RUSH: To Chicago first. Jim, it's nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: How are you, Rush?
RUSH: Fine, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: You know, since yesterday afternoon when that woman called, I've been fuming, and I really didn't -- as I was sitting here, I was trying to figure out what it is that's been bothering me about the show yesterday and all today; and as I was listening to you, I figured out what it is.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You're talking about Suzanne from Hagerstown, Maryland?
RUSH: Yeah. The one everybody reacted favorably to.
CALLER: Yeah. Well, I didn't have a favorable reaction. I couldn't figure out what it was, and all last night it bothered me and I even got on the phone today just because it's like been bothering me, and I couldn't figure out how to put it in words; and then listening to you in this last hour, and listening to what just happened with Romney, I figured out what it is. Where is the optimism here? You know, yesterday I heard... I don't listen to you so you could tell me where to go. I already know where to go. Conservatives don't... I'm not surprised that the party doesn't want us. The party has never wanted us. The party didn't want us during Ronald Reagan. The party didn't want us during George Bush. The party never wants us, Rush. The media is always beating us up. What's been bothering me the last two days is, I heard you actually say for the first time yesterday that for eight years we have accomplished nothing (laughs), and I've gotta disagree. If Gore or the Democrats were in charge of this country on 9/11, I just --
RUSH: No, no, no.
CALLER: -- pray to God every day.
RUSH: No wait, wait. You're close. I was reading an e-mail from someone who was equally upset as the woman from Hagerstown, Maryland, who said he could not believe that with a Republican president and a Republican Congress for eight years; so little got done in terms of advancing conservatism.
CALLER: Well, yeah, but see, and there I'm going to go, too. We really accomplished a lot in the last eight years. I mean, there are things tax-wise, uh, uh, family-wise, uh, uh, partial-birth abortion, uh, homosexual marriage we stood up for -- I mean stood up against, the tax code. There's a litany of things that we have accomplished. And, yeah, of course, right now with no leadership, we never really had a presidential candidate in this race. It's not like Ronald Reagan was running and we lost in the primary. I think personally that when George Allen lost, I think we weren't ready to replace him. We didn't have a candidate to have in this race. And I think, you know, for us right now to say, you know, "There goes Romney." Well, Romney was never somebody that we all got behind. He was nobody we followed for the last two years, hoping that he would come in. The fact is that we were left kind of high and dry because we didn't have a candidate. But no one is saying we're going to give up. Everybody realizes that the base is out there, that we don't listen to the Republican Party leadership.
RUSH: No. That's the whole point! That's what I've been trying to talk about the last two days. Of course, we're not going to give up. The pressure is being brought to bear on us to give up, compromise, and join the other guys for the sake of the party.
CALLER: Yeah, but they always do that for us, Rush. They're always asking us to do that, and we don't do it! But I listen to you. I don't listen to you for negativity. I listen to you for a positive on what we're supposed to do! I don't need to hear this woman call and say, "We've got nothing." That's crap! We got a lot. We believe in a lot of things.
RUSH: The woman... Wait a second. The woman's primary mission in her phone call was to explain why she would never vote for McCain --
RUSH: -- and, in fact, if she thought McCain were getting close to winning, she'd vote Hillary.
CALLER: That's fine. That's up to her.
RUSH: That was the impetus and the theme of her call, the impetus behind her call. Eight years...? She wasn't bashing Bush.
CALLER: Well, I'm just saying. I actually heard you say, "We got an excrement sandwich for eight years," and that really... I mean, that's when I really kind of -- and believe me, I'm from Illinois. Obama's a lot worse than what we have. I'm just trying to tell you. I don't care what that woman does.
RUSH: I gotta go back and remember.
CALLER: All I'm saying is, the fact is we -- as the base of the Republican Party -- have accomplished a lot. We have moved a long way since 1980. We were actually the majority in this country not five years ago. So for us to sit here and act as though we're in this basement, that we're being stepped all over? All we gotta do is pick up, find somebody to get behind, and get ourselves back in there! That's all. It's not going to be that difficult. We have come a long way since 1980, or since you've been on the air in 1988.
RUSH: I know! Look, don't you...? (sigh) There's a story today in the New York Times that woman don't like men who yell.
CALLER: I'm sorry.
RUSH: No, you're not yelling. I'm talking about me.
CALLER: (garbled) yell.
RUSH: But it's precisely because that we have made strides -- we could have made a lot more, but we have made strides -- that the point to which we've arrived now is we're not going to make those strides anymore. We're going to go in a whole different direction.
CALLER: We're not going to allow that to happen, and you know that.
CALLER: They're not going to pull the wool over our eyes and say this is what we have to do. He's gotta listen to us. John McCain is out there. He hears it every day. We're not listening to you. You speak for what we believe in. That's the reason why you're popular; that's the reason why we listen to you. You don't put words into our mouth.
RUSH: Plus, it's a good show.
CALLER: Well, it's a great show.
RUSH: You can't leave that out.
CALLER: (laughs) It's a great show. But that's why I was saying --
RUSH: All right. Okay, let me ask you, you keep talking about optimism, and, you know, I'm the eternal optimist -- and I take grief on this program for being optimistic because people think I'm avoiding reality.
CALLER: But you're not.
RUSH: I know. What are you optimistic about, specifically... It's obviously McCain now. What are you optimistic about?
CALLER: Well, one thing I'm asking about is the war in Iraq. I think that we have allowed the Democrats to walk away from the fact that they say that we lost this thing. I mean for us focusing on a bunch of, you know, the liberals tendency and the immigration thing; the fact is, we're wrong, on the war! These guys should be taken to the woodshed on this.
RUSH: Who has been doing that?
CALLER: Yes, I want to keep going on that.
RUSH: No. No, no, no. Don't say yes. Who's been doing that?
CALLER: El Rushbo. Maha Rushie.
RUSH: Wait a second. Has any Republican in Washington been talking about, in attacking the Democrats, as, "You guys are engaged in defeat. You're trying to defeat this country. You're trying to make this country weak."
RUSH: Nobody has. So, this is one of the points I'm trying to make here. When you look at where the leadership is, it's not where it should be -- and I've said this consistently over and over. There has not been any effective conservative leadership. There is trepidation and fear inside the Beltway among the Republicans for whatever reason. We've been through this over and over again in terms of why they don't engage the battle and so forth. Look, I appreciate the call out there, Jimbo.