On the last podcast of the week, John Podhoretz, Abe Greenwald, and Noah Rothman do their best to break down what has to be the single stupidest 36-hour period in American politics in living memory. From the kerfuffle over “cuvfefe” to ISIS chic, Americans on the right and the left were compelled to debate inanities even more than usual this week. Also, we discussed Noah Rothman’s feature in the June issue, “How to Be a Conservative in the Age of Trump,” and where the right went wrong. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Netflix. Welcome to the commentary magazine podcast today is Thursday. June, first two thousand and seventeen. I am John Podhoretz. The editor of commentary with me, as always Noah Rothman, are associate editor. I know I, John Anan Greenwald are senior editor high, a Bhaijan commentary magazine these seventy two year old, monthly of intellectual property, political analysis and cultural criticism from a conservative perspective, join
sad Commentary magazine com, where we give you a few free reads and then ask you to subscribe. One thousand nine hundred and ninety five gets you a digital subscription, two thousand nine hundred and ninety five gets you an all access subscription Bing Beautiful monthly magazine in your mailbox eleven times a year a little later in the show- will be discussing no rothmans breakthrough article in the June issue of commentary on how to be a conservative in the age of trump, but we are going to start and spend most of the day most of the podcast. On the question of whether yesterday Wednesday may 31st two thousand and seventeen was the dumbest, eight in the history of american politics. Actually, I think it's really more. Like Tuesday may. The through say midday. Is thirty six hours, the thirty six dumbest hours in the history of american politics, and we have two two matters that really dominated the day, one
seemingly serious, but actually the opposite of serious, which was a photograph and the other a tweet. That's why we have the photograph and the tweet. So I think, maybe if we start with the photograph, I by the way, I want to say one thing I was let I I went and looked at I've been yeah, bring it you people to go and review us on Itunes, I'm delighted to say I went look yesterday and saw we're now up to two Thirty two reviews, so I thank you very much most of them are extremely positive, for which I thank you even more, but there was one endless, two thousand word review. That was a litany of conservation of how I talk too much. I talk too much. I suppress Noah I I Abe's squash a cave salon, a squash into a little. So in an effort to deal with kids, instructively with this criticism.
And we haven't really set this up before him, but I was thinking. Maybe somebody else rather than I should explain, let's say the Kathy Griffin Photograph issue. If anyone is I think just because everyone should both decline is to force the scars and to suffer okay. Well, the thing is, I wrote a column about it, so I'm actually up on the the I'm up on the chronology of it, but maybe so, instead of the calf of maintenance of starting with the Kathy Griffin Photograph we Well, it's not a photograph. It was a video of video. It wasn't Video, yes unit was Emma Lee raising right, but it was the the image was from a photograph right, okay, so but maybe we should start with the president's late night tweet that so, which I was also up for because I I was up Tuesday night, as I've, given a talk at a
I couldn't let you shovel out. So that is the practice. On the on the jewish holiday of shoveled of studying all night and gig to king inside, so I gave a talk at the Jcc in Manhattan and it just so happened that I was up at like one thousand two hundred and fifteen one thousand two hundred and thirty. When I got home and I looked at twitter, even though we're speaking to it, they should have been offline, as we should be offline today, because they still jewish holiday so I'm being very bad dis, respectful of of our people, but none. And then I saw this weird thing happened, which was the president tweeting and then people responding to a tweet know what what what The I slept through this, so I just kind of got up and had to sift through the the post. Tweet rubble in order to find some semblance of sanity and re, read, you know what put together what happened last the night before forensically up
Only the president was in the middle of one of his regular twitter rants, which were rather uneventful until at one point he just sort of trailed off. And- and he left us with, what only a sober analysis, analyst could only call a typo um, which was the advent of cove FA, c, o v, And I was there for a night now, it wasn't just a typo because either the word was an obvious. That word was apparently some analog of coverage Leslie twenty load media, but who is quite obviously but nonetheless the tweet was incomplete. It wasn't just he was. He was in the middle of a thought and typed cove fa instead of coverage and then stop typing her six hours while the world, while the Lake world there river- this is
prime time on the West Coast, even though it was one thousand two hundred and thirty in the morning on the EAST coast,. While the entire world hung on the meaning of life, you know an it wasn't. Just I think that people hung on it was that it was so clearly uh a or blunder, and- and so it was instantly funny what is what was the actual for the entire contents of that tweet was even remember, do not think so, despite being about the whole fat face, something like that, it was yeah, something like in spite of the media, cough FAA. You know it's like that, When there we went in Monty Python and the Holy GRAIL, they're reading the message that's been like it's been car and into the cave wall that it's, my camera is laid out. The killer is ok and he's like no, no, the guy to the guy chiseled into the wall 'cause. He was being killed at the time.
No is finding the tax, because you know most Strauss seasons. We must go to the original tax. I mean that the old the tweet was deleted. It was something like the fax something rather than me, but I know you made a you made at a joke out of it, but yeah, but you don't understand there were a hundred thousand joke tweets and respond right, so he got up in the morning and it wasn't just joke tweets. There was also people saying well. Did he have a stroke claim something happened with the get a phasic could see. Okay, you, like is the you know, is everything? Okay, I'm very glad. I slept through that right because what but you know this is psychotic twitter users, like myself, just spent like a you, know an hour coming up with every conceivable joke. We could come up with he gets up in the morning then confronted with this paralyzed world hanging on his every tweet and rights, who can figure out, the meaning of quote Cove FA question Mark question: Mark question Mark enjoy right, so
so that was that was good. That was funny. It was like right that could have been the end of it and it should have been the end of it and He hadn't had a stroke and he is his use of social media- should no longer you know, surprise or startle anybody or be an issue for anybody, but Then this other thing happened with Sean Spicer Abe. Do you want to The well has how, when was is this was yesterday in the afternoon around one one, thirty yeah right and I don't even remember the details, but but if there was a press conference and she and Sean Spicer was asked about the co fat face, heat and said very soberly. Something like the president and a small group of people around him know perfectly well what Cofe means so in other words,.
Not impossible right. It was not a mistake. It was not in the sense that lighthearted it was. It was Good for something serious and inside yeah right which we know can possibly be true. So the reason that this is. You know the stay in the history of american politics number one, or that? What is the idea that we see, as we have seen, but it in the in the starkest relief that the way that the people close to the president. United States deal with the President of the United States is excellent. Cities and behavioral quirks, and things like that is to pretend that everything that he does is conscious purpose. Full and brilliant- and they do this because
what to do. This is far more dangerous to their lives there, reputations and their future proximity to power then saying lucky It was late at night, something got him riled up and you know looking at him joke about it in the morning, which is what an ordinary political operation, not just any ordinary person, ordinary public operations. They have other presidents, human upset about something, but he was sort of falling asleep, as he was doing it funny is particularly psychotic because it's not like the not like they have any reason to do that. The president was joking about this himself. They have actual physical evidence to suggest that the president took this lightheartedly. Well, he can joke Noah. He can joke about himself, but you Now see that that is that's uniquely concerning to the two really I am no kidding sort of stalinist perception.
Okay, see you went to his all allied only this morning on morning Joe, which is you know, it's the again, I'm going to make an analogy to a movie, no one seen because that's the sort of thing I do, but there is a comedy in the mid 70s called Kentucky Fried movie, which was the first thing written by the guys who wrote airplane and naked gun and the Zucker Brothers and and Jim Abrahams directed by John Landis in the middle movie, there is a parody of a Bruce Lee Movie called a fistful of Jan. It is hilarious beyond words, and you can actually see the whole thing on Youtube. If you look it up a fistful of yen, so in is that there is a in full of yeah, the Bruce Lee Parity, evil warlord. The Bruce Lee is fighting. I think his name is Mister Han and Mister Han. Is, is missing a hand, and so he he has, this thing can screw on, handy gets Chronos or he can sort
flamethrower or something like that, and it's today he's interviewing his guards to figure out which guard is the is the trader of his guards, and they do it as a game. Show So one guard: it's like a get out like the dating game and one guards like you know: let's meet our guards and one. So game show host asks a question of the garden says: What would you do if you're out on a date- and you have the doorbell didn't work in the guard, says you know I'd knock on the door, I'm not a ding, a ling and then everybody laughs and then and then move Mister Han cuts, his head off with a sword and then another guard, there's another sort like inane question and he makes a joke and Mister Han cuts off of the sword in the Third one says you know it's like: what would you do if that came to the door? He's like Mister Han is a great leader. Mister Han is the greatest man who has ever lived. It is an incredible on.
To serve Mister Han, and you see his face. Mr Hans basically smiling- and they says really We should all be very thankful to a let's all, give Mister Hahn a great big hand, and then Mister Hahn looks at his head. Cuts. The guys have so Sean Spicer is the third guy, This is a long way of saying that if your trump and somebody says was that really funny you go. Mr Trump is those. Really a man was ever lived. Mr Trump is a man of great vision and unique insight and well accepted. If I can flog my own work here, a little bit which I am want to do, I wrote a piece on commentary noting how, you know, and I'm not the only person, to notice this- that the effusive slavish praise for the president coming from the people under him, his immediate subordinates, and not just the communications people, but mostly
is semen nuke in Treasury secretary, it's really over the top, like bizarre, stalinist, Une Republican little are republican, very Une republican behavior. To kind of adopt this major Ben Marco thing, where talking about how Donald Trump has a magnetic another another movie reference right, admiring candidate. This light will over that one and very good, but I'm deathly he exudes positive energy, which is infectious to those around him. He is brilliant with a great sense of humor and an amazing ability to make people feel special and aspire to be more than they ever thought possible. That was actually a part of a statement. Dilla delivered to the Washington Post by whole picks whose on the communications team, Sean Spicer, is just like this Corey Lewandowski.
He's. You know the best communications guys better than his staff. He communicates better than anybody we've ever had before, and it just kind of superlative in hyperbole is like it's stalinist right. So major bed market was the character played by Frank Sinatra in the mentoring candidate and, of course, all the guys in the manchurian candidate in his battalion. His a platoon were captured by the North Koreans learn to say our to our our. We are brainwashed to say of the of the guy who was eventually gonna. Try to assassinate the president then chose the bravest wonders: bravest peace, most decent, most wonderful person. I've ever met in my life right, that's the They know it's not true. I know well not true, he knows not the warmest person and yet and yet he can't he knows it, but he doesn't know it because he's brainwashed to think otherwise but but but we're your movie analogy.
God I'm submitting it. I can't go in the only thing that came to mind when you mentioned Kentucky Fried movie. I was thinking groove, Wasn't the case sort of similar size? The earlier was worse was it was? It was the thing that inspired Kentucky Fried movie, but was way worse, not that that has any relevance to the head from not around whatever but the question is, as the last point may was about brain washing the bar. They brainwash for they just scared out of their wits to to lose their position. We are I don't I'm I'm going with number two get me two, I'm going number two Irving Sean Spicer, you know until a year year and a half of it was just a classic Republican National Committee. Third rate hack who'd been kicked upstairs because he was a terrible spokesman and you know what I'm and he sort of is and also another movie reference or literary reference would be to Renfield get out.
Dracula's. Yes, that is right to regulars help meet right is good, is really about. Yes, yes, you know, but that that would be you but but read for old is or re Crima from game of thrones, but They actually are brainwashed, so you know all it's also in in the case of the people in this administration is particularly horrifying because they are petrified to find themselves on the hell with it which, which one thing to lose the proximity of power, but then also to be on his radar. Some kind of enemy afterward would be absolutely miserable. This was weird because I mean for all the public reports that we have Sean Spicer Ease on the outside he's. Not he has in delivering on camera things in in quite a long time and thing you said was actually off camera like that helped well he's on the topic. I said hell we now. I guess it helped, because you didn't see him, look like a deer caught in the headlights or you know chicken, with and we have this really screws.
And occasionally we have these reports that he's being abused for fun like there was this one opportunity that he had to meet the Pope and that's all he ever wanted in life and 'cause he's a very demanding apparently, he was denied that opportunity, if only to communicate his Donald Trump's disappointment in him and said that kind of, like of abusive behavior. I I'd to say nothing of all the quotes in public reports that we have suggesting that the president has no faith in his set press secretary and is eager to replace him. I mean you can't go two days without seeing that report as like who's who indoors that kind of stress and a base. For what yeah a White House job I mean, I guess you've said in the past, that the White House job something nobody ever leaves, but this is something else and you know the things that will, but I was talking to before before this podcast or In some sense, this is like the
is just the distilled example of sort of the way everything happens in this many administration sort of all. It's all codes that co faith, a doctrine you know Trump Trump does something silly Eccentric and then everyone tries to find meaning in it. Some people deny it. It was a mistake at all and it's a kind of feeding frenzy and chaos ensues. I mean we make policy by. By accidental tweet right and then all this you have to adhere to it as doctrine right we're trying to come up with examples of that in the in the in the past, in the pre show meeting, and it's like because these last five and a half months have felt like three years, it's kind of hard to identify where that happened, but of rum, positive, it's happened before known to to be sure, and it does APOLLO
It doesn't matter that much I mean I think, a lot of what we're. What we've learned here is that um what is said Jenn. Speaking. Things that are said by presidents and their spokesmen and by people on background and all that are about providing message. Discipline. Other words, like the White House, want something, and it comes up with a variety of ways in which it is to promote the thing the policy or the position or the world view that it wants to convey in a variety of ways, and that is not what is going on here. What is going on here is a kind of what it. What are the call those things like word salads, are those kind of those or raise the words that you see.
The word cloud right where, where its just this just a the words that are most used in any given day or on Facebook or whatever an article or something had and the word cloud doesn't necessarily connect to anything real, because Administration, is not running on the basis of policy. It's not running on the basis of a of a of a set of digital Radha. It is being run as a cult of personality, first and foremost, and the person who was at the center of the cult of personality doesn't seem to want anything. In particular, I mean you know, clean. We can say over time that you know he wants the healthcare bill, but it he doesn't care what the healthcare bill is, which is like not wanting healthcare bill. You know he wants a tax cut, but it doesn't appear that he knows what do you, what what tax cut he wants. So therefore, it's just a tax cut, it could be a business tax that could be a personal tax, but it could be a little class.
Via it could be a you know, a growth tax cut and then whatever says things like, we should all you know we should change the rules so that you can only use fifty one votes to pass healthcare right. That's what reconciliation is right, but they're doing, right it'll, don't have to change the rules right or. You know, I mean, I think, the place in which he appears to have the most consistent worldview and where his personal behavior seems to express his gut feelings about things. Most clearly is in foreign policy. Where he doesn't like our allies or doesn't think our our alliances are of any use, the United states or to him personally whatever, and that you know where we're being for being screwed and he's there to fix that and and and and set things right. In like that. But even there you know doesn't seem to have any policy consequences, doesn't see he yells it did
for me for having a terrible. You know for us being in a trade deficit. Germany when we're not so that doesn't really mean much of anything there, or all of the words that are being spoken are meaningless. This is this. Is that not only a new thing for this country, it's a new thing and they have through the planet? As far as one can say, we We are in a in a it's Polacy, Nie Alism, and you know we we find ourselves, and so that's why that's why we descend into this stupidity because and why politics defaults, waymarking politics defaults to the stupidest possible. Issues, including the way in which the left response to Trump, so that, if there's a lot joking and humor about for six great hours, people start raging and ranting because you know you're not. There's. Nothing funny! Nothing is funny here. America is being you know, the world is being destroyed and you're not allowed to laugh and how dare you and
just normalizing him, it's all being normalized. What's the matter with you people? Why aren't you see you know, and even there you have kind of This is a stupid reaction to that doesn't mean anything that leads you into the second stupid story of the last thirty six hours that that world he was perfectly illustrative of what led to stupid story number two right. So so the the comedian, Kathy Griffin Does this video freeze frame from the video is this photograph of her holding this dummy head of Donald Trump smeared with blood as though he were a victim of an isis, beheading or Daniel Pearl, or something like that right and I would say that the initial response to the Kathy Griffin thing was a kind of
paralyzed shock. Since obviously this was Kathy Griffin saying this is what she would like to have happened to Donald Trump right so that which normalizes, if you would the use of beheading as a political weapon and with the Foley SALT Life and pro families still around and alive and can't imagine them looking at that photograph and seeing it turned into some kind of weird comedy performance. You know some weird unfunny comedy it and then so. There's this kind of shocked froze and shocked little people, then then conservative started saying this is Apolysis discussing it's horrifying
And liberals in my surgery were like okay, what did Kathy Griffin do? Do I have to click on it now? I do. I really have to see what she did do. I know it's bad. I don't want to look. I really don't want to look or something like that. So within two hours, and then she said to the journalist, yes Charlie, who I think is a friend of hers, said something like You know this is art and I was doing something I believe it's about freedom this is art and then in two hours she released a follow up video. Which I would say she looked more terrified than Steven Sotloff did in his video when he was in that in that horrendous Orange Jumpsuit because she realized in very short order that she had just taken a match and set her career on fire and basically apologized abject and said she went to. BAR and she was honestly sorry and she was so sorry and she was honestly sorry CNN has fired her from her gig as the co host of the new year
Eve celebration on CNN, so in trying to figure out what it was they could possibly him impelled her. Why why it was that Kathy Griffin couldn't understand that doing this was going to provoke a universal condemnation. There's like I over I think, there's been a hot take of anybody saying she was right. It was good training like that. How could she have made such a blunder? What what? What lack of what instinct for self preservation was lacking here in my my take, is that in the world in which she travels Wishing for thinking of desiring the violent and painful death of Donald Trump is the norm and is the norm? It says, or universal thing that is believed and probably openly, discussed and fantasized about, and therefore the if you're somebody who,
looking to provoke and be the most provocative person on this. You take the most extreme. You put out the most extreme possible version of it, but what's provocative it's not talkative, Danny Buddy. You know anybody you like anybody in your world. There are good that you think you're they're going to say you go, that's fantastic boy. You really showed him who that's amazing and you be You are going to provoke conservative rage and conservative hatred, and you know all of that and you want, because everybody who doesn't think like you was evil and therefore you want There are tears in their rage or like nectar and ambrosia to you, and also the gamble you also want the you want. The publicity to certain point just shy of the threshold that that she reached, I mean if
Her position, you want, you want to be outrageous. You want to be offensive, you you, you know you you want! You want people to make like you, don't really want to be offensive because she didn't want to offend the people, the chief and the people who are going to make. Hey and now right, which are people like us or aren't you know, aren't, isn't a truism to trump electorate. It's Jeff Zucker at CNN, right right, right him. She did want to offend no right right. You will, but you want to offend up to up to a point to to to to garner certain amount of publicity yeah, but she wanted to offend, but the the offense. But she thinks that everybody who might be offended by something like that is bad. And isn't the horror, isn't her constituency and she doesn't know any of them anyway and they don't like her anyway and everybody that she talks to would think this was just fantastic. Also this this thing- and I say this as someone who's, not at all prudish about comedy. I don't I don't mind, Ag E offensive comedy or anything.
There's a sort of sense in among some people that that is sort of been east by a fence and outrage that that that I'm a comedian. So what comedians do is offensive outrageous things now. What comedians do is make people laugh right. Well, if it's a process. So there was this point like forty years ago right where the idea was comedy moved from being making jokes so that people would laugh to telling the truth. Is a common to outlets on state versus evolution. Right, get on stage, tell the truth and make people uncomfortable with your perception of what, We, where humankind is weakest- and it's true of course, comedy is about revealing? Human hypocrisy? And you know by bad behavior and sort Well, you that's! That's! That's what the comedy, if tragedy?
is about people, you know making horrible mistakes from the highest of motives. Comma. Is about people doing things for the lowest of motives and getting called out for it right. Ok, so that's fine, however uh there is a. There is a way in which Kathy Griffin is person for this she's, a sort of mid level comic, who you know, as I say in the New York Post, became Times square Rolex knockoff of- Joan Rivers and that's how her career moved into higher gear. If you couldn't get Joan Rivers, you got Kathy Griffin to insult celebrities, But in the case of somebody like Kathy Griffin or in the case of these it sort of the world, liberal comedy, let's say some of It's become indistinguishable not from not from being offensive or outrageous or being being offensive, but it's like it's like
left wing televangelism, I mean Samantha Bee on TBS. Is delivering sermons against Trump they're, not funny they're, not, comedy Larry Wilmore got canceled off, comedy central, did a half hour of So you know half every night on on on racism. It wasn't He didn't even mean it to be funny, You know Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, you if you have to share every one of their. You know sure vogue presumptions in or even to find them tolerable to watch ginning, ruffle house and then when it comes to mind- and I think Bill Hicks did this way back when he sort of seized telling jokes yeah yeah. You know we have now, but it's a real and Lenny Bruce. By the way I mean,
very hard to understand, Lenny is apparently just the most dazzling foul mouth come when he was a young comic and getting, trouble was that young, but I mean when he was sort of getting into trouble. You know he was apparently screaming only funny, but the the the what were survivors of Lenny Bruce mostly are these things that happen after you start getting into legal trouble getting arrested for obscenity, which was him standing on stage ranting about the you know in justice that was being done to him and reading statutes from the New York state. Obscenity code and stuff like that and people onstage going crazy. It's very hard to know what was funny about him 'cause, nothing that survives is funny which is which is a real but even that even that whole idea, this some These are notion that the comedy is about challenging the audience. What was
How many about challenging an audience. All you're, just trying to do is be is make people laugh, that's not a high, and I mean it's a wonderful thing to do. It's not high. It's not you know going get yelled at you know at a club where I'm drinking and you know like trying to watch somebody on stage. You know be clever. You know say interesting things like that, so she's, not a very good comedian. She never was and she had a different. You know she's, so she became a sort of stick provider. And now they're really interesting question is how how dead is her career? How how how harmed we shall alive what happened here now I've been off. You know the truth. Is you know? You don't even know this one doesn't really know. This is a whole world of touring comedians as long as they're famous, and they too yeah she's a boat act she's way. Bigger than about. I I'm not deaf
I'm just saying you know, people like that can make you know. Maybe you never even heard of can make millions of dollars a year towards you know here willing to be on the road three times a week at ten thousand dollars a gig. That's three thousand dollars a week. That's a million half dollars one way on a lot of those gigs sort of in Trump country. I mean: do you know that she's not she's, not just on on the coast? I mean we it's a big show. I'm sure she plays a lot of casinos. Yeah. That's why I'm saying her kirker really could be heard. I mean you know and The only reason why her career would be heard this because of who she offended in this case, which wasn't conservatives she offended what Kevin Williamson calls rage, monkeys. People who you know are fed a palette and respond as they are supposed to respond, they're essentially robots on the conservative right and they exist by fomenting ray,
in generating the cliques that keep them in their jobs for it, but Jen generally conservative sore thoughtful just said it was stupid and silly and obnoxious, and also thank God for free speech, because otherwise you know if this was Denmark should be in jail. The left is what who got really offended the left said this is extremely productive. This is frustrating our ambitions, taking the the focus off of Xyz Y policy, king it on you and also forcing us to Me where we should be talking about Donald Trump, twenty four hours a day, that's who, that's where she is that exactly and also it's like what do they? is anybody who might Booker for a job? but in what Jeff Zucker at CNN, what do they know? the trouble for having to field phone calls from people saying or you know, war or tweet your campaigns or something like that. Yes say you like run some indian Casino and Kathy Griffin is going to be an act in a month. Do you need to get to a five?
your phone calls saying you know you better get her out of there, because I'm so offended I mean you know you don't need that. So so you You preemptively pull the gig. Don't book her. You know. She's going to go on some kind of apology, tour in three months or six months, and then, of course, the problem for her? There is, if she apologizes to objectively, then edge. Does she have anymore? You know, try. And and what about the people who do secretly think yeah? That was great. She wants to be Head Donald Trump. So do I Well, why can't you know why he's here, then? Why can't she have a second life as a David Cross, origin, Garrafa low and take a note book up on stage and do not you know comedy but material I don't know they would they would cross, is a far more I wanted to yeah. He had a period where he was just doing. They have shtick about how the Iraq war is terrible, yeah. I know well
does it really come yeah, no he's moved on past it yeah. I don't know I have no I've, no idea, Assuming that no one has a second or third act in their life in America is very stupid, but of course you have to assume that people have any taste for Kathy Griffin at all, and I I don't don't really I think that they do. She had a reservoir if she did really had a reservoir of a passionate fan support. Maybe she wouldn't this title wave of rage wouldn't have washed over at Bennett. Struck by how fast she folded there's usually this kind of pattern in the in these things and having been myself involved in twitter controversies. It works like this. You do something you say something outrageous or unseemly or some, like that, and then somebody says you're disgusting. How dare you and then your responses to go? Oh yeah! Well, disgusting right back right and then you start
Is there like three hundred people who are calling you disgusting, so then you're like. You know, then you get angry and then it's like your. Trying to shut me down and silence me because I'm saying things you don't want and then after keeps going on. You start like trying to discuss things reasonably with the people who are attacking you and then you start apologizing, and then you delete the tweet and then you delete your account and then store your account, and then you say you were sorry again and then you write a thing medium about how you made a mistake or what thought process was going on in the apologies, usually something like I'm sorry. If you were offended or you know it was not my intent, my intention to offend I was just joking- at some: she went through none of these stages. She went from right, I did it and then like she and then the then the storm happened. Then she was like I give up. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. What are you? What are what he did? I can tell you why, because she did it in the first place, out of desperation
and the V. If and when she saw that failed the day it was, it was desperation that inspired the apology right. So in the stupid, realm of the stupidest day in american politics or the stupidest thirty six hours of our politics first. This means nothing. I mean it means nothing because who didn't know, but by this point, that the combined forces of the show business left think that Donald Trump is the second coming of Satan. The egg safety doesn't have a second, I was I'm sorry. I apologize to all of our knowledge. Could you know all of our non jewish listeners for getting your your because, while Jim theology and got horribly correct into the embodiment of say they think is the embodiment of Satan and therefore it you know all is permitted right in the in the in the in the in in the in the effort to to the press and put him down on and get rid of him. So
We all knew that it's clear and you know we're not even in so it's now June. First, so you know, we got three and a half years put this guy. Despite all the fantasies that he'll be gone before, then and you know: where are they going to go once once Kathy Griffin is beheaded, him on Twitter right where they go. I mean that that is where you know the interesting. I guess the other interesting question is. Are we? Is this a this? question the reason that the secret service would pay Kathy Griffin a visit not to suppress her free speech. Is is she? Is there something going on here where the wishes father to the thought like? Is she? Is someone going to try to be ahead? Donald Trump? That's until we've had a President secret service around him, but I mean you can't look at the rage that is being expressed toward the sky and not think that there are people who are. You know in the middle of planning. Assassination
and serve him. How could you? How could you not in the middle of the George W Bush administration Nicholson, the novelist Nicholson, Baker, road entire novel, which is a fantasy of how it would go, and and and and assassinate George W Bush I think it was a check and then there a movie called the yeah that I mean so you know these are. This is a class of it's been a long time since anyone took a serious shot at a presence in thirty six years, since there was actually a serious assassination attempt on I'm on a president- and you know, there's no reason to think that that.
The age of assassinations past us, particularly given all the horrendous stories about how bad the secrets HANS, how badly secret service is being has been run over the last ten years. The fact that people are successfully jumping the fence of the White House and getting you know in proximity trump, is you know if he goes and gives these rallies get out with the the in the stadium sure everyone has to go through security for five hours, but who knows if you're from and if that kind of attitude is being fomented, something terrible could happen, which you know again is terrible, but there are people in the world would think that it wasn't so terrible. You know I will see you know the, how the one thing that hasn't happened in the world of the hot take is people saying it out. Donald Trump should be assassinated, but why wouldn't salon
it's just people are now self preservative enough to know they don't want that visit from the secret service of they publish the trapeze. Well, there has been anti anti graft and politics hi there yeah yeah, it's I'd like what someone specifically. Where will that this? This is a of how horrible the right is and how you know in common their views are and how they are they outraged at this, but not outraged at that salon had one deliver Willis over it and that and Mfa, I'll I'll, had an interesting take right right, head rabbit that wasn't anti no, no! No, that is the leave everybody alone. He said no Kathy Griffin should be able to hold up ahead yeah. I said I'd rather see her keeper job and you know we get rid of all these. For you know campus, you know
speech, police and and and and the the outrage outrage please in a general yeah outrage. Although you know the simple fact of the matter is that free speech works both ways right, that's the whole point, which is that, which is that she has the free, to express herself within in a horrible video and photograph and the people who are offended by it have the freedom to complain about it and then how respond to it. Is entirely a market decision? Right, I mean CNN is the freedom to employ her, not employer. It doesn't have to do it, doesn't even employer it's a freelance once a year, gig. So it's pretty stupid is what we're saying- and this is the problem with
So with this administration, which you know later today, is about to announce, a very you know will announce its decision. I think we're reasonably certain. That decision will be that the Trump administration will pull out of the climate accord which to which the United States is some kind of bizarre version of a signatory, even though no treaty was ever submitted to the Senate that binds us legally to any behavior. This is some kind of voluntary set of restrictions that the Obama administration agreed to that we're just going to simply say we don't abide by whatever that means. These are national, the expectations of national emissions and stuff, like that, that's a very serious business in a very serious deal- and you know people are going absolutely crazy about it uh, but instead we're talking about Cofe,
Why aren't we Talkin about the Paris deal? That's the other thing that was singing there's this there's this new phenomenon, where, if you discuss and getting other than Donald Trump and treason? you are distracting. You are obfuscating. You are covering up your ignoring the you know, the greatest threat to to to the country and the world. Well, you know as a as somebody who you know and know it to be able- so speaking of which we should now move on to the subject of Noah's article, how to be a conservative in the age of trump. In the June commentary, which you should go to commentary magazine, dot, com and read and didn't share on social media with all of your friends know what you make. I think seven.
Propositions in the course of this article. Now, I'm not it's not among the monic tester test of your ability to remember your own work. I myself could never remember what I wrote twelve seconds after I wrote it you're a little better than than I am in that regard, but so let us out, let's, let's try to go through what, if you're a conservative, not if you're a trumpy in but if you're a conservative. What are the conservative principles? Concerns need to Well, I had it should the peace should be revelatory to trumpian conservatives too, because this is the stuff that they used to believe. I mean the premise of the pieces that at some point conservatives in positions of authority, either in media or public office, sort stop saying the more unpopular assumptions of conservatism because they didn't really play and in the process they sacrificed some a thor
some consistency and surrendered to charlatans and provocateurs the freedom to caricature. Those positions and in the process they turned off a lot persuade able voters, but they won themselves some pretty devoted following from people who wanted to hear that sort of thing, even if it was a bastardized, cartoonish version of what conservatism means. So the idea but in this piece for me, is that conservatives need to go ahead. And take ownership of these even these of kind of one popular assumptions, if only to you know save them from the people who don't really cherish them. The, for example, the disaster of centralized planning meant to include grand in, for structure, projects littering roads and airports and what have you that have somehow become an infatuation, an obsession of Donald Trump and infatuation of the trumpian Republican Party,
The error of government mandates and we talk about the health care mandate, but also- and you know, we're talking about clean air and water mandates and the the the Americans with Disabilities act. These are things that have unforeseen consequences that people don't talk about it anymore, conservatives used to, but people don't because it's kind of a popular these things, then the morality of a preemptive national defense, the because the Iraq war was the disaster that was perception in in american perception, that preemption is no longer discussed, whereas the alternative, which is to allow yourself to be attacked and for people to die and then to respond reciprocally is not. Early in moral position, the necessity of failure by which Republicans have sort of given up on given the political success,
quote of the carrier. Deal and Americans need to be free to be out bid to go under and to restore themselves and to rejuvenate themselves on their own terms. A rational immigration policy, which is you know, something that Republicans sort of got out, flanked by Donald Trump on, and they deserved it, because their views were not reflective of the majority opinion. But at the same time, things like a refugee policy is an instrument of american national Security, and while it can't be understood that those things are just accepted fundamentally, they need to be. The case needs to be made to the public. There is a case to be made and they need to start making it and again the superiority of incrementalism, which is conservative, sort of under valued the success that they've had in shaping the culture. If you went back to nineteen ninety two, you would find a much more statist country. You would find a country that was much more except of of european socialist style of
Market economics you'd have a country that is much more acceptable: protectionism, the revitalization of first and second, amendment rights, the the scaling back of organized labor's privileges, the decrease in abortions, inculcation of a work ethic in the nations beneficiaries of welfare. These are things that are conservative, successes and conservatives just don't give themselves any credit for it. They're be set by this Moby view of the world is constantly lurching towards leftism and they are just constantly be set by. On failure. So this is kind of the premise of the peace, and yet you point out early in the piece that sense in in Making this shift in their argument and in their outlook conservatives have this, isn't your exam I would in some sense of internalized liberal critiques of conservative policies and and now when they talk about there's sort of conservative. There are
simply conservative vision, there actually use a lot of liberal language in and almost arrive at sort of. Liberal liberal. Traditionally liberal goals in terms of things like health care coverage sing a better deal with IRAN, as opposed to. The neutralizing the new right program like that was the idea we were supposed to neutralize the nuclear program, and I know we don't want that at the at the time you we hear a lot of things like you know with. We need to have a very clear. Excuse me, understanding that you know there will be uh There is a military option here on the table, but at the same time that was undermined by the fact that everybody was saying he never wanted to use it. I mean how how effective can your military option b, if you're very clear in the fact that you'll never pull the trigger on it? that's again, very unpopular to say, but nevertheless, something that needs to be set
yeah, as you pointed out, the healthcare thing we're at it because were a bomb. The care came to to be a failure on every single metric that it's set for its own success beyond coverage, by which it means the extension of insurance to people who had to purchase insurance under of law that that was the only thing it was successful at so that was the only thing that came to be judged by and then Republicans just sort of fell into that like okay. Well, we have to have a health care reform bill everybody's going to have to be covered now they didn't really do that with with bill, because they they people to to will of it, but at the same time, there's a penalty baked into that it's just administered by insurance and not by the IRS right, and then there was this until that point. There was this a bad of conservative idea that the health care was not universal health care or coverage was not the government's responsibility that there's a freedom argument in a free market, healthcare proposition.
And that's that's been abandoned, or at least sort of evaded. That sort of back to the incrementalism argument, whereas Republicans sort of convinced themselves in the Obama era that, because there were these great leaps of progress in the one hundred and eleven Congress in two thousand and nine and two thousand and ten towards a democratic agenda that the republican attachment these little baby steps felt like unilateral disarmament in an ideological war. They were playing with nuclear war. And we have these slingshots That was the wrong way to look at it. That was a simplistic way to look at it. Ripken Democrats had been working for thirty plus years to strip the concept of universal coverage of any sort of controversy from the w just sort of matured by that point that they were able to push it forward with a little less resistance than they had explained. Intesa painted in previous decades. So is still plenty of resistance, but it was a lot of work involved in that right and look how poorly the idea of grants
in revolutionary instant change, has served the Trump administration in terms of they are they're they're, trying to rush through these sloppy executive orders and whatnot, and and not paying heed to to benefits of incrementalism answer, coalition, building and and and and everything that you sort of and arguably the pursuit of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in twenty thirteen through two thousand and fifteen led to such a backlash that Republicans are now. No saddled with somebody who probably doesn't represent their values at the top of the party yeah, and you know I think that the tricky part for conservatives is they recognize that these can. Ideas are tough sell now, but the question is If something is hard to sell, does it that that doesn't make it wrong So what do you do? Do you? Do you then adjust your principles to make them more digest? or do you do a better job of selling them
the peace has been out now for a month, and that's largely the the big criticism that I've gotten is that these are all arguments that Republicans lost, that conservatives have lost. What are you still doing, arguing the things that are that are settled. The conservative position is over, you, Lostman get over it and that's coming from conservatives, and it's in An understandable response, but at the same time it's sort of rejects the premise: with a piece which is that a lot of the problems were encountering is because of the fact that we've given up on these bedrock principles as they relate to policy, not nebulous policy philosophy that stretches back to the enlightenment. We're not talking about Burke here we're talking about the stuff, That makes up the average news cycle, at least when we're talking about policy in that Cove FA and that's sort of thing that I'm that I'm getting at is that even though these things are unpopular. No, no, no specially, because these things are popular. You have say them, because otherwise Miley Noblis will
He's not going to say them like you want them to be said, he's going to say it like a lunatic pocket or who wants to generate headlines would say it, and that's part of the problem with conservatism. Now is that the people who popularized it, who have large microphones and sort of suede over to this populist wave of of of political power at the in the Trump era. Have demonstrated an intellectual dexterity sufficient to suggest that they really care what their position is at any given moment so long as the audience wants to hear it, and that's why conservative them concern. It isn't? As we understood it has been so bastardized over the last year, two years. Anyway, that's how that's how it summer, that I suggest I welcome to go check it out. Get online at commentary magazine dot com or, if you are a subscriber to the magazine, you probably
That sitting on your counter right now, you can go check it out and give it a read. It was called how to be conservative in the age of truck had to be conservative in the age of Trump by no Rothman, with the Article on that issue, by the way, is the end of the free world by senior editor a Greenwald and the you should read that as well play John had to leave so we're going to close this issue of the Commentary magazine podcast out without him. We regret his absence, but you should do as he suggested in the beginning of this podcast and go check us out on Itunes and give us a happy positive review if you could, because it makes our lives all that much easier, and you will hear more of our pod If you do that, we are a magazine of intellectual Property, Anne with an wisdom that has been publishing consistently since one thousand nine hundred and forty five, please check us out at comma, magazine com. We give you a few free reads, and then we ask you to subscribe. It's one thousand, nine hundred and ninety five for a digital subscription. Twenty
I ninety five for an all access, including are beautiful print magazine in your mailbox every month, with the exception of August, I think, but but we give you a nice big fat juicy double issue of July, that's a big one. Actually, it's a symposium on threat to free speech with a variety of really important voices. So a good carrot, counter magazine Comment subscribe for John Podhoretz in absentia Hoffman? That's a Greenwald will see you next week.
Transcript generated on 2019-11-17.