Friday’s show begins with a quick recap of Thursday’s debates –Carly Fiorina won the day, and Senator Rubio and Governors Chirstie, Kasich and Walker won the second debate, with Ted Cruz helping himself almost as much and the rest left looking forward to the next round in Simi Valley at the Reagan Library on September 16. No one self-combusted with the possible exception of Donald Trump but he hasn’t proven very flammable, at least not for very long.
Meet the Press host Chuck Todd joins me as well before I fly off to D.C. to join him on the MTP panel Sunday.
Then comes a lot of my friend mark Levin, talking about his new book Plunder and Deceit. The interview with Mark will span two hours and you won’t want to miss a minute.
Finally hour three is the last of the Hillsdale Dialogues devoted to the Lincoln-Douglas debate, this time the the events debate. Here’sa mother reminder to go and get the magnificent 21 hour recreation of the debates by David Straitharn playing Lincoln andRichard Douglas playing Judge Douglas:
HH: Joined now by the Great One, my old friend, Mark Levin, whose brand new book, Plunder and Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young People and the Future, number one at Amazon. I’m going to talk to him a lot this hour and next hour as this Friday edition of the Hugh Hewitt Show rolls along. Mark Levin, always a pleasure to have you back, my friend. Congratulations, once again, a rocket launch for Plunder and Deceit.
ML: You know, you’re always very generous with your time, and you are a good buddy. I appreciate it.
HH: I want to begin with Page 2 where you write the very simple but controversial statement in Plunder and Deceit. “There are accepted norms of behavior born of experience and knowledge, instinct and faith.” I immediately went back to the late, great James Q. Wilson who wrote a book in 1997 called The Moral Sense. And you’re just stating the obvious. But you know, the left will quarrel with you on this, Mark Levin, that there are accepted norms. You and I know there are, but they’ll argue that point.
ML: This book isn’t for the left. Of course they’re arguing the point. I’m making the point in this book that the left is the problem, that big government’s the problem. I really don’t seek to understand them. I really don’t seek to psychoanalyze them. What I seek to do here is to put on full display in the most aggressive, persuasive way I know how, in 200 pages, what the left, what big government is doing to this country. I have dug deeply, as you can see, into information that really hasn’t been provided before. I’ve drawn on history and economics and philosophy. I’ve drawn on common sense to explain to people that whether it’s the debt or immigration or the environment or entitlements or what have you, that big government is destroying this country. And even more, I’m saying that our generation, Hugh, has a responsibility to do something about it since we’re the ones that control the instrumentalities of government. And I’m also saying that younger people in this country, you know, under 40 or 45, I call it the rising generation, they have a responsibility to stir themselves and save themselves from it or they’re not going to be free, and they’re not going to be prosperous.
HH: You know, Mark, it is what I call a cri de Coeur. That’s what Nixon called his 1980 book, The Real War. And I had no idea that this was predominantly directed to young people. And when I was done reading it on Wednesday night, I tweeted out everyone go get five copies of Plunder and Deceit for the young people in your life. And college professors, and this applies to me as well, go get this book and assign it to the young people in your class, because I had no idea you’ve actually targeted young people to get their attention away from the emotional and the passing and the transient and the faddish to focus on the fact they’ve been handed a time bomb.
ML: They’ve been handed a time bomb, and I think we parents and grandparents have a responsibility to assist them in addressing this. You know, we sent them into these public school systems with these tenured teachers that are run by the NEA and the AFT. Let’s face it. It’s not really about students or quality. It’s about the teachers and the administrators. And then they get this ideological claptrap that’s forced down their throats, and then they move on to college, many of them, not all of them. They get the same thing in spades with these tenured professors. They get bombarded by Hollywood and the culture and in entertainment. They get bombarded by the media, bombarded by politicians. And then we wonder. You know, 18, 20, 25, 30 year olds, gee, why are they so liberal? Why are so many of them so liberal? Why do they vote the way they vote? Well, why do you think they do? Because there’s no countervailing force fighting them. so that’s why I’ve collected what I, Hugh, over the years, what I’ve been thinking about, the best case I can make so that parents and grandparents take more responsibility over what’s going on, and that’s right. When your kids go off to college, or if you’ve gone through college, you need to understand, you know, the real world, not the propaganda that’s being fed to you.
HH: I want to walk through it in a fairly systematic fashion. And I want to begin with the fact that a lot of people on the left don’t understand how you write, Mark Levin. They talk about your books. They’ve never read your books. I had that happen with a New York Times reporter just this very week who had hard things to say about conservative media, but actually hasn’t read how you write. This book is written very accessibly, but at the same time, you’re throwing Montesquieu out there. You’re urging them to read Burke, the Reflections On the Revolution in France. You’re quoting Walter Williams. I love you bring back Dr. Herbert Stein, Ben’s dad, one of my favorite economists of all time. This is a serious book, but it’s not beyond the capability of young people to absorb and read this.
ML: That’s right. You know, I write some books that are tough.
ML: You know, political philosophy. Ameritopia was one of those, and I’m very proud of it. But this book is really aimed at trying to persuade people in a very, I won’t say rudimentary way, but almost an elementary way that you know, survey after survey, poll after poll, shows that young people distrust authority, they question the status quo, they don’t trust politicians and government, and yet in the aggregate, they vote for all those things.
ML: In the aggregate, they support all those things. So I’m trying to unravel that. I’m looking at the psychosis behind that. And I’ve just concluded there’s a number of things. First of all, their life’s experience is so limited, and you know, so these quixotic, liberal appeals to utopianism, you know, you can have this for free and we can do that, they are alluring. And then on the other hand, they never really have an opportunity, unless it’s your family and mine and some of the others. But so many, they’ve never really had an opportunity, they really never heard a contrary position.
HH: No, and you talk about the record levels of anxiety in the country. I immediately made a margin note. That’s because people really know the game is up, Mark. They may not know how to express it. They may not know why. But they know, was it Herb Stein who said when something’s got to come to an end, it ends?
HH: And so that’s where this anxiety comes from. I think everyone’s in on it. But no one knows what to do about it.
ML: Nobody knows what to do about it, and so you know, my prior book, the Liberty Amendments, is my best shot at what to do about it, because you know, some people think, maybe even you think, Hugh, I don’t know, that somehow Washington’s going to fix itself. I’d love to see that.
HH: I’m more of an optimist than you, but last, I watched you on Wednesday night.
ML: Oh, come on now, it’s not a matter of being an optimist. It’s a matter of being a realist.
HH: A realist. Okay, I’m less of a realist than you are. I was watching you with George Will and Bret Baier, by the way, on Wednesday night, terrific interview, where George made the argument that the base is angry. And you said no, no, no, it’s disappointed and it’s frustrated. And I think that’s an important thing to drive home. It’s disappointed that what they vote for doesn’t happen. And it’s frustrated at okay, we’ve done it, we gave money, we wrote checks, we turned out, and nothing happens.
ML: Do you know why I made that distinction? Because the establishment, including Will, keep putting down the conservative base. The conservative base is the heart of the Republican Party. I remember when Will in 1976 was accusing the supporters of Reagan in that primary against Ford of being kamikaze conservatives. That’s what he called us, kamikaze conservatives.
HH: Did he really?
ML: Oh, yeah.
HH: But he was a big Reagan guy.
ML: And I have the article. What’s that?
HH: He’s a big Reagan lover now.
ML: Well, he is now, but he wasn’t initially.
HH: I didn’t know that. I was with Ford in ’76, by the way. I have to confess. I was a Ford man.
ML: All right.
HH: But I can repent.
ML: That’s all right, you and McConnell. Don’t worry about it.
ML: But here’s, I was a Reagan guy in ’68 before I even knew what the hell he stood for, but that’s a whole other story. So here’s the thing. So I’m making the point, they want to dismiss passionate, thoughtful, serious people as just an angry mob. That’s why I made the distinction oh, it’s angry, it’s volatile, it’s volcanic, I think he said. Well, listen, no, we are disgusted and disappointed and frustrated with what’s going on. So that’s why I wouldn’t let him get away with that.
HH: It was very well said. When we come after break, I’m going to talk with Mark Levin about the Jackie Calmes piece over at the Shorenstein Center. She’s the New York Times reporter.
— – – —
HH: Mark, when we went to break, I was telling you last week I had on the New York Times’ Jackie Calmes. And she wrote a piece for the Shorenstein Center, got a lot of attention, entitled, They Don’t Give A Damn About Governing: Conservative Media’s Influence on the Republican Party. And I told Jackie, who’s a very smart and very able person, I said you actually should read Levin’s book, because he does give a damn about governing. He gives a damn about governing the Constitutional way. And this book, Plunder and Deceit, is about how to get the country back on the rails. And I think that’s actually all you ever write about, is how to govern the right way.
ML: Yeah, I don’t understand this argument that if you don’t embrace this massive federal leviathan, and the liberal group think, that you’re opposed to government and governing. Is the Constitution a document of anarchy? Is the Constitution a document of chaos? It’s a carefully-crafted document for a Constitutional republic. And it seems very strange to me, although not surprising, that people who attack me, and there’s plenty of them, of people who attack me, particularly people who work for Bush, and they write at the New York Times and the Washington Post, say that I reject government. No, I don’t reject government. I support a Constitutional republic.
ML: That’s what’s set forth. Now we don’t have a Constitutional republic right now, not when Anthony Kennedy can do whatever he wants to do, not when Barack Obama is violating separation of powers on a daily basis, not when Congress throws up its arms and surrenders key provisions of the Constitution to the president. In many respects, we’re a post-Constitutional government. I don’t see us as much of a representative republic anymore when the EPA can spit out 3,000 regulations a year. I don’t see us as a federal republic much anymore when the states have little or no say in anything. So I really am defending responsible, Constitutional government. What is it that she’s defending?
HH: In fact, on Page 171 of Plunder and Deceit, even though I know this, intellectually, when I see the numbers of rules put out from 2005-2014, every year, 3,500 plus rules reaching its height of 3,900 rules in 2005. And these rules are massive. You and I both know what they are like. It is the erosion of self-government. That’s what, that’s where there are some, you write in the book, in Plunder and Deceit, language becomes a problem, because when they say governing, they don’t really mean governing. They mean dictating from D.C.
ML: That’s correct. I mean, they’re governing in North Korea. They’re governing in Zimbabwe. What does that mean?
ML: And so we’re opposed to government. And of course, who do they talk to? Trent Lott, the quintessential sleaze ball, in my humble opinion, the guy that was running the Republican Party in the Senate all these years. Then he’s a lobbyist? His brother-in-law was a big time slip and fall lawyer who ran into trouble in Mississippi, and among his clients, some bank in Russia? I mean, come on. It’s amazing who they go to, to comment on people like me, or comment on our governing system. And you’re right. They don’t read a damn, if they’re talking about me, they don’t read a damn thing that I’ve written.
HH: Yeah, they don’t read, and Plunder and Deceit, though, is going to present them with an obstacle impossible to go around. It is the most accessible of your books, I think, Mark, because I think you wrote it for young people in particular. And they ought to walk away stunned at the enormity of the problem. Let me talk about one particular problem you outlined. A lot of people are entrapped in the system. And this goes to Mitt Romney’s 47% remark, which was poorly explained at the time. He worried, Pete Wilson used to say, used to be three people pulling the cart, one person in the cart. Then it became two and two, then it became one and three. And when it becomes zero and four, the cart doesn’t move. That’s what you’re talking about, the entrapment. And that’s where we’re headed.
ML: There’s no question that’s where we’re headed. You know, here’s the problem, Hugh.
We’re there. It’s not a matter of us being headed there. We are there. Incredible testimony given in February this year by a brilliant economics professor, and he testified, and you can look at his numbers, he said all these numbers that the government put out are absolute nonsense. We’re not $18 trillion dollars in the hole. We’re $215 trillion dollars in the hole when you look at our obligations, our unfunded obligations. He said in every corporation in America, they have to look at unfunded obligations, whether it’s vacation leave or whatever it is. That counts against the books. In the United States, none of it counts against the books. But these are unfunded obligations. And he said it’s $215 trillion, growing by $5-7 trillion a year, not half a billion. He said that would be bad enough. He says Congress is fixing the books, the president is fixing the books, and he’s absolutely right. Now the typical statist response is tax the rich. And so I said okay, let’s think about that. $215 trillion. If we stopped today, and we take every penny out of the private economy, that creates $7.5 trillion dollars GDP. Let’s pretend it’s $20 trillion. And we do that every year for ten years. We don’t even get close at that point to what the unfunded liabilities are.
ML: That’s how bad the situation is. And that’s just the debt.
HH: Just the debt. I’ll be right back with Mark Levin talking about, that was only the debt. We haven’t talked about Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare. These are all discussed in very blunt, specific terms in Plunder and Deceit, his brand new book which is linked at Hughhewitt.com.
— – – – – –
HH: Mark, I go back to my interview with Jackie Calmes. She was genuinely surprised that we had been colleagues once long ago, far away, and I told her he’s a much better Constitutional expert than I am. He actually understands what the per capita tax stuff means. But I want to read to you an email I got from my friend, Tim Butler, whose son is now Jonah Goldberg’s research assistant, a brilliant intern. And Tim and I were at Michigan Law together. He sent me an email before yesterday’s debate that said Hugh, I now believe what it comes down to with Donald Trump is non-establishment Republicans are desperate for an alpha male, and Trump is clearly the only alpha male in the campaign. They are tired of having sand kicked in their faces by Obama, ISIS, Mexico, Russia, China, etc., and Trump won’t let them kick sand in our faces. At least that’s their belief. That’s why I think he has staying power, and it really doesn’t matter what he says in this or any other debate, although I think he’ll do surprisingly well. As long as he projects the alpha male appearance, he’ll continue to lead in the primary. What do you make of that, Mark Levin?
ML: Well, that’s what they’re saying. I mean, that’s kind of what Will said yesterday. I think there’s some truth to that, but you know, I’m very hesitant to predict what’s going to happen down the road. I’ve seen these things flip over and over and over again, so I’m not going to do that. But I don’t, I kind of like the fact that he’s in this campaign. He likes me a lot, by the way. He wants me to meet him. You know, I don’t belong to any of his clubs. I’ve never golfed on any of his courses. You know me, I’m a hermit. But anyway…
HH: I know. Have you ever golfed period?
ML: Oh, I’ve golfed. Look, every ten years, come hell or high water, I golf.
HH: Okay, that’s what I was going to say. Do you throw your clubs? I don’t think you throw your clubs, but…
ML: You want to know what’s funny? I’m living in a place, and behind me is a golf course. But anyway, so I just figure they manicure my lawn, and that’s a good thing.
HH: Well, Trump’s a great interview. And he likes your straight talk. And he comes on this show all the time. He’s a terrific interview. I’m not sure he’s really a Republican. I don’t know that he’s a Constitutionalist. I don’t know any of that stuff. But what he is, is outspoken.
ML: This is the thing. This is the thing. But I think he will have an appeal for a long time. I think it’ll be strong, but I’m not making any predictions. I will tell you this. From me, whomever it is, they’re going to have to be a solid conservative, they’re going to have to show me that they’re a solid conservative over a period of time. I just think there’s so much at stake now, Hugh. I just can’t see us nominating another one of these milquetoast Republicans. We’re told over and over again they can’t lose, and they get walloped. It’s like I told Will the other day, who said I don’t understand these attacks on conservatives. They can win. You know, we haven’t, look, if you’re 45 years old or younger, you’ve never had an opportunity to vote for a conservative.
HH: I saw you make that point.
ML: I know you think Romney…
HH: You’re right. You’re right.
ML: I mean, it’s true. I mean, a real conservative. I don’t mean a “bomb-thrower”. That’s what they call us. I mean, if you look at a Ted Cruz or a Scott Walker, that’s only two of them, or a Bobby Jindal. There are others that we can name. These guys have to break through this Washington establishment in order to give us a chance to take on, in the general election, a Hillary Clinton or whomever. And I think it would be enormously appealing to the American people. This is the battle we had to fight for Reagan. I had to fight it twice myself. Nobody thought he could win. Everybody thought his message was too conservative. And yet, we know that’s not true.
HH: Until they sit down and hear people talk. So much of it is in fact hemmed in by the new language of narrative and constructs versus true, objective facts and just listening to people. That’s why I don’t like limiting the debates. I urge everyone to go on every show as much as they can, because if they’re confident of their message, and by the way, Walker and Cruz are among the most available people out there. They’re very comfortable with who they are and what they believe in. And Mark Levin, I always say you don’t win nine Supreme Court cases by accident when it comes to Ted Cruz, do you?
ML: No, he’s, I’ve known him a long time. He’s an incredibly brilliant guy. And as you can see, he’s very earnest. People say oh, he did this on the Senate floor to get attention, he did this to be trouble. No, he did it because that’s what he believes in. This is a guy who took on one of the most powerful Republican state establishments out there in Texas. He took on the lieutenant governor, who’s worth a quarter of a billion dollars and spent freely. And he built a grassroots operation and whipped him. He came out of nowhere because of his message, because of his persona, because of his principles.
ML: And so he gets to the Senate, and he looks around, and he says what the hell is going on here. You set up a vote, Mitch McConnell, that you know you’re delivering for the Democrats on the Export-Import Bank, and you know you’re going to vote against it, then you’re going to go home and tell the people in Kentucky how you’re against the corporate welfare. I have had enough of this.
HH: Now when you and I sit down next with our mutual friend, Dick Hauser. We can talk Ex-Im, because I support Ex-Im as an instrument of national power, because the Chinese will fill the gap.
ML: Oh, I hear that line all the time.
HH: I know. We have a long debate, but I want to talk about something Cruz said on the show Wednesday.
HH: A hurricane is coming. It’s called the next government shutdown, because we cannot allow the government to fund the sale of baby parts. Honestly, it’s a moral crisis. It’s bigger than…
ML: Well, did you hear what McConnell said?
HH: I know. But that’s, it’s coming. It’s coming.
ML: McConnell said he is not shutting down the government for that. Here’s what I don’t understand, Hugh. We both served, to me, the 3rd greatest president in American history, Washington, Lincoln, Reagan. Now I mean that. The government was shut down six times under Ronald Reagan.
ML: Did you hear him whine and squeal? He used it as the opportunity to educate the American people, inform the American people, send a message to Congress. Our guys not only surrender in advance, they blame themselves in advance.
HH: And my analogy, when you know Katrina is coming, you put the plywood on the windows. We know that the House is not going to vote funding, so we have to start messaging why now as opposed to saying we’re not going to shut down the government. We have to start saying we cannot fund the sale of baby parts.
ML: So why is the Republican leadership in the Senate doing what it’s doing?
HH: They fear getting hammered again like they did in 2013, although we won in 2014. And people tell me I’m crazy.
ML: I’ll tell you what I think.
HH: Go ahead.
ML: They really don’t mind funding Planned Parenthood.
HH: Oh, I don’t know about that.
ML: I’m not talking about, well, listen, what the hell have they done ever to stop the funding of Planned Parenthood? Nothing. Nothing. You know who we miss? We miss Henry Hyde. Henry Hyde was a class act. He was articulate. Even the Democrats liked him. He could explain this issue. Mitch McConnell, I’m sorry to tell you this, maybe it’ll even upset you. He can’t explain anything.
HH: Well, I do love Mitch, you know that. I think he runs the Senate well. But I think on this, we’re going to be arguing with him, because I do not believe the Republicans, they may be forced to their knees after two months or three months, but they can win this battle, Mark. They can win this. If they pass a CR with the new Defense approps and everything except Planned Parenthood and they send to the President, or they break the filibuster rules…
ML: You don’t have to convince me.
HH: Okay, I’ll be right back with Mark Levin.
— – — –
HH: The eventual collapse of a colossal government, Mark writes, will indiscriminately engulf an entire society and economy. Now Mark, some people will say you are a prophet of doom. I point out the fact that great civilizations collapse – Rome completely, Great Britain in the aftermath of World War II effectively collapsed and remained there until Thatcher arrived. You’re a prophet. I don’t know if anyone’s paying any attention to you, though.
ML: Did you say we’re number one on Amazon? Did I hear you say that?
HH: You were when we taped this interview.
ML: And do you think I’ll be number one on the New York Times list?
HH: No, of course not, because they kept Ted Cruz off of it, they kept Michael Oren’s book, Ally, off of it.
ML: How much you want to be I am?
ML: How much you want to bet I’m so far ahead of the number two book, no brags, this. I don’t know. I’m guessing. How much you want to bet that I will be number one?
HH: Gosh, I hope so. I don’t want to bet against my friend or the future of the country, so…
ML: Let me tell you why.
ML: My last three books were number one, and they didn’t want it to be number one, either. There are millions and millions of people, Hugh, who agree with us. The problem is they don’t know what kind of action to take or where to go to get this country back. And all I do is I try to explain different ways to do this. Let’s talk to our children and grandchildren. Let’s talk to each other. Let’s spread our ideas. The Liberty Amendments, I do not believe that Washington’s going to fix itself, so let’s do what the framers suggested. I go out and I make my case. I don’t just argue doom and gloom. I try to explain what we might be able to do. But I’m going to tell you something. What if I’m wrong? What if we did some things to pull back the central government, to unleash the private economy, to defend individual liberty, to secure the border, to improve our national security? What if I’m wrong? That still does what? That still advances liberty and opportunity and wealth creation.
HH: You bet.
ML: So this agenda is the right agenda regardless.
HH: Now Mark, after I finished Plunder and Deceit, I actually was moved to think about what a Republican might do, and I encouraged all of the Republicans to take it to the debate, by the way. And I was thinking about a blanket repeal law, a law of a new Congress and a new Republican president that said every law passed from the beginning of President Obama’s tenure and every regulation is hereby repealed and ineffective. And that would tell people we’re resetting the clock completely. Do you think that would make sense to people?
ML: I think it would be wonderful. I think we’re going to need new Republican leadership to do that. And if we have a conservative president, as you know, we can get either new Republican leadership in Congress or that Republican leadership will follow the conservative president. Now that said, I’ve been arguing that they put together a group of really solid conservatives, solid conservative libertarian economists, and give them 90 days to go through all these federal agencies and departments, find out what regulations they passed, and undo them.
HH: That’s why I just want a blanket repeal. There’s nothing good that’s come out of the Department of the Interior or the EPA in the least six and a half years, nothing.
ML: They ought to take Obama’s pen and phone and use it against him.
HH: Right. Now let me ask you, the only chapter I didn’t read, and I will admit this to my friend. I didn’t read the minimum wage chapter, because anyone who supports a minimum wage is in my view economically illiterate.
HH: I don’t need to be persuaded of that.
HH: But do you think we have to make this argument still? Or does everyone know that’s a joke that’s just a Democrat payoff to special interests?
ML: Well, I mean, it’s, apparently it’s popular, because it passes every time these states put it on the ballot. It passed in Arkansas, I believe, passed in New Jersey. So, but what I want people to know is, particularly young people, every time they increase the minimum wage, you’re going to have a harder time getting a job or keeping a job.
HH: There’s one intern outside, not two. And you know why? It’s because of California’s minimum wage laws.
ML: Isn’t that amazing?
ML: And look at it this way. Our immigration policies bring in illegal immigrants who are paid under the minimum wage. Then they keep driving up the minimum wage. It’s very schizophrenic. But in the end, it’s the American citizen young person who gets stuck, because the illegal alien will get the job, and the minimum wage is driven up. The American who has the job will be pushed out. It’s just so bizarre. And I provide, you know, fact after fact after fact showing that this unrelenting, endless wave of immigration, which is in fact new to this country, is so destructive particularly of opportunities for young people, and by the way, not just people on the minimum wage, in the stems, in the science, technology, engineering and math. We have people who are running up massive student loan bills, $1.3 trillion dollars. And what the hell for? $1.3 trillion dollars.
HH: Yeah, for dance classes. I do part company with Ann Coulter and you a little bit on what to do with the illegals who are here, but not on putting a fence on the border.
ML: Well, don’t necessarily throw me in with her. I don’t know what position you’re taking.
HH: Okay, that’s true. She was just, I was on with her on Sean’s show on Tuesday night, and Ann just, I don’t know what she wants to do at this point. I think she wants to round up everyone in dragnets, and I’m not for that. Let me go with you to…
ML: Hold on. Let me just tell you this. Nobody, listen, the only person who ever rounded up everybody was a moderate president by the name of Dwight Eisenhower, who rounded up one million illegal immigrants, and no, literally…
ML: …and had them moved out of the country. Today, we don’t even talk about that, Hugh. Let’s be honest. We don’t even talk about deportation.
ML: You can’t even use the phrase self-deportation. Why not? Why not? If people can’t get jobs in this country as a matter of law because they’re here illegally, they’ll go home. There’s nothing wrong with that. And one other thing, Hugh, 40% of those who are here illegally have overstayed their visas.
HH: Overstayed visas, yeah.
ML: You don’t think they should be thrown out?
HH: And I want the fence on the border, absolutely, because of the need to protect our national security. So let’s go to where we agree, which is your national security chapter, something I want to compliment you on that no one else has written. It’s in Plunder and Deceit. I haven’t seen it anywhere else. The average age of an officer in the United States military is 34.8 years. The average year of an enlisted man in the United States military is 27.3. Mark Levin salutes young people in America for carrying the burden of protecting this country at the very same time that old people in America are shoveling debt onto their shoulders. I’ve never seen that argument made before, Mark Levin. Congratulations on putting it front and center.
ML: Well, you’re very kind. You know, people are so busy dumping on younger people, who the hell do they think make up the military in this country? Who do they think is fighting these wars? And you know what? This is the problem also, and you know, I want people to understand. When you support candidates for public office who are diminishing the power of the military, who do not think America should be a superpower, you’re provoking our enemies. Our enemies take advantage of us. Reagan made the point, others have made the point. So who will fight the wars? If there’s a World War III and a draft, who do you think’s going to be drafted? So it is in their best interest to support a robust national security, a strong military. And every time we do this to our military, hollow it out, whether it’s pre-World War II, pre-World War I, and so forth, it begets war. So this is the case I’m making to them, and of course, to our generation, I’m making the case, hey, look, these young people aren’t all that bad. For God’s sakes, they’re defending us.
HH: Now you know, I saw the trailer for the new Michael Bay movie, 13 Hours on Benghazi, and those studs who went to save the annex and the ambassador. It was too late for the ambassador. They’re all in their 30s. They’re all 20 year olds. They’re all at the tip of the spear. And that’s what we need to fund, and we need to fund the ships to carry them where they need to go and the submarines to keep the deterrent, because Putin and China are eating our lunch. Let me play something for you, Mark Levin, the President said on Tuesday. Here’s what the President said.
BO: It’s those hardliners chanting death to America who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.
HH: 30 seconds to the break, Mark. You ever heard anything like that from a president before?
ML: No, and I think that’s a historic speech. It’s a historic speech, because one day, people are going to look back and say oh, my God, how wrong he was. It’s the most outrageous position a president has ever taken.
HH: I agree.
— – – – –
HH: Plunder and Deceit is his brand new book, Plunder and Deceit. I hope it is the number one New York Times bestseller that it, if they don’t manipulate the list, it will be, because it’s flying off of shelves everywhere. It’s going to go further and farther and have more impact than the Liberty Amendments, than Ameritopia, than Liberty and Tyranny.
ML: No, no, no, not more than Liberty and Tyranny, but I wish it would.
HH: Oh, I think it, you underestimate.
ML: Think it’ll sell 1.4 million copies?
HH: You underestimate how many kids need to be educated in America. That’s where I think this is really going to resonate, Mark.
ML: I hope you’re right.
HH: I think every mom and dad out there, and you address it very specifically to inter-generational need, as Burke said, to carry forward principles of governance. Now I’ve got to talk to you about a high principle. The filibuster has been around a long time, but you and I both know it’s extra-Constitutional. I’ve argued with a number of Senators from the middle of the party to the conservative wing. They love the filibuster, including Ted Cruz. I hate it. And Jim Talent said on this show there comes a time when things are so broken you have to break the rules in order to save the country. What does Mark Levin think?
ML: Well, I guess I am, I have a middle ground on this. I think filibusters, when it applies to judicial nominations, are unconstitutional.
HH: I agree.
ML: That’s because the framers made it quite clear that the president and one half of the other branch of the Congress, the Senate, have a role to play.
HH: I agree.
ML: So the filibuster changes that.
ML: So I reject it there. As for legislation, the Constitution also provides that the Senate can set its own rules. So when it comes to legislation, I think they can filibuster. However, that said, prudence needs to be in play here. And when you’re dealing with a president who thumbs his nose at the Constitution daily, I would suspend the filibuster rule, because the Constitution is far more important. I would stop Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer from gumming up the works, and I would send bill after bill after bill to this president’s desk and make him veto it, because Hugh, this guy has vetoed a total of four bills in six and a half years. It is a modern time low, because he either rules by fiat, or they send him bills that he likes.
HH: And we have a Defense appropriations bill that is stuck in the Senate, because Democrats won’t defend the United States. They really, literally, will not fund the defense of the United States.
ML: So suspend the filibuster rule. There’s nothing wrong. You know what? They fight harder to defend their own rules than they defend the Constitution.
HH: This is my point, and this is where they need, I think we need to tell our audiences it’s time to tell leadership get rid of the filibuster. But Ted is one of our guys, and he defends it because of the good argument that in it’s blocked a lot of bad laws in the past. It blocked global climate change. But they went ahead and did it through the EPA anyway.
ML: Not only that, isn’t it interesting that Harry Reid did in fact use the so-called nuclear option and suspended it under certain circumstances. So he’s already set the stage for this. Look, I think when you’re dealing with a president who is as reckless as this, and the nation is in such perilous trouble, you’ve got to stand with the Constitution first and foremost.
ML: And whatever the Senate rules are that are stopping you from supporting or upholding the Constitution, to hell with them.
HH: Agreed. Now let me ask you before the break and our last segment. Hillary Clinton has broken 18USC1924. You worked for Ed Meese. I worked for Ed Meese. We both had the top secret and the SCI clearances. If we’d left stuff on our desk when we went home at night, we’d have gone to jail, much less taking it home and stealing it at the end of our tenure. Is this Department of Justice so broken from the one that we served that there will be no prosecution of Hillary Clinton for this?
ML: It’s possible it is utterly corrupt, and you’re exactly right. People need to understand how serious this is. When you have top secret or coded information, you know, you go through classes and training on how to deal with it. It is a very serious matter, and they have steps on how it’s supposed to be treated, even what kind of folders they need to be in, and who is not allowed to handle it. You’re not allowed to take it home, let alone a whole damn server with emails coming through it every single day. You’re not allowed to take one document home without certain permission, certain approval.
HH: Amen. And we used to get briefed all the time about how we lowly special assistants, you were a chief of staff. I was a special assistant to the Attorney General, would be targeted by the enemy, that we would be trailed, that we would be compromised. The Secretary of State, they were reading her stuff in real time, Mark Levin.
ML: Unbelievable. Well, she views the Freedom of Information Act and Congressional oversight and things like that as they’re the real enemy. You know, if the other enemy, the foreigners get a hand of it, you know, China, Russia, so be it.
HH: So be it. One more segment with my pal, Mark Levin.
— – – – – –
HH: People have always marveled that we’re pals, but we’ve been pals since the Reagan revolution. And though that we are opposite each other, we are not opposite each other on 90% of the issues.
ML: But can I tell you something?
ML: You give the best, I shouldn’t even say this, you give the best book interview of anybody I have ever talked to.
HH: Well, I read the book.
ML: No, but you actually delve into stuff.
HH: Well, that’s, I read this and I was riveted, because I’ve got young sons, you know?
HH: And you write this as an appeal to parents.
HH: And I’m thinking boy are they screwed. They are just so screwed. And talk about grandkids, they’re screwed. But here’s why they’re really screwed. There’s a chapter on the degrowthers in Plunder and Deceit. I do Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act law for a living when I’m not on the radio, and you understate the problem, even though you’ve completely, correctly state it. They want to take us back to a pre-industrial, they don’t, our audience, even though we tell them, they don’t really believe us, do they, Mark, about what the environmental left wants?
ML: That’s why I quote them. I quote the environmental left. They importation it, they call it, in Europe, the degrowth movement. Here, we call it, you know, Clean Air, Clean Water and polar bears. It has nothing to do with clean air, clean water and polar bears. This is an attack on capitalism. They opposed the Industrial Revolution. They are throwbacks. They are regressive. They reject technological advances. You know, it used to be, Hugh, that the attack on capitalism was that it just created too much wealth and there was inequity. Now, the attack is it creates too much wealth period.
ML: So they really do want to throw us back. And Obama is the leader of this degrowth movement. The recent regs on Monday and more before that, you know, we litigate against them at the EPA. And the fact of the matter is, you know, he’s closing down coal mines. The Democrats used to stand for coal miners, for crying out loud. He’s closing down steel mills. He is breaking the back of the industrial heartland of this country, and you’re going to see not just electricity bills go up. You’re going to see brownouts and blackouts. And it’s interesting, I’ve tried to draw the parallel with California and water. The first Governor Brown, you know, he obstructed virtually every project that would develop the reservoirs and canals and the movement of water from northern states more into California and so forth, and unfortunately, you’re suffering from that.
HH: Oh, my gosh. And these fires that rage, and Jerry Brown sent a fundraising letter for the Democrats blaming it on global climate change, when it fact we could have desalinization plants up and down this coast if we want. On Page 110, Mark, you write probably the most chilling sentence. “Much of the so-called environmental movement today has transmuted into an aggressively nefarious and primitive faction.” And I want to emphasize that word primitive. They do not, in their minds, imagine what it means to be in a slum in India, or dying of famine in South Sudan. They don’t understand it, and so they blithely recommend it to the world. It’s actually the most immoral part of the left, is the degrowthing people.
ML: As I say in the end note to that line or that paragraph, that word primitive was one that was assigned to that movement by Ayn Rand.
ML: And she was quite right. And this is a primitive movement. It is a backwards movement. The problem is it now controls the Environmental Protection Agency, and thanks to the Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency now seeks to control every business and enterprise in this country. And that’s the problem. If you follow this to its logical extreme, it’s extremely dangerous. How many cars we can have? What kind of cars we can have? How big our house can be? All in the name of carbon pollution? Well of course, carbon dioxide is not pollution. Carbon dioxide in the end creates oxygen. We’re not talking about carbon monoxide, putting your mouth over a muffler in a car. We’re talking about carbon dioxide. You know, greenhouse gasses, all of a sudden, that’s negative. Without greenhouse gasses, we’re Mars.
HH: We’re Mars. “So I ask the rising generation, America’s younger people, what do you choose for yourself and future generations? Do you choose liberty or tyranny? And what do you intend to do about it? That’s how you close Plunder and Deceit. How is your reaction among young people?
ML: Well, the book’s only been out since Tuesday, and I am somewhat cloistered. So we’ll know in a week or two or three or four, but I can just tell you that the reports are coming in. I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say this. We’re now in our third printing. So I don’t know. I guess somebody’s reading it.
HH: I think it’s hitting that seam of the political season. And as you look at those candidates, the first debate was six, the second debate with ten, who is going to channel, it’s not anger, it is energy and it is passion, and I think it’s what my friend, Tim, said, the need for alpha males, or the need for alpha females, the need for leadership. Who’s going to passion that, Mark Levin?
ML: I just think it’s too early to tell. You know, that debate format, ten people at 9pm Eastern, with very limited amount of time, we really need to drill down into the substance of where these guys stand. We know where some of them stand, and sort it out. But Hugh, I’ll just tell you, from my perspective, I’m not going to wait until the end of the process where they cherry-pick the conservatives, and then Jeb Bush slips through. I mean, from my perspective, I’m going to focus in on three or four in the few months ahead, and suggest to at least my audience, these are the people we ought to really focus on.
HH: And that means checkbook, that means pocketbook, that means giving time, passion, energy and persuasion. The persuasion’s got to come from facts. Facts are in Plunder and Deceit. Thank you, Mark Levin. It is always a pleasure. Off to do your own show, and I appreciate you taking so much time with me.
ML: It’s a great honor. Thanks so much, Hugh, and God bless.
HH: And you, too.
End of interview.