Meet The Press

This week, our pal and former colleague Mollie Hemingway sits in and fortuitously, there’s a ton of media stories to discuss, starting with the President’s epic press conference. Later, NewsMax CEO and Presidential BFF Chris Ruddy joins to give us his insider POV of the machinations of White House staff. Then another old colleague, author and musician James Poulos stops by to discuss why he’s intent on making Tocqueville great again with his new book The Art of Being Free: How Alexis de Tocqueville Can Save Us from Ourselves. Also, some thoughts on the Deep State, a phrase that has suddenly come back into the zeitgeist.

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There are 34 comments.

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  1. rgbact Inactive

    Analysis of yesterday’s Trump freakshow features almost nothing of any actual substance and lots of raving about the performance art. Then we’ve got Mr. Robinson drooling about Trump’s staggering intelligence. Such is political analysis in the age of Trump. Gag me. If you’re NeverTrump…I’d skip this one.

    He’s at 38% now in Gallup. But at least he’s entertaining, amirite?

    • #1
    • February 17, 2017, at 1:16 PM PST
    • Like
  2. James Lileks Contributor

    rgbact (View Comment):
    If you’re NeverTrump…I’d skip this one.

    I was NeverTrump, and I did this one. There was criticism amidst the qualified kudos.

    • #2
    • February 17, 2017, at 2:00 PM PST
    • Like
  3. Umbra Fractus Coolidge
    Umbra Fractus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    rgbact (View Comment):
    If you’re NeverTrump

    If you’re still NeverTrump (and I was) a month after the inauguration, you need to move on.

    • #3
    • February 17, 2017, at 3:09 PM PST
    • Like
  4. Peter Meza Member
    Peter Meza Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    http://www.mikelofgren.net/

    Mike Lofgren wrote a book about the Deep State vs. the Constitution, according to a thirty second Google search.

    Maybe he would have a perspective on Trump suitable for use in a podcast.

    • #4
    • February 17, 2017, at 3:20 PM PST
    • Like
  5. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    More Mollie Hemingway on Ricochet podcasts!

    • #5
    • February 17, 2017, at 4:21 PM PST
    • Like
  6. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mark Wilson (View Comment):
    More Mollie Hemingway on Ricochet podcasts!

    Yes! She is the best. Whose arm do you have to twist to get her on Ricochet more? Whoever it is, do it.

    • #6
    • February 17, 2017, at 5:13 PM PST
    • Like
  7. Peter Robinson Founder

    rgbact (View Comment):
    Then we’ve got Mr. Robinson drooling about Trump’s staggering intelligence.

    Drooling? Even after I said he was undisciplined? Oh well. At least you called me “Mister.”

    • #7
    • February 17, 2017, at 6:05 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Skarv Coolidge
    Skarv Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    rgbact (View Comment):
    Analysis of yesterday’s Trump freakshow features almost nothing of any actual substance and lots of raving about the performance art. Then we’ve got Mr. Robinson drooling about Trump’s staggering intelligence. Such is political analysis in the age of Trump. Gag me. If you’re NeverTrump…I’d skip this one.

    He’s at 38% now in Gallup. But at least he’s entertaining, amirite?

    Halfway through. Look like third lousy “flagship” podcast in a row. I admire Mollie’s attempts to make some sense of Peter’s and the Newsmax guy’s disgusting gushing to the “leader”. (Newsmax?? are you going to invite the National Enquirer rep next week? I feel sorry for James to have to MC this decline. BTW: where is Rob when his brainchild is dying?

    • #8
    • February 17, 2017, at 6:22 PM PST
    • Like
  9. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    rgbact (View Comment):
    Then we’ve got Mr. Robinson drooling about Trump’s staggering intelligence.

    Drooling? Even after I said he was undisciplined? Oh well. At least you called me “Mister.”

    Interesting word choice when it seems, from the tone, that the commenter likely has a fair amount of spittle dripping off his own screen.

    Anyway, if the biggest criticism against you is not showing proper levels of hatred, then you’re probably doing OK.

    • #9
    • February 17, 2017, at 6:44 PM PST
    • Like
  10. James Lileks Contributor

    Addendum to the discussion about the pleasures of watching the DC media corps given a few New York elbows in the ribs: it’s a different thing entirely to declare them the Enemy of the American People.

    Unless Trump and the American People are indistinguishable entities, of course.

    If they are the Enemies of the American People, ought not something be done about them? Is President Trump the sort of person who lets the Enemies of the American People do what they wish with no consequences? Or is this just spouting off, and we should be accustomed to POTUS saying this collection of people are Enemies of the nation, but hey, whatevs, you know what he really means, they’re not ISIS-level enemies. Just your basic garden-variety domestic enemies.

    • #10
    • February 17, 2017, at 10:11 PM PST
    • Like
  11. RufusRJones Member

    The analysis of Obama was just dead-on. Trump should use his national emergency cell phone interruption thing to make everyone listen to it.

    • #11
    • February 18, 2017, at 6:53 AM PST
    • Like
  12. Vince Guerra Member

    Is Rob no longer doing the podcast? If so, then you need to stop highlighting his absence. It sounds ridiculous to tell people they should pay for membership, when the site’s founder appears unwilling to contribute more than 90 minutes worth of his time per month to GLOP, and none at all since the beginning of the year to this. I understand he has a job, but doesn’t everybody? Just drop him altogether from the flagship podcast, unless he plans on actually being a part of it again.

    • #12
    • February 18, 2017, at 8:53 AM PST
    • Like
  13. Blue Yeti Admin

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):
    Is Rob no longer doing the podcast? If so, then you need to stop highlighting his absence. It sounds ridiculous to tell people they should pay for membership, when the site’s founder appears unwilling to contribute more than 90 minutes worth of his time per month to GLOP, and none at all since the beginning of the year to this. I understand he has a job, but doesn’t everybody? Just drop him altogether from the flagship podcast, unless he plans on actually being a part of it again.

    He’ll be back towards the end of March on a permanent basis and may well make a cameo appearance on this podcast before then as well.

    • #13
    • February 18, 2017, at 9:09 AM PST
    • Like
  14. rgbact Inactive

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    rgbact (View Comment):
    If you’re NeverTrump…I’d skip this one.

    I was NeverTrump, and I did this one. There was criticism amidst the qualified kudos.

    I admit, I checked out early, so may have missed the more critical analysis. With more early discussion on Trump’s great intelligence than the fact he didn’t even know the electoral margin in his own election….I figured it was downhill from there, especially with the “presidential BFF” joining the fun.

    • #14
    • February 18, 2017, at 9:32 AM PST
    • Like
  15. GingerMa Member

    Do my ears deceive me? A Rancho de la Luna, QOTSA, Arctic Monkeys, and Radiohead mentioned on the Ricochet podcast?! So weird to think about my two worlds colliding here. ??

    • #15
    • February 18, 2017, at 11:19 AM PST
    • Like
  16. Egg Man Member

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):
    Is Rob no longer doing the podcast? If so, then you need to stop highlighting his absence. It sounds ridiculous to tell people they should pay for membership, when the site’s founder appears unwilling to contribute more than 90 minutes worth of his time per month to GLOP, and none at all since the beginning of the year to this. I understand he has a job, but doesn’t everybody? Just drop him altogether from the flagship podcast, unless he plans on actually being a part of it again.

    Indeed, it was truly a bad decision on Rob’s part to produce this network prime time show. Even worse was the decision by the Ricochet Board of Directors to let him take it. I don’t want to get into the details of the Ricochet employment and non-compete contracts, but I will say that that this was a failure at all levels of management. This reminds me of when an eager nation awaited Johnny Carson’s monologue on a Monday evening, only to hear Doc Severenson announce, “Johnny’s guest host tonight is Joan Rivers.”

    Certainly if I, a Ricochet podcast listener, can take the time to listen every week while I mow my lawn, the hosts can–at the very least– hook up a microphone and do the same. You should henceforth consider all money earned from this effort to be ill-gotten wealth.

    • #16
    • February 18, 2017, at 11:35 AM PST
    • Like
  17. listeningin Inactive

    I was a Never Trump evangelical conservative who has been subsequently thrilled with a lot of his cabinet picks, etc. As I have been watching the reactions of the media, of the more intellectual conservatives who reject Trump’s way of conducting the presidency, of my evangelical friends and family who are all over the board, and of the massive swell of Americans who voted him into office, I have come to believe that much of the cultural drama is about just that: culture. The reactions of the Left and of intellectual conservatives are remarkably similar in spite of differing ideologies. There are ways of communicating that are considered appropriate that rise to a level of morality for the highly educated. Those who don’t follow the rules are not only inappropriate…they are offensive scoundrels. The Left demands those cultural manners to a ridiculous extreme. Steve Martin can’t even tweet that Carrie Fisher was attractive. Many who don’t buy into that culture…blue collar workers, straight talkers from the Midwest or Victor Hanson’s farming community, find that kind of tiptoeing dishonest…and Trump’s manner of discourse, through abrupt, is an appropriate, long awaited correction of the deep dishonesty and manipulation by the Left who use what should only be an issue of manners as a form of power (and the meek Conservatives who have let them get away with it.)

    • #17
    • February 18, 2017, at 6:00 PM PST
    • Like
  18. James Lileks Contributor

    listeningin (View Comment):
    Trump’s manner of discourse, through abrupt, is an appropriate, long awaited correction of the deep dishonesty and manipulation by the Left who use what should only be an issue of manners as a form of power (and the meek Conservatives who have let them get away with it.)

    Good points, and good post. But is there a point at which the correction should be critiqued because it, too, contains dishonesty and manipulation?

    • #18
    • February 18, 2017, at 10:40 PM PST
    • Like
  19. RufusRJones Member

    The complaints about substitute guest hosts are absurd.

    • #19
    • February 19, 2017, at 5:10 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Egg Man Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    The complaints about substitute guest hosts are absurd.

    Hopefully only one “complaint,” as mine was hastily written sarcasm. May have been a bit subtle, though.

    • #20
    • February 19, 2017, at 11:49 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Blondie Thatcher

    More Mollie, please. I do miss her around these parts.

    • #21
    • February 19, 2017, at 11:54 AM PST
    • Like
  22. Scott Wilmot Member

    Mollie Hemingway was great. She is sound.

    And Chris Rudy and James Poulos were also great.

    Great podcast.

    • #22
    • February 19, 2017, at 2:35 PM PST
    • Like
  23. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Egg Man (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    The complaints about substitute guest hosts are absurd.

    Hopefully only one “complaint,” as mine was hastily written sarcasm. May have been a bit subtle, though.

    I was on the fence about it, but I did eventually decide that your post must have been sarcastic. Nicely done!

    • #23
    • February 20, 2017, at 9:25 AM PST
    • Like
  24. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Blondie (View Comment):
    More Mollie, please. I do miss her around these parts.

    Is she allowed to do “Fight of the week” even when Mark isn’t on with her?

    • #24
    • February 20, 2017, at 3:46 PM PST
    • Like
  25. RonnieJamesDiocletian Inactive

    Scratching my head on how @peterrobinson can observe a very smart man in Trump.

    Being okay with Trump because: Better than Hillary on margin? Sure. Pleased about Gorsuch? Definitely. Happy with (some) cabinet picks? Sure. Combative with the media? Fine, if that’s your thing.

    But it’s important to be clear-eyed that he is a gibbering mental incompetent. It goes well beyond undisciplined. These are the words of an intelligent man?

    There’s no up-side. We’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are they. I have been briefed. And I can tell you one thing about a briefing that we’re allowed to say because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it, nuclear holocaust would be like no other.

    Take last week’s Two-State Solution nonsense. He was too lazy to read one paragraph (just one!) on what the current US policy actually is, before attending a press conference with Netanyahu? Smart lazy people might try to wing it, but they realize when they just flopped because of lack of prep. Stupid lazy people think they nailed it after they embarrass themselves.

    This level of ignorance is not acceptable in a President. There will be consequences for the US. It behooves conservatives and libertarians who support some of his domestic goals to understand the difference between “undisciplined & smart” and “lazy & imbecilic” and keep the pressure on for him to get his act together.

    • #25
    • February 21, 2017, at 12:04 PM PST
    • Like
  26. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RonnieJamesDiocletian (View Comment):
    These are the words of an intelligent man?

    There’s no up-side. We’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are they. I have been briefed. And I can tell you one thing about a briefing that we’re allowed to say because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it, nuclear holocaust would be like no other.

    These are definitely the words of an inarticulate man, and new to the subject (inexcusably so). But it is basically correct on the doctrine.

    By comparison I’d wager Barack Obama knew about the same amount about nuclear doctrine when he took office. He was so insulated from military culture that he didn’t know how to pronounce “corps”. He wanted to cut ballistic missile defense and promised not to develop new nuclear weapons. But now, thanks to his administration, we have a trillion dollar nuclear modernization program.

    I say this to justify optimism that the smart people serving the president will prevail upon him to do the right thing, and he will follow their advice.

    • #26
    • February 21, 2017, at 1:02 PM PST
    • Like
  27. RonnieJamesDiocletian Inactive

    Mark Wilson (View Comment):
    But it is basically correct on the doctrine.

    What is the doctrine he’s proposing here? That thermonuclear war is bad? That’s not a doctrine, that’s a fact (that he apparently needed to be “briefed” on?). It is the case that we should avoid that- the only opponents of that position are frightening crows in a cornfield at the moment.

    It is false that there is no “up-side” to not being friends with Russia. There are many strategic interests that can be served by firm opposition to Russia, short of thermonuclear war. If he’s presenting a doctrine here, it’s based on a false dichotomy.

    But there’s no doctrine! He simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. If he wants to change US stance toward Russia, Israel, whatever- great: he can make the case. There is no case here, he’s just babbling.

    Of course Obama didn’t know what he was doing. That’s a fact that doesn’t make me feel better about Trump.

    I’m waiting to see evidence that he’s being persuaded by smart people. I think he is exhibiting a classic hallmark of stupidity: insisting he’s got this, that he doesn’t need to learn or think because he has a “natural intelligence.” This is what bothers me about Peter’s comments.

    • #27
    • February 21, 2017, at 2:14 PM PST
    • Like
  28. RonnieJamesDiocletian Inactive

    @markwilson I think it’s reasonable for you to be optimistic about his “guide-ability”. I just haven’t gotten there.

    • #28
    • February 21, 2017, at 2:18 PM PST
    • Like
  29. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RonnieJamesDiocletian (View Comment):
    It is false that there is no “up-side” to not being friends with Russia.

    It could be that I completely misread the context. I assumed Trump meant there was no up-side to nuclear war.

    Now on the other hand, if I was interpreting him correctly:

    RonnieJamesDiocletian (View Comment):
    What is the doctrine he’s proposing here? That thermonuclear war is bad? That’s not a doctrine, that’s a fact (that he apparently needed to be “briefed” on?).

    It was in fact an important advancement in nuclear doctrine when Reagan and Gorbachev mutually agreed, upon meeting in Geneva, that a nuclear war is unwinnable. Prior to that the Soviets had a dangerous uncertainty about whether the US would try to wipe them out with a first strike — which nearly led to accidental war on more than one occasion. There have also plenty been of alternative doctrines put forward over the decades about how to wage a “limited” or “protracted” nuclear war that might be winnable. It’s a significant point of doctrine to reject that concept and adopt doctrines like No First Use and Mutual Assured Destruction. So it’s not as cut-and-dried as you seem to portray.

    • #29
    • February 21, 2017, at 4:30 PM PST
    • Like
  30. Nick Baldock Member

    Goodness, this podcast riled people more than seems proportionate. Are these the times we live in? (Very possibly)

    I’m willing to believe that we are simply in the whirlwind phase, consequent on the nature of the president, and a period of (relative) calm shall follow, when the GOP actually does something that doesn’t involve writing the Democrats’ election ads for them by not CTA on Obamacare. After all, a popular trope is the benefit of the outsider, of blue-sky thinking etc; it always has to be seen just how much an outsider needs to know to get the job done. And sometimes redefining the job is part of the task.

    (Outsiders are always supposed to be Senator Smith, but never actually are. Isn’t this one of the seven basic plots?)

    Thanks to James for pointing out that the Left is clever enough to get the facts right; unlike, say, Birtherism or Obama’s religion (thanks so much, Mississippi Republicans). It’s the interpretation that’s faulty, but who in a Twitter world will ever be open to refutation of a misinterpretation? It soon becomes gospel because ‘everyone’ knows it to be true.

    The Left has far more to gain than to lose by crying wolf. It doesn’t cost anything, comes with no consequences and keeps everybody in a state of nervous tension. There really is no downside from their perspective.

    • #30
    • February 22, 2017, at 8:15 AM PST
    • Like