Need To Know with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
Episode 48: Unions, Debt, Democracy, and Nobels

National Review's Jay Nordlinger and Mona Charen
Oct 12, 2013
Direct Link to MP3 File

Direct link to MP3 file

This week on Need To Know, Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger discuss the Carnegie Hall debacle and what is says about unions in general, the right wing subversiveness of “The Simpsons”, debt and democracy, backfiring tactics and getting out of the bubble, Nobel prize politics, Harold Hamm, and the fight, fight, fight over the Redskins mascot. 

Help Ricochet by supporting our advertisers!

This podcast is brought to you by our good friends at Encounter Books. This week’s featured title is Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government By Clark Neily. Get an additional 15% by using the code RICOCHET at checkout. 

  1. Crow

    Mona and Jay: Very enjoyable podcast this week. I have similar aesthetic tastes to both of you and so I’m always delighted by conversations of that sort. The quotation you cited from George Will, Mona, I couldn’t agree more with: once upon a time our regime had an excellent mixture of participation and consent, as well as deliberation and reason–but that has been eroding for a long time (beginning with ballot referenda and the direct election of senators).

    I also find myself in agreement with you that, outside of conservative circles and media, we have some proselytizing to do re: the debt. Moreover, I think you’re spot on as far as conservatives needing to get outside our “bubble” and understand that the America of our imaginations (the once and future America?) is not necessarily the same view that many of our fellow citizens seem to have. We have our work cut out for us.

  2. J.Maestro

    Mona mentions an echo-chamber effect on our side. Fair enough. But isn’t that dynamic even more pronounced on the other side?

    The Left stubbornly insists that no reasonable person can possibly disagree with the progressive agenda.

    I’m one of the benighted citizens who thinks we are winning when we are using every lever available to thwart the statist project. I know there are many who oppose me and I know why. Am I the one in the cocoon?

  3. Sabrdance

    The Ten Commandments is an awesome movie, the score by Elmer Bernstein is awesome, and the acting is awesome, and frankly if more Americans took the message of what the Law is to heart, we’d have a good bit fewer problems today.  Furthermore, it is an incredibly conservative Civil Rights movie.

    Mona’s heresy shall, however, be forgiven.

    So let it be written, so let it be done.

  4. 1967mustangman

    I am note sure I can be as forgiving as Sabrdance.  The Ten Commandments is canonical.  It is one of the greatest movies ever.

  5. Peter Meza

    Why do we always have to put on the hair-shirt and talk about self-sacrifice?  “Self-abnegation” for those in our immediate orbit, like family and close friends is also called “love”.  The motivation for doing something for these people at our own expense is that we want to do it.  

  6. SEnkey

    I always enjoy the podcast. I’ve taken to echoing Mr. Nordlinger, elections have consequences. Decisions do as well. In some way I feel like we gave the culture away long before we gave the country away. 

  7. David Guaspari

    What should be repeated, loudly, every time the President brags about “ending wars” is a remark from Orwell (quote from memory): The quickest way to end a war is to lose it.

  8. The Cloaked Gaijin

    Mona Charen: “(Debt) that’s something that it just may not be possible for a democratic country to deal with…”

    That seems to be a fatalistic attitude.

    I began reading Mona Charen and other conservatives in The Conservative Chronicle almost 25 years ago.  Even back then some conservatives favored the Ted Cruz approach about not funding so much of the government.  Republicans only have themselves to blame when they control one house of Congress or when there is a Republican in the White House and the opposition does not control two-thirds of the Congress.

  9. Butters

    Mona is ignoring the Beltway-NY echo chamber she and Jay reside in. 

  10. The Cloaked Gaijin

    Jay Nordlinger: “Until we get a handle on entitlements and until the people decide to elect fiscally-sober people to responsible office, we are shafted I’m afraid.”

    Be not afraid, we did elect some fiscally-sober people.  The House of Representatives can block this sending which you fear.  

    When Republican George W. Bush had a Congress controlled by the Republicans, they refused to do anything “fiscally-sober”.  Today’s Tea Party Republicans are fighting back, so I know you would gladly give them your support.

    The Democrat Party has only been in complete control of the executive branch and the legislative branch at the federal level for only 2 of the last 18 years, and older conservatives wonder why younger voters don’t trust the Republican Party.

    Cave in again you say?  I say NO!

  11. Richard Fulmer
    Seen on the Internet:    “Washington Redskins drop the word ‘Washington’ from their name    because it’s embarrassing.”
  12. No Caesar

    Jay Nordlinger: “Until we get a handle on entitlements and until the people decide to elect fiscally-sober people to responsible office, we are shafted I’m afraid.”

    I don’t think we’ll have a majority of such people in government for at least a generation, and then only if there is a catastrophic event which forces the issue. 

    Because I am not prepared to accept waiting for either outcome, I prefer we take every fight we can and any victory we can.  These are not pyrrhic victories, they are a chipping away at the status quo.  The Liberal Left is the establishment.  They have been doing a good job of defending by attacking, but they are always defending.  Anything that hits the present status quo weakens them, because the Liberal status quo is fundamentally untenable.

    I will never give up because I want the American Dream for my children.  I will never give up because I will not dishonor my ancestors who helped create the American Dream.  We must gird ourselves for a long twilight struggle, with little victories putting off catastrophe, because it is better than the alternative.  There’s no waiting for a silver bullet…

Want to comment on stories like these? Become a member today!

You'll have access to:

  • All Ricochet articles, posts and podcasts.
  • The conversation amongst our members.
  • The opportunity share your Ricochet experiences.

Join Today!

Already a Member? Sign In