So after nearly 7 years and 250 shows, this is our final one. Rich Lowry and Wayne Barrett agree that Russia’s hacking was unprecedented and consequential although it wouldn’t, shouldn’t (and didn’t) overturn the Electoral College. Again, there’s agreement that Trump should but won’t divest a company that will create a daily and unconstitutional conflict-of-interest. So how does he get away with such corruption? “Race” announces Wayne, explaining that so long as his base is satisfied with him on race, they’ll cut him slack on his lies and corruption. Last, the panel lists the biggest public events of their lifetimes: both say 9/11; Rich adds the fall of the Berlin Wall and Wayne the shooting of Robert Kennedy even more than the assassination of his brother, “because Johnson largely continued JFK’s program but Bobby would have won in ’68 and changed the subsequent history of America.”
Cooke & Corn largely agree on Trump’s recent action, especially the obvious conflict of interest between a company named Trump and a Trump White House. They think his only escape hatch is to completely divest like his predecessors did or else he risks later impeachment under the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause as pay-to-play scandals surface. They also concur that Trump’s “industrial policy by tweet” — Carrier, Boeing — is irrational corporate socialism, though popular. But as for his Cabinet picks so far — Billlionaires, Generals, Randites — Charles thinks they’ve been good conservative choices (not Flynn at NSA) while David objects to appointing anti-government reactionaries who despise the agencies they’d run.
Bob Shrum & Ron Christie debate whether Trump’s a sore winner for his tweet-storms against the Stein-Clinton recount in WI/MI/PA or whether Hillary’s a sore loser — the conclusion being that recounts are legal and this was very close election. Ron, however, defends Trump’s claim that he won a “landslide”, despite losing the popular vote by some 2.5 million. Plus, it’s an indication how he might govern — all presidents lie occasionally (Ike-U2, LBJ-Tonkin Gulf, W-Iraq), though none have done so most of the time. Ron rejects “fascist” label from Brian Williams after flag-burning tweets and other howlers.
In our post-election program, David Frum — a conservative who abhorred Trump and endorsed Clinton — argued that it was the buckraking of Clinton Inc. that did her in. Jonathan Alter laid blame on several causes – race, gender, Comey, where was Clinton’s strong economic message? — as he subsequently explained in a smart Daily Beast piece. The show’s humble host reminded all that, especially as California numbers trickle in, HRC will win the popular vote by probably 48-46, which should be more than a moral victory when Trump’s agenda gets to Congress: he represents the Electoral College, Schumer — with the leverage of the filibuster — the majority of America. Will Dems cooperate, resist? Will marching millennials vote in the mid-terms and 2020? TBD.
Rich Lowry and Gara Lamarche discuss, of course, not only the Cubs but also next Tuesday’s election, looking back and forward. First, what were the biggest variables moving votes? They agree that if she won it’d be because of his disgusting comments about women in particular and unfit temperament in general…as well as tidal trends from ’60s to ’16, demographic and political. If he should win, Lamarche & Lowry concur that it’d be because Trumpians convinced a majority that she was a “corrupt liar” (which is untrue, for those keeping score). And on Nov. 9th? There’s again agreement that we’ll either witness a GOP civil war or a run on psychiatrists by distraught Democrats.
Shrum & Cooke discuss if the ’16 election is being “rigged” and by whom. They agree that it’s another ridiculous Trump exaggeration…but rigging by onerous Voter ID laws is threatening the franchise to millions. There’s also a consensus that Obamacare’s problems are probably coming too late to be a voting issue this year but, predicts Charles, “it’ll haunt Democrats for years”. As for Trump’s Access Hollywood tape + a dozen women claiming assault, Shrum-Cooke concur that will have a big impact because it’s so visceral and insulting. Best Guesses: that alone probably will net HRC 5-7 points…while her emails overall will likely cost her at least as many.