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RUSH: Here is Daniel in Washington, D.C., as we start on the phones. Great to have you, Daniel. How you doing?

CALLER: Rush, I’m doing great. Thank you so much. It’s an honor to be your first caller on Open Line Friday.

RUSH: It’s great. Great to have you here. Thank you.

CALLER: Twenty-seven years, Rush, since high school I’ve been listening to you. And I want to give a shout-out to Mick Mulvaney, because he did something today that only you have been brave enough to do on a consistent basis, and he told it like it is. And I mean that when he said Obama weaponized the shutdown. I live here in Washington, D.C., and in 2013, at the exact moment the shutdown began at midnight, I saw firsthand trucks came from every direction with hundreds of feet of fencing and orange cones and yellow tape. And all of these monuments around the mall were shut down.

And no one in the press ever said, “Wait a second. Who organized this? Who made that call? Who booked those trucks and those workers?” The press covered for him. He did weaponize the shutdown. At Reagan airport, TSA was basically closed to one person, and there were lines that were hours. And no one in the press ever said, “Why is this happening?” Obama punished the regular people ’cause he wanted to make a political point. And I am so proud that Mick Mulvaney finally exposed that. And I gotta tell you, Rush, if the Trump administration does that nonstop for the next three years and just expose how nefarious some of Obama’s political tactics were —

RUSH: Well, wait a minute. I don’t want to be a downer here, but Mulvaney didn’t say one word of what you said. Mulvaney said Obama and Schumer weaponized the shutdown, but your memory required you or enabled you — and you’re right, by the way. And it wasn’t just parks and other things. Do you remember the World War II Memorial, there were some World War II vets who were near the end of their lives, and a trip for them to see their memorial before they died had been scheduled.

Their trip coincided with the shutdown that Obama weaponized, and they were not permitted. They were not permitted. After spending money that many of them didn’t really have to get to Washington. These are aged World War II veterans, Obama weaponized — he was shutting down memorials and parks and so forth. Because he knew the Republicans were gonna get blamed for it. And that was why they happily did it. And that’s what weaponizing the shutdown is. The Republicans are not gonna do that. They’re gonna do just the opposite, in fact.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Apple Valley, Minnesota.  Hey, Ben, you’re next.  It’s great to have you with us on the EIB Network.  Hi.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush!  Thanks a lot for the opportunity to speak with you.

RUSH:  You bet, sir.

CALLER:  First-time caller. I’ve been listening for about a year now, and I just have to say, I think you’re right on just about everything.  My question was: How do you think that the Republicans and Trump can manage to turn this whole shutdown crisis around on the Democrats?

RUSH:  Well, you know, you’ve been listening for a year, and to be brazenly honest with you, we’ve been trying to strategize this and figure this out for 25 years, even longer than that.  The main thing we’re up against here, Ben, to tell you the truth, is the mainstream media.  The mainstream media is the militarized wing of the Democrat Party.  They are all-in on the Democrat Party, and the mainstream media literally passes along lies and misinformation.  It’s not just that they’re biased anymore. They are active members who are pushing the leftist and Democrat Party agenda.

As such, the American people who only read the New York Times and Washington Post; watch CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC; read the Los Angeles Times or any number of magazines — TIME, Newsweek? Those people do not know anything you know from listening to this program.  They only know what the mainstream media tells them, and from that these polls are created. And there’s one that ABC’s running today that vast majority of American people blame the Republicans if there is a shutdown.

There were pre-polls on the tax cut plan, and in those polls, 76%, Ben — 76% of the American people — believe that the tax cuts were only gonna help corporations and would end up actually raising their taxes.  It was a mind-boggling thing, until we turned on CBS, ABC, NBC and watched, and we found out that’s what they were being told.  ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post were reporting that the Trump/Republican tax bill was going to raise taxes for over half of the American people.

The only people that would get a tax cut would be American corporations, and that money is never passed on to the American employee who works for the corporation or the customer.  And I’m sitting here, I’m mind boggled by this.  Common sense tells you that a tax cut means you keep more money, and yet the media had convinced 76%! If the poll was accurate, 76% of the American people thought they were not gonna get a tax cut and in fact thought they were gonna get a tax increase.

Now, the truth is that everybody — 80%, maybe even 90% — of the American people are going to see much more take-home pay starting next month, and they already, many of them are getting wage increases and bonuses and expanded benefits.  So the question we ask is: Will they realize the media lied to them or will they just think the media got it wrong or will it even register?  Right now and for every previous government shutdown since 1995, the media has gone into great detail to explain why it’s the Republicans’ fault.

And the reasons are the following: “The Republicans want your kids to starve.  The Republicans don’t want the poor to be able to access government services because the Republicans hate government.  The Republicans don’t care about immigrants or people of color because they vote for Democrats.  And so, as far as the Republicans are concerned, if they suffer, no big deal.”  This is what the media has reported about the Republican Party for as long as I’ve been alive.  So coming up with strategies to push that back, the best chance that we’ve ever had now is Donald Trump.  He’s the first Republican to ever significantly, consistently and with strength and vigor push back against it.

CALLER:  I agree, and I hope he does, you know? I think he always manages to find a way to win and turn the Democrat shenanigans against ’em.  So…

RUSH:  Well, the thing about that is we all hope that, but we don’t have any data that tells us this until there are elections.  I don’t know about you people.  I don’t trust the polls that are published anymore.  As wrong as they were about the general election, as wrong as they were about the special elections that happened last year, the polls are nothing more than a tool for making public opinion.  The polls are not taken to reflect public opinion at all.  The primary purpose of polls is to depress and dispirit Republican voters by making them feel constantly like they’re in the minority.

The purpose of polls is to reinforce among Republican voters that there’s no hope, that no matter what it might look like, Republican voters are a very tiny minority of the thinking in this country.  So on the tax cut poll, going back to that, 76% of the American people think the Trump tax cut’s gonna cost ’em money. It’s gonna be a tax increase. Only businesses are gonna get tax cuts, and of course they never share the money.  “It’s an attempt,” they said, “to recreate the trickle-down of Ronald Reagan, which of course only made the rich richer.”

So the truth happens, and we are left to hope that the American people realize they’ve been lied to.  Now, there are polls on the public’s opinion of the news media, and it’s very, very low. But yet they still pay attention to ’em. They still watch ’em; they still listen. They’re obviously still influenced by them.  And, Ben, it doesn’t matter what you read or watch — ABC, CBS, NBC, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, LA Times — it’s identical.  If you miss it in one, you can go watch the other.  It’s identical!

The selection of stories, the treatment of the stories. The coverage of Donald Trump last year in the mainstream media was 90% negative.  If you go… Pick a website right now. CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times website. I don’t care. Pick a website; you will not find a link on today’s FISA story.  The only thing you will see is variations on the government shutdown and the Republicans being to blame for it, or you’ll see some other negative story about or attributable to Trump.  I don’t care how long the list is, every story is going to be negative, inflammatory, defamatory, slamming Donald Trump and the Republicans.

It’s constant and it’s oppressive, and it’s only recently that the Republican Party joined Trump for all or most of last year.  The Republicans did not join Trump in trying to advance his agenda because they feared he was gonna be impeached, too.  For most of last year, the Republicans believed the Trump dossier story.  For most of last year, the Republicans believed that Trump had probably conspired with the Russians.  They, too, believe the media, and it was only toward the end of the year when there became irrefutable proof that the Trump dossier was bogus…

Only toward the end of the year did the Republicans in the House and Senate begin to join Trump in moving his agenda. The tax cut was the first actual piece of legislation where the Republicans in Congress got with the president to advance his agenda, because most of the year they were afraid to join or commit to Trump because they thought he was toast, too, because they thought he had colluded or conspired.  Now they know that’s bogus.  Now they’re a little bolder.  So now they’re joining Trump in the push-back here on the government shutdown.

And the Republicans are trying.  Ben, they’re trying.  Trump is trying.  Mick Mulvaney is trying, calling it “the Schumer Shutdown.”  They are pushing back like we’ve never seen them push back before.  What impact that’s gonna have, we won’t know for a while.  But it’s a damn sight better than it has been.  The strategy… It’s a long answer to your question, “What will we do?” But we’re watching the Trump administration and the Republican Party basically get going on at least something to push back, where in the past they haven’t even done that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Sheboygan. Sheboygan, Wisconsin. This is Ron. Ron, I have to tell you a story. I’m from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and growing up we had a local TV station, Channel 12 KFVS, and the weather guy was named Don McNeely. Now, we’re living in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, right? And he told us the weather in Sheboygan every day. And the only reason is he loved saying it. “Sheboygan.” And so you’re the first call I think I’ve had from Sheboygan in a long time. So I had to tell you that story. I’m glad you’re here. What’s up?

CALLER: That’s pretty hilarious. Hey, Rush. My question is how come Donald Trump’s approval numbers are not really moving up and they’re so low even though so many good things are happening?

RUSH: Were you able to hear my answer to the previous caller?

CALLER: I was, yeah.

RUSH: Same thing. Drive-By Media. If you believe the polling. It’s all predicated on if you believe them. I think common sense would tell me that Trump’s numbers are better than what they’re being reported, but the Drive-Bys — remember what drives them. Trump is unfit, Trump is gauche, Trump is obnoxious, he’s a pig, he’s a boor, he’s unfit, he’s on the verge of a heart attack. This has been the essense of their reporting on Trump for all this time, he tweets and so forth.

I’m convinced, I don’t know what percentage, but the American people are just pure followers and will start echoing, “Yeah, I don’t like Trump. I wish he wouldn’t tweet. I think Trump is dangerous. I think he’s unsophisticated,” and I think it’s just a bunch of copycats. I think they’re just a bunch of followers because I run into people all the time when the S-hole story — I still haven’t found a person that’s offended by it.

And I’m not a hermit. I have not found a single person and, by the way, I hang around, when I’m on the golf course, you know, there’s some pretty powerful movers and shakers out there, the kind of people that you would think would be offended because they think of themselves as sophisticated and a cut above. And it’s the exact opposite. These guys are saying give me more of it. I haven’t found a single person offended by it.

The Drive-By Media would have you believe that the vast majority of the country has buried its head in its hands they’re so embarrassed. So the bottom line, I don’t think Trump’s numbers are as low as they are. I think Trump’s approval is as low. The media is also running polls on how the Democrats are gonna clean up in the 2018 midterms because of Donald Trump. Because Donald Trump is hated, because Donald Trump is despised, because people admit the mistake that they made finally, that Donald Trump makes them ashamed.

And yet when you measure the great things and the optimistic, the positive things happening in America, it doesn’t jibe like you’re asking with the country and people hating Donald Trump. In fact, I’ve got a story here in the Stack that the generic ballot — the generic’s ballot when they go poll people, “You gonna vote Republican or Democrat the next election?” And the Democrats traditionally win that, but when you add a name and don’t do generic, then the Democrats don’t do as well.

Well, about a month ago there was a report on the generic ballot, nationwide congressional elections, and it looked disastrous for the Republicans. It was an unmitigated disaster. The generic ballot had the Democrats winning like 60-40. Well, they just did another one. I’ve got it in the Stack. I’ll have to find it early in the next hour. The Democrat lead in the generic ballot has collapsed, at least in this particular one.

So I think the standard operating procedure for you and us would be to remain ever doubtful of any of this kind of news, polling data or otherwise that’s negative toward Trump and wait until you can somehow find a way to confirm it for yourself. You’ve got to realize that the purpose of all these stories is to make you who voted for Trump and still support Trump to make you feel like you’re a part of a shrinking minority. It’s designed to make you think it’s hopeless and no reason for you to vote in 2018.

So I would say don’t listen to it, don’t pay any attention to it. All it’s gonna do is frustrate you. All it’s gonna do is make you mad. And then you’re gonna say, what can we do to stop it, what can we do to reverse it? And you realize that there are a lot of people working each and every day to do just that. Like here and in certain places at Fox News and at certain other conservative blogs.

There are also conservatives that are also trying to destroy Trump. The now famous Never Trumpers. It’s an ongoing battle every day. We won an election, and it’s gonna take much, much more than that to effect a more than temporary change in day-to-day perceptions and fortunes in the country. So hang in there, Ron. That’s the bottom line.

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