RUSH: Carson City, Nevada, next, Dan. Thank you, sir, for calling. Nice to have you with us. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, thank you very much. It’s a real pleasure and an honor to be on your program and to speak with you. I’ve listened to your program for a very long time. My kids are reading your books, and I just stand in awe of everything you’ve done and the importance of the role you’ve played for our country.
RUSH: Well, here I’m thinking I’m not doing nearly a good enough show today for you people and you call and say that, so I appreciate you. Thank you very much.
CALLER: Sure thing. Something you said in the last segment really resonated with me, and for all the times I tried to call before, I’ve always gotten a busy signal, but I stuck with it and I got through.
RUSH: Well, it must be that you were meant to get through. It must be that what you’re going to say was meant to be said.
CALLER: Okay. Well, I got a couple things I’d like to say. I’m not sure either one of them is particularly profound, but with regard to a Obama succeeding Bush and how it seems like such a reaction by the electorate and how it seemed like there should have been a number of things intervening between the two, I look at it differently. I think that Obama was only possible because of Bush and he was a reaction to Bush. Obama used Bush’s actions to invalidate Hillary’s run in 2008, and I think as strong as the reaction was for Obama to get in there, that that would not have been possible but for the feeling among so many people that Bush’s presidency had been such a failure. And I voted for Bush twice without regret, even as I sit here now, but, you know, I do think that —
RUSH: I need to ask you a question.
RUSH: Not a cop-out question. All during the eight years of Bush. Let’s focus on the second term of Bush. All the while that the media is trying to destroy Bush, lying about the economy, trying to tell people we’re in a recession when we’re not, doing the body counts coming out of Iraq. Do you realize, and I made the point then, in a training mission for D-Day we lost more airmen than the total number of soldiers lost in Iraq during the total number of years we were there? In one training mission. I kept making this point and yet it didn’t resonate.
My point is that I voted for Bush twice. I did not think that his presidency was failed, not in the way the media was portraying it. I mean, there were things I wish he would have done differently that would have been more conservative and so forth, but the idea — was Bush’s presidency a failed presidency or did the media succeed in defining it as such helped by Bush not fighting back, not returning fire, not correcting any of the things that were being said about him? I mean, it’s a moot point now, but in trying to assess public opinion about it, I think it’s relevant.
CALLER: I think it’s totally fair to say. And I’d go on further and say that if, you know, the media treated Obama the same way they treated Bush, Obama would likely have been run out of town by now.
RUSH: Well, look, I don’t want to go there because that’s not gonna happen. I’m bouncing off —
CALLER: I know.
RUSH: No, I’m taking very seriously what you said. I’m bouncing off the fact that you said Bush made Obama possible, meaning Bush had to screw up so badly that Obama was able to act like a messiah and a magic elixir who is gonna fix everything, and if indeed the American people — see, I guess what you’re saying is — and maybe I’ve missed this, were the American people the last three years of Bush as depressed, as disappointed, as angry as they are now? Or more so?
CALLER: I think there was more of a shock factor back then, Rush, because starting with the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and as it went right through up to Election Day, I mean, McCain was in pretty good shape, as I recall, right up until about Labor Day and right up until about the failure of Lehman Brothers. And you can talk about, you know, the media reaction to Sarah Palin and what have you, but, I mean, we were experiencing many days of multihundred-point drops in the Dow —
RUSH: Yeah, but look — (crosstalk)
CALLER: — there had really been a foundation shaking thing going on with the economy in the last few months of Bush’s presidency. And I think that helped Obama, but, you know, fundamentally, Obama was basically the same candidate as Kerry. I mean, they’re both very liberal senators, never held a job, never sponsored important legislation. They were just guys who, you know, would get up and give a speech. But obviously Obama had a degree of charisma and perhaps other qualities that Kerry did not, and I think his timing was a lot better.
RUSH: Well, here’s another way of assessing this, and actually it’s a more optimistic, at least in part, way of doing so. I don’t think we can talk about Obama and winning without talking about race, either. But I’m really struck now, I’ve gotta go back and rethink myself and come up with a way of expressing this. I know what they were trying to do to Bush. I know what the media was trying to do. I’m an objective person. I’m very honest with myself, especially, and I saw exactly what was happening with the so-called financial crisis.
A whole bunch of things were being manipulated to make this country look like it was in much worse shape than it was, and I was just a little stunned that so many people bought it, but they did. But I don’t know how in the world you can look, let’s just take one thing, let’s take a look at jobs now compared to jobs in 2006 or 2007. That was panacea. That was utopia then compared to now. We had full unemployment. We had nobody living at home with their parents. None of what’s happening today was happening at the tail end of Bush. None of it was. Yet people think that is what caused this? And I know they still do. It burns me.
RUSH: Let me tackle another question, ’cause I get this all the time. “Well, Rush, you keep talking about Reagan and all of that, but you know, the era of Reagan’s over. It was so long ago,” or whatever. You know, the question is: How did Reagan overcome the media? The media hated Reagan as much as they hate Bush. The media hated Reagan as much as they’ve hated Nixon.
The media hated Reagan as much as anybody has ever hated the Republicans. Don’t doubt me. For those of you that weren’t alive, don’t doubt me. Reagan was hated and despised. The players were different. Their names were Sam Donaldson and Dan Blather and so forth. He was just as despised as any media hated Bush or Nixon. Yet you’ve heard that, “Yeah, well, but Reagan, he had this charisma.
“He was able to speak directly to the American people. He was able to go over the heads of the media and speak to the people unfiltered.” True. But that’s not why Reagan succeeded. It all comes down to the same thing: Substance and reality versus spin, PR, buzz, and myth. The end result? Look at what happened when Reagan was president. The economy grew like gangbusters.
I don’t care what the media was saying. The reality was that the economy was great. We were vanquishing communist foes with our foreign policy. The point here is, the way you overcome the media is with success on the ground. But you don’t vie for buzz success or a PR success and you don’t try to have success that’s defined by persuading as many people as possible you’re successful.
You define success by being successful, implementing policies that work and that really benefited people because they help themselves. The reason Reagan was able to overcome the media is because his policies revived a country which was in as bad a shape in the latter seventies as it is now, which is precisely what we need again. We don’t need PR tactics to try to convince the media we’re not mean or bad.
We don’t need tactics to get the media fooled. We just need somebody who is unabashedly and unafraid-ly conservative who will implement policies that will work and will bring actual positive results to people’s lives, and then it doesn’t matter what the media says. They’ll look like buffoons, like they did in the eighties. It’s just substance over symbolism, reality over buzz. That’s all it is.
RUSH: Let me tell you something. Reagan was handed a bigger mess than Obama ever dreamed of having, and Hillary’s gonna have a bigger mess than Obama ever had if she is the nominee, which is a whole different discussion.
RUSH: Here is Jim in Saratoga Springs in New York. Welcome, sir, to the program. Great to have you here. Hi.
CALLER: Rush, all your points are valid as to why we are in the situation we are in now. I mean, definitely, everyone can agree to that. I think what you have to look back to — I mean, I had to modify my train of thought a little bit during the break, but I think because of George Bush Sr., who I deeply respect, we got eight years of Bill Clinton. You know, we had, “No new taxes; read my lips.” We had, “I’m a compassionate conservative.” I mean, those two phrases were famous. I mean, why would you even have to define conservatives as compassionate? I mean, that’s the first problem.
Then we had eight years of Bill Clinton, we had the ’94 sweep, majority in the House. And then we had Republicans that went squeaky kneed. And then the media says, okay, Bill Clinton is the greatest man, he’s the first black president. But yet they never told the truth that it was because of Republicans in the House that controlled Bill Clinton’s spending that we had a balanced budget. You never hear that from the media. And then after eight years of Bill Clinton, then we had George Bush, George W. Bush, which was, you know, I respect him deeply. We had three successful years, but then he started spending towards the latter end of the second term.
He let the media (unintelligible) entire role, did not fight back. They let the media get away with murder. They let ’em define Republicans. They let them get away with all the lies about the Iraq war. None of that was fought back with. I think the media has had over a dozen years, and I don’t (unintelligible) about Hollywood, academia, so more of the generation that was coming up, to say that Republicans are evil, conservatives are evil, they’re nothing good about conservatism, they never articulate it. I became a conservative because of Ronald Reagan.
I was a college liberal and he planted the seed for me to become a conservative. And over the years it’s because of people like you and Mark Levin and many others that have enlightened me in how conservatism works and liberalism is a failure. And I just have to tell people all the time, my family, friends, that liberalism is the wrong path for this country. And I’d show them example after example, and once you show them they can’t look at the truth and turn their head. They have to look in their mind and say okay —
RUSH: Jim, let me interrupt. Let me take you back to the beginning of your call when you cited George H. W. Bush, “read my lips: no new taxes,” and then W with compassionate conservatism. Is your point that those two guys were trying to pass themselves off as conservatives and gave it a bad name and helped the Democrats tar and feather conservatism, is that is that your point?
CALLER: Yes. They kind of said, “Well, I’m a little embarrassed to be a conservative,” because they let the media and even some Republicans say, “Well, we’re not really, you know, pro-life. We can’t be pro-life and be a conservative.” Or just the whole thought, what you were talking about years ago, about how when you had that meeting with some Republican women, said, you can’t bring that up. It’s just the whole concept of establishment Republicans.
RUSH: Yeah, that was Ann Stone. That was a mess. Houston convention in ’92. Oh, man, was that… (sigh) yes siree bob. I remember that. Republican Women for Choice or some such thing. Well, Jim, there’s some validity to what you say. Look, it all boils down to he’s a Reaganite, a Reaganite ’cause it worked. He’s not a conservative for conservative’s sake. He’s a conservative ’cause it works. It worked. It’s kind of like abstinence. It does every time it’s tried. That is one of the profound, frustrating things.