Hillary Clinton declared years ago that there was a “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” out to get her husband. So, how are these right-wingers organized? Well, first they have to get into lockstep on every issue. Of course, that can only be done with an official handbook, and now one has been published.
The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (published by Regnery, a sister company of HUMAN EVENTS) hit shelves recently, giving all non-conspirators an inside look at the band of conservatives out to “get” the Left.
I had an opportunity to sit down with the Handbook‘s author, Mark W. Smith, whom Ann Coulter described as “one of the fastest-rising legal stars in the country.” Here are some excerpts from that interview.
Let’s start with the obvious question. Why did you write this book?
Mark Smith: I’ve lived in New York since 1992. Went to New York University which is predominately liberal. New York City is predominately liberal. I would go to cocktail parties, dinners, lunches, meet with clients and colleagues, go on dates, and they would find out that I was a conservative. That would always start a series of questions.
“Really? You’re a conservative in New York City? We’ve always wanted to meet somebody like you.”
“Why don’t Republicans like the poor?”
“Why are tax cuts for the rich good?”
“Why don’t you want to stop global warming?”
“Why won’t you support affirmative action?”
I would spend countless lunches, dinners, and cocktail parties going over the same ground with different liberals in New York City. It felt like Groundhog’s Day for a decade with these conversations. . . .
I became known as a conservative lawyer in town. And when the 2000 election litigation started, you found that the TV and media outlets needed lawyers to defend Bush/Gore 24-7 — on all the different things going on in Florida. That’s when I got my first entr√?∆? ¬©e into doing a lot serious media work as a conservative commentator. . . .
Being a lawyer, I always sit down and say “OK, I’m going to have an argument now. The fact that it’s on TV or on the radio is no different than if it’s in the courtroom. What are my best points here? What are the top three or four reasons why I think I’m right?” . . .
Then I ask myself, “What’s the other side going to say? What questions am I going to be asked by liberals? When they ask me those questions or arguments, what am I going to say in response?” . . .
I would jump on the internet or go to books and try to come up with the best facts and arguments I could muster on that particular topic. And it clicked. I said it would be fantastic if I could find a single book that made the case for conservatives, laid out the most used liberal myths and debunk them, all in a single book on all the issues. . . .
I’ve learned the sorts of arguments that win at the water cooler — the sorts of arguments that cause liberals to pause and listen. . . .
For many liberals, it doesn’t matter what the facts are — they just don’t care. Because that’s not their mindset. . . .
This book is not just for the guy who goes on TV and debates on the “O’Reilly Factor,” it’s for the guy who has to have Thanksgiving with his mother-in-law or has to sit down at work for lunch with his liberal colleague and has to debate the war again, or the economy or outsourcing. . . .
Why hadn’t this been done before?
Smith: A lot of the best inventions and products and services are sometimes the most obvious — they’re just overlooked.
Thinking about elections coming up, what are the three biggest issues you think the Democrats are missing the boat on in this election?
Smith: Democrats will miss the boat on their typical economic class warfare rhetoric. The liberals think that the rhetoric of “Soak the rich; help the poor” is going work in this election. It’s not — thanks to the advent 401(k) plans and IRAs and the sophistication of the average Americans about business and the stock market. . . .
Americans are far more sophisticated about economics and businesses than they used to be. Historically you would hear liberals make comments like “We shouldn’t worry about the Dow Jones: we should worry about Mrs. Jones.”
What liberals have failed to understand is that today the American public understands that the Dow Jones is Mrs. Jones; that the average person is part of the stock market, part of corporate America. Either corporate America and the stock market provide them with goods and services they want, or they work for companies that provide goods and services that people want, or they have their retirement accounts tied up in corporate America. Now when liberals go after corporate America and the business interests of this country, they are essentially going after us, the people. Historically the liberals were able to get away with it. . . .
Now when the liberals try to say “let’s tax the rich to help the middle class” the middle class understands that that’s just a fallacy.
Another issue they will miss the boat on is the idea that the economy and the war are separate issues.
Liberals don’t understand that there’s an interconnectedness between the war and the economy. . . .
The [9/11] act of war, hurt our economy far more than anything else could. Liberals think that by focusing on the economy and trying and to downplay the war will work, but they fail to realize that it’s not going to be that hard to explain to the American people that if you want to preserve the economy, you had better make sure the war on terror is going well.
If the war on terror goes south, there’s no doubt that marginal tax rate cuts will not matter, social security will not matter, affirmative action will not matter, nothing else will matter to our way of life if there are bombs going off in shopping centers or amusement parks or if people are scared to fly. . . .
The third mistake — which they have already made — is to pick John Kerry. . . .
I’m still trying to figure out how John Kerry, with the most liberal voting record in the Senate, more liberal than Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy, a liberal from Massachusetts, who’s anti-gun, completely pro-choice, voted against all tax cuts, voted for tax hikes, voted against countless military programs, is a saleable commodity this year. . . .
The fact that he is a war hero is great, but that’s not going to get him very far. . . .
Democrats had a victory recently by defeating the bill to protect gun manufacturers from lawsuits. Will this be a good campaign issue for the Democrats this year?
Smith: We want the Democrats to talk about guns. But they won’t. Gun control is a great Republican issue because there are people in this country who are single-issue voters on guns — and those who are are pro-Second Amendment, pro-gun folks.
When you talk to liberals and ask them what issues they care about, they may be pro-gun control, but that’s not their number one issue. They are much more concerned about other more liberal issues like big government spending, healthcare, and the environment. However, if you talk to conservatives, there are many who vote on the issue of guns first. . . .
The other thing is that the gun issue is a wedge issue with union voters in many states — West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee — where you have a lot of union voters one might think would be democratic-leaning. But when you threaten to take away their guns, many will vote guns first, and union relationships second. We saw that in the last election with Al Gore adopting the anti-gun crowd’s agenda up and down the line, everything but confiscation. . . .
Any bets on who John Kerry will pick as his running mate?
Smith: I haven’t given a lot of thought to that, simply because it’s not going to matter.
I don’t know who he could possibly pick who would overcome Kerry’s liberal record. At the end of the day people vote for the presidential candidate. . . .
Any chance Hillary gets involved in this race somehow?
Smith: No. Hillary recognizes that at the end of the day John Kerry is not going to be able to win this — unless George Bush’s campaign happens to completely implode.
She knows that Kerry is probably going to get crushed, and she doesn’t want to be a part of that. . . . If she really thought that a Democrat could have won this go-around, I think she would have stepped in. . . .
Is there any possibility that a liberal from New York will be elected in 2008?
Smith: There is a danger of Hillary Clinton becoming president. Although I’m a staunch Republican, I sometimes get worried about the Republican Party putting up a candidate like a Bob Dole again. Bob Dole was a great senator and a great politician and a man to be respected, but in 1996 he was not our best shot at defeating Clinton. I’m always concerned that the party could pick a candidate who just simply cannot win in a general election. . . .
So, Hillary’s chances are more dependent upon the caliber of the Republican candidate than on her ability to win?
Smith: I think it’s mostly dependent upon the Republicans. Hillary has very high negatives. The people who don’t like her are not changing their minds. . . .
In one or two words, what is your reaction to the thought of a Kerry Adminstration?
Smith: Preemptive surrender.
To find out how to get a FREE copy of The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, click here.