Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Right-wing pundits fall out: Limbaugh eviscerates Goldberg


The infighting among conservatives has been notched up another degree, with Rush Limbaugh attempting to blast Jonah Goldberg out of the water for daring to suggest that President Obama deserves congratulations for the successful rescue of an American captain from Somali pirates.

Goldberg wrote on his blog at the National Review on Sunday evening, "Good For President Obama. He approved the rescue. It was the right thing to do, with no small amount of risk. And God bless the SEALs."

By Monday morning, however, Goldberg was beginning to realize he might have put his foot in it. "My morning in-box is full of snark and bile from some folks who think I shouldn't have congratulated President Obama for the rescue last night," he admitted ruefully. "But you know what? Congratulations anyway. ... I think my credentials as a critic of Obama are pretty solid. But I find the idea that I have to be critical no matter what Obama does to be exhaustingly unappealing."

But that was before the really big guns came out. By midday, it was clear even to Goldberg that Limbaugh had been letting him have it with both barrels.

Limbaugh began his Monday show by saying -- every word dripping with extreme sarcasm -- "I want to single out today, Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online for being the first that I saw to have the proper reaction to the rescue of Captain Phillips from the merchant marine organizers, and that was to congratulate President Obama for a job well done. And I think we all must agree, folks, that when Obama does something right, we gotta go out there and we've got to acknowledge it."

Limbaugh's assault might be considered ill-natured, given that Goldberg had defended him just last month -- when Limbaugh came under fire for saying he wanted to see Obama fail -- and had condemned the attacks on Limbaugh as "a tired rehash."

However, Limbaugh apparently felt no need on Monday to reciprocate for Goldberg's earlier support. After going on for a while about how the rescue should be made into a movie starring Will Smith as Barack Obama and himself, Sarah Palin, Eric Cantor, and Bobby Jindal as the pirates, Limbaugh returned to invoking Goldberg's name over and over, each time twisting the knife just a bit deeper.

"We just can't be constant critics," Limbaugh purred. "As Jonah Goldberg has pointed out in National Review today, we must, when we see brilliance in action, decisiveness -- the SEALs? ... SEALs couldn't have done diddly-squat were it not for the decisive, cool under pressure, first test passed President Obama. ... And he deserves praise. Jonah Goldberg at National Review was first to point out, he does the right thing, we gotta say so."

Even when a caller suggested, " I think that you're just rattled because it worked out. ... If it didn't work you would just be peeing yourself with joy," Limbaugh insisted, "I'm not upset about it. ... I was second out of the box telling people when he does the right thing we gotta -- just like Jonah Goldberg said."

"And you are out of your mind," the caller retorted. "And I only check back ... just to make sure that you are still as crazy as I think you are. ... And you are, and you prove it every time I listen to you."

Goldberg, meanwhile, has posted again, but merely to say, "I'm not listening" and to insist, "The idea that I am sitting by computer waiting for an opportunity to congratulate president Obama is, frankly, absurd."

The betting window is still open for wagers on how long it will take before Goldberg is forced to issue an active apology.

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