Mark Steyn on Barack Obama’s crazy friends and associates
HH: To discuss the election results, Reverend Wright and more Ayers-Dohrn video, I’ve just posted it at Hughhewitt.com, the complete video from their SDS reunion tour from November of last year, Mark Steyn, Columnist to the World, www.steynonline.com. Do a friend a favor and go get America Alone, the paperback edition from www.steynonline.com. Mark, good Thursday to you.
MS: Happy Thursday to you, too, Hugh.
HH: It was good to talk to you on Tuesday night, but now we’ve had a couple of days to digest this, and the Democrats are in an awful predicament, as the New York Times editorialized today. Everybody wants Hillary to get out. Of course she’s not going to. What do you make of this mess?
MS: Well, I don’t see why she should get out, because Obama, despite all this stuff he does about how he’s brought together Democrats, Republicans, independents, blacks, whites, all the rest of it, there’s actually very little evidence for that. The problem that Obama demonstrates in critical states, in pale blue states like Pennsylvania, is that he’s a very weak candidate. And Hillary has a good case for saying look, when she said on Tuesday night, if this guy is such a genius, why can’t he close the deal? The reality is, he’s unable to close the deal. Blacks like him, and a particularly type of upscale white liberal who gets his sort of kinky frisson out of racial guilt likes him, but working class white Democrats, and whatever one feels about them, there are an awful lot of them, are not big on this guy.
HH: Now of course, Indiana, they’re hoping that the Chicago effect overcomes the state’s very close ties with Ohio and Pennsylvania’s sort of demographics. What do you think about Indiana?
MS: Well, I think that’s…I don’t think the Chicago effect will be enough to overcome. In other words, I would expect Indiana, in the end, to be closer to the Ohio-Pennsylvania results than the Illinois ones. And I think this is actually…this is, if he is such a uniter, as he talks it up, how come he’s unable to unite, never mind the great mass general electorate, but even the key pillars of the Democratic Party base? I actually think, you know, that in effect, what we’ve got here is a sort of identity politics standoff, that there are certain groups that are with Hillary to the end, and there are certain groups that are with Obama to the end. And neither is strong enough to kill off the other character. I mean, in a sense, this is the logical reductio of dividing politics, and playing politics as a kind of tribal game.
HH: I had a consultant make a pretty good case to me last night. I was addressing a group in Las Vegas, Mark Steyn, that they could end up with neither of them able to get over the top in Denver, that some people will cower and hide, and that they won’t cast votes, and that it could be an actual brokered convention.
MS: Well, that’s where I think some of these things like that extraordinary New York Times editorial yesterday come in, wherein this is a paper, after all, that did endorse Hillary Clinton, and is now whining about what a negative person she is, and why doesn’t she just get the hell out of the way. I think the superdelegates are going to be more susceptible to the sort of media glamorization of Obama. In other words, when they look at what the New York Times is prepared to do to Hillary Clinton, a woman it’s venerated for fifteen years, I think there’ll be a lot of pressure on those superdelegates that for them, personally, there’ll be a lot less pain if they fall in line with the media glamorization, and go for Obama. But the fact is that apart from the people who’ve fallen in love with him in the media, he actually is not an effectively glamorous person on the ground. He’s been declared to be the new JFK without actually demonstrating any evidence that he is. He’s not as popular as those fawning front covers with the uptilted chin would make him appear.
HH: Now I talked about that very superdelegate pressure with John Podhoretz late on Tuesday night, pointing out that, you know, their self-interest is not to go down as a Judas, or as to be on the wrong side of history. Even though Obama’s the nominee, and he loses in the fall, at least they will not be forever hated by their more radical members of their party. And Hillary spoke very candidly about that. It got out, another one of those tapes talking about the MoveOn.org people didn’t even want us to go into Afghanistan. That’s who we’re dealing with here. And those people will haunt the political lives of any superdelegate that comes out now, at this hour, for Hillary Clinton, don’t you think, Mark Steyn?
MS: Yes, I think that’s true, and I think there’s also the sense that the Clintons represent the past, and that whatever…the issue is, do you want to be personally targeted if the Obama candidacy goes belly up, and there’s a lot of rancor in the party, and they’re going to start taking it out on people. And for the superdelegates, who for the most part are time serving party hacks, that’s the calculation.
MS: And the reality is, that at this point, there’s going to be a lot less pain if you abandon Hillary, than if you actually come out for Hillary. And that’s the danger she’s in.
HH: Mark Steyn, I’ve just posted the video of the SDS reunion from which audio clips have been circulated around, all of it. You’re just going to fall down laughing when you watch this, because it’s introduced by…who was the lead singer for the Grateful Dead? It’s sort of a look-alike for him.
MS: Jerry Garcia?
HH: Yeah, it’s a look-alike for Jerry Garcia with buttons on his chest. You’ll just love it. It’s almost the best thing I’ve seen in a long time. Has that Ayers-Dohrn audio run its course? Or is it beginning to just build its course?
MS: No, I think it is just beginning to build, in part because this guy hasn’t actually changed his views in forty years. In other words, I mean, we all, a lot of us think crazy stuff when we’re seventeen. Forty years later, we’ve generally sobered up. He still talks about the iniquities of America and American imperialism, and American capitalism, as if it’s still 1968. And the fact that this person could become such a prominent and influential figure in the circles in which Obama moves, when you put him together with Jeremiah Wright, and when you put him together with some of the stuff his wife says, it’s part of the same problem he has in Pennsylvania, that Obama has spent his entire adult life, consciously, consciously, because he didn’t have to embrace this world, that he’s consciously chosen to spend his entire adult life in an incredibly narrow and unrepresentative segment, not just America, but even of the American left in the Democratic Party.
HH: Now speaking of that unrepresentative segment, the Reverend Wright is sitting down with Bill Moyers, tough interview there, and he’s going to be doing a National Press Club speech, and today, some excerpts of the Moyers interview came out. Let me read them to you. Moyers said, you performed his wedding ceremony, you baptized his two children, you were for twenty years his spiritual counsel. He has said that, and yet in the speech in Philadelphia, had to say some hard things about you. How did those words, how did it go down with you when you heard Barack Obama say those things? Reverend Wright, it went down very simply. He’s a politician, I’m a pastor. We speak to two different audiences, and he says what he has to say as a politician. I say what I have to say as a pastor, but they’re two different worlds. I did what I have to do, he does what politicians do, so that, what happened in Philadelphia, where he had to respond to the soundbytes, he responded as a politician. Wright went also to say that he, to the suggestion he was the one who had mis-communicated, ” when something is taken like a soundbyte for a political purpose, and put constantly over and over again, looped in the face of the public, that’s not a failure to communicate. Those who are doing that are communicating exactly what they want to, which is to paint me as some sort of a fanatic, or as a learned journalist from the New York Times called me, a ‘wackadoodle.'” What’s he doing here, Mark Steyn?
MS: Well, I think he understands that he can get a pass on this. I’m astonished by the amount of mail I’ve had from Obama supporters saying well, if you don’t hear the remark in context, if you don’t hear this in context, if you don’t hear that in context…and I always go back and explain look, I listened to the context. And what’s clear is there’s a consistent worldview for twenty years from this guy. The fact is, the U.S. government did not invent AIDS for the purpose of killing its own black citizens. If you believe that, you’re a nut. And if you don’t believe that, and you’re just saying it because it happens to be good show biz in your Church, then you’re deeply wicked, because you’re misleading your congregation, which is an ungodly and an unchristian thing to do. Jeremiah Wright is not someone, like Obama’s terrorist pals, this is someone who would not be within the normal social circle of most Americans, regardless of their politics.
HH: And I also think he was suggesting that Barack Obama didn’t believe what he said in Philadelphia.
MS: Yes, and I think that’s true as well. I mean, Obama basically…I thought that speech was rubbish, by the way. It was a ludicrous speech, and hopelessly overpraised. And as we see in Pennsylvania, except to the bozos in the media who fell for it, it didn’t have the desired effect. But basically, Obama did a sort of vain glorious thing where he said this isn’t about me and my judgment and my pastor and his hateful words. But we’ll generalize it to make it about race in America. And that’s deeply insulting to the hundreds of millions of Americans who don’t go to Churches led by vile neo-segregationist, racist pastors peddling nutball theories.
HH: Well stated as always. Mark Steyn, a pleasure, www.steynonline, America, for everything Mark Steyn, including the latest edition of America Alone with a brand new introduction. We’re going to have to get lots of those out between now and the election.
End of interview.