Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: The media has been lulled into a sense of false security. They think the Tea Party has gone away, because they view the Tea Party as a protest movement, and there aren’t any Tea Party protests anymore. So since they don’t see a Tea Party protest anywhere, they think the Tea Party has gone away. Well, the Tea Party has moved on from being a protest movement, and they are now a full-fledged political movement in every state working to get their candidates elected. And they are succeeding on the classic, Civics 101 basis: with ideas.


RUSH: Now the Tea Party. As I said, the media thinks it has gone away. You might think it has gone away, because you don’t see any Tea Party protests. The Tea Party has moved on; it’s no longer a protest movement. That was during ’09 and particularly 2010. And that led to the midterm elections. They have since become more sophisticated in terms of organization. There are 47 different Tea Party groups, essentially. There is not a single leader, charismatic or otherwise. There are various organizations that attempt to offer assistance, advice, help with unification in various places.

One of our new sponsors does that, FreedomWorks. It’s one of the things that they do. But the Tea Party is now grassroots. I oftentimes talk about “Civics 101.” When you’re in junior high and you’re learning at the junior-high level about government, you generally think that the people that win elections win elections because they have the best ideas and the best candidates. And ideas and candidates appeal to a majority of people and that’s how you win.

As you grow older, you find out that’s got nothing to do with it in many cases. It’s who’s got the most money or who runs the most negative ads. And when you find out what it’s really all about you tune out. “I don’t want any part of it. I’m an ideas person and that seems not to matter.” The Tea Party is reviving Civics 101. The Tea Party is bottom-up. The Tea Party is everything you thought politics was when you were first learning about it.

That is probably the best way I could explain it to you.

If that is something you yearn for, where ideas are predominant and the people who hold them is a factor, the Tea Party may be for you. FreedomWorks… This is not a commercial. FreedomWorks may be for you. FreedomWorks.org is the website. You might want to look into the website.

In Indiana, Richard Mourdock is a Tea Party candidate. He is going up against the Republican establishment, and the Republican establishment’s trying to destroy him. He’s being outspent ten to one (we’re talking millions of dollars) against a Jurassic Park entrenched incumbent: Dick Lugar.

He’s been there forever and his reputation when it comes to foreign policy is “beyond reproach,” it’s said. Yet the latest poll published in the Indianapolis Star (the polling unit is Howey/DePauw), has Mourdock up ten with four days to go. That’s gonna be tough to overcome for Lugar if, for example, the poll today shows the same thing. People have been watching this race very closely. This is akin to taking out Robert Bennett in Utah. That’s what might happen here. The Tea Party hasn’t gone anywhere, folks.

They’re only getting better and bigger.


RUSH: It’s gotten so dire for Dick Lugar in Indiana, he is asking for Democrats and independents to cross party lines and save him next week against Dick Mourdock.


RUSH: Okay, the Tea Party and Indiana. By the way, Orrin Hatch narrowly staved off (sic) a Tea Party challenge in his bid to win the Republican primary for his seat out there. And that’s only because he recognized early enough that he was going to have to make nice with the Tea Party in Utah. There are a lot of people in the Drive-Bys — and this is good, actually — who think that the Tea Party has gone away, disbanded. There are two reasons they think this. One is, the Tea Party movement was a protest movement and they don’t see any more protests.

So they figure the Tea Party people have gotten tired, because they know that the Tea Party was made up of nonprofessional people in the sense that they were not professional protesters. They were not people who spent their time as activists in politics. They were, in essence, grassroots. That’s exactly who the Tea Party is. What’s happened is the Tea Party has moved beyond the protest movement. The other reason the Drive-Bys think that the Tea Party movement has basically gone out of existence is that Romney’s the nominee, and is not the Tea Party candidate.

The Tea Party had about seven candidates, and the Tea Party vote was split in all these primaries, and that’s why the Tea Party candidate didn’t win. I can’t tell you the hopes that existed within the Tea Party coming out of the 2010 midterms that a Tea Party-friendly candidate would then emerge and get the Republican nomination. And by “Tea Party,” we’re talking a full-fledged, grassroots, conservative candidate. And there were plenty to choose from — too many, as it turned out. The vote was split, plus Ron Paul was thrown into the mix, and the Republican establishment took full advantage of splitting the Tea Party vote in the primaries.

In fact, they started out intending to do that.

The Republican establishment started out intending for the moderate candidate to get the nomination. There still is, within the Republican Party establishment, a disdain for the Tea Party. And it’s on display in Indiana. The Republican establishment has put every bit of its muscle and money behind Richard Lugar, the incumbent. Dick Mourdock is the Tea Party candidate. He doesn’t have any money compared to the Republican establishment, and he has been outspent by Lugar ten to one, with millions of dollars.

Yet the latest numbers from the Indianapolis Star show that Mourdock is up ten, 48-38, four days before the Indiana primary. Lugar… It’s an open primary, apparently, in Indiana. Lugar is asking Democrats and independents to cross party lines and save him next week! In addition to that (and this is from the AP, so it may not be entirely accurate), but the AP is reporting, “Lugar told reporters he is best suited to represent Jewish and female Hoosiers along with ethnic minorities.”

So the Republican establishment candidate, Dick Lugar, the independent, has been forced to ask Democrats to cross the line next Tuesday and vote for him in the Indiana primary, along with independents — and he’s telling reporters (in a not-so-disguised slam) that he’s the guy “best suited to represent Jewish and female” Indiana voters along with other “ethnic minorities.” Now, this in and of itself is a profound Tea Party success.

And I’ll give you another example, and I’ll use myself to describe the naivete and the rose-colored glasses through which new arrivals look at politics. As I say, when you’re in junior high and you’re learning Civics 101, they teach you the basics of how it all happens, and everybody concludes that the people with the best ideas win. In fact, I think this is, in part, what leads to the assumption that everybody prefers Democrats, because when I was a kid, the Democrats were winning everything.

Republicans weren’t wining anything. And at the same time I’m being taught that politics is, “The best people win, the best ideas and so forth.” So I’m hearing my dad, you know, rip the Democrats to shreds every night at dinner — and doing it very effectively as far as I’m concerned. But the Democrats seemed to be winning, and politics is being taught to me as: “The best ideas win.” It’s only when you grow up and mature that you learn that politics too often has nothing to do with ideas at all.

It has to do with strategy, vote-buying, using the power of the purse to buy votes and make people dependent. It’s about who has the most money to spend running negative ads and all that stuff. And a lot of people, after going through the Civics 101 of it all and thinking of it as an idealistic pursuit, get so turned off by it that they tune out. They may vote every four years, but they certainly don’t orient their lives around it because it’s too frustrating. And they end up not trusting any of the political institutions that exist nor the people that populate them.

That’s what is so amazing by the Tea Party. The Tea Party is made up of people from Civics 101. It is a bottom-up organization, and it’s where ideas do win. It’s where ideas do matter the most, along with the character of its candidates. There are about 60 of them in the House, for example, in the form of freshmen, rookies. Allen West is among them. Joe Walsh is a great one from, I believe, Illinois. And this guy Mourdock. Now, he’s an elected official. He’s not green to politics. But he’s a Tea Partier. He’s not favored by the Republican establishment. “The Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll, conducted by two prominent Republican and Democratic pollsters, shows Mourdock with a 48% to 38% lead over Lugar. …

“The poll shows a dramatic slide for Lugar, who in his last election in 2006 won with more than 80% of the vote after Democrats considered him so unbeatable that they didnÂ’t field a candidate against him. Only about a month ago, a Howey/DePauw Battleground poll showed Lugar leading Mourdock 42% to 35%. When voters who were not solid in their support for a candidate yet and were merely leaning in one direction or the other are removed, Mourdock is still leading 43% to 35% over Lugar.”

Just a month ago the same survey was good enough to get analysts believing that Lugar could hold on on Tuesday. But now there’s a ten-point deficit that Lugar has to make up, and he’s asking Democrats to cross the line and independents to cross the line, and he’s throwing all kinds of ethnic and racial cards out there. (paraphrasing) “Well, I’m better for the Jews, and I’m better for women, and I’m better for other ethnic minorities out there.” So at least it looks like the Indiana Tea Party has learned its lesson, because…

You know, Dan Coats won in 2010 because his opposition was split among four opponents. This time the Tea Party put up one, Mourdock, to oppose Lugar. And I can’t emphasize enough that the Tea Party is indeed bottom-up, and the people who made 2010 happen haven’t gone anywhere. They are organizing. They are larger in number. You just don’t see them because they’re not a protest movement. This idealism… It’s almost embarrassing for me to admit this, but I will.

This program debuted in 1988, and even in 1990-91 I was still so naive that I thought when I opened the newspaper and I saw a profile of any person — be it a politician or an entertainer or whatever — I really thought, as I say, this is embarrassing to admit, I really thought that that person was being profiled because that person had done something exceptional to warrant it. And that wasn’t the case at all. People are profiled for other reasons, and sometimes being exceptional is the last reason. They have PR agents, flacks, agents that are out hustling lazy reporters.

And they’re being pitched. The reporters are being pitched. “Hey, why don’t you put my guy on the cover here? Why don’t you do a story on Celebrity X?” And they work it and they work it and they get it done. I remember whenever it happened, in the seventies, that Springsteen was on the cover of both TIME and Newsweek. I thought, “Wow, this guy must be as hot as hell!” I’d never heard of him, and I was a DJ. “Who the hell is this guy?” I thought, of course, it was ’cause Springsteen was the greatest musician that somebody had just discovered, and that was the last reason why it happened.

By the way (making it even more personal), when this program was beginning and true exceptionalism was occurring and things were happening in radio that hadn’t happened in 50 years, it was totally ignored. And in my naive state, I said, “Well, how come these other schlubs aren’t paying attention?” It took me awhile to figure out it’s because I’m conservative and everybody in the journalism business is liberal. I knew that was the case in politics, but I didn’t know it was all true in the entertainment media and in the sports media and in every media.


RUSH: Okay. Correction time. I can easily say I misspoke, but I was laboring under some misinformation. Orrin Hatch hadn’t beaten anybody. He’s in a runoff with a Tea Party candidate named Dan Liljenquist, and that runoff primary will be June 26th. What I meant to say was that Hatch was challenged by the Tea Party, made some adjustments to account for it, but he didn’t beat them, there’s a runoff, and he may not survive it, just like Lugar might not in Indiana. So, I know people have been throwing things at the radio and screaming, trying to get to telephones and so forth. I just got it wrong. I can easily say I misspoke but I didn’t, I just got it wrong, so I want to correct that.

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