But, instead of joining Democrats in supporting the President’s economic recovery plan, almost every single Republican in Congress chose to follow Rush Limbaugh by voting against a plan that will create or save 3.5 million jobs. Now, instead of the denouncing Limbaugh’s claim that he is rooting for the President to fail, my counterpart at the Republican National Committee proved who is really leading their party — calling Rush Limbaugh to apologize after courageously criticizing him just this weekend,” Kaine said.
He continued, “Americans want leaders who will work together to confront the challenges we face. When Congress debates the President’s budget, Republicans should stop following Rush Limbaugh and instead help the President create jobs, fix our schools, reform our health care system, make America energy independent, and lay the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st Century.” This is a smart strategy by the Democrats, because they have put the GOP on the defensive and completely taken control of the Republican message.
The bigger picture here is that after years of allowing the Republicans to frame their party first as the party of tax and spend, then as the home of those who hate America, the tables of have turned and the Democrats have made not Sarah Palin or Bobby Jindal, but Rush Limbaugh the angry white male face of the opposition party. In the Democratic frame, the GOP is a bunch of out of touch blustering, bellowing, extremists. Polling shows that the American people still trust the Democrats over Republicans by more than a 2-1 margin to fix the economy.
The Republican positions have proven only to be popular with conservatives. Putting Rush’s angry face on the GOP only serves to push Independents away from the GOP. When Democrats suffered through a leadership vacuum, Republicans did the same thing to them. If the Republican Party isn’t able to define itself, the Democrats will be more than happy to define them to the American people. Democrats are also showing that behind the tough talk are a bunch of elected Republicans who are afraid of a talk show host. The question Democrats are trying to provoke is, if the GOP can’t stand up to a formerly drug addled radio talker, how can they lead America?