GLENN: And we have Mark Steyn from Mark Steyn Online with us now. This guy is -- you're an American citizen, aren't you?
STEYN: No, I'm a legal resident of the state. See, you and I had lunch with Don Rumsfeld a while back and he asked to see my green card. He wasn't going to take my word as to my immigration status.
GLENN: Sure, all right. Yeah, that always happens when I have lunch with Don Rumsfeld, but jeez.
STEYN: You get lunch with Diane Sawyer.
GLENN: Yeah. Okay. So Mark, I wanted to talk to you about a couple of things. First of all, Fred Thompson. Who do you think the voters are going to go to that were with Fred Thompson? Where do they go?
STEYN: I think most of -- I think the two kinds of people who like Fred Thompson. One of the people who are sort of attracted to him kind of culturally because he's a Southerner and all that and I think some of that (loss of audio) This idea that oh, well, no, no, no, we're not going to compete in Iowa because that's full of evangelicals, we're not going to compete in New Hampshire because that's northeast and liberal, libertarian thing, we're not going to compete in Nevada, that's full of crazy Mormons, we're not going to compete in South Carolina because that's full of Southerners and yet somehow he is the only candidate who can beat Hillary. He had this kind of national candidacy that I think was a disastrous strategy. It's like it wasn't rooted anywhere. I said, I think the last time I was with him, I said it was like a 1-800 candidacy. It's just sort of out there. You are never sure, it's got no real area code, it's got no real base and I think he's done for.
GLENN: Do you think, do you really think McCain is going to be -- I don't know who I'd vote for if it's Clinton/McCain.
STEYN: I don't know, either. And to be honest I think we're looking at a very unhappy scenario.
GLENN: On both sides. I know tons of New York City, Manhattan, Central Park flaming on-fire liberals that are like, oh, I'll kill myself if I have to vote for Hillary.
STEYN: Yes, exactly. But in the end they won't kill themselves and they will vote for her because it's much more difficult for a Democrat candidate to annoy portions of the base sufficiently so that they don't turn out for them.
STEYN: Than it is for the (lapse in audio)
GLENN: This kind of music behind it because I'm thinking, oh, yeah. Look at them. They're all discovering that he lies and he distorts the truth and he plays hard ball and all of a sudden they're like, this isn't right, this isn't fair.
STEYN: No, no.
STEYN: I love it. The Hillary Clinton fans up there and denounces Barack Obama as a slum lord to his face, you've got to hand it to these guys.
GLENN: It's amazing. How about the Republican side?
STEYN: The Republican side, to be honest, I wish the Republican side, instead of sleeping through Martin Luther King's speech could be put to sleep because I think it's turning into a tragedy and I think John McCain -- I prefer -- I disagree with Ron Paul but Ron Paul has a particular philosophy and so when something arises, he frames it within that philosophy. John McCain, my job with John McCain is he's all over the map. It seems to be just whether a particular issue plays well for John McCain. I don't want to -- if the Republicans candidate is pro massive big government solutions to global warming, I don't see what's so conservative about that.
GLENN: You know, and honestly if it wasn't for the war, I just don't think I would pull the lever for John McCain if it was against Hillary Clinton but I -- and I may not. If it comes down to those two, I may not. I just may not be able to do it. If there's not a third party running, I just don't think I would pull the lever. I just don't think I would do it.
STEYN: No, I think that's becoming the issue, that people say, oh, well, it's going to be a clothespin election and you hold your nose and you go and vote. The trouble is that always works better for the Democrats. As we go back again to Bill Clinton, no matter how big the stench, they all go in there. It's choking them, you know. They've got industrial strength clothespin on the nose but they will still go in there and pull the lever and Republicans aren't like that.
GLENN: If we pulled the lever as a conservative for a guy who is that far off the mark of conservative values, then what happens to us is we've turned into the Fed.
GLENN: We've enabled -- we won't let ourselves bottom out. Bottom out, man, and brush that kind of stuff out of the conservative movement because if that guy wins, he becomes the face of the conservative movement, and I'm sorry but that ain't the face of the conservative movement.
STEYN: No, and I think the problem here is that -- you're right, you know. He's reliable on the -- he doesn't want to lose the war because he had that experience in Vietnam. He was out there and the folks back at home decided that all the guys sitting in there in the torture chambers of the Viet Cong and the rest of the gang, that those guys were going to lose the war, the decision was made back in Washington and he doesn't want to make that. He doesn't want to do that. But I don't think that's actually a good enough reason to vote for McCain because aside from that sort of basic feeling, this idea that he's sort of promoting that he's the guy behind the surge, he was always for the surge, he actually advocated when he was calling for a change of strategy in Iraq, it wasn't what eventually happened that did happen. I mean, this idea that he deserves credit for everything that's gone well in Iraq in the last year I think is ludicrous and I don't think he thinks that much about the bigger picture on the war, either. I'm not sure he's the guy for that.
STEYN: So I think it's a problematic choice in November and the lesson as well I think is that, you know, insofar as the Democrats get changed, that's determined by events. You know, they've stopped talking like nuts on the war now only because they would sound ridiculous if they would start because in a sense events have outpaced the lunacy of their rhetoric. But other than that I think bringing the allergy to bear on the candidates is going to be extremely difficult come November.
GLENN: If you are a listener of this program or you are a reader of shockingly good books, you know Mark Steyn from America Alone, which is a book that I think every American should read if you want to see the future. But, you know, a lot of people will say -- and you're in trouble up in Canada.
STEYN: That's right.
GLENN: They don't want you to say anything about Islamic extremism. Let me ask you this because this just came out from Time magazine and I want to know who are you going to hate now, now that Saudi Arabia has come into the future and is allowing women to stay in a hotel or a furnished apartment without a male guardian?
STEYN: The walls come crumbling down.
GLENN: And they all, I mean, they finally have made it to 1898 and I think that's beautiful.
STEYN: My sister-in-law lived in Saudi Arabia for a while because her husband was working out there and she had this fantastic range. I occasionally buy her one for Christmas. The Saudi bathing suits that the rich Saudi women wear, there's more material in them than the entire cast of Janet Jackson and the Super Bowl show, all of them put together in this one bathing suit.
GLENN: That's not saying a lot. That's not saying a lot.
STEYN: No, no, if you take everyone, if you take not just Janet Jackson and the wardrobe malfunction, if you take the stage hands, take all their clothes, this Saudi bathing suit that my sister --
GLENN: Why the hate, Mark, why the hate? They are letting women stay in hotel rooms by themselves now. How much more progress do you want?
STEYN: Well, they are still not allowed to drive over there.
GLENN: Oh, jeez, it's always something with you.
STEYN: The big thing they have, what is it, Chop Chop Square at 4:00 on a Friday where they have the executions of the week, the Saudi women are not allowed to go. Think, well, it's Friday, it's Friday afternoon in Saudi Arabia, the weekend starts here, let's party, let's go see the week's executions. They are still not allowed to go and see the week's executions.
GLENN: Oh, you are kidding me. Well, now I'm revved up. Now I'm against it. They won't let the women go attend the free executions?
GLENN: What kind of backwards society is that?
STEYN: Exactly. And how many -- and talk about your glub feeling. There is yet to be a female execution in Saudi history.
GLENN: Oh, my -- when they start executing women, then, then maybe we'll reevaluate. But until they start executing women --
STEYN: Glenn, that's one thing they do do. They executed -- they even executed a couple of princesses. I forget what it was about. A prince fell out with them but they do --
GLENN: Well, now I've started to soften on them again.
STEYN: No, women have equal access to being decapitated.
GLENN: All right, good. If I was ready to cut off aid to Saudi Arabia, say maybe we shouldn't be in bed with these guys.
STEYN: No, this shows the benefits of engagement. 70 years of engagement, they can now check into a hotel.
GLENN: One more -- this is so bad. One more thing I just have to touch base with you. You did -- because I have to tell you, Mark, I read the New York Times and I don't know why I do it to myself, but I couldn't read the whole article because the paper was covered in blood that had come shooting directly out of my eyes where they were trying to make our soldiers look like deadly killers.
GLENN: It was like a three-page article. The moment they come back, they start slaughtering people.
GLENN: You did the best. Wouldn't it be nice if the New York Times ever cared about facts, stories I've ever heard. In 90 seconds give, in a nutshell, how unbelievably wrong the New York Times was on this.
STEYN: Well, they claim to have detected the so-called quiet phenomenon, as they put it, in returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan were going berserk killing people, killing wives, killing people at convenience stores, killing people all over the country.
GLENN: Almost like they're Saudi Arabians.
STEYN: Yes. And it turned, of course, that these are a few dozen isolated incidents and that, in fact, veterans murder at a fifth of the rate of the equivalent gentle population. So generally speaking if you're at an airport and you see a soldier returning from Iraq or you see just like a regular guy with a goofy baseball cap, go and stand next to the soldier because he's five times less likely to kill you. And why the New York Times couldn't figure this out when everybody else did, I don't know. It's kind of mental illness over there.
GLENN: Why the hate on the New York Times in Saudi Arabia? Just because, you know, they'll not let women watch public executions and the New York Times throws our soldiers under the bus all the time with incorrect facts, why do you always feel like it's your responsibility to lead this campaign?
STEYN: Well, I think they sort of yoked on the side of these kind of crazy Saudi guys unintentionally because it's like the sort of dinner theater version of the Hitler/Stalin pact. On the one side, you know, the New York Times are Progressive liberals and the Saudis are crazy theocrats, yet objectively if America is and if mainstream American opinion and disposition is on the other side, they will be always against that.
GLENN: Does it ever kill you how inconsistent? I had, last night on TV I had the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. Did you see this, Stu?
GLENN: I have to play this. We have to have it available at all times. I get so much heat because I'm wrecking television because I'm not a journalist. Sean Penn called himself a journalist, never graduated from journalism school. The editor of the San Francisco Chronicle was on last night saying, well, you could be a journalist if you just say you're a journalist.
GLENN: It's incredible!
STEYN: It's not a profession. It's not like being a brain surgeon. It's not like being a Pope. Anybody can do it. And only in America would you say, ooh, I want to be a journalist, I better pay a mortgage, get my parents to mortgage a house and go to college for six years. Anybody can do it. All going to journalism school will do for you is kill your ability to write. So get out there and start doing it.
GLENN: But I have to tell you, though, Mark, if it is a conservative that does not have a degree, they cannot be a journalist. But an actor that goes and kisses, you know, the Ayatollah and Chavez, he's absolutely a journalist.
STEYN: Yes, that's right. I always liked Frank Sinatra once. He was landing at some airport somewhere and they asked what he thought of the Vietnam War and he said, hey, I'm a singer, you know. It's always, I would love it if any celebrity got off the airplane and did that today. Speaks well for them.
GLENN: Mark Steyn from Mark Steyn Online and that's, by the way, with a Y in the name and the author of America Alone, Steynonline. Thank you very much, sir. Appreciate it.
STEYN: Always a pleasure. Bye-bye.