In my weekly appearance on The Hugh Hewitt Show, mein host was kind enough to put in a word for the new eBook of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade - "this collection of your wonderful funeral orations" - which Hugh has liked from the very beginning. Yesterday, aside from book plugging, we discussed John Boehner's urge for immigration "reform":
HUGH HEWITT: Well, here's how the article begins. 'House Speaker John Boehner theatrically mocked his fellow Republican Congressmen for being afraid to reform immigration policy when he spoke Thursday before the Middletown Rotary Club in his home district. Here's the attitude. "Oh, don't make me do this, oh, this is too hard," Boehner whined before a luncheon crowd at Brown's Run Country Club in Madison Township. We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems. And it's remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don't want to. They take the path of least resistance. I've had every brick and bat and arrow shot at me over this issue just because I wanted to deal with it. I didn't say it was going to be easy.' Not the best way to mobilize your colleagues, Mark Steyn.
MARK STEYN: No, and the problem here isn't his representatives and the members of his caucus. The problem here is the Republican base. The problem here is in fact the American base, who throughout the country have to live with the hard consequences of vast, illegal, low-skilled, transformative immigration, which has all kinds of implications for school budgets and hospital emergency rooms. And unless life has been as good to you as it has been to John Boehner and to the political class, you're at the sharp end of what for the political class in this country is mainly a problem of pool boys and the nice ladies who leave the chocolate on the bed in your hotel room in the evening...
HH: Even John Boehner's staff doesn't want to do this. It's really the Speaker looking for a legacy, and I think that's the most dangerous thing in the world, is an elected leader looking for a legacy, Mark.
MS: Yeah, I don't even know where we get that kind of thinking. Who cares about his legacy? He's the Speaker of the House. And what's important is what's in the interest of this country, and more specifically, the interest of the people who are existing, legal, U.S. citizens as of this moment.
We also discussed Kerry and Obama's unreality about foreign policy, from the Crimea to the Palestinian Authority. And then Hugh asked me to do a little bit of instant Passing Parading:
HH: Now Mark, I was thinking about your book, The Passing Parade, and I have a list here from Wikipedia of people who have died thus far in 2014. And I was just, if you were to retake up this, would Herb Gray, who was the deputy prime minister of Canada qualify? I mean, who this year would have attracted your attention?
MS: Well, I liked Herb Gray.
HH: I knew it. I knew you'd know him.
MS: He was the first Jewish cabinet minister. He's actually - I hate to be a pedant here, Hugh - he's actually the Right Honorable Herb Gray, since there's a mark of his greatness. That's normally an honorific reserved for prime ministers and viceroys and the chief justice of the supreme court of Canada. But the Queen graciously conferred it on him.
I hate to be a pedant to Hugh's transcriber, but he's actually "the Right Honourable Herb Gray". Still, that's what I like about doing Hugh's show: You get more coverage of former Canadian cabinet ministers than on any other US talk show. You can read the full transcript here.
~Keep an eye out on the right-hand sidebar for details of upcoming radio and TV appearances. Back when the first edition of the book came out, Hugh wrote, "If you have a very good friend, send them Steyn's Passing Parade":
Among the remembered: Ronald Reagan, HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Princess Diana, Sam Phillips, Michael Straight, Tupac Shakur, Rose Mary Woods, Sid Luft, John Paul II and Francis Crick.
To which we've now added Otto von Habsburg, Michael Jackson, the Cold War's wackiest honey trap, 007's Miss Moneypenny, Oriana Fallaci and more. When the first edition came out, Hugh quoted this bit from my intro:
It was Cullen Murphy who made me an obituarist in the formal sense, when he asked me to start the "Post Mortem" column in The Atlantic. At the end of each month, he'd have a shortlist of potential subjects and so would I and we'd try and find someone on both lists. He'd propose, say, Judy Garland's ex-, Sid Luft, and I'd roll my eyes and say you don't really need a professional for that. And I'd counter with some sober heavyweight figure, and Cullen would react like the great pop guru Don Kirshner did when the Monkees told him they were sick of this bubblegum stuff and they needed to grow as serious artists. But then I'd forget the serious artist growth process and do Sid Luft and everyone would be happy. My rule with The Atlantic is never to do anyone I totally despise. It's easy from an East Coast media perspective to have a hoot and jeer at a Utah polygamist like Owen Allred, but it's insufficient.
I alluded to that principle at the beginning of Hugh's show yesterday. If you'd like to pick up Mark Steyn's Passing Parade, there's no need to wait for long-distance shipping; you can be reading it within minutes. In the US, it's downloadable in Kindle format at Amazon, and in Nook at Barnes & Noble. In Canada, it's at Indigo-Chapters, and for those other corners of the Commonwealth in which Kobo is boffo you can also find it here.
Passing Parade is also available at Amazon worldwide. Click below for your nearest branch office:
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