RUSH: Let’s go to the audio sound bites, because this is the next phase of this, and that is this internecine war going on within conservatism.
First up, CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday morning, Brian Stelter the host, and he brought in Jackie Calmes from the New York Times who wrote this big, long piece last week about how talk radio is steering the Republican Party down the wrong path and everybody’s afraid of talk radio. The Republican Party, it’s just a shame. Washington was so much better before there was talk radio, Washington was so much better before there was Fox News, and now this has messed everything up.
So she’s studying the impact of conservative media on national politics, and to start the discussion, Brian Stelter said…
STELTER: Your main take-away from your research was that — and your title of your paper, even, They Don’t Give a Damn About Governing — is that these conservative media, uh, powers, the Rush Limbaughs of the world, that th-they’re not necessarily interested in what the Republican Party establishment is interested in. Where does Trump fall in that? He’s clearly anti-establishment.
RUSH: You see, the title of this? “They Don’t Give a Damn About Governing.” Where does this come from? What does “governing” now mean, being led by liberals? Is that what governing means? What does governing mean? Controlling? Government is not controlling. That’s what the modern practitioners of it, however, think it is. We want to be liberated from a controling government. What does that mean, can’t govern? What does that mean?
“Well, we can’t work together with Democrats to get legislation.” Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe we got too many laws. Maybe there’s too much legislation. We got too much Obamacare. We got too many EPA regulations. We got too many onerous regulations in the way of people. We got too many tax laws. What do you mean, we can’t govern? Seems to me the people that have been governing have making mistakes and botching everything.
From the stimulus to Obamacare to this Iran deal, to everything else Obama’s done on the economy, somebody tell me where it’s working. He sure as hell is governing, though. What does this mean, “don’t give a damn about governing”? I’ll tell you what it means. Conservatives don’t care about governing means they’re not willing to sit on their hands and let liberals have their way. So Jackie Calmes, it’s her turn to answer. This is what she said.
CALMES: Right. And that’s, uh, part of the secret of [Trump’s] appeal. He’s tapping into something. Because as much as Fox is valued by conservative voters, I found, eh, to my surprise somewhat that there is a really healthy strain on the right of people who have now grown suspicious of Fox News as well. And even before that Fox News debate, I picked up a lot of complaints from people who are for Ted Cruz.
RUSH: Okay, now, to put this in proper context, this woman’s original piece was how Fox News (just like they said about talk radio in the early days) created a bunch of mind-numbed robots that can’t think for themselves. Fox News is this mindless, strident, extremist, conservative organization that’s screwing everything up, and the audience is a bunch of idiots, blindly following whatever they hear.
She writes the piece, she goes out and she does some research, and she finds out — and it took research for this — she finds out that there are a really healthy strain of people on the right who’ve grown suspicious of Fox News as well. She’s one of the brightest minds on the left and she had to do research to find out that Trump is anti-establishment? She had to do research to find out that Fox is viewed by many as part of the establishment? That’s not news to people. It is to her. So she ends up pleasantly surprised. You know what, there are conservatives out there angry as Fox, too, as though she honestly did not know that.
Esther Goldberg writing in the American Spectator: “Trump Derangement Syndrome — It affects not just RINOs but establishment conservatives as well.” And this thing takes no prisoners. Esther Goldberg. “Thursday morning,” she begins, “Thursday morning I prepared a lovely prune-based compote. My husband adores this dessert, but I wondered if I shouldnÂ’t send it over to George WillÂ’s house, as an act of mercy. For Will has never before seemed as constipated as he did in his Thursday morning column on Donald Trump, whom he describes as ‘an unprecedentedly and incorrigibly vulgar presidential candidate.'”
Esther Goldberg says, “What exactly does Will mean by ‘vulgar’? Is it an epithet that Washington arbiters of taste use to describe the regular vernacular and humor of everyday Americans? If you eschew complex ambiguity in favor of language that everyone can understand, does that make you vulgar?” I mean, this is a huge hit on George Will by Ms. Goldberg here. Vulgar? What is vulgar? “If you eschew complex ambiguity in favor of language that everyone can understand, does that make you vulgar?” In other words, if you speak plainly are you vulgar?
“In a nod to personal liberty, Will grants that TrumpÂ’s ‘squalid performance and its coarsening of civic life are costs of freedom that an open society must be prepared to pay.’ Yes, democracy is like that. It is exuberant, and accommodates a glorious diversity of taste and expression. ‘Life, like a dome of many-colored glass,/Stains the white radiance of Eternity,’ wrote Percy Bysshe Shelley in Adonias. I, for one, adore the stunning display of colors and shapes with which God endowed this world. ThereÂ’s room here for the Trumps as well as the Wills.”
And here’s the pull quote, the money quote. “The problem for ruling class conservatives like Will –” and she quotes also a National Review writer Charles Cooke. “The problem for ruling class conservatives like Will and Cooke, is that the left has emasculated them. They tremble lest they let slip a faux pas that the left can jump upon. They must at all times show that their conservatism is ‘intellectually respectable and politically palatable,’ and worry that Trump will make them look bad to the liberals and their media. They are unable to grasp the fact that, notwithstanding all their efforts, the left will never regard them as respectable and palatable. To achieve that goal, they must first become liberals themselves.”
Well, this is just a reworking of an often-stated belief held by me on this program, and that is that many inside the so-called conservative media, Republican Party, you name it, are very much concerned, when they go after talk radio, the reason they do it is they don’t want to be thought of as being vulgar like talk radio, or extreme or whatever. They want to be thought of as brilliant, smartest people in the room, acceptable by people on the left. In other words, the left are still the powerful people. The left are still the people you must please.
The left are still the people whose approval you must gain, even if it means you must relentlessly attack and smear people on your own side, and that’s essentially what she is saying is happening here. Ruling class conservatives have been emasculated by the left because their primary motive is to be accepted by the left. And that’s the town, by the way, when I say that the left runs everything about Washington, they run the political culture, they run the social culture, they run it all.
And if you want to be a big guy inside that universe, those are the people that you have to be on good terms with. And the way you do that is by doing and saying things palatable to them. That’s the point she’s making. And then she says Trump doesn’t care. He makes clear he doesn’t give a damn what liberals think. And everyday people of all political persuasions applaud when he stands up to the self-important, elitist media just as they did with Newt Gingrich in 2012 at one of the debates, and just as they did with Newt Gingrich back in 1994.
RUSH: Right on. Right on. And to the phones we go. We’re gonna start with Joe in Bear, Delaware. Joe, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. On Friday I was listening to you, you made a comment regarding you said something about your number one priority was to defeat the Democrats. That was the most important thing. And you were talking about the debates. You were saying that anybody on that Republican debate stage was preferable to Hillary or any other Democrat. Rush, I gotta disagree. I think unfortunately our number one priority has to be to defeat the Republican establishment first, ’cause we’ll never make any progress against liberalism or Democrats until we stop the establishment from undermining conservatives.
RUSH: Well, you may have a point, but for those who didn’t hear Friday’s program I want to — you quoted me accurately, but I want to put it in context. We had a couple seminar callers on Friday, I could spot ’em a mile away. I’m an expert now at this. And because there have been whispers out there about why I, Mr. Conservative, the Mister Big, have not condemned Trump, have not disowned Trump, have not thrown Trump overboard, and of course the reason for the question is maybe he’s not the conservative we’ve always thought. Maybe I am, somebody else would say. Maybe Limbaugh’s always been a — because everybody’s always gunning for position one.
And I, in explaining, you know, I was not gonna take the direct premise of the question ’cause I recognized it as a trap and a trick, so I told the guy my objective here is to beat Democrats, and I went on to give a long reason why. I think the only way to save this country from the direction we’re heading is to defeat the people who are driving that bus, and that’s the Democrats. We’ve got to stop this country going in the direction the Democrats are taking us. And I said this is my first priority, not purity of ideology or anything else; in real life, the Democrats have to be defeated. Now, that may include similar type thinking when found in the Republican establishment. I’m not gonna argue with you about that, but who do you want to aim at?
CALLER: I want to aim at Republican establishment politicians and also the media, which brings me to what I heard yesterday. I heard George Will say something so asinine, I could not believe what he said on Fox News Sunday. He was talking about the people who e-mail in to him and to Chris Wallace complaining, conservatives who complain, and he’s saying, well, the people who e-mail in and complain about Boehner and McConnell not getting anything done really should be complaining about James Madison because of the separation-of-powers and, you know, that’s why we can’t get anything done. So he threw a Founding Father under the bus in order to defend Boehner and McConnell. He said we should just get over separation of powers. I was stunned.
RUSH: Yeah, I got a lot of e-mail — I didn’t watch. I don’t watch Sunday shows anymore for a host of reasons, but I heard via e-mail practically everything that was said on that show yesterday. From Arthur Brooks calling people like you a low-information voter simply because you do not realize the dangers portended by Trump, and I some reaction.
CALLER: What he said was such a perfect example of why we need to first direct our fire at the establishment, whether it be the media or the politicians.
RUSH: You put it out there. I’m sure some people will react. Have to a quick time-out. Thanks very much, Joe. I appreciate you got through.
RUSH: We’re coming straight to you. But since we had Joe from Delaware on talking about Fox News Sunday, let’s go to some of those sound bites. Rather than speculate, let’s just listen to ’em. We’ll start with George Will. This is during the Sunday panel of All Stars, analyzing things after the guests have finished. And Chris Wallace said, “You know, interesting poll results. Candidates like Jeb Bush, who voters say overwhelmingly is qualified to be president, are now lagging in the polls.”
He’s talking about the Fox News poll, Trump up 25%. That’s not supposed to happen. Trump was… I mean, this is the first quote/unquote “real poll” since Republican debate. All the polls previous to this one have been phone polls, Internet polls, the kind of polls that some would say are unserious, needed to wait on this. And this Fox poll shows pretty much what all those others said. Cruz, Carson, and Trump are the winners.
Jeb Bush lost ground. John Kasich lost ground. All the supposed winners didn’t do well in the polling data. So, anyway, Wallace is talking about that to George Will and says, “Interesting poll results. Candidates like Jeb Bush — who voters say overwhelmingly is qualified — are now lagging in the polls. And, meanwhile, candidates like Trump and Carson and Cruz, who voters say are not qualified, are the three front-runners. Which raises the question: What’s going on here, George?”
WILL: This is a version of the 1960s fad called primal-scream therapy. They’re supposed to shout and get rid of all your repressed pain from childhood. This is, of course, particularly so for Mr. Trump. And what makes him fragile as a candidate is, first of all, he’s a one-trick pony. He consists of saying, “I’m rich, everyone who disagrees with me is stupid, and all our problems are simple if you’ll put me in charge.” Since we are at the end of this gonna send [sic] a president, people have to say, “Do we really want to give nuclear weapons to Donald Trump?” at which point, I think things change.
RUSH: Okay! (laughing) I didn’t hear about that one. That’s… (laughing) Can anybody say Barry Goldwater? I mean, these are the exact things that the Democrats said about Barry Goldwater back in 1964. They ran TV ads… You remember the Daisy Ad? For those of you too young or too inattentive back then to remember, Barry Goldwater was running against LBJ 1964, and they ran an ad of a little girl picking daisies out in the fields, some field.
It’s a black and white ad (I think it was black and white), and she’s picking daisies, and the narrator is saying whatever the narrator is saying, and the thing ends with a mushroom cloud. A nuclear bomb goes off and the images of poor little girl picking daisies vaporized with the message: This is what will happen if Barry Goldwater’s elected president! You let Barry Goldwater near that nuclear button, you’re done.
They tried this with Reagan, too. Yeah, the Democrats did in 1980 and 1984. Well, particularly 1980, and even during the Reagan administration. Gorbachev, of course, was the savior; Reagan was the nuclear cowboy who couldn’t be trusted. But this is… So George Will is now turning Trump into Barry Goldwater now, and you people are having a temper tantrum, primal scream therapy. You have all of these frustrations, repressed pain that you just gotta get out of your system.
You’re so fit and ready to explode, and Trump is your vehicle. And then once you do that, you will come to your senses and realize that we don’t want to give nuclear weapons to Donald Trump. Chris Wallace then said to Arthur Brooks, who is the president of the American Enterprise Institute, “How do you explain, as we see this latest Fox poll, the surge of Trump — the surge of Fiorina, Ben Carson — at the expense of all these sitting former governors and senators with all of their credentials?”
BROOKS: George Will has it just right. This is a low-information, high-entertainment, high-protest moment. It’s summertime. It’s the same thing in the movies. It’s low-information, high-entertainment. Republican voters always aggregate up toward kind of this mainstream person.
RUSH: So that… I got a lot of e-mail about that one. So we now have a Republican or conservative think tank director saying that you who support Trump are low-information voters. Now, when we talk about low-information voters on this program, who do we mean? We’re talking about mind-numbed, brain-dead liberals who watch E! Entertainment TV and TMZ and gorge on all this pop culture stuff.
And they’ll run into a story from the New York Times and believe it and they’ll run into a story in the Washington Post and believe it ’cause they won’t see anything else, and they just soak it all up like sponges. That’s who we mean by low-information voters. They don’t really know what’s going on but think they do. Well, that’s… I just learned, the inside-the-Beltway conservatives think that you are the low-information voters if you support Trump. Right now you’re just essentially going to the movies.
It’s summertime; you gotta get this out of your system.
“George Will had it just right.”
So next Chris Wallace said to Brooks, “Let me interrupt that for a moment. When you say ‘low-information,’ that just makes people’s blood boil. They say, ‘This isn’t low-information. This is a considered judgment. The Republicans said, “Give us a majority in 2010, 2014,” and things haven’t changed, Arthur. Barack Obama talked about hope and change. They haven’t changed in the right direction.” They say this isn’t low-information; they’ve gotten something you haven’t gotten.”
BROOKS: I’m not saying that people are ignorant. What I’m saying is that they’re not asking for specifics about policy. That’s not what people are interested in at this point in the cycle. Republican voters will gravitate toward the person who’s most qualified to be president. The challenge for the protest candidates is to get those numbers up. That’s the most important thing. Republicans always come back to… They came back to Mitt Romney. They come back to the candidate who’s most qualified.
RUSH: Well, if it’s policy… See, this is where I think some of these people may be standing on thin ice or maybe even some quicksand, because it is policy, specific policy that people are objecting to. And that specific policy is called amnesty. Executive amnesty, whatever kind of amnesty that is specifically policy that they don’t approve of and don’t like, just like they don’t like Obamacare, which is policy.
They don’t like any number of policies. They don’t like the Iran nuclear deal, which is policy. I think the opposition to Obama is policy related. And to say that the support of Trump is devoid of policy, that Trump has… Of course, while Arthur Brooks was making this comment, Trump was presenting his specific, point-by-point policy proposal for immigration. You know, I listen to these guys. I think I pretty much understand all of this. When you listen to these guys talk about why do…
We have all these sitting governors and senators and their credentials and their experience, and people that vote Republican are asking themselves, “What good is it? What good has it done us? We have given them majorities 2010 and 2014. Where are our policies anywhere in the public debate? They aren’t anywhere. What good is all this ‘experience’ doing us? We don’t see any evidence of it.
“What good are all of these ‘qualifications’ if the objective is to never disagree with Obama, never oppose Obama — or very rarely? Maybe do it just for public consumption, but no real substance behind it.” This is not just some flash-in-the-pan thing that has just popped up. This has been brewing. This anti-establishment attitude aimed at Republicans has been brewing for years here. It really isn’t new.
You can say that Perot tapped into it in 1992. And who knows what would have happened if he actually hadn’t gotten out that first time. He didn’t want to win this. But I think it is policy. The people that are supporting Trump think that it is policy they are supporting and policy that they are objecting to. I don’t think this is nearly as complicated or nuanced as these inside-the-Beltway types want to make this out to be.
It isn’t that hard to understand, and it’s not because people are slow or focused on celebrity or being entertained or what have you. There are people in this country who are terribly, terribly afraid we’re losing it, and they don’t hear that attitude reflected anywhere. All they hear about is Republicans want to compromise with the people who are the architects of this destruction. And they’re asking, “Why do we want to compromise with that? That should be defeated.”
Where’s the push-back? What’s this talk about compromise, bipartisanship, working together? It’s not gonna get us anywhere. This stuff needs to be stopped. That’s what these Republicans have been elected to do, whether they want to admit it or not. And the people that elected ’em just haven’t seen any such behavior. It really isn’t that complicated.
One more before we go to the break. Wallace said, “Okay, look, George Will, I have to tell you, I was deluged by e-mails, it’s really on my mind, and I got a lot of e-mail about you and your somewhat unkind comments over the last couple of weeks about Trump. Do you want to take any of it back?”
WILL: No. A lot of people sending you e-mails are angry. They’re angry at Mitch McConnell and they’re angry at John Boehner. They should be angry at James Madison. Their problem is we sent all these Republicans to Washington and they still can’t work their will from Congress. The fact is the separation of powers, which is there for a reason and served us well over time, is an impediment to getting things done in Washington. Get over it.
RUSH: See, now I’ll tell you, it’s more the way he said that that irritates people than what he said. This isn’t a separation of powers issue. Look, in 2010, after the Republicans won the House, they said, “We can’t do anything. Harry Reid’s over there and he’s stopping everything, nothing we can do. We need Republicans in the Senate.” Bingo. Here you go. Republicans were given control of the Senate.
Now what do we hear? “Well, Obama’s gonna veto, we really can’t, and, you know, it’s a presidential year now, and we can’t really go out and argue with Obama. People love Obama. We’ve gotta make it look like we can govern, and so the Constitution says things aren’t supposed to get done. James Madison, we’re gonna take refugee in the fact that things not getting done is exactly what the framers of the Constitution wanted.”
Well, things not getting done equals the implementation of the Obama agenda. Things are getting done is the problem. Are we to believe that there’s no stopping Obama? There’s simply no way, that it didn’t matter whether we won the House in 2010, didn’t matter whether we won the Senate in 2014 because, in any case, we can’t stop Obama anyway? Because until we win the presidency, we can’t do anything?
Well, how do the Democrats always seem to stop us when we’re in the White House and they only have one body? They’ve got the House, they’ll shut down the funding. How come they know how to stop Republicans when they’re in the minority?
RUSH: So let’s see, George Will says we can’t give Trump a nuclear weapon. It’s okay if Iran gets ’em. It’s okay if Iran gets nuclear weapons but not Donald Trump. Okay. How come separation of powers isn’t stopping Obama? I’ll tell you why, he’s bypassing Congress! He is (raspberry)-ing on the Constitution, that’s how. Has anybody inside the Beltway noticed this? We are not at a standstill here. There may be congressional gridlock going on, but it doesn’t stop Obama.
The Republicans are not stopping him. He’s ruling by decree. What does that have to do with separation of powers? The Iran deal is a perfect example of how Obama is ignoring the separation of powers. Hell, the way Obamacare came to be is an example of it.