RUSH: Now, I paid no attention to TV over the weekend. Zilch, zero, nada. In fact, I am in withdrawal ever since Lost and "24" ended, there's nothing out there. I can't wait for football season to start. But I did get roped into watching The Bachelorette last night. Folks, I gotta tell you, it's the funniest show. It's deathly scary if this show represents -- you know, I'm sitting there watching this show and I asked Kathryn, "What is the average IQ of the person watching this show who's really into it, who really, really thinks --" (interruption) No, we watched it as a laugh thing, Snerdley, we watched it to laugh at it, we watched it to cringe, and we laughed and we cringed, and then I said, "I'm trying to imagine people glued to their TVs who believe this, who think this is great programming, who want to be on this show." And then I think, are they voting? (interruption) No, it's not on the DVR list. In fact, it was not planned. It was just something that popped up. You know, spur of the moment decision. So anyway I haven't had the TV on, so I come in here and Cookie has the sound bite roster for me, and let's go to audio sound bite five. Last Saturday Fox News Channel cohost Rick Folbaum and Cal Thomas had this exchange about Michael Steele.
FOLBAUM: Rush Limbaugh hasn't really had a chance to weigh in on this yet. He hasn't been on the radio, at least not to my knowledge, since this first became public. What happens if Rush gets on the air on Tuesday or whenever he's back in the chair, and he says Michael Steele's gotta go? They've had their back-and-forth before. What do you think?
THOMAS: Yeah. That's right. Right. They did. And Limbaugh took him on and Michael had to apologize to Rush Limbaugh, and there are all kinds of editorials from the Washington Post and other places, columns, saying, you know, what is this? He's apologizing to a talk show host. But it's a pattern. And if the pattern -- look, everybody's entitled to one or two gaffes. If it becomes a pattern and he becomes the story, rather than the ideas and the issues and the objectives of the Republican Party, no person is worth keeping on for any reason who becomes a distraction.
RUSH: And they went on to say here that Michael Steele's job hangs in the balance, is hanging by a thread, depending on what I say today.
FOLBAUM: If Rush Limbaugh does go on the air this coming week and calls for him to go away, I imagine that sort of plays into the Democratic playbook. I mean there's been a lot of talk about Rush Limbaugh, Democrats love to say that he's the head of the Republican Party. That would certainly give them another opportunity to do that, wouldn't it?
LEE: Well, once again we will see who is the true spokesperson of the Republican Party and whether or not it is Rush Limbaugh or it is those that have been elected.
RUSH: Gee whiz.
LEE: I think this will be a very telling sign. It will also speak volumes to kind of what the message is going to be in 2010. Who really does lead the Republican Party? I think it will be fascinating to watch.
RUSH: So here I am, I'm watching The Bachelorette last night, I'm unaware of any of this and I find out that the Washington political culture is waiting on me to decide the fate of Michael Steele. And so, since it's up to me, I will have an opinion on this at some point during the program today. I'm still undecided as to what my opinion ought to be, but apparently I hold the cards, and I'm going to hold the hand close to my chest here 'til I figure out what to do. Thumbs up or thumb down. I feel like Marcus Aurelius, Julius Caesar with the Christians and the lions in there at the Coliseum, up or down. So I gotta think about this now. I'll let people know what I decide as the program unfolds today. Cynthia Tucker, ABC's This Week, Sunday, roundtable, they discussed Michael Steele. And, by the way, this woman is the editorial director of the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation, and she has been for a long, long time. "Cynthia you once called Michael Steele an affirmative action hire gone bad." By the way, she can say this because she's African-American. Here's what she said.
TUCKER: Michael Steele is a self-aggrandizing gaffe-prone incompetent who would have been fired a long time ago were he not black. Of course the irony is that he never would have been voted in as chairman of the Republican Party were he not black.
RUSH: Same with Obama.
TUCKER: It is very ironic since the Republican --
RUSH: Stop the tape a second. That's exactly the same thing you could say about Obama. He wouldn't have been voted president if he weren't black. Somebody asked me over the weekend why does somebody earn a lot of money have a lot of money, because she's black. It was Oprah. No, it can't be. Yes, it is. There's a lot of guilt out there, show we're not racists, we'll make this person wealthy and big and famous and so forth. The Chicago Sun-Times today has this story, it's amazing, "How did we get conned, how did we get fooled? My God we've elected an empty suit. We elected somebody who had no experience, no idea what he was doing, the empty suit cost $5,000." I thought my God, they finally woke up, they're talking about Obama, but no, they're talking about Blago. They're asking themselves in Chicago how they got conned by Blagojevich! And you read this, and I will share it with you as the program unfolds, it could be written about Obama. So Cynthia Tucker says, yeah, he wouldn't be hired by the GOP if he weren't black.
RUSH: Washington awaits my fatwa on Michael Steele. Washington is paralyzed today until I issue my findings on this. The first thing I have to say about this: Cynthia Tucker said Steele would only have the gig if he was black. If Obama weren't black he'd be a tour guide in Honolulu or he'd be teaching Saul Alinsky constitutional law or lecturing on it in Chicago, and if somebody's "entitled to a couple of gaffes," why do we still have Senator Bite Me running around as Vice President Bite Me, who is a walking gaffe every time he opens his mouth and he's not even black! So what's the Democrats' excuse for having Joe Bite Me around as vice president? Now, to be serious about this, as best that we can make out here all the outrage is over Steele saying that the war in Afghanistan was a, quote, "war of Obama's choosing, not something the US has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in," quote, unquote.
Now, at the worst he's half right. The war in Afghanistan was the war Obama and the Democrats wanted to fight throughout the war in Iraq. They wanted to lose in Iraq. They wanted to get out of there and then "go get Bin Laden." That would be the definition of success, and Obama claimed to be totally gung-ho about that. He claimed to object to the invasion of Iraq because it was a "distraction" from our true mission, which is the war in Afghanistan. So Steele, in my view -- and this is part of my fatwa. Steele is at least half right which puts him way up on Vice President Bite Me who once again this weekend repeated his claim that Obama has won the war in Iraq when all Obama wanted to do was get out of Iraq and lose the war. Still, you would think there's enough talent on display the Republican Party that they could find somebody to stay on message. But the dirty little secret is that the center of the Republican and/or, slash, conservative universe is not at the Republican National Committee. I still have not issued my fatwa. I'm thinking about it.
RUSH: Our nation's capital remains paralyzed while awaiting my fatwa on Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele. Now, remember, folks: All of these liberals, all these media people in their heart of hearts want the Republicans to fire Steele so they can run around out there and write about the Republicans firing a black guy. The one thing that's happening here is there clearly is an effort to manipulate the Republicans as there always is and are doing, quote, unquote, "the right thing" morally and ethically and of course the right thing as far as the Democrats are concerned is doing something about which the Democrats and the media can then write embarrassing things about the GOP. That's what they wish to do is report, "Republicans fired a black guy!"
Well, of course nobody pays any attention to how the Democrat Party undermines black candidates. Look at this poor guy in South Carolina. They're trying to undermine this guy who won the primary there at 60% of the vote. Carl McCall, black gubernatorial candidate in New York, they told him to go pound sand. They're trying to get David Paterson, the existing government of New York, to get out of there. The truth be known, it's the Democrats and the left who show absolutely no compassion to black candidates. But suppose I were to say of Michael Steele something similar that Bill Clinton said at the memorial for Robert "Sheets" Byrd last week. I don't know if you people caught this or not, but essentially Clinton said (doing impression), "Yeah, you know, Bobby, yeah (chuckling), he was from those hollows and the hills out there West Virginia. Back in his young days he did a couple things he shouldn'ta done. He knew it but he had to get elected."
Yeah, he had to join the Klan to get elected. So we need to cut the guy some slack. (doing impression) "That's right, Limbaugh. (chuckles) You nail it every time you analyze me. Exactly right. He had to do what he had to do. West Virginia, everybody knows the Klan had a big beachhead in there and if you wanted to get elected to something, you had to first join the Klan. But we have to look the other way 'cause he spent the rest of life trying to make up for it." No, he didn't, Mr. President. He voted against every black Supreme Court nominee came down the pike. So maybe we should forgive Michael Steele because he's young. He's doing things here in his relative youth, just as Robert Byrd did in his. I mean, Clinton and Obama told us so last week. When Byrd was youthful, say between ages 28 and 51, he did this. We were told to forgive Robert Byrd his Cyclops position. That was a recruiter. He founded a Klan chapter!
(impression) "That's right, Limbaugh, but you're ignoring what I'm saying: He had to do that because he had to get elected. That's what West Virginia was when he was growing up." Okay, so we excuse it, then. At any rate, ladies and gentlemen, I'm still considering what to do here. Whatever is done here, it ought not be done because Democrats demand it or because the media demand it 'cause, frankly, the Republican National Committee is not the center of the universe when it comes to winning these elections in November. The center of the universe is right here, at the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. It's not at the RNC. So the bottom line is it doesn't make any difference. Here. Back to the audio sound bites. Saturday, Sunday, yesterday, and this morning: A montage of ABC, Fox News, MSNBC, bunch of other news people reviewing. They're obsessed with Steele and his long-ago insult of me. Remember?
STEVE CENTANNI: Chairman Steele has angered his GOP cohorts in the past. For instance, when he called Rush Limbaugh "incendiary."
DAVID KERLEY: ...Rush Limbaugh "incendiary and ugly."
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: He calls Rush Limbaugh an entertainer. He has to apologize for that.
GREGG JARRETT: Steele has made a number of missteps, criticizing Rush Limbaugh.
JEANINE PIRRO: The fourth gaffe he made saying that his rhetoric is "incendiary" and it's "ugly."
DAVID KERLEY: There was that insult of Republican icon Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH: Yeah. So clearly the RNC head is simply a titular position. I am titular, the real grand pooh-bah, as everybody recognizes. That's what all these sound bites are all about. I mean... (interruption) Well, no. Republican icon, yes, that's true. They go back and forth, depending on when they want to elevate me and when they don't. It's clear that the center of the universe when it comes to conservative-Republican electoral politics is right here. All these audio sound bites prove it. Steele's fate depends on me and my fatwa today. Ha. Still thinking about it. We will let you know.
RUSH: Now, ladies and gentlemen, people -- I've checked the e-mail here -- "Rush, you cannot drag this Michael Steele thing out the whole show." Yes, I can. It's my show and I can do with it whatever I want. I will say this: Whatever may or may not happen to Michael Steele, Michael Steele is more qualified to be the editorial director at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution than Cynthia Tucker is. You talk about controversial opinions? You talk about a full-fledged, radical, leftist-extreme agenda disguised as a journalist? That's Cynthia Tucker. Michael Steele is not disguising himself as anything. He is being who he is. He may be "gaffe prone," but Tucker, like other leftists, are ideologically incapable of logic -- and, as I say, "If you're only allowed 'a couple of gaffes,' somebody explain to me how Joe Bite Me remains vice president."
RUSH: Kevin in Missoula, Montana, great to have you.
CALLER: Honor to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Your opening comments on Michael Steele got me to think a little bit, and I have to say, I have to agree with him, this is a war of Obama's choosing. Obama has chose how the rules of engagement will work over there, he's chose how the military's gonna operate, and he's also chosen a date when we're going to extract ourselves out of there. So what we are getting over there is exactly what Obama is choosing for us.
RUSH: All right, now, since you think that, why do you think so many people are upset with Steele? And what do you think I ought to do about this?
CALLER: Well, I think I'll leave that to the master.
RUSH: Well, that's a very wise answer.
RUSH: You think I have a special privileged life. You wouldn't believe. Very few people think I really know what I'm doing in any aspect of my life, and tell me how to do it better, but you, sir, have deferred to expertise, and I thank you for that.
CALLER: You bet. Well, it's my job to make the host look good.
RUSH: Don't forget that.
CALLER: I won't.
RUSH: I appreciate that very, very much.
RUSH: Cynthia Tucker is no longer at the Atlanta Urinal-Constipation. She's a DC-based columnist, I'm told. And I have come to a decision on Michael Steele. I don't know why everybody's waiting for my fatwa. I'm going to defer the decision on Michael Steele to the genuine head of the Republican Party, General Colin Powell. It's up to him. I wash my hands of this.
RUSH: So my fatwa on Michael Steele has been released, has been issued, and that is I essentially passed this decision on to General Colin Powell, said to be the ideal Republican and Republican leader in this day and age. Let him decide. Although I'm going to share with you some more thoughts on this, regardless. As I look at this, I'm looking at media and the Democrats, it seems to me, folks, these critics have been so harsh about Steele's remarks, if I didn't know better I'd say it almost sounds like they want him to fail. It seems to me these people are eager to be able to claim Michael Steele's scalp. They want him to fail. Now, which is more preposterous here? Here's what Steele said. "Afghanistan is a war of Obama's choosing and not something the US had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."
He's half right about this, and also half wrong. (More in a minute.) Or here is vice president Joe Bite Me who said, "The American people will see President Obama's Iraq policy as a success when the combat mission ends on schedule on August 31st." Bite Me said, "The administration, quote, "will be able to point to and say, 'We told you what we're gonna do and we did it.' They're going to take a look and they see if the president kept his promise getting troops home and will give them more confidence in the foreign policy he set." Now, that is clearly delusional. What Bite Me said is deranged. Bite Me Biden, and the rest of the Democrats actively sought our defeat in Iraq and -- well, we all know that -- and actively spoke out against the policy of General Petraeus, the surge. Now they're claiming credit for it? "Our Iraq policy"?
Now, as for whether or not Steele should resign, as I say, that's now up to General Powell. I have issued my fatwa, and I passed the baton to him, but let me go a little further with that. Do I agree with his comment? I said he was half right. But he's also half wrong. We were attacked by Al-Qaeda. They were based in Afghanistan. The Taliban gave safe haven to Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. This is indisputable. If anything, we should have pounded the hell out of this enemy with nearly everything we had well before now, but that doesn't appear to be our plan. We don't fight wars the way we used to in this country. That is what it is. But I'll tell you what I get tired of. I get tired of people trying to be the first to issue statements or go on the air demanding resignations, not because of something these people have done but because of what they mistakenly said or said in passing.
There seems to be a mad dash to the microphones and cameras. "He ought to resign! He ought to quit! Get him outta there." I know words have consequences, but, for crying out loud, so do actions! I've watched over the weekend the spectacle of Obama and Bite Me and Bill Clinton praising Robert Byrd saying, "Yeah, he had to join the Klan. After all, he had to get elected." They're praising Robert Byrd as if he was the great civil rights leader of our time. Clinton even referred to Byrd's involvement in the Klan as a passing youthful event. But the fact is Byrd was a segregationist leader for a good part of his early Senate career. He helped lead the filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not because of constitutional concerns, but because he was a segregationist. I didn't hear any criticism of this from too many circles, certainly not the media and the liberals.
Yet there's Obama, heaping praise on the guy, as did Bite Me and Clinton. Now, these are leaders of the Democrat Party. Should they resign? Look at what they did. They have rewritten history about one of this nation's leading segregationists who led a filibuster against their most prized legislative accomplishment, the Civil Rights Act, and they're out there praising the guy and telling us we need to look past. You know, he spent the rest of his life trying to make up for this. "He had to get elected," Clinton said. Yeah, had to get elected. He comes from the hollows and hills of West Virginia, and wink-wink, we all know who was in the hollows and hills: The guys in the white robes burning crosses. That's what Clinton said! Byrd had to be one of those guys if he hoped to get elected. You want to compare this to Michael Steele?