RUSH: I want to go back to an earlier sound bite that I played on this program. I have received more than the usual number of e-mails about something. I get e-mails from people who complain, conservatives who are unhappy or disappointed with something they see, or somebody they see or hear in what they think is conservative media. They’ll send me e-mails, either to point it out or ask me why.
Last night I got a flood worth of those. I didn’t see it, but apparently the Fox All Stars — Stephen Hayes, Dr. Krauthammer, a number of them — thought Obama was perfectly reasonable yesterday. Everything was cool. No real problem here. He’s not gonna be able to get much of it done, but a lot of it was really reasonable what Obama proposed. E-mails said, “My God, Rush, what’s happening? Even Fox!”
I want to go back to an earlier sound bite on this program to try to explain my theory of what’s happening. Sound bite number three. It is Maria Cardona. She was on CNN with Carol Costello this morning and Costello had just got finished saying (summarized), “Well, Limbaugh is Limbaugh, but nevertheless the president was using a lot of kids in that ceremony yesterday. What do you think of it, Maria?”
CARDONA: Certainly I agree that Limbaugh is Limbaugh and no matter what President Obama does, he’s going to be against it. So let’s put that out front. I do think we need to be very careful about using kids in politics and to seemingly advance (giggles) a political agenda like Rush Limbaugh said.
RUSH: Now, the point of playing this to you is that I was right, and this Democrat strategerist (that’s who Maria Cardona is) is admitting I’m right; that this was exploitation of kids and it doesn’t go well in politics, and it’s unseemly, and it makes people uncomfortable using kids this way. But she prefaced it by saying, “Look, yeah, Limbaugh’s Limbaugh and no matter what Obama says he’s gonna be against it.”
That, I think, is the answer to all of you who sent me questions last night about the Fox All Stars. By the way, not just about them. It could be Kudlow, could be Scarborough, could be any number of conservative people in the media. I get e-mails when those people say something that they think is not conservative. The answer is that these people don’t want to appear to be opposed to Obama every day.
They don’t want somebody saying of them what Maria Cardona said of me. “Well, yeah, Limbaugh’s Limbaugh. No matter what Obama does, he’s gonna be against it.” That, in their world, automatically disqualifies me. My opposition to Obama’s not based in substance, you see, according to them. I am opposing Obama just ’cause I don’t like Obama and that’s it, and he couldn’t ever do anything that I would like.
Obama could never do anything I would support! So Limbaugh, he’s not serious. And these people, folks, all want to be taken seriously. It’s just my wild theory. I could be dead wrong. But when the people you’re sending me e-mails about see an opportunity to agree with Obama on what they think is something harmless, they’ll do it so as to maintain some credibility, or at least so as not to have it said about them what Maria Cardona said about me.
The difference is, they very much care what people say about them. I perhaps should, but I don’t. I care about what you believe, and my relationship with you as my audience. Other media people are not my audience, and certainly journalists are not my audience, and people inside the Beltway and politicians are not my audience. You are. So my only effort here objective is to be up front and honest with you every day.
I don’t care about what anybody thinks other than you.
I do value my credibility with you. I’m not gonna say things that are untrue in order to have credibility with you. I do not let my desire to have credibility with you lead me to dishonesty, for example. But I think for the serious commentator and serious pundit (snooty elitist impression), “One of the most insulting things that could be said about them is that they’re mindlessly against Obama — I mean, constantly! They never ever say anything positive about the man. You can’t take them seriously.”
They don’t want to go there at all.
So the gun thing yesterday, my humble little theory here, offered an opportunity to say, “Hey, you know what? Some of what he proposed makes sense. Some of it is quite reasonable. Don’t know how well it’s gonna work. Might not have much difference.” And that, in their view, gives them credibility with Obama lovers and supporters, whereas I have none. They don’t think my opposition to Obama is based in substance. They think it’s based in that I just don’t like the guy, that my side lost and I’m gonna be angry whoever won just because of that.
Now, they misunderstand me in that regard largely ’cause they don’t listen to me. They get their reports on what happens here third and fourth parties. But just to show you, Pete Wehner, a friend of mine, he worked with Karl Rove in the Bush White House, himself wrote about the Obama executive action press conference yesterday, or not a press conference, but a media availability. And I think what Pete wrote pretty much suffices as the consensus Inside the Beltway on our side of the aisle about what happened yesterday.
Let me just give you a couple excerpts so that you know what I’m talking about.
“As for the substance of what the president is advocating: HeÂ’s calling for expanded background checks, broader sharing of databases among law enforcement officials, more aggressive prosecutions for crimes under existing laws, prohibition of high-capacity magazine clips (like the 30-round magazines that the police said Adam Lanza used in the Newton massacre), improving mental-health reporting requirements by federal agencies, calling on the CDC to conduct research on gun violence, bans on certain types of semi-automatic rifles, and blocking the importation of certain guns made overseas. Most of these measures sound fairly reasonable to me. And whether or not IÂ’m right about that, these steps do not qualify as an assault on the Second Amendment.”
Now, I didn’t see the Fox All Stars last night, but those of you who did and sent me angry e-mails, I’ll bet it was pretty close to that. This is what Pete thinks.
And he said, “As Justice Antonin Scalia has pointed out in United States v. Heller, like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It leaves room to regulate guns; you donÂ’t have a constitutional right to own a RPG or a machine gun. What weÂ’re talking about, then, is a prudential application of restrictions on guns. I would prefer that the president advance his agenda through legislation rather than through 23 executive orders, in order to respect the separation of powers and the role of Congress in such matters. But in terms of the substance of what he wants, I for one find the proposals to be unobjectionable and in some cases meritorious.”
Pete’s probably pretty close to the conservative Inside the Beltway analysis of what happened. Whereas you watched it and you were appalled by it because you’re looking at this in an entirely different way. You’re looking at yet another encroachment that nobody’s opposing on your liberty. And you’re wondering why nobody else sees that. You’re looking at somebody, the president, who doesn’t seem to care about the liberty and the freedom that is guaranteed by the Constitution, and, in fact, seems to find that problematic.
Whereas other analysts look at what he said and deal with it strictly within the small universe of gun regulation. Not the why, not the dangers of it, not anything in context, but simply, are these proposals outrageous, unreasonable? Is Obama coming for anybody’s guns? No. I mean, some of this stuff we find ourselves in support of it. Plus it gives them the opportunity to, if not come out openly support, at least not oppose. I guarantee you it’s wrapped up in not wanting to be seen as opposing Obama just for the sake of it. Because the night before on the Fox All Stars that bunch ripped into Obama and the way he’s dealing with the Republicans on the debt limit. They ripped him to shreds. And Pete did, too, by the way.
Pete wrote a great piece ripping Obama to shreds, making the point, by the way, that I’ve been making that his efforts destroy the Republicans, his enemies. I said that the other day. Pete wrote about it. Even Michael Barone has a piece out today saying it looks like all Obama cares about is eliminating his opposition. I’m happy to see this, by the way. I’m happy to see other people starting to realize what I’ve realized for a long time. But you see, the point is, in their universe, in their world, yesterday they ripped Obama to shreds, properly so. What they said about Obama, the way he was comporting himself, behaving toward Republicans, the things he was saying that aren’t true at all in the debt limit debate. They just took him to the woodshed. They ripped him, and they just don’t want to do that every night.
So here came the gun control thing, gives them an opportunity to praise him. So in their world they look reasonable. They’re not ideologue, constant critics. So pardon the length of this monologue, but I think that’s the answer. I’m telling you, I was deluged. You’d be amazed at the number of e-mail address I get every day from people questioning me about why a so-called conservative said something on Fox that people don’t think is conservative. Fox hired Dennis Kucinich. I practically need a new inbox to deal with people asking me what that’s about. And I think it’s the same answer, folks. It’s the same answer.
RUSH: Now, I just want to give you the alternative picture. Imagine a Republican president with a similar press conference yesterday, similar press availability, kids and all. They got four or five kids who have written to the president thanking him and asking him to do more, except the topic is not guns, it’s abortion. The kids have written the president thanking him for his efforts that allowed them to be born so that they are alive and could have written him a letter and be at the White House. And the letters are asking him to do even more so that more children could be born.
So the president is announcing various ways to modify Roe v. Wade, not even a constitutional amendment, different ways of regulating it, making it more difficult to get an abortion, using executive orders. I want you to ask yourself if you would find one left-wing member of the media going out of his way to support that president and say, “You know what? It sounded pretty reasonable, and it was very wise of the president to bring children up, children who otherwise would have been aborted.” In other words, same exact circumstances except you change the subject from firearms to abortion and then ask yourself if the Bob Schieffers of the world would go on TV and praise the president as being reasonable.
After all, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, if the government doesn’t defend life, who will? Great guy here. He’s doing what he can to ensure life. Think you could find one liberal media type? Snerdley, what are the odds? Zero? Zilch, zero, nada. And so this is why I get e-mails. What possesses people on our side to want to build bridges to people who you think are trying to take away your freedom, trying to take away your liberty. I’ll tell you, there’s a prevailing opinion Inside the Beltway, that people who talk like that, take away your liberty, take away your freedom, they don’t think anybody’s doing that. They sort of chuckle at your paranoia. Come on, nobody’s taking away your freedom. It’s just a Democrat there, just one election. We’ll win one, too, but nobody’s taking anybody’s freedom or liberty away here. They just don’t see it the way you do is the answer to the question. But try that inverse analogy, see what you think happens.
RUSH: So I’ve got this e-mail. I got this e-mail. It’s from John Stossel at Fox, and the subject line is, “Freedom and Liberty.” The e-mail asks, “What is the difference?” That’s all it says. I’m assuming that Mr. Stossel thinks I was ripping Fox, which I wasn’t doing. I’m simply illustrating, in my humble opinion, why people do things that they do. I’m asked the question. I try to ‘splain it.