This afternoon, Chris Mathews posed a silly question to his “Hardball” panelists: who is the current leader of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh or RNC head Michael Steele?
Survey Says: neither, which is why the GOP is in such disarray right now.
Steele lacks the charisma to be a national leader for his party, and is an ineffective spokesperson. Period. Yet whereas Limbaugh wields heavy influence with the conservative base (who when Rush yells “Jump!” can’t reply “How high?” fast enough) it’s become so infected with the Rove/Cheney neo-con philosophy that one can no longer tell where it begins, and so-called Reagan-style conservatism (which Limbaugh claims to exalt) leaves off.
The reason why is simple: for as much as George W. Bush espoused Reagan, most of his policies ran in direct opposition to Reagan-style conservatism (e.g. high spending and expansion of government), and his party—in addition to waterboys like Limbaugh—never stood up to it for longer than five minutes. As such, the “soul” of the GOP—which has tied its spiritual wagon to Reagan since 1980—has no clear message anymore. And the resulting vacuum affords those like Limbaugh and other right-wing pundits the perfect opportunity to step into the gap, and present their own "contracts" for America which are really just an endless, often contradictory stream of talking points designed to pad their ad revenues versus offering the GOP—much less the nation—genuine solutions other than to oppose everything Barack Obama says or does.
So in the end, in Steele the RNC has a leader who can’t lead dick, and a self-built media baron in ‘ol Fat Bastard who openly admits he cares more for lining his wallet than the party he allegedly supports – not to mention still doesn’t understand that any presidential candidate needs to garner a portion of centrist votes to win any election.
As long as the Republican Party continues to follow these alleged shepherds, they’ll never find a way out of the haunted forest they happily blundered into without a map.