Operation Rushbo “explicitly authorized” by White House

posted at 6:20 pm on March 9, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, Politico reported that the White House had quarterbacked “Operation Rushbo” as a means of demonizing Republicans, exactly the kind of political character assassination Barack Obama had campaigned against for the past two years.  Today, the International Herald-Tribune and the New York Times confirm this, albeit inadvertently, in a profile of Obama’s closest political adviser.  David Axelrod gave the order to launch the attack machine:

A glimpse of Axelrod’s day offers a look at how he spends his time.

He arrives at the White House shortly after 7 a.m., a torturously early hour for a man known during the campaign for sending messages until the small hours of the morning. A cup of Earl Grey tea is waiting for him — he hates the taste of coffee and recalls having only two cups in his life — as he walks into his first appointment of the day, a meeting in the office of Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff, who has been a friend for 25 years.

He attends the economic briefing in the Oval Office, where the latest news and grim statistics are relayed to the president by a battery of advisers. When the classified intelligence briefing begins, Axelrod leaves the room. Later, he and a speechwriter sit down with Obama to review the three-ring binder containing each speech or statement the president will make that day.

Often in the late afternoons, he walks to the Situation Room to attend some meetings of the National Security Council, stopping to grab a handful or two of the M&Ms that are in a large bowl outside the room.

He also helps decide which fights to pick and which ones to avoid, making him a leading voice in setting the political tone in Washington. The recent back-and-forth with Rush Limbaugh, for example, was explicitly authorized by Axelrod, who told aides that it was not a moment to sit quietly after Limbaugh said he hoped that Obama would “fail.”

Hmm.  After my initial post on Operation Rushbo, some criticized Politico for overreaching on their report.  Do you think they may start to apologize for it, now that the NYT (which owns the IHT) has confirmed it, even as an afterthought?

And for that matter, why didn’t the New York Times report this separately?  The White House has ginned up an attack machine to pillory Rush Limbaugh, but meanwhile dozens of high-level appointments have yet to be made at Treasury.  They’re too overwhelmed to figure out correct protocol for Gordon Brown’s visit (and too busy to offer decent gifts), but they have the time to coordinate attacks on a radio-show host.

That’s an interesting set of priorities — for both Obama and the New York Times.


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MEDIA QUESTIONS OBAMA ON THE LIMBAUGH ATTACKS:

QUESTION: “Mr. President, how is the new White House pet doing?”

DamnYankee on March 10, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Anyone who voted for Obama was duped beyond belief. He is exactly what conservatives said he was, a marxist demagog.

Neo on March 10, 2009 at 1:03 PM

“Later, he and a speechwriter sit down with Obama to review the three-ring binder containing each speech or statement the president will make that day.”

Does Soros have to approve before dorm-room boy can say the words?

notagool on March 10, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Rush is tough and so are those of us who agree with him. When you think about it, who is this vendetta of o’s designed to reach? Can’t reach us, so-called RINO’s/indies are pretty fickle anyway and what’s left? the left who’ll never like him anyway. If they are trying to demonize the GOP as a whole, they needn’t waste their time since they already did that with Bush and we have no place to go but up. Possibly naive, but I’m just not seeing the purpose. Personally, think we should just go on tearing o limb from limb every chance we get and not worry about all this. Let’s keep our eye on the ball!

jeanie on March 10, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Again i reiterate

This isnt democracy now,,.
You have the White house activly courting enemies of their percieved opponents and co-ordinating attacks
agaisnt US citizens

this reminds me of obama working like a minitiature hitler
Pelozi as his mistress
Biden as the buffoon (hell he does that anyway)
and The rest of them are like the Nazi SS and Gestapo
All swoping in after a phone call from the dear leader
herr Obama

All that is missing is the mustache

jcila on March 10, 2009 at 7:52 PM

oh and they probably photoshopped that one out..

jcila on March 10, 2009 at 7:52 PM

It’s the White House Office of Character Assassination.

One can only begin to imagine the hue and cry if something this sordid and nefarious was being directed by the Bush administration.

It wasn’t but a couple of months ago how we were constantly being told by the left and their ilk that the President was shredding the Constitution to advance his agenda. Fast forward two months and hyperactive fantasy turns into reality.

Blackacre on March 10, 2009 at 8:33 PM

Folks, this is exactly the approach the Nazis took under Hitler except in Germany there was no entrenched Constitution that guaranteed freedom of speech and that one could not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and private property cannot be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Give Obama a few years, he’ll figure out how to marginalize these rights as well.

Americans don’t realize how dangerous Obama and his merry men and women are to lives of the ordinary citizen.

Tell me what is more important: that Sarah Palin’s daughter was pregnant or that Obama is a Marxist and a follower of Alinsky and a friend of Bill Ayres.

technopeasant on March 11, 2009 at 1:48 AM

Give Obama a few years, he’ll figure out how to marginalize these rights as well.

He already has. Remove God from the equation it all becomes null and void.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights….”

Some one once wrote (and I wish I could take credit for it but I can’t):

We have individual liberty in this country because our freedom pre-exists and transcends the state. When we say that “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” that means that our rights cannot be violated by the state because they come from a higher authority. It doesn’t matter whether that’s the Christian God or not. Our rights do not devolve from the State. We answer for ourselves to our own God and to no man. It is because our rights come from God and not our government that we have more individual liberties than any other country on earth.

JeffVader on March 11, 2009 at 2:15 AM

JeffVader on March 11, 2009 at 2:15 AM
They can be taken away, unless we are prepared to defend them with our arms, and our life.
.
Just remember they are the rebels.

darktood on March 11, 2009 at 3:13 AM

The Obama Admin. defending itself from criticism is one thing but flat out attacks like this and ideas like the “Fairness” Doctrine are steps well above my comfort level for our govt to be conducting itself.

Yakko77 on March 11, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3