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RUSH: I have a couple stories here basically illustrating the incompetence on the Democrat side. Actually, it’s pretty good news for our side as well.

First, in the New York Times: ‘Muscle Flexing in Senate: G.O.P. Defends Strategy’ — Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, operates with near-robotic efficiency when it comes to negotiating budget figures in public, consistently refusing to answer questions that would ever commit him to a specific number at the bargaining table. So it was more than a little telling when Mr. McConnell laid down his mark in the current budget fight on Tuesday, informing the Capitol Hill press corps that he was ready to offer Democrats a deal, $70 billion in war financing with no strings attached and a total budget identical to President Bush’s proposal. In other words, the Republicans should get virtually everything they want. And he was not kidding.’

The New York Times is outraged by this, and so is Tom Brokaw, by the way, because Tom Brokaw is out there saying, ‘I don’t care whether the idea is liberal or conservative, we just gotta get a solution.’ Well, we all care whether the idea is solved with liberalism or conservatism. And so McConnell, why is he doing this? Because Harry Reid is lifeless, Harry Reid is pathetic. Harry Reid can’t get anything done in the Senate. They have lost their AMT battle. They’ve lost every Iraq resolution. They haven’t been able to accomplish anything of any significance. So Mitch is just, ‘Take it on our terms or don’t take it.’

‘Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, who leads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, insists that the more Republicans block Democrats in Congress, the more seats Democrats will win next year. Republicans have to defend 23 Senate seats next year, nearly twice as many as Democrats, who have 12 to defend. The Republicans, however, say their strategy will win. ‘I think we are being consistent here against higher taxes, consistently against greater regulation, consistently against creating new causes of action in bill after bill after bill,’ Mr. McConnell said. ‘It’s a positive message of our vision of America. We have a pretty good sense that the public has figured out they are not too happy with this new Congress,” and he is exactly right. What he’s basically doing, he’s telling Reid that Republicans should get everything they want, and he’s not kidding.

In essence, Mitch McConnell is insisting on a conservative outcome in this budget battle, and he is focusing on the right things. Congress’ approval rating is at 22%. Bush is up to 37%. Congress is still at 22%, sometimes down to 20%, sometimes up to 24%. If Schumer thinks that these guys on the Democrat side are forging a path to massive victories in November, he’s kidding himself. So the Democrats then suggested cutting some home-state projects, the earmarks. McConnell said it was up to the Democrats to work things out whether on spending or any other measure in a way that Republicans would accept. And here’s why. He knows Reid needs 60 votes and he’s not going to get ’em. He needs 60 votes on any piece of legislation, and he’s not going to get ’em. Let’s remember, folks, it was a Republican Congress that kept Clinton’s spending in check and helped create that paper surplus. This has all been lost to history during Bush’s two terms. But now it’s back. I mean the spending restraints were lost, but now they’re back.

Now let’s go to the San Francisco Chronicle: ‘GOP Not Budging and Democrats Face Need to Cut Spending.’ (crying) This is a crybaby piece. ‘Democratic leaders say their only option is to slash $11 billion from their $522 billion omnibus spending bill — which could mean cuts to cancer research, homeland security grants, community policing and education programs — as well as lawmakers’ pet projects. ‘If we’re going to lose, we might as well lose with clarity so that people understand who is responsible for those inadequate investments,’ House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey.’ I’m telling you, these Democrats do not get it. Spending, taxes, taxes, taxes, immigration. ‘Congressional scholar Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution said Democrats had little leverage from the start,’ now it’s time to make excuses for them, see, ‘– little leverage from the start because of the party’s narrow majority in Congress and because House Republicans agreed to stay united behind Bush’s veto threats. The White House has encouraged the battle with Democrats over spending, Mann said. ‘The amounts of money are irrelevant to the president. For him, this is a purely symbolic battle designed to shore up a badly damaged reputation for ‘responsible’ spending,’ he said. Democrats also made a tactical error–‘ Really, Democrats made a mistake? Why, I didn’t think they were capable of making a mistake. I thought Democrats were omnipotent and never wrong.

‘Democrats also made a tactical error in waiting until the end of the year to provoke the budget showdown with the White House. Bush has vetoed only one spending bill passed by Congress — the Labor-HHS bill last month – and signed only one, funding the Defense Department. ‘This would have been totally different if (the Democrats) had got some of their bills passed and vetoed,’ said Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group. ‘You get a handful of bills, five or six bills, vetoed and you cast the president as an obstructionist. Now they are going to have to do what the president says. Their choice is to cave in or to do a (continuing resolution).” And they are going to cave, like they have been caving since they took power.

Then The Politico today: ”Harry Reid Finds Real Power Elusive’ — Harry Reid’s title is impressive. But his power is a mirage,’ writes Jim VandeHei and John Harris, The Politico. ‘The majority leader doesn’t really run the Senate. With a one-member cushion, he can at best see the possibilities of real power and at worst realize how illusory it really is. … The problem for Reid is this: He has not always been the most artful climber. He has stumbled a few times on the Senate floor, and on one prominent occasion he landed with his foot in his mouth.’ His power is a mirage. They write that Dingy Harry ‘can be impulsive, including in public settings. He is quick to pop off, including declaring earlier this year that the Iraq war was effectively lost. ‘I wish I hadn’t used the word ‘lost,” Reid told Politico.’ I’ll bet he wishes he hadn’t used the word ‘lost,’ but that’s only because it’s working, not because he didn’t mean it. He meant it, and he wanted it to end up that way.


RUSH: Matt, I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the program.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. Matt in Nashville, longtime listener, first-time caller.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: I always wanted to say that. I’m nervous to be talking to the leader of the free world.

RUSH: Well (laughing) you don’t sound it.

CALLER: Well, I was calling because I found it interesting when you were talking about the Harry Reid article, that the media’s slant is always about how Harry Reid’s hands are tied and he doesn’t have the authority to do the things, and that’s kind of why America is unhappy with Congress. But before the election in ’06, it was, you know, the Republicans working within the same constraint, needing 60 votes to get anything done, but you didn’t get the same slant. You got —

RUSH: Of course not! You know this. The narrative or template of the Drive-By Media when it comes to Democrats is that power is their birthright, and that when they have power, they should be able to — by fiat, just executive fiat — do whatever they want to do. And when they’re interrupted, it’s never their fault; it’s never their incompetence. It’s just a shame. It’s so sad for the country. It’s so sad for Harry Reid. He’s doing his best, but he has such slim majorities, and the Republicans are so unforgiving, and they’re so intractable, that Reid just can’t get anything done. It’s the same thing with Hillary and Bill Clinton. If you look at the stories every day in the Drive-By Media campaign news, it’s all oriented on what this Democrat has to do to win or that Democrat has to do to win. The Republican stories are on how goofy and stupid and dangerous they all are.

CALLER: Yeah, well, I wanted to take note of it before you did so I could take credit for it.

RUSH: (laughing)

CALLER: I wanted to say hi to my mom and dad down in Fort Myers, Florida. You’re doing a great job. Thanks, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you very much. I appreciate that, Matt. Thank you for calling.

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