UPDATED: LIMBAUGH SLAPS BACK
UPDATED AGAIN: STEELE CAVES IN RECORD TIME
Time to start the Apology Countdown Clock for how long it takes Michael Steele to flagellate himself publicly for having said something negative about Rush Limbaugh. I give it until Thursday for Steele to call into Limbaugh's show to apologize for being so intemperate as to suggest that El Rushbo's schtick is "incendiary" and "ugly."
HUGHLEY: You know what we do, we talk like we’re talking now. You have your view. I have mine. We don’t need incendiary rhetoric.Steele really is confused about the balance of power in the GOP these days. He took offense at Hughley's assertion that Limbaugh is the "de facto leader the Republican Party."
HUGHLEY: Like Rush Limbaugh, who is the de facto leader of the Republican Party.
STEELE: No, he’s not.
HUGHLEY: I will tell you what …
STEELE: I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party.
HUGHLEY: You know what? I can appreciate that. But no one will actually decry down some of the things he says. Like when he comes out and says he wants the president to fail. I understand he wants liberalism to fail. Like, I get it’s not about the man. But it is still about the idea that he would rather have an idea fail so his idea can move to the forefront. And that would succeed. And that to me is destructive.
STEELE: How is that any different than what was said about George Bush during his presidency?
HUGHLEY: You’re absolutely — let me say something. You’re absolutely right.
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.
D: You do get a sense that he would say anything.
HUGHLEY: He influences the party. And I tell you what, you’re the first Republican I have talked to, and I have talked to a lot, to say he’s not the leader of his party. I have never heard anybody say that on any show.
"I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party," he snapped back.
As chair of the RNC, you are the official leader of the Republican Party. You bear the title. You exercise formal authority over Republican Party operations. But the GOP's most committed members are not looking to you for leadership or direction.
They are looking to Rush Limbaugh, who is most definitely the de facto leader of your party. If you doubt that, just look at how eager Republicans and movement conservatives are declare solidarity with Limbaugh over his "I want him to fail" comments.
If you don't believe it now, you will by the time you go on the air with Limbaugh to beg his forgiveness.
Oh, this is getting good.
Limbaugh went ballistic on his show today:
Limbaugh responded today with an on-air diatribe against the new party chairman that ran nearly 20 minutes, alleging that Steele is more interested in being a “talking head” on television than leading the party to electoral success.Time to start lubricating those vocal cords, Mikey. It's "sorry" time!
“I hope the RNC chairman realizes he’s not a talking head pundit,” Limbaugh said. “It’s time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do, instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you’re having a tough time pulling off.”
Limbaugh then accused the RNC chair of being disloyal, after having appeared as a guest on Limbaugh’s show during his failed 2006 run for the Senate in Maryland.
“My parents taught me when I was growing up that you always stood behind people who defended you, that you never abandon people who stood up for you and defended you against assault,” Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh said at the time Steele thanked him for coming to his defense, after Democratic party operatives illegally obtained and leaked elements of Steele’s credit report and Michael J. Fox appeared in campaign ads attacking Steele for his opposition to embryonic stem cell research.
“Something’s happened. Now I’m just ‘an entertainer’ and now I’m ‘ugly’ and my program is ‘incendiary,’” Limbaugh said.
“Why are you running the Republican Party?” Limbaugh openly asked Steele. “Why do you claim you lead the Republican Party, when you seem obsessed with seeing to it that President Obama succeeds? I, frankly, am stunned that the chairman of the Republican National Committee endorses such an agenda. I have to assume that he does because he attacks me for wanting it to fail.”
You can do it. It's just a matter of controlling your gag reflex.
And don't worry. The sharp, searing pain of complete degradation fades pretty quickly into a dull bruise of shame. You can live with it. Just do what Phil Gingrey did: tell yourself it wasn't really you doing it. It was just what you had to do to survive. You can go back to being you after you get out.
Down goes Steele!