RUSH: I saw a poll today. I’m not sure about this, but Obama may have pulled away, ahead of Hillary in Iowa. Wes Pruden today in the Washington Times has an interesting theory. He says the candidate of inevitability cannot lose even once. A candidate that has it wrapped up — Hillary, the candidate of inevitability — if she loses Iowa, she’s no longer inevitable, and that’s a big, big blow. I will share with you the details of Wes Pruden’s thought process in due course, as the program unfolds before your very eyes and ears. Also, I was talking to some people this morning about the upcoming election. A friend of mine — I cannot identify by name, but I’ve known him since I grew up, and he’s been involved in Republican Party politics for many, many moons — he’s in Washington quite a bit, and he just got back, he says, ‘I can’t tell you how depressed Republicans in Washington are in the House and the Senate. There’s no leadership. There’s no leadership in either House. They just know Hillary’s going to win it, and that’s why you’ve got so many of them leaving for whatever reason.’
I said, ‘Well, there is no excuse for that. That is just dumb.’
He said, ‘Rush, you know it as well as I do — you say it all the time — it’s the absence of leadership. People are craving it. Even leaders need leaders, and we look at elected officials as our leaders.’
I said, ‘Well, let me tell you. You talk to these guys a lot. I don’t. You go back and tell ’em something. You tell ’em that we have a 20-year history from the eighties forward over how to win in landslides, how to govern the country.’
He said, ‘Yeah, but we have a different context.’
I said, ‘We may have a different context, but the principles stay the same. The guidelines stay the same. The passions stay the same. We’ve got a great opportunity ahead of us. Everything is falling down on the Democrats’ head! The war position that they’ve had; their credibility on things.’
This is a problem. These guys get to Washington, DC, and they get totally caught up in that conventional wisdom and culture there, both the media and socially, and they’re feeling all lost and wandering aimlessly in the desert with no direction to go, and there’s no excuse for this! There’s a golden opportunity, next November, to score big.
RUSH: I’m going to try to explain this. ‘What do you mean, we’ve got a golden opportunity?’ Folks, let me admit something up front here. Let me suggest something up front that might be accurate. I realize that some of you — and this is anecdotal, but I realize it from reading the e-mail that some of you think that I’m a little detached from reality, because I don’t feel a sense of angst about current circumstances, be it the subprime problem, or the price of gasoline or what have you, and so you believe that the optimism that I have is a little bit… It’s wonderful; it’s nice, but it’s not really reality; you might think it’s somewhat artificial. So when you hear me say, as I said just before the break, when I’m told this morning by a friend who came by to see me here at the EIB complex, he said that there’s just abject depression and fear among elected Republicans in the House and Senate. He said, ‘Yeah, they’ve been pretty good at stopping things, but what are they advancing?’
I told my friend, ‘We’ve got a big problem. Their president’s in the same party, and the president’s the leader here, and if he’s going to advance things they get behind, they do. If he’s going to advance things they don’t believe in they’ve gotta trudge along behind and act like they’re interested, but that’s all off the table now. We’re talking about ’08 and we’ve got Mrs. Clinton.’ I said, ‘This election is shaping up to be, if you listen to the way Mrs. Clinton is running things and portraying herself — and you don’t even have to read between the lines on this — she’s running a competence election.’ The whole point — the Democrat focus with the Drive-Bys — for the past how many months and years has been that Bush is incompetent. Katrina, the fires out in California, whatever it is, Bush is incompetent. Mrs. Clinton is running around saying, ‘I’m competent. I’m experienced. I’m this.’ Obama is trying to do the same thing. Okay, so the Democrats are doing what? They’re running a competence election. Do we want to play on that field? Do we want to let them set the premise? Do we want to run a competence election? No! We want to run an election based on the future of the country: what it’s going to look like if they win; what it will look like if we win.
We want to run on the vision of the greatness of America and American exceptionalism. We want to run on an inspiring message, not a message of fear! Now, the idea that elected Republicans who — all they have to do is look at a 20-year history of success to see how this is done, and they don’t see it or they don’t want to replicate it, kind of boggles my mind. The idea that Mrs. Clinton is unbeatable has always frustrated me. My optimism is not based on being out of touch with anything. My optimism is not based solely on the circumstances of my life. The public view of the things in my life that are public, you might have an idea about it. But as my staff told me the other day, they were being serious, they wouldn’t want it, for a whole host of reasons. A, no privacy; B, everybody trying to find out everything I do every time I do it and put a negative spin on it. But that’s what it is. For me, that’s fine. I chose this. It is what it is. You deal with it accordingly. I’m optimistic because I’m an American. I’m optimistic because I live in the United States of America, and I have history on my side. I see that today is better than yesterday. By the way, Mrs. Obama — they must be listening to me out there. Mrs. Obama is out there saying life today is worse than when she grew up. It’s not. I refuse to believe it.
I refuse to believe that Michelle Obama is in worse circumstances today than she was when she grew up, however you want to define them. Her husband is in the US Senate! She had a big job in a hospital. She has a lot of money. I don’t believe any of this. You know, the gap between the rich and the poor? We talk about it all the time: It’s a great gap. It means you can get there. If there’s a gap between the rich and the poor and it’s shrinking, by the way, it’s not growing, but so what? It means there’s something to shoot for, and most of the middle class do want to shoot for it. And you have a political party running around trying to tell you it’s not possible. Used to have a conservative Republican movement that said, ‘Not only is it possible, it’s likely, and here’s how you do it,’ but that inspiration, that motivation isn’t forthcoming, and it should be, and it is frustrating to me. I don’t care about all these Republican resignations, Trent Lott, this sort of thing. They happen. I also don’t believe this notion: ‘Go ahead and let Hillary win, Rush, and show people how rotten it will be and then we’ll really rebound.’ That was the same thing that happened in 1992, and you look what that got us.
You know, this election is a serious thing. All elections are. But I just want to assure you that my optimism here is not artificial or phony, nor is it based on a narrow, limited look and perspective of what life in this country is all about. Quite the contrary! You know, I’m 56 years old, and I don’t mean to be playing the violin here, but I’ve been broke a couple of times, and I’ve earned so little money that my house payment and my MasterCard bill came in the same two-week period in the month, and I couldn’t make ’em both. So I had to buy potato chips at the little Kwik Shop back when grocery stores didn’t accept credit cards because I never had any cash. I’ve been fired seven or eight times. Don’t tell me… I think I’m perhaps one of the greater living examples of what this country is capable of and what people who live here are capable of, contrary to people telling me I’m out of touch and so forth, and the optimism is artificial. I know optimism is hard and looking forward down the line seeing good things, it’s hard because it’s not the natural human disposition or proclivity.
But what is to be afraid of with the Democrats? They are imploding in a lot of ways! Now the Drive-Bys may not be saying so, but it’s still there happening. The attitude, the hatred, the general disgust and anger and misery that they run around with, it’s ripe to be mined in a positive sense, but if our elected officials are themselves mired in depression and angst over this, well, yeah, then I am going to be worried, because they’re the guys out there that are running for office.