I’ll tell you what, it’s getting bad out from for the Democrats. Even the Washington Post today in their lead editorial is upset with the Democrats for doing nothing. It’s called “Bartleby Democrats.” Let me just read to you a brief portion of this editorial: “Herman Melville’s ‘Bartleby the Scrivener’ tells the tale of a lawyer’s assistant who inexplicably stops doing his job, instead spending his days staring blankly at a brick wall. ‘I’d prefer not to,’ he invariably tells his employer when asked to copy a paper, go to the office post office or even answer a question. ‘No, at present I would prefer not to make any change at all, Bartleby says when asked to leave. In their response to President Bush’s State of the Union address on Wednesday night — indeed in much of their reaction to Mr. Bush’s push on Social Security — the Democrats are a disturbing resemblance to Bartleby…. The Democrats’ general response so far is a combination of exaggerated rhetoric and silence about alternatives.” The Washington Post is also upset that the Democrats are not relying on their old standby, tax increases, as an alternative.
“In fact, there are responsible ways, consistent with Democratic principles, to ‘fix’ Social Security, but elected Democrats have tended to run from them as if they were leaking vials of anthrax. A plan by Democratic economists … features a thoughtfully calibrated combination of tax increases and benefit cuts — meaning that no Democratic politician wants anything to do with it, even though the Diamond-Orszag plan would make the system more progressive…” So the Washington Post is getting frustrated. There will be other warnings to the Democrats from the liberal intelligensia because the last thing they want to be is be rendered irrelevant and they’re already there. They are closed-minded — not just the liberals in the Democratic Party. The media, everybody. It’s especially offensive in the media. The media is supposed to be the repository for open mindedness and curiosity and there’s not. They’ve got a bunch of minds already made up. They’re closed off to one-half or more of the thinking in this country. Now the Washington Post is worried about the future of its own party, the Democratic Party because the media knows without a Democratic Party, there’s no media party — and I don’t mean, you know, adult beverage kind of party. I’m talking about political movement. Without a Democratic Party, there’s no media party.
They got to glom onto something that they’re going to lead, but if they can’t lead these guys, are they? They’re upset these guys aren’t following their advice. So the Washington Post terribly upset here: “Why don’t you call for tax increases! Why don’t you do that? Do the old Democrat standby! If you can’t agree with Bush on something, at least call for tax increases.” The Democrats don’t even have the guts to do that. Instead — and by the way, I’m glad other people saw this yesterday. This is a See, I Told You So or Limbaugh Echo, show prep for the rest of the media but if I saw it once, I saw it 10 or 12 times: The juxtaposition of the president out there in Fargo, North Dakota in front of an audience of Americans talking about his plan, and those just (stammering) brain-dead Democrats hanging around that sculpture of FDR. It just was just too good. It was just too juicy. They all picked up on it out there, to one extent or another. Other media outlets may not have made the big deal about it that I did but they still showed the pictures. I mean here they were basically hugging a sculpture and their audience is who? The media! There were no people at the FDR Memorial yesterday. It was freezing cold out there. So the Democrats head out there with their camera crews in tow, hoping to get that picture out there to send a message, and the fact that they think a picture of them hugging and surrounding a statue, a sculpture of FDR, sends a message shows just who they think their audience is, how out-of-touch they are about it. Can we go back to the archives for a moment? We can, my friends. Told you this happened. Yesterday we went back to our audio archives and we have it. January 19th, 1999, president William Jefferson Blythe Clinton delivering his State of the Union address. Here is a portion of what he said.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: The best way to keep Social Security a rock-solid guarantee is not to make drastic cuts in benefits, not to raise payroll tax rates, not to drain resources from Social Security in the name of saving it. Instead, I propose that we make the historic decision to invest the surplus to save Social Security. (Cheers and applause).
RUSH: Hang on. Hang on. We left this applause in for you so you can hear the Democrats applauding something.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Specifically, I propose that we commit 60% of the budget surplus for the next 15 years to Social Security, investing a small portion in the private sector just as any private or state pension would do. This will earn a higher return and keep Social Security sound for 55 years.
RUSH: And they applauded like mad. The president right there it was, January 19th, 1999, six years ago, proposing private accounts. You heard the Democrats applaud. We cut the applause short. We just cut it down to 10 seconds because you don’t hear Democrats applauding much these days. We wanted you to hear that. Now we go to Wednesday night. I want you to listen to the Democrats boo and hiss George W. Bush during his State of the Union speech.
PRESIDENT BUSH: By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt. (griping) If steps are not taken to avert that outcome, the only solutions would be dramatically higher taxes, massive new borrowing, or sudden and severe cuts in Social Security benefits or other government programs. (griping)
RUSH: Same bunch of people. Well, it’s not the same bunch. There’s some Democrats. But there’s still some people in common to six years ago, back there when Clinton was talking about saving Social Security and putting all this surplus, which there never was a surplus, by the way. It was a projected surplus. It was a paper surplus. It never… Well, you know the story on that. But the Democrats, nevertheless, applauded it and they applauded the concept of private accounts and you look at Clinton, we had a crisis — you remember he had a slogan. He had a mantra back then, “Save Social Security first.” All during 1999, that’s what his people talked about. Now, it may well be that this was to deflect attention from Lewinsky and the impeachment. It could well be that Clinton was just making this whole problem up but I doubt it. I think he decided he saw a problem and say, “Hey, this is something the American people care more than Lewinskys and impeachment. I’ll just make a big issue out of this and make them think their Social Security is going bankrupt and they won’t care about it.” So save Social Security first became the mantra of the Clinton Administration during 1999, and you heard him say that if we didn’t do these things, that Social Security had a limited life span. You heard him say — and this is 1999, that basically his plan would only shore it up only for 55 years. So the Democrats today are exhibiting one of the many reasons why they’ve become totally irrelevant. They don’t have any issues today that they really believe in, that they’re willing to stand up and be for. They’d rather be seen as against anything and everything that George W. Bush does. Here we have a montage of Democrats angrily vowing to and obstruct Bush’s plan. These are many of the same people who stood and cheered when Clinton proposed the same thing.
MAX BAUCAS: Private accounts that are taken out of Social Security will not save Social Security. In fact, it hurts Social Security.
BARBARA MIKULSKI: This privatization [sic] plan is nothing but a gamble.
CHUCKA SCHUMER: You can’t do this with smoke and mirrors.
SANDER LEVIN: Talking about “the path to bankruptcy” is really irresponsible. Diverting Social Security funds into private accounts? Now, he has it dead wrong.
STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES: The other legs of Social Security are going to have a problem in their funding. Disability, survivor, widows is greater than just the retirement system.
HARRY REID: President Bush should forget about privatizing Social Security. It will not happen.
HILLARY RODHAM RODHAM: And it just is beyond me how people who call themselves conservative could have the gall to support economic policies that are sending the younger generation into the biggest deficit and debt hole that any generation has ever inherited.
RUSH: That’s the wife of the former president. That’s Hillary Rodham Clinton, the wife of Bill Rodham Clinton, and she’s obviously doing better now over that stomach flu and over the Howard Dean ascension to the DNC. Well, she may not be over it but she may have accepted it now. But you heard. Here’s Clinton talking about private accounts, the only way to go, and the same Democrats that stood up and cheered, many of them are just now saying these things are wrong. “Bush knows they’re wrong! It’s impossible to do!” I don’t know how they have any credibility. Sort of like I don’t know how Al Sharpton has any credibility. He doesn’t. He’s just an entertainer to people.