Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for July 5, 2017 it’s the “Podcast of Record” edition of the podcast with your hosts Mike Stopa and Todd Feinburg. On this celebratory weekend of America’s birthday we bring you two stories from the Grey Lady herself, the New York Times, (who says it’s all fake news???) describing (1) how liberals are segregating America and (2) how they are attempting to invoke sympathy for Central Americans who are forced to cancel their well laid plans for trekking with human smugglers across the desert, children in tow, to enter America illegally.

First, the august NYT describes the current state of the “Fair Housing Act” (from 1968) and how these days what it is doing is offering tax exempt funding for low income housing that builders can only find already impoverished communities to build in (Program to Spur Low-Income Housing is Keeping Cities Segregated).The result: more segregation. Who could have imagined such a well-intentioned government program having consequences that, well, nobody thought of???

Then, in Grey Lady part deux, after months of sob stories trying to gin up sympathy for illegal alien communities that were feeling frightened, pressured, and stressed over the new, radical plan for enforcing the nation’s immigration laws, the Times goes south of the border – to Guatemala and Honduras to be exact – to examine how Trump has been disrupting the plans of would-be illegal aliens: Central Americans, ‘Scared of What’s Happening’ in U.S., Stay Put

We will have, as always, our shower thoughts and our hidden gem this week is from the Mamas and the Papas: Twelve Thirty (Young Girls that Come into the Canyon).

Find us online at harvardlunchclub.com (where you drop us a nice tip pleeeez) and follow us on Twitter @HLDpodcast. And give us a great rating on iTunes (did I say “pleeeez”??). And Happy Birthday America!!!!

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Members have made 17 comments.

  1. Profile photo of ToryWarWriter Member

    Once again a great podcast!

    • #1
    • July 5, 2017 at 3:38 am
    • Like1 like
  2. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge

    I enjoyed the podcast though I don’t agree with all the points made. I don’t want to start a Trump/Never Trump argument, as I even think that binary is silly, but I am often confounded by some lines of thought that I really just don’t get, so I’d like someone to explain them to me.

    So, first let’s start with comments made about President Obama. The thrust was he was absolutely horrible in part because he did imperial things. (True dat!) But the comment was then made that he didn’t know what he was doing, so he just kind of went in the corner or some such something.

    Actually… Under President Obama, traditional marriage was blown up, our military was gutted, millions of illegal immigrants found asylum per their Dreamer status, regulations exploded, taxes rose, the deficit sky rocketed, racial grievances were planted into a new generation of kids, and Medicaid expanded per an entrenched health system that has entitlements that our current president does not want to undermine.

    In other words, what he was doing in that corner was advancing a very progressive agenda.

    Yes, the things he did with his magic pen are being/have been undone by President Trump, but Trump hasn’t stepped back the majority of O’s things.

    This brings me to the line that “Trump is more doing more conservative things than any actual conservative would.”

    What are people talking about when they say this? His rhetoric that has caused a slow down of illegal immigration? Okay. I’ll grant the rhetoric is completely unique, and I’ll accept in that one context that its use may have been more effective than anything an actual conservative would have done.

    But what’s all this other stuff?

    I love the Supreme Court nominee, but Gorsuch was recommended by a conservative group. That list would have existed for others. I don’t think that’s a singular achievement of Trump’s apart from the fact that if a Republican had not been elected, Clinton would have appointed a much different person. Hats off to Trump for getting elected, but there’s nothing here that another Republican would not have done.

    Military? His budget isn’t that far off from Obama’s, and he’s chosen a fairly traditional Republican strategy. (Here I tip my hat for his appointment of men like Jim Mattis. YES. Great choice, Trump!!!! But would a different Republican–a conservative–take a massively different tact here? Really?)

    He’s rolled back Obama regulations with his pen. Would other conservatives not have done that? They ALL promised to do that.

    The healthcare thing is a cluster that is not Trump’s fault, but he has pushed to preserve entitlements–thus conceding that argument to Obama–and called a reduction in Medicaid “mean.”

    Can someone lay out the things he’s done that are “more conservative acts” than an “actual conservative” would have taken?

    With respect.

    • #2
    • July 5, 2017 at 6:18 am
    • Like2 likes
  3. Profile photo of Michael Stopa Podcaster

    Lois, very thoughtful comment. I agree that many of the good things that Trump has accomplished or at least tried to accomplish (e.g. repeal Obamacare) have been mainstream conservative. But there have been some ways in which Trump’s common sense (IMHO) have exceeded in a conservative way what a traditional conservative would have done: recognizing the immediacy of the North Korean threat rather than, as GWB did, kicking the can down the road; criticizing NATO and getting them to pay more; attacking the mainstream media which we all know is liberal. Again, GWB and past Presidents and candidates (Romney, McCain) have simply accepted the leftwing slant as deus ex machina. And last on the list is the attempt at least to start deconstructing the administrative state. This giant blob that has been moving the nation in the leftward direction for generations was not even recognized by people like Jeb Bush and John Kasich. It was as natural to them as the air.

    As for Obama sitting in a corner, he surely did a lot of damage in that corner for sure. I guess Todd meant that his legislative actions were curtailed because he would not work with Republicans and he couldn’t get anything passed without them so he just went into full time executive order mode. But pretty destructive nonetheless.

    • #3
    • July 5, 2017 at 7:44 am
    • Like1 like
  4. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge

    Michael Stopa (View Comment):
    Lois, very thoughtful comment. I agree that many of the good things that Trump has accomplished or at least tried to accomplish (e.g. repeal Obamacare) have been mainstream conservative. But there have been some ways in which Trump’s common sense (IMHO) have exceeded in a conservative way what a traditional conservative would have done: recognizing the immediacy of the North Korean threat rather than, as GWB did, kicking the can down the road; criticizing NATO and getting them to pay more; attacking the mainstream media which we all know is liberal. Again, GWB and past Presidents and candidates (Romney, McCain) have simply accepted the leftwing slant as deus ex machina. And last on the list is the attempt at least to start deconstructing the administrative state. This giant blob that has been moving the nation in the leftward direction for generations was not even recognized by people like Jeb Bush and John Kasich. It was as natural to them as the air.

    As for Obama sitting in a corner, he surely did a lot of damage in that corner for sure. I guess Todd meant that his legislative actions were curtailed because he would not work with Republicans and he couldn’t get anything passed without them so he just went into full time executive order mode. But pretty destructive nonetheless.

    Thank you for the answer. I see where you are coming from then. It is mostly about his fighting, yes?

    NATO is an interesting thing to view as an accomplishment… Have the countries who were not meeting their treaty obligations actually increased their military budgets to do so at this point? That’s great if they have. I just don’t know.

    I think the brother-in-law would say per “fighting the media” that one must weigh the costs of the fighting. I mean… Yeah. I don’t like it that conservatives get downright distorted–and the Trump mania is… wow!!!–but what is the goal with these fights? How have they actually advanced Trump?

    I mean… Isn’t progressive media being rewarded for their attacks on Trump per circulation/viewing numbers? (Joe and Mika will see a spike, yes?) I get that CNN got taken down a peg, but that was the work of Veritas?

    Apart from his base, I’m unsure of progress on that front.

    do commend his more aggressive stance on Korea–and I commend Trump for trying to pull the Chinese more into the solution–but I just listened to another podcast that suggested moving sanctions against Chinese banks doing business with N. Korea to the levels of the Bush administration is a big goal at the moment? This is b/c military options are very, very difficult….

    So, I guess I’d ask how is Trump’s strategy particularly unique outside of his rhetoric? He seems to be taking a fairly traditional Republican role to me.

    Not sure how he’s changed the “deep state.”

    • #4
    • July 5, 2017 at 8:47 am
    • Like2 likes
  5. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge

    (I would agree that the “deep state”–as in the deeply entrenched administrative state–needs to be changed. I just see some of Trump’s actions hurting him even there as he has had a hard time restaffing essential roles, and I’m not sure how he has changed how government functions.)

    • #5
    • July 5, 2017 at 8:49 am
    • Like2 likes
  6. Profile photo of Mike LaRoche Thatcher

    Here’s a recommendation for a future hidden gem:

    • #6
    • July 5, 2017 at 11:33 am
    • Like2 likes
  7. Profile photo of Quake Voter Thatcher

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    But the comment was then made that he didn’t know what he was doing, so he just kind of went in the corner or some such something.

    Actually… Under President Obama, traditional marriage was blown up, our military was gutted, millions of illegal immigrants found asylum per their Dreamer status, regulations exploded, taxes rose, the deficit sky rocketed, racial grievances were planted into a new generation of kids, and Medicaid expanded per an entrenched health system that has entitlements that our current president does not want to undermine.

    In other words, what he was doing in that corner was advancing a very progressive agenda.

    Lois, your point is well thought and expressed. Far better than the attempt made by our Republican rhetorical superstar in the NH primary … and you didn’t have to repeat yourself five times!

    Rubio couldn’t win his home state primary. Cruz couldn’t escape his “thank gawwwd” rhetorical tics and showed you his raw political skills after Wisconsin. And Kasich is a unique concoction of sappy and appalling. Trump averted Hillary and a judicial, regulatory and demographic apocalpyse.

    Honestly it’s like Trump defused a massive Mount Tambora eruption in November and we are now sitting around on a lovely, sunny 86 degree July day, saying “What’s the big deal about that Trump? Isn’t always sunny in July?”

    It would be dark and snowing in July without his win in November.

    • #7
    • July 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm
    • Like1 like
  8. Profile photo of Michael Stopa Podcaster

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    I think the brother-in-law would say per “fighting the media” that one must weigh the costs of the fighting. I mean… Yeah. I don’t like it that conservatives get downright distorted–and the Trump mania is… wow!!!–but what is the goal with these fights? How have they actually advanced Trump?

    I mean… Isn’t progressive media being rewarded for their attacks on Trump per circulation/viewing numbers? (Joe and Mika will see a spike, yes?) I get that CNN got taken down a peg, but that was the work of Veritas?

    Lois, about fighting the media I am thinking something like this. When Gwen Ifill (RIP) moderated the 2008 VP debate between Palin and Biden, conservatives objected since Ifill was just about to release a book entitled “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” Trump, in that circumstance, would not have objected. He would have skewered Ifill as an obviously biased partisan hack.

    And that is just a single (admittedly egregious) example of how the left wing bias of the media just gets accepted as the norm. Trump doesn’t call it biased, he calls it fake…or at least he finds the place where bias becomes error and calls *that* fake news.

    So maybe Trump does lose something in the battle from some folks’ points of view. But he is continually calling out the slant and that is a good thing, I think.

    • #8
    • July 5, 2017 at 12:59 pm
    • Like1 like
  9. Profile photo of Quake Voter Thatcher

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    Under President Obama, traditional marriage was blown up

    To be fair, Lois, Obama didn’t blow up traditional marriage. Sure, he was dishonest about his support, and the rainbow lights were probably strung on the White House in January 2009. Yet, it was a Reagan appointee, Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the maudlin decision. And it was two establishment GOP judges, Souter and Stevens, who decided to time their retirements so Obama could appoint two leftists to replace them and blow up an arrangement coincident with the most primal human social formation.

    Yet it’s such a mystery to establishment Republicans that social conservatives could support such a vulgar man…

    • #9
    • July 5, 2017 at 1:15 pm
    • Like2 likes
  10. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge

    You know what? I understand more from what is posted here about Trump fans than pretty much I’ve ever understood.

    The biggest source of love is that people really don’t think another Republican would have been elected. (I don’t hold this view, but the *appreciation* for Trump makes so much more sense to me, so thank you.)

    I get the example with the partisan hack. Trust me. As a grad student who felt as if people were peeing on things I cared about on a regular basis, I *get* it. But–like I’d suspect the brother-in-law does–I wonder if this pushback could be done in a way that did not make Trump *himself* seem discredited… in a way that did not cede certain rules that are valued…. That is, perhaps, a different discussion than this one. I see I was right about the “fight.”

    I definitely get the Kennedy thing, too, @quake voter and the frustration at Republican appointments. I have thoughts on this per the judiciary, but I guess I’d only say I believe Obama put into place the conditions for Obgerfell… He helped create the wind that may have pushed Kennedy’s activist sail. I’m not sure, but I do believe presidents set the–if you can forgive me–*tone* for the country. (His was that of a scold.) He also hits the rutter in ways that turn the ship in whatever direction… I think this all helped the case get in front of those 9 people in black….

    Anyway, I wasn’t looking for a debate but greater understanding. I got that, and I appreciate it greatly.

    Thank you to all.

    • #10
    • July 5, 2017 at 2:42 pm
    • Like1 like
  11. Profile photo of Michael Stopa Podcaster

    Thanks to *you* for the discussion, Lois.

    One other point regarding pushback in a way that does not discredit Trump himself: if we had to invent a Trump we probably would not have invented this one. He would have been beyond our imagination in any case, I suppose. No doubt we would have invented one with a less calamitous nature. But this is the one that fate gave us, warts (as the saying goes) and all. So I for one try to appreciate the Trump-things that are getting accomplished and try not to be too surprised by the other stuff.

    • #11
    • July 5, 2017 at 3:03 pm
    • Like1 like
  12. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge

    Michael Stopa (View Comment):
    Thanks to *you* for the discussion, Lois.

    One other point regarding pushback in a way that does not discredit Trump himself: if we had to invent a Trump we probably would not have invented this one. He would have been beyond our imagination in any case, I suppose. No doubt we would have invented one with a less calamitous nature. But this is the one that fate gave us, warts (as the saying goes) and all. So I for one try to appreciate the Trump-things that are getting accomplished and try not to be too surprised by the other stuff.

    Fair enough, Michael.

    I think it’s no secret that I’m less forgiving of President Trump’s nature, but I am trying to understand, and I can certainly–sincerely–celebrate anything that is accomplished that is good for the country.

    • #12
    • July 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm
    • Like1 like
  13. Profile photo of I Walton Member

    These guys have a great shtick, they’re Harvard but they talk down home reason and common sense.

    • #13
    • July 5, 2017 at 4:14 pm
    • Like2 likes
  14. Profile photo of Michael Stopa Podcaster

    Thanks I.W. We’re just not smart enough to be snobs about it.

    • #14
    • July 6, 2017 at 3:14 pm
    • Like1 like
  15. Profile photo of Annefy Member

    @roblong: Slashing? how about the VA?

    • #15
    • July 13, 2017 at 2:25 pm
    • Like1 like
  16. Profile photo of Annefy Member

    I still don’t know how one is “humbled” with prosperity. But regardless, this is the tweet I turn to whenever Rob Long is talking about Trump. He ought to read it himself occasionally.

    • #16
    • July 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm
    • Like1 like
  17. Profile photo of Annefy Member

    Trump might not be the most conservative president since Eisenhower, but he sure acts like it.

    http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/apr/26/donald-trump-pull-feds-out-k-12-education/

    @roblong

    • #17
    • July 14, 2017 at 8:50 am
    • Like1 like