Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bless Me, Father

This morning I noted that Rep. Phil Gingery (R-GA) had the guts to tell Rush Limbaugh to back off his criticism of the Republican leadership in Congress. I had a feeling that this streak of temerity wouldn’t last long — a day maybe — before he came out with the required “my comments were taken out of context” or some other such backtracking.

Right on cue:

“Because of the high volume of phone calls and correspondence received by my office since the Politico article ran, I wanted to take a moment to speak directly to grassroots conservatives,” Gingrey said in a new statement released by his office. “Let me assure you, I am one of you.”

“I never told Rush to back off,” Gingrey continued. “I regret and apologize for the fact that my comments have offended and upset my fellow conservatives — that was not my intent … Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and other conservative giants are the voices of the conservative movement’s conscience.”

It’s pretty amazing that a major political party is being run by a radio talk-show host, but it’s not unprecedented: Rush Limbaugh is the 21st century’s Father Coughlin.

HT to Steve Benen.