“If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've
experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign.”
Rush Limbaugh couldn't handle it. He was beside himself, fumbling over his
words all morning.
The Dean of conservatism, Bill
Buckley, had called George W. Bush a failure over Iraq before, but to suggest
he should resign was too much for el Rushbo. Where's your meds when you need
If anyone has the tape, send it to me. I want it. Transcript of Rush's show apprears in the update below.
Oh, and by the way, I still haven't heard back from the Detroit News or the reporter who misquoted Kerry.
Now, here's Buckley…
Despite evidence that Iran is supplying weapons and expertise to Hezbollah
in the conflict with Israel, Buckley rejects neo-conservatives who favor a
more interventionist foreign policy, including a pre-emptive air strike against
Iran and its nuclear facilities.
“If we find there is a warhead there that is poised, the range of it
is tested, then we have no alternative. But pending that, we have to ask ourselves,
'What would the Iranian population do?'”
Buckley does support the administration's approach to the North Korea's nuclear
weapons threat, believing that working with Russia, China, Japan and South
Korea is the best way to get Pyongyang back to the negotiating table. But
that's about where the agreement ends.
“Has Mr. Bush found himself in any different circumstances than any
of the other presidents you've known in terms of these crises?” Assuras
“I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as
the absence of effective conservative ideology â€” with the result that
he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant
of excesses by Congress,” Buckley says. “And in respect of foreign
policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary
to conclude the Iraq challenge.”
Asked what President Bush's foreign policy legacy will be to his successor,
Buckley says “There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don't believe his
successor would re-enunciate the words he used in his second inaugural address
because they were too ambitious. So therefore I think his legacy is indecipherable”
UPDATE (5:00 p.m. PDT): Here's part of the transcript from today. Rush's babbling reached new heights of panic, which swung from sticking up for Buckley when a caller called him “philosophically senile” to talking about Bush's “shadow government.” He didn't get the irony. Enjoy.
RUSH: Okay. Now, what explains this? You know, we dealt with this once before. This is not the first time that Mr. Buckley has been highlighted by the Drive-By Media in his disagreements with President Bush — and, look, I don't want to speak for him. As to sound bite number three, let's tackle that one first because that's the easiest. I have said this, Buckley just said it in a different way when he says, “I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology.” Well, I'll climb on board. I'll agree with that. But all he's saying is that Mr. Bush is a Republican, but he is not the leader of a movement.
We have a Republican president who is conservative on some things and others he's not. He's going about his job in his own way. That certainly is no crime, but to the Drive-By Media, why, why, that would be an indictment. He's lost his wheels as a conservative because they are interested in conservatism losing its wheels, they are interested in conservatism falling apart because they know conservatism is the foundation and the dynamic of the Republican Party. So when you have somebody as powerful as Mr. Buckley saying it, they get all excited and they start panting. (Panting.) “The Republican Party is about to fall apart! Bill Buckley says so, we've got it on tape, Saturday night CBS Evening News!”
The other things, particularly Iraq, you know, Mr. Buckley, as I said earlier, supported the war in Vietnam, and Vietnam had not attacked us just as Iraq had not attacked us. He did so because he supported the war against the global spread of communism. That's why I spent some time in my first-hour monolog here trying to draw some similarities between the spread of communism worldwide and the attempted spread of militant Islam worldwide. I think that there are many similarities. It's not a perfect analogy. But Iraq is clearly a front in the war on terror. I think Mr. Buckley and others who viewed the Soviet Union as the big enemy, when the Soviet Union went down, the big enemy went down, and hey, come on home.
Let's not involve ourselves out there in the world. We don't have the power to do it. It's not our prerogative. Let's just leave it alone. We've dealt with the big enemy. We've put it down, and we can now, you know, take care of our own domestic problems and do so responsibly and so forth. But the thing that it seems to be so many people forget here is 9/11, when we were attacked. It's going to happen more and more if we ignore it, if we put our heads in the sand and say, “Well, you know, this is not something for us anymore. The world can fight its battles without us because we're going to head back.” I don't hear from any of these people who have opposition to what we're doing, their own plan, other than isolationism. Now, they don't like that word when I use it, but I don't know what else they're talking about, because I don't hear another plan. I don't hear a plan to deal with this, and it's clearly something, in my mind, has to be dealt with.
RUSH: Len in Santa Barbara, nice to have you on the program. Welcome.
CALLER: Thank you. It's a privilege to be on the show.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: What I wanted to say is that Mr. Buckley is philosophically senile. He looks at these events — Iraq, Israel, Lebanon — he looks at them one at a time. He tries to relate them backwards to a world that was, and not forward to the world that is going to be and the real battles we are going to have to fight.
RUSH: A lot of people agree with you on that. You know, well, when you say philosophically senile, I'm not talking about his age, you're saying in a different way than I did. You're talking about cold warriors, you're talking about guys — I mean Buckley was profoundly instrumental in instigating this nation's fight against the Soviets and making sure that someone actually took it to them rather than appeased them. …
RUSH: Yeah, but you know, I'm always one who looks for good in everything, and in the case of Mr. Buckley, as you know, a man that I admire tremendously. I think there's something to learn here. If Bill Buckley, who is not senile, trust me —
CALLER: I said “philosophically senile.”
RUSH: Well, I know. But for anybody questioning his age and his faculties, don't. That's all I'm telling you. I've been around him recently. He's still who he is. He has health problems here and there, but his mind is… He's who he is. But he's an indication. If Bill Buckley can arrive at this view then it easily explains why so many other Americans can as well. So you have to say, okay, why? You can say, “Well, he fails to relate current to past, lost the contextual relationship.” That may be true, but at the same time this insistence or this thing he said that a British prime minister would resign in disgrace or so forth, we don't have a parliamentary system here. Presidents don't resign over this. They carry out their policies and they stand for reelection.
CALLER: It really lies with Mr. Bush, who is inarticulate at best, and he has not given us the true overview of the situation in the Middle East, including things that nearby, whether it's Ukraine or Uzbekistan, or all of the tremendous changes that are going on in this entire subcontinent or half continent, and Bush isn't putting them together. Maybe he's afraid we wouldn't understand. But Buckley apparently doesn't get it at all.
RUSH: Well, you can say that all of this is Bush's fault, but I'll tell you, there are a number of forces here at work. You think he's not even tried to make the case for the successes?
RUSH: … I hate to say this, but you have to trust me. There are people in this White House who would blow you away with their intellect, and the president is one of them if he chose to address you in that way. Why he doesn't is not because he doesn't think we can't understand it or won't believe it. There's something else going on here. There is a shadow government out there, Len. There's a shadow government going on out there that's doing its best to sabotage everything that we're doing. The one mistake that Bush — well, the one mistake — one of the mistakes Bush made was the new tone, when he assumed office. He didn't clean out the Clintonoids in some of these positions at the Pentagon and at the State Department, and the CIA, and they've been free to leak all this gobbledygook war plans and what have you.
Bush was trying to show that it was going to be a new Washington. We're going to stop all this partisans infighting here. We're going to come together as a country and get along, and once again it was it was well-intentioned but naÃ¯ve. The liberals don't want to get along with people, they want power — and they will sabotage whoever has it in order to get it back themselves. This has led us to fighting what I call a minimalist war in Iraq — and I think this is something that probably is bothering a lot of people, may be bothering Mr. Buckley, for all I know. The idea that we can't take care of this in three and a half years is what's astounding to people, and they're right. We could. We could take care of this much sooner than we have.
But we're fighting under different rules. It's witnessable here in the way that Israel and Hezbollah are going at it. You know, it's the old saw. You can say there are a number of reasons for it. Well, the media's on scene every day showing the civilian casualties and showing the results of the military action, and that's going to temper people because the world is going to say, “Stop it! Stop it! Stop this killing! Enough violence, enough is enough!” It was easier in the old days when nobody saw this stuff. Nobody saw 92,000 battle fatalities in the Pacific theater in World War II, and nobody saw the million and a half Japanese deaths so it was easier to do. It's a different set of circumstances today, and it results in the United States and its allies not using the full force of the power that we are able to project in order to appease. You get caught up and worried about what other people think of you and world opinion and so forth and you're going to get hamstrung, and we're hamstrung, precisely where we are.