RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, Chuck Hagel, who has made the decision to retire from the United States Senate, a Republican Senator from Nebraska, has taken on the leader of the conservative movement.
HAGEL: Every country out there has their know-nothing party. And of course we’re much educated by the great entertainers like Rush Limbaugh and others. I wish those people would run for office. They have so much to contribute and so much leadership, and they have an answer for everything, and they’d be elected overwhelmingly if Rush would run for anything or any of those people. They love just to rip everybody else down and try to make fools of everybody, and they always have the answer.
RUSH: This is just fascinating. This is Chuck Hagel at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies yesterday in Washington. So he’s making a speech on how tough it is to be a Senator today, and one of his biggest problems, of course it’s not the Democrats, his biggest problem as a Senator was not the real enemy, the Democrats in the Senate who were trying to forestall any progress. No, no, no, the enemy is me. The enemy is a guy on the radio. How embittered must he be to still be carrying around this? I mean, he’s quitting, he’s moving on to other things. I hear he’s in line for an Obama cabinet spot. We don’t criticize and rip and run everybody down and make fools of everybody. I can’t make a fool of you, Senator Hagel. Only you can do that. I can’t make a fool of you. Everything that we talk about on this program from the get-go is about how to improve life for as many Americans as possible. I can’t help it if you don’t see the enemy in the same way I see them. I can’t help it if you don’t see liberalism the way I do. If you want to make all these deals with the people who stand in the way of genuine individual progress in this country, then you’re going to come in for some criticism. But man, oh, man, take on the leader of the conservative movement like this, and he wasn’t through.
HAGEL: Eighty-seven percent of the American people said America is going in the wrong direction. You don’t need to know another number about anything. And so the election was pretty predictable. The American people don’t like what’s going on. They want us to start doing what leaders are expected to do. Address the problems, find some consensus to govern, get along. There will be differences; there should be. But in the end we can’t continue to hold ourselves captive to this raw partisan political paralysis.
RUSH: This is what is wrong with Senator Hagel. The other side is more partisan than any political party in my lifetime. The Democrat Party today, in conjunction with the American left, is as raw partisan as you can get. Compromise? Who does the compromising, Senator Hagel? Our side does the compromising, and when you compromise core principles, what have you advanced? We had 58 million people vote against Obama, Senator. If we would have had a candidate — by the way, we had a candidate who ran the kind of campaign you sound like you’re advocating, one of reaching out to the other side, seeking moderates, seeking all these groups of people, let’s go for the Wal-Mart crowd and let’s go for the Hispanic voter, instead of just standing for the American people as a whole, you know, a set of core principles that will lift everybody who followed. And Senator Hagel, this business of reaching consensus, consensus is the absence of leadership. Leadership is what has been sorely missing on our side, particularly in the House and Senate for quite a while, and the reason we lost this election is not because we didn’t reach out. The reason we lost this election is because we did. We reached out, and we compromised on what our core beliefs were, and we let the other side redefine who we are. And you were part of that. So you think that it’s hard work? Yeah, it’s very hard work to stand up for what you believe in. It’s very hard work to say no to people that you’d rather be friends with. At some point, at some time, that’s what leadership is all about.
RUSH: So Chuck Hagel says you have to be elected to office to make a difference in this country. ‘I wish Rush Limbaugh would run.’ I have an idea for Senator Hagel. Senator Hagel, why don’t you try to become a talk show host? Let’s see if you can make it in this world. Let’s see if you can handle the give-and-take of talk radio, since being a Senator and having people criticize you is so difficult, let’s see if you can handle this arena. By the way, ladies and gentlemen, this whole notion here of Senator Hagel criticizing the leader of the conservative movement was picked up by the Drive-By Media. Last night on MSNBC, David Shuster talked about the Hagel criticism of the leader of the conservative movement.
SHUSTER: Senator Hagel saved his harshest criticism for the most popular host on right-wing talk radio. Quote: ‘We are educated by the great entertainers like Rush Limbaugh. You know, I wish Rush Limbaugh and others like that would run for office. They have so much to contribute and so much leadership, and they have an answer for everything. And they would be elected overwhelmingly. The truth is, they try to rip everyone down and make fools of everybody, but they don’t have any answers.’
RUSH: We do have answers. We don’t ‘rip people down.’ We build people up. We certainly criticize those on our side who fall off the beaten path, Senator Hagel. At times it was difficult to recognize you as even a Republican. What are we supposed to do here? It was certainly difficult to recognize you as a conservative. So once again, run for office. The only way you can make a difference is run for office. Try doing a talk show, Senator Hagel. You can’t handle criticism, can’t handle the give-and-take. E.J. Dionne on the same network last night (PMSNBC, DNCTV); Shuster said, ‘That was a pretty unvarnished assessment by Chuck Hagel. Your reaction, E.J. Dionne, Jr.? How long will it take the party to rebound from this year’s elections?’
DIONNE: Well, I would love Rush Limbaugh to run for office. That would be —
DIONNE: But, you know, I think Hagel is broadly right, and I think the Republicans are a in a real fix here. Democrats have won two elections in a row. That doesn’t make a realignment yet, but it really suggests some of the problems that Republicans face. Of course, they cannot lose the minority vote in the country the way they did. And then when the Republicans can’t carry the suburbs, they’ve got a real problem, and the suburbs went for Obama.
RUSH: (sigh) This is trying my patience. This was trying my patience, ’cause E.J. and Senator Hagel, I can explain to you and have over the course of the recent days. In fact, I predicted a long time ago exactly what happened in this election was likely to happen, precisely because of what had happened to the Republican Party. Conservatism didn’t lose anything here. You can talk about the Republican Party losing the suburbs and losing the minority vote. I don’t know what minority vote he’s talking about we lost, but he can talk about it all he wants. Conservatism does not lose national elections. The problem, E. J., is that conservatism was not on the ballot, other than the number two slot, and we saw what you and others tried to do to Sarah Palin. We even saw what members of her own party tried to do to her.
So we conservatives are under no illusion about what we face here. If the Republicans want to keep losing elections, they’ll continue to follow the advice of Chuck Hagel. They will continue to follow the advice of you, E.J. Dionne, Jr., and they will continue to follow the advice of the wizards of smart in our own conservative media who seem to think that the reason we lost this last election was that we simply weren’t moderate enough. We shoulda reached out even more to the Hispanics. We shoulda reached out even more to the Wal-Mart voter, whatever that is. I don’t know how we could have had a candidate any more liberal, any more moderate, any more willing to jump across an ocean to sit down with the other side than the candidate that we had.
Now, E.J., don’t hold your breath for me running for office, because, as I have long said: I will not tolerate the pay cut, particularly with Obama preparing to be sworn in. I don’t know what’s going to happen to everybody’s net worth here, but it’s too risky to make a decision to run for office. I am most effective here, behind the Golden EIB Microphone at the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. So after this latest answer from E.J. Dionne, Jr., David Shuster said, ‘Well, look, the current Senate Republican leadership doesn’t seem to think the party needs a change in principles, and isn’t that what Senator Hagel suggests they need, especially when it comes to their attitude about foreign policy?’
DIONNE: I think on foreign policy, Republicans are genuinely split, and those splits were suppressed in the Bush years ’cause they occupied the White House. But I also think that the — a kind of social conservatism just doesn’t serve the Republicans well, a kind of anti-government ideology at a time when their own administration is engaging in a kind of socialism by having, uh, take — partly taking over the banks. I mean their rhetoric doesn’t square with the problems, and I think that’s one of the reasons they lost. They neeeeeed to rediscover a kind of moderate brand of conservatism. That could be a lot more popular than what they’ve been offering lately.
RUSH: You know what’s hilarious about this is E.J. Dionne, Jr., a professed liberal and leftist, sounds just like many of our own ‘conservative’ (quote, unquote) media. E.J., I am sure — and I love you, E.J. — you know this. We’ve had many famous e-mail and phone conversations. I know you have the best interests of the Republican Party and the conservative movement at heart; I know that you would really prefer we win these elections. So I know that you are giving us heartfelt advice on the right way to do this. Not. (snorts) Need to reach out and be more moderate. This election gave the world the Republican Party guys like Dionne want, and look what happened.
RUSH: I still find this funny. Here you have some slobbering libs on MSNBC asking a Republican in name only, Chuck Hagel, what he thinks of me. (laughing) And, by the way, E.J., Obama had 52% of the vote. This is not a landslide. He got 52% of the vote against your guy, McCain. I mean, E.J., you got in McCain exactly what you just said the Republicans need to do. You got a guy who went out and did everything he could to get votes from people like you, E.J. He did everything he could to get votes and endorsements from people like Colin Powell and a number of other moderates. It didn’t work. He didn’t get the Hispanic vote. Wonder why, E.J.? If Obama won the suburbs, and if he won the cities, if he won among women, if he won among minorities and whites, why did he only get 52% of the vote? There was a major third party out there, E.J. I also noticed that E.J. Dionne, Jr., is not running for office and I also note that Chuck Hagel is not running for reelection.
So what we have here is (crying) wah-hah-hah: a retiring Senator upset at being criticized by me, the leader of the conservative movement.
RUSH: Here’s Candy in Lincoln, Nebraska. It’s great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, ma’am.
CALLER: Hey, I was just calling because every time Chuck opens his mouth, it makes everybody in Nebraska sick. Because everybody here — well, the conservatives that voted for him — are totally disgusted because he went there and changed everything he said he was voting for or everything he was all about. I think somebody must have whipped him into shape from the other side because he lost all his conservatism and now all he does is hurt our party. And so I wish he’d just shut his mouth or change parties because he’s already done it, whether he’s done it in life or not.
RUSH: By the way, he’s retiring from the Senate. I don’t know what his plans are, other than I know that his name’s been mentioned a couple times in relationship to being in the Obama cabinet. By the way —
CALLER: Which makes sense!
RUSH: Well, of course. It makes total sense. They’re running out of jobs there. Tom Daschle, according to the Associated Press, has just been named the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
RUSH: Tom Puff Daschle, who was a big Obama strategerist in the campaign, a big supporter. It’s payback time, so Puff Daschle is back in Washington, out of lobbying, and now back to the secretary of Health and Human Services position. Chuck Hagel is retiring. In fact, I’ll never forget. He had a big press conference back in Nebraska, where everybody thought he might be announcing his run for the presidency — which was always a joke. I mean, in every poll Chuck Hagel never pulled over 2%. There he was. He even decided to go to the left of McCain in our party during the campaign a couple of times. But he had this big press conference; and the Drive-Bys, of course, drove out there, flew out there with their tongues hanging on the ground waiting in eager anticipation for Chuck Hagel’s press conference. (panting) So Chuck Hagel has his press conference and announces he has no decision to make. Now, it’s not too many people that will call a press conference and say, ‘I haven’t made up my mind what I’m going to do.’ Moderates will do it and they hope to be applauded. (clapping) ‘I have called this press conference today to say that I have made no determination about my future,’ and the Drive-Bys are standing there saying, ‘What the hell is this? You want accolades for this?’
RUSH: Jim in Minneapolis, I’m glad you called, sir. You’re on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: It’s an honor to talk to you, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you very much. I could understand that. Yes.
CALLER: Yes. I’ll get right to my point.
CALLER: When I hear these national commentators and Republicans like Hagel, it just seems to me that they’re pushing for the Republican Party to redefine who they are.
RUSH: Yeah, of course they are, but why?
CALLER: Well, obviously for their own gain.
RUSH: Yeah, of course. They would love to set the Republican Party up as a mechanism that loses every election. Let’s listen to what E. J. Dionne, Jr., is saying. and keep in mind, this could be David Frum, on our side. It could be David Brooks, on our side. It could be Kathleen Parker, on our side. E.J. Dionne, Jr., and the others are saying get rid of extreme social conservatives. Get rid of the pro-lifers. We gotta broom them out of the party, they are hurting us. Now, we keep winning these popular votes on same-sex marriage, we’re extremists, most Americans don’t support partial-birth abortion, but the libs do. We are extremists on social issues. We are for life. We are for life. And they want to kill babies, partial birth, and we are the extremists? We want the government to stop telling us what we must accept when our religion tells us otherwise, when the Constitution tells the libs to stay out of our churches, and when we win popular votes in response to judicial fiats that have no basis in law or religion. So what Dionne wants us to do is get rid of people of faith and accept global warming. If we accept the new New Deal, then that’s how we conservatives will win? It’s a recipe for defeat.