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RUSH: Let’s start with the audio sound bites here from last night’s Human Rights Campaign forum with the Democrat presidential candidates. The moderator was Melissa Etheridge and she had this exchange with the Democrat frontrunner, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

ETHERIDGE: I remember when your husband was elected president, I actually came out publicly during his inaugural week. It was a very hopeful time for the gay community. For the first time we were being recognized as American citizens. It was wonderful. We were very, very hopeful — and in the years that followed, our hearts were broken. We were thrown under the bus. We were pushed aside. All those great promises that were made to us, were broken.

RUSH: What promises?

ETHERIDGE: A year from now, are we going to be left behind like we were before?

MRS. CLINTON: Well, you know, obviously, Melissa, I don’t see it quite the way that you describe, but I respect your feeling about it. I think that we certainly didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but I believe that there was, uhh, a lot of honest effort going on by the president, the vice president and the rest of us who were trying to keep the, uh, the momentum going.

RUSH: What are we talking about here? Does anybody have the slightest clue? I don’t. I don’t know what promises were made. What promises does Melissa Etheridge remember Bill Clinton having made, and when did they get thrown under the bus for what? For what? You can say ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ but I don’t think she’s talking about that. Of course there’s Hillary (mumbling), ‘Well, uh, uh, there…there could have been a lot more done.’ These people had eight years to do all this stuff, and they didn’t get it done. (sigh) You know, we were talking the other day when we had the questions at the AFL-CIO forum at Soldier Field and all these union guys parade up there to the microphone and started asking their questions. They’ve been voting Democrat for as long as they’ve been alive. Their lives are miserable. Their future is bleak. They want to know, ‘What’s wrong with America?’ and what’s the president going to do to fix it, and yet they keep voting for them! It’s like battered wife syndrome. People don’t understand the Battered Women Syndrome. The women just hang around even though they get abused. Nobody can understand it. I mean, there are psychological explanations for it. Battered Liberal Syndrome! For crying out loud, the liberals in this country are battered by the Democrats for all these years and they just keep…going…back to them. Here’s another example. Melissa Etheridge just got thrown under the bus. The one group they gave all their money to, the Democrats, couldn’t trust them and the promises didn’t get delivered. What are they going to do? They’re going to go back and vote for them all over again! Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result, when a different result is impossible. Etheridge says to Hillary — this next answer, Get this. Melissa Etheridge said: ‘Why not be the leader now?’

MRS. CLINTON: Well, I think… I think I am a… I — I think I am a leader now. If I were sitting where you’re sitting —

RUSH: Wait a minute! You think? You think you are a leader. Cue that back up to the top. ‘Well I think… I think I am a leader now.’ I tell you what, this question really put ’em off. I know what’s happening here, folks. They are duty-bound to go out and address this group, and they’re duty-bound to go out there and pander to them and say whatever. But they gotta be really, really, really careful because this thing is on television. They have to be real careful how they pander here, and so Hillary is back on her heels here because she’s being very, very defensive — because this thing is being televised, plus you don’t want to anger this bunch. There was a story the other day and I forget the source of the story. I had it in the stack. I didn’t get a chance to get to it. It was that the endorsement of political figures by gay and lesbian groups and individuals, has no impact on the American population at large in terms of how they’re going to vote. This is about fund-raising here and the Democrats, they have to be very careful talking about gay marriage here. They know what the mood of the country is on that. So here’s her answer here to the question, ‘Why not be the leader now?’

MRS. CLINTON: Well, I think… I think I am a… I — I think I am a leader now. If I were sitting where you’re sitting with all you have…gone through in the last 14 years, ummm, I’m sure I would feel exactly the same way, because, you know, not only did you bravely come out, but you’ve had health challenges and so much else, and so time can’t go by slowly. You want things to move as quickly as possible, which I… you know, understand and, um, wish could happen as well.

RUSH: Whew! Man, that was bold, folks! That was just bold. That is Mrs. Clinton at her boldest best, wasn’t it? You know, Democrats say they want openly gay people in the military and they want to open up all these doors and so forth. How about an openly gay running-mate? How about that? It seems to me that these Democrat candidates need to be put to the test. The military says openly gay people in Iraq would be disruptive. The same can’t be said of a gay running-mate, can it? If gays are no different in terms of civil rights than blacks, why won’t a gay candidate commit run on the ticket? That would be real leadership. We have the first female. We have the first black, here. Where is the first gay if they’re really serious?


RUSH: All right, back to the Human Rights Campaign forum in Los Angeles with the Democrat presidential candidates. I have to go out there this afternoon. I’m going to be in Los Angeles for the weekend. The timing worked out here. Melissa Etheridge says to candidate Bill Richardson, ‘Do you think homosexuality is a choice or is it biological?’

RICHARDSON: It’s a choice.

ETHERIDGE: I don’t know if you understand the question. Do you think a homosexual is born that way, or do you think that around seventh grade we go, ‘Oooh, I want to be gay’?

RICHARDSON: I’m not a scientist. I don’t see this as an issue of science or definition. I see gays and lesbians as people, as a matter of human decency.

ETHERIDGE: It’s hard when you are a citizen of a country that tells you that you are making a choice, when you were born that way and your creator made you that way, and there’s a document that was written 200 years ago that says you are entitled to certain rights that you are not given. How can there be anything other than absolutely equal rights for homosexuals?

RICHARDSON: Well, that’s always been my view, as I said.

This is a Melissa Etheridge forum. The Democrat candidates were there as just a bunch of pawns. Did you catch the way this began? ‘Do you think homosexuality is a choice or is it biological?’ Richardson said it’s a choice. Etheridge says, ‘I don’t think you understand the question.’ Why did you ask it? Is that your final answer? Why did you ask the question then? There’s obviously only one answer to that question. She gave him a chance to slither back into it. And he was lost. He had no clue. Some people are good panderers and some are not. Now, Etheridge and the Breck Girl have this exchange.

ETHERIDGE: I have heard that you have said in the past that you feel uncomfortable around gay people. Are you okay right now? (LAUGHTER) It’s okay.

CARLSON: He’s very calm.

EDWARDS: I’m perfectly comfortable. It’s not true. It is not true.

ETHERIDGE: Okay, I take that back. I apologize.

EDWARDS: No. I know where it came from. It came from a political consultant, and he’s just wrong. And Elizabeth and I were both there, and both of us have said he’s wrong.

RUSH: Well lets go back. Lets review what Mrs. Edwards recollection of the Shrum incident is. In Shrums book, he writes that: ‘More troubling was an exchange we had one afternoon as we were throwing around questions and answers in his law firm’s conference room. ‘What is your position, Mr. Edwards, on gay rights?’ I asked. ‘I’m not comfortable around those people,’ was how he began his answer. You were there, supposedly at that conversation. What happened?’

ELIZABETH EDWARDS: I believe that Bob Shrum brought up the issues of gays and lesbians. And John said, ‘You know, I come from a small southern town, Baptist. As far as I know, I don’t know, this is,’ he said, ‘honestly an abstract issue for me, because he said, you know, I don’t really know as far as I know, know any gay people. So sort of talk to me about it.’ And I said, ‘Well, actually, you do.’ And I referred to a friend of mine from English graduate school and how then John and I had been out for the evening, I saw this old friend from English graduate school — this is when we were still in law school — and I went over and spoke to him and I knew that he was gay. And I said, you know, ‘I’m engaged, and there’s the fellow over there I’m engaged to.’ And he said, ‘Oh, he’s awfully cute. I might snake him if he wasn’t with you.’ And I told John that, and this is where he used the word ‘uncomfortable.’ He said, ‘That made me feel uncomfortable.’ So Bob correctly remembers the word ‘uncomfortable,’ but incorrectly remembers the circumstances in which he said it. I mean, all of us feel uncomfortable at someone trying to snake us in the presence of our fiancee, and that made him feel uncomfortable. John talked about that. So he remembers it slightly, but he remembers it incorrectly. I remember things in quite good detail from years ago. And I remember this conversation very clearly. And I have talked to John about that, and he does recall exactly the same thing.

RUSH: Right. I talked to John and we got our talking points straight. He sees it that way too. It’s the official family position on this. So she has to explain there why the potential snaking made John Edwards uncomfortable. So Edwards then shows how tough he is. It’s time to take the obligatory shot at Ann Coulter. Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post says: ‘Senator Edwards, when you were the vice presidential nominee in 2004, many gays and lesbians felt that they were being used as a scare tactic by the right wing and the Republican party and that the Democrats didn’t do anything to defend them. Why should the gay community think that it will be defended this time by you?’

EDWARDS: Melissa mentioned my wife Elizabeth — I was very proud of Elizabeth for taking Ann Coulter on, and taking her on head-on. If you stand quietly by and let it happen, what happens is it takes hold. And it takes hold, and then people begin to believe it’s okay. It’s okay to use the kind of language that Ann Coulter used. It’s okay for the Republicans in their politics to divide America and use hate-mongering to separate us.

RUSH: Is this as painful for you people listening to as it is for me? I mean, this is pathetic! This is literally pathetic. This is pure pandering. These people haven’t got the guts or the courage to say what they think in front of this group because all it’s about here is money. They are big donors to the Democrat Party and this is what they’ve got to do to get it. They’ve got to go out there and make all these promises, but these poor people in the gay community out there in this forum will end up being like the poor people in Chicago at Soldier Field, a bunch of batter libs feeling sold out, left out, disappointed, once again when it is all said and done. There is one guy out there, ladies and gentlemen. There is one guy who is willing to speak his mind about homosexuality. That’s the former Senator Mike Gravel. He was not asked the question about Sparta yesterday. He was asked how he convinces his generation of straight white men on gay issues.

GRAVEL: My generation — most of them are wrong, dead wrong. (LAUGHTER) When I was a kid, there was a lot of homophobia around. I can recall when the gay issue was 55 percent opposed, 40 percent for, and lo and behold, now if you’re talking about the gay issue in general, it’s probably 55, almost 59 percent for, and the rest are in the dustbin of history. The same thing’s going to happen with the marriage issue. I’ll tell you. I’ll make you a promise. Five years from now the marriage issue will be a non-issue in the presidential campaign. Just that simple.

RUSH: So he’s out there. He’s willing to tell them what he thinks. He’s not pandering around. He doesn’t care who in the general population he offends with that because he knows he’s not going to get the nomination. Let’s give you another example of the boldness and the cast it all aside and proceed down the fork in the road taking both pathways. Mike Gravel in New Hampshire at a gay pride event.

GRAVEL: Do you know something? Clinton was dead wrong, dead wrong on that issue. It’s ridiculous. He was trying to be mousey and in the middle. When Clinton got to be President, well, the first he’s doing is standing on two legs, waffling back and forth, oh, don’t tell us you’re gay. What are you talking about? If you had any knowledge of history, ancient history, in Sparta they encouraged homosexuality because they fight for the people they love. And if it’s your partner and you love them, you’re prepared to die for them, and that’s the same ethic you see in the military today. It’s not the country. It’s my partner. Go see the movies on war, and it’s always the person next to me who is in my foxhole with me. Well, I got to tell you, extend that a little further and you’ll see why the Spartans trained their people to be homosexuals, because they were better fighters.

(Parody – Mike Gravel’s Army of Tomorrow)

RUSH: It’s open line Friday on the Rush Limbaugh program. I’ve got one more sound bite. This is from the aftermath, the post show wrap-up last night after the Logo network’s forum, the human rights campaign and the Democrat candidates. This is comedian and actor Alec Mapa giving his analysis of the performances last night of the Democrat presidential candidates.

MAPA: Dennis Kucinich seemed like a magical person, like he was born in a flower, and, you know, came to life. He was like being in the presence of Santa Claus. Bill Richardson seemed like Eeyore, you know, from Winnie the Pooh, kind of like, ‘Well you guys, it’s the best I can do.’ Edwards kind of came across as a little patronizing to me. Obama looked me right in the eyes, shook my hand and told me that he loved me. So on a personal note, you know, I’m going to be having dreams. But the one who really changed the temperature in the room tonight was Hillary. It felt like she was one of us. It felt like, I don’t know, the other ones kind of felt like, there were other candidates that came in like, ‘Hi gay folks, how are ya? I’m safe to be here,’ you know.

RUSH: (Laughing.)

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