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RUSH: All right, I want to go back to a story here from the New York Times. I just mentioned the headline moments ago: “Democrats Split on Tactics for Confirmation Hearings.” This is the second such article. There was one last week. They don’t know how to deal with this Roberts business. They were all upset about it. Remember, the first article said — actually it may be the third — the first article said, Democrats, “There’s nothing really to oppose. The guy’s got 70 votes. Nothing we can do.” That led to the left-wing fringe groups having a cow and sending notice to the Democrats, people like Ralph Neas and Nan Aron, “You better! You better fight this guy if you know what’s good for you.”

So the Democrats had to run around and do a CYA, and then this is I guess the second such story on how they don’t know how to act here. “Two weeks before Senators begin questioning John Roberts the debate over his confirmation is becoming a test of Senate Democrats as well. The party’s liberal base, whose contributions during judicial confirmation fights earlier this year have helped the Senate Democratic campaign amass twice as much as its Republican rival, is pressing for another vigorous fight against Judge Roberts as documents from the Reagan administration clarify his conservative credentials.” Okay, they’re split, they don’t know what to do about Iraq, and now they don’t know how to act here when it comes to Roberts.

“As Senator Edward Kennedy and other liberal stalwarts step up their criticism of the judge’s record, other Democrats are reluctant to join them. Senator Russ Feingold said, ‘I’m turned off by senators trying to act like they’ve already found the guy out and we know what he’s like.’ He’s a Democratic committee member from Wisconsin. He spent last week focused instead on calling for a pullout from Iraq. ‘I’m not part of any Democratic effort to set the table for the hearings by laying the groundwork to criticize Judge Roberts,’ said Feingold. Several Democrat senators said the hearings on Judge Roberts are shaping up as a risky balancing act, failing to press him could look weak to their fringe kook liberal base but attacking too hard could draw Democrats into a losing battle on the treacherous turf of abortion, race, and religion at a time when Republicans appear vulnerable on other fronts.” Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Stop the presses!

How in the world does that get printed? ”Could draw Democrats into a losing battle on abortion, race, and religion”? How can the Democrats lose on those three things, folks? Why, I thought this country was universally for abortion, and I thought they were universally for affirmative action, and I thought the American people distrusted religion in mass numbers. Apparently that’s not true. Apparently the Democrats are vulnerable on abortion and race and religion. We’re not supposed say this too loud, but the Democrats are vulnerable and they know it. This is blue state, red state politics rearing its head and slapping the Democrats upside the head, folks. What have I always told you? “They can’t be who they are, because it will destroy them.” That’s what I’ve said. They can’t be who they are.

Now they’re starting to realize it. I thought these were “mainstream” things, when Chucky Schumer said, “He’s out of the mainstream on abortion. He’s out of the mainstream on this.” It sounds to me like David Kirkpatrick here in the New York Times suggests the Democrats are out of the mainstream on this and they’ve got to be very careful how they handle this. “Senator John Breaux, Louisiana Democrat, said the hearings were a test of his party’s independence. ‘The interest groups are going to be out there and this is their issue and they’re going to fight it until the dead warm over, but gas prices, health care costs, and Iraq are the things that motivate most people,’ he said. ‘In a Supreme Court fight, we’re not expanding the base and even if we get a hundred percent of the base we don’t win a national election.'” So there it is. They do not expand the base by going all out with liberalism in the court battle, and this is a moderate Democrat saying it.

They don’t get anything; they don’t pick up anything. This is their whole point: they don’t pick up anything with their fringe kook base. What have I been telling you? They’re not expanding their base at all. Folks, this is another huge See, I Told You So. This is why Hillary wants the felon vote and this is why they’re interested in illegal immigration. It’s new voters, because they can’t expand the base being who they are. Their base is turning people off, as previous stories in the LA Times and the Washington Post on how the Democrats are puzzled that the Sheehan story has not hurt Bush and is not raised their stature. Everything I’ve predicted is coming true here. Everything. That’s why there’s no sense in giving up and giving in to what these people want on anything. Iraq or any issue.

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