RUSH: This is a New York Times story. “As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmation, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as against people of faith for blocking President Bush’s nominees. Flyers for the telecast, which have been organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky Mega Church on the evening of April 24th call the day ‘Justice Sunday,’ and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. The flyer does not name participants but under the heading of the Filibuster Against People of Faith, it reads, ‘The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias and is now being used against people of faith.’
“Organizers say they hope to reach more than one million people by distributing the telecast to churches around the country over the Internet and over Christian television and radio networks and stations. Dr. Frist’s spokesman said that the senator’s speech in the telecast would reflect his previous remarks on judicial appointments. In the past he’s consistently balanced a determination not to yield on the president’s nominees with appeals to the Democrats for compromise. He has distanced himself from the statements of others like Tom Delay,” blah, blah, blah. “The telecast will put Frist in a very difficult context. Asked about Dr. Frist’s participation in an event describing the filibuster as against people of faith, his spokesman did not answer the question directly.” Well, let me answer the question directly! Let’s just fire both barrels here. We all know that the liberals out there attack the Christian right and then they’re offended when they’re said to oppose people of faith.
If you look at some of the nominees that are being held up, some of the nominees being filibustered, some of the nominees that have been rejected, it is precisely because they are Catholic or because they are Christian or because they have certain views. I’ve been telling you and you know this: Christianity is the one religion today you can mock, you can make fun of, you can lampoon it, you can impugn it, and you can impugn the people of Christianity. You can disqualify them. I mean, they slam religious people then they pretend they’re religious, these liberals. You can’t listen to Chuck Schumer’s attacks on Bill Pryor from Alabama and come up with any different conclusion. Bill Pryor? One of the reasons that Bill Pryor is hated by the Democrats on the judiciary committee is because he decided not to take his family and children to Disney World on Gay Day. He had reservations to go to Disney World. When he found out it was Gay Day he decided not to go.
He was questioned about this in the confirmation hearings, and he was asked about it in a sniveling tone and it was said that he was antigay, and it was said that that means he doesn’t have a full appreciation of human and civil rights, and it was held against him that he made a choice not to take his family there on Gay Day. Most people don’t either. That’s why it’s called Gay Day! It’s pretty much they reserve the park for people that are gay that want to go on that particular day. But there have been others, and their Catholicism — and the left never specifically identifies it, but when you listen to what they say, as in Schumer on Pryor, it is inescapable what frightens these people. You know what frightens them about the Pope? Let me just be honest about this. They looked at the Pope as a Supreme Court justice, folks. If you could understand the way they look at the Pope and the Catholic Church, they view the Catholic church as a Supreme Court that they don’t control.
They look at the Catholic Church as a Supreme Court that’s their enemy, or all of Christianity, and they look at the Pope as a Supreme Court of one, and they’re intimidated by people who have the last word, when that last word isn’t the word that agrees with theirs. So that’s why Pope John Paul II bugged them and that’s why the Catholic Church bothers them is because they, too, have a religion and the Supreme Court is their altar, and the federal judiciary is all their churches, and the judges are all their preachers. That’s exactly how they look at it, and they are frightened and scared to death when there is another Supreme Court out there and another band of churches and another band of preachers, and they don’t agree with them — and so they are hell-bent to keep these people off the federal judiciary. Make no mistake about it, that’s why this has been organized. It’s an appeal to specific people to wake them up about what’s happening here relative to the confirmation hearings and the filibuster and why it is really being used. I mean, you can’t listen to the attacks by People for the American Way and these other left-wing groups on issues important to people of faith and come to any different conclusion that and that conclusion is that they’re opposed to people of faith because they are people of faith.
These people on the left have a pro-abortion-on-demand litmus test and if you don’t embrace that, they are not going to confirm you — and that’s why the Catholic church is their number-one enemy, and I’ll tell you something else. I was talking to somebody about this. I went out to dinner with a friend last night, and this friend likes to talk politics all the time. So we were talking about the culture wars in America and this sort of thing, and abortion came up, and I said, “You ever notice that abortion is not a controversial subject at all in Great Britain?” And it isn’t. Abortion doesn’t roil the emotions in Great Britain like it does here at all. Abortion is a subject that barely makes a ripple in Great Britain. You know why? Because no court decided it in Great Britain.
It was decided by the people’s representatives. In the House of Commons. In the Parliament. It was decided. It’s been decided as an elective or political issue, not a judicial issue. So the people of Great Britain are not running around understanding that nine people back in 1973 issued a fiat that saying you can or can’t do this. They voted on it and they accepted it and they argue about it now and then in terms of changing it, the outcome, but it’s not the defining issue there that it is here. They debate all the finer points of it. You know, the culture of death is alive and well in Great Britain. Somebody just proposed a bill, a piece of legislation — interesting that it comes off the Schiavo week — a piece of legislation that any baby in the womb that’s going to be disabled, you can abort it, and now they’re fighting over, “What does ‘disabled’ mean,” and it’s not been specific. Some of the people fighting this are those who were born disabled.
But this is how it happens. It’s being fought out by the people who then have this decided by their elected representatives. The liberals in this country don’t trust the ballot box with their issues because their issues doesn’t win at the ballot box, folks. They don’t trust it. That’s why the Supreme Court and the federal bench are their altars. They are the Bible. They’re the Ten Commandments. They’re Moses. Think whatever you want, whatever religious analogy you want. That’s why anything opposite them — and abortion’s the sacrament of feminism. Abortion is the sacrament of liberalism, and it’s never going to change, so anybody who doesn’t accept their sacrament and go to their communion and accept this, then they consider you an enemy and they’ll come up with all kinds of other phony reasons to keep you off the court if you’re a judicial nominee. But make no mistake about it, it boils down to the fact that these are people of faith and people of faith send chills of fear up the spines of people like Chuck Schumer and Pat Leahy and a number of other people.
So just keep a sharp eye on this. Now, there’s a story in the Washington Post today: “Frist Likely to Push for Ban on Filibusters.” “Failure risks conservatives’ ire. Success may prompt legislative stalemate,” is the subhead. “Bill Frist is all but certain now to press for a rule change that would ban filibusters of judicial nominations in the next few weeks despite misgivings by some of his fellow Republicans and a possible Democrat backlash that could paralyze the chamber. The strategy carries significant risks for Frist, who is weighing a 2008 presidential bid. It could embroil the Senate in a bitter…” Now they go through the politics. This whole story is about the politics of what Frist is going to do. The whole story about the politics of Frist’s decision, the politics that result from Frist’s decision. Not one word in this story about the Democrats’ politicizing this process. Not one word about the fallout that may happen to them politically because of what they’re doing. Because in the world and the eyes of the New York Times, the Democrats are not doing anything wrong. It is only the conservatives and Republicans and therefore, only they that will suffer consequences, and they’re missing the boat again. It’s backwards. The consequences that are going to be paid on something like this at the ballot box will be paid by Democrats.
RUSH: Interesting story here from The Hill. “Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat in Nebraska, who is working on a bipartisan compromise to end the filibuster of judicial nominees said that he believes that his party’s practice of blocking confirmation votes on controversial nominees has put him and fellow Democrat centrists in politically difficult positions.” Now, this is a story you will not see in the New York Times, the LA Times or the Washington Post! These papers are losing circulation; these papers are in crisis. You will not see this attitude or continue reflected. Yes, we are told that the Democrats are totally united, that the Democrats want to nuke the Republicans, and yet here’s a story about Ben Nelson worried about the Democrats’ strategy here and it’s put him and fellow Democrat centrists in politically difficult positions. “Nelson, who accepts recent comparisons between himself and former Sen. John Breaux (D-LA), a centrist Democratic dealmaker, suggested that a few Democrats in so-called red states might be relieved should the prospect of filibustering the president’s nominees be eliminated. He discussed his emerging role on judicial nominees during a luncheon interview on the Hill last week.” Now, why would this be? I mean, here’s a guy from a red state. He’s from Nebraska, and he’s saying, “You know what? Some of us Democrats in the Senate in these red states might be relieved if the prospect of filibustering the nominees of the president were eliminated.”
Now, what does that tell you? It tells you where the politics of the issue is when it comes to moderates — and everybody in politics focuses on the moderates, right? “We got to go out there; we got to get the moderates. We got to do this. Well, moderates want this.” Well, if these guys think they need moderate votes in these red states in order to win, we better listen to them. He said, “‘I think some of my colleagues have had some discomfort in voting against cloture, but have felt the nominees were sufficiently unwise choices to feel that it was justified. I’ve sensed some concern.’ Nelson said one such colleague is Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO). ‘Senator Salazar has been supportive of moving forward on allowing confirmation votes on even Bush’s controversial nominees,’ said Nelson. Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), voted to move forward on Judge Bill Pryor.
“Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), has on a couple of occasions voted for cloture on other judges. Judge Pryor is a nominee to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.” So what’s happening here is that “Nelson’s negotiating with Senator Trent Lott to reach a bipartisan compromise to end the impasse between Republicans and Democrats over the judicial filibuster. Nelson suggested to Bill Frist and his own party’s leadership a proposal that would automatically discharge judicial nominees from the judiciary committee after a certain amount of time, if the panel failed to vote on them. Under Nelson’s proposal, after another set period, any senator could then call nominees discharged from committee to the floor for a confirmation vote. The proposal would be implemented as a permanent change to Senate rules.” So you got a Democrat proposing a permanent change to Senate rules.
Whoa! What’s Sheets Byrd going to say about this? Why, Democrats proposing what would be a permanent change to Senate rules? Well, I thought about 200 years of the integrity of the Constitution! What are we talking about here with the Democrats proposing this? Huh? I thought only these evil Republicans wanted to change these terrible rules and destroy the Constitution, but apparently we have a Democrat here. “Trent Lott said yesterday he would have no problem supporting such a compromise, but that it’s unlikely that [Dingy] Harry would go along with it. Nelson’s proposed compromise of something similar could attract the support of other Democrat centrists who find supporting judicial filibusters politically risky or those who don’t want to be blamed for obstruction of prominent legislative items are imperiled by Republican use of the so-called nuclear option and the Democrat retaliation to it.
Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), Bush enjoyed a double-digit margin of victory there last year, said that he would prefer not to have these battles over nominees, adding that for red-state Democrats, the issue is certainly more sensitive than for people from other states.” Aha! Again, this is in The Hill, and it’s from a couple days ago. You won’t see this anywhere in the mainstream press. You will not. You know, Christopher Shays, the “lonely Republican,” who said that Tom DeLay should step down? Well, the Washington Post went in there and basically fell over backwards and said, “We’ll, write whatever you want, Chris. We love you. We’ll write the best puff piece on you ever, ‘The Loneliest Republican.'” I bet that the Washington Post will not do such a piece on Ben Nelson. I’ll bet the New York Times, the LA Times, wouldn’t either. Nor on Kent Conrad, nor on Ken Salazar.
You will not hear in the mainstream press on their newspapers, their news networks or their newspapers, cable nets, whatever, any dissension from the Democrats on this. You will not hear it. But it was in the Hill a couple days ago. Folks, when you look at the left, when you take a look at them out there, what you see is constant agitation for centralized decision-making in unelected and unaccountable bodies of government — and that’s what these filibusters are all about. They press for national healthcare. They press for nationalizing education, national regulation of the environment, so forth. Because to do so removes decision-making from individuals and elected officials at all levels, and places authority in bureaucracies and electorally unreachable judges. In this way, the left eliminates dissent, scrutiny and accountability, all of which is crucial to sustaining a republic. They build an ever-widening gap between government and the governed.
They invest power in aspects of the government that are not subject to any accountability whatsoever. I’ll give you an example. If you oppose the increasing power seized by the EPA over private property, even though you believe in maintaining a healthy environment, you are condemned as “supporting pollution.” If you oppose the EPA and what they’re trying to do with private property, wetlands or snail darters or kangaroo rats, you are condemned to supporting pollution. If you oppose the further centralization of education and the federal education department, you are said to “oppose educating our children.” If you oppose the government takeover of healthcare, you are said to support HMOs and drug companies and evil corporations over the health of people! It doesn’t matter that you can point to example after example of failures of centralizing decisions and bureaucracies. It doesn’t matter to these people. The results of their actions don’t matter.
In fact, we’re never supposed to judge them on the results. We’re only supposed to judge them on the good-heartedness of their intentions. But their real goal is to create an ever-growing centralized command structure throughout our society that is insulated from our ability to change it, to influence it. Unaccountability. That’s why they love the judges being under their control. That’s why they love all these federal departments being out of the realm of elected officials, and this is the mentality that you need to recognize in order to understand the context of this entire debate over judicial activism. We see activist judges who impose their personal policy preferences on society and they call it law. That is a threat to representative government. It disenfranchises each of us. It takes us out of the decision-making process, via our elected officials and representatives.
The left sees activist judges as vital to establishing the kind of societal structure that institutionalizes their philosophy. You know, like when they pass an entitlement in Congress. “Well, that’s it, can’t change it. It’s over with, done with. It’s an entitlement. Can’t do anything about it.” Same thing with a judicial decision. That’s the way they want all these judicial decisions to be and all these bureaucratic decisions from departments to be: untouchable once they’re made. This is why you see liberal members of Congress defending judicial activism rather than the constitutional authority of Congress, and this mentality would have been totally alien to the Founders and framers of the Constitution. They argued over how to enshrine individual liberty — and I don’t mean anarchy, just individual liberty into our government structure. The Constitution is a government of enumerated, limited powers, limiting the government, and once you reject that predicate, you reject constitutional government. So what do we have? We have the left defending government by judiciary or government by bureaucracy, and if Congress dares to even take a modest step toward exercising its constitutional power over the jurisdiction of the courts, it is savagely condemned and a hit squad is convened to destroy the person who makes the statement.
That person will be accused of threatening not only the independence of the judiciary, but the lives of the judges as well. Just think of them, folks, just think of the left, and the judiciary and judges, as their church, with their final say, unaccountable to anybody. For all this talk about how the Catholic Church has to “moderate its tone,” the Catholic Church has to become “less conservative,” the Catholic Church must do this and must do that to satisfy the left, well, try saying, “Well you guys on the left, you need to moderate your tone a little bit.” Blasphemy! They will not even consider it, ladies and gentlemen, and they’re not a religion, but they think of themselves as such. So the Pope? He is a threat whoever he is, because to them he’s nothing more than a judge, a Supreme Court justice whose word is final and they can’t touch it and they can’t do anything about it. So they illustrate by virtue of their fears exactly what they have constructed on their side.