HUGHLEY: Like Rush Limbaugh, who is the de facto leader of the Republican Party.
STEELE: No, he’s not.
HUGHLEY: I will tell you what …
STEELE: I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party.
HUGHLEY: You know what? I can appreciate that. But no one will actually decry down some of the things he says. Like when he comes out and says he wants the president to fail. I understand he wants liberalism to fail. Like, I get it’s not about the man. But it is still about the idea that he would rather have an idea fail so his idea can move to the forefront. And that would succeed. And that to me is destructive.
STEELE: How is that any different than what was said about George Bush during his presidency?
HUGHLEY: You’re absolutely — let me say something. You’re absolutely right.
STEELE: So let’s put it into context here. Let’s put it into context here. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it’s incendiary. Yes, it’s ugly.
D: You do get a sense that he would say anything.
HUGHLEY: He influences the party. And I tell you what, you’re the first Republican I have talked to, and I have talked to a lot, to say he’s not the leader of his party. I have never heard anybody say that on any show.
Hoo boy! Those sound like fightin' words! Knowing Limbaugh and his ego -- especially when an, ahem, person of color is involved -- anyone could see this wouldn't be taken lying down.
So sure enough, as Greg Sargent at Plum Line reports:
Rush Limbaugh’s bid to cement his own role as head of the Republican Party just took a wild new turn, with Limbaugh launching a brutal hit on RNC chair Michael Steele, mocking the GOP for being in a “sad sack” state and suggesting that until Steele showed “respect” for conservatives, he’ll have “a tough time” rebuilding the party.
Rush was responding to Steele’s criticism of Rush’s show yesterday as “ugly” and “incendiary.”
Just moments ago on the air, Rush uncorked a rant that undoubtedly sent tremors through RNC headquarters.
“I’m not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don’t want to be,” Rush said. “I would be embarrassed to say that I’m in charge of the Republican Party in a sad-sack state that it’s in. If I were chairman of the Republican Party, given the state that it’s in, I would quit.”
... “Republicans and conservatives are sick and tired of being talked down to, they’re sick and tired of being lectured to,” Rush continued. “And until you show some understanding and respect for who they are, you’re gonna have a tough time rebuilding your party.”
Meanwhile, sure enough, Michelle Malkin is pretty bent at Steele too.
Why, it seems like only a day or so ago they were singing Steele's hosannas. There was this followup to Michael Steele's pre-Hughley performance this weekend from Michelle Bachmann, who proclaimed at CPAC: "You be de man!"
Pop some popcorn, folks. This is gonna have a very high amusement factor.
[Via Right Wing Watch]