Unpresidential Plummet
David Limbaugh chronicles the reasons for the freefall.


David Limbaugh has a solid track record of writing comprehensive, damning indictments. He’s gone after Janet Reno’s Justice Department. He’s exposed domestic crimes against religious freedom. Now, he has written Crimes against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama. The full brief is still, of course, a work in progress, but Limbaugh’s timely, hot-off-the-deadline book comes just in time for the final stretch to the November elections — just in time to limit the damage. He talks to National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez about what has been done and what can still be done.

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Is Crimes against Liberty a little bit of an I-told-you-so?

DAVID LIMBAUGH: I suppose you could say that, though I don’t derive any pleasure from having accurately discerned Mr. Obama’s character and ideology during the campaign. Many of those who didn’t were permitting themselves to be blinded by fantastic hopes of deliverance from times that, in retrospect, were not as terrible as many claimed. Moreover, as much as I and countless others predicted this national nightmare, Obama has actually been worse, both personally and in terms of his agenda, than most of us anticipated.

The greatest challenge in writing this book was finally putting it to bed, as our president was steadily committing new outrages. I was adding new material every day, but eventually the printer refused any further additions. Still, in the end, I trust readers will find the book remarkably up to date, as both my publisher — Regnery — and the printer were quite accommodating.

: You were calling him a threat to liberty before he was elected, never mind inaugurated. What accounts for his “popularity freefall” now? Did people have to see him in action to believe it?

LIMBAUGH: A couple of things account for his plummeting popularity. First, Obama’s agenda has been far more extreme than naïve well-wishers assumed it would be. Second, his policies have already had disastrous results, which he can no longer credibly pawn off on his predecessor. And third, he has flagrantly thwarted the will of the people in foisting his policies upon us through abuses of power, legislative trickery, unseemly, unethical deals, and worse. He has acted decidedly un-presidential in slandering and bullying his opponents, has repeatedly played the race card, and has misrepresented his signature legislation for all to see. Even some of the conservatives who decided to hitch their wagon to him admitted at the outset they simply hoped he wouldn’t govern according to his leftist ideology. What gave them this hope is beyond rational comprehension, but surely most of them have now seen the light. In fact, it’s remarkable that Obama has any significant support at all. I daresay that most of his remaining supporters are probably among those not “contributing” income taxes to our general revenues.

: What’s a “Crime against Liberty”? Surely President Obama hasn’t done anything illegal.

LIMBAUGH: I am speaking more figuratively. I am neither accusing President Obama of having committed high crimes and misdemeanors nor advocating his impeachment. Many of us were preoccupied with such pursuits during the Clinton high-crimes era, for which I don’t apologize. But I’d rather focus on the more realistic goal of alerting people to Obama’s egregious personal behavior and policies as we try to turn this nation around in the 2010 and 2012 elections. Having said this, intellectual honesty compels me to confess that some of Obama’s audacious and shocking abuses of power could arguably constitute impeachable offenses were we less apathetic about the Constitution and the rule of law, but I am certainly not advocating going there, if for no other reason than it would likely backfire and enhance Obama’s popularity as a sympathetic victim. One example is his pledging of $140 billion to the IMF not only without executive authority, but in contravention of legislative directives. Another is his four cabinet secretaries’ sending simultaneous letters to Arizona senator Jon Kyl threatening to cut off Arizona’s stimulus funds because Kyl suggested that Obama freeze stimulus spending due to the failure of stimulus money to stimulate anything besides debt. This is incredibly abusive stuff — an administration threatening to withhold federal money to punish an entire state because one of its senators expressed an opinion they deemed critical. This is what I mean by “Crimes against Liberty” — it refers to Obama’s policies and actions that are systematically undermining our liberties, to his bankrupting the nation, and to his undermining our national security. The book abounds with further examples.