Love him or hate him, nobody has dominated radio the past thirty years like Rush Limbaugh. His numbers speak for themselves, and absolutely dwarf any competitor. He's not only outperformed his competition, in many instances he's outlasted them.
He's been a very consistent voice of conservative thought for his tenure. Consistent, that is, until this election cycle.
Trump has been handled with kid gloves by Limbaugh, especially now that we're down to two candidates. It is astonishing to see, especially when one of the candidates in the form of Ted Cruz has the conservative bone fides that Limbaugh has been asking in a candidate for decades. They don't get more conservative than Cruz, and likely will never again.
If anything, Limbaugh owes Cruz his full-throated support. Instead, we get "balance" and "explanations" of what Trump is doing.
Trump is a clown. He can't cobble together cogent thoughts. He's a Chatty Cathy doll who espouses the same shallow rhetoric when asked a question - "we're gonna build a wall," "we're gonna do deals," "we're gonna bring jobs back," "we're gonna make America great again."
He's a TV show host. He's a buffoon.
And yet Limbaugh teats him with deference. Bill O'Reilly does as well. What's going on?
There is no question that Limbaugh and Trump are friendly, and have been for years. Limbaugh has thoroughly enjoyed not only Trump's friendship, but also the spoils that go with it. For someone that loves golf as much as Rush does, turning one's back on all that access is simply too much to give up.
It turns out Limbaugh is as much a part of the mainstream as all of those he criticizes. He's just another fat cat that doesn't want to see his personal gravy train come to an end.
The true colors are out and the shark has been jumped. And while it is happening, our best Republican conservative candidate since Reagan is forced to fight a massive headwind.
It's a massive shame.