Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for September 19, 2017 it’s the #AmnestyDon does DACA edition of the show with your hosts Todd Feinburg, Boston/Hartford axis radio talk show host and Mike Stopa, nanophysicist. This week on the show we discuss amnesty – amnesty for “Dreamers” – those poor kids who, through no fault of their own were dragged to America as children and who have known no other country but America. It would be cruel, wouldn’t it, to take out their parents’ sins on the kids? Really, we’re going to just put them on a bus or a plane and send them back to a country they hardly even know? Really?

Yes, you know. This is the new Trump ideology. This is Rick Perry’s heart and Jeb Bush’s love. This is exactly what caused a major section of the Republican Party and otherwise conservative folks to abandon the GOPe. This is giving sympathy to the law breakers and forgetting the once forgotten then briefly remembered and then forgotten again American people who have borne the brunt of the illegal onslaught and who don’t feel an ounce of that sympathy. This is the kind of thing that leads to burning MAGA hats.

Note: we expect gloating from the #NeverTrumpers. We can deal with it. All I can say is that our eyes were always open.

We will then, just to get to a more fun place, talk about “click-bait” ads. What on earth is going on with that? Who are they targeting? How do they make money? Do you ever click through?

Our shower thoughts, of course. Then our hidden gem is the Theme from Once Upon a Time in the West by Ennio Morricone. This one is worth waiting around for, trust me. The movie is terrific too.

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There are 29 comments.

  1. Coolidge

    Putting the DACA language aside, I totally do not understand the refrain that Donald Trump is the “most conservative” president in our lifetimes. That’s demonstrably not true, and it undermines credibility unless the word “conservative” doesn’t have much meaning in political discourse. Perhaps the word doesn’t mean anything anymore? This is not an anti-Trump thing, btw. It’s just a political dictionary thing. Trump has appointed some truly conservative judges, which I appreciate and applaud, but Trump himself isn’t a conservative president.

    • #1
    • September 19, 2017 at 6:42 am
    • 4 likes
  2. Inactive
    BD1

    I’m glad your support for Trump is based on him actually following through on his promises, and not just a cult of personality.

    • #2
    • September 19, 2017 at 7:02 am
    • Like
  3. Podcaster

    BD1 (View Comment):
    I’m glad your support for Trump is based on him actually following through on his promises, and not just a cult of personality.

    Truly I have *never* been a fan of Trump’s personality. I think he has a kind of genius to cut through the horsefeathers and shake people up. But he had me because he was the most hardline on immigration. And even if he betrays most of his promises he is probably still better than the other 16 GOPe candidates would have been on the issue. Here I am bemoaning him saying things that sound like Jeb Bush. That is horrible, of course, but there has been some value after all in Trump having at least whispered the names of the forgotten people who are fed up with letting our country go to the dogs (in some cases literally). Sad that he is forgetting them now, too.

    • #3
    • September 19, 2017 at 7:47 am
    • 6 likes
  4. Admin

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I totally do not understand the refrain that Donald Trump is the “most conservative” president in our lifetimes. That’s demonstrably not true

    Can you demonstrate how it’s not true? Are you saying that he’s not the most conservative, but still conservative, or that he’s not conservative at all, except for his judicial nominees, which you did mention?

    • #4
    • September 19, 2017 at 7:48 am
    • Like
  5. Admin

    Michael Stopa (View Comment):
    Sad that he is forgetting them now, too.

    Begs the question, in my opinion.

    • #5
    • September 19, 2017 at 7:49 am
    • Like
  6. Coolidge

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I totally do not understand the refrain that Donald Trump is the “most conservative” president in our lifetimes. That’s demonstrably not true

    Can you demonstrate how it’s not true? Are you saying that he’s not the most conservative, but still conservative, or that he’s not conservative at all, except for his judicial nominees, which you did mention?

    I personally don’t find many aspects of Trump to be “conservative” per how that word has been used for most of my lifetime. However, my objection is to the constant use of the superlative, which I find rhetorically bankrupt.

    I mean, I suppose you can argue about this or that policy initiative as being a more conservative result, but I can’t get to “most” no matter how I dice this administration.

    For example, we can look at judges. Trump is killing it here with good appointments, though I don’t know how much of that comes down to the man Trump. (I don’t understand why other people don’t think a different Republican would not have made a similar appointment.)

    Still. Let’s say Gorsuch is all the Donald. Super conservative guy, right? Gorsuch is an acolyte of Clarence Thomas, even if Gorsuch clerked for Kennedy.

    Soooo, Trump gets a point for a conservative appointment, but is that appointment more conservative than Thomas? Is the point bigger than that scored by the Republican who appointed him?

    Um. No.

    Thereby if “conservative” is judged purely through the prism of the appointment of Gorsuch, you can’t get to “the most conservative president in my lifetime” if born before the Thomas appointment.

    Heck.

    Per the benchmark of single judges, Samuel Alito is pretty awesome.

    “Most” is bandied about too often and becomes meaningless.

    • #6
    • September 19, 2017 at 8:18 am
    • Like
  7. Coolidge

    Michael Stopa (View Comment):

    BD1 (View Comment):
    I’m glad your support for Trump is based on him actually following through on his promises, and not just a cult of personality.

    Truly I have *never* been a fan of Trump’s personality. I think he has a kind of genius to cut through the horsefeathers and shake people up. But he had me because he was the most hardline on immigration. And even if he betrays most of his promises he is probably still better than the other 16 GOPe candidates would have been on the issue. Here I am bemoaning him saying things that sound like Jeb Bush. That is horrible, of course, but there has been some value after all in Trump having at least whispered the names of the forgotten people who are fed up with letting our country go to the dogs (in some cases literally). Sad that he is forgetting them now, too.

    I think any of the 16 candidates would have been vastly superior. Trump’s immigration stance was a con game from the beginning, as was his entire campaign. As for the forgotten people? They were used and promptly forgotten again. Just wait until Trump hears Chuckie expound on gun control. Trump is easily swayed in any direction.

    • #7
    • September 19, 2017 at 8:22 am
    • 1 like
  8. Thatcher

    Mike hits the bull’s eye intellectually, emotionally and politically.

    Todd’s playing a tactical long-game we can’t win. Does anyone expect “massive” internal and external enforcement funding, E-Verify, and genuine breaks on chain migration?

    And how does Trump challenge the GOP establishment by dealing on the issue that warms their hearts and sends chills down his supporters’ spines?

    A deal on massive blue collar infrastructure with solid E-Verify measures? There’s an idea. A massive tax cut with little direct help for the 1% or Wall Street? That’s a clever trickle-up move.

    How about a Dreamers deal that wakes everyone up from the dream? One limited to kids brought here as pre-teens, with military service or genuine academic achievement and with no criminal records?

    Honestly, what dreamboats are many of these “kids” anyway. Most are in their mid-twenties. There’s a natural life stage that can change their statuses (in many, many ways guys). Do these dreamboats have some rare form of halitosis that prevent them from parlaying their “best of us” qualities into a marriage?

    • #8
    • September 19, 2017 at 8:26 am
    • 1 like
  9. Thatcher

    And the Borges short story for this episode is “The Theme of the Traitor and the Hero.”

    • #9
    • September 19, 2017 at 8:31 am
    • Like
  10. Admin

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    However, my objection is to the constant use of the superlative, which I find rhetorically bankrupt.

    Yeah, I get what you’re saying. I generally shy away from such excessive pronouncements.

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    Trump is killing it here with good appointments, though I don’t know how much of that comes down to the man Trump

    100%. If he had not been elected it would not be happening.

    • #10
    • September 19, 2017 at 8:43 am
    • 4 likes
  11. Inactive
    BD1
    • #11
    • September 19, 2017 at 8:48 am
    • 1 like
  12. Coolidge

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    However, my objection is to the constant use of the superlative, which I find rhetorically bankrupt.

    Yeah, I get what you’re saying. I generally shy away from such excessive pronouncements.

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    Trump is killing it here with good appointments, though I don’t know how much of that comes down to the man Trump

    100%. If he had not been elected it would not be happening.

    We are on the same page for most of this :) “Excessive pronouncements” is a good way to phrase it.

    I will also 100% agree that the gains in the judiciary would not be happening with a Clinton presidency. I don’t agree that they wouldn’t be happening if another Republican had been elected, but it doesn’t matter because we have what we’ve got!

    • #12
    • September 19, 2017 at 8:58 am
    • 1 like
  13. Inactive

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    Putting the DACA language aside, I totally do not understand the refrain that Donald Trump is the “most conservative” president in our lifetimes.

    I call this irony in light of Romney, McCain, and Bush (es). (Which is my lifetime)

    • #13
    • September 19, 2017 at 9:12 am
    • 4 likes
  14. Coolidge

    Stina (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    Putting the DACA language aside, I totally do not understand the refrain that Donald Trump is the “most conservative” president in our lifetimes.

    I call this irony in light of Romney, McCain, and Bush (es). (Which is my lifetime)

    While one may argue about any of these people’s “conservative credentials” when compared with Trump’s, I could make a point by point case about different policies they all had–or different positions Trump has had–and still not come up with the over all “most conservative” for this administration per my understanding of what that word has meant for most of my life.

    Neither Romney nor McCain were presidents either, so it’s hard to judge what their actions would have been. (The podcast here discards some of Trump’s rhetoric per the shifting demands of the office, so who knows? Either Romney or McCain would have been much better than Obama.)

    Perhaps you’re younger than me as well since I notice you left out Reagan?

    So… Yeah. I don’t see the irony when criticizing the use of the superlative…

    • #14
    • September 19, 2017 at 9:33 am
    • Like
  15. Inactive

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t see the irony when criticizing the use of the superlative…

    Your criticism isn’t the irony.

    The use of the superlative is ironic by those who use it.

    Those who support Trump and use it are doing so to illustrate how not conservative other presidential candidates were, yet were supported anyway. I understand you have arguments against this. I read them. I don’t agree.

    Those who don’t like Trump and use it are making fun of Trump supporters, so still ironic.

    My lifetime had Clinton and Obama as presidents, so still more conservative than them.

    I was born 83, so I was 6 when Reagan left office. While technically my lifetime, I reasonably have no memory.

    • #15
    • September 19, 2017 at 9:45 am
    • Like
  16. Coolidge

    Stina (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t see the irony when criticizing the use of the superlative…

    Your criticism isn’t the irony.

    The use of the superlative is ironic by those who use it.

    Those who support Trump and use it are doing so to illustrate how not conservative other presidential candidates were, yet were supported anyway. I understand you have arguments against this. I read them. I don’t agree.

    Those who don’t like Trump and use it are making fun of Trump supporters, so still ironic.

    My lifetime had Clinton and Obama as presidents, so still more conservative than them.

    I was born 83, so I was 6 when Reagan left office. While technically my lifetime, I reasonably have no memory.

    I will agree that The Trump administration has had policy initiatives that are more conservative than those of Obama, though Bill Clinton moved right after his first midterm spanking.

    In many ways Trump and the first Clinton are actually similar in that I don’t think they are very ideology driven guys, and they both lack any really substantive social conservative credibility outside of having raised kids who like them. (Hillary is a different creature. She is much more progressive than Bill.)

    But I see we agree on some level anyway if “most” is being used ironically.

    Okay. :)

    • #16
    • September 19, 2017 at 10:03 am
    • Like
  17. Thatcher

    I think we are burying the lede in the comments.

    Mike asserts that Trump is “done” if he abandons his base emotionally over DACA.

    Look at the fierce reaction to Trump’s first outright sell out of his base (the debt ceiling/funding move was inside basebal; actually a hard inside pitch to Ryan/McConnell).

    From establishment Trumpers like Ingraham to paleopopulists like Buchanan to Derbyshire on the there-be-witches edge of the right the reaction was instant and incandescent.

    But weren’t these Trumpers captured by some political scientology and made slavish Trump drones?

    At least that was the line from the DC conservative caucus that supported George W. Bush through a federal takeover of education, a massive Medicare expansion, the creation of the federal espionage state, lethal non-action in Iran and North Korea and a doubling of the national debt.

    So who exactly are the slavish drones?

    • #17
    • September 19, 2017 at 10:31 am
    • 2 likes
  18. Coolidge

    @quakevoter

    I don’t call most Trump voters “slavish drones,” though there are always *some* of these uncritical sycophants for *all* politicians as some people pull levers purely along partisan lines or per one identity interest or a whole host of emotional attachments.

    They existed for Hillary, too.

    However, I’ve never understood the strange lack of appreciation for the Bush calculus that always existed as well.

    I mean, I liked W but was certainly critical of government expansion. There was no slavish devotion from me.

    But… who were my options again?

    Let’s see… McCain gave W a run for the money in a primary, and I disliked him (though he was better than Obama.)

    Should I have shown my displeasure for Bush by voting for Gore or Kerry????? For McCain or Romney by voting for Obama?

    It’s always a binary choice after the primaries.

    • #18
    • September 19, 2017 at 10:48 am
    • Like
  19. Thatcher

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    It’s always a binary choice after the primaries.

    No argument there Lois. My comments are directed at the DC conservative caucus who denied that. Hillary would have given the same speech at the UN today, right?

    And what’s the difference between Nikki Haley and Samantha Power anyway.

    Other than a special and abiding love for this country, that is.

    • #19
    • September 19, 2017 at 11:08 am
    • 2 likes
  20. Coolidge

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    It’s always a binary choice after the primaries.

    No argument there Lois. My comments are directed at the DC conservative caucus who denied that. Hillary would have given the same speech at the UN today, right?

    And what’s the difference between Nikki Haley and Samantha Power anyway.

    Other than a special and abiding love for this country, that is.

    I think Samantha had to take a lot of showers to feel okay during her tenure. There was a lot of intellectual dissonance on her part per her work in the past and then how she had to reconcile her work under Obama.

    I simply never want to be Samantha.

    That said, I am looking forward to hearing Trump’s speech though I haven’t had that much time at work.

    I take Trump day-by-day and either criticize or praise per which seems the most appropriate. ;)

    • #20
    • September 19, 2017 at 11:59 am
    • 1 like
  21. Thatcher

    Michael Stopa: This is giving sympathy to the law breakers and forgetting the once forgotten then briefly remembered and then forgotten again American people who have borne the brunt of the illegal onslaught and who don’t feel an ounce of that sympathy. This is the kind of thing that leads to burning MAGA hats.

    There’s a brilliant quotation at the conclusion of today’s sorrowful piece by Mark Steyn that drives home this point:

    ‘Margaret Thatcher famously said that the problem with socialism was that you eventually run out of other people’s money. Similarly, the problem with open borders lunacy is that eventually you run out of other people’s neighbourhoods.’

    • #21
    • September 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm
    • 2 likes
  22. Member

    Just finished the podcast and it was excellent. It was a great representation of how two Trump voters can see his actions very differently, one drawing a line in the proverbial sand, the other ready to perhaps walk with Trump down a different path. I find myself pinging back and forth a bit:

    Give us the wall, a real border barrier (nothing “virtual”), and we can talk about the DACA folks.

    Then again why yield, why “deal”, they’re lawbreakers and need to go, period. See, I go back and forth…

    Anyway, great podcast and it’s nice to hear a genuine debate about Trumps policy and politics by two intelligent people who both voted for the guy.

    • #22
    • September 20, 2017 at 6:03 am
    • 1 like
  23. Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    I totally do not understand the refrain that Donald Trump is the “most conservative” president in our lifetimes. That’s demonstrably not true

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):Can you demonstrate how it’s not true? Are you saying that he’s not the most conservative, but still conservative, or that he’s not conservative at all, except for his judicial nominees, which you did mention?

    Lois Lane (View Comment): I personally … I mean, I suppose you can argue about this or that policy initiative as ….

    In other words, no. You didn’t even try to demonstrate how it’s not true.

    Personally, I think Trump’s “policy” positions can only be determined by retrospectively analyzing his actions. In foreign policy, Trump is killing it: ISIS-controlled territory has been reduced to zero; North Korea, Russia, and China are being engaged, not appeased; Israel is being treated as the powerful ally that it is. Domestically, Trump has assembled a far more conservative and competent cabinet than even Reagan did. Trump has signed many bills and executive orders dramatically curtailing the regulatory state. Trump has signalled clearly that the EPA needs to be restrained. Betsy DeVos has retracted the Department of Education’s disastrous “dear colleague” letter policies that aggressively denied due process to college students involved in accusations of sexual harassment.

    Lois Lane (View Comment):For example, we can look at judges. Trump is killing it here with good appointments, though I don’t know how much of that comes down to the man Trump. (I don’t understand why other people don’t think a different Republican would not have made a similar appointment.)

    Lois, were you not paying attention? Over 8 years, GWBush was very good at nominating conservative judges. Yet he nominated Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. If there’s a single turkey in any of Trump’s judicial nominations, I’ve not heard of it.

    On this podcast, I think Stopa is way off. He’s reacting emotionally, which is how Democrats govern. As Ben Shapiro often says, facts don’t care about your feelings. The fact remains that llegal immigration is dramatically lower since Trump’s inauguration, and will surely remain so. Get Mark Krikorian and Mickey Kaus on the HLC podcast, and let’s get their take on whether Trump is “done” with his illegal immigration-focused supporters.

    • #23
    • September 20, 2017 at 10:35 am
    • Like
  24. Coolidge

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    I totally do not understand the refrain that Donald Trump is the “most conservative” president in our lifetimes. That’s demonstrably not true

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):Can you demonstrate how it’s not true?

    Lois Lane (View Comment): I personally … I mean, I suppose you can argue about this or that policy initiative as ….

    In other words, no. You didn’t even try to demonstrate how it’s not true.

    Actually, I expounded on my point and gave an example, which @MaxLedoux, a staunch Trump supporter, felt was legitimate. I think “most conservative” is silly rhetoric.

    In foreign policy, Trump is killing it: ISIS-controlled territory has been reduced to zero; North Korea, Russia, and China are being engaged, not appeased; Israel is being treated as the powerful ally that it is.

    Bush surged in Iraq and stabilized it. Bush was a die hard partner of Israel. Iran deals weren’t being renewed under Bush. You can disagree with Bush’s support of China in the WTO, but his position was one of pragmatic realism, and I don’t know what real shifts Trump has made there.

    Domestically, Trump has assembled a far more conservative and competent cabinet than even Reagan did.

    While I like members of his cabinet, that’s a completely subjective assessment on your part, and he’s tried to force his own AG from office.

    Trump has signed many bills and executive orders dramatically curtailing the regulatory state.

    He has dismantled some of the Obama administration’s initiatives, which is great, but I believe any other Republican would have done this. He has not passed any major legislation per his own policy goals.

    Trump has signalled clearly that the EPA needs to be restrained.

    He’s decided he might get back into the Paris Climate accords.

    Betsy DeVos has retracted the Department of Education’s disastrous “dear colleague” letter policies that aggressively denied due process to college students involved in accusations of sexual harassment.

    I like Betsy. I applaud her efforts.

    Lois Lane (View Comment):For example, we can look at judges. Trump is killing it here with good appointments, though I don’t know how much of that comes down to the man Trump. (I don’t understand why other people don’t think a different Republican would not have made a similar appointment.)

    Lois, were you not paying attention?

    Uh, yes?

    GWBush… nominated Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. If there’s a single turkey in any of Trump’s judicial nominations, I’ve not heard of it.

    To remind you, Bush’s first nomination was John Roberts. Miers was a mistake, but then there was Alito. Also, Trump has been there for 9 months.

    As Ben Shapiro often says, facts don’t care about your feelings.

    Shapiro would laugh at the “most conservative” label on Trump.

    The fact remains that illegal immigration is dramatically lower since Trump’s inauguration….

    Okay.

    I wonder what Chuck & Nancy got?

    • #24
    • September 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    • Like
  25. Thatcher

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I wonder what Chuck & Nancy got?

    That’s the overhanging question, right?

    If Trump signs on to a DACA deal which effectively codifies DACA, creating renewable 2-year work permits for 700,000 with no pathway to citizenship, and gets E-Verify, security infrastructure and more funding for courts to expedite those “who are at fault”, he can spin the deal effectively whatever his on-the-spot understanding with Chuck and Nancy might have been.

    If Trump signs up for Durbin and Graham’s Dream Act monstrosity, then he had better watch out for Tom Cotton in 2019.

    • #25
    • September 20, 2017 at 2:08 pm
    • 2 likes
  26. Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    I totally do not understand the refrain that Donald Trump is the “most conservative” president in our lifetimes. That’s demonstrably not true

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):Can you demonstrate how it’s not true? Are you saying that he’s not the most conservative, but still conservative, or that he’s not conservative at all, except for his judicial nominees, which you did mention?

    Lois Lane (View Comment): I personally … I mean, I suppose you can argue about this or that policy initiative as ….

    In other words, no. You didn’t even try to demonstrate how it’s not true.

    Actually, I expounded on my point and gave an example, which @MaxLedoux, a staunch Trump supporter, felt was legitimate. I think “most conservative” is silly rhetoric.

    All I saw was a repeat of your positive review of the Gorsuch nomination, which the original questioner noted.

    So your only complaint is the adjective? Yet you admit that the adjective is appropriate if limited to judicial nominations, right?

    The actions of the Trump administration in its first 9 months are demonstrably more conservative (as in the examples I demonstrabled above) than any Republican administrations’ actions in my or Todd Feinburg’s lifetime. By this time in the GWBush administration, I’m pretty sure Bush had begun to promote the expansion of Medicare, which he signed into law before moving on to Ted Kennedy’s disastrous education bill.

    I get the anxiety regarding Trump’s conservatism. I was furious with Reince Priebus for even permitting Trump – a lifelong Democrat who had never voted in a single Republican primary – to be eligible for the Republican Party nomination. As I pointed out, Trump doesn’t talk policy. But Trump acts, and Trump’s actions are demonstrably conservative.

    What other Republican president’s actions have you nitpicked so critically?

    • #26
    • September 20, 2017 at 2:24 pm
    • Like
  27. Coolidge

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I wonder what Chuck & Nancy got?

    That’s the overhanging question, right?

    If Trump signs on to a DACA deal which effectively codifies DACA, creating renewable 2-year work permits for 700,000 with no pathway to citizenship, and gets E-Verify, security infrastructure and more funding for courts to expedite those “who are at fault”, he can spin the deal effectively whatever his on-the-spot understanding with Chuck and Nancy might have been.

    If Trump signs up for Durbin and Graham’s Dream Act monstrosity, then he had better watch out for Tom Cotton in 2019.

    Sure. And we just don’t know.

    • #27
    • September 20, 2017 at 2:56 pm
    • Like
  28. Coolidge

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    I totally do not understand the refrain that Donald Trump is the “most conservative” president in our lifetimes. That’s demonstrably not true

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):Can you demonstrate how it’s not true? Are you saying that he’s not the most conservative, but still conservative, or that he’s not conservative at all, except for his judicial nominees, which you did mention?

    Lois Lane (View Comment): I personally … I mean, I suppose you can argue about this or that policy initiative as ….

    In other words, no. You didn’t even try to demonstrate how it’s not true.

    Actually, I expounded on my point and gave an example, which @MaxLedoux, a staunch Trump supporter, felt was legitimate. I think “most conservative” is silly rhetoric.

    All I saw was a repeat of your positive review of the Gorsuch nomination, which the original questioner noted.

    So your only complaint is the adjective? Yet you admit that the adjective is appropriate if limited to judicial nominations, right?

    The actions of the Trump administration in its first 9 months are demonstrably more conservative (as in the examples I demonstrabled above) than any Republican administrations’ actions in my or Todd Feinburg’s lifetime. By this time in the GWBush administration, I’m pretty sure Bush had begun to promote the expansion of Medicare, which he signed into law before moving on to Ted Kennedy’s disastrous education bill.

    I get the anxiety regarding Trump’s conservatism. I was furious with Reince Priebus for even permitting Trump – a lifelong Democrat who had never voted in a single Republican primary – to be eligible for the Republican Party nomination. As I pointed out, Trump doesn’t talk policy. But Trump acts, and Trump’s actions are demonstrably conservative.

    What other Republican president’s actions have you nitpicked so critically?

    First, no. “Most conservative” would definitely not hold up if Gorsuch is the measure because there are other super conservative judges like Thomas and Alito. It would be very hard for Gorsuch to be *more* conservative than Thomas, though I think their opinions have aligned thus far.

    Second, I nitpick *all* politicians the same amount actually. Call me a healthy skeptic of pretty much every one of them. I can’t take you in a time machine back to Bush, so you’ll have to just take my word for it.

    Perhaps I’m older than you are and thus have more presidents in my lifetime, but Donald Trump is not the “most conservative.”

    I don’t know why you’re nitpicking the point!!!!

    :)

    Goodness, friend.

    I’m not even ripping on Donald Trump here. Rather I’m giving my opinion about the language used in a podcast!

    It will be a very long time before I make up my mind about Trump’s record. He’s barely moved into the White House!!!

    • #28
    • September 20, 2017 at 3:14 pm
    • Like
  29. Contributor

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    Putting the DACA language aside, I totally do not understand the refrain that Donald Trump is the “most conservative” president in our lifetimes. That’s demonstrably not true, and it undermines credibility unless the word “conservative” doesn’t have much meaning in political discourse. Perhaps the word doesn’t mean anything anymore? This is not an anti-Trump thing, btw. It’s just a political dictionary thing. Trump has appointed some truly conservative judges, which I appreciate and applaud, but Trump himself isn’t a conservative president.

    A look at the war against free speech going on at American Universities provides a snapshot of how successfully the left has transformed the fallback beliefs of our society from basic conservative, constitutional values to a leftwing, Castro-style perspective. That Trump is more conservative than any GOP president since World War II is more than just a policy or three that are conservative, it has to do with his boldness in attacking the PC redefinition of what American values are. This could certainly change, as all presidents seem to become less ideological in the White House and Trump has never shown an ideological bone, but he is boldly conservative right now – not just in action but in smashing the ideological climate change the left has perpetrated over the last generation or two.

    While One Child Left Behind has led to 15 years of expanded federal meddling in education, the bigger loss, for me, is that we had a Republican president in W. who wasn’t out there talking about how the federal government has no role in education, that local control is better, that democratic values should be our fallback rather than pushing through more centralized special-interest control. Likewise, his Medicare expansion normalized the idea of expanded government at a time when the opposite argument needed to be made. Betsy DeVos is arguing for the American system with the policies she’s pushing, and normalizing the beliefs of our founders, and that’s huge.

    Seeing the Justice Department taking on the left-wing lust for artificially enlarging the race divide by investigating local police departments for racial inequities in pullovers or arrests is a joy – states can run their own police departments, thank you very much, and bust them when there are abuses. I’m thrilled to see Jeff Sessions quietly dismantling this hyper-interventionism, an attempt to return us to a normal American system before race was used as an excuse to abandon it. I read Trump’s attacks on Sessions as a reaction to his wimpy bureaucratic instincts. Sessions didn’t grasp the monumental moment that we are in and the need to fight.

    Over-regulation is a burden on business and the free movement of capitalism that is a critical democratic value – we vote with our dollars, we start businesses in response to demand and as driven by our passions. American greatness depends more on this free speech than on political free speech – to be able to adjust to the demands of the market with immediacy is what made us great and what can keep us great, so the move to un-encumber our society from piles of misguided, useless and destructive regulation is vital. Likewise we need a major tax code revision – hopefully the focus of this legislation will end up being on a simplified code that frees up business to do business not hire accountants. Similar moves are being made to weaken regulations at the EPA, a pendulum swing that is sorely needed.

    When Trump breaks the contrivance that one can’t discuss the dangers of radical Islam without risking the alienation of all Islam, this also represents a critical push back against the PC attempt to limit free speech by narrowing the scope of what can be said. You can’t have rational immigration policy if a free policy debate is curbed by destroying the reputations of those who state the obvious. The power structure seems wildly scared of Trump for his willingness to do/state the obvious, and we can’t be conservative if the left is allowed to define the expression of conservative ideas as hate speech. More importantly, the truth that the left is the party of hate can’t be discussed until this barrier is removed.

    While Obama loved to talk about having national conversations on race, he was a careful tightrope walker (as he was on virtually all matters) on the subject, and avoided those conversations but for politically contrived toe dips. We are now engaged in a conversation on race that offers the opportunity to do more than observe the tip of the iceberg because Trump goes boldly where others have run in fear. Eventually, the GOP must gain mastery of this conversation as it will be forced, soon, to campaign for minority votes. It is important for conservatives to learn how to win this argument, to explain the clear but invisible fact that it is Democrats who are the party of racism, whose policies keep minorities down – it is in urban America, a left wing O and O, where Black Lives face violence, bad education, lack of economic opportunity and activity – all made possible by the destructive impact of the Dem’s partnership with public sector unions. Republicans must make this case.

    • #29
    • September 25, 2017 at 3:10 pm
    • 4 likes