RUSH: Laura in Minneapolis. You’re first, and welcome. It’s great to have you here.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Fine. Thank you.
CALLER: Okay, basically what I wanted to call and tell you is, I’m a 21-year-old young woman living in a predominantly Democratic state, and thanks to your daily e-mails I got the two phone numbers to call, and I probably wouldn’t have called otherwise. So I called right away at eight a.m. and independent to get through, and the first day I got through, they were okay. They were kind of rude. But today when I called and got through, the gentleman that answered was completely rude.
RUSH: Who were you calling? Did you just call the switchboard number?
CALLER: Yep. I called the 202 number that you sent in your daily e-mail.
RUSH: Yeah. That’s the Rush in a Hurry e-mail which is a freebie.
RUSH: I’ll explain that in just a second. So this is switchboard operator you were talking to?
CALLER: Yes, so he answered, ‘Congress switchboard.’ So I was like, ‘Hi, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to give you my opinion or what on the bill,’ and he’s like, ‘well, who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say?’ And I was like, ‘Excuse me?’ I’m like, ‘I’m calling from Minneapolis. I don’t know if you’re supposed to transfer me to my, you know, people here in Minneapolis.’ He said, ‘Well, you should have just said that first when you called.’ I was like, ‘Excuse me? Like, ‘Okay. Well, I guess then I’m trying to reach Erik Paulsen’s office because that’s the person in my district.’ ‘Well, you should have just told me that was who you were trying to reach when you called and I’ll put you through. Thanks and have a great day,’ And I was like, ‘Wow. Well, you have a great day, too.’
RUSH: Well, now Laura, you gotta understand something.
RUSH: These people, do you realize the volume of calls they’re getting? They’re getting no… Think of it as… You’re probably too young to remember Lily Tomlin’s character Ernestine the phone operator.
CALLER: Eh, probably.
RUSH: Yeah. Back in the old days when the phone operators had to plug patch cords into various things to connect phone calls, and she was constantly busy. These people answering the switchboard are frazzled. They are frazzled.
CALLER: It sounded like he was having a pretty bad day.
RUSH: Yeah, they’re frazzled, they’re frazzled. That doesn’t sound actually too bad.
CALLER: Well, it sounded worse than I can probably make it sound. His tone of voice wasn’t exactly pleasant. He basically knew I was calling because when I initially said, ‘Well, I’m calling to voice my opinion against the bill,’ and actually the first time I got through I was so nervous I didn’t know what to say! I actually read something, one of the little clips that you had in your daily e-mail.
CALLER: I just read something right off there, and the woman when I read it she kind of giggled after, like, ‘Huh, huh.’ She couldn’t believe I was saying that she just thought it was so ridiculous and I wanted to say, ‘I’m reading this straight from Rush,’ but then I thought that would probably throw her even more overboard.
RUSH: Well, did you get connected?
CALLER: Yeah. Yep, I got connected twice.
RUSH: To Paulsen?
CALLER: Yep. I got connected to his office, and I said — the first time I got through, she didn’t ask me my name, my ZIP code. She didn’t ask me anything. She just laughed once I read her your clip. She thought it was hilarious. But today when I got through the guy was a lot nicer at the actual office. Not at it Congress office, but at Erik Paulsen’s actual office.
CALLER: He was a lot nicer and I was like, ‘Well, yesterday they didn’t get any of my information.’ He’s like, ‘Okay, well, today I’ll take it all down.’ I said, ‘Are you guys actually like, you know, taking what we’re saying into context? Like, I know you probably can’t tell me if there’s more noes than yeses, but I assume there probably is.’ He’s like, ‘To be honest with you, there is,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay, if you’re taking down what I’m saying, I would really appreciate it.’ So he took the time to write it down.
RUSH: Excellent. This is all good. This is exactly what you’re supposed to do out there. Keep talking.
CALLER: Are we making a difference or is it too late?
RUSH: Damn right you’re making a difference! Hell, yes, you’re making a difference.
CALLER: (laughs) So should I keep trying to call?
RUSH: Absolutely you should keep trying to call!
RUSH: Next time you call ask for James Oberstar.
RUSH: He’s from Minnesota, and he’s going to stick with voting ‘yes’ for the bill. He’s abandoning Bart Stupak’s group. He’s in the anti-abortion group that’s going to still vote for taxpayer-funded abortions. So you need to call and next time ask for Oberstar and say, ‘How dare you vote for my tax dollars being used to kill babies in the womb?’
CALLER: James Oberstar?
RUSH: James Oberstar.
CALLER: Okay. I’m going to keep trying to call today. Can we call tomorrow or not?
RUSH: You can call 14 times each hour if you want!
CALLER: Now, I have one more question for you. I know your lines are still busy. Let’s just say it gets passed tomorrow. What can we do then? What can I do as a young woman?
RUSH: Just stay tuned. I’m not willing to concede that it’s going to get passed tomorrow Saturday or Sunday.
RUSH: But if it gets passed, don’t worry. It’s not over if it gets passed. I mean, the fun really just begins then.
CALLER: The fun?
RUSH: Well, you gotta look at it as fun.
RUSH: I mean it’s —
CALLER: If you say it’s fun I’ll go along with it. (giggles)
RUSH: Well, it’s going to be tumultuous.
CALLER: I’m going into nursing, so this makes me extremely nervous.
RUSH: Well, it should.
CALLER: Yeah. Okay.
RUSH: It really should.
RUSH: All right, Laura, well, I’m glad you called.
CALLER: Thanks for your time.