Rush Limbaugh
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh predicts that gay marriage will become legal 'nationwide.' Reuters

Conservative radio shock jock Rush Limbaugh made a surprising admission on Wednesday, predicting that he believes gay marriage will be legalized “nationwide.”

Limbaugh’s comments were made on his immensely popular radio show, and were made despite the conservative firebrand’s well-documented aversion to marriage equality.

Here’s a sampling of Limbaugh’s comments:

"A lot of people have no personal animus against gay people at all. It's instead, you know, a genuine, I don't know, love/respect for the things they believe define this country as great. They get up every day and they see all this stuff under attack. They see it all under assault. And I think they're just worried about the survivability of the country. And to which the opponents say, "Well, the country's changing and you better get with it and understand it because this genie's not getting put back in the bottle." And I think that's right. I don't care what this court does with this particular ruling, Proposition 8. I think the inertia is clearly moving in the direction that there is going to be gay marriage at some point nationwide."

Yahoo! News asserts that, should Limbaugh’s prediction come true, the shift in public opinion would pose major problems for a Republican Party that is already suffering from an identity crisis. The GOP’s official stance on the issue calls for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, restricting the practice to unions between a man and a woman.

Considering the party’s large base of social conservatives, any attempt to reverse course on an issue as polarizing as gay marriage could cause a schism among the GOP, or cause voters to abandon the Republicans altogether.

Limbaugh addressed this possibility, using the example of Dick Cheney’s about-face on gay marriage.

"Dick Cheney coming out for gay marriage did not soften the opposition or the hatred or the hatred to him by people in the Democrat Party or on the left a measurable iota. So in terms of the politics of it in the Republican Party, if they think that they can alienate their evangelical base and replace those voters by becoming more hip, modern, with it, what have you, that remains to be seen. Nobody really knows. But the evidence is that they are not going to be able to do that. Anything can change in politics."

Limbaugh has already suggested that the Republican Party lost last year’s election because it shaded too far toward the ideological center.

“The Republican Party lost because it’s not conservative,” said Limbaugh in a March 19 broadcast. “It didn’t get its base out in the 2012 election.”

“Now, the Republican Party’s overall problem is it’s got a problem with expressing conservatism,” he added. “The mainstream of the Republican Party doesn’t like it, they’re a little bit nervous about it. If they could just come to grips with there’s nothing wrong with conservatism. People love conservatism.”

(Audio Via Huffington Post)