RUSH: On CNN's This Week in Politics, the host Tom Foreman was talking to Republican strategist Rich Galen, and they have this exchange about Operation Chaos.
FOREMAN: Rush Limbaugh doesn't like Barack Obama and he always has something to say. Listen to what he was saying this week.
RUSH ARCHIVE: We have done our part to expose Obama through our support of Operation Chaos, effectively using the Clinton campaign as our foil, and Obama and the Democrat Party are the weaker for it.
FOREMAN: Well I don't know really in the end if the Democrats are the weaker for it, as much as Republicans may wish it, because the simple truth is what you're saying, McCain and Obama are going to be playing an awful lot on the same field, the field of the moderate, middle, the strength of the people who might go either way. That's going to be a tough battle isn't it, Rich?
GALEN: This is a 50-50 country, and what nobody can figure out -- and if they say they can, they are lying -- it's a 50-50 country, and it doesn't take much to move that fulcrum and tilt it one way or the other.
RUSH: (sighing) Pardon the sighing, ladies and gentlemen. It's just utter frustration. I love Rich Galen; I've known him for a long time. But I really, frankly, get frustrated at all this talk, it's not 50-50, it's 40-40 with 20 in the middle. And you know the old rule of thumb in politics was for each party during the primaries, you go gangbusters here as far extreme to the left or right as you need to to get your base and get the nomination, then the old Nixon theory, and once you go to the general, you moderate and move to the center. And that's a formula, and the formula has been shown to be beaten. You can beat this formula. Now, the reason that people say that the formula is almost etched in stone, and they'll cite Reagan Democrats, for example. "Well, Rush, I mean here you had a bunch of people, Reagan Democrats, who crossed over and voted for Reagan." That's the wrong way to look at it. Those Reagan Democrats were not undecided, they were not moderates, they were not independents, they were disaffected Democrats. They were Democrats upset at how far left the Democrat Party had gone, and they're still out there, and they're not voting for Obama in any of these primaries. They are voting for Hillary or they're voting for whoever, but they're not voting for Obama.
Now, they are not independents. The way to attract independents is not to be independent. The way to attract moderates is not to be moderate, by definition. Again, I'm sorry for the sighing. It's a sign of my frustration. But if you want to go get and win national elections, you simply articulate a clear-cut conservative agenda, and you'll pick up every one of these so-called, or enough of them, Reagan Democrats that are dissatisfied with pure, unadulterated liberalism. But you're not going to get 'em if you go get 'em by trying to be what they are, which is Democrat with a little conservative here, a little liberalism there. If those are the two choices, Democrats are going to stay with the Democrat Party. It's just that simple. So I don't know about you, but I get a little tired of hearing every year from the political pros in the Drive-Bys that all presidential elections are only about 20% of the population because that 20% of the population, the so-called independents, so-called moderates, they're the ones with all the virtue, right? They're the ones that are smarter than everybody else, they're the ones that are above everybody, and they're the ones that are not ideological, they're the ones that are not closed-minded. So you go out and you get those people. So 80% of the population is already accounted for, doesn't matter, we know 40% are going Democrat, we know 40% are going Republican, and so we all have to play around for this 20% in the middle.
The way you go get the 20% in the middle is be rock-ribbed, staunch conservative. You contrast yourself with the members of their own party that they're already dissatisfied with. If you try to be like members of the other party and try to give them 50% of what they're getting from their own party -- because I maintain that moderates and independents are Democrats. Because, by definition, if someone or some organization is not conservative, it's by definition going to be liberal, not moderate, not independent, it's going to be liberal, because liberalism is easy. Liberalism takes no intellectual application. Liberalism is all about how you feel. Liberalism is all about making yourself feel good about yourself while you don't solve diddly-squat. Liberalism is all about thinking you're better than everybody else. Liberalism is all about thinking you're smarter than everybody else. Liberalism is all about ignoring every failure of liberalism and asking instead for your good-hearted intentions to be examined and credited.
So, by definition, these people are not moderates and independents. They're quite something else. You can attract them and get them because they're not that committed. All they need is a little leadership. All they need is a little guidance, confident, bravado, positive optimism, American exceptionalism. They want to hear about how great their country is. Most people don't want to hear how rotten we are. Most people don't want to hear what a sad-sack nation we are. Most people do not want to hear that we are to blame for every ill and bit of evil in the world. There are some that do, and those are rock-ribbed liberals and you're never going to get them. But don't cater to them; try to pick off a few of them here there. They are to be defeated. Anyway, I don't know what that's got to do with Operation Chaos, this 50-50 business, or 40-40 business, whatever it is.