Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh says Republicans are to blame for their own demise at the polls by failing to run a campaign trumpeting conservative values.
“You and I hunger for ideological leadership and we’re not getting it from the top. Conservatism, conservative ideology was nowhere to be found in this campaign from the top,” Limbaugh said today in his post-election analysis. “The Democrats beat something with nothing. They didn’t have to take a stand on anything other than their usual anti-war position. They had no clear agenda and believe me, they didn’t dare offer one. Liberalism will still lose every time it’s offered.”
Democrats took control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1994, with the fate of the Senate still uncertain.
Limbaugh said Republicans allowed themselves to be defined by Democrats and the media, and says they instead should have gone on the offensive.
“It’s silly to blame the media. It is silly to blame the Democrats. It is silly to go out and try to find all these excuses,” he said. “We have proven we can beat them. We’ve proven we can beat Democrats. We’ve proven we can withstand whatever we get from the drive-by media. Conservatism does that. Conservatism properly applied – proudly, eagerly with vigor and honesty – will triumph that nine times out of 10 in this current political environment and social environment in this country. It just wasn’t utilized in this campaign.”
Limbaugh, a longtime proponent of conservative ideology, believes the primary reason Republicans didn’t campaign on their beliefs is “fear of criticism from those in the so-called establishment; and nobody wants to be criticized and nobody wants to go through their life in fear.”
He listed a number of benchmarks which should have been the basis for successful campaigns including no terrorist attacks on the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001, gasoline prices averaging $2.08 per gallon, increased take-home pay, a strong economy and an unemployment rate at a historically low level.
“We all know that there’s very positive things happening out there, but it was not trumpeted by the people who should have been shouting it from the rooftops because they were proud of it,” Limbaugh said. “They should have been shouting it from the rooftops, ‘Look what we’ve done! Look how America can improve. Look how your future is brighter!’ … instead of allowing the template to be set by its critics. … You have a defensive, Gee-I’m-afraid-of-my-shadow Republican Party.”
In answering questions about how he feels about the election results, Limbaugh said, “I feel liberated. … I no longer am gonna have to carry the water for people who I think don’t deserve having their water carried. … If those in our party who are going to carry the day in the future both in Congress and the administration are going to choose a different path than what most of us believe, then that’s liberating. …
“There have been a bunch of things going on in Congress. Some of this legislation coming out of there that I have just cringed at. And it has been difficult coming in here trying to make the case for it when the people who supposedly in favor of it can’t even make the case themselves.”
During the last mid-term congressional election in 2002, Limbaugh proclaimed the Democratic Party to be in total chaos, and advised it to drop failed strategies if members wish to see political gains in the future.
“They’re a party in total disarray, total collapse, total chaos,” he said at the time.
During the 2004 campaign, Limbaugh said the Democratic Party was completely without a leader in its hunt to regain the White House, and members were desperately trying to invent one.
“They are so absent leadership right now it’s a joke,” said Limbaugh, “and everybody knows this in the media, and the Democrats are out trying to manufacture one – they’re trying to create one. And they’ve got this list of nine candidates for the Democratic nomination, and nobody can name one of them.”
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