To mark this historical day, we’ve assembled a panel that we think reflects all sides of the new Trump administration — a mashup of the Ricochet Podcast and Need To Know with Charen and Nordlinger with a dash of Victor Davis Hanson thrown in for flavoring. It’s a bracing conversation that really gets into the weeds on the election and what may lie ahead.

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Members have made 196 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of EB Thatcher
    EB

    VDH’s reply to any criticism of Trump is, “The Democrats do it, too.”

    I can just hear his mother now, “Victor, you shouldn’t have done that.” “Well, Suzy did it, too!” I guess his mother never said, “If Suzy jumped off a cliff, would you do that, too?”

    • #1
    • January 20, 2017 at 4:19 pm
  2. Profile photo of Benjamin Glaser Member

    That wasn’t VDH’s response. Every time he was confronted by Mona he freely admitted that Trump was a sleaze and offered examples of where he condemned Trump’s lewdness. His point was Trump didn’t “invent” the crude and crass manner of speaking.

    When VDH went on his two litany’s (the first about the situation in Oakland/Selma, second on Bush’s massive conservative failures) I got so excited I honked the horn in my car. 🙂

    This was a phenomenal podcast, I even listened to it twice!

    I think Jay was way over the top in his condemnation of the speech. His morose and derogatory dismissal made his argument self-defeating.

    Peter on the other hand was far too accommodating to what Trump had to say.

    James was James at his best. Did a good job refereeing.

    This was really something. Thanks again for the work!

    • #2
    • January 20, 2017 at 4:27 pm
  3. Profile photo of The Question Inactive

    I concur with James Lileks about the Hugh Hewitt thing during the debate. When questioned about his taxes, Trump responded by mocking Hewitt’s show ratings. To me, I just couldn’t think of Trump as a mature adult person. After he was elected, he seemed a lot better, until he tweeted out mocking Arnold Shwarzeneggar’s ratings on The Apprentice. I can’t believe after being elected the G.D. President of the United States, he felt it necessary to punch at the guy who got his TV job. I’m not confident that he’s mentally mature enough to be president. It’s done now and I hope it all goes well.

    • #3
    • January 20, 2017 at 4:35 pm
  4. Profile photo of Patrick McClure Member

    Does Ricochet pay Jay? He’s not worth two cents. He can’t get over his Trump hatred.

    • #4
    • January 20, 2017 at 4:41 pm
  5. Profile photo of ToryWarWriter Member

    I am only in 18 minutes in and love how Mona is basically setting up straw men left and right. Thankfully Peter Robinson is there to do some damage control. But next time lets give him some reinforcements from David Limbaugh or someone.

    • #5
    • January 20, 2017 at 4:42 pm
  6. Profile photo of Seawriter Member

    Wow. Jay Nordlinger is really drawing on his Ann Arbor roots. What he said is indistinguishable from what thousands of people in Ann Arbor believe, and what most of us who left Ann Arbor realize is crackpot nonsense.

    You want more Trump, Jay? Keep on keeping on like that.

    Seawriter

    • #6
    • January 20, 2017 at 4:47 pm
  7. Profile photo of Benjamin Glaser Member

    That’s where my criticism goes too Seawriter.

    Jay’s dislike of Trump is unseemly in its sneering anger. It was petulant.

    Mona’s is much better formed and argued and I largely agree with her.

    • #7
    • January 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm
  8. Profile photo of Texmoor Coolidge

    Benjamin Glaser (View Comment):
    That wasn’t VDH’s response. Every time he was confronted by Mona he freely admitted that Trump was a sleaze and offered examples of where he condemned Trump’s lewdness. His point was Trump didn’t “invent” the crude and crass manner of speaking.

    When VDH went on his two litany’s (the first about the situation in Oakland/Selma, second on Bush’s massive conservative failures) I got so excited I honked the horn in my car. 🙂

    This was a phenomenal podcast, I even listened to it twice!

    I think Jay was way over the top in his condemnation of the speech. His morose and derogatory dismissal made his argument self-defeating.

    Peter on the other hand was far too accommodating to what Trump had to say.

    James was James at his best. Did a good job refereeing.

    This was really something. Thanks again for the work!

    I agree completely. This is the best flagship podcast I have listened to yet.

    I have to admit I was a Never-Trumper, but I always listened carefully to what VDH had to say leading up to the election. I think he explains whatever “Trumpism” is better than anyone I have heard or read. I now consider myself a cautious optimist re: Trump, which is a lot more than I thought I would ever be months ago.

    I did have to hide under my desk when Peter and Jay went at it. Shots fired! 🙂

    • #8
    • January 20, 2017 at 5:13 pm
  9. Profile photo of Patrick McClure Member

    Mona doesn’t like nationalism. But does like patriotism. I see them as the same.

    • #9
    • January 20, 2017 at 5:49 pm
  10. Profile photo of ToryWarWriter Member

    I hear Mona and Jay talk about how they are being ill treated by the Trump people for there hostility to Trump. But you know what I am reminded of how my political mentors, long running conservatives who opposed the Iraq war were kicked out as unbelievers on the pages of there very own magazine National Review, by the Egregious Frum. Good solid reaganites were persona non-grata for daring to say that Iraq was a bad idea.

    I dont know what Mona and Jay said about that, but I have a feeling they didnt say much as those people were purged like Pierre Elliot Trudeau purging the Armed Forces. I was tempted to say Stalin style, but I feel he gets used to much in these discussions.

    I like how they were all ‘Trump makes America sound like a warzone!’ meanwhile Victor brings back down to earth by pointing out to far to many people in the USA including VDH live in one a warzone. Whether its the back end of california or the thousands who get shot in Chicago every year.

    Even in Jays own state of Michigan, a corrupt incompetent city council contaminates its own water supply. There are basics to city government. Providing safe water is probably in the top 3.

    Is it any wonder that Trump is President, when Republicans began to behave like Democrats.

    • #10
    • January 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm
  11. Profile photo of Nancy Spalding Thatcher

    I had to quit listening to “need to know” (which I had loved) because of the gratuitous anti-Trump vitriole, and here I am 10 minutes in and tempted to throw my iPad at the wall… President Trump was my 17th choice, and he is what we have– and his cabinet choices are excellent, and he may be able to get something done. I am glad that they (Mona & Jay) are not affected by the cultural & economic destruction with which we are surrounded, and can stand above the fray, but many of us do not have that option.

    Meanwhile, VDH is great, Peter is trying to keep things smooth, and James Lileks is amazing at keeping things balanced. I may be able to finish listening…

    • #11
    • January 20, 2017 at 6:03 pm
  12. Profile photo of Kim K. Member

    Now I know why I stopped listening to Need to Know months ago. I can listen to something I disagree with and often learn a lot from it. But some Nevers have such a sneering condescension. I hear VDH as someone who doesn’t always agree with Trump but is able to understand what drives him and the people who voted for him. In other words, he puts Trump in context, for me at least.

    Maybe people who live on the coasts exclusively can’t really “get” people who don’t.

    • #12
    • January 20, 2017 at 6:05 pm
  13. Profile photo of Henry Castaigne Member

    Patrick McClure (View Comment):
    Mona doesn’t like nationalism. But does like patriotism. I see them as the same.

    Some definition of nationalism are different from vanilla patriotism. Nationalism implies blaming other countries for your national problems and proposing big government solutions.

    • #13
    • January 20, 2017 at 6:31 pm
  14. Profile photo of Al Sparks Thatcher

    Are Victor Davis Hanson and Jay Nordlinger on speaking terms?

    • #14
    • January 20, 2017 at 8:10 pm
  15. Profile photo of Al Sparks Thatcher

    I disagree with but respect Jay Nordlinger’s stance on Trump, and am not one of those that considers him “treasonous.”

    But he was over the top with his “beer hall” reference when opining on Trump’s inauguration speech.

    • #15
    • January 20, 2017 at 8:13 pm
  16. Profile photo of Al Sparks Thatcher

    EB (View Comment):
    VDH’s reply to any criticism of Trump is, “The Democrats do it, too.”

    I can just hear his mother now, “Victor, you shouldn’t have done that.” “Well, Suzy did it, too!” I guess his mother never said, “If Suzy jumped off a cliff, would you do that, too?”

    You’re simplifying VDH’s argument. He’s comparing two unattractive candidates in the general election, not justifying Trump’s behavior in and of itself.

    But I will take the argument further. Trump will fight. He will take a gun to a gun fight, and he’ll pull the trigger. The feeling was, you could cross George W Bush, and he’d forgive you. Personally, I thought he was a great man.

    But if you want to be an effective president, you have to have a bit of nastiness to you.

    Of course Ronald Reagan seems to have been an exception. But probably not. He had surrogates that could do that work for him, and he would use them. Reagan could compartmentalize that way.

    • #16
    • January 20, 2017 at 8:24 pm
  17. Profile photo of Gossamer Member

    To supplement Peter’s argument that the Washington elite got rich while the rest of the country foundered (granted, counties vary ALOT by size in the various states, but still, the below is disturbing)-

    http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/richest-counties-in-the-united-states.html, to summarize:

    5 of the top 6 in VA/MD

    7 of the top 12 in VA/MD

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/09/20/the-top-10-richest-counties-in-the-united-states.aspx

    5 of the top 10 in VA/MD

    Granted I lived in #9 Somerset County in NJ on a grad student/post-doc salary (pulling down the mean, hard!!!) but, c’mon half of the top 10 richest counties circle DC – that’s a problem!!!

    • #17
    • January 20, 2017 at 9:05 pm
  18. Profile photo of HalapenyoHarry Thatcher

    Jay Nordlinger is an exceptional interviewer and I learn something every time I stop to hear one of his interviews.

    But on this podcast it sounded like he didn’t want to be there and I agree with him.

    Can’t we just take one day (or more) to celebrate the end of Obama, gleefully reflect that Hillary didn’t win and take joy in at least the possibilities? Rather than spitting poison on the first glimmer of hope we’ve seen in over 8 years?

    I think Jay and Mona need to open their minds a bit more.

    Bravo to Peter and even to James for a balanced approach in the podcast. When is Rob back? I think of your guest hosts, I most enjoyed, was Troy.

    • #18
    • January 20, 2017 at 10:05 pm
  19. Profile photo of Henry Castaigne Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    The feeling was, you could cross George W Bush, and he’d forgive you. Personally, I thought he was a great man.

    I want that feeling from everyone in my life. Who would want to marry an unforgiving wife or raise unforgiving children or have an unforgiving pastor/priest/rabbi. But in politics, in can be a liability. Andrew Klavan once said (I paraphrase) politics is the nastiest part of ourselves. It punishes charity and forgiveness and trods on every decent virtue we humans can get.

    Also, I think we forget how nasty politics and politicians were back in the day.

    • #19
    • January 20, 2017 at 10:07 pm
  20. Profile photo of RufusRJones Member

    The thing that is constantly missed everywhere, particularly on this podcast is, the Fed policy and all the other policies have to adapt to the fact that there is severe wage deflation due to technology and globalized labor. Cramming more skills into these people hurt by this isn’t going to help much.

    We have had an inflationist government and economy since Woodrow Wilson (CPI inflation and asset bubbles, constant depreciation of debt.) With NAFTA, the opening up of the Chinese labor market, and technology this policy is screwing a huge part of the electorate. They lose purchasing power while their wages stay flat. So they will vote for Trump and Bernie Sanders until the bond market collapses.

    We haven’t had free markets for 100 years. Now we pay, big time. See David Stockman’s new book.

    • #20
    • January 21, 2017 at 12:25 am
  21. Profile photo of BD1 Member
    BD1

    Jay Nordlinger, 2005 – “As usual, Thomas Sowell has spoken for me: ‘A nightmare for the 2008 election: Hillary Clinton versus John McCain. I wouldn’t know whether to vote Libertarian or move to Australia.'”

    Not only did Nordlinger not move to Australia in 2008, he later became a big John McCain fan. Principles come and principles go.

    • #21
    • January 21, 2017 at 12:35 am
  22. Profile photo of RufusRJones Member

    The Solution to All World Problems is to have Victor Davis Hansen do a long interview of David Stockman. Those two guys are the intersection of everything that matters right now.

    • #22
    • January 21, 2017 at 12:42 am
  23. Profile photo of RufusRJones Member

    I’m further into the podcast now. Free trade is regressive economics against the poor and most of the middle class until we drop our inflationist government and financial system. This is going to happen the hard way. It is inevitable.

    • #23
    • January 21, 2017 at 1:26 am
  24. Profile photo of J Climacus Member

    I think it was Jay’s criticism that Trump’s speech didn’t sound like Obama’s and Bush’s. That’s a feature, not a bug! I’m not a Trump fan and had problems with the speech – but at least one thing good about it was that it wasn’t full of the fake unity blather that characterized the last two presidents’ inaugurals.

    • #24
    • January 21, 2017 at 4:58 am
  25. Profile photo of J Climacus Member

    Nancy Spalding (View Comment):
    I had to quit listening to “need to know” (which I had loved) because of the gratuitous anti-Trump vitriole…

    I gave up on Need to Know as well. Not because I mind anti-Trump talk… I just don’t need to hear the same points over and over every week. It’s boring

    • #25
    • January 21, 2017 at 5:07 am
  26. Profile photo of Mona Charen Contributor

    Gossamer (View Comment):
    To supplement Peter’s argument that the Washington elite got rich while the rest of the country foundered (granted, counties vary ALOT by size in the various states, but still, the below is disturbing)-

    http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/richest-counties-in-the-united-states.html, to summarize:

    5 of the top 6 in VA/MD

    7 of the top 12 in VA/MD

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/09/20/the-top-10-richest-counties-in-the-united-states.aspx

    5 of the top 10 in VA/MD

    Granted I lived in #9 Somerset County in NJ on a grad student/post-doc salary (pulling down the mean, hard!!!) but, c’mon half of the top 10 richest counties circle DC – that’s a problem!!!

    I hear you. I live among some of these types and I agree that lobbying for this or that tax break in the code is a somewhat unsavory way to make a living. (There are lots of us who live in or near DC who have always been private sector, btw, and benefitting from gov’t is hardly limited to this area.) It is fair, to a point, to cite income data for counties around DC for the proposition that government is encouraging a class of people who get rich through influence. These are not bureaucrats, but lobbyists (though clearly there is a revolving door.)

    But we have to be careful with statistics. Loudoun county in VA is too far from the capital to be home to many K St types. It ranks first because of a huge high tech sector and the fact that it has very little poverty.

    The only way to limit the growth of what is arguably a group of influence peddlers is to reduce the size and scope of gov’t regulation so that big companies (and it’s always big industries, small ones can’t afford lobbyists) don’t feel that it’s worth their while to hire them.

    If Trump does that, great. I am skeptical, but open to the possibility.

    But the huge gap in earnings between educated and uneducated is countrywide and characterizes other parts of the nation (and the developed world) too.

    And, as I said in the ‘cast, the point of progressive governance is not to enrich elites (though that may be one side effect) it’s to shrink the scope of individuals, families, and mediating institutions and enlarge government. The less freedom we have to run our own lives, govern our local institutions, and trade with each other (and foreigners); the worse things will get and the more people will turn to government to fix it!

    Trump may do this on steroids if he carries through on his protectionist ideas. They may vitiate any good that cutting regulations/taxes would do depending upon how they are structured.

    So those of us who believe strongly in markets not bureaucrats, distrust government and its corrosive effects on the economy and the souls of the people, should full-throatedly oppose protectionism in any form — even when perfumed with phrases like “fair trade.”

    • #26
    • January 21, 2017 at 5:48 am
  27. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    I could have played Trump Defender Bingo with VDH. “It’s the Establishment’s fault.” “Hillary would have been worse.” “NeverTrump is indistinguishable from the left.” “You don’t understand what real Americans are going through.” I know he’s a smart man, but he really doesn’t come across well here.

    This may be the first time I thought Mona came across better than Jay. Even as a former NT myself, I found NTK’s overwhelming sense of despair unbearable and over the top. Mona, at least this time, stuck to mostly policy. Jay’s “beer hall” comment was disgusting. And, yes, I did get the image of a little child sitting in the corner with his arms crossed, pouting. Like VDH, he’s better than this.

    Three longtime allies, and Peter could barely get them to agree on anything. It was, as the President often says, sad.

    • #27
    • January 21, 2017 at 6:07 am
  28. Profile photo of ToryWarWriter Member

    So those of us who believe strongly in markets not bureaucrats, distrust government and its corrosive effects on the economy and the souls of the people, should full-throatedly oppose protectionism in any form — even when perfumed with phrases like “fair trade.” Nonsense. Those of us who have read a little history are fairly well aware that protectionism has its place. The USA would not have been able to become the industrial juggernaut that it became in the 19th century without the Tariff. Yes, it has its problems no system is perfect. But one only has to see what happens to China in the late 19th and the Ottoman Empire during the mid-19th century to see how exploitive ‘free trade’ policies were when a more advanced economy ran into a less advanced economy.

    Free trade was great for the British empire whose manufacturers got access to new markets but domestic manufacturers were swamped and the resulting Boxer Rebellions and civil wars that happened were direct results of the economic disruption caused by those free trade deals.

    The blind cult of the Free Traders. It’s an ideology just as seductive as Nationalism and Fascism and we should guard against it like we guard against all the isms. That’s how real Conservatism works.

    • #28
    • January 21, 2017 at 6:18 am
  29. Profile photo of Benjamin Glaser Member

    Mona, thank you for getting into the comment threads. I for one really appreciate and always learn from your interactions.

    I agree that free trade > protectionism, no question.

    However, just once I’d like people to admit VDH’s point that the losers of free trade and unfettered immigration, actually have lost something. That NAFTA, etc… have had downsides for the small factory towns all across America. The town I grew up in back in West Virginia has lost 50% of its population since 1990, and that was largely because the manufacturing base was destroyed by the firms moving great jobs to Mexico and East Asia. So now when you drive through town on U.S. 50 it looks like you’ve entered post-Ceaușescu Romania. When I go back and talk to folks they look at those ring counties in D.C. and hear people on Fox News talk about how wonderful free trade is they look around and see the empty houses and abandoned factory shells and say, “Yep. Totally great”.

    It is easy to look at macro economic statistics and denigrate Trump voters as maroons. But, maybe just an ounce of empathy would go a long way to those suffering under the local micro economic tyranny of real life.

    • #29
    • January 21, 2017 at 6:42 am
  30. Profile photo of Jim Beck Member

    Morning Mona,

    Concerning free trade, ToryWarWriter noted that trade does not follow the purist path that seems be of prime importance to you and others. VDH also mentioned that free trade does not account for the imbalance which the US defense umbrella has afforded many of our allies from Japan and the EU who have spent much less to contribute to their defense and have spent more on other parts of their domestic economies. VDH also mentions the way EU and Japan have limited imports, especially in agriculture, to our disadvantage. VDH also gives us the recent history of the EU subsidy of Greek raisins for $400/ton, which drove the California raisin farms of his local out of business and by the time the EU subsidies were taken off the damage was done and it had made a permanent change. VDH also mentions currency manipulation, like China was using aggressively a few years ago.

    Its is my opinion that jobs are an essential part of cultural health and if we want non-governmental institutions to have life then we should work to increase labor participation. To neglect to think about how globalism and “free trade” (the quotes here are to note that free trade is a construct and not a reality) have caused dramatic displacements is to ignore hazards which threaten our culture. When men do not have work, marriage is weakened, dependency is increased, civic and personal responsibility falls, families are more likely to become chronically dependent, and our macro-economy becomes less vibrant and less mobile between the economic layers. One can argue about how to increase labor participation, however we seem to presume that free trade has no negative consequences. If one does not see the dislocations or take note of the economic consequences, it is because one lives in a bubble, as VDH has said, “there are two groups of folks, those who have had a dead man on their property and those who have not”, and between those two groups is a gulf of life experiences. If one sees the dislocations and is silent about solutions and how complex the problem is, then one is blind to the lives of folks who pay the price for these free trade choices.

    • #30
    • January 21, 2017 at 6:59 am
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