RUSH: Here’s Nancy in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Great to have you on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hi.
CALLER: Greetings, Rush. I’ve listened to you probably since the late nineties, and all your sayings kind of stick in my head. I’ve heard you say things over and over through the years, like one of them especially is “once a liberal, always a liberal.” The other one is “conservatism will always win.” I don’t know why that’s not happening this year. We’ve got a guy, I mean, wouldn’t it be great if someone who raises their hand and swears to defend the Constitution of United States would actually do it? I mean, guys like Ted Cruz just don’t walk in the door every day.
RUSH: Right. I know. I have said conservatism always wins. One of the things I’ve really said is that conservatism works every time it’s tried, and we are not there. But there is evidence today, you ought to take a look at news coming out of Ireland. Ireland has gone almost total conservative. Denmark is dialing back on its liberalism. Ireland’s got 8% economic growth. They have reduced government regulation. They’ve lowered taxes. They’ve implemented the recipe and they’re rebounding like crazy. And we will, too, if anything like that ever happens here.
And, by the way, all of Washington knows it. Washington is not interested in conservatism working because conservatism, by definition, requires a deemphasized role of government in people’s lives, and nobody in Washington wants government getting smaller. They don’t want it becoming less consequential. In the case of this campaign, I think a lot of people supporting Trump think he’s a conservative, not doctrinaire, ideological conservative, but they don’t think he’s a liberal Democrat, despite what Cruz has elucidated about Trump’s donations and so forth.
Forget all that. How does Trump make people feel? What does he sound like? One of the hallmarks of conservatism is to call attention to failures of government. Trump does that 90% of his speech is government failure. He’s not a conservative when he talks about his fixes, but in terms of identifying the problem he comes across to many people who are not doctrinaire ideological conservatives. That’s another thing to remember, Nancy.
CALLER: It’s just a trust issue, Rush. I mean, we already know what Cruz is gonna do because he’s already done it. But we don’t know what Trump is gonna do. I mean, to me the guy is a loose cannon. I’m afraid of him.
RUSH: I know, but look, there’s also this thing called a campaign. How many brilliant people do you know who don’t have a likability factor, I mean, even in politics. I’m not talking about anybody particularly here. But my point is it’s tough for anybody that is a professional politician steeped in the dos and don’ts of that business to stand up to Trump. Trump is a definition of a pure outsider in terms of form and so forth. And Trump doesn’t have a prompter, he doesn’t do speeches, there’s no stump speech.
He’s got themes he repeats, but every speech is different, every appearance is different. You never know what you’re gonna get, therefore it’s exciting, it’s unpredictable. Nothing is the same. Every other politician it is predictable. You know what they’re gonna say, you know what they’re not gonna say, you know they’re gonna play it safe. It’s a tough thing to compete against. But then even so, Nancy, the point I was making earlier, even with all this in all these primaries there were more people not voting for Trump than voting for him.
CALLER: Yes. Yes. It’s a shame that, you know, Rubio and Kasich didn’t get out before this last Tuesday. I mean, I like both those people. Rubio is a fine man. I don’t know whether Cruz would have picked up any more support —
RUSH: Well, let me ask you this, because this is a good test question. Rubio, I think, is a fantastic conservative. I think that speech he gave getting out of Tuesday night was the best speech I’ve heard in a year. However, let’s say Rubio decided that he wanted to officially, big time make it a daily thing, throw in with Cruz, how many Cruz supporters would you think would say, “No, Gang of Eight, he’s gonna hurt us, he’s not a real conservative, keep him away,” how many do you think would say that?
CALLER: I don’t know. Probably more than I would like.
RUSH: Right. Exactly.
CALLER: I wouldn’t be one of them.
RUSH: Exactly. The doctrinaires, no, no, no, this guy, he’s not a real conservative, he was with Gang of Eight, he was with Chuck Schumer, he’s gonna taint Cruz by association, we can’t have that. There would be some that would say it. I don’t know how many, but some would. And then you say, “Well, where’s the unity?” Exactly.
CALLER: Yeah, well, I think he’d be an excellent VP pick. I think he and Cruz, and I think if he was with Cruz for four years or eight years or whatever, I think he would, you know, be the next president —
RUSH: Okay, standard political thinking. You think he’d be a good VP, but problem is he hasn’t won anything. He’s won one election, some local elections to get elected senator.
RUSH: But in the national race there would be some question about whether he could help Cruz carry Florida, for example, in the traditional way people look at this. They’re up against the unconventional here, and I think that’s what it’s gonna take to beat it. You have to think outside the box, do outside the box, because that’s where Trump is. The aggressor sets the rules in any conflict. I don’t think anybody knows what to do with him. I don’t think anybody knows how to deal with it because I don’t think anybody fully understands what’s going on. Which takes me to JPod. Nancy, thanks for the call. I appreciate it. I was not being in disagreement or argumentative. I was merely posing questions that I think others would ask and getting your take on them.
Here is John Podhoretz, who, he might resent it if I included him in the club known as the establishment. I don’t know if he would or not. It’s a toss-up. But, nevertheless, he does have a lot in common with undoubted members of the establishment who are trying to figure out what happened. I mean, if he’s not establishment, he certainly is on the same page with them where Trump is concerned. So he’s the editor of Commentary, has a column at the New York Post. His father is Norman Podhoretz. He’s got great pedigree. Exactly right. It’s a long piece. I’m just gonna summarize this in two of his paragraphs.
“So,” he says, “what I’m suggesting is –” Well, I need to set this up. His theory is all rooted on the 2008 Great Recession and that, when it happened, who got bailed out? A lot of people got hurt. The mortgage business, the subprime. Who got hurt there? Individual Americans, mortgage holders. But who got bailed out? The banks. People already rich, people already with second homes in the Hamptons. People who already have everything they want in life, they got bailed out. That’s when Santelli came along and started talking about the Tea Party and this and that, after 2008.
So in his piece, Podhoretz says imagine that that had happened in 2006, not ’08. Imagine it did not happen, that whole collapse did not happen in 2008, happened in 2006. There wasn’t a presidential race going on. Imagine everything the same, but imagine the little guy getting bailed out. Imagine everybody whose mortgage was destroyed having that mortgage forgiven. He says there wouldn’t be a Trump today. Now, admittedly that’s the game of “if.” So that’s the setup. Here’s the final two graphs.
“What IÂ’m suggesting is that the weird timing of the meltdown and the rise of Obama hindered and delayed a reckoning for 2008 that everybody would have expected as a matter of course had the crisis hit earlier. Now, there were certainly suggestions of extra-political populist rage along the way. The Tea Party was one, though it focused on size-of-government issues, and Occupy Wall Street was another, though its anti-banker message was swamped by every far-left bugaboo on earth.” Occupy Wall Street was a phony created thing anyway in response to the Tea Party.
“But the signs were easy to misread — obviously, since almost everyone misread them. And this is why, I think, the meaning of Trump is being misused and misunderstood. He says he wants to ‘make America great again,’ but I donÂ’t think thatÂ’s what his acolytes hear.” So Podhoretz is reacting, Trump said (imitating Trump), “We’re gonna make America great again, make America great. We’re gonna win so much you’re gonna get tired of winning and you’re gonna say, ‘Mr. Trump, can we settle this? I don’t like it we’re winning too much.’ No, I never lose. I never lose. We’re gonna win, win, win, we’re gonna make America great.”
He says you’re not hearing that. That’s not what you hear. What you hear, he writes, “I think they hear that he is going to turn his vicious temper and unbalanced rage on the large-scale forces they feel are hindering them. They want someone punished. Could be China. Could be Muslims. Could be Mexicans. Could be bankers. Could be the GOP ‘establishment.’ Whatever.” Trump is the guy that’s gonna get even with ’em for once. Trump’s the guy that’s gonna punish ’em.
That’s what Podhoretz thinks you Trump supporters hear. It’s not you know he’s gonna make America again because you know he can’t make America great again. No. And you know it and you know that isn’t gonna happen and that’s not why you support him. You support Trump because you really think he’s going to act out your rage. He’s gonna take it to the bankers. He’s gonna take it to the Mexicans. He’s gonna take it to the illegals. He’s gonna take it to the ChiComs. He’s gonna take it to the Vietnamese. He’s gonna take it to the Japanese. He’s gonna take it to whoever. He’s gonna punish ’em for you.
Except, Podhoretz writes, Trump won’t be the punisher. “The qualities that have given him appeal to part of the GOP primary electorate would be destructive with a national electorate seven times the size. If he is the GOP nominee, the gender gap — 12 percent for Romney in 2012 — will open into a Gender Grand Canyon.”
So he thinks you’re not hearing Trump’s gonna make America great again. He thinks you hear Trump as a guy who’s gonna get even with everybody who screwed you. And nothing’s gonna change for you except those people are gonna get theirs, and that’s why you like Trump, and that’s why you put up with whatever Trump’s saying. Is that right? Is that who you are? I don’t think that’s it, myself.
RUSH: Podhoretz’s theory, get-even-with-’em-ism, to me that describes Obama. I think that’s what the entire Obama administration has been. But he wants to get even with the founders and everybody who believes in them.