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CPAC Speech: Principle, Not Policy

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is my CPAC speech, February 28, 2009. I mentioned this yesterday, and I want to revive it today. I told the crowd, the assumed throng, that we're gonna hamstring ourselves if all we do is stay focused on policy.

RUSH ARCHIVE: From the standpoint of what we have to do, folks, this is not about taking a policy or a process that the Democrats have put forward and fighting over it around the edges. If we're gonna convince the minds and hearts of the American people that what's about to happen to them is as disastrous as anything in their lives in peacetime, we're gonna have to discuss philosophy with them. We are going to have to talk about principle. Because our principles are not present in what's happening here. So where the hell do we go to compromise what we believe in when our principles are not theirs; our principles are just the opposite of what is happening? (applause)

RUSH: I was in a longer rant here about this whole notion that everything focuses on policy. And remember, now, at this point in time we just got shellacked and I'm the only guy not willing to cave and give in and try to get along and mitigate the damage. I'm out there saying, "I hope he fails," and everybody's having a cow over that. And I'm saying, "Why do we accept their policy premise and then negotiate around the edges? Why do we accept that there must be a health care bill?" Okay, they say we need a health care bill. "Fine. We disagree with you, we'll do our own." Why? Did we come up with the idea of a health care bill on our own or are we reacting?

Same thing with all the other policies. So if we get caught up in policy, they're gonna win all the time because they're the ones that have this never-ending policy agenda, -- and we're always gonna be on the defensive. And where do our principles and where does our philosophy tie in when all we're doing is discussing policy after policy after policy.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Newport Beach, Florida, and John. Hello, sir. You're next.

CALLER: Rush, it's good to talk to you. Longtime listener, first-time caller.

RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.

CALLER: The problem with (unintelligible) attack is policies 'cause he can change his policies in a second. I mean it gives him much too much wiggle room. He can do whatever he wants to do. He can say whatever he wants. He can be whatever anybody wants him to be.

RUSH: Well, there is that, there is that.

CALLER: The approach needs to be assessing his character. I would love to see someone set up a website and the message should just be, "Obama lies" and put on there every lie he has made in the last two or three years.

RUSH: There may not be the bandwidth necessary to --

CALLER: I'm afraid you're right --

RUSH: -- handle the website --

CALLER: -- I'm afraid you're right.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: One thing about this financial process that we're in, any time you choose to politicize a financial process, you ensure a deficit right off the bat. So this thing's got to be stopped. This debt process is continuing to really enslave our children in the future --

RUSH: Oh, I know. But, remember, now, it's all Bush's fault, and it's Republican Congress' fault, and it's Khadafy's fault. Do you believe that gasoline prices are Khadafy's fault? Honest to God, you read the State-Controlled Media and gas prices are expected to fall when the Khadafy situation is resolved one way or the other. By the way, the Saudis, God love 'em, our friends the Saudis can't make up the difference in Libyan oil that's lost because it's two completely different grades. Libyan oil, I believe, is the light sweet crude, high quality. The Saudis' is not of that type. So it's not a zero-sum game where the oil is concerned.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Alan in Louisville. It's great to have you on the program, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network.

CALLER: Rush, you talked about courage earlier. What frustrates me the most is why do we have wimpy candidates that will not tell it like it is? And, frankly, I don't understand why, because I don't understand what they're afraid of. You have the most popular radio show, Fox News is the popular network, Bill O'Reilly has the most popular --

RUSH: Wait, I explained all this this week: Getting an audience is a lot different than getting votes. You cannot get votes from people that hate you. People that hate you will watch you, will listen to you. You gotta keep giving the haters a reason to hate you.

CALLER: But the polls all show that the country is center-right, and in my opinion probably more right.

RUSH: I understand that.

CALLER: Democrats, when they campaign, they campaign to the right.

RUSH: I understand that.

CALLER: Why do we campaign to the left? I don't... It just frustrates me to no end.

RUSH: Well, I wouldn't say they were campaigning to the left. What we're talking about this week is the people you're calling wimps (I'm not gonna call 'em wimps) think it's safer to focus on policy differences rather than talk about philosophy. See, I think ideology ought to be part of a campaign. I just do. I just do.

CALLER: I agree, a hundred percent.

RUSH: I'm not ashamed to be conservative. I'm not ashamed to say I'm a Reaganite. I'm not ashamed to say that I am a constitutional conservative. But... (interruption) No, I'm not a wimp. I'm not saying these guys are wimps. I'm saying that they've got a strategy. They all, I think, believe Obama -- we talked about the this today -- is a universally popular, loved, liked guy. They think it's not gonna be productive to go after somebody who's well liked. My whole point is, he's not well liked, and he's not warm and cuddly. He's a cold, calculating guy. You know, and the mainstream media still gigantic. When you add up every newspaper in this country, and every local television station, they're still gigantic compared to Fox News.

So that's what we've been discussing all week, Alan, is the belief here that policy differences need to be the focus, from the current crop of candidates. They think that's the best way to go about it. "Obama's policies have led to current economic circumstances and will lead to even worse economic circumstances. Obama's policies will cause America's influence in the world to shrink. Obama's policies are causing a vast reduction of American exceptionalism, and more of it is going to," blah, blah, blah. They just think that's the most effective way to communicate. (interruption)

All right, a question here from the official program observer. What...?

(interruption)

Mmm-hmm. Snerdley wants to know if any of the current crop came to my defense during the flap over "I hope he fails." No. But, Snerdley (sigh), nobody in politics did. A few media people did on our side, but nobody in politics came to my defense. I'm sure they were sweating that out. I mean, they were sweating bullets on that. I guarantee you they were thinking, "Aw, jeez, what is he saying this for? Why is he creating this problem for us?" I'm sure that's what the political class was saying that. (interruption) I don't think, Snerdley, that too many of those people even today think it was the right way to go about it. I don't believe... (interruption) I'm dead serious.

I think most in the political class today do not think it was, and probably still wish I hadn't said, "I hope he fails," and most of them would not certainly pick up the banner. I could be wrong, but theirs is a different job than this one is, and I am the first to understand this. Getting votes is a far different prospect than getting an audience for a media program. (interruption) No, Snerdley, they don't think that! You know... (sigh) Here's what I'm hearing, folks, in the IFB that you can't hear. Snerdley is saying my claim that I hope he fails is what was the icebreaker and opened up the avenue for the rest of our party to start criticizing him. (groans)

I don't know how to say this. I don't quite know how to say this. See, I don't want to burst your bubble, but that's not at all how they look at that, nor do they look at me that way. They don't. The guys I'm talking to do not look at me as an ally. They look at me as -- and not just me. I think a lot of the conservative media. They don't look at me as an ally. They look at me as... (sigh) "Eh, keep that out of our way. How do we keep that out of our way?" It's not personal. I don't take any of it personally. One thing I have learned over the course of my life -- not just in this career, but as a human being, one thing I've learned -- is you have to be honest about who you are.

In fact, the real beginning of this was I remember when I really idolized George Will and William Buckley. When I first got a chance to meet them, I'm sitting at home not having yet met them, and wondering about them, and I got a chance to talk to 'em, I asked them -- 'cause I had my own impressions of them as being crucially important to the formulation of opinion in the country; having a great, great impact on policy events and so forth; and I remember, I asked them -- about it. I asked George Will first. "Do you ever sit at home late at night, family's gone it to bed and you ever take stock and feel proud about what you've done and the influence you had?"

And Will just pooh-poohed that, made it sound like it was sort of a silly question and said, "I don't think of myself like that at all! I'm thinking about what I have to do tomorrow," and Buckley didn't say that exact thing, but it was somewhat similar. I have people asking me that now -- or, if they don't ask me, they treat me that way. And I do not think of myself that way. I think that most people out there look at me as a necessary evil. You know, I'm there, and there's nothing they can do about it; so I'm someone they have to maneuver around and accommodate for and allow for, but not be guided by. Certainly not! Ain't no way. I don't want to burst your bubble because you're sitting in there thinking that's how I'm viewed by everybody out there.

It's not that way. (interruption) It's not. It isn't that way. You gotta be honest about who you are. I don't care who you are and what you do for a living, whatever, you've got to be honest with yourself about who you are. Who was it? Clint Eastwood! After he just shot somebody one of spaghetti westerns, he said, "A man's gotta know his limitations." You can't... If you're gonna sit around and lie to yourself about how big you are and how important you are, you are headed for the biggest wake-up call that could crush you psychologically that you could ever face. That's why I have to laugh.

Sometimes I kinda laugh at these people like... (sigh) You can tell. I don't care who it is, you can tell when somebody's really full of themselves and really thinks that they're "the cat's meow," as my mom used to say. Then you realize their audience might be 500,000 people, and in the big scheme of things, nobody has ever heard of them, much less cares. But they're sitting there telling themselves how big and important they are. They're just living a lie. I've always tried... (interruption) It was Magnum Force! That was the Dirty Harry series. It was not the spaghetti westerns. It was Magnum Force. Yeah, Eastwood as Dirty Harry.

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