The Power of Limbaugh

Journalism has often been called the fourth branch of government, and as we enter a time where news is more immediate it seems as if these powerful media commentators are holding as much sway as politicians. Rush Limbaugh, who is a radio host, has a loyal audience of 5 million and offers brimstone and fire speeches to rile up his listeners. He is not afraid to give his opinion, but more importantly to also give the result of what will happen if certain events unfold. President Obama appeared on CNN today where he addressed this problem in the political process. Obama said that he has spoken with many Republican lawmakers on the drastic effects of a government shutdown, and they agree with him that this should be avoided. Their problem, however, is losing the support of Limbaugh and therefore the support of the 5 million loyal followers he has in his pocket. Obama told CNN, “Well, you know what? I can’t force these folks to do what’s right for the American people, because they’re independently elected, it’s a separate branch of government, and I don’t have a vote in Congress. But what I sure as heck can do is stay focused on what I know will be good for the American people.” Senator Cruz and Senator Paul have used the August recess to travel around and campaign against the funding of Obamacare, and more importantly the threat of a government shutdown if it is funded. Many Republican strategists are warning against the effects of such a drastic move, most importantly losing the Republican majority in the House. Right wingers are willing, however, to take the chance.