Speaking of the “Rush Limbaugh brigades” David Brooks mentioned today — is it just me, or is Rush Limbaugh emerging as the loudest voice in the GOP fracas for a coherent message?

GOP Chairman Michael Steele made the mistake of calling Rush an “incendiary” entertainer (a statement which, I’m sorry, is absolutely true). Steele also said “It’s ugly,” and Rush shot back:

I'm not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don't want to be. I would be embarrassed to say that I'm in charge of the Republican Party in a sad-sack state that it's in. If I were chairman of the Republican Party, given the state that it's in, I would quit.

Steele quickly ate his words in a circuitous response:

My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh. I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership. … I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking. It was one of those things where I thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people … want to make Rush the scapegoat, the bogeyman, and he’s not.

Not the first time in recent memory that this has happened.  In January, GOP Rep. Phil Gingrey made the mistake of criticizing Rush:

I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party.You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’t be or wouldn’t be good leaders, they’re not in that position.

Also technically true. But after Rush set his listeners on Gingrey, he properly debased himself for “foot-in-mouth disease.”

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and other conservative giants are the voices of the conservative movement’s conscience. Everyday, millions and millions of Americans—myself included—turn on their radios and televisions to listen to what they have to say, and we are inspired by their words and by their determination.  

On Bloggingheads.tv today, Eve Fairbanks brought up the example of Phil Gingrey and Ann Althouse — speaking in Rush's defense — replied, “That guy is obviously weak. That’s pathetic. If Rush can make people dance for him, that just shows how weak they are.”

Hmm. Well, Michael Steele?

About The Author

Alisa Harris

0 Responses to Limbaugh chastens Steele

  1. jerryt says:

    what was the purpose of this article? to gather 4 quotes? where’s the value here from what’s been said everywhere else?

  2. DieGo2SHAE says:

    If everyone in the GOP (even the guy who is actually considered the “leader”) that disagrees with Rush has to apologize to him, then he IS the GOP leader. Enjoy having that moron as your leader and good luck attracting anyone to your party with him there =)

  3. Will says:

    Its obvious that the author of this piece is a liberal and has probably never listened to Rush or if she has, listened very little. I bet she has read “Rules for radicals” though

  4. Alisa says:

    Wow. One commentor skewers me for being right-wing (if Diego2Shae is including me in that “you”) and the other one skewers me for being a leftist? Lol.

    Will – I was actually raised on Rush. I listened to him all the time —- so when I say it’s true that he’s an incendiary entertainer, I do know what I’m talking about. I think in some ways he’d agree that he likes to entertain and stir up trouble. I don’t even think it’s all that debatable, even among Rush fans. That’s why they like him. You can argue the “good” or “bad” of incendiary entertaining, but I don’t think you can argue that’s not what he does.

    Diego2Shae — Yeah, that was exactly my point. When the party leaders are bowing to Rush, he’s wielding more influence than they are. I’m not that happy with it, either —- and apparently other conservatives (in more honest moments) agree.

  5. Kira says:

    We need more people like Rush. It’s good for the democrates.

  6. chuck says:

    Careful, Alicia, or you too will end up prostrating yourself at Rush’s feet.

  7. Alisa says:

    Chuck – Haha. I’m pretty sure he has already eviscerated me on the air. No doubt.

  8. DreadPR says:

    I enjoyed the article. Maybe I don’t read as many sites as the next guy (or maybe i avoid sites that would normally discuss this) but thanks for the article.

  9. Jim Dandy says:

    I love Rush L., Joe the P., Sara P., Ann C., and the other conservative leaders. Watching and listening to them is like watching cartoons only more amusing. The brilliant political tactic of the Obama administration has more and more painted the picture of a Republican party that is led by comedians and showman who are even attacking one another. This approach allows the American people to see the joke that people who call themselves conservative have become. Enormous egoity and lust for attention and money fuels these people who are the Republican and conservative leaders. It is so much fun to watch. Keep it up!

  10. JD says:

    Instead of just spouting off at the mouth, why don’t libs actually take the time to go over the policies of their own government and make an informed opinion of their own? How hard can it be to understand that the Dems are trying to spend and tax their way out of an “economic crisis” (wow big surprise there). It blows my mind how liberal “intellectuals” are too stupid to realize what kind of idiotic policies they support.

    I’m sick of hearing the drive-by media blast anything they can get their hands on. Just because their candidate won, no one may be affiliated with any other political party any more? It’s a sin to have values and beliefs that don’t coincide with theirs? (As if the word ‘sin’ exists in their vocabulary.)

    People like Diego (who don’t have enough common sense stop and look at the other side of the coin, and the liberties and political values that conservatives stand for) and his representing politicians are on the road to trying to wipe out the competition. How dare we have an opinion? How dare we try to be involved in politics? So they start the process of trying to shut it down. Peacefully and lawfully at first; calling political idealists “incendiary”, trying to hamper their position by calling them “entertainers”, the “fairness” doctrine, but when they realize that won’t work, then what? A more fascist, Nazi, Hitleristic approach? Don’t think it isn’t beyond them.

    It’s infuriating, at times, to know how close-minded and cruel liberals can be. So libs, wave your swastikas high! And never forget: the American political system is WRONG! You and only you deserve to preside here, and death to any who oppose you. Sig Heil!

  11. Kirk says:

    JD, I think the point is that Rush isn’t actually an articulate mouth piece for conservative politics but he’s being treated like one. When it boils down to it, he’s an entertainer who make inflammatory and outrageous statements that make Republicans warm inside and Democrats foam at the mouth. There’s no honest political dialogue involved in his business because it’s all about the money (or maybe that is political). If the Republican leadership is at the beckon call of someone like Rush, it truly is a problem because it means there’s no actual honesty left in the party. Besides, Limbaugh doesn’t exactly espouse true conservatism. He’s a radical individualist who loves shouting.

    PS: Calling liberals “Nazi’s” does little to prove the nobility of your own personal political sect.

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