RUSH: We’ve been playing a little game here, Stump the Staff, during the break at the top of the hour. I asked them a little history question. I know my history, and I think not enough people do, particularly in the news media. I know my history, and I asked them one simple question. “Who said, ‘The Constitution is not a suicide pact’?” And they guessed. What did you say? Truman, FDR, Kennedy. Those are the three guesses. Nope. “Who said, ‘The Constitution is not a suicide pact’?” It was Abraham Lincoln. The telephone number, if you want to be on the program, is 800-282-2882. The e-mail address is Rush@eibnet.com. Let me give you just a little Civil War history. During the Civil War, there was a group called the Copperheads. Now, the Copperheads have a modern equivalent today, the peace movement of the Democratic Party, or basically the Democratic Party. They were called the Copperheads back then.A former Ohio congressman, a man by the name of Clement Vallandigham called the prosecution of the Civil War wicked and cruel and he suggested that Lincoln and the Republican Party were using the Civil War to establish a dictatorship. Troops of the 115th Ohio Volunteer Infantry seized Clement Vallandigham from his home in Dayton. A military commission tried him for treasonable utterances and turned him over to the Confederate Army. Jefferson Davis didn’t want Vallandigham any more than Lincoln did and eventually shipped him off to Canada from where he managed to slip back into the United States. Abraham Lincoln lamented, “Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts while I must not touch a hair of a wily agitator who induces him to desert?” Why, this conjures up all kinds of fun things! Grabbing Dingy Harry, putting him on trial, and expelling him to the remote regions of Pakistan where Al-Qaeda is holing up. That’s interesting to contemplate. Abraham Lincoln did it. I don’t know how he ever got a monument. The Democrats must have been looking the other way. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact,” Abraham Lincoln. This is exactly how the Democrats would like it to read today. It is a suicide pact. We must extend constitutional rights to enemy combatants, according to the left, according to Senator McCain. We have the Tim Russert sound bite. Can we play that, please? Here’s Russert. This is after the president’s press conference today.
RUSSERT: The reason we go to war is to protect our civil liberties. Constant references obviously to President Nixon back in ’72 who tried to monitor, eavesdrop on American citizens and the Supreme Court said, no, you can’t do that. I remember President Nixon having the doctrine of preventive detention where he would arrest war demonstrators ahead of time and here in Washington put them into RFK Stadium and the courts threw that out.
RUSH: Russert, yesterday, on the Meet the Press show can’t get off of Nixon. He can’t get off of Watergate. Because that’s the mode; that’s the template: Bush is Nixon. This is Watergate. The war is Vietnam — and they’re not going to stop until they convince the American people of this. We don’t go to war to protect our civil liberties; we go to war to save our lives! Our civil liberties are worthless if we are dead. If we have all assumed room temperature, folks, our civil liberties don’t count diddly-squat. Again, I have to ask these people, what civil liberty is being violated here? I would love for the press to answer this question. What civil liberties are we losing? The press can be as disloyal to the country as they’ve ever been. Nobody is stopping them from being anti-American or their reporting being anti-American. Take it back. Pat Fitzgerald put a woman in jail, but they wanted that prosecutor. They wanted that case.
FDR? Did he protect civil liberties when he rounded up 110,000 Japanese and moved them from their homes and businesses to internment camps? And Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. Lincoln actually deported somebody he thought was just an agitator. Somebody he thought was just an agitator? How about RFK, Robert F. Kennedy, authorizing the wiretapping of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Last I looked, Lincoln and FDR are among our greatest presidents ever, among our greatest civil libertarians ever. You want to test this? Go tell some Democrat friend of yours that FDR was no friend of civil liberties. See what you get. They think he’s the greatest guy we’ve ever had, and RFK — the greatest president we almost had — is also considered to be a fabulous guy and he’s out there wiretapping Martin Luther King. Are these the kind of civil liberties these people are talking about? I need to have this answered because I can round up all kinds of Democrats that violate civil liberties left and right in the prosecution of war, because the Constitution is not a death sentence.
Abraham Lincoln: it’s not a suicide pact.