RUSH: You know, it’s… Well, I was gonna say it’s fascinating. It’s not fascinating. It was just interesting all week along, ladies and gentlemen. When I got back here on Tuesday, one of the first things I did was reference a piece I’d stumbled across on Saturday written by Andrew McCarthy at National Review Online about how the media treats what goes on in Washington as a soap opera.
You have probably heard me reference this, and it’s worth repeating. A soap opera is unreal but it hooks viewers with never-ending suspense and drama and cliffhangers and heroes and villains. But the important thing is, it is a device that is designed to hook an audience to escape whatever the humdrum reality they face, just like sports is. By the way, speaking of that, there’s a great piece.
Somebody said what I have been trying to say. This burns me up when this happens, by the way, ’cause I think of myself as a primo communicator. I think it’s Daniel Flynn. We’ve interviewed him for the Limbaugh Letter. He’s written a lot about NFL, how it’s changing. It’s a real simple line, and you know, I must have talked this for days combined, and I coulda said it all with this one line. I wish I had said it. “Football has not grown too rough; society has grown too soft.”
That’s really it. That’s what’s going on. Football hasn’t changed. It’s the same as it’s always been. We’re just turning in… It’s the chickification of things. It’s what I’ve meant by it: We’re going soft. Nothing against women. I mean, it’s actually a compliment in a way. But all the touchy-feely taking the manliness out of things. It’s exactly what happens, and it’s happening not just in football, but a lot of places. But that’s not the main thing I want to talk about.
We’ll get to that in due course. I’m gonna try to rein in my stream of consciousness here. Back to the soap opera business. Because I’m telling you, that is just a perfect characterization. It is not real. The characters are not real when you get down to it. The way they’re covered is not real. In the impact of every item in the news supposedly covered by the media, the impact on people is never talked about.
It’s simply always put within the context of the suspense and the drama of the soap opera that is Washington, DC, and our government and the people in it. So what’s happening? What’s happening is, the bottom is falling out of Obamacare. He’s losing women. He’s losing the Millennials. Nobody — I don’t care what kind of numbers they give you, nobody is signing up anywhere near in the numbers necessary to keep this thing going.
It’s an absolute disaster. It’s worse than even they want to admit. And so what? We’re back to “income inequality,” and now that’s the big story. Income inequality and the minimum wage. It’s amazing how this happens. Thirty-six hours ago income inequality was not on anybody’s mind. Thirty-six hours ago income inequality, minimum wage, nobody was thinking about it.
But here comes our lead protagonist, President “Barack Hussein Obama, Mmm, mmm, mmm!” who — as the hopeful hero but the current villain in the soap opera — needs to change the subject. He’s not used to this kind of coverage treatment, not experienced with being involved in things that don’t work, losing the favor of “the audience,” not the people. So we’ve got a pivot on a dime, and now no matter where you go, everybody in the media follows suit.
A bunch of sheep!
“Oh, the president wants to talk about minimum wage? Okay! Here’s what this think tank think about it. Here’s what they have been thinking about it, written about it for 35 years. Let’s recycle it — and let’s recycle what everybody’s been saying for 30 on income inequality. Let’s just recycle that.” It isn’t news. It is an agenda. It’s amazing. They played this Stradivarius, and everybody falls in line with it, and now you would think it’s the only issue there is.
Thirty-six hours ago the whole notion of income inequality — in terms of what’s being talked about in Washington, what’s on people’s minds and what to tackle next as an issue, nobody was thinking about it. And the minimum wage, nobody. All of a sudden Obama, our hero/villain, needs a change of subject. So they go to the writers. They went to the writers and said, “We need to change the script. We’re losing audience here with our primary attraction, Obamacare.”
“Oh, okay. Let’s go back to something that polls really well: The minimum wage. Let’s say we’re for raising that again! That always works.” If you look at polling data on the minimum wage, 70% of the big-hearted American people will always tell you, “Yeah, it ought to be more.” They don’t know what they’re talking about. They don’t know what they actually mean. They’re simply responding emotionally: The minimum wage should be raised. Yes. Yes. Everybody should make more money. Fine.
“It polls well. Let’s go back, and let’s put our hero on the side of raising the minimum wage, and let’s revive the villains who have become the heroes. The anti-Obamacare people, the Republicans, the Ted Cruzs, the Rush Limbaughs.” Everybody that had been advocating against Obamacare have become the heroes. “Can’t have that! Let’s now convert them back to villains, and let’s make Obama and the Democrats the heroes again. Let’s trot out the minimum wage.”
There’s nothing that I can tell you about the minimum wage that I haven’t told you in 25 years. Philosophically, factually, statistically, strategerically, there’s nothing new. It’s still nothing more than a political device. The minimum wage has not made poor people richer. It has not elevated the lives of poor people. It doesn’t work that way. It never has, and that’s not its purpose, really.
But that doesn’t matter, because the misperceptions and the emotional attachment to it is what gets recycled, and always works. What also always works is this income inequality. “We’ll attach that to the minimum wage! We’ll have a new story, and then you know what we’ll do? We will have a strategy session at the White House and we’ll plan a strike by fast-food workers, and that will give our friends in the media some visuals of people in pain and angry and agitated — not at Obama, and not at HealthCare.gov, but at people in the private sector.
So it’s simply time to change the focus of the script, and it’s so damn predictable, and I’m not gonna get sucked into it. I’m gonna stay focused here on what’s going wrong with Obamacare, because that’s what’s driving all of this. Now, I do have some fascinating stuff here on the minimum wage and income inequality, and if you want to know where it started, if you want to know where income inequality really began, I’ll tell you.
The reason all of these stats on income inequality don’t work anymore is because the baseline for the statistical start is the fifties. Now, what was happening in the fifties? Well, in the fifties we had this thing called a nuclear family. There was a mother, a woman. There was a father, a man. They had babies by engaging in coitus. Leave It To Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet — hell, even the Beach Boys, for crying out loud! They were seemingly clean and pure as the wind driven snow.
Anyway, then after the coitus in the bedroom, then little Beaver was born and then Wally, and there were 2.8 of the kids and little picket fence and (if the dad got a vice presidency), there were two cars in the garage, and mom — the female. I’ve gotta make that distinction. The mother was a woman, the wife of a man. She stays home, raises the kid, fixes breakfast, sends ’em off to school, talks to the PTA. There was all that. There was one breadwinner, and there was an economic boom going on at the same time, following World War II.
Incomes in America rose dramatically. Then something happened. The left didn’t like that arrangement. That was just bad. They didn’t fit in. They didn’t like the idea of coitus in the bedroom. They didn’t like coitus with someone the opposite sex, necessarily. They didn’t even like coitus as a means of producing a kid. In fact, most times they didn’t even like the kid. They wanted to have the abortion. So what happened was that the nuclear family became under assault by “progressive” forces of modernization.
So today, you can’t compare family income today to what it was in the fifties when the boom time ’cause the family’s not the same. You’ve got single women, single-parent families, fewer nuclear families. Incomes have been divided. It doesn’t work. You can, if you know what you’re doing with statistics, make the point that income inequality is all out of whack, and the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
What they don’t tell you is that the primary reason that’s happened is that the left has succeeded in busting up the family. Well, I’ve got the stats. I’ll point ought this out. Because that is something, I think it’s a new perspective. But it’s clear what this is being used as a distraction from Obamacare. It’s once again painting people who are all of a sudden becoming the heroes: The Republicans, conservatives.
They had been truthful, they were right, warning people about Obamacare. “Can’t have that! No, no, no. These are people that could have a War on Women! These are the people that are racist, sexist, bigot, homophobes. We can’t have them being seen as heroes. That just doesn’t work. I mean, J.R. Ewing has got to remain J.R. Ewing. J.R. Ewing cannot become a good guy or we lose the audience. So we gotta go back to Obama as the hero. He can’t become the bad guy.”
It just doesn’t work, at least as far as the “writers” are concerned (that would be the Democrat National Committee and the White House staff). So you’ve gotta turn it around now and the usual bad guys are the bad guys, and the way you do that is you go back to an issue, and your buddies in the media follow right along ’cause they’re nothing more than lapdogs, slavish lap dogs, and they follow right along and create this, out of nowhere, idea that the Republicans hate the poor again.
Just 36 hours ago, the Republicans were the great friends of the poor trying to make sure they didn’t get left out of Obamacare, or health care. Thirty-six hours later, Republicans hate women again, Republicans hate the poor, Obama once again has the high ground, and we shift from debating the absolute disaster of the entire Obama agenda to what a great compassionate guy Obama is, all of a sudden now concerned about income inequality and the minimum wage.
It’s just amazing to watch this, to watch them change direction, take the audience of people that consume news right along with them. (interruption) Yeah, I know. Obama met secretly with a bunch of left-wing radical pundits and bloggers last week to ask them how to change the subject from the failure of Obamacare. This is what they came up with, I guarantee you. In fact, one of the women leading this march on the fast-food joints attended a strategy session in the White House with Obama about this.
They did what the left always does when they are in trouble, when the bottom is falling out, when the audience is on the verge of discovering the truth of the villain. The villain always goes back to class warfare, which makes them the hero and turns the Republicans and the conservatives into the villains again — and, I’m sorry, I’m worn out. After 25 years, I’m not playing the game, ’cause it assumes that you are an idiot.
The game assumes that you’re nothing more than a lapdog. The game assumes that you’re nothing more than some slavish prisoner to the daily media narrative — and I know, because you listen to this program, that you aren’t. I mean, look, folks, do you think Barack Obama would rather play Santa Claus with the minimum wage or talk about a hundred million Americans set to lose their health care?
What would he rather do?
He’s gonna play Santa Claus with the minimum wage. He’s got no successes to brag about. He cannot talk about a robust job market. In fact, the very fact he’s talking about the minimum wage is evidence there is no robust job market. The fact that Obama talks about a minimum wage is evidence that his economy is the tank, is in the toilet, is in the septic tank. You can’t have a robust economy and all of a sudden start whining and moaning about income inequality and the minimum wage.
So he’s tantamount admitting to people in the know — and you are among those people in the know — his economy sucks. You can’t talk about the slick rollout of HealthCare.gov. He can’t talk about how you’re saving $2500 on your insurance premium. He can’t talk about how you are able to keep your insurance. He can’t talk about how you’re now able to keep your doctor. All he can do is pivot back and start promising utopia again if only the Republicans would get out of the way.
The president is tanking in the polls, it’s not going to get any better, so he’s trying to change the subject. The elephant in the newsroom — and that’s exactly the way to look at this. The elephant in the newsroom is the story of 100 million Americans on the verge of losing their health insurance and their doctors in a matter of weeks. Next year is in a matter of weeks. That is the story. That’s the bombshell. It’s the law. The president wants to bury it like a land mine. So he’s out changing the subject and back to playing Santa Claus.
It’s the minimum wage. It’s income inequality.
Let’s go back to the greatest hits from the Obama Grooveyard of Forgotten Favorites. Except I’m changing the station.
RUSH: Okay. Grab sound bite 26. This just came in. This is an illustration. This is Nancy Pelosi. This is this afternoon in Washington, mere moments ago, during a Democrat Steering and Policy Committee hearing on unemployment benefits. Yes, unemployment. The president said yesterday that it’d be a terrible thing if they have to lose their insurance. Insurance? Nobody looks at unemployment compensation as “insurance.” Everybody thought he was talking about health care. He wasn’t. He was talking about unemployment benefits.
Notice the pivot.
So right on schedule here is Pelosi’s closing statement, just a little bit of what she said.
PELOSI: We cannot — cannot — support a budget agreement that does not include unemployment insurance in the budget or as a sidebar in order to move it all along. It would undermine who we are as a country.
RUSH: Unemployment benefits? That’s who we are as a country? Has anybody even talking about this? So we’re now talking about a budget agreement? We’re talking of a budget agreement, cutting unemployment benefits, raising the minimum wage, income inequality — all overnight, as though it’s the only thing that’s on anybody’s minds. In fact, there’s a Gallup poll. Do you know that nobody cares about income inequality? I have it right here.
According to a recent Gallup poll, income inequality is, quote, “the most important issue facing the country for just 1% of the population.” That’s it. In a Gallup poll of issues, people being asked what’s the most important thing facing the country, 1% say income inequality. So you put it all together, and you’ve got the recipe. Income inequality! Democrats trying to extend federal unemployment benefits again — which, again, I’m telling you: It is in-your-face evidence that the Obama economy is miserable.
He wouldn’t be talking about the minimum wage otherwise.
RUSH: We’re gonna start in San Francisco. This is Chris. Great to have you, sir. Welcome. You are up first today.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: It’s an honor. I just have a quick question. Obama’s pivoting back, as you said, to a strategy he’s been relying on that involved the media quite heavily. I’m wondering. Now that he’s kind of going back to the same well, can we expect the media to jump in with both feet or do you think they’re gonna be a little bit more skeptical this time?
RUSH: Jump with both feet? You mean go —
CALLER: I don’t think Obama could have done what he’s done in the past if the media wasn’t fully supporting him, correct?
RUSH: Yep. That’s pretty good bet. I mean, he needs a slavish media that is covering up for him, ignoring 90% of what he does, and basically acting as a PR firm. Yep.
CALLER: Right. So now he’s kind of going back to this try to change the subject, but he now has his recent track record where things that are not going well. Will the media be skeptical?
RUSH: The mainstream media are like Pavlov’s dogs. That’s my point today, actually. No matter where. Everywhere I look, last night on cable TV, on the blogs, everybody was taking it seriously. Everybody was reacting with the stats on the minimum wage, that they’ve been printing for 25 years or 30 years. Everybody was reacting with the truth about the level of “income inequality.” Everybody’s buying it.
I mean, Obama says this, everybody reacts to it, and the media’s talking about it. Everybody’s all-in. I mean, that was my point. It’s everybody. Even conservative blogs, they bought it. So Obama pivots, and they respond, not by describing what Obama’s doing, but by taking his challenge and trying to prove he’s wrong with what he’s saying. It’s the same battle we’ve been fighting for 25 or 30 years.
The Democrats come out and say, “We need to raise the minimum wage,” and the conservative Republican media then responds with, “Well, let’s get the truth about the minimum wage. It’s this, this, this, this, that, that.” Rather than deal with the strategy and the tactic, the Republicans take the bait and deal with the substance, never reaching the low-information voter, and never bridging the emotional gap.
The Democrats know if they talk about raising the minimum wage, who is opposed to people making more money? Nobody is. Everybody wants everybody to make more money. So just have the Republicans start saying, “Well, the minimum wage, you look at the numbers,” and they start citing statistics that are esoteric to people. That’s what they’re doing now. I can’t tell you the amount of stuff people sent me. “Rush, here’s the truth about income inequality.
“Make sure you tell your audience!” I’ve been saying for 25 or 30 years, and it’s all the same. To answer your question, short version: They’re all in. Wherever Obama goes, they’re gonna follow. The mainstream media are Obama’s first responders. When he’s caught in a tree trying to rescue the cat and neither can get down, the fire department shows up (that’s the media) to go get ‘im out of there. They are the PR firm, the first responders, Pavlov’s dogs, whatever, even now.