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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Do you remember, ladies and gentlemen, ‘the nuclear option’? You remember what that was? It’s so fuzzed up now that no one remembers really what it means or for what it was intended. But overriding all of this is the Senate filibuster rule that outside of budget bills, the Senate requires 60 votes to stop debate and go to a final floor vote to pass a bill. We all know this. Now, trying to make sense out of filibusters and reconciliation, the so-called nuclear option, the bottom line is this — and this is where the nuclear option began. Fifty-one votes is all that had ever been necessary to confirm a judge nominated by the president. Fifty-one votes. Fifty-one votes for a non-budget bill, the Democrats are out there saying (we’ve got these great audio sound bites from recent years) is arrogant, a power grab. Because the Senate has rules for legislation that takes over the private health insurance sector, for example. So in 2005 there was a question about how many senators were needed to give their ‘advice and consent’ for a judge nominated by the president. There was a constitutional question in 2005 about whether 51 or 60 senators were needed.



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RUSH: Now back to what I was saying. In 2005, there was a constitutional question about whether 51 or 60 senators were needed to confirm a president’s choice for the judiciary. It was about the appointments clause which reads thus: ‘The president … shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law.’ That’s Article 2, Section 2, clause two. Conservatives said that 51 votes were enough if the advice-and-consent clause of the Constitution meant anything. Liberals said that the Senate’s filibuster rules superseded that. Now, Republicans ran the place back then, you must remember, and Bush was having a lot of trouble with his nominees, and this is where the Gang of 14 comes into play.

John McCain and the Gang of 14 were trying to stave off the nuclear option. The nuclear option was using 51 votes instead of 60 because we’re talking here about something that’s standard: The confirmation of judges. So now the nuclear option is now called ‘reconciliation.’ Nuclear doesn’t sound too good, does it? ‘Reconciliation? Oh, yes! We’ll reconcile. We’ll come to an agreement.’ The point is that we’ve got audio sound bites from 2005 of all kinds of Democrat senators saying that this is a ‘naked power grab’ to use 51 votes to confirm judges instead of 60. It’s a naked power grab! We got Biden saying (summarized), ‘I’ll tell you, you’re not going to have this power forever, you Republicans. We’re going to have it, and we’re never gonna do this kind of naked power grab.’ I mean, it’s on and on and on. We got Feinstein, we got Hillary Clinton, we have Senator Byrd, we have Chuck-U Schumer. We have all these people.

The thing about this is, to me, it’s not a surprise. You know me. Liberals lie. Democrats lie. They do everything they accuse everybody else of doing. It’s called ‘projection.’ So now they are going to use reconciliation. They are going to blow up the Senate rules. They’re gonna nuke the Senate rules in order to get health care through the Senate. They were all against doing this precise thing back in 2005 to confirm judges. They — all of a sudden, out of the blue — wanted to require 60 votes to confirm judges because they didn’t like Bush’s appointments. There have never been 60 votes needed to confirm judges. So there were arguments back and forth: ‘Should we launch the nuclear option?’ They were all set to do it, Bill Frist and these guys. They weren’t crazy about doing it.

Then to save the day, along came McCain and Lindsey Grahamnesty and the Gang of 14. (New Castrati impression) ‘Which is a bipartisan group put together of 14 senators to make sure that the nuclear option was not used to protect the sacred rules of the United States Senate,’ and we have Hillary Clinton talking about how (summarized), ‘It’s not efficient over here. It’s not efficient by design. The Founding Fathers built the Senate this way so that we would not ramrod through legislation without taking careful time to consider it.’ All of that’s out the window now. It’s pure hypocrisy. It’s deceit galore. It’s typical of the Democrats and the libs. And when we come back from the bottom-of-the-hour break coming up, I’ll let you hear it for the entertainment value of it.

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RUSH: All right, to the audio sound bites.

May 24th, 2005, this is what I said about the Democrats and the then-described ‘nuclear option.’

RUSH ARCHIVE: The one thing we know about the Democrats is that they can be trusted to not be trusted, meaning they’re not gonna abide by any deal when they already refuse to abide by the Constitution and 214 years of history. This is another thing: Making deals with these people is like making deals with the old Soviet Union. This is nothing different than those old SALT talks. We’ll abide by it; they’ll break it.

RUSH: Yesterday in Washington, Dingy Harry had a statement. By the way, you know what his campaign slogan is? Dingy Harry’s campaign slogan is ‘Vote for me or my wife gets beat up by me.’ ‘Save my wife, vote for me: Harry Reid. Yesterday he had a press conference. During the Q&A he was asked, ‘Is reconciliation the only way you have to get health care through Congress at this point?’

REID: 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: Now, it is done for budget bills. It’s not done for what they’re going to do with health care. Let’s go back to April 25th, 2005 at the National Press Club. At-the-time-Senator Barack Obama spoke about changing the filibuster rule. This is when the Republicans were going to use the nuclear option to confirm some of Bush’s nominees. Here is a portion of what Obama said. He was ripping the whole process, the process he now is preparing to use to pass his own health care bill.

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: Oh, founders did not intend what Obama himself is now going to do!

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RUSH: Hillary Clinton, Senator, May 23rd, 2005, on the Senate floor, spoke about changing the filibuster rule.

THEN-SENATOR CLINTON MAY 23, 2005: So this president has come to the majority here in the Senate and basically said ‘Change the rules! Do it the way I want it done,’ and I guess there just weren’t very many voices on the other side of the aisle that acted the way previous generations of senators have acted and said ‘Mr. President, we are with you, we support you, but that’s a bridge too far. We can’t go there. You have to restrain yourself, Mr. President.’

RUSH: Now, remember, the Democrats wanted at this time to us 60 votes to confirm judges. The Republicans said, ‘No, no, no, no. The clause doesn’t say anything about it, the Advise and Consent clause. They’ve always done a simple majority here.’ Democrats said, ‘No, no, no! We want to get 60.’ The Democrats were saying, ‘Fifty-one votes? Why, why, that’s a constitutional crisis!’ The same thing they’re trying to do now with health care, they said was going to destroy the country. Here’s Chuck-U Schumer.

CHUCK SCHUMER MAY 18, 2005: We are on the precipice of a crisis, a constitutional crisis. The checks and balances which have been at the core of this republic are about to be evaporated by the nuclear option. The checks and balances which say that if you get 51% of the vote you don’t get your way 100% of the time. It is amazing. It’s almost a temper tantrum.

RUSH: And here’s Harry Reid, who just yesterday told Republicans to ‘stop crying about reconciliation,’ the nuclear option.

HARRY REID MAY 18, 2005: Mr. President, the right to extended debate is never more important than the one party controls Congress and the White House. In these cases the filibuster serves as a check on power and preserves our limited government.

RUSH: Ohhhhh! Back then, remember, we were talking about ‘the tyranny of the majority’ and how we had to ‘respect the rights of the minority,’ because Bush and the Republicans had the House of Representatives and had the Senate, and the Democrats were blocking all these judicial confirmations. So the very thing that the Democrats are going to do for health care in the Senate, they said was going to destroy our country. Here is Dianne Feinstein on the subject.

DIANNE FEINSTEIN MAY 18, 2005: The nuclear option, if successful, will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority —

RUSH: Hmmm!

FEINSTEIN: — of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority. It begins with judicial nomination, next will be executive appointments, and then legislation.

RUSH: Yep, yep, yep. She called it. (laughing) Look, it’s not big news, I know, ’cause they’re hypocrites every day of the year, but it is just funny to listen to this stuff. It’s great to have this stuff on, and here’s Joe Biden. This is even better, May 23rd, 2005.

THEN-SENATOR JOE BIDEN MAY 23, 2005: This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab.

RUSH: Arrogance of power. A fundamental power grab. Dingy Harry again…

SENATOR HARRY REID MAY 18, 2005: No, we are not going to follow the Senate rules. No! Because of the arrogance of power of this Republican administration.

RUSH: Even Chris Dodd, ‘Friend of Angelo,’ VIP, getting real-favorable mortgage rates out there from Countrywide spoke about changing the filibuster rule.

SENATOR CHRIS DODD MAY 18, 2005: (shouting) Why have two chambers? What were the framers thinking about 218 years ago? They understood, Mr. President, that there is a tyranny of the majority.

RUSH: (laughing) Is this not great? (laughing) We’re ramming it down their collective little Democrat throats. Dianne Feinstein.

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN MAY 18, 2005: If the Republican leadership insists on forcing the nuclear option, the Senate becomes, ipso facto, the House of Representatives where the majority rules supreme and the party in power can dominate and control the agenda with absolute power.

RUSH: Yeah, exactly like is happening now. Of course back then they called it ‘the nuclear option;’ today they call it reconciliation. Here’s Hillary again.

THEN-SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON MAY 23, 2005: ‘You’ve got majority rule and then you have the Senate over here where people can slow things down where they can debate, where they have something called ‘the filibuster.’ Eh, you know it seems like it’s a little less than efficient.’ Well that’s right. It is. And deliberately designed to be so.

RUSH: And here’s old Joe. (laughing) Nobody’s messing with Joe. Listen to this.

THEN-SENATOR JOE BIDEN MAY 23, 2005: I say to my friends on the Republican side: You may own the field right now, but you won’t own it forever, and I pray [to] God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.

RUSH: (laughing) Oh, that’s great! Joe Biden! You can count on him! No matter what day of the week, no matter what year, you can count on Joe Biden. Here’s Chuck-U Schumer.

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER MAY 23, 2005: They want their way (banging podium) every single time! And they will change the rules, break the rules, misread the Constitution, so that they will get their way.

RUSH: Hillary, once again, May 23rd, 2005.

THEN-SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON MAY 23, 2005: The Senate is being asked to turn itself inside out — to ignore the precedent, to ignore the way our system has worked, the delicate balance that we have obtained that has kept this constitutional system going — for immediate gratification of the present president.

RUSH: (chuckles) What the hell is happening now? The immediate gratification of the present president. A freaking monument and all these Democrats are being asked to die on the sword in order for Obama to get that monument, and they’re going to break the Senate rules in the process, constitutional crisis, a bomb. Here is Max Baucus.

SENATOR MAX BAUCUS MAY 19, 2005: This is the way (dramatic pause) democracy ends. Not with a bomb but with a gavel.

RUSH: Oh, wow! Democracy was going to end if they did the nuclear option in 2005! They were going to go to 51 votes to confirm judges! (gasping and gagging) Last but not least, ‘Sheets’ Byrd comparing this to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

SENATOR ROBERT BYRD APRIL 1, 2005: For the temporary gain of a handful of out-of-the-mainstream judges, some in the Senate are ready to callously incinerate each senator’s — Each senator! Every senator’s! — right of extended debate. That is what the nuclear option seeks to do. Minorities have an illustrious past, full of suffering, torture, smear, and even death. Jesus Christ was killed by a majority. Columbus was smeared. Christians have been tortured.

RUSH: And, of course, the Klan has not been very nice to blacks.

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