RUSH: So what is the big news right now on the cable networks? It’s not just Fox, but CNN. A school shooting in Southern California, Santa Clarita. Six victims in the Southern California high school shooting. It’s a terrible thing. We’re very sad about it, very sorry about it. But, folks, if there were any bombshell revelations — if the ball had been moved even one yard yesterday — this school shooting would be in a little picture-in-picture graphic inside a discussion of how Trump’s presidency is over.
If they had that story, if they had the story that yesterday’s impeachment hearing was the beginning of the nail in the president’s coffin, that’s all they would be talking about today. They don’t have anything. Pelosi rolled the dice and trusted that Schiff could bring this home. Remember, the hearings were given today off so the media could package and program all the bombshells from yesterday — and they don’t have any because there weren’t any.
RUSH: Here’s Joe Lockhart this morning on CNN’s New Day. He’s the former Clinton spokesman, the former spokesman for the National Football League. Alisyn Camerota said, “Most working people can’t be glued to their TV.” That’s another telltale sign, by the way, that the Drive-Bys know they’ve got nothing.
Believe you me, everybody stopped what they were doing to watch the Watergate hearings. People took off work. TV sets were turned on at work. The Watergate hearings captivated the United States.
Nobody made any extraordinary effort to watch any of this yesterday, and I’m here to tell you that if people did tune in, the first hour of this thing was as much as they dared watch. It was boring. It was eventless. It had no drama whatsoever. It had no bombshell revelations. It didn’t come close to meeting the expectations that the Democrats had built up.
And Alisyn Camerota’s question here acknowledges that nobody watched. She says to Joe Lockhart, “Well, you know, most working people can’t be glued to their TV.” A tacit admission that they know nobody watched. “Well, you know, Joe, most working people –” well, then why are you on the air during that period of time anyway? Most working people couldn’t watch yesterday, they can’t watch any day, right? Why are you even on the air? Why doesn’t CNN sign off from say 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. if most working people can’t watch it?
“Most working people can’t be glued to their TVs, Joe. Do you think that there is any way in our tribal universe that this moves the needle for some –” stop and think of this question. She knows. They all know nothing happened yesterday to move anybody anywhere. Nothing happened. In fact, the Democrats hurt themselves yesterday. The media hurt themselves. They spent three years building people up for yesterday.
They have spent three years. I cannot overemphasize this, three years of Trump colluding with Russia, Trump stealing the election, Trump a traitor, Trump a foreign agent. Rudy Giuliani a foreign agent. Then the Kavanaugh hearings and all the rest of it. Then the Mueller report. All the stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post, three years of this, and nobody watched yesterday. And the people who did had to be asking themselves, “What is this?”
Folks, you cannot watch this, you can’t judge it in a vacuum. You have to put it in context. And they have built this country up, expectations that this was gonna be the beginning of the end. Finally we’re there. We got Donald Trump now. We got him on a phone call with the president of Ukraine. And the question essentially, “Joe, nobody watched yesterday ’cause there was nothing in there. You think there’s any way in our so partisan universe, is there any way that what we did yesterday can somehow still work even though we know that it didn’t?”
LOCKHART: Republicans did what they needed to do, which was they just need to give their base something to hold on to. And I think their best argument was the simplest argument, which is the aid went through, and there were no investigations. Now, it’s an argument that falls apart with one more piece of information, but they’re not gonna get that from Fox News. They’re not gonna get that from Rush Limbaugh. So I think there’s nothing there that moves the hard-core MAGA base.
RUSH: There was nothing there that moved the hard-core MAGA base away from Trump, exactly. But there was nothing there that moved the great unwashed, the independents, the moderates. There was nothing there to move them to your sideshow, and his answer is a tantamount admission. Well, the Republicans, you know what? Their best argument was the simplest argument. The aid went through. There were no investigations. Yep, this baby is over, folks. The aid went through and there were no investigations. Doesn’t matter whether Trump likes investigations more than he likes Ukraine, Ukraine got the money, and there were no investigations.
And Lockhart says, the argument falls apart with one more piece of information. But he doesn’t provide it. He then goes into “and the American people are never gonna know what it is because of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.” Aw, poor people, they can’t overcome us, folks. No matter how hard they try. The New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, you name it, the American people aren’t gonna know the truth because of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.
It’s so unfair. We had Trump, we had him right there, we had him right there, Trump was gone! And they got nothing. And look what they put the country through in the process of this.
Remember Harold Ford. Don’t forget Harold Ford earlier this week talking to Bret Baier on the Fox News Channel. He said (paraphrasing) “I won’t be surprised if after this thing gets to Friday Pelosi sees there’s no chance of a bipartisan vote on this that she just decides to pull it.” Don’t forget Harold Ford said that.
Here’s Jeffrey Toobin, one more sound bite, CNN as well. This was yesterday afternoon in yet another telltale sign of how deflating, disappointing, depressing all of yesterday was.
TOOBIN: The one criticism of these two witnesses, which I think is very much legitimate — it’s not really a criticism, it’s just a factual statement — is that neither of them had direct contact with the president.
TOOBIN: Ever. And, yeah, that’s a problem if you’re gonna impeach the president.
RUSH: You think? You think? Neither of these two witnesses ever had any personal contact with the president. They cannot testify to anything Trump did or said. All they can do is what they did. (impression) “Well, somebody told me that had told them three months ago, it got passed on to them. By the time I heard it was fourth or fifth hand, but what I heard was that the president likes investigations more than he likes Ukraine.”
I’m not exaggerating. That was the news yesterday. That was it. That’s the bombshell. Let’s see. What’s on cable news? Still talking about the school shooting in California, folks, still not a word on this massive first step toward getting rid of Donald Trump yesterday in the House of Representatives.Now, back to audio sound bites on the so-called impeachment hearings that happened yesterday. Here’s Jonathan Turley. Now, yesterday I shared with you that Turley had a column at TheHill.com in which he wrote, asking if the Democrats were actually doing a collapsible impeachment.
And I saw that right as the program began. I only saw the headline and I didn’t have a chance to read it until the first commercial break and I wasn’t able to digest the whole thing. The headline made it sound like I was interpreting correctly, but I wasn’t sure. Turns out I was.
He was talking about how the foundation of this impeachment is so flimsy that it’s probably gonna collapse on itself. Here he is saying so yesterday afternoon on CBS special coverage of day one of the impeachment hearings.
TURLEY: You certainly don’t need a crime for impeachment, but you do need clarity. And they’re proceeding on the narrowest basis for impeachment in the history of this country. We’ve never gone up with an impeachment just on abuse of power linked to a single controversy like this. That is a very slender basis. And I’m not too sure they gained a lot of ground on impeachment. The question is, is this really an impeachable offense and how do you distinguish what the president did here with what presidents do in conversations with heads of states.
RUSH: Well, of course this is exactly right. It just demonstrates yet again that they’re on to Plan B, that the real objective here was to have the whistleblower be able to say whatever he wanted to say was on that phone call, make it sound as bad as possible with nobody ever able to contradict him because the president wouldn’t release transcripts. They can accuse the president then of collusion, obstruction, cover-up, replay the Nixon impeachment.
That blew up in their face when the president released the transcripts. Turley’s exactly right. They got nothing. They’re not even trying to revive Russia meddling, Russia collusion. If you’re gonna impeach the president, why not go there? Why not throw everything in this bucket? Well, because everything has bombed out. Everything they’ve tried up to now has bombed out.
Here is CBS This Morning, the cohost Tony Dokoupil asking CBS correspondent John Dickerson about the impact of the hearings yesterday.
DOKOUPIL: Any evidence yet that any of this has penetrated the public?
DICKERSON: No, none, and I don’t think for the moment. But we might not expect it to. We got a long time to go before those minds are changed.
RUSH: Ah, so, ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe the Drive-Bys. Any evidence that any of this has penetrated — sounds vaguely obscene, right? Penetrated the public. You envisioning that? Has Adam Schiff’s blah, blah, penetrated the public here yet, Mr. Dickerson? Dickerson says, none, no evidence for the moment. But but but but but we might not expect it to yet.
Wrongo, pal. They were expecting bombshell yesterday. They were expecting, hoping the American people clamoring for Trump to be removed last night. That’s the objective. That was the objective. It was a total disaster. Ed Henry last night on The Ingraham Angle on the Fox News Channel.
HENRY: I’ve been working the phones, talked to three different senior Republicans that all said that after the first hearing in the hallways they’re having private conversations with Democrats who seemed absolutely deflated that they did not get very far at all today. Listen to what the Washington Post has reported. Look at that. Democratic aide telling the Post, quote, “We’re screwed this week on hearings. No bombshells, no revelations. The onus is on us to wow some people this week.”
RUSH: All right. Now, I could have played this sound bite the first thing on the program. I wanted to wait ’til the third hour ’til I made the case, and there it is. Here’s two sound bites in a row, people talked to the Democrats. They know it was a bomb, they are deflated. The Washington Post reporting that a Democrat aide, a staffer. “We’re screwed this week. No bombshells, no revelations. The onus is on us –” You don’t have next week. The first day.
Remember what they tried — the Mueller report comes out, what’s the answer? No collusion. After that, nobody cares. Whatever you try to say it says, whatever you try to manufacture it says, you know, bring Mueller forward to testify, try to make people claim that Barr’s lying, didn’t matter, no collusion, that’s all people heard. First day of hearings, no bombshells, no nothing, no reason to get rid of Trump.
So what happens next week is too late. As far as public opinion is concerned, it’s too late, unless — you know, they’re gonna have to come up with some magical bombshell. They’re gonna have to really make up something gigantic that can’t be refuted. And I wouldn’t put it past them to try to. Because that’s all any of this has been, folks. Every bit of this has been manufactured and made up. Not a single allegation has had any truth to it. So don’t doubt me. They know it was a bomb.
And, by the way, this little aide here, this staffer, “We’re screwed this week on the hearings, we’re screwed, no bombshells, no revelations, Democrats deflated.” Who do you think they’re deflated by? Who do you think screwed them? Who do you think, ’cause remember, behind closed doors there’s a lot of finger pointing going on because a lot of Democrats were told to vote for this thing, a lot of Democrats were assured this would work. A lot of Democrats who didn’t want to vote this way were cajoled into doing it.
So the anger here, I guarantee you, behind closed doors is directed at two people: Pelosi and Schiff. And Schiff is the face of this. Schiff is the guy who was gonna bring this home. And I hate to tell you, Madam Pelosi, but Schiff is not the guy that’s gonna ever bring any of this home. He is tainted by hate. He is tainted by dishonesty. All of this is the result of a feverish partisanship that is irrational. You’ve got a guy leading your effort who is not all there, Madam Pelosi. And I think you know it. I think Pelosi knows it.
I once talked to a prosecutor. Guy who ran the office. He was the DA, and he had line prosecutors prosecuting cases. He was a state attorney, the state DA. And he didn’t try the cases. He assigned the cases. He was the elected official and the people that worked for him in his office were the people that got hired. They were the assistant state attorneys, the AUSA or the ASA, whatever, assistant state attorney.
And one of his assistants had an absolutely horrible losing case. And he let it play out. He told me he let it. I said, “Why? The guy had no case. Your prosecutor was never gonna get a conviction. Why’d you do it?”
“Because he’s my guy. I had to stand behind him. If I want the guy to continue to work, I’ve gotta look like I’m standing behind him. I couldn’t yank the case from him.” I guarantee you this is what Pelosi is doing. She doesn’t want to yank it from Schiff, but there’s nobody else to give it to. Maybe pass it off to Nadler, but really? Jerry Nadler becomes the face of this thing?
RUSH: Toledo, Ohio, next. This is Tom. Great to have you, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, how are you today? Thank you for taking my call. Reason I’m calling, I did get an opportunity to watch part of the hearing yesterday, and initially I found myself laughing. I thought of it more as a comedy. The Democrats seemed to be spending their time almost exonerating Trump. But then I turned to where I was actually got more mad and sad about how one of the three a branches of our government, how we must look, how pitiful we looked. I mean, at one point the one gentleman was talking about the taxpayer dollars and how concerned they were about that and blah, blah, blah. And I thought, how much taxpayer dollars are we spending on this? It was just pitiful.
RUSH: Was it a member of Congress who said that or was it one of the witnesses?
CALLER: No, it was the ambassador. The ambassador numerous times talked about how concerned they were in the Ukraine with spending taxpayer dollars. And I thought, my gosh, how much taxpayer dollars are we spending on this mess.
RUSH: Well, it was stated earlier by Kevin McCarthy in a sound bite that this is exactly something that Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers, if you look at the Federalist Papers and some of the early back and forth writing on elements of the Constitution, if you look at the things written about impeachment, one of the great fears that Alexander Hamilton had was that it would become something fully unintended. That it would become a purely political exercise that would be used by a single party in dominant power in the House, that they would use impeachment as nothing more than a political or campaign tool.
They used factions to describe parties back then, but that’s what his fear was. That’s exactly what is happening here. And for those of you who earlier were convinced that you had heard Pelosi say that there wasn’t going to be an impeachment vote, here’s the problem that she has. And I’m gonna be fascinated to see how she deals with this.
Over here on the left hand, you have the Democrat presidential campaign. You got all those people seeking the Democrat nomination. They’re not talking about impeachment except when asked about it or as an ancillary thing. They are trying to win the nomination on the basis of giving away as much as they can to whoever will take it: Medicare for All, raising taxes on the wealthy and the rich. And there’s no overlap.
Now, it’s clear that Pelosi, by okaying and authorizing this impeachment business, is actually using it as an element of the Democrats’ 2020 campaign, because as far as the Democrats in the House are concerned, they aren’t spending a moment on legislation. They’re not spending any time at all on dealing with things people care about. They’re not talking about health care. They’re not dealing with immigration or foreign trade. They’re not talking about reducing prescription drug prices.
They are all-in on this as their 2020 campaign issue, which means she can’t shut it down. But there’s no overlap with the actual Democrat candidates. They are not staking, in other words, their campaigns on the outcome of impeachment. They are campaigning for the votes of the American people. Pelosi is running an impeachment that is designed to make voters not want to vote for Trump. But at the same time, none of what she’s doing is designed to get people to vote for anybody or anything.
So the Democrat Party is not even unified on what its purpose is. But this is not — remember the conventional wisdom is that they don’t have the votes to convict in the Senate. And there’s nothing to change that yet. Now, you’re gonna read about Never Trumpers who think there’s a way they could engineer a private vote among Republicans and if they could get that, then a lot of Republicans would vote to remove Trump because he’s so hated. But the operative theory is that there will not be a conviction. So if that’s the operative theory and that’s what everybody thinks, then why is Pelosi doing this?
It still comes down to, why do this if the natural end, a trial in the Senate and a conviction of Trump, is not gonna happen, why do this? Because it’s the 2020 campaign issue that Pelosi has decided the Democrats are running. But the Democrat candidates are not running on it. And in that lack of overlap, something’s gonna have to give at some point because none of what they are doing is going to beat Donald Trump, folks, and this is what they know.
They’re in a – look, I don’t want to say this too loudly, but I really think they’re in a world of hurt right now compared to where they thought they were gonna be three years ago. I think they’re totally stunned.
RUSH: Well, the ratings are in for impeachment yesterday. 13 million viewers on Fox was the most watched network. That’s not Nixon and the Watergate hearings, folks, I’m sorry to say.