This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 9, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And joining me now is the author of "Liberty and Tyranny," a conservative manifesto which was number one on The New York Times list for seven consecutive weeks and number one for nine out the last 10 weeks.
I can him "The Great One." Mark Levin is here.
Thank me. How am I?
MARK LEVIN, AUTHOR, "LIBERTY AND TYRANNY": How are you, brother?
HANNITY: Now that's — that's — by the way, for everyone who listens to your radio show. "Thank me. How am I?" Those are signature lines that you use on your show.
Well welcome back. Listen —
LEVIN: Are you enjoying yourself? Go ahead. What?
HANNITY: I am, as a matter of fact.
HANNITY: Mark, one of the reasons — you were here in this very studio when you launched your book. There are over a million copies now in print. Seven straight weeks right out of the box, number one on The New York Times list, nine out of the last ten.
Have you been called by CBS, NBC, ABC? Have you ever appearance on any of their shows? Have you been featured in The New York Times, L.A. Times anywhere?
LEVIN: Well, you know, The Washington Post called me, but I turned down the subscription. But other than have been contacted by anybody.
And by the way, I wear it as a badge of honor. We don't need them, and we do fine without them.
HANNITY: Yes, but — but, Mark, this is important, because it's one of — it is a defining — one of the most dominant books to break out in this entire year. And to think that, you know, being as popular as it is — does it not strike you as strange that they wouldn't even call you to say, "Hey, Mark, we'd like to know what is this phenomenon about?"
LEVIN: What it's about is this. Let's just be honest. The media in this country is dead. You've said it a hundred times. The media in this country has become an appendage of the government. And more particularly the Obama administration. It is the status media. It promotes national health care. It promotes his economic agenda. It slobbers all over him when he's over in Cairo throwing Israel under the bus.
The man can do no wrong. He can — he can lie about statistics, and unemployment, about his programs, about — about the saving jobs and so forth. He gets no tough follow-up questions, so that's what we're facing.
I'm not worried about it. I think the American people are a lot smarter than this. I think that there is a rumbling going on out there, and they're going to ultimately reject this kind of a soft tyranny that's being rammed down our throats.
HANNITY: I love the term, though, "soft tyranny." Look, I told you when you were here, one of the great things I love about this book, not only do you talk about our founding documents, our Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence, but you also talk about our founders and framers and the people that inspired them, which makes it an incredibly intelligent, well-written book, and I know you spent — because I talked to you a lot during that period — 18 months of your life writing it.
LEVIN: Well, the key is we conservatives stand on the shoulders of the great philosophers and scholars and thinkers throughout history. We are — are beneficiaries of thousands of years of human experience.
When you look at Obama, and Pelosi and Harry Reid, they reject all that. They are turning to old, maybe a couple hundred-year-old philosophies that have failed that reject individuality, that reject the spirit and the conscience of mankind, and the transcendent moral order.
And they're trying to impose from the top down a different vision, a vision that is contrary to the Declaration of Independence, and you can see what's happening today. We have an unstable rule of law. We have in essence a rogue Congress that dips into whatever it wants to, tries to repress and punish people when they disagree with them, whether they're executives or employees.
We have a very foreign type of government right now that exists in Washington, D.C.
HANNITY: Yes, Mark, I've got to tell you, though, one of the amazing things, and I know you talk about it a lot on your radio show. Our mutual friend, Rush, he talks about it often. I talk about it often.
There seems to be contortions for the Republicans. Where do we go? What's the direction? Do we need to appeal to these mushy moderates like Arlen Specter and Snow and Collins?
Or does the Republican Party need to return to its roots, which they sort of abandoned the last number of years, more specifically on issues of spending? Colin Powell saying we want bigger government. Where do you stand?
LEVIN: First of all, the truth is Colin Powell is irrelevant to the Republican Party and the conservative movement. It's not a question of throwing him out. He's abandoned both. He's never been a conservative. And he's really never been a Republican, so he's irrelevant. He's trying to become relevant, but he is irrelevant. So is Tom Ridge. So are all these other — these other old horses whose days have come and gone.
What we need are people who are confident in the conservative philosophy, because our principles are tried and true. They've been tried for centuries. And it is the only antidote to what's going on today, the soft tyranny.
People who reject our principles — and by the way, we have a very broad tent. Conservatism is a broad tent. It's not a narrow ideology. But there are very — very important fundamental principles that can — that can tolerate all kinds of different views.
But what we cannot tolerate is saluting when the president of the United States is taking us in a direction that is antithetical to our history and to our — and to our belief system. And so these Republicans are not moderates; they're not helpful. They're clutter, and they need to be dismissed. I dismiss them. We need to reach the young people. We need to reach the great mass of the American people with a confident, conservative point of view.
HANNITY: Mark — Mark, you wrote this book, and you finished this book before Barack Obama actually got into office. And — and I went back last night, and I was rereading the book in preparation for this interview. And one of the things that struck me is how dead on you were about the direction that he'd take this country. If I had to argue, maybe you were wrong, he's accelerated the pace of all that you predicted.
How bad is this for the future of our kids and our grandkids, as you analyze them on economic and national security issues?
LEVIN: Well, statism and Obama in particular and Pelosi and Reid are extremely selfish. What they are doing is spending today for today, even though it's going to be ineffectual, even though it's contrary to what you're supposed to do in a deep recession, and they are clearly bankrupting future generations.
I don't know how my children and the children of the people that are listening out there — how they're going to come up from under a $12 trillion deficit over 12 years, and that is a conservative estimate. We already know it's going to be more than that, given the unemployment figures.
But you know, the statist has a high tolerance for misery. Not his misery but for everybody else's misery.
Centralism, authoritarianism, whatever you want to call it, is a failure. It cannot work. It is a rationing system that destroys wealth and destroys opportunity and liberty and private property for future generations.
And it is key that we get this message to high-school students and college students and young people, so they understand in the next election that what is being done to them is destructive of their futures.
HANNITY: Mark — by the way, that's Mark Levin from the bunker. This is the first shot ever in the history of you in the bunker.
Mark, nine out of ten weeks on New York Times — nine out of ten weeks, number one on the New York Times list, and a phenomenon without any help from the mainstream media. A great success story, my friend. Thank you for being with us.
LEVIN: Thanks, Sean. God bless you, my friend.
HANNITY: God bless you, and God bless America.
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