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Conservatives Didn't Lose the Argument, Republicans Never Argued for Conservatism

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RUSH: Now, ladies and gentlemen, I am not trying to depress you.  I am simply addressing circumstances as they exist.  This stuff can be beaten back.  It is being beaten back in the states.  Look at Wisconsin.  Now look at Michigan.  Right-to-work laws.  The unions are on the ropes, and in Michigan it's gonna play out just like it did in Wisconsin.  The unions are organizing.  They're rabble-rousing.  They're threatening. They're doing everything they can to upset the applecart, threatening violence just like happened in Wisconsin.  The teachers are taking the day off to join the picket line, but the states is where liberalism is being defeated.  The states, some of them, is where capitalism is showing the benefits, such as the Dakotas and oil. 

Now, Obama may be a cult figure, I don't know.  It may be that without Obama the left wouldn't be winning.  Without the first black president, that aspect of the presidency, all this may not be happening.  Your average, ordinary Democrat candidate, none of this may have happened.  We don't know that.  I don't care at the moment.  The fact is it is happening and the solution to it is beating liberalism, not just Democrats, although they're one and the same.  That's the solution to this.  It's a monumental task, but it's certainly gonna be easier to do that than to take 50 years and fix the education system, which we've gotta get started on anyway as well.  But the evidence that this doesn't work is all around us. 

Now, many of us thought that four years of it would have been enough to convince people they didn't want any more of it.  That didn't happen.  But there are probably reasons for that, too.  I mentioned my buddy Pete Wehner and his piece at Commentary Magazine.  Pete is one of my favorite contributors at Commentary, and he has a piece: "What If Conservatives Have Lost the Argument?" Now, I'm not that defeatist. I'm not gonna share with you Pete's whole piece.  You can read it if you want.  He starts out talking about the debate over the fiscal cliff, how important it is and does it mean that we've lost the argument. 

Do people really believe that raising taxes on the rich is the way to go?  Do people really believe that tax cuts for the rich caused all this?  Let me tell you something.  It's about time people started asking this question.  But let me tell you what I think the real question is.  It's not "what if" conservatives have lost the argument.  The question is, when did conservatives make the argument?  No, I don't mean me.  We make the argument and answer the questions every day here.  But I'm not a political party, and I'm not seeking office.  The recent presidential campaign, when was the conservative argument made?  Pete's column asks several questions.  He doesn't offer any answers.  The fiscal cliff debate has him puzzled, and this is evidence of the difficult position Republicans in Congress find themselves. 

So his question is, what if conservatives have lost the argument?  My question is, what did they do to make the argument?  When did they make the argument?  When did we offer a plan to buy the taxpayer vote?  That's what Obama did.  Obama is offering to buy the non-taxpayer vote.  When have we made a pitch to them?  Seriously.  We just assumed that everybody wouldn't want any more of this wretched economy and would throw the incumbents out.  We just assumed that a competent manager would be infinitely preferred to this disaster.  It wasn't the case.  Conservatism didn't make the argument, and, in fact, conservatism needs to first start in correcting all of the misconceptions about it out there everywhere. 

Here's a good illustration of what's going on in Michigan.  Bob Beckel on The Five yesterday talking about the Michigan right-to-work flap.  He said (imitating Beckel), "These nonunion scabs, we can't have that. We can't have people joining the union without paying the dues.  That means they're getting the benefit without paying the dues."  Hey, Bob, you know what that's like?  That's like the 47% who don't pay income taxes but get the benefits.  What's the difference, Bob?  On the one hand, we're supposedly out of bounds in talking about that, but you are totally permitted to raise this question about people in union jobs that don't pay dues? 

What about the 47% that aren't paying any income taxes that are getting benefit after benefit after benefit?  Their votes are being bought countless times every election, Bob.  Nobody has any problem with that, on your side.  When did conservatives aggressively argue that tax cuts increase revenue?  You know, Obama's out there arguing that tax cuts caused the depression, tax cuts caused the recession, tax cuts cost you your job.  We didn't defend tax cuts.  We didn't defend 'em at all.  We can't say that the whole premise of tax cuts lost.  It wasn't on the table.  Even Romney made it clear that he wasn't gonna cut the taxes of the highest earners. 

The Republicans have been giving away their identity year after year after year.  The old analogy I gave you yesterday about old Coke and Coke Classic and New Coke.  Coke figured out their mistake and went back to the classic.  We haven't gone back to classic.  We continue to try be more like these guys.  When was the last time the nominee of the party forcefully made the case for lower tax rates?  When is the last time the nominee of the party or the party chairman or any high profile elected Republican made the case for lower tax rates, increasing jobs, and increasing revenue and helping to reduce the debt? 

You gotta buy the votes of taxpayers the same way Obama buys the votes of nontaxpayers.  Obama gets it.  It works, and it worked for Reagan.  He never shied away from the argument and he didn't lose it.  Why not brag about how much money taxpayers will save?  Why not brag about the great things about our philosophy, economically, morally, you name it, why not brag about it?  We don't have anybody that's willing to do that.  They all act ashamed of it or defensive.  Look at Obama's pitch in 2008.  Ninety-five percent of Americans will get tax cuts, he proudly said it, if elected.

Can you believe that a guy like Obama was allowed to win the tax cut argument in an election?  A neoclassic socialist wins the argument on tax cuts because our side's afraid to make the argument?  It's what happened.  That was part of Obama's pitch in 2008.  Ninety-five percent of Americans will get tax cuts.  The other half of it was, the rest of you are gonna get soaked.  The rest of you are gonna pay through the nose because you've had an unfair benefit the whole time since this country was founded and it's time America got paid back.  And part of my recipe for payback is your taxes are going up and these poor victims, 95% of this country's a bunch of victims, taken advantage of, their resources stolen by you, the rich.  Not only am I gonna take what you've got, I'm gonna lower of their taxes. 

That's an instant sell, folks.  That is an instant benefit.  And Obama's following through now.  He's doing everything he can to make the Republican Party concede, confess that tax cuts for the rich caused all of these problems.  Obama's tax plan is a joke.  The people bought it.  I don't accept for a moment that conservatives have lost the argument.  I don't think the argument has been made.  Not by the party.  Yes, I make it every day here and some people on Fox and other talk show hosts and the blogs, yes.  But none of us get votes.  Nobody's voting for or against us.  We're not in that game.  And how do we tell people to go vote for candidate X when candidate X refuses to sound like we do?  When candidate X is relying on us to make the case for him so he doesn't have to so he can then benefit because somebody else is saying it.  He's gonna have to say it. She's gonna have to say it. Whoever the candidate is is gonna have to make the case.  And they haven't been. 

That's why I don't think conservatism's losing.  The only way you can say conservatism's losing is in the sense the Republican Party is afraid to use it.  There's some conservatives in the party, but I'm talking about party identification.  This party's doing everything it can to make itself look like it's squishy, moderate, center, uncontroversial, not gonna rock the boat, in favor of whatever you want, whenever you want it, except we can't outdo the Democrats on any of that.  So we're always gonna be lite, l-i-t-e, whatever, tax-lite, welfare-lite. We're always gonna be the pretenders, 'cause that's not who the Republican Party really is.

END TRANSCRIPT

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