The Rigged Podcast

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club podcast for October 18, 2016 it’s the Rigged Podcast edition of the show. We are thrilled to have the chance this week to talk matters philosophical and transcendent (and Supreme Court) during our exclusive interview with Emily Bazelon of the New York Times Magazine and the Slate Political Gabfest who joins us again at HLC.

The Trump Train continues to clatter down the tracks and the days of rigorous speeches and focused message in late August and early September that brought the race to parity seems to be a thing of the past. Trump continues to draw tens of thousands but The Donald’s focus seems to be on polls and process. We discuss this and we also discuss a powerful piece by Hoover Institution historian and overall conservative big cheese Victor Davis Hanson – in The National Review no less – arguing the case for conservatives to vote for Trump. (We thought that was a no-brainer long ago).

We’ll have our shower thoughts and our hidden gem for this week is Buster Poindexter’s cover of Castle in Spain from Disney’s Babes in Toyland.

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There are 17 comments.

  1. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    I enjoyed the podcast. Emily Bazelon didn’t have much of merit to say. She was, however, refreshing compared to others of her political bent in that she didn’t seem to be foaming at the mouth. I would really love to hear an honest Liberal talk about Hillary with the same level of honesty that we discuss Trump. I don’t suppose that that will ever happen because for us it is politics, for them religion.

    • #1
    • October 18, 2016, at 9:20 AM PDT
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  2. rebark Inactive

    I always find it remarkable how foreign and mystifying the ideas of Never Trump people are to the HLC hosts. The utter bafflement with which they confront the fact that people looked at the same facts that they did and reached a different conclusion.

    My first inclination is to blame my own side for failing to explain itself well, but there has been so much ink spilled on the subject that I can’t help but wonder whether there is a certain willful blindness to their approach. For the tired old argument of “just admit you’re for Hillary” to be trotted out requires an astonishing level of misunderstanding.

    To put it simply: I do not see a lesser evil. I doubt that there is an iota of difference between us in terms of how negatively we perceive Hillary – she will be terrible for the country and terrible for conservatism. Trump might implement the occasional conservative policy, but he will destroy what little reputation conservatism has. I believe he would do at best a mediocre job as President that would be spun into such a disaster by the media that his election would pave the way for even worse Leftist ideologues down the road. I can’t tell you which is worse, and so I can only tell you that I don’t want to have supported either.

    I hope they have some good conversations at tomorrow’s Ricochet debate watching event.

    • #2
    • October 18, 2016, at 10:13 AM PDT
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  3. Michael Stopa Podcaster

    rebark:I always find it remarkable how foreign and mystifying the ideas of Never Trump people are to the HLC hosts. The utter bafflement with which they confront the fact that people looked at the same facts that they did and reached a different conclusion.

    My first inclination is to blame my own side for failing to explain itself well, but there has been so much ink spilled on the subject that I can’t help but wonder whether there is a certain willful blindness to their approach. For the tired old argument of “just admit you’re for Hillary” to be trotted out requires an astonishing level of misunderstanding.

    To put it simply: I do not see a lesser evil. I doubt that there is an iota of difference between us in terms of how negatively we perceive Hillary – she will be terrible for the country and terrible for conservatism. Trump might implement the occasional conservative policy, but he will destroy what little reputation conservatism has. I believe he would do at best a mediocre job as President that would be spun into such a disaster by the media that his election would pave the way for even worse Leftist ideologues down the road. I can’t tell you which is worse, and so I can only tell you that I don’t want to have supported either.

    I hope they have some good conversations at tomorrow’s Ricochet debate watching event.

    Rebark, what did you think of the Victor Davis Hanson article which we discussed?

    • #3
    • October 18, 2016, at 10:20 AM PDT
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  4. Gromrus Member

    Oh my, please stop the Bazelon vocal fry!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEqVgtLQ7qM

    • #4
    • October 18, 2016, at 10:37 AM PDT
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  5. C. Dalloway Inactive

    I squealed when I saw this! Love Gabfest. This is like that Jetsons meets Flintstones crossover movie for me.

    • #5
    • October 18, 2016, at 11:41 AM PDT
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  6. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    Michael, in response to your question to Rebark I went over to NR and read Dr. Hanson’s post. There is little new in it. He had held this position since the majority of NR editors and writers put together their anti-Trump screed. Hanson’s argument really comes down to what I have read over and over on this site, that Trump is bad, but Hillary is worse. Hillary will do terrible damage to the country.

    That well may be true. There is, however, another possibility, that Hillary will be essentially spayed politically by a Republican dominated congress, and that, given her apparently fragile health and the incredible demands of the office, that she will likely not even make it through one term, much less two.

    On the other hand, we have Trump whose commitment to our country is so minimal that he would destroy not just his own chances of achieving office, but those of every other Republican running this year. How do we trust such a person with the most powerful office in the world and with the future of this country?

    The problem for me is, I don’t see any difference between them. I could never vote for Hillary, nor could I give Trump a vote that would confirm all he wants to believe about himself, that he actually should be President of the United States. It is a choice that I simply refuse to make. I think I will write in Pence for President.

    • #6
    • October 18, 2016, at 1:14 PM PDT
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  7. rebark Inactive

    @michaelstopa

    Hi Michael, sorry I didn’t see your question earlier. I did read Hanson’s piece, and I didn’t agree with much of it, but that includes the litany of reasons why Trump is awful at the beginning.

    Sure, he’s not really a conservative, sure he’s vulgar and a jerk and seems entirely uninterested in the nuances of policy. But if I thought his election would be better for the country than Hillary Clinton’s, I would have a patriotic obligation to buy some industrial strength clothespins for my nose and pull the lever for the guy. The problem is that I don’t see how he does a meaningfully better job for America, even compared to someone who is as repellent as Clinton.

    Hillary will bring us to at least twelve years of continued progressive governance. The consequences of the first eight are already sharpening their knives. I don’t expect things to get better in any way under her. She’ll try to “fix” the Affordable Care Act, she’ll demand tax hikes and try to punish corporations for…well, for being corporations, but she’ll come up with an excuse that sounds better. She’ll pack the courts and the judiciary with leftists and even though I expect Republicans to block any meaningful legislative accomplishments, we will go deeper into debt, get in deeper trouble on entitlements, and we will probably find ourselves in much worse shape on the world stage.

    Ugh. Even Donald Trump has to be better than that, right?

    I have little faith that Trump would have us in better shape on the world stage. He would start his term as an international joke, and any benefits from having someone who seemed a little nutty as our head of state (don’t trifle with the madman) would be outweighed by the effect it would have on our allies (don’t stand too close to the madman). He wouldn’t do anything about entitlements, because he wouldn’t want to sign something so unpopular even if a Republican congress managed to grow a spine and present some sort of reform bill to him. He would do nothing on abortion or any other social issues. But his economic policies would probably be better than hers – even a broken clock is right twice a day, whereas she is always six hours slow – and he wouldn’t pack the courts.

    Okay, but I’m still saying that he’s marginally better, right? Then I have to vote for him.

    Not so fast. Because he would make mistakes. Big mistakes, ones that would be capitalized upon and would completely obscure any policy successes. He would reinforce the notion that Republicans are exclusively men with pale skin and beyond-the-pale views, and when the Obama administration’s chickens come home to roost, the media would blame them all on Trump. He’s already so despised that people would want it to be true. (continued)

    • #7
    • October 18, 2016, at 2:44 PM PDT
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  8. rebark Inactive

    In 2020, Democrats will have probably nominated someone much more politically capable than Clinton. Michelle Obama seems to be making some moves in that direction, and I could also imagine someone co-opting the Bernie Sanders message having a real shot. After four years of Trump, that candidate would have a tremendous advantage, and even if Trump could somehow be convinced not to run, our nominee would still start out in a hole. We would lose the “change” narrative, and if anything the Democrats could say “see, you tried it their way and it was awful! Come back, America”.

    Now reverse the roles. In 2020, after four years of Hillary, things will have been really bad. The media will have tried to put a pretty face on it all, but people are a lot more skeptical of authority figures and establishments when things are going badly for them, and average working Americans will not have had a very good time under Hillary Clinton. The desire for change will still be there, and while the Democrats will try to hang Donald Trump around the necks of whoever we nominate, anyone who isn’t a pure partisan will be able to see through that. The Republican starts out with a big advantage.

    So these are the scenarios I see. Hillary Clinton’s presidency gets a D-, and people are desperate for change after America gets screwed over by her, such that they might vote for a real conservative, or at least a plausible republican. Donald Trump’s presidency gets a D+, and people hate him so much that they will be more likely to vote for another progressive, who will get the Obama transformation back on track. Whoever gets elected in 2020 will have an opportunity to pack the courts and transform the country too.

    Which is better, over the long term? To save the country from progressivism today, but lose it to worse progressives four short years from now? Or to endure a twelve year span of progressivism and attempt to hang its terrible results around its neck and kill the ideology for longer – that is, assuming we can. Assuming we can survive to 2020 at all?

    I don’t know. I can’t tell you which one of these is worse. I wish that I could – I live in North Carolina, it’s not like this is just an intellectual exercise for me. While I would bet almost any sum of money that the election won’t be swung by one vote in one state, my decision on election day does matter.

    But these two choices are both so terrible that I cannot determine which is better. I have tried. I am still trying. Trump’s continuing implosion is taking some of the pressure off of me, but I keep coming back to the idea that it is better to vote for what I believe is good than to find a way to reframe one choice as only 99% awful.

    • #8
    • October 18, 2016, at 2:44 PM PDT
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  9. Sal Member
    Sal

    @michaelstopa as a #neverhillary listener who lives in Cambridge, MA, I really enjoy your podcast on Ricochet. Thanks for discussing the VDH piece on the show today. I will give it closer attention.

    NeverTrumpers are just naive about the potential damage of an HRC presidency. Naivete is an emotional response and thus impervious to reason.

    I am launching a podcast series on angel investing and am trying to decide on channels for distribution. I note that your site contains a link to Android podcasts as well as iTunes. I am curious to know how significant is your Android distribution channel vs iTunes.

    Sincerely,

    Saleh “Sal” Daher

    • #9
    • October 18, 2016, at 4:26 PM PDT
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  10. rebark Inactive

    Sal: Naivete is an emotional response and thus impervious to reason.

    I am certainly open to the possibility that I am naive about just how bad Hillary would be (strike that – will be, barring an act of God). I would rather you attempt to convince me than write me off, though. If naive people can never be won over by reason, we may as well pack it in and go home, because the naive will always outnumber the wise, and naivete seems to be a strong predictor of Democrat voting.

    • #10
    • October 18, 2016, at 6:57 PM PDT
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  11. Michael Stopa Podcaster

    Rebark and Eugene, I have only this to say. Make a choice! Whatever you can say about how difficult it is to evaluate whether Hillary’s Presidency or Trump’s Presidency will be worse, it is blatantly obvious that they will be different. Very different! So forget the past. Forget the agony of what could have been. Think through the problem as it confronts you today. What are the odds from your perspective of different possible futures with Trump and with Hillary? Evaluate the distributions, apply risk analysis, do the algebra and reach a conclusion and vote. Don’t whine about how it’s hard to decide. Don’t withhold your vote because you are pissed at what happened in February. The future lies ahead. You have only two options (eh?). Pick one.

    • #11
    • October 19, 2016, at 9:47 AM PDT
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  12. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Just catching up, about 15 minutes in.

    Regarding the protest votes, I don’t see why it would be difficult at all to discern the meaning of a vote for McMullin. Almost defintionally, it indicates a vote that would normally have otherwise gone to the GOP candidate (a Johnson vote is, unfortunately, rather opaque this way).

    Now, you might say that this still isn’t very valuable and not worth the marginal cost of an additional vote for Trump, but that’s another matter.

    • #12
    • October 19, 2016, at 2:52 PM PDT
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  13. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    She does not think the Supreme Court has been Liberal?

    Just shows you that to the Left there is never enough.

    • #13
    • October 19, 2016, at 4:04 PM PDT
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  14. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    OMG, this Woman lives in a different nation than I do.

    How do we every get back to a united America? Clearly the Left wants America to look totally different.

    Voter Fraud gave us Obamacare, because it gave us Al Franken.

    • #14
    • October 19, 2016, at 4:08 PM PDT
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  15. C. Dalloway Inactive

    I was surprised at the hosts’ broad definition of voter fraud. Maybe I misunderstood, but it sounded like they were saying it’s voter fraud to promise an interest group that its members will be better off by electing one candidate over another. Under that theory, is the GOP engaged in voter fraud when it reaches out to manufacturing interests or the oil and gas industry promising lower taxes or less regulation? Is it only voter fraud if the candidate doesn’t actually hold the policy position advocated? I’m very curious — if I didn’t misunderstand, I’ve never heard a formulation like this before.

    • #15
    • October 19, 2016, at 4:17 PM PDT
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  16. Michael Stopa Podcaster

    Sal:@michaelstopa as a #neverhillary listener who lives in Cambridge, MA, I really enjoy your podcast on Ricochet. Thanks for discussing the VDH piece on the show today. I will give it closer attention.

    NeverTrumpers are just naive about the potential damage of an HRC presidency. Naivete is an emotional response and thus impervious to reason.

    I am launching a podcast series on angel investing and am trying to decide on channels for distribution. I note that your site contains a link to Android podcasts as well as iTunes. I am curious to know how significant is your Android distribution channel vs iTunes.

    Sincerely,

    Saleh “Sal” Daher

    Hello Sal,

    I think we get much more distribution through iTunes than Android. Most of our downloads are through browsers, though.

    • #16
    • October 20, 2016, at 3:51 PM PDT
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  17. Sal Member
    Sal

    @michaelstopa Thanks for the response about distribution channels. It’s helpful. Sal

    • #17
    • October 22, 2016, at 9:59 PM PDT
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