Leonard Pitts writes eloquently about the statement Limbaugh made:
'I hope he fails.'' -- Limbaugh
It is, of course, a calculated outrage.
Meaning, it was spewed by a clown in the media circus to kick a familiar sequence into motion: angry denunciation by bloggers, pundits and supporters of President Barack Obama (the ''he'' whose failure is hoped), followed by Rush Limbaugh refusing to retract a word, a courageous truth teller who will not be moved. And, trailing behind, like the folks with brooms trail the elephants in the circus parade, Limbaugh's devotees, complaining that their hero has been misquoted, misunderstood or otherwise mistreated. "What Rush meant was . . . yadda yadda yadda.''
A calculated outrage.
And knowing this, knowing how frequently and adroitly media are manipulated by self-promoting media clowns who defame conservatism by calling themselves conservative, one is tempted to let the statement pass, to make its way unimpeded to the dustbin like so many other manufactured controversies. But occasionally, it's necessary to intercept one of them and hold it up to the light.
This is one of those times. Not because what Limbaugh said on his radio program a few days before the inauguration was an outrage -- outrage is the point, remember? -- but rather, because of what the thing he said says about him and his fellow clowns.
"I hope he fails.''
Do you ever say that about your president if you are an American who loves your country? Would you say it about George W. Bush, who was disastrous; about Bill Clinton, who was slimy; about Jimmy Carter, who was inept; about Richard Nixon, who was crooked? You may think he's going to fail, yes. You may warn he's going to fail, yes.
But do you ever hope he fails? Knowing his failure is the country's failure? Isn't that, well . . . disloyal?
Limbaugh seems to lust for the prospect of President Obama failing. At a time when our country needs to pull together like never before, Limbuagh wants failure. He wants President Obama's plans of better education, job creation, moving the country toward sustainable and clean fuel, and other plans to fail.
On the radio yesterday, people were calling in and stating how job applicants cannot add, subtract, spell, or count back change. President Bush's No Child Left Behind has left many children behind. The focus in schools today isn't about teaching. It's about teaching so students can pass benchmark tests so schools can prove they are teaching. They may be teaching the tests but there is little learning going on.
I didn't vote for President Bush in 2000. I didn't like him but never hoped he would fail. I voted for him in 2004 largely because of fear of another 9-11. Fear is the currency President Bush spread around like icicles.
Limbaugh and others like him want to cling to that fear. Fear is the message Limbaugh, Palin, and others trumpeted. Hope is the message Obama heralded.
I would rather live in hope than fear. Fear holds you back. Hope makes you nearly fearless and able to handle the task of rebuilding.