Republican Leaders and Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh went on a verbal rampage at the CPAC conference on Saturday.  He emphasized his hope that the Obama Presidency would fail, despite the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.  He was also critical of Republican leadership by name.

Interestingly, he has been criticized by several GOP leaders, but then apologized to by those same Republicans.   This began a few weeks ago when Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey decided to make up to Limbaugh for statements critical of him.  Now it is Republican National Chairman Michael Steele,  a humiliating act by the RNC chairman, which makes him far less credible in the rebuilding of the Republican party.  House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio and Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia have also been critical of Limbaugh, but have not been willing so far to back off in a public way as did Gingrey and Steele.

When will the Republicans realize that backing off in criticism and apologizing, or even trying to avoid being critical of Limbaugh, is a losing proposition when it comes to public opinion?  Of course, there is that core base of Republicans who adore Rush Limbaugh and always will.  But there is no practical way that the Republican party can revive to become a serious competition to the Democrats if they tie their future to Limbaugh and other right wing whackos!  The country has clearly repudiated the Reagan-Bush years,  and the present obstructionism of President Obama’s programs by the GOP in Congress has not registered well in public opinion polls. You can fool some of the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all of the time;  but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.  Conservative values only have a following in the Old South, Appalachia, the Great Plains (and even there not completely) and among religious evangelicals who seem to think that Jesus Christ would be a conservative Republican if he was an American, an idea that is totally delusional.

The Republicans who want to see their party succeed MUST repudiate the right wing and the religious zealots or,  some time soon, the Republican party will pass away, replaced by talk radio hosts and their ilk, who will never be able to capture the country.  The time to make the Republican party the broad based party that it needs to be to regain power is an urgency right now.  However, in reality, that looks unlikely to happen any time soon.  The GOP seems to have suicidal tendencies!

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