I Hope Rush Limbaugh Fails

Go ahead, guess who wrote the following paragraph. And I'll give you a hint: It's not Al Franken, Keith Olberman, Rachel Maddow, or even Michael Moore.

And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as 'losers.' With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence...

Figured it out? The author is former Bush speechwriter David Frum. In fact, this first appeared on David Frum's Web site to rebuild the party, and was reprinted as a larger part of an article he wrote as a cover story for Newsweek. After reading the piece, conservative author and New York Times columnist David Brooks lamented on a talk show over the weekend, "I'm outraged. Frum is going to replace me as the most anti-Limbaugh conservative in this country." Frum does not seem alone in his dismay at the elevation of Rush Limbaugh as the face of the Republican party. In a Rassmussen poll, only 2 percent of self-identified conservatives see Limbaugh as their party leader. A Newsweek poll shows that less than half of Republicans have a favorable impression of the talk show host. A plurality believes that he has too much influence on the party, and only 10 percent believe that he has too little influence on the party. Limbaugh's phrase has now echoed over and over again in the blogosphere, news shows, and papers: "I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: 'Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.' Somebody's gotta say it." My response is simple. As a Christian, I hope Rush Limbaugh fails -- and here's why. I have two boys, a five-year-old and a 10-year-old. And Rush Limbaugh ranks as one of the worst role models in the country for mine and other people's kids. As a Little League baseball coach, I spend my time teaching my players values that are the direct opposite of the values of Rush Limbaugh -- like respect for each other and other people, like helping each other out when somebody needs help, like lifting somebody up when they're down, treating our opponents the way we would like to be treated, and knowing that there is more to life than "winning." Rush Limbaugh is an almost perfect anti-role model for a Little League baseball coach. Yep, as a Christian and even a Little League baseball coach, I hope that Rush Limbaugh and the world of values he stands for will fail. Limbaugh does not represent the vast majority of Republicans, and I don't know any conservative parents that would hold up Rush as a role model for their children. The president shouldn't waste his valuable time in debating Limbaugh. But I would like to make that offer. Hey Rush, I'll debate you about the kind of country and world we want -- especially for our kids. Bring it on! For some of Rush Limbaugh's "greatest hits" and plenty of reasons that I would not want my kids or Little League team to listen to his show, check out the Media Matters Limbaugh Wire.

Jim Wallis is the author of The Great Awakening, Editor-in-Chief of Sojourners and blogs at www.godspolitics.com.

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