RUSH: To the audio sound bites November 4th, 2010, MSNBC, Hardball, Chris Matthews. During a discussion about Obama's poll numbers, the Democrat pollster Mark Penn who worked for Hillary said this about what Obama needed to help turn his poll numbers around.
PENN: President Clinton reconnected through Oklahoma --
MATTHEWS: Because of the bombing down there!
PANNE: -- and the president right now is seen as removed, and it wasn't until that speech that he reclicked with the American public. Obama needs a similar kind of event.
RUSH: Obama needs something similar. Oklahoma City allowed Clinton to reconnect after the '94 Republican victory. Obama needs something similar. Well, what was the Oklahoma City bombing but the mass murder of Americans by a terrorist, a domestic terrorist? We need more of that? Is that what Mr. Penn said? He did say it. Was there any outrage anywhere? Chris Matthews fantasizing about me, October 13th, 2009, MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: You guys see Live and Let Die, the great Bond film with, um, with Yaphet Kotto was the bad guy, Mr. Big?
MATTHEWS: In the end they jammed a big CO2 pellet in his face, and he blew up. I have to tell you, Rush Limbaugh is beginning to look more and more like Mr. Big. And at some point somebody is going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come.
MATTHEWS: I think he's Mr. Big. I think Yaphet Kotto...
MATTHEWS: Are you watching, Rush?
RUSH: Nobody, back then, had any expression of alarm over the potential behavior that such a comment by Mr. Matthews might inspire. There was just laughter all around.
RUSH: Washington Post headline: "After Shootings, Obama Must Find Not Only Right Words but Right Time to Say Them." That means they're busy with the teleprompter even as we speak and the optics. "In the aftermath of the Arizona shootings, President Obama canceled his travel plans and called for a national moment of silence," which brought some media to tears morning, by the way. There was a presidential moment of silence. On the steps of the Capitol members of Congress and their staff gathered for moment of silence, and a couple members of the media were so moved by the nothingness that they cried at how well Obama did silence.
I'm not making it up! The media started crying at how effective Obama was at moments of silence. "[A]fter an event so inexplicable..." It's not inexplicable. It is very explicable. It's not inexplicable. By the way, who is writing this? Anne Kornblut. Anne, I thought you guys had the answer. I thought it was Sarah Palin. I thought it was the Tea Party, Fox News, me. Now it's inexplicable? "[A]fter an event so inexplicable -- and at the same time so politically polarizing..." Politically polarizing? Why...? Who politicized this, Ms. Kornblut? You did! You expect people who have nothing to do with this who are accused of inspiring it to sit around and turn themselves in? What do you expect?
"[L]iberals and conservatives assuming their assigned battle stations over whether guns and partisan rhetoric are to blame," uh, no, that's not even correct what's going on here, either, "what larger message could the president send? "As John Dickerson of Slate notes, it would be difficult for some Americans to see Obama as anything other than a Democrat -- a partisan, in other words -- if he delivered a speech on the importance of civility, although there may be powerful reasons for him to try. He was, after all, the candidate who tapped into a collective hunger to end partisan rancor, and who confronted the seemingly thornier issue of race."
Can we say he failed at both, and many other things he failed at? "The question," writes Ms. Kornblut, "is whether this is the moment that calls for such a speech." Well, according to Mark Penn and others, it is THE moment! This is THE moment the Democrats have been waiting for. Go for it! This is the time to bring the country together for the Democrats again. That's what this event's all about, isn't it? It's what Mark Penn was saying last November. It's what the Democrats wrung their hands over after 9/11. "Aw, damn it, why couldn't this have happened when Clinton was president? Why does Bush get this chance as greatness?" These are sick, sick people -- and now they're out there trying to fantasize over how Obama can do this and how he should do it, what he should do, when he should do it in order to make it a winner for the Democrats.
"As of last week, Obama seemed to just be turning a corner politically." So here's a story proving exactly one of my points in the previous hour. Here's a story about the attempted murder of an Arizona congresswoman, the successful murder of a federal judge, the wounding of others and others died here. And a story in all this about the political opportunity it presents Obama and the Democrats. Is that not sick? Right there from State-Controlled Washington Post. "As of last week, Obama seemed to just be turning a corner politically. ... But it is hard to imagine the White House hunkering down and doing nothing else in the wake of the Tucson rampage.
"In the first hours after the shootings, before many details were known, Obama spoke to the nation from the State Dining Room to herald Giffords' strength and to deplore the violence. ... The president also might decide to add the shootings to the themes woven into the State of the Union address he is scheduled to give on Jan. 25. Advisers are weighing that, and the options of a separate speech." Political calculations. Not to quell the country, not to calm the country down, not to reassure the country. No! How can Obama turn this into his own political winner? That, I submit, is sick.
Audio sound bites. Let's continue. We're up to number 16. Dick Durbin Sunday morning on CNN was asked by Candy Crowley, "When did you hear about this incident? What do you make of it?"
DURBIN: We live in a -- a world of violent images and violent words. But those of us in public life and the journalists who cover us should be thoughtful in response to this and try to bring down the rhetoric which I'm afraid has become pervasive in our discussion of political issues. The phrase "don't retreat, reload;" putting, uh, crosshairs on congressional districts as targets. These sorts of things, I think, invite the kind of toxic rhetoric that can lead unstable people to believe this is an acceptable response.
RUSH: No evidence! No evidence! This guy's been targeting Gabrielle Giffords before anybody ever heard of Sarah Palin. There's no evidence this guy ever saw her lame website with these lame crosshairs -- which, by the way, have been a part of political campaign theater for I don't know how long. Let's go back, shall we. Let's see. No, one more Dick Durbin on Sunday morning on CNN. She says, "Senator Durbin, when you talk about putting those that you want to defeat in crosshairs sort of graphically, you know, on the Internet, you're talking about Sarah Palin here, and I guess the undertow -- certainly it's not an undertow on the Internet -- but the undertow with politicians now speaking publicly as well the Republicans and Tea Party and Sarah Palin have gone way too far in their rhetoric. It's been violent rhetoric and therefore this sort of thing happens. Are you making that direct connection?"
DURBIN: We have an obligation, those of us in public life and those who cover us to say, "This is beyond the bounds. It may be constitutionally permissible, but it shouldn't be acceptable rhetoric." We shouldn't invite it on the radio talk shows or the TV, at least without comment. We ought to say, "That just goes too far."
RUSH: You mean like this on the floor of the US Senate? This is what Senator Durbin said on the floor of the Senate June 10th of 2005.
DURBIN 2005: If I read this to you and didn't tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have happened by Nazis; Soviets in their gulags; or some mad regime, Pol Pot or others; that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that's not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of our -- their own prisoners.
RUSH: That's Senator Durbin talking about American military personnel on the floor of the Senate. "Nazis; Soviets; their gulags, or some mad regime, Pol Pot or others, no concern for human beings." Senator Durbin nevertheless sees fit to lecture us about inflamed, unacceptable, beyond-the-bounds rhetoric.
RUSH: Sparta, New Jersey. Mark, it's great to see you and have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you, Mr. Limbaugh. First may I say what an honor it is to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir.
CALLER: When I sat in on my first class at the EIB Institute over 23 years ago, I didn't realize how much I'd learn starting then And I happened to catch this sheriff talking, and I gotta tell you, my first reaction when he first started into it was stunned. I thought, "No, clearly he must have gone down a road he didn't mean to go down," but then when he went on it over and over again and then watching the rest of the press talk this and harp on it, I got so angry and I thought, "What a sad day. What a sad thing for these people to make political," and they didn't even let a day go by.
RUSH: Oh, no. Newsweek now has a piece out on how Obama can turn this into a political win. Jonathan Alter.
CALLER: It was so different than when the Oklahoma bombing happened. It's so night and day. I could not wait 'til Monday at 12:05 when you first hit the airway, I gotta tell you, and I was talking to two of my associates in the office, and they both at 12 o'clock were gonna tune into your station because we all were chomping the bit, and we all felt, 'Thank God there's somebody out there speaking for us," because something like this happens, you just feel so helpless and you just feel so angry and you just want to say, "Hey, this is not us! This is not us."
CALLER: And there you are helping us through this. And it's so maddening and frustrating.
RUSH: Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate that, Mark. I have a piece here. Let's see. Da-da-da-da-da-da. Politico. Politico has a long story. Let me read excerpts. "One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did. 'They need to deftly pin this on the Tea Partiers,' said the Democrat. 'Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.'" That was after they tried to pin it on me, the way that went -- and we've got sound bites of that coming up, plus the sheriff; sit tight.
They went out there and Clinton spoke of the "angry voices on the radio." At the time there was only one, and we called 'em on it and we demanded that they explain who they were talking about, and if they were talking about me, to take it back, retract it, and apologizes and they said, "Oh, no, no, no! We're talking about the Michigan militia, short-wave radio," as though everybody had a short-wave radio in their house and was listening to the Michigan militia and getting their marching or his from the Michigan militia. So here in The Politico they run a story quoting a Democrat operative: "Deftly Pin This on the Tea Partiers."
"Another Democratic strategist said the similarity is that Tucson and Oklahoma City both 'take place in a climate of bitter and virulent rhetoric against the government and Democrats.' This Democrat said that the time had come to insist that Republicans stand up when, for example, a figure such as Fox News commentator Glenn Beck says something incendiary." What do we have in common? Oklahoma City bombing and this event in Arizona? In both instances the Democrats lost Congress. In both instances the Democrats had lost the House of Representatives in the months preceding the event, and so what are we to take?
When Democrats lose elections and twice when they've lost the House and silly, sensational crimes take place, all of a sudden they're political in nature and we need to "deftly pin them on Tea Partiers," just like Clinton deftly pinned Oklahoma City on the militia and anti-government people. And the last paragraph of The Politico piece: "At the same time, Clinton political advisers privately embraced a ghoulish reality: The tragedy had been good for the president's standing." Oklahoma City had been good for Bill Clinton. "Dick Morris, then Clinton's top consultant, wrote the president a memo shortly after the bombing about how to maximize the advantage: 'A. Temporary gain: boost in ratings. B. More permanent gain: Improvements in character/personality attributes -- remedies weakness, incompetence, ineffectiveness found in recent poll. C. Permanent possible gain: sets up Extremist Issue vs. Republicans,'" when the Republicans had nothing to do with Oklahoma City. Republicans had nothing to do with this. This is a deranged constituent, we're now learning who didn't like this congresswoman, who went to her personal appearances, who asked her questions, who was unsatisfied. So you see, it really is sick. It really is depraved. Sad tragedies, where people die, are seen first as moments of political opportunity for Democrats. And they hustle, form groups and have meetings on how to maximize. What is it Rahm Emanuel said? "Never let a crisis go to waste."
RUSH: Back to the phones, to Redondo Beach, California. Michael, glad you waited. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: I'm glad to be here, Rush. Hope you're doing well today. First I'd like to say, this is a terrible and sad event. It's totally... It's just terrible and very gut-wrenching and definitely one worthy of a national moment of silence. But my question is: Why didn't the president have a national moment of silence for the 13 people killed and 13 (sic) wounded at Fort Hood incident?
RUSH: Because we weren't supposed to rush to judgment then. We were supposed to remain calm. Well, you know the answer to the question. There was no political benefit in that for the president.
CALLER: Yeah, I'd be curious why didn't somebody ask the president, "Hey, what makes you do it now? What's the criteria for choosing moments of silence for people?"
RUSH: Because he's afraid of a backlash in the Fort Hood shooter case.
CALLER: Right. Well, it's amazing, too, how the media went out of the way to make sure they didn't link Major Hasan who was writing Anwar al Awlaki or whatever his name was.
CALLER: They said, "Oh, no, he's just single guy," and now the media is going out of their way to tie him to the Tea Party, to the Republicans, to the radio stations. It's just unbelievable.
RUSH: Exactly. See, this is my point, folks. People aren't buying this stuff anymore. They used to be able to get away with this. They used to be able to convince Michael they were right. No more. It isn't going to work anymore. "Just a single guy, working by himself. No, no. There was never, never, never any terrorism." They wanted to scrub all evidence this guy had any association with outside influences that were anti-American. Why? Well, because too many people wondered about Barack Obama. Where did his sympathies lie? So people's instincts are right on the money. These events now, they're looked at, people see, "Okay, Democrats are gonna try to politicize this to advance it for themselves." Obama's not afraid of a backlash against conservatives. Anything he can do to further that with a moment of silence or whatever, he'll do that. He would welcome a backlash against conservatives, and if he could participate in something like a moment of silence that might help that, if his advisors say, "Hey, you know what? This is your Oklahoma City! Hey, this is your 9/11. Hey, and we got the added benefit that Sarah Palin made this guy do it. We made a good connection. You go out there and have a moment of silence. Yeah!" He'll be happy to do that. Plain as day. Everybody can see it.
RUSH: Here's Bill Clinton. Let's go to the audio sound bites. April 24th, 1995, Minneapolis. Clinton speaking to the American Association of Community Colleges shortly after the Oklahoma City bombing.
CLINTON APRIL 24, 1995: We hear so many loud and angry voices in America today whose sole goal seems to be to try to keep some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other. They spread hate. They leave the impression that -- by their very words, that -- violence is a acceptable. You ought to see -- I'm sure you are now seeing the reports of some things that are regularly said over the airwaves in America today. It is time we all stood up and spoke against that kind of (pounding podium) reckless speech and behavior.
RUSH: Right on, right on, and they all knew he was talking about me. And they all thought it was great, and then they said, "No, we're talking about the Michigan militia." What is hate speech in America today? What is hate speech? Hate speech is that speech which disagrees with liberalism. Hate speech is that speech which disagrees with the policies of the Democrat Party. That's how they define "hate speech." Here's Clinton, April 16th, 2010, in Washington, The Center for American Progress.
CLINTON APRIL 16, 2010: There was this rising movement in the early nineties that was basically not just a carefully orchestrated plot by people of extreme right-wing views but one that fell into fertile soil because there were so many people for whom the world no longer made sense. They wanted a simple, clear explanation of what was an inherently complex, mixed picture full of challenges that required not only changes in public policy, but personnel conduct and imagination about the world we were living in. So demonizing the government and the people that work for it sort of fit that -- and there were a lot of people who were in the business back then of saying that the biggest threat to our liberty and the cause of our economic problems was the federal government itself.
RUSH: And Clinton went on and added this...
CLINTON APRIL 16, 2010: When I became president, it's hard to remember this, there were only 50 sites on the World Wide Web. Among those who first saw its potential and made use of it were those who used the Internet to do all kinds of interesting things, including share information on how to make bombs. We didn't have blog sites back then, so the instrument of carrying this forward was basically the right-wing radio talk show hosts. They understood that emotion was more powerful than reason. They got much bigger listenership and more advertisers and more commercial success if they kept people in the white heat. For 99% of them, it was just that: Turn on the radio, listen to somebody say something you agree with, vent your anger.
RUSH: So there you have it. It's a common refrain for the Democrats. They never lose, they're never wrong, and whenever these things happen it's a political opportunity to advance themselves. Whatever the nature of the disaster, it's always the fault of what their opponents say.