RUSH: I wish to reach around and pat myself on the back. Way back during the Republican primaries — when the battle was between Huckabee and Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, and McCain — we were told by the Republican Party hierarchy that the only chance the Republican Party had (by the way, we were told this also by some of the intellectualoids in our own conservative media) to win was to attract Democrats and moderates; and that the era of Reagan was over, and we had to somehow find a way to become stewards of a Big Government but smarter that gives money away to the Wal-Mart middle class so that they, too, will feel comfortable with us and like us and vote for us.
In that sense, it was said the only opportunity this party has to regain power is John McCain. Only John McCain can get moderates and independents and Democrats to join the Republican Party, ‘and we can’t win,’ these intellectualoids said, ‘if that didn’t happen.’ Well, the latest moderate Republican to abandon his party is William Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts who today endorsed the Most Merciful Lord Barack Obama. He joins moderate Republican Colin Powell. He joins former Bush press spokesman Scott McClellan. He joins a number of Republicans like Chuck Hagel, Senator from Nebraska. I don’t know if there’s been an initial endorsement from Hagel, but Obama is out there talking about how Hagel might be secretary of state or have some position in his cabinet.
Now, I wish to ask all of you influential pseudointellectual conservative media types who have also abandoned McCain and want to go vote for Obama (and you know who you are without my having to mention your name) what happened to your precious theory? What the hell happened to your theory that only John McCain could enlarge this party, that we had to get moderates and independents? How the hell is it that moderate Republicans are fleeing their own party and we are not attracting other moderates and independents? How in the hell did you people figure this to happen? So the Republican Party’s own strategy here not only has it backfired, it’s embarrassing. I don’t have any brief for William Weld, don’t misunderstand, but he’s a moderate Republican.
‘The Republican Party, we gotta be a big tent,’ and that’s code words for, ‘We gotta have some pro-choicers in our party to get rid of the influence of these hayseed hicks in the South who are pro-life.’ Well, they have gone, and I, for one, say, ‘Damn well good riddance!’ Weld, why don’t you stay a Democrat? McClellan, stay a Democrat. All you intellectual conservative media types, go ahead and stay a Democrat once you move over. By the way, we know what this is about. This is about being invited to state dinners in a Barack Obama administration. This is about the social structure of Washington. This is about style. It has nothing to do with the fact that these people love Obama’s policies. They couldn’t if they’re paying attention. Not if they say they’re Republicans. They couldn’t possibly.
But they figure Obama’s running the show, and they don’t want to be shut out the next four years when it comes time to party. Charles Krauthammer writes about this very eloquently today and very elegantly in his column endorsing McCain. I have it in the Stack. I’ll share it with you. There are probably other names I am leaving out here of Republican moderates who have fled and joined the Democrats and Obama, for whatever reasons. I say, good riddance. And this is why I said to you earlier in the week, ‘I don’t care who wins this election. The task at hand is going to be rebuilding the conservative movement and making sure that the Republican Party is its home,’ because the Republican Party hierarchy, bigwigs, people running McCain’s campaign?
They have proven they haven’t a clue how to win an election. They have proven that they have not a clue that they understand the American electorate. They have proven they have not a clue what it is that inspires people to support their party and go to the poll and support them. When I saw the Weld thing today I smiled and I fired off a note to all my buddies and I said, ‘Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! How can this be? How can this be? This is the kind of guy that our candidate was supposed to be attracting, and we were supposed to be getting all these moderates from the Democrat Party,’ and we will, by the way. We’re going to get some rank and file, average American Democrats that are going to vote for McCain. But these hoity-toity bourgeoisie… Well, they’re not the bourgeoisie, but… Well, they are in a sense. They’re following their own self-interests, so I say fine.
They have just admitted that Republican Party ‘big tent’ philosophy didn’t work. It was their philosophy; it was their idea. These are the people, once they steered the party to where it is, they are the ones that abandoned it. We have noticed. Sarah Palin, by the way. Fred Barnes has a column at the next issue of the Weekly Standard about her future. Let me just give you one little pull quote from this. He asks her what her role in the Republican Party’s future is going to be. She says, ‘I don’t know what kind of role the Republican Party would want me to play.’ Well, make her the head of the party, for one thing! That might be a good idea. ‘In the past I’ve not been one to be considered for anything by the hierarchy of the party, certainly not in my state. In some sense, I ran against them in my party,’ and she’s doing it again now!
She’s running against her own party. Then she said this: ‘I would love to promote the party ideals if we’re going to live out the ideals, and maybe allow other American voters to understand what the principles of the party are. We’ve gotta be assured we have enough people in the party who will live out those ideals as not just rhetoric, otherwise I’d be wasting my time. There are a lot of things I would and should be doing.’ So what she’s saying is: ‘I’m not going to be a Republican if they’re not going to be Republicans. I’m not going to beat my head against the wall. If we’re going to have just a bunch of flourishing rhetoric people, if we’re not going to have people in the party who actually live it and believe it, I’m not going to be part of it.
This is Sarah Palin to Fred Barnes; and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the rebuilding of the conservative movement — even if there is no direct leader in charge of making it happen, it will happen by default because it’s going to have to. Even if McCain wins, Colin Powell going to come running back? Is Bill Weld going to come running back? Hell, yes, they will! Hell, yes, they’ll come running back. They’ll do everything they can to stay in the circle of power. Of course they’ll come running back. All these people are out for self-interest. That’s what Sarah Palin is saying. She’s not in it for self-interest. The party had better be what the party is or I don’t have any future in it.
We’re going to rebuild it even if McCain wins. We’re going to have to. These people, these moderates who wanted the big tent, they have taken the party exactly where they said they wanted it to be — and when it got there, these little cowards jumped the ship! I have lost all respect for these people. And, folks, when I said at the beginning of this that I wanted to turn around and pat myself on the back, it’s because I (and so many like me) knew this exact thing was going to happen and tried to warn people about it during the primaries and so forth. I am not happy it’s happened except for one reason. We flushed ’em out. We found out they’re not really Republicans and they’re by no means conservatives, and now they’re gone. Now the trick is to keep ’em out.
RUSH: By the way, another one of these Republicans, these moderate Republicans that’s fled the party to endorse Obama is Kenneth Adelman. You may not remember Adelman. He was big in the arms control era under Reagan and Bush 41, and he has abandoned McCain and the Republican Party to head over to Obama, and there’s a post at National Review Online in The Corner blog in which somebody who knows Adelman, a professor, sent a note to somebody at National Review and said, ‘Look, I had a conversation with Adelman, and I couldn’t believe what he said to me. He said after he announced his endorsement for Obama, he said to me, ‘I really hope Obama is lying about what he intends to do policy-wise,” proving these endorsements are not about substance, it’s about style, it’s about intellectuals joining up with intellectuals, it’s about the smart people hanging together. ‘I hope Obama’s lying.’
Chris Buckley said, (paraphrasing) ‘He’s written great books, he’s gotta have a great mind, but if he goes lefty on me, I won’t like that.’ If he goes lefty on you, Chris!
RUSH: It’s Justin in Lexington, Kentucky. Welcome, sir, to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, grand pooh-bah. It’s very nice to talk with you again.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: The reason I’m calling is because early in your second hour you were talking about good riddance to Colin Powell and to other RINOs, basically. Scott McClellan and whoever.
RUSH: William Weld, Kenneth Adelman, all the people that urged us to support McCain, told us, ‘McCain’s the future of the party. McCain’s the guy that can get moderates. McCain’s the guy to get the independents,’ and the very moderates and independents they said he could get have now fled to Obama.
CALLER: My question is for you, in a hypothetical sense: If you could pick and choose what kind of conservatives and what kind of Republicans made up the Republican Party, would there be room for moderates (phone ringing) moderate conservatives or even liberal Republicans, that sort of thing? (ringing) Would there be room for those?
RUSH: (sigh) Well…
RUSH: They can vote for us, but I don’t want them in the party.
CALLER: That’s exactly how I feel. (ringing) In order for us to rebuild —
RUSH: You know, but the problem is, you gotta define something for me. Would you define for me a ‘moderate conservative.’
CALLER: A moderate conservative has gotta be someone that is a fiscal conservative first and foremost. Second, a moderate conservative is one that sides with the left on other issues, whether it’s gun control or abortion rights or whatever.
RUSH: He’s not a conservative if he sides with the left. See, conservatism is what it is. It doesn’t need to be moderated. It doesn’t need to be redefined. It doesn’t need to be upgraded. It’s based on personal liberty: individual freedom, a small state that functions for the express purpose of defending and protecting the population. The minute you say that conservatism includes people who are pro-choice, you’ve destroyed conservatism because conservatism stands for ‘life, liberty, pursuit of happiness.’ Without life, there is nothing else here, and if we’re going to sit around indiscriminately deciding who lives and who dies based on our own convenience, that’s not conservative. Individual liberty. The essence of innocence is a child in the womb who has no choice over what happens to it. Sorry. If we don’t stand up for that person, if the government doesn’t, then nobody will. And if we allow ourselves to get watered down by a bunch of people who are embarrassed over that position, they’re not conservatives. Now, I’m not saying, ‘If you’re not this, don’t vote for us.’ We’ll be happy for you to vote for us. I’m happy. Go ahead and vote for us. This is what got us into trouble that we’re in today. The reason that we’re in this mess today is because we had to start making this tent big, watering down what conservatism is. There’s a blueprint out there, Justin, for how to win landslides! There’s a blueprint for how you do it, and it does not include expanding the tent. Reagan got Reagan Democrats, but he moved them to the Republican Party, moved them to the right. He didn’t go get them by pretending to be one of them.
CALLER: That’s a very good point.
RUSH: Let me ask you this question, Justin. Imagine you’re Harry Reid, you’re Nancy Pelosi —
RUSH: — or imagine that you’re Obama, and you’re hosting this show. Somebody calls you and says, ‘By the way, would moderate liberals be allowed in our party?’ And you say, ‘Well, what’s a moderate liberal?’ ‘Well, yeah, I’m a liberal, but I’m pro-life.’ ‘No! We don’t even want you speaking at our convention.’
RUSH: We either are what we are or not. The dirty little secret is, the vast majority of the people in this country live their lives as conservatives; and given conservative leadership, they respond to it in droves. Landslide droves.
CALLER: One reason that that difference is there is because Democrats and liberals specifically have a lot easier time in public of espousing their views regardless of what other people think.
RUSH: Right, because they don’t have to worry about dignity.
CALLER: Right. That’s exactly right.
RUSH: They don’t have to worry about it. That’s what J.R. Ewing said, ‘Once you get rid of the ethics and dignity, the rest is easy.’
RUSH: You know, they’ve gotten away so long as being the caring party; they’re the party that cares about the downtrodden. They have destroyed… They have created the downtrodden. Liberalism has created the downtrodden and the unhappy and the miserable, and then the liberals set themselves up as their champions, say, ‘Only we can fix them because only we care.’ They don’t care. They loathe them! There is contempt, by the way, for these little people. Real compassion… By the way, we have to do a far better job of PR. I’m not denying this. Real compassion is conservatism. Real compassion cares for the individual. Real conservatism wants every individual to be the best he or she can be, with nobody standing in the way.
Let a person use what their God-given talents are, combined with their ambition and their energy and their desire and their dreams, and get out of their way. We want people to amount to the most they want to be and can be. But for those who have a legitimate problem, they have some sort of problem that prevents them from succeeding; we are all for taking care of those people. But we do not want to take normal, healthy Americans and turn them into wards of the state, turn them into dependents. We do not want to look at them with arrogant condescension. We don’t look at them and say, ‘You’re worthless. You’re stupid. You’re not part of the smart group. You can’t get anywhere without us.’ We don’t look at people that way. We look at people with respect, hope. You talk about hope? We hope for this country to be the best damn country it can be and you need the best damn individuals for that to happen. Conservatism is about the individual. Liberalism doesn’t care about the individual. This is simple. We just have to tell the story about it.