Charlie Sykes joins Mona to chew over the past week and exult in a new project they’ve helped to create. Then Mona and Jay review the lessons of the Khashoggi story, the “woman thing,” Betsy DeVos, and much more. It’s a wide-ranging discussion!

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There are 26 comments.

  1. Member

    I watched Ford’s testimony, admittedly with a edge of skepticism, but, at the same time, willing to listen. I found her not a credible accuser. All of the claims that her memory was demolished by the shock of the event seemed very suspect to me. Though attacked, she wasn’t raped, and there is a very big difference between the two event, sort of like being shot at and actually wounded. Her claims of the long-term effects of this event also seemed excessively dramatic and her rehearsal of them seemed planned and practiced. She had obviously been extensively prepared and coached. I really find those who so willingly accept that her testimony was sincere and credible to be virtue signally. There is nothing credible in claims which have no supporting evidence. Credibility is even further eroded when supposed witnesses deny any knowledge of the alleged event. Further, when some of her claims of the ongoing effects (i.e., the inability to remain in a house or bedroom with only one exit and the remodeling of her house to accommodate this fear) are proven to be completely bogus.

    My sense is that Ms. (Dr. if you believe a PhD in psychology deserves the title) Ford may have suffered some form of assault as a teenager, but that is where the reality of her claim ends. Some other motivation entered the picture, and she decided that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant. She was then probed and coached by experts in the legal profession who specialize in such cases, and likely psychologists as well, and, perhaps, acting coaches. Her story was developed and enhanced to the point that she really believed that the enhancements actually were part of the event, an actual tenet of method acting. What they couldn’t do was present real, provable facts, like the date of the event or its location, which could then be investigated Their entire case rested on Ford’s ability to act out the testimony as she was prepared to do and hope that the “jury” would believe her enough to ignore the obvious holes in her case.

    I believe that the Democrat members of the Judiciary committee were fully aware of these things and complicit in them. The left has one overriding principle, that the end justifies the means. Stopping any Trump nominee was the end in mind, no matter who it was. The means were whatever was necessary to achieve that goal.

    Having said all that in response to the first few minutes of the podcast, I have to add that after hearing Charlie Sykes for those few minutes I could not listen to anymore. I like Mona and Jay a great deal. Although I share their dislike of Trump, I have also grown to feel that his election was not as complete a disaster as they seem to feel. I guess I have to admit to the old feeling of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    • #1
    • October 13, 2018 at 8:54 am
    • 6 likes
  2. Coolidge

    Going to give this one a pass. Charlie Sykes lost me with this Kavanaugh stuff.

    • #2
    • October 13, 2018 at 12:13 pm
    • 3 likes
  3. Member

    I have to agree with the last two comments: I haven’t been as baffled by someone’s position on an issue [Charlie’s view of Kavanaugh] since the first few capitulationists went over to Trump. I believe Charlie’s ex-wife was on the short list. Would Charlie feel the same way if it were his ex that was unfairly trashed and demeaned the way Kavanaugh was?

    • #3
    • October 13, 2018 at 1:14 pm
    • Like
  4. Member

    Just went to Mona’s new website, the Bulwark. One section of the website has a list of “recommended podcasts.” Interesting list.

    This podcast is on there, naturally. As it should be. So is Jonah Goldberg’s terrific new podcast The Remnant. So is Bill Kristol’s podcast. And so are a few others.

    But you know what podcast isn’t on the “recommended” list? Ricochet’s flagship podcast — the one with Rob Long, Peter Robinson, and James Lileks.

    And neither is GLOP Culture, which features Rob, Jonah, and Commentary’s John Podhoretz.

    And it makes you wonder why, exactly. The glib answer, of course, is space. “Bulwark is just getting started,” you can hear someone saying, “and they didn’t want to clog up the site with an endless list of recommended podcasts.”

    OK. But is that really the reason? My Spidey sense tells me it isn’t.

    • #4
    • October 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    • 1 like
  5. Member

    Just heard the rest of the podcast and to Mona and Jay’s credit, they were willing to slam the left for engaging in the ugliest form of race and gender stereotyping – – that which suggests that if you are born with certain melanin and gonads, you are expected to think a certain way. Jay and Mona took exception to this.

    Not sure why that shocks me so much, but it does.

    • #5
    • October 14, 2018 at 2:32 pm
    • Like
  6. Member

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    Just went to Mona’s new website, the Bulwark. One section of the website has a list of “recommended podcasts.” Interesting list.

    This podcast is on there, naturally. As it should be. So is Jonah Goldberg’s terrific new podcast The Remnant. So is Bill Kristol’s podcast. And so are a few others.

    But you know what podcast isn’t on the “recommended” list? Ricochet’s flagship podcast — the one with Rob Long, Peter Robinson, and James Lileks.

    And neither is GLOP Culture, which features Rob, Jonah, and Commentary’s John Podhoretz.

    And it makes you wonder why, exactly. The glib answer, of course, is space. “Bulwark is just getting started,” you can hear someone saying, “and they didn’t want to clog up the site with an endless list of recommended podcasts.”

    OK. But is that really the reason? My Spidey sense tells me it isn’t.

    To be fair, notice The Bulwark is not linked on this podcast either – I guess it goes both ways.

    • #6
    • October 14, 2018 at 3:19 pm
    • Like
  7. Member

    I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 and can’t see myself pulling the lever for him in 2 years either. He was unacceptable then and there’s no reason to think he won’t be unacceptable in 2020.

    But in regards to Mona’s belief that the cycle of awful behavior on the part of Right and Left must come to an end, and that it’s up to the Right to take the high road instead of lowering itself to the despicable behavior practiced by the Left — I just have to ask this one question:

    What would Mona have the GOP do in response to an unscrupulous Left that not only trades in lies and underhanded behavior (see Reid, Harry), but was routinely ascribing such qualities to the GOP even before Trump came along and proved their characterization prophetic?

    Is Mona’s prescription as follows:

    We must strive to maintain our integrity so that soon — or at least eventually — despite being cast as pariahs by every Left wing politician in America, all of academia, and 90 percent of the media — despite ALL of this — our stubborn shining example will (somehow) win a majority of the electorate over and allow true Conservatism to prevail. This I believe, and this we must do.

    I don’t know what the correct way forward is. I really don’t. But this particular “solution” sounds like nothing more than a recipe for continued Leftism.

    • #7
    • October 14, 2018 at 8:34 pm
    • 2 likes
  8. Listener

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    OK. But is that really the reason? My Spidey sense tells me it isn’t.

    What, do you think Monah hates Rob Long or something?

    I mean, there are three people in GLoP culture, and they link to another podcast run by Podhoretz so the problem can’t be with him, and Jonah Goldberg is as NeverTrump as they come and highly respected by both Monah and Jay.

    I think you’re reading too much into this.

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    But this particular “solution” sounds like nothing more than a recipe for continued Leftism.

    If I find money belonging to someone else, I’m going to return it, even though that particular “solution” sounds like nothing more than a recipe for continued me-being-broke. Why do you need an extra reason to do the right thing beyond it simply being the right thing?

    • #8
    • October 14, 2018 at 9:12 pm
    • Like
  9. Member

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    OK. But is that really the reason? My Spidey sense tells me it isn’t.

    What, do you think Monah hates Rob Long or something?

    I mean, there are three people in GLoP culture, and they link to another podcast run by Podhoretz so the problem can’t be with him, and Jonah Goldberg is as NeverTrump as they come and highly respected by both Monah and Jay.

    I think you’re reading too much into this.

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    But this particular “solution” sounds like nothing more than a recipe for continued Leftism.

    If I find money belonging to someone else, I’m going to return it, even though that particular “solution” sounds like nothing more than a recipe for continued me-being-broke. Why do you need an extra reason to do the right thing beyond it simply being the right thing?

    Honestly? I think Mona has a problem with Peter Robinson, which is why they haven’t linked to the flagship podcast. But I hope my saying this in the comments section will motivate her to link to it. We’ll see.

    And I completely understand your “found money” analogy. I do. But you made it very easy on yourself. Here’s another hypothetical that’s a bit more challenging and possibly more relevant to the politics of the day. (And let’s say, for arguments sake, that this scenario takes place in an era before websites like GoFundMe. Let’s say it predates the internet altogether). Here it is:

    You have a 4-year-old daughter who’s very ill. She needs a life-saving operation that you can’t afford to pay for, but if she doesn’t get it, she dies.

    At work, an embezzlement opportunity presents itself — and time is running out for your little girl.

    So the question becomes: Do you steal the money to save her life, or do you choose to let her die?

    And let’s pretend it is exactly that binary: Are you willing to do something bad in order to prevent something worse from happening?

    Or do you preserve your integrity even though, in this case, the wages of virtue is death?

    Some people (particularly Leftists) tend to weasel out of answering these types of questions with cries of “I reject your premise!” etc. And I hope you won’t do that.

    • #9
    • October 14, 2018 at 9:41 pm
    • 1 like
  10. Listener

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    Honestly? I think Mona has a problem with Peter Robinson, which is why they haven’t linked to the flagship podcast.

    But as you pointed out, they don’t link to GLoP either.

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    And let’s pretend it is exactly that binary: Are you willing to do something bad in order to prevent something worse from happening?

    Well, of course the situation doesn’t apply to this situation you have uniquely constructed in order to get the answer that you want. But the real world *isn’t* that binary, and you *can* win elections by being a decent human being and demonstrating that the Democrats are lunatics who can’t be trusted.

    • #10
    • October 15, 2018 at 1:55 am
    • 2 likes
  11. Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    Well, of course the situation doesn’t apply to this situation you have uniquely constructed in order to get the answer that you want. But the real world *isn’t* that binary, and you *can* win elections by being a decent human being and demonstrating that the Democrats are lunatics who can’t be trusted.

    The Flight 93 election, over and over, with only bad choices on both sides. I rejected that in 2016 and the “Only Trump can fix” idiocy. But Kavanaugh has made that a little less clear. Sure, a President Rubio or Cruz might have picked Kavanaugh but I’m not sure if they wouldn’t have quickly replaced him in the face of the Democrat onslaught. Trump may indeed be the only one who would have stuck with him, probably not from the purest of motives, but the result is a man’s life is not completely destroyed in a blatant political ploy and we get to continue to live in a country where spurious allegations are not enough for your enemies to easily destroy you.

    If Trump runs for re-election in 2020, we get to make the same, awful choice over again. And no matter who the Democrats nominate, the choice is going to be between Trump and giving power to people who attempted to lynch Kavanaugh. 

    • #11
    • October 15, 2018 at 8:05 am
    • 4 likes
  12. Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    Well, of course the situation doesn’t apply to this situation you have uniquely constructed in order to get the answer that you want. But the real world *isn’t* that binary, and you *can* win elections by being a decent human being and demonstrating that the Democrats are lunatics who can’t be trusted.

    The Flight 93 election, over and over, with only bad choices on both sides. I rejected that in 2016 and the “Only Trump can fix” idiocy. But Kavanaugh has made that a little less clear. Sure, a President Rubio or Cruz might have picked Kavanaugh but I’m not sure if they wouldn’t have quickly replaced him in the face of the Democrat onslaught. Trump may indeed be the only one who would have stuck with him, probably not from the purest of motives, but the result is a man’s life is not completely destroyed in a blatant political ploy and we get to continue to live in a country where spurious allegations are not enough for your enemies to easily destroy you.

    If Trump runs for re-election in 2020, we get to make the same, awful choice over again. And no matter who the Democrats nominate, the choice is going to be between Trump and giving power to people who attempted to lynch Kavanaugh.

    I can’t see myself pulling the lever for Donald Trump. And I do mean ever.

    But here’s my question: Let’s say that tomorrow, out of a clear blue sky, everyone on the Right suddenly becomes a paragon of virtue. Abracadabra— presto! Instant Boy & Girl Scouts! Who exactly is their shining example going to persuade when the Left — in the form of every teacher, professor, celebrity, sports figure, journalist and pundit in the country — is all the time calling them bigoted, corrupt and evil?

     

    • #12
    • October 15, 2018 at 8:19 am
    • 2 likes
  13. Coolidge

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    Who exactly is their shining example going to persuade when the Left — in the form of every teacher, professor, celebrity, sports figure, journalist and pundit in the country — is all the time calling them bigoted, corrupt and evil?

    And at the same time being called a weak rino by Trumpists.

    • #13
    • October 15, 2018 at 8:49 am
    • 1 like
  14. Member

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    OK. But is that really the reason? My Spidey sense tells me it isn’t.

    What, do you think Monah hates Rob Long or something?

    I mean, there are three people in GLoP culture, and they link to another podcast run by Podhoretz so the problem can’t be with him, and Jonah Goldberg is as NeverTrump as they come and highly respected by both Monah and Jay.

    I think you’re reading too much into this.

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    But this particular “solution” sounds like nothing more than a recipe for continued Leftism.

    If I find money belonging to someone else, I’m going to return it, even though that particular “solution” sounds like nothing more than a recipe for continued me-being-broke. Why do you need an extra reason to do the right thing beyond it simply being the right thing?

    Because the “right thing” is not an objective measure. Democracy is about trying to reconcile and positively direct the various competing forces within our shared society. Politics itself, however, is nothing short of the will to power. Why anyone expects the realm of electoral politics and presidential politics to be moral in any pervasive or meaningful way is beyond me. Never has been. Never will be. (Ask John Adams what he thought of the two political parties. Ask Cherokee chief Little John what he thought of judicial versus presidential policy.) If morality actually is there in some kind of policy or action, or in a political speech, well, all to the better. But to expect a certain moral tone before being willing to accept the idea that, for a lot more Americans of all stripes, things are going much better right now and for reasons having to do with the absence of the Democratic party being in power, is, to me, making the perfect the enemy of the good, however impolitic and impolite the current administration.

    • #14
    • October 15, 2018 at 9:36 am
    • Like
  15. Listener

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    Sure, a President Rubio or Cruz might have picked Kavanaugh but I’m not sure if they wouldn’t have quickly replaced him in the face of the Democrat onslaught

    This is probably true. I don’t deny that Trump’s obstinacy in the face of opposition has led to him accomplishing certain important things that any other person would have shied away from (the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem is my go-to example). Sadly, he is just as obstinate in the horrible things he does…

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    Who exactly is their shining example going to persuade when the Left — in the form of every teacher, professor, celebrity, sports figure, journalist and pundit in the country — is all the time calling them bigoted, corrupt and evil?

    That’s easy. When the Democrats are forming mobs and chasing people out of restaurants, the entire center will be join the Right to keep those lunatics out of power.

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):
    Because the “right thing” is not an objective measure.

    Objective morality is central to conservative thought!

    • #15
    • October 15, 2018 at 12:25 pm
    • Like
  16. Member

    DanielSterman (View Comment):


    filmklassik (View Comment)
    :
    Who exactly is their shining example going to persuade when the Left — in the form of every teacher, professor, celebrity, sports figure, journalist and pundit in the country — is all the time calling them bigoted, corrupt and evil?

    That’s easy. When the Democrats are forming mobs and chasing people out of restaurants, the entire center will be join the Right to keep those lunatics out of power.

    I think you’re dreaming, Daniel

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):
    Because the “right thing” is not an objective measure.

    Objective morality is central to conservative thought!

    Maybe so, but it doesn’t make it true.

     

    • #16
    • October 15, 2018 at 1:03 pm
    • Like
  17. Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):
    That’s easy. When the Democrats are forming mobs and chasing people out of restaurants, the entire center will be join the Right to keep those lunatics out of power.

    I hope so but media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) are saying that Trump and Trumpers are so evil that desperate measures must be taken to fight them …. and they will ignore and downplay anything that happens. 

    I hope there still is a big center that sees things reasonably, but I fear it is shrinking and it doesn’t seem to exist at all in primary elections anymore.

    • #17
    • October 15, 2018 at 2:16 pm
    • Like
  18. Member

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    Sure, a President Rubio or Cruz might have picked Kavanaugh but I’m not sure if they wouldn’t have quickly replaced him in the face of the Democrat onslaught

    This is probably true. I don’t deny that Trump’s obstinacy in the face of opposition has led to him accomplishing certain important things that any other person would have shied away from (the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem is my go-to example). Sadly, he is just as obstinate in the horrible things he does…

    filmklassik (View Comment):
    Who exactly is their shining example going to persuade when the Left — in the form of every teacher, professor, celebrity, sports figure, journalist and pundit in the country — is all the time calling them bigoted, corrupt and evil?

    That’s easy. When the Democrats are forming mobs and chasing people out of restaurants, the entire center will be join the Right to keep those lunatics out of power.

    Easy! Easy peasey!! Why, there’s nothing to it! (And here I thought it might be difficult!)

     

    • #18
    • October 15, 2018 at 3:45 pm
    • 1 like
  19. Listener

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I hope so but media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) are saying that Trump and Trumpers are so evil that desperate measures must be taken to fight them …. and they will ignore and downplay anything that happens. 

    Well, the proposed scenario was one in which “out of a clear blue sky, everyone on the Right suddenly becomes a paragon of virtue”. In such a case, the media and the Democrats’ attempt to paint them as evil cannot help but fail miserably, especially with the recent memory of Trumpism and the continued behavior of the lunatic left providing us with two excellent counterpoints.

    • #19
    • October 15, 2018 at 11:13 pm
    • 1 like
  20. Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I hope so but media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) are saying that Trump and Trumpers are so evil that desperate measures must be taken to fight them …. and they will ignore and downplay anything that happens.

    Well, the proposed scenario was one in which “out of a clear blue sky, everyone on the Right suddenly becomes a paragon of virtue”. In such a case, the media and the Democrats’ attempt to paint them as evil cannot help but fail miserably, especially with the recent memory of Trumpism and the continued behavior of the lunatic left providing us with two excellent counterpoints.

    Except they would still manage quite successfully to paint anyone they chose. As they did with Romney and his “binders” and dog carrier, etc. It doesn’t have to be true … it just has to work. 

    • #20
    • October 16, 2018 at 8:30 am
    • 2 likes
  21. Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    I hope so but media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) are saying that Trump and Trumpers are so evil that desperate measures must be taken to fight them …. and they will ignore and downplay anything that happens.

    Well, the proposed scenario was one in which “out of a clear blue sky, everyone on the Right suddenly becomes a paragon of virtue”. In such a case, the media and the Democrats’ attempt to paint them as evil cannot help but fail miserably, especially with the recent memory of Trumpism and the continued behavior of the lunatic left providing us with two excellent counterpoints.

    Except they would still manage quite successfully to paint anyone they chose. As they did with Romney and his “binders” and dog carrier, etc. It doesn’t have to be true … it just has to work.

    Yes! I remember how thoroughly the Left smeared Mitt Romney as a bullying, hair-cutting homophobe and abuser of animals. They even implied he got somebody killed! It was insane.

    Even Bill Maher would eventually apologize for his part in the gross mischaracterization of one of the most decent men in contemporary politics.

    But at the time? The smear campaign worked, because it had the complicity of a water-carrying media.

    All forgotten now (by some people). As though it never happened.

    • #21
    • October 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm
    • 1 like
  22. Member

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    Sure, a President Rubio or Cruz might have picked Kavanaugh but I’m not sure if they wouldn’t have quickly replaced him in the face of the Democrat onslaught

    This is probably true. I don’t deny that Trump’s obstinacy in the face of opposition has led to him accomplishing certain important things that any other person would have shied away from (the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem is my go-to example). Sadly, he is just as obstinate in the horrible things he does…

    This seems to be the new conventional wisdom of Rob Long and the Ricochetti, and I reject it 100%. I do not see Trump as more willing to fight for conservative “principle” than Rubio or Cruz when he doesn’t see it in his interest — look at how he abandoned Strange for Roy Moore in Alabama. Suppose the Access Hollywood tape had been released before the Republican convention, in my opinion the default option of the delegates would have been Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who dropped out when he was still very high in the polls. I believe Walker would have accomplished 99.9% of the good things that Trump has presided over, with untold other successes not verifiable, without the stains and the heartache Trump has caused our movement. Walker has shown much more courage taking on the unions and the left in Wisconsin than Trump has, and Walker wouldn’t tell Leslie Stahl that Kavanaugh would never have been approved if he hadn’t mocked Blaisey Ford at a rally before the vote.

    • #22
    • October 16, 2018 at 8:49 pm
    • 2 likes
  23. Listener

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    Except they would still manage quite successfully to paint anyone they chose. As they did with Romney and his “binders” and dog carrier, etc. It doesn’t have to be true … it just has to work.

    It succeeded then, yes – but it wouldn’t now. Not with leftists chasing Republican politicians out of restaurants and Charlottesville so fresh in people’s memories. No artificial “gaffe” about binders would hold a candle to that, and any attempt to focus on it would be transparent.

    • #23
    • October 16, 2018 at 8:59 pm
    • 1 like
  24. Coolidge

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    This seems to be the new conventional wisdom of Rob Long and the Ricochetti, and I reject it 100%. I do not see Trump as more willing to fight for conservative “principle” than Rubio or Cruz when he doesn’t see it in his interest — look at how he abandoned Strange for Roy Moore in Alabama. Suppose the Access Hollywood tape had been released before the Republican convention, in my opinion the default option of the delegates would have been Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who dropped out when he was still very high in the polls. I believe Walker would have accomplished 99.9% of the good things that Trump has presided over, with untold other successes not verifiable, without the stains and the heartache Trump has caused our movement. Walker has shown much more courage taking on the unions and the left in Wisconsin than Trump has, and Walker wouldn’t tell Leslie Stahl that Kavanaugh would never have been approved if he hadn’t mocked Blaisey Ford at a rally before the vote.

    Very true. And I was also reminded recently that old rino squish George HW Bush stood by Clarence Thomas. I agree that Trump only fights for Trump … fortunately it sometimes works in our favor. 

    • #24
    • October 17, 2018 at 7:02 am
    • 2 likes
  25. Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):
    It succeeded then, yes – but it wouldn’t now. Not with leftists chasing Republican politicians out of restaurants and Charlottesville so fresh in people’s memories. No artificial “gaffe” about binders would hold a candle to that, and any attempt to focus on it would be transparent.

    I so very much want you to be correct about this and maybe I spend too much time on Twitter where the crazies buzz around like gnats.

    • #25
    • October 17, 2018 at 7:09 am
    • Like
  26. Listener

    Heh. Twitter is truly a cesspool. I am so very glad I left it.

    • #26
    • October 17, 2018 at 9:52 am
    • 1 like