None other than President Barack Obama. In singling out iconic Premiere talker Limbaugh, Obama has given him the kind of publicity you just can’t buy. Word came out of a meeting between Obama and congressional Republicans that Obama had warned them that they just can’t listen to Limbaugh.
According to reports, Limbaugh, who has said he hopes Obama fails, responded, “I think Obama wants me to fail. President Obama, by telling you and the elected Republicans in Washington to not listen to me because I am not how things get done in Washington, he has said that he wants me to fail. He’s obviously more frightened of me than he is Mitch McConnell. He’s more frightened of me, then he is of say, John Boehner, which doesn’t say much about our party.”
At least one Republican rep, Phil Gingrey (R-GA), is asking Limbaugh to back off. He said it’s easy for people like Limbaugh and other media figures to “stand back and throw bricks” at the White House, but they are not in the position of actual congressional leaders who have to get the best they can out of government action, even if much of it goes against their philosophy.
RBR/TVBR observation: It’s a well known fact that being on the outside is the best position for media critics. Many more liberal commentators are already missing their favorite target, George W. Bush, and for Limbaugh, he now has his own best target since Bill Clinton left the White House.
The situation does pose a problem for Republicans in Washington, however. For example, take Limbaugh’s failure comments. Whether they are rhetorical or heartfelt, it cannot possibly connect with widespread public support, since for most of us failure is not an option. Republicans in Washington have to attempt to find a successful path that hews as closely as possible to their own governing philosophy, even if that means swallowing actions and policies for now that they hope they can render temporary down the road.
There is no argument about one thing: By singling out Limbaugh, Obama is guaranteeing that Limbaugh will stay in the spotlight. But what may give pause to Gingrey is the very strong possibility that Obama wants the spotlight on Limbaugh on purpose.