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Nothing Personal, but I Hope You All Fail

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Is it inherently unpatriotic or immoral to want to see a president fail? After chewing over the larger implications of that vital question, I've come to a conclusion: I am a twisted human being. Thankfully, I'm not alone.

You see, when I'm not wasting time greedily praying to be rich, I plead with some higher power to sentence my middling local representatives to painful obscurity and professional failure. My congresswoman, for instance, carries an intellectual confidence so severely out of step with her skill set that the promise of disappointment, I trust, one day will bring me great joy.

If we can't look to our politicians to fulfill our yearly schadenfreude quota, whom can we trust?

Which brings me to radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who recently, at a conservative conference, had the temerity to reiterate his desire that President Barack Obama "fail" -- not the economy or nation, mind you, but the politician. Pundits across the nation went into apoplectic tizzy fits over such blasphemous and ugly thoughts.

Since when is rooting for the success of an ideologically driven elected official a civic duty, you may wonder? Wonder no more. It merely depends on the politician.

Limbaugh's comments were, apparently, so abhorrent that the host is accused now of being the de facto voice of conservatism and the Republican Party.

That, as we all know, is technically impossible, considering someone actually is listening to Rush Limbaugh. Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, went so far as to call the radio host the "voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party."

That is a neat trick. If Limbaugh is the voice of conservatism, conservatism must want Obama and, thus, America to fail. After eight years of seething hatred -- plenty of it deserved -- for George W. Bush, this brand of contrived indignation touches a new level of creative dishonesty.

Of course, there is always some gullible and amateurish Republican spokesman -- which is to Washington what a hooker is to Las Vegas (or, uh, so I'm told) -- who picks a needlessly counterproductive fight with Limbaugh. Inevitably, the Republican offers a feeble apology regarding the "inarticulate" or "inartful" initial statement.

The Democrats call this transaction "kissing the ring."

Democrats don't kiss rings. They don't pick fights with allies. Democrats are about peace, after all. Half the Democratic Party's leaders would show up at a Daily Kos convention, and that Web site peddles some of the hardest far-left ideas in this country. I guess you could make the case that progressive bloggers are the intellectual force and energy behind the Democratic Party.

Democrats don't tell union bosses who bankroll their campaigns to buzz off. They rarely question their president. Congress doesn't even bother reading the trillion-dollar bills they send to Obama to sign.

Republicans, conversely, are fighting over their future -- a future that grass-roots figures, such as Limbaugh, certainly will be a part of. In the meantime, Democrats are hoping Republicans fail to come to a consensus and regroup, even though two vibrant parties are always healthier for the nation than one.

And many of us are hoping that all those in power fail, because those in power have a grating habit of being annoyingly self-righteous, hopelessly corrupt, resolutely incompetent and completely apathetic about the freedoms that they have sworn to protect.

Embrace the failure. It's patriotic.

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