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Mark Steyn on how the vote counting is unfolding in Massachusetts

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

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HH: To begin to chop this, it’s not yet over, I’m joined by Columnist To the World, Mark Steyn, www.steynonline.com. Hello, Mark, what do you make of this?

MS: Well, I’m cautiously optimistic. I don’t, I think sometimes, people in the other 49 states don’t realize how much of a one-party state Massachusetts is. This is something, this is a jurisdiction where a two-party democracy has ceased to function, where by some accounts 70% of local offices go unopposed, where the Republican Party has no institutional strength at all, and something amazing is happening in that state tonight.

HH: Now I’ve got to play for you, before we go to discussing Scott Brown, a little bit of the reaction among Democrats, as panicked as it is. Here is Barney Frank on Air America today, cut number two.

BF: Look, we have a serious Constitutional problem. There’s been a de facto amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and an anti-democratic direction with that 60 vote majority.

HH: All right, Mark Steyn, a little Constitutional problem here.

MS: Yeah, I don’t know what he’s talking about. Basically, his party is proposing to ram through the equivalent of annexing the entire economy of a G-7 country, annexing the entire economy of France, and shoving it down the throats of the people whether they want to or not. Now Barney Frank is a classic example of a beneficiary of the Massachusetts one-party state, and he’s not hearing what his own constituents are telling him tonight. If you go to Newton, which is Barney Frank central, there’s no enthusiasm for Martha Coakley and this Democratic Party even on the streets of Newton.

HH: Here’s Anthony Weiner on Morning Joe this morning, the New York liberal being much more candid than Barney, cut number one:

Host: Let’s say for argument’s sake she loses. Let’s just assume that for a moment. What happens to health care? We’ve heard that perhaps the Senate will ask the House just to sign the Senate bill as is. What’s the next move if you only have 59 Senators?

AW: I think you can make a pretty good argument that health care might be dead.

HH: And here is Alan Grayson from Orlando, Democratic Congressman from down there, same question, basically, on MSNBC.

Host: From Orlando is Florida Congressman Alan Grayson. Mr. Grayson, thanks for joining us.

AG: Sure, thank you.

Host: Is the health care bill dead, simply put, if Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts today?

AG: No, no it’s not. The plan was always to plan the bill this month or next month. Nothing has really changed.

HH: All right, Mark Steyn, we’ve got Anthony Weiner saying dead, we’ve got Alan Grayson saying nothing’s changed, we’ve got Barney Frank muttering about the filibuster. What’s going to happen?

MS: Yeah, I think this is, I think a lot of them will conclude this is their moment. This is why I think this business came up late in the day of alleged irregularities, which sounds pathetic. The case was pathetic, but it may just be good enough to delay the seating of Scott Brown, and provide Democrats room to find some parliamentary maneuver to stuff this thing down the gullet of the United States. And I think Nancy Pelosi and Co. are still betting that it is in their long term interest to do so, notwithstanding what is happening in Massachusetts. And they’re now talking about this. I mean, what’s interesting is the Democrats, these partisan Democrats, Massachusetts is now redneck country. It’s now Mississippi. If you listen to the way they talk about the knuckle-dragging teabaggers and all the other stuff, these people who twenty minutes ago were like elite, East Coast liberals sipping their chardonnay and their decaf lattes, have now joined the swamp dwellers of the deep South in Democrat and elite media eyes.

HH: Now Mark Steyn, 65% are in, and it’s still roughly 52 ½, 53-46%. That’s not stealable. You know, if it’s not close, they can’t cheat. They can’t steal that. Do you think they actually try and delay seating Scott Brown against that backdrop if it holds up?

MS: Yes, I think so. I think as you say, you never want, if you steal an election, you never want to have to steal it big, because at that stage, you’ve got to be Robert Mugabe. And you know, I’m not persuaded that the Democratic Party is willing, in Massachusetts, is willing to do that for Martha Coakley, because if you look at it from only ambitious Massachusetts Democrats’ point of view, it’s in their interest to actually, you know, metaphorically pull a Ceausescu and put her up against the wall and get rid of her, knowing that then there’s an open Senate seat for them in a couple of year’s time. But it is in the party’s, it is in the whole party’s interest to delay the seating of Scott Brown, and that’s why I think there’ll be far more takers for that strategy than for actually attempting to steal it and stick Martha Coakley in the Senate. We’re not talking about Minnesota and Norm Coleman/Al Franken here.

HH: No, we’re not. This is not even, this is not remotely close. If these numbers hold up, and thus far, the trend has been very, very good, but we don’t know if Boston has trundled in all their dead votes yet. Mark Steyn, we’re not going to have the benefit of exit polling, so we’re going to have to just surmise what we can surmise. But you’re closer than most, because you’re getting the Globe every day, and you live in the Boston media market in New Hampshire. Who deserted the Democrats? What’s their profile, do you guess?

MS: Well, let me correct you first of all, Hugh. I don’t get the Boston Globe every day. Like most people, at least in my part of New Hampshire, we canceled our order 37 years ago. It’s an unreadable newspaper for a paper with pretentions to be the regional paper for New England. But what I found interesting is that a lot of people from New Hampshire, you know, when you have elections here, New Hampshire is a competitive state, so Massachusetts Republicans always come up here, because they get to participate in a real election. It’s the opposite this time around. Tons of New Hampshire Republicans have gone down to Massachusetts, because for the first time, Massachusetts is having a two-party election in living memory. And what I think is interesting here is that I think the people who have abandoned them, the Democrat Party, I think the strength, there is a strength to Scott Brown’s candidacy, but I think there is also a revulsion, particularly by independents, at the assumptions of the Democrat machine and the one-party state.

HH: Now do you believe that at the White House tonight they’re going to have the conversation that I confirmed again today with a Clinton White House veteran, after the ’94 vote, they sat around and they explicitly said we’ve got to get back in the game, we have miscalculated. Does the Obama White House have the ability to say wow, Alinskism is not so popular, we’d better go back and find the center?

MS: No, I don’t think so. I think that’s because this White House is surrounded, and this administration at its heart is surrounded by stupid people. Clinton was smart enough to hire smart people. Obama isn’t that smart. And I think that’s why in effect, he compounded Martha Coakley’s problems in the disastrous rally appearance on Sunday. You know, if the whole rap against you is that you’re the hack candidate of a discredited party machine, the answer isn’t to fly in Obama, John Kerry and miscellaneous, idiot princelings from obscure branches of the Kennedy family, and hold a so-called rally in a private school at which the President, having gone to the trouble to fly in and put his prestige on the line, can’t be bothered to string together a halfway coherent speech. I think that’s the arrogance of Obama. I think what this, what his appearance on Sunday had in common with the Olympic business in Copenhagen and the climate change appearance, too, is this arrogance that somehow, he can just fly in, and the sheer aura of Obama will transform the situation. And it doesn’t work anymore. He’s become a bore. And that little bubble he’s in with these dreadful, dreadful, tin-eared speechwriters, the ones the media were doing all the cuckoo profiles about, the guy, what is he, Favreau, or whatever his name is…

HH: Right.

MS: These guys are talentless. They can’t turn it around for him. I’m not persuaded there’s enough savvy people in the Oval Office to actually speak up in these meetings and tell him what Clinton was told in ’94.

HH: Do you believe that Democrats on the lower levels at the Congress, or an Evan Bayh or Blanche Lincoln, can they save themselves by publicly even beginning to intimate and hint at what you just said, and by separating themselves on votes?

MS: Well, I think that, I do think that depends on very particular interests. I know you’re no fan of Barbara Boxer…

HH: Right.

MS: And one thing is interesting, is if what happens, what appears to be happening in Massachusetts happens, that certainly puts Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat in play.

HH: Absolutely.

MS: And at that point, fellows like Evan Bayh really have to think about whether in a sense, if there is an anti-administration mood in November, whether they want to present themselves to the electorate as de facto members of the administration. I don’t think Evan Bayh is going to be wanting Obama to fly in, in November, not if he has the same effect he had on Martha Coakley’s race.

HH: Oh, so many interesting things to ponder. Mark Steyn from www.steynonline.com, thank you, friend. We’ll talk to you on Thursday.

End of interview.

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