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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Democrats delay Jeff Sessions' AG confirmation with this trick via @NYPost

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats delayed a vote on Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General using a procedural trick during a Judiciary Committee hearing. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer initiated the slowdown from the Senate floor by invoking what’s known as the “2-hour rule” that bars Senate committee meetings from running past 2 pm. 

Democratic members of the committee delivered lengthy speeches against Sessions and President Trump’s executive order restricting entry into the US from selected countries soon after the hearing began at 9:30 a.m. 

One speech by Sen. Mazie Hirona (D-Hawaii) dragged on for 23 minutes, in part, because she recited a speech by former President Reagan. 

Schumer announced his intentions on Twitter—mid hearing – at 1:21 pm: “The American people need answers on exec orders from Sen. Sessions. Jud Cmte shouldn’t proceed until we get them so I’ll invoke the 2hr rule.” 

Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) — who gave Democrats the leeway to vent – delayed Session’s confirmation vote until 10:30 am Wednesday once he learned of Schumer’s move. 

Grassley stressed the importance of getting Sessions in office and alluded to President Trump’s firing Monday night of the acting attorney general Sally Yates after she declined to defend his immigration orders. 

“This country without an attorney general we saw last night was a major problem, we need to be here as Republicans and get this job done,” Grassley said. 

Republicans stood by Sessions character and integrity and blamed Democrats for having sour grapes over the election loss. 

“All the political and policy differences our friends have on the other side I think really is more a reflection of their disdain and their upset over the fact that President Trump won the election and their preferred candidate did not,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). 

Sessions already survived 10 hours of grilling by fellow senators Jan.10. 

But Tuesday’s hearing highlighted Democrat frustration over Trump’s executive orders and presidential memoranda since taking office. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she couldn’t vote for Sessions because he wouldn’t stand up to the president as Yates did. 

“That statement [from Yates] took a steel spine to stand up and say no,” Feinstein said. “That is what an attorney general must be willing and able to do.” 

Feinstein said she has “no confidence” Sessions could do that. 

Grassley defended Sessions. 

“He knows the department better than any nominee for attorney general in recent memory,” Grassley said. “He’s a man of integrity. He’s a man of his word. And most importantly, he will enforce the law regardless of whether he would have supported passage of that law as a member of the Senate.” 

“The Senate Democrats have done everything in their power to slow the work of the Senate,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, noting 16 nominees still await confirmation. 

“The mere idea they are not even showing up to hearings is truly outrageous.” 

Since Republicans have the votes, however, there’s little doubt Sessions will eventually be confirmed.

Still Treason

Brookes: Pause in U.S. entry policies sensible

Iraqi Army soldiers walk past abandoned bedding, in the eastern side of Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. The U.N. and several aid organizations say an estimated 750,000 civilians are still living under Islamic State rule in Mosul despite recent advances by Iraqi forces. Lise Grande, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said in a statement Tuesday that the cost of food and basic goods is soaring, water and electricity are intermittent and that some residents are forced to burn furniture to keep warm. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Iraqi Army soldiers walk past abandoned bedding, in the eastern side of Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. The U.N. and several aid organizations say an estimated 750,000 civilians are still living under Islamic State rule in Mosul despite recent advances by Iraqi forces. Lise Grande, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said in a statement Tuesday that the cost of food and basic goods is soaring, water and electricity are intermittent and that some residents are forced to burn furniture to keep warm. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

People will spin it anyway they like - and they will - but President Trump's decision to take a pause and review travel to the United States from seven Middle Eastern and North African countries is sound national security policy.

It's also completely defensible in these troubled times.

The presidential executive order will temporarily alter visa issuance, immigration and refugee flows to America from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen while U.S. entry programs are examined.

All of these countries have one thing in common: terrorism.

They may have a terrorist group operating within their borders or may have been slapped with the U.S. State Department's State Sponsor of Terrorism designation as a country that uses terrorism or supports terrorist groups.

Of particular importance now is the Islamic State (aka ISIS) which, in my estimation, is in big trouble. The "caliphate" is under significant pressure in Syria and Iraq as forces close in on its key strongholds in Raqqa and Mosul.

For instance, Iraqi forces, with U.S. support, have made significant advances against ISIS since the battle for Mosul began last fall. The going is still tough, but Iraqi forces have reportedly taken back a good chunk of Iraq's second largest city from ISIS fighters.

While Raqqa is still functioning as the Islamic State's capital, tougher days are ahead for ISIS there. Syrian Kurdish and Arab forces, with U.S. help, are targeting the terrorist headquarters for a final assault.

But taking Raqqa won't terminate ISIS.

Some of its fighters, unfortunately, will survive the engagement and disperse-if they don't scoot before the battle for Raqqa even begins. The point will be to continue to resist in a less-organized Islamist insurgency in Syria, Iraq or elsewhere.

Their focus may also shift from holding large swaths of territory to finding ungoverned spaces to plan, train and operate for the purposes of not only carrying on the ISIS movement locally, but exporting terror overseas, including into Europe and the United States.

Battle-hardened foreign fighters or shadowy ISIS operatives could come our way.

Europe has already been stung by terrorists coming in with migrant flows. While the United States hasn't been hit by an ISIS operative that came here from abroad, it's something we need to guard against, especially as the Islamic State splinters.

We can't dismiss the other countries named either.

Libya has both ISIS and al-Qaeda operating there. Iran and Sudan are State Sponsors of Terrorism. Somalia is the home of al-Shabaab - which has called for attacks in the United States. Yemen is the base of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

While almost all of the more than 90 plots and attacks here after 9/11 have been homegrown, Europe's experience and the continuing turmoil and terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa make getting movement into our country right.

Beyond that, it's also possible that the situation in the Middle East and North Africa could get appreciably worse, meaning that we need to ensure that our policies, procedures and practices are up to speed for both the current and possible future threats.

This only makes sense considering the challenges we face.

Peter Brookes is a Heritage Foundation senior fellow and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense. Follow him on Twitter: @Brookes_Peter.

What is Trump's 'America First' Doctrine

At noon on January 20th, Barack Obama stepped aside, leaving Donald Trump as the leader of the free world. In his inaugural address, Trump pledged to implement an ‘America First’ doctrine. But while the implications for trade and immigration are relatively clear, his speech brought us little closer to understanding what this will mean for foreign policy.

Indeed, thanks to the incoherence of the president-elect’s foreign policy remarks during his campaign, the range of potential outcomes is wide. But Trump’s past comments suggest four potential paths that his ‘America First’ Doctrine could take.

The first option is true isolationism. Though it remained unclear throughout the campaign the extent to which Trump truly understood the historical baggage that came with the term ‘America First,’ many commentators assumed that he would indeed pursue a classic isolationist policy. And Trump seems to mean it literally in some cases: only a week into office, he has already sought to erect trade and immigration barriers. He may also seek to withdraw from the world in military terms, abandoning alliances, and refusing to engage in even the diplomatic resolution of international problems which don’t directly concern the United States.

Yet elements of Trump’s own statements call this assumption into question. From his insistence on increased military spending to his promise in the inaugural address to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism ‘completely from the face of the Earth,’ Trump has repeatedly implied that he is likely to pursue a relatively hawkish foreign policy.

A second option for the Trump Doctrine could be described as ‘pragmatic power.’ In his rare scripted speeches devoted to foreign policy, Trump’s speechwriters did a good job of working his off-the-cuff remarks into a relatively coherent and pragmatic approach to the world.

While unscripted Trump calls NATO ‘obsolete’ and a rip-off, for example, his speeches highlighted the need for wealthy allied states in Europe to pay more towards their own defense. Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, seems to share this worldview, noting in his confirmation hearings that his background as an engineer leads him to seek logical solutions to international crises.

Yet this level of coherent pragmatism appears unlikely given Trump’s own reactive personality. Intensive efforts by aides to reshape Trump’s inflammatory statements into a broader, saner critique of flawed U.S. democracy promotion and regime change efforts are often swiftly undone by the President himself. Within one day of his inauguration, for example, Trump reiterated his remarks on ‘taking the oil’ while visiting the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency.

A third option for Trump’s America First Doctrine is thus a far less pragmatic ‘global crusade.’ Drawing on the views of key advisors like Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon, Trump could instead embrace a ‘clash of civilizations’ approach to the world. This would subordinate all other foreign policy crises to a campaign against radical Islam, a philosophy that he and various advisors believe includes elements as diverse as Iran, al Qaeda, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Indeed, in his augural address, Trump promised to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism.” To that end, Trump’s conciliatory approach to Russia – in which he often cites terrorism as a key joint concern – suggests a willingness to work together on counterterrorism.

However, it remains uncertain whether Trump – not known for his cerebral qualities —will explicitly pick any such coherent strategy. Instead, the ‘America First’ doctrine that appears most likely to emerge is a reactive form of Jacksonianism, or a modified version of Reagan’s ‘Peace Through Strength.’

Such a strategy would take a more hands-off approach to global affairs, and enact substantive trade and immigration restrictions. But at the same time, it would follow through on Trump’s promises to rebuild and expand the U.S. military, increase military spending, destroy ISIS, expand the military’s rules of engagement, and take a reactive, hardline stance on Iran, China, nonproliferation and a host of other issues any time he feels that America’s honor is threatened.

The differences between these four potential Trump Doctrines cannot be overstated, yet all four remain politically viable paths, a testament to the campaign’s scattershot foreign policy pronouncements. And the internal politics of the incoming administration – where advisors appear to have a dizzying selection of different views – also matter. Trump’s inaugural address – apparently written by Steve Bannon – may only reflect one faction within the administration.

Trump’s inaugural address provided a name for his foreign policy doctrine, yet its content remains largely a mystery. Few presidents have ever come to office with so little background in governance and so ill-defined a foreign policy worldview. A rocky first week, filled with crises, has only exacerbated the confusion. Only as President Trump begins to settle into his new role will we finally start to learn which ‘America First’ doctrine we can expect for the next four years.

Read More Here

Iran Refuses to Confirm Conducting Missile Test

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran’s foreign minister on Tuesday refused to confirm whether his country recently conducted a missile test, saying the Iranian missile program is not part of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

The White House said on Monday that it is studying the details of an Iranian ballistic missile test.

During a joint news conference with visiting French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was asked if Iran had conducted a recent missile test.

“The missile issue is not part of the nuclear deal. As all signatories to the nuclear deal have announced, the missile issue is not a part of” the deal, he said.

Iran’s missiles, he added are, “not designed for the capability of carrying a nuclear warhead … Our ballistic missile was designed to carry a normal warhead in the field of legitimate defense.”

A U.S. defense official said Monday that the missile test ended with a “failed” re-entry into earth’s atmosphere. The official had no other details, including the type of missile. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. was looking into whether the ballistic missile test violates a 2015 United Nations Security Council resolution.

Zarif on Tuesday said he hopes the issue is not used as, “an excuse for some political games by the new U.S. administration. The Iranian people would never allow their defense to be subject to the permission of others.”

Iran has long boasted of having missiles that can travel 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles), placing much of the Middle East, including Israel, in range. Iran says its missiles are the key to deterring a U.S. or Israeli attack.

In a video posted on his Facebook page Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he planned to discuss Iran in his upcoming meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington.

“I intend to raise with him the renewal of sanctions against Iran, sanctions against the ballistic missiles and additional sanctions against terror and also to take care of this failed nuclear agreement,” Netanyahu said.

In May 2016, Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan issued a vague denial after a media outlet close to the Revolutionary Guard reported that the country had test-fired a ballistic missile with a 2,000-kilometer range. The powerful Revolutionary Guard is in charge of Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Deghan said that no missile had been tested “with the range that was published in the media,” but he did not deny that a ballistic missile had been tested.

In March, Iran test-fired two ballistic missiles -- one emblazoned with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew -- setting off an international outcry.

A 2015 Security Council resolution adopted after Iran reached its nuclear deal with world powers calls on Iran not to take any actions related to ballistic missiles “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Zarif has said that its ballistic missile launches are not banned under U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 because the prohibition only applies to missiles specifically designed to carry nuclear warheads. Iran has long argued that general missile tests are not banned, nor are those applying to ones capable of carrying nuclear warheads -- so long as that was not their designated purpose.

The U.S., which still maintains its own set of sanctions against Iran, has argued that previous ballistic missile launches are in defiance of the ban.

Meanwhile, the European Union called on Tehran to “refrain from activities which deepen mistrust.”

EU foreign policy spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said that a ballistic missile test would not be a violation of the nuclear deal with world powers. However she said it was “inconsistent” with Resolution 2231.

“Whether it constitutes a violation is for the Security Council to determine,” she said.


Associated Press writers Raf Casert in Brussels and Tia Goldenberg in Jerusalem contributed to this report.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read More Here

The Preservation of American Sovereignty

With the Bureaucracy, Trump’s Got His Work Cut Out for Him

Day before Trump pick, Dems talk filibuster

Day before Trump pick, Dems talk filibuster
By Jordain Carney and Alexander Bolton - 01-31-17 06:00 AM EST

The White House and Congress are gearing up for a fierce battle over President Trump's pivotal nomination to the Supreme Court, which he is expected to announce Tuesday.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) turned up the temperature on Monday, circulating a petition that argues his colleagues should block any nominee from Trump given the Senate GOP's decision to not grant a vote or hearing to Merrick Garland, whom then-President Obama nominated to the court last year.

"This is the seat that [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] and [his] team have stolen from President Obama," he said in an email to supporters. "I won't be complicit in this theft."

A spokeswoman for Merkley confirmed that the Oregon Democrat will block any nominee besides Garland, who is not on Trump's list of potential picks, from winning Senate approval by a simple majority vote.

Trump has vowed to appoint a conservative jurist, and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) has threatened to block any nominee deemed outside the mainstream.

The pick will replace Antonin Scalia, the conservative justice who died in February 2016. Adding a conservative could give the right a working majority, though Justice Anthony Kennedy typically holds the court's swing vote.

Only four filibusters have ever been launched against Supreme Court nominees, but the likelihood of a fifth is high given the tension surrounding the blocked Garland nomination.

Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate. To defeat a filibuster, they would need eight Democrats to cross party lines.

The last filibuster against a Supreme Court nominee occurred when Democrats sought to block Samuel Alito's nomination by President George W. Bush in 2006. It failed, and Alito was confirmed by a vote of 58-42.

Only one high court nominee, Abe Fortas, has been successfully filibustered. President Lyndon B. Johnson withdrew his nomination after the Senate voted against ending debate.

Merkley, one of his caucus's most liberal senators and the only supporter in the Senate of Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign last year, isn't alone.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is also pledging to use the Senate's procedural hurdles to try to block Trump's nominee if the individual is an "extremist."

"I want to fill [an] open seat, but I will oppose - and will actively use every legal tool to block - an extremist, unqualified nominee," said Blumenthal, a member of the Judiciary Committee.

Republicans are returning fire, arguing Democrats are ignoring the will of voters who handed Republicans their first unified government in roughly a decade.

"I think if you're a Senate Democrat, you've got to wonder whether or not you're getting outside of Washington enough," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Monday.

McConnell has noted that Republicans did not filibuster Obama's two first-term nominees. McConnell said Trump should get the same treatment.

"We have every right to expect the same courtesy from today's minority when we receive this nomination tomorrow," he said from the Senate floor.

The GOP also could opt for the "nuclear option" by changing Senate rules to get rid of the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees, something Trump has said should be done if Democrats block his pick. McConnell has repeatedly signaled he does not want to take that step, most recently in an interview with The Hill on Friday.

Spicer declined on Monday to weigh in on whether the Senate should change the rules.

It's not clear whether Democrats would be able to sustain a filibuster on any Trump pick.

Schumer's office declined to comment on whether he would move to require 60 votes for Trump's picks.

He added during an interview on NBC's "Today" show Monday that Democrats weren't looking for "payback" over Garland's treatment.

Complicating the fight are the 10 Democrats up for reelection in 2018 in states Trump won.

The Senate Leadership Fund, which has ties to McConnell, questioned whether Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) or Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), all up for reelection, would support Merkley's filibuster.

The Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative group, plans to spend $10 million to confirm Trump's nominee, while Tea Party Patriots plans to hold 1,000 house parties in the next 100 days to rally activists.

Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, says her group will mount a pressure campaign targeting the 10 Democrats running for reelection in states that supported Trump.

"For the Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018, it's going to mean choosing between the interests of their constituents and the interests of Democratic politicians," she said.

On the left, organizers say hundreds of groups, including People for the American Way, the Alliance for Justice, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, are planning to flood Senate offices with phone calls and constituent visits.

"There will be a wall of opposition senators are going to find among their own constituents," said Ben Winkler, Washington director of

Liberal groups won't disclose the size of their budgets and concede that conservative groups will likely outspend them, but they say the money can be matched by grassroots activism.

"We're gearing up. We're ready to fight," said Marge Baker, executive director of People for the American Way. "It's going to be big. I've been here 14 years. This is huge. Partly because the events of the past week have shown how important the courts are."

Dems boycott confirmation votes for Trump nominees

Dems boycott confirmation votes for Trump nominees
By Peter Schroeder - 01-31-17 10:29 AM EST

Senate Democrats on Tuesday refused to attend a committee vote on two of President Trump's more controversial nominees, effectively delaying their consideration.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes to advance Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump's pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and Steven Mnuchin, his selection to head the Treasury Department. The pair had been among some of the more contentious selections to join Trump's Cabinet.

Republicans expressed outrage at the move, while Democrats gathered outside the Senate Finance Committee hearing room to outline their gripes with the selections.

"I can't understand why senators, who know we're going to have these two people go through, can't support the committee," said Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

"I'm very disappointed in this kind of crap. ... Some of this is because they just don't like the president."

"This is the most pathetic thing I've seen in my whole time in the United States Senate," he added.

Democrats walked out of the Senate Finance Committee hearing room, arguing that Mnuchin and Price misled senators in their testimony before the panel, and saying they could not allow a vote to proceed without more information.

"He misled Congress and he misled the American people," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the panel, said of Price.

Democrats said they wanted to bring Price and Mnuchin in for further questions, saying some of their statements did not line up with the facts.

"We have great concern that Chairman Hatch is asking us to vote today on two nominees who out and out lied to our committee," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

Both Price and Mnuchin had been targeted fiercely by Democrats on a range of ethical issues. Price was pressed on his investment activity in various medical companies, and whether he improperly mixed his political activity with his personal portfolio.

And Mnuchin's time at the head of OneWest Bank, and whether it treated homeowners facing foreclosure fairly, was central to his testimony.

Minutes before a scheduled vote on the pair, Democrats said the nominees still had to clear up matters.

Hatch said he would try to hold a vote on the nominees later in the day.

Amid the frustration and partisan jabbing, there was no clear resolution to the standoff. Democrats insisted that Mnuchin and Price return to the committee to answer more questions. But Hatch ruled that out, calling the request "bull."

"They've had every opportunity, and as far as I'm concerned we're going to get these people through," he said after the hearing.

Though the GOP blasted the boycott as unprecedented partisanship in the Senate, Republicans pulled a similar move when they were the minority in 2013, refusing to attend a hearing confirmation for Gina McCarthy, President Obama's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Democrats have argued Price's financial investments pose a conflict of interest.

In particular, Democrats have questioned Price's trading of medical stocks while a member of Congress, including the purchase of the biotech shares.

They've pushed for a delay on the committee vote, to no avail.

"We've made clear we need additional information to make those judgments," Wyden told reporters Tuesday.

He later tweeted that the "litany of ethics revelations" surrounding Price are "strong evidence" that he can't be allowed to have control of Medicare.

Four Democrats sitting on the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) also asked for a delay on Tuesday's committee vote in a letter sent to Hatch on Monday evening, citing "serious concerns" about "outstanding and significant questions about [Price's] qualifications and ethical conduct."

The letter was signed by Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Al Franken (Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), all of whom questioned Price during a HELP hearing earlier this month.

"It would be a disservice to the American people to put Rep. Price in such a position if these outstanding questions are not answered," the letter read.

Jessie Hellmann and Sylvan Lane contributed.

- Updated at 11:20 a.m.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ignatius: Middle East Cares More About Trump ‘Being Tough With Iran’ Than If ‘He’s Anti-Muslim’ [VIDEO]

By Christian Datoc
30 Jan 2017, 09:57 AM

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius told the MSNBC “Morning Joe” crew Monday that Donald Trump’s anti-Iranian outlook “resonates much more” with Middle Eastern countries than questions his proposed Muslim travel ban might raise.


“The crucial thing for the Saudis, for King Salman, is being tough with Iran,” Ignatius said of Trump’s weekend conversation with the Saudi King. “And the Saudis see the Syria war as an Iranian proxy war to take over a Sunni country.”

“They see in Donald Trump somebody who is prepared to stand up to Iran and is prepared to do safe zones,” he added. “Which Hillary Clinton talked about but President Obama never wanted to do.”

Donald Trump (Getty Images)

Donald Trump (Getty Images)

“That anti-Iranian theme resonates with the gulf much more than this question of whether he’s anti-Muslim.”

Trump’s Reassertion of Common Sense

Special Report
Trump’s Reassertion of Common Sense
It is a shattering experience for death-wish liberals, bishops, and RINOs.

The grandstanding hysteria over Trump’s travel ban on people coming from seven terrorist countries falls into the category of sound and fury signifying nothing, save the persistence of death-wish liberalism in our politics. It happened so “abruptly,” harrumphed the chattering class.

Really? Trump has only been talking about the ban for over a year. People in those countries had since his victory in November time to “prepare” for it. Besides, since when has it been a constitutional right for peoples residing in terrorist hotbeds to travel inconvenience-free to America? READ MORE 

When Liberals Lose, They Blame Democracy -Rush Limbaugh

When Liberals Lose, They Blame Democracy

Monday - January 30, 2017

RUSH: I don’t mean to be that redundant here, but Trump doesn’t have any kind of support system like a Democrat president has.

Obama had the media.

Bill Clinton had the media and whoever else.

But Trump only has his voters.

Trump does not have the media, other than some in the so-called conservative or alternative media. Trump only has his supporters. Most people, you elect the president — you elect him because he’s gonna implement his agenda — and you sit back and you watch it happen. ‘Cause you figure, after you voted, there’s not much more you can do. But Trump is gonna need his supporters backing him up, and the evidence of them being there is gonna be crucial to the media. Otherwise, the media is just waiting to run stories about how Trump’s lost his base. They can’t wait. I’m sure those stories are written. The only thing they have to plug in are the details like what state the people that are gonna supply the quotes live in.

But you know the stories are written, “Yeah, I voted for Trump, I love Trump, but I feel so let down now. I had no idea Trump was actually going to only let Christians in.” You know that quote’s already been manufactured waiting for somebody to agree to it. You know that story is written and others like it. And they’re just waiting.

Reuters has already tried. Reuters went out to the great Midwest to try to find people fed up with Trump, and they couldn’t yet, and they’re seething over it. They’re not happy. I’m looking for that story right now, and I have found it. Right here I have it in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers.

Here you go. “Trump’s Heartland Voters Shrug Off Global Uproar Over Immigration Ban — Many of President Donald Trump’s core political supporters had a simple message on Sunday for the fiercest opponents of his immigration ban: Calm down.”

Yeah, what monsters these Trump people are. Imagine having such an attitude. Reuters goes on to talk about how this is so obscene, so inappropriate, so unbelievable that people could still be sticking with Trump.

“In the St. Louis suburb of Manchester, Missouri, 72-year-old Jo Ann Tieken characterized the president as bringing reason into an overheated debate. ‘Somebody has to stand up, be the grown up and see what we can do better to check on people coming in,’ she said. ‘I’m all for everybody to stop and take a breath … Just give it a chance.’ … In the electoral strongholds for Trump, residents seemed nonplussed about the uproar –” Good for you! But Reuters is not happy, nor is anybody else in the Drive-Bys.

Now, I mentioned in the previous hour something you can look forward to as part of this. As you know, Trump won. But we are not a direct democracy. It isn’t gonna be — in fact, it has happened here, but our old buddy Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight, Hillary wins the popular vote, loses the Electoral College, loses the presidency, therefore a majority of Electoral College state voters voted for Trump. Trump is doing what he said he was gonna do. Oh, have you seen the stories — and there are some out there — “We didn’t really think he was gonna do it. We never thought he was gonna do all this stuff.”

And a lot of people are playing off the famous Salena Zito analysis of Trump which said that Trump’s supporters take him seriously but not literally, and Trump’s opponents take him literally but not seriously, and people are now starting to say, “He meant it, he meant it, we knew he meant it. And he’s full of it, and these people that supported Trump, they’re full of it.” And so what they’re trying to say is Trump voters were fooled because they didn’t think Trump really meant it. They just liked the fact that Trump was fighting back, but now that Trump actually appears to mean it, do we have a constitutional crisis?

Because many people believe that we live in a democracy, and that means majority rules, which means a majority voted for Trump, not the popular vote, but the Electoral College winner, therefore Trump is doing what he said he was going to do. Expect a debate to surface along the lines of, “Hey, just because he said he was gonna do it and now just because he’s doing it, does it make it right? Are the people always right, or are the people wrong?” And they’ll use things like global warming. They’ll say nonscientists think that global warming doesn’t exist. Should they prevail or not?

Remember, liberalism is all about defying the will of the people. The Obama administration governed against the will of the people for eight years. The American people didn’t vote for Obamacare. He didn’t tell ’em that that’s what it was gonna be. He lied to people about Obamacare. He lied to them about what it was gonna cost. He lied to the people about doctors and nurses and their insurance plans and all that.

The liberal community, liberalism, progressives, whatever you want to call ’em, by definition, have to govern against the will of the people because they are a genuine minority in this country. And when that happens the leftists trot out political scientists, “Well, of course we don’t live in a direct democracy. The American people can’t possibly be informed as their elected representatives are. There are just certain things the American people are unaware of. We can’t allow the American people to determine their own fate. That’s why it’s up to the elected representatives to overrule the American people when they American people do dumb and say stupid things.” And that’s how they operate.

And a reverse arrangement of that argument is about to surface. ‘Cause right here, Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, here’s the headline: “Trump Is Doing What He Said He’d Do.” The subhead: “Is that what his voters wanted?” It’s a very long piece devoted to the possibility that Trump’s voters didn’t bargain for this, not this executive order on banning all these people from the country. They didn’t bargain for this.

So it’s a way to undermine Trump, lied to his voters or — well, can’t say lied ’cause he’s doing what he said he was gonna do. So the story has to be that his voters really didn’t get it. And they really didn’t intend for him to do this. This is classic on the left, by the way. Trump says he’s gonna do A, B, C, and D, people like that and they vote for him to do A, B, C, D, and E. Trump gets elected, starts doing A, B, C, D, and E and the media says, “His voters didn’t expect him to do this.”

They just make it up. And it’s all part of this planned resistance. The fact the matter is, Trump had sometimes five rallies a day. At every one of these rallies he was very clear, exceptionally clear on his agenda, particularly when it came to immigration and national security. I think the people who voted for Trump knew specifically and exactly what he was gonna do and didn’t have a problem with it then and don’t now.


RUSH: Incredible. This is incredible. Mr. Snerdley, the rest of you, do you remember there was a TIME magazine cover — many of you won’t remember this but we’ll find it, we’ll get the cover and we’ll put it back up there at — TIME magazine did a cover with me on the cover. I was not mentioned but once in the story. They put me on the cover to sell the issue, and it was a doctored photo of me with a churlish grin with cigar smoke coming out of my mouth. “Is Rush Limbaugh dangerous for America?”

The theme was, is there too much democracy? Remember in the early stages of this program, long before even Fox News came up, the left started worrying that maybe there was too much democracy, maybe there was too much opinion from the American people, there was too much involvement from the American people. The left always does this when they’re losing. When they are losing elections, when they are losing on policy fights, when they’re perceived to be losing anything, they always revive this theme: Is there too much democracy out there?

Well, lo and behold, from the Brookings Institute, by Grace Wallack: “Is Too Much Democracy Responsible for the Rise of Trump?” I told you this was gonna happen. I love this. I told you, started with Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, Trump was elected, but did his voters actually mean this? Did they understand what Trump was gonna do?

The meaning is, Trump’s voters are stupid and they are to blame for what happened here. Trump is an ignoramus. Trump should never have been president. Trump’s an absolute disaster and the voters made it happen, and that means there’s too much democracy. That means there’s too much participation. That means the American people don’t know enough, really, to be entrusted with the chore of selecting the president.

That’s what all of this means. And you could make book that whenever the Democrats lose, a variation on this theme is going to appear. And right here it is at the Brookings Institute inside their think tank, “Is Too Much Democracy Responsible for the Rise of Trump?” And it begins this way. “Trump is arguably the most unlikely, unsuitable, and unpopular presidential nominee of a major party in American history.”

He was elected for crying out loud, but yet he’s the most unpopular. See how that works? This according to scholar Thomas Mann at the Brookings Institute in his new paper — yes, he wrote a paper. Not even a book. This thinker at the think tank, Thomas Mann, he’s been around as long as I have, he’s been around longer. I remember reading about this guy when I was in Sacramento in 1984. I mean, the dinosaurs, they’re still there. Thomas Mann in his new paper about competing theories on Democratic access.

“But, Mann argues, Trump did not come out of nowhere. As economic stagnation and concern over refugee migration in much of Europe.” This actually is from last summer, folks. This even presages, predates. This is from last June when they’re worried that Trump’s voters are so stupid and they don’t know enough to be electing Trump. It happens when they’re losing, when they think they’re gonna lose.

We’ll find that TIME magazine cover, maybe even the text. It seems that there were two, because they ran that cover story on me, “Is Rush Limbaugh good or bad for America,” I forget which, and the next week the cover was of Fidel Castro with a glowing story on the paradise he had created for his people in his little Caribbean, well, jail.

But the theme was, “Oh, my God, Limbaugh, look at all these people listening to Limbaugh, they’re calling Washington, there’s too much democracy out there. There are too many people participating who don’t know what they’re talking about, too many people participating that don’t know what they’re doing.” And now too many people that didn’t know what they were doing electing Trump.


RUSH: I want to read something to you from the TIME magazine story from 1995. It has me on the cover: “Is Rush Limbaugh Good for America?” It says, “Talk radio is only the beginning. Electronic populism threatens to short-circuit representative democracy. Email and other tech talk may be the third, fourth or Nth wave of the future, but old-fashioned radio is true hyperdemocracy. Very hyper. Like the backyard savants, barroom agitators and soapbox spellbinders of an earlier era, Limbaugh & Co. bring intimacy and urgency to an impersonal age. … What’s new is that today the radio rightists are wired into the political process.”

They go on and on and on to talk about there’s too much democracy, too many of you people involved, and the reason that there are too many of you is that you’re ignorant. You do not know what you’re doing. You fall for the lies told by the wrong people, Trump being the latest example of that. And they’re back to the theme now. There’s too much democracy going on out there. Just like Senator Ernest Hollings said during (chuckles) one of the economic bubbles, “There too much consuming going out there.” Remember that?

“Too much consuming going on out there. It’s caution inflation, mama! Too much consummation going on out there.” He really said that.