I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure to meet, Mr. Friedersdorf, and I’m sure you’re a wonderful fellow, but I’m frustrated by your assertion that we can tell which of the two Democratic candidates would be the worse president. You cite their stated positions on foreign policy and health care but need I remind you, they’re Democrats? What they promise during the campaign and what they deliver after the election are two entirely separate matters. Or perhaps you don’t remember the “middle class tax cut” that was the key economic promise of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign.
Hillary says she wants mandated socialized health care and Obama says he wants socialized health care without mandates, but once such a proposal goes through the congressional meat-grinder, who knows what it might contain? And are we to accept at face value Hillary’s protestation that she wouldn’t meet with foreign radicals, even though her husband hosted Yasser Arafat at the White House?
Policy-wise, either Democrat would be a disaster, and it’s impossible to guess — based purely on their biographies, political histories, and rhetoric — which would be worse. Thus, Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” idea: Stir up such a primary fight that, even if the Democrats are able to get their candidate elected in November, their party will suffer long-term damage in the process. A damaged Democratic Party would be less likely to hold the White House for two terms, or withstand a midterm backlash in 2010.
Given the dismal course of John McCain’s campaign, Limbaugh’s strategy seems the best available option, which is not the same as saying it’s a good option.