RUSH: Okay, what should the Republicans do about this? Republicans in Congress, Republican senators running for reelection, what should they do? The stories in the Stack of Stuff today do not show promise. Soul-searching Republicans turning to an unlikely savior, John McCain, as they try to stave off an electoral disaster. This guy is going to be running against his own party, and he’s not even going to try for coattails. And they hope that his brand is better than the House Republican brand is, that they somehow will benefit, when in the New York Times a McCain aide says he’s going to run against Bush and Congress. You know, I believe in going on offense. Offense, offense, offense, and I believe in being proactive, and I believe in not accepting the premise of the left. I don’t believe in playing defense even when you’re in the minority. They’re looking now at a loss, a total difference of 70 seats in the House, if current projections by experts are right. The Democrats are going to have a 70-seat minority. When we took over the House in 1994, we won 52 seats. This is not incidental. This is quite substantial, this difference that might result here.
The first thing the Republicans have to do is rally their voters. They have to rally the troops, and they’ve gotta figure out — they can obviously see that the troops are not rallied. They’ve gotta be able to see this with the lack of money they’re collecting. They obviously can hear programs like this, read letters to the editor. I’m sure communications from the public to various congressmen and senators are sending them the message. See, the first thing you have to do is rally the troops. After you do that, then you make a case to the undecideds. It’s time to take the gloves off where the Democrats are concerned. There have been no accomplishments, none, since the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in 2006. They did not end the war. They did not end earmarks. They did not increase our energy supplies. They didn’t lower the price of anything. They didn’t honor their own pay-go. They did not end the name-calling and the negativity. They didn’t increase homeland security, and in fact they did everything they could to decrease it.
In addition to making the case for yourself and your own principles, you’ve got to go after them, and you have to tell the truth about them. They’re out there, all these madcap promises that they made after winning in ’06, and they haven’t delivered on any — well, minimum wage, sorry. With all their talk and all their slogans and all their Barbra Streisand, their signature triumph was raising the minimum wage, and wasn’t that a triumph for the ages, as though that had never been done before. During these same two years, the vilified president of the United States changed the dynamics in Iraq with a Petraeus strategy, not just the surge, but the strategy, and even the left is now learning — they’re not admitting it — that military success is leading to political success. What Republicans are going to have to do is to be unafraid in reminding people of the overall consistent failures of liberalism and then stand up for who they are, stand up for conservatism. They can do it by reciting principle; they can do it by reciting American exceptionalism; they can come up with an agenda of items, if they wish, to talk about they want to get done.
There’s any number of things. The thing is, you can’t pile too many of these in there like McCain’s done because it’s just going to sound impossible, and you put too many in, you can’t focus on any of them. The American people want leadership. Both parties — independents, Republicans, moderates, conservatives — everybody wants leadership, and there isn’t any. There’s a vacuum, and it’s just waiting for somebody to move in with leadership, to speak with authority, to not care what anybody thinks about it, to advance an agenda that is pro-America, based on American exceptionalism and the US Constitution and basic human rights. You start talking about freedom, start talking about liberty, those are two words I do not hear in any campaign running for the White House. I don’t hear it in Hillary’s campaign; I don’t hear it in Obama’s; I don’t hear it in McCain’s. Freedom, liberty, the expansion of same. Talk about how the United States is not responsible for the destruction of the planet. The United States is the answer to the world’s problems.
Do not fall in with this stupid hoax of global warming, which is nothing more than an attempt to advance liberalism and socialism and Big Government, as we discussed, I’m blue in the face on this. Stand up and reject all these premises, say you’ve had enough even if it means breaking with the so-called direction of your party. You Republicans of elected office, I would submit your party doesn’t have a direction. There’s somebody out there waiting to give it one. Senator McCain is not giving the Republican Party a direction. He is not giving it an identity. He is trying to change all of that. And that’s another problem that we have. There’s a vacuum waiting to be filled. All it takes is guts and courage and instinctive conservatism. This shouldn’t even take any homework to figure out what to say. It ought to be in your heart.
RUSH: This is Lauren, one of my all-time, top-ten favorite female names. Lauren is in Carson City, Nevada. Lauren, nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: The reason I’m calling is because you’re saying that you want to be proactive in everything and I’m wondering why we don’t have an Operation Shove It. Why, on a certain day, we don’t call for all conservative Republicans to leave the party and go Libertarian.
RUSH: I’m not looking at that as a solution. I don’t think third party is the way to go here. But your question is really larger than that. Your question is, ‘Rush, why don’t you do something?’
RUSH: Why don’t you have us do something? National Review magazine, back in — what year was this, Snerdley, 1992? Maybe ’93, they had a cover story, National Review, on me as the leader of the opposition. You obviously think that that’s still true today, right, Lauren?
CALLER: Obviously, from Operation Chaos, too, I think. You know, Rush, I couldn’t vote for John McCain if Jesus Christ himself was his running mate. But I don’t know what to do. And it is so frustrating from my point of view because I honestly have always prided myself on voting for the president and being able to vote, and I’m sick about it.
RUSH: Have you always been conservative, always been Republican?
CALLER: Yes, and I’m a homosexual as well. So I’m very, very rare as far as that goes, but it just makes me sick to have to think that I literally would have to plug my nose.
RUSH: Look, I understand the frustration, and I’m hearing it everywhere. We had a call from a woman in Michigan about an hour-and-a-half ago, hour-and-20 minutes ago who was a Reagan Democrat. She was converted to conservatism back in the eighties by Ronald Reagan, and she felt like her life had opened up. She’d had an awakening. She felt happier about herself and her country than she had in a long time. Now she thinks the party’s abandoned her and she doesn’t know what to do, either. This is what’s really tragic about this, and what I was going to say before I took your call, and I’m glad you called, I’m sitting here, folks, and I know many of you say, ‘Well, do something. Tell these guys to do something.’ There is a fine line. I have an attitude sitting here. I don’t think these guys — I certainly know McCain isn’t going to listen to anybody. John Boehner the other day was talking about perhaps a conservative manifesto. He’s the minority leader in the House. I like these guys, and there’s some really, really good ones there. Mike Pence from Indiana in the House of Representatives, who is fabulous. But these guys are in the minority, and the problem is that when the leader of the party — give you an example — I’m sorry to be hopscotching all around here, but this is admittedly as frustrating for me as it is for you.
Romney was on TV earlier today, and who was it that I saw on TV that was trying to — oh, it was George Allen, might have been on Hannity’s show on Fox, Hannity & Colmes. George Allen was on the day McCain gave his global warming speech, and he was just struggling to support, to say good things about it, to say good things about McCain, and I got instant message flashes and e-mail flashes from friends of mine who happened to also be watching. And they said, ‘What’s he doing? Why is George Allen selling out?’ And I wrote ’em all back, and I said, ‘You have to understand, if he wants a future in the Republican Party, he cannot break away here. The party apparatus will shun him.’ This is the problem when the leader of the party is not either a conservative, or in some cases, not even a Republican. So the Republicans down the stream and the presidential candidate is the putative head of the party. The president is the head of the party, but that starts to wane as the campaign season gets closer to the general.
So you have the time-honored history of falling in line with the party. The party comes first. If you have the top of the party taking it in a direction that people don’t want it to go, and you are elected, and you’re in the House, for example, and you gotta run for reelection, you’ve gotta tie yourself to the top of the ticket. As the news story today said, these Republicans are looking at McCain as their savior, they’re not looking at themselves as their savior. When I read that story, that House Republicans — well, McCain’s brand is better than our brand right now, we’re going to attach ourselves to him — that spoke volumes. It said the primary purpose is to get reelected. But then it also said they haven’t the slightest clue how to do it. We have lost three seats, three special elections, and two of them were in safe-seat districts, districts where George Bush had won by 20 points. Now, I know in this Mississippi race, what happened was that the Democrats went into black churches and they passed out a pamphlet saying that our guy, Greg Davis, was a member of the KKK. They did that the Sunday before the election. And it might have been a factor. Probably was. How long have we known that this is what Democrats are going to do? To be blindsided by something like this, you know, it’s gotten to the point where this should have so outraged the party rather than depressed them, it should have so outraged them that somebody in this party, preferably our nominee, would stand up and decry all of this.
The Democrat Party is the party of 150 years of racism and segregation and Jim Crow. The Democrat Party is. The Democrat Party stood in the way of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A larger percentage of Republicans in the Senate voted for that than Democrats, enabling it to pass. But there’s such fear. And when fear is the thing that guides your decision making, the odds are you’re going to make the wrong decision well over half the time. I don’t want to say I don’t know what can be done, but I think if it’s not in these guys’ hearts, if it’s not in their minds, ’cause nobody can put it there. Try to inspire these people to do the right thing, to understand what kind of success awaits them. You would think that they would see it. You would think that it would be as obvious as the sky is blue why they lost in ’06, what they have to do to avoid losing in ’08. But I maintain to you, and I’ve said this way too many times, I think Washington poisons people. You go there and after awhile you lose the worldview that you had before you got there. The whole social and political structure, media importance in Washington takes over, and your instincts tell you to do things that enable you to survive there rather than do what’s necessary to keep getting elected and advance an agenda.
To us outside Washington, it seems so simple, and we don’t understand why they can’t see it, especially when they used to because we remember how they campaigned, remember what they said, remember the way they used to govern. What happened? And this is sort of what is inexplicable. So we start searching for answers, we throw our hands up, it doesn’t make any sense, I don’t understand it. What’s happening is very simple. The Republican Party has long been constituted by people who resented conservatism, resented Ronald Reagan, resented the whole notion. I’ve been through this. They are embarrassed at certain elements of the conservative movement being in the Republican Party. They are from the Northeast. They have this Northeast-Washington-Boston axis and corridor mentality, government’s the answer to everything, government is power, and they seek it; whereas conservatives don’t want anything to do with government except to get it out of our lives, make it smaller and make it as invisible as it can be in our daily lives. But even Republicans have the desire and notion to be a part of it because of the power that’s involved and so forth.
So I think that there’s a combination of efforts here on the part of both of parties to rid the influence of conservatism. What’s frustrating about this obviously is that we look at Republicans, we say, ‘Don’t you see history? Can’t you see where we have been predominantly successful, overwhelmingly landslide proportion successful? Didn’t you see what it took to get the American people on our side in advancing the country forward,’ and all of that past is simply discarded. And now for whatever reason, more Republicans than ever seem to think that the way to power is the same route the Democrats take: Big Government and offer more of it to more people. Conservatism is something that embarrasses them and they want to discard it and have it be as irrelevant as it could be. The problem for us as conservatives is the conservative movement is a great thing, but in our political system you need a political party to advance the ideas. So the effort that we face here, the objective is to make sure that we don’t lose control of the Republican Party. I’m not talking about this year. I mean, take a look at the possibilities here, and in terms of conservatism, if we really believe that conservatism is the answer, is the best thing to hold onto this country as we’ve known it and loved it, that it is the best way to organize ourselves under capitalistic free-market principles, liberty, justice and all that, pursuit of happiness, your kids and grandkids and so forth, then it’s something you fight for life.
This is something you endeavor to support and see to the end, knowing full well we’re going to have ups and down cycles like this. I mean if I wanted to, I could pretend I’m a National Honor Society candidate, I could say, ‘Look where we were back in the sixties compared to where we are now. We’re far better than we were in the sixties, we were getting shellacked.’ But people don’t want to hear that because the down cycle is what we’re in the midst of and they want to reverse the down cycle now, don’t tell me about the stuff in the past. We got way past that, now we’re giving it back. I understand. May have to give a lot of it back. So let me give you a couple scenarios. Barack Obama wins the White House, has a 70-seat majority in the House of Representatives, a seven-seat majority in the Senate, gets pretty much everything he wants, and we end up with Jimmy Carter 2 and the country goes to hell in a handbasket, and who gets the blame? Well, it can’t be us, it can’t be conservatives, even though the Drive-Bys will try to lay it at our feet, we’ll have no power.
Same scenario, but with John McCain in the White House, a Republican, and the country goes to hell in a handbasket because this lofty agenda that McCain spoke about today is not going to happen because he’s not going to get any support for it and they’re not going to bend over forwards and let McCain have whatever he wants. He’s going to have to get things done as he says on the basis of a liberal Democrat agenda and of course he’s done that on many occasions, issue by issue by issue. So we get Jimmy Carter 2 with John McCain and the Democrats running the show. But, the party in power is the Republican Party, and they get the blame. The Republican Party takes the heat for whatever rotten things happen in those four years. Of which those two scenarios, is better for the future of conservatism?