RUSH: We just heard from the office of Florida Senator Mel Martinez. The American Spectator is reporting today in their Prowler column the following story. “With federal costs related to Hurricane Katrina now estimated to be topping out at more than 100 billion, Republicans in both the House and Senate appear to be moving against the White House as fast as the rats in New Orleans in the lower Garden District. Last Friday, everybody from senators Mel Martinez and Tom Coburn to GOP members in the House Ways and Means Committee were criticizing the Bush administration for not offsetting Katrina spending with broader spending cuts across the government. Martinez went so far as to say that perhaps the White House should pull plans to press for making permanent tax cuts that were in the offing for this legislative session. The refusal by Capitol Hill Republicans to fall in line behind the White House trying to gain some traction politically on just about any topic is indicative of a troubled majority looking at going home in the coming months to tip off reelection campaigns that now look vastly different from what they appeared to be even two months ago.” Okay, two things about this. First, we heard from Senator Martinez’s office, and they are denying this story. They say that “Senator Martinez is a strong proponent of making tax cuts permanent, and is in fact cosponsor of legislation to permanently repeal the death tax which has been placed on hold.” Not the idea, but the vote has been placed on hold on this, and hopefully it will come back. So we regret reporting to you what the American Spectator said, Mel Martinez says they’ve got this wrong. That’s that.
But the other part of this that just frosts me. “The refusal by Capitol Hill Republicans to fall in line behind a White House trying to gain some traction politically on just about any topic is indicative of a troubled majority looking at going home in the coming months to tip off reelection campaigns that now look vastly different from what they appeared to be even two months ago.” They aren’t different at all! This is precisely what happens when you have a bunch of weak-kneed Republicans who realize or can’t realize that they are winners. They have won the last series of elections but damned if they won’t act like it, and so they fall prey to this media scandal, and it is a media scandal, folks. The reporting, the predictions of the level of disaster in this hurricane are near scandalous. 10,000 deaths, 25,000 body bags. They’ve already got sewage working in some parts of the city, they’ve got water treatment working, they’ve got electricity in some parts of the city. Some people are going back to their homes. Yeah, there’s damage, but the death toll in Louisiana total has not hit 200 yet. And it’s not going to get anywhere near the 10,000 that they were projecting. And that’s the news that drove the poll numbers down that these weak-kneed Republicans are all concerned about. The guys just realize what it is that wins for you. It’s conservatism that wins for you.
Now, the White House is not innocent here. The White House has not done much to enforce any kind of party discipline whatsoever, particularly conservative discipline. The White House acts as though they’re tolerant of the conservative members but they’re actually friendlier with their enemies than they are with members of their base on a lot of things, and it of course does not inspire confidence and it is causing this gunfight at the OK Corral circumstance where the elected Republicans in Congress feel like they’re on their own. “I can’t tie myself to the White House, their poll numbers are in the thirties and forties, I can’t do that.” It’s a false poll. It’s based on false information. Now, you have to understand, the Republicans need to understand there are two realities in this country. There’s the media reality and then there’s the real reality. And the media reality is not reality. We know this whether you look at the media inside the Beltway and look at what they think is important. Look it, these are the people themselves that after the 2004 election said, “You know what, we might actually have to send reporters out to these red states like we send reporters to Europe to find out what’s going on.” Yeah, send foreign correspondents — they said this. I’m not making it up. I know it sounds like a joke, but it’s not. They’re not in touch. The reality of the circumstances down in New Orleans is being totally missed. There’s no racism in this. How many of the $700 million that have been donated have been earmarked for only white people? Not one. How many of the $700 million donated have been earmarked for only the successful or the middle class? Not one. How many of the white rescuers refused to rescue black people? Not one. And yet racism is alive and well. By the way, people want to say, “Yeah, you know what this is doing? This is showing the real depths of poverty in this country.” No, it’s showing the depths of poverty in a liberal Democrat run community. It’s not showing the depths of poverty in America. You’re not seeing anything like this when this happens in Florida. You don’t see anything like this happening next door in Mississippi. You do see it happening where Democrats run the show.
The reality is that liberal Democrat policies fail and make people poor, and do not do anything about it once that happens. The reality that we’re seeing on the media is 180 degrees different from the reality in the country. In the media and liberal Democrat world, Wal-Mart is evil. Wal-Mart, in the real world, has donated something like $15 million. In media real world, the pharmaceutical companies are evil and killing people. In the real world, the pharmaceutical companies work very hard to make drugs and medicines that save lives and have extended the life expectancy. They have donated more than $25 million in cash and pharmaceutical supplies. And what about the oil companies? In the media reality, the oil companies are the reason for all evil, it’s why we’re in Iraq, it’s why Bush is in the White House, it’s why Cheney is the vice president, it’s why Halliburton is there. But in the real world, ExxonMobil has pledged $7 million, ConocoPhillips and Shell, $3 million apiece, Marathon Oil, one and a half million, the BP Foundation, one and a half million dollars, and guess where that money came from? It came from profits from gasoline. The government already runs the oil business. The government tells oil companies where they can’t drill and where they can, where they can’t ship and where they can, on what kind of ships they can ship their goods and on what kinds of ships they can’t. They tell them what kind of gasoline to formulate for 40 different regions of this country. It’s the government that already runs the oil companies. If I were the oil companies, I would convene hearings and I would bring every member of Congress up and I would start asking them questions, “Why are you trying to destroy this industry?” There are two realities. Unfortunately, the Republicans in Washington buy into the media reality, and they think that’s what the rest of the country thinks.
The fact is, media reality is getting smaller and smaller and smaller. They still have a lot of influence, but not nearly the dominant influence they once had. The media reality does not automatically become the perception of most people in this country anymore. Those days are over, and it’s about time these Republicans realized it and understand just what it is that gets them elected to things. Look it, I make a mistake — well, I don’t make a mistake — I quote the American Spectator as saying that a Republican Senator is upset that Bush ought to rescind the permanency of tax cuts to help pay for this disaster and the first thing that happens, that senator calls here, says nope, nope, nope, not true. So the instincts in the senator’s office are correct. His base is not going to be happy if this is a true story so he can’t let this survive, so he has to call here and get the correction out. I’m happy he did, but it just means that if these people would follow their instincts instead of being concerned about what the Washington Post style section or the New York Times editorial page, or op-ed page, same thing anymore, is going to say about them. It gets really frustrating to no end. It’s unfortunate, too, because you can make book on this that anybody could just step back for a few feet and see that if anybody is reeling, it’s the Democrats.
A couple of stories on that just to make the point for you. I’ll tell you what, let me take a break. I thought I had this stuff in the order I wanted to use it but I don’t. I’ve got three stories here on Democrats — here’s the first one. Yeah, okay, just found them. Take a break, it’s time to do it anyway, but I’ll come back and I’ll show you. The Democrats are the ones sweating bullets over what’s happening to voters in Louisiana. They may not come back and vote where they’ve always been voting. There’s so much opportunity here to finally let the real world’s reality triumph. We’ve got a media scandal here that could be blown to smithereens, folks. There has been so much erroneous projection, not even reporting — you can call it reporting, but these wild guesses of 10,000 deaths and 25,000 body bags and New Orleans. “It’s been so bad; we shouldn’t even rebuild New Orleans.” Meanwhile, parts of New Orleans are back up and running. The people in the French Quarter say 90 days and we’re back to partying, and the Mardi Gras people say, “Yep, next February we’re having our parades.” Well, it’s exactly what I told you was going to happen. The entrepreneurial spirit of America always triumphs and rises up in these circumstances. The rebuilders rebuild. In liberal areas, now, people are going to get mad to me about this, but I’m going to say it, you look in areas that are dominated by literals and the rebuilding is slow. How many years has it been since New York’s World Trade Center was destroyed? Four years. What do we have in the place of the World Trade Center? We have a pit. We have a hole in the ground. And we have an argument, the main thing holding up — well, there are a lot of main things — but the main thing holding up rebuilding is where to put the memorial and what kind of memorial it should be. We’ve got an argument, a bunch of liberals want a memorial that includes how we destroyed the Indians, that we shouldn’t have dropped a nuke on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and all these other things, in an area where 9/11 happened. We’ve got no building that has been authorized to be rebuilt. We can’t even come up with an architectural design. It’s simple: you rebuild what was there one foot higher. It’s just that simple, but you get on with it.
Now, New York did a fabulous job in the aftermath in dealing with the immediacy of this devastation four years ago, but the rebuilding effort? There’s some buildings that were condemned four weeks ago still have yet to be torn down and demolished, haven’t even gotten there yet. Meanwhile, some bunch of buzzard loco weeds putting together the memorial in the Pennsylvania field where Flight 93 went down came up with a design of two rows of maple trees that look suspiciously like the Islamic Red Crescent. And the theory is, well, there might have been some good Muslims on the plane. Who cares? It’s insane. If you leave the self-loathing American left to deal with any aspect that requires growth or rebuilding in this country, you are going to be sadly, sadly let down and impatient, because nothing’s going to happen. But you leave it to the private sector, the entrepreneurs, you watch how fast New Orleans comes back, folks, and it will illustrate just what a scandal we had here in the attempted reporting of this all because they saw an opportunity to finally once and for all destroy the Bush administration. Well, I don’t know how much would it take for just two or three Republicans who are elected in Washington to come out and say one-tenth of what I just said and shut this stuff down? I know the White House puts out guidelines, the White House says, do not respond, we’re just going to move on with it, let it go over or let it blow over, let this news cycle pass and so forth and so on. Well, that’s the White House. But if the Republicans are going to be upset because the White House is dillydallying, hey, you’re going to run for your own reelection you’re going to get votes for yourself not for George W. Bush so if you can’t stand up and tell everybody that voted for you what’s obvious out there like I just did, then maybe it’s time somebody else was elected where you are.
All right, two stories here, Associated Press, “The unprecedented exodus of people from their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina could unleash changes for years to come. ‘I think we’re looking at an event of enormous political and historical importance,’ said Steven Hahn, a history professor, University of Pennsylvania. ‘We’ve never faced this type of reelection because of a natural disaster. It’s likely to have an enormous impact on our entire country.’ While many experts expect New Orleans to rebuild, it’s unlikely that the nearly half million evacuees are going to move back. Specialists say there are lessons to be drawn from historic moves. For example, New Orleans-style neighborhoods may develop in larger cities with restaurants, music, and cultural aspects of home.” Anyway, the thing goes on to lament the fact that the politics there is going to be forever changed. All these Democrats are leaving. Then the Associated Press: “Population shifts caused by the exodus of hurricane victims in the Gulf coast could have ripple effects for years to come in Louisiana political races and maybe beyond. How big depends on how many people still away, which ones stay away, and where they end up putting down roots. The early thinking is the evacuees least likely to return to their homes in Louisiana may be the poorest.” Oh, who could blame them, for crying out loud? Who could blame them? They’re getting a chance now to see other parts of the country and they’re seeing what else is out there, they’re seeing Texas, they’re seeing Utah, they’re seeing California. Three New Orleans evacuees have already been hired as teachers in California. I heard in an e-mail today, already got jobs out there, a shortage of teachers in California. I guess you believe that, you believe anything, but there is a shortage of teachers in California. Maybe it’s a shortage of teachers that speak English. Anyway, you’re going to have people who are not going to go back, and who could blame them? And of course this will end up being a grand, grand conspiracy, all plotted by Rove. (whispers) Rove! And Bush. “To finally tear away the Democratic stronghold on Louisiana.” And of course the story goes on to talk about how it’s problematic for Mary Landrieu because this is her base that’s leaving and not coming back.
One other story from Reuters, it’s about Bush making his third trip to the region, and it basically is a story about how the Democrats are not happy that local and state ineptitude is taking some of the heat off of George W. Bush. They’re very, very upset about this. They think that Bush flooding the zone like this is a blatant political move, blatant photo-ops, and that it’s going to succeed in displaying the local and state ineptitude on all of this. Now, of course, what this means the liberals are afraid of is that the truth will be learned. They’re afraid that their spin will be spun. They’re afraid that the transparency of their lies will be seen. And so, I mention all of this in the context of why do the Republicans want to run around and act weak-kneed and scared? And I’ll tell you why, because of the media reality that they believe and these poll numbers, and the overall inertia. And you can’t blame them I guess. A lot of you people probably succumb to it still, until you stop and think about it, but they ought to be a little bit more clued in. They’re the ones winning elections. They know who’s voting for them and who’s not.