Dems seize on Steele's apology to Limbaugh

By criticizing, and then apologizing to, the controversial radio host, the RNC chief played right into his opponents' hands.

Published March 3, 2009 3:00PM (EST)

Sometimes, these days, it really does seem like practically the whole Republican Party is on the Democrats' payroll. At the very least, if that's not the case, then it'd at least be a nice gesture for the Democrats to toss a little cash the GOP's way as a thank-you.

The latest person to deserve a present is Republican National Commitee Chairman Michael Steele, who couldn't have given the Democrats' latest strategy a bigger boost as he fell into what's become a predictable cycle: First, he criticized Rush Limbaugh, then Limbaugh retaliated, then Steele apologized.

Steele's counterpart at the Democratic National Committee, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, lost no time in taking advantage of the news.

"I was briefly encouraged by the courageous comments made my (sic) counterpart in the Republican Party over the weekend challenging Rush Limbaugh as the leader of the Republican Party and referring to his show as ‘incendiary’ and ‘ugly,’" Kaine said in a statement released Monday night. "However, Chairman Steele’s reversal this evening and his apology to Limbaugh proves the unfortunate point that Limbaugh is the leading force behind the Republican Party, its politics and its obstruction of President Obama’s agenda in Washington...

“As Congress works to pass the President’s budget, Republicans need to stop following divisive figures like Rush Limbaugh, stop apologizing to him and put aside the failed politics of the past so we can put our economy back on track."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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