Supporters of President Barack Obama have been having sport with Rush Limbaugh, the famous radio talk show host, for repeatedly saying that he, Limbaugh, wants Obama to fail. Wanting the President of the United States to fail is now, it seems, treason.
The blogger Patterico has found a two and a half year old Fox Opinion Dynamics Poll that suggests that the Left did not always think that wanting the President of the United States to fail was all that horrible.
People were asked the following question in August of 2006. “Regardless of how you voted in the presidential election, would you say you want President Bush to succeed or not?” The party breakdown of responses was as follows:
“Republicans: Yes: 90% No: 7% (Don’t Know): 2%
Democrats: Yes: 40% No: 51% (Don’t Know): 9%
Independents: Yes: 63% No: 34% (Don’t Know): 3%”
In August of 2006, the United States was, as now, fighting a war on terror in two theaters of operation, Iraq and Afghanistan, and yet a majority of Democrats and a significant number of Independents wanted President George W. Bush, then the commander in chief of that war, to fail. That would mean that the war would fail, the United States would be defeated and humiliated, and the terrorists victorious. That sounds perhaps a little closer to the classic definition of treason that Rush Limbaugh opposing President Barack Obama’s economic policies.
But, President Obama’s defenders would say, Rush Limbaugh says that he wants President Obama to fail in his plans to fix the economy, start up economic growth, and get people back to work. Rush Limbaugh has replied that, no, he wants President Obama to fail in his plans to expand government, raise taxes, and spend the country’s wealth on nonsense onto the next two or three generations.
It seems that whether or not wanting the President of the United States to fail is treason depends largely on who the President of the United States, at least according to the Left. But one person’s treason is another person’s patriotic dissent.
Dissent against the policies of the President or any other leader is actually healthy, even if wrong. If the policy is the right one and is defended with vigor then, given good information, most people will support it no matter how many other people scream and yell against it. Indeed, the dissent will force the leaders making the policy to sharpen in and to defend it. On the other hand, no amount of suppression of dissent, by suggest those dissenting are engaged in sedition, will make a bad policy good.
The dissent doesn’t have to be wise or correct. It just has to be there.
To illustrate, this writer, back during the 1984 campaign, got a campaign mailer from the Americans for Democratic Action, a left wing group, that consisted of a letter from the famous writer, the late Isaac Asimov. Asimov, the author of such iconic series as The Foundation and the Robot novels, took then President Reagan to task for wanting to overthrow the Soviet Union. Isaac Asimov, who was quite proud when he was alive of his membership in Mensa, suggested that Reagan was a fool for even thinking such a thing was possible. This writer remembers a line, paraphrasing, “I write science fiction and I know the difference between that and reality.”
One would have wished to have heard Asimov’s thoughts in 1992, as both he and the Soviet Union lay dying, Asimov because of AIDS brought on by a bad blood transfusion, the Soviets brought on by Ronald Reagan.
The point, of course, is that not even the ridicule of a popular figure as Isaac Asimov was able to stop Ronald Reagan from bringing down the Soviet Empire. Nor, twenty plus years later, were unpopularity and dissent sufficient to stop President George W. Bush from routing the enemy in Iraq.
So, President Obama and his supporters would be well advised to lay off the treason talk against Rush Limbaugh. If Obama’s policies are the right ones, then the economy will right itself, no matter what Rush Limbaugh has to say. On the other hand, if they are not the right wants, no amount of intimidation of those who say so will make it otherwise.
Source: Democrats Have No Right To Be Snooty About Rush Not Wanting the President to Succeed, Patterico, Patterico’s Pontefications, March 8th, 2009