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RUSH: So predictable. Everything the left does is so predictable it ought to be easily nuked. By now, everybody opposing the left ought to have ways to just knock ’em out of the water. In this case, Ted Cruz, hey, no experience, he’s too stupid, he’s too dumb, he doesn’t believe in climate change. The only thing the guy’s done is shut down the government for 16 days. It’s predictable and it ought to be, as a result of that, ineffective.

Greetings, great to have you back. Rush Limbaugh, the EIB Network and the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. Our telephone number, if you want to be on the program, 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

Before getting back to this story, which intrigues me, “Are Smartphones Making Our Children Mentally Ill?” I must have sound bites from, let’s see, Mark Halperin, John — yeah, pretty much the left here reacting to Ted Cruz. All of this is predictable. Every bit of it is not gonna be a surprise to any of you.

Let’s start on the Today Show today. Now, this is before Cruz announced, but everybody knew he was going to. In fact, I, ladies and gentlemen, I knew of this Friday morning. I knew about it in a private phone call, and I was asked to keep it to myself, which I did. But a lot of people knew. And by yesterday it had leaked out anyway. So all that happened today was the formality of it. But the Drive-Bys, I’m telling you, are nonplussed by it.

Hillary Clinton could not even come close to doing what Ted Cruz did today. Maybe the Der Schlick Meister, Slick Willie, could go out. I don’t think he would stay as focused. He’d end up rambling all over the place. But he doesn’t need a prompter, except for those moments where he’s being policy specific. But there’s not anybody who could do what Cruz did today.

And it’s not just a matter of talent. It’s what’s in your heart. It’s who you are. People that have problems with public speaking, the greatest way to overcome that is confidence. That’s the big fear that people have when they think about having to make a speech in public. “What do I talk about?” Find something that you’re passionate about, find something that you really believe, that will give you the confidence to do it.

“Yeah, what if I forget? What if I forget?”

Those are just normal butterflies, happens to everybody, and you will forget now and then. You have to have the talent to vamp during that. But Cruz didn’t forget a thing today. Cruz said everything he intended to say without a teleprompter. It’s such big news that TheHill.com actually has a story out, the headline is: “No Teleprompter for Cruz.” It’s that big a news.

Anyway, here are the sound bites, the predictable naysayers. We’ll start on the Today Show today, Savannah Guthrie talking to Mark Halperin about Cruz, and she said, “The book on Senator Ted Cruz is that he’s whip smart, that he’s a real conservative firebrand, he knows how to throw rhetorical bombs that the base loves. Do you consider him a top-tier candidate?”

HALPERIN: I think he’s a second-tier candidate. He captures part of what the Republican Party wants. They want someone to go to Washington and shake things up. You hear it again and again from voters, but they also want Washington to work better. And Ted Cruz’s challenge is to continue to say, “I can change things,” but also, “I can manage things, I can make Washington work,” ’cause Republicans want that, too.

RUSH: How many people do you run into — honestly, now — with whom you discuss things like this? How many times do you — and I’m asking open-ended honestly here. This is not rhetorical. How many of you sit around with your friends and say, “You know, we really need somebody that’s gonna make Washington work”?

Now, I’ll answer that. I have a lot of friends, and I have a lot of political conversations with these people. Not all of them are politically adept, and not all of them are nearly as interested in politics as I am. I mean, my roster of friends crosses a wide spectrum. But I can tell you, none of ’em ever say to me, and I don’t say to them, “What we need is somebody to make Washington work.” It’s just not in the mind-set or vocabulary. Washington not working is by design. That’s what gridlock is.

Washington not working, believe it or not, is what the Founders intended. If you define it as government is slow and plodding, the Founders were suspicious of government. They knew that bureaucracies grow unchallenged. They knew that central command, control assumes power as quickly as it can and you don’t want that. That’s why they set up three branches, separation of powers, checks and balances, all that civics 101 stuff. It was designed to make sure that what’s happening now wouldn’t happen. It was the best safeguard against tyranny they could build in.

The whole system of checks and balances is rooted around power. There’s a lot of power in Congress, a lot of power at the White House, a lot of power over the judiciary. Founders believed that everybody in each branch would guard their power religiously and not let anybody usurp it. And they also knew that every branch would try to obtain power from the other branches. They knew that this would cause — the term didn’t exist at the time — gridlock.

It was supposed to be really hard to pass laws. It wasn’t supposed to be easy. It wasn’t supposed to be smooth as silk. It wasn’t supposed to be something that was just rubber-stamped. It wasn’t supposed to be, “I want this to happen, and if you don’t, too bad. I’m gonna make it happen.” That’s not the way this was founded. The Founders of this country were suspicious of government. They put their faith and trust in the people, by and large.

They were totally devoted to freedom of the individual because that’s how they believed the individual was created by God, with an inherent yearning, a natural yearning for freedom. And that government would usurp it. It’s human nature. And so they built all of these safeguards in to make sure that government had as tough a time as it could in restricting freedom, which is what a series of laws can be. Every time you pass a law, you’re placing restriction on freedom. Some are good. Some are necessary. It’s all for a matter of debate.

The point is it was not supposed to be easy. It wasn’t supposed to be easy to change the Constitution. It wasn’t supposed to be easy to pass a law. Washington, in terms of making Washington work, was not the focus of the founders. Limiting Washington’s role in everybody’s lives was how they determined the country working, the founders. So my friends and I, we don’t sit around and wring our hands over things that are wrong and say, “Washington isn’t working.”

Now, the left and people like Halperin here, they’ve talked themselves into believing that this is what the American people want. And I, frankly, I don’t think it is. I don’t think that the American people go to the polls and vote the way they do hoping that when it’s all over, that the Republicans and the Democrats will work together, and they will cooperate and act as one, interested in only the best for all of people. That’s not how they vote.

You vote because you want your side to win. You vote because you believe in things you want your side to dominate. So this idea that the people want Washington to cooperate, they want the Republicans and Democrats to work together. The hell with that. I’m long past that, and many people are. The Democrats need to be beaten. The Democrats need to defeated, not worked with. Washington, by design, doesn’t work. The way you fix that is diminish its role in everyday life. By definition, Washington isn’t gonna work. Big, growing, out-of-control bureaucracies never do. You can’t reform them and make them work.

So this idea that people go to the polls, like Halperin says here’s, “Well, they want somebody to go to Washington and shake things up.” Shake things up? We don’t want to shake things up. We want to fix things. Shaking things up, what, just make a bunch of noise? Just win a couple surprise elections and shake things up? No, no, no. Maybe he means shake things up by getting rid of the dominant liberal culture there. If that’s what he means, yeah.

But then he says, “You hear it again and again from voters, they want Washington to work better, and Ted Cruz’s challenge is to continue to say, ‘I can change things, but I can also manage things. I could make Washington work because Republicans want that, too.'” You better define what that means. Because when you start talking that way, when you say I want Washington to work and I want the people there to cooperate, that means Washington is a simple focus in your life, and that’s what we do not like.

My life, my day-to-day existence, my business, I’m not focused on whether Washington’s working, in and of itself. That’s not the purpose. That’s not why I would ever support a candidate: “I can make Washington work.” Washington can’t work. As a result of that, Washington needs to be made smaller. Washington needs to be limited. Washington, government, needs to be more and more out of our lives.

But to people like this, your life isn’t complete if Washington is not a central figure or role player in it. And that’s the difference. And Cruz — I haven’t heard him say — he might talk about making Washington work, I don’t hear him say that, though. I’ve never heard him utter the phrase. He may have. I haven’t heard everything he said. But this whole notion that — they’re putting words in our mouths. That’s not what people I know — I don’t know about you. How many of you, wherever you go, socially or with your families, how many you sit around wringing your hands over Washington not working in the context of you want the next candidate to go there and make it work?

We’ve gotta define the terms, but making Washington work, most people that I know, that means it’s so insignificant we don’t talk about it very much. Now all we do is talk about Washington. We’ve gotten to the point that everything that happens in that town has a direct effect on us, and that’s not the way it was supposed to be. And because it has such a central role in so many people’s lives, that’s where you get this talk, “We need Washington to work.” What does that mean?

“Well, we need Washington not to screw up.” Well, Washington can’t run health care. It’s gonna be a mess. Get Washington out of health care. If that’s making Washington work, then I’ll agree with you. But Washington can’t run health care. This Washington can’t run anything. By design.

You know, there’s a column, Michael Goodwin. This Iranian and Israel stuff, folks, this is getting serious now, this business with Obama and Netanyahu and Israel and so forth. Michael Goodwin had a column in the New York Post yesterday: “Israel: Beware of Obama.”

I’ll give you the opening paragraph: “First he comes for the banks and health care, uses the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department, spies on journalists, tries to curb religious freedom, slashes the military, throws open the borders, doubles the debt and nationalizes the Internet.”

“He lies to the public, ignores the Constitution, inflames race relations and urges Latinos to punish Republican ‘enemies.’ He abandons our ­allies, appeases tyrants, coddles ­adversaries and uses the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast. Now heÂ’s coming for Israel. Barack ObamaÂ’s promise to transform America was too modest. He is transforming the whole world before our eyes. Do you see it yet?”

Now, this is a brilliantly constructed three-paragraph analysis of Barack Hussein O, and we’re gonna talk about making Washington to work in the context of all this? We don’t send people to Washington to make Washington work. This is an absolute disaster we have on our hands. First he comes for the banks and health care, uses the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department. The Constitution doesn’t exist now and then and from day to day.

There’s much more at stake here than just making Washington work. But this is how they’re gonna go about criticizing and disqualifying Ted Cruz. “Well, you know, we don’t know, manage things, he’s gonna continue to shake things up but, well, can he manage things?”

Can the guy in there now manage things? Well, yeah, depending on what you want managed. Depending on what your objectives are. But this is an abject, absolute disaster that we’ve got going on. And people continue to look at this circumstance as though it’s just traditional Republican versus Democrat. We are so beyond that. The people I know who are hell-bent on getting rid of liberalism, the Democrat Party, never even talk about making Washington work in the sense that Halperin means it.

Now, here’s John King over at CNN. This was on New Day this morning. Daily Beast

senior politics editor Jackie Kucinich and Lisa Lerer of AP talking about Ted Cruz’s announcement today. John King asked the question, “If he’s so well known among the conservative base and so well liked for standing up against the President and against his own leadership, why is Ted Cruz in the single digits in the approval numbers?”

KUCINICH: Nothing actually happens. He makes a fuss, and then it actually goes back to how it was. So, you know, the fact that he does kick up a lot of sand, at the end of the day, it’s the same, it’s the same result.

LERER: I think there will be an electability question. And Republicans want to win.

KING: His biggest challenge is that a lot of, even Republicans, see him as a protester, as an opposition figure. Not as a president.

RUSH: Yeah, it’s amazing, it’s predictable, but it’s still nevertheless amazing the way they go about disqualifying and choosing our candidate. That’s what these people are doing. They’re setting themselves up once again to choose the Republican nominee by telling us he can’t win. This guy just kicks up sand. He’s just a protester. He’s just a raconteur. He’s not going to change anything. This guy doesn’t know what he’s doing. Republicans wanna win and Ted Cruz, he doesn’t know how to win, not even a lot of Republicans think he can win, and this is how they immediately set out to disqualify. Here’s Jerry Brown. I mentioned this sound bite earlier.

BROWN: What he said is absolutely false. Human activity, the industrial activity, the generation of CO2, methane, oxides and nitrogen, all the rest of those greenhouse gases are building up in the atmosphere, they’re heat trapping, and they’re causing not just warm drought in California, but severe storms and cold in the East Coast. And that man betoken such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of existing scientific data. It’s shocking, and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.

RUSH: Gotta go to the break, folks. We’ll be right back.


RUSH: No, it’s true, I don’t depend on government for anything, either. I mean, that’s a factor in my belief that, you know, making Washington work — see, that’s the problem, though, folks. Too many people depend on Washington to protect ’em from rapists, it seems. Too many people depend on Washington to feed them. Too many people depend on Washington to clothe them. Too many people depend on Washington for their retirement. Too many people depend on Washington for their health. Too many people depend on Washington for their energy needs. To those people, Washington working does matter.

And you know what it means? The gravy train never stops. Wanting Washington to work means the transfer of wealth becomes more efficient, that taxes get raised, that people who are producing get taxed more so their money can be given to those who aren’t working as hard or aren’t producing as much, so that we can have a fair country. So I will admit, there are a lot of people to whom Washington working matters. But I’m not one of them. And I’m not trying to be insensitive with this.

But I’m telling you, the idea that there are Republicans galore out there looking for a candidate who can go to Washington and make it work, there aren’t any conservatives looking for that. Not real conservatives, if they even know what conservatism is. Washington working in that context, that’s liberalism. It isn’t conservatism, and that’s not how Washington’s supposed to work in the first place.


RUSH: Yeah, that’s right. They want Washington to work better, and Ted Cruz’s challenge is to say that he can make Washington work. Okay. Let’s examine this in a little bit more detail, because Snerdley thinks that I have swerved here into a profundity, if you will, even though it’s nothing I haven’t said before. But the fact is, Washington working is not a concern to me because I don’t depend on it for anything other than national defense, the highways.

Don’t misunderstand. I don’t get any money from Washington. The way I live, all Washington does is take from me. Now, that in and of itself doesn’t make me bitter. I want to be perfectly clear about this. Washington working, in liberal circles in the media, really means nothing more than Washington has become the central most important aspect of way too many people’s lives. People depend on Washington — I just went through the list of things, and it’s endless — instead of depending themselves.

Now, liberals, because they have very little faith in people to do well, they’re all for Washington working in the sense of providing this and that for people, be it a cell phone, be it food stamps, you pick it. Because they don’t believe people have the ability on their own to be self-sufficient, and therefore they claim that they are compassionate and big-hearted because they want to use other people’s money, which is what government is to them, to try to improve people’s lives.

My question is this. We have a national debt approaching $18 trillion. The vast majority of that, six trillion of it, seven trillion of it, just in the last six, seven years. Obama’s one-third of that, since the beginning of time. With that much money that we’ve spent that we don’t have, we’ve spent $18 trillion that we don’t have. Why isn’t there utopia already? How in the world can this be made to work, if $18 trillion doesn’t do the job? Why is there so much anger, rage, and hatred among the primary beneficiaries of all of this Washington help?

You see, the left only wants their good intentions to be examined and acknowledged, but never the results. We’re never supposed to look at the results of their programs because when we do, all we see is abject failure. And the people that they have convinced to set aside their own self-reliance and instead rely on them, look at ’em. They’re filled with rage. They are angrier today than I can remember them ever being in my lifetime over issues and problems that have, in many ways, been solved. Certainly have been have been addressed in phenomenal ways. And yet they are angrier, they’re more bitter, they’re more unhappy than ever. And yet welfare and other forms of Washington care and concern have never been higher.

The evidence is all around us it doesn’t work. The evidence is all around us that Washington cannot work. And where the left revels in attacking people like me for saying things like this, they love to say that the words I just used prove to you that I have no heart, that I have no compassion. And, you know, it’s the exact opposite. I’m really worried about this country, and I’m worried because the “Washington works” crowd has robbed how many millions of people in this country the opportunity for self-reliance? And in that denial, how many people have been robbed their dignity? How many people have been robbed of their self-respect?

How many people will never know the good vibe of achievement and accomplishment, of doing something, of getting better at something, maybe even being the best at something or among the best? How many people will never know it, because they are now mired in a pit of rage and anger because there just isn’t enough to give away to make everybody prosperous and wealthy? And there never will be, and there has never been a system devised, in the course of humanity, that can accomplish what today’s left claims they can accomplish. It’s never worked; it will never work; it cannot possibly work. It is impossible.

Barack Obama has grown government. He has grown transfer payments. He has given away more money, and the people getting it are angrier than they’ve ever been. And they’re unhappier than they’ve ever been, and they’re more miserable. They’re not even close to contentment and they’re looking for somebody to blame because they believed all these promises. All of these years they’ve believed the promises, take your pick, from FDR forward, to every Democrat that’s made them. “I can make Washington work for you.”

They’re protesting. They’re angry. They’re still living in poverty, relative terms. They do not know the first thing about self-reliance. They’ve even been taught to resent that. They’ve even been taught to hate that. They have been taught to be suspicious of genuine success. They’ve been told that the real cheats in our society are the successful. They have been told that the people that are really gaming the system, that the people that are really unfair, are the achievers and the people who are working and have been successful.

And the Democrat Party and the American left continues to keep people subservient and in a constant state of need by promising them what? That they’re gonna go get even with the successful. They’re gonna get even with ’em and they’re gonna raise their taxes and they’re gonna take money away from ’em and they’ve got more than they need, and we’re gonna get it, and we’re gonna get it for you, because they have stolen it from you for too long.

It stands to reason 50, 60 years of hearing this crap, you believe it. What I don’t get is voting for this crap 50 or 60 years and being angrier and more unhappy than ever, why you keep doing it. But they do, and in part because they’ve got no other choice. The government opens job training centers to help people go out and find work. But they’re not job training centers. They’re community organizing locations, and they’re taught how to protest. They’re taught how to riot. They’re taught grievance. They’re taught anger. They’re taught rage. They’re taught resentment. And all of this is to benefit the power of the Democrat Party.

In my case, you know, I cringe at the destruction of all of this human potential, all of these human beings that have bought into this notion that the Democrat Party can make Washington work by providing this or that or getting even with those people. Those people will never know achievement, they’ll never know self-accomplishment. They’ve grown to resent it, they’ve grown to not believe in it, they’ve grown to suspect it, and, as such, they don’t even have their dignity, all because they vote Democrat.

My wish would be to get hold of these people a lot earlier in their lives and start hitting them with high expectations, not the soft bigotry of low expectations. The Democrat Party feels sorry for every minority group out there. They feel sorry for ’em, and the sympathy is what governs. Sympathy makes everybody think they have compassion. They look at minority groups as incompetent and incapable. Minority and race, minority gender, minority number, I don’t care how you define minority, they look at every minority as in need of the Democrat Party. The minority exists as a bunch of victims because some invisible successful people over here have taken what they have and they won’t give it back.

So when I say I don’t have any interest in Washington working, what I’m really saying is, I want to change things, or have things change in such a way that people who are currently lost and aimless because they’re totally dependent on a freaking political party, I would rather those people be inspired and ignited with enthusiasm about providing for and succeeding on their own terms by themselves, and I do not think it’s mean-spirited to say that. I say that out of love for people, not because I don’t like them. I say that because I want everybody to be the absolute best they can be.

I want everybody to experience the absolute most wondrous life possible being an American offers. And I just cringe when I look at all of this rage and anger, and I look at what’s causing — Look, just one recent example, “hands up, don’t shoot,” it did not happen. The entire Democrat Party perpetuates a lie. The media joins them in perpetuating the lie that a young black kid tried to surrender and was gunned down in cold blood by a mean-spirited racist white cop in St. Louis. It did not happen. And yet how many Americans believe that it did because it was to the political advantage of the Democrat Party to spread that lie?

So those people that believe this are running around enraged further, angrier than they’ve ever been. They are beside themselves with rage at how this country is so stacked against them, when it isn’t. This country’s not stacked against anybody, except its enemies. Well, except maybe not even that now, because America’s enemies are becoming its friends, and America’s friends are running the risk of becoming enemies at the hands of this administration.

But it’s not mean-spiritedness to want the best for people. And it’s not mean-spiritedness to realize that government working is not how we achieve the best for the most. We achieve the best for the most with the most engaging in self-reliance and self-interest. But boy, when you utter the words “self-reliance,” it’s like showing Dracula the cross. Those are fighting words to Democrats. You know what the reaction to that? “Oh, easy for you to say. Easy for you to say. But not everybody can be.”

“Why is that?”

“Well, look at all the people with disabilities.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“And look at all the victims of institutional racism and sexism.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“And look at all the people who want to get into the country not being allowed into the country.”

“Oh, yeah.”

So the Democrats construct all of these excuses for people to fail. The Democrat Party, the American left constructs all of these justifiable excuses for people to rely on to explain their anger, to explain their unhappiness and misery. If this were some totalitarian Regime, I can understand this. The United States of America, where potential and opportunity are limitless, door’s open to everybody. But if you’re told your entire life and your kids are told for their entire lives that not only is the door not open, that it doesn’t exist for you, what are you gonna think?

If that’s the way you’re educated, if that’s the way you’re raised, if that’s the way you vote, then somebody like me comes along and says, “No, no, no, no, no, that door is right over there, all you gotta do is open it.”

“That’s not for me because when I open that door I’m gonna be discriminated against. I’m not gonna get a fair shake.”

No, the fact is that every human being in America, if he or she wants, has an excuse for failure. We can all blame something. We can all blame some phantom discrimination. The obese can blame discrimination against the fat. The stupid can blame discrimination against the stupid. Women can explain it because of the glass ceiling. You’re always gonna be able to construct — everybody can have an excuse, everybody, if you want to blame somebody else, you can do it.

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