RUSH: Now, there is a lot of panic on the left, as I was saying. I'm gonna give you an example here from Salon.com, but you'll find similar stuff in today's Washington Post. Andrew Leonard, Salon.com, said he finds it "sickening to hear" Obama and Dingy Harry declare the budget deal as "historic" because it's a "gamble" with an unknown outcome, but he says, "The truly baffling part of Obama's presidency is that we don't hear him making the big picture case to the American public often enough. The Republican agenda is clear: rolling back the Great Society and the New Deal, keeping taxes low and asserting that we can't afford to take care of our poor, sick, and elderly.
"The Democratic agenda should be the opposite. So let's hear it!" Okay, so that's what this guy at Salon thinks our agenda is: Cut taxes for the rich; and throw the poor, the sick, and the elderly under the bus, overboard or wherever. Just get rid of 'em. That's what he thinks we want to do; he thinks Obama ought to stand for the opposite. Now, for the record, Republicans do not claim "we can't afford to take care of our poor, sick, and elderly." What the Republicans are saying is we can't afford to spend ourselves into bankruptcy. What the Republicans are saying is if you can take care of yourself it's about time you start.
It's nothing more complicated than that. If you could take care of yourself, it's your responsibility. There is a moral component to the Paul Ryan budget -- and the moral component is self-reliance. Where did all this talk about sacrifice go? You know, during the Iraq war, the Democrats said, "Wheeeere is the sacrifice?" meaning, "Where are the tax increases?" Well, the top 1% already pay 40% of the tax burden and there's not a whole lot of more you can do to 'em. We've gotten ourselves to this convoluted position now where government spending is considered to be the best economic stimulus there is.
Somehow, there is more reverence on the left for transfer payments to people who do not work as a boon to the economy than there is assisting people -- with regulatory changes, tax changes -- who are working! Somehow it's the people who are working who are the enemy. Somehow, on the Democrat side of the aisle, it's people who are working are the targets. It is on their backs we have to balance everything. It's on their backs we've gotta somehow come to grips with where we are -- and at the same time the key to our economic recovery lies in people who aren't working continuing to receive transfer payments! That's where they are.
Now, you can get by with an IQ of a pencil eraser and understand which side is wrong in this argument. We just can't afford to keep spending the way we're spending. We cannot continue to support a union money laundering operation that does nothing but reelect Democrat after Democrat after Democrat. We cannot pay any more for every socialist utopian dream of an ever-expanding government -- and we certainly cannot have a vibrant, growing country leading the world with a majority of people don't work, receive some sort of transfer people and are said to be the backbone of the country, which is where the Democrats are now.
Now, conventional wisdom says that in the end of a deal, any deal, if both sides are unhappy it's a good compromise. But you know me and conventional wisdom: I think it's often wrong. And in this case, if so many on both sides are unhappy, could simple reason be that it's not really a good deal? It remains a distinct possibility. Now, as you all know, I admire National Review. National Review magazine was crucial in my development. One of the greatest things ever happened to me was becoming friends with its founder, William F. Buckley Jr. I've supported National Review and their website operation for a long time.
Given what we know today, what's in the news today, they've got sort of alternative universe editorial from their editors, and here's how it begins: John Boehner and congressional Republicans are to be congratulated for their performance in the recent budget negotiations, both for the modest victory they achieved and the potential defeat they escaped. In wringing another $38 billion in spending cuts..." It was actually $2 billion now. There's $12 billion that was already cut in previous CRs that we're counting, and another $10 billion from a previous CR. Really. According to the Hill.com it's two to five billion dollars in real cuts.
"John Boehner and congressional Republicans ... have made another marginal gain in the struggle for the long-term solvency of the American government. In their willingness to take a half a loaf, they avoided a shutdown and the risk they would be blamed for it -- a high-wire act for very low stakes." So the guys as National Review, the editors there are praising the Republican leadership for avoiding a shutdown. Why? Why avoid a shutdown? What was paramount? Let's review: What was the dire consequence if there was a government shutdown? Well, the fear apparently was that if the government shuts down, we get blamed again.
"Republicans get blamed that we don't care about people, and that we're cold-hearted and mean-spirited and we only care about ourselves and the rich and, blah, blah, blah, blah -- and we're anti-government and we just don't want to have that stuff said about us anymore. (sobbing) Stop writing that stuff about us!" So we can't have a government shutdown. Okay, so we avoided a government shutdown, and look at the news today. Right on schedule, CNN poll: Independents, abandon Republicans, flock back to Obama!
People all over the country in a CNN poll vastly support Obama and the Democrats on the budget deal. Republicans are portrayed as they are always going to be portrayed! So we got the same treatment, essentially, whether we shut down the government or not. This is what we all know is going to happen. I don't know, folks. Maybe things I find easy -- I used to not, but maybe things I find easy -- are just too difficult for a lot of people. For example, I'm like everybody else. I used to be... I was in a prison of my own making because I was solely concerned of what people thought.
My actions, the things I would say in public -- not at work so much but just out at dinner or the things like that -- I would measure everything I said on the basis of what I thought people would think of it. And you know when you do that, the one thing that is inescapable that you're doing is you are subordinating yourself to everybody else. You are by definition telling yourself that you are less consequential, less important, that you matter less than those other people -- some of whom you'll never even meet or know. If you are going to be more concerned about what somebody thinks of you or what they're going to think of what you do, you are saying you don't think much of yourself -- and that is a prison.
And all it does is deny whoever is in that behavior mode from being who they really are. The minute you start trying to figure out what everybody else wants you to be and then try to be it, you are finished, and you are living a life defined by fear -- and fear kills. Now, I happen to know that it's very rare, and you can tell it's very rare by looking at the number of people about whom it is said, "You know, he really doesn't care what people think." It's not very many people that that is said about, because it is pretty rare for somebody not really to care what somebody else thinks about 'em.
Now, I'm gonna be reasonable. In certain circumstances, certain situations, we all have to take into account the reactions of others -- family and so forth, business circumstances -- but in a fight like this, where the stakes we claim are saving the country, we're not talking about maintaining a family relationship here or seeing to it we don't offend a business client. These are once-in-a-lifetime stakes, as far as we're concerned: Saving the country. So if you go into this with, "Oh, gosh, we don't shut down the government! Oh, my gosh, what are they gonna say about us if we shut down the government?"
Well, the answer is, "They're going to say about us the same thing as if we don't shut down the government. They're still gonna say whatever they say about us because we are conservatives," and if you don't like that, become a liberal! If you don't like what liberals say about you, the only cure is to join them, because it's never going to change, and there's not one action you can take that will make liberals say nice things about you -- and the more you try to manage what they think and say about you, the more they own you. Now, when you start talking about elite cliques and groups of people, guess what dominates?
Groupthink, not individualism -- and when you're talking about groupthink, you're talking about people who subordinate their own individuality for the sake of being accepted by the group, and then you do whatever you think the group will tolerate, but the real killer in this -- the real killer is -- that in order to do this, you have to tell yourself you are less important, less consequential than the people you're trying to impress or the people you're trying not to offend or what have you. Because you're essentially saying that what they think is more important than what you think. If you're worried about what they think -- and who the hell are they?
I mean, in anything. Not necessarily a political agreement, just, you know, your bowling league or whatever. What do you care what the people in Lane 5 think, whether you know them or not? But why you gonna grant them superiority -- superiority status over you? But I know this is the way of the world. The vast majority of people live their lives this way. Practically every A-list celebrity does. Practically every A-list celebrity is paranoid of what's said about 'em in those tabloid newspapers, magazines, and so forth. They try to massage it and manage it, and when you live by that kind of stuff you die by it.
When you live by press coverage you're gonna get killed by it because it can't maintain itself whatever it is, especially if you engineer some phony kind of press coverage. Look, politics just show biz for the ugly. The same principles apply. Once you start trying to manage what your political enemies or opponents or the political press says about you -- and if you're gonna have your image dictated by what you can convince them to write about you -- at some point you're dead if it's not grounded in any truth or reality about you. David Brinkley once said, "A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that other people throw at him."
I like that quote. Now, let's face it: We all do this. We all do it. I, much less than I ever did before. Practically I don't care now. I really don't, and it can make enemies. People expect you to be deferential to 'em. People expect you to protect their feelings. People expect you to; they play on it. But this, the stakes here are too important here to start getting caught up in all this high school clique stuff. "What are they gonna think of me? Gee, we can't have them write that we shut down the government." Why not? Why have to sit there and accept their premise?
Why can't you say, "If there's a government shutdown, you guys, it's gonna be because of you"? I once met a man and became a pretty good friend of him for a while, Howard Slusher. He used to be a sports agent; he was at Nike for a while, but he represented, among other people, Dan Fouts. Let me take a break here because I've gotta spend a little bit more time on this than I have before we go to the break. Dan Fouts, a former great quarterback of the San Diego Chargers. Slusher held Fouts out one year in a contract dispute, and I remember talking to him about it. It was a very educational thing, what Slusher said to me about that circumstance.
RUSH: So I was talking to Howard Slusher and I said, "Man, why did you hold Dan Fouts out?" He said, "I didn't hold Dan Fouts out." "What do you mean you didn't? You're his agent." He said, "The owners held Dan Fouts out. The owners of the Chargers. They're the ones that wouldn't pay. He was worth X, I'm not gonna let him work for anything less than that." The point there was and the point here is, is that why do we always subordinate ourselves to their premise? Okay, let's say that last week happens but we don't come to an agreement and there's a government shutdown. Why is it automatic it's our fault?
Why can't we go on offense and say, "They shut down the government. They're the ones that have created this train wreck. The Democrat Party has put us on the tracks to utter disaster. We are trying to derail this and get back on the tracks to prosperity." What is so hard about saying they shut it down? "Well, Rush, the media will never cover us." So, you don't have just their media out there. You are the media in some of these cases I'm talking about, you know, our conservative intelligentsia, you are the media. I just think if we start worrying about what people think of us, we're subordinating ourselves, everybody else is better than we are. Well, the people that do it do that. It's not helped anyone. It's happening from leaders and politics. It's not a good thing, folks, and that's exactly where we are here, and it's how we got to where we're not gonna shut the government down because of what happened in 1995 and what they said about us. It wasn't that bad anyway.
Anyway, let me help here. The fights that are happening within the Democrat Party, this all has to be put in perspective, too. And I'm the one to do it. The way to look at the fights within the Democrat Party is the way that you look at fights within the Communist Party in the old Soviet Union. They had their purists, too, the pure Marxists and then there's the Leninists. Now, the Leninists were more totalitarian. This is not a perfect example, but it's a good parallel. Now, on the left, they have these battles. It does not mean that the Leninists are centrists or moderates. They still believe what they believe. They just believe there are different ways to achieve the same end: massive centralized, big government.
So when they start fighting amongst themselves, don't confuse that with moderation or centrism when it applies to our system of government and our economic system, because the end they pursue is the same end. Salon's unhappy with Obama but not because they have different objectives. Salon's unhappy about how Obama's getting there. Nobody on the left is genuinely unhappy with the march to totalitarianism that Obama is underway with. They're just upset with the speed at which he's going or the deference he might be showing Republicans here and there, or the methodology he's using to get there. They're upset about the speed. They're upset maybe he's not showing enough energy for it. But they all have the same goals.