A Conversation with Kevin D. Williamson

 

Kevin — co-host of our own Mad Dogs & Englishmen podcast — and I sat down to discuss political punditry in 2016. Though he believes that “armageddon sells” in political discourse and that there are economic problems on the horizon, things aren’t as bad as they’re made out to be. As an original Never-Trumper, his opinion of the Republican Nominee is unwavering. I ask if he and his likeminded colleagues have painted themselves into a corner. He also answers those on Ricochet who suggest SCOTUS is a legitimate reason to pull the lever for Trump in November.

[Editors’ Note: For a pointed argument against some of Kevin’s comments, see member @jclimacus’s post here].

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There are 16 comments.

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  1. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    I’m going to push back on one point here, the list of potential nominees for Supreme Court.  KDW seems to insinuate that it’s illegitimate for Trump to rely on staffers to put together a list like that.  Does he seriously think that Jeb Bush is scouring law journals every month to keep an up to date list of the best conservative legal minds in the country?  No, he has staff for that.

    This is why almost every politician is constantly speaking in the royal ‘we’, and referring to ‘our campaign’ for president.  The Trump division of labor is that staff dig stuff out, and he stands in front of the camera and talks about it.  Just like it is for every other politician.  There have been repeated examples of this for the last year; the expectation that he do personally what none of the rest of them do.

    • #1
  2. 6foot2inhighheels Member
    6foot2inhighheels
    @6foot2inhighheels

    Fantastic job, Dave!

    • #2
  3. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Judge Mental:I’m going to push back on one point here, the list of potential nominees for Supreme Court. KDW seems to insinuate that it’s illegitimate for Trump to rely on staffers to put together a list like that. Does he seriously think that Jeb Bush is scouring law journals every month to keep an up to date list of the best conservative legal minds in the country? No, he has staff for that.

    This is why almost every politician is constantly speaking in the royal ‘we’, and referring to ‘our campaign’ for president. The Trump division of labor is that staff dig stuff out, and he stands in front of the camera and talks about it. Just like it is for every other politician. There have been repeated examples of this for the last year; the expectation that he do personally what none of the rest of them do.

    Agreed JM. Whether Trump downloaded the CATO/NR SCOTUS suggestion list or if he came up with it on his own, it’s at least somewhat comforting that SCOTUS is on Trump’s radar. Whether he follows through is another question.

    • #3
  4. ModEcon Inactive
    ModEcon
    @ModEcon

    It may be that today is not any more important or divisive of a time than any other. However, I would like to point out that freedom requires constant vigilance. So, I would say that regardless of the relative importance of our time, everyone who lives today should still be active in preserving our freedoms.

    • #4
  5. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    ModEcon:It may be that today is not any more important or divisive of a time than any other. However, I would like to point out that freedom requires constant vigilance. So, I would say that regardless of the relative importance of our time, everyone who lives today should still be active in preserving our freedoms.

    Agreed. Now I’ve had time to consider this discussion, I do realize perspective is based on our own experiences. I can only discuss the 1968 racial and civil unrest as a student of history. Those of us born in the 60’s were not yet old enough to understand the full impact. So, we look at it through the lense of knowing what wasn’t known at the time, which ultimately lead to resulting changes in both civil rights and social policy.

    Today’s seemingly daily occurence of civil unrest, terrorism and polarization certainly feels different from the trauma experienced by the country during our childhoods, however, maybe we are just more aware of everything due to their not being a media drip-drip-drip as seen in the 60’s-70’s but a torrent of negative news due to widely expanded media outlets?

    • #5
  6. H. Noggin Inactive
    H. Noggin
    @HNoggin

    Good talk.  I find him equal parts insufferable and brilliant.

    • #6
  7. Penfold Member
    Penfold
    @Penfold

    The Trump SCOTUS list:  A politician telling the base what they want to hear!?!  SHOCKING!

    • #7
  8. Leslie Watkins Member
    Leslie Watkins
    @LeslieWatkins

    Terrific podcast.  Kevin Williamson’s courage to express his take on the truth, regardless of the venue, coupled with his principled incisiveness and genuine good manners make me not miss Christopher Hitchens quite so much. For that I am appreciative.

    • #8
  9. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    I got three minutes in and had to stop — my thoughts were zooming in a million other directions due to lack of vocal energy.  Sometimes a transcript is better.  (-:

    • #9
  10. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Kevin Williamson is naive in his Scotus analysis( where he says the Scotus issue is a naive reason to vote for Trump).   If he can call me naive I can call him naive back.  It’s a naivetete on naivetete.

    Nice interview style David.

    • #10
  11. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen
    @DuaneOyen

    I don’t see a podcast download link- is there not any way to hear this other than to sit chained to the computer?  I refuse to watch streaming video- including the Great Courses, because they tether you to the computer.  I don’t waste my time that way.

    Here, I’d like to listen to Kevin because I, like he, is NeverTrump.

    • #11
  12. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    DocJay:Kevin Williamson is naive in his Scotus analysis( where he says the Scotus issue is a naive reason to vote for Trump). If he can call me naive I can call him naive back. It’s a naivetete on naivetete.

    Nice interview style David.

    Thanks. If #SCOTUSTrump (trademark pending) are voting for him for that one reason, I believe that to be a legitimate concern. Possibly the most important issue of this campaign. SCOTUS is 30-40 years… more potentially detrimental to America’s future than 1 Presidential term. While #NeverTrump appear intransigent, as is their right, I get the sense from some NT’s (besides Kevin) they are psychologically preparing to dig very deep, suspend disbelief, cross fingers and hold their nose for Trump… or they will just sit this one out.

    • #12
  13. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Duane Oyen:I don’t see a podcast download link- is there not any way to hear this other than to sit chained to the computer? I refuse to watch streaming video- including the Great Courses, because they tether you to the computer. I don’t waste my time that way.

    Here, I’d like to listen to Kevin because I, like he, is NeverTrump.

    Sorry Duane, it’s was only recorded on video.

    • #13
  14. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Dave Sussman:

    Duane Oyen:I don’t see a podcast download link- is there not any way to hear this other than to sit chained to the computer? I refuse to watch streaming video- including the Great Courses, because they tether you to the computer. I don’t waste my time that way.

    Here, I’d like to listen to Kevin because I, like he, is NeverTrump.

    Sorry Duane, it’s was only recorded on video.

    Simple:

    youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR_iHK8XwWc

    • #14
  15. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen
    @DuaneOyen

    Phil Turmel:

    Dave Sussman:

    Duane Oyen:I don’t see a podcast download link- is there not any way to hear this other than to sit chained to the computer? I refuse to watch streaming video- including the Great Courses, because they tether you to the computer. I don’t waste my time that way.

    Here, I’d like to listen to Kevin because I, like he, is NeverTrump.

    Sorry Duane, it’s was only recorded on video.

    Simple:

    youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR_iHK8XwWc

    I regularly D/L video files when the content is worth it, and then strip out the audio.  At least it wasn’t you who called it a podcast.

    • #15
  16. Herbert Member
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    Dave Sussman: maybe we are just more aware of everything due to their not being a media drip-drip-drip as seen in the 60’s-70’s but a torrent of negative news due to widely expanded media outlets?

    Right…. Think about how one of these shootings would have been handled in the 60’s and 70’s.   1.  no live video, 2 it gets reported only from the police report viewpoint.   3. it  only gets reported in the local paper or the state newspaper.  No national coverage.   No national problem….

    • #16
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