HH: I begin with Columnist To the World, Mark Steyn. Mark, welcome, and I hope that After America, your brand new book, is selling briskly.
MS: Yes, it is. It’s up to big hit sound number six on Publisher’s Weekly, and number six on the Wall Street Journal Nielsen ratings, which are just hot off the press moments ago.
HH: Oh, excellent. In the old days, they used to say with a bullet.
MS: Yeah, I know. I would as an old disc jockey. I would say number six with a bullet, but I don’t want to be attacked by the Democratic Party and the media for using violent imagery that is destructive to our political discourse.
HH: Well, I thought of you earlier this week in a similar regard, because you are our favorite dominionist. And Bill Keller…but usually, you’re talking about the Dominion of Canada. Bill Keller’s talking about a different thing in the New York Times, Mark Steyn.
MS: (laughing) Well, yeah, he’s got this thing about questions for the religious beliefs of conservatives.
MS: And I find that fascinating, because nobody ever thought to question the religious beliefs, at the New York Times, of the religious beliefs of Barack Obama, who sat for twenty years in the pews listening to a man preaching that most Americans would regard as objectively disgusting. And it doesn’t really matter. Most Democrats would not be able to sit through Reverend Jeremiah Wright. And we were told…and by the way, this isn’t just a guy whose church he’d go to every so often. This is the guy who married Barack Obama, the guy he entrusted his children’s religious upbringing to. But no, no, no, we’re not allowed. In fact, CNN, I think, there’s a CNN memo or something floating around somewhere about how they said they weren’t going to go anywhere near that.
HH: Well I must say, it is very remarkable that they continue to probe this particular crack in the American Republic. And my friend, John Schroeder over at Article Six Blog, said all of these questions have been asked and answered with regard to Romney, kind enough to cite my book from 2007.
HH: But also, all of these candidates have often said the same thing about their faith. But the left wing media is not going to let up on this, Mark. They think this is their meal ticket.
MS: Well no, this is a form of distraction for them. America is in crisis. That’s really what my little book is about. And the crisis is going to become an existential crisis during the term of the next president. And the Democratic media left just keeps saying no, no, it’s about the religious beliefs of these kooky Republicans. No, no, no, it’s about the racism of the Tea Party. You talk about $15 trillion dollars of debt, you bring that up, and they say no, no, no, Tea Party racism over there, or no, no, no, look, kooky religious candidate Michele Bachmann over there. This is nonsense. If the American people are stupid enough to fall for this, then the republic will slide off a cliff. But I’m confident there are not 51% of Americans stupid enough to fall for Bill Keller’s third-rate, kids party magician form of misdirection.
HH: What about Dana Milbank in the Washington Post calling Rick Perry a theocrat? This is a word that’s also going, like dominionist is one word…
MS: Right, right.
HH: Theocrat’s another word. It’s as though they’re playing badminton with each other in racial bigotry.
MS: Yeah, well, just to go back to that dominion thing, I mean, I’m astonished about that, because the only reason the Dominion of Canada is called the Dominion of Canada is because London felt…the founding fathers of Canada wanted to call it the kingdom of Canada. And London thought that Washington would find that a bit provocative on the North American continent, neo-monarchism. Now, they didn’t realize that of course the word is just like a by-word for theocratic control freaks who are going to destroy your life. So I certainly hope that the Dominion of Canada is going to become the theocratic control freak of the North American continent.
HH: Well, I’m a little bit confused. As I was looking up dominionist earlier today, I discovered that there’s actually some ambiguity about when Canada actually became a country. They can’t even agree on the day or the time.
MS: No, (laughing) that’s true.
HH: I know.
MS: And it’s, not everybody has such a clear cut revolutionary moment as the 4th of July. On the other hand, my publicist, by the way, whenever I point out some utterly absurd law that the United States is now inflicting on you supposedly freeborn citizens, and I use my line George III wouldn’t have done this to you, my publicist says oh, no, you shouldn’t say that, you shouldn’t say that.
HH: (laughing) Mark Steyn’s publicist has an interesting challenge put out for them. All right, I want to talk about Tevi Troy. He was on the program yesterday, former deputy secretary of HHS, senior Bush White Houses official. He’s written a piece in Commentary Magazine, which I call the domestic policy equivalent of Jeane Kirkpatrick’s Dictatorship and Double Standards, because it’s about Medicare. It’s about that existential crisis. It’s called The Fog Of Mediscare, Mark Steyn. And when he walks through the numbers on Medicare, right now, the annual deficit of Medicare is $36 billion dollars, which is greater than the deficit of Greece…
HH: …which is causing an international financial meltdown. And that’s one year of Medicare’s deficit.
MS: Yeah, yeah. That’s one year of one entitlement program. And basically, when you look at the way people discuss Medicare, as it’s discussed in Washington, and then you listen to it as it’s discussed by any doctors or any collection of doctors, I spoke to a group of ophthalmologists a while ago, everyone hates Medicare reimbursements, because they’re fundamentally dishonest, they distort the market, government tries to jigger them further in its favor whenever they try to crawl back savings and things. And basically, government’s interference in Medicare is one of the biggest inflationary factors in the whole business of medicine. And what we have, I mean, what we have here is fascinating, because this doesn’t even factor into the $15 trillion dollars of debt.
MS: The Medicare liabilities, which are already ballooning way out of control, and by the way, as long term unemployment, which is actually already the worst since they began keeping the numbers, long term unemployment settles in to become a feature of life, you’re going to be having more and more people figuring out ways to game the Medicare disability system and get on Medicare earlier and earlier and earlier.
MS: I mean, you were just looking at, you’re looking at a catastrophe here that isn’t even figured into the official debt calculation.
HH: You’re just diverting us from the dominionist issue.
MS: Yeah, no, no, I’m sorry. Let’s get back to talking about whether Michele Bachmann believes in the Rapture. We should be talking about that from now until November, 2012.
HH: Well, I will talk about Michele Bachmann right now. I want to talk about the Tea Party roller derby, demolition derby, which is underway right now between Michele Bachmann, who I like, you like.
HH: Sarah Palin, who I like, you like, Rick Perry, who I like, you like. Listen to what Michele Bachmann’s superpac released today, Mark Steyn.
AD: Rick Perry says he’s one tough hombre on spending. “Number one is don’t spend all the money.” But what’s his record? Rick Perry doubled spending in a decade. And this year, Rick Perry’s spending more money than the state takes in, covering his deficits with record borrowing. And he’s supposed to be the Tea Party guy? There is an honest conservative, and she’s not Rick Perry. Paid for and authorized by Keep Conservatives United.
HH: What do you think about this, Mark Steyn?
MS: It took me a while to figure out that was Yellow Rose of Texas in the background, because it sounded like Dueling Banjos. So I quite wondered what they were working up to.
MS: But I love, I adore Michele Bachmann. She’s been quoting my book on the stump in Iowa, and I thank her for that. And I think she’s an absolutely terrific candidate. I love to hear her interviewed, I love to hear her speak. As I was saying on this show a few weeks back, I don’t think some of the kind of slick guys she’s hired…
MS: …on the consultant side really reflect what her campaign is about. And when Tim Pawlenty decided to go after Michele Bachmann, and make Michele Bachmann the issue of his campaign, he self-destructed. He self-destructed before our very eyes in nothing flat. And I would caution Mrs. Bachmann, who I think is a great asset to the campaign and a terrific candidate, and whom I love to hear speak, I would caution Mrs. Bachmann against letting these slick guys she’s paying huge sums of money to, actually turn her campaign, and turn her, her, into something she’s not.
HH: Mark Steyn, I believe that the Republican nominee will be the candidate who most effectively and consistently attacks Barack Obama on his policies. Do you agree with that?
MS: Yeah, I think the issue here is the huge, giant question mark over the future of the United States of America. And I think basically, you know, pretty much anyone who’s on stage in the candidates’ debate could do a better job than Barack Obama. Hiring the person…I’m looking for a candidate who can go head to head with Barack Obama in a real debate, no holds barred, not one of those ones where Bob Schieffer spends the first 20 minutes explaining that there’ll be room for 45 pre-rebuttal, followed by a minute and a quarter response to the pre-rebuttal of the previous question. Not one of those, but someone who can just get in a room, and clobber Barack Obama, because he’s not a good debater, up against someone who’s in command of the facts. And I would like to see that person emerge during the nominating process.
HH: And last question, will you commit in the recording, when you go back to the studio for the next Mark Steyn CD, to use only Gibson guitars?
MS: (laughing) I must say, I didn’t, I was actually with our lead guitar player, musing over a solo that might be on our forthcoming Christmas CD, and I didn’t actually look to see whether he was playing a Gibson guitar. But I will insist now that he only plays guitars that have been seized by the Feds…
MS: …put in a warehouse somewhere, and that he has then rappelled down the side of the building and stolen back.
HH: Mark Steyn, thank you, my friend. www.steynonline.com.
End of interview.