Rich, Reihan, Charlie, and Ian discuss the “alt-right,” Donald Trump’s cabinet selections, and what pose the Democrats should strike in opposition.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
is the appointment of Steve Ban into a White House posed a problem. How is trumps cabinet shaping up and show cast members from a Broadway musical hector. The vice President Elect of the United States will discuss all that and more on Epps Twelve of the errors I'm rich Lowry joined is always by right. Hence alarm. He in turn and the right honourable Charlie Cook, First, some housekeeping, we ve lost our dear colleague, Aliona Johnson, to political and preserve happily. The Glen thrush I'd cast will all MR but especially right, hand who now won't have any go to selections for his editors
Sorry right hand you can still. If you want to go out a house and start picking politico pieces that they'll be fine, I just might do that. Also the the casting crew, the editors was at sea last week. I'm sure of our listeners think not for the first time, but we are back in the saddle. Now, in return from the national view, crews and let's t it then get gone with the ban and pick which was the occasion for a lot of controversy and debate and and I gather you're not offence, not particularly, I mean, let's start with this sort of obvious political point, which is that it was going to happen in some capacity right. You Stephen was instrumental in the late stage of the campaign, a sort of a figure whispering and in trumps here it seems behind the scenes sort of telling him what he wanted to hear
using his outlet to boost him in the rest, so it was. It was extremely unlikely that you know we were going to get into the situation. Suddenly Steve Bannon was going to disappear off the radar. I acknowledge that all of that said. The thrust of my criticism is not that Steve, Bannon and himself is some sort of you know he's not David, Duke he's not Bull Connor, he himself. Whatever his personal attitudes, they seem to be fairly fairly mild, given in a what you hear from. Even people who are sympathetic to even people are unsympathetic to Hamley. Garlic bench appear, but the fact is that for the last
for years, and especially over the last year, he's allowed his outlet to become what he himself called the platform for the all right, which is constituted in large part of a vocal group of new White Supremacist Nancy Summits in the room. Do I think the Steve Bannon in his sort of coral ravish position is going to be whispering and Donald Trump Ear for programmes or something like that. No, that's nonsense in and, of course, the media is is suggesting that and that's not true, but obviously the man is an opportunist, obviously he's willing to get into bed so to speak with nasty people if it drives clicks or drives his agenda, his sort of anti establishment.
Ideology and I think that the most worrisome component of that pick you we're just we dont know how that's going to play out clearly that I wish you weren't there from wouldn't have been my nominee Bannon wouldn't have been my strategists. I doubt many of those who are going to and off in this White House would have been thereby had cop Blanche. I think that the charge abandon is himself and anti semite or racist is overblown. I've heard that now, from a whole bunch of people who hate him that be the rumour was was the product of one line in India,
proceeding. Never where you want to go for truth, and I think we need to be careful that full to distinguish between what Steve Bannon believes in his life and wants to find Anna's busted and it seeing says. I think that the big scandal Harris is somebody who behaved as he did in his position at Breitbart is going to be so close to the President of the United States. I don't like what so I can fight meant when it comes to spiritual depressed because they're so quickly, abused ban and facilitated the advancement of a movement that I wish to be relegated to the fringes, and for that I think he is disqualified from office. But let's not, as some have pretend that he's some not see or some would be Goebbels. That does not seem to be true right hand. It is a subject that is good for the all right
Well, the all right, what is the old right, who defines what the old right is? These are very ambiguous hard to, sir categories questions you know by one standard, the old right is whatever a handful of very small handful of white nationalists of self declare, white Nationalists, who want a separatist, Ethno state in the north, western United. data, believe it is, but it's also a toy that includes this wider array of internet race, realists and others, so It's so amorphous that I don't find it all that useful. You know the fact that ban, and actually you the term himself, is something that has and very damaging for him, because it's you know it's certainly not clear that he has some of the more extreme views shared by folks acclaimed ownership of the term. All right, if I were going to characterize,
years I would say to mix of two big broad things one is, he is an economic populist. Now his populism is pretty ill defined but generally speaking, I he takes this kind of anti a lead. Anti Wall Street orientation. He wants to bring back industrial jobs, who wants to bring back manufacturing again how he? see. That unfolding is an open question, but that's the kind of big picture thinking with regard to the economy and also the kind of political economy. How is he going to rebuild the republican coalition? The other thing when it comes to issues of culture race and what have you I wouldn't characterized A white nationalist I'd say that he someone who believes in what SAM Burlington How can the nineties referred to as a clash of civilizations? The idea that when you're looking at geopolitics its helpful to think it through the law End of let's eat the judeo Christian West. You know the Islamic it just these other big picture kind of
cultural cleavage is in the world now, that is set of views that many people have condemned racist, and what have you, but I'd say that it's actually pretty different from racial separatism. Ass championed by some of these elements will be all right, and I personally think that there is a lie. At the same time, however, I have to say that was of great value, but the truth is that we're just engaging in a guessing game right that's my broad sense, and easy to see why, at the edges, if you're already prime to believe that still abandon its already primed to believe a trump himself that these guys are racists, then you will absolutely hear things that will trigger you. But if you look at us broader com text, I think, you'll see it differently. It's not mess we're going to reassure you, but it's it's something that is pretty different. Indistinct suits me in that this appointment healthy all outright and no other respect.
there is no other speck. Certainly in this one, Ben Shapiro has a piece in the new issue where it talks about how, in limiting the influx of the outright and shining, it is very important to get the definition right and keep it looked properly. Circumscribed. So how much a new people who aren't necessarily all right, all the sudden think they are all right and the earthly fine to be all right, and it just seems as though, that definition is kind of seeping out from the view of the limited look, how that it that it should be delta, because ban is now being defined, as is all right, and then you have some people who even more sloppy about it basically defining populist, Slash nationalist, is all alright. Yet it seems right to me. I mean I hate. The word done, normalization, which has been the buzzword for last last week, is not particularly helpful by. of a facet of normalization as of now
ocean in the in the in the public conversation is this widening, widening corral as far as what what counts here and what does it end? I think David. From commenting on on the twitter purge, the all right so called on close purge. The happened last week has made the point that we ve been making for long time, which is part of the reason that the all right has succeeded in getting some visibility and and making its voice heard is because the entire concept of you know immigration restriction or national identity or social solidarity? These these question, these sort of big questions, a sort of politics and meaning questions have been
dismissed in Toto by the left as racist or xenophobic or islamophobic in the case of terrorist concerns and the rest. So you know if you, if you mere anyway, if you smear reasonable people who have these concerns. As fascist can really be surprised when actual fascists start to crop up on on the fringes, and so I think there's there's a serious need to lower the temperature of of the the labeling that goes on in so much of our public conversation Charlie, that the flip side of the concern about the aid that the definition getting too wide into dispersed
is that tromp engineer Times Interview Friday, really lambasted end in very stark in strong terms, disavowed the alright. Well, that's right. He said that he would not have hired ban if he believed banning was erases. He then said when asked about Richard Spencer. But he didn't wished to energize anybody of that sort and when they all right was mentioned, he said I condemn them. I disavow and I condemn. Now I imagine it will be said that that is something of a low bar for President Elect to cross. That said,
a president Obama has made it his business and they often not that the election to call on Trump to lower the temperature, to reassure and to call out those voices that really are beyond the fringe and trumped it, and I think that very much needs to be acknowledged. My view has long been for what it's worth. The trump has dangerous tendencies the Trump is self serving, but that he's not a racist. I think Trump is a cosmopolitan new Yorker. To be honest with you, I think he may have seen some advantage in stoking too pensions I think, when it came to say, Judge Curio what was far more alarming than his contention that he wouldn't get a fair trial, because carrion was mexican careless, not mexican. Of course he's an american citizen was the implication that Trump will use anything against anyone if he thinks it'll help him get his way. I've never been. Can
hence the trump was a rich Spencer type B, has anything in common with rigid Spencer for that matter all the outright, and it was good to see him disavow them in such strong terms, traffic. That's exactly right that a lot of trumps, outrageous comments and concern piracy theories even are, are really used as a weapon to wound, and the greatest example of this, for me, is the accusation that ten cruises father was in on the JFK assassination, he doesn't believe that, and he only talked about it when he was working. TED crews for some reason, the day of the Indiana primary it on the cusp of of trumps triumph. That would give the nomination and then after cruises, convention speech, serve judge cure, now had ruled in his favor he would and praising him? Is that the best judge ever to grace these United States, but when he crossed then he used everything at at hand,
and every whip weapon, fairer, foul and that's just kind of heli he's right hand what what Do you any lessons yet for you any sense of clear direction from the administration, from how the transition as go. and the early cabinet and White House appointments we have banned and who have discussed, but also right. This is chief of staff and Jeff sessions as HIV and might flint as National security adviser. Well, I am finding it hard to see us out the direction. I feel as though I only have a really good grasp on this and for five months emperor Even then it'll be unclear, but you know. Basically he has demonstrated that it is not afraid of picking fights. You know, picking Jeff sessions was a very striking example of this. Jeff sessions is extremely knowledgeable about immigration. He is someone who has a record
that is a complicated one, but overwhelmingly he's attracted covered from the New York Times focused on allegation. news about racially charge comments made thirty plus years ago and Some of the same news outlets have tended to neglect the fact that Uniform Assembly supported our real threatened. voting rights ACT in two thousand: seven, the fact that, as a prosecute He very zealously, prosecuted, white supremacist killers and much else, so I mean in a clearly. He is not afraid of courting controversy that one thing we ve learned, but also that recent near Times interview that Charlie reference to moment ago was a really striking example is something else He is now saying that he has an open mind on the climate change agreement that the Paris
I'm a deal, he is now saying a number of other things. You know he's as jolly, and I were discussing earlier on he's been critical of the here- he's he's saying that it thinks he electoral colleges about idea. Just all of these things that are going to be very confused, thing for people who are trying to understand him one way. So the way that I look at politics is that partisans and I commit myself in that category. Partisans are prime to believe certain things. And so when you hear information that contradicts the thing your prime to believe, you'll tend to discount it. So if I may, democratic, partisan, for example- and I hear the trumpets said you Know- I think the electoral college should be abolished or that you know I'm actually pretty open, minded that this climate change stuff- and I am not going to change my mind- you will tended discount that information, if you hear something that basically reinforces when you ve, come to believe: hey the Steve. and a guy I'm told that he is racist and
don't. Try was given in this very senior role. Will that just basic confirms all of my suspicions about him and be? Certainly this dynamic is always there are saving with Barack Obama if you believe that broke up It is absolutely brilliant. The fact that he made this or that gas in this or that got a foolish error you just mobile. Leave that you'll just dismiss it out of hand if you believe that he's up public emphasis you get the idea, so my thing is that We're in this hyper hyper polarized moment we ve already been polarizes a country, but Donald Trump is taken to an entirely new level where a lot of prestige, media outlets, they just don't get it, we wait a second. Why do people take them? why do people see what we're seeing while they don't see what you're suing because they ve long ago tuned you out. They just don't believe anything. You have to say, and that could very well be dangerous. If there are legitimate grievances that come up if there are things about his business dealings and what have you, but you know, base,
Lee. I just think that this kind of bubble affect people been talking about for ages. This is just the absolute height of it, and the question is: can Donald Trump actually break out of it? If you say often enough, hey I, Climate change is a legitimate problem on the open minded about it. Can you actually break through the bubble or not? I don't know so in one of the more apt comments about crop that was made during the campaign is from Peter TEAL, who said his supporters taken seriously, but not literally, and it now seems so trumps gonna working down the list and telling
actually what we should have taken literally and whatnot yeah I mean a year he em he was marks for the comment, but it does seem strikingly strikingly appropriate. I agree with with Ray HANS thoughts on this unjust. The or another part of this, which is which is no great surprise really shouldn't be, is that their dozens doesn't seem to be much ideological coherence. Among the people who use his chosen. You get banned on one side and previous on the other right and you get some MIKE Palm Pale. Who seems to be a responsible choice to her
the CIA, a man might Flynn who raises serious questions for me at least over at the other side. So I think that's right in terms of ever seeing what guides well well, I suppose we're having reinforced what guides Donald Trump, which has a certain amount of loyalty and also a certain amount of thumb. Whoever has his ear at the moment, Charlie. I struck by this video that Trump put out Thursday about his early agenda, and it was completely not ideological and it was inclusive in tone and talked the theme running pretty much. The rout was jobs, the economy and the fate of american workers.
and that there is very little and that I think that kind of the media and voter in the country wouldn't be drawn to. Why think? That's always the secret of american politics away who are obsessed with IRAN. Lesson right tend to
sesar of other questions, many of which are extraordinarily important. Don't misunderstand me: the administrative state, the integrity of the constitution, separation of powers, life speech, but most people are not as interested in those things which tend to move slowly, which tend to be complicated, which tend often to be a boring really as they are in whether they have a job and that's not a criticism. It is easier for us to obsess over whether this precedent or that precedent is being observed by the lower courts when we're employ those people who have
a great deal since the great depression. I should say Craig recession Fortieth slip. It was bad interested in and other things and trump seems instinctively to get that and if you look at the smarter post mortem after the election was decided. You'll see that Democrats are realising. They didn't have a strong message in that area. They obsessed too much on peripheral questions in their candidate. Didn't connect on economics. Trump seems to have now there is this talk among Democrats of resistance, there's nothing wrong with that
I am a separation of powers hawk if you well, I said throughout the balmy, is that the Senate, the House of Representatives, the states they have powers that a separate from those of the presidency that full of people who have legitimate opinions, Paul Ryan, is sent there to do a job, often that job is to resist and now chuck Summa Nancy Pelosi. The remaining Democrats in Congress they are sent to Washington not to rubber stamp, whatever the president once, but to express the will of their constituents and, if necessary, to oppose or to support. But if trumped stays on this tack politically, not legally constitutionally. Morally politically is going to be difficult for the trucks humours of the world to oppose him across the board. If he says, for example, that he wants a stimulus bill, especially that stimulus bill
is directed toward either manufacturing, repairing roads and bridges, something concrete. What does the the Democratic Party, which is spent eight years more saying? What we really need in America is more spending more keynesian infrastructure. What do they do? I think they're gonna have to on board with some of the things that again, although this isn't necessarily my political priority, I think it was extremely smart of Trump to focus on that, because that's what voters care about and that's what many democratic vote is care about, and if he's going to get off to a flying start spending time when the economy is is where he needs to be served and you have an early thoughts to guide us here, because all of us are going to spend a lot more time. Thinking about infrastructure than what we ve made me
you may want to do you have any thoughts on what would constitute you know, he's gonna do something, but what will constitute a more palatable, a more sensible approach to this issue and what would just be kind of typical shoving, federal money out the door producing not much of consequence richer killing me. Your asked me a sub question when all I wanted was a pine, but I will I will answer your substantive question. Basically, either. There was this kind of consensus view among centre right and centre left walks that what you, want to do, is basically prioritize federal, spending on maintenance on proving the quality of existing assets, rather than do with federal government usually does, which is by bright, shiny new things, because in the thinking is that when you're buying bright, shiny new things be sure that those right, shiny new things are building we're gonna pay for themselves. That means buildings
we can have a stream of revenue like user fees could be you don't like high occupants, toll congestion lane, something like that congestion charges, just things that are going to be sustainable and then be on that. If you're talking about existing revenues like gas tax revenue, just use it to make sure that the infrastructure that we have any It is at the highest possible quality. Now, of course, the political incentive- is always to build, bright, shiny, new things, whether or not they pay for themselves, particularly if they dont pay for themselves. Then slap your name on them. Now the approach, Trump seems to be taking Peter seems to be. Let's use these build America bonds. Let's use basically public private financing it it, which is basically, in the vein of ok buildings that have some kind of commercial basis for them. But then you know that It's not something. That's necessarily going to make everyone happy. It's not messing. Some it's gonna be very stimuli.
in the short term, there are lots of different questions about how that that'll wind up looking you will indulge me. I just want to just basically opined on one little thing. James home of the Washington Post has just reported. on this little memo that the chairman of them a- County, Democratic Party, Mahoning County in Ohio, wrote to the Clinton campaign This was before the election a couple of months before the election. Look I miss progressive as anybody. Okay, but people in the heartland thought the Democratic Party care more about where someone else went to the restroom, then whether they had a good paying job, he complained stronger together. Doesn't get anyone a job? I thought that was really struck. king it. It also resonate with its other little finding, which is that basically, Trump did a lot better with folks. We ve all heard this with people who are non college voters critically Non College white voters and
Hillary Clinton, it turns out, did extremely well with the most educated counties in the United States, and it occurred to me that when you're, looking at more educated people, more educated people on the right or the left tend to be more ideological. Now, let's look at what Tromp has done over the past couple of weeks. What Trump has done is, he said, I'm told the unfortunate on policy climate I know what I make of it, you know talk to General Madison. He said water boarding, isn't a good idea that surprising, ok! Well, I guess off to rethink that are so on all these policy questions he seems pretty open minded pretty unformed where he has really been willing to defend himself, stick to its guns is on his business interests, I believe, that there is a very real possibility that over the next couple of years, we are basically just going You talk in Non stop about Donald trumps, business affairs, where, that going to leave ideological conservatives, eighty alot
Conservatives who might be uncomfortable with some of the things that Donald Trump wants, do an infrastructure or on climate change or who knows what else you two are these folks? Are we go? to be compelled. Are we gonna be in this position where the Republican Party, for example, is basically just defending? I'll drop on his business affairs, while he's actually taking these kind of post ideological, non ideological, centrist positions on other issues. This is really interest. Ding and hard to say, but you and I think that on infrastructure, Ike, totally see him doing something reasonable and credible, but but you know that the thing is that, This seems totally open minded on all these questions of substance. What he's defending is right to run his businesses, Sir I had. I could really tell how much he struggled to answer that question of substance, that that was
It's all just filler. Let's we're almost no time was really quickly hit the Hamilton controversy, and what did you think of that? My pants attends the play and, at the end of the speeches given telling him that the administration needs to be inclusive, we just have to wonder how self important you have to feel to be at a play if it's sold out until you note twenty twenty six to lecture the incoming vice incoming vice president about I'm in his policy. I'm into you know the idea that the actor gets up there and says that you know we're scared. You are not in any danger. Needless to say, but but no Rossman over at commentary made. It made a great point which all ruthlessly plagiarize, which is the reason the stories like this cake kit credibility is because there's no barrier to entry on understanding them. You know you need some, you need, or at least you should have some knowledge about infrastructure.
before you choose to apply on it, but you don't need any. You don't need any knowledge about Hamilton or you know Broadway before you choose to her to make her a federal case. Out of this last comment, is it the last two weeks feel a lot to me like Two thousand three, two thousand for all the celebrities coming back out of the woodwork green day, chanting at. american musical words, you know no k, K, K, no Fascists, USA, no Trump, the same folks who wrote a whole album, knocking George W Bush. Madonna out their Michael Moors come back. You know if, if you're, if you were fortunate enough to be comatose for big chunk of the Bush administration and missed all of this well, you know welcome back as your infer round to Charlie why that more of using phrases to come out of that Hamilton Fractious was chops. Tweet saying at the theatre should be a safe and special place.
he does have a tendency to undermine all the arguments that those who have putative lay on his side have been making for a while. I'm told constantly that he's trawling if he is fair enough I think that he is the person who came out of his looking good was my pants. The only person who came out of this looking good was my pants. My pen said I wasn't offended, that's the sound of freedom. People are allowed to protests and he said it. That's what he told his daughter good for him. Do I think that the cost of Hamilton was a silly and self indulgent, as many celebrities are sure. Do I think that it is route taboo people in a theater based on their political views, yeah I do and do I think that Donald Trump needs to learn to let the stuff go. I do, and I especially thank the Trump needs to learn that Possible to criticise somebody without saying that that overrated
it will going out of business or pathetic. He could, for example, have said. Hamilton is already great show, but I dont think that they should a boot pants far enough, but he asks for apologies. He has to say it's overrated. It's not a good looking to President might pence, in my view locally, we had the gentlemen, those Charlie it's time now for our weekly editors picks righthand. What's your picked? My pick is you ve all events, peace in our new post election issue on a change GEO p in which you have all sketches out where he thinks the conservative movement is going and where it ought to go in the coming years. In what's your book naturally, a raw hunted and have only honour to poach. So he put mine. Early? What's your point about, but also from Are our post election, simple, which I think is really excellent- one
the people in the direction of Russell Moors contribution on the future of of the religious right. It's a subject on which obviously doktor more, as a great interest and much much invested? But since we ve been thinking through over the course of this campaign, what's going to become of a core constituency of right, leaning politics in the? U S, I think it's a helpful roadmap for thinking through that question Charlie. I, like Jeremy, calls piece in the latest issue on what I call the coming red wool, the upper midwest- and this has been a team of for a while, I think I've even mentioned on this podcast. I didn't think down from was going to. When I got that wrong, but I did think that the future of republican victory,
would be in Minnesota, Michigan Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania that part of the country and that it wasn't too difficult to see the republican and democratic parties making a trade that would benefit. Republicans, for example, Colorado, Nevada, maybe even Arizona, full Pennsylvania, higher Wisconsin Michigan. That does seem to be what happened. This time, Jeremy CALL makes a good case that republic We really need to focus on these areas and that if they do, they will become what he describes us a juggernaut. My pig is also from the press elections issue year: peace by John Learner, republican strategist, about Pennsylvania, and if you look at from three thousand feet, you see how Trump one by lesson to points to me. One by lesson, two points that that makes sense. Republicans one narrowly in Pennsylvania, but he looks deeper into the results,
points out how in York County a really reliable republican county, both to me and trumpeted equally well. But then, when you Two other countries, you see the differences were to me and Esther County in Philadelphia suburbs, outperform Trump Trump and one of these counties was Saint Western Pennsylvania vastly out form to me, and you can see here to separate pass for them? I party one more sperm friendly like to me. The other more populist, like Trump in both of them, worked this year and learner makes a point if he could somehow find a message or a candidate that can appeal to both of those separate constituencies within their Publican coalition, then you'd really have however, not thanks in Charlie right thanks. Everyone for listening, have a great thanksgiving and will see. next week
Transcript generated on 2021-10-14.