May 17, 2007

Rush Limbaugh runs into Bill Clinton at a steakhouse.

As told by Rush. I like this part, after the break, where his fans, having heard the story, give him hell for acting friendly and normalwhen meeting his enemy in a social setting:
I remember telling you this in the early to mid-nineties, "Bill Clinton is the kind of guy that you probably would love to go to a ball game with, chase women afterwards and have a great time." I'm already getting e-mails, "You're falling in with the enemy. I knew it! It happens to every one of our conservatives. They get famous, and fall in with the enemy, even you." What am I supposed to do, folks, when he comes to my table? Am I supposed to stand up and leave? Am I supposed to turn my back? What am I supposed to do? I'm not that kind of person. You people need to relax out there, some of you. Not all of you are uptight about this. Some of you need to just lighten up out there. I can't help it if I go someplace and this kind of stuff happens.
Yeah, you know, from what I've seen, people who are hostile to each other in the public arena act pretty cordial in a social setting. I haven't blogged about it, but I've had social interactions with some of my biggest enemies in the blogosphere -- including sitting down for a meal together -- and it was completely friendly.


Anthony said...

Most of these people are fully aware that their opponents are their opponents, not their enemies. Sadly, for those with whom the political is personal, this distinction is all but lost.

One of my professors (archaeology) and another archaeologist used to really go at each other in print. You'd think they were sworn enemies, but at every conference they were practically inseparable.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Heck in the Canadian Parliament it's not unheard of for two MPs from Gopher Gulch, Saskatchewan -- one a socialist NDP and the other a Tory -- to share an apartment in Ottawa and to be the best of friends.

There is something about the formalised theatre of Question Period every day that allows people to understand that the political need not be personal.

My very best friend in Quebec (where I lived for 13 years) is diametrically opposed to me on a number of key political issues. Our discussion became the foundation of our friendship.

The funny thing is that on the key political issue of Quebec, independence, he and I have more or less reversed our positions over 20 years. We still debate it, but from opposite sides.

The intense and often bitter personalisation of politics is a very disappointing fact of present-day American political life.

bill said...

I've had social interactions with some of my biggest enemies in the blogosphere -- including sitting down for a meal together -- and it was completely friendly

So how is Dave™?

Dewave said...

The idea that we cannot deviate from a policy of consistent hatred towards our political opponents is a very repellant one.

Let's try to keep things in perspective and remember who the *actual* enemies worthy of such contempt are.

Anonymous said...

So how is Dave™?

Thanks, Bill! Made my day.

Anthony said...

Well, heck look at Carville and Matalin.

howzerdo said...

How silly! My grandparents were polar opposites in politics and very outspoken about it. My grandmother was a straight ticket Democrat, national to local. My grandfather was a straight ticket Republican, national to local. She adored FDR. He loathed FDR. They said their votes canceled each other out - but they still voted every year. They got along beautifully and raised three very open-minded, tolerant, independent children.

Unknown said...

My wife is a Democrat.

I'm not sure why - she's more conservative than I on very many issues.

Regardless, some folks take politics too seriously. I think there is something wrong with societies (people too, for that matter) in which EVERYTHING is viewed through a political lens.

Limbaugh is right - Clinton is probably the kind of guy you'd go to a ballgame, drinking, or chasing skirts with, and have a blast, regardless of your politics.

JSF said...

Ann, something I learned from the Old Tamany People was that Politics WAS NEVER Personal. If you can't argue your points with someone then have a beer afterword, you have lost far more. I related to Hdhouse (someone who will never understand this lesson) on an earlier post how I met President Clinton even though I despised him. I showed respect for the office, was it too much to ask Hdhouse show the same respect for the folks who hold the same position on my side of the aisle? That requires maturity which he doesn't have.

My best friend is a Red Sox fan and a Democrat, but, even though I am a Yankee fan and a Republican,, I know there is more to life than politics.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Might I suggest a Rush Limbaugh tag if, for no other reason, than to get all your birthday posts in one category?

Ann Althouse said...

Ruth Anne: Done. There were only 27 Limbaugh posts (in more than 3 years). I rarely hear the show.

hdhouse said...


I was trapped in my car driving to Hanover, NH yesterday and heard the Limbaugh show part where he described the meeting.

I would hope, even if I encountered Mr. Bush in a 7-11, that I would be cordial toward the office of President regardless. It appears that Rush was and thats a point for him.

Sort-of-Mad Max said...

From the Rush article linked:

'I asked Villaraigosa, "What are you doing here?"

He said, "Well, Clinton has his green initiative."

They were working on global warming at some Clinton conference yesterday and they had all come to the Kobe Club for dinner'

So Mayor Villaraigosa flies in from Los Angeles to eat beef flown in from Japan and talk about global warming with Bill Clinton? Bet that cost a few carbon credits!

halojones-fan said...

Discussions in a social setting are completely different from those in a political (or professional) setting. Hunter Thompson and Richard Nixon once spent an hour-long car ride together, and by all reports they got on quite well (discussing pro football, a subject of mutual interest.)