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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

 
Who's Your Daddy?

by digby

Republican Phil Gingrey made a big, big boo-boo. He criticized Chairman Rush. One simply doesn't do that and expect to remain in good standing in the Party:

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) apologized Wednesday to “my fellow conservatives” for comments critical of talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh – saying he sees “eye-to-eye” with Limbaugh and that his remarks defending House Republican leadership came across more harshly than intended.

He also took issue with a headline on a Politico story about his comments, saying he never told Limbaugh to “back off,” as the headline read.

“I regret and apologize for the fact that my comments have offended and upset my fellow conservatives—that was not my intent,” Gingrey said in a statement. “I am also sorry to see that my comments in defense of our Republican Leadership read much harsher than they actually were intended, but I recognize it is my responsibility to clarify my own comments.”

Gingrey said he issued the statement because of a high volume of calls and correspondence to his office after the Politico article and wanted to speak directly to “grassroots conservatives. Let me assure you, I am one of you. I believe I was sent to Washington to fight for and defend our traditional values of smaller government, lower taxes, a strong national defense, and the lives of the unborn.”

“As long as I am in the Congress, I will continue to fight for and defend our sacred values. I have actively opposed every bailout, every rebate check, every so called “stimulus.” And on so many of these things, I see eye-to-eye with Rush Limbaugh.”

[...]

Limbaugh had earlier responded to Gingrey’s critique, telling Politico in an email, “I’m sure he is doing his best but it does not appear to be good enough. He may not have noticed that the number of Republican colleagues he has in the House has dwindled. And they will dwindle more if he and his friends don’t show more leadership and effectiveness in battling the most left-wing agenda in modern history. And they won’t continue to lose because of me, but because of their relationship with the grass roots, which is hurting. Conservatives want leadership from those who claim to represent them. And we’ll know it when we see it.”


Limbaugh has been one of the top leaders of the conservative movement for a very long time and the conservative movement owns the Republican Party. He had veto power over any legislation he didn't approve of under a Republican president. We saw it in action on the immigration bill. He's just exerting his authority as political leadership is wont to do. I don't see this as being particularly new or surprising.


Update: Howie has the full rundown on the Limbaugh controversy.

And can I say how much I love Rep. Alan Grayson?

"Rush Limbaugh is a has-been hypocrite loser, who craves attention. His right-wing lunacy sounds like Mikhail Gorbachev, extolling the virtues of communism. Limbaugh actually was more lucid when he was a drug addict. If America ever did 1% of what he wanted us to do, then we'd all need pain killers."


I can hear the keening and shrieking beginning already....

Update: Jamison Foser reminds us of the fact that Limbaugh was called a mainstream conservative by none other than beltway CW maven Howie Kurtz.

And does everyone remember this call to arms, just a little over a year ago?

Battle lines are drawn over conservative radio
By Alexander Bolton
Posted: 10/03/07 07:41 PM [ET]

House Republicans are threatening to launch a discharge petition on legislation that would ensure the future prosperity of conservative radio talk-show hosts but is expected to face opposition from Democratic leaders. On Monday evening, Republicans filed a rule with the House Rules Committee laying the groundwork for a petition that would force action on protecting radio from government regulation later this fall.

The move comes at a time when Democrats have launched a coordinated attack on conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, accusing him of disparaging American troops critical of the Iraq war as “phony soldiers.”

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has said broadcasters should be required to give listeners both sides of political issues so voters can make informed decisions.

Conservatives fear that forcing stations to make equal time for liberal talk radio would cut into profits so severely that radio executives would choose to scale back on conservative programming to avoid rising costs and interference from the government.

Republicans’ concern has grown as Democrats have waged a battle against Limbaugh in recent days. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sent a letter to the chief executive of Clear Channel Communications, Mark Mays, calling on him to denounce Limbaugh’s remarks.

“If anyone ever doubted that there is enmity between Democrats and American talk radio, they need look no further than the personal attacks leveled on Rush Limbaugh on the floor of the Senate,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the sponsor of legislation shielding broadcasters from government interference. “I thought it astonishing that members of the U.S. Senate would engage in repeated and distorted personal attacks on a private citizen. It gives evidence of a level of frustration with conservative talk radio that is very troubling to anyone who cherishes the medium.”

Pence, a former professional talk radio host, and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), a radio station owner, on Monday sent letters to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) demanding a vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act.

In their letters, Pence and Walden cited broad support for their bill as well as a vote on an appropriations amendment earlier this year showing that many Democrats are wary of angering politically influential radio personalities such as Limbaugh. The Republican lawmakers gave Democratic leaders a deadline of the end of next week.

“Over 200 of our colleagues have joined us as co-sponsors of this important measure,” Pence and Walden wrote.

“Considering the significance associated with protecting free speech, we respectfully request that you schedule floor action on H.R. 2905 by Friday, October 12, 2007. While we may not always agree with those who are on the airwaves, as members of Congress and freedom-loving Americans, we should never back down from an opportunity to defend their rights or speak their piece.”


Of course, Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the GOP. In fact, he was apparently the lader of the Democrats too --- after all, these "Republican lawmakers gave Democrats a deadline" when the Democrats were in the majority.


(And I didn't know that Pence was an ex-radio talk show host, but now it all makes sense.)



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