Three and a half years into the Iraq war, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly appeared on David Letterman's show. He asked Letterman, "Do you want the United States to win in Iraq?" Letterman gave a long-winded answer about the evolution of his thinking on the war.
"Do you want the United States to win in Iraq?" repeated O'Reilly. Letterman paused.
O'Reilly said, "It's an easy question."
"It's not easy for me," said Letterman, "because I'm thoughtful."
The New York Times recently printed a piece about David Axelrod, the Chicago newspaperman turned political consultant turned senior adviser to President Barack Obama. According to the Times, "The recent back-and-forth with Rush Limbaugh … was explicitly authorized by Mr. Axelrod, who told aides that it was not a moment to sit quietly after Mr. Limbaugh said he hoped that Mr. Obama would 'fail.'" Newsweek's Jonathan Alter wrote, "Republicans hope to break the new president's momentum -- make him 'fail,' as de facto GOP chairman Rush Limbaugh urged."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Reg Henry wrote: "When Rush Limbaugh said he wanted Barack Obama to fail, the clanging of the stupidity meter roused me to action. Usually, I have the stupidity meter set to mute when it comes to the Vesuvius of Vacuity because everything he says is bound to set off the alarm and the dog can't sleep with all the stupid racket. … After all, it is the polar opposite of what some of us believed about the last president as he instituted one fool policy after another to please the right-wing crank community. Those were years when I had to buy extra batteries for the stupidity meter and the dog took to sleeping with his paws over his ears."
Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., said: "It's easy if you're Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don't have to try to do what's best for your people and your party. … You're just on these talk shows and you're living well, and plus you stir up a bit of controversy."
One columnist considers rooting for failure an act of disloyalty. The Miami Herald's Leonard Pitts wrote: "Do you ever say that about your president if you are an American who loves your country? Would you say it about George W. Bush, who was disastrous? … You may think he's going to fail, yes. You may warn he's going to fail, yes. But do you ever hope he fails? Knowing his failure is the country's failure? Isn't that, well … disloyal?"
But what of Democrats who rooted against the success of George W. Bush?