RUSH: All right, Jack Danforth. I have to tell you, he’s a friend of extended members of my family. This is not the first time that he’s written a piece like this; it won’t be the last, and each time he does it — I won’t say my blood boils, but the hair on my arms begins to stand up a little bit. “Jack Danforth wishes the Republican right would step down from its pulpit. Instead, he sees a constant flow of religion into national politics. And not just any religion, either, but the us-versus-them, my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God, velvet-fist variety of Christian evangelism. As a mainline Episcopal priest, retired U.S. senator and diplomat, Danforth worships a humbler God and considers the right’s certainty a sin. Legislating against gay marriage, for instance? ‘It’s just cussedness.’ As he sees it, many Republican leaders have lost their bearings and, if they don’t change, will lose their grip on power. Not to mention make the United States a meaner place. Danforth is no squalling liberal,” it says here.
“He is a lifelong Republican. And his own political history shows he is no milquetoast. A man of God and the GOP, he is speaking out for moderation — in religion, politics, science and government.” Well, let’s applaud moderation. Yeah, it just sounds so wonderful, but you still aren’t going to be able to find for me. Nobody is going to be able to find for me in any library anywhere Great Moderates in American History. That book hasn’t been written, and it won’t be written.
“The lanky figure once dubbed ‘St. Jack,’ not always warmly, for the perch he seemed to occupy on Washington’s moral high ground, expects people will sour on the assertive brand of Christianity so closely branded Republican. ‘I’m counting on nausea,’ he says.” All right, well, some thoughts on this. Let’s take a look at people of faith, shall we? Because all this is, is another hit piece on conservatives who are Christian. It’s not a hit piece on “Christians.” It’s a hit piece on “conservatives who are Christians” who dare to participate in the political process — like liberals who are Christians — who dare to stand up for their beliefs when they are under attack by liberals, by the left, and by their courts. Senator Danforth and others like him just wish those conservatives would go away, because that way liberal and moderate Republicans and Democrats could return to their exalted rights: at the perch of power.
Well, people of faith were among the first abolitionists in this country. People of faith were among the first civil rights activists, and people of faith are today the defenders of life and moral values that are the foundations of our society. Were it not for people of faith, not only in the country at large, but within the political spectrum — and they have ever right to be there, as does anybody else; were it not for their presence — who knows how many abortions would be taking place, how much teen pregnancy, how much moral debauchery would have been visited upon our culture. It’s a significant amount, as it is. Jimmy Carter is allowed to wear his faith on his sleeve — and what does he do with it? He promotes tyrants. The Reverend Jackson uses faith. He goes into church and passes the plate for himself and Democratic candidates.
He uses his faith to advance big-government liberalism in the Democratic Party, but now that tens of millions of Christians who don’t share the views of the left are participating in the political process, why, “Uh-oh! Sound the warning bells! They are dangerous.” Now, this nonsense may fly on the Style Section pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times, but it’s not going to fly anywhere else. Those people in New York and Washington, inside the Beltway, are the ones in “the bubble;” and all this piece represents is the increasing fear of their presence and power that the left feels. Because — at the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of the year, in the final analysis — Christians who are conservative are Americans, too, and I don’t see anybody else telling any other group of Americans to “get yourselves out of the politics.”
We’re not saying it to militant Muslim groups. We’re not saying it to anybody else: “Get yourself out of our political system. You’re going to wreak havoc!” Senator Danforth and former President Carter and the like don’t like — well, they don’t say this about liberal Christians. You would never read a piece like this. You’d never see a piece like this about the Reverend Jackson and his organization, the Monochrome Coalition. They don’t denounce the involvement of the Muslim community in politics and in legal battles. But you go back in history and look, the birth of the Republican Party in many ways involved the issue of abolition. It was people of faith who helped bring and lead that movement. Now I suppose — just from reading this piece that Senator Danforth wrote, I suppose — if he had been in Philadelphia when the Declaration of Independence was being drafted, he would have objected to the inclusion of reverence to God and natural law in our founding document.
They’re right there. To tell us that people of faith, conservatives who are Christians, “You‘ve got to remove yourselves from the political system,” would be akin to saying to many of the Founding Fathers, “You have to pull yourself out of these talks to put together our founding documents because you are only going to bring trouble to our land.” I guess if Senator Danforth had been in Congress earlier in our history, he would have objected to passing the First Amendment because of the free exercise of religion clause. The First Amendment has the free exercise of religion clause, and now we’ve got elements of the “moderate center” and the left who are telling certain conservatives in America who are Christian, “No, no, no, no! Because of the religion you practice, you are destroying the country. You need to stop.”
If you take a look at the enemies that the left of this country has, it’s striking. We’ve gone through them before: ExxonMobil, Shell, any pharmaceutical company, Wal-Mart, Christian conservatives. Take a look at the enemies that they have and you’ll clearly find out exactly who they are and where they are. If Senator Danforth were on the Supreme Court today — I’m assuming, I suppose, because I’ve read this piece that he wrote today in the Washington Post — that he would join the ranks of Ginsburg and Souter, Breyer and Stevens, claiming there’s a “wall of separation between church and state,” and he would probably agree to strike down all religious symbols and references to God in the public square. I mean, once you start down this path that some Americans are not acceptable because of their religion — and then they get powerful in politics; it makes them really undesirable — where do you stop?
As I say, I’ve read this. I’ve seen this before. There’s nothing particularly new in this, what Danforth is saying or stands for. He’s just another voice repeating the same old catch phrases. What’s interesting to me about all this is this doesn’t faze the Christian conservatives. It just energizes them, because Christians who are also conservatives are fighting back. They didn’t pick the fight, and I say the same thing about myself on this program. You know, people say, “All you do is attack people.” No, I don’t. I don’t “attack” anybody. I defend the institutions and traditions that I love, agree with and want to protect. I defend things. I don’t get up and look for people to attack. They do that to me. The same thing with these Christians who are conservatives: They didn’t pick the fight; they are fighting back. It’s the left. It is the left in this country that seeks to use the courts to change society.
It is the left in this country that seeks to outlaw practices that have historically been permitted and in fact cherished. It’s the left in this country trying to get rid of all of these symbols. They are afraid of symbols; they are afraid of words because they are afraid of the power they think lies behind it. With all due respect to Senator Danforth, I think he has it backwards. It is the left that is on the attack in a desperation mode. It is the left that has, as Peggy Noonan wrote today, “descended into an utter meaninglessness.” She agrees with me that they are imploding, and they are imploding because they are meaningless. They are irrelevant. They are the people — because of their knowledge of their impotence, irrelevance and meaninglessness and their implosion, they are the ones — who are on the attack. It is people of faith who are organizing to push back, to defend what had been the status quo for most of our history, and I commend them for doing so.
RUSH: I’ll tell you, here’s a dirty little secret, folks, about a lot of this. The Christians who are conservative — or conservatives who are Christians — they’re growing stronger, and they’re branching out, and they’re not monolithic. Everybody thinks that they agree on virtually everything, and they don’t. I mean, there’s some conservative Christians that are big believers in global warming, and I think they’re nuts, but I’m not telling them to get out of the political system! There’s some Christian conservatives who have a lot of different views on various social and cultural, international issues as well. They’re not a monolithic bunch. But regardless, they’re growing in power, and they are growing in power because they’re unified and they’re fighting back. They’re under assault, and they know it. On the other hand, the modern-day so-called civil rights movement is built around the church!
I mean, Bill Clinton’s spent half his time in these churches (raising money illegally) with the Reverend Jackson passing the plate. Come on, let’s be honest about this. Jimmy Carter is a big Christian nut. He’s allowed to go out and proselytize and say whatever he wants based on his “deeply held faith,” and the same people that rip the conservatives who are Christian don’t rip Jimmy Carter or the Reverend Jackson or the Reverend Sharpton. These guys get a free pass. The fact of the matter is they are losing power. They are imploding because they are locked into a time warp. They’re locked in 30 to 50 years ago, and here’s more evidence of it. The AP ran a story yesterday following the death of Coretta Scott King. “Civil Rights Movement Losing Icons and Focus — Amid their grief over the death of Coretta Scott King, black advocates say that her passing underscores a growing concern: As the movement’s iconic leaders fade into history,” Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, “much of the focus is on honoring the past rather than pushing for equality today.” Well, hey! This is written by Erin Texeira.
Erin, let me give you a little hint. They’ve been focusing on honoring and distorting the past for I don’t know long. The leaders still want their people to still think they’re living in days of slavery! One of the premiere quarterbacks in the National Football League can’t be criticized by his black wide receiver without calling it “black-on-black crime.” I mean, this is nothing new. There hasn’t been any advancement. Everything is still based on pre-1964 and 1968 beliefs. “‘We will now celebrate Coretta Scott King as though the civil rights movement is finished and the mission has been accomplished, but the work is not done,’ said Bruce Gordon, president of the NAACP. ‘We should be very respectful of and encouraged by the substantial progress that has been made. But in no way, shape or form should we conclude that the civil rights mission is complete.'” No, of course it never will be complete! That’s the business of it. The business demands it never be complete.
“[T]here’s also a sense among advocates that modern activism is being overshadowed by a near-constant string of commemorations for bygone victories: the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education in 2004 and, last year, the 40 years since the historic march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery, Ala., to win voting rights for African-Americans. Inevitably, such remembrances intensify in the first months of each year with the mid-January holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. that his widow fought to win and with Black History Month, which began Wednesday. In addition, each time an important civil rights figure dies be it Rosa Parks, Ossie Davis or now Coretta Scott King it renews the focus on the movement’s history. Some advocates are concerned about that eagerness to look back.”
I think that’s pretty accurate. They’re pretty wise to be concerned about this, because if you have a movement — let’s just take them for what they are; if you have a movement — based on icons, based on Martin Luther King, based on Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks, who are the current icons that 30 and 40 years from now you’re going to be celebrating? Ja Rule? Snoop Dogg? Kanye West? There are plenty of people out there that qualify for this, but they’ll never see the light of day in this context. That would be Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice. The movement is moving forward, is my point, but the assigned people in the big clique in the civil rights movement are not the ones moving forward. They’re not moving forward because of the ideas they hold, and so all they can do is look past and look back and commemorate the glory days of what once were. Now, the work that those guys did, Martin Luther King, you can see it. The work that they did has come to great fruition.
There’s a great growing black middle class, you have the most powerful woman in American history as secretary of state, talked about as a presidential candidate. She’s lampooned and impugned by the same people in the civil rights movement, though, who impugn others in the conservative movement. They write disparaging things about her. They put cartoons together that are repugnant in their racial overtones. So while the movement is going forward the people who think they run it are standing still, just like everybody else is in the Democratic Party and in the left. It’s plain days for those outside the movement to see it. I mean, I don’t think we’re going to have a Kweisi Mfume day 30 years from now. I mean, he’s upset he lost — he had no money to run for — the Senate. Well, he’s got some, but he’s being dwarfed in Maryland.
RUSH: Senator Danforth’s piece today is not his first along these lines. He’s written other — I think one other time, prominently, that Christian conservatives need to get out of politics. It’s terrible. He’s upset, worried what’s going to happen. This is all a result, I think, of power being amassed and secured. I don’t think it is coincidental, in fact, that Senator Danforth’s piece appears after Judge Alito has been confirmed to the US Supreme Court. Now, as I told you, I don’t think Senator Danforth hates Christian conservatives. I just think there’s fear among people that think they are moderates, and want (blue-blood moderate impression) “reasonable and wise, and not reactionary, thoughtful, well-bred, reasonable,” and everybody else is just an out-of-control freak. “My gosh, if we don’t get our arms around them, they’re going to destroy the country!” When, in fact, they’re the ones that move ideas forward. Hey, as I pointed out: the civil rights movement, modern era? The whole thing was oriented around the Church.
The Reverend Jackson? Nobody tells him to get out of politics. Nobody ever tells Al Sharpton to get out of politics. Nobody ever tells Jimmy Carter to get out of politics, but I’ve had… As I say, it’s nothing new. I think it’s just a result of more and more power being amassed and secured at the Republican convention or at these hoity-toity country club blue-blood Republican fund-raisers — or just flat-out dinner parties, not even fund-raisers, just dinner parties — that I’ve been to. All these guys that come up (whispering), “What are we going to do about the Christians?” As though I’m one of them and I gotta, you know, rein them in.
I’d say, “What are you talking about?”
“Abortion! It’s killing the party. It’s killing the party.”
This is during the Clinton years, and they thought we were losing everything because of abortion, and I would say, “Well, look, you want to just throw their 24 million votes away?”
“No, but abortion!”
I took a couple of them aside. “Do you really care?”
“It’s my wife. My wife! She won’t vote Republican. She won’t until they get rid of this abortion.”
So I’m telling you, in my humble opinion, these guys are just henpecked. The only thing they do behind their wife’s back is zip her up, and the wife comes along and says, “I’m not voting Republican. Look at these Christian conservatives,” and so the guy says, “Okay. I want peace in my house, and I’m out raising lots of money for Republicans, and I got my wife telling me she’s going to work against me and not vote.” So it became a cause. But I don’t know that that’s the case with Senator Danforth. He’s never said anything about this to me, so don’t associate him with that story, but this happened to me, folks, since 1992-93 and it was really at an all-time panic during the Clinton years. Back then these hoity-toity Republicans thought we had lost everything forever, for good, because of abortion. The truth of the matter is that the people who are pro-life on this are succeeding.
There are fewer abortions in the country today. There’s less teen pregnancy. There’s progress. There’s no reason… It’s because these people have been under assault and under attack you could say since 1973, but they don’t close up shop and go home. I think it’s nothing more than their fear that the left, “the reasonable and the wise, and the elite,” are losing virtually everywhere they go — and, look, to them, when you say “Christian conservative,” you may as well say, “Zeke and Mabel in a 1948 blue pickup in the bowels of the south trying to outrun the Revenuers,” because on the one hand, they’ve gotta still in the backyard up in the woods where they’re making moonshine; they got a shotgun in the rack in the back of the pickup, and they’re running around going to church, in their Sunday going-to-meeting clothes and then they’re eating possum for Sunday dinner. They think it’s the Beverly Hillbillies, and they’re just embarrassed that those people are in their party. But like everything else of the left it’s an image and a reality that’s totally false. It’s not who these people are, and so I don’t think there’s any hate. I just think that there is fear. Carol in the Castro Valley, California, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Peachy keen. Fine and dandy and humble.
CALLER: Always. I wanted to react to Danforth’s comments. I am a conservative Christian Republican. I’m also an attorney and a college professor, and I am really fed up with these guys with their arrogant, condescending attitude. I have been involved in local politics, a ran for office in 1998, and it’s really astounding when you’re up front and say, “Yeah, I don’t believe in abortion. I really do believe that it’s killing a child and no, I can’t vote that way,” that people are so astounded that you’ll actually say that and won’t slobber all over yourself and stammer around, that you can actually persuade people to your point of view. But people like Danforth try to marginalize us, and, one, he’s wrong. He’s never going to be able to marginalize us, and two, there’s a lot of support out there in conservative circles for all sorts of charitable works. I mean, the church that I go to.
RUSH: Oh, I know.
CALLER: It’s ridiculous.
RUSH: All that’s true. I would say this. Something I’ve had to learn personally — and, by the way, you heard her say John Danforth’s “comment.” He has a column today in the Washington Post, and I read excerpts of it at the beginning of the program. I don’t want to go back and repeat those. He’s not said anything verbally, but if you want to go to the Washington Post website, it’s there. We’ll have a link to it at RushLimbaugh.com when we update the site later this evening. But I think, as I’ve had to learn personally, and I think all of you probably in this movement — the Christians who are conservatives movement — you know full well what this means. It’s not something to fear yourself. I mean, it puts you on your toes, lets you know you have enemies, lets you know that you have people that are trying to marginalize you and wipe you out from the political process, but it also is a measure of your success, and that’s how you have to look at it.
All this criticism and stuff used to bother me, but now I know how to look at it — and as I say, to me it’s no coincidence this comes in the midst of Alito being confirmed to the Supreme Court. There’s a potential opening coming up. You have to think averages are such we’ve got another opening within the next two years, and if we get the next nominee, I say, “Bring it on! We’re on a roll.” The next nominee (laughing). In fact, I have a story in the stack here. I can’t think of the term, but it’s a term they’ve used for every nomination that is made by a Republican president since Bork. What is it? It’s akin to, “All right, we’re going to pull out all stops. All right, we’re going to go…” It’s not “nuclear,” but, “We’re going to…”
I’ll find it to give you the term, and I think they’re all gearing up for this, and you’re just seeing an attempt now to form and shape public opinion on the whole Christian conservative crowd on the basis of abortion for a host of reasons, among them the next potential Supreme Court nomination. Look, when Ralph Neas and the boys and these left-wing liberal advocates start practicing their 30-year-old Bork technique against Alito, and against Roberts. All they’re trying to do is be first out of the box to have the first impression the public hears of any Republican nominee, be that that they succeeded in convincing people Bork was: racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, all these things. The fact that they can’t do it anymore has got ’em panicked. They tried the same technique against Alito and Roberts that succeeded against Bork, and they think succeeded against some other Republican nominees — and it failed miserably.
They’re not able to move and bend and shape and flake and form public opinion the way they were, even if they are first out of the box with the description of any nominee, as they were with Alito, because we’re here and you’re there, and we are in far greater numbers than they understand and appreciate, and when they think we’re a bunch of hick, hayseed idiots we have them right where we want them. If they think that we’re stupid and idiotic and backwards and all, we’ve got them right where we want them. You’ve got to look at this in the context of the strategical moves necessary to get what we want and succeed. When the other side is going to misunderestimate you, weeeeeeeell! You’ve got them right where you want them. We need to substitute the term Bork now because it’s been shown that they can Bork anybody anymore, but we Alitoed the elites. The elites can be “Alitoed,” and the elites are “Alitoing” themselves at the same time. Here’s Barbara in St. Louis. I’m glad you called. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hi, Rush, this is Barb in St. Louis.
CALLER: Back in December there was a full-page ad in my local paper for the —
RUSH: That would be the St. Louis Post-Descratch.
CALLER: Actually this is one of the local county papers that —
RUSH: Oh, sorry about that.
CALLER: — you get mailed you that you might not want but they send it to you anyway.
CALLER: Senator Danforth is honorary coalition co-chair for the Missouri Coalition for Life-Saving Cures, and that group, Missouri’s kind of charged right now as far as Republicans who are against embryonic stem cell research and others who are for it, and there’s been discussion for having a cloning ban in our state, and it really didn’t move forward in the last legislature. But what this group is trying to do is get a petition together to place what they call a Stem Cell Initiative on the November 2006 statewide ballot.
RUSH: And is Senator Danforth active in that?
CALLER: Yeah. There’s been commercials on TV.
RUSH: All right, well, that’s pretty much all we need to know.
CALLER: I’m nervous as could be here.
RUSH: Well, no.
CALLER: I think what I’m telling you is true, and I can fax you something if you need to see.
RUSH: You don’t sound nervous.
RUSH: You did a great job of explaining it to us. I appreciate that. Embryonic stem cells, where are you going to get the embryos? (ahem) Hello, Roe vs. Wade? “Oh, no, we can’t have that! You’re going to have to have to have the freedom to freely abort, for embryonic research.” Okay, well, I’m telling you, there’s fear in there. There’s no question that there’s fear in this, but the Supreme Court has caused this to be the issue that it is by taking it outside the realm of the legislative process. We haven’t ever had a nationwide or even state-by-state vote on these things, and so nine people in robes proclaimed X, and the people have revolted in large numbers ever since. That would explain it, because the stem cell debate is just an extension of the pro-choice crowd (ahem!) or the pro-aborts.
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