As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Winner And Still Champion

The great unraveling of the GOP continued apace today. Within 24 hours, RNC Chair Michael Steele criticized Rush Limbaugh, calling him an “entertainer” whose show is “incendiary” and “ugly"; Limbaugh fired back by questioning Steele's leadership of a "sad-sack" party and strongly intimating that no conservative should ever give a dime to the GOP; and then, after initially refusing to apologize, Steele went ahead and sank to his knees:

“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in a telephone interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.” [...]

“I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking,” Steele said. "It was one of those things where I thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people … want to make Rush the scapegoat, the bogeyman, and he’s not."

“I’m not going to engage these guys and sit back and provide them the popcorn for a fight between me and Rush Limbaugh,” Steele added. “No such thing is going to happen. … I wasn’t trying to slam him or anything.”

Boy, the Republican Party has gotten itself in quite a pickle, hasn't it? They know Limbaugh is box-office poison for everyone except the clueless dead-enders ("Only talk radio with its emphasis on Socratic debate over raw emotionalism and with Mr. Limbaugh in the driver’s seat has escaped the left’s clutches of pure media dominance."), but they know that any criticism of him will lose them all of their support among the dwindling remnants of the base. And the Democratic Party has a new standing answer to all of this back and forth.

I think maybe the best question, though, is for you to askindividual Republicans whether they agree with what Rush Limbaugh said this weekend. Do they want to see the president's economic agenda fail? I bet there are a lot of guests on television today and maybe into tomorrow that can let America know whether they agree with what Rush Limbaugh said this weekend.

If the country weren't going completely to hell right now, this would be delicious. You have a major political party trapped in a death spiral, reduced to sputtering nonsense about socialism, and seemingly destined to lose the support of the public for a generation.

Americans identifying themselves as Democrats outnumber those who say they are Republicans by 10 percentage points, the largest gap in party identification in 24 years.

The gap has widened significantly since President George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004, when it was a mere 3 percentage points. But by the time Mr. Bush left office in January, less than a quarter of Americans approved of his performance.

These days, 38 percent of Americans say they are Democrats, 28 percent call themselves Republicans, and another 29 percent identify as independents, according to an average of national polls conducted last year by The New York Times and CBS News.

Whether President Obama is able expand that gap to favor his party will probably depend mostly on Americans under the age of 30 who have yet to form strong partisan ties.

I wonder what they're all thinking of the guy who said he wants Obama, for whom they voted in record numbers, to fail. The guy who leads the opposition party.

...This is good stuff from DNC Chair Tim Kaine:

"I was briefly encouraged by the courageous comments made my counterpart in the Republican Party over the weekend challenging Rush Limbaugh as the leader of the Republican Party and referring to his show as 'incendiary' and 'ugly.' However, Chairman Steele's reversal this evening and his apology to Limbaugh proves the unfortunate point that Limbaugh is the leading force behind the Republican Party, its politics and its obstruction of President Obama's agenda in Washington. Just this weekend, Rush Limbaugh repeated his claim that he is rooting for the President to fail. The last time Rush Limbaugh said he wanted the President to fail, virtually every single Republican in Congress followed his lead and voted against the President's plan to create or save 3.5 million jobs.

"As Congress works to pass the President's budget, Republicans need to stop following divisive figures like Rush Limbaugh, stop apologizing to him and put aside the failed politics of the past so we can put our economy back on track, reform our health care system, break our dependence on foreign oil, improve our schools, and lay the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st Century."

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