RUSH: Back to the phones. Open Line Friday. This is Indiana in Hastings, Nebraska. Indiana… don’t tell me. Let me guess your last name. Can I guess your last name?
CALLER: Take a crack at it.
CALLER: Yes, sir. Yes, Mr. Limbaugh, you are right.
RUSH: No, I do believe it.
CALLER: I was born in 1990. My mom said I was the last crusade.
RUSH: Well, I understand. Pop culture, big. Anyway, welcome to the program. Great to have you here. So you were born in 1990. So you are 22, 23, somewhere around there?
CALLER: Yes, sir. A birthday coming up, gonna be 23 years old. I’m a young conservative. My question for you is, I’d like you to educate me on a little something here. I talk to old Democrats. I talk to these new liberals, and it’s not always the same kind of conversation. The old Democrats sure as hell don’t act the same. My question to you is what’s the difference between these old school Democrats and these new school Democrats like Barack Obama?
RUSH: I’d be happy to answer that question, but first, just because I’m curious, at age 22, when you say you talk to an old Democrat, how old are they?
CALLER: Oh, in their fifties.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, that would be old. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Well, let me answer it this way. You’ve heard of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, JFK, president in 1960?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: In 1962 John F. Kennedy gave a speech, an earth-shattering speech at the New York Economic Club. Now, at the time he gave this speech the top marginal tax rate in the United States — are you ready? — was 91%. That was the top marginal rate. Now, not very many people paid it, but that’s what it was. We were coming out of the boom of the post war period through 1950, and the boom was slowing down. The country was not in a recession, but the economy was just sort of stagnant. It was just chugging along, and Kennedy was starting to worry about being reelected. He’d have to run again in two years.
So he went to the New York Economic Club, and he proposed an economic reform package that had as its centerpiece massive across-the-board tax cuts. He sounded, in that speech, no different that Ronald Reagan sounded in the 1980s. Now, he was assassinated before the proposal had a chance to be voted on and signed into law. It eventually was, partially in honor of Kennedy. There isn’t a Democrat alive today, not in Washington, there is not an elected Democrat who would propose a tax cut of one penny. Now, they will say they will on middle-class people, poor people, but they’re not. They are raising everybody’s taxes.
In fact, I’ve got a story right here from the AP: Insurers are warning of sticker shock due to Obamacare’s new taxes. “Some Americans could see their insurance bills double next year as the health care overhaul law expands coverage to millions of people.” Insurance premiums are not gonna go down 2,500 bucks. They’re gonna double for almost everybody. That’s a tax increase. That’s Obama. That’s today’s Democrat Party. Every Democrat in the country voted for it. That’s just one illustration of the difference. I dare say, Indiana, if JFK were alive today and were the same guy today that he was in ’60, he wouldn’t be a Democrat. They wouldn’t let him in the party. They woulda kicked him out and they’d be trashing him the way they trash any Republican.
In fact, Indiana, a lot of people think that the Democrat Party’s shift to the far, extreme, radical left began with the assassination of JFK. Hubert Humphrey was a presidential candidate in his day for the Democrats in the Kennedy era. Hubert Humphrey, we played the sound bites. Hubert H. Humphrey did a speech on the importance of family values that sounds just like Pat Robertson today, back in the 1960s. Now, you were gonna interrupt me and ask a question. What were you gonna say? ‘Cause I don’t want to have diarrhea of the mouth here and miss a question that you might have.
CALLER: Well, so even if it started with the assassination of Kennedy —
RUSH: Some people think that the Democrat Party shift to the radical left. Now, by the way, the Democrats back then had liberals. There have been liberals since the creation of the country and before, and the Democrat Party had its share, but they were the minority. They were not winning other than in the usual enclaves of Massachusetts and California, but even then it wasn’t nearly as deeply rooted. It wasn’t nearly as radical. They’ve been shellacked with, you know, coming out of FDR and Woodrow Wilson. Today the Democrat Party, I think the only way to describe it is it’s made up of people who do not think that this country’s founding was legitimate, moral, or just. And they think that this country as such is immoral and unjust, and they are hell-bent on changing it, and that’s what the Obama administration is really oriented towards. And every elected Democrat in Washington today has that same point of view.
CALLER: Okay. Well, then when did the media really start tailoring to that left side so badly?
RUSH: Well, the media has always been like they are. The difference in the media is that back then there was a monopoly. As recently as 1988, the media had a monopoly. For example, when my program started in 1988, mine was the first national conservative media program of any kind, ever. There were conservative magazines, such as National Review. But there was no conservative broadcast entity. There were individual conservatives who participated as guests on programs. But when I started in 1988, you had only one cable news network: CNN. The rest of the media was ABC, CBS, NBC, New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times.
And so they had a monopoly on the news, and the important thing about their monopoly was they were able to hide who they really were, since there was no opposition. There was no alternative. Whatever they decided to ignore reporting in the news was ignored, nobody ever knew it. They had total power to determine what the public saw as news and what they didn’t see. They had total control over all commentary and analysis. So they were able to create the impression that the majority body of thought in the country was liberal. That’s just what was. That was just natural, that was it. There were plenty of conservatives, citizens, individuals, but they had nowhere in the media where their views were reflected.
The media, therefore, was able to hide their liberalism under this pretense of objectivity and fairness and equality. Well, then this program started, and it spawned a number of other conservative radio talk shows. Then Fox News came along in 1996, and their monopoly ended. And with the end of their monopoly, Indiana — and this is key — away went the cloak, the masquerade, the mask. They were no longer able to hide their objectivity in a monopoly. They were exposed. There were all kinds of different news stories that people were hearing. There was a different take on all of it. Their work was being criticized for the first time ever in a mass national way.
So the media now is no different than they’ve always been, in terms of the way they operate and the way they do their job. What is different is that they do not pretend anymore to be objective. They’ve taken that cloak off, and they are partisans now. They are every bit the facilitators of the Obama administration. They’ve always been. It’s just now they make no bones if. They don’t hide it. They’re very proud to be willing accomplices, stenographers of the Obama administration.
I’ll give you an example: The Gulf War, the first one in 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. George H. W. Bush had a two-phase military operation. We sent troops to Kuwait to make sure Hussein couldn’t go any further, like into Saudi Arabia and get their oil wells. The second phase was the actual military operations to kick the Iraqis out. CNN had a couple of reporters in a hotel in Baghdad. The al-Rashid Hotel, I think it was.
Those two reporters were obviously being bombed, because we were bombing the hotel. They got out, and they came back home. Our intelligence agencies asked CNN if they could debrief those reporters, and the reporters said, “No, we’re journalists. We can’t choose sides,” and I remember being incredulous. I said, “Wait a minute! What do you mean, you’re reporters? Are you not Americans?” They said, “We have no interest in who wins. We can’t take sides.”
They refused to help their own country by offering intel of what they had seen inside Baghdad, inside Iraq. So they’ve always been who they are. You’ve seen them in the modern incarnation. You’ve seen them. In your life, they’ve been exactly what they are. There used to be a day where there was no Fox News. There was no conservative talk radio, nothing. I remember the Goldwater-LBJ campaign of 1964. Another little anecdote for you just to illustrate the media.
Goldwater had talked about the Northeast and the liberal elite and the bias that was there. Johnson put together some sort of a commercial with a saw, sawing the eastern seaboard off and letting it float away into the Atlantic Ocean, as if that’s what Goldwater wanted to do. I remember a reporter named George Herman, CBS, would routinely close out every report on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite saying, “I’m George Herman from the floating east, CBS News, Boston,” or wherever he was.
So they’ve always been who they are.
Now, your question about old Democrats versus new.
There used to be, back in the old days, what I call “adults” in the Democrat Party.
There have always been these radicals, but they were able to be kept in check somewhat. Old warriors like a guy named Bob Strauss, and Jack Valenti, were able to work with Republicans to get things done — and keep the Democrat Party from drifting Soviet-style left. Those guys are all gone now. They’ve either died or they’ve retired, and the Democrat Party is Barack Obama, Saul Alinsky. It’s this pure, radical left. It’s always had people like this, but it’s never been like this.
I’m 62; you’re 20. I’m 42 years older than you are.
It’s never been this bad.
CALLER: Well, it seems to me like those old Democrats now are not Democrats. They’re the John McCains and they’re the Lindsey Grahams. They’re in the GOP.
RUSH: Well, in a way. (laughing) The old Democrats are the John McCains of today, the Lindsey Graham. (laughing) You’re pretty close to dead on there. You are very shrewd. That is very perceptive of you. Excellent way to describe it.
CALLER: I guess maybe now the Democrats have is those radicals now, so they’re free to run loose, huh?
RUSH: They are. They are, and with the media on their side they’re never held accountable. They’re never criticized. They don’t have to worry about being caught saying extreme, outrageous things or doing outrageous things and being called on it. The former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, just got charged again with corruption and thievery. He was convicted for the second time, just total corruption. You will not find the word “Democrat” in the stories about the guy! They are totally excused and covered up. Anyway, you’ve got it. You’ve got it down. You understand it.
The only thing I would say to you is: Don’t change.
RUSH: I was talking to my trusty chief of staff during the break, HR, and he said, “You know, the guy that called from Hastings, Nebraska? He wanted to know, what’s the difference in the Democrats of today and way back long time ago?” This is a good point, HR. He said, “In olden times…” I like saying that. It’s not that long ago. “In olden times, the Democrat Party also knew that there were things in life bigger than themselves: The country.” The country was under attack. The country was under assault.
There were things worth holding onto here. There were things bigger. I remember Mrs. Clinton, in fact, sometime back during the nineties talking about how she learned in her forties that life was about more than just herself, and she wanted applause for that. My point was, my parents had to learn that at 18. They went through the Great Depression, then World War II, then Korea, and then Khrushchev came and banged the shoe at the UN. He said, “We’re gonna kill our grandkids,” and they took it seriously.
The Soviet threat was real.
So when they learned there was a lot more to life than just themselves, and there was a time when Democrats were the same way. Now, some of them were Soviet sympathizers who didn’t think that communism was a big threat. They didn’t think the Soviets were a threat. But some did. Today, that’s out the window. Today, America is all about what you can get from it, what you can score, Santa Claus. I think that’s an excellent point, but the entitlement mentality is: The country owes you simply because you were born here.