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RUSH: So Harry Reid wants to play the role of Grim Reaper, and he did. He looked just like the Grim Reaper. He walked in there and he shut Ted Cruz down at 12 noon. And that is after asking Ted Cruz to yield for a question from McCrazy — uh, McCain, for 15 minutes. They wanted McCain to get in there and start debating party politics. But Cruz would have none of it. He shredded the guy from Illinois. I’m having a mental block. Yeah, Dick “Turban.” He shredded Turban even after 20 hours of this. You know, folks, I could go for 21 more hours just with the health care stack that we’ve got today, about the absolute disaster this is.

Anyway, greetings, and welcome. Rush Limbaugh behind the Golden EIB Microphone.

If things pan out as planned now, we will have Senator Cruz on this program in one hour. The way this worked out, we put it together this morning. The phone rang, we said, “Sure.” At that time it was thought the filibuster would end at noon, and an hour to decompress and so forth and be here at one o’clock. And then we got word that, “Hey, it may go on past noon and can the appearance time float.” We said, “Sure. We’ll be glad to float with you.” And then Dingy Harry did the Grim Reaper act and shut this thing down at 12 noon after 21 hours.

At that point it became I guess etched in stone that Senator Cruz will be here, barring something — I mean, this is such a fluid situation — barring something unexpected, he will be here at one o’clock. Boy, folks, if this doesn’t embody everything that a number of us have been trying to say and inform everybody about the Washington establishment, the Republican establishment: In these 21 hours, even the hours leading up to it, the criticisms of Ted Cruz from his own party; the attempt to ruin him and mock him in his own party and from the so-called conservative media. And then of all places Fox News trashing all over this, and Fox News essentially blaming me and other conservative media for making Ted Cruz what he is.

Brit Hume, of all people, essentially said that Ted Cruz is who he is because he’s being pressured by people like me. And left to his own devices, Cruz might not be doing this, is the implication. He didn’t actually say that. I was literally stunned watching this. The fact that, even after 21 hours, even at the beginning of it, they cannot at least admit that this is who the man is. He doesn’t need any advisers here. He doesn’t need any pressure. The man is not a coward. Ted Cruz isn’t afraid of anybody. The real question is, what is the Republican establishment afraid of? What are some of these conservative media types at Fox News afraid of? What is the Washington establishment on the Republican side afraid of? Government shutdown, losing elections, what do you guys think you’ve been doing?

Did you look at how many Republicans didn’t show up to vote for Mitt Romney in 2008? Do you realize that if the Republican Party base had turned out, Obama would have been defeated? Why didn’t it happen? When does fighting for freedom backfire? Explain that to me. Because that’s what this is. I guess some of these establishment types in Washington, regardless of party, I don’t think they really understand. I think there is such a divide in this country, it is so wide, that some people in politics, it’s their business to understand these things. They don’t even know what really is going on. I just heard Michael Barone say, “Well, this is nothing but theater. All Ted Cruz has done is engage in something that’s impossible.”

It’s not theater. This is real. This is about freedom. I know to a lot of people that sounds corny. “Freedom, come on, Rush, our freedom isn’t threatened.” Oh, but it is. In ever so small, incremental losses, it is. It’s what Obamacare is all about. It’s precisely what Obamacare is all about, the loss of individual freedom, the loss of free markets. Ted Cruz is fighting for freedom in the greatest tradition of American freedom fighters. And how did so many Republicans manage to miss that fundamental American lesson? Mark Steyn on this program made a good point, I’m going to paraphrase it. But he essentially said that our system doesn’t need the smartest, the best elected representatives because the people can take care of it with popular uprisings. The people!

This is a country that is a representative republic. The people get what they want here. What Ted Cruz is attempting to do is marshal the support of the American people. It’s in the greatest traditions of the American founding and the entire existence of the country. He’s simply trying to marshal and motivate the public that already opposes Obamacare in such a way as to send a message to Washington that this is not what’s wanted because Washington isn’t listening. How did Republicans manage to miss this? I’ve been asking for I don’t know how long. You look at polling data on Obamacare, and any other issue, but we’ll stick with Obamacare. The numbers are striking.

The number of people, the percentage of Americans that actually support this, the last poll I saw last week is 12 to 26%, depending on the poll. Twelve to 26%, and the Republican Party wants to align with that segment of the population. Well over 50% of the American people doesn’t want this, and the Republicans say, “Well, we can’t do anything about it. The law is the law. It’s the law of the land.” Well, so was slavery one time the law of the land. These arguments are made by people that do not want to roll up their sleeves or have too much invested in Washington continuing to function as it does.

Ted Cruz was doing exactly what he was elected to do. Ted Cruz was elected in Texas to do exactly what he did in this filibuster, and, by the way, what he has been doing since he arrived. He’s one Republican who is doing exactly what he was elected to do. And contrary to people who claim that he’s motivated by fear of talk radio, go back and look at Ted Cruz’s campaign in Texas, and you’ll see that he’s doing exactly what he said he was going to do. He’s doing exactly what he was elected to do. He’s fighting for free markets. He’s fighting for individual choice. He’s fighting against statists and statism. He’s fighting for the American people, even those who don’t know that he’s fighting for them.

Ted Cruz, in his 21-hour speech, filibuster, don’t even want to call this a filibuster. If he would have been making a losing speech in a losing cause like abortion, he would have been feted as a great American, as was that woman in Texas, Wendy Davis. You want to talk about fighting for a losing cause, who never had any support except she was a darling, because she was on the right side of this massive political divide. This political divide is so wide that the things you and I believe and stand for and want don’t even compute, not even understandable inside the Beltway. If anybody is afraid, folks, it’s the Washington establishment.

I think that’s where the real fear is, and you can see it in the way they react to Cruz. If he was such a bumbling idiot they wouldn’t want this to stop. They’d want him to keep going and continue to make a fool of himself. They’d want him to keep speaking and keep losing everything for the Tea Party. If they thought Ted Cruz was this giant joke and mistake and disaster, Dingy Harry wouldn’ta walked in there and shut this down.

Ted Cruz wants a vote on this thing on Friday, not Saturday. On Saturday nobody’s gonna be paying attention. They’re watching football. They’re trying to find Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M if they’re playing or whoever else playing college football. Ted Cruz, meanwhile, is fighting for the soul of his party. Ted Cruz is fighting for the principle of limited government, which is the principal that animates all of us.

There’s no penalty for this. There’s no penalty in fighting for freedom. I don’t know how that backfires. “Ah, Rush, it just goes to show you don’t understand how Washington works.” Yes, I do, and that’s another thing that this is about. Washington isn’t working. What in the world coming out of Washington is working? It isn’t working. Who cares about highfalutin Senate rules as a reason why Cruz should stop?

I don’t think anything takes a backseat to the quest for freedom.

I don’t care how corny that sounds.

Ted Cruz is fighting for all those Republicans and Reagan Democrats who stayed home on Election Day 2012. The American people don’t want Obamacare. I don’t care what poll you cite, they do not want it. Who can’t make that connection? Americans want somebody to help them push back on this. If you don’t fight, you can’t possibly win. You know what the Republican strategy is? “Let’s let this thing get implemented and let it fall apart. It can’t work.”

I agree. It can’t. It’s a disaster. But that doesn’t mean it’s gonna be fixed! When it doesn’t work, the Washington way is another health care program to fix what’s wrong with this one — and the cycle repeats, and you keep getting bigger government after bigger government. The Kaiser Poll. I really not kidding. I’ve got a health care Stack here, and I could do 21 hours today, just the health care news that I’ve accumulated in the days I’ve been gone. The disasters awaiting everybody just in terms of cost. (interruption)

Well, I know, I could do 21 hours any day, but I’m talking about with one subject. You know, nobody cared about Congress’ precious rules when Obamacare was passed via reconciliation. What about that? Everybody’s wringing their hands over Ted Cruz ignoring proper procedure and the rules of the Senate and so forth. Well, hell’s bells, folks, we’ve got Obamacare as an albatross around our necks because the rules of the Congress were subverted and corrupted!

It should have never been allowed to pass under reconciliation. I think even Robert Byrd said that it shouldn’t be passed under reconciliation. He was the father of it. We live in a time when a 25-year-old is considered a child. We live in a time where there’s an entire industry getting filthy rich trying to persuade as many Americans as possible to never take a risk on anything. We are becoming a nation of wusses and would be wusses.

We have a bunch of leftists trying to take the risk off anything. “Don’t do anything that would upset you or anybody else! Do not take the risk; you might get hurt.” We’re living at a time where the president has 19.5 million fake Twitter followers. We’re living at a time where his wife, the first lady, has two million fake Twitter followers. Well, that’s what the story I’ve got here says. It’s David Martosko in Washington.

The UK Daily Mail: “Barack Obama is Political King of the Fake Twitter Followers, with More than 19.5 MILLION Online Fans Who Don’t Really Exist.” It’s quite symbolic of Obama himself and the administration. It isn’t what everybody thinks it is, nor is he. He has 19.5 million fake followers. The Washington establishment exists to make things look as though they are not.

Something comes along outside the formula, outside the box like Ted Cruz? “Oh-oh! We got a problem. How do we analyze this. This doesn’t fit.” So we live at a time when a 25-year-old is considered a child, and when raising the debt ceiling is not debt! The president said that raising the debt ceiling is not incurring more debt. We live at a time when self-defense is said to be a danger to others — and, amazingly, when fighting for freedom is said to be detrimental to the party of limited government.

I just… I still have trouble getting my arms around that, because that’s all this is. It’s a man doing what he was elected to do, fighting for limited government, fighting for individual freedom and liberty, rolling back the biggest assault on individual freedom in our lifetimes outside the Soviet Union and foreign enemies — and doing that, fighting for freedom, is said to be detrimental to the Republican Party, which used to be known as the party of limited government. Anyway, Cruz won’t have any of it. He’s not talked out of it. He’s not talked down from it. He’s not intimidated.

Yet he’s said to be scared of talk radio.

A lot of Americans have been looking for a leader.

I wonder how many people think they might have found one?

Just asking.

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