RUSH: Here’s Tom in Galveston, Texas, as we go back to the phones. Welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.
CALLER: From the man who’s taught me the real meaning of truth, justice, and the American way.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that. It’s very kind of you to say, and I appreciate it.
CALLER: Longtime listener. Rush, you’ve taught me how to be an optimist when it comes to politics.
CALLER: And you’ve taught me how to believe that the American people really can smell snakes in the grass or see snakes in the grass. I think John McCain, he knows this is his last chance to be president. And there’s a difference between lip service and lying. And some of the issues that we, as conservatives, have the most problems with John McCain with, I think basically are kind of chicken manure. They’re small issues —
RUSH: Like what?
CALLER: Guantanamo. I don’t care where they hole these guys up. I could care less. And, you know what? The media has beat up George Bush endlessly about Guantanamo. John McCain has taken that off the table. It’s not an issue any longer. And there’s other things, too, that he says that kind of drive you and me nuts, but he sees the media for who they really are. They’re in the bag, they’re in the bag, and he’s gotta fight fire with fire. So he’s gotta give lip service now to win, to win, Rush. You’re the one who taught me, it’s all about winning. I’m going to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. But, I don’t think you should change your position, sir, because the enemy is monitoring the airwaves, and I think what you’ve gotta do is you’ve gotta keep on doing what you do best. But don’t ever —
RUSH: You mean being honest and not suggesting that I’m okay with throwing Club Gitmo overboard just to please the media?
CALLER: Well, I don’t think he’s — well, that isn’t what I’m saying. I’m saying that —
RUSH: Yes, you are. That’s exactly what you said. You said take it off the table so the media can’t make a big deal of it.
CALLER: Well, let’s talk about Club Gitmo.
RUSH: I have a thriving merchandise business down there.
CALLER: Who cares where these pieces of dirt are prisoned.
RUSH: It’s not a question of that. It’s not a question of keeping them in prison. It’s a question of letting them out and putting them in American prisons and giving them US constitutional rights and turning over war criminals to the US constitutional judicial system with liberal attorneys getting them out and getting them off and getting them released and sent back home. Would we have done this with Nazi prisoners of war that we caught in World War II or Japanese prisoners of war? Would we call them criminals and say, ‘Here’s your constitutional rights, we’re going to get you a lawyer, it’s going to be a high paid left-wing lawyer and we’re going to get you off these charges so you can go back home’? Closing Club Gitmo is not saying we’re going to put ’em somewhere else other than the US criminal justice system.
CALLER: Well, I think you’re overthinking it. I think that if you were to be able to be a fly on the wall someplace where John McCain is talking to his closest people, he’s not saying he wants to give these guys anything other than a new place to take a shower, shave, and other things that begin with an ‘S,’ and I don’t care where they are, and, you know what? But the media has beat up George Bush for eight years over issues that are nonissues. And I think, I really think that McCain wants to win so bad, he’ll say things now to disarm the media, he’ll say things to disarm ’em, to take these issues off the table and not give ’em ammunition to fire back at him.
RUSH: Do you know that to be true? Do you know that that is factual? Have you talked to somebody in the McCain camp that has told you that that’s their strategery?
CALLER: No. No. But otherwise, I’m an optimist, Rush. I want to believe that he’s our quarterback.
RUSH: I understand. Did you hear the first hour of the program today?
CALLER: No, I didn’t.
RUSH: Well, you gotta go back and listen to it tonight on the website. I don’t have time to repeat it, but I want to tell you what you’re doing here. You are projecting on Senator McCain what you hope and what you want him to do, but you have no idea whether he’s doing it. I don’t do that. I don’t project. I take what they say and I look at their record. You know, I could turn what you said around. Senator McCain is promising us that he’s going to make permanent the Bush tax cuts, and Senator McCain is promising that he is not going to raise taxes. But, you know what, Tom, I think he’s just lying about that. I think he’s just trying to get the conservatives to support him on that, but I think he’s actually going to raise taxes. That’s no different than what you’re telling me about McCain and Club Gitmo. Neither of us know, which, frankly, is a damn problem.
RUSH: Now, look, folks. The last caller said that I taught him to be an optimist. I hope that’s true. I have not taught anybody to be a Pollyanna. Guantanamo Bay is not an issue any longer because McCain agrees with the ACLU? When you say he’s agreeing with the media, the ACLU wants it closed. What about the security consequences of bringing terrorists to Fort Leavenworth? That’s where Senator McCain wants to bring ’em. You don’t care where he brings ’em? You don’t care where those prisoners go? You think they’re going to go to some prison in a foreign country? McCain wants to bring ’em to Fort Leavenworth! That’s in Kansas, which barely got by Davidson yesterday. That means conferring constitutional rights on these people, as I said. This stuff doesn’t just happen in a vacuum. You know, I think these McCain supporters who excuse all of his liberal activities and statements really don’t understand conservatism. I don’t think you understand the Constitution. I don’t think you get the struggle, the history of the struggle within the Republican Party.
It has been monumental. All of this if you going to come up and say, ‘Well, you know, McCain, he’s just saying all this stuff. I don’t care where the prisoners go. He’s just saying this stuff to silence the media, facilitate his election. It’s all about winning, Rush.’ We’re trying to maintain the dignity and integrity of our values. I’ll break the embargo that I have on the speech I gave Saturday night. I was pretty hard on Senator McCain during the speech, and in the Q&A some guy in the audience said, ‘Just get over it.’
I said, ‘Did you say get over it, sir?’
‘Yeah, just get over it.’
I said, ‘No, sir. I’m an American before I’m a Republican. I’m a conservative before I’m a Republican. You’re asking me to ‘get over’ my principles, and I am not going to get over my principles! I’m not going to sit around just so my party wins. I’m not a blind follower of the party.’ I got so mad, I muttered a couple of — well, I shouted a couple of — obscenities and I threw a napkin on the floor, while standing at the podium. I’m not going to get over my principles, and I’m not going to sit around and just let my principles — conservatism, the principles largely responsible for the founding of the country — to be watered down and misunderstood, misrepresented, especially on the basis, ‘Well, he’s just saying, you know, what he has to say. He’s really not going to do these things, Rush. You have to understand that.’
RUSH: Tom in Newport News, Virginia, welcome. We got about one minute, but I wanted to get to you.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, hello from 790 AM, WNIS country.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Hey, I just wanted to say that I think you’re misinterpreting what McCain is doing. I think he’s using a former tactic of President Bush and by owning — not just owning — some of the issues, I think he’s trying to own all the issues. I believe that’s what’s going on, and I think that that’s why he’s doing and saying the things that he’s doing.
RUSH: Uh… (sigh)
CALLER: Resistance is futile.
RUSH: Is trying to own all the issues? Resistance to what is futile?
CALLER: Resistance to him.
RUSH: I’m lost. I’m not resisting McCain. He’s the nominee! What are you talking about?
CALLER: What I’m talking about is the issues. He’s trying to own all the issues. Instead of President Bush taking education, welfare reform, and those particulars.
RUSH: This is dangerous. This is scary. He’s trying to own all the issues. I feel like a 20-year failure.