Limbaugh and Beck's strange patriotism - Macleans.ca
 

Limbaugh and Beck’s strange patriotism


 

Last Friday, the International Olympic Committee selected Rio de Janiero for the 2016 Summer Olympics, a wise choice by the Olympic movement as these will be the first games ever held in South America. Anyone who knows anything about Olympic decision-making knows the IOC is among the most mysterious and byzantine organizations in the world. Like the Vatican, it operates in a virtual vacuum and is nearly immune to outside pressures. Given this, Barack Obama’s appearance in Copenhagen to push Chicago’s bid was hardly guaranteed to make it a fait accompli. If anything, it may have been counterproductive. That said, it would have been difficult for Obama to turn down the opportunity when other heads of state, like Brazil’s Lula and Spain’s King Juan Carlos, were scheduled to attend.

Granted, it was not a banner day for the American president. But the elation of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and a congregation of observers associated with the Weekly Standard at the news of Chicago’s failure to land the Games suggests their obsession with seeing Obama fail at any cost has reached new heights. With over 80% of Americans supporting the lone U.S. bid, one has to wonder about their strange interpretation of patriotism.

No one has ever really questioned the far right’s patriotism when it comes to touting American achievements, the righteousness of the American way of life and the security of the nation. Sometimes their tone is too shrill; other times it is menacing. But they all want America to come out on top. So imagine how stunning it can appear to the average American citizen to see Limbaugh and co.’s applause at Chicago’s failure and their haste to interpret it as a rejection of Obama. Recall that around inauguration day, Limbaugh publicly stated that he “hopes Obama fails.” When challenged, he kept his rant at the level of policy and ideology, but it is now spilling over into a more personal battle that affects ordinary Americans. Everyone wanted the Games because they create employment and economic opportunities, as well as boost civic pride. Based on their celebrations, I assume Beck, Limbaugh and the others care little about a city located in their own country.

The churlishness directed at Obama may deliver unexpected benefits to the more moderate voices of the conservative movement and mainstream Republicanism. Some recent developments suggest as much. Take Minority Leader John Boehner’s reaction, for example. Although Boehner was openly critical of Obama for going to Copenhagen to support Chicago’s bid, he was strangely silent upon the president’s return. He no doubt realized that being a representative from Ohio prohibited any gloating at Obama’s failure to secure a gain for a Midwest city. In another case, conservative columnist David Brooks openly endorsed the president’s effort. And Republican pundits such as Mike Murphy and Mary Matlin kept their distance from the Limbaugh-Beck axis on this issue.

In recent days, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham has been openly critical of the Limbaugh-Beck axis . His close friend and titular head of the GOP, John McCain, is now actively supporting moderate and pragmatic conservative candidates in Republican primaries. Brooks and Murphy have also openly stated that Limbaugh and Beck are mere entertainers that provoke the base for ratings with little effect on moderate Republican voters and independent voters, while McCain’s campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, has said choosing Sarah Palin as the 2016 nominee would have catastrophic results. Taken together, these events represent a marked shift that will soon be tested by the pro-Palin types who will no doubt feel empowered now that their principal advocate will be publishing her book. However, it appears the Republican establishment will have none of it. They see an opportunity to make gains in the 2010 midterms and these latest antics by the far right may have crossed the line.


 

Limbaugh and Beck’s strange patriotism

  1. I've mentioned this before, but I can't believe those two are taken as sage or principled champions of the right, in that they both make lots of money from being outrageous – regardless of how the Republicans fare. There's nothing in it for them to be anything but extreme and antagonistic in their rhetoric. Their jobs are probably safer when the Democrats are in control.

  2. If Limbaugh and Beck wanted Chicago to lose the bid merely to see Obama fail, then that would indeed be a strange form of patriotism.

    On the other hand, if they wanted Obama to fail because they felt that Chicago should not get the bid, that would be perfectly reasonable. There were plenty of reasons not to want Chicago to win the bid, which is why nearly half of Chicagoans preferred this outcome.

    Parisella obviously thinks Limbaugh and Beck are coming at this from the former perspective. Never having heard either personality give his views on it, I don't know. But I do know that Parisella tends to misrepresent the positions of his political opponents, and for that reason I'm skeptical.

    • "But I do know that Parisella tends to misrepresent the positions of his political opponents,"

      Do have any examples to back this up?

      • Every. Single. Post. Ever.

        • Tell me, has Parisella ever responded to your baseless attacks?

    • …so do some research, Gaunilon, rather than reflexively accusing Parisella of bias.

      Both men have explicitly advocated for an Obama failure as an end in itself. Neither said a word (at least not in advance) about Chicago deserving to fail for any reason.

      The math is simple, to Beck and Limbaugh: Obama fail = Republican win. Collateral damage is not part of the equation.

      More informed comments, please.

  3. If Limbaugh and Beck wanted Chicago to lose the bid merely to see Obama fail, then that would indeed be a strange form of patriotism.

    On the other hand, if they wanted Obama to fail because they felt that Chicago should not get the bid, that would be perfectly reasonable. There were plenty of reasons not to want Chicago to win the bid, which is why nearly half of Chicagoans preferred this outcome.

    Parisella obviously thinks Limbaugh and Beck are coming at this from the former perspective. Never having heard either man give his views on it, I don't know. But I do know that Parisella tends to misrepresent the positions of his political opponents, and for that reason I'm skeptical.

  4. You can't be as stupid as you come across, can you?

    We want the Obamanation to TOTALLY fail in EVERYTHING the racist socialist attempts. We want him out as soon as possible and everything that shows him to be the fraud and failure that we know he is will hurry that moment.

    For freedom, capitalism and democracy….

    NOBAMA!

    • I see one of Beck and Limbaugh's fans have joined us.

    • No cares what you think, Dittohead.

      • No one cares what you think, Obamabot.

        (See how fun this game is?)

        • Well, it was kind of fun dismissing the screaming meemie out of hand like that, but now you've ruined it.

    • I haven't joined YOU.. What you don't understand is that you are in here with ME! And in a fight, you pansy liberals will be taken down hard.. NRA baby!

      NOBAMA!

      • "They don't surround us. WE SURROUND THEM"

        Seriously, develop an original thought, please.

        Also – "NOBAMA" reads a little too close to "NAMBLA" – you might want to work on that slogan.

    • Rob is obviously an ignorant man or woman. Or maybe , he is just silly with his ruminations about Obamanation. racist? Socialist ?Sometimes Americans can be so ignorant. the US is the farthest thing from being socialist . But Rob proves the point about Beck and Limbaugh. I guess HATE has a constituency.

  5. So imagine how stunning it can appear to the average American citizen to see Limbaugh and co.'s applause at Chicago's failure

    Parisella misrepresents the situation, as usual.

    They are applauding Obama's failure, not Chicago's failure, in the same way sense that Limbaugh said he wanted to see Obama fail so that America would succeed.

    They are applauding his failure because it impacts his ability to implement his transformative agenda.

    • But isn't that unpatriotric?

      • Only if you believe that criticism of presidential foolishness or cronyism is unpatriotic.

        And I'm sure you would never believe such a notion, right?

        • WHat did Bill O'Reilly say: "It's time to support the president or shut up."

          Let me know when liberal or Democratic surrogates start doing that.

          …and I hope they do, because the American Right has got it coming.

          • And I'm just certain that you supported that proposition at the time, yes?

      • I've never been a fan of these arguments regarding what is patriotic and what isn't, whether it comes from the left or right. Frankly, it's a rather subjective question what is good for the country and what isn't. I'd rather just debate the arguments, as opposed to the arguments about the arguments.

  6. "I haven't joined YOU.. What you don't understand is that you are in here with ME! "

    Obama really has to do something about public education…

  7. "I defy anyone – least of all a sophisticated pundit as Mr. Parisella is purported to be – to claim that Democratic and other liberal critics wouldn't be dancing in the streets in pure glee at such a failure."

    It's up to you to support the claims you're making.

    • They seemed pretty happy at every other setback of the Bush administration. Why would a scenario such as this be dramatically different?

      Given that it's a counterfactual scenario for the sake of contrast, I doubt I could ever prove it to your satisfaction that this is the case. But points for effort.

  8. I hate the bastard, and you just don't understand…. the more you call us names the angrier we get.

    When Bruce Banner gets mad, he turns into the Hulk, when the Hulk gets mad, he turns into a conservative!

    NOBAMA!

    • You are clearly a hate monger and a racist and an idiot . I am being nice this time . No name calling !So I took your advice and I did not call you names. Just stated facts about you from your writing skills. Enjoy yourself Rob , you nice dingbat !

      • Yes I have become a racist since Al Sharpton and Obama and Jimmy Carter and all the other America haters have called me one for disliking the bastard Obama… SEE you have sown the seed, now reap the wind. I hate you and all like you.

        Screw my writing skills, my vote counts as much as your stupid one… and be sure I will cast it for ANYONE that runs againt the Muslim.

        NOBAMA!

    • CONSERVATIVE SMASH!!!

      This is brilliant. Politics as understood by pro wrestling fanatics.

  9. What a shame that I don't garner the respect of such learned and eloquent persons as yourself, and that – no matter how hard I try – I just can't bring myself to type fifteen exclamation marks in a row to demonstrate my seething rage at political opponents.

    I guess I'll just have to be content with being proven right, over the next couple of years. Alas.

    • YOU WILL NOT BE proven right,avr !keep the love with Rush and Glen –very marginal at that .

  10. What I shame that I don't garner the respect of such learned and eloquent persons as yourself, and that – no matter how hard I try – I just can't bring myself to type fifteen exclamation marks in a row to demonstrate my seething rage at political opponents.

    I guess I'll just have to be content with being proven right, over the next couple of years. Alas.

  11. "they seemed pretty happy at every other setback of the Bush administration."

    Which ones? And how did this happiness manifest itself?

    "Given that it's a counterfactual scenario for the sake of hypothetical comparison and contrast, I doubt I could ever prove it to your satisfaction that this is the case."

    Well, in line with my questions above, you could refer to a specific, documented case that is somewhat analogous and demonstrate that the reaction you describe is at least probable.

    I think you can't because you know it's not true. The only "glee" I ever witnessed during Bush's tenure was when Bush made a fool of himself. Fumbled words, falling of Segways, that kind of thing. What you likely are interpreting as "glee" was probably much more along the lines of "I told you so," (which is usually not a good feeling, since the damage has already been done), such as with the Iraq disaster and the destruction of the economy. But I'm a reasonable person and respected good argument based on evidence, so please…help me.

    • Here's a thought, Foreigner: a pattern emerges in your posts. Your rebuttals consist solely of some variation on "Prove it," as if facts somehow don't exist until placed squarely in your lap.

      You know what? If you're really unfamiliar with the context, you seem like a pretty Internet-savvy guy perfectly capable of looking things up for yourself. And if you're not, well, feign ignorance of the last decade of world events, political trends, and even the bad rhetorical habits of a certain Mr. John Parisella all you like; I'm not playing that game with you, sorry.

      • Yeah, that stupid game of backing up your own statements. Don't fall for it, avr, it's a trap!

        Make everybody else prove your assertions. That' the ticket.

        • It's not his fault. He was dropped on his head as a child. by his negligent father…John Parisella.

          …you can look it up.

      • "as if facts somehow don't exist until placed squarely in your lap. "

        Since you make such grandiose claims, it's only sensible to ask for evidence.

        If you're really unfamiliar with the context, you seem like a pretty Internet-savvy guy perfectly capable of looking things up for yourself. And if you're not, well, feign ignorance of the last decade of world events, political trends, and even the bad rhetorical habits of a certain Mr. John Parisella all you like; I'm not playing that game with you, sorry.

        Complete capitulation. How lame.

  12. In recent days, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham has been openly critical of the Limbaugh-Beck axis.

    Who knew? Republicans can disagree! wow.

  13. I believe the republican party will never recover the from the public relation damage inflicted by FOX.
    True, they are number one in ratings but how many people they draw nightly? About five million? Now, compare that to the number of register voters in this country. FOX news are loud and good at promoting themselves but when you look at the percentage of their audience compare to register voters, their influence is all hype.

    Not only that a great deal of their audience hate their blatant disrespect for our government.
    Americans as a whole are intelligent, well educated people both republicans and democrats love this country in their own way, and when it comes down to selecting our politicians, FOX ratings go out the window and credibility (which FOX has none) prevails.

  14. I know the vast majority of our neighbours to the south are reasonable, rational people however through the lens' of Fox News and the mics of Clear Channel communications/Premiere Radio Network there's a whole lot of crazy going on.

    I append from the Krugmeister

    " But more important, the episode illustrated an essential truth about the state of American politics: at this point, the guiding principle of one of our nation's two great political parties is spite pure and simple. If Republicans think something might be good for the president, they're against it — whether or not it's good for America. "

    • I think your Krugman quote might make sense to partisan Dems but Repubs will think wtf? Anyone who has been conscious for the past eight years should be aware that you could easily substitute Democratic for Republican in that little blurb.

  15. They seemed pretty happy at every other setback of the Bush administration. Why would a scenario such as this be dramatically different?

    Given that it's a counterfactual scenario for the sake of hypothetical comparison and contrast, I doubt I could ever prove it to your satisfaction that this is the case. But points for effort.

    • Grow up avr and stop spewing Fox crap . Limbaugh and Beck blew it . FACE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Their hatred for Obama blinds them as it is doing to you . You and dingbat , Rob' are examples of why Americans will never go Palin. Stupidity does not garner votes!!!!

      • What a shame that I don't garner the respect of such learned and eloquent persons as yourself, and that – no matter how hard I try – I just can't bring myself to type fifteen exclamation marks in a row to demonstrate my frothing rage at political opponents.

        I guess I'll just have to be content with being proven right, over the next couple of years. Alas.

      • What a shame that I don't garner the respect of such learned and eloquent persons as yourself, and that – no matter how hard I try – I just can't bring myself to type fifteen exclamation marks in a row to demonstrate the sheer intensity of my righteousness.

        I guess I'll just have to be content with being proven right, over the next couple of years. Alas.

        • You've garned my respect, so I hope you'll respond in a less peevish way to my query below.

        • That's right. Just like the right was totally proven correct as the Bush administration came to a close.

          It will be just like that.

  16. Well JP, I am not surprised they are happy at Obama's failure to influence the OIC decision. I believe your critics were correct in assuming the opposite would have held true had McCain been in power. What I would rather address is why you insist on even wasting any time on the likes of Limbaugh and Beck. By discussing them, you give them a legitimate voice. Let them spew their hatred, but pay no mind. I am sure it will be must worse when you head south. Congratulations on your posting. Your blogs will be missed, most assuredly by the likes of avr ! And kindly if you will, throw a shoe for me when you meet Dubya.