The Mighty Have Fallen

It’s been a bad week for Hollywood’s grasp on moral authority. First, Harvey Weinstein is fired for transgressions going back decades, and then some guy from Amazon gets fired for basically the same thing. To help guide us through the moral minefield, we call up New York Times columns extraordinaire Ross Douthat. We also talk Hefner and that pesky 25th Amendment. Then, Christopher Scalia, son of Antonin Scalia on this new book Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived. The book is a collection of Justice Scalia’s speeches and we talk about his influence, his passions, and his unlikely friendship with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Also, the President appears to have an issue with freedom of the press. Is this one of those times we shouldn’t take him literally?

Music from this week’s show: All I Really Want by Alanis Morrissette

 

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  1. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    What irks me is that so many want it both ways when it comes to Trump. That on the one hand, he is some brilliant 3D chess strategist and we NeverTrumpers just can’t see his genius and on the other, that he isn’t serious and makes jokes and throws things out there. Well I think his only genius is in manipulating foolish people to vote for him in the primary and then knowing that people would elect him because Hillary is so very awful.

    • #1
    • October 13, 2017, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Leslie Watkins Inactive
    Leslie Watkins Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Very enjoyable interview with Ross Douthat. My only quibble was with his apparent agreement with Senator Corker’s comment about WWIII. To me, Corker was the one showing especially poor form in that instance. Everyone points at Trump, who’s been no different since the primaries (very unfortunately), but, I say, what explains everyone’s else childish behavior? Is Corker’s comment itself not an instance of gratuitous provocation? And he knows better, right? Not trying to deflect criticism from Trump, but I found Corker’s statement dangerously alarming. Also, I do not think he would have said it were he not retiring and were Trump not president. So, yes, it’s all different now. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is different now.

    • #2
    • October 13, 2017, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Peter Robinson Founder

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):
    Very enjoyable interview with Ross Douthat. My only quibble was with his apparent agreement with Senator Corker’s comment about WWIII. To me, Corker was the one showing especially poor form in that instance. Everyone points at Trump, who’s been no different since the primaries (very unfortunately), but, I say, what explains everyone’s else childish behavior? Is Corker’s comment itself not an instance of gratuitous provocation? And he knows better, right?

    You make a very good point, Leslie, and I wish I’d mentioned it on the air. Sen. Corker does know better.

    • #3
    • October 13, 2017, at 3:32 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Arahant Member

    The Scalia book sounds interesting.

    • #4
    • October 13, 2017, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Loved the “Harvey” reference at the start!

    • #5
    • October 14, 2017, at 5:51 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Wolverine Inactive

    I sure hope Ross Douthat does not write my obituary

    • #6
    • October 14, 2017, at 8:31 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I see that the term NeverTrumper has been normalized, both by Mr Robinson and Mr Douthat. Didn’t they get the memo?

    Edit: The comment above does not take away from the excellent quality of this podcast in general, and this episode in particular. Good guests, good discussion.

    • #7
    • October 14, 2017, at 11:27 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    First off @blueyeti thanks I havent heard that song in forever.

    Anyone else notice that since Bannon, Preibus and Gorka are gone, there are no leaks from the white house anymore. Weird huh.

    • #8
    • October 14, 2017, at 12:09 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Israel P. Inactive

    I met Natan Sharansky once in the supermarket. He asked me where the margerine is.

    • #9
    • October 14, 2017, at 12:28 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Postmodern Hoplite Member

    It’s that picture of Hillary pawing Weinstein with the fawning, fan-girly look on her face that says it all. Why isn’t THAT being printed above the fold on the NYT and WaPo? Oh, yeah. Right…

    • #10
    • October 14, 2017, at 2:51 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. George Townsend Inactive

    This was a wonderful Podcast. I have the Scalia book on order from Amazon.

    And the Douthat interview was great. Having read the obit on Hefner, it is apparent that the man can write, and has a great mind. That is why I was really disappointed at his comments regarding populism. How could a man with a good mind embrace what is at best a nebulous philosophy? Actually, it isn’t even a philosophy. When embraced by evil people in the past (e.g., Hitler or any communist) it is dangerous; and when embraced by good people, it is just a set of perceived popular notions with no core.

    • #11
    • October 14, 2017, at 5:48 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Blue Yeti Admin

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    First off @blueyeti thanks I havent heard that song in forever.

    Anyone else notice that since Bannon, Preibus and Gorka are gone, there are no leaks from the white house anymore. Weird huh.

    No, I haven’t noticed.

    • #12
    • October 14, 2017, at 9:14 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. George Townsend Inactive

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    First off @blueyeti thanks I havent heard that song in forever.

    Anyone else notice that since Bannon, Preibus and Gorka are gone, there are no leaks from the white house anymore. Weird huh.

    No, I haven’t noticed.

    Clearly, as the link shows, there are still leaks. These are wrong, of course. Any President should be allowed to have private communications in his own White House.

    That being said, I think the best way to prevent links is for the President to shut-up more. If questions need to be asked, fine, ask them. But try and exercise a little discretion. This man just pops off whenever he feels like it. I suppose he can’t help it. But he should try. He is now the President.

    • #13
    • October 15, 2017, at 5:34 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. Reldim Inactive

    I found Ross’s point about incorporating elements of “trumpian” populism in the Republican Party interesting, particularly in his reference to Europe strikingly true and something I hadn’t really thought about. Everyone likes to write-off European parties like the Alternative for Deutschland, Sweden Democrats, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, and even UKIP as right wing racists and neo-nazis. Maybe they contain an element of that. But they didn’t get votes and attain significant representation because large swaths of the voting public are racists, they got that way because the mainstream center-right parties of Europe bought in to the “right wing racist” rhetoric and refused to consider at all that they may have had some valid points that aroused public concern (lack of integration, large scale immigration, etc.) that should be addressed. So voters that wanted those issues addressed and their concerns acknowledged voted for those parties, and it has caused quite a few problems for center-right parties to cobble together majorities to govern (see the Netherlands, who took 208 days post-election to form a government, Sweden, where the center-right finds itself propping up a minority socialist government, Germany, where they’re coming out of “grand coalition” and Merkel will have to negotiate with the Greens).

    There is real danger that a failure by conservatives to account for the populist issues that have come to the fore with Trump and to find a way to accommodate at least some of those issues and those concerns could cause a break on the right that results in a populist “right-wing” party to compete (mostly) with the more “traditionally conservative” party (I am agnostic about which side would inherit the shell of the Republican Party). That certainly serves neither side – while Bannon and his ilk think that they win if they purge the “establishment” – the short and medium term result of this tactic is liberal rule along the lines of 1912 (when a similar split in the Republican Party resulted in Progressivism run rampant), and all the damage that comes with it. So we all lose.

    • #14
    • October 16, 2017, at 7:43 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):

    Very enjoyable interview with Ross Douthat. My only quibble was with his apparent agreement with Senator Corker’s comment about WWIII. To me, Corker was the one showing especially poor form in that instance. Everyone points at Trump, who’s been no different since the primaries (very unfortunately), but, I say, what explains everyone’s else childish behavior? Is Corker’s comment itself not an instance of gratuitous provocation? And he knows better, right? Not trying to deflect criticism from Trump, but I found Corker’s statement dangerously alarming. Also, I do not think he would have said it were he not retiring and were Trump not president. So, yes, it’s all different now. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is different now.

    This is kind of where I am on the Corker thing. If you’re going to go after the POTUS for being immature, perhaps calling the Secretary of State’s manhood into question is not the best strategy. I’m no Trump apologist, but the longer this goes on the worse Corker looks.

    • #15
    • October 16, 2017, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • 4 likes