I was just watching television here about, oh, 35 or 40 minutes ago, after I had finished the intense show prep period for today, and I saw Dianne Feinstein. I guess this was on CNN, and Dianne Feinstein was saying (paraphrasing), “It is just outrageous. It is just unconscionable to see how to right wing is attacking Harriet Miers. It is unbelievable.” She may vote for Miers simply because of the “sexism” being exhibited by conservatives — and I’m sitting here watching this, and I’m just laughing myself silly. When I hear a Democrat talk about how horrible it is for people to start destroying somebody’s character, particularly a Democrat on the Senate judiciary committee, where that art has been perfected! Senator Feinstein, does the name Robert Bork mean anything to you? Does the name Clarence Thomas mean anything to you? There have been any number of them. How about Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, and Bill Pryor? How about Miguel Estrada? What do you mean? You should have voted for all these people. I guess it’s okay when the left destroys people. I guess it’s okay when the left sets out to destroy careers and lives and reputations, but when the conservatives simply question the wisdom of a nomination, “Why, we can’t have that! It’s terrible. I don’t believe what I’m seeing.” These people live in a totally different world, folks. They do live in a totally different world.
I’ll give you a little backup for this. I happen to know this, as some of you may know by now, I told you on Friday they had asked me to write an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, and it ran today — and I have been hearing all morning long from sources that this op-ed stunned a bunch of people in the mainstream media. They had not seen anything like this. They were fascinated by the points made in this op-ed. It was totally new to them. It was foreign, and like I say in the op-ed, liberals will never understand conservatives; they never have, and they never will. One person even said, “You know, it wasn’t even knee-jerk. It was so reasonably presented,” and true enough, MSNBC today quotes from it, as does CNN, and as I’m listening to people tell me this, I ask myself again, “All people would have to do is listen to this program once in the past two weeks and this op-ed would not be strange to them at all. It wouldn’t be odd; it wouldn’t be new. It wouldn’t be, ‘Oh, wow, we never thought of that. Why, I haven’t seen that before!'” Or if they don’t want to take time to listen, I have a website where my program is transcribed.
It’s just fascinating. I have been here over 17 years, and an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, and many in the mainstream press are stunned. They have never heard this kind of logic or reasoning before especially, “It was so reasonably presented! Why, it wasn’t knee-jerk, and it wasn’t wild or crazy or mean-spirited or extreme or any of that.” I must have had ten or 12 e-mails today from people. We have people inside all these places, folks, and people talk and so forth, but I’ve just been chuckling about it. But it follows right along with Dianne Feinstein. Here she’s listening to what she thinks is harsh, mean-spirited, extreme criticism of Harriet Miers from people on the right, and it’s got her so fired up she might vote for Harriet Miers, and yet what they have done, as Democrats, to destroy the reputations and lives and careers of so many conservatives just never even registers — which, frankly, was one of the foundations in my thinking in writing the op-ed at the Wall Street Journal.
RUSH: So we had a couple comments in the mainstream press about this today. First on CNN during their American Morning segment, Soledad O’Brien talking to Ron Brownstein of the LA Times, also a CNN contributor, and Soledad said, “You know, Rush Limbaugh has an article he’s written in the Wall Street Journal. He says the Miers nomination shows the strength of the conservative movement. ‘This is no “crackup.” It’s a crackdown. We conservatives are unified in our objectives, and we are organized to advance them,’ and he’s basically saying all this bickering among conservatives isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good thing, shows how tough and strong we are.”
BROWNSTEIN: It certainly shows how tough the conservative movement is. What was really interesting to me about reading that paragraph in particular, and I’m glad you cited that one is, you know, the implicit sentiment in the word “crackdown” is that President Bush is the one who has to be cracked down upon. In the — in the way that Rush Limbaugh’s phrasing it in that article he’s sort of putting President Bush outside of the conservative movement and basically saying it’s the conservative movement’s job to bring him back to heel. This is a president who by and large through his first term rarely was at odds with them, pursued very many policy, uh, initiatives both at home and abroad that were — that were very attractive to conservatives, even at the price of polarizing the electorate and alienating Democrats, and I think the Limbaugh article underscores the extent to which he has now gotten crosswise with — and he is in a difficult position where he has to repair his standing both with his base and with the middle at the same time. That’s not easy to do.
RUSH: (sigh) Anybody want to tell me what’s wrong with this? You take a stab at one glaring thing wrong with this? There’s one glaring thing wrong with this. He’s got some of it right. The one glaring thing wrong about this is that they cannot get it through their heads that George Bush isn’t on the ballot in 2008, and so whatever we’re trying to do here vis-?-vis the crackdown, it’s not oriented toward making George W. Bush more conservative — and that’s where they don’t understand conservatives and where they never will. We’re already looking at ’06 and ’08 and we’re looking at other candidates, folks. They’re looking at Bush as still the guy they have to run against and they think that we’re running against Bush, that we’re positioning ourselves against Bush, and that’s not the case. We know Bush is in his second term. We know Bush is going to do what he’s going to do. Bush is a known commodity. He’s a known quantity. He has a lot of love and respect among all of us on the right. We have followed this man through thick and thin. The war on terror is one of the primary reasons why. It is crucial. He has been the standard bearer on this. There have been some things that have not been quintessentially conservative but you know you don’t get everything you want all the time. That’s why you keep battling for it. But they can continue to focus in Bush in ’08, ’06 and so forth, but they miss the point about what we’re doing and who we’re looking at and where and why and what the objective is. I mean the objective is to keep winning elections, and since Bush isn’t on the ballot in 2008, “bringing him to heel” is not what this is about. But they think it is. Even despite this, they still look at this as a huge rift. “Uh-oh, Limbaugh has thrown a dagger into the heart of George W. Bush and said, ‘Shape up, buddy, or we’re shipping out,'” and that’s not at all what the piece says, and for this we should be grateful, in a sense, because we’re going to continue to be as conservatives, have the ability to operate in a stealth-like fashion because even when they watch us out in the open they don’t see what we’re doing. They don’t see what we’re about. They don’t see what motivates us. (sigh) Stunning. Let’s go to Norah O’Donnell. She was on MSNBC this morning, and this is a little bit of her piece talking about what I had written regarding the nomination of Harriet Miers.
O’DONNELL: What’s interesting is that when we heard so many conservatives talk about how disappointed they were with Harriet Miers and saddened by this nomination and shows how weak the president is. Well, there’s been somewhat of a turnaround, if you will. We already see Rush Limbaugh today writing a piece in the Wall Street Journal saying, listen, this doesn’t show a big crackup in the Republican Party. This debate that we’re having in fact shows that there’s a crackdown and that we can in fact have a strength in the conservative movement, Limbaugh writing, “There is no crackup, it’s a crackdown. We conservatives are unified in our objectives and we are organized to advance them.” Limbaugh making the case essentially that the purpose of the Miers debate is to ensure that we are doing the very best we can to move the nation in the right direction. So you see some of the circling of the wagons…
RUSH: (Laughing.) I’m sorry, folks. I can’t explain that one. All I can tell you is that once again, staring it right in the face, reading it word-for-word, they still get it wrong. This was not circle the wagons. This op-ed piece, nor anything I said last week that led to this op-ed, is not circling the wagons. Circling the wagons is what you do when you take a defensive position, when the Injuns are surrounding you and they’re launching the bow and arrows at you, you circle the wagons and so forth. That’s not what’s happening here. The left is circling the wagons. The left can’t figure out who they are. The left is afraid to tell everybody who they are. The stuff in this op-ed that should have awakened them; the stuff in this op-ed that should have opened their eyes the stuff in this op-ed that should have made them go, “Whoa, he may have had a point” has totally escaped them. All they can see no matter what they read is, “The conservatives still mad at Bush! Limbaugh firing latest salvo!” They’re totally missing the point. But I know you don’t.
RUSH: All right, now, I have a couple new stories here to make my point, make the point that I made in the op-ed. First, the Washington Times. It’s a piece by Donald Lambro: “Bruised GOP Swinging Back.” Te upshot of his piece is that it’s the Democrats who are in jeopardy. “Inside the Washington Beltway, things do look problematic for Mr. Bush and Republicans. Their polls are way down, due to, among other things, Iraq, gas prices,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. “But things are much different out in the real world where next month the Democrats could suffer back-to-back gubernatorial defeats in New Jersey and Virginia that would send a powerful message the GOP is very much alive and kicking. New Jersey is by far the most stunning political development in months. Jon Corzine, considered a shoe-in, is suddenly in a dead heat with his opponent, Republican Doug Forrester, according to an independent WNBC Marist poll and 600 registered voters. The latest numbers, along with corroborating internal polling data, have stunned political pros and shaken the Corzine campaign that once seemed to have a lock on the election in this heavily Democratic state. The race is driven by two huge issues: Democrat corruption in Trenton, and punishing property taxes, issues on which Mr. Corzine looks weak and that Mr. Forrester has hammered since day one.” It’s corruption. It’s property taxes.”
Now, inside the Beltway, the Democrats mantra is that we have a “climate of corruption” going on in the US House and in the Republican Party, and yet out in the real world where we’re go to have a real election if you look at some polling data, you’ll find that Democrats — and people in New Jersey, period — are fed up with high property taxes which is happening throughout the Northeast. I would love to get personal with you about this at some point, and maybe I will someday about why I go to New York so rarely, but that’s for another day. Bottom line is that a lot of people are fed up with it and if they could get out, they would, but most can’t so they can do only one thing and that’s try to change their leadership. High property taxes, corruption in Trenton.
Then we move on to the Washington Post where the headline is: “House GOP Leaders Set to Cut Spending — House Republican leaders have moved from balking at big cuts in Medicaid and other programs to embracing them, driven by pent-up anger from fiscal conservatives concerned about runaway spending and the leadership’s own weakening hold on power.” Now, I talked to Mike Pence, who is leading the House Republican efforts to cut spending, for an interview in the upcoming issue of The Limbaugh Letter, and he told me last week exactly what this story says, that he’s got more and more House Republicans joining his team after they go home on break and they listen to their constituents and they come back and say, “You know, maybe you got something going here. I want to get on your team.” So the number of Republicans in the House that want to get their arms around this run away spending is increasing. “The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee launched a public crusade for spending cuts last month with its leaders use news conferences, TV appearances, and media interviews to all but accuse the GOP leadership of profligacy. House leaders first tried to crush the RNC or at least push its efforts behind closed doors, but that didn’t work.” So the efforts to neuter these House Republicans didn’t work. They’re coming back and coming on strong.
And then from the San Francisco Chronicle, a story written by their bureau chief, Marc Sandalow. “Listen to Democrats, and it’s easy to say what they are not.” The headline says it all here: “As Republicans Stumble, Democrats Bumble: Strategists Say Dems Having Trouble Finding Identity, Offering Compelling Alternative,” and that’s because we’ve defined them. They cannot define themselves, folks. They don’t dare! They do not dare. So while the mainstream press looking at my op-ed wants to focus only on what it says about Harriet Miers, they miss the real point of the whole thing which is that it’s the Democrats that are cracking up; it’s the Democrats that are in trouble. It’s the mainstream press that’s lost its influence, and we conservatives in the middle of a debate are doing nothing more than advancing our ideas, honestly and openly and with optimism, passion, and courage! And we’re afraid of nobody about anything. We’re not afraid to tell people who we think, and we’re not afraid to persuade them. The Democrats can’t even be honest with people about who they are and what they believe.