Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Jim in St. Joe, Michigan, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Thanks, Rush, for taking my call. I’ve been listening to you for the last two days with a lot of frustration about the Republican Party. And it sounds that you may have finally conceded that the Republican Party is not going to be the venue to advance conservative ideas, and so I know Obama is the messiah, but, Rush, conservatives are looking for a Moses, a Moses who will go to the Republican Party and say, ‘Let my people go.’ Are you ready to do that?



RUSH: I don’t believe in third-party candidacies. They don’t work; they’re not going to work; that’s not the way to do this. I can give you a couple of scenarios. Here’s just one. The liberal Republicans have taken over the party. They have nominated somebody that goes out and says things like they say, gets along with Democrats, they’re all one big happy family so all the liberal Republicans in New York and California can get along with all the liberal Democrats in New York and California, our candidate gets beat by 150 electoral votes, anywhere from 50 to 150. We have a 70-seat deficit in the House of Representatives, perhaps a ten- to 12-seat deficit in the Senate, and at that point we start rebuilding the Republican Party because those who have taken over and have decided this is the way to win get shellacked and lose big time. Now, this is going to end up being a major rebuilding effort. You go back and study Reagan in 1976 and Reagan’s platform fight. I love studying Ronald Reagan histoire. In ’76 he was the most popular, but Gerald Ford got the nod because he’s sitting vice president. Gerald Ford got the nod at the convention, but Reagan, at the platform fight, put in every conservative plank he could squeeze in there, he hardly ever mentioned Gerald Ford’s name.

Then of course that paid off four years later, it paid off in 1978 in the midterm elections to a certain extent. We didn’t gain any control back, but the same sort of scenario. We have squandered conservative leadership. I was telling this to Snerdley yesterday at one of the top-of-the-hour breaks. Conservatives in the media is a great thing, and it has had profound impact, and it has made incredible advances. But we don’t have votes on legislation. You can have all the conservative media you want, but if you don’t have a political party — a political party is the vehicle by which ideological advances take place because we’re a representative republic, and people vote on these things, elect our people, go to Washington, and theoretically stand for what they were elected to do. This whole process is going to have to start all over again. This is not about going to the Republican Party and telling the conservatives, ‘Leave it, let these people have it.’ It’s about retaking it. And retaking it is not going to happen this year. Retaking it and rebuilding it is going to start in 2010, even if McCain wins.

But I want to tell you this — and I’ve mentioned this before. It’s a daunting thing to face. It’s another one of these things that makes me feel like I’m chewing my cud. If McCain wins, then the liberal Rockefeller type Republicans, the country club blue-blooders are going to point their fingers at all of us, and they’re going to say see? See? This is how you win. You win by being a big tent. You win by welcoming independents and Democrats, and they’re going to say this party was never conservative, Reagan was an aberration; Reagan wasn’t even conservative. This is how you do it. And so we’re going to have to say, ‘Well, you guys, you think you won, but you didn’t. You won with Democrats crossing over as Democrats into your party. If you guys think you won, you guys need to leave the Republican Party and join the Democrat Party.’ If anybody wants to say what really needs to happen to free up the Republican Party, all these liberal Republicans who are having a bang-up good time over the fact that they’re broadening the tent and they’re bringing in all these liberal Democrats and independents, just go join the Democrat Party! I mean, if you’re going to suggest that McCain put a Democrat on his ticket; if you’re going to suggest that he espouse liberal policies in domestic issues, why are you staying in the Republican Party? Just go join the Democrats, and we’ll take care of the Republican Party.

This is where this is headed. We’ll see. A lot is going to depend on what happens in November in terms of how quickly all this can be rebuilt, but it’s going to have to be, and the reason is very simple. There hasn’t been any conservative, elected conservative leadership at high levels, leading a movement, mobilizing, inspiring the American people. What we have here — I’ll spend a little bit more time on this when we come back from the break, but we have people who are conflating and confusing being a Republican with being a conservative. Sadly, they are in many cases two totally different things.


RUSH: Here is what I think is happening. Most people are conflating party with ideology. Some of them know it, and they do so in an opportunistic way. Here’s what I mean by this. We all know that third parties are failures. This guy thinking, am I going to be the Moses and lead people out of the Republican Party? That’s not the way this is gonna work, because we all know that third parties are failures. So third party is not a viable option. We also know that Obama is as left-wing as anyone who we’ve ever had running for president in this country, which makes a victory for him a very troubling prospect for us. Let’s face it.

So these people want to really be behind the Republican nominee ’cause they’re so afraid of Obama. ‘Obama is the most liberal guy that’s ever run. Oh, we can’t have that! So by fiat, just automatic, we gotta vote for McCain.’ But they know that he’s terribly flawed. They’re going to vote for him, and they’ll defend him if he’s attacked. But they’re worried about him, too. So they attack the party, or they attack the movement. Elections are the means by which we correct these things. The Republicans could have nominated a conservative, but the field was quite weak. The open primary process in the early states played into the hands of non-conservatives, mostly McCain. So the party is merely the instrument through which we offer our positions and seek votes and then move those ideas into reality. The party is what we make it.

After eight years of moderate Republicanism with no genuine conservative leadership, the party will now stand for four years of liberal Republicanism. So we’ve gone… What is by definition not conservative is going to be liberal. So from a moderate Republican, compassionate conservative kind (that’s moderate Republicanism), now we’ve gone to liberal Republicanism. We’re going to have that for the next four years. I mean, you put aside Iraq for the moment; that’s not an ideological matter. At the same time third- and fourth-tier pseudoconservatives who have no influence in the grassroots or, for that matter, with most conservative intellectuals, are seizing the moment to claim that their supposed brand of conservative is on the ascendancy. Liberalism is what’s on the ascendancy in the Republican Party, and that will lead to defeat eventually, and that’s when we rebuild it.


RUSH: Let me continue this thought on what’s happening to the Republican Party. We had a guy call in the latter part of the previous hour — and I know a lot of you people are thinking this. ‘Okay, Rush you have once again — defying the odds and all the experts — demonstrated your impact and your power with Operation Chaos. So when is it time to turn this on the Republican Party and to fix it? Will you be our Moses?’ he said, ‘and lead us out of the Republican Party to a new place; somewhere with a bright vista, a bright horizon, where the sun never sets — and will we be alive when we get there? Will we escape the hordes who are trying to wipe us out as we escape?’ This is not the strategery. The strategery, ladies and gentlemen, is more like Trojan horse. We stay where we are because the party is going to essentially make it easier for us to retake it. As I mentioned, people are conflating ideology with party.

You have a lot of Republicans who look at Obama and say, ‘Oh, my God! No! He’s just so liberal, the most liberal guy! Oh, my God!’ They listen to what he’s saying and say, ‘We gotta vote Republican!’ Then, they know that there’s just something’s wrong about it. But what do we do? (laughing) Who do we do? We’ve got Obama? So where we are with all this — you know, third parties don’t work. They just never have. They’re not going to work in the current structure because a third party, even if a third party president got elected, he won’t have any third party members of Congress to speak of — and the two parties would unite to cream this third-party president, make sure he got nothing. He would have the people behind him if he knew how to lead them, say as Ronaldus Magnus did. At the same time all this is going on, Rockefeller Republicans, liberal Republicans — who have long been embarrassed of some of the conservatives in the Republican Party, most notably Southerners and evangelical Christians. (whispers) The pro-lifers! For years they’ve wanted to just get rid of these people because it’s embarrassing to them. They go out to their little hobnob parties in the Hamptons, and they hang around Georgetown with the libs and the libs are always laughing at them about all the hayseed hicks that are in their party.

They’re embarrassed, and then their wives are nagging them, because their wives are pro-choice. All these liberal Republican guys and their wives are nagging them, and nobody wants to be nagged, can’t get the wife to be quiet, that doesn’t work. So what you do is you run around and complain to somebody else about the makeup of the party. And then you add to that. At the same time you have third- and fourth-tier pseudoconservatives, and they know who I mean. Even without mentioning their names, they think I’m talking about them, and they frequently react. But many of these are in our so-called conservative intelligentsia and primarily media. They have no influence with the grassroots, meaning the people who make the country work. They work at magazines with a subscription of 60,000 or they write to the editorial page of the New York Times, the op-ed page — which is read mostly on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, sometimes in San Francisco, south Florida. You know, it’s got a liberal readership.

So they write conservatism for liberals, but Republican grassroots people do not read these people. But they’re not impacted by them. But they are seizing the moment to claim that their supposed brand of conservatism is on the ascendancy, and their brand of conservatism involves a big, activist, engaged executive in government — which is liberalism. They see McCain. They don’t have any personal love for McCain, but rather, they see McCain as a vessel for their new redefinition of conservatism, and his nomination is widespread acceptance of their views. These are the same people suggesting that he go out and get Sam Nunn to be his vice president, or Lieberman, or some other Democrat. Their views are not conservative. They are a bizarre rehash of Big-Government Republicanism, which has put us where we are today — which is why I say what’s really happening that nobody wants to acknowledge or say is that liberalism is ascending in the Republican Party. When John McCain’s signature issues are indistinguishable from Barack Obama’s, what are we talking here? Let’s just be honest. Liberalism is on the rise in the Republican Party.

So party regulars (the hacks) and the elected officials, they have got no choice but than to support this, if they want to have a future in electoral politics in the Republican Party. Now, I think they’re wrong in that calculation. There aren’t any leaders there, but their calculation is based on the fact that the mother’s milk of politics is money, and the party will get you your money. If you are a Romney, if you are a Huckabee or whoever you are, if you have a future — if you have ambition for future electoral office in the Republican Party — the rules of the game say you go along with the party, because it’s just one less problem you have when it’s your turn. Loyalty and all that. At the same time, party regulars, some conservatives are not quite sure what to do or how to react because they’re afraid of being accused of helping to elect a radical like Obama if they don’t support the party. But they are disgruntled with McCain. Still, what they end up doing is hoping that McCain, who is solid on Iraq, will somehow reveal at some point that he really is one of us. The current theory is that McCain — and this is Wishin’ & Hopin’ (Dusty Springfield, 1964).

What they are hoping is that this is all just a public calculation by McCain to get elected and then when he gets elected, then here comes the real McCain, which will be conservative a la Ronaldus Magnus. This is what people are hoping. This is what little they have to grasp to because, if it’s not that, then they know we’re in trouble, but they just can’t vote Obama. They just can’t do it, just won’t do it. And they don’t want to sit out because they think that will give it to Obama. They just cannot have Obama, but then the alternative is just… Argh! So they construct a theory: ‘Hey, it’s really not that bad. This is all just a game. McCain is just doing what he’s doing to get a lot of Obama’s votes and get elected, but then when he gets in there, that’s when he’ll become the real conservative.’ They’re hoping he really doesn’t believe all this radical nonsense about global warming. They’re hoping he really doesn’t believe all this stuff he’s saying about the eeeevil oil companies.

They’re hoping he really doesn’t mean it when he says we need to close Club Gitmo — and, by extension, shut down my thriving merchandise business there. They’re hoping he doesn’t mean it when he says that he’s going to put the telecoms on the griddle for working with the Bush administration on warrantless wiretaps. But they are wrong. McCain believes in his own press. He believes he’s a pied piper. Believe me when I tell you we’re seeing the real McCain. He’s been freed and liberated. He’s the nominee, he can do what he wants, and this is the real conundrum for a lot of people. So I just wanted to explain in greater detail what I meant when I say that the Republican Party’s ascendancy right now is actually liberalism. Now, let me share something with you that disagrees with me on this, just to do both sides. There’s a little entry at the AmericanThinker.com by somebody named Roy Lofquist. I don’t know who Roy Lofquist is, but I’ll read what he writes. It’s very little, very short.

Actually, it’s a letter to the editor of the American Thinker, so he’s not one of their contributors. He’s just a reader, I suppose. ‘I have been following politics for a while. Since 1952. I have never seen the conventional wisdom about an election more baseless. Why Obama? Charisma, ideas, hope? None of these or any other reasons that have been bandied about.’ The only reason the Democrats are choosing Obama is ‘because he is not Hillary.’ The dirty little secret is Democrats do not like the Clintons. ‘The Clintons embarrassed the Democratic Party. Many, many Democrats were ashamed of their President. They do not want to see Billary in the White House ever again, even as visitors. Note that Obama won in the caucus states where the politically active determine the outcome. A Democratic year? How do you figure? Because the New York Times says so? Look at 2006! Yes, let’s look at it. In the preceding 6 midterm elections where the incumbent President’s party lost seats the average loss in the Senate was 6.1, in the House 29.33. In 2006 the Republicans lost 7 in the Senate and 30 in the House,’ right on target, right on average, no big deal.

Now let’s look at Democrat presidents. JFK. ‘JFK and Nixon tied in the popular vote, even though Nixon was extremely unlikeable. LBJ beat Goldwater in 1964. Kennedy had been assassinated, we were in the middle of a war and Goldwater was a radical. Carter beat Ford in 1976. Nixon had resigned because of Watergate and Ford was an appointed Vice President.’ There’s pattern here, he’s saying. Just follow me on this. ‘Clinton beat [George H.W. Bush] in 1992 with only 43% of the vote. Ross Perot got 19% which, arguably, was 60-70% Republicans. It seems that Democrats only win in extreme circumstances,’ post-Watergate, post-Kennedy assassination with a radical like Goldwater; plus with the Kennedy assassination and the Perot factor in there watering it down. ‘In our history we have seen stretches where one party controlled Congress. They average about 30 years with occasional one-term reversals. I’ll go with history every time. From where I’m sitting it doesn’t look at all like a Democratic year. Regards, Roy Lofquist.’ I don’t know where Mr. Lofquist lives. You know, some people… Karl Rove has his electoral map out there; Novak has his, and there’s some people out there saying that McCain could win by 50 electoral votes, which would be pretty close to a landslide. So Bob Beckel, our old buddy Bob Beckel read that today and he’s already filed a piece at Real Clear Politics, where he says: Hell’s bells, ain’t no way! I can see McCain losing by 50 to 150 electoral votes. (laughing) Nobody knows. But it’s clear that McCain and Obama will be fighting over the same voting blocs.

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