RUSH: This afternoon, CBS TV, after the inauguration of Obama, Jeff Greenfield spoke to Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Coburn says, ‘I think everybody, no matter what your political persuasion, wants Obama to be highly successful in what he’s attempting to do.’
GREENFIELD: That’s interesting because Rush Limbaugh, probably the most prominent conservative commentator in America, said just a few days ago, ‘I know what he wants to do, and I don’t want him to succeed.’ Are there, among some conservatives, feelings that if he succeeds, that’s bad for our movement?
COBURN: I don’t think so. You know, I would differ. First of all, I’m not sure he knows what he wants to do, Rush doesn’t. What he wants to do is to get us back stable economically, he wants us to advance in education, which we haven’t. We need to.
RUSH: Good Lord!
COBURN: — are pretty open. You know, we label people, we label him a progressive, we label him as the most liberal US Senator. But I found every time I worked with him he had tremendous common sense and he didn’t abandon his principles to embrace mine.
RUSH: Exactly! He didn’t abandon his principles to embrace yours, and I love Tom Coburn. Tom Coburn makes more sense on responsible government spending than anybody in the United States Senate. He and Jeff Sessions and Cornyn and McConnell are my favorites up there. I love Coburn, but this doesn’t make any sense. And that’s not exactly what I said. What I have been saying is, precisely, I don’t know what he’s going to do, but I’m pretty sure, based on what his voting record is and what he says he wants to do. His plan is socialism. Spend, spend, spend, government responsible for people’s jobs and so forth. This is not what made the country great. I have asked, ‘Why should I set aside my principles for this guy to succeed?’ And, by the way, Greenfield, there’s a slight premise in his question that’s incorrect when he says, ‘Are there, among some conservatives, feelings that if he succeeds, that’s bad for our movement?’
I don’t care about the movement right now. I care about the country. I don’t think that’s that hard to understand. I care about the country. I care about what it was that made this country great, and I fear that there are people who want to redefine various aspects of the way this government and country function. I think they want to implement New Deal 2. It scares me. But I’m not opposed to Obama succeeding if he embraces certain ideas I agree with. But this just depresses me. What he wants to do is get us back stable economically? This is not how you do it. What we’re doing with bailouts and never-ending deficits is not how you get a stable economy. He wants us to advance in education, which we haven’t. Good Lord, everybody knows this, every president before him has wanted to improve education. As though nobody else has? We’re spending more on education than we ever have and too many graduates of high school can’t even read their own diplomas.
Now, spending on education is not the answer. The answer to education is deemphasizing power of the teachers unions. And I’m sorry, they are going to be empowered even more than they are now. The whole purpose of the public school system, as far as the left is concerned, is to use it to indoctrinate young skulls full of mush. Oh, this is Tom Coburn. I love this guy. But in his own words. ‘We label him as the most liberal US Senator, but I found every time I worked with him, he had tremendous common sense, and he didn’t abandon his principles to embrace mine.’ Well, they’re a whole different set of principles, Senator Coburn. Has Coburn not been listening to Obama? Is this the same Coburn who backed McCain as a conservative? We don’t know what Obama wants to do? What’s incorrect here is Coburn, sadly to say, and not me.
RUSH: I am still in a state of shock, a state of stunned disbelief and dismay over Tom Coburn’s reaction to Greenfield’s question. My comments are not the ones that have to be studied in order to be understood. I don’t know how much clearer about this I can be. I do not want a collectivist, New Deal president taking hold of this economy under the auspices of fixing it. That’s not success to me. I do not want somebody who is going to have the federal government absorb more and more of the private sector on the premise that the private sector has failed here when it’s the government that has failed! Why do I want blanket success? It’s just because this guy’s father was black? Is that why we’re supposed to all hope for his success? He wants to ‘fix’ education? I think it’s a mutual admiration society, and these people are just into thanking each other and they’re working together. ‘My good friend, Senator Obama. He never compromised his principles in dealing with me, which is why Barack Obama always smoked me every time we got into arguments about legislation!’ (sigh)