RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, when we opened yesterday we spent about an hour, maybe a little bit longer, talking about immigration and the Republican Party -- where they are on it, what's happening, Democrat and Republican electoral fortunes in the House and the Senate -- and there's more on that today. The Republicans are having their three-day retreat in Maryland, and there's a really confusing story here from TheHill.com. The headline reads this: "Boehner: House GOP is 'Alternative' to Obama, Not 'the Opposition.'"
Now, if that is accurate, that is also problematic. We need to be the opposition. An alternative, obviously. But these guys (if this is true) want to split hairs over the difference in being an opposition and an alternative? Here's how the story starts. This is the actual text: "House Republicans arrived at their retreat here in search of an agenda for 2014, hoping to show voters that they are, in the words of Speaker John Boehner, the 'alternative party,' not simply the opposition to President Obama."
Now, I want to be fair here because this headline is really misleading. They say here in their lede, Boehner said they're not "the opposition" party. Yet the headline says we are the "'alternative,' not 'the opposition.'" But you put "not JUST the opposition," and you totally change the meaning of what you're reporting. Leaving the word "just" out of the headline, quoting Boehner, is big. That's why I had to dig deeper and read further, because as they say here plain as day, Boehner said not just the opposition party.
But The Hill's headline might be closer to the truth than we would like.
"In between motivational speeches and ideas lectures at a resort along the banks of the frozen Chesapeake Bay, GOP lawmakers will try to hatch plans on immigration, the debt ceiling and health care. ... 'I think in order to maximize this year, it's important that we show the American people that we’re not just the opposition party, we're actually the alternative party,' Boehner" said. Again, I'm not sure what that means, coming from these guys. I know there's a reluctance to oppose.
They think opposing is racism, or they're gonna be called racists -- and, frankly, I'm getting a little impatient and worn out with this. Barack Obama is the president of the United States. He has vowed to ignore the Constitution to advance his agenda. What does it matter what his race is now five years into it? Why continue this defensiveness? We don't need to be an "alternative." You know what they mean by that.
Normally that wouldn't be bad, but what these guys tend to mean that is Obama advances a piece of legislation -- Obamacare -- and the Republicans, as the alternative, well, they have to come up with their own version, thereby allowing the Democrats set the agenda. The opposing party might say, "No, we're not going to do a massive reform of health care that involves the federal government, pure and simple.
"We're not going to do massive immigration reform that is amnesty. We're not gonna do it." But instead what they say is, "Well, we're the alternative party," so they propose amnesty. "We have to have an alternative amnesty plan," which allows the Democrats to continue to set the agenda to establish the premise that we're always responding to. This is a big, big attitudinal problem. The fact is we haven't seen the Republican Party act much like the opposition party yet.
Whenever some individual Republicans do pop up in opposition, they get cut down by other Republicans. I'm gonna tell you, folks, sometimes I end up angrier at Republicans and what they're saying than I get at Democrats these days. This amnesty business, this whole push for amnesty, immigration reform, that we talked about at length yesterday -- Boehner sent a confusing signal about that today, too. He said (paraphrased), "Well, you know, we're not necessarily gonna push for that this year."
Well, wait a minute, now.
What is it?
Yesterday it was pedal to the metal.
In the State of the Coup Address, it was pedal to the metal.
"The Republican Party is gonna get this done. It's gotta get it done. We'll get it done," and then all hell breaks loose and they show up at their retreat on the frozen banks of the Chesapeake. Doesn't that...? That's another thing. Nothing against Maryland, but it's a blue state. Aren't there other places you can go in February than the frozen banks of a lake? Why don't we do what the Democrats do? You know, grab a bunch of prostitutes and head down the Dominican Republic.
RUSH: No, I tell you, folks, this is not an insignificant difference or distinction. Boehner showing up and saying that we are the alternative, not just the opposition. Now, in modern Republican parlance, what that means... What Boehner is trying to convey by saying (summarized), "We're not the opposition. We're not opposing the precious young president that everybody loves. We're just the alternative," is it's another way of saying, "We're kinder and gentler, but we're not criticizing Obama.
"Oh, no -- and we would never criticize Obama!"
I'm sure the directive has come from on high, wherever that is in the Republican Party (among the consultants class, the donor class, some in the so-called conservative media). The directive has obviously gone out: "Do not criticize Obama, whatever you do! They're gonna call us racists and sexists, and they'll think of us as talk radio. So don't do that. So instead we go out and say, "We're the alternative, not just the opposition. So don't criticize our beloved young president.
"You know, just almost hesitantly suggest a different approach to the same conclusion. So Obama wants amnesty? Well, we're the alternative! We're not the opposition, and we are not going to criticize the dictator. We have a smarter way of getting to amnesty." We know Republican leaders already said legalize illegals with a pathway to citizenship. The game's over then, as was pointed out by a number of people yesterday.
There isn't any such thing as "bring 'em out of the shadows and let 'em work, but they're not citizens." There's no way that that's gonna fly. It's only gonna take two hours and the Democrats are gonna start raising holy hell, blaming the Republicans for once again being heartless and mean-spirited -- and the Republicans will agree, and they'll be able to vote three hours after they have come out of the shadows. Or, if not then, sometime in the near future.
Here's the thing that is frustrating or puzzling: These guys on our side are acting like they believe Obama's approval numbers are still in the eighties. Well, they may never have been the eighties, but they think his approval numbers are sky-high. They're still acting afraid of it. They're acting scared to death. Do they not know that majorities of Americans oppose practically everything Obama has done and wants to do now?
And on Obamacare, how about the flip-flop that they have engaged in on that? They wanted a dead, laser-like focus on Obamacare. Then Cruz and Lee pipe up, and the Republicans say, "What are you doing! You're taking the focus off Obamacare, and you're shutting down the government. That's horrible." Now they are taking the focus off Obamacare and transferring it to amnesty? It's like they think Obama is still loved and adored by everybody and they've gotta tiptoe around any opposition.