RUSH: There is building friction over the Scott Walker ascension in pre-presidential polling for the Republican Party. The appearance of a bunch of Republican wannabes in Iowa a couple of weekends ago, two Saturdays ago, Scott Walker came out of what most people thought was nowhere and delivered a stem-winder. And it was a stem-winder that touched every conservative hot button, and he did so with energy and fearlessness.
It was a shock to a lot of Republicans who, for the life of me, I don’t know how they’ve missed what he has done in Wisconsin. I don’t understand. This is my point, I don’t understand people being surprised. I just can’t understand. Here’s a guy who had to win three elections in four years, the Democrats and the left threw everything they’ve got at him. They threw mean-spiritedness. They threw extremists. They threw he hates kids, wants to starve kids. They threw everything at him, in a blue state, and he beat them back three different times without becoming bitter, and then after he beat them, he implemented his conservative agenda.
He cut unemployment. He cut taxes. He created a surplus in the state, which enabled him to cut taxes. He gave people their money back while maintaining a budget surplus in a blue state. I’m actually running at risk of boring everybody in this audience talking about it, because I have been for so long. But he came out of the blue in Iowa, because so many people were shocked. And one of the reactions that was common after his speech in Iowa was, where did this guy go to get a charisma transplant? This is what some Republicans were saying. A charisma transplant? Well, that tells you what they thought of him before they heard him give the speech.
Now, there are debates raging over why Scott Walker — he cleaned up in this poll of Iowa, Republican voters, he cleaned up in the poll after this event, and the debate’s raging, “Well, did he show up ready to clean clocks, or did he only show well in the poll because of the great speech?” And it’s my contention — and there are Republican establishment types who disagree deeply with me, I think he arrived on conservatives’ radar in Iowa.
I think Tea Party types, the Republican base, I think they know all about Scott Walker. I don’t think he’s a surprise. I don’t think he’s a dark horse. I don’t think he’s somebody they thought needed a charisma transplant. I don’t think it was just the speech he gave that caused him to win the poll, hands down, by the way. But other Republicans think, “Oh, yeah, he gave a great speech. I mean, he knew who his audience was and he hit every note, he just nailed it.”
So whatever, he’s now on the radar. And so a lot of people are trying to either tout it or diminish it by saying things like, “Well, he’s a front-runner now, big whoop. Not gonna stay the front-runner all of this time between now and the election in 2016.” That’s right, by the way. I don’t know the last time — it may not have ever happened, that somebody that’s a front-runner coming out of this event in Iowa ended up getting the nomination. I think somebody told me the last time it happened was in 1980, which would be Reagan, which I could believe. But being the front-runner now. This is early. Not everybody that’s gonna get in is in. Not everybody that’s gonna get in was in Iowa.
Not everybody has got their money men assembled. Not everybody’s got their campaign staff. But he does. See, this is another thing. Walker’s already out raising money. He’s so far ahead of where some of the establishment types think he should be. He’s got his money guys in place, and they’re working, they’re raising money already, and he’s got his position, his policy people in place. He’s got his campaign apparatus up and running. And he’s done this all under the radar. I mean, under the Republican establishment radar. Okay, keep that as an isolated incident over there, Scott Walker and what he’s doing.
Wall Street Journal story today: “‘Reformicons’ Put New Twist on Tax Debate.” Now, wait a minute, what is a Reformicon? Wait ’til you hear this. “A group of young conservatives, dubbed ‘reformicons,’ are making inroads among Republican presidential candidates by arguing the partyÂ’s traditional reliance on broad-based tax cuts, GOP orthodoxy for a generation, isnÂ’t enough to cure middle-class woes.”
No, no. Instead, this young group of conservatives, dubbed the Reformicons, “they are calling for crafting subsidies, tax credits and other public-policy tools based on conservative philosophies and tastes to help the unemployed and other struggling middle-income households.” So what we are being told here in this Wall Street Journal story is that a group of young conservatives in the House actually believe in big government tactics to dole out government assistance here and government assistance there in order to elevate the economic status of people in the middle class, as opposed to the traditional Republican stance of just cut everybody’s taxes and get out of their way and let ’em have at it.
Now, at the root of this, folks, is a belief that — and these young conservatives, the Wall Street Journal says they are conservatives and call them Reformicons, there is a belief, and you may know this, there is a philosophy now within certain elements even of conservative media in Washington who believe that the whole argument over smaller government and limited government has been lost. Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard, was one of the first I remember to suggest that we had better get with it and understand the American people like their government, and they want a big government. They just want it administered better. They just want it administered smarter. But the idea of limited government, reduced government, smaller government, that is a campaign loser now. This is the evolving strategy or theory within even some strains of conservative media.
It’s basically a capitulation. They believe that the American people have decided they want government in their lives and they want a big government in their lives. They just want the government to do things smarter. If there are gonna be benefits doled out by the government, forget giving benefits to people that don’t work, give benefits to people that do. Do you agree with that? I’m asking you. Do you agree that that is how Republicans ought to approach voters with the assumption that they have now grown accustomed to and accept the idea of a big government?
And an active, engaged executive, by the way — this is part of the theory, too — we need an active president, an engaged president who is smart and can really run a big bureaucracy in a very intelligent way, and if there are going to be government benefits, tax credits rather than tax cuts, for example, that they need to be targeted to the right people, in this case people who work, not just people on welfare. And the Wall Street Journal article here is touting this group of conservatives Reformicons who believe that, who believe that subsidies and public policy tools are the new conservatism.
Subsidies, public policy tools are now the way to advance conservative ideas in government much more than simple, across-the-board tax cuts for everybody. “While it is unlikely any would-be Republican nominee would turn his back on tax cuts –” I’m reading now from the story. Oops, I gotta take a break. I just saw the clock.
RUSH: Okay, now back to this Wall Street Journal story. “‘Reformicons’ Put New Twist on Tax Debate.” This is about young conservatives in the House who now believe that big government is what people want, the mass, the majority of the American people have — it’s not they’ve actively chosen it; it’s just evolved, big government is a part of everybody’s life. They just expect it, that the sentiment for reduced government, limited government, smaller government is minority now, not a winning concept.
So the theory now is to find a way to inculcate conservative philosophy into big government administration. And the Journal, by the way, is all for that. The Wall Street Journal would be all for this concept, is now highlighting a bunch of new conservatives in the House who believe this. So the Journal, part of the cabal that believes we can successfully meld conservative principles with big government administration doing it smarter and better, is highlighting these guys.
Now, most of them, I should point out, just give you an example, “The new crop of conservatives, numbering perhaps 50 and mostly in their 30s, are affiliated with the policy journal National Affairs, the American Enterprise Institute and a new group called the YG Network,” founded by an aide to — are you waiting? — dadelut dadelut dadelut dadelut — Eric Cantor. An aide to Eric Cantor, who was just roundly defeated in a shocking upset — he was gonna be the next Speaker. One of his aides is responsible for the creation of this group.
From earlier in the article it says: “Ramesh Ponnuru, a 40-year-old reformicon thinker who recently met with former Florida Gov. Bush, said that kind of thinking prompts ‘a classic retort: Times change and people need to change if they are going to remain relevant.'” Relevant like Eric Cantor remained relevant politically? He’s on Wall Street now, but we’re gonna stay relevant like Eric Cantor did? Ramesh Ponnuru is from National Review, by the way. I think he’s still there, still writes there.
But did these guys miss the midterm elections, I’m wondering? Republicans won an historic landslide at every level of elected office, not with any of this on the ballot. There are now more Republicans in public office than there have been in over a hundred years. Now, in my mind that makes them more relevant than they’ve been in a century. But regardless, be on the lookout for this, folks, because this is the latest effort here on the part of the establishment to peg new conservatives as believers in big government, but smarter big government, using big government with conservative principles. To me it sounds like buying votes.