In an interestingly-timed (Friday after Rush's show aired) jab, Obama signaled that he understands that Conservative thought leadership and backbone will come primarily from people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, in addition to organizations like The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, magazines like National Review and Human Events - but, his primary foe from the Right is going to be Limbaugh.
I think it's no coincidence that the timing was as the weekend approached, and after Rush had spent the previous two nights in an exclusive, extensive interview on Sean Hannity's new FoxNews show, where Rush made it clear that conservative lawmakers should not offer compromise to Obama's leftist, statist, ideology. Rush demonstrated that he knows what the Democrats are up to, and Obama fears this reaching the maximum number of Americans, or getting any traction in the press because GOP lawmakers oppose him at every left-wing opportunity. Obama fears Rush (and Hannity to a lesser extent, I believe), because Rush can articulate opposition position, to wit:
- "I think the intent here is to create as many dependant Americans as possible looking to government for their hope and salvation. If he gets nationalized health care, I mean, it's over, Sean. We're never going to roll that back."
- "I don't know where what he wants to try has worked. It didn't work in the Soviet Union. It doesn't work in China. They're having to become like us in China in order to survive. It hasn't worked in Cuba. It hasn't worked! It didn't work when the Pilgrims arrived. They tried socialism."
- "The New Deal didn't work. You know, Hoover was president through the Depression for one year. FDR prolonged the depression for seven or eight years."
- "What made this country great is the recognition by our Founders that individuals are all created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. If you look at the Democrat Party, are they for life? Folks, they're the party of abortion. Liberty? Uh, these are the people that are trying to pass any law they can to restrict where you can go, what you can do when you get there, where you can eat, what you can eat, what you can smoke, when you can't smoke, what kind of baby you can have, all these things."
- "What we need to be doing is Reagan. Very simple. He made the people of this country understand that its greatness is due to them. They're the ones that make the country work. Not policies, not laws, not committees in Congress and so forth, and not cult heroes or personalities, but individual freedom"
- "And Colin Powell says, 'Yeah, the Republican Party should stop listening to Limbaugh.' Well, excuse me. We haven't pulled the party to the right at all. This party has gone to the left; it's gone to the center. We haven't done this. They got the candidate they wanted."
- "I never hear Democrats talking about walking across the aisle. I never see any of them praise each other or brag about the fact that they do it. They brag about the Republicans that they destroy. They brag about the Republican bills, legislation that they defeat. The people that are running our party now have such a defeatist inferiority complex. They want to be accepted by people that hate 'em. They want to be accepted by people that despise 'em. It makes no sense to me. "
- "It wasn't six months ago that the Democrats were out ripping Bush for deficit spending. It was horrible; it was rotten. Now, of course, the question is, 'Can we spend it fast enough to save America?' It's a bill of goods, and a lot is going to depend on how long the media sticks with this. I think they can't let him fail. And there are enough Americans who are simple sponges that watch news twice a week, believe what they see, and are done with it."