RUSH: We’ll go to Alsip, Illinois. Phil, welcome to the program, sir. How are you?
CALLER: Fine, Rush, and how are you?
RUSH: Good. I want to ask you, is it really Alsip, or is it Alton?
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, I gathered that. Snerdley’s experienced not knowing small towns in the Midwest, I just wanted to check. Thanks for confirming that for him.
RUSH: Well, first, mega Iron Range dittos.
RUSH: Appreciate that.
CALLER: You jogged my memory, sir, and maybe the professor is just testing us, but if I recall right, the girl that brought Bill Clinton to the dance was conservatism. That’s what he ran on.
RUSH: How do you mean that?
CALLER: Well, if I recall right, he was — well, you in particular, and I’m just a pupil, were very upset by him stealing our issues. Welfare reform, middle class tax cuts, and then he couldn’t do them, and then Newt Gingrich and the boys held his feet to the fire on the welfare reform, and he re-ran on that.
RUSH: So you’re talking about 1996?
CALLER: Yes, and before —
RUSH: Well, but no, he didn’t run on welfare reform in 1996, did run on the middle class tax cut, but he wasn’t making a big deal of it. Clinton was running on the worst economy in the last 50 years. He was trashing the US economy. If you want to go back to 1992 and if you want to say that Clinton could owe a part of his election, his success in 1992, to conservatives — is that what you’re saying?
CALLER: To conservatism.
CALLER: Yes. If I recall right, he was the leader of southern Democrat leadership committee or —
RUSH: Yeah, but all that was a sham.
CALLER: Yeah. But they —
RUSH: Clinton, I remember saying what I said. Clinton has to get the vote, he can’t come across as the far-left extremist that he is. Hillary is going to take care of that stuff. Hillary can go out and talk to the groups and represent that stuff. Bill has to get the votes so he has to moderate somewhat. But here we go again. Snerdley, you keep throwing these people at me, you’re going to get me in trouble out there. Thanks, Phil, for the phone call. One of the problems in 1992, do we want to go back and relive this, does it have relevance to today? You decide. We had an incumbent president who had abandoned some conservative principles. ‘Read my lips, no new taxes.’ We had an incumbent president who didn’t seem interested in being reelected until it was too late. And let’s not forget, of the little hand grenade with the bad haircut, Ross Perot was in there, and he split for a while the anti-Clinton vote, conservative vote, whatever. And the enthusiasm ended up on the left with Clinton, just as it appears that there is more enthusiasm on the Democrat side right now and their voters than it is among Republican and conservative voters. But that’s too soon to say whether that’s going to be a factor in the general election. Phil, thanks again for the phone call.
Dave in Lafayette, Indiana, nice to have you with us. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Ten-time caller dittos to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Over the last 20 years, I’ve managed to call every couple of years. But I called to poke the bear a little bit today, and I hope I don’t upset you, but last night I watched Obama’s speech, what I call a free market Marxist speech, because he seem to contradict each comment he made the time before. But what I was wondering last night is, I’d come to the conclusion that not even listening to that speech could get me to vote for McCain. I’ve never voted Republican because I’ve never found one to be conservative enough, since Reagan, and I was too young back then.
RUSH: Wait a second, wait a second, are you a Democrat?
CALLER: No. I’m not. I’m a recovering Libertarian because I’ve realized over time, reading about the Libertarians, that as far as foreign policy, they’re pretty kooky, and you and I had a conversation about four or five years ago, and you put it up on your website, and said I will never vote for a loser third party. I was giving you grief about it. You might remember that.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I’m trying to go back to what you said a minute —
RUSH: You said you’ve never voted Republican.
RUSH: And no matter what Obama says, even if he goes from Marxism to free marketism, one word to the next in one sentence, you wouldn’t vote for McCain?
CALLER: I just can’t get myself to do it, because my vote is not supposed to be — and I’ve heard you say the same thing — my vote is not supposed to be with a party, but with a principle, and I just can’t support him. And I sat and listened to Obama last night, scared to death this guy might win or maybe even worse Hillary wins, but even with that, I can’t bring myself to vote for him because I think that if McLame, as our friend Mark calls him, if he wins, this leftward trend toward the Republican candidates will only continue, aren’t we just supporting another one to the left and then the next one to the left is McCain again.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, say, half of what you just said isn’t accurate.
CALLER: Okay, what’s that?
RUSH: We’re not going to win.
CALLER: Oh. (laughing) Didn’t I say if?
RUSH: Snerdley, you know, you keep stirring things up here. We are not going to beat a Marxist, socialist, whatever you’re going to call them, liberal, with somebody who is a little bit of that on some things. We’re not going to steal committed liberal Democrat votes from the Democrats — if we do, if we do expand our party that way, the party is going to change forever, but the dynamic is that we’re not going to win. I’ll tell you, here’s McCain’s best chance, Dave, and I’m saving this for another day, but this is a commentator at Rasmussen’s website. ‘Vaporous Obama Turns Off Many Centrists.’ The whole point of her piece can be summed up in this little pull quote. Centrists. What is a centrist? A centrist is a moderate. What’s a moderate? Somebody that doesn’t have an opinion, waits ’til a majority forms and says, ‘I’m for that.’ By definition, a moderate can’t tell you what he thinks because he’s too open-minded to have an opinion. Moderates think that people with opinions are closed-minded and extreme and not open enough to alternative ideas.
The author here is Froma Harrop: ‘Centrists generally do not find cults of personality entertaining. The mass hypnosis reminds them of the mortgage frenzy — all these people buying into a dream and not caring about the fine print. The Republican Party, meanwhile, has given them a choice. This is despite the best efforts of its right wing to pick a candidate against whom any Democrat would be better. And the more the radicals beat up on the Arizona senator, the more he looks like a contender to moderate Democrats. … What Democrats must understand is that their moderates now have another candidate to consider. And this slice of the electorate is big enough and grumpy enough to swing a general election to John McCain.’ So what this babe is saying here, Froma Harrop, is that the moderates and the centrists — isn’t it amazing what these people have become? I know this is at the Rasmussen poll site. But moderates can become a vessel for whatever you want them to be when you’re in politics, because we’ve raised these moderates and independents up to a mythological status that it is only they who determine who wins presidential elections, only them. And this stands things on its head. But this is the conventional wisdom of inside the Beltway politics.
The Rasmussen people here are saying that moderates are really turned off by this Obama show that’s going on out there and they’re not going to vote for Obama no matter what, even these Democrat moderates are not going to vote for Obama, but they do have a candidate now, and that’s McCain. So what happens? If that turns out to be the case? By the way, the national polls do not show this. What are you frowning about in there? Are you upset because I excoriated you publicly? (interruption) Who, McCain? We’ve been talking about it all day. Have you seen the polls? I know it’s only February. Snerdley says he can’t believe that I said McCain is not going to win. If the election were today, and it’s not, of course, do you think he would? Not today. All right. (laughing) Snerdley is living in hope in there, folks. The point here is that let’s say this is true. Let’s say these moderate Democrats are not on the Obama show, they’re not digging it, they don’t want any part of it, and McCain’s their guy. Okay, so Democrat moderates are coming over — (interruption) what are they coming over for us? Or are they escaping the Obama bandwagon? ‘But, Rush, but, Rush, isn’t this good, isn’t this good for Democrat moderates to become Republicans?’ I guess if it’s got some substance behind it; if they’re actually joining us because there are some things about our party that they like. But if we have adjusted our party for them so that they like it, and if they’re only fleeing Obama because they don’t like Obama and they don’t like cults, then it’s a temporary thing. But, anyway, that’s one person’s recipe for how McCain can win.