RUSH: The president gave a five-minute address, a little speech in the White House this morning about 11:30 on the fourth anniversary of the commencement of hostilities in Iraq. (White House Page) He asked for patience and said this was going to continue to take time. There’s far more to be optimistic and upbeat about than he cited. Let’s go to the audio. We’ll comment as it unfolds. Here’s the president addressing the nation, a portion of his remarks. We have two sound bites.
THE PRESIDENT: Members of Congress are now considering an emergency war spending bill. They have a responsibility to ensure that this bill provides the funds and the flexibility that our troops need to accomplish their mission. They have a responsibility to pass a clean bill that does not use funding for our troops as leverage to get special interest spending for their districts, and they have a responsibility to get this bill to my desk without strings and without delay. It can be tempting to look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude our best option is to pack up and go home. That may be satisfying in the short run, but I believe the consequences for American security will be devastating.
RUSH: Now, there’s nothing wrong with this. Please hear me, there’s nothing wrong with this in and of itself, but it still is — attitudinally, tonally — in response to criticism. It’s still allowing critics to define the terms on which comments about the Iraq war are made. There are all kinds of upbeat, positive assessments that could be spoken of in an upbeat, positive way. You’ve seen stories left and right that the surge is working. General Petraeus is doing a great job. We still don’t have any sight of Mookie al-Sadr. He’s still holed up in Iran. The neighborhoods in Baghdad are quieter than they have ever been. You could bullhorn this, and you could talk about how this is working and so forth in a very upbeat and positive way rather than respond to it within the context of the critics and what they are saying.
He talked about also wanting a clean bill to fund the troops. You may be wondering what he’s talking about. Well, the Democrats have a price for that. The Democrats have a price for continuing to fund the troops in the Iraq war. Now, the president has requested a hundred billion dollars for this, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. He wants an additional three billion to replenish the Disaster Relief Fund and devolve that into a logrolling extravaganza of $124.6 billion. Now, the Democrats want that. Here’s what’s in this bill that the president does not want and what he’s referring to. ‘There’s $25 million for spinach, designed to attract the vote of Sam Farr, a California farm-region liberal. Perhaps spinach growers who lost business due to last year’s E. coli scare need this taxpayer bailout, but it won’t intimidate the Taliban unless Mr. Farr plans to draft Popeye,’ says the Wall Street Journal.
Other parts of this bill: ‘$20 million to restore farmland damaged by freezing temperatures,’ during global warming, ‘and $1.48 billion for livestock farmers. And don’t forget the $74 million ‘to ensure proper storage for peanuts,’ an urgent national-security need. This happens to be about the same amount that House Democrats propose to increase spending for operations of the Army Reserve.’ This is the bill the president’s talking about that’s being cluttered, but the way to look at this is: this is the price the Democrats are exacting for their support.
You might say, ‘So what, Rush? This is politics as usual.’
Well, the so-what is this isn’t what they said they were going to do. They said they were going to have an open and clean government, get rid of all these earmarks, get rid of all the profligate spending, and balance the budget. But no congressman that ever says that means it. Very few who say that, mean it. You look at the total of the federal budget every year and just cite for me one year where it’s gone down. It hasn’t. So there’s a veto pen waiting for this, perhaps. That’d be interesting to see. Here’s the next Bush bite that we have.
THE PRESIDENT: Four years after this war began, the fight is difficult. But it can be one won. It will be won if we have the courage and resolve to see it through. I’m grateful to our servicemen and women for all they’ve done, for the honor they’ve brought to the uniform and their country. I’m grateful to our military families and for all the sacrifices they have made for our country. We also hold in our hearts the good men and women who have given their lives in this struggle. We pray for the loved ones they have left behind. The United States military is the most capable and courageous fighting force in the world, and whatever our differences in Washington, our troops and their families deserve the appreciation and the support of our entire nation.
RUSH: Once again, this is a response to the critics. You could say it can be won, but you could also say we are in the process of making very good and noticeable progress! The thing about this is, the American people want to win this. If they didn’t, the Democrats would succeed in de-funding it. The American people want this won. They want the US military victorious. George Patton said it: ‘Americans hate a loser,’ especially when it’s them, when it’s their country. Mark my words: if there were any part of that that were not true, the Democrats wouldn’t have any trouble passing any of these resolutions. They would be resolutions with teeth, and they would be able to de-fund it. If that’s where the actual support of the American people was, the Democrats would have confidence to move forward. But they don’t. They’re nothing but rhetoric.