RUSH: Here’s Ben in Shreveport, Louisiana. Hello, sir, it’s great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Thank you for taking my call. You know, I was listening last hour with regard to some of the comments being made about Ray Nagin, and as a New Orleans resident, I think there are many things that he could have done better to prepare, and I think that they’re just playing the political game down there, there’s no doubt about that. He and Blanco have really botched some things. However —
CALLER: — that being said, I think it’s being a little rough on him, you know, to get on him for saying, “Come back to the city,” and then three days later he says, “No, get out of the city,” with regard to Rita, which could potentially and probably will make an impact. I mean, as a resident, the one thing that I want is to get back in and to salvage anything that I might have left. I’ve been living out of a suitcase since August 27th, you know.
RUSH: Wait a minute. You don’t have anything left. The media has told me, nothing is left, it’s all gone, it’s all destroyed.
CALLER: (Laughing.) Well, and (laughing) that very well may be, but, you know, the issue is that there are people down there who do have things. We as residents would like to go see that. I don’t blame Nagin for wanting to get a city back up given that never in our history has a city this size been so devastated on American soil. I mean, we hear about tsunamis and stuff around the world, but when has this ever happened to us? So we’re coming down hard on him–
RUSH: Well, now, wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, <a target=new href=”http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml”>Hurricane Camille</a>, the <a target=new href=”http://www.1900storm.com/”>Galveston hurricane</a> of 1900.
CALLER: Yeah, but you’re talking about several million people displaced right now. Those hurricanes, yes, they did think about those —
RUSH: I’m not saying this isn’t the worst, but I’m saying sometimes we lose our historical perspective here and a lot of people’s historical perspective or education begins with the day they were born, and whatever happens during their life is either the best it’s ever been or the worst it’s ever been and oftentimes that’s not it is case. Now, with Mayor Nagin, I don’t really have enough time here before the segment ends to address all of what you said, but I would like to, so I will do so after the break ends. But I think the carping that you heard from our caller in the previous hour and what you’ve heard from me about Mayor Nagin, is justified, and particularly over the events of the past three days, if not in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane.
RUSH: Now, Ben in Shreveport, I know you’re still out there. Here’s my thinking on the conversation, the “carping,” as you called it, on Mayor Ray Nagin of last hour. You said that people want to get back to New Orleans. I totally understand. I can relate personally. Last Labor Day, a year ago was when the first of the two hurricanes struck within 20 miles, 30 miles of where we are here, and I was out in Los Angeles for the Labor Day weekend, and I watched the hurricane go through, and all of a sudden I wasn’t able to reach anybody back here by telephone, and I wasn’t able to reach anybody for about four days, and I had no clue what had happened, because where I live, they didn’t care to get a whole lot of television shots. So there really wasn’t much to know, and the authorities here were not letting people on the island, so there really wasn’t a whole lot to know for a number of days, and I was frustrated as I could be, and I wanted to get back and see what kind of damage there was, but it took awhile. So I know what you’re talking about. I know you want to get back in there. I know you want to see if you have anything left and what it is. Well, you have to look at these things of yesterday involving the mayor saying come on back in if you’re in these ZIP codes and go back three weeks ago. There is a pattern here. The mayor welcoming people back into New Orleans, and we all know it’s because he, too, wants the city to return to normalcy. He wants people to get back home, but was it time? The truth of the matter is that it wasn’t Hurricane Rita that caused Ray Nagin to change his mind.
Agents of the federal government got on the phone and I am sure in no uncertain terms said, “Mayor, this is an absolute bad idea. You can’t do this. You don’t have a sewage system. You don’t have grocery stores with food. You don’t have an infrastructure. We don’t have final tests on the water safety. You need another week here. We can’t possibly do this. This is not the time to do it.” Now, you’re in charge, we understand, but we really don’t think this is the time to bring everybody back in yet, and so the mayor decided to not only cancel the welcome home he made, he told everybody still there to get back out again. Now, this is probably a microcosm of what happened in the days before the hurricane when nobody knew what anybody else was doing. We know that the president was calling the governor, saying, “You’ve got to declare an emergency. You’ve got to do something. Get these people out of there!” We know it from a number of different sources. Now, people say, “Well, that’s carping on the past.” It may be, but it’s recent past, and we’re talking about making sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. Well, finding out why what went wrong went wrong is part of making sure it doesn’t happen again and being honest about it, and we’re not going to solve anything if the sole lesson we learn from this is, “the federal government didn’t get there on time,” folks, because that’s not how this country is set up. You ever heard of <a target=new href=”http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/comrel/factfile/factcards/PosseComitatus.html”>posse comitatus</a>? The federal government just can’t go in, they just can’t send the military wherever they want and take over.
It’s an 1870s law, posse comitatus. You can’t do it, but because so many people in this country have been educated in the wrong way, the federal government is the beginning, the middle, and the end of life. It’s the end-all and the solution to all problems, that people do not know some relative facts and history. So clearly we’ve got circumstances going on down there that they’re just not of the best circumstance right now. They’re not. I don’t know how to say this, because I’m white, and if I launch, I will be accused of being a racist. I’m only joking. I’ll feel free to launch, but I am telling you the charge will probably be made by some people. But the fact of the matter is that we have, for two or three times now in little less than a month, we have public displays of something less than competence, and we have seen now that it is the federal government that has stepped in with some common sense about this return of citizens to New Orleans. Now, some of you might be saying, “Well, you know what, to hell with all governments. It’s my house; it’s my city. I can go there whenever I want. I can go there and check out what I’ve got.”
Well, to that I would say, “Wait a minute. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t sit there and say the federal government is to blame for everything, for not protecting you, not taking care of you, not getting you out of there, not saving your what have you, and then when the government is trying to do just that, get on their case.” I think there are lessons, like I mentioned to Alvin in the last hour. When Hurricane Katrina came through here as a category one and took that southwesterly dip and basically fired blanks at us, we had about an inch and a half of rain right off the ocean, right out of the east, driven by 40-mile-an-hour winds. Well, I discovered during this that in one of the windows on the first floor of my house, water was pouring in — not pouring, dripping pretty rapidly. I heard it and I walked in. I said, “Whoa,” grabbed some towels. I put the towels down but it required a bucket. When the weather had cleared, of course, I called the contractor who built the house, and I said, “It leaked here, and I don’t understand how this is coming in,” and we had to go all the way back to find out how the house was built, and all that, and we tested it. We finally found the source of the leak, but it did require looking back. It did require looking at how the place was built and where it could have possibly happened. So this notion that, “Well, looking back is carping,” and so forth, sometimes it’s necessary. If you’re going to be honest about making sure that these things don’t repeat themselves — and, folks, there are a lot of things here. I mean, it’s not just the mayor, and it’s not just the governor.
There are a whole bunch of people in this whole chain. You had money pouring out of Washington into this area to fix those levees and it never got to the levees. You had more money being spent in five years on the Corps of Engineers in the George Bush administration than in the previous five years under Bill Clinton, and somehow it never got to the levees. Then you have to look at the environmentalists. What if they done by demanding river diversions and a number of other things which stopped the Mississippi Delta from being built up which allowed the city to keep sinking? I mean, there’s so much here that needs to be looked at if we’ve got the guts to do it honestly then we’ll be able to prepare for the next time, but if we’re just going to sit here and say, “federal government” because George Bush is president, he “didn’t care about black people.” If we’re going to do that, then this is going to happen again and again and again because the people who are responsible are going to be scapegoated for whatever politically correct reason we can come up with, and we’re going to go through the motions of telling ourselves we’ve fixed this when we haven’t. Now, the same thing is happening to the Democratic Party right now. The Democratic Party has no clue why it’s falling apart because it doesn’t think that it is. The Democratic Party today thinks that it’s winning. The Democratic Party finally now thinks because of these presidential approval polls that their message is out and that they are going to retake the House and Senate in ’08, if not ’06. They think, they really do, they believe that their carping on Bush has finally driven his numbers down and they think what it means is the country hates Republicans now.
They think it means that the country doesn’t trust Republicans. They love government now, they just know it’s not good in the hands of Republicans and they just know that this country is ready to return Democrats to power. They believe this. They think “mission accomplished.” They don’t see the reality. The reality is that the American people, by and large, and there are polls that indicate this, see them as a bunch of whining political opportunists who haven’t offered a solution to improve anything in years. They don’t see the American people pining away for the days of Bill and Hillary. They think the American people are, but they aren’t. They have got it just 180 degrees out of phase. Our friends at Newsmax have story here on Howard Dean. I don’t know what the occasion of this was, but it’s from yesterday, and the headline of the story: “Howard Dean: ‘I Saved the Democratic Party’ — DNC chairman Howard Dean is now boasting on that he’s the savior of the Democratic Party in a none-too-subtle slap at former party chief Terry McAuliffe, not to mention John Kerry. Asked why he wanted to run the Democrat National Committee…” Oh, he was on The View last week. He announced this on The View. That’s another show that the Democrats probably think Americans will not miss. “Asked why he wanted to run the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean told The View, ‘Somebody had to save the party.'” The translation: Somebody had to be honest about how kooky we really are, and I have the money to prove it, so I’m going to show everybody we have become kooks. I’ve saved the party by letting everybody know we really are a bunch of kooks!
“He insisted that Democrats were heading in the wrong direction before he took over. He told one of the hosts on The View, ‘We thought we were going to win by becoming Republicans.'” When have they ever tried to become Republicans? The only Democrat that I can think of recently who has tried to pass herself off as a Republican is Hillary. Memo to Hillary: Moving to the center — and you have to move right to get there — will cut your support off at the knees. “The ex-Vermont governor suggested that Senator Kerry didn’t have the backbone to defeat President Bush in last year’s election. He said, ‘If you want to win, it’s not so much what you believe. It’s whether you’re willing to fight for what you believe, and the Democrats had given up. We had simply not been willing to stand up and fight.'” Now, in this sense, he may have a point — to a point. They haven’t been honest about who they are and what they stand for, but their actions have told us who they are, from the Wellstone memorial to the Iraq war to the war on terror, they are telling us exactly who they are each and every day, whether it’s elements of the mainstream media, whether it’s their politicians, whether it’s Dingy Harry, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, these are the stars of the Democrat Party. They are telling us every day who they are. His bizarre attack on his fellow Democrats was unnoticed by the mainstream press. Or if they did notice it, they ignored it.
Of course we can’t forget that Howard Dean once said, “The truth is, the Republicans are a white Christian party. They don’t welcome and embrace diversity.” “He also blasted the Bush administration in what he charged was a bid to deflect blame over Hurricane Katrina, saying that really was a Karl Rove-inspired thing to go attack the local people. Yet, but when it came to [“School Bus”] Nagin, Dean turned defensive, saying it wasn’t his fault that the city school buses weren’t used to evacuate his trapped constituents. He said the school buses were controlled by the school board, not the mayor. ‘You can’t blame the mayor for that.'” So I’m telling you, they are in utter denial. They think that they have won elections now in 2006. They think they have beat the president on Hurricane Katrina. They think Cindy Sheehan represents the new face of the party. They think that they have now succeeded and are going to get troops out of Iraq. They have failed to notice a second successful election in Afghanistan where maybe more women than men voted. If you want to hear it I have a little recitation of the Afghanistan elections and how successful they were, and how meager the attempts of the Taliban were to stop them. I addressed this a little bit yesterday. The point is that there’s a huge current of terrific things happening, not just in the world but in this country. Democrats don’t notice them, don’t want anybody else to notice them. They’re in utter denial and utter reality. They literally believe, folks, that they have turned the corner. They have no clue whatsoever.
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