MSNBC's David Shuster had a segment this morning examining whether or Rush Limbaugh has become the de facto leader of the Republican Party. He and commentator Lawrence O'Donnell largely came to the conclusion that he had, despite the protests from such congressional Republicans as Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.
Of course, Limbaugh has been the acknowledged leader of the Conservative movement for quite some time. And ever since Reagan, the GOP has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the same movement. So it seems like kind of a silly question, like asking whether Steve Jobs is the de facto leader of Apple.
Still, as O'Donnell adroitly observes, this is a huge gift for Democrats. Go, Rush, go!
If there were any lingering questions about this, only a little while later, Andrea Mitchell brought us the news that Gingrey had caved and even called up Limbaugh's show to abjectly apologize.
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) apologized Wednesday to “my fellow conservatives” for comments critical of talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh – saying he sees “eye-to-eye” with Limbaugh and that his remarks defending House Republican leadership came across more harshly than intended.
He also took issue with a headline on a Politico story about his comments, saying he never told Limbaugh to “back off,” as the headline read.
“I regret and apologize for the fact that my comments have offended and upset my fellow conservatives—that was not my intent,” Gingrey said in a statement. “I am also sorry to see that my comments in defense of our Republican Leadership read much harsher than they actually were intended, but I recognize it is my responsibility to clarify my own comments.”
Gingrey said he issued the statement because of a high volume of calls and correspondence to his office after the Politico article and wanted to speak directly to “grassroots conservatives. Let me assure you, I am one of you. I believe I was sent to Washington to fight for and defend our traditional values of smaller government, lower taxes, a strong national defense, and the lives of the unborn.”
And if you want further evidence (as if it's needed) of how abjectly Republicans bow and scrape at Limbaugh's feet, watch Rep. Eric Cantor squirm and evade and refuse to answer Mitchell's questions about what he thinks of Limbaugh's remarks.
Wipe that toe jam off your lips, Congressman. You're already setting a fine example for the GOP troops as they march off into irrelevancy with Rush Limbaugh.