Skip to comments.Rush: Like It or Not, Bush Leads
Posted on 01/08/2004 4:16:14 PM PST by ejdrapes
Like It or Not, Bush Leads
January 8, 2004
Listen to Rush...
( discuss the substance and politics of the immigration disagreement)
BEGIN TRANSCRIPT 12:10 PM ET
RUSH: What's still on everybody's mind out there is this immigration business. And we've got some audio sound bites on this and some stories. I want to start out though with a little ditty, if you will, how should I phrase this? I guess I could call it leadership.
And I do to want contrast some things going on here, President Bush with recent Democratic presidents, or a recent Democrat president, in the current crop of Democrat candidates. It's about this immigration business. I know there's outrage and anger out there and I think it's real, and, by the way, I know it's real and I know that there are many of you that are beside yourselves you don't understand this and you're just fed up and you think, "My gosh just being taken for granted and forgotten." And many of you are saying that this is pure politics, I don't like this, this is trying to secure the Latino vote, and there is no Latino vote, and they already got 30% of the Latino vote in the 2000 election, so what's the deal?
But let me ask you something. For those of you who think that this is a purely political maneuver on the part of the White House, do you disagree with the politics of it or do you disagree with the substance of it? I mean, you may say both, but you can't ignore the substance in this, can you? You disagree with the substance of this as much as you do the politics. In fact, some of you probably, I would venture to say that the vast majority of you who disagree with the announced immigration policy yesterday disagree more so with the substance of it than you do with the politics. The politics of it maybe you could somewhat understand, might disagree with it, but you don't understand the substance. And so the key is, to me here, we are in a futile disagreement over substances here as well as, if not more so, than politics.
But aside from the outrage and the anger on the right, there is something important to note here. Now I'm just going to throw it out there, and you're free to accept it and absorb it and process it and deal with it or you can reject it but I still want to throw it out there, because for better or worse what has happened here is the first Bush salvo of 2004. And it's not random. This is not throwing it up against the wall and hoping it sticks. This is not saying, "Hey, what we can do to make people like us today, hey, throw that out there, see if they like that, poll on where I should go on vacation." We're dealing with somebody who is coming up with substantive proposals here, whether you disagree with them or not, it's a planned, coordinated, timed announcement.
Now, the consensus seems to be that Bush is risking his base in order to gain Hispanic votes. The New York Times today theorizes that Bush is simply trying to be nice. This is just the new version of compassionate conservatism, that he's again seeking the votes of people that pay scant attention, who don't like stridency. New tone, think new tone, that this is just an outgrowth of the new tone. We're just going to be nice to people! And that it's a pitch for that group of people. But regardless of what it is, it is a planned and coordinated and timed announcement. As I say, the consensus seems to be that Bush is saying [raspberry sound] to the base in order to gain Hispanic votes. Now, oftentimes the consensus is right, but oftentimes it's wrong. Consensus opinion sometimes has a tendency to be way wrong.
Here's some things to consider about this as you stew in it, some things to consider as you consider to fume about this. What Bush has proposed is legal status, proposed, and I want to emphasizes proposed and this is something I began with yesterday. This is all going to be up for debate. He did not issue an executive order, he's not using the Clinton MO, he's not pardoning all Mexicans on the last day of his administration, he's not pardoning all illegals and then flying the coop with the White House silverware while Janet Reno makes a speech in some hangar. He is doing this out in the open. He's not using a judicial MO, there's no executive order, there's no fiat here, there's going to be debate about this. Debate has already begun. And the president, for better or worse, in terms of the substance of this, is taking on another leadership challenge. I mean it would be much easier to duck this. It would be much easier to duck it and wait for somebody in Congress to come up with their own version, or say, "You know what, I'd be safer if I don't do this. I mean, it's an election year, I've got a dunderhead out there named Dean who is screwing up every day. What do I have to do? I'll just sit back and relax at the ranch and play golf, I'll advance a couple tax proposals, but I'll take it easy." He's not doing that!
Here he is in the midst of an election year, this is a true substantive issue, and this is, he thinks, and the substance is something I want to focus on, because I've been thinking about that this morning because the debate has been going back and forth about whether this is wholly political. As I say, you can't take the politics out of it, but there's substance here, and admit it, folks. It's the substance of this that has you mad, not the politics. As I say the politics may have you upset - it's the substance of it that you just don't understand and you're just trying to figure it out. It doesn't make any sense so why do this, you know, why do this now? This is the kind of thing you do in an off year, this is the kind of thing do you when nobody will notice, this is the kind of thing you sign at two o'clock in the morning when even the press corps is still in the bars and they're not even going to be sober enough to write the story right in the first place once they hear about this. They did this under the full morning sunshine, well, afternoon sunshine yesterday. After a whole day of the nation talking about it, the president goes on interrupting 15 minutes of this program, a communication breakdown there, to announce the policy. And I'm struck buy this.
He could have said, "You know what, I think on this immigration thing we need to mend it but not end it," which is what Clinton said about what? Mend it - affirmative action. Yeah, we need to mend that but not end it. This is not that, this is not avoiding the issue, this is not sweeping it underneath rug, this is not letting somebody else deal with it, this is taking it on. And it strikes me that whether you agree with it or not, you've got some leadership going on here. You know, real leaders lead in the war on terrorism. The whole world thought that was a mistake. The whole world was lined up against us ostensibly, and the whole world said we shouldn't do it and everybody, the Democrats were aligning with the world in trying to talk to the president, he wouldn't be dissuaded, would he? Went ahead, stimulate the economy, tax cuts, going to do it, doesn't matter what people say, going to tackle it, needs to be done, coming out of a recession, when he takes office. And yeah, that's right, he ran touching the third rail of Social Security, risking political electrocution. You just don't do that, but he's talking about privatizing Social Security and that's going to be brought up, that's going to happen.
Now, for those of you - I know a lot of you think he's out there pandering for votes but remember his sister-in-law is Hispanic, his nephew is Hispanic. I mean, he's got Hispanics throughout his family. This business of pandering is, you know, if you want to think it, go ahead, I'm not going to try to talk you out of anything I just want to throw something out there else for you to consider.
Now, amidst all of this, we got the Democrats, we got the MoveOn.org crowd, we've got Wesley Clark and Howard Dean all these other guys are calling Bush an extremist. Now, if you look at the domestic agenda of this administration the last thing any Democrat would call it is extremist it's been pretty much what they want in a lot of ways, so why do these Bush-haters hate Bush? And I've advanced this theory once before, and I think it really comes home here in this issue again. One of the reasons Bush-haters hate Bush is because he's actually doing something he's actually leading. I mean these guys are trying to construct a legacy for their boy, Bill Clinton, and their boy doesn't have a legacy, that's why they're having to manufacture one out of whole cloth and thin air.
By comparison, regardless of what he is doing, Bush is leading. It is a matter of substance from issue to issue to issue and Bush by an A-B, side-by-side comparison is making their boy look really bad, and they love their boy, their boy is the greatest thing that ever happened to the country, if they could only get him back. And Bush is making this guy look as inconsequential as a president has ever looked. I mean, Bill Clinton said out there, "You know I worked harder than I ever have on this" on about 14 things that he never got done, and Bush is not talking about how hard he's working. He's getting things done. You could say that Clinton was all talk and no leadership. Bush is all leadership and no talk.
So, like this or not, we've got a problem here in immigration, and he's facing it, and he's doing what he thinks is right about it. Now, we're free to disagree with it, but it is an issue of substance, and again I'm going to admit and acknowledge that there's a political component to here to it, but the disagreement is primary on substance. And, remember now, this is up for debate. It may not ever happen. He did not demand this, and he did not put it on us with an executive order, he's throwing it up to the Congress, our elected officials, and I might say that in that very Congress, there are 180 Democrats who want every illegal given a green card today.
Now, let me give you this possibility. Let's say that you are the president, you are the president's team and you know that you've got 180 Democrats in the House, maybe more, who want this issue so badly because they, too, want the Latino vote, and they want to give every illegal a green card, amnesty, and citizenship today, nothing less. Well, you don't like that, you can't do that, how do you stop that? So you come up with your own plan that slows down what the Democrats are trying to do. Maybe doesn't stop them and maybe is not conservative enough but you know that that's going on, and you have to stop it somehow because that's not what you intend with this. There is no blanket amnesty here, and there is no blanket citizenship here, folks. All there is, as I said yesterday, is hope. All there is some opportunities for some of these people. But it is not a blanket amnesty, and it is not granting illegals automatic citizenship or legal status right off the bat in mass in toto.
Anyway, in the Washington Post today, I know I'm a little long here, "Democratic strategerist speaking on a not-for-attribution basis described the proposal as brilliant politics that could help to refurbish Bush's compassionate conservative credentials, appeal to moderate swing voters and make it much harder for Democrats to win several states on their target list." Quote from this guy who didn't want his name used, "They've done a lot to try to put the general election away, and at a minimum they may have taken Arizona and New Mexico off the table," and it's no coincidence that Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico is fit to be tied over this. At any rate, so what - Arizona, New Mexico, big deal. Folks, I'm not trying to persuade you of anything here. Throwing it out. You're going to make up your own minds on this anyway.
I believe that. Seriously, I do. I think Bush is doing what he thinks is right.
Well since you are so clairvoyant, maybe you should take over for Ms. Cleo.
This puts immigration into the debate, call your congressman, I'm not stopping you, but have the debate once and for all. This issue can't be swept under the rug and and you can't wiggle your nose and all the illegals are gone. It ain't that easy, and the less you depend on your knee jerk reactions, the more you maybe can understand that this is a difficult and complex issue.
Would a society survive if all laws are broken?
No. He evidently got clued in to the substance of Bush's proposal and revamped his initial kneejerk reaction.
If it is done down party lines, that will forever establish the Democrats as the party of demographic dominance, therefore dominance plain and simple. This move of a Republican president to punt on immigration arguably keeps alive the two-party system. It enables immigrants to vote Republican.
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