RUSH: I want to continue on the theme that has evolved over the past couple of days, maybe even a little bit longer than that and that is the notion, well, there’s an argument out there raging between noted professionals like me and rank amateurs over whether or not it’s a smart thing to do to not vote in this election. I’ve heard this before. You know, I’ve heard the argument, “Well, the Republicans abandoned their principles, and I’m not going to abandon mine, so screw them!” The last time this happened in significant numbers to deleterious effect was 1992, when a bunch of Republicans said to hell with Bush 41 and the no-new-taxes promise that he broke.
“We have to show these guys a lesson,” so we ended up with eight years of Bill Clinton — and just two years later, of course, we ended up with a Republican House. Now, don’t tell me it worked. Here’s the reason that some people might think that it worked. “See? Republicans learned a lesson after Republicans got defeated and Bush was defeated in ’92, and they ran out there and they campaigned as conservatives and so forth, and we reelected ’em in massive numbers and so forth and so on, and we had the House, and we still have it today.” Those were individual races out there. You talk about the national impact? You had eight years of Clinton! You had Perot in the mix, and it led to eight years of Clinton and all kinds of, to my mind, disasters.
At any rate, I want to start today with a piece from Tony Blankley that he entitles, “No Thanks, We’re Stupid — John Stuart Mill once famously called the British Tories ‘The Stupid Party.’ From time to time since then, the Tory’s American cousin, the Republican Party, has also earned that moniker. Now may be one of those moments. If current polls and anecdotes are to be believed, there may be a million or two conservative Republicans who are planning to not vote this November… Apparently, these anticipated conservative non-voters are annoyed with Republican imperfection. They are disheartened, disappointed, disillusioned, distempered, dismal — and thus plan to dis the party that better advances conservative principles in government. They appear to have fallen victim to the false syllogism: 1) Something must be done; 2) not voting is something; therefore, 3) I will not vote. Of course the fallacy of the syllogism is that the second category could be anything. For example, number two could as well read ‘eating dog excrement is something.’ I rather suspect that they will feel about the same afterward, whether they chose the non-voting option or the scatological one. They are both equally illogical — and repulsive — and would deserve the moniker, ‘Stupid.'”
Now, this, by the way, for those of you who are angry at me for “chiding” those of you who plan on not voting, this is a chiding. What Tony Blankley delivers today in the Washington Times is a chiding. “Here are some tell-tale signs of the sort of person who would vote (or not vote) to cause the election of a party, which would act to defeat every value and interest he holds dear (merely because the party that will at least try to advance most of those issues has not done as well as he might have hoped): 1) When offered by a car dealer 25 percent off on a car, he insists on paying the full factory recommended retail sticker price — because he is damned if he will accept 25 percent when he deserves 30 percent off. 2) When the prettiest cheerleader asks the nerd to take her to the prom, he turns her down — just because he can. 3) When stopped for doing 70 in a 65 zone, he tells the trooper that’s not possible because he had the cruise control set on 90 — he just resents being falsely charged. 4) When diagnosed with a serious illness, he promptly cancels his medical insurance — in order to save the cost of premium payments to help pay for the upcoming hospital stay. A conservative would have to be just that stupid to stay home on November 7th. I have heard it put around that the Republicans need a couple of years in the wilderness to regain their conservative bearings.
“While turning over the Congress to the Pelosi/Kennedy mob for even two years would be recklessly irresponsible — particularly during a dangerous war — there is no assurance the wilderness years would last only twenty-four months. In 1954, the Democrats, led by the great Sam Rayburn, retook the House after control had seesawed back and forth for ten years (1944 — Democrat; 1946 — Republican; 1948 — Democrat; 1950 — Democrat; 1952 — Republican; 1954 — Democrat). Mr. Rayburn (one of the shrewdest politicians ever to play the game) was so sure that the Republicans would take back the House in the Eisenhower re-election year of 1956, that when he became speaker after the 1954 election, he didn’t even bother to move his furniture back to the better office suite occupied by Joe Martin (the Republican speaker who returned to minority leader status after the 1954 Republican loss.) They decided to keep their previous office spaces rather than go through the bother of moving across the hall. As it turned out, the Republicans didn’t retake a majority of the House for forty years (the Gingrich-led election of 1994). So for forty years the Republican minority leaders got to keep the better office space (that looked out over the majestic National Mall), while the Democratic Speakers for forty years got a view of the parking lot.”
So Mr. Blankley has weighed in on this. We have a couple of audio sound bites as well. This is from last night’s Scarborough Country on MSNBC, talking with Pat Buchanan, and Joe says, “The serious point is Rush Limbaugh can better communicate the conservative Republican message than anybody else in America, right?”
BUCHANAN: The problem is for the conservative talk show hosts and like Rush, who’s maybe the Elvis Presley of the whole group, it is that conservatism and Republicanism are splitting. Conservatism is going one way, and the party is not going the same way. These are guys who came into the movement as conservatives. They support the Republican Party because it is the conservative party, or they thought it was like me.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat, you have Rush Limbaugh that has gone off the reservation, Laura Ingraham who at times has gone off the reservation —
BUCHANAN: Or has–
SCARBOROUGH: The problem is, for Republicans this year, movement conservatives, people who voted for you, people who got Ronald Reagan elected in 1980, all of those people or most of those people that were really the engine behind those victories are saying to me privately, “I don’t care whether Republicans maintain control of Congress or not.”
RUSH: All right, I don’t know what he means, I’ve gone off the reservation. I have gone off the reservation? Joe, with all due respect, if we’re going to talk about people going off the reservation, I think you’re a better candidate than I. But I still don’t know what it means. Yes, of course I’m the Elvis Presley of the gang, that goes without saying, but that was Buchanan that mentioned that. Buchanan’s point is that conservatives are once again isolated. Republican Party has shafted them. The Republican Party is a bunch of country club blue-blooders. I have told you people this all along. But the way to fix this is not to back out of the party! The way to fix this is not to abandon the party. Look, all year long I have tried to make the point that this immigration issue has been set up so as to marginalize conservatives.
Look at the coalition that has joined this immigration issue to come up with amnesty and all this for the total number of illegals. It’s a coalition of liberal Democrats, moderate Republicans, country club blue-blood types. What Pat doesn’t tell you here, and he’ll remember this when I point it out, in 1980 and throughout the eighties with Reagan, the country club blue-blooders hated Reagan, too. They despised Reagan. They had to shut up about it, and they had to hold their nose, but they resented the hell out of the fact that a guy like Reagan was president. They don’t like conservatives in the blue-blood country club ranks. This is not news that the Republican Party has had moderates and country club Republicans, blue-blood liberal types in it. I’ve told you about having dinner with them. I’ve told you what they’ve tried to tell me to do about fixing abortion so their wives don’t whine and complain at ’em.
I’ve been through all of this. This is nothing new. It’s not just, though, that country club blue-blooders are aimed at conservatives. So is the whole American left. Now, I don’t know anybody who thinks the Democratic Party is going to be the future home of conservatism. The Republican Party traditionally has been. Why do you want to sit out, not vote, and cede the blue-blood types the power of the Republican Party when their history is lose, lose, lose? When those people ran the Republican Party, we had 180 seats in the House and we had minority leaders and so forth that were just happy to get a golf date with Tip O’Neill. I mean, that’s something made ’em happy. This is nothing new. That’s why abandoning all this and thinking that abandoning it is going to wrest control of it back somehow mystifies me. Play the next sound bite before we go to the break. Scarborough added this.
SCARBOROUGH: It reminds me of something that I’ve seen in Woodward’s latest book, when he talks about how George Bush got reelected in 2004. The Bush White House understood that it wasn’t country club Republicans. In fact, Bush said to his staff after he beat John Kerry the next day, “Country club Republicans didn’t vote for me, it was working-class Republicans who connected with me.” Those are the people that listen to Rush Limbaugh, and those are the people who were ticked off now, Pat, right?
RUSH: Country club Republicans never elected a Republican president, not in the modern era.
RUSH: I’ve still been confused by this comment made by my good friend Joe Scarborough, accusing me of having gone “off the reservation.” Joe, I thought about this during the break. I don’t think it’s possible. I can’t go off the reservation.
You know, I could assign motives to it, but I don’t want to extend this argument any further than it is. I just want to share with you some excerpts of a response from a blogger. No offense intended, I have no clue — I’ve never heard of this site and I don’t know — who this is. This was submitted yesterday: “Today on Rush Limbaugh’s Show, Rush referred indirectly to yesterday’s article about the Insta-Pundit versus Rush fallout. Now, from listening to this show, Rush clearly seems to think that conservatives such as myself are being nave or, as he put it, should expand the horizons on what the repercussions of what a Democratic victory in November would be. Considerable time was spent on the premise that votes shouldn’t be used to teach a lesson, or, more to the point, that a vote really can’t be used to teach a lesson.
“I disagree. You can bet that, if the Republicans lose, especially given how loud the right has been about the dissatisfaction it has with the Republicans in Congress, they will take it to heart. The difference is that many conservatives, myself included, don’t think the world will end if Democrats gain control of the House and even the Senate. We’re not like the hysterical left that thinks if its opponents win that the world will be destroyed. I don’t think we’ll see some massive tax increase. I don’t think we’ll see cut-and-run from Iraq. I don’t think Bush will be impeached. I don’t think we’ll lose the war on terrorism. If the Democrats were about to get a big majority of Congress I might feel differently, but at most the Democrats would have a tiny majority in both houses with a veto-wielding Republican in the White House.”
What veto? How many have there been? There has been one! But get the next line: “If Democrats start acting like kooks, they’ll suffer in 2008 when the stakes are much higher.” If? If? If they start acting like kooks? What, pray tell, have they been doing the past three or four years, if not longer? It is inarguable; it is undeniable, that the Democrats and their base have been saying some of the most kooky, outrageous, offensive things to the sensibilities of every decent person in the country, things that I’ve heard said in politics on a consistent drumbeat basis — and apparently it isn’t going to hurt them now, because guess who’s mad at who? These conservatives are mad at their own party. They’re mad at Republicans. They’re not mad at the Democrat kooks.
They’re not mad at the insults. They’re not apparently outraged enough to vote against the enemy. They are outraged enough to vote against the people that are on their side or on whose side they are. I’ve got a big interview here with Charlie Rangel that showed up in the New York Observer, and this story is all about how he can’t wait to get in there and run the Ways and Means Committee: “When I become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, we’ll have power over the entire tax system, Social Security system, pension system, Medicare, all of international trade.” He says, “I don’t have time. I’m 76 years old. I don’t have time for a secret agenda. I’m going to move on all these things,” as he has clearly said. Now, you can sit there and say, “Well, the majorities aren’t going to be big enough for them to ever succeed in pulling any of this off,” which may in fact be true.
But none of it still clicks logically to me why you expect — or why you think — by sending your own people out of power adds up to a good thing, especially positioning you for a re-conquest of that power in 2008. I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. If the Republicans lose the House and the Senate because of principled conservatives who exercise their power by doing nothing, by staying home and voting, and if the Democrats win, they’re not going to stop being kooky and they can’t start being kooky because they are kooky to begin with. It stuns me. You go through the news. You will not find one reference to any Democrat who is anything other than miserable and unhappy, and in the process they say some of the kookiest things about why 9/11 happened, who was really behind it, the economy and gasoline prices.
Claire McCaskill! You want to talk kooky? Claire McCaskill, Democrat Senate candidate from Missouri — and I assume some of you principled conservatives in Missouri are going to sit out and allow her to win simply to send a message to the Republicans. This is a woman who in a debate actually said that the Bush administration is doing something to the gas price to help Republicans in the upcoming election. This is sophistry! It is idiocy, and it is pure ignorance, and it’s pandering to a low common denominator of kooks in her base and in her party in Missouri. Anybody with half a brain understands this can’t be done. Oil is a worldwide commodity. We have no control over OPEC. We have no control over the speculator market. We have no control over any of these factors, and certainly one man doesn’t.
Yet here is the Democrat Senate candidate in Missouri — in a race that’s said to be “bellwether” — is making this charge, and she’s running some totally false, lying ads as well about veterans’ medical care, and she’s had to pull the ads. She’s been called on it. Yet I guess that doesn’t aggravate principled conservatives. Jim Talent, for some reasons, makes principled conservatives mad, or George Bush makes principled conservatives mad, or some member of the House or a couple of them make principled conservatives mad so we’re going to show ’em and we’re going to teach ’em a lesson and we’re going to send Claire McCaskill to the US Senate for six years to practice her kookery. I’ll tell you, this notion that doesn’t matter who wins because the Democrats aren’t going to have a big enough majority, that’s going to lead to another thing that I will share with you. It’s going to lead to the nomination of John McCain for the Republican presidential candidacy.
RUSH: Bruce Bartlett has a piece in the New York Times. He says he doesn’t see disaster happening if Democrats win control of one or both houses, either.
I thought the Supreme Court was one of the profound reasons we had to win in 2000. I thought the Supreme Court was one of the pronounced reasons we had to win in 2004, but now, no, the Republicans deserve to lose and we deserve to lose the opportunity to finish the job of reorienting the court, just to “punish” the Republicans. Sorry. I may not be as smart as you brilliant bloggers out there, but I just don’t get it. Something else is going to happen here. Oh, remember this? Remember when Jumpin’ Jim Jeffords switched parties and became an independent and thus was given committee seats by the Democrats?
Remember how the Republicans in this heated partisan battle decided to be good guys and to share the power with the Democrats? Remember how well that went. Tom Daschle was de facto head of the United States Senate when we had won it! Which leads me to another thing about these close races. Rich Galen has an excellent bit of thinking in his latest Mullings piece. Let’s examine it. (I haven’t forgotten McCain. I’ll get to that. I’ll make that the cherry on the top of the whipped cream here in just a second.) Let’s just talk about the House first. Let’s say either party wins by a two- or three-seat margin, according to the polls.
By the way, more on that, because one thing we have learned in in-depth analysis just in the last 18 hours, is that these generic ballot polls that the Drive-By Media are using are so overly weighted with Democrat participation that they do not reflect reality at all in terms of party registration and identification as it exists today. More on that as the program unfolds. Now, let’s say either party has a two- or three-seat majority. You realize that this election, if it shapes up like the pollsters say, is going to feature a lot of knock-down-drag-out close races. It could well be that on the morning of November 8th we still don’t know who will have won the House.
What if there are lots of close races out there? What if there are recounts? Galen predicts between six and nine recounts in House races, that they will be that close, and that the losers, if they are Democrats, will be going through conniption fits, and they will be charging that they have been cheated, and that will have to be addressed. If there are two- to three-seat majorities on either the Republican or the Democrat side, he then reminds us of the horse trading that will begin with one party trying to get other members to quit that party and join them. For example, if the Democrats end up losing by two seats, will they target a bunch of moderate Republicans and offer them all kinds of power in a New Democrat Majority to switch parties?
Will the Republicans do the same? These are all possibilities. They are pretty good practical realities, and it will all result, if it does, from a bunch of brilliant, smarter-than-everybody-else-in-the-room conservatives telling people that their party needs to be punished, not the kooks that have been insulting them day in and day out, not the kook libs who have been doing their best to undermine victory in this country, not the kooks, not the Democrats who have been sabotaging this nation’s effort to enhance and protect its national security. No, we’re not going to punish those people. We’re going to punish the Republicans, because they screwed us. They didn’t stay conservative enough. Don’t forget this.
As I said yesterday, it’s one thing to blame the House, but it’s unfair to tar them with everything. Do you realize how tough it is for movement conservatives in the House to get anything done and to stand out when they have a Republican president who is not a movement conservative? George Bush is a “conservative,” but he’s not “conservative.” He is a Republican. This is not a criticism. We’ve known this all along. Bush, as opposed to Reagan, is not leading a movement. You don’t sit down with Ted Kennedy and let him help write the education bill; you don’t join with Ted Kennedy and McCain on the immigration bill. You talk about Republicans and spending? A lot of these spending initiatives came from the White House!
It’s what Bush wanted to do, his idea of a compassionate conservative, think of it what you will. But when you have conservatives in the House, it’s much more difficult to break away from a president in your own party. If you do that, it won’t be you who are upset with them. It will be the White House, and the White House will not help ’em campaign the next two years, will not direct money to them from the RNC, which is run by the president and his people. So these guys in the House finally had enough with Porter Goss being canned, when they were told that wouldn’t happen, and they finally did buck their own president on immigration. It was late in the summer. Has it bought ’em any goodwill at all? No.
The idea that they coulda done it year in and year out and survive is an attitude that people who are neophytes have in how party politics works inside the party when the president is of your party but is not a movement conservative. “Well, how about Newt Gingrich, Rush? Look at Newt.” That’s right. He had Bill Clinton to bounce off of. It was much easier to lead a conservative movement with somebody like Bill Clinton or any other Democrat in the White House, and Tom Daschle running the Senate or whoever was running it at the time, than if the president is of your own party, but is not part of your movement. So it’s not fair to trash these guys as the sum total, as the object of failure, and take it out on them.
The Senate, that’s a different ball of wax. It always has been. That’s another institution that bollixes up any progress the House wants to make — and despite all that, the case could probably be made that the House has done a pretty good job given the things they’ve had to work with, given the attacks that have rained down on them, given their silly rule to get rid of leaders who are indicted, letting the Democrats indict DeLay purely politically to get him out of the leadership post, and to get him out of the House in general. The idea facilitating all this, while hiding under this or behind the banner of: “I’m principled and they’ve let me down and they need to be taught a lesson.”
Well, fine and dandy, but why is it that you don’t think the left needs to be taught a lesson for their absolutely unbelievable childish, immature, and dangerous behavior the last five years? How do they escape your wrathful eye? How is it that the Democrats somehow don’t make you mad? What is this death wish that some of you have? Why is it you cannot see who the real problem in America is or who your real enemy is in a political sense? Why can’t you see it? And if you do see it, then would somebody explain to me how ignoring the enemy and allowing them to gain more power somehow advances your cause? It may make you feel better, and it may mean that you are selfish, and it may mean you’re trying to portray yourself as smarter and more forward thinking than anybody else.
But it’s a death wish, particularly this notion that they’re not going to get anything done in the next two years anyway, and they’ll learn a lesson. Let me tell you about learning a lesson. In two years, you same people who will have helped bring about an ascension to power by the Democrats are going to be so angry; you’re going to be so fed up over what they have tried to do, over the things they will maybe have accomplished, that you are going to demand power back — and you will accept anybody that you think has a chance of winning it.
Right now, that looks like McCain above anybody else — who, I must tell you, is not a conservative — and so what are you probably going to end up doing? You’re going to be so frustrated by 2008 and the thought of Hillary Clinton becoming president is so obnoxious, so abhorrent, that in 2008, you will flush your precious principles down the drain and elect a Republican, precisely the kind of Republican you think you’re running against now. Or you will at least nominate one. Who knows how that election will go. So the very principle that you are fighting here, if you succeed, you will be given a candidate who fits the very thing you’re angry about, somebody who’s not conservative enough, but probably has the best chance of winning.
Of course, the bloggers all say ’08 is what this is all about. One more thing about this blog. The guy’s name is “Draginol.” It’s a blogger name, anyway. “So, Rush, spare us the patronizing we’ve been brainwashed by the Drive-By Media. It was online conservatives that got Trent Lott out after his foolish remarks about Thurmond. It was online conservatives that exposed the forged documents on 60 Minutes. We don’t get our marching orders from the mainstream media. If anything, marching orders to the mainstream media increasingly come from the blogosphere.”
Let me tell you something. If you people in the blogosphere who subscribe to this guy, whatever he’s saying, think that you got rid of Trent Lott, this explains the head-in-the-sand attitude you have. If you don’t think the Democrats and the Drive-By Media and the White House got rid of Trent Lott, and if you want to credit yourselves, the one thing you guys are going to have to learn out there is a little humanity. Everybody’s in this together. This is exactly what I told people was happening years ago. As the conservative movement gets bigger, it becomes competitive, and there are people in it who want to say they’re the power. “We’re the ones,” and it’s not just bloggers versus others. It’s everybody versus everybody, everybody who plays the game, and those are the people who are not so much interested in advancing issues.
Those are the people interested in being king of the hill, and that’s what this Republicans need to lose thing is all about, being king of the hill; being the smartest guy in the room, being the one to predict Republicans are going to lose because they deserved it, and then when it happens, saying, “I caused it! My blog caused it. My ripping the Republicans and informing the American people, I brought it on,” and that’s what they’re in it for, some of them. I mean, these people like the guy writing this. As to this notion that spare us the patronizing we’ve been brainwashed by the Drive-By Media, we’re not talking about bloggers in that.
If you guys are going to listen to the program, LISTEN to it. I was talking about the ongoing effort of the Democrats, the left, and the Drive-By Media to split up the conservative Christians. They’re the ones who ought to understand Mainstream Media Bias 101. They have been the targets of leftist and media attacks ever since I can remember, from the early days of the Reagan administration and abortion right up to now. They’re despised. There are 24 million of them. The best thing that could happen is if the Drive-By Media is successful with this Foley nonsense and others things to get ’em to stay home. I wasn’t talking about you bloggers having been brainwashed by the Drive-By Media. I know you think you’re the ones brainwashing them.
RUSH: It’s time to straighten something else out here. Snerdley, rather than listening to my stirring monologue moments ago was watching MSNBC. I’m only kidding. He couldn’t help it. The monitor is right in front of him. By the way, this is why Scarborough thinks I’ve gone “off the reservation.” I know what it is now. It’s this New York Times piece that came out yesterday. It was a New York Times piece yesterday written by Jim Rutenberg, and Rutenberg I’ve often credited on this program. My interaction with him has always been that he’s never misquoted me, and he’s never taken me out of context, and never put me in a story that didn’t think I was being talked to about.
I can’t say that about a lot of reporters. This story was about invitations from the Bush White House to conservative talk show hosts to go up there and have a sit-down in the Oval Office with President Bush for 90 minutes, and I didn’t go, and so that’s the claim. Well, I wasn’t invited! Joe Scarborough, I wasn’t invited! I’m not mad about it. Why do I want to? I talk to them every day to give them their marching orders. (Kidding. Kidding. Wait ’til that shows up somewhere.) I wasn’t invited. Do you know why, Joe? They know I wouldn’t go. They know I’m not going to attend a group thing, Joe. So they’re trying to say that because I didn’t go or because I wasn’t there, that I am off the Bush reservation, the TV people are.
The newspaper story indicated that some of these hosts that were invited have started criticizing Bush now and then, and the White House, ooh, we gotta get these people in and get ’em back on the reservation or get ’em back in line. That, again, is not what was going on. Of the hosts that I saw in the article that were there, maybe one of them has spent a lot of time going off the reservation and being critical. The others have not. This White House — and I have said this on the radio before — this White House during the course of its administration and its time in office has spent more time coddling enemies than it has breaking bread with friends. That has been their strategy. Nobody takes this personally. They figure their friends are their friends.
You don’t have to constantly tell your friend, “Hey, buddy, you’re my friend, I love you.” You don’t have to bring ’em up and do all this. But you’re trying, if you’ve got a new tone, if you’ve got compassionate conservatism, if you’re trying to bridge the partisan gap, you do bring in people that are not necessarily your friends and try to woo them or at least let them see who you are and so forth. But when there’s trouble, and when it gets down to nut-cracking time, you bring the friends in. There’s nothing wrong with this. It was not secret. The White House announced all this. There’s nothing secret about this. You think Bill Clinton didn’t have his buddies in there?
You think some of these big-time liberal books that sold big in the nineties just happened to come about by chance and thin air? You don’t think maybe they were brought into the White House to strategize about how this book should be written with that title. The idea that this stuff is unique and individual, the fact that I wasn’t there means nothing. As the article plainly states, I was there in June, as I told everybody. I was there with the ’24’ gang. We had a seminar at the Heritage Foundation. Karl Rove invited all of us over for lunch, and I got there early, and I got to spend 20 minutes with the president, and we didn’t talk about the elections, which I told Rutenberg, but didn’t make the story; talked about Iran and North Korea. It was basically social.
One hour! I spent one hour just correcting the record.
RUSH: Now, look, folks, I am not talking about the whole blogosphere out there and I tried to make that clear, and I’ll be more specific when we come back if necessary. But another thing, I am trying to unite everybody on this, and if that’s not obvious, then some people have problems hearing.
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