You are, my granddaddy used to say, judged by the company you keep.
Judged by the company the Republican Party is keeping these days, they are going to hell. They are going straight to hell. They are not passing go and they will not collect $200.
Case in point: Rush Limbaugh, the self-styled "leader" of the conservative movement, the drug-crazed blowhard who rants, raves and screams while saying nothing.
Limbaugh, a mountain of undulating mass and blubber, has somehow instilled so much fear and subservience in the GOP that none in their midst is willing to risk the wrath of Rush.
For a few seconds on CNN Sunday, embattled Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele seemed to grow a set of balls. He called Rush’s rantings "ugly," which they are. He called Limbaugh an "entertainer," which is debatable. Compared to Limbaugh, Atilla the Hun was a standup comic.
Then Limbaugh issued one of his trademark tirades against Steele and the RNC chairman folded like a virgin under the influence of a date-rape drug. Steele kowtowed, he groveled, he genuflected and practically begged for forgiveness.
Rush probably popped a couple more pills from his stash of illegally-obtained Oxycontins and smiled like a fat Cheshire cat. Mission accomplished. The buffoon has triumphed once again in the crazy world of Republican politics.
Over the weekend, Limbaugh appeared before the annual conservative klavern called CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), dressed all in black like a Johnny Cash wannabe. With his hair slicked back in excessive oiliness, Limbaugh could have passed as a gangland boss as he recited his current mantra of "Obama must fail" if the nation is to be saved.
The room full of conservatives, whose collective IQ might have matched that of a two-minute egg, cheered and applauded in the kind of lemming-like manner that has come to characterize the conservative movement and Republican Party. To hell with independent thought: Let’s soak in every word from Mount Rush-more and abandon all sanity.
The Republican party has longed allowed itself to be defined by loons: Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage.
But Limbaugh is the poster child for conservative excess. As long as conservatives and the GOP listen to the likes of Limbaugh, they will continue their slide into political oblivion.
And they will deserve it.