So, is Rush the leader of the GOP?

And thus a great light was shone on the problem between Repuglicans and Dummycrats.

Well it’s not really half anymore. The Republic party needs to stop stop describing themselves as “half the country” until they get their registration numbers up.

I disagree. Rush is the spokesperson for the ignorant minority, not the leader of the party itself. He will always find appeal with a certain demographic because of what he does. He is a hatemonger. Like professional wrestling, the fakery is evident to everyone except his fans. He tells them that what they want to believe is true even if it isn’t factual. These are people who are too busy grasping at a past that never existed to notice that Rush is everything he derides in “Socialist Liberals.” He gives them the scapegoat they feel they need.

When party leadership reasserts itself with intelligent reasonable people at the helm, the moderate conservatives will return. They left in droves this election cycle. I was one of them. Sarah Palin was an embarrassment. I could not continue to support a party that whores itself to magical thinkers and allows them to make policy decisions instead of correcting the problems within the party and updating outmoded ideas.

The Republican party leaders aren’t kissing Rush’s behind out of a belief that he will lead them. They merely do not wish to lose any more votes. They would be better served by working to improve their standing in Congress and ceasing the temper tantrums and partisan voting practices.

Well it certainly tells me where YOUR maturity and intellect is at.

That’s not a fair comparison. Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann are pundits among many. Rush Limbaugh is a powerhouse. No one, and I mean NO ONE can get a GOP nomination without him. None of the guys you mentioned have that sort of power over the Democratic party.

Tom DeLay said that Rush isn’t the Leader of the Republican party, he’s the leader of the Conservative Movement. It’s a proper distinction, and one that I think is correct.

Yes, Rush is the leader, he’s the most powerful Republican in the country by far.

I’ve never seen Democrats leap to apologize, placate, or otherwise fellate those gentlemen the way Republicans have been falling over themselves to keep Rush happy lately.

Steele was right about Rush, and should have stuck to his guns. Too bad he’s just a wuss.

Kimstu I’d imagine that an extreme minority actually cares about such semiotic concerns.

I think you may have forgotten something about the most recent presidential election.

Fair enough

The repubs have a power vacuum. McCain is too old. Jindyl shot his wad and failed. They are searching for a new leader. Rush is just filling in until a serious contender can be found. It may take a while.

Is it worth making a distinction between Republican and conservative? Significant overlap but it seems that Rush is the leader of a way of thinking not of the party.

He’s not only stepped on his dick (Michael J. Fox, Oxycontin, Magic Negro, Volcanos and Ozone, and on and on), he’s repeatedly jumped on it with cleated, steel tipped boots, ran it over with a lawn aerator, and dropped a tactical thermonuclear device on it. And the slavering masses keep begging for more.

Please. Rush Limbaugh never had any power, and anyone who kowtows to him is simply another idiot. If you look at actual voting vaterns, RUsh as a lot of symnpathizers but doesn’t really shift votes. His listeners listen, but they don’t mindlessly follow.

Criticizing him is stupid, too, whether Obama does it or a Republican. If you disagree, you’ll get more respect from him by politely saying so. It’s hard to whip up anger against someone who siles, nods, and ignores you. But in any case, Limbaugh is a radio host. It’s his job to angrily denounce things on the air. What else is going to get listeners - and ad revenue?

Bill Maher’s not even a Democrat. he’s an independent. He hated Bush, but he was also very critical of Clinton, and he departs from liberal positions in a number of significant way.

Jon Stewart satirizes both parties. He’s left-leaning, certainly, but by no means a demagogue and nothing close to what Rush is in terms of either overt partisanship or political significance.

Olbermann, unfortunately, has become the left wing Bill O’Reilly. I can’t even watch him anymore.

As to Limbaugh’s influence on the GOP right now, Mike Murphy had some interesting things to say on Meet the Press theother day:

I think the Republican party lacks a rudder right now, and the Congressional Pubs are all scrambling just to keep their base happy and avoid challenges from their right in the next election cycle. Limbaugh is not the leader of the party, but the dittoheads and freepers are calling all the shots right now. The more the party panders to the Hannity fans and the Palin fappers, the more moderates they lose, and the more they marginalize themselves on a national level, but on a local level – especially at the narrow district level in the House – they fear that if they don’t pleasure those voters, somebody else will.

The broader picture isn’t that the GOP is looking to a hotheaded entertainer as its spiritual leader; it’s that they don’t have anyone *else *to look to instead. Their last presidential nominee didn’t inspire anyone and lacked “the vision thing”, their VP nominee made herself a national joke, their token-colored-guy chairman has been showing he isn’t up for the job with every interview, their rising-star Indian-American governor has effectively taken himself out of the picture, their handsome-but-shallow Massachusetts-apostate governor has convinced people only of his hypocrisy, and every single damned one of their remaining Washington people (except for 3 Senators they’d just as soon repudiate) can say nothing but No.

Limbaugh is simply trying to fill a vacuum. But he isn’t the problem; the vacuum is.

Rush says jump, and the Republican leadership says: “How high boss.” I almost felt sorry for Michael Steele.

I can’t say Rush is a leader of the GOP at this time, because he doesn’t appear to be for anything. If anything, he’s acting as an evolutionary pressure against Republicans who show any signs of support for Obama or his programs.

hah! You’d think someone who equates the social and cultural turning point of the late sixties with the Maoist Cultural Revolution in terms of evil and excess–would own a damn tie, and a comb or brush. I doubt if he even owns shampoo.

I consider the ability to make the head of the RNC and elected officials grovel in apology after they criticize you power. Not all power involved being elected. Walter Cronkite had plenty of power, for example. Sure he is a radio host, which is why it is so odd that he is invited to make a major address. Given the shrinking size of the party, and the importance of right wing activists at the local level and in primaries, it is significant that Rush can make it harder for potential candidates to move to the center. That’s power also.

Yeah, but that’s because they’re ball-less fools. (And this is me talking about the party I generaly support… yeesh!)

But Rush isn’t about the Center, nor the Right. He’s about ratings and ad revenue. He’s not particuarly political: his entire schtick is amusingly hating on the Left.