RUSH: Hey, did you see Trump took my advice and is not gonna go to the White House Correspondents Dinner? I advised him not to go back on February 3rd and probably on occasions prior to that.
RUSH: This is a big week for America and for Trump. Trump has this big speech tomorrow night, the equivalent of a State of the Union speech. They don’t actually call it that. Trump hasn’t been president long enough to deliver an actual State of the Union.
So it’s gonna incorporate the parts of the State of the Union where the agenda is laid out, and, you know, the media right now is asking questions: Will there be any breaks in decorum? Will the Democrats walk out? Will there be major protests? Will the Democrats in the House chamber shout and attempt to prevent Trump from speaking? All of these things.
Frankly, I hope so. I really hope so, folks. I hope the left continues. You can say what you want about the ability of the left to grab media attention because the left is the media and the media is the left. And the media likes to portray whatever’s going on with the left as the norm. But it isn’t. And this stuff that the left is engaging in is repulsive and reprehensible, and it’s repulsing people. But you’re never going to hear that reported. You are never gonna hear that take on things. You’re going to hear just the exact opposite. And this is where you naturally are gonna start worrying about Trump. I know some people are. They ask me.
“My gosh, Rush, how can anybody bear up under this? These daily countless assaults on Trump and his people and –” I don’t think, folks, you need to worry about anything. It’s all there in The Art of the Deal. Donald Trump is one of the most public and transparent politicians (which now he is) that we’ve ever had. This man, during his campaign, mentioned his agenda over and over and over again, lengthy, specifically. He didn’t hide any of it. He was wide out in the open with it. He got elected on that basis, which is why he has a mandate.
Now that he’s in the White House, he only knows one speed, and that’s full speed ahead. The way Trump works, if you remember a couple things that we’ve talked about on prior occasions from the book The Art of the Deal, you all remember that one of the big take-aways is that Trump’s advice is ask for three times what you want so that you’ve got room to compromise and come back. But the second part of this that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention is because I don’t think most in the media have ever taken the time to read it, and when do you pull back?
At what point do you start negotiating or compromising or whatever? Because you always do in any negotiation. And with Trump you don’t do that until the very end. You don’t show one sense, you don’t give one indication that you’re not serious about your demands or your desires in the first month, in the first six months, you don’t dare. You don’t give any sign whatsoever that you’re gonna pull back.
And let me ask you, there’s another thing that happens with Trump. Whenever he’s criticized about something, what does he do? All during the campaign, he doubles down on whatever it is that upsets people. So he constantly uses the term “fake news.” And the media has a cow. The media has kittens. They have conniptions. They run around. What does he do? He doubles down on it and tells them that to their face.
And the next thing he does is instruct his press secretary on a gaggle (imitating Trump), “You know what? Don’t let CNN, the New York Times, Politico and BuzzFeed, just don’t let ’em in.” And they have another cow. All the while they are expecting that the pressure that they are putting on Trump, that this intense criticism, that this never-ending browbeating is gonna cause Trump to break. But what’s happening? Trump is doubling down and tripling down.
Well, now it comes time for Trump to present the outlines of his budget tomorrow night. He gave some indications of it today in a short speech to the nation’s governors. The annual Governor’s Conference is in Washington, and Trump was not watching the Epidemic Awards last night because the Governors Ball was last night. So Trump had the governors show up at the White House today and he gives them little introductory comments on his upcoming budget, talked some things about Obamacare, how bad it is.
He said (paraphrasing), “You know, the smart thing to do politically is just do nothing. Just let this thing collapse ’cause it already is. It’s already imploding. Just let it collapse. Stand aside and let this thing go belly up.” And he said, “In two years the Democrats are gonna be coming to us begging us to do something.” He said, “But we can’t do that because that would harm people. That would hurt the people. And we’re not gonna put our political aspirations ahead of the American people.”
Now, I have one slight disagreement. I think with Republicans in power and if Obamacare implodes, I probably think the Republicans are gonna get the blame for it. I don’t think people are gonna go back, “Yeah, man, if Obama hadn’t done that in 2010.” And there’s nothing conspiratorial here. It’s just people’s historical perspective doesn’t go back very far. So if your health care plan implodes on you in 2018, and who’s in office now? Well, Republicans and Trump. Who gets blamed? So I don’t think you can rely on the fact that the Democrats will get blamed in Trump’s political scenario, how this would all play out.
But it was fascinating. You know, there are a bunch of Democrat governors — there are not that many, but there are some — only five Democrat governors actually run their states with a Democrat legislature. It’s actually only four. In one state there’s a tie — stop and think about that. In 50 states, the Democrats only have total executive and legislative control in four of them. But there are also a lot of governors — we talked about this philosophically last week when Trump decided to cancel Obama’s executive orders on transgenders in bathrooms, and what did he do with that? He sent it back to the states. He said this is not a federal issue.
Remember that’s where I so expertly defined federalism for you. Federalism is the system whereby the states do everything except the things only the federal government can do, like a national highway system or conduct war, wage war, this kind of thing. But everything else, the sates do it. And the theory is that the people closest to any situation should be the ones dealing with it. So Trump sends it back to the states. He didn’t issue an executive order claiming legal or illegal on any of this. He just said, “You people in the states decide this.” And a bunch of Democrat governors blew up and got mad.
Now, ask yourselves why. Why would a bunch of governors get mad that federal power had been returned to them? That ought to be causing them to jump for joy. But the answer to the question is that there are a lot of governors, mostly Democrat, who don’t want to be tied to any of these controversial issues. They’re more than happy for all of this to come down as a mandate or a directive from a distant capital, and they can tell the people in their state, “Sorry. Obama said we have to open the bedrooms up to anybody. Sorry. I can’t do anything about it. Take it up with Washington.”
And with Obamacare we might have somewhat of a similar circumstance. You might think in these states where the Obamacare exchanges are imploding and blowing up, and you might think where insurance premiums are skyrocketing 66% and the deductibles are out of control, you might think a lot of governors would love be able to go back and arrange health care systems within their states, for their population, so that they could do it right and get reelected and show how competent they are. But a lot of governors — not all by any stretch — but a lot of governors like washing their hands of any responsibility here and having all of this health care stuff indeed be another mandate from a distant capital so far away that we can’t do anything but abide by it.
My point here is that Trump has his work cut out for him because returning as much power as possible from Washington to the states is what liberalism and the Democrat Party stridently opposes. They want as much power, decree, command, control in Washington as they can get. It’s less responsibility for them. It’s much harder to do away with and get rid of it when, say, Obama is in charge of who can use bathrooms and who can’t. So Trump has his work cut out for him.
Now, he mentioned in the budget that he’s gonna increase defense spending and he’s gonna have his stimulus to rebuild roads, bridges, airplanes, and all that, and he’s not going to add to the deficit. Well, he’s not gonna blow it up. And he’s not gonna cut Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare. So how’s he gonna do this? How in the world is this possible? Well, this is going to be one of the great moments, if you ask me. How many times have you heard the establishment types, I don’t care either party, media, think tankers say, “I mean, you can’t cut the budget anywhere but entitlements. I mean, entitlements are 65, 70% of the budget. You can’t cut those by law. That’s why they’re called entitlements. You can’t cut ’em.”
And they say because of that, we really can’t cut the budget. Yet here comes Trump saying he’s gonna do it. How’s he gonna do it? Well, bye-bye National Endowment for the Arts. Bye-bye National Endowment for the Humanities. Say good-bye to about half of your budget, National Education Association. Say good-bye to a lot of your budget, Environmental Protection Agency. That’s how he’s gonna do it. There are all kinds of bureaucracies that could be cut in half or be eliminated and people would be better off.
Because that’s the administrative state, folks, and that’s where all of these new regulations and laws come from that are not laws, they’re not passed by Congress, they’re just written by faceless, nameless bureaucrats in the deep state, the administrative state. They can bottle you up and they can tie you up, and nobody has the ability to get rid of them, but yet Trump’s come along, “What do you mean we can’t cut some?” He’s gonna try, and it’s gonna raise holy hell. You are gonna see continued squealing like stuck pigs like you haven’t seen it.
The thing to realize is, the squealing and the whining and the moaning and the panic and the hysteria is not going to make Donald Trump back off. He’s full speed ahead in the other direction. Look, as I have been maintaining since the campaign, Trump’s biggest obstacle is really not the Democrats. They can’t stop him. They don’t have the numbers. The biggest challenge that Trump has is getting the Republicans in Congress and the Senate to go along with him. Remember, they do respond to this kind of mean-spirited, attack oriented media coverage. They hate it. They don’t like it. Some people I know think the Republicans don’t even want the responsibility of governing or leading. They’ve gotten so accustomed to just being in second place and reacting to things. It could be any number of things here.
But I’ll tell you what else is happening here, too. As he laid some of this out with the governors in his speech today and as he’s released little titillating, tantalizing details of the big speech tomorrow, it is very clear to me that Donald Trump is doing exactly what I suggested, what I hoped. And that’s focusing on the domestic agenda.
‘Cause, I’ll tell you something, folks. The great people of this country, they’re not all caught up in the things the media’s caught in. They don’t care about how all of this stuff works in Washington except to the extent of learning why nothing happens. But they don’t get all caught up in the process. All they want to see is the results.
This is all they’ve wanted to see since they started voting against Obama and the Democrats in 2010. They want to see some actual evidence that somebody means it when he talks about rebuilding American manufacturing and rebuilding American jobs and lowering taxes, getting rid of Obamacare. They want to see that somebody actually means this. And if Trump does this, can pull this off, the media can do whatever they want, the Russian investigation, whatever they want to make up about that, and there’s no harm that can come to Trump. And he knows it. I think it’s illustrated that he knows it by the way he’s focusing on it even now.