Let’s put aside arguments about Rush Limbaugh for the time being and recognize that he’s undeniably right about this:
Were the liberals out there hoping Bush succeeded or were they out there trying to destroy him before he was even inaugurated?
I think we all know the answer to that — but here’s some hard proof. Reader jimboster passes along a 2006 poll (.pdf) that proves the point. Check out question 10 — and pay particular attention to how the answers break down by party:
Recall that in August 2006, we were in the thick of a war whose outcome was uncertain. And Democrats didn’t want Bush to succeed.
Have this poll handy the next time some Democrat gets snooty about Rush wanting Obama to fail. It’s proof that the Democrats didn’t want Bush to succeed. They have no standing to claim the moral high ground. None.
Now, in a way, this question is meaningless — because wanting a President to “succeed” (or “fail”) is such a vague concept that it can be infused with several meanings.
But that’s part of the point. Limbaugh might not have been crystal clear about the details of what he meant — but it certainly wasn’t an anti-American sentiment. He clearly wanted what was best for America in the long run. His definition of success was every bit as clear as the definition in the poll.
So if it’s supposedly evil for him to say he wants Obama to fail, why was it OK for Democrats to say they didn’t want Bush to succeed?
Don’t let the Democrats take the moral high ground on this. Even as we perfect our message, it’s vitally important to fight back against those who would distort it.
UPDATE: Jimboster e-mails to say that credit for this find goes to Garden State Patriot.
UPDATE x2: Third Base Politics had this on March 2.