Monday, March 02, 2009

Steele versus Limbaugh

Michael Steele calls out Rush Limbaugh:
Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in an interview with CNN that he, rather than Limbaugh, is "the de facto leader of the Republican Party."

And Steele described Limbaugh as a performer.

"Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh's whole thing is entertainment," Steele said. "Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly."

Last month, Steele, a former lieutenant governor of Maryland, was elected chair of the RNC. He is the first African-American to lead the Republican Party. At the time of his election, Steele said that "Rush will say what Rush has to say; we'll do what we have to do."

Limbaugh, of course, is not happy, and is making his displeasure known:
Yes, said Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I’m incendiary, and yes, it’s ugly. Michael Steele, you are head of the RNC. You are not head of the Republican Party. Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the RNC and right now they want nothing to do with it, and when you call them, asking them for money, they hang up on you. I hope that changes. I hope the RNC will get its act together…

It seems to me that it’s Michael Steele who is off to a shaky start….

Fun. Any fratricide in the GOP ranks is good news for Democrats.

I expect this to shake itself out without any major explosions, but assuming Steele pushes things and presses his fellow Republicans to take a firm anti-Rush (or at least, Rush-is-a-non-entity) stance, it will be a fascinating display to see where elected Republican officials line up. Despite all assertions to the contrary, it's clear that Democratic criticisms that the GOP has been captured by loons like Limbaugh are having their mark -- Republicans realize that to the extent they are seen as in Limbaugh's thrall, they'll never break out of minority status. But of course, Rush still has plenty of boots in the base. The temporary disunity Steele would provoke might be well worth it if he manages to wrench his party back into the mainstream. Of course, if he picks a fight with Limbaugh and loses, the party likely will be moribund for a generation.

4 comments:

chingona said...

He seems to be backtracking already.

Too bad. As much as the partisan part of me would like to, as Pam says, "grab the popcorn" and watch them tear each other apart, it would be better for the country and politics if one party would stop openly pandering to racists.

Superdestroyer said...

There is no comeback for the Republican Party. In a generation, U.S. will be less than 50% white and the U.S. will be a one party state.

Steele should volunteer to go on the Rush Limbaugh show and explain why he thinks people should vote for Republicans. Steele should also call Rush for being a flak and apoligist for the problems caused by the incompetence of the Bush Admnistration.

However, since the Repubicans choose a quota black diversity hire as head of the RNC, they picked someone who is not able to go onto a national program and example why people should be Repubicans.

Also, Steele showed why going on black oriented shows is a waste of time for Repubicans. Did he convince one black person to be a Republican? No but he did get a huge amount of controversy. This should be a lesson for Republicans to always avoid black oriented events and media.

Anonymous said...

The controversy about Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh (who I don't really particularly listen to anymore) is more than about Rush. When the liberal talk show host said that CPAC looked like a bunch of Nazis Michael Steele nodded in agreement.

Some said his nodding wasn't in agreement with that statement but still at the very least he was quiet and did not speak out against that outrageous statement.

This is more than about Rush the person. This was about the speech he gave and if you listened to the speech and agree with it then it is not only Rush but you, and all other grassroots conservatives that Michael Steele has rebuked in the harshest of terms.

Well, if that is the way the "leader" of the GOP feels about me then I say no, no, no, not God Bless the GOP, GOD DAMN the GOP. It isn't the party I thought I knew!

PG said...

Oh, so now Republicans are upset by Steele's application of Godwin's Law?

While speaking to the Baltimore Jewish Council, Michael Steele compared doctors conducting stem cell research to Nazis performing human experiments during the Holocaust: "You of all folks know what happens when people decide to experiment on human beings, when they want to take your life and use it as a tool."