RUSH: I have to tell you, I didn’t think they’d actually do it. I didn’t think McConnell would actually do it. I thought when the moment of truth came, they’d find some out for not going nuclear. But they’re gonna do it. They’re gonna go nuclear, and the Democrats are running around acting like a bunch of stuck Trumps. Well, they think Trump’s a pig, so I just… Anyway, I’m gonna give you all the data on this that you need to understand what’s going on, because the Democrats are lying through their teeth about every aspect of this.
RUSH: This filibuster business in the Senate is… There’s an element here of it that the Democrats… They’re gonna rue that they did this, and the way to understand this filibuster business is very simple: All that is happening today is that the Senate is being returned to the rules that lasted for 100 years prior to 2003.
The judicial filibuster was invented by the Democrats in 2003. The point is there was no filibuster anywhere… It’s not even mentioned in the Constitution. It’s a Senate rule. The Senate can make whatever rules it wants. The Democrats… I just listened to Dick Durbin. (paraphrased) They’re talking about decades and centuries of Senate tradition being wiped aside by these evil Republicans! The Republicans didn’t do anything but stand aside while the Democrats changed the rules. So all that’s happening is that Democrat rules that created filibustering judicial nominees are now being removed.
That’s all that’s happening. The Senate is being returned to normal. That’s all that’s happening. There is no great earthquake happening here. The Senate is not being forever undermined and changed. But that is the media’s story, and so the Democrats are going along with it. The media’s devising all this strategy, and they’re showing by virtue of controlling the news how the Democrats should act and what the Democrats should say.
I have it on good authority that the Democrats, because of counseling with the media, actually believe that they can convert McConnell triggering the nuclear option into electoral victory in 2018. I kid you not. There has been all this speculation, which politics is filled with people that… It’s kind of like in football the analysts and experts who analyze each week’s game with the point spread straight up, analyze this matchup, that matchup, and nobody knows anything of what they’re talking about because the game hasn’t started yet.
So you get all these predictions based on what you have on paper as what might happen. And politics is filled with people that do nothing but make wild guesses in blogs and on websites and on TV, and it’s called “educated analysis.” And most of that educated analyses has been that the Democrats are making a mistake triggering the nuclear option on Gorsuch because there’s no change in the balance of power, that Gorsuch is simply replacing Scalia, and so there’s no real ideological change in the makeup of the court.
So it’s silly to waste a filibuster here. They should just go ahead and confirm Gorsuch. He’s a good judge. All kinds of leftists around the country, judges and jurists, think there’s no sense in stopping the guy. There’s nothing there. But others on Trump’s list… When it comes to time, say, one of the libs retires or something else happens and one of them creates an opening, and then Trump wants to nominate another Gorsuch type or conservative to fill the lib’s seat, that’s what it gets nuclear on the Democrat side.
So the learned strategists have been saying, “The Democrats are making a mistake here. They’re wasting this. They should save this until the next opening,” and it appears they’ve missed the whole point of why the Democrats are doing this. Democrats are doing this for 2018. I know it sounds odd. The Democrats are looking at big trouble in 2018 if there isn’t a change in public sentiment from the 2016 election. We’ve got a bunch of Democrat senators from red states that Trump won that are up for reelection. It’s like 10 of them.
That’s a big, huge number. And if those Democrats lose those seats, the Republicans could end up with 60 seats in the Senate after the 2018 election, just because of the new makeup, not because of any nuclear option or anything. They could literally end up with 60 seats. That hasn’t happened in I don’t know how long. So the Democrats are trying to head that off. They think by forcing McConnell to go nuclear, that they have created a winning campaign issue about what a bunch of Nazis the Republicans are.
You know the mistake in this? I wonder if I can say this. Well, I can say now because it’s beyond the point of no return. They can’t dial it back now. This is the Democrats problem. There’s a reason Democrats are losing elections. I know, I know. You’re tired of hearing me say this. But, folks, I’m not gonna start repeating the numbers. The thing the Democrats… There are many mistakes they make. One of the mistakes they make is they think that average, ordinary, low-information voters follow “the process,” and most people couldn’t care less about the process.
When it comes to this, “Just confirm the guy. We don’t care! Nuclear this, nuclear that? Don’t care cloture vote, first cloture vote, rules of order. Screw that! Just confirm the guy. We elected you to get people like this on the court, get ’em on the court.” When it comes to health care, “Get rid of it! It’s killing us. We can’t afford the premiums. We can’t afford the deductibles. We don’t want to go to jail if we don’t pay! We don’t want to pay a fine. Just get rid of it!” All the process involved, they don’t care. They’re not impressed by it. It’s not at all something that they can be impressed by in terms of listening to the words and the lingo.
And this process argument is what the Democrats are relying on. Okay, so McConnell triggers the nuclear option. The Democrats go campaign in ’18 on what a bunch of Nazis the Republicans are, how they triggered the nuclear option, how they defied democracy, how they defiled the Constitution. All they’re gonna do is maintain their base with that. They’re not gonna grow it because people don’t care about that. Gorsuch is gonna end up on the court is what’s gonna matter in 2018, and the Democrats couldn’t stop it is what’s gonna matter. But McConnell’s doing something like this in this nuclear option that the Democrats…
They’re gonna regret this, folks.
RUSH: It was 2003 that the Democrats changed all this. I was just protecting myself against a typo. So many people send me so much that’s wrong that I have to protect myself by accounting for either option. But here’s the deal. There were no politically based filibusters of judicial nominees ever in this country until 2003. Let me repeat that. Up until 2003, there were no politically based filibusters of judicial nominees. The filibuster for legislation…
And again, it’s not really a filibuster in the sense that people are not required to go to the floor and keep talking until they can’t anymore. It’s just they short-circuit that. They acknowledge somebody’s got the fortitude to speak until 60 votes can be achieved to stop it. So essentially the Senate changed rules that legislation outside of the budget required 60 votes to stop debate, and then go to the vote on the actual legislation. But that was never applied to judicial nominees until 2003, when the Democrats invented the judicial filibuster to stop the nominees of George W. Bush.
Prior to that, it was common that if a nominee were qualified, the nominee would get a vote on the floor. There would not be a filibuster to stop the nominee from even being voted on. The Democrats started that in order to go after Bush’s lower court nominees, district court nominees. It was really aimed at Miguel Estrada. So the Democrats started all this, and all that McConnell is doing today is returning the Senate to the way it operated prior to 2003, pure and simple.
RUSH: Back to the filibuster for just a second, because it’s happening. The Senate has just affirmed the nuclear option on the Gorsuch confirmation. To prove the point that prior to 2003 judicial filibusters didn’t exist, look at Clarence Thomas! Clarence Thomas — after all of that crap that was his confirmation hearings — was confirmed to the court with fewer than 60 votes. So was Samuel Alito, and there have been others.
But in the modern era, those are two prominent justices confirmed with fewer than 60 votes. The filibuster didn’t exist. The Democrats invented the judicial filibuster in 2003 to stop the nominees to lower courts of George W. Bush. Harry Reid pulled it again in 2013 to include all presidential judicial nominations except those nominated for the Supreme Court. What McConnell has done today is not alter the Constitution.
McConnell and the Republicans have not nuclearized the Constitution. They have not actually triggered a nuclear option. That’s just words. All that’s happened here is that Mitch McConnell has returned to the Senate its rules that existed prior to the Democrats changing them in 2003. And, by the way, the Senate can make whatever rules it wants. And if a majority votes on the rules change, then it’s changed. The Constitution does not say anything about filibusters, because the filibuster was not actually invented until long after the country was founded and began operating.
Now, what has happened with it and the reason the Democrats did this in 2003. The first thing was Bush was illegitimate, you know. The Florida recount. He didn’t really win. The Supreme Court rigged the game, blah, blah, blah. So Bush was not legitimate. So therefore, he shouldn’t get any of these judges. But there was also another aspect to it, which was the Democrats, as I pointed out yesterday, never lose.
They don’t lose, and they don’t respect the authority in place following elections if they lose. The only authority they acknowledge is their own. So when they lose elections, the first thing you’ll start hearing about is “the tyranny of the majority” and how rules need to be changed to empower the minority. You never hear this when the Republicans are in the minority, only when the Democrats are. And what the Democrats actually seek is to give the minority more power than the majority and, in the process, undermine duly constituted elections.
And all that’s changing here is McConnell is zapping all of that and returning the Senate to a deliberative body defined by popular elections state by state by state — which, when you add ’em all up, the Democrats lost. That’s really all that’s happened here. But the Democrats see it differently. Well, no, they know what’s happening. They just want everybody to believe that Mitch McConnell is tearing the Senate up. They want Mitch McConnell to believe that he’s ripping it up and flushing it down the toilet.
They want people to believe Mitch McConnell doesn’t respect elections, doesn’t respect a minority, doesn’t respect votes, and is therefore trying to rig the game against a valid minority which has legitimate concerns over blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And as we have learned, what may be the real strategic reason for this is the Democrats think forcing Republicans to go nuclear like this is a winning issue for them in 2018 in the midterms in the Senate and House elections, where they will then be able to say of McConnell what I just said.
“He threw out the Constitution! These Republicans are a bunch of Nazis. These Republicans are a bunch of fascists. They tore up the Constitution! They couldn’t get their nominee through the Senate any other way than to rig the game. That’s why you need to send us back to protect the fine, age-old traditions of the Senate.” I think that’s gonna bomb out on ’em. People don’t care about all this process. This is one of the many things about politics that people hate. But there’s another aspect to this that goes beyond the removal of the filibuster here.
What McConnell has also decided to do is lower the amount of time available for debate on future nominees. And they can thank Dingy Harry for that too. The additional change… There’s another change in this aside from just eliminating the filibuster. The additional change that they are considering would affect a bunch of future Trump nominees, because this change will reduce the debate time after a nominee clears an initial procedural hurdle, and the time change takes it from 30 hours to eight hours.
The reason why the vote’s not gonna be until tomorrow is even after triggering the nuclear option and breaking cloture, there is a minimum of 30 hours of debate required, after the nuclear option’s triggered today. That’s why the vote will not happen until tomorrow afternoon, because the rules at present permit 30 hours of debate. In this case, it’s both parties. But the Democrats are gonna have 30 hours to use to smear, to cajole, to try to convince Republicans like Murkowski and Collins to vote against Gorsuch.
The additional change McConnell is implementing today reduces the 30 hours to eight hours. And the real meaning of that is, that is a significant reduction in the amount of time the Senate would need to confirm a nominee. If it were in place now, they could do the vote on Gorsuch at, say, eight o’clock tonight or nine o’clock tonight. Just eight hours of debate speeds up the process and moves it along. And that is being implemented along with the removal of the filibuster today.
But it’s not unprecedented. In 2013, there was a similar provision on limiting debate for most nominations. The 2013 measure passed the Senate by a vote of 78-16 but only governed the rules for that Congress. Democrats at the time held a majority in the Senate, so the rule changes. That’s why McConnell can change it from 30 hours to eight in order to speak up the process and limit the amount of time Democrats have to destroy somebody.
RUSH: Well, the nuclear option is officially triggered. If you want to hear how it sounds, the senior member of the Senate, Orrin Hatch, announced it this way…
HATCH: Let’s have order. On this vote the ayes are 48; the nays are 52. The decision of the chair does not stand as the judgment of the Senate.
RUSH: Therefore, the rule has been changed. See, that’s the kind of thing… What does that mean? What it means is they exercise the nuclear option, and the filibuster is gone. That’s what it sounds like.
RUSH: I want to present one other possibility to explain why the Democrats forced the nuclear option today. And when I say “forced” it, they could have prevented this by voting for Gorsuch. All it would have required is Chuck Schumer finding eight Democrats. And that wouldn’t have been hard, because there are 10 Democrats up for reelection in 2018 in red states that Trump won big, who would really much have preferred to not do what they did today. And it would have strategically, probably, made more sense to hold off on the maneuver that they engaged in today until the next nominee.
Which likely will either be a replacement for Justice Kennedy (who may resign/retire) or one of the acknowledged liberals on the court. But they didn’t. They triggered it today. They forced the Republicans’ hands today to get Gorsuch confirmed. And again, I just want to stress that the Republicans haven’t done anything nuclear here. Folks, this is a classic example of the daily soap opera script being written by the media, and acceded to and followed by Democrats. There’s nothing earth-shattering that happened here.
The real earth-shattering event was the in 2003, when the Democrats changed centuries-old rules. There never were filibusters for judicial nominees in the Senate. Clarence Thomas was confirmed with fewer than 60 votes. So was Sam Alito. There was no such thing as a 60-vote requirement to confirm judges until the Democrats instituted it in 2003. So all that happened today was the Republicans returned the Senate to the rules that had always been the case in 2003. Nothing earth shattering. Nothing nuclear happened here.
The Senate wasn’t blown to shreds. Time-honored tradition wasn’t destroyed. Nothing of the sort. When Harry Reid did this in 2013 and when the Democrats did it in 2003, there wasn’t any of this accompanying news about how the Democrats were destroying the Senate and shaking it up and forever changing it and doing great damage to tradition. There wasn’t any of that. The media was applauding back then because it was all aimed at stopping Republican nominees.
So one of the theories as to why they forced this today is because they want to use this characterization of what the Republicans did is the part of a “process”campaign to retake the Senate in 2018. And it’s really strange. Campaigning on process is a… Process is dull. It’s boring. It causes glassy eyes. It doesn’t really… There’s nothing exciting about Senate process or any bureaucracy process. It’s like over in health care. People don’t want to hear about the process. They don’t want to hear what the problems are. They don’t want to hear about it.
“Just get it done! We elected Republicans since 2010 to get rid of this. Just get rid of it. We don’t want to hear why you can’t do it! We don’t want to hear all these fancy-dancy excuses. Just get rid of it!” And yet, there it is. Well, I wish to offer a variation on the process theory that might be behind why the Democrats did this today, rather than save it. The first theory again is that in 2018 when they run for their various Senate elections, they will use this and explain that the Republicans are a mean bunch of Nazis and defied traditional Senate rules.
They’ll get into the minutia of what happened here to try to demonstrate how Republicans can’t be trusted. But there’s another variation on this that could be what they intend to do. I will admit that the Democrats rarely have made the mistake of basing campaigns on process, meaning using the process as a weapon in a campaign. Because it is so boring, and it’s so insider that it’s not naturally exciting. It doesn’t inspire anybody. There’s nothing about it that attracts people. It just turns people off.
So there is an alternative theory that what they did… This is their campaign in 2018. What they did was legitimately filibuster Gorsuch, and they will say, “We stopped him. Look at what we did,” to their base. “We stopped Gorsuch. You should love us! You told us to stop Gorsuch, and we did. Under the current rules of Senate at the time, we stopped Gorsuch. We made sure that Gorsuch didn’t get 60 votes. You should be thanking us! You should be celebrating us! We did exactly what we told you we were gonna do. We stopped Gorsuch, except for this corrupt GOP.
“So this ultra-right Supreme Court…” And all decisions forthcoming from Gorsuch that the left abhors, they are now going to try to delegitimize. I think in the simplest way I can explain it is they’ll go ahead and stand aside and let the Republicans get rid of the filibuster and confirm Gorsuch, and then the Democrats campaign in 2018 on the basis he’s illegitimate. “The Republicans had to break the rules.” It’s a continuation of saying the Republicans are a bunch of fascists and Nazis. “We stopped Gorsuch,” they will say. I can see the fund-raising now from the DNC, from the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee.
I can see Chuck Schumer out there. “We did everything we told our base,” which is insane, “that we were gonna do. We stopped Gorsuch.” (interruption) Well, because… (interruption) I’m not telling you it’s gonna work. I’m just telling you what their thinking is. (interruption) How’s it attract new people? Who knows! It depends on what the lay of the land is there. If they have succeeded in convincing people that Trump’s illegitimate, if they succeeded still in 2018 of convincing people that Trump’s not worthy of being there and should be sent packing…
“We can’t do that yet, but we can get rid of everything Trump did. We can build…” So they delegitimize Gorsuch and every decision that he participates in. They will continue to resist, is the point. They will not submit. They will not respect the authority that is Gorsuch as a justice on the court. The Democrats’ 2018 campaign for the Senate in all these different states will be, “Love us, support us, donate to us, because we stopped Gorsuch. We couldn’t stop a corrupt GOP. But because the GOP’s corrupt, they put Gorsuch on the court in violation of Senate rules, and so Gorsuch shouldn’t even be there.”
This really is about all the Democrats have. As they continue to lose elections, the best strategy they’ve got is to delegitimize the people that win them and claim that victory has been stolen from them, like Russia and Trump stealing from Hillary, and now Mitch McConnell stealing and putting Gorsuch on the court because of a corrupt GOP. And they continue to set themselves up as victims of illegitimate political players. It’ll keep the money rollin’ in.
When the Democrats think about elections, there’s one thing they think Mr. Snerdley: Turnout, turnout, turnout. They don’t think about much else. If they will get the turnout, then they’ll deal with how those people vote later. But the first thing they’ve gotta do is get the turnout. So this is all oriented along the line of he just angering everybody, just trying to poison everybody’s mind about the system when Republicans are in charge, and force turnout based on the fact that, “This has got to change!
“Our country is being lost! Our country being stolen from us right in front of our faces, and this must stop!” And Gorsuch will be an example of an illegitimately confirmed justice. I’m not saying any of this is gonna work. I’m saying this is what they’re thinking, because it’s a legitimate question: Why waste this big push on the filibuster now when it doesn’t change the balance of the court? So I’m coming up with explanations of people who are asking that question.
RUSH: See? Fox has got this playing out just as I said. Fox headline: “Senate Democrats Block Neil Gorsuch from Advancing.” So the Democrats can say, “See? We stopped Gorsuch. We did exactly what you wanted.” The difference is Democrat voters are intolerant of their politicians not doing what they say. We let our guys get away with it. Democrat voters don’t. So Fox is carrying the water here. They don’t know they’re doing it, don’t misunderstand. But they’re playing right into Democrats’ hands. The Democrats can say, “We stopped him! We stopped the guy! We got rid of the guy!”
So now the Democrats are prepared to say that the corrupt Republicans have an illegitimate judge on a court.