Georgia Republican Congressman Phil Gingrey is telling Rush Limbaugh to butt out. Not smart.
Rush Limbaugh has the most listened-to radio show in the history of the earth. As a result, he is closer to the pulse of conservative, grassroots activist than most Members of Congress.
Gingrey was elected long after the 1994 GOP Revolution, so he can be somewhat forgiven for not recognizing the power of Rush. After the 1994 election, the new freshmen held a dinner at Camden Yards that featured Rush. Rush was made an honorary member of the 1994 Republican Freshman class. I was there, and it was historic.
(It was also memorable, because it was the first time in my life that I ate an anchovy. They served a Caesar salad, with, what looked like to me, brownish little bacon strips. I had a pretty rude surprise when I popped one in my mouth!)
That night, Rush talked about the clamoring for change the American people wanted and it was their desire for change that motivated them to get out and elect Republicans to the majority. He said that the Members of Congress had an obligation and a duty to hold fast to the principles they campaigned on.
Sadly, very few of the Members listened and absorbed. Of the 74 there that night, I can name, on one hand, those that have stuck to principle: John Shadegg (still in Congress), Tom Coburn (now in the Senate), Mark Sanford (Governor of South Carolina), and two who have been pretty good: Saxby Chambliss (now in the Senate) and Sam Brownback (now in the Senate).
Others who stayed principled, but who are no longer in office include Matt Salmon (AZ), Steve Largent (OK), J.C. Watts (OK), Mark Neumann (WI) and Gil Gutnecht (MN).
Gingrey should be figuring out ways to follow Limbaugh’s lead – not get in the way.