Kavanaugh Accusations, Trump Intel Release, Trade War, SCOTUS & Anonymous Donations

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This week, Mike and Jay open the show with a look at the accusation of attempted rape leveled at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford. The Guys have a lot of differences of opinion on this issue, though they do agree on the importance of a process that is fair to both Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh.

Next is a discussion of President Trump’s call to release intelligence related to the Russia investigation. Jay advances that argument that President Trump is lying when he said he hasn’t read the documents and that the president is timing his order for maximum media impact and the greatest political benefit.

After that, the Guys talk about the latest in the ongoing trade war with China. Mike points out that the best possible outcome for the United States would be President Trump being right about his risky, unorthodox strategy. Jay adds that even if Trump is right regarding China, his trade strategy with our EU and Canadian allies still seems highly suspect.

Then Mike and Jay discuss an important federal court ruling on political contribution disclosure rules. Mike thinks the ruling is both an example of what happens when Congress delegates too much authority to regulators, as well as a win for transparency. Jay agrees on the delegation issue, but has his doubts about the wisdom of the ruling, as well as whether it will be affirmed on appeal.

Our listener mail question this week comes from Don, who asks if terms limits might make government more responsive and effective.

Help Mike decide on the topic of his next book by taking this super-quick one question survey. (The survey is open until Friday, September 28.)

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com/support.

7 thoughts on “Kavanaugh Accusations, Trump Intel Release, Trade War, SCOTUS & Anonymous Donations”

  1. I had to stop the podcast in the middle of the Kavanaugh discussion this morning. Though I lean to the right on this issue — the Senate’s Constitutional duty is to provide advice and consent, not to completely block or avoid a vote on Supreme Court nominations — I was utterly disgusted by Jay’s comments on the issue of sexual assault. I was especially offended by his attempt to draw an equivalence between the Clinton affairs and now. “People at that time said,” Jay rightly recalled, “if you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park, that’s what you get.” Jay is being that person now, casually dismissing Blasey Ford’s accusations in a manner that I never, ever expected from someone I’ve enjoyed listening to for the past three years.

    I’m not quitting to podcast, but it’s gonna be a good long time before I want to hear Jay’s voice again.

    1. I think it was a ill-advised attempt to make a point. Jay didn’t mean to suggest that Blasey Ford shouldn’t be believed; rather, he was trying to argue that Democrats were, in some part, acting more out of political rather than moral calculations by using a vulgar and simply awful quote from James Carville, a top Bill Clinton campaign adviser. When I heard the comment I should have stopped and asked him to clarify & expand. My bad for not doing that. -Mike

      P.S. Jay isn’t schedule do do the show for the next three weeks, so you will get to hear some different voices in the near-future.

    2. Agreed. Registered independent here and I found Jay absolutely disgusting. I have no desire to listen to someone spit partisan talking points, whether it be left or right. Especially being so dismissive about alleged sexual assault.

      Michael, I think you do a great job trying to hear the other side. But I’m done listening to Jay. I listen to you guys to hear intellectuals on both sides of the political aisle. I’ll go to Fox News if I want to hear Republican talking points.

  2. Mike, I was pretty disappointed with your opening message at the start of the show.
    Adding to the podcast’s diversity should be about including more points of view and not about including more skin colors or genders.

    Stating that you are two white guys and you want to add more color and some women into the discussions actually comes across as racist and sexist because it is basing value on those merits.

    Of course if the points of view came from people who happen to be of a different race or gender than by all means include them. But to announce that you are on a hunt to find more women and minorities to make your discussions more authentic is just horribly backward.

    Please don’t hire or interview people based on their race and gender and stick to talking to people based on how they think, then maybe your podcast can become a place where people can go when they want to get away from racism and sexism. By those opening statements you are actually contributing to the problem, people don’t talk to Neil Tyson because they want a black man’s perspective on space. I think he would be rather offended if that were the case.

    Also anyone that takes up the flag of representing the female or minority voice is suspicious and probably full of it. One person can not represent a race or gender, we are all individuals and within those genders and races have various political beliefs. Would you like to be asked to speak for being a white guy?

    Don’t fall into this pit or break your own arm while patting yourself on the back.

    1. I believe that people of different backgrounds can often bring forth valuable perspectives precisely because of those backgrounds. For instance, I find that the Ivy-League liberal elite background of so much of the mainstream media (on the left and the right) makes it harder for them to understand what they sometimes derisively refer to as ‘flyover country’. That’s not to say that I agree with the more extreme claims of what’s been called identity politics – for instance, that if one hasn’t experienced life as a one has no right to comment on . I also agree that one person cannot represent an entire race or gender any more than I can claim to represent ‘middle-aged white guys from Ohio’. Finally, I should clarify one thing – I would never bring on a co-host solely because of their gender or race. Anyone we consider as a co-host must have significant, relevant professional expertise. That’s the criteria we’ve used for Trey and Ken, and it’s the criteria we’ll use for everyone else.

  3. My skin really crawls when someone I respect as much as Jay says something like “This is how you got Trump.” Man… oh man. Do you really think that? I get something important from listening to Jay but I don’t get this catch-all Trump excuse.

  4. Yeah…. I’m not sure if this is the episode that you want to encourage people to Tweet and share.

    As you’ve pointed out in the intro, the podcast title ‘The Politics Guys’ can risk sounding like it is offering a rather insulated white male vision of the world. And although I’m usually inclined to commend everyone on the show for actually striving to look beyond their own experience and consider subjects from multiple angles (well, everyone except Jay, who has progressively become just a font of regurgitated republican talking points), this week was a pretty dire argument for the contrary.

    Although you pushed back on a good portion of his nonsense, Mike (and thank you for that), Jay was once again lost in an asinine snarl of swinging and straw men and indulging in cynical rhetorical gamesmanship.

    His Deep State conspiracies got yet another airing, with his I’m-not-saying-I’m-just-saying appeals to cover-ups and clandestine affairs just one Alex Jones screaming fit away from being a full embrace of Qanon mania.

    And he got to ask all chagrined about those horrible Democrats and their sneaky, twisted political games – why the Republicans would NEVER do such a shameful thing, just ask Merrick Garland!

    But (as many other listeners have already pointed out) it was hearing his stance on the Kavanaugh hearings, and his tone-deaf, unempathetic, victim blaming efforts to smear even the possibility of hearing from Kavanaugh’s accuser that really topped it off.

    To praise Grassly for ‘kindly’ welcoming her to give testimony, when he has slapped arbitrary, near-immediate deadlines on her for testimony and condescended to her in the press about how accommodating he was trying to be and how unreasonable she was rang very hollow. Pretending that there is not a glaring history of treating women accusers with overt contempt during hearing such as these (there is a reason Anita Hill is back in the news this past week, guys – interesting that her name never came up in your discussion), was, I felt, intentionally misleading. But truly, hearing a privileged, middle aged, conservative talking head spouting off about how suspicious it is that a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL didn’t immediately come forward and confront her accuser, was not just the same old ugly belittling dismissal that all such victims of sexual assault have to bear (the very culture of victim blaming that makes such accusations hard to bear), was grotesque. It was patronising, it was diminishing, and it perpetuated the very pattern of shaming and dismissal that victims of sexual assault have to fight against every day.

    (And lets not too quickly breeze over Jay’s favourite past time: making yet another ridiculous attempt to squeeze in a sad Clinton analogy, just so we can all be reminded who he thinks the real bad guys are.)

    Your show should be better than this trash.

    Again, sadly this is nothing new. Hearing Jay, a few months back, dismiss the plight of refugee children being torn from their families as a disingenuous media beat-up by the liberal press, hearing him denigrate young student activists trying to draw attention to the gun violence that is terrorising and killing them as lazy goof-offs – this is who he is. Whether he always believed this crap, or has turned to it as a means of justifying his party’s selling out of their own beliefs in service of appeasing their whiny, tantrum-throwing leader, his opinions are as predictable and ill-considered as all the other parrots on Fox News.

    Jay noted that ‘This is why you got Trump’ this week. He was right – but as usual, not in the way he meant it. He intended it to be a slight against politicians who are too easily swayed from their mandates; but in truth, the ‘reason we got Trump’ is because in the interest of political expediency too many people, just like Jay, have become incapable of extending simple human empathy to anyone outside their own party. Just like Jay, they are willing to forward insane, dehumanising rhetoric to defend their own positions while condemning their perceived opponents. And just like Jay, they are so blinded by their own hypocrisies that they are willing to place their faith in a mendacious con man, who radiates objectively proven corruption, simply because they think he can ram through a few election promises they like while irreparably damaging the rule of law they once claimed to hold sacred.

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