Minority Leader Limbaugh.
Everyone has been talking about Rush Limbaugh being the fatcat that he is, and King Rush is loving the idea that he is the Republican Party Leader. It took Rahm Emanuel with his smooth, praising way on Sunday's Face the Nation to honor King Rush and call him the Republican Leader. It took the Republicans to take the bait, by their RNC Chairman Michael Steele in denouncing King Rush on CNNs D.L. Hughley's show which started a barn fire. It did not take Steele even 24 hours to kiss the ring of King Rush and apologize for forgiveness, this after King Rush slammed Steele from his bully pulpit in Florida, his radio microphone.
The Democrats are piling on. Let's face it, if it was the other way around the Republicans would do likewise. Let's also be honest that the Republican leadership is scared to cross King Rush, whether they are agree with King Rush or not, they are scared to cross him. That bully pulpit in Florida is pretty mighty. King Rush talks directly to that hardcore base that the Republicans must keep and maintain to try to build on. Even though this part of the Republican Party is out of step right now with the rest of America in their views of the Obama Administration, this is what the Republicans have to deal with right now. So, crossing King Rush is a definite no, no.
Here comes David Plouffe, the mastermind behind the Obama Campaign and he throws in his two cents on Minority Leader Limbaugh.
Watching the Republicans operate this past month, it would appear that they missed that unmistakable signal.
Instead, Rush Limbaugh has become their leader.
Limbaugh, of course, told his radio listeners that he's rooting for President Obama to fail -- and hoping the president's ideas for bolstering our economy fail with him. For many Americans, hungry for leadership and cooperation, this sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard. When Limbaugh reiterated the sentiment this weekend, hundreds of Republican conservatives cheered him on. But instead of rebuking the radio personality or charting their own course, Republican leaders in Washington are paralyzed with fear of crossing their leader. Less than 24 hours after committing the unforgivable sin of criticizing Limbaugh, RNC Chairman Michael Steele felt compelled to publicly apologize. He was not the first and will certainly not be the last.
The Republicans surely did not get the message who won November 4, 2008. In fact from poll after poll, even the NBC poll released yesterday, the American Public is standing with President Obama and they don't blame him for this economic mess. The public does not see Obama, as the one who created it, but more so the Republicans who did and left it on the desk for Obama to clean up. But what Plouffe wrote, hit the nail on the head, Obama won by the middle the independent voters and it is these voters that left the Republican Party and these voters that don't like Rush Limbaugh.
The source of Obama's advantage is critical: independent voters, who give the president high marks on his handling of the economy and his job overall.
Obama won these voters, who famously recoil from what they see as overly partisan and shortsighted politics, by eight points in 2008 -- a dramatic improvement for the Democrats from 2004, when George Bush and John Kerry tied.
People are tired of the bickering and partisanship in Washington, D.C. What people want is action and see these folks sit down like adults to work together to help President Obama fix what is broken in this country. But without Republican leadership they have allowed the likes of Rush Limbaugh to be their mouthpiece.
Thus far, Republican leaders have let their strategy be guided by their most conservative base, capturing perhaps a third of the nation's voters.
To end, what Michael Steele did was validate the point of Rahm Emanuel, that Rush Limbaugh is their leader. Also, as Roland Martin has said and written, it minimized Michael Steele in the eyes of many, especially within their own party. This takes us to an ending question, "Do the Republicans have a spine? Can they stand on their own and denounce Rush Limbaugh when they disagree?" Until those questions are answered, the Republicans will continue in the wilderness.