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RUSH: Last Monday CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, one week ago, we have Jeff Zeleny of the — well, be he used to be with the New York Times. Now he is the senior Washington correspondent for CNN. He had a report about whether the Republican Party will accept having Caitlyn Jenner as a member, and I’m not even working that day.

ZELENY: The Republican Party’s big tent is facing a new test of tolerance. Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk radio hosts have been scolding.

RUSH ARCHIVE: We shouldn’t be celebrating this. We should not be lionizing this. We should not be encouraging this.

ZELENY: Even Rick Santorum told reporters last week, if he says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman. “My responsibility as a human being is to love and accept everybody.” Republican strategists say if the party is going to expand its appeal, it must show a new face of acceptance. Their burden is doing so without alienating their base

RUSH: Right there. That little bite, 34 seconds, encapsulates everything. This e-mail I got from a friend with the headline, “Wall Street Getting Tired of Funding Socially Conservative Republicans Running for President.” The idea that it’s the Republicans poisoning politics by insisting on talking about social issues. And it’s not. It’s the Democrats that inject social issues. The Republicans used to stand up and defend the social targets that were under attack by the Democrat Party. Stand up and defend. That’s all Republicanism is anymore. All conservatism is is standing up and defending things the left is attacking.

We don’t have time to go on offense on an agenda. We’re too busy defending, ’cause every day there’s something new under assault. And that defense now gets repositioned, recategorized as the Republicans refusing to get rid of the social issues. So here we come, Jeff Zeleny says, even Rick Santorum told reporters, “Hey, if he says he’s a woman, he’s a woman.” That’s not the Rick Santorum of four years ago. No comment other than that, but that’s not the Rick Santorum of four years ago. It’s exactly what I’m talking about here about how people cave.

And the reason why? What did Zeleny say next? Republican strategists say if the party is going to expand its appeal, it must show a new face of acceptance. Acceptance of what? What must the party accept? This deterioration, this cultural rot? (interruption) Snerdley, I know I’m gonna be all over TV tonight. I know exactly what’s gonna happen. And then Republicans are gonna be asked, “Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh that transgenderism is…” I know exactly. Look, I’m just not cut out to conform with things like this that I find destructive.

But he nails it here in this Republican strategists say if the party is going to expand its appeal, it must show a new face of acceptance, which means you’ve got to stop opposing this, and you’ve got to accept it, and that’s how you’ll not be categorized as a new weirdo. You can escape being characterized as the new kook and the new weirdo, because what used to be weird and what used to be off-limits, what used to be kooky, that’s the new norm. And if you don’t join it and accept it as the new norm, you’re the new kook and weirdo. And a bunch of Republicans, “I don’t want to be the weirdo. I’m tired of being the weirdo.” So you fall in. And acceptance is seen as growth.

Acceptance is seen as enlightenment. And all it is is the Republicans accepting the Democrat Party agenda. Take the issue, don’t care, social issue, immigration, you name it, that is the name of the game. Zeleny — got time for one more — after his report when he’s talking here to Erin Burnett added this one little close.

ZELENY: The bigger picture here is what Republicans are trying to do to appeal to younger voters and women voters to be a more tolerant party, a more accepting party. And a bigger test is coming up in the future here, the Supreme Court is going to rule on gay marriage. That gives the party an even bigger thing to wrestle here with.

RUSH: Right. So see how this works? It’s painfully obvious how it works. The consensus has formed, the Republicans are the oddballs and kooks. If they don’t join the consensus, they’re the new weirdos.

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