Not so much a substantive disagreement with Limbaugh and others in the “I hope he fails” camp as a disagreement about tone. He and Rush are both skeptical in the extreme that New Deal II will lead to anything but ruin, but Sanford’s at least nominally open to the possibility that it might work. Limbaugh, less so. Compare this bit from his interview with Hannity last month…
I am hearing many Republicans say that very thing. “Well, we want him to succeed,” and prominent Republicans! “Yes, we want him to succeed.” They have laid down. They have totally. They’re drinking the Kool-Aid, too. They have no guts to stand up for what their beliefs are because they’re afraid of criticism. They’re afraid of being called racists. They’re afraid of not having gotten with the program. Now success can be defined two ways. I said earlier, “I don’t know about this guy.” I really don’t. I’ve got my suspicions and they’re pretty close to convictions, but we’re going to have to wait to see what he does. Now if he turns out to be a Reagan, if he adds Reagan to his recipe of FDR and Lincoln … if he does not eliminate the Bush tax cuts, I would call that success. So yes, I would hope he would succeed if he acts like Reagan. But if he’s going to do FDR — if he’s going to do The New New Deal all over, which we will call here The Raw Deal — why would I want him to succeed? Look, he’s my president. The fact that he is historic is irrelevant to me now. It matters not at all. If he is going to implement a far-left agenda… Look, I think it’s already decided: a $2 trillion in stimulus? The growth of government? I think the intent here is to create as many dependent Americans as possible looking to government for their hope and salvation. If he gets nationalized health care, I mean, it’s over, Sean. We’re never going to roll that back. That’s the end of America as we have known it, because that’s then going to set the stage for everything being government owned, operated, or provided. Why would I want that to succeed? I don’t believe in that. I know that’s not how this country is going to be great in the future; it’s not what made this country great. So I shamelessly say, “No! I want him to fail.”
… to Sanford, speaking today with RCP:
And I said [to Obama], “Man to man, I dont want to disagree with you on anything. And as an American, I absolutely want you to succeed. And therefore, as an American who wants you to succeed because we’re all in this boat together it’s incumbent upon me, if I think an idea is a bad idea, even though I don’t want to disagree, to lay it out.” And he said his say and I said my say and he said his say and I said my say, and we called it quits.
I don’t want him to fail. Anybody who wants him to fail is an idiot, because it means we’re all in trouble. But I do think, in that same vein, if you’ve looked at the pages of history, if you’ve looked at the pages of economic data that I’ve looked at over a long period of time — I’ve got a masters in business from the University of Virginia, I’ve worked up in New York in finance — if you’ve looked at that kind of stuff and you legitimately think that something ain’t going to work, you’d be cheating him and cheating yourself if you didn’t lay it out and call an ace an ace in terms of where you’re coming from.
Exit question: Significant difference or no? And if so, how much of that is attributable to their respective professions?