is similar to thinking it makes sense to respond to someone (eg, the guy in the White House) who’s saying “I’m going to try to drive 250 miles in a car with a flat tire, and I’ll manage to get there by tossing dollar bills out the window,” by proclaiming “I hope you make it, I hope you have a pleasant, trouble-free trip!”

    There’s so much that’s dishonest, disengenuous, irresponsible and even idiotic about the policies espoused by the guy currently in the White House that wishing for the best from the various trends those policies will be triggering — of a Banana-Republic and Euro-socialist bent — is no less ridiculous than wishing success for someone who believes he’ll cure his severe case of lung cancer by smoking cigars instead of cigarettes.

    Mark (411533)

  65. What? A no-brainer? I don’t get it.

    A no-brainer as in, we all want that to happen. We all want his policies voted down.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  66. I drive a (unionized) transit bus for a living and I clearly understood Rush to be taking the 2nd position. Obama’s policies are foreign to the very nature of our country and need to fail. Period. And I’m good with that, too.

    oldirishpig (24cbbf)

  67. It is irrelevant that Bystander isn’t God. Bystander is satisfied that he is certain. And if forced to clarify by Daredevil’s mom, I hope he would tell her that based on his certainty that Daredevil will die, he hopes he fails to jump from the plane. He doesn’t hope or wish the Daredevil to die, but he’s certain it will happen.

    If forced to answer the question, I would hope Rush answered like this: “these policies are not intended to help the economy. They are intended to transfer more private capital to the government, and I am certain this will close more businesses and lead to higher unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcy. Therefore, if they are enacted, I hope they fail to do what Obama wants them to do. In fact, I hope they succeed in helping the economy and making more independent from the government, because that would mean Obama fails.”

    w3bgrrl (5b8906)

  68. w3bgrrl,

    That’s a copout.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  69. But the comments I deleted, I’m going to leave deleted. I think it’s valuable for the reader to scroll down the first couple dozen comments and see clear answers.

    No, I changed my mind. I’ll approve them all.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  70. I am certain you are wrong, leaving no room for hope that you are.

    As for your Daredevil, he has 300,000,000 people tethered to him, including his mother and the so-called Bystander. So, I hope Daredevil is the first to land and cushions the blow for the rest of us. Screw the Daredevil. I never wanted to jump in the first place.

    w3bgrrl (5b8906)

  71. I think he meant 2 but not because he thinks this would be best in the long run. I think he meant 2 because for many people including Limbaugh politics is like sports where you blindly root for your team and against the other team. You want your team to win and the other team to lose because you are a fan not because who wins will matter to your life.

    This attitude can of course be offputting to people in the middle. I doubt hoping Obama fails is an electoral winner and Republican politicians would do well to distance themselves from this view.

    James B. Shearer (5944d1)

  72. I am a natural optimist, but I now view the future with dread. With all fondness and respect, I think that your efforts to precisely calibrate the tone of commentary with which you basically agree (I think) are self-defeating and counter-productive. It’s similar to a battered wife’s wondering if she really did burn the dinner that she got beaten up for.

    Jackie (42bed3)

  73. #2. Read Rush’s own words. If Obama’s policies get enacted Rush wants those policies to lead to a worse situation.

    kaf (3e4877)

  74. Jackie,

    There are three completely different interpretations of what he meant on this thread, passionately held by groups who admit of no other possible interpretation.

    This does not strike me as effective communication on his part.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  75. Do you think Limbaugh has three different interpretations of what he meant running around in his own head? I guess he could suffer from a (so far) hidden multiple personality disorder, though that seems to me unlikely, given what I’ve heard and seen of him. Do you think, on the other hand, that he has one comprehensive intent behind the words he used? And if that is possible, why wouldn’t we want to get to the bottom of that, rather than fritter away our time in efforts to prove now one thing and now another about our own opinions (incomplete and possibly misguided) of what he meant, or to show that he is the one who, because we won’t do the work to understand him, is the one at fault through poor communication skills?

    sdferr (8643ba)

  76. I believe that Rush means number 2, and that as Mr. Pink suggests, the reasons go far beyond the issue of whether in the short term people suffer from unemployment and privation. We can talk about the immediate consequences of Mr. Obama’s policies in a way that seems most tangible and that is most predictable because we can understand in our mind’s eye, even if it’s a vague understanding, what it means for lots of people to be unemployed and deprived. That’s a costs-benefits analysis that’s easier to conduct than the long-term one.

    In the lead-up to the primaries and the elections, people wondered what Obama meant, and at Protein Wisdom the community of bloggers and commenters–including Karl–were convinced that he meant to greatly expand the scope of government as a portion of the US economy. We generally held that this would be a disastrous development for the country at large, for the very same reasons that it has been disastrous in the UK and much of the EU. We can speak of costs in the sense of money and in unemployment, and we can say that it’s important to have a social safety net. But that is to say that government provides a kind of lousy insurance to everybody, not only in the field of medicine, but in every aspect of their lives, and to make them not merely clients of government, but dependents on government, and subject therefore to the tender mercies of well-intentioned idiots. In other words, the way that the idea of the social costs of the success or failure of Obama’s policies is framed is in itself misleading. When some idea of security is utilized to subvert opportunity, everyone suffers. It is axiomatic and continuously demonstrated in the real world.

    And once government grows, it crowds out the civic institutions of voluntary association that used themselves to provide an ad hoc social safety net, but one that was extraordinarily efficient with respect to its government analogues. We already have seen that Obama intends to do away with some of the exemptions for charitable contributions. He seeks to introduce FOCA, which will have the effect of driving Catholics and other religious-affiliateds out of the health care field. And to Obama and his fellow ideologues, this is all for the best, because your exercise of your conscience offends theirs, and because theirs is the only kind that is right and just and progressive.

    We are all impoverished by the success of these designs, except for politicians and their immediate clientele. And here’s the kicker: it is fundamentally destructive of civil society.

    When Limbaugh says that he hopes Obama fails, he’s taking a long view. He’s saying that Obama’s project of remaking our democratic institutions is doomed to fail America. Here we live in the greatest nation that ever has been, and Obama has much of the nation convinced that everything in it is broken and that only massive government intervention in our institutions, which have grown up more or less organically in the service of a generous and kindly people, is necessary to put us on the right path. And that he, a man who has never really held a serious executive position in his life, has the answers.

    The media, who likewise share Obama’s sense of intellectual superiority, are actively complicit in promoting his agenda. And neither has any sense, apparently, of the value of opportunity as against security. And that means that neither the MSM (by and large) nor the President or the like-minded administration that he has built around his cult of multicultural personality, has any appreciation of the likelihood of unintended consequences and naively–but paradoxically cynically–believe that this time, because of the purity of their convictions and their downright superhuman competency, things will be different.

    And make no mistake, Obamamania has some serious aspects of personality cult. That is why it is not merely excusable but absolutely necessary that Limbaugh says he hopes Obama fails. That he says it, and gets away with it, is indispensable.

    Dan Collins (4dc2da)

  77. I go with #2, even as I have trouble with the “his policies” statement because I consider free market policies “my” policies.

    Pat you’re a dda, I’m not but worked in the DA office for ten years … we have both seen our share of domestic violence cases. How many times have you had an abused victim try to get the charges dropped against his/her abuser? How many times have you heard the abused say “Really, he is a good man, he really does love me. It’s my fault I [talked back, wasn't respectful enough, didn't have dinner on the table on time, stayed out too late with my friends].” And you know, YOU KNOW that the vic is going to go back with the abuser …the vic tells you “This time I will act differently and that will change HIM”. You KNOW nothing good is going to come of this. It’s not your “hope”, it is your knowledge based on your experience.

    Now where it concerns the “tone” or “provocative” language, the same scenario applies. Whole “hush Rush” debate … the Left disengenuously demanding that Republicans “denounce” him … is allowing the Left to be the aggrieved abuser. I identify the typical cycle here

    Some particular Leftist group/individual “interprets” the line, many times even rewriting the quote to make it more like their interpretation, and then they react to that interpretation.

    Usual non-leftist response follows a pattern:

    1) Astonishment (”What are you talking about?”)
    2) Argument (”Come on, you know it wasn’t meant that way.”)
    3) Apology (”Please, you know it isn’t about [race/sex/ism]. We reject those isms as much as you do. I’m so sorry that you are so upset about this.”)
    4) Accomodation (”We really have to look to ourselves to be very, very careful about how we say stuff. When people are upset they won’t like us.”)

    The only way to break the cycle is to refuse to participate. I’m sure you do your best to get abuse vics to leave their abusers. Can we do no less for ourselves?

    Darleen (187edc)

  78. Rush has subsequently told us what he meant, as quoted above.

    James Shearer is a perfect example of those tha would sunstitute their interpretation for Rush’s stated intent, and even goes so far as to ascribe motivation for his intentional misrepresentation of Rush’s stated intent.

    Again, it matters little what Rush actually said. They were going to find a reason for outrage no matter what.

    JD (4b1a03)

  79. I think he means #2. It is a matter of ideology to him and likely believes we are headed toward a socialist society with Obama’s choices. Therefore compromise is not an option.

    voiceofreason2 (a1b429)

  80. Patterico, the whole point of “I want O to Fail” was to intrigue with all the many possible meanings, as well as express a desire that O not get away with his plans for North Venezuela.

    SarahW (fdd722)

  81. The question is whether one believes Rush to be sincere when he says he is all about people and the USA succeeding. All the rest is noise.

    I accept his sincerity. I vote #1.

    Ed (52bb9a)

  82. And subtext of #2 is a desire for the American way of life to prevail, not his new vision of it, which is antithetical to liberty.

    SarahW (fdd722)

  83. “his” @ #83 = Obama

    SarahW (fdd722)

  84. An e-mailer noted to me that Rush could have said: “Obama will fail.” if Rush wanted to be controversial, pithy, and say what most motivates people on this thread, he could have said that. Not so open to the accusation that Rush wants Americans out of work.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  85. Again, it matters little what Rush actually said. They were going to find a reason for outrage no matter what.

    I see a lot of people advancing that argument and I think it’s a terrible argument. When you know people will distort your meaning, you have to be EXTRA CLEAR what you’re saying.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  86. No, Pat, when Rush says “I want Obama to fail”, he is a) demonstrating the association of the brand Obama with socialism, b) stating that he hopes full-blown socialism will not take root in this country.

    Dan Collins (4dc2da)

  87. #2…if these policies are enacted, they must fail so spectacularly that Socialism will be discredited to such a degree that not even the xxxxxStudies majors will want to attempt it again.

    AD - RtR/OS (e7ddd7)

  88. I think Rush meant #2, and I agree, albeit reluctantly, because I don’t want to see people suffering in the short term either. But IIUC isn’t (Implied) Option 3 “we hope his policies fail to get enacted, but if enacted we want them to succeed?”

    I don’t understand – why would a conservative say that?

    What conservative wants to see prolife hospitals close and prolife doctors jailed due to a future successful FOCA implementation, or a terrorist attack happen because cuts in defense spending or the early closing of GITMO frees up just the right terrorist, or the disaster that is nationalized, socialist health care, or this crushing tax-burden stimulus right now for that matter?

    I want to protect people from the long term suffering to themselves, and injustices to others (like innocent terrorist attack victims or the unborn, etc.) that some of Obama’s stated goals will cause, and so…wanting those of Obama’s policies to fail which are likely to cause such is a prerequisite.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  89. The issue is we are looking for a scapegoat for our economic mess which we all created especialy baby boomers and their children using debt instead of wealth to maintain our lifestyles which was artificialy propped up by the enormous price inflation of Real Estate.
    Now the well is dry for consumers.
    Soon in the future for government borrowing from China, India,and Saudia Arabia. We are printing IOUS in Hamilitons,Grants,and Franklins but sooner or later debt has to paid back and/or other governments will cut or stop the acceptance of our debt.
    Does any baby boomer remember grade school days when you could get Civil War Conferate money in bubble gum packets since it was worthless but there mint continued to print it without any gold to back it or other wealth. It could happen here like Latin America or Post WW1 Germany of the past.
    If you go back in history several times this has been repeated sevearal time over. The Great Deppresion lasted longer not shorter because of President Rooslvelt socialistic New Deal policies and unemployment never went below 20 percent in the 30′s and the run on Banks was in his term not Hoovers # 1&2 are both correct and I agree with # 55 statement
    “We have met the Enemy and it is us” Pogo cartoon of the 60″s We need to bite the bullet and accept our foolishness with debt instruments including our government and rise from the ashess like the Phoenix or we will be like Japan with a no growth economy since the 80″s

    john h rickel (b088e8)

  90. Ignoring your framing, Patterico, I know what Rush meant, cuz I read what he said – in full context.

    It is folly to quibble with the MSM over (court-room important) minutia when their objectives are to make so burdensome these quibbles that we ignore the overall (Saul Alinsky) strategy.

    Defending your point of honor only plays into that strategy.

    bains (f104b8)

  91. I’m voting #2 as closest approximation to what Rush meant. I think the premise of the question is false. You don’t know what he hopes. I don’t know what he hopes. Neither of us reads minds. We can only guess.

    So my position is that if Obama’s program passes, I hope it fails. It may do what he wants it to do, and can call that “success”, but it most certainly doesn’t do what I want and creates an effectively enslaved people. You have to define what “success” is for the question to have proper context. I hope his program fails. I can’t be much clearer. So I hope Rush hopes it fails too, keeping in mind I have no clue what he hopes. No one wants to see people out of work. No one wants to see people in hardship. But over the long haul, I see both those happening in measures exceeding the pain of letting the market handle it on its own. Yes, there will be more unemployment and hardship in the short term, but our way of life will be left intact. If that is what it takes, so be it.

    If Obama’s program passes, what are we going to do to try to slow it down and get it reversed? I don’t think we should roll over and be a doormat. We’ve been dealt a bad hand, but we still need to play it. I haven’t got around to thinking about what that might be yet.

    Jeff (149fb6)

  92. It’s # 2.

    As I said yesterday: “I read Stranahan’s piece, and I’ve read about, and heard clips of Limbaugh’s statements. I think they each really feel the latter of the respective 2 meanings you propose. Personally, I find nothing wrong with that, EXCEPT, while Limbaugh’s desire is an America ultimately enjoying success, Stranahan’s desire is an America ultimately kowtowing to foreign regimes.”

    Personally, I agree with Jeff’s 2nd and 3rd paragraphs in comment #92.

    Ira (28a423)

  93. Since you opened this up Pat, this post really is a dodge of the issue.

    It is NOT about what Rush said or didn’t say, it’s about the Left’s hijacking of language and the complicity of some Republicans/conservatives in perpetuating that outrage.

    Stop already.

    Darleen (187edc)

  94. He meant #2 and I agree with him.

    It’s all question of short-term pain v. long-term gain.

    Suffering through a failure of Euro-style socialism in the short term that returns us to a model of limited government and low taxation is the optimal outcome.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  95. #87 Amen.

    Patterico, you still don’t get that, I don’t think.

    SarahW (fdd722)

  96. 1. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. He hopes Obama’s policies are never enacted to begin with. However, if they are enacted, as seems likely, he wants to see them succeed. He wants the economy to do well. He doesn’t want Americans out of work.
    2. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. So, even if the policies do get enacted, Rush still wants them to fail. This is not because Rush wants more suffering for the American people. But he feels that, in the long run, the quick and dramatic failure of the policies might lead to Rush’s own proposed policies being adopted: namely, spending less and employing the free market. In the long run, this would be best for America.

    Your statement #1 uses the words success and policies in a way that screws up your results.
    Also you sort of glibly assert that #1 is “no brainer” for conservatives when it really it contains a repetition of the Democrats word trap.
    Some of Obama’s policies are socialist and conservatives do not want “success” there… so you hoist us who feel this way up into the hangmans noose of being not wanting the economy to do well, and of wanting Americans out of work.
    Thanks for being such a great friend.

    Then #2 gives a nod to the long term when #1 is all about the short term… when clearly for a conservative the scheme Obama has cooked up is one of near term success in making people feel better so as to enable him in enacting his long term goals of hard left socialistic policies.
    But because of your last two sentences of option #1 it puts conservatives on the negative side… wanting the economy to tank and wanting Americans out of work
    This is a version of the “keeping the black man down” game where no matter what you say or do the response is always “there you go again, keeping the black man down”

    how about:

    1. Rush opposes Obama’s socialistic policies. He hopes Obama fails to get these policies enacted.
    If these socialistic policies are enacted, Rush wants these policies to fail quickly and in the least painful way for Americans. Conservatives believe the values of spending less and and employing the free market are best for America.
    Conservatives oppose socialism.

    Clearly Rush doesn’t want Americans to be out of work, or to suffer. But he still wouldn’t want Obama’s socialistic policies to succeed

    SteveG (a87dae)

  97. 2!

    EricPWJohnson (45c96d)

  98. Comment by Lana on 3/7 @ 8:32 pm #

    Here is a question I’ve had while reading these comments. It is my understanding that Patterico is a lawyer, right? Now please correct me if I’m wrong, but in a trial, the defense argues their case and while doing so they try to paint the defendant as innocent, misunderstood, too dumb to know any better, abused by family, social workers, police etc. and create a sympathetic person that allows the jury to feel sorry or outraged for the guy. Or feel his rights have been abused. Or clutch at possible sinister motives by others that suggest the prosecution has the wrong man!

    When the prosecution rises to present it’s case, does it begin by conceding the completely distorted version of the accused and argue from that place or does it ruthlessly tear down the false case put forward by the defense in addition to vigorously defending the state’s case? And how successful with a jury would it be to attempt the first?

    It would seem to me a lawyer would immediately grasp and agree with Jeff’s point. What am I missing?

    Lana’s Comment

    Pat, daleyrocks, where is Lana wrong on this? I think she is spot on.

    Joe (17aeff)

  99. Of the 2 choices, I believe it’s #2.

    I think that Rush can see that people are working and governments are functioning in Western Europe (for example), but he does not want America to follow that path.

    I suppose that the question could be asked that, although Americas suffered massively during the civil war, did America grow or shrink as a nation because of it?

    Do I want a new civil war? Of course not! Philosophically speaking, I think that’s where Rush is coming from though (the battle of ideas instead of arms being the “war”).

    Cranbone (9a454f)

  100. I think he meant #2. Probably because I cannot understand the reasons for thinking #1.

    An extreme example: Let us say that the president thinks the way out of the crisis is confiscation of all assets of “the rich.” In both cases (#1 & #2), one would be opposing the establishment of such a policy. But let’s say it is enacted and government agents start collecting up the assets of these “rich” (hopefully not me, but I digress).

    Now, one could say:

    #1 I hate this policy, but I’m going to support it so that we can get back to prosperity; or

    #2 This policy sucks so bad, I don’t care how many votes he got, I want it to fail fast and I want it to fail hard, and I want it to fail so abysmally that they never ever try this again. Yes people get hurt, but people ARE BEING HURT NOW by this insane policy, so effit.

    I think Rush is at #2.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  101. Dmac @ #53 said it well — legalistic parsing of words may be good for the law, but it’s not very good outside of that.

    Limbaugh channeling to follow: “Patterico’s choices are not worth contemplating, because we know Obama’s policies will harm America. Thousands of years of history establishes the harmfulness of collectivism and redistributionist ideas that are behind Obama’s policies. Patterico is asking us to set aside those thousands of years of experience and imagine that contrary to everything we know, Obama’s policies will do the opposite of what history says. That might be a good exercise for a philosophy class, but it bears no relation to what we know will happen in the real world. I’m not even for a second going to entertain the idea that Obama’s policies might be good for America. Plenty of leftists are already doing so. I see no reason to add to their number.”

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  102. Joe – I’m unclear why you are addressing me on this. I’m not Patterico’s alter ego. He was merely addressing my explanation of his appearance and the misunderstanding between Jeff and himself over at PW, not my understanding Limbaugh’s words. Just look at his disagreement with my comment near the top of this thread.

    Joe, you either have serious difficulty with reading compregension or are just continuing to try to stir shit. I think both.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  103. I don’t know what Limbaugh meant but I hope it was #2, and I agree with Kevin Murphy in his last comment. But I also think it’s good to discuss and even argue about the meanings of words and ideas in legal debates like this. Yes, it’s frustrating but it’s also part of what makes us civilized. So I hope Patterico, Jeff G., and everyone here continues to question and talk about conservative issues like this.

    Anon (eb4fed)

  104. well, I reckon number 2.
    He’s a conservative rabble-rouser and as such, does not worry overmuch about those means and ends type arguments when it comes to politics.
    Barack Obama, looking like Bush did the last 18 months, equals some excellent ratings for Rush and the EIB netowrk.

    mcgruder (01d53d)

  105. Rush means #2, or at least I hope he does. Liberals have been implementing policies that degrade capitalism since the time of FDR. That’s okay with them because they care far more about the how wealth is distributed than about how much wealth is produced. They are using the current economic crisis to carve out a far larger share of the domestic product than ever before. My worry is that our economy is such a powerful economic engine that it will recover not because of the redistributionist policies, but in spite of them. And what is the lesson the Democrats will “learn” from the recovery that occurs in spite of their policies? They will learn that even more redistribution is needed because their policies “caused” the recovery. I don’t think there is any question that the Dems completely understand this – why waste a good crisis, as Rahm likes to say – but I don’t think you do, Patterico. I am frightened by the prospect of recovery in spite of these heavy handed policies and I can only hope they fail.

    neobuzz (04e70d)

  106. 1.

    The second choice does not make sense.

    baldilocks (aeb2cd)

  107. mcgruder said:

    well, I reckon number 2.
    He’s a conservative rabble-rouser and as such, does not worry overmuch about those means and ends type arguments when it comes to politics.
    Barack Obama, looking like Bush did the last 18 months, equals some excellent ratings for Rush and the EIB netowrk.

    I listen to Rush fairly often. I believe he means No.2. He couldn’t be a consistent conservative unless he did so.

    Does he want Americans to suffer so he can have better ratings? Rush doesn’t strike me as the type who wants people to suffer.

    No one wants Americans to suffer. Believe me. I’m suffering now.

    But if you take the long view, as I do for my children, I think Rush means the second choice.

    Ag80 (3e2c59)

  108. All lovers of our constitutional form of government should want Obama to fail. If he succeeds in getting his programs through the country as we know it is gone. So what if there is a sudden wave of prosperity ( although that is not really likely) are we to cast aside the Constitution and all the foundational rules of government that have made the USA the greatest nation in history.
    Those of us who lived through the Great Depression know well there is more to freedom than a loaf of bread handed out by some government hack.
    I can’t read Rush’s mind but regardless what he actually did mean we can’t have the bureaucratic nightmare Obama is creating with his big government programs and real freedom too.

    Edward Cropper (6a7a91)

  109. We can safely set aside the notion there will be a sudden wave of prosperity. Bush’s economic policies were bad, but Obama’s are horrendous. The whole basis of the Keynsian scenario Obama has latched on is to increase consumer spending by incurring trillions in new debt and putting people on the government payroll. But the recession itself was caused by debt, so incurring more debt cannot possibly be the solution.

    Attempts to “stabilize” home prices are also misguided. Home prices were way too high during the bubble, and are still too high in most areas, as measured by traditional non-bubble yardsticks.

    At the very best, Obama can put a few million people to work for the government on jobs that may or may not improve infrastructure. That may stave off the inevitable readjustment for a while. But once the money runs out, the government will need to borrow trillions more. Guess what? They won’t be able to get it, and we will have an even more ruinous collapse later than if Obama did nothing now. Or, the government can print money and Weimar here we come.

    I compare the “stimulus” to a junkie taking more of his drug. It might goose a little more high, but the crash will be far worse the longer we wait.

    The proper course is for individuals, companies and governments to begin paying off their debts or at least not taking new debt, and reducing expenses that are unnecessary. It’s going to be painful, but the treatment will over the long run produce an America that can begin growing again on a sound economic basis.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  110. You are concerned about appearance. I’m concerned about truth. I hope Obama fails.

    Ralph (e0eb85)

  111. #2. Limbaugh is looking at the long-term bigger picture whereas Obama is looking more at the short term here and now. People are demanding something be done and as new president he feels compelled to do that something immediately (in part because something needs to be done and also because he wants to establish his presidency) which is unfortunate as rushing through and enacting these extreme policies is folly. If Obama’s policies succeed, that success will be measurable by people keeping their jobs and people saving their houses but at what cost to the long term? More government ownership, inflation, less self-reliance, the erosion of capitalism, etc. This is what Rush is concerned with, first and foremost. If Obama’s policies “succeed” then Rush sees, by default, the result of said success being the near-death of conservative principle.

    At the root of it, one sees the opposing definitions of “success”.

    Dana (137151)

  112. I think Rush means #2. I think he wants Obama to fail for partisan reasons, as well as ideological.

    We know Rush is aware of the debate about what he means. If he wanted to clarify his point he’s had plenty of opportunity and has chosen not to do so.

    Joe #31 (c0e4f8)

  113. I think Rush meant #2, and I agree, albeit reluctantly, because I don’t want to see people suffering in the short term either. But IIUC isn’t (Implied) Option 3 “we hope his policies fail to get enacted, but if enacted we want them to succeed?”

    That’s option #1.

    baldilocks, why does the second choice not make sense? A lot of people here think it’s what he meant, and they agree.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  114. #1 is my assumption. But I can see it going the other way, too. Perhaps this is the genius of Rush- that he managed to generate so much discussion about him with just 4 words. Some clarity would be nice, though.

    I’ve said that I hope Obama succeeds in that the country is better off because of him. I hope he fails in implementing policies that I think will be harmful. If he does successfully implement them, I hope they either work and prove me wrong or if they’re going to fail, I hope they do so in a quick, spectacular, and obvious way so it can be a clear lesson what not to do next time.

    Chris M (41cce4)

  115. Baldilocks —

    #2 does not make sense? If you think the adopted policy is insane, harmful and hopeless, why would you cheer it on or support it? Because they say it will lead to prosperity? Suppose you are convinced it cannot?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  116. I think that the position could be stated better, though. Here’s my take:

    1. I want Obama to succeed in restoring the economy.

    2. I do not want this country to become a bureaucratic state like Europe, with institutionalized dependency for large numbers of citizens, high tax rates, and inefficient economies due to massive government control and subsidy. In short, socialist.

    3. If Obama’s path to “recovery” is through a transformation to socialism, I hope that he fails so that capitalism can right the economy on its own.

    Basic premise: Capitalism has worked for 200+ years, creating, by far, the richest and freest society on Earth. Why give up now?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  117. 95

    Suffering through a failure of Euro-style socialism in the short term that returns us to a model of limited government and low taxation is the optimal outcome.

    This assumes if Obama’s policies fail the country will turn to the Republicans. This is questionable since at the moment the Republicans are not a credible alternative. Perhaps you should hope Obama succeeds lest his failure open the door for policies you will find even less attractive.

    James B. Shearer (5944d1)

  118. I would say #1 for Rush.

    For me it would be #2 although I do not want to see anyone out of work and suffering.

    Less is more when the government is concerned.

    ML (14488c)

  119. False dilemma (either/or fallacy)? It seems like both of your options oversimplify some pretty important pieces of the puzzle, namely that they imply that the economy is the only thing Rush is concerned with. If all you’re concerned with is finding out what people think he meant then #1 is the closest to what I assume, but with some caveats.

    In your scenario, I take “succeed” to mean that Rush would hope the policies President Obama is enacting would create prosperity for all Americans, stabilize the economy, and reduce government waste. Actual success rather than ideological success. I don’t think this is the case though.

    If you believe these policies are only going to have an economic impact on America you’re fooling yourself. Let’s say the President’s policies result in short term growth and market stability long enough for people to call it a success, what then? I suspect we would be looking at the last gasp of capitalism if the solutions proposed appear successful. Capitalism is really the only way for free men to prosper so where would that leave us?

    All of that is meaningless though. Rush’s statement says exactly what he means, “I hope he fails.” What is it that he hopes the President fails to do? That’s a much more important question than debating how best to frame statements in order prevent them from being misrepresented by your enemies.

    blankminde (dbf5bf)

  120. He meant #2. Obamas proposed policies run counter to every tenet of the Constitution. They are contrary to and anathema to freedom. If they are enacted and don’t fail then America fails.

    Curtis (e21caf)

  121. To me, the inevitable failure of Obama’s policies if he gets his way is much like I view recessions. It’s necessary to have recessions from time to time, to clear away the bad judgments and excesses of the previous boom. People and companies who made bad decisions suffer the consequences. (Along with many who are innocent, that is true). When that’s done, the economy is ready to grow again. If you delay the recession, you put off that necessary and inescapable readjustment. So in the long run, recessions are not only unavoidable, but desirable. Trouble is, political types think short-term, and in so do a lot of damage.

    Had Bush/Greenspan not pumped up the credit bubble in the early 2000s, we would have had this recession earlier, and it would have been milder. Obama/Bernanke’s policies overlook that essential role of recessions, and add a lot of hilarious fantasy talk

    So if Obama doesn’t fail sooner, he’ll fail later, and the cost will be even higher.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  122. Patterico, I posted a verion of your #2 at HotAir yesterday (You Hope Rush fails – last comment)…

    Obama is NOT going to fail to advance his domestic agenda. That is going forward and nothing is going to stop it. “Hoping” for it to stop is not realistic. Period.

    The pain and suffering that results from that agenda may anger American voters to remove Obama’s domestic power base in the 2010 congress elections. That should halt the damage, stop the bleeding. So if I want that to happen I must be hoping for Americans to experience sufficient pain and suffering to turn congress Republican like 1994.

    In that sense I want Obama to fail. I want Americans to suffer

    So your #1 is simply not realistic.

    boris (ecab60)

  123. I am OK with either interpretation. Let’s face it, Obama and his minions wanted America to fail and they still do. They like crises because it allows them to attain power and change the course of the country. So yes, I want Obama to fail, period.

    This constant wringing of hands over Rush’s statements is just playing right into the libs agenda. And yet, the bloggers and pundits just won’t let up on it. Shame.

    Ken (67885e)

  124. One is moot if the country is a success, i’m sure Rush would be some level of happy no matter what, that seems to be like stating the obvious.

    Its like lets say Rush is a back up Quaterback (him being a part of the minority party right now) He thinks he can play better than the starter (Obama). Obama wins 13-10. Rush is still happy for the team, just maybe not as happy how the team accomplished the win. (#1) Rush thinks maybe he can win 35-10. And i’m sure he thinks that. (#2)
    You say it has to be one or the other, i’m sure it can be elements of both. I think he feels like the 2nd point now, and will feel some sense of the 1rst point later on down the road. Rush is being a true Conservative on both points, love of principles which is an automatic love of Country, that is how i took it.

    slizzle (cebb6d)

  125. A no-brainer as in, we all want that to happen. We all want his policies voted down.
    Comment by Patterico — 3/7/2009 @ 4:05 pm

    That I certainly can accept and understand. But when you then stated in your blog entry…

    However, if they are enacted, as seems likely, he wants to see them succeed.

    …I have to shake my head and sense you’re placing Rush Limbaugh in the role of (or believe he should be accepting the role of) a political or ideological enuch, if you will.

    Or, in line with a previous poster’s evoking the notion of the battered-wife syndrome, you’re promoting sort of a variation of the analogy that just as long as the wife of the household is living large and comfortably, she should accomodate any infidelities and other transgressions on the part of her husband and proclaim, well, “I’m closing my eyes and playing nice-nice, because it’s all for the good of the family!”

    However, I will say that one could make the point that Limbaugh’s comment should have been, instead of a “I want Obama to fail,” a flat-out, plain-face assertion of “Obama will fail!”

    Mark (411533)

  126. Do any of you people have the capacity to think for yourselves?

    T B (080e41)

  127. I’ve got this crazy idea that maybe Patterico AND Jeff could be right because different people respond strongly to a different approach. Instead of expending resources on trying to enforce True Conservative Style like DKos would, perhaps a more flexible approach that allows many styles of engaging the public and the practitioners of each give some thought to how they will defend their allies from misrepresentation while still making the case for conservatism. Just a thought.

    Because let’s face it. The people who listen to Rush get his style and they like it and the people who don’t listen either don’t get it or don’t like it. No one approach suits both groups and trying to find one will simply alienate a large segment of the public who no longer feel engaged with out ideas. There is room enough for all if we all have each others backs.

    Black (91a044)

  128. I have a post scheduled to run on Hot Air in about 3 hours that addresses Frum’s attack on Limbaugh.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  129. Rush tells us that based on his own accounts of the history, SOCIALISM will kill America.

    Rush is in WAR against those who advance the cause of SOCIALISM.

    It’s so happened that Obama is leading the cause of socialism along with 50% of Americans.

    So… Rush is really at war against Obama. In war, you want to win, and you want your opponent to fail.

    Obama has never spoken a word whether he wants Capitalism in America to further succeed. He even alluded for the failure of capitalism by implementing measures for its regulation, the anti-thesis of capitalistic, market economy.

    So in fairness to both Rush, Obama also wants Rush to fail… THE FEELING IS MUTUAL.

    Rain (b1ce6e)

  130. [...] Patterico has a poll of sorts up, asking people to answer this question in the comments to his post (yes, with bullets AND numbers!): However, when [Rush Limbaugh] says “I want Obama to fail,” what did he mean? His line could have meant one of two things: [...]

    Stop trying to mitigate what Rush said and embrace it instead | The Skepticrats (2f90ed)

  131. Comment by Patterico — 3/7/2009 @ 9:15 pm

    Patterico,
    Of course you’re right about # 1 – don’t know why I didn’t see that yesterday.

    Also, much as I do agree with what I think is Rush’s basic point (IMO # 2 above), as I said over at your post at Hot Air, I think Rush could have expressed himself much better. You can be forceful yet not utter what Rush, a superb communicator, surely knows is an easily misunderstandable comment.

    I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt – I don’t think he’s doing this for self aggrandization at the expense of the conservative movement. Perhaps he purposely gave the soundbite so, as others have said, people would delve in to what does he mean” and discuss his meaning on a much wider scale than they would had he worded it more diplomatically. If that’s true, IMO he overestimated the energy that openminded, but not totally committed conservative voters would have to devote to the issue.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  132. #2 all the way.

    And as a not-so-compassionate conservative, I’m with Rush. Even if we do see some short-term “benefits” from these socialist policies – and by short term, I mean possibly into the next decade or two – what we will have to give up in return, in terms of personal liberty, will negate any benefits. And history shows us that socialism is not sustainable if you allow the populace to keep their freedom. I want Obama and his accomplices and his ideas to go the way of the dinosaurs.

    gopmom (c94216)

  133. This sums it up:

    Rush said I want this country to survive, I want all Americans to prosper.

    Catherine (bbf42f)

  134. It’s ridiculous to assume that Limbaugh meant “I hope that those polices, once enacted, will fail.” Rush Limbaugh has said over and over again that he believes with all his heart that these policies are not designed to succeed in their stated purpose and that they cannot succeed in their stated purpose. Therefore, his statements that he hopes for the economy to succeed (even arguing that it would be against his economic interests for him to wish that the economy would worsen which would weaken the companies which advertise on his network and diminish his advertising revenue). He has stated that every Republican agrees with him and only the cynical Republicans actually want the economy to falter so that they can use it for political advantage. He has stated over and over again that Republicans need to oppose Obama’s agenda and provide substitutes based on conservative principles.

    Go to someplace like lewrockwell.com or watch some of Peter Schiff videos on youtube.com and you’ll find a whole host of people who criticize Obama’s agenda with utter certainty that it is making the economy worse. If you are a true believer, which in this case I think Rush certainly is, then your desire for the president to fail is obviously a desire that his agenda not be pushed through.

    Rush Limbaugh did not say it the way he said it to elevate himself and it will ultimately not harm the Republican party. In his mind he is exposing the media for taking his quotes out of context and exposing Obama’s cronies for purposely taking his quotes out of context. It is obviously a game between him, the media, and the White House, and it would not be fun for him if he meant it the way that they claim he meant it which is contrary to all of the context provided around his saying it.

    Dan M. (cb25ca)

  135. You’re offering false choices in this poll. The very motivation behind wanting Obama to fail to enact the policies has to be the belief that those policies themselves would fail to benefit the United States. It’s not hoping the policies have terrible consequences, it’s knowing they will.

    Give Rush credit on this point: he knew that Obama would govern from the far, far left. Others hoped it would not be the case, and certain “centrists” reputed for their intellect were proven downright naive about this.

    Would a GOP politician have phrased it differently? Of course. But Rush is a talk-radio host who speaks from the heart and will say things that are susceptible of more than one meaning if taken out of context.

    Is there a rational way to reach a conclusion other than the one I set out above? Not within the context of Rush’s overall commentary. We’re playing right into the hands of the Left when we permit the dissection of once sentence like this.

    cackcon (29c2a1)

  136. I hope that being shoved off the Empire State Building won’t result in a big red splat on the sidewalk below.

    There. Go ahead and push me, Barry!

    Pablo (99243e)

  137. Limbaugh wants Obama to fail because if he succeeds he will be re-elected and Limbaugh wants a Republican to be re-elected. He wants the economy to perform very poorly and for Iraq to turn more violent so that Obama’s image will suffer.

    That’s the way I see it.

    Andrew (15c1cb)

  138. Number 1. But Patterico you seem to miss the point of what he means by even having to parse this thing out this far.

    All along those of us not hopped on Hope and Change saw the dangerous warning signs if the One and his minions took complete power. No depth of experience, no foreign policy experience, socialistic tendencies. If ever America was conned it was in this last election.

    For Rush to say he wants Obama to fail, mirrors what 47% of us felt last Nov. I do believe that some who voted for Obama, are now quickly creeping into voter’s remorse as the thought he was new, different and going to end the shenanigans so prevalent in DC today, evaporate into not only more of the same but much, much more of the government largesse to propagate its own power and future.

    We know Rush was talking about the need to put our future back into the individuals hands, not the government’s grubby and sweaty palms.

    Wilhelm (353837)

  139. I think @2 is a more accurate description of Rush’s views. He is against socialism, believe’s Obama’s policies further lead down to the road to Big government and less freedom, so he wishes Obama’s plans to fail even if enacted. Capitalism has its ups and downs, and is not perfect, but it is better than any other world system in allowing individual liberties and initiatives.
    Rush wants the Constitution protected promising life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which is difficult to do under a central government.

    The bigger question to me is why the President is even engaging in these petty call outs of Rush. Dissent is part of America and Obama is showing himself to be a petty dictator.

    Krystal (996c34)

  140. #2, and I don’t understand all the debate about what Rush meant. He is certain that Obama’s and the Congressional Democrats’ policies are bad for the long term health of America, and I agree.

    It’s better that we undergo a relatively short period of pain and suffering (total failure of the Obama plan) and then cut out the cancer, rather than having it *temporarily* succeed and set America down a socialist path, which will leave us much worse off in the long run.

    Mister Tan (7f36c9)

  141. Patterico, knock it off. I appreciate your site and your writings, but this is getting pedantic to the point of insanity.

    rrpjr (41549a)

  142. It is #2.

    Rush opposes liberal policies because he thinks they are evil in and of themselves and not simply because he thinks they are impractical or unworkable.

    Its a dogma thing with him. He would rather have the world burn than have his enemies get credit for saving it.

    libarbarian (4548f9)

  143. I can be both #1 and #2

    Hopefully, obama’s fails to get his policies fully enacted, so that we dont have an irreversable slide into socialism. On the other hand, if Obama gets his policies enacted, the hope is that the policies fail so that those that supported socialism will finally see that socialism has never improved a country’s economy.

    For those of you that argue that the republican party ruined the economy, keep in mind that recessions are part of the normal business cycle dating back to pre adam smith days. Also note that the primary catalyst in this recession is the credit crisis which was the result of the unprecended availablity of credit (read the FED) which is virtually outside the control of the executive branch.

    Joe - Dallas (6aa1d9)

  144. Has anybody seen the cover of the new issue of Newsweek? Bone-chilling. A totalitarian image of censorship. This is where we’re headed. This is what David Frum is abetting (he wrote the feature essay). This is what we should be talking about. Meanwhile, these endless hand-wringing locutions about “what Rush meant”?

    rrpjr (41549a)

  145. I hope that Obama fails in every way that it is humanly possible for him to fail. Rush went easy on him. Your rule about #1 and #2 is beyond stupid, it is evil. It is one of Satan’s rules. You disgust me. I have been fighting lame brains like you since I have been in kindergarten. That is more than 50 years and I hope to die fighting your ilk. Go to hell. Or as we used to say in the navy, eat shit and die.

    D Kosloff (4a9bc7)

  146. It’s #3 and no doubt about it. Rush wants the President to fail because he knows exactly who got elected–unlike the surprised media idiots who think Obama’s a centrist- what he stands for, and what he wants to do to this country. He wants him to fail. I do too, and I never once took it to mean he wants the U.S. to fail.

    The MSM knows exactly who Rush is, even if they don’t know who the zerO is. Their cherry-picking of meaning moves me not. They’ve been doing crap like this for over 40 years now, and I’d posit they do it more to keep the “racist” idea afloat, that Rush hates O and wants him to fail because he’s (incorrectly identified as) a black man. If you want to know what the Media is thinking, just go with “racist” as it’s the tried and true boogey-man that makes Republicans run for the hills and stammer and apologize.

    Everything the Left and the Media have built upon is race-baited mongering and even if one toes the line, they will pull you across it every time. Or move it. Or create even more lines to box in your very thoughts. DO NOT CAVE to those who want you to play their game. It WILL NOT MATTER. They will NEVER respect you. Period.

    Joan of Argghh! (443a31)

  147. Its a bit of a toss up for me but I think #2. My personal feeling is I do not want to see Obama’s policies enacted because I just don’t think they will work. Its not that I hope they’ll fail but I feel they are doomed to fail.

    As an aside, the one thing that causes me to chuckle is the media and democrats blame a lot of this on Bush. People seemed to forget that $800B of the debt Obama “inherited” was from a bailout bill the democrat controlled congress passed just a few weeks before Obama was elected.

    Dan (50c317)

  148. What libarbarian said in # 143:

    Its a dogma thing with him. He would rather have the world burn than have his enemies get credit for saving it.

    Fortunately, there’s a many folks who haven’t given in to that brand of grotesque narcissism and don’t want the world to burn and will to see to it that it continues to become a better place.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  149. Has anybody seen the cover of the new issue of Newsweek? Bone-chilling. A totalitarian image of censorship. This is where we’re headed. This is what David Frum is abetting (he wrote the feature essay). This is what we should be talking about. Meanwhile, these endless hand-wringing locutions about “what Rush meant”?

    Oh please… the democrats would likely incarcerate anyone who tried to stop him from speaking. You just can’t see it from an objective viewpoint.
    What is bone chilling is that his legions of fans cannot countenance criticism of the messenger in context of what is best for the GOP.

    voiceofreason2 (0135ec)

  150. Eric B.: He absolutely doesn’t care about much other than ideological purity.

    Sorry Eric, all he cares about is his bank account and having his ego attended too.

    You and all the other ideological purists and traditional conservatives have been betrayed. More than betrayed. You’ve been taken, spit out and insulted for ever bit of good faith you’ve ever shown the Rush Limbaugh party.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  151. I think he meant number 2 at first but is now trying to morph into number 1. He is doing so to sound more, ….how do you say…..patriotic?

    Emperor7 who now sees the light. (0c8c2c)

  152. Kevin, if you’re convinced that it can’t lead to prosperity, but you know that it is going to pass, then I think the honorable thing to do is to hope that you are wrong.

    That’s basically what I was doing in 2003-2005: I was convinced that the Iraq policy was going to lead to failure, but I was hoping to be proven wrong.

    aphrael (56f4f0)

  153. [...] the argument. Here, from his own defense, is a great example of how badly he got suckered: I ran a poll on my site yesterday in which I said: of course no conservative wants Obama’s policies enacted. [...]

    Rush’s Critics Need to Read What He Actually Said. : The Sundries Shack (cb8a87)

  154. Obama has never spoken a word whether he wants Capitalism in America to further succeed.
    Comment by Rain — 3/8/2009 @ 3:37 am

    But we certainly do know that he not only listened to but even embraced — by making that person a close advisor — an individual who spewed “Goddamn America” rhetoric.

    Mark (411533)

  155. It’s clear that Rush meant #1. That being said, I think there is more than one possible way to interpret #1, or perhaps it should be called option 3: Even if fully implementing Obama’s policies would result in an improved and more robust economy, I still hope he fails in his drive to implement them. Am I hoping that the economy crashes and burns and that there is much misery to go around? Of course not; it just that his policies mean massive government control of the economy, and therefore the possible actions of the people of this great nation. As a lover of freedom, I don’t want the government running that much of my life, even if it would make me wealthier. Not that I think for a second that the government could run it better, but I’m just sayin’.

    Anon Y. Mous (0d3db4)

  156. Joe @157 – I think you missed a thread or two here to post this on. Get to work!!!!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  157. This is a no brainer for anyone who has listened to Limbaugh for any length of time: #2.

    He doesn’t “think” socialist policies will fail, he knows it. They fail everywhere and every time they are enacted, whereas conservative economic policies succeed everywhere and every time they are enacted.

    This isn’t a subject that invites much debate; it is a simple matter of history. As for Rush, he has been on the air for over twenty years, and he has never once changed his stated economic philosophy.

    He wants two things: for Obama to fail to implement his radical leftist agenda, or if he succeeds in getting this crap sandwich passed, Rush knows it will fail miserably, and he has clearly stated “the sooner the better”.

    Three cheers for Rush. RINOs – STFU. You clowns are the reason that we even have a Rush and a President O’Bonehead.

    Jaibones (468585)

  158. “Jaibones” – you say #2 is a ‘no brainer’ yet in your 4th paragraph, you say “if not #1 (for Obama to fail to implement his radical leftist agenda), then #2 (if he succeeds in getting this crap sandwich passed, Rush knows it will fail miserably).

    I think I understand the point of this post now.

    carlitos (3f0da9)

  159. #150. Yes, “Oh please” — the last sound heard from the “objective” voice of reason before he lost his powers of speech.

    I suggest you bone up on your history of the Left. That is, get an objective education.

    “Democrats would incarcerate anybody who tried to stop him from speaking”? Is that a joke? Harry Reid already called for his censure. They’re publishing magazine covers with his face taped shut and declaring “Enough!” They’d shut him down tomorrow if they had the power. Dick Durbin is cooking up legislation as we speak to back-door the end of talk radio. Do I need to list the spreading and yes chilling precedents against free speech around the Western progressive “free world,” which we’ve been spared only because of our doughty old 1st Amendment, (which the NY Times suggested last summer might be posing a bit of a nuisance to the harmony of international relations.)

    Again — for a major American news weekly to feature the muzzling of political expression on its cover is bone-chilling.

    rrpjr (e01ca0)

  160. I just saw this. It’s not precisely #1 or #2. Both options assume that it’s possible for Obama’s policies, if enacted, to make things better; Limbaugh’s premise is that this is not an option. Obama’s policies, if enacted and successful, will make things worse and not better; wishing it were otherwise, Limbaugh assumes, is like wishing that dropped objects didn’t fall. Therefore the only options available are to hope he succeeds in implementing these disastrous policies, or to hope he fails; given the premise, it’s obvious that every American should hope he fails.

    Suppose you have a sick person, and some quack wants to inject him with a deadly substance that the chicken entrails say will cure him or something. You hope the “healer” fails in his attempts to get at the patient; if he succeeds in doing so, then you hope that the substance fails to have any effect. Because the only effect it can have is deleterious.

    Milhouse (a11285)

  161. Any poll that quotes “I hope he fails” in a vacuum and asks readers to comment on what that means is fatally flawed. If you want the poll to mean anything at all, ask instead what your readers think this means:

    I’m not talking about search-and-destroy, but I’ve been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don’t want them to succeed.

    Or maybe this:

    Look, what he’s talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don’t want this to work. So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, “Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.”

    Or this:

    He is the president of the United States, he’s my president, he’s a human being, and his ideas and policies are what count for me, not his skin color, not his past, not whatever ties he doesn’t have to being down with the struggle, all of that’s irrelevant to me. We’re talking about my country, the United States of America, my nieces, my nephews, your kids, your grandkids. Why in the world do we want to saddle them with more liberalism and socialism? Why would I want to do that? So I can answer it, four words, “I hope he fails.”

    Or you could can give the latest incarnation of Maureen Dowd a pass, and blame the latest victim of her dowdification for the dowdification itself. Your call. Just remember that if you go the latter route, it’s no holds barred, and you’ve got no one but yourself to blame if you ever say “only a dumbass would claim that I want X,” only to be quoted as having said “I want X.”

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  162. Pat, as Chairman Mao observed, “Let 100 flowers bloom. Let 100 schools contend.”

    If Jeff thinks that going “outlaw” is the most productive tactic and you believe that “reasoned discussion” is the way to go, why not allow both paths to proceed and determine, based on results, which one works best.

    In following the discussion on this site and over at Jeff’s, it seems that you both are burning a lot of energy fighting over tactics (means) rather than objectives (ends). It reminds me of the more esoteric dogma debates between the various shades of Marxists when I was back in college.

    Let Jeff follow his path and you follow yours.

    Keep your eye on the prize.

    kensei (e7740a)

  163. [...] the country to fail, but rather that he wants Obama to fail at implementing his policies at all.  Despite what some on the right are saying, Rush has repeatedly explained this on his show from the beginning, and as recently as last week.  [...]

    Conservatives Are Falling Into Obama's Trap | Axis of Right (4bdcf7)

  164. [...] he said “I hope he fails.” Others flew into varying degrees of outrage at anyone who dared to suggest that the above interpretation was [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Rush Limbaugh: “After this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to fail.” (e4ab32)

  165. [...] he said “I hope he fails.” Others flew into varying degrees of outrage at anyone who dared to suggest that the above interpretation was [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Rush Limbaugh: “After this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to fail.” (e4ab32)


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