RUSH: F. Chuck Todd here on the Today Show today, Savannah Guthrie talking to him, and she said, “So, Chuck, what happens next? You have a vacant job over there in the House of Representatives, the Speakership. It’s a powerful job, and yet you don’t have people falling all over themselves to fill it. Why is that?”
TODD: Nobody wants it for the very reasons why John Boehner is leaving the job. The place is impossible to run right now. It’s going to be impossible to run during a presidential election year. The same forces that are dividing the Republican Party — Trump, Carson, Fiorina, from Bush and Rubio and all that stuff — these are the forces in the House that are basically saying, “We don’t want the same people running the House.” So I think McCarthy was gonna be Boehner 2.0. I think a lot of conservatives saw that and I think that’s why they were trying to torpedo this thing.
RUSH: What it boils down to is it’s these forces versus the voters. When was the last time — and I’m not saying it hasn’t happened — but what F. Chuck Todd is saying here is basically all of these establishment types are afraid of the voters. They’re afraid of us. Nobody wants it for the very reason Boehner’s leaving the job. What is the reason Boehner’s leaving the job? We have to assume here the reason Boehner’s leaving the job is he doesn’t like being criticized. These guys forget they committed things to us when they ran for office.
They told us they were conservative. They told us they were gonna stop Obama. They made a great point of this. They told us to rest easy. Mitch McConnell did it, every one of them said it. They know that that’s what they were elected to do. They campaigned on some variation of the premise that they were serious, they were gonna stop Obama, but they don’t, and they haven’t, and they haven’t really seriously tried. And apparently they’re not going to. There isn’t anybody who wants to take the job with the realization that he’s gonna be at odds with the voters for the rest of the term.
So how committed are these establishment types? You know, I think what it points out or what it illustrates is that the inside the Washington Beltway establishment really doesn’t care about voters and public opinion and all that and doesn’t even want to have to deal with it. And whoever’s in this position is gonna get the brunt of the criticism. In the old days, and it wasn’t that long ago, folks, when a political party was the loser of a presidential election, or other elections, that party would honestly assess where it had gone wrong with the voters and would attempt to make it right with the voters.
By that I mean the party would attempt, even if it was just for show, they would attempt to change or modify their beliefs in order to be relevant to the voters because it was the voters who determined who won. And what’s changed is, as far as these guys are concerned, it’s the donors who determine who wins, and, therefore, it’s the donors to whom they have to be loyal, not voters. They don’t even want to go through the motions. So now there’s not even any pretense of mollifying the voters. There’s not even any attempt. I mean, what was it, the 2002 midterms? It was whatever year that I was invited to do election night coverage on NBC with Tim Russert and Brokaw, and I think that was 2002. Yeah, it was, because what happened in that election year, that was the year of the Wellstone memorial.
Now, the rule of thumb is in off-year elections that the party in power loses big in Congress, particularly in House races because there’s always anger at the new president after two years and the voters traditionally want to put something in to stop what they don’t like the new guys doing or whatever. So that meant that the Democrats are gonna have a huge 2002 midterm. But then the Wellstone memorial came along, and they totally alienated the percentage of the American voting population that saw it. I mean, it was over the top. It was supposed to be a memorial, slash, funeral type thing, and it was one of the most viciously mean-spirited, partisan events.
A lot of Wellstone’s Republican colleagues showed up. I mean, it was a memorial, and they were booed and harassed out of the place. The Republicans ended up gaining seats. I’ll never forget Brokaw that night, they were just stunned over what was happening. The Democrats were supposed to just make tracks that night. It was supposed to be huge, and they were losing everywhere. They came to me when it was all over and asked me what had happened, and I gave them my analysis, and I chalked it up as the Wellstone memorial. I said these people just totally misinterpreted where the people of this country are, so forth.
Anyway, the next day — this is what’s different — the next day, the Democrats went out, and this was the second time this had happened in like five years or six. The Democrats went out, and they didn’t mean it, but they started talking about how they were going to have to maybe shift some of their positions to get more in line with value voters because in that 2002 midterms it was a bunch of people that showed up to vote on morality issues, according to exit polls that had turned the tide. And the Democrats, the next day, the next two weeks, didn’t mean it, but they at least went out and said that they realized now they were out of touch with so many Americans and they were shocked and were gonna have to do something about it. That’s gone now. That doesn’t even happen.
There’s no pretense now of a party that loses admitting that it’s maybe lost touch with the American people and needs to do things to get back in touch. This would be a great opportunity, one of I don’t know how many opportunities. You know when the first opportunity Republicans had to coalesce a huge majority of voters in this country was Obamacare. Back in 2010, 2010 gives birth to the Tea Party. The Tea Party springs to life spontaneously, I mean literally effervescently from the dust. There is no leader. There is no official Tea Party party per se.
It’s just a bunch of people, they start showing up at Town Hall meetings, they’re outraged at two things, mainly. Many more, but they’re outraged at Obama’s relentless, endless spending and what it meant for the future of their kids and their grandkids and they were just outraged at Obamacare, the nationalization of the health care system. And if you looked at polling data back then, the Republicans could have aligned themselves with easily a 60% majority of Americans, on just two issues.
They could have created for themselves a huge, loyal base, and they didn’t do it. They did the opposite. They did what the Democrats did. They ran away ’cause the Tea Party is a bunch of kooks. And for a lot of us, this is when the lights really went on. I mean, they’d been burning somewhat dimly. There had been some doubts about the modern day Republican Party, whether it was conservative, in some people’s minds. But this erased all doubts, when the Republican Party made no effort to form a giant governing majority coalition people based on issues. And there have been a number of other incidents like that since 2010. Immigration is one, where the Republican Party’s just sitting on an opportunity to become a huge representative of a majority of thought in this country. And they have never once taken advantage of it. This is another one of those.
There’s no thought to anybody in the House who is representative of a majority of the thinking of the base of the party becoming Speaker. It’s all in the hat here, and they’re running around, who is the next establishment guy up? And the next establishment guy up, whoever it is, they can’t find one that wants to do it ’cause the establishment guy doesn’t want to have to take the heat from the voters. The Republican Party is sitting here on a massive potential majority that could carry into the presidential election, but they don’t want to do it because it would require them joining forces with conservatives, call it Tea Party or whatever, but they just don’t want to do it.
So instead they come up with candidates for Speaker that we are supposed to think, “Well, better than Boehner. This guy’s conservative, he’s been conservative, voted conserve,” this or that. They still continue to play the game of how can we fool them today. And people on our side have become too sophisticated to be fooled by the game of how can we fool them today. So, to me, sitting here in my ravaged state, it just seems to me like another golden opportunity slithering out of their hands, because they’ve never really even tried to grasp it.
RUSH: Open Line Friday, Rush Limbaugh, with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair. This is Bob in Coronado, California. Glad you called, sir, and welcome. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. My comment is this: The Republicans need to pick a winner, somebody who wants to win, not somebody who wants to get along. And I have a very brief example of what I mean. We recently had some Planned Parenthood hearings, and I was shocked beyond belief that you could watch that hearing and not one Republican put a video up on the screen and asked Cecile Richards a difficult question, like, “What does she mean by ‘intact cranium’? What does she mean? What is she selling? What is on this revenue line?” And I say that because back in the days of concentration camps, people like Ike went in with cameramen and took pictures and completely changed the way we would picture a concentration camp. They weren’t just skinny people who were malnourished and so forth. Once you saw the pictures, you were shocked for life. We remember that 70 years later. Why are they not showing the pictures of Planned Parenthood? Do we not want to win? Are we just trying to get along?
RUSH: Why do you think they didn’t?
CALLER: I don’t know. Maybe they think they’re offensive. I can’t imagine. I was mind-boggled.
RUSH: Well, let me see if I can help. I think maybe the fact that they didn’t really ask Cecile “Ma” Richards any really hard questions — and I think the fact that they didn’t show any video evidence of the butchery going on at Ma Richards joint hearing — is because what they were really doing was simply putting on a show designed to prove to people like you that they are defending the cause. There really was no intent to do any damage to Planned Parenthood. There wasn’t really any intent.
They probably decided they had to do this because it had so outraged and shocked the base. They had to go through the motions of this, but they weren’t really gonna get to the bottom of it. You talk about it in terms of winning. I know what you mean. And there are theories abound that some of them on the Republican side don’t want to win ’cause they don’t want to work at the job of actually running that place and governing it from the standpoint of being aggressive and advancing an agenda. It’s a lot of work to do that. It’s very hard. The media is gonna be crucifying you every day, and some of them just don’t want to put up with that. I think the money people behind Planned Parenthood carry a big stick. So I think they just basically put on a show hoping to mollify people like you.
CALLER: But, Rush, don’t we have fighters at all? I mean, I would think there would be some 35- or 40-year-old conservative Republican that would just fight.
RUSH: Well, they’ve gotta get on a committee first. I mean, they’ve gotta be assigned to a committee first, and who does that?
CALLER: I know.
RUSH: I mean, you’re asking a valid question: Where are the fighters? Join the club, here! We got seven years of the most radical, extreme, leftist political agenda that this country has seen since Woodrow Wilson, and there hasn’t been any real attempt to stop it inside the Beltway. Inside Washington there has not been a severe effort to stop it. I’ve got a piece here in the Stack that is a really good piece on how the economy today is worse than it was during the Great Depression. And it makes the following point.
During the Great Depression, the population was less than, obviously, it is today. You know what the total number of unemployed people was during the Depression? 12.5 million. Today it’s 46, 48 million unemployed. The soup lines, Great Depression and the pictures, they exist today, except they don’t have to stand in line at a soup kitchen. They get an EBT card. They get a debit card and they go redeem the debit card. The point of the story the government’s done a great job at hiding depressions. But we’re actually a worse economy.
Ninety-six million Americans are not working, and there hasn’t been any push-back against this. That 5.1% unemployment rate’s an outright lie. So my point is that you’re wanting push-back on Planned Parenthood, you’re wanting fighters, where is it? My point to you, there isn’t any, and hasn’t been any for seven years. I think that’s one of the reasons why this job of speaker, again, remains open. People are looking at it as an opportunity to get a fighter in there, somebody that’s gonna finally stand up and lead the House in an effort of stopping Obama from doing what he intends to do for the remaining year that he has, whatever it is, 14 or 15 months now.
And it’s clear the establishment doesn’t want any part of that. They don’t want any stopping. They don’t want to have to put up with a fight. They don’t want any part of that, and at some point that’s the battle. People who want to fight, people who don’t, and how to mollify those of us who want to fight into accepting people who aren’t going to.