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RUSH: We got Trump’s Supreme Court nomination. Every network’s doing a countdown: Seven hours, 41 minutes, 25 seconds and counting! It doesn’t matter who it is. Well, actually it does.

Actually, it does matter now because the Democrats have signaled that they’re gonna go nuclear on this. I’m gonna explain what this means. I’ve found in talking to people that they don’t know what the nuclear option means or is. They think they do, but they don’t, just like people think the Statue of Liberty is about immigration. It isn’t. It never was about immigration. The left… That’s another thing the left’s appropriated. The Statue of Liberty is about liberty and freedom, and it’s a thanks to the United States for ensuring it around the world. It had nothing to do with immigration. But the left has appropriated it using that poem written by Emma Lazarus was a fundraising letter to pay for the pedestal for the darn thing.

Anyway, we just have much to sort out here, but the nuclear option being triggered means it doesn’t matter who Trump nominates. See, the theory was that Trump could nominate initially somebody less than a full-fledged hardliner, somebody that might be somewhat acceptable to moderates, somebody about whom it could be said is not guaranteed to be doctrinaire conservative in order to get the guy confirmed. Well, if the Democrats are gonna go nuclear from the get-go, then you may as well nominate the full-fledged, 1000% conservative. Bring it on! Take off the gloves. Let’s get the fists ready to go and get this administration up to speed on just what liberalism is, who liberals are, and how to oppose them.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let me grab Jessica in Naperville, Illinois. Great to have you, Jessica. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Hi. Thank you so much for talking with me.

RUSH: Yes, ma’am.

CALLER: First, I just want to say thank you so much. I’m in Illinois, and I’m a Republican Millennial, so I feel pretty isolated these days, surrounded by all the liberals. (chuckles) So it’s been really great to listen to your show. It’s a relief. But anyway my question is I know that the liberals in the Senate are saying that they’re gonna put up a huge resistance to the cabinet picks and especially the Supreme Court pick, and I just wondered what they’re hoping to accomplish with this, and, like, how long can this really go on, you know? (sigh) So…

RUSH: Well, let me… That last question is a good question, and your other question: What do they hope to accomplish?

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: You know the answer to that.

CALLER: (chuckles)

RUSH: How would you…? If the roles were reversed here and I was asking you — Jessica, Millennial babe in Naperville, Illinois — what they’re hoping to accomplish, what do you think?

CALLER: Well, it’s kind aof hard. It’s kinda hard. I just feel like it’s more bothersome. I don’t see how they can, like, actually keep him from picking someone. So, you know, I guess I’m not really sure why they’d do that.

RUSH: Well, look, this works both ways. Let me explain it to you, Jessica. You might remember the name Merrick Garland. Let’s start there, just to tick ’em off. When Justice Scalia passed away, it created an opening in the U.S. Supreme Court, and this happened on Obama’s final year as president. So Obama wanted a pick. He wanted to pick the replacement. This is crucial. If he could get a liberal on the court, that would tilt the court for a generation, give the liberals a 5-4 advantage. However, there was a rule of long-standing…

Not a rule; it was an understanding of long-standing that had been in place for many, many years, and that is that presidents do not actually get to foreclose a Supreme Court pick in the final year of their administration. The reason that rule exists is because the Democrats insisted on it during a prior Republican presidency, and it was Joe Biden who came up with this rule. It didn’t exist anywhere. Biden just created it out of whole cloth and said that it made common sense and moral sense and legal sense for any nominee in the last year of a president’s term.

Because he’s leaving, and we’re in the middle of a campaign to replace him, and so that ought to be something the new president does. The Democrats started this whole business of the sitting president in his final year should not have his pick confirmed. So the Republicans let Merrick Garland sit there, no hearings, and the Democrats fumed because that pick meant everything. And Obama supposedly chose Merrick Garland because he was a moderate, that he could possibly get some Republican votes, and he could actually get confirmed, rather than pick somebody who was a hard-core extremist lunatic leftist judge.

But the Republicans held firm and they did not move the nomination forward, Jessica. They were able to forestall it by refusing to have frequent sessions, by just refusing… I mean, the Senate was run by McConnell, and he just refused to bring it to the floor, and there was nothing the Democrats could do. So now it’s payback time in one sense. That’s one thing going on here. But even without that this would be happening, the Democrats would be obstructing that and all these cabinet picks because it’s crucial. They hate Trump; they hate the fact that they lost.

And the reason that they are delaying and the reason they are trying to stop all this is just to make trouble for Trump and to create circumstances like happened with Sally Yates. They do not want Trump to have his people in place. Now, it can’t go on forever, but it’s all part of the gamesmanship, one-upsmanship, the play for power. This is the establishment (Democrats running it) basically telling Trump, “Screw you. We don’t care that you were elected. You don’t get to nominate anyone. We’re not gonna hurry along for you.”

People said, “Well, Obama got seven of his nominees in the first day after his inauguration.” Democrats said, “You’re not Obama. You don’t get that. You don’t get that kind of respect. We don’t think you should have been elected. We think the Russians stole the election. We think the Russians hacked us. We think you shouldn’t have been elected; everybody knows Hillary Clinton should have been elected.” So that’s their mind-set. Then you get to the practical realities, Jessica. A lot of people want to blame the Republicans here because the Republicans have the majority in the Senate.

People think that the Republicans ought to be able to determine the agenda in the Senate, and when it’s time to bring somebody to the floor for a vote, that the Republicans decree it and it happens. Except, Jessica, the thing that you have to know — that anybody has to know in understanding the Senate — is that 60 votes are needed for most things, the vast majority of things. Sixty votes are needed, not a simple majority. The Republicans have a simple majority. They’ve got 52, 53, depending. But they’ve got at least a 52-seat majority versus 48 for the Democrats.

Bernie Sanders in there as an “independent,” but he caucuses with the Democrats. And even in those instances, Jessica, where 60 votes are not needed, because of Senate rules, the minority has lots of rights to force hearings. And the way they’re bottling up hearings… Like they just announced today that they’re going to delay Mnuchin, who’s Treasury, and Tom Price, Health and Human Services because they claim that both men have lied to them in their confirmation hearings, and therefore further investigation is needed, further examination is needed.

All they have to do is allege that these guys lied, and it brings the process to a screeching halt while that is looked into with further interviews of the nominee, the nominee providing even more data. There’s not much Mitch McConnell could do to get these nominees appointed quickly. I’m not making excuses, but I’m not gonna blame McConnell for that which he doesn’t have that much control over.

Just because the Republicans run the Senate does not mean that they get to dictate what happens there. And the need for 60 votes, that’s where the nuclear option comes in, and the Democrats nuking it — 60 votes is called a filibuster. And cloture is when you have a vote to see if you have 60 votes. And if you get 60 votes on any proposition, be it a confirmation or a piece of legislation, then you’ve reached cloture, and then you have the second vote to make it official. And right now there aren’t 60 votes for some of these nominees. Republicans, even if they stand unified, they need some Democrats to cross the aisle and vote. That then falls to Chuck-U Schumer to see just how unified he can keep his caucus.

Now, it gets a little bit more complicated because the next election’s in 2018, the 2018 midterms. There are a lot of Democrat senators up for reelection, and a lot of them are from states that Donald Trump won. They’re called red states. And those senators want to be reelected. And the people in those states elected Trump because they want Trump to govern. They want Trump to get his nominees. So Schumer is eventually — most of these people are gonna get confirmed, but Schumer has to pay fealty to his base, he has to obstruct, he has to try to stop in order to keep fundraising coming in.

And again, if he can deny all these people, he would. But the practical and political realities make that unlikely. But this one is not per se the Republican leadership’s fault, or at least it’s not their fault alone. Senate rules, the need for 60 votes, any number of things. I’m glad you called, Jessica.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let’s go to the audio. Oh, the Supreme Court pick is tonight. CNN — I’ve gotta get this out there — CNN is reporting that Trump has brought both of the likely nominees to Washington, Hardiman and Gorsuch. They’re both being brought to Washington. There’s only one of them gonna be picked. This is a publicly televised choice, ceremony tonight that Trump is conducting. Why would you bring both of them if you already know which one you’re gonna pick? Why would you bring both there and are they going to be part of the public show, or whatever Trump has planned? (interruption) Who would the other guy apologize to? What do you mean, bring the other guy in to apologize?

Oh, you mean you apologize to him publicly and in person? Trump apologizes to him is what you’re saying. Nah. Are they both gonna be on stage and Trump’s gonna be behind ’em walking eeny, meeny, miny, which one is it gonna be? Is it gonna be that kind of show? Are they both gonna be there and Trump’s gonna do a show, he doesn’t know which one yet, he’s not gonna make up his mind ’til he actually gets on stage with both of these guys standing there or sitting there? Is he gonna read off the ups and downs of both guys while they are standing on camera?

(imitating Trump) “You know, I really like the Gorsuch here, but over here Hardiman, let me tell you, bud, you really stand out here. But Gorsuch, don’t feel bad because I like you for other reasons.” I’ve never heard of this. Why would you bring both of them in? Let’s see. CNN says that Gorsuch is the choice. “Increasing indications that Gorsuch –” now, Gorsuch of the two, just so you know, Gorsuch is the supposed rock-ribbed, dead-straight center, solid, no-doubts-about-it conservative.

Hardiman is the guy who’s largely conservative but might surprise you down the road. But Gorsuch — and, see, the reason that this matters, again, the Democrats have already announced that they’re gonna do everything they can to stop the nominee. If they weren’t gonna do that, then the first person that you would nominate would be the least contentious, which would be Hardiman in this case, for the simple reason it might be easier to get him confirmed, and once you get somebody confirmed, then the next ones supposedly become easier.

But if they’re going to announce, the Democrats, if they’re gonna resist and they’re gonna go nuclear, if they’re gonna do everything they can to stop it, then you may as well go with the best you’ve got, or the one you really want. I don’t mean to characterize either of these guys as lesser or greater, but Gorsuch, by reputation, is supposedly the most real-deal conservative and therefore the most hated and despised by the Democrats.

So that’s the guy, if they’re gonna go nuclear, then you go nuclear and you throw your guy right at ’em and you beat ’em back on this. And then after you beat ’em on this, every other nominee you get with decreasing opposition.

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