Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Some time ago, in the past three months or so, we had a caller asking me why I thought liberals or the Democrats are so enraged all the time, so angry. I hem-hawed around about it, I gave the usual answer, Florida 2000 and this sort of stuff, and I said, ‘If you want to know the real reason, it’s me and my success.’ They owned media for 50 years. They never had to debate anybody. They never had to have anybody challenge them. They didn’t have to explain what they believed. Not just liberal leaders, but the whole cockamamie bunch of them in the country. And all of a sudden this show comes up, and it spawns all kinds of other spinoffs, and they’re just enraged. There are other things that I mentioned, too, that are factors, too. I don’t feel guilty about it; there’s nothing I can do about it; I wouldn’t change it if I could. I think the rise of this program has contributed tremendously to the overall rage and anger that liberals feel. They’ve tried to counter it with every which way you can imagine, blogosphere, you’ve had their various attempts at radio shows, and they can’t do it. They just can’t get in the field. They can’t make an impact at all. There is confirmation that I am right about this from no less than Joe Klein of TIME Magazine, although he’s wrong in a couple of assertions. Let me read to you an excerpt from an article in TIME Magazine recently. The left- liberals in the blogosphere — and he’s upset about it, by the way, he’s upset at the rage and the anger on the Democrat side. He’s trying to assign the reason for it.

‘The left-liberals in the blogosphere are merely aping the odious, disdainful — and politically successful — tone that right-wing radio talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh pioneered. They are also justifiably furious at a Bush White House that has specialized in big lies and smear tactics. And that is precisely the danger here. Fury begets fury. Poison from the right-wing talk shows seeped into the Republican Party’s bloodstream and sent that party off the deep end. Limbaugh’s show — where Dick Cheney frequently expatiates — has become the voice of the Republican establishment.’ No, it isn’t. This show is not the voice of the Republican establishment. It is the voice of American conservatism, but it is not the voice of Republican establishment. And something else. This program is not odious. It is not disdainful. We are not angry. We are not enraged. We are nothing but happy on this program. In fact, Joe, I get e-mails from people upset with me that I am too happy because I shouldn’t be, given the status of this country these days and where the country is headed. If I’m happy and enjoying myself, why, it means that I’m out of touch.

They continually misunderstand what happens here and on all these other shows. You could see that the Republican debate the other night. There wasn’t any anger up there. There wasn’t any rage like you can see when the Democrats all get together. It was a bunch of optimistic people debating different ideas that they have within the same party about the future of the country, which everybody cares about. This is an upbeat, optimistic, inspirational radio program. If it were odious and disdainful, it wouldn’t be as big as it is. You don’t attract this kind of audience, this large of audience and hold it for 19 years, which it will be August 1st. This odious, disdainful, hate-filled talk. Now, I think he’s right that the left-liberals in the blogosphere are angry. They may think this program is filled with rage and hatred, but actually it’s just projection. This program fills them with rage and hatred because they can’t deal with it, they can’t beat it, they can’t answer it. Even in the arena of ideas, they can’t call here and win on the arena of ideas, and they’re frustrated and they’re angry, even when they won the elections last fall, it didn’t satisfy them. They are still livid. It’s a state of mind and it is because of the success of this program.

To understand this, you have to understand what it was like to be a liberal without this program and the alternative media all the way up to 1988. People ask me all the time, ‘How do you put up with the constant disparaging, brutal comments about you in the media? They lie about you. How do you put up with it?’ I said, ‘I understand it. They ought to hate my guts. They ought to despise me. I single-handedly led the movement that destroyed their monopoly. And in the process of doing so, I’ve been very critical of them.’ I call them the Drive-Bys. They ought not like me. ‘But, Rush, they lie about you.’ That’s who they are. Why get mad at people when they’re who they are? You know who they are. I don’t give them the kind of power to make me mad at them, very rarely — as you people know on certain things, will I stand up and refute some of what they say. If I made a point of that, that would be all I would do. So no less an authority in the Drive-Bys than Joe Klein gets it right, but gets it wrong at the same time.

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