In this week's first podcast, we (Noah Rothman, Abe Greenwald, and I) discuss the attempted defenestration of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn—and whether we should all be scared by the clear line-crossing leaks of the intelligence community. Then we go on to discuss whether immigration hardliners have reason to be angry with the Trump White House for botching the executive order, and other fun stuff. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine podcast. This is Monday February. Thirteen. Twenty seventeen, I'm John POD words, the editor of commentary at my left, no see Rossman associate editor in our eye John a green wild senior editor. How are you doing great hygiene so we are a day before Valentine's day and basically, the entire week has been the opposite of Valentine form: Michael Flynn, the National scary visor, who has been basically a giant pinata
a week for the press and for people inside the White House and fur critics and everybody else who are desperate it appears to claim him as the first Trump scalp, and it is astoundingly early for somebody to be nailed. From another administration. If he ends up going sometime this week, because of the various issues involving his wrath. In talking to the vice president about a suppose. A phone call that he had with mouse pose a phone call from call he with the russian ambassador at the end of December, which it was claimed he had discussed lighting sanctions or eliminating sanctions on Russia
the incoming Trump Administration and he was defended against that charge by vice president pants and now there seem to be documentary evidence that he did discuss sanctions and he said they can't remember whether he talked about it and no one else is really talking about it and, as this is going on, terrible stories are being left about the dysfunction in general. What sounds like utter madness of the behaviour of the National Security Council who staffers are getting up in the morning reading the president's tweets in them? attempting to divine policy around them, or something like that. So I have some issues with this button that are different from the conventional issues but Noah is your? Take on the real causes of this frenzy of anti slim activity, I would say almost everywhere will
I mean this: is a new level of the intensity? Is its extreme this this week it's been catalyzed, obviously by the results. The leaks of some of this information regarding my plans call and the contradiction with call russian officials in the contradiction of my plans earlier suggestion that he hadn't actually done. Specifically to members of the administration, and even more specifically to vice president, my pants, but this is kind of going on since November. Seventeenth, we win was selected. We had just this deluge of leaks from people within the intelligence community and outside they can tell us community on attributable sources who were saying that Might Flynn is a problem and allow that could have been are attributed to the fact that when he was at the defence intelligence agency tried to reorganize, the agency and make it more mission oriented in that put a lot of people out, and then we had some
duration, politics and some dura bureaucracy. Bala Texan willing to dismiss some of that as just that, as just people being protective and vindictive and jealous the story that we had in the New York Times in particular yesterday with regard to how the National Security Agency is conducting itself is perfectly believable, particularly because of the essential of MIKE Ban into our I'm sorry, Steve Ban into opposed on the an essay or in a sea and the young. The notion is what that really concern me. The notion that done this level policy, staffer see the Miller is chairing a meeting of the national security deputies seems to me completely inappropriate and a suggestion that might and is not taking his role seriously enough to justify his is current position So, even if you don't think that a lot of this criticism is justified,
On the merits, the the accounts of Oh he's been managing his you know with his arm of the administration. National security is really disconcerting, and a much more actively justifies all these leaks from intelligence, community members who were warning for months that this guy We have problems. Lo and behold he's a problem. Ok, so here's the problem with the plan leaks as were discussing them, which is the leaks item in the leaks or people, express negative feelings about him or to talk about him and in in ways that are demeaning herb defamatory.
Are even truthfully negative. I mean that it appears that the intelligence community that wishes to show Flynn the door is quite evidently leaking high level highly classified sensitive information as a weapon against him, and this is very frightening and should concern people perhaps you remember that there was a three year investigation conducted by Patrick Fitzgerald that led to the unjust conviction of Louis Libby, the chief of staff to them Vice President Cheney
how's, who didn't even leak, the name of Valerie Plame, the undercover agent at the CIA, whose husband had become of pity illogical enemy of the administration and yet to hear the left, tell it over the court, and then liberals tell it over the course of those three years what what someone had done simply by leaking her name was an active into me. So Rate- that no punishment could be too severe and right now we have the intelligence community. Evidently, either they have their their tapping Flynn or their tapping soviet? There ambassadors House were phones, Releasing information from those calls which is a totally illegal, be a threat to national security and of itself. If they are revealing sources and methods by
By releasing this information and a terrifying, I would say, intrusion of the intelligence he into the policy making process and the person EL process of a new administered and nobody is focusing on that? Accept Danny Platt God, Daniel pluck of a guy who wrote a very good piece about this today, saying that the key issue here, this and that everybody is instead focusing on the juicy story of whether or not Flynn will be the first scalp of the Trump White House. Right before this story broke Wu Wu wasn't ca. The knowledge and discussed in public that that that intelligence was tapping the phone of the of the russian ambassador to the EU. To the? U s that the heavy debts?
it's getting. That information out there is is a sort of way to bring down Flynn word or rude or to try to bring him down its, perhaps too high a price to pay. And if it's not that it's that If it's that there is some investigation into these russian meddling into the election, Flynn is somehow in that secret. Guenaud targets face a court whatever the investigation so that it is become permissible for his communication to be monitored by somebody. The fact that that information is leaking out should terrify every American, because that means that evidence being gathered in the course of a confidential investigation in which there are no indictments and there's nothing has happened, and no one has been
No one has been told that there are target of investigation, that that is one form in which government starts starting to act like a tyranny. I mean that you know when you release informed mission in others, essentially like raw police files, are Roy investigative files with literally no reason to do it other than to embarrass a person which is really why why it was dark now. Having said all that these stories about the way the White House is working in the way the National Security Council and the national serious as working are horrifying and there's no other word for it. There horrifying whether its appropriate or inappropriate for Stephen Miller the thirty one year old aid. White House who spoke at trumps, rallies and work for was the communications director for Jeff sessions and is now clearly a very powerful person. The way ass weather is inappropriate in an odd way is not
us to judge the President can do whatever he wants. These are not confirmed. Postsecret, you know you. He could ask you to chair a meeting at its of no consequence to me this is stuff that is not overseen by the not advisable, advise and consent stuff. This is the work interior workings of the White House. Having said that, it is bizarre, it's not in app for may be appropriate or inappropriate. Obviously, Many things that we considered that we have considered inappropriate for the course of our lifetimes are gonna, be standard, working order in this White House, and it's like this whole argument about whether or not we should be normalizing, Donald Trump or not, is beside the point. He normalizes himself, because he is the president, so what he does becomes normal by definition, and so, if he wants, If, if it's ok with him in the White House, when he hears that Stephen Miller randomly,
Stephen Miller ran a meeting now it's appropriate, but why Stephen Miller would be running a meeting when he knows as much about foreign policy as you know, anybody listening does cause. He reads the newspaper that's another question, but I think it's a big question and I think it has to do with it a number of deficits at the top. I dont think Donald Trump, there's a there's: a vacuum of knowledge, experience and an understanding of how policy is made it sort of like everyone is dude the roles beneath him are bigger than they normally would be to account for the fact that that he's doesn't seem to be terribly involves. All of this strikes me as the Trump administration. So far in these three weeks strikes me as a the building upon really disturbing precedents that were set in the
I'm a period the leaning on the media to report on terrorism in a way that meant that supports a white house. Narrative about the increase or decrease thereof is ice, is something the President Barack Obama, very explicitly and shamelessly, and the Trump Administration has taken that ball and ran with it. The conduct of American for policy, any political fashion to execute political objectives to change. Domestic political priorities is in a bomb administration precedent, not a precedent, precise been done before, but they did a very shamelessly and without regard for for four decorum and the end without natural, the presidency and their bill, bring upon that precedent in this White House and something conservative should be very concerned about and assurance wrote, but also needed without regard for leaks? That mean the Obama the Unbundling administration loved getting out there that that they collaborated with the Israelis and Stuxnet. For example, in order and right to, in order to make a case that they were cooperative
what is really scared- and this is the conservatives notice they have mentioned, as they have made an issue of this. It's not as though there they're saying that this hasn't happened before, but they're going about it as though it's it's just occasion for what's happening now and not something which, with with which you should be recoiling from. Well they're there. We have the crux of a major issue here, which is just a separate out certain types of wheat from chaff, so one of them is the willingness of your critics of the administration to pretend that every action the administration is taking is unprecedented and horrifying and suggest a politicization of a process. That is you don't just absolutely untoward in this as know, as you just pointed out, that's absurd. It is absolutely not true that you know Trump was the first person to
demand, the resignations of ambassadors. Like that's always that's, that's that's a standard issue thing or that or that agencies are told to stop me king regulations or tube issue issuing Dick tots through regulation, because it new administration, as are really fine article in commentary by Tabby Troy this month, which I heartily command. He would commentary magazine dot com explains, This is, however, administration begins with a concern to make sure particularly leave it if its administration, that is has a of the opposite party and hasn't as an opposing policy to the one that was sitting wants them to stop until they can get hold of the Mechanics once inauguration day takes place. It been a lot of this nonsense about how Trump is doing things in a new way and terrifying, and it's not as if all that bad
but there are things that are not that our new and that are unprecedented and that are or if they're, not unprecedented, their terrible and the and the fact that So many of our friends on the right are willing to say well, Obama did it to or well when a bomb did it you didn't complain, is all well and good, but just to make it clear, we complained you now they complained and we complained and so saying that you know the New York Times didn't complain is meaningless. That's just to that's. Just too, you know make an yang at the New York Times it doesnt deal with the actual fact of the policy problem that is created by Trump violating constitutional norms, for example. More ominously is that we are watching this sort of build upon itself and we are not seeing anyone put the brakes on it does. This is clearly people building on precedent and then citing precedent to justify their act, their actions. So, what's the next administration gonna
what's the administration if it acts in a brain, had something which is what we all said during the week. Can't wait Obama on rush into you know assuming legislative powers, because he was irritated by the fact that he had a republican Congress. Wouldn't rubber stamp is policies, and so he started right executive orders as though they were legislation and courts overturned them and overturn them an overturned them, and we said is varied? People, like us, said this is very dangerous, because your establishing the precedent that the president should be asserting powers and then daring the courts to over as opposed to obeying the the precedent in the history of the constitution and believing in the separation of powers and saying
can't do anything until Congress acts. Executive orders are issued to fulfil the diktat of legislation that was passed by Congress and signed by the president. It is not to make specific policy that has the effect of legislation so, and then you have the fact that we should tackle about which is A night circuit court of Appeals decision to o uphold the stay of the executive order about suspending visas, end and the refugee policy, because here you have an interesting phenomenon. The phenomenon is that as Michael Mcconnell, Thee really remarkable legal thinker at those staffer law school puts it. This was a terrible
decision. You know basically, as a result of a terrible executive order, so the executive order was incompetent, overreach, badly drafted badly fought through and it it. It resulted in a response by the courts that far from meaning that the presidency will presidential powers are going to be enhanced overtime was a real gesture in the realm of judicial supremacy. I'm in the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals. What are the reasons in which state was the reason it gave for staying. The executive order is that future possible immigrants and illegal immigrants, illegal immigrants might have their dupe. Access rights violated under the terms, and emissions of an executive order like this future so there's no they're literally Molly is there
our standing issue- there aren't actually people who are being whore being harm, they are saying there might be. People would be harmed, So this can't be allowed to go forward. That is horrible, terrible law. Terrible writing, it's horrible thinking, but it was kicked into being an executive order so drastically, incompetent and so without limit and without sort of reasonable clearance where people would have said in the course of its clearance during two through the administration. You can't say that that doesn't really pass muster because of this or that nothing. So you need to calibrate that phrase and do this and do that? That's not what happened. This was you know from what we can tell with Steve Bandit and Stephen Mill. And they had this idea that they need to rush the sin. So a trump could say that it be shock and awe and see it seems to me it was a real fear that it's like they ve got this toy. That's the president.
The in someone's gonna take it away really fascinated better. Like get alot, they ve got my most use out what they possibly can until the bad people come and take the toy away from them, and the thing is it If we're only a few weeks in this could be setting the stage for a building sort of arms, race of activism, you know, of of mutual activism and Andy executive part and and on the judicial part And you know you could see a situation in which more, sloppily recklessly drafted. Executive orders have people hoping for four sort of bad bad but bad right, judicial activism, just just just sort of save, save, save a situation and more power grab by the way, because you have this growing phenomenon that started the early in the late midnight. He nineties of States attorneys general
banding together to effectively create a nationwide carcass of a of complaint or objection and thus serve essay. You know claiming somehow because they are not just one ones. Eight but the baltic multiplicity of states that they have standing to attack a national piece of legislation which is at which is itself an unprecedented idea and its. It started in some ways because of this deal the date, because they all simultaneously sue the tobacco companies and got this giant settlement from the tobacco companies, which is effectively in violation of the commerce clause of the first amendment, because Commerce was a constitution, excuse me because they don't have the power to regulate interests, they commerce, but they were claiming essentially apparently do just that because they were suing together across state lines. Somebody would have had to serve take that up and forced the question, but
So you have the possibility of all sorts of independent actors you have here. The attorney general of Washington State was never had so much attention. Is life saying things like. I really hope that the White House takes us too. You know the Supreme Court, because then we can do this, governments on what was going on while the while the M executive order was dry after which is insane them. You know, did you don't do this? recovery on the White House. These are coequal branches of government. The court doesn't have the right to allow, suing lawyer to claim discovery rights over the minutes or discussions inside the White House that that itself breaks down all constitutional norms also, but I think because liberals in the left believed that the Trump administration represents eight. You know an unprecedented threat to our civil liberties and our republic that, basically, all all bets are off all standards or from the window, and and wait till the administration really gets busy with its de regular
an agenda, that's witches, which is something that the left is going to not only freak out but out about, but also lump in with the crazy. But the sort of office is more crazy, run away, administration stuff, which- and I think it's sort of- welcome sound policy for Osborne where, where there was a delicious story today area stray where you know somebody at the european aid somebody at some other department. You know it spent two years crafting regulations to make sure that streams on the top of the mountains weren't something or other and the and something called the Congressional Review ACT. A piece of legislation that allows Congress to really effective regulations was invoked against them and basically, these regulations were were were served shove to the side. That was like we're. So devastating
we ve been working so hard in words it so devastating. It's like good, that's you should be devastated, your side lost, and this is not did you know you, you think you just get to do anything that you want to everything that happens in this country's was to be subject to the field and the choice of the voters. And the voters chose a different path in use, ignored, GAD trust me. We were all devastated, you know when Obama did terrible regulatory things that we did like so, I would your turn enjoy being devastated. This I put this on What are the other day? I got no satisfactory response to my sorry about this. To me whether we should always get satisfaction from too under twitter is, is the resented Europe's and Twitter is new Athenaeum? It is the it is that it is the public forum in which which philosophers gathered to express themselves and to swear, have the greatest have the greatest form of public debate. Troll you
and report your tweets. So why is it that immigration restriction nests people for whom this administration is likely? the black swan event, the once in a lifetime affair in which there will never be repeated. This is Haley's comment. Why, our immigration restriction is not demanding ahead, should rule. Why aren't? They saying that Stephen Miller has so badly mishandled their agenda that he should at least some sort of consequences, instead of going back to the drawing board and reviewing this executive order and doing precisely what they could do within the legal confines of what it is perfectly acceptable executive authority to read to restrict legal and illegal immigration from the White House. They have now back themselves into a corner in which they are defending to the death. This exact it have order they're gonna, go to court over this executive order. They're gonna talk Others executive order is not in fact, they're going to defend this currently they'd executive order until it is, I guess, reviewed by the Supreme
cord- neither upheld her abandoned and that take months so in the meantime we're losing. All this time and why Immigration Restriction- is not really really mad about that Wilson's, since no one give you a satisfactory answer. What what? What are you proposing? The reason is well. If I had to get in their heads, I would imagine it's because they want the fight more than the policy that's part of it. I think the other way look at it is that for the first time they have an administration that has their back. That believes They believe that signals its virtue to them in the way that they want their virtue to be signal to them that it's ok, aid to believe that all you know again that I know in the palace, but it's not the fight over the policy. This is actually a question of whether or not what you want is sensible administration, immigration restriction or whether you want the cultural signifier of
an administration that says that you are right that this country is being overrun either by get out dangerous potential, dangerous terrorists or be no war or Mexican. Or whatever, and that as long as they are on your side, they get. Ninety percent of the credit that that affected Europe affecting change is important. You don't give them time, and you know for the first time, look. Nobody Reagan came out effectively. Even though Jimmy Carter was pro life, predominantly pro life, as he says, he claimed Reagan, was the first pro life. President Roby waited only happened seven years before his election, he never did a thing to restrict. Abortion, in fact, is first Supreme Court choice. Saturday, O Connor was basically was pro choice. He never did a thing, but he
spected the programme Committee, he talked in their vocabulary. He supported the morally, and he said I am one of you and that it turned out was a vitally important to them. When there was a president who had been pro choice, George, each W Bush. He had to deliver on policy. He had to install pro life people at H, h, ass. He had two. He had to talk pro life. He had to do all kinds of things that Reagan didn't have to do because they serve do he wasn't really on their side, and so he had to show fealty to them. In this way that's true and away, but the analogy is sort of fails me here because it's like if the Reagan administration had pursued pro life policies, had lost and then had proceeded to dig their whole as deep as they possibly could and lose
ground for the pro life side, but other than a third of all. It is too early to say that that's what's gonna happen here, and you know they feel like they die. They ve got, died and gone to Heaven, because you know they were they ve been dismissed, as you know, cranks and lunatics for years, and now you know the president and his and his senior people issued a very radical document the first week that he was in office that was badly drafted and badly thought through and may have been incompetent, but its heart was in the right place and you know the truth is, as they must say to each other. You really dug deep. You know they wanted to go a lot further and they might anais. They were strained themselves. They do want a Muslim bandy does want a muslim ban. We want a muslim Ben but they knew they couldn't do a muslim ban, so they did less. Another trouble forward and God bless him. That's what I think I think you're right anything is a really astute point, and
says to me: is that their sort of their getting a therapeutic value? Out of this? we should write, but, and they should it is a very meaningful thing. This should not be. I should not be overlooked, know you're, you're you're focused on you, know the ends, but but having your willingness to clarify- and I hold that thought I wanted to finish- but just to clarify the the are also the having drawn driven your enemies before you I mean that's part of it as they want to see. Lay the fight in they want to see all called always the crazy right lose this fight, which is why there also okay with this big long, prolonged battle, while their policy reference rare, are in our states right. So it's all! That's all It's all mixed together, but in other words we agree that support could be mad. You can be met added, Stephen Mellow you're. Not. Can we manage Stephen Miller? He's your guy okay, so the care they got it wrong. You know he was trying to get it through before you could see it. Maybe it was. The right strategy was not be he's your guy he's the one he's
her guys thicken with you, but he was for you he's been doing this for years sessions with doing it for years that barrier, but is this? The strikes me that this or therapeutic politics is yet something else the trump brought over from the left him, and it says it is a very kind of left thing. It's the it's the enthusiasm about intentions were well so identity. Politics on the right and left have different meanings: rights, identity, politics on the right and the left is group identity. Politics right as we understand it, serve what what you do for Effort Marin's, what you do for the elderly BT community, what you do for a Spanish, what you do firm for native Americans, what you do for the disabled? What you do for you know you disenfranchise! Ok, fair, now, identity, politics of this on the right, and it's mostly driven by issues. How do you intend to fight the identified as a Christian if you identify a Christian there's all this stuff? That's being done to you and to the question, is: does Trump have your back or not?
you have this. Eighty one percent vote of by even jackals for tromp was an indication that when it came down to it, he could say what he said about access Hollywood. It could be divorced as May times they wanted, but he said he didn't like those restrictions he didn't like the stuff with the baking and these evangelical heads then you know Hilary coming in was the end of them and so he's fine with them. So that's one form and guns format politics. Abortion is another form of politics, and immigration is now the leaning forward any politics on the right. I would say, though you there are other other through other minor ways of looking at it. There are many people who I doubt if I conservative we're not were nowhere near as hostile to immigration as the as the trumpets consensus would have it. You know who who just think
no it's a mass and you didn't we needed, needs to be legal and all of that- and I think that these sort of manifest and anti traits right. But but you know it's still the case, if you pull people's fifty to sixty percent of people, think that immigration and that benefits the United States- and that includes republican, so that number flipped alot after the election into negative territory. But the truth is a lot of people are perfectly happy with immigration, but there also happy to hear that someone is like an enforced. The law and you know, make people speak English and you know try to make sure that we have a common culture mean old state. So that's how the identity, politics differs and Trump is very much. The first real identity politics, president of the right
the way that our bomber was the really the first identity politics present of the left. Remember the whole thing about Clinton when he came in and ninety two was, he was the opposite right. He was a southern. He broke the republican or lock on the south because he was heterodox on issues right. He was for the death penalty. You know he talked about how borscht was bad. He why, in various things he tried to come across as a moderate, imminent recently, at any politics contacts in a bomb, a ran as a liberally said he was liberally came in and it was very much. You know, give everybody what they want in the way that they want. It proved gay marriage. You know total commitment to affirm it of action. You have trouble ultimately total commitment to you now get pandering to Hispanics in their groups, with the dreamer, exact and various other forms of of immigration support, and, and now we have his counterweight, which is the concern
by them to the politics of issues as opposed to groups. Well, we also have some groups too. I mean not just the ones that you mentioned, but we have now adopted. The quota quote white Working class, but that's not a group. That's actually a gigantic block like you can't even call that a group of whom there are now voting very much and in a block fashion, but if that's the Kate they they, they could never be considered a block before, because there were, they were too numerous or the whole secretive identity. Politics is it's the stitching together of actual minority groups, now twelve percent countries, black sums on countries span eggs, four percent is asian. Three percent is gay stitch them together? What defines them as being a minority that Trump secret of the secret of this one cigarettes in this election is taking a majority and making it feel as though it's a minority
There has to vote as a block to get its due rampant. It at Democrats did that, while they did it either way. Trump benefited from the backlash that led to that lets say: rises. But it was something like seventy eighty white consciousness was a great get was it was. It was a remarkable unintended consequence of the Obama administration. Now you could say that was because he was so horrified that he turned everybody racist want to, but it was this notion that if this is the way things are going to get sorted and you get things because without what you, what your identity is, then ok, I'm a white guy. Give me something now. It won't is also to the fact that some, like seven and ten seven out of ten white people without a college degree voted for four trump
something like that. Refuge huge blocks and it had a lot of the largest. It would still count as the if you're, using that as a block definition, it's the largest. It's a plurality of Americans threat depend compared to other groups compared to college, educated, whites, college, educated, anybody's and Non college educated minorities, and he was in a passive player in this. It was all the anti trade sentimentally again of the notion that they would somehow correct for the Obama era's attacks on white christian minorities. Which is an all the Obama administration either in that there is a crisis of attacks on Christianity throughout the world, and you can't blame for Christians for being aware
that all Nord. Nor nor do, I think, the nor do. I think anyone should poohpooh the issue of the astounding use of the regulatory and administrative state. To start what is effectively a religious war against believing questions and you, you know, tempting to throw people in jail because they or you know closer businesses down, because they were asked to do things that were that were inimical to their deepest corp. The deepest core beliefs of their faith and face proceed face like family are supposed to be things that are separate, and apart from country minutes, you know, and so that was it that's a real thing. You can't just a wave your hand and say that's just raised some were bigotry. I mean you can plenty people dead and then they have now reached the whirlwind from well, but here's, a potentially scary thought so among there was a not insignificant portion of Obama supporters who came around two saying things like you,
He let me down, I really thought he's gonna do more hidden in and he sort of he served he conform to to what the system and traditions sort of expected of him. If we proceed with e with the analogy, where did where do let down from voters? Go she should that church? Should they be let down that's what I find completely terrifying. This is this is this: is Jamie this book right I mean this. Is that the precise of impact on the precise trajectory of where this sort of displacement of agency in your life, eventually gets you too now it's now. It's on the shoulders of president, whose who's not do especially well in his third week, love ass maybe be, can turn this thing around me. Pies got plenty of time to do so. A lot of weeks he's got plenty of time to do so, but at the same time, right now, if your, if you're a trump supporter you're getting off, TRAIN of your only looking at a gallop polling, whereas now down fifteen points underwater and his third week, people are getting
off the buckeye. You got two different kinds of trump voters. Then you have to really have to separate to have Bay score Trump voters, and then you have people voted for Trump because they voted for the Republican or they vote cuz. I didn't want to vote for Hillary or whatever we're going to come. Some people call him and pollen count for the reluctant from voter or the or the emotional trump voter, or something like that. So it would be very hard for the base term voter to get off the Trump train, but that now, or, as I think we saw even in the republican primaries, is year round twenty five to thirty percent of the national electoral. So the question is you know, but some significant part of his vote is a vote that not particularly for him but for the party for the dollar
against the person was ran against the danger that he has. Is that those people that that that's? What the suggestions of this first few weeks appalling those people will back away from him over time absent successes that were the what they deem to be successes. So if you, if you're certain person voted for him cuz, he wanted to shake things out, but not because you loved him or because you thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread that you wanted. Okay, so he started shaking things up so right. Now. Happy all that inclined to say what he's doing is wrong. It's early. We don't know yet, but if it kind of looks like this nine months from Now- and it could I mean he is a sort of chaos. The chaos and unstable instability and uncertainty is what sits atop this administration, it's not just because he is not hiring the right people, unease. You know they're all new in there
their learning they're getting their sea legs. That was true, the Clinton administration and ninety three that whole bunch. We would never been pie in Washington before they you know how to play the game. They didn't know what the rules were. They screwed up all the time and time and time again, and he had a pretty bad first two years, but he was not the force of Insta, but he was not also the instability he will to win. He was a conventional politician with a real understanding of things, and he he made the wrong call early on. He went to liberal too fast and then, when he was able to course correct course, grey because he wanted to be a successful president in convention. We'll terms and Trump could be like this forever. He likes chaos. He likes
You know to create deception and you know mess in and then he seems to thrive on conflict as opposed to steadiness. Almost every present we can think of before him. The whole thing that we want to put to project Nixon cat. They all wanted to reject what stability control leadership. They were, they were in charge. They had their hand on the tiller. They were so steering the ship and, as I say, the peace will be commentary and next week he's spinning wheel he's not here, holding the wheel of the titanic. He's spinning around so the ship book, o every which way building my hands in the air of doing like visual representation here on a podcast which is really stress it and go at the game, metaphor and which ones that would that everyone else's spinning the wheeler he will break the wheel. You know what I didn't. Even think about, but he won't break the will. He wants to spend the wheel,
he's, leaving everybody's disoriented and dizzy and slightly nauseated, and he seems to like it that way so could be like this for a year and that's what could drive those reluctant trumpet people want the president to be in origin, to be a common soothing and studying force, Nata, not a whirling, dervish lunatic and yet, Here's how here's a little the grain of hope you see things like today. Walter Russell need very sober, very insightful. Great thinker about foreign policy has assessed trumps, some asian policy so far as a win all told, despite the despite the crazy outburst, despite the unpredictability despite the The Miss Tebbs so well, it's basically and at the Wall Street Journal in the end of investing in very sort of similar vein came to. It came to the same conclusion
that. You know. Basically, he got you got the China China policy for the most part right, we're recognising on China with it without with forcing ourselves not to deal with Taiwan. The way the way we'd like to, we reaffirm our connection with our support for Japan in a credible way you put it any any objected to the north korean missile firing, but I mean this talk about like low bar clearance praise, so he because he came around to endorsing the policy of the United States for the last, thirty seven years and because he said we like Japan and because he doesn't like the fact that North Korea fires off a missile he's really got a go in here. That's what help, but that's why he will get credit for it for it. Oh bar achievements. I was well know so Walter do Walter gives them
credit. I'm saying I don't think anybody is getting. There's much credit for that, whereas that coming for a that's coming from the fact that you have a lot of conservatives who dedicate themselves now exclusively to critiquing the media, who are suggesting that nobody, giving this guy enough credit for doing things that are just essentially he's lying level play school. My first day in the presidency stuff that you're supposed to know that you're supposed to do he also, as I recall, what have you allow that regime was there's also a far east. There is also a country in the Far EAST called Australia, which is also a continent, and we got into a giant fight with our strictly so that's also part of his US, and our asian. His age of our energy policy consists of forcing most of our allies into a trade agreement that excludes us with China. North super rate, eventually however, negotiations are on fair enough and we don't always going to say that indian women always going to say about Pakistan. We don't I'm, I'm just saying like the notion that you can look at the at the first,
we even assessing this is the insanity. That's that's grip that so it's you know it's a three and a half weeks, and we're assessing the successes and failures of administration like there are even have people Kay jobs, yet twelve cabinet posts have yet to be confirmed. You know they should just below you don't like setting up the computer systems, it's all because it's all, because really trump and and Ban is like jumped our offer wedge in trying to like get things going. That he's in the mess that he's in now totally and all of these self inflicted wounds. That are, you know the end that's thing, but the executive order. So what if we waited five weeks issue, the executive order and lay guns were drafting process with people they could try. Still was they had session
Then they had an they haven't deputy HIV and they had a solicitor general who could assess this, give good comments, and then he announced five weeks from now. What difference would it have made? Ok Ok, a terrorist would have come in through the Syria port, you know so that's it happen now anyway, since the day is, is on so congratulations. You now feed waited five weeks. If the stays on for a year and a terrorist comes in if he drafted it better. He wanted me like blame the courts, but I'm not that I think it Larry said one of their incentive structure for this. If a core group is always gonna be with them because of you know sentimentality, because you don't win because of your core group, you have to
more people than your core. If you, if you melt down to your core, that's bullshit, that's bullshit, two thousand eight, that's like Bush left with the thirty percent of people are twenty eight percent of people who think he's grade and will will like him regardless or admire him respect him. If Bush had to run for re election in two thousand and eight it would have been, a cloud did go wild calamity. Obviously you now you deed to build your support. Here. He was elected with forty six percent. He needs to build his support, retracted, not shrink it and not offend the people voted for him because they saw no other choice. He wants to make them happier with their choice. He wants to make them. You know, George W Bush in two thousand and four got twenty two percent more votes than he got in two thousand. That is what trump needs to do to be successful. He needs to do better, not to revert not to serve retreat into his base
I mean that's just simple, practical politics. The Democrats may make this easy for him, because they're totally insane and they've gone totally insane and their response to him will not be to occupy the center that he seems unwilling to occupied but to move far to the left and let's leave the center unoccupied and make him effectively the center. Seize the national leader. If they moved to the center and like tried to be a centrist party, get out of the world could be there a waster, but that does not appear to be what is going to go on here. So what that we come to the end of our first progress, We commentary magazine the seventeen year old monthly of intellectual property. Critical analysis join us.
Optometry magazine dot com, where we give you some free, reasonably ask you to subscribe for one thousand: nine hundred and ninety nine, a digital subscription, two thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, a all access subscription featuring our beautiful monthly magazine in your mailbox for closing our march issue. Today and tomorrow, that's amazing, fantastic stuff, and it will be releasing over the course of the week, including a major essay by Nicholas ever said, call her miserable 21st century, which is an uncommonly depressing piece of writing. Befitting commentaries new position, Spangler of the Trump Administration have a happy Valentine's day. Everybody it's my sister's birthday, so wish my sister a happy birthday somewhere. If you can, if you're friends with her on Facebook run, the run twitter go, wish will see blooming happy birthday February 14th, I'm John Podhoretz for Noah Rothman, Andy Greenwald, keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-26.