FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Spokesman and The Leader
Are Rush Limbaugh and Michael Steele poised to carry the GOP to new heights in 2010?
Michael Steele was positively my last preference for RNC Chair — since he was, and is, by far, the most effective, articulate center – right voice of the Republican Party, with a firm but friendly manner on TV and, thus, the best possible choice for the GOP to appeal to the broad middle of American society. For all those reasons, I hoped the RNC would not elect him. I am surprised that a party that currently has Rush Limbaugh as its leading voice (my personal preference for Republican Chair) would be wise enough to reject Mr. Limbaugh and elect Michael Steele.
As a Democrat, I am very disappointed.
This brings up what is, to me, an interesting point. I agree with Lanny Davis — whose honesty and good humor about the race for RNC chair I appreciate — that Michael Steele is the best choice the committee’s members could have made from the field of candidates, and I applaud their doing so.
As to Rush Limbaugh, though, Davis apparently had knowledge of a Limbaugh Shadow Candidacy for Party Chairman that I did not. As far as I had been aware, Rush was no more running for RNC chair — despite Davis’s good-humored preference for him as opposition apparatus leader — than he has been running for public office (a fact that, as noted yesterday, hasn’t stopped the DCCC from taking time and resources that could be used to target actual Republican candidates and directing them at him).
Further, despite Democrat claims to the contrary, Rush Limbaugh isn’t the leader of the GOP; rather, he’s the leading voice for the conservative grassroots of a party whose elected representatives all too often act as though they have an acute case of anterograde amnesia when it comes to recalling who it is they represent, and why it was they were elected.
As such, the committee’s election of Steele as chairman wasn’t in any form a repudiation of Rush Limbaugh, who has spent the last twenty years, and will continue to spend the forseeable future, acting as the most effective spokesman the conservative grassroots have.
As Davis so graciously pointed out, Michael Steele is very well cut out for his new postition as Chairman of the Republican National Committee; further, Rush Limbaugh continues to be extremely effective as a voice for common-sense conservatives. Between the two of them — one a leader, the other a spokesman of sorts — the GOP will be in very good hands for the next two years.