It's tempting to use Ma Richards' old saying, "it's the economy, stupid" when trying to define the absolute insanity of this Rush Limbaugh thing. Americans are standing by watching in horror as their retirement dreams go up in smoke and then even more open-mouthed amazement as their elected leadership responds by picking a fight with a talk show host (notice the same ridiculous CNN photo). Is Olbermann secretly running the show?
It's no surprise that Limbaugh called Obama's bluff as he did with Harry Reid, which leaves the White House with two options--continue or change the subject. The prudent move would be to take their gains and move on because the more this continues, the worse he'll look. In all his failings Bush never appeared to be bothered by negative press. That's not the comparison Obama wants. The presidential position description calls for the POTUS to remain above the fray and a prudent POTUS would follow it, while cussing under his breath.
Of course, the mere fact the White House ever considered a "Rush strategy" in the first place throws conventional speculation on its ear. As to background, Rush claims these Clinton flacks currently running Obama's show were part of the same crew that left blame on the right in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing. But Clinton had the good sense to not get in a direct pssing contest with the man who helped fuel the Republican Revolution. So why engage now?
Well, some say it's a deflection from financial reality or an attempt to finally wipe out the Republican opposition before it reorganizes. The latter seems more prudent. Obama knows that while the Congress might be majority Democratic it contains a lot of Blue Dogs from red districts. If those swing voters can be swung by Limbaugh, pointing out every day the true direction Obama wants to go, that might start another wave. 2010 isn't that far off. Why wouldn't Obama want to pull that weed before the yard turns green? Which if true is rather chilling.