RUSH: By the way, I’m now persona non grata, or should be. I should be persona non grata in the Republican Party. Morton Kondracke has instructed the Republican Party to fire me. We go to Saturday night’s Beltway Boys on the Fox News Channel. Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes have this exchange.
BARNES: I read that excellent column of yours in Roll Call about what Republicans need to do, and except for the vicious attack on Rush Limbaugh, it made a lot of sense, particularly that Republicans — or Democrats for that matter — if they’re in the minority, need to present alternative policies.
KONDRACKE: It wasn’t ‘a vicious attack on Rush Limbaugh.’ All I said was that Republicans should not allow them to be their intellectual bosses, as in immigration, where they lost the Hispanic vote, right? What — the Republicans — it’s gonna be very hard, they’re down to 170-odd members of whom —
KONDRACKE: — 165 are from the most conservative districts in the United States. And they’re very subject in those districts to haranguing from the likes of Rush Limbaugh. And the result of that is the tendency will be not to think but to just go right, right, right, right, right and say, ‘No, no, no, no, no.’ That is not the road back.
RUSH: Mort Kondracke, a moderate centrist liberal advising the Republican Party to ignore me. You know, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, the Hot Air blog wrote about this last week. It’s a stretch of the imagination and it’s a stretch of the facts to blame me for McCain’s loss. Mort, I would tell you what I’ve told everybody: ‘You got the candidate you wanted.’ All of you guys in the Fox All Stars, when you started talking about the Republican presidential nomination, you wanted McCain. McCain was a guy who could get the Hispanic vote. McCain was the guy who could get Democrats. (Hello, Colin Powell.) He could get independents and moderates. (Hello, Colin Powell.) He could get all these groups that the right-wing Republicans couldn’t get — and McCain went out there and he gave it his best shot, didn’t he? You guys like Schwarzenegger, you got the campaign you wanted. Conservatism wasn’t on the ballot. Conservatism didn’t lose anything. When conservatism was on the ballot, Prop 8, California and some tax cut propositions in other states, bammo! It won. What do you think is the alternative, Mort, to liberalism?
Mort said the Republicans need alternative policies. Yeah, and yet you suggested McCain, who had no alternative policies. McCain (this is not possible, but he did it ) lost the tax cut vote to a collectivist! That’s not my fault, Mort, and that’s not any conservative’s fault. When the Republican Party loses the tax cut vote, you gotta start looking at people in the party, and you gotta start looking at the candidates. ‘These people listening to Rush Limbaugh harangues’? The dirty little secret is Obama could have been defeated. But Mort’s like all these other people here trying to blame me for what is happening and saying if the Republicans gonna win, like on immigration, they really think that I and others of my, quote, unquote, ‘ilk’ destroyed the Hispanic vote? What more could McCain do to get it than what he did? He went out there and was the author, the visible author with Ted Kennedy of the amnesty bill. The dirty little secret is, Mort, that the Republicans should not look at the electorate as, ‘They gotta get the Hispanic vote,’ and then, ‘We gotta get some of the black vote. We gotta get the female vote, and we gotta get the Wal-Mart vote and we-foot get the NASCAR vote.’ We don’t Balkanize the electorate.
Conservatism looks at people and sees people, sees human beings, sees Americans. We think that our ideas lift everybody regardless of their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or what have you. The sad thing is, Mort, the blueprint’s there. It’s been used three times since 1980, and it’s been victorious each time it’s been tried. The problem is the Republican Party is listening to people like you who think it needs to go moderate. You got the candidate you loved; you got the candidate you thought could win. It was just predictable. Everybody that I know knew for a fact once Senator McCain got the nomination, what the outcome of this election was going to be. The idea that we can go out and get the Hispanic votes by being ‘right’ on immigration, you’re just telling everybody, ‘Forget principles! Forget core beliefs. Go pander. Go tell this group what they want to hear, and then go tell the corn farmers in Iowa that you love ethanol, and then you go tell the women whatever you think they want to hear.’ I don’t know what it is, ’cause they don’t even know half the time. Then we’re supposed to go to the Wal-Mart middle-class people and we’re supposed to promise government programs to help them. Why in the world are we supposed to get into a competition with liberal Democrats, who are the professionals at growing government and offering programs to get votes? Why should we enter that competition? That’s not who we are.