Former Secretary Of State Colin Powell has said that the Republican Party is in deep trouble because it is getting smaller and being led by far-right polarizing figures and that right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh ”diminishes the party and inserts into our public life a kind of nastiness that we would be better to do without.” Limbaugh then responded that Powell ought to close the loop and leave the Republican party instead of claiming to be interested in reforming it. Former Vice President Cheney, on Face the Nation on Sunday, May 10th said that if he had to choose a model Republican, he would choose Limbaugh over Powell.
Though a significant majority of Americans continue to reject the policy prescriptions and political rancor of old guard Republicans like Limbaugh and Cheney, the Republican establishment is now turning to those same conservative ring leaders to guide them out of the political wilderness.
Last week, congressional Republicans launched a “listening tour” in an attempt to rebrand their party, and in House Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s [R-VA] words, reconnect and make sure that our policy prescriptions are relevant to what people face.
Former Florida Republican Governor Jethro [Jeb] Bush observed last week that his party is consumed by nostalgia for the era of Reagan and relies almost completely on “good old days” rhetoric to push the Republican message.
Source: The Progress Report, May 11, 2009