As I've said before, I'm not a rush Limbaugh fan. Although there are many areas of political thinking where we agree, I generally have a hard time with people who do not consider the possibility that they may be wrong. In this audio clip (followed by CNN kvetching), Limbaugh comes right out and says that he hopes Obama fails. I am a little conflicted by this statement, so I figure I ought to share that conflict with you.
From an ideological perspective, and from the perspective of not wanting to have one's deepest political inclinations overturned by in the face of overwhelming evidence of their wrong-headedness, I too want Obama to fail. I want his vision of activist, high-tax, we are our brother's keepers, government in the drivers' seat America to fail. I want his proclamations of healing our world reputation to be churned up in the grinding reality of anti-Americanism. I want his incredibly smug sense of destiny and self-confidence to meet up headlong with the plain truth that governing this country is hard, hard work where mistakes are part of the atmosphere.
But what is the COST of savoring that failure? It is depression. Not "I'm feeling blue" depression, but the breadlines and 25% unemployment kind of depression. It is more of the same ridiculous name-calling and stupidity that passes for political debate in Washington. It is our continuing appearance of fecklessness while China, India, and France seem to be growing in power and influence.
So to conclude (as Mr. Limbaugh has) that he would like to see President Obama fail strikes me as simply wrong. At the end of the day, I'd rather see my deepest held political ideals seriously questioned and the country on its feet and re-establishing its rightful position as the leader of the free world, than be proven right as we argue among the ruins of our once great nation.
So I wish President Obama luck. I will oppose him on each and every policy where his proposal runs up into opposition with my political beliefs. But I do not wish to remain immune to the continuing examination of my presumptions. If what he does works, and I am convinced of it by experience and data, then I need to re-examine my beliefs. It does not sound like Mr. Limbaugh is open to this.