RUSH: We’re going to start in Hartford, Connecticut, with Farris. Thank you, sir, for calling, great to have you with us.
CALLER: Underwater dittos from Hartford, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: And thanks for reading and recounting all the stitches on this fast curveball called health care reform. Very few hosts can see through the deceptions that are contained in all these gyrations and just God help us if anything passes because we all understand now, thanks to you, that if we get this it’s just another step down toward the eventual single-payer system.
RUSH: Exactly. But we have a plan B. We talked about that yesterday, there must be a plan B to break this thing up in a thousand pieces, the spending doesn’t start ’til 2014, plenty of time to roll back some provisions of this thing, so all’s not lost even if it does pass.
CALLER: I’d like to recall that being from Connecticut, our senator, Joe Lieberman, had a chance to put an end to all this and back up what he said but he chose to let it go ahead knowing that the trade-offs would lead it where it is, but I’d like to single out Tom Coburn. Here’s a man who I don’t know, I stay pretty well tuned in as much as I can, not very much lately and I’d like to ask for the prayers of your listeners for my mother, but I’ve been distracted recently by Coburn’s comments, he seems to be a real leader and not only by calling for the reading of this 700-page Bernie Sanders amendment — by the way, he’s not a Democrat or a socialist, he’s further to the left than that. But before that, Coburn sat with a sign above his desk that just said ‘no’ and somebody has to start saying no. This man sounds like a real leader, somebody we can get behind, somebody like the fellow who spoke up in the speech that Obama gave and called him what he was, a liar.
RUSH: That would be Joe Wilson. Well, that’s why this was a seminal moment yesterday for the Republicans. It really was. This was where they finally sprang into action and started obstructing this thing, and both McConnell and Jim DeMint and Coburn say when they get this real travesty, whenever it shows up, they’re going to demand that it be read, too. Now, whoever’s names are on the final health care bill will probably have a fit and demand the clerk stop reading it ’cause they’re pulling the bill. If that happens just remember Senate rule is that every bill will be read. The Senate rule is that every bill will be read by the clerk. Somebody always makes a motion to dispense with the reading. By unanimous consent, they dispense with the reading, meaning they don’t even take a voice vote, everybody says, yeah, dispense with the reading. Now, if somebody — and all it takes is one senator to demand the bill be read, which is what happened yesterday. Now, that senator must have a team with him to be on the floor at all times while the clerk is reading the bill.
And, by the way, don’t feel sorry for the clerk because the clerks rotate in this process, too. There wasn’t going to be some poor schlub taking 24 hours to read the bill. They probably alternate every ten pages or so. So don’t feel any sympathy for the clerks. It’s their job, plus they’ve got health care if they get sick or something happens while they’re reading the bill. Now, once the bill is being read, it requires unanimous consent to dispense with the reading, just as it required unanimous consent to dispense with the reading in the first place. What happened yesterday was Bernie Sanders went in there and pulled his bill and Ben Cardin, who was running the show in the Senate at the time, allowed the bill to be pulled without unanimous consent. So a Senate rule and process has been corrupted. The next time this happens, I expect the Republicans will object and say, ‘Nope, nope, nope, we’re not going to stop reading this until you get unanimous consent to pull it and you’re not going to get unanimous consent because we’re not going to vote to pull it.’ So we’ll keep a sharp eye on that.
Steve in Fresno, California, hello, welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hey, good morning, thank you for being there.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: My opinion is that health care or health insurance are not rights or privileges, they’re products. And my question is, why can’t insurance companies do business nationally but the fact is that government insurance will be available in all 50 states?
RUSH: Well, the reason is that the states want control over what can and can’t be included in a package. That’s why they can’t sell insurance across state lines because the states are not uniform in their mandates. But you’re quite right. The public option will be available to everybody anywhere without any requirement that it be purchased from an agency within their state.
CALLER: It’s the ultimate in economic hypocrisy.
RUSH: It’s the ultimate in Marxism. It’s the ultimate in socialism. We gotta start calling this for what it is. Thanks, Steve, very much.
RUSH: Potomac, Maryland, Kathy, great to have you with us. Hello today.
CALLER: Merry Christmas, Rush. It’s always a privilege to be in your classroom.
RUSH: Thank you very much. Same to you.
CALLER: Rush, thank you so much. I believe that this entire health care debate has become the civil rights issue of our time, and if national health care passes I call on our fellow freedom-loving citizens to take a page from the Saul Alinsky playbook and prepare for national civil disobedience.
RUSH: How do you see that it’s akin to the civil rights struggle?
CALLER: Because it has to do with basic human dignity and human rights and freedom. And as far as I can tell these health care proposals will enslave us, not give us freedom. Just as the civil rights era was about giving people freedom and releasing them from slavery and —
RUSH: Yeah, I would say this is not akin to the civil rights because they’re trying to take all that away. That’s why I made just this point, that people are referring to it in ways that are just exact opposite. It is a restriction on freedom. It is not an expansion of freedom in any way, shape, manner, or form.
RUSH: Harry in Washington, DC, you’re next. Great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, thanks for having me. I actually work in the Senate, and I just wanted to call and comment on what happened yesterday on the floor. As you know, the Constitution says that each House can set their own rules. In the Senate, they decided way back when in 1789 that the rules would continue indefinitely. It’s very difficult to change the Senate rules. It takes a supermajority. Unlike the House on the other hand, Rush, it’s very easy to change the rules. The rules end at the end of each Congress. But what happened yesterday was just so over the top, it just destroyed over 200 years of precedent, and I have a book in front of me that has the Senate procedure and precedent, it’s a 1600-page book and it says as clear as day what happened yesterday was against the rules of the Senate. Once a reading is demanded it cannot be stopped unless there’s unanimous consent, and no further interruptions are in order. That was a precedent that was established in the late seventies, Rush, and it’s just really disheartening that the Democrats are going to do anything possible to pass health care, even if it means throwing out the precedents of the Senate that goes back to our founding.
RUSH: Well, I agree with you, but I think it’s not just happening in the Senate, I think it’s all about getting rid of the structure and the systems, the traditions, the institutions that have kept this country great. I think all of this is about breaking all of them down. Now, what would have been the Republican option yesterday had they been aware of the rule?
CALLER: Well, Dr. Coburn did call for regular order, but someone should have made a formal parliamentary inquiry, and it would have been something along the lines of, ‘Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry. Is it not the precedent of the Senate that an amendment is read in full and cannot be withdrawn?’ And it is a precedent in the Senate. They tried to change the precedent in the Senate yesterday, and the reason they did it, Rush, if the amendment was read, there was absolutely no way, at least most people believe that health care could be passed before Christmas.
RUSH: Right, exactly.
CALLER: And they had to find any way they could around it.
RUSH: Even if it means blowing up tradition, which means they don’t even respect it. The people compromising the majority in the Senate today, the Democrats, don’t even respect the Senate, don’t even respect the institution they’re part of.
CALLER: That’s right. I have a great quote in front of me, Rush. It’s from Thomas Jefferson, he was the second vice president, so that means he was a president of the Senate. And he said, ‘Whether a rule is rational or not is not very important. It is much more important that there’s a rule to go by and that there’s uniformity of proceedings in business not subject to the will of the leader.’ So the decorum of the Senate was destroyed yesterday, and it is just really disheartening. I know a lot of folks might not understand why it’s such a big deal, but it’s a huge deal because decorum was violated.
RUSH: Well, the Senate is a revered institution. It’s the greatest deliberative body in the world, it has a tremendous reputation. To see it treated so shabbily by the people who populate it is an instructive and frightening thing. But, you know, you can take that example and extrapolate that into the private sector where we talk about rules. Obama’s out there demanding that banks lend money. Obama’s going to have another meeting with bankers. They’re not lending. They’re not listening to him. Go ahead and lend money. The problem is the banks can lend money to the government at zero percent, they can buy Treasury bonds, they can lend money to the government ’cause their interest rates are practically zero right now, the government guarantees a 3% return. So if you can lend money to the government, if the government can borrow money from you at 0% and you’re guaranteed a 3% return, why would you take a risk of loaning money to anybody in this economy who may default on it, who may not be able to pay it back when you’ve got a 3% guaranteed return if the government borrows from you? That’s precisely what’s happening. So the banks — I mean these are smart people at the banks, their business is to show a profit, not show a loss. Obama is demanding that they lend money.
Now, the people in the private sector, the small business sector, corporate sector, wherever, it’s unrealistic to expect them to start out on a massive expansion when they have no idea what the rules of the game are going to become next year. So the rules here again matter in a different way, but one in which I think we can make a connection. They don’t know what the tax increases are going to be with health care ’cause they don’t know what version of it’s going to pass. They don’t know if cap and trade is going to pass. They don’t know if amnesty is gonna pas. They do not know the rules, the tax rules and other rules they’re going to be working under until all that stuff happens. And yet here’s little man-child president leaning on them, making them the bad guy. You gotta lend. We gave you TARP money to lend, and you’re not lending it. So they’re the bad guys. When, in truth, they are lending. The banks are lending money to the government. It’s not just the ChiComs buying our debt. Banks are buying it. And there’s a 3% guaranteed return. In this economic climate that ain’t bad.
RUSH: Phil in Tallahassee, Florida. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: And I want to thank you for cutting through the minutia and getting to the truth on all this health care reform and all the other issuing with Obama. I’ve got an inconvenient truth for you on health care reform. We could basically reform health care by capping the lawsuits with tort reform. Also, my wife’s a health care attorney dealing with Medicaid, Medicare, and the fraud that goes on in Medicaid by the filing of fraudulent claims, you could pay for health care just in cutting out the abuse that goes on.
RUSH: Yeah, I had a story yesterday about something like $40 billion in Medicare fraud that’s found recently or something. It’s rife. Fraud is rife.
CALLER: That’s right.
RUSH: The food stamp program is rife with fraud. They all are, Social Security. We have a whole segment of our culture and society that exists explicitly and expressively to game the system, and they’ve figured it out quite well. Tort reform, obviously. Tort reform would be huge. The biggest problem is that one of the largest contributing groups to the Democrat Party is lawyers, trial lawyers. They’re not going to do anything to risk angering that bunch. So don’t look for tort reform while Democrats have anything to say about it.
RUSH: Let’s go Atlanta. This is Rob. You’re up next on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. It’s an honor to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: My point is that the Republicans really need to get a backbone here. They need to get at least as angry as Bernie Sanders was about pulling the bill, because if they don’t — if they let this die in one news cycle, in a day, and they don’t get some respect, then Harry Reid is going to let it go. He’s going to be able to let it go on reconciliation, and it will be a new story for a day and nobody will care.
RUSH: Well, to a point I agree with you, although I don’t want to shortchange them of credit on this because Coburn and DeMint actually did this. They actually voted against the unanimous consent and started reading the bill, and they forced the Democrats into breaking the rule. Nobody is saying the Democrats broke the rule except us here on this program. However — and this is not to make excuses for them. I’m just telling you I know where are they. The Republicans really believe something. They’ve been snookered by another faulty premise put forth by the left. They really believe that if they are too critical of the Democrats and their policy, that independents are gonna hate them and that independents are gonna get mad because independents don’t like partisanship. They really believe this. Somehow, this has been etched into their souls and it is one of the most frustrating things to go through, because the independents are leaving Democrats in droves right now. The Republicans aren’t doing anything. But the Republicans fear that if they jumped on board and started criticizing, say, Harry Reid in public — or Bernie Sanders — that that would stop the flow of independents from the Democrats to the Republicans because they’ve bought the notion that these independents are somehow the nicest, sweetest, purest people and the first sign of partisanship they run to the Democrat Party. It’s bogus, but that’s what they believe.