RUSH: Sandra, Mount Vernon, Ohio, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. What a pleasure to be able to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
CALLER: You are a bright spot in my day every day because you are there to tell it like it is, and we like that.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I have two points to make. First of all, maybe some of this talk about debt ceiling and the debt limit, could that be in response to the Ryan video which of course is up against the Obama video, the I'm-better-than-God video that he's got out?
RUSH: Well, maybe, except this piece that's in the Washington Post has to have been in the works for a long time.
RUSH: It's extensive. It might be that they're trying to counter Paul Ryan and his budget, which he's gonna announce this week, and he's got a very good video. His video is extremely good. It's gotta be something else, though. And I am going to find out what it is.
RUSH: I think it's something, because it's not just the Washington Post. The New York Times Magazine is doing a long piece on this, and Woodward is writing a book about it.
CALLER: Mmm. Well, I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of it if anybody will.
RUSH: Yes, because this is something that, if I were them, if I were Obama's team, I'd let this go. I'd let it slide. I don't remind anybody of this. Unless they have got wind that the Republicans are gonna try to make some hay out of this in the campaign and they're trying to blunt that by getting it out now so that it's forgotten about during the October-November period. Who knows, but we'll find out.
CALLER: Okay. My second point, then, Rush, is concerning Obama. Since he's such a joke of a president, it's the old question: "How do you know when Obama's lying?" and the answer is, "His mouth is open." I think maybe we ought to play a laugh track after everything he says -- you know, like they do on television -- 'cause most Americans know he has no shame about lying about anything, any time. So perhaps we ought to be playing a laugh track after everything he says.
RUSH: We have, on occasion, done the idiot buzzer. We have done a laugh track. It's like anything else, though: You can overdo it and you then can arouse sympathy. One of the things... I don't know if it's in the polls from last Monday, Tuesday, and today in TheHill.com. But one of the things that the Republican establishment tells everybody as to why they temper their criticism is that the polls all show that Obama is personally liked and that even some people feel sorry for him, 'cause it's such a big job. "He's trying so hard. He's such a smart guy. He's trying so hard to fix this. He's just had all kinds of bad luck."
And they don't want to arouse any more sympathy for the guy. I don't buy all of that. I don't think you get these other poll results from people who, on the other end of the scale, "Oh, what a great guy! Oh, what a nice guy," unless they just think he's profoundly incompetent. But from the anecdotal evidence I have, there's anger toward these policies. There's anger toward Obama and what he's doing and the effect of his policies. But I'm gonna tell you: Your call gives me the occasion again. Last Monday there were two devastating polls, and there's another one out today from TheHill.com, and the results in this poll are as devastating as the polls of last Monday.
And you put 'em together with this front page Washington Post story, and these are not happy days. Remember, they have a media they think they control. Oh, they don't think. They do control it. They've got a media that they know they control. If there were just a 30% shift in the mainstream media in terms of turning around their curiosity and suspicion about Republicans onto Obama and the Democrats, you would have such a starkly different picture of this country every day in the news media than what you get now. If they were just mildly suspicious of Obama. If they were mildly distrustful.
If they expended just 10% of the effort to get Obama's approval numbers down as they did George W. Bush's, you'd have an entirely different attitude. Your mood would be entirely different, and they know that in the White House. They know that they've got a sycophantic, supportive media. And that's why their own house organs coming out with these polls and this data, coupled with this Washington Post story yesterday, has got to be upsetting to 'em. And the fact that they're not raising as much money as they projected and as they expected. It's not Happy Days Are Here Again. Then you have this Cee Lo Green out there dropping the F-bomb, singing his song mere moments before Obama shows up on the same stage.
RUSH: The plot thickens, ladies and gentlemen. Here's another potential reason for the Washington Post story of yesterday detailing Obama's abject failure as a negotiator. Well, it's not really true to say he failed. He got what he wanted, but he lied. He put his reelection first. He lied to the American people about what the Republicans were offering. He ended up getting his debt deal, though. But maybe there's another reason. We're trying to figure out: Why run this now? This piece does not make Obama look good, folks. It does not make him look like a skilled negotiator. It does not make Pelosi and Reid look like they're engaged. They look like puppets. It blatantly says that Obama lied in a primetime address. It exonerates Boehner and Cantor.
They gave Obama everything he wanted and he still moved the goalposts. In private negotiations, Boehner and Cantor said, "Okay, you want tax increases? Here. Here's $800 billion." Obama would go out and say, "The Republicans will not budge off of the fact that they're demanding spending cuts only," just blatantly lying. We're trying to figure out why. Bob Woodward's writing a book on this. The New York Times Magazine's got a piece coming. The Washington Post was first yesterday. Well, it turns out, here's another possible reason. David Corn, well-known liberal-agitating journalist who used to write for The Nation (he's all over the place out there), has a new book called Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner, Cantor, and the Tea Party.
And I think the Corn book hits bookstores tomorrow, either tomorrow or next Tuesday. But, anyway, in his book, in the Corn book, Obama is said to blame "Fox News for his political woes in a private meeting with labor leaders in 2010, saying he was 'losing white males' who tune into the cable outlet and 'hear Obama is a Muslim 24/7.'" So the Corn book is out. This is Obama, brave, courageous, fighting back against Fox News! fighting back against Boehner and Cantor! So Corn's book has an entirely different take than the Washington Post piece. So the plot thickens on this. Corn has a book coming out praising Obama as courageous and gutsy. He's up against the juggernaut Fox News who's out there telling their white audience members that Obama's a Muslim.
Then you got the Washington Post with their story putting the blame for all of this on Obama.
RUSH: Now, let's review. The Washington Post front page yesterday had a very long piece on Obama and the debt ceiling negotiations last June. And in this piece, it makes it clear that Obama is not very competent as a negotiator; that he's arrogant but insecure at the same time. It paints Pelosi and Reid as bystanders, basically Obama puppets. Not as the problems. Although not to excuse them; they are problems each and every day. But in the debt deal they were puppets. I remember Boehner telling me something some months before last summer.
I asked him a question. We were just having a general conversation and I asked him how he got along with Harry Reid. He said, "You know what? Harry gets it," and I cringed when he said that. But he said, "Harry gets it. Harry and I, we could sit down and we could put together a deal today." Well, this piece pretty much says that. This piece doesn't say it in so many words, but the piece indicates that Obama was the problem, not Reid or Pelosi in this particular instance. And then the piece makes it clear that Obama went before the nation in a prime-time address and lied. John Boehner and Eric Cantor had given Obama everything he asked for.
They gave Obama tax increases to raise the debt limit, and Obama got what he didn't want. He wanted to run against a do-nothing Congress. He can't have the Republicans compromise with him! He can't have it known that the Republicans are willing to work with him because his whole campaign for reelection is based on a do-nothing Congress. So he basically left the negotiating table, goes to the microphone and cameras, and lies to the American people. So why is this being reported? That's what I've been trying to figure out. Try this as an idea: We look at it from our perception of Obama, but let's try to look at this through the eyes of your average lunatic-fringe Democrat base voter.
How do they see Obama?
What do they want out of Obama?
I have seen it referenced many times that his own base thinks that he's a wuss. I have even had stories, I've shared them, where we've scratched our heads together about how they're unhappy. Yeah, they got health care, but it took too long. And where's Card Check? And how come Gitmo's still open? And why are we expanding wars in Afghanistan and so forth? His base thinks he's a wuss. His base thinks he's dragging his feet. His base thinks that he's not accomplishing that much. His base is angry at him that he's not out there ripping the Republicans to shreds verbally every day. So this story, I can imagine a fringe-lunatic member of the Obama Democrat base reading this and maybe applauding it. (clapping)
Can you see that?
"Obama, why, he snookered Boehner! He snookered Cantor. They come up and they give him everything he wants and he just threw it right back in their faces! He goes out and lies and gets away with it!" (clapping)
That's the kind of thing they like. So it could well be that if we look at this through the prism that an Obama base voter would look at it, this is a win-win for him.
"He slapped Boehner around! He slapped Eric Cantor around. He made fools of 'em. He brought 'em up, he let 'em think they were getting somewhere, and at the last minute he pulls the rug out from under 'em! He moves the goalposts and he goes out and tells everybody what a bunch of losers they are," which is what Obama's base wants him to do.
He ended up getting the debt ceiling increased, and from his standpoint -- from Axelrod's standpoint -- this story in the Washington Post could end up portraying Obama as Mr. Man of Steel, Mr. Tough Guy. "He stood up to Boehner! He stood up to Cantor! He just mopped up the floor with 'em!" We don't see it that way. We see a guy who goes out, gets everything he wants, and lies about it. But they see it, perhaps, differently. I'm just guessing here. 'Cause, see, I can't get my arms around the fact the Washington Post wants to harm Obama. And looked at from our perspective, it does. This piece is not flattering given how we see Obama even before we read the story.
But the way his base sees him, they could very well see this as, "This tough guy took it to 'em!" They would love the fact that he lied and misled Boehner and then goes out and skunks them by lying to the people in a nationwide address. There wasn't any big push-back from labor or any other group over this. In fact, the story's been dormant until it shows up now. So that's just another possibility to explain why the story is running. So it could be seen by these guys as Obama being more crafty and more partisan than anybody had been thinking.
"He's so tough, he wouldn't even take 'yes' for an answer! That's our guy! He wouldn't even take 'yes' for an answer! He smoked these guys, made 'em look like fools!"
Which is what the base thrives on.
RUSH: I'll tell you something else. Just one more comment. I hope I'm not boring you with this Washington Post piece about Obama and the debt deal, 'cause it's instructive. There's more of this to come. We're likely gonna have to go through this again, and we now have learned that the Republicans offered tax increases. They gave Obama everything he wanted. They "compromised," and what happened? He slapped 'em around, slapped 'em upside one wall and down the other. And then he went out and lied to the American people about it to shore up his base, who want blood. I'm telling you, what this does is it makes a joke out of all this BS that exists on our side about the need to compromise. You know, we continue to hear it from people like Senator McCain and others in the Republican establishment.
(McCain impression) "That's right, Limbaugh! The American people, they want -- they want us to work together! They want people that can cross the aisle and get things done! You know, shake hands and -- and -- and compromise." No! They don't want compromise. Obama got everything he wanted. Boehner and Cantor, according to this, offered him tax increases. And Obama turned tail and ran 'cause the last thing he wanted was a deal where the Republicans compromised! He needed to run against a "do-nothing Congress." But this should put to rest this whole notion that "compromise" has any relevance here in dealing with these people on the left.
Okay, back to the phones as promised. Susan, Silver Spring, Maryland, hello. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Mega dittos from a really deep-blue state. I was calling because I think there's one other reason that the Washington Post might have gone ahead with this story. About one week after their catastrophic polls for Obama, I think they may have been seeing this trend roll up for quite a while. And now they're a little worried that Obama might not be able to win. And if so, what can they do to save the senior leadership of the House and the Senate? Maybe make them blameless, the ones who would have worked and compromised but, no, Obama was in the way.
RUSH: Well, I guess it's possible. Just so I understand, you're thinking this story results from the two devastating polls a week ago today?
CALLER: Yes. I think they've probably seen these numbers starting to creep for a long time, and by last week they just had to publish 'em.
RUSH: Well, it could be. I just think with as many things out there on this -- there's a book, there's another story in the New York Times coming on this -- that this has been in the works for a while. And the more I think about it, I think I've answered my own question here. Obama is the culprit in the Washington Post piece. Obama thinks this piece makes him look good with his base. See, we're looking at it through our eyes. We've gotta look at it through the eyes of his supporters. The Senate and the House end up being damaged by Obama's attacks on a do-nothing Congress, and that's a centerpiece of his campaign. Pelosi wants to take back the House. Reid wants to hold on to his majority in the Senate.
Obama just said a couple weeks ago, Obama told Reid and Pelosi (paraphrased): "I'm not gonna campaign for you, and I'm not gonna give you any campaign money from my stash." He promised to do one appearance each for the House and Senate reelect committees and that's it. Normally presidents collect so much money they can divvy some out and give some away to the House and Senate for their reelect efforts. Obama told them he's got nothing for them. So the congressional Democrats are on their own. Congressional Democrats are on their own, and this story makes clear that Reid and Pelosi were puppets in this whole debt-expansion deal. So it's Obama who is the incompetent and arrogant one. Congressional Democrats are not responsible for his leadership.
It could well be here, folks, that the libs have a Plan B to hold the Senate and take back the House in case Obama loses. You know, it's important to look at this from their side, too. We look at this such as George Will did in his recent column, although he has now amended that column on this. But a week or so ago, ten days ago, Will writes a piece that everybody interprets to mean: "Hey, we can't beat Obama, but let's hold the House and focus on winning the Senate." Now, George Will has since said that's not what he meant. He thinks we can still win and that we should try, but the House and Senate are gonna be necessary regardless if we're gonna stop Obama and/or roll back some of what Obama has done.
But look at it from the Democrat side. These polls last Monday? Folks, I'm telling you, 41% approval? Obama's not raising money. He's raising less than expected. He has told the House and Senate Democrats he's not giving them any money, and he's not gonna campaign for 'em. And privately, some of them are glad. There are negatives galore attached to Obama, but perhaps some of you don't see them, such is your frustration with the status of the Republican primary or your anger with the Republican establishment or what have you. But, again, maybe the House and Senate Democrats... I guarantee you this Washington Post piece makes it clear that Reid and Pelosi are Obama's useful idiots. He used them.
So if you are a member of the House or Senate and you're a Democrat, maybe what you're doing is a reverse George Will. Maybe you've got your own plan independent of Obama, and that is: You want to take back the House and hold the Senate in case Obama loses, 'cause his polls are not good. And there's not a lot of love between Obama and the Democrats in the House and Senate, and there really never has been. Obama has made it clear that he's out for himself. You look at all these Democrat candidates he went out and endorsed that lost, governors in New Jersey and Virginia, and a couple of other elections. It's not total unity on the Democrat side. He has not unified them.
They're unified against us, but they will not sacrifice their own seats to help him. There was a time, maybe in the first year, that they would have done that. So if you looked at it that way: Here's Obama who's the culprit in this Washington Post piece. The Senate and House Democrats are damaged by his attacks on them, 'cause they're in the "Congress," too. Except Obama is running against a "do-nothing Congress," and guess who's also in there? Democrats! And they run the Senate, and Obama's running against them. Not just Republicans. The Republicans run the House, but Harry Reid and the boys run the Senate, and there are Democrats both places.
And Obama's out trying to blame everything on them at large. He's not saying, "It's a do nothing Republican Congress." So I wouldn't be surprised if the source for this Washington Post piece is a bunch of Democrats, elected Democrats who are making a move here towards self-preservation. Now, some of you may be pooh-poohing this. "Come on, Rush. This guy's got the media; he's got all the money. You're falling for this." I'm not falling for anything. I'm giving you possibilities. I also have the confidence to know that it is Panic Time at the Obama reelect committee. They live and die with polls. Polls are used to shape public opinion, not reflect it. Polls are used to find out what Obama should say about something. And these polls... And again, TheHill.com has a poll today that's just as devastating as the two from Washington Post and New York Times last Monday.
There could be infighting going on behind the scenes on the Democrat side.
RUSH: One other thing and I'm gonna move on. Another reason to suspect that Democrats leaked this not Obama is Obama's the culprit in this piece. In this Washington Post piece, Obama is the problem. He's the one that screwed up, lied, what have you. But what do we now know for sure? We know that Boehner and Cantor offered tax increases. We know it now. After steadfastly saying that they would not, after steadfastly maintaining that they wanted to do cuts before they would agree, they agreed to moderate tax increases. But there had to be spending cuts first in the debt limit deals. Democrats have now got it out there that Boehner and Cantor are willing to raise taxes.
And that will not help. The theory on the Democrat side is it's not gonna help those guys with the Republican base. So the more I think about it -- and again, I apologize for basically thinking out loud about this during the whole program. It's just I could not fathom before the program started: Why now? So I thank you for indulging me as I think aloud on the air about it trying to figure it out. Now we know the Democrats had to be responsible for this. Democrats in the House had to be behind this. Somebody. Because it benefits them however you analyze this, in their minds, anyway.
RUSH: David in... What is that? How do you pronounce that? I never heard of that? How do you pronounce where you live, sir?
RUSH: Oh, yeah. Wingina.
RUSH: W -- w -- Wingina, Virginia, right. Okay, cool.
CALLER: Mega dittos to you, Rush. Thanks for all that you do for our country, and God bless you.
RUSH: I appreciate that, sir. Thanks very much.
CALLER: I've got an idea. I think I know why maybe this Washington Post article is coming out when it is. If you think ahead to the November election, they're gonna need credibility in the press. The press is gonna have to have credibility with a skeptical audience already. Viewership is already declining with the ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN state media. And if they put out an article like this, later on they can say, "See, we criticized him, too."
RUSH: Well, I would be inclined to think you have a point here but for one thing. Now, I know what you're saying, that they're gonna have to do random acts of journalism now and then just to have credibility.
RUSH: I would like for you to do something.
RUSH: If you have time, I want you to go read this story, because it took me a long time to translate this. I have really taken something very complex here and synthesized it down to what I think its essence is. The way I have portrayed this to you, you have to dig deep in this story to find it. My point is if they want to do a story that's critical of Obama in order to advance their credibility, this may not be it, because it's too complicated.
CALLER: A lot of people will forget that later on. People can't remember what politicians said last month.
RUSH: Yeah, but I'm saying that people reading it yesterday might not have figured it out 'til they heard me translate it for 'em.
CALLER: That's true. And there may be more than one reason why they're doing this, but I think that's part of the reason, though. They need credibility later on. They're gonna have to say, "See, we criticize him too. We're objective."
RUSH: Well, I know what you're saying. When we get down to election time, they're just gonna be in the tank for Obama and they're gonna be able to point to this and say, "Hey, remember that piece we did back in March? We really ripped Obama to shreds."
CALLER: It's gonna come up.
RUSH: Well, maybe. I don't know that they care about that anymore. I used to be of the same mind-set that you're on regarding this. I don't think they care any more, to be frank with you. I don't think these Drive-By Media journalists care what we think of 'em. I really don't. Some of them individually might, in private moments. But as an industry, they don't care. They are part of the agenda. They are part of the Obama reelect arm. This is why this does stand out. I can see I could think about this the way you're thinking. I've got a story here somewhere, by the way, that you may have seen, folks. It's about the newspaper industry and the deep trouble that it's in. It is in the kind of trouble that leads to the potential end of the business. It's that bad. The newspaper business -- not television news, not radio news, but newspapers -- are in a world of hurt. Big time. Losing money, losing readers, losing circulation. Practically all of them, industry-wide. It's perhaps at death-knell status, according to this story. Anyway, David from Wingina, Virginia, I appreciate the call.
RUSH: Rob Portman. Republican Senator Rob Portman is former budget director in the Bush administration. He's a former director of the Office and Management and Budget, and a great guy, by the way. He's one of us, folks. Rob Portman is predicting the debt ceiling will be hit in mid-October unless Obama reins in spending or the Treasury department uses some restraint. And, of course, we had a record deficit in February. We're not reining in any spending. So if we run up against the debt limit in October right in the midst of the campaign? Now, that's gonna get very interesting. The more I think about this, folks -- the more I think about this Washington post piece -- I think some Democrats in Congress are sending a little warning shot across Obama's bow.
He told 'em (paraphrased), "No money from me. You're on your own. I'm not gonna campaign for you." He's running against a "do-nothing Congress," which they are in, and they got his health care bill passed for him. I think there's a little warning shot fired to Obama. "Hey, you better go easy here. We might hold your fate in our hands."