It’s increasingly clear just who The King is in the Republican party. If you criticize The King you could face consequences.
So what do you do to try and get out of them? You bow down. Way down:
U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey spent today apologizing to the loudest voices of the Republican right — to radio talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and to former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich.
Gingrey’s crime? He declared that they earned a very good living by stirring up dust among conservatives, without having to struggle with the consequences.
Which happens to be true.
But true, schmoo — what really matters is not being on the other side of angry talk show audiences making phone calls to not-with-the-program politicians’ offices, perhaps threatening to work to defeat them for re-election. So it’s bow down time.And what better place to bow down than on the Rush Limbaugh show itself?
This afternoon, on the nationally broadcast “Rush Limbaugh Show,” Gingrey said:
“I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments, and I just wanted to tell you, Rush — and all our conservative giants, who help us so much to maintain our base and grow it to get back this majority — that I regret those stupid comments.”
Gingrey began his day of mea culpas with a call to Neal Boortz on WSB Radio in Atlanta. Then Limbaugh at 12:30 p.m. A session with Hannity will be part of his 5 p.m. program — broadcast locally on WSB.
He issued a statement on his website, too:
“I regret and apologize for the fact that my comments have offended and upset my fellow conservatives—that was not my intent. I am also sorry to see that my comments in defense of our Republican Leadership read much harsher than they actually were intended, but I recognize it is my responsibility to clarify my own comments….
“Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and other conservative giants are the voices of the conservative movement’s conscience. Everyday, millions and millions of Americans—myself included—turn on their radios and televisions to listen to what they have to say, and we are inspired by their words and by their determination.”
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.