RUSH: There’s also a great piece from yesterday in the Wall Street Journal by Daniel Henninger. ‘Has Obama Buried Reagan? — The Democratic idea bank of Robert & Robert says it’s safe to unload on Ronald Reagan. Robert Reich: ‘It is the boldest budget we have seen since the Reagan administration, and [Obama’s budget] drives a nail in the coffin of Reaganomics. We can basically say goodbye to the philosophy espoused by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher,” this from a diminutive policy wonk who never accomplished anything in the private sector in his life, like so many others in power now. Bob ‘Shrum: ‘Obama is not only unwinding Reagan’s policies, he is offering a Rooseveltian paradigm that justifies government pragmatically.” Henninger writes, ‘Hmmm. Let us consider an alternative universe.
‘The stock market has been in a free-fall … dismantling the saved wealth of millions of individual Americans… In reaction, Republicans, true to form, set sail for a deserted island to ponder a dispute between Rush Limbaugh and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’ about who runs their party. ‘Someone said, ‘A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.’ Why are the Republicans wasting it?’ And Henninger goes on to point out: Hey, you Republicans! You have ideas. You have ideas that won elections. You have ideas that grew economy. They’re called Reaganism. And he says, Rush Limbaugh was trying to say this to the people at CPAC, trying to inspire you to be confident about capitalism. Don’t be embarrassed. He wonders where the hell the Republicans are. And we discussed this ad infinitum on this program. But it is a great piece.
RUSH: Let me share with you a couple more points from Henninger’s piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, because it’s crucial, and it really crystallizes this. The primary objective I had last Saturday in my CPAC speech was to tell conservatives what conservatism is, to tell the nation what conservatism is, to inspire people to stand up for it and be proud of it and understand its superiority — and particularly to what’s happening now. Henninger writes, ‘What Ronald Reagan knew and they don’t…’ meaning these Republicans here that can’t get in gear as well as Democrats, of course. ‘What Ronald Reagan knew and they don’t is that what moves a nation is the vital, teeming life of the private economy — work, ideas, innovation, the excitement of production, getting bigger.
‘Growth. In the past this world was depicted as blast furnaces and factory chimneys. Today the economy’s sinews are harder to see, but they exist in tens of thousands of small-cap, mid-cap and fat-cap companies. The Republicans — Romney, Huckabee, Jindal, Pawlenty, Sanford, Newt, Sarah and several hundred 2010 congressional candidates — must rediscover a way to talk about the living world of the real economy. Their vocabulary now consists mainly of policy-wonk spinach — ‘fiscal responsibility,’ ‘reduce the debt,’ and even ‘tax cuts.’ True but insufficient,’ and this is another reason that I was trying to make the point here about philosophy versus policy, which has been slightly misunderstood. Maybe I didn’t express it properly in the original speech, but when I said I…
I’ve talked to several Republicans about the Obama various budget proposals, the stimulus and so forth, they talk about, nibble around the edges in ways that they accept the premise of the agenda that biomedical announces and then they say, ‘Well, we gotta put our little fingerprint on this or our imprint on it, you know, nibble at it around the edges.’ But fiscal responsibility — reduce the debt, tax cuts — those are policy things that have no explanation or dynamic meaning. This is why a definition of conservatism — that’s why I keep focusing on philosophy and principle — is what’s first needed to get all this back, then we do the policy. We can do the policy at the same time, but, gee, people on my side just continue to misunderstand this, and I guess I’m not good enough at explaining myself.
Anyway, what Henninger said was, ‘[W]hat Rush Limbaugh was trying to tell that conservative audience in so many words was, don’t be embarrassed, don’t be embarrassed about embracing the world of free markets, competition, entrepreneurship, and profit. If you don’t know how to talk about it, reread the apostles and the evangelists the private economic growth.’ But see, where are you gonna find them? Those are philosophers, along with people that implemented great policies and so forth. But politics is about ideas and language, and the conservative movement is not at a loss for proven ideas. They just don’t know how to express ’em! ‘The Democrats don’t want the private economy anymore and conservatives have forgotten how to talk about it.’
Exactly my point, Mr. Henninger! Conservatives have forgotten how to talk about it. Conservatives are now more preoccupied with talking about the economy using the language and the terms put forth by Democrats, and that’s what’s got everybody so frustrated. That’s why when you say, ‘These guys come into our neighborhoods and our states and they campaign as conservatives and they get to Washington and they govern as moderates!’ They don’t have the guts to stand up for what it is that wins elections for Republicans. By the way, the White House has made it official. I’m stunned and saddened by this.
RUSH: Folks, I’m sitting here fighting fatigue, desperately, single-handedly — I don’t mind saying this — as The Last Man Standing, trying to save this country, and I expect to get shot at from all sides with arrows. Politically shot at, I expect this. No, it doesn’t hurt my feelings, Snerdley. It frustrates me. It’s like Daniel Henninger. Why is there such reluctance to stand up for what we believe? Why is there such reluctance to contrast our own blueprint for success with what this is?
RUSH: This is Altadena, California. Harry, nice to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I feel the Democrat American dream is really a fantasy by the Democrats, and it will kill the American miracle. They feel the dream is that they can raise the poor out of poverty without their participation using other people’s money.
RUSH: No, that’s not their dream.
CALLER: Well, I see they’re going to kill the work ethic, and they’re gonna kill the rewards when someone starts working, and I feel that’s the American miracle, and so —
RUSH: Well, maybe I’m misunderstanding you. I’m reacting to what I thought you said, was the Democrat dream was lifting everybody out of poverty. They want more people, as you just said, with less of a chance to realize the American dream.
CALLER: That’s why I call it a fantasy —
CALLER: — because it won’t work. It destroys the work ethic amongst the young, or the poor —
RUSH: Hold it. At some point it won’t work, but who wants to go through ten years of hell to get to where it doesn’t work? Why don’t we try to stop it, is the point? Why doesn’t somebody stand up and try to stop this? Sure, it won’t work, but how long is it going to take for dummkopf American voters that voted for Obama to figure it out? ‘Hey, Rush, that’s really the way to reach out to those people, call ’em dummkopfs.’ Sorry, folks, I’m a talk show host, not a politician, and I tell it like I see it. Did you vote for this, you Looney Tunes?
CALLER: I did not.
RUSH: I don’t mean you. I’m talking about the Obama voters, the people in Port St. Lucie, Rio Linda, places like that, you know what I mean, Harry.
CALLER: Well, thank you. I appreciate —
RUSH: But I apologize. I apologize for calling you Obama voters dummkopfs. I know you want the best for America, except for the rich, as you can get. I apologize for calling you Looney Tunes. But I do have a serious question. Of course this won’t work. Of course it isn’t gonna work. But why do we want to wait all those years and undergo all of this economic pain and suffering before people realize it? Of course you cannot reward a lack of achievement, you cannot reward inefficiency and have this country prosper and remain a superpower and be able to protect itself and be able to feed itself, you can’t do any of that. But do we want to go through soup lines again? Do people realize this? Do we want to have to go through another terrorist attack that we can’t stop or do anything about in order for people to realize this?
Of course it won’t work, but I don’t want to wait ten years for people to figure it out. I’d rather spend a lot of time trying to educate people right now that it won’t work and tell ’em why and effect electoral outcomes in 2010 and 2012. But I guess that makes me too combative. I’m sorry, folks. That makes me too combative and too rabble-rousing. So forgive me. I take all that back. Let’s just sit around and suffer together for the eight or ten years it’s going to take for people to figure out how all this doesn’t work, and then we’ll get together and have a party when we start to come out of this. See you then. Okay, bye.