When Barack Obama was running for president, he promised healthcare for everyone if elected, and Rush Limbaugh called it “socialized medicine.” Obama pledged to raise taxes on incomes over $250,000 a year, and Limbaugh called it “punishing excellence.” He promised to “talk to our enemies,” and Limbaugh warned of the dire consequences of appeasement. In fact, every time Obama described an aspect of the “audacity of hope,” Limbaugh was there to parse the words and tell the American people exactly what the Left was planning to do should they win the election.
And although the Democrats control the White House, the House, and the Senate, Limbaugh continues to parse Obama’s words, as well as the words of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Barney “You go, girl” Frank, and that little man from Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. As a result, we now know that the stimulus package the Democrats are pushing is more hype than hope.
As the Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman explained, the stimulus package includes $335 million to fight sexually-transmitted diseases, “$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts… $75 million for smoking-cessation programs…$20 billion [for] school and college renovations [and] $125 billion [for] bolstering public education.”
What do “art,” anti-tobacco campaigns, or college renovations have to do with ending a recession?
Honestly, this stimulus package is so full of pork that it will actually cost more than the entire Iraq War if passed. To promote this with a straight face, as Obama and the Democrats are doing, is nothing less than the “audacity of hype.” No wonder Limbaugh is against it.
When Obama told GOP leaders they could not both “listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done” on January 23, 2009, it was evident that Limbaugh’s opposition was more significant than elitists inside the Beltway had wanted to admit. Broad-based pressure immediately began mounting for Limbaugh to moderate. Yet, just a week later, Limbaugh said, “It’s a mistake to pit me against the president, because I don’t buckle.”
Which is precisely the danger Rush poses: right now, he’s the de facto leader of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. He is the leader because he doesn’t compromise his principles. He doesn’t hold elective office, whip votes in the House or Senate, or raise money and search for new candidates to run in 2010. His role is much more important than those tasks: he’s the leader who pushes people to think and act, guiding them with his solid train of conservative reasoning.
In between Obama’s anti-Limbaugh comments and Limbaugh’s refusal to buckle, House Republicans did a gut check and voted “no” unanimously on the stimulus bill. And now the Democrats are really perturbed, because Limbaugh’s message is impacting the American people in the same way it did the House Republicans.
Rasmussen’s most recent poll shows that “59% [of Americans] fear that Congress and the president will increase government spending too much.”
So the Left is mobilizing. They worry that Limbaugh may somehow persuade Senate Republicans to vote as the Republicans in the House did. George Soros and the remaining attendees of Woodstock, who somehow lived through all the free love, free thinking, and freeloading, paid for a television ad “tailored…to [convince Republican Senators] George Voinovich in Ohio, Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, and John Ensign in Nevada” to support the stimulus bill.
This ad, airing under the auspices of “Americans United for Change,” plays the audio of Limbaugh uttering his four words, “I hope he fails,” then a narrator says: “Every Republican member of the House… voted with Limbaugh. And against creating four million new American jobs.” The narrator then makes the point that the stimulus bill is moving to the Senate this week and urges citizens to call their senators, particularly Voinovich, Specter, and Ensign, and urge them to support Obama instead of Limbaugh.
But Rush will win this argument too: the stimulus bill won’t create that many jobs. As one of the Democrat’s favorite economists answered in a House hearing, the Democrat package may not create ANY jobs.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has also jumped into the mix, posting a petition on their website (www.dccc.org) for people to sign in opposition to Rush. And another set of television ads are being run by “the Laborers Union aimed at Senators in Iowa, Kentucky, Nevada and Tennessee.”
Pelosi and other congressional Democrats are also doing their part by reminding us ad nausea that “We must have relief now.” They also say that “doing something is better than doing nothing,” but that’s not true if the “something” you do expands the government far beyond even the expansion witnessed under FDR.
Here’s the bottom line: It’s all hype, just “smoke and mirrors” as Limbaugh says. The Democrats keep saying we face “the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” and that’s a bald lie.
According to Ben Stein, during the latter part of Jimmy Carter’s presidency, “[W]e were well on our way to the worst recession in postwar history, far worse than the one we are in now. …We had inflation in 1979 of over 13 percent [and] the misery index — the total of unemployment and inflation — was about 19.5 percent, compared with about 7.5 per cent now.” Moreover, the stock market lost so much value under Carter than it is higher now than it was then “by almost ten times,” according to Stein, “even with the recent crash.”
And Limbaugh has pointed out that the economy which President George W. Bush inherited when he took office in 2001 was worse in some aspects than the economy we have now: “In 2001…the economy expanded at less than 1%. …[In] 2008, the economy grew 1.3%.”
How shall we stand with Limbaugh on this? For stand with him we must, because, in doing so, we stand on our principles. We can start by calling our senators as the liberals have asked us to do. But when we call, we must demand they oppose the stimulus bill just as the House Republicans did. You can reach your senator by calling the U.S. Capital switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
It appears that the audacity of Limbaugh has uncovered the audacity of hype, and the Democrats aren’t happy about it.