What do these statements have in common? They're all apologies by Republicans who criticized party boss Rush Limbaugh. Finally, though, one Republican has the guts to stand up to the entertainer: Roberta McCain, John McCain's 97-year-old mother. Here she speaks to Jay Leno:
Roberta McCain: "I belong to the Republican Party.... What [Limbaugh] thinks about or represents of the Republican Party has nothing to do with my side of it. I don't know what the man means, I don't know what he's talking about... I think that the chairman of the Republican, Steele, was exactly right when he defined this man as an entertainer. And, to my horror, the Republican Party made him back up on it. Limbaugh, you're a compliment when you say the man is an entertainer. I don't know what he is, but he does not represent the Republican party that I belong to."
Limbaugh now has a new enemy in Roberta McCain:
Rush Limbaugh: "McCain's mother is dumping on me... She's absolutely right. The Republican party she belongs to gets shellacked election after election after election. Man, send McCain's mother out to dump on me? I love it. Her son said the same thing: 'He's just an entertainer!' "
For Limbaugh, being called "an entertainer" crosses all red lines. After Steele dared to use the "E" word, Limbaugh responded, "So I am an entertainer and I have 20 million listeners because of my song-and-dance routine?" The word denies Limbaugh's conception of himself as party boss, a status reinforced by the Republicans' obsequious behavior. Roberta McCain doesn't see it that way–and she's not about to apologize. This 97-year-old mother has more guts than the entire party combined.