Reality Bites WashingtonWednesday - February 10, 2016
RUSH: Folks, I want to remind you: We're now at the beginning of the cycle again. Before the Hawkeye Cauci, everything was theoretical. All we had to go on was polling data, and it led to all kinds of agendas and scenarios -- and the media has to report something. In the 24/7 news cycles, they've gotta report something. So they're naturally Gonna conflate polling data with reality, and the two are gonna end up being confused.
Then by the time you throw everybody's agenda from guest to guest to guest to analyst to analyst to analyst, before anything has ever happened you have a number of people already thinking they know what the outcome is. But then we actually have the vote, and everything that happened and was said prior to it is pretty much forgotten, because an injection of hard, cold reality has taken place. It happened after Iowa, and you remember what happened after Iowa. After Iowa, "Ted Cruz! Oh my God, Ted Cruz! Oh, jeez, Ted Cruz!"
The establishment went nuts. But then they were happy 'cause Trump didn't win. "Oh, my God, it may be true! It may be true that Trump is a myth. Maybe Trump isn't real. Oh, we're still alive, we're thinking. God, we got a chance." Reality changed everything. Then the cycle started repeating 'cause upcoming was New Hampshire. So Iowa was forgotten. "What do the polls in New Hampshire say?" And another six, seven days of theoretical analysis coupled with agendas from analysts to get this and hosts and so forth started dominating the news cycle.
Once again we had the conflation, the conflating or the combination of reality and theory to the point that people were prepared for what they thought they already knew was gonna happen because of all the pre-New Hampshire primary coverage. Then New the Hampshire primary comes, and then another hard, cold injection of reality. We have the results. And the establishment was so happy after Iowa. Their boy just bottomed out. Marco Rubio bottomed out in New Hampshire. Trump outperforms the polling.
"Oh, no! Oh, no!" For the first time in the entire process they said, "Trump's real." Do not doubt me. Even after Iowa, they were really hoping that this whole Trump thing was a myth. See, what they were telling themselves was, "If there's a real anti-establishment revolution going out there -- if there's real populism and real nationalism going on out there -- then Trump would have won 50% of the vote in Iowa. He didn't win. He came in second place."
He was not happy. He was not. Everybody was upset. Ted Cruz won the thing, and people started telling themselves, "Well, yeah. We knew that that was likely gonna happen because of the evangelical vote." They get all geared up, they get all excited for the possibility that Trump is really not real; it's a myth. Then New Hampshire happens, and oh, no. Now a dose of reality sets in, and every myth that they have created for themselves the last five or six days is blown to smithereens.
Now we're starting it all over again, this time in South Carolina. What are we hearing about New Hampshire? "Well, in South Carolina it's a whole other electorate!" For both sides, by the way. "Bernie's toast! It's a one-off in New Hampshire. He's toast. He's toast because there aren't any African-Americans in New Hampshire. It's lily white in New Hampshire, and it's lily white in Iowa. You go to South Carolina? Ha! It's much different.
"That's where Hillary's gonna get back in it and close Bernie out. South Carolina, and it's over. That's right, South Carolina." And on the Republican side, South Carolina now, that's it. Kasich comes in second. The second place finisher in New Hampshire, of course, is often proclaimed the winner. The establishment-chosen guy Rubio didn't perform like they hoped, so now they're lost. Jeb didn't perform, and they have nowhere to go. Trump wins big? "Oh, no! Trump's real."
Now we have five or six more days of theorizing as they try to tell themselves they still have a chance, they try to tell themselves it's still not over, they try to tell themselves that whatever they want to believe is true. And on February 20th, we're gonna have another hard dose of reality. We're gonna have another debate this Saturday, on February 20th, the South Carolina primary. A hard dose of reality is gonna settle in. And this cycle, it's important not to get caught up in it.
What's really happened so far? I gotta be very careful here. I don't want to offend anybody. But all that's happened here is two small states have voted. Two small states. We're not even to 1% of the delegates yet, and people are acting like it's over here. It's over... For some candidates it obviously is, but they're not dropping out. They're not dropping out. That's only gonna help Trump, by the way, at least as far as South Carolina goes.
But it is this endless cycle here of theorizing and pretend and fantasyland with an occasional hard, cold shower of reality that brings everybody back for a while. But then the whole process starts repeating where everybody tells you what they know is gonna happen in South Carolina and why it's gonna happen in South Carolina. And yet, in the two states so far, there have been shocks, despite what everybody thought they knew. Bernie winning as big as he did was a shock. And as far as the establishment's concerned after Iowa, they really thought maybe it's all overstated for Trump.
"Maybe Trump's polling is nowhere near what his turnout's gonna be!" Ah, ah, ah, not the case. It's worse than they thought. We here just sit back and watch this stuff and comment as it goes. Let's go to the audio sound bites, and let's listen to some of the reaction last night from varied interests. We'll start with Brit Hume, Fox News special coverage, New Hampshire primary. Bret Baier speaking with the senior political analyst emeritus, Brit Hume, about Trump's primary victory. Bret Baier says, "Brit, what are your thoughts here, buddy?"
HUME: The Federation of the Fed Up, it appears, has carried the day in the Republican Party. The voters that were for Trump are people who consistently, we've seen -- in polling in this exit polling tonight -- are people who have had it with the standard politicians. Now, whether this will carry on, how far this will carry forward into the upcoming states is anybody's guess. But, uh, that's where we are. This establishment as well as anything we've seen.
RUSH: The Federation of the Fed Up. That's you. "The Federation of the Fed Up, it appears, has carried the day in the Republican Party." The Federation of the Fed Up has just flipped the bird to the establishment. They're not happy about it. "The voters that were for Trump are people consistently we've seen in polling are people who've had it with standard politicians. Whether this will carry on, how far this will go on, anybody's guess." Brit, it's gonna keep going on. It's gonna keep going on because the Republican Party...
People have lost faith in it.
They've lost faith in its purpose.
Its purpose, when in the minority, is to stop the Democrats, pure and simple.
And there hasn't been any of that in seven years.
That this is hard for people in Washington to figure out, is quite telling to me. Because it's right there. I mean, it's so obvious, you can't miss this. The motivation for supporting Trump, the motivation for supporting outsiders, the energy that comes with it. How can you miss what this is about? Maybe you don't miss it. Maybe you just deny it and think that in time, "the Federation of the Fed Up" will come to its senses, whereas "the Federation of the Fed Up" will tell you that after seven years they have come to their senses and they have realized what's up with what and that's why they're doing what they're doing.
A couple of days ago David Brooks -- remember David Brooks, he's a conservative columnist for the New York Times. His most recent column he wrote of what great people Barack and Michelle Obama are, the civility, the sophistication, the erudite nature of their character and personality, and he demonstrated it this way.
He said, wouldn't you much rather have people like Barack and Michelle Obama go on the board of a charity in your community or town than Ted Cruz? Wouldn't it make you feel better about your town and your community if the charity apparatus in your town was chaired by Barack and Michelle Obama and their civility and sophistication, as opposed to Ted Cruz? Which is how he chose to demonstrate that he thinks Cruz is a neophyte, anti-intellectual barbarian and the Obamas are the epitome of sophistication and culture and civility and what a damn shame so many people don't see it that way.
Well, David Brooks was on PBS, special coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. Judy Woodruff said, "We heard Donald Trump say that he was going to be the greatest president that God has ever created. David, there's no shortage of self-regard for Mr. Trump, is there?"
BROOKS: He just is -- has become a force of nature. And the question for Donald Trump is, where's the ceiling, A, can he make himself broadly acceptable to all parts of the party, and, B, is there an alternative? Is anybody gonna rise up and become the rival? Will it ever be a one-on-one race, Trump versus someone else? Right now it looks like Cruz is the most likely of those possible alternatives. Among the mainstream conservatives, maybe there is no viable unifying force.
RUSH: He's dejected, folks. This is not making Mr. Brooks happy that there's no alternative to Trump and Cruz. Why even be a conservative, then. Why even be a Republican? If that's our alternative, oh, my God, does that not signal the end of civilization as we know it? This muddled outcome, the fact that the field was not winnowed and parried down has caused the worst possible outcome for these people 'cause they want somebody they can support to rise up and take on Trump. That's what they're hoping and praying for. It was gonna be Jeb, and then it was gonna be Rubio, and maybe it was gonna be Christie, and now Kasich. Really?
RUSH: So I've checked the e-mail during the course of the program today, and there's been a lot of people: "Rush, what do you mean the establishment's still thinking that Trump's not real?" Well, let me give you a headline here. Reuters: "Trump Shows His Presidential Bid Is No Mere Publicity Stunt." How do you write a headline like that? You can only write that headline if you think that all of this has been a joke up 'til now; if you think Trump hasn't been serious about it. If you been hoping, praying, thinking whatever, that this is just a bad dream and that Trump's got some other purpose here and at some point he's gonna drop out, that all of this is just something you can't figure out, but at the end of the day it's gonna be Jeb or some traditional Republican in there, that's how you write that headline.
I'm here to tell you that even going into New Hampshire -- folks, I said yesterday, just a bit of an exaggeration -- some of the people in the Republican establishment are still, in July and August, September, if Trump gets the nomination, in September they're gonna be hoping and thinking he drops out. Some of them are so convinced that there's some unseen secret purpose that Trump has here, and at some point he's gonna drop out, having accomplished whatever mission that he is on. I don't know how widespread it is, but that degree of denial is still rampant in many sectors of the establishment.
Great to have you back with us fastest three hours in media already into hour three. The telephone number is 800-282-2882 if you want to be on the program.
This afternoon on Wolf Blitzer, Wolf interviewed the Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, and Wolf said, "I'm sure you took a close look at the Republican primary exit polls from New Hampshire last night, Mr. Priebus. Here are a few numbers that may be of concern to you. Forty-seven percent of the Republican voters said they felt betrayed by Republican politicians. Fifty percent said the next president should be from outside the so-called establishment. Are you worried, Mr. Priebus, about those kinds of numbers? These are Republican primary voters, after all, answering this way."
PRIEBUS: No, not really, because I think there's a lot of people in both parties that are mad at the parties, mad at the system, mad at Washington that, you know, it's a factional type government. It's sort of very difficult, obviously, when you have a split government, to get things done, and people don't have time for things not getting done. And so --
RUSH: Do you believe this?
PRIEBUS: -- I think it's pretty normal and I think it's pretty common and --
RUSH: Do you believe this?
PRIEBUS: -- I expect that that sort of vein is gonna play itself out through --
RUSH: Holy smokes.
PRIEBUS: -- the next few months and we'll have a unified party when it's done. And those folks, as long as they're staying involved, which I think is important for us to keep those folks involved in the party --
RUSH: Right, right.
PRIEBUS: -- that they will participate come November of 2016.
RUSH: Maybe I am missing something here, but didn't he just say, in answer to Wolf Blitzer explaining all these Republican primary voters saying that the next president should come outside the establishment, 47% feel betrayed by Republican politicians, did he just say that he understands it because Republican voters are upset that things aren't getting done in Washington? I heard that right. Let me consult the transcript here. I just want to be certain that I'm not accused of misrepresenting or misinterpreting this.
So have the transcript here: "I think there's a lot of people in both parties mad at the parties, mad at the system, mad at Washington that, you know, it's a factional type government. I mean, it's sort of very difficult, obviously, when you have a split government to get things done and people don't have time for things not getting done, and so I think it's pretty normal, I think it's pretty common."
With all due respect, it appears that the chairman of the Republican National Committee does not know, or if he does know, does not want to explain in truth why he knows what he knows. But on the surface here it appears he doesn't know that most Republican voters are sick and tired of what has gone on in Washington. Everybody harps on the fact that there's gridlock and nothing's getting done. That couldn't be further from the truth. Too much is getting done. Witness the most recent budget deal. The Republicans clearly have a desire to work with Obama. They clearly have a desire to work with the Democrats. Mitch McConnell has made it abundantly clear that's what their intentions and hopes are.
In most people's opinion there has been too little gridlock, there hasn't been enough disagreement, there hasn't been enough stopping the Democrats from advancing their agenda. But apparently it's one of two things: Either Mr. Priebus actually believes this, that you are ticked off at all of the disagreements in Washington preventing things from getting done. Meaning you like government, you want more of it, you want government working, and you want a Republican Party that makes the government work, and you want a Republican Party that can work with the Democrats and get things done because only government can get things done.
And I'm here to tell you, if he really believes that, that's a shocker. It may be something he has to say for donor purposes or what have you. Mr. Priebus, Republican voters are mad at what has gotten done. Republican voters are frustrated beyond their ability to express it and display it to you. They are fed up at the fundamental transformation of America that is unstopped, to which there is no opposition expressed.
But you know these establishments types, they do, they keep running around -- I mean, if you leave Chris Christie to his own devices, he will campaign, 'cause he did, on the basis that he can work with the Democrats. I saw him say it just a couple months ago. (imitating Christie) "I'm the guy, I'm your guy. You want Washington to work, I'm your guy. I'm the guy that can cooperate with the Democrats. I'm the guy that can tell the Democrats, 'Hey, if you got ideas I like, I want your ideas. We can work together, I'm the guy. We can cross aisles."
You start saying that and the Republican primary voter is gonna cancel you out. You are not going to get anywhere. So Jeb Bush up in New Hampshire yesterday, you know, everybody wants to project and predict what's gonna happen, then when it does or doesn't happen, they start telling you why it did or didn't happen. Like people are trying to explain what went wrong with Rubio. Everybody harps on his debate performance. But there might be other factors that you don't know. In terms of Jeb Bush, why didn't he do better with all of this money?
Look, I think when you're up in New Hampshire and you got a decided Libertarian and independent moderate electorate, Jeb's actually up there running against Citizens United. You've got John Kasich saying he may be more to the left of Hillary Clinton, but Kasich's message is almost expressed with tears (imitating Kasich), "We've gotta work together, we gotta love people, we gotta show people that we love 'em, and we gotta let them love us. And we gotta show that love is the answer, we do, we do, we have to stop this bickering, we have to work together."
Apparently that's what the Republican message is and that there hasn't been enough of that.
RUSH: Here's Joe Klein. Joe Klein on PBS with Charlie Rose last night. Joe Klein, he's TIME Magazine columnist, well-known Drive-By Media specialist. And he threw a temper tantrum last night over the returns in New Hampshire. Charlie Rose said, "Joe, you've seen a lot of politics out there. What did you see tonight?
KLEIN: Two-thirds of the Republicans in New Hampshire didn't vote for Donald Trump, and, uhhh... It's amazing that one-third did. This is a guy who doesn't know anything except to say evil things about other people. I think that we in our business have to be completely honest about this. If you vote for Trump, it means you're not paying attention. These are low-information voters. They are a real threat to this country.
RUSH: Isn't this just delicious? Isn't it? I don't care if he steals "low-information voter." I'm honored. That's not the point. I just... Isn't this delicious? The very party that thrives and survives on low-information voters, the Democrat Party and the American left. It wouldn't be where it is were it not for low-information voters. But they think they're so sophisticated, so worldly, so educated. And now they're describing Trump's voters as low-information and people are not paying attention, and you are "a real threat to this country."
No, no, not the college kids coming out educated in the wonders and beauties of socialism.
No, no, no, no.
These people voting for Trump.