Mona begins with a guest: Walter Olson, of the Cato Institute. They talk about the Libertarian party and the Libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and William Weld. Then Jay joins wolsonMona for some Trump talk: Trump U, the “Mexican” judge, and so on. For the remainder of the show, Mona leads a discussion of some big problems facing America: runaway entitlements, debt, a feeble foreign policy. Jay chimes in dyspeptically. Mona is indulgent. In conclusion, Jay relates an unusual lunchtime encounter.

Music: The final section of the final movement of Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 9 in C, Op. 59, No. 3

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There are 28 comments.

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  1. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Quo usque tandem abutere, Charen et  Nordlinger, patientia nostra.

    • #1
  2. Mona Charen Contributor
    Mona Charen
    @MonaCharen

    Freesmith:Quo usque tandem abutere, Charen et Nordlinger, patientia nostra.

    What would you like us to do? Sing hosannas to the great Trump?

    • #2
  3. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Mona Charen:

    Freesmith:Quo usque tandem abutere, Charen et Nordlinger, patientia nostra.

    What would you like us to do? Sing hosannas to the great Trump?

    No, but I do prefer that you not compose talking points for Hillary Clinton speeches.

    Is your dear friend Ruth Marcus devoting her columns to investigating  the Clinton Foundation and raising questions about Hillary’s emails? Does she have less integrity or more smarts than you?

    How long do you expect that the majority of conservatives will sit still while our intelligentsia spreads dissension, poisons our water and spikes our weapons as we prepare for battle with the Left?

    • #3
  4. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    My heart is with Mona and Jay. I hate the fact that the so-called establishment has now come to embrace Trump. He is an embarrassment to our party, and to our country.

    However, politics is a cynical business. I probably would never for Trump. But I live in Jersey, and I think NJ will go for Hillary no matter what. The truth is that it is almost beyond dispute that either Trump or Hillary will win. And Hillary will prove as much a disaster for our country as Obama. Dennis Prager is right: It the Left that has ruined our country. Anything they touch has crumbled before our eyes, and it is getting worse. Now we can’t even tell a little boy that he needs to go to the men’s room. The left must be stopped, and if Trump is the price we must pay (and I never thought I’d say it) then maybe we have to gag, and pay it!

    • #4
  5. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Bush won in 2004 by promising Medicare Part D. Nine Trillion unfunded liability. When the bond market collapses, that is the first thing to go. It was Karl Rove’s idea.

    100 years of excess easy money and centralized government has killed the economy with dependency and rent seeking.

    • #5
  6. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The economy “roared” during Clinton because Greenspan was goosing the economy. NASDAQ bubble. Tax receipts were artificially high.

    • #6
  7. listeningin Member
    listeningin
    @listeningin

    I am so grateful to hear my own assessment and the mortified feelings that come with them expressed here.  Every conservative I know personally agrees entirely, the posts on my Facebook page indicate that my broader online community agrees, and yet from the general media and the political crowd it seems to be nonexistent.  What travesty.  I think that those who are appalled by Trump need to stand and leave a big, vocal paper trail so that when everything collapses, there will be an obvious place for people to turn to figure out what went wrong.  Profoundly grateful to you guys and NR.

    • #7
  8. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    As much as I don’t like Trump, he is the only one talking realistically about the debt. There is no chance that we will pay off the $20 trillion of outstanding debt – at least with dollars that have anything like the value they do now. Even if we devoted $1 trillion per year to pay off the debt, it would take us 20 years to do so – and at 2% inflation, those dollars would have lost 40% of their value by the end of those 20 years (and that’s a big reason the Fed can’t let interest rates get far from zero). That’s effectively a 40% default in the out years.

    Somehow it is crazy talk for Trump to say straight out that we can never pay the debt even though it’s a near metaphysical impossibility for us to do so – at least honestly. We all know what is going to happen – the “normal” politicians will pretend that debt is good, then pay it off with devalued dollars while pretending to stand by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government. But that’s what “normal” politicians do: They go along with the tacitly agreed upon charade.

    • #8
  9. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    Freesmith:How long do you expect that the majority of conservatives will sit still while our intelligentsia spreads dissension, poisons our water and spikes our weapons as we prepare for battle with the Left?

    How long do you expect that the majority of conservatives will listen to partisan hacks who have no principle besides “blue team sucks, go red team” ? This is part of the reason why so much right-leaning dialogue is unattractive to independents and progressives.

    Mona and Jay should continue speaking their minds. In doing so, they expound conservative principles, and explain why liberty and rule of law are better long-term guiding principles than equality uber alles. In speaking their minds, they should continue to criticize all politicians (including Trump) when they’re wrong, and praise all politicians (including Trump, and yes, including Clinton), when they’re right. Anything else is intellectually dishonest.

    • #9
  10. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    J Climacus: Somehow it is crazy talk for Trump to say straight out that we can never pay the debt even though it’s a near metaphysical impossibility for us to do so – at least honestly.

    Your proposed “paying less through inflation” is much more honest than “paying less through default.” The former is a risk inherent in all debt. The latter explicitly breaks with the “full faith and credit” of the US Government. Also, the former solution has been tried by many governments, and while inflation remains low the economy and future borrowing does well. The latter solution has a history of wrecking economies and making future borrowing prohibitive.

    • #10
  11. Fred Hadra Podcaster
    Fred Hadra
    @FredHadra

    Lazy_Millennial:

    Freesmith:How long do you expect that the majority of conservatives will sit still while our intelligentsia spreads dissension, poisons our water and spikes our weapons as we prepare for battle with the Left?

    How long do you expect that the majority of conservatives will listen to partisan hacks who have no principle besides “blue team sucks, go red team” ? This is part of the reason why so much right-leaning dialogue is unattractive to independents and progressives.

    Mona and Jay should continue speaking their minds. In doing so, they expound conservative principles, and explain why liberty and rule of law are better long-term guiding principles than equality uber alles. In speaking their minds, they should continue to criticize all politicians (including Trump) when they’re wrong, and praise all politicians (including Trump, and yes, including Clinton), when they’re right. Anything else is intellectually dishonest.

    Well said.

    • #11
  12. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Fred Hadra:

    Lazy_Millennial:

    Freesmith:How long do you expect that the majority of conservatives will sit still while our intelligentsia spreads dissension, poisons our water and spikes our weapons as we prepare for battle with the Left?

    How long do you expect that the majority of conservatives will listen to partisan hacks who have no principle besides “blue team sucks, go red team” ? This is part of the reason why so much right-leaning dialogue is unattractive to independents and progressives.

    Mona and Jay should continue speaking their minds. In doing so, they expound conservative principles, and explain why liberty and rule of law are better long-term guiding principles than equality uber alles. In speaking their minds, they should continue to criticize all politicians (including Trump) when they’re wrong, and praise all politicians (including Trump, and yes, including Clinton), when they’re right. Anything else is intellectually dishonest.

    Well said.

    Not “Well said” during elections, my friends. You may not like the man leading the team but once the game starts backbiting and dissension are not virtues, as much as you want to pretend they are.

    It’s election season. The opposition will not attack its own candidate, flawed as she is. Try to be as intelligent and realistic as the people who’ve been winning presidential elections.

    Or you can always complain…and lose again, principles intact.

    Didn’t McCain and Romney give great concession speeches?

    • #12
  13. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    One more thing: expounding conservative principles is the strategy that has been practiced by folks like Mona and Jay since the 1980s and it has failed miserably to counter the country’s drift leftward. Conservatives have made absolutely no headway in the media, in Hollywood, in the bureaucracy, in our colleges and universities or in the arts. Big business has become more and more culturally left, as have the churches. Even sports now has a left slant.

    We all bemoan it, but neither our political leaders nor our opinion leaders have been  able to reverse it.

    Things that conservatives never thought would be countenanced are now the law of the land. And other than gun rights all other conservative causes have not advanced. No abortion restrictions, no Voter ID, no border controls, no reduction in the national debt…you name it.

    The Debate Club approach to politics has not worked. It is analogous to bringing a penknife to a gunfight. How long are conservatives going to continue to do the same things yet expect different results before more of them recognize that they’re crazy?

    • #13
  14. Matt Y. Inactive
    Matt Y.
    @MattY

    Freesmith:

    Fred Hadra:

    Lazy_Millennial:

    Not “Well said” during elections, my friends. You may not like the man leading the team but once the game starts backbiting and dissension are not virtues, as much as you want to pretend they are.

    It’s election season. The opposition will not attack its own candidate, flawed as she is. Try to be as intelligent and realistic as the people who’ve been winning presidential elections.

    Or you can always complain…and lose again, principles intact.

    Didn’t McCain and Romney give great concession speeches?

    Trump is not on my “team”, nor on Jay’s or Mona’s. He is not on our side. (Neither is Hillary). That is what these accusations of backbiting and dissension don’t get. Why should we care if either one uses Mona or Jay’s talking points to attack the other?

    • #14
  15. Ario IronStar Inactive
    Ario IronStar
    @ArioIronStar

    The sad reality is that Mona and Jay exemplify the reason that we ended up with Trump.  And Mona and Jay’s integrity is absolutely not intact.  According to the standards of integrity they now claim, they lost their integrity years ago.

    Mona and Jay have been absolutely resolute in the past in the need to compromise to win independent voters (Jay’s “purer than thee” complaint about movement conservatives.)  However, the compromise always had to be one way; Jay and Mona would never consider or condone modifying certain principles, such as their stance on immigration, which is apparently important enough to the Republican electorate that on aggregate they pulled the lever for Trump.  And of course, Mona and Jay were oh, so smart (and condescending) regarding power-of-the-purse, government shutdown tactics.  As a result, enough Republican voters had had it and pulled the lever for Trump.  Great job with your clever political calculation.

    Want to know why Trump won, Mona and Jay?  Look in the mirror.  (In case it escapes you, I’m none too happy with Trump.)

    But we are where we are, and electing Hillary is not like electing any other candidate who has ever stood.  She is corrupt in a way and to an extent that is ruinous to simply elect her.  If one can’t see this and can’t get over the fact that the Republican nominee is unprincipled and uncouth, then one displays one’s unfitness for self-government.

    • #15
  16. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    Freesmith:Not “Well said” during elections, my friends. You may not like the man leading the team but once the game starts backbiting and dissension are not virtues, as much as you want to pretend they are.

    The more people whine about “dissension”, the more dissension there will be.

    It’s election season. The opposition will not attack its own candidate, flawed as she is.

    Which is why so many of them have lost all credibility, and with credibility goes audiences. I’ve been watching the Bernie supporters this election, and they’re disgusted with most of the media and lefty commentators. They might vote, but they’re not going to be knocking on doors and recruiting friends.

    Try to be as intelligent and realistic as the people who’ve been winning presidential elections.

    Partisan hacks don’t win elections. Instead of looking at binary outcomes, look at the margins of victory/loss. From 1992-2012, in every election but ’08 the country was divided right down the middle. Shilling for Trump won’t drag Trump over the finish line. If it would, we would be discussing Romney’s re-election bid.

    • #16
  17. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    Freesmith:And other than gun rights all other conservative causes have not advanced. No abortion restrictions, no Voter ID, no border controls, no reduction in the national debt…you name it.

    Oh please. Since the 1980’s, in addition to gun rights we’ve gotten tough on crime, tough on the budget when not fighting foreign wars, and improved counter terrorism efforts. At the state level we’re getting school choice, abortion restrictions, and voter ID.

    The Debate Club approach to politics has not worked. It is analogous to bringing a penknife to a gunfight. How long are conservatives going to continue to do the same things yet expect different results before more of them recognize that they’re crazy?

    You know what else entails “doing the same thing and expecting different results”? Practice. And unlike the Dems, thanks in part to doing the hard work of intellectual honesty we’ve got a deep bench of conservative Republicans in the Senate, House, and state governments.

    • #17
  18. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    Ario IronStar:However, the compromise always had to be one way; Jay and Mona would never consider or condone modifying certain principles, such as their stance on immigration, which is apparently important enough to the Republican electorate that on aggregate they pulled the lever for Trump.

    What exactly do you think their stance on immigration was? More to the point, you misunderstand Trump voters. Exit polls consistently showed immigration wasn’t their top priority.

    And of course, Mona and Jay were oh, so smart (and condescending) regarding power-of-the-purse, government shutdown tactics. As a result, enough Republican voters had had it and pulled the lever for Trump. Great job with your clever political calculation.

    I’d say Trump’s election has more to do with Congressional R’s standing for nothing in 2014 and 2015 rather than Mona and Jay’s disapproval of funding and shutdown tactics in 2013. Congressional R’s decided to stand for nothing in order to make winning 2016 easier, not realizing that by standing for nothing in 2014 and 2015 they opened the door to a Trump takeover. Mona and Jay were not encouraging Congressional R’s in this strategy.

    • #18
  19. Ario IronStar Inactive
    Ario IronStar
    @ArioIronStar

    Lazy_Millennial:

    What exactly do you think their stance on immigration was? More to the point, you misunderstand Trump voters. Exit polls consistently showed immigration wasn’t their top priority.

    And of course, Mona and Jay were oh, so smart (and condescending) regarding power-of-the-purse, government shutdown tactics.

    I’d say Trump’s election has more to do with Congressional R’s standing for nothing in 2014 and 2015 rather than Mona and Jay’s disapproval of funding and shutdown tactics in 2013. Congressional R’s decided to stand for nothing in order to make winning 2016 easier, not realizing that by standing for nothing in 2014 and 2015 they opened the door to a Trump takeover. Mona and Jay were not encouraging Congressional R’s in this strategy.

    Of course they were.  That’s exactly what they were doing.  That was central to Jay’s purity criticism, which he repeated over and over and over in response to complaints that the C R’s weren’t fighting.  And it was a perfectly consistent continuation of the shutdown tut-tutting, the refusal to use the power of the purse being central to rationale of do-nothingism.  Yes, they were doing it before 2014, too.

    Mona and Jay are open-borders.  As, in economic principle, am I.  But it was obvious it was going to be an electoral problem.  Point me to those polls.  Did they also show the Gang of Eight didn’t really hurt Rubio?

    • #19
  20. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    Ario IronStar:Of course they were. That’s exactly what they were doing. That was central to Jay’s purity criticism, which he repeated over and over and over in response to complaints that the C R’s weren’t fighting. And it was a perfectly consistent continuation of the shutdown tut-tutting, the refusal to use the power of the purse being central to rationale of do-nothingism. Yes, they were doing it before 2014, too.

    Mona and Jay are open-borders. As, in economic principle, am I. But it was obvious it was going to be an electoral problem. Point me to those polls. Did they also show the Gang of Eight didn’t really hurt Rubio?

    In 2013 the shutdown was over a re-elected President’s signature achievement, when the signature achievement was a major point of contention in the election. I thought it was stupid at the time, and I haven’t been convinced otherwise since.

    In 2014, the Congressional R’s should have laid out another “Contract with America” to translate election wins into Obama vetos of popular bills. They didn’t. In 2015 Congressional R’s, finally holding both houses, should have been sending popular bills to Obama for veto. They didn’t.

    I heard NR criticizing the lack of action in 2015, and criticizing Rubio for the Gang of 8 when first proposed. I didn’t hear Mona and Jay dissenting from this criticism. Did you hear different from them?

    • #20
  21. Daniel Halbach Inactive
    Daniel Halbach
    @DanielHalbach

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/06/history-campaign-politics-zachary-taylor-killed-whigs-political-party-213935

    • #21
  22. Ario IronStar Inactive
    Ario IronStar
    @ArioIronStar

    Lazy_Millennial:

    In 2013 the shutdown was over a re-elected President’s signature achievement, when the signature achievement was a major point of contention in the election. I thought it was stupid at the time, and I haven’t been convinced otherwise since.

    In 2014, the Congressional R’s should have laid out another “Contract with America” to translate election wins into Obama vetos of popular bills. They didn’t. In 2015 Congressional R’s, finally holding both houses, should have been sending popular bills to Obama for veto. They didn’t.

    The point is that the Republicans tried to play the clever game.  They didn’t want to give the Democrats or media (redundant) an opening to demonize them.  The refusal to put up a convincing fight (even a symbolic one, where they appeared to risk that kind of criticism) was convincing in the wrong way:  Republican voters felt betrayed and instead voted for Trump (and, yes, R tactics of phony resistance on immigration, to get the results they wanted against the wishes of their own voters, was a big part of that.)  In light of this, another “Contract With America” would have been seen as a con game (which it may have been.)  By 2015, it was pretty damn late.

    The refusal to use the purse to fight Obama is central.  We have Trump essentially because Rs thought certain things were stupid.  You, OTOH, stick to it.

    • #22
  23. Ario IronStar Inactive
    Ario IronStar
    @ArioIronStar

    Lazy_Millennial:I heard NR criticizing the lack of action in 2015, and criticizing Rubio for the Gang of 8 when first proposed. I didn’t hear Mona and Jay dissenting from this criticism. Did you hear different from them?

    Mona spent the entire campaign season minimizing her man Rubio’s Go8 episode and complaining how Republican voters were being unfair to him.  And yes, at the time, Mona dissented.  Mona quite liked the Go8 plan.  It’s a reason she liked Rubio so much.

    But that’s not the point.  Mona has her opinions about immigration.  But it is seriously obtuse (and arrogant) to ignore the views of the voters you rely upon, essentially taking them for granted.  That’s what Mona and Jay (as exemplars of the broader R opinion and behavior) did with both immigration and governing tactics.  (Some Rs, like Cantor and McConnell, blatantly lied to their voters, I guess believing them to be idiots).  That was the problem, and that’s what gave us Trump.

    The question is, do Republican power players and opinion leaders have any interest in learning this lesson?

    Are they going to manage the mess they made by at least doing what they can to prevent the most corrupt, or at least the most broadly obvious corrupt politician, to have ever stood for the presidency from acquiring it?  If they think that corrupt candidate is Trump, they’re fools.

    • #23
  24. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    Ario IronStar:The refusal to use the purse to fight Obama is central. We have Trump essentially because Rs thought certain things were stupid. You, OTOH, stick to it.

    Why do you think I stick to it? I’m in favor of using it, on issues where there’s a decent chance of winning. In 2013, facing a re-elected President, holding one house of Congress, I didn’t think we had any chance of winning a shutdown fight over the President’s signature achievement that he won re-election on.

    That’s different than saying we should never do shutdowns despite holding both houses of Congress.

    Ario IronStar: But it is seriously obtuse (and arrogant) to ignore the views of the voters you rely upon, essentially taking them for granted.

    Why do you think they “ignored the views of voters”? Do you think their job is to parrot voters views back to them? I thought Mona and Jay’s job was to tell whoever wants to listen about Mona and Jay’s views.

    • #24
  25. Ario IronStar Inactive
    Ario IronStar
    @ArioIronStar

    Lazy_Millennial:

    Ario IronStar:The refusal to use the purse to fight Obama is central. We have Trump essentially because Rs thought certain things were stupid. You, OTOH, stick to it.

    Why do you think I stick to it? I’m in favor of using it, on issues where there’s a decent chance of winning.

    Why do you think they “ignored the views of voters”? Do you think their job is to parrot voters views back to them? I thought Mona and Jay’s job was to tell whoever wants to listen about Mona and Jay’s views.

    I’m directly critical of your view, so I’ll repeat as it is not getting through.  Not taking a stand conveyed to R voters that you would not fight.  It is exactly that very clever “we don’t have a decent chance of winning so lets not get blamed” tactic that lost the communication game with R voters (leaving aside the almost as bad weakness inherent in that caution and what that conveys).  Get it?  You don’t have to agree, but surely you must at least understand my point, eh?

    And Mona and Jay don’t need to parrot voters views back to them.  But they weren’t just expressing their own policy views, they were counseling C R action; and they counseled badly because they refuse to listen to R voters.  Unfortunately, C R did just what Mona and Jay counseled (correlation, not necessarily causation.)  Result: Trump.

    • #25
  26. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    Ario IronStar:Not taking a stand conveyed to R voters that you would not fight. It is exactly that very clever “we don’t have a decent chance of winning so lets not get blamed” tactic that lost the communication game with R voters (leaving aside the almost as bad weakness inherent in that caution and what that conveys). Get it? You don’t have to agree, but surely you must at least understand my point, eh?

    I understand your view, and I’ll continue to say that I’m in favor of some shutdown fights, and that CR’s were mistaken not to have them. I just think they weren’t mistaken in trying to prevent the 2013 fight. I agree that by only having that fight then doing nothing since then, CR’s opened the door to Trump. I don’t lump NR’s commentary during this period in with the CR’s actions or lack of actions.

    But they weren’t just expressing their own policy views, they were counseling C R action; and they counseled badly because they refuse to listen to R voters. Unfortunately, C R did just what Mona and Jay counseled (correlation, not necessarily causation.) Result: Trump.

    I didn’t hear Mona and Jay counseling against running on anything in 2014, and I didn’t hear Mona and Jay supporting the lack of CR action in 2015.

    • #26
  27. Ario IronStar Inactive
    Ario IronStar
    @ArioIronStar

    Lazy_Millennial:

    Why do you think I stick to it? I’m in favor of using it, on issues where there’s a decent chance of winning.

    In summary, just to be clear:  optics matter.  Congressional action, or inaction, conveys, communicates things to voters.  It’s not all about wining or losing in the moment.  Congressional Republicans needed to take a stand, not to win, but to keep their voters on their side by showing the voters that they were on the R voters’ side.  Instead, they were more concerned (as were Jay and Mona) with not scaring away “moderates” and “independents” and the like.  They took their own voters for granted.  The political calculation you favored and continue to favor was too clever by half and threw away enough of the Republican base to matter a great deal indeed:  they defected to Trump.

    A lot of Trump partisans I know don’t really trust Trump, they just don’t feel like they have any better choice.  They’ll roll the dice on him and try to hold his feet to the fire.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any better choice now either, regardless of what Bill Kristol (or Mona or Jay) might say.

    • #27
  28. Ario IronStar Inactive
    Ario IronStar
    @ArioIronStar

    Lazy_Millennial:

    I understand your view, and I’ll continue to say that I’m in favor of some shutdown fights, and that CR’s were mistaken not to have them. I just think they weren’t mistaken in trying to prevent the 2013 fight. I agree that by only having that fight then doing nothing since then, CR’s opened the door to Trump. I don’t lump NR’s commentary during this period in with the CR’s actions or lack of actions.

    But they weren’t just expressing their own policy views, they were counseling C R action; and they counseled badly because they refuse to listen to R voters. Unfortunately, C R did just what Mona and Jay counseled (correlation, not necessarily causation.) Result: Trump.

    I didn’t hear Mona and Jay counseling against running on anything in 2014, and I didn’t hear Mona and Jay supporting the lack of CR action in 2015.

    By 2015, it was far too late.  Damage was well and truly done.  But that appears to be our point of disagreement, so I won’t belabor it further.

    Don’t know what about NR you’re referring to.  Mona and Jay have been consistent in their obtuseness, so timing doesn’t enter into.  They are now as they were before (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.)  I’m guessing you haven’t been listening to them all that time, or you would know.  Then again, you are a Lazy_Millennial (snort!).

    • #28