Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Now, another thing, before we go to the break, this was last night, I was finishing show prep, and a dear, dear friend of mine in New York, is very, very much worried about me. ‘Rush, you’re going to endorse McCain at some point, aren’t you? You know, he’s probably going to lose anyway, but if you don’t endorse him you’re going to get the blame. The whole Republican Party is going to blame you.’ I wrote back, ‘How? I’m irrelevant. I have been defeated. I have been relegated to the ash heap of the past.’ ‘No, no, no, you know that’s not true. They wish you were there, but you’re never going to go there,’ she wrote back. ‘You are going to get blamed for it.’ And I said, ‘No, I’m not.’ I mean, some people will. But I laid down the marker on this last week. Let me lay it down again.

A lot of people, not just my friend in New York, have been writing, expressing this sentiment to me. This is the big point. The failure of establishment Republicans, whether they be members of Congress, Washington and New York editorial writers, even some talk show hosts who live and work and socialize in that community, the failure of those people to uphold conservative principles during the last decade or more has resulted in the mess that they are now complaining about. This mess, this supposed fracture in the Republican Party, where everybody else has seen the light, but the talk show hosts are now Maoists, Trotskyites, Stalinists. We’ve been isolated over here and we’re being blamed for the problems they created. But this mess that exists is a reaction to them and their failures and their false promises. Now, these very same people are now demanding that the people they took for granted continue to follow them, continue to be swayed by their demeaning and condescending lectures. It wasn’t that long ago when these people were on board, but in the past ten years they have sought a new definition of conservatism. They’ve sought to put themselves at the head of it. It is a new definition of conservatism that is not conservative.

This new definition of conservatism cannot be conservative because it requires, it relies on an expanding government to accomplish the so-called big ideas, when in fact, do you know what’s really wrong with this campaign? Bob Herbert, of all people I’m going to agree with, Bob Herbert in the New York Times, he’s a liberal who writes for liberals in the New York Times. We have some conservatives who write for liberals in that party, but he’s a liberal who writes for liberals, and he’s asking basically about the Obama camp. He says, ‘Where’s the big idea?’ But you can ask that about anybody running: Where is the big idea? What is the big idea? Is anybody running on a big idea? Obama clearly isn’t. Hillary clearly isn’t. What’s the big idea? It’s out there. It’s waiting to be grasped, embraced, and turned into a huge majority landslide victory. But nobody wants to embrace it, and that is Reaganism, constitutional conservatism. Instead, people are abandoning that and now blaming people like me for not abandoning it, too. But it isn’t going to be my fault if things go to hell in a handbasket this November, and I have no idea how they’re going to go.

But the truth of the matter is, this isn’t about Rush Limbaugh. It isn’t about any single person. The same people in Washington and New York who like to write op-eds and editorials to themselves to show how smart they are and how in touch they are, are missing what’s going on. I don’t control the real disaffection conservatives are feeling for the Republican Party and for Washington generally. This isn’t some manufactured view that’s turned on and off by me among my audience. This is the result of years of contempt for the grassroots, years of neglect, false promises, pseudoconservatism. McCain became the presumptive winner after Super Tuesday. There have been four primaries since. And other than the state of Washington where the party got involved there, he’s not — you would think, wouldn’t you, that a party excited about the nominee in coming debates, coming votes, coming primaries, would rally behind that candidate to send a signal to the Democrats, to send a signal to the country. That’s not happening. It’s not happening, and it’s not because of me.

Everybody knows these conservatives in our base, they’re independent thinkers. This idea here that those of us on talk radio become isolated, a bunch of Maoists, Trotskyites, Stalinists or whatever, and we’ve abandoned the reservation, the reservation’s abandoned us. So I’m just laying down the marker. Because if McCain loses, the first thing that’s going to happen is that these people who are — and, by the way, I’m going to tell you something else. I’m going to have to go to a break here pretty quick because I’m going way long here. But I don’t even think for these people it’s about McCain. That’s why four weeks ago their favorite candidate was Huckabee. What it’s about is whatever can win that takes us away from Reaganism, and if they think McCain is the best guy to do that, then they’re going to get behind McCain. But these people that I’m talking about are actually supporting McCain because he’s the vessel for them to redefine conservatism the way they want to. If it had been Huckabee, they’d had gotten behind Huckabee as they did four weeks ago.

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