By now you have probably heard the heartbreaking news that Rush Limbaugh passed away this morning from the consequences of the lung cancer he had been battling. His wife, Kathryn, opened his radio show today to make the announcement.
I don't need to tell you that Rush was one of a kind. He touched millions of lives, and was, in many ways, the heart and soul of American populist conservatism. They say no man is irreplaceable, but he came as close to fitting that definition as possible.
Our condolences go out to his wife, Kathryn, his brother, David, to the rest of his immediate family, and to all those who knew and loved him.
In the days ahead, many things will be said and written about Rush Limbaugh. I was honored to speak with him at an event in California a number of years ago. In 2000, when I found myself in some controversy after exiting the Republican presidential primaries, Rush graciously interviewed me on his show so I could present my side.
If I had to pick one thing that made him so countercultural to the left and such a vital force, it would be his unapologetic, enthusiastic, heartfelt love for the United States of America, its history, its accomplishments and the goodness of its people.
Rush was a patriot from top to bottom. That shouldn't be rare, but, unfortunately, it is rare in far too many places these days.
God bless you, Rush. You fought the good fight and kept the faith. We will pick up your mantle and fight on!
Trump vs. McConnell
Make no mistake about this: If you are disturbed about a split in the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell caused the public break that is taking place right now.
Trump and McConnell have had their differences for some time. McConnell opposed Trump during the 2016 nomination battle. He and then-House Speaker Paul Ryan did their best to steer Trump away from the populist message that elected him.
He has gone to the Senate floor repeatedly to suggest that Donald Trump was responsible for what happened at the Capitol Building on January 6th. He dismissed concerns about election fraud and other irregularities. Then he wrote an opinion piece in Monday's Wall Street Journal again taking aim at Trump.
So, McConnell has attacked Trump multiple times and undermined his agenda. Finally, Trump responded yesterday with a powerful and blistering statement.
Every conservative in Washington has had to work with Mitch McConnell for years. His knowledge of Senate rules has made him an influential force on many issues we care about. He was strong on judicial nominations, and Supreme Court nominations in particular.
But Trump is right. If McConnell is the face of the Republican Party going forward, the GOP will likely lose more Senate seats and it will be a long time before it reclaims the White House.
Donald Trump's support in the Republican Party has held steady over the last few months. Polling shows that he is by far the party's most popular figure.
In contrast, Mitch McConnell's approval rating has plummeted in his home state of Kentucky. Three months ago, he won reelection by a whopping 20-point margin, as Trump won the Blue Grass State by an even bigger 26-point margin.
In 2008 and 2012, many pundits gleefully danced on the grave of the Republican Party only to see it come back forcefully in 2010, 2014 and 2016.
But what is the Republican Party that McConnell, Romney, Sasse, Murkowski, Cassidy and Burr seem to imagine? What is its message? Why was Donald Trump able to do what Mitt Romney and John McCain could not? How did he attract 75 million voters?
Trump added to the traditional Republican message of lower taxes, constitutionalist judges and a strong military a full-throated defense of America, our founding and our values.
He exposed the rotten trade deals that sent blue-collar jobs overseas. He shattered the myth that communist China was just a trading partner, and not an enemy.
Trump didn't just mouth platitudes about the sanctity of life and religious liberty. He fought hard for values voters – the real base of the Republican Party.
Donald Trump understands that America has bigger problems than the marginal tax rate and whether or not the Chamber of Commerce is happy.
Trump accomplished a lot in four years. He could have accomplished even more if there were more senators in the GOP like him instead of the establishment types who constantly resisted and undermined him.
Respectfully to Mitch McConnell: Do you really believe that you and others can destroy Donald Trump and that his voters will turn out for you in 2022 and 2024?
Biden's Bumbling Town Hall
If you've ever wondered why we don't see more press conferences from President Biden, you saw why last night. His CNN town hall was one gaffe after another.
Asked how he was going to help unite the nation, one of his big talking points, Biden offered rambling and contradictory remarks, even suggesting that "the nation is not divided."
Biden suggested that one of the problems plaguing the COVID-19 vaccination efforts is that many blacks and Hispanics don't know how to get online. What!?
For whatever reason, Biden frequently talks down to minority Americans. Remember when he told a black talk show host, "You ain't black"? Or when he asked a black journalist if he was a junkie? Remember his comment about black women stocking shelves? But he always gets a pass from the media.
Biden bizarrely claimed that there weren't any vaccines when he took office. Well, the Trump Administration was administering one million vaccinations a day, and Biden himself got two doses before he took office!
Asked about efforts to combat racism in America, Biden outrageously smeared veterans and retired police officers, suggesting they were behind a rise in white supremacy.
And to top it all off, he made excuses for communist China.
Referring to his recent phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden said that he brought up Hong Kong and the oppression of the Uighurs. But then Biden said this:
"The central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that. . . Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow."
It's really not clear what exactly Biden was trying to say, but genocide is not a matter of "cultural norms."
The issue is not that China has different cultural norms. It's that communists have unacceptable cultural norms.
Communists are always aggressors in foreign policy because they are threatened by free people. Communists always suppress human rights and religious liberty because the state is their god and the people have no rights beyond what little the state gives them.
Once again, we have been reminded why Barack Obama's secretary of defense warned that Biden was wrong on nearly every major foreign policy issue throughout his career.