»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, November 10th, 2006


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[Music clip: From Purcell's Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary II]

01 — Intro.     Well, well. We lost the House and we lost the Senate. Very bad for Republicans, but what does it mean for conservatives?

That depends whom you ask. George Will says that the Republican Party was punished not for pursuing, but for forgetting conservatism.

Pollster Frank Luntz, on the other hand, who makes a living at this stuff, says it shows that voters want candidates from the center, the center, the center. You know, that center that always seems to be a little further to the left than it was the last time you looked.

Ryan Sager, whose new book The Elephant in the Room is absolutely-must reading for conservatives, says that Republicans have managed to lose all those libertarian conservatives in the mountain West.

Well, take your pick. Anyway, here's your election-week issue of Radio Derb to alert you to some of the details.


02 — If you have nothing to say, say nothing.     Comments on the election by actual politicians displayed an even lower signal-to-noise ratio than is usual in this branch of human activity.

President Bush told us that he accepted the verdict of the electorate. Well, what did he think we thought he was going to do? Stage a coup?

Nancy Pelosi said: "The Congress and the President must work together to solve the country's problems." Uh-huh.

President Bush said he "accepts responsibility." You know, the way politicians "accept responsibility." The way Janet Reno "accepted responsibility" for the Waco massacre. The deal is, you go up on some platform, you say, "I accept responsibility," then you go back to your office and carry on as if nothing had happened.

Many, many other things were said on Wednesday that left me wondering why the speaker bothered to say them. I suppose they just feel they have to say something.

The last President who believed that when you have nothing of any or substance to say, then you should say nothing was Calvin Coolidge. Alas, the spirit of Silent Cal is long dead — and not just in politics either.


03 — Hillary and "special interests."     Not everything that was said on Wednesday was null and void. Some of it was downright dishonest.

Hillary Clinton, following her re-election as U.S. Senator for some dysfunctional northeastern state — I forget which one; one of those states from which people and businesses are fleeing like deer from a forest fire — Mrs Clinton promised us that she will fight for the people of that state "against the special interests."

What a crock! What does "special interests" mean? I'm sure that Mrs Clinton considers the pharmaceutical industry say, or the NRA, to be "special interests"; but what about the Trial Lawyers Association or the teacher's unions? Are these "special interests," Mrs Clinton? somehow I think not, not in your book.

Special interest-hood is like beauty: it's in the eye of the beholder.


04 — Mega-résumé guy screws up.     And then Rummy up and resigned! Yep, he screwed up the Iraq war, no doubt about it. And people noticed, and that was the main reason we lost so badly on Tuesday. So goodbye, Rummy.

My main thought here is that being a successful cabinet officer must be really, really hard. I mean, look at Rummy's résumé.

He was a navy flyer. He was a congressman back in the Kennedy Administration. He was Defense Secretary in the Ford Administration. He's held a bucketfull of other government jobs. He's been a CEO in the private sector — a very successful one, turning big companies around. He's been a diplomat and a college teacher. I mean, Rummy's one of those guys who make you feel that your time on earth has just been totally wasted.

He is in short a heavyweight. I'm almost scared even to say anything about him. I am not worthy, not worthy … and yet, he screwed up the Iraq war.

There's no getting around it. He did. To quote George Will again, if you don't mind: "The American people have this preference for their wars of choice to be won quickly, not lost slowly."

If a guy with Rummy's résumé can make a pig's ear of a war, you're left wondering what a mega-résumé like that is worth. Perhaps we could just pull in some guy off the street and make him Secretary of Defense.

But not me — please not me.


05 — The Iraq disaster.     The scary thing about the comments we've heard from politicians on the Iraq war is how plain it is that nobody has any clue what to do.

Certainly the now-dominant Democrats have no clue; or if any of them has, I haven't heard it.

President Bush has an idea, of course, and to be fair to the President, he has made his war aims clear. We stand up a government that is stable and representative. Then we accept their undying gratitude and march out of there with bands playing and flags flying and cheering crowds of Iraqis lining the streets, waving hankies.

The trouble is that nobody believes this can be done. Even the President — although he's always careful to say "a government that is stable and democratic," or "stable and representative," or some such synonym — even the President will probably be glad just to accept "stable" at this point.

As I have said before, we have a tiger by the tail and we either let go and take a nasty mauling, or we hang on, hoping the beast will get tired of thrashing around.

There are glimmers of hope in the rumors we're hearing about the Baker Commission, which is looking into the possibilities. We hear that they may recommend cutting some kind of deal with Iran and Syria and then getting out.

It doesn't really sound much like the surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri, but the American public at large would settle for it with relief without thinking too much about what it might mean for the War on Terror.

What a disaster Iraq has been!


06 — Suit up for next year's immigration fight     The only moment in his post-defeat press conference where the President seemed to perk up a little was when he was asked about the prospects for immigration legislation.

Yes, folks; get ready for the 2007 Clinton-Kennedy-Bush Open Border, Amnesty, and Abolition of Citizenship Act.

Jim Gilchrist, head of the Minutemen organization that's trying to do the job our federal government won't do, which is to say guard the borders, was on Fox and Friends Thursday morning. Quote from Jim: "There is no intention on the part of the White House or the Democratic Party to enforce our immigration laws or preserve our sovereignty." End quote.

You said it, Jim.

The Democrats' strategy is simple. Number one, to bring in as many immigrants as possible from Third World countries with statist political attitudes. Number two, to give these people citizenship ASAP so they can vote.

If you grew up in a country untouched by Anglo-American concepts of liberty and self-support, you're going to go head over heels for the Democrats' welfare-statism, not to mention their racial favoritism and identity politics.

It's easy to see why the Democrats want open borders and the 120-150 million Third World immigrants that Jim estimates will come here in the next twenty years. Why George W. Bush is on board with this program of national suicide is more of a mystery.

In any case, the big push will come next year. Everyone who cares about the future of this country should limber up to start pushing back.

Even with the Democrats holding Congress, this can be stopped. There is no real constituency for it among the American people at large and there's a passionate constituency against it, including a lot of Democrats. We can stop this. ¡Sí se puede!


07 — Transgender news.     A couple of items about transgender folk — that is, people who look to be one sex but insist they are the other.

Item one, from the election results. Kim Coco Iwamoto became the nation's highest ranking transgender elected official when she won election to the state Board of Education over in Hawaii.

I say "she" because I don't know how to pronounce that written form that the transgender folk are trying to get us to use. You know the one written as "s/he."  "Ess-slash-he" I guess it should be; unless you take the slash in its mathematical sense, in which case it's "ess over he." Whatever.

Item two, non-election-related. New York City's Board of Health is about to approve a rule that will let city residents change the sex recorded on their birth certificates even when there has been no sex-change surgery.

In other words, you will officially and legally be whatever sex you say you are, without regard to what sex you actually, physically, are.

Lots of opportunities there for guys who want to join the women's wrestling team, or go into the women's sauna, or take advantage of affirmative action programs for women.

Quote from the city's Health Commissioner: "Surgery versus non surgery can be arbitrary. Somebody with a beard may have had breast-implant surgery. It's the permanence of the transition that matters most." End quote.

Well, of course it is! What is all this nonsense about male and female anyway? It's all socially constructed, you know.

There's no such thing as "she" and "he," only "s/he."

Oh, brave new world that has such people in it! Tough I guess that should be p/sheeple.


08 — Barney, Charlie, and Cheney.     Among the power players in the new Congress will be representative Charlie Rangel of New York. Charlie's going to be the Ways and Means Committee chairman.

Now Charlie is one of those Democrats you hate for his crazy-left positions on pretty much everything, and yet you nurse a grudging respect for him on account of he's very smart. He could talk his way out of a canvas sack, and he sticks firmly to his stupid principals. In Charlie's case, he's also actually entitled to some real respect as a decorated Korean war veteran.

I feel a bit the same way about Barney Frank, although Barney seems to have avoided military service in spite of having been of age to serve in Vietnam.

They make a nice couple, Charlie and Barney. No, not in … not in that way. I mean a couple of … like, ah, you know, a debating team or something; not, er … Well, never mind.

Anyway, all sorts of people shirked military service in Vietnam, so perhaps we shouldn't hold that against Barney. There was, for example, Vice President Dick Cheney.

And that brings us back to Charlie Rangel. Charlie has it in for Cheney. He recently referred to him on Fox News as "that son of a bitch." Well, that's actually pretty mild by Charlie's standards. He once compared George W. Bush to Bull Connor, the police boss of Birmingham, Alabama who set his dogs on black marchers back in the civil rights era.

Well, now Charlie's got his eye on Cheney's lush office on the second floor of the House of Representatives. That office, says Charlie, has traditionally belonged to the Ways and Means committee chairman. He intends to get it back and then to use it as a base for his campaign to raise our income taxes.

Charlie, I really do appreciate your war service and there is no way I would get into a one on one debate with you, but I hope the ceiling of that office falls on your head.


09 — Borat: Is it good for the goys?     I think I've discovered a new form of political incorrectness: goy bashing. Let me explain.

I went to see the Borat movie. Now, I like Sacha Baron Cohen's stuff. He's a very funny guy, a natural comedian. His sketches don't always work, but that's the risk you take when you're innovative and adventurous, which is what he is. When he does hit the right note, he's the funniest guy currently on screen.

So I went to see Borat and yes, it's funny. I laughed a lot. There was something about the movie that made me uneasy though.

I get the impression that a lot of Ashkenazi Jews like Baron Cohen carry around in their heads this image of the old country — Russia, Poland, whatever — as a place where the Jewish guy is relentlessly persecuted, harassed, humiliated, insulted, and tormented by this great hostile mass of ugly, dirty, lazy, stupid drunken goys.

That is basically the background to Borat except that Baron Cohen has performed this brilliant twist where he is the Goy. It makes for a lot of laughs, but some discomfort too.

You know the old joke about how Jewish people, presented with any kind of cultural or political issue, start by asking: "Is it good for the Jews?" Well, I was sitting there in the movie theater laughing at Borat, but at the same time thinking quietly to myself: "Is this good for the goys?"


10 — Signoff.     There, now; I got through the whole broadcast without once mentioning Britney and what's-his-name.

It's funny, isn't it, how when something really important like Britney's divorce is happening, it gets swamped by some fool thing like an election. You know, like when Teddy Kennedy's little adventure at Chappaquiddick nearly got pushed off the front pages by that stupid moon landing business.

Never fear though, listeners, we have a sound sense of priorities here at National Review Online and there will be full coverage of Britney and her misfortunes in a future broadcast of Radio Derb. In the meantime, to set your thoughts back into a properly somber mode, here is a little more of Henry Purcell's requiem for Queen Mary the Second.


[Music clip: more Purcell]