RUSH: Rich in Wildwood, New Jersey. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush.
CALLER: Happy New Year.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I got a couple of things. I just want to get them out — and the one thing about “the children,” a little side thing, it reminds me of a George Carlin bit, but I can’t say it right now, on the air.
RUSH: Well, that’s really cool! Tease everybody with something you can?t say. Now everybody wants to hear it.
CALLER: It’s got bad words in it, very bad words. But the thing I’m talking about is lobbyists and the “bridge to nowhere,” so it’s two points. Like lobbyists, to me, there are assumptions I make and I want you to tell me if I’m crazy. Lobbyists, to me, are the voice of the people. It started out small, so it’s the voice of the people, and it evolved over the decades to be bigger and more organized. So obviously when something gets too big, a lot of people start to hate it. A lot of people probably liked Wal-Mart in the beginning, and now they don’t like them. That’s about the lobbyists.
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: Now, another point is that the Alaska bridge. When I heard it on the news, what I assumed —
RUSH: The bridge to nowhere? You’re talking about the bridge to nowhere?
CALLER: What I assumed was all right, they’re building a bridge to an area that’s undeveloped, so they want to develop it. Tourism, residential, whatever. So I just don’t understand where these spins get a grip that they are real. I don’t understand how the people can actually believe this.
RUSH: Believe that what is real?
CALLER: That it’s a bridge to nowhere or that lobbyists are bad.
RUSH: Well, lobbyists are like anything else. There’s no single group of people that are all clean and pure as the wind-driven snow.
CALLER: Of course. A percentage of the population is bad.
CALLER: But, as in the military, one bad military action and “the whole military’s bad.” But they’re not. There’s a percentage of humanity that is bad.
RUSH: But, look, here’s the thing. Practically everything in politics today is imagery. Practically everything is spin. So lobbyists, what they really are and what they really represent and who they really represent is never discussed. “Lobbyist” has simply become a code word for powerful forces that close out the voice of the real people — and I’ve heard the negative connotation, the invective associated with lobbyists all my life. It’s nothing new. It really has at its roots class envy. Lobbyists are perceived to be in touch and wealthy and able to manipulate the system for their own good, for their own personal interests at the expense of what’s good for the people; and the people — because they’re dirt poor, and no influence whatsoever — get the shaft routinely, because the lobbyists are the only ones who have access. So much in politics is presented this way.
We’ve become such a nation of pacifists: living in fear, wanting to feel good about things, and we’ll take any language and any terminology, any lexicon that makes us feel good — such as “tax increases on the rich.” It doesn’t improve anybody’s life, but they feel better because they feel the lucky and the winners of life’s lottery are getting even with, and finally getting a taste of their own medicine — which, of course, is balderdash. Lobbyists are the same sort of thing. When the Democrats come on along, ?We’re going to have lobbying reform, and no more are we going to allow any corrupt activities to take place here with lobbyists because we are going to listen to the voice of the people!? Of course the dumkoffs out there who believe this!
?Yay, I’m going to have power again! I — a single humility-laden American — am going to have power. The lobbyists are getting screwed.?
Meanwhile, the lobbyists are moving in in droves this week, opening up shop on Lobby Avenue, which is K Street. The Republican lobbyists are moving out; Democrat lobbyists moving in. Nothing is going to change. Nothing ever does, but the Democrats say it is. Of course, some people say, and the ones that will believe it: ?Oh, good! We’re going to clean this up,? and so much of politics has become this: image and spin; appeals to emotion. The minimum wage is another classic example. The attempt by those who are in favor of amnesty for these 12 to 14 million illegal aliens say, “They’re human beings, Mr. Limbaugh! They are coming to our country to improve their way of life, and they’re doing jobs Americans won’t do, Mr. Limbaugh! They’re human beings like the rest of us. How could you deny them an opportunity that we all have in this country to improve their lives, huh?”
It’s the same kind of appeal.
Of course, people, when they’re accused of being “cold-hearted, cruel, mean-spirited SOBs,” don’t want to be thought of that way.
“No, no, no, no, that’s not me!”
“Yes, it is. You know that you’re being unkind.”
“Oh, okay. I’ll shut up. I don’t want people to think that of me.”
So lobbying — as you stated at the beginning of your phone call, all these lobbying groups (the NRA is a lobbying group), and — I’ll tell you what: they are representing a bunch and bunch and bunch, millions and millions and millions of Americans. The AARP? They’re a lobbying group. They represent gobs and millions of seasoned citizens! They’re liberals, and they’re using their lobbying organization to try to advance their agenda. Hey, it’s called politics, and where do they get their money? They get it from their seasoned citizen members who pay it to them.
I’ll tell you a little story. I think the AARP is something that needs to be fought constantly. They’re a bunch of libs, like the National Education Association. My mother used to think that until she started getting literature from the AARP, and she thought, “This is pretty nice what these people are trying to do for me.”
I said, ?Mom, I’m doing far more for you than that bunch of??
?But they care, son,? and it worked on my mother.
My mother was not an ideologue. She was a Republican. She was not ideological to the extent that, of course, her husband (my father) and myself and my brother are. So she started giving them money. She made little donations. She thought she was buying things, buying insurance, and that sort of thing that they offer.
So all these lobbying groups, ladies and gentlemen, get their money from you. That’s how you end up being represented. You may not be able to call Senator Foghorn and get into his office, although you might if you actually go to Washington. You never know. Call him up. You might get a tour of his office, and would be lucky if he’s not there when you go. They could get you a private tour of the White House. They can do all kinds of things. But in terms of trying to influence policy, you can call Senator Foghorn; you can e-mail him and he’s going to do what he wants to do. He may make you think that your input matters at a “town hall” or whatever. But the lobbyists, they have more direct access, because there are things that are a little uncouth about it. I mean, when these guys are going to dinner…
Rostenkowski was the king of this. Rostenkowski, a Democrat, when he was Ways and Means Committee chairman, I mean, my gosh! You look at the travel and entertainment budget of these lobbying groups, and they spread money around all over the place taking these guys to dinner, on these little vacations and junkets and so forth. If anybody thinks that’s going to change? In fact, the story on lobbying I have in the stack says that’s not going to change, but being “honest about it” is. So you’re going to have to have longer forms and reports to fill out after you take the trip. It doesn’t stop people. Look at Pelosi! After this DeLay thing came up about all the trips it was discovered she hadn’t filed accurate reports or any reports for how many years.
She was allowed to go in, redo it and back-date it. ?It was just an oversight.?
For DeLay, they had to throw him out of office over far less, actually, than what Pelosi and some other Democrats had done. But, look it, I’m not trying to sound pessimistic here about this. I’m just saying when you hear there’s going to be “lobby reform,” don’t buy it. Lobbying is as much a part of the political fabric as money is, and you’re never going to get the money out of it. The only thing that they might succeed in getting out of politics, if they keep up, is free speech on the part of us with McCain-Feingold and that kind of thing.