New York Times op-ed editor Bari Weiss joins NTK to discuss the extremism of the January Women’s March and how mainstream liberals have handled the issue.

Jay and Mona then turn to Rex Tillerson and democracy, abortion and the Democrats, obsolete technology, race and art, and the generals and others who advise Trump.

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There are 13 comments.

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  1. George Townsend Inactive

    Mona, this Podcast was great, as usual. Ms. Weiss (even though I use Ms., I’ve never quite gotten used to it. :-)) is worth listening to. Not many people are willing to admit they’ve been wrong.

    I wonder if you could do something on a future Podcast, which I think might be enlightening? You’ve been very nice to me, by saying that I keep you sane. Well, if you and Jay could do a segment on the hatred of some Trump supporters, it might help my sanity!

    I’ve done a few pieces on Ricochet, the latest being what I think real conservatism is all about, and every time I do one, the rabid Trump followers will accuse me of all sorts of things. For this latest essay, several took out a word (nice) that I may have used once in the piece, and built a whole line of attack on it. They said you can’t always be nice if you want to get the job done. Well, I acknowledged it was a fair point (even saying that Reagan wasn’t nice when he bombed Libya, but that it had to be done). But I said that this was missing the point of my article. Manners are what counted, not particularly niceness. But, one after the other, his supporters would use the word “Nice”, saying I would hate Patton’s army, stuff like that.

    What is it with some Trump supporter (not all, by any means)? They may be very smart, but at what point should wisdom enter the picture?

    Thanks for “hearing” me out, Mona! :-)

    • #1
    • August 4, 2017, at 10:00 AM PDT
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  2. George Townsend Inactive

    By the way, good luck on your move. I know how hard it can be. And I’ve never had over 20 years of stuff to move!

    • #2
    • August 4, 2017, at 10:03 AM PDT
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  3. Scott Wilmot Member

    Mona, at ~the 38th minute you said this:

    Someone commented on a previous podcast that we need more small town America and less DC (I don’t claim that you were referring to me, but I certainly voiced that sentiment here on your 27 July podcast thread).

    And then you said, I think DC is the way it is because small-town America is the way it is. People in DC really have their fingers on the pulse. When you talk about why the Republican Congress couldn’t get health care passed, was it because they were all idiots, was it because they are all incompetent, or was it because (Jay interrupts here and says: the American people disagreed) and you continue: Yeah, they looked at their constituents and they looked at what their constituents wanted, and they want to get re-elected, and they didn’t want to do something that would be unpopular with the people. That’s pretty much it. People in DC are more followers than leaders.

    Really? I’m no student of politics but I thought one of the reasons Republican won majorities in the Congress and Senate was to repeal Obamacare. And that was something Trump ran on.

    To answer your question, yes I think Congressmen are idiots and incompetent (EDIT – and liars too). The only thing you got right was that they want to get re-elected. Well, now that they are on their month long holiday after having failed to do anything with healthcare I hope the clowns who voted against repeal get hammered by their constituents – if they have the guts to meet with them – but I won’t hold my breath on that.

    I really found that minute and a half of conversation stunning.

    You confirmed and doubled down on my comment – we need way less DC.

    • #3
    • August 4, 2017, at 5:06 PM PDT
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  4. George Townsend Inactive

    Hi, Scott!

    He have jousted before, and, I think, civilly. So, I hope we can do that again.

    I believe Mona is correct. I think I might have phrased some of her ruminations differently, but I believe that much of DC is made of followers more than leaders. The very fact they voted the way they did, I think, proves that. Many of them did meet with their constituents. But they were the wrong constituents. I believe the ones that they met with fall into two camps: 1) They were misinformed about what the repeal and replace actually met. Or, 2) they have no problem with having big government in their lives, because they believe it will help.

    I do believe your comments regarding our representatives in Congress were too pejorative. I prefer not to speak that way. I do agree, though, that many of them lack guts, and are fearful for their jobs.

    I think you are very well meaning, but think that most people think like you. I’m sure the ones you know do. But there are millions of others. And they make their voices known. I think this is a mistake that too many people make. Look, I am a conservative through and through. I want less government. To me, that will eventually make people’s lives better. They will forced to find answers on their own. That will mature them, make better citizens of them, and ultimately please God. I believe He wants people who are willing to grow in life. I am, however, under no delusion that most people agree with me. Many want to be taken care of. We have to convince them that they are wrong. And that is where Congressman go wrong. They either do not have the guts to do that. Or they lack the wisdom to do it.

    Subject to her correcting me, I believe this is what Mona is trying to get at.

    • #4
    • August 5, 2017, at 4:28 AM PDT
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  5. George Townsend Inactive

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    Hi, Scott!

    We have jousted before, and, I think, civilly. So, I hope we can do that again.

    I believe Mona is correct. I think I might have phrased some of her ruminations differently, but I believe that much of DC is made of followers more than leaders. The very fact they voted the way they did, I think, proves that. Many of them did meet with their constituents. But they were the wrong constituents. I believe the ones that they met with fall into two camps: 1) They were misinformed about what the repeal and replace actually meant. Or, 2) they have no problem with having big government in their lives, because they believe it will help.

    I do believe your comments regarding our representatives in Congress were too pejorative. I prefer not to speak that way. I do agree, though, that many of them lack guts, and are fearful for their jobs.

    I think you are very well meaning, but think that most people think like you. I’m sure the ones you know do. But there are millions of others. And they make their voices known. I think this is a mistake that too many people make. Look, I am a conservative through and through. I want less government. To me, that will eventually make people’s lives better. They will forced to find answers on their own. That will mature them, make better citizens of them, and ultimately please God. I believe He wants people who are willing to grow in life. I am, however, under no delusion that most people agree with me. Many want to be taken care of. We have to convince them that they are wrong. And that is where Congressman go wrong. They either do not have the guts to do that. Or they lack the wisdom to do it.

    Subject to her correcting me, I believe this is what Mona is trying to get at.

    • #5
    • August 5, 2017, at 4:29 AM PDT
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  6. Steven Iverson Member

    I agree with Scott above, Mona is dead wrong to believe congressmen did not vote to repeal obamacare “root and branch” as McConnell promised to do in his Senate campaign, because they were following their constituents wishes. That’s what they campaigned on and promised to do and it got them elected. Congressmen are not afraid of constituents but are afraid of their big donor special interests who do not want to compete in a free market environment, i.e. insurance companies, hospitals and other providers. GOP is also totally incompetent in explaining and messaging the benefits of a competitive free market in the delivery of health care and every other good and service.

    • #6
    • August 6, 2017, at 1:41 AM PDT
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  7. George Townsend Inactive

    steven Iverson (View Comment):
    I agree with Scott above, Mona is dead wrong to believe congressmen did not vote to repeal obamacare “root and branch” as McConnell promised to do in his Senate campaign, because they were following their constituents wishes. That’s what they campaigned on and promised to do and it got them elected. Congressmen are not afraid of constituents but are afraid of their big donor special interests who do not want to compete in a free market environment, i.e. insurance companies, hospitals and other providers. GOP is also totally incompetent in explaining and messaging the benefits of a competitive free market in the delivery of health care and every other good and service.

    If this is right, how do explain the mobs at the Town Hall meetings, who yell at the politicians who want to repeal it? They are not insurance companies. This is just blind rage, I am sorry to say. We have to stop reacting by emotion, and think about changing people’s hearts. Our neighbors are not always right, and it is folly to think they are.

    • #7
    • August 6, 2017, at 3:58 AM PDT
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  8. Mona Charen Contributor

    George and Steven: I think you’re saying the same thing but in different ways. There is always a delicate ballet between people and politicians. We don’t respect those politicians whose only guide is a wet finger in the wind. At the same time, we also condemn those who seem overly committed to a particular ideology. We say “they don’t get it” or “they’re not listening to the people.”

    I wish Republicans had done and would do a better job of making the case for free market reforms of health care and other sectors. But I don’t envy them the task. Just as many politicians are lazy and take the easy way out, so do many of their constituents, failing to educate themselves on the issues and rewarding politicians who promise that they can eat all the cake they ever want and never gain weight.

    • #8
    • August 6, 2017, at 9:07 AM PDT
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  9. George Townsend Inactive

    Mona Charen (View Comment):
    George and Steven: I think you’re saying the same thing but in different ways. There is always a delicate ballet between people and politicians. We don’t respect those politicians whose only guide is a wet finger in the wind. At the same time, we also condemn those who seem overly committed to a particular ideology. We say “they don’t get it” or “they’re not listening to the people.”

    I wish Republicans had done and would do a better job of making the case for free market reforms of health care and other sectors. But I don’t envy them the task. Just as many politicians are lazy and take the easy way out, so do many of their constituents, failing to educate themselves on the issues and rewarding politicians who promise that they can eat all the cake they ever want and never gain weight.

    I am indebted to you, Mona, for your take, and for you trying to make peace. I agree with you that being a politician is a delicate balance (or, ballet, as you put it). I think, however, that where Scott and Steven agree, and I demur, is that they see things more from a populist angle. I truly think populism is pernicious, and is ruining our country. This is why I was a little upset, and responded to Scott the way I did. We’ve got to stop blaming the “Special Interests” so much, and look to ourselves. I believe this is what your last sentence is all about, and you are right. If I may, it is almost like saying, “Physician, heal thyself”!

    • #9
    • August 6, 2017, at 10:30 AM PDT
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  10. Scott Wilmot Member

    George and Mona, I really can’t understand your thinking at all. Perhaps I need someone like my good friend Charles Krauthammer to make the point for me as he did tonight on Special Report (at ~1:25):

    The fact is that the Congress has been a complete bust. … The Obamacare repeal was an epic fail.

    This will indeed be a millstone around the neck of Congress. DC has failed small town America. They neither follow nor lead, they only worry about their re-election.

    I’ll back off on my agreement that they are idiots – they are smart enough to save their hides and get re-elected, but they are liars and incompetent. 7 years to get a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare – and all we get is an epic fail.

    This has got nothing to do with populism on my part George – I don’t know what I’ve said to have you think that – this is about holding Congress accountable for what they said they would do.

    • #10
    • August 7, 2017, at 4:20 PM PDT
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  11. George Townsend Inactive

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    George and Mona, I really can’t understand your thinking at all. Perhaps I need someone like my good friend Charles Krauthammer to make the point for me as he did tonight on Special Report (at ~1:25):

    First of all, I never met Charles Krauthammer. So, while I can’t call him a friend, I would have to say that I am second to none in my admiration for this man. He is not only brilliant, but, what I would say is more important, he is courageous. I don’t think that I could face what he’s had to face, and come through it with some fortitude and grace. He even is against the public funding of stem-cell research, when it could possibly benefit him. He is some kind of man!!

    I, too, heard his remarks, being an avid follower of Special Report. And I certainly agree with him. His remarks on the cowardliness of our legislators is well observed. Neither Mona nor I disagreed with that.

    However, we also went to say that they are not solely to be blamed. And, with all due respect to you, who I really do think is honestly trying to figure all this out, you are failing in that pursuit if you do not acknowledge that our friends and neighbors might also be at fault, if they – even a little – support Obamacare. Why don’t they flood Capitol Hill with letters, e-mails, and all kinds of communication demanding repeal? Instead, they let Townhalls be monopolized by Obamacare-loving folk.

    I didn’t mean to offend you by saying you were a populist. if I was wrong, I apologize. As a matter of fact, it was Steven who brought up Special Interests and Insurance Companies as being behind the fact that Obamacare wasn’t repealed. Since you didn’t put that way, I was wrong to lump you in as a populist. I am just so used to people on the left and the populist right not blaming average people but always pinning their problems on the so-called special interests that I reacted the way I did.

    I just think – and apparently so does Mona (Jay too, I’m thinking) – that we have to take a step back, and think about what part we as average citizens have played in this “epic fail”.

    • #11
    • August 7, 2017, at 5:10 PM PDT
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  12. Scott Wilmot Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    I just think – and apparently so does Mona (Jay too, I’m thinking) – that we have to take a step back, and think about what part we as average citizens have played in this “epic fail”.

    Well the first thing we have to do is admit that the people we elected to repeal and replace Obamacare lied to us.

    • #12
    • August 7, 2017, at 5:37 PM PDT
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  13. George Townsend Inactive

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    Well the first thing we have to do is admit that the people we elected to repeal and replace Obamacare lied to us.

    This is the nub of our disagreement. I don’t think putting the onus on them is helpful.

    Frankly, this kind of philosophical idea could take pages, maybe even a book, to fully explicate. I believe, as Edmund Burke believed, that we need leaders who are truly leaders. That they give us the benefit of their thought, instead of blindly following all the time what people want.

    Unfortunately, we no longer have that type of society. Polls are taken every five minutes on every conceivable thing. And, even if they are unfamiliar with the issue, the average person feels compelled to answer.

    I’m sorry, Scott, but I think resorting to calling people liars is not only not fair, but ignores what I wrote in my last comment. You are not holding constituents responsible for anything. It is all the fault of our “leaders”. Frankly, this is populism. You are saying that We The People are never wrong. It is always the fault of those we elect. If you really want this type of country, I suggest we start electing robots, and find a way to push buttons that tell them what we want done. But, I warn you, when we do that, just make sure that no lefty gets a whole of the button!

    • #13
    • August 7, 2017, at 6:50 PM PDT
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