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RUSH: All righty, so Barack Obama, ‘call me if you need me,’ went to the gym this morning, took a quick shower, got in his airplane, headed for Mississippi, told the reporters he’s been in constant contact, he’ll stay in contact, he’ll be available if he’s needed. McCain, about a half an hour ago, said, (paraphrasing) ‘Okay I’m going to go down to Oxford, I’m going to do the debate, and I’ll come back here to Washington, DC, to continue to work on this over the weekend.’ Greetings, my friends, Rush Limbaugh, the EIB Network, it’s Friday.

JOHNNY DONOVAN: Live from the Southern Command in sunny south Florida via New York City, it’s Open Line Friday!

RUSH: And you know the rules, very simple, Open Line Friday, we go to the phones, the show is yours, whatever you want to talk about is fair game. That’s not the way it goes Monday through Thursday, but we loosen the restraints on Friday. Telephone number is 800-282-2882, the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

Okay, so the debate tonight is on. Big whoop, just another media event. Yip yip yip yip yahoo, yes, I will watch it. Snerdley says, ‘You don’t sound excited.’ I’m not excited about it. It’s going to be like watching paint dry. It’s going to be dull, a dryball affair, unless they talk about some of this economic stuff. But any rate, what interests me, I want to tell you what’s happening in Washington, and it is all politics on the Democrat side. I know that some of my liberal and moderate listener friends, ‘Here you go again.’ I’m telling you the truth, the truth of what happened in the White House meeting yesterday. I’m going to tell you the truth about what this is all about. The Democrat Party is looking at this through one prism, and that is the presidential election. Now, you have three factions out of four who agree with the so-called rescue. And the rescue, the best way to explain what the immediate objective is is to provide liquidity for banks. It’s about the banking system so they can loan money, borrow money, and all of that.

So you’ve got Paulson and Bush and the Democrats that make up three legs of this stool, and then you have the conservative House Republicans who make up the fourth leg. Now, here’s what you have to know. It’s something very simple. All you have to know is this. The Democrats can make this happen in both the House and the Senate without a significant number of Republican votes. So you might ask, ‘Well, then, why all this hassle? Why are the Democrats insisting on Republican support for a deal that the Democrats and Bush and Paulson could do without the Republicans, and they could cut the Republicans out of it?’ Now, the Democrats, Harry Reid this morning, Chris Dodd and all the Democrats yesterday, say, ‘We had a deal, we had a deal, and then the House Republicans showed up and they sabotaged it.’ Let me ask a very simple question. Everybody knows the House Republicans are conservative. How in the world can it be a surprise that the House Republicans’ attitude about this is going to be conservative? There never was a deal. The Democrats are continuing that lie today, from Harry Reid to Claire McCaskill on down the line, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, they are all trying to say there was a deal done yesterday until McCain showed up and inserted presidential politics into this.

This is a clear attempt by the Democrats here to ace out McCain, but there’s something else going on. The Democrats have a majority in both Houses. They can do whatever they want. The House Republicans, Boehner and his gang, God bless them, they were cut out of this process by the same Democrats who are demanding their support. The Democrats are demanding that the Republicans cave on what they believe. ‘Capital gains, what are you talking about, capital gains? Corporate tax cut, what are you talking about? Are you guys from Mars?’ And the House Republicans so far are holding firm. Now, you say, ‘Why don’t the Democrats just want to do this on their own?’ They don’t want to be on the hook alone because their mail and phone calls on Capitol Hill is overwhelmingly opposed to this, whether the people understand it or not, they’re overwhelmingly opposed to it, and Dingy Harry admits that in a lame and very aggravating press conference this morning with Chris Dodd. Now, if this bill that the Democrats and Henry Paulson and Bush want, if it’s so wonderful, why don’t they do it? And why don’t they say, ‘Screw you, Boehner, and screw you, House Republicans? We’re going to do this wonderfully great bill and you’re going to get the left out of getting any of the credit for it.’

The Democrats want it both ways. If this bill is so good, they should pass it, they should brag about it, they should take credit for it. But, what do we know? What can we learn? What we can learn is that the Democrats understand this bill is dirty as hell. Lindsey Grahamnesty last night was on Greta Van Susteren’s show on Fox and said, (paraphrasing) ‘Look, one of the things that the House Republicans have found here is that 20% of something in this bailout is going to go to ACORN,’ — the illegal Democrat fraudulent voter registration group that is directly tied to Barack Obama. Not 20% of the whole amount, but 20% of something in this bailout is going to ACORN. Well, how can the House Republicans support that? They have to fight that kind of thing. ACORN is in court half the time defending what they’re doing, and half the time the liberal judges find them not guilty. What they really want, what this is about, folks, in addition to many other things, they want the Republicans in the House to repudiate their own philosophy. They want the Republicans in the House to repudiate their base: us. Why? It’s not just for bragging rights. Because if the House Republicans will cave here on conservative principles — you know, principles are principles. You don’t cave on principles. You might cave on a tactic or a strategy, but you don’t cave on principles.

Now, if the Republicans can be forced into caving on their core principles, then can you imagine the pressure on them when to do all of this all over again, only the subject of health care comes up? Well, you did it once. So politically here, there is a lot at stake. You could say that Boehner and the guys, you know, Jeb Hensarling from Texas, they are fighting a hugely important battle, and they are doing terrific work. If this bill gets signed as it’s apparently designed by the Democrats, then the Republican base will be very angry at their Republicans in the House, the conservatives, for abandoning them and so forth. So that’s part of what’s going on. The Democrats cannot get their story straight. Jennifer Rubin has a good little blog on this at Contentions today, which is Commentary magazine website. It’s beyond dispute at this point that congressional Republicans were never on board this, and yet the Democrats today continue to lie that they had agreed to a framework yesterday. It is equally clear that the Democrat majority doesn’t want to act without the cover of a substantial number of Republican votes.

Now, again, it needs to be pointed out, if this bill is so wonderful, and if it’s so great, and if it’s got so much in it that will save America, why don’t the Democrats, ‘Okay, you guys don’t want to be part of this, fine, we’ll sign it, we’ll handle it, we’ll take all the credit for this, and you guys are going to be left holding the bag when America ends up loving us.’ If it’s that wonderful, if it’s that great, why do they want Republicans with them on the hook? Well, I’ve just explained all of this.

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