RUSH: President Obama was at Arizona State University-Tempe, and delivered the commencement address. We have four sound bites here, and here is number one.
OBAMA: It may be tempting to fall back on the formulas for success that have been peddled so frequently in recent years. You’re taught to chase after all the usual brass rings. You chase after the big money, and you figure how big your corner office is. You worry about whether you have a fancy enough title or a fancy enough car. That’s the message that’s sent each and every day — or has been in our culture for far too long — that, through material possessions, through a ruthless competition pursued only on your own behalf, that’s how you will measure success.
RUSH: Here he is taking dead aim at the concept of self-interest and rugged individualism, because that’s selfish. And his wife — his wife, I saw her, Michelle — she makes her tours of the government agencies, and she said, I think it was yesterday or the day before, essentially the same thing. ‘Well, you know, I had this great job, corner office. I was making more money than I ever thought I would make. I was a corporate lawyer, and one day I said, ‘Why am I working for this big corporation? Where is the meaning in my life?’ There wasn’t any meaning. It just wasn’t me.’ Then she ended up getting 300 grand for a no-show job at a hospital when her husband got elected to the Illinois Senate! So here’s Obama out there on a dead tear telling graduates that pursuing wealth and pursuing success is the old formula, and it isn’t going to be tolerated. Don’t do that anymore. Meanwhile, one of his lead supporters, The Oprah, was at Duke University over the weekend bragging about all the houses that she owns, bragging about her private jet; talking about how important it was to her to have a private jet and how cool it was to have a jet and how cool it was to have all these houses. The Oprah is sending the exact opposite message of The Messiah. Here’s the second sound bite from Obama.
OBAMA: I wanna highlight two main problems with that old, tired ‘me first’ approach to life. First of all, it distracts you from what’s truly important, and it may lead you to compromise your values and your principles and your commitments. It was in pursuit of gaudy, short-term profits and the bonuses that came with them that so many folks lost their way on Wall Street. The trappings of success may be a byproduct of this larger mission, but it can’t be the central thing. Just ask Bernie Madoff.
RUSH: Now, that infuriates me because here’s Bernie Madoff being compared with people who are legitimate successes and he’s challenging their motivations. Obama is impugning the motivations of people who have become wealthy or who have enjoyed success. They have followed their dreams, too. They’re doing what they want to do. They’re following where their passions take them. We got the question earlier today: ‘Do you think Obama’s changing? Is he really dropping some of his liberal positions?’ No way. This is what I spoke about at CPAC. He’s got an opportunity to really inspire a lot of people. As the president of the United States, he can really inspire a lot of people, and in the process really propel this nation forward — and he’s throwing cold water on this nation and on these graduates and he’s telling them that ‘the old formulas of the past,’ which made this the greatest nation in the history of humanity, are tired and worn out. He shows up and literally depresses these students. Now, listen to this next one.
OBAMA: A relentless focus on the outward markers of success can lead to complacency. In recent years in many ways, we’ve become enamored with our own past success, lulled into complacency by the glitter of our own achievements. We’ve become accustomed to the title of ‘military superpower,’ forgetting the qualities that got us there, not just the power of our weapons, but the discipline and valor and the code of conduct of our men and women in uniform.
RUSH: Good Lord!
OBAMA: We’ve become accustomed to our economic dominance in the world, forgetting that it wasn’t reckless deals and get-rich-quick schemes that got us where we are, but hard work and smart ideas, quality products and wise investments.
RUSH: I’ll tell you, this is just infuriating. This man… He is no longer going overseas to apologize. He is ripping and criticizing his own country. I don’t believe him when he says he didn’t hear what Reverend Wright says in the church. He says he never heard that stuff from Reverend Wright. He has to have heard it because this is right out of Rev. Wright’s beliefs! This is outrageous to have this kind of commencement speech from the president of the United States. ‘Lulled into complacency by the glitter…’? Meanwhile, here’s a guy that’s written two books, tries to get as rich as he can. His wife wants to get as much money as they can get. They have a house that was purchased via a shady deal with a conniving real estate guy named Tony Rezko.
I don’t see them denying themselves. They’re eating hundred-dollar Kobe beef in the White House, throwing parties for people. They spent $2,000 on a dog, the dog named Bo. That’s what the dog cost them. Now, I don’t begrudge them any of this but when he’s going to start saying it’s okay for me to do this, but it’s not for you or any of the rest of us. That’s when I get my dander up. And this little stuff in here about the military, ‘We became accustomed to the title of ‘military superpower,’ forgetting the qualities that got us there. Not just the power of our weapons, but the discipline and valor and code of conduct of our men and women…’
What the hell does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means. It means he believes that we torture. He believes that we rape and murder. He believes all that stuff that was said about the Marines at Haditha in Iraq. That’s his view of the United States military. That it’s the most powerful, but it’s filled with reprobates. Somehow, in some distant past, America was great. Everybody in business was honest, everybody that was successful and wealthy was honest. But at some point all that changed! The military became corrupted. Everybody who’s wealthy and every corporation, every individual that achieved and had success somehow is corrupted? Is that what the graduates at Arizona State University wanted to hear, that America sucks?
They’ve just spent four or five years, whatever number of years they spent there. They sure as hell did not go to college to join a homeless shelter. They did not go to college to flip hamburgers. They didn’t go to college to sit around and not use their educations. Is that what they want to hear, that America sucks, from the president of the United States? They want to hear that they will not graduate and join a world of American exceptionalism, that America isn’t exceptional anymore and they shouldn’t try to make it that way? Is that what the parents who came up with the money somehow, some way, to get their kids into Arizona State…? Is that what the parents wanted to hear? To do what Barack Obama wants you to do, you don’t need to waste a year in college. You don’t need to waste a day or a dime. Here’s the last bite.
OBAMA: Did you study business? Why not help a struggling not-for-profit to find better, more effective ways to serve folks in need? (cheers) You study nursing? Understaffed clinics and hospitals across this country are desperate for your help. (silence) You study education? (cheers) Teach in a high-needs school. Give a chance to kids who can’t — who can’t get everything they need, maybe, in their neighborhood, maybe not even their home, but we can’t afford to give up on them. (applause) Prepare them to compete for any job anywhere in the world. You study engineering? (cheers) Help us lead a green revolution, developing new sources of clean energy that will power our economy and preserve our planet. Find somebody to be successful forward. Raise their hopes! Rise to their needs.
RUSH: And let me sum this sound bite up. Obama’s final message to them, the big finale, is anti-individual. Don’t live for yourself. Don’t pursue your own self-interest. Live for others. Work for the needs of others. What Obama doesn’t understand is that individuals working in their own self-interests are doing exactly what he prescribes. Working in your own self-interest is working for others. It is trying to improve others. The public schools are a mess! We have enough teachers. It’s not that people don’t care. It’s the curriculum! It’s the fact that kids are being indoctrinated and brainwashed. This is a great lesson here, folks, into who Barack Obama really is and what his vision of this country really is.
‘Did you study business? Why not help a struggling not-for-profit find better, more effective ways to help people.’ Not for profit? Does that mean that every for-profit business screws somebody? Every for-profit business does not help somebody? Only nonprofits are helping people? By definition, how does a nonprofit operate? A nonprofit begs for money from other people. A nonprofit lives on donations, and the people that run nonprofits have to siphon some of the donations that they collect as their salaries. That, somehow, is preferable to going out and producing something and expanding the economic pie? Yeah, go to a nonprofit. Ask somebody else for money! Get credit for caring. Get credit for not being concerned for profit.
I never met anybody at a nonprofit didn’t care about money. People at nonprofits care as much about money as anybody else does, except they don’t work for it. They beg for it. They feed off of others. They’re like the US government, except they can’t print their money. They’re bloodsuckers! Some of them do good work, but if it weren’t for the prosperity of others, there wouldn’t be any money to give to them — and that’s my point. Some of them are bloodsuckers. Some of these nonprofits are phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock ‘n’ roller organizations that exist purely to advance liberalism, and that’s why he cares about them. Charitable nonprofits are fine and dandy, wonderful.
But I’m going to tell you: you cannot have a nonprofit without having a whole bunch of people making profit so that they have some money to give to the nonprofit. The nonprofits cannot exist without a growing, burgeoning private sector. In fact, if you want to know the truth, ask all the people, all the nonprofits that depended on Bernie Madoff. Ask ’em how many of them have gone dark, and it’s way too many of them. Way too many charities have been wiped out because they lost their ‘funding.’ If I had a kid — and if he does this at Notre Dame… If I had a kid that went there and went to state university, and I had the president of the United States come in and tell my kid, ‘The country sucks. American exceptionalism is over and don’t strive for success,’ I would want my money back.
RUSH: Stop and think of it this way. You just heard four sound bites from Obama, commencement speech at Arizona State, America sucks, American exceptionalism is over, the American military is immoral, and you shouldn’t strive toward anything that involves improving yourself. You should work for the success of others. And this is the guy that we think is going to revive the US automobile industry. I mean if we’re going to put people like this in charge of the US automobile industry and the banking business and the housing business, we may as well go get the Grand Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan and make him in charge of the United Negro College Fund. I mean this is just not gonna work. This bite where he sits here and says, ‘The trappings of success may be a by-product of this larger mission, but they can’t be the central thing, just ask Bernie Madoff.’ How about asking your buddy Warren Buffett? How about asking your buddy George Soros? I don’t see them running nonprofits. How about Bill Gates? How about Tim Geithner? How about Oprah Winfrey? Oh, yeah, they may give a lot to charity, but their line of work is not running nonprofits. They support nonprofits. Nonprofits can’t exist without people like this. And I was in a relatively good mood ’til I heard those sound bites.
RUSH: I just got an e-mail, and I’m glad I got this e-mail because I need to expand on this. It is from a woman who says she’s almost in tears listening to me in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her name is Katherine. ‘Dear Rush: I am so upset because I respect you so much, I respect your opinions so much, and I just can’t believe my job is worthless.’ Now, she doesn’t describe her job, but what do you think the odds are she works at a nonprofit? So, Kathy, I’m glad you wrote me. It gives me an opportunity to expand on this — and for those of you just joining us, we played in the last hour four sound bites. Let’s go grab the one that’s relevant. I buried them in the bottom of the stack, Mike, so help me find ’em here.
It’s the one that has Obama talking about help a nonprofit or whatever. Let’s see, 15. Let’s see. Yeah, number 16. Grab audio sound bite number 16. You have audio sound bite number 16? All right. Here’s audio sound bite number 16. It’s Obama at a commencement address last night at Arizona State University in Tempe. (interruption) What are you laughing at, Snerdley? (interruption) What? (interruption) Yeah, I called them ‘bloodsuckers.’ I’ve got a lot of e-mail on that, too. ‘Rush, you know, that tonight on the media: ‘Limbaugh calls nonprofits bloodsuckers!” (sigh) Look, if you were hit up as often as I am… Nevertheless, don’t get me sidetracked here because I want to explain this to Kathy in North Carolina because I don’t want her in tears and I don’t want her misunderstanding my point.
Here’s Obama. He’s talking to graduates. He’s basically telling them to forget themselves. ‘Do not invest in your self-interest. Don’t want a nice car. Don’t want a big house. Don’t want wealth. You must define your success by what you do for others,’ which, oh, it sounds so wonderful! But you see, Kathy, I have a firm belief here. I believe that self-interest, coupled with the freedoms that are enshrined in our founding documents: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. I think people pursuing self-interest… A mother and father pursuing self-interest obviously will do great things for their family. Self-interest is not selfishness.
Sometimes I don’t even think there’s anything wrong with selfishness, but I have a big problem with ‘sacrifice.’ I have a huge problem with sacrifice, because ‘sacrifice,’ more often than not, is forced on you. When President Obama raises taxes, he says, ‘You people need to sacrifice!’ He’s not giving me any choice in the matter. When you have no choice in it, it ain’t sacrifice. You’re being stolen from. If I choose, on my own, to give something to somebody, maybe I look at it as an investment, not a sacrifice. When these people on the left talk about ‘sacrifice,’ they are using a code word that gives them permission to take something from somebody else who otherwise would not give it up to them. So that’s the setup. Here’s Obama. Listen to the first part of this.
OBAMA: Did you study business? Why not help a struggling not-for-profit to find better, more effective ways to serve folks in need? (cheering) You study nursing?
RUSH: Okay, that’s all we need. He goes on here to say let’s lead a green revolution, teach high-needs schools, raise people’s hopes, rise to their needs and so forth, and it did get me going, and I started thinking. Nonprofits are fine and dandy, but they’re bloodsuckers, and here’s what I mean by that. You have two groups of people. Basically you’ve got two groups of people. You have the producers (the achievers) and then you’ve got the people that feed off of them. (interruption) Well, I’m sorry. You can sit in there and laugh all you want, Snerdley. I am not condemning charities. I am not condemning anybody who wants to earn a living by helping others. The context of this is Obama is, impugning the producers and the earners. Obama is impugning those who do the providing. He did it throughout this speech. He is castigating them.
He is impugning their motivations. We cannot all be in a nonprofit because if we all were in nonprofits we’d all be broke. By definition, a nonprofit gets funded by walking around and asking somebody to give it something — a donation, a contribution — and if you give, ‘Okay, we’ll name this wing of the hospital after you,’ or we’ll name that after you. The people at nonprofits are paid and earn their living as a result of producers and earners donating to it. There are all kinds of nonprofits, and then there’s another category, too. There’s the not-for-profit. And that’s a whole different ball of wax. The not-for-profit is a much different thing than a nonprofit. The thing that I don’t like just generically about nonprofit is the language, because inherent in this whole business of nonprofit is that ‘I am pure, and the people that are going for profit are evil.’
And all I’m saying is, there’s not a nonprofit in the world, because we’re all born with nothing. Even those of us, or those of you who inherit sizable sums, you’re born with nothing. You still have to grow up to get it. Somebody, in order to leave it to you, had to get it somewhere. Now, it may be one of those old tycoons from the 1800s or early 1900s when there was no income tax made enough money to support five generations of freeloading family members. Believe me, I know them. You start with the gin and tonics at four in the afternoon. You hit the charity ball at eight o’clock. You hope to see your name in the paper on Saturday for showing up in a tuxedo and giving money to charity, but you haven’t earned a dime, and you look down on the people who have. (interruption)
What are you shaking your head for, Dawn? (interruption) What’s amazing, that I’m saying it? Oh, come on. It’s not amazing there are people like that. They’re all over the place. But, Kathy, what I’m talking about here is I am infuriated when I hear the president of the United States tell a group of students who have spent four or five years of their parents’ money seeking the American dream, the president of the United States telling them that that’s immoral, and to go do this or go do that. Do not put yourself first. There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first. When you put yourself first, you are helping others! You can’t help somebody else until you’re all right yourself. If your entire paycheck is spent paying your bills and your rent and your gasoline, you can’t give anybody anything else. You have to be an achiever. Nonprofits, not-for-profits, charities, or what have you, God love ’em.
I raise money for charity myself; I donate to charity myself. But there wouldn’t be any without achievers, without producers — and the president of the United States is impugning them. So he’s going to sit there and impugn and target the people who have basically done in their lives what he did. He’s a multimillionaire. His wife got a $300,000-a-year no-show job when he was elected to the Senate, that hospital job that they didn’t fill when she left. They’re now serving hundred-dollar per-pound beef at parties at the White House. Air Force One is up on joy rides. It’s okay for them, not for you? You gotta go into service? And Obama is not the only one saying it. Michelle this week, too, was at some government bureaucracy. She’s making a tour of them, talked about how she worked for a big law firm, had a corner office, made six figures. She was so empty, she said. Her life was so empty. It wasn’t until she left that and started working for others… Yeah, well, with whose money was she working for others? If you work at a nonprofit, please do not be offended. I’m just trying to also stand up for the people who make your job possible. It’s nothing more than that.
RUSH: Here is John in Addison, New York. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Mega dittos from what’s left of conservative upstate New York.
RUSH: Thank you, this is assuming it ever was.
CALLER: Well, there’s a little bit of red left up here, but, Rush, I’ve been listening all day, and I gotta tell you, last night I laid down to go to bed, and turned on the TV and I was channel surfing and came across Barack Obama speaking to those kids. When he hit the part about me-first and how that’s leading to our demise, I just about came out of my skin. Rush, doesn’t me-first also mean accountability? Being responsible for our own actions? Isn’t that the message he should be out there preaching?
RUSH: Exactly. The president of the United States ought to be inspiring and motivating people and building up this country, not trashing this country and not depressing graduates that the country they’re heading into is some immoral, unjust place. I want to ask President Obama a question. Sir, how would you have gotten where you are if you didn’t put yourself first? President Obama, if you behaved the way you advised graduates at Arizona State University, you would have given the presidency to John McCain. He’s more deserving. He’s older, he served in the war. You coulda done a great thing, you coulda really sacrificed. Oh, this me-first, oh, that’s horrible to think about yourself, it’s horrible. He wouldn’t have gotten where he is. He wouldn’t stay where he is if he hadn’t put himself first. There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first.
Dave in Washington, DC, hello, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, how you doing?
RUSH: Very good, sir, thank you.
CALLER: I was just listening to Obama talk about how we shouldn’t achieve, you know, being, you know, the job that we desire in that corner office, which I think is kind of amusing, seeing that he’s gotten the greatest job in America, the president, and gets the coolest office there is, the Oval Office.
RUSH: Yeah, that’s why I say, two rules of behavior here for the left and everybody else. Okay for him to do it, but not for everybody else.
CALLER: Yeah. I guess we just have to look at his actions and not his words on this one.
RUSH: Well, but he wants to define achieving in a different way. Achieving is how little you care for yourself and how much you do for others. And all I’m telling you is you’re never going to be able to do diddly-squat for anybody else if you don’t do yourself first, or take care of yourself first. You’re just not going to be able to. The idea that there is a crime in having self-interest, the idea that there is a crime in wanting the best that your one life, we get one, it’s a shame how many people waste it, get caught up in so many mind games that make them go through the day like zombies, get so caught up in things that are not important. It’s human nature to do that. But then all of a sudden to tell people, don’t strive, that’s immoral?
Mildred in Louisville, Kentucky. Nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Good to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: My main question, what do you think our president will say at the Notre Dame commencement exercises?
RUSH: (laughing) Well, we only have Arizona State and that commencement to go on. Maybe he’ll tell them to be priests. No, can’t tell ’em that because priests oppose abortion. Maybe he’ll tell ’em to be nuns. Nope, you can’t tell them to be nuns because nuns oppose abortion. He’ll probably tell them a variation of what he told the students at Arizona State University and he’ll couch it in terms of you’re doing the Lord’s work if you do that.
CALLER: Why couldn’t he just have a backbone and say, ‘Well, maybe I better not show up.’
RUSH: No, no, no, no, no. That’s like expecting Hugo Chavez to say, ‘Sorry, I’m giving the oil companies back, I don’t really know how to run ’em.’
CALLER: Well, give those students a chance to earn their degree, to be in the audience and accept their diploma rather than having to sit it out.
RUSH: Well, look, if they don’t want to go, they don’t want to go. I didn’t go to college so the commencement is no big deal to me. I went to high school, I didn’t go to that, just give me the yearbook and get out. I have no signatures in my yearbook, I didn’t go to the party, get me outta here, and I’m sure if I would have finished college, it would have been the same way. It’s just delaying the kegger.