George Stepanopoulos of ABC News ran a piece Sunday after George Will appeared on This Week saying: George Will: Republican Leaders Are Afraid of Rush Limbaugh Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has been inundated with criticismafter calling
March 5, 2012

George Stepanopoulos of ABC News ran a piece Sunday after George Will appeared on This Week saying: George Will: Republican Leaders Are Afraid of Rush Limbaugh

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has been inundated with criticism after calling Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University student who testified before a House committee about contraception, a “slut” and a “prostitute.” But while Democrats have fiercely condemned the comments, Republicans’ ire has been significantly more muted. ABC’s George Will told me Sunday on “This Week” that GOP leaders have steered clear of harshly denouncing Limbaugh’s comments because “Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh. ”“[House Speaker John] Boehner comes out and says Rush’s language was inappropriate. Using the salad fork for your entrée, that’s inappropriate. Not this stuff,” Will said. “And it was depressing because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh. They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”

ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd said the Republicans’ apprehension to say anything negative about the conservative big hitter is based on the “myth” that Limbaugh influences a large number of Republican voters.“I think the problem is the Republican leaders, Mitt Romney and the other candidates, don’t have the courage to say what they say in quiet, which, they think Rush Limbaugh is a buffoon,” Dowd said. ”They think he is like a clown coming out of a small car at a circus. It’s great he is entertaining and all that. But nobody takes him seriously.”

It is an embarrassing fact for the GOP, but it's no surprise. I know this might seem like news to the MSM, but come, on. I actually don't believe they believe it's news, but since George Will said it, ABC ran with it. Let's just go back to March of 2009 when a couple of Republicans challenged Rush after he attacked their leadership.

Rush Limbaugh attacks Michael Steele and then Steele apologizes to RushBo.

Rush Limbaugh came out firing against the RNC's new leader Michael Steele after Steele criticised him on CNN. And as usual, the Republican bows down to the altar of Limbaugh and begs forgiveness. Limbaugh spanks Steele and tells him exactly what Steele's job is and what he should do and how he should do it.

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.

Rush replies:

Michael Steele has been around long enough to know that the liberal media will use him by twisting what I say or what others say. He took the bait, he bit down hard on the bait, he launched an attack on me even though the premise of what was said to him was false. He took the bait and he went for it.

They chicken out when I happen to articulate exactly what their agenda really is. They don't have the guts to admit it, and I do. I'm going further and telling you today it's not that I want Obama to fail; that's not it anymore.

So who's the ugly one now? Michael Steele apologizes to Rush:

My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in a telephone interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”

I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking,” Steele said. "It was one of those things where I thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people … want to make Rush the scapegoat, the bogeyman, and he’s not."

“I’m not going to engage these guys and sit back and provide them the popcorn for a fight between me and Rush Limbaugh,” Steele added. “No such thing is going to happen. … I wasn’t trying to slam him or anything.”

I love this part: "I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking.” OMG, does he have a spine? on

Steele really looked bad, but just as funny was Rep. Phil Gingrey. Daivd Newiert recounts the saga: Rush Rooolz! GOP Congressmen Cower Before the Mighty Limbaugh

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.

Rush Limbaugh was screaming back then and pushing GOPers around and still is today, but it was Fox News that created the tea party movement which has caused a massive clusterf*&k for our government. Reasons of which we've already named a gazillion times.

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