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Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist

  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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A ‘stimulating’ Limbaugh lesson, and battles in Afghanistan and Tampa

Posted by James McPherson on February 1, 2009

Normally I have about the same respect for James Carville that I do for Rush Limbaugh. But sometimes it is interesting to watch a contest in which you wish both sides could lose, such as when a skinny bald blowhard gives the pompous drug-addicted blowhard a lesson about history and government.

Carville is making fun of Limbaugh’s supposed call for bipartisanship regarding the stimulus bill being considered by Congress. In the meantime, in a true show of Senate bipartisanship, Maine Republican Susan Collins (whom some Republicans think should be a Democrat) and Colorado Democrat Ben Nelson (whom some Dems think should join the GOP) are working to create a stimulus package that majorities in both parties could support. Mostly what they’re trying to do is “slash what they call wasteful spending from the bill.”

Republicans, many of whom consider almost any spending not related to killing someone to be wasteful, continue to call for the least effective means of stimulus (tax breaks) while rejecting the most effective (programs for poor people). Regardless of the outcome, a big stimulus package will be passed and much will be spent on infrastructure–a good thing except for the fact that too much of it will go to reinforcing a car-centric culture and not enough to mass transit (the benefits of which I greatly enjoyed last month in New York and Washington, D.C.).

Related to the economy, the stupidist spending under the George W. Bush adminstration was, and continues to be, expensed related to the Iraq War. While I am encouraged that President Barack Obama will likely reduce our presence there, I am troubled that he may be aiming toward creating his own Vietnam/Iraq-style quagmire in Afghanistan.

Obama probably will double the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, which might have been a good idea seven years ago. But keeping in mind that the current U.S. presence is smaller than the number of police deemed necessary to patrol friendly, celebratory crowds without guns in our nation’s capital on Inauguration Day, Obama’s plan seems mostly like a way to temporarily look semi-strong on defense while accomplishing no clear goals. Among those continuing to pay the price will be American soldiers and their orphaned children, and American taxpayers and their bewildered grandchildren.

Incidentally, Senators Collins and Nelson and I do have something in common, if the two really are working through the weekend to fix the stimulus package–we’ll be among that distinct minority of Americans not watching today’s Super Bowl. I’ve skipped viewing most Super Bowls, often other matchups in which I hope both sides lose, though I did hang on every second of the Seattle Seahawks’ 2005 loss to the Steelers (part of why today I’m rooting for the Cardinals–another area in which I disagree with Obama).

While I like football (I played in college, and still prefer the college game), with a few obvious exceptions the Super Bowl generally is not a particularly good game. With every key play to be shown endlessly in coming days, the halftime show a watered-down performance by a popular star provided with poor sound, and (thanks to YouTube) every commercial worth watching available anytime after the game, there is little reason to tune in.

I also don’t think the game will be close. My prediction: 34-13, Steelers. I figure today might be the perfect time to finally brave the mall and exchange the shirts I got for Christmas, since there will be few other guys there.

Same day update: So much for my career as a sports prognosticator. I walked into the house and flipped on the TV just in time to see the last play of the first half–the longest play in Super Bowl history. I then watched Bruce Springsteen in a halftime show that was every bit as weak as I expected, and then turned the TV back off until just before the Steelers gave up a safety to let the Cardinals get within four points.

To my credit, I did then have enough sense to watch the rest of the game, which the Steelers probably deserved to lose–after all, how do you NOT cover Larry Fitzgerald closely enough to prevent the last Cardinal touchdown? On the other hand, can you cover Santonio Holmes any better than he was covered on Pittburgh’s last TD? Who knows, after the last couple of years, I may have to start watching Super Bowls again.

9 Responses to “A ‘stimulating’ Limbaugh lesson, and battles in Afghanistan and Tampa”

  1. […] https://jmcpherson.wordpress.com/2009/02/01 /a-stimulating-limbaugh-lesson-and-battles-in- afghanista… Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Obama Economic Stimulus: Porkfest or Necessary Revitalization?Republicans want say in economic stimulus planPot calling the kettle black?Senate likely to revise stimulus package after House approval […]

  2. Sal M said

    Mr. James Carville,

    Let me give you a lesson in History!!!!

    Dictators fail, and Bush had to put up with a lot of crap from Pelosi, going to Syria, Jimmy Carter to Cuba, and so on.

    History dictates that every president be a NATURAL BORN citizen, your leader is not.

    Your leader sat in a hate white church for 20 years.

    Your leader’s middle name is HUSSEIN.

    No threat since September 11th has hit us like the Immaculate Inauguration. Socialism does not work.

    So Mr. James Carville, review your history, look how Adolf Hitler rose to power, and not the similarities. CNN and the mainstream equate to Goebbels, period, a propaganda machine like no other, filled with lies and cover up, for a leader that will destroy ort country.

    I don’t like Rush either, but you know, FREEDOM of speech has its right in our country, quit attacking it.

    Note, his plan seems fair since ACORN registered a lot of illegal voters, so when you give your percentages, I noticed you did not adjust for that, had you done so, it would have been reversed, so again, look at your history when elections are nothing but a breeding ground for fraud, aka, ACORN and Barack Hussein Obama..

  3. James McPherson said

    Thanks for the comment, Sal. I would remind readers, however, that “registration” does not equal “votes” (Mickey Mouse didn’t cast a ballot even in either of his home states of California or Florida), and that as far as I know there was not ONE documented case of an illegally registered ACORN voter actually voting–let alone enough to swing an election. On the other hand, there have been numerous documented cases of voter fraud and suppression on the other side, enough to give us the George W. Bush presidency and the Iraq War. See the writings of Greg Palast or https://jmcpherson.wordpress.com/2008/10/22/acorn-makes-gop-media-nuts-while-others-try-to-steal-the-election/.

    And I’m curious: What does someone’s middle name have to do with anything? After all, I share a first name with James Carville and James Dobson and dislike them both, can’t sing like James Taylor or James Brown, and can’t act like James Dean or James Earl Jones. And even though Sal Montagna and Sal Catalano were both Mafia bosses (and Sal Maroni was one of Batman’s enemies), I’m confident that my response to you won’t leaving me “sleeping with the fishes.”

  4. Gabrielle said

    My dad makes the same point about Barack’s middle name. My dad’s middle name is also Martin, so I asked him if he knew that Hitler’s middle name was Martin. He started freaking out before I took pity. *headdesk*

  5. zelda said

    Obama’s name is more than a little disconcerting at this stage of the game. It’s a “given” to cause people to be cautious. Do I NEED to mention the people we are at war with ??? That is so stupid I cannot go on about that……….OMG!We are all battle weary,don’t know who the hell we are and/or WHAT country we live in and/or what it stands for any longer

    We have Rush telling us……….but he is so radical in his persona that we can only throw a straw his way. The we have the first Black president showing no strength at this point having us on pins and needles.He looks good….his presidency looks like a leap forward in thinking…………but personally I think he is weak and has little substance .We are so star-struck here in this country that he LOOKS like a good thing. He has star quality only so far.

    I am counting on those with good sense to keep their heads out of their backsides and wade through all of the reasons we are so off track in this country.

    Do ya want to get rid of the constitution>???? Yes………there is that plan.Look up the term”amero”.

    So being aware of the take over of the U.S. by those we elect who have been placed in key government positions is a duty to your grandchildren if nothing else for gawds sake.
    A knee jerk reaction to a “name” is as natural as they come.Hey……….this country has been sold down the river people.A long long time ago.The reason it happened is because the general public out there have been carefully dumbed down and fed smoke and mirrors by the media for a long time now.

    It’s all being manipulated by the Fed………IT’S ABOUT THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!


  6. James McPherson said

    I took your advice, and looked up “Amero”–on Snopes, where I found this: http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/amero.asp.

    To put it simply, the Amero is in the same category as the claim that the book of Revelation describes Obama as the anti-Christ, his supposedly forged birth certificate, his “Muslim faith,” restaurants in Taiwan serving barbecued fetuses, and a mummy sinking the Titanic–all fictions created to scare the gullible or the paranoid.

  7. […] than Bush in terms of war and related spending, and judging by his first steps into the quagmire of Afghanistan, I have my doubts. In the meantime, war also rages much closer, on our southern border. Though […]

  8. […] Bush or one of several former leaders of the former Soviet Union, declaring that we must win in Afghanistan to “save the […]

  9. […] was perhaps only the second time in decades that I’ve been more interested in the outcome of the game than in the advertising. As a longtime Seattle Seahawks fan, I was much happier with the […]

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