RUSH: There’s a full court press on now to wear down the public into believing that impeachment is proper of the president, and as I reminded you in the first hour of the program, I predicted back before the elections of 2004, if Bush were to win, the Democrats would head down this road, at least talking about impeachment and censure and so forth. The New York Times today, ‘Just What the Founders Feared: An Imperial President Goes to War.’ It’s a piece by Adam Cohen. ‘The nation is heading toward a constitutional showdown over the Iraq war. Congress is moving closer to passing a bill to limit or end the war, but President Bush insists Congress doesn’t have the power to do it.’ This piece indicates that Congress does and that the president is being defiant and, as such, censure or impeachment is certainly understood, may be called for. Here’s the last paragraph. ‘Members of Congress should not be intimidated into thinking that they are overstepping their constitutional bounds. If the founders were looking on now, it is not Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who would strike them as out of line, but George W. Bush, who would seem less like a president than a king.’ Which takes us to Meet the Press yesterday. Tim Russert talking to Senator Russ Feingold, and Russert says, ‘President Bush determined to continue the war in Iraq, he’s made it very clear, is there anything Democrats can do to get him to pay attention or to hold him accountable in their minds?’
FEINGOLD: Well, I’m shocked by the administration, in particular the president’s response to the November election. Usually when presidents are repudiated in elections, they say, ‘Well, maybe I ought to reassess.’ Instead he did just the opposite. He did this surge which went contrary to the will of the American people —
RUSH: Stop it right there. This is a hoax, it is something they know is not true, although they may internally believe it. The election results last November were not about getting out of Iraq. The Democrats didn’t run on that. They claimed that as a mandate after the election. Besides, even if it were, so what? The president is the commander-in-chief. He was not on the ballot. The Democrats love to run around and say they listen to the votes of the American people. Do you remember back when the Democrats were the minority in the US Senate, and they kept harping and harping and harping about the rights of the minority? Now that the Republicans are in the minority and are skunking them in their efforts to get us out of Iraq, they’re complaining about the 60-vote rule, which is nothing new, either. But to characterize the election results not being followed by the president, who wasn’t on the ballot, and then to — well, here, let’s listen to the rest of the bite, see what he says.
FEINGOLD: — something serious in terms of accountability, and that’s why I will be shortly introducing a censure resolution of the president and the administration; one on their getting us into war in Iraq and their failure to adequately prepare our military, and the misleading statements that have continued throughout the war in Iraq; and the second, on this administration’s outrageous attack on the rule of law, all the way from the illegal terrorist surveillance program to their attitude about torture, which we heard a little bit about today on this show. This administration has assaulted the Constitution.
RUSH: They just aren’t going to give up on this. This is nothing new. They’ve been saying this kind of stuff, censure is just the next step, his proposal here in harassing the president. But they’re getting serious about it now, and I predicted that they would. Now, interesting, two other stories on this. Washington Post on Saturday, ‘Fight over documents may favor Bush, experts say.’ This is the firings of the eight US attorneys. And then the Los Angeles Times says in a story of the primer on executive privilege, ‘As Tuesday’s deadline nears for former White House counsel Harriet Miers to comply with the house subpoena…’ this is July 16th, by the way, ‘… a look at the issues and how it might play out.’ The conclusion here from the experts the LA Times talked to is that the scales tip in favor of Congress. So what do we have? I think what’s happening here, the Democrats are just making up trouble and trying to cause chaos and create angst in as many people as possible, but this serves to provide a valuable lesson in Drive-By-ism and experts, which we talked about a little last week.
On Saturday, the Washington Post runs this headline: ‘Fight over Democrats may favor Bush, experts say.’ They note in that story, by the way, that the Clinton administration’s own arguments will bolster Bush administration efforts not to surrender documents to Congress about the firings of US attorneys. But last week in the LA Times, they had, as I pointed out, experts seem to believe the scales tip in favor of Congress. So what can we learn between these two little Drive-By gems? It is to be very, very careful when journalists start citing experts. It all depends on which experts one chooses to cite on any issue, be it global warming or anything else. At any rate, I look at the clock, it’s time to take an EIB profit center time-out. So we’ll do that.
If you want to read the definitive piece on all this, by the way, what Feingold’s pursuing here, the censure and contempt, Congress, this sort of thing, John Yoo has a piece at OpinionJournal.com today, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial site, and it is the best that you will read. Yoo is smart, and he’s got this down. He basically says that the Democrats’ attack on executive privilege shows a blatant disregard for the Constitution. He points out the differences here between the executive privilege claims during the Clinton years and this fight, the issues are light years apart. Clinton was fighting claims of sexual harassment brought by Paula Jones, an independent counsel corruption investigation into Whitewater, and his Lewinsky thing. Clinton asserted executive secrecy to protect his personal affairs. This is legally important because the federal courts of appeals have held that the privilege only applies to communications between the president and his advisors on official government matters. Trying to protect the secrecy of your little flings here with sexual harassment or with Monica Lewinsky comes nowhere near qualifying for executive privilege, whereas the Bush administration’s claims clearly do. The Democrats are asking for detailed records of his conversations with his personal lawyers, which are protected. The Democrats are standing in quicksand on this. But the Drive-Bys can go out and find any number of experts or editorial contributors in the New York Times to suggest that it’s Bush that’s in quicksand, when he’s not.
RUSH: I think the real reason behind this censure proposal that Russ Feingold is talking about, and the real reason behind the trumped-up talk of impeachment here is really based on the polls of Congress. What is it, 86% of the people in this country hate Congress. They do not like the job it’s doing, 86%. Only 14% approve of the job they’re doing. I’m sure the Democrats think the reason that this is happening is because they haven’t succeeded in getting Bush to pull the troops out. That’s not the reason, but I’m sure that’s what they think it is. I don’t care what the polls say the reason is. I will guarantee you it’s not Iraq, not totally. It’s the attitude, it’s the never ending criticism, the constantly negativity, the doom and gloom, and the not getting anything done. So you bring up the impeachment talk, you bring up the censure talk to mask the fact that you haven’t gotten anything done. Do you realize the approval numbers for Congress right now are lower than what the Republicans had going into last November’s elections?
Mr. Snerdley just said the Democrats don’t fear that. I think you may have a point in some way, I know what you mean, they’re arrogant, and they’re condescending. The Drive-By Media, which is a point I made last week, the Drive-Bys continue to do stories, puff pieces on the Democrats and make ’em think if they read their own press that they’re loved and adored and they’re doing great. They know that their approval numbers are lower. Congress is an institution, so they probably don’t take it as personally as a president’s numbers, because the president’s numbers are very personal. Congress’ numbers are institutional. But they are not able to get done what they claim is their mandate, and they can’t get Bush to agree with them, so they know they’re failing here, so they’ve gotta change the subject. Censure and impeachment are, I think, ways to do it in their minds. Two more sound bites here from Feingold and we’ll get to Dingy Harry in the second one. Russert says, ‘Do you think the American people will look at this saying, ‘Here go the Democrats trying to create something sensational by censuring the president rather than trying to solve the problem of Iraq?”
FEINGOLD: Well, there’s a lot of sentiment in the country, even the polls show it, for actually impeaching the president and the vice president. I think that they have committed impeachable offenses with regard to this terrorist surveillance program, making up their own program. What I am proposing is a moderate course, not tying up the Senate and the House with impeachment trial, but simply passing resolution that makes sure that the historical record shows the way they have weakened our country, weakened our country militarily and against Al-Qaeda and weakened our country’s fundamental document, the Constitution. I think that’s a reasonable course and does not get in the way of our normal work. But the American people are outraged at the way they’ve been treated. They are outraged at the dishonesty that they have been subjected to. The American people, we deserve better.
RUSH: This is unbelievable. If he means what he says, he’s made up his own convenient set of lies and is living them as though they’re reality, which is psychopathic. Tell a lie often enough and believe it, torture, the illegal spy program, impeachable offenses? It’s like everything else these people are doing. All right, well, then let’s see something! If the president has really done this, if he’s really violated the Constitution, if he’s violated his oath of office, if he lied to the American people, if he lied to you, if he did all of these things, then censure is zilch. It doesn’t accomplish anything. It’s gutless. It’s just like getting out of Iraq. If you guys on the Democrat side really wanted out of Iraq, there is a simple constitutional way to do it, and that is to de-fund it. You’ve had ample opportunity to do that, but for some reason, despite the American people being so outraged, and having been lied to, the American people, in a blind rage out there at the dishonesty that they’ve been subjected to, why in the world, if that sentiment is as widespread as you believe, Senator Feingold, why can’t you de-fund the war? And then, why can’t you proceed with impeachment? You’re not getting anything done anyway. Proceed with your normal work? What’s your normal work?
Your normal day’s work is harassing the president, harassing the administration, trying to secure defeat in Iraq, trying to demoralize the American people. Well, what better way to do that than go ahead and launch these impeachment proceedings and de-fund the war? You want to really do something, do it! But you’re just engaging in symbolism here, placating who knows who, raising money for your primary campaign in the presidency and the general elections coming up in November of 2008. Do-nothing-good Congress is what this is, but your normal day hasn’t been interrupted and it won’t be interrupted if you go ahead with any of these plans that you’ve got, but you don’t have the guts to really do it.
RUSH: Let’s go back. The Democrats continue to say that the November elections were about getting out of Iraq and that the president needs to be censured or impeached because he’s not listening. He’s not listening to the American people and so the Democrats say, ‘Well, we’re trying to get him out but he won’t listen to us, either,’ and they won’t pass the bills to make it happen. If they had a campaign of issues… Remember, they had slogans. They didn’t run on anything specific, and remember their slogan was ‘Six for ’06.’ Remember that? What were the six? Remember? National security, jobs and wages, energy independence, affordable health care, retirement security, and college access for all. Those were the things they were talking about as a party before last November’s election. Now, the national security talking point was about following the 9/11 Commission and inspecting all cargo and everything. At the timeafter the election, everybody knew that the reason that the Democrats won the Senate was ‘Macaca’ and George Allen, and the reason that the Democrats won the house was Mark Foley! Everybody knew that that’s what turned the election — and, of course, Republican voter dissatisfaction with their own representatives. There was nothing to do with getting out of Iraq in that last election. So now the Democrats are putting forth this myth because that’s what their kook fringe base wants, but they can’t get it done. And they tried the culture of corruption theme, too. That was all part of what they were during the campaign last November. It had nothing to do with getting out of Iraq.
RUSH: Here’s Dingy Harry. He was like on the Today show yesterday. Bob Schieffer said, ‘Your colleague out there, Senator Feingold, said that he wants to introduce a resolution to censure the president for his handling of Iraq and other things. Would you go along with something like that?’
REID: Russ Feingold is one of the real thoughtful members of the Senate. He’s a Rhodes Scholar, Harvard graduate, very brilliant man. And he shows the frustration of the American people, and I’m sure the Senate. The president’s done a lot of things that have been very, very negative. Bruce Fein, a Republican constitutional scholar has said he’s done more things to take away power from the people and the Congress than any president and history and he thinks the president should be punished in that regard. In fact, he goes so far as to say he should be impeached. We have 17 months left in this presidency, 17 months. He’s violated the rights of the Constitution in many different ways; he’s been here as part of a culture of corruption, spying on Americans. Uh, he is… The — the justice department is now a hiss and a byword, and I’m sure Russ Feingold will try to find a way to offer that amendment, but the Republicans won’t let us vote on it. They’ll block it.
RUSH: (Laughing.) ‘Those rascally Republicans, they won’t let us do this! They won’t! (crying) Republican won’t (crying).’ Here’s a guy talking about culture of corruption is attempting to get earmarks back in, in a hidden, under-the-cover-of-darkness matter. This Feingold guy, where have I heard that name other than today? Oh, McCain-Feingold! That was the assault on free speech disguised as campaign finance reform. Of course now that the Democrats are a hundred million dollars ahead of Republicans in fundraising, there’s no problem in the campaign fundraising system at all! No, no, no! It’s flawless. It’s perfect. You know, if anybody deserves to be censured, it’s Feingold. Feingold violated the Constitution. Well, he did, with the authorship of that bill, and then the president signs it and so forth, but if anybody has done damage to free speech and the American people, it’s Feingold because he’s part of McCain-Feingold. He tried to limit what people can say about incumbents during the precious few days before general and primary elections. The censure of the president (interruption)? No, of course it doesn’t. If… (interruption) Snerdley said, ‘Does this have much of an audience beyond…?’ (interruption) Wait a minute. Are you suggesting I am boring the audience talking about this stuff today? (interruption) Are you telling me that you think that I am boring the audience here by…?
When you ask me if this has much of an audience beyond these guys…? (interruption) It doesn’t not resonate with people! The people don’t want the president censured. They don’t want him impeached. If they did, Dingy Harry would move it, and he would have the votes for it. It’s just like the American people do not want to lose in Iraq. If they did, Dingy Harry would move it and he would get the votes in a vast majority. He could beat the 60-vote rule; he would have a veto proof resolution, and he could de-fund the war. What these guys are doing does not have much of an audience beyond the Drive-By Media, which is playing it up all over the place, and their kook fringe base. That’s why I’m spending time talking about this, because the Drive-Bys are pummeling it out there, and they’re getting it out in as many people’s heads as they can. It’s creating an overall, or adding to what’s already been created as an overall feeling of angst and chaos and unsettledness in a country that’s actually rolling along pretty well. They’re just trying to create this attitude and I’m trying to fight that with it. But, no, I don’t think it has much of an audience beyond their own voices, in terms of the American people. One of the reasons is me.