RUSH: The fact that Jay Carney is out there saying the president has been open to negotiations all year long and remains so today means that the polling data or the focus grouping, whatever they're doing, must really be bad for them. We're just supposed to forget? Just a couple of days ago Obama said he would never negotiate on this. And by the way, Carney led off his press conference by talking about how 7,000 kids are suffering because of the shutdown. The shutdown is hurting Head Start. I thought the sequester, I thought the sequester dealt with Head Start. That's another thing. The sequester did not cause endless pain and suffering.
The Democrats were crying wolf about the sequester: "Oh, my God, Medicare, Medicaid, defense, oh, no!" Nothing happened. The sky didn't fall. The world didn't come to an end, and it hasn't here with the so-called shutdown. By the way, the shutdown, only 17% of things are shut down. Now, they reinstituted the Amber Alert website. Did you know they shut that down? Did you get your alert over the weekend, your Amber Alert? I got my first one on my phone. I looked and said, "What the hell?" All three phones went off. And I said, "I could have sworn I had two of these things on 'do not disturb.'" And they were. They were on "do not disturb" and the stupid alert still permeated a "do not disturb."
It was a license plate number of a car in Miami, an Amber Alert. It turns out that over the weekend the Amber Alert website was shut down because of the government shutdown. When news of that hit, but that Michelle Obama's exercise website was still up, they reactivated the Amber Alert. The regime here is being really vindictive in the things that they're shutting down. Eighty-three percent of the government is still operating, 17% is shut down. And now, folks, they're already starting to talk about payment, repayment for furloughed Washington employees.
"Pentagon to Recall Most Furloughed Workers," Chuck Hagel says. In a nutshell, in anticipation of the upcoming shutdown, Congress passed legislation last week signed by Obama "that ensures uniformed members of the military will not have their paychecks delayed by the shutdown. The law, titled the Pay Our Military Act." It exempts the defense department civilian employees from not being paid if they provide direct support for the military.
"House Approves Back Pay for Furloughed Workers." This passed unanimously, 407-0, 25 members not voting. It's probably going to pass the Senate unanimously as well. And Obama's going to sign it without a murmur, even though it's piecemeal funding. "The House voted unanimously Saturday to retroactively pay back federal workers who are not receiving a paycheck because of the government shutdown." Well, yes, this always happens. The '95 shutdown went through Thanksgiving. Guess what? They got their turkeys at Christmas. They got their back pay.
The federal workers never lose their money! It's always reimbursed! In fact, the 1995 government shutdown, something I just remembered, Clinton went to the public employee union guys and struck a deal with them. The deal was that they would be reimbursed if they would simply raise hell about losing their jobs because of the shutdown. Now, this was before the shutdown went into effect because of the optics, everybody on the Democrat side, Clinton, wanted to embarrass Newt and the Republicans. And, of course, as far as the media's concerned, the government shut down, the Republicans got creamed. But in reality they didn't.
The media optics were bad for the Republicans, but reality wasn't. And what's missing in this shutdown, the optics are not hurting. You got Jay Carney out there saying, "Oh, the president will negotiate any day, every day. All year he's been willing to negotiate." That tells me that they are losing in the polling data. That tells me they are losing this shutdown business over Obamacare because they are seen as the ones who won't negotiate. I know it might seem like chump change and no big deal, but there are apparently a lot of voters to whom that is a big deal, the two parties sitting down and working together, getting along and trying to come to a compromise. And in this one the Democrats are the ones who appear mean, extreme, and uncompromising.
So with Carney out there today just moments ago saying, "Oh, yeah, Obama's been willing to negotiate all year. He'll negotiate with anybody anytime," and just last week he said he never would. So the Republicans are winning this, but there's an all-out effort within the Republican Party and the D.C. establishment to get them to cave, even when they're winning this.
And let's demo this with some audio sound bites. First up, a well known Republican conservative Mike Murphy, an establishment conservative guy. He was on Meet the Press on Sunday during the round table. Savannah Guthrie did the hosting honors. Guthrie was sitting in for David Gregory, and she said, "Two thirds of the country don't like the tactic of shutting down the government even if they don't like Obamacare, and they don't like this."
MURPHY: I think we ought to go back to the problems with the computer sites.
MURPHY: Because what we have is a perfect storm here. You take the cynics who run the Democratic Party and you take the stupid wing of the House GOP. They fell for a trap. There's an old rule in politics: When your opponent is in trouble, when they are drowning politically, you throw them a fire hose. (clears throat) We threw them a lifeboat and a machine gun, 'cause now we're going to debate this... (choking) Excuse me. I'm all choked up.
HOSTS: (wild laughter)
MURPHY: Instead of 13 months away getting control of the Senate, which means we can have the policy fight of the system. So on a tactical basis it is an incredibly stupid move.
RUSH: That's a Republican consultant who thinks what the Republicans are doing is crazy -- and once again, you see, as far as the establishment is concerned here, there's nothing wrong with this on its face. I mean, the focus here on winning the Senate. But did you hear what he said? We win the Senate and then we have "the policy fight within the system," as though what's going on now is outside the system, and that makes it bad.
There is no "outside the system."
All of this is the system!
There are mechanisms everywhere for people in both parties on both sides to use in these political arguments. But in the Republican donor class, in the Republican consultant class, there is this obsession with winning the Senate but not because of ideas, folks. They want the committee chairmanships. They want to control the money. They want to be the ones getting credit for how it's spent. And therein lies the difference.
To the extent that you and I want our leaders to acquire power, it's to deemphasize Washington in everybody's life, not to grow it. We're not interested in getting control of the money in order to spend it so that we can buy love and buy support. That's not who we are. But the establishment of our party is just like the establishment of the Democrats and that's the attraction is all of that money, and the committee chairmanships.
It's why they hated Sharron Angle and O'Donnell because they thought, "These people don't have a chance. We're not going to win with them." They don't care if they win the committee chairmanships with moderate-liberal Republicans. It doesn't matter. Just as long as whoever there's got an (R) by their name, because that gives the establishment of the party the power to spend the money and that's what they are primarily interested in.
But there is no inside or outside the system for these policy fights.
This is a policy fight that's taking place in Congress. I think it's in Washington. It's within the system. But you see the Republican establishment is considering the House GOP "the stupid wing of the Republican Party," but it's not them who are drowning. I think it's interesting. People that are inside the Beltway think that's what's happening. People inside the Beltway who make the news of the Beltway, who consume it, who basically live the Washington narrative every day are just convinced the Republicans are just embarrassing themselves and losing humiliatingly bad -- when I don't think that that's really what's happening out there.
RUSH: Here's another thing that Mike Murphy is saying. (summarized) "Come on! Come on! We're being the stupid party. We need to stop this. We need to stop this, and focus on winning the Senate and we can have these discussions within the system." It's just another way of saying, "Let's cave on this and then we'll really fight them on the next one," and we've been doing that ever since the first debt limit fight and the first continuing resolution.
It seems like the Republican strategy has been, "Let's cave on this and we'll take it to them in three months. That's when the really big one's going to hit. That's when we're going to raise the debt limit." That comes along and we shelve that, we cave on that, we move on to the next one. Every time we get to the next one, we cave and move to the next one. Every time we get to the next one and we're really going to mount the fight, somebody comes up and says, "You know, this would be a bad time.
"This is the wrong time. Go ahead and cave on this. There's much bigger stuff ahead. We'll tackle it on the next one." So this is the quintessential, "Let's cave here. We're looking dumb. We're looking stupid. I'm embarrassed as a Republican! I want to focus on winning the Senate and then we'll take it to them." That's what's happening here.
RUSH: This is Tom in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Glad to talk to you. Thanks for having me. I'm surrounded by Democrats and I just wanted to say that the only way I can combat this is to try to give facts, and I'm sorry to see that the Republicans are losing because they're not spending enough time educating the population. I'll give you an example. Obama said that this was the worst recession since the Great Depression. Now, that's a lie. It's the worst recession since the Carter administration. We've had 20 recessions over the last hundred years, and they last about a year and a half. The only two that didn't last a year and a half were the great recession and now. What happened amongst those two? Both had money thrown at them. Does it make sense what I'm trying to say, Rush?
RUSH: Yeah, you think the Republicans are losing because they're not telling people that the recession is bad.
CALLER: Well, the facts. Not just the recession. All the facts. Being around a bunch of Democrats, I have to enroll myself with facts. We're being lied to. Detroit hasn't had a Republican since 1954, but it's all the Republicans' fault that Detroit has gone downhill. These facts. That's what I'm trying to say, that we need to reeducate the population.
RUSH: Well, I don't disagree with that.
CALLER: Can I give you one more real quick?
RUSH: Yeah. You're on a roll. Fire away.
CALLER: The Democrats pushed grandma over the cliff and then said the Republicans don't care about the seniors. Prior to that, about six months prior to that, the Democrats had a bill in the House wanting to take money from Social Security and give it to the illegal immigrants for their healthcare. Did you ever hear anybody talk about what was the truth? But you ask my neighbors. They say, "Oh, yeah, the Republicans don't care about granny. They're pushing her over the cliff." So we're not getting the facts, the truth.
RUSH: Well, you need to call Boehner and tell him this.
CALLER: I did.
RUSH: Because I'm not in charge of the Republicans.
CALLER: I tried calling everybody. I've written everybody. I'm just saying that's only a couple of things, Rush.
RUSH: I actually think, Tom, to tell you the truth, I actually think right now that it's the Democrats who are seen pushing granny over the cliff. I know you don't want to hear that, but I think the perception is out there right now that it's the Democrats causing this problem on the shutdown and Obamacare. And look, they told us that the country was going to come to a screeching halt and end with Y2K. It didn't. They told us that the sequester was going to be the end to Medicare, close down a defense department, they're going to be ripe for military takeover. None of the disaster predictions take place.
Right now it is the Democrats who are seen as intractable and unwilling to compromise and negotiate. So whether it's been the result of strategy or just grand good luck, the Republicans are winning this one. I know that doesn't satisfy you because they're not satisfying you on a PR issue, Democrat commercial by Democrat commercial. I understand people being frustrated at that.
For 25 years people have been calling here: "Why don't the Republicans do X?" I don't know. I'm not one of them. Maybe you should apply for a job with them to help them get the facts out if that's what needs to happen. They think they do get the facts out but they will tell you the media just won't cover it. So they've got their built‑in excuses.