Limbaugh is hurting Republicans with criticism of Obama

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 | 10:00 a.m. CST

I am surprised by how much hype has been given to the Rush Limbaugh-Barack Obama debate. This is just another in a long line of controversial comments Limbaugh has made. Why are Obama supporters up in arms about this obvious attempt to pull himself out of the ratings slump?

This isn’t the first time he has attacked Obama, calling him a “magic negro” and “halfrican American” on two other occasions, according to Media Matters. These controversial blunders, along with many other missteps aimed at higher ratings, have contributed to books and articles published on his inaccuracies for years. Remember Al Franken’s “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations?"

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," the president said following an attack by Limbaugh, in which he stated that he hoped Obama would fail, or our country would see the rise of socialism.

"We are being told we have to hope he succeeds," Limbaugh said on his radio program. "That we have to bend over and grab our ankles ... because his father was black, because he's the first black president, we've got to accept this."

But is this feeling of being forced into hoping Obama succeeds the real issue Republicans like Limbaugh are having with the president? Or do the issues they have stem from the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp (a move John McCain stated he would have done as well) without a clear decision on what to do with those still incarcerated there? Are they angry because a previous stimulus draft plan called for contraceptives funding? Or are they mad because once again, the abortion ping-pong of presidential decisions has overturned Bush legislation banning funds for international groups that provide abortions or abortion information? Additionally, Obama has overturned the Reagan-era Mexico City Policy, which prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions overseas.

Basically, like a child who has gotten his or her way for the past eight years, Republicans like Mr. Limbaugh are angry at having to compromise, share and follow a new leader with whom they don't see eye to eye. 

Rush has every right to bash the president. He gets paid to be controversial and entertaining. After all, El Rushbo was named "Greatest Radio Talk Show Host of All Time" by Talkers in 2002. However, by 2007 Rasmussen Reports had 62 percent of Americans holding an unfavorable opinion of Mr. Limbaugh.

Right-wing America is looking at this all wrong. Obama is not telling anyone who they can listen to and who they can't. He is saying no work can get done in the government if lawmakers are simply taking what Limbaugh says to be true and not questioning things for themselves.

And why should lawmakers be listening to Limbaugh, for goodness' sake? Although he was born in Cape Girardeau and worked for my beloved Kansas City Royals before jump-starting his radio career, he is still a college dropout who has never been involved or trained in politics besides being behind a microphone. It’s ludicrous that educated, experienced lawmakers should shrink behind this man to get their point across.

What’s even more ludicrous is the fact Rush now believes, as he said on Jan. 27, that Obama is "obviously more frightened of me than he is of (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell. He's more frightened of me than he is of, say, (House Minority Leader) John Boehner, which doesn't say much about our party." 

The real travesty here is not in Obama’s comment, but in the way the Democratic Party has chosen to act. On Jan. 27, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee created an online petition to express outrage at Mr. Limbaugh for saying he wanted the president to fail. This just adds more fuel to a fire they should want put out, especially when Limbaugh corrected himself (a rather feeble correction) more than 10 days earlier on his show, saying it was President Obama's policies he wants to see fail, not the man himself. "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."

Mr. Limbaugh's time is waning, what with the public shifting its attention to the Ann Coulters and the Laura Ingrahams of our day. Heck, even ditzy Sarah Palin is rumored to host her own program. Not only are they better to look at (sorry Rush), they aren't claiming to have their talent "on loan from God," as Limbaugh does.

Obama is not making Limbaugh his equal just by mentioning his name. In fact, he is actually doing the Democrats a favor. By labeling Rush as the monarch of the Republican party, he is giving cause for many who abhor the man to second-guess the party. He has named the sides. You are either on Team Obama or Team Limbaugh. And for many, Team Obama might be synonymous with Team America and Team Limbaugh might be a scary place to be. 

Obama is putting the face of a downward-spiraling entertainer on the Republican Party. The once great El Rushbo is being slowly replaced by younger versions, and when God takes back that talent he loaned Rush, his party might be exactly where Obama wants it.


Tracy Barnes graduated from MU in 2008 with degrees in journalism and English. She is a former copy editor and multimedia editor for the Missourian. She can be contacted at

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Charles Dudley Jr February 4, 2009 | 6:48 p.m.

Rush is on to much of a rush from all of those prescription pain killers to even know what he is saying.

I used to like Rush way back in the day but these days I can hardly stand to hear him.

Hannady has calmed down alot since the election but he gets too far out there as well.

I still like Savage and Boortz in the evenings.

(Report Comment)
Lane Wilson February 4, 2009 | 8:59 p.m.

Good column.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 4, 2009 | 11:38 p.m.

Three comments, of many, from US News blog:

Put a Lid on Limbaugh
February 04, 2009 05:05 PM ET
I listened to Rush for a couple years before I tired of his rhetoric and praising himself; in short, until I began thinking again ["Pro-Obama Group Expands Rush Limbaugh Bashing Campaign,"]. I realize he is a showman making a living off anything folks want to hear, however for Rush to call for our president to fail as he is struggling to repair eight years of his President [Bush's] incompetence is not only wrong but reason to run him out of town. Our nation is bipartisan; only our government is partisan. So let's keep things in perspective shall we? No American must ever want any president to fail, just as no American should ever want our nation to fail!

Comment by Ray Fischer of NM

Let's get real folks. Rush Limbaugh—the entertainer—is paid tens of millions of dollars by his radio syndicate to spout his GOP rubbish over the public airways. What difference does it make to him if poor and middle-class Americans struggle to make ends meet? Why does he care if the stimulus package is defeated or delayed indefinitely? Why does he wish that the Obama administration fails? Rush is set for life. Give me a break. How can any citizen take this GOP mouthpiece seriously?!

Comment by Rob Snowden of TX

He's an entertainer, nothing more
If Rush were willing to walk away from that $400 million dollar job and run for office where he could be part of the solution...then maybe he would be relevant.
Rob of CA

(Report Comment)
Panama Red February 5, 2009 | 7:19 a.m.

Rush is a idiot.

(Report Comment)
Ed Numbe February 5, 2009 | 3:20 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ed Numbe February 5, 2009 | 7:25 p.m.

Rush is right. Obama will fail if he continues to pursue a liberal agenda. Obama makes the world unsafe by freeing jihad terrorist. Obama jeopardizes the sanctity of life by murdering human embryos in the name of science. Obama hijacks the financial success of all Americans by presenting a stimulus bill that is pork-laden and chalked full of senseless liberal spending programs. (Pork – it’s what’s for stimulus. Got Pork? It’s the Oconomy, stupid). Rush is right. Obama is wrong. Why does Rush get the goat of Obama so much? Why is Obama so sensitive and reactive to ‘spot-on’ criticism? Is it that Obama wants to rename the Democratic party the “Tax Dodgers”? (CHANGE – Something the IRS will not be getting from Democrats come tax season).
I think Tracy Barnes is overly sensitive. Like many young dreamers, she drank the Obama Kool-Aid is prepared to go to Jonestown or catch the Hale-Bopp comet. Tracy needs to grow up. After all, she is just a simple college graduate who works at a college newspaper read by her, her friends, and two others. (How much money does this paper COST the University in these tough economic times?). Tracy, in effect, is a ditz. She has never mothered a child nor governed a state nor been a serious political pundit. She just writes for the Missourian. She appears to have no understanding of conservative thinking. What do you think Tracy will write about when she grows up? It might go something like this:
Once upon a time, we had a President who put terrorists in jail and made America safe. He protected human life as more important than science. Everyone paid taxes, even Democrats. Oh, and once upon a time government was good and small, not just big and bloated. But then one day a bad thing happened. My friends and me swigged some Kool-Aid and voted for a man named Obama. Well, we hated it when people were critical of this man, and we talked bad about people who said bad things and did everything we could to remove their words of dissent. Anyway, nobody said anything bad about this man Obama anymore and we all just skipped along like everything was hunky dory. Unfortunately, everything was not ok. But we didn’t want to hear about that and we just tuned those things out or block them from our conversations. After a while, but now it was too late, bad things started to happen to America. Freed terrorists came back and killed us. The brutal murder of human embryos accelerated and new life became worthless. The government went bankrupt because Democrats didn’t pay taxes and the others stop paying because of the hypocrisy. And now I live in an apartment with my children and grandchildren because that bad man Obama indebted me to a life of poverty. The end. Or, the end of free speech and dissent in America as presented by Rush Limbaugh.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 5, 2009 | 7:46 p.m.

Ed Numbe this country went into the hole because your God-Daddy Bush insisted on spending over $10mill a month in Iraq looking for WMD's there were not there but were over the border in Syria instead.

That is only one reason this country is so broke, There are hundreds if not thousands of other reasons we can go into going clear back into the 609's and 50's even.

(Report Comment)
Tracy Barnes February 5, 2009 | 7:58 p.m.

I am glad Ed is one of those two others reading my column.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 5, 2009 | 9:22 p.m.

Another reason why this country is so broke is that there are too many lazy, irresponsible and selfish people who sponge off of society. One recent example: Nadya Suleman, who couldn't even support the six kids she already had but decided to have eight more anyway.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 6, 2009 | 3:10 a.m.

Well Tracy Barnes alot of us who read this paper as well as others refused along time ago to drink the kool aid that blinds most who do drink it from the realities that life really is and clouds the judgments of many in our society today.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 6, 2009 | 4:13 a.m.

This country went into the hole because we (most Americans) decided to live beyond our means. That living well now is preferable to saving and living better later. We turned our houses into ATM's, and we've sold our infrastructure to creditors around the globe. We are preparing to spend almost a trillion dollars to try to keep this idiotic, unsustainable party going a few years longer. Enough is enough.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 6, 2009 | 4:54 a.m.

Mark Foecking I can totally agree with that statement as presented. I have always tried to live with in my means no matter how much it hurt. As of a few months ago I tightened down even more so. In the end my freezer is full,my cupboards stocked and the basic bills paid each month but that still does not make it easy by far. The cost of meds and health care going up is hurting alot of people not just at the poverty level and barely above. It hurts all levels.

The fact that all of this society as a whole is living beyond what it brings in effects everybody no matter how much those doing it think it doesn't.

Great post Mark.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 6, 2009 | 7:26 a.m.

The problem with living as if there were no tomorrow is that there always IS a tomorrow. Would we want there to be no tomorrow?

(Report Comment)
M L February 6, 2009 | 8:39 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Jeff Kays February 6, 2009 | 9:45 a.m.

Tracy, I would have much rather seen you analyze Rush's claim that our country will see the rise of socialism if Obama's policies succeed. But that would require some actual work on your part. Instead you treat us to your analysis of the personalty of Rush and Obama and the teary eyed cheerleaders who rally around them. Thanks, that's five minutes of my life I won't get back.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 6, 2009 | 11:11 a.m.

I demand the refund of my bandwidth please.

(Report Comment)
Spencer Engel February 6, 2009 | 3:29 p.m.

Panama Red February 5, 2009 | 7:19 a.m.
"Rush is a idiot."

I think Rush would know to put "an" idiot. Rush is just stirring up some controversy - what he gets paid to do. Calm down.

(Report Comment)
Scott R February 7, 2009 | 11:44 p.m.

First of all, it's funny Tracy you say Rush hasn't had that much time learning about politics because he's a dropout, but you think Obama the messiah will change America with the little experience he's had. Another thing, Rush Limbaugh isn't purposing to cause publicity because he's getting paid for it, it's because Rush is smart enough to see a Democratic plan go down the drain even though the Democratic media will lie and say it will work. Oh, and yes Tracy, I do believe Rush is willing to compromise, him along with other republicans, we are just still waiting for Obama the messiah to work his magic, that people say he has the power to change the nation! Which I think is not going to happen anytime soon and neither does Rush, who is waiting for the inexperienced president to fail.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 8, 2009 | 4:30 a.m.

Scott R the Redumblican Party is quite funny when it comes to all of this with our new President.

It would seem alot of you have very selective hearing and totally forget the fact Obama openly has said many many times over this will not get done over night or even in one year for that matter. It is going to take a very long period of time to get anything done because of all of the screw ups over the last 8 years by your "Grand Poh Bah of Ha Ha" the very unpopular Mr Bush.

Rush is just another idiot on the air waves as is Hannady and Oriely but at least Hannady has calmed down quite a bit. Maybe of Rush would stop getting that "rush" off all of those meds he takes his brain would not be so cloudy and he would not ramble and blabber incessantly all day long.

A very long time ago I liked Rush but then he went too Radical Right Wing Nutziod and that was the end of that.

Enjoy listening to your "Messiah of the Airwaves" and please stop drinking that left over Bush kool aid.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 8, 2009 | 9:50 a.m.

Unless you have some proof that Rush is hitting the meds again, best be careful what you allege Chuck.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 8, 2009 | 1:16 p.m.

John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County it does not take a chemist at M.U. by far to see a junkie at a thousand yards.

It also does not take a chemist at M.U. to see a blabbering idiot either as Rush really has become since Obama won the election.

John Schultz you really need to remove your blinders and stop drinking that kool aid.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 8, 2009 | 7:42 p.m.

Chuck Dudley, sergeant at virtual arms in the Columbia Change Coalition, it's a good thing you are judgement-proof, otherwise it would be fun to see Rush take you to the cleaners in court.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 9, 2009 | 3:29 a.m.

John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County. How many times have I told you not only here,on Trib Board and elsewhere. I hold no office titles anywhere in any manner in this entire area yet you insist I do by your rambling postings.

John Schultz I am so glad not all Libertarians drink the kool aid you continue to as then there would be no hope at all for your third rate party.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 9, 2009 | 7:10 a.m.

Chuck, if you think I seriously care what you think about myself or my posts, then you are deluding yourself. I don't know why you keep bringing up my title, but I guess my mocking of that isn't getting through to you. If it's to shame me into not posting, or trying to paint my stances as incorrect by association with the LP, it's not going to work and you should find a better way to express yourself.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 9, 2009 | 8:01 a.m.

John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County I am so glad you feel this way as it shows the other local party members and party chairman here locally "how not to act online in the public eye" which in turn keeps their numbers growing.

Thank you for setting such a fine example for your party as their local online representative which in turn pushes more people to the other local political parties. I am sure they all appreciate your fine efforts.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 9, 2009 | 8:05 a.m.

So if you post under a pseudonym, Chuck gets upset. But if you post under your real name, he uses that to make fun of you. Hmmm . . .

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 9, 2009 | 8:39 a.m.

Ayn Rand your point might actually count if you actually had a point to count.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 9, 2009 | 10:15 a.m.

Chuck, if your only point wasn't the one on top of your head, you would comprehend what Ayn was saying.

The funny thing though Chuck is that I talked to a person at the League of Women Voters legislative forum on Thursday who likes what I have to say and wanted to talk to our local group in the future. I have had other people agree with me on various comments, both online and in "real life" so clearly what you are babbling on about is just that. So sorry if I take more stock in what these other people have told me than what you keep trying to assert.

If you want to come tell the local members how I'm misbehavin' online, come to our next meeting and let them know. However, I think they know I brook no insolence online and will defend myself and my beliefs.

Isn't it funny how you are the only person that gets my ire now and then? Hmm, I wonder why that might be?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 9, 2009 | 10:28 a.m.

Why would I come to your meeting you would not even accept the open invitation ray and I both extended to you in joining the local Community Coalition For Change. That just shows how non bipartisan you obviously are not.

Back on topic: Rush Limbaugh is still an idiot no matter how much you idolize him.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 9, 2009 | 10:42 a.m.

Did you ever consider that I felt anything tied to the Obama campaign is obviously partisan? I'm more than busy enough with work and my current activities, duties, and hobbies (not to mention my children) to join in another organization at this time, particularly with people as grating as you come across online.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 9, 2009 | 12:19 p.m.

Chuck, what point would you like me to argue? That it's less wasteful to leave lights on than it is to turn them off?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 9, 2009 | 12:54 p.m.

John Schultz I obviously must not be too abrasive as people contact me daily thanking me for what tiny bits and pieces of things I do around this community advocating for better changes for all no matter how small they are.

Back on topic again: Rush is a real idiot.

(Report Comment)
Jim Dog February 12, 2009 | 4:14 p.m.

Charles - what exactly is the local Community Coalition For Change? And what is it that you want to change? If the rest of the country was paying for my food, housing, and health care - I don't think I would be pushing for any change...

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 12, 2009 | 5:02 p.m.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 12, 2009 | 7:30 p.m.

Jim Dog what the coalition is looking to do is help this community in anyway that it can from volunteer work to providing volunteers for any and all events needed and to want to help this city keep onto the track it wants to be instead of the constant down turn we see across this nation.

The coalition of members is all about inclusion and not about the exclusion that we see alot of times now not only in our nation but in our own city.

It is all about building bridges in the community where they are needed by reaching across the table as needed into areas where there might be a need.

It is all about taking peoples concerns to not only our city/state level but to Washington as well through campaign style work and working together as a community should to see any and all change for the betterment of all.

Any more questions maybe you should show up at the next meeting which is a Policy Group Meeting to be held at:

Thursday, February 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Dunn Bros Coffee (off Forum near Schnucks and Forum Theaters)

All citizens concerned about our community are welcomed to attend and sit in no matter what political party you belong to as this coalition of volunteers is all about you the citizens of Columbia/Boone County and surrounding areas.

How is that for reaching across the table. Hope to see you there.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 12, 2009 | 8:08 p.m.

Chuck said:
"It is all about taking peoples concerns to not only our city/state level but to Washington as well through campaign style work and working together as a community should to see any and all change for the betterment of all."

What does that mean? What change, specifically, causes "betterment for all".

Sounds like a bunch of business-as-usual partisan politics. Just like the stimulus bill.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 12, 2009 | 8:53 p.m.

Mark Foecking if that is what you think then please ride your bike to the meeting I posted above. I know the Policy Group would love to hear all of your concerns about energy efficiency and everything that goes with it too.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 12, 2009 | 10:05 p.m.

During our last night's meeting, I had conveyed my dismay that we had only one black person in the crowd and mentioned that unless we see "green-friendly Republicans" and "Public Education concerned Libertarians" as well as "Less Spending on the Military Independents" that I, for one, would seek out another non-partisan vehicle.
This group of 25+ college-to-senior aged group of concerned Columbians welcome the evolution of what this group can become. It can become whatever the attendees choose to make it. As it is in its formative stage, this is the best time to get your thoughts and ideas out into the forum.
If you don't like the direction the group goes in, you can always leave. Personally, if I don't see an increase in the kind of political and professional diversity I hope for, I will drop out. This is your chance to make this group's dynamics into what you think it should be. We are even willing to undo the few organizational plans we have already established, should you have a better idea or direction for us to go towards.
Be more critical of it in 6 months. Right now, it's just in it's baby stage.

(Report Comment)
Tony Bishop March 5, 2009 | 1:31 p.m.

Ms. Barnes is obviously too young and too just out of college stupid to realize exactly what is happening in the world. When she has to go hungry and loose everything and have to rebuild their life, people like Rush tells people to help themselves and not wait on the government to make handout slaves out of everyone.

(Report Comment)
Richard Hayden March 14, 2009 | 12:50 p.m.

Ladies and Gentlemen the first rule of debate is to never engage in one with an idiot or idiots, lest bystanders confuse which is which. With all the personal attacks the seeds of confusion have been sown.
Tracy, is this satisfactory for your journalistic purposes? have a beautiful smile! :-)

(Report Comment)

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