The Reason Behind Rush Limbaugh's Emotional Comments: "For the First Time in My Life, I'm Ashamed of My Country"
In comments on Rush Limbaugh's radio show this week, the conservative host told listeners that for the first time in his life, he's ashamed of his country. "To be watching all of this, to be treated like this, to have our common sense and intelligence insulted the way it's being insulted? It just makes me ashamed," he said.
Limbaugh later added, "I'm sorry, my days of getting roped into all this are over. We have the media playing along with all this. The ruling class
of both parties play along with all this. It's insulting. I don't know how else to describe it. I'm into my 25th year. I can't tell you the number of times this has happened."
Read the full transcript from the show below, plus watch his remarks, followed by a heated debate from today's America Live:
RUSH ARCHIVE: Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country. To be watching all of this, to be treated like this, to have our common sense and intelligence insulted the way it's being insulted? It just makes me ashamed. Seriously, man. Here we get worked up over $44 billion. That's the total amount of money that will not be spent that was scheduled to be spent this year.
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In truth, we're gonna spend more this year than we spent last year. We're just not gonna spend as much as was projected. It's all baseline budgeting. There is no real cut below a baseline of zero. There just isn't. Yet here they come, sucking us in, roping us in. Panic here, fear there: Crisis, destruction, no meat inspection, no cops, no teachers, no firefighters, no air traffic control.
I'm sorry, my days of getting roped into all this are over.
We have the media playing along with all this. The ruling class of both parties play along with all this. It's insulting. I don't know how else to describe it. I'm into my 25th year. I can't tell you the number of times this has happened. This hit me yesterday. I've said the same things over and over for 25 years. Whether the Clinton presidency or the Obama presidency, whether it's a Pelosi speakership or Tom Foley (who was speaker when I started), it's the same stuff.
It's the same threats. It's the same arguments over and over. Nothing ever changes! We just keep spending more money. We create more dependency, we get more and more irresponsible from one crisis to the next, all of them manufactured. Except for the real crisis, which nobody ever addresses, and that is: We can't afford any of this.
RUSH: Just one slight error. "Fort Worthless" Jim Wright was the speaker when I started, and Tom Foley came in after "Fort Worthless" Jim was forced to resign. Remember why he had to resign? (interruption) Well, it was Newt but what did Fort Worthless do? Well, in addition to being "Fort Worthless" Jim, he published a book that was a rehash of floor speeches, public speeches, and some pages had only one word. Most pages were double-spaced and some were triple-spaced just to get it up to 200 pages.
The "book," nobody ever bought except the unions. The unions bought the books in bulk but never took delivery. They stayed in the basement of the publisher. Fort Worthless Jim was a shifty guy. I mean, he was. He did the most corrupt things. I'll never forget, he did a response to the State of the Union one year after President George H. W. Bush. It led into the House Bank Scandal, the House Post Office Scandal, and the bottom fell out of the Democrats right in the early nineties over all of this stuff.
Anyway, my point with all this is that for 25 years, folks, we've been dealing with the same premise: "Unless we spend another dime, the country is going to cease to exist," and for 25 years I have responded to each premise on what I call an intellectual, point-by-point basis refuting every claim. The purpose of this program has been to create as large a body of informed voting citizens as possible. While we've been largely and profoundly successful at that, the left has beaten us.
They have created far more low-information, unaware, uneducated people than we've been able to keep up with. We've had a profound impact in improving, increasing that universe of people -- citizens -- who are in the arena of ideas now, who are informed and educated. I've always had a Civics 101 view of the country: People get what they want, they vote what they want, and they get the way they vote.
And if a majority of people are educated and informed and know what's going on, liberalism -- and these powerful forces that have ill intent to the country -- can be defeated. Yet despite overwhelming success in creating more and more people who are informed and active and involved, the left has control of the education system -- control of the pop culture, movies, TVs, books, music. We've just been outnumbered.
The way they've done it is to create more and more dependency, and then every so often tell those people that they're about to lose it all because of the Republicans. That's what we're going through now with the sequester business, which was an idea of the president of the United States. This guy gets away with not even being seen as governing. He's seen as a campaigning outsider on the side of the low-information voters.
He's trying to help them, protect them, save them from the ravages of people like me, supposedly, who want to take everything away from them. I'm just tired of having to defend this. It's absurd, and it makes me ashamed. It makes me ashamed that we have sunk and descended to this level in our politics. In order for the left to be able to advance, they require ignorance, and as much ignorance as possible. I don't mean stupidity. Genuine, real ignorance.
People don't know what's going on. They require more and more of that in order to be successful. The left does not want an informed, participating bloc of people. They want people that don't know what's going on. They want people that can be frightened. They want people that can be scared to death. And they do it. The first time it was ridiculous. To actually have to spend time here and tell people, "No, the Republicans do not want your kids to starve." It's insulting.
Back during the budget battle of 1995, that was the battle cry: Republicans want to starve our kids, and the Republicans, like anybody else, said, "Nobody's gonna believe this," and they didn't actively refute it. People believed it. It makes me ashamed that the Democrats can get away with this. It makes me embarrassed and ashamed of this country. Now, normally the left would love this. The left doesn't like America. They would think, "Oh, wow, Limbaugh's on our side." The only problem for them is I'm saying this while one of theirs is president.
Back during the 1995 budget battle, folks, they actually had students from New Orleans and other Louisiana cities actually sit down in class and write letters to Republican members of Congress begging not to be starved. " Please, Mr. Republican congressman, don't take away my school lunch. I can't learn when I'm hungry." The utter futility of dealing with this. Let's say that for real -- and of course it will never happen -- but let's just hypothetically say that the school lunch program is terminated. Are America's parents just gonna sit idly by and let their kids go hungry? At what point do the parents enter the scene here?
At what point do people rise up and say, "I don't care, my kid's not gonna go hungry. I'll feed the kid lunch. I'll pack a lunch." But to have to spend time refuting such things as air traffic control will shut down, the military will shut down, there won't be any firefighters, there won't be any cops. We're now into the seventh or eighth episode of this in the last two years, be it the sequester, be it the fiscal cliff argument, be it one of the many arguments over raising the debt limit. In each case we've been forced to refute a bunch of out and out ridiculous lies and assertions, and it finally hit me that accepting the premise and arguing that stuff on the merits is to be a fool.
If we've gotten to the point, in my mind, where we have to take time and tell adults in this country, "No, the Republicans don't want your son to starve" -- if we actually have to take time and say that, and then whether or not they believe it is an open question -- then what's there to be proud of? If hundreds of thousands, or millions, whatever, adults actually believe that there are people who want their kids to starve in this country, then not only is that shameful, it's just downright embarrassing.
It's beneath the dignity of any of us here to even have to try and defend it, and to even take on the task of defending it is to accept the premise, which is to be foolish. I'm fed up with it. I can't do it anymore, after 25 years of the same allegations. And while all this is happening, while all these allegations of austerity, what we're actually doing is ruining the country. We're actually spending more than we ever have. We're actually creating more dependents. The whole thing is shamefully absurd. I don't know how else to say it.
RUSH: Right here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers I've got a story: "57 Terrible Consequences of the Sequester." Now, we got a break coming up here at the bottom of the hour and I'm gonna take that obviously. I'm gonna come back, I'm gonna go through some of these. The people who write such stories ought to be ashamed, but they are beneath shame. They're incapable of it. Fifty-seven terrible consequences, none of which are gonna happen, none of which can happen. We're not talking about cutting enough money. We're not spending less money than we spent last year.