« Commentary Magazine Podcast

Commentary Podcast: Shut Down Senselessness

2018-01-22 | 🔗
John Podhoretz is out today. In his absence, the remaining COMMENTARY Magazine hosts untangle the complicated policy and politics behind a short-lived government shutdown. Who benefits, who doesn’t, and what was at stake? Did this brief cessation of non-essential government activity change the political landscape ahead of 2018? Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine. Podcast today is Monday January, twenty second, twenty eighteen, I'm no arrangement. Unfortunately, John Ports is out today with the flu. We wish him well with me as always Green Walled. Our senior editor aim, high Noah, Senor Writer, so Rebel Mari High Cyrus, or am I Commentary magazine this seventy three year old Journal opinion and analysis check us out online. We give you a few free reads, and then we ask you to subscribe. One thousand nine hundred and ninety five for month for a digital prescription subscription.
Twenty nine eighty. Ninety five per month gives you all access pass, plus our beautiful monthly magazine in your mailbox shook ass at a commentary magazine dot com today is the begin. Of the end of a very short lived government shut down. The first government shut down since twenty thirteen, where we had sixteen days non, essential personnel for a load and a lot of misery in parks were shut down and it was dry. Ben Miserable and then indication of our political decline and our cultural decline- and I guess we ve- had sort of some every prize, but it was very short lived an I don't really know what it was about to tell you the honest truth. I have no
it with a strategy. Wasn't this part was a democratic, led effort to do many things, a sensible. The effort was to tack onto a three week funding bill now, where are continuing resolution and keep the government open for three weeks a six year, extension of the children's health and in its programme ship which was agreed to that was on the table. But all so the making permanent of the deferred action. Programme for the children of illegal immigrants, Dhaka and die one was not on the table and there were votes that were had added pass and on a Friday night we shut everything down and we had a weekend then this afternoon everybody came, enable- and everybody agreed that somehow this was
going to be resolved. Only because Democrats receive verbal assurances from which Mcconnell that they would have a vote before February. Eighth on Dhaka. Now, if you think that Republicans we're not going to approve doc up before it expired, formerly on March Fifth, I suppose this is a win for you. If you thought they were going to go right up to the deadline and not approve this programme that has the support of eighty percent of the public, including a majority of Republicans, including a majority of Trump voters. Pending in the boy look at, then I guess this is a win for you. I think you have to be pretty good jealous to hold those two positions. It looks to me like nothing. More than Democrats, climbed up a pole got stuck and now our was sort of embarrassingly shuffling their way down their pole. Yet what what strikes me? about this, then. Is that it
fairly, ineffective bit of political theatre, not only because the motives of the Democrats seem to be completely jumbled and confusing, but also the explosive news or the salient a shut down at this point of of a government shut down our figure. Is it it carries, is as much weight as it once did, or or as it as it does. In search of more calm, normal political environment. I mean I'm not sure how how effective it is as theatre peer, even if even under even to feed the Democrats motives were were clearer there's so much chaos going on there. So much the american people are focused on such larger spectacles that that into of their governance that this doesn't. I don't know how much this route
we ways on the american public mind. It seems to me another reason why it turned out to be such a weak flabby gesture was a factor, I think Republicans can calculate I say I saw the sources is Somerset is on Twitter. Republicans can calculate that Democrats generally, like rub government and seeing it run, at so it's hard to believe their grandstanding about shutting down the government when you're the party of generally a party of bigger government of government running the Saudi was. That was a tactical, I think mistake as well. No, let's usually, why and I think democrats we're getting a lot about. Advice is usually why the public blames Republicans for shutdowns Then, when they are not the majority party, as in twenty thirteen, when they only have control of the house, because there, the party a smaller government and they're, not all that uninstall by the prospect of the government shutting down for, and so the party of government gets the credit, the assumption that they want to keep them,
from an open, which I think is a reasonable assumption, but the conventional wisdom might lead them. A stray here didn't seem to have much of a strategy and AIDS point is really good in so far as The last government should no longer, and the party in power tried very hard to make it hurt the deployment of the Interior made it as visible as possible and repose, I didn't do that this time, but also, I guess you know, without a democratic president, in a democratic majority leader and just democratic figures in power and generally with a microphone saying. This is awful. This is what's happening and here's where it's happening and look at this and look about and look at this, then you just didn't notice it here and also, because we have the than the other government shut down is still in recent memory, which sort of takes away some of the punch of this, especially concerning how short this one seems to have been. The interesting thing. Also is that,
even though the motives were completely jumbled, end and incoherent. That did not stop. The democratic activists. Class from being fully behind this and energized by lobbying and lobbying forward, and and issuing statements you know, and because for them it's all about, you cannot trust the report since no matter what they are not they are monsters and they are not trustworthy and you cannot work them inhumane. You must hold firm, your position. Whatever opposition is. That's that's less important, but but you just have to do that. I met admit that creates interesting situation. I think That's because we see more and more this sort of split or between the the activists class to an end and the democratic establishment, and this is kind of what splitting the dish looks like you. You you go out on this limb. You do perform. You create this
and her spectacle, many back down and knowledge really happy unknown, really sad known as rich as you just sort of thing that don't really knows how to read yeah this time in the the parallels between Republicans twenty thirteen and Democrats in twenty seven. Eighteen, rather, are you now obvious, and we had it shut down. That was led by generally by an activist class and a politician who is pandering to that activists class because he had presidential ambitions. And kroes. You may correct and we have a law. Out of presidential aspirants who are currently, as we speak on the floor of the Senate. Right now, barking up us arm about how the Senate Majority leader is being bamboozled, or rather the minority leaderships. Humours me man boodle, but by Mitch, Mcconnell. No one can trust him, and this is all part of republican, theater and cetera so forth. I wrote a post on Friday item, I'm down
amazing. The ways in which read democratic activists in, for example, of the the positive America crew, which is a very popular group of abundant ministration officials and now have a second career as media moguls. Lobbying activism, lobbying activism in favour of a government shut down, essentially a series of demands that we're not going to And as a result of their not being that would result in the end of the sea are in the government shut down, which is exactly what happened and provided a script for their members to call the listeners, call members of Congress and provided a little video of them, making a similar call to Diana Feinstein, whose facing a substantial challenge from the left, the Skatalites, using even more of a of a sentiment for a primary challenge to her, and somebody was a little bit more ideologically the bureau in that seat in the one party state I mean, there's just so very similar to the cul de sac
which Republicans forced themselves in twenty thirteen. I don't about sugars, I kind of wish that the Obama administration alumni would kind of go away and and reflect on their deeds for a little I specifically mean in the foreign policy area where they ve they ve managed to re brand themselves, is a steady hands compared to the term administration, but even in the domestic ground as well it just a minute by so many accounts. No matter how bad you think Trump is by so many accounts, so bomb presidency was was a problematic one and, of course, its natural. When people go out of government to try to find some way to stay in a public square, but I you know, I am personally become allergic to the presence of John
How is it and and crew yeah emanate? What's the financing is not really Obama himself right? It's it's! It's the same. People who made up the be official ECHO chamber one when the administration was in office is right, then, roads and and and of course, that's a foreign policy here either. I regret that the speed writers Lira there do their emulous communications, guys and speech writers and therein communications in the first place. They can Priscilla media career and they do a pretty well. I wouldn't editor fumes more tolerable to go, get jobs at eight omen and become empty teachers straight up the discipline of the traditional path for somebody who, like a ban roads, rioters, Susan Rice, but they have chosen war to remain in the public eye and trying to protect the the reputation of administration that is besieged in assailed by events, seems like every other day, but at least I have to say this at least, would We don't see the media have large short of accepting everything that there that there are now putting out the way they did when they were in power
They? They really were shaping the narrative very successfully back and they Obama's days now neither just serve. This these voices out there they podcast nor on twitter but and their effective, but it's it's their unity that you can least recognise them is not being in power. So what did this spot a pike s? What the shut down photographer progress on a pug has very matter. What did this shit Achieve Arthur six forty eight hours worth of shut shut down this here's. What I think I would hope again? I always have this tendency to be that the Pollyanna, where I say I wish people would just calm down. About Russia and that the investigation take its course, which, of course, no one's going to do, and similarly I think I see a real opportunity here to not just now just right. Dhaka and do right by those people who, which is a popular cause, I think I was saying pre show that Doc apples meaning
granting permanent status did a darker recipients, poles at eighty percent, which is as good as you can get in american politics. I hope that the debt ridden illustration Republicans on on the hill and Democrats can work together and just Out of this? A comprehensive immigration deal I saw Josh Barrow had a good piece in business. Insider saying you know it could it could happen, but he was saying he was. He laid out. The reason why it's not going
to actually all sorts of reason why the Democrats wouldn't want to give Trump victory. Trump is afraid of the culture caucus and, though Mark Krikorian caucus, but this has just been a festering political wound in this country and if it can, if it can be done in a way that, where the Republicans the programme based gets border security, border enhancement, maybe maybe get rid of the lottery programme and Sun Soforth fewer chain chain migration- or I guess that's a racist term. What's the preferred family preference migration, whatever you have eliminate those and then in the budget, but also grant in over people been here, had been toiling in the shadows, a degree of permanency and and and and their abilities to have their income from taxes and so forth. It would be great, would not be great. It's not gonna happen, so here's the other storyline emerging from this shut down, which doesn't reflect especially poorly on
or well on Republicans. Rather so, if you believe Democrats like chucks, humor and Dick Durban and others- and I don't necessarily do- but you have to take their word at face value, because it confirms what we already know to the extent that they were negotiating with a president who has any sort of ability to speak for his administration. I think that we ve got a real problem when it comes to negotiating a something like a final solution for quite a few members of the of the illegal immigrants Shhh base in the shadows there, because from from what we ve heard from reporting, is that the president's Loretta doesn't really have the command of not just events policy. What have you but of his bill? We then negotiate for his administration. The story coming out of both Democrats and people like Lindsey Gram
was that they had verbal assurances from the president, which tat really well with what we saw in that lived, televised meeting of members of the Us Congress meeting with from negotiating immigration policy and that those deals went out the window when people like John Kelly and legislative director mark short and glorified speechwriter, Stephen Miller, somehow got a hold of this information and told president what he should be saying, so they were negotiating with somebody who didn't have the final word for his administration. The president is not the final word and according to checks, humor people, the wall on the table, at least some money for this border barrier, and we know that they did put two point six billion for border barriers, which was way south of what they wanted and further that eighteen billion, but apparently they went up and the president didn't budge
and that was the end of negotiations. As you know, we heard that it was way north according to an aid for Chuck Schumer and again, you got to take this at face value cuz, who knows who's telling the truth here, but I believe that they went up on the wall. People like Luis Gutierrez has an absolute radical on him mission have come to accept the fact that there should be some border wall funding in exchange for Dhaka and there on the record, saying this and sows Chuck humor. So if you don't it bless. You think they're lying the end. You know you might. The implication is that President trumpet saying one to some people and another thing to another people to other people. He's being led around by the nose by people who think what his brand should be, particularly on immigration, and I mean the present, a really isn't. The President John Kelly's, the president, see Miller's the President, who is the president of the situations, not Donald Trump, not who version of negotiating with you don't be asked about, avoid the middlemen and go right to the chief of staff that that will not do
when at whatever the shutdown may or may not have accomplished? It won't change that Army Trump Trump style trumps relation to his administration is what it is in its it's. It's a good point, because when we ve been talking about the incoherence of Democrats position here, but its bits, the odds only been a follow up to trumps, completely indecipherable, sit, put position on this he's he's he's plated every which way in and then sold the income. Parents begets incoherence and that this is this is the model or in to say nothing by the way of this whole shipped back also, apparently, the chip funding by the way was on the table and democratically completely sacrifice their brand on that they have been saying for months. Silence and complicity of the press. That ship has been unfunded since September thirtieth, it hasn't been. Chip was unfunded briefly, but all the states had an extra money in their coffers to get twenty eighteen and then there's been a series of stop gaps. One passed in mid this
Irwin passed in late December. That gave the money a little bit more money there, the programme more money to keep going, and then they had this full six year. Extension on the table which they supposedly wanted, even and yet for the second time Democrats in the house voted against it The Democrats in the Senate voted against of a long term extension for chip, so they really just sacrificed to talking point now but he's going to carry you're still going to have your your Jimmy Kimmel's out, they're, wildly misrepresenting the vents and the Republicans position. What have you in order to propagandize for the Democratic Party has majority in the Senate, but everybody was paying. Attention has noticed that Democrats are really being very cynical when it comes to.
With children's the children's health insurance programme, so mean all told. So this was a UK. Can you cholera a wind for them? Democrats? Definitely not, but, but you know I've if, if these appalling is true, Republicans are held to blame more for this shit and then than Democrats by a few points that have some grand effect on things. I don't really think so
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hurry now. The second big cosmic implications of the shutdown has to do with the the longer picture, and I guess, if you were writing about how you know me speaking to writers of fourteen writers in this audience, If you wrote about how the shutdown down change the political, dynamic and twenty eighteen is up for grabs everything chain, Democrats demonstrate their incompetence, and Republicans should be rebounding you probably over rejects thanks, because it was a forty. Eight hour shut down. No one's gonna notice, but the background to this is, with the exception of the ABC, is washing and postponed, which found a very generic Bela gap and growing mulatto poles are showing this generic ballot. The had been asked Nominal with democratically Democrats leading ahead of twenty eighteen sort of tightening and the press
this job approval sordid taken up a little bit again, relative thirty six to forty percent, but taken up, and all of it has to do mostly with the fact that the tax code Reform Bill Wasn't the epic world ending disaster that Democrats predicted it would be. In fact, the headlines have been pretty darn good and in some respect those headlines are bound to get better in that most people are going to see some benefit. Most Americans going to are going to get more money to get to keep more of their own money. So that's that's also going to change Jeff Greenfield in political, we'll, have a piece talking about mid terms and say that yes wall, while most indication show that the Democrats Regular sweep things there may be some reason to think that that that's not gonna happen and that their that's not gonna, be as robust, showing as as we ve been talking about.
And he lists things like v. V. Tax bill on how that's going to continue to help tromp either through the reception of it. He talks about the the Eric the Generic Balin and his contention is that will that doesn't really reflect what needs to happen county by county, especially in red states where, where there are democrats, swift defences, and he has few other points, but I guess I wanna know any more specifically about that, because of prior to this tax bill being passed now we had seen. Credit fundraising exploding, the de Triple Sea had a fund raising report out today. That was really good, I think, was a seven figure hall for them on which is pretty substantial. I think, and also
but we ve seen candidates, as is early September. We ve seen democratic candidates appearing in races in some three hundred seats, which is outpacing, wet Republicans did as far as recruiting goes and twenty times it helps to really take advantage of a way to have a candidate there. It's not like that. There's always a candidate running in every race particularly raises where the incumbent isn't perceived as vulnerable, so Most of the time you have a lie at or not must attend, but quite a bit of the time you have these candidates running unopposed, if there is a way that helps to have somebody seated there, and there was something like over. The candidates who raised over five thousand dollars for their respective raises was was nearly double what Republicans
image to pull off and twenty ten, so I wonder what he means by the county level method. The of the question that I've had impart watching over the weekend d, the socalled women's work March, is what is the modern, Democratic Democratic party standing for in the age of tromp. At a time when, as a pointed out, you do have really robust growth really scene of the odd lots of economic indicators that are going well, whether that's growth, whether that's the stock market or whether that's companies bringing cash back in companies giving out bonuses and in anticipation of
with that money that are taking and thanks to the task over their own money, more of their money keeping, so they can invest in jobs and and in their own people. All of that being the case, I couldn't discern a message, a positive message out of the women's March and out of the kind of broader constellation of of stars that arising in the end, it ended in a democratic side so positively. What are they sat for? I think I think they will bank on the fact that Anti tromp will be a strong message, and I know I have no doubt that as a lot of potential, because you have this president, whose this divisive sometimes repellent figure-
an edict energized people, but I still don't see myself think you need a positive program. You know make Amerika great in a way was an image like that was it gave you an idea? Would it? What is the democratic parties stand for what you have just to? I just pull up different fields pieces to address No, no! It's question so he says of the generic bows they ve. They don't tell us a lot about. What's going on in marginal districts and in red states accommodate of gerrymandering and sorting that leads to use useless landslides and some house districts means Democrats have to do better than simply rack up good statewide numbers to improve their numbers in the house. For example, and twenty fourteen, he writes Democrats one about forty five percent of the Total Houseboat North Carolina, but Republicans one ten. How seats to the Democrats? Three in Pennsylvania, Democrats, one forty four percent of the votes they wide, but one just five seats to eighteen for Republicans, even if the courts to finally, roulette excessive powers, gerrymandering,
drink. What has already said. It will allow current districts to be used for the November MID terms, and that means that a genuine wave, will produce numbers big enough to flip the house. Now you think, there's a genuine wave than than they had. The orders is vulgar, and I think he does too by the way. Thank you gesture of throwing up hunting Well, I had to hedge and it's probably useful hedge to answer so rubs point. What what did Democrats stand for an age of trump if the economy is doing so well in the relative peace abroad? And my answer to that has been values is that they are representing the positive messages values, even though its framed in negative terms, the values are anti but that's part of why. I think that this I mean the shutdown. Well, I don't think we'll have a long lived effects was so ill conceived because part of their values are these
you know very broadly shared propositions, like the children of illegal immigrants, who came here through no fault of their own, were dragged here as minors and have lived here for this for almost thirty years and should have enjoyed some legal status and not be forced back into the shadows reported. That's a majority proposition and a lot of people by it and Republicans by it and so to jeopardize that for a political stunt was incalculable is really kind of foolish. Similarly, children's health is something that everybody likes nobody's against children's health. So the notion that you can sacrifice some of these things in favour of protecting and again nobody knows the details of this sort of stuff, except for people who focus on it, because the press isn't getting close to the details of the sort of thing, but if they did they'd say Wall Unit Democrats talk a good game about children's health, but they voted against it. In order to protect the Medicaid Medicare benefits enjoyed by seniors, who make over half a million dollars a year and to preserve
Obama, carries provisions that allow you to have a ninety day waiting period when you dont May Gooding your premiums before that closes on you accept unless it now moving from ninety days, to thirty days, things that the majority of America, I think, if they were allowed to really ruminate on these propositions, would say, wait a minute. Is that really worth backing up this children's health programme? What you say is vital, as Nessus areas the values that America stands for as the EU. We are protecting that for these little piddling details and that doesn't really make a lot of sense to me so their fortunate, in so far as they have a willing willing accomplices in the political press, you dont dig to deepen under the soil to find out what Democrats are actually doing when they pontificate and posture about the young, the values these these points and then I think, the Democrats foremost in good shape, because the motivation to oppose Trump is much stronger, much more potent than and then be,
than those who even have come around to thinking, while he's he's now, the disaster, no no one's and no one's outside of his base, whose whose motivated because their motivated, because we mean something to Them- that's different. Even You ve come around to say. Well, you know with where the world has ended. The tax cuts is. This is mostly goodbye, that on some details can farm. I'll, see, starve, they're happy with that, These things are not as motivating in terms of terms of coming out to vote. As saying I cannot countenance Erica that looks like this with the president that behaves like ass, not no matter what, guy. I agree. I think I've been, in other words, I put the question, but I'm willing to take your point both your points that the man himself ultimately is going to be a hang up for a lot of people who may appreciate some of his policies. And frankly, I still don't see any way he can turn around. Personality issue, the vulgarity and so forth,
it would be nice to see it. Yet. I left that propose something and doesn't just want to reconstruct that sort of golden age of I don't know what, but the set of progressive moment preserved in amber, maybe the first four years of the Obama admin mission and that's all they stand for when the world is changing and America face new challenges. And you too, you don't see a democratic party, but that has answers, but I think it's perfectly legitimate decided. The repellent personality factor will still believe them to be gains in twenty eighteen yet, and I just thought it actually. I think the the opposition to Trump that the opposition to trumpet shared by the entirety of the left, I think, sort of saves them. It saves the Democrats in the sense that, without it they are sort of split and all over the place and they and they would have very hard time coming to the same page.
Positive issues answer what they want and what they want to see what they want to happen. If, as law they can all agree that that they can stand Trump and that and that he is not acceptable, that that gives them sort of unifying principle where otherwise, there there's not necessarily one there in India, at least in the detail again. Isn't this a mirror image of Republicans and twenty thirteen? Twenty fourteen in the process by which you come to terms on an agenda is the presidential primary process and whoever out of that process is the agenda around which you and me the party eventually unites. I think two things are good examples. So yeah I mean it's kind of like we're. Just live through this again reach. We fight. He did this by mean that the people who work or saying that democratic? Don't look very good today, I'm with I'm with you. I don't think they look very good today, but you know we ve been to these places before we're. Democrats, look bumbling and foolish and fanatics, Donald Trump doesn't look so bad and comparison, and he burst through the wall like the Kool aid,
within a very short period of time. As is remember me, I'm the guy love to hate, and I guarantee you you're not too much farther away from one of those moments cause. There happened with the frustrating regularity but the Russia thing DVD viewed the rush investigation there, the scandals, the headlines that I dont it is going to be where its at today, but by the time that allow that elections run around, I think that's gonna have fizzled considerably with without anyone getting of a sufficient scalper, the kind of scout that they that they hope to get, and I think that'll help him. Maybe I don't know- and I'm not sure I'm prepared to or any sort of judgement on this ongoing investigation. I don't know anything about a country in quite a bit The behaviour of a lot of my republican colleagues, who are quite sure they know what was happening behind the scenes at the FBI and they are their prepared.
Rendered judgment about this thing. I am not. I do not know where this is going. I don't think anybody really does obviously, but we shall see and without we're going to close a very quick commentary, podcast without jump on ports. We just are unable to pontificated let the link that we normally do cylinder Recently we're going to have to wait for his triumphant return. Hopefully later on in this week. It really shouldn't be that much longer, but if you mistake assigned to understand better in the meantime for Sarah, barring a green Wolden John Upwards, in absentia, nor often Keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-12.