RUSH: During the campaign for the November elections, the pledge was to cut $100 billion -- and when that pledge was made, folks, I have to tell you, that's largely symbolic. It's a good step, I guess, but $100 billion, we'd still be talking pennies. This was not an election that was eked out in the final moments. This was a tsunami, and it's gonna take a whole bunch of tsunamis to continue to roll this back. We're not gonna roll this back with baby steps. We need a series of tsunamis, like the November election.
Okay, but, anyway, during the November election the pledge was to cut $100 billion, and then when there wasn't a budget and we went to a continuing resolution format, that got reduced to $61 billion on a prorated basis because we lost five months there; and then $61 billion became too much and we ended up at $38 billion. My question is, why promise $100 billion, and then why reduce the hundred billion to $61 billion and reduce that to $38.5 billion? What changed during all of this? Where did we start losing leverage? Where did we start losing ground? Obama's poll numbers didn't start skyrocketing upward. What happened?
This is what I don't understand: Why even promise $100 billion if you don't mean it and then reduce it to $61 billion? Okay, we'll go for that on a prorated basis, but then that's too much. So we're down to $38 billion. What changed? There was a great opportunity here because of leverage and these opportunities don't come along very often. The Democrats and the left didn't get us to where we are today by compromising. Pelosi never compromised. Tip O'Neill never compromised. It's not even a word in their vocabulary. Thanks to the RINOs and other wishy-washy politicians, the Republican Party has almost been compromised out of existence.
The Tea Party is what's given them new life, but Republican Party can't go back to its old ways or they're gonna be lost as a political force forever. I just don't know what changed -- and if $100 billion was too much to actually promise to pledge to cut, then why promise it in the first place? Now, I understand some people are saying, "Hey, Rush, don't get caught up in all this because the Ryan budget, that's where the rubber is gonna meet the road. Ah, we're gonna be talking trillions." That's right, and the Republican leadership is suggesting that, yep, that's where it's gonna get really serious.
This was really serious. The Democrats have been on defense since the election. They're the ones that didn't do a budget. They are why we are in this position in the first place. The opportunity was great. It's like I told the audience at my Heritage speech: Never in my lifetime -- and this has been the case for a couple years now. Never in my lifetime has the opportunity for contrast been so great, to tell the American people to demonstrate the difference. Because the American people already, by half, understand it. Why did the independents abandon Obama and the Democrats in the first place?
I mentioned this Friday night, too, and there were a lot of Republicans in the audience. Republicans didn't do zip to attract the independents. They just happened to be the only place to go. Obama and the Democrats drove them away. Now, I want to know what has changed to make everybody fearful the independents are gonna somehow go back to the Democrats. The only thing I can think of is this talk of a government shutdown. Somehow, these independents when they hear talk of a government shutdown immediately run back to the Democrat Party. I don't intellectually understand that. I don't see how that happens.
This is not 1995. The circumstances are entirely different. You have a far greater, impactful conservative media; a much more informed and caring and invested public in this. So I'm at a loss. I don't understand what has happened. Well, you know me. I'm really not all that caught up in being fearful every day of what the independents are gonna do. This notion that 20% of the American people determine the electoral outcome in the country? If that's true, that's gotta change. The standard operating theory is: Okay, 40% of the voters are gonna go Democrat; 40% are gonna go Republican; and then you have the undecideds, the independents.
And who wouldn't like to be an independent?
Hell, everybody talks about 'em as the smartest people in the world, the most open-mind people in the world! "Oh, yeah, these people are not extreme, fringe ideologues. They're not hard-core, closed mind people. No, no, no! They are the open-minded among us. That's who everybody fights for in elections." Okay, fine. Then let's go fight for 'em instead of being afraid of them. Let's go out and persuade 'em! Let's go out and tell 'em, "Guess what? You know what you really are? You're conservatives, you just don't know it. You live your life that way. You've been making the mistake of voting for people who won't let you live your life that way but you're conservatives.
"You know how we know you're conservatives? Because of the way you voted in November. We know you're conservatives 'cause you can't palate what the Obama regime is doing." Why be afraid of it? It's a golden opportunity here -- a tremendous, golden opportunity. I just don't know what to be here, folks, other than honest with you, and if we're gonna start throwing giant celebratory parties over $38 billion in cuts when that much amounts every two or three days in debt and interest? (exasperated groan) (interruption) I could pretend to be falsely optimistic? Well, no. No, no. No, I am optimistic, not falsely so.
I wouldn't have to pretend to be. Like I said, the debate has switched now. I mean, even Obama is talking about cutting spending. Obama is gonna give a speech on Wednesday night, and he's going to talk about cutting Medicare and Medicaid. Now, they won't be real cuts but he's gonna talk about it; he's gonna use the language. These people, the Democrats, are talking cuts. Now, I don't know they don't mean it. It's just like what was it, the 2002 election, the midterms when they got shellacked after the Wellstone memorial and the exit polls... It might have been 2006, I forget which.
Whichever midterm it was, the exit polls showed that "Values Voters" were the difference and so for two weeks after the election the Democrats said, "Yeah, you know, we kind of missed this. We're gonna have to go out and make our appeal known. We have values, too," and it lasted for two weeks. You know, so Obama's gonna go out there on Wednesday night. He's gonna talk about more cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. They're not gonna be real cuts. To cut Medicare is to cut Obamacare. They're one and the same. He not gonna cut it. He's gonna talk about it. Just like he goes out to the Lincoln Memorial...
By the way, the Lincoln Memorial could not be shut down, but he goes up there and takes credit for saving it and keeping it open. It's outside! They couldn't shut the Lincoln Memorial if they wanted to! (sigh) We borrow close to, what, $4.5 billion a day, so we borrow $31.3 billion a week -- and according to an article the Cybercast News Service, the federal debt increased $54.1 billion during the week before the budget negotiations. So the debt, federal debt goes up $54 billion, we announce this "massive" -- and I also heard, for the first time ever, real cuts $38 billion and it just... (sigh)
The fact of the matter is the Tea Party people, the American voters are way ahead of the commentariat and they're way ahead of the elected officials in Washington on where the country is. It used to be the other way around. It used to be that spin could work and convince people out there, but the Tea Party's way ahead of it. The Tea Party is immune to the spin; they're not buying this. Look, I'm not gonna mention any names, but I've talked to four or five freshman Republicans in the House. They're devastated. This is not at all what they thought they were jumping into. They thought they were jumping into a united effort to really get serious about reversing all aspects of the Obama regime.
And they find out that that's not what the agenda is, at least not right now. And it's the same thing that happened in 1994, with that freshman class. It wasn't long before most of that freshman class, or at least over half of it just quit. You know, they weren't professional politicians. They were just all fired up. They got there and they found out that it wasn't gonna be what they thought -- and that was with the Newt bunch and the Newt bunch was truly a bunch of revolutionaries. This bunch isn't. They're not revolutionaries. The House leadership today is not revolutionaries, although some of them are holdovers.
RUSH: I'm still trying to find out for sure if the $38 billion contains $10 billion in previous continuing resolutions. It's proving hard to nail down, which is an indication here of just how terrible the news media is that we don't even know this. But regardless, it's only $20 billion in savings anyway, which, I don't know, folks, I can't do jumping jacks over this. Just can't. Not in me.