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The Lesson of Scott Brown

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RUSH:  What do you bet that a lot of Peter King's constituents are calling his office asking him to support Ted Cruz, and what do you bet that irritates Peter King?  Here's  the thing about this, folks.  Well, one of many things, actually.  Have you noticed that the Republican Party has a -- oh, I don't know -- call it a weapon, if you will, that it wields against its own voters.  What they say to the base is, "If you guys do this, we're gonna lose in 2014," or, "We're gonna lose in 2016, if you don't help us support us or help support us on amnesty or whatever it is.

"We're gonna lose."  They always put it on us, and my opinion is, we're the only reasons they win when they do.  This is what they either don't appreciate or don't like or don't even understand.  But the Republican establishment not liking its conservative base isn't new.  They didn't appreciate or like Reagan in the eighties.  Now, when he won big, you know, success has many fathers. Everybody wanted to be in that light. Everybody wanted to be in that aura.

But behind the scenes, they couldn't wait for Reagan's term to end so they could get their hands back on the levers of power.  The establishment's the establishment.  Conservatives are small government, limited government. The establishment's pro-big government, no matter what party.  It's where the money is, it's where the power is, and they don't want any part of limiting it.  They just want to trade running it with the Democrats now and then.  I'm sure they understand this, but they reject it. 

This is where they don't take us seriously.  Remember Scott Brown?  Scott Brown was, for a brief moment in time, a Republican hero to the conservative base when he had a legitimate shot at winning the Senate seat that been held by Ted Kennedy for decades.  The reason he was a Republican hero was that he was campaigning very effectively and very persuasively against Obamacare. 

The Republican Party base has opposed any form of socialized medicine forever, no matter whose it was, no matter what name. Whether it was Hillarycare or Obamacare, the Republican Party has always opposed it, wanted no part of it.  The Republican Party was unified in defeating Hillarycare.  The Republican majority in the House was a conservative majority that swept to victory for the first time in 40 years in 1994.  It came off 40 years of Democrat control and a bunch of scandals that the Democrats were in charge of and benefiting from. 

There were a lot of things that came together and the Republicans ended up winning the House for the first time in 40 years.  They had a conservative speaker, Newt Gingrich, and a conservative leadership.  But they kinda got off track because they assumed that their victory meant the country had gone totally conservative.  It's not what their victory meant alone.  It was not just that.  So they "stopped teaching it," is the way I put it. 

They stopped explaining principles as the reason they were doing things, and thus the education, the ideological education of the American voter ceased.  And that allowed the Democrats to exploit what they considered to be weak or weird personality aspects of the leadership. Gingrich, Boehner, and these guys, they were all kooks and freaks and so forth, because they created a vacuum by stopping, refusing to -- not refusing. 

As each legislative effort was made -- balancing the budget, whatever it was -- they failed to explain the principle behind it, thus educating the voters.  And slowly but surely, they got swept up and sucked in by the establishment, and it's very seductive there, to be part of it.  Slowly but surely, the conservative majority in the House eroded.  Joe Scarborough used to be one of them.  Now look what's happened.  Joe thinks he's still a conservative, but he's nowhere near the conservative he was when he was a member of the freshman class in 1994. 

Let's go back to Scott Brown.  Scott Brown, a moderate Republican, was nevertheless a Republican hero because it was understood that his election represented the one necessary vote to stopping Obamacare.  Scott Brown prevented the Democrats from getting 60 votes in the Senate.  As a result of this, or because of this, people all over this country were sending campaign contributions to Scott Brown, money. 

People were sending their money to Scott Brown because they judged him to be on their side, not just on Obamacare, but on pretty much everything else, many other things.  The Republican base has been united on this anti-Obamacare pedestal for five years. From the first day Obama talked about it, the Republican base has been unified.  It is no more opposed to it today than it was five years ago.  The Republican Party base has been full-fledged, 150% against it from the first day. 

The Republican base has not changed.  The Republican base is who is consistent here.  The Tea Party, the Republican base, you can count on who they are and what they believe and what they support and what they oppose.  They have not changed.  They have been very consistent, very reliable. The Republican Party's base has been united for five years in opposition to Obamacare -- and in those five years, the Republican base elected people who promised them that they would get rid of or at least try to stop it. 

They gave them their money. 

They gave every elected official who promised to stop Obamacare their money. 

People all over this country donated to Scott Brown, not just Massachusetts residents, all over the country.  It was the same for any other Republican running for office who convinced the Republican base that they were as opposed to Obamacare as the people are. The people supported them with money, with time, with get-out-the-vote efforts.  So it eventuates that the people who empower Republicans by electing them have taken these Republicans at their word. 

They have given them money, they have supported them, they've gone out and campaigned for them, they've manned phone banks for 'em.  They have voted for them.  They've done everything to get them elected.  And today, many of those people who were the beneficiaries of that money, the beneficiaries of all of that time and effort, have now gone soft.  They are personified by John McCain, Peter King, you name it.  All of the people the last five years who engendered the trust and the support of the voters, a lot of them have faded away, and it turns out that they weren't what the voters thought they were. 

And so now the base, which has been consistent, which is filled with support for people who promise one thing and then follow through on it.  The reason Ted Cruz is so manifestly popular right now in the Republican Party is because he is doing exactly what he was elected to do.  The people in Texas who elected him see him go to Washington and do exactly what he told them he was gonna do when he asked them for their support.  But not every Republican, of course, can say this anymore, and as such they have lost support. 

So what has happened now is that those Republicans are turning on the base and calling them extremists or wacko birds, whatever term McCain used.  And now, after all of this love and support based on trust, the Republicans continue to hold over their heads defeat if they don't change, if the base doesn't change, if the base doesn't modify, if the base doesn't moderate, if the base doesn't get less, if the base doesn't become less demanding, the Republicans are gonna lose.  And, meanwhile, all these people saw most of the candidates they supported win.  And now defeat is an anvil being held over their heads unless they change. 

This is why, within the base and within the Republican Party there's this, whatever you want to call it, lack of trust, diminishing support, what have you.  And it's why whenever anybody like a Ted Cruz or a Mike Lee stands up, they're supported.  It's substantive.  It's not personality.  The base is not interested in personalities or pop culture.  These are issue oriented people who give their money and time to people they think are like-minded.  This anvil of defeat that they keep holding over the Republican base head, I think it's just the exact opposite.  I don't think we win -- and history bears this out, recent history -- I don't think we win the next election if this continues. 

The Republican Party cannot successfully win by moving in the direction of the Democrat Party and then demanding its voters to do the same thing.  That's when voters stay home and they stop writing donation checks.  Now, I really don't know if the Republican Party doesn't know this or does know it and maybe they're tired of this base, they don't like this group of people as their base. Maybe the Republican establishment does not want a base that's conservative. 

Maybe they're willing to lose a couple of elections in order to come up with what they think would be a new base, you know, comprised of some African-Americans and some Hispanics and some malcontent women.  I don't know what they're doing. I don't know what base they want to trade us in for, but to some people it appears that's what they want to do. 

But this is not complicated.  And the Scott Brown case is a great example.  Here's a man that the entire Republican Party base was willing to support, all over this country.  And he ended up losing his reelection effort, didn't he?  To a genuine wacko, Elizabeth whatever her name is, Warren.  He ends up losing to a genuine, legitimate wacko.  "You didn't build that" Elizabeth Warren, all because people who originally invested in him thought it wasn't worth it to do it again, 'cause once he got there, he moderated, which is what the leadership, of course, wanted him to do.

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