As predicted Rush Limbaugh took the bait that Democrats laid out for him as today he went on the attack against the White House as he accused Barack Obama of trying to malign him and as an added bonus he attacked Michael Steele for calling him an entertainer.
Limbaugh said that Obama is using him to distract America, “Well I don’t hurt. I am not hurt by any of this. What this is, though, is cruel. It is cruel because it is a game of manipulation emanating from the Oval Office. It is an attempt to distract Americans from the destruction of their ability to earn a living. It is an attempt to distract you from your plunging economy. It is an attempt to distract you from your ability to save for retirement and to pursue happiness. You see, honest face-to-face discussions are fair … ”
Limbaugh talked about naming him the head of the GOP as a game, “This ongoing game of naming me the head of the Republican party… The point here is to take me … malign me, take me out of context, what I said, attach it to the Republican party in general because President Obama wants no debate. President Obama wants no discussion. President Obama, as has been his modus operandi since he got into politics, is not a level playing field, is to clear the playing field and he has, of course, this army of the drive-by media assisting at every turn.”
Notice that Rush’s ego would not let him say that he isn’t the head of the Republican Party. Limbaugh could have said that this was all silly, because of course Michael Steele is the head of the GOP, but instead Limbaugh chose to attack Steele, “Why do you claim to lead the Republican Party when you seem obsessed with seeing to it President Obama succeeds? I frankly am stunned that the chairman of the Republican National Committee endorses such an agenda. I have to conclude that he does because he attacks me for wanting it to fail.”
Well if Michael Steele isn’t the leader of the GOP, then who is? My guess is that Limbaugh, despite his protests about liberal conspiracies and being taken out of context, sees himself as the leader of the Republicans. He obviously served notice to Steele today that he isn’t going to give the RNC chairman any respect. In fact, by lumping him in with Obama, Limbaugh is trying to discredit Steele, and push him out the door.
Limbaugh is also trying to construct a fantasy about Obama. In reality, all the president has done is consistently try to reach out to Republicans and talk about the issues, or perhaps Limbaugh didn’t see Obama’s fiscal summit on television where he took questions from Republicans like John McCain and Eric Cantor. This myth that Limbaugh is trying to create about Obama not wanting to have honest discussions, doesn’t ring true to anybody with a set of eyes and ears.
Rush not only took the Democratic bait, but he gleefully attacked the chairman of the GOP. This is a big test for Steele. Does he back down to Limbaugh or stand his ground? The answer to this question will go a long way in determining the future path of the Republican Party. Limbaugh has no power outside of his conservative listeners, so he means nothing to Obama, but for Steele, Rush is a major problem that could tear the Republican Party along its fault lines.