This little nugget may have passed some people by, but after Rush Limbaugh’s speech at CPAC, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele went on D.L. Hughley’s CNN show and called Rush an entertainer. Steele was already trying to do damage control.
Here is the video:
Just in case any of you didn’t feel like watching the clip, Steele said, “So let’s put it into context here. Let’s put it into context here. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. He has he is an incendiary. Yes, it’s ugly.” So even before Rahm Emanuel threw gasoline on the fire on yesterday’s Face The Nation, Steele already saw that he had a problem. I think Steele’s problem is even bigger than he can possibly imagine.
I have to give him credit for having the guts to go toe to toe with Rush. Recently, Republicans have shown themselves to be complete cowards when it comes to criticizing Limbaugh, and with good reason, he has a huge conservative audience that he can use to make or break a Republican politician. However, the party could fence Limbaugh in if it wanted to simply by freezing him out. Yes, he has a big audience, but if Republicans started showing favor to other conservative talkers, or if the party could unify in saying that Limbaugh doesn’t speak for them, then he could be marginalized.
Neither of these things will happen. The Republican Party is in every man for himself mode, and has no unifying leadership. If it comes down to Rush Limbaugh versus Michael Steele, Rush will win that one hands down. Steele may have the title of party chairman, but he doesn’t have much control or sway with his membership. What Steele sees is a talk show host usurping him as the voice of the party.
His comments were designed to remind people of who is really in charge. Unfortunately for him, I get the sense that many Republicans would love to have Limbaugh as their party chairman. The Democrats are using Limbaugh as the face of the GOP, and I don’t think that there is anything Michael Steele can do about it.