Skip to comments.Mark Steyn On Mandela’s Passing...
Posted on 12/06/2013 6:32:58 AM PST by Rummyfan
JC: Now, as we always have in this segment at this moment during the week, we have Mark Steyn from www.steynonline.com with us. Hi, Mark.
MS: Hey, good to talk with you, John.
JC: Good to talk to you. Now the news, the big news that just broke actually within the last hour was the passing of Nelson Mandela at age 95. We know hed been ill for some time, but he passed away earlier today and we got that news just a little over an hour ago. I believe that you, Mark Steyn, at one point, wrote obituaries or something for The Atlantic, did you not?
MS: Yeah, I was the Atlantic Monthlys obituarist for a few years, yeah.
JC: Well, why dont you give a verbal one here on Nelson Mandela, or any thoughts you have on his life and work and passing.
MS: Well, he was a man of enormous grace and dignity. He spent three decades in jail for his political beliefs, and it would have been very easy, particularly once hed become the champion of a global moment. There were hit pop songs called Free Nelson Mandela, there was a huge all-star rock gala at Wembley Stadium. He was, he became a poster child for the anti-Apartheid cause. And it would have been easy for him once hed come out of jail to have been a bitter and a partisan and divisive figure. And he wasnt. He was enormously generous in spirit given what the South African Apartheid state had done to him for the most productive decades of his life. And whatever the problems of South Africa currently, that period when he and F.W. De Klerk, his predecessor, the last Apartheid leader of South Africa, when they basically agreed to a genuine reconciliation, such as one rarely sees in Africa, I think that is his towering achievement.
JC: Well, very good. His, there will be a lot written and a lot said about him today and tomorrow, and in the weeks ahead as we look back at the life and work of Nelson Mandela. But bringing things a little bit closer to home, Mark Steyn, I know that Hugh Hewitt, whose microphone he has lent to me for today, is a big fan of the Mark Steyn for Senator in New Hampshire movement. But and here, when I guest host for this show, quite often, I do these things where were pretend Congressmen or pretend Senators or one thing or another. And well be doing that later on the show today. But right now, I am making you, theres no reason to bother with this election right now. Im making you pretend Senator from New Hampshire, Senator Steyn. So its a pleasure to have pretend Senator Steyn on the show. So I want to ask you this, pretend Senator Steyn, when we look at things closer to home here. The Senate is out this week, but theyll come back into session on Monday. This is really the beginning of the period in the post-nuclear option. The Senate will have been out for two weeks, and it was about three weeks or so ago when Harry Reid pulled the trigger on the nuclear option, and now we will have judges and other things confirmed on 50 votes in the Senate instead of 60. So now you, as a Republican Senator from New Hampshire in the Senate, how do the Republicans respond now? What do you do the same or do differently as a result of the existence of the nuclear option
JC: Well, I think you have to, well, let me back up a minute there. I mean, for a start, I think under the Constitutional order here, a president is entitled to a wide degree of discretion when it comes to his judges. But, but, that said, the problem here is that we have an increasingly a hyper-regulatory state where in effect the lawfulness of what citizens are being burdened with eventually is decided by judges. And thats true of Obamacare and all kinds of other stuff. And so the Senate, the Republicans in the Senate, have to, I believe, honor the function of the upper chamber, which is basically to slow things down. Basically, Harry Reid says nuts to that, I dont care what the founders had in mind, I dont care about the traditional role of the upper house in a bicameral legislature. Im going to floor it, Im going to put my foot on the gas. And the Republicans have to honor not just the Constitution, but in fact, a broader degree of precedence going back centuries, and say that the job of the upper house is to slow, is to temper, is essentially to temper democracy and prevent it from becoming simply a majoritarian tyranny. And thats what Harry Reid wants to bulldoze his way past, and thats what senators should be standing against.
JC: But, okay, standing against, but it has occurred. So what do senators do now? Now there are still a number of things that require 60 votes in the Senate.
JC: They didnt do the full nuclear option. They still, they can still delay things, they can still muck up the works a little bit. What sort of protest, other than say this is terrible, this is an outrage, what should they do? Or is there anything they should be doing on the Senate floor about it?
MS: No, I think they should, with the remaining 60 vote things, and by the way, I dont honestly think that those 60 vote requirements are long for this world. I think once youve basically established, I mean, Harry Reid right now is saying hes a little bit pregnant, but he reserves the right to get a little bit more pregnant down the road. So I think you know, once youve breached the wall and the 60 vote thing is, the idea that for example, the 60 vote thing could stay on for Supreme Court nominations doesnt make sense once youve got rid of it for judges all the way down. But basically, hes making the rules up as he goes along. And for that reason, the job of the minority in the Senate is to actually insist, to hold him to what rules that remain, and require that he stick to those rules. I mean, one reason why millions of people have had their health insurance cancelled is because of all the legislative sleight of hand that was going on with Harry Reids Senate three years ago. So these things have real world consequences, and thats why simply to maintain your status as a respectable bastion of representative government, the minority has to insist that the rules be followed.
JC: Yeah, okay. Switching gears again now, the President gave a speech yesterday in which he talked a lot about income equality. And he began, went back into his campaign mode, talked about the increasing income inequality in the United States and actually around the world, acting like he hadnt been president for five years, as though somehow the fact that some of this happened under his watch had nothing to do with him. But your reaction and thoughts about the Presidents income redistribution efforts here?
MS: Well, I think youre right to make the point that you know, its been his world for five years. Its like opening up Variety and finding a guy complaining about what a lousy night he had on Broadway when hes the playwright. I mean, this is Obamas world. He is a, he believes genuinely in redistribution. And I think whats actually, whats so silly about that is if you look at what he actually does, other than just talk about it, I mean, for example, one of the worst things for income inequality in this country is a massive level of illegal immigration from Latin America that he supports, and which he now wants to legalize. All that does is basically put people who are already in the country at the bottom of the economic ladder at an incredible disadvantage. And basically, his party, his party is wedded to the idea, as much as the Saudis are, is wedded to the idea of a permanent servant class that is just continuously replenished. So in a sense, theres no consistency about this. The best thing to do, the best thing for income inequality is a competitive job market. And the best thing for a competitive job market is not to import tens of millions of low-skilled people from outside the country.
JC: And in our last minute that we have with you, Mark Steyn, the President yesterday also called on bartenders. Were going to play this clip later in case listeners havent heard it, but he called on bartenders to have happy hours, to bring people in to support Obamacare.
MS: Well, I thought it was bad enough when he was issuing Obamacare talking points for Thanksgiving dinner, his Obamacare turkey points for your cranky uncle who listens to right wing talk radio. I thought that was insane enough. The idea of, I mean, I cant think of anything less than a happy hour than you know, going into a bar. Id be face down in the beer nuts and paralytic if some guy started talking to me about Obamacare in the bar. Thats definitely the last place for it.
JC: Thank you, Mark Steyn. www.steynonline.com, and its ironic that the President should have done that yesterday, because today is the 80th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition. It took 13 years to repeal prohibition. How long will it take to repeal Obamacare?
End of interview.
He basically participated in terrorist activities for some time before his arrest. Besides his arrest while sucking being in prison allowed him the distance from the violent work of the Left in SA, and this allowed his publicists to craft a better image for him.
Steyn has a nice voice, but he is misinformed on Mandela.
With the adulation and extreme positive coverage he is getting, I expect him to return in 3 days.
The word is out...Obama will attend his funeral. It’s all about black....Will it be a traditional communist funeral??
Perhaps we need to model his activities in the battle against the current administration and the big government big banking/business alliance in this country.
Millions of community organizers will be setting tires aflame to honor his memory.
Oh, and hey, don't forget to remind those people to check their tire pressure.
Marke Levin had a good segment on Mandella last night
He described how he made wrong choices early on that he came to regret later on.
siding with the Soviet Union, especially, since it meant Reagan AND thatcher could not give him support.
The violence of his past was given up for statemenship, and is creditted with preventing massive race riots at the end of Apartheid.
I wish I had a perfect childhood and teen years (and early twenties for that matter) but I dindt either. Thankfully nothing landed me in jail before I got my mind straight.
“He spent three decades in jail for his political beliefs”
Why is this lie so widely believed and repeated?
His political beliefs at the time was communism as the model for black nationalism, and he committed over 300 acts of terror, and he was convicted for that, as well as possession of a huge stack of Soviet-made weapons.
There were many that shared his political beliefs that never went to prison, but chose to work in other ways to end apartheid.
Was Nelson a Christian? Did he accept or Reject Christ?
I always saw him as a liberal, a friend to Democrat administrations
Will he go straight to heaven, or will he have to be in The book of life like the rest of us?
I always do this when these famous folks die, cant seem to help myself.
Its like history is re written every time someone like this dies
Am sure he was a great man in worldly terms for sure, but did he accept or reject Christ, did he stand up for the unborn child? Was he for gay marriage etc, these are the questions I have
God Bless Nelson Mandella
I am curious on what basis the American revolutionaries can be considered justified, but armed action by Mandela and the other South Africans would not be.
By any reasonable standard black South Africans were infinitely more oppressed than Americans of the 1770s.
If Mark Steyn gives Mandela props, then I’ll give a little respect. Steyn knows more than I.
I had the exact same thought whilst listening to the news this morning!
Quick, change the locks, LOL
I turned off Fox News this morning--wall-to-wall Mandela--and turned to our local sports station on the radio. But instead of discussing USC's upcoming bowl game, they were interviewing a South African golfer who was singing Mandela's praises. So I came over here to FR.
Two who fell for the revised Mandela image were Senators Bob Dole and freshman Mitch McC in 1985. In 1996, Bob Dole said “we have to speak truth to the American people”, but he never explained the communism of Mandela. He knew probably that the American people wouldn’t listen if he did.
Post of the Day!
Some interesting tidbits about Reagan and South Africa, which showed that Reagan was absolute correct in his policies towards South Africa:
Ah...couldn’t be YOU who is misinformed......?
Let me give it a shot...............# 1......Washington et al were not communists.
It has never been reported that they went in to thousands of people’s homes and cut them to pieces with machetes just because of their skin color and in the name of their cause.
Our Revolutionist’s started out “their Revolution by saying to the world that “all men are created equal”. Mandela and his ANC roll on the floor laughing at that silly theory while slaughtering and murdering thousands in the name of their “revolution”.
Please anyone spare me that LeClerk’s forces in apartheid days were morally equivalent in their actions as the ANC. That is the old standby argument of lefties everywhere in the world.
Finally, look what Mandelas “Revolution” has wrought upon South Africa, one of the richest resources countries on the planet, since 1994. It is a place of Horror and the black man is worse off than ever.
Then, look at what the American Revolution has accomplished and any argument that blacks are not better off than they were in 1776 is preposterous on its face.
A book could be written contrasting the American Revolution to Mandelas Revoloution but its easy to defend that there is no “moral equivalence” between the two.
If Mandela’s “towering achievement” is being the one African leader in history not to immediately institute a policy of “kill all de white people” (or whoever the opposing tribe is), which has happened in Africa approximately never, then sure. The soft bigotry of low expectations strikes again.
Other than that he oversaw the fundamental transformation of South Africa from an evil, unfair, and inequitable economic powerhouse, into a just, enlightened land with equality of destitution and child rape for all.
Small wonder Barqi is heading right out for the funeral, the man gave him a hell of a blueprint.
Yes, seems he’s caught up in the popular memes. (That even kind of rhymes.)
I mean, we should be glad to God that the situation wasn’t even worse. Now that he has kicked off of this mortal coil, however, what he had been is, well, “for the ages.” Whether it was bad or good. What’s going to follow, and how, and why? Mandela wouldn’t have been able to get where he was without the hand-up from de Klerk. If the black liberation movement gets full of itself, a distinct danger given the heavy Marxist streak, it will also give up what progress it had.
Food for thought...
The unsung star of the “Mandela” show, it now appears to me, is De Klerk.
He will be a mere footnote on earth while Mandela gets lionized. But De Klerk won’t be a mere footnote in heaven, I quite suspect.
I mean, De Klerk will be better than that, in heaven. We might criticize De Klerk’s softness, but Mandela at least understood that was how his public bread got buttered, and respected that.
1. What was the provocation justifying armed rebellion? I think no reasonable person can argue that the S. Africans did not have much greater provocation than the Americans. In fact, the Americans were pretty clear that their revolution was mainly pre-emptive, to head off the oppression planned by London. (We'll leave aside the well-documented fact that there was no such oppression planned. The colonists didn't know that.)
2. What actions were taken. American revolutionaries were remarkably vigorous in persecuting those who dared to oppose them. They certainly invaded a great many homes, both before and after the outbreak of war. Deaths were not uncommon, and confiscation of property and mob violence was extremely common. 2% of the American population left at the end of the war. Which would be 6M people in today's terms.
I don't think it's fair to blame Mandela for any and all crimes committed by the ANC or other black revolutionaries/criminals, since he was locked up for almost this entire period. Unless you have evidence he organized the "slaughtering and murdering of thousands in the name of their revolution."
Washington et al were not communists.
No, they were not. Mandela was apparently a Communist Party member for a brief period, but bailed out. He had of course socialist tendencies, as have almost all revolutionaries of the 20th century. When he came to power he did not attempt to establish a Communist government.
The worst is when they trot out all the Hollywood celebs to give us their brilliant insights into the Mandela phenomenon. I really don’t need to hear what an actor who once played in a Mandela biopic thinks about these issues.
“How long will it take to repeal Obamacare?”
I’ve posted this before and I am terribly sorry for the repetition but it is worth repeating:
Freebies, ( And do not joke with yourself, Obembacare is nothing but freebies to the leeches ), have never, and I repeat, NEVER been repealed. Both dims and RINOs do not want to lose the votes that they would lose if they would repeal freebies.
Newt Gingrich was able to roll freebies back in the 90s but those who think that Obembacare will ever be repealed are dreamers. It is going to take a total ‘breakdown’ in the system for things to be put back right and to rid the culture of socialism and freebies.
Thanks. I get tired of the automatic assumption that all revolutions with the exception of our own were not justified.
Black South Africans were entirely justified to engage in armed rebellion and guerrilla warfare against their oppressors. Obviously I don’t agree with all their methods and those they chose to ally themselves with.
But insofar as the second point goes, it behooves us to remember that revolutionaries seek support where they can find it. We chose to ally ourselves with the French and Spanish monarchies, absolutist governments infinitely more repressive than the British system against which we rebelled.
What planet was Mark Steyn living on in the 80's??
If one does not know or ignores history then one is bound to repeat it.
Batista had Castro in prison and despite all of Castro’s sayings, Batista granted amnesty, let him live and let him out of prison.
People in Venezuela had Chavez in custody, let him live and relinquished power to him.
The South African government had Mandela in custody for 27 years and let him live.
Do humans never learn?
Mandela singing about killing whites
basically participated in terrorist activities....?
He was the LEADER of the ANC’s terrorist wing, he signed off on dozens of atrocities and carried them out himself for decades.
He did not get jailed for his political beliefs, he got jailed for murdering people.
The ANC by the way murdered more blacks than whites, because those blacks weren’t commie enough.
I didn’t know that “Obituarist” was a job title.
I’d like it on my resume, just below “Non-Attorney Spokesperson”
As much as I respect Mark Steyn, he isn’t God, and he isn’t going to be right all the time. As far as I’m concerned, he can take his gushing over that Communist to an audience who will be receptive to it. Unfortunately, that audience seems to include quite a few conservatives.
And let’s not delude ourselves——Mandela’s skin color is a big factor in the obligatory fawning.
What evidence do you have that Mandela regretted it?
He never renounced his past or violence as far as I know.
in worldly terms he was a mass murderer
Murdering innocent civilians and shooting foreign soldiers are hardly the same thing.
There is no comparison.
Which innocent civilians did Mandela murder?
Mandela was the leader of the ANC terrorist wing, he admitted guilt to 156 counts and was apparently found guilty of many more atrocities.
did I mention he was the LEADER of this terrorist wing and personally signed off on everything they did under his reign?
He was ANC and SACP at the same time. He is still a communist.
He even hand wrote an essay “How to be a Good Coomunist” which was even posted on FR in full back in 2004.
Their crimes, which he never renounced as far as I know, includes the slaughter of hundreds of blacks who refused to join the ANC.