Rush To Chairman Steele “Where Are Your Guts?”–UPDATED

March 2, 2009 / 2:42 pm • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier

“The RNC is against Obama’s agenda too, but they’re too afraid to stand up and tell the press that they want Obama to fail. Stop sending me facts and quotes about how bad the Obama agenda and then not stand up against it,” says Rush to Republican National Chairman Michael Steele in response to Michael Steele calling Rush’s words “ugly”.

Rush gives Chairman Steele a smackdown–decrying the hypocrisy of Republican leaders desiring to come on the show and essentially use the alternative media when they need them (Steele went on Rush’s show when he was being targeted in Maryland and when his email got stolen) while distancing themselves from him now, when he’s speaking the truth about wanting Obama’s policies to fail because they’re bad for America.

Republican leadership needs to understand what Rush is saying: “American conservatism is starting a huge awakening.”

I think Rush is right about this. The awakening is starting. “The pressure on the Republican party is to become Democrat-lite, but exactly the opposite is happening and it’s a beautiful thing.”

It’s messy, though. I came away from CPAC with mixed emotions. (I’m not alone.) Nearly every state operative I talked to described a mess at the precinct all the way to the state level. Forget the national Republican organization.

However, the grassroots groups and vendors selling technology were vibrant and motivated. As one man from Florida told me,”I came to CPAC to see what the hell was going to happen to the party.” Well, if something is going to happen, it’s going to happen by the outside putting pressure on the party and the elected officials. It’s going to take a lot of pressure.

Washington insiders are bathed in moderate and liberal group-think. Any idea outside the liberal mainstream is branded as mean, hateful, and base. So Republican leaders find themselves saying,”I’m not a racist! I’m not dispassionate! I care! I do!” And then, they go about working on crap legislation to make it somewhat better. These disgusting half-measures make Republicans look weak and confused ideologically.

Instead of playing defense, the Republicans, including Chairman Steele need to go on offense. We need to demonstrate that we are the party of the little guy, the small business man. We need to have the best ideas on health care, the environment, and the economy. We need to speak these ideas clearly and unequivocally.

And when a man like Rush Limbaugh articulates what millions of Republicans are feeling, the leader of the RNC does not get on the liberally biased station CNN and bash an ally and friend. It’s wrong. He should apologize. And Chairman Steele should go to work doing what he has said he wants done: a changed Republican Party that will win elections by winning in the arena of ideas.

I believe Chairman Steele wants to do this. Now, I want to see evidence that my optimism about the RNC under his leadership isn’t misplaced.


Matt Lewis has more:

“The Republican National Committee and Michael Steele need a little leadership … we’re going to have to drag them kicking and screaming back to our core,” Limbaugh said. “They are caught up in so much fear because of where they live and work in Washington, DC,” he said.

Responding to Steele’s argument that he is the “de facto” head of the GOP, Limbaugh warned: “Michael Steele — you are head of the RNC — you are not head of the Republican Party.” Limbaugh went on to say Steele would have to become President for that to happen. He also noted: “… I’m not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don’t want to be.”

“I hope the RNC Chairman will realize he is not a talking head pundit,” Limbaugh added.

Limbaugh also noted that he had helped Steele out in the past: “Michael Steele was on this program … he got air time on this program … I personally took time to defend Michael Steele … Something has happened. Now, I’m just an ‘entertainer’, and now I’m ‘ugly’ and my program is ‘incendiary’.”

That’s just it. When it comes to modern media, the Republicans on the Hill and who ostensibly lead the party have no problem using the new media for their own purpose, but there’s no reciprocity. A relationship goes two ways.

Further, they worry about integration and looking good but keep old party hacks and the same old consultants giving them the same stupid advice. Meanwhile, Hispanic and Black conservative groups are trying to change the party from within and finding it difficult to find a spot. They are conservatives who know how to put forth a message that will be heard and the people who lose elections cling to their power and seem utterly tone-deaf to new realities.

How many elections do Republicans need to lose in order to realize that they need to change? It’s not in the ways they think, though. They believe a more moderate, liberal party is the way to go. No. A more principled party is the way to go. The part is diverse. The party has room for everyone.

What makes the party strong, though, is core ideals like liberty and freedom and life and the pursuit (not the guarantee) of happiness. Instead, Republicans are mired in bad legislation and worried about looking good to the liberal press who have always and will continue to hate them.

Updated again:

John at Powerline has a must-read about this and says:

The White House’s attack on Rush, on the ground that he “wants President Obama’s economic agenda to fail,” is stupid even by White House Press Secretary standards. What we conservatives want is for America’s economy to succeed. That’s why we oppose President Obama’s economic policies; we think they are poorly conceived and will damage the economy. Thus, for the sake of America’s success, we hope that Obama will fail to implement his misguided policies. How tough was that to follow?

If Michael Steele thinks that the way to respond to the White House’s attack on Rush Limbaugh is to throw Rush under the bus, his understanding of the party’s base and of the current political landscape–not to mention his understanding of Limbaugh–is too weak for him to continue as RNC Chairman.

Michelle Malkin gives Chairman Steele advice:

We need conservative spokespeople who condemn anti-capitalist claptrap, not spokespeople who parrot it.


One more thing: When liberals sit there and accuse the GOP convention of looking like “Nazi Germany,” you might not want to sit there, nodding your head, and respond, “I agree.”


Ace says this:

And no, I can’t say I’m upset that Limbaugh got annoyed by this and chose not to play ball.

However, the media controls the public discourse. This is an issue because they want it to be an issue, and they want it to be an issue because… well, guess. Hint: It’s not because it helps the conservative cause.

If everyone wants to bang on Steele for dealing inartfully with Limbaugh’s own inartful remarks, and play right into the media’s and the Obama Administration’s (but I repeat myself) game of stoking a full-on civil war in the party rather than kissing and making up, fine. What can I do.

The media has made this an issue because it hurts us. Steele is scrambling among several not terribly good options to avoid the media’s use of this against us. The media has fucked us — and everyone buying into the Let’s Burn the Party Down game is letting them fuck us even harder.

I’ve thought of that, too. But you know what? Don’t be a jerk and go on to CNN expecting to be buds with the host. Chairman Steele should know better. Why not go to a blogger or to Rush, himself and have a debate. But no, he goes into enemy territory and surprise! gets used by the enemy, I mean press. Naivité will kill the party just as soon as division will.

James Joyner (the moderate Republican who kept me in a state of constant amusement during CPAC) says:

Limbaugh played a powerful role in mobilizing the base in 1994 and he’s still a major influencer today. But he’s not the leader of the Republican Party; Steele is. Unfortunately, this was a misstep on the new leader’s part. This wasn’t a Sister Soulja Moment; he was merely attacking a figure popular with his base for no apparent reason. It’s one thing to condemn Limbaugh when he says something that’s actually ugly and incendiary. This, though, was nonsensical.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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  • J David

    If you want to see real, well-deserved fury, look at Allah’s and Ace’s comments to their nutless reactions to RINO Steele weenie-ism.

  • J David

    As long as the Gay Old Panderers are the default party for conservatism, and none other is considered, it is over. We are U.S.S.R II. The GOP is a fly-blown elephant carcass and a vehicle for absolutely nothing but hungry liberal maggots feeding on it.

  • Rob

    I think of myself as a good person. I pay my own mortgage and take care of myself and family.

    I also agree with Rush Limbaugh on just about everything. I think Michael Steele should have had a lunch with Rush and outlined a strategy to work together somehow as a way of moving the conservative cause forward.

    I think that EVERYTHING Obama has done thus far is bad for me and America. I too hope he fails in his socialist Big Brother plans.

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  • Susan

    I also agree with Rush and Michael Steele has better stop bashing the conservatives. He should talk to Rush and go from there.

    Oh, by the way, my husband and I bought a house we could aford. We put our three kids through private colleges we saved and live with in our means.

    We have watched our investments go down down down and we are a fews years from retirement.

    We have had enough of the idiots running the country. I am not sure who it is but we need and honest person with morals and values that is looking out for all of us and not just himself

  • mj

    This is the guy who’s bringing in all the hip, young Hip-Hop Republicans. Better not take any polls on who’s embarrassing the rank and file.

  • Randy

    One look at the stock market today should give pause to anyone who still believes that the current administration’s policies are the answer. He inherited it? So did every other President. The market doesn’t lie – it reflects current events, and right now it’s telling us that gov’t intervention won’t work. Anybody want to buy my Citi stock?

  • Great post.
    Steele showed that his loyalties lie first with those of like skin color, then perhaps, with his party. He needs to grow a set and start acting like he is a principled conservative or get off the bus and let someone who says what they mean and means what the say take his place.
    By the way, is CNN now so hard up for reporters that they give a comedian a show?? Amazing, albeit predictable.

  • Mat

    My question is why Steele went on this clown’s show to begin with. I mean, is this really a serious political TV show? It’s bad enough Steele looked like a gutless wonder, but did he have to do it in front of these two ding dong libtards? God, with friends like this, who needs enemies?

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  • tc

    Limbaugh is an embarrassment. Steele’s choice of venue to chastise him was clearly not well-planned, but the garbage being disgorged by this unrepentant drug abuser presents us in the dimmest and most distorted light. His polarization can come to no good, based as it is in his need to aggrandize himself. He isn’t about what’s good for conservatism or Republicans, he’s about himself. His choice of venue for his response to Steele tells it all. None of this can do us any good.

  • mike.musculus

    When a Conservative stands up and echos the logical conclusions of the Founding Father’s Ideals, he’s excoriated. His talk is “ugly”.

    I find these people who insist, repeating zombie-like (1)”…its a big tent, there’s room for everyone…” and its sister-slogans: (2)”…we need to reach out to {insert a la mode minority here}…” and the ever asinine (3)”…but, he’s electable!” to be unable to perform cogent thought.
    (1) That statement is internally contratdictory. Either we follow the Founding Fathers and therefore are Conservative, or not. Include everyone? The Communists, Nilists, Anarcists? NOW do you see the stupidity behind the claim. When Reagan stated the Big Tent, he meant bringing people in as converts to Conservatism. Yes Virgina, sometimes things *are* black & white, slavery or freedom. If this disturbs you, shut up: you’re damaging the Republic with your whining.
    (2) Nope. We *NEED* to teach & espouse solid core principles. If anyone wants to join us, when we’re doing right, let them. I don’t care what they LOOK like! Steele has always troubled me with the “reach out” themes he’s so fond of. It shows that he’s not truely colorblind yet.
    (3) Yep. McCain won, right. The “electable” mantra is so stupid ON ITS FACE that I haven’t the patience to address it here.

  • Cheri

    Mr. Steele, be careful, be very careful. More of us agree with Rush than you may comprehend. So, get yourself a pair and start acting like the head of the RNC. Stay away from the enemy camp because they’ll do nothing but use you, and, they have.

  • RightwingHippyChick

    Looks like Steele is another sell-out — or simply inept. But what you’ve seen is what there is, and as always, those things usually get worse instead of better.

    Either way, talking him up into something he clearly isn’t will do more harm than help.

    He is about as conservative as David Cameron, the leftie leader of the that spineless opportunistic rabble which once was UK Tory party.

    Take careful note — this is what happens to a party that puts traitors and wofflers in power.

  • Mat


    “Limbaugh is an embarrassment”

    Ok, so why exactly is he an embarrassment?

    “Steele’s choice of venue to chastise him was clearly not well-planned…”

    Ya think?

    “…but the garbage being disgorged by this unrepentant drug abuser presents us in the dimmest and most distorted light. His polarization can come to no good, based as it is in his need to aggrandize himself.”

    So what does being a drug abuser (and a light one at that) have to do with what he’s saying? And where the hell have you been the last eight years, when the Democrats did nothing but polarizing? It’s hardly grandstanding when a royal buttload of people agree with it. You didn’t really articulate your argument very well.

    “He isn’t about what’s good for conservatism or Republicans, he’s about himself.”

    Ah, there seems to be a great divide over what’s actually republican (Specter, Collins, Snowe) and conservatism (the rest of us)these days. So your argument is that we should just roll over and play dead, kinda like McCain. Yeah, awesome strategy. Sounds like a closet Specter Democrat to me…

    “His choice of venue for his response to Steele tells it all. None of this can do us any good.”

    Um, he made his response on his radio show, and the problem there is what exactly? It’s a damn sight better than going on Mr. Brutha show and chum with the homies. Cripes, I’m surprised that those two clowns didn’t just come out and call Steele an Uncle Tom (though some of their comments implied that very thing).

    Your argument is that being combative won’t do “us” any good. However, I fail to see how simply giving in to the Messiah is going to do any better. In fact it’ll do much more harm because it will mean that Republicans are compliant with Obama’s activities. Yeah, I hope Obama fails, but it’s more along the lines that I do believe that he’s going to fall flat on his face because his policies make no sense whatsoever (unless you’re trying to change the country to Socialist).

  • Ben

    The contention that this ‘current administration’ is responsible for all our problems is as ridiculous a scapegoat as any would accuse the liberal left. It’s time to stop bickering amongst ourselves and come up with credible ideas to win back the minds of America.

    I happen to support Steele and am very disappointed he reversed his stance. You don’t create unity amongst a people by telling 60% of them that they are stupid and you hope they will fail. That is the failed form of politics that led to the massive excusal of the GOP from current governance.

    The moderates are the people who ultimately make the decisions in this country come election time no matter how much screaming you hear from either side. These right wingers are dragging this party down by turning away otherwise reasonable moderate moral people with their divisive and angry rhetoric.

    Rush Limbaugh may have a few followers here and there, but they will never bring the middle to their way of thinking. They will come back to the GOP in the end as they currently have no other alternative. If they think they are so powerful as to branch off to a ‘neo-con party’ then let them try it. And watch them fail as their hateful rhetoric drives away the middle third of the country who is looking for cooler heads to prevail.

    These blog posts I read on conservative sites tell it all. How many of the posters herein have read any policy besides what they’ve heard on radio and seen on TV? I would be hard pressed to believe that even 10% of you could tell me what the leader was in this week’s issue of the Economist. Yet, here you are, taking my party’s name in vain declaring yourselves to be the go to authority in policy declaration when you don’t know the first thing about what you are saying.

    How about Mr. ‘Musculus’, for example. He was so busy researching his thesaurus that he forget to check his grammar and spelling. Please stop trying to debate as if you know anything about my party. You make us sound ridiculous.

    Until we can stop pandering to extremists in the far right, we’ll continue to lose votes and continue to lose credibly in the national mindset!! Take a stand and tell Rush that our party is governed by those with a capability to win the public heart with policy and not with spiteful rhetoric. He is the voice of the extreme right and we are not a party of extremism but of sound judgment and character!!

  • donahue

    i would hope that you lose your job, wife, kids and mortgage. I would hope that you fail. I would hope that your kids get hooked on crack. Your wife becomes a prostitute and you become destitute..and see how much help you get from Rush….

  • donahue

    why don’t Rush the dope head run for President because you idiots believe in him so… Mike Steele is too good for you conservative idiots..

  • Alvin

    Michael Steele – when he comes into “power”, he will gladly sacrifice “principles” for “popularity.” Wrong path to take.

  • torabora

    The “moderate” Republican lost. A freaking Communist leftard freak won. We don’t need RINO’s.

    duh1 is very busy screwing up everything in sight. Republicans need to spend the next few years developing a play book to win in 2012. We can’t win by being them…we have to be the antidote or it is curtains for America as we know it.

  • Nils

    IMHO, Rush was right on the money and inspiring. The economy is now Obama’s baby and he is leading my country into being a Socilaist country. I will never support that!

    I supported Steele when he was on Fox and shake my head in wonder what happened to him. Rush helped him and he does this? That’s not the Steele I knew!

    God help us!

  • charles

    Yeah most of you agreed with Rush, but obama won the election. kind of strange.

  • Charles,

    I’d just like to point out that you probably agreed with Kerry and Gore, but Bush won the elections. Twice. Just sayin’.

  • Bob

    It is great fun watching the GOP Confederacy melt right in front of our eyes.

    Couldn’t happen to a bigger bunch of snake oil salesmen.

  • Tom

    Hey Donahue,
    That’s a great idea; Rush for president. Being, as you so state, that he is a dope head should be a seal of approval for people like you who just helped an admitted drug user to become president.

    Also, if my kid’s should get hooked on crack, could you give me way to contact the messiah so he can help supply them?

  • Dex

    I think Rush was right and this big tent stuff is crap. Base the party on conservative principals and let those who agree join in. Don’t dilute conservartive values and don’t try to be liked by the left, they will never like us no matter how much we capitulate to their ideology.
    Some of the values I am referring to:
    Policy based on facts and not feelings,
    Small government,
    National defense, incuding border enforcement
    Fiscal responsability (including balanced budgets),
    First and second amendments and the rest of the constitution.
    Who knows, even some Libertarians (former Repubs)will come back on board
    Oh and don’t feed the trolls. If they come here to have a civil discussion and not an infantile name calling contest, I would be happy to have a discussion with them.
    I may be Canadian but I love America!
    Oh and I almost forgot be happy and optimistic.

  • mike.musculus

    Hey, Bengy:
    I’m typing this in on an old PDA from Kunsan AFB, Korea. We are not allowed to use base equipment for politics, so I get along on an old Palm Lifedrive.

    When I edit, the field is a single 15 character line and I have to scroll back and forth to edit.

    I probably know more about Mr. Lincoln’s party than you could hope to learn unless you gain some humility and sense of the Constitution.

    You are correct, however: I registered as an Independent prior to my current TDY back in October — you know, when the “Only Electable Choice: McCain” stopped trying to win.

    So, while I admit I don’t know everything, (after all, that’s what Guiding Principles are for…), and will not pick on someone because they might have an off day and impaired spelling ability, what is your excuse?

    Most of the time when people focus in on piciune things such as spelling and imperfect grammar (w/o checker software, after all…) it is because their ideas can’t stand scrutany.

    And so it is with your.

    Search my handle on Michelle Maklin’s site. You’ll notice 2 things:
    1. I used to post there a lot.
    2. This is my natural vocabulary. BTW: I’m sorry if my pedestrian word choices threaten your stunted vocabulary. [grin]

  • Big Dave

    Everyone seems to think this inside strife is bad for republicans and conservatives. I happen to think it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY if conservatives are ever going to win anything. We cannot go on and on with Liberal Lite and the Washington Syndrome and expect to be taken seriously by our own voters OR by interested independents.. if we’re not DIFFERENT from them, on PRINCIPLE, we are NOTHING. We’ll never beat them by trying to be versions of them.

    IF conservatives must rise up, battle the less principled on our side and defeat them, the sooner the better, I say. And in spite of his claim to inarticulacy and error, Steele knows, and I know, his ‘nazi’ agreement and his ‘incendiary and ugly’ definition of Rush’s show are core instincts on his part. He reveals himself when he is not on guard against doing so (to our own side, that is). He is either totally wind-driven and unanchored, or he’s at heart a liberal. Either way, he is not committed to leading conservatives, only republicans. He does not lead ME, and he cannot ask me for money next cycle. I’ll wait for people who are clearly conservative to ask me to help THEM. Nothing for Steele. It does us no good to win if we are just like them. That’s what McCain would have been this year if he had won. Little or no difference.

  • Mat

    I agree with Big Dave,

    Internal strife is good for the party. It sorts things out and makes issues clearer. Simply sweeping the problems under the rug is what got us into this position in the first place. RINO attitudes didn’t help us in the last election and it won’t help in future ones.

    If anything, this is exactly the time for internal strife because, let’s face it, there’s very little that we can do for at least a year. I’d rather have it out now than later on next year when people are trying to get elected. Who knows, maybe the Republicans will actually get their act together and start being, well, conservative.

    As for what the liberals think, who cares? I want them to fail (oops, I said a big meany thing).

  • mike.musculus

    Big Dave, you’re correct about internal strife.

    And Mat, exactly so.
    What moron listens to his enemy’s advice on how to win battle?

    Currently the GOP leadership.

    Lets put the exhalations of the squishies aside — simply ignore them. Conservs are the mainstay of the GOP: look at the fund-raising graph after McSquishy drafted Palin. It went from low & flat to an almost vertical climb.

    At this point, perhaps we **should** listen to the Bens & Steeles. If we’re not wanted, lets take our money & organizational skills and leave. If they’re correct about our tiny footprint, why object? Why scare us w/”vote 3rd party and eeevviiiillll so&so(D-Socialist) will win!” If we’re insignificant, it won’t matter…

    Unless, of course, they’re *lying* to us… You know, just to keep their power…

  • Greg

    The controversy about Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh (who I don’t really particularly listen to anymore) is more than about Rush. When the liberal talk show host said that CPAC looked like a bunch of Nazis Michael Steele nodded in agreement.

    Some said his nodding wasn’t in agreement with that statement but still at the very least he was quiet and did not speak out against that outrageous statement.

    This is more than about Rush the person. This was about the speech he gave and if you listened to the speech and agree with it then it is not only Rush but you, and all other grassroots conservatives that Michael Steele has rebuked in the harshest of terms.

    Well, if that is the way the “leader” of the GOP feels about me then I say no, no, no, not God Bless the GOP, GOD DAMN the GOP. It isn’t the party I thought I knew!

  • J David

    All of the lefty trolls hypocritically snickering about Rush getting hooked on *not being in back pain 24/7* isn’t going to mean very much when THEIR admitted hard-drug abusing Indonesian illegal alien communist president legalizes all drugs. Then all of lefty dopers laughing at Rush while trying to legalize will have to look for some other issue.


    Wowsers! Some of you so-called conservatives are touchy,
    touchy, t-o-u-c-h-eee! Cool your jets. Obama is just 6wks
    into the dream job, and he’s giving everybody a huge dose
    of Undeluted Liberal Fantasy Derangement. He’s giving 2/3rds
    of the country its first political, near-death-experience: American Socialism on the prowl!!! Its real, its ugly, its Obama.

    Give Steele time. Maybe he stumbled, recently. He’s got potential. He’s not the enemy. Jindal stumbled. He’s only 37yrs old. He’ll get better. Palin is the my favorite. Easily. But. She needs to work hard — real hard — on presentation, the same way Thatcher did in the 70s.

    Update…Obamas Foreign Policy, Ice Princess Czar, Hillary,is using “Smart Diplomacy”; telling the Gaza-zoids, that if they rebuke Hamas, they win a billion dollars!! The Ice Princess doesn’t realize bribes only work with Democrats. Her message to the world: Wimps-R-Us. Hippies, rule. If you’re going to San Francisco…wear some flowers in your hair!

    4yrs is a long time. Enjoy the ride.

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