Monday, March 9, 2009
When I read the headline " Limbaugh: Kennedy Will Be Dead By the Time Health Care Bill Passes ," I just sort of assumed that Limbaugh had said something like "Kennedy will be dead by the time the health care bill passes." Those talk radio hosts always have to generate controversy. etc. Here's what he actually said :
We have a banking and a credit crisis. Obama and his team had a show gathering to focus on the problem, but they have done little, if anything, to so much as start fixing it. Any leader would keep focused on fixing that mess, but that's not the stuff that makes approval numbers rise, because there really isn't much he can do except shift people's attitudes about it.
So he's moved on to health care. This is highly visible, it's news leading, gets a great focus, plus it has the great liberal lion Teddy Kennedy pushing it. Before it's all over it will be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Bill. So when you have the banking and the credit problem still unfixed and with health care still unfixed, they'll move on to another caring story: alternate energy -- I don't know; your guess is as good as mine.
Not quite the same thing, is it? Limbaugh's not saying, "Nyah, nyah, the bill will take so long to pass that Kennedy will be dead." I'm not sure he's even saying Kennedy will die--couldn't you have a "memorial" to him while he's alive? He's mainly arguing that Obama will try to boost his approval by playing to emotions and "caring," and that he and his allies will use sympathy for the illness of the "great liberal lion" to generate support for a health care bill (as they undoubtedly will). ... I don't agree with Limbaugh's argument--I think Obama wants to actually pass health care, not just distract attention from his failure to solve the banking crisis. But the statement isn't really disrespectful of Kennedy. If anything, it's the other way around.
Shame on me for believing a HuffPo headline.
P.S.: The whole Begala-Carville coordinated campaign against Limbaugh seems misguided when Obama is supposed to be leading the nation out of crisis (see Warren Buffett's comments, below ). Quite apart from whether it's a good idea to take one of your smarter opponents and build him up , the campaign seems petty, partisan and poll-driven--not designed to produce any kind of national pulling-together. If Begala weren't around I'd suspect Chris Lehane of thinking it up. ... 8:11 P.M.