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RUSH: Morton Kondracke. ‘Apoplectic,’ he says I was, after McCain’s speech. Beltway Boys, Fox News Channel. He was with Bill Sammon filling in for Fred Barnes. This was Saturday, and Bill Sammon says, ‘No matter who gets to be president in November, I think there’s going to be at least a slight cooling of US-Russia relations, but if it’s McCain I think we’re in for a deep chill.’

KONDRACKE: Yeah. Well, your friend Rush Limbaugh, who I — I heard talking about the speech, was apoplectic. He said that, uh, McCain is now sliding with our enemies. Guess who our enemies are? The Europeans, you know, that we fought all these wars alongside. Uh, look it, I liked the speech, and it — it indicated that McCain plans to be different in tone, at least, from the Bush first term where Cheney and Rumsfeld were basically, ummm, sticking their elbow in — in — in every country’s eye and — and pretending that we could rule the world by ourselves, which — which we can’t.

RUSH: This is scary, because Mort Kondracke is a moderate lib, and he’s articulating here what he wants the Republican Party to be. Can we go back to the first term? What happened to Bush’s first term? Somebody, just off the top of your head. What’s the first thing…? (interruption) No, that’s not what happened. What happened in Bush’s first term? Come on! 9/11. Right. I wonder how many of you out there, that was the first thing that came to your mind was 9/11 when I said name something that happened in Bush’s first term. Now, the reason that’s relevant is because we had been attacked, Mort! We were not trying to bully the rest of the world into doing our work for us, and we were not going to go ask their permission. We had to defend ourselves. And, by the way, Mort, we spent 17 months at the United Nations trying every which way to bully the world into going along with us while they were violating their own resolutions and not enforcing them.

My goodness how history is forgotten, even by the smartest journalists in the world. We tried everything we could to get them to go along — and we learned later that many of the politicians in the UK and in Germany and in France, had side deals with Saddam with the oil-for-food program. What are we supposed to do, go get permission to defend ourselves? Is that the new paradigm? John Kerry has finally triumphed, the global test? And this is what he heard McCain say? This is how we’re going to now go do things? When I said enemies, I’m talking about the people, Mort, in France — like de Villepin and Jacques Chirac — who clearly were not our allies and friends during this whole thing — and we’ve now learned why. They had financial deals under the table with Saddam. Schroeder was not our friend! Don’t tell me about World War II. What are we supposed to do, sit here and lose 3,000 of our citizens in less than an hour and a half and sit around and worry about whether the world thinks we’re being bullies, when we strike out against those who killed our citizens?

But yet this is what moderates see as the greatness of America down the road. Yes. ‘McCain plans to be different in tone, at least, from the Bush first term where Cheney and Rumsfeld were basically sticking their elbow in every country’s eye, pretending we can rule the world by ourselves’? Uh, what have I missed? What were we trying to rule? I thought all of this was a preemptive operation to keep additional attacks from coming, or happening, and to find out — to do our best — to track down those who’d perpetrated the first series of attacks on 9/11 and orchestrated them, masterminded them, and I think we succeeded, did we not? We got Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. We got Ramzi Binalshibh. We got all kinds of terrorists. We didn’t get bin Laden, but so what? We got a lot of the people that were heads up in this. (sigh) Boy, what a disconnect. Mort continued here, saying this about Senator McCain.

KONDRACKE: Two new McCain veep ideas. First, he should offer the vice presidency to Colin Powell, who may well not take it. If not Powell, then Christie Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey. Rush Limbaugh will go Krakatoa, but independents will like it, women will like it, and so will African-Americans, the whole — the whole package.

RUSH: Right, so let’s not pick somebody for their quality and their qualifications and how decent they are and what kind of president they might make, Mort. No, no, no, no! Let’s pick somebody that reshapes the Republican Party as just a bunch of milquetoasts. Let’s do that. This is where the Republican Party is headed. Mort’s not a conservative, but he’s no different than a lot of the conservative media inside the Beltway; this is exactly the way they’re thinking, too. This is what I meant, long ago, when you guys got mad at me way, way back during the Republican primaries when it was still ongoing, I said, ‘We’re looking at the death of the Republican Party as we know it today, if certain things unfold, and this is the kind of thing I’m talking about.’ The Republican Party will go back to being a Rockefeller, blue-blood, country club Republican Party again, only this time — and this was my point in the first hour — I think McCain can easily beat Obama, snapshot as of today.
It can happen, but if the election were today, McCain would easily beat Obama. And how’s he going to do it? He’s going to do it with a bunch of upset Democrats mad that Hillary didn’t get it. He’s going to get it with some independents, liberals, and moderates who like McCain on the basis that he, too, is a liberal independent moderate on a lot of things — and so the Republican Party, let’s say they beat Obama. By the way, beating Obama, that’s going to be heralded as a huge deal because Obama people faint, largest crowds ever in the history of politics! Why, people are talking. They’re just enamored with Obama, and yet McCain beat him. How did he do it? Not with conservatives. He did it with liberals and moderates and independents. So the Mort Kondrackes of the world, they’re going to throw the biggest party because they say, ‘See? Reagan was an aberration. Reagan wasn’t even all that conservative. There aren’t any real conservatives. This is the new Republican Party. This is how the Republican Party makes itself a majority party: by appealing to liberals and moderates and independents, not converting them to Republicans, just bringing them in to the party.’

So the lesson will be, this is what we will be told, and the elite analysts (the smartest guys in the room) will tell us that from here on out, if the Republicans want to remain the majority party — not just in the White House, but in the House of Representatives and the Senate — we must get candidates who can reach across the aisle and get Democrat votes. That will be the lesson. So the Republican Party has gotta become Democrat Party Lite. Whereas these kind of guys look at the Democrats as moderate leftists — or centrists, moderate, whatever, centrists with a little tilt to the left — they look at the Republican Party as centrists with a little tilt to the right. So, I warned you people — many, many weeks, months, maybe it’s been a year ago now — that they’re not just liberals who are trying to eliminate conservatism from majority status, but so were many Republicans. You’re seeing that play out right before your very eyes.

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