RUSH: It happened, ladies and gentlemen, just a few short moments ago.
PRESIDENT PRO TEM OF THE SENATE, SENATOR TED STEVENS (R-AK): On this vote, the ayes are 58, the nays are 42. The president’s nomination of Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States is confirmed.
RUSH: Now it’s time to bring on the next vacancy. We are on a roll, ladies and gentlemen — and take down those words, Senator Kerry, for your next floor statement about me, because I want those words echoing throughout the land: Bring on the next vacancy; we are on a roll. Let me tell you where this all began, ladies and gentlemen, because there are people out there debating this today. Where did this all begin? This quest to take on the challenge of reversing the direction and trends of the Supreme Court? It started years ago, years and years and years ago: the grooming of scores of young lawyers, getting them on the federal bench, educating the public about the Supreme Court, preparing to defend against these demagogues out there, this is how long it takes. This did not happen overnight. This is not simply the result of George Bush being elected president.
That’s crucial, don’t misunderstand, but without having people like John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the bench getting seasoned, deciding cases, writing opinions, and all the other Bush nominees, without that project that has been going on for years and years and years, today would not have happened. Now, there’s another element of this that I would be remiss if I did not mention — and that is that this most recent episode actually began with the Harriet Miers nomination. The Harriet Miers nomination was a disaster. I mean, she is a good woman. She stepped aside for a more qualified person. This sparked what I called a conservative crackdown. At the time, it was called a conservative crackup. When the nomination of Harriet Miers was announced, the liberals were giddy. They were happy. They thought that they had intimidated President Bush, and when the conservatives started bleating about it and mobilized to do something about it, the liberals thought that they were in the midst of this giant crackup, when in fact it was a crackdown.
I don’t know whether Harriet Miers is a conservative. None of us do. But by nominating in her place a known and brilliant conservative, President Bush helped give clarity about his own beliefs and thoughts about judicial philosophy, forced the country to have an intelligent and much-needed debate. Like we said all along: flush the Democrats out. Nominate somebody they despise. Nominate somebody that they’re going to demonstrate their actual beliefs in opposing. It all happened. The Democrats today are in an embarrassing state. Their left-wing blogosphere is cracking up just as they thought we were cracking up with the Harriet Miers nomination, except this is no crackdown for them because the Democrats are in total disarray. They’re fighting with each other now. Listen to Senator Kennedy screaming. This is yesterday on the Senate floor before the cloture vote — and how embarrassing is that for Senator Kerry? Here he comes back as a knight in shining armor, from the ski slopes of Davos, Switzerland, after obeying the command from the New York Times: filibuster this nomination!
Kerry rides in to save the day, and ends up… How many votes did the cloture vote get? Did they get 19 or 20 Democrat votes yesterday for cloture? Kerry barely got about half their caucus. He got about half the Democrat caucus to go with him, and it was known in advance this was going to happen. What an idiot Kerry must be. His Democrat leaders had already said while he was in the air on the way back to lead the filibuster, his Democrat leaders — Dingy Harry and others — had already conceded there was no hope. A filibuster would be pointless and yet there is Senator Kennedy, along with his prot?g?, Senator Kerry, leading the way. It was the blind leading the blind; the tone deaf leading the deaf. Now, it was just incredible. This crackup that we are witnessing is historic, folks, and you are watching the midst of it, you are in the midst of it, and you are part of what’s making it all happening. The Democratic Party and the American left have no clue how to deal with an informed opposition. Wait ’til you hear. I am so loaded in the stack today with examples of this Democrat crackup, and it is hilarious, and I want to give you one right now. Senator Kennedy on the floor before the cloture vote yesterday, just a portion of his remarks. He’s screaming here on the Senate floor. This is a giant Rush See, I Told You So. Senator Kennedy screaming that it’s the court, not the Congress or the president, where all progress — i.e., liberalism — comes from.
THE SWIMMER: Our Founding Fathers failed the test when they wrote slavery into the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln pointed the way, and we passed the 13th, 14th, 15th amendment, and had a Civil War but we didn’t resolve this issue. It was only ’til we had the courage of those members of what branch of government? Not the United States Congress, not the United States Senate, not the executive, the judiciary, the Fifth Circuit. We’re talking now about the Supreme Court. But they are the ones that changed this country inevitably with what we call the march toward progress.
RUSH: This is why they’re so upset, because the court is the last instrument they have had to advance liberalism, because liberalism cannot win at the ballot box. It does not win legislatively. The things that they really believe in, the things they really want to move forward have no prayer in an up or down Democratic vote, which is why the court and activist judges were so important to them. They have just now come to grips in the last week and a half, with the final nail in the coffin yesterday, that they no longer are in control of things, that they have no control. They are helpless. That’s why it’s time to bring on the next vacancy! We are on a roll. We’ve got a little less than two years for another vacancy. I think there’s going to be one. Sooner the better, bring it on, and we will see where the next fight goes. Now– (interruption). Mr. Snerdley is sending me a note saying that they’re still insisting that Alito was pushed through by a small majority. Ed Whalen at National Review Online today has a good take on this. He calls this “The Achievements of the Filibuster.”
“By pushing a filibuster vote upon their fellow Democrats, John Kerry and Teddy Kennedy have achieved quite a bit already.” Here are the things: “Absent the filibuster effort, lots of attention would mistakenly have been focused on whether Judge Alito would reach the filibuster-proof level of 60 votes on final confirmation.” He didn’t: 58-42. “If he were to fall short of that, the media would proclaim that the vote level sends a warning shot that another nominee like Alito could be filibustered. By forcing an actual vote on cloture, Kerry and Kennedy have deprived the Left of this pretend-filibuster argument.” Now they’re going to go try to make it. They’re trying to say, “Eh, 58 votes? Why, this is nothing! He squeaked through. This is bad for the president.” It doesn’t matter, he’s on the court. The media can continue to trumpet the Democrat Party line all the want. They can say that this does not show strong support. They can say he was pushed through, but we can always go back to their failed cloture vote, their embarrassing “Flopibuster,” as Deborah Orin called it today in the New York Post, to put the real truth to this rather than spin.
“The starting point now for analysis of the politics of any subsequent nomination is that a nominee like Alito can expect to receive more than 70 votes on cloture.” That’s the media spin, not that he’s “only going to get 58,” because all you need is 51. Who cares what the final vote is? It’s nothing more than icing on the cake past 51 votes. But if a guy like Alito is going to get more than 70 votes on cloture, that’s the message, and the Democrats won’t take it because they’re still living in their spin world. “2. Kerry and Kennedy have turned the wrath of the Left against those 19 Democrats (nearly half the caucus) who voted for cloture,” and let me share with you. To illustrate the wrath of the left, there is this diatribe from the DailyKos blog site. This is the leading left-wing blog that influences elected Democrats in Washington, and this is from one of the site’s so-called recommended diaries. You go to the site, and they tell you, read this. This guy is good. This guy’s got it. Read this. Live it; love it; learn it. Here’s what this Democrat wrote at Daily Kos:
“What I want is a complete list of every scum-sucking, [bleep]ing Democrat, [bleep]ing senator who voted for cloture. That’s what I want. I don’t know what to do with that list, not yet, but I know for [blank]damn sure I won’t be voting for any of them, let alone sending them any [blank] damn money! Frankly, right now I’d like nothing more than to torpedo the entire lot of them, just dump them like so much worthless leaden Vichy (mumbling) blast. I’ve got nothing, folks. Don’t look over here if you want comfort or a nice uplifting ‘live to fight another day’ speech. I’m done with them. They’re dead to me, yeah, Cantwell and Byrd and Landrieu and Bingaman and every last [blank]ing one of them. I’m done with them. I’m registering Independent tomorrow. You’re welcome to join me.” This is just a sample.
Now, this, if you run into this today, you think, “Wow, this is unusual.” No. That kind of language and that kind of vitriol and anger is commonplace on these sites, and that’s what these Democrats have been treated to. Here’s the third point that Ed Whalen makes about the achievements of the filibuster. “By using the filibuster weapon against a nominee whom the public rightly recognizes to be superbly qualified,” his approval polls, Alitos, were two-to-one in favor, “Kerry and Kennedy have undermined Democrats? future use of that weapon. Crying wolf isn?t a good way to build credibility. (Of course, the Left hopes to show over time that Alito is a real wolf, but I have much greater faith in the public?s ability to recognize good judging) than the Democrats.” That’s Ed Whalen.
RUSH: This is in the New York Times today: Gathered just off the Senate floor were all the lib kook groups that write the questions for the members of the judiciary committee and run the ads, and they were there to threaten the liberals. You actually had Ralph Neas, president of People for the (Liberal) Way, a leader of a giant liberal coalition opposing Judge Alito, standing off the Senate floor trying to intimidate Democrats into voting for the filibuster yesterday. When it was all over, Ralph Neas said, “excruciatingly disappointing.” Nan Aron of the Alliance for Justice, another coalition leader, said, “‘The 24 Democrats who voted against closing the debate showed extraordinary principle,’ but she faulted the rest as failing to make judicial nominees a priority. In the end, she said, ‘Alito is still on the court.'” Speaking of something along the same lines, as you know, the president’s State of the Union address is tonight. Get this:
“Liberal activists, among them graying leftovers from the Vietnam era anti-war movement, plan to gather near the Capitol tonight banging pots and pans to drown out President Bush’s State of the Union Address,” which is going to be inside the Capitol — and you’re going to have these sixties retreads standing outside the United States capitol banging pots and pans to try to drown out the State of the Union address. I can think of nothing more appropriate to illustrate the power of their efforts. Here is a nationally televised speech, to be broadcast over American airwaves and cable, and a bunch of derelicts from the sixties are going to be hanging around with pots and pans outside, where nobody inside will be able to hear them, trying to drown out the president’s speech.
“Yesterday, opponents of the Iraq war kicked off their latest round of demonstrations with an impeachment forum, held downtown in the private dining room at Busboys and Poets. Featured speakers were 78-year-old former US attorney general Ramsey Clark, longtime war protester Marcus Raskin, who is 71, head of the Institute for Policy Studies, and Cindy Sheehan. The group’s website has gathered endorsements from left-leaning celebrities like Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, Harry Belafonte, and Sean Penn. It’s unlikely that any stars will show up for tonight’s protest.” I kid you not. “Attending yesterday’s private lunch were about a hundred anti-war activists, many of them silver-haired, bespectacled veterans of the sixties. They were wearing lengthy sweaters and naturalizing,” and get this: “They were nibbling on vegan pizza and bean sprouts, and on the wall was a painted collage of slogans: ‘Make Love, Not War,’ and nostalgic faces such as the well-known communist sympathizer Joan Baez, Bella Abzug, and a younger and thinner Ralph Nader.” This is who you people are afraid of, a bunch of wackos beating pots and pans tonight outside the capitol trying to drown out a nationally televised speech. A bunch of people that show up at something called Busboys and Poets, put up slogans, “Make Love, Not War,” pictures of Joan Baez and Jane Fonda up there, eating bean sprouts? This is who they are. These are the people that make up the American left today, or a large percentage of it on the fringe. A couple more sound bites, Ted Kennedy still on the Supreme Court, speaking on the Senate floor yesterday.
THE SWIMMER: The ’65 act for volting — voting rights, ’68 act for public accommodations, the 1973 act to say that women are going to be treated equally, the Americans with Disability Act that said the disabled are going to be part of the American family. All of that is the march to progress, and, my friends, the one organization, the one institution that protects it is the Supreme Court of the United States!
RUSH: Somebody get him a Prozac or something. Folks, unhinged, totally unhinged — and as I’ve always told you, when they become unhinged, when they get really frustrated, they can’t help but be honest, and they’re telling you here, Kennedy, this is what the court is to them. The court is for the advocacy and establishment of liberalism as law, because they can’t get all these things that they so cherish passed democratically, and it’s just killing, just killing Democrats that Alito was confirmed in time for the State of the Union. Here’s Chuck Schumer this morning on the Senate floor.
SCHUMER: Tonight, when the president announces to applause the fact of Judge Alito’s confirmation, what he should really hear, because of the partisan nature of his choice, is the sound of one hand clapping. While some may rejoice at Judge Alito’s success, millions of Americans will come to know that the lasting legacy of this day will be ever more power for the president and less autonomy for the individual. While some may exalt that the packing of the court with yet another reliable, extreme voice in the mold of Scalia and Thomas, millions of Americans will be at risk of losing their day in court when they suffer the yoke of discrimination.
RUSH: Keep talking, senator. You are just making yourself out to be a member of Jurassic Park. You are an antique. You are every bit as much an antique as the mainstream media is. In fact, I think I’ve made one of the great political discoveries of the new year here, folks. I have finally discovered Chuck Schumer’s mainstream. You know, he’s always talking about these judicial nominees when the president names them, and Schumer said, “He’s out of the mainstream! He’s out of the mainstream! He’s out of the mainstream!” Well, I’ve always thought Senator Schumer has been very arrogant and condescending in assuming that he and his beliefs constitute the American mainstream. Now, I cannot only identify the Schumer mainstream, but I can quantify the Schumer mainstream now. I mean, I can put a number on it: The Chuck Schumer mainstream is 25% of the Senate. Just check the filibuster vote. Chuck Schumer and 23 other liberals who think they are mainstream voted for the filibuster. The (a-hem!) non-mainstream, that’s three out of four senators, voted the other way. The Chuck Schumer mainstream is 25% of the US Senate. The Chuck Schumer mainstream is 25% of the country. So we have a new concept, and the new concept is that Chuck Schumer is not the mainstream, and we could debate it intellectually and anecdotally but now we can just put the filibuster vote, the cloture vote to the test. Chuck Schumer’s mainstream is what we’ve always told you it is: the minority, a small, wacko fringe minority living in Kooksville.
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