Wrestlers, Prophets and Rush

rush_limbaugh.jpgMuch of the political uproar over the past week centered on Rush Limbaugh’s address at CPAC in which he reaffirmed his desire to see President Obama fail. Understandably, many people are up in arms over this statement but some of them seem to be upset for all the wrong reasons. Obama is not the messiah and he will have policy failures. The sooner we accept that inevitability, the better.

But there is another reason why Rush’s words should have incensed us. Not only is his naive desire to see our country’s problems worsen ignorant at best, it also goes against everything we’ve been led to believe. America is a country built on dreams, MLK’s dream, the American Dream, even Obama’s dreams from his father, and failure, although sometimes an intermediate result, is never a goal. That’s where Rush gets it so wrong.

In America, we love dreams and we love seeing people pull through when everyone else is sure they’re going to fail. Kirk Gibson in the ’88 World Series. Willie Mays’ catch. The Tampa Bay Rays’ run to the pennant. No one gave any of them a chance but somehow they managed to overcome failure and succeed beyond their (and our) wildest imagination. When failure is an end instead of a means, dreams die and you become irrelevant.

Rush’s problem and, by extension, the problem of the Republican Party is that their actions have begun to cast them as irrelevant to the national debate. Wishing failure on your opponents doesn’t make you a seer. It makes you a streetcorner prophet, carrying your cardboard sign and sleeping on a park bench at night. It doesn’t signal engagement but rather disengagement.

The real issue and what Rush is afraid to say is that it’s not so much that he disagrees with Obama as it is that he has no solution of his own. After the experiment of the past eight years proved morally and financially bankrupt, how could he? However, the purview of the streetcorner lunatic has always included yelling louder than everyone else and making sure that yours is the voice that stands out. In that respect, Rush can truly claim, “Mission Accomplished.”





  1. juliasrants

    The phoenix shall be consumed in flame, but will be reborn out of the ashes – so too shall America. I still believe. Rush Limbaugh? Well – I’d tell him where he can go, but this is a family friendly site.


  2. katie22

    As always, elegant and eloquent, Mr. Krause. I completely agree. It’s very easy to say “You’re wrong”, but it’s often harder to say “I understand where you’re coming from, but I disagree because…” Not only is Limbaugh a PR mess, I’m pretty sure he has horns and a tail. And a pitchfork.

    You get the idea.


  3. dhacks

    Excellent post, Allen.
    What exposes Limbaugh is the context and timing of “I hope he fails”, amidst a scary, complex crisis, uttered before Obama was inaugurated. Contrast that with the way the mainstream left generally deferred to George Bush immediately following 9/11 and to a lesser – but still significant – extent, in the runup to Iraq. The difference is, patriotic opposition give ideas a chance out of the gate, especially when we’re facing new and unusual challenges. It’s patriotic to say “I think this is a bad policy and I oppose it, but since it passed, I HOPE I”M WRONG, because any validation of my personal doctrine pales next to the public’s lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness”.

    You said “it doesn’t signal engagement but rather disengagement”, and that’s exactly right. Simplistic and doctrinaire, abrasively pre-empting serious discussion for those who choose not to think.


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