Like Bill Clinton before him, Barack Obama makes the mistake of taking a swipe at Rush Limbaugh.
President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.
"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.
Obama also threw punches at Sean Hannity during the campaign (quotes that have become part of Hannity's opening), but such snipes, which might be understandable from a candidate, look downright churlish from the POTUS.
But maybe Teh One should be worried.
The timing was no coincidence: after a rocky first week in office, the Obamists are also faced with a resurgent Fox News Channel, where ratings have been climbing since the moment he took office.
In particular, Hannity's Limbaugh interview, which took place in the latter's Florida studios, scored fantastic audience figures for the former's network. In overall viewers, Thursday's Hannity nearly trebled his MSNBC competition and almost doubled CNN's Larry King.
And after a wildly successful fall ratings survey, talk radio is looking forward to record numbers with the installation of the Obamists.
It's natural that the nearly half of the country who didn't vote for Obama are going to look for sources critical of Teh One, particularly when you have supposed journalists giddy to be calling him "Mr. President."
And Obama sniping at Rush Limbaugh and declaring that "he won" (therefore, you should do what he says) isn't likely to make conservatives more conciliatory. If Obama wants opposition, I can't think of any better way than to lower himself to the level of talk show hosts or to rub salt in the wounds of the minority party.
Still, this worries some, who see Obama reinstituting the unFairness Doctrine to silence critics. Personally, I think that would reenergize conservatives in a way much to the Obamessiah's disliking.
UPDATE: Limbaugh responds.
To make the argument about me instead of his plan makes sense from his perspective. Obama's plan would buy votes for the Democrat Party, in the same way FDR's New Deal established majority power for 50 years of Democrat rule, and it would also simultaneously seriously damage any hope of future tax cuts. It would allow a majority of American voters to guarantee no taxes for themselves going forward. It would burden the private sector and put the public sector in permanent and firm control of the economy. Put simply, I believe his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing "eternal" power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy. If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of this TRILLION dollar debacle.