RUSH: I’m just sitting here looking at some sound bites we have here after the Republican leadership meeting with Obama. And even though you’re not gonna like it, we will air the audio sound bites when we come back. The Republicans came out of the meeting eager to praise the president, and Obama praised their ‘civility.’
RUSH: Obama has appointed Tim Geithner and the budget director Jack Lew to work with congressional Republicans and Democrats to come up with a new deal on taxes in the next couple of days. Now, imagine having the nation’s taxes in the hands of a guy who couldn’t even figure out TurboTax, that’s our Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, the tax cheat. And that little twerp, I mean there’s another one, he’s in charge of dealing with Republicans and Democrats on the Bush tax cut extension controversy. Let’s go to the audio sound bites. I told you about this. After the meeting with Obama in Washington, congressional Republican leaders spoke about the meeting. Here’s Eric Cantor.
CANTOR: I was pleased on a number of accounts, first that the president did recognize that the election meant that the people want to see results out of Washington. And I think you have heard now a process being put into place that hopefully we can begin producing those results; first and foremost, take away the uncertainty around the tax hikes or rates that exist right now. Secondly, I was encouraged by the president’s remarks regarding his perhaps not having reached out enough to us in the last session. And that this meeting was the beginning of a series in which he hoped that we could work together in a different fashion for the benefit of the American people given the problems that we face.
RUSH: I’m gonna zip my cynicism. I’m gonna zip it. I’m just gonna wait. I’m just gonna wait for what I know is coming to come. You don’t need me to analyze this. So Obama told the Republicans, yeah, I realize you guys won and, yeah, we’re gonna have to work together now, and I’m looking forward to that, and so this is the beginning of a series in which the president hoped that we could work together in a different fashion now, we can compromise. Okay, here’s John Boehner, and the tone here, you’d have to say is conciliatory, and Boehner continued it, I think. Let’s listen together.
BOEHNER: I agree that the president did make an important point that Eric mentioned that he hadn’t spent as much time with us reaching out and talking to us —
RUSH: Oh, God.
BOEHNER: — and committed to do so. And, as I told the president, I think that spending more time will help us find some common ground. There’s a reason why we have Democrats and Republicans. We believe in different things about the appropriate role of federal government. But having said that, the more time that we do spend together we can find a common ground because the American people expect us to come here and work on their behalf.
RUSH: I’m just trying to remember what the Tea Party people thought they were getting with this win and what they said prior to it that they wanted. And I just don’t remember this. Now, I coulda been playing golf that day. I don’t remember the Tea Party saying, ‘Damn it, you guys compromise and work together. We want to see you all get along, for us.’ I’ve apparently been laboring here on a total misunderstanding. I thought that the Tea Party wanted Obama stopped. Here’s Obama after the meeting.
OBAMA: I appointed my Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, and my budget director, Jack Lew, to work with representatives of both parties to break through this logjam. I’ve asked the leaders to appoint members to help in this negotiation process. They agreed to do that. That process is beginning right away and we expect to get some answers back over the next couple of days about how we can accomplish our key goal, which is to make sure the economy continues to grow and we’re putting people back to work, and we also want to make sure we’re giving people in the middle class the peace of mind that their taxes will not be raised come January 1st.
RUSH: Yeah, boy, I love all the compromise I’m hearing in there. Let’s just have another committee. If you want something to die, appoint a committee. If you want to bring something to a screeching halt, appoint a committee and then start talking about negotiations. He never abandons his talking points. He has to get it in there there aren’t gonna be anything other than continued tax cuts for the middle class. Stays on point with his talking points. Here’s more of Obama.
OBAMA: There are real philosophical differences, and although the atmosphere in today’s meeting was extremely civil, there’s no doubt that those differences are gonna remain no matter how many meetings we have. And the truth is there’s always gonna be a political incentive against working together, particularly in the current hyperpartisan climate. There are always those who argue that the best strategy is simply to try to defeat your opposition instead of working with them. And, frankly, even the notion of bipartisanship itself has gotten caught up in this mentality. But I think there was recognition today that that’s a game that we can’t afford.
RUSH: I am literally gonna get sick here. Ha-ha. Literally gonna puke. Who is the author of all of this lack of bipartisanship? Whose mentality is it to defeat your opponents? That’s mine! That’s what I have been suggesting. I’m the hyperpartisan here, I guess. My strategery has been, wipe ’em out! And that’s what the election meant, wipe ’em out. They were wiped out. I didn’t see civility on the ballot. Awe, jeez. Okay. That’s it. Look, see where this is headed? (interruption) Well, no, I’ll hold out hope this is just a bunch of BS Republican assumption that the real stuff’s gonna go on. We gotta deal with what is. What does my gut say? Well, my gut could only react to what I heard here and words are just words. What part of ‘hell, no’ did the Republicans not understand? It’s just two words, h-e-l-l, space, n-o. What is hard to understand about that?
Let’s go to this last bite. I know you can’t listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done around here, that’s right. ‘There are always those who argue that the best strategy is simply to try to defeat your opposition instead of working with them.’ That’s me. ‘And, frankly, even the notion of bipartisanship itself has gotten caught up in this mentality.’ Me. ‘But I think there was recognition today that that’s a game that we can’t afford.’ I guess Obama thinks that the only thing of significance that happened here is that I got thrown under the bus in the meeting. Not by name, but nevertheless I got thrown because everybody’s talking about how civil it was and political incentive, Obama reached out to us, he heard us, really wants to spend more time helping us find common ground. He acknowledged he hasn’t spent as much time with us reaching out and talking to us. If I didn’t know better I would say that we had somehow tuned into the Oprah show, but I know that’s not what happened.
RUSH: Okay, to the phones we go. To Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Aaron. Nice to have you on the phone with us today, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush. I was just driving down the road here listening to those comments from Eric Cantor and John Boehner, and I just wanted to pull off the road and kick the proverbial tire here. I can’t even believe they had a meeting with this guy. He’s… You know, Obama is clearly way off in left field, and I don’t know why our illustrious leaders in the Republican Party feel that it’s necessary even sit down at the table with this guy. You know, we’re not gonna be getting anywhere.
RUSH: Well, the reason…
RUSH: No, no, no, no, no, no. Wait a minute, now. The reason is that they’re still the big minority. This is a lame duck. The Democrats still run the show.
RUSH: And so they may have to sit down with him, but the whole —
CALLER: I — I —
RUSH: What I heard here was, ‘You know what? He really likes us! He really likes us, and he said he’ll see us again! He really likes us!’ I thought, ‘Is this the ‘Epidemic’ Awards, Sally Field somehow come back to be a Republican?’
CALLER: Absolutely, Rush. I sit there and I’m thinking, ‘You know, I think it would be a much more telling story if our Republican leaders and those we elected — you know, those of us Tea Party members — just put our foot down and said, ‘You know, we’re not gonna even come to the table with these guys because they are completely off their rockers.”
RUSH: Well, again, they want to get this done. They’ve gotta get this done before they expire. The tax cuts expire December 31st. It’s not something they can put off until January.
CALLER: No, this is true.
RUSH: So, you know, they’ve gotta get Obama to go along with this, and they’ve obviously concluded the best way to do it is with honey.
RUSH: And what you want is for them, if they have a meeting, to remind him, ‘Look, pal, ‘we won.’ Remember, that’s what you told us two years ago? We won and it’s looking even worse for you in 2012. The American people want these tax rates extended.’ Now, we don’t know that that didn’t happen in the meeting. All we know is the way it’s being characterized by these guys afterwards. So we’ve gotta wait. We don’t really know what happened in there. We only know what they’re saying now, and they’re saying what they’re saying ’cause they want the media to love ’em. They want obviously there to be no appearance of conflict or partisanship or any of that. That’s their strategy here. But they can’t say, ‘Screw you! We’re not meeting with you. Either do it or not,’ ’cause Obama will say, ‘Okay, fine. You don’t want to meet? Well, then these things expire and I’m gonna get the higher taxes I want on everybody.’
CALLER: I’d love to see those tax cuts extended, absolutely. I’d love to see more tax cuts. Excuse me, we shouldn’t be talking ‘tax cuts.’ We should just be saying ‘the current rates extended,’ but I’d love to see those extended and cut even further. You know, I live in Michigan here, and we’re struggling to say the least. I got out there and voted, and I want to get rid of these Democratic (garbled).
RUSH: Believe me, believe me, I know. I know. If it were me I’d go in the meeting and say, ‘Mr. President, two years ago I said ‘I hope you fail.’ The purpose here is to see to it that you do. Your policies have destroyed the nation’s economy,’ but that’s just me. See, I don’t have to get votes, and I don’t care whether the media likes me — and that’s the difference. But, again, that’s just me, and I’m serious when I tell you getting votes is a whole different matter than getting listeners, and politics is what it is. You know, people ask, ‘Why don’t you run for office?’ Because of this kind of stuff. I couldn’t do it. I’m not a diplomat. I don’t want to be a diplomat. If somebody has holes in their head I’m not gonna tell ’em instead that they have an open mind. You know, I live in Literalville. Anyway, I understand what you’re talking about, Aaron. I know a lot of people agree with you. Eugene in Odessa, Texas. Hello, sir, and welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Hey there, Rush. Just to kind of take you back on with what this guy, the previous caller, was saying: It depresses me to the extent that I let it how much of this country has become an Oprah audience. And when I say ‘Oprah audience,’ I mean have you seen her shows where she gives things away? I mean, these sissies show up, and they sit there and wait in orgasmic anticipation to see what crumbs dribble off her multiple chins so they can grab ’em. And they go nuts! A big part of my country feels that way, and it just kills me. I mean, to the point that I let it. I gotta go on, I understand, but you get what I’m saying?
RUSH: Yeah. I hear what you’re saying. Everybody’s waiting around for their benefits.
CALLER: (long sigh) Man, you ain’t kidding. You know, listening to Cantor and these guys — I know I had the one little point but — why do they keep saying ‘the Bush tax cuts’? I mean, I’m just a little guy running a little business off my kitchen table literally here in Odessa, Texas, west Texas, and I know that it’s the Obama tax increases, and these guys can’t even say that! They’re sissies. I said it. Cantor is a sissy.
RUSH: I know. Look, I don’t know what to tell you. You’re exactly right. We’re not talking about any ‘tax cuts.’ We’re talking about tax increases, for crying out loud. (laughing)
RUSH: And why that can’t be said, I don’t know! That’s the question: Are we going to maintain current tax rates or are we gonna have a tax increase?
CALLER: Well, I get it.
RUSH: I know you got it. That’s why you went out and voted the way that you did.
RUSH: Tom in West Virginia, welcome to the program. I have about a minute and a half, sir, but I wanted to get to you.
CALLER: Thank you and dittos. My point is that ‘compromise’ and ‘common ground’ are opposite. People are using them as if they’re the same thing.
RUSH: That’s a great point.
CALLER: ‘Compromise’ means, ‘I’m gonna vote for your crummy idea if you’ll vote for my crummy idea. You get four or five hundred crummy ideas, you put ’em in a 2500 page bill, and we get it to pass,’ but it’s all crummy ideas.
CALLER: ‘Common ground’ is when you have a good idea and I’m gonna vote for it with no quid pro quo.
CALLER: Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you come up with a good idea and I’m gonna vote for it.
RUSH: Well, but wait a minute. The point is that common ground is elusive. Right now, under what should be normal circumstances, there isn’t any common ground between Obama and the Republicans.
RUSH: There’s none to be found!
CALLER: You’re absolutely right.
RUSH: One guy wants to destroy the country as it’s founded; the other guys want to preserve it. Now, where’s the common ground there?
CALLER: There isn’t anyway.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: You can’t make common ground with compromise.
RUSH: I know. That’s exactly right. But they think it sounds wonderful.
RUSH: They think it’s what people want: ‘Get along. Compromise, get along.’
CALLER: The Republicans even have it wrong with this idea on earmarks, that they’re gonna turn everything over to the president. That isn’t what we asked for. We asked them to stop combining the Joint Strike Fighters and welfare and financial reforms all in the same bill. Put a single topic in a bill and if the Congress wants to spend money in a given way, I’m okay with that, but single-topic bills.
CALLER: Not everybody’s private pet project in there and come up with 700 bad ideas —
RUSH: I hear you.
CALLER: — that costs us a bunch of money.
RUSH: That’s great. I’m glad you called. Thanks very much.