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RUSH: All right, it’s time to put a stop to this, ladies and gentlemen. I appear to have become America’s piñata, a national piñata. Everybody is beating up on me. Everybody. So it’s time to leak some acid on them. Greetings, great to have you here. Rush Limbaugh on Friday. Let’s go.

JOHNNY DONOVAN: Live from the Southern Command in sunny South Florida via New York City, it’s Open Line Friday!

RUSH: And you know the rules on Friday. When we go to the phones the program is all yours. Monday through Thursday we only talk about things I care about, but on Friday we broom that and when we go to the phones the show is all yours. Talk about anything. If I don’t like it, I’ll fake it. Here’s the number. 800-282-2882. And the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

We are going to start today with the discussion topic being the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor by President Obama to become an associate justice of the US Supreme Court. I am your host, Rush Limbaugh, leading this discussion. I am now the new passkey for RINO Republicans. I am the passkey that opens the door for them to get unchallenged media coverage from the left. The new game in the Beltway is no longer ‘Hush, Rush.’ The new game in the Beltway is ‘Bash Rush,’ and the way this is all happening, I doubt that Obama is even interested in the Fairness Doctrine anymore because the Bash Rush — I’m sure he looks at it from the White House — and there are two things they’re seeing in the White House.

They love seeing Republicans bash me but at the same time they know I’m telling the truth and at some point they know that all that I’m saying is going to be proven right. And, see, that is the bottom line. But the Bash Rush is the passkey for RINO Republicans to get glowing media treatment. It worked for Colin Powell, it worked for Tom Ridge, and it’s now working for John Cornyn. A person from… I’m probably going to embarrass him by saying this, but I was asked by friends to do a fundraiser for Senator Cornyn when he was running, and I did. I flew to Texas and did it. Yesterday on NPR, John Cornyn was asked this question: ‘We’ve heard Rush Limbaugh, we’ve heard the former House speaker Newt Gingrich calling Sonia Sotomayor a racist, saying that she should withdraw.’ I didn’t say that, Newt did, but that’s the question. ‘What do you make of the rhetoric that’s tumbling out of these people these days, Senator Cornyn?’

CORNYN: I think it’s terrible. This is not the kind of tone that any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advice and consent. Neither one of these, uh, men (chuckles) are elected Republican officials. I just don’t think it’s appropriate. I certainly don’t endorse it. I — I think it’s wrong.

RUSH: All right, we’ll talk about this in detail as the program unfolds here. But we cannot forget something here, ladies and gentlemen. That is that the Democrat Party was, and is, vicious. Do you remember how the Democrats treated John Roberts? Do you remember how they treated Samuel Alito? Do you remember his wife crying and leaving the hearing chamber? You probably don’t remember the way they treated a black nominee to an appellate court, Janice Rogers Brown. They destroyed a black woman, a brilliant jurist, Janice Rogers Brown. Nobody stood up for her except us on this program. Bill Schneider, the ‘political wizard’ at CNN, actually went out and did polling to advise Democrats on how to create a negative story line about Samuel Alito.

I have the audio coming up to remind everybody of this. Today the Republican Party seems more interested in condemning its supporters and its friends than in doing its job. Now, normally I don’t respond to all this media bashing because if I did, it would be all I do, there’s so much of it. But the fact of the matter is, ladies and gentlemen, my wit and wisdom and brilliance is being drowned out out there — and I have learned over the course of many, many moons that if you don’t stand up for yourself, nobody else will, either. Now, a day is going to come here. A day will come when reality hits. A day is going to come when each and every American looks up to the heavens and says, ‘Why didn’t somebody warn me?’

I am that someone. I am that someone warning you. I am here to warn you each and every day. And all the Drive-Bys and even Republicans — all these people using me to win a one-night stand with the media, to win growing praise from their enemies — is not going to stop me from being that someone that you’re going to say somebody, ‘Why didn’t somebody tell me about this?’ Look at the economy today. Look at the economic numbers. The economy has dropped at 5.7% in the first quarter — 5.7%! Folks, that is phenomenal. After all the stimulating, after all of the spending, after all of the pep talks, after all of the bailouts! Washington’s solutions are not working. Washington’s solutions are usurping the role that men and women in the private sector play in making this a thriving country and thriving economy.

From Miami, a Reuters story: ‘A pickup in US home sales has kindled hopes for a housing recovery, but plunging prices, rising unemployment and a new wave of foreclosures are clouding prospects for a quick end to the American real estate debacle. ‘We’re not at the bottom and anybody that’s trying to call the bottom right now is crazy,’ said Jack McCabe, a real estate consultant based in Deerfield Beach, Florida. ‘There’s a huge foreclosure wave still ahead in the next 12-18 months and still a lot of excess inventory,” meaning lotsa condos and lotsa houses that nobody lives in. ‘[U]pbeat talk is undermined by data like the latest S&P Case-Shiller home price index, which recorded a 19.1 percent drop in the first-quarter compared to the same year ago period.’

The headline is: ‘Job losses muddy outlook for US Housing Comeback.’ Of course they do! If you don’t have a job how can you get a house? How can you even think about buying a house? How can you stay in one if you don’t have a job? And yet President Obama on Wednesday in LA says we ‘ain’t seen nothing yet’ and the economy is coming back from the brink. It is not coming back from the brink. We have serious problems, problems that are being made worse by the so-called solutions of this administration.

Nobody is willing to criticize this administration. Nobody’s willing to be honest in their criticism of Sonia Sotomayor (except a few of us here) and this honest criticism is just bothering people. Even Charles Krauthammer today. Charles Krauthammer has a column, and he says something that — and you all know my admiration for Charles Krauthammer, and I’ve told him personally of my admiration for him — earlier this week, on Tuesday, the day that she was nominated (it was this week, wasn’t it?) I said we can’t stop her. We don’t have the numbers to stop her. We don’t have the will to stop her. She’s going to be confirmed. But we need to use these hearings anyway to show the American people who Obama is because she is a reflection of his attitudes on race, on capitalism, on free markets, on ethnicity, on legal issues, on a whole range of issues.

The American people don’t yet know who Obama is. She deserves a fair and honest hearing so that people can find out exactly who she is. And you cannot describe who she is without using the ‘racist’ word, unless you want to fluff it up and not use the word but try to convey the image anyway just because you’re worried about what people are going to think of you. See, I have never understood something. Why is it that people are saying, ‘We shouldn’t…?’ Krauthammer does too. ‘We shouldn’t use this racist label. Don’t call her a racist.’ Why? You know, I’m called a racist 20,000 times a day by my opponents — and they’re lying. We can’t tell the truth? Why?

Because it is said, I guess the fear is that this kind of blunt talk is going to take precious moderates and independents and force them to sprint to the Democrat Party. They will run away from the Republican Party at the first sign of any contretemps, of any kind of harsh rhetoric. Now, somebody really is going to have to explain to me how this happens. If moderates are who we are led to believe they are: angelic, nonpartisan, innocent bystanders; they love their country, but they just don’t have ideological guidelines or impetus. One wrong word from any Republican or conservative, and they flee to the Democrat Party, which is the home of the meanest extremism in American politics today?

The Democrat Party defines plain and simple meanness, lousy manners. So how is it that people on our side believe that these precious non-ideological moderates have no quarrel whatsoever with the mean-spirited extremism and radicalism of Democrats, but they are intolerant of one harsh word or even a mild criticism! Remember, McCain was not supposed to criticize Obama at all. ‘Cause that would send those moderates just dashing away. And McCain was targeting moderates. It didn’t work. I do not understand how we gain by tying both hands behind our back and putting duct tape on our mouths. I do not understand how we gain, politically or otherwise, by shutting up.

You cannot go through life worrying about appeasing your critics, because you’ll never succeed. If you try to go through life responding to and appeasing your critics, you will cease being who you are. Which is what the critics are after. And that is how the Republican Party has shown to conservatism its only legitimate landslide blueprint for victory. It has shunned it. It has shoved it aside and has become squishy moderates, worried about what people think, and as a result, when you say ‘Republican Party’ today, not one person can tell you what it stands for.


RUSH: America’s piñata, Rush Limbaugh, everybody in the world, everybody in this country bashing me. I must be doing something right. And whatever it is (and I know what it is) I’m not going to stop. Charles Krauthammer today: ‘Use the upcoming hearings not to deny her the seat, but to illuminate her views.’ Yep, exactly. No offense, Charles, I said this on Tuesday, and I said the reason to do it is to tell the American people who Obama is. She is a reflection of Barack Obama’s own racial identical, his own bigotry. That’s why she was chosen. America doesn’t know who Obama is. Use the hearings to inform the American people, since she can’t be stopped anyway. We don’t have the votes nor the wherewithal.

So use these hearings as an opportunity to explain to the American people who Obama is. ‘The argument should be elevated, respectful and entirely about judicial philosophy.’ Gingrich, Limbaugh, Tancredo crying ‘racist’ isn’t going to help at all. You know, ladies and gentlemen, we have a nominee here who made an outrageous statement that no other nominee would be permitted to make and still remain in contention. (drumming fingers) She said she’s a better judge than a white guy because the white guy’s white and she is Hispanic. That kind of talk is not the kind of talk — that kind of thinking does not represent qualifications. It does not represent the temperament that you want. This woman is a circuit judge. That comment, to me, is absolutely disqualifying.

The Democrats don’t restrict their opposition to simple judicial philosophy. As we all know, the Democrats try not just to stop the nomination. They try to destroy the reputation and character of the nominee. And we’re supposed to sit by and watch this happen, and then when it’s our turn to be critical of somebody genuinely unqualified to be on the Supreme Court, we’re to tone it down because the country will hate us, while they are embracing the mean-spirited ugliness that has become the Democrat Party? Somebody is going to have to explain this to me. Although I know the answer, as I said. The only reason Republicans are putting duct tape on their mouths is because they’re trying to appease critics.

RINO Republicans, I am the key. I’m the passkey to get loved treatment in the Drive-By Media. We are being told, ‘Discuss Sonia Sotomayor, highlight some things she said, even demand that she explain it, but do not characterize her truthfully for saying it.’ We are to do everything but truthfully characterize what she said. Nobody is saying don’t use this occasion to explore her radicalism and expose it to Obama. I said that on day one, before any of these columnists started writing it and started lecturing me. But we’re also being told to look at who she is and where she came from, the life she has lived. As long as you don’t characterize what she said and who would say such damnable things about her fellow citizens. Do that, don’t do that.

Meanwhile, we can sit by — we are supposed to sit by — and watch them destroy Clarence Thomas, who could teach Sonia Sotomayor a lot of things about a hard life. He could teach Sonia Sotomayor about poverty, about single-parent households, about having to work multiple jobs, about not being admitted into a library to read in Savannah, Georgia . Everybody has a marvelous life story. Everybody who’s succeeded at anything has a marvelous life story. But that alone is not a qualification to be an associate justice of the US Supreme Court. We are told that by shutting up, by not being honest, by holding back, by not accurately characterizing it, Sonia Sotomayor, that that’s smart politics.

That this is the way to the future, that this is the high ground. What it is is disgraceful. It’s a cop-out. It’s too cute by half. What we say is truth. What we stand for is the truth. Enlightened men are truth seekers. In that sense Obama is not enlightened. Enlightened men pursue the truth. Let me suggest one other thing, quickly. Whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, they don’t all think alike. We’re all individuals. We’re human beings first and foremost. We’re Americans. We all want the best for ourselves and our families and our communities. They are not monolithic.


RUSH: The effort to silence all critics of Barack Obama is well underway. The Democrat Party is in full marching order gear. They are being joined by several Republicans. The effort to silence all criticism of Barack Obama is working, except it’s not working here and it will not work here. There are so many traps being laid to shut up anybody who wants to criticize Obama. Let me explain just one. The idea that honestly characterizing the words and attitudes of Sonia Sotomayor is going to infuriate Hispanics and forever doom our chances to get the Hispanic vote. Who are we as a party or as an organization to insult Hispanics by assuming they all think alike?

As conservatives, we don’t think that about anybody. As George Patton said, ‘If everybody thinks alike, somebody’s not thinking.’ So the idea that we can’t criticize Sotomayor because she’s Hispanic and that’s going to harm our voter outreach effort to Hispanics, is not only wrong, it has been proven wrong. It’s insulting to Hispanics. They don’t all think alike. They’re not all socialists or liberals. They do not all want to feed off of the government. They do not all love big government. I don’t know, ladies and gentlemen, what more the Republican Party could do to get the Hispanic vote than what they’ve done.

Our former president and our former presidential candidate, George W. Bush and John Sidney McCain, were the authors and the lead warriors for extending amnesty to illegal Hispanic aliens. Did it help? You cannot show me where it did because the party to this day is still worried about infuriating the Hispanic vote. George W. Bush nominated brilliant Hispanics for the courts and his cabinet. They were destroyed by Democrats. Miguel Estrada, just to name one. Alberto Gonzales the other. Did it help get the Hispanic vote? Did it stop the Democrats? The Democrats opposed Estrada precisely because he was Latino, and they said so.

But we are to shut up. We are to silence ourselves. No criticism of Obama or his nominee is permitted. Why? Because somehow this will damage and perhaps ruin the Republican Party. The Republican Party is becoming extinct by virtue of its own actions: not standing for anything, attempting to appease critics, desiring to be liked by people who hate them — all for a great interview on television, unchallenged (and, in fact, being praised) by the enemy. That seems to be something many Republicans aspire to. When a nominee for the United States Supreme Court — one of only nine lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court — one of only nine, makes an overtly brazen racist comment about tens of millions of American citizens, while she is a judge, and that nominee is rewarded for it with a nomination to the Supreme Court, we don’t need lectures.

I don’t need lectures from my columnist or any commentary on TV about decorum. What we need to do is to confront it and her with what she said and who she is for, for saying it, and what it says about her. She said she’s a better judge because she’s an Hispanic female, a better judge than a white male. We wouldn’t tolerate a white male saying, ‘I’m a much better judge than a Latina. I’m white and she’s not.’ We wouldn’t tolerate it. We tolerate it from Sonia Sotomayor, why? ‘Well, because, Rush, she’s from a minority, and minorities ‘don’t have the power to inflict their racism on people,’ says Jesse Jackson.’ Oh, really? She’s going to have that power, as one of only nine lifetime appointments to the United States Supreme Court.

She makes a brazen racist comment about tens of millions of American citizens while she’s a judge, and she’s been rewarded for it with a nomination of the Supreme Court — and I got lectured about decorum! If we have any hope, ladies and gentlemen, of keeping this a united country and not a country divided by race and other factors that this administration and the left are committed to advancing, I will say this again: The left, from Barack Obama on down, are committed to a divided country. They are committed to people in this country at war with each other over race, over gender, over sexual orientation, over whatever they can promote. The more chaos, the better, because the more chaos, the less gets done — and the ever greater cry, the ever greater apparent need for more government to solve these insoluble problems.

Rather than sit aside and tie our hands behind our backs and duct tape our mouths, we need to confront what Obama is doing and those who are doing it with him. Of course go ahead and discuss judicial philosophy all want, but please spare me and tens of millions of other Americans these misguided lectures because these lectures are embarrassing. Nobody is saying don’t explore her judicial qualifications, but you cannot explore her judicial qualifications without examining who she is and what she has said and what she thinks. It happens to every other nominee. I find it amazing… Let me add this. I find it amazing that when Chuck Schumer announces he cannot imagine any Republican voting against this nominee or that they do so at their own risk…

That is a blatant attempt to use race to intimidate Republicans and possibly moderate Democrats, and he gets away with it! Chuck Schumer gets away with threatening people. He can’t imagine any Republican voting against Sonia Sotomayor and getting away with it? And doing so at their own risk? Nobody… I don’t hear anybody lecturing Senator Schumer. I hear everybody lecturing me, but I don’t hear anybody lecturing Schumer. I don’t have the power. I don’t have anywhere near the power Senator Schumer does. I can’t intimidate anybody. He can, and he is, and he’s using race to do it — and he doesn’t even have to because the Republicans are already pliant! They’re already compliant. They’re already obedient to Obama’s masters.

I haven’t read any columns telling Chuck Schumer to tone it down, to stop this destructive behavior. Nothing. There’s truly something not right about people who claim to be standing with us on our side, who find it impossible to be critical of people who deserve to be called on their actions and their words. There is something self-destructive, perhaps self-loathing about some of them. Letting Sonia Sotomayor get away with her statement is renouncing decades of progress in civil rights. Do you understand what a setback this is? A woman as a judge makes a blatantly racist, bigoted comment, and she is rewarded with a promotion to the Supreme Court?

What is the message that is sent? Don’t tell me it was out of context. I know about being taken out of context, and she was not. So we have made a lot of progress in civil rights, but now with this, how do you get promoted in a Barack Obama administration? By hating white people — or even saying you do, or that they’re not good or put ’em down, whatever. Make white people the new oppressed minority, and they’re going right along about it ’cause they’re shutting up. They’re moving to the back of the bus. They’re saying, ‘I can’t use that drinking fountain? Okay! I can’t use that restroom? Okay!’ That’s the modern day Republican Party, the equivalent of the Old South: the new oppressed minority. Whatever happened to the content of one’s character as the basis of judging people?

Whatever happened to that? And when someone — a judge, no less — uses race to demean and dismiss people, that is not to be condemned? We’re supposed to understand the rage? We’re supposed to understand the roots where that came from? Who cares what race she is! I, frankly, don’t. I did a fundraiser in Texas last night. There were 250 people there. I made a point. Men and women all ages. There might have been some gays; there might have been some straights. I don’t know. I’m looking out in the audience and I say, ‘Okay, let me see. I count. I look at all of you women, so I make sure I say something that doesn’t offend you. I’m looking at all you men. Let’s see, are there any black people here? Do I see any gays?’

That’s how liberals look at people. It’s not how we used to look at people. We look at people as individuals. I don’t care what race she is. I don’t care what gender she is. She is one of nine people with a lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court. I care about whether she’s qualified, and I think she’s disqualified herself. Not only does she lack the often-discussed appropriate ‘judicial temperament,’ it’s worse than that. She brings a form of bigotry or racism to the court! I don’t care that we’re not supposed to say it. We’re supposed to pretend it didn’t happen. We’re supposed to look at other things. But it’s the elephant in the room. The real question here that needs to be asked — and nobody on our side, from a a columnist to a TV commentator to anybody in our party, has the guts to ask — is how can a president nominate such a candidate and how can a party get behind such a candidate?

That’s what would be asked if somebody were foolish enough to nominate David Duke, or pick somebody even less offensive. It is asked… I have a story here from the New York Times, September 25th, 1992. Jan Hoffman. Although Ms. Sotomayor left the Manhattan District Attorney’s office eight years ago, she remembers in detail the victims and the lasting effect that crime had on them. ”The saddest crimes for me were the ones that my own people committed against each other,’ she said. She has received letters from Hispanic people from all walks of life expressing their pride in her confirmation [to the federal courts]. ‘I hope there’s some greater comfort about the system to Hispanics because I’m there.’…

‘When Justice Clarence Thomas was introduced at a Second Judicial Circuit conference, was she among those who sat on her hands rather than give him a standing ovation?’ Her answer? ‘I’ll take the Fifth.’ Apparently she refused to applaud and join the standing ovation of Clarence Thomas. (interruption) She said she did stand up? Oh, she’s been asked about this? She said she did stand up? She just told the reporter she’d take the Fifth because she didn’t want to engage the reporter on it? Okay, that’s very gutsy. She’s got guts. She did stand up and joined the standing O for Clarence Thomas. I want to know how a president can nominate such a candidate, how a party can get behind such a candidate, how can a responsible senator, a responsible Republican Party not confront this? I wonder, would Trent Lott be disqualified from a judgeship for telling that joke on Strom Thurmond?

Do you think he would? I guaran-damn-tee you he would. There’s no Republican would even nominate him because of that comment that he made about Strom Thurmond at a birthday party. I wonder what Chuck Schumer would say. I wonder what the Obama people would say. I wonder what some people on our side would say. I gotta wrap it up here because I’m very close here but anybody who votes against Sotomayor is not voting against a Hispanic for the court. Most of them voting against Sotomayor, voted for Miguel Estrada. They didn’t vote against the Hispanic. Who, as a matter of fact, Estrada never made a racist comment. However, those who do vote for her are voting to enshrine bigotry on the Supreme Court and to renounce decades of racial progress.


RUSH: Well, ladies and gentlemen, one more thing — and let me just recap. We are being told by the media — we’re being told by Democrats, we’re being told by leftists, we’re being told by Republicans, we’re being told by columnists — to shut up. Do not characterize this woman accurately. Do not use the word ‘racist.’ Do not use the word ‘bigoted.’ Do not do this. It will hurt us. It will hurt us in our Hispanic outreach. We must be above the fray. We certainly must look into every judicial temperament question and qualification and so forth…

You cannot do that without examining this. Now, supposedly my and Newt’s — I guess Tancredo did it — using the word ‘racist’ or ‘bigot’ to describe her is just harming the Republican Party. ‘Oh, it’s so bad. It’s so…! (sigh) We’ve got to do something about Limbaugh. We just have to do something about Limbaugh.’ I have here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers a story from The Politico that cleared yesterday afternoon right after the program ended, and the headline: ‘White House Urged to Address ‘Racist’ Charge.’ Now, why? Here’s the lede: ‘Some Democrats and political analysts are urging the White House to shift course and concede that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor made an error when she suggested in 2001 that Hispanic women would make better judges than white men. ‘She misspoke,’ said Lanny Davis, a White House lawyer and spokesman for President Bill Clinton.

”Every day that goes by that they don’t say she misspoke and she used the wrong words … they just feed it and give it life and give Rush [Limbaugh] and [Sean] Hannity more airtime unnecessarily.” How do I get more airtime? Did I miss the announcement that I’ve got more airtime? No, the point here is that obviously it’s working. Obviously it’s upsetting the Democrats, because Lanny Davis is a lawyer. He knows that if this sticks, it’s a problem. We’re talking about one of only nine members of a body appointed for life: the United States Supreme Court. We have a glaring, doubtless racial statement that would not be tolerated if made by anyone else that might earn her a promotion. There are some Democrats who know that if this sticks, she’s in trouble. Meanwhile, my own ‘friends,’ quote, unquote, are advising me to shut up.

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