Just in time for the long holiday weekend, an early edition of the Power Line Show, with special guest Justin Buckley Dyer of the University of Missouri. Prof. Dyer is the co-author (with Micah Watson) of a terrific book on C.S. Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law. Though Lewis was known as a literary critic and Christian apologist, a lot of his work bears on the deepest political and philosophical problems of our time, even though Lewis wasn’t primarily interested in politics at all. Steve Hayward sat down with Justin recently to talk about the greatness and profound impact of C.S. Lewis, and also the problems of the university today, which listeners may recall have been especially on display at Mizzou over the last few years.

Exit music this week is “New Word Order” by The Word.

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Michael Anton’s controversial 2016 essay “The Flight 93 Election” was compared to Tom Paine’s Common Sense as a tract that grabbed the public imagination. Michael is back now with a new book, After the Flight 93 Election: The Vote That Saved America and What We Still Have to Lose. Steve Hayward talked with Michael Sunday afternoon, bringing us up to date on the Flight 93 thesis two years into the Trump presidency, with observations on where conservatism needs to go next, the growing threat from a militant left, and what kind of person is necessary to succeed Trump in the fullness of time. Bonus question: Is America going the way of ancient Rome? You’ll have to listen to the end to find out.

The first brief bumper tune today is the appropriately named (for today’s topic) “Prep for Flight” by David Newman (it’s from a film soundtrack—bonus points for knowing without looking it up), and we exit with “People Everywhere Just Want to Be Free” from the Rascals, which also fits our main theme in this episode.

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Readers have been asking when we’ll have back Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery, “Lucretia,” and your wish is our command. “Lucretia” joins us again with some choice rants about the whole Ralph Northam affair and the Democrat’s “Calhoun moment” on abortion, the invincible ignorance of the new socialists like AOC, and the Wall. But then we turn to the really important subjects: wine, whisky, handguns, and coffee. (Aren’t those the basic building blocks of the Good Life? Socrates surely would have been an NRA member had the NRA been around back then. But who needs the NRA when you have Sparta?)

In keeping with this week’s wide-ranging and indulgent theme, the first bumper is “Why Not?” by Gentle Giant, and the closeout bumper music fits this show perfectly—”Another Brick in the Wall” from Pink Floyd.

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Venezuela has been slowly falling apart for more than a decade, but when matters reached a seeming crisis point last week, Steve Hayward decided it was high time to catch up with Mark Falcoff, the longtime Latin American expert now retired from the American Enterprise Institute, to walk us through the scene (including some terrific trivia about the structure of the Venezuelan army). Then Steve shifts focus to the other member of the new Axis of Evil—Iran—with Kelly Jane Torrance, who follows the Iranian resistance in exile for the Weekly Standard (RIP) and SpectatorUSA. But since Kelly Jane is Canadian, we couldn’t resist a quick detour into the prospects for Justin Trudeau while we’re looking abroad.

Bumper music this week is drawn from Strangefolk; the interlude in the middle is “New Glock II,” and the closeout tune is “Window Seat.”

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Constitutional originalism is the cornerstone of conservative jurisprudence today, but there are several rival versions of originalism, and sometimes you even hear about the “new” originalism, which sounds more like an old Spinal Tap joke. This week Steve Hayward caught up with John Eastman, the Salvatori Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law and senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, to talk over how to think about originalism, and also the hot button issue of the moment—whether President Trump has the executive power to go around Congress to get a border wall built, and also who Trump should pick next for the Supreme Court if a vacancy comes up soon.

Closing bumper track this week is “Hollywood” by Spafford.

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This episode offers another of Steve Hayward’s lectures for the William F. Buckley Program at Yale, this time on the subject of equality. Borrowing from the taxonomy of the legendary political scientist Aaron Wildavsky, Steve explains why 600 percent of the American people are victims of oppression! Steve also reviews some of the disagreements among prominent conservative thinkers about the principle of equality, since it is so badly abused by modern liberalism. This is the first of three lectures Steve will be delivering on the subject of equality. Stay tuned for announcements of the sequels!

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This second installment of Steve Hayward’s conversation with Chris DeMuth takes up Chris’s “origin story” with his work on regulatory reform starting in the Reagan Administration, and taking the story of neoconservatism through its transformations in the 1990s and 2000s. Our conversation ends with Chris’s observations on the current hot button phenomena of populism, nationalism, and the revolt against the out-of-touch transnational elites. (If you missed the first installment, scroll back here.)

Closing bumper music this week is “Spinning” by Trees on Fire.

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Steve Hayward recently sat down to conduct another “origin story” interview with Christopher DeMuth, who is nowadays a distinguished fellow at the Hudson Institute, where he writes actively about government regulation and the administrative state. Prior to coming to Hudson, Chris was the long time president of the American Enterprise Institute, and served in senior positions in the Nixon and Reagan Administrations. (Of special interest will be Chris’s fascinating account of how the EPA was created in the Nixon White House.) Steve walks Chris through his intellectual and political odyssey beginning with his education at Harvard in the 1960s, and taking him up to the beginning of the Reagan presidency, where we’ll resume the conversation with Part 2 next week.

Bumper music at the end this week is “Forecast” by Railroad Earth.

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Getting Power Line’s own “fab four” (John, PaulGeorge and Ringo, Scott and Steve) together at once is almost as hard as getting The Beatles back together, even though all of the Power Line Fab Four are still living. But we did better than that: For our special year-end wrap-up and prediction show, we also assembled “Yoko Ono” (Susan Vass, aka “Ammo Grrrll”) and “Brian Epstein” (aka, Joe Malchow, who really is our Supremo Producer). We reviewed a few loose ends from the political news of 2018, talked about the politics of Silicon Valley, and made predictions for 2019, which hopefully no one will write down because they will surely be wrong, as most predictions are. Ignore the argument at the end between Steve and Joe about which California appellation produces the best red wines. Joe is wrong.

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This week you’re really in for it, as Steve Hayward presents another of his lectures on conservative thought at Yale for the William F. Buckley Program. Steve decides to tackle the “P-word”—Postmodernism. The term is overused, vague, and, like so many other things, badly corrupted by the left. In fact, the useable parts of it are actually old conservative ideas in some respects—a fresh vindication of Samuel Johnson’s famous review that argued “what’s good is not original, and what’s original is not good.” This is a very preliminary investigation, and the theme needs a lot more work, so listeners who survive this are encouraged to comment and pose further questions for discussion.

The bumper music for this week’s episode was deliberately chosen to fit the topic: “Mad Sounds” by the Arctic Monkeys, and “Childhood’s End” by Marillion, since a lot of what goes under the banner of “postmodernism” is indeed mad, and overcoming it does require some adult maturity.

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This special doubleheader edition takes up the question of whether President Trump’s hush money payments to his temporary girlfriends is indeed a campaign finance violation with campaign finance law expert and California Fair Political Practices Commission member Allison R. Hayward (and in case you’re wondering, the answer is Yes). It’s not so clear cut as many in the media are saying, as the parallel case of John Edwards from 2008 demonstrates. Then Steve Hayward revisits Yuval Levin’s 2016 book Our Fractured Republic in light of the subsequent election of Trump.

Bumper music at the end of today’s show is a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic tune “Dreams” by The Corrs.

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We’re a day late (but not a dollar short) and we’ve got two host on the high seas, so we call on our good pal Steven Hayward (the host of the Powerline Podcast) to sit in with Peter Robinson. Later, the great biographer Andrew Roberts joins to chat about his fantastic new book Churchill: Walking with Destiny, Brexit, and the rioting in France. Also, Mueller time, and is it curtains for The Weekly Standard? We certainly hope not.

Music from this week’s episode: My Friend George by Lou Reed

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The distinguished British historian and biographer Andrew Roberts has just released Churchill: Walking With Destiny, which the New York Times (along with several other prominent publications) has called “the best one-volume biography of Churchill ever written.” Steve Hayward borrowed a page from Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars” and interviewed Andrew during a car ride (maybe we should start a rival series, “Historians in Cars”?), about historical writing in general, the secret behind Andrew’s truly extraordinary productivity as a writer (it was only four years ago that he came out with a massive biography of Napoleon), and his favorite Churchill jokes.

The bumper music this week is highly appropriate: “Fools Overture” by the 1970s progressive rock group Supertramp, which features a few sentences from Churchill’s “fight on the beaches” speech of June 4, 1940, and lyrics by Supertramp keyboardist and lead singer Roger Hodgson that evoke those epic times.

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This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Timbs v. Indiana, concerning the widespread practice of “civil asset forfeiture,” in which law enforcement will seize your property upon arrest (sometimes even without an arrest and criminal charge) and keep the money or asset for themselves. By coincidence this week Steve Hayward ran into the person who helped to make this case (and many others like it) possible—William “Chip” Mellor, the founder and long time president of the Institute for Justice. Steve walks Chip through another “origin story” of how he came to dedicate his career to the cause of economic liberty, and reviews some of IJ’s most famous cases, including especially Kelo v. New London, the 2004 Supreme Court case that challenged the abuse of the “eminent domain” power. The Kelo case got the Hollywood treatment in Little Pink House, which everyone should buy on DVD or see on their favorite streaming service.

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The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is out with a new report this week on Police Use of Force, and you know what that means—another sprightly dissent from commission member Gail Heriot. You can read Gail’s take on the report, and how the media misrepresented her views (as usual) here. Gail Heriot is professor of law at the University of San Diego, and has a long track record in the area of civil rights. Steve Hayward sat down with Gail recently to talk through the current state of civil rights, the work of the often politicized U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and how the “mismatch” hypothesis in college admissions has been vindicated, even if the media refuse to admit it.

(Closing bumper music this week is “Find Your Cloud” from Papadosio.)

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Now I know what you’re thinking, and you’d be wrong: the first rule of Conservative Fight Club is that you never shut up about Conservative Fight Club! In this recent lecture for the William F. Buckley Jr Program at Yale (originally titled “Varieties of Conservative Experience” in homage to the famous William James title), Steve Hayward explains the five major subdivisions on the right, and how they differ from—and argue with—one another. In addition to the theoretical differences, Steve explains how you can keep them straight by what kind of fiction they read: traditionalists read Jane Austen; libertarians read science fiction (when they aren’t reading Ayn Rand); neoconservatives read Saul Bellow and Philip Roth; religious conservatives read C.S. Lewis and Tolkien; American conservatives read Mark Twain, and take in the western films of John Ford.

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Scott Johnson joins host Steve Hayward this week for a podcast book party celebrating the launch of a collection of columns from “Ammo Grrrll,” Power Line’s Friday morning humor writer, Susan Vass. Ammo Grrrll Hits the Target is a collection of the first year of Susan’s Power Line columns, which have become a hit with readers. Susan is a retired stand-up comic, and this episode talks about the terrifying world of comedy club performances, where “you either kill or you die,” as Ammo Grrrll puts it; why comics are the most needy performance artists—even more than singers (though she explains why “all singers are chick singers”), and how she got the nickname “Ammo Grrrll” in the first place. She also explains the difference between her previous home in Minnesota, which is “snarky nice,” and her current home of Arizona, where people are truly more polite because more Arizonans are armed. We celebrate some of her best columns on weight loss and sex, because of course we do.

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We’re up early with this week’s edition of the Power Line Show, because Steve Hayward (his voice finally back to about 90 percent) cornered Henry Olsen to get Henry’s Jedi-like outlook on the mid-term election next week. Henry’s not ready yet to make many specific calls—his detailed race-by-race forecast will go up at National Review Online this Sunday night or next Monday morning—but right how he thinks it looks good for the GOP in the Senate, close in the House, and bad for governorships. As a special bonus, we end with a few of his sensible thoughts on how to improve major league baseball.

(Bumper music this week: “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” [something we ask ourselves just about every time we call Henry Olsen] by the Arctic Monkeys, and “Rosalee” by the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.)

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While Steve Hayward continues to nurse his voice back to full strength, this episode of the Power Line Show offers another of Steve’s Yale lectures on conservative philosophy, this time on the topic “Edmund Burke: The First Conservative.” Unfortunately Burke wasn’t available for an interview, so it’s just Steve’s introductory thoughts on why Burke’s writings remain highly relevant to our own times and troubles.

(Bumper music at the end this week is “Recreational Chemistry” by moe.)

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A slight departure for the Power Line Show this week: Steve Hayward has lost his voice (bringing cheer to his critics and enemies), and couldn’t do the author interview planned for this week, so John Hinderaker stepped in to host this episode with special guest. . . Steve Hayward! Just how does that work, you say? Well, Steve is currently giving a series of periodic lectures on conservatism at Yale under the auspices of the William F. Buckley Program at Yale, and in lieu of our usual interview, we decided to drop in Steve’s first lecture on “Conservatism and Its Enemies.” Yes, the title is an homage to Karl Popper’s most famous title, but the theme of the talk is actually an attempt to get away from the central “friends vs. enemies” theme of that other famous Carl (Schmitt), and figure out instead how left and right can better “achieve disagreement.” Another enigmatic phrase? You’ll just have to listen to find out how it works.

End bumper music this week is Perpetual Groove, “All This Everything, Pt. 1.”

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