The truth hurts, doesn't it? Rush is an entertainer--hasn't he said so himself?--and what he says is indeed incendiary and ugly. It's quite ugly to say you hope the opposition party fails. I wouldn't say he's a leader, but there are certainly plenty of people who listen to him and accepts what he says as truth, forgetting that maybe it's the OxyContin talking.
Michael Steele was chosen to run the party with the hopes of attracting a wider base, wasn't he? But if he has to kowtow to folks like Rush, that's not likely to happen. And what Steele said, unless he was being sarcastic, is rather ugly as well.