RUSH: I want to play you a sound bite. It dovetails exactly with my stirring monologues in the second hour about the golden opportunity to contrast and to provide an alternative with what Obama is doing out there. It’s a great, great, opportunity right now. They had a roundtable on the Charlie Rose Show last night, and of course my name came up all over it. This was the greatest press conference ever; Obama is the greatest ever. In fact, they said White House has polling data that says Americans love Obama running around apologizing for the country. It makes them feel really good. It was about time. There’s love for this. At some point, they brought up the question that Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times asked about what do you find ‘enchanting’ about the presidency? And a guy from New York Magazine named John Heilemann said this is what he thinks Obama should have said in answering the enchantment question.
HEILEMANN: I think if he’d been honest tonight when he was asked by Jeff Zeleny about what most enchanted him, I think he would have said Rush Limbaugh.
HEILEMANN: Because it’s true. I don’t want to repeat what Al just said, but, I mean, it’s an astonishing thing, because they are without a compelling leader and without a compelling set of alternative ideas, and that has allowed him to have an enormous amount of running room.
RUSH: See, this is where they’re wrong. Carville was out there saying the great Rush Limbaugh is, you know, the leader of the Republican Party and so forth. So there’s no real political leadership, and everybody is scared of me in the Republican Party. They’re afraid to disagree with me. So he’s right: wide latitude, lots of running room, nobody with any alternative ideas out there. ‘But, Rush, I’ve heard that the Congress Republicans are proposing alternative budget ideas.’ Yeah, yeah, yeah, but that’s in acceptance of a premise that’s already been advanced. I’m talking about genuine contrast. I’m talking about standing up and saying, ‘This budget is a disaster! Now, we can’t stop it right now, but it’s a disaster, and somebody’s going to have to stop this stuff down the road,’ and make the case.
I mean the press all knows it. The press knows he’s getting a free ride. What they’re wrong about, is they think Obama is getting a free ride because the Republicans are afraid of offending me. That’s not at all the case. The Republicans don’t think anybody likes ’em. The Republicans think they’re just going to get laughed at if they stand up and provide a real alternative. You can see it in the crack-up of the conservative movement. For crying out loud, we’ve got a bunch of so-called smart conservatives who think the worst thing that ever happened to the party was losing Arlen Specter, who think the worst thing in the Republican movement is the Club for Growth. It’s okay to have MoveOn.org; it’s okay to have all those left-wing groups.
But the Club for Growth? It’s killing the Republican Party. No, we gotta go be more like Democrats and so the Republicans think they’ve gotta sound like Obama sounds — just a little different, a little smarter — rather than contrasting. Has nothing to do with me.