Who’s the leader of the Republican Party? That’s a lot harder to answer than you might think.

It’s certainly not John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Bottom line Cheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future MORE (Ohio), Republican leader of the House.

Nor is it Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE (Ky.), Republican leader of the Senate. Nor Newt Gingrich, although he’d like to be. It’s not even Michael Steele, newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee.

No, clearly, the leader of the Republican Party is right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh — as Michael Steele learned the hard way. When Steele dared criticize the big talker for saying he wants Obama to fail, Limbaugh slammed Steele for being an apologist for Obama. And poor Michael Steele was forced to say, “I’m sorry, Rush.” Which just proves who’s calling the shots for the GOP. And it ain’t Michael Steele.

As former Bush speechwriter David Frum points out, there’s a big risk for Republicans in making Limbaugh their de facto leader. Because — take it from this radio talk show host — you can get away with a lot of things as a talk show host that you wouldn’t even dare try to get away with as a political leader.

So, for Republicans, this is the moment of truth. From now on, every single Republican politician should have to answer two simple questions: Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh or not? And do you want President Obama to fail or not?

Let’s find out: which Republicans have any backbone, and which ones are willing to follow a radio talk show host — over the cliff.



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