As I’ve watched the ‘fiscal cliff’ debate unfold, I can’t help but feel I’m watching a game of chicken. Each party is waiting for the other to give before they swerve to avoid a head on collision. Of course, as a progressive, I hope it’s the GOP that is playing the game while the President is standing fast. As a realist, I know that everyone will have to compromise at least a little. However, that’s not the message that Rush Limbaugh is delivering to his minions (aka, the GOP House and Senate). He would rather go over the cliff than give a single inch to Obama. Of course, in his mind, it’s the President that wants to go over the cliff. Here’s the transcript (emphasis added):
My point is Obama wants the cliff. But let’s pretend that I’m wrong. And let’s say that he really doesn’t want to go over the cliff. Let’s say that he really doesn’t really want a recession in his second term. Let’s say that I’m dead wrong. Then the way to handle that, the way to call his bluff on this is to not negotiate with him and leave it totally up to him what happens.
Very publicly walk away from the talks so that whatever happens vis-a-vis the cliff is perceived to happen — well, the real point will be to flush Obama out. Find out. I would suggest to people who really believe Obama is concerned about his second term and his legacy, he doesn’t want a recession, the only way to flush that out is to come dangerously close to allowing it all to happen, and the way you do that is by pulling out of the negotiations and offer no resistance. My only point is if the Republicans offer no resistance to what Obama wants, we’ll find out just how willing he is to take the country over the cliff.
All I’m saying is, is that all these people saying he doesn’t want to take us over the cliff, he’s worried about his second term legacy, he doesn’t want two million new unemployed, he doesn’t want that written about him, let’s find out. You can’t find out by negotiating with him. Do that and you’re gonna get played for a fool. That is my theory. Look, before the election, a number of us were of the belief that we’re headed for a second recession anyway, a double-dip, right? Because of policies already in play and because of the reluctance to modify any of them to fix what harm they’re causing. He’d love to be able to say that this coming recession is the fault of the Republicans. My point is he’s going to anyway. My point is the Democrats are going to anyway.
So prove me wrong. I could be very wrong. Maybe Obama does care about his second term. Maybe he does care about his legacy. Maybe he doesn’t want a whole bunch of new unemployment. Maybe doesn’t want a recession. One sure way of finding out is to let him own this, let him take us wherever we’re headed. He once said that the Republicans drove the car in the ditch, right? That we’re not qualified to drive. Okay, fine. Take him at his word. We get out of the car, we’ll pull it out of the ditch, put him in the driver’s seat, we’ll wave, and he’ll see us in the rearview mirror as he heads toward the cliff. And we’ll see if he stops or goes over. Do we have the courage to do that? I don’t know that we’ll ever find out, but that’s what I would do. But I’m just a radio guy.
Here’s the audio from Media Matters:
Maybe I’m wrong. The President is not playing chicken. At least he’s willing to sit down and talk to John Boehner and the Republicans. Limbaugh, on the other hand, is advocating that the Republicans sit on their hands and crash the economy.
Republican party, you are starting to move away from the influence of Grover Norquist. Can you please do the same of Rush Limbaugh?