So, is Rush the leader of the GOP?

Certainly nobody else in the Republican Party seems to command as much power as he does today. Hell, anyone who dares criticize him is forced to come groveling for forgiveness.
Michael Steele is little more than a figurehead, who, prior to taking the reins as chairman, commanded almost no national following. Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Mitt Romney etc., certainly have their fans, but aren’t agendasetters in the way Limbaugh is.
So is Rush the leader of the GOP? Or is that just what the democrats want you to think? Are attempts to brand him as head of the RNC a misguided attempt to tie the entire conservative movement to a fringe figure, like the way Republicans in the 80s tried to cast the dems as beholden to people like Jesse Jackson?

He has huge influence on the party and can make or break someone at his whim. He’s not “the leader” because that implies some responsibility and obligation, but he certainly seems to be the figurehead.

He’ll keep pushing the GOP further right by maintaining a list of what is and is not ‘ideologically pure’.

He controls a good portion of the base, and the GOP has spent quite a while now shitting on everyone who isn’t part of that base.

He’s the kingmaker of the GOP at the moment. If someone had taken him on back in the day (Bush when he was popular, Cheney via a shotgun to the face) it might not have happened, but it has.


Rush is a “great leader” according to Bobby Jindal.

John Derbyshire, on the other hand, is not so impressed.

But meanwhile, yeah, who else is there? This kid?

Total speculation here, but here’s how it looks to me.

Rush is getting a big(ger) head. He’s gearing up, with a view towards maybe going officially into politics or at least becoming more explicitly a political leader.

Republican party leadership hates this idea, and is trying to downplay him without also seeming to alienate his supporters.

Democratic party leadership loves this idea, and is trying to “help” him along–because it would be wonderful for Democrats if they could make it look like the field is as polarized as that.

So basically, yes, I guess it’s identity politics.

He’ll fuck it up, rest assured. The heroin of public notoriety always demands an upgrade, a bigger hit, a larger dose. He will publicly step on his dick, inevitably. Self discipline and impulse control are not in him. And however much Sean and the rest of the jackal pack laud him and adore him, when they see him injured, when they see him falter, when they see that his place might be theirs…they will turn upon, and rend him asunder.

Jesus, that kid makes a compelling argument in favor of schoolyard bullying. What a smug, self-satisfied little shit. What’s really amazing about him is that there isn’t an inch of difference between him and the grown up politicians in his party in terms of cadence, vocabulary, body language and rhetoric. He’s like a mini Jindal. I guess that shows exactly where the maturity and intellect of the party is at.

Saw him on Fox “News” while I was in a waiting room yesterday. He wears a flag pin, so he’s already qualified.


I’m also curious, how seriously do people in the Beltway take Rush and his ilk? I’m not talking about how seriously they take his influence. The last few weeks have made pretty clear that as a media personality and potential GOP kingmaker (or breaker) he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Rather how seriously do policymakers take what he has to say. How seriously do they take his ideas on the issues, or how to run the government. We all know how they say they feel about Rush when the cameras are on. But how about behind closed doors.
Is there anyone who works on Capitol Hill or knows people in politcal circles who can comment on this?
I remember reading once that most conservative policymakers actually view Ann Coulter as a joke. Can the same be said of Rush?

Has Michael Steele volunteered to shine Limbaugh’s shoes yet? Cause that seems to be where he is heading.

He’s not the leader of the party, but he speaks to the rank and file and motivates them.

He’s the right’s equivalent of Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, and Keith Olbermann all put together. They don’t run the Democrat party - they just excite the base, toss out some red meat, and give people talking points. That’s what Rush does.

Except I can’t really see the head of the DNC apologizing to any of them, even if they all demanded it with one voice. Additionally, Limbaugh has been at this significantly longer than both Stewart and Olbermann (and probably Maher in his current form): He’s been rallying the GOP since the late 1980s (his show was first syndicated in 1988), meaning he’s been a strong national voice for longer than either Bush or Cheney.

Stewart certainly has a lot of appeal to the younger Democrats and he would be a force to be reckoned with if he set his face against an individual politician, but the Democratic party is bigger than he is and he faces competition from the Internet, something that’s a big force in his audience’s lives but I doubt Limbaugh has to worry much about it.

Finally, you mentioned three people. It’s difficult to get three people to agree fully on anything. If one of them decided to try and pull a Limbaugh, the other two would likely mock him and bring him back down to reality. It would be a ratings boon but the DNC would likely not even comment.

Do you really think so? There have been previous revelations about his conduct, and here he still is.

Limbaugh tells his listeners that he is fighting for them, against the mainstream media[sup]TM[/sup], the liberal elites, the trade unions, illegal immigrants, permissive society, and creeping socialism. And his audience seems to believe it. For them to turn on him, they’d have to see him as a greater evil than those he portrays himself as fighting against. He may go out with a whimper, but not with a bang; it would have happened by now.

Has Rush ever actually put forth any original ideas on how to run the government? I’m serious. I never really thought about it before. I’ve heard him criticize certain people and ideas, I’ve heard him advocate how Republicans should present their ideas and politically outmaneuver the other side, and I’ve heard him talk in vague terms about grand issues like immigration. He has lots to say about how to get people to vote for Republicans, but I don’t remember any specific agenda on how to govern.

You look at a 20 second video of a kid and concluded - yep, the half of the country that disagrees with me is as immature and dumb as kids - and you call him smug anf self-satisfied.

You misspelled “Democratic”. The name of the political party in question is the “Democratic Party”.

I know that many supporters of the Publican party have been deliberately spreading this erroneous usage, but it’s still not correct.

Diogenes, you make it so hard sometimes for people to be on the same side as you in political discussions. :frowning:

But I do think most people on the boards recognize that it is more apt to classify you as “fundie” than as “leftist.”


Please, it’s the Republicanic party. Stop being so childish!

Please yourself - my grandfather was a lifelong Democrat and generally referred to his party as the “Democrat Party”. If you people can’t handle this minor little variant - often expressed by your own members - then you have thin skin indeed.

The answer to the OP is an unequivocal “Yes”; Limbaugh is now the de facto leader of the Republican party.

Other recently-proposed contenders–Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Michael Steele–have been abandoned by either party power-brokers or the conservative base. That’s not too surprising; while each of them is acceptably “angry”, they lack one of the other two key components of the modern conservative movement: “white” and “male”.

Horseshit. It’s a “minor little variant” that many Publicans consciously and deliberately exploit for ideological purposes:

Conservative talk radio host Mike Rosen’s take on the term:

So your coy protest that this usage is simply a trivial error that has no real significance is entirely unconvincing. Yes, I’m sure that some people who say “Democrat Party” are merely making a trivial error and don’t mean anything by it, but plenty of others are using the term with deliberate malice.

However, if Publicans are willing to take the minor little variant “Publican Party” in their stride, I’ll be happy to drop my objections to their use of “Democrat Party”.

No. Steele is the leader, Limbaugh is the PR man. This is a new world frought with danger for the right, as soon as the fire sale is done, Limbaugh will be forced back on his liars chair to talk down to the people. He didn’t lead anything but his expanding ego during the last 8 years and he won’t lead anything after the Pubbies determine what’s next. The facts are that he won’t be able to be vetted for any office and wouldn’t stand up against career politicians. The reason Steele is kissing his ass is because he has a very loud voice that the right is going to need in the coming years to get their message out.