Rush Limbaugh has taken one of the more successful pages out of George W. Bush’s first term playbook; longtime readers of the Blogosphere will recall Steven Den Best’s posts about Dubya making foreign leaders offers they couldn’t accept, a unique spin on the Godfather’s famous tactic. Here’s the item on Rush’s Website:
My point here is that these are really odious, empty, nasty people who are feasting on their own arrogance. They are power hungry. But, you know what? They’ve never had a serious debate over ideas. Their goal is to destroy opponents, which is what they’re trying to do now. They don’t want to engage opponents. Their idea of victory is the destruction of the opponent. They’re not for a level playing field. They want to clear the playing field so that their ideas do not have to undergo any scrutiny. So what do they do? They leak stories to the Politico intended to create impressions about their own importance and their brilliance, when in fact they aren’t even bit players on the nation’s stage. This is Emanuel, and this is Obama.
But I have an idea. If these guys are so impressed with themselves, and if they are so sure of their correctness, why doesn’t President Obama come on my show? We will do a one-on-one debate of ideas and policies. Now, his people in this Politico story, it’s on the record. They’re claiming they wanted me all along. They wanted me to be the focus of attention. So let’s have the debate! I am offering President Obama to come on this program — without staffers, without a TelePrompTer, without note cards — to debate me on the issues. Let’s talk about free markets versus government control. Let’s talk about nationalizing health care and raising taxes on small business.
Let’s talk about the New Deal versus Reaganomics. Let’s talk about closing Guantanamo Bay, and let’s talk about sending $900 million to Hamas. Let’s talk about illegal immigration and the lawlessness on the borders. Let’s talk about massive deficits and the destroying of opportunities of future generations. Let’s talk about ACORN, community agitators, and the unions that represent the government employees which pour millions of dollars into your campaign, President Obama. Let’s talk about your elimination of school choice for minority students in the District of Columbia. Let’s talk about your efforts to further reduce domestic drilling and refining of oil. Let’s talk about your stock market. By the way, Mr. President, I want to help. Yesterday you said you looked at the stock market as no different than a tracking poll that goes up and down.
There’s no “up and down” here. We have a plunge. The president yesterday suggested “we’re getting to the point where profits and earnings ratios are approaching that point where you want to invest.” Uh, Mr. President? There is no “profits and earnings” ratio. It’s “price and earnings” ratio. He’s the president of the United States. He doesn’t know anything about the stock market. He’s admitted it before. Let’s talk about it anyway. You want to maintain it’s a tracking poll? I’d love to talk to you about that. Let’s talk about all of these things, Mr. President. Let’s go ahead and have a debate on this show. No limits. Now that your handlers are praising themselves for promoting me as the head of a political party — they think that’s a great thing — then it should be a no-brainer for you to further advance this strategy by debating me on the issues and on the merits, and wipe me out once and for all!
Just come on this program. Let’s have a little debate. You tell me how wrong I am and you can convince the rest of the American that don’t agree with you how wrong we all are. You’re a smart guy, Mr. President. You don’t need these hacks to front for you. You’ve debated the best! You’ve debated Hillary Clinton. You’ve debated John Edwards. You’ve debated Joe Biden. You’ve debated Dennis Kucinich. You’ve debated the best out there. You are one of the most gifted public speakers of our age. I would think, Mr. President, you would jump at this opportunity. Don’t send lightweights like Begala and Carville to do your bidding — and forget about the ballerina, Emanuel. He’s got things to do in his office. These people, compared to you, Mr. President, are rhetorical chum.
I would rather have an intelligent, open discussion with you where you lay out your philosophy and policies and I lay out mine — and we can question each other, in a real debate. Any time here at the EIB Network studios. If you’re too busy partying or flying around giving speeches and so forth, then send Vice President Biden. I’m sure he would be very capable of articulating your vision for America — and if he won’t work, send Geithner, and we can talk about the tax code. And if that won’t work, go get Bob Rubin. I don’t care. Send whoever you want if you can’t make it. You don’t need to be leaking stories to Politico like this thing that’s published today. You don’t need to have your allies writing op-eds and all the rest. If you can win at this, then come here and beat me at my own game, and get rid of me once and for all, and show all the people of America that I am wrong.
Since there’s no way they’ll accept his offer, I hope Rush has thought that phase of his gambit through, as well.
(Via Andrea Shea King.)
Update: Feckless White House press secretary admits singling out enemies from the bully pulpit is “counterproductive.”
More: “Susan Estrich Warns Democrats About Dangers of Attacking Rush Limbaugh”. Meanwhile, Jay Cost of Real Clear Politics is yet another pundit disillusioned by the tone and tactics of , as he calls it, “The Immature White House.” Why, somebody should write a book for those with presidential buyers’ remorse–or at the least, form a support group.
Related: Hey, if Obama and crew don’t want to fly either Air Force One or EIB One down to Florida to debate Rush, I’m sure Educap would be happy to charter a flight for them…
More: Ed Morrissey writes, “If the first six weeks of the Barack Obama administration can be summed up in one sentence, it would be this: Obama fiddled with Rush Limbaugh while Wall Street burned.”
More: “Is Rush Limbaugh Barack Obama’s Emmanuel Goldstein?” Indeed he is.