A Golden Opportunity for Republicans
RUSH: So I checked the email again during the break, and I have to tell you, there’s a lot of people asking, “Rush, all right. We know what’s going on. What do you think should happen? What do you think is gonna happen? What do you think? We know what’s happening out there, Rush! We’re paying attention. What do you think?” Okay. All right. If that’s what you want.
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH. And we’re gonna be getting to your phone calls maybe in this segment. I don’t know. I feel bad, I didn’t get to any in the first hour. I want to get started on that since this is Open Line Friday, and the number is 800-282-2882. Okay, here’s my take on all of this based on where we are right now. Now, some of this I didn’t specifically say in the first hour because I assume that so many things are understood, especially among and by you in the audience. And that’s actually a mistake.
I shouldn’t assume that just because you’re here and you know me and you have a many, multiple-year history of listening that you can figure out where I am on this even if you don’t say it per se, that you can get it. But I need to say it, per se, I guess, more often than I do. Taking things in order, I think it is absolutely fabulous that this bill passed the House. For all of the reasons: That it put Chuck and Nancy back on their heels, that they’re out there saying that Trump couldn’t get the votes, that the House…
Nancy doesn’t even run the House yet, and she’s out there saying Trump couldn’t get the votes — and he did, and it was because of Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan and the Freedom Caucus. They did their special order earlier this week and they let the president that know they would have his back. It’d be easy for the president to think that he’s isolated, but it was I think a very important thing that they did to make it a point to go to the floor of the House and special orders to make sure that everybody knew — not just the president — that they, significant number of Republicans in the House, would have his back.
So I think it’s great. I don’t think there’s anything wrong yet. I think it’s fabulous they passed this bill. Now the Senate is in a position they don’t want to be in. The Senate never wants to be in this position. They are the great deliberative body. But they have to take it up now, and here’s what has to happen now. Regardless how this ends, we need to get every senator on the Republican side on record here. They’re all talking about how they don’t have 60 votes.
Fine. If I don’t have 60 votes, then go ahead and vote for it. If you’re worried about this, I don’t care if you’re retiring senator, if you’re Corker, if you’re Flake — and I may be (sigh) wasting my breath here hoping that these guys would do something that would be seen as pro-Trump. But I think on this issue — the border, the wall, border security, saving the American culture. I think every senator that we can get on record we need to get. They need to be flushed out.
I think despite how you and I know the Democrats hate Trump, we cannot assume that other people who don’t pay as close attention as we do understand this. Remember people that get most of their news from the Drive-By Media, they’re watching it and they’re absorbing it but they’re not seeing perhaps the degree of literal hatred for Trump that we know they have. Now, you might think, “How could they miss it?” Because they’re not watching it from the same perspective.
These people turn on the news expecting to hear the news — and like it or not, we have to admit that a lot of consumers of news do not question it. I know their reputation is way down. But even if I’m wrong on this, I still think that we need every Republican in the Senate voting for this thing to show that it is the Democrats who are opposed to border security. It’s the Democrats who are opposed to border security. It’s the Democrats who are opposed to border security. It’s the Democrats who are opposed to shoring up the border.
It’s the Democrats who do not want to fix this! It’s the Democrats who are saying, “No!” It’s the Democrats who are the obstacle. It’s the Democrats who are stopping things. It’s the Democrats who won’t cooperate. It’s the Democrats who won’t cross the aisle. It’s the Democrats who won’t compromise. It’s the Democrats who are acting like children. It’s the Democrats acting like spoiled brats. This is what needs to be illustrated, and with every Republican signing on to this, that objective is furthered.
Every senator that opposes this, it’s because of the fact that they hate Trump and that that’s why they oppose this. That they are willing to damage the country rather than support Trump. That they are willing to put the country in great peril because of refusing to shore up the border! This needs to be demonstrated. This is such a golden opportunity to me. I don’t look at these things as chaotic. I don’t look at these things as, “Oh, no, it isn’t going our way.” This is such a great opportunity, a teachable moment, whatever you want to call it.
It’s the opportunity to demonstrate to everybody that it is the Democrats who are engaging in political malpractice, that it’s the Democrats who will not compromise, that it’s the Democrats who are not interested in doing anything if it helps Donald Trump, including something that would really benefit the country. We cannot be harmed by taking action that would cause this to be seen by more and more Americans. But every senator on the Republican side needs to be flushed out and needs to vote for this — and they’ve got cover.
They can tell themselves it isn’t gonna pass because they don’t have 60 votes. Some of them are leaving anyway. But there are some Republicans that hate Trump so much that they won’t compromise for the good of America, either. That needs to be flushed out! But primarily the opportunity here to demonstrate — not because we say it, but because they show it — that the Democrats hate Donald Trump so much that they will not do what they demand he does: compromise, respect process. They’re unwilling to cross the aisle.
They are unwilling to engage in this precious process. They are unwilling to spend five billion measly dollars to protect their own country because they hate Donald Trump so much. They would just as soon damage the country as help Trump. That’s the message that needs to get out. That’s how you sell this. That’s how you push this. You continue to push back. Trump is showing the way. He’s got ’em on their heels. You continue the attack! You blame them. Get rid of this idea that government shutdowns are Republicans’ fault.
Get rid of this idea that it’s we who have to explain things. We don’t have to explain anything other than we are trying to save America. We are protecting America. We are attempting to shore up the border! We are attempting to gain and secure border security. It’s the Democrats who don’t want any part of it! This is the opportunity that we’ve got. The Democrats have supported measures with more wall funding than this one! They just never went anywhere. This isn’t about the wall, as far as the Democrats are concerned.
This is about humiliating Trump and delaying all of this until they get control of the House so that none of this can ever come up and have a legitimate chance the next two years. Because they don’t want border security. They do not want illegal immigration flows to stop. This must be demonstrated! Mitch McConnell and whoever it is that’s gonna walk to Republican microphones and address the press, has got to say, “It is the Democrats who are unwilling to compromise. It’s the Democrats who are willing to help us secure the border.”
This is gonna require these Republicans to stand firmly, solidly with Trump. He is taking the lead. He’s willing to stick his neck out on this. He needs more than Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan saying they will have his back. He needs a bunch of senators who are not retiring and not leaving to join this chorus that they support the president, they support security of the border, they support protecting America’s borders and America itself, and that it’s the Democrats who don’t, that it’s the Democrats who are not interested in it.
Democrats are so obsessed with Trump hatred that they are unwilling to compromise and even do one thing to help America. It’s not a difficult message, because it’s actually the truth. It’s actually what’s happening. But somebody besides the “tyranny of talk radio” needs to say it. They need to say it. They need to say it as the explanation for what they’re doing. Why are they voting for this? Because they want to protect the border. They don’t have to use the word “wall.” They just have to say, “Protect the border,” “border security,” what have you.
Enforce that it’s $5 billion, that the Democrats have authorized even more for this in previous legislation that never went anywhere ’cause it started the focus. There have been other efforts to get this money. It’s been denied Trump every time he’s tried. This is his last best effort for it. It’s not this is the first time he’s tried. He’s tried this back in 2017, and the same thing happened. Back then all he wanted was $1 billion, and they wouldn’t even give that.
It is time for everybody in that town that calls themselves a Republican, especially if they’re in the Senate, to stride to those microphones right now and start saying, “We’re there. We just need some Democrats to help us protect the border. But the Democrats are so obsessed with Donald Trump and attempting to see that he does not succeed at anything, they’re willing to put their own nation at risk.” Just keep putting ’em on the defensive! There’s no need for us to be! We’re not doing anything wrong here.
We’re simply using legislative tactics. We’re using The Art of the Deal. We’re doing whatever is necessary, the president is, to try to get an objective (that was a campaign promise) accomplished. He cannot do it alone. We’ve got 51 or 52 senators, depending on how you count Flake and Corker and some of the others that are retiring or got beat. But the message here is very simple: “We aren’t the problem. What we want is not the problem. What we want is not damaging or bad. We want border security! We want, finally, to do something about the never-ending flow of illegal immigration into our country.”
You hit the cameras and microphones all afternoon if you’re a Republican in the Senate, and you put the onus right on Chuck Schumer and the rest of his buddies on the Democrat side who don’t want any part of this and are unwilling to even talk about $5 billion — and I’ll grant a concession. If there looks like there could be success on this, then maybe somebody proposes a-24-hour, 18-hour, 12-hour continuing resolution while all this is going on, to keep the precious government running to show good faith.
But it’s just 12 hours. It’s just another 12 hours or so. If it looks like there’s a possibility for movement here. You do not end it. You do not take the shutdown off the table, but you offer to keep the government open ’cause that’s what they’re so obsessed with. The bottom line is, Donald Trump, President Trump needs the support of his party. He’s got you. He’s got you who voted for him, and he knows it. He needs the support of elected Republicans in Washington. He needs to be encouraged. He needs to be praised for pushing this issue in the first place at this time.
He needs applause. It never hurts anybody. I don’t care how big a self-starter anybody is, and I don’t care how confident they are. Everybody needs encouragement. Everybody needs to know at times of crisis and chaos that they have people behind them who have their back willing to support them. The House Republicans need to be praised for passing this in the first place and then turning around and encouraging the Senate GOP to vote for it and hang tight. ‘Cause if this doesn’t happen, folks, we’re… I don’t want to use the word “screwed.”
But if this doesn’t happen, the chances of it down the road with Pelosi taking over the House in a couple of short weeks? The chances reduce. I talked about the encouragement and the need for it in my short little remarks of 35 minutes last night at the Turning Point USA celebrations that arrived. I received an award. I don’t care who you are, encouragement never hurts, and a lot of people don’t get encouragement who need it ’cause everybody thinks they don’t need to it. “They’re secure, they’re powerful, they don’t need it! (muttering) They can take care of themselves.”
Right now, there’s one guy making all this happen, and he needs to be assured that he has support. That’s what I think should happen. That’s what I think the Republicans in the Senate’s objective here has to be. Put all of this on the Democrats and put it all on the Democrats. Everything they think is important. Willing to compromise? They’re not willing. Willing to do process? They’re not willing. Willing to walk across the aisle, shake hands and show government can work? They’re not willing. Protect the border, border security, five billion measly dollars? They aren’t willing.
Screw the media!
Just say it and keep saying it.
That’s my idea.
RUSH: The president just had a little press gaggle at the White House to talk about the passage of the criminal justice reform bill. When he started thanking people, he mentioned Ivanka and Mike Pence. When he mentioned Jared Kushner’s name, prolonged applause. Jared Kushner was one of the prime movers of that legislation, and do you know why? It was personal for him. His father was convicted and was in jail, and the family thought for way longer than was justified and maybe should not have even had any jail time at all.
You can argue that. That’s not the point. It was personal for him. This bill has been something that Democrats, Obama and others have been trying to pass for who knows how long, and they just never got anything done on it. But here it did get done with Trump, and 87 votes in the Senate? I mean, the essence of bipartisanship, and they don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to talk about it. And normally they would because, in their view, the beneficiaries here are their voters!
Because Democrats don’t believe in prisons — and I am not exaggerating this, folks. The Democrat Party today is not what you have thought it was or is as it used to be 30-40 years ago. They used to be a law and order bunch to an extent. But, you know, go back to ’88 with Dukakis letting all these people out of jail on furloughs and so forth. Their base, their base voters require them to assume the position that most people in jail are there as the result of prosecutorial misconduct or a biased and racist judicial system and that most people in jail… Especially on drug charges.
(impression) “There are so many people that don’t even need to be in jail at all! They should be let out.” This has been a big Democrat move to open up prisons and let people out, and it’s accompanied by their drive to have the felon vote restored. Look, the Democrats need as many of those kinds of people that can’t support themselves or have great trouble doing so. That’s the ideal Democrat voter, and Democrats look at prison populations, and they see a great potential there. People who are gonna have trouble getting hired? People that have shown a difficulty in holding a job, getting a high-paying job?
Made to order!
But they can’t vote if they’re in prison. But they’re not talking about this, because that would mean they would have to thank or credit Donald Trump, and they just can’t, and they just won’t. Which is, again, why I say every Republican in the Senate needs to be walking to microphones today and blaming all this on the Democrats and their unwillingness to protect the border, to secure the border, their unwillingness to engage in process, their unwillingness to engage in compromise, their unwillingness to cross the aisle and meet people halfway on $5 billion. And because they hate Trump. They are willing to subject the country to great risk simply because they hate Donald Trump.
That’s the message needs to get out.
Here’s what Trump said to the press gaggle about where we are right now…
THE PRESIDENT: We just had a meeting with some of our great senators, Republicans, and it lasted a long time, tremendous enthusiasm for border security. When Nancy Pelosi said, “You’ll never get the votes in the House,” we got ’em and we got ’em by a big margin, 217 to 185. So now it’s up to the Democrats as to whether or not we have a shutdown tonight. I hope we don’t, but we’re totally prepared for a very long shutdown, and this is our only chance that we’ll ever have, in our opinion — because of the world and the way it breaks out — to get great border security.
RUSH: Mitch McConnell tweeted — and this is positive. McConnell tweeted, “Let’s not end this year the way it began, another shutdown over the issue of illegal immigration because the Democrats are unwilling to support common sense measures.” This is good! This is good! The Turtle then went on to say, “I am proud to vote for the additional border security that the House added to government funding legislation.” So that’s good! That’s exactly the kind of stuff that needs to be said!
The Senate majority leader. Again, here’s Mitch McConnell’s tweet. “Let’s not end this year the way it began: another shutdown over the issue of illegal immigration.” He’s talking about Chuck Schumer’s shutdown over DACA back in January. “…another shutdown over the issue of illegal immigration because the Democrats are unwilling to support common sense measures. I’m proud to vote for the additional border security the House added to government funding legislation.” Now, this meeting, I want to add some things — just a few things — to this.
The president was talking about what a great night it was for Republicans last night because of the vote in the House, and he said that he had never seen the spirit they had in actually doing what they promised to do. He said he saw “a great sense of achievement and accomplishment.” Yu know, I can believe it. Ask yourself to remember experiences in your own life. How do you feel when you actually achieve something? I don’t care what it’s been. Get a good score on a test, finishing a homework project, something at work.
You do feel good, especially if you’ve been phoning it in, especially if you didn’t think you could do it. Trump said he noticed a difference in the overall attitude of Republicans. Finally, they felt like they had done something — and this is something they had promised to do. This is how he chose to thank them. So he said the Senate’s looking at it now. He just had a long meeting with them. He said that in the meeting with Republican senators he detected a lot of enthusiasm on for border security, that they want safety for our country. He mentioned some drugs, mentioned human trafficking.
You know, the actual human results of all of this and what it means when this isn’t shut down. The things the Democrats are for! Keep pounding what the Democrats are for. Keep pounding what the Democrats are perfectly fine with continuing to happen. Then he said, “The wall is gonna pay for itself,” and he admitted, the president did, that there’s a good chance it won’t pass the Senate, that it’s up to the Democrats if there’s a shutdown tonight — and you heard him say that if there’s a shutdown, it’s gonna be very long, signaling that he’s not gonna be the one to cave on this.
RUSH: Here’s Jim in Clarksville, Virginia. I’m glad you waited, sir. You are up. Hi.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Thank you for taking my call. I’m not Vietnam veteran, longtime listener, been listening since Moby Dick was a minnow.
RUSH: Ha! (chuckling)
CALLER: What I’d like to talk to you about is Democrat liberals use language control. You won’t hear them say “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant.” They say “undocumented.” You won’t hear them say once they get here that they “go on welfare.” They get “entitlements.” And then you have these illegal alien children that been here for years. Those are “DACA.” Now, what President Trump needs to do is take the word “wall” out of this and focus on “national border security,” “securing the border,” “taking care of our people that are here now,” and just keep drilling on that, because that’s what’s gonna get through. You think that’s okay?
RUSH: Yeah. In fact, I’ve been doing that myself, and I think the president has too. That’s why I’ve always said the wall — and I’ve gotten in trouble with Trumpists for this. But I’ve always said the wall is essentially on symbolic, because it stands for exactly what you say, border security, however we get there. A wall would be great, don’t misunderstand. But we can have border security, too, if we don’t get a wall. It’s not the only way to have it. It’d be the best. But a wall and a wall alone is too big a target to destroy, too big a target to make fun of — even though they work, and anybody who wants to protect something of theirs puts it behind a wall.
You know, go to any enclave of any city where the wealthy live and see if you can just walk in. There’s a gate, and most of them have people at that gate. There are walls of one kind or another. Some of them are actual brick-and-mortar walls. Others are landscaping walls. But there’s simply no way you can just walk in! The Vatican has one of the biggest walls you’ve ever seen — and it works — and so does Israel. That’s the point. They do work, and that’s why the Democrats are opposed to it. But in terms of selling it, that’s why I keep focusing on “border security” here and accusing the Democrats of not caring about it.
It needs to continue.
RUSH: Inside-the-Beltway media people, even those who would appear to be on our side, are saying, “None of this is real. It’s all just a game. There aren’t 60 votes in the Senate and there are never gonna be 60 votes in the Senate, and there aren’t even 51 votes to do the nuclear option or get rid of the filibuster.” Inside-the-Beltway media is saying, “This is all a joke. It’s all a game. Nothing can happen. Trump is gonna lose! There isn’t gonna be a wall. There isn’t gonna be money for the wall. It’s all a joke!”
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: Yeah, this is what they said before the House vote too. You know, the cynicism, the cynicism and the cynics that are in that town! Cynicism itself is paralysis, and it’s amazing to watch know-it-alls continually get flummoxed and still resort to their know-it-all status.
RUSH: Here’s Major Garrett. He was on CBS today. He’s a Washington correspondent, and here’s his take with Gayle King on CBS This Morning about the possible shutdown…
KING: What are they gonna say to the workers now who will be without a job possibly?
GARRETT: Uh, one thing —
KING: What do you possibly say to all these people?
GARRETT: One thing to look at because you have a weekend coming up, some federal workers work but not many. The president’s declared Christmas Eve a federal holiday. Christmas is a holiday. This may go until after Christmas but the actual disruption because of that unique scenario may be less than it would be in previous partial government shutdowns or full government shutdowns.
RUSH: I just… Look, I need to say again: Can anybody remember any government shutdown? You probably didn’t remember any of the details of the most recent one, which was January, practically a year ago. You didn’t remember what it was about, and the reason you don’t remember it is because nothing happened. Nobody lost their jobs! Nobody lost their paychecks. No recipient of any government check didn’t get the check.
Literally nothing happens. The deal of this game, the extent to which this game is played over and over and over again is remarkable, because nothing ever happens. I mean, nothing destructive, permanently destructive, nothing even damaging ever happens. Federal employees don’t lose their jobs. They don’t lose paychecks. In fact, if they do, they’re made up. They don’t lose a dime because the government gets shut down. It’s always made up retroactively, whatever is lost.
There isn’t any permanent damage or temporary damage that anybody can ever remember from any government shutdown. So what is it about a shutdown that frightens people? “Well, I don’t know. Is it safe to get out of bed when the government’s not operating?” But see, the government’s operating. The White House is open. When Congress isn’t, thank your lucky stars. That means they’re not passing new laws or regulations or whatever.
But the idea that Supreme Court may not be functioning or that some government agency here or there? The idea that life can’t go on? The idea that somehow life is punitive? Life is riskier? It’s more dangerous, it’s all BS. And, you know, it’s a testament to just how it was like people have been in portraying government as something nobody can do without. Government’s more important than anything, and if it’s not there, and if it’s not functioning — if you don’t think it’s functioning but the government’s open — why, people end up being afraid, but they don’t know why.
Even all these people that get some kind of government check — and it’s a lot of people. It’s over half the country get some kind of government assistance. But it never ends. It doesn’t stop, and nobody can remember a time that it did. The biggest government shutdown of my life was 1995, that budget teal. Even then the most noteworthy paying for was felt by the guy that ran the sleigh ride concession at Yellowstone National Park.
He was on Larry King every night whining and moaning about how he had no customers ’cause he couldn’t open because he was part of the interior department, and the interior department was shut down and so there was no sleigh ride concession. So we got stories about (sobbing), “Little kids were in tears! They wanted to go on a sleigh ride! They wanted to see the animals and they couldn’t, and it was all because the mean Republicans don’t care about kids and hate kids.” That’s the extent of it.
Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying that there’s no immediate political impact. It just frustrates me that there is. Major Garrett’s right. This shutdown, if it happens, the first three or four days of it are at a period of time where nobody’s gonna be doing anything and nobody’s in Washington right now anyway. Even the Senate! A lot of the reason the vote is being a little delayed here is because senators are having to hot trot it back to D.C. to vote.
They’re not even there! I mean, in one sense you could say that the government already is shut down. Let’s see. F. Chuck Todd this morning on the Today show. Willie Geist said, “Hey, Chuck, the clock is ticking here to a potential shutdown at midnight. Do you think the government will be open at midnight tonight, Chuck? And if so, Chuck…?” Okay, great illustration. If the government’s open at midnight, then what? What are you gonna be doing at midnight tonight that you won’t do if the government’s shut down?
I would venture to say that a lot of people by midnight are in bed. Are you not gonna go to sleep tonight if the government is shut down? Are you gonna have to stay awake and post guards at the front and back doors ’cause the government’s shut down? Are you gonna have to draw the drapes, keep the windows closed and make sure that the Neighborhood Watch is on full alert because the government’s shut down? How’s it gonna change? If the government’s not open at midnight, how does that affect you at midnight?
And if the government’s not open tomorrow, say you’re slated to wrap Christmas presents tomorrow morning. If the government shut down, how is that going to affect what your plans are for Saturday morning? I am scheduled to play golf in the morning, and if the government shuts down, I’m going to be playing golf. If it doesn’t shut down, I’m going to be playing golf. It won’t matter a hill of beans — and it won’t matter a hill of beans to anyone.
“But what about, Rush, the 400,000 federal workers that won’t… that won’t get paychecks and can’t buy Christmas presents?” They’ve already been paid with the money they were going to use to buy Christmas presents, which has been put on their credit cards anyway. They’re not gonna have to make payments on whatever presents they buy until next year anyway. So tell me: How does that change anything? It doesn’t change diddly-squat here.
“But, Rush, but, Rush, we can’t just shut down the government. It’s to important.”
You can’t tell me the last time it was shut down and how it ruined your day. Oh, there might be some people out there that depend on some trash hauler showing up that’s got a government contract to do it that might be temporarily suspended, but we’re not talking about permanent, life-altering events that destroyed life-made decisions here. Anyway, Chuck Todd was asked this question. “Hey, Chuck, do you think the government will be open at midnight tonight? And if it is, does the president get the wall or does he get some version of the wall?”
TODD: Right now, it doesn’t look like it is. I think that on December 21st everybody feels as if they can dig in their heels. Let’s see what happens on Monday morning when it’s December 24th and the reality that these folks realize that they’re not gonna be where they promised they would be, the president is tired of this crummy weather. He may be fine not going to Mar-a-Lago tonight. I’ll be curious where he is in 48 hours.
RUSH: Okaaay. I get it. So the president has said he’s not gonna go to Mar-a-Lago while the government is shut down, just like George W. Bush said, “I’m not gonna play golf while the troops are on the battlefield.” Trump said he’s not gonna go to Mar-a-Lago. Here’s F. Chuck Todd. (summarized) “Well, that’s easy to say on Friday, December 21st. But let’s say it’s Christmas Eve, December 24th, and Trump is stuck in the weather of Washington. You think he might want to end the government shutdown so he can go to Mar-a-Lago?”
This is how these people think. Washington will be so insufferable on Christmas Eve, Trump would have to get out. Not understanding his commitment or his resolve. He can go to Mar-a-Lago any time he wants, no matter if the government’s shut down or not and no matter what he says he’s gonna do. Where are gonna be on Christmas Eve, Chuck? Gonna be on standby in case the Today show needs you for some late breaking news? Where are you gonna be on Chirstmas?
You gonna leave Washington, Chuck? Where you gonna be? Wherever you’re gonna be, are you gonna have a camera nearby in case duty calls? Hey, Chuck, if the government shut down, are you gonna be able to go on TV? Are you gonna be able to report on the government shut down if the government is shut down? Or not? It’s not gonna change Chuck’s day or change Chuck’s life. Nor is it gonna change anything for Wolf Blitzer at CNN.