Never Trumpers Can’t Find Primary Challenger, Will Accept Biden
RUSH: Fascinatingly funny story here in the… It’s all over the place. My copy of it here is in the Washington Examiner. The reporter here is David Drucker, and the headline: “No Primary Challenger: Never-Trump Republicans Resign Themselves to Clear 2020 Path for President” to win the Republican nomination. You know, Trump has never slipped below 70% approval among Republicans, and he’s really not even close to 70% now. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is among the highest in modern-day American politics.
Trump’s approval number among Republicans rivals Reagan’s approval number in Republicans and George W. Bush’s, and so there isn’t any empirical data out there that would suggest that the Republican Party needs to nominate something else. But here come the Never Trumpers (again and again and again) thinking, “We’ve gotta nominate one of us! We’ve gotta nominate somebody. We’ve gotta stop this guy,” and they just can’t get it done. In the first place, they can’t find anybody. Number two, there isn’t anybody who wants to take on Trump.
Some of the pull quotes from this story: “Many Republicans uncomfortable with Trump view the former vice president, an old-school liberal, as an acceptable Democrat, at least compared to the modern liberals that comprise most of the rest of that party’s crowded field.” So these Never Trumpers — stupidly and wrongly — thought they had a chance at primarying Trump and getting rid of him. You know what the big grand hope was? The Republican governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan. (laughing) Folks… (laughing) Never a chance.
But they invested all of their hope in Larry Hogan, and then Larry Hogan had to come out and pull the rug out from under himself and say, “You know what? I’m not running,” and with that, all the wind went out of the Never Trumpers’ sails. The idea that they thought they could, demonstrates how out of touch they really are with their own party. Now this little quote, “Many Republicans uncomfortable with Trump view the former vice president [Biden] an old-school liberal, as an acceptable Democrat…”
See, and that is the problem. Biden is an… To the Never Trumpers, Biden is an acceptable Democrat. Trump is not an acceptable Republican. And it boils down to the fact that (impression) “Trump doesn’t have the proper civility and he doesn’t have the proper decorum, and he doesn’t have the proper character and he doesn’t have the proper sophistication. He doesn’t meet with the demands of us in the Never Trumpers.” And these are people with their attitudes who are one of the reasons the Republican Party has continued to lose in whatever fights we found ourselves in. The culture war fights, the ideological battles, battles over the economy and so forth.
The fact that we’ve got some Republicans who think Biden is an acceptable alternative to Trump, because they can’t find anybody like Biden in our party to run against Trump? They really think Biden would be an independent actor in office? They really think Biden is not your typical, left-wing radical Democrat like all the rest of them are in the Democrat Party? They really think that he would be a JFK-like Democrat, not controlled by the radicals who are now the mainstream base of that party?
Are these Never-Trump Republicans that obtuse? Are they really that blind? They really don’t see? I think it’s the case. One of the problems that we’ve always had — and I know I’m speaking for lots of you. Over the course of years, we have had elected Republicans, and we’ve had not even elected Republicans — conservative guests on cable TV, conserve think tank-ers, you name it — and they’ve always given the impression that they understand who the left is and the left’s gotta be stopped. When time comes to do that, they never do.
In fact, they choose to get along with them, and they become part of the same Washington culture and establishment. And they don’t understand the frustration that results from that. Never any criticism. Never any attention. That’s what Trump does, and that’s why people will never abandon Trump is because he’s the first guy that’s come along who, A, recognizes the political enemy and does not blanch or flinch, and is constantly throwing things back in their face and not letting them get away with all the character assassination, the slander and the libel of conservatives.
And yet these people can’t handle it because (impression), “He doesn’t do it with the proper decorum. He doesn’t do it with grace, and he doesn’t do it with civility. He doesn’t do it with sophistication. So we in the Never Trumpers, uhhh, we have to find somebody who has all these wonderful characteristics because it’s the only way we can triumph.” And it’s not the only way you can triumph. In fact, you’re not gonna triumph with just that in your arsenal. And I’ll tell you what. The Mueller report?
We talk about how the Mueller report was a gigantic wind-out-of-the-sails event for the Democrats, but it was devastating for the Never Trumpers too. Do not doubt for a minute that the Never Trumpers were totally invested in the Mueller report just like the Democrats were. The degree of resentment for Trump is just as high in the Never Trumpers. Larry Hogan, the former governor of Maryland, Republican, “told the Washington Examiner that he received enthusiastic encouragement from Republican thinkers, donors, and elected officials impressed with his ability to connect with a broad cross-section of voters in deep-blue Maryland.
“But after assessing the political atmosphere since the Russia investigation concluded and Mueller issued his report, Hogan determined the support that matters most was missing. ‘There wasn’t a groundswell among the average Republican primary voter,’ he said. ‘They seem to be, at this point, very happy with [Trump].’” They were hoping the Mueller report would devastate Trump! But this guy at least has the ability to see that Republican voters are not unhappy with Trump. In fact, it’s just the exact opposite.
The Republican voters are unhappy with the Never Trumpers! The majority of Republican voters are unhappy with the Never Trumpers and look at them as sellouts, and they’re asking, “What have they ever done for us anyway? They’ve asked us to subscribe to their publications. They’ve taken us on their cruises. They’ve done all of this and made us think that we (they) are the reason conservative policy is gonna be implemented.” But yet, ask yourself: What was the last time any conservative policy was actually implemented? It’s talked about all the time. There’s a lot of great conservatives who talk conservatism on television every day.
When’s the last time it was implemented? I mean, real conservatism. When you get down to the truth about it, conservatism is kind of like abstinence. It works every time it’s tried, which is why the left cannot abide either one. If you abstain from having sex as a teenager, you’re not gonna get pregnant. Abstinence works every time it’s tried. You point thought out? (impression) “You can’t say that! That’s sophomoric. That’s not realistic.” It’s not unrealistic. It’s totally factually correct. The same thing with conservatism. It works every time it’s implemented.
The point is, it never gets implemented. There are people that talk about it, they promise it, they encourage it. When the pedal meets the metal, rubber meets the road, it never ends up being implemented. Except when Trump comes along, and various elements of conservatism do happen to get implemented. Look what happens when they do. Look at the economy! Look at unemployment — including among minorities, African-Americans and Hispanics. Conservatism works! It’s the natural order of things.
Conservatism! You know what the best definition of conservatism is? It’s not… I saw a piece the other day. I’m not gonna mention… Oops! Just saw the clock. I saw a piece the other day. I don’t want to mention any names, ’cause I don’t really want to get into feuds with these people. It’s not worth it. That’s not what I do. But I saw this long piece in a magazine that attempted to define the, I think, five different strains of conservatism that there are right now. And I’m reading this.
Of course, I, with my superior intellect and experience, understand it all. But I’m reading this. You know, the average, ordinary American conservative doesn’t care about any of this! It’s not even relevant. Conservatism is not this complicated. Conservatism is the American founding, the concept that we have an arrangement that limits the government, not empowers it. That was precedent-making and earth-shattering at the time that it happened. People have been trying to undo it ever since it happened.
RUSH: The fact that these guys, the Never Trumpers, thought they were gonna come up with a primary challenger for Trump from their neck of the woods, from their bailiwick? You know, I really… I don’t want to mention any names. It’s not about picking fights with people. I’m just focused here on the ideas. This piece — and there’s many of them. I even shouldn’t say this one because every now and then you can find a very long treatise that attempts to define the various types of “conservative” out there.
What these people that write these things — and then comment on them and usually laud the officer and agree or sometimes disagree. They’re sitting in an ivory tower, they’re looking out there at you, and they’re defining the kind of conservative you are based on the way you speak and based on how you vote and based on where you live — and you become that kind of conservative. Then they define another group of conservatives that believe this or that, don’t believe that. They happen to live in Wall Street. They do this or that.
In the meantime, you who have been defined as a certain type of conservative haven’t the slightest idea that that’s what you are! You’ve just been called that and identified as that. And then these people sitting up there in their ivory towers are now analyzing American politics based on what you do, where you live, who you are, and how you vote. And they’re categorizing you as a certain kind of conservative. And then they’re making predictions on elections based on what you and your type of conservative is gonna do versus this other group of conservatives and what they might do.
Meanwhile, these group that they defined, the people in these groups don’t even know it! You’re just who you are, and you’re either conservative or not. You’re either a liberal or not, you’re either a moderate or not — and some of you might not even know. But you know what you believe. You know what you’re in favor of; you know what you’re opposed to. But if you… (chuckling) If you ever read some of these pieces and found out (chuckling) what you really are, you’d be scratching your heads and say, “I haven’t… This doesn’t apply to me! I don’t look at life this way. This is not why I vote the way I vote. This is not why I live where I live. This is not why I drive the kind of car I drive.” Not all of them are Never Trumpers that do this, but it’s just this “way up there, looking down on everybody,” and defining them as certain things. For what purpose?
RUSH: This is Paul in Hamilton, New Jersey. Great to have you, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Longtime listener dittos, Rush. Great to be on the program. I, like many conservatives, for years have been disappointed and frustrated at how the Republicans didn’t fight back. So I believe Trump is an answer to all our prayers. We’ve been praying for years for someone to come along. He’s the bull in a china shop that we need, that we want, and I believe that the Never Trumpers… For years I have been… I was a Republican hack where I thought they could do no wrong.
And when you see how they didn’t fight back and you see what’s going on now, all that’s being exposed. I realize that… This is what I think: The Never Trumpers are basically… They must eat from the same power trough, the money, and they probably just feed each other. When someone gets in, they say, “Okay, you know, let’s not push the issue,” and they just want to get reelected — whether it be reelected to Congress or the House — and that’s why they don’t make waves. But we need more and more politicians like Trump, who is not afraid to fight back and to be the voice for the conservatives that we so longed for for years.
RUSH: Well, let me tell you what I think about this Never Trumper business. And you find ’em everywhere. You find ’em in the conservative commentariat, you find them in conservative punditry, you find them in conservative literature. You even find some of them that are elected, although the majority of the Never Trumpers are not in the elected class. There are some. But the majority of Never Trumpers are people outside the arena. Like I’m outside the arena, you’re outside the arena, and it’s easy to be…
Well, actually, I could make the case that we’re more in the arena than some of the Never Trumpers are. But by that I mean we’re not actually getting elected. We’re not part of any policy apparatus. But you and I do have our sleeves rolled up and we’re brawling. So in a sense, we’re in it. But I’ll tell you what it is — and it’s always been there. It’s just, it hasn’t really risen to this degree of visibility until Trump came along, because everybody prior to Trump that was elected president at least came from some part of the establishment.
Trump is totally outside. This is a class thing. It’s a class thing as much as anything else, and the elites — both liberal and conservatives, both Republican and Democrat — revel in being elites. They love it. They revel in being thought of as a member of the elites and they revel at considering themselves elites. And there are requirements. If you are a self-confessed or a professed elite, there are requirements on behavior, dress, sophistication, manner of speaking. And they count more than anything, including issues and policy, because it is those things that define them, not their policy.
How is it that you can be in a club that has both Republicans and Democrats in it? There’s nothing in common there, not policy-wise. Yet you have members of the Republicans and Democrats, you have conservatives and liberals, in the same elite Washington establishment. So what are the things that they hold in common? One of the things they value is that they define themselves and each other as qualified members, and that’s where the class stuff is. They’re better people. They’re more educated. They’re more erudite. They’re more sophisticated.
You know, throw these words around as though they’re just temporary descriptives, but they’re not. These are substantive identity characteristics that all of these elites carry around and use to define themselves and judge the fitness of others. Part and parcel of elitism is arrogance. Looking down on nonelites. And the reason why you don’t want elites running a country is because they have nothing in common with the people they’re supposedly governing. And that’s how you can end up with an open-border policy that literally is wrecking a significant part of the middle class.
What do they care? What do they care, as long as it meets some other means or objective that they do care about? What if their belief is that life for most people is an excrement sandwich, but they are fortunate and they have risen above having to eat the excrement sandwich every day? (impression) “But for those who should have been, there’s no changing. There’s no avoiding it. So we might as well just acknowledge that that’s what life is like for that certain group of people and we’ll devise policies around it.”
And this, I think, is something that actually became codified in the post-World War II establishment of this so-called world order that we’ve got. Prior to that time — not universally. There are exceptions to everything. Prior to that time, the people that led this country cared about the people in it. It was the first priority. American greatness depended on American citizens and populations and performing well and being educated well. They cared about them. The elites of today (snort!) take that for granted. It’s not the primary concern.
And so Trump getting elected is a shock to the senses in countless ways that you and I can’t think of because we’re not elites; we don’t look at life that way. It’s a shock to the system. It is an absolute unbelievable event. It’s not supposed to happen. They control these kinds of things. “This kind of thing isn’t supposed to happen!” Another thing that has been illustrated by the election of Trump. It’s always been the case, but now it is clear for everybody to see that the media isn’t media. The media is part of this group! The media is part of whatever you want to call it: Deep state, administrative state, Washington establishment.
And they are the army. And they have the generals. They are the army. This whole investigation of Trump could not have happened without the media leading the investigation, the so-called investigation. It could not have happened with a media independent of the elite establishment and doing its job. But because the media is a part of this elite group and because Trump’s election has made that obvious to everybody, they came together with other members to circle the wagons and try to protect the club — and that means getting rid of Trump.
And so prior to Trump being elected we had phony after phony after phony running around. We all thought a journalist was a journalist, thought the media was the media, thought the Democrats were the Democrats, the Republicans were the Republicans. Now we found out they’re all the same, that they have things that unite them more than the things they disagree among themselves divide them. When you find out, when you learn that it is not policy that causes the number one disagreement, then it all becomes clear how Republicans can end up caving and agreeing to Democrat ideas when there’s a Democrat president.
It’s the only thing that can explain it. You and I look at the Democrats and the American left as a literal political enemy that has to be defeated in order to protect the country, our way of life, the nation’s founding, the future for your kids and grandkids. We really do look at it this way. They don’t. They’ve never seen the crisis. They think it’s tomfoolery/foolhardy to think of this as a crisis. To them there’s just ebbs and flows and who sits at the top seat of power.
But that person comes and goes too, and the real foundation of all this is always in power, and they just trade who gets to be president now and then. When you find out, when you learn that you have a gigantic organization that contains both liberals and so-called conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, and that there are strident disagreements among those two groups, but yet they are still in the group and still getting along with each other and still…? Then what is it that unites them? Well, whatever it is, is what they try to protect.
Now, this may sound strange ’cause you’re watching the Democrats go bonkers trying to get rid of Trump. What you don’t see… But you can if you look. Where are the daily eruptions from Republicans at Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff? There are a couple of. You’ve got Devin Nunes. You have Trey Gowdy on occasion. You had sometimes Rand Paul. Two or three others. But as a party, you don’t see it. We see it because Trump fills that role. And Trump filling that role of providing a constant thorn in the side of the left and the Democrats and constantly poking back at ’em?
That’s what you celebrate.
That’s what the group the elites hate.
“You’re not supposed to do it! That’s not how we behave with each other. The right way is the way George W. Bush and Karl Rove did. They just took it, just realized this is the way it goes. If they want to sully you and slander you over the Iraq war, you just took it. You don’t sully the office by responding to these gutter attacks.” Well, Trump does. And all that equals in their view a lack of sophistication and paramount unqualification for office and so forth. And that’s why ever gonna be able to drive a wedge between Trump’s base and Trump.
Only Trump will be able to do that, but these people can’t — and that frustrates them as well. And while all this goes on, they continue not to see what they need to see if they really do want to defeat Trump. They do not… Not just the Democrats. Paramountly them, but the Never Trumpers themselves. They’re making not a single effort to understand why any of you could vote for Trump. They’re just looking at you with disgust.
(impression) “How can you? How can you not hate this guy when he said what he said about Meghan Markle? How can you…? How can you not reject this guy after the NBC video?” Of course, Bill Clinton’s allowed to do anything he wants with women, and these same Never Trumpers say, “Well, that’s really not…” But they don’t do one thing to bring about any serious criticism of Bill Clinton or any other liberal practitioner of these things.
RUSH: Here’s Kathy in Gasquet, California. Great to have you on the program. How are you doing?
CALLER: I’m doing great, Rush. The thing that I wanted to talk to you about is I’m actually more upset with the Republicans right now than the Democrats, because the Democrats are just acting like idiots. So they’re pretty easy to predict. But the Republicans! I mean, they even have gotten to a point that they’re going to try to stop Trump from doing the tariffs on Mexico.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, isn’t that flat-out…? Why?
CALLER: (exasperated sigh)
RUSH: The Republicans in the Senate —
CALLER: I don’t understand.
RUSH: The Republicans in the Senate are trying to thwart Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Mexico.
CALLER: It’s horrible. I just don’t understand what’s happening. I mean, as a regular American —
RUSH: Now, wait a minute. You know enough by now to know why this is happening.
CALLER: No! I really don’t! Well, it’s kind of like you were talking about before: The elitist mind-set. They do think they’re better than him, and I think the other thing is they’re scared to tell because he’s doing everything a little better than they ever did, and he doesn’t have any help. I mean… Ugh!
RUSH: Those are clearly factors.
CALLER: (chuckles) Okay.
RUSH: But there’s a substantive policy reason for this, and that is that there are some Republicans who don’t want to close the border.
RUSH: They want open borders. You know, the Democrats have their reasons, the Republicans have theirs, and both have their donors, and the Republican donors want… It’s become a cliche to say it, but it actually is true. They want the cheap labor. None of these people are concerned about the socioeconomic impacts. That’s what I was talking about earlier. It’s not gonna affect them. They think, “That’s just the way life is evolving in America.
“Okay, fine. We need this now. We need cheap labor to keep going. This is our service part of the workforce. This is our need, how we’re gonna have it provided for us.” The effect it’s gonna have on John Q. Public? They don’t care. That’s what’s different today about things and the way they used to be in this country. Leaders cared about the impact of things on the people, and that’s where Trump comes in. Trump as a throwback. He’s actually concerned about the impact of all this on the people, on the citizens, and that’s why people have attached themselves to him.
CALLER: I know. I look at the Republicans now. I mean, they’re just almost as bad as the Democrats. I mean, we really need to get people behind him, and I’ve heard people say, “Oh, well, if he can’t do stuff…” Don’t give up now! We need him. We’re almost there.
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: And if we don’t get him, they will succeed.
RUSH: Of course, you know, there are Republicans out there, Kathy, who in 2015 and 2016 said, “Trump’s never gonna win! I don’t need to support him. This guy’s never gonna win. This guy can’t win,” and then the McCain comments, “I don’t respect military people who get captured.” They said, “He’s done,” and then the NBC Access Hollywood tape. “That’s it! This guy can’t win. This is (grumbling),” and then he wins. Nobody believes it. Democrats are the Democrats. But the Republicans, some of them can’t, either — and after he wins, this Russian stuff starts and there’s a lot of Republicans think, “Oh, my God! This guy’s not gonna survive.
“Oh, my God. He cheated? He colluded with the Russians?” So the first nine months of his first term, the Republicans in the House didn’t do anything because they didn’t think he was gonna survive. Then after nine months went by, “Oh, maybe he will survive.” So they started changing a little, and helped him get some things done like the tax cut. But there are still Republicans out there, Kathy, who think now he’s gonna be impeached or that he’s not gonna be reelected.
So there’s no reason to support him, because they think supporting Trump is supporting somebody that’s gonna lose, and that makes them a loser. So it’s just a different manifestation of the overall belief that Trump is toast. They have thought that since before he won the nomination. They have thought that since after he was elected. They thought that for the first nine months with the Russia investigation. And now they think he’s toast with impeachment or is so hated and reviled by the public that he’s not gonna win reelection.
So they have been able to live off the “Trump’s gonna survive” belief since he was elected. That’s largely part of what’s going on. And then, of course, there are those who don’t want him to survive. I don’t know how many Republicans in the Senate are in that camp, but there are few. So… The only thing they won’t do is help the Democrats impeach. That, they won’t do, and the Democrats know that. But aside from that… I know. (impression) “It’d be very, very bad to put tariffs on Mexico. We can’t! We can’t anger our Mexican trading partners. We can’t anger anybody. We can’t make ’em mad at us!” It’s what the whole thing is about. It ends up with paralyses and defensiveness, and it’s never good for anybody. Thanks for the call.