By Zachary Pleat
At the beginning of his show today, Rush repeated his charge that the Democratic Party is a gulag. He then expressed delight at the continuing problems of retired Rep. Eric Massa and mentioned that Rahm Emanuel was a big topic on David Letterman's show last night.
Rush moved on to complain about provisions in health care reform legislation that would end the practice of health insurance companies denying care based on pre-existing conditions, insisting that it was an attempt to destroy the private health insurance industry. He then went on to talk about the timeline for passing the reconciliation fix to the Senate health care reform bill, eventually praising the Drudge Report's coverage of it.
Rush soon turned to a blog post at the Weekly Standard about Rep. Bart Stupak's objection to abortion language in the Senate bill, reading from it only briefly before declaring what the objective of the Senate Republicans must be:
LIMBAUGH: Now, that's gutsy because they're running the risk -- a lot of pro-life groups are going to see the Republicans refusing to strip federal funding from the Senate bill and go whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute here, I thought you Republicans are pro-life. This is going to be an interesting test because the genuine pro-life groups out there are going to understand what's going on.
The objective is to defeat health care, not come up with a health care bill that does not have federal funding for abortion. The objective is to wipe this out. The objective is to stop it. Not to end up with a bill that Democrats will sign to give to Obama, and the only way to do that is to not help them strip the abortion funding out of the Senate bill. The Republicans are not going to do that, they're not going to carry -- am I making my self clear on this sir, do you understand?
I understand. I'm going to have to say it two or three -- I'm willing to say it two or three times, because this is going to be one of those times where the Republicans in the Senate are going to go against their core belief. Because they're going to look like they are but the real -- because everybody knows -- the real pro-life groups know that, at the end of the day, there's going to be federal funding for abortion if this thing passes. It's going to get added at some point down the line. The objective is to make sure this thing doesn't go any further than where it is right now, and the Republicans are not going to help the Democrats satisfy Stupak. It's just that simple, at least that's what they're saying now.
After the first break, Rush continued to talk about Stupak's objections to the bill, and said that the Senate Republicans' strategy is to refuse to vote to strip out abortion funding that he insists is in the bill. Rush warned that this strategy could invoke the wrath of anti-abortion groups against the Republicans. After a little while, Rush returned to trying to scare congressional Democrats into believing that Obama would betray them, arguing that if Obama would “ambush” the Supreme Court, what would stop him from doing the same to the House?
Coming back from the half-hour break, Rush declared that NBC's Chuck Todd is a “whimpering, sniveling little whiner” for, as Rush put it, complaining that people were getting their news from Drudge. Rush stated that if the media landscape was the same as it was a year ago, health care reform would have passed last summer. To prove whatever point he was trying to make, Rush rattled off at least a half-dozen headlines from last fall. Rush then read from a Washington Examiner piece before moving on to read a Wall Street Journal op-ed by pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen about the public perception of health care reform.
Incidentally, earlier in the hour, Rush had erroneously stated that President Obama had claimed that 4,000 people die daily from a lack of health insurance. He subsequently attempted a “factual error correction” :
LIMBAUGH: By the way, I need a factual error correction. I said 4,000 people a year die -- 4,000 people a day die from lack of health insurance, quoting Obama. It's 4,500 a year die. It's a Harvard number used by Obama, which adds up to 124 people every day dying ostensibly because they don't have -- because they don't have health insurance.
The Harvard study in question that Rush attempted to cite estimated that 45,000 Americans die each year from a lack of health insurance, not 4,500. Toward the end of the second hour of the show, Rush's first caller of the day finally corrected him on this, assuring Rush that the study was discredited anyway.
After mentioning Obama's scheduled speech on health care reform in St. Louis today and promoting a planned protest against it, Rush briefly talked about Chief Justice Roberts' comments during a Q&A session.
Rush declares President Obama “a mistake”
Back for his second hour, Rush launched into lengthy explanation of how President Obama was a “mistake” who was intent on destroying America:
LIMBAUGH: Let's just admit it. It is time to fire here straight ahead, pulling no punches. Let's just admit it, the nation made a horrible mistake in electing Barack Obama. Not us, of course, not us. The nation at large made a huge mistake. Many others know it. People know it and they regret it and they want to reverse course. The vast majority of the people of this country want no part of what this administration has offered or has done. The problem is that we don't begin -- we don't get to start fixing this until November, with the congressional elections. And even then the Democrats hang on until January even if they lose, and Obama of course hangs on for another three years or so. Now President Obama's a loose cannon. He knows he's a mistake and he knows that a majority of the country know that they made a mistake in electing him.
And it is in this defiance that he becomes this loose cannon and will screw up and will, himself, reveal what his true motivations have been from the day he first started planning running for the presidency, which was many many years prior to when you think it was. For the express purpose of, within the democratic process, overthrowing this country. You really mean to say that Rush? Yeah. Of course I do, I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it. What the hell do you thinks happening out there? Our way of life is being overthrown. The very foundations, the institutions, the principles that founded and led this country to be the greatest nation ever are under daily assault by this administration on purpose.
If you were alive during he sixties and you remember that raucous bunch running around blowing up bank buildings and shouting out whatever invective against the establishment, they're running the country now. They now have the power to legally blow up whatever they want without explosives. So we have a circumstance where everybody knows whats going on here. The vast majority know they made a mistake in electing Obama. Obama knows that they know. People regret it, they want to reverse course, but he's laughing.
“You can't touch me for three years and I don't care if my party loses in the November. I'm just as happy to blame my failures on the Republicans as I am on the Democrats. You can't touch me. In the meantime I can stop you from going fishing wherever you want. I can buy your car companies. I can put competitive car companies out of business. I can determine what kind of food you're going to eat. I can determine what kind of health care you're going to get. I can determine what everything is going to cost you. I can determine whether you have a chance to get rich or not. I can tax you into poverty. I can do whatever I want to do, and I'm going to give it my best shot.
” I'm going to make sure that this country pays the price for all of its transgressions since its founding. I'm going to make sure this country is knocked down to size. I'm going to make sure this country and the people find out just how much pain and suffering they have caused around the world, and its time they pay the price for it."
And that's what's happening here. So they become defiant and know their time is limited. I knew this was the case. Folks. I knew this was the case when Obama said he'd just as soon be a great one-term president as a mediocre two-termer.
Later, Rush declared that it's a “badge of honor” to be “attacked” by the “worst president in our history.” Rush went on to list others that he claims Obama has attacked: doctors, health insurance executives, CIA interrogators, and so on.
After another break, Rush defended his use of the word “overthrow” to describe President Obama's agenda, stating that “we're in the middle of an overthrow of our way of life.” He went on to rant about when and how Obama would “really reveal who he is and what's in his heart.”
Changing topics, Rush read from an MSNBC article on Vice President Biden's statements about Palestinian statehood, and again wondered why Jewish people vote for Democrats. After pondering briefly why Secretary of State Clinton wasn't making these kinds of visits, Rush went back to suggesting that she should run for president against Obama in a Democratic primary.
Coming back from another break, Rush complained that he was receiving a lot of email from journalists about why he hasn't commented on Liz Cheney's “shameful” attacks against Department of Justice attorneys. He proceeded to defend Cheney, declaring that “we” just wanted to know why the attorneys are now in the Department of Justice, and proceeded to rant about the threat from “Islamists.” Rush then defended Cheney's use of the name “the Al Qaeda 7” , saying that he wished that he had come up with it. Rush got so worked up over this that he eventually declared that “we have an administration who thinks the enemy is the United States of America.”
For the beginning of the third hour today, in response to questions asked by his listeners, Rush treated us to several minutes of the music he listens to while he's conducting his show, Waldos de los Rios' version of Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor.
Rush got on with business, declaring that he did not believe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's statement on TheHill.com that she would have the votes to pass the Senate version of the health care reform bill if the vote were held today. He then moved on to Dan Rather, playing his new parody of Rather's appearance on Chris Matthews' Sunday show. Rush read Rather's article from the Huffington Post, interrupting his reading to say that Rather should just say, “That's not what I meant and you know it,” and, “Lighten up.”
Rush then read a CNBC article detailing how state and local governments may slash government jobs as the stimulus money runs out, while crowing that he had predicted this long ago.
Moving on, Rush played several clips from Larry King's interview of Massa last night, and a segment about Massa from Anderson Cooper's CNN show.
After spending a couple of minutes reading an ad for Lifelock, Rush spoke with a caller who also commented on Obama's assertion that 45,000 Americans die annually from a lack of health insurance, and also mentioned that “hundreds of thousands” may die every year due to the health care they do receive. The caller expressed his hope that Obama would also address the qualitative issue of health care. Rush declared it all “bogus,” stating that nobody is dying in the United States because they lack health insurance, since, he says, they could just go to an emergency room.
Michael Burns and Michael Timberlake contributed to this edition of the Limbaugh Wire.