Thursday, March 05, 2009


Chatter continues on Rush Limbaugh, which I routinely switch away from. But I am catching one question, raised most loudly by Chris Matthews, as to why the Obama White House is elevating Rush and using him for political purposes--because he is vastly unpopular with most of the country, he doesn't strengthen or certainly expand GOPer power. But why is the Obama White House engaging in this, when Obama made such a point of post-partisan bi-partisan consensus?

Well, of course I wouldn't know but I can guess. President Obama went to great lengths to get cooperation on the Recovery Act. He and Democrats didn't debate it on TV when they were talking with Republican lawmakers. But the GOPers did go public. While they were pretending to confer, they were already aligned against Obama and the bill. They drank at the White House and had coffee at the Capitol, but they'd already decided to enforce a united GOPer front. They were playing the President for a patsy.

So for awhile all the cable chatter was about why Obama was in the swamp of bipartisanship when he should just face facts and go forward with a Democratic bill, and stop trying to compromise.

Well, trying to play the President for a patsy has consequences. And this rush to Rush may be it. By tagging GOPers with Rush's leadership, the White House is forcing the GOPers in Congress to defend themselves. It's actually pretty funny that the host of Hardball doesn't see it when it's in front of him. Now he complains that this is beneath Obama. But now that the budget and health care are on the fast track agenda, GOPers are in some disarray, and they must realize that Obama isn't going to always be on defense, or a patsy.

As for the cable and blog chatterers, they could actually choose to ignore the Rush stuff but they've played their part with such predictable perfection that they are the patsys. And when their grandchildren find out they were hosts or bloggers for HuffPost and ask them about reporting on the great transformations and policy debates of the Obama administration, what are they going to say? Actually we didn't cover that. We talked about Rush.

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