HH: But I begin with Columnist To the World, Mark Steyn. You can read all of Mark’s work at www.steynonline.com. Mark, I’m going to make your ears bleed. I’m going to make you listen to a bunch of President Obama tape. So please forgive me.
MS: Oh, no, no, no.
HH: (laughing) No, it’s gotta happen. I’m sorry, Mr. Bill. Let’s start with an excerpt of the President speaking today at the National Prayer Breakfast, cut number nine:
BHO: One such translator was American of Haitian descent, representative of the extraordinary work that our men and women in uniform do all around the world. Navy Corpseman Christian Bouchard, and lying on a gurney aboard the USNS Comfort, a woman asked Christopher where do you come from? What country? After my operation, she said I will pray for that country. And in Creole, Corpseman Bouchard responded in Tanzini.
HH: All right, stop for a second. Mark Steyn, I’m glad he’s recognizing the corpsman, but he can’t pronounce corpsman. And not only that, it makes me think he never, ever rehearses anything.
MS: No, I think that’s true. I mean, I think corpseman is the new zombie superhero, isn’t he, coming out in the big James Cameron movie. That’s what corpseman is. But this guy, I think you’re right. He wings everything. And that’s why he spends so much time speaking to so little good. I mean, this is, apart from the fact that it’s kind of revealing culturally in a broad sense, it typifies the Obama method. I said about that appearance of his with Martha Coakley a couple of days before the Massachusetts election, I said he went to the trouble of flying in to phone it in, which is what he did. He went to the trouble of going all the way to Massachusetts, but then he had nothing to say when he got there. It’s the same thing in Copenhagen with his pathetic Olympics pitch. And I think it does come to this thing where he just says fire up the teleprompter, and I’ll come in and wing it.
HH: Now I’m going to play for you a few excerpts. I’m now calling him President Say Anything, because he will say anything, and no matter how ludicrous. But this is my favorite, from yesterday’s address to the Senate Democrats, cut number two:
BHO: You did all this despite facing enormous procedural obstacles that are unprecedented. You may have looked at these statistics. You had to cast more votes to break filibusters last year than in the entire 1950s and 60s combined.
HH: Now Mark Steyn, the 50s and the 60s are the civil rights movement, in which real filibusters kept real important laws from passing. There was not one successful filibuster last year, not one.
MS: No, no. And of course, it raises the question of you know, it actually brings home the point here that the Democrats have this supermajority, and yet they have nothing to show for it, apart from all these multitrillion dollar bills. But that actually despite that supermajority, they had difficulty accomplishing anything. And you know, the problem now is that all they did with their majority is sit on it long enough to remind the country that they didn’t want the Democratic Party with this kind of majority.
HH: Here’s cut number four, Obama blasting the Republicans again in an attempt to pivot from blaming Bush to blaming Congressional GOP members. Cut number four:
BHO: I think ideas like this should be pretty palatable to the other party. They seem pretty common sense, pretty centrist. We should be able to hear their ideas as well. That’s why I spoke to the Republican caucus last Friday. I think it was to the country’s benefit that we had an open and frank discussion about the challenges facing the American people, and our ideas to solve them. I’ve got to admit, I had a little fun at that caucus. Now obviously, on some issues, we didn’t agree. But on some, we did. And I’m reminded that when it came to health insurance reform in particular, I sought out and supported Republican ideas from the start. So did you. Max Baucus, where’s Max? I think he can testify to spending a little time to listening to Republican ideas. So can Chris Dodd and Tom Harkin. You considered hundreds of Republican amendments, and incorporated many of their ideas into the legislation that passed the Senate. So when I start hearing that we should accept Republican ideas, let’s be clear. We have. What hasn’t happened is the other side accepting our ideas. And I told them, I want to work together when we can, and I meant it. I believe that’s the best way to get things done for the American people. But I also made it clear that we’ll call them out when they say they want to work with us, and we extend a hand, and get a fist in return.
HH: Mark Steyn (laughing)?
MS: Well, that line would have been better if he hadn’t already used it on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
MS: Because it gives you an idea of Obama’s total lack of proportion, that when Ahmadinejad is extending his fist, the president of the United States extends his hand, but that the Republican Party, he sees them as offering only a fist. Look, this is ridiculous. The Republicans were shut out of the process deliberately. Deliberately. And the idea that somehow they’re just the party of no, right now, actually, that’s where the American people are. The American people want a party of no to stop this thing. And this idea that somehow this thing would be more palatable if it just had a couple of Susan Collinsish amendments in there, then suddenly we could all get behind it, that ain’t going to happen. And what I find interesting about all these clips you played, this is a man who has nothing going for him except words. He’s never done anything in his life. He just talks. He talks and talks. And the more his rhetoric is detached from reality, the more he’s actually devaluing his only currency, which is words.
MS: You take the power of words away from Obama, and what is he? A big nothing. Big nothing.
HH: I’ve got two more for you. Cut number seven, talking, rewriting the history of deficits from Monday to Wednesday. Here we go:
BHO: We’ve also got to get back to fiscal responsibility. And I spoke about this at the State of the Union. Just ten years ago, America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion dollars. Remember, people were worried about what might happen with all these surpluses, and whether it would create problems in the financial markets. That was just a decade ago. After two wars, two tax cuts, prescription drug program, none of which were paid for, we faced a deficit of over a trillion dollars, a debt over the next decade of $8 trillion dollars before my administration spent a single dollar. Now we can’t change the past, but we can change the future, and that’s why I’m asking you to adopt a freeze in non-security discretionary spending for the next three years, starting next year. We’re still having a tough time right now, given the economy is just starting to pick up steam, but starting next year.
HH: Mark Steyn, we must get back to fiscal responsibility, two days after he sends up a $1.6 trillion dollar deficit.
MS: Yeah, I know. But that’s his whole thing now. We must get back, I’m determined to stop drinking just as soon as I’ve been on my next week-long bender. This is simply ridiculous. There’s a wonderful cartoon in Investor’s Business Daily, Barack Obama going to a 12 step program meeting, and saying my name is Barack Obama, and George W. Bush is a spend-a-holic. I mean, this is, the idea that the benchmark is not the Year 2000. The benchmark is what Obama has done since that last disastrous year of George W. Bush. Now I certainly objected to a lot of the spending under the Bush administration. But the idea that you demonstrate your fiscal responsibility by increasing federal spending as a percentage of GDP from 20% up to near 24%, I think is ridiculous. I mean, this guy is spending at a level George W. Bush never contemplated. And so that’s a perfect example of what I mean by saying that every time he talks stuff like that, and it’s entirely divorced from what he does, then he is devaluing his own currency, and people simply aren’t listening to him. And they laughed at him in the State of the Union. And there’s going to be more laughing.
HH: Yeah, here’s one that doesn’t make me laugh. It makes me angry, actually. It’s a very short cut, and remember, he’s talking to, you know, 59 Democratic Senators with jobs, with health benefits, with lucrative lobbying careers when they’re done from the position of a man who will never make less than seven figures for the rest of his life. And here’s what he says to them, cut number 8:
BHO: I know these are tough times to hold public office.
HH: What do you think, Mark Steyn? Are these tough times to hold public office?
MS: No, no. And I’m tired of this, too, because the reality is it’s tough to be a small businessman in this country now. It’s tough to be a small businessman facing huge rates of corporate tax, facing more and more regulation to pay, to pay for Senators with vast retinues the size of the average Gulf emirs. And the reality is that this distinction he keeps drawing between public service and the private sector, it’s the private sector that pays for the public service. I pay for Barack Obama. He doesn’t pay for me. And he and his pals should stop sucking me dry, and every small businessman dry, and we should restore a mutually respectful relationship where he stops reaching into my pocket and taking my money.
HH: Mark Steyn, always bracing, www.steynonline.com.
End of interview.