Powell to Rush and Cheney: Yes, I'm still a Republican

Time for another round of increasingly tedious GOP big tent/small tent navel-gazing, this time with moderates on the offensive. Powell’s point about Limbaugh not being above criticism is fair enough but I don’t know what he expects from big shots like Steele who’ve been forced to grovel to him. As the GOP shrinks, it relies more heavily on the base for fundraising; the base adores Rush, so as a matter of simple politics, party leaders can’t afford to take him on. It’ll necessarily fall to moderates like Powell who are outside the process and have nothing to lose by antagonizing El Rushbo to push back. If the Republican brain trust is hot to expand the party, Cornyn’s strategy of tempting independents by running some moderates for Senate is probably their best play right now. The public backlash to Hopenchange’s ruinous spending should take care of the rest, if and when it happens. It will happen, right? Right?

Below Powell, as a variation on today’s theme, you’ll find a quickie of Tom Ridge hitting Rush for his “shrillness.” Should be a fun day at EIB tomorrow.