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RUSH: Russell in Memphis, you’re next, sir. Thank you for waiting. You’re on Open Line Friday. Hi.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, it’s an honor to speak with you.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: I wanted to say to the last caller, Kevin, ‘We appreciate your service to this country,’ and my question/comment for you was, I was not around for the Reagan administration. I’m 18. From everything I’ve studied and looked at, he was a tremendous, tremendous president. I’m also a big George W. Bush fan. Aside from immigration, I’ve agreed with almost every single thing he’s done. My question for you is: Where would you rank George W. Bush with Ronald Reagan?

RUSH: Well, that’s a tough comparison because they’re not the same people. Ronald Reagan was the leader of a movement. He was a genuine leader of a conservative movement. Every speech, every public appearance, Ronald Reagan was defining conservatism as it related to America. He was defining America. Did you hear Sarkozy’s speech, the sound bites we played from Sarkozy’s speech when he spoke to Congress last week?

CALLER: No, sir, I did not.

RUSH: Well, I’ve gotta get those back out of the archives. Joe, if you can find a couple of them, get them to me. They’re just awesome. That’s what Reagan did. The message that he sent every time he spoke, was on the greatness and the potential of America.

CALLER: Reagan is a better communicator than George W. Bush.

RUSH: Yeah, but it’s not just communication skills. I’m talking the message. Now, Bush is a Republican. He is conservative on some things, but he is not a conservative, and he doesn’t view himself as — he doesn’t want to be — the leader of an ideological movement. So you can’t really compare the two. Now, if you want to talk about historical perspective, they’re going to be looked at differently, but you have to understand the history of the Bush administration, the accurate history, will not be written until most of us are long gone. The historians that are going to write that history are not yet born. The people writing the history of the Bush administration now and for the next 30, 40 years are going to be the people that detest Bush and hate Bush. That’s going to be filled with lies. It’s going to be filled with distortions. The textbooks in American high schools, junior high schools, and colleges are going to be filled with the same gunk. But eventually, I think, Bush is one of few presidents who has actually sought to transform America’s place in the world — and out of necessity, what with the 9/11 attacks.

He is a president that is attempting to establish a democratic-oriented beachhead in a part of the world where nobody thinks it’s possible. Now, we’ve had our arguments with him about doing that: ‘Should that be the priority or should it happen after victory?’ Some of us thought, ‘Yeah, I love the idea,’ because his theory is all human beings are the same. We all have a yearning spirit to be free. We don’t like to be constrained. I agree with that a hundred percent, but I think focusing on that first rather than achieving victory first may be a strategic blunder. But if he pulls it off — if this happens, if Iraq becomes what his vision for it is — then historians down the road are going to write tremendous things about Bush and the way he persisted. Here he is supposedly a lame-duck president, and he is not acting like it at all. He does not portray at any time any of this stuff. The personal attacks, the policy attacks, the opposition to his primary policy of the war on terror, he never betrays that it bothers him personally. He just keeps plugging away at it — some people say ‘stubbornly,’ or what have you. But at least with Bush in this regard, in this one area of his administration, he has not wavered on it at all. I’ll tell you, given where the Democrats have been, thank God he hasn’t. This could have been a disaster, had a lesser president with the same policies caved in the middle of it. We would have already been experiencing more terrorist attacks. We have had none since 9/11.

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