While I have no desire to wade hip-deep into partisan politics, it's hard to let a bald-faced lie go by unchallenged.

Said howler can be found in radio host Rush Limbaugh's op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal about the current debate over the economic stimulus package. In the course of it, Limbaugh stated — presumably with a straight face — "This does not have to be a divisive issue." Hello?

For Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and an array of lower-profile commentators on the left and the right, everything has to be a divisive issue. That's their business. And thus far — especially for the right-wing contingent with a Democrat back in the White House — business has been quite good. Indeed, Limbaugh and Hannity have emerged as the de facto leaders of the Republican Party (actually, using the nonsensical way they cut Democratic to Democrat, I guess that could be Republic Party), filling a leadership void left in the wake of the party's congressional losses.

Limbaugh and Hannity (who has labeled his own radio show "conservatism in exile") are in fact not-so-subtly marketing themselves as a balm to those still smarting over the election, the folks who believe that Barack Obama was just short of an al-Qaeda mole. In Limbaugh-Land, every issue must thus be divisive — part of an ongoing ideological battle (albeit one that's part one-man stage show) in which no quarter can be given.

Hey, business is business, and perhaps we should be grateful that somebody is thriving in this recession. But a call for unity and compromise? Gimme a break.

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