RUSH: Paula in Hartland, Wisconsin, I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program.
CALLER: Rush, so cool to talk to you. Anyway, I’m gonna get right to my point like I was instructed. Rush, I had a thought doing some reading this morning. I understand that Harry Reid and some Democratic senators are gonna try to push through some changes in the filibuster rules. And as I got thinking about it, I said, ‘Man, I hope I can get Rush today because I need his input on this,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Well, the House is now Republican so it’s really not gonna matter as far as legislation goes,’ but I’m thinking, ‘The Senate does all the judicial and federal nominations, approves them,’ and I’m thinking that since Obama’s agenda is really going nowhere legislatively, that the Democrats are looking at this as a way to load the courts with as radical judges as they can to try to keep their agenda moving forward.
RUSH: Well, now —
CALLER: What do you think?
RUSH: — you know, you are incredibly shrewd, and I mean this. You are incredibly shrewd. I just want to bring one small correction. Their desire to get rid of the filibuster in the Senate goes beyond judicial nominations. They really want to get rid of it. They’ve lost and the filibuster is now an obstacle. So of course, ‘It’s outdated, it’s outmoded, it’s a fetish, and we have to get rid of it. We’ve gotta get rid of this requirement that says we have to have 60 votes to get anything done. That’s just antiquated.’ It held them back. So they’re serious about it in terms of legislation. But the way this breaks down legally is quite fascinating, and a lot of people are calling Republicans hypocrites for opposing the change in filibuster rule, and the reason…
It’s a fallacious reason. The reason Republicans are being called hypocrites is because the Republican objected to the filibustering of judicial nominees, and now all of a sudden the Democrats want to get rid of the filibuster and the Republicans are opposing that, and everybody is saying, ‘Why, you Republicans are being hypocrites! Why, you — you — you wanted to stop the Democrats using the filibuster on judicial nominees!’ There’s a constitutional reason. Judicial nominees cover both branches. You have the president, who makes the nominations, and the Senate, who confirms. And so the filibustering of judicial nominees is something that affects the executive branch, and that (in my layman’s mind after consultation with several legal scholars) is unconstitutional.
The Senate can’t pass legislation limiting the things the executive branch can do. That’s why there’s a separation of powers in the first place. So in my mind — and there are a lot of people on our side, by the way, who are calling the Republicans hypocrites, and I think they’re wrong (and I say this with a modicum of respect). I don’t think the two are the same thing. The Senate can make whatever rules it wants for itself, Paula. If Reid wants to try to overturn the filibuster rule and get rid of 60 votes in the Senate, let him try. If he can get the votes for it then they’ve got a new rule. That’s how they operate. Fine and dandy. It’s up to them to make their rules.
The president can’t tell ’em what they have to do and the courts can’t tell ’em what they have to do, but the Senate cannot in any way restrict what the executive does. So using the filibuster to get in the way of judicial nominations, that is what’s (if anything) hypocritical. That is what’s unconstitutional, and the Republicans were totally right to oppose that because that impacts, as I say, the president. He has a role in the selection of nominees because he selects them. They go through the confirmation process. If Reid wants to get rid of the filibuster, it’s not automatically covering judicial nominees when he does it. They’re two separate things.
CALLER: Well, I understand that, and I just see it as another power play by Reid and company to try to just nullify the election results.
RUSH: Of course it is!
CALLER: We said no to this in November.
RUSH: Of course it is.
CALLER: And he is taking it and wants to throw it out the window. If this is so important to him why didn’t he do it two years ago? The fact is they —
RUSH: Because he had 60 votes two years ago, until he lost Scott Brown’s seat. Kennedy’s seat.
CALLER: Well, exactly. Exactly my point, Rush. Exactly my point. I just look at it as so disingenuous.
RUSH: You’re right, but it’s not the first time they’ve done things like this. I can’t remember off the top of my head, but Democrats lose power and all of a sudden certain customs and laws and rules are all of a sudden outdated. I mean, look, as far as they’re concerned, the whole Constitution’s kaput now.
RUSH: The whole Constitution is… E. J. Dionne Jr. in the Washington Post recently had a piece saying essentially that the Constitution, there’s nothing sacred about it. It was just a political document, and it was put together by virtue of political compromise, and therefore the people who don’t agree with some of the political compromises of the day when the Constitution was ratified don’t have to support it. I mean, that’s the new liberal thinking. It’s not the law of the land. It is not everything it is. It’s no more than a piece of legislation from 250 years ago, and if you don’t like it, you don’t like it. You don’t have to abide by it. That’s their new thinking. They’re the sorest losers, and this is why I’ve always said there’s no common ground here. The only thing for us to do is keep winning. The only thing to do is to keep beating them. They have no interest in working with us. They have no interest in common ground or bipartisanship or anything. They are pure, unadulterated, Stalinist, tyranny-type people.
All they want to do is rule, not govern, and they have to be defeated every election.
RUSH: One little history lesson, ladies and gentlemen, the reason that we have the 60-vote rule in the Senate today for cloture, meaning 60 votes to stop debate and move to voting on the bill, essentially 60 votes to pass the bill, the only reason we have that, the so-called filibuster, is because the Democrats changed the rules in 1975 when they had a big Senate majority after Watergate and they were trying to make sure that they couldn’t be stopped, had to have 60-vote rule. That’s when it started, Watergate 1975. The change was initiated by Walter F. Mondull, who was soon to become vice president for Jimmy Carter, who then would be shellacked in 1984, the second term of Ronaldus Magnus. But that’s when this whole 60-vote business — in the old days, by old days, I mean the sixties — if you were gonna filibuster, you damn well had to stand up there and filibuster, you had to stand up, start talking, and not stop. Then they changed the rules, filibuster can mean, ah, you need 60 votes, 60 votes to stop debate, 60 votes to stop somebody from speaking who’s really not speaking, and that happened in 1975.
But again, the Senate, as well as the House can change their rules. There’s new rules in the House as of today. Boehner was announcing them. They got a rules committee, the Republicans run it. They can set the rules, and the Democrats have no choice because they don’t have the votes to beat them so it’s the way it’s set up. And the Democrats run the Senate still and they can set the rules they want. Now they want to get rid of 60 because they’re nowhere near 60 and there aren’t enough Olympia Snowes and Susan Collinses in there to get ’em to 60 even if all the Democrats hold. So it’s not fair, the Democrats, they’re running the Senate but they can’t get anything done because the stupid 60-vote requirement that we put in ourselves back in 1975, but now they want to get rid of it since they can’t get there. It is what it is. And we’ll see, they’re gonna need even Republican votes for that, to get that passed.