"The cop-out for Republicans is to dismiss Limbaugh as a showman, and not a consequential political messenger. 'I’m in a very different business,' Rick Santorum claimed last week. But the general public probably doesn’t see such a sharp distinction. Limbaugh’s show is almost entirely about politics, and the themes he stresses invariably echo and influence the themes that Republican politicians across the country emphasize. And Republicans themselves have spent the past two decades promoting the image of Limbaugh as their leader... Because they put Limbaugh on a pedestal all these years, Republicans have only encouraged Americans to regard his garbage not just as the rantings of a radio host, but as the message of the Republican Party."
-- Steve Kornacki in a Salon piece called "Rush Limbaugh and the Poisoning of the GOP Brand"
Yup, that just about sums it up.