Obama to GOP: Frost Limbaugh

In a meeting on Friday, January 23, 2009, with Republican Congressional leaders to discuss the Democrats’ proposed trillion-dollar economics-of-excess plan, the President warned the lawmakers, “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.”

Whatever President Barack Obama meant by that admonition, the GOP does not take orders from Rush Limbaugh, the popular syndicated radio talk-show host. “Our plan is rooted in the philosophy that we cannot borrow and spend our way back to prosperity,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH). “Unfortunately, the trillion-dollar spending plan authored by congressional Democrats is chock-full of government programs and projects, most of which won’t provide immediate relief to our ailing economy.”

The Minority Leader went on to cite examples from the House version of the proposed spending spree. According to the International Herald Tribune, the Democrats’ bill includes $600 million for the federal government to buy new cars, $650 million for digital television coupons and $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.

“All told, the plan would spend a whopping $275,000 in taxpayer dollars for every new job it aims to create,” said Congressman Boehner.

President Obama’s warning against listening to Rush Limbaugh is reminiscent of President Richard Nixon’s infamous memo that became known as the Enemies List. The memo, actually written by White House Counsel John Dean, contained the names of 20 people whom Mr. Nixon regarded as political enemies.

This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration; stated a bit more bluntly—how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.

The list included Los Angeles Times editor Ed Guthman, CBS reporter Daniel Schorr and columnist Mary McGrory. It also included actor Paul Newman. In a 2006 interview, Mr. Newman said “Being on president Nixon’s enemies list was the highest single honor I’ve ever received. Who knows who’s listening to me now and what government list I’m on?”

Starting off a new administration with an announcement of an Enemies List probably isn’t the smoothest move ever made in Washington, D.C., but perhaps can be seen as reflective of President Obama’s inexperience in a national leadership role.

In his radio broadcast on Monday, January 26, 2009, Mr. Limbaugh commented, “there’s no outrage that a private citizen has been singled out by the President of the United States.”

No, there is no apparent outrage. Perhaps there is simply nostalgia. On January 22, 2009, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its Oscar nominations for the 81st Academy Awards. Frost/Nixon, the dramatization of Richard Nixon’s post-presidency interviews with broadcaster David Frost, received five nominations:

  • Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Frank Langella
  • Achievement in Directing: Ron Howard
  • Achievement in Film Editing: Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
  • Best Motion Picture of the Year: A Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and Working Title Production, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Eric Fellner, Producers
  • Adapted Screenplay: Screenplay by Peter Morgan

See Also:
In effort to build support, Obama details stimulus plan (International Herald Tribune; January 25, 2009)
Hollywood legend Paul Newman dead at 83 (AFP; September 27, 2008)
Obama: Quit Listening to Rush Limbaugh if You Want to Get Things Done (Fox News; January 23, 2009)