What Palin’s Trump Speech Says About the State of the Conservative Movement
Jan 20, 2016
RUSH: Man, are we loaded today. I’ll tell you right now, it’s going to take all three hours and then some. I’m gonna try to get it all in here in three hours. Much of today is gonna build on points that I have been making the past two days, evolving, growing, adding evidence to it, all rooted around the question, who is and what is the conservative movement, and why is it apparently behaving so oddly? I think I can explain this and much else to all of you as the program unfolds today before your very eyes and ears. It will explain the massive support for Donald Trump that people can’t figure out. It will explain why there’s abject hatred and panic over Trump in the Washington Republican and even conservative media establishment.
Trump picking Sarah Palin, or Palin deciding to endorse Trump just exacerbates it. And, by the way, Sarah Palin is gonna help me make my points today, because I read the transcript for her speech that she made, and it’s actually — the speech that Palin made yesterday for Trump, I saw people pan it, say she looked like she lost her place, she was reading cue cards, she didn’t seem to be all there. I didn’t see it, but I read the transcript of her speech, and I’m telling you it is — well, I don’t want to overdo it and say brilliant, but I’ll tell you, she’s got substantive, logical reasons for doing what she’s doing. And she explained it yesterday for anybody who really wanted to pay attention to listen to it. So I’m gonna explain that.
RUSH: These are just thoughts that I had that I’m sharing with you. Don’t attach any more to it. I want to warn you, this may not be good for me to say, and I’m gonna try to make it so it’s not necessary, but you may need a lot of nuance listening to me today. Avoid knee jerks today if you can and hang in as I go through some of this stuff, because it’s not complicated, but it is detailed. And of course I, ladies and gentlemen, excel at making the complex understandable.
This actually isn’t that complex. It’s just so strange. I’m not trying to be cryptic. I tell you, the last couple of days, remember the piece in National Review, David French, where he speculated that one of the problems going on with the Republican Party is they don’t even know who their base is, that they have overestimated who their conservative base is. They do not understands it and overestimate it. In other words, the conservative base is not nearly as conservative as they think it is, nor is it conservative as they define it.
That’s key. The way the Republican establishment defines conservatism is not what it is. To them it’s hayseed hicks, pro-lifers running around in pickup trucks with shotguns in the back, bitter clingers. You know, Obama’s not just speaking for himself on that. There are a lot of people in Washington in both parties who have that opinion of conservatives, and the Republicans might even look at their own base in that regard. But the truth is that they’ve overestimated the conservative base and furthermore they are clueless in understanding what it is that motivates their own base, and, as such, they’re incapable of understanding why Trump has any support.
Now, I’m gonna explain all that to you today, and more. ‘Cause I have been researching it, delving deeply into it. My own instincts in this from a year ago are being confirmed on a couple of things. Snerdley tells me… I didn’t… I haven’t seen this, but why would I doubt Snerdley? I mean, why would I think Snerdley would be wrong about this? Why would I think Snerdley would come to me with something wrong?
He’s telling me that George Will… Is it a column today? (interruption) Well, you read it today. I don’t know when it was published, but apparently George Will is saying that if Trump wins, he’s advocating third party. (interruption) That he will go third party? (interruption) Oh, it was an interview? (interruption) It’s not a column? (interruption) All right. All right. (interruption) Oh. If it’s in your stack, I’ll find it. I’ve been swamped in here.
I haven’t had a chance to go through it. Anyway, George Will is talking third party. I can explain why that’s happening, too, folks.
RUSH: I think, folks, the thing that’s happening here, the awakening that’s taking place, and I think it’s a serious awakening that is taking place within the Republican Party and the so-called conservative movement. When I talk about the conservative movement, to me I’m talking about Washington. I’m not talking about you in the grassroots. I’m talking about the establishment, conservative media, the brainiacs, the think tanks, the professors. And it’s not bad, don’t misunderstand. I’m just saying that there is a new understanding of who out in the country is actually conservative and who isn’t.
I think what’s actually being revealed here is that the Republican Party itself and even some of the conservative intelligentsia has misjudged and overestimated the conservatism of the base, negatively. They have a negative connotation of conservatism. They don’t like it, obviously. They think it’s the pro-lifers, the social issues, that’s what they think conservatives are, and that that’s all they are.
And they’re embarrassed of ’em, don’t like going to the convention with ’em, and their wives nag ’em about it. And what’s being discovered here by virtue of the Trump candidacy is that this misunderstanding is being exposed. And it’s now out in the open that the Republican conservative base is not monolithically conservative. It has lots of components that have been lumped together as conservative maybe for the past 30 years. And there are some people who think that this masquerade’s over, is good that it’s over, that the idea that conservatism is one type of thinking and one person and a monolithic thing, some people think it’s a great idea to have this blown up.
I think the best way to explain it is that there are a lot of people in this country who are conservative. There are a lot of those people that won’t admit it, for whatever reason, don’t want anybody to know it, for whatever reason or another, and therefore they live and vote and do things for the most part which are conservative, certainly not liberal. But that’s not the glue that unites them all. If it were, if conservatism — this is the big shock — if conservatism were the glue, the belief and understanding of deep but commonly understood conservative principles, if that’s what defined people as conservative and was the glue that made the conservative movement a big movement, then Trump would have no chance.
He literally would have no chance. Because, whatever he is he’s not and never has been known as a doctrinaire conservative. But neither is John McCain. Neither is 90% of the Republican Party, so it’s not a criticism. It’s not an allegation. The point is that if conservatism were this widely understood, deeply held belief system that united conservatives and united people as conservatives, then outsiders like Trump wouldn’t stand a prayer of getting support from people. Yet he is. Therefore, it’s safe to conclude that there are other things at play here that make people conservative. And look, I’m gonna go back to it.
The thing that’s in front of everybody’s face and it’s apparently so hard to believe, it’s this united, virulent opposition to the left and the Democrat Party and Barack Obama. And I, for the life of me, don’t know what’s so hard to understand about that.
Now, Sarah Palin and her speech. There she is in Tulsa. She’s out making a campaign appearance. I guess Trump’s in Tulsa. Oh, really? I just was told, “She looks better today.” See? These poor women in politics, like Hillary. They can’t get a break. “She looks better today.” What, did she not look good yesterday? What, you didn’t like that cowboy jacket or whatever it was? Why are they in Tulsa on the eve of the Hawkeye Cauci and the New Hampshire primary? Why are they there? The answer is easy. The answer is easy. I’m just asking it rhetorically.
Let’s look at her endorsement speech. I don’t have the whole thing here, but I’ve got most of it. It’s not getting very much attention. Her jacket is getting more attention than what she said. I’ve seen people criticize her delivery, she lost her place, had to look at cue cards, Trump looked kind of out of place being not behind the podium. That, by the way, I said this in the first hour. I was surprised that Trump went the endorsement route. I mean, I am not surprised that he would accept it, but Trump just doesn’t look like Trump giving up the podium and standing aside, I don’t care who it is for. And endorsements are kind of the way it’s done, right, in by-the-book politics, and Trump’s not by-the-book politics. But what is by-the-book politics is win at all costs.
So if you have to suck it up and say you support ethanol, and if you want to accept endorsements from somebody that’s gonna undermine Cruz, I guess you’ll do it. But she, in her speech yesterday, she explained why conservatives are angry about what’s happening to the country and why they are as angry at the Republican establishment as they are at the Democrats. And she explained how a permanent political class has been created and corrupted by what’s now known as the donor class. And she made it plain that what she wants to do now is participate in a movement that holds every one of those people accountable for the damage they’ve done to the country, for the failures they continue to mount up and be.
“When asked why I would jump into a primary — kind of stirring it up a little bit maybe — and choose one over some friends who are running and IÂ’ve endorsed a couple others in their races before they decided to run for president, I was told left and right, ‘you are going to get so clobbered in the press. You are just going to get beat up, and chewed up, and spit out.’ You know, IÂ’m thinking, ‘and?’ You know, like you guys havenÂ’t tried to do that every day since that night in Â‘08, when I was on stage nominated for VP.”
Her point is, and she got close to saying this in her own words but didn’t. But really what people are complaining about, you know, why would you do this. What’s the Republican Party ever really done for her? I mean, besides nominate, McCain chose her. But members of the Republican establishment did their best to destroy her, to impugn her reputation. The people that were assigned to handle her were out leaking to the press how stupid she is and how it was so bad, that she’s so stupid. These people couldn’t vote for their own candidate, McCain, because if something happened to him and she became president, they couldn’t live with themselves if they’d made that.
So they were gonna vote Democrat or not vote at all. These were the people responsible for shepherding her through the campaign. So she’s got a legitimate question. I’ve already been clobbered. I’ve been clobbered by the people who are gonna clobber me today before. “And, like you all, IÂ’m still standing. So those of us whoÂ’ve kind of gone through the ringer as Mr. Trump has, makes me respect you even more. That youÂ’re here, and youÂ’re putting your efforts, youÂ’re putting reputations, youÂ’re putting relationships on the line to do the right thing for this country. Because you are ready to make America great again.”
I think it’s a salient point. It wasn’t just Sarah Palin who was smeared by the media and the rest of the Democrat Party, and even the Republican establishment. It was her supporters, by extension, who were smeared and insulted. And now the same suspects, same usual suspects, are trying to do the same thing all over again, this time to Trump and his supporters, but Trump is fighting back, where she couldn’t because she was part of the organization trying to win.
So she couldn’t fight back even though I’m sure she was tempted to. I think this explains why so many Tea Party supporters and other conservatives are drawn to Trump even if he doesn’t, you know, broadcast or display a bunch of conservative credentials. I mean, people have a bond and a connection here to people who are laughed at, made fun of, criticized, ripped to shreds and so forth just because of what they believe and who they are.
She said, “Now, eight years ago, I warned that Obama’s promised fundamental transformation of America. That is was going to take more from you, and leave America weaker on the world stage. And that we would soon be unrecognizable. Well, it’s the one promise that Obama kept. But he didn’t do it alone, and this is important to remember. Especially those of you, like me, a member of the GOP, this is what we have to remember, in this very contested, competitive, great primary race.
“Trump’s candidacy, it has exposed not just that tragic ramifications of that betrayal of the transformation of our country, but too, he has exposed the complicity on both sides of the aisle that has enabled it, okay? Well, Trump, what he’s been able to do — which is really ticking people off, which I’m glad about. He’s going rogue left and right, man. That’s why he’s doing so well. He’s been able to tear the veil off this idea of the system, the way that the system really works. And please hear me on this.
“I want you guys to understand more and more how the system, the establishment, works, and has gotten us into the troubles that we are in in America.” So she’s doing… You don’t think she has wanted to do this for years? You don’t think she’s wanted to launch back at these people who tried to ruin her reputation and destroy her, and she wasn’t able to because of the obvious requirements of party loyalty, loyalty to McCain and all that? She said, “The permanent political class has been doing the bidding of their campaign donor class, and that’s why you see that the borders are kept open for them, for their cheap labor that they want to come in.
“That’s why they’ve been bloating budgets. It’s for crony capitalists to be able suck off of them. It’s why we see these lousy trade deals that gut our industry for special interests elsewhere. We need someone new, who has the power, and is in the position to bust up that establishment to make things great again. It’s part of the problem. His candidacy — which is a movement. It’s a force; it’s a strategy. It proves as long as the politicos get to keep their titles, and their perks, and their media ratings, they don’t really care who wins elections,” as long as they get to maintain what they’ve got now.