Let’s go to the audio sound bites here as Open Line Friday continues. Last night on the Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab game show. Have you heard of this show, Cash Cab? (interruption) You have, H.R.? You watch this show? What…? Briefly explain what Cash Cab. I’m thinking cab, taxicab. What’s Cash Cab? (interruption) Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. You actually do get it in a cab, the cab ride’s free and they ask you questions while you’re in the cab? Pop culture questions, and if you answer correctly they let you out of the cab? What’s the prize? (interruption) Oh. I see. You win cash awards, the end is double or nothing. This sounds like my Know You Bible contest or Know Your American History Contest. I know this double-your-money routine, I know how that works. If you lose they drop you off downtown and say, ‘You’re on your own.’ Okay, so on Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab game show, the game the host, Ben Bailey, had this exchange with a male contestant.
BAILEY: What conservative radio host tried to disrupt the Democratic primaries with a plot called Operation Chaos?
MAN: It’s Rush Limbaugh, pretty sure. Rush Limbaugh.
BAILEY: Rush Limbaugh is correct, and you’re up to a hundred.
MAN: Ohhhh! Thank you, Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH: Hundred dollars: Rush Limbaugh. ‘Thank you, Rush Limbaugh.’ Good things happen to good people.
Nicolle Wallace is back. By the way, I started reading her book last night. Eighteen Acres. This is about first female president whose husband is having an affair with somebody in the media, and nobody knows about it. The Secret Service knows, but they never blab, as we all know. The Secret Service, like JFK… The Secret Service, they knew it, saw it all, but they didn’t say a word about it. They only care if the affair is carrying with a weapon, and then they move into action. So I started reading it late last night, and very early on she kinda sneaks in this fact that there is an affair going on, kinda sneaks in the fact that one of the male characters early on is the First Dude. At any rate, she was on John King USA last night, panel discussion about the 2010 midterm elections. She’s also on there with Gloria Borger, and Borger says, ‘You know, we’ve seen more of this president [Imam Obama] than any president I can recall. We see him every day one way or another.’
WALLACE: He is very underneath the weight of his agenda, which alienated the people who elected him: The independent voters. … Rush Limbaugh gave a speech in the early days of the Obama presidency. It was a CPAC speech that was covered wall-to-wall by this network and others, and everyone focused on him saying, ‘I hope [Obama] fails.’ He meant ‘I hope the agenda fails,’ and it has failed with the public. The public and the independents especially are completely dissatisfied and turned off by the expansion of the role of the federal government in American life.
RUSH: Absolutely true. And it’s borne out in the polling data, the Monmouth University poll in Delaware, Christine O’Donnell is up 45 to 42 with independents over the ‘Marxist with a beard,’ Chris Coons. She’s up 45-42 independents. But it’s not just independents abandoning; it’s women, it’s Republicans, it’s Democrats, everybody is abandoning him. In fact, TheHill.com has one of the funniest stories of the day about Republicans who still support Obama. That is like Colin Powell and 16 others (laughing) and they actually have the story of Republicans who still support Obama, as though it’s a positive thing for Obama. They’re still behind him after all this, and it’s not lost. It is not lost. Last night on PMSNBC the guest was Slate magazine political reporter David Weigel and I guess they’re talking about Congress after the elections. The question: ‘Why do Democrats believe that Republicans will work with them and compromise on legislation even as Republicans say they definitely will not do that?’ You get the mind-set here, that Republicans are gonna win big, and the question is why do Democrats believe Republicans will work with them? Well, to the extent that Democrats do believe it, it’s because of experience. It’s called McCain. It’s called Lindsey Grahamnesty. It’s called Susan Collins. It’s called Olympia Snowe. It’s called Lisa Murkowski. That’s why they think so. Anyway, here is Weigel’s answer.
WEIGEL: What Republicans are doing is reacting. They’re being led by their base. I was driving around Wisconsin early this week covering those campaigns, and Rush Limbaugh was saying, ‘These guys on TV who were saying Republicans should compromise. It’s a trick to get you to stop voting.’ What he was doing is egging on people to demand that Republicans, any time they’re asked about this, are completely ‘once more in the breach,’ completely unforgiving on anything.
RUSH: That’s right. He got it right. There’s no compromise. On what with this administration, with this regime would you want to compromise with? Led by your base? That means be a representative. Imagine that! Republicans are being led by their base rather than governing against their base, rather than governing against the will of the people. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to happen?
RUSH: Audio sound bite time. Fareed Zakaria last night on CNN’s John King USA. King said, ‘Do you see anything in this campaign cycle from either party that suggests they’re ready to sit down and have adult conversations?’ Now, stop and think of this question. John King of CNN talking to Fareed Zakaria of CNN. He has a show there. Here are these two media guys hamming it up with each other. (impression) ‘Uh, tell me. Tell me, Fareed, old buddy, old pal. Tell me, Fareed, fellow establishment intellectual. Do you see anything (sniff) in this campaign cycle from either party would suggest they’re ready to sit down and have adult conversations like you and I do?’
ZAKARIA: Thirty years ago, you became awe powerful congressman or senator by doing a big deal that involved passing legislation and bringing the two parties together. Today you become a major figure in Congress by doing exactly the opposite. If you were to try and do some of the things I’m describing, the next day if you’re a Republican, Rush Limbaugh will denounce you. You will have a primary challenge. Your fundraising will dry up. And so the dynamics of American politics now pull you away from the center. The center is of course where the majority of the country is and where the solutions are.
RUSH: Yeah, right. Right. Yeah. How in the hell can you still support Obama, then? He’s no more in the center than Adolf Hitler was in the center or Mao Tse-tung was in the center. Your precious center! And, of course, blame it on me. (impression) ‘If some Republican wants to do something meaningful, Rush Limbaugh will denounce and the effort will be brought to a screeching halt.’ That’s why I say: I’m doing my part to save this country each and every day. And the little children like Fareed Zakaria who want to live in this precious L:and of the Center where the smartest people in the room supposedly operate, where all the great things get done. Show me, Fareed, great legislation written by moderates in American history! Show me the book in the library: Great Moderates in American History.
Show me where Ronald Reagan ‘moved to the center’ in dealing with the Soviets and in cutting taxes. Tell me, who moved when Reagan was president and the Democrats owned the House and the Senate? Who moved where in order to get Reagan’s tax cuts? Democrats moves to the right! They didn’t both move to the center. That’s a big, big misnomer. Let’s see. We find audio sound bite number seven. Somehow I’m… Ah! It continued. I’m sorry. It was a different show, same guest. CNN’s Newsroom, the coanchor Ali Velshi spoke with Fareed Zakaria GPS host Fareed Zakaria about an article that Fareed Zakaria wrote about Fareed Zakaria’s opinion on taxes and Fareed Zakaria’s opinion on the economy. Ali Velshi said to Fareed Zakaria, ‘It’s a good thing you’re not running for anything because in this article you actually proposal propose a new tax. You dub it ‘the American innovation tax.’ It would be a way of getting you to what you’re talking about, investment in the things that will make America competitive, and that involves many things. It means we can educate and put people through universities in science and technology and engineering and math, but why a tax? What would that do, Fareed Zakaria?’
ZAKARIA: We have no national sales tax in this country! We’re the only country in the advanced world that doesn’t have one! If we put one in at 5%, which would be the lowest in the advanced world, that would still generate tens and tens of billions of dollars. You need to find revenue sources if you need to do this.
RUSH: Spoken like a true statist! Spoken like a true, big government statist! Fareed Zakaria wants to do for America what Fareed Zakaria did for Newsweek. Fareed Zakaria wants to do what Fareed Zakaria is doing to CNN. Would somebody tell me how in the world you get ‘innovation’ if you tax it? Somebody explain that to me, Fareed Zakaria GPS, smartest guy in the room. We spend more money on education than any other country in the world. Where’s the result? So we’re behind the world. See, we’re immoral and unjust. We don’t have a national sales tax. (impression) ‘We have no national sales tax in this country. We’re the only country in the advanced world that doesn’t have one. If we put one say 5%, the lowest in the advaaaanced world,’ on top of these oppressive income taxes, on top of oppressive property taxes, on top of existing sales taxes, somehow another 5% tax is gonna equal booms in science and technology and innovation? If this were the case, why, we’d be leading in the world in everything — and at one time we did. At one time we actually did. But not because of philosophies and policies put forth by Fareed Zakaria GPS. Spoken like a true statist.
‘Damn it, we’re the only industrialized country doesn’t have a VAT!’
RUSH: Fareed Zakaria GPS: ‘We’re the only advanced nation in the world that doesn’t have a national sales tax.’ Well, we have sales taxes in this country, Fareed, lots of them. There are sales taxes in the states. We have user fees, we have service fees, we have several levels of income taxes, we have personal income taxes, we have capital gains taxes, we have business taxes, we have dividend taxes, we have death taxes, sewer taxes, water taxes, energy taxes, property taxes! We have taxes on our animals, our dogs and cats. We have taxes on our cars, we have taxes on our license plates, we have taxes on the annual stickers on the license plates, we have licensing fees. We have taxes on the fire department and the police department. We have taxes everywhere. We have taxes on our speech! But Fareed Zakaria thinks that the VAT tax will be the only way to pay for Obamacare.
Every other country with socialized medicine had to resort to a VAT tax. That’s what this is all about. And of course (impression), ‘Every country with socialized medicine is far, far advanced beyond us. We are the least advanced nation on the advanced world of nations, and we won’t be advanced until we have a VAT tax, ’til we’re sophisticated enough to slap ourselves with another 5% tax, a national sales tax.’ So I think it’s fascinating. If you strip it all away here — you listen to Fareed Zakaria; you listen to this Weigel guy at Slate; you listen to John Kerry; you listen to Kos, this Daily Kos kook, Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga, whatever. He was on WABC, our station in New York with David Goodman. I guess he’s got a book, American Taliban. That’s me. That’s us. Goodman says, ‘In your book you go after some of the right-wing talk hosts. Are you really comparing people like Rush and Hannity and Mark Levin to the Taliban?’
MOULITSAS: You’re looking at taxes, you’re looking at a way they approach their hatred toward gays, their hostility towards women’s equality and — and so on. So, you know, again I’m not saying Rush Limbaugh is out there hacking off people’s heads, but rhetorically he is very much pursuing the same agenda —
MOULITSAS: — the goals.
RUSH: ‘Hatred towards gays, hostility towards women’s equality.’ Right. All of that is preposterous. But nevertheless, nevertheless, you’ve got this guy. You’ve got Fareed Zakaria, you got John Kerry, you got Gloria Borger. They all have already identified me as the problem. When Republicans win, I’m gonna be the one that stops them from selling out. Damn it! The Limbaugh problem! All of a sudden the Limbaugh problem surfaces again. All of a sudden this irrelevant entertainer will become the gum in the works. All of a sudden I will be the one to oppose taxes! Fareed Zakaria said it. (impression) ‘Somebody in the Republican Party will come along and propose a tax increase and then Rush Limbaugh will denounce him.’
So thank you, Mr. Zakaria because Mr. Zakaria is essentially saying that I am gonna be the person that keeps the Republican Party from selling out. I am gonna be this guy that makes sure the Republican Party stays true. I’m gonna be the guy that makes sure it doesn’t go off the rails. Now, in their view I’m destroying the Republican Party. Now, who’s gonna win the elections Tuesday and who did I support and who’s being destroyed? This is simply a recycle of the old playbook: ‘Is Rush Limbaugh Good for America?’ Is Rush Limbaugh good for democracy? If I am destroying the GOP, we need more destroying! There’s no question about it. If I’m the guy, if I’m the guy stopping progress, we need more stopping progress. If I’m the guy causing all of this trouble for Obama, we need more trouble for Obama — and we still have a half hour to go.
More troublemaking on tap.