RUSH: The Talking Points Memo website is all excited. They’re breathless out there. Thirty Democrats have now said that they will vote for the public option via reconciliation in the Senate bill. Have you noticed, by the way, that they’re not using ‘reconciliation’ anymore? They’re talking about ‘simple majority vote,’ as though some basic rule of fairness is being violated here. The Senate itself has a rule: 60 votes except for budgetary items, 60 votes, and the guys who wrote the bill are now saying that they’re victims of something unfair and we just need to get back to ‘simple majority vote.’ They don’t like the word ‘reconciliation’ because people don’t understand that. ‘Simple majority? Why, that sounds infinitely fair. Who could be against a simple majority vote?’
It’s like ‘lockbox’ and ‘risky scheme.’ They come up with all of these phrases. ‘Republicans want to starve kids with the school lunch cuts’ (laughing) and that sort of stuff. You know, maybe what we ought to do here is have ‘simple majority votes’ on abortion and amnesty for illegals. Let’s just have ‘simple majority votes’ on these things. Let’s see how they like ‘simple majority votes’ then. Let’s take their little pet peeve issues and let’s just have ‘simple majority’ votes. In fact, let’s just say you need to get 40% and you win. (laughing) Why make it so hard to win? Now, this is fascinating because Obama is all for reconciliation — I’m sorry, ‘simple majority vote’ — and all these Democrats are out there saying, ‘Yep, simple majority vote! Damn right. I’ll be in there on the public option,’ but then Kent Conrad (D-ND) appeared on Slay the Nation yesterday with the host Bob Schieffer, and Schieffer said, ‘If the leaders in the Senate do decide to try this by reconciliation, what’s going to happen?’
CONRAD: On the question of reconciliation, I’ve said all year as chairman of the Budget Committee, reconciliation cannot be used to pass comprehensive health care reform. It won’t work. It won’t work because it was never designed for that kind of significant legislation. It was designed for deficit reduction. So let’s be clear.
RUSH: What he’s saying is right. The only things that reconciliation can be used for are budget items because the Constitution demands the Congress have a budget every year, that the country have a budget. It was Sheets Byrd who wrote the whole rule way back when. Sheets Byrd wrote the rule back in ’74 exempting budgetary items from the 60 votes. So here’s Congress: ‘It’s not possible, can’t be used,’ and in fact, over the weekend (Saturday or Sunday, I forget) the New York Times had a story and they were really down in the dumps about the prospects of reconciliation, that it wouldn’t work, that it couldn’t be used. When I heard Conrad yesterday on Slay the Nation say what you just heard him say, I thought, ‘Oh, no wonder the New York Times is down.’ So I’m thinking, ‘Where we gonna go from here? What’s really going on here?’ Well, let me try to explain to you, folks. See, here you’ve got Conrad saying, ‘It can’t be used. I mean, it won’t work. It was never designed for that kind of significant legislation. It won’t work.’
Okay, so what do we have here? What’s the equation? We have rules and we have Democrats. What could possibly go wrong? If you have rules and then you have Democrats, what it means is that the rules may as well not exist. So Conrad, I don’t know what he’s doing. He may have forgotten what party he’s a member of. (laughing) But if Obama wants this to happen, and happen that way, they’ll find a way around the rules. That’s what this is all about in the first place, is finding a way around the rules. In fact, ‘Obama To Announce Way Forward On Health Care Next Week… ‘probably closer to Wednesday.” His press spokesman, Baghdad Robert Gibbs, said, ‘The President will take into account what he heard yesterday,’ at the health care summit, ‘and make an announcement next week about the way forward. .. [T]he widespread assumption on Capitol Hill is that Obama will address specific changes that he wants made to the Senate’s version of the legislation … and that he will encourage Congress to pass those changes using reconciliation,’ which you just heard Kent Conrad say cannot be done.
RUSH: This is not the first time that the Democrats have tried budget reconciliation to ram health care through. When was the last time they tried this, Snerdley? Remember when the last time they tried this was? Hillarycare. They did. They tried it with Hillarycare, and back then it was in 2001, Byrd made a statement about it. (Byrd impression) ‘In 1993, my owwwwwwwn Democratic leadership…’ Sorry. It will take me ’til Tuesday to read this statement that way. He said, ‘In 1993, my own Democrat leadership…’ Now, listen to this. ‘In 1993, my own Democratic leadership pleaded with me. How many of my friends on the Republican side today would stand as firm as the Rock of Gibraltar as I did on that occasion? The Democratic leadership pleaded with me at length to agree to support the idea that the Clinton health care bill should be included in that year’s reconciliation package. They came to my office on the floor below.
‘Not only did Majority Leader George Mitchell and others of my colleagues attempt to persuade me to go along and not raise a point of order under the Byrd rule, which would require 60 votes to waive, President Clinton got on the phone and called me also and pressed me to allow his massive health care bill to be insulated by reconciliation’s protection. He called me on the telephone. Here is the President of the United States calling this lowly former coal town boy and asking me…’ Is this guy a blowhard or what? (laughing) ‘Here is the President of the United States calling this lowly former coal town boy and asking me to let his huge health bill come before the Senate on that fast track. I could not, in good conscience, however, look the other way and not make that point of order and allow what would clearly have been an abuse of congressional intent to occur.
‘How many others would do that today on that side of the aisle, stand against their President[?]’ Byrd asked. I don’t even know if Byrd is going to stand against it this time. (interruption) Well, yeah. I think he remembers. I think he remembers. It’s the Byrd rule. I think he remembers that he did this in opposing Clinton. The point is they tried it before. Now, everybody is saying it’s kamikaze. Everybody is saying they are shooting themselves. Pelosi is forcing her people in the House to lose their jobs, and that’s true. Now, in previous broadcasts I’ve explained this, because they look at things differently than we do. I cannot, no matter how persuasive or talented, properly convey to you how badly they want this. They are willing to lose their majorities in order to get this — and looked at in that light, you have to take this very seriously. They’re running around saying gonna use reconciliation and Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) says, ‘Well, reconciliation won’t work.’
Andrew McCarthy, a good friend of mine, took my point, and was so inspired by it that he amplified it. He posted this Saturday morning early at The Corner at National Review Online. ‘I hear Republicans getting…’ (interruption) Well, yes, he was inspired, Snerdley. He mentions me in the first paragraph. I know he was inspired, yes. He’s a friend of mine. I can say that. I’m not going to read the part where he credits me for this. I’m just going to tell you. I’m going to get to the meat of what he wrote. ‘I hear Republicans getting giddy over the fact that ‘reconciliation,’ if it comes to that, is a huge political loser. That’s the wrong way to look at it. The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitability of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary.
‘Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with. Clipping the leadership’s statist ambitions in order to peel off a few Republicans is not going to work. I’m glad Republicans have held firm, but let’s not be under any illusions about what that means. In the Democrat leadership, we are not dealing with conventional politicians for whom the goal of being reelected is paramount and will rein in their radicalism. They want socialized medicine and all it entails about government control even more than they want to win elections. After all, if the party of government transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state, its power over our lives will be vast even in those cycles when it is not in the majority.
‘This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you’ve calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state. Consequently, the next six weeks, like the next ten months, are going to be worse than we think. We’re wired to think that everyone plays by the usual rules of politics — i.e., if the tide starts to change, the side against whom it has turned modifies its positions in order to stay viable in the next election. But what will happen here will be the opposite. You have a party with the numbers to do anything it puts its mind to, led by movement Leftists who see their window of opportunity is closing. We seem to expect them to moderate because that’s what everybody in their position does. But they won’t.
‘They will put their heads down and go for as much transformation as they can get, figuring that once they get it, it will never be rolled back. The only question is whether there are enough Democrats who are conventional politicians and who care about being reelected, such that they will deny the leadership the numbers it needs. But I don’t think we should take much heart in this possibility. Those Democrats may well come to think they are going to lose anyway — that’s why so many of them are abandoning ship now. If that’s the case, their incentive will be to vote with the leadership. At the end of the summit debacle, President Obama put the best face on a bad day by indicating that he intended to push ahead with socialized medicine and face the electoral consequences (‘that’s what elections are for,’ he concluded). He’s right about that.
‘For Republicans, it won’t be enough to fight this thing, then deride it if Democrats pull it off, and finally coast to a very likely electoral victory in November. The question is: What are you going to do to roll this back? What is your plan to undo this’ once they get it done? ‘I think our side is analyzing this all wrong: Today’s Democrats are controlled by the radical Left, and it is more important to them to execute the permanent transformation of American society than it is to win the upcoming election cycles. They have already factored in losing in November — even losing big. For them, winning big now outweighs that.’ So getting giddy over this now and how they’re committing suicide, is the wrong way to look at this. Because if it does lead to these mass defeats and the Republicans do claim power again, the focus has to be on rolling this back and stopping it, depending on how they get it done.
Irwin Stelzer at the Weekly Standard had a post recently: ‘Americans overwhelmingly say that their main concern is jobs, and that they are satisfied with their current health care arrangements. In response, an allegedly chastened President Obama pivoted, and says his primary concern from now on will be job creation, which will take priority over his controversial plan to radically change the nation’s health care system. Yet, last week he backed a $15 billion job-creation bill, which passed the Senate, and a $1 trillion health care bill. Since the federal balance sheet is already under huge pressure, this set of priorities tells us that the Obama administration intends to concentrate available resources on transforming the economy — a long-term, permanent restructuring of the health care and energy sectors that was planned long before the failure of Lehman Brothers triggered the financial mess Obama inherited.’ Indeed they have wanted this since FDR. They have dreamed of this, and they have never been closer, and that’s why they will do anything to get it done. Remember, ladies and gentlemen: On one side you have rules, on the other side you have Democrats, which means you don’t have any rules.
RUSH: Lisa — or Lissa, I guess it is — in St. Louis. Thank you for holding, and welcome.
CALLER: Well, thank you. Listen, even if Obama and Pelosi get some filet mignon and grind it up and then try to cut it into the dog food, people still aren’t going to choak it down. This country isn’t going to be… You can’t lead it from the position where they are standing, from the spot on the line where they’re standing.
RUSH: Wait. Wait, now. You’re right, but they’re not trying to lead.
CALLER: Right. They’re trying to push, ram.
RUSH: They are trying to control. This is not about leadership.
RUSH: This is about power and control.
CALLER: Right. Right. The other reason I was calling is to say, you know, you’re talking about Congress and how, you know, they can’t win. These people are screwed no matter how they try. They are going to lose. I really believe no matter what happens with health care, the Democrats are going to lose — and, Rush, I’m worried about them. Where are they going to find another job?
RUSH: Oh, that’s no problem. That’s easy.
CALLER: (garbled) pizza is hiring.
RUSH: How many of them have already been promised judgeships? How many of them have been promised ambassadorships?
CALLER: I see.
RUSH: Hell, how many of them have been promised ships?
CALLER: So, they’re going to be government employees.
CALLER: They’re going to work for the federal government.
RUSH: Well, they could become lobbyists and get rich.
RUSH: They could do good work for the —
CALLER: They can’t be civics instructors because they don’t even know the Constitution, according to that one study you talked about earlier.
RUSH: That doesn’t matter.
RUSH: All that makes ’em imminently more hirable and more qualified.
CALLER: All right. Then you’re not worried about them finding work.
RUSH: No. Except to the extent that you like serving in Congress because of the element in power you feel or you have doing that, I don’t think that. In some cases, depending on who they are, they’ll be taken care of. Some of them may have already been told how.
CALLER: Right. You’re right.
RUSH: We’re just not sure. Anyway, Lissa, thanks for the call. I appreciate it.
RUSH: I explained this to you once before, and it is an expansion on Andy McCarthy’s expansion of something I said originally. He said, ‘It’s not time to get giddy here over the problems that they face. They are willing to lose and lose big to get this done because they are confident the Republicans won’t have the guts to roll it back.’
Look at what happened when Bush tried to reform Social Security. Social Security, as you know, has become ‘the third rail.’ Here’s why it is important. If they get it done, the objective and the campaign theme has to be: ‘Roll it back.’ Roll it back. Do you remember all the people on Social Security, getting Social Security benefits of one kind or another, in all those years where the Democrats said, ‘The Republicans want to take away your Social Security. The Republicans want to kick you out of your house.’ It worked for a whole lot of election cycles. It was only in the early to mid-nineties when it started bombing out because after so many years of these predictions, it never happened. Nobody ever took their house away. Nobody ever tried to cut Social Security. It was all a lie — and when the New Media was born (led, of course, by me) this option and reality was presented to people.
But if they get health care done, everybody’s going to be on government health care under their plan at some point. If it’s ten years down the road or five, whatever it is, that’s the objective. Everybody’s going to be on government health care. If we don’t roll it back then we’re stuck with it, and any attempt to roll it back after it gets settled in, any attempt to roll it back after more and more Americans are being insured by the government, will lead to charges of: ‘Those Republicans fought giving you health care! They want to take your health care benefits away! They want to take your health care,’ and it will work. This cannot be allowed to stand even if they get it done. So it’s not enough just to take comfort and even enjoyment in what will no doubt be a disastrous election for them. If they get this done before November, then a serious plot to undo it has got to become the focus, and they are banking on the fact that the Republicans don’t have the guts to do that. We’ll see. Nobody knows. Because we don’t know if they’re going to get it and we don’t know what the results of that are definitely going to be, so you don’t want to count your eggs before the chickens hatch, or whatever that is. I don’t know.
RUSH: Donna in Hanford, California. I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the program. I have about a minute, max.
CALLER: Okay. Thank you. This is my theory as to why Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Kerry, all these people supported Obama. It’s not because what their mouths were saying, that he was this brilliant, brilliant statesman. It’s because he’s exactly the opposite. They knew he was incompetent. They knew, they think. The analogy I used is that he couldn’t find his way out of a bathroom stall with the door open, and in his own words, he had to be told how to vote. So…
RUSH: Well, maybe. But I also think they supported him because he could win.
CALLER: Yeah. That, too.
RUSH: The reasons they thought he could win were purely ‘surface,’ shall I say.