RUSH: Who’s next? Vinny! Oh-ho! It’s old Vinny from Queens. Vinny, how are you, my buddy?
CALLER: Hello, Rush. I’m so happy to talk to you. There’s no better person to kick off Memorial Day than the country’s greatest patriot.
RUSH: Thank you very much, Vinny, I appreciate it. Same thing about you.
CALLER: Thank you, sir. Listen, I agree with you wholeheartedly, conservatives do own the issues. The American people are conservative. But what I’m going to say is going to be a little controversial to you, okay? I don’t think Sarah Palin can take it over the finish line because the media has done such a fine job of just destroying this woman; and while it doesn’t affect people like me and you who are dyed-in-the-wool, quasi-politicians who eat, sleep, and drink politics, there are an awful lot of people out there who are just getting their feet wet — and, you know, they know a little bit about politics, and they know what they like, but they think Sarah Palin is a caricature of a politician, and I don’t say that lightly because I love the woman and I love everything she stands for.
Me personally, I believe the heavy hitters of the Conservative Party are gonna come out at the end of summer. I shared this with Bo a few weeks ago. I think you’re gonna see Rick Perry throw his hat into the ring because there’s probably gonna be a need to, and that’s who I would like to see run because I believe someone like Rick Perry who hasn’t been totally destroyed and maligned by the media the way Sarah Palin has can actually bring us across the finish line. And, you know, again this is very hard for me to say because I like everything that Sarah Palin likes, but the difference between her and Reagan — ’cause that’s the only other person that really comes to mind that’s been maligned in politics the way Sarah has and George W., too — is that there was not this incredible, all-enveloping media coverage in Reagan’s day that we have today. I mean, Sarah Palin can’t… You know, she can’t walk down the block without knowing exactly where she’s going, what time she left the house, what she’s wearing, and what time she returned to the house — and, you know, that’s the way I really feel about it.
RUSH: Okay, Vinny. I hear what you’re saying out there, old buddy, and let me paraphrase it — and also I should say at the outset: I’m not endorsing her yet. I guess it’s easy to conclude that when I bring the subject up here of her bus trip and how it irritates the left and so forth — I bring my own passion to it — that you might infer that she’s my candidate. Nobody is yet. That’s not the point. I know. I can’t tell you the number of women I’ve run into who despise her. (interruption) It doesn’t matter. They hated my explanation, true, but they still hate her. They despise her. Women on our side. So whether I understand why or not — you know, whether I have my ability to fully understand (which I do; I know why. It doesn’t matter the “why”), the fact is, they do. But Vinny, I need to ask you a question about that — and in asking you, I need to ask everybody else, because you’re not the first person from whom I have heard this. What you basically said to me was, “The media has so thoroughly destroyed her, she doesn’t have a chance.” You pretty much said it in your own words, but that’s what you believe, right? “I mean, gosh, that woman, it’s a sad thing, but gosh, they’ve really just destroyed her.” Right?
CALLER: Yeah. Yeah, they’ve done a very thorough job of not turning people like me who eat, sleep, and I drink politics —
RUSH: Okay. My question is —
RUSH: — why are you gonna sit there and accept that? Because if the media next decides to destroy Romney, and if they succeed then you’re gonna throw him overboard — and then if the media decides to destroy Pawlenty and they succeed they’ll throw him on everybody. At some point are these people worth defending or not? I mean, the media’s thrown me overboard. The media’s done everything they could to destroy me. If I were running for political office, they probably woulda succeeded. But my audience has not abandoned me like I hear people who have previously supported Palin abandoning her. You’re letting the media win with that outlook. That’s what I don’t get. And Vinny, I talked to you enough on this program and you’re a bare knuckles guy, but here you’re just acquiescing, which makes me think that there’s something else about Palin that you don’t like and you really don’t mind the fact the media’s destroyed her ’cause it’s made it easier for you to let her go.
CALLER: Mmm. Are you asking me?
CALLER: No, I love Palin. I don’t know if you see the difference of what I’ve just explained. You’ve heard me say, I would vote for her in a minute. But fact of the matter is I don’t think there’s enough me and you out there, real conservatives, that can push Sarah Palin over the finish line. We’re going… You know, we’re going to need —
RUSH: It’s not up to us. Not up to us. It’s up to her to do it. I don’t think 18 months is enough time for her to turn anything around?
CALLER: (sigh) You know, Rush, if she’s our candidate, I am wholeheartedly supporting her seven ways to Sunday. There’s no doubt about it. I’m just wondering if she’s been so damn damaged that we just can’t get enough people to vote for her at the end of the day.
CALLER: You know, meaning — meaning — the people who are just —
RUSH: Right, I know.
CALLER: — you know, trying to —
RUSH: I know. I know. What I mean is the media has, in her case, won. The media has destroyed her in the eyes and ears of people who pay scant attention until we get closer. So..
CALLER: That’s what I’m talking about! You just said it. That’s what I’m talking about.
RUSH: Yeah, I know.
CALLER: The people who pay half attention.
RUSH: Yeah. I know exactly what you’re saying. So, “Gee, it’s too bad, it’s unfortunate, but see ya, Sarah. The media destroyed you.” Now, maybe I’m a little sensitive to this because I happen to believe differently. I had my annual spring fling. It’s a bunch of buddies and their wives. We do one in April at my place and we do one in November. The one in April is cadre of my political friends, and this whole topic of conservatives defending each other under assault came up, and we all concluded it never happens. Because of the internecine battles going on within conservatism, that if one conservative is taking fire, there’s some other conservative likes it because there’s a competitor out of the way. You don’t see the right — you don’t see conservatives — circle their wagons to defend people.
You see the left do it. We were discussing this. Now, there were no political candidates at this thing, don’t think that. There was nobody running for office, nobody wanting to run. None of that. I’m not gonna divulge their names. I mean, what happens at my place stays there. I’m not gonna divulge the names of people that were there. You’d know them all. But it’s a touchy subject for me to sit here, knowing what I know about Vinny and you and everybody else what you think about the media and how you despise the media choosing our candidates. The media is doing whatever they do to affect the outcome events in the country and then to just say, “Well, they destroyed her. Let’s move on.” (interruption) What? (interruption) Oh. Okay. So Snerdley says… Vinny, let me run something by you. You still there, Vinny?
CALLER: Yeah, I’m still here.
RUSH: Okay, let me run something by you. Snerdley just made a point to me that maybe I have missed in all this, or maybe you all are misunderstanding why I’m interested in this. Snerdley is suggesting that your attitude is owing primarily to the fact that we don’t have time to experiment. We’ve got to nominate somebody who can win. It’s too important, and Palin, it’s been demonstrated, is so damaged, probably can’t win. Too bad, but we don’t need waste our time. We need somebody who can win. Does that encapsulate what you’re thinking?
CALLER: Well, that’s oversimplified. We have the issues, but did we have the candidates to bring those issues over the finish line at the end of the day, and that’s where I’m coming from.
CALLER: She has been so damaged as a candidate, okay? I’m not questioning her conservative values, and I do rally around her, okay? But I find myself in political circles with neophytes who are just dipping their toe in the political waters saying, “Oh, no, I can’t vote for Palin! She’s this, that, and the other thing,” and I spent the whole night defending her and I realize to myself, “Is this what we’re gonna have to do 18 months from now? We’re gonna have to defend this woman over and above, over and over and over again to people who are so inclined not to vote for her?” You know, so this is what I’m a little worried about, because it is important that we get President Obama out of the White House. I mean, there is no… We can’t give this man another four years. The damage is near irreparable now. Of course you’re correct when you say, “Where’s our guys teaching?” Where are they? Where’s our leadership teaching every day about what Paul Ryan’s trying to do here? We need a leader. And I love Sarah Palin. You’re right. I voted for her, not John McCain, okay? But, you know, 2008 is a long time ago, okay? The country has two years of piling on this woman, day in and day out, relentlessly. They have got a caricature of her that is anything but a serious politician.
RUSH: Why do you think they did it, Vinny?
CALLER: Oh, ’cause they’re scared to death of her. I know that. I know that. But is that enough to get, you know, John and Jane Doe to pull the lever for her, who are kind of wishy-washy to begin with when it comes to politics? Is that enough? That’s what I’m wondering.
RUSH: All right. Well, I appreciate the call, Vinny. I appreciate your subjecting yourself to a host interrogation.
CALLER: Thank you so much, Rush.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: I appreciate talking to you.
RUSH: You bet. Happy Memorial Day weekend. Look, I don’t even know that she’s running, and Byron York has a piece today in the DC Examiner quoting — well, not quoting; citing — several Republican insiders who say she’s not running. She’s just loving what she’s doing now. She’s keeping herself front and center, she’s earning good living, she’s traveling around, but nah. Conventional wisdom inside the Republican Party is that she’s not running. Now, I’ll say this: If she’s afraid to run, then the media terrorists have won. The media, they took down Richard Nixon, and it hasn’t been the same since — and ever since the media took down Richard Nixon is when the whole reason people wanted to get into journalism changed.
“I want to get into journalism ’cause I want to make the world a better place or I want to right social injustice or I want to destroy somebody. I want to make it fair for people.” They took Nixon out, and they haven’t been the same since. And just think, now, how power-mad they’re going to be if they decide they can destroy any candidate they choose — and make no mistake here: Their objective is to keep her out of this race. Just, um… I don’t know. Just in a — what’s the right way to say this? In a philosophical, real world sense, it just bothers me to hear people, anybody. It’s not just Vinny; I’ve had a lot of people say this to me, and I’ve gotten into raised-voice arguments with people at my own dinner table over this, so much so that Kathryn pointed me to the door to leave.
People started telling me how stupid she was, Palin. I asked, “Why do you think she’s stupid?” Everything they believe is a total product of what they’ve seen in the media. Therefore, people are willing to sit around and say, “Okay, media destroyed her. Too bad, she’s gone.” Yet we’re supposedly sophisticated. We understand that’s what the media’s trying to do, and we’re just saying, “Okay, they won. They won with Palin, fine.” If that’s it then don’t ever call me again complaining about the media. If you’re willing to let the media win in taking our people out, fine. Stop complaining about ’em. Stop complaining about ’em being liberal.
I do. I think that there is a glaring omission, something is really missing from conservatism or Republicanism or what have you, and that is when anybody on our side comes under assault, there isn’t anybody who defends ’em. People run away from it, not wanting to be caught in the crossfire itself. The abject fear of the media, I can’t tell you how it just ticks me off. Let’s just ask them. I’ll tell you what. Let’s do this. I’ll tell you what I’ll do next week. I’ll call Brian Williams, and I’ll call Andrea Mitchell, and I’ll call somebody from New York Times, and I’ll get ’em on the show. I’ll ask ’em, “Who do you want us to run? Who do you want us to choose as our candidate?” and be done with it. That’ll save us a lot of time and bother. “Who is it that you’re gonna criticize the least? Just tell me: Who is it? Tell me what candidate you people will be the nicest to and that’s who we’ll nominate.”
RUSH: You know, folks, we’ve already tried that route, now that I think about it. Calling the media, get Andrea Mitchell in here, we’ll go and get Paul Krugman or Thomas Friedman, somebody in the New York Times, we’ll get Chris Matthews in here, who else could we get? Take your pick, somebody from the Washington Post, go get Chris Cillizza, “Who do you guys want? Who is it that we could nominate that you’ll be the nicest to?” We’ve already done that. We’ve tried and that didn’t work, either. We tried that 2008 with John McCain. See where that got us.
RUSH: I am still thinking about the phone call we had with Vinny from Queens. I’m sorry, folks. I can’t get past this. This is not aimed at Vinny, ’cause it’s not just Vinny from whom I’ve heard this. I just can’t get past this: “Rush, the media has destroyed her. There’s no hope. She’s damaged goods, and average, ordinary people who are not even paying attention yet still think she’s an absolute goof. We don’t have a prayer. We gotta move on.” It just grates on me to acknowledge that kind of defeat. You may think it’s just acknowledging reality, but it’s defeat. ‘Cause I was always under the impression here that one of our objectives is to not let the media do this to us.
Now, I know that a lot of people think that they’re the only ones who know what the media has done to Sarah Palin. But odds are if Vinny from Queens sees that the media has launched this search-and-destroy mission on her, a lot of other people probably have, too. At some point the media smear of anybody peaks. They either get ’em out of office or they don’t. In Nixon’s case, he was gone. But Palin is enjoying life. She’s got this bus tour. That’s why I said on Greta’s show last night, “Palin has learned to throw it right back at ’em.” You’ve heard the old adage, the best revenge is success. She’s earning a good living. She’s living life as she chooses, where she chooses. They are as angry that they haven’t forced her into an insane asylum as anything else.
At some point, folks, the smear of Palin has to peak. The smear of anybody has to peak. And the more people see her in relation to what they’ve heard from the media, the odds are more and more people are gonna realize they’ve been lied to. It’s like when people meet me in person. Some of them are genuinely shocked. They’re expecting me to be whatever they’ve heard the media portray me as. So at some point people are gonna realize the media has been lying about her. And I’m not making the case for it, because I don’t know whether she’s running. I’m not endorsing anybody right now. Vinny’s not the first guy to say it, but when I hear people say, “The media’s destroyed her, Rush, we gotta move on,” it just bothers me. I thought that’s what we’re trying to prevent here along with many other things.
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