COMMENTARY Editor John Podhoretz and his colleagues Noah Rothman and Abe Greenwald express their deep sympathy for poor President Obama — he got his nice trip to Cuba all stepped on by another terrorist attack getting in the way of the “pivoting” he wants to do in foreign policy. The horror in Brussels raises yet again the specter of a non-assimilating Muslim population in Europe and complicates questions in the American presidential race. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz seems unable to get out of Donald Trump’s shadow no matter how hard he tries, with parlous end results for him and for the Republican Party. This episode does not end with a joke. Next week’s will.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the Commentary magazine, Podcast Commentary Magazine is America's most distinguished monthly journal of opinion and our website, commentary magazine dot com is one of the liveliest and most serious places for twenty. Fourth of an opinion and analysis work, conservative perspective anywhere in the world if you like, but you here today please consider subscribing to commentary. Nineteen ending It gets you a full years, access to our website or monthly issues online. Among your tablet and our seventy year archive twenty nine idea that gets you all that and our glorious, beautiful print magazine in your mail box every month go to. Monterrey magazine dot com and click on subscribe. I'm John POD words the editor of commentary. With me today are nor Rossman our system online, editor, high Noah icon IDA and a
Meanwhile, there senior editor high Abe, guys Harry you good, ok, look. We have too much talk about and total time, so I think we should to it. The ices slaughter in Brussels took place this morning as we're taping this you know four years. People have been warning about the dangers growing in Mozambique, another of those desperate european suburbs into which Muslims have been stuffed and have stuff themselves in parlous conditions. Right for radicalization, just like Paris, where the terrorists firstly homegrown I want to propose to you guys a theory. It looks to me like Europe is in danger not that there is any evidence of this, but simply has Thorkel danger of going to the same spiral into which it plunged in the nineteen seventys when and oceanic wave of terrorist attacks. First enraged the continent, and then saw its government's one by one. Slowly capitulated, terrorist groups, exceeding to their demands, letting their campaign
if we had had a jail and basically to on Israel and blaming Israel for the existence of middle eastern terror. So that is, I concern Paris than five but by Brussels Abe. What do you think of that horrendous scenario. Well, it's amazing how many things can feel like Wigan calls with that actually being way calls after the attack on Charlie have known, social market in the beginning of last year, in January last year, France had supposedly had a wake up call and yet the your clothes, with the ISIS attack on the bottle climate, the stadium in restaurants and so on, and then, after that, when France took on more serious measures stretching out the time authorities could hold suspects requiring less material evidence of suspected terrorist activity in order to detain people and so on. The backlash kicked in immediately and not just in Europe, but here is well knew our time
stories about how the rights of Muslims are being stepped on in France and elsewhere, and how these new, more vigilant methods aren't even effective anyway for x number of people detained only. Why led to rest and so on. But meanwhile, the policing, though imperfect, does work seller Islam suspected accomplice in Paris attacks was caught, so I think Europe deserves some credit for keeping up the vigilant so far, but they have a problem that cannot necessarily be solved with police vigilance alone, and that's this, which is muslim immigrants similar very poorly in Europe. America has an edge over Europe in fighting terrorism because pole after pole, these landmark polls show that american Muslims are happy here their successful here. They they have a love of country here that that they dont have in countries throughout Europe. Now in in Europe, is a deep structural problem with no easy fit,
and unfortunately, that might that might what might happen is that has already happened to some degree, is we'll see the rise of these far right parties in the polls figuring? Okay, we can't assimilate them. So, let's, let's keep them out, and you know things like job at the party job at party and hungry national front in France, golden dawn and greet you know, and while this is very different from the pattern in the seventies that you described, which was vigilance than negotiation with terrorists and a drift towards blaming Israel It has a somewhat similar outcome in that these far right parties or hostile towards Jews and jewish presence in Europe and the hostility by the way that they have towards Muslims, will also make it a lot harder to be vigilant in their anti terror work, and so it's it's, it's kind of capitulation to a different type, states to a kind of nationalism which is which, as you know, it now in style and and getting more popular we're at will.
One thing you can say about what what's happened is either A raid on the Salaam was so successful that they had to put their plan in motion for multiple attacks? As such? was possible, less the rest of the cell, be rolled up or what we are seeing is: ok, you want to attack us, will attack you right back. You wanna take our people and will take your pick. You know- we're. We're gonna go after you right where you are. So? We don't really know? It's probably one of those two and they aren't really connected and the question is how Europe and Europeans are. Our going to respond and then, of course, the other big, question is how the United States and the people of the United States are going to respond, and I think I was perhaps
distressed as you guys to see the present, the United States in Cuba, giving a speech this morning spend all of fifty two seconds talking about what happened in Brussels today, thus farming. The portrait of Obama in Jeffrey Goal works. I opening Obama adoption article in the Atlantic, in which he, of course in which belburg- and I quote said the president gets frustrating that terrorism keep swamping his larger agenda regularly as it relates to rebalancing America's global priorities so, just as he was away in Asia when the San Bernardino attack occurred and outward on the poorly to that, because he was focusing on something else in gaol. Darn it no he's the president all this terrorism.
Was getting in the way of his other policies that he wants to focus America on. I think all of this provides very distressing opening for
You know the elephant in the room and twenty sixteen Donald Trump know what what are you? Where do you come out of this year? I think maybe them the most galling of that approach to policy that sort of self indulgent, extend cooperation for the state of affairs is, is the fact that his policies have facilitated this expansion of terrorism and this frustration with the vulnerability that people feel towards hostile islamic radical terrorists who are intent on is in full trading. Western civilization executing attacked this latest by the way wasn't even close to the first somehow or another. These belgian terrorists, who are probably linked to the parent region, attacks managed to hide
out there for four months, even after the word gun battles in the streets after Paris and in the interim, you ve had attacks like what occurred in Denmark Stabbings in London, and this is all the result of partially the result of the wave of refugees that are coming over from the Middle EAST, which is the result of his refusal. The west refusal to contain that conflict and the same thing is occurring to an extent in Cuba, where you have this really self indulgent approach towards policy. Foreign policy making amends for the perceived my phobia of the of the long gone cold war past is. Somebody should be shown. Somebody should inform the Kremlin that the cold war is over. They seem really intent on religious gaining it and the only reason why this occurred they'd. The trip in my opinion is because they found a little bit of face, saving way to get over there and to heat praise upon the communist authorities and in Havana when they, the Havana, returned a healthy environment
an inert hellfire missile that had somehow managed to find its way to Havana from France and was there for eighteen months, and american officials have no idea whether or not cuban authorities collected information it knowledge from this very sophisticated laser guided air to ground missile that can be fired from a drone and shared with hostile powers like Russia, like China, like North Korea, one of these powers have, in common their revisionist, and they were on the other side of the divide in the didn't that nineteen, forty five eighteen, eighty nine cold war period, to the extent that you can say you kid on the table and save a cold war is over. While The ideological fight against Marxism is over, but that the strategic dynamics that the grand strategy that define the cold war visibly the United States and the end of the Eastern Bloc in the pacts are aligned with the cold war. That's we much alive today. Right now, let's consider what is
silly going on when they presently united States goes to Cuba. For three days calls the Cubans brothers, has his press secretary notoriously horrifying. We say when someone asks about a distance being arrested that under Cuba LAW, those dissidents are committing crimes, a state meant that shall live in in in infamy along with us. Of the pretzel twisting that went on during the Brezhnev Arrow, like the fact that the White House would not welcome Alexander Solzhenitsyn too its precincts in nineteen, seventy four, when he was sent you the world's most famous and up and bravest intellectual opponent of the soviet regime, so Where are we today? Well, you know, the United States is a nation of three hundred and twenty million people
it has a gdp and twenty fifteen of eighteen trillion dollars. What does Cuba will It was a nation of eleven million people with a gdp of eighty two billion dollars, which means the dumb. Are we in population terms twenty times larger than Cuba, we, an economy. Two hundred M twenty times larger than Cuba's. It is a sad tin, part totalitarian tyranny day did that photograph. I commend it. Everybody this photograph of air force, one flying over Havana with two p we'll standing in a dirty street with green cars from the nineteen? Fifty is, you know, gawking this in a massive plain that seems to have come straight out of the future yet Obama is acting as though he were re.
I'm going to Moscow in the late eighties, when the USSR was the second most powerful country in the world, ludicrousness of scale here is astounding. I'm in Cuba is an unimportant country in which we have interest solely because ninety miles off our shore. It abuses its people and it has stolen land from U S, citizens who are owed restitution but we're the land country of leftist fable. Here Cuba is a very important tree in terms of american leftist mythology, always play outsize role. Since the revolution, people loved Castro, the far left loved Castro. They love CHE Guevara. I in high school being taught by red, diaper baby Vietnam drafted the teachers, took a class and enter
national film and was shown to essentially com May this propaganda films made in Cuba, one called Lucy Other called memories of under development by my Red diaper baby teacher, who wanted nothing more than for the United States to confess it sins and go the way of Cuba politically and Here we are in twenty sixteen, and it is though, yet again, Obama is operating in a mindset that is thirty. Five theories six years old, he's the one who is mired in the cold war he's the one who's obsessed with the cold war, not everybody else saying. Why are we even bother with Cuban till they have free elections wiring? Why are we lifting a fingernail to do anything? except try to hasten the end of that regime yeah I
I agree entirely. His effort to get us out of the past is itself completely passe, its wrapped up in its in its own old methods and you know, he's in Cuba saying he's there to bury the remnants of the cold war. That was those for his work, you know, and it is no appointed at the same time old wars reigniting in Moscow. You know he's he's ending american envy in the Middle EAST. While, while a new worn and a new followers emerging that that that look work requires our action he's completely out of step with the times when it when it comes to us and its that mismatch, I think to get back to your point about the election, That creates the space for something like a truck candidacy to to gain strength in our man. Its forward and says, or seems to say, we ve been stagnating, an ineffective and were scared, and I'm gonna cut
nonsense and delivered strong foreign policy. As you know, on day one and this this might all were down to his benefit. Now, then, what what? What? What? What? What from say in the next couple of days he'll say I was the only one to say that all Muslims should be banned from the United States until we know what's going on. Who also said that, I'm the only one I'm the one who raise terrorism, I invented the terror. Monsieur no one's been talking of no one talked about terrorism. We know and talked about immigration until he until long in his own. In his own mind. But as we speak tonight, and the ongoing catastrophe, that is, the republican primary tool, Its will vote. Arizona is to give all its delegates to Trump and Utah, which seems ray the hand all its delegates to TED crews which leave it was the race, basically where it's been with Trump several hundred delegates up, not clear that Trump can get this.
Sixty percent of delegates necessary to get them the on the first ballot, crews going absolutely no growth willingly he should win and showing no real strength where he shouldn T and now the race moves to places where crews has shown absolutely no ability to gain votes in the upper at West em in the northeast and and that Tromp has and then, of course, there's John K sick. A standing there still by the way, with fewer delegates, then markers we and what's more way, fewer votes that marker Rubio even now startling, Lee, according to Harry Antenna five. Thirty, eight, the primary results so far in the GNP side are Trump with thirty, Having presented about crews with twenty seven percent of the vote,
Rubio sixteen percent of the vote in case it with thirteen percent of that's after oh hi. Oh that's after case one, oh hi. Oh, he has an aggregate total. Of thirteen percent of the vote so and if he stays in choose away at crews. In these winner takes all states the passive bility of crews surging anywhere to try to take things away from from. Tromp particularly say in a state like New York, where the delegates are decided by congressional district. I, if, if, if Trump as they are getting forty percent about forty five said about and the other fifty five percent is eaten up between crews and case I can sum in some calculus he'll win. All twenty seven congressional districts in New York, state and he'll win. The delegates in New York is the third
largest state. My country, and you know, he'll, be on his way to twelve hundred and thirty seven delegates and a majority on the first ballot so case Ex game, gets increasingly more destructive. As as we go on Pierre won't be destructive. Tonight I don't think, but it could well be destructive. You know in the coming, weeks and we're about to go into this big interregnum, because I guess there's one primary was Keyser, fourth right and April. Fourth, that's two weeks, now and then there's more enable fifteenth, but we're about to slow way down in terms of the races, and that will benefit the person who can make news and my concern if I were TED Cruises Campaign is the TED crews has no ability capacity or shows no capacity whatever too it was. He can make those if what he's doing is attacking the republican establishment.
The senator during a slow down in twenty thirteen, but in twenty fifteen and twenty sixteen talk about robotic the guy I says the same thing over and over and over and over and over again, that's all, he does he doesn't say anything new. He doesn't come up with anything new. He doesn't amounts any new policies. He doesn't announce any new positions. He you could say that. That's you know a man who knows his own mind and he has, as he has his views, firmly resolved, but the sun, The fact of the matter is that, if things go on this way, he is gonna lose ignominiously, and maybe ye Trump on have twelve hundred and thirty seven, but the idea that the party is gonna coalesce around the guy who Bundles, along behind Trump on the second ballot, is itself an absurdity. Why? Why would it he will have demonstrated that he can't beat the guy that
to be beaten if he is even to have a possibility of taking them. Hillary Clinton well one of the biggest questions I think that you raised there is this right really slow period in April, where you basically have one primary for a month, and that's was concept in the event that John case it doesn't secure any delegates tonight. It will demonstrate that his faint toward Utah his attempt to keep TED crews under fifty percent is a failure, and I dont know how much of a justification- I guess we're staying in the race at that point, because he doesn't seem interested in campaigning where he should be strongest in the north.
Story, spent a lot of effort even get on the ballot Pennsylvania. He seems just kind of TB cruising along and accumulated in Arusha whatever. That is not really especially impressive, but this big open period, whether really nothing happens and everybody sort of just allows the new cycle to self perpetuating and, as you said, takers can't really make the new cycle I think we got a taste of what's going to occur and that period today, because when the eight, when America woke to the news that there had been a really horrible terrorist attack in Belgium, the very first person that the networks called and who hated that call was Donald Trump Donald Trump will become. The point person for the press and of the press is actually about getting very defensive about their role. In this entire affair. You saw that with a very conspicuous
lack of questioning toward Trump in the trunk campaign over there are increasingly front and centre controversial campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who was accused and remains accused in having a criminal complaint of attacking physically a reporter, and that was not brought up in four consecutive interviews the day after the last Tuesday primaries. Even though women dusky was on the stage with Donald Trump, and it was built as a press conference in he declined to take any questions was buried. Theatrical finger in the eye to the media and political media seems disinclined to push back. I think they're there's not going to be very much effort to do so in this in the coming days as protector
they met that dark period because they know that Donald Trump makes news. He key provides a revenue, starved industry with a revenue stream, and I don't think anyone. You know it's not just that. The statement that it was released this morning was boilerplate. I didn't, say anything, interesting, he's Ed Obama's in Cuba You shouldn't be Cuba. You know that arable we stand with our allies. Donald Trump says we should go out and NATO we shouldn't get out a NATO, and when I am president, I will fight ISIS. That is not interesting. That does not in That is not. It is not leadership. To sort of you now take your cards and reshuffle them and lay them out in a slightly different order to Turkey then that he said anything that is news making or interesting. It was trompe and which also is another problem had you. How do you make news without without being another less?
compelling version of the guy who's really making the nose. You know when he said that what he would do is I call for a long long force meant to patrol muslim neighborhoods Preventative Lee before they get radicalized by the way. That's a green, green wild. Our senior editor speaking Goin out of that all that was kind of internal point, but we're not what no it just it just that, even if, if, if he's gonna make news on the Trump model, that's too hope that still gonna help tromp. It's not gonna help him. The suggestion that you need to have some sort of a neighbourhood wash the police, Dearborn Michigan, is itself offensive and insulting there's no
evidence that we have that these natural born american Muslims are radicalizing very little, not to the extent that you have ghettos in Europe that have declined wholly to assimilate to european culture. There is no culture of assimilation in Europe and to suggest that America has this. This sort of same problem is its own champion, conceit, which I don't really know whether or not the general electorate is going to share those there's. This fear others of syrian refugees coming to the United States, for example, that as of January, the United States had taken over the entire course of the five year syrian war, a grand total of twenty two hundred and ninety syrian refugees, and none of them have been executing mass terrorism. Attacks in city centres. This is an entirely a european problem and to projected onto the United States, resonates with the primary electorate
And the republican Party that those this notion that all bad news is good NEWS for Donald Trump into to an extent it is in the primary process. The decision electric going to say will this the syrian refugee crisis is our crisis to, even though you look outside at the old bill, Hicks it that you dirty open the window, and you hear crickets and turn on the tv and everything is on fire and screaming and sirens is that going to be? general electorate get well old here so that we know you're. So we know what's going on with the general electric by the way we now know a bunch of national Paul's, everyone says, don't pay attention to national poles it's only March and you should only look at staples, but there are very few state poles, but the simple facts of the matter is that in every national pull that we now have every national Paul. Hillary Clinton is when by at least eight and who will clear politics. Average pole, poles, average is now close to ten points and
very interesting deep did in data by a really to share of the centre for american Progress published by Gregg Sergeant, Left leaning, blogger on the Washington Post indicates that if all things are equal, twenty twelve, that is to say if Hillary Clinton gets about the same vote, did Obama garden twenty twelve and all trumpet needs to do is to best that vote. That is about sixty five million voters that Obama got in twenty twelve. We get seventy million in two thousand and eight. So in people saying oh well, you know Trump, there's always think Hilary can get up. I must vote. While there is every reason to they did. Hilary can get Obama's about from two thousand and twelve. It was smaller than two thousand eight, and you know that's not. That's not wildly differ John Kerry got close to got close to sixty million votes in two thousand and four. So
he needs four million. More votes just to tie her again these. This is a national number. We're talking about electoral college state to state the amount of gain that he would have to achieve a month. White male voters is astonishing. We're talking about seventeen eighteen percent in certain states and Russia they got a historically large percentage of the white male vote already said. The idea The trump can somehow build on this. With this mythic Lee New aid now ocean voters that is supposedly creating. That is his fantasy and the fantasy of his followers that they will show up. They will. They will simply be created by his existence shop at the polls and blow Hillary Clinton. The water is looking more and more like the delusion that right? Small people who study demographics and none
tourism. Things like that, no is unlikely to happen, and probably more and more unlikely to happen, because if you take the scenario that we were talking about last week, which is The convention disasters right any scenario: the convention disaster trump winds and the first ballot or trump dazzling first ballot and there are and there's a there's, a I ain't seen and somebody else's selective, there's an even bigger seen at all that the disorder the chaos. The sense of some may among people like us at trumps, ascension in scenario, one and the dismay at the the assumption of somebody else to trumps. People in scenario too, will leave the country that is not your mouth hard line republican looking at the Republican party, as though it is a nest of lunatics and Stream mists and
month following Hillary Clinton will glide through her coronation looking like a sane person and calm, boring person and say tough enough words and she'll have enough of a gap between her and Obama to make. Palatable to people who aren't that crazy about Obama and trample scare enough of the Obama voters with the possibility of Hizbollah. To bring them out and that's when you see the potential November wipe out of the presidential candidate, the senatorial, it's on the republican side and even house candidates compound
Not that I am a got out I would submit. Is that once the the rights that the class on the right that is deluding themselves into not looking at the polls begins to do that and begins to come to terms with the scale of the lost that there are seeing on the horizon, that there is going to start to be this belief that poles can change based, on the virtue of blacks. One events really ugly lacks one events again: it's the theory that everything that happens really supports Donald Trump, so a downturn in the economy or possibly even a terrorist attack, those kind of things will will be on the horizon and in the back of our of their minds. Maybe that happens. Maybe that changes the dynamic and then you have the idea that maybe this is preferable or in a desirable outcome. Such an ugly and disastrous event to change electoral fortunes will begin to become less and less taboo to say, openly
and that, of course, you know wishing for disaster is always a Willie's. Sesar will electoral strategy because you shit and their knowledge. You wish it, but at some point use out loud that your wishing for it and then You hand your opponent, the weapon with which your opponent does you in I want to commend to everybody. As I said at the beginning- commentary magazine that calm, gotta commentary magazine dot com consider subscribing ninety ninety five for all did you lacks s on their tablet. You can read as much of our. Daily, ran things and our monthly magnificent monthly article offerings we have our new issue just up. It is our April issue. Some of the highlights include
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-27.