I am really, really going to try to write a column this week outside of the black hole of the Limbaugh, Steele, White House triangle of political death. The sad thing about all of this drama is that it doesn’t mean anything that positively impacts the life of one single American citizen. All this drama between Emanuel, Rush, George Stephanopoulos and Steele is a smoke screen to keep your minds off of what is really important: the fact that Obama and the Democrats have no clue on how to fix the economy and that the Democratic Congress is giving away BILLIONS of your tax dollars in pork in this stimulus package.

Let’s put all of this in proper perspective: Rush Limbaugh and George Stephanopoulos are private citizens who are media celebrities. They do not run the RNC of the DNC, write any bills or pass any laws. Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama are part of the White House. The President can veto bills and apply political pressure but the Presidency does not appropriate any money or is authorized to spend one dime without the legislative branch. Michael Steele hasn’t figured out his responsibilities at the RNC, and if he did, his role is to win elections not shape fiscal policy.

Barack Obama has got less than a year before the 2010 primary season begins. He has only got that window of opportunity to turn around the economic mess that he has inherited from Republican Administration and a Democratic Congress. If Republicans want to recover their political mojo, it is the Congress that has got to be the focus of any message. Stop playing their game – Obama is not important and you are not going to beat him… plus he is not running for re-election for three years – last time I checked, you can’t beat someone who is not even running.

TONY CAMPBELL, Columnist
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CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
It’s not just the Democratic Congress though, and it is Obama in addition to them. They wouldn’t be able to do what they do without his political capital. And it’s not just the pork (though that’s bad for a number of reasons- mainly, not because of the actual pricetag but for what it means for our corrupt system that makes incumbents so hard to unseat.) Obama’s budget, as Michael Gerson points out, shifts our country radically to the left for years to come. While no one is looking or paying much attention, and Obama is playing an elaborate con game-… Read more »
greenschemes
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greenschemes
7 years 6 months ago
The entire Limbaugh thing is a deflection which I pointed out the moment it began getting any traction at all. The problem with modern day politics is that we are more interested in winning the debate then we are in solving the problems. Barak Obama put forth a humongous Budget that he knows will get whittled down. The problem is that if you raise the bar what is the proper amount to whittle it back too? 1.75 trillion deficit back down to 1.25 trillion and the right can claim a victory? Thats what hes banking on but Im here to… Read more »
T-Steel
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7 years 6 months ago
I feel no one (Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative) has no clue on how to fix what’s broken our economy. President Obama is trying to staunch massive bleeding (and he may succeed in slowing the bleeding somewhat) but it really won’t be enough. The financial system has failed because of rampant “side hustling”, greed, and utter ambivalence to due diligence. I refuse to play blame the politician with this one. Obama is President during the suffering period. Nothing he does is going to totally work. Consumers are holding back because they are worried about JOBS. Can’t work, can’t spend. The job… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
President. Obama is the “decider” right now. They need focus on where they can have the most impact: Congress. Oh, I do agree, the GOP has no choice but to focus its opposition toward the Dems in Congress right now, and that will be true until the public sees that Obama’s tone is just a facade (the distraction technique that allows the shell game to work.) I think they need to debate the policies themselves until people start to realize that it’s Obama who championed these policies. Right now, the polling shows a huge disconnect between the public’s opinion of… Read more »
Uncular1
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Uncular1
7 years 6 months ago

I understand that a slight Dem. majority was voted in in 2006, but as the congress was controlled by Republicans from 1994-2006 I think Tony is being a little disingenuous when he states that Obama inherited this mess from a “Republican administration and a Democratic congress.” Especially if you look at the increases in vetoes that occurred after 2006 and consider that several Democratic senators were running for President from 2007 on.

The Democratic congress/Pelosi is the enemy thing seems like a talking point designed to deflect blame from the last eight years IMO.

T-Steel
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7 years 6 months ago
But I’ll tell you this much CStanley, President Obama is so gifted a politician that IF Republicans usurp the Democratic controlled Congress, he’ll find a way to maintain is face and cool while saying to the American people: “You have spoken and it is time for us to really work together to solve our country’s problem.” He’s not going to antagonize ANYONE. It’s his style for better or for worse. Like it or not, Obama’s tone is working simply because of the times. I don’t think his tone is a “hoodwink”. That’s just the way he is. Now his policies…… Read more »
casualobserver
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casualobserver
7 years 6 months ago
Tony C–congrats on having the stones to post up an article that runs contrary to the prevailing editorial sentiment here. TSteele, your point is taken. As Prof Mikkel has alluded to a few times, available capital has been consumed with chasing up the ROI curve instead of investing in the longer term payouts of R&D, manufacturing efficiencies, opening new markets, etc. You call it greed……fine……..but the people who provided the capital wanted returns………and if you don’t give them returns, they have no motivation to provide the capital. The higher returns of recent years came from all the paper transactions…….so that’s… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
T-Steel- what you’re describing as a potential scenario is exactly what Bill Clinton did in ’94. I think that’s the best case scenario for our future, to return to divided government, but I don’t know that we can presume that even that will work out very well. I think the idea that Obama won’t antagonize anyone is baloney. He won’t do it directly because he doesn’t have to- he has a staff of surrogates who do it for him. That’s a win-win for him- he looks like the ‘uniter’ when what he really does is marginalize anyone who disagrees with… Read more »
ChrisWWW
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7 years 6 months ago

It’s only been a few weeks after the Stimulus plan was signed into law. Did anyone really expect things to turn around in a month? We’re looking at a year or two before things really get back on track.

With that said, something needs to be done about the banking system. Geithner’s plans have all been DOA. We should nationalize the big banks now. The sooner we do that, the sooner we can reprivatize them.

Silhouette
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Silhouette
7 years 6 months ago

“but the Presidency does not appropriate any money or is authorized to spend one dime without the legislative branch”
****************
Which adminstration are you talking about? Seems Bushco did appropriate money without the legislative branch…and when they needed to, they lied in order to get the money…tons of it…irresponsibly..criminally… And now we’re broke. And you’re harping on Obama’s group? Wow. People who live in glass houses ought not throw stones…

T-Steel
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7 years 6 months ago
Well I use the word “greed” casualobserver, since I apply simplistic words when I’m a little upset. So your example about all the returns coming from paper transactions (and your personal snippet) does make me temper the word “greed” somewhat. Survival of the fittest… Wow. Well as a strong beliver in evolution I really can’t knock what your saying. “…this country does not have enough real, self-sustaining, low to moderate risk industry to employ everybody that is here” is so true. It just doesn’t. The American Dream for many is the American Nightmare simply by the evolution (and oh so… Read more »
DdW
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DdW
7 years 6 months ago
“the fact that Obama and the Democrats have no clue on how to fix the economy and that the Democratic Congress is giving away BILLIONS of your tax dollars in pork in this stimulus package,” is part opinion, which the writer has a right to express, and part misleading, which needs to be put into perspective. The second part of the opinion— “the Democratic Congress is giving away BILLIONS of your tax dollars in pork in this stimulus package”—has some merit, although the writer fails to acknowledge that the pork is bipartisan. As to the first half—the fact that Obama… Read more »
greenschemes
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greenschemes
7 years 6 months ago
The problem for me and many like me is not that Barak Obama is a far left liberal. That was understood by most rational opponents of BHO during the campaign. The problem for me is that he pretended to be something else and in fact the mantra was repeated over and over that BHO is not a far left liberal but rather a pragmatist moderate who will work with the GOP to get things done. That is my only problem with BHO. Its not that I think hes a bad person or a bum or something. I just am very… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
D.E. what are you afraid of in regard to Limbaugh? I assume it offends you that he chooses to express his dissenting opinion in the way that he does, but the policies advocated by Obama and the Democrats are now the law of the land and if you guys are right, then it’s a win win for your party anyway because Limbaugh will have made himself irrelevant in the future for having opposed this. So, are you actually afraid the policies will fail and Limbaugh will be proven right? Why else would this be important to you at all? Surely… Read more »
DdW
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DdW
7 years 6 months ago
CStanley: I am not afraid of Rush Limbaugh, as apparently so many Republicans are. I strongly disagree with his views, in particular with his views that Obama and his efforts to revive our economy must fail. And, I do believe that he has a tremendous amount of power over Republicans and the Party and, thus, that his views in fact may adversely affect what the Obama adminsitration is attempting to do to revive the economy. Now, as to whether Obama’s actions will be proven to work, remains to be seen. I personally hope they work. If they don’t work, as… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
What do you mean ‘at what price’? Are you somehow insinuating that Limbaugh can actually CAUSE the policies to fail? That’s my point in asking why you care what he says. If the policies will work, then they will work and Limbaugh will fail (and keep the GOP down at the same time.) If the policies succeed, they succeed. And Republicans are not afraid of Limbaugh, they’re just afraid of pissing off his listeners. The same would be true if the GOP had been forcing Democratic politicians to pass a litmus test by professing disdain for Michael Moore, MoveOn.org, the… Read more »
suzeecue
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suzeecue
7 years 6 months ago

“Stop playing their game – Obama is not important and you are not going to beat him… plus he not running for re-election for three years – last time I checked, you can’t beat someone who is not even running.”

Sorry, you’re wrong about this — running is the only thing he’s ever done, or knows how to do. As for the rest of the article, dead on.

DdW
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DdW
7 years 6 months ago

“If they don’t work, as so many are hoping for, well Limbaugh will be the big hero—but at what price?”

CS, what this means is: If the Obama administration’s attempts to rescue our economy fail as so many are hoping for–e.g. Rush Limbaugh,et al– Limbaugh will be the big hero. The price? (Continued) economic disaster at a horrific cost to Americans…

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
DE- so if Limbaugh would only be quiet, the odds of the economic policies turning things around will improve? That’s the part of your argument that doesn’t make sense, because obviously these policies will either work or fail regardless of what Limbaugh or any other critic of the administration says. It’s not a matter of wishing for recovery making it a reality. Too many people have fallen for the nonsense that the real problem in our country is ‘divisive rhetoric’. There is a line that has been crossed which should be corrected (people impugning motives instead of having real policy… Read more »
HemmD
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HemmD
7 years 6 months ago
The only problem with Limbaugh is the amount of attention MSM is giving him. Does anyone on the right actually agree with him and want Obama to fail? Is anyone with a modicum of objectivity actually hoping that Obama’s attempts result in an economic disaster? Beside name calling, tax cuts and letting all businesses fail, that can’t get credit ; I don’t believe he’s advocated anything. What I don’t get in this thread is the certainty that Obama is some kind of ultra-left radical who’s going to steal the American way of life and also take away your birthdays. Please,… Read more »
DdW
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DdW
7 years 6 months ago

Let me put it another way, CS.

If a President X had eventually—after “lively” debate–implemented a stimulus plan to try to save our economy, supported by Mr. Limbaugh, but one with which I strongly disagreed, I would not hope for it to fail, just to prove my point, just to prove that I was right.

But, that’s just a personal opinion.

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
HemmD- no one, including Limbaugh, wants the economy to fail. But many on the right want Obama’s policies to fail to take hold- that’s what Limbaugh means when he says he wants “Obama to fail.” DE- the fallacy there is that Limbaugh, or anyone else, wants Obama’s policies to fail ‘just to prove that they were right’. Conservatives are concerned that any short term positive effects will convince people that these types of policies are good to perpetuate- because we believe that they are unsustainable and will do irreparable harm to the economy and the country in the long run.… Read more »
yetanothermoderatevoice
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yetanothermoderatevoice
7 years 6 months ago
Tony: “The sad thing about all of this drama is that it doesn’t mean anything that positively impacts the life of one single American citizen.” I’m not so sure this is true. Rush is advocating a particular point of view that apparently plays well at CPAC. His right to do so is in the Constitution, so I think this sort of discussion of ideas was envisaged as an important of the working of the country from the get-go. Over time vigorous discussion tends to lead to better outcomes. (See, for example, “One Economics, Many Recipes” by Dani Rodrik) That will… Read more »
greenschemes
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greenschemes
7 years 6 months ago
I do not want the economy to fail but then the fallacy of the starting premise is that the economy is on the verge of a catastrophe and without swift and radical action by BHO and the democrats the country will end up in the junk bin. So if by that do you mean conservatives want BHO to fail then not only no but HELL no. But the premise is wrong and the left is floating a fallacy to then be a springboard for their radical social experiements that we cant even afford and that we have to borrow 5… Read more »
HemmD
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HemmD
7 years 6 months ago
CS So no one on the right wants the economy to fail, just Obama’s policies that are attempting to help our economy? That’s a mighty fine slice you’re taking. If O’s policies are the only ones in effect right now, just how are you directly those failure hopes to dash his plans AND save the economy? The thing about short term solutions in our current situation is at least we can have the luxury of long-term analysis if they work. If they don’t, the economy will require everybody to re-evaluate under the lens of a second great depression. By the… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago

Let’s say two years from now unemployment is at 6% – can we say one way or another if Obama’s plan worked?

No, of course not (in fact, Obama himself knows this and even leveraged this further by stating that his stimulus bill will ‘create or save’ jobs- a completely non falsifiable claim.)

But just as surely, there will be a perception that the policies either helped or made things worse, and in politics, perception is reality.

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago

If O’s policies are the only ones in effect right now, just how are you directly those failure hopes to dash his plans AND save the economy?

By pointing out the shortcomings of the policies so that very soon they will no longer be the only ones in effect. Believe it or not, I’m not a partisan Republican and I’d be just as happy if the Blue Dogs get let off the leash so that they can restore some fiscal sanity. I really don’t care who gets the credit.

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
Re: alternative policy… The stimulus should have met the criteria set by Larry Summers- targeted, timely, and temporary. It should also have provided money to the actual engine of job creation in this country, the small business sector. The budget should realistically estimate what revenues will be coming in (not using the most dire predictions when fearmongering to pass the stimulus bill and then substituting rosy predictions when calculating the revenue in 2010, 11, and 12. Banking crisis- no one knows what to do because even nationalization isn’t really an option. Some form of receivership is probably necessary, and I… Read more »
river
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river
7 years 6 months ago

T Steel. . . hope you can hear me over hear in the AMEN! section. . .i can stand beside everyone of your comments. . .

HemmD
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HemmD
7 years 6 months ago

GS
Are you telling me you believe the current economic situation was concocted by the Dems so they could enact a radical left wing economic plan? Really? That’s entering tin foil hat territory.

The crisis is real, it’s global, and it has already bankrupt one country, Iceland. The Recession we see here is just a taste of what is happening in Europe, Asia, and any other country that has ever borrowed money internationally. If unchecked, a world wide depression is possible.

I don’t think the usual political rhetoric does justice to the true state of affairs.

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago

I don’t disagree with the scope of the crisis or potential worsening of it, HemmD, but then how do you justify the Obama administration’s use of forecasts for an end to the recession by next year? Using one set of forecasts when a gloomy outlook suits their political interests and then switching up when a more rosy outlook helps make the deficit forecasts look a bit better is just plain dishonest.

HemmD
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HemmD
7 years 6 months ago
Obama has to look optimistically to the future because most everyday people have any idea just how close to the precipice we are. It’s his FDR moment. I think you would concur that until / unless the credit problem is resolved globally, budgets and projections are pipe dreams. I personally hope Geitner has been tap dancing until the G20 meeting convenes. Unless all the countries act together and deal jointly with poison assets at the same time, we’ll never recover. Nothing we do nationally will have bite if we act unilaterally. Geitner has to date taken the flak. but he… Read more »
DdW
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DdW
7 years 6 months ago
CS: “the fallacy there is that Limbaugh, or anyone else, wants Obama’s policies to fail ‘just to prove that they were right’.” Rush Limbaugh February 13, 2009: “I’ll say it again. Not only do I want Obama to fail, I want this package to fail. I want this to blow up in their face. I hope the stimulus bill fails. I hope it does exactly what we know it will do, blow everything to smithereens and not do one thing that has been promised. Apparently, experience is the greatest teacher, and when these poor people who think Barack Obama means… Read more »
greenschemes
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greenschemes
7 years 6 months ago
To HemmD and to D.E.Rodriquez First of all. I>>>>ME>>>>MYSELF is not, am not and are not talking about the stimulus plan. While that might be something I think is a joke, it is even by George Soros and Warren Buffet not enough and not directed enough. Most experts that mean anything think it should have been more and it should have been more directed. AS it was……no amount of spin will convince most of us who have read it that its anything more then a porkulus bill to nowhere and the springboard to socialism in this country. Secondly I do… Read more »
AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 6 months ago

“why is the President himself proposing a plus 3.2 percent growth in 2010 and a mere negative 1.2 percent growth this year?”

Why? Because he is a politician. Even as doom and gloom as he has been, saying -1.2 followed by -2, -2.3, and -3 would tank the markets even worse, hurt the Democratic Party in the mid-terms, and kill is re-election possibilities in 2012.

greenschemes
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greenschemes
7 years 6 months ago
See the fear mongering is great for a depression. What most people dont even realize is there was a 23 year worldwide depression in the late 1800’s that was worse then the one in the 20’s-30’s. Created by? You guessed it. Banks and stock market collapses. Now HemmD and others are wanting to do what? Nationalize banks, sell off toxic assets, forcing the stock markets to crash and subsequently the entire banking system in the world to most likely collapse as well because they have bad debt and a liquidity crisis. I have been hearing over and over and over… Read more »
AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 6 months ago

OMG – I just read the best one-liner. “Obama lied; the economy died”

HA HA HA HA!

HemmD
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HemmD
7 years 6 months ago
GS Stick to what I actually said, One nation, Iceland, is bankrupt. “Europe, Asia, and any other country that has ever borrowed money internationally” are in the same boat as we are. The global credit market is frozen due to the fact that everybody has “poison assets” that will be proved near worthless if anybody attempts to sell them or use them as collateral. AIG is on the hook for 13 trillion dollars in insurance for some of these bad assets. And that’s just the surface. You worry about deficits causing inflation and ruining the future. Explain why the US… Read more »
greenschemes
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greenschemes
7 years 6 months ago
Okay lets talk specifics HemmD. What do you do with 13 trillion of poison assets? What do you do with Citi, BA and the rest of the banks loaded up with bad paper? What is your plan? What do you do to prevent the Stock markets from crashing and wiping out retirement plans from here to the moon? What do you do when you dump these assets and it causes the banks to collapse? The nice thing about blogs is you can be anyone you want. I have not labeled you yet other then one of the fear mongers who… Read more »
HemmD
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HemmD
7 years 6 months ago
GS The only way we get out this as far as i can tell starts when Geitner goes to the G20. Onlt when world banks work in close concert, can all the poison assets be finally dealt with. If we nationalize ours and Europe doesn’t follow suit, we’re all stuck for quite a long time. Hope to heck they can work together, but I’m not optimistic that they can get it done. Hope to God I’m wrong. That’s been my point. No credit means no production. no production means no jobs. no jobs means no governmental incomes. What ever it… Read more »
HemmD
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HemmD
7 years 6 months ago
GS The only way we get out this as far as i can tell starts when Geitner goes to the G20. Onlt when world banks work in close concert, can all the poison assets be finally dealt with. If we nationalize ours and Europe doesn’t follow suit, we’re all stuck for quite a long time. Hope to heck they can work together, but I’m not optimistic that they can get it done. Hope to God I’m wrong. That’s been my point. No credit means no production. no production means no jobs. no jobs means no governmental incomes. What ever it… Read more »
greenschemes
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greenschemes
7 years 6 months ago
For those of us who are beyond upset at this budget…..more bad news. The Obama administration announced Sunday it would keep all options on the table as it prepares to battle Republican lawmakers over a massive budget that stands to usher in historic changes in energy and health-care reform. Peter Orszag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, refused to rule out the possibility the Obama administration would press for the use of a questionable Senate tactic in which just 50 senators would be needed to pass the controversial changes. The comment was a clear indication the White… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago

D.E. – although as usual, I don’t much care for the way Limbaugh chooses to express himself, that passage supported my interpretation, not yours. He’s saying that he hopes that the policies quickly blow up and that people quickly see that this type of policy doesn’t work.

DdW
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DdW
7 years 6 months ago
CS: I gues we’ll just have to disagree on what Mr. Limbaugh meant on February 13, 2009, as my interpretation of what he meant is just what he said: “I’ll say it again. Not only do I want Obama to fail, I want this package to fail. I want this to blow up in their face. I hope the stimulus bill fails. I hope it does exactly what we know it will do, blow everything to smithereens and not do one thing that has been promised. Apparently, experience is the greatest teacher, and when these poor people who think Barack… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago

I guess you’re right about agreeing to disagree, because I can’t see how repeating that over and over proves anything about your interpretation. He says he wants the policies to fail- no one has denied that. But your interpretation is that his desire for that is based on self motivation (proving himself right) even though this extended clip gives more detail about why he wants the policy to fail and that rationale has to do with what is in people’s long term best interest, not what is best for him personally.

Jim_Satterfield
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Jim_Satterfield
7 years 6 months ago

The reason that Republicans want the Obama policies to fail is that if they succeed they prove Republican ideology wrong.

catransplant
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catransplant
7 years 6 months ago
I just viewed the DNCCC site (democratic congress fundraising site). They announced how great the stimulus bill was. The accompanying blog had about 100 straight comments against it. They then asked for my donation. This is a disaster. I can’t wait two years to vote them out of office. I know that they don’t actually represent the people, but their big time contributors have also lost millions. But what are millions compared to power. Even on this “moderate” page we can’t agree. We used to be able to pray together, but that was before Republicans claimed God (though rarely spoke… Read more »
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