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RUSH: I just tuned into a little bit of the Obama speech in Independence, Missouri. He said, ‘I…’ He got a standing O on this. He said, ‘I will never question the patriotism of any of my opponents.’ Yay! Who has questioned his? And then he said, ‘I’m not going to sit idly by when someone questions mine.’ Now, who is questioning his patriotism? There might be some fringe people out there, for crying out loud, but who is doing it? Is McCain doing it? Who of any consequence or importance is questioning Obama’s patriotism? They’re questioning his experience! If anybody wants to talk about questioning patriotism, how about Wesley Clark and what he said? ‘I don’t think that getting shot down in a plane (grumbling) qualifies anybody to be president,’ and so forth. I’ll be interested to see if Obama distances himself from Wesley Clark — or renounces or denounces Clark — in this speech. We got eagle eyes and eagle ears… (interruption) Why is he doing the speech…? That was my point earlier in the program, Snerdley!

I said, ‘Every Fourth of July, some Democrat somewhere goes somewhere and talks about patriotism.” It must be that there is some doubt, if you have to go out there and do this, if you have to give a speech on patriotism and what it means. We know the Democrats have spent years trying to redefine it. Mrs. Clinton herself defined patriotism as criticizing the president. Remember that screeching, wailing sound bite that we’ve used? It’s a year and a half old now. They have been trying to redefine patriotism as the abject dislike of your country, as the abject dislike of your president and the dissent and criticism of both. That’s how they’ve been defining patriotism and so they have to go out there and make speeches about patriotism. This is a fine time. The Fourth of July is coming up on Friday, Independence Day; this would be a fine time for somebody to run around and start talking about American exceptionalism — in either party, frankly — and reminding the American people what this country is, where it started, how it started, the Founders, all of this, what happened, the miracle in Philadelphia.

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There’s Obama, he just finished saying, ‘No political party has a monopoly on patriotism.’ This is the one area… We find the Democratic Party when we look at them and we look at the leftists; we see them on offense. They just are relentless. They never stop. But when it comes to patriotism, they are defensive. They do have to go out and remind everybody that they are, and now Obama is saying that ‘no political party has a monopoly on it.’ So it must mean that they’ve got some focus group data that suggests it’s a problem. I don’t know how big a problem it’s going to be, because as I predicted last year… The latest polling if you look at this, this is not horse race polling. This is polling of the American people. The American people are vastly more concerned about the economy now, than they are about the war in Iraq, and I told everybody — I suggested to everybody — last year at this time, and maybe 15 months ago, ‘You have all of this talk. The Democrats are trying to raise all of this hell about the war in Iraq. It ain’t going to be the issue when we get to the 2008 presidential election. It’ll be the economy. It always is.’ People were talking about, ‘Well, the economy is no longer an issue, Rush. Even when the economy is going good, it didn’t matter to people ’cause they expect it.’ I said, ‘You wait. The economy is going to be the primary issue. I don’t know what elements,’ but it has turned out to be the case. Now, Wesley Clark was on Face the Nation yesterday with Bob Schieffer, and he said that he didn’t think that McCain’s service as a fighter pilot and prisoner of war was relevant to running the country. He didn’t think it was a qualification for being the president of the United States. Let’s go back to July of 2004 in Boston. This is the Democratic convention, and remember General Clark (Ashley Wilkes) was running for president himself, and he lost out to Kerry in the primaries. Here is a portion of Wesley Clark’s speech. He spoke before Kerry was introduced by his Vietnam buddies.


CLARK: War. War. I’ve been there. So has John Kerry. John Kerry has heard the thump of enemy mortars. He’s seen the flash of the tracers. He’s lived the values of service and sacrifice. In the Navy, as a prosecutor, as a senator, he proved his physical courage under fire. And he’s proved his moral courage too. John Kerry fought a war, and I respect him for that. And he came home to fight a peace. And I respect him for that, too. (tepid applause) John Kerry’s combination of physical courage and moral values, is my definition of what we need as Americans in our commander-in-chief.

RUSH: Oh, so much here. First off, how do you come home and ‘fight a peace’? How do you do that? Well, Kerry did it. He was the architect. He was the scriptwriter for how you come home and ‘fight a peace.’ We get out of Vietnam, and they won’t let it go. It was John Kerry throwing his medals over the White House gate. (Fake medals. He kept his real ones at home.) It was John Kerry who was telling lies about the Swift Boat buddies, telling lies about American combat troops in general, that they were raping and mutilating and doing all this ‘Gen-giss’ Khan-type stuff. While America was trying to heal from all of this and get over it, John Kerry was indeed ‘fighting a peace.’ We’ll revisit this and then listen to Wesley Clark yesterday talk about McCain after this.

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RUSH: During the breaks, I continued to give a little listen to Obama’s patriotism speech in Independence. This is really rich. He just finished saying that patriotism — he defined it. ‘Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.’ Patriotism is supporting your country all the time… All the time? If that’s what patriotism is, he has just accused his buddies on the left of being unpatriotic! I mean, not only do they not support the country all the time. They actively are engaged to inflict harm on this country! For example, in Iraq, they are enmeshed and they own defeat. ‘…and your government when it deserves it.’ So that gives them, with that little definition, ‘Of course the government deserves being criticized when it’s being run by George W. Bush!’ So everybody is in the clear on that. ‘Patriotism is supporting your country all the time…’ Hmmm. I want to go back and air Wesley Clark from 2004 at the Democrat National Convention, and this is shortly after, if you remember that convention, Kerry grabbed a bunch of his Vietnam buddies and got on a boat. What they were going to do is replicate Kerry’s Vietnam experience of being in a boat and taking territory in Vietnam, very bravely and courageously. So Kerry took Boston Bay. He took the Bay and he took the area of Boston where the convention was. Remember that? That’s how he arrived at the convention hall. Before all that happened, Wesley made the comments…

CLARK: War. War. I’ve been there. So has John Kerry. John Kerry has heard the thump of enemy mortars. He’s seen the flash of the tracers. He’s lived the values of service and sacrifice. In the Navy, as a prosecutor, as a senator, he proved his physical courage under fire. And he’s proved his moral courage too. John Kerry fought a war, and I respect him for that. And he came home to fight a peace. And I respect him for that, too. (tepid applause) John Kerry’s combination of physical courage and moral values, is my definition of what we need as Americans in our commander-in-chief.

RUSH: Okay, we talked about the concept of fighting ‘a peace,’ and Kerry did. Kerry came home and lied about American soldiers to a Senate committee. That’s how he was ‘fighting a peace.’ But do you note here’s Obama giving a speech in Independence, Missouri, after having been in Unity, New Hampshire? He’s now in Independence, Missouri giving a speech on patriotism; and Wesley Clark, a man — which, again, Democrats seem to feel the need to prove to people that they are patriotic. Even when nobody is charging them with being unpatriotic, they still feel the need to prove it, which is quite telling to me. Then we have these comments from Wesley Clark four years ago in which we now remember that the Democrats nominated their version of a war hero, as a means of being elected president. This is after 9/11; they’re convinced the American people want somebody tough in the White House, and so Kerry wore a uniform and Kerry was this for them. But then the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth came out with their ads (which nobody has disproven, by the way) and Kerry was toast. But you’ve just heard Wesley Clark define qualifications for the presidency based on Kerry and his military service. ‘He lived the values of service and sacrifice. In the Navy, as a prosecutor, as a Senator…’ There’s a lot of sacrificing in the Senate. ‘[H]e proved his physical courage under fire…. [H]e came home to fight a peace… [P]hysical courage and moral values, is my definition of what we need as Americans in our commander-in-chief.’ Now, you just heard him define presidential qualifications for Americans, by using John Kerry as an example. Let’s now go to Face the Nation yesterday, and the host Bob Schieffer talking to Wesley Clark. He said, ‘Well, you went so far as to say that you thought John McCain was, quote — and these are your words — ‘untested and untried.’ And I must say, I had to read that twice, because you’re talking about somebody who was a prisoner of war. He was a squadron commander of the largest squadron in the Navy. He’s been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for lo these many years. How can you say that John McCain is untested and untried, General?’

CLARK: Because in the matters of national security policymaking, it’s a matter of understanding risk, it’s a matter of gauging your opponents, and it’s a matter of being held accountable. John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded? That wasn’t a wartime squadron. He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn’t seen what it’s like when diplomats come in and say, ‘I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle this publicly?’

SCHIEFFER: Yeah.

CLARK: He hasn’t made that calls, Bob.

SCHIEFFER: Well, General —

RUSH: ‘He hasn’t made those calls.’ Do you believe this? By the way, I don’t for a minute believe that he’s out there as an independent contractor. This is not an idle comment on MSNBC when nobody is watching at ten o’clock at night. This is one of the revered Sunday morning shows. These comments are rehearsed! These comments are made on purpose. Schieffer says, ‘I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences, either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.’

CLARK: Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.

SCHIEFFER: Really!

CLARK: But Barack is not… He is not running on the fact that he has made these national security pronouncements. He’s running on his other strengths. He’s running on his strength of character, on the strengths of his communication skills, on the strengths of his judgment. And those are qualities that we seek in our national leadership.

RUSH: Now, I don’t know how in the world you can sit around and tar and feather McCain as being ‘unqualified’ after having been a prisoner of war for five years. You talked about ‘sacrifice.’ He talked about John Kerry’s sacrifice. You talk about ‘bravery.’ McCain went into the teeth of the dog in this war. He stayed in the Navy for eight years after he got out of the Hanoi Hilton. He never went to Washington and threw his medals over the White House fence. He never bumped and decried his fellow airmen or soldiers or Marines who fought in Vietnam. This is just… This is… I wonder if the McCain camp gets it yet what’s ahead of them? We warned them about this, and this is not all that’s happening out there. When you heard Wesley Clark here in sound bite #4: ‘It’s a matter of gauging your opponent. It’s a matter of being held accountable. McCain has never done any of that in his official positions. He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall.’ Let me tell you what they’re heading at here.

If you go to certain left-wing blogs and websites, you will find all kinds of vicious attacks on McCain, such as accusing him of war crimes for bombing civilian targets in Hanoi in the 1960s. There are others who are accusing McCain of disloyalty during his captivity in Vietnam because they say that he was coerced into participation in propaganda films and interviews after he had been tortured. John Aravosis at something called Americablog.com wrote, ‘A lot of people don’t know that McCain wrote propaganda video for the enemy while he was in captivity. Putting that bit of disloyalty aside, what exactly is McCain’s experience that prepares him for being commander-in-chief? Getting shot down, tortured, and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience,’ this guy wrote in a blog post titled, ‘Honestly, Besides Being Tortured, What Did McCain Do to Excel in the Military?’ So the left-wing blogs have started this, and Wesley Clark is picking up the theme. There is an echo chamber on the left too, and more and more of these left-wing talking points that are shouted and emitted by Obama’s people and his campaign come from the dark reaches of the kook left. So now, not only is McCain not qualified just because he flew a bombing mission and got shot down over Hanoi and then spent five years in as a prisoner of war. That doesn’t qualify him! No, what John Kerry did is more of a qualification! John Kerry had moral character! You heard Wesley Clark. Go back and grab cut 3 here. After you’ve heard Clark twice now rip McCain, listen to how he praises Kerry four years ago at the Democrat National Convention.

CLARK: War. War. I’ve been there. So has John Kerry. John Kerry has heard the thump of enemy mortars. He’s seen the flash of the tracers. He’s lived the values of service and sacrifice. In the Navy, as a prosecutor, as a senator, he proved his physical courage under fire. And he’s proved his moral courage, too. John Kerry fought a war, and I respect him for that. And he came home to fight a peace. And I respect him for that, too. (tepid applause) John Kerry’s combination of physical courage and moral values, is my definition of what we need as Americans in our commander-in-chief.

RUSH: ‘Came home to fight a peace,’ and again, he did that by lying about our soldiers to a Senate committee. Wesley Clark ought to have zero credibility with anybody. This is nothing but a partisan, political hack who himself was incompetent! Didn’t Clinton fire the guy? He was the NATO general in the Bosnia war, and I think even Clinton fired the guy! He’s a big pretender. And by the way, here’s Obama out there with his patriotism lecture, and I keep listening to little segments of this, and, frankly, I don’t think we need to be lectured to on patriotism by Barak Obama. Here’s a guy who trashes the country all the time. His minister trashed the country all the time. His friend William Ayers tried to overthrow the country! We don’t need lectures from Obama on patriotism. ‘Well, that’s not the William Ayers that I knew. That’s not the Reverend Wright that I knew all these years.’ He has just, by his own definition, thrown both of these guys on the bus. They are not patriots. They are not American patriots. Obama gets away with recasting himself as often as he wants. The Drive-By Media will bend over forwards and backwards — they’ll put themselves in pretzel-like positions — in order to accommodate this guy’s daily recalibrations so he can appear to move to the non-controversial ‘center.’

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RUSH: We have two more sound bites on this and then some brilliant commentary by me. This is the Obama communications director Robert Gibbs. He was on Scarborough’s show today on DNCTV and the cohost Mika Brzezinski said, ‘We heard Clark’s comments, we played them just a minute ago on Face the Nation. Is your campaign behind what Clark said?’

GIBBS: No, we’re not. What I’ve heard every time that Barack Obama talks about John McCain, and that is he begins by thanking him for his service to this country. We’re leading into July Fourth, where we are reminded of all the sacrifices that people have made to make this country free, and we certainly honor the sacrifice and the service and the heroism of John McCain.

RUSH: Right, easy to say this. After Clark’s made the big news here’s this guy on DNCTV, sometime early this morning when very few people are watching. ‘No, totally not us. We honored McCain’s service. I have no idea how this could have happened. We’re minding our own business, so forth.’ So then Brzezinski says, ‘Let me ask you this, then, if the campaign is not behind this Wes Clark making those comments, specifically those comments, tell us.’

GIBBS: Obviously, those are the comments of General Clark. They’re not the comments of Barack Obama. Again, Barack Obama always talks about John McCain in a setting by mentioning the service that he’s given to this country. You know, we’re going to give a speech later today about what patriotism means in this country. And one of the lines that you’ll hear is that nobody should question the patriotism of either of these two candidates. Obviously, they’ve given of their time. They’ve given an incredible amount to their countries. Both of them love their countries. I think for anybody to suggest otherwise just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

RUSH: Let me tell you what’s going on here. In addition to Obama lecturing us on patriotism and redefining it, look at what his friends have said about this country. Reverend Wright, William Ayers tries to overthrow the country. We’ve been through these, he’s trying to soften his image and the Drive-Bys are helping him here. But what’s also happening is an effort — and this is purposeful and it’s an effort that is being aided and abetted by the Drive-By Media — to devalue the military experience of John McCain and his hero status, and to raise up Obama’s patriotic position by redefining it. It’s a two-prong thing. He didn’t mention McCain in his speech. He just said he’s not going to challenge the patriotism of any of his opponents and he’s going to stand up for when his is challenged. But he didn’t denounce what Clark said. But the Drive-Bys will say that he did, just as you heard his campaign spokesman Gibbs do so. So make no mistake about it. They are going after the one area they know that McCain trumps Obama no matter how it’s played. American hero, war hero, sacrifice, prisoner of war. They are trying to devalue all of that while Obama redefines patriotism.

How has Obama shown his patriotism as a public man? Has he supported our war effort? He has not. By his own definition he’s not supported his country. Patriotism is supporting your country all the time. I heard him say it. He’s not done that. Has he spent much time with the Armed Forces? Depends on which Armed Forces: Bill Ayers or the United States military. Obama has spent his entire career condemning much of the country: bitter clingers, guns, religion, not just the government, but the country, as has his wife, as have his friends. Patriotism should not be defined as a relentless assault on the nation’s traditions and customs but that’s what they want it to be today. Liberals want to define patriotism as being whatever they support and whatever they say no matter how offensive and damning they are. This is a guy who made a big deal out of not wearing the American flag pin lapel. What do you mean I’m not supposed to mention that, Snerdley? Look it, I said at the beginning of this program, Snerdley, this is not the Limbaugh Institute for Pseudo Conservative Studies. This is the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. We’re steel-spined. We are not going to play defense and we’re not going to cower like many of our pseudo conservative brethren and we’re not going to say what we say or not say what we shouldn’t say in order to be liked and adored by this crowd that’s trying to destroy the traditions and institutions that made the country great. We’re being lectured to on patriotism by a guy who had a problem trying to figure out when and where to wear the American flag pin, for crying out loud. And he’s getting a standing ovation in a town very near where I once worked. Independence, Missouri. It’s right there. I mean it’s a five iron from the Royals’ stadium, where I spent many a countless hour. All of a sudden, after having problems on the flag pin, now he wears it and is constantly surrounded by flags. Patriotism must be symbolism to Obama.

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RUSH: Not only did Ashley Wilkes want me off of Armed Forces Radio, this notion that he’s out there as an independent contractor is silly. He’s the go-to guy for the libs, he’s the go-to general if they want to harm a veteran or advance the liberal cause with the military. That’s how they use him, as they have used him yesterday on Face the Nation. Wesley Clark advanced high up the ranks in the military thanks to Bill Clinton. He wasn’t a standout in any way. There’s nothing that recommends Wesley Clark over any other general in terms of being able to bring credibility and accountability to assessing others’ performance of the same job. He’s another one of these Clinton generals, and they’re all over the place. So what happens is, if Clark smears McCain and Obama says that he is the patriot, what we are looking at is liberalism on display. Now, we have four Obama bites from his speech in Independence, Missouri from earlier today followed by McCain’s response. But to set this up, I want you to go back and listen to Wesley Clark from yesterday on Face the Nation. First question from Bob Schieffer to General Clark is: ‘How in the world can you say that McCain is untested and untried, General?’

CLARK: Because in the matters of national security policymaking, it’s a matter of understanding risk, it’s a matter of gauging your opponents, and it’s a matter of being held accountable. John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded? That wasn’t a wartime squadron. He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn’t seen what it’s like when diplomats come in and say, ‘I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle this publicly?

SCHIEFFER: Yeah.

CLARK: He hasn’t made that call, Bob.

RUSH: Schieffer then said, ‘I have to say Barack Obama has had none of those experiences and nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and got shot down.’

CLARK: I don’t think fighting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be a president.

SCHIEFFER: Really?

CLARK: But Barack is not running on the fact that he’s made these national security pronouncements. He’s running on his other strengths. He’s running on the strengths of character, on the strengths of his communication skills, on the strengths of his judgment, and those are qualities we seek in our national leadership.

RUSH: So let’s go to Obama today. By the way, if you listen to Clark ripping McCain, you can also substitute the names Bill or Hillary Clinton for anything that he said about McCain. I mean, this is just a point being made. They dragged this guy out as a supposed credible general. But he’s the liberal’s go-to general for ripping anybody in the military who has any kind of heroism or success and then Obama follows it up by one day with remarks like this in his speech in Independence, Missouri, on patriotism.

OBAMA: I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign. (applause). And I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine. (applause).

RUSH: Wait a minute, whose patriotism has been questioned here? Whose qualifications have been questioned here? What’s happening here, folks, is very simple, an effort to devalue McCain’s military experience and hero status and to raise up Obama’s patriotic position by redefining what patriotism is. Here’s more of Obama from just a moment ago in Missouri.

OBAMA: When we’re arguing about patriotism, we’re arguing about who we are as a country and, more importantly, who we should be. But surely we can agree that no party or political philosophy has a monopoly on patriotism. (applause)

RUSH: Then why the hell do you feel it necessary to go to Independence, Missouri and talk about it? Then why the hell do you have such difficulty in deciding whether or not to wear the American flag lapel pin? One party obviously has a track record that deserves to be examined. We all know which party that is. And this is why this party is constantly defending itself on this. Let’s be honest, folks. Patriotism is equated with supporting the military when the US is at war. Which political party the last three years has done its best to secure defeat of its country and the US military at war? Democrat Party. One party has a track record that deserves to be examined when it comes to patriotism, and they know it. They know they’re weak on national security. Which is why they gave us Kerry the last election, they thought he would overcome it. Which is why they’re now trying to devalue McCain’s hero status and his war service and that’s why they send their candidate out to Independence, Missouri, to do a defensive speech on patriotism, because they know. Here’s another from Obama.

OBAMA: Of course, precisely because America isn’t perfect, precisely because our ideals demand more from us, patriotism can never be defined as loyalty to any particular leader or government or policy. (applause). As Mark Twain, the greatest of American satirists and proud son of Missouri, once wrote: ‘Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.’ (applause) That’s what patriotism is.

RUSH: Wait a second. He just contradicted himself here. Patriotism can never be defined as loyalty to any particular leader or government or policy. And then he quotes Mark Twain: ‘Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.’ This is a huge contradiction. Which political party is it that is suggesting to us that terrorists deserve constitutional rights, the same constitutional rights accorded United States citizens? We don’t have the right to spy on terrorists? Which party is it that wants us to sue phone companies that allow terrorists to be spied on? Which party is it that’s doing its level best to discredit any intelligence gathering technique that is used in order to improve this nation’s security? No wonder they feel defensive about this. Which party was it that was saying that the surge would never work? Which party was it that claimed the surge wouldn’t work? Which party was it whose supporters ran a full-page New York Times ad on ‘General Betraeus’?

Which party was it whose members accused Petraeus of lying before he opened his mouth? Which party has as a member a man who avoided voting on the MoveOn.org resolution in the Senate? Barack Obama and the Democrat Party. Remember the vote on condemning MoveOn.org, guess who didn’t vote? He wasn’t there, he didn’t vote. It was Barack Obama. Which party has accused troops of murder and rape? The Democrat Party. Which party has members that have accused Club Gitmo operatives of torture and being like Pol Pot’s regime and the people who ran the Soviet Gulags? That would be Dick Durbin and the Democrat Party. Which political party has tried to kill — and they failed — war spending bills with poison pills and other techniques? It would be the Democrat Party. So no wonder they feel defensive about patriotism. Here’s our final Obama sound bite from his speech in Independence today.

OBAMA: Surely we can arrive at a definition of patriotism that however rough and imperfect captures the best of America’s common spirit. What would such a definition look like?

RUSH: Okay, so now not only are we being lectured to on patriotism by Obama, we’re being told that only he can redefine it. He’s going to redefine patriotism for us. What he says after this doesn’t matter. We don’t need The Messiah to redefine patriotism. We know it when we see it. We know it when we don’t see it. And we see it plain as day when we don’t see it. So he wants to redefine it. They want to wipe out any status that McCain enjoys as a war hero or a servant to his country. The next bite we have to take a break after this. McCain is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and here I think is McCain’s response to Wesley Clark saying being shot down over Vietnam does not qualify you to be president.

MCCAIN: I think that kind of thing is unnecessary. I’m proud of my record of service and I have plenty of friends and leaders who will attest to that. But the important thing is, and if that’s the kind of campaign that Senator Obama and his surrogates and his supporters want to gauge, I understand that, but it doesn’t reduce the price of a gallon of gas by one penny. It doesn’t achieve our energy independence, make it come any closer. It doesn’t help an American stay in their home who are in risk of losing it today. And it certainly doesn’t do anything to address the challenges that Americans have in keeping their jobs, their homes and supporting their families.

RUSH: What the hell is this? This is the Clinton response. (doing Clinton impression) ‘That’s right Limbaugh and your side’s learning my techniques pretty well. How do you like it when your side sounds like I do, Limbaugh? I just love that; that must make you mad. That’s right. Remember when I said no attack ever fed a hungry child when Bob Dole tried to talk about my lack of character. Here’s your boy McCain out there. McCain is out there saying, ‘Hey, they can challenge me all they want, they can tell me I’m not qualified to be president, but that doesn’t put one more drop of fuel in your gas tank.” Did he sound a little hurt there? I’m not sure. Anyway, he thinks this kind of campaigning is unnecessary.

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RUSH: We’ll start with Michael in Naperville, Illinois. Nice to have you on the program, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Real quick. I’m furious about this General Clark saying this stuff about John McCain. In his twenties, John McCain was serving his country. He got shot down and was in a prisoner of war camp for five years. Barack Obama in his twenties, by his own words, was sitting around, smoking pot and doing cocaine, snorting cocaine. I mean, this guy served his country while Barack Obama was trying to find his racial identity during his twenties and John McCain was serving his country. I’m furious about this.

RUSH: No, you’re not. You’re not curious at all. You’re trying to make a blistering point which you’ve done very well.

CALLER: I’m furious, not curious!

RUSH: Oh, sorry. Then you ought to be furious about it.

CALLER: I’m furious. I mean, this guy was sitting around doing nothing while John McCain was in the service.

RUSH: He’s still done nothing! What has he done since? Seriously, what has he done? He’s ‘organized communities’ in Chicago. Eh eh, we all know what that means. What’s he done? He’s senator in Illinois, and he bailed out of 130 votes. What’s he done since? What’s he done? What’s he accomplished? He’s a smooth talker and he makes people feel good.

CALLER: You know what, Rush? I think if a lot of people would have known about his drug use and Reverend Wright stuff, he wouldn’t have been elected senator, here, frankly. Nobody brought it up during the campaign.

RUSH: You can’t go back and relive it. Besides, the Clintons gave it their best shot in New Hampshire. Remember Bill Sheehan running the Clinton campaign said, ‘Not only was he using drugs, he might have been selling them.’ They tried everything. It didn’t work.

CALLER: Mmm-hmm. When is one of the guys from the news media going to ask him if he ever did sell drugs?

RUSH: (laughing) You know, the chances are slim and none, and slim left town. Come on, you know better than that. The Drive-Bys in the media are devoted to cleaning this guy up to allow him his pirouettes on policy, to allow his policy recalibrations. They’re doing everything they can to sanitize the guy and they’re furthering all these Obama camp notions that McCain really isn’t that big a hero. ‘He might have shot at innocent civilians, might have done a propaganda movie! He might have been turned by the North Vietnamese. He might actually be a traitor,’ is where they’re headed with this — and of course the Drive-Bys will react, ‘Wow, what an interesting take! Why, we’ve never thought of that. We’ve always bought the hook, line and sinker bit that McCain was a big hero. But maybe, maybe these left wing bloggers have a point.’

Of course they don’t have to come to a conclusion. They can just start doing their investigative pieces. This is all about ripping McCain’s hero status apart so he doesn’t have that advantage over Obama, then redefining patriotism so that Obama’s lack of it in terms of supporting the US military and so forth is canceled out. By the way, something else. You know I don’t like talking about myself much on this program. But one of the things that Obama said in this speech is something that the Clintons have invented back in the ’60s, and that is that dissent equals patriotism. You’ve all heard this. ‘Why, this country was founded on dissent. Why, we were dissenting against the king! Why we refused the high taxes.’ Yeah, we were dissenting against tyranny.

Liberals are dissenting against liberty! When they dissent it’s against freedom. So here’s Obama defining patriotism as dissent, as protest — and yet wasn’t that long ago that The Messiah was down here in Florida. Where was he in Florida? Was it Jacksonville? Was it Orlando? Where was it? Tampa? It doesn’t matter where it was. He called me a xenophobe and then lied about my position on illegal immigrants. He mentioned me and Lou Dobbs. So we dissent against amnesty for illegals, and we get attacked, not praised as patriots in the Obama world. Never forget: When liberals start defining patriotism, folks, the definition equals whatever they support. And whatever they oppose is not patriotic, and that’s why Obama did the speech today. He went up there to redefine it. And basically it’s whatever he believes. Here’s… What is it: Dancer? Danger? There’s somebody named Danger on the phone from Perry, Georgia.

CALLER: Yes, sir, Perry Georgia.

RUSH: How did you get the name Danger?

CALLER: My parents were hippies. First, I have to say Rush is one of my top-ten, all-time favorite guy names.

RUSH: (laughs) Hell, thanks so much. That’s very cool.

CALLER: Yes, I’m pretty cool. I like to think, anyway.

RUSH: What’s your middle name, Danger?

CALLER: Um… Michelle.

RUSH: Danger Michelle. Okay.

CALLER: Something like that.

RUSH: Your parents were hippies.

CALLER: They don’t like it when I tell people that.

RUSH: Are they still hippies?

CALLER: No, sir.

RUSH: Okay, good.

CALLER: (chuckles) Well, anyways, first, I’d like to say I’m a 23-year-old punk rock conservative. So I’ve got it rough with my friends. But I wanted to comment on what General Wesley Clark said. How can he say that McCain wasn’t tried and tested? He certainly was. He was a prisoner of war. He came as close to making the ultimate sacrifice for his nation that one can make, and still live to talk about it. I mean, if that’s not a patriot, I don’t know what is.

RUSH: Do you think it’s a qualification, however?

CALLER: (dog barks) A qualification? I think so.

RUSH: To be president, yeah?

CALLER: Absolutely. To think enough of your country that you’re going to go out there and risk your life to fight for its name? Absolutely.

RUSH: Well, I would agree with you when you add the sum total of McCain’s political resume. Now, we can disagree with his policies on certain things.

CALLER: Then we can compare it to Obama’s personal resume.

RUSH: There is no resume.

CALLE:R Yeah, so it’s pretty…

RUSH: That’s the point. Do your punk rock friends like Obama.

CALLER: They most certainly do. I get it rough from them.

RUSH: I’m sure you do.

CALLER: I’ll tell you what.

RUSH: I bet they don’t even know why they like him. I’ll bet you it’s just he makes them feel good or he speaks well or he’s young, or something like that.

CALLER: I can tell you why they like him. They like him because of MTV, VH1. Obama is… Evidently he’s in the scene.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: It’s hip to like Obama.

RUSH: Danger, thanks for the call. I appreciate it.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: I’ve never, ever had a caller named Danger that was so innocent and harmless.

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