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Rockefeller GOP Aims to Eliminate the Conservative Wing of the Party

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, I very seldom enjoy talking about myself on this program. I am not the topic on this program. I am the topic in the Drive-By Media many times, but I try not to make myself the topic of this program. However, there are those occasions where it is unavoidable for me to talk about me. And one of those instances has arisen. Before I get into what happened last Wednesday, let me set this up. One of the fears that I now know is true that I have been warning you of is that the Rockefeller Republican wing of the Republican Party is doing everything it can to take over, to get rid of conservatism as a dominant force in the party for a whole bunch of reasons. They're embarrassed of the pro-life community. They're embarrassed when they have to go to Republican conventions and show up at cocktail parties with Billy Bob and Ellie Mae coming up from Mississippi and so forth, 'cause their wives, the guys, Republican guys, their wives henpeck 'em and give 'em all kinds of trouble for being in the pro-life party and so forth and so on.

So the nomination of McCain here is basically an attempt to rid the Republican Party of conservative influence, as you can see by McCain consistently reaching out across the aisle to independents and Democrats. If McCain does win, as I have told you, these Rockefeller Republican types are going to start cheering and they're going to say, "See, we don't need conservatives to win the presidency with the Republican Party, we're a broad-based coalition. Reagan wasn't even really a conservative, there is no Reaganism," and this is what's at stake. And as you remember, we've discussed this in far greater detail, but I just wanted to set up the upcoming sound bite with that, and this sound bite proves it. It was last Wednesday on WNYC radio's Brian Lehrer show. Now, when I lived in New York and was subjected to New York cable, you know, I'd flick around, and I would see Brian Lehrer on the local PBS or whatever it was. He's a good card-carrying New York liberal, and he's very dull as a result. He's very boring and very dry. And as such, is regaled as very intelligent. So he had as a guest last Wednesday the former congressman from Oklahoma, a Republican, Mickey Edwards.

What are you laughing at, Mr. Snerdley? Well, he is. He's very boring, very dull, and very dry. See, Snerdley's laughing himself silly in there just proves that good comedy requires an element of truth. Anyway, back to Mickey Edwards, a retired congressman from Oklahoma. Now, Mickey Edwards used to have a very conservative pedigree. Mickey Edwards was one of the three founding trustees of the Heritage Foundation, and he used to be the national chairman of the American Conservative Union. However, when Mickey Edwards left Congress, he taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Law School for 11 years. He'd been ensconced at Harvard a long time. He's also been one of those guys calling for a Republican Party reformation along the lines of the other sellouts in the party. So he starts out as a big conservative. He was a reformed conservative, born in 1937. You asked me what's he doing on this Brian Lehrer show? Obviously there's been a change of heart, the Kennedy school. He was ensconced there for 11 years. So here's the question from the exciting and compelling Brian Lehrer: "People like Rush Limbaugh are out saying if McCain's elected, it's going to destroy the Republican Party as he knows it. What do you think will happen to the Republican Party, the idea of conservatism if McCain is elected?" Now, listen to the first two sentences here, focus on those in addition to the rest of the bite.

EDWARDS: Well, I think if McCain is elected, it won't destroy the Republican Party, it won't help Rush Limbaugh any, and that's probably a good thing. You know, the fact of the matter is that the conservative base, the Republican base is not the religious right, it's not the neocons. They are less than 30% of the Republicans who go vote. They're just the ones who are the most active, take the biggest part in primaries. I think that if McCain wins, it will probably be a good thing for conservatives. I don't know if it would be a good thing for the country. You know, I haven't decided that yet.

RUSH: Did you catch all that? I don't know Mickey Edwards, I did a Wikipedia search to find out who he was. So that's how I know. Before that I never really heard of him. Anyway, I think if McCain -- again, this is not about me. This is just to buttress what I have told you that the pooh-bahs in the Republican Party actually want. Here is a guy saying it would be a good thing if something doesn't help me. Here is a Republican saying it would be a good thing if there is a result that is not helpful to me. "I think if McCain's elected, it won't destroy the Republican Party, won't help Rush Limbaugh any, that's probably a good thing." This is a former trustee of the Heritage Foundation, former president of the American Conservative Union, has been liberalized after 11 years at Harvard. He's still a Republican saying these things. Then he goes on to say the conservative base is not the religious right, it's not the neocons, they're less than 30% of the Republicans who go vote. Mickey, every president, Republican president who has won the White House, obviously, could not have done so without the so-called religious right. There are 24 million of them, and they have been loyal. And for the longest time the Republican Party has had members who have been doing their best to impugn them and to disenfranchise them, get 'em out of the way and say that they're not important.

The fact of the matter is that up 'til now, the Republican Party base has been conservative, and it still is. If you go back and look at McCain's primary campaign, you will see he clearly was trying to wear the hat of Ronald Reagan warrior, Ronald Reagan inheritor. They know who runs the party, but after they think they've got that group wrapped up then it's on to their Rockefeller-type roots. If McCain wins, I don't know, probably be a good thing. But I don't know if it would be a good thing for the country. So if McCain wins, it would be a good thing for the Republican Party but maybe not for the country. He hasn't decided yet. This is a Republican. So I only share this with you, ladies and gentlemen, to illustrate that these are the kind of people running the Republican Party now -- well, not in total, but there are enough of them doing everything they can to reshape it and reform it so that the people who are the base, you, and the people who have been this long embarrassment to the Rockefeller and country club blue-bloods, are marginalized.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here it is, folks. Here it is right here at the very end of the Wikipedia biography on former Oklahoma congressman Mickey Edwards: "Edwards is married to Elizabeth Sherman, Ph.D., well-known Democrat political operative from Massachusetts. Sherman directed the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts and served as a research fellow from 2001 to 2004 at the Center for Public Leadership and the Institute as for Politics, 1994, both at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard." Well, that explains it. There's always -- there's always! -- a woman involved in this somewhere along the way. A good conservative guy from Oklahoma, goes to Washington. He's one of the original trustees at the Heritage Foundation, falls in love with some liberal babe and that's it, it's over -- and now he's out there giving sound bites for the exciting Brian Lehrer at WNYC radio in New York, suggesting that a McCain election would harm me and that's a good thing.

I have a question. I want to know why. Why am I the only guy that can run around and cavort with liberal women and not lose my bearings? They lose theirs when they run around with me. I do not lose my bearings. What is it? Don't answer that, because I actually know. But I am. (laughter) For some reason, I'm immune to it. They do. They lose their bearings. They get confused as hell when they're around me. (interruption) But they dated 'em first before they got married, H.R. I mean I've never married one of them. That's why I catch myself. Long before that. (interruption) Don't even talk about marriage. I'm not talking about marriage here. I'm not; I'm just talking about general cavorting. (sigh) Look, I've told you people the story back in Kansas City, when I was young and relatively innocent. There was this woman that I saw and a mutual friend knew and I said, "Introduce me to her."

Fine. He did. We went out to dinner. She brought a book by Susan Brownmiller on rape. She was a blazing feminist and wanted to talk to me about rape and how it was a crime of violence, not sex and so forth. Of course, you know, I had designs here, so I'm sitting there, "Yeah, sure, sure." Whatever she said, I agreed with. It wasn't the point. I didn't want to go out on a date for a political lecture, conversation, what have you. After awhile she wouldn't get off the subject so I figured, "The pursuit isn't worth it" and then I started engaging her in politics and totally screwed her up, and I was outta there. But I, I, was unaffected. Most men just turn to linguine -- in their spines anyway.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Kathy in Fort Worth, Texas, you are next.

CALLER: Hello. I want to know how the Republicans don't need Christians and conservatives and they think we're 30%, 12% black people in the population, 10% they claim homosexuals in the population. Rush, honey, when did 30% get to be a small number?

RUSH: I think it's actually larger than 30%. But let me see if I can get your question right. You want to know why the Republicans are willing to say, screw you to 30% or more of their voters, and yet Democrats will bend over, grab the ankles, say have your way with me for 10% and 2% of the population?

CALLER: Delicately, yes.

RUSH: Well, nothing delicate about me on these matters. These are just innocent figures of speech --

CALLER: I understand.

RUSH: -- that I was using. There is an answer to your question. Basic question is: Why don't the Democrats say to hell with you, you wacko nuts in the base, like Republicans do.

CALLER: Hm-hm.

RUSH: There's a complicated answer to this, and I'm going to have to answer some of it in the monologue in the next hour. One of the simple answers that will require some elaboration is that a lot of money is coming from these kooks, and I'm not talking about just the blacks, I'm talking about the whole kook fringe base because George Soros is running it, and they need the money.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We had a caller with an interesting question just before the conclusion of the previous hour, and in fact, grab sound bite number one because sound bite number one today is what spawned her question. As you know, ladies and gentlemen, I have been warning you that the Republican Party, especially as currently constituted, is doing its best to deemphasize the importance and the influence of the traditional conservative base, which is not just the so-called evangelical Christian right or the pro-lifers or whatever, but you have all kinds of people in the Republican base that are conservatives, from values conservatives, social conservatives, even fiscal, economic conservatives; but conservatism has been the base of the Republican Party. And because the conservative base does include pro-lifers and because many of them are from the south, there are many in the northeastern corridors of power of the Republican Party who are embarrassed to be in the party with those people. And it really does hinge on abortion. And it hinges on men, Republican men of some means being henpecked by their wives. "We gotta get rid of this, pro-lifers, all this." So it's just not worth the trouble, you know, that you get at home.

Throughout the Republican Party, there's been an element of that party that has always been somewhat shy of having conservatives, conservatism as the dominant force. So they got their nominee here and they got Senator McCain who is reaching across the aisle to Democrats and it's interesting: McCain is pro-life, although he doesn't make a big deal about it, but he is pro-life. They're able to overlook it because McCain's not out cavorting with them; he's not out actively seeking their support. He's ripping, in fact, religious institutions in the past, Bob Jones and so forth from the 2000 campaign. So they're able to overlook it. But we've got a candidate now reaching across the aisle for Democrats and independents, and the country club blue-blood Rockefeller Republican types would be very, very happy if conservatives were deemphasized. And I've been saying this, and a lot of people think even though it's next to impossible to prove me wrong about these things, especially after 20 years, we still have people who doubt me, even though I say don't doubt me.

So we found a sound bite from last Wednesday, a former Republican conservative congressman from Oklahoma, Mickey Edwards was appearing on a local New York radio show, PBS network or something similar, and he had been at Harvard, ensconced there for 11 years. He's done a total 180, big lib now, married a lib woman, that's all it took, and it's usually something like that. Never ceases to amaze me. It's disheartening but it happens. Anyway, the interviewer happened to be Brian Lehrer, the dull, dry, and very boring Brian Lehrer who was talking to Mickey Edwards. He said, "What about Rush Limbaugh here? I mean people like Limbaugh are out saying if McCain is elected it's going to destroy the Republican Party as it's known today. What do you think will happen to the Republican Party, the idea of conservatism if McCain is elected?"

EDWARDS: Well, I think if McCain is elected, it won't destroy the Republican Party. It won't help Rush Limbaugh any, and that's probably a good thing. You know, the fact of the matter is that the conservative base, the Republican base is not the religious right, it's not --

RUSH: See?

EDWARDS: -- the neocons. They are --

RUSH: See?

EDWARDS: -- less than 30% --

RUSH: See?

EDWARDS: -- of the Republicans who go vote. They're --

RUSH: See?

EDWARDS: -- just the ones who are the most active, take the biggest part in primaries. I think that if McCain wins, it will probably be a good thing for conservatives. I don't know if it would be a good thing for the country. You know, I haven't decided that yet.

RUSH: This guy, I don't think he knows what he's talking about. If McCain wins it would be a good thing for conservatives and bad for the country? This is a former Republican representative from Oklahoma. This guy was one of the three original trustees of the Heritage Foundation. He used to be president of the American Conservative Union. Somehow he ends up at Harvard, and he'd been ensconced there for the last 11 years. So anyway, he says 30%, less than 30%. And the caller said, look, the black population totals 10%, don't know what the voting population is. The gay population, what is it, 1%, 2%, that's 12%, and we're not even factoring out the adult population, the voting population there. So her question was, "How can it be that the Republicans are willing to just throw away 30% of their base, and the Democrats will do everything they can, they will grovel, do whatever they can to make sure their base hangs in with them?" There are multiple answers to this, but one of the first answers is money. I'll tell you something, the politically active gay community on the left is worth a lot of money. These people sent the Democrats more money than you can possibly imagine, a lot of it from Hollywood and the arts and entertainment. Money is key number one.

You might be saying, "Well, don't the pro-lifers donate a lot of money to the Republicans?" Yeah. Yeah, they do, but it still embarrasses them, it still embarrasses a lot of the country club Rockefeller types. The Democrats, what are they embarrassed about? They're not embarrassed about anything. The Democrats have never set any standards for themselves. As far as they're concerned, everybody is a victim, even on their side. So I mean, yeah, these victims are just fighting to be heard, fighting for their rights, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The conservative right is viewed as trying to deny people rights blah, blah, blah, you see. But in addition to the money aspect of this, and don't forget the left-wing base is not even talked about by Mickey Edwards there, is the anti-war, kook fringe, and it is huge, from MoveOn.org to Think Progress to MySpace, whatever these things -- well, maybe not MySpace, or Facebook, whatever it is. But there are so many of these 527 groups out there that are just raising money left and right, and the Democrats are scared to death if these people take their money and go away or go to a third party or what have you. So they will cater to them left and right.

The Republicans do not have that kind of attachment, apparently, to the conservative base and whatever fundraising comes in. I don't know what the fundraising totals are, but I think the Republican Party is down in the House and Senate campaign committees, RNC -- I see different things from day to day. Some days they're ahead of the Democrats, the DNC. Other days they're not. But I know that many of you in this audience, it's all anecdotal, but I get enough e-mails from people who say, "I'm not sending any more money. I just got a solicitation today in the mail. I sent a little note back without any money." I think that there is a combination of things. The Democrats don't care about standards, who their donors are. They really care about the money, they need it, and they will deal with whatever fallout there is -- like Obama. Obama has now done a 180 on this FISA thing. This guy is a piece of work. The FISA bill that the House passed last week is essentially the same bill that they voted down in February or March. They made a couple minor changes to the immunity that telecoms get, but the telecoms will still get their immunity. Then Obama said, "I'm going to vote for the change," and then all hell broke loose and now Obama is saying, (paraphrasing) "No, I'm not going to vote for the change. I'm going to make sure that that bit about the immunity for the telecoms is stripped out of there before I vote for it." So he does respond. When the far-left fringe base responds to Obama, he does a flip-flop and a 180 on this.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is interesting. I'd forgotten about this, before we get on to the Obama items here, David in Tulsa, Oklahoma, nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.

CALLER: Hello. Yeah, I was just wondering... I noticed that Mickey Edwards, you were talking about him, and I remembered he was my representative in Oklahoma years ago. And I was just wanting to remind everybody that he was caught up in the House banking check writing scandal and, as such, he did not even win the Republican primary.

RUSH: Yeah, I remember this. He finished third. This is when we got Ernest Istook in the House, right?

CALLER: Yes. Yes.

RUSH: That explains a lot, you know, because you people that have not been here for 20 years, you may not remember this. Thanks for that reminder, David. But the House Banking Scandal, the lid on that was blown on this program, and I remember being invited on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour when Judy Woodruff was hostette, and they had me on there, and I went through this whole routine after I'd done it on the radio. After it was over, they had a panel of congressmen to talk about it. One of them was Guy Vander Jagt from Michigan, and they asked Guy Vander Jagt, "What do you think of this, what Limbaugh just said?" And Guy Vander Jagt pointed at the camera, and he said, "That Limbaugh, he just hit the nail on the head, 'cause this is simple to understand. People cannot write checks for money they don't have. But a lot of members of Congress have been doing it for years." I had forgotten Mickey Edwards was one of those guys. So that's understandable why Mickey Edwards would have a bit of a problem. That did take him out, and then after that, it's on to Harvard and all the other things associated there.

END TRANSCRIPT

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