Our latest podcast features me and Abe Greenwald and Noah Rothman wondering at the trifecta of Trump's second weekend—an executive order that created a mass protest at airports for pity's sake, the horrifying deletion of the Jewish people from a Holocaust remembrance, and Steve Bannon's power grab at the National Security Council. Give a listen. If you dare.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine podcast on January thirty, first, twenty seventeen, I'm jump, ports, the editor of Commentary magazine with me. As always know, Rossman are assisted online editor hate, our Asia and a Green walled senior editor I got your senior out or let your title flow into people's ears like mechanics assimilated, let them- take it in and understand the awesome power of the senior editorship that you hold here. Commentary magazines: seventy two year old, flee of it. Intellectual seriousness, criticism, opinion analysis,
and political will. Please join our conversation that commentary magazine that calm. We ask you do take a few free, reeds and then subscribe for ninety Mandy, five for a digital subscription, twenty nine, twenty nine. Ninety five for a full. Access subscription that gets. You are Ipad and our beautiful monthly magazine in your mailbox, joy, today can just go to the subscribed tab or you can get a few free Reed's and then subscribe that way, better. Momentous weekend blue Serge Dizzying, I'm kind of it myself having written three thousand words this weekend to try to make sense of it for our our website no also is written some stuff for a website that basically comes down to three issues that came up really begin. On Friday. The executive order,
we're getting a seven countries, suspension of all Normally refugees, but pretty much visa direct to travel, those countries and follow the by it diversity involving a statement of the White House from commemorating Holocaust, Reverend stay that did not mention the jewish people and then Of course, we hit the news that The National Security Council was being redesigned to include pray central counselor, Steve Ban and the man who was never served in government and was last best known as the proprietor of the bright Bart website? his his inclusion in the cast a principles at the National Security Council and the removal of the director of national intelligence and the head of the joint Chiefs of staff.
Which, on the face of it be the single craziest thing that is actually happened in the course. Not only. Tromp presidency, which is only ten days old or eleven days old, but in the course of the entire trump candidacy to remove. The Council of State on the issue of national security, the person who who can skyward the intelligence agencies and and is the serve the the of the armed services, or these were the titular head of the combined armed services of the United States will not be in the forefront of the conversations about that. Nations, national security, but a former Goldwyn Sax guy, who tried to write, Shakespeare movies and hip, hop and then master. And it calls himself a Leninist masterminded, a website of common mediocrity when it was not simply promulgating. Propaganda is now them
a more important and more powerful person. The national security, then the head of the joint Chiefs of staff. One wishes to give the trumpet ministration the benefit of the doubt, and it is making it very difficult to do so. I would say so: let's start with the executive order a you have an interesting theory about what the executive order on this I will ban represents. Yet it struck me as the sort of bizarre o world version of obama- executive order on closing the prison prince facility at Guantanamo Bay, it was rash sloppy emotional. It was carried out either me neatly or or within no within Obama's first week of the presidency- and it was this broad- arching attempt to sing
to a core part of his base. That, hence or this is how we would treat the muslim world. That is exactly what what Donald Trump executive order was Of course they wanted to treat the muslim world and different ways of Obama's the git executive order was was sort of saying we will treat, must We will treat terrorists as if they weren't terrorists and Trumps trumps is sort of saying we will we will treat not areas has two as terrorists. We will presume somehow Montera Sir terrorists and yet the Guantanamo Bay Executive order, I think, was issued the day after bomber became president in two thousand and nine and of course, was never fulfilled because he left office with Quantum Obey open, as we know, but it did direct its closure within a year, I believe
and it was a campaign promise like the total ban on Muslims. Until we know what the hell is going on was a Trump campaign promise and it was The thing that was hotly believe bye, bye, left, so I believe that libertarians who abstain, that on on our great stain on toward on our civil liberties. The rights and civil liberties and There was this argument that, of course, Guantanamo heard more than it helped and was of recruiting too for terrorism. The fact that it that it even existed, like you, know, a prayer like happy you imprisoned in which people were you know given three meals a day and Franz and pray and do all that lead up live in Cuba and all that was somehow something that I somebody living in you now is I'm a bad would say this is really terrible. How can they treat people? This way like,
areas anyway, but so I That is a very interesting way to look at it that we have these put a politically motivated decisions to use executive orders as a means of forcing through campaign policies and, of course, what happened with Obama and get my was it immediately created a counter counter movement against the closure of get well That his own Congress, Obama had a much more docile and much more cooperative and much larger majority in Congress them then Trump has given could not be closed Democrats in Congress said you can't do this. Does you can't make us vote for this? We can vote for this and get reelected and we're not going to and he withdrew it and then every couple of years. He would issue another statement about how we wanted to close, get bow and then, in the closing interview, Is Obama said the great regret of his presidency was it he hadn't succeeded in closer get low.
And another similarity is in the flawed implementation. You know just just as the Trump Administration no one, no one who is in charge of of dealing with with with muslim travellers, hours, say or minutes after after the executive order were signed, knew what what to do. No one there was no one. There was no provision immediately made for what to do with prisoners in gizmo that debt. That remains a huge issue. No, you remember no, the implicit thing and they get most of em in the in the Ghetto Executive Board was it a facility would be opened up in the United States on american soil that would become essentially civilian facility, not one by the military but a civilian prison where they would go, and then they would be essentially entered the civilian system of justice and be ruled out
civilian judges and their fate determined in that way, as opposed to being treated as stateless as actors who had been put in this prison because they were by nation state list, their own states didn't want to take them in. They were fighting on a battlefield that was not there. There was not in the country that was their own and we had taken them and put them in a in a an area that was by definition, not the United States, because we were not going considered custody of them or allow them to be considered american dependence in that fashion- and it was the construction of that ability which ultimately was. One point was going to be in Illinois and another point was going to be in Missouri that created the firestorm was the notion that we would have. There would be five hundred and six out of how many people there were the time. I think five hundred something we're going to be in a specially constructed facility at a cost of billions of dollars, and then be released, possibly onto the street outside wherever the prison was, whether that, whether out there
Would have happened, wasn't really the point. It was the notion that they were going to be regular, Ized that created this far storm. Similarly,. Tromp is announcing we're banning immediately there. People on planes there there be airports there people have sold. You know that the figures as as as July Office details in a really quite beautiful piece in the today. What happens when you were a refugee and you leave the country of origin to go somewhere else that granted? Maybe this is natural Syrians, but you get rid of all your stuff. Say goodbye? Your old family, everything's gonna get nowhere to go. You leave your house, you go to the airport, you get your re, get on a plane and then they say sorry you're not get monoplane, but it's not like you anywhere to go back to that. Nowhere to go. You're hurt you, you ve, you, you ve dispossessed yourself of everything as you are picking up stakes and moving somewhere else asked. A period of two years of adding
we don't know how many people were actually sent back to their departure point or country of origin. There were a lot that were removed before the court. Ordered injunctions were put in place over the course, maybe twenty four hours this thing was in place before we had court ordered injunctions in some of those were dissonance. Some of those were people with actual costs two diminute harm eminent harm by Bulgaria, host government upon their home governments, and then the notion expressed by quite a few defenders of this administrations maneuver here, is that a lot of this anti Yo Anti executive order sentiment has been whip. Urban sort of fermented by moneyed interests on the left. We had a lot of victims that were created. Genuine legitimate victims are created out of just sharing competence and their their real. The real stories and not just the five children who were detained and whole families that obviously shouldn't have been detained as such, american citizens and elderly couples. Those are optically bad situations,
but also the stories which MAX boot has a good story and on the wash wash her personal commentary website. Right now, he's very polemic detailing the extent to which american translators in Iraq and Afghanistan were put. Put out by this order, and their stories are all over the news as well. They should be and to the extent that this was not really a focus of them of the mainstream press, except for people like built more seventh of Washington free begin. Who wrote about this? That american translators, people who work with american troops and record being mistreated during the Obama, and now that we Lariata worry, we wrote about it repeatedly on our side, Michael Room and am Maximum wrote about it for years, and various other people have written about the fact The Obama administration did not and would not pay special heed to the needs of the people who worked with us,
the Iraq war whose lives were at risk because we have pulled out of Iraq and, and they were thought to be collaborators bye, bye, These are the United States. Are there some partisan agitation now at the press for focusing on this issue and they ignored it over the course of the Obama administration? That's, I suppose, a valid criticism, but a concedes. The point. The Donald Trump is making adversaries of american translators right by the way it- is a valid point. There was always a valid point. It's always but a valid point. It's a perfectly valid point to say that the press was totally in toward Obama and let him off the hook for things that it is now not letting Donald Trump off. The for, and that is true and they will end and the press has paid price. In credibility and being thought of as a whole maiden to liberals and Democrats and and and and all of that is real- it does not affect the question of what is going on now and how one should respond to what is going on now they have paid the price
and they will continue to pay a price, but the reporting on the act that there are. You know tens of thousands of people slipping out to airports again to demonstrate containing asleep and it is spontaneous. You know that's a real thing like just like what the women's march you you look at some of these things and poohpooh them at your peril. You want, if you are, a serious conservative, worry partisan Republican who does not wish Democrats to prosper or or block trumps agenda or women. Twenty eighteen or eighteen raising like that, you better take you're, you're your enemy seriously and believe that their organizing faster than anybody realised and more effectively than people. Lies. They are not committed crimes, except for that anarchists. You know spree the night before the migration. No one is No one is being violent, no one
throwing things at a buddy. It's all just like the tea party meetings that very peaceable- and this is gonna- be an effective trump- is an effective rallying tool for an extra Laurent for opposition distances aggression, but just to really emphasise that point. The the effect of these demonstration, was, as you say, to get tens of thousands of people out to airports, which is a difficult thing to do. It has united a fractured democratic opposition. It has sort of created sir blurred over papered over the differences within the democratic coalition, and it has resulted in fundraising for the eight you to the tuna
I d million dollars over the course of the week and those are presidential campaign numbers. That's a ridiculous of antimony. They normally generate like four million dollars over the course of the season. Also, if to understand, is going to possess a world thing and then send them still microphone. Should you should you should try meant, but. So trumps got. There are fifty two republican centres and free democratic sailors or forty eight democratic voting sellers in a different world in which he has not moving aggressively on all fronts and isn't stimulating this opposition. He could in theory and put a potential because in twenty eighteen, ten senators, Iraq from states that that voted for democratic sires or up in states voted for Trump. He could maybe split the Democrats. He could maybe have split. The Democrats in the Senate get a bunch of them to vote for some people. So these nominees, you know even
legislation, something that is now not going to happen, the the unified Emma opposition composition means the Democrats are now going to be what Republicans were bring the first Obama years, but they're more powerful than Republicans were Republicans did not have did not have a filibuster proof. Majority naughty. They had Democrats rebel to pass things with sixty votes once Al Frank and became a senator in the late spring of two thousand nine there. There is a need to be a democratic vote for any republican nominee. Now I am wagering because it's already being said, if you vote for Rex tillers than if you vote for Betsy Device, if you vote for You know who from here I need you are who you are and ominous for this spring Yet me, Linda, filibuster, regular where you are you- are becoming a an accommodation ass, you are becoming a collaborator with evil and that will be
in that trumps, ability to expel use to split the opposition in for rupture, for example, is dead, he's he's going out there and attacking Chuck Schumacher for crying and calling them a cry baby. He might want to work could check Sumer a little bit and yet- and this is the part that I really having a hard time wrapping my brain around Steve, banning and Donald Trump scene to really. Joy and think they're getting some tactical benefit out of creating chaos. Creating ugliness Of inspiring and opposition out of out of doing things up figuratively and then swooping in saying oh level, overreacting. It wasn't that big. A deal. Look at this with you know, but look how this this this, this his new source blew up its credibility on this. Look, how people reacted to that
not sure how they think. That's gonna get the more support. I understand that it energizes their base, but I don't understand the thinking of how their gave it speaks to your point on ice, wanna sus out the the logical and the fair arguments against this. Exactly border from those that are illogical and unfounded at the top of the list. I would say, is one that was in York Times at a Torreon paid from two people who, I think are above this Richard painter Norman eyes and were both ethics lawyers in both the Bush and violent ministrations respectively, and they wrote about how Donald Trump executive order targets countries in the muslim world where he doesn't have investments, whether the Trump organization doesn't have properties, and that argument obviously fit fails to pass the smell test, because, as trumps defenders will readily infrequently
went out that these countries, where it and a five by the environment, Ministration and the Congress prior, that as having the tendency and that the possibility of being able to export individuals who are prone to terrorism world? They were possible terrorist actors who can't be vetted because they lack, for example, a good government relations with the United States and that this wasn't trumps invention their problem. With that argument to, but that's a terrible argument. I think there are probably many others, but that's first, a mile is okay, so other other terrible arguments against at the The main terrible argument against that is a complicated one. Is like this is not America. We know we left, we will anybody, we let everybody in when their suffering and of course that's not true, is part of the greatness. America that it has been a place that welcomes refugees, but it doesnt welcome
Fiji's totally. You know without any discretion and often it has led in refugees that are that come here, because it is deemed that we bear some responsibility for what happened like the boat people who left Vietnam and and hundreds of thousands of them about where refugees ass, the United States, because since we basically didn't win the war and they left Vietnam of the fear of persecution, we were gonna, take the men, but we're not obliged to take anybody in. That's, there's no
Social law that says we have to take anybody and there's no there's, no rule that this is something that comes from the american soul in the american spirit. Am I I'm very devilish on this, but it? But, but it's it's a false argument to say that a duly elected President states, believing that a refugee programme may be costly or problematic for the United States, isn't allowed to slow it or stop at a he can, and you can protest it, but it's not illegitimate limit, love. I have a third dumb argument, which I got some push back on this on twitter: the notion that this is going to be used as a recruiting tool, fur ISIS and Al Qaeda, and I was
in Jamaica, let me and how many other terrorist organisations as though there was some sort of impetus needed to to recruit and propaganda against the west. They dont lack for material and further guys are put together, inspire magazine, so I dont think that we're gonna be assessed, Chile threatened by new waves of terrorism, for example, that, for the reasons why this is a terrible argument by the waves causes unforeseeable, it cannot be quantified. We cannot say that this isn't true, because there's no way to prove that it is true, and I also think that its attitudes and you'd better case to make for the fact that we'll probably see fewer people wanting to serve as translators or informants that something is quantifiable and that's a more likely argued for of that's a shift in the case of those are some of the batter who moved so. What are some of the good arguments against against the executive order? Then it's not serious policy that it won't actually protect. Keep us any safer because
haven't been struck overwhelmingly by by refugees from those countries in the United States. The notion that this is a bomb US policy and therefore its good policy. This administration spent, though better part of eighteen months, arguing that this had been ass. The last administration was terrible on terrorism and for it, as a result, it needed to be expanded to the broader
muslim world and was precisely what they're not doing well. The other thing is that when you, when you issue a controversial policy, good argument against it is when you issue controversial policy that is going to divide the country, you better, do it competently, so their drafting errors in the executive order. The peer apparently was written by Stephen Miller, who is thirty two years old? Is it out never workings, echo branches, never written executive order got that got, got various statutes of the in the civil code and the criminal code and and our whatever else wrong when it was enumerating them and and and of course, a included this ludicrous. Green card ban which somehow has mysteriously lifted. It was just announced that it would not was not going to be part of the executive order, although one of the groups in a redrafted- not these after that, and when Mr Miller was on Fox and CBS today saying nothing has changed our body, it will there we go.
So here we have a guy sitting in the White House with no particular title who is now being contradicted by the direct statement of the of the confirmed secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who says the green card thing is no longer operative. According to the Department of Homeland Security, which has the statutory up oh authority over this matter, right says with. This is not the case, and now we have this in out the we have this kid who introduced in a trumpet very meetings and work for just sessions, blather ring about how? Yes, it stand. That's the fun conspiracy theories over these reports over the weekend from the trumpet ministration unconfirmed, saying that they did consult with members of Congress, particularly those involved with immigration policy and.
It is entirely possible that, during this was during the campaign and during the campaign, one of those Lee congressional liaison who have responsibility for immigration policy, wasn't Jeff Sessions office. It was Stephen Miller for its entirely possible that these consultations were taken part between Stephen Miller and Stephen Miller, who write Jeff. Settlements is right now The other problem here is that, because we are now in a weird situation, let's go back to what I was saying about giving the Trump white has the benefit of the doubt. And I'm not saying that because I don't want to think this is the case at the simple fact that matters even dishonest white houses ones it you didn't trust they bent over backwards to make sure that when they said things publicly,
say that, because I don't want to think this is the case at the simple fact that matters even dishonest white houses, ones that you didn't trust. They bent over backwards to make sure that when they said things publicly, they conformed with what was what was going on because they were giving directives to the country. So you know- and this this is what happened to move on to a second topic here, with the statement by the Trump White House in trumps: name commemorate Holocaust remembrance day. So the statement and did not refer in any way shape or form to the jewish people, not just to give it a thirty second thing: the Holocaust term, the Holocaust
Exists to describe the decimation of the jewish people by the Nazis. That is what the Holocaust is. There were other extermination efforts by the Nazis, against the Roma and against homosexuals. Those were not the Holocaust, the whole costs which is called them. He blew the Shoah, refers as a term specifically to the effort to extirpate exterminate the jewish people as they as a specific catastrophe. So if you do a Holocaust remembrance day, don't mention jus you're, doing something very, not only grammatically illiterate or historically illiterate, but something almost You are contributing to the extirpation of the jewish people, say in some odd way, grammatically historically by denying the special effort to destroy them, and- When this came out and look like that people sell, this is terrible. You know this Justin, Trudeau did this in Canada last year and lotta people came down on him
and this is all some weird- this just terrible but now, who knows are busy their doing so somebody drafted it wrong whatever, given the benefit of the doubt, As our friend Seth Mandela said, I gave. The benefit of the doubt. Will then hope here Trump spoke, so how big women done vision and said: no, we did that on purpose. We were very inclusive and we wanted to show how inclusive we were by including air. Body in the hollow studying you say. Ok, war ho there wait just a second here, so it was purposeful. So was it purposeful? and if it would, if it were purposeful and then right previous I'm meet the press said everybody was injured in the Holocaust. Everybody was harmed in the Holocaust, really everybody was harming the Holocaust people from Fiji, we're harmed in the Holocaust the Maori were harmed in the Holocaust, people living in Argentina we're harmed in the holocaust that
he's the White House Chief of staff, so the thing that is hard fine about this? Is that say they were wrong or they weren't wrong. And this was done on purpose and the purpose was to send- another winking message to a part of the two, a really gross print of the trunk coalition, that people who think I've had now while these Jews, claiming that they believe they own the whole cost like their somehow special victim who is invested. In that I mean who, in this administration is invested in that area, the blog post. I wrote about this this weekend. I tell a story about being in the rain, White House twenty nine years ago and writing I drafted the remarks that the president spoke at the leg of the cornerstone of the Holocaust museum. Which was all about the Jews and never forgetting and soviet jury in getting soviet jury out now that it's one of them as things ever done, having worked on that speech and when
staffed around the White House. What are the places that it, and for review and comment was in office called public liaison, while the officer in the officer publicly- who was a young woman that twenty four years old who works with eastern european countries and captive nations, angrily sent back this draft to me and which a lot of the senses were change and things are rearrange and she said something like this whole thing Has to be redone, why is this all about the Jews? That's not fair! What everybody else who was injured in the holocaust? Now this an opinion on the old right. This is this notion that you know they killed lopped All they could lie you create the Nazis, killed Ukrainians. They killed poles, they killed. They did all these terrible things, but All we care about the Jews, all we care about the Jews. Now I submit to you that there that that is a that is an opinion about that.
Tour of things who that there is an emotional anger there that has with the notion that somehow Jews take too much get too much credit. Even for being victims, they get too much credit and So this is a strain of thought on the right that has been present for many many years, and that, like the tide, going out that Trump represented in late, fifteen. With the emergence of the all right. This feels a little like that, and you know it's also the line that is taken by over Anti Semites when questioned about about six million Jews being killed. I remember when MEL Gibson was asked if he believed that six million Jews were killed in the holocaust. His response was
look a lot of a lot of people died tragically during world war. Two that was the line. This is this is this is exactly what you hear you and as regards the v, the point about the sort of shifting claims and and and from claims. I think they like creating this trouble penetration likes, creating this fog to some extent, because I thought that leaves them room to further manipulate public opinion, it's never final. They can keep, they can keep coming out and crafting and and and and tracking and making making things look better than the initially did and well, I don't think they made anything, will better not be they made stuff Where is this, we gotta think Dave is right. I think they think they're moraine them so putting themselves in a better position, because their creating sewing confusion on creating. Bogs of war and then from which they can ultimately emerge and settle and say. Look you got all this wrong generated resign your position immediately in disgrace That also is. It has to do with the implementation of this
in a border thing. I want to go back to that now. Go ahead too much cause we're in the middle of a well known other topic, but the way in which they did that probably agree. I mean you have to pull today from Quinnapin University, saying that a slight plurality like forty to forty two percent favour the rest action on immigration, including refugees, from countries that have significant terrorism, populations that didn't expand on that, but it's sort of like the wrong firm ground here. If they had implemented this in a competent fashion, by guarantee you, they created a lot of enemies over the course of this weekend who otherwise would have been sympathetic, and I think they think that's a good thing. They sort of like surrounding themselves with enemies, but eventually you're surrounded. Well, ok, so this goes to this strategy. Question. Trump functions by isolating on antagonists and trying to take them down right
Even I think in these negotiations and functions that way that he views and negotiation as some kind of a rivalry that ends with a compromise that features him women enemies driven before you would know that here lamentations their women right. That's that's gang is complex, and this is a slightly different formulation. Because it's like, then your magnanimous and Viktor you win and then you're, like. Oh Hillary Clinton, wonderful person like that Mohammed Ali would get a box and he would call it is enemies, so horrible and monsters and child molesters and terrible things, and then he would win. They was like he's a wonderful, gentleman's scrapes, wonderful. So this is obviously a style and it worked a sense that guilty at sixteen people to defeat defeated them on their. When then, he had Hillary Clinton defeat and intervene in her, but can always president there's no one to defeat. He is present United States. This is not a in Yang he's there and there
rival over here. So he wants to create them. So he said the media's, the opposition right and socially balanced as shut up and listen and day Trump says: you're. The opposition use Colleen Mrs twenty percent. The media should be fired. Great fine for me The opposition- that's fine problem administration media is the opposition, that's but, and even democratically opportune, but he's the press. Of the United States. There is no opposition to two best here: there's no one to defeat: that's not the way. It works, your promulgating policy you need to win. Your argument or through good application of policy, or you know superior argumentation or getting more people over to your side, and I will not tire of saying that he got forty six percent of the vote. He got point six percent more than John Mccain got in Lou
being a landslide to Barack Obama in that in two thousand and eight. His percentage of the vote was not only lower two point: one percent lower than Hillary Clinton. But it was not much higher than John Mccain gross vote. That means for him have a successful presidency. He has to enlarge his support history with large. It not retracted, not sure, and it also means that he has to figure out ways to get Democrats to support him when he has things that they can support and everything that he is doing now, is making that more and more and more difficult. He may hardened his support among the floor six percent voted forum or not, but getting from forty six to fifty, he is can have Hillary Clinton to run against next time? You know. No Democrat is gonna, be stupid enough
vote for Gary Johnson next time. If they want to get him out now can be five percent voting for a third party, thus helping to enable him to win. He needs to get big not smaller. He needs to expand from his base, not in a hardened base now it's only eleven days but the job but He himself seems to have no knowledge of this and he has in his ear this luminous revolutionary according to his own, who, apparently is the guy, who is the most dominating figure in the White House, Steve Bannon, who does want to divide and conquer? believes the division is the secret of division, there's always a useful tool in politics, but it is not the only tool in politics. I have always thought that this In the media, the opposition thing was ill conceived, not only because then you know the old nostrums. The media is not
ballot November. They never are, and that's true, but because of the events this weekend have demonstrated the media doesn't declare your executive actions to be. You know in inappropriate in impose an injunction on them. The enemy. The opposition in this point was, I guess, the courts. I guess the ACL, you witchcraft it very strategic and and forthright argument against these executive action and one their day in a multiple federal courts and enforced administration into retreat media didn't do that. That was your own fault and, as a result, created a whole bunch of people in the streets? There not media there not out there in them, because the press told them to get out there. This spontaneous and grass roots of the herd, your focus is on in opposition that doesn't really exist, while your ignoring the opposition, that is mobilizing all around you, but I'm Michael in his face. Do they think that the executive, or does the administration think that these are
border constitute serious security policy, how how much doing it for the response, good good Neil, footed or or or or to send some sort of signal, that was the organ by nature from thing- is rent Nimrod, Benjamin with ease her right This led us who roads for rights for law, fair blog, which vary widely read posts on law, fair blog, which suggested that this was for domestic consumption This, it must be said witnesses a is a essentially liberal Democrat who, as a supporter of most harsh measures, let's say too
in the war on terror. That is, as he is, a he is a his specialities international law as relates to terrorism, and he has been both under Bush and under a bomb. A believer in the president's wide latitude to act now in pursuit of national interest and in the war on terror is not. You know, some a seal, you'd actions, somebody whom the easily largely reveals, but he said these echoed Warner, was a shameful document, because its incompetence revealed that it was, it had been done, solely and exclusively for the purpose of making a political point now. My view is that they do think that it is. Good policy or serious policy, and if you, if you come at the butt will not tell you why even they even the incredibly we're Talkin, pc, wherever talk forthrightly about this, they believe that we the civilization of why this is my take. They believe bed
ban Elysium is we aren't of civilization war with Islam, and this is the first salvo, and this is the way we. Structured, it started and not going to say that's what it is, because we're not allowed Devil Muslim Ban were not allowed to redo. Seven countries were to follow a bombers countries and we're trying to do. Make sure week. We fulfil campaign promise, but you know we're sending a bit workwear dog whistling to our own people and sending a big message out to the world that work were there and we're going to we're coming to get you in some fashion or another, which of course, is a great contradiction with the notion that we're not supposed to have an activist policy him. You know anything that we do on the ground, anywheres terrible, but I think that is very much of a piece with the way here. Things in the way he believes in the way. The people that he represents believes believe things or that, Islam is the enemy calling
radical Islam, but it's probably really Islam and you can't really tell the difference, because if you do poles, people in these countries don't know the difference between radically your article on its rise by Bernard Louis, the dean, Is that a serious argument? Well, it is kind of a serious argument. Although the most serious people say again say in one of our black posters Weekend- commentary Exit has been at the forefront of the revelation of the threat of radical Islam since nineteen seven six when published what was arguably the first real major article on its rise by Bernard. Was the dean of Islamic Scholars and the United States was called the return of Islam published pieces over the years dozens of pieces, dozens of articles, dozens of analyses. Nobody is more, for right in the notion that we need to confront and defeat radical Islam, then commentary at the same I'm the notion that we can fight a war
against a religion, inter in total that has a billion adherents around the world is insane and it is a war that, by definition, cannot be won because you don't defeat something that's for it. You know we're article two hundred and forty two sold and Islam is for in a hundred years old end there. More Muslims and there are Americans and they in a great many more countries than we are, and it is not for us to defeat a faith tradition that speaks so You know compellingly to so many people. So what we can do is defeat a perversion of it. That is aiming at us while we and weak start, making the argument around the world and in the United States our system is the best system. Even for those who wish to proof who wish to practise their religion
as as best they can, because we are the only country in the world that Enshroud wins religious liberty in our constitution, but that is not the argument that people are making. That is not what did that that is too, sophisticated an argument for this world view. I would say- and it also commits you too because I mean they're, their argument serve whereat war without actually having to go to or this is this is a this is a war that will be conducted. You know, sort of by executive order and and and and without without putting in any soldiers and armed way right, but that now we have to talk about some structure and a political structure. What's going on the Trump White House, because the key of the last eleven days is what we are learning about who's in charge and clearly Steve Bannon is in charge. And he is using Stephen Miller as his battering ram. Slash fall guy
slash poor guy, if necessary, what does that tell you it tells you either rights. Previous is very weak, is normally chief of staff, but you have Nobody is doing in his appearances on television are embarrassing. I think them think even trumpet find them embarrassing. It means Kelly and Conway. Is, for all intents and purposes, the press secretary and not the count a consular convulsions. What is going on tv and now she's increasingly sort of likes making these interior monologues that are quite breathtaking. If you listen to them and they're more words come out of her mouth without a breath, you know, then them anyone. I've ever heard. There's a Sondheim song called another hundred people and look somewhere with somebody sings like two hundred words in a minute and Kelly. Anne could do that very easily. So there's Bannon sitting there and he is like battering ram battering ramming his way into the and see re exam.
Give orders you know he's running roughshod over from from what one hears over appointments and turn advanced block people he doesn't like, and what does that tell Does that mean that trumpets more ideological than we thought? No, I write to me. It tells me that he's malleable ban in his ideological banning truly does believe in retrenchment and a re orientation of american foreign policy and is, as he said, leninism The then the end justifies the means, because the current condition, the current status of the country is crisis, and so just about everything is justified. And this signals to me the sea, shift to the extent that it can be justified. It signals to me that they view the conduct of american foreign policy in national, secure
We as a political issue as any the illogical issue and as a domestic issue, first and foremost, and I think that would site I've heard over the course of the week and that they would say the erosion of the mighty between the political realm and the EU, a political matter No security realm under the Obama administration, as a impetus for this, because people like Belarus, Gerritt and David Bluefin, David Axelrod, sat informally on a couple of National Security Council meetings, necessarily Principles committee, but national security Council broadly and to which I would respond that they did. The Obama administration did very much conduct a political foreign policy with the domestic audience in mine and that foreign policy was a disaster. We all kind of agree on that, leave the inability of America constitute a coalition intervene in Syria. Win that cluck conflict could have been contained, was polite called the decision not to address demonstrators.
Rates of Venezuela or ran until they were put down, was political The normalization of our relations with Cuba was political. The ran deal, the distance from you know reading daylight between the United States and Israel. These were political issues that were done to appease the domestic instead we can see in the United States is worse off for them. I agree completely out of a thing. Trump is particularly, I D logical, but I think the scary thing is that we could be witnessing the sort of perfect merit between banning ideologically and Trump temperamental. You know there they serve one day. They work in concert to well, and the question So what are what are the non ban in non non trompe? In fact the administration and to do about this? I mean they're, not chemist, they could stand run bees, window dressing or or they could leave or they or they
is that the humor me right Weber? Maybe this is the point about the about what we know about the workings of this executive order, which is that it was cleared with anybody? Will why? Wouldn't it be cleared with anybody, because they wanted to make point that they were in charge that on Kelly. The Secretary of Homeland Security was not going to have input on the policy that he was gonna have to implement on. In terms of this refugee crisis, the anecdote you referring was in the times today about how he was being consulted on the phone on a coastguard plain travelling from Miami to Washington DC when one of his aid looked up on the television and saw Donald Trump signing the eggs in order that they were discussing as in. In other words, it was already law by the time he was being consulted right. So when I ll unexamined, right, so so what does that tell us? What tells us that two things, one of which is that they have? This probably have this view of the bureaucracy
see that is you. We can't let the bureaucracy touch anything. They ruin everything, but it's not even the bureaucracy, or these are trumps zone. People like his own cabinet secretaries, aren't aren't getting to look at this they're sending a message? We are in charge and you are window dressing and the question is how much, how much window dress we're going to be able to take the other is that they can't do it. You see that's the joke about the executive. In relation to the case by case basis, according to its own terms, on which the you know, Gee ban is going to be your people are gonna, have extended them the right to come in on a case by case basis. So who Zack. These can be sitting there. When there are twenty five, thousand lawyers proffer, twenty five thousand cases in which they one individual exemptions and exceptions. Who is actually going to review each of these applications
Kelly, is gonna sit there revealing every application is desk. It is not that's why you put in place policies that can be affected and carried out by by officials at the consular level, an increase in the countries in which they take place, because these days, and cannot be made on a case by case basis? Third, there there's a there, the world's largest refugee crisis in since world war. Two is under way here, so either. You do say we're, ok by in anywhere, where you have to create procedure, according to which this can be done in a way that is not sanely haphazard and eats up the time of people who don't have time to do it, but that they don't care. You see, that's where they don't care about policy, they don't care about the implementation of policy. They clear don't care about the good working order of anything there. Trying to put their side and tell the rest of the Trump administration that everything goes through them. Everything goes through Balin
this also includes an essay former lieutenant General MIKE Flynn, who appear leave. You believe reporting is on the outskirts with the president, but have to put too much shocking to that report. To see that you know his. Prince word on this ban in thing whether or not he now he may have some rapidly towards that. The military establishment from his time as a dna, but he didn't you didn't, do this ban it that came from now. That's the other astounding point, so you might Flint might as well quit now, because he is clearly not the national security adviser. They amounts a reorganization of the National Security Council, which is his, which is his bailiwick He is not the author of the announcement that would be like you know, White House, announcing the reorganization of you know of the of the Office of Management, Bud
I'm not telling the olympic director it doesn't make any sense. It's like cutting his legs off right in front of them, so I mean Flint weaker, we give our means a lot. Don't have a job like this after he was fired by the Obama administration, but it's pretty humiliating astoundingly, humiliating, astoundingly, humiliating in fact M M, you know if he wants to be humiliated, Saigu sent him. I hope he enjoys so So yes, cheerful time here at the commentary, Pike Ass, though the Good NEWS for us is that the chaos breeds excitement in the subscriptions we are we are like. Drowning in new subscribers. So thank every. I thank everybody who has decided to sign up over the last couple of weeks. A couple of months to get some sense of world works from our perspective, I endeavoured to
are you with all the information and analysis that we can that make sense, and we will keep doing so so for no Rossman Andy Greenwald? I am John Podhoretz. The cavalry.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-26.