The Democrats may have just gotten their wish... and that might not be the best thing.
Efforts by the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress to link the Republican Party to the ideology of Rush Limbaugh, radio talk show host and self proclaimed defacto-leader of the Conservative movement, may have finally started to stick.
Saturday, Rush Limbaugh was the key note speaker at the CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference). In the speech, a humorous and fiery ninety minute alarm clock attempting to awaken the national conservative movement, Limbaugh explains the basic tenements of his brand of Conservatism as well as again repeating his hope for Obama's policies for the country fail.
Sunday, RNC chairman Michael Steele made an attempt to crown himself the head of the Republican Party (which technically he is as head of the RNC) and distance himself (and the party) from the controversial radio host. On the D.L. Hughley Show (yea I too was shocked to see that Hughley had a commentary show, which I also might add is pretty good), Steel blasted Limbaugh, referring to him as an entertainer, and called statements in his speech on Saturday "incendiary" and "ugly".
But if you take a shot at the King you had better kill him...
On his radio show Monday, Limbaugh fired back at Steel e, "Why do you claim you lead the Republican Party when you seem obsessed with seeing to it that President Obama succeeds? If I were the chairman of the Republican Party, given the state that it is in, I would quit..." That blasting (I also feel that Mr. Steele got more than a few pissed off emails and phone calls from donors who just pulled their donations due to the feud) led Steel to say he's sorry to Rush for mouthing off. How's that for stroke: One tongue lashing and decent goes back in line. That's power. That is leadership. And that should worry Democrats. A lot.
Limbaugh is in fact a leader... a guru of sorts, if you will. He has a legion of fans (he boasts some twenty million at any given point in time, and judging by his nine figure salary I would tend to believe him), who listen to him intently. As a professional broadcaster for more than thirty years, Limbaugh is an effective communicator, a bombastic and dynamic personality with enough charisma to make you forget that at times his fire brand of conservatism flirts with fascism. Combine that with the fact that twenty plus years of him being on the radio day after day, perfecting and honing his message o the point that it resounds like a steady drum beat coming out of his doughy face, makes him a formidable foe for most opponents in a debate. And while the last primary season showed Limbaugh to not be a kingmaker (important to note: While he never formally hitched his star power to any one particular candidate, he made no bones about the fact that he thought that John McCain would be the worst candidate the Republicans could nominate. I believe in fact at one point he called it the end of the Republican Party), the quick about face by Michael Steele does lend one to the thought that Limbaugh might be more powerful that he is given credit for. Conservatives will already flock to his temple. But what should concern Democrats should be that as Obama moves further and further Left, at some point the moderates who might have turned to Obama in desire for a breath of fresh air might be drawn to the radio host's tent. Don't think it is all that impossible... Ronal Reagan won in two landslides drawing those moderate and southern Democrats away from their typical voting blocks and finding more and more of them voting Republican. And if Obama's stimulus plans do not make a dent to try and fix some of these economic woes, it will be Limbaugh's influence (as well as his daily attacks) will once again be credited for granting the Republicans control of the Congress again.