Limbaugh is the spiritual leader of a Republican party that has basically resigned itself to representing only aging white males. There are enough aging white males to make Rush still a very, very successful broadcast, but there are not enough of them to win the presidency. Michael Steele grasps this, sort of, but he is not smart enough to do anything about it besides make claims about "urban/suburban hip-hop settings" and then pick a fight with a man who is much brighter and more beloved by his party's base than he, Mr. Limbaugh.
Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in an interview with CNN that he, rather than Limbaugh, is "the de facto leader of the Republican Party."
And Steele described Limbaugh as a performer.
"Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh's whole thing is entertainment," Steele said. "Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly."
"I'm not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don't want to be," Rush said. "I would be embarrassed to say that I'm in charge of the Republican Party in a sad-sack state that it's in. If I were chairman of the Republican Party, given the state that it's in, I would quit."
"So send those fundraising requests out," Rush said in a sneering tone, in an apparent reference to Steele, adding: "Make sure you say, `We want Obama to succeed.' So people understand your compassion."
"Republicans and conservatives are sick and tired of being talked down to, they're sick and tired of being lectured to," Rush continued. "And until you show some understanding and respect for who they are, you're gonna have a tough time rebuilding your party."
Yaaay! It's like Christmas! Now either this will escalate further (we're sure noted hip-hop aficionado Michael Steele is studying up on his Jay-Z and Nas) or Steele will be forced to grovel for forgiveness. And that's win-win. (Update: Steele went for Door No. 2: "There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.")