RUSH: Back to the phones we go. Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is Mike. Great to have you. Thank you for calling, sir.
CALLER: Rush, thank you. Twenty-year dittos. You know, for the past year or so, since the 2010 elections, we’ve been hearing from the news media and CNN about the low approval ratings of Congress. Every week you would see a report about 10%, 12%. So now in the primaries we see an opportunity for Republican voters and voters in general to throw out the bums, throw out the moderates, throw out the people who have been in office as career politicians and now we have long-winded discussions on CNN about what Republican voters are doing, throwing out people like Richard Lugar, who’s been there for a hundred years.
RUSH: Well, your point is a little hypocrisy in the media here. Your point is it makes sense that congressional approval is so low that incumbents would be defeated in droves.
CALLER: That’s my main point, and the irony is, you know, we’re supposed to leave people like Richard Lugar in their office, I guess, to work with moderates like Barack Obama so that we don’t get $5 trillion in debt in four years —
RUSH: Let me tell you a little story. This is 1989, 1990. The first two years of this program. There’s a much beloved, on the Democrat side, and highly respected congressman from California named Tony Coelho, and Tony Coelho was very, very powerful in the Democrat caucus in the House of Representatives. And at the time, Tony Coelho ran the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee. So it was his job to get Democrats elected and reelected in that particular election cycle. And out of the blue, Coelho was beaten. And Barbara Walters hosted Nightline that night. It was almost like a wake. I don’t remember the guests. Barbara Walters actually said, “Can the Congress survive? Can it go on? What will we do now?” Because Coelho was judged to be such a high-ranking and powerful Democrat.
But more than that, he was one of these entrenched career lifers. It was inconceivable that Tony Coelho would even have an opponent, much less the opponent would win. Well, it’s the same thing that you’re talking about here, a little bit different with Lugar. Lugar’s a Republican, but still, if you look at the people who are writing eulogies, they’re all Democrats. That tells you something, which you, Mike, have instinctively understood. So when you see a poll that congressional approval’s 10, 12%, then these guys start dropping like flies, the establishment is lamenting the loss of one of their own, not just the Republican establishment, mind you.
The DC establishment, the political class has lost one of its own to an outsider. Those approval polls don’t mean anything to these guys, other than it’s an interesting laughing point, ’cause ever since Will Rogers people have been criticizing and laughing at, impugning Congress, making fun of ’em. And so they’ve always had low approval ratings. When one of the establishment guys loses, then the people are losing their minds, is what this all means.
RUSH: Here is the exact Barbara Walters quote. By the way, what happened to Tony Coelho, he resigned from the House in 1989. I believe Coelho was from Modesto. He resigned from the House in 1989 in the wake of media reports that he had received a loan from a savings and loan executive to buy junk bonds. He went through various stages of trying to deflect it and deny it, but it eventually caught up with him. The EIB affiliate at the time, it’s 1989, I remember we worked closely, there was a colleague in that station who really loved Coelho. He was a conservative, but he loved — I mean, Coelho was that district. Tony Coelho, it didn’t matter, Republican, Democrat, Coelho was that district. And this guy, this host just did not believe this, could not believe it. And he had Coelho on to talk about it.
Coelho eventually lost this host’s support, and I don’t remember if it was because Coelho in the appearance lied to him and it was later uncovered that he had lied and then the guy lost respect, or if Coelho had admitted it. The details are foggy, but it was a corruption thing that, like everybody at first, they try to deny it. “It’s not true. They’re out to get me.” It turned out to be true and established. And here’s Barbara Walters’ exact quote: “It seems to be a personal tragedy as well as perhaps one for the country.” A member of Congress leaving. This is the establishment. This is not supposed to happen. They’re lifers. They’re there forever. Doesn’t matter where congressional approval is.
It’s the same thing with CNN. It doesn’t matter what CNN’s ratings are. A great example, a great analogy. To them it doesn’t matter what CNN’s ratings are, as long as they remain loyal to the cause. Brooks Jackson of CNN at the time, not long after, wrote a book about Coelho, and you know what the title was? Honest Graft. Is that not an oxymoron? Brooks Jackson is now at one of these fact check sites. He left CNN and he’s at a fact check site now. I forget which one it is.