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also happened to die at the age of 84. >> what did kurt vonnegut die from? >> he collapsed, he fell down the steps of his new york city home, and he went into a coma and never came out of that coma. ..
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they actually both shared a first friend who vote -- wrote the introduction for the last book that came out. these two pieces of art, the first on the occasion of kurt vonnegut's birthday in 2003, and the second was created when he found out he had died. that was in 2007. we are in the front of the kurt vonnegut library. we have kurt vonnegut's typewriter that was used and was donated to us by his daughter. he wrote many of his more familiar books in the 1970s. we are happy to have this typewriter. he was not a fan of
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high-technology and he did not use a computer. he learned to use the typewriter to his dying day. he liked to work in his home. an office chair and a coffee table. he was slumped over his typewriter. kurt vonnegut would go out into the world every day. he talks about how he learned you can buy postage stamps over the internet and he thought that was horrible because if he chose that route he would not have the everyday experience of going to the post office and those everyday experiences that he encountered during his daily walks were the basis for some of his stories. he met a number of interesting characters and going out and
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meeting people was a way for him to fashion new material for his books, it was timeless because these issues failed on the same issues, suffering with war and disease, fan, environmental issues. he said your planet's indians' system is trying to get rid of you. he thought we should take care of the planet. these issues have resurfaced. it does not look like we have found any viable solutions to problems so i think his work is timeless. >> c-span's local content of vehicles are visiting cities and towns as we look at our nation's history and some of the authors who have written about it. go to the.
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offer and magazine editor r. emmett tyrrell, founder of the american spectator is a syndicated columnist and editor of a dozen books on the clinton administration in particular. mr. tyrrell is best known for his new york times best-seller "boy clinton: the political biography". >> r. emmett tyrrell junior. what is culture slog? >> guest: culture smog is diminishing factor in american politics. culture smog is the culture of political culture of our country which is the smog by the left-wing point of view. it pollutes everything it settles on and it settles on a great deal. politics, religion, the arts but as i say i think it is
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diminished because there is a movement afoot to create a new political culture. i mentioned that in my last three books. that movement is made up of talk radio, cable-tv, fox news, talk-radio with shaun and eddie and rush limbaugh and marc levin and it is made up of the internet. it is made up of the wall street journal which is -- has created an antidote to the new york times. so there is a culture in our country, the american spectator at national review, commentary. we are creating a culture that
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is the culture smog. for now it is out there and we have to deal with it. it is the one point that the liberals never say anything against. i as an environmentalist of sorts have spoken against the culture smog and done my best to vanquish it. the people i just mentioned are vanquishing it. >> host: what is an example of the culture smog? >> guest: con the hundred anniversary of ronald reagan day, the culture smog has dealt with reagan as best it can. it dealt with him for his presidency, it dealt with him as an inalienable guns for the end of his presidency and now is
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trying to present ronald reagan has kind of a liberal. to stealth politician, liberal values. i knew ronald reagan. i had him in my house. i was in his house. ronald reagan was a movement conservative. i am a movement conservative. i am not governed by any particular praetorian guard. i have my freedom of action and he thought it was time to negotiate and he negotiated. the only movement conservatives, the point i will make with my
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next book is ronald reagan was -- ronald reagan and the conservative movement have come to the floor and thrust liberalism aside. now liberalism is dead and that is going to be my next book. >> why in your riding, in all of your books, you capitalize liberal and liberalism? >> guest: i don't think it is liberalism. it has come to me and social democracy. and obama approved it this time around. it has been less then liberal for a long time. liberal is the liberalism of john locke and subsequent liberals. nineteenth century liberals. i am a nineteenth century liberal but we have been coopted by liberalism.
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at some point in the progressive movement the progressives took the word liberal and used it for their own purposes. will liberals of the american experience are the liberals of the founding fathers and the liberals of the conservative movement. we are real liberals but this is an argument that will take a long time to workout. >> host: in your 1992 book "the clinton crackup" you said given the right disposition a liberal can be a conservative and a conservative can be a liberal. why have more students of politics not made this conciliatory point? >> i am afraid that politics today, the lines are drawn and you are either on my side or their side. that is a shame. in the 20s people could be
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liberal on some things and conservative on other things. i mean liberal in a good sense. nehr you are either with me or against me. this is a consequence in part of the 1960s generation. the 1960s generation in politics in the early 1970s, had a devastating effect. they are the most ballyhooed generations since the founding fathers and our terrific bust. the clintons were a bust. all the problems they had in the white house they had those problems and white house because they didn't understand the white house. and creating enemies and things of that nature.
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the governance of the country they didn't understand. >> host: good afternoon and welcome to booktv's index. this is a monthly program with one author and his or her body of work. this month, r. emmett tyrrell jr. is our guest, editor and chief and founder of the american spectator magazine as well as the author of nine books and editor of a couple more. here are r. emmett tyrrell's nine books. 1977, "public nuisances" came out. the liberal crack out in 1984. the conservative crackup in 1992. "boy clinton: the political biography" 1996. you're best seller. the impeachment came out in 1997. >> guest: that was close to a best seller. >> host: at 4 "madame hillary: the dark road to the white house" in 2004, "the clinton crackup" in 2007, the best of
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the american spectator and continuing crisis in 2009, and his most recent book "after the hangover: the conservatives' road to recovery". mr. tyrrell, why so many books about the clintons? >> guest: they were not solely about the clintons. but the clintons dominated their party. the answer would be he was president of the united states represented in the culture smog and they were the dominant political figures of their generation. i show that what about newt gingrich or george w. bush? there was a lot of competition for that. i probably wrote those books because i was at the apex of the
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assaults on the american spectator and i think they turned up the heat in the kitchen and they have to admit by now we put their goose. >> host: 202 is the area code for all our numbers if you would like to converse with r. emmett tyrrell. 737-0001 in the east or central time zones, 0002 for those in the mountain and pacific times and. you can send us an e-mail at or send a tweet to john e-mails to you do you think the reform conservatives david brooks and so on, will remain relevant in the age of the tea party? >> guest: i think they are irrelevant now. he would have to jump off george washington bridge to get
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attention today. david brooks already has. the wonderful interview in the new republic where -- i know more about political philosophy and policy than anyone i sit down with. generally i know more about political philosophy. barack obama has been in the senate one month. when i sit down with barack obama he knew more about the political philosophy and policy than i did. then i saw the wonderful crease that he sat across from me and i said to myself on the basis of a crease in his pants, i said to myself this man is going to be president some day and he is going to be a very good president.
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and i said to myself what if barack obama had been wearing pantyhose? what would our friends say about that? they are not relevant anymore. then brooks went on to say barack obama was birkie and and he knew edmund burke very well. win you write for the new york times you can say any preposterous thing and will be taken seriously at least by the editors of the new york times, not by me. >> host: from "after the hangover: the conservatives' road to recovery," conservatives particularly conservative writers, have remained marginalized by the political culture and left with all one expedient to start up which is to slight the relevant service.
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>> guest: that is a wonderful segue into this because they made their way in politics by saying things about conservatives that are not true and are celebrated for it. they play the culture smog very well. however i don't think they are going to be able to play those very well in the future because "after the hangover: the conservatives' road to recovery" conservatives road -- that is the title of the book. the conservatives have recovered. they are dominant. they are going to be more dominant in years ahead and the culture smog, the new york times can hardly pay its bills. the new york times has got to receive a subsidy from the man
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referred to as the mexican billionaire carlos flynn who isn't slim and by the way is not a mexican. he is lebanese. >> host: an e-mail from arkansas. why has the new york times deteriorated? >> guest: that is a very intelligent question and i can't answer all of it but i will tell you this. as politics has become more and more ideological the new york times has given up any effort to be bipartisan. it is a left-wing propaganda machine. is it is a terrible situation because you want to pick up -- i read the times every day. i want to pick up something i can say that is fought for and taint the culture smog.
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it is rare that i can do that now. eyewall street journal, you can pick up a review in the arts or something in business and that is free of politics. some people can be free of politics. i hazard a thought to you. i say in my riding that there is the political libido, of a nymphomaniac, practically a sex offender. they politicize everything they touch. the conservative political libido is a victorian lady or victorian gentleman and more subdued. as a result they lose a races they should win.
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but thank god there is an area where we conservatives can welcome a liberal in. at least when he is not going to be ranting on about politics. that is not true. i tell you something about the american spectator's long history. in the 70s and 80s, 25% of our audience was liberal. because they were interested in what conservatives had to say. that is not true today. that is diminished to a handful. and the hope that someday they can investigate us and prosecute us. that is how politics has changed
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in this country. for me, hy will remain in some areas in which i won't be political. >> host: why do you consider your magazine conservative rather than a lockstep republican publication? you do not recognize republicans like mick nixon -- of republican presidents have never eliminated any welfare programs and have always increase the debt burden on the u.s.. >> guest: that is not true. i knew richard nixon. i don't know what he is talking about, soviet-style. richard nixon, i observed was more a howl -- of politicians than he was an idiot or a conservative.
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but he was open to conservatives. the conservatives made their first mark in his administration. i knew him in retirement and he was interested in what we had to say and in some ways he was a conservative. he was an intellectual vibrancy about his era that has steadily diminished. he had pat moynihan and henry kissinger in his administration and irving kristol in and out of the white house. all of that eventually changed. he had bill buckley and his administration. that was an interesting administration. one of the observations that should be made about richard nixon is that he really was intellectually alive in a way
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that other politicians aren't. bill clinton is not the least bit intellectual. he is not the least bit intellectually driven. i have had a couple run ins with him as well. if there is a guy -- and administration you compare with the clinton administration, you should compare it with the administration of parting. he loved golf and had a bossy wife. the two along well together when bill goes off to his eternal reward. >> host: you dedicate the impeachment to warren harding. >> guest: i think warren harding, hi am told ronald
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reagan was called -- pears another iconic republican, it is lincoln. harding is the iconic republican for the clinton administration. i'm surprised no one has picked up that comparison of bill clinton, big lovable lug of a casanova and harding, big and amiable, they were made for each other. >> host: three of your book use the term crackup. why? >> guest: i introduced the term crackup into politics as i
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recall, scott fitzgerald introduced it into general fiction writing. i introduced it into politics because i see a lot of crackup taking place in american politics. but i am surprised people didn't notice bill clinton really had cracked up. i started that book -- an ended the book with an investigation in the sixtieth birthday party. here is a man who argued with me in public at the jockey club and blew up at me and screamed at me. it was like tinker bell. ahead to tell him please sit down, you are going to ruin this wonderful evening you are having
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with your wife. but when i saw him years later on his 60th birth day, i felt something for my didn't think i ever would feel. i felt sad because he was sort of shriveled, white-haired, just a wave of his old self. i will tell you something funny. >> host: were you invited to the party? >> guest: i was invited by a lovely is really woman but i wasn't invited by bill. i had my picture taken with bill. one of the funny things that happened was i was there for route the evening and for the middle of the evening the president wanted to have his picture taken with the israeli woman i was with. he didn't realize she was with
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me. we had our pictures taken and i went over and sat down at a table made of his aides, his top political aides and various other people and no one bothered to ask me who i was or what i was doing their. i was with this is really one. they didn't recognize me. at one very interesting -- very tense moment, intense for me, i was closer to the president a few minutes before i was sitting at the table, frankly i was wondering when the health of arkansas state police were going to tear me out or the secret service or something like that so i am sitting there and listening to all of this, greatest president ever, our last elected president and all of this kind of nonsense.
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i was getting a little giddy and this woman sitting next to me was from dublin, ireland, and she and i knew various people. she didn't know who i was. she asked me where do you come from? are set i am from washington. she said you are from washington? most of these people let it go at that. this irish woman went further and said what do you do? i said i write books. she said oh, you write books. what is the title of one or two of your books? by now i saw the humor of the hole event and i turned to her and said a high wrote fin again's whig. and the irish woman from dublin, ireland, turns to her husband and said he wrote finley and's
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wake and everyone at the table either thought i was james joyce orr fan again. they were delighted to have the author here at the table. i rest my case. the culture smog is in decline. >> host: when did you begin writing and why? >> guest: 67. that is an interesting question. i found the american spectator. the reason i founded the american spectator, the first revelation by me, hy found -- founded the american spectator so no one would ever reject my prose ever again. ever since i founded the american spectator i have known at least one place where i can
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write and be accepted and that is the american spectator. opening up the american spectator to other ideas and people, first and foremost, entertain myself. >> host: your first book, "public nuisances" published in 1977, why did you write about visiting a house of prostitution in terre haute, indiana. >> guest: it was funny. i have fought about that. i did not avail myself to the professional offices of these
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women. and what my friends upstairs, a very old man cooked chicken for the checks. our weather admiring his chicken. he said i used to work in a generous hotel or -- now i am working in this establishment. this is my chicken and i am proud of my chicken. he swatted by hand and said don't you touch that chicken! people have to eat it. i was probably smitten, i remember that from the story. glad you enjoyed it. >> host: how important is humor in your riding?
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to you? >> guest: because i write about politics, i think politics is funny. it is not tragic. i have tried to figure out why i don't mind -- find obama as funny as i found clinton. it has got to be paid. and run up more debt. it is going to be run up so that we can retire to a trillion
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dollars in debt. this won't was. the overhanging of entitlements, and the debt with obamacare we have got to retire that. and maintain peace in the world. and we have to solve those problems we have got in the white house the most ideologically inclined man in american history. it is not as funny as it used to be. >> host: final question before we go to calls in 2009 you published best of the american spectator continuing crisis,
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what is the continuing crisis and have you renamed it the current crisis? >> guest: that is what we call -- in the internet. the continuing crisis is front-page piece of the american spectator. there issue is of popery of nonsense. and the occasional serious -- and is supposed to be an entertainment. >> host: this is in depth and our guest is r. emmett tyrrell and junior officer of nine books. first call is from stephen in uniontown, pennsylvania. >> caller: i really enjoy c-span in spite of some of your guests.
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mr tyrrell, i would like you to explain to me how the president could pass nafta, commodity futures modernization act, and to be considered liberal. thank you. >> host: he is asking about bill clinton, in the administration. >> host: >> guest: he ran as a moderate and began his presidency the verging way off to the left. and the midterm elections and sort of accommodate the
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republicans. he did accommodate the republicans and he said the era of big government is over. but his heart was with the left. bar don't think you could say -- you can say he tried to accommodate reality. in that regard i respect what he did. >> host: next call from florida. >> caller: thanks for c-span. i am a long time subscriber to the american spectator. i began getting it in the early 1980s when it was still a large size tabloid magazine and i enjoy it and wait for it every month. i can't wait to get it and read your columns as well as the continuing crisis which you didn't explain, is taken from a
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whole lot of left-wing publications. just unbelievably funny. it is terrific. you mentioned earlier on the program that we are seeing the remaking of ronald reagan into a liberal. we just saw it this morning on meet the press where both willie brown, who was speaker of the assembly under reagan and a democrat, and andrea mitchell tried to make the case that he was some kind of liberal. of course peggy noonan put them both down beautifully. but it is just disgustingly unbelievable what these leftwingers try to do. i am waiting for your comment on that. >> guest: it is true that liberals play a game with politics, with events that are astonishing.
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who would have imagined that the end of the cold war, we should have all grab on in our man celebrated together, liberal democrats pleaded conservative republicans, people in between, we should have all celebrated because we all had a hand in defeating the soviet union. towards the end republicans and scoop jackson additional democrats were all that were standing. we beat the soviet union and we become without firing a shot. who would believe that the liberals would then start to say the soviet union fell of its own accord and we didn't have to spend all that money. it could have been spent on other things. we didn't have to waste that money on the american military. if you had told that to john kennedy i think he would be surprised. he would be celebrating the fall
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of the soviet union right there with me. i am astonished. i am extremely pleased that liberals are celebrating the wisdom and intelligence of ronald reagan. but who would have believed they would be trying to tell us that he is not a conservative? in my case from 1968 when he first ran for president to 1976 when he ran again and in 1980 and throughout the 80s, defending him from claims that he was an amiable dunce and claims that he was a war hawk that was going to blow up the world. those claims were made in the new york times and washington post and major news outlets.
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we successfully defended against that and now we find today coming out of the blue these liberals are saying to us that he was a stealth liberal all the time and was on their side. i give up once in a while. >> host: how would mr. r. emmett tyrrell defined a conservative movement, which is pandit and the principles and goals. >> i lift from the great british philosopher, conservatism is a temperament. and anxiety. and liberalism, and the temperament to enjoy the fruits
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of life and happiness. that is understood by john locke. and free enterprise that belongs to congress. liberalism was an anxiety, our own as. it leads to the kind of government control that liberals are famous for. >> host: next call from oklahoma. >> i want to make a couple of observations. to see how mr. tyrrell might respond. so was -- your defense of
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richard nixon really is a absurd. milton friedman called him the most socialist president in the 20th-century. the 4 in the road, republican party -- >> guest: i have a generous remarked about richard nixon, a generous remarks about richard nixon ii, doesn't mean, he was not the kind of person. you could talk about you can admire them for what they do right. i only said that he had a very active interest in bringing into
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the white house people who showed a lively mind back. milton friedman didn't get a chance to sees the present president of the white house. he would find him pretty much more of a socialist than richard nixon. sorry for interrupting. >> host: you still there? >> caller: i just want to respond to that because i have a professor who knew milton friedman very well. friedman said the last time he saw richard nixon while he was president was in the white house and asked him why did you impose controls and pulled out a copy of the new york times and said a look at this. look what they are saying. and milton friedman left and had nothing for of entrusted with richard nixon. >> guest: i knew milton
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friedman. he was a gentleman. i don't think he will disagree with what i just said or disagree with that little anecdote of yours. >> host: off the line from your first book, "public nuisances," fire now -- final irony of nixon that earned him the wary respect of tyrants drove many american liberals out of their minds. is it possible the qualities that made him successful abroad may have a disaster at home or was he after a success anywhere? >> guest: richard nixon was a complicated man. i have come to the conclusion that in that essay of line, he is excessively harsh but occasionally -- richard nixon
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and henry kissinger, i jumped on them for day, that gave us time to work to the position. it fashion an arms buildup that brought the soviets back. he had an aspect of the presidency. he was a disaster in other areas. he is awfully argumentative. >> host: tempo, florida. you are on with r. emmett tyrrell. >> nice to talk to you. i think ronald reagan would be rolling in his grave if he knew conservatives -- no american middle class and for china --
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the end of interesting. i voted republican. republicans this year highlighting social security, and millions going into social security. my question, started coming down, that was the only time i got really clear coverage, i watch c-span all the time for clear coverage of news. it became a dumbing down of the media, and catching goldman sachs. why was that it ignored? she knew was going on.
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here is in the middle east. why did you catch that either? >> guest: i don't understand what you're saying. >> host: i will paraphrase and say yes or no if this is correct to. why didn't i catch the coming of the crisis? >> caller: exactly. where are the voices of the conservative journalists and writers, and -- >> guest: everyone caught -- caught the recession. no one that i know, the recession. we are not supposed to catch hosni mubarak's denies. as a matter of fact, where was
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hillary clinton. she met with the foreign minister of egypt. after that meeting two weeks ago in which the foreign minister said some things, jumped up and spoke about sobriety. you can't blame too many people in conservative or liberalism. and sub prime loans, were made as a matter of policy. by fannie mae and freddie mac and they were encouraged by the
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democrats. and others did too. as far as dumbing down goes, as far as i can see the entire country has been dumbed down. and with the more intelligent conservative you are welcome to read the american spectator. we will get a copy sent to you posthaste. >> host: featuring one author, and this month r. emmett tyrrell jr. founder of american spectator magazine and author of nine books and editor of a couple more. here are his nine books. he started with "public nuisances" and then in 1984 came the liberal crackup and the conservative crack.
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"boy clinton: the political biography" in 1996 and the impeachment in 1997. "madame hillary: the dark road to the white house" in 2004. "the clinton crackup" in 2007. best of the american spectator, continuing crisis in 2009 and "after the hangover: the conservatives' road to recovery". you are on with bob tyrrell. >> caller: i would like to ask if mr. tyrrell will write a book about newt gingrich and the positive effect he had in 1984 and beyond. also a comment about republicans, why didn't they see the financial meltdown and fannie and freddie, barney frank shooting them down and everything was fine. thank you for taking my call. >> guest: she ought to be on this show. i will sit in her audience. the good things that newt gingrich has done since 1994.
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i thought i tried to make that clear. in as much as bill clinton was a conservative from 94 on, it was in part because of newt gingrich. as for my next book i want to write a book about the death of liberalism. i have written my most recent book, "after the hangover: the conservatives' road to recovery," and it talks about our road back. now i want to talk about the liberals's road to the grave. i think liberalism is dead. i think liberalism in terms of the american people in 2008, liberals in 2008, liberals were outnumbered by conservative 2-1 something like 40% to 20%.
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people like sam canhouse and james carlisle were writing books about conservatism. i don't know where 40% of the american people go to dive. we are numbered liberalism than. we shaped this center of american political life so that liberals were running to the center. you didn't hear obama talk about raising taxes and spending gloriously when he was running. he ran as a a conservative moderate liberal. liberals when they run for office, they can't tell the truth. i am working on it now. >> host: you write about the
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death of the conservative movement. what makes you think the liberal movement is actually dead? >> the first part of that question, liberals are forever telling us how to be good conservative. they are out there to help us every step of the way. they are forever telling us in 64, 72, 92, 2008, we finally -- we were dead. what makes me think this time liberalism is dead? i don't think anyone ever pronounced that before me. there has been a steady decline since world war ii. world war ii under franklin
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roosevelt and harry truman, liberalism absolutely dominated american culture. since then it has steadily declined whereas conservatism has reached ever higher plateaus until now we are 2-1 and i think we will outnumber them and the decline of liberalism continues much further they will be about as popular as the american nudist movement or prohibition party. people will look for years from the rnc this little quaint liberal movement and they will say what did they ones do? what did they once represent? my children will say they were much more popular than the
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nudists and had the good sense to keep their clothes on. >> guest: >> host: what does the handover refer to? >> guest: in 2006, and 2008 and before, george bush spent a lot of money. we were suffering a real hangover but it is interesting as i point out in the book, liberals from 94 until 2006, liberals were accused of being finished and being terrible trouble. in 2002, 2003 and 2004 it was the liberals who were all washed
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up. what happened -- >> host: cheryl rights why so many conservative organizations including the american spectator are participating in the sea-tac meetings showing support for the house on family foundation and muslims for america which do not seem to be favored in your columns. why are you participating? >> guest: i am not participating. i won't be around. conservatives are big ten people. in "after the hangover: the conservatives' road to recovery" i point out conservatives have steadily picked out neo conservatives, and the first publications for the knee of
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conservatives, and people like that. then he picked up the reagan democrats. and the christian right and now we picked up the tea party movement. all wonderful movement in civic responsibilities where people took government into their own hands. over the long run, conservatives should be big ten people. and whatever squabbles over the short run, people want to be conservatives and lead to work with us. >> host: you are on with r. emmett tyrrell junior. >> caller: i appreciate it.
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i appreciate the liberalism and conservatism his being recast has a political movement when really it is -- they're just two philosophies as to how you approach the constitution, with you try to conserve the word of it or take the word of it and have or embellish it. also looking at as far as the nudist magazines that are popular in my neighborhood i thought i would drop that in. and also wondering about conservatives and liberals. first of all, you are recasting fascism as socialism. this merger of corporate and political power is not socialism. obamacare or not obamacare or however you look at it that merger is classic fascism. >> guest: very good point. that is a very good point to
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make. that is where liberalism is heading. they are heading toward friendly fascism. that is a very astute point that you made. pardon me for interrupting but i want to congratulate you. >> host: we have moved to george in bloomington, >>. >> caller: because mr. tyrrell for years, very much enjoyed following his career. because he has chronicled the clintons so thoroughly over many years and written several books on the clintons i would like to ask him two questions. one is related to the clintons. concerning an article that appeared four years ago in a national newspaper in the wall street journal and this time of year the full page article concerning president clinton's
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pardon of convicted puerto ricans terrorists at the same time mrs. clinton was running for u.s. senate for the state of new york for the first time and the fbi made a strong recommendation against the pardon of those convicted terrorists and nevertheless the pardon was granted. >> host: what is your question? >> caller: my question is about the current attorney general eric holder's involvement. tyrrell is familiar with that article, which i just alluded to he was heavily involved in the justice department decision to k a o toy.cf1 o the end of the presidency. in "the clinton crack-up," i have bill absconding from the white house. clinton didn't so much leave the white house as absconded from it.
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