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Traitors By Their Own Reckoning

March 2nd, 2009

Think Progress asked Mark Levin and Rick Santorum, a popular conservative radio talk show host and a former Republican Senator, respectively, about Limbaugh’s “I hope Obama fails” theme:

TP: What do you think about what Rush said about, I mean, do you hope, should we hope that President Obama fails?

LEVIN: Yes.

TP: Yes?

SANTORUM: If … absolutely we hope that his policies fail…. I believe his policies will fail, I don’t know, but I hope they fail.

They join a growing list of Republican stars who are coming out and openly hoping for the President of the United States of America to fail in his attempts to bring economic recovery and peacefully end the war in Iraq, among other policies.

Although Limbaugh initially gave the caveat that he thought Obama’s policies would bring bad things and he opposed those bad things and hoped they’d fail, he has since dropped the pretense and simply hopes for Obama to fail, period. These two prominent conservatives quoted above also leave any pretense behind.

Remember back when Republicans furiously castigated Democrats for even criticizing the president while soldiers were on the ground in a wartime situation? How that was akin to treason? And here they are, not only criticizing Obama (that’s a daily occurrence), they are actively calling for the president and therefore the country to fail. Had Democrats actually suggested this when Bush was president, they Republicans would have gone nuclear. Hoping the nation fails? With soldiers in the field? Are you kidding me?

But hey, it’s okay, because these guys are all about “country first.”

In case you had forgotten, a host of high-ranking Republicans including Dick Cheney, Dennis Hastert, and Donald Rumsfeld claimed that simply opposing the president in a time of war gave “confort and aid” to our enemies, demoralized our troops on the ground, and generally proved to be unpatriotic and anti-American; this sentiment was echoed by all-but-in-name Republican Joe Lieberman, as well as just about every right-wing pundit and TV/radio host in the country.

And now a growing list of Republican high-rollers not only oppose the president–fully their right, but remember, they said that was wrong–but they wish failure to befall the country as it stands on the brink of collapse, just so they can capitalize on it and win the next election.

Democrats never did this. They criticized Bush and his policies and said that they believed Bush would fail, but never that they hoped Bush would fail. Republicans constantly accused Democrats of wanting America to fail and to lose the war–McCain repeatedly accused Obama of exactly that, many times, openly, during the campaign. Once again, we have right-wing projection: accuse the Democrats of something they never did, and then turn around and do it in spades themselves.

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