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RUSH: Oh, no, what happened to the guy.  Oh, for crying out loud, did you get his number?  Aw.  You know, we had a guy — this is why I wanted to get to calls in the first hour.  We had a guy who claims to be a 20-year listener. He’s a hard-core leftist but loves the program. He says he hears things, news things, stories, that he doesn’t hear anywhere else, that’s why he listens.  He doesn’t get mad.  He appreciates the passion I bring, and he thinks that I’d be a great guy to have a sit-down, face-to-face conversation with.  Is that what he was gonna say? 

And I was gonna ask, “How can you be a 20-year listener here and still remain a liberal?”  I mean, that’s what liberals are afraid of.  You remember when Tom Daschle — 2002 was such a watershed year, because 2002, the midterm elections, that was the year Paul Wellstone died and they had that big memorial for him in Minnesota where Republican colleagues of Wellstone’s in the Senate showed up and were booed out of the building.  And it turned out it was not a memorial.  It turned into a giant progressive just uber-leftist political rally. 

It was just filled with hate-filled comments about Republicans and others.  And one of the speakers was Tom Harkin.  And they were feeling their oats.  They thought that they had successfully destroyed Bush, even though Bush was in office, the Florida recount had been divisive and impassioned.  They were fit to be tied.  They thought the Supreme Court stole the presidency from them by shutting down the 18th recount or whatever it was.  They were just loaded for bear. 

And then 9/11, of course, happened, and they gave Bush a couple weeks, and then they launched.  And they thought that the standard operating procedure in the political playbook was gonna happen, that in off-year elections, the out-of-power party wins big in congressional and Senate races.  And they were loaded.  They thought they were gonna reclaim the House in 2002. 

Well, it didn’t happen.  It turned out that the Republicans gained seats.  I’ll never forget, I was doing election night coverage with Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw that night on NBC, and Brokaw was clearly unnerved by it.  He was surprised.  All the political professionals were.  This wasn’t supposed to happen.  Bush was supposed to be already universally reviled.  The Republicans were supposed to have been thoroughly identified as cheaters, having stolen the election from Algore.  And then the Wellstone memorial, they thought, was gonna be a great rallying point for Democrat vote turnout. And then they end up losing seats, and they were beside themselves. 

Shortly after that, Tom Daschle, who at the time was the Senate majority leader, I remember Daschle came out of a meeting post-midterms — remember this Snerdley? — he came out of a meeting that Democrat leaders had had, and he expressed shock, surprise, and disappointment.  He said their research, their expert research had shown not only were Democrats listening to Rush Limbaugh, but they were changing their party affiliation.  And they had the completely opposite idea. 

They thought that I was driving people away from the Republican Party.  They thought that I was creating Democrats with my daily extremism.  And their own research showed the exact opposite was happening.  Then they combined that with the exit polling data from the midterms, and they found out that Values Voters were the primary reason that Republicans gained seats.  And the Democrats were confused because they couldn’t remember any values issues. 

I had to remind them, you demonstrated where your values aren’t with that Wellstone memorial.  You people, you don’t understand how that hurt you.  You thought that was one of the biggest political rallies you’ve ever conducted, and it was all positive, you have no idea that it was suicidal, near suicidal for you.  So, anyway, it’s a long story, but I tell it because how can somebody be a liberal listening here for 20 years and remain one?  And like the program.  I would really like to have asked the guy that.  But Snerdley tells me he had to hang up because his lunch hour was over.

See, if you’d have told me that he had a limited amount of time for his lunch hour, I would have stopped everything and taken the call.  But, yeah, he’s gonna call back, but when’s he gonna get through?  August?  November?  Sure he can call, he may be calling back right now.  You know some people, it’s taken them 22 years to get in this program. Then when he gets back in, how long are you gonna keep him on hold, another hour?   

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