RUSH: A quick question here for those of you watching the Alito hearings: Just what was the first subject brought up by a Democrat senator today? Were you watching, Snerdley? Well, what was the first subject Pat Leahy brought up? It was the Al-Qaeda Bill of Rights. Greetings, folks, and welcome. It’s the Rush Limbaugh program. We are here raring and ready to go, feeling a little bit better today. The Z-Pack that was prescribed for me yesterday to get this bronchial infection, whatever it is, I think is starting to work. So back in the saddle here — not on Brokeback Mountain, of course, but still raring and ready to go. Here’s the phone number: 800-282-2882. The e-mail address is Rush@eibnet.com.
The thing is that– (interruption) there aren’t any fireworks. The thing that surprised me the most yesterday about the hearings was that Alito had the audacity to actually make an opening statement. Well, I mean it. To the left and to their kooks in and out of the media, the Alito confirmation hearings are not supposed to focus on him. They may be called the Alito confirmation hearings, but they’re not about Judge Alito. These hearings are to focus on liberal issues, liberal talking points, liberal fear tactics and of course liberal fund-raising, and instead this upstart here — this man who disrespects these liberals, this Judge Alito guy — he had the nerve to make an opening statement! He spoke for 11 minutes. He spoke for 11 minutes and the senators, the Democrat senators, only got ten minutes each. But he spoke for 11 minutes, and furthermore, he had to insult these Democrats by telling everybody what he believes. What is what Judge Alito believes have to do with the Alito hearings? I mean, that’s the way these things have been structured. This is not even about this guy. This is not even about the Supreme Court. It’s not about that. Well, it is in a disguised fashion.
I’ve got a headline in the Chicago Tribune today, “Democrats Under Pressure to Show Aggressive Stance; Liberal Groups Say Some Went Easy on Roberts and the White House — As he faced the Senate judiciary committee on Monday, Judge Samuel Alito began his Supreme Court confirmation hearings with a bit of a deficit. He’s not as naturally charming as Chief Justice John Roberts, who was confirmed in September, and he didn’t quite wow senators during his round of private meetings the way Roberts did. Roberts, of course, picked up twenty-two Democrat votes for his confirmation, a fact that infuriated liberal interest groups and could work to Alito’s disadvantage.” Do you believe that? The fact that twenty-two senators on the Democrat side voted for Roberts, and this angered the left-wing kook blog machine out there like MoveOn.org may now penalize Sam Alito. “‘The message from those activists to Democrats,’ said Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker is: ‘You owe us.’
‘The feeling was that they didn’t stand up to the administration,’ Baker said, ‘So, as a consequence, I think that many Democrats will say we have to stand fast in the ranks against Alito even though it appears that the mathematics of the situation is against them.'” So the wackos want some action. The Democrats in the red states, though, are up for reelection. That’s going to be a problem. Red state senators from Montana, West Virginia, South Dakota, Louisiana, Arkansas, and other Republican voting states all gave Roberts the nod and may well feel pressured to do the same thing for Alito. Then in the Washington Post today: “Despite Advocacy, Alito is Not on Public’s Radar Screen.” Remember yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, at the start of the third hour? It’s painful for me to relive this, but at the beginning of yesterday’s third hour I apologized to those of you for what I thought was a sub-par presentation and performance yesterday. I just didn’t feel that I was meeting and surpassing expectations. Even during such times, it turns out that I was better than I thought. Well, it turns out that my instincts were exactly right. One of the reasons — I’ll be honest with you, one of the reasons that I felt yesterday’s program was sub-par was because I violated one of my golden rules, and that is: “If I don’t care about it, don’t talk about it.”
Well, I don’t care about these hearings. I didn’t care about them yesterday, and yet I was talking about them — and that always makes me felt guilty. I’m violating one of my cardinal rules. The show’s gotta be boring. I don’t care about this and it’s got to be boring to me listening to me talk about it. Well, turns out that my instincts were right on par with all of you. Unlike Senate judiciary committee Arlen Specter, or until he gaveled the confirmation hearings for Alito to order yesterday, the battle over Alito’s nomination had been a shouting match between partisans. Whether it ever engages the public now depends on the effectiveness of Alito and his Democrat interrogators. To the advocates on both sides the battle is described in drastic terms. “Judge,” said Senator Biden, “this may be one of the most significant or consequential nominations that the Senate will vote on since I’ve been here in the last three decades,” which is all hyperbole, but the story goes on to say that the public doesn’t care about this.
The public is not into this. The public is not wired into this, and my instincts yesterday were, “Well, I’m not, either.” So look at what all I had in common with you yesterday. The public didn’t care, and I didn’t care, and yet I was talking about it and I felt bad about it. Today I don’t feel so bad about it knowing I’m on the same page with you people about this. So here are these, “the most important nomination in 30 years.” What about Bork? What about Clarence Thomas? This is absolutely absurd. There is a guiding principle here, as I’ve watched these hearings this morning. I’m watching Ted Kennedy stumble through his questions. You know, everybody jokes about how Bush can’t articulate things. Why is there never any criticism of Ted Kennedy? He can’t say this judge’s name right half the time (muttering). He thinks that Barak Obama is Obama Osama — and Kennedy even today was talking about how a young ten-year-old girl strip searched would be scarred for life.
You know, if I’m sitting there and if I’m Alito, I said, “Well, Mary Jo Kopechne is not here to comment on that.” I think this is absurd. It’s the theater of the absurd, and what governs the Democrats — I can tell you this, folks, we’ll get into specific analysis here in mere moments — arrogance. The liberals on this committee and their staff, I think the staff may write Senator Kennedy’s questions. In fact, Alito interrupted one of Kennedy’s questions, which was not a question, it was a statement and a recitation of things, and Kennedy looked up like, “How dare you speak! I’m speaking. Who are you? These are not about you. These hearings are not about you,” and almost expected CNN to flash a graphic up there while Kennedy was being interrupted that said, “Alito speaks,” exclamation point. “How dare he! Alito interrupts Kennedy,” and Alito was correcting something that Kennedy said. “That’s not an apt statement, senator. You’re not having this in the right context.”
Ba-da ba-da ba-da.
So Kennedy is lost because he’s only reading the questions his staff have written for him.
“Well (muttering) we’ll move on to other things, Judge Alito, judge — uh, Alito.”
RUSH: All right, let’s go to some audio sound bites so set up some of my expert commentary, which is soon to come, ladies — and worth waiting for. First up, this is Judge Alito answering the first question from Arlen Specter. Specter was obsessed totally with abortion and then after he spent most of his time on that he went on to the National Security Agency wiretaps without warrants and so forth. One of Specter’s questions was, “Judge Alito, do you accept the legal principle articulated in Griswold vs. Connecticut that the liberty clause in the Constitution carries with it the right to privacy?”
JUDGE ALITO: Senator, I do agree that the Constitution protects our right to privacy, and it protects the right to privacy in a number of ways. The Fourth Amendment certainly speaks to the right of privacy. People have a right to privacy in their homes and in their papers and in their persons. And the standard for whether something is a search is whether there’s an invasion of a right to privacy, a legitimate expectation of privacy.
RUSH: All right. Now, this is going to be troubling to some of you because there’s no specifically articulated right to privacy in the Constitution, but Griswold found it. Griswold found it by inference and it’s become the law of the land and that’s one of the building blocks of Roe vs. Wade and abortion, as we’ve discussed. But in this case Alito’s given the Democrats what they want to hear here, he’s making himself a smaller target. Let’s listen to how Judge John Roberts answered the same question from Senator Specter. In fact, Specter’s question was almost identical. He said, “Do you believe today that the right to privacy does exist in the Constitution?”
JUDGE ROBERTS: Senator, I do. The right to privacy is protected under the Constitution in various ways. It’s protected by the Fourth Amendment, which provides that the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, effects, and papers, is protected. It’s protected under the First Amendment, dealing with prohibition on the establishment of a religion and guarantee of free exercise, and protects privacy in matters of conscience.
RUSH: So, you see, this is where Bork got into trouble. Bork said, “No, there’s no right to privacy in the Constitution. Despite what Griswold said, it’s not stated there,” and that just caused an uproar. These two guys have obviously learned their lessons here. Next sound bite, Specter says, “Would you agree with Justice Harlan that the Constitution embodies the concept of a living thing?”
JUDGE ALITO: I think the Constitution is a living thing in the sense that matters, and that is that it sets up a framework of government and a protection of fundamental rights that we have lived under very successfully for 200 years, and the genius of it is that it is not terribly specific on certain things. It sets out some things are very specific, but some — it sets out some general principles and then leaves it for each generation to apply those to the particular factual situations that come up. As times change, new factual situations come up, and the principles have to be applied to those situations. The principles don’t change. The Constitution itself doesn’t change. But the factual situations change, and as new situations come up, the principles and the rights have to be applied to them.
RUSH: This is a brilliant answer, and he’s running rings around these guys all day, particularly the Democrats, and they don’t know it. Maybe they do, but I don’t think that they have figured it out. I don’t think that Leahy understands how absurd he appears to people. I know Senator Kennedy doesn’t know that. That’s one of the things these people don’t have, they don’t have any empathy. They have no sense of understanding how they appear to people, how they sound. But this is a classic answer. “Okay, you want me to say that the Constitution lives and breathes? Okay, I’ll tell you it lives and breathes but the principles that underlie it don’t. The principles and the rights are consistent, and they are consistently applied,” and of course I’m sure this may have confused some of them, because remember these people live in a playbook, folks.
These people are not — and I’m talking about the liberals now. The liberals do not engage any of this in the matter of thought. This is not an intellectual pursuit for them. This is a series of questions that equal nothing more than a checklist to determine whether this guy is fit or not fit to be among them. This is not “a thought exercise,” as Bork called it. It’s not to them an intellectual feast. They don’t have the capacity for that. They’re not interested in growth or expansion of their minds. These are very closed-minded people, and they want to try to find others who are of similar bent. So Alito gave them what they wanted here, but didn’t betray the proper understanding of the Constitution. Here’s more from Senator Specter. “Let me come now to the statement you made in 1985 that the Constitution ‘does not provide a basis for a woman’s right to an abortion.’ Do you agree with that statement today, Judge Alito?”
JUDGE ALITO: Well, that was a correct statement of what I thought in 1985, from my vantage point in 1985, and that was, as a line attorney in the Department of Justice and the Reagan administration. Today, if the issue were to come before me, if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed and the issue were to come before me, the first question would be the question that we’ve been discussing, and that’s the issue of stare decisis, and if the analysis were to get beyond that point, then I would have to — I would — approach the question with an open mind.
RUSH: All right, so you can wipe that one off the table now as far as that answer being a target for the Democrats. In order to be critical of this they’re going to have to accuse him of lying and subterfuge, and I urge them to do that. I want them to treat this guy like they treat Bush. “He’s lying! This guy thinks he’s smart but he’s not fooling us. He knows that what he really wants to do is overturn Roe vs. Wade.” We can go back and play the bite. We’ll be able to counter what they say. This is the thing they still don’t factor is, is that there is an opposition that has media access now that can expose their fraud and deceit. Now, let’s go Democrats. Let’s go Patrick Leahy. He’s the ranking Democrat on this committee. We put together a montage of Leahy’s questions and comments. The first thing — the first thing! — that Leahy brought up related to his endorsement of the Al-Qaeda Bill of Rights — Leahy is questioning Alito about the president’s power to assert his authority as if Alito represents the president as a justice of the Supreme Court, and he wants Alito to say that Congress has more power than the president. In a sense Specter went in that direction as well, but the first thing Leahy brought up is the rights for terrorists, according to the US Constitution.
LEAHY: I think we’ve seen outlaw in the use of torture. The president had the power to override laws outlawing torture. So the president could override these laws outlawing torture. They tried to redefine torture. They seem to say that the president could immunize people if they violated our laws on torture.
RUSH: Now, what Leahy was trying to do throughout his whole period of questioning was to get Alito to defend presidential power in the torture context so as to convince McCain to vote against him. Because I’m telling you, the constant use of “torture” — and Kennedy did it, too. Kennedy brought up the fact that McCain had authored this torture bill. They went and talked about Bush, and we mentioned this last week, Bush issued a signing statement — which is the president’s interpretation of every bill he signs — and the president said, basically, “Screw this! I have to protect the country. I’ll do what it takes to protect the country.” The Democrats and McCain are in a tizzy over this because Bush was essentially saying, “If I have to I’ll ignore this law using my inherent constitutional authority.” So Leahy wanted Alito to defend presidential power in the torture context. They were trying to get Alito, and he’s too smart to be tripped up this way. They were trying to get Alito to say, “Oh, yeah, the president has every right to sign whatever he wants in that signing authority. He could ignore any law he wants, Senator Leahy.”
That’s what they wanted him to say, and the reason that Leahy was doing this — and this is the politics of this — the reason he led with torture, he’s aiming at McCain. He hopes that this judge will slip up to the point that McCain will vote against him, because if McCain will vote against him, five or six followers and sycophants of McCain in the Republican side of the Senate might do likewise. Otherwise, this is political suicide, folks. The public isn’t going to care about any of this nonsense more than likely until they hear about it. But here you have the first Democrat taking up arms for Al-Qaeda, in essence, by demanding that this judge, this nominee allow that he will defend their rights against the president; the rights of terrorists not to be tortured or whatever Leahy wants, the right to counsel or whatever constitutional right that the Democrats want to bestow on these enemies, that Alito will support them. If Alito trips up and says, “No, Senator, I’m for the president on this,” then that is a trap, and it was sorely and poorly played because as I say these guys think they’re smarter than Alito, and that’s all.
Folks, when you go into a conversation, a negotiation, a game, a contest with anybody, and start thinking you’re smarter than your opponent, it’s over for you These guys are so arrogant and so condescending, they think that simply because this guy is a Republican and they’re liberal Democrats, and Republicans are racists, sexists, homophobes, and they’re stupid, and they walk around like apes. They’re just idiots, and they think it’s going to be easy to trip the guy up, and it’s just the exact opposite. Alito was short, direct, get in, get it, get out, to-the-point answers, answering every question they ask, not hedging. These guys wax on and on and on with their statements. But this effort was designed, this Leahy effort was designed, to try to bring five or six Republicans with him in voting against Alito. Otherwise this is political suicide to be the first Democrat in these confirmation hearings to have a chance to ask questions, and the first subject you broach is, “How do we protect the rights of our terrorist enemies?” That’s political suicide once the people of this country find out about it, which, of course, they just did.
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