Monday, March 02, 2009

Why Rush Limbaugh Doesn't Matter

I was thinking about Michael Steele comments on Rush recently and I have to agree with him.

In an interview on CNN with D.L. Hughley, Steele assured that he, not Limbaugh, was in charge of the party before saying that he wanted to put the right-wing talker “into context.”

“Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer,” Steele said. “Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes it’s incendiary, yes it’s ugly.”

Steele is right that Limbaugh is just an entertainer who hasn't been elected to anything. So his voice should *not* be the one leading the party. The GOP is 3 votes away from irrelevancy and the failed-from-the-start stimulus bill showed that in bright neon letters. The GOP had their own plan but it didn't even get a fair hearing. Hell, most people I talked to didn't even hear about it.

Juan Williams on Fox said the GOP stimulus plan was another tax cut for the wealthy. If you actually read the GOP plan it was a real tax cut for the middle class which lowered the bottom two tax brackets and resulted in hundreds of dollars in tax savings. It wasn't a worthless $13 per paycheck for 95% of Americans that Obama gave us.

Right now there is a leadership vacuum in the GOP and Steele is afraid that Limbaugh is going to fill it. A GOP that is being run by an "entertainer" on talk-radio who is not an elected and thus answerable only to his listeners and advertisers is a minority party. Just like a Democrat party run by Sean Penn or the Daily KOS who are only answerable to box office receipts or click-through advertisers would be a permanent minority party.

I think Steele understands that the Limbaugh wing running the GOP (or even being portrayed as running the GOP) will make them a permanent regional party if they aren't careful. A modern day Whig party if you will. Despite what Rush says about the millions of Dittoheads there just aren't enough of them to win elections and Steele sees America turning away from the GOP. Steele knows that the EIB Network won't win back the House or the Senate.

So when we see Rush rooting for Obama's economic plan to fail and then being targeted by Rahm Emanuel:

And whenever a Republican criticizes him, they have to run back and apologize to him and say they were misunderstood. He is the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party.

It looks to many Americans like the GOP is being run by an unelected talk-show host that doesn't make policy and is not forced to work with his ideological opposites like in Congress. So of course the leadership of a party that is so close to irrelevancy needs to push back against people that are hoping things fail. Failure means a Great Depression and a radical change in our standard of living. I'm sure Rush doesn't want that but it sure sounds like he does.

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