Doughy Pantload Wants Obama to Fail

Doughy Pantload, Politics, Rush Limbaugh

What a surprise…

serious douchechills….

doughy-pantload

The tired war on Rush Limbaugh

The conservative commentator said he hopes Barack Obama fails. But what’s so radical about disagreeing with an agenda he doesn’t believe in?

Jonah Goldberg

March 3, 2009

Here we go again. Rush Limbaugh is public enemy No. 1.

Liberal bloggers and media chin-strokers are aghast at Limbaugh’s statement that he hopes Barack Obama fails.

Well, given what Obama wants to do, I hope he fails too. Of course I want the financial crisis to end — who doesn’t? But Obama’s agenda is much more audacious. Pretty much every major news outlet in the country has said as a matter of objective analysis that Obama wants to repeal the legacy of Ronald Reagan and remake the country as a European welfare state. And yet people are shocked that conservatives, Limbaugh included, want Obama to fail in this effort?

What movie have they been watching? Because I could swear that conservatives opposing the expansion of big government is what conservatives do. It’s Aesopian. The scorpion must sting the frog. The conservative must object to socialized medicine.

Besides, since when did hoping for the failure of ideological agendas you disagree with become unpatriotic? Liberals were hardly treasonous when they hoped for the failure of George W. Bush’s Social Security privatization scheme.

Regardless, the war on Limbaugh from the left is a tired rehash. In 1995, Bill Clinton tried to blame the Oklahoma City bombing on Rush. In 2002, then-Sen. Tom Daschle, the leader of the Democratic opposition, claimed that Limbaugh’s listeners weren’t “satisfied just to listen.” They were a violent threat to decent public servants like him.

In just the last month, Obama suggested that Republicans were in thrall to Rush. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has anointed him the GOP’s leader. Rep. Barney Frank complained that Republicans didn’t give Obama enough standing ovations during his address to Congress because they are afraid of Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Does anyone think that Republicans, absent fear of Limbaugh’s lash, would be throwing flower petals at Obama’s feet as he sells the Great Society II? If that’s true, I say thank goodness for Limbaugh’s lash.

Just because the Democrats’ shtick is old and often dishonest doesn’t mean it’s tactically dumb. Limbaugh and other right-wing talkers are popular with a third of the country. Fairly or not, they turn off moderates and self-described independents (and, for the left, conservative talk radio is the font of all evil). Most politicians would prefer to have 70% of the public on their side at the cost of losing 30%, even if that requires being less than fair to the 30%.

The more interesting war on Limbaugh comes from the right. My National Review colleague John Derbyshire has written a thoughtful article for the American Conservative disparaging the “lowbrow conservatism” of talk radio. His brush is a bit too broad at times. Some right-wing talkers, such as Bill Bennett and Dennis Prager, can be almost professorial. Michael Savage, meanwhile, sounds like the orderlies are about to break through the barricades with straitjacket in hand. Derbyshire is nonetheless right that conservatism is top-heavy with talk-radio talent, giving the impression the right is deficient in other areas and adding to the shrillness of public discourse.

Another point of attack comes from “reformist” conservative writers, such as blogger Ross Douthat of the Atlantic and former Bush speechwriter David Frum. They argue that conservatism is too attached to talk-show platitudes and Reagan kitsch. They want conservatives and Republicans to become more entrepreneurial, less reflexively opposed to government action. Hence, the New Reformers object to Limbaugh’s role as an enforcer of ideological conformity. What’s good for Limbaugh, many of them argue, guarantees that the GOP will become a powerless rump party only for conservative true believers.

I’m dubious about that, but I do have a suggestion that would help on both fronts. Bring back “Firing Line.” William F. Buckley Jr., who died almost exactly a year ago, hosted the program for PBS for 33 years. He performed an incalculable service at a time when conservatives were more associated with yahoos than they are today. He demonstrated that intellectual fluency and good manners weren’t uniquely liberal qualities. More important, the “Firing Line” debates (models of decorum) demonstrated that conservatives were unafraid to examine their own assumptions or to battle liberal ones.

As Democrats try to ram through the “remaking of America” (Obama’s words) by exploiting a financial crisis, we need those debates. PBS could actually live up to its mandate to educate and inform the public. It would be the kind of entrepreneurial government innovation even right-wingers could get behind.

jgoldberg@latimescolumnists.com

The Mad Dog Leaves Mike and Heads to Satellite Radio

Stories

FROM THE BEST PAPER IN LONG ISLAND NEW YORK:NEWSDAY

After 19 years, Russo leaves “Mike and the Mad Dog”

BY NEIL BEST

neil.best@newsday.com

8:31 AM EDT, August 15, 2008

“Mike and the Mad Dog,” a New York sports talk radio institution for nearly two decades, has been disconnected.

WFAN abruptly ended the 19-year-old show late yesterday afternoon when it announced to the media that co-host Chris Russo has left the station, leaving Mike Francesa to carry on without him.

Russo had hoped to do a farewell show, but WFAN opted to part ways immediately after releasing him from a contract that would have run through next spring.

The announcement was made after Francesa left the air yesterday, but he said he will answer all questions about it on today’s show.

The news did not come as a surprise; Newsday first reported June 22 that the show likely would end before Labor Day. But it still was an emotional moment for the longtime duo.

“It’s kind of a sad day,” Russo said last night. “It’s a very strange day in my life.”

Said Francesa: “I think it has to sink in. It’ll be very different when I finally get back in the fall.”

He will be on solo today as scheduled; Russo is on vacation.

The reasons for the breakup are multi-faceted, and somewhat murky.

Operations manager Mark Chernoff said all parties agreed “the show has kind of run its course.” But Russo said that was true only to a point.

He said he could have carried on but was motivated to explore other opportunities.

“Basically, I’m looking for a different challenge in my life,” Russo said. “I’m 48 years of age. This might be the last chance I’m going to get for a challenge if I want to take it.”

Russo swore on his children’s lives that he has no firm agreement or contract, but industry sources say he is likely to land at Sirius Satellite Radio for a lucrative deal worth up to $15 million over five years.

“I have four or five options,” he said. “Sirius would be one of them … Obviously, I’m not stupid. I’m not going to leave FAN unless I have something relatively secure.”

Because there will be no farewell show, their final joint appearance was an Aug. 5 remote at Giants camp in Albany. Other than that day, they had not spoken for weeks until Wednesday.

“I told him if I don’t re-sign [with WFAN], it has nothing to do with him and I,” Russo said.

Francesa said the two agreed to talk again when Russo cleans out his office next week.

The hosts’ relationship has been strained in recent months, and at least to some extent, they apparently were ready to move on from each other as well as the show.

“I think the relationship was part of this,” Francesa said, “but I think in the end this was probably more of a different vision about what the future may hold.”

At the same time the station announced that Russo was leaving, it announced a new contract for Francesa, whose deal was believed to be expiring around the end of the year.

Francesa said he will have control over the new-look show, which will unfold in the coming weeks. He will not have a co-host, but he will not sit alone for 5½ hours a day.

“I expect nothing less than to be successful, but I understand it’s a great challenge,” Francesa said. “It won’t be a co-hosting situation. It will be my show, but I want to have personalities and other opinions and other voices.”

Francesa and Russo were the undisputed stars of WFAN after Don Imus was fired last year. Chernoff tried his best to keep them together.

He sat them down in May and again in July before the All-Star Game, the latter time “to see if things were OK. I thought they were, but obviously, there were things that made it tough.”

He said he is confident that Francesa can succeed without Russo.

“Mike’s a strong personality who brings an awful lot to the table,” Chernoff said.

Said Russo: “I’m going to miss the station, the heartbeat, the day-in-and-day-out buzz of New York sports.”

Said Francesa: “I would expect as we get distance from it, we’ll be very proud of what we built and accomplished. But I do also look forward to this [new show].”