Another slow news week…yawn. Uh, no. With so much to talk about, we present another super-sized Ricochet Podcast clocking in at just under 90 minutes. We’ve got our pal David French, who wants us to Stop Making Terrible Arguments for Blind Loyalty. That’s followed by two Ricochet members (that’d be Robert McReynolds and Max Ledoux) who wants us to give the President the benefit of the doubt at least some of the time. Seems reasonable, but you won’t want to miss the debate that ensues. Who won? Tell us in the comments. Also, RIP Roger Ailes, the whip smart, innovative, and yes, controversial, creator of Fox News (the Michael Wolff piece Rob refers to about Ailes is here).

Music from this week’s podcast: Happy Family by The Ramones

The all new opening sequence for the Ricochet Podcast was composed and produced by James Lileks.

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Members have made 458 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    Who won? The listeners of course. Com’on guys where is your sense of entertainment?

    • #1
    • May 19, 2017 at 11:27 am
    • Like17 likes
  2. Profile photo of Max Ledoux Admin

    This is why I don’t believe Lileks that NeverTrump is over:

    The NeverTrump Right and anti-Trump Left are joining together to bring down Trump. Never means never. That’s why they have never accepted the legitimacy of Trump’s election and are desperate to destroy him.

    • #2
    • May 19, 2017 at 12:24 pm
    • Like41 likes
  3. Profile photo of BD1 Member
    BD1

    “Blind loyalty” is never wise, but neither is the relentless #resistance to Trump that comes from National Review.

    • #3
    • May 19, 2017 at 12:26 pm
    • Like13 likes
  4. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    This is why I don’t believe Lileks that NeverTrump is over:

    I was looking forward to this thread, but nah. I’m done with this.

    • #4
    • May 19, 2017 at 12:40 pm
    • Like6 likes
  5. Profile photo of NigelT Member

    Well, that went pretty well! 😀

    • #5
    • May 19, 2017 at 1:16 pm
    • Like5 likes
  6. Profile photo of Larry Koler Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    This is why I don’t believe Lileks that NeverTrump is over:

    I was looking forward to this thread, but nah. I’m done with this.

    Something tells me that you aren’t really done. I’ll wait and watch — prove me wrong.

    • #6
    • May 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm
    • Like6 likes
  7. Profile photo of Hammer, The Member

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    This is why I don’t believe Lileks that NeverTrump is over:

    The NeverTrump Right and anti-Trump Left are joining together to bring down Trump. Never means never. That’s why they have never accepted the legitimacy of Trump’s election and are desperate to destroy him.

    I think that tweet is not the same as never Trump, though. Disposing of Trump and overcoming Trumpisim is something that conservatism needs to do; NeverTrump implies that democrats as the alternative is preferable, and I don’t think that’s what Bill Kristol is saying, nor do I think that is in any way a movement within conservatism. The issues with Trump are still there, and the best path forward for conservatives is still to “overcome Trumpism,” but I don’t think that is the same as what most people are implying when they refer to “never Trump.”

    The implication is that people so dislike the man himself, that regardless of what he does or stands for (if he said and did everything they would admire in another politician), they are irrationally opposed to him as a person. I don’t buy that for a second.

    • #7
    • May 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm
    • Like11 likes
  8. Profile photo of NYLibertarianGuy Coolidge

    Max and Robert’s suggestion that Trump understands “Fishtown” problems is the height of ridiculousness. Trump’s unhinged anti-trade rhetoric would, if fully implemented as policy, seriously undermine the economic well-being of all Americans. He might use the form of “Fishtown” speech, and “Fishtown” folks might (in the short term) find it appealing, but in the long run, Trump has no constructive economic policy beyond tax cuts.

    The smugness of Trump supporters is unbelievable. They think that because they predicted Trump would win an election against a deeply unpopular Hillary Clinton, they are the only people who understand “real America.” Complete and utter nonsense.

    Finally, Max is really digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole when he suggests that the media has fabricated all of the allegations of impropriety on Trump’s part. If even a few of the allegations end up being substantiated, you will have to confront those allegations head on instead of whining about the big bad media.

    • #8
    • May 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm
    • Like19 likes
  9. Profile photo of Blondie Thatcher

    Rob and James seemed defensive. Robert and Max did a good job. Thanks for having them on.

    • #9
    • May 19, 2017 at 1:53 pm
    • Like18 likes
  10. Profile photo of N.M. Wiedemer Member

    Judging by the number of listeners vs. people who leave comments, I’d be surprised if the majority of members actually disagree with Rob as wholly and completely as was on display in the podcast.

    I think most non-Trump-fetishists often open the comments to a show they enjoyed, see the well has already been poisoned and move on. There’s too much to do and enjoy in life than argue with otherwise nice people mired in intransigence and emotionally bought into a long con by a low level grifter. Most of us have the reaction of James- “I’m done with this.”

    But the shows are great and I love that you supply interesting voices and a venue for discussion, even if I choose not to engage with it very much anymore. It’s well worth the price of admission to help keep the lights on.

    • #10
    • May 19, 2017 at 1:59 pm
    • Like12 likes
  11. Profile photo of Leslie Watkins Member

    Do you really think, Rob, that the system Trump needs to adjust to is in any meaningful way like, or based on, the one bequeathed by the Founders? Maybe onstage. I can think of lots of things Trump should do to be taken more seriously (not tweeting being the most immediately important), but, no, he’s not the only reason for his failures because what goes on these days in the name of governance is little more than process through sophistry and the divine right of jibber jabber. I mean, what good is it, in a community or social sense, to be as thoughtful and smart as David French clearly is but be unable to just answer a question? Where there can be no use of “yes” or “no”? It’s never what simply happened; it’s always a complex narrative of assertions based on a beginning point that keeps jumping around. I hear a pro like French discuss the law, and I think, oh boy. Here comes the nausea.

    Trump has done a great deal to harm himself. And I agree with Peter that the tweet saying that Comey better hope there weren’t any tapes is beyond belief and highly disturbing. But my concern isn’t with supporting Trump. It’s with supporting democracy even when you don’t care for the victor because it’s clear that, though the press was terrible to George W. Bush, they have since become the self-acknowledged opposition with a level of vitriol and crass hatred of regular Americans that is truly frightening. This freaks me out much more than Trump’s foolishness because it will have a much more lasting impact on the body politic than the administration of the forty-fifth president, whether one term or two.

    [Note: I have edited this post since posting.]

    • #11
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm
    • Like14 likes
  12. Profile photo of Max Ledoux Admin

    NYLibertarianGuy (View Comment):
    If even a few of the allegations end up being substantiated, you will have to confront those allegations head on instead of whining about the big bad media.

    So… you’re saying none of them have been substantiated.

    😂

    • #12
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:36 pm
    • Like13 likes
  13. Profile photo of BD1 Member
    BD1

    “Harvard study: media coverage of Trump’s First 100 days has been 80% negative; CNN, NBC & CBS even higher, 90%+”

    They are big and they are bad.

    • #13
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:49 pm
    • Like9 likes
  14. Profile photo of NYLibertarianGuy Coolidge

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    NYLibertarianGuy (View Comment):
    If even a few of the allegations end up being substantiated, you will have to confront those allegations head on instead of whining about the big bad media.

    So… you’re saying none of them have been substantiated.

    😂

    I suppose I should have said “substantiated to your liking.”

    My problem with your line of argument is that nothing it appears nothing will change your position. When the Comey memo is released, you will say that James Comey is a liar. If Trump admits that the quotations were accurate, you will say it doesn’t matter and that what Trump did was perfectly lawful. If Trump is impeached, you will say it was a political railroad job and that anyone who voted in favor of impeachment must be corrupt. You never hold Trump accountable for his own misconduct.

    • #14
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm
    • Like9 likes
  15. Profile photo of Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    The NeverTrump Right and anti-Trump Left are joining together to bring down Trump. Never means never. That’s why they have never accepted the legitimacy of Trump’s election and are desperate to destroy him.

    You hit the nail on the head Max. They started talking impeachment on November 9.

    • #15
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm
    • Like21 likes
  16. Profile photo of Salvatore Padula Member

    Max, I get that you flatly don’t trust the Times, Post, or media generally. I understand why. My question is who do you trust? Where do you get your news?

    • #16
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm
    • Like5 likes
  17. Profile photo of Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    @roblong — Rob, we all know how you feel about Trump, but you constantly talked over Max and Robert and made it tough to hear their comments. That said, I appreciate the fact that they were invited to be on the podcast. If you decide to have similar guests from the membership in the future, please give them a chance to speak.

    • #17
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm
    • Like22 likes
  18. Profile photo of Salvatore Padula Member

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    The NeverTrump Right and anti-Trump Left are joining together to bring down Trump. Never means never. That’s why they have never accepted the legitimacy of Trump’s election and are desperate to destroy him.

    You hit the nail on the head Max. They started talking impeachment on November 9.

    I was NeverTrump. I accept the legitimacy of his election and don’t want to see him impeached. The second point is subject to revision if facts dictate.

    • #18
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:58 pm
    • Like16 likes
  19. Profile photo of Salvatore Padula Member

    NYLibertarianGuy (View Comment):
    The smugness of Trump supporters is unbelievable. They think that because they predicted Trump would win an election against a deeply unpopular Hillary Clinton, they are the only people who understand “real America.” Complete and utter nonsense.

    I’m inherently skeptical of anyone claiming to speak for “real America.”

    • #19
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm
    • Like16 likes
  20. Profile photo of Salvatore Padula Member

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    Who won? The listeners of course. Com’on guys where is your sense of entertainment?

    Robert, I thought you made you points well. I don’t agree with you on Trump, but your case is certainly not frivolous.

    • #20
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:02 pm
    • Like12 likes
  21. Profile photo of Painter Jean Member

    Listening to Max and Robert make me just plain weary.

    • #21
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:04 pm
    • Like9 likes
  22. Profile photo of Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):
    And I agree with Peter that the tweet saying that Comey better hope there weren’t any tapes is beyond belief and highly disturbing.

    Why? I am under the impression that all the president’s phone calls are recorded for posterity. They used to be. Is it no longer true?

    • #22
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm
    • Like3 likes
  23. Profile photo of Leslie Watkins Member

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):
    And I agree with Peter that the tweet saying that Comey better hope there weren’t any tapes is beyond belief and highly disturbing.

    Why? I am under the impression that all the president’s phone calls are recorded for posterity. They used to be. Is it no longer true?

    I wasn’t clear. It’s not the taping. It’s the inferred threat of “I’ve got stuff on you,” which is how I took the intent (and I think maybe Peter would agree). It sounds Mafia-esque. I don’t know his intention, but I do know he often sounds off triumphantly only to wind up looking foolish. He should try to learn from that. But he doesn’t. So in that way, I guess, it’s a kind of small tragedy as well as infuriating. I really kind of feel for the guy. I get the sense he wants to be a good president—a great president. And I think he could be better than he’s being if his buttons weren’t constantly being pushed. If I were a president—or even a CEO or high-level manager—I would want tapes to be on whenever people were in my office.

    • #23
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:22 pm
    • Like3 likes
  24. Profile photo of John Davey Member

    I agree with Peter’s assessment of Senator Sasse’s position on how the President is conducting himself in office. The left/the media will pursue the president relentlessly.
    Has the president made mistakes?
    Of course.
    Is he shooting himself in the foot?
    Yes.
    Is the media being outrageous and unfair in their coverage of the president?
    Clearly.

    But if we can’t identify that the President has suspect judgement, and has made errors in the past five months, we’re ignoring reality. Complete fealty to any politician is an exercise in folly.

    Who won?

    Adherents of Nathan Thurm-ism.

    • #24
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:28 pm
    • Like6 likes
  25. Profile photo of Rightfromthestart Thatcher

    Really Peter ,Lieberman? Have you not learned the earlier lessons on these ‘moderate’ Democrats , like Lieberman , Moynihan and others, they sound oh so reasonable , almost like Republicans , maybe we can entice them ‘across the aisle’ so to speak , but when the final vote comes they take their orders and it’s partisan Democrat all the way down.

    • #25
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:30 pm
    • Like11 likes
  26. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder

    Blondie (View Comment):
    Rob and James seemed defensive. Robert and Max did a good job. Thanks for having them on.

    I agree with the second part!

    • #26
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:41 pm
    • Like8 likes
  27. Profile photo of Bryan G. Stephens Reagan

    I liked it.

    • #27
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:42 pm
    • Like3 likes
  28. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):
    Do you really think, Rob, that the system Trump needs to adjust to is in any meaningful way like, or based on, the one bequeathed by the Founders? I can think of lots of things he should do to be taken more seriously (not tweeting being the most important), but, no, he’s not the only reason for his failures because what goes on these days in the name of governance is little more than protocol by sophistry and the divine right of jibber jabber. I mean, what good is it, in a community or social sense, to be as smart as David French, so smart in fact that you can’t just answer a question? Where there is no “yes” or “no”? It’s never what simply happened; it’s always a complex narrative of assertions based on a beginning point that jumps around. I hear a pro like French discuss the law, and I think, oh boy. Here comes the nausea.

    Trump has done a great deal to harm himself. And I agree with Peter that the tweet saying that Comey better hope there weren’t any tapes is beyond belief and highly disturbing. But my concern isn’t with supporting Trump. It’s with supporting democracy even when you don’t care for the victor because it’s clear that, though the press was terrible to George W. Bush, they have since become the self-acknowledged opposition with a level of vitriol and crass hatred of regular Americans that is truly frightening. This freaks me out much more than Trump’s foolishness because it will have a much more lasting impact on the body politic than the administration of the forty-fifth president, whether one term or two.

    I agree with this — or at least most of it. My point is that the Founders envisioned a hobbled and hemmed-in chief executive –they purpose-built a government around that core idea — and if you want to be an effective president, and want to have a lasting impact, you have to be adroit and know how to cajole and compromise and threaten and bribe and all sorts of things. A lot of what we call “the swamp” is just that. (A lot of it isn’t, like lobbyists and revolving doors and people on foreign payrolls, etc.) And if Trump wants to get his policies enacted, he’d better pull himself together, get coached on what the presidency means and how it works, and then start behaving in a smarter and more disciplined way. I simply don’t accept that this is “Never Trumpism” or anything other than good faith criticism. Look, I don’t like the guy. But I want him to succeed. But if you do like the guy, you should be offering him some serious Tough Love right about now, not more excuses and pampering.

    • #28
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:49 pm
    • Like17 likes
  29. Profile photo of Annefy Member

    Rob: take heed this advice from Scott Adams. And I declare that you lost bigly during your discussion on the podcast.

    Absurd Absolute

    An absurd absolute is a restatement of the other person’s reasonable position as an absurd absolute. For example, if your point is there is high crime in Detroit, the absurd absolute would be your debate opponent saying something such as “So, you’re saying every person in Detroit is a criminal.” When your debate opponent recasts your opinion to include an “absolute” word, such as every, always, never, all, completely, universally, and the like, you are seeing cognitive dissonance.

    • #29
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:52 pm
    • Like12 likes
  30. Profile photo of Leslie Watkins Member

    Rob Long (View Comment):

    I agree with this — or at least most of it. My point is that the Founders envisioned a hobbled and hemmed-in chief executive –they purpose-built a government around that core idea — and if you want to be an effective president, and want to have a lasting impact, you have to be adroit and know how to cajole and compromise and threaten and bribe and all sorts of things. A lot of what we call “the swamp” is just that. (A lot of it isn’t, like lobbyists and revolving doors and people on foreign payrolls, etc.) And if Trump wants to get his policies enacted, he’d better pull himself together, get coached on what the presidency means and how it works, and then start behaving in a smarter and more disciplined way. I simply don’t accept that this is “Never Trumpism” or anything other than good faith criticism. Look, I don’t like the guy. But I want him to succeed. But if you do like the guy, you should be offering him some serious Tough Love right about now, not more excuses and pampering.

    I totally agree. I worry, though, that there’s no kinda love gonna fix this guy. My hope is that the framework of his administration will lead to some good stuff. One example comes to mind: the change in tone on how to deal with immigration. (In other words, I like him more for the thing that makes Ann Coulter like him less!)

    Also, just wanted to say that I was touched by your push-back about Jonah. I thought Robert McReynolds did really really well but also did not agree with his assessment of Jonah. You put it very well, and he listened. He put other things well, and you all listened. Go Ricochet!

    • #30
    • May 19, 2017 at 4:05 pm
    • Like11 likes
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