Former vice president Dick Cheney kept up the bad blood between himself and former Sec. of State Colin Powell by saying that he thought Powell wasn’t even in the GOP anymore. He used Rush Limbaugh as the political standard for being a Republican.
Host Bob Schieffer asked where Cheney comes down in the Colin Powell/Dick Cheney debate. Cheney said, “Well, if I had to choose in terms of being a Republican, I’d go with Rush Limbaugh, I think. I think my take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn’t know he was still a Republican.”
Schieffer asked, “So you think that he’s not a Republican?” Cheney answered, “I just noted he endorsed the Democratic candidate for president this time, Barack Obama. I assumed that that is some indication of his loyalty and his interest.”
Cheney’s answer to that question is an example of the denial and delusion going on within the GOP. The problem is Colin Powell, not the Republican Party.
There are two points that you have to remember when putting Cheney’s comments into context. First, Powell and Cheney fought against one another when they were in the Bush administration over issues like Iraq and torture. They don’t like each other, and Cheney and Rumsfeld were behind forcing Powell out of the Bush administration.
Secondly, Dick Cheney is a Rush Limbaugh fan boy. In March on CNN, Cheney said of Rush, “Rush is a good friend. I love him. I think he does great work and has for years. He has now offered to debate President Obama on his radio show. Hell, I’d pay to see that. … I think Rush is a good man and serves a very important purpose.”
The big story here isn’t that Cheney would support Rush, but that Cheney would agree with Limbaugh’s definition of a real Republican. To me, this is more evidence that Limbaugh is the intellectual leader of the Republican Party right now.
This works out great for Rush because he will never have to take the blame as Republicans keep losing elections. The results of the Republican quest for ideological for purity will be a far right political faction that is nothing more than a regional party.