The hard thing about producing a weekly podcast is coming up with relevant topics to talk about. Nothing ever happens in this boring administration we’ve elected. Yawn. This week, we’ve got Pat Buchanan (you must buy his new book Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever) who weighs in on those endless Nixon/Trump comparisons, and gives us his take on how the President is doing so far. Then, our old pal Dennis Prager made some waves this week with a column titled Why Conservatives Still Attack Trump. We delve into that and his new project with Adam Corrolla (he’ll be on in a few weeks too), No Safe Spaces, a film on the decay of free speech/thought on college campuses and what this means for our country. Also, join us on July 23rd for a special taping of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson at the Reagan Library, hosted by Pat Sajak. Details here.

Music from this week’s podcast: Fixing A Hole by The Beatles

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

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Members have made 119 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Spin Inactive

    Can’t wait to listen!

    • #1
    • June 2, 2017 at 11:05 am
    • Like2 likes
  2. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    Good job on the segue, Rob. James, you need to learn how to step on his segues.

    I also love how the bits that are supposed to be edited out never are.

    • #2
    • June 2, 2017 at 11:59 am
    • Like9 likes
  3. Profile photo of Wolverine Coolidge

    Rob,

    Were you critical of Bush when he signed No Child Left Behind, when he signed Medicare Part D, when federal deficits exploded under his watch, when he turned Iraq into a nature building excercise? Did you say he brought some of Bush Derangement Syndrome on himself? It is just my perception, wrong though it may be, that you are not willing to give this President much slack. Even when you agree with him it is begrudging. It is demoralizing to many of us.

    • #3
    • June 2, 2017 at 12:09 pm
    • Like6 likes
  4. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    Wolverine (View Comment):
    Were you critical of Bush when he signed No Child Left Behind, when he signed Medicare Part D, when federal deficits exploded under his watch, when he turned Iraq into a nature building excercise? Did you say he brought some of Bush Derangement Syndrome on himself?

    Probably not because GWB had the right, “Character.” It is how they justify support for McCain and condemn Trump.

    • #4
    • June 2, 2017 at 12:35 pm
    • Like7 likes
  5. Profile photo of Majestyk Thatcher

    Wolverine (View Comment):
    Rob,

    Were you critical of Bush when he signed No Child Left Behind, when he signed Medicare Part D, when federal deficits exploded under his watch, when he turned Iraq into a nature building excercise? Did you say he brought some of Bush Derangement Syndrome on himself? It is just my perception, wrong though it may be, that you are not willing to give this President much slack. Even when you agree with him it is begrudging. It is demoralizing to many of us.

    I thought each of these things were wrong and I became disillusioned with Bush at some point even though I was incredibly happy to support him in 2000.

    At the time, my thinking was that Bush was playing along with Democrats on domestic policy issues in order to ensure he could get his way on defense and the terror war. As it turns out, he needn’t have ceded that territory so easily and he had the support of the nation until the Iraq debacle.

    • #5
    • June 2, 2017 at 12:40 pm
    • Like5 likes
  6. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    If you want to expand on the issues facing college campuses, I would invite Scott M Greer on from the Daily Caller. Might not be NT enough though.

    • #6
    • June 2, 2017 at 12:46 pm
    • Like1 like
  7. Profile photo of Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Wolverine (View Comment):
    Were you critical of Bush when he signed No Child Left Behind, when he signed Medicare Part D, when federal deficits exploded under his watch, when he turned Iraq into a nature building exercise?

    Wanna take bets as to Rob’s answers?

    • #7
    • June 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm
    • LikeLike
  8. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):
    Wanna take bets as to Rob’s answers?

    “Yeah…okay, but what about…”

    • #8
    • June 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm
    • Like3 likes
  9. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    James is right. It would be a lot easier to compliment the President if not for the crowd waiting to yell, “See! Best President ever! Admit it!” Disappointingly, even Peter couldn’t resist.

    • #9
    • June 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm
    • Like1 like
  10. Profile photo of Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):

    Might not be NT enough though.

    … he says about a podcast featuring Pat Buchanan and Dennis Prager.

    • #10
    • June 2, 2017 at 1:05 pm
    • Like8 likes
  11. Profile photo of Steve C. Member

    Dear Rob:

    Pershing II and Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCM) were deployed in Europe during the Reagan Administration.* In accordance with a plan originally developed during the Carter Administration.

    The MX missile, aka the Peacekeeper, was an ICBM that was deployed in the United States in 1986.

    *I know. I was there and got to see how our allies, the Germans, DEMONSTRATED their appreciation.

    • #11
    • June 2, 2017 at 1:48 pm
    • Like4 likes
  12. Profile photo of Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Trump is capable of accomplishing great things for this country and this party; his biggest problem is within the GOP. Peter really hit the nail on the head when he pointed out the Never Trumpers in Washington D.C. who are arrogantly, stubbornly, continuing to work against his presidency, behind the scenes and in front of the camera. To constantly refer to his tweets as a reason to doubt him is just plain ridiculous. His supporters don’t care, only his detractors. Congress needs to know this man has support in order to pass tax reform, etc. Dennis Prager has it right: forget what went on during the election and judge him by what he is actually doing. My best advice to all in DC is to get rid of the childish snobbery. It’s an unbecoming trait in high schoolers, and it’s really unbecoming as an adult. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan– get on board.

    • #12
    • June 2, 2017 at 4:52 pm
    • Like13 likes
  13. Profile photo of Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    And one more thing, especially to Rob. We don’t need to give him tough love; he gets plenty of tough from the left and from the media. He needs our love.

    • #13
    • June 2, 2017 at 5:04 pm
    • Like5 likes
  14. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):
    And one more thing, especially to Rob. We don’t need to give him tough love; he gets plenty of tough from the left and from the media. He needs our love.

    No politician is immune from criticism. Period.

    • #14
    • June 2, 2017 at 5:16 pm
    • Like7 likes
  15. Profile photo of Merrijane Member

    It would be nice if Trump critics and Trump fans could just let each other be for awhile. The back and forth sniping is what I find demoralizing.

    • #15
    • June 2, 2017 at 5:17 pm
    • Like6 likes
  16. Profile photo of Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):
    No politician is immune from criticism. Period.

    I completely agree with you. My only point was to point out that Trump gets plenty of criticism from the left and the media. Aside from a couple of programs on Fox, it’s hard to find Republican defenders in the media, and it’s hurting us in Congress.

    • #16
    • June 2, 2017 at 5:27 pm
    • Like1 like
  17. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):
    No politician is immune from criticism. Period.

    I completely agree with you. My only point was to point out that Trump gets plenty of criticism from the left and the media. Aside from a couple of programs on Fox, it’s hard to find Republican defenders in the media, and it’s hurting us in Congress.

    No politician is immune from criticism from any source.

    • #17
    • June 2, 2017 at 6:26 pm
    • Like3 likes
  18. Profile photo of rebark Member

    What on Earth are Mr. Buchanan’s vague allusions to “those neocons plotting wars” about? Not to mention, “Iran doesn’t want nuclear weapons”? Really?

    • #18
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:22 pm
    • Like6 likes
  19. Profile photo of Mate De Coolidge

    I wish there was more time with Dennis. Especially as James and Rob put accross their arguments after Dennis was gone, but I get it there are time constraints. Dennis did put out there on his show that he would like to debate some prominent Never Trumpers, like Jonah or George Will.

    Also never Trump is NOT over as we can all see from the reaction to Dennis’ article. A debate to put forth regarding this issue would be Dennis Prager, Andrew Klavan and Victor Davis Hanson on one side and Jonah Goldberg, George Will and Ben Shapiro on the other. That would be an wonderful debate. All prominate articulate representatives from each side. I would pay good money to see that.

    • #19
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm
    • Like8 likes
  20. Profile photo of Steve C. Member

    rebark (View Comment):
    What on Earth are Mr. Buchanan’s vague allusions to “those neocons plotting wars” about? Not to mention, “Iran doesn’t want nuclear weapons”? Really?

    He’s still mad we joined the Allied side in 1917.

    Make of that what you will.

    • #20
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm
    • Like4 likes
  21. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Mate De (View Comment):
    Also never Trump is NOT over as we can all see from the reaction to Dennis’ article.

    If it’s not over, it’s only because people like Prager insist on bringing it up in an attempt to shout down Trump’s critics on the right. The reason Prager’s article caused such a fuss is because, to those of us who believe no one is above criticism, it was just the latest in a long line of, “Shut up, you treacherous establishment whores.”

    • #21
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:38 pm
    • Like2 likes
  22. Profile photo of Mate De Coolidge

    rebark (View Comment):
    What on Earth are Mr. Buchanan’s vague allusions to “those neocons plotting wars” about? Not to mention, “Iran doesn’t want nuclear weapons”? Really?

    I really like Pat Buchanan. He’s like a fun, jovial guy that it would be loads of fun to chat over a cocktail with. He’s got great instincts when it comes to domestic politics but terrible at identifying foreign threats. His statement regarding Iran was ridiculous.

    • #22
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:39 pm
    • Like6 likes
  23. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    Do you really want Trump to be gladhanding Congressmen to “make a deal”, James? I would guess that you’re just poking the people who talk about him like a political demigod. But the current situation is actually pretty favorable for people who worried Trump would “remake the party in his own image.” Rather than manage legislation like a party leader, the President is acting like an executive by focusing on his executive powers while legislators fulfill their separate role and he can sign off on any bill.

    This isn’t a completely ideal situation. As Buchanan said, entitlements won’t be undone. We’re still giving money to the same Arabs who fund jihadist ideology around the world. There’s always much to complain about. But people who don’t like Trump should be pleased that Ryan and McConnell are steering legislation.

    And Prager’s right about SCOTUS and culture. The court shouldn’t lead culture, but it can at least avoid formalizing American law against traditional norms. It can buy cultural conservatism some breathing room and keep the Constitution on life support while we try to remind people why it should be respected.

    • #23
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:45 pm
    • Like3 likes
  24. Profile photo of Mate De Coolidge

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Mate De (View Comment):
    Also never Trump is NOT over as we can all see from the reaction to Dennis’ article.

    If it’s not over, it’s only because people like Prager insist on bringing it up in an attempt to shout down Trump’s critics on the right. The reason Prager’s article caused such a fuss is because, to those of us who believe no one is above criticism, it was just the latest in a long line of, “Shut up, you treacherous establishment whores.”

    Um wake up and smell the confirmation bias. Of course Never Trump isn’t over it has just morphed into, I will be the conscience of conservatism and hold this president accountable. Which is fine but it almost seems like nothing this guy can do can be praise worthy without a big ole BUT at the end of it.

    I agree with Dennis and Peter that of course we are at WAR with the left. Look at the people who’s lives have been ruined by the STATE for not participating in gay weddings. It is the government going after these people. Same with the laws changing regarding transgendered bathrooms, that was a GOVERNMENT mandate to allow trans people into school locker rooms or risk federal funding. So it is a culture war that is being implimented by the state and it needed to be stopped.

    • #24
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:45 pm
    • Like6 likes
  25. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Do you really want Trump to be gladhanding Congressmen to “make a deal”, James? I would guess that you’re just poking the people who talk about him like a political demigod.

    Yes, and not entirely. Crafting and passing legislation requires negotiation and compromise, no? Wheedling, flattery, threats, flummery, horse-trading, all the usual means of corralling the horses to get them yoked to the wagon. The old LBJ example.

    As for the second part, I was told he was a master negotiator. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get the sense that he engages with Congress, or looks forward to wheeling and/or dealing.

    This isn’t a completely ideal situation. As Buchanan said, entitlements won’t be undone.

    Because there’s no political will do to so. The Republican party wants them maintained, and in some cases, expanded, and in other cases, invented.

    The court shouldn’t lead culture, but it can at least avoid formalizing American law against traditional norms. It can buy cultural conservatism some breathing room and keep the Constitution on life support while we try to remind people why it should be respected.

    Good point; I agree. To borrow Dennis’s war formulation, it’s not the whole campaign, but it’s a front.

    • #25
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:52 pm
    • Like1 like
  26. Profile photo of Jon Gordner Listener

    I think it is everyone’s duty to stand up for values, and not for personalities or teams. The current coalitions we have in the government are clearly not working. When someone like Dennis can put forward a ton of arguments as to why Trump should never be president, and then turn around and refuse to criticize him, regardless of what he actually does, that sends a message that it doesn’t matter what you do, just what team you play for.

    Trump got elected on a message of fighting for working people, while not taking away their benefits. But since he’s wearing a Republican jersey he must propose pulling medicare funding. I’m not trying to argue whether that’s a good thing or bad thing, but why shouldn’t that Trump voter be upset? Why should that voter prioritize the jersey color over his own health? What if his health matters more, when push comes to shove, than some issue that may or may not be decided in the supreme court at some point in the future?

    I’m not trying to take any specific position on any of these issues, but why shouldn’t voters be allowed to stand up for what actually matters to them instead of the red or blue badge? Maybe that criticism hurts in congress. But maybe the change that voter would want to see in congress is to a Republican who believes in medicare? Why would that position be so wrong?

    • #26
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:55 pm
    • LikeLike
  27. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Mate De (View Comment):
    Um wake up and smell the confirmation bias. Of course Never Trump isn’t over it has just morphed into, I will be the conscience of conservatism and hold this president accountable. Which is fine but it almost seems like nothing this guy can do can be praise worthy without a big ole BUT at the end of it.

    Have you not been paying attention to the reactions to the Paris pullout? Gorsuch? The tax plan? Talk about confirmation bias.

    Mate De (View Comment):

    I agree with Dennis and Peter that of course we are at WAR with the left. Look at the people who’s lives have been ruined by the STATE for not participating in gay weddings. It is the government going after these people. Same with the laws changing regarding transgendered bathrooms, that was a GOVERNMENT mandate to allow trans people into school locker rooms or risk federal funding. So it is a culture war that is being implimented by the state and it needed to be stopped.

    And this means we’re not allowed to criticize the President because…?

    • #27
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:56 pm
    • Like2 likes
  28. Profile photo of Merrijane Member

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):
    And one more thing, especially to Rob. We don’t need to give him tough love; he gets plenty of tough from the left and from the media. He needs our love.

    No politician is immune from criticism. Period.

    Beyond that, criticism from the left is meaningless. I don’t care what they say and neither does Trump. I do want the president to be influenced by conservatives in ways that affect his policy and behavior positively. If he only hears praise from the right, he doesn’t change how he does anything independent of whatever nonsense the left throws.

    I will concede, however, that a lot of conservative critics don’t offer their advice in a particularly persuasive way. It sounds less like tough love than irritated frustration.

    • #28
    • June 2, 2017 at 7:59 pm
    • Like5 likes
  29. Profile photo of Mate De Coolidge

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Mate De (View Comment):
    Um wake up and smell the confirmation bias. Of course Never Trump isn’t over it has just morphed into, I will be the conscience of conservatism and hold this president accountable. Which is fine but it almost seems like nothing this guy can do can be praise worthy without a big ole BUT at the end of it.

    Have you not been paying attention to the reactions to the Paris pullout? Gorsuch? The tax plan? Talk about confirmation bias.

    Mate De (View Comment):

    I agree with Dennis and Peter that of course we are at WAR with the left. Look at the people who’s lives have been ruined by the STATE for not participating in gay weddings. It is the government going after these people. Same with the laws changing regarding transgendered bathrooms, that was a GOVERNMENT mandate to allow trans people into school locker rooms or risk federal funding. So it is a culture war that is being implimented by the state and it needed to be stopped.

    And this means we’re not allowed to criticize the President because…?

    Did you hear the same podcast I did? There were more buts in it than a Sir Mix-a-lot video. It is the most begrudging, teeth pulling praise you could come up with.

    And this argument that we are all Trump syncophants is ridiculous. Trump gets elected and has the entire Democrat party against him. Much of the elected Republicans in Washington against him. Almost all of the mainstream media against him and a sizable chunk of the conservative media against him. I think Trump gets enough critizism. But his election is proof of a culture war, it is like the Peggy Noonan column about the protected and the unprotected.

    Personally I am not a blind supporter of Trump, I realize the man is incredibly flawed but I also believe he was the man for the moment and he’s the battering ram we have to try to break through the media narrative that clouds the mind of too many of our fellow Americans. Look at what is happening to the left right now. They are imploding and largly because they realize that their grip on power is waning, but if we aren’t bold now they can get it back and I would prefer they didn’t.

    • #29
    • June 2, 2017 at 8:09 pm
    • Like9 likes
  30. Profile photo of Jon Gordner Listener

    Personally I am not a blind supporter of Trump, I realize the man is incredibly flawed but I also believe he was the man for the moment and he’s the battering ram we have to try to break through the media narrative that clouds the mind of too many of our fellow Americans. Look at what is happening to the left right now. They are imploding and largly because they realize that their grip on power is waning, but if we aren’t bold now they can get it back and I would prefer they didn’t.

    My social bubble is largely on the left, and it’s worth clarifying that from the left’s perspective, they are not imploding but getting energized and they believe they are poised for huge midterms, just like Republicans in 2010. There is no fear right now on the left about the popularity of “the movement.” Looking at the tight special elections in Montana, Kansas, and Georgia (where it shouldn’t have been close at all), only furthers that confidence.

    I’m not trying to say what is or isn’t happening (predictions are silly, IMO), just what the perception on the left is.

    • #30
    • June 2, 2017 at 8:14 pm
    • Like2 likes
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