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What the Partisan Divide Really Means

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Pew Research Center: "Partisan differences now divide Americans more sharply than distinctions of race, religion, education or sex as a decade-long wave has pushed Democrats and Republicans to opposite corners on a wide range of formerly less partisan issues." Do you realize how profound that is?  The partisan divide is sharper than the divisions that exist because of race, religion, education, or sex.  The partisan divide, the left versus right, conservative versus liberal, that divide is sharper than even race and religion. 

Now, I'm not surprised.  This does not shock me, but I can imagine this is gonna blow the lid off of a lot of people.  And I know it's true.  I don't need a poll to tell me this is true.  I saw this focus group last night that Luntz did on the Hannity show with supposedly a cross-section of people from Wisconsin on the eve of the recall election today.  Folks, it was breathtakingly sad, breathtakingly frustrating, and what it ensured was that there is no hope for compromise here.  All of this talk about compromise is drivel.  All of this talk of compromise is a sideshow, it's a distraction, and it is part of the arsenal of weaponry, ammo from the left to defeat us.  They have no desire to get along with us. 

Any conservative or Republican, any political consultant from this day forward who advises a candidate that the way to get elected is to go out and sell him- or herself as the guy who can cross the divide, bridge the gap, is gonna be responsible for that person losing.  I am not kidding.  The people I saw that Frank Luntz put together in this focus group last night, it's not even a matter of changing their minds.  There's no reaching them.  They were as close-minded to truth and fact as anything I've ever seen.  And I've seen it all.  And I've talked to obstinate liberals.  I've talked to brain-dead people.  These people took the cake.  They were mostly union workers and they have this set of beliefs that are every bit as hysterical as every right-wing conspiracy kook that you've ever run into.  They are that devoid and that distanced from reality, these people were. 

This Pew Center report says: "On matters as disparate as environmental protection, support for the social safety net and immigration, former areas of bipartisan agreement have dissolved as Democrats have moved left and Republicans have shifted to the right, according to a major new study by the Pew Research Center, which has tracked American values over the past 25 years."  Now, this survey found that young people today are less politically engaged, less religious, and yet more positive about government and what it can do than ever before.  This polarization has important practical consequences.  It basically indicates that there will be continued gridlock in national politics. 

I'm gonna tell you something.  That's fine.  If the choice is more Obamaism and more liberalism or gridlock, we take the gridlock, because that stops them.  Well, you stop and think of this.  You know how sharp the racial division in this country have been.  For the political divisions to be more extreme, to have more emotion attached to 'em, that's big.  And it is on issues like environment.  It's on issues like abortion.  It's on issues like the social safety net.  It's about the very future of the country.  That's why these divisions are so sharp, because that's what this is about.  What kind of country are we gonna be?  What kind of leaders are we going to have?  What will be the makeup of our population? What will be the American purpose?  What will become the American ideal?  That's what's at stake here.  This sharp division results -- and this is gonna be, I'm sure, a bone of contention with a lot of people. 

I expect a lot of people are not going to understand this, they're gonna think this is a very simplistic analysis.  But I think we owe all of this or the vast majority of it to the left.  And the reason I say that is, we conservatives do not try to force anything on anybody, other than individual liberty and freedom.  If we like broccoli, it's enough that we like it.  We are not gonna have a law or policy demanding that you eat it.  And if we don't like it, we're not gonna try to stop you from eating it.  They do.  They want the most powerful forces in this country controlling all of us, the government.  We don't.  We have been rendered almost in an entirely defensive posture.  We are content to obey the tenets of the Declaration of Independence.  Pursue life, liberty, and happiness.  They are content to take those away.  Not content; they are on a mission to deny those things. 

It's no wonder that there is this massive partisan divide.  But as I listen to people on the left, as I read comments posted to blogs, and I don't care if it's news, sports, I don't care what it is, as I look at the comments posted by the left, there is no thinking going on there.  It's pure mind-numbed robotics.  It is the walking brain-dead.  Now, I'm not saying this to be provocative or insulting.  I'm trying to accurately describe it and what we are up against.  I think I know what some of the root causes are.  I think one of the major root causes -- and it's been there forever, and it's been effervescing forever.  We just happen to be alive when it has boiled over, and a lot of it is income inequality.  A lot of it is money, and for everybody who says it's not the money, quadruple the impact that it is the money.  It's so much about that.  It's haves and have-nots, jealousy, envy, that's the main thing the left has been able to exploit. 

We've had a number of isms.  Communism exploited class differences. Nazism exploited racial differences.  The point is whatever ism it is, people on the left are constantly trying to exploit and divide, and they pick whatever they think is the most direct route to somebody's heart and mind.  And they are mostly concerned with the heart.  It's easier than getting into somebody's head.  They control education.  They're able to shape young people who already, because of youth, are idealistic.  We are at a very, very crucial point in history for ourselves and the country.  And this partisanship divide is not something from which there's a bridge.  Yeah, there might be individual instances where a liberal has his mind changed. 

You ever hear of conservatives that become liberal?  See, I think John O'Sullivan, former editor, National Review, had a loosely knit theorem.  I'm gonna have to paraphrase it.  I don't have it right in front of me, but essentially any person or thing who was not conservative would, by definition, become liberal.  Conservatism is a constant daily intellectual application and pursuit.  Liberalism is the most gutless thing you can do.  It's easy.  And it's what everybody devolves to if they are not actively, thoughtfully conservative.  You don't hear of people being persuaded to liberalism.  They more or less just become it.  There are instances where liberals have been converted to conservatism, and it's probably more than the left would like to believe, and this show has had a profound role in that, and Tom Daschle no less has indicated that, former Senate majority leader in the Democrat Party. 

But right now all this talk of compromise and crossing the aisle and reaching out and the great independents here in the middle, they just want us all to get along. Folks, there isn't any of that.  You listen to Obama, longing for John McCain to be his opponent.  Why?  'Cause McCain agreed with him about campaign finance reform and the environment.  McCain agreed with him.  What did that mean?  It meant McCain caved.  It meant that McCain presented no opposition.  Obama's not interested in compromising with anybody.  Nobody on the left is interested in meeting halfway.  And we shouldn't be, either, when we're talking about core beliefs and principles.  And so this partisan divide has resulted from a reality that people in positions of power on both sides of the divide realize.  There is no getting along; there's only defeat.  We have to defeat these people.  We have to keep them a permanent electoral minority.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This Pew survey that shows "a sharp increase in partisanship," more so than even racial divides or religious divides. The... um... How I put this? The Wizards of Smart in politics -- the political consultants, the advisers, the (quote, unquote) "experts" -- who advise people how to win in the business of politics have been scratching their heads lately. Because there is this wonderful, great partisan divide in Congress. And, as you know, everybody's wringing their hands over it.

Why can't they work together?

Why can't we just get along?

Why isn't there any compromise?

Why can't we get some bills?

Why can't we get some legislation?

So the analysts have been saying, "What's going on here?" Is it that members of Congress are actually that entrenched in their ideology? Or are they afraid of their voters (who are the "real extremists," quote, unquote), and they're simply reflecting their voters? And they've been scratching their heads, all these experts, trying to figure it out. The hot debate is whether the trench warfare so obvious in Congress involves conflicts among elected officials and political interest groups or reflect a deeper divide among voters.

And what the survey indicates is that members of Congress are no different than the population the large. The trench warfare in Congress is simply being repeated and replicated into trench warfare in the culture. And we know that there is trench warfare in the culture, and Wisconsin's the focal point of it right now, but it's everywhere. Now, back to John O'Sullivan. Something (some person, some institution) that is not, by definition, conservative will become liberal.

Let me read to you the charter of the very Foundation that did this survey, the Pew Foundation. The charter of the Pew Freedom Trust "in 1957 spelled out that Pew intended to 'acquaint the American people' with 'the evils of bureaucracy,' 'the values of a free market,' and 'the paralyzing effects of government controls on the lives and activities of people.' Pew also wanted to 'inform our people of the struggle, persecution, hardship, sacrifice and death by which freedom of the individual was won.'"

The Pew Foundation was begun by the conservative oil magnate J. Howard Pew -- and like all of these foundations, it's been turned upside down. Here's a foundation that started much like the Ford Foundation did. You know, you hear about all these foundations, and they're all solidly liberal now. The left took 'em over. Most of them were founded by dyed-in-the-wool conservatives. But over the years, the people that were hired there were not active conservatives. They moderated and became centrists or independents.

Finally, the libs moved in and took over, because if it isn't a conservative organization (applied each and every day) it's going to become liberal. And it's happened to Pew. It's happened to the Ford Foundation. It's happened to practically all of them. When the founder is out of the way, that's when the mischief begins. And the left exists to wait, bide their time, and take these places over. And the only way is if the people that run the place start waffling or caving or simply stop being conservative.

It's the same thing in Congress.

We wonder: "What happens to all these conservatives who run for election?" Members of the House, they run and they campaign as ardent conservatives. And all of a sudden they get there, and it isn't long before they're just mashed potatoes. Why? This is one of the reasons. If they do not actively pursue their conservatism every day -- and believe me, it's hard. When the dominant culture is liberalism (social, to boot, is liberal) and everybody wants to get along, everybody wants to have friends, everybody wants to be accepted, everybody wants to be in the clique, what do you do?

You start caving, you start compromising, you start sacrificing, and you stop being conservative -- and then it's over. And this is why the Tea Party exists, by the way, and it's why dyed-in-the-wool conservatives are so insistent that things be (and remain) conservative, because the great reality is that the moment the committed, locked-into mission of conservatism weakens, liberalism is like a tsunami: It just sweeps in.

It is safe to say that Mr. J. Howard Pew would not recognize his Foundation today.

He wouldn't have the slightest idea.

If he came back to life, he'd be scratching his head and say, "What the hell happened?" Same thing with the Ford Foundation. There's any number of others. I just can't think of the names off the top of my head. But it's what happens. And that's why conservative voters reward conservatives who don't waiver, who stick to it. It's why they're so admired. It's why they are celebrated, rewarded, and built up. And it's why the people who cave are so resented and disliked, because it's a betrayal. Andrew Carnegie! The Carnegie Foundation is totally run by the left. Andrew Carnegie was a conservative. He was a radical conservative by today's standards, even.

His foundation has been taken over.

That's why there isn't a Limbaugh Foundation.

The last thing I'm gonna have is have it become a liberal bunch of you-know-what. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Tom in Odessa, Florida.  Great to have you on the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Well, thanks, Rush. I'd like to say hello to my bride of 25 years, my lovely wife Debbie, and my good friend Mark.

RUSH:  You have the same anniversary date as Kathryn and I do, June 5th?

REPORTER:  Well, it was May 16th for us, but it was just a couple of weeks ago.

RUSH:  Oh, close enough for government work.

CALLER:  But anyway, in regard to compromising with these brain-dead liberals and the idea of compromising, it's crazy.  I want to hearken back to The Gong Show and Chuck Barris back in the early seventies, he had a saying which I always loved. He said, "I have three things to say about that: so what, who cares, and get lost."  Well, in regard to these brain-dead liberals going forward, I want to change that mantra to the following.  Defeat 'em, ignore 'em, and leave 'em behind.

RUSH:  I like it.  Those are the directives.  Defeat 'em is the objective.  There is no compromise.  In fact, now, that you brought this up, look, Tom, thanks for the call.  Grab sound bites 34 and 35.  Cookie got me a couple of sound bites from the Luntz focus group last night with Hannity.  There's a lot of shouting back and forth.  I haven't heard the bites.  I watched the show, but I had closed-captioning on so I was able to read more than I could hear.  I could see these people's facial expressions, too. 

But the first bite, Hannity says to Luntz, "Frank, Governor Walker ran on a platform, and he followed through.  He inherited $3.6 billion in the budget deficit.  Now the state has a surplus.  He has 23,000 new jobs in the state, 6.7% unemployment, much lower than the national average.  Are these people in your group not happy with these results?  Are they not happy knowing that the state can't continue to borrow and spend to create these deficits?  Are they not happy knowing that these circumstances have been fixed?"  So then Luntz and the group and two unidentified female participants have this little exchange.

LUNTZ:  The first question that got asked, "Do you believe those statistics, yes or no?" (crowd simultaneously responds yes and no) Okay, who believes them?  Who does not believe 'em?  You don't believe 'em?  But these are official numbers.

WOMAN:  Like I said earlier, the numbers on the jobs are the jobs Walker's created, but it doesn't talk about the jobs that Walker's taken away, and those way outweigh what's been created.

WOMAN:  Are those minimum wage jobs and we're losing high-end jobs?  That's not enough money for a family of four to live on, the jobs he's creating.

RUSH:  So the facts were put out; but, no, no, it's not true.  We're not telling you about the jobs that Walker's destroyed.  Unemployment rate's come down, the state has a budget surplus.  I'll tell you what to really learn about this, folks.  The terms of the debate that we get into, they don't care.  They didn't care the state was running a big deficit, and they don't care that the deficit's become a surplus.  They didn't care about all the rising unemployment, as long as it wasn't them, they didn't care.  They don't care what other people in the state earn or don't earn. They don't care if people in the state were being fired or hired.  All they care about is, is their pension gonna continue, and are they going to have pay anything for it? 

The condition of the state, the circumstances of their fellow citizens, they don't care.  And that's why this argument never had a meeting point or a middle ground.  Hannity and Luntz are talking to 'em about the budget deficit coming down, becoming a surplus.  They don't care.  They didn't care that it was a deficit.  They're not impressed that it's a surplus.  They couldn't care less about the financial health of the state.  They don't see that that has a relationship to their economic circumstance.  It doesn't matter to them.  They don't care that there have been massive numbers of new jobs created and unemployment has fallen.  They don't care. 

All they care about is whether or not their fellow union buddies still have the same benefits and the same work schedules with no salary cuts.  That's all they care about.  It's the same as if the only source of money was the printing press, and the printing press broke. They wouldn't care, as long as whatever amount of money was available they got most of.  They don't care about what creates the wealth.  They don't think that way.  As far as they're concerned, the wealth is always going to be there.  It doesn't need to be created; government has it.  That's all they think about.  Government has all wealth, and it's their job to get as much of what government has, and what happens to anybody else, they don't care. 

And that's why this focus group didn't go anywhere last night.  You could hit 'em all day with the unemployment rate coming down, hit 'em all day with the deficit becoming surplus.  They don't care.  As far as they're concerned it has nothing to do with their way of life.  It has nothing to do with their pensions and nothing to do with their health care.  They couldn't care less if the state is bankrupt, as long as they have their health care, and as long as they have their union benefits, and as long as they have their pension, they don't care about anything else.  It's the epitome of selfishness, coupled with a profound sense of entitlement. 

For some reason they feel entitled to a majority share of the wealth, 'cause they're union, because they're... I don't know why.  They do nevertheless feel it.  So this thing continued.  And Hannity said, "I want to go back to the woman in the back there.  Frank, I want to talk to her.  The choice was $3.6 billion in state deficit, small population, relatively speaking, governor says we gotta pull back on some of these benefits, gotta make some parity with the private sector, save everybody's job. Nobody lost a job as the result of Walker's plan.  He brought $3.6 billion to a surplus.  How can you not say that this is not a good thing for your state?"

WOMAN:  Yeah, that is good, but that's not all true.  I just don't believe it. 

HANNITY:  So what part is not true? 

WOMAN:  We've seen jobs lost.

HANNITY:  Wait a minute.

WOMAN:  We've incomes go down.

HANNITY:  What part is not true?

WOMAN:  The budget that Scott Walker inherited was actually in the black.  Scott Walker falsely created a budget crisis.

RUSH:  Okay, so Walker didn't inherit a deficit.  He inherited a surplus, and then he created a deficit all to screw the union.  They are certifiable, they are nuts, but they don't care.  There was a surplus. Walker inherited a surplus, but he turned that into a deficit to screw us.  That's what they think.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let me remind you what these union people of Wisconsin are really ticked off about. They were asked... Part of Walker's plan is they were asked to pay 12% of their health care costs and to contribute 5% to their pensions, and that's what set them off. They don't think they should have to pay for anything that they think is a "benefit." They think other people, their fellow citizens, should pay for their health care and their pensions. And they don't care about their fellow citizens' economic circumstances.

They don't care.

That's what ticked 'em off. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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