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RUSH: As you know, ladies and gentlemen, the past couple of days here on the Rush Limbaugh program and the EIB Network, we have been discussing the era of Reagan theoretically being over, and conservatism thus being over, and, if you have listened, of course, you know my position on how absurd that is. And yet, there continues to be discussion among so-called conservatives about modernizing the Republican Party. Latest example, David Brooks, who used to work with Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard until he became an affirmative action hire at the New York Times as the one conservative columnist. We got two sound bites here from Mr. Brooks. By the way, what I’m going to say here has nothing to do with the fact that Mr. Brooks is routinely smearing me or being somewhat dismissive of me, particularly on the immigration debate and other things. It has nothing to do with that. It has totally to do with the fact that there are people who think that they’re leaders, and the punditry is full of those kinds of people, ‘The Republicans need to modernize,’ and of course modernizing means we become more moderate. It was on the Russert show over the weekend on PMSNBC. Russert said to David Brooks, ‘Please explain the Republican primary right now, because I don’t understand it.’

BROOKS: Well, it’s a fractured party, and it’s a party that’s really facing some long odds in retaining the White House. So it’s a party in a bit of an intellectual crisis, and it’s splintering out. And what we’re seeing, I think, is the old Republican coalition becoming obsolete and new things growing. Mike Huckabee represents a new thing, a mixture of social conservatism with economic populism. John McCain is still a new thing, which is a sort of independent insurgence. Mitt Romney was a new thing posing as an old thing. He tried to pretend he was Mr. Reagan Conservative, but now in Michigan he’s rediscovering his true self, assuming there is such a thing, and that is the businessman.

RUSH: By the way, McCain is their guy. These are the ones that they swoon over. McCain represents the future, and of course McCain’s not a conservative. This is what working at the New York Times does to conservatives. It waters them down, it neuters them, and it makes them think they need to seek the approval of all the liberals in town at other media outlets, and you have to distinguish yourself from conservatives because we all know conservatives are a bunch of Neanderthals and troglodytes and most of them are pro-life, ah, it’s ruination of the party. I told you about meeting these people out in the Hamptons back in the early nineties, they all suffer from the same thing, and that’s embarrassment. Everybody in the press, I don’t care if you go to Fox News, right wing, left wing, they hate Romney; they absolutely despise him. In a way, I don’t quite understand it. But their love for McCain has to be based on the fact that he’s not conservative. Now, here’s the second sound bite. Russert says, ‘David Brooks, you’re a columnist. You get paid by the New York Times to offer your opinions. You wrote a whole column about Mitt Romney. You just didn’t want him to be president.’

BROOKS: I just don’t think he’s sincere. I think on some of the flip-flops on not only the life issues, but on every single thing at a rally, somebody will challenge him on ‘no child left behind,’ he’ll deny he supported it. You gotta have conviction in tough times. You can’t just come to an audience and say, ‘I’m with you.’ You gotta say, ‘I’m me, and I’m going to try to persuade you why I’m right.’ And I just don’t — fundamentally don’t trust the fact that he will stick by his convictions under all circumstances. And I will say one thing that undergirds the total Republican race: All the Republican candidates like each other except Romney; they all hate Romney.

RUSH: Yeah, everybody hates Romney. The press hates Romney, a lot of the Republican candidates hate Romney, there’s no question. But how can you discuss Huckabee without saying pretty much the same thing? Well, you can’t trust what he says, changes his positions over and over, say whatever people want to hear. And, see, it falls back to the idea that McCain, ‘Straight talk, that’s right, Limbaugh, I’ll tell them what they want to hear,’ even though there’s this infatuation, almost, with somebody who supposedly engages in all of this straight talk, telling people what they don’t want to hear, giving them the truth of the matter. But when you boil it all down, these guys end up loving, supporting, propping up the least conservative people in the roster of candidates seeking the Republican Party presidential nomination.

This is Disa in Redmond, Oregon, I’m glad you waited. Nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. I’m glad to be on. Hey, I am livid over that comment I just heard that guy say. First of all, Romney is a sincere guy, and, you know, the media hates him, and that is clear. It is a miracle he is doing as good as he’s doing right now. I have heard over and over again, ‘He didn’t win Iowa, he’s out. He didn’t win New Hampshire, he’s out.’ It is a miracle. He has gotten first and second in everything. It is a miracle he’s doing what he does with them against him like that. Okay, he can turn things around. He is one of the sharpest guys I’ve ever known. This man can analyze — he goes to a company, what does he do? He analyzes it, he says, ‘Okay, what’s going wrong, why isn’t this company working?’ He sees what’s wrong. He cuts the waste and he increases productivity. Okay, this guy is amazing. If this guy wins the Republican nomination, he’ll take us to the White House, and no one else will, because, you know what, McCain is not a conservative. Huckabee, he should be a vice presidential candidate for the Democrats, okay? He’s a nice guy, but he is a liberal, okay, they can get some of the religious vote if they take him as a vice presidential candidate. I’m sorry. Am I getting too excited?

RUSH: No. I love women who are excited, especially when they’re talking to me.

CALLER: The guy has got fire. He is the most sincere guy. All right, he changed his position on abortion. Why don’t people stop and listen to his explanation for that? I don’t know one person who has had the exact same position for the same exact reason their whole life. He has a position, he always personally did not believe in abortion. When he switched that position, he said the reasons why, and he sticks by it. He is not a flip-flopper. People don’t like him, you know why? The guy’s a real conservative. The guy is sincere. The guy — you let that man get comfortable, that man will take us to the White House. He can look at the problem —

RUSH: What was it that got you fired up today, Disa?

CALLER: Actually, at first I kind of didn’t like him because I thought it was just going to be glib, I heard all the things —

RUSH: No, I mean today. You’ve called here, you’re fired up. What happened here today?

CALLER: I guess I heard some guy you were talking to while I was on hold saying that he’s not sincere, you know, saying that, you know, nobody likes him.

RUSH: Oh, you’re talking about David Brooks, the conservative columnist at the New York Times.


RUSH: Yeah, he wasn’t a caller. We played a couple of audio sound bites.

CALLER: Yeah, I was on hold, but just think about it. Think about the media not liking someone as much as they don’t like Romney.

RUSH: Well, you can tell who the genuine conservatives on our side are by who the media hates most.

CALLER: That’s exactly right. And, you know what? They push McCain. I don’t have anything personally against McCain. He can’t be our candidate. He’s not a conservative.

RUSH: And he won’t be.

CALLER: And he never will be a conservative. He’s a nice guy. The media says over and over, well, he’s just likable, you know, he has the best chance —

RUSH: Disa, Disa.

CALLER: — the real thing is, I like him.

RUSH: Disa.

CALLER: Yes. Sorry.

RUSH: No, no, no, no, no. Don’t apologize. Your instincts here are exactly right. I want to go further. I want to tell you what this is really all about to help your blood pressure levels. The media, in propping up Huckabee and McCain, I don’t care if they’re Republicans or Democrat Drive-Bys, they’re trying to destroy the conservative movement. This is why they are salivating over the possibility that Huckabee might have gotten the nomination. They think they could take out two of their biggest enemies in one election, conservative Christians and the evangelical vote, and they would love that. I’ve had a number of these Drive-Bys confirm that to me. Same thing with McCain. They just despise conservatives, period. They despise conservative leaders, people that have a chance to lead and govern with conservative policies, because the big target of conservatives is Big Government, and that’s God to these people! We’re going after their savior. Liberalism, if you look at it like a religion, God is their temple, abortion is their sacrament. And conservatives go after both of those things. And they’ve got to be destroyed. So, of course, they’re going to prop up a guy like McCain. Of course, McCain’s gone out and tried to make the Drive-By Media his base, not Republican voters. It’s no surprise to me McCain didn’t win Michigan. Republicans aren’t going to vote for him. The two primaries where he came close and won, independents and Democrats are voting.

CALLER: Watch what happens if Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination. Watch what happens when everybody is not fighting against Mitt Romney. The guy is a conservative, okay? People talk about problems with the economy or whatever the issue is, he’s a problem solver. We do not want the same old same old. You know, when people are in politics year, after year, after year, after year, after year, it becomes same old same old. It is exciting to me to get an innovator in there, to get somebody in there who will open their eyes. I mean if you read a little bit about the Olympics, it’s like, he comes in there, sits there, he listens to everybody, what is the issue? He figures out how to solve the problem. He doesn’t figure out politics. Okay, you just watch what happens if he gets the Republican nomination. I wish people would get behind this man. This man is the real McCoy.

RUSH: Are you related to him in any way?

CALLER: No, I’m not. But, you know, as time goes by, I was just so disgusted. I did not know what to do. The first time I saw Huckabee, I thought he’s a real nice guy, he has good jokes, but I thought, you know what, after I first heard him I thought, he’s Jimmy Carter. Huckabee is Jimmy Carter, and I got afraid of Huckabee. And McCain, McCain had a real great war experience. That’s wonderful. You know, he’s a nice guy. He is the same old same old. He’s not a Republican; he’s not a conservative. I thought we learned that four years ago, or eight years ago, whatever it was. I thought we already learned that.

RUSH: Well, I just —

CALLER: I like Thompson because he’s conservative.

RUSH: Yeah. Disa, you just have to understand here that the Drive-Bys are trying to run our nomination process, and they’re trying to choose the nominee they would like so as to effectively guarantee our defeat. This is precisely what they’re doing. Your instincts have taken you in the right direction. You could go look at various things here. Huckabee got 16% in Michigan. He lost the evangelical vote. He lost all the rest of the vote. McCain was supposed to win Michigan, and he lost. David Brooks is wrong, the guy that you heard on hold. So you have Huckabee who is for open borders and then securing the fence, he’s for raising taxes, then for the FairTax. He’s for a national ban on smoking, and now he’s against that. He’s reversed himself. He’s done an about-face on smoking. And here’s Brooks talking about all these flip-flops from McCain. What about McCain’s position on the issues? You can sit there and say he’s not a conservative. Well, let’s examine it. He has curtailed free political speech. It was like called McCain-Feingold. He opposed tax cuts, one of only a few Republicans to do so. He opposed efforts to eliminate the filibuster of conservative judges, came up with this Gang of 14 idea. He proposes a job-killing global warming agenda. He trashes free enterprise like drug companies, oil companies, and other industries. Is this the new conservatism the New York Times is promoting, Mr. Brooks? There’s no conservatism in this, as Disa, from Redmond, Oregon, instinctively understands. No conservatism here in Huckabee or McCain. Why do you think the Drive-By Media is so enamored with both of these people? I’m sounding like a broken record on this but I’m going to continue to break until people get it through their heads what’s happening here.


RUSH: One more thing about Mr. David Brooks in the New York Times, and others. Fred Barnes and Kondracke at Fox. They’re all part of this group that is just enamored of McCain. All this week, we’ve had this ongoing battle here about the era of Reagan supposedly being over, which it’s not because Reaganism is conservatism, which is the Constitution, which is the Declaration, which is the founding. It can’t be over. Conservatism is immutable! But in this argument, I’ve had people send me e-mails. I’ve had people talk to me, ‘You know, Rush, you’ve got a man crush on Reagan here. Obviously, you just have this cult of personality thing with Reagan. That’s all. You gotta let go. It’s 2008 here. It’s not 1980.’

I said, ‘Whoa, hold on a minute. It’s not about personality.’

In fact, it’s not really so much about Reagan. Reagan did not invent conservatism. He didn’t create it. He didn’t define the concepts or the policies that I and others promote. The reason I love Ronald Reagan, is he came along and applied ’em, and he showed how to apply ’em — and they work! You understand how frustrating it is to know it works and to have people in our own party besmirch it, ignore it, and want to run away from it? It is more than frustrating. If I don’t maintain a tight grip, I could get downright mad about this. I’m going to tell you something: if there is a cult of personality anywhere in this presidential campaign, it is with people who are enamored of John McCain. It’s a cult of personality with McCain. They like the McCain story. They like the POW/MIA story. They like the hero story. They like the fact that he’s willing to take on Bush. They like the fact that he’s not some sycophant. But they don’t look, or else they ignore, his liberal domestic record. They ignore it totally. They must ignore it if they’re going to support him.

If they’re going to call him a Republican, and a conservative, they have to ignore it. So you have a cult of personality that’s propping up McCain. Now, they don’t like Huckabee’s religious views. I’m talking about some of our, uh, revered conservative pundits on our side. They don’t like his religious views, but you know why they do like him? They like him because his economic opinions fly with the New York Times editorial board: more trashing of capitalism, more trashing of profit, wealth creation, and all that. I’m not kidding you. There are Republicans — I don’t know how many conservatives, but there are Republicans — who are embarrassed to hell with genuine conservatives in their midst, and I’ve been through all the reasons why. So you say, ‘Well, how come they like Huckabee?’ Well, because Huckabee is willing to side with the New York Times on things, and that’s, of course, the gold standard, even for some conservatives, and of course all liberals. I just think this is the price conservatives end up paying for writing at the New York Times. It’s just disappointing as it can be to see.


RUSH: As for Mr. Brooks at the New York Times, I’ve been thinking — and I never met him — I guess he’s a nice guy, but he’s sounding more and more like Pat Buchanan every day.


RUSH: Well, I just read something attributed to David Brooks of the New York Times. It was on a blog, so I don’t know if it’s actually true, but he quoted me from yesterday’s program in which I said, ‘Folks, I’m just going to tell you something.’ It was in response to the guy who called and was upset about people that said they’re not going to vote if Huckabee or McCain get the nomination. And I said to the guy, ‘Look, you better understand something. If Huckabee or McCain get the nomination, there’s a good chance this party is finished. It’s going to be over and done with as we know it, and it’s going to get redefined, it’s going to be built back up from practically scratch. It’s going to be devastating.’ So this is quoted in this blog, ‘Then that’s the end of McCain.’ They’re all upset now, ‘Rush and his mimics are now out trying to destroy the Republican Party modernizers, like McCain and Huckabee and Newt Gingrich.’

I am personally trying to destroy the party’s modernizers? I don’t know what you want to call these people. Now, it’s attributed to Brooks, but I don’t know if it’s true. Some blog post by a guy named Ezra Klein, who I don’t know, and don’t interpret this as a criticism of anybody. I just think this is fascinating. It is literally fascinating to hear that people who are not conservatives, or who have abandoned a lot of their conservatism, are now the party modernizers? Whew, baby. If that doesn’t tell you what trouble we’re in, nothing will. If that’s what these guys who are not conservatives, that’s how they’re perceived, modernizing the party, and, of course, these are Drive-By Media types writing this stuff? They’re all depressed now because McCain was supposed to win Michigan, and he didn’t. Romney did, and this guy that posted this blog said, ‘I just don’t see how Romney is denied this now. If that’s what Limbaugh thinks.’ (sigh) Modernizing. Modernizers? I can’t tell you how that offends me on so many levels.

This term progressive to describe liberals, which is a big misnomer. If anything needs modernizing, it’s the Democrat Party. How old is their playbook? They don’t have one new page in their playbook since I’ve been alive, and they keep going back to that same old playbook and old pages and reworking the same old dishonest tricks. Modernizing. We need to modernize by going more socialist? We need to modernize by believing that government’s the answer, that’s how you modernize the Republican Party? No thanks, folks. I am happy to be the source of scorn. I am happy to be labeled and targeted as the guy who’s targeting the modernizers of the Republican Party.

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