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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Mark Steyn On The Misplaced Priorities Of Obama And His State Department

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HH: We begin most Thursdays as we do when we are lucky with Mark Steyn, Columnist To the World. Mark, welcome, how are you?

MS: Hey, I’m great, Hugh. How’s things with you?

HH: Well, terrific. I’ve got a gold medalist coming in, and this raises the question, of course. Have you ever played beach volleyball?

MS: I played beach volleyball just once for the very low motive of hoping to insinuate myself with a young lady almost as attractive as Kerri Walsh Jennings. As I recall, it didn’t work out for me. I played beach volleyball so badly, I think I wound up going home with the tramp who was sleeping behind the concession stand. It didn’t work out for me.

HH: Well, give some listen in hour number three. You’ll pick up some pointers. Now I have to let people know you’re going to Minnesota on October the 9th, and this is very timely. You’re going to be at the Center for the American Experiment as their keynote speaker on October the 9th. Yesterday, the news broke that the largest participant in the Obamacare state exchange pulled out leaving 60% of the people, 59% to be exact, who had bought policies through the Minnesota exchange, without an insurer. So not only can you not keep the doctor you like, you can’t keep the replacement doctor that you like in Minnesota, Mark Steyn.

MS: No, there is actually no, what is fascinating to me in Minnesota and elsewhere is that health care now is an impermanent thing. You’re basically walking on thin ice. No matter how much effort you put in, no matter how much money you spend, at some point, somewhere down the line, you’ll get a notice in the mail that the rug has been yanked out from under you. And this impermanence as a permanent feature of American health care is the main contribution that Obamacare has made to the system.

HH: Well, you’re going to be at Orchestra Hall, which is one of my favorite venues in the country. I think Al Franken’s been there before, so you’ll be the first funny person to be there. But do you think Franken actually has a claim on the seat? He passed this, and nowhere, maybe Oregon, has it been as badly mangled as Minnesota. Can you see people in Minnesota voting for him again?

MS: Well look, Franken won, Franken sued himself into office last time round.

HH: Yes.

MS: And the Democrats are good at that, which is why, as you wrote in a book five or six years ago, If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat. And as I said on your show five or six years ago, a victory has to be beyond the margin of lawyer.

HH: Yeah.

MS: Because when it goes to lawsuits, and it goes to counts, and they start finding these mysterious boxes upstate near the Canadian border, that’s when people like Al Franken win. Can he win if this is a wave election, as it ought to be? No, he can’t. So let’s make it a wave election, and let’s make sure that when he looks at the numbers an hour after the poll closes, he realizes it’s not even worth getting on the phone to his lawyer.

HH: Yeah, I can’t litigate my way to victory. But now, there is a unique opportunity. I have been watching all day, Mark Steyn, for someone to say something nice about Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. No one will say anything nice about the chairwoman of the DNC. The President won’t, no Democrats will. She’s mean, she’s dumb, she’s ineffective. Do you have anything nice to say about Debbie Wasserman-Schultz?

MS: Well, I’ll damn her with faint praise. I think there is something ungallant about the so-called Democrat liberal progressives denouncing Debbie Wasserman Schultz for trying to get the Democratic Party to pay for her wardrobe. She is a member of a party where hardly anyone ever has cause to get out the checkbook and write a personal check. If you’ll recall, Barney Frank, I think he was on the ferry to Fire Island complaining about being made to pay the dollar fee, and doing his ‘don’t you know who I am’ routine. Eric Holder flies his kids to sporting events on government planes. Michelle Obama and what is it, they take Marine Force One now for the White House dog. In such a world, I can well understand why Debbie Wasserman Schultz can’t understand why Democrats are getting at her for wanting to have someone else pick up the tab for her wardrobe.

HH: Well, sympathy for Debbie Wasserman Schultz from Mark Steyn. How about for Kay Hagan, because she’s getting beat up today in the Washington Free Beacon, because it turns out she’s been skipping all the hearings on the Islamic State of Iraq to do fundraising, even though we’re in a world crisis.

MS: No, no, I like the Democrats’ prioritization. And I can well understand why they’re doing fundraising. I mean, it would have been fascinating if they were doing D-Day now, and no Democrat showed up on the beaches of Normandy because they were all at some fundraiser. The purpose, ISIS either matters or it doesn’t. And actually, what she’s doing is revealing the President’s priorities here. He wants to neutralize ISIS not in terms of driving them from the map in the Middle East. He wants to neutralize them as an issue in November. So he wants to do just, he wants to be seen to be appearing to do just enough to make ISIS go off the front pages. But other than that, he has absolutely no interest in driving a stake through them, and Kay Hagan well understands that, which is why all the big shot Democrats are getting on with the fundraising.

HH: Now let me play for you a little bit of Secretary Kerry yesterday. It’s such vintage John Kerry, and then get your reaction to this. This is Secretary of State Kerry objecting to Code Pink.

JK: Well, I respect the right of Code Pink to protest and to use that right. But you know what? I also know something about Code Pink. Code Pink was started by a woman, and women who were opposed to war, but who also thought that a government’s job was to take care of people and to give them health care and education and good jobs. And if that’s what you believe in, and I believe it is, then you ought to care about fighting ISIL, because ISIL is killing and raping and mutilating women. And they believe women shouldn’t have an education. They sell off girls to be sex slaves to jihadists. There is no negotiation with ISIL. There is nothing to negotiate. And they’re not offering anyone health care of any kind. They’re not offering education of any kind. For a whole philosophy or idea or a cult, whatever you want to call it, that frankly comes out of the Stone Age, they’re cold-blooded killers marauding across the Middle East making a mockery of a peaceful religion.

HH: Mark Steyn, this is such vintage John Kerry on so many levels. Go ahead.

MS: Well, Code Pink, everything he said you could have said to Code Pink a decade ago. In Afghanistan, until George W. Bush liberated Afghanistan, it was illegal for women to feel sunlight on their faces. Let’s not get into the health care and the education. I mean, I have no idea, and I don’t suppose Kerry does what ISIS’ policy on health care is.

HH: (laughing)

MS: But let’s just leave it at that. It’s illegal to feel sunlight on your face. And the Code Pink ladies who unlike Kerry are admirably principled, didn’t care about it then, and they don’t care about it now. They’re all about the war. There is no such thing as a good war to the ladies of Code Pink. I remember actually walking through the streets of Washington a few years ago from the Mayflower Hotel in the company of Donald Rumsfeld as some Code Pink women spotted him on the other side of the street and yelled warmonger at him. And that’s all they care about. And they’re principled enough to not distinguish between Rummy and Cheney on the one hand, and Obama and Kerry on the other. They’re opposed to all war. And they would be opposed to war if Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was storming across the 49th Parallel. They’ve got no interest in women’s rights or health care. They just don’t want to be bothered by war.

HH: But as opposed to John Kerry, who will make the argument about women’s rights in Iraq, but does not move to stop the President’s dismantling of our Afghanistan bulwark. And the same thing’s going to happen there, Mark Steyn. The Taliban are coming back as soon as we get out.

MS: Well you know, the interesting thing about Kerry is that I thought you were going to play me the clip which I assume is from the day before when he was in Indonesia giving a speech on climate change, and saying that that is his number one priority, which helps explain, by the way, the total meltdown of American foreign policy, because the bozo in charge of it is going around the planet giving speeches about climate change in Indonesia, or telling Dr. Museveni in Uganda that he’s going to fly in a team of fully-credentialed American gay experts to explain to the Ugandans why their policy on gays is all wrong. And meanwhile, you’ve got Ukraine, you’ve got ISIS, you’ve got a new failed state created by Obama in Libya, you’ve got the #bringbackourgirls hashtag policy, which has mysteriously failed in Nigeria, all over the map, while John Kerry is telling us that the biggest priority as Secretary of State to him is climate change.

HH: It is a target-rich environment for columnists. Mark Steyn, Columnist To the World, thank you. Find everything that Mark writes at, America.

End of interview.


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