The world is bursting with issues, and, in a quick-paced ’cast, Mona and Jay discuss a few of them: family separation at the border; Trump and North Korea; and the doings of Emmanuel Macron in France. As you know, “Need to Know” begins with the Sabre Dance, which is from a Khachaturian ballet called “Gayane.” This particular episode goes out with another beloved Khachaturian piece, the Waltz from “Masquerade” (a play). Haunting and stirring bugger.

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There are 14 comments.

  1. filmklassik Member

    To everyone complaining that Jay and Mona only criticize the Right these days — that they are de facto Internal Affairs officers for the modern GOP — let me offer just a few recent examples of exactly how wrong you are.

    Each and every one of these examples, by the way — no exceptions — all four of them — comes from the last 10 months.

    MONA: “…now, do Democrats do the same thing sometimes? Of course they do. But …”

    JAY: “…vile behavior on the part of Republicans and Democrats alike, but my goodness, the modern Republican Party can’t get out if its own way. It…”

    MONA: “…and I suppose the Democrats have done their share of this also, but where does the GOP come off by insisting that…”

    JAY: “…and of course I hold the Democrats responsible, too. On the other hand, the GOP always seems to be lying about …”

    Ha! QED! What say you now, you goose-stepping Trumpbots??! Do you still insist that Jay and Mona have “lost the plot”?

    I think you owe them, and the rest of us, a long overdue apology.

    • #1
    • June 21, 2018, at 7:58 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    To everyone complaining that Jay and Mona only criticize the Right these days — that they are de facto Internal Affairs officers for the modern GOP — let me offer just a few recent examples of exactly how wrong you are.

    I think a big part of the problem is that Republicans have always been pretty good about policing their own side. Democrats very seldom do. 

    Now most Republicans have jumped on the Trump Train with both feet and there are very few pundits or Republicans who will criticize him for anything. The smallest remark is greeted with derision or at best: “I don’t like him either but lets not dwell on it.”

    • #2
    • June 22, 2018, at 7:59 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. Hoyacon Member

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    To everyone complaining that Jay and Mona only criticize the Right these days — that they are de facto Internal Affairs officers for the modern GOP — let me offer just a few recent examples of exactly how wrong you are.

    Each and every one of these examples, by the way — no exceptions — all four of them — comes from the last 10 months.

    MONA: “…now, do Democrats do the same thing sometimes? Of course they do. But …”

    JAY: “…vile behavior on the part of Republicans and Democrats alike, but my goodness, the modern Republican Party can’t get out if its own way. It…”

    MONA: “…and I suppose the Democrats have done their share of this also, but where does the GOP come off by insisting that…”

    JAY: “…and of course I hold the Democrats responsible, too. On the other hand, the GOP always seems to be lying about …”

    Ha! QED! What say you now, you goose-stepping Trumpbots??! Do you still insist that Jay and Mona have “lost the plot”?

    I think you owe them, and the rest of us, a long overdue apology.

    Thanks for the yucks. We need more humor around here.

    • #3
    • June 22, 2018, at 10:54 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. filmklassik Member

    It’s interesting. Many of us here at Ricochet — not all of us, surely, but many of us — haven’t much love anymore for the Bill Bennetts, Sarah Palins, Larry Arns and Dennis Pragers of the world who have made common cause with right wing reactionaries. Let’s call these folks The New Populists.

    Conversely, many of us do feel a spiritual connection with the Charles CW Cooks, Kevin Williamsons, Andrew Fergusons, George Wills, David Frenchs, Brett Stephens, and Jonah Goldbergs of the world — people who continue to slam the Left whenever it needs it (which is 10 times a day) but also slam, and look askance at, the New Populists.

    The Frenchs, Goldbergs et al. cling to their core Conservative principles, which is wonderful, and when they see the Left pushing the culture in a more Western European-style direction, they push back. And that’s wonderful too. So let’s call these folks the Remnants — after Goldberg’s own characterization of himself (which also happens to be the name of his podcast).

    Thus, so far we have the New Populists (sigh) and the Remnants (hooray!).

    But is there also a term to characterize the attitude of people like Jay, Mona, Jennifer Rubin and David Frum?

    Of course, lots of easy, glib responses like “Weary!” and “Disenchanted!” leap to mind. But let’s strive to take this seriously for a minute. How does one characterize the position staked out by Jay, Mona, Jennifer Rubin and David Frum that points up how different it is from the one adopted by the Remnants?

    Because there’s no question that it is a different position.

    But how is it different?

    • #4
    • June 22, 2018, at 7:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Hoyacon Member

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    But how is it different?

    I’ll get back to you once I’ve figured out “goose stepping Trumpbot.”

    • #5
    • June 22, 2018, at 8:14 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    How does one characterize the position staked out by Jay, Mona, Jennifer Rubin and David Frum that points up how different it is from the one adopted by the Remnants?

    Basically they can see themselves voting for a Democrat. Unfortunately George Will is actually urging voters to vote Democrat in the midterms and Mona and Jay’s friend, Ben Wittes has been there for some time. That’s where I part company with them. But I still enjoy their realistic assessment of Trump. Thinking there can be some sort of conservative democrat out there is fantasy land. Voting for any democrat will only usher in the worst leftist policies. Republicans are floundering right now but Democrats are completely lost and I don’t see them coming back any time soon. I will be faced with that dilemma in November as I will absolutely not vote for Corey Stewart or Tim Kaine. Once again I will either look for a third party or simply not vote in the election for Senator. 

    • #6
    • June 23, 2018, at 10:23 AM PDT
    • Like
  7. filmklassik Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    How does one characterize the position staked out by Jay, Mona, Jennifer Rubin and David Frum that points up how different it is from the one adopted by the Remnants?

    Basically they can see themselves voting for a Democrat. Unfortunately George Will is actually urging voters to vote Democrat in the midterms and Mona and Jay’s friend, Ben Wittes has been there for some time. That’s where I part company with them. But I still enjoy their realistic assessment of Trump. Thinking there can be some sort of conservative democrat out there is fantasy land. Voting for any democrat will only usher in the worst leftist policies. Republicans are floundering right now but Democrats are completely lost and I don’t see them coming back any time soon. I will be faced with that dilemma in November as I will absolutely not vote for Corey Stewart or Tim Kaine. Once again I will either look for a third party or simply not vote in the election for Senator.

    But the problem isn’t just with voting, Julia. Or even primarily with voting. (“If the GOP can just hang onto X number of House seats and Y number of Senators and Z number of Governerships then it can still blah blah blah blah…”)

    That kind of thinking is short-sighted and will eventually cost us the country. The problem lies with the culture, Julia. It is all about the culture. The Right needs to start focusing on young people and their toxic ideas about many, many, many things, including:

    — Free speech (“America needs to become more like Europe and Canada! After all, free speech does not include hate speech!”)

    — Economics (“Socialism gets a bad rap!”)

    — Israel (“An apartheid country!”)

    — Political Correctness (“That’s a right wing expression! PC is just another term for good manners!”)

    — Social Justice (“Certain historically marginalized groups require special protection after hundreds of years of subjugation!”)

    — Striving for a ‘color blind’ society (“That’s a racist idea promoted by overly privileged white males!”)

    — American Exceptionalism (“Ha!! America is exceptional only in its racism, sexism, xenophobia and legacy of imperialism!”)

    Etc etc.

    When I hear conservatives talking incessantly about voting and voting districts and redistricting and gerrymandering and yada yada yada and not about the war of ideas, my heart sinks, because America has been drifting Left for 20 years even though Republicans have won more than their share of elections in that time.

    Again: It is all about the culture, the culture, the culture, the culture, the culture.

    • #7
    • June 23, 2018, at 11:08 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    Again: It is all about the culture, the culture, the culture, the culture, the culture.

    I agree but you asked the question:

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    How does one characterize the position staked out by Jay, Mona, Jennifer Rubin and David Frum that points up how different it is from the one adopted by the Remnants?

    The cultural position is very similar, but Jay, Mona, Jennifer Rubin and David Frum (and now sadly, George Will too) seem to think the answer is to replace the GOP Trumpers with Democrats.

    • #8
    • June 23, 2018, at 12:19 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. filmklassik Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    Again: It is all about the culture, the culture, the culture, the culture, the culture.

    I agree but you asked the question:

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    How does one characterize the position staked out by Jay, Mona, Jennifer Rubin and David Frum that points up how different it is from the one adopted by the Remnants?

    The cultural position is very similar, but Jay, Mona, Jennifer Rubin and David Frum (and now sadly, George Will too) seem to think the answer is to replace the GOP Trumpers with Democrats.

    And now I’ll attempt to answer my own question: The thing that distinguishes Jay, Mona, David Frum and Jennifer Rubin from the Remnants of the world is that the Remnants will rake Trump and the GOP over the coals whenever necessary (which is often!), but they’ll direct an equal amount of vitriol toward the Left too. Not just in the columns or the books that they write — but on their podcasts. In interviews. In conversation.

    It’s a 50-50 proposition for them: Kick the Right squarely in its private parts (we have to police our own!), but slam the Left too (Leftism is driving the country in a dangerous direction).

    But Jay and Mona cannot do that anymore. They have lost the capacity to do that in conversation. In their columns? Maybe. In their books? Perhaps. But not in conversation. 

    Which is very, very weird.

    I’m glad that they’re not New Populists. Those people sicken me.

    But boy do I wish they were Remnants.

     

     

     

     

     

    • #9
    • June 23, 2018, at 1:23 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. milkchaser Member

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    But is there also a term to characterize the attitude of people like Jay, Mona, Jennifer Rubin and David Frum?

    They remind me of the guy who has a crush on a girl in his Chemistry class and just can’t understand why someone so intelligent can be attracted to the class clown who is not, just because he might be charismatic, self-confident, positive, funny, clever and blunt.

    Jay and Mona are enamored of George W. Bush for his attempt to reform Social Security, never mind that Bush failed miserably. He was no more effective than Bill Clinton was building a bridge to the 21st century – there was nothing that they did that could not have been accomplished by merely tearing the page off the calendar every day.

    They praise Bush for attempting bi-partisanship, but what did he get for that? Did Kennedy take responsibility for “No Child Left Behind”, a program he supposedly helped shape? Did he defend it to his fellow Democrats? No, he demonized it right alongside them because there was a partisan advantage to be taken. Bush let Kennedy water down the parts that the teachers’ unions objected to, then sat back and watched while Kennedy threw him under the bus. 

    It should not be difficult to see that that is a failure. Kennedy won that round and the children lost because school vouchers were never offered.

    Bush did not even stand up to the Republicans in Congress. And what was the result of Bush’s weakness? The Democrats took over Congress after the 2006 election. What was the result? Higher federal spending. Higher deficits. Eventually… Obamacare.

    Bush refused to criticize Obama, but Obama did not refuse to criticize him. What came of that? Bush was successfully demonized. What’s wrong with defending oneself? What is wrong with pushing back on Obama now – treating him as he treated Bush? According to Jay and Mona, it’s gauche and being gauche is worse than losing the partisan argument. Because when we don’t fight back against the partisans on the Left, we lose the argument.

    And this is the archetype that Jay and Mona admire and insist that Republican Presidents follow – the archetype of failure.

    It is fine to put principle over party – but not to put decorum over party. 

    • #10
    • August 7, 2018, at 8:48 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    milkchaser (View Comment):

    Bush refused to criticize Obama, but Obama did not refuse to criticize him. What came of that? Bush was successfully demonized. What’s wrong with defending oneself? What is wrong with pushing back on Obama now – treating him as he treated Bush? According to Jay and Mona, it’s gauche and being gauche is worse than losing the partisan argument. Because when we don’t fight back against the partisans on the Left, we lose the argument.

    Speaking for myself, I want a Republican President that pushes back in an intelligent manner. Bush was wrong and too passive, but Trump is a fool and a jerk. Surely we can find someone better.

    • #11
    • August 7, 2018, at 9:42 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. milkchaser Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    Trump is a fool and a jerk. Surely we can find someone better.

    Those who have met him dispute that he is a fool. He is described as extremely charismatic. Imagine what it takes to get people to loan you money after you’d lost a quarter million on a casino. Doubt that a fool could pull that off.

    Scott Adams describes Trump as a master persuader. He analyzes it this way:

    I make a distinction between the 2-D world and 3-D world of persuasion. In the 2-D world, facts matter, policies matter and all that stuff. But I think we’ve seen that that’s not the case, right? When I was saying it a year ago [Spring 2016], it was actually radical (and I’m pretty sure no one else was saying it a year ago). But if you look at any of the headlines from the last month [May 2017], you’ll see “Why is it people are so irrational?”, “Why do people make decisions this way?”, “How did we get Brexit? How did we get Trump?” So the world has moved to my point of view.

    So I have to ask, “Better in what way?” A better President is not likely to be funnier, more charismatic, more persuasive. I think the thing Trump lacks the most – something he really does not consider a failing – is a disregard for decorum.

    As for him being a jerk, yes I see that aspect. When a jerk is winning on my account, I suppose I don’t mind it as much. When the President is negotiating on our behalf, I want a President who can be tough, turn issues around on the other side and I really don’t care if he hurts their feelings. At the level of negotiating one nation’s conflicting interests over another’s, leaders are rarely, truly nice about things – even if protocol and decorum demand that they pretend to be.

    • #12
    • August 8, 2018, at 3:11 PM PDT
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  13. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    milkchaser (View Comment):
    Those who have met him dispute that he is a fool. He is described as extremely charismatic. Imagine what it takes to get people to loan you money after you’d lost a quarter million on a casino. Doubt that a fool could pull that off.

    I highly doubt that they really dispute it. They just find it useful to dispute it under the present circumstances. 

    People lend money to fools all the time. Trump is the opposite of charismatic. I find him revolting.

    milkchaser (View Comment):

    So I have to ask, “Better in what way?” A better President is not likely to be funnier, more charismatic, more persuasive. I think the thing Trump lacks the most – something he really does not consider a failing – is a disregard for decorum.

    Better in just about every way. Having a modicum of understanding of history, economics and foreign policy. The ability to speak in coherent sentences and not to blurt out whatever stupid thing pops into his head. I am amazed that anyone finds him persuasive. I don’t think he negotiates worth a squat. He is not funny except in a truly sad way. Trump and the word “decorum” don’t live in the same universe. It goes WAY past a lack of decorum. The good economy is making people put on some really dark, rose colored glasses when it comes to Trump.

    • #13
    • August 8, 2018, at 5:10 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. milkchaser Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    Trump is the opposite of charismatic. I find him revolting.

    I find Obama revolting as well, but who could deny his charisma? A charismatic appeal is not universally beheld.

    • #14
    • August 9, 2018, at 9:19 AM PDT
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