Opinion: Rush Limbaugh proclaims ‘Mission Accomplished’ in Operation Chaos vs. Obama, Clinton


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With the Democratic primary struggle between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton possibly prolonged by Republicans crossing over to perversely support the New Yorker, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has unfurled a figurative ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner on his radio program.

And although the bombastic broadcaster has absolutely no control over any of it, he has also officially urged two seemingly contradictory things: that Clinton should continue her now nearly hopeless struggle to win the Democratic presidential nomination -- ‘You’ve come too far to quit now; don’t listen to the voices of surrender’ -- and urged Democrats to nominate Obama, the freshman senator from Illinois.


‘I now believe he would be the weakest of the Democrat nominees,’ Limbaugh said. ‘“He can get effete snobs, he can get wealthy academics, he can get the young, and he can get the black vote. But Democrats do not win with that.”

That’s the showbiz point of Limbaugh’s initially silly but then seriously serious Operation Chaos, not to pick any particular Democratic candidate but to help them both bloody each other to irreparably hurt the liberal cause for the fall campaign.

Limbaugh says he came upon the disruptive idea when it ...

... became clear to him that Democratic voters helped select the moderate Sen. John McCain as the Republican nominee and, in return, McCain was insufficiently attacking Obama’s liberal positions.

Somebody had to step up and who better than the self-appointed guardian of conservative values who, like the politicians he’s always haranguing, is an expert in attracting publicity like this.

‘I, Rush Limbaugh,’ Limbaugh modestly intoned on his Wednesday program, ‘the commander-in-chief of Operation Chaos have released Democratic superdelegates for Obama.’ As if any were among Limbaugh’s 12 million or so listeners across the country.

‘We have been successful beyond our wildest dreams,’ Limbaugh claimed. ‘Obama is no longer the Messiah.’

Of course, Clinton’s persistent attacks and the outbursts of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright may have also had something to do with that. Limbaugh predicted that Obama ‘will lose and lose big come November.’

While no one knows for sure what effect, if any, sincere or mischievous Republicans had on the Democratic voting in states like Indiana that allow crossover balloting, anecdotal evidence suggests there were thousands. Obama’s camp charged they were decisively in Clinton’s favor in Indiana, ignoring numerous GOP crossovers to their own candidate. Polls revealed that Clinton drew slightly more GOP voters (52%) than Obama (48%).

Interestingly, exit polls indicated that Republicans who crossed over to vote for Obama generally said they would do the same come Nov. 4. While Republicans who crossed over for Clinton said they would switch again to back McCain come the fall.

Inquiries and interviews by various media outlets in recent days suggest there were not enough crossovers to change the outcomes, as close as the Indiana results ended up.

But why should that stop the showman with the large cigar? Limbaugh also noted that former Sen. George McGovern, the unsuccessful Democratic presidential nominee 36 years ago against President Richard Nixon, has just switched his endorsement from Clinton to Obama.

‘There’s no mystery there, folks,’ Limbaugh said. ‘George McGovern wants in his lifetime to see someone lose worse than he did.’

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo Credit: Joseph Kaczmarek / Associated Press