Rush Limbaugh: Maybe Al Qaeda Gave Up Osama To Help Obama Win Re-Election

Rush Limbaugh is suggesting that Al Qaeda may have let the U.S. take down Osama bin Laden to help the President get re-elected:

Rush Limbaugh today finally offered a Unified Theory of Obama’s Radical Muslim Sympathies, with a clever workaround for the bin Laden thing: Al-Qaida intentionally “gave up Osama Bin Laden” in order to “mak[e] Obama look good.” The “wild theory,” as Limbaugh himself call it, flagged by Media Matters, says al-Qaida wants to keep Obama in power because the Democrat is bad for Israel, so Islamists have a better chance of destroying the country than under a Republican president:

What if Ayman al-Zawahiri and other al-Qaida leaders gave up Osama Bin Laden for the express purpose  of making Obama look good? Giving Obama stature, political capital. Obama got Osama! I mean really, do you think al-Qaida depends on Osama Bin Laden any more, like it did?… So they give him him, they give away his location. We go in, SEAL Team 6, Obama puffs up… Keep him in power, furthers the cause… Do you think the militant Islamists will be as hopeful of getting rid of Israel with a Republican president or with a Democrat president? Just throwing it out there.

The theory neatly ties together all of the big narratives of the right’s alternative cosmos version of Obama. And while it’s not surprising that the blogs and Rush Limbaugh would advance such nonsense, it’s disappointing to see the party’s two nominal leaders — the presidential nominee and party chairman — cynically latch on to the bogus charge in a time of crisis.

Limbaugh, of course, will likely say that he was merely “illustrating absurdity by being absurd,” which is his standard defense whenever he gets caught making one of his usual idiotic statements. Nonetheless, one has to wonder why conservatives consider this man someone worth taking seriously.

H/T: Balloon Juice

FILED UNDER: General
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ernieyeball says:

    …one has to wonder why conservatives consider this man someone worth taking seriously.

    Because he panders to the lowest common denominator, The Republican base?

  2. legion says:

    @Ernieyeball: Because he can say things even too ridiculous for the party to say, just to see if the droolers at the bottom of the barrel perk up. If Rush gets enough support from his listeners on this, rest assured that the Koch Bros will fund some sort of Swift-Boatian documentary claiming to prove the same thing. It’ll al lbe lies made up out of whole cloth, but we’ve already seen that that doesn’t even factor into GOP planning…

  3. michael reynolds says:

    Nonetheless, one has to wonder why conservatives consider this man someone worth taking seriously.

    I don’t want to shock you but conservatives* are stupid. Really, it’s just that simple: conservatives are stupid.

    *Conservative by current rather than historical label.

  4. MBunge says:

    They take him seriously now because they took him seriously in the past. There have been many, many times when the GOP political establishment could have stepped in and slapped down Rush or at least established that he and his ilk were not to be considered major powers within the party. They were too happy, though, to benefit from their rabble rousing. Now Rush is so firmly set as a conservative thought leader that you cross him at your own peril.

    Mike

  5. Scott F. says:

    Nonetheless, one has to wonder why conservatives consider this man someone worth taking seriously.

    As Mike alludes to above, you dance with the one who brought you. Rush delivered impassioned voters in the past. Conservatives are stuck with him.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Go over to Florack’s blog and you will see a post titled “Secretary of Defense Accuses President Obama of Treason”.

    WIth this crowd, stupid is a feature, not a bug…

  7. Boyd says:

    If you think that Limbaugh believes the parody crap that he spouts all the time, “fool” isn’t sufficiently pejorative to describe you.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    @Boyd:

    Of course Limbaugh doesn’t believe it. He’s a smart operator fleecing the suckers for millions every year. What does it matter if he believes it? The suckers believe it, and as long as they do Rush stays rich.

  9. MBunge says:

    “If you think that Limbaugh believes the parody crap that he spouts”

    What is Limbaugh parodying with that statement?

    Parody. Satire. Irony. These words actually mean things. They aren’t just euphemisms for being a stupid, irrational a-hole.

    Mike

  10. Boyd says:

    @MBunge: Hence the second half of my sentence above.

  11. Tony W says:

    It’s obvious Rush is right – especially when you look at the timing – perfectly timed to coincide with the fall 2012 election. Oh…wait…um…..

  12. Moosebreath says:

    One can make a better case that al Qu’eda helped Bush the Younger get re-elected by its video released just before the election.

  13. grumpy realist says:

    And people wonder why scientists and engineers are turning away from the Republican party in disgust?

    Rush is no better than that idiot movie-maker. I consider him worse, because the idiot-movie maker probably believes the entire mess of Anti-Muslim crap he spouts. Rush doesn’t; he’s just throwing red meat to the unwashed rabble he knows he can poke into action. Lord Shrewsbury redux, using the power of the mob.

  14. swbarnes2 says:

    Nonetheless, one has to wonder why conservatives consider this man someone worth taking seriously.

    And another one! Do you really not know? Conservatives once again say that Obama is not a real American, and once again, you have no idea why they would say such things? You are still wondering?

    That’s twice just today that you are scratching your head over why conservatives do insane things. Doesn’t it strike you as a problem that you have to make staetments like that over and over and over again? Don’t you care that it makes you, at best, look like an idiot who is shockingly ignorant of the things he is commenting on, and at worst, it means you are doing a crappy job of covering and excusing the vileness of conservatives?

  15. rudderpedals says:

    How conveniently Rusty forgets the Iran/Contra link to Ronnie Reagan’s election. Nice.

  16. @michael reynolds:

    I’m once again forced to ponder the myriad ways in which my success in life has been limited by my stubborn adherence to principle.

  17. al-Ameda says:

    What if Ayman al-Zawahiri and other al-Qaida leaders gave up Osama Bin Laden for the express purpose of making Obama look good? Giving Obama stature, political capital. Obama got Osama! I mean really, do you think al-Qaida depends on Osama Bin Laden any more, like it did?… So they give him him, they give away his location. We go in, SEAL Team 6, Obama puffs up… Keep him in power, furthers the cause… Do you think the militant Islamists will be as hopeful of getting rid of Israel with a Republican president or with a Democrat president? Just throwing it out there.

    Lunch time at the EIB Network – he’s feeding the Dittoheads.

  18. Davebo says:

    How conveniently Rusty forgets the Iran/Contra link to Ronnie Reagan’s election.

    And don’t forget the ultimate Yes Man Colin Powell. Considered a God as one of two African American Conservatives.

    The other had a tanker named after her and presided over national security during the 9/11 attacks.

    Odd how that works out. It’s almost like the GOP is perfecting the Peter Principle but that couldn’t be. Where is George W. when ya need him?

  19. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    *Conservative by current rather than historical label.

    No need for the footnote:

    “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.” – John Stuart Mill

  20. Hal 10000 says:

    Sigh. It’s so sad. Rush was so good in the 90’s. This is like watching your favorite ballplayer striking out badly every time but refusing to retire.

  21. gVOR08 says:

    Nonetheless, one has to wonder why conservatives consider this man someone worth taking seriously.

    Modern American conservatism isn’t an ideology, it’s an entertainment demographic.

    l think all the discussion about whether Limbaugh believes this nonsense is beside the point. Believe/disbelieve true/false simply don’t enter into his thoughts. The only thing Rush considers is whether a line will work with his audience. Sort of like Romney, except lately Romney doesn’t seem to be a very good judge of his audience.

    I see Romney shot himself in the foot in his mouth again. He said middle class income is 200 to 250K. Is he that far out of touch, or did he let the cat out of the bag on how they’re going to cut taxes for the top without taxing the middle? Redefine middle to just a few people in a narrow income band. Tax the heck out of the newly defined poor below 200K.

  22. James says:

    @gVOR08: I had to look up the Romney line and, at least according to the AP article on Boston.com that’s not what he said, he was using that as the upper threshold for the middle class not the range.

    ‘‘No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less,’’ Romney responded.

    I think Romney is a two faced weasel but let us stick to the facts.

  23. gVOR08 says:

    @James:
    per ABC New’s transcript:
    “GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?
    MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less. So number one, don’t reduce– or excuse me, don’t raise taxes on middle-income people, lower them. Number two, don’t reduce the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest. The top 5% will still pay the same share of taxes they pay today. That’s principle one, principle two. Principle three is create incentives for growth, make it easier for businesses to start and to add jobs. And finally, simplify the code, make it easier for people to pay their taxes than the way they have to now.”

    The “and less” is ambiguous, but he seems to clearly state 100K is not middle class. If he walks it back quickly, with a specific definition of middle class, I might give him the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise I’m sticking with the way a lot of other people read it.

  24. Ernieyeball says:

    @Hal 10000: Rush was so good in the 90′s.

    So good at what? Lying?

  25. James says:

    @gVOR08: “And less” is not ambigous, much like when and admission for children prices says 12 and under I don’t wonder if it stops at 10. It becomes even less ambigous when you consider the number he used is the same one that McCain and Obama used in the last election to denote the upper boundary of the the middle class.

  26. legion says:

    @James:

    I think Romney is a two faced weasel but let us stick to the facts.

    Well, the fact is that $200k is about the 97th percentile of US household incomes, so whether he intended that as a “top end” or a “range” is immaterial – it’s a damn sight off of the actual median of somewhere in the 50k-60k range…

  27. James says:

    @legion: It is true that it is really high, but the point I was making is that Romeny did not say that he felt that the middle class was $200,000-$250,000. Unless you have something useful to say to that correction it immaterial.

  28. legion says:

    @James: Anything you say. This is straight from the official transcript of the interview:

    MITT ROMNEY: Well, I said that there are five different studies that point out that we can get to a balanced budget without raising taxes on middle income people. Let me tell you, George, the fundamentals of my tax policy are these. Number one, reduce tax burdens on middle-income people. So no one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers.

    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?

    MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less. So number one, don’t reduce– or excuse me, don’t raise taxes on middle-income people, lower them.

    Depending on how you break the numbers down, you could get away with saying that “middle income” is between $30k and $80k… that’s probably where I’d ballpark it. Even Stephanopolis tries to hand him a lifeline by suggesting $100k, but Romney is simply too stupid to realize when he’s getting a softball.

  29. James says:

    @legion: Are you fucking stupid? I said that Romeny stated that he considers middle income to be 200,000 to 250,000 and less to be middle income. So you come along in your brilliance and quote from that same transcript and bold exactly what I said. Hurray we are in agreement with what Romney said.

  30. grumpy realist says:

    @James: That certainly looks like Romney has 200K as the lower level for a middle class income.

    Given that the average household income in the US is roughly 50K, I think we can indeed say that Romney is out of touch.

  31. James says:

    @legion: Apparently my comment shall sit in moderation due to my appraisal of your intelligence:

    I said that Romeny stated that he considers middle income to be 200,000 to 250,000 and less to be middle income. So you come along in your brilliance and quote from that same transcript and bold exactly what I said he said. Hurray we are in agreement with what Romney said.

  32. James says:

    @grumpy realist: Of course he is out of touch, but he didn’t say middle income is between 200,000-250,000. gVOR08 stated that he did and I corrected that, why you people insist and adding things to a statement of fact.

    It’s like if I said, it’s raining out said and you argue with me that you hate the Dodgers.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    I don’t have much respect for Romney but it seems to me that he was taking the question to mean $100K was the top of the MI definition. He responded that, no, he thought it should go up to $200–250K. One can argue with that but it’s a commonly used metric.

  34. jukeboxgrad says:

    marked:

    he was taking the question to mean $100K was the top of the MI definition. He responded that, no, he thought it should go up to $200–250K.

    Correct. The real issue here is not that Mitt defines middle class as up to $200K. The issue is that he repeatedly cites Feldstein, but he never mentions that Feldstein makes Mitt’s numbers add up by doing something sneaky: Feldstein rejects Mitt’s definition of ‘middle class.’ Here’s Mitt’s definition of ‘middle class:’ under $200K. Here’s Feldstein’s definition: under $100K.

    Feldstein and Tax Policy Center essentially agree, because they both say this: you can’t make Mitt’s numbers add up unless you raise taxes on people making $100-200K. Feldstein makes Mitt’s numbers add up by raising taxes on that group. According to Feldstein, that group isn’t ‘middle class.’ Trouble is, according to Mitt, that group is ‘middle class,’ and Mitt says he won’t raise taxes on the ‘middle class.’

    Typical GOP smoke and mirrors. Few reporters are savvy enough to notice these contradictions.

    Notice that Feldstein has said this:

    The Tax Policy Center defined the middle class as all taxpayers with incomes under $200,000 while I used $100,000.

    Chait has a nice explanation of the problem here:

    Feldstein’s study found that the threshold above which Romney would have to raise taxes was not the $250,000 he promised but $100,000 a year.

    And LAT has also noticed the problem:

    Mitt Romney’s budget plan would significantly raise income taxes for many families making between $100,000 and $200,000, analyses by leading Republican economists cited by the Romney campaign show.

    A subject for another thread, hopefully.

  35. jukeboxgrad says:

    one has to wonder why conservatives consider this man someone worth taking seriously

    Reagan himself described Limbaugh as “the Number One voice for conservatism.” In 1993, NR described him as “The Leader of The Opposition.” And they proudly repeated this in 2003 (link). In 1994, “Limbaugh was made an honorary member” of Congress by the GOP (link). This is Rush “take that bone out of your nose and call me back” Limbaugh that we’re talking about.

    If Rush shouldn’t be taken seriously, then Reagan, NR and the Congressional GOP shouldn’t be taken seriously.

  36. legion says:

    @James: Well, before you get all snippy, you might want to look back at what _you_ said:

    It is true that it is really high, but the point I was making is that Romeny did not say that he felt that the middle class was $200,000-$250,000.

    I pointed out that he actually _did_ say that – I’ve seen nobody claim he said “middle class” was _only between_ 200k and 250k, but he _was_ clearly putting the _top end_ of middle class in that range. I’m not arguing that Romney thinks “middle class” doesn’t extend _below_ $200k, I’m arguing that setting the _top end_ at the 97th percentile is absolute horsesh*t.

    “And less” is not ambigous, much like when and admission for children prices says 12 and under I don’t wonder if it stops at 10.

    Yes, this part I agree with you on. But Romney’s comment is similar to claiming that “children’s prices” actually go up to age 37, which is equally horsesh*t.

  37. James says:

    @legion: The quote from gVOR08 that started all this

    I see Romney shot himself in the foot in his mouth again. He said middle class income is 200 to 250K. Is he that far out of touch, or did he let the cat out of the bag on how they’re going to cut taxes for the top without taxing the middle? Redefine middle to just a few people in a narrow income band. Tax the heck out of the newly defined poor below 200K.

    I’ll let you tell him that he’s nobody.