Originally published on 2.0: The Blogmocracy


I was quite a fan of Rush Limbaugh toward the end of the Clinton administration, during the Kosovo War and its aftermath. Rush was one of the very few public figures who dared to point out that the war was not only pointless but wrong.

Later on, during the George W. Bush administration, I came to believe that Rush Limbaugh cut GWB way too much slack. Rush had been friends with the Bush family since his sportscaster days, and was, in my opinion, too willing to give GWB and his advisers the benefit of the doubt. Later in GWB’s term, after I began traveling around and working on unpredictable schedules where I ordinarily could not listen to the radio on any regular basis, I no longer kept track of Rush Limbaugh.

But now, I happened to see this transcript of one of Rush’s speeches, and I think he can offer us not only some funny anecdotes, but also some valuable perspectives.

Rush Speaks at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia

RUSH: But… (chuckles) For these 23 years I’ve thought that a whole bunch of people were on our team who really aren’t, and it’s become crystal clear. And we talked about this piece that was in the American Spectator by Angelo Codevilla called “America’s Ruling Class,” which is just a brilliant, brilliant piece and it codified and it established exactly what’s going on in the country today. It’s not Republican versus Democrat. And by the way, this is not to say that there’s no difference between the two because there clearly is. But we’re in the midst here of a crossroads that I don’t think any of us have ever faced in the country. I was thinking back the other day in my review of the 23 years: Make fun of liberals, talk about the things that they do and their policies. But we never, ever really thought that they would succeed to the point that the country as founded would be threatened.

RUSH: You know, when you hear people talk about what was here before America was founded in a positive way, that’s right out of the multicultural curriculum that has invaded public education in this country for the last 25 years. Now, to translate Obama, what he really means is: “Back in the good old days. Back before white Europeans arrived and brought syphilis, racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, and environmental destruction. Back in the good old days when the Indians were at one with the country, with the nation, with nature and so forth — and back when everybody was hunky dory getting along.” It’s hard for people to get their arms around the fact that the country has elected somebody who has a grudge against the country.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

RUSH: People still don’t want to believe it. And I am as serious about this as I have ever been about anything. I have no doubt that for whatever reason — and we can go through the list of what it is that Obama doesn’t like about the country. I know he’s been educated, informed and raised to not like this country from his father who didn’t like colonialism. His grandfather was run out of Kenya, the Mau Mau revolution, the Great British revolution at the time and that’s why Obama got rid of the bust of Winston Churchill first thing in the Oval Office. He didn’t just put it in the basement. He sent it back to the British embassy. He has a genuine animus. It’s not an accident that when it comes time to give a gift, he picks 25 DVDs at random from Amazon and doesn’t even send the correct country codes so the Prime Minister can watch them.

He’s got an axe to grind with the country. He doesn’t like it. He has been raised that this country as founded was unjust and immoral and he is hell bent on a course to change it, to cause us to have to pay the price for this. Now, you say this — and you’ve heard me say it on the radio daily — and if you’re immersed in this stuff daily and if you’re honest, if you’re honest with yourself about what you see and what you read; you can’t conclude anything other than that. But a lot of people, even who voted for him who are not happy now, they just can’t get their arms around the fact that we’ve elected somebody who has that view of the country. Sadly a lot of people on what I call “our side” of the aisle, the so called conservative media intelligencia inside the Beltway, they just think that he’s misguided, wrong, doesn’t understand economics, and is a little like a doofus.

And he may be all of that, but he’s much more. He has a plan. He’s the architect of reforming this country in a way that we wouldn’t recognize it as founded. There’s no way — folks, there’s no way — anybody that has the ability to be honest with themselves can look at his economic policies after a year and a half of utter, from our perspective, failure. Job destruction. I mean, the unemployment rate continues to climb. People have stopped looking for work. It is a disaster out there — and nobody in their right mind, after a year and a half of this, would say we need more of it. People would say, “This isn’t working!” This is his fault. We’ve had a year and a half of debt that has accrued, in his year and a half, that is more than all the debt from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Yet he blames George W. Bush for it and he blames us! He blames the American people. He says, “No, the days of the American people, the days of America leading the world economically are over.” The hell they are! They are not over.…

Imam Obama?

RUSH: They think, the media thinks that 20% of the American people believe Obama’s a Muslim because I began calling him “Imam Obama.”

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: The problem is, they took this poll on how many people think he’s a Muslim long before I started calling him Imam Obama. Why would anybody think Obama’s a Muslim? He only wants to bring Khalid Sheik Mohammed to trial in New York City and he wants to build a mosque at Ground Zero

AUDIENCE: (booing)

RUSH: Now, you stop and think of that for a second. This is somebody who either doesn’t understand why that’s a bad idea, or does understand it’s a bad idea and wants to just ram it down everybody’s throats. Which? It’s the latter, right? You think it’s the latter?

AUDIENCE: (applause)

RUSH: It’s perfectly understandable. Here’s a guy and his absolutely insane attorney general, Eric Holder, who wants to bring a guy, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — who said, “Please kill me. Martyr me! I want to meet the 72 virgins. Kill me at Club Gitmo. Kill me.” “No, no! We’re going to bring you to New York and we’re going to put you on trial. We’re going to give you a three year forum to tell the world how rotten the United States is.” That’s what that trial’s for, and it’s going to cost $200 million a year that we don’t have, unfunded security, for this trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a couple other of his henchmen? And everybody says, “Rush, don’t worry about it. They’ll never find a jury that will acquit.” (chuckles) Oh, really? In New York?

AUDIENCE: (laughter)…

Discomfiting America’s self-anointed ‘elite’

RUSH: Do you know Joy Behar? If there’s anybody ever inappropriately named, it’s Joy Behar. There’s somebody who’s never happy. I used to work next door to her at WABC in New York. I mean, there’s not a happy day in the woman’s life.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: She’s still — her butt’s so tightly scrunched up because Elton John sang at my wedding. She just can’t believe it!

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: I remember the New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a couple of years ago, invited me to go out on the town with her on a January night in New York. You know, I just love going into liberal enclaves and just blowing the places up. It’s like this. This is an electronic cigarette. Pull this baby out in an elevator and watch the liberals panic.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: I was over playing golf in Hawaii at a bar and whipped one of these things out. It’s water vapor. There’s no tobacco; there’s no flame. And the manager comes up, “Mr. Limbaugh, really, I’m sure you know we don’t allow smoking here in the bar.” I said, “I’m not smoking. This is an electronic cigarette,” and I unscrewed the filter, the cartridge to explain it to him he says, “Oh, oh, okay.” He walks away fine. I keep puffing away at it. He comes back in five minutes: “Mr. Limbaugh, ummm, uhhh, people say you are setting a bad example. One woman said you’re really enjoying it too much. Could you…?”

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: So when Cindy Adams calls and says, “Would you like to go to an HBO private screening?” I say, “Yes.”

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: It was a movie starring Susan Sarandon —

AUDIENCE: (groans)

RUSH: — who was playing the character Doris Duke, the tobacco queen, and the screening was at the Time Warner Center… Well, it’s Columbus Circle somewhere. So we go in there and, folks, it is the ruling class. I mean, these people we talk about, these self-defined elites. But when we call them “elites,” they are not better than us. That’s not what we mean. They think they are better than everybody else, but they aren’t. They are a minority. We’re being governed, we’re being ruled by a minority, and that’s going to change starting in November. But more on that in just a second.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

RUSH: So… So I walk in with Cindy Adams, and you could just see. Tina Brown and her husband Harry what’s his face, Harry Evans. Harry Evans. Short little guy. Tina’s about here. You see that and you wonder: How does it work?

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: And their eyes bug out. They look at me. They just can’t believe it. They look at Cindy: “Why did you drag him in here?” So guess who I see taking off her coat and checking it? Joy Behar.

AUDIENCE: (groans and laughter)

RUSH: And she doesn’t see me. Now, we literally worked together at WABC in New York for, I guess two or three years, and I was very helpful to her. ABC was trying to get her a television talk show for years, and I went up to New Haven, Connecticut, to do a pilot with her and I flew out to Hollywood to do a pilot. I helped her every time she asked me to appear on her television pilots, and still she hates me!

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: So I see her and she’s with this guy that has been her boyfriend for 15 years. I mean, this guy, believe me, is so henpecked, the only thing he does behind her back is zip her up.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: If it weren’t for his varicose veins, the guy would be totally colorless. So I see Joy over there and I walk up and I just give her a big hug: “Joy, how are you?” and she acts like she’s being raped! She panicked. She freaked! “Oh, my God!” She sees me. “YOU! How did YOU get in here?” She really said that: “How did YOU get in here?” I said, “Cindy Adams brought me.” I mean, it was the last place I was supposed to be. I love just tweaking these people — and they sat me right behind Susan Sarandon in the screening

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

RUSH: And right next to her daughter. And Susan Sarandon, of course, comes in late because she’s the star. And she goes to the stage to explain this brilliant, moving role that she played, and comes down and takes her seat and sees that it’s right in front of me — and Cindy Adams is seated to my left. She turns to Cindy and she says, “This is one heck of a photo op.” So I love it. I just love tweaking these people. You can do it each and every day because the truth of the matter is that they live in their little enclaves and they are insecure. At the end of the day they’re all very insecure, and this is why they band together. But their insecurity has led to a pompous arrogance in the way they deal with everybody, and it has infected people on our side in Washington, DC. You know, the liberals do run that town. They run it politically, they run it socially, and everybody wants to be part of it. In your neighborhood you want to matter, you want to live and be friends. You don’t want to be antagonistic with people. So too many of our people have gone out of their way to try to say, “We’re not like those Limbaugh wackos.” Some of them, like National Review magazine. It used to be Bill Buckley’s magazine: “Stand to thwart history and say, ‘Stop!'” And now they’re in this chorus that says Christine O’Donnell can’t get elected. It’s silly. I look at it: Here’s a magazine founded by a man, William F. Buckley, whose intention was to have the countryside strewn with the carcasses of liberals everywhere.

AUDIENCE: (applause)

RUSH: And now they’re invoking “the Buckley Rule,” the Buckley Rule which means “support the most electable conservative.” Well, I don’t know how you support Mike Castle. He’s not a conservative. He’s a RINO. Harry Reid couldn’t wait! Harry Reid couldn’t wait for Mike Castle to get there and join him in voting on cap and trade. So one of the points that I want to make about all of this and the Tea Party is that I still run into people. Despite the successes of the Tea Party and the overwhelming polling data that suggest a really successful November, people are still in some cases depressed and insecure because they don’t see their values, their success stories represented in traditional media. Traditional media still impugns, laughs at, and makes fun of us all — and they’re not media folks. They really never have been. This is one of the things. I used to think they were not objective reporters. I knew there were liberals, but now they’re activists and they are making no pretense. They don’t report news. They are just activists now. They are out trying to further an agenda. It’s Obama’s agenda. It’s the Democrat Party’s agenda. So anybody who is expecting them to be fair or honest in recognizing things we succeed at, you’re always going to be disappointed. Take solace in the fact that last week the three nightly newscast shows — Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric — lost 700,000 more viewers.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

RUSH: That’s big. Here’s the difference. This, of course, will never happen, but if the radio ratings came out and I had lost 700,000 listeners, the last thing I would do is say, “Those stupid people.” I’d say, “What am I not doing here? How have I failed to connect? How have I let the audience down?” They don’t. The news business is the only business where the customer is not only wrong, he’s an idiot!

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: You call and complain and they say, “Well, I’m sure you can’t understand the way we do our jobs. You can’t understand the process by which we put together the news. It’s really, really beneath our ability to explain it to you.” So they lose viewers, and they’re happy about it because they think they’re getting rid of the rubes. I watch. I have the news on during my show every day just because you never know. Some car chase might happen and you have to comment on it, some big news story.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: And I happen to see Andrea Mitchell (NBC News-Washington) and she’ll have… did I say something wrong? Or it’s potty time? Oh, good. Whew! (chuckles) The future of the country right there and I come this close to blowing it.

AUDIENCE: (laughter and applause)

RUSH: So I watch these shows, folks. I watch and I realize — like let’s say she will have as her guest F. Chuck Todd.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: F. Chuck is the — what is he? — White House correspondent, NBC News political director. He’s a journalist in good standing. And I see him talking to Andrea and Andrea talking, and they’re not talking to an audience. They’re talking to themselves and they’re talking to other news people watching. F. Chuck is hoping Bob Schieffer’s watching and is impressed. F. Chuck hopes Walter Cronkite’s watching from the Great Newsroom Up There and is impressed. F. Chuck hopes that other news people are watching. He hopes the New York Times editors are watching. They do it for each other. They write their articles, their columns, news stories for each other. They don’t connect with their audience. We in the new media present to them a giant question mark. They do not understand how it is that our enterprises are successful and growing. They have to say that you are my robots. They have to insult you. It can’t be that you and I share the same values. It can’t be that what I really do is simply validate what you already think. You know, I don’t teach you anything.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

RUSH: The secret… The secret to my success is I happened to come along in 1988. Back then look at what there was. There was ABC, CBS, NBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, US News, local rag newspapers, and CNN. That was it. And I came along and there was no national conservative voice in the media. So I fill the void — and our business plan did not say, “We’re going to fill a void. We’re going to be the only conservative voice.” I just said, “I’m going to do a good show. I’m going to try to attract an audience. I’m going to be honest about the things I believe and roll the dice and see if it works,” and it did. To this day people, even in talk radio on competing stations or on the leftist side, do not understand the recipe for success. It’s so simple. It’s right out in front. You be honest, you have a connection with the audience, you have credibility, and they believe you. You never, you never steer them wrong as a host. You build the loyalty. And we haven’t lost any dollars, we haven’t lost any audience in 23 years. We’re growing while they’re all plunging and falling apart.

AUDIENCE: (whistling and applause)

RUSH: Now… this is obviously a testament to my superior talent and skill.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: But in truth, in truth what it is is a very…almost humbling thing for me to have this large an audience. I mean, they put out 15 million listeners. It’s more like 23 to 25 million in a week. To have people like you show up here, I’m in awe of it every day. I don’t… When I say, “I have to meet and surpass audience expectations every day,” I do. I do not take you being here or listening on the radio for granted for even a moment.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

RUSH: It’s not just that I love you all knowing what you believe and what you want for the country. It’s I respect your intelligence. I don’t talk down to you, I don’t assume that you’re ignorant or a novice, and a lot of people in the conservative media are the same way. We’re just real people. We have a genuine connection, and it drives them nuts — and when they have to resort to impugning you, me, all it does is strengthen us, and it makes us more committed than ever to oppose them and defeat them. They have created this monster themselves.

AUDIENCE: (applause)…

Rush on Michael Vick

RUSH: And then I’m watching the opening weekend of the NFL. By the way, a shout-out to Kevin Kolb. Did you see the headline in the Philadelphia paper today? “Michael Vick, Top Dog”? Whoa! I saw that, I said, “What does Vick think of that?” I mean, I came out dressed in black today in honor of Andy Reid.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

Holding liberals accountable

RUSH: It’s like anything else in liberalism. It has as its purpose to control our lives, to have power over us, and it plays on the common human emotion of guilt: I’m going to make them feel guilty for destroying the climate, but I’m going to also tell them they can save it. All they’ve got to do is drive around piece of crap cars and pay higher taxes. All they’ve got to do is move into smaller houses. All they’ve got to do is buy one sheet of toilet paper like Sheryl Crow. These people are idiots! These people are stupid and we have to sit here and listen to Christine O’Donnell and Sarah Palin be insulted, and these people are absolute nimrods. So I go back and forth: How in the world did this guy get elected? Then I see the Nissan commercial and I realize we have a battle here, and some of us look at the objective: Okay, we’ve got to go out and change people’s minds and get them to join us. I looked at the Obama CNBC thing and I saw these people ostensibly expressing problems with his policy say, “Now, there’s somebody. We can go get that person.” This Velma Hart was her name. This woman is ripe for the taking if we somehow get to Velma. “Yes, your answer, this is your new reality. On purpose. No future. No economic future. Yes, and you were looking right at the man, the president of the United States who’s giving it to you. Yes.” I wonder, “Could we convert the woman?” Then I say, “Do we have time?” The first objective is to just vote against anybody with a Democrat behind their name.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

RUSH: That’s what has to be done. It’s time to stop being defensive and think we need to explain ourselves to them.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

RUSH: They’re the ones at some point who we are going to call upon and we’re going to demand an accounting for the damage they have caused the country and the future.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)…

No more RINOs; no more ‘reaching across the aisle’

RUSH: Time to stop thinking of ourselves defensively. We don’t need to seek validation from people who are never going to acknowledge who we are in the first place, the media or Democrats. We don’t need Mike Castles and John McCains to cross the aisle. We don’t need it. When you admit it, when you say, (imitating McCain) “That’s right, Limbaugh, I can reach across the aisle! I’m the only one who can do it!” That means that you are inherently saying you’re not good enough, McCain. You’re only going to be good enough if you get those people to join us. Well, those people are destroying us. Why do you want to join them? I had a big dinner party in New York at Roger Ailes’ house. I haven’t hid this on the radio. Karl Rove was there. Christine O’Donnell’s name came up. He didn’t say a word. Mike Castle’s name came up and Judge Napolitano was there and Neil Cavuto.

AUDIENCE: (cheers and applause)

RUSH: So anyway, the trashing of the Tea Party, the criticism of people like Christine O’Donnell from our side is going to continue. And the reason it’s going to happen — you know, people have asked me, “Why is Rove doing what he’s doing?” I really don’t know. I mean, I can understand before an election, but after she’s won? Why give the Democrats fodder for their own TV commercial? I don’t understand it. We’re told that when these RINOs win like Specter and these people —

AUDIENCE: (booing)

RUSH: We’re told, “Come on now. We have to join forces and be unified.” Fine, okay. And we always do, don’t we? We grit our teeth, we mutter some obscenities, but we do it. Okay. So here now the terribly sophisticated, brilliant, erudite Mike Castle won’t dane to even call Christine O’Donnell and congratulate her. (audience interruption) He did call? He did call? Wait a minute now. One voice at a time. Did he call and tell her to go to hell or did he call and congratulate her? Did he say he’s going to endorse her? What we found out was that Obama and Biden called Castle to commiserate after all this. Now, see, I’m just some hick from Missouri but that kind of tells me something.

AUDIENCE: (laughter)

RUSH: We have people on our side who want to be thought of as reasonable. We’ve been painted as racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, extremists, so forth, and I’ve said on the radio a number of times that the Republican Party has its own rift. We’ve got northeastern liberal Republicans who do not like social issues, the pro-lifers being in the party, don’t like going to the convention with them. They are embarrassed to be seen with them. Their liberal buddies in New York make fun of them for being in the same party as a bunch of Billy Bobs with gun racks in the back of a Ford 150. Plus, their wives give them hell like you wouldn’t believe.

I told this story on the radio. I was in the Hamptons back in the early nineties. One of the few times I’ve been there. It was a dinner party at some famous people’s house you would know. And after the dinner party one of them came up to me, jabbed me in the chest and said, “What are you going to do about the Christians?” I said, “What do you mean what am I going to do about the Christians?” “Well, yeah, yeah, they listen to you. What are you going to do about it?” I said, “What are you talking about?” “Abortion, man, it’s killing the party. It’s going to kill the party. You’re going to have to tell these Christians –” “Why am I going to have to tell the Christians? Why don’t you?” And this guy actually said, “My wife won’t leave me alone. She’s bugging me about this. You’ve got to do something because they listen to you.”

So the people who are not with us are something that I’ve grown to despise, people concerned about what others think of them, people who try to be what they are based on what they think others want them to be. You know, we’ve all done that. We’ve all done that in high school. The problem is some people still haven’t gotten out of high school and still live in that clique world and they’re still concerned, and too many people on our side are still concerned about what those people, the left and the liberals and the people that run the show in Washington think of them. And they don’t want to be thought of as unreasonable or racist or sexist. So they’ll criticize us. And they’ll jump in Christine O’Donnell’s chili. They’re afraid of being associated with her because they hear what the liberals are saying and they don’t want to be laughed at like they’re laughing at Christine O’Donnell. So we have two challenges. We have to prevent a third party from forming because that’s going to elect Democrats from here to kingdom come.

AUDIENCE: (applause)

RUSH: At the same time we have to succeed in Reaganizing the Republican Party once again.

AUDIENCE: (applause)

RUSH: And that’s what the Tea Party is. As for me, people ask, “Why do you still do this? I mean, could work 30 weeks a year, four days a week.” Some people say, “Yeah, he already does.” But I don’t. “What do you have left to prove?” I said, “I’m not trying to prove anything. The way I look at what I do, I still feel blessed to have the opportunity I have. And I wish everybody had the opportunity to find in life their passion and get paid for it.” I mean, I got fired a whole bunch of times and I did jobs that I was not really meant for, but had to eat. I’ve been fired all these times but finally found what I was born to do. And I’m doing it, and I have no desire to stop doing it, especially now because it matters so much.…

Read it all.


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