The Out-of-Touch Liberal Provincials
March 30, 2012
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RUSH: Let's go to the audio sound bites, because they're quite illustrative. Nina Totenberg, who is the Supreme Court reporter for National Public Radio, and she's another one of 'em. All the smart people, all of the big kids in the clique, all of the super-educated members of this clique and they never talk to anybody outside it. Like Chris Matthews on his show last night actually said the idea that this thing may be unconstitutional never occurred to him. Never occurred, meaning, he once for a fleeting moment considered that it was unconstitutional. Pelosi the same way. She was asked some months ago about the constitutionality and she was genuinely stumped. She looked at the reporter, cocked her head: Are you serious?
In their minds it's constitutional because it's their idea and because they think it's filled with compassion. Justice Kagan, we haven't played this sound bite. I don't know that we have it, and I'm not looking for it, Cookie, I can handle it here. Elena Kagan said during oral argument, (paraphrasing) "What is the big deal here? All we're doing is throwing a boatload of money at the states and saying, 'Here, use it for health care for poor people.'" This is a justice on the Supreme Court, and that's what she thinks is in the 2,700 pages, and she wrote the administration's defense of this for the solicitor general. She used to be the solicitor general. She has no business even hearing this case, by the way. She should have recused. But she summed up in a couple or three lines the entire leftist view of this: What's wrong with it? All we're doing is throwing a boatload of money at the states and saying, "Here, go ahead and give health care to poor people." That's what she thinks this bill is. That's what Matthews thinks it is. That's what Nina Totenberg thinks. That's what Jeffrey Toobin thought it was.
The idea that that's unconstitutional, that the federal government can't throw boatloads. Boatloads of money was her phrase. From the bench, in America's courtroom, Justice Kagan: Throw boatloads of money at the states. What's the problem here? That's what Jeff Toobin thought. These are the smartest people in the world, folks. I'm trying to tell you, they aren't. They're not even curious. They are living in a prison of their own conceit and of their own arrogance. Pelosi just said yesterday about Obamacare: We wrote a bill that honored the Constitution. How does she know? She never read it. Do you realize how few people that are deciding the fate of this bill will have read it? The point I made yesterday, nobody, not one justice has read 2,700 pages. Most of the people who voted for it have not read it.
Now, we have people who have, on the right. We've read it. That's why we know what's in it. Pelosi doesn't know what's in it. Elena Kagan doesn't know what's in it, and she was at the solicitor general's office for Obama before Verrilli working on the defense of this case both at the appellate level and at the Supreme Court. Chris Matthews: The thought that it's unconstitutional never occurred to me. It's like Juan Williams who heard Lord Monckton from the UK present the case against manmade global warming. Juan Williams: I never knew this existed. I didn't know anybody disagreed with it. Didn't know? Here's a guy working at Fox News who didn't know that there are people who disagree with the notion of manmade global warming.
We were led to believe here that Nina Totenberg, who you'll hear in a second here, Chris Matthews, don't even know that there are people who oppose it because it's not constitutional. They were genuinely rocked off their core this week. This was no act. Jeffrey Toobin: "plane wreck", "train wreck." This was no sleight-of-hand. They, for the first time in their exalted existence, heard principled opposition to the constitutionality of this bill, which to them is no more than boatloads of money to the states so they can give health care to the poor. You can call 'em provincial. New Yorkers are highly provincial. One thing I learned when I moved there 1988, New York is the largest market, biggest market, biggest city, focus of everything, the center of everything.
But even the New York Post, any newspaper in New York, the Oshkosh -- oh, Marcia Clark. This is a great example. Marcia Clark, who tried the O.J. case, she spent five minutes on Long Island one day. That was the focal point of the story in the New York paper. She was a New Yorker trying O.J. That's how provincial they are. And liberals are the same way. They're just provincial. Their world is it. There is nothing else. And they're not even curious about what else there is. Yeah, you and I, we see this, and we can't believe it, because not only can we explain what we believe, we can explain what they believe. We know what animates them. We know what they believe, and that's why we can skunk 'em in any issue or idea or argument that comes down the pike. They have no clue. They are just as insulated as somebody in prison.
Let's go to Totenberg here. This morning on MSNBC's Daily Rundown -- and this is F. Chuck Todd's show. He's the NBC political director. He says, "A lot of panic at the White House, to be frank. They really thought this wasn't gonna be that hard of a case. They knew there was a lot of politics around it but they really thought, looking at it, they'd get as many as seven votes in their favor. And now they're biting their fingernails. Should they be biting their fingernails, Nina?"
TOTENBERG: They should be biting their fingernails. The White House was right not to worry about it way back when. The entire legal community, except for I would say the really hardcore...
TODD: Very minority of the legal community.
TOTENBERG: Everybody, including conservatives, thought, oh, this case is a piece of cake.
RUSH: All the so-called smart people, the entire legal community other than the hard-core types, which is 70% of the American people, by the way. The people she's talking about, the hard-core right wing, that's 70% of the American people. Nina Totenberg and her group are the ones in the very small minority. Oh, yeah, everybody, including conservatives thought this case is a piece of cake. To the extent that conservatives thought it was a piece of cake, not legally. If there were any conservatives who thought this thing was a piece of cake constitutionally it's because of the faith in the legal system we've lost, not in the merits of the law. I should also add, there are a lot of conservative legal people, media people in Washington, New York, who want to impress people like Nina Totenberg, so they run around, "Oh, yeah, Obamacare, easy, slam dunk. See, I'm as open-minded and smart as you are. Will you invite me to your next party?" Or whatever.
But these are the ones totally out of touch. Peggy Noonan has a column today in which she sort of says, "You know, this guy is not the guy I thought he was," meaning Obama. Not the guy I thought he was. Not so smooth operator. And there's one line in her column here: How did the constitutional law professor from the University of Chicago not notice that his centerpiece legislation was unconstitutional? She's very curious, asking that question, how does Obama not know? The answer is he doesn't care. The answer is it's okay if it's unconstitutional. He doesn't care. The Constitution is an obstacle to him. His surprise, if he is indeed surprised, is that the opposition here has a chance.
RUSH: How in the world could this be unconstitutional? All we're doing is throwing a boatload of money at the states and saying, "Here, use it for health care for poor people." That's Justice Elena Kagan in oral arguments, US Supreme Court, telling us what's in the 2,700 pages of Obamacare. And here's more Nina Totenberg from MSNBC's Daily Rundown today with F. Chuck Todd. After Nina and F. Chuck agree that a very really hardcore minority of legal community even thought this thing was unconstitutional, F. Chuck says, "The question that a lot of folks that are watching this wonder is, how much politics is there on this court, Nina? Is it more political on this court than previous courts? Is it the same, we just see it more? Which is it, Nina?"
TOTENBERG: It's much more ideologically divided. Because of the Bush appointments, which were very, very, very conservative --
RUSH: Yeah, yeah.
TOTENBERG: -- the court has become so much more conservative. The court has lost some credibility since Bush v. Gore.
TOTENBERG: It used to have the approval or the respect when you did polls of people in both parties, and now increasingly it's Republicans who respect the court and Democrats who are having great reservations about it, and I'm not sure there's anything -- if a court is gonna take us in a dramatically different direction, it's representative of what we see in the rest of the country and you're gonna see people split on it the way they are about everything else.
RUSH: Damn those Republicans. Damn those conservatives. Everything was fine 'til they came along. Everything was hunky-dory and then the conservatives came along and made it all hardcore and partisan. You know, there are very conservative people on this court, Ginsburg and Breyer and Kagan and Sotomayor. They're just normal, standard, middle-of-the-road people. There is nothing political about them. Then you've got Scalia, and you've got Thomas, you've got Roberts and Alito. That Bush ruined the court. Now, here's Nina, I don't know that she intended to do this, but when she said here, "If the court's gonna take us in a dramatically different direction that's representative of what we see in the rest of the country," meaning liberalism is losing in her mind, they're in trouble. Obama's in trouble. The polling data, this guy's not loved. There is no messianic feel for Obama like there was in 2008. They're very troubled by this.
RUSH: One more sound bite on this health care business and then we'll take a break. Juan Williams, aforementioned Juan Williams last night on Special Report, is on the All-Star Panel. The fill-in host of Shannon Bream. Bret Baier was not there. And Shannon Bream is talking to Juan Williams about the Supreme Court oral arguments on the constitutionality of health care reform. She said to Juan Williams, "The dust has settled. Now that the arguments are over, Juan, what's your take? What's gonna happen here?"
WILLIAMS: The consequence politically is what's being debated in Washington. Does this help President Obama's reelection campaign if the health care act is viewed as unconstitutional by the court or does it hurt Republicans? It's interesting it's viewed in negative terms, not helping anyone, really, because for the president he obviously would be viewed as having lost his signature piece of legislation during his time in office. And for the Republicans, the question would be, oh, so if Americans don't get a cure for the doughnut hole, if they don't get some kind of protection against being excluded as a result of pre-existing conditions, if you can't keep your children on your insurance 'til they're 26, what do you Republicans have in mind? So it's all in the negative.
RUSH: What he's saying is nobody wins if Obamacare gets thrown out. Nobody wins. I know Juan Williams. I've been interviewed by Juan. I like Juan, but Juan, do you even care what the bill says? Here we are once again analyzing the political ramifications for Obama and for the Republicans. What about for the people? What about for the citizens of this country who are going to lose a significant amount of freedom? What about the Constitution? The very foundation of it will be forever altered. The Constitution limits what government can do. Pure and simple. That's what it does, and this one piece of legislation throws that out and opens the door for government control over every aspect of life. Does this not matter?
This is not an independent, isolated political exercise. This is real life here. I am struck by how many in the pundit class, the exalted, elevated more than the rest of us, don't even get that, or they're uninterested in it. Or they don't see any use in talking about it. The political prism is all that matters. What about real life? What about the concept of liberty? What about the concept of the Constitution that limits government? This is how you lose it, with people caring, not knowing, even worse. People are incapable of seeing the big picture with this. And these, we are told, are the exalted ones. These are the ones smarter than we are. They're the ones that should be on TV analyzing. Not you or me. These are the analysts. These are cut above. I mean these are the guys that are gonna come up with things that you and I can't possibly think of. We're not smart enough. We're not in the game; we're not there; we don't know the people; we don't talk to 'em; so what we think, how can we know? And yet they're looking at a microscopic portion of this, missing what it's really about. I still am amazed.