RUSH: You know, I feel for the Kennedy family, I really do. Senator Kennedy is dying of the same type of brain tumor that just claimed Bob Novak. However, Senator Kennedy is doing something here that I don’t think is excused by his illness. They want to keep their 60 votes in the Senate for health care and a number of other things and Senator Kennedy is worried about a five-month-long vacancy he’ll leave after his death that will deprive Democrats of the 60 votes and filibuster-proof Senate. So Senator Kennedy is moving to change the very law on Senate appointments that he himself backed five years ago. Now, Kennedy watchers believe that Senator Kennedy is in his last days, having missed his sister’s funeral this month and also the White House ceremony giving him the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Now, here’s the AP story. I’ve got three things here. It’s an AP story highlighting the Kennedy scheme, and it is from state-controlled Associated Press.
‘A cancer-stricken Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has written a poignant letter to Massachusetts leaders asking that they change state law to allow a speedy replacement of him in Congress. The note has been sent to Gov. Deval Patrick and the state’s Senate president and House speaker while Congress considers an overhaul of the nation’s health care system, a life cause of Kennedy’s. The letter acknowledges the state changed its succession law in 2004,’ at the behest of Senator Kennedy ‘to require a special election within five months to fill any vacancy,’ and that was because they all assumed that Lurch, Senator Kerry, who, by the way, served in Vietnam, would of course emerge triumphant from the 2004 presidential race, so they wanted a quick special election within five months to fill his vacancy. Now, they couldn’t specify it to Lurch, but that’s what they had in my mind. ‘At the time, legislative Democrats — with a wide majority in both chambers — were concerned because then-Republican Gov. Mitt Romney had the power to directly fill any vacancy created as Democratic Sen. John Kerry ran for president.’ If he won, Romney would get the appointment.
So Kennedy said, well, we got a Republican governor, we can’t do this, we need a special election within five months, and they did it. So from 2004 to the present, a special election is now the law in Massachusetts to fill any vacancy. In this case the upcoming vacancy that everybody here is obviously discussing with this AP story involving Senator Kennedy. Today’s political diary, the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, notes that ‘Mr. Kennedy’s current request ‘puts lawmakers in a delicate position.’ They ‘are nervous about being accused of engineering a self-serving change to help their party’ just a few years after ramming through a similar self-serving change.’ Why are they nervous? They’re Democrats, it’s Boston, it’s Massachusetts, and nobody can stop ’em anyway. And they have shown that shameless political maneuvering is not something they’re worried about now, or ever, so why worry about it now?
Now, the Globe says that they should be hesitant and ‘it’s sad to see Senator Kennedy sign on to such an obvious ploy. Under the law he now proposes, he would likely not have become a US Senator in 1962, after his brother became president. At the time, Ted Kennedy was too young to be appointed to JFK’s seat. A faithful Kennedy ally was appointed by the state’s Democratic governor for two years as a stand-in until Ted was old enough to run and win in 1962. Under the changes Mr. Kennedy now wants, a special election would instead have been held in early 1961 — an election he would not have been eligible to run in — and he likely would have faced a formidable incumbent if he chose to run as a novice when the seat next came up in November 1962.’ So, it’s just typical shameless politics. I have to wonder. I shouldn’t do this. I really shouldn’t say this. Every time I say to myself I shouldn’t say it, it actually means, fire both barrels. But you read the story, and there are quotes here from Kennedy family aides.
Now, I come from a prominent family, and we don’t have any aides. I mean if somebody from the family’s going to speak, somebody speaks. Limbaugh family aides. I think I’m going to go out and appoint some just to have Limbaugh family aides. You want to do it, Brian? Okay, you can be the family aide that can speak for the family. As brazen as this is, I mean it was just five years ago they changed the law to make sure a Republican governor could not appoint a Republican to place Lurch if Lurch happened to win the presidency. Five years later, want to scrub that since they’ve got a Democrat governor in there now, they want to go back to the way it was. Senator Kennedy did not appear at his sister’s funeral, Eunice Shriver. He didn’t show up to win the National Medal of Freedom presented by the White House. But he’s got time to sit down and write down a poignant letter. Maybe he did. Maybe he dictated it. Maybe family aides wrote it, but this is purely political, and note that the focus here is, this is Senator Kennedy’s life cause, national health care. It’s obvious that the untimely death of Senator Kennedy here is seen by some as an opportunity for political maneuvering.
Here’s the Boston Globe story, by the way, of June 11, 2004. It was a personal appeal Ted Kennedy made to pass the vacancy law that he now wants reversed. ‘Prodded by a personal appeal from Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democratic legislative leaders have agreed to take up a stalled bill creating a special election process to replace US Senator John F. Kerry if he wins the presidency.’ This is all because Mitt Romney was the governor at the time and would not have appointed a Democrat, more than likely. And here is a full version of this story in the WallStreetJournal.com: ”The Kennedy Rule: No GOP Senators Allowed’ — Diagnosed last year with the same type of brain tumor that columnist Bob Novak succumbed to this week, Senator Ted Kennedy did not attend the funeral of his sister Eunice this month or the White House ceremony honoring him with the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Another sign that Senator Kennedy may not be returning to Washington for Senate business is today’s interview with the Boston Globe. Mr. Kennedy urges his state’s governor and legislature to amend a 2004 law that set up a special election in the event of a US Senate vacancy.
‘Mr. Kennedy tells the Globe he’s concerned that the state could lack two working senators for as long as five months under current law. With Democrats needing every vote to pass Senator Kennedy’s health care plan, the time lag in filling a vacancy could be crucial. Senator Kennedy went so far as to write a letter to state legislative leaders asking them to grant Governor Deval Patrick authority to appoint a temporary placeholder to the seat until a special election can be held. Although Senator Kennedy emphasized that he wanted Governor Patrick to appoint someone who would not seek to retain the office in a special election, his suggestion will still meet resistance. As it should.’ This is John Fund, by the way, in the Wall Street Journal.
I remember the grief that I took. I remember the grief that I took when I accurately forecast that the declining health of Senator Kennedy would be used as emotional tug to secure votes from all over the United States Senate. I even went so far as to say they would name the health care bill after him. Who could then vote against that? Public pressure, the emotional sentimental pressure would be overpowering. I remember the grief I caught, ‘How could Limbaugh? Just so unfeeling, does the man have no shame whatsoever?’ Now here the eventual death of Senator Kennedy is being used by Democrats to once again make sure that his death does not cause a loss of 60 votes in the Senate, all so this monstrosity of a debacle, national health care, could be passed.
RUSH: We have an announcement from the Limbaugh family. Limbaugh aide Brian Glicklich is here with the announcement. You know how to talk into the microphone?
GLICKLICH: I’ll try.
RUSH: We just hired him. I didn’t even give him an interview. Let’s see how this goes.
GLICKLICH: I’m still a little new.
RUSH: Get a little closer to the microphone.
GLICKLICH: I’m getting right up close. ‘Southeast Missouri Hospital announced that Debbie Linnes, former president and CEO at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., will be the new president and CEO of Southeast [Memorial] Hospital.’
RUSH: Southeast MISSOURI Hospital, aide, and it’s in Cape Girardeau. You gotta tell them that.
GLICKLICH: Cape Girardeau, Southeast Missouri Hospital. ‘Linnes will replace James Wente, who is stepping down after more than 34 years at the hospital, including 18 years in the top job. During his tenure, Wente helped establish a nursing college, create the region’s first heart and cancer treatment center and nearly doubled total employment at the hospital.’
RUSH: Get to the Limbaugh stuff.
GLICKLICH: Ah. ‘The first action Linnes took as president and CEO was to name James P. Limbaugh the hospital’s executive vice president of planning and business development. Limbaugh has been the chief operating officer at Montgomery Bank since 2000. Limbaugh had to give up his chairmanship on the hospital’s board of trustees, a position which first vice president Al Spradling III will assume. Limbaugh was a member of the board for 15 years.’
RUSH: Very well. See, we have an aide here, too: Brian Glicklich with the announcement that my cousin Jim’s got some posh hospital appointment here at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau. Thanks, Brian, very well done. I mean, that’s off the cuff. Five seconds before he read it I said, ‘Get in here, ’cause I just saw the story.’ It’s a hell of a time to get the job, too. Yeah. When you are an aide you are not a flunky and not a flack. When you’re an aide you actually help the family do stuff. When you’re a flak, you just tell people what the family wants people to know to be true or not true. But in this case it was all true.
RUSH: I have received several e-mails asking if my cousin, Jim Limbaugh, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri (who has been named the Executive Vice President of Planning and Business Development in Southeast Missouri Hospital) will actually have to show up because Michelle Obama did not have to show up for her hospital job, and so people want to know if my cousin will have to show up for his. Folks, we are Limbaughs. We work. We show up. I am insulted at the question. This is not a patronage job. I mean, nobody in the family’s going to benefit from this. We’re still going to have doctors charge us 30 grand to take our feet off if we’ve got diabetes. Nothing’s going to change. No special favors here. I wanted to get that out of the way.