Obama Elevates Rush
There are excellent reasons to be against this spending bill. It is loaded with the typical kinds of pork that is now being called stimulus. The Congressional Budget Office has said hundreds of billions of it won't stimulate anything. And spending when you're in ridiculous debt and have less money coming in strikes a lot of people as, shall we say, injudicious.
Obama wants Republicans on board so that when the stimulus package doesn't work, Republicans can't turn around and say, "We told you so" and kick his party's butt in the next election cycle.
Plus, Obama's mentioning Limbaugh by name was dumb. It only elevates the conservative talk show host. If you want someone's views to be ignored, you ignore him.
But the Democrats obsession with Limbaugh is longstanding. His radio audience is large and he has some influence with conservative lawmakers, but mostly its conservative lawmakers who use Limbaugh to get their points across to voters.
Democrats are salivating over the prospect of reenacting the "Fairness Doctrine," which is anything but. Frustrated by the success of conservative talk radio in a free marketplace and the relative failure of liberals and leftists to find big audiences on the radio, Dems want to require radio companies to present "balanced" points of view as a condition of being allowed to stay in business.
Since the liberal network Air America failed to attract a decent sized audience, Dems have been pushing their "Hush Rush" bill. Now that they control congress and the presidency, they will be pushing it harder.
What is being dressed up as fairness and balance is nothing more than direct government regulation of free and unfettered speech.
The government already directly funds liberal broadcasting with PBS and NPR. When Republicans attempted to end the taxpayer subsidies to these entities, the howls were frightening.
Personally, I listen to NPR a lot more than I listen to conservative talk radio. But what reasonable should want is the government involved as little as possible in judging and regulating the political content of speech on the radio or anywhere else for that matter.
Obama's comments about Limbaugh will be (rightly) thrown back at him when and if the Dems bring the Hush Rush bill to a vote.