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My Conversation with a Ranking GOP Leader Who Expects Obama to Moderate After the Election

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I had a conversation this morning with a ranking Republican figure. I'm not going to mention any names. The ranking Republican figure assured me that -- well, didn't assure; that's the wrong word. The ranking Republican figure opined that, if there are huge electoral victories in the House and the Senate for Republicans in November, Obama will do a Clinton and triangulate and moderate and become less liberal.

Now, I listened to this patiently, and with an open mind, and then I expressed my sincere disagreement. I said, "I don't think that's going to happen. I think we're dealing with somebody who's gleeful. He has accomplished a lot. He's extremely happy at what he's been able to pull off in 20 months. And the next two years, he's going to do as much destruction, damage as he can, while blaming Republicans for it all the way." And the ranking Republican said to me, "Do you believe even if it means he won't be reelected in 2012?" I said, "Absolutely. Who's gonna vote for him in 2012 if" -- I mean, his party already is gonna hate his guts. His base, they're not happy with him because he hasn't closed Guantanamo, hasn't gotten out of Iraq or Afghanistan. We don't have single payer health care. I mean, his fringe base is not happy. Democrats that are gonna lose their seats in the House and Senate, they're not going to be happy. I mean, I think he's looking at the next two years as the single greatest opportunity the left has had to totally destruct and reform the country in their image.

The LA Times has a story today: "Obama Reshapes Administration for a Fresh Strategy -- White House staff changes are being made with an eye toward achieving goals through executive actions rather than by trying to push plans through the next Congress, which is expected to be even more hostile to the president." More executive orders, more regulations via czars and cabinet members. This is how they will do climate change and card check. They're gonna try to do as much of it as they can. Think executive order to understand this. Apparently, there are a lot of Republicans who think that's not going to happen, that Obama is going to be humbled by this major shellacking and will have to moderate much as Clinton did if he wants to be reelected in 2012. From what I gather, the thinking is that Obama will want to be reelected in 2012, and in the playbook, the only way for Obama now to get reelected in 2012 is to drop this hard-core liberalism and join the Republicans in the middle to get things done. I just don't see that happening at all.

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RUSH: Look, Obama said just today there's going to be gridlock if the GOP wins. He's out there trying to rev up his base, and he's trying to get his base to show up, he's trying to create enthusiasm. So when he warns the Democrats there's going to be gridlock, "I won't be able to get anything done if the Republicans win," he's trying to scare people into showing up and voting for him. The translation is: "I'm not changing anything. I'm not moderating." I mean there wouldn't be any gridlock if he's going to change and start agreeing with the Republicans. Again, every interview that I've read or that I've seen, Obama says he is proud as he can be of what he's done to our country. He's happy. He carries around in his pocket this little list that's his to-do list. And he knows full well that 60 to 70% of the American people oppose every bit of legislation and executive orders that he's rammed through. He's not blind. He doesn't have blinders on. He knows, he knows, the Democrats know they're governing against the will of the people. They're fully aware of it and they do it purposefully.

I'm sure that Obama realizes a certain percentage of this country is ready to rebel. That's, I'm sure, part of why he feels happy. Mission accomplished. Success is mine. Obama's only complaint is he wants more credit for what's going on. He thinks he's revolutionary himself. He thinks he is the one we've all been waiting for. He is convinced that we don't know what's good for us. All leftists are that way. They all have that arrogance and contempt, and the more we oppose and the more loudly we oppose, the more their resolve intensifies. I mean, did Obama moderate when Scott Brown won the Kennedy seat, the so-called Kennedy seat? I don't think he did. How about all the other primaries that the GOP won, did they compromise? Chris Christie wins in New Jersey, did we see Obama say, "You know what, I'm outta touch here. The people are sending me a message. I better moderate." Did we see that? We didn't. We saw the resolve stiffen, if you will. We saw appointments of more anti-capitalist people to his administration in the guise of consumer protectionists. I'm sure that he feels a little sad he had to get rid of Van Jones. He'll find a place for him.

But right here it is, Los Angeles Times: "White House staff changes are being made with an eye toward achieving goals through executive actions rather than by trying to push plans through the next Congress, which is expected to be even more hostile to the president. ... 'It's fair to say that the next phase is going to be less about legislative action than it is about managing the change that we've brought,' White House senior advisor David Axelrod said in an interview. ... Winning passage of legislation wasn't easy for Obama, even with Democrats in firm control of both houses of Congress. Conditions will get tougher if, as expected, the Republicans pick up seats in the midterm election next month, or possibly take control of Congress. 'Whether or not the Republicans take over majorities in one or both houses, the margins will be so much narrower that the strategy of putting together a Democratic bill and picking off a handful of Republicans to push it over the top won't be viable anymore,' said William Galston, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. So the best arena for Obama to execute his plans may be his own branch of government. That means more executive orders, more use of the bully pulpit, and more deployment of his ample regulatory powers and the wide-ranging rulemaking authority of his Cabinet members," and you're seeing it in this health care business "as the secretary may decide," or "determine."

So at the snap of his fingers, 30 companies can be exempted, can be pardoned for one year from the health care bill. But just as easily they couldn't have been. If it wasn't an election year, just as easily all of those employees would have lost their coverage, which is the intention. It's just not supposed to happen now. It is the intention that those people at McDonald's and the teachers fund lose their coverage. That's the idea. "Mr. Limbaugh, if the purpose is for them to lose their coverage, then where are they going to go get it?" To Obama. Federal government, single payer, exchanges, whatever you want to call it, whatever they're calling it. This stuff was not supposed to be implemented this fast. We're not supposed to be seeing the flaws, quote, unquote, in this bill. So if they get a hostile Congress, one that they can't win legislation, this guy's not going to be stopped by that, and he's not even interested in adopting or compromising with Republicans on their agenda. Promising gridlock is evidence of this.

So I'm just telling you this because obviously there's some thinking in the Republican Party that still looks at this as traditional Republican versus Democrat, elections cause temporary shifts in power, but that there is a template and that everybody wants to get reelected and the way to get reelected is to moderate. If you're conservative or liberal, you moderate and go to the center, that's how you get reelected, try to find a way to hold onto your base. But that whole theory is thrown into chaos if you're up against somebody who doesn't care about being reelected, or who thinks the best way to get reelected is to complete his agenda, or if somebody doesn't care about being reelected and would rather be left than president, as opposed to being right. I don't think that we've had an occupant of the White House quite like this, with these intentions. But it's crystal clear who Obama is by the way he's been educated, who his friends are, mentors, as we have discussed. I think it's going to be interesting to see.

Victor Davis Hanson is out with his own version of my theory that Obama's going to blame Republicans for everything that happens. Victor Davis Hanson's theory is that Obama is going to have to realize that there must be tax cuts and that there must be spending cuts and that there must be some fiscal responsibility. And he's going to willingly let the Republicans do all that while blaming them for being heartless and cold and having no compassion. He's gonna run around, he's going to say while all this is being done that he knows has to be done, he'll let the Republicans propose it, he's going to sign some of it and then blame the Republicans for holding him hostage, while he's trying to help the little guy and help people. It's Republicans who want to cut their Social Security. It's Republicans who want to keep giving tax cuts to the rich. Now, you've heard my theory on that, that that's what Obama's gonna do. Victor Davis Hanson believes he's gonna sit idly by and let the Republicans have their legislative victories because everybody realizes now they have to happen, we have to do these fixes. In other words, we have to fix Obamaism.

I'm not convinced that Obama thinks there's anything to fix. For Obama to sit aside and agree, "Okay, yeah, whatever needs fixing," that means Obama's gotta tell himself that he's made huge mistakes. And he just doesn't do that. Obama doesn't make mistakes. Narcissists are not capable in their own minds of making mistakes. So everybody has their different theories about what's going to happen if the Republicans do take control of one or both houses of Congress. I find it interesting that there's a lot of conventional wisdom that says Obama is going to, in effect, either moderate, as my ranking Republican said, or allow the Republicans their victories 'cause he knows in his heart to save the country he has to while blaming them at the same time. But both theories involve Obama triangulating, abandoning his base, moving to the center. I just don't see it. And we'll know. You know, folks, we will know. We'll see what they intend to do with this lame duck session. I have no doubt, in Obama's mind he was elected to roll back the Reagan revolution entirely. And it's obvious that some people in Washington do not agree with this. I don't know that they don't see it, but I do know that some of them don't agree that that's what his intentions are.

He got elected to roll back the Reagan revolution. He didn't like it. He's got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here, and all of his merry band of Marxists, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here to finally make this country pay. To finally structure this country so that it's fair for everybody, whatever perverted view they have. And in that light, I just don't see Obama saying to himself, "You know what? I've been wrong. I'm going to have to move to the middle here if I want to get reelected here in 2012. I've done what I thought people wanted, but they don't want it. It's a mistake." He doesn't think this way. He doesn't behave this way. We'll find out in this lame duck. I've see stories the Democrats are going to come back and try to ramrod 10, 15 of their really big-time issues down everybody's throat. They're not going to have a lot of time in this midterm to get a lot of things done legislatively, but we'll get an indication of what they intend to do, what Obama intends to do based on how hard they try in the lame duck.

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RUSH: Obama is so purposely deaf to the American people. He thinks the Democrats are behind in all the polls due to apathy. He thinks -- or he's telling himself -- the reason the Democrats are gonna lose is that party voters are in apathy. That's why he's out there trying to rev them up. It's not his policies. Even Michael Barone has a piece today about why the Democrats are gonna lose, and even he says they're just apathetic. It's not that. It's policies. I got a story, one in four Democrats don't like health care. One in four Democrats don't like the health care bill. Call 'em Reagan Democrats, there are some Democrats out there who are just like us, scared to death over what is happening to the country. They're not apathetic. They're either depressed or they're revved up, but there isn't any apathy out there.

Now, this thinking that Obama's gonna move to the middle, this is classic inside-the-Beltway thinking. It's right out of the template. There are only two templates and they still haven't gotten that we are dealing with a whole different situation. Remember, when I said, "I hope he fails," they ran for the tall grass. They didn't condemn me but they didn't want to be associated with me. We had people on our side, "You know what, he's a moderate guy. I've listened to him talk. I've had dinner with him. He's a very moderate guy, he's gonna come here, he's gonna work with us." Even Mr. Newt, when he appointed James Jones as some security guy, Newt's on television saying, "If you'd have told me that this radical leftist was gonna appoint Jim Jones..." I'm rolling my eyes and shaking my head here. So I have been ahead of the curve, we all have, on who this guy is from the get-go, and we still are.

Now the inside-the-Beltway thinking is: gotta move to the center, has to moderate, that's how you get reelected. Obama's not an inside-the-Beltway guy. He's a Chicago guy. Remember all the conservative columnists who had dinner with Obama at George Will's house, they came outta there, (paraphrasing) "You know what, this guy's brilliant. I like the crease in his slacks." David Brooks, "I like the crease in his slacks. This guy is very smart, very, very brilliant, like us, and he's very moderate. This guy is not a leftist ideologue." And Obama tells the Republicans, "Don't listen to Limbaugh, that's not how things get done in Washington." So they believe that Obama's gonna essentially do what Clinton did in '96. See, there's some interesting history in the modern presidential era. Every midterm where the president loses seats, he's been reelected. Truman, Ike, Clinton. The '94, the shellacking, Clinton reelected. This is what they think inside the Beltway because what happens in the past is that these presidents that lose seats get scared and start moderating to get back the voters they lost in the midterms.

This is where Obama doesn't fit the template. This is where you can't plug him into the narrative. Has there ever been a president about whom you could honestly say, as we can with Obama, "Look at what he has destroyed in a year and a half." We've never characterized a president that way. We've said, "Look what they want to destroy," health care, Clinton. I told a ranking Republican, if we had pulled off in a year and a half the same stuff that we want to do that this guy's pulled off in a year and a half, we would be ecstatically happy, just as he is.

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RUSH: So I got an e-mail from a guy that says: "Rush, Obama does not know that 60, 70% of the people disagree with him. He doesn't know that. He doesn't realize that. He reads the New York Times, that's all he reads, and in the New York Times, he's perfect." Don't believe that. He can see election returns. He can see Republican winnings, Scott Brown. He can see Republicans winning governorships. He knows. The thing you have to understand is he's smiling as he knows. He is smiling you're upset. He knows you're going to be upset. Look, if he thought you supported all this he woulda campaigned on it. He did just the opposite.

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RUSH: So Obama doesn't really know what's going on. If he doesn't know what's going on, how come he's leaving for 12 days to India and other places, two days after the election? He's beating tracks out of the country. He is abandoning the fruited plain two days after the election, for almost two weeks, heading over there to India. And look at this: "Two-thirds of the American people think the stimulus was a waste." When was the last time two-thirds of the American people agreed on anything? Immigration was the last time, yeah. This is from TheHill.com: "Over two-thirds of Americans believe that President Obama's signature stimulus bill was a waste, a new poll found Tuesday. Sixty-eight percent of Americans said they think the [Porkulus bill] was a 'waste,' compared to just 29 percent who think the money was well-spent."

See, Obama knows what he's trying to do is hugely unpopular. He can't go out and campaign with any Democrat running. He can't even campaign for Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. He's avoiding Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. When he has gone out and campaigned for Democrats they've lost. Creigh Deeds, anybody? Any number of Democrats he's campaigned for have gotten shellacked. He doesn't dare campaign for Rahm Emanuel, and it's not because he's personally unpopular. It's because his policies are hated, and even so he's not going to renounce 'em, he's not going to change 'em. It's his policies. Anybody inside the Beltway who thinks Obama's unpopular for anything other than his policies is missing it. Two-thirds of the people of this country oppose Obama's policies. That is what's happening. If Obama was gonna change his tune out there and move to the middle, wouldn't you think he'd do it right now, maybe salvage Democrat control of the Congress? We'll just have to wait and see. I don't think we're gonna get anything other than Obama trying to sneak and trick and ramrod his agenda through despite a Republican majority in the House and in the Senate.

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