America, can you trust a man who says he wants President Obama to fail?
President Barack Obama should not have referred to radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh in his recent remarks directed to Republican Congressional leaders. Why elevate Limbaugh's status and give him more to talk about? His twenty million weekly listeners are largely on the far right of American politics and Limbaugh needs to continuously feed them fresh meat.
On Capitol Hill, Republicans are dead in the water on all fronts, foreign and domestic. Their leadership is weak and shaken. They are struggling to come up with an issue, a cause and a reason to rally their troops. Yes, you won Mr. President. But history's battlefields are littered with the armor of once victorious leaders.
Limbaugh is a successful entertainer who is enormously well paid to spin stories, twist facts and turn clever phrases aimed at his loyal following. Shinning a light on him is counterproductive; besides he thrives on being at the center of attention. And, sure enough, now that you have shined the spotlight on him he has responded with a plan.
The "Obama-Limbaugh" stimulus package would divide up $1 trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer's money along the lines of the percentage of the vote in the national election. Obama got about 54% of the vote and Senator John McCain about 46%. Therefore, $540 billion would go to rebuild infrastructure and invest in new technologies as Obama wants, and $460 billion would go to reduce taxes on businesses. Limbaugh and many Republicans argue that reducing corporate taxes, among the highest in the world, would free up money sooner for businesses to invest in jobs. He calls the "Obama-Limbaugh" package a truly "bipartisan" approach and concludes, "We'll see which stimulus works best."
No doubt Limbaugh and his economic advisers have spent a considerable amount of time studying all the relevant research and economic models to devise this well thought out plan. And no doubt millions of Americans and the Republican leadership in Congress will seriously consider enacting the "Obama-Limbaugh" package. Or, possibly, most people will come to realize that Limbaugh is just making a mockery of our nation's problems, and of the people charged with the responsibility of digging America out of its huge debt and deep recession.
Republicans had their chance these past eight years to perfect America's democracy and reduce its debt. They failed and the American electorate voted for change. Now the challenges are enormous and time is of the essence. Obama is moving swiftly, but there are questions about some of the infrastructure expenditures. And while he has reached across the aisle to partially accommodate Republican wishes for tax relief, they want more. This goes to underscore the fact that there are no easy answers to the myriad of complex problems facing this country on all fronts.
After one week as president, Obama enjoys the good will of most Americans who want the severe financial crisis ended and their country to succeed. Most Americans, that is, except for Rush Limbaugh, who says he wants Obama to fail, even though it would mean more suffering for Americans.
Mr. President, please do what most Republicans can't do, ignore Rush Limbaugh.