Mark Steyn is filling in for Sean Hannity this week on Fox, and he wanted to have an in-depth, thoughtful discussion of the START nuclear-missile treaty. Naturally, this meant he brought on wingnut actor Jon Voight, who springs to mind immediately as an careful and knowledgeable analyst of nuclear issues, thanks to his incisive portrayals of FDR in Pearl Harbor and Jonas Hodges in 24.
And it was deeply insightful indeed. It opened up a tremendous window on the full-blown idiocy and paranoia of the wingnut Right. F'r instance:
VOIGHT: And now I hear Obama trying to convince the American people that if we give up our nuclear weapons, this will set a fine example and all other countries will follow suit. What a dangerous and naive notion that is. If President Reagan wasn't such a powerful force of strength, we never would have seen Premier Gorbachev take down the Berlin Wall.
In reality, of course, it was Reagan who opened the negotiations with the Soviets in 1982 that eventually led to the first START treaty, ratified in 1992 under George H.W. Bush. Reagan often remarked in his speeches that his "ultimate goal" was the "total elimination of nuclear weapons."
Maybe Jon was too busy on the set of Lookin' To Get Out back then or something. Because he nattered on in this vein for awhile -- including this utterly incoherent bit:
VOIGHT: Well, our President Kennedy in September of 1961 and by the way, of course he served in the World War II nearly losing his life and he stated that American military might is the only way to keep our freedom. Of course, President Reagan was of the same point of view. And thank God he had the foresight not to sign away our national missile defense when he saw the world full of presidents and future threats from multiple nuclear powers.
Steyn obviously found this deeply insightful:
STEYN: Do you think the Republicans are going to stand firm on this? The president tonight seems to be pretty confident he can get enough Republicans to get on board with this thing to pass it with 67 votes. Are you confident the Republican Party will stand firm?
VOIGHT: Well, I certainly hope, so. And I think, again, a lot of it has to do with the American people. Get on the phones, folks, and make sure that we encourage our senators to reject this thing. You know, I don't -- we have seen this before. We have seen it coming towards Christmas as well. This idea that we push something through and people are thinking about, you know, presents for their grandchildren and wanting to get out of town, they come in and no one is thorough in their questioning or their reading of the materials. And they push something through. I don't know how many more wrong Obama policies we need to see before we wake up to the possibility that this man is capable of destroying our country.
The whole segment reminded me of an earlier Jon Voight performance:
1st Lt. Milo Minderbinder: I want to serve this to the men. Taste it and let me know what you think.
[Yossarian takes a bite]
Yossarian: What is it?
1st Lt. Milo Minderbinder: Chocolate covered cotton.
Yossarian: What are you, crazy?
1st Lt. Milo Minderbinder: No good, huh?
Yossarian: For Christ's sake, you didn't even take the seeds out.
1st Lt. Milo Minderbinder: Is it really that bad?
Yossarian: It's cotton!