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RUSH: We’re doing Open Line Friday today, folks, because it is Open Line Friday. It’s the last day that I’ll be here live during the busy broadcast year. So I want to start with Robert in Houston. I’m glad you called. You’re up first today. The first caller sets the stage. It’s a very important responsibility you carry, so make it count.

CALLER: (chuckles) Thanks, Rush. Merry Christmas.

RUSH: Same to you.

CALLER: I had a theory on the tax bill getting done. Basically, these bills don’t start right away. So they’ve been working on this bill for quite a while, and it really picked up steam in the last month, and I was thinking the Russia probe, they were talking about impeaching Rush… (sic) “Impeaching Rush.” Impeaching Trump over the summer.

RUSH: They would like to impeach me too. I mean, you’re right about that.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: You’re right to include me in that. If they could, they would.

CALLER: Probably. But now that the Russia problem and the Mueller investigation has turned. All of a sudden, the Republicans are working with Trump, and I think there’s a correlation there, because they didn’t seem to be very warm to him over the summer but they’ve warmed up recently.

RUSH: You know what? He accomplished it. He came through. This is an excellent point. It was a point that I was gonna make later in the program, which is why I decided to take his call first, because this is definitely relevant. What is it? He’s noticed. How many of you have noticed that in the last — maybe it’s a month — two or three weeks, the Republican Party, elected officials in Washington seem much more willing, eager, and cooperative to work with Trump? Have you noticed it?

How many of you saw the party up at the White House earlier this week after the bill had passed in the House and Senate? Trump sent some buses down there to Capitol Hill. Members of the House and Senate got on the buses and went up to the White House, and they had a love fest. How many of you saw senators and members of the House heaping praise on Donald Trump that you never thought you would see? In fact, when watching it, some of you might have wondered, “Did they really mean this or are they just sidling up for the photo-op?”

The things they were saying were genuine. Lisa Murkowski! They were all talking about this happening because of Trump’s leadership. They all gave him credit for it. They all thanked him. Look, the Republican Party… This has been a crazy thing. You and I have scratched our heads trying to understand it. The Republican Party has been acting like they’re in the wilderness. They won! The Republicans won the Senate. They won the House. They kept the House. They’ve got the White House, and all year they’ve been acting like they’re in the wilderness.

They’ve been acting like they didn’t win anything. They’ve been acting afraid of the media, embarrassed of Trump. It seemed that they were more aligned with the Democrats on some things than with the Republicans. We chalked it up to the fact that they were all insiders and they were banding together to get rid of Trump and deny Trump success (and I don’t doubt that there’s an element there). But here’s the thing that Robert is dead-on right about. Well, he’s 85% right. The reason why the Republicans in the House and Senate — and this may stun you.

The reason why the Republicans in the House and Senate have warmed up to Donald Trump, the reason they now appear to be happily and eagerly on his team is because they now think that the Trump-Russia collusion charge is bogus. Robert thinks it’s because the Democrats are becoming vulnerable to this. That’s a factor. But the truth is, folks — and I can’t tell you how frustrating this is to me — many Republicans and all kinds of conservative media types have believed this Russian allegation charge!

They’ve thought there’s something to it, and you know why? Because they can’t believe that the FBI could possibly be corrupted and turned into a political weapon for the Democrat Party. They just can’t believe that would happen. They can’t believe, ditto, the CIA. So all this talk of the Trump dossier and all this talk of collusion with Manafort and Michael Flynn and Donald Trump Jr.? Many Republicans were scared to death that there was something there all year long. Frankly, I’m naive about a lot of things.

To me, there’s never been anything there. To me, this is the whole thing is a hoax. From day one, in my mind — intelligence guided by experience, common sense, critical thinking, whatever you want to call it — this whole thing to me has been a political opposition research project. And I have never doubted that from the first day I ever heard about this. And then the Trump dossier hits, and it’s so obviously made up. It’s so obviously bogus, and I thought most everybody with half a brain could see that.

They didn’t trust that. The Republicans in Washington, the Republicans on Capitol Hill, were tiptoeing around this because they thought there could be something to it, because they just couldn’t believe that all of these people could be so complicit in a totally made-up lie. CIA directors, FBI directors, deputy attorney generals, deputy FBI directors, they just… I gotta tell you: When I found out I was livid and I’m still livid about it and more than a little bit amazed. Most of this year they have thought there was something to it.

Most of this year they have thought that Trump’s gonna be impeached because of it. Most of this year. And then you turn to anywhere in conservative media that’s inside-the-Beltway, blogosphere websites, and you’ll find 75/80% of them believe it still! And there’s nothing to it and there never has been anything to it. I think the tipping point here is the Republicans in the House and Senate now finally have arrived at the belief that this whole thing is much ado about nothing and may, in fact, be a greater threat to the Democrats if the truth of this is ever known.

I think that’s why they’ve warmed up to Trump. I think they’ve warmed up to Trump because they’re more confident they’re not gonna be able to get him. They’ve warmed up to Trump because… It’s taken a year, but I think a number of them are finally getting it that all of this is bogus. Remember, they’re all part of the establishment. They’re all in the club, and they think the loftiest things of the club. I mean, the club wouldn’t corrupt this, wouldn’t corrupt that. Don’t laugh at me, folks. If you think I’m whistling Dixie here, I’m not.

I think many of them have had come-to-Jesus moments, if you will, staggered over the course of the last month. The tax cuts have always been worth supporting. Why didn’t they out of the box? The Obamacare repeal has always been worth doing. Why didn’t they do it? Why didn’t they seem eager to do it? Why didn’t they try to advance any of the Trump agenda for the first nine months? It all made sense, and it was all things that if it were any other president, they would have done. They didn’t do it because they thought Trump was going down, because they thought there might have been something to all these allegations.

Remember, these people believe the media. They don’t look at the media the way you and I do. Look at Bob Corker! Were you not shocked when Bob Corker admitted yesterday what he admitted? Bob Corker admitted that after all these years in the Senate, he finally has seen media mendacity for what it is. And what did it take? It took the media lying about him and then impaneling analysts after his appearances on TV to trash him for things that didn’t happen, that he knows didn’t happen, that he knows they know didn’t happen.

After all of these years, but specifically this year — after this year of hammering Trump — he finally got a dose over one-and-a-half days of what Trump gets all day, every day for a year. And he had an epiphany. These people believe, more often than not, what’s in the media. They believe Trump colluded with Russia, or they think there’s no reason for all this talking if there wasn’t something to it, in their minds.

Very frustrating to me. Because to me this is so obvious a conspiracy between the Democrats and the deep state and the media — which is all basically the same thing. But they have just now come to the reality, the realization that maybe — maybe — Trump didn’t do this, and so it’s now making it easier for them to warm up to him. And that is what has happened.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let me put it a simpler way. Republicans in Washington didn’t know if Trump was gonna end up being Nixon or Reagan. And they feared he was gonna end up being Nixon ’cause they feared that he was guilty of all this stuff, because they can’t believe the deep state and the media and the FBI and the CIA would make anything up, which should tell you what they didn’t suspect and didn’t realize about the Obama administration. It’s one of the reasons why we’re so frustrated.

Anyway, they have finally arrived at the conclusion that most of this is bogus and that it is okay, that it is safe to join Donald Trump. That, basically, is what happened.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So the Trumpster lands at Palm Beach International Airport, which is actually in West Palm Beach, and he got mobbed out there. There was a mob of supporters. This is a first. There’s always been supporters when Trump’s arrived at PBI, but this appears to be a first. This is a massive, massive crowd of supporters. I mentioned that Mitch McConnell just… NBC News is reporting that Mitch McConnell just said he’s beginning to like Trump’s tweets, that he’s been nervous about ’em most of the year.

He hasn’t really liked ’em, but this past week he’s starting to catch on. He’s starting to like these tweets. Now, some of this is winning. You know, winning is an elixir. It’s a magic elixir. It cures so many things. Whether you’re talking about a sports team in any league at any level, from a bunch of kids in the league up to Major League Baseball or the NFL. Politics is the same thing. Anything in your personal life where you win, it just has this aspect to it that wipes out so many nagging, negative memories, feelings. It actually has a magic elixir to it.

The reason Trump is getting all the credit for this tax cut victory is because it’s justified. I don’t want to be misunderstood here. This is not a gratuitous hit on Republicans in Washington, House and Senate, elected Republicans. But if you look at things from their perspective, if you go back to the campaign, they never thought Trump was gonna win, and honestly most of them probably really didn’t wish he would anyway. He wasn’t any of their first choice.

There were 16 and Jeb was probably the choice of the establishment Republicans, and so when Trump wins, I mean, it just turns everybody’s world in Washington upside down. And the Republicans especially were expecting to lose. They really thought Hillary was gonna win and that they were going to be nothing more than an opposition party, that they would have a majority in the House, and that’s where they would have to try and stop her. But they were set up for a purely defensive posture.

That’s how they campaigned, that’s what they forecast for themselves. In nobody’s wildest dreams was Trump gonna win. So that mind-set sets in. Trump wasn’t gonna win. Then Trump wins. Let’s compress this story a bit. Trump wins, and immediately the Hillary camp (which means the Democrats and the media) immediately begin this focused effort to destroy Trump. I think they were trying to actually prevent him from being inaugurated. I think their efforts during the transition were designed to do something that would prevent him being inaugurated.

And it’s been relentless. This entire year has been a relentless, unstoppable effort to destroy Donald Trump, to destroy his political career, to destroy his professional career, to destroy any possible success as a president. It has been focused. It’s been intense. There hasn’t been a moment of letup. And the Republicans in the middle of this for much of this year are also afraid that this collusion story is true. They didn’t think he was gonna win. “How the hell did this happen?” Everybody’s asking themselves, “How did this happen?”

So the Democrats launch their collusion theory, and I think we have learned enough to know that many Republicans thought there was something to it, or could be. One of the reasons for that is that they trust these institutions. They can’t believe that the FBI would be so corrupt as to literally live outside the law to destroy somebody. And even if it was, it was in the service and the interests of the country. “This guy, this… this… this reprobate. This pig! This yuck! This guy is just not one of us. This is just unacceptable.” That’s been the Republicans’ attitude, too, for much of the year.

We’re now learning all these Never Trumpers are writing how they’re so mad after this tax cut passed, they want the Republicans to lose next year. Let me read this to you from Max Boot. “I mean, I spent my entire adult life as a Republican. I worked as an adviser on three Republican presidential campaigns, but now I’m actively rooting for Republicans to lose the congressional elections next year, because the Republicans have shown they are unwilling to uphold their oaths of office. They are unwilling to defend the Constitution against the nonstop threats emanating from Donald J. Trump.

“And that, to me, trumps, so to speak, anything else, including concerns about tax cuts, or any of these other issues that a lot of Republicans tell themselves are the most important thing in the world.” So here is somebody that three presidents have trusted to hire, to advise, who’s openly seeking the Republicans’ defeat — his own party — after the success of the tax cut bill. He’s not alone in the Never Trumper world, and they have been like this the entire year.

And their upset with Trump has been that if you really boil it down what they’ve really not liked about Trump is he’s been advancing their ideas, and they just can’t stand that some guy that’s as big a pig as that… “This reprobate — this womanizing, narcissist, reprehensible barbarian — thinks like I do? Well, that’s just unacceptable! So what I believe in can’t win if this guy is the standard-bearer.” That’s been their thought process! Now, these people, by virtue of this, are telling us that the enemy to them is not the left — and, as such, they are worthless to us.

If they don’t see the enemy to this country and the American way of life as the Democrat Party and the American left and this worldwide global movement, then they are worthless to us. But I want to get back to this past year and the Republicans — expecting to lose, shocked to win, not believing it, thinking it may have happened with collusion. So the repeal of Obamacare was half-assed at best. They were afraid to do it. “What if Trump does get impeached? Oh, my God, the worst thing could happen!

“Trump gets impeached and we take something away from the American people that they really love?” So they didn’t try to do anything. They slowed it all down. They road-blocked it as much as they could. But Trump kept at it. He got up every day, went to work. He kept strategically slicing and dicing the Democrats and the liberals, and to this day they are unaware — and I better not say this too loud, and I don’t want anybody to repeat me, okay? I don’t want you telling a soul what I’m gonna tell you next. Donald Trump every day is dismantling — brick by brick, doorjamb by doorjamb — the mansion that is American liberalism.

Every day a little bit of that mansion gets chipped away, and it is strategic. It is being done on purpose from deep in the bowels of the White House, behind the scenes where nobody can see it. Everybody’s distracted by Trump and his tweets. But much of Obama’s administration agenda is being erased and reversed. Donald Trump is fighting a strategic, daily, ongoing war and battle against the American left. I don’t care whether he thinks that he’s taking out liberalism or whatever. In his mind, he’s restoring greatness to America, and whoever’s in the way is who’s in the way, and they’re gonna get taken care of.

If they’re liberal Democrats in his mind, I don’t know. Doesn’t matter to me. He’s out to make America great. I think his ideological education is expanding. All during this year the Republicans (sobbing), “Oh, these tweets! Oh, my God! He’s embarrassing us! Why all…? My God, he’s so embarrassing — and he grabbed her what? Oh, no! I can’t believe it! We’re gonna vote for him? Awwww no!” They’re going through all this. But through it all, Trump triumphs. Through it all, at the end of every day, Donald Trump is still the focus of virtual everybody in the world of politics and most of the people in the country. Every day.

And through it all, Donald Trump doesn’t crumble. And through it all Donald Trump doesn’t cower in fear, and through it all, Donald Trump is never afraid of the media. Through it all, Donald Trump is calling them “fake news.” Through it all, Donald Trump has taken them off their game. The Republicans are watching all this, and at first, it’s making ’em nervous as they can be. (impression) “Oh, my God, I can’t believe it! They’re gonna really hate us now. There goes my Washington Post profile. Oh, my God! Oh no!”

But now and even before the tax cut bill passed, there has been a change, and the Republican Party is happily on Donald Trump’s team. And it’s genuine (ringing) and it is real. And it’s based on substantive things. (ringing) And one of those substantive things is… (ringing) Hang on. A wrong number keeps calling me here. Everybody who calls me is a wrong number ’cause anybody I know would never call me. Through it all, what they’re realizing is that Donald Trump will win, and they want to be part of a winner.

And there hasn’t been anybody in the Republican Party elected — Republican Party, RNC, you name it. There hasn’t been anybody who has inspired winning. There hasn’t been anybody charismatic, “Hey, I want to be on that guy’s team! I want to be with him.” That is beginning to happen now. Everybody needs leadership. The number of natural, genuine leaders in any group of people is very, very small. Leadership’s not something can be taught. Leadership, in many cases, is a personality character that you either have or you don’t.

People either want to follow you or they don’t. But there are some things leaders have in common. Trump has many of them. Fearlessness, conviction, confidence, and full knowledge of who his enemies and opponents are and how to deal with ’em. The Republican Party probably has now been talked out of the silly notion of joining the Democrats on amnesty, hasn’t it? It wasn’t so long ago that that was something the Republicans wanted everybody to know, that they were for amnesty, because they didn’t hate Hispanics, and they were for civil rights.

I don’t think they’re still occupying that position. But even before the tax cut bill passed… Certainly after it, but even beforehand, it was clear that Donald Trump is gonna be who he is. He’s happily who he is, and it dawned on these people that Donald Trump is actually focused on their political enemies. Look at so many awakenings that we’ve been made aware of this week. Bob Corker apologizing, essentially, to Trump,. Henow understands what Trump deals with every day with the media since it happened to him. Mitch McConnell says he’s starting to like these tweets.

The tweets are effective. “Yeah, Rush, but I don’t think he needs to do these personal assault piece. I don’t like it.” Maybe not, but the tweets where he gets his side of the story out, the tweets where he tells the truth about the Democrats that the media doesn’t? Invaluable, folks. Nobody… Not nobody, but very few would know if Trump didn’t do this. This is a long way of saying — and, of course, there are gonna be interruptions in this. But it’s a long way of saying that something is happening.

Something is happening that’s good, that is causing unity in the opposition to the American left. Unity in opposing the Democrats. Unity in the striving to restore the great institutions and traditions that have defined our country’s greatness. There is a unity in Making America Great Again. There is a unity in putting America first in the sense that it makes the world a better place at the same time. Right in there are the Republicans, who we yesterday saw and Wednesday saw in genuine support and admiration for Donald Trump, ’cause he’s the guy who did this, and they all said so.

They had to do their jobs. McConnell and Ryan had to do their jobs. But Trump had their backs, and Trump knew when to stand out of the way and let them use their expertise, as opposed to the during Obamacare, when he was still getting his feet wet on how the legislative process works. In this instance, when he was needed, he was right there. Guidance, advice, energy. When he wasn’t needed, he backed out; let McConnell and Ryan do their thing. Everybody had a hand in the victory. Lisa Murkowski gets ANWR drilling. We all get ANWR drilling!

We all get this silly climate change, Paris accord blown to smithereens. We all benefit from net neutrality being ripped to shreds. And the American people are starting… The non-Trump voters… Despite what you’re gonna hear in the media, despite any polling data, I’m telling you that the American voter who’s maybe voted for Trump but ambivalent and people that didn’t vote for Trump like our last caller who apologized, that’s bubbling up out there too. There’s something happening, and it’s good.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: By the way, folks, there’s one other factor in the Republican unification behind Trump, not just on the taxes. And this is a key. I mentioned it earlier in the program. It was such a great monologue, and I neglected to include this point in it. So we’ll edit this part into it at RushLimbaugh.com. Fundamental to this unity is the belief by a growing number of congressional Republicans that the Mueller investigation is bogus. Let me better say it: That the idea that Trump colluded with the Russians is caca.

More and more Republicans are beginning to accept that this is BS. Now, the stunning other side of that is, for much of this year, a lot of Republicans in the House and Senate thought there might be something to it, and that was another reason why they kept Trump at arm’s-length and didn’t work hard to advance his agenda. I mean, some did. But the whole party didn’t, as compared to now where there appears to be all this unity in making America great.

Part of it was they were scared to death Trump is gonna get thrown out. They were scared to death the Democrats had the goods. They were scared to death that Mueller was gonna come up with something to impeach Trump, but something has changed now, and I think many Republicans are beginning to realize not only is there nothing there, but that the real action might be the collusion between the FBI and the DOJ and the Democrats, particularly Hillary.

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