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RUSH: Say, folks, I have a question for you, very simple question. If you turn on the Drive-By Media each and every day and each and every night and if you read the newspaper each and every day and each and every night, you’d be forced to come to the conclusion that the Republican Party is dead, that the conservative movement is dead, unless it moves to the center and becomes more like liberals and Democrats. So the question is this. If conservatives — Republican Party is a different animal — but if conservatives are as dead as the left says we are, why in hell do they spend so much time dancing on our graves? Greetings, and great to have you here, another three hours of broadcast excellence, the telephone number is 800-282-2882, the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

I want to thank the folks at the Heritage Foundation. I addressed over a thousand people last night at the Reagan Center, the Reagan building in Washington, DC, and it’s pretty much the subject that I discussed with them. Why are we laying down, why we playing dead? Why we rolling over? Why are we accepting every premise that the left advances, including that we have to be like them in order to grow our party? I pointed out that the the left in 2000, 2004, they didn’t try to become like us. They didn’t try to become like Republicans. They drew contrasts. They went far left and they did what they had to do to draw contrasts and they energized their far-left fringe kook base. Now, true, in 2006, in order to take back Congress, they had to run some conservative Democrats in few conservative districts, where they beat conservative Republicans who had sort of wandered off the trail. But the overall identity of the Democrat Party was to move as far left anti-Bush, in the case of the Iraq war, anti-America as they could, and they kept up the drumbeat and they had the Drive-By Media with them.

Now, they have won big, they think they’ve won a huge landslide here with Obama, they control the House, they control the Senate, and yet, you turn on their House organ cable networks or read their newspapers and they’re obsessed with us. They’re obsessed with what we’re doing. They’re obsessed with what I’m doing. They’re obsessed with what I say. Why is that? If we’re dead, we shouldn’t matter to them. They ought to be laughing at us; they ought to be ignoring us. But if you follow the news topics, you’d think that the Republican Party is the most powerful political party in the country and that the conservative wing of the Republican Party is in near total control of this country, if you believe what you’re watching. If somebody from Mars landed in this country, turned on our television, they’d think I run the country, they would think that my party runs the country and that we pose the greatest threat to humankind ever, we gotta be stamped out even though we already have been stamped out. They wiped us out in the last election. I mean, for all intents and purposes. That’s actually not true, but I mean in the electoral sense, given our lack of power, it is true.

So many columns they write, so many editorials. Even today we got more conservative columnists writing about this or that and how we gotta get back to being more moderate, big-tent party and all that. It’s just mind-boggling. People on the left, the Democrat Party and the media obviously, some people on our side, writing so many columns, so many editorials, so many op-eds, hell-bent on trying to diminish the influence of conservatism in the Republican Party. Why? If we’re dead, as they say we are, why are they continuing to try to kill us? I mean of course in a political sense. It’s ’cause we’re not dead. It’s because we still threaten them, and we threaten them precisely because they are a collection of lies and deceit and phony ideas and ours are ideas of substance that, properly articulated, connect with a majority of the American people. So they’re going after anybody on the right who can articulate these things and setting out to try to destroy them. Me, Sarah Palin, you name it, whoever it is, they’re trying to destroy the people who could and can articulate the beliefs and the principles that the left actually fears.

To me, this is an opportunity. It’s what I told the people at Heritage last night. It’s an opportunity. We have a great opportunity to contrast ourselves with the most liberal, quasi-socialist administration in history. We’ve got the country more afraid of this administration I have ever seen. We’ve got people that I know more afraid of their government than they have ever been. This is not our country. This is not the country we were raised in. This is not the country we want our kids and grandkids to inherit and continue to keep great. The opportunity is just ripe. Almost every news network, every cable news channel, TV commentary seems to open and close with criticism of conservatism, conservatives, or potential conservative leaders. It’s like I had some things yesterday to say about this listening touring and how they left out Sarah Palin. The Drive-Bys are all over this today. Wait ’til you hear these sound bites. I didn’t even know this was happening last night because I was of course making a speech at the Heritage Foundation, but I’m getting notes, ‘It looks like you forced the Republicans to include Palin in their listening tour.’

I told the people at Heritage last night, ‘We don’t need to listen. Our people are already on board. We need to teach. We need somebody to provide them leadership.’ We don’t need to go out and learn and listen. That’s pandering. And when you end up pandering, it’s what I told ’em last night, when you end up pandering and you give people what they want, what if what they want is wrong, what if what they want is bad for themselves? It’s not that voters are like children, but at some point those who understand what we’re talking about, the principles of conservatism and so forth, and how to make this country the best for the most, which has been demonstrated that it happens, you just need to go out and tell people this. You know, I went through the story, people say, ‘Rush, why don’t you run for office?’ And I say I can’t take the pay cut. ‘What would you say anyway?’ I would say something that I wouldn’t last one day as a political candidate. Getting an audience is different than getting votes. I’d stand up and I’d say, ‘I’m the antithesis of President Obama. Don’t look to me to solve your problems. Look to you to solve your problems. I’m going to get myself and this government outta your way. You are what makes the country work. I’m not. I’m just here to ride steward on the Constitution and make sure that this government does not get in your way and punish your achievement. But it’s up to you, folks, you’re far better than you know you can be.’

But Obama is doing just the opposite. Every day Obama goes out and he presents a crisis and a problem and himself as the solution. ‘Don’t worry, I’ve got it under control, I can handle it,’ making people waifs, wards of the state, if you will. Why are they still kneecapping Sarah Palin? Hmm? I know I’m fair game. I’m out there. But why are they still kneecapping Sarah Palin? They’re out there kneecapping Bobby Jindal. They’re still kneecapping, the Drive-Bys, the Democrats, Rick Santorum. They’re still jumping on Joe the Plumber, a private citizen, for heaven’s sake, all he did was ask Obama a question. Why are they continuing to try to destroy virtually anyone and everyone who can articulate conservatism? It’s ’cause they are afraid of us. If you think that they think conservatism is dead, why did they spend so much time trying to discredit the tea parties? Why did they spend so much time trying to destroy the concept and the thoughts, the impetus behind the tea parties? Why did they have to do that? If we’re dead, and if we’re just a small pocket of renegades, let us run around and make fools of ourselves, get out of the way. They say, the old standard rule of thumb in whatever business, if your opponent’s committing suicide, get out of the way, let it happen. Well, if we’re supposedly so wrong, so bad, so horribly out of step, let us go on about our way and make fools of ourselves.

Why do they continually have to attack us? Why are they so vicious? Why are they so ugly? Why are they so demeaning? ‘Cause they’re not journalists, number one, they are liberals. But the point of all this is, all this criticism of us and our side, so much TV commentary hell-bent on trying to diminish the influence of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. It doesn’t compute in the template or the prism in which all of this criticism is taking place. What they in fact know is that they’ve built a house of cards. They have as their, I think, part and parcel their existence is to stamp out opposition, to wipe it out. They are afraid of opposition. Liberals have been for the longest time. Political correctness is about silencing opposition. My only point in bringing all this up is, rather than have this stuff depress you and dispirit you, it ought to fire you up, it ought to let you know that there’s still a lot of fear out there. I love being feared, by the way. I love the fact that these people are afraid of me. It doesn’t bother me at all. (interruption) What do you mean I should explain? Now, why do I have to explain that? People don’t understand liking to be feared? (interruption) No, it’s not being mean-spirited. I’m stumped.

Snerdley thinks I have to explain to you why I like being feared. Now, most people are probably hearing that, if you’re right, and they hear me saying I like being disliked, and most people don’t want to be disliked. I don’t want to make people afraid of me, don’t misunderstand. But the fact that some people are is simply a measure of success. I’m a harmless, lovable little fuzzball. I’m a guy on the radio. I can’t raise anybody’s taxes. I can’t send anybody off to war. I can’t do any of the things that Barney Frank, Chris Dodd or Barack Obama can, and they are scared of me? I’m honored. There has to be a reason they’re scared of Sarah Palin. They’re not scared of Senator McCain. They are not afraid of Arlen Specter. Do you get this? There’s a reason here. They pose no threat to them. We pose a threat to ’em, folks, and this is an opportunity that should not be squandered.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The Drive-By Media freaking out over me and my listening tour. Same old template: infighting in the GOP. Here’s a montage. Last night and this morning, of various people in the media.

SUSTEREN: Rush Limbaugh was not impressed by the town hall meeting.

COOPER: Infighting among Republicans including Rush Limbaugh…

MADDOW: Mr. Limbaugh today blasted the whole rebranding the GOP idea.

MATTHEWS: Is this sniping between the elite, Mitt Romney, and the cowboys out there like Rush Limbaugh?

SCARBOROUGH: Rush Limbaugh said yesterday that the GOP shouldn’t pander by going on a listening tour; they should go on a teaching tour.

GUEST: Huh-huh-huh.

RUSH: So (laughing) and everything is laughing about this, saying they should go on a teaching tour. It is pandering to go listening. Let me tell you something. Let me bring it down to the personal. I have at any given moment six million people listening to this program. At any given moment, I’m getting a thousand e-mails from people who tell me — including friends of mine — what I ought to be doing. What if I listened to every damn one of them? I would be wearing a straightjacket, and I would have been in an insane asylum for the last 18 years. After 20 years of being at the top, everybody still knows how to do it better. Everybody still knows when I’ve screwed up! Everybody still knows what I’ve got to do to do it right.

What if I decided I needed to go on a listening tour? ‘You know what, folks? Instead of the Rush to Excellence Tour, we’re going to go on a Rush to Listen Tour. I’m going to show up in your town I’m going to set up microphone that you use and I’m begin sit there and say nothing and I’m going to listen to you I’m going to come back and I’m going to put together a great radio program,’ what do you think would happen? Not very many people would show up, and if I actually did listen it would be a disaster because you can’t take the advice of 20 million people, or 5,000. Regardless whatever the number is — and if you’re a politician you can’t take the advice of 58 million people. This whole notion of listening, it’s a scam.

Maybe we’ve gotten to the point where you have to scam the American people in order to get their votes. I hope not. See, I’m enough of an idealist, probably a little naive, and hopefully a bit of a realist to understand that it really works out best if you respect your audience, respect their intelligence, approach them that way. You know full well people are going to disagree with you no matter what you do, but the minute you start pandering to everybody that disagrees with you, all you’re doing is trying to shut ’em up and what you’re doing, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ Go back behind closed doors after the pander meeting, after the listening tour. ‘Ho-ho, we owned them out there! They think we’re really listening to what we said, those idiots. They really think we listened!’ They’re just doing it for the show of it, I don’t care which party does it. Let’s see, we — Oh! Let’s see, Jonathan Martin of The Politico, CNN this morning, the host, co-host Kiran Chetry, and they had this exchange about me.

CHETRY: Rush Limbaugh is somebody who’s smart, who wants to —

MARTIN: Right.

CHETRY: — advance the — the party, eh, eh, at least the conservative ideals. But w-w-why is he defending Sarah Palin the way he is?

MARTIN: I think there are a couple reasons. I think first, Rush does see her as a truly charismatic figure who I think can speak the sort of old time religion in a fashion he doesn’t see anybody else out there on the conservative landscape being able to do. But I do also think that there is something at play; whereas I think Rush, uh, likes Sarah Palin because, uh, he sees a bit of himself in her in this sense: liberals go over Sarah Palin. They can’t stand her. Similarly, they can’t stand Rush Limbaugh.

RUSH: Now, I know Jonathan Martin. I sometimes answer questions from him via e-mail when he sends me notes, but I’ve never sat down and talked to him. I’ve never talked to him about Sarah Palin. But he’s come to the conclusion that one of the reasons I like Sarah Palin is because the left hates her and since the left hates me, she must be cool. You know what’s more confusing to me, is why the people who don’t like her don’t like her. That’s what gets me scratching my head. I mean, people on our side, not the left. I understand the left is scared to death of her. The left is still out there trying to destroy Sarah Palin. She’s up in Alaska.

They’re filing ethics complaints against her every week forcing her to have to have a legal defense fund! They’re trying to break her; they’re trying to make her go broke so she won’t be able to have a political future. They’re scared to death of her. If they weren’t, they’d leave her alone. They’d let her go moose hunting, and that would be it. Why…? Do you see how easy the conventional wisdom is? The conventional wisdom is that Palin’s a dork, that Palin’s an idiot, that Palin is unsophisticated, that Palin is this or that. She doesn’t know the lingo. She has a bad wardrobe. It’s all of this irrelevant stuff to try to destroy her, to destroy her credibility with people, to impugn her. I just listened to what she said, and I liked what she said and I liked the way she said it. It’s no more complicated than that.

She understands the threat posed by an ever-growing government and the encroachment on individual liberty and freedom that a growing government poses. I do, too! I’m all about freedom and liberty. I’m all about the individual. I’m all about self-interest. I’m all about everybody doing what’s best for them, making the country great. It’s not selfishness, that. That’s not selfishness. What kind of father would you be if you weren’t doing the best for your family? You’d be a deadbeat, right? If you were selfish and only doing things for yourself and your family suffered, that wouldn’t be good. But if you’re doing things to improve yourself ’cause your family does, isn’t that an admirable quality? If you do otherwise you’re a deadbeat and they come take your kid away from you — after the wife calls. I mean, none of this is complicated.

It’s just been so muddled and confused in people’s minds. She just says things I agree with. She has ability to relate to average people, says things they can understand. She fires ’em up. Let’s see. Next question from Kiran Chetry: ‘You write there’s a sense of exasperation from party leaders over the media coverage of Limbaugh and Palin, a product largely of her good looks and tabloid fodder family troubles. If…’ Did you hear what Kiran Chetry just said? There’s ‘exasperation’ among party leaders because of ‘her good looks.’ What’s she saying, they’re jealous of her good looks? Am I hearing that right? Is that what a woman says? And her ‘tabloid fodder family troubles,’ they don’t like that about her. ‘If the GOP wants to build a viable candidate in 2012, you talk about the polarizing nature, the latest poll says 38%. I’m an independent and I’m not affiliated with the Republican Party.’

MARTIN: They are all exasperated. They think that Sarah Palin still gets the coverage she does noooot because of marital (mumbles) because of any ideas that she’s promoting, but because she’s something of a — even a diversion, that she’s good fodder for the media because she has this, you know, one family travail after the next, and that’s the reason that she gets coverage. They view her increasingly as a distraction to their larger process of rebuilding, but there are folks in the party like Rush who say, ‘No, no, no. She is the one who is out there, the sort of one true figure who can really articulate our message.’

RUSH: Sarah Palin could build the party, and all these moderates and independents think that she’s going to be a drag on building the party. Why? Because, true, she will not attract liberals. She won’t attract moderates. Thank God! We don’t want ’em in our party — and this business about polling data, 38% are independents? I ask you to remember — and Koko, I want you to go to our archives. We drag this poll out every now and then, the Battleground poll, which shows that 60% of the American people, since, what, 2000, identify themselves as conservatives. The telling part is that 30 to 34%, 30% call themselves Republicans; but 60% call themselves conservatives. And if you look at the individual polls on individual Obama policies, you’ll find that they’re nowhere near as highly approved of as he is personally. There is a gold mine waiting to be tapped.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here’s another question for the moderates. The moderates are about reaching out, right? Why do they not reach out to us? I’m serious. The moderates, in our party, want to cast us aside. The moderates in our party want to reach out to everybody but us, the conservatives. When are they gonna reach out to us? I’ll tell you what, they always look at — gosh, I can’t use this term. I would love to use the term, but I can’t use it. But they’re just hero worshipers. They go wherever the power is. That’s what moderates do. They go where the power is, and they’ll be back once we reacquire power. They just want to bask in the light of others. Everybody’s talking about reaching out. We gotta reach out. The media said we gotta reach out. How come nobody’s reaching out to us? I ask the question rhetorically. A couple more sound bites. Here’s James Carville on The View yesterday. Whoopi Goldberg asked him a question, ‘Who is, in the Republican Party that you actually see who has a brain?’

CARVILLE: They have a problem, and they know they have a problem. Michael Steele, he’s a very nice guy, but he’s not coming across is a serious guy, he’s coming across as like a clown, and they know that. Sarah Palin is coming across as something less than a very deep and thoughtful person.

BEHAR: That’s right.

CARVILLE: Okay? Rush is a — how do I say, he’s polarizing.

RUSH: Rush is polarizing, Palin’s an idiot, Rush is polarizing. Well, Obama is polarizing. This is the most polarized country we’ve had according to several polls. Polarization is actually not bad. Means people are standing for something.

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