Skip to comments.Bush, Frist Did Not Dispatch Graham & DeWine to Make a Deal
Posted on 05/27/2005 3:58:28 PM PDT by wdkeller
Bush, Frist Did Not Dispatch Graham & DeWine to Make a Deal
May 27, 2005
RUSH: I'm going to mention this because -- and I saw the report that I'm going to talk about. It was on FOX News last night at the top of the show on Brit Hume's 6:00 show on Fox, and I saw it, and I said, "Well, okay. The spin has begun," is my reaction to it. But now I've been getting e-mails today from people who believe it. So I decided to check it out. The top of the program last night, Major Garrett reported. Now, this is not a criticism of Major Garrett. Major Garrett reported that he was told by senior Republican sources that Senators DeWine and Graham were dispatched by Senator Frist and the White House to cut the best possible deal on judges. You understand this? Fox reported that Mike DeWine and Lindsey Graham were sent to that meeting chaired by McCain and Warner, by Frist and the White House, to cut the best possible deal on the judges. Now, if that were true, it would mean that Frist admitted he didn't have the votes. "Get your ass over there, make a deal, Lindsey. Get over there, Senator Graham and Senator DeWine and make a deal." So I said, "Okay." This was the first bit of spin that I had been treated to since this all happened, so I decided to check into it, and to the best of my ability to check in and verify this, it seems that this assertion is false. It seems that it is totally false.
That neither Senator Frist nor the White House had anything to do with this meeting, and that they certainly did not dispatch Senators DeWine or Lindsey Graham over to the McCain meeting to cut the best possible deal on judges. Now, if you wonder: "Okay, well, who is this source, who is this senior Republican source?" Well, to find out who the senior Republican source is, it might be helpful to consult the transcript of the report on Fox last night -- and when you look at the transcript of the report, you see that Senator DeWine is portraying himself as having saved the president from a devastating defeat. Now, that's the opposite of what happened and we all know it. Senator DeWine took a win on the filibuster issue and messed it up, and apparently he's trying to rewrite history in order to deflect the heat. Krauthammer has a column today that echoes what many of us have been saying all week that's right on the money. So here's the relevant portion of the transcript of the report on Fox last night. Senator DeWine: "No one knows how to vote on the constitutional option would have come out. We might have won; we might have lost. If we lost, it would have been devastating for the president, devastating for the president when he tried to get a nominee up here for the Supreme Court. Everybody knew where we were coming from, and you know we insisted that this is what the deal had to be. It cleared the way for a lot of the president's agenda other than the judges to move forward, so I think, you know, we got a lot. We really didn't lose anything."
Yeah, of course you didn't lose anything, except the nominations of William Myers and Henry Saad, and maybe five other judges. It could be that only three of these ten will ever see the light of day. So DeWine is portraying himself as having saved the president from a devastating defeat here in the midst of a report that senior a Republican source says that Senators DeWine and Graham were dispatched by Senator Frist and the White House to cut the best possible deal. Now, there's other spin going on as well about all of this, but none of it is this. I mean, every version of spin is its own self-contained individual story with no relationship to any other story or no other link. What does this mean? It means that the signatories to the deal know that they messed up, and they're running for the tall grass now, and they're trying to make the blame shift from themselves to elsewhere, all the way from Frist knew he didn't have the votes and told the White House and the White House told us to get over there and make a deal, all the way to... Basically, at the root of it, I think all the spin is basically about how we were saving the president. We were doing what we could to save this because it was going to do down in a humiliating defeat, ta-da, ta-da, ta-da, ta-da, ta-da -- and of course what's wrong with this spin, aside from the fact that it's spin -- and what's caused the spin to take place is the Bolton business.
"Did you see what Lindsey Graham said about the Bolton filibuster? 'Well, this is what's disappointing. The spirit of the deal was that we can do better if we all try.' I don't need to say anymore, folks."
Two things have caused the spinning to start: the Bolton business and the outcry, the outrage of anger and protest emanating from the Republican base. The people that elected these people are furious. They are still furious. So the spin is related to both the Bolton -- because the Bolton episode yesterday, even though I will admit it's got nothing to do with the judge deal, it does have a linkage to the judge deal because one of the reasons for the deal was supposedly to "get the Senate back on track doing the people's business," blah, blah, blah, and it was also said that this is going to clear the way for Bolton. They said this would clear the way for Bolton, and look what happened! Bolton's being filibustered. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. It's not a filibuster. They're "delaying the vote." Shame on me, folks! I didn't adopt the correct media language. It is a filibuster! Anytime you have a cloture vote, which is what happened yesterday afternoon, anytime you have a cloture vote, you've got a filibuster going on. I don't care what the press calls it. The press will not use the word "filibuster" because the Democrats have some fear, too. The evidence is clear that they are filibustering and obstructing and stopping everything, but this was all predictable.
We know who the Democrats are. A Democrat is a Democrat. A liberal is a liberal. A tiger is a tiger. We knew what they were going to do. We knew that the deal emboldened them, and from what I'm hearing -- and who knows what's factual and what isn't -- from what I'm hearing, the Republicans had a deal, Frist had a deal with Dingy Harry that there would be the 60 votes to get cloture and move on and vote on Bolton. They thought they had so many more than 60 votes they let Specter leave early. Specter, you know, is undergoing chemotherapy for lymph node cancer, something like that, and he left for his Pennsylvania home early before the vote yesterday, and they thought they had plenty of votes, enough to let Specter go early, that his vote wasn't needed. The assurance that Frist had from Dingy Harry himself, and of course Dingy Harry has now screwed Frist twice in one week. Frist has been shafted twice in one week, and you can't blame this all on Frist. I mean you can, maybe you can blame some of it, but let me give you -- I've been talking about LBJ and how he ran the Senate with an iron fist when he was in the Senate and did so at least with his own party when he was president.
RUSH: All right. We have a montage of DeWine, Senator Mike DeWine on the Fox report that I was talking about at the beginning of the show last night. Let me set this up. This is a show on Fox, Brit Hume show top of the hour last night at 6. It's a Major Garrett report that he was told by senior Republican sources that Senators DeWine and Lindsey Graham were dispatched by Senator Frist and the White House to cut the best deal possible on judges, and I said, "Well now, if that's true, that's one of the biggest news breaks and stories in the world," and I dug deep today, and I have assured myself that this is so far from the truth that it doesn't even deserve speculation. So in that case, okay, well, who's the source? Who are the senior Republican sources for this? And we've put together a montage of Senator DeWine in the Major Garrett story yesterday and this is it.
DeWINE: No one knows how the vote on the constitutional option would have come out. We might have won. We might have lost. If we lost, it would have been devastating for the president. Devastating for the president when he tried to get a nominee up here for the Supreme Court. Everybody knew where we were coming from, and, you know, we insisted that this is what the deal had to be. It cleared the way for a lot of the president's agenda other than judges to move forward, so I think we got a lot, and we really didn't lose anything.
RUSH: Now, aside from the substance of this, you hear in this bite that DeWine openly suggests, or should I say references the possibility that the vote would be lost, that Frist didn't have the votes, and they had to go over there and make the best deal possible. So when you couple that with this report from Major Garrett -- and I'm not ripping Major Garrett so please, don't anybody call Fox. I'm trying to figure out who this source is that told him that DeWine and Graham were dispatched by Frist and the White House to cut the best possible deal, because that's huge spin. You know, that's huge, and it sounds like that's what DeWine is saying happened, and he doesn't mention Frist or the White House, but he said they had to go in there and make the best deal we could. Now the Senate is going to move on. The Bolton vote last night is evidence that that's not true, that the president got his agenda going. I don't know what these guys are thinking. Are the Democrats just going to announce, "oh, wow, okay, let's go pass Social Security, Mr. President"? I clearly do not understand where these guys are coming from, but there's no party discipline. That's for sure.
RUSH: Laura Lynn in Cincinnati, nice to have you on the program. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Appreciate you taking my call.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: You know, another consequence of DeWine's betrayal here with the filibuster matter is the effect that it's had on his son's campaign. His son is running here in the second Congressional district trying to fill the very big shoes left open by Rob Portman, and I'll tell you, the dialogue around our community at least is, you know, he uses the name, he uses dad's money, he's got the political machine behind him that pushed him to the forefront, and, you know, it just leads us to believe that we're going to get the same nonsense in the House as we have in the Senate, and I think it's really hurt his campaign here.
RUSH: I've seen speculation that that might be the case. Your phone call kind of adds impetus to the notion that it could. We'll just have to wait and see. This is something that's not going to be known until election day, but clearly it's something that Senator DeWine will hear himself, and will give thought to. But look, it's too late. You know, look, my friends, I hate to sound like a broken record on this. They make the deal when? On Monday. On Monday night they're all praising themselves as independent mavericks, right? They're doing the best thing for the country. They saved the country. They "saved the republic." They saved the Senate, and now we can get back to doing business in the Senate. "Kids are dying in Iraq." Okay. The deal falls apart. Now, make no mistake it's fallen apart. This comity and the goodwill that was supposed to come out of this meeting was officially slam-dunked yesterday in a Bolton filibuster. Now, isn't it interesting that all of these participants -- and let's just stick with the Republican side on this, because it wouldn't have happened without them, all right? All the Republican participants said, "We acted independently. We did what is best for our country. We're not really moderates. We're not this, we're not that. We just did what's best for the country. We saved the Senate! Comity, staid tradition in the Senate. Protecting the rights of the minority. We need to make sure that we can get back to doing the nation's business. Kids are dying in Iraq. We got to go back and work on Social Security."
Okay. Then the deal falls apart, and they're all blaming everybody else for the deal. "Well, the White House set us up. The White House and Frist, they knew they didn't have the votes. We had to go up there; we had to try to save the day." Isn't it interesting when the deal first gets announced... Somebody in the press or in one of the blogs somewhere had a great characterization of all these Republicans not even able to go to sleep Monday night in anticipation of their profiles in the Washington Post style section on Tuesday. So they get up like it's Christmas morning, looking for their great profiles to show how independent they are, then the deal goes south and now it's everybody else's fault, and some are saying, "You know, we're surprised. We're saddened. We're saddened and surprised that this happened." Some of them are saying that, talking about the breakdown here of civility in the Bolton circumstance.
Frist was on Hannity yesterday and stated emphatically and directly that he had no part in the deal and was very dissatified with it. I believe he will do his best to get all the Judges to the floor of the Senate for an up or down vote. I believe if the Demos filibuster (and they already have done so on Bolton) then he will push to change the rules.
Maybe because he's not?
Me thinks that Rush is so wedded to his own analysis that this is a colossal defeat, that he's unable to accept the possibility that, lacking a 50th vote for the nuclear option, Frist and Bush moved to get the best deal possible through negotiation. Why is that so difficult to accept?
You have more faith in Frist than I do. I think his "handling" of this situation led directly to the fiasco that occurred the other evening. Frist hasn't got the...intestinal fortitude...to stand up to a paper bag.
The guy is lying. If Frist wanted the best deal he would have went himself and lent credibility to the deal. As it is Frist denies the deal and says the constitutional option is on the table and that he didn't sign off on the agreement so therefore it is no good. He said that the first day. Why would he say that if he was in on making it? He wouldn't.
As for Bush, he is very busy and probably doesn't feel the need to deny something so obviously a falsehood. He probably thinks that we, the rank and file, have more brains than to believe he is envolved, unfortunately he overestimates the intelligence of a lot of the conservatives.
Has Frist since denied this Fox report that he dispatched DeWine and Graham to cut the best deal possible? It's one thing to say, "I wasn't part of this deal," and quite another to have sent a couple of Senators into negotiations that he himself was not officially a party to.
I would think Frist would at least push for a real fillibuster after this fiasco, but he seems to be content on letting judges be denied a vote on the threat only.
If he sent them to make the deal, then by definition, he was part of the deal. He denied being any party to it, and I believe him. I hope that faith and trust is not misplaced. We shall see.
How many times must people misunderestimate W. The Dems have been snookered. Comity became comedy in less then 48 hours. Call it a Bolten of Lightening if you will but the DEMS are in trouble and don't seem to understand they are sitting in the back seat and W is driving.
Rush is right on this one! DeWine bought into the lies and is now trying to escape. First thing I thought. This whole idea "he was sent" is just ridiculous.
If you are right then, FRiend, it still doesn't exonerate Dewine and the rest of the traitors. Because there is no way in the world that this would have been possible without their collusion. And that about brings your argument to a screeching halt.
To be honest, I've seen a lot of people jumping to conclusions about the whys and wherefores of this "deal" this week -- but let's be honest: no one on this board really knows what went on behind closed doors leading up this "deal." It's like the old saying: "He who loves sausage and law should see neither being made." This deal is typical of "sausage law."
I think we'd all want that, but to my understanding a "real" filibuster would also require a rule change in the Senate, and 60 votes to accomplish it.
Mark Shields, on the News Hours this evening, said that a lobbyist had told him that he couldn't get through to Lindsey Graham's office. All lines were overloaded. Jim Lehrer asked him if the calls were pro or con. (Lehrer is a real ass).
Shields said "con", and that Susan Collins' phones were also overloaded.
Shields then quoted McCain, who said that when things like this happen, phones get overloaded for a couple of days and then everything settles back.
We've got to make sure that McCain is wrong. Dead wrong.
I appreciate and share your perspective. Maybe in another month we'll be proven wrong, but at this point, I can't believe that Geo. W. Bush was blindsided by this deal, or that it ultimately works against him.
I agree with you. A man called a local radio show here saying he had contacts in high places in DC. and would give the host the numbers to call to verify his story. His story being that Frist and the WH did not send Graham and DeWine to make the best deal possible. According to the caller, that story came from McCain's office, and McCain was trying to protect his friends from more harm since they seem to be the ones in so much trouble. Don't know if this is true, but I will check the host's website tomorrow and see if he has posted anything about this.
We shall see, indeed. Anything's possible, and I'm looking forward to the definitive story about the background manueverings.
Someone explained on a thread yesterday that they used to do real filibusters under the "old" rule that required 2/3s of senators present and voting for cloture -- i.e., everyone had to stick around watching for a propitous time to invoke cloture. The rule was changed (under the Dems, those respecters of hallowed Senate traditions) to require 3/5s of the Senate, 60 votes, meaning in this case that Dems could go on, one by one, forever and only the Republicans would all have to be there trying to snag the extra Dem votes.
I hope I explained this right.
I don't know. Why didn't the W.H. deny that a koran was flushed down a toilet to newsWeek.
I cannot believe the same argument newsWeek was blasted for making is being used by OUR side against the W.H. and Frist. It is not THEIR duty to deny every single spin thrown out there by an anonymous source no less.
Further, for those that want them to blast the RINO's? And if they don't take that as evidence of guilt? Two words. New Tone.
I believe him too. Frist is an honorable man, the trouble is most of the other Republican senators (especially the Gang of 7 of course) are not. DemonRATs are a lost cause and putting them in the same sentence with that word is ludicrous.
That's EXACTLY what the Mooslum world is saying about the Newsweak article, who needs EVIDENCE right?
Republicans must be careful, they're held to a double standard. If they run around with their hair on fire the headline reads "Repubs falling apart", why feed that in public, I'm rather sure we don't know everything, but it was indeed a frustrating week for at least 48 Senators, I'm pretty sure of that.
IOW let's get even, not just mad.
That is the most believeable scenario for me. The biggest problem is McCain and will always be McCain. Thanks for nothing Arizona.
First off I like Frist (I think he is doing a decent job...better than Lott). - Though about your above observation - it isn't totally correct - Because Frist is looking to run for Prez in 08 - He wants the "base" support going into the primaries (over McAs$)- Therefore he'd never publicly admit to being part of this deal or wanting his name as part of it -
However, I also believe we are moving just fine - I don't think the deal was that bad - We came out on the better end (by far!!) and we still have the nuclear option to use on any of the SCOUT nominees (Which I believe we will use and it will PASS if it comes to it) - The DEM's know this.
The DEM's know they lost on this one -
You know why? Because Bush and Frist have class. They also are smart. And I think that deceit exposes itself better than anyone else can
No, and we haven't seen GWB and/or a GOP Senator cry out for retribution against any RINO in any situation in 5 years now, and there have been plenty of opportunities. GWB signed CFR, and is into this "new tone" goobldy-gook, so doesn't speak out publicly against harldy anyone, and the GOP Senators have no spines. So that proves nothing.
I choose to believe Rush over Garrett's unnamed source.
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
There is so much spin everywhere it's almost impossible to break through the mud.
So it comes down to who is believeable. McCain, Graham and DeWine? Or Frist and Bush. Frankly the last two have credibility to last the next fifty years far as I'm concerned. The other three are in debtor's prison.
And who is in more trouble? Who has more to gain by shifting blame? Why, the Mavericks I would say. So I don't believe this. If someone DOES believe it, let them prove it. the burden is on them, not on Frist and Bush. they aren't the ones that flipped off the base by signing that Judas Pact.
I took a little heat from a fellow FReeper last night ,... I said, just imagine the welcoming party for Graham in South Carolina , and Memorial Day weekend , no less!!
Who really knows all the details (has the evidence, as you say) regarding "The Deal"? I certainly don't. I doubt Rush does either. There are "highly placed" Senate staffers who, quite frankly, may not know anything more about this deal than we do.
Agreed. I like to look at politics like sports. We had a rough week, but we weren't swept, and we're still in 1st place!!
I agree. Something else. Lindsey Graham is so far up McCain's butt, President Bush would never have used Graham for this mission. And I saw clips of DeWine attending the McCain meetings days before Monday. I believe both Graham and DeWine were onboard with McCain, Bush and Rove would have known that, Frist too, so it doesn't pass the "make sense test" that Bush or Frist would trust them to cut a deal.
Think back. Immediately after the compromise was announced, Graham was euphoric! He looked positively giddy, even promising Chris Matthews, "just wait, look for this group to take on Social Security too".
Think back. Immediately after the compromise was announced, Frist looked shell-shocked. He may be a great surgeon, but he's not an actor. His gloom and doom demeanor was not an act.
Frist had been betrayed by McCain, and now we're finding out, lied to by Reid. My only questionsss: Did Spector leave town to avoid voting against Bolton? Or... Did Frist allow Spector to leave because he knew Spector would vote against cloture. (Spector was making a big deal out of keeping his vote secret.) Or, my thought..Did Frist allow Spector to leave because he was assured by Reid, that the Bolton vote would pass.
Mitch McConnell is responsible for counting the votes. Why haven't we heard from him?
Something makes me suspect that Frist and McConnell are saving up spit. If Reid lied to Frist, (I think it's clear he did), then Reid has broken the unpardonable Senate rule, lying to another senator. And this is the biggest joke of all. Democrats have said Republicans will destroy the senate if they go nuclear, but you know what? Reid has done that already, by lying to Frist.
Ken, could you provide the video link to DeWine being interviewed by Major Garrett? I can't find it.
"We had a rough week, but we weren't swept, and we're still in 1st place!!"
Right you are. After all, Judge Owen did get confirmed. Let's see what happens with Bolton, Brown and Pryor next week.
Meanwhile, happy Memorial Day.
I heard Bill Cunningham on Sean Hannity's show today, and neither one of them seemed to make any bones about DeWine's perfidy- so much so that I was actually taken aback.
There's a defintie rat infestation problem in the Republican basement that can't be papered over any more. I'm kinda surprised that Lindsey went limp-wristed (though with such a name...), but McCain's treason needs to be addressed, and the Northeast RINOs are worthless. DeWine and Graham and McCain should be targeted for replacement.
Let's use some common sense here. If DeWine and Graham only voted because they were instructed that way by the Whitehouse, that implies they would've voted with Frist. But if they had voted with Frist, then Frist had the votes. Now, if you believe that Graham/DeWine are covering for some other Republican senators who were going to vote against the fillibuster, why sacrifice Graham and DeWine? Why not pick one of the other senators who were going to vote against the rule change anyway?
The Whitehouse story doesn't pass the smell test and fails based on simle logic. I don't know that DeWine or Graham are the source of the bogus story. I suspect that someone likes to do a lot of talking and is passing along silly rumours.
Yeah but you better watch out because spilling Dewine will probably make Voinovich spill some tears. Booo Freakin' whoooo.
This hits it right on the head. Especially since DeWine is running in 2006. Why choose him as the sacrificial lamb. Why would he agree to be the sacrificial lamb when Specter would do so much better--the conservatives already dislike specter and he's not running for reelection anytime soon. So the story is internally contradictory.
Targets can't work if a W steps in to back a Specter as he did in PA.
In other words not everyone is behind getting rid of RINOS.
I notice Rush says the story SEEMS to be false.
I don't think anyone knows anything for sure.
Rush's language was a little bit stronger than that. Here's the entire quote from Rushlimbaugh.com:
" ... so I decided to check into it, and to the best of my ability to check in and verify this, it seems that this assertion is false. It seems that it is totally false."
You are right.
The media trumped this up. Big Time.
First vote out of the gate unrelated to judges is Bolton.
An appearance that they not only lied, but will fillibuster non-judicial nominees, as well.
And then we have three whole days and a long Senate vacation to discuss it.
Actually, if you think about it for a moment, you will see where your analysis fails. If Frist was part of the deal, there would be no need to bring bolton up before the "arranged judges". Frist seemed to be using Bolton as a "canary in a colemine" to test the donks before getting to the other judges. The canary died.
That's my take anyway. The fact that Frist brought up Bolton "before the judges" seems to be the biggest indicator that he knew nothing about any deal or script. Clearly, judges were supposed to come up before Bolton.
Occhams razor seems to say: DeWine is covering his rump.
The question becomes: What does Frist do next?
De Wine never would have risked his son's chance for election to be a water-boy for W.
However, if he thought he could get massive press and help his kid, he'd do it alone.
Here's the truth: I'm from Ohio. We were watching Fox when Shep (I believe) made the statement "an official from Mike De Wine's office just called and said there would be a press conference to discuss a deal reached on judicial nominees". Nobody else was even scheduled to appear - for about five minutes, it was all De Wine. When it's your personal Senator making an ass out of himself, time stands still. You recall vividly the very moment you considered putting your house up for sale and movinge to Texas.
Rush is right.
I think De Wine's office prematurely grabbed the spotlight and when McCain got wind of it, that's when it got delayed so all the old (insert vulgarity here) could get face time.
What started out as Mikey's day in the sun turned into McCain show-baoting and plugging his movie and pushing De Wine into the background.
Rush is right.
Because it is a colossal defeat.