Family Separation, SCOTUS on Gerrymandering & Sales Tax, Space Force!, US Leaves Human Rights Council

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This week’s show starts with Mike and Jay discussing the bipartisan furor over family separations that have occurred as a result of the Trump administration’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ immigration policy. Mike argues that the policy is inhumane, that Donald Trump lied when he said he could do nothing about it – as evidenced by the Executive Order he signed halting the policy – and that the policy was incompetently rolled out. Jay agrees about the incompetence and the president being wrong about having his hands tied, but believes that the policy’s effects have been exaggerated by many on the left and in the media.

After that, it’s a look at two important Supreme Court decisions. The first is a highly anticipated ruling on partisan gerrymandering. The Court disappointed many people by deciding not to decide, arguing that the cases weren’t ready for their review. Mike and Jay, while disagreeing on the underlying issue of partisan gerrymandering, agree that the Court made the right call here.

The second case involves an ideologically unusual 5-4 split in a ruling that will allow states to require out-of-state merchants to charge sales tax. Mike agrees with the policy, but sides with the dissenters – led by Chief Justice John Roberts – on the law, agreeing that this was a matter for Congress to address, not the Court. Jay, while less pleased on policy grounds, shares Mike’s approval of the judicial restraint argued for by Roberts and the three other Justices in the minority.

Next is a discussion of the Trump administration’s proposals to create a ‘Space Force’ and to combine the Departments of Education and Labor. Mike is skeptical about the need for a sixth branch of the armed forces, while Jay thinks it could be a reasonable idea given what’s sure to be the increasing military importance of space. Mike’s less sure about the Education / Labor merger, and Jay agrees that it would need to be fleshed out considerably more. Given that neither of these things can occur without Congressional approval, it seems unlikely they’ll happen any time soon, though Jay points out that it can be useful to float big ideas as trial balloons.

Finally, the Guys debate the wisdom of the United States withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council. Jay points out that the Council has a massive bias against Israel and is filled with human rights abusing states. Mike agrees, but believes that the Obama approach of engaging with even very flawed international organizations in an attempt to improve them is usually a better strategy than walking away.

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7 thoughts on “Family Separation, SCOTUS on Gerrymandering & Sales Tax, Space Force!, US Leaves Human Rights Council”

  1. Never heard Jay get so flustered and it was in reaction to a single photo….where’s the frustration for the actual act that it happeneing? What about when your all mighty Fox News used photos of the Philadelphia Eagles kneeling at random times (not the anthem)? Just to support your friend, Mr. Trump getting upset that no one wanted to go see him? You didn’t seem so upset over the “fake and not even accurate” news using photos that didn’t portray the situation there? Yet again major double standards.

    1. Thanks for your comment. There have been a lot of similar responses, and you can be sure that we’ll discuss this on our next Wednesday episode – the one that will air on July 4 (we record Wednesday episodes on the same day we do the Saturday show, which is the reason for the lag).

  2. False equivalencies, ginned up outrage, specious rhetoric, obfuscation and deflection; this really does seem to be all that Jay has to offer this program anymore.

    The world already has Fox News and Trump’s media trolls working overtime to try and spin the vulgarity of America’s new policy of tearing children away from their parents into an innocuous summer-camp play-date on the border (or the fault of the democrats, or a law that has always existed, or whatever suits their cowardly reasoning at any given second); the fact that Jay has not only swallowed their Kool Aid (just as he has every other manufactured Trump-enabling Fox talking point of the past several months, it seems) but is also trying to ape outrage at the left for the “media’s” apparent manipulation of reality is utterly pathetic.

    Truly, Jay’s delusions about the “deep state conspiracy” against Trump, the media’s “bias”, and every hypocritical jab at the lying “liberal” elite have all been ridiculous enough, but to forfeit basic human decency in the pursuit of once again validating Trump’s shameless web of racial dog-whistling and fraud is on a whole other level. This is not argument in good faith; it’s not bi-partisan debate; it’s not illuminating party ideology; it is precisely the kind of grotesque double-speak that has incrementally eroded the public’s faith in institutions and their fellow human beings and allowed some of the worst atrocities in history to eventuate.

    It is shameful that The Politics Guys, a program whose purview I so admired, is willing to sink so low.

    1. Wow – what powerful comment! While I don’t agree with you on all the specifics, you raise some important points that I feel Jay and I should discuss on the air. We’ll do that ASAP, and our thoughts on your comment, and the many like it, will air on our Wednesday, July 4 episode.

      1. Hi Mike,

        Thank you for the reply, but there’s really no need to read my comment. I already know how how that discussion will play out.

        You will read some select sentences from what I said, and Jay will chuckle, make some dismissive comment about how ‘popular’ he is with the social media audience, and then the familiar routine will begin…

        Having had a week’s distance from his comments Jay will try to claim objectivity. He will remind everyone that his job is always just to try to espouse the ‘conservative’ viewpoint – even though it was he himself who was getting so put out by what he saw as a misrepresentative photograph.

        He will say that he’s definitely not some Trump supporter – why, his disagrees with a couple of Trump’s trade positions, don’t you know!

        He will say that his real concern was making sure that in such a heightened climate the facts were being properly discussed – even though he was intentionally cherry-picked a single instance of symbolic misrepresentation so that he could avoid addressing the ethical and legal substance of a contentious issue.

        (And as other commenters have noted, this kind of cherry-picking and false-analogizing is something he’s all too happy to embrace when Sean Hannity or Trump himself do it to trash entire groups of people, like countries, or refugees, or members of the media, by citing one or two examples of bad behavior …)

        Presenting himself as always being level-headed, he will then lament that it is becoming impossible to have discussions about topics such as these because ‘liberal’ commentators (like me!) get so emotionally worked up – even though Jay’s rhetorical fallback lately is to appeal to what-aboutisms and indignation whenever Trump’s fiats-by-tweet are being discussed.

        He’ll then end by promising that he won’t change, because all he can offer is the truth, as he sees it. You will then assure him, and the listeners, that you have known him a long time, that his heart is in the right place, and that he is a good guy.

        It is the same pattern that has repeated every time Jay’s rhetoric gets called out for what it is.

        Again, I appreciate your reply, Mike, and all of the work that you do to create a space in which rational bipartisan discussion can take place, but arguments in bad faith exploit courtesy and reason. It’s why Trump has proved impenetrable, despite the cavalcade of self-owns that his administration perpetuates every day. He lies incessantly and shamelessly, gas-lighting the media and eroding all norms by compelling people to debate ancillary semantics. Just think about where we are in America right now. Even a month ago could you imagine the United States would be a place in which we would have to consider the government-mandated practice of separating children from their parents and holding them captive in a legal oblivion? But now we’re not just doing it, we’re squabbling about the specifics of a single photograph to avoid the issue itself. It’s craven obfuscation, the exact same deflection that leads to talk of ‘fake media’ and ‘witch-hunt’ probes, and ‘liars’ and ‘crooks’ and ‘bad people’. It’s a trick, sadly one that is vomited from the White House and Trump’s Twitter feed, exacerbated by the bullhorn of the world’s Fox Medias and Brietbarts, and even cultivated here when Jay indulges his worst tendencies.

        1. Couldn’t agree more Bryan. I started listening to the young podcast pre-Trump and as much as Jay tries to say he hasn’t changed to Trumps biogty, he most certainly has. I challenege Jay to pick a random podcast in early 16 or in 2015 and just relisten. The entire show has completely changed. I find myself turning it off after a 20 or so minutes now, or just completely skipping if it is just Mike and Jay, as it is painfully predictable.

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