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3/2/2009
THE LIMBAUGH-STEELE SIDESHOW

Both of them should stick a sock in it.

When Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican party, so violently disrespects mega star talk show host Rush Limbaugh, one has to wonder what sh*t for brains political outfit elected this numbskull to any position higher than Front Door Greeter.

Rule #1 in politics; never hand your opponents a club with which to beat you over the head. Rule #2 is “Don’t eat your own.” Steele broke both those rules and a few others by essentially adopting his opponent’s narrative regarding Limbaugh and opening a wound in the party and among conservatives that will not be easy to heal:

“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.”

And I’m very happy to report that at least Steele knows who signs his paycheck:

Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele is taking issue with the notion that Rush Limbaugh is the de facto leader of the GOP, calling the conservative radio talk show host an entertainer whose comments can be ugly.

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.”

Greg Sargent, pushing the newest liberal talking point that Republicans want Obama to fail (while failing to point out that many on the left spent the last 6 years celebrating casualties and hoping for a defeat of American arms in Iraq while gleefully predicting a recession was just around the corner every month) reports that Steele isn’t apologizing:

The problem for Steele, of course, is that by hitting Rush — and provoking a response from the talk show host — he’s left himself in the unenviable position of having to answer Rush’s implicit demand that he say whether he’s With Rush Or Against Him when it comes to Rush’s desire for Obama to fail. It’s not a good position to be in: Either Steele distances himself from Rush and angers the base, or he throws in his lot with the GOP’s pro-failure brigade and makes it easier for Dems to paint the GOP as petulant, partisan obstructionists.

Amusingly, either choice would help Rush: The first gives him a potent rallying point, and the second demonstrates his power over the party. What’s more, all this underscores again the astonishing degree to which the interests of Rush and Democrats are aligned here, since both Rush and Democrats want Steele, and every other Republican, to publicly make exactly the same choice.

This is news. Limbaugh, the meglomaniacal, power hungry entertainer demanding Steele give him a Bushesque statement of being “with him, or against him.” Could that be true?

Only if you’re a liberal and have the mind of sofa. The rest of us prefer reading what Limbaugh actually said:

I hope the RNC chairman will realize he’s not a talking head pundit, that he is supposed to be working on the grassroots and rebuilding it and maybe doing something about our open primary system and fixing it so that Democrats don’t nominate our candidates,” Limbaugh said, his voice rising. “It’s time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you’re having a tough time pulling off.”

Steele, Limbaugh said, had “taken the bait” by the media.

Limbaugh also offered a harsh assessment on the state of the GOP.

“I’m not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don’t want to be,” he said. ” I would be embarrassed to say that I’m in charge of the Republican Party in the 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. I might get out the hari-kari knife because I would have presided over a failure that is embarrassing to the Republicans and conservatives who have supported it and invested in it all these years.”

The talk show host also schooled the RNC chairman on political truths - when in the opposition, oppose:

When you send those fundraising requests out, Mr. Steele, make sure you say, we — we — we want Obama to succeed. So people understand your compassion. Republicans, conservatives are sick and tired of being talked down to, sick and tired of being lectured to. And until you show some understanding and respect for who they are, you’re going to have a tough time rebuilding your party.

Allah has the real politik speil on where Steele and Eric Cantor (who also dissed Limbaugh) are coming from:

My point then, and Ace’s point today, is that pandering to centrists is a political fact of life for politicians. Steele and Cantor, when forced to choose between criticizing Limbaugh and having to explain his “I hope he fails” rhetoric over and over again, will take the former every time: Right-wing partisans will turn out against Obama anyway in four years but the middle has to be wooed, and defending a sentiment about failure in the current political climate while The One’s busy framing himself as Mr. Nonpartisan does not a winning “moderate” message make. No wonder Gibbs is urging the media to keep asking Republicans whether they agree with Limbaugh. If they say yes, they’re vindictive partisans and if they say no they’ll get hammered by Rush on his show.

Fine, as far as it goes. The problem is that it isn’t a question of “pandering to centrists” by politicians but perhaps missing an opportunity for a counterattack.

One of the major complaints I heard all week at CPAC was the timidity of Republicans and conservatives in the face of Obama’s political dominance. Limbaugh’s point about “hoping Obama fails” is not that he wishes ill for the country but rather what kind of nation will emerge if he succeeds.

From the Limbaugh CPAC address:

As I say, we want the best: Happiness for everybody. Now, about my still-to-me mysteriously controversial comment that I hope President Obama fails. I was watching the Super Bowl. And as you know, I love the Pittsburgh Steelers. [Cheers and Applause] So they have this miraculous scoring drive that puts them up by four, 15 seconds left. Kurt Warner on the field for the Cardinals. And I sure as heck want you to know I hope he failed. I did not want the Cardinals to win. I wanted Warner to make the biggest fool of himself possible. I wanted a sack, I wanted anything. I wanted the Steelers to win. I wanted to win. I wanted the Cardinals to fail.

This notion that I want the President to fail, folks, this shows you a sign of the problem we’ve got. That’s nothing more than common sense and to not be able to say it, why in the world do I want what we just described, rampant government growth indebtedness, wealth that’s not even being created yet that is being spent, what is in this? What possibly is in this that anybody of us wants to succeed? Did the Democrats want the war on Iraq to fail!

CROWD: Yes!

RUSH: They certainly did. They not only wanted the war in Iraq to fail, they proclaimed it a failure. There’s Dingy Harry Reid waiving a white flag: [doing Harry Reid impression] “This war is lost. This war is” — [Cheers and Applause] They called General Petraeus a liar before he even testified. Mrs. Clinton — [Crowd Booing] — said she had to, willingly suspend disbelief in order to listen to Petraeus. We’re in the process of winning the war. The last thing they wanted was to win. They hoped George Bush failed. So what is so strange about being honest to say that I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation? Why would I want that to succeed? [Applause]

What’s wrong with a comeback when asked if the GOP wants Obama to fail that includes the notion that Republicans want the American people to succeed but think Obama’s policies are dead wrong? How hard is that to explain? Are these guys so inarticulate that they can’t lay down basic Republcan/conservative principles in a couple of well chosen sentences? Jesus Christ! Would someone please get some 3 X 5 note cards and write down basic talking points for these ignoramuses? Makes sure they’re in words of two syllables or less.

Now as my readers know, I am no fan of Limbaugh. His “show biz conservatism” is a mile wide, an inch deep, and takes forms that while not “ugly,” certainly move the idea of hyperpartisanship to a whole other level. And Limbaugh’s response to Steele was a tad overwrought (Allah rightfully points out that Rush should have a thicker skin by now.)

That being said, with Obama’s agenda on the march to permanently alter America, in the only way he knows how, Rush is trying to stop it. And it’s an open question as to how hard Steele is working to block these transformative, risky, adventurous, and ruinously expensive measures coming down the pike.

If Steele wants to lead the GOP, get out front and lead then. Don’t pull rank on Limbaugh because you only magnify his importance - at your expense. If you spent less time on talk shows agreeing with Democrats who are savaging the party you are supposed to be leading and more time, like, you know, actually opposing what they are trying to do, that would prove your qualities to conservatives who are feeling a little put out by being told that their party convention resembled a Nazi gathering.

The country is going to hell in a handbasket economically, the Democrats are tearing at the Founding Fabric of the nation, our grandchildren are going to be working for the federal government with every dime being taken to service an unserviceable debt, and the world’s bad guys are looking at Obama and feeling pretty damned good.

Meanwhile, Steele and Limbaugh act like two little boys in the schoolyard who unzip, whip it out, and claim their’s is bigger.

Great. Just great.

By: Rick Moran at 6:56 pm
29 Responses to “THE LIMBAUGH-STEELE SIDESHOW”
  1. 1
    michael reynolds Said:
    7:26 pm 

    Great. Just great.

  2. 2
    Dantes Said:
    7:49 pm 

    I disagree. Let’s get it on now. The Castrati’s who run the GOP aren’t, and a lot of us are getting tired of it. If Steele, Cantor and the rest don’t want Limbaugh the titular head of the much maligned, silent majority conservative wing of the GOP, then find someone who can be and will be.

    Obama and the hard left marxists running the party are in the process of the destruction of the free market economy…talk about reigning in choice. And where is the GOP…they can’t get it together enough to be any opposition, let alone the loyal opposition.

  3. 3
    Allen Said:
    7:56 pm 

    The American people expect their government to heal them, secure their economic status, and make them whole. It’s a fact of life, and it’s also true they will sell their children into bondage to achieve it.

    One might argue about how we have arrived at this place; I am just surveying the topogrphy and see that it is true. You might yak about the fact that we are where we are at, but it is indisputable we are there. No amount of rhetoric will change the fact that the people gleefully bought into this.

    What I find amusing is that the supposed beneficiaries of this system will soon chafe at their harnesses.

  4. 4
    bear1909 Said:
    8:01 pm 

    Well, Rick, a fine take on the schmendrick face off between Limbaugh and Steele.

    Now what about some red meat on CPAC? Was anything accomplished? Or is all we get from the House lamentations about missed opportunities to look good in the world of gotcha partisan politics?

    Why must we always focus on the lowest common “media” denominator. Ya, perception is reality in the world of media. But is it so at the grassroots level?

    How many grassroots republicans even know what CPAC is? Why it is? and When?

    We need from the ground up schooling….and if the blogs are too busy covering gotcha politics, they are missing a grand opportunity to reach and school the electorate on what they are up against with regard to winning the mid-terms and turning this crap shoot around.

    Best regards-

    Bear1909

  5. 5
    bassplyr98 Said:
    9:17 pm 

    Hmm, interesting posts here. The GOP are not going to turn they’re party around until they actually come up with some direction and ideas. They have none. They have not had any for decades. We’ve watched this countries debt run us to the brink of insolvency. If that wasn’t true, McCain would have won. He didn’t. The GOP was happy to play partisan politics with a gloating sneer for the majority of the last 40 years. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, they cry about it. One other comment regarding Rush. I can’t stand the man personally and find it amusing that the GOP would even want to associate with a self confessed drug addict. The other thing amusing is that he makes the statement that if he were the head of the GOP, he would probably quit due to the sad state of affairs, though he espoused the actions that got us into them. We don’t need quitters, we need leaders who are doing to try. I voted for Obama, I am a little dismayed by his continuation of DOJ policy from the Bush administration, but I give him credit for taking on the big problems first. 6 weeks in office so far, and the GOP, still hurting from the spanking they’ve taken over the last few years (which they’ve earned), can’t do anything other than stick to they partisan guns, all while requesting autographs from the man they are trying to undercut. Instead of worrying about who is running your party, come up with some solutions, promote those, and maybe you’ll slowly eke your way back into a position of political importance. Right now, the GOP is the crazy dude on the sidewalk wearing “the end is near placards.”

    I can’t abide ignorance on this site. Since 1932, the Democrats have been in control of the US House for all but 12 years and the Senate for all but 18 years. Republican presidents have routinely had to deal with huge Democratic majorities in the House and Senate - where all money bill originate. So goes your deficit theory.

    Plus, your simple minded analysis belongs more on Romper Room than any serious site - right or left.

    ed.

  6. 6
    man_in_tx Said:
    9:21 pm 

    Mr. Moran: I must hand it to you: You may be a curmudgeon (with whom I acrually agree on occasion — although not on this occasion), but at least you are consistent in your curmudgeonliness: You suck up to no one. That honesty is a virtue hidden like a pearl in the oyster shell of your… well — curmudgeonliness! We need a few bloggers like you in the Republican Party, and — though you will be loved by few — I suspect that you will be read by many.

    P.S. My take? Rush rocks and Steele … well…. his performance has been pretty pathetic thus far!

  7. 7
    Territorial Dispute Between Draft-Dodging Talk Radio Show Host And Gun-Grabbing RNC Host Escalates | THE GUN TOTING LIBERAL™ Pinged With:
    10:00 pm 

    [...] Other Bloggers Weigh In: Drudge Retort (Left); Michael Boh of Papamoka Straight Talk (Left); Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Dish (Centrist) asks “Why shouldn’t he [Rush] run now?“; Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice (Centrist) points out the fact that Michael Steele not only apologized but conceded the “GOP Crown” to the draft-dodger; Alan Colmes of Liberal Land (Left) is disappointed at the fact Michael Steele bowed down to His Royal Highness, Rush Limbaugh; John Cole of Balloon Juice (Left) finds this whole thing “funny“; Allahpundit of Hot Air (Right) is trying his/her best to avert a “Conservative Civil War“; Don Surber of The Charleston Daily Mail (Right) says “Rush was RIGHT!“; Rick Moran of Right Wing Nut House (Right) says “Both of them should stick a sock in it“… [...]

  8. 8
    busboy33 Said:
    10:36 pm 

    “many on the left spent the last 6 years celebrating casualties”

    Really? There were Americans that cheered when soldiers got killed? You got any links?

    If that’s just hyperbole, then it is pretty disgusting.

  9. 9
    Dennis D Said:
    10:37 pm 

    I think Steele should resign now before he does more damage. With him at the helm who needs enemies.

  10. 10
    The Moderate Voice Trackbacked With:
    10:38 pm 

    Old And New Media Have Field Day With Rush Limbaugh Michael Steele Showdown (Limbaugh Won)…

    A day without controversy is a day without sunshine in the increasingly growing new and old media. And Monday was a day when it seemed as if the sun with blinding light was ready to swallow up the earth: conservative talk show giant was at verbal …

  11. 11
    Dennis D Said:
    10:39 pm 

    busboy
    Yes many on the left cheered US Deaths in Iraq and wanted to photograph coffins to exploit them for partisan purposes. Every time the Iraq War death toll reached another milestone 500,1000 etc the left wing media was gleeful. Harry Reid declared the war lost 2 years ago. Wake up.

  12. 12
    Geek, Esq. Said:
    10:56 pm 

    By his groveling, Maoist self=-accusation, I think Steele not only admitted that Limbaugh’s is bigger, but Steele handed him his family jewels just to stay on Chairman Rush’s good side.

    Is there a Republican in public life who isn’t afraid to stand up to Rush Limbaugh?

  13. 13
    James Said:
    11:03 pm 

    When people hear Rush saying he wants Obama to fail, they hear that they want him to fail to fix the economy, fail to fix the healthcare system, fail to keep terrorists at bay, etc. This comes off as a petty and vindictive, winning is more important than outcomes mentality–Rush’s analogy to the super bowl (a game whose outcome has essentially no meaningful consequences) only reinforces this idea, and people hear this rather than what Rush (claims to) mean, which is that he hopes Obama fails to implement policies that will create an America that Republicans don’t want.

  14. 14
    bassplyr98 Said:
    11:04 pm 

    Dennis D, I can not believe that “many on the left cheered US deaths”. The only people who cheered US soldiers deaths were the typical array of nations that hate us as a result of our involvement and attempt to shape they’re nations affairs, be that nation Iran, Palestine, hard line Phillipine’s, Indonesians etc.

    I will agree that media coverage definately played up the “milestones” as you put it. I will also agree that I was pretty unhappy with Harry Reids remarks, but many people over there would also tell you in confidence that we won the war at first, because we won the hearts of many oraqi’s early on, but then we became seen as just another brutal regime as Abu Garihb and similar actions at Bagrahm and and Guantanamo. According to some reports, only 7%of the detainees were captured by coalition forces, we armed militias which eventually turned against us (as usual), and we lost the respect of the people. In that aspect, unfortunately, we did lose the war. Militarily, its still ongoing, and that may have been by design.
    Off topic, but can you name a country we’ve been to war with or in where we don’t keep a force of troops? We have over 57,000 in germany at this point for instance.

    I am not a card carrying liberal, but I don’t want the United States to be an empire.

  15. 15
    James Said:
    11:12 pm 

    And Dennis D, you’re the one who needs to wake up. Liberals were not “cheering” when American soldiers died in Iraq. Why do liberals want to photograph coffins? Do you ask yourself that rather than just caricaturing them as America hating Communist blood drinkers? The left did not think the loss of American life in Iraq was worth the resulting benefits to America and Iraq. As a result it wanted to draw attention to the death and suffering occurring. The right considered this sacrifice to be acceptable and necessary for American security and to spread democracy to the middle east, and I happen to agree. However this is a legitimate and debatable disagreement in national priorities and security policy. Liberals don’t celebrate when Americans are killed anymore than they celebrate when fetuses are aborted.

    People like you reduce the civility and productivity of political discourse. Dumbass.

  16. 16
    Peter Said:
    11:16 pm 

    I, too, want Obama to fail. Miserably. Colossally. On as grand a scale as possible. Why? He’s a socialist, a collectivist, a Marxist. If he succeeds, America not only fails but dies. I’d like to survive, not live in hell, better known as the Left’s version of utopia.

  17. 17
    sadie-married lady Said:
    11:34 pm 

    If people have a hard time understanding the meaning of Rush’s comments, listen to the replay of his remarks at CPAC. Don’t watch the video - LISTEN!!! He may not be head of the Republican party, but he knows and believes in conservatism. He espouses what our gut tells us is surety for the American dream of life, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT of happiness. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!!!

  18. 18
    Bingo Jingo Said:
    11:54 pm 

    Face it, people.

    Either get on board with the revolution, or get the hell out and await your orders to join Obama’s regiment of forced laborers at the prison camps.

  19. 19
    Scrapiron Said:
    12:02 am 

    If you heard a big plop today it was Steele pulling his head out of O’Dumbo’s butt and issuing an apology to Rush. He was wrong and Rush was right.

  20. 20
    michael reynolds Said:
    12:05 am 

    Dennis D:

    Produce an example.

  21. 21
    Richard Bruce Cheney Said:
    12:52 am 

    Ronald Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.

    What are you whining about deficits for.

  22. 22
    MG Said:
    4:07 am 

    Rush is the only conservative that will give the left hell for there socialist ways. Wise up rhinos we are at war. I’m with Rush on this one. Steele should get out now. When the shit hits the fan let the rhinos continue to move left. Most of you republicans are gutless wannabe liked no good panty wearing sissy talking girly men. Good luck lapping at the feet of your messiah.

  23. 23
    John E. Howard Said:
    5:37 am 

    “many on the left spent the last 6 years celebrating casualties”

    How about Markos “Kos” discussing the 4 US contractors who were killed and mutilated in Falujah? Kos’ summary — “Fuck them.” I’ve read this sentiment frequently from progs during the Iraq War. Dick Durbin likened American soldiers to Nazi storm troopers, etc, etc, etc. And I’d bet money that you progs commenting here secretly share the belief that America is an arrogant giant full of little Republican Eichmanns which needs its nose punched in the form of a bloody defeat. Disingenous BDS adled pricks.

    Yes, the megomanical Rush can get “ugly,” but it seems to me he’s doing what will be absolutely necessary if hard(er) times come — draw a bright, separating line in the sand which gives voters a clear, clear choice.

  24. 24
    Robert Said:
    7:52 am 

    Rush is certainly not the face of the party, having said that he is part of the party. We are begining to do what we had always hoped the liberals would do, tear ourselves apart from within. We have a glorious once in a lifetime chance here to prove to the country that Liberalism is a failure. All we have to do is survive intact. lets cut out this infighting and try and protect our country for a while.

  25. 25
    diamond Said:
    8:16 am 

    regarding Steele and/or Blackwell
    Since topic has roamed, I wish to ask a question.
    When Steele and Blackwell were running in their primaries and lost to the other Republican, which one was it who then crossed-over to support the Democrat in the race? I confess, I am numb this a.m. with all the markets crashing, infact I sit here waiting for 8:30 market opening to see what Dumbo has in store for us this day.

  26. 26
    Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » The Obama-Limbaugh-Steele Triangle Pinged With:
    11:09 am 

    [...] Michelle Malkin’s wrist-slap of Steele for daring to criticize Limbaugh, and others such as Rick Moran and James Joyner contend that Steele made a tactical mistake by potentially alienating [...]

  27. 27
    Derrick Said:
    3:58 pm 

    Johm,

    So now you’ve moved from liberals enjoying the death of US soldiers to liberals enjoying the death of US contractors. The fact is that while I don’t agree with Kos’s statements at all, the US military (of which Kos was a member of if you weren’t aware) has and still feels like these US contractors/mercenaries were consistently endangering the lives of “actual” soldiers doing there job. Read any account of Blackwater, especially in the early days of the war, and you’ll learn that those soldiers who we sent of to put their lives in jeopardy for their country, were consistently being undermined by contractors who put their lives in jeopardy for $200k contracts. If you read pass the few sentences that were clipped and pasted by others, you’d get that.

  28. 28
    Jim Seybert Said:
    9:17 pm 

    Obama isn’t a Socialist, Communist or any of the other invectives tossed about - he sees an America that has grown lazy, fat, self-serving, greedy, hated by the world - in other words, he sees a country that cannot continue going in the same direction. What perhaps worked in the past, will not work in the future because the problems are different.

    Seems is if those loudly condemning him and wishing him to fail are far too heavily invested in the past. They are holding for dear life to the status quo and, in my opinion, should they win - we all lose.

  29. 29
    securitysystem Said:
    7:22 am 

    Its very excellent.

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