This week, we take some time to discuss climate change and then the puzzling and disturbing disappearance of a seemingly once very prevalent species: the California Republican, with our guest the Hoover Institution’s Bill Whalen. Then, we go back in time to chat about that guy on the $20 bill, Andrew Jackson, with the guy who wrote the book on him, Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade (buy his book Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny). Also, a little talk about transplants (of the organ variety) and Rob and James head to sea. Ahoy!

Music from this week’s show: The Only Place by Best Coast

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There are 38 comments.

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  1. Coolidge

    I don’t know how you win back CA voters who vote for defecating in the street and gated communities serviced by people living in ghettos.

    • #1
    • November 30, 2018 at 9:05 am
    • 4 likes
  2. Thatcher

    According to Bill Whalen the only way the Republicans can win is to become Democrats. Brilliant! The guy must have overlooked Churchill’s shortest speech:

    “Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force.Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

    It(the quote) might be a bit strong but it seems to me this quote applies more than anything to principles, core beliefs and core values. It seems to me to be rather obnoxious to do ANYTHING just to gain power. Power is not the point…doing the right thing is or should be the point. However, your mileage may differ.

    • #2
    • November 30, 2018 at 9:24 am
    • 4 likes
  3. Member

    The Democrats would never ever steal an election in California. Anyone who says that is just a frustrated right-wing fringe nutbag. Where do you want this truckload of harvested ballots?

    • #3
    • November 30, 2018 at 9:46 am
    • 4 likes
  4. Coolidge

    Things here will get worse before they improve. I foresee a lot more flight of middle class and businesses to other states in coming years. I’ve got up to 15 years before I retire; in the off chance I make it to career’s end without moving, I don’t plan to spend my golden years in the golden state. It’s a shame; I still love so much about the state.

    • #4
    • November 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm
    • 5 likes
  5. Member

    Did a chunk of the Kilmeade segment get cut? Rob asked a question about the swamp and then James said thank you for joining us (around 55:45).

    • #5
    • November 30, 2018 at 5:02 pm
    • 1 like
  6. Member

    I was one for two on being in sync with Lileks during the opening. He said that they probably weren’t playing Pinochle on Pedo Island and I thought, maybe naked Twister. A beat later that’s what James says. Then he talks about dripping at the urinal. I thought because of an STD but James went with the prostrate. 

    • #6
    • November 30, 2018 at 5:10 pm
    • 1 like
  7. Admin

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Did a chunk of the Kilmeade segment get cut? Rob asked a question about the swamp and then James said thank you for joining us (around 55:45).

    His phone died but I wanted you to hear Rob’s response and there was no elegant way to cut out his next question.

     

    We’ll have Brian back on again soon. 

    • #7
    • November 30, 2018 at 9:03 pm
    • 4 likes
  8. Thatcher

    A big thumbs up to Rob for mentioning P. J. O’Rourke’s essay about the 1990 Nicaraguan election. The first paragraph denouement is one the funniest sentences I have ever read. 

    • #8
    • December 1, 2018 at 3:53 am
    • 1 like
  9. Member

    Interesting debate on California. A cautionary tale from the UK:

    After Tony Blair’s Labour landslide in 1997 the Conservatives were in the doldrums. They received an almost identical spanking four years later, gaining just one seat if memory serves. By 2005 Blair’s image was tarnished yet the Conservatives still only added a few score seats and were still far short of a majority.

    Fast forward to 2010 and Gordon Brown had replaced Blair. The dour Scot was deeply unpopular and the financial crisis had destroyed his legacy as Chancellor. However, we ended up with a hung Parliament with the Conservatives the largest party by far but 20 or so seats short of a majority. Although David Cameron went into coalition with the third party, the Liberal Democrats, many thought the Tories should have won that election.

    You see the Conservative party had picked Cameron in 2005 as he was basically Tony Blair’s heir – telegenic, a feel your pain Bill Clinton type politician. The policies were certainly more centrist with a softer line on crime and an embrace of enviromentalism, while the proceeds of growth were to be shared more evenly. Basically an abandonment of the previous Tory positions and a move to Labour’s ground.

    So when the financial crisis validated the previous arguments the Conservatives had been making on the economy but Cameron had repudiated, he could not (or would not) tack back. The 2010 election presented the electorate with little real choice between the three parties and hence it returned a hung Parliament, when data suggested they were ready to try a lot more cuts to taxes and spending (according to the British Social Attitudes Survey which I am suspicious of but it is considered the goldstandard, the UK’s answer to PEW if you will).

    In 2015 Cameron offered a more authenticate Conservative manifesto thinking that he would be in coaltion again and could bargain things away. The Liberals would never accept an EU referendum for example. He actually won and was therefore bound to his agenda even though it was probably more Conservative than he was. The rest is history, or will be at some point.

    • #9
    • December 1, 2018 at 4:01 am
    • 3 likes
  10. Member

    And even as a Brit I have to agree with Rob, great story from Brian. All power to popular history.

    • #10
    • December 1, 2018 at 4:28 am
    • 1 like
  11. Thatcher

    There was an enormous omission from the discussion about California: the state’s political makeup is changing because conservatives are moving away, and new people moving there from other states lean left: they are moving there from places like Illinois, New York, and New Jersey, and California conservatives are fleeing to places like Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and Texas.

    This isn’t a story of the same population gradually rejecting Republicans and embracing Democrats. This is the story of a state sorting itself over multiple generations in terms of who is moving out and who is moving in.

    Finally, Rob’s idea that the California GOP is a mirror of the national GOP is insane. The problems of the California GOP are only problems in a deep blue state. See also the New York GOP, Illinois GOP, etc.

    • #11
    • December 1, 2018 at 4:48 am
    • 10 likes
  12. Member

    So to be a Republican in California one has to be pro-abortion and pro-same sex marriage. Wow.

    That is like saying that if you want to be Catholic one has to be for women priests and allow same sex marriage in the Church.

    And just as watered-down Christianity is a failure, so will be watered-down Republicanism.

    • #12
    • December 1, 2018 at 5:55 am
    • 8 likes
  13. Member

    India and China put up 25 new coal powered electricity plants every single year between them. Every single year. The fact is, there are 1 billion people that need cheap power no matter what the cost. If you don’t deal with that head-on, it’s a waste of time.

    The other thing is all of those damn models broke between 1997 and 2015. 25% of all of the carbon humans have ever emited was during that time. 25%. Then throw in the East Anglica email scandal. Congress and all of the Western governments are completely unserious about regulating this research. Screw that.

    This is a great photo of John Kerry with Tom Harkin and Daniel Ortega. Could someone embed that for me? LOL it truly belongs here. All of those guys are so stupid.

    • #13
    • December 1, 2018 at 7:00 am
    • 4 likes
  14. Coolidge

    It might be interesting to know what Mr. Whalen’s opinion was of PRESIDENT Trump back in 2015 and 2016, I suspect that back then he was probably advocating for the softest, most milquetoast, gentlemanly Jeb(!) , Kasich or equivalent to lose graciously to the inevitable Queen Hillary.

    • #14
    • December 1, 2018 at 8:11 am
    • 3 likes
  15. Member

    I’d like to know Mr. Whalen’s thoughts on how the Republican Party’s refusal to defend the border resulted in the current state of California.

    • #15
    • December 1, 2018 at 8:16 am
    • 5 likes
  16. Member

    “A culture that just wants far more [from government].”

    And in minority-majority California, James, whose culture would that be?

    ”They always want to be told that the election was stolen from us,” Rob said about California Republicans.

    Typically, no one on the Never Trump panel, including Mr. Whalen, said the words “Like by Russia?”

    When can subscribers get someone on the Flagship podcast who can represent the new Republican Party, the party that supports an anti-Left, anti-anti-white, pro-nationalist and America First agenda, without his anouncing that he is playing “devil’s advocate?”

    • #16
    • December 1, 2018 at 11:19 am
    • 4 likes
  17. Member

    Rightfromthestart (View Comment):

    It might be interesting to know what Mr. Whalen’s opinion was of PRESIDENT Trump back in 2015 and 2016, I suspect that back then he was probably advocating for the softest, most milquetoast, gentlemanly Jeb(!) , Kasich or equivalent to lose graciously to the inevitable Queen Hillary.

    He was a Never Trumper from the start:

    https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/bill-whalen/article32573202.html

    What a surprise!

    • #17
    • December 1, 2018 at 11:24 am
    • 2 likes
  18. Member

    I have three suggestions.

    At this point in time all of the GOP threats to outlaw abortion are counterproductive. All it does is make the world a worse place by empowering the left. I’ve explained the dynamics of this problem at least twice here and no one has ever challenged me. Same thing on Twitter. Just make the moral case. Make it a complete waste of time and money for Planned Parenthood to have lobbyists. Planned parenthood literally has abortion quotas so they can pay K Street to protect their financials and their salaries.

    The second thing is, if the Republican Party doesn’t come up with their own form of universal coverage, the ACA is going to force single-payer because it is the Cloward and Piven strategy from hell. We have to universalize it at this point. This can be done in a way that slows down the socialist impulse.

    Talk to Larry Elder about the politics in California. He has had some very compelling guests on the subject.

    Also, someone has to deal with this, but it’s hard to get anyone to care.

    • #18
    • December 1, 2018 at 11:40 am
    • Like
  19. Member

    Mr Nick (View Comment):

    And even as a Brit I have to agree with Rob, great story from Brian. All power to popular history.

    I heard Agincourt was pretty mindblowing.

    • #19
    • December 1, 2018 at 12:57 pm
    • Like
  20. Coolidge

    I don’t know the answer to solving Republican problems in California, but I know it’s not what Whalen advocates. The exception would be healthcare, but that’s not a Republican problem peculiar to California – Sean Hannity still thinks HSAs will make everything better for goodness’ sake! I do agree that demographics are largely responsible for changing the right-leaning California I grew up in, and Trump certainly doesn’t help in a lot of ways, but when there are people in California who used to identify as Republicans, like my college-educated-mother-of-six sister-in-law for example, who when I tell her how pernicious and regressive the infamous gas tax is and she replies that the state needs money to fix the roads after all so she’s not voting to repeal it (Prop. 6), I don’t see how Whalen’s approach is going to make things any better. For that matter, my other sister-in-law who supposedly is pro-life, voted straight Democrat because “all the Republicans were crazies”, all the while telling my wife that the people she voted for had no impact on the life question, apparently completely ignorant of the fact that all the abortion laws that matter are made by states, so…how do you solve for this kind of ignorance among college-educated suburbanites? This at least isn’t a Trump problem.

    • #20
    • December 1, 2018 at 3:48 pm
    • 4 likes
  21. Member

    Vote harvesting is illegal in most states. They walk around with absentee ballots, they have you fill it out and then they mail it for you. The Democrat party does that in California. Perfectly legal.

    Republicans are bolting the state.

    They spent $20 million getting rid of Dana Rohrabacher. One House seat.

    The Korean woman in Orange county.was winning by 14 points on election night. She lost when they counted the provisional ballots. They sure as hell wasn’t going to let her win.

    • #21
    • December 1, 2018 at 11:57 pm
    • Like
  22. Member

    Another masterpiece performance by James!

    • #22
    • December 2, 2018 at 4:11 am
    • Like
  23. Member

    My perspective is an ex-Californian (27 years total). Love the state, but it’s unlivable now for the middle class. Three issues that Whalen did not deal with, or only touched on:

    1.  He dealt lightly with the changed demographics of the California electorate, but as an earlier poster commented, the GOP’s lack of seriousness on the annual importation of one and a half legal and illegal immigrants (I read that somewhere recently, but don’t have the source handy), many of whom do not assimilate, and many of whom land in CA at least initially, is coming home to roost. This problem is not unique to CA; it’s merely further advanced. We MUST stop this somehow, or the group is correct that TX, FL, and other states will suffer the same fate.
    2. We’ve said for years that the GOP has a branding problem. Periodic soft sell TV ad campaigns will not fix this. This affects the down-ballot races, too, and makes it exponentially harder to develop the farm team. What’s his suggestion on how to start reversing this?
    3. He did not mention CA’s new ballot harvesting laws at all. This alone accounts for most, if not all, of the Congressional seat losses in Orange County. Why were we caught napping on this? What’s the counter-strategy?

    Please have Whalen and any really good strategist you can think of on a future program to discuss these questions.

    • #23
    • December 2, 2018 at 10:14 pm
    • 2 likes
  24. Member

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):

    My perspective is an ex-Californian (27 years total). Love the state, but it’s unlivable now for the middle class. Three issues that Whalen did not deal with, or only touched on:

    1. He dealt lightly with the changed demographics of the California electorate, but as an earlier poster commented, the GOP’s lack of seriousness on the annual importation of one and a half legal and illegal immigrants (I read that somewhere recently, but don’t have the source handy), many of whom do not assimilate, and many of whom land in CA at least initially, is coming home to roost. This problem is not unique to CA; it’s merely further advanced. We MUST stop this somehow, or the group is correct that TX, FL, and other states will suffer the same fate.
    2. We’ve said for years that the GOP has a branding problem. Periodic soft sell TV ad campaigns will not fix this. This affects the down-ballot races, too, and makes it exponentially harder to develop the farm team. What’s his suggestion on how to start reversing this?
    3. He did not mention CA’s new ballot harvesting laws at all. This alone accounts for most, if not all, of the Congressional seat losses in Orange County. Why were we caught napping on this? What’s the counter-strategy?

    Please have Whalen and any really good strategist you can think of on a future program to discuss these questions.

    California Republicans are unserious. I once sat through some blow hard who ended his speech with noting Larry Elder would make a great candidate. I informed him nicely (kinda) that Larry Elder had been rejected by the powers that be. 

    • #24
    • December 2, 2018 at 10:23 pm
    • 1 like
  25. Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    I don’t know how you win back CA voters who vote for defecating in the street and gated communities serviced by people living in ghettos.

    Exactly. Democrats.

    • #25
    • December 4, 2018 at 9:05 pm
    • 2 likes
  26. Member

    Jim Wright (View Comment):

    Things here will get worse before they improve. I foresee a lot more flight of middle class and businesses to other states in coming years. I’ve got up to 15 years before I retire; in the off chance I make it to career’s end without moving, I don’t plan to spend my golden years in the golden state. It’s a shame; I still love so much about the state.

    But once you get to retirement, haven’t you really paid basically all the ridiculous taxes already? What’s to be lost by staying then? Other than selling your house to some poor schmuck for multiples of what it cost you, and then buying a mansion AND maybe a small business, somewhere else…

    • #26
    • December 4, 2018 at 9:18 pm
    • 2 likes
  27. Member

    Oh … how I wish that were the case.

    Prop taxes rise at the 2% max ,along with city add ons. This is temporary. The contraints Of Prop 13 are in their twilight

    gas taxes up.

    My property insurance is up 18%. No idea why. There has been literally one house fire in the 30 years I’ve lived in my town

    Utilities can now raise their rates to cover insurance claims from fires.

    Tick tock.

    • #27
    • December 4, 2018 at 9:34 pm
    • Like
  28. Member

    Icarus213 (View Comment):

    There was an enormous omission from the discussion about California: the state’s political makeup is changing because conservatives are moving away, and new people moving there from other states lean left: they are moving there from places like Illinois, New York, and New Jersey, and California conservatives are fleeing to places like Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and Texas.

    This isn’t a story of the same population gradually rejecting Republicans and embracing Democrats. This is the story of a state sorting itself over multiple generations in terms of who is moving out and who is moving in.

    Finally, Rob’s idea that the California GOP is a mirror of the national GOP is insane. The problems of the California GOP are only problems in a deep blue state. See also the New York GOP, Illinois GOP, etc.

    Unfortunately it’s not only conservatives fleeing California. A lot of liberals are too, not realizing that THEY are responsible for the disaster they now flee. Then they start over in the next place. Hmm, sounds like cancer…

    • #28
    • December 4, 2018 at 9:38 pm
    • 2 likes
  29. Member

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    A big thumbs up to Rob for mentioning P. J. O’Rourke’s essay about the 1990 Nicaraguan election. The first paragraph denouement is one the funniest sentences I have ever read.

    I was wondering which book that’s in. I have several of his.

    • #29
    • December 4, 2018 at 10:05 pm
    • Like
  30. Member

    @roblong one advantage to being one of those who keeps meaning to join, and then finally did, is that now I can feel superior to those who still haven’t.

    Join the club, people!

    • #30
    • December 4, 2018 at 10:57 pm
    • 2 likes
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