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Reviving the Conservative Movement

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 6, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: My next guest says that if conservatives do not heed his advice, they will run into a lot of trouble in the November elections. And he's written a brand-new book to make sure that does not happen. It is called "After the Hangover: The Conservative Road to Recovery." Author Bob Tyrrell joins us.

I love the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord. You have wonderful writers on there, by the way.

R. EMMETT TYRRELL, AUTHOR, "AFTER THE HANGOVER": Thank you.

HANNITY: Alright. First of all, you start out in the book, and you start talking about the pronouncement of the death of conservatism. James Carville said for oh, for a number of generations — we hear this all the time.

TYRRELL: As I say at the beginning, "After the Hangover." Conservatives, conservatism is American history's longest dying political movement.

HANNITY: Yes.

TYRRELL: And yet it keeps coming back. And as I also say in the book and you've made clear in yours, conservatism since its founding has gotten stronger and stronger and stronger. And one of reasons we're getting so hard is liberalism is more and more out of touch, and it's gotten weaker and weaker and weaker.

HANNITY: You know, watching the results in Great Britain tonight. And now, after 13 years, it appears the conservatives will be back in power, in large part because of the liberal policies of reckless spending, and deficits, and the weakening of the defenses has resulted in, you know, predictable economic decline.

TYRRELL: Right. But we have a problem with American conservatism. And American conservatives' problem has, in large part, been there have been conservatives that have made their way in mainstream liberal media by sniping at conservatives and by misrepresenting conservatism, and the liberals are delighted with it.

People like David Frum and David Brooks and Christopher Buckley speaking against — we're not supposed to speak against — we're not supposed to speak against the dead, speak ill of the dead. He spoke ill of his dead mother and father.

HANNITY: I don't even think they're conservative. Here's what I think. I think they are out for themselves and they want to be liked by the liberal media. And so the way they're liked by the liberal media is they come out and they attack conservatives or those of us that are conservative. Is that not their M.O.?

TYRRELL: That's exactly right. And I want to get this one point in. As I made clear in the — as I was finishing "After the Hangover," I suddenly hit on how can we get around this constant sniping? And I want to make it clear, I've told you before. It's in the book. There is a template for getting around it.

And the template is the way you and Rush and Mark — and Mark Levin relate to each other. You have a give and take. You're interested in each other's work. You don't always agree, but you don't belittle each other, and you don't deny each other's existence.

HANNITY: I actually was very flattered that — that you pointed something out. And I've got to tell you something. I'm appreciative and thankful that Rush has been a champion for liberty and freedom and constitutional government.

You know, I'm Mark Levin's biggest fan. "Liberty and Tyranny" was one of the best books. You know, it was a modern-day version of Barry Goldwater's book, you know, and "Conscience of a Conservative."

What do you make of these phony conservatives? Because there are a lot of them out there. They want to portray themselves as conservatives, often want to be liked, often want to be viewed as moderate. They want to sort of isolate real conservatives: "They're a bunch of extremists, but I'm in the middle." What do you make of them?

TYRRELL: What I make of it is they're opportunists. I mean, I point out one of the things about "After the Hangover," is you know, I was there fairly close to the beginning of the movement. And — and I've seen this going on at least since the '60s: people making their way as conservatives by knocking down other conservatives. And it's been going on a long time.

HANNITY: And you name them. David Brooks, David Frum, Joe Scarborough is another one.

TYRRELL: Joe Scarborough is terrible. And the other thing is, they know nothing. On your show, on Rush's show, on Mark's show, it's clear that you know the principles of our movement.

HANNITY: Yes.

TYRRELL: When you talk about a conservative movement, you know it's there. It's based on personal liberty. It's based on limited government. They don't care. They're not — Scarborough is the worst. He knows nothing — nothing about the origins of the conservative movement.

HANNITY: Well, where do you think we are now? Because I think this is shaping up to be you one of the most consequential midterm elections in our lifetime. I see a conservative ascendancy. But as we were discussing earlier with Frank Luntz, I'm concerned that Republicans who lost some of their conservative values may count their chickens before they hatch. And this is not a slam-dunk. There's a lot of work to do for these guys.

TYRRELL: There's a lot of work. You in your book, I in mine, very similar to you when we talk about the program for the future. We both learned a lot from the conservative movement. From, for instance, Paul Ryan.

HANNITY: Yes.

TYRRELL: Paul Ryan has got a road map for America.

HANNITY: He's doing great, yes.

TYRRELL: And that's a set of policies. We've got the policies. The Tea Party movement is showing that the love of liberty is out there. We've got to remember: America is different than Great Britain. America is different than Europe. We have a great love of liberty in this country. And — and that's at the heart of the conservative movement.

HANNITY: It's like in our DNA. I mean...

TYRRELL: It is.

HANNITY: And out of the — in fairness, out of the — the ashes of Jimmy Carter's, you know, horrible presidency, you know, a phoenix rising, Ronald Reagan got America on the right path. Twenty-one million new jobs came. We took on the world's enemies.

You know, I think, you know, in many ways Barack Obama may be creating the next great conservative ascendancy in the country.

TYRRELL: Well, I think I mentioned, in "After the Hangover," Ronald - - Richard Nixon I knew in retirement. Nixon said to me in the late '70s, he said, "You know, Carter is going to be a failure."

I said, "Why?"

He said, "He's going to be a failure, because he doesn't learn from his mistakes."

This man, Obama, has not even recognized that he's made any mistakes.

HANNITY: No, no, he's the Anointed One, come on.

Alright. Love the Spectator. The book is terrific, by the way. And it is now in bookstores everywhere. And we appreciate you being with us. Thanks very much.

TYRRELL: Thanks for having me on your show.

— Watch "Hannity" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

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