Cantor Tries To Reject And Denounce The Limbaugh Doctrine
by Todd Beeton, Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 09:11:51 AM EST
This morning on This Week, George had this exchange with Eric Cantor:
STEPHANOPOULOS: So the Rush Limbaugh approach of hoping the president fails is not the Eric Cantor House Republican approach?
CANTOR: George, absolutely not and I don't think anyone wants anything to fail right now, we have such challenges.
Silly whip. Here's Limbaugh at CPAC yesterday:
"This notion that I want the president to fail, this shows you the problem we've got. This is nothing more than common sense and to not be able to say it? Why in the world would I want what we just described: rampant government growth, welfare that is not being created yet is being spent? What is in this, what is possibly in this that any of us want to succeed?
Very interesting that Cantor is rejecting and denouncing the Limbaugh doctrine of failure, which got such a rousing response from the crazies at CPAC yesterday. Could it be that Cantor and company suddenly see Limbaugh's rhetoric and the notion that Limbaugh is the party's putative leader as a liability?
Smarter than I thought. Of course it's a liability, which is why on Face The Nation this morning Rahm Emanuel made sure everyone understands who exactly is speaking for the Republican Party:
SCHIEFFER: Who do you think now speaks for the Republican Party?
EMANUEL: You just named him: it is Rush Limbaugh. He has laid out his vision, in my view. And he said it clearly. I compliment him for that. He's been very up front and I compliment him for that. He's not hiding. He's asked for President Obama and called for President Obama to fail. That's his view. And that's what he has enunciated. And whenever a Republican criticizes him, they have to run back and apologize to him and say they were misunderstood. He is the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party. He has been up front about what he views and hasn't stepped back from that, which is he hopes for failure. He said it and I compliment him for his honesty. But that's their philosophy that is enunciated by Rush Limbaugh and I think that's the wrong philosophy for America.
Some believe the administration's addressing Limbaugh by name is a counter-productive strategy because it simply elevates him but elevating him's the whole point. This guy who may be a unifying and rallying force among the base is an alienating figure among the far larger and more important bloc of voters in the middle, many of whom still call themselves Republicans. Perhaps not for long.
Cantor has apparently come to realize this is a problem and has decided it's time to assert his own leadership role in the party. The question is, how long before he has to crawl back to Rush and apologize.
Update [2009-3-1 16:0:9 by Todd Beeton]:Ryeland has the beginnings of the rightwing backlash against Cantor.