Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh reiterated his hope Saturday that the new Democratic administration will fail, rousing conservative activists to fight the "bastardization of the Constitution that the Obama plans are."
When it came to Iraq, Democrats "hoped George Bush failed," said Limbaugh, making his first appearance at the Conservative Political Action Convention, "So what is so strange about saying I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to reconstruct and reform this nation so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation?"
"I want the country to survive. I want the country to succeed."
In a 90-minute session, Limbaugh dismissed calls for bipartisan cooperation with President Obama and congressional Democrats. Working with them is tantamount to being co-opted by liberals eager to impose big government across the land, he said.
"Where the hell do we get to compromise when we believe in our principles?" Limbaugh told the cheering crowd. "It's a tough challenge, but it's worth it."
Republicans in Washington should try to obstruct Obama's agenda at every turn, said Limbaugh, dressed in open-collar shirt and blazer, a contrast with the blue blazer and tie uniform of many attendees.
"We don't have the votes to stop what's going to happen on Capitol Hill. What we can do is slow down and inform the American people about what's on the horizon.”
Limbaugh warned that Republicans should not let concerns about racial insensitivities limit criticism of Obama's policies. "It doesn't matter to me what his race is. He's liberal, and that's what matters."
"The racism in our culture was exclusively and fully on display in the Democrat primary last year," Limbaugh said. "We didn't ask if he was authentically black. What we were asking, was, 'Was he wrong?' We concluded, 'Yes.' "
"The racism, the sexism, the bigotry that we are all charged with ... doesn't exist on our side," he added. "We want everybody to succeed."
Attendees largely echoed Limbaugh's disdain for bipartisan cooperation. Failure of Obama'a agenda would be far preferable than implementing policies that will hurt the country, said Lisa Miller, a small businesswoman from Northern Virginia. Nothing personal, just policy, she said.
"Everything he has done is accelerating the decline of our economic strength,"
She aimed her fire just as fiercely at Republicans working with Obama to grow government in any way. She cited the $15,000 tax credit for homebuyers pushed by Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia as an example of bad public policy by Republicans.
"That just labels us as Democrats-lite."