RUSH: Even while I was gone, I was blamed. This is Sunday morning, December 30th, Slay the Nation, Peggy Noonan’s on there, Joe Klein at TIME Magazine. Peggy’s talking about how wonderful it was with Reagan. Back in the Reagan days, he’d bring Republicans in, he’d bring Democrats in, and everybody worked together and bipartisan compromises and everybody would be happy, we’d get deals, and blah, blah, blah. And Joe Klein then said this.
KLEIN: When Ronald Reagan was president, Grover Norquist was in diapers and Rush Limbaugh was a disc jockey I think in St. Louis. You have had a hermetically sealed culture grow up on the right in this country that, as we saw during the last election, is removed from reality and is extreme in the most egregious way.
RUSH: Now, I was working for the Kansas City Royals when Reagan was president, and then in Sacramento starting in 1984, Reagan’s second term, is when I started my talk show. I was not a disc jockey, but the point is, what Klein is saying, everything was hunky-dory, Peggy, you’re right, Republicans, Democrats work together, and Republicans gave away everything, and they compromised everything away. And back then, Limbaugh, nobody ever heard of him. Then Limbaugh came along, along with Norquist, and that’s when the trouble began. That’s when the Republicans stopped giving things away. That’s when the Republicans stopped letting the Democrats have their way on everything. And Limbaugh and Norquist then created this hermetically sealed confined, extremist, right-wing culture that is removed from reality and is extreme.
What he’s saying is that I haven’t bought into Obamaism, that this country and me are no longer simpatico. Klein’s saying, Limbaugh, he doesn’t understand America anymore. America’s not what Limbaugh thought it was. America’s never gonna be what Limbaugh thought it was. We’re now a welfare state, nothing Limbaugh can do to stop it, he doesn’t get it. The American people want big government. The American people want their neighbors taking care of them. The American people don’t want to work. The American people want a cult figure president like Obama making ’em feel good. Limbaugh just doesn’t get it. And it used to be this way, too, before Limbaugh came along. We had this little interruption while Limbaugh was here, but finally we beat Limbaugh.
RUSH: I tell you, all this revisionist history that’s going on right now with Joe Klein and Reagan and Peggy Noonan? They want you to believe that Reagan and Tip O’Neill loved each other and they got together every day and they had a beer after work and all this bipartisan mythology. I just have to remind you: Reagan fought the Democrats tooth and nail. We don’t have anybody like Reagan in the Republican Party today.
Reagan was not a great compromiser. In fact, that tax deal that gave $3 in spending cuts for every $1 of new taxes, TEFRA? He got screwed on that. There were never any spending cuts, and he said, “Never again.” It was Reagan that nominated Bork, who ended up getting Borked! The idea here that there was all of this hunky-dory love and bipartisanship during the ’80s? They hated Reagan!
Joe Klein says, “Then Limbaugh came along! Limbaugh came along and he created all this partisanship. Limbaugh came along and blew it all up! Limbaugh came along and destroyed it. Well, now we’ve gone back to the way it was before Limbaugh, and Limbaugh doesn’t get it. Limbaugh’s through. Limbaugh’s finished. Limbaugh had 25 years to screw this country up but we survived Limbaugh.”
That’s what Klein’s saying, and that’s what they’re all saying. And when they say that, they’re saying that conservatism has seen its last days. It’s over with, folks. We’re so outnumbered now that we’re nothing more than a statistic. Everything we’re for is being defeated. Everything that we’re against is surviving and thriving and winning. We’re just the biggest oddball kooks that ever lived.
That’s the spin these days, and it’s amazing here to see this.
It continued on Monday night, New Year’s Eve. (chuckles) Somebody on my staff was actually watching C-SPAN. You know, it’s a good thing that I am a generous boss. Somebody on my staff was actually watching C-SPAN on New Year’s Eve to get us this next sound bite. It was a forum on media history and influence that was actually recorded on December 3rd in New York City at the New York Institute of Technology. But C-SPAN aired it on New Year’s Eve, and during this forum on media history and influence, cohost Brooke Gladstone from NPR’s On the Media spoke about conservative media.
GLADSTONE: (haltingly) It has been 30 years of creation of this notion that mainstream media reports in a liberally biased way, and there were a lot of people who felt ill-served by mainstream media. In fact, there was one completely dead form of media that was singly handed (sic) resurrected by Limbaugh, and that is AM radio. Because it was a place where people who felt ill-served or unserved by mainstream media could go and be angry. And that exact formula was applied to Fox News.
RUSH: Now (chuckles), strangely, I must give Ms. Gladstone some credit. She has some things historically accurate here. Her interpretation is all wrong, but she does have some things right. Like Fox News is an expansion of the whole talk radio formulation, if you will. And she’s right on this AM radio business. But, of course, she was wrong when she said (paraphrased): “Everybody was fine with the media until 30 years ago. Then Limbaugh came along, and then Limbaugh convinced everybody that the media was liberal.
“Limbaugh ginned up a bunch of anger, and Limbaugh ginned up a bunch of hatred, and there already was some anyway. There was some anger and hatred. People didn’t like the media. So Limbaugh came along, saved AM radio, and gave these people filled with rage a place to go. And everybody went there. And everybody went there. That worked so well that they decided to do Fox News on the same basis.”
So now AM radio, talk radio, and Fox News is where people filled with rage and hatred go. These idiots like you who think the media is biased on the left, that’s where you go. But you see, again in this formulation, you’re the kook. “You’re the oddball. You’re the weirdo. You’re the nerd. You’re the geek. You’re this fool who thinks that the media’s biased. You believe in life, and you don’t believe that we should do away with the Second Amendment.
“You believe all this old-fashioned, weird stuff. You believe in an America that isn’t ever gonna be again, and you just can’t let go. Because Limbaugh won’t let go, and Limbaugh won’t let you let go, and you people are just gonna be further marginalized. You’re gonna get smaller and smaller. You’re gonna be ostracized, you and your little Tea Party bunch, and we’re never gonna like you and you’re never gonna be cool and you’re never gonna be hip.
“You’re always gonna be outsiders. You’re always gonna be marginalized. You’re always gonna be creeps and kooks and weirdos, and we’re gonna keep talking about you that way.” That’s what she’s saying. And then Oliver Stone, also on New Year’s Eve, on Showtime… The show is Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States. Oliver Stone’s a guy, moviemaker, who believes that everything taught about American history is dead wrong. This country’s racist. It’s been sexist, it’s been blasphemous, it’s been homophobic, it’s been violent, and that story hasn’t been told. So he’s telling the real story of the history of America.
During a segment on Ronald Reagan, Oliver Stone said this…
STONE: In 1987 the FCC, with Reagan’s help, repealed the Fairness Doctrine, which had required broadcasters since the 1940s to give adequate and fair coverage to opposing views on issues of public importance. (dramatic, scary music) As a result, Rush Limbaugh and talk radio exploded on the scene, finding a massive audience. By the end of the nineties, Clear Channel, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, Talk Radio Network, Salem Radio, USA Radio Network, and Radio America — as well as the proliferation of cable television networks — had created a movement that would dramatically lower the standards of American political discourse. And, in general, doom prospects for progressive change.
RUSH: The music was good. I have to give him that. The music was good in that segment. Oliver Stone gets into the act. Rush Limbaugh is responsible for the last 25 years of negative political discourse in America. We’re the ones that brought negative political discourse, doom and gloom. We’re the ones responsible for partisanship. Twenty-five years ago, before I came along, everything was fine.
There was peace, and there was love, and there was bipartisanship. There wasn’t any of this strife. All he means is, “Twenty-five years ago, nobody ever challenged us. “Twenty-five years ago, nobody ever called us on who we are. Twenty-five years ago, we didn’t have to defend ourselves. Twenty-five years ago, we didn’t have to explain why we were doing anything. Twenty-five years ago, we’re able to get away with whatever we wanted because there wasn’t any opposition.
“But Twenty-five years ago Limbaugh came along, and now there’s all this opposition. And that isn’t fair!” They ought not have any opposition. “Opposition is racist, it’s sexist, it’s homophobic, it’s all of these things.” They believe that they’re finally getting all that back. This last election marginalized everything you and I believe in, and we never have been cool. We’ve always been oddballs. We never have been the mainstream and we’re never gonna be mainstream.
“It’s an America that we’re never gonna get back and it’s an America that’s never gonna be again, and we’re never gonna like it and we’re never gonna feel at home here anymore. We’re never, ever gonna get back to the way this country was founded. We’re progressive. We’ve moved on. You people are forgotten.” This is the message, and they’re out celebrating Obama as the catalyst for all this. And one more bite, then we’ll get to the phones after the break here.
Just to show you how effective this stuff has been, this is New Year’s Day on C-SPAN, Washington Journal. They took some calls responding to the fiscal cliff deal.
CALLER: The Republicans put us in this situation because when Bill Clinton left office, he left with a surplus, and the Republicans spent all the money and we went into a recession. President Obama came on the scene, got elected. He brought us out of the recession, and it takes money to get out of a recession. The Republicans… Mr. McConnell, he is a disgraced. He wants the president to be a one-term president, but God let the people vote Obama back in. Republicans in the House don’t want to work with him. They want to see him fail. But they’re hurting the American people by not putting his agenda through. Obama mean (sic) good for the country but the people listen to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, and that’s why this country is going down like it is. Listen to the devil and his cohorts.
RUSH: So this is the quintessential low-information, moron voter who buys into — and only knows — what he hears from the mainstream media.