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The Fire Shinseki Formula

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Jerry in Tracy, California.  Are you still there, Jer?  Great to have you here.  Hi.

CALLER:  Hello.  Good morning.  Thank you.  Say, I'd like to submit the domestic side, at least, of the Obama Doctrine is, if it's not broken, fix it 'til it is.  I can give a perfect example of that from the VA.  I had an in-law recently work there trying to clean up their two-year backlog of paperwork.  In private practice there's a one step to go from one procedure to the next.  The VA had seven steps.  While he was working cleaning this up, the bureaucrats in Washington decided seven steps wasn't good enough and went to 21 steps.

RUSH:  Well, yeah.  Everybody knows what's going wrong with the VA.  The Obama Doctrine, in terms of foreign policy, would not include the VA. But still, that's what you wanted to talk about, so that's okay.  As far as the VA goes, there's a formula out there that once again doesn't solve anything.  But it makes people feel better, and it makes people feel like they've done something, and it makes 'em feel like they've taken a step to fix something.  And now everybody's getting on this bandwagon of firing Shinseki.  Well, fine and dandy, go ahead and fire Shinseki, but that's not the solution to this. 

It's just a formula.  Okay, heads gotta roll, and so Obama is gonna demonstrate that he is on the case, gonna fire Shinseki, if he does. And we're gonna look at the firing of Shinseki as though it's something substantive that has happened that's gonna change what's going on the VA, and it isn't.  It's a made to order process set up for politicians to use to fool everybody into thinking they've done something.  Now, Shinseki may well deserve to be fired, but that's just the beginning.  That doesn't do one thing to rectifying what's going wrong.  And it doesn't even get to the root of the problem. 

The root of the problem goes all the way to -- where does the buck stop?  Buck stops in the Oval Office?  Who said that? Harry Truman.  Firing Shinseki is just a stopgap, symbolic measure designed to make people think that they've done something good, that they're making a difference, so to speak.  I'm not defending Shinseki, don't misunderstand.  I just don't think it's gonna matter if that's all you do.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I don't know whether Shinseki knows it or not, but he's gone.  This is reaching a cacophony now, the demands that Shinseki quit -- and, if he doesn't quit, the demands that Obama replace him.  The reason is everybody's looking for a scapegoat.  Everybody in Washington is looking for the easiest way that they can say they're doing something about this, and that's why Shinseki has gonna go. 

It's the Washington way.  Once momentum on this kind of thing builds, and once the media starts calling for it... Particularly when a Democrat is involved, when the media starts demanding you resign, what that means is, "Eric, you've gotta go in order to save Obama.  You've got to take the fall here.  You have got to take the fall for the movement.  You've gotta take the fall for the cause.

"You've gotta take the fall for the Regime.  You've got to take all the oxygen out of the room yourself.  You've gotta take every ounce of the hit on this," and you watch.  Once they announce that Shinseki's leaving -- however that's made to happen, either a firing or resignation -- it won't be long until you start seeing stories about how the VA problem's are being addressed and we're getting progress and are on the road to getting it fixed. 

That's why they need a scalp.  (Oh, gee, can't say that.)  That's why they need a scapegoat.  (interruption) Well, they do.  I've been around long enough to know how this formula works.  I'm telling you, the reason everybody who is demanding Shinseki be fired... Well, not everybody.  Particularly on the Democrat side of the aisle, they're just looking for somebody to take the fall. 

They're not demanding Shinseki go because they think that's gonna improve things at the VA.  There are audio sound bites on this.  We'll start with number five, our old buddy McCain.  Remember McCain?  I'll take you back to the Grooveyard of Forgotten Favorites here in just a second.  This is yesterday afternoon in Phoenix.  McCain held a press conference here to talk about all of this.

MCCAIN:  It's time for Secretary Shinseki to step down, and if Secretary Shinseki does not step down voluntarily, then I call on the president of the United States to relieve him of his duties, to fire him.

RUSH:  "Come on, Eric! You've gotta quit so that it can look like we're doing something," is what this means.  "Come on, Eric. You gotta fall on the sword so we can all get credit for really caring and addressing the problem.  Come on, Eric, do it.  Let's go back to October 19, 2007, on the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.  Jim Lehrer interviewed... (interruption) Well, no, Lehrer? 

Somebody said, "Who's Jim Lehrer?"  That's how he pronounced it.  His name is Jim Lehrer.  He was part of MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.  Then McNeil quit, went back to the farm, and it became just The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. But he said Jim Lehrer, so that's what I say.  Same guy.  The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on October 19, 2007. 

He's got McCain.  He said, "You called the early approach to the Iraq war 'the Rumsfeld strategy.'  Wasn't it the Bush strategy?  Wasn't he the president, and wasn't vice president Dick Cheney also involved and all the generals and everybody else involved?  You called it 'the Rumsfeld strategy'?  Why?"

MCCAIN:  It was the president's responsibility and the vice president's responsibility.  On behalf of these generals, there were a number of generals that disagreed, and those generals were, quote, "Shinseki'd."  They were thrown out.  Shinseki was the general who said we needed 300,000 troops over there if we were gonna succeed.  So, yes, the president followed the wrong strategy, but it was Rumsfeld who orchestrated it.

RUSH:  Isn't this fascinating?  Here's McCain praising old Shinseki back in 2007.  Just to refresh your memory, the only reason Shinseki addressed the Democrat convention that year and the only reason Shinseki is secretary of the VA is because of what happened after the Senate Democrats in 2002/2003 (somewhere around there) all demanded a second vote on Bush's use-of-force authorization so they could all vote again, and this time vote for it. 

In the original vote, a number of Democrats voted against the use of force.  Then public opinion polls were released that showed (snort) an overwhelming majority of the American people supported the use of force.  So the Democrats said that they were hoodwinked and made to vote prematurely before they had all the information.  They demanded a second vote, and Bush, didn't have to go along with the second. 

He already had his use of force authorization. This is one real frustrating thing.  Bush had the use-of-force authorization.  He got enough votes in the Senate with a lot of Democrats voting "no."  But Bush, he wanted to show unity. He wanted to show the world the country was united behind his actions.  If these Democrats wanted to get on board and ask for a second vote so they can now vote "yes," he said fine and dandy.

So they all did, including John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) and Mrs. Clinton. They all voted for the authorization to use force.  They voted for the invasion of Iraq.  They voted to get rid of Saddam Hussein. Not long after, a lone voice was heard in opposition, and it was the voice of Eric Shinseki -- and he, at the time, was wearing the uniform.  He was the Army chief of staff.  He became their hero. 

He had the guts to stand up for what he really believed.  He stood up and said, "Whoever put this policy together or this strategy, it isn't gonna work.  We can't succeed with the mission as defined without a minimum of 300,000 troops."  This provided cover for every Democrat, including Kerry and Mrs. Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, whoever, all of 'em who had voted a second time to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

They were now able to rally behind Shinseki, and he became the hero to the left, and even to McCain here.  From 2003/2004 on, Shinseki? Whew! Oh, man, he was the guy.  And so that's why he's at the VA. Payback.  But as I said on Greta Van Susteren, "Well, what are his qualifications?"  She said, "You know, I know General Shinseki. I like him. He cares about the military." 

Yeah, but what are his qualifications to run the health division?  That's the question: "Where are his qualifications?"  Show me the qualifications to do this job.  It's a patronage job.  When the people down the chain of command don't know what they're doing, and you at the top haven't the slightest idea, you get a mess like this. Ergo, we've got a mess. 

I just wanted to play this, 'cause McCain's out there demanding now that Shinseki go, and it was just, what, seven years ago that Shinseki was his hero.  This is how fast it changes.  Folks, I want to stress to you again, Shinseki is being asked to leave so that he takes all of the hit.  Shinseki leaving, either being fired or resigning, will suffice. That will equal a solution to the problem. 

It's the easiest way out for all these nattering nabobs.  Demand some schlub get canned, force him out, and then claim that the situation has been addressed and the problem has been solved.  And, of course, none of that is true.  Here's John Boehner on Capitol Hill this morning.  He was talking to reporters following a conference meeting he had with other Republicans.

BOEHNER:  The question I asked myself is: "Is him resigning going to get us to the bottom of the problem?  Is it gonna help us find out what's really going on?"  And the answer I keep getting is "no."  But the real issue here is that the president is the one who should be held accountable.  For the president to say he didn't know anything about it is rather shocking.  So the president is going to have to step up here and show some real leadership.

RUSH:  Right.  That's what we need.  We need real leadership from the Oval Office!  The real question is: You know, if Shinseki does quit and he's not fired, will Obama be mad when he finds out?

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  I tell you, I knew Obama was gonna be really mad when he found out about how bad it really is at the VA, and he was.  Here in TheHill.com: "President Obama found 'extremely troubling' a new report from the Veterans Affairs inspector general, the White House said Wednesday." We told you he was gonna be mad, 'cause we know this is how it happens.  He finds out in the news what's going on and gets really, really mad.  And the inspector general has released his report.  It's devastating and Obama is extremely troubled. 

"White House chief of staff Denis McDonough briefed Obama on the interim report, which found systemic problems at VA facilities where veterans were made to wait for treatment."  It's nothing new, folks.  I mean, you've heard this for the past two or three weeks. But Obama just found out about it by virtue of being briefed by the chief of staff on the inspector general's preliminary report. So he didn't have to read about this in the newspaper or see it on TV, actually got briefed, and he was mad, he was just extremely troubled.  Just like you.  Just as mad, just fit to be tied as you are, determined to get to the bottom of this and to find out what the hell happened.  He's a great guy.  Very lucky.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The firing of Shinseki has been delayed, apparently.  This afternoon at the White House, the Press Secretary Jay Carney's briefing, the AP correspondent Julie Pace said, "The IG report on the trouble with the VA that came out yesterday was quite scathing, Jay.  And since it came out there are several Democrats who've called for Secretary Shinseki to step down.  And I'm wondering if the president continues to have confidence in Secretary Shinseki's ability to lead the VA."

largeCARNEY:  The president was extremely troubled by that preliminary report.

RUSH:  Oh, yeah.

CARNEY:  As the president said, Erick Shinseki has performed, overall, well as secretary, on issues like homelessness --

RUSH:  Right.

CARNEY:  -- on the GI Bill --

RUSH:  Right.

CARNEY:  -- the 9/11 GI Bill --

RUSH:  Right, right, right, right.

CARNEY:  -- and on working with us to reduce the backlog.

RUSH:  Oh, a lot of success there, yeah.

CARNEY:  And he's put his heart and soul into this thing and he's taking it very seriously.  That's quoting the president.

RUSH:  Yeah.  Yeah.

CARNEY:  When it comes to the current situation, the inquiries and the investigations in some of the allegations, the president wants to see the results of these reports, and he, as you know --

RUSH:  Right.

CARNEY:  -- made clear that he believes there ought to be accountability once we establish all the facts.

RUSH:  Okay.  So here's what's going on with this.  You recall that when Obama first heard about this and got mad, he demanded an investigation about how bad it was even though everybody already knew.  Then it didn't take a couple days, a week, whatever, he got the initial report and he was really mad then.  He was extremely troubled with the preliminary report.  But overall, Rick Shinseki's done well on issues like homelessness, the GI Bill, the 911 GI Bill, and working to reduce the backlog.  As I said, a lot of success there.  And he's put his heart and soul into this thing and takes it very seriously. 

So he's troubled, but Shinseki stays for now.  And all that means is the longer they hold onto Shinseki, the more it's gonna look like a solution when they finally cut him loose.  That's all this means.  He's gone, folks.  That's the only way all these people demanding he be gone can be said the problem solved.  The only way.  Remember, liberalism never fixes anything.  You're not supposed to examine their results, only their intentions.  And Shinseki being forced out shows their good intentions, so that will happen.  The longer they wait, and the more backup they have with the IG report, the more it will be made to look like a solution. 

Carney was asked why only Democrats who were vulnerable in their reelection have called for Shinseki's resignation.  And that's true.  The only Democrats demanding Shinseki go are those who are vulnerable on their re-up.  So right now Obama is using Rick Shinseki as a human shield.  That's his role right now.  Shinseki knows he's gone.  He knows it.  He knows it just like Sebelius knew she was gone.  They know.  And everybody knows that once he's gone, the problem is solved. Because the problem is never solved.  It's solved by showing how much we care, and getting rid of Shinseki will show we're serious, all right, and that'll be it.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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