It all began, as far as most would believe, on January 21, in Palm Beach. Sean Hannity went to Florida to interview Rush Limbaugh and hear his opinions of the newly inaugurated administration. The vast left wing conspiracy, to use a remake of a Clinton era term since they are all back in the Obama White House, was only too happy to take snippets of the interview and spin it to bash Rush Limbaugh.
Turns out, according to Politico, the gang of four that has held conference type calls since the days of the first Clinton presidential campaign and continue with the tradition today, James Carville, Paul Begala, Stan Greenberg, and Rahm Emanuel have planned for this manufactured controversy all along. Their willing cohorts, the media, are egging it on with glee. The hate-filled Democrats must have a target or life has no meaning. No more Bush to be deranged over, no more Karl Rove or Dick Cheney to wish out loud to be frog marched out of the White House, so their agreed upon foil was Limbaugh.
Greenberg - married to a member of the House - and Carville are partners in a polling company, Democracy Corps. Back in October the foundation of the current controversy was set by these two rabid partisan Democrats. They found, through their polling, that Limbaugh is unpopular with young voters under the age of 40. Since then, the strategy was to prop Limbaugh up as though he leads the Republican party. Especially on appearances on CNN and through mouthpiece Emanuel, the fix was in. Why else would the president name Limbaugh in particular as one who shouldn't be listened to by Republicans in Congress if his agenda was to be passed? Didn't anyone find that a bit odd? Since when does a president call out specific names outside of the political electorate as those to be avoided? Did George Bush call out George Soros publicly?
Limbaugh's interview with Hannity was picked apart by the Democrat cabol and they pushed the soundbite of Limbaugh voicing his hope that Obama's policies fail. Somehow this is a big shocker that Limbaugh doesn't support Obama's socialization of the American economy. The snippets run are disingenuous and to be expected by this gang of four. Greenburg was on George Stephanopoulos' Sunday morning show - George being a member of the daily chats with the inner four - and Karl Rove was on the panel, too. Greenburg all but spit on Rove.
The riff goes that Limbaugh said he doesn't want the President to succeed. It's all about the President and not the policies. So, it went from there and the media didn't bother to point to the distinction. Again, journalism is dead.
Michael Steele is the very popular newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was dragged into this bickering by answering a question on a talk show hosted by a celebrity - on CNN - who now poses as a political commenter. Michael Steele, answering a question if Limbaugh is the "de facto leader of the Republican party" said "No, he's not. I'm the de facto leader of the Republican party." He went on to describe Limbaugh as an entertainer who can be incendiary and it sometimes gets ugly.
The left was orgasmic and the right went nuts. Both got it wrong. The longer this plays out, the more digging into the background continues, the worse it looks for the White House - the president who was to be "post partisan" and "change the tone in Washington". The White House that said, after appointing the hyper partisan Emanuel as Chief of Staff (and another Chicago politician) that he is quite apt at reaching across the aisle to get legislation passed.
The right was outraged at a perceived slap at their beloved Rush. The fact is, Rush is an entertainer. He is the very loud voice of the most conservative wing of the Republican party. He has a huge audience and he has been at it on a national stage for 20 years. The left hates his success. Liberal talk radio consistently fails and there is now talk that the Fairness Doctrine will be brought back into play now that Washington is led by an all far left Democrat controlled House, Senate and White House.
Rush Limbaugh is not a leader of the Republican Party. He doesn't raise money for the party. He doesn't write legislation. He doesn't endorse candidates in primary elections. He has not held political office. And, he does resort to some bomb throwing as a way to make a point. It's a part of his act. He has sharp elbows. His fans love him. His enemies want him destroyed.
Steele has apologized to Limbaugh for the whole episode. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs thought it proper to note this fact at the end of his briefing yesterday at the White House - "I was a little surprised at the speed in which Mr. Steele, the head of the RNC, apologized to the head of the Republican Party", grinning as he said it. David Plouffe, inner circle guy (Chicago) of Obama published an op-ed in the Washington Post chiding "Republicans for being paralyzed with fear of crossing their leader", according to Politico.com. A senior White House aide has been tasked with helping to guide the Limbaugh strategy, states the article.
Limbaugh was a huge hit during his speech to CPAC over the weekend. The attendance at the annual event was at record numbers, double last year's. The base of the party is fired up and the White House is worried. The White House is determined to blame Limbaugh for the failures of their announced policies to bring confidence to the American consumer. Wall Street has no confidence in the Obama policies.
AFL-CIO has a lavish winter conference retreat in South Beach. They are the union honchos funding Americans United for Change. The commercials run against Republicans are misleading and nasty in tone. Shouldn't they be working on a more efficient way of governing unions? Americans United for Change is working closely with the White House and the DNC. Tim Kaine, touted for his even keeled outreach to both sides as he governed the State of Virginia and then hand picked as DNC chairman by Obama, ridiculed Steele for his apology to Limbaugh. Brad Woodhouse runs Americans United for Change and runs the anti-Limbaugh ad on television. Woodhouse is set to become communications director at the DNC.
The Obamas enjoy entertaining like it's 1999 in the White House, usually on Wednesday nights. The swells in Washington think this is just great - the Obamas are carrying on their Chicago lifestyle where they were known as quite the social butterflies. Expensive designer beef, top notch Hollywood entertainment, no holds barred - hey, aren't we in the worst recession in decades? Or, is that just for the little people?
Americans are beginning to connect the dots.