Build That Wall

This week, we present a super-sized edition of the Ricochet Podcast (75 minutes plus of thoughtful jabbering!) where within, we attempt to answer a few burning questions: First, is Peter Robinson in the tank for Trump? Rob Long and James Lileks investigate.

Then, Tevi Troy stops by to opine on his recent Politico piece, How GOP Intellectuals’ Feud With the Base Is Remaking U.S. Politics. Then, our old pal Mickey Kaus (aka The World’s Most Unlikely Trump Supporter) joins to take a victory lap. Why? Because he’s been saying for years that immigration would be a make or break issue for Republicans and he was right. But how does a liberal Democrat square his support for The Donald. You’ll have to tune in to find out.

Music from this week’s episode:
You Only Live Twice by Nancy Sinatra

The brand new opening sequence for the Ricochet Podcast was composed and produced by James Lileks.

Yes, you should absolutely subscribe to this podcast. It helps!

Support Our Sponsors!

TGC_Plus_Logo_Grey_OrangeFor a limited time The Great Courses Plus is offering Ricochet Podcast listeners a chance to stream their new Video Learning Service: The Great Courses Plus popular collection of business courses – Absolutely FREE! Go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/Ricochet

 

Casper-Red-Antler-eyes-mark-011-960x589Get premium mattresses for a fraction of the price delivered to your door! Casper is revolutionizing the mattress industry by cutting the cost of dealing with resellers and showrooms and passing that savings directly to the consumer. Get $50 off your first purchase! Go to Casper.com/ricochet/ and use the coupon code RICOCHET at checkout.

 

betterment_logo_tagline_vertical_small

Betterment Investment Services. Betterment’s mission is to help people manage and grow their wealth. It’s never too late to save for retirement / other financial goals, and how Betterment has changed the industry by making investing easier and at a lower cost. Right now, get up to six months of NO FEES. Go to Betterment.com/Ricochet today!

Subscribe to Ricochet Podcast in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.

Please Support Our Sponsors!

Betterment

Casper

The Great Courses

Now become a Ricochet member for only $5.00 a month! Join and see what you’ve been missing.

There are 51 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Columbo Inactive

    More “R” ………..

    for Robinson … and less of the ….

    L‘s

    • #1
    • May 20, 2016, at 1:00 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You forgot to edit in the intro music. It’s a minute of dead silence and an awkward pause after James’ first words.

    Or you just wanted me to crank up my volume before bursting my eardrums.

    • #2
    • May 20, 2016, at 1:47 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. Ken in CT Inactive
    Ken in CT Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Welcome-To-Election-Day-Homer-Simpsons-Aliens-Disguised-As-Politicians

    • #3
    • May 20, 2016, at 1:57 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti

    Aaron Miller:You forgot to edit in the intro music. It’s a minute of dead silence and an awkward pause after James’ first words.

    Or you just wanted me to crank up my volume before bursting my eardrums.

    Ah, crud. The intro track was muted. Will be fixed in a minute. Update: This has been fixed. Thanks for the heads up.

    • #4
    • May 20, 2016, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James’s point that “a president can’t say that” (can’t say outrageous things) is strange. A year ago, you would have said “someone running for President can’t say that.” It seems wishful thinking to believe that Trump would censor himself in office.

    As for the remark by Trump that he would appoint judges like the people on his list, rather than limit himself to only those people: What candidate would say anything else? I would not be surprised if even Ronald Reagan refused to absolutely limit himself to such a list during a campaign. It is normal for politicians to avoid making their campaign promises so specific.

    Increasingly, I’m leaning toward the decision to not to vote for either Trump or Clinton, knowing full well that the decision might empower Clinton. Even so, this habit of Trump’s harshest detractors of piling weak reasons on top of the many strong reasons to reject him is silly and unpersuasive.

    • #5
    • May 20, 2016, at 2:24 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. Lady Jane Grey Inactive

    ….and the link to Betterment.com/Ricochet still brings up “the page you requested could not be found.” Do their checks bounce, too?

    • #6
    • May 20, 2016, at 2:53 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti

    Lady Jane Grey:….and the link to Betterment.com/Ricochet still brings up “the page you requested could not be found.” Do their checks bounce, too?

    I see it working here. Try this one: http://betterment.com/ricochet

    • #7
    • May 20, 2016, at 2:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Peter, you have to make your choice to vote for Trump or not based on both possibilities: that Trump is semi-honestly communicating his intentions for political action and that he is lying to get elected.

    There is no reasonable way to know which is more true. So you must consider (in addition to other arguments set forth many times on Ricochet) whether or not the risk of the worst case scenario is worth the possibility of the best.

    • #8
    • May 20, 2016, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Jim Beck Member

    Rob and James seemed more interested in proving Mickey wrong or misguided than listening. They were not curious, they had all the answers, as if he had no ideas or thoughts which could inform them, even after noting that he was one of the first ones to say immigration was a big issue. I don’t know, maybe they are all fast friends and they grill each other this way all the time, but its not informative, its not even good sport, or entertainment.

    • #9
    • May 20, 2016, at 3:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    I thought it was interesting that Mickey seemed intent on explaining how the wall and mass deportation are physically possible and not why he thinks they’re actually likely to happen.

    • #10
    • May 20, 2016, at 8:29 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    Shorter Kaus: “Trump is serious about doing the things I want, but not about any of the other crap.”

    • #11
    • May 20, 2016, at 8:47 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. James Lileks Contributor

    Aaron Miller: James’s point that “a president can’t say that” (can’t say outrageous things) is strange. A year ago, you would have said “someone running for President can’t say that.” It seems wishful thinking to believe that Trump would censor himself in office.

    Things were different a year ago.

    I think he would be able to censor himself in office; we have been assured that he can be Presidential, and we won’t believe how Presidential he can be.

    • #12
    • May 20, 2016, at 8:55 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. James Lileks Contributor

    Jim Beck: Rob and James seemed more interested in proving Mickey wrong or misguided than listening. They were not curious, they had all the answers, as if he had no ideas or thoughts which could inform them, even after noting that he was one of the first ones to say immigration was a big issue. I don’t know, maybe they are all fast friends and they grill each other this way all the time, but its not informative, its not even good sport, or entertainment.

    I had no idea that’s how it came off, and if that’s actually how it came out, I regret it. I did listen to the robot answer, right? And didn’t leap in to smother his observations. (He said, sullenly, in his own defense)

    • #13
    • May 20, 2016, at 8:57 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. James Lileks Contributor

    Salvatore Padula: Shorter Kaus: “Trump is serious about doing the things I want, but not about any of the other crap.”

    You used the word “Kaus” when I think you might have meant “electorate.”

    • #14
    • May 20, 2016, at 8:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. James Lileks Contributor

    BTW, I will be beefing up the intro music so it has more presence on mobile devices or earbuds. Sounded fine on my big speakers, but who listens to it through big speakers? D’oh.

    • #15
    • May 20, 2016, at 8:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    James Lileks:

    Salvatore Padula: Shorter Kaus: “Trump is serious about doing the things I want, but not about any of the other crap.”

    You used the word “Kaus” when I think you might have meant “electorate.”

    Fair point. I’m gonna go drink more now.

    • #16
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:00 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Lileks:Things were different a year ago.

    I think he would be able to censor himself in office; we have been assured that he can be Presidential, and we won’t believe how Presidential he can be.

    Able, certainly. But willing?

    By the way, there’s a conversation in the member feed about the new Star Trek TV series. Just saying.

    • #17
    • May 20, 2016, at 9:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Rachel Lu Contributor

    The thing that I find most disconcerting about Peter’s position is not that he’s voting for Trump but that he felt the need to assert multiple times that Trump isn’t another Reagan.

    I don’t want to hyper-analyze, but multiple repetitions of that painfully obvious point makes me feel like you probably have too rosy a picture of where we are. Again, sorry for reading so much into so little, but it was weird, like needing to state over and over that Dan Brown isn’t another Tolstoy.

    • #18
    • May 20, 2016, at 10:03 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Hammer, The Member

    That was the most depressing first several minutes of a podcast… haven’t listened to the whole thing.

    Peter, I’m led to believe one of two things: 1) you haven’t read a word I’ve written on all your recent posts, 2) I’m not nearly as convincing as I thought.

    I’m personifying for effect, but many people have been making these arguments, and people I know you’re reading.

    I think Rob’s point was amazingly spot on when he said that we just can’t have a man like that- even if he actually followed through on what he says- we can’t be a nation that finds it acceptable to elect a man of Trump’s character and disposition into that office. (My paraphrase)

    This baffles me. Why is it that Rob is making the obvious social conservative argument about means being important enough to have broader impact than just those ends you envision, while Peter is willing to overlook morality and character on the flimsy promise of Rudi on the cabinet and a heritage foundation list that trump has already said he’s not committed to??

    • #19
    • May 20, 2016, at 11:24 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. Hammer, The Member

    Rachel Lu:The thing that I find most disconcerting about Peter’s position is not that he’s voting for Trump but that he felt the need to assert multiple times that Trump isn’t another Reagan.

    I don’t want to hyper-analyze, but multiple repetitions of that painfully obvious point makes me feel like you probably have too rosy a picture of where we are. Again, sorry for reading so much into so little, but it was weird, like needing to state over and over that Dan Brown isn’t another Tolstoy.

    The other day, someone said in defense of trump: “do you remember Reagan? He was an outsider, too. People thought he was just some idiot actor who couldn’t do anything.”

    I said I think you’re missing the point of the criticism of trump.

    If that’s what’s important about a person’s comparison to Reagan, then Sean Penn would qualify as the next Ronald Reagan should he ever run for office.

    • #20
    • May 20, 2016, at 11:31 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Jim Beck Member

    Morning Mr. Lileks,

    Thanks for your reply. I would like to know how Mickey thinks immigration and trade have come to symbolize something wrong with the economy, or jobs, or government policy, or is it just a symbol of the country going in the wrong direction.

    Morning RyanM and Rachel,

    To invert your questions, many folks have replied that if it takes that man to stop the status quo of corruption, governmental deceit (rule by activists and side deals), a leadership who finds America distasteful then we will vote for that man. Many folks have presented the case that Trump will not have the bureaucracy, media, courts working with him and his ability to do harm would be less.

    • #21
    • May 21, 2016, at 4:10 AM PDT
    • Like
  22. Lady Jane Grey Inactive

    Blue Yeti,

    The link works for me now. I have no idea what the issue was; perhaps it had something to do with the browser on the device I was using (a Kindle Fire).

    • #22
    • May 21, 2016, at 5:11 AM PDT
    • Like
  23. Mate De Inactive

    I’m with Peter, as I think Hillary is a much worse option than Trump. And the argument against Trump that we can’t have someone like THAT, as president. This decision isn’t made in a vacuum, I’d have to say that Hillary is someone we can’t have as president, a woman who is already beholdened to countless people by being paid out ridiculous speech fees, which is obvious they aren’t paying her for her brilliant insight and speaking skills. The first dude will remind us that the office of president has already been diminished since the Clinton era by a sex pervert who took many more trips on the Lolita express than originally thought. I this may be generational, when I first came aware of anything political in high school Bill Clinton was president and he was a lying perv, people my age and younger I don’t think have the same reverence of the office because it has already been demished in their eyes. It is a sad reality but reality it is. We need to fix the culture which will take much longer than a few months and our choices for president are a reflection of that. Right now we do have to think about the Supreme Court which will be lost for a generation if Hillary is put in. And if you want to see how Trump will govern just look at how he runs his companies, he does listen to his advisors or he wouldn’t have a company

    • #23
    • May 21, 2016, at 6:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  24. Mr. Dart Inactive

    Salvatore Padula:

    James Lileks:

     

    I’m gonna go drink more now.

    I couldn’t possibly.

    • #24
    • May 21, 2016, at 7:33 AM PDT
    • Like
  25. Hammer, The Member

    Jim Beck:

    Morning RyanM and Rachel,

    To invert your questions, many folks have replied that if it takes that man to stop the status quo of corruption, governmental deceit (rule by activists and side deals), a leadership who finds America distasteful then we will vote for that man. Many folks have presented the case that Trump will not have the bureaucracy, media, courts working with him and his ability to do harm would be less.

    … record setting world’s largest “IF.”

    And I dispute your second point. Many folks have claimed that Trump will not have the bureaucracy, media courts, etc… Nobody has yet to actually present that case, nor is the weight of evidence on the side of that claim.

    • #25
    • May 21, 2016, at 8:44 AM PDT
    • Like
  26. Leslie Watkins Inactive
    Leslie Watkins Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I don’t like Trump at all and am one of those people who will vote for Hillary over him (or not vote), but I found Mickey to be very courageous (he didn’t get mad, and remained very calm, even as Rob challenged his character). He acknowledges that there are grave concerns about the Trump candidacy, but he’s thought it out politically and I think he made some very good points (the main one being something I had not thought of: that the constant threat of impeachment might temper the Donald as no aide or consultant will be able to). It’s refreshing to hear a partisan discuss his support for a candidate as an acknowledged human being rather than a hoped-for god.

    • #26
    • May 21, 2016, at 10:01 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. Jim Beck Member

    Afternoon RyanM,

    Not only are we in different time zones, but we have had a power outage. I don’t know if that is an omen.

    I think most of the will vote for Trump-in-spite-of, think that this is an A or B choice, and we are not claiming to know the future, we are just making our best guesses.

    For example, the DOJ is currently investigating 12 different police departments. Those departments will be walking on eggshells, they will not be proactive, they will pull back from the neighborhoods that need them the most. The “Ferguson Effect” will continue to produce more crime and death among the folks who are stuck in the worst parts of our cities. With Clinton, the DOJ will further this type of federal action in different cities, and Clinton and the her DOJ will focus on policing and sentencing disparities, causing more unnecessary suffering. This trend in a Trump DOJ would be different and lives would be saved.

    Now do I know if my predictions about the difference between the Clinton and the Trump DOJs will be as I fear they will be, of course I do not. However, it is in the political interest for the Democrat Party to maintain the lie that blacks are the victims of serious injustice. They use this lie to further their power, I more importantly, I believe this lie has deep, tragic implications. I also think that Al Sharpton will be a more frequent adviser to Clinton than Trump.

    The DOJ, is not the only area where I think Clinton is much worse. You may believe that I am wrong, or that you have a better fix on what might happen, at that point we are stuck.

    When you wonder if Peter has not heard your arguments against Trump (because if he had, he couldn’t vote for Trump) or Rachel imagines that Peter must be having some sort of delayed separation from Reagan delusion to vote for Trump, you are presuming that people who would vote for Trump have something wrong with them. This presumption that Peter, or VDH, or others must have something wrong with them to imagine voting for that kind of man seems to be a short hand for dismissing them and their opinions. When Rachel imagines that the guy who wrote “How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life” might be unconsciously replacing Reagan’s attributes onto Trump, she is suggesting that her power as an analyst has detected a rather large political blind spot in Peter. And poor Peter has lost the ability to see the gulf between Reagan and Trump. We all see that gulf, even when we point out that Reagan was thought to be, and portrayed by the media to be an “amiable dunce” (thank you, Clark Clifford), or just an actor.

    • #27
    • May 21, 2016, at 12:51 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    I’m not a Trumpist but Kurt Schlichter expressed my view:
    ‘I choose to vote for Trump not because I like the cut of his jib but because Hillary Clinton is an extinction-level menace who is likely to literally destroy the United States of America. We’re strong enough to deal with an idiot. I don’t think our culture is strong enough to deal with a committed, focused leftist monster like her. That’s my reasoning. That’s why he will get my vote. That’s the only reason he will get my vote.

    I have principles too, and a key one is not electing a man-hating progressive fascist who has the liberal infrastructure behind her that can make her goose-stepping dreams actually come true. Trump is a one-off loner who Congress could contain. Hillary Clinton has eager allies and potentially the Senate and, God forbid, the House behind her. She’s just malignant and stupid enough to start people shooting, while all Trump could do is get us yelling. Slight advantage, Trump.’

    • #28
    • May 21, 2016, at 1:29 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. Von Snrub Member

    I don’t understand the hate towards Trump, after our last two candidates were one, willing to grant amnesty nationwide, and two enacted Obamacare in his home state.

    Trump is a populist, but Hillary is a horrible creature from the deepest crevice of hell.

    Rob is also so incredibly negative year after year I really need to let my membership lax. I used to enjoy the podcast, but he continually harps on the decline of conservative radio, how we will lose big, how the base shows up no matter what, blah blah blah….

    You know what, this is loser talk. The worst sort of Droopy/Eeyor syndrome.

    I’m sad that this place is such a depressing group of intelligent conversationalists. We lose we lose we lose… but only if Ronald Reagan was brought back to life we’d win again. Well he’s dead, and he’s not coming back. And as he left the white house when I was five, I really don’t have any connection to how great he was.

    You need to make the best of your situation. And if Trump is the imperfect vehicle to our possible victory. That’s who he is. I can’t imagine he’d leave the party in any poorer shape then Bush and Cheney.

    • #29
    • May 21, 2016, at 1:42 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Henry Castaigne Member

    For more information about that Maoist supporter of the shining path feel free to read my post.

    • #30
    • May 21, 2016, at 2:09 PM PDT
    • Like