The "Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the GOP" meme has snowballed and just won't go away, to the consternation of Republicans everywhere. This is a mess for them: they don't want to be portrayed as being in such disarray that their top dog is a loud mouth, radio talk show host. And just like their obstructionist, just-say-no approach to the Obama administration's policies doesn't jibe with independents, neither does their bowing to Limbaugh, which has become a sad spectacle.
It gets more complicated when Limbaugh's huge conservative audience is taken into account. The GOP really doesn't want to alienate these folks: the true red-state, God and Guns, Fox Nuisance-loving, Obama-is-a-socialist/communist, anti-New York Times crowd, whose votes they count on. We've all seen recent proof of this in the subsequent apology and genuflection from prominent Republicans who, after disagreeing with or chastising Limbaugh in public for his infamous "I want [Obama] to fail" statement, have meekly changed their tune.
And yes, Limbaugh has greatly benefited from all of this: the leadership vacuum of the Republicans has put him front and center, while the exposure will surely bring increased revenue for his show. But you know the newly-minted King of the Conservatives has let all of this attention go to that fat head of his when he challenges the President of the United States to a debate. I guess Limbaugh is not aware of:
a) how busy President Obama is, both cleaning up the economic mess and managing the two wars he inherited from Rush's immensely inept and corrupt peeps;
b) he is not in Obama's league to debate; POTUS vs a talk show host? On what planet?
But what is even more dumbfounding is how adrift the Republicans are right now. They are trying to persuade the country that the GOP has the solutions to the current crisis, but offer none, only obstacles and disengenuous rhetoric. They want the folks to believe Republicans have the answers to their problems, when in fact everyone is acutely aware of how the last eight years of their rule is what got us here in the first place. And, on top of it, they have no one to convincingly sell any of it for them: Bobby Jindal's big turn in the national spolight backfired; Sarah Palin is laying low; and the less said about John McCain, and the rest of them in Congress, the better.
So, with no real party leadership to speak of, they are left with the aforementioned Rush Limbaugh: a polarizing blowhard who privately they loathe, but have to kneel before in order to not put distance between the hardcore wingnuts who follow him on the radio and Republican electoral aspirations.
Makes me wanna cackle like The Joker. Sorry.