RUSH: Gregg in Pearl, Mississippi. Welcome to the program, sir. It’s nice to have you with us.
CALLER: What an honor, and mega non-whining Mississippi dittos, Rush. It’s great to talk to you, and I just want to brag on the great job that our governor, Haley Barbour, is doing here in Mississippi. It’s night and day between what’s going on here and what we’re seeing on the news out of Louisiana.
RUSH: Yeah, I know. In fact, we’re going to be talking next week to Governor Barbour in the interview for the next issue of the Limbaugh Letter, and I specifically want to talk to him about that and a number of other things. But I made this observation yesterday. You know, we keep hearing about the federal response being bad, how Bush wanted to target New Orleans and blacks and all this silly stuff, and it is painfully obvious here that what you have when you compare, not only Mississippi, but look at Florida. Florida has had five hurricanes in the last two years. In these five hurricanes you haven’t seen one shred of evidence that makes it look like what happened in New Orleans, and you haven’t seen anything like what happened in New Orleans and Mississippi, or Alabama, as you point out, and yet the federal response has been in both places, all three, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. But somehow in New Orleans the federal government didn’t do everything right that they apparently did in these other places? That’s not correct. The correct answer is the local and state officials in Florida and in Mississippi handled the situation locally, as best they could at first, and they had control of it. I mentioned yesterday that there was a great story in the Sunday Palm Beach Post about how Florida regularly — they have all these experts in all these different districts, and they regularly meet throughout the year on their hurricane plans, and they have mock drills, and they’re constantly updating things, even if no hurricane has happened from the time of the last meeting till the next scheduled meeting and they’ve done this for years and years and years and none of the planning involves FEMA.
None of the initial reaction and execution of plans involves the federal government at all. You read this Palm Beach Post story, you don’t even find references to the federal government in terms of the immediate execution of plans taking place in the state of Florida, and it’s a stark contrast. So what you have on display here is not really the failure of the federal government. What you have on display is the failure of a bunch of things. You have the failure of a liberal Democrat-run community. The most obvious thing to me here is the failure of the war on poverty. You know, the left keeps trying to tell us, “No, no, no, no, Rush. What’s actually happening out there is that we are finally learning the depth of poverty in America.” No, we’re not learning the depths of poverty in America. We’re learning the depths of poverty in a city that has been run by Democrats for who knows how many generations, and we are witnessing the failure of the entitlement mentality, we are witnessing the failure of the welfare state, we are witnessing the failure of the war on poverty, that’s what we’re witnessing, that’s the real lesson to learn. That’s what I was talking about yesterday when I said, “There are two realities.” You have the media reality that is created in conjunction with the Democrats and the liberals, and then you have reality. You have what is, and then you have the creation of an alternative reality by the media. Well, the truth is what I just said. The media reality is that somehow the government’s not big enough, the federal government isn’t big enough, the federal government is not peopled by the right leaders, the federal government didn’t care about these people because all this is a manufactured reality.
All of this is a false reality that has been combined with a bunch of pictures that are out of context. Let me get into some of this in fact right now since you brought this up, and I’m glad, Gregg, that you called. First, let me cite George Will today in his Washington Post column. “It took exactly one month — until the president’s prime-time news conference of Oct. 11, 2001 — to refute the notion that Sept. 11 ‘changed everything.’ When a reporter said, ‘You haven’t called for any sacrifices from the American people,’ he replied, ‘Well, you know, I think the American people are sacrificing now. I think they’re waiting in airport lines longer than they’ve ever had before.’ And that was before the sacrificing became really hellacious with the requirement that passengers remove their shoes at security checkpoints. The idea that Hurricane Katrina would change the only thing that matters — thinking — perished even more quickly, at about the time Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, a suitable symbol of congressional narcissism, dramatized the severity of the tragedy by taking a television interviewer on a helicopter flight over her destroyed beach house. ‘Washington rolled the dice and Louisiana lost,’ she said in a speech on the Senate floor that moved some senators to tears. You can no more embarrass a senator than you can a sofa, so the tears were not accompanied by blushing about having just passed a transportation bill whose 6,371 pork projects cost $24 billion, about 10 times more than the price of the levee New Orleans needed. Louisiana’s congressional delegation larded the bill with $540,580,200 worth of earmarks, one-fifth the price of a capable levee. America’s always fast-flowing river of race-obsessing has overflowed its banks, and last Sunday on ABC’s This Week, Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois’s freshman Democrat, applied to the expression of old banalities a fluency that would be beguiling were it without content. Unfortunately, it included the requisite lament about the president’s inadequate ’empathy’ and an amazing criticism of the government’s ‘historic indifference’ and its ‘passive indifference’ that ‘is as bad as active malice.’ The senator, 44, is just 30 months older than the ‘war on poverty’ that President Johnson declared in January 1964. Since then the indifference that is as bad as active malice has been expressed in more than $6.6 trillion of anti-poverty spending, strictly defined.”
So once again here we have the example here of a false reality. Barak Obama, 44 years old, black, goes on television, says, “Bush didn’t care, had no empathy,” and this is nothing more than the historic indifference and the passive indifference. There has been no indifference to poverty in this country, to the tune of $6.6 trillion of wealth transfers since 1964. Now, just ten years ago that figure was three trillion. Yeah, it was a little over three trillion, maybe 12 years ago it was $3 trillion. Now it’s $6.6 trillion and you’ve got Democrats going on TV talking about indifference, passive indifference, active indifference, actively not caring. “The senator is called a ‘new kind of Democrat,’ which often means one with new ways of ignoring evidence discordant with old liberal orthodoxies about using cash — much of it spent through liberalism’s ‘caring professions’ — to cope with cultural collapse. He might, however, care to note three not-at-all recondite rules for avoiding poverty: Graduate from high school, don’t have a baby until you are married, don’t marry while you are a teenager. Among people who obey those rules, poverty is minimal.”
But of course you can’t say that. You can’t go to these people and say, “Hey, wait a minute. Don’t have a baby ’til you’re married. Don’t marry when you’re a teenager, and make sure you graduate from high school.” If you say that, you’re practicing racism or bigotry, whoever the hell knows what. But you can’t say those things. You can’t say pay for it yourself. No, you can’t say that, and the reason is what I was talking about yesterday. The self-loathing crowd thinks that these people are in these circumstances because of the basic construction of America, which is capitalism, which creates haves and have-nots, and because the haves are powerful white people, they dictate that the have-nots are poor and largely black, and so that’s just the architecture and there’s nothing we can do about it except change the system, i.e., we’ve got to get rid of capitalism. Because, you see, where socialism never has really succeeded, it still holds the promise of equality for all, even though you have to ignore the thugs and dictators that rise to power via coup d’etat in order to insinuate socialism on people, ? la Fidel, ? la the Soviet leadership. Wherever it’s tried, wherever it’s going on, Hugo Chavez is pulling a Mugabe. Right as we speak, Hugo Chavez is looting private property of the wealthy in Venezuela and taking it for the government to pass out ostensibly on the basis of “fairness,” and for this he’s being applauded. You can’t find any criticism of Mugabe anywhere in the American left. You won’t find any criticism of Castro on the American left; you won’t find criticism of any socialist thug because at least they’re trying to make everybody equal.
Well, to the extent they succeed, everybody is equally miserable, equally in poverty, but at least there aren’t any “haves,” except the elites. Castro is doing okay, and Chavez is doing okay. Gorbachev did okay. The Soviet leaders did okay. Mao did okay. Kim Il-Jung whatever his name is, the pot-bellied dictator, he’s doing okay. All these socialist thugs and dictators, oh, they do fine, and that’s okay because they’re the elites. They’re trying to make it fair and right for everybody, but you can’t go to the under classes in America or anywhere else and say, “Hey, graduate from high school, don’t get married and don’t have a baby before you get married, and don’t have any more than two kids. If you don’t do those things the chances are you’ll probably not end up in poverty.” You can’t say that because they don’t have the chance to not do those things because America consigns those things to those people by virtue of our structure, by virtue of capitalism.
Now, to keep on here with George Will’s piece. “In 1960 John Kennedy of Choate, Harvard and Palm Beach campaigned in West Virginia’s primary and American liberalism experienced one of its regularly recurring rediscoveries of poor people, an epiphany abetted three years later by Michael Harrington’s book ‘The Other America’ receiving a 50-page review where liberals would notice it, amid the New Yorker magazine’s advertisements for luxury goods. Between such rediscoveries, the poor are work for liberalism’s constituencies among the ‘caregiving’ professions. Liberalism’s post-Katrina fearlessness in discovering the obvious — if an inner city is inundated, the victims will be disproportionately minorities — stopped short of indelicately noting how many of the victims were women with children but not husbands. Because it was released during the post-Katrina debacle, scant attention was paid to the National Center for Health Statistics’ report that in 2003, 34.6 percent of all American births were to unmarried women. The percentage among African American women was 68.2.”
Of course, one of the reasons for that is that during the war on poverty, the federal government and its $6.6 trillion has taken the place of the father, of the breadwinner, of the need for the father to be at home accepting the responsibility of his actions. So again: the left, because they’re trying to do something about it, they say, “Well, don’t judge our results. Judge our intentions.” No, it’s time to judge your results, and New Orleans is the perfect way to judge your results. That place ought to be a utopia. That place should have been a panacea. That place should have been someplace nobody wanted to leave and everybody ought to be clamoring now to get back to even after this flood and the hurricane. But such is not the case. So the real evidence here? Yeah, you can look at Haley Barbour and Jeb Bush and the other governors in these stricken areas and say, “Oh, yeah they’re doing a great job and the federal government wasn’t needed all that much,” but at the same time you have to say, “Well, why is it the federal government just targeted New Orleans to be destroyed?” And sadly some so the left think so. But the truth is, you had no competent leadership in the state or local level. You know, something I’ve been wondering about and meaning to mention this. Mary Landrieu went to the floor of the US Senate, and she’s been on TV a lot lately, she’s been saying the forces of the Bush administration have been out there castigating local and state officials. What is the term that she used? The Republican attack machine or some such thing. The Bush attack machine has been castigating these local officials down in New Orleans and in Louisiana and blah, blah, blah. I’m thinking, “I haven’t heard one administration official cast any blame anywhere on local officials. So who is it that she’s talking about?” It finally dawned on me. Me! It’s dawning on me that she’s talking about me. I’m part of the Bush attack machine and so is anybody else who has been pointing fingers at the local government and how incompetent it was, because Bush is not allowing that to be said from his administration. So apparently Mary Landrieu and the rest of the crowd on her side think that all this is organized through Rove’s office. I guarantee you that’s what they think. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong. That is their assumption that people on the right don’t have minds of their own, can’t see with their own two eyes, and if they do see with their own two eyes, they don’t see what they think they see. And so people like me who are pointing fingers saying, “Wait, wait a minute. What happened about the incompetence of Louisiana, New Orleans?” “Well, that can’t be genuine; that has to be sponsored. That has to be driven by some administration attack dog machine or what have you.” I assure you, Senator Landrieu, it’s not.