On my weekly visit to The Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday, Hugh and I discussed the Clintons and their money - Bill can't stop talking about how much they have, Hillary can't stop talking about how poor they are, and poor Chelsea has declared, from her $10.5 million apartment, that she's just too, too bored by money. On Hugh's show, I put it this way:
The problem here is it's a Mitt Romney problem. When Mitt ran, people talked about Bain Capital, and a lot of people couldn't understand what Bain Capital did. You know, he would talk about Staples, but everyone understood he wasn't the guy who invented Staples, he wasn't the guy who worked in stationery and office equipment and built up a chain of stores. Somehow Staples had fallen his way, and he turned it around. And people couldn't quite equate that as work. And I think it's actually even worse for Hillary Clinton, because she and Bill Clinton are stinkingly rich just from giving $200,000 speeches to rather shady and shifty figures from the United Arab Emirates. That's basically how they've got rich... People don't mind money, and people don't mind Bill Gates having a ton of money, people don't mind Steve Jobs making a ton a money. But this is hard-to-explain kind of money.
Her latest book is part of that phenomenon. Her publisher paid an advance of $14 million. It will never earn that back. So what exactly are Simon & Schuster paying for? What exactly are all those Saudi sheikhs paying for, other than dull speeches on the need for education? No other "First Family" has leveraged their "public service" into a grip'n'greet cash-cow on the scale the Clintons have. That's not like getting rich from "adding value" - from starting and building a business - or even from being a genuine bestselling author, like J K Rowling. I'm not sure how appealing this will be to the electorate at large.
We also discussed the Supreme Court's unanimous ruling on Obama's non-recess "recess appointments":
HUGH HEWITT: That makes this DOJ the equivalent of the 1962 Mets. They've lost twelve 9-0 decisions. It's truly unparalleled in badness of litigating. Do you think, and I'll ask Mitch McConnell this later, do you think he'll be humbled by this?
MARK STEYN: No, I don't think he will be, because I think he understands that you know, you can do quite a lot of this stuff. And he's throwing it at the wall every minute of the day.
MS: This is basically how he governs now. He's governing not as the president of a genuine republic, but as the president of a Latin American-style republic, where the president matters, and nobody else matters... One minute, he's suspending immigration law, the next minute he's deciding that this bit of Obamacare isn't going to apply for a couple of years. And if all that requires the Supreme Court to rule on it, there's going to wind up being quite a backlog of stuff there. And I think that's why he won't be chastened by this. And I'll add one other thing, Hugh. It is a slap down, but it's what I would call a sort of slightly cautious slap down. I mean, they said you can't call a long weekend a Senate recess... They're saying it has to be at least ten days. Now on the face of it, that's ridiculous. And if they had wanted to deliver a real serious slap down, they would have come in with something that was actually much harder and much more restrictive.
It's striking to me that, even when the other branches of government "get tough" with this abusive President, they do so very tentatively. John Boehner's ridiculous idea to sue Obama into complying with the Constitution, for example, isn't a bold move, but a cowardly one that tells the White House the legislative branch is unwilling to use the powers it already, indisputably, has - the power of the purse, the power to impeach lesser officials (at the DOJ, IRS and elsewhere).
Finally, I expressed a bit of weariness with what's become one of the most tedious tropes of our time, the "war-weariness" of the American people:
This phrase I've grown rather tired of, the American people are 'war weary', which is immensely insulting to the troops. The troops are out there dealing with it. The American people aren't weary. They just got bored with it.
My mother spent four years of her childhood in a town occupied by the Nazis: She was war-weary. The citizens of Coventry, England had their town blown to smithereens by the Luftwaffe: They were war-weary. If you're a citizen of Aleppo, you've had three years of car bombs, looting, executions, air strikes and mortar bombardment: You're war-weary.
But, unless you're one of the very small percentage of the US population whose family is in the military and has been touched by death or injury these last 13 years, this war has asked nothing of you. Nothing. By comparison with almost any other war in history, a smaller sliver of the citizenry has borne the burden and all everybody else had to do was put up with hearing about it for a minute on the news before "Real Housewives of New Jersey". And apparently that proved too much.