RUSH: Here’s St. Louis and Rich. A little stormy there today, Rich.
CALLER: Hi. How are you? I’m from the opposition, but I do want to point out to you I listen to you a lot. You’re absolutely the greatest spin master there is. But I have a question for you, okay?
CALLER: My question to you is, on 9/12, 13, 14, the week after 9/11, the president’s popularity was at 90%. Could you explain away why it’s about 30 or 29 or 28% now and I really mean this sincerely.
RUSH: I just did in the previous monologue, a lot of it is that, but there’s another factor. There’s another factor, and that is: the president does not confront his opposition. The president (I’m guessing, based on some experience), I think, views the presidency as such a revered office that it’s beneath the office of the presidency to get into partisan ideological confrontations with the opposition party. As such, he hasn’t fought back on any of this stuff. He’s not retaliated against any of the personal assaults that have been hurled his way. He doesn’t react to 90% of what Democrats have said the last six years — and another thing, just from me personally. He’s conservative on some things but he’s not a conservative, and as such he’s not leading a movement when he articulates his agenda and philosophy. If you listen to Reid or you listen to Pelosi, every time they speak, it’s based on their ideology. They are articulating a movement: liberalism. The president doesn’t do that. So there is a conservative vacuum out there which, when there’s a conservative vacuum, conservatives are not going to respond to somebody that’s not or is not articulating it. It’s something I’ve said constantly. One of the real problems in Washington is the absence of elected conservative leadership. There’s no reason for him to be at 30% in the polls right now other than his lack of intervening on behalf of himself.
RUSH: Barry in Henderson, Kentucky, hello, sir.
CALLER: Good morning, Mr. Limbaugh, how are you, sir?
RUSH: Fine and dandy, never better.
CALLER: Unlike your previous caller, I am not a part of the opposition. I’m on the team of which you are the captain. I’m 52 years old. I live in a pretty small town in Kentucky, and I listen to you when I can. There are times, Rush, that you are so on your game that it kind of brings little bumps up on my arm, and this is one of them. That’s one of the most brilliant monologues I’ve ever heard you give, and one of these days this group that represent you, me, and others who think like-minded, are going to step up, and they’re going to wake up. I don’t know what it’s going to take, but I just am so honored to get a chance to tell you just how strong that monologue was and how it spoke directly to my feelings about the current political climate in America.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that, sir, very much. What it’s going to take — and I don’t say this regretfully. It’s just it’s human nature. What it’s going to take is leadership. The American people are desperate for it. I will tell you that you look at this 30% approval number that the caller from St. Louis asked me to explain, after Bush had had 90%. The Iraq war is, what, fourth or fifth year, whatever it is. Cite for me, from your memory, Barry, give me one day you remember where there was positive news out of Iraq or, B, a story of the heroism and valor of United States troops.
CALLER: For ten years in a row, I have listened to you. You have awakened me. I am a sane individual who sometimes watches the evening news (I am not a part of that Geritol set yet), and it has not happened, and it is not going to happen, and you can almost tell within the first moment that you mention or talked to anyone about this subject, that that is their only source of information, and you’re right. It has not happened; it is not going to happen.
RUSH: Couple that with not only can you not recall, nor can anyone else recall a single story highlighting the success in the Drive-By Media in Iraq. Now, you might be able to remember stories that are reacting to all these negative stories. ‘Oh, yeah, there’s great news out here,’ but you don’t see it in the Drive-By newscasts or in their print pages. Couple with that: look at all of the stories on what a bunch of barbarians the United States is because of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and take a look at all the stories of the Koran being ‘flushed down the toilet,’ all the torture and all the mistreatment and the military in this country being co-opted by the judiciary in this country, and the commander-in-chief being co-opted by the judiciary, unable to practice or execute the war according to the constitutional authority. You look at four to five solid years of this, seven days a week.
CALLER: It’s relentless, as you say.
RUSH: It’s relentless, but there’s another component to it, as I said. When there’s no retaliation other than — well, sometimes the president goes on television. ‘Yeah, I admit it’s bad, but we’re working. We gotta change it around.’ There just hasn’t been any retaliation to this. There has been no response to it. It has been allowed to sit out there unchallenged. Well, you can’t blame people for accepting it and for not challenging it on their own. That’s not the way people work. Four years of a steady diet of any piece of information, the central theme with exclamation points and various derivatives, people are going to believe it when there’s no counter to it.
CALLER: Rush, it’s — Pardon me, sir, I didn’t mean to interrupt. It’s a form of brainwashing that’s ongoing and relentless, as you said. And, Rush, I know you have lots to do and I don’t want to take a minute of your time, but I know all of us who have careers and jobs have challenges, and I know that that pressure is relentless on you at times. Son, you just keep it up. You are the voice, and you are a part of that leadership this country needs. Thank you.
RUSH: Well, thank you, but I’m not. Well, look, I’m not trying to reject what you say, but I’m not elected. I appreciate when people think I face a lot of pressure in my life. Folks, my life is charmed. A lot of people say to me, ‘How do you put up with these lies and distortions about what you say and what you do?’ I have three hours every day to address it. I can respond to it, the stuff that’s worth responding to. Most of it’s not. Most of it’s from small fry. If I came here and complained every day about what they’re saying, it’d just elevate some small fry into significant characters and that’s the last thing I’m going to do it. Some nameless, faceless, irrelevant blogger writes about me and I’m going to talk about it? It’s not worth it. You know, it’s the old competitors competitor’s creed. You don’t talk about the people that don’t exist, and in my world they don’t exist. To me, this is a sign of effectiveness. I take all that stuff as a sign of success. It was tough. I tell people this.
I didn’t expect any of this. Nobody prepared me for this, and I must be honest with you. When you started and wanted to be in radio, I would never have envisioned that this would be how it would manifest itself. I remember I talked to my mother every day when I moved to New York, 1988. I talked to her every day. I’d call her and she’d ask me how the day was, and after awhile I said, ‘You know, mom, I guess it was a pretty good day. Half the country hates my guts again,’ and she would laugh. ‘No, they don’t,’ and I said, ‘Well, maybe not half, but a decent number of them do,’ and the toughest thing for me personally has been to take that as a sign of success, as a measure of success and stay sane. Most people do not grow up wanting to be hated and despised. Most people grow up just the opposite. They want everybody to love them, and they’ll do whatever it takes to make ’em love ’em. It’s just what it is. That was the hardest thing, but even with all of that that happens, it’s just part of the territory now. My life is charmed. It just is! All of that other stuff is just little gnats running across the rug.
It hasn’t harmed me. They haven’t succeeded and damaged me in any way. Stations, business-wise, there’s been no damage to any of this. So why should I be concerned about it? People who are going to hate me are going to hate me. People who are going to hate Bush are going to hate Bush. They’re going to hate Gingrich or hate anybody. They’re going to hate ’em no matter what they do, what they say, no matter what’s said about them. The thing here though you talk about and I mentioned, is leadership. This is key, folks, and this is why I have lamented the construct of the current GOP presidential field. I still believe — and this is based on knowledge; this is based on a review of history; this is based on experience — if there were a profound conservative leader who was elected or running for office, you would see an entirely different political landscape. All of you people out there who are echoing the sentiments here of Barry, or who when I did the monologue about a half hour ago, if you thought I was describing you to a T, I’ll guarantee you that if there were somebody running around nationally in the political arena, you’d bond.
You would rally, and you wouldn’t see this 30% approval. You wouldn’t see all this doom and gloom. The American people will respond to effective leadership, and there’s an absence of it right now on our side of the aisle. I’m talking about elected conservative leadership, or somebody who’s conservative seeking to be elected. We have a lot of Republicans running, and they’re all good people, but not one of them is what I would call, from top to bottom, a conservative. I’m not holding out for 100% purity, because you get that very rarely, if at all. But the thing that I have constantly told you that worries me is that whoever of these three or four nominees out there happens to prevail, don’t tell me that they are the new definition of conservative. I don’t want to sit here and have conservatism redefined so that it fits the character or the mold or the policies of a particular candidate who is not conservative. It doesn’t mean I won’t support whoever the nominee is. I’m not saying that at all. But conservatism is the key here, and somebody who’s eloquent and articulates it and can do so with verve and vigor and confidence, would own the country!
Look at the number of you out there. That’s really what you’re crying for. You want somebody that has more power than you do to stand up and say about Pelosi or Reid or any of these other people, that it is flat-out BS. It’s almost treasonous. We’ve brought Jane Fonda back and we’ve made her speaker of the House, and you’re fed up and fit to be tied with it — and you look to your party and you don’t see anybody who has even the slightest bit of emotion about this. So that’s the void. The void is not the American people have changed and they’re buying hook, line and sinker what the Drive-By Media are saying. It’s just there’s no outlet for them. So you’ve gotta contain your frustration within yourself and friends, your family, or you call here on the programs and vent and this sort of thing. (sigh) You know, if I were running, if I were one of these three Republicans running for the nomination, I would have been all over this Pelosi stuffed so fast that the Drive-Bys wouldn’t have time to be celebrating her.
I would have created such a media storm over this. I would have said what I thought this is all about, how destructive this is. I’d be out there saying, ‘The Democrats are engaged in wanting to quit. They want to lose this war. They want the United States to lose.’ I’d be out there saying, ‘The Democrats are imperiling the future of this country as we have known it. They’re over there making friends with terrorists. Essentially what Pelosi is doing is what John Kerry said he wanted to do, and what they’ve always done in the past. She’s over there talking to Bashar Assad and these other people saying, ‘Just sit tight. Sit tight, wait ’til we’re in charge, and you won’t have a problem with us anymore.” That’s what they’re saying. State sponsor of terrorism!
If she had the guts, if she had the chance she’d go to Iran and meet with Ahmadinejad and do the same thing. She may well do it before the 2008 election. I wouldn’t put it past her. It’s what Clinton and Gore have been doing by going over to the European theater all through Bush’s administration, and saying, ‘Just sit tight. Just sit tight. We know our president is an idiot. We know our president’s a cowboy frat guy. We know that he’s going to blow up the world, but sit tight. When we’re back in power, everything’s going to be okay and you can like the United States again.’ They’re out there selling the country out. That’s what I’d be saying if I happened to be one of these Republican nominees, and if I was serious about wanting the nomination. But that’s not who they are. Obviously they’re not saying this at all. There are plenty of domestic things you could talk about with the same type of approach, or same type of attitude.