RUSH: Well, I just heard Nancy Pelosi. Her press conference is going on right now. We’re rolling tape. I’m not going to JIP it, ladies and gentlemen, but she just said that her ascension to the speakership means ‘more civility’ in Washington. Is that an admission that they have been over the top? Anyway, greetings, my friends, and welcome. It is broadcast excellence and Rush Limbaugh from the prestigious and distinguished Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. The telephone number is 800-282-2882. The e-mail address, Rush@eibnet.com. I know a lot of you are going to want to vent today so start lining up. Again, it’s 800-282-2882. Anything you want to ask, any question you’ve got, any comment you want to make, feel free.
I asked Brian if he wanted to do the show today. He said no. I asked Snerdley if he wanted to do the show. I said, ‘Dawn, you want to do the show?’ I asked all kinds of people if they wanted to do the radio show today. ‘Oh, no, no, no! You can handle it.’ By the way, the president has a press conference scheduled for one o’clock (Rush JIP <*AUDIO*>), and everybody is saying he’s going to have a ‘significant announcement’ at his one o’clock press conference, and I have no indication of what that is. A lot of people are speculating he’s going to announce Rumsfeld’s resignation. So we’ll see, but I want to take you back, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a reminder. Oftentimes on this program when discussing the problems that Democrats have had over the last 12 years, electoral problems, one of my observations has always been: until they start examining what’s wrong with themselves, they’re never going to fix their problem — and as such, that’s exactly what we’re going to do today.
When things go wrong, you must first look inward. You must ask, ‘What did we do wrong? What could we have done better? What mistakes did we make?’ It would be foolish at this stage to start assigning blame either to the media or to liberals or Democrats or the voters or the American people. I’m not going to fall into the trap that the liberals and Democrats fall into every time they lose an election and start blaming everybody else. Republicans lost last night but conservatism did not, and that is, to me, one of the fundamental elements of last night’s results. Conservatism did not lose; Republicans lost last night. In fact, Republicanism, being a political party first rather than an ideological movement, is what lost. The Democrats beat something last night with nothing.
They advanced no agenda other than their usual anti-war position. They have no contract. They really did not get specific. Their message was one of ‘Vote for us. The other guys have been in power too long,’ or what have you. There was no dominating conservative theory, nationally — and these were nationalized elections. There was no dominating conservative message that came from the top and filtered down throughout in this campaign. It was nowhere to be found. Oh, I take that back! There was conservatism yesterday in the election, and it was to be found on the Democratic side of the aisle. There were conservative Democrats running for office in the House of Representatives and a couple conservative Senate races won by Democrats yesterday — Jim Webb being one.
Heath Shuler, of course, is one of many. Harold Ford ran as a conservative, although he came up a little bit short. But conservatism won when it was tried yesterday. Conservatism won fairly big when it was tried, and I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, this is going to present problems for Ms. Pelosi because she’s gone out there and she recruited candidates.’ By the way, she’s being credited with this strategery, by the way, and that’s why there’s no question that she will be the speaker. She’s been credited with putting together the strategery of recruiting moderate and conservative candidates and then getting the leadership of the House and the Democrats out of the way, no Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi to muck it up. Let these guys run in the South and the Midwest as conservatives, and let them win.
Now, people are saying, ‘What kind of mess is this going to cause Nancy Pelosi once they get control of the House in January?’ Folks, you’re missing the point about that. Nancy Pelosi contributed to all of these people’s campaigns, like she gave $4,500 to Heath Shuler. You know what happens? Thomas Sowell put this very well. He said the latest example of ‘election fraud’ is actually what the Democrats did. They nominated a bunch of moderate and conservative Democrats for the express purpose of electing a far-left Democrat leadership. If you’re looking for a good side, Democrats could not win this election being liberals. They could not have won the House being liberals. Maybe in some parts of the country, but all the Democrats flexing their muscles and feeling good about this have to admit here that liberalism didn’t win anything yesterday.
Republicanism lost. Conservatism was nowhere to be found other than on the Democrat side of the aisle. Now, there are a number of theories that are running out there on what caused all this to happen. The political environment was terrible; the public deeply unhappy with the fact that the Republican Congress got too comfortable in power and that the conservativism that was known to exist in the House Republicans just vanished, in many cases died. The public is unhappy with the war, but they’re unhappy and because they don’t see the progress or the result that they want. There wasn’t any big move toward liberalism on national security issues. There wasn’t any big move on liberalism when it comes to gay marriage or affirmative action. Affirmative action lost in Michigan.
A bunch of gay marriage amendments passed around the country, and if you look at Connecticut, Lieberman and Lamont: Lamont the chosen candidate of the far left wing of the Democratic Party went down in flames. Some people say, ‘Well, there was too much scandal, and there were too many investigations in the House of Representatives, Mark Foley, a number of other people.’ Corruption was supposedly a big issue with the public. Maybe so, but Democrats had their own scandal problems that didn’t affect them. William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana) has a scandal problem. He’s in a runoff. Alan Hevesi in New York, he has a scandal problem. It didn’t affect him. I think, ladies and gentlemen, that the facts are these. Our side, you and I, hunger for ideological leadership, and we’re not getting it from the top.
Conservatism, conservative ideology was nowhere to be found in this campaign from the top. The Democrats beat something with nothing. They didn’t have to take a stand on anything other than their usual anti-war position. They had no clear agenda — and believe me, they didn’t dare offer one. Liberalism will still lose every time it’s offered, and they nationalized these campaigns, and if they really believed liberalism was their answer then they wouldn’t have nominated and have had so many conservative Democrats and moderates running for House and Senate seats. We allowed ourselves to be defined. Without elected conservative leadership from the top, Republicans in the House and Senate are free to freelance and say, “The hell with party unity.” They could go and do whatever.
So you come up with RINOs, Republican in name only, if they’re not held to some sort of party discipline from the top. I know a lot of people are critical of House members — and, believe me, I’m not trying to defend anybody here. I’m simply saying that some of those people in the House of Representatives were in a no-win situation on issues like immigration and spending and education and entitlements, because they could not logically and easily, buck their own president and have the party survive, so they bought the dust. The Democratic Party is the party of entitlement, yet the Republicans come up with this Medicare, the prescription drug entitlement, that polls said the recipients didn’t want and weren’t interested in!
I don’t care what the details of the issue are, that is not conservatism. Conservatives do not grow the government and offer entitlements as a means of buying votes. But that’s what the Republicans in the Congress had to support in order to stay in line with the party from the top. It presented numerous problems. The answer to this is going to be unfolding over the course of the next few months, but hopefully the message is going to get clear. Look, folks, it’s silly to blame the media. It is silly to blame the Democrats. It is silly to go out and try to find all these excuses. We have proven we can beat them. We’ve proven we can beat Democrats. We have proven we can withstand whatever we get from the Drive-By Media. Conservatism does that. Conservatism — properly applied, proudly, eagerly, with vigor and honesty — will triumph that nine times out of ten in this current political environment and social environment in this country.
It just wasn’t utilized in this campaign, and there are many reasons for it, but the primary reason is fear of criticism from those in the so-called establishment, and nobody wants to be criticized and nobody wants to go through life in fear, so a lot of people go out of their way to make our opponents think, “Well, I’m not that bad a guy. I’m not really one of those extreme kooks. I’m reasonable.” So the whole ideology of conservatism gets watered down within the threat of fear and the desire to be liked and all of this, and the Democrats now get to tell themselves whatever they want to tell themselves why they won. That will be interesting for me to watch, too. Did they think they won because they’re liberals? Will they be honest with themselves and tell themselves they won because they had the opportunity to run against nothing? Anything can beat nothing, and it happened yesterday.
RUSH: El Rushbo, your guiding light through times of trouble, confusion, despair, wipeouts, overwhelming defeats and even the good times here at the EIB Network. I’m going to say something, ladies and gentlemen, that’s going to make some of you mad. I’ve said it before, but you may not want to be reminded of it today. In the past, even during times of victory in elections (certainly during times of defeat) I have admonished you, I have asked you, I have begged you, not to allow who wins elections to affect your life. (interruption) Snerdley is saying, “Nobody wants to hear this today,” and I’m going to explain to you why I’m going to say it. I wrote a chapter in my book: “My Success is not Determined by Who Wins Elections.”
Now, granted we all want an identity for the country, and we all want a representative of ourselves as the leader at the top. We have a hope and a desire for our children and grandchildren to have a better life than we have and that we will be secure. We have all those things, and we know that having leadership in the right places with the right people is fundamental in that regard. At the same time, nobody is going to win every game they get into. No baseball team will. No football team will. No political party will. No candidate will (other than Ted Kennedy. There are always exceptions). But the fact of the matter is, your life goes on today, and your life will go on tomorrow.
It’ll be a tough balance, but my whole point in saying this is: Don’t turn over your life to government. Whether you’re a conservative or a liberal, don’t expect that only good things can happen to you or you can only succeed if the right things are happening with government. That is not true. There is no reason to put your arms up in despair and think your life is over or your future is bleak simply because of this. We’ve been here too many times. Conservatism came out of the primordial mist, if you will, many, many decades ago. (Okay, AP has called Montana. Tester is now the winner out there. So they’re making that official.) I don’t want to dwell on this because I know some of you don’t want to hear what you think is phony optimism today, but it isn’t phony because I’ve said this every month or so since I’ve been on the air on this program now into our 19th year.
I’m not saying, “Forget what happens. Get out of the game.” Some of you probably want to do that, but there are too many defeats in life; there are too many losses in life that are outside your own life to let them have an effect on you, a profound effect for a long time. Sure there’s disappointment, and feel it. Go ahead and experience it. It will motivate you to not want to go through it again and see what you can do. All these things have the opportunity for good in them, and they all have the opportunity for learning. (Steele is conceding in his race against Ben Cardin.) All right, a quick e-mail first. “Rush, Rick Santorum ran as a conservative. He stayed true to his conservative values, and he lost.” This is from Marilyn Austin in Woodstock, Georgia, and she’s taking issue with me that conservatism wins every time it’s tried.
Remember, these were nationalized elections, and I think in the case of Santorum two things. I read the other day that the second oldest population in the country is in Pennsylvania. If you measure it by state, the elderly population, the state with the second largest elderly population is Pennsylvania. So you factor some of this into that and you come out maybe with a conclusion like this: What did Santorum stand for? Santorum stood for things that were visionary, 20 years down the road, making sure that the war in Iraq and the war on terror was prosecuted properly and that we didn’t cave and give up. He was interested in Social Security reform. Santorum did stay true to his conservative principles, which are visionary, not just worried about today and tomorrow, but what will what we do today and tomorrow mean ten, 15 years down the road.
Now, if you have an elderly population which doesn’t care about ten to 15 years down the road — if you have an elderly population that spends all day watching MSDNC, CNN, and whatever other cable networks out there, ABC, CBS, NBC at night — they’re going to have a very doomy and gloomy view of tomorrow without being concerned about 15 or 20 years down the road, and if these people happen to think (and I, of course, am just speculating here) but if these people in Pennsylvania happen to think that the war in Iraq is wrong primarily because it’s money that could be coming to them in increased benefits, then who are they going to blame? They’re going to blame that young whippersnapper Santorum who doesn’t care about them.
You get into a liberal northeastern state with two Rust Belt-type cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, populated with elderly people and liberal Democrats and union types who are not looking down the road ten or 20 years, then you throw up an opponent who has huge name ID, Bob Casey, son of a popular former governor who doesn’t take a position on anything, and then who thereby doesn’t offend anybody. This is why I said yesterday, the whole thing, I’m disappointed with what happened to Santorum, but there are certain mitigating circumstances in every situation. When I say, “Conservatism works every time it’s tried,” of course, that’s not as true as saying, “Abstinence works every time it’s tried,” but I’ll tell you something: the Republican Party had better learn something real fast. It does far better when it is proudly conservative than when it is what it was yesterday.
The Republican Party is going to do far better when it is openly proud and willing to define in every speech it makes what conservatism is, leading people to that movement, making them feel like there’s a future, making them feel proud of themselves, making them happy to be Americans, rather than this hodgepodge: RINO Republican over there, moderate Republican here, invisible Republican over there, frightened conservative Republican over here. What this adds up to is a bunch of Republicans afraid to be who they are for fear of being criticized by the dreaded media and the social culture in Washington. So they go out of their way trying to get approval by their enemies and their opponents to show that they’re not mean people, to show that they’re not extremists or whatever, and you get what you got yesterday. It’s just that simple. Conservatism may not win every time it’s tried, but the Republican Party has no prayer when it runs as a bunch of squishy, moderate, simple Republicans.
When the Republican Party presents itself as the image the left has always presented of it — blue-blood, country club, corporate type rich people — it is going to lose every time it advances itself that way and puts itself forward that way, and that is what happened. It presented itself as nothing. It allowed itself to be defined by Mark Foley and a number of other scandals, rather than all of the good that I just pointed out. We all know that there are very positive things happening out there, but it was not trumpeted by the people who should have been shouting it from the rooftops because they were proud of it. They should have been shouting it from the rooftops, “Look what we’ve done! Look how America can improve! Look how your future is brighter!” Even the Iraq war could be better explained, instead of allowing the template to be set by its critics and then respond in a defensive way to that. You have a defensive, gee-I’m-afraid-of-my-shadow, Republican Party, Rockefeller-type Republican Party, you’re going to get this result more often than not. You go pedal-to-the-metal conservative and the evidence is clear: it beats liberalism, particularly a liberalism afraid to be honest about what it is.
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