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RUSH: Folks, you’ve heard the old saying, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” That is true. Rome was literally burning, and he could not have cared less. What people have forgotten about it is that Nero, he didn’t just fiddle while Rome burned; he started the fire. Nero wanted to burn down Rome in order to rebuild it in his own image. But to cover it up he blamed the Christians, who were then subsequently thrown to the lions.

Now, on my first trip to Rome, the tour guide told me that didn’t happen. He was interested in Rome not having a bad impression. He said, “You’ve heard that the Christians were given to the lions. It really didn’t happen,” he said. But, for all intents and purposes, it did. Now, if you ask me, the story of Nero fiddled while Rome burned and then adding to it he started the fire sounds familiar to me.

Barack Obama has, for five years, had control over the US economy. His policies, his specific economic policies are the reason this country is in dire economic straits. Obama’s policies are the reason why there is no recovery — and if you want to call it a recovery, go ahead. If you do, it’s the worst recovery in the history of this country. So there is an analogy, I think, to Nero here. Obama, by his own admission before he took office, during his campaign and after he was immaculated, bragged about transforming this country.

He was not happy and never has been happy with the way this country was founded. Barack Obama and many in his party believe that the founding of United States of America was unjust and unfair and immoral and exploited minorities — and, you know, all the usual folderol. His purpose has been to make amends. He’s gonna give this country back to the people to whom it really belongs to get the shafted from the days of the Founding Fathers. So in the process, Obama’s economic policies are destroying the US economy in order for him to rebuild it in his own socialist image.

Meanwhile, he blames all of this on the Republicans and is throwing them to the lions, and Gloria Borger just demonstrated in those sound bites how this happens. Obama destroys the economy, necessitates paying people while they’re not working because there aren’t any jobs because of his policies. So Obama’s victims surround him in the White House today, and they are portrayed as fortunate beneficiaries.

They are not working because of his policies. They are portrayed as beneficiaries. So Obama gets to position himself as the guy who cares and has compassion, who will do whatever it takes to help people — and the only thing the Republicans do, can do, is to get in on it, if they want to have a viable political future. In this way, he’s converting the Republicans to agreeing with socialist policies.

He’s remaking America in his own image and bringing the Republicans along with him, with the assistance of the Republican establishment inside the Beltway, and that is precisely what is happening here. This country’s being remade in Obama’s image, and because of intimidation, pressure (electoral and otherwise), the Republicans are signing on to it wherever you look. They’re agreeing with unemployment extension benefits. They’re agreeing with stimulus.

They’re agreeing with whatever we’re gonna do with immigration and amnesty. They’re agreeing with all of this agenda. They’re not opposing Obama. The Republican strategy is to be seen as much like the Democrats as they can so that nobody will say mean things about them. So the transformation of the country is unfolding before our very eyes, and the pressures of the Washington establishment are converting Republicans go right along with it.

Now, some Republicans don’t need to be persuaded. The establishment is the establishment, and they’re all for a growing, omnipresent Big Government. Because they think that sometimes they’re gonna get their turn to run it. Democrats are gonna lose sometimes, and the Republicans will win sometimes, and they’ll get to run this big show now and then — and that’s where we are.

Obama’s policies are destroying the US economy in order for it to be rebuilt as a socialist welfare state in his image. His party benefits from being seen as compassionate. Republicans, if they don’t go along with it, are seen as mean. Therefore the pressure is on the Republicans to join in, and they do — and the whole concept of limited government, power to the people, blah, blah, blah, is out the window.

Ergo, hello Tea Party — and that’s why the Tea Party is now under vicious assault even from inside-the-Beltway conservatives such as Michael Gerson in the Washington Post. He wrote a really, really big hit piece on the Tea Party. Gerson was Bush’s speechwriter. It’s in the Washington Post today. If I have time, I’ll get to it. It’s nothing new. You’ve heard it all before.

In the midst-of-all this, the country’s broke. We don’t have the money for any of this compassion. We have the money for any of it. None of it. We are $17 trillion in debt. We have to borrow $3.4 billion from the ChiComs in order to spend $6.4 billion to extend federal unemployment benefits. The ChiComs are paying for this. We’re not. We don’t have the money. Our tax base is shrinking.

Fewer people are working, fewer people are paying taxes, the private sector is shrinking, the government’s getting bigger, and the best Obama can offer today — the thing that we’re supposed to applaud, in fact — is some faceless woman getting three more months of unemployment, which would allow her to maybe turn the thermostat up, which might enable the utility company to hire somebody. And if they don’t, maybe the grocery store will.

Because with what’s left after she’s turns up the thermostat, she’s gonna go to the grocery store and maybe buy another loaf of bread, and that might cause the grocery store to hire somebody, maybe even her. That’s it. That’s what we got today. That is the solution. That’s what we’re supposed to applaud. That’s what the Republicans are afraid of disagreeing with.

It’s astounding to me.

If you have any questions about whether Obama’s policies are destroying the economy, I would call your attention to Obamacare. Obamacare is destroying greatest health care system the world has ever known. If you doubt me that Obama’s policies are destructive, just look at Obamacare. His “signature achievement” is going so well that he has to distract people’s attention away from it with this razzmatazz, rigmarole, gobbledygook today at the White House on extending unemployment benefits.

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