After the 1992 election, when Democrats won the Presidency and kept control of both chambers of Congress, Republicans were lost, disconsolate and desperately in search of some institution to grab onto. Some rock upon which the GOP could be re-established.
That rock was found on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program.
It’s hard to remember a time when Limbaugh hasn’t influenced the debate in one way or another. He continues to do so today–showing both political passion and very savvy gamesmanship in the process. But he loomed especially large in the immediate wake of the 1992 election by rallying Republicans, refusing to be intimidated by Bill Clinton’s victory and by seizing on opportunities to turn the political situation around. Two years after a devastating loss, Republicans won control of both chambers of Congress–ending a 40 year wandering in the wilderness for House Republicans, who hadn’t achieved a majority since the Eisenhower Administration. Rush Limbaugh’s influence in that victory was not inconsiderable–to say the least.
As Rush Limbaugh celebrates his anniversary, Republicans could do worse than to celebrate him by remembering specifically what may have been Rush’s finest hour–rallying a dejected and demoralized GOP and teaching the Republican Party how to win again. Of course, Rush was not alone in leading the GOP back from defeat to victory. But the journey could not have been completed without him.