RUSH: The Politico has a story out of Iowa: "Republican Sounds Alarm over American Decline -- Republican activists in this key presidential state have a dark, foreboding feeling that America is in decline. They believe the nation is hurtling in the wrong direction and, worse, on the brink of losing its unique place in the world. That sentiment is hardly new to American politics, but it's one that’s been reanimated by the presidency of Barack Obama. Some see him as hostile to the notion of American exceptionalism. Others simply don’t believe he's an American at all.
"Together, it’s fueling the rise of an emerging debate on the right that could overshadow the traditional focus on social and fiscal issues and create an opening for a candidate who can speak to a still inchoate but clearly volatile element that is roiling the conservative grassroots. It’s not that culture wars and tax revolts are about to be displaced in GOP presidential politics ... Rather, the very issues that have typically energized GOP primary voters -- such as abortion, faith, gay marriage, debt, military power -- are being subsumed into a larger debate about a country in decline." They're not separable! This is Jonathan Martin writing the story.
I would submit that all of these... This is another attack on the "social issues." Republicans have gotta just forget this social stuff. Oh! Speaking of that -- speaking of that -- let me proffer a theorem. I have shared with you on some occasions one of my first ever big-time dinner parties in the Hamptons in the early nineties when, after dinner, I was approached by a well-known, wealthy moderate Republican financier, fundraiser, big time contributor. On the deck of this large house in the Hamptons after dinner, he comes up and pokes me in the chest and says, "What are you going to do about the Christians? They're killing us! This abortion business is killing us. We're never gonna be able to win elections."
I said, "What do you want me to do about it?"
"Well, yeah, they listen to you. That's who listens to you, isn't it? The Christians, the pro-lifers?"
I said, "Well, I don't know that all of them do, but I'll tell you, I don't think you guys can win elections without 'em. They're 24 million votes."
"Well, you gotta do something about it."
"Well, we just can't keep it up! I mean, my wife is nagging me. All of our wives are nagging us about this. They don't want to go conventions with these hayseeds that show up from the South who are part of this belief system."
I'm listening to this -- and, now, you understand, I'm into maybe the third or fourth year of my show here; Clinton has just been elected; and I'm being told the Christians are the problem! And these guys think I have a pipeline to 'em. Well, it got me to thinking last night. You know, I raised the question yesterday: What is it these same people, the intellectuals hate about Sarah Palin?
RUSH: Yesterday's discussion that we had on this program where I finally had to ask you, "What is it that all of the conservative intellectuals hate about Sarah Palin?" and these guys at The Politico, "Rush, was really, really puzzled by this."
MARTIN: I was struck by the transcript of Limbaugh, I actually read it last night, and he seemed to be genuinely struggling to figure out why exactly these conservatives were criticizing Sarah Palin. But he thought about a lot of ulterior motives, but I don't think he ever considered the fact that maybe some of them do genuinely have concerns over her practice of identity politics. Some of these folks, there is some conviction here. They genuinely do think what separates the right from the left, Chuck, is the practice of identity politics. That's what they do on the left. And I think seeing Palin on the class card, that the left has done in their eyes for the last 40 years, I think there is some genuine concern about her doing that.
RUSH: Now, Jonathan, you know I love you and I respect you, but is that an idea you put in their heads? Is that an idea you had for a story and then you went and asked them? Or did somebody call you and say, "You know what, the reason we don't like Palin is 'cause all this victim stuff she's getting into"? Of all the things I've heard to explain why they don't like Palin the fact she's running around making herself out to be a victim and that's what's separates us from the left? For crying out loud, what separates us from the left, gee, freedom! Spending! Rein it in, Rush. Victimology? I don't even look at her as trying to make herself out to be a victim. My problem with this is, you talk about Palin and her identity, what is the woman supposed to do, Jonathan? I'm really at a loss here. And I'm at a loss for two reasons. Why do conservatives not like a conservative? That's what she is to me. She articulates conservatism as well as anybody else out there is doing it. She has the ability to reach people like Reagan does. What the hell's wrong with this? I can understand having this kind of vitriol for a liberal.
I can understand this kind of vitriol for a Democrat. But she's a conservative. Okay, so what, then, is really happening here? Well, it could be this. This is not my theorem, by the way. It could be this. It could be what I was saying earlier, they really are scared to death, everybody in Washington is, of the Tea Party. And there isn't a Tea Party leader. There is not a single person you can destroy and take the Tea Party with it. Maybe they're trying to make her to be the leader of the Tea Party, or me, or their favorite person of the week, because the objective is to take out the Tea Party. Well, you can't take out the Tea Party 'cause there isn't a Tea Party leader. The Tea Party is like the NFL. Your starting tackle goes down, it's the next man up. This candidate takes it in the shorts, okay, next man up. We're not gonna be determined here by single individuals because we're a movement of ideas, genuine grassroots.
So it is a genuine intellectual disconnect for me to think that the real problem these conservative intellectuals have with Palin is rooted in the fact she's defending herself and claiming, "I didn't pull the trigger in Arizona." She's supposed to sit there and smile? I don't know if there is a one of them who could take one week of the media anal this woman's had and shut up, not say anything, and remain of good cheer like she has. So, another theorem. I don't really have enough time here to get into detail, but remember when these guys told me that their wives were nagging 'em about pro-life, pro-choice? Well, what if these guys happen to dig Sarah Palin? Well, look, I have talked to people with actual experience. She first shows up, she makes that speech at McCain's coming-out party, VP, bunch of guys are raving about her, I had a bunch of them tell me their girlfriends and their wives gave 'em static, "Oh, you love Palin, huh?" Don't discount this outta hand.
RUSH: Let me ask you a question. Jonathan Martin, Politico, does this story that the conservative intellectuals don't like this identity politics that Palin's playing. Victimology and all that. May I ask you, what is her identity? No, no, somebody tell me. Snerdley, if somebody asks you to tell 'em who Sarah Palin is, what's her identity? In fact, if she were playing upon identity politics, if people really meant what they said, wouldn't the NAGs love this woman? She's got it all. The only thing she did not do was have an abortion, and that's maybe a big problem. But she's got it all. I mean she is the epitome of having it all, in a way.
We were talking yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, about how the media and even some conservatives mocked Ronald Reagan. They didn't like Ronald Reagan. In fact, one of the nicest things that Reagan was called was an amiable dunce, and that was by Tip O'Neill. Well, ask yourself. Is there anybody on the political scene today who has proved to be an amiable dunce? Is there? I give you Obama, if there is a genuine amiable dunce. I mean here's a guy playing golf every day, recording his NCAA picks for ESPN broadcast tomorrow, if there is somebody walking and wandering through the motions here, and I would question even the amiability on this. But let's not leave him out of it.
Now, I get Internet spam out the wazoo. Sometimes I have to really guard my temper 'cause my friends send me this stuff. "Hey, Rush, wait 'til you see this," and I've only seen a thousand copies of it by the time they send it to me. So not only does it clutter my e-mail box from spammers, my friends send this stuff to me. One of these things they sent was from February 27 called: "'Open letter to Sarah Palin' -- Sarah, you chose to keep and raise your Down syndrome child and that is CHOICE that the left and probably a lot of women HATE to be reminded of what choice they might have to face in their own lives. They don’t want to be exposed to the site of a competent, happy mother dealing with all of the complexities of those circumstances. It demonstrates an internal strength and SOLID MORAL COMPASS that many of them cannot bear to witness. They suspect that in their own hearts they don’t have that level of moral strength within them. We know that Clinton’s moral compass was prone to pointing towards the best female target in the room at the time."
Now, this next paragraph I really think is right. "We [as a culture] seem to be more in tune and sympathetic to weakness and moral failure. We want to help weaklings all we can, after all it’s 'not their fault', and it's easier to watch someone as bad or weaker than ourselves. We see it in all the Hollywood coverage of the failed icons of stage, screen and TV who have all the advantages life offers repeatedly failing. They use the proceeds of their profession to abuse themselves and control their entourage. How many of the odd ball papers in the super marker checkout line exist purely on this appetite for details about failed lives? The very fact that yo, Sarah, are successfully dealing with you’re child Trig while stiff arming all of your political enemies, that appear to be legion, shows that you are very much feared by the progressives, and have the right stuff for true conservatives. You are more than qualified to fend off attacks by the progressives. If you decide to run and are successful in a presidential campaign it will be because you are a strait shooter, unlike what we have now."
So the point is that this business here about her being a threat to people, in the conservative intellectual sense, I think she's a threat because she got where she is without seeking their counsel, she has not sought their advice, she doesn't pal around with them. She has direct access to the Tea Party, by virtue of her ideas. They don't. And I think trying to take her out is an attempt to take out the Tea Party as well. To try to impugn her is to impugn the Tea Party as well. But this business here of we want to help weaklings, we're sympathetic to weakness and moral failure. And this is true not just in the entertainment media. This is true throughout the media. I could give you a couple one-name examples but I'm not gonna revisit this at this time. But this is, believe me, right on the money. People who have failed, people that just don't quite measure up, it's cause of our country, it's because of our culture, it's because of some form of discrimination, some form of racism, bigotry, sexism, homophobia, what have you. So we identify with these victims. That's what I don't get. She doesn't play this card. She doesn't play that kind of victimology card. She doesn't portray herself as weak like the others who do and get away with it.
RUSH: RUSH: Here is Angela in Dumfries, Virginia. Nice to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call, Rush. Mega dittos.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I want to say -- well, I guess I shouldn't say mega dittos with what I'm gonna say. I really wish you would stop acting as if everyone who doesn't support Sarah Palin has somehow or another been convinced by liberals that she's not worthy to run. Sarah Palin and I have a lot in common. We're the same age. We both have five children, and I wouldn't support her for president, I'm a conservative mother, and I simply believe that she did some things during the campaign in 2008 that I, as a mother, would never do --
RUSH: Fine and dandy.
CALLER: -- to my children.
RUSH: Okay, but wait a minute.
CALLER: And same thing with Mitt Romney.
RUSH: Wait a second.
CALLER: A lot of people act like Mitt Romney, if you don't support him, it's because he's a Mormon. It's because he has five sons and not one serves in the military. So stop acting as if someone doesn't want to support Sarah Palin that they're --
RUSH: All right, hold it just a second.
CALLER: -- against her. I'm not against her.
RUSH: Just a second.
RUSH: First place, I didn't say that people like you don't like her because of the liberals.
CALLER: Oh. Okay.
RUSH: Number two, what did she do?
CALLER: I just wanted to make sure because that's what it sounds like to me.
RUSH: Well, I'm sorry.
CALLER: You give me Mitch Daniels and Allen West any day, and I'll support that ticket. But the people that you all keep pushing, Mitt Romney, Gingrich, Palin, those --
RUSH: I haven't --
CALLER: -- are tired names.
RUSH: Wait a second here. Now you're starting to make me suspicious, madam.
CALLER: What? What?
RUSH: I haven't pushed anybody. I've talked about the how weak the field is.
CALLER: -- (crosstalk) conservatives, and even on Fox News the same names, same people. We're sick and tired of that.
RUSH: I am not on Fox News.
CALLER: The establishment Republican is the problem.
CALLER: Even though Sarah Palin isn't establishment --
CALLER: -- I just wouldn't vote for her for my own reasons.
RUSH: What did I tell you, folks? My theory is being proven --
CALLER: What is your theory?
RUSH: -- big time right here.
RUSH: Oh, you missed that. You've heard all this other stuff I haven't said, and you missed what I did say.
CALLER: What did you say? I apologize. What?
RUSH: I'm not pushing anybody. In fact, I don't see how you can lump Mitch Daniels with Allen West. But that's another subject, what I want to know is --
CALLER: Well, that's how I see it. See, now, how I see you, because you can't understand it, that's how I see it. I think that --
RUSH: Would you stop being contentious? I have not insulted you once here.
CALLER: Okay, okay.
RUSH: I haven't said that you believe something 'cause somebody made you feel it at all.
CALLER: Okay. I'm just having fun, Rush. I like being on the phone with you.
RUSH: I want you to tell me, what did Sarah Palin do during the campaign that you didn't like?
CALLER: Well, it was more than once, whenever she was doing a speech or something and she had her children at the end, you know, the families come out --
CALLER: -- and she would walk away with her handlers or whoever they were, and her little girl, her little girl, in a crowd of strangers -- a mother, my instinct -- and I was waiting for her to do it, I so wanted her to just reach her hand back and take her daughter's hand. She never did that. And that may seem small to a lot of people, but I am a mother of five girls, and I would have never done it.
RUSH: We gotta make a --
CALLER: And that made me think, I mean just the motherly instinct wasn't there.
RUSH: We gotta make a note to hire you again. You're one of the best paid actors we've ever had on this program.
CALLER: I can't believe you're saying that! I am not! That is not true! I mean everyone who's listened to me in Dumfries, Virginia, know that I worked with the Prince William County Republican Party. I am a true conservative.
RUSH: All right. I've not disputing it. I just gotta tell you something here.
RUSH: Most women complain -- I'm just telling you the truth here -- most women complain that Sarah Palin is trotting around her Down syndrome baby like an accessory and it makes them feel guilty, and they don't like it. Now you're saying she's abandoning the kids in these things.
CALLER: Well, I'm not saying -- I just think that it takes a lot of time to do what she does. It really does. It takes a lot of time. And I just --
RUSH: Is this really why you wouldn't vote for her? This is not even an issue thing.
CALLER: I can't see how she can be an effective mother, and again I am a conservative mother, I choose to stay home with my children, that's just something that we believe. Our country is not so desperate for leadership that we should take women away from their children at that point in their lives.
RUSH: You gotta be kidding. Now you're telling me that you wouldn't support her for president because she'd have to abandon her kids and would be a bad mother?
CALLER: Well, I'm just saying there are other people that I would support. I would not support her simply because I don't think that she -- (crosstalk)
RUSH: (laughing) Yes. Now we get to it.
CALLER: -- that I felt just was -- I couldn't support her.
RUSH: Okay, so Sarah Palin's not allowed to go to work? Because she's got five kids and she's not allowed to go to work?
CALLER: She can work if she chooses to.
RUSH: No, not if it's for president because you're not gonna vote for her because that's irresponsible and you think that she's not meeting her motherhood requirements if she goes to work.
CALLER: If the conservatives put Sarah Palin up against Barack Obama I would vote for Sarah Palin, I certainly would. But it would be the same thing in 2008 having to vote for McCain, as far as I'm concerned.
RUSH: Oh, Good Lord, Angela. Now I know you're putting me on. Now you're just --
CALLER: Hey, everyone has their reason -- (crosstalk)
RUSH: Now you're just trying to send me into orbit here. I know what you're doing now.
CALLER: -- and Mitt Romney, same thing. Five sons, no one serves, I wouldn't vote for him, either.
RUSH: Would you get off of this Romney business? When's the last time I pumped Romney or Gingrich or any of these people you're talking about?
CALLER: I'm just hoping that the people out there hear what I'm saying, I wouldn't vote for 'em.
RUSH: We got it.
CALLER: For that reason.
RUSH: We got it. You have not given me a sensible reason yet.
CALLER: Well, it may not be sensible to a lot of people, Rush, but that's my reason.
RUSH: Okay, fine.
CALLER: And it's not because I'm a liberal.
RUSH: See, but it has nothing to do with issues, and this is my theorem, it's got nothing to do with issues. It all has to do with emotion or women stuff.
CALLER: Okay, well, whatever, that's my reason, Rush.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: Sorry to disappoint you, but that's my reason.
RUSH: You're not disappointing me. You're just a sexist.
CALLER: Am I? Well, that could be it, too.
RUSH: A little sexism going on here, but that's fine, everybody has, you know, boundaries to allow some of that stuff to happen.
CALLER: Thanks for allowing me to talk.
RUSH: Who would you vote for in the Republican field?
CALLER: Say it again?
RUSH: In the current Republican field, who would you vote for?
CALLER: Mitch Daniels.
RUSH: He's got kids.
CALLER: Well, his kids have a mother.
RUSH: Okay. So it's okay for a father to have all kinds of kids and abandon 'em and leave them --
CALLER: No, he wouldn't be abandoning them.
RUSH: -- with the mother.
CALLER: That's right. I'm a traditionalist, Rush, and I think a lot of conservatives are.
RUSH: Well, Sarah Palin's kids have a father.
CALLER: That's a father, what's that have to do with being a mother? Because he's a father?
RUSH: The strange thing about what you're saying is I think she's balancing all this quite well.
CALLER: I don't agree with that.
RUSH: Well, what evidence?
CALLER: You know what, I don't want to get into the Sarah Palin bashing.
RUSH: Oh, now it's a good time to say it --
CALLER: -- I've done enough of that -- (crosstalk)
RUSH: -- at the end of the phone call.
CALLER: -- other reasons that I think because I like her enough to not go there, okay?
RUSH: All right, point out to me one of her kids that's an abject ne'er-do-well failure?
CALLER: I don't want to go there, Rush. I really don't.
RUSH: Okay. You don't have to.
CALLER: Okay, thanks.
RUSH: You're a woman. I appreciate the call.
CALLER: All right, thanks, Rush, bye.
RUSH: All right, Angela, it was. That is Angela in Dumfries, Virginia. You do have her number, right? You got her number? Okay, call her agent.
RUSH: Yeah, I was really struck here by Angela. Was that her name? Yeah, Angela. Mitch Daniels and Allen West? Folks, Mitch Daniels is the one candidate out there saying the Republicans are gonna have to abandon social issues to win. There was a piece yesterday in National Review by Michael Cannon. Daniels and Obamacare. Listen to what this guy writes: "Indiana governor Mitch Daniels's policy director, Lawren Mills, Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, and Bob Goldberg of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest take exception to my NRO article 'Mitch Daniels’s Obamacare Problem.'
"In brief, the trio believes that Daniels’s expansion of government-run health care is a conservative triumph. I can't believe we're even having this conversation. To recap, the Healthy Indiana Plan, which Daniels signed into law in 2007, bears the following similarities to Obamacare," and there are six of them. So we have a guy writing at National Review (I don't know how he got published here, by the way) claiming that Mitch Daniels' health care plan in Indiana has a lot of similarities to Obamacare, and he can't believe that we're even having the conversation that says Daniels' health care plan is conservative, when there are so many similarities to Obamacare.
Now, clearly... I don't know if you know much about Allen West, but there's no common ground here. I mean, they're both Republicans, but that's about it, when it comes to Allen West and Mitch Daniels. Well, I think there's fiscal discipline things that they probably have in common, but they're really... The way she said it... (sigh) You just wouldn't say, of all the people running, your two favorites -- if you're looking at policy -- are Mitch Daniels and Allen West. Now, if you're looking at other things, you never know. Could well be.
RUSH: It seems to me all this hating going on on Sarah Palin, for whatever reason, there are a lot of people who just don't like the idea of a strong woman. Well, isn't that what we heard in explaining the criticism of Hillary? We did.