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Polling Rush: A Problem or a Passing Fancy?

A new Democratic poll suggests that conservative talk radio show host Rush Limbaugh is an anchor around the ankles of the national Republican Party, eroding its ability to reach out to moderate and independent voters who sided heavily with President Barack Obama last fall.

The survey -- conducted by Democracy Corps, a group that includes longtime Democratic strategists James Carville and Stan Greenberg -- shows that voters believe two fundamental things about Limbaugh: he is one of the most prominent leaders of the Republican Party and he is not in step with their values.

Asked to pick the two most influential leaders of the GOP from a list, 24 percent named Limbaugh -- behind only Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the party's 2008 presidential nominee, who garnered 38 percent and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (Ga.) who took 25 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who ran for his party's presidential nomination in 2008, was the choice of 23 percent and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was the choice of 16 percent.

Limbaugh's prominent role idraws an unfavorable response from roughly half the sample (49 percent) who say he has too much influence over the "Republican Party's ideas and direction" as compared to 26 percent who said Limbaugh has the right amount of influence and 15 percent who said he doesn't have enough influence.

That Limbaugh is well known as a GOP leader or even that a near-majority think he has too much power within the party is neither surprising nor all that problematic for Republicans.

But, the fact that nearly six in ten voters (57 percent) say that Limbaugh does not share their values (as compared to 32 percent who said he does) is more concerning for national Republican strategists looking to re-define their party in the eyes of voters.

Further complicating those efforts is the fact that 62 percent of the sample said that the GOP is "mostly embracing the same old ideas and leaders it has relied on for the past 20 years" while just one in three said Republicans were looking for new blood and fresh ideas.

"On virtually every question the great majority of the mainstream rejects Limbaugh's ideas and vision of the Republican party, which greatly constrains Republican elected leaders," concluded Greenberg and Carville in a memo analyzing the results.

While the results are eye-opening, there is also reason to take the numbers with a grain of salt. Carville -- along with fellow Clintonite Paul Begala -- is one of the principal architects of a strategy aimed at elevating Limbaugh's profile in hopes of scoring political (and electoral) points.

That's not to say Greenberg's numbers are wrong -- he is a well-known and respected pollster -- but only to note that one must always consider the source when analyzing any data.

Our take on Limbaugh: His high profile critique of the Obama Administration and declared hope that the new president's policies fail have made him more of a household name for average voters. That means that when people think of Republicans, they think of Limbaugh rather than someone like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman or South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford -- all newer faces on the national political scene who, theoretically, would be more appealing to independent voters.

Does that mean that Limbaugh is sinking the GOP? No. We are nearly two years away from the 2010 midterm elections and most voters are paying only passing attention to the political world right now. It's hard to imagine that NO other GOP leaders will emerge and eclipse Limbaugh over the next two to four years when voters start actively tuning in.

Limbaugh's ascension isn't great news for national GOPers -- as the Democracy Corps poll shows -- but neither is it a serious blow to the Republican Party. There's lot of days between now and November 2010.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 11, 2009; 1:35 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Comments

The GOP is getting what it deserves with Rush Limbaugh. I remember when Newt Gingrich had him to speak to freshmen Congressman. Think of it, a talk show hatemonger, brought before the United State Congress and treated as some sort of intellectual or scholar. The GOP has been more than happy for Rush to spew hatred, insults, and out and out lies to gain votes. A draft dodging drug addict and woman hater. He is their boy. They can live with him.

Posted by: oldwoman | March 12, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of "hate" - have you ever heard worse than Franken and Carville?

Posted by: jimbo8 | March 12, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Rush "the eunich" Limpball has just about ran out of steam. The person to watch is Michael Steele? How can the RNC get rid of Steele without negatively affecting the image of the Party of No Solutions that appointed Mike Steele as an Obama counter-ballance? He is a dead man walking politically, but the color issue will not go away easily, and it will further damage the party. He doesnt do well when he is told to shut up and sit down? the only true chance for the repubs is Mitt Romnney because of the economy. I personally dont like Mitt because when he was asked when some of his sons would be going to Iraq, he made himself very clear that they were needed to work on his campaign. He wants other peoples kids to fight and die, but not his. they arent exspendable? When do we discuss a DRAFT? rcm.

Posted by: rcbootsmiller | March 12, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

SWAMPYPD –

“living off of the free money {TAX CUTS}”

If getting some of your OWN money to keep, i.e. a tax cut, is living off of free money, then, pray tell, what is receiving money from the government when you are not a tax payer or a tax cut is not involved

Posted by: leapin | March 12, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Skye1er-

But who would speak for all the calm, young, skinny, hairy, non-white men, if not for You?

Posted by: leapin | March 12, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

But who would speak for all the angry, old, fat, bald, white men, if not for Rush?

Posted by: Skye1er | March 12, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

newbeeboy, the money for Rush comes from corporate America and groups like the Swift Boaters that like living off of the free money {TAX CUTS} under the R rule since Reagan corp. America got free money to move to foreign countries or even to shut the doors and then re-open under another name. {Hire new workers and get rid of their overhead, this was what Reagan showed them to do}

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | March 12, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone really think Rush cares about the GOP? Dems in charge = big ratings.

Posted by: cassin1 | March 12, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Keep Rush in charge as this will split the R party and keep them where they are {FLAT ON THEIR FACE}

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | March 12, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Clear Channel which owns Limbaugh's Premiere Radio stable is a penny stock now, last trading at 51 cents. Why not organize a big liberal buy out of Clear Channel and toss Limbaugh out on his gigundobutt?

Then he could syndicate with smaller outlets and moan from experience what it is like to have your job eliminated.

I shouldn't comment, after decades of Limbaugh infesting the radio dial with his same old, same old, Talent On Loan From Nod, I can't change the station fast enough when I accidentally tune in to his puke!

Posted by: gradya3 | March 12, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

They could save a lot of money...just look at Rush's bank statement. Democrats should live in fear..people listen to this buffoon and they are willing to pay to do it.

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 12, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Attucks wrote: "I miss that kind of centrist."

Me, too. Maybe frequent readers here think I'm way left, but I always split my vote and only gradually identified as a Democrat as the Republican Party drifted right.

With Sen. John Warner gone, I can't imagine what Republican I could vote for now. Maybe someday they'll get their own Moynihan. Maybe when they start valuing education and independence again.

Posted by: nodebris | March 12, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

"It's hard to imagine that NO other GOP leaders will emerge and eclipse Limbaugh"?
Limbaugh has already eclipsed the new RNC chairman AND the shining beacon of hope named Bobby Jindal. The Republican party has become more focused on complying with what Limbaugh is saying so he doesn't attack them on his show. If they have to keep worrying so much about what he's saying, then there won't be anybody in the next 2 or 4 years. It's like Khatami in Iran- he couldn't reach his supporters because of the religous aspect of the gavernment, and as a result the conservative faction regained control. The Republican Party is like Khatami and Limbaugh is like the Supreme Leader- in order for them to regain the support of key ideologies, then they have to get rid of the weight that is dragging them down. In order to reconnect with the key deomgraphics that they lost, they need to find a way to lose Rush.
Personally, the longer Rush keeps doing this to the Republican Party, the happier I am.

Posted by: HannahBanana | March 11, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I see partisan Dem propaganda polls are now being covered as news by the WP. Are you willing stooges or just stupid?

Ooooh! (with hand wringing) why oh why are newspapers failing?

Posted by: JoeDBrown | March 11, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Now that it has been revealed the none other than James Carville and Stanley Greenberg both said to reporters that they didn't want George W. Bush to succeed. What will the democratic party say now?
Saying that before Sept 11 and then have willing Washington press corps conceal it until now. How ironic that Rahm and other offer Rush as a red herring now.

Posted by: charladan1 | March 11, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I know Bluto from Animal House was the most memorable character in the 1979 movie and he is nailing Rush Limbaugh as the leader of he renegade Delta fraternity. Bluto Limbaugh leads the Republican Congress to engage in a food fight of ideas than work meaningfully with the new President to help our nation. It is clear that Bluto Limbaugh wants to destroy our nation instead of doing something meaningful to help it. Interestingly enough in the final credits Bluto goes on to be a US Senator but I think Rush will have to move out of Florida if that is going to happen.

Posted by: bradcpa | March 11, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

This is the worst thing to happen to the Republican party in generations. Study after study has been released clearly demonstrating that this is the end of the GOP as a national party. Most experts agree that the GOP will require ten years to complete the process of schisms that will cut off the extremist fat (no pun intended Rush) and yield a mainstream party that is in touch with every day Americans. All data indicates that America is a center-left country, and the GOP must moderate itself if it wishes to represent those interests. Of course, with the Democrats already filling that role, polls show that the GOP should just cut their losses and fade off into the sunset.

Posted by: hiberniantears | March 11, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"It's funny (both strange and ha ha) all these liberal pot heads calling RL drug impaired."

Uh, you do know about his addiction, (and his immense hypocrisy on the topic), right?
Oh, and as for your comment about everyone here being a pothead: Project much, poster?

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 11, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

thebobbob: Your 25% post was great. That pretty much sums up Limbaugh's appeal and true influnce. He speaks for a percentage of Americans that will never vote Democratic, never support any progressive ideas, etc. They are entitled to their views, and that's fine, but they will *never* represent the majority of this nation (and yes, I know it doesn't mean the rest of this country is far to the Left. It's not.)
Let Rush huff and puff all he wants. He doesn't care about this country, the GOP, the true, principled conservative movement or even his most die-hard listeners. Limbaugh cares about himself and his ratings. Period. But if the GOP looks to him for any guidance, it's just wasting its time.
As for the poll, it's really hard to take it seriously.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 11, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Even Meghan McCain says Rush and Coulter turn her off -- and all the younger republicans she knows as well. Rs, you have a problem.

Posted by: drindl | March 11, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The Fix: "Does that mean that Limbaugh is sinking the GOP? No."
___________

Oh, really? You may want to read the Greenberg polling report more closely.

Excerpt from the report via HuffPo's Sam Stein:

"On virtually every question the great majority of the mainstream rejects Limbaugh's ideas and vision of the Republican Party, which severely constrains Republican elected leaders. It does not help that some of the key voters in the 2006 and 2008 elections, like younger voters, are particularly uncomfortable with Limbaugh's politics. Conservative Republican voters, however, embrace Limbaugh, giving him a very high favorability rating; they say he shares their values and urge Republican leaders to defend him when he is criticizing President Obama."

Full Sam Stein article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/11/majority-of-voters-view-l_n_173907.html

This poll is devastating news given that Rush is now the face of the GOP. Outside the Beltway, no one has heard of GOPers like Boehner or Cantor or McConnell. Everybody, though, knows Rush. Rush is a huge problem for the GOP. That's why Gingrich had to publicly trash Rush this week for the sake of the party.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 11, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mark, as a basic construct with Vennish overlaps.

Posted by: drindl | March 11, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"What a sad decline. The GOP used to be led by Buckley, Goldwater, Kirk, Moynihan...now it's let by a bloated gasbag flogging tankless water heaters and making racist jokes."

Referring to BHO's ineptitude and socialist passion is not making a racist joke. If he were completely white it would still be ineptitude and socialist passion.

Posted by: leapin | March 11, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

//

LOL...no, Rush isn't referring to anyone's "ineptitude and socialist passion." He's singing "Barack the Magic Negro."

Posted by: Attucks | March 11, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

dcsuburb, thanks for the compliment! I made up the categories and probably hould expand the thought to see if I can get a textbook out of it.

I do see your point. I do not have anything invested in either party being true to a code and I am more skeptical than you. On the other hand, I will vote for an honorable guy I disagree with over a dishonorable one with whom I agree and not feel disloyal in any way.

I think most good American committed Rs would see themselves as believers in merit and individual worth within what the constitution expressly permits while most good American committed Ds would see themselves as committed to social justice within the limits of the what the constitution does not flatly prohibit.

Do you think of yourself in terms that would fit my construct of Rs? Drindl, do you think of yourself in terms that would fit my construct of Ds?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 11, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

25% disapprove of congress.
25% think Rush is great.
25% don't believe in evolution.
25% think Bush made America safe.
25% think government is the problem.
25% think that if English is good enough for the Bible, it's good enough for America.
25% represents the right-wing lunatic fringe in America.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 11, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

If the GOP doesn't distance itself from Rush and his hate agenda (Gingrich and David Frum are trying), it will doom itself to be a marginal regional party (the Deep South, Idaho, and Alaska and that's it). What the poll doesn't reflect is how badly Rush's send-'em-back-to-Mexico agenda plays among the fastest growing demographic, the Latino population. Rush has helped put the West and Southwest in Dem hands for the next four generations. When will Powell or Scowcroft or Jim Baker step in to provide adult supervision to the GOP?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 11, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mark. thoughtful. i have to amend your sentiment on libertarians, though, thusly:

They would not be libertarians if they agreed on anything

I also think your R categories 2 and 5 have probably seen a significant numbers of defectors.

Posted by: drindl | March 11, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Attucks wrote: "The GOP used to be led by Buckley, Goldwater, Kirk, Moynihan . . ."

Hold on, Attucks. Are we talking Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan? He was an admirable person indeed, but he was also a life-long Democrat.

Posted by: nodebris | March 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

//

True. It would have been correct to call him a conservative, in the Rockefeller Republican vein like Eisenhower and Michel. He never hesitated to kick the Dems' butts when he wanted to. I miss that kind of centrist.

Posted by: Attucks | March 11, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

To mark_in_austin

Okay, now I see your 9 constituencies. But in any realm where we categorize, categorizing too finely becomes meaningless. I think you're at that point. For example, I told you enough about me that you might have a hard time putting me in any of those 9 categories. The fact is, I don't fit into any of them. So what do you do, create a new category? And then you end up with one category for every person.

But if we talk about big picture principles, philosophy of government, then we don't need a party for each of your 9 constituencies. (Your list looks like a list from a political science class to me. And the list may serve well as a means of organizing information when studying for an exam, but it doesn't do much for governance.)

No, it's not true that we can't have two major political parties that represent ideology. What we need is a Republican party that is in fact true to its ideology; But what we have is two major political parties that lose sight of their purpose when they focus on power rather than ideology.

Posted by: dcsuburb | March 11, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

dcsuburb -- you sound like the rare intelligent conservative to come on here. kudos to you. but please do not call us the 'democrat' party which is no more correct than calling you the 'republic' party -- it's simply illiterate and juvenile.

Posted by: drindl | March 11, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

dcsuburb, in my reply to drindl I may have responded to you, too.

I would like to think both parties were true to the constitution. But as an attorney, I could rattle off my criticisms of each party in that respect.

When liberals accuse the Rs of not being true, they are generally pointing fingers at perceived violations of the BOR. When conservatives accuse the Ds of not being true, they are generally critical of Congress determining that some appropriation is within its commerce power to make.

In either case it becomes difficult to talk about limited government over the noise. A Prez claims the right to declare you an enemy of the state? A Congress appropriates billions to bail out private banks?

These can be emotional issues that go to our core. They may define liberals and conservatives to some extent. But dcsuburb, I do not think these sorts of issues actually define Rs and Ds.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 11, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - Hope you see this. It needs revision now. But it was pretty close in 2007 before the campaigns heated up.
----------------------

Ds:

1. FDR-LBJ big gov social initiative "liberals", for whom Ted Kennedy was the most prominent recent spokesman.

2. The DLC - inspired by Bill Clinton. They are pronounced internationalists and free traders. Rubin. Summers.

3. The "blue dogs". They may be all over the lot on other issues, but they are strong for the military and vets. Sen. Webb. Jane Harmann plus about 30 others in the House "Blue Dog" caucus. Sen. Reed, RI

4. The populists. Anti free trade protectionism binds them. Pro-union. Most likely to oppose a strong military. Edwards. Kucinich.

Rs:

1. Big gov big biz globalist free traders. John Connally was the first avowed member but now it is very strong in the party. I do not know who speaks most authoritatively for them. Romney? Cheney thought GWB was one. CFG. Cantor.

2. Military Rs - like Blue Dog Dems, they are strong for the military and vets, first. Powell, McCain, Warner, and Graham. Hagel. Generally support civil liberties and believe in a nation of laws. But like blue dog Ds can be all over the map on other issues. Witness Graham supporting nationalizing banks.

3. Social Conservatives - God, gays, abortion - Huckabee could become their most compelling voice as he also believes that life does not end at birth and that stewardship of the planet is a Christian value.

4. Neo-cons - a leadership cadre of mainly former Wilsonian liberals whose dream is the liberation of the world while the USA remains dominant. They are relatively new to the R [thus "neo" con] Party and have confused it to the point that it cannot develop a coherent foreign policy. Is Richard Perle the spokesman? Paul Wolfowitz? Bill Kristol? Cheney?

5. Small gov small biz social moderates - Main Street Reps - Lugar, perhaps Hagel, Voinovich and Grassley? Can be anti free trade like populist Dems, but unlike Ds, are anti-union. Historically, were isolationist; now not so much, but wary of interventionism.
--------------------------------------------------------------
In both parties: Libertarians. Their votes line up on Gitmo/torture/snooping - Ron Paul, Russ Feingold. But not on most other stuff. They would not be libertarians if they agreed on anything except liberty.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 11, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

To mark_in_austin

Thanks for the thoughtful reply to my comments.

You wrote, "To maintain some sense of continuity, the parties align either with or against the president, making a natural division of TWO. And there are more than two ideologies in America, correct?"

Well, yes it is correct that there are more than two ideologies in America. I'm a conservative, and for the most part, a Reagan Republican. But I didn't believe we should have gone back into Iraq after 9/11. So I suppose that illustrates your point.

However, I do think the Republican party shares, or at one time shared, one fundamental idea, and that is the idea that the Constitution is the basis of our government, not as we might stretch it to fit whatever situation we want to justify, but as it was intended. In other words, strict constructionism.

So if I grant your premise that for practical purposes, there can really only be two parties (and I'm not sure I grant that, but for sake of discussion...) why can't we have a party, the Republican party say for example, that is content to be true to that ideology? What is wrong with saying, this is so important to us that we will not sacrifice this principle in order to gain power. If we gain power but lose our very soul, what have we gained? (Please excuse the appropriation of Jesus' words here - Please understand that I understand Jesus was talking about something far more important than a constitutional form of government.)

For example, though a conservative, and for the most part, a Reagan Republican, I would just as soon see guns outlawed, EXCEPT that - the 2nd amendment protects gun ownership. So I am opposed to restrictions on gun ownership that are accomplished by anything other than a Constitutional amendment. Even though I think it would be helpful to have guns off the streets, I believe it undermines the very basis of our government to pretend that the Constitution doesn't actually protect the right to bear arms.

In truth, nearly all of the positions of the left grow out of one core philosophy, or else they represent measures designed to protect the power of the Democrat party. (And as I indicated in previous post, I don't see the latter as a good thing.) Probably the same thing can be said of the Republican Party. So, no, I don't agree that there are too many ideologies for us to be able to have two major parties that are true to their respective ideologies. There may be too many views on various individual issues. But not every issue needs a party.

Posted by: dcsuburb | March 11, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Despite his polarizing rhetoric, 57% saying Rush doesn't share their values is better than the 65% who said W. Bush didn't share their values in December of last year. In order for someone to be an anchor, they need to be overwhelmingly unpopular, and these numbers aren't even 2-to-1 against Rush. Of course, if Dems continue to emphasize his message of wanting Obama to fail, the numbers may get worst.

Also-good point to be wary of partisan pollsters-it's their job to take a side, not to be fair.

Posted by: sfcpoll | March 11, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

tee-hee, snicker, chortle.

The "silent majority"?!

Is this a joke?

Screaming reich-wing red baiting is all that is left of the Republican base.
Feel free to ignore the GOP for at least a decade.

But seriously, the Republicans have driven this country to the very edge of euro socialism. Will the Democrats go over the edge? Would it matter?

Here in the beautiful peoples' republic of Portland Oregon, Merritt Paulson, uber-rich son of Hank Paulson, is trying to hook the city's taxpayers up to a scheme in which he gets even more rich.

The politicians with their hands and feet in the trough are all for it. Even the left of center, gay, not quite a pedophile, but awfully darn close (he says), Mayor is all for it. Good for business eh?

If socialism were the cure for crony (pay to play)capitalism, I'd be all for it.


Posted by: shrink2 | March 11, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

It's funny (both strange and ha ha) all these liberal pot heads calling RL drug impaired.

Posted by: leapin
***************
adding a hypocritical twist to your endless gin and tonic, leapin? I'd drink heavily too if my party was highjacked by a talking beach ball and my elected leaders are eunuchs.

Posted by: LABC | March 11, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh and his ilk are dead in the water and they don't even know it. His only relevancy comes from the wingnuts who worship him and they are a minority.
My guess is he will recant all his own statements if he ever actually recovers from his addiction to narcotics, which simply cannot happen in a four week program like the one he attended.
An addict is an addict is an addict.

Posted by: dostephen | March 11, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Nice Try--Cillizza!! Wow--a poll by Carville/Begala (aka Serpent Head and the Forehead)that says that Rush is hurting the Republican Party. It is Republicans themselves, not Rush, who have been hurting the GOP. These pseudo Republicans (see RINOs), by trying to be liked by Democrats and their fellow travelers on the looney left, have almost destroyed the party of Reagan! However, the sleeping giant/silent majority has been awakened and we are already starting to take our country back from the brink of absolute Socialist oblivion.The more you guys try to demonize Rush and other conservatives as woefully out of touch with the new America, the more I know that I know you fear us. Beware! The heretofore sleeping American electorate is coming back to life and realizes what a profound fraud that Obama and his so-called change really represents! Stay tuned for more!!

Posted by: johnnycreel | March 11, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

mark-- who are the 9 constituencies? i don't beleive you've mentioned that before, or I missed it. In any case, with R support down to about 25%, how will that have changed?

Posted by: drindl | March 11, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The problem for the GOP is that Rush has expressed their policy positions in a very unvarnished way. Moderate Republicans and Independents are not impressed with what he says or how he says it. Rush provides red meat for the hard right but there are not enough of that group to get Republicans elected for state-wide or national elections. He is a a burden to their chances for regaining power.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | March 11, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

THIS is the republican party today, folks, this genius. Terrifying, isn't it? This is your cult of idiocy. This is why your support will eventually dwindle down to illiterates who don't vote because they can't read. William Buckley must be rollin in his grave. At least he didn't have to live through it.

"The dummycrats are terrified of Limbaugh. He's the only guy who doesn't treat Obama like a King, and he daily chips away at Obama and has no plans to stop for the next 4 years.

Dummycrats hate him because he is the first conservative since Reagan and Newt who can can express conservative ideals. Where those are expressed, its like light chasing away darkness."

;Conservative ideals' like 'please prescribe another 10,000 Oxycontin, Doc and don't forget the Vagra, I'm going to Thailand again."

Posted by: drindl | March 11, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

To address Chris' point: it isn't good for the GOP that Rush Limbaugh is identified as speaking for the party and articulating its values. That won't attract *anyone* and is a good recipe for keeping the Republicans a minority party.

It's true that a year or two is a lifetime (or more) in politics, but this could become a worrisome trend for Republicans if Rush is seen as the guy who represents "real" Republican values.

Posted by: dbitt | March 11, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama hides in shame as he breaks his earmark promise. Maybe his TelePrompTer is down. We won't see him until it's fixed. They are trying to design a live feed for the stuffed one.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 11, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"It's hard to imagine that NO other GOP leaders will emerge and eclipse Limbaugh over the next two to four years when voters start actively tuning in."

Huh? No imagination eh Chris?

I find it both easy and FUN to imagine no one from the GOP emerging as a leader able to eclipse Limbaugh. This is Rush frikin' Limbaugh we're talking about. He is a GOD to the Republican base. The only reason he is not running for election is because he can not.

Amid all his self-indulgent piggery, the sex trip to the Dominican Republic (famous around the world as the place that has replaced Thailand in the child prostitution trade) stands out as the nastiest.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 11, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Keep focusing on him! IN a couple of years when the country is in the toilet, everyone will wonder, why did dummycrats spend all their time worrying about an entertainer? Dummycrats are Fired!

Posted by: leewifflestin | March 11, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse
*************************
I guess this is the sort of thing that passes for wit among Republicans.

Sheesh.

Posted by: dbitt | March 11, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

dcsuburb, you have identified the urpose of a political party in a multiparty state. What you describe in America is a pressure group.

In a two party system, each party must represent a range of groups who can live together, for the time being. And the reason for the existence of the party is to win elections and gain power.

I have argued here before that there are five major constituents of the R Party and 4 major constituents of the D Party. The overlap of the parties in the middle is much less than it used to be. Nevertheless, on many issues, "blue dog" Ds agree with military Rs, and big gov Rs agree with free trade, DLC Ds.

In a system that elects a Prez every four years, multiple parties would not work a well as they do in a parliamentary system, where an alliance shift can bring down the executive, such as it is. To maintain some sense of continuity, the parties align either with or against the president, making a natural division of TWO. And there are more than two ideologies in America, correct?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 11, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Now I agree with the story that Rush is a drag on the GOP right now, but I would bet that this poll had leading question after leading question."

Not really. You can go and see the actual survey at the link that's provided to DemocracyCorps. The question on the leader of the Republican party is simply a list of Republicans (as well as choices for all, none, and don't know) The respondent was asked to select the two choices he liked best.

The questions don't strike me as particularly leading (and I really doubt Carville and Begala wrote the questions. Most likely, we probably wouldn't have been made aware of the results if they weren't to their liking, but I doubt they could actually manipulate the data)

Posted by: DDAWD | March 11, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The dummycrats are terrified of Limbaugh. He's the only guy who doesn't treat Obama like a King, and he daily chips away at Obama and has no plans to stop for the next 4 years.

Dummycrats are raising his profile and as callers say daily on Rush's program, "I used to think I didn't like you till I started listening, and you actually make a helluva lot of sense." Thanks to dummycrats over the past 3 weeks, Rush has probably doubled his 20,000,000 listeners per week.

Dummycrats hate him because he is the first conservative since Reagan and Newt who can can express conservative ideals. Where those are expressed, its like light chasing away darkness.

Keep focusing on him! IN a couple of years when the country is in the toilet, everyone will wonder, why did dummycrats spend all their time worrying about an entertainer? Dummycrats are Fired!

Posted by: leewifflestin | March 11, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

A poll on Rush sponsored by James Carville that shows Rush is drag on Republicans. As Gomer would say Suprise, Suprise, Suprise!! What a joke. I'm not sure why Chris even reported this garbage. Speaking of Carville did everyone hear about the article that came out today reporting that he made a statement right before 9/11 that he hoped President Bush failed? Suprisingly enought the MSM never reported on this statement and yet went into a frothing at the mouth fury when Rush said the same thing about Obama. Strange.

Posted by: RobT1 | March 11, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Chris, Chris, get this through your skull, - the reason for a political party isn't it's own existence. The reason is to bring together people of a shared ideology or agenda. Your notion that the Republican Party needs to transform itself into something that is appealing to a larger number of people presupposes that a party exists to be powerful. That's what's wrong with the political system we now have. Whether Democrats or Republicans, we have too many politicians doing whatever they need to do to secure power for their own party because their party insures their individual re-election and power. What we need is people who will say what they believe, stand for it, and let the chips fall where they may. And when people who are such come together, having found that they share an ideology or agenda, let them be true to it and work as a party to persuade others of that ideology or agenda, and not as malleable entity just seeking an identity that will bring them to power. Come on, Chris, THINK! You've gotten caught up in politics in the worst sense of the word and have lost sight of politics in the purest and best sense of the word.

Posted by: dcsuburb | March 11, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

If Rush Limbaugh is the best figurehead the GOP can produce, I am serenely confident the Dems will keep the White House and Congress for a very long time. He spews hatred, as does Coulter, Hannity, etc. He makes Bill O'Reilly look like a fair and balanced guy. I'm actually praying that Mr. Limbaugh continues to stay at the front of the GOP. It will do nothing but help my party.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | March 11, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

'If the GOP doesn't figure realize these things soon the party will last about as long as the current members.'

Since it's turned into a cult, like all cults it will die out.

Posted by: drindl | March 11, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

suprise- another broken promise. Another drop in the dow. Libs march on.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 11, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

It's both something that will pass and a continuing problem.

Nobody lives forever, but what Rush represents is going to continue to plague the GOP. Rush represents an angry group--mostly, but not completely of men, people who have difficulty getting over the fact that times have changed.

The 1960's were, well the 1960's. Yet some people can't get over the fact that times have changed. More importantly, a failure to adopt to this change doesn't make for a good future for the GOP.

The GOP has finally begun to figure out that the voting population doesn't consist of white males alone. However, the part has yet to figure out that not everyone:

(a)are opposed to equality

(b) is a Christian, or a Christian who takes a literal interpretation of the bible

(c) views gay marriage as a threat, many young people don't care, and actually support gay marriage

If the GOP doesn't figure realize these things soon the party will last about as long as the current members.

Posted by: UnPatriotic | March 11, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I have to say trying to get any real information from a poll that James Carville is a part of is laughable. Now I agree with the story that Rush is a drag on the GOP right now, but I would bet that this poll had leading question after leading question.

Not to mention that Rush isn't running for any office so when it comes down to it the voters won't care. As I said two days ago this is a great strategy to raise money with, but the national dems need to put it on the shelf for a while. This strategy is starting to seem bush-league.

Posted by: AndyR3 | March 11, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"Chris, who was polling as the leader of the Democratic party at this time in March 2005?"

No one, really. Dems took a big hit in 2004 with the reelection of Bush as well as the loss of Tom Daschle. I guess Howard Dean was the person who kind of rose from the ashes. I think 2004 was kind of early to say that Obama was any prominent leader. He was just a rising star at the time.

Yeah, Howard Dean.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 11, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"Referring to BHO's ineptitude and socialist passion is not making a racist joke. If he were completely white it would still be ineptitude and socialist passion."

Yeah, but if he were white, it might confuse recipients of "Barack the Magic Negro"

Posted by: DDAWD | March 11, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

So are you ever-so-grateful to be receiving this information from James Carville and Stan Greenberg? How grateful are you? Do you get a tingly feeling up your leg when Democrat strategists and comedians espew? Get some input from Kos and HuffPo, as well. Back channel to Emmanuel and write stuff.

Posted by: chatard | March 11, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

Thank you for providing a "Twitter-free zone" today.

Please don't put the Mood Ring back on tomorrow!

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 11, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse


"It's funny (both strange and ha ha) all these liberal pot heads calling RL drug impaired."

It really shows you how far the gop has fallen, once they resort to defending an oxycontin addict, a drug equivalent to pharmaceutical heroin.

Is this who you want to be the standard bearer of your party? A philander who has dumped 3 wives for younger women, then dumped them, a mysognyst who brags about his 'black mistresses;, a criminal who illegally obtained thousands of illicit pills and consumed them, a bloated, blasphemous, gluttonous moron?

Apparently you do.

Posted by: drindl | March 11, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

tomtildrum wrote: "Chris, who was polling as the leader of the Democratic party at this time in March 2005?"

It sure wasn't Michael Moore or Bill Maher.

Posted by: nodebris | March 11, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Attucks wrote: "The GOP used to be led by Buckley, Goldwater, Kirk, Moynihan . . ."

Hold on, Attucks. Are we talking Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan? He was an admirable person indeed, but he was also a life-long Democrat.

Posted by: nodebris | March 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh is the gift that keeps on giving...to the Democrats. He is like the detestable Nixon on steroids, or speed.

Every time Limbaugh opens his mouth, the cowardly and unimaginative Republicans lose more of their already diminished credibility, especially with women and independant voters. By the time 2010 comes around, the percentage of voters identifying with the GOP will be in the single digits.

This is excellent news for the Democrats and for the nation.

Posted by: dee5 | March 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"It's funny (both strange and ha ha) all these liberal pot heads calling RL drug impaired."

If everyone who has smoked pot is unwelcome in the GOP, they will dwindle further still in relevance.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 11, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"What a sad decline. The GOP used to be led by Buckley, Goldwater, Kirk, Moynihan...now it's let by a bloated gasbag flogging tankless water heaters and making racist jokes."

Referring to BHO's ineptitude and socialist passion is not making a racist joke. If he were completely white it would still be ineptitude and socialist passion.

Posted by: leapin | March 11, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Rush is the authentic voice of the party. Let him sing long and loud. Let the people judge whether we want his ideas to prevail in America. If not, vote out the Republican incumbents.

Posted by: frodot | March 11, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Chris, who was polling as the leader of the Democratic party at this time in March 2005?

Posted by: tomtildrum | March 11, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

ddawd writes
"I'm more surprised that McCain got 38%"

me too. That should be a bright spot for GOP strategists because it demonstrates that the public really isn't paying attention.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 11, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

It's funny (both strange and ha ha) all these liberal pot heads calling RL drug impaired.

Posted by: leapin | March 11, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Remember do not pay any attention to the man behind the curtain with the initials BHO.

Posted by: leapin | March 11, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Rush is nothing more than a modern day Father Coughlin. Hopefully when his contract is up in few years enought stations will get sick of him and he will fade into drug addeled obsecurity.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | March 11, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm more surprised that McCain got 38%

This will be a problem for the Republicans because Limbaugh will continue to say things to elevate his own profile. If he were to shut up, Democrats wouldn't be able to keep this up for two years. Everytime Limbaugh says something stupid, though, the cycle starts again and you are at more of a risk of it becoming a fixed narrative.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 11, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

What a sad decline. The GOP used to be led by Buckley, Goldwater, Kirk, Moynihan...now it's let by a bloated gasbag flogging tankless water heaters and making racist jokes.

Posted by: Attucks | March 11, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

This DJ is the OxyCotin of the hate based white ring. I dare the republic party to just say no.

Posted by: whocares666 | March 11, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Now can we ponder the social impact of Cousin Brucie or Casey Kassem on popular culture?

Or, As Billy Joel sang in "The Entertainer":

Today I am your champion, I may have won your hearts,
But I know the game, you'll forget my name,
And I won't be here in another year
If I don't stay on the charts


***


ATTENTION: RAHM EMANUEL, DAVID AXELROD, ATTY. GEN. ERIC HOLDER (staff, please forward)

cc: VP Joe Biden; DHS Sec. Janet Napolitano; Defense Sec. Robert Gates; Sec. of State Hillary R. Clinton; CIA Dir. Leon Panetta; FBI Dir. Robert Mueller; Secret Service Dir. Mark Sullivan


RE: GIL KERLIKOWSKE INSIDER KNOWLEDGE OF BUSH-CHENEY ERA 'EXTRAJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT NETWORK'

***


Seattle Police Chief Kerlikowske, the drug czar designate, knows from the inside how community policing programs funded by FEMA, DOJ and other agencies were transmogrified by secretive Bush administration ideologues in security, law enforcement and intel agencies into a constitutionally-exempt citizen vigilante army...

...an "American Gestapo" that has usurped local law enforcement and has violated civil and human rights of U.S. citizens "targeted" by federal security and intelligence agencies as "undesirables," "dissidents," or "mental defectives."

Obama officials and Congress should quiz Kerlikowske on what he knows about the following human and civil rights abuses that have been reported by victims of this officially-sanctioned vigilantism -- deemed legal by the now-discredited Bush DOJ "torture memos":

* Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

* Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

* Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction" that have politicized the IRS, which victims say has been used as a tool of "social cleansing."

***


THE NATIONWIDE BUSH-ERA EXTRAJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT NETWORK IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND MUST BE DISMANTLED.

Now you have on your team an official who can tell you the WHOLE truth -- so you can compare his account with what you have been told by your Bush holdovers.

***


FOR MORE on the ongoing extrajudicial punishment network:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):
http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 11, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

It makes the Democratic strategy for 2010 fairly simple. Hound the Republican candidates with one question: do you support Rush? If they criticize him they either lose their base or have to publicly apologize and change their position. If they support him they lose everyone but their base. It's much easier to win a referendum, even if the economy is still in the toilet, on Rush than on the issues. The Republicans have been winning on fake controversies instead of the issues for twenty years.

Posted by: caribis | March 11, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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