On Tuesday, liberal talk radio host Stephanie Miller called Rush Limbaugh's now well-publicized statement about wanting Barack Obama to fail "treasonous," and wondered if he should be executed for saying such a thing.
Miller made this rather provocative comment on CNN's "Larry King Live," and oddly nobody batted an eye or seemed at all put off by it.
Not surprisingly, the topic of discussion between King and his guests -- which other than Miller included the Huffington Post's Arianna Huffington, conservative talk radio host Lars Larson, and GOP strategist Nancy Pfotenhauer -- was all the brouhaha surrounding Limbaugh (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 1:25, h/t NB reader David Wells):
LARRY KING, HOST: Nancy, what do you make of hoping for failure. Supposing it worked, and there were maybe some socialistic inclines, but more people went to work and more people had health care? Why would that be bad?
NANCY PFOTENHAUER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think the point is that Rush -- and I agree with him wholeheartedly on this -- believes these policies are antithetical to the American dream, and absolutely the wrong direction for the economy. I would be delighted to challenge the other two panelists on this one. What he has put together in the so-called stimulus package is an embarrassment. You had Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid writing the bill. You've put in 46 billion for 15 programs that OMB already declared ineffective. You have 300 million dollars going for golf carts, for heavens sake. Then turns around and, in a downturn economy, and advocates a tax increase. At the same time, he is making protectionist noises. This is a nasty economic cocktail, and it is going to hurt the American people. And I think that's what Rush Limbaugh has been trying to underscore. And he is exactly right.
KING: If he fails, Stephanie, that will be good?
STEPHANIE MILLER, LIBERAL TALK RADIO HOST: I guess that is what Nancy and her friends want. As long as you have a place to listen Rush on the radio -- if he fails we all fail.
KING: If his policies fail, he fails, right?
MILLER: Exactly. To me that seems treasonous. [...]
KING: Nancy, the problem with all this is does it bring discord? Does it take away from real issues when we get into basically personality stories?
PFOTENHAUER: You know, I think it is a distraction. And I think that's why the Democrats love it and they want to keep it going. I think the Republicans will turn the page, move on, and start really spending their time doing what they should be doing, which is articulating solutions to the problems that we're facing. And, frankly -- and pointing out how what Obama is advocating, the Obama administration is advocating, these aren't new ideas. They have been tried and they have been tried several times and failed. You can point to places like Germany and France that have done almost exactly what the Obama administration is advocating. What you see there is a third lower quality of life. You see lower economic growth. You see higher taxes and you see higher unemployment. So, it's not a recipe for success. It is a recipe for mediocrity at best. That's why Republicans have to step forward and articulate their solutions.
MILLER: You are right, we should stick to the same policies that got us where we are now. I agree with you.
PFOTENHAUER: I think there need to be real changes.
KING: You criticized the Bush policy?
PFOTENHAUER: I did on the record at the time.
MILLER: Nancy, you are right about one thing. We love this episode of Republican. It's delightful and it's not solving any of the serious problems that the country is facing. You know who is it good for? Rush Limbaugh. He loves this attention.
If I could say something tonight that gets me that kind of attention, like maybe Rush Limbaugh should be executed for treason. How about that?
Well, if Miller was saying this to get attention, let's hope her wish comes true.
Regardless, isn't it interesting that nobody seemed shocked by this comment? King completely ignored it and moved on: "Lars, it is true that any kind of -- Rush is a personality -- is enjoying this, isn't he?"