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RUSH: You know, folks, this is actually better than I thought it was going to be. The reason it’s better than I thought it was going to be is because it is illustrating what a bunch of mean, arrogant, petulant, just lousy people the Democrats are at this summit. Republicans are up there knocking this out of the park. They are announcing plans, they’re putting forth proposals to actually deal with the problem, and all the Democrats are doing is, (imitating Democrats) ‘I got this letter from somebody who lost half their face in an operation with a killer whale and, oh, can’t get any insurance, oh, it’s horrible,’ and Obama is talking about his family problems and so forth. The whole thing is a sham anyway because on Monday the Democrats have a plan — it’s exclusive in The Politico — to go ahead and start ramming Big Health Care through with no Republican support whatsoever.

So the point of this when this is all over today, we’re gonna hear about how the Republicans were not willing to compromise, they were not willing to budge, they were not really wanting to do anything other than embarrass our young president and selfishly propose their own ideas without any willingness to compromise whatsoever. That will set the stage for Obama and the boys to be able to say, ‘Okay, well, we gave it a shot here, but they’re just intractable over there so we gotta do it ourselves our own way.’ And this is suicide. It is suicide. This thing started off so boring I’m not sure a lot of people are watching it, but to the extent that people are, the Democrats are not looking good here, folks. They do not look like serious people. They don’t even look like nice people, plain and simple, they don’t like nice people. Well, they’re not, but they don’t look like it. They’re being petulant. Here’s Obama, he actually said, (paraphrasing) ‘I don’t count my time because I’m the president. The time I speak doesn’t count because I’m the president.’ You know, Mitch McConnell said, (paraphrasing) ‘Hey, you know what? You guys are not giving us a fair shake on the time.’ David ‘Rodham’ Gergen was asked what he thought of this thing so far, (paraphrasing) ‘Yeah, yeah, the Republicans, I’d say it’s even right now. In looking at this as a political horse race, it’s even.’ If David ‘Rodham’ Gergen says that it’s even right now that means the Republicans are kicking butt.

Greetings, my friends, how are you? It’s Rush Limbaugh here on health care summit showdown sham day, EIB Network, three straight hours of this. They’re going to be taking a break here soon, timed not coincidentally to the start of this program. Phone number, if you want to be on the program, is 800-282-2882. The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

Once again, folks, we are seeing that without a teleprompter, we have a president who… well, it’s said very well by a friend of mine: ‘Doesn’t have a clever or supple enough mind to come at the issues from a different angle than he’s done 347 times in the past.’ Literally. This is a health care summit, trying to get together with the Republicans, he started out saying the exact same things, telling the exact same stories that he’s done at all of his health care town halls. He isn’t talking to the Republicans. He’s talking to whoever was watching on TV. Not one new approach, not one new tactic, not one new strategic move here. And he’s lying so big and does it so easily. Something I said about him recently is obviously true today: He is the most inexperienced, unqualified guy in the room, and whatever room he walks into that’s true, especially a room like this.

Harry Reid. This guy must have gotten up mad today. He’s just mad at everybody, particularly the Republicans. What the Republicans are doing are simply reading from the Democrats’ health care bills. Obama moves in and cuts them off and says this is not productive. Obama’s body language. I mean, look, folks, when he finished his opening segment and then Lamar Alexander went in there, and Lamar, aside from his open where he said we want you to succeed, it’s not true, all this is about Obama failing with this. But, you know, that’s typical inside the beltway, ‘Oh, we really want you to succeed.’ No, we don’t, the American people don’t want Obama to succeed. That’s what this is all about. But he sits there with his hand propping up his head, Biden the same thing, looking bored, uninterested as Lamar Alexander starts in. And then when Alexander starts making points, Obama raises his head very arrogantly, eyes are narrowed to slits saying, ‘How dare you embarrass me this way by making more sense than I just did.’ The look on Obama’s face was not pretty. Reid, Biden, and Pelosi just looked away. They would not even afford or accord Lamar Alexander even the appearance of respect. Their body language was very clear. We’re not listening. We don’t give a rat’s rear end what you say. We’re not interested. Now, this is pretty much how Obama started.

OBAMA: I can certainly remember Malia coming into the kitchen one day and saying, ‘I can’t breathe, Daddy,’ and us having to rush her to the emergency room because she had asthma. Or Sasha, when she was a baby, getting meningitis and having to get a spinal tap and being on antibiotics for three days and us not knowing whether or not she was going to emerge okay. In each of those instances I remember thinking while sitting in the emergency room, what would have happened if I didn’t have reliable health care?

RUSH: Right. Yeah, what woulda happened? The fact of the matter is that any person in America, from the richest guy in the country to the cheapest, poorest illegal immigrant, can do exactly the same thing Obama just described, and that’s go to the emergency room. And Tom Coburn made that point. Everybody gets treated in this country. That’s not what we’re here talking about. We’re talking fraud, waste, we need to get it out of there. Now, since Obama just describes this wonderful system where his two daughters, two fat daughters according to his wife, his two fat daughters came down with some sort of a disease, had to rush them to the emergency room. Why design a system that destroys the very best private health care that he says he’s so thankful for? Because that’s what he and the Democrats have in mind, make the private health care system more affordable by allowing free markets to work their magic. That’s what this ought to be about, but it isn’t. I could go on for the next 20 minutes without repeating myself in doing analysis, but I think, folks, that this is backfiring on these people. The Republicans have been short-changed on time, and the president says, (paraphrasing) ‘I don’t count my time because I’m president, you know, I won. I don’t count my time.’

If you landed from Mars today and all you had to go on before you arrived from Mars was what you had ever read or seen in the mainstream media about Republicans, what you would learn first up today is that Republicans are really reasonable about this, they are really sensible. They are earnestly trying to fix this. This is new information for the left and the media. This is a side of the Republicans they’re never allowed to see, that’s never portrayed. So in one respect I guess it’s good that they’re going up there and doing this. I mean, everybody knew that Pelosi would demagogue. Everybody knew that Harry Reid would demagogue. Everybody knew that Obama would give a great classroom lecture, but he’s not even giving a great lecture, he’s stuttering around and plus he’s responding to virtually everybody. He’s a spoiled little brat, but these Republicans, why, they’re actually human beings. They don’t have horns on their heads. People are learning that they actually are nice guys here, which ain’t all bad.

Harry Reid is basically saying, I’m going to summarize all this for you, but Harry Reid basically saying, if we would all just agree with him and Obama and Pelosi, that we’ll be working for the people, you know, they’re for nonpartisan, they just want what’s good for the people, we’re not partisan, we’re not political. The Republicans ought to stop playing games and just work with us on this. Now, Dave Camp, a Republican from Michigan, was scoring three-pointers. This guy was sinking nothing but net from beyond 25 feet, time and time and time again. He was reading from Democrat bills. Dave Camp, Republican, Michigan, reading from Democrat bills. It’s what got ’em in trouble the first time is what’s in the bills. He’s reading from the bills, and that is death for Democrats. So he gets cut off. Obama cut him off and said, ‘We’re not here for this. We’re trying to find common ground here,’ blah, blah.

They’re reading from these bills, which is why a continuingly increasing margin of people, majority do not want this. The Democrats are up there using the same old page from the same old playbook, emotional stories. All these poor people: ‘Yeah, I lost half my face in a Shamu tank and I couldn’t get it fixed because I didn’t have any insurance.’ ‘I take letters up to the resident’s room every night, letters from average Americans.’ It’s one big sob story after another, one big tearjerker after another. So they want to continue to play these emotional stories, try to tug at people’s heartstrings, but their own words in their own legislation, is their worst enemy. The least experienced man in the room is the most worried when facts and specifics enter the fray and become part of the proceedings. I’m actually having some fun watching this.

Now, let’s see. Let me take a break here. I’m going to decide which of these next sound bites I want to use. Cookie, I’ve been swamped here. I haven’t had a chance to go through the whole roster. I don’t know if you got any Dave Camp here, but if you don’t, could you give me some of Dave Camp where Obama is shutting him down? ‘Cause I mean he’s sinking three-pointers after three-pointers after three-pointers. Be right back, folks, and we’ll just rev it back up and resume right where we are.


RUSH: Here is President Obama this morning. Now, what they’re trying to do here is ‘put a face on gridlock.’ At the end of this the Republicans are going to get blamed for not compromising. This is to shift the blame away from the Democrats. That’s the attempt here. But the Republicans are gumming up the works here because they’re coming off really, really well. In fact, I haven’t heard one Republican sound like a Democrat today, yet. I have not heard Republican sound like a Democrat. I’m sure I’m wrong about that. I’m sure many of you in this audience are going to start telling me I’m falling through a big inside-the-Beltway trick here, but here’s Obama, something he said. This is not going to help him categorize this thing as Republicans getting in the way and not compromising. Listen to this.

OBAMA: I’ve looked very carefully at John Boehner’s plan that he put forward. Uh, I’ve looked at Tom Coburn and — and, uh, Senator Burr’s plan, uh, that’s been put out there. Paul Ryan, uh, has discussed some of the issues surrounding Medicare. I’ve looked at those very carefully.

RUSH: Yeah? Well, now, just what, three weeks ago, two weeks ago Obama said this…

OBAMA: What I’ve done is I’ve said to the Republicans, ‘Show me what ya got! You’ve been sitting on the sidelines criticizing what we’re proposing.’

RUSH: That was February 2nd. Republicans had no plan, ‘sitting on the sidelines.’ Today, what happened to party of ‘no’? I thought they had no plan. He’s looked at Boehner’s plan, Coburn’s plan, Senator Burr’s plan, Paul Ryan’s. He doesn’t agree with any of it, but he’s admitted looking at it. Lamar Alexander uses Obama’s words on filibustering against him. He used the same bite that we played yesterday where Obama was talking about how the Constitution was threatened if the Senate got rid of the filibuster rule. This is Lamar Alexander from just this morning…

ALEXANDER: My request is this. Before we go further today that the Democratic congressional leaders and you, Mr. President, renounce this idea of going back to the Congress and jamming through on a partisan vote through a little-used process we call reconciliation, your version of the bill. When Republicans were trying to change the rules a few years ago, then-Senator Obama is the following: ‘What we worry about is essentially having two chambers, the House and the Senate, who are simply majoritarian. That’s just not what the Founders intended.’ We’ll have to renounce jamming it through in a partisan way — and if we don’t, then the rest of what we do today will not be relevant.

RUSH: So there’s Lamar Alexander just hammering Obama with his own words. This is what Obama said April 25th, 2005, in the National Press Club.

THEN-SENATOR OBAMA APRIL 25, 2005: A change in the Senate rules that really, uh, I think would change the character of the Senate, uh, forever. [snip] Uhhh, and what I worry about would be th-th-that you essentially still have two chambers, the House and the Senate, but you have simply majoritarian, uhhh, absolute power on either side, and that’s just not what the Founders intended.

RUSH: So this is why they’re getting all testy, because the last thing you’re supposed to do with Democrats is actually tell people what they say. You’re not supposed to throw it back at them, what they say. And Dingy Harry was not happy about this.

REID: I say to my friend Lamar, who I have great respect and admiration for: You’re entitled at your opinions, but not your own facts. Your opinion is something that is yours and you’re entitled to that, but not your own set of facts. No one has talked about reconciliation, but that’s what you folks have talked about ever since that came out, as if it’s something that has never been done before. Now, we, as leaders here — the speaker and I — have not talked about doing reconciliation as the only way out of all this.

RUSH: You heard that with me, right? Harry Reid was denying that he’s talked about reconciliation, but he did it just two days ago…

REID FEBRUARY 23, 2010: My Republican friends are lamenting reconciliation. But I would recommend for them to go back and look at history. They should stop crying about reconciliation as if it’s never been done before. It’s done almost every Congress, and they’re the ones that used it more than anything else.

RUSH: This is why he’s so mad. They’re just throwing everything the Democrats have said back at them. They’re reading from the Democrat pieces of legislation. ‘Well, Lamar, he’s entitled to his own opinion, but he’s not entitled to his own facts. We’re not talking about reconciliation! Nobody’s talking about reconciliation!’ That’s all they’ve been talking about is reconciliation for how many weeks now? Let’s go to this Politico story:

‘Exclusive: What Happens Next in Health Care — After a brief period of consultation following the White House health reform summit, congressional Democrats plan to begin making the case next week for a massive, Democrats-only health care plan, party strategists told Politico. A Democratic official said the six-hour summit was expected to ‘give a face to gridlock, in the form of House and Senate Republicans.” Give a face to gridlock. ‘Democrats plan to begin rhetorical, and perhaps legislative, steps toward the Democrats-only, or reconciliation, process early next week, the strategists said.’ So Harry Reid is being undercut by his own party speaking anonymously to The Politico. So while Harry Reid is up there saying, ‘We’re not talking about reconciliation! Nobody’s talking about reconciliation. You’re not entitled to your own facts on this,’ the Democrat strategerists are leaking to the media: ‘Oh, yeah, we’re going reconciliation. We’re starting next week.’

The whole purpose of the summit here today is to ‘give a face to gridlock.’ ‘After the summit, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid planned to take the temperature of their caucuses. ‘The point (of the summit) is to alter the political atmospherics, and it will take a day or two to sense if it succeeded,’ the official said.’ Again, that is ‘to give a face to gridlock.’ What they’re hoping here is that the Republicans look like stuffed-shirt, mean-spirited, uncompromising, hateful extremists who don’t care if people don’t have health insurance; who don’t care if people aren’t getting health coverage; who don’t care if people are dying. That’s what they’re trying to set up here. But, the problem is that the leader of this charade is the most inexperienced, unqualified guy in the room. His name is Barack Obama.

And, my friends, he has literally no clue what he’s saying when he doesn’t have a teleprompter. He just slammed high-deductible plans as ‘not providing coverage,’ meaning people will go without basic coverage. The idea of actually going out and buying something on your own just totally escapes this guy.


RUSH: So we went into that bottom-of-the-hour commercial break, and I clicked on one of the TV networks covering this, and McCain was just finishing up whatever it was he was saying. I don’t know what he talked about, but Obama was livid. The little man-child president said, ‘John, if you don’t know it, the campaign is over. We’re not here to campaign, John. The campaign’s over.’ And McCain said, ‘Yes, yes, hee-hee! Yeah, I’m reminded of that every day, Mr. President. Hee-hee-hee,’ and everybody started laughing. Then Obama said, ‘Look…’ He’s looking right at McCain. ‘We need to drop all these talking points.’

‘We need to stop the campaign. The campaign’s over. We need to start discussing insurance and how to get a bill done. We can’t continue to have this debate about process. We can’t just keep having to talk about process. We gotta get down to helping the American people.’ Well, I don’t know what McCain said, but it had to be a home run, ’cause this guy was so ticked off. ‘Shut up, John! Shut up! Joe, make him stop. Nobody messes with Joe. Joe, make him stop! The campaign’s over, John!’ The campaign is not over. That’s all you’re doing today, Mr. President, is campaigning. Whoa-ho! This is Dave Camp from Michigan. Camp is reading page after page after page from the legislation. This is the final one before Obama has had it.

CAMP: Another concern I have is the Senate bill, which on page 982 creates an unelected board charged with recommending even more Medicare reductions — and if Congress doesn’t accept these recommendations, they have to find other Medicare spending to cut instead. And that gives, I think, too much authority to unelected bureaucrats rather than to elected representatives of the people. And the power to decide whether to cut Medicare and by how much. Now, holding down health care costs for the government is important, but I think it’s also important to hold down costs for families and employees.

RUSH: And here’s Obama.

OBAMA: Dave, the — I — I don’t mean to interrupt, but we’re going to have the whole section talking about deficits. And we can talk about the changes in Medicare. We were trying to focus on costs related to lowering families. (sic) And, you know, eh, the only concern I’ve got is… Look, if — if every speaker at least on one side is going through every provision and saying what they don’t like it’s going to be hard for us to — to see if we can arrive at some agreements on — on things that, uh, we all agree on. So I — I don’t, uh, want to try to cut you off. Guh… Please —

CAMP: Well, I’m almost done.

OBAMA: — f-finish up but I — but I just want to kind of point out that…

CAMP: I’m almost done. I do want say on this issue on premiums, the CBO in their letter on page 4 does say that the estimated average premium per person for non-group policies would increase by 10 to 13%.

RUSH: That’s it. That was the end of Camp. Nobody’s seen him since. So Jon Kyl, when it was his turn, he picked up on the same thing. ‘Hey, you guys keep talking about lowering costs. Your own bill, your own CBO raises premiums by 10 to 13%.’ ‘Well, we’re not here to discuss process! John, the campaign’s over.’ Basically it was Obama once again saying, ‘I won.’ Now, I just got a report (I have a spy out there) that McCain started out pretty bad and wouldn’t let Obama cut him off. He kept going, and he was calling him on different rules for different states. Obama was not happy about it. He was talking about using uniform treatment for all Americans — of course, in the face of all these special deals.

Then Obama said, ‘John, we’re not campaigning anymore. The election is over. We can spend the remainder of our time with respective talking points but especially back to Fox News, the split screen, MSNBC. My hope would be we could just focus on the issues and how we could get a bill done.’ You know, McCain jumped in there ugly. Obama didn’t like it. I mean, he knows Obama is the most experienced unqualified guy in the room, but he’s still the president. At 12:18 after Obama had scolded the Republicans for not going along on the ‘agreed-to time limits,’ a Republican said, ‘Mr. President, no one told us there were time limits.’ So Obama is sitting up there thinking everybody knows there are time limits. No time limits were announced. He’s just arbitrarily imposing them.


RUSH: Oh, what a picture! Oh-ho ho! We gotta JIP this. Our cameras are there. Let’s go to the health care summit.

CANTOR: — suggested that between eight million and nine million people may very well lose the coverage that they have because of this, because of the construct of this bill. That’s our concern.

RUSH: Oh, ho, ho, boy!

CANTOR: So as we are in the markets in the section of this —

RUSH: Eric Cantor. Obama.

CANTOR: — discussion about health insurance reform. I know, Mr. President that you have suggested strengthening the —

RUSH: Obama’s having his lunch handed to him here, folks.

CANTOR: — side of insurance premium increases because we want to make sure that they’re there aren’t excessive insurance premium increases that take place. The problem is —

RUSH: Massive consultations going on with Obama and staffers.

CANTOR: — when you start with mandates for all of the essential benefits, there are going to be some insurance increases.

RUSH: Obama being told how to reply to this.

CANTOR: None of us really want to see ’em.

RUSH: He’s not smiling, he is livid.

CANTOR: Who’s going to pay for this?

RUSH: Lips are pursed. Finger over the lips. He’s shooting daggers at Cantor.

CANTOR: So I guess my question to you is: In the construct of this bill, if we want to find agreement, we really do need to set this aside and we really do need to say, ‘Okay, the fundamental structure is something we can agree on but there are certainly —

RUSH: Obama looks like Boris Karloff.

CANTOR: — many areas of agreement and because I don’t think —

RUSH: He’s shooting him the bird.

CANTOR: — I don’t think that you can answer the question in the positive to say that people will be able —

RUSH: Well, figuratively.

CANTOR: — to maintain their coverage, people will be able to see the doctors they want in the in the kind of bill that you’re proposing.

OBAMA: Well, l-l-l-let me — since you asked me a question, let me respond. Umm. The eight to nine million people that you refer to that might have to change their coverage — keep in mind, out of the 300 million Americans that we’re talking about — uh, would be focus who the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, estimates would, uh, find the deal in the exchange better, would be a better deal. So they — yes, they would change coverage because they’ve got more choices —

RUSH: Lying.

OBAMA: So let’s just be clear that point number one.

RUSH: That’s a fat lie.

OBAMA: Uh, point number two. You know, eh, eh, when we do props like this, stack it up and you repeat ‘Two hundred pages,’ et cetera, the truth of the matter is is that health care is very complicated.

RUSH: Oh! Oh-ho-ho!

OBAMA: And we can try to pretend it’s not, but it is. Every single item that we’ve talked about on the Republican side, if we wanted to exhaustively deal with fraud and abuse would generate a bunch of pages. So I — I — I point that out just because, you know, these are the kind of political things we do that prevent us from actually having a conversation.

RUSH: Oh, no, no, no, no, no.

OBAMA: Now, l-l-l-let me — let me respond to your question.

RUSH: Cantor can’t stop laughing here.

OBAMA: We can set up a system where food was probably cheaper than it is right now, if we just eliminated meat inspectors. (pause)

LAWMAKERS: (silence)

RUSH: What?

OBAMA: And — and —

RUSH: What?

OBAMA: — we eliminated any regulations in terms of how food’s distributed —

RUSH: What?

OBAMA: — and how it’s stored. I’ll bet in terms of drug prices, we would definitely reduce prescription drug prices if we didn’t have a drug administration that’s make sure (sic) that we trust the drugs so that they don’t kill us. But we don’t do that.

RUSH: I’ll tell you what he’s talking about here in a minute.

OBAMA: We, eh… We — we — we — we make some decisions to protect consumers in every aspect of our lives.

RUSH: All right.

OBAMA: And we have bipartisan support for doing it.

RUSH: Okay, end the JIP ’cause we gotta go to a brief break here. What just happened: Eric Cantor was reading from the 2200-page Senate bill and he was reading how people will lose their existing coverage, and Obama was sitting there and his lips were pursed. There as tight as he could be. He had one finger over his mouth and he was shooting Boris Karloff eyes. He just looked like, ‘How dare you do this! This is not going the way I had it planned. I’m the one being embarrassed here! They’re the ones are supposed to be made to look like a bunch of mean-spirited extremists, and now they’re throwing my own words and my own plan right back at me and they don’t even know how to respond to this.’ So he had to come over some help. Some aide had to come over and give him some advice on how to respond like he was a witness in front of a congressional committee, like a mob guy and his lawyer whispering. ‘Psst, pss, pss, pss.’

There was utter panic. So what he’s talking about is, ‘We’ve got 2200 pages here, Mr. President, and nine million here and nine million there.’ ‘Well, of course you got 2200 pages! For crying out loud, health care is a big thing, gotta protect. I mean, we could have a lot less regulations if you get rid of the FDA, if we didn’t regulate food.’ He was just totally out of it. He was put in a position of having to defend size, the behemoth size of this, and he couldn’t. That’s basically it — and he’s still talking. I’m sure he’s digging a deeper hole ’cause he’s still trying to explain this in his own way from his own perspective, which is: Government does everything, people are incompetent to do things on their own, and they won’t do things on their own anyway. They’re going to wait around for somebody to help them get it done, or do it for them. I’ve gotta take a break here. But remember what my point was. While all this is going on, more and more people are losing their jobs, and they don’t care about this.


RUSH: This thing with Eric Cantor here, folks, is just wonderful. And I love the fact that Obama is complaining about the use of props. ‘We don’t need the stagecraft here.’ You know what the prop is? The House bill and the Senate bill, 5000 pages. It’s piled up in front — you can barely see his face. Cantor is sitting there with barely his face visible above the two bills and he’s reading from them, and Obama is ticked, (paraphrasing) ‘Stagecraft, we didn’t come up here for this, this is not what this is all about,’ and Obama, you know, I’ve often thought that there’s nobody in this room, for example, to turn Obama’s C into an A. He’s never gotten challenged like this. Back over in the Republican retreat back in Maryland, they kinda caved and went into background mode, let him run the show, but this is backfiring totally on him.

What he had hoped to do was to show how the Republicans were intractable, that they were not malleable, that the Republicans were not interested, and instead what’s being demonstrated here is that there is no consensus on anything, and that the only pieces of legislation out there being discussed are the Democrat bills, and when they are discussed Obama shuts everybody up. When the Democrat proposals are discussed, Obama tries to shut ’em down. The time frame so far on the clock, the Democrats have had 74 minutes to speak, including Obama. The Republicans have had 37 minutes to speak. We can’t JIP it here because we’re not going to have enough time, but Obama and Cantor are still going at it, Cantor still holding up yellow highlighted sections of Senate bills. Obama is just ticked as he can be trying to respond to all this. Here’s the McCain exchange. I guess Obama resorted to picking on McCain again.

MCCAIN: Remove all the special deals for special interests and favored few and treat all Americans the same under provisions of the law so that they will know that geography does not dictate what kind of health care they would receive. I thank you, Mr. President.

OBAMA: Let me just make this point, John, because we’re not campaigning anymore. The election is over.

MCCAIN: I’m reminded of that every day.

OBAMA: Yeah. So the — we can spend the remainder of the time with our respective talking points going back and forth. We were supposed to be talking about insurance. My concern is that if we do that, then we’re essentially back on Fox News or MSNBC on the split screen just arguing back and forth.

RUSH: Yeah. So, John, shut up, I won, stop campaigning, old man. Just shut up, John. Here is last night, Anderson Cooper 360, fill-in host Jessica Yellin talking to John Avlon, who is a columnist at The Daily Beast about politics in Washington.

YELLIN: We’ve isolated some of the key culprits who some say have done more to bring the business of the nation to a standstill than any others. Rush Limbaugh.

AVLON: Four words: I hope he fails. He ended up starting the entire Republican strategy at a time President Obama was on honeymoon. He set the gauntlet down and ended up showing that talk radio now has more influence than party leaders when it comes to strategy.

RUSH: And we’ll be right back. Don’t go away.


RUSH: Well, folks, I absolutely love this. Now that all of the jobs summits are over and unemployment is skyrocketing, unemployment skyrocketing after all those job summits, how ironic is it that Obama’s at another summit talking about containing costs and improving care? He has made such a mess of the entire US economy. He is coming off confused, annoyed, and whiny. You know, our guys, Eric Cantor, the Republicans, know more about Obama’s bill than he does. It’s obvious. They’ve read it. He hasn’t. I actually am enjoying this.


RUSH: Doing play-by-play today, Rush Limbaugh, with play-by-play of the health care summit. Now, they just took the lunch break out there. I guarantee you — (laughing) — somewhere in the White House they’re trying to find an excuse to cancel the rest of this. Jobless claims keep climbing. Durable goods orders are weak. Obama’s had all these job summits, and now unemployment keeps rising. Now we’re having a health care summit. There’s a theme that I have detected here that Obama keeps stressing, and that is: ‘Shut up, John, the campaign’s over, people don’t care about the process. The American people don’t care about the process.’ Translation: Reconciliation on Monday. That’s where this is headed.

They’re gonna try to say on the Democrat side that Americans won’t care if it’s never been used this way before, the ends justify the means, the American people want this and they’re sick and tired of the process. Mark my words. It’s a theme, but I didn’t need this stupid summit to understand it. The main strategy here is to frame the issue as Republicans and Big Insurance versus the poor American people. Every Democrat has told a sob story about a constituent or two who had some horrible experience with an insurance company. I guarantee you. In fact, perhaps the best one of all was Louise Slaughter. I ain’t lying. Louise Slaughter, just before they broke said one of her constituents is having to wear the dentures of her dead sister because she can’t get insurance. She’s having to wear her dead sister’s dentures because she can’t get insurance.

Eric Cantor was scoring so many home runs that Obama finally said, (paraphrasing) ‘Eric, this is not really fair. You and I can’t sit here occupying all this time going back and forth. We got a lot of Democrats over here that haven’t had a chance to speak yet. We gotta get them in there.’ So they broke for lunch. I guess some senators had to go over and vote on something and now they are huddling, and they’re trying to figure out how to get Obama back in charge of this thing. But I think it’s a lost cause. Eric Cantor brings up 5,000 pages of health care legislation, the Democrats’ House and Senate bills. Obama calls it a prop, a distraction. The actual subject of all this he called a distraction, a talking point, stagecraft. To actually bring the legislation they’re talking about trying to agree on a prop, a distraction! That is how disoriented Obama is. I have never seen him more agitated, more arrogantly condescending, more ticked off, more uncomfortable in my life. This is not at all what they had planned.

Now, my friends, if you think that my summary of this is going to be anywhere close to what the Drive-By summarize, don’t kid yourself. When this is all over, Obama will have been masterful. No one else could have done this. Six hours, to never lose the organizational mantle, keep it flowing. In fact, nothing’s flowing. Everybody is talking right past each other. They’re not even talking to each other. The Republicans are trying to talk to Obama. But it is obvious he’s coming off confused, annoyed, and whiny. Our guys know more about Obama’s health care bill than Obama does, and that is patently obvious here today. Our guys have read the bill and he hasn’t.

So keep in mind, all these jobs summits and what’s happening, unemployment claims keep going up, and another thing is, people don’t care about this summit. Process notwithstanding, they want an economy that starts to recover, they don’t care about health care ’cause it’s obvious that all of this is for Obama. All of this is for Obama and his monument to himself.


RUSH: Here’s Mitch McConnell at the health care summit at Blair House this morning in Washington.

MCCONNELL: One thing I think we need to be acutely aware of, ladies and gentlemen, we are here representing the American people. And Harry mentioned several polls. I think it is not irrelevant that the American people, if you average out all those polls, are opposed this bill by 55 to 37 and we know from a USA Today/Gallup poll out this morning they’re opposed to using the reconciliation device, the short-circuit approach that Lamar referred to that would end up with only bipartisan opposition by 52 to 39.

RUSH: So, these guys live and die by polls, and there’s McConnell reminding them of where they are. Tom Coburn pointed out the obvious.

COBURN: You know, when you compare the private sector fraud rates, it’s 1% compared to Medicare and Medicaid. You know, there’s estimates that there’s $15 billion worth of fraud in Medicaid a year in New York City alone. I don’t know many people that will disagree that one in three dollars doesn’t help somebody get well and doesn’t prevent then we ought to be going for that one in three dollars. And we ought to do it not by creating a whole bunch of new government programs but by creating an incentive to reward people.

RUSH: That is a doctor speaking, by the way, Tom Coburn, Senator from Oklahoma, and we’ll be right back and get to your calls. We haven’t taken one call yet. We have to do that. People have been on hold since before the show started.


RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, in The Universe of Reality, it is quite appropriate to say — I think even safe to say; after the first three hours of the health care summit, added to the first 13 months of this man’s administration — that Barack Obama is doing to his party what he has done to the economy and what he wants to do to health care, and that’s kill it! We have two sound bites and your phone calls. The wheels are falling off now. ‘Nobody messes with Joe’ Biden, tries to help Obama fight Cantor and makes it worse. Listen to this.

OBAMA: (sputtering)

BIDEN: Can I have ten seconds? We have to a philosophic disagreement. If you agree that you can’t be dropped, there has to be dependent coverage if there’s no annual lifetime cap, then in fact you’ve acknowledged that it is the government’s role. The question is: How far to go? So this idea we have a fundamental philosophic difference, you’re either in or you’re out. The government can’t do it, none of it, or they can do some of it we argue how much.

OBAMA: The cost issue is legitimate. We’re going to address it. Uh, uh — I — I want to —

BIDEN: It’s —

CANTOR: Mr. President, it’s not just… It’s the cost issue, but it’s being driven by the fact that you’ve got in the bill — which I assume that your proposal supports — that the secretary defined what a health benefit package should be.

OBAMA: Only in the exchange! Only as part of the pool that people who don’t have, ehh, health insurance would buy into.

RUSH: Okay. All right, so Biden is in there trying to help Obama fight Cantor, and Obama shuts him up. Cantor comes back and again illustrates that he knows more about what’s in this legislation than Obama does. Obama is reduced to calling the very subject matter for this summit a ‘prop,’ and that is the legislation.


RUSH: All right, to the phones. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Phil, you are up first. Great to have you with us. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. How you doing, man?

RUSH: Well. Thank you.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. I was listening to this debate, and Kyl brought up — a little after 12 — three points about how we disagreed with Obama’s plan. And when he finished he got to the point where he said, ‘Hey, it comes down to: Is it the Washington thinks best or what people think best for themselves?’ And Obama cut him off saying, ‘That’s a talking point. Everybody knows how they hate Washington,’ and nobody said anything, I’m thinking, ‘That’s one of the cruxes of our whole problem! It is not a talking point. It is a fundamental point.’

RUSH: Exactly right. Exactly. Well, that’s why he shut up McCain. ‘Shut up, John! The campaign’s over. This is just a bunch of talking points.’ Look, what’s happening, folks, when you see… Let me try to explain this a different way. When this whole deal was conceived remember, now, the people in Obama’s inner circle still believe him to be this messianic guy — The One, The One we’ve all been waiting for — who has this magical ability to render people speechless and stunned amazement at just the sound of his voice. So he was going to run this summit here today, and he was going to embarrass the Republicans. He was gonna illustrate how they are disagreeable, how they are mean-spirited, how they don’t care about people suffering and they side with the big insurance companies who are heartless, extreme meanies and are unwilling to compromise. Instead what’s happened is that Obama has been shown to be petulant, whiny — out-of-control, almost — unprepared, ill-informed, and basically arrogant and cocky.

And enable to discuss this. He has to shut down discussion because to continue the discussion would embarrass him. ‘That’s just a talking point! We’re not here for talking points. Eric, come on, now! You can’t just come in here and bring these props, a bunch of stagecraft,’ talking about the actual legislation that they’re discussing. So I think it’s backfired totally on them — and therefore, they’re trying to figure out now what to do. They’re going to gin this thing back up in 15 minutes, supposedly, at 1:45 Eastern. They’re back there huddling. It’s halftime. ‘How can we get Obama back on top of this thing?’ and remember, now, the Democrats still have twice the talking to him that Republicans have had, and it’s still gone miserably. Now, I’m just giving you the honest play-by-play. I’m giving you an honest summary. You’re not gonna hear anywhere near the truth of what happened in this thing from the Drive-By Media. I’m just warning you about that.


RUSH: Andrew, San Diego, I’m glad you called, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush.

RUSH: Hey.

CALLER: How are you this morning?

RUSH: Fine, sir. Very well.

CALLER: Good. I just wanted to tell you that I see people on TV talking about the inconsistency of members of Congress regarding the filibuster. You know, they started this in 2000, and I just wanted to tell you that I did my graduate work on the filibuster, that there’s a difference between using a filibuster to block legislation and using it to block judicial nominations. Because the Constitution doesn’t mandate that the House and Senate actually pass legislation. It just says that they can in Article One, Section Five, you know, make their own rules. But the Constitution does mandate that in Article Two, Section Two, that the Senate advise and consent on the president’s nominees to the judicial branch.

RUSH: Yeah, I made that point yesterday. I made that point yesterday in discussing, in setting up all the sound bites of the Democrats from 2005 who said, ‘Getting rid of the filibuster would destroy the Constitution, would end our form of government. It was a bad, bad day.’ Their hypocrisy on this is blatant and obvious, but it happens every day.

CALLER: Absolutely. I just wanted to say it. You know, people on the Drive-By media claim that the Republicans and Democrats are inconsistent on it, and they’re not. The Republicans want to end the filibuster of judicial nominees and the Democrats want to just end the filibuster of judicial nominees when there’s a Democrat in office, and that’s ridiculous.

RUSH: Well, again the whole thing on reconciliation is it’s a confusing word. When the Republicans talking about it they call it ‘a nuclear option.’ When the Democrats are talking about it, it’s ‘reconciliation.’ And again, in both instances here, the Constitution is what drives the argument. The Constitution’s advise and consent clause clearly says the Senate has a role to advise and consent on presidential nominations of judges and so forth. And the assumption has always been simple majority then, the same way the Constitution demands that the Congress do a budget. And because the Constitution demands it, there’s no filibuster there. That’s what reconciliation is, is when you get 51 votes in the Senate to pass budget bills, and when it’s used in the past, that’s what it’s been used for. But it’s not been used like the Democrats are going to use it on a piece of legislation. It’s never been used that way before.

All it means is the Democrats have to do this to govern against the will of the people. The American people don’t want it, and the only way that they can force it down the people’s throat is to change the rules. It’s a suicide mission if they do it, and they seem hell-bent on doing it. But it’s not that easy. Reconciliation has its own rules. See, the Senate parliamentarian will have to pass judgment on whether reconciliation can be used the Senate parliamentarian will probably say no. But then Biden, the president of the Senate, can overrule the parliamentarian on anything (that’s a Senate rule), and, bam! They’re off and running. But that presents its own opportunities for Republicans to gum up the works at almost every stage of the process. But the Senate is the wrong place to look at this. The House does not have the votes for this right now, no matter what comes out of the Senate — and, in fact, I have a story here from The Politico.

James Oberstar is a Democrat from Minnesota. He’s ‘chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee blasted the Senate jobs bill, saying the measure doesn’t have enough votes to pass the House,’ and neither does the health care bill. ‘The Minnesotan said he wouldn’t mind if the stimulus section in the House bill got stripped, but he said he won’t stand for a change in funding formulas as it stands. He said that the Senate bill,’ this is the jobs bill, ”does violence’ by giving four states — including California and Illinois — almost all the extra federal highway funds.’ So, you know, the House is going to gum this thing up. This is the $15 billion jobs bill. They’re going to put some pork in it, and if that happens, Scott Brown says, ‘I ain’t voting for it, if it comes back as just a piece of pork.’ Well, the House is going to have the same kind of problems with whatever comes out of the Senate. The House of Representatives is the focus here now on whether anything on health care can get done.

Brief time-out. More phone calls and sound bites as we eagerly await the second half of the president’s health care summit resuming.


RUSH: The second half of the health care summit just kicked off 20 minutes late. I want to ask you, if you’re watching this: Would you ever envision any competent CEO running a meeting like this? There’s no objective other than to try to embarrass Republicans, but that’s been blown. There is no point. Nobody’s in charge of anything. There is no organization. There is simply no endgame here. There’s no reason for the media to cover it. If I were the Republicans, you know what I would have said? I’d have said, ‘We’d be happy to do this but we’re going to do it on GoToMeeting.com. We’ll see you on the computer.’ They’re busing everybody up there to Blair House in actual buses, rather than what these guys drive up individually.


RUSH: And we are back. Ladies and gentlemen, CNN just rejoined the health care summit, and I think I know why. The Democrat plan for the second half is just to run out the clock. They are holding onto the ball. Republicans are not even allowed to say anything. Here’s the way the time broke down in the morning session. The Democrats spoke 108 minutes and the Republicans 56 minutes. Here’s the breakdown: Obama 58 minutes, but he said he didn’t count because he’s president. He actually said that. Obama spoke 58 minutes, the Republicans spoke 56 minutes, and Democrats spoke 50. So if you add Democrats and Obama, it’s 108, and the Republicans for 56 minutes. CNN probably joined because it’s nothing but Democrats now. They’re running out the clock. They’ve gone into prevent defense. Jay Rockefeller has diarrhea of the mouth. Obama has diarrhea of the mouth, won’t shut up. Biden, rambling on and on and on and on. What’s happening here in the afternoon session is a deliberate attempt to shut out the opposition, just like they did last year. Republican ideas were never welcome and Republican ideas are not welcome today. They got skunked in the morning session, and so they’re not having any more of that.


RUSH: Boy, oh boy! Folks, Paul Ryan just stuck it to Obama. ‘We represent the American people. They don’t want the government doing this. They want to handle this themselves.’ Obama is sitting there with two fingers over his mouth, one of them the middle finger. I mean, he was getting mad. Paul Ryan was just taking it right to him. We’ll have that sound bite for you tomorrow. It was just really great.

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