The Corner

Hannity V. Rfk, Jr.

There seems to be interest out there in seeing the transcript of this exchange last night between Hannity and RFK, Jr. about his new book. This is only part of it, and doesn’t fully capture it, but for those who are interested (excuse the long post):

HANNITY: All right. Let’s start with one. First of all, you start with, in your book, page 193, you talk about, “communism is the control of business by government, fascism is the control of government by business. My American Heritage dictionary defines fascism as a system of government that exercises dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of the state and business leadership together with belligerent nationalism. Sound familiar?” Are you accusing this president of being — and this administration of being fascist like, Nazi-like?

KENNEDY: No, what I — the point is that if you read that in context, is that Americans have to understand that there’s a huge difference between free market capitalism, which is great for a democracy, which democratizes our country, that brings efficiencies, and the corporate crony capitalism that has been embraced by this administration, which is as antithetical to democracy in America as it is in Nigeria. Today, you have polluters running the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution. The second in command at EPA is a Monsanto lobbyist. The head of the air division at the EPA is a — is a utility lobbyist.

HANNITY: I…

KENNEDY: Let me finish.

HANNITY: Go ahead. Go ahead.

KENNEDY: Who for his lifetime has been defending the worst polluters in

America. The head of the public lands now, Sean, is a mining industry lobbyist.

The head of forest service a timber industry lobbyist, and on and on and on.

HANNITY: I understand your point.

KENNEDY: These people did not enter government for public service. They

entered to undermine and subvert the very laws that they’re charged with

enforcing.

HANNITY: This is fundamental. Because I say the left today, your

leadership, including your uncle, uncle Ted, or Ted Kennedy, have said

irresponsible things about our president and about our country. And I find it

here.

Now I’m going to read a very long paragraph for the sake of our audience,

because I don’t want to take it out of context, and I want to make sure I get

the full context in here. OK? This is from your book.

KENNEDY: Sure.

HANNITY: You said, “these elected governments use the provocation of

terrorist attacks, continued wars” — you’re talking about Nazism and fascism on

page 193, OK?

KENNEDY: No, no, no now you’re…

HANNITY: Wait a minute, right here I have it in the book, 193 and 194, and

you talk about Spain, Germany and Italy reacting to the economic crises.

KENNEDY: Sure.

HANNITY: And then you say the following: “These governments use provocation

of terrorist attacks, continual wars, invocations of patriotism and homeland

security to privatize the commons, tame the press, muzzle criticism by

opponents, turn the government over to corporate control.

’It’s always a simple matter to drag people along,’ noted Hitler’s sidekick

Herman Goering, whether it’s a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a

parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always

be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is

tell them that they are being attacked, denounce the peacemakers for lack of

patriotism, and expose the country to danger — and exposing the country to

danger. And it works the same in any country,” is what you say.

Then you go on to say — you’re talking about fascism and Nazism — and the

next line in this book of yours says, the White House has clearly grasped this

lesson. That is disgraceful to make that comparison.

KENNEDY: Well, you know, Sean in this — you know, look at the comparisons.

Look at our — what is — look at the terror alert, for example, that we — that

was…

HANNITY: Nazism and fascism? That we’re using the tactics of fascists and

Nazists? That’s what you’re saying about your president? You can’t disagree

without being that obnoxious?

KENNEDY: We can disagree with each other, Sean, and that’s something that

we ought to be able to do without calling each other names.

HANNITY: You’re the one calling them fascists and Nazis, comparing them to

fascists and Nazis.

KENNEDY: Well, I never called the president a fascist or a Nazi.

HANNITY: You found a nice round-about way to compare his tactics to the

fascists and the Nazis.

KENNEDY: And the point that I’m making, which is very clear in that book,

is that control of government by corporations is as dangerous as control of

government by communism.

HANNITY: That is unbelievable.”

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

Most Popular

World

The Prosecution of Count Dankula

The problem with defending free speech is that you never get to defend it on exactly the territory you hoped for. Of course, one keeps one’s fingers crossed that the next defense of free speech will be mounted against an attempt to ban Areopagitica or burn all extant copies of A la recherché du temps perdu. ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Building a National American Conservatism

It seems like just yesterday that I undertook my first campaign for public office. I knocked on virtually every door in the small city of West Miami in my bid to be elected to its city commission. It was during that campaign, on the front porches and in the living rooms of the families I would ultimately ... Read More
Culture

Ezra Klein’s Intellectual Demagoguery

Ezra Klein wants you to know that he doesn’t think Sam Harris is a racist. “I’m not here to say you’re racist, I don’t think you are,” Klein explains in a two-hour debate with Harris on the latter’s podcast, Waking Up. “We have not called you one.” No, not at all. Klein is telling the truth ... Read More