At one point during the livecast recording of this week’s episode on Zoom, a commenter said the score was “Lucretia 6, Hayward 0,” so naturally I thought I was only behind by two field goals, and thus easy to make up in the 4th Quarter. But then the commenter clarified that he was using soccer scoring, which meant that I was getting crushed. “Ask Paul,” he added unnecessarily. Oh well.

What led to this ignominious rout? I foolishly tried to make the case that not all statistical anomalies (like the occasional clusters of twins born in small towns from time to time) are proof of something wrong, including voting, but Lucretia wasn’t having any of it, and to be sure while statistical anomalies may be just that, when you have several “anomalies” all trending in the same direction, pattern recognition takes over. But what are the legal remedies? It is not clear we can count on the courts to correct the counts.

At least the Supreme Court delivered one clear remedy for religious liberty this week, and our second whisky shot this week went beyond this ruling to talk a bit about the police power generally, and why many legal histories—but also Chief Justice John Roberts, alas—get this wrong.

After getting a review of new and unpronounceable whiskies out of the way (such as the one posted here) along with the miseries of the week just past that compel several drams of whisky, “Lucretia” and I had planned to talk about an obscure but profound essay from way back in 1973 that explores the serious philosophical roots of how today’s progressive left is best explained by the left’s formal commitment to snobbery. No really—we were! We had a whole seminar on “snobbish snobology” ready to go (is there a more fitting angle for single-malt whisky fanatics?), but we got diverted to—what else?—the election postgame show.

Among our questions and issues: What needs to be surveyed to make out a prima facia case of election fraud? And what kind of evidence is necessary to prove it? Given the low and continually falling trust in our leaders and institutions, is it any wonder that people (including apparently one-third of Democrats according to one poll) don’t think this election was on the up-and-up? We kick around the possibilities, and then ask our listeners: would you like us to do a live taping of the podcast next week? We could have a virtual happy hour under the new lockdown, though of course you’d have to bring your own whisky. Let us know.

This week Steve and “Lucretia” survey the dismal scene of uphill recount prospects (and why game theory says Trump should fight on even past January 20), the impending COVID tyranny (“Lockdown II: This Time It’s Personal!”), and the latest social science nonsense, and decide the only sensible thing to do is pour another whisky and contemplate whether the long-term “Trump dividend” will offer a better return than the 30-year Treasury, or the “soft power dividend” that looks to be coming back under a prospective Biden Administration.

Among other highlights is Steve’s prediction of how and why Trump will haunt the waking dreams of liberals for at least the next 50 years, and Lucretia’s skepticism that Republicans have learned the right lessons from the Trump Show. And yes, the prospective change of scene means the Power Line Show may need to adopt a new tag line. Listen to the end to hear why, and what we’ll change to.

Hoo boy! I’m not sure three whiskies are enough this week. Fortunately I procured a relatively cheap Islay single malt—Finlaggan—to get me through the travails of Election Overtime.

The election is still a fast moving scene, so I decided that “Lucretia” and I should take a longer term view of the scene, and ponder the “metaphysics” of the election, which are not comforting to the left. In fact it is likely that “wokery” cost the Democrats badly. Above all, don’t count out Trump, both for his chances of yet coming out on top, and more figuratively for the immense and enduring impact he has had on American politics. There are reasons to be happy, even while being outraged at the brazen attempt to steal an election right before our eyes.

As we go live we see the news that the Supreme Court has ordered late ballots in Pennsylvania to be sequestered, which no doubt is giving liberals flashbacks to Florida 2000. Here’s John Yoo’s article that we mention in our hectic conversation. Meanwhile, I need to refill my glass, and fetch more popcorn for the Democratic Party infighting starting up.

If Trump wins the electoral college again on Tuesday while losing the popular vote (perhaps by a bigger margin than he did in 2016), the left will lose its mind. Well that’s a given, but they’ll really lose their mind about the electoral college. After hoisting a couple of toasts to the passing of Sean Connery and a second sour whisky shot for Britain going back on COVID lockdown, “Lucretia” and I get down to business reviewing the republican case for the electoral college, and why it is a great institution that makes our political system better. Far from being an archaic relic, it is more necessary than ever in a country that the left calls “diverse” but which it actually views through perverse homogeneous lenses.

Michael Uhlmann

Better late than never, “Lucretia” and I team up to review what’s going on in the news along with drinking to the confirmation of Justice Barrett, but are most interested in thinking a bit about what is “metaphysically” wrong with the election scene, with poll after poll showing a solid Biden lead against lots of sense perception—and several historical examples—that argues for a different outcome. And so this became a crossover episode of the podcast, since I decided to pin down Henry Olsen, who I abuse for starting a competing podcast (ahem), and for his corrupt views about European “football.”

We did our best to refrain from too many #MeToobin jokes, but Chelsea Handler’s stunning echo of Joe Biden (“if you don’t vote for me, you ain’t black”) that we play right at the beginning is pretty revealing of the bedrock identity assumptions of the left these days. Talk about losing your grip.

Steve settles in with some Japanese whisky while “Lucretia” abandons her “whisky cougar” ways with a bona fide Glenlivet 18 so we can celebrate Amy Coney Barrett’s start turn driving Democrats to embarrass themselves last week. The hearings illustrate what’s wrong with the “side of history” liberals, as expressed in an especially lazy column from Nick Kristof in the New York Times, and a series of coordinated tweets from Democrats trying to assail constitutional originalism, but mostly succeeding only in exposing their own invincible ignorance.

The main event of this episode is reviewing our pick for Article of the Week, Bari Weiss’s essay “Stop Being Shocked” in The Tablet. It’s a great essay, with its bracing warning of the existential threat to Jews from the new illiberalism, but it has two problems: it get Trump wrong (though Lucretia proposes that this may be tactical cleverness), and its focus on the precariousness of Jews under the rising assault from the social justice left may not go far enough in forecasting the menace facing everyone. Guess who foresaw the problem of the Jews a decaying liberal democracy 60 years ago? Yup, that L– S—— guy again.

The basics.

This week’s recap starts off with a challenge to find the most unpronounceable scotch whisky you’ve never heard of (like Poit Dhubh, which is unavailable in the U.S.), plus a review of the 10 health benefits of drinking scotch whisky (some of which need a controlled experiment to validate properly, which we’re happy to conduct ourselves).

Lots of things to pour whisky shots for this week. Before returning to our short course on Leo Strauss’s perspectives on liberal education, “Lucretia” and Steve reflect on Joe Biden’s long career as a chameleon (if you didn’t know better, you’d almost think Biden had read Richard Weaver’s famous Ideas Have Consequences, since he thinks Antifa is an “idea,” and one that certainly has consequences), and why the 25th Amendment, which leftists have been hoping would be applied to Trump ever since January 20, 2017, is more likely to be applied to a President Biden in 2021 (should such a shudder-inducing possibility come to pass). Did you know that Section 4 of the 25th Amendment essentially gives Congress the power to impeach the President without a trial? We break it all down for you.

Having spent a lot of time on this week’s craziness, we only get about halfway through Strauss’s essay “Liberal Education and Responsibility.” We wrestle with the proposition that the idea of education in American democracy is the attempt to create a universal aristocracy, and understanding the distinction between the civic gentleman and the philosopher. We barely got started on this project before we ran out of whisky in our glasses (and also knowing we needed to take mercy on listeners), so. . . to be continued!

Freshly resupplied with a shipment of Laphraoig, Talisker, and “Murdered Out” dark roast from Black Rifle Coffee, Steve and “Lucretia” drink to the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, smack around Biden a little (but only a little because otherwise it would be elder abuse), and then resume our discussion from two weeks about about liberal education and Leo Strauss’s famous lecture entitled “What Is Liberal Education?”

Among other things, you’ll learn the crucial difference between Socratic skepticism of the classics, and the radical modern skepticism of Descartes, Nietzsche, or Heidegger. And if that doesn’t need a few shots of whisky to choke down, nothing will!

I know we promised listeners that last week’s episode would be the beginning of a three-part series on liberal education rightly understood, but the passing of Justice Ginsburg has thrown us off our plan. But rather than go in for the usual punditry about confirmation battles and the effect this will have on the election, Lucretia and I decided to step back and take on a truly radical perspective on the controversy. What if the Supreme Court wasn’t so important to our political order, and appointment to it were on the level of appointments to the Federal Trade Commission instead? How might that be accomplished?

Lucretia thinks maybe—perhaps—the trouble isn’t with “originalism” versus “activism,” or certain cases and periods when things went notably wrong (like the so-called “revolution of 1937”), but rather that the sweeping judicial review ushered in by the famous Marbury case in 1803 is the root of the problem. It is very nearly a heresy to regard Chief Justice Marshall as the root of all judicial evil, but maybe we haven’t got him, or Marbury, quite right. We go back through the peculiar politics and jurisprudence of the Marbury case, including the striking political parallels between our bitter election right now and the equally bitter contest of 1800, which I suggest could well be considered “the Frigate 93 Election.”

Well now we’ve done it! This week Lucretia and I decided to take a break from downing whisky shots over the latest crazy news headlines and drag listeners back into the classroom for a new mini-series. I get lots of emails and comments from listeners and readers about why we surrender the term “liberal” to deep leftists who are profoundly illiberal. It’s a great question, and so Lucretia and I decided to take this as an opportunity to offer an extended excursion into how Leo Strauss handled this question in the Preface to his essay collection Liberalism Ancient and Modern.

Strauss wrote the preface to this collection way back in 1968, and while some specific references are obviously dated (such as the Vietnam War), the main arguments are remarkably prescient for our current moment of badly politicized and degraded liberal education in the universities. One of the things Strauss says in this five page preface is, “Liberal education is not the opposite of conservative education, but of illiberal education.” And he also says, “Progressivism is indeed a better term than liberalism for the opposite to conservatism.”

This week’s three whisky happy hour centers around three percentage numbers: 99, 93, and 100. In looking at the latest craziness from higher education, Lucretia and I conclude scientifically that 99 percent of all college professors give the other 1 percent a bad name (sort of like lawyers); the “93 percent of protests are peaceful” sounds about as meaningful as “the Japanese flyover of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 was ‘mostly peaceful’ except for 5 minutes or so;” and that we’re still locking down the country even though 99.9 percent of COVID-19 cases aren’t fatal; and another scientific estimate that 100 percent of Atlantic magazine stories about Trump are literal fake news. (Dan Rather, call your office?)

We also drink to President Trump’s executive order banning “critical race theory” training sessions for federal employees and what should come next; the case for looting In Defense of Looting; and how long before Kamala Harris’s picture ends up on milk cartons since she seemed to disappear from the campaign scene this week, while “Dr.” Jill Biden (don’t you ever forgot the doctor part of her name!) is traveling “virtually” to Wisconsin this week, which sounds rather more like the astral projection popular in Marin County, where, coincidentally, a high proportion of anti-vaxxers will heed Harris’s call not to take any vaccine that Agent Orange recommends.

After a one week hiatus for jury duty, the Three Whisky Happy Hour with Steve and Lucretia is back, but with a role-reversal: Lucretia bartends this week! Partly this is so Lucretia can school Steve on how to think about vigilantism and the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who has been charged with murder for what appears to have been self-defense in the Kenosha riots earlier this week.

Our second flight of whisky is inspired by Joseph Epstein’s commentary in today’s Wall Street Journal on “Today’s College Classroom is a Therapy Session,” in which we drink to and reminisce about having one of the toughest “tough guy” professors—the late constitutional historian Leonard Levy. He was terrifying in the classroom in ways that wouldn’t be allowed today—and an experience neither of us would trade for anything. Students today have no idea what they’ve lost with our new emphasis on “safe” and “nurturing” classrooms.

This week’s Power Line Three Whisky Happy Hour finds Charles Lipson bellying up to the bar for a flight of whiskys that begins with a tale of his mis-spent youth discovering the “bootleggers and Baptists” hypothesis in the course of violating numerous federal and state laws, as well as his legendary Henry Kissinger impression.

We take up three topics to go with three shots of whisky: the rapid transition from “broken windows” policing to “break our windows” policing, as Charles explained in his terrific RealClearPolitics column on this topic late last week. Then we turn to analysis of the surprise announcement of the Israel-UAE rapprochement last week, which took everyone by surprise. More to come perhaps? Finally, what does Charles make of the presidential race, and Biden becoming Kamala Harris’s running mate? We all agree that Harris “doesn’t wear well,” but that doesn’t mean the Harris-Biden ticket can’t win.

This especially fast-paced edition of the Three Whisky Happy Hour with “Lucretia,” Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery, gets off track right at the start, when an incidental mention of the famous 1978 Bakke case turned into an extended revisionist “what if?” thought experiment. From there we turn our attention to logging the accelerating BGR (short for “Biden Gaffe Rate”), which reached two-a-day by the end of this week. How high will the rate go if Biden actually emerges from his basement between now and November and actually campaigns?

From there we read some tea leaves around the question of whether the country has reached a turning point in reaction to the rioting and leftist agitation. A number of events this week suggest we have.

America’s newspaper of record—which is the Babylon Bee of course—is out with the headline, “Biden Campaign Says He Is So Close to a VP Pick He Can Smell Her.” The Bee really needs to stop scooping the New York Times. In any case, in this episode of the weekend happy hour Lucretia and I survey the box canyon Biden has got himself into by pledging to pick a woman running mate who essentially has to be a woman of color. And we give our predictions of who it will be when (and if) Biden clears his head.

Then we move on to the wider issues behind Trump’s tweet about possibly postponing the election. We get into some details about voting, mail-in and provisional ballots, ballot counting, precinct management, and other aspects of the matter that have drawn surprisingly little attention from the non-stop media panic about the election, and believe me, you’ll be wanting a double-shot of whisky after you hear us.

Lucretia and I are already departing from our nascent Islay-Highland-Irish whisky flight format because we have a guest bartender and malt master on with us for this weekend’s episode—John Yoo! John not only knows the deep history of fine Japanese whiskies, but also the Constitution and presidential power. He has a terrific new book coming out on Tuesday, Defender in Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power.

The book explores how John came to change his mind about Trump, seeing in Trump’s conduct in office a clear pattern of defending the proper constitutional prerogatives of the presidency, and helping to restore the separation of powers to their intended dimensions. Along the way Lucretia baits John about whether the Supreme Court was a good idea in the first place, and Steve likes John’s “hypothetical”idea for having Trump designate all of his hotels and properties as national monuments.

The estimable New York Post reports on a clear example of “expert” junk science that purports to prove that “men should limit alcohol to just one drink per day.” This is clearly the first step to full communism, plus an obvious ham-handed attempt to shut down our brand new Three Whisky Happy hour. Lucretia and I counter with the supreme wisdom of Lady Thatcher, who once wrote a friend, “Scotch is one British institution which will never let you down.” (In other words, just like Rick Astley.)

Anyway, “Lucretia” (Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery) and I are not deterred by this fake news and used it as an excuse to run long with this episode and refill our glasses often with a flight of Highland and Japanese malts, pondering whether keeping our public schools locked down this fall might actually backfire on the left; the broader significance of the drive to reverse a previous diversity-promotion tactic—blind auditions for symphony orchestras—because they aren’t producing the “right kind” of diversity; and a lightning round where we beat up on the Lincoln Project, whether violent protestors should be sent to Gitmo, and why the media is ignoring the epidemic of suspicious church fires in Europe.

Steve and “Lucretia” are back with another “Three Whisky Happy Hour” to end the week, dishing out a sweet Irish whisky to go with our idea for the attack ad we hope the Trump campaign will run against the Democrats, a mild American bourbon whisky for the uneven Harper’s magazine statement opposing “cancel culture;” and a bracing peaty/smoky Scotch whisky to ponder the question of whether universities have passed the point of no return, such that conservatives ought to give up trying to reform them and now seek simply to destroy them instead, as Arthur Milikh argued a few months ago in National Affairs. We take up these subjects, and our whiskys, in the proper way, which is neat. Cheers!