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RUSH: I got today’s audio sound bite roster. Let me just count them. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Looks like the first eight. And Cookie tells me that there could be more. She just didn’t give them all to me. In a lot of these, your host coming under savage attack because of my interpretation of the budget bill that the House of Representatives passed that now goes to the Senate. Oh, I’m sorry. The Senate just passed it. Well, big surprise, the Senate just passed it moments ago. And I am being categorized as far right, insensitive, out of touch, not quite understanding what I’m talking about.

Let’s just hit it, see what I’m talking about. And we’ll square it all up when I get through these things. We’ll start here with CNBC Squawk Box this morning, Joe Kernen speaking with their Washington correspondent, Eamon Javers about the proposed federal budget. This is how that exchange went.

KERNEN: Depending on how far right you go, I think what Rush Limbaugh says is you might as well just disband the Republican Party after agreeing to this giveaway or something, so.

JAVERS: Well, the question is will conservatives give Speaker Ryan a pass on this one. They’ve given him a pass on a couple things already early in his tenure. He came out at a press conference this week and said, look, I don’t like the process, I don’t like doing these big omnibus catch all bills with everything in them, but I was dealt the cards I was dealt with and we’re playing the best hand we can.

RUSH: Yeah? He said that. And this is what we’ve been hearing. I addressed this yesterday. We’ve been hearing this is the best we could do. You know, I’m gonna be interested to see, as we go through these sound bites, if anybody actually, in referring to what I said yesterday, actually refers to the fundamental point that I made. I mean, they can nibble at me on the margins here and on the edges, but the point is that there’s no way this could go.

It doesn’t matter if Ryan had spent two months on this instead of two weeks, there was no other way this could go, and the reason is that the Republicans have said that they will in no way, shape, manner, or form even be associated with a government shutdown. They won’t even publicly think about it, much less talk about it, much less do it. Well, all spending originates in the House of Representatives. This country cannot spend a dime until it’s authorized in the House of Representatives.

And if the Republican Party — the recipient of two midterm landslide election victories in 2010 and 2014, which saw the Democrats lose 1,000 seats down the ballot, from the federal ballot all the way down to state governor, local, you name it. If the Republican Party is going to throw away its power of the purse, if it is going to react in abject fear whenever the media comes along and accuses them of thinking about shutting the government, then it doesn’t matter how much time you have to work the deal out.

It doesn’t matter how much time. The Democrats are never gonna cave on anything because they’re not going to have to because the Republicans are throwing away every bit of leverage they have. They’ve already said that they’re not going to impeach Obama about anything ever, so he has no obstacles. They will keep the government open (and put this in caps) AT ALL COSTS. They have determined, folks, that there is less political damage to them doing budget deals like this than there is being accused of shutting down the government.

They believe — and you can listen to any of the inside-the-Beltway establishment Republicans in the media and out talk about it. They literally panic and break out in sweats the very idea of a government shutdown. They are convinced that the people of this country have become so dependent on the government operating every day and giving things away that if the Republicans come along and are said to be thinking about it or even make a move toward shutting it down, that the entire country is going to hate them and never vote for them.

And so we can get no other budget deal than the kind we got. The GOP throws away all its leverage. The GOP throws away every bit of constitutional power it has. Not to mention it throws away its principles. Not to mention it throws away it’s… This is not a “far-right view.” This is a pretty simplistic — if you want to know the truth — political analysis of the situation. There are no far-right attitudes that are shaping any thinking here. This is just straight up and down political analysis.

The Republican Party’s made a political calculation. They’re in total defense mode. And, as such, there’s less damage by doing deals like this than be accused of or associated with a government shutdown. So, the government remains open at all costs. When you have committed political players like the Democrats, they are going to take advantage of that every damn minute of every day, and they have, to the point now that in this budget you can’t tell the difference in the Democrats and the Republicans.

There is no difference. The Democrats wrote this, the Democrats got whatever they want, and the excuse is, “Well, he was dealt the cards he was dealt He was left a mess by Boehner. There wasn’t enough time to deal with it, and you just gotta bite the bullet here, Rush. I mean, this is really… This is best we can get. We gotta put this behind us and move on.” Which I think at last count, we’ve been doing that for about six years. We kick every can down the road. After promising voters, “We’re gonna deal with it. We’re gonna stop this. We’re gonna do something,” it’s, “Ah, we can’t do it right now.

“There’s too much potential here for really bad, negative fallout. You know what? We’re gonna let ’em have it. We’ll kick it down the road, here. We’ll get ’em next time. We’ll get ’em the next time the continuing resolution comes up. That’s it. We’ll get ’em. We’ll get ’em. You watch, we’ll get ’em.” And it comes up, and they kick that can down the road again. So my point yesterday was there’s really nothing you could expect other than this. Tell me why I’m wrong. I mean, if you’re gonna squander the power you have, the power of the purse…

If you’re gonna throw your principles away and down the drain, not defend them. If “keeping the government open” is defined by giving the Democrats what they want, how can it be anything other than what it was? Next sound bite: Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard was on C-SPAN this morning, the Washington Journal. The host there, Peter Slen, read what I had said yesterday about the budget deal and then got Kristol’s reaction. First, he reads from my transcript.

SLEN: This is a transcript from RushLimbaugh.com: “And now the Republicans have the largest number of seats in the House they’ve had in Congress since the Civil War. And it hasn’t made any difference at all. It is as though Nancy Pelosi is still running the House and Harry Reid is still running the Senate. “Betrayed” is not even the word here. What has happened here is worse than betrayal. Betrayal is pretty bad, but it’s worse than that. … [W]e don’t even need a Republican Party if they’re gonna do this. You know, just elect Democrats, disband the Republican Party, and let the Democrats run it, because that’s what’s happening anyway.”

RUSH: Now, it wasn’t that long ago that Bill Kristol would applaud this. In fact, he would not have needed to wait for me to say it because Bill Kristol would have been leading the pack saying it some years ago. But it’s a different Bill Kristol today.

KRISTOL: I don’t like the omnibus spending bill. I probably would vote against it if I were a member of Congress. Having said that, it would be a lot worse if Nancy Pelosi controlled the House and Harry Reid controlled the Senate. Let’s not kid ourselves. This
does not make the case for Democratic control of Congress. It doesn’t make the case that Republican control doesn’t matter. But I do think this is the case — and Paul Ryan sort of said this — that he it was stuck with where things were. The clock was running out; he felt he had to go with the way business has gone the last few years.

RUSH: Man. I mean, that’s rallying time, isn’t it? I mean, that really makes you want to rally to the cause. That makes you want to run around and defend all these Republicans, right? Mr. Snerdley, does that fire you up? Did you now change your opinion? You want to run around out there now and when anybody criticizes deal, you want to defend the Republicans now because of that striking and sterling defense of their behavior? (interruption) Really? That doesn’t make you want to go out and correct everybody that’s criticizing the Republicans?

“I don’t like the omnibus spending bill. I probably would vote against it if I were a member of Congress. Having said that, it would be a lot worse if Nancy Pelosi controlled the House and Harry Reid controlled the Senate.” Somebody show me where. Somebody show me where the Democrats didn’t get what they wanted. There were two things the Democrats didn’t want, and even these they benefit from. There were a couple of delays on the implementation of certain aspects of Obamacare. Those are the two things.

Those are the two things that we can say we planted the flag on — and in reality, the delay of those two things actually helps Obamacare because those two things — Cadillac Tax, a number of other things — would serve to illustrate the atrociousness of Obamacare. But since they’re not gonna be implemented, the atrociousness will not display, if you will. The atrociousness remains hidden while the tentacles of Obamacare weave themselves more deeply into the fabric of our society. Which means it becomes even more difficult to pull those tentacles out and repeal it.

So even the things the Democrats are crying some fake tears over are actually beneficial. I know the Democrats led the fight on the Cadillac Tax, but do you hear any Democrats complaining? They’re gloating! From Obama on down, they’re gloating! They’re clapping their hands; they’re celebrating. It doesn’t sound like they think there’s much more they could have gotten. Oh, man. I’ll tell you, people say that I some… I haven’t changed.

I am right here in the mainstream of conservatism where I have always been.


RUSH: I have a question on the budget deal. Can somebody explain to me how is it the clock “runs out” all the time? The need for a budget deal has been known for months. It wasn’t and isn’t as though on December 10th, the House realized there wasn’t a budget done and they needed to get one done. I mean, everybody knows every December we have one of these omnibus things. Every year. How in the world can the clock “run out” on something that everybody knows months in advance is on the schedule?
And the second question I have is, how come the clock never runs out on the Democrats? Could somebody explain either of these? I mean, this is the primary excuse — I’m sorry, “reason” — that is offered for why we have to do these deals. “Well, you know, we just had to resort to the way things have always been done. The clock was running out. I wouldn’t vote for it if I was there, but this is the best we could do.” We don’t have any standards anymore. We certainly don’t have any lofty expectations. If this is the best we could do because the clock was…

We run the place, folks! How in the world is it the clock is always running out on the people who have the stopwatch in their hands? Why is it the clock never runs out on the Democrats? They are in the minority. Speaking of which, how is it that after two midterm elections with more members of the Republican Party since the Civil War in the House, the Democrats win this? What is the point of the majority? When the Republicans were running in both 2010 and 2014, remember they said, “Well, you know, Obama’s in the White House and there’s nothing we can do.”

Okay, so we gave ’em the House.

Then after that they said, “Well, you know, Harry Reid’s still over there in the Senate. We can’t really do much.”

Okay, so we elected Republicans to run the Senate. And now the excuse is, “Well, you know, there’s not much we can do. Obama’s over there in the White House, and he’ll veto everything.” I don’t remember a single Republican campaign in 2010 or 2014 which said, “Elect me, because we’re not gonna be able to do jack excrement.” Do you? I remember campaigns filled with lofty objectives and goals and promises that were rooted in stopping this kind of thing. And so now, the day after it’s all done, who is the object of enmity? Me. A guy on the radio. I’m the problem.

Holy smokes, folks!


RUSH: I’m sorry, folks. I have even yet another question. How come the Democrats never have to deal with the cards they’re dealt? How come the clock never runs out on the Democrats? How come all of this only happens to the Republicans, who are running the place? Republicans run the place by a wide margin. More seats than the Republicans have held since the Civil War. “Well, the clock was running out. There was not much to do but do it the way we’ve always been doing it. Hands were tied, had to play the cards we were dealt.” Who runs this place? Who has the majority of seats in this place? Ditto over in the Senate.

Why does the clock always run out on an end-of-the-year budget deal when everybody knows months in advance the end-of-the-year budget deal is coming up? How in the world does any of this happen? These are rhetorical questions. It happens because this is what the Republicans wanted the end result to be. The proof of that is the excuses they’re offering. They don’t have the temerity to come out and say, “Hey, we love this. This is what we want. This is great for the country. We have bipartisan agreement here.” I mean, why aren’t they doing that? If bipartisan agreement is what voters want, if voters want Republicans to cross the aisle to work with Democrats to cooperate to make Washington work, why aren’t the Republicans saying they did all that and taking all the credit for it and getting all the praise?

It seems to me that what just happened here is what the Republicans think they have to do in order to keep winning elections. Gotta show they can cross the aisle; gotta put together bipartisan legislation; gotta be cooperative with the Democrats; gotta make Washington work, i.e., make sure it doesn’t shut down; gotta make sure that the two sides get together and cooperate and send something up to the president to prove to everybody that the government’s working. Where are the Republicans out taking credit for it instead of making excuses?

And then how is it that I am the problem here? How in the world can it be that I am the problem or any other critic? Stop and think how your intelligence is being insulted here on this. “Well, the clock was running out.” Every year we know that in December there’s gonna be an end-of-the-year omnibus, every year, because they’re not doing their job through the previous months of the year. Every year they wait for the deadline. They wait for the deadline so they can use the excuse, “Time was running out. We had no choice.” Except they’re running the show. They run the place. The Republicans are the vast majority of members.

I’m sorry to be repetitive here, folks, but this needs to be drilled home. The clock never runs out on the Democrats. The Democrats never have to play the cards they’re dealt. But why aren’t the Republican leaders out taking credit for what they’ve done here? Why are they making excuses for it, flimsy even though they are. I mean, we’ve got bipartisanship here. The Republicans eagerly worked with the Democrats. We’ve got agreement. We kept the government open. We’ve got cooperation. We have demonstrated the government works. We’ve demonstrated we got a big budget deal done on time. The Republicans say this is the exact kind of thing they’ve gotta do.

Let me answer this for you. They don’t really care if they lose the support of the current Republican base. That can be the only real political answer here, because none of this makes sense otherwise. Because what they’ve done here is exactly what they say they have to do in order to broaden their coalition. They have to agree with amnesty. They have to let Obamacare go ahead and happen. They have to work with the Democrats. They have to get the government spending things on expectations that people have because of entitlements, can’t take anything back, can’t make government smaller. They are actually out there trying to appeal to people that at present don’t vote for them, while they are purposely, in my estimation, trying to disenfranchise those who do vote for them.

So if you look carefully they’re doing exactly what they claim they have to do in order to win the presidency. You couple this with everything else we know, such as Jeb Bush starting out his primary campaign by saying he intended to win the nomination without the base. It was going to be a marvel of modern American politics, first-ever candidate to win his party’s nomination without the support of his party’s base. They don’t want it. It’s perfectly clear what’s happening here. And, of course, when they’re called on it, naturally those of us who criticize it are going to be pointed to as the problem.

Why is the only Republican in all of Congress who’s complaining about this Jeff Sessions? Well, yeah, Cruz is, Rubio did somewhat, but Jeff Sessions is really the only guy standing up and complaining about it, warning about it before it happens, trying to alert people what’s on the verge of happening. Is Sessions the only conservative left in Congress? What happened to all those that were elected in 2010, 2014? I mean, they’re there, but clearly the leadership’s running the show here.


RUSH: Seattle with David. Hello, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hey. Thanks, Rush. I’ve had it with my Republican Party’s position. Over the last ten years, I’ve watched everything change. And the beautiful thing about our Constitution is it doesn’t require legal analysts or pundits to explain to us the power of the purse and appropriation of funds starts with the legislative branch. And they’re just… The establishment, as far as I can tell, something happened between 2000 and 2004. I was sitting right on the edge of the, quote, “establishment.” I was King County chair for Bush-Cheney in 2004, and I could see the uncoupling between the establishment Beltway Republicans and the grassroots.

RUSH: That was over immigration, by the way. Immigration might have been the reason.

CALLER: It was, but it was also this really… There was a certain amount of fear surrounding the WMDs. “Oh, no, if we don’t find ’em, we’re done.” And I watched these people become tepid. I’m talking about the established party folks. And then as things have kind of evolved over the last 10 or 12 years here, I’ve seen us absolutely unwilling to ever back words or make philosophy arguments on substantive things. They just let the administrative state that is DC be run by Democratic operatives, and they’re willing to stand back and blame it on that system and not try to change anything. And I believe their days of helping bring America back to any kind of semblance of constitutional republic, I’ve given up. And if guys like me are giving up, guys who fight the fight and want to go out and do this stuff? And I’m done because there’s no effective means —

RUSH: I know. Look, I got an e-mail today from somebody you would all know. He’s a good friend of mine. I’m not gonna divulge the name because it was a private e-mail. But it was sent to me and a bunch of this guy’s friends, and the subject line was, “It’s over.” The budget deal, in his mind, represents the end of an era where reasonable, responsible people led our government. And then he goes into detail about what the passage of the budget deal means for the country and not the Republican Party. I mean, that’s obvious.

But what it means for the country and what it signals about the entire leadership class in Washington. So you’re right. There are all kinds of guys like you out there. You say you’ve given up. I don’t really believe that you’ve given up, but you’re fed up. And I can explain this to people. I mean, it’s not complicated if you just accept a couple things. But before I do that again — that would just be repetitive — let’s go to the audio sound bites, ’cause we got Bill Kristol out there (paraphrased), “You know what? It’s not like Pelosi and Reid running the place. No, no. Their clock ran out, not much time. We were dealt the cards. All we had to is get the deal done as soon as we could. It’s the best we had to work with,” right?

I want you to listen to Democrats, listen to Chuck Schumer, today, in Washington, on Capitol Hill. They had a Democrat leaders held a press conference to gloat about the passage of the budget deal. It’s number 22.

SCHUMER: If you would have told me this year that we’d be standing here celebrating the passage of an omnibus bill with no poison pill riders at higher levels above sequester than even the president requested, I wouldn’t have believed it. But here we are. This bill is a great victory for the principles Democrats stand for.

RUSH: I’m telling you, he’s being truthful. They can’t believe this. (summarized) “If you’d have told me that we’d be standing here and that we got more than we asked for. This bill is a great victory for the principles of the Democrat Party.” And we’ve got Republican establishment types who want to try to tell me that I am misreading this? Here’s Patty Murray, the old mom in tennis shoes. She was part of this deal today, too.

MURRAY: We rolled back the automatic budget cuts equally across defense and nondefense, and we kept out poison pill riders even after the Republicans spent months talking about defunding Planned Parenthood and attacking workers. It was a big victory for middle-class families and our economy.

RUSH: And finally Steve Israel in the House. He runs — or did — the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee.

ISRAEL: We ended up with a bill today that has all the good stuff in and most of the bad stuff out. That’s the definition of victory. That’s the definition of victory.

RUSH: They are the minority. You’ve got to understand, there are fewer Democrats in the House than at any time since the Civil War. And the clock ran out on Republicans! And it was the Republicans who had to deal with the cards they were dealt! The Democrats are gloating, and they can’t believe their good fortune.

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