This morning I turned on the Grand Poobah of GOoPerdom himself, Rush Limbaugh, and was extremely discomfited to find myself nodding along in agreement, disconsolately reduced to mumbling, in the words of Limbaugh’s own blowharding bumpersticker, “Rush Is Right.”
I reproduce the relevant portions of his monologue below, because I want desperately to be wrong about this. I would like someone, anyone, to show me that, in the substance if not the rhetoric of what he says, Rush is not, in fact, right.
So yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, I made the point here that in a manner of speaking, we’re winning. We are stopping the Democrats from accomplishing anything. Now, that’s winning. We’re not advancing much, because we’re not in the majority, but we’re stopping ’em. We’re stopping them on everything . . .
To illustrate the failure, you just have to go through the New York Times today. Here’s a story: “Democrats Look Ahead as Veto Override Falters.” “With little expectation of overriding President Bush’s veto, Democrats in Congress said Wednesday that they would pass a new bill to provide health insurance for 10 million children, but were willing to tweak it to address some White House concerns.” What do you mean, they’re “willing to tweak it”? They lost this. The president has vetoed their bill, and they don’t have the votes to override it . . .
[T]here’s a great quote here from Dingy Harry himself. In the Senate, “he might be willing to ‘tweak something’ in the bill to help the president ‘save face.'” Now, that is just laughable. That’s hilarious. Save face? Save face? Senator Reid, do you understand: it is you who needs to come up with something fast to save face. The president has just skunked you again, and the Republicans have just beaten you back again . . .
This is the Los Angeles Times: “Democrats Put Heat on Pelosi Over Genocide Bill.” A supreme failure of congressional leadership. Jack Murtha says to Pelosi, “You’ve miscalculated your support on this,” and the Democrats are clueless on the merits of it when they signed it. Now, “top Democrats are leaning on Pelosi.” Murtha “said party leaders miscalculated support for the measure.” Of course, they did! . . .
And then back to the Washington Post: “Senate and Bush Agree on Terms of Spying Bill.” The Democrats have totally collapsed on the FISA Bill. The ACLU, on page three, is calling what happened to the Democrats “a total meltdown . . . The collapse marked the first time since Democrats took control of the chamber that a major bill was withdrawn from consideration before a scheduled vote. It was a victory for President Bush, whose aides lobbied heavily against the Democrats’ bill and an embarrassment for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had pushed the measure’s passage.”
Everything they are trying is falling apart. Everything. They have done nothing. It is they who need to “save face.” We’ve got a little montage here of the Drive-Bys just beside themselves over the Democrats’ inability to get anything done.
ROBACH: It happened with war legislation, and now it looks like it will happen again with children’s health care. The president takes a stand, the Democrats promise a fight, but in the end, the president comes out on top.
FOREMAN: Democrats at several levels of government are stumbling.
CUOMO: Democrats appear headed for defeat in the battle over expanding children’s health insurance.
HUME: This looks like kind of an embarrassing defeat for the leadership
BLITZER: House Democrats may be losing yet another battle, this one over domestic spying.
YELLIN: Republicans are crowing and Democrats are trying to figure out what to do next.
BASH: A rebellion among Pelosi’s own Democrats…
FRANKEN: Such a political debacle for the Democrats…
COURIC: Why aren’t these things getting done?
CAFFERTY: You know, Ray Charles could have seen that was a stupid idea from the beginning. You’re just doing a great job, Pelosi. Terrific.
That was Jack what his name, Cafferty, on CNN. You heard Katie Couric and a bunch of others in there. So we’re winning. We’re stopping these guys from their ridiculous pieces of legislation, and the Drive-Bys are getting real frustrated with them, right along with the fringe lunatics that are in their base.