What He Said

30 Jan

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STEEL said in comments:

Declaring something a failure is not the same as wishing for failure. Anyone who wished for failure in Iraq is a sick @ss. I never heard anyone WISH for failure in Iraq. I never heard anyone wish for a recession during Bushes reign. I have however heard for conservatives wishing for Obama’s policies to fail. Meaning they would like the recession to continue.

Right. Limbaughistas, and even our dear friend the Buffalo Bean have expressed their wish that Obama the black Hitler fail.

I never liked Bush, and I never supported him, but I sure as hell never wished him to fail. Yet when people criticized Bush’s policies, they were called unpatriotic for doing their civic duty and becoming politically involved, active, and outspoken. By that metric, wishing failure on the President of the United States is equal to wishing failure on the United States itself. And if that’s not “unpatriotic” by any measure, I don’t know what is.

Now, please note that I am not calling those people unpatriotic – I am pointing out the fallacy of their original premise that criticism of Bush was unpatriotic.

But when you wish failure on Obama, and therefore wish harm to the country, then you’re wishing for a terrorist attack – so you can have “proof” that only Republicans can protect the country. You’re wishing for economic depression- so that you can have “proof” that the bankruptcy of Democratic policies are worse than the bankruptcy of Republican policies. You’re wishing for unemployment and crisis – so you can pat yourself on the back for being right.

I don’t know if the stimulus will work. I don’t even know – neither do you – what form it will ultimately take when Obama signs it. I don’t know whether we’ll suffer another terrorist attack, but they happen every day on the East Side, and it’s high time Americans be vigilant but no longer cower in fear at the rest of the world.

I didn’t wish failure on Bush, no matter how much I disagreed with him because I want health, peace, and prosperity for me and those around me.

If you wish failure on Obama, you’re a failure of a human being and could use a refresher course in civics.

23 Responses to “What He Said”

  1. Historical Pessimist January 30, 2009 at 7:32 am #

    I’m afraid they would rather see America fail than Obama succeed. I’m not optimistic that they are going to recognize the implications of that.

  2. mike January 30, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    Fox news’s mantra is that Obama already is a failure. Times have changed there is no respect for anybody let alone the leader of the free world. Rush would of been fired if this was 1968 for the hate broadcasts, but then abbie hoffman was jailed for wearing a shirt that looked like the USA’s flag (now its common place).

  3. ike January 30, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    The iraq war is a shitty example because it had mainstream, bipartisan support from the get-go

    start again from the top

  4. ike January 30, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    I wish for the failure of his policies, because I don’t want to live in a nation where the government regularly intevenes in the market. Bush was no better, so don’t play that infantile “they did it too” card.

    You didn’t wish for some of Bush’s stupidest policies to be complete failures so that they would have to be repudiated?

    You didn’t hope that his disdain for science, or that his no-bid contracts, or even No Child Left Behind would be exposed as frauds so that they can be replaced by something better?

    IF you say you were honestly hoping that the No-bid contracts et al would work out perfectly, with no waste, graft or corruption because that is what would be best for the country you are a LIAR. After those policies were enacted the best everyone could hope for was that the failure would be so outstanding that there could be no denying they were a stupid policy from the begining.

    Same thing with obama. I want the best possible outcome. When I see that the government is actually taking actions that go against fundamental american values, I hope that those actions are Failures, and that through those failures we can return to the underlying values that we should have embraced from teh start.


  5. Buffalopundit January 30, 2009 at 10:44 am #

    Ike, the failure of most of Bush’s particularly idiotic policies was self-evident and predictable.

    I never hoped that he – or the country – would fail. In fact, I knew that whatever damage Bush did to the country was reversible. Which is probably what a lot of other people thought, and why they voted for “hope” and “change” in Obama.

    Bush was the best thing that could have happened to the Democratic Party.

    Republicans hope that Obama will be the best thing that happened to them. The problem is, he doesn’t have that special mixture of proud ignorant arrogance that Bush had, so it’s likely to, well, fail.

  6. STEEL January 30, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    To wish for the failure of a president is crazy. To wish for the failure of something I disagree with is crazy. By definition anything that works is a good idea. I am all for good ideas. Of course I want good ideas. What has proven out is that Bush had few good ideas and many failures. I have gained nothing and lost much by his failures. Why would I wish for that?

  7. Ben McD January 30, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    Couldn’t they have meant that they hope Obama fails in implementing hid agenda?

  8. lefty January 30, 2009 at 11:55 am #


    Yesterday it was ensure…you said the stimulus would ensure things. Well it won’t. There is some HOPE that it will CHANGE the course but the bulk of the plan does not ensure anything.

    Today you used another word in regards to Bush…reversible. Regardless of what people think, this nation is divided. Because it is divided…it is broken. Nobody is claiming their is not a mess.

    Some fools like Steel can not grasp the reasons behind the mess, mainly because some actions happened before or when people like Keith Olbermann was still doing the Bills Super Bowl highlights on ESPN. But that still does not mean actions from generations ago did not help us get to where we are today.

    We agree that nobody knows if the stimulus will work or not. I think that everyone will agree that something needs to be done. However, locking the nation into things that are hard, if not impossible, to reverse is a bad play.

    Tax cuts, regardless of class, can be reversed. Public sector employment numbers and national health care…not so much. Investing in energy independence is a great thing and I commend President Obama for taking up this inative. But the way the government locks into programs that have proven to no be what is needed, e.g. ethanol, is where the nation goes wrong.

    If you want the nation to be unified, we must have leaders strong enough to admit they do not know the future. This was the strongest trait of the Founding Fathers.

    We must have government that tries to do what is best today but also leave options for the next generation. People like to claim that FDR was a great President but I disagree for one specific point. His administration enacted to many permanent items that tie our hands today. Social Security is a perfect example.

  9. ike January 30, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    STEEL, you are lying to yourself

    “To wish for the failure of something I disagree with is crazy”

    So if the president institutes flat out soviet policies in an attempt to turn around the economy…with 10 year plans, and the state ownership of production, and the politburo, and the whole shebang…you would hope for the success of those programs, you would hope the economy turns around and we have soviet america as the status quo?

    Sometimes the price we pay in achieving our “success” is not worth it. For these things I will not wish success, and no one should

    Were you hoping that BUsh’s torture policies would be really successful at stopping terrorists? That they would really put those guys into a whole world of pain where they’d have no choice but to tell us everything?

  10. ike January 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    I hope for the best for our country, but I will not hope for the success of programs, policies, and political theory that do not meet my educated opinion of what this country should be, and why this country has been exceptional.

  11. STEEL January 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    Ike, The policies you have listed have already proven to be failures. They are also prohibited by the Constitution. To use extremist examples to prove that it is OK to wish Obama failure does not make sense.

    So yes If Obama wanted to bring back slavery I would wish him failure in that effort. If he wished to set off nuclear bombs in the middle of cities I would wish him failure in that effort. Equating Obama’s policy with the Russian Politburo or any of the things I just listed above is silly. these things on their face are failures.

    I never heard the right wing wish for failure in any of Bush’s policies. Did all of his policies meet your educated opinion of what this country should be, and why this country has been exceptional?

  12. ike January 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm #


    Although I am a republican, and was registered and elligible to vote in both 2000 and 2004, I never voted for bush, I know bullshit when i see it. Stop trying to paint me with some partisan hack brush, because I utterly reject it.

    I’m using extreme examples because you said it’s always crazy to hope for failure in policies you disagree with, we should always hope for success. My point is that it’s NOT always crazy, and that there is a certain level of disagreement where of course it is acceptable to hope for failure because the costs, even if successful, outweigh my subjective perception of the benefit.

    With that accepted as fact, the argument then turns simply to at what level of divergence from the status quo it is ok to wish for failure. I think in this matter reasonable minds can and do disagree.

    For me, PERSONALLY, I think adding trillions of debt in additional government spending is extreme, and I don’t want to wait to be proven correct by history, when we are spending hundreds of billions in interest. That doesn’t make me categorically a bad citizen, a disingenuous party hack, or whatever else you are implying.

    As an aside, your point about the constitution is sadly misplaced. It can always be amended, or reinterpretated in a way that allows almost anything imagineable. Thomas Jefferson would have a stroke if he were alive and saw the unlimited power of the federal government.

  13. STEEL January 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    You are contending that Obama’s plans will be harmful to our country. That is quite a bit different form wishing or hoping that they will be harmful. I have heard Limbaugh wishing that Obama’s plans fail.

    I guess you are right I would not wish for success in policy or action which has as its intent to cause harm. That being said your extremist arguments are off point and bare no relationship to what we are discussing. to make my point clear.

    I did not agree with the rush to War in Iraq. But, I did not wish for failure in Iraq. Is that clear? I did not vote for Bush But I did not wish for his failure as president. I do not agree with dumping pollution into rivers. That does not mean I hope people get cancer because of that dumping.

    And yes the constitution can be changed but the process is long and arduous. It is set up to root out possible failure. Even so their have been failed changes to the constitution which have been subsequently reversed. There are probably good changes that could be made but have no chance to be made because of the way it has to be done. That is the way it is.

  14. ike January 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    I am both contending that they are bad for the nation, and hoping that they fail. If I believe the only way for these policies to end is through their unmitigated failure, then I will hope for their failure, even if in the short term it is painful for america

    It’s a very realistic view of politics.

  15. STEEL January 30, 2009 at 3:12 pm #

    If a policy succeeds then by definition it has been good for the country. The only way to measure the results is by their benefit or harm to the the country.

    You are asking for failure based on ideology rather than results. A political position is not inherently right or wrong. You are contending that the ideology behind the policy is wrong therefor is should not be implemented even if it benefits the country. b Would you also work to assure failure or a policy and the hoped for subsequent harm to the nation to prove your ideology superior?

  16. The Humanist January 30, 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    Ike – thanks for your input. No one is asking you (or any Republican, for that matter) to cheerlead for Obama. No one is telling you to shut up and clap louder for Dear Leader like we heard ad nauseum from September 2001 onwards. Republicans were offered an olive branch and the opportunity to contribute to substanstive corrective legislation to address the crisis we currently face. The congressional Republicans chose instead to spit in the President’s face. Politics, as you say….I look forward to 2010 when some of those Republicans who voted “no” are made to answer for their zealotry.

    What I would say to any Republican who’s actively rooting for this plan to fail is simply this – who the hell would take seriously anything a Republican has to say about governance, let alone economic recovery, after the ruinous 8 eight years we’ve just experienced? You can wish for failure all you want…we’ve LIVED the GOP brand of FAIL for close to a decade, thank you. When President Obama ignores national security warnings and intelligence briefings leading to a catastrophic attack on our soil, when he leads this country into two invasions, one of which is sold to the Congress and the people using blatantly false and manipulated evidence, when he tramples on the constitutiuonal limits of his power and signs off on spying on citizens and torturing and infintitely detain people according to his definition of “combatant”, when he lets an American city drown, when he encourages the Congress to stick their nose in a family’s right to determine a loved one’s wishes if incapacitated….and so on and so on and so on…

    When President Obama does all of these things, then, perhaps, I will take you seriously.

  17. Dan January 30, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    There is a difference between wishing something will fail and knowing that it will.

    Limbaugh, Olberman, Mathews, etc are paid windbags. People listen to be informed or entertained by the conversation. I don’t think that Rush, Olberman or Emo Phillips for that matter change too many minds. They tend to feed the arguments of those who agree already rather than swaying neutral minded people.

    Obama has had some success – lifiting restrictions for embryonic stem cell research – as an example. I imagine that Rush and everyone else in the world, hopes that the move will lead to a cure for something. I don’t think that Olberman wishes for fetuses to be harvested for this purpose. There is middle ground.

    Obama has had some stumbles – banning lobbyists from his government while drawing up exemptions before the ink is dry – but no republican that I know would hope that the new deputy secretary rigs bids for his friends at Raytheon.

    Some of the stumbles – naming a tax dodge as the head tax collector – have already hurt him (and the financial markets) but I don’t think that Rush or Ann Coulter hope the market goes down further.

    Any mistake that Obama makes will be reversible, however the magitude of this “stimulus” debacle mans that it will take a long time to reverse its ill effects. No one in their right mind would wish or a financial meltdown. Many will, however, fervently hope that the country will recognize the failure of these policies sooner rather than later.

    Lets face a fact that has nothing to do with Bush or Obama. This Pelosi Reid Congress is the least competent, most reviled Congress in modern history. The Presidential Election was a distraction from what our biggest problems are. Rather than wishing for failure, I pray that the failure is not so great that a full purging of congress in 2010 will not be too late.

  18. ike January 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm #


    I’m not a party line republican

    I’ve voted for Nader, Kerry, and Bob Barr in the past 3 elections. You can’t paint me with the republicans failures, so please stop trying.

    Those policies were all bullshit, and this stimulus package is bullshit. It’s bad for the country, and creates a road in which things will only get worse.

    If you need me, I’ll be planning my move to the Caymans and enjoying their zero % income tax. I’m young, mobile, and affluent. YOu may not miss me, but you’ll miss my tax dollars to feed your gaping, ever growing federal government.

  19. Mike In WNY January 30, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    I would agree that Obama is already a failure, the direction he is heading, especially with the economy, leaves no other logical conclusion. I would also argue that McCain would have been a similar failure.

  20. STEEL January 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    But are you hoping for failure? Or, would you like the Obama plans to succeed? By succeed I mean produce a strong growing and robust economy.

  21. Mike In WNY January 30, 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    I’m not hoping for failure, just being realistic. I would be ecstatic if he spent the economy back to health, I just do not think it is possible.

  22. Prodigal-Son January 30, 2009 at 11:45 pm #

    Why is anyone, on either side of the aisle, taking anything Rush says seriously? He’s paid to make news and raise ratings. By even having this conversation, he’s winning. If you can’t name an R who doesn’t have the name Rush, Hannity, Coulter, etc that is hoping for Obama to fail, then this is a worthless conversation. He has the right (free speech) to say what he wants, and you have the right to ignore him completely.

    But to follow up on my point to STEEL on the other post, I do think Reid’s declaration of the Surge as a failure, in an election year, for purely political reasons, before it even started, crossed the line to “hope” that it failed. He’s not called “Dirty Harry” for nothing. Obama’s biggest challenge to implement his agenda (that I hope he’s successful with) is Pelosi/Reid FAIL, not the R’s. I wonder if he realizes this yet.

  23. buffaloshark January 31, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    This stimulus package is a joke. It has a lot of pork and payoff to special interest groups
    half a billion for nasa to study global warming for example?

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