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A Unified Convention Torn Apart?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: See, I understand it, but then on the other hand I don't understand.  They had a unified convention.  Everybody showing up in Tampa was unified, get rid of Obama, let's turn this country around, and now, whoever -- Romney, the party, the RNC -- whoever's doing it started this rules fight that's gonna tear everything apart.  Like I say, on the one hand I understand it.  On the other hand, it doesn't make any sense.  Not that I agree.

I know what they're trying to do, folks.  And, if you're just joining us, I don't have time to replay or redo the whole first half hour of the program.  Essentially, the establishment Republicans, the RNC, the GOP, the Romney campaign, want to change the rules of delegate selection.  They want the presidential nominee in future years to be able to choose the actual delegates to the convention so that he owns them, so they do what he wants.  And what it really is is an effort to eliminate grassroots people from the Republican convention.  That's really what this is all about.  What that means is that the party has decided it doesn't want to have to put up with a bunch of conservatives showing up, affecting the platform and all the other things that happen at the convention, including influencing the party. 

One of our sponsors here, FreedomWorks, has been all over this rules business.  In fact, I think they've been at the forefront of this.  They just posted an update, and I'm gonna read it to you.  "I just got off the phone with a concerned Florida activist, Laura Noble, who informed me that both of Florida's Rules Committee members, Peter Feaman and Kathleen King, have been removed from the Rules committee and replaced with Romney-appointed delegates. Clearly anticipating a grassroots backlash against the 'compromise' on Rule 15 --" That's what they fixed yesterday, supposedly.  "-- and the changes on Rule 12 has caused the Romney camp to preemptively replace delegates to ensure they have support on the Rules Committee," for the new vote at two o'clock this afternoon.  "It's enough to make your blood boil. Please call your state's Rules Committee delegates here and ask that they oppose the 'compromise' on Rule 15." 

They had a unified convention, and now they've started a war within the ranks at the convention.  Now, again, folks, what's going on here is that the party fathers and mothers, the establishment, want to get rid of the conservative influence in the party.  And that's what this is really all about.  They can't win without us.  They literally can't win without us.  But I'll tell you, I know why.  A, they don't like us much anyway, but it's really rooted around two issues.  Abortion and immigration.  They just don't want to hear anymore criticism in the media about the party.  These people do not see themselves the way the Republican Party's written about in the media, such as this AP story.  Again, just a few hits from it. 

"The Republican Party that's showing its face to America this week is a restless institution that relies heavily on the uncompromising passions of tea partyers, anti-immigration activists and social conservatives," and, plus, they're all white, in a country that's becoming less so.  Well, the party honchos get up and they read this, "Aw, hell."  They don't want to be thought of this way by the media.  They don't want to be thought of this way by the Democrats.  And it's your fault, my fault that that's the way they're looked at.  You stupid pro-lifers and you closed-minded, anti-illegal immigration people, you're ruining us. You're making us look like the hicks that you are. You're making us look like the hayseed, backwater idiots that you are.  And they're fed up with it.  So even if it means losing elections, they're gonna get rid of us.  'Cause they're just tired of it.  That's the overview. 

There's another aspect of this.  There's the two rules that they're messing with here.  The second problem is that the RNC wants to frontload the primary season with winner-take-all primaries.  Now, a lot of people object to that, and for illustration purposes, if that were the case now, there would not have been a Newt.  There would not have been a Santorum.  That's what they want to eliminate.  They want the nominee chosen early, and they want to determine who the nominee's gonna be.  And they don't want any apportioning of delegates based on the vote.  They want winner-take-all.  It's a problem in a number of ways. 

Now, by changing members of the rules committee right now, before the vote here at two o'clock, what they're trying to do is block the minority report from even being considered on the convention floor relating to the rules changes.  They don't want a floor fight.  That's where this would be headed.  It actually would be fun to watch.  Something would happen at a convention that's not scripted.  There would be a floor fight on these rules changes, and they're trying to prevent that by stacking the vote this afternoon.  See, the conservative influence in the party comes from the grassroots.  It's an oft-used term, but let me substitute a term for it.  Conservative influence in the Republican Party comes from average people, Tea Party activists, just the nonprofessional people. 

The conservative influence in the party comes from the people who have other jobs, other businesses.  They're the people that make the country work.  They are the ones that look at this as about ideas.  We're the ones that look at this about the future of the country.  The Republican Party and the Democrat Party, too, to correctly understand them, look at them as a business.  The way they see it, the grassroots, the conservative activists, Tea Party, rank amateurs, don't know what you're doing, you don't know the business.  You think you do because you think it's about ideas.  But it isn't.  It's about money.  It's about being in charge of the money.  It's about committee chairmanships.  It's about winning elections.  It's about making sure that we don't lose various positions of power. 

It would be no different than if a group of citizens thought they knew better than Apple how to make iPhones.  That is how the RNC looks at you.  You're the consumers.  You're gonna take what the give you, and if you like it, fine.  If you don't, you don't buy it.  But you haven't the slightest idea how to design one. You don't have the slightest idea what it should be or do or accomplish.  That's what we do.  In that sense, the Republican Party's a business.  They're the professionals, and you're not.  You're rank amateurs, and you do not understand.  This isn't about, as far as they're concerned, not a turning point here in the country's future.  This is not a crisis point.  It's just another election in a cycle of many elections.  It's about people who have positions of power, wanna hold onto them.  And it really has been this way for many, many years, decades, in fact. 

So the conservative influence in the Republican Party comes from you, grassroots, Tea Party people.  You went to your first town hall meeting two years ago.  So the objective here at the party level is to obstruct the ability of people in the grassroots to mount challenges, to elect delegates, to run the business.  It's an effort to make sure that you, us, we rank amateurs don't run the business.  And they want to frontload the primaries with winner-take-all states, which makes it very difficult to challenge any insider candidates that they would put up.  So if you look at it strictly as a business, this is the CEO and the board of directors trying to maintain control for what they would view as a hostile takeover. 

Now, you throw the politics in, the two issues that just embarrass the heck out of 'em, immigration and pro-life, pro-choice, all that does is just anger them even more, 'cause they see this AP story.  They watch television news. They listen to Chris Matthews go nuts on how we're all racist, and they hate that.  They don't want to be thought of as racist and they think the only reason they're called racist is because you see to it. You're the ones that end up being called racist, and because they're in the same party, they end up by association also being called racist.  They want to stop this. They want to stop all this conservatism. They want to stop all this impugning of conservatives and Republicans, and the way they think to do it is to get the conservatives out of the party. 

But, you see, you can't really look at this as a business as they are because, if it were, this is a business trying to succeed without customers.  And that will never fly.  This Republican Party doesn't know how to win elections.  This Republican Party doesn't know how to win.  They think they do; but, you know, they can't win without conservative votes, which they know.  They're just so conflicted over this.  So that's basically where we are.  That's what's happening today.  The next vote on all this is at two o'clock. 

Now, again, what has me appalled is that everybody showed up in Tampa and they had a united convention. Everybody showing up there was at least united around a singular proposition, and that is: "We've gotta get rid of Obama." The disagreements are in how you carry the message. But there was unity of purpose, here. There was not unity of strategy, but there was unity in purpose. Now they've started this war within the ranks, to get through this messy process here of finally marginalizing the conservatives.

Then you go out, you try to beat Obama. And then, when that happens, you're free of any conservative strings because you have disempowered the conservative influence in the party. You know, to try to explain to you why and what it is that is causing all this, it's multifaceted. Usually the simple explanation suffices, and it's often the best. From my own experience, they just... When I talk about "the establishment," I mean the Republicans, the GOP, the professionals, the people paid by the Republican Party to do their jobs.

The establishment, they just are embarrassed like they can't believe over the positions conservatives take regarding abortion and immigration. They're just embarrassed, and they want to get rid of it. They just want to get rid of it. Folks, if I may be blunt? I could be wrong about this and I certainly hope I am wrong about it. I don't think they look at winning elections on the basis of superior ideas, best presented. I think they look at winning elections the same way Democrats do: buying votes.

What else is this Hispanic stuff about?

They know the Democrats are buying those votes. They don't think they can compete with that with ideas, obviously. So they want to go out and try to buy them in a different way. They want to buy the Hispanic vote by say, "Hey, we love you, too! We care about you. Look at all the Hispanics at our convention here. Don't believe what the Democrats are telling you about us." When the frustrating thing is you and I know that the way to win the votes of a majority human beings is with conservatism, which is simply Americanism, the America of our founding.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Elizabeth in Fort Myers. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, how you doing?

RUSH: Fine. Thank you.

CALLER: Great. Listen, I'm just learning about what you're talking about with what the Romney campaign is doing with the delegate vote, and I've gotta say... I'm conservative, I'm psyched for the election, but I feel like I'm being pushed and pushed and pushed by the Romney campaign, by the RNC, away from voting for Romney. And, you know, Romney did it to me as well when he was undergoing attack after attack, and he wasn't answering.

Finally when Obama makes the statement, "You didn't build that," I'm thinking, "My God, if that doesn't ignite a fire, nothing will." And sure enough, he came out -- Romney came out -- fighting back. And I said, like, "Okay, great. We're back in there. We're fighting." Then Andrea Saul makes that remark -- you know, in trying to defend Romney, makes that statement -- and it just totally hit me in the gut. And I'm like, "What am I doing? I'm giving money to this man, and he's not fighting. Look at what's coming out of here."

RUSH: Well, but, look. (sigh) This was known. You shouldn't really be surprised by this. The objective hasn't changed here: Get rid of Obama. The Andrea Saul reference she's making, that's when the steelworker said Romney killed his wife. Obama runs a steelworker ad where the man says Romney killed his wife, and Andrea Saul went out there and her reaction was, "Well, if they'd lived in Massachusetts, they wouldn'ta died. She would have had health care."

Wait a minute! Is that your response to the allegation you just committed murder? What's happening here, folks, has been going on for years. The Republican Party is trying to deemphasize conservative influence within the party. There's nothing new here, in terms of the objective. It's just that they're doing this at the convention, which everybody arrived at unified. Now, this whole thing came to a head yesterday, and it was beaten back. There was a compromise on the rules.

And at the end of the day yesterday, everybody thought, "Okay, everything's cool now. We successfully beat back the efforts to change the rules on delegates." But they're back today with a new rule, a proposed change. There are actually two. One is the front loading of primaries, the primary elections. But the second thing going on is there's a new rule that would allow for changing of delegate selection rules between conventions. The rule that was compromised on yesterday was the rule that said only at the convention can the rules be changed on delegate selection.

There's a proposal that's now being voted on at two o'clock this afternoon that would make that moot. And if this one passes, it means that the party could change delegate selection rules between conventions (i.e., when nobody's paying attention). They can do it without consulting the state parties. That's what's being voted on in a half hour, and that's what's got everybody all revved up now. So what was thought to have been a compromise yesterday turns out to be a head fake. But that's been caught as well.

So now people are gearing up to try to beat that one back. I mean, this is politics. It happens. It is a business, in a sense. The thing here that's puzzling... I mean, you and I have known for I don't know how long that mainstream Republicans (the leaders, the establishment) whatever you want to call 'em, don't really get their jollies by having conservatives in their midst. That's nothing new. But to take a unified convention and tear it apart like this is just... (snorts) To me, that's what is the stupid, idiotic thing.

It makes no sense to do this now. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Folks, I just have to share with you: I'm a little uncomfortable talking about all this rules stuff because it's so inside baseball. I do not want to play a role here in creating a rift. That is already happening. It's just maddening that this is happening while the convention's going on, when everybody arrived in Tampa unified with a sense of purpose here to defeat Obama for whatever reason. Some want to defeat Obama just 'cause he's the opponent. Others want to defeat Obama to save the country.

That hasn't changed.

All this inside baseball stuff, it's interesting, but it's not changing anything on the ground. It's not changing the polling numbers. It's not changing how these candidates are being perceived. This is stuff that the vast majority of voters are never gonna know about and never care about. It's never gonna matter to them. It really is inside baseball stuff. I just wanted to share it with you so you would know. It's just a continuation of what you and I are all aware of.

And that is the uncomfortable nature that Republican leaders who are not conservative have with the conservative wing of the party. It isn't anything new. This is just the latest manifestation of how the Republican establishment is trying to rid themselves of this nuisance (which is us). Now, we have a guy on the phone from Arlington, Texas. He's a member of the Texas State Republican Executive Committee. He wants to weigh in on this. His name is Bill. Bill, welcome to the program, sir.

CALLER: Thank you so much, Rush. Dittos. And, by the way, Bo Snerdley is the best call screener in the world. The guy's very professional.

RUSH: (laughing) How many call screeners have you spoken to, Bill?

CALLER: (laughing) Well, a number.

RUSH: (laughing)

CALLER: I like to call in to talk radio. Rush, you are right on the money on this topic. You have hit the nail on the head. Here is the thing that Republican activists, conservatives, Tea Party people all across the country can do. If they go to Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum website -- just Google Eagle Forum -- on the right hand side it says, "Update: Protect Your State's Delegates." There they list the delegates that have signed onto the minority report, and then they have lists of members of the Rules Committee. In other words, they list the states where the Rules Committee members have signed on. They list the states that haven't signed on. People can find their own state representative. They can e-mail them or give them a phone call and --

RUSH: Do they really not know what's going on, these state people? Why does anybody need to call them? Do they have any idea what's going on?

CALLER: I'm telling you, Rush, this story was breaking on Saturday, and the mainstream media wasn't picking it up. Only on Sunday did the Washington Times have a story. Most of the rest of it was on blogs. People aren't really aware of this. Grassroots people are just now finding out because of you and because of Mark Levin. And you all are doing a great service to the country by doing this. This is the same thing that was happening back in 1700s when the British government was trying to take away the freedoms that American colonists had been used to. They're rolling us back 40, 50 years in terms of democracy within our party. This is a terrible mistake. People can contact their representatives on the Rules Committee and urge them not to make this mistake. This could tear apart our party.

RUSH: Now, you say that this could cause a split. How?

CALLER: Well, this can cause a split because many of us activists out here supported candidates for president other than Mitt Romney. Once he became the nominee we closed ranks, but we never expected he would have a power grab like that. It discourages us tremendously. We're geared up for the campaign. Now we're having to rethink our commitment, and it's a very frustrating thing. Romney's making a huge mistake here by dispiriting the grassroots people that are gonna get out there and knock on the doors and make the phone calls and get-out-the-vote to win the election.

RUSH: He's not dispiriting anybody. He's firing 'em up! That's another thing that's a little curious about this. This is just gonna fire these people up when they hear about what's going on. It'll fire 'em up to get ticked off. The establishment's gonna hear about this. I know the fear is that this is gonna cause people throw up their hands and say, "Aw, to hell with it. It doesn't matter. The party is trying to get rid of me. I'm not even gonna vote, not gonna give 'em my vote."

I don't think that that's the end result of this because of the patriotism of these people and the very nature what this election's all about. This is not going to change that. At any rate, Bill, I appreciate the call. Thanks much. It really is an inside baseball subject. It's real, and it is happening, and it is an effort by the establishment to deemphasize conservatives -- and if they're not careful with this, they're gonna end up causing their worst nightmare to happen, which is third party. If they're not careful, that is where this is all gonna end up. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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