RUSH: How am I going to pull what off, Snerdley? You mean discussing the passing of the lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy? And we were his prey. Well, I tell you, I think the best way to deal with this is I just have to share with you what I heard on NBC, the Today Show — Brian, turn my mike up a bit now. Testing, one, two — level check, level check. That’s good.
I actually heard Chris Matthews say that Ted Kennedy had turned the ball over to Barack Obama. He said, ‘Barack Obama is the last Kennedy brother.’ I’m beginning to think Chris Matthews is the last Marx Brother. There was Harpo, Zeppo, Groucho, Gummo, Chico and now Chrisso. Let’s just go to the audio. You know, there are a lot of people saying, ‘A gentleman has passed away,’ and we’re going to have some serious things to say about this as well, folks. But I just want to go to the audio sound bites first here to get this out of the way because I caught hell one year ago. One year ago when his diagnosis was announced I predicted that they would use his eventual death as the sympathy trigger to get health care passed. I caught hell for that and I reiterated it back in March, March 6th to be exact.
RUSH ARCHIVE: If they get national health care, folks, the country as you and I have known it is over, but the failing health of Senator Kennedy, as I told you way back when, a driving force here. The failing health of Senator Kennedy is already being used as an inspirational effort or technique to get national health care on the fast track. Before it’s all over it will be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care bill.
RUSH: Well, they just erupted out there in the State-Run Media. They just had a cow over this, so let’s go to State-Run Media. We’ll go to the CBS Early Show today, Harry Smith talking with the presidential historian Douglas Brinkley about the passing of Senator Kennedy. Harry Smith said, ‘As we think about him, is there a way to sort of sum up what his life was?’
BRINKLEY: Well, the health care debate that we’re in the middle of right now, I mean it’s been a summer of town hall meetings, we’re going to head into September and October, and I think the ghost of Ted Kennedy, the spirit of Ted Kennedy is going to be with that health care debate. Democrats are going to try to push universal health care through as the legacy piece for Teddy Kennedy.
RUSH: I just caught hell for saying this. I caught literal hell in the media for saying this, and here’s Norah O’Donnell this morning on MSNBC. She was asked the question, ‘What’s the impact of Ted Kennedy’s passing on health care reform?’
O’DONNELL: I think there’s a huge impact. Ted Kennedy asked President Obama to promise him that this would get done because, as Ted Kennedy had said, this is the cause of his lifetime.
RUSH: David Gregory, the moderator of Meet the Press had this exchange with Savannah Guthrie of MSNBC about Ted Kennedy this morning.
GUTHRIE: I wonder what you think the impact of his passing will be now on this battle. Is there a possibility that there will be some new groundswell of bipartisanship that it could be a change of tone, or does all of that pass with him?
GREGORY: This was a great cause of his life, getting health care reform. There’s no question that Kennedy will still loom large as this debate moves forward.
RUSH: And this morning on CNN’s American Morning the co-hostette Kiran Chetry spoke with senior political analyst Gloria Borger about the passing of Senator Kennedy. She said, ‘As we move forward with this health care debate, what direction does it take now in your opinion? We’ve seen at times it gets nasty and personal out there.’
BORGER: The Democrats will continue to talk about the legacy of Ted Kennedy and try to pass some version of health care reform that Ted Kennedy would have supported and would have liked.
RUSH: Donna Brazile on CNN this morning said this.
BRAZILE: This will help to redouble the efforts of those who would truly like to see some major reform of our health insurance system in this country, and I hope that when Congress returns to work in a couple weeks they will not only remember Ted Kennedy, but also remember what he fought for. This would have been a fight that he would lead to the bitter end.
RUSH: Over at ABC the official doctor over there, Dr. Timothy Johnson, was asked by Chris Cuomo about this. ‘Who will take up the mantle of fairness and the right of health care? A very big fight ahead.’
CUOMO: His memory will be constantly interjected into the debate and in that sense he will be a part of it.
RUSH: Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia, the only Senator to have served longer than the late Senator Kennedy mourned his friend today, saying his heart and soul weeps. Senator Byrd said that he hoped health care reform legislation in the Senate would be renamed in memoriam of Kennedy. ‘I had hoped and prayed that this day would never come,’ Byrd said in a statement. ‘My heart and soul weeps at the loss of my best friend in the Senate, my beloved friend, Ted Kennedy. In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American.’ Nancy Pelosi has pretty much said the same thing: ‘Kennedy health reform dream will be real this year.’
So I predicted this. Well, anybody could have predicted this. We know these people like the back of our hands. (interruption) Well, it doesn’t matter. I predicted it, and I caught all kinds of grief for it out there. And here’s Gregory Meeks, Democrat, New York, on CNBC Squawk Box talking with Carl Quintanilla, who asked if Senator Kennedy’s memory would play a role in the health care debate. Gregory Meeks said, ‘Yeah, his memory definitely will. We hope his death will cause us to sit down like never before. That would be a fitting tribute to Senator Ed Kennedy.’ That’s from Gregory Meeks. It didn’t take long. Now, when I think of dealing with the entire health care debate here, I think the experiences of Senator Kennedy are actually somewhat instructive. The left is exploiting his death and his legacy, and they’re going to do it, which I predicted, to push health care through.
So let’s go with the flow on this. The greatest tribute would be that every American, every man, every woman, every child would get the same health care options that Ted Kennedy got. Ted Kennedy did not have to face death panels. Ted Kennedy didn’t have to face government-run end-of-life counseling. Nobody said to Ted Kennedy’s family, ‘Give him a pain pill.’ I think if you want to move the health care debate forward, let’s do Tedcare for all, forever, and make sure that every man, woman, and child get the same health care options that Ted Kennedy got.