Editor's Desk:

Dear Readers,

I just couldn't keep this one from you.

As any liberal publication might, The American Prospect has had its bumpy times with the right's radio megastar Rush Limbaugh. In case you don't recall, Limbaugh "outlink">got his dander up last summer when I implicated him in a campaign to demonize Tom Daschle. There are numerous other examples.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that on a recent show, Rush read aloud from TAP executive editor Harold Meyerson's latest column about the political genius of Karl Rove -- and did so approvingly.

Sometimes the links on Rush's Web site go out rather quickly, so for the record, here are some of the things he posted about Meyerson's column (for the time being you can also get audio at the link above). Limbaugh was assuring his followers that despite the recent defeat of the Pickering nomination, Karl Rove wouldn't sell them out on judicial appointments:

Now, I want those of you conservatives -- who are so used to being betrayed by leaders that you expect it -- to read or listen to me read Harold Meyerson's piece in the American Prospect. Meyerson writes, "Follow the Bush White House over the past few months. It's apparent that Karl Rove grows more like the man he admires by the week.

["]That man is Mark Hanna, who was the late 19th-century industrialist who, as the political genius of the McKinley operation, remade the Republican Party." He writes about how Karl Rove is running rings around the Democrats, mainly by pealing off [sic] groups like steelworkers away from the Democrats by embracing their key issues.

Meyerson believes that to become a majority movement, you have to build alliances with people who are your ideological opposites. I'm good at sensing these things, and I can tell the unrest is percolating out there. But those in the enemy camp think that this is brilliant politics, and fear it will gain the GOP a majority in the Senate and the House this November. So balance those two things out.

Now, I must admit to some puzzlement with the sentence in which Rush uses the word "pealing" instead of "peeling." But I suppose we all have our spelling and grammatical bloopers from time to time. The bigger point here is that Limbaugh, in a startling political footnote, is relying on our very own Meyerson to make his argument.

One e-mail correspondent informs me that on the air, Rush actually commented that the Prospect is "waaaaaay out on the faaaaaar left -- so far you can't see them." Yet even though we're in the "enemy camp," Rush was happy to cite us on the fact that the White House is pulling off some clever maneuvering.

I guess it goes to show you that a good piece of political analysis has universal appeal.

Right now at TAP, we're not entirely sure how Harold Meyerson is ever going to live this down. Then again, we're also secretly wondering whether Rush would be up for inviting him on the air. (Did you hear that Rush? We know you're reading.)

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Have a good weekend,

Chris Mooney

Online Editor