Running Local

This Train of Thought Makes All Stops

The Man of Steele Bends

Posted by Bob Kohm on March 3, 2009

I just have to do a quick followup to yesterday’s story on Rush Limbaugh, the new face of the Republican Party. Apparently Mike Steele, the latest Chairman of the RNC, decided to take back what was supposedly his and fired on Maximum Leader Rush Limbaugh… with  predictable results.

While Rush was bloviating at the CPAC podium on Saturday night, The Man of Steele was sitting down with D.L. Hughley on his odd news-entertainment hybrid on CNN. Maybe Steele thought nobody was watching (not a terrible assumption, given the venue), but as it turns out at least a few folks had tuned in.

During the segment on Hughley’s show, the Man of Steele put on his RNC cape and leotard and let loose a mighty blast– he called Rush Limbaugh “ugly”, “incendiary”, and the big one, “an entertainer”. Memo to Mr. Steele– when you fill the role of a figure head, you do not call the eminence gris an entertainer or similarly minimize his role. It turns what was gris into a tres vive rouge.

A wise man once said that you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with, uhm, Rush. Well, let’s toss that out the window since we now see that when the Man of Steele messed around with Rush that Rush had no problem tugging on his cape, wedgying his leotard and otherwise stuffing him back in the phone booth. You see, Rush, when challenged, tends to do what every bully does– he gets louder and louder until he drowns out the offender and gets his way. If you are the parent of a toddler, you recognize the tactic. As it turns out, the temper tantrum is an extremely effective tool of rule when you run the Republican Party.

Limbaugh has come back with his Kryptonite blaster blazing, effectively calling Steele a gutless wonder. From Mr. Limbaugh’s radio show yesterday:

“Mr. Steele, your spokesman sounds like the RNC wants ’em to fail, to me. You’re opposing ’em. You say the American people are growing weary of it, getting suspicious of it. But it’s not just Pelosi’s spending. It’s Obama’s. Where are your guts? Why can’t you tie Obama to these policies? They’re his! Where are your guts? (interruption) Strangely, they don’t want me doing the dirty work because when I go out there and, quote, unquote, do the dirty work, they try to cut me off at the knees for doing so. The point is, when you read that statement from Alex Conant, they’re opposed to the Obama agenda, too, they’re just too gutless to say so, and they get frightened when they hear the words, “I want Obama to fail.” “Oh, no, no, no, we can’t be associated with that.” “

Ouch. In one shot, Mr. Limbaugh, who moments earlier on the show said it was crazy that people think he is running the RNC for if he was he’d quit over the sad sack shape it was in, not only contradicts himself with that quote and demonstrates that he is actually running the Party and setting its message but also calls out the Man of Steele as a coward and too stupid to get out a very basic message– the the Republican Party wants Barack Obama to fail and for the national crisis to worsen.

What response dis this draw from the Man of Steele? Surely as the elected Chair of the RNC he would stand up for himself, put the “entertainer” in his place, assert his leadership and prove that the RNC, which has been accused of drifting for four years now with no sense of direction or overriding purpose, with the leadership it so clearly needs and wants. He is, after all, the Man of Steele, no? His response, via Ben Smith’s blog…

“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.”

…or not. The Man of Steele bent in the howling wind issuing forth from the Maximum Leader’s mouth just as Congressman Gingrey and so many other have done before him. The fact is that Rush Limbaugh is running the RNC and that nobody is willing to challenge his overwhelming authority, not the Republicans in the House, not the Republicans in the Senate, not the Republican Governor’s Association… and certainly not the RNC Chairman.


3 Responses to “The Man of Steele Bends”

  1. And Jindal embraces Rush as well. Unreal

  2. ShadeEagle said

    This entire development is bizarre and a half. To be honest, I have no idea how they even got there, but it’ll be hell and a half trying to extract themselves from this likely deathtrap.

  3. ShadeEagle said

    And apparently I like using the term “and a half.” The more you know.

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