Patterico's Pontifications

3/10/2009

Rush Limbaugh: “After this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to fail.”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:14 pm



Turns out Rush does want Obama’s policies to fail even after they’re enacted:

I was just being honest when Hannity asked me about this. I want everything he’s doing to fail! His stimulus is not about creating jobs. It’s about… Oh, we’ve been through this. I’m getting blue in the face talking about this. Anybody with a brain knows what’s in this. Anybody with a brain knows that this approach has never worked. There’s no evidence it’s ever worked. It will be the first time. This is not about creating jobs. This is the exact opposite. This is all about rebuilding the Democrat Party into an unbeatable entity. It’s about remaking the United States of America without the Constitution as the guiding light. Of course I want this to fail. Of course I want Obama to fail. And after this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to fail.

Let me give them some more fodder: I want the stimulus package to fail. ‘Cause if this thing for the first time ever does what it never has done before, we’re in even worse trouble. If it becomes established that the federal government and the federal government alone can manage the economy and take over the private sector, then forget it, folks. I’m looking for property in New Zealand, and I’m going to put my money in Singapore. I do not want this to succeed, and nobody who has any respect for the founding of this country and for the capitalist system, who is honest and who has looked at it, would want it to succeed either.

Many of you have said that the above is exactly what Limbaugh meant when he said “I hope he fails.” Others flew into varying degrees of outrage at anyone who dared to suggest that the above interpretation was plausible.

Apparently, it was.

Now that we have the evidence that Rush indeed blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism, I suppose that those who previously howled that this interpretation was clearly implausible will now go into overdrive to defend it. It’s a principled stance, but a tough sell in these tough economic times. A very tough sell.

Whether you agree with the argument or not, it’s still not an ugly statement, and it would still be wrong to portray it as such — as we know Obama and his friends in the media most assuredly will.

Thanks to dahdah.

UPDATE: The statement is from February 13, 2009.

207 Responses to “Rush Limbaugh: “After this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to fail.””

  1. But is the statement uglier than the policies?

    No, no it’s not.

    N. O'Brain (9056e2)

  2. Still better than wishing for the failure of our armed forces.

    SPQR (72771e)

  3. If we encourage the weakest part of the system and neglect the producers then in the end we all fail.

    I want socialism (Obama) to fail.

    rab (7a9e13)

  4. Consider a Democratic alternative Patterico. If the Whole package is enacted, with the “success” of the package make us look like the old USSR, or the current Cuba or perhaps the developing Venezuela?

    One can see the effects in Venezuela, especially in the cost of goods (H/T Fausta for the cost of good link).

    GM Roper who wants DRJ back (d53336)

  5. that should read “will the success”

    GM Roper who wants DRJ back (d53336)

  6. Didn’t Rush also want Clinton to fail?

    Remember how that turned out?

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  7. Okay enough. I have read and enjoyed you for a while. Your LA dogtrainer stuff is great.
    I want the stimulus to fail also, but I am sure it will anyway. Rush is right. If it doesn’t we will never be the same. We are at war, and your fight over semantics only helps the Obamacrats. Fail? In the sense that it does not succeed yes, even in the sense that more are out of work, if it has to be.

    pyritedan (776486)

  8. I figured this was his meaning, and I agree.

    I mean, without having paid out pretty much ANY of the Stimulus money, Congress already wants another one.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  9. If the stimulus fails then the economy will deteriorate even more. Limbaugh wants the economy to worsen.

    Wow.

    Andrew (114e1c)

  10. Now that we have the evidence that Rush indeed blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism,

    It seems to me that in order for that statement to be true there would have to be some evidence that the stimulus package was going to in fact cut unemployment faster than a normal economic recovery would.

    I haven’t seen that evidence and that has been one of Rush’s main lines of argument – that the stimulus won’t really do anything to reduce unemployment or fix the economy.

    chad (20cc4c)

  11. I think fiscal conservatives should have mixed feelings on this statement and Limbaugh himself.

    First off, in the shortrun, that many dollars will certainly have some effect. But, in the longrun, it only means the destruction of the dollar and the end to the American dream that we were brought up to pursue.

    Unfortunately, Limbaugh did not start to talk like this until the Republicans were out of power. The fact that, previously, 7 out of 10 trillion of our national debt came during Republican administrations only begs the question, “is either party fiscally conservative?”.

    In my mind, the best thing a fiscal conservative can do is become an independant and vow to vote for neither party. This will send a clear message to Washington that the games are over. We need rough men with no political affiliations to stand up in this country and help the common people.

    Respectfully, Jake

    Jake (d4a64c)

  12. “Now that Rush has blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism . . .”

    Still not getting it. Limbaugh’s whole point is that Obama’s policies aren’t about getting jobs for Americans, but cementing control over our lives, and they won’t help the economy. Obama’s policies will make Americans dependent on the government for their sustenance. By failure, he means American people should see that fact: (my emphasis)

    I want this to be seen by the American people for what it is, nothing to do with getting them jobs, nothing to do with reviving the gross domestic product of this country. I want, once and for all, the American people to see full frontal nudity on what liberalism is and what a lie it is. They have been sold a bill of goods. This legislation will not accomplish anything that the people are being promised. And I want people to see it. We can’t stop it, so if the Democrats want to destroy this economy to their benefit, to create more and more poverty, to create more and more homelessness, to create more and more dependency on the federal government, let the American people see it, let the American people see what messiahs do with unchecked power.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (1680e7)

  13. “Now that we have the evidence that Rush indeed blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism”

    Bullsh*t.

    There is nowhere in that statement wherein he wishes for “Americans to be out of work”.

    You assume that “success” of the stimulus means more jobs. Rush says – explicitly – the opposite. The “stimulus is not about creating jobs”. The stimulus has nothing to do with jobs. Success of the stimulus doesn’t mean more jobs, and failure of the stimulus doesn’t mean less jobs.

    I don’t know why it’s so difficult for people like Patterico to understand.

    A.S. (09b2d3)

  14. If the stimulus fails then the economy will deteriorate even more. Limbaugh wants the economy to worsen.

    Considering the effects even PASSING the bill has had on the market (and thus the economy as a whole), I’m thinking that you have this backwards…

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  15. Oh, my God, you people are in deep denial.

    He’s saying this sort of program isn’t about creating jobs, because similar programs have never worked (“There’s no evidence it’s ever worked. It will be the first time. This is not about creating jobs. This is the exact opposite.”)

    But if it does succeed and create jobs — which would be a first for a stimulus package, that would be socialism and it would be bad. (“‘Cause if this thing for the first time ever does what it never has done before, we’re in even worse trouble.)

    In this phrase:

    Cause if this thing for the first time ever does what it never has done before

    the thing that has never happened before is: that it worked. That it does what no stimulus has ever done before: create jobs and improve the economy.

    That is the straightforward interpretation.

    Any other interpretation is not just a stretch — it’s unreasonable.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  16. I suppose that those who previously howled that this interpretation was clearly implausible will now go into overdrive to defend it. It’s a principled stance, but a tough sell in these tough economic times. A very tough sell.
    Hah! You really know your friends, Host. Wait for the lynching…..

    Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  17. This legislation will not accomplish anything that the people are being promised. And I want people to see it. We can’t stop it, so if the Democrats want to destroy this economy to their benefit

    Duh. He says it won’t work. I agree. I don’t think it will. Rush and I believe that because no such bill has worked before, and it won’t now.

    But if it does; if it succeeds even though no such package has worked before; in other words: if it helps the economy — Rush still thinks that would be bad. Because we would accomplish short-term economic gains by sacrificing capitalism.

    At some point you have to confront the reasonable meaning of words.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  18. The LA Times doesn’t cover a taxpayer protest in Southern California that drew 15,000 people, and so far Patterico sees this as unworthy of comment. But hey, we have more Limbaugh!

    Mark1971 (888585)

  19. Oh, my God, you people are in deep denial.
    There. That was the way I was trying to put it all this while. As long as it came from a Republican, it’s correct. Even if it is clear he is off his marbles. Just don’t say Rush is wrong because that can’t be. Is Rush the new Obama?

    Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  20. considering that if the stimulus works the socialists would demand more of the same which means giving up more freedom and liberty.

    i understand what Rush has said but i’m not worried that these policies will work because they cant, ever at all, anywhere. the electorate will re-embrace the free market and capitalism very soon.

    chas (53215d)

  21. Think of it as Rush just paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson:

    The tree of [economic] liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of [unemployed] patriots and [big government] tyrants.

    Not that I necessarily agree with the sentiment, but I assume that is what he is getting at: Better to have temporary misery that leads to the collapse of bad policy than have temporary contentment that nourishes bad policy for the long run.

    JVW (bff0a4)

  22. I support Barack Obama, but not his mission.

    slizzle (cebb6d)

  23. It depends on what the meaning of “success” is, I guess.

    Dean Lusk (9afd46)

  24. But if it does succeed and create jobs

    Jeebus. Success =/= creating jobs! It has nothing to do with creating jobs.

    A.S. (09b2d3)

  25. So, your contention is that this statement is the same as the one he made two months ago, before the Stimulus Bill even existed?

    I think it’s far more reasonable to say that they are two related, but different, sentiments. I supposed if you’re predisposed to dump on Limbaugh for not measuring his every word, you’ll come to a different conclusion, yes?

    Jimmie (3b5794)

  26. Jeebus. Success =/= creating jobs! It has nothing to do with creating jobs.

    If unemployment rises, will Obama be failing, A.S.?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  27. This is no different than for the Democrats in the 2006 poll you posted earlier, where more than half of them wanted to see Bush fail.

    For some reason, you assume that, Bush’s “success” meant winning the Iraq war. This assumption is false! Bush success =/= winning the Iraq war. To Democrats, Bush success may have meant annexation of Iraq’s oil. Or establishing a hegemony over the entire Middle East. Or whatever.

    No different here. Bush success =/= winning the Iraq war. Therefore, wishing for Bush failure =/= wishing to lose the war. Obama success =/= creating more jobs. Therefore, wishing for Obama failure =/= wishing people to lose jobs.

    A.S. (09b2d3)

  28. If unemployment rises, will Obama be failing, A.S.?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  29. Didn’t Rush and his devotees also pan Clinton as a radical leftist who would destroy the economy?

    Remember how that one worked out?

    “History never repeats, but it always rhymes.”
    –Mark Twain

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  30. The Founding Fathers pledged their “Lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” to establish this union and republic and to uphold the principles which have made the US the most prosperous and fair nation in the world in which to live, and many are bitching because they might lose a bit their standard of living to preserve it.

    Nice follow up, folks. I love this country, and will endure whatever hardship it may take to preserve it, as well as fight the people who wish to tear it down in order to emulate any other system in the world, each and all of which have resulted in societies which are less successful, less free, and offer less opportunity to their citizens.

    So, count me in, I too want Obama to fail in these instances. Other than that, I wish him a the best of health and a happy life – but not as our president unless he starts acting as smart as he says he is and changes course real quick.

    West (fb905e)

  31. “If unemployment rises, will Obama be failing, A.S.?”

    It depends on what you mean by “failing”! Failing at what? What is Obama’s aim? You can take him at his word, but I don’t see that this means that Rush has to. Just as Democrats didn’t have to (and didn’t!) take Bush at his word with respect to his aims in Iraq.

    (Hope that’s clear. I’ve got to leave work now, but will try to check in later…)

    A.S. (09b2d3)

  32. Jimmie,

    They’re related sentiments?

    As a matter of fact, it’s pretty darned clear that he was in no way saying that he hopes the President’s policies, when they are enacted, will fail.

    If that’s the case, then they can’t be too related, can they?

    I posted this because a lot of people were pretty snooty to me when I suggested that this interpretation was even a possibility.

    I get your point, that you think “I hope he fails” had ONLY to do with enactment and this had to do with after enactment. But here was your argument:

    That blows me away. I read the four sentences before his now-famous Four Words and it’s crystal clear to me what he’s saying. Heck, that he said this before the man was even sworn in would be a pretty big clue about his intention.

    You can’t very well oppose policies that aren’t in place.

    Well, you can, and in the quote I gave in this post, he did.

    Also, he made the same statement in his CPAC speech after the passage of the stimulus, a point not addressed by Goldstein at Hot Air or by you.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  33. It depends on what you mean by “failing”!

    I see nothing Clintonian about that response!

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  34. This is a great example of how people change their answers when they see where you’re going.

    I just asked someone:

    If unemployment rises, will Obama be failing?

    Imagine that you hear that question and you don’t try to see where the questioner is going. You just take it for what it is and answer it.

    You would answer it yes.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  35. Any other interpretation is not just a stretch — it’s unreasonable.

    You’re acting like a judge instructing a jury on how to interpret a law, ruling out any interpretation you don’t accept. But this jury doesn’t follow orders.

    🙂

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

  36. I just love this: “We can fix America, just don’t Rush it,”
    Classic.

    Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  37. If unemployment rises, will Obama be failing?

    He could reduce unemployment to zero by putting us all on government jobs. That’s the kind of “success” Limbaugh doesn’t want to see.

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

  38. Now that we have the evidence that Rush indeed blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism,

    Once again you proclaim an outcome that is not necessarily true.
    Why would having Obama’s rush to socialism fail cause people to be out of work. His policies can fail independent of the market. Even more so, if it is his policies that cause the job losses, wouldn’t you want his policies to fail?

    Barney15e (1bd1e2)

  39. Pat, you put the emphasis thusly in your quote:

    There’s no evidence it’s ever worked. It will be the first time. This is not about creating jobs. This is the exact opposite. This is all about rebuilding the Democrat Party into an unbeatable entity. It’s about remaking the United States of America without the Constitution as the guiding light. Of course I want this to fail. Of course I want Obama to fail. And after this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to fail.

    I would put the emphasis on other words:

    There’s no evidence it’s ever worked. It will be the first time. This is not about creating jobs. This is the exact opposite. This is all about rebuilding the Democrat Party into an unbeatable entity. It’s about remaking the United States of America without the Constitution as the guiding light. Of course I want this to fail. Of course I want Obama to fail. And after this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to fail.

    In the second to final scene of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, con man “Professor Harold Hill” — who takes on the task of scamming an Iowa hamlet to prove his powers of deception. After evidence surfaces that Hill swindled money from River City residents for instruments and uniforms when he can’t teach or play music himself, he flees a crowd bent on tarring and feathering him. On his way out of town, he confesses to the young son of his lady friend Marian that he is a lying crook, and can’t lead a band. While the kid initially hates him for lying to him, Marian forgives him, citing the civic and personal pride that swept through River City after Hill gave them false hope. Video here.

    In the end (SPOILER ALERT!) the uniforms and instruments arrive, and given one chance to prove his phony teaching methods work before he is turned into Big Bird, they actually do work. Video here.

    However — anyone who isn’t caught up in the romance of such a story would hope that a real-life person like Harold Hill got his just desserts. Wouldn’t you? Rational people who recognize a scam when they see it but can’t talk others out of it don’t commonly say, “Give the scam a chance. Maybe it will work out OK this time.” No, they say, “Fine, learn from your mistakes. Then you won’t have to learn again.”

    If you want to continue parsing the words of Rush to excuse those who deliberately take him out of context, Pat, go right ahead, it’s your site. But don’t expect all of us who know better to concede the point.

    L.N. Smithee (5e2d8d)

  40. The problem is, you see–thse of us of a “conservative” bent believe that the hardship on America and its _hardworking_ people will be substantially increase to the extent that the dhimocrat plans succeed-as-designed.

    If we are to survive, their plans must fail.

    Why is that so hard to understand?

    Larry Sheldon (86b2e1)

  41. Maddoggit. I didn’t fix the syntax of some sentences above. Sorry English teachers. But I think my point is clear.

    L.N. Smithee (5e2d8d)

  42. Maybe I’m missing something.

    I’ve read both passages in context now. The first I took to mean, “I want Obama to fail, it will help our country.” The second I take to mean, “I want the stimulus to fail, which it obviously will regardless, because otherwise we’ll kill capitalism.”

    Two separate statements from two different times.

    You can tell me I’m unreasonable, I feel reasonable though. Is there some sort of test I can take in regards to my reasonableness? Or, is this the test and if I disagree with you, I’m then obviously unreasonable?

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  43. If the stimulus fails then the economy will deteriorate even more. Limbaugh wants the economy to worsen.

    How do you draw that conclusion, Andrew? Show your work.

    Pablo (99243e)

  44. Who came up with the totally absurd idea that because Obama’s programs are passed by a know nothing congress we are then supposed to support them.
    If Obama proposes a bill that requires every female to have an abortion at least once in her life are we supposed to accept this BS because it passed?
    How long have some of you who are using the unemployment possibility as a goad to shame opponents and give them a guilt trip, been out of work at some time in your life?
    Losing your job is no treat. I know, I have lost mine and was out of work for nearly a year with two little girls and a wife to support. But you know what I survived, and life went on, and the country turned around and fifteen years later I retired. Lucky? Perhaps but I and a lot of others made it and we didn’t give up our basic freedoms for a hand out from Karl Marx.

    Edward Cropper (6a7a91)

  45. Pendleton:

    The second I take to mean, “I want the stimulus to fail, which it obviously will regardless, because otherwise we’ll kill capitalism.”

    I completely agree with your interpretation.

    Now: what does “otherwise” mean?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  46. I suppose that wanting it to fail even with increased job losses is okay to some people – but I think their attitude would change dramatically if they were to become one of the unemployed.
    Listening to Rush while enjoying a meal of government cheese seems like a sad goal.

    voiceofreason2 (47c253)

  47. Who came up with the totally absurd idea that because Obama’s programs are passed by a know nothing congress we are then supposed to support them.

    Not me. That’s not what I’m saying in this post.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  48. Bradley:

    If unemployment rises, will Obama be failing?

    L.N. Smithee:

    If unemployment rises, will Obama be failing?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  49. The LA Times doesn’t cover a taxpayer protest in Southern California that drew 15,000 people, and so far Patterico sees this as unworthy of comment. But hey, we have more Limbaugh!

    Working on a post about it now. Think you’ll like it.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  50. P, I assume we view the alternative to mean the same thing, the stimulus causing a strong economic rebound.

    Again, maybe I’m missed something. It seems pretty straightforward.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  51. Also walking. And chewing gum!

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  52. If unemployment rises, will Obama be failing, A.S.?

    No. That’s what success looks like. Barry wants you to need him.

    Pablo (99243e)

  53. P, I assume we view the alternative to mean the same thing, the stimulus causing a strong economic rebound.

    Again, maybe I’m missed something. It seems pretty straightforward.

    Let’s plug in your correct definition into your interpretation:

    “I want the stimulus to fail, which it obviously will regardless, because if the stimulus causes a strong economic rebound, we’ll kill capitalism.”

    That statement — coming from Rush Limbaugh, an opponent of socialism who thinks Obama’s programs will mean permanent socialism — makes perfect sense.

    But don’t you realize you’re saying the SAME thing I am?

    Question: if the stimulus causes a strong economic rebound, does that almost inevitably imply that unemployment will fall?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  54. And if unemployment rises? That’s because of George Bush Rush Limbaugh Eric Cantor.

    Who wants to take you poor unemployeds under their wing? O!

    Pablo (99243e)

  55. The key word in all of this mess is “success.” Just what does this mean to Rush?

    To me, it means that through the time-honored means of hard work, right living, and genuine compassion, Americans and their country grows and becomes ever stronger.

    BHO and his komrades are now providing narcotics to the addicts too many Americans have become. If there is a temporary uplift, there is great and justifiable fear that all that has occurred is enabling of sickness.

    This is the debate – do we enable societal pathology (dependence on government), or do we insist on recovery through less drastic, and proven, medication (self-reliance, responsibility)?

    Pat has proven the rhetorical point he raised. The opposition he has encountered have proven the larger point.

    Now, someone please show me a debate anywhere near this serious from and within the leftist media when actual (majority) party leadership declared a war lost and wished for ill upon the president and the producers in this country.

    Ed (52bb9a)

  56. If you answer yes, then:

    “I want the stimulus to fail, which it obviously will regardless, because if the stimulus causes a strong economic rebound — meaning unemployment falls — we’ll kill capitalism.”

    Because socialism will be shown to have succeeded.

    ERGO . . .

    Rush is blessing the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism.

    Pendleton, we’re saying the same thing. The reason your interpretation seems so reasonable is because it is. I was just more blunt about the way I expressed it.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  57. Is it just me, or is this whole debate becoming tiresome?

    I believe that Obama’s policies are NOT even geared at creating jobs, but rather they are geared at remaking the American system of government. So in that sense, I want Obama’s policies, including the stimulus, which was never about job creation, to fail. I want the provision that will put bureaucrats in charge of health care decisions to fail. I want the stimulative effect that is going to occur when Acorn receives its money from the stimulus to fail getting more Democrats elected via election fraud. I want the “Buy American” provisions which have the potential to cast us into another decade-long Depression by igniting a trade war, to fail.

    I want this bill to fail because the enactment of such liberal policies will forever change the makeup of this country. If anything, this bill will destroy jobs, and that is what I want to fail. Any other interpretation is not just a stretch, it’s unreasonable.

    Sal (48f931)

  58. Pat has proven the rhetorical point he raised. The opposition he has encountered have proven the larger point.

    And I have never disputed the larger point. I’m just saying that what Rush is arguing is a tough sell.

    But if that’s what you believe, sometimes you have to shoot for the tough sell. Just don’t pretend it’s an easy sell, or you’ll get whipsawed.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  59. Rush is unpatriotic. And the same goes for all those who defend him here. The whole country doesn’t need to go in flames just for one man’s quest to be right.

    Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  60. Is it just me, or is this whole debate becoming tiresome?

    I’m not thrilled about reviving it, but in my view the quote was such a smoking gun that I was literally incapable of not posting it.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  61. Rush is unpatriotic. And the same goes for all those who defend him here. The whole country doesn’t need to go in flames just for one man’s quest to be right.

    That’s not fair. It’s not about him being right. He thinks socialism is bad for the country.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  62. P, yes, I think that’s clear.

    Isn’t the assumption though that the latter statement changes the former statement? Maybe you’re not making that assumption.

    I think you can easily claim that Limbaugh does obviously say what he, well, obviously says in the second passage though.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  63. Patterico – I think what some folks are saying is that the failure of Obama’s policies does not necessarily require an increase in unemployment. Rush specifically says the policies have never created jobs, evidence that they might is still certainly way off in the future since only what, 10% of the stimulus bill will be spent this year. Commenters here are in agreement with Rush over the reasons for desiring Obama’s policies to fail, but tieing them to the unemployment rate is a trickier game.

    Does Obama’s failure to take actions which have a near term impact on employment or spending mean Obama wants unemployment to increase?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  64. The whole country doesn’t need to go in flames just for one man’s quest to be right.

    Your premise is wrong, lovey, but your conclusion is right. You’ve just got the wring man in mind.

    Pablo (99243e)

  65. Isn’t the assumption though that the latter statement changes the former statement? Maybe you’re not making that assumption.

    I’m unclear as to your point. Could you be a little more explicit?

    I think you can easily claim that Limbaugh does obviously say what he, well, obviously says in the second passage though.

    Are you conceding that I was correct in the post? I can’t tell.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  66. Rush specifically says the policies have never created jobs, evidence that they might is still certainly way off in the future since only what, 10% of the stimulus bill will be spent this year.

    And we’re already talking about another one, which we’ll never pay for. I’d rather struggle today than leave a legacy of chains for my children.

    Pablo (99243e)

  67. I don’t want to be out of a job or see lots of people suffer, but if that is what it takes to stop this transfer of wealth to people who did not earn it and to stop throwing money that companies that make no money, I am more than game.

    ML (14488c)

  68. One thing that doesn’t seem to be noted much is that there is no proof that socialism will result due to the stimulus bill. It is possible but shouldn’t be considered a foregone conclusion in my opinion.

    voiceofreason2 (47c253)

  69. I think what some folks are saying is that the failure of Obama’s policies does not necessarily require an increase in unemployment. Rush specifically says the policies have never created jobs

    I don’t get the relationship between the two statements. To me, he’s saying . . . well, what he said. The policies have never created jobs. They won’t this time, because they never have.

    But if they do create jobs — something no stimulus package ever has before — then we’re REALLY screwed. Because socialism will be entrenched and we will have killed capitalism.

    That’s what he’s saying, don’t you agree?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  70. Speaking of being right, or not: CBO: Obama stimulus harmful over long haul

    Now we’re left hoping that jumping off a cliff will turn out just fine. Or, not.

    Pablo (99243e)

  71. But if they do create jobs — something no stimulus package ever has before — then we’re REALLY screwed. Because socialism will be entrenched and we will have killed capitalism.

    Yes, but that’s a mighty big if.

    Pablo (99243e)

  72. But if I get a unicorn, I might could change my mind.

    Pablo (99243e)

  73. “The opposition he has encountered have proven the larger point.”

    Ed – No, one side just bludgeoned the fuck out of a point they viewed as significantly larger, but was really part of the whole. More form over substance, although a lot of people get excited about calling it tactics versus strategy.

    It’s all bullshit masturbation over semantics if you ask me when everybody was basically saying the same thing but refusing to recognize it.

    (ducks head and runs)

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  74. And we’re already talking about another one, which we’ll never pay for. I’d rather struggle today than leave a legacy of chains for my children.

    There are two questions:

    1) Was I right in the post about what Rush meant? That he has blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism?

    2) If that is what Rush meant, was he right?

    You seem to be arguing “yes” to the second point. But is your answer “yes” to the second first?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  75. That’s not fair. It’s not about him being right. He thinks socialism is bad for the country.

    Comment by Patterico — 3/10/2009 @ 7:26 pm
    Oh yeah? What have we been practising all this while and how did we get into this economic mess? Maybe someone needs to remind me how socialism got us here. Not that I support socialism but I think right now we need solutions, not dogma.

    Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  76. “That’s what he’s saying, don’t you agree?”

    Patterico – Why do you assume more job loss if the policies don’t work? That seems to be a premise in your analysis.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  77. Isn’t the assumption though that the latter statement changes the former statement? Maybe you’re not making that assumption.

    I’m unclear as to your point. Could you be a little more explicit?

    I think you can easily claim that Limbaugh does obviously say what he, well, obviously says in the second passage though.

    Are you conceding that I was correct in the post? I can’t tell.

    More explicitly, “hope the stimulus fails” was later and different than “hope Obama fails”. The last few days of disagreement involved the first statement. This is new evidence. I think you’re undoubtedly right about this new statement.

    Do I think you’re right in the post? If you’re saying that Rush said he hoped the stimulus would fail (with all the negative consequences) to retain capitalism and this might be a harder sell to the public, yes, I agree. If you’re saying that the original statement is equivalent to the later statement, no, I disagree.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  78. saying the same thing. The reason your interpretation seems so reasonable is because it is. I was just more blunt

    You are caliming wishing for an event is the same as wishing for a likely result. I don’t make that connection for “wishing” or “hoping”. The phrase “be careful what you wish for” would have no meaning otherwise.

    wishing for Americans to be out of work

    Again … wishing for P is not the same as wishing for Q even if P then Q.

    boris (ecab60)

  79. Doesn’t that one line go…

    “Insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over, and expect different results.”

    Oh yeah. THIS time, taxing the rich, spending money we don’t have, throwing billions of dollars at pet projects while crying that there’s no money for essential services, making government bigger and more unwieldy….THIS time it’s going to work. Because Obama is President now.

    Insane.

    Angela in Bothell WA (b1fd06)

  80. You seem to be arguing “yes” to the second point. But is your answer “yes” to the second?

    Assuming that I know what you meant to say, the question is: Do you want an utter miracle that will undermine centuries of experience in such a way that we’ll discard all of that experience in pursuit of an ideology that produced an unlikely short term goal?

    There was one time that I wanted a miracle, and I didn’t get it. I’m not hoping for, nor do I particularly want to see a blip in reality that enables the death of capitalism. The cost will certainly outweigh the benefit. At the same time, I’m not the least bit worried that it’s going to happen.

    This conversation needs a dorm room and a bong. Oh, and the Netherlands just beat the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic again, so anything is now possible. Warp speed, Scotty.

    Pablo (99243e)

  81. “But if it does; if it succeeds even though no such package has worked before; in other words: if it helps the economy — Rush still thinks that would be bad. Because we would accomplish short-term economic gains by sacrificing capitalism.”

    “But if they do create jobs — something no stimulus package ever has before — then we’re REALLY screwed. Because socialism will be entrenched and we will have killed capitalism.”

    I think that is certainly part of what he’s saying (along with “and it won’t work to even achieve the short-term goals”), and I certainly agree that isn’t an “ugly” statement. Seems perfectly defensible to me. There are many ways to try to make the “trains run on time”–to achieve short-term goals—that we wouldn’t want to undertake even if they achieved the timeliness of the trains, and we would fear their success in that regard least they become accepted and ingrained.

    tbaugh (8bdeb0)

  82. Wow. About the Netherlands, I mean. About Rush Limbaugh, whatever.

    carlitos (3f0da9)

  83. ____________________________

    Whether you agree with the argument or not, it’s still not an ugly statement, and it would still be wrong to portray it as such

    I sensed that your disquiet about Limbaugh’s comments — in which you say your one particular interpretation of them was not ugly — was along the lines of…

    “oh, how could he say that! That’s so mean! That’s so heartless! That’s so politically incorrect and clumsy!!”

    “He’s wishing failure and deprivation on millions of people because of the stupidity of their politics and the stupidity of the politics of the guy they put into the White House!!”

    I guess you can apply a similar reaction to:

    “Oh, how heartless to point out that the people in Detroit (or any number of inner-city areas throughout the US), or the people in France, or the people in Mexico, have been suffering for years and years from a stagnant economy, lots of anti-social behavior, too much crime, and self-destructive trends in general!

    How rude to point that out!! How rude to say the idiocy of the political scene in those places is an example of people being their own worse enemy!”

    Or — because it just popped up again in the news — as another example:

    “Oh, how heartless to point out that the infamous (and now shuttered) King-Drew Medical Center in South-Central Los Angeles has been a debacle for decades. That the idiocy of the in-house politics of that hospital and the idiocy of the politics embraced by so many of the people throughout South-Central Los Angeles who are served by that hospital should be a case of people being their own worse enemy!!”
    ____________________________

    Mark (411533)

  84. “If you’re saying that Rush said he hoped the stimulus would fail (with all the negative consequences) to retain capitalism and this might be a harder sell to the public, yes, I agree.”

    I’m saying that in the quote set forth in this post, Rush has blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism.

    “If you’re saying that the original statement is equivalent to the later statement, no, I disagree.”

    Not that they’re equivalent, but that it’s PLAUSIBLE to interpret the original statement as meaning the later statement.

    It could mean other things, too — even now. BUT don’t claim the interpretation is implausible by arguing, in essence, “Rush would never say that!” Because we now know he has — explicitly.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  85. Maybe the funniest part of this is that the GOP’s best long-term hope is for a strong, sustained economic recovery.

    The happy unicorn talk about the magic marketplace works best when swing voters aren’t having to take three jobs to pay an underwater mortgage and spend their few remaining free moments watching ignorant loudmouths on Fox blame the credit derivatives meltdown on them.

    More important, the GOP only wins when it can whip up enough paranoia a la the Cold War or GWOT. Bush screwed that pooch by leaving two wars unwon AT THE SAME TIME as having an economic meltdown. Had the wars gone well enough, the GOP would have easily distracted enough from the economic collapse by starting another in Iran or somewhere else, then demanding absolute devotion to the cause. Had the economy not tanked, they could have invaded Venezuela, for example, as a way to warm the hearts of macho-insecure wingnuts and chill the spines of “security moms.”

    The GOP will never come back unless it can reconstruct the fear narrative, a tale that only sells when people have basic economic security in the bag.

    Recall how the Bill Clinton era ended with a GOP takeover. Under Clinton, the economy roared and the U.S. geopolitical position was unchallenged at its peak.

    Yet the GOP was very successful in creating doubts about the effectiveness of Clinton’s leadership and, more important, about the persona of Al Gore. It was able to do so largely because swing voters had begun to take for granted the peace and prosperity of the Clinton era and were therefore vulnerable to suggestions that the country had grown too decadent and needed a sterner parent like George W. Bush.

    History always rhymes, and, if the GOP expects to return to power, it better hope against all hope that the economy recovers.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  86. Under Clinton, the economy roared

    One could also say an economy that roared under a Congress run by Republicans.

    Actually, I’d say a more on-target analysis would be an economy that roared during the peak of the dot-com bubble.

    Mark (411533)

  87. P, this is how I interpret all of this.

    I get a new boss with a terrible management style.

    So, on day 23, I say to people, “I hope this guy fails.” (I mean that I hope he isn’t able to implement those terrible management ideas, but people have different interpretations.)

    Then, on day 48, he implements all of his terrible policies. I say to people, “Now that we’re saddled with these terrible policies, I sure hope they fail immediately and spectacularly so we don’t do this again.”

    I do indeed mean what I said on day 48. But I also meant what I said, pre-implementation, on day 23. The statement on day 48 doesn’t get into a time machine and kill the statement from day 23.

    That’s all I’m saying.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  88. I think HV #84 is right for the larger picture. People need three things, in the following order of importance: The means by which to live; a reason to live; a banner to follow. People scraping to get by will ignore and even eliminate idealogues, either on the left or on the right, as parasites.

    nk (31b2d3)

  89. Hax – Why don’t you peddle that indecipherible pile of garbage somewhere people might buy it? You’ve already tried it here several times as I recall.

    Do you have anything new or that has a grain of reality in it?

    The comic relief you used to provide gets sort of stale after the fifth or sixth rerun.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  90. Not that they’re equivalent, but that it’s PLAUSIBLE to interpret the original statement as meaning the later statement.

    It could mean other things, too — even now. BUT don’t claim the interpretation is implausible by arguing, in essence, “Rush would never say that!” Because we now know he has — explicitly.

    I don’t think it’s implausible to think he meant the second when he said the first. However, I don’t think it’s implausible to think he initially meant “I hope he fails to implement these policies” either. Indeed, it’s still my interpretation and I don’t think you can fully discount the timing, given the stimulus went from theoretical to actual in the meantime.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  91. Under Clinton, the economy roared and the U.S. geopolitical position was unchallenged at its peak.

    Yup. Definitely. No challenge at all. Docile, the world was. Loved us, it did. And the economy couldn’t have been more solid.

    Pablo (99243e)

  92. Pendleton,

    I believe both statements are pre-implementation, though I’d have to check.

    My point is this:

    On day 23, you say what you said, but what you meant is debatable.

    Joe says you meant you hoped that the policies, if enacted, fail.

    Ralph says it’s IMPOSSIBLE FOR PENDLETON TO HAVE MEANT THAT, BECAUSE PENDLETON IS A COMPANY MAN AND TO BELIEVE HE WOULD EVER SAY SUCH A THING ABOUT HIS BOSS’S POLICIES JUST PLAYS INTO THE DISHONEST NARRATIVE OF PEOPLE OUT TO DESTROY PENDLETON!!!

    On day 48 you say exactly that.

    Joe’s interpretation has not been proven CORRECT.

    But it has been proven PLAUSIBLE.

    Patterico (ce61af)

  93. Oh, I forgot the Serbian love. And the Chinese.

    Pablo (99243e)

  94. There can a a lot of truth in some of the statements
    made above. Take heed, and use caution when listen-
    ing to he hoopla by the media.

    Shenka Vegas (2a6384)

  95. Now that we have the evidence that Rush indeed blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism, I suppose that those who previously howled that this interpretation was clearly implausible will now go into overdrive to defend it. It’s a principled stance, but a tough sell in these tough economic times. A very tough sell.

    Those who choose “work” over their personal liberty will, in the end, have neither. Hell, why not just put up a sign “Arbeit Macht Frei” over the entry way to each and every workplace right now?

    MarkJ (d2394a)

  96. P, I’m not entirely sure on the timing myself.

    “But it has been proven PLAUSIBLE.”? Yes, I fully agree, it has been proven plausible.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  97. Looks to me as though you’ve caught RL in flagrant violation of the law of non-contradiction here Pat, don’t you think? He appears to be maintaining to be both for and not-for the same thing (economic success) at the same time and in the same respect. He knows that won’t work as a matter of logic but plows right along anyhow. (Likely, I’d guess, from a fit of emotional pique that the bill just passed the House. But I don’t know for sure.) In any case, he also appears to be highly worked up in the passages of the transcript just before and after the part you’ve quoted. The phrase “Let me give them some more fodder” would also tend to indicate that this statement is something new, something additional to what has gone before. My sense is that upon reflection he drops the argument as untenable thereafter. (By the way, I had not seen this before, so good catch! to whoever made it.) This looks like emotionally driven boiling over to me.

    I don’t think he does make this logical mistake in his earlier Jan 16 initial presentation though. In other words, I don’t think he makes an argument about the stimulus succeeding so that the economy can fail and thus teach a lesson to the unwitting.

    Nor, so far as I can see, does he repeat this broken argument of Feb 13 in the CPAC speech of Feb. 28. He does repeat the argument “…I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation? Why would I want that to succeed?” but passes by the formulation “…If it becomes established that the federal government and the federal government alone can manage the economy and take over the private sector…[I’m outtahere]” for in the CPAC speech no such possibility makes any appearance. This Barack Obama fail appears to be a political fail, rather than an economic one (which is assumed under the stimulus and Obama economic regime.)

    There has always been a sense in which even under the most ordinary circumstances a capitalist “wishes” for some part of any economy to “fail” though, isn’t there? Without competitive sorting and the accompanying job losses in obsolete industry and endeavor, nothing would change, new wealth wouldn’t be created and so on. For those people still waiting for Phil Donahue’s angel rulers, even this ordinary job loss may seem cruel, but for most (reasonable?) folks, it’s just the way the world works.

    I still don’t think that the WH reading that he is “wishing and hoping for economic failure” is apt or reasonable, given the huge weight of his reiteration upon reiteration that he wants the people and the economy to succeed, albeit under a political regime of which he would approve, namely the political regime that the nation has had since its inception and that he seems to believe it possible to lose.

    sdferr (8643ba)

  98. It’s a principled stance, but a tough sell in these tough economic times.

    And that’s why you get all those people saying something along the lines of, “well, at least [insert name of fanatic/extremist politician, ruler or head honcho here] kept the trains running on time!!”

    If push comes to shove, people will sell their soul (or sanity, or common sense) for a few bucks and a roof over their head.

    The interesting footnote to that phenomenon, however, is the millions of people in a society like Mexico (or throughout inner-city America) who in spite of the never-ending mess all around them continue to elect generally the same group, the same philosophy.

    If we Americans eventually fall into that trap, then we’ll truly be the world’s largest Banana Republic.

    Mark (411533)

  99. It was pre-implementation.

    Then he repeated his original language post-implementation — informed by his “I want the stimulus to fail after it passes” quote.

    Timeline:

    1-16-09: “I hope he fails” said on radio
    2-10-09 Senate approves
    2-13-09: “After this stimulus package passes, I want it to fail.”
    2-13-09 conference report issues on stimulus
    2-17-09 stimulus signed
    2-28-09: CPAC speech: repeat “I hope he fails”

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  100. Yay! Pendleton, who does seem reasonable, agrees that interprtation #2 from my poll post was plausible.

    Now let’s ask him this Q again:

    In the quote set forth in this post, Rush has blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism.

    Correct? Based on the logic we discussed earlier?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  101. I sensed that your disquiet about Limbaugh’s comments — in which you say your one particular interpretation of them was not ugly — was along the lines of…

    “oh, how could he say that! That’s so mean! That’s so heartless! That’s so politically incorrect and clumsy!!”

    I’m thinking you based that impression more on others’ characterization of my posts, rather than my posts themselves. I think if you read the posts themselves with an eye towards whether I say any such thing, you’ll see I don’t.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  102. Why do you assume more job loss if the policies don’t work? That seems to be a premise in your analysis.

    Not so much more job loss than now, as more job loss than if they work.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  103. Patterico,

    you asked earlier about obama and unemployment. if the unemployment rate drops then obama will have succeeded by his stated goals. however, the sovient union always claimed to have 0 to 2% unemployment. is that the economy you want? if he drops unemployment by socialist means overall we lose.

    chas (53215d)

  104. Patterico

    I could care less if Americans are out of work or not

    After all they had a choice – death by communism or give proud serving veteran a chance to lead

    53% perfered to pay more taxes, lose their jobs and witness the death of the country

    Yep Rush has the same sentiments as well

    If people are stupid stupid stupid enough to ever think that Republicans are like democrats and vote dem

    Then they absolutely get the govt they voted for

    I hope it COLLASPES!

    Then after this mess no one will ever ever vote for a socialist again

    EricPWJohnson (38531e)

  105. In the quote set forth in this post, Rush has blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism.

    not directed towards me but yes this is reasonable conclusion of what Rush means. and he is right. an economy is cyclical by nature, the govt shouldnt interfere. let the economy contract naturally and the downturns will be less severe. the U.S. had panics all the time, but only when the gov’t (thanks for nothing Hoover/FDR) was convinced it could do something did one of those panics become a depression.

    chas (53215d)

  106. wishing for P is not the same as wishing for Q even if P then Q.

    Assign values to P and Q, please.

    The only plausible one I can see is:

    P = failure of stimulus

    Q = loss of jobs

    But in context, I can’t define “failure of stimulus” to mean anything other than “failure to make economy improve and put Americans back to work”

    I.e. Q does not RESULT from P. Q = P.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  107. “I could care less if Americans are out of work or not”

    I think we have a new motto for the Republican party!! Ought to go over like gangbusters.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  108. And yes, by that I mean: if we make that our message we are screwed.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  109. The only plausible one I can see is:

    Not the point. Arguendo: Wishing for everlasting world peace may logically imply the extinction of the human race.

    Does that mean wishing for world peace is wishing for human extinction?

    How are you any less stubborn than the commenters you delignt in tormenting?

    boris (ecab60)

  110. Patterico, you are exactly right and I believe I’ve been consistent in my defense of Rush.

    I think he’s been clear. President Obama’s policies will ultimately lead to the destruction of the U.S. as we know it today. I’m not going to argue whether that’s good or bad, but I know what I believe and I think that’s on the same track as Rush.

    The President’s policies could indeed “create” jobs. That may be good in the short term, but it does not create wealth. And, I believe, that is Rush’s ultimate point: The Soviet Union created plenty of jobs. But, it was never able to create wealth.

    Will more government intervention make the economy better? Unlikely, but it can certainly create jobs.

    In a capitalist society, such as in the U.S., we’ve seen our wealth greatly diminished because of market forces and government intervention. It’s happened before and it will happen again.

    However, wealth is created through private initiative and hard work and we need to let those forces work through this difficult time.

    Finally, Hax said:

    Maybe the funniest part of this is that the GOP’s best long-term hope is for a strong, sustained economic recovery.

    The happy unicorn talk about the magic marketplace works best when swing voters aren’t having to take three jobs to pay an underwater mortgage and spend their few remaining free moments watching ignorant loudmouths on Fox blame the credit derivatives meltdown on them.

    What the frack does the GOP have to do with this? I’ll tell you what, if I agree that President Bush was part of the problem, will you agree that Dodd, Frank and the other beneficiaries of lobby money, easy mortgages and illegal “mistakes” regarding the tax code were also to blame?

    This isn’t about party, it’s about principle. You know where I stand and I think I know where you stand. The “magic marketplace” always works. It always has and it always will. It may favor you. It may favor me. But, it always works.

    We’ll ultimately find out who is right.

    Ag80 (3e2c59)

  111. And this … Q = P ???

    Gimme a break. If unemployment remains rotten, has the stimulus failed? Q /= P

    boris (ecab60)

  112. Patterico @ 101 “Not so much more job loss than now, as more job loss than if they work.”

    My mistake in reading. Tired tonight. What you wrote is below. What I kept seeing was “more” for some reason. My position was that unemployment wouldn’t necessarily ge tworse if the stimulus bill fails, but it won’t improve.

    But if unemployment doesn’t get worse, think of all those jobs Obama can claim he SAVED!

    SCORE!!!!!!

    “Now that we have the evidence that Rush indeed blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism”

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  113. Yep, it’s a hard row to hoe**:

    Over the past two centuries, the Western nations that embraced capitalism have achieved tremendous economic progress as new industries supplanted old ones. Even with the higher living standards, however, the constant flux of free enterprise is not always welcome. The disruption of lost jobs and shuttered businesses is immediate, while the payoff from creative destruction comes mainly in the long term. As a result, societies will always be tempted to block the process of creative destruction, implementing policies to resist economic change.

    Attempts to save jobs almost always backfire. Instead of going out of business, inefficient producers hang on, at a high cost to consumers or taxpayers. The tinkering shortcircuits market signals that shift resources to emerging industries. It saps the incentives to introduce new products and production methods, leading to stagnation, layoffs, and bankruptcies. The ironic point of Schumpeter’s iconic phrase is this: societies that try to reap the gain of creative destruction without the pain find themselves enduring the pain but not the gain.

    sdferr (8643ba)

  114. Is it just me, or is this whole debate becoming tiresome?

    Oh, it was tiresome from pretty much the get go. But its humor was revived by seeing Patterico think he found a “smoking gun” for his position, when the quotation is pretty much a smoking gun for the opposite of Patterico’s position. Rush says he thinks the stimulus has nothing to do with jobs, so Patterico thinks for some unexplainable reason that Rush is saying he wants people to lose their jobs – in other words, the oppsote of what Rush actually says.

    Meanwhile, further above, Patterico thinks there is something Clintonian about pointing out that “fail” is not defined. Which is an extremely odd position for Patterico to take, since he has written multiple posts over the past few days pointing out that there are at least two meanings of the word “fail” in this context (failure to pass the bill and failure of the bill, once passed, to achieve its intended effect). Quite strange that seems to think that there is nothing Clintonian to have many discussions about two possible meaning of “fail”, but it is terribly Clintonian to assert that there are other possible meanings of the word fail.

    A.S. (ab8bd9)

  115. Thanks for the timeline, P.

    1-16-09 was before we knew the size and rough outline of the stimulus package. I’ll stick with my original interpretation. However, given the 2-13-09 statement, I can’t say it’s implausible that he actually meant (or was hinting at) some variation of the later statement.

    2-13-09 if I recall correctly, we knew both the basic size and features of the stimulus and that it would pass. Maybe you’ll let me retreat a bit and refer to the knowledge of a bill’s details and its certain passage as post implementation. He makes a clear statement and yes, I admit it’s a harder pitch to the public.

    2-28-09 I still think the context of the speech is fairly clear, with multiple caveats. Again though, given the 2-13-09 statement, the waters are muddied a bit and why repeat a phrasing “hope x fails” you’ve previously used in the different form.

    I do think your new evidence changes things. The first statement has gained some ambiguity. The second statement is obviously a harder political sell. The third statement has gained some ambiguity as well.

    Good stuff.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  116. But in context, I can’t define “failure of stimulus” to mean anything other than “failure to make economy improve and put Americans back to work”

    Hmmm. I can define “failure of the stimulus” to mean “failure to socialize the US economy” or “failure to entrench Democratic Party power”. In THOSE contexts, whether unemployment rises or falls is completely irrelevant.

    A.S. (ab8bd9)

  117. I wonder why you say it’s still not an ugly statement since in the earlier post your argument for it not being an ugly statement is that we (at the time) believed he didn’t mean for the polices to fail once enacted…

    Frankly, I haven’t been able to spot the socialism in Obama’s policies… socialism is state ownership of the means of production… dont see it happening.

    banks aren’t being nationalized, for that to happen, the government would take over their operation, which it clearly isn’t doing… it’s just throwing money at them as if the idiots who got us into this mess will fix it, presumably by giving themselves more bonuses.

    dahdah (ac3c48)

  118. Patterico

    Please point out in the constitution where I am responsible to employ people and everyone has a GOD GIVEN RIGHT to a job.

    Yes you’re correct we should turn over all our money to employ people too stupid or lazy to look after themselves

    I went to night school earned 2 degrees, met my wife in night school getting her masters we saved 40% of everything we made paid our own way for everything

    But – we need to employ people, we need to be sensitive, we need to excuse people for their lack of accountability when they vote for socialists

    Pain, severe pain, worrying about being tossed on the street is the ONLY thing thats going to get through to this HDTVMSNBCESPNHBOOPERA generation

    Sorry, wish it were different – but we never ever had a clearer choice and Americans blew it

    I hope it fails, I hope Americans Fail and I hope they learn why why we are a great country – because we work at it

    EricPWJohnson (38531e)

  119. P, sorry, missed your earlier question.

    In the quote set forth in this post, Rush has blessed the idea of wishing for Americans to be out of work in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism. Yes, I agree with that statement, with the minor caveat that I’m not sure what to make of this type of thing logically.

    If I said that I wanted to Santa Claus to die, doesn’t it matter that I don’t think Santa Claus exists? I know kids love Santa and hate me for saying I wish his death. I do get your political point.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  120. And one more thing.

    I’m getting awfully tired of the latest lefty talking point that the “GOP,” or the “Right” or “Conservatives” have nothing new to offer.

    Does the left really think that its collectivist, state-run utopia is new?

    Ag80 (3e2c59)

  121. “The disruption of lost jobs and shuttered businesses is immediate, while the payoff from creative destruction comes mainly in the long term.”

    Bullseye.

    This is why Republicans have a much easier time winning elections in good economic times, while voters turn to Democrats in bad.

    If the Democrat’s stimulus plan fails, do you really think swing voters are going to be looking for someone counseling the need for MORE “destruction” and promising it will be “creative” in the long run?

    Hardly.

    The GOP as we know it is built on twin pillars of phoney free market rhetoric, i.e. talk about cutting taxes but raise spending through the roof, and macho-insecurity militarism. The two work together and are only effective when basic economic security is a given.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  122. We are worrying oursselves sick over a timeline of what was said in what context when people should be scouring their want adds for a second job and making sound financial decisions – like public transportation, selling that 3rd car, ending dance and cheer lessons and focusing on getting their house in order

    Companies should be reinventing themselves in offering finally not crap but items of real value not the cheapest thing they could put together to survive being shipped to Walmart.

    Whining for a week about Rush is about as idiotic and unproductive a venture as one can go

    He’s going to say what he wants and he has 400 million reasons why people should listen to him

    thats about 397,458,123 (if I throw in my cat) more reasons than I have

    EricPWJohnson (38531e)

  123. Some of Hax’s friends were out to welcome the troops home this week.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  124. A reason “high unemployment” and “stimulus failure” are not just two ways of saying the same thing is because unemployment could remain high without a stimulus bill.

    I think your claim should actually be that unemployment is the deciding factor on whether the stimulus is judged a success or failure. That opens up a different line of interpretation. You create, by construction, an identity relationship to avoid my syllogism.

    It allows the escape to be that Rush was addressing cause and effect, not a standard for judging. Hence the syllogism you sidestep is the more plausible interpretation of his meaning.

    boris (ecab60)

  125. I submit Rush’s words “Cause if this thing for the first time ever does …”

    What it does implies a cause and effect rather than a standard of judging.

    boris (ecab60)

  126. IOW your construct:

    Stimulus results in failure == high unemployment
    Stimulus results in success == lower unemployment

    My construct:

    Stimulus failure results in high unemployment
    Stimulus success results in lower unemployment

    Using your construct to avoid the “be careful what you wish for” trap also allows the second construct to avoid yours.

    boris (ecab60)

  127. Hax said:

    The GOP as we know it is built on twin pillars of phoney free market rhetoric, i.e. talk about cutting taxes but raise spending through the roof, and macho-insecurity militarism. The two work together and are only effective when basic economic security is a given.

    “Basic economic security” given by who? And what the hell is “macho-insecurity militarism?” And “phoney (sic) free market rhetoric?” Your whole construction doesn’t add up.

    OK, pretend the free market doesn’t exist, just for a minute. What does? Markets will go up and down no matter who is in charge. Commanding markets to behave in a way that you deem correct only creates new ways to circumvent the market.

    And once again, I don’t give a crap about the GOP or the Dems.

    Cutting taxes is good. Not because I don’t believe in the necessity of basic services or a strong military, it’s because so much is wasted (And, yes, I know that a lot is wasted by the military).

    I believe it is good for an individual who wants to accomplish something to spend his or her money as they see fit.

    I want good, frugal government that benefits society. And, unless I’m reading you wrong, you want government that tells you what is the right way or wrong way to spend the money you earn.

    Ag80 (3e2c59)

  128. “This is why Republicans have a much easier time winning elections in good economic times, while voters turn to Democrats in bad.”

    Examples Please.

    R. Reagan v. Jimmy Carter?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  129. Start with the status quo of high unemployment.

    What does that imply by itself? Nothing.

    Enact a stimulus and apply it. Evaluate the result … did it work? If unemployment is still high or higher, it failed. Does that mean there is now an identity relationship between high employment and failure? No. The value “failure” was assigned to the unchanged status quo by Patterico. The identity is in the eye of the beholder.

    This example the stimulus had no effect on high unemployment. The real identity relaionship here is between “no effect” and “failure”.

    boris (ecab60)

  130. I’m thinking you based that impression more on others’ characterization of my posts, rather than my posts themselves. Comment by Patterico

    I judged your reaction in the manner I described previously because when you respond in a way like this…

    “I could care less if Americans are out of work or not” Comment by EricPWJohnson

    I think we have a new motto for the Republican party!! Ought to go over like gangbusters. Comment by Patterico

    …I sense an opinion of Limbaugh’s glibness that is tinged with a lot more indignation and astonishment instead of mainly tactical or propagandistic sensibility. IOW, I’d nod with full approval if you said something like:

    There is a lot of foolish, idiotic liberal sentiment out there among a good portion of the American electorate, and such people need to be mothered and coddled, and fondled, and kissed, and stroked, and Rush’s plainspeak and tough common sense ain’t gonna do the trick.

    So all of you need to keep in mind the millions of fools out there who dominate countries like Mexico — or, even worse, Venezuela — and cities like Detroit and St. Louis, and the phony-ass limousine-liberal salons throughout places like San Francisco and Bernard-Madoff-ed Manhattan!

    Then you can conclude with things like this…

    By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
    New York Times, December 20, 2008

    This holiday season is a time to examine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but I’m unhappy with my findings. The problem is this: We liberals are personally stingy.

    Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

    Mark (411533)

  131. Patterico,
    If unemployment rises, will Obama be failing?

    Faulty premise. Growing unemployment, at least in the short term, doesn’t mean an economic policy has failed. Unemployment rose early on in the Reagan presidency, yet his long-range economic policy was successful. We were better off economically when Reagan left office than when he arrived.

    Recessions are necessary from time to time to correct the excesses of the previous bubble. Bad investments are exposed for what they are, businesses fail, new businesses form, and the corrected economy resumes growth.

    If Bush had accepted a recession earlier, with short-term bad effects, we’d all have been better off in the long run. The longer you wait for the inevitable recession, the worse it gets. You can’t borrow your way out of a debt-induced recession.

    But Obama doesn’t accept this. He claims government can magically goose the economy back into growth. He could appear to do so in the short term, which would be a disaster in the long term as our economic chickens come home to roost.

    So while I don’t want unemployment to rise, a sound economic policy would inevitably cause greater unemployment in the short term as the mess is cleaned up. I personally think the recession would be shorter than what we’re likely to get with Obama’s policy, which will only drag out the pain.

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

  132. Therefore the escape from “wishing for Americans to be out of work” is this …

    Wishing for the stimulus to have no effect is not the same as wishing for Americans to be out of work. In my example the stimulus can only change the status quo by producing a positive result. Cause and effect.

    Wishing I could walk on water is not the same as wanting to get wet.

    boris (ecab60)

  133. “If unemployment remains rotten, has the stimulus failed?”

    Yes.

    But you know, if it makes you happy you’re welcome to substitute any other indicator of economic failure (or the words “economic failure” themselves) in the post:

    “Rush indeed blessed the idea of wishing for economic failure in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism”

    “Rush indeed blessed the idea of wishing for a devalued stock market in the short run to preserve capitalism and defeat socialism”

    What doesn’t make sense, in context, is to claim that he wished for the failure of the stimulus, but was not wishing for any specific symptom that demonstrated said failure.

    If Q is not P, then Q is either a subset of, or a symptom of, P.

    Treating it as a symptom:

    It’s like saying he wished you to fall off a cliff and break your spine — but he never wished you any pain.

    Or he wished for you to get measles but didn’t wish for you to develop pustules.

    Treating it as a subset:

    He wished for you to have musical instruments, but he never wished for you to have a piano. Well, fine . . . if the question is whether he wished to give you something with which to make music, a violin makes the same point as a piano (as any other symptom of a bad economy would make the same point as unemployment).

    I chose unemployment for rhetorical reasons — unemployment hits home personally, so it offends people to see a cheerleader for it — but you can pick any other symptom or subset of a bad economy and it still makes my point.

    Next frivolous objection!

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  134. “Wishing I could walk on water is not the same as wanting to get wet.”

    We’re already in the ocean, my friend. We’re drowning.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  135. IMO all of those examples are consistent with “wishing”.

    boris (ecab60)

  136. I’m willing to swim for a bit than grab Obama’s anchor.

    boris (ecab60)

  137. Unemployment rose early on in the Reagan presidency, yet his long-range economic policy was successful.

    You are not very artfully shifting the argument from “unemployment is not bad?” to “short-term economic failure does not equal long-term economic failure.”

    But that merely reinforces my post, which already takes account of that distinction. I argue that Rush seeks long-term success.

    “So while I don’t want unemployment to rise, a sound economic policy would inevitably cause greater unemployment in the short term as the mess is cleaned up.”

    You are wishing for short-term unemployment, in the service of long-term economic success. So is Rush.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  138. If Q is not P, then Q is either a subset of, or a symptom of, P.

    High unemployment is the status quo. It may remain independent of the stimulus. In reality the stimulus may have no effect yet employment improves for some independent reason.

    Obama would claim success and Rush would be unhappy but your identity relationship is kaput.

    boris (ecab60)

  139. “I’m willing to swim for a bit than grab Obama’s anchor.”

    So is Rush. My response to you is the same as to Bradley: you’re now arguing short-term vs. long-term. But you are CHOOSING — deliberately WISHING FOR — wetness in the short term. Because you think it will keep you drier in the long term.

    It’s not an ugly or indefensible argument. Just recognize it for what it is, and stop making transparently implausible justifications for it.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  140. Not me. I am only attacking your “wishing for high unemployment” construct.

    boris (ecab60)

  141. In reality the stimulus may have no effect yet employment improves for some independent reason.

    Nobody would say the stimulus had failed in that case. Nobody would ever be able to prove it.

    Rush hopes it fails — and fails in a way that people RECOGNIZE ITS FAILURE. If they don’t — and if Obama can claim success and get away with it — socialism wins.

    So he hopes unemployment remains bad or gets worse so that Obama gets blamed for failing. So we don’t get socialism.

    It’s just as plain as can be. It’s made plainer by how easy these arguments are to refute — every last one of them.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  142. “Not me. I am only attacking your “wishing for high unemployment” construct.”

    And failing to make any points that stick.

    No offense. I’m probably coming off rude and I don’t mean to. I’m just a little impatient because this seems so clear.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  143. Nobody would say the stimulus had failed in that case. Nobody would ever be able to prove it.

    Thought I made that clear. That’s what I meant by “in reality”. Sorry if that was not clear.

    boris (ecab60)

  144. My claim is the “in reality” your identity does not hold. As a standard for judgement, I thought I had conceeded that already.

    boris (ecab60)

  145. Patterico

    In retrospect its the voters who grabbed for the anchor we – the collective we are just wishing that they would eventually learn to let go before they do drown.

    With the irresponsible wave of yellow journalism and the coordinated attacks upon everything Republican we have been made scapegoats for everything while expected to foot the bill for it too boot.

    Yes their will be wetness and they deserve it for trying to vote themselves other peoples money

    Failure was assured, the depth of it is still to be assessed

    EricPWJohnson (38531e)

  146. “If I said that I wanted to Santa Claus to die, doesn’t it matter that I don’t think Santa Claus exists? I know kids love Santa and hate me for saying I wish his death. I do get your political point.”

    I gave an analogy in a another thread that I’ll simplify and modify here. Your worst enemy tomorrow signs the document that will take your business and ruin your life. Except today, he jumps out of an airplane without a parachute over some mountains. There are no soft landing spots and he is falling 10,000 feet.

    You know he will die. But if he lives, you’re screwed.

    You can talk as much as you like about how you know he will die. But you could also say: but if he lives, then man, I’m screwed, because I’ll lose my business. I hope he dies.

    If someone wanted to criticize you for your wishing death on your enemy, they could, based on your words — even though your words are merely expresssing a hope that you believe goes hand in hand with what reality inevitably has in store.

    Separately, maybe you’re right to wish him dead, because he’s a right bastard. Just be prepared to make that argument. Understand that it’s a tough argument, though. People don’t usually like to hear people wishing death on others. They recoil from such wishes and hold the death wisher in low esteem. You can try to talk them out of it by making the case that he deserves it. And good luck to you!

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  147. My claim is the “in reality” your identity does not hold. As a standard for judgement, I thought I had conceeded that already.

    What you’re not understanding is that in this context “in reality” has no meaning unless that reality is perceived by voters. “After this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to fail” in context NECESSARILY means “After this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to be PERCEIVED as a failure.” Or we get socialism.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  148. boris – With all due respect, you seem to be going around in a circle.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  149. Rush, Rush what do you see?

    I see a polar bear coming for me.

    Patterico, Patterico what to you see?

    I see a brown bear looking at me!

    David Frum, David Frum what do you see?

    I see a black bear looking at me!

    Jeff G., Jeff G. what do you see?

    Shut the fuck up. Can you see Goldilocks is blowing me?

    Joe (17aeff)

  150. If and when these changes are implemented, even if they are only moderately harmful, they will be considered a great leap forward by the left, and they will always come back with newer and more costly incarnations and we’ll have foreever lost what was the engine of our past success as well as a great deal of liberty.
    So yeah, it all needs to fail, the president, his policies, all of it. Rush is right and for the life of me I can’t understand all the handwringing over his statements.

    exceller (d9d2b3)

  151. Now here’s the real question: Does OBAMA want the stimulus to fail?

    Or does Obama want 1) the stimulus to fail, and @) handy Republicans to blame as “wreckers.” That way he can grow government more to save us, and probably get single-payer health as more and more folks lose their jobs-based health insurance.

    FDR piled program after program onto a failed economy for 8 whole years. Why should Obama want the first thing to work?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  152. Separately, maybe you’re right to wish him dead, because he’s a right bastard. Just be prepared to make that argument. Understand that it’s a tough argument, though. People don’t usually like to hear people wishing death on others. They recoil from such wishes and hold the death wisher in low esteem. You can try to talk them out of it by making the case that he deserves it. And good luck to you!

    Yes. I very much agree. Frankly, it’s why people should try not to answer tricky hypotheticals, let alone offer them unprompted.

    But, as to the unemployment talk above, it all has to be viewed through the lens of the initial premise, “if Obama could somehow use magic to make the stimulus work, then I’d use magic right back and make it fail.” One can not jump from that make believe scenario over to a real life scenario involving non magic stimulus and non magic stimulus hexes. No, the premise is magic stimulus and magic stimulus hexes.

    Back in the real world, where the stimulus will fail and Limbaugh has no magical powers, I don’t actually know if Limbaugh wants to have high unemployment for political reasons. We have the magic scenario down, yes, but that’s about it.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  153. . . . for the life of me I can’t understand all the handwringing over his statements.

    Well, the issue is really whether Republican leaders play the game of allowing the media to set up Rush as some kind of representative of the party — or of the conservative movement — isn’t it? My point all along has been that we shouldn’t play that game because he’s not a good representative.

    Others say we shouldn’t play that game because he’s just not a representative. But if he would make a good one, politicians would rush to associate the party and the movement with him. The fact that they don’t suggests to me that maybe they realize he’s harmful to the image.

    As long as he speaks only for himself, then hell yeah — let him voice these difficult sentiments that nobody wants to say. There may be some validity to his arguments. We just don’t need to associate them with the party or the movement.

    Doesn’t that make sense?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  154. Good point Kevin.

    While we can agree that Obama would benefit more from ending the economic crisis than from prolonging it, there is much room for debate on whether Obama will suffer politically if it is prolonged.

    As you point out, the more people suffer, the less likely they are to welcome yet another blow from the magic fist of the marketplace…

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  155. Employment is being treated very cavalierly here in my estimation. Especially as a measure of a healthy economy. There wasn’t much unemployment in Stalin’s Russia, how healthy and vibrant was that era? In the end, who in government is going to select the industries to receive the stimuli, who is selected to the executive positions, the managers, the lumpen workers. What are these newly employed really going to make or do? Will there be a viable market for their production? This is astoundingly ludicrous to just bring in trucks full of money without any planning, any forethought, any market savvy whatsoever. We’ve already seen the wrong people doing wrong things with the first waves of stimulus and bailout monies. Right down the black hole of corporate debt, mainly financiers, the culprits in the first place. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Everyone is biting their fingernails and sweating bullets over the elephant in the room…namely the astronomical derivatives and swaps hanging over the banks and Wall Street finance scammers. Look, the only reasonable answer is to face the fact this was all funny money in the first place. There’s not enough money of all the world’s currencies combined to cover all these instruments. And in reality the vast majority of these non-market derivatives are ethereal contracts between the very same culpable parties that pyramided these things in the first place. There’s no reason that regular citizens should even be considered as bailout sources. Once you isolate these derivatives, declare them solely the problem of their creators, then the faster we can shitcan the miscreants in stripe suits and rebuild the broken banking system. In the words of my construction crew…f ’em.

    allan (eae61f)

  156. P, I guess I feel you’re stealing a base with your example. The guy falling from a plane actually exists. Functioning Keynesian stimulus does not.

    I’m going to invent an entity, it’s called Smerg, it’s purple and shaped roughly like a tennis ball. Now I wish it death! Is that the same thing as wishing an economy or people ill?

    I grant you that the most simple people in the country have already come to like Smerg and think I’m spiteful.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  157. You are not understanding the analogy.

    The guy falling from a plane actually exists.

    There is such a thing as the guy who is falling.

    There is no such thing as a guy who falls 10,000 feet from a plane without a parachute onto earth with no soft landing spots AND LIVES.

    There is such a thing as Keynesian stimulus.

    There is no such thing as Keynesian stimulus THAT WORKS.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  158. I’m going to invent an entity, it’s called Smerg, it’s purple and shaped roughly like a tennis ball. Now I wish it death!

    Oddly, so do I. It’s pissing me off just based on your description.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  159. As long as he speaks only for himself, then hell yeah — let him voice these difficult sentiments that nobody wants to say. There may be some validity to his arguments.

    Difficult sentiments, yes. But “some validity?” Some?

    Again, I don’t mind your questioning Limbaugh from a tactical, strategic standpoint. The reason being that there are a lot of soft-headed and soft-hearted people out there (“Obama gives me goosebumps! He’s so hunky and hip! He’s the perfect president!!”) who want to hear the sentiments and statements of Mommy. And Rush certainly doesn’t buy into, or play the role of, Mommy.

    But deepdown you too sound like you’re wincing at the sound of a voice that’s geared more towards hard-nosed realism than milk-and-honey ditziness (eg, “I’m the president of the United States, and my heart bleeds buckets, and my eyes shed gallons of tears, for you and your problems”).

    Mark (411533)

  160. I’m going to invent an entity, it’s called Keynesian stimulus. Now I wish it success!

    I’m going to invent an entity, it’s called a guy who jumps out a plane without a parachute and is headed for a pointy rock. Now I wish him survival!

    Neither entity is actually invented. But what we wish to have happen to them is fantasy.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  161. You are not understanding the analogy.

    That’s entirely possible. And, you know what? I’m probably being a bit nitpicky.

    This “hope the stimulus fails” is just a politically stupid thing to say, especially as it was unprompted or some sort of weird ambush. No disagreement there.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  162. Europe, China, Japan —

    All going for Keynesian stimulus…

    Seems the world is just full of idiots, save for the dwindling crew on John Galt’s ship of creatively destructive economic magicians…

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  163. Difficult sentiments, yes. But “some validity?” Some?

    There also may be total validity to it.

    I’m remaining agnostic on that issue for purposes of these posts because it’s not what I’ve been talking about — and I don’t want to distract from my point.

    It’s a debate we can have. But we sort of already have — in the poll post.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  164. I think the analogy is good. Because I can conceive of something in my mind doesn’t mean it can exist, or even has to exist.

    I can conceive of a world where I can take a pill and instantly learn a new language a la Larry Niven’s short story. But I can’t imagine that that world actually exists in reality.

    Same with a world where pouring money into an economy will magically cause the economy to become productive and grow.

    I can conceive of an economy where the government injects more money simply by printing more money. The Weimar Republic and Zimbabwe come to mind. More frightening of the two is the Weimar Republic, because it took a productive nation that was the economic and cultural envy of Europe and destroyed it. I still can’t understand how the nation of Schiller became the nation of Schickelgruber, but it’s a good lesson. (Please – I’m not trying to go Godwin here. The lesson isn’t WWII; the lesson is that injecting more currency w/o any matching value doesn’t do anything but cause inflation.)

    steve miller (c76b20)

  165. If deflation is the problem, causing inflation is good.

    Housing price deflation is a key issue here, so injecting money is exactly what Milton Friedman himself would recommend.

    You may be confusing monetary and fiscal policy.

    Fiscal stimulus isn’t the same as “injecting money by printing money.”

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  166. I’m remaining agnostic on that issue

    In that regard, I’m not fully sure where you’re coming from.

    But in general, unless a person is of the left — and talks out of both sides of his (or her) mouth, and will snipe at Rush Limbaugh for merely saying “the sky is blue” — I have no problem with anyone thinking that a statement of “I hope that policy results in a lot of unemployment” is bad from a public-relations or salesmanship standpoint. But to think such a remark is ill-advised because it’s not purely warm and fuzzy, and soft and cozy, or — most importantly — is not backed up by eyes-wide-open reality (eg, foolish Euro-socialistic policies making, as one example, France into, well, France, or Mexico into Mexico, or South Africa into South Africa), is a totally different matter.

    Mark (411533)

  167. I just don’t have enough confidence in my prognostication abilities to know that the stimulus a) won’t work (probably won’t) and b) will create socialism (seem like a big step in that direction).

    So am I willing to have Americans suffer when the alternatives are this unsure? I dunno; if this package fails are we headed for even more?

    Maybe we should hope it succeeds and stops there.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  168. Dennis Miller, another right-of-center talkshow host, says the stim plan is win-win for him.

    If it fails, he wins by political vindication.

    If it works, he wins by not seeing his life savings lost in a collapsing economy.

    IF only Limbaugh had half Miller’s wit…

    Hax Vobiscum (2e2a91)

  169. Barack O and his Admin. are not Socialists and they are not Communists nor are their policies. He, his cronies, their Dem backers, and every big Corp. sending money their way via K street all have too much mmmuh muh muh MONEY to be into PINKO COMMUNISM!!!!!!!!!!!!! much less socialism so spare me.

    As for Rush, he wants O to fail? O to not fail? Are you kidding me? What he wants is exactly what he is getting which is exposure, ratings, and of course massive pay for sitting in a chair and running his mouth into a microphone. He has always been able to do this which is why he makes umpty million a year and you don’t.
    For all you regular Joe’s out there who were appalled that Rush would want O to fail and thus put American’s out of a job…. what you thought he cares about you or was on your side? Sorry pal but haven’t you read any Ayn Rand?

    EdWood (e7c5e6)

  170. Whatever one wishes, failure is not an option, it is inevitable. Either he3 will fail to turn the country socialist, or he will more or less succeed in collapsing the economy and making everyo9ne dependent on the State, which will lead to failures down the road.

    John Costello (c3019f)

  171. So am I willing to have Americans suffer when the alternatives are this unsure? I dunno; if this package fails are we headed for even more?

    Maybe we should hope it succeeds and stops there.

    Good point.

    I spoke with my seventy something parents last night. They are children of the depression, worked hard all their lives to provide for us, lived conservatively (one check until the last of us left home for good). Set good examples for how I live my life.
    Now they are watching their years of careful investing cut by more than half in value and beginning to wonder if there will be enough to sustain them into their eighties and beyond.
    Just as Obama has overturned many of the good things the GOP has enacted over the years the next congress/president can correct his excesses. I just don’t buy that the stimulus is a one way ticket to socialism. Roosevelt’s policies, while bad, didn’t make us socialist regardless of how much he may have wanted that result.
    To wish pain on the very people who raised many of us to be conservative in our lives and choices seems disrespectful and cruel. They perservered for 3 decades in their convictions and we got Ronald Reagan – right man for the times. That is the kind of hope and change a unified GOP can bring about again. And an example our elders set that we should not forget.

    voiceofreason2 (590c85)

  172. Patterico

    No we cannot ever ever hope for the stimulus package to succeed – its like cheering for the Bank robbers

    These people stole money from one sector and gave it to another

    Robbing rich people will work for awhile – then albeit the stimulus has worked – its the effect and the precedent set that does damage far beyound this teenage love affair with Obama

    EricPWJohnson (803cce)

  173. [Comment removed. I have saved the IP address of this New York City-based cretin and a screenshot of the comment, and (not that it’s likely) I’ll be happy to cooperate with any authorities who need that information. Don’t come on my blog and make comments, even veiled allusions, to “taking people out” or praise for presidential assassins or ANYTHING along those lines. Thank you. User banned. — Mgm’t.]

    Ilpalazzo (07184f)

  174. Llpalazzo is a mental midget. Prolly a Moby.

    JD (b2da6e)

  175. You are wishing for short-term unemployment, in the service of long-term economic success. So is Rush.

    No. I don’t wish for short-term unemployment. I’m willing to accept short-term unemployment as a necessary evil, to avoid greater pain down the road.

    The recession’s good effect is to purge the economy of the excesses of the previous bubble. Short-term unemployment is an inevitable part of this curative process.

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

  176. Where’s Booth or Oswald when you need them?

    Oswald did not kill Kennedy. He was framed. It was the Mafia and Cuban expatriates who did it.

    As for Booth, if he hadn’t killed Lincoln “we would not be having all these problems we are having today” — Trent Lott. Lincoln’s plan was to conquer Mexico and settle it with all the freed slaves.

    Don’t you read anything that Stormfront sends you?

    nk (31b2d3)

  177. No, we don’t need either Booth or Oswald, the problem is much larger than that;
    We need Pol Pot!

    AD - RtR/OS (b72f81)

  178. Is Obama really trying to socialize America? Or is he taking steps to revive the economy? Is this not the same thing Bush did in his last days? Why is this different? What would Rush do as President? Can someone provide evidence that Obama is really trying to turn America into a socialist country? Or is this issue being exaggerated and politicized?

    Emperor7 who now sees the light. (1b037c)

  179. EdWood #167,

    Yep.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  180. Comment by EdWood — 3/11/2009 @ 1:43 am
    Spoken like a true, truth-speaking patriot. And very funny too. I join Leviticus to vote that comment as the the comment of the thread. Bravo! And a big YEP!

    Emperor7 who now sees the light. (1b037c)

  181. Cleanup on aisle 171, please.

    carlitos (3f0da9)

  182. in this context “in reality” has no meaning unless that reality is perceived by voters. “After this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to fail” in context NECESSARILY means “After this stimulus bill package passes, I want it to be PERCEIVED as a failure.” Or we get socialism.

    I would agree except for the “not understand” part. That your claim P=Q is untrue “in reality” was my point. Thus “stimulus failure” is not just another way of saying “high unemployment”. So I can say “I want the stimulus to fail” and I can also say “I want Americans to succeed” (Rush has said both). Then you can say “Can’t have both” and I can say “Maybe not but I can WANT both”.

    boris (ecab60)

  183. I want it to be PERCEIVED as a failure

    Which seems to allow the possibility that Rush can achieve his wish my creating the PERCEPTION that Obama’s policies are making everything worse. Sorta like the MSM did to Bush.

    boris (ecab60)

  184. Is Obama really trying to socialize America? Or is he taking steps to revive the economy? Is this not the same thing Bush did in his last days? Why is this different? What would Rush do as President? Can someone provide evidence that Obama is really trying to turn America into a socialist country? Or is this issue being exaggerated and politicized?

    This illustrates why the Republicans lost the election. Because, no, it really isn’t different than what Bush did. About the only difference is that Bush said he “sacrificed his free market principles to save the economy.”

    Republicans have long had no free market principles. At least, none they could articulate. Republicans like Bush have really clouded the issue. They’re “capitalists” the same way they chose their church; it’s what the family did.

    Rush, on the other hand, is a capitalist who knows why he’s a capitalist. It’s better. It is a morally superior system. Because to get something under capitalism, you have to figure out what other people want, then work to provide that to them. Under socialism, you figure out what you want, then vote for other people to provide it to you.

    Eisenhower never undestood that, which is why he couldn’t argue with Khrushchev. Nixon froze wages and prizes. Then Bush came along.

    Naturally, people are confused about what is and isn’t capitalism or socialism.

    This issue will continue to be driven by the false leftist argument that the poor are poor only because the rich are rich. In the short term, Obama’s policies will do a great deal of damage because it will create the illusion that is the case. And people will get addicted to them. But as Margaret Thatcher pointed out, the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. The bill for socialism always comes later.

    Rush has had a very consistent message for the past 20 plus years. Capitalism is better for everyone, and liberalism/socialism is harmful. It doesn’t matter if it’s practiced by Democrats or Republicans. So I don’t see why he should change his message now.

    Republicans need to get a message. But first they have to figure out if they believe something. And if so, what?

    Steve (1f4baf)

  185. don’t usually like to hear people wishing death on others

    Sheesh! Not my thread but really … Rush has never said he’s wishing for people to lose their jobs. You are the one defending the proposition that wanting the stimulus to fail is wishing for people to lose their jobs.

    Can’t have physical fitness without regular excercise. Is everyone who wants physical fitness therefore wishing to excercise regularly?

    IMO you are bending over backwards to preserve what essentially is an absurd position.

    boris (ecab60)

  186. So am I willing to have Americans suffer when the alternatives are this unsure? …
    Maybe we should hope it succeeds and stops there.

    In theory the government can borrow and print enough money to send every adult $100,000. That would alleviate suffereing in the short term. For a while. Who would be so mean and heartless as to oppose?

    boris (ecab60)

  187. Republicans need to get a message. But first they have to figure out if they believe something. And if so, what?

    Comment by Steve — 3/11/2009 @ 9:35 am
    This is why the Dems seem so powerful now. At least they know what they stand for. And in some ways, they tend to adopt some conservative positions when they want to while retaining their difference. But the GOP is left with just tax cuts and values. They need to expand it a bit.

    Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  188. Wanting something to fail based on principle is not the same as actively pursuing its demise.

    I want the socialist policies to fail now rather than succeed and cause more pain later. One might notice that those with this opinion had the same when Bush did it.

    Is Rush working the markets and actively pursuing its demise? Or is he just talking principles?

    Is there anyone not talking principle but actively seeking the demise of capitalists?

    Mr B (a1dfad)

  189. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just minutes before learning of the terrorist attacks on America, Democratic strategist James Carville was hoping for President Bush to fail, telling a group of Washington reporters: “I certainly hope he doesn’t succeed.”

    Carville was joined by Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who seemed encouraged by a survey he had just completed that revealed public misgivings about the newly minted president.

    “We rush into these focus groups with these doubts that people have about him, and I’m wanting them to turn against him,” Greenberg admitted.

    The pollster added with a chuckle of disbelief: “They don’t want him to fail. I mean, they think it matters if the president of the United States fails.”

    Minutes later, as news of the terrorist attacks reached the hotel conference room where the Democrats were having breakfast with the reporters, Carville announced: “Disregard everything we just said! This changes everything!”

    Neo (cba5df)

  190. […] to wish aloud for the president’s failure?) The second point is the one Patterico hits on in this post, i.e. the difference between hoping Obama fails at implementing his agenda and hoping that his […]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Flashback: Minutes before 9/11 attacks, Carville said he hoped Bush wouldn’t succeed (e2f069)

  191. […] people have brought to my attention that Patterico has been working overtime to rehabilitate his earlier arguments concerning Rush Limbaugh’s provocative or “ambiguous” […]

    Yawn: more on Limbaugh, his detractors, and the rhetorical turn [UPDATED TO ACCOUNT FOR MY NEEDING TO RUN OUT THE DOOR TO TAKE MY KID TO SCHOOL AND NOT HAVING REALLY FINISHED BEFORE POSTING] (7a2640)

  192. I think he was clear as well.

    If the stimulus is enacted, he hopes it fails. It not about jobs, it’s about how the country works.

    This is not about creating jobs. This is the exact opposite. This is all about rebuilding the Democrat Party into an unbeatable entity. It’s about remaking the United States of America without the Constitution as the guiding light

    When he does talk about the economy, he still doesn’t mention unemployment, he talks about the death of the free market.

    If it becomes established that the federal government and the federal government alone can manage the economy and take over the private sector, then forget it, folks. I’m looking for property in New Zealand, and I’m going to put my money in Singapore

    Seems to me he’s talking sense. Well, almost. New Zealand? Singapore? One has the Greens the other has the PAP, might as well stay here.

    Lost My Cookies (4fe7b8)

  193. “At least they know what they stand for.”

    Lovey – What do the Democrats stand for? Is there a coherent ideology? Socialism sticks in my mind, but I would like to hear your views.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  194. Its a frame-of-reference issue.

    First, I do not see the Package as “economic stimulus” in the same way that a pork chop packaged as “wagyu steak” does not suddenly becomes beef; the Package is not “stimulus” in any sense outside of “the government is throwing a lot (an understatement) of money out the door hoping something sticks”. Also, nothing outside of the O’s statements that he wants to “create or save” X number of jobs that he actually intends to protect or create any jobs outside of gobs attached to a GS identification.

    Keeping this in mind, I would view the present and further job losses as an indicator of “success” – not “failure” – of the Package and O’s plans and policies. If jobs are (re-)gained in the private sector under his watch and under the Package’s operation, that specific result I view as good, even while viewing the Package and the present plans and policies as terribly misguided at best.

    However, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the Package’s “failure” (to accomplish the goals actually written into it, not those ascribed to it from outside) will result in job losses and economic damage, but that the Package’s “success” (again, in re the actual goals and not wishes given to it) would result in much more significant losses and damage.

    In that context, wishing the failure of the Package is in favor of lowered losses, since gains aren’t in the cards.

    Lysander (310b50)

  195. So am I willing to have Americans suffer when the alternatives are this unsure? I dunno; if this package fails are we headed for even more?

    Maybe we should hope it succeeds and stops there.
    Comment by Patterico

    Sorry, Pat, but that strikes me as sounding just a bit naive and philosophically squishy.

    It makes me think of kids who have a suspicion that Santa Claus actually is a fictional character, but because they don’t want to end up gloomy and dejected on Xmas morning, with lumps of coal in their stockings, they’re willing to play along and give far too much benefit of the doubt to the true believers (ie, “Obama, with his glorious charisma, intelligence, and do-gooder sentiments, makes me smile and swoon!!”)

    Mark (411533)

  196. I hope there is a great depression that causes the nation to split up into two or more nations. If Obama’s policies can help achieve this great depression, I hope it succeeds to that end.

    j curtis (5b809e)

  197. I hope there is a great depression that causes the nation to split up into two or more nations. If Obama’s policies can help achieve this great depression, I hope it succeeds to that end.

    I think we can confidently call this the strong form of the argument.

    Pendleton (7f8d26)

  198. I hope there is a great depression that causes the nation to split up into two or more nations.

    If you’re serious about that, then you have no clue what your wish would result in.

    Steverino (b12c49)

  199. Lost My Cookies says:

    I think he was clear as well.

    If the stimulus is enacted, he hopes it fails. It not about jobs, it’s about how the country works.

    This is not about creating jobs. This is the exact opposite. This is all about rebuilding the Democrat Party into an unbeatable entity. It’s about remaking the United States of America without the Constitution as the guiding light

    When he does talk about the economy, he still doesn’t mention unemployment, he talks about the death of the free market.

    If it becomes established that the federal government and the federal government alone can manage the economy and take over the private sector, then forget it, folks. I’m looking for property in New Zealand, and I’m going to put my money in Singapore

    Let’s back up one sentence.

    ‘Cause if this thing for the first time ever does what it never has done before, we’re in even worse trouble. If it becomes established that the federal government and the federal government alone can manage the economy and take over the private sector, then forget it, folks.

    When he says “Cause if this thing for the first time ever does what it never has done before” — what is that? What is this thing that it would be doing for the first time that it has never done before?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  200. What is this thing that it would be doing for the first time that it has never done before?

    Control employment…

    When the government can control who works, it shifts from “Those who don’t work, don’t eat” and becomes “those who do not obey do not eat”.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  201. What is this thing that it would be doing for the first time that it has never done before?

    Hello? “federal government … manage the economy

    boris (ecab60)

  202. It’s clear that this billion-dollar stimulus bill is good news from some people and not such good new for others. We can call these people Crazy Ann and Bert, respectively. Here’s their story:

    http://theopenend.com/2009/03/12/a-tale-of-two-houses/

    herocious (d70322)

  203. Indeed, Rush’s bloviations are a gift that keeps on giving to liberals.
    The more he talks about it, the clearer it becomes that his realest worry is that free-market fundamentalism has inexorably failed and the kind of mixed/industrial planning economic approach Obama has taken will succeed.

    If Rush really believed the Ayn Rand for Dummies stuff he spouts, he’d be predicting Obama’s certain failure, rather than cowering from the prospect of his success.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  204. mixed/industrial planning economic approach Obama has taken will succeed

    Where? When?

    Oh I know … 1930 … Germany, Italy and Russia

    Worked for a while anyway. Do I want this to work for a while or fall on it’s ass striaght away. Guess.

    boris (ecab60)

  205. From “Patterns of Force”

    Kirk: “Gill. Gill, why did you abandon your mission? Why did you interfere with this culture?”
    Gill: “Planet fragmented. Divided. Took lesson from Earth history.”
    Kirk: “But why Nazi Germany? You studied history. You knew what the Nazis were.”
    Gill: “Most efficient state Earth ever knew.”
    Spock: “Quite true, Captain. That tiny country, beaten, bankrupt, defeated, rose in a few years to stand only one step away from global domination.”
    Kirk: “But it was brutal, perverted, had to be destroyed at a terrible cost. Why that example?”
    Spock: “Perhaps Gill felt that such a state, run benignly, could accomplish its efficiency without sadism.”
    Kirk: “Why, Gill? Why?”
    Gill: “Worked. At first it worked.”

    The argument to support or oppose having the ““federal government … manage the economy“ is ultimately NOT about unemployment levels.

    boris (ecab60)

  206. […] of the great conservative minds but he’ll also find himself the subject of a myriad of blog posts and news articles explaining why he’s simply not nuanced enough to be a conservative leader. […]

    Daniel Hannan: I Hope They Fail : The Sundries Shack (cb8a87)


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