A return to the right


CNBC’s resident curmudgeon Mark Haines let talk show host Rush Limbaugh have it today. The media has suddenly rediscovered Limbaugh, and has taken him to task for saying he hopes Barack Obama fails. Limbaugh, has a commentary in today’s Wall St. Journal called “My bipartisan stimulus.”

“I’m just trying to build roads and bridges to the administration for bipartisanship and fairness,” he said in his introduction.

Nobody will ever confuse Haines with the liberal media, so this exchange was significant.

Haines: I’m sorry, but a week after the inauguration, you said you “hope he fails.” Are you now admitting that that was a stupid and mean-spirited thing to say?

Limbaagh: No, it was an accurate thing to say. It was an honest thing to say. It came after…

Haines: How is that bipartisan?

Limbaugh: Well,let me explain…

Haines: Well, so far you haven’t.

Limbaugh: You’re being contentious with no reason. It came after a thorough explanation on my part that liberalism, which is what Obama represents…

Haines: (Somewhat off microphone) Ah, geez….

Limbaugh: … destroys the free market, destroys capitalism. This stimulus plan is all about re-FDRing America… the new New Deal and as a conservative, I want liberalism to fail. i want the country to succeed and that’s what I meant and that’s what I said over and over again. You’ve got to stop reading these left-wing liberal media…

Haines: I just listen to you, Rush, I don’t listen to anybody. I listen to you, and what I hear is hypocrisy. You are saying in this piece, you say :

The American people are made up of Republicans, Democrats, independents and moderates, but our economy doesn’t know the difference. This is about jobs now. The economic crisis is an opportunity to unify people, if we set aside the politics.

Haines: … and yet the first thing out of your mouth is politics, about liberal and conservative and Republican and Democrat.

Limbaugh: (Stumbling) You know, this vote that happened in the house yesterday is actually a failure. The bipartisan vote was the defeat; 11 Democrats, 20 Republians. The partisan vote was all Democrats. He wants Republicans on the bill, Mark, because he knows this isn’t going to work. He wants Republicans so he has cover, so they can’t run for re-election, saying this wasn’t his debacle. I’m trying to propose something here that will work, for the best of the country. How can that be hypocritical.

Eventually, Haines’ co-host, took over the interview from Haines, reassuring America that what Limbaugh really meant was that he hopes liberalism fails.

But before ending, Haines got one more shot in.

Haines: Here’s something I find interesting. You talk about the vote being roughly 54 to 46 in favor of Obama… but when the vote was 51-49, I don’t remember you being this concerned about Republicans.

Limbaugh: I think bipartisanship is a joke.

The resurrection of Democrats in Washington is the best thing that could have happened to right-wing talk radio — and Limbaugh’s career in particular. It’s led some to suggest that Limbaugh, rather than party leaders, is now the new face of the Republican Party.