RUSH: Well, once again, my friends, as we open the program today, the Drive-By Media and the Washington establishment are again breathless. Breathless they are! There is an unscheduled meeting that is either starting right now or will start soon at the White House. Earlier today the Republican conference in the House of Representatives canceled their daily press conference — or their weekly press conference, however they do them — and instead they’re heading up to the White House for a meeting with President Trump.
So everybody is breathless here over what’s going on. There was a lot of action on the floor of the House. Congressman Mark Meadows basically came out and just unloaded and said, “President Trump, veto this bill. We will have your back. We will have your back throughout the entire process.” President Trump called for a meeting with House Republicans today, and it’s either happening now or imminently, very soon. A lot of people think that this is to discuss elements of the procedure of shutting down the government, vetoing the spending bill.
Let’s give you the details of what happened last night. “The Senate passed a continuing resolution to fund several government agencies including Justice, Commerce, Department of the Interior, and Agriculture through February 8th. This to avert a partial government shutdown,” because of course as everybody knows (sobbing), “We cannot shut down our precious government! Oh, my God. We’ll die! We’re gonna be so harmed politically!” The fact of the matter is, folks, the biggest government shutdown in the history of government shutdowns in terms of Washington’s memory is 1995.
It was the big budget battle with Newt Gingrich and the Republicans and Bill Clinton. There was a shutdown, and Clinton had arranged a deal with federal workers that they would get their Thanksgiving turkeys and money for Christmas presents if they just stuck with him. They shut down the government, and that set the stage for every government shutdown that’s followed because the media coverage is, “The Republicans hate government.
“Republicans hate anybody that likes government! Republicans don’t want government! Republicans don’t want you depending on government! Republicans suck! Republicans are horrible! Republicans are mean-spirited.” So that media coverage has determined and shaped Republican thinking ever since, all the way back to 1995. But here is the down-and-dirty. In the immediate elections following — the midterm election, the presidential election following — that ’95 shutdown, the Republicans were not wiped out. They were not significantly damaged.
It is a myth that government shutdowns deal an insufferable blow to the parties that are blamed for it. It’s a typical media myth, and it has survived since 1995. But there is no evidence that the party blamed for a government shutdown suffers tremendous electoral losses in the future. There’s another aspect of this that needs to be mentioned, and I’ve made this analogy two or three times; I’m gonna make it again. I beg your indulgence. All of my lifetime, the Democrat Party accused Republicans of wanting to cut Social Security, of wanting to kick senior citizens out of their homes — and, at first, it worked.
Senior citizens can’t take the chance that that might be right. So they voted Democrat on the belief that the Democrats were not gonna take anything away, that the Democrats were not gonna kick ’em out of their homes. But the Republicans hate everybody, see? “The Republicans hate seasoned seasons! Republicans hate their own mothers and fathers. Republicans hate their own grandparents and want to see them kicked out of their homes — and then their water poisoned and then their air made unable to breathe.” People can’t take the chance. So seasoned citizens voted Democrat.
But after a while… Democrats kept every election making the same charge. But after awhile, seasoned citizens began to say, “Wait a minute. They keep saying this, and it never happens. My Social Security has not been taken away, and I haven’t been kicked out of my home. And, by the way, I haven’t even seen a serious effort to take my Social Security away.” So eventually the Democrat threat became diluted and watered down, and people stopped panicking every time the allegation was made. That’s where we are right now with this government shutdown business.
The Democrats have been crying wolf about government shutdowns since 1995. There have been plenty of them. There’s a government shutdown when there’s a half-inch of snow in that town. The government shuts down many times a year that we’re not even told about. They’re procedural and they’re formal. Because there’s no politics attached to ’em, nobody ever talks about it. Bbut the federal government has elements of it that shut down constantly. But even these shutdowns that occur because of political action, nothing hands!
Life goes on! Nobody dies! Nobody doesn’t get their check. Nobody is unable to get their food stamps and use them. Nobody who is dependent on government suffers! There might be an occasional thing (and CNN ballyhoos it) where the sleigh ride concessionaire in Yellowstone National Park may shut down. So CNN goes out there and talks to this guy. That’s it! The sleigh ride concession. But in terms of the government shutdown literally harming people, it doesn’t! There was polling data earlier this week from the AP documenting that people are getting tired, they’re getting worn out, of all of the assaults on Trump.
Their emotional reservoirs are empty. They’re getting tired of it. They don’t react to it as they used to. They kind of greet it with a ho-hum. It’s just more of the same. Nothing ever happens with all of these apocalyptic predictions. The world doesn’t end. People don’t die. People don’t starve. In fact, what happens is more of the same that people oppose. So the weapon of accusing Republicans of wanting to shut the government down used to be a very powerful one. It’s kind of diluted now and watered down.
The frustration is that the Republicans in Washington still think it’s 1995! Even in 1995, I need to point out again, it did not hurt them electorally! At the next election, it did not hurt them. Now you talk about the reasons for a shutdown, and we’re not even really talking about a shutdown here. We’re talking about a veto of a spending bill that does not contain even a measly $5 billion for border security. When you hear the term “wall,” you need to substitute in your mind “border security,” because that’s the debate.
The media and the Democrats would love you to think that it’s strictly about a wall — concrete, steel slats. It’s about border security and the fact that the Democrats do not care a whit about it because they want open borders. And, sadly, some Republicans do too for their own reasons. We have a federal budget in excess of $4 trillion and a rounding error of $5 billion can’t be found for border security. It’s very clear: They don’t want it. The problem is, Donald Trump does. Donald Trump promised it and Donald Trump is already fit to be tied.
If you go back to April of 2017, we’ve been here! I went back to my own transcripts, my own show archives from 2017. Let me read to you what I said on April 25, 2017. Quote me: “I’m not happy to have to pass this on. I’m very, very troubled to have to pass this on. And I want to say at the outset that I hope my interpretation is wrong, and I hope this is not the case. But it looks like, from here, right here, right now, it looks like President Trump is caving on his demand for a measly $1 billion in the budget for his wall on the border with Mexico.”
It was $1billion in 2017. “The Democrats are threatening a government shutdown. It’s the same day old, same old, and I was hoping that Trump would throw this shutdown thing right back in their face and have everyone realize they’re the ones engineering these shutdowns that nobody would notice anyway unless a big hullabaloo was made about it.” By the way, that’s important thing. If they shut the government down and nobody told you, you wouldn’t even know it, folks, because it happens all the time. Now, back to me.
Again, April 25, 2017: “The Democrats seem to have successfully used this stupid, silly threat of a government shutdown to get their way. What Trump is saying is if we need to get this done, then I’ll delay the spending on the wall until September. And it’s just a measly billion dollars.” It was a billion dollars just a year and a half ago. “But the problem here, folks, is one of politics. If this happens, if Trump does cave — and I use the word ‘cave’ guardedly.
“Trump, I’m sure, does not ever think he caves on anything. But outward appearances are what they are. And the bottom line is that if he is willing to withdraw a demand of his for a measly billion dollars for the wall because the Democrats are threatening a shutdown, then the Democrats will have just learned that this threat works on Trump, too, not just all the other Republicans,” and guess where we are? Eminently predictable!
We are right back where we have been. This is like the third or fourth time a spending bill, temporary spending bill, is threatened by a shutdown. Trump knows his history. A tweet: “When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership. … It didn’t happen!” Trump knows. He’s been promised this twice, folks. For agreeing to previous spending bills, he has been promised twice that the next one would contain what he wants for border security.
“Last night, the Senate passed their continuing resolution to fund several government agencies through the 8th of February to avert” a precious and partial “government shutdown.” But the Senate did not include any money for the wall or securing the border or for border security. The senators passed this CR by a voice vote so that nobody’s vote would be on record. A voice vote! This continuing resolution will push the next shutdown showdown to right before what? Valentine’s Day.
In February (sobbing), “Are we gonna throw federal workers out right before Valentine’s Day? Oh, my gosh! Are we heartless? We can’t throw federal workers out of their jobs right before Valentine’s Day. They won’t get their flower deliveries. We can’t!” It’s the same thing. Folks, this is a game. It is fake. It is being replayed. The thing that I worry about is what I call the Nixon Syndrome. Richard Nixon was in a similar position with the media and the left during his presidency, and Nixon thought that he could buy his way out of it.
He thought he could buy their support or buy their love or that he could purchase an end to their criticism. (chuckles) So what did he give ’em? He gave ’em brand-new government agencies like the EPA, and he gave them OSHA! He expanded the federal government like it hadn’t been expanded before! And it didn’t stop a syllable of hate or criticism for Richard Nixon! By the same token, Donald Trump cannot buy their love. He cannot buy their acceptance. He shouldn’t want it! He shouldn’t care about being accepted by the people who are trying to destroy him.
It’s not the way out of this. There’s a fascinating piece by my old buddy Conrad Black at National Review today, and his point is the Democrats don’t know it, but they’re making fools of themselves, and they are losing each and every day they push every one of these spectacles against Trump. I’ll share it with you as the program unfolds. But this is not just about a campaign promise, although it is. It is about the American way of life. It is about Donald Trump’s instinctive understanding of what is right and wrong in America.
It’s about the fact that he acknowledged and got elected on the basis that he understands the importance of border security. This constant flow of a permanent underclass for the Democrat Party has got to stop, because if it doesn’t, the America that was founded will eventually cease to exist — which happens to be the objective of the American left. Which is a socialist-based — socialist-and-worse based — movement. It is demonstrable that vetoing this and would be one of the most tremendous and heroic things.
Donald Trump does not know the esteem with which he will be held if he follows through on this veto. Because, folks, forget February 8th. January 4th. This is it. Pelosi’s already out dancing, singing and so forth. She was caught in a place dispenses adult beverages last night dancing up a storm, already celebrating the fact that there will not be a wall. Pelosi is celebrating that there will not be border security. Pelosi is celebrating that Donald Trump folded after that White House meeting with Chuck and Nancy where he made it plain he would gladly be the architect of a government shutdown.
They think they’ve made Trump cave. They’re happy as they can be. They’re already singing and dancing in celebration, and this is before they even get official control of the House of Representatives. This isn’t complicated. A government shutdown happens frequently. They don’t harm anybody. The biggest threat is what the media is gonna say — and Mr. President, the media’s gonna say what they say about you no matter what you do. You may as well do the right thing and make the criticism legitimate.
By “legitimate,” I mean legitimately angry at you because you did the right thing. Not fake criticism just ’cause they hate you. So veto this thing and then head down to Mar-a-Lago. I will meet you on the first tee wherever you want to play golf, whenever, and this will end up being resolved in your favor. Oh, they’ll huff and puff, and the Democrats will try to make it look like this is never gonna get solved and we will be treated to any ending media stories about lives lost and damage done because of a government shutdown.
But at some point, you have to make a stand. It’s $5 billion in a $4 trillion budget. Mr. President, they are mocking you, members of Congress. Not including a penny for border security is a direct challenge to you. The budget is $4 trillion, and they can’t find five billion? These are natural power fights that occur between the three branches of government, by the way. They’re normal and they’re natural. Everybody is fighting for as much power as they can get, both individually and institutionally.