RUSH: Now, I’ve checked my e-mail at home since the Sunday shows. They had General Powell on Face the Nation Sunday. Tom Ridge was on CNN on Sunday morning. Tom Ridge, just for your information, Tom Ridge called this program in 2003 to detail for… I mean, he wanted to be on this program in 2003, Tom Ridge out there saying I’m too shrill and I need to dial it back and all these other things. But I need to ask the question: Who’s really changed? I’ve been who I am for 20 years. When it comes to the core beliefs and principle I haven’t changed. I’ve grown. Twenty years I’ve grown more. I’ve become more educated. The program’s probably more substantive today than it’s ever been, but it was always so substantive that’s a small margin.
And all during these 20 years these same types of Republicans sought me out. They wanted my help in the ’94 congressional races. They wanted my help in 2000, 2004. They wanted my help in 2006. Many members of Congress called this program, wanted to get on this program. Now all of a sudden I am the primary problem with the Republican Party. I think that General Powell and Tom Ridge need to be put to the test. They need to be asked and they need to say where they stand, not only on this nominee, but where they stand on issues confronting the United States. This is where the so-called moderate Republicans — the RINOs, whatever you want to call them — are in my opinion completely useless.
We are at one of those occasions where the rubber has hit the road. We have a radical anti-constitutionalist nominated to the Supreme Court by the most radical leftist president we’ve ever had in the country who was himself also an anti-constitutionalist. Where are the moderate Republican groups on this nomination? Where are the moderate Republican individuals? Where are the moderate senators? Where is Powell? Is anybody going to ask Powell what he thinks of this nomination? It is General Powell around whom the Republican Party should be organized. That’s what they’re saying. Tom Ridge, too. Are Powell and Ridge going to be asked what they think of this nomination? Doubt it. If they were asked, what would they say?
We are confronting a radical assault on our country. The moderates in our party are distracting our ability to organize opposition to this. As I said, the Democrats don’t like me precisely because of my substance. The media doesn’t like me precisely because of my substance. I’m the one doing the heavy lifting against them and their leaders. General Powell is pandering to the Democrat Party, and truth be told, I think most people have no idea where Powell stands on most major issues. They have a perception of him based on the liberal media, and he has a great reputation. His poll numbers are very high. But does anybody know what General Powell stands for? He wasn’t asked by Bob Schieffer his position on anything Sunday. He wasn’t asked to define the Republican Party based on issues.
Ladies and gentlemen, you and me, we’re trying to save our country from a party and an ideology systematically remaking it. The moderates in our party offer no way to address danger. They won’t even confront it. They won’t even acknowledge the danger that exists. None! In all of General Powell’s interview on CBS on Sunday, he failed to mention a single principle that he thought was worthy of defending against what’s going on here. He failed to advance a single policy that would help contain any of this. Instead, General Powell talks about a ‘big tent.’ He talks about a ‘right wing.’ He talks about me. He talks about ‘inclusiveness.’ But he offers nothing substantive. Tom Ridge on CNN Sunday was no different. What does he stand for, other than cliches about ‘big tents’ and ‘inclusiveness’ and a ‘new tone’?
What does Tom Ridge say that contributes to the urgent political and societal battle we’re smack in the middle of? What does Colin Powell say that contributes to the urgent political and societal battle that we’re smack in the middle of? Nothing. General Powell votes for Democrats. He admitted on Face the Nation he voted for JFK. He voted for Jimmy Carter. Did he vote for Clinton? He voted for Obama. This is a guy around whom the Republican Party needs to organize itself, we are told. Now, President Obama just nominated a radical anti-constitutionalist to the US Supreme Court. The nominee believes in reverse discrimination. The nominee believes in quotas and a host of far-left policies that she would mandate from the court on the American people, and she has said that’s her role: to make policy.
Why aren’t General Powell and Tom Ridge speaking out about this? This is an outrage. Forget politics. Let’s just talk about the purpose of justices on the court. Lady Justice is blind; Sonia Sotomayor is not. Whether you’re moderate, liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat, or not this is an outrage, this nomination, to the whole concept of justice and what it means in this country. But General Powell and Tom Ridge, I haven’t seen a thing that they’ve said. I don’t know that they’re being asked what they think. Now, we have a radical nominee from a radical president, and we’re told that the moderates in the Republican Party are those that are going to define the Republican Party. Fine and dandy. Where are the so-called moderates taking the lead now?
In defining the Republican Party and defending it and doing battle against the Democrat Party? Why aren’t they? They’re not. Why aren’t they? And they won’t, folks. They will only enter this scene when they think it’s safe, and that is after conservatives have done all the heavy lifting on this nomination. And then, after that’s happened, the moderates will run in, take over the media, and claim that their contribution will be to admonish the conservatives! They will. I guarantee you what’s going to happen here. It won’t be long before a moderate Republican gets on television and disavows the things that I have said today, because I am too shrill or outspoken or I offend too many people with what I say. They will raise objections to my ‘tone.’ They will raise objections to my ‘tenor,’ but they will not oppose this.
They will not stop this because they are afraid to stop it. They are afraid to oppose this because they think they’ll be called racists. This is why this is, politically, a pretty smart move from Obama. This is a wedge appointment. It boxes the Republican Party, particularly the moderates in. They won’t dare criticize her, she’s a woman, and she’s the first Latino nominated — Latina nominated — to the Supreme Court. What this does for everybody else is to put in perspective Powell and Ridge, how they talk in platitudes and they talk about perceptions, but when you apply reality to their rhetoric it becomes clear how ill-equipped and directionless they are to handle any of this.
If they run the Republican Party, if the moderates take over and run the Republican Party, do you realize that there’s no stopping any of the Obama agenda? There is in fact a joining with the Obama agenda on several things, as the moderates try to show the people they think hate them that they’re reasonable people. Without question, I’m predicting the moderates in the Republican Party will support Sotomayor because of race. Supporting her, in their view, is how we get the Hispanic vote down the road — and they’ll be afraid to oppose her on race and identity issues as well. Without question. Obama knows how to play these people, i.e., a wedge appointment. The truth is most Hispanics have no idea who she is. So this, again, is a golden opportunity to tell the American people who Obama is, by telling them who she is.
Don’t forget: Obama and the Democrats trashed Alberto Gonzales left and right. And when they did, nobody accused the Democrats of being anti-Hispanic — including Powell and Ridge! Powell and Ridge did not step up and chastise the Democrats for going after Alberto Gonzales or Miguel Estrada. They didn’t at all. I’ll tell you what, I think it’s time… This game of ping-pong goes on, it’s my turn now to hit back. I think it’s about time that General Powell provide a coherent and comprehensive statement of his political doctrine. He’s never asked about that. He relies, and so does the left, on his reputation as a DC insider. I set forth my views day in and day out, have done so for 20 years. I explained the origin of my ideas. I cite to history and philosophy. I set forth my principles. Yet it’s not enough for General Powell to shoot spitballs from the studios of liberal media shows.
If he wants to have an impact, he needs to do more than this hit-and-run media appearance thing he’s doing where he really says very little of substance and where he gets away with it. Tom Ridge is a politician. Tom Ridge, by the way, just passed up a chance to run for the Senate in Pennsylvania against a conservative in the GOP primary. That would be Pat Toomey. Anybody know why? I mean, if Pat Toomey is so bad for our party because Pat Toomey is a conservative, the kind of guy that Tom Ridge doesn’t like, why didn’t Tom Ridge run in the primary to stop him? Bob Schieffer, on Slay the Nation Sunday, did not ask General Powell a single serious question — and that’s what happens when they like somebody who is trashing conservatives. He could have asked him, ‘General Powell, how would you define your political philosophy?’ ‘General Powell, what, if any, government programs would you cut?’
‘General Powell, do you support expanding entitlement programs to include national health care? And if you do, General Powell, how would you pay for it?’ ‘What is the highest tax rate you would accept, General Powell?’ ‘General Powell, should we give amnesty to illegal aliens?’ ‘General Powell, how would you expand the Republican Party’s base without diminishing its principles?’ ‘What are your views on affirmative action, General Powell?’ ‘What are your views on the death penalty?’ ‘How about school choice?’ He never gets these questions. My opinion on these questions is cited by the media at all times to disqualify me. Bob Schieffer asked him none of this, and nothing else of substance or interest. And General Powell has yet to lay out his philosophy in any coherent way so that we can judge just how appealing it would be not only within the Republican Party, but beyond it.
RUSH: Interesting piece — it’s a blog — by Toby Harnden at the UK Telegraph. The headline of his piece here: ‘What Right Do Colin Powell and Tom Ridge Have to Lecture the Republican Party?’ Now, these are the questions of a British blogger who reports out of the United States. He writes this: ‘Why does Powell now seem to think he has the right or credibility to lecture Republicans on how their party should be run?’ He voted for Obama, and he did so very publicly. He saved his endorsement of Obama at a very propitious strategic moment and did so in public after the Republican Party had nominated a candidate supposedly ideal to somebody like General Powell. That would be John McCain. ‘So why does Powell now seem to think he has the right or credibility to lecture Republicans on how their party should be run? Just as he did not just go quietly into the polling booth and vote for Obama, Powell is not working discreetly behind the behind the scenes at party gatherings to press his case,’ which is what I just said.
Where are his policy prescriptions? Where does he stand? What is he doing to organize the Republican Party, if he’s now the leader of it, in opposition to this radical extremism that is being presented to the country from the Democrat Party? Now, Mr. Harnden writes, ‘It’s easy to feel some sympathy for Powell. He was clearly marginalised during the Bush administration.’ You know, I really think there are three reasons to explain Colin Powell. One of them is race. I mean, there’s no way he wasn’t gonna support Obama, coming out and doing so publicly. Also he’s angry at Bush and the Scooter Libby thing proves that. But I think the third element that explains Colin Powell, he went up and, you know, he was the point man at the United Nations with the slide show and the official presentation on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, and even though we haven’t found any, a lot of people believe they were there, Colin Powell no doubt feels profoundly humiliated and embarrassed with the people he cares about most, the Washington, DC political elites.
I think he’s on a rehab tour to get his reputation back, and it’s working. The rest of the DC establishment hates Bush, so it’s an easy call, come out and oppose Bush, come out and oppose the Republican Party. We’ve all known that the way a Republican ingratiates him or herself in the DC political structure is to go on any television show in DC you can find and rip your own party, and maybe take it a step further: endorse the other guy. In fact, if the other guy happens to share race with you makes it even easier. So there’s a lot of rehab going on here, but Toby Harnden is right. What right does Powell and Tom Ridge have to lecture the Republican Party, especially when they don’t put forth any particular position on issues?
RUSH: Sunday on CNN Tom Ridge refused to name a Republican that he would support in any upcoming election. He says he votes a secret ballot. Votes a secret ballot, wouldn’t name anybody he would support. John King actually asked a good question. ‘Well, then, Mr. Ridge, why should any Republican listen to you if you won’t commit to voting for a Republican nominee? Why should any Republican listen to you?’ So a hard hit-back question from John King at CNN.