The Corner

Rooting for American Failure?

I have a few thoughts on the “controversy” about Rush Limbaugh saying he hopes Barack Obama fails — a claim that, based on the lead in to his show last night, left CNN’s Anderson Cooper (among a slew of other media commentators) aghast.

The argument Limbaugh is making is fairly simple to follow: President Obama is proposing plans Limbaugh believes (with justification, in my view) will hurt our economy and hurt our country. If Obama fails in getting his plans through Congress, we will be better off. Certainly one can make the argument that Obama’s various plans, from his “stimulus” package to his profligate, record-spending budget, have caused the market to go south at an alarming rate. Obama’s plans aren’t the only reason the market is going down, but it is unquestionably a key contributing factor.

If Obama is proposing policies that you believe vary from being unwise to malignant, you would want those policies to be blocked, which is another way of saying you want Obama’s ambitions to fail. That is what Rush Limbaugh is arguing, and it’s entirely reasonable (and not terribly controversial) for him to hold this view.

But those in the MSM are pretending that those who hope Obama’s plans fail are really rooting against America. That is nonsense. Limbaugh wants America to succeed; as a conservative, he hopes Obama’s astonishing liberal power-grab fails. It’s really not all that complicated to understand.

What I wonder, though, is where Anderson Cooper and his colleagues were during the Iraq debate, when the surge was clearly beginning to work — yet leading Democrats, one after another, said it was failing. This was a situation in which America was engaged in a war of enormous consequences and, if we had lost, it would have been a geo-political and humanitarian catastrophe. Yet anti-war critics – including Sen. Barack Obama — insisted on promoting the narrative of America’s failure in Iraq when the evidence was the opposite.

Where was the outrage then, I wonder? And why wasn’t Cooper insisting that those who opposed President Bush critics line up behind him? We could be generous and merely call it a double standard. Or we could be less generous and call it hero-worship by Obama’s media courtiers.