Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Let me ask you a question. Except when I’m here doing the program, I don’t watch any news. I don’t learn anything from it anymore, and it makes me mad when I watch it. But I watch it when I’m here. News, financial, cable, whatever it is. As I have watched the reporting — and I’ve mentioned this a couple times previous to today, but as I have watched the reporting — on the Porkulus bill, I get a sense of giddiness and happiness from all the talking heads reporting it. They don’t care what’s in it. They have not deigned to even investigate what is actually in this. They’re just giddy. They are just happy to report it. It’s just ’cause it’s so novel to these reporters. It makes not a whit of difference whether it’s good or bad for the country, just that it’s good or bad for Obama, just that it’s good or bad for Democrats and that it is happening. We’ve never spent this much money at one time so it’s novel. ‘Ooooh, it’s exciting,’ and they’re literally high on the story with no knowledge of what they’re even talking about, no knowledge whatsoever, no curiosity about it. And this being high on the story and being giddy and excited I’m having something to report gets in the way of them finding any objectivity or expressing any interest in the details. I use that to set up the next series of sound bites. We start late yesterday on CNN Live with the anchor Rick Sanchez. He has this exchange with the editor of CitizenJane Politics, Patricia Murphy.

SANCHEZ: Tell us how Republicans go back now to the Rush Limbaughs of the world and explain to them why they did something that he didn’t want them to do, since some of these, uh, talking heads in the, uh, GOP or very right-wing media have been hard on these guys of late.

MURPHY: I think the three Republicans who we’re seeing come out of the woodwork to report this are not Rush Limbaugh Republicans. They will classify this as just an effort by Democrats to pick off three weak, non-conservative Republicans, and I think that’s how they’re going to paint it —

SANCHEZ: Ha! (snorting laughter)

MURPHY: — and I think that Rush Limbaugh will declare victory, quite honestly.

RUSH: Sanchez could not understand this for the life of himself, which I totally understand because her answer doesn’t fit the giddy template here of Democrat victory.

SANCHEZ: How can he declare victory? I mean, it sounds like they’ve got a stimulus deal. It’s exactly what he didn’t want Republicans to go along with.

MURPHY: What we’re seeing with this whole process is Republicans have actually gained strength from this. They feel like they’ve found their voice, and opposing Obama is where they want to be.

RUSH: Exactly right. Rick, let me help you out. I know it’s going to be in vain. If you show too much intelligence, CNN will move you over to Headline News and nobody will ever see you. But this was a clear victory for the Republican Party. Snowe, Collins, Specter? Rick, if you would listen to this program, I predicted back in November-December the Democrats didn’t need 60 votes because they’ve got at least two of these three on every piece of legislation. So they don’t have to worry about what happens in Minnesota. They’re going to have 60 votes because you’re going to have a number of RINO Republicans. I said earlier today it’s great to flush ’em out get ’em outta there let it be known that they are not Republicans. The Republicans lost seats in the House precisely because we’re cleaning up we’re getting rid of the Republicans in name only.

This is a clear victory for Republicans in the sense that they are establishing an identity, an identity based on opposition. When this bombs out, Rick, when it doesn’t work, there aren’t any Republicans that can be forced to take the blame for this. Barack Obama owns this one, baby! He owns it first, last, and always. This is like a 100% Barack Obama bill. It’s a 100% Democrat Party bill. Let me ask you people something. If this bill, if this Porkulus bill is so magnanimous and if it is so worthy of all the giddiness and happiness from these brain-dead media people, why do they even care that they have Republican support in this? I would think that if this is so magical and if this bill is going to do what everybody says and create or save — by the way, this save four million jobs?

That’s like me saying I may or may not eat tonight. I can’t lose! If I eat, I win. If I don’t eat, I win. I may or may not eat tonight. ‘I’m going to create or save four million jobs.’ Somebody tell me how we’re going to calculate a ‘saved’ job? You people in the media don’t care about any of these details. ‘It’s just so exciting! We got rid of Bush, and we’re going to get something done now with the Democrats! Obama, The Messiah, is finally getting what he wants!’ Well, yeah, he owns it. I would think he wouldn’t want any Republicans, Rick. Because if this thing works as promised, this would be the end of the Republican Party, if they don’t go along with it, right? If this doesn’t work, then it’s the Democrats on the hook.

But if it does and if it’s so magical, why, when it works all the Democrats have to say at reelection time is point out every Republican that voted against it and they’re dead. But see, Rick, it never has worked. There’s no evidence that these things have ever worked in the past. This one will not. And, as a means of further education for the Ken and Barbie dolls that suffice as news anchors these days, we go to a page here in The Politico, Politico.com: ‘Polarization Plagues New Administration.’ Now, Rick, you ought to read this. It’s by Charles Mahtesian and Patrick O’Connor, and when you read this piece published today, why, you would think Obama lost! ‘Not a single House Republican crossed the aisle to vote for the stimulus package, and just three GOP senators made the leap.

‘Last week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi brushed off calls for a bipartisan consensus as mere ‘process,’ hardly relevant to the passage of the $800 billion-plus plan. … So despite Obama’s campaign call for an end to ‘the smallness of our politics’ and his criticism of the ‘preference for scoring cheap political points,’ that’s exactly what’s happened during the first big legislative test of his administration. The tooth-and-nail scrapping among legislators makes clear that, Obama era or not, almost everyone in office is still considered fair game.’ Why, read this piece, it’s like Obama lost. He didn’t get his bipartisanship. He didn’t get any Republicans to go along. It’s almost like Obama lost. This story is sad.

He wasn’t able to deliver on getting rid of the smallness. He wasn’t able to bring bipartisan leadership. They’re all upset there weren’t any Republicans, real conservatives that voted for this. Now, Rick! I suggest you do something else. Go to Real Clear Politics today, and you will find a column by the estimable Morton Kondracke. Headline: ‘Believe it or Not, Rush Limbaugh Was Right on Stimulus.’ Mort says, ‘I can’t believe I’m writing this, but Rush Limbaugh actually has (or had) a good idea on the stimulus. Or, at least the germ of one. On his radio show Jan. 26 and in the Wall Street Journal Jan. 29, America’s arch-polarizer…’ (laughing) Mort loves me so much. I saw him at the White House Christmas party, shortly after he’s written a piece saying the Republicans need to stop listening to me. He said, ‘Hey, I didn’t say they should stop listening! I didn’t say it!’ It was about immigration.

I said, ‘Mort, write what you want. Write what you want. It’s good to see you.’ I hadn’t seen him in a long time. He looks great. He’s been around Washington for a long time, and it doesn’t look like he’s aged at all. I think Mort secretly likes me here, but ‘… America’s arch-polarizer — amazingly enough — proposed the outlines of a reasonable bipartisan stimulus package of both spending and tax cuts. It may be moot now … but Limbaugh’s contribution illustrates how decision-making on the stimulus might have proceeded usefully — and how to think about fighting recessions,’ and he quotes my plan which is basically use the election returns and give Obama 53, 54% of a trillion dollars, the stimulus package, whatever it is.

He gets 54% to do his way, and 46% voted for McCain. So we get 46% of it to do our way with tax cuts, and we compare ’em, side by side. Let the Keynesians go ahead and just flood the market with government spending; let us do some tax cuts to the tune of our 46%, and then side by side compare. Mort writes favorably of this, and he said, ‘The reasons for adopting a Limbaugh-like idea go beyond post-partisan atmospherics. The fact is that, in spite of the certitude expressed by politicians and op-ed writers, no one can be certain if the best way out of this Great Recession is Keynesian government spending or supply-side tax cutting. So why not, as Limbaugh suggested, try both? The Keynesian case, as expressed by Obama and liberal economists such as Robert Reich and Paul Krugman…’ He goes on to explain the government spending, and then he says, ‘Both Republicans and Democrats are citing work by Obama’s chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer.

‘She wrote in a 2007 paper that tax cuts ‘have very large and persistent output effects’ and Republicans assert her model shows that $1 of tax cuts produces $3 of growth.’ She’s revised that now on Obama’s website. One dollar of spending produces a buck-and-a-half of output, whereas tax cuts only produce a dollar. It’s a net-net loss, or no gain. She’s changed her opinion. He says, ‘Who knows who’s right?’ Mort, why do you think she altered her conclusions? (laughing) She makes the point about the success of tax cuts using empirical data from the Reagan years, and the Kennedy years, then signs up with Obama and has to change. He goes on and basically praises the plan, and then he quotes me as I ended the piece. He said, ”The American people are made up of Republicans, Democrats, independents, and moderates, but our economy doesn’t know the difference. This is about jobs now.” That’s what I wrote in the Journal. Mort Kondracke’s last line: ‘Obama couldn’t have said it better.’

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