I started the day today on the radio north and south of the border - first with Bill Bennett across the fruited plain of this great republic, and then with John Oakley in Her Majesty's frosty Dominion. You can hear the Bill Bennett interview here - I show up about two-thirds of the way through, but the whole show is, as always with Bill, well worth a listen.
The subject, of course, was last night's Republican debate. My main point is that in the Cruz/Rubio showdown Marco Rubio's weakness is more disqualifying than Ted Cruz's weakness. Rubio accuses Cruz of being bad on national security. But there is a genuine difference of opinion in the base about the precise balance between security and liberty, between (in its extreme manifestations) the Lindsey Graham position and the Rand Paul position. People might be better disposed to suffer the attentions of the Big Security State if we were pulverizing our enemies, but there's little to be said for surrendering individual freedom in the cause of unwon wars waged ineffectively and interminably. So there's a real dispute about that.
But there's very little dispute about Rubio's Achilles' heel: the Gang of Eight deal which betrays a sentimentalized view of mass immigration to which the base is overwhelmingly hostile. As I said to Bill, even when he talks tough, he kind of misses the point: Rubio rejected the plan to bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees because, he said, even if 9,999 of them were okay, we can't take the risk that the 10,000th would be a terrorist. That's not where the base is: GOP voters increasingly take the view that, even if that 9,999 never build a single pipe bomb in their garage, large numbers and perhaps even a majority are incompatible with a developed First World society in a more basic, cultural sense, and provide the comfort zone in which the terrorists can move with ease. That's why Trump's "gaffe" has sent his poll numbers up into the thirties and beyond. Rubio sounded tough, but he still isn't where primary voters are.
~After Bill, I joined Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley on AM640, for a little more Trump, some thoughts on Jeb!, and some reflections on the big climate beano in Paris, starting with this absurd line from CNN:
The accord achieved one major goal. It limits average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures.
This is the hubris of fools. King Canute gave his demonstration at the water's edge to teach his courtiers the limits of kingly power. King Barack, Queen Angela, Prince Justin and the rest have neither the irony nor humility to understand the stupidity of an agreement to set the planet's temperature.
Click below to listen:
~As for that cat album of mine that both John and Bill were kind enough to mention, Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats is available from Amazon via CD and download, and also from iTunes and CD Baby. I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by France's Number One cat forum Bonjour Le Chat:
Les chats sentent dans quel Ă©tat d'esprit vous ĂȘtes, si vous ĂȘtes tendu... Je crois qu'il y a peu de moments plus magiques, et propres Ă vous rendre un sens des prioritĂ©s de la vie, que d'entendre le ronronnement d'un chat allongĂ© tout contre vous. L'esthĂšte britannique Lord Berners, sur qui j'ai fait un documentaire, disait qu'il prĂ©fĂ©rait les chats avec un ronronnement trĂšs fort; et y ayant rĂ©flĂ©chi je crois qu'il avait entiĂšrement raison. Quand je passe une demi-heure avec Marvin comme Ă§a, je peux faire face Ă n'importe quel stress; les idĂ©es me viennent; et c'est comme Ă§Ă que j'ai dĂ©cidĂ© d'enregistrer Feline Groovy.
Which means more or less:
Cats can sense your state of mind, if you're tense... I think there are few moments more magical, to remind you of life's priorities, than to hear the purr of a cat who's lying against you. The British aesthete Lord Berners, whom I once made a documentary on, said he preferred cats with a heavy purr, and, after giving it some thought, I think he was absolutely right. When I spend half an hour with Marvin like that, I can deal with any stress; the ideas come to me; and that's when I decided to record Feline Groovy.
For our francophone readers, you can find my cat album at Amazon France. And, if all this cat talk is making you felinephobic, there are plenty of gifts for non-cat lovers among our SteynOnline Christmas specials.