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RUSH: We have Paul in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania. You’re first. It’s great to have you with us, hello.

CALLER: Well, thank you very much, Rush. Thank you and Snerdley for taking my call, and thank you for your service. I was fired up before I listened to General Kelly yesterday. I watched the whole news conference from the very beginning, and it was heartfelt. It was just awesome.

RUSH: I had a couple of people tell me yesterday that they had seen it live and then they were watching replays of it on cable TV last night, and they couldn’t. It broke their hearts to watch this again, and it does have that impact on you.

CALLER: Yes, it’s heartbreaking. That actually wasn’t why I called. I called because I was originally fired up with Dubya coming out and putting it into Trump when he kept silent for eight years. He kept his yap shut for eight years and wouldn’t say a word, and Trump hasn’t been in there one year — and I follow it. I know what’s going on with the stock market and everything, and what he’s trying to do and what he says he wants to do. For him to do that is just… It’s blowing my mind.

RUSH: Tell me what you think he did. You’re talking about George W. Bush, right?

CALLER: George W. Bush.

RUSH: What did he do?

CALLER: With his speech.

RUSH: I know. What did he do with it? What offended you about it or bothered you?

CALLER: Just his innuendos of not saying his name, and I know who he was talking about. It was like… And God help him, John McCain? I feel so bad for him with what he’s going through medically. Within a few days, when Barack Hussein Obama was sitting at the table and basically told him to get in the back of the bus and shut up; we won. And you never heard any more about him! And now look at him. It’s just… It’s got me tweaked.

RUSH: Look, two things: When it comes to McCain you kind of have to throw everything out. I mean, I do. Maybe some of you have a tougher time doing that. I throw it all out. McCain… (sigh) Let me just say it: He is never, ever going to forgive or get over Trump’s comment that Trump doesn’t admire military people who get captured. So in McCain’s mind, he’s got the rest of his life (however long it is) to pay Trump back for that, and every chance he gets he’s going to do it. I just write that off as human nature as applied to Senator McCain.

I mean, he relished walking into the Senate chamber and thumbing down Obamacare repeal. He relished the reaction to it. The illness that Senator McCain is suffering… You just have to throw it out. I’m not saying give him a total pass. I’m just saying I understand it. I understand where Senator McCain is coming from, and especially with the comment that we heard earlier this week from Senator McCain. We parsed this. I went through it. It was quite telling.

When McCain was speaking of this vaunted position in the world that the United States created for itself 75 years ago, post-World War II era. He said that we created the world order ,and then we assumed leadership of that world order, and now all this talk of nationalism and punks that are talking this way are abrogating our responsibility. Senator McCain doesn’t realize that that position of leadership was thrown away the past eight years. Obama threw that away! Obama resented every aspect of that arrangement, thought it was not our position to make it.

We had no business leading the world because we were the problem in the world. We went through all this. But Senator McCain is still living in the era where that’s what the Washington establishment is and what it did and what it does. So his desire to make Trump pay is twofold: That comment that Trump made during the campaign and a couple of other things. Now, as to George W. Bush and the speech yesterday. He didn’t mention Trump’s name, you’re right. Uh… (sigh) I’m a little… (sigh)

I guess I’m somewhat restrained on this because I owe the Bush family a lot. I mean, they’ve opened a lot of doors for me, and President Bush was as accommodating and nice to me and presented me opportunities that no other president has or probably ever will. And in terms of just his existence as a human being, he’s just a fine, fine, man. He’s a good guy. He’s a great guy, a fine man, and so this is the problem with getting to know these people. It’s why I’ve always tried really not to get too close to all these people.

It can’t help but then affect commenting on them.

That having been said, I can understand George W. Bush and his speechwriters. I think Mike Gerson wrote that speech, maybe Pete Wehner, and they’re both the leaders of the Never Trumper, Never Trump brigade, and they’re both besides themselves over what they think has happened to the country because of Trump. I’m not saying Bush doesn’t agree with it, because he said the words. But I would probably attach some meaning to it since Gerson was his primary speechwriter and Pete… Pete’s a friend of mine, too.

Pete worked for Bill Bennett at Empower America, and he was one of the top lieutenants of Karl Rove in the White House during the Bush administration, and he’s also a fine guy. We just have a very wide disagreement now about where the country is and where it’s going and conservatism’s role in it and all that. The thing about the Bush speech, though, that troubled me the most… I don’t care what he says about Trump, because it’s predictable. It’s predictable that establishment people are going to hate Trump. He’s the outsider.

He can’t be permitted to come in and shake things up and succeed; it won’t fly. They’re never going to be persuaded. The establishment types, we’re always going to be embattled with them. They’re never going to acquiesce to any of this that’s going on. They’re never going to be persuaded to support it and join it. This is anathema to them.

They also come from the position that McCain was talking about earlier in the week, that we have this vaunted new world order that the United States established in the post war period, that we have leadership of the world, and that’s a tremendous responsibility. And we’re abrogating it now with all this talk of American greatness and America, putting America first and making America great. They think that conflicts with the new world order of leading the world.

And I strongly disagree. The thing about the speech that Bush made was the characterization of the people of the country today — bigotry, white supremacy, racism. You couldn’t win an election if all you had voting for you was white supremacists. You don’t have enough of those people, probably, to elect anybody to a much bigger office than dogcatcher.

And yet to suggest that this may be what the country is becoming just misses what’s happening out there and what’s going on. And it’s not that difficult. People do not equate the idea of making America great and keeping it great with somehow threatening the world order. That, to me, American greatness, America leading from greatness, America self-confident in her super power status, America confident in the mission for goodness, decency and justice is all the leadership you need.

We don’t need to capitulate and kowtow to anybody. We don’t need to accept a political agenda of a bunch of people that don’t have our best interests at heart, which is most of the United Nations and most of the European Union. And all there is going on now is an effort to reassert the United States as founded for what it really is: The nation’s lone super power, the lone outpost for freedom and liberty, democracy, decency, morality, all of this.

And there’s an effort now to reestablish this as what America stands for and who America is, rather than an America that cooperates with allegations that America is the problem in the world; America is destroying the world because of climate change.

The establishment kind of lets that stuff roll off their back. “Ah, that’s just those little tin horns saying that. You can’t take them seriously.” Sorry, we do when we have American presidents who side with the tin horns. I’m going to tell you this story again. It’s an ongoing learning process. Folks, I am still learning about this club, the establishment. Every day is — maybe not every day, but multiple times a week I actually learn something about this club. Who’s in it, who’s not in it, how you get in it, how you stay in it and what happens to you to get tossed out of it.

Now, I want to take you back, particularly to the last four years, George Bush’s second term. This man was repeatedly lied about. Combined efforts of the Democrat Party and the American media literally set out to destroy the presidency of George W. Bush. It had its roots in the Florida 2000 recount aftermath where they told themselves the election was stolen from them.

So Bush was an illegitimate president from the get-go. Bush was never afforded, accorded the respect of genuinely elected. He was always a cheater or the beneficiary of cheating. Two weeks after 9/11, the assault on Bush and his administration began and they never fought back against it. And it crystallized in the second four years, the second term, where they literally tried to undermine the war on terror and the war in Iraq, and they literally sought defeat of the United States.

The Democrats were routinely accusing the American military of terrorists acts, terrorizing and raping Iraqi mothers. John Kerry and John Murtha accusing US military, US Marines of this behavior. David Petraeus, who is in the club, by the way, a high-ranking member of the Washington establishment, even after everything has happened, Petraeus is still one of the ranking members. They accuse him of lying before a congressional committee before he even says a word.

And Hillary’s out there calling him Betray Us. And it was all to discredit what he was going to announce as the latest military strategery to win in Iraq, the surge. During all this there was a State of the Union speech, and Bush was booed and treated shabbily during the speech and before the speech, and one of the ring leaders of the opposition was Russ Feingold, a Democrat senator from Wisconsin.

And it was vicious. It was vicious every day. Bush’s attitude about it was, “Hey, it’s just politics. It’s no big deal. This is just what happens.” They never took any of it personally, while all of the supporters were and all of the supporters, me included, were livid that this was happening; that there wasn’t any push back and that there wasn’t any anger about it, and there wasn’t any effort to stop it, because as Bush was attacked and assaulted so were all of us who voted for him. And there was no pushback to any of it.

And it was destructive. It was hurting the country. It was hurting the military. It was designed to. The Democrats were trying to divide everybody in order to win back the White House in 2008. They were ticked off that Lurch had lost it in 2004. But anyway, after that State of the Union speech, the cameras remained rolling as Bush exited the House chamber.

He’s in the area immediately outside and I see Feingold walk up to him. And they start chatting like the best of friends. And Feingold asks Bush to pose for a picture with him. Bush dutifully stops and poses, puts his arm around him, shakes his hand, gives him a fist pump. They’re the best of buddies. Feingold has been trying to destroy Bush for weeks, for months prior to this. But yet in a moment which was not ostensibly televised… and that told me everything.

These are two guys in the establishment, and both play in their roles. Neither of them took it seriously. Neither of them took it personally, and yet we all were. All of us were. And that’s something about the club. The people in the club, they know their rules. And the Republicans, apparently, are supposed to be satisfied with second-tier status. Occasionally winning. But when they do, they’re going to be destroyed. Apparently that’s fine.

And Trump’s upsetting all of this and it’s got everybody so out of whack they don’t know how to deal with it, because the club has its rules. Unwritten, unstated. And they’ve been totally up in it.

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