GOP Leaders Embrace Rush Limbaugh As Their ‘Unofficial Leader’

The Los Angeles Times’ Faye Fiore and Mark Z. Barabak observe that “Rush Limbaugh has his grip on the GOP microphone,” having become “the politically wounded party’s unofficial leader.” Limbaugh — who has declared his sincere hope that Barack Obama will fail — has seen his “prominence and political import” increased.

One example of Limbaugh’s influence, unmentioned in the article, is the fact that he coined the messaging strategy for stimulus opponents, referring to the economic recovery package as “porkulus.” On his Jan. 23 radio show, Limbaugh said “it’s not a stimulus, it’s a porkulus.” On his Jan. 28 show, Limbaugh introduced the term to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA):

LIMBAUGH: You could call this the “porkulus.”

CANTOR: Right. (laughing) Let me tell you something. It is porkulus. That’s a great description.

Limbaugh cynically wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “This ‘porkulus’ bill is designed to repair the Democratic Party’s power losses from the 1990s forward, and to cement the party’s majority power for decades.”

Eventually, Limbaugh’s phrase trickled down to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who embraced the term. Watch it:

Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols wrote recently, “Every superhero needs an archenemy. President Barack Obama has yet to find one.” Rush Limbaugh is eager to acquire that role. And Obama has helped assign it to him when he made a private comment to conservative lawmakers about the right-wing radio host that quickly leaked out. “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” Obama told top GOP leaders in a White House meeting.