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RUSH: Now, if you missed the first hour, Chuck Hagel, the disgraced and retiring so-called Republican Senator from Nebraska, went to Johns Hopkins University to do a seminar to the enlightened students there on American politics, and he basically did a big cry session (crying) because he was criticized by me, the leader of the conservative movement. He said, ‘Limbaugh ought to run for office if it’s so easy. Limbaugh does nothing but tear people down. Let Limbaugh run for office.’ Senator Hagel, as I have said countless times, I will not endure the pay cut to run for office. You ought to try doing talk radio, Senator, if you think handling criticism is such a tough thing. Are you people in Washington above it for some reason? When you go join the Democrats more often than your own party, what do you expect to happen to you? Which gets me to the point. Okay, so we’ve lost a couple of elections now. We lost the midterms in ’06, and I say ‘we’ advisedly. The Republicans lost. I am a conservative first and a Republican second. And of course we lost the presidential election earlier this month, so that’s two elections. And now, of course, here come all the people who have our best interests at heart. Why, Chuck Hagel, Republican in name only. Why, E.J. Dionne, Jr., Drive-By Media columnist.

All these liberals are telling us that what we need to do to win elections is become more like them, that we gotta go for global warming, that we have to understand and we gotta get rid of our social conservatives and understand that abortions are going to happen and we have to defend it. If we do this, we can win elections. I’m mystified by this because these people do not care that we win elections. They are opposed to our winning elections. So here they are advising us, and we even have some of our brilliant pseudo-intellectual conservative intelligentsia in our own media saying that we need to moderate and we got the campaign they wanted. We got the candidate they wanted; we got the campaign they wanted; we got a guy who was reaching out to Hispanics; we got a guy reaching out to moderates, reaching out to Democrats, reaching out to independents, and he lost in all those sectors. And of course the Republicans try to lay the blame now here on Sarah Palin, but that won’t fly. She was the only thing that energized the Republican campaign, and everybody knows it, both parties know it, which is why they’re trying to dump on her and make it look like she was the one who was ineffective.

But here’s the point. Here’s the point — after this admittedly brilliant setup — the point is we won two huge landslides, you’ll remember this. We won two huge landslides in 1980 and 1984. We did it with Ronaldus Magnus. I mean it wasn’t even close, 49 state landslides. And then let’s talk 2000. Well, let’s blow that out because the Democrats think that we stole that. Let’s go to 2004 with the haughty John Kerry. In fact, 2002 as well. In 2002, after the Wellstone memorial, the exit polls said the Democrats didn’t retake the Congress because they were wrong on values. They had to go out and court values voters, which is the social conservatives, as far as Democrats are concerned, you hayseed hicks that live in the South and the Southeast. So for a week or so there was lip service, ‘Yeah, we gotta shore up our relationship with the all-God crowd. We gotta shore up our relationship here with religious people.’ But it was just lip service. They didn’t of course do anything because the constituencies that compromise the Democrat Party would not stand for it for very long. Even after 2004 — so we got ’80, ’84, 2004 with the haughty John Kerry, who served in Vietnam. The same thing the Democrats started saying that it was slick marketing and packaging that was responsible, it was not issues.

I don’t remember, when we wiped the floor with the libs, I do not remember the libs rejecting their theories and their ideas and their policies. I didn’t see ’em reevaluate who they are. I didn’t see them say the era of FDR is over. I didn’t hear them say or do, ‘We’ve gotta change who we are. We gotta go out and try to attract those southern conservatives. We have to go out and try to attract those pro-lifers.’ They don’t do that. The left never waters themselves down. They don’t water down liberalism. They don’t say the era of FDR is over. All of a sudden when we lose we’re supposed to do that, we’re supposed to throw away everything we believe in, we’re supposed to toss aside every conservative principle we believe in, because the Republicans lost? Conservatism did not lose, except when it wasn’t on the ballot. When conservatism, traditional American values and institutions were on the ballot, Prop 8 — can you believe, in California, the whole concept of marriage being something other than between a man and a woman was defeated? How can that be?

If this country has moved so far left, if this country is such now anti-tradition, anti-conservative, in California how can a ballot initiative that defines marriage as that between a man and a woman only, how can it win big if this country’s gone so far left? The Mormons and the blacks did it, 70% of the blacks who voted in California voted for Prop 8 to keep marriage defined as that between a man and a woman. My point is, the left never starts saying they have to change who they are; they have to water down what they believe in. They just chalk it up to the stupidity of the American people. When they lose, the American people are stupid, or Rush Limbaugh did something to poison the minds of the American people. But they just chalk it up to the American people are dumb and stupid, got tricked by slick conservative marketing and packaging, events and circumstances beyond their control. It was never their failures.

Now, their guy, Barack Obama, gets 52% of the vote. We conservatives are supposed to drop everything we believe, we’re supposed to drop who we are. Not only will that not happen, it can’t happen because conservatives are believers. We’re not policy wonks. We don’t form our beliefs based on, where should we be on this policy? And where should we be on this policy, and how should we approach that group, and how should we approach this group? We don’t do that because our policies and core beliefs deal with everybody. Our policies and core beliefs lift everybody. This is a nation founded on the concept of individual liberty and freedom. You give as much of that to everybody, and it’s been proven to work, ’80, and ’84. The problem is there are too many people in government, both parties, who are frightened by too much individual liberty on the part of the American people. We believe in our principles and that’s why the E.J. Dionne, Jrs. of the world and the Chuck Hagels of the world, the David Brooks, the Frums, all the rest of them don’t get it and never will, and this is why they don’t matter to conservatives and never will.

They think they’re going to help redefine conservatism, but you can’t. Conservatism is what it is. The era of Reagan is not over. ‘Well, Rush, Reagan’s agenda, a whole different set of matters.’ It doesn’t matter what the agenda is. Conservatism applied to it works. I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, and these are friends of mine, ‘You don’t sound, Rush, like you’re deferential enough to the historical consequences and nature of Obama’s victory.’ What do you mean? ‘Well, it’s the first black president. I mean this is a seminal moment. This is huge. Look at what we’ve overcome.’ I said, ‘I got past that the second day after the election.’ ‘What do you mean?’ Because I don’t care what Obama’s skin color is, I don’t care what anybody’s skin color is. I’m speaking now, by the way, as a conservative and as an American. When I look at a group of people, I see Americans. I don’t see, ooh, there’s some blacks, we gotta do what we can to make them like us and there’s some women in there, gotta make them like us. And, look, there’s some Hispanics, well, we better not insult them. I don’t see people like that.

I see people as human beings with all kinds of potential, depending on their own ambition and desire and willingness to work hard, do whatever it is to realize their dreams. So, yeah, Obama is the first black president, yeah, it happened and so forth. But now that doesn’t give him a pass as far as what his ideas are. And if his ideas are bad, if he gets into office and starts doing things that I think are damaging the country, I’m going to say so. I’m not going to be afraid to do so on the basis that he’s black, the first black president. We gotta get rid of this identity politics. We have to get rid of all of this group and victimization politics and realize that we’re all human beings and that we’re all Americans. This hyphenated stuff just doesn’t work, and that’s what conservatism is. All these pseudo-conservatives who want to now start looking at people the way liberals do: female Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Wal-Mart Americans, NASCAR dads, soccer moms. I mean, why do we have to segregate the country this way in order to progress? Because it doesn’t cause progress at all. It just creates unnecessary animosities and rivalries.

So I’m not going to listen to the Hagels and I’m not going to listen to all of these on our side who claim that the era of Reaganism or conservatism is over, that we need to adapt to the modern era and understand what it is. Basically, we need our own version of Big Government, too. We just need to do it smarter and better, passing out the goodies to the right people. You may as well just join the Democrat Party and have that argument with them ’cause there’s no room on the right for that kind of argument, make government the central theme of people’s lives is just — (interruption) I know, there’s no argument. There’s no argument on conservatism about what it is. There’s an argument among pseudo-conservatives of what conservatism ought to become.

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