HH: On this Thanksgiving Eve, that of course is Mark Steyn in studio singing a little Jingle Bells in an anticipation of Black Friday shopping. Mark Steyn joins me. Happy Thanksgiving Eve to you, Mark.
MS: Hey, happy Thanksgiving to you, too, and did you know that Jingle Bells was written not as a Christmas song but as a Thanksgiving song? That guy, James L. Pierpont, he had no idea it would become a Christmas favorite. He wrote it to be the big Thanksgiving hit. So it was like Obamacare. It’s like, it had a botched rollout that was going to be fixed within six weeks.
HH: But you’ve not gone back into studio for a new release this year. Is that because the Senate campaign is taking up all your time?
MS: (laughing) Well, it was felt that the singing career would be damaging to my Senate prospects. I would be in the position, you know, where my minders would have to be explaining after my musical performance that I had mis-sung, and that wasn’t what I meant to sing.
HH: All right, well, I hope we get you back in studio. Now I do have to tell my L.A. audience as they drive home listening to Mark Steyn live that they may want to avoid Inglewood where there is a gun battle underway at this hour. A shooter has barricaded himself, may have wounded two police. There are more police car and SWAT units around the Inglewood house in which the shooter is holding a hostage. We have an eye on that, but you just may want to avoid Inglewood if you’re driving home on the 10 tonight. Mark Steyn, that doesn’t happen much in New Hampshire, does it? It’s becoming something of a weekly occurrence here in Southern California.
MS: Yeah, actually, I think one of the things that attracted me to Northern New Hampshire when I wound up here was that it’s one of the few places in the world where it’s relatively easy to insulate yourself from the horrors of life like that. I mean, and that is pretty horrifying.
HH: Yes, it is.
MS: The idea that, and I think it’s worse, actually, when you’re in places that are among the most prosperous jurisdictions on the planet that you can just be suddenly strolling down the street and something breaks out. And what always appealed to me about New Hampshire, and particularly my little corner of the state, was that as far as the Western world is concerned, it’s about the best place to go to avoid all that kind of stuff.
HH: I don’t know how we’re going to manage the infrastructure for a full-fledged Senate campaign from the remote, rural confines of Northern New Hampshire, though. You may have to move occasionally to Manchester.
MS: I’m refusing to do that. You know, Bob Dole lost the state. If you recall, the New Hampshire primary of 1996, Bob Dole did what you were suggesting, Hugh, which is why I’m firing you as my campaign manager right now.
MS: Bob Dole thought he didn’t have to go north of Concord, so he just did the lower third, because he said, he had these slick, Washington consultants who said that’s where all the people are. And Pat Buchanan went around every little rinky-dink town in the northern two-thirds of the state and he won. That’s the way you win in a New Hampshire primary.
HH: Well, Warren Harding ran a front porch campaign. You could run a front cow campaign. You could just stand out there and let the public come to you.
MS: Yeah, no, I think, I mean, I like those…I like a different kind of campaign anyway, to be honest. I’m sick of the way, do you know what’s fascinating to me about, with no disrespect to the Republican Party, Hugh, but the way every four years, the losing candidate changes, but the slick consultants all stay the same. I mean, it is incredible to me that you build a reputation in the Republican Party by the number of losing campaigns you have under your belt. And I’m going to run a different kind of campaign.
HH: But I was, I’m a new consultant and you just fired me. And so I think you’re off to a bad start in the new campaign consultant. You’re going to be like Murphy Brown and her secretary, I’m afraid. Now I do want to…
MS: No, no, I’m going to be like, what I always liked about Michele Bachmann, people kept saying well, she’s had 57 chiefs of staff, you know. She’s had more chiefs of staff than she’s had foster children. And I always liked the way, I always thought that spoke well for Michele.
HH: Oh, promise me you won’t hire Ed Rollins, because I prefer you without knives in your back.
MS: Yeah, absolutely. Well, he’s a very good example of the kind of guy that I…and what’s wrong, by the way, is he’s a classic example of that, the way they know all the rules, and it’s insert name of candidate here. And I’m tired of that. I think that’s wrecked Republican, I think that’s managed to destroy the Republican Party nominating process in large part, that kind of thinking.
HH: Well, part of the problem of your Senate candidacy is we don’t know what you’re going to be able to run against, because just today, the President announced that the SHOP component, S-H-O-P of Obamacare has been postponed for another year. So if you’ve been building your platform all week long about the SHOP part of Obamacare it’s off now. And I don’t know how you’ve got to, it’s a moving target. There is no target. It’s all cancelled.
MS: I know. I know. The fantastic thing about Obamacare now is that the wait times to get on the website are longer than the wait times to get the operation in the British National Health Service. That’s an incredible achievement and quite remarkable. And this is only, and in a sense, all he can do it postpone, because when he lets them go ahead, all that’s going to happen is you move onto the next category of cancelled policies. So he in a sense, postponement is all that’s left.
HH: Now later in the program, Lileks will be along to acquaint us with the Thanksgiving customs of World War II era America. But I was thinking earlier today, World War II, people were asked to pitch in and buy bonds, to save scrap, to start victory gardens. We are now being asked not to do something. They don’t want us to go to Healthcare.gov beginning Friday, Mark Steyn. We’re to stay away from the Healthcare.gov website that was to have delivered to us health care.
MS: Yes, because it’s, well, this is the Obama analogy, isn’t it?
MS: When he compared, it’s like Black Friday all year round at Healthcare.gov.
MS: And they’ve got some terrific bargains, by the way. If you’re like a healthy 22 year old male, they’ve got a terrific, with no health problems at all, they’ve got a terrific deal this Black Friday only, where you can sign up for coverage at just $4,000 dollars a month. So you might want to get up early to go to Healthcare.gov this Friday, because they’ve got a lot of great deals like that.
HH: Mark Steyn, as we’re speaking, on the back and on the CNN channel in the back of my studio, they just had a CoveredCA.com ad. I cannot get Peter Lee, the director, or Dana Howard to come on this program, even though Dana Howard promised last Friday to come back. They avoid doing any media, and they’re paying millions of dollars on ads for websites that don’t work. And Paul Krugman says Covered California is working when in fact it is an actuarial disaster for the mere 80,000 people who have been able to get through. It’s as though willful disbelief has settled into the mainstream media about these state exchanges.
MS: Well, yeah, because they’re using them to say well, there’s one or two problems with the federal exchange, but the state exchanges are working great. No, they’re not. They actually get to the real point. You put it the right way, the actuarial problem. Everyone says, you know, the problem with the welfare state as a whole is that when Bismarck started it up in Germany, people’s life expectancy was 48 years old or whatever it was. And so you could afford to have all these pensions and all the rest of it. Now, people retire and they expect to spend the best part of a third of a century living on public expense. But you can at least say that Bismarck and the original Social Security program and the European welfare states were set up on the actual accurate, honest, actuarial information of the time.
MS: Obama is fraudulent at the point of conception. And that’s really the essence. Even if you fix the website, you fix this, you fix that, it’s fraudulent at the point of conception in a way that Bismarck and Social Security and the other things were not at the time that they were created.
HH: Well, speaking of fraudulent, let’s turn to the Iranian deal that John Kerry magnificently oversaw, that he Iranians have now denounced as being inappropriately reported by the White House. Could it have been worse, Mark Steyn? Was there any way that you can think of that the deal could have been worse?
MS: No, because I think it, basically, each party had different objectives. The Americans and the P5 plus 1, they wanted to get an agreement. The Iranians want to get a nuclear program. Both parties in that sense are getting what they want. We already knew that Obama is never going to take out the Iranian nuclear program. And in a sense, all this agreement does is confirm it, that there is no obstacle to the Iranians going nuclear.
HH: And so I want to finish by pointing out, do you think this accelerates the obvious necessity of Israeli action?
MS: Well, I think what’s fascinating is that he’s turned, the one consequence of this is that the Israelis and the Saudi Arabians are now the bestest buddies on the planet. I mean, there are unlikely couples, and there are unlikelier couples. But King Abdullah and Netanyahu are basically arm in arm on this. The Saudis are phoning the Israelis every night.
HH: Yeah, that is the…
MS: And that’s one of the bizarre things of this.
HH: That’s the prom date you never expected. So have a happy Thanksgiving, but I know that people will read this and they will see in it the implied announcement of a candidacy soon, Mark Steyn.
MS: Yeah, yeah, instead of getting trampled to death at Wal-Mart this Friday, you should come along to my Senate announcement and get trampled to death there.
HH: All right, just pay attention. Steyn for Senate, New Hampshire. Let the 17th Amendment people be warned. It repealed the nationalization requirement.
End of interview.