The great Limbaugh battle

The radio host comes under fire from two big names in American politics: Powell and Reagan.

By Alex Koppelman
Published May 20, 2009 5:00PM (EDT)

Rush Limbaugh just can't catch a break. Not only is he embroiled in a war of words with someone who knows a little about fighting, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, now he's getting criticized by the scion of the Republican Party's most beloved family.

Powell has been sparring with both Limbaugh and former Vice President Dick Cheney recently, and on Tuesday night, he continued his criticism of the two men.

"Rush Limbaugh says, 'Get out of the Republican Party.' Dick Cheney says, 'He's already out,'" Powell told a crowd of 1,500 at a speech he gave in Boston. "I may be out of their version of the Republican Party, but there's another version of the Republican Party waiting to emerge once again."

The last name of the other man taking on Limbaugh might inspire some cognitive dissonance in a party that seems lately to turn either to the radio host or to President Reagan for its inspiration. The late president's son Ron -- now a Democratic voter who hosts a show on the liberal Air America radio network -- took some personal shots at Limbaugh in response to attacks by Limbaugh and other Republicans against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that have focused on her appearance. According to Newsbusters, a blog run by the Media Research Center, a conservative press watchdog, Reagan said:

Limbaugh hasn't had a natural erection since the Nixon Administration; think he's compensating for something? Now, I wouldn't pick on him for any of this stuff, not his blubbiness, not his man-boobs, not his inability to have a natural erection -- none of that stuff -- to me, off limits until! until! -- Mr. Limbaugh, you turn that sort of gun on somebody else -- once you start doing that, you're fair game, fat boy. Absolutely, you jiggly pile of mess. You're just fair game, and you're going to get it, too. [Laughs] You'd better watch what you say, Limbaugh, because it can come back the other way.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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