Chris Cillizza asks a qustion: Is Rush Limbaugh the New Face of the GOP? .
"The party is in transition," said Ed Rogers, a Republican lobbyist and close ally of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. "Our leaders have not found their voice or direction....Limbaugh is filling a vacuum in a world that requires a constant media counter-point."
While there is nearly unanimous agreement with Rogers's sentiment that Limbaugh is filling a void left by the departure of former President George W. Bush from the scene, whether that is a good or a bad thing remains a point of considerable contention among party strategists.
"Rush is a double-edged sword, he cuts both ways" said Phil Musser, a Republican consultant and former executive director of the Republican Governors Association. "Sometimes you love him, sometimes you cringe at his impolitic (he'd say honest) fusillados."
John Weaver, a former senior aide to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said that Republicans must be careful not to allow their Democratic rivals to paint them all with the brush of Limbaugh.
"The Democrats and the far left will do all they can to grab electoral turf," said Weaver. "And one sure way to do it is take some of the most controversial voices on the extreme right -- like Limbaugh and [Alaska Gov. Sarah] Palin -- and try to insist they speak for all members of the center/right movement."
Whether Limbaugh continues to play as prominent a role as the GOP attack dog against Obama remains to be seen. If history is any guide, he will. Limbaugh -- along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) -- is credited with leading the Republican revolt that brought about the 1994 wave election and his near-constant agitation against former President Bill Clinton is well-known.
Put simply: Limbaugh isn't going anywhere any time soon. And his voice -- and influence -- may well get stronger with the GOP out of power. Is that a good thing or a bad thing for Republicans? Time will tell.
Weaver attacks Rush and Palin as nutjobs. I'd ask him how many moderate Republicans are actually left in the GOP since Newt took over and turned them into a freak show.
When hasn't Rush Limbaugh been the face of the GOP? Why is it so hard for the media to admit this simple fact? Rush speaks for the GOP. He speaks many of the impolitic fusillados that they all believe in, but would never say out loud although during the past eight years we have heard some pretty sick things coming out of the House Republicans...