For so long has Rush Limbaugh operated on the razor’s edge of conservative politics, it was a mere matter of time before he would slip and injure himself, metaphorically speaking of course. Rush slipped on his own ill-chosen words and few, if any, prominent Republicans are rushing to his aid.
On the contrary, Rick Santorum dismissed Limbaugh as an “entertainer,” saying his crude comments about law student Sandra Fluke were “absurd.” Other Republican leaders have been as critical. Carly Fiorina called Limbaugh’s comments “insulting,” and House Speaker John Boehner said they were “inappropriate.”
This reaction may seem rather tepid, but two or three years ago such criticism would have been met with a storm of calls and e-mails from conservative hard-liners in support of the talk-show host. Few dared criticize Rush even in the mildest way.
So, has Rush Limbaugh’s clout diminished to the point he can now be admonished in public without regard for the terrible political consequences that might befall he who dared to be critical of the great man?
Diminished, perhaps, but his radio show is number one in the nation and continues to draw 15- to 20-million listeners. With this bully pulpit, Rush Limbaugh will continue to be a powerful voice among conservatives, and elected Republicans will continue to curry favour with him.