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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Mark Steyn on Barbara Boxer’s progressive apartheid, Joe Biden’s progressive hole-digging, & Americans’ progressing dislike for nationalized health care.

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ML: And right up front, one of our favorite conservatives, favorite people named Mark. Mark Steyn joins us. You find him at And Mr. Steyn, welcome back to the Hewitt Show, first of all.

MS: Hey, great to be with you, Mark, as one Mark to another.

ML: And here in California, we never thought we would see the day in the middle of all the chaos out here that Barbara Boxer may now be vulnerable. You know, people have voted her in just because she’s there for years. When she runs, she runs this grandmotherly commercial that makes her look like she’s someone else. But today, her inner racist apparently has escaped. You’ve seen the video, right?

MS: Yes, Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce testifying before Barbara Boxer, and Barbara Boxer condescending to him, unable to see him as anything except a black man who’s wandered off the reservation.

ML: Unbelievable, but not surprising when you know Boxer as we do. And the amazing thing now is, well, there’s a couple of amazing things. A) that she did this and everybody in the room knew that it was racist in her tone and her questioning except Barbara Boxer. But it also points out that she was more harsh in her questioning and her interaction with a brigadier general than she was with this gentleman.

MS: Yes, it’s interesting. Barbara Boxer, she slaps down a senior military officer for having the impertinence to call her ma’am, and she punches his lights out for that, rhetorically, because she obviously feels she’s being condescended to, that this officer only sees her as a woman. And yet the minute she sees a black guy sitting in front of her talking about energy, she starts quoting the NAACP at him, as if you can only balance one negro’s view with the view of a more acceptable negro. I mean, this is the kind of grotesque, racial politics in which the contemporary Democratic Party is marinated. It’s basically a kind of progressive apartheid where as long as you remain the house pets of liberalism, you’ll be regarded as an approved spokesperson of your identity group. But God forbid you should ever have a dissident free thought of your own that doesn’t conform to the role they’ve allotted you as the approved identity group pets of their party.

ML: Yeah, and at the same time, Mark Steyn, in a week where we’ve heard all the people on the left, or so many of the mouthpieces anyway talking about racism and these attitudes and so forth. The same bunch sure has no problem talking about the old white men there on the Senate panel.

MS: Yeah, no, I find this interesting that Patrick Leahy began the confirmation hearings on Judge Sotomayor by saying any criticism of this woman is racist. You know, she’s a ‘wise Latina’. I don’t think she is a wise Latina, by the way. I accept that she’s a Latina, but I’m not persuaded by the arguments she’s made. But we’re not allowed to object to it, because to criticize her would be racist. What is really racist is the ludicrous anachronistic condescension of a liberal progressive like Barbara Boxer. We live in the year 2009. There is a black man who is president of the United States. We should be able to do the Martin Luther King thing, and judge people, 300 million Americans, by the content of their character, whether they’re Hispanic, whether they’re black, whether they’re whatever. And it’s this ethnic grievance politics that Barbara Boxer and Pat Leahy exploit eternally that’s the obstacle to that.

ML: Aren’t some of these people like Boxer and their willing buddies in the media really fanning the flames of racism when we think we’ve made some progress here? And it’s under the guise of pointing the fingers at the other side, the other political party here. Aren’t they making it worse?

MS: Yes, I think so, because I think what this is about, Barbara Boxer is effectively telling us we will never get beyond race, because to someone like her, when she sees a black man, she doesn’t see an individual who may be liberal, conservative, Episcopalian, Muslim, whatever. She doesn’t see an individual. She sees a designated member of a particular identity group that she regards as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party. And because she sees them as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party, it means that this race thing will be with us for always, because it’s about control. That’s what identity group politics is. It’s about putting you in a box and saying these are the designated spokespersons for the box you’re in, and they will speak for you now and forever. And because it’s about control, we’ll never be free of it.

ML: Mark Steyn with us on the Hugh Hewitt Show, Mark Larson sitting in in Southern California and across America on the network today on the Hewitt Show. We have another bonus today, not just Barbara Boxer telling everybody who ever thought about running against her and that oh, we can’t do it, that hey, the race is on, and the race I’m talking about it political, not the obvious in this particular topic. But apparently Joe Biden’s been running at the mouth again, and we’re trying to find audio on this. We will have it shortly. But he says today, and I love this deep, fiduciary thinking. We have to spend money to keep from going bankrupt. Mark Steyn, take it away, and interpret that for us.

MS: That’s right. We have to dig the hole we’re in deeper. It’s the only way.

ML: Shovel that money out the door.

MS: Yeah, we’ve got to keep digging. One way, sooner or later, we’re going to hit Australia and emerge into the sunlight. We’ve just got to dig this hole bigger, wider, faster, deeper. The fact of the matter is, this would be, at a time when unemployment now is tipping 10%, for him to say look at all the jobs we’ve created, if you don’t think this is working, look around. The only problem is we need to spend even more money that we don’t have even faster. The reality is, if you’re doing anything other than working for government, or belonging to a big time corporation that’s plugged in in Washington, that knows who to call in Washington, but if you’re just working for a small business, if you’re just working for a plumber, if you just own a restaurant, if you’re in a business that employs five, ten, fifteen, twenty people, you are going to have your back broken by the amount of useless government spending Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama are doing. And there aren’t enough rich people…you know, he says he’s only going to raise taxes on the wealthiest one percent or whatever it is.

ML: Right.

MS: You’ll be amazed at what percentage of us fall into the wealthiest one percent by the time these guys are through with us.

ML: Obviously, Joe Biden wasn’t working with a teleprompter today. Is this an indication about some chaos, some fraying of the fabric if you will, behind the scenes at the Obama White House? Because obviously he’s on the ropes on health care, cap and trade, cap and tax doesn’t look like a slam dunk now at the next phase, either. So what’s really happening? They’re going to get Sotomayor, they’ve got the number of votes, but is something else crumbling?

MS: I think his plan was to throw all the spaghetti at the wall in the first few weeks of the administration. And it would simply prove impossible for people to keep track of it. You know, one week it’s the bailout, one week it’s the stimulus, one week it’s cap and trade, one week it’s health care. And you just, it would be impossible to keep track of all this. And the net result after six months is all this stuff would be a done deal, and it would be impossible to object to it. But people are beginning to figure out that what all this complicated stuff has in common is a huge price tag. And once you know that, you don’t have to know all the details to object to it. And so I think that common denominator, the fact that it’s essentially unaffordable without taxing the life out of the United States, I think that message is getting through, and is beginning to stick to the President personally.

ML: As you look at all that has been said this week on the health care issue, Mark Steyn, what’s your current take on that and the cost, and just the…it seems like every minute there’s some new spaghetti as you said thrown up against the wall on that. That sounds awful, the throwing up spaghetti. But that’s what I’m going to do when I look at this plan.

MS: Yeah, I mean, I think the minute it becomes clear that most Americans are in favor of doing something nice for the legions of the uninsured, which is a generally bogus constituency, for the most part, but most Americans, being nice people, would like to do something about that. When they’re then told that this will impact their own health care, they suddenly cool on the idea pretty quickly. And I think that’s really what is going on here. This is worse than the nationalization of General Motors, because this is in effect the nationalization of your body. It’s saying you’ve got a pain in your appendix, you’ve got a prostate problem, you’ve got a broken leg, tough. That broken leg and that appendix are now under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and we’ll make the decisions about the treatment that’s available to you. And Americans are not going to go for that.

ML: Mark Steyn, is where you find him. Always a pleasure, thank you, sir, appreciate it.


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