I thought this was a very interesting discussion. Here’s the transcript of it, with the response that I found most significant in bold font:
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I, um… I’m calling because… Well, first of all, I’m a liberal, and I seriously don’t understand this, uh, Reagan idolatry on behalf of conservatives. I’ll get… I’ll give you my reasons. Instead of privatizing Social Security, he raised taxes. We’re all paying higher taxes today out of our paychecks every single week because he decided to save Social Security. He –
RUSH: Wait, wait. Hold it. I need to go…
CALLER: (speaking rapidly)
RUSH: Wait. Jeez.
CALLER: The Greenspan Commission. He signed it into law, and it raised taxes on Social Security.
RUSH: What…? Wait, you’re talking about Reagan or Clinton?
CALLER: I’m talking about Reagan. Reagan did that. He raised taxes on Social Security. He negotiated with terrorists, sending — over and over again — arms to Iran in exchange for hostages; by contrast Jimmy Carter didn’t give an inch to the Iranians.
RUSH: What in the world…?
CALLER: Not an inch. Instead Reagan (crosstalk)
RUSH: Testing the true depth of my politeness here on this call, folks.
CALLER: Say that again?
RUSH: Let me ask you a question. What do you think, given all this that you believe, when you hear Obama and the Democrats cite Reagan as they have been doing since about a week before the State of the Union?
CALLER: It’s funny you ask that. Because as a liberal I think Obama owes his presidency to Reagan. They’re both kinda stuffed suits that say one thing and then do another. Obama hasn’t been anywhere near liberal enough for me. He said he’d close Guantamano (sic), he hasn’t done that.
CALLER: He said he’d help people out with foreclosures, he hasn’t done that.
RUSH: I feel for you on that.
CALLER: But Reagan, I mean, amnesty to people who are breaking the law and living in the country illegally. He said, “Forget about it. Stay here forever.” He cut and ran from Lebanon. How many hundreds of Marines were killed –
CALLER: — and he just decided, “Well, you know, instead of the fighting the bad guys I’m gonna run away”?
CALLER: Why is Reagan a hero to conservatives?
RUSH: “Why is Reagan a hero to conservatives?” I don’t think you… Given what you’ve said, and I’m not trying to avoid the question, I don’t think you’d ever understand it.
CALLER: Well, he’s a tax raiser, an amnesty giver, a cut-and-runner, and he negotiated with terrorists. Why is he a hero to conservatives? I don’t think you understand it.
RUSH: No, I do. Most assuredly I do. I just don’t think that you would understand it. Where did you get this silly notion that Reagan raised taxes on Social Security? What websites do you read? Where did you pick that up?
CALLER: Look up the Greenspan Commission. It’s not too hard to find. I mean, it’s a matter of history.
RUSH: Where did you get it? I mean, you’re asking me questions. I’m just reversing one on you here.
CALLER: I’m sorry. It’s just general knowledge. It’s something I’ve known for a long time. I can’t remember where I got it from.
RUSH: You can’t remember? You’ve never heard of a website called Media Matters which highlighted it yesterday?
CALLER: (static) Oh, no. I know Media Matters very well but that’s not where I got it.
RUSH: Oh, not where you got it. It’s an amazing coincidence.
CALLER: (static) I mean, I’m a liberal. Of course I know Media Matters.
RUSH: Amazing coincidence out there.
CALLER: (static blaring) They’re a fantastic website. But why are you dodging the question? I want to know why a tax-raising, amnesty-giving, cut-and-running, negotiating-with-terrorists guy is a hero to the conservative movement.
RUSH: Well, because you understand Reagan in a way that is flawed. You –
RUSH: Your call is actually kinda interesting because you represent the impossibility of “bridging the gap.” Somebody like you just has to be defeated. There’s no crossing the aisle and finding common ground with you. You’re free to be who you are, don’t misunderstand. I’m not trying to be insulting. I’m just saying, you are unreachable. You don’t want to be reached. This picture of Reagan, you’ve just described somebody you should love, and you hate him! You just described somebody you should absolutely love, all these things. He’s an anti-conservative, as you say, but you don’t love him. You’re having trouble understanding why he’s viewed as heroic to a lot of people.
I could talk to you about anti-communism. I could. You want to talk about amnesty? Yeah, that was Simpson-Mazzoli, and that was one-and-a-half, two million illegals; and he was told, “Okay, if we’re gonna do this, this is it, then. We’re gonna secure the borders and that’s it.” It’s the same thing with every tax increase he signed. It was also accompanied by promises to cut spending, and it never happened. Reagan’s not perfect. Nobody is. But I think the proof of Reagan is the fact that when your guys get in trouble, who do they seek to associate themselves with? Remember, Obama and these people are all about getting votes.
The fact that he’s trying to surround himself with Reagan, the fact that he’s trying to position himself with Reagan is the best indication anybody could have of what this country really thinks of Ronaldus Magnus. I think if you want to focus in on hypocrisy, you’ve got far more of it on your side of the aisle to explain and dig through than we do. Reagan was forced to raise payroll taxes by a crisis in Social Security in 1983. He endorsed that rescue plan that was written by Alan Greenspan. It was reluctant. He was not a big supporter of that. Remember, Reagan did not have a congressional majority with him.
Everything he got, the tax cuts, he had Democrats outnumbering him in the House and Senate everywhere. There were certain realities that he faced. But the biggest tax increase on Social Security was authored by none other than Bill Clinton. But did you understand the notion? Ronald Reagan fought for America. He loved America. He feared where the left, based on history, wanted to take the country. Ronald Reagan set the stage for the end of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan defeated Soviet communism without firing a shot. I don’t know… But none of that would matter. So you, sir, a nice individual, I’m sure you’re a fine guy (probably not too much fun at a ball game, unlike Bill Clinton), but still, you illustrate that people like you just have to be defeated, not met halfway and gotten along with. I mean politically.
Rush is entirely correct here. You can’t have a rational or meaningful discussion with people like this liberal caller. You can only defeat them and render them powerless politically.
You can’t have an honest conversation with a dishonest person. There is simply no point. They won’t tell you what’s really on their heart and mind; they merely constantly employ rhetorical games that mean nothing and go nowhere. In the case of Rush’s caller, you had a man who simply spoke lies about Ronald Reagan. If he had actually believed any of his own crap, he would have LOVED Reagan, as Rush pointed out.
I remember a discussion I had with a liberal on an article I wrote about the tax cuts. An individual who called himself “michael” wrote and said:
I am at work right now but i just read this article and it is the funniest thing i have ever read. no hate intended but it looks like it was written by someone who read someone elses work and is trying to claim their opinion as his or her own
Well, this individual dismisses my work as having been plagerized. That certainly wasn’t true. I wrote every word that I didn’t directly cite as a quote and legitimately sourced every citation as having been quoted. But after a little dicussion this same liberal writes another comment that supposedly puts me in m place. Among other huge problems with this comment was the fact that my former professor’s nose smelled a rat. Basically, the tone of the two writers didn’t match one another. I googled part of the diatribe, and sure enough, discovered that the selfsame liberal who falsely accused me of plagerizing had actually completely plagerized his rebuttal to me.
After exposing his dishonesty, I said:
You are not an honest person, Michael. And there is no point having a discussion with a liar. Because the truth and the facts don’t matter to a liar. And someone like you can and will say anything and claim lies as fact.
And I’m not going to waste my time with you.
And that’s where we’re at. There’s no “bridging the gap” with liberals. There’s no rational dialogue. They have a warped and depraved worldview, which means they cannot even possibly understand the world as it really is (i.e., from the “God’s-eye view”), and then, to make it even worse, far too few of them are personally honest enough to have a meaningful discussion involving facts and truth because dishonest people will simply invent “facts” and surround themselves in lies.
Rush ultimately informs the audience that Reagan basically NEVER had Republican control of Congress throughout his entire presidency. The House of Representatives, which controls spending, was under complete Democrat control for every single year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency (with first Tip O’Neil and then Jim Wright serving as Democrat Speakers of the House). As for the Senate, it was also under Democrat control for part of Reagan’s presidency; and Reagan NEVER had a strong majority there. So the caller was not depicting events honestly: it wasn’t like Reagan realized his policies were failing and raised taxes. Rather, Reagan had to constantly negotiate and compromise with Democrats in control of the Congress – particularly the House – and was forced to make concessions to get other things he wanted.
Furthermore, this caller who plagued Rush was little different from the blogger who plagued me. He passed off liberal talking points as his own thoughts. It turns out that this caller was merely regurgitating crap that was flying out of the mouths of the vomitous left. You can see a conservative response to these slime attacks on Reagan here.
So let me quote that article’s response to the liberal’s charge that Reagan gave illegal’s amnesty:
The Democrat leadership in Congress promised to enact strict enforcement measures as a trade for a one-time amnesty deal. In an effort to control the border, Reagan went along with the deal. At the time (1986), the measures were marketed by Democrats as as being able to stop illegal immigration. Ted Kennedy himself sold the enforcement clauses of the law as strong enough to ensure that only a one-time amnesty would be needed. But, as is their standard practice, Democrats lied about sealing the border.
Which not only shows that Reagan most certainly did NOT say, “Forget about it. Stay here forever,” as the caller deceitfully claims, but in fact goes back to the now documented proof that liberals are liars who cannot be trusted and cannot be bargained with or reasoned with.
The caller describes Reagan as running from Lebanon with his tail between his legs. Which is actually funny, given the fact that Democrats at the time demanded that Reagan immediately pull out of Lebanon after the Beirut bombing that killed 241 Marines. Nobody on the left was demanding we attack Lebanon.
I have my own perspective on that.
Reagan’s pullout from Lebanon bothered me greatly at the time. But I realize the Reagan’s wisdom now. He was already in the process of fighting and defeating the Soviet Union – the largest military power on earth – and he saw the folly of getting America into another war against a different ideology and another limitless enemy at the same time. If you were in the infantry in the 1980s, you knew that we were preparing for some potentially imminent conflagration; and we would be pouring in to Western Europe to fight a defensive war against a Soviet invasion. Ronald Reagan wisely chose to stay the course in facing and defeating the Soviet Union, and allow the Islamic threat to remain for another day when the Russian threat was gone. Just imagine how much the Russians would have loved it to be able to supply millions of death-happy Muslims and watch us bleed from the sidelines in an endless proxy war? Which is to say that the caller not only misrepresents what in actual fact happened - making him a liar – but also argues that Reagan should have fought two civilizational wars simultaneously, making him a complete fool.
When Democrats routinely pursue such deceit, it becomes pointless to argue with them. It boils down to the Mark Twain wisdom of, “Never argue with a fool. People won’t be able to tell the difference.” Try to reason with those independents who are capable of “bridging the gap,” as Rush Limbaugh put it. Argue with people who might change their minds. Argue with people who won’t play a neverending tune of rhetorical garbage. Argue with people who won’t constantly rely on lies.
And just defeat liberals. Because defeat is the only reality that they are capable of understanding.