HH: Much to talk about with Mark Steyn, Columnist To the World. You can read all of Mark’s work at www.steynonline.com. I begin with a report we got from Jon Kyl, and I will interview him next hour, Mark Steyn. The Democrats have decided to use reconciliation to try and jam a version of Obamacare through the Senate with 50 votes plus Joe Biden. What do you think the reaction to that is going to be?
MS: Well, I think the public will be annoyed, the citizenry will be annoyed, and they’ll express that anger in November. But I think given the President’s performance last night, I think there’s reason to believe that the voters would have expressed that anger, and cost the Democrats their majority in November anyway. So if you accept that, if you’re a Democrat and you accept that your party’s going down in November, you might as well get something for taking that hit. In other words, you might as well at least ram this thing through, and have something to show for your defeat. And the question then becomes, can the enforcers in the Democratic Party, the Nancy Pelosis and the Harry Reids, when they’re trying to persuade various Senators and Congressmen in effect to put on their metaphorical suicide bomber belts, do they have the equivalent of the 72 virgins to offer them for the price of self-detonating their political careers, because that’s what they’re going to be doing.
HH: Yeah, I don’t think they will be able to pull this off, Mark. I think they may have been forced to it by the left side of their party that is so anxious to socialize American medicine and destroy its quality in the process. But they’re asking scores of Democrats, not merely 40 or 50, but scores of Democrats to go over the cliff.
HH: I just, I can’t see it happening. Let’s turn to the speech. First of all, I’d like to play for you a little bit of Obama, his worst moment last night, where he’s talking about health care, cut number two:
BHO: But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Let me know. Let me know.
HH: Let me know, let me know, let me know, just trash talking, sneering, almost sinister…
MS: You know, I hate this occasion. I mean, I don’t want to become the unassimilated Muslim on your show, but I never feel less American than when I’m watching the State of the Union, because it’s monarchical theater. It’s a rip-off of the Throne speech in London or Ottawa or wherever, but without the underlying parliamentary reality. The one thing I like about the Throne speech is that the Queen, there’s a lot of back and forth between the Crown and the government over what the Queen will read out. In other words, she wouldn’t, she obviously wouldn’t say hey, if you’re so clever, come and see me if you’ve got a better idea, Mr. Smarty Pants. She wouldn’t do all that cheapo talk that Obama did. And so what you have here, I think, is the worst of all worlds, because the president gets to have a monarchical occasion, in which he indulges in sort of cheap, parliamentary sneering without the leader of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition being able to yell across the aisle, nuts to you, which is what would happen if he was doing that at Westminster or in Ottawa or in Canberra, or any other self-respecting parliament. So it’s unbecoming to this Republic, because it’s the worst of all worlds. It’s monarchical theater without the parliamentary tightrope walking that a real parliamentarian has to do.
HH: And he also took it to a new low level in an attack unprecedented for this setting on the Supreme Court. Here’s the President attacking the Supreme Court which comes by invitation of the Congress to sit. Cut number three:
BHO: With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations to spend without limit in our elections.
HH: Now Mark Steyn, that is not accurate. The Austin decision is 20 years old, it had never been directly challenged. This was explained in the Chief Justice’s concurrence. But putting that aside, he attacked the Court which is non-partisan, and is supposed to represent the rule of law. It’s really unprecedented.
MS: Yes, and it’s very interesting. I would be interested to know what Nancy Pelosi thinks of that, because Nancy Pelosi’s comment, best known comment on Supreme Court decisions is that oh well, they’re sort of like God. In other words, once the Court has ruled, that’s it. It’s chiseled in tablets of stone, brought down from the mountain, and delivered in this case by Justice Kennedy. I mean, what I find so odd about this is that Justice Kennedy is the new Sandra Day O’Connor on that Court. He’s the swinger. He’s the swing vote. And I think, I don’t think it’s strictly in naked political interest, it’s sensible for Obama to actually publically sneer at Justice Kennedy when he’s sitting a few feet away from him. It just seems to me a very odd thing to do, and yet another example of how isolated and detached from the facts on the ground this Oval Office is.
HH: You’re absolutely right. I wrote that on the blog earlier today, that although the attention’s on Justice Alito mouthing the words not true, in fact the President was attacking Anthony Kennedy, the key vote on the Court.
MS: Exactly, exactly, the 5-4 swinger he’s going to be needing in the years ahead.
HH: It’s, that was crazy, a little bit of thrill in exchange for a tactical blunder. Here’s another part that caught my ear, Mark Steyn, blaming Bush for the deficit, cut number 5:
BHO: By the time I took office, we had a one year deficit of over $1 trillion dollars, and projected deficits of $8 trillion dollars over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion dollar hole in our budget. All this was before I walked in the door.
HH: Now Mark Steyn, the prescription drug bill, the two wars, the tax cuts, were all in place by the end of 2007 when the deficit was $161 billion.
HH: Today, it’s $1.35 trillion.
HH: It’s nonsense what he’s saying.
MS: Yes, it is nonsense. I mean, this line that oh, I inherited a huge deficit, so what I’ve done is blown it up to an even larger size makes no sense anyway. But again, I think this is unbecoming in what is essentially a bit of monarchical theater. You know, Bush could very easily have said well look, he could have stood there in the 2002 State of the Union and said look, I inherited this al Qaeda mess from Bill Clinton, because he didn’t have the guts to take out the guy in Afghanistan when he could have. He could have stood there in 2003 and said well look, I inherited this unfinished Iraq business from my predecessor who just wanted to fly over and bomb the no-fly zone once in a while, and that’s unfinished business that I “inherited”. Obama will still be blaming everything on what he “inherited” in years and years to come. It’s time to man up. You’re the president. Nobody forced you to be the president. You wanted the job. Man up or get the hell out of the way. But to stand there blaming in this cheesy, tacky, finger pointing at a guy who’s been gone now for over a year just makes you look Princess Fairy Pants. It’s pathetic.
HH: And here is the reaction, back to health care, of Nancy Pelosi, cut number 11:
NP: We’ll go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, we’ll go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.
HH: Now Mark Steyn, what do you think is going to be the reaction among the people like the Tea Party patriots, the new groups like Docs 4 Patient Care, AMAC, the www.tearupyourcard.com movement that are up there against AARP, you know, all these people, and now even the corporations, the health care companies, whether they’re hospitals or medical care devices or insurance companies. They can now get into the fray directly. Do you think they’re going to take this?
MS: I don’t think so. I mean, I think that the basic template is this, that what’s hurting Obama with independents and so-called moderates and all the rest of it is that he is perceived, and the Democrats are perceived, as focusing on something peripheral at a time of severe economic woes, massive spending, and high unemployment. And every minute they spend talking about health care, they’re not talking about unemployment and economic issues. So this will be seen from that crucial, so-called moderate centrist, whatever you want to call them vote, as yet prolonging the self-indulgence of the Democrats.
HH: What about, you know, prior to Massachusetts, Obamacare was just a terrible bill. After Massachusetts, I think it becomes the single most contemptuous act by Congress towards voters in American history.
MS: Yes, but again, I think they’ve concluded, I think look, if you listen to the President’s speech, which I thought was really amateur hour, I mean, really amateur hour, we were mentioning whatever he’s called that 12 year old speechwriter of his last week, this was a ridiculous speech.
HH: It was terrible.
MS: But it shouldn’t have gone out like that, and it’s going to hurt the President and the Democrats.
HH: Mark Steyn from www.steynonline.com.
End of interview.