RUSH: Carthage, Missouri. This is Gordy. Gordy, welcome to the EIB Network. It’s great to have you here.
CALLER: Yeah, dittos, Rush. This deal on the surface is actually worse than what it appears because included in that $38 billion worth of cuts is the $12 billion that they’ve already cut out of the continuing resolution.
RUSH: Yeah, I heard that.
CALLER: The whole deal makes me sick. I mean they talk a good game, but when it comes down to it, nothing really gets changed up there in DC.
RUSH: So, just to be clear, let’s take away this $12 million from the 38, and let’s make it 26. There’s not one part of you that thinks, “Okay, at least it’s $26 billion. At least we’re going in the right direction.”
CALLER: Well —
RUSH: I’m not trying to lead you anywhere. I’m not looking for the right or wrong answer. There’s no wrong answer. I want to know what you really think.
CALLER: I think this is nothing. As you pointed out, this might be two or three days’ worth of deficit that we’ve racked up and the whole deal just makes me want to puke.
RUSH: Why do you think all the big celebration about it?
CALLER: PR. I agree with you a hundred percent on it’s a snow job as far as the news media telling everybody how the Democrats really took it on the chin on this one. Basically if you use the Democratic or the liberal playbook, whatever they say they do the opposite of, and it’s the same thing with the news media, whatever they say you can bet it’s the opposite.
RUSH: Well, I don’t disagree with that. But I’m just sitting here thinking, if the Democrats and the press are gonna tell each other that they really got rolled with $38 billion, I know they’re committed to spending and I know they’re committed to Keynesian economics, but you just know that in the privacy of closed doors, they are high-fiving each other and they’re slapping each other on the back. Given what happened in November, and they got out of this with $38 billion of cuts, we’re talking pennies. Now, at the same time, this is sort of the dichotomy or the dilemma. They are scared because the election results in November were real. If the Washington GOP were acting as though they understood what that election meant, then the Democrats would have a real fight on their hands. They know full well they would have lost the PR of a government shutdown. They know. Somehow they convinced — well, I don’t think they had to convince anybody — the Republicans thought they would pay the big PR price for it. They wouldn’t have. The Democrats would have. The Democrats would have paid the price for it.
So my gut tells me that the Democrats are thinking they dodged a major bullet here, especially given the November results. Now, there’s some argument and there’s some disagreement over whether the $38 billion includes $10 billion of previous continuing resolution. There’s a lot we still really don’t know about this. In fact, some of the details still haven’t been worked out, all that notwithstanding. Let’s not even monkey around with it, $38 billion is bad enough. We don’t have to make it worse. (interruption) Well, I know, Obama said we spent $70 billion less than we were gonna spend. He’s out there trying to get in on this, too. That’s what I mean. The debate’s been shifted.
Jenny, Seattle, Washington, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, you are my daily vitamins. Thanks for all you’re doing.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: Your previous caller pretty much said it all for me. I was so furious the other night listening to the news media’s response and Fox News’ Carl Cameron. It was so evident that he was just blowing smoke and talking about how the Democrats had really lost and how great a job Boehner did and it just didn’t smell right. It stunk so bad to think that they have gotten this paltry sum of money cut back, and it was just counterfeit, false. I think the only honest response I feel we heard was from Michele Bachmann afterwards, who boldly said she would vote “no.”
RUSH: Yeah, Mike Pence has said so since, too, that he’s likely gonna vote “no.” It looks like — and this is as of last night, so things might have changed — but it looks like, you know, 218 votes to pass anything in the House, and it looks like they’re gonna have to have some Democrat votes to make this thing pass. Because enough Tea Party Republicans are gonna vote “no.” It’s what it looks like.
CALLER: Rush, just a last point. I got something in my e-mail yesterday that said March Madness, US government spent more than eight times its monthly revenue in this March, that it spent 8.2 times the net federal tax revenue for the month of March.
RUSH: Yeah? Doesn’t matter, we cut $38 billion.
CALLER: Very scary.
RUSH: Yeah. Jenny, thanks very much. Jenny, one of my all-time top ten favorite female names.
RUSH: We go to Lumberton, Mississippi. This is Jack. It’s great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. It’s an honor to speak to you. I’ve been a member since ’89.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.
CALLER: I am a Tea Partier, and I am a power of one, and I have called Speaker Boehner’s office today, after seeing that disgusting performance on the morning news that he had.
RUSH: Wait, wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa. You mean the Speaker on Fox this morning?
CALLER: And to me, this is a put-on. It was a put-on put on by the RINOs and the Democrats to discourage us, to get as ticked off and play us the fool.
RUSH: But wait! But wait! Everybody’s portraying this as a big victory for the Tea Party.
CALLER: No, it’s not! It’s a farce. It is an absolute farce. A hundred [b]illion, when you have a $3.5 trillion budget, that’s a farce. That ain’t gonna save our country. You know, when I called Boehner, I said, “You know, believe it or not, if 2 + 2 = 4, and $38 billion is closer to $30 billion, than $100 billion; $38 billion is closer to $30 billion than $61 billion. So, you know, you are trying to play numbers, and you’re dealing with the wrong people. We are educated out here, we are not illiterate, and you guys are making the biggest mistake in your life.” I encourage Michele [Bachmann] to start talking to her Tea Party people; and I encourage every person out there to call Boehner and tell him how disgusted you are with this deal, and to encourage your congresspeople — if they’re not Tea Party —
RUSH: But what…? Wait, wait. What are you gonna do if they end up thinking you’re just a bunch of kooks?
CALLER: They do that now! They do that now! I call up my senator; I never get a straight answer. I get a written document about another subject — and my senators are both Republicans. It’s disgusting. They are not… You know, it reminds me of the old days: Good cop/bad cop, and that’s what it appears to me. George Bush, Sr., New World Order, that’s the first time you ever heard of it.
RUSH: No, no, no, it’s not. No, it’s not. No. A lot of people were talking about the New World Order before Bush 41.
CALLER: Yeah, but Bush emphasized it in his speech that year. George Bush, “compassionate conservatism.” That is a farce. You know, I get so upset. Every time we get into power, we don’t have a person up there that has the gravitas to enforce it and that’s John Boehner. When you get up there and cry on national television, are you gonna take that guy serious? Come on, now. He’s a wimp. He is a wimp, and he caved. He caved in because he was afraid that closing the government down was going to ruin the Republicans’ chances. Let me tell you what it did. It’s called caving. He ruined the Republicans’ chances in 2012, because right now, speaking as a power of one, I see us as a demise party. We need to separate ourselves from the Republicans. That’s what they want us to do anyhow.
RUSH: Yeah, they do, but not for the reasons you think.
CALLER: Oh, I know. I don’t know at all, believe me, I don’t. But I draw my own conclusions based on what I see on the news and what I hear. I listen to your show every day, I have to go out in my truck and turn it on and listen to it, ’cause I live in a remote area, but I’m telling you: This is a farce. This… This… Watch what happens when we go to raise the debt limit. Just watch. It ain’t gonna happen.
RUSH: Let me ask you: Do you think Donald Trump has gravitas?
CALLER: Yeah, but he’s doing it for the wrong reasons, Rush. He’s doing it for publicity. I don’t take him that serious. I like him, but I really truly do not believe he wants to be president. I really don’t.
RUSH: Okay. So you watched Boehner on Fox today, and you’re not —
RUSH: — buying his claim that what they ended up really doing was cutting $100 billion because you can count $40 billion from Obama’s budget and add the earlier continuing resolutions, and if you add it all up you get $100 billion? You’re not buying that?
CALLER: No. And I’ll tell you, the only thing John Boehner got out of those meetings with the president: Arrogance. That’s what he got: Arrogance. To sit there on national TV to think that we’re so stupid out here we don’t know what’s going on, he is so wrong. He is so wrong. I have people that we have meetings and we talk about this. We have two, 300 people.
RUSH: Well, wait a minute, then. You’re not a voice of one.
CALLER: I am. Ooh, yes.
RUSH: Well, but you —
CALLER: Everybody speaks for themselves. You know, they have right to disagree with me, and sometimes they do. But we all talk about it. But we all are against what’s going on in this country. I sit here and I listen to Mr. Boehner today. I said, “Ugh. Did he trade in his Armani suit for one of them little communist brown jackets?”
RUSH: Now, now…
CALLER: He’ll be posing —
RUSH: Now, now. Wait a second, now. I understand your pique. I understand your pique out there, Jack, but you’re talking about the wrong guys wearing the Mao jackets. Everybody knows that it’s Hillary that wears the Mao jackets — and, look, you’re forcing me to step in here. There were some budget cuts here! You’re acting like we’ve added $38 billion (which we have on the debt side from the interest and so forth; nobody’s talking about that), but I got your message, and I know that you’re not alone. You say you’re a voice of one, but I know you’re not alone. (interruption) What do you mean, “What was his message?” (interruption) Oh, I don’t need to repeat what his message was, Snerdley! Everybody knows. He’s not happy with the deal. He thinks the Republican leadership takes the Tea Party, for example, and thinks they’re a bunch of rubes who can be spun with all this language here about $38 billion being serious budget cuts. He’s just not buying it.
Aaron in Detroit, Michigan, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Very well. Thank you.
CALLER: Can I give a dittos to my dad listening in Naples, Florida? He listens every day.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, I wanted to just say that I think the deal was really bad. Not because of the dollar amount per se. The dollar amount was gonna be small either way. The problem that I see is that we didn’t shut the government down, so the one-half of one-third of the government that we control just showed that we don’t have the spine to do what it takes; and I guess what my point is that we’re gonna go into a negotiations to raise the debt limit, and then look at Ryan’s budget after that — and even Ryan’s budget at $6.6 trillion in cuts over ten years doesn’t get us to a balanced budget until sometime ten years or more out. So we’re gonna talk about carrying at least a $14 trillion debt, most likely more, in perpetuity; and if they don’t say to themselves or if they don’t put something in legislation that says, “Hey, we’re gonna balance the budget, and if there’s a surplus, we’re not gonna spend it; we’re gonna go to debt reduction,” we’re gonna continue to carry this 14 to 15 to whatever trillion-dollar debt going forward.
RUSH: Well, now, wait: Ryan’s plan is to eliminate the national debt.
CALLER: Not until at least ten years out.
RUSH: Yeah, well, no. It’s longer than that, but there’s nobody else with a plan to do that.
CALLER: But his plan won’t even get the deficits to balance until ten years out.
RUSH: Well, that’s not all that out of the realm of possibility. I mean, these deficits are huge.
CALLER: Oh, yeah.
RUSH: There’s gonna be some major restructuring necessary ’cause so much of it is entitlement spending which is supposedly untouchable.
RUSH: But, you know, this is why you use the leverage points when you have ’em and we had a leverage point here. We could shut the government down so we could put to rest, once and for all, the fear of that nonsense. Take away that threat from the Democrats for a long time. Go ahead and shut it down, and show world has not come to an end. Make your point, get what you need out of it, and then retool.
CALLER: I agree. We just put that bullet back in the gun for ’em for the next fight.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, but, have we shown we’re willing to pull the trigger, though? What good’s a bullet being in the chamber (ahem) if you’re not gonna pull the trigger at any point?
RUSH: Okay, my preliminary read on the situation, after doing an in-depth study of callers today and a voluminous amount of e-mail — approaching a record amount of e-mail — is that there is a serious backlash that has begun and it is going to swell. The entire weekend was spent trying to tamp it down. The entire weekend media coverage was an attempt to eliminate or to tamp down any kind of a backlash, but it doesn’t appear that it is working. It doesn’t appear that the rank-and-file are buying any of the spin that was featured throughout the Washington media over the weekend. And there’s a reason. You don’t go in and promise a hundred billion dollars of cuts, which is not that much money. It’s not that hard to do given those election results. It’s not that hard to do when every dollar spent originates in the House. Nothing happens unless it originates in the House of Representatives. That’s constitutional. Some people may not know that. Every spending bill must initiate in the House of Representatives, the people’s house. So it’s not altogether true to say that, well, we’re just one half or one-third of one half of the — much more control than that.
RUSH: David, San Diego, California, great to have you, sir, on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. It’s a pleasure to speak with you.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: I have a different take than you do about the thing that has changed since the Republicans promised a hundred billion dollars in cuts.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: And I think the thing that has changed since then is the fact that we did not gain control of the Senate. And so I believe that given that, the deal that was made this weekend was the best deal that we could make under the circumstances, and I also think that by changing the subject from how much more to spend to how much less to spend, that in and of itself is enough of a victory to take this to the next discussion.
RUSH: There’s no question we turned the boat around. I hope it’s not temporary. We’ve turned the boat around from spending to cutting. And you do have to do that first. I will acknowledge you do have to turn the boat around. You have to even start the process. You just don’t go into reverse automatically. You have to turn the boat around.
CALLER: You know, Rush, if we had managed to swing the Senate to Republican control, I think the conversation would have been even that much more different, and the agenda would have been different and, you know, in the Senate the one who controls, controls the agenda.
RUSH: With all due respect, I disagree, and I cite Governor Manchin of West Virginia, a Democrat who is siding with the Republicans every chance he gets. The Democrats have more vulnerable reelects up in 2012 than we do, and they are petrified that if they stick with the Obama agenda they are going to be vulnerable. They’re already vulnerable. They’ve got 23 seats they have to defend. We only have ten. And I think since all spending bills originate in the House, we had more power than we were willing to use. There’s no question we had more power than we were willing to use. Obama would have vetoed the budget. Clinton shuts down the government. Obama woulda shut it down, too. The difference is this is not 1995. We had more ammo than we were willing to use. Now, whether we weren’t confident of it, I don’t know. But we turned the boat around. We coulda gotten a lot more out of this and pleased a lot more people.
RUSH: To Northridge, California. Mike, hi, I’m glad we got to you. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my call. Love you. I just have to disagree with you on one thing —
RUSH: What’s that?
CALLER: — and, you know, so much of what you say resonates so, so well with me over the years, but on this one I really believe I’ve sat and look at this for years. Republicans — on the budget, now; I’m not talking about social issues, abortion, but on the budget, Republicans — and Democrats, they see our money, it’s their money, and they all vote for budgets; and they all have voted deeper and deeper and bigger and bigger budgets. There’s been not one president in the last 50 years that walked away without increasing the national debt. So I think this whole thing that’s gone on in the last two weeks, it’s all been a dog and pony show. It’s all been a Playhouse 90. You gotta have the good guys, you know, fighting the bad guys so that they look like they got scarred up in war so they can go back to their constituents and say, “You know, look, we suffered some anguish here. We got the best deal we could.” Remember when Representative Cantor a couple months ago said were there hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars citing the GAO report —
CALLER: — in duplication, waste, and now we’re talking about “a drop of water in the ocean.”
CALLER: To quote somebody named Rush Limbaugh.
CALLER: A drop of water!
RUSH: So what are you disagreeing with me about?
CALLER: Well, because you single out Pelosi and you single out Reid — as rightly you should —
RUSH: Yeah, don’t —
CALLER: — but right behind them is gonna be the Republican leadership saying, “Yeah, we need to increase the national — the debt ceiling.”
RUSH: Wait a second. I don’t think if you call Boehner’s office, I’m gonna be popular there today.
CALLER: (chuckles) That I would agree, but I think they’re going to ask to have the ceiling increased, too. They’re all in bed together is all I’m saying, more so than I think you give them credit for.
RUSH: No, I think they’re… You and I agree. The difference here is we’re talking ruling class versus Tea Party. The Tea Party represents the first legitimate chance to get our hands in this till.
RUSH: And the promises were made to the Tea Party because the Tea Party was responsible for the Republican victory, and it’s the Tea Party that is being snookered here.
CALLER: And they should all get together on the steps — okay? — of Congress and have a mass press conference and say how vehemently opposed they are to this sham. This is not a deal. This is like walking out of a car dealership with just the control to the radio and they keep the car. This is nothing!
RUSH: I didn’t know there was a separate control to the radio you could have.
RUSH: Well, look, I —
CALLER: It’s nothing. It’s just a PR joke.
RUSH: I know.
CALLER: I wouldn’t be surprised if the DNC or the Obama administration —
RUSH: This is —
CALLER: Sent out talking points to all —
RUSH: This —
CALLER: — the Big Media people to play up Boehner.
RUSH: There still are differences and this is why, though, there has been the focus in the last year and a half on the whole concept of the “ruling class” or the DC, inside-the-Beltway elites. Harry Reid and Obama are being entirely hypocritical on the debt ceiling. The Republicans… Of course, the debt ceiling is going to be raised. See, that’s what everybody knows, the government at some point’s gonna have to raise the point. The question is: What are we gonna get for it now? And this is an opportunity —
CALLER: More debt.
CALLER: More debt.
RUSH: Well, yeah, we’re gonna get more debt, but here’s a chance. The Democrats love the spending side. They want it to balloon. Your theory is the Republicans do, too. Mine —
CALLER: Absolutely. Look what happened when Bush 2 tried to reduce the rate of budget increase. His own party — which has a majority, okay? — just crucified him, and all he wanted to do is slow down the rate of budget increase to like maybe 4%, remember that?
RUSH: Well, not entirely that way. But what I was gonna say here is that now we’re gonna see. Okay, we’ve got this big victory here of $38 billion and now they’re talking, “Okay, now we’re gonna start talking trillions. Now we’re gonna start talking serious money with the debt ceiling.” Well, a lot of people are upset here because we have a lot of leverage here to force what we wanted before we got to this deal. We coulda shut down the government and sent a real message going into this debt limit argument. It’s the pedal to the metal, rubber meets the road, whatever cliche you want to say. This is where the Republicans have the opportunity to show that they are not on the same page as the ruling class Democrats in Washington. That’s why this debt ceiling is gonna be so important, even more so now because of the way the continuing resolution ended up.
CALLER: And the debt ceiling is a fait accompli. They already worked that deal out. They all know that they’re gonna agree to an increased debt ceiling. They knew about this 60-versus-20 million compromise. They had to play it to the last minute to convince the voters that they were really fighting each other. They were fighting each other over nothing to make it look like it was important. A lot of stupid people out there think that Republicans came away with a win. It’s kind of like we got nothing.
RUSH: Uh…uh… You called to disagree with me and tell me I don’t get it —
CALLER: No. I apologize, boss. (chuckles)
RUSH: — and you are simply repeating my first hour to me!
CALLER: I heard the first hour. I just think they’re more in bed than you give them credit for.
RUSH: No! How…? How can you say that when I have said the whole left wing has gotten together with a ruse here to portray Boehner as the big winner?
CALLER: Well, that part I agree with you on.
CALLER: The part I don’t think you’re understanding — maybe I haven’t explained it well enough. That part is that Boehner doesn’t want to cut spending. They don’t want to cut it!
RUSH: Uh, uh… Ummm… (groans) Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I gotta go to a break.
RUSH: Now, look, folks, seriously in all candor here, having a little fun with the last caller, there’s no comparison. To say that the Republicans equal the Democrats as spenders is a bit too far. That’s just having a little fun with the guy, but he’s simply mistaken if he believes that Republicans are as big spenders as the Democrats. It may have been true for other Republican Congresses, but it isn’t true of this one. Now, whatever else can be said about this deal, there are some real cuts in the budget here, not rates-of-growth cuts. It’s not enough. But they are real. These are not reductions in the rate of increase. That is something new. But they shoulda been bigger, they coulda been bigger, they coulda kept their original promise. Boehner would probably be the first to agree they should have been bigger. All I’m hearing is, “Well, this is the best we could get.” And a lot of people on our side think this is the best we can get since we don’t control the Senate, or it’s the best we can get since Obama would veto it, it’s the best we could get.
Try for more! Try for more! The best we can get never won anything. Yeah, you know, coming in number five in the market’s the best I can do, as I got fired. Yeah, it’s the best we can do at the time. No, that is not the attitude that wins. It’s the best we can get. It’s a cop-out, it is an excuse, or even worse. But everybody that’s called here today, you notice how much of the talk is about individual Republicans. Cantor’s name has been mentioned. Boehner’s name has been mentioned. So little talk about the people. That’s how you know the conservative inside-the-Beltway types are working with the Republican leadership. And I really look at all of the excuses that are being made here, “Well, it’s best we can get now, we don’t control the Senate.” Well, you didn’t try hard enough. You could have tried for a whole lot more here. But if you’re gonna go in with fear, fear kills. If you’re gonna go in with a defensive posture as opposed to an aggressive or offensive posture then you’re gonna end up with this kind of result. I mean you raise people’s expectations and then you come in and say, “It’s the best we could do,” it’s not gonna fly. Just isn’t gonna fly.
What we witnessed in Washington last week will, again, see for weeks to come is a debate on fiscal restraint and on values. We have spenders, and we have savers. There are elected officials ready to change the paradigm, and then those that are very slow to accept the need for change, and some are gonna outright oppose the change. Now, in the middle of all this you have the Heritage Foundation. I spoke to ’em on Friday night and I told ’em what an honor it was to speak to them and other fellow members and know they’ve got their sleeves rolled up each and every day, analyzing, inspiring, doing what they can to advance the cause. They are your conservative voice in Washington. They are the best research, the best connected group that you can rely on to take our values and apply ’em to the debate. And in the coming weeks in months the debate over a government budget for 2012 will include the voices and thoughts of many, including you. You get yourself involved by communicating with those that you elected, and by aligning yourself with Heritage. That does matter. The information they provide, the opportunity for you to learn and participate in the debate is great, 710,000 members at Heritage now, and as late as this past Friday night I witnessed them. They had seminars, these people, 7:45 in the morning they started.
I went on at 8:45, and I wrapped up at 10:15, and they weren’t ready for me to finish. Of course that’s always the case. But they had been there all day and they were gonna be there all day on Saturday doing the same thing. All these seminars, some of the finest people that you know, they came down to appear on panels and so forth. And you don’t have to be invited to join Heritage. I used to once think that you had to be invited to read National Review. I did. I once called and said, “Can I subscribe?” I thought you had to be asked. You don’t have to be invited to join Heritage. You can join today at AskHeritage.org for as little as $25, and once you’re a member you have access to a great website with a never-ending stream and flow of education, inspiration, information. AskHeritage.org.
RUSH: Here’s Marty in Washington. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Oh, thanks, Rush. Look, I think you’re the only one who can explain this to me. Why would Boehner pass up a chance to shut down the government when Obama was on record saying he would veto any bill to pay the military during a shutdown? Am I missing something here? I mean forget a hundred billion, $61 billion, $38 billion, it seems clear to me Obama handed the Republicans a golden opportunity for a clear distinction between the two parties and a PR coup. If I’m Boehner and I hear Obama say he won’t pay the military in a shutdown, I’d say no deal, shut down immediately and run to the microphones and let the cameras roll.
RUSH: I have your answer.
CALLER: What is it?
RUSH: He doesn’t want to be Newt Gingrich.
CALLER: You don’t think the public would get irate about the military not being paid?
RUSH: No, no. I’m telling you he was afraid he would end up being portrayed as Newt Gingrich, the Grinch that stole Christmas, all this stuff. He was afraid that the press would come after him and he would be personally blamed for destroying people’s lives.
CALLER: But, Rush —
RUSH: You’re right. Don’t misunderstand. It’s what we’ve been talking about here. It was a golden opportunity, tremendous leverage points we didn’t use.
CALLER: In ’95 Clinton said, “All right, we’re gonna pay the military anyway, yeah,” so Newt had a tough time, but you’ve got Obama on record saying, “No, I’m not gonna pay the military.” My gosh, shut it down immediately, let the cameras roll.
RUSH: I agree. I’m just telling you that in ’95 — what is the worst thing that ever happened to you in your professional life? Whatever it is, ’95 was it for these guys, and you have to understand, they do not think they will ever win a battle where the press is against them. They do not think no matter what that they will ever win that. I mean Boehner publicly said he’s not gonna shut this government down. There’s no political benefit to doing it. They remembered 1995. The thing that they forgot about 1995 is the Republicans picked up two seats in the Senate the next election. They kept the House. All they lost was the PR battle. Clinton won the White House, but, you know, who was our opponent? I mean we weren’t really serious about that presidential race.
CALLER: But, Rush, how could we lose a PR battle when the Democrats say we won’t pay the military and the Republicans are saying you gotta pay the military? How could we possibly lose a PR battle?
RUSH: I don’t want to sit here and take their side, but you ask, how do we lose a PR battle, how in the world does the US military get accused of rape and killing kids and having it stick? That happened. TIME Magazine accuses us of rape at Haditha, the Marines there, they got brought up on charges. It was all made up. All those stories of atrocities all made up. If the media sets its sights on you — look, I’m not trying to excuse it, I’m trying to explain to you their mind-set about it.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, can I ask you a quick question related to that?
CALLER: I mean you’re the consummate broadcast professional, all kidding aside, and I know you understand the Republicans have serious problems with their branding. And you know the public’s having a hard time figuring out who’s the winner at whatever the cut level, but why doesn’t Boehner just phrase it in terms of how much the national debt is going up every day? I mean if we’re sinking five billion dollars further in debt every day, why doesn’t he just say future cuts have to be at least five billion every day —
RUSH: Well, this question is asked of me for the last 23 years. You’re basically saying, “Why don’t the Republicans do X?” And all I can tell you is what they’ve told me when I’ve asked them that and they say, “Well, they won’t cover us properly when they do it. They’ll misreport it. They will impugn us and the truth won’t be told about us.” I can’t accurately describe the fear that they have of the Washington press corps to you. I’m not excusing it. I cannot accurately describe it for you. Well, I can’t impress upon you enough just how much of an influence it is over what they do and don’t do. They are literally petrified of the Beltway media.
CALLER: Yeah, that’s just hard to believe. I just can’t believe that.
RUSH: Well, what do you think it is? I’m not arguing with you; I’m curious. If it’s not that, what do you think it is?
CALLER: Well, I’m not kidding, you really are —
RUSH: See, here’s difference though.
CALLER: — you really are the consummate professional. You understand —
RUSH: But I can survive and even thrive being hated. An elected official cannot. Getting an audience and getting votes is two different things. People that hate you don’t vote for you. The people that hate you will listen. You just have to keep giving them a reason every day, which I’ve become an expert at. I just have to be me. I know how to brand myself. We all sit here and we say to ourselves what we would do if we were in their shoes. And I don’t think I’d be any different if I got up there.
CALLER: You’re a genius because you’re able to phrase the thing, phrase any issue or frame any issue in the proper context. I can’t believe with all the money they’ve got down there at the capital street there, you know where it’s at —
RUSH: K Street, yeah.
CALLER: — they can’t figure out how to frame the issue. Where we’re sinking five billion dollars in debt further every day and the public is trying to figure out, okay, who wins when it’s a hundred billion, who wins when it’s $60 billion. Baloney! We’re gonna put a finger in the dike. If the government’s gonna stay in operation, we have to stop the debt clock.
CALLER: If we’re sinking $5 billion in debt — you said it just in the last hour how much we’re losing every day. Whatever that figure is, Boehner says, “Fine, we cut that much every day.” I mean it —
RUSH: He can say all he wants, but if he’s not willing to close the government down or shut it, until he gets those kinds of restrictions on spending, the words aren’t gonna mean anything. So it all boils down to what you’re willing to do no matter what you say. I think probably for as long as I live, I’m gonna get this question, why don’t the Republicans do X? I used to get frustrated by it, and I used to get frustrated by — there’s still people out there who are only going to think we’ve won when the media starts agreeing with us and promoting what we believe, and that’s never gonna happen, so those people are never, ever gonna feel victorious. And it’s sort of a sad thing.
It’s a hard thing to realize or deal with this forever unbalanced playing field. It’s not level, it isn’t fair or whatever, but you have to have an adult attitude about fairness and say nothing is. You have to deal with the obstacles that are in front of you. Why their messaging is off, you know, it could just be as simple as they aren’t as conservative as we are. It could be no more complicated than that. Might surprise people, but it could be nothing simpler than that. They’re just not as conservative. It’s just not in their heart like it is in yours or it is in mine. We hope that it is and we expect it to be, but maybe it isn’t.
RUSH: East Lansing, Michigan. This is Rod. You’re next on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hi. Thank you for taking my call. Mega dittos.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: My first car was also a ’72 Le Mans. Great car.
RUSH: Well, mine was a ’69.
CALLER: Right. I knew that but we had the Le Mans thing in common and I just thought I’d mention that. The reason I called, I was explaining to my wife how small $38 billion was in the context of the national budget and my wife is Japanese so I came up with a way to explain it to her, and if you have a six digit figure, say you make a hundred thousand dollars a year, you’re probably not doing too bad but if you made $360,000 a year, you’re living pretty good. And if someone decided to say, “Hey, we need to take $3,800 out of your $360,000,” it doesn’t hurt too bad, does it? You see where I’m going?
RUSH: Wait a second. To take how much out from your $360,000?
CALLER: If you had $360,000 and you took $3,800 out of it, it does not hurt that much.
RUSH: I’d miss it.
CALLER: Well, I mean we all would because we use it as we use it but it’s not that bad in the context, you know, when you think of $3.6 trillion, and then you’re only taking $38 billion —
RUSH: Wait a second, $36 billion out of $3.6 trillion, we’re talking pennies.
RUSH: Not thousands.
CALLER: Well, I realize that.
RUSH: If you make $360,000 and you lose a couple of quarters is what we’re talking about.
CALLER: Well, true enough.
RUSH: That’s what you wouldn’t care about. We need to cut dollars on the dollar.
CALLER: True enough. True enough. When you drop the zeros off and you make it a smaller number to deal with it just makes it more easy to understand and I thought that would be helpful.
RUSH: I appreciate it.
CALLER: Thank you very much for taking my call.
RUSH: Okay, Rod. And we’ve gotta brief, brief time-out. I’ve often said don’t try this at home.
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