On Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh finally said it. He told Neil Cavuto on Fox News that he's the "de facto" leader of the Republican Party.
Here's his quote:
"Too many elected Republicans right now are just in fear, Neil, of being criticized, of opposing the Obama administration....We're not -- we're not really to go - to be too vocal about opposing this, which I don't subscribe to at all. I mean, liberalism is liberalism, and it is to be defeated and to be opposed every time it's -- it -- it pops up. And, so I -- I have -- I'm the de -- you know, if I am a leader, then it's de facto, because the elected Republican leadership hasn't yet decided to speak out."
A couple of months ago, when James Carville & company cooked up the idea that Limbaugh was the crowned head of the minority party, vocal repubs scoffed. RNC Chairman Michael Steele defiantly insisted that "I'm the de facto leader," and called the radio talker "incendiary" and "ugly." Of course, Steele soon bowed down and apologized for insubordination.
One has to think Carville, Rahm Emanuel et al felt intuitively that the idea of crowning himself Leader For Life (or "Boss Limbaugh" as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann calls him) would ultimately be too great for "El Rushbo" to resist. He's finally taken the bait.
Next step: Now that he's grabbed the mantle, it's time to ask key members of the movement if they agree with his self-anointment. Ask Chairman Steele, or John McCain and his colleagues in Congress. Ask cable TV conservatives like Sean Hannity.
Beyond them, try the man in the street. Ask the postman, ask the fireman, ask the milkman white with foam. Let's see what America thinks.
We're already clear about who leads the majority party. After all, it now controls the White House and both sides of Capitol Hill, working hard to pull the nation out of the ditch she's been driven into the past eight years.
Limbaugh claims to be, in actuality, head of the fired chauffeurs. Is he right, yes or no?