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Do Republicans Have Any Instinct for Survival? Why Do They Refuse to Fight Against This Idiotic US Attorney Non-Story?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT RUSH: I want to start today with the continuing "scandal" over the US attorney flap because there's a lot to be said about it. But besides the substance of the issue, there is a great indication here (or great lesson) that we can all learn from about how to respond when you're under some sort of silly attack. I have noticed this. Like I have a Bloomberg News story here today that reads: “Attorney General Alberto Gonzales found few defenders in Congress among fellow Republicans as Democrats escalated demands for his resignation.” The administration itself is having trouble getting its message out. There are no defenders. Jon Kyl did try to draw analogies to the hypocrisy here over Bill Clinton and his 93 US attorney firings in '93. But for the most part, I know what's going on here. The Republicans are afraid to tie themselves to President Bush. The Drive-By Media, the Democrat Party, is trying to destroy this presidency. If they can, they will take him out prior to the election in '08. If they can't do that, what they're trying to do is isolate him in such a way that no Republican will come to his defense or the defense of the administration, because they are still afraid of the Drive-By Media, and are afraid that they'll get tied to the Bush administration.
They're cowering in fear of the Drive-By Media. The problem with that is that you don't have to defend the Bush administration in attacking this whole story as put out by the Drive-By Media. There's nothing that says you can't go on offense here. You don't have to go out and defend Bush and defend Gonzales if you don't want to, although it wouldn't be a bad idea if they did. They view Bush as "he's a goner" and anybody tied to him as a goner. Okay, fine. You don't want to defend Bush. Well, go out and defend your party. Attack the Democrats, and make it clear what's going on here. This is much more than just the Democrats trying to rev up anything they can. This is much more than the Drive-By Media needing to fill 24 hours, seven days a week of news. This is an agenda. There is an effort here to totally destroy this presidency on any issue that comes up, be it Scooter Libby, be it this, be it the lies and distortions of a number of anti-Bush protesters down in South America on his trip down there. Of course, if there's any scandal in this -- and I've got a sound bite here -- nobody can find anything illegal about what Bush did. Well, that ought to make this a non-story! The New York Times is full of editorials today, “Why, why, these e-mails going back and forth, why, they were political calculations!” Yeah, in Washington, DC, a political calculation might have happened in the Bush administration! It happened in Washington, home of politics. Of course this is political! It always has been. It was political when Clinton did it. There was a little self-preservation, too, with Clinton. But some of these US attorneys were not investigating voter fraud in their jurisdictions, and this is one of the reasons why some in the Bush justice department wanted to get rid of them. I guess the best way to really illustrate what's happening here and to give you an idea of the ammo that the Republicans have that they are not using is an editorial today in the Wall Street Journal entitled, "The Hubbell Standard -- Hillary Clinton Knows All About Sacking US Attorneys." Of course, this is laughable. Mrs. Clinton was on Good Morning America today suggesting that Gonzales needs to resign, that this is just horrible and this is just terrible. Of all people to be saying this and of all people to make herself a target, a juicy target, the presumed Democrat front-runner! The Republicans, especially the Republican presidential candidates, the announced presidential candidates could come out and nail this. She just painted a big target on herself front and back. It's easy to take aim here. Listen to this from the Wall Street Journal editorial today: “As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton's choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993.” Everybody thought that Hubbell was running the show. Reno was there as a nominal head, and then later Jamie Gorelick moved in to run the show after Hubbell was sent packing.Anyway, the justice department under Reno and Hubbell gave those 93 US attorneys “10 days to move out of their offices. At the time, President Clinton presented the move as something perfectly ordinary: 'All those people are routinely replaced,' he told reporters, 'and I have not done anything differently.' In fact, the dismissals were unprecedented: Previous Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, had both retained holdovers from the previous Administration and only replaced them gradually as their tenures expired. This allowed continuity of leadership within the U.S. Attorney offices during the transition. Equally extraordinary were the politics at play in the firings. At the time, Jay Stephens, then U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, was investigating then Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, and was 'within 30 days' of making a decision on an indictment. Mr. Rostenkowski, who was shepherding the Clinton's economic program through Congress, eventually went to jail on mail fraud charges and was later pardoned by Mr. Clinton.” This is audio from my television show on March 24, 1993. Jay Stephens, US attorney in Chicago, said this about his being fired along with the other 92 US attorneys. STEPHENS: We have expected to make that critical decision within 30 days. We will continue to pursue this investigation. I am confident that it will be pursued by experienced career prosecutors who are conducting this investigation under my leadership. I can only trust that in the tradition of the Department of Justice, the integrity of that investigation will not be blemished by political considerations. RUSH: Well, it didn't go forward. Not a whole lot happened there with Jay Stephens being thrown overboard. “Also at the time, allegations concerning some of the Clintons' Whitewater dealings were coming to a head.” By the way, this is the real reason all 93 were fired. Clinton wanted to get rid of the US attorney in Little Rock over Whitewater things, and to make it look like he was not getting rid of one particular US attorney, he just broomed them all. Jay Stephens was handy to get rid of, too, because he was investigating Rosty Rostenkowski. “By dismissing all 93 U.S. Attorneys at once, the Clintons conveniently cleared the decks to appoint 'Friend of Bill' Paula Casey as the U.S. Attorney for Little Rock. Ms. Casey never did bring any big Whitewater indictments, and she rejected information from another FOB, David Hale, on the business practices of the Arkansas elite including Mr. Clinton. When it comes to 'politicizing' Justice, in short, the Bush White House is full of amateurs compared to the Clintons.” Audio sound bite number six is Janet Reno, also from my television show of March 24, 1993. She held a press conference, and this was her announcement. RENO: I haven't asked for Stephens' resignation. I've asked for the resignation of all the US attorneys as part of an orderly transfer to a new administration so that the new administration can choose its US attorneys, which it thinks is absolutely integral to the Department of Justice and based on what we think the qualifications for US attorneys should be. RUSH: Yeah, so she was asked, “Are you getting rid of Jay Stephens because of Rostenkowski?” Oh, no, no, no, we're getting rid of all of them! We're getting rid of every damn one of them. It's part of an orderly transfer to a new administration! So the new administration can choose its attorneys, which it "thinks is absolutely integral." Here is audio sound bite #2. Mrs. Bill Clinton today on Good Morning America, a montage of her remarks about this. MRS. BILL CLINTON: The attorney general -- who still seems to confuse his prior role as the president's personal attorney with his duty to the system of justice and to the entire country -- should resign. There's evidence of political interference and pressure being put on them to engage in partisan political activities. The president needs to be very forthcoming. What did he say? What did he know? What did he ask people to do? RUSH: Well, let's take a look at your e-mails. Let's look at your files. Let's look at all of the files in Janet Reno's office back when she got rid of everybody and she admitted it was pretty much about politics. You wanted your own people in there, plus you wanted the Paula Casey in Little Rock and Jay Stephens out in Chicago. That's why I say she has just painted a big bull's-eye on the front and back of her tunic or her muumuu, pantsuit, whatever she's wearing out there today -- and there's nothing from the Republicans! Once again they leave it up to us here in talk radio and in the new media to try to make this case. I guess they're just cowed by the Drive-By Media. They say, “Well, we can't get coverage.” I guarantee you if some senator in Congress had called a press conference today to raise hell about this, they would get coverage. There is no question. Of course you're not going to get coverage if you're on the judiciary committee, one of 12 or 15 people and you're out there raising hell about it because that's not televised. You call a special press conference to talk about this and bring this BS to a halt, and I guarantee that they would get coverage. BREAK TRANSCRIPT RUSH: All right, back to the Wall Street Journal editorial today on the Hubbell standard. “When it comes to 'politicizing' Justice, in short, the Bush White House is full of amateurs compared to the Clintons. And it may be this very amateurism that explains how the current Administration has managed to turn this routine issue of replacing Presidential appointees into a political fiasco. There was nothing wrong with replacing the eight Attorneys, all of whom serve at the President's pleasure.” In fact, here's a montage, ladies and gentlemen. We've got David Gregory; we've got Richard Ben-Veniste; we have the Breck Girl (we have a Breck Girl update coming up today. Ed, the new update theme is the "I am Woman" by the Breck Girl parody. Have that standing by sometime today.) Also Kelly Arena, CNN; attorney David Boies; Anderson Cooper and Jeffrey Toobin of CNN. This is a little montage. Even the greatest minds in liberalism in the Drive-By Media admit this is a non-story. GREGORY: Is there any crime? What's Schumer talking about? BEN-VENISTE: I don't know that there's a crime. BRECK GIRL: What he did is not illegal. ARENA: No one is saying that anyone did anything illegal here. BOIES: I don't think there's anything illegal. COOPER: It's not illegal. TOOBIN: Was this illegal? Certainly not. The president has absolute authority to fire people. RUSH: Well, then what is this? If it's not illegal, then they're trying to make this kind of politics -- Republican, conservative-practiced politics -- a crime. They're trying to criminalize via scandal. They're saying it's a scandal. It's not illegal. It's a scandal. It gets in the way of justice. It's spoiling the whole system, said Patrick Leahy. “The supposed scandal this week is that Mr. Bush had been informed last fall that some U.S. Attorneys had been less than vigorous in pursuing voter-fraud cases and that the President had made the point to Attorney General Albert Gonzales. Voter fraud strikes at the heart of democratic institutions, and it was entirely appropriate for Mr. Bush -- or any President -- to insist that his appointees act energetically against it. Take sacked U.S. Attorney John McKay from Washington state. In 2004, the Governor's race was decided in favor of Democrat Christine Gregoire by 129-votes on a third recount. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other media outlets reported, some of the 'voters' were deceased, others were registered in storage-rental facilities, and still others were convicted felons. “More than 100 ballots were 'discovered' in a Seattle warehouse. None of this constitutes proof that the election was stolen. But it should have been enough to prompt Mr. McKay, a Democrat, to investigate, something he declined to do, apparently on grounds that he had better things to do. In New Mexico, another state in which recent elections have been decided by razor thin margins, U.S. Attorney David Iglesias did establish a voter fraud task force in 2004. But it lasted all of 10 weeks before closing its doors, despite evidence of irregularities by the likes of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn. As our John Fund reported at the time, Acorn's director Matt Henderson refused to answer questions in court about whether his group had illegally made copies of voter registration cards in the run-up to the 2004 election.“As for some of the other fired Attorneys, at least one of their dismissals seemed to owe to differences with the Administration about the death penalty, another to questions about the Attorney's managerial skills. Not surprisingly, the dismissed Attorneys are insisting their dismissals were unfair, and perhaps in some cases they were. It would not be the first time in history that a dismissed employee did not take kindly to his firing, nor would it be the first in which an employer sacked the wrong person. No question, the Justice Department and White House have botched the handling of this issue from start to finish. But what we don't have here is any serious evidence that the Administration has acted improperly or to protect some of its friends,” just like we do have with the Clinton administration in 1993. The bottom line is this: “If the Democrats want to understand what a real abuse of power looks like, they can always ask Hillary Clinton,” Mrs. Bill Clinton. She was there. I've got this Bloomberg story, as we mentioned earlier. Nobody coming to the defense of Gonzales, and that is the problem. You go back to 1993. Janet Reno had every Democrat defending her serial misconduct, her serial incompetence. So here we are, the Wall Street Journal and talk radio defending the administration again while the administration cowers and fires its own people (the chief of staff to Gonzales), and they're essentially out there playing dead on this. The opportunity to nail Hillary, who has called for Gonzales to resign is -- Mrs. Bill Clinton, sorry. Can you imagine, folks, if these US attorneys weren't subject to removal? Let's ask the Democrats. Are you telling us that when you win the presidency next time, you're not going to get rid of any US attorneys, that that would cause a problem in law enforcement? Of course you're not going to promise that. Can you imagine if these prosecutors were not subject to removal by the president? Apart from the unconstitutional nature of such an effort, hasn't the Patrick Fitzgerald case just demonstrated how dangerous unaccountable prosecutors are? If you ask me, that's a picture-perfect lesson there of precisely why prosecutors are political appointments and why they are not unaccountable. Loyalty to the executive branch's policies were the issue in some cases. What's wrong with that? They're trying to politicize politics. They're trying to criminalize it or scandalize it in this case, saying that US attorneys' loyalty to the administration is somehow wrong. All you gotta do is go back to 1993. But this is the point. The ongoing effort here is to drive Bush from office. If they can't do that, the second goal is to destroy Republican prospects in '08. The New York Times has a story today about all these e-mails that go back and forth to prove some sort of scandal. What, there weren't any lib e-mails back in 1993? There weren't any lib e-mails? What about all the lib e-mails going back and forth between Sandy Burglar and whoever else in the Clinton administration about the National Archives theft? Do the Republicans have normal instincts for survival? You don't have to go out and throw yourself on the sword for the Bush administration to defend your party and attack the Democrats. You can do it in an unrelated way. They think they're going to go down and suffer if they lift a finger to assist the administration. That's been the point. The Drive-Bys and the Democrats have been trying to isolate Bush since last November. It's working. He doesn't have any support whatsoever. BREAK TRANSCRIPT RUSH: Now, I don't know if you people remember this -- I, of course, remember much, although I don't remember everything I say, either. That's why Snerdley is here; that's why H.R. is here, and Cookie. I've said so much, it's hard to remember it all, but I do remember years ago -- in fact, during the first term of the Bush administration -- all the Democrats being invited up to the White House, the Kennedys and such, to watch a movie and Ted Kennedy to negotiate and write the education bill. They were just bending over backwards in this "new tone" business, and in the process Bush was not doing enough to build loyalty within his own party on Capitol Hill. He spent too much time wooing the Democrats with the new tone, and that was hostile to the base. I remember pointing out that parts of this administration remind me of the Nixon administration, what with the creation of new entitlements and so forth. Richard Nixon made this fatal error, too. Nixon's not Bush. Nixon was obsessed with his enemies and trying to convert them and get them to shut down. He gave them the EPA, gave them OSHA, gave them all kinds of new cabinet departments and so forth. But when he needed help, there weren't enough Republicans in Congress there to help him and that's now become the problem here. The fact is this. A lot of you people probably don't think Bush deserves being defended, but that's not the point here. This isn't about defending the administration anymore. The Democrats are on offense over 2008, and this case, this phony baloney, plastic banana, good time rock 'n' roller phony scandal over the firing of eight US attorneys is ripe for somebody to stand up and point out the hypocrisy. They don't even have to mention Bush. You can just attack the Democrats for what they are doing here. Republicans had better realize this and wake up, or this is going to be their undoing. If they remain divided like this or timid, if they continue to operate out of fear of the Drive-By Media -- the New York Times, the Washington Post, the networks -- they're going to end up losing. They're never going to persuade those people. Stand up! Do a press conference! To hell with what the New York Times says. I know it's easy for me to say. Having an audience, getting an audience is different from getting votes, but, believe me, it would resonate with a lot of people. This is just outrageous, this whole phony scandal over nothing that's illegal. It's not an abuse of power. Nothing that's been said about this is accurate at all. Speaking of which, if you had any doubt, if you think it wasn't political -- if your kids can go to school and be forced to watch this lying sack of dog doo-doo propaganda movie by Algore, and then if your school system tells you (as is happening here in Palm Beach County, Florida) that you parents have to go watch it, too or your kids might suffer grade consequences -- if you can go spend an hour and a half or whatever it is to watch this stupid thing and after it have your mind totally changed, then I believe some of you might fall for the notion that there's some sort of genuine illegality or scandal here because apparently you'll sop up whatever the Drive-By Media ladles out. Well, try this. If you go to www.HillaryClinton.com, you can sign a petition to force Gonzales to resign. Now, guess what this really is? This is not about forcing Gonzales to resign, although that would be a nice answer. This is fund-raising. This is building a list of contributors, future donors, and so forth. Everything the Democrats are doing from their idiotic parade of meaningless war resolutions -- by the way, you know what, folks? I'm going to have to bring this up again. I'm giving you a little sneak preview of what's in the stacks here. I really believe there's a civil war breaking out in the Democrat Party. We have Code Pink trying to protest Pelosi. We have factions in the House protesting Pelosi and protesting themselves. We have Senate Democrats angry with Senate House members. Civil war going on in the Democrat Party, and it's not being reported.As you know, I'm a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. (By the way, with the New York Times hit piece on Algore yesterday and that stupid movie of his, my stock to win the Nobel Peace Prize may have risen a little bit. Never know.) By the way, where are my peace mugs? We got the T-shirts today. You people probably got your stuff before I, the creator, got mine in this case. I got my Rush for Peace T-shirts. We're still waiting on the Rush for Peace mugs. They weren't in the box? I'll tell you what, there's a lot of lackadaisical behavior going on in some of our departments here. I'm going to have to put my foot down over this. This is intolerable. I do have some political appointees. I've got people that are here because they agree with me, not because of their competence. It's time to weed 'em out. Let 'em go public, I don't care. I'll defend my actions all day long. At any rate, I guess you can buy anything the Drive-By Media is saying about this phony baloney scandal if you're going to buy into Algore's movie. I don't know, folks. It's time for some people to step up. Let's go to the phones. People want to weigh in on this. We'll do that before we get into a couple other things. This is John in San Diego. Welcome, sir, to the EIB Network. Hello. CALLER: Hello, El Rushbo. How are you? RUSH: Fine, sir, thank you. CALLER: You got my blood boiling this morning. You said that maybe that the president doesn't have support from his party. Want to know what? He doesn't deserve support from his party. He hung Rumsfeld out to dry after this last election. He doesn't defend himself. He lets -- you know as well as anybody, perception is reality. If you let people perceive you're idiot, if you don't fight back, if you don't defend yourself, if he has people like you defend him and other talk radio show hosts, people like me who give money... I am a black conservative, a young black conservative, 43 years old. I've probably given a thousand dollars to RNC two election cycles ago and every year in the election cycle. They called me for money two days ago; I told them to stick it. I said, "'Til someone in my party gets a backbone, until someone in my party -- if my president wants my money, he is doing things to basically encourage and try to gain favor with the other political party." I told the young lady, I go, "I know you're getting a mouthful, young lady, but you tell him to go get money from the Democrats he's trying to please, because I am a person in the base of this party that has given money to this party, and my president is not doing a damn thing to benefit me." RUSH: I know you're out there. I just referenced, didn't I, that I think there are a lot of people out there who think Bush doesn't deserve defending? I'm not going to quarrel with you over what you said, but I do want to say this to you, and this is important. You know, Bush is who he is, and I agree with you. Firing Rumsfeld is just absurd. You give them a scalp and they're going to want five more. You can't please these people. No matter what the liberals ask for or demand, if you give them everything it's still never going to be enough. Why this lesson is not learned, I don't know. I've got some theories about why Bush is not ideological or why he's not confrontational, but I've been through all those things before. I want to address the other side of this. Because I firmly believe, John -- you think the future of the country is worth being involved in and trying to direct in a positive way, do you not? CALLER: Yes, I do. RUSH: All right. Now, you don't think -- do you? -- the Democrat Party is the pathway to a great future for America and yourself? Do you? CALLER: The Democrat Party will lead this country to hell in a hand basket. RUSH: All right, now, in that case -- and I agree with you -- throw Bush out of this equation. There is still plenty of opportunity for Republicans to come out and put this whole US attorney thing in perspective and hammer the Democrats without defending Bush. It's called offense. You go on offense against the Democrats. You talk about what a shameful episode this is and how it's one of a continuing parade of shameless episodes where everything in this country is being politicized for their own partisan advantage or gain regardless what they tear down and destroy, including victory in the war on terror. You don't have to even mention Bush's name. You can talk about the fact of 93 US attorneys being canned by Bill Clinton and Janet Reno and Mrs. Bill Clinton in 1993. You can do all of this. I understand their reluctance to defend Bush. They think they'll go down the tubes with him if they do. I know this is the case. But there are ways to do this without appearing to defend what the administration is doing, especially now when you got the brightest legal minds on the left saying there's no crime here. CALLER: Rush, here's the problem. You know as well as I do, since Newt Gingrich left Washington DC, there is no longer any backbone. The last person that had backbone in our party was a man by the name of Trent Lott. He got hung out to dry because of some comments he made about Strom Thurmond at Strom Thurmond's 94th birthday. They took him out. Even though Trent wasn't the strongest, he was effective. He had a good message when he was on the Sunday morning shows. His message got out. He didn't let people get him off message and he got the point across. They took him out because of that. RUSH: A slight disagreement there, but it's not worth exploring here, but you gotta understand: it wasn't the Democrats who took Lott out. They could still be bellyaching about it. It was the White House that chimed in. CALLER: Well, because they had no backbone. The last person that had backbone in our party in DC was Newt Gingrich, and Newt got an effective message out. We do not have a leader in our party. RUSH: I know. The problem is no conservative, elected leadership in Washington. The people are hungering for it -- and that's why the minute it shows up, whoever and whatever personality it shows up, that person is going to be enveloped with support. CALLER: Well, Rush? RUSH: Yeah. CALLER: I go to parties with all my liberal friends. I'm a black conservative. RUSH: Wait a second. Wait a second. You're a conservative, and you go to parties? CALLER: (Laughing.) RUSH: That will shock the left. CALLER: And I get into some serious discussions with my white liberal friends, and I'm one of those people that I find myself defending my president. I finally told them after Rumsfeld was hung out to dry, I said, "You want to know what? My president, my Republican president may be as big a Bozo as you guys think he is, but not for the reasons you think he is." RUSH: You know, actually if Bush were what they think he is we'd probably be happier, wouldn't we? CALLER: Yes. They actually think he's conservative! They think he's conservative. They go, “What do you mean?” and I go, “My president is not a conservative.” RUSH: Their hatred for Bush is not related to his being conservative. It's irrational. It would be silly here to try to analyze it. It still exists. Look, John, I have to run. Do what you want and say what you want about Bush. I know there probably are a lot of people out there who would say the same thing as you, but you say Bush doesn't deserve support because he hasn't defended himself, essentially. The party's gotta think about the future here. I don't know. It's frustrating to look at this in many senses. I asked a couple of them, and they said, "Well, you can't get any coverage." Can't get any coverage? I guess that's why we have McCain, because he knows how to get coverage from them. But there's a way to do this. I gotta run because of time, John. It's great to hear from you. Thanks. It's a joy to have you in the audience as well.

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