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Obama: Rush Limbaugh Made Me Fail

The headline on Mediaite said it all:

Obama: Limbaugh, Fox Helped Create Environment for Republicans Refusing to Work With Me

The story began thusly, bold print for emphasis supplied:

In tonight’s NBC Dateline special, as President Obama tonight discussed his frustrations with Republicans for not being more willing to work with him over the past eight years, he once again invoked Rush Limbaugh and Fox News to discuss that very issue.

Because while on the one hand there was a “tactical” decision not to work with him, Obama told Lester Holt, there was also a pressure they had to deal with:

“The ability of Republican leaders to rile up their base, helped along by folks like Rush Limbaugh and some commentators on Fox News, I think created an environment in which Republican voters would punish Republicans for cooperating with me.

The “some commentators on Fox News” without doubt refers to Sean Hannity, perhaps the fiercest Obama critic in the nighttime line-up of the period.

So where do we start with this amazing Obama admission? Here.

Remember this story from January of 2009? Here’s the transcript from Rush’s show on January 16, 2009 — four days before the Obama inauguration, bold print supplied by me for emphasis:

RUSH: I got a request here from a major American print publication. ‘Dear Rush: For the Obama [Immaculate] Inauguration we are asking a handful of very prominent politicians, statesmen, scholars, businessmen, commentators, and economists to write 400 words on their hope for the Obama presidency. We would love to include you. If you could send us 400 words on your hope for the Obama presidency, we need it by Monday night, that would be ideal.’ Now, we’re caught in this trap again. The premise is, what is your ‘hope.’ My hope, and please understand me when I say this. I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, ‘Well, I hope he succeeds. We’ve got to give him a chance.’ Why? They didn’t give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated the search-and-destroy mission had begun. I’m not talking about search-and-destroy, but I’ve been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don’t want them to succeed.

If I wanted Obama to succeed, I’d be happy the Republicans have laid down. And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him. Look, what he’s talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don’t want this to work. So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, ‘Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.’ (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, ‘Oh, you can’t do that.’ Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: ‘Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.’ Somebody’s gotta say it.

Were the liberals out there hoping Bush succeeded or were they out there trying to destroy him before he was even inaugurated? Why do we have to play the game by their rules? Why do we have to accept the premise here that because of the historical nature of his presidency, that we want him to succeed? This is affirmative action, if we do that. We want to promote failure, we want to promote incompetence, we want to stand by and not object to what he’s doing simply because of the color of his skin? Sorry. I got past the historical nature of this months ago. He is the president of the United States, he’s my president, he’s a human being, and his ideas and policies are what count for me, not his skin color, not his past, not whatever ties he doesn’t have to being down with the struggle, all of that’s irrelevant to me. We’re talking about my country, the United States of America, my nieces, my nephews, your kids, your grandkids. Why in the world do we want to saddle them with more liberalism and socialism? Why would I want to do that? So I can answer it, four words, ‘I hope he fails.’ And that would be the most outrageous thing anybody in this climate could say. Shows you just how far gone we are. Well, I know, I know. I am the last man standing.

I’m happy to be the last man standing. I’m honored to be the last man standing.

And now? Mere days before President Obama leaves office a full eight years later? No less than Obama himself is saying that in essence he failed. Forget that big glossy speech in Chicago. Now he is telling NBC that not only did he fail but Rush Limbaugh is responsible for his failure. Or in other words, Obama’s leftist screw-ups are Rush’s fault.

Well… wow.

Let’s be clear here. What Rush was talking about in the plainest and most understandable of terms is that liberalism is always a failure. Say again, he phrased it this way:

Look, what he’s talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don’t want this to work.

That turned out to be exactly correct. The other night House Speaker Paul Ryan was on a CNN Town Hall hosted by Jake Tapper. Here is what he said when discussing Obamacare, which became the embodiment of Rush’s point that Obama wanted the U.S. government to absorb the health care system. Said the Speaker in response to an Arizona cancer survivor who said Obamacare saved his life, again bold print for emphasis supplied:

“This law is failing on that front and I think there is much, much better system that could be put in its place. I don’t know how long you want me to get into this, because I’m sure there’s some questions; but, Obamacare came in with all this fanfare and all this promise. Remember, “If you like your plan you can keep it”? That was proven the lie of the year at the time. Remember, it was going to lower premiums $2500? They have skyrocketed since then. Remember, you were going to have all these choices? Five states, you only have one choice. Thirty-one percent of all the counties in America? One choice. That’s not a choice, that’s a monopoly.

So, Arizona — this year, the premium increases for people on Obamacare, 116 percent; Oklahoma, 69 percent; Tennessee, 63 percent; Minnesota, 59 percent. The problem is, these increases were double- digit last year. They are really high this year. This thing is collapsing.

The biggest health insurance company in the country last year, United, pulled out of Obamacare. Aetna pulled out of Obamacare. Humana pulled out of Obamacare. As I mentioned, five states now are down to one insurer. Over a thousand counties in America are down to one insurer and they’re all getting double-digit premium increases because they have a monopoly.

So, clearly, that’s not working. And we see the worst is yet to come.

In other words? There was Rush Limbaugh back there in January of 2009 saying specifically that if Obama did what he said he was going to do the health care system in this country would be in big trouble, which is why Rush was hoping he failed. While Republicans opposed him on Obamacare (because, you see, they were intimidated by Rush) the President rammed his health care bill through anyway and got his way. Now comes Speaker Ryan to correctly say, eight years later, that “This law is failing… This thing is collapsing.”

But the President looks at his problems and says, literally, they are Rush’s fault. Not the fault of his political philosophy and his resulting governing decisions — no, no. Obamacare is failing because “Rush Limbaugh and some commentators on Fox News” (i.e., Sean Hannity) intimidated Republicans from working with him.

This is the adult political version of the classic high school kid’s bleat that “the dog ate my homework.”

Let’s be plain — and yes Hannity did in fact frequently remind his audiences of these little old hard facts from the Obama era. Whether it was the 90-plus million Americans who were out of the work force and gave up looking for jobs or the 10 million Americans added to the food stamp rolls — a 32% increase since he took office in 2009 — the liberal governing philosophy that fueled the Obama era have been shown to be a spectacular failure.

The failures of the Obama presidency had nothing to do with Rush Limbaugh. That is a joke. They had nothing to do with Sean Hannity or the rest of the Fox crew. But yet as he leaves office, trying his damnedest to make Americans think he was a success, the bitter truth of who the soon-to-be ex-President personally blames for his failures escapes in that NBC Dateline interview.

Anything that didn’t work with Obama administration policies? It’s all Rush’s fault. Sean did it. Fox did it.

Ya can’t make up a liberal fantasy better than that one.

A Trump presidency cannot get here soon enough.

Jeffrey Lord
Jeffrey Lord
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 Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan. An author and CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com and @JeffJlpa1. His new book, What America Needs: The Case for Trump, is now out from Regnery Publishing.
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