By Tom Allison
Rush's warning: Anyone who embraces Massa “is in for big trouble”
Rush kicked off the today's show reading from an Associated Press story, demanding to be told how a new provision on employer-provided health insurance could be added through budget reconciliation.
Rush moved on to complaining that the media have been making him out to be a “champion” of Eric Massa and played a clip of media figures repeating Politico's report that Rush wanted to make Massa's resignation a “national story.”
Adding to his list of grievances, Rush claimed that the media ran away with his statement yesterday that if his distortions of the health care reform bill came to fruition, he would leave the country.
Back from a break, Limbaugh claimed that yesterday was the first day he had heard of Massa and offered a warning to anyone who would promote him:
LIMBAUGH: I -- actually, from the moment this thing started yesterday, I suspected a rope-a-dope; and I still think a rope-a-dope's going on. And I still think that anybody out there who embraces this guy is in for big trouble. Anybody who embraces this guy is -- is -- is gonna -- you're gonna get caught.
Halfway through the first hour, Rush revealed the real reason that he has been reluctant to embrace Massa: In 2007, Massa criticized Limbaugh for calling U.S. service members who advocated withdrawal from Iraq “phony soldiers.” Limbaugh played videos of Massa criticizing Limbaugh's comments to claim that he had just revealed Massa as the “crazy kook” that he is.
Limbaugh read from a report on Rep. Bart Stupak signaling that a compromise on abortion provisions in health care legislation could be on the horizon. Rush concluded that this proves that there are no moderate Democrats and that any time they take a principled stand, it's just a ruse to get something personally.
Rush hosts Rove to rehabilitate Bush legacy
In the second hour, Limbaugh welcomed Karl Rove to discuss his new book. Rush said that NBC's Matt Lauer needed a seatbelt for his interview with Rove on Today.
Rush stepped back and allowed Rove to conduct some good, old-fashioned rehabilitation of the Bush administration's legacy. For one, in discussing the Bush administration's presentation of pre-Iraq war intelligence, Rove completely ignored the Senate Intelligence Committee's 2008 conclusions that Bush made a lot of statements that weren't supported and in some cases were contradicted by intelligence.
Rove also falsely accused Al Gore of hypocrisy on the Iraq war for stating that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction materials but also criticizing invading Iraq.
After Rove defended his role in the Valerie Plame leak case, Rush asked Rove about the current climate in politics. Rove responded that things have never been worse and that Obama is disrespecting his office by being so partisan. Rove claimed that Obama ran as a moderate but has been governing as a liberal and should spend more time reaching out to Republicans.
Rush drops a slavery joke
In the third hour, Rush retook his show from Rove's ramblings and highlighted Charlie Crist's criticisms of Senate opponent Marco Rubio on Fox News' On the Record last night. Rush also said he disagreed with Rove's characterization of Sen. Ted Kennedy as a smart and decent person, instead labeling him a “dangerous buffoon.”
After a break, Limbaugh spread fears that Obama was planning to outlaw recreational fishing altogether in America, claiming that “fishing is about to become a privilege controlled by Barack Obama” and that Obama “wants to ban sport fishing.”
Rush also promoted this story on the California's Legislative Analyst's Office's conclusions that the state's environmental policies would negatively affect unemployment in the short term. Needless to say, Rush didn't have much to say about the report's assertion that “the effect on the state's overall economy is expected to be small.”
Rush saved his most inflammatory remark for last, closing today's show with a slavery joke. A caller asked for Rush's comment on the possibility that New York Gov. David Paterson would appoint a replacement for Rep. Eric Massa; Rush responded: “For the first time in his life, Paterson is gonna be a massa.”
Mike Burns and Michael Timberlake contributed to this edition of the Limbaugh Wire.
LIMBAUGH: The state-controlled media, Snerdley, today -- oh, they are breathless over two things. [pants] One is they think that I am a big supporter of Eric Massa. And they're trying to link me to Eric Massa. I'm not kidding. Politico did it yesterday -- here, grab audio sound bite number 1. Here's media montage of how they're trying to do this.
LIMBAUGH: “Helping Massa air his grievances.” No. Massa said he would consider rescinding his -- we want loose-cannon kooks like this in the Democrat Party. We don't want them out of there. This guy, folks, we're -- we're talking -- we're talking eels, snake-like kind of slime here. We want this guy in the Democrat Party. He's no champion. I'm no champion of his. This guy -- I -- this guy -- you know why he opposed the House health care bill? 'Cause it's not far left enough. Because it's not single payer. Because it doesn't spend -- he's not one of us. But if this guy's gonna run around and tell stories about Rahm Emanuel running in the nude into a shower-curtain-less stall in the House gym -- hell, we'll be happy to press -- spread that story. He said -- he said he wants national coverage. Fine, we're national. We're -- we're helping out -- they're trying to say that I've adopted this guy and he's one of our great -- no, no, no, no, no. We were hoping to keep him in the House 'cause he's a no-vote and he's a kook. He's a freak.
ROVE: I spent an entire chapter in which I make the point that Democrats who said before the Iraq war resolution vote that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction after looking at the same intelligence that President Bush was looking at and that President Clinton had looked at when he was in office. They came to the same conclusion as Bush, and yet later were -- had the turmidity [sic] to say Bush lied. And I think -- and I make the point in the book, Chapter 21 -- that this was a deliberate and cynical and hypocritical ploy by the Democrats launched on July 15th of 2003 by Ted Kennedy, who made a speech -- he was then echoed later in the day by Tom Daschle. On the 16th, John Kerry and John Edwards both raised the issue, and Jane Harman who's normally sane individual joins in -- chimes in, saying Bush misled on intelligence. And I go -- I go person by person and talk about how Democrats made the -- you know, echoed the president's charge that Saddam had WMD -- in some cases went far beyond what President Bush was willing to say, and yet, you know, later found themselves for politics trying to say that he -- Bush lied.
ROVE: Well, and look -- even at the time of the debate -- uh -- in 2002, Al Gore makes a speech out in California saying, quote: “Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power. We know Saddam has stored away secret supplies of biological weapons and chemical weapons throughout his country.” End quote. That's what he said at the time of the debate.