Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Bruce Bartlett is kind of one of us. He was run out of all polite, acceptable Republican circles when he opposed the Iraq war and then began writing about the horrors of the Bush presidency and what it did to some of the things that had survived the Reagan presidency as, shall we say, tenets of conservatism. I’m still not sure how actual conservative they were, but they were certainly more conservative than what we have today. Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I wanted to run this past you. Bruce Bartlett is kind of one of us. He was run out of all polite, acceptable Republican circles when he opposed the Iraq war and then began writing about the horrors of the Bush presidency and what it did to some of the things that had survived the Reagan presidency as, shall we say, tenets of conservatism. I’m still not sure how actual conservative they were, but they were certainly more conservative than what we have today. Bartlett started noticing something. Bartlett has also been an opponent of the Tea Party Movement because it is, as he says, an anti-intellectual movement. That may be true but that doesn’t mean that anti-intellectuals can’t participate in politics, especially since we have to participate. Here’s his opinion piece today at Politico, “The Moderate Republican’s Case for Trump – Only Trump can make the GOP sane again—by losing in a landslide to Hillary Clinton.”
David Simpson: Please enlighten me because I’m confused.
With the Tea Party now in control of the Republican nominating process, where only a small number of activists participate, it became the tail wagging the GOP dog. No matter how dumb or demented Tea Party demands were, the Republican leadership had to accommodate them—there’s always time in the crowded legislative schedule for yet another vote to
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repeal Obamacare. Ideas such as shutting down the government or repudiating the national debt that were previously considered beyond the pale became standard Republican policy.
Frighteningly, fringe ideas began to become dogma even among GOP elites. For example, they came to believe that all reputable polls were biased against Republicans in 2012 and instead followed a crackpot who arbitrarily adjusted the polls to show them winning. [Mike: That was Dick Morris.] All the scientific research showing global warming is denied as a liberal conspiracy even as sea levels have steadily risen. Every mass shooting becomes proof that more guns are necessary for average people to protect themselves.
These and other nutty ideas became staples of Fox News programming, which is the primary source of information for most conservatives, according to numerous polls by Pew and others. Among the critical roles played by Fox is to validate extremism and its proponents as mainstream conservative spokesmen. Whether motivated by ratings or ideology—the effect is the same—Fox encouraged the right-wing fringe and gave it a huge megaphone. No commentator appears too extreme to be banned from Fox and its anchors will almost never voice even a hint of criticism no matter what they say on air; all conservative views are legitimate on Fox, no matter how unhinged.
Donald Trump and Fox were a natural fit. . . .
It is reported that Fox owner Rupert Murdoch is less than pleased at the possibility of Trump as the Republican nominee. He can see the looming defeat. But Fox CEO Roger Ailes has continued to promote Trump because the Trump base and the Fox base are one and the same. It’s a no-lose situation—ratings are bumped and the GOP is pulled further to the right, Ailes’ twin goals in life.
But just as the GOP alliance with the crackpot Tea Party needs to be broken, so too does its alliance with Fox. The party is looking at an extended period out of the White House as long as it remains beholden to the Fox News-Tea Party agenda so well represented by Donald Trump.
Suffering a historic defeat in 2016, as it did in 1964, is a price the GOP must pay so that moderates can say to the extremists, “We gave you your chance and you blew it. Now it’s time to put the adults back in charge.” Nominating Trump is the best way to accomplish this goal.
Simpson: I deny his major. He’s wrong from the front line, the first line you started on. The Tea Party didn’t take over the Republican Party; the Republican Party took over the Tea Party.
Mike: But he’s a moderate Republican.
Simpson: That’s the other thing that’s baloney in the whole piece. He keeps arguing about right fringe. Of course, right fringe, I guess, would include me and you to the extreme right. You and I don’t even believe in a false political paradigm of right and left. We believe in the truth. There is no angle we’re trying to shoot for. We’re trying to accomplish the end that would be good for the community. If that’s right fringe, then –
Mike: If it’s left fringe –
Simpson: Right, it doesn’t matter. He’s wrong from the frontend. He’s right in bashing Fox, but so do you.
Mike: There are so many things that are wrong with this. Number one, Bartlett is allegedly an intellectual. I read that and I go: No, dude, you’re not. As my buddy Andrew Wilkow likes to say: You’re a faux intellectual. There’s not very much intellectualism in there. Besides that, Bruce, the sea levels are not rising.
Simpson: He throws out a lot of catch terms. That’s not thinking. He’s decided that he’s going to follow a certain –
Mike: This is an example of that. That’s why I wanted to read that at you. That’s what passes, though – he’ll be savaged on Fox if they acknowledge it. CNN will have him on as a hero. They’ll say: You oppose and you’re a Republican.
Simpson: He’s a controversialist.
Mike: He’s an opinionist. This is why – now we can proceed with Wisdom Wednesday.
Simpson: Have you ever heard of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates? [/private]
Mike: There is little wisdom in that. This is the problem with opinion. Everything cannot be based on opinion. You can’t get anywhere. There’s nowhere to go with things that are all based on opinion. There has to be something that is significant, transcendental, and doesn’t have an expiration date. We call it the truth. As I was telling the audience last hour, some of you people would, if you could get away with it, probably try and repeal the laws of gravity. We know that you cannot repeal the law of gravity. What makes you think you can repeal natural law that applies to man? Man lives under the same law because the same creator that gave gravity gave man. This is so simple to understand, yet living in the age of science, it flies over people’s heads. [mocking] “I’m not going to live like that.” I guarantee before the day has ended, the cock will crow three times. Someone is going to say [mocking] “Your analogy was incorrect about man and the law of gravity. The two are totally separate. One is a geological force. It’s a force of cosmology and the universe and the other has nothing to do with cosmology.”
Simpson: Going back to create, you say I believe in God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth. The law of gravity did not exist before he put everything into existence. It doesn’t have to exist. It doesn’t even have to apply at all times. Miracles can – but we don’t believe in all that stuff.
Mike: Let’s talk about the Bruce Bartletts of the world. We’re in the middle of a campaign again. We’re going to be clobbered over the head with anti-intellectual, cliché-laden opinion from now until November 2016.
Simpson: I think the important question to ask at this point is: Mike, how did you know that? What did you spot? Somebody might have been listening to that while you were reading going: Rah, rah, absolutely, three bags full. They were all over it thought it was good stuff. Immediately when you started reading it my hackles went up and I said: Boloney. How did David Simpson and Mike Church come to the conclusion immediately or almost instantaneously that it was full of errors? I don’t know what else to say about that. The answer that we have steeped our mind in philosophic reasoning, so that’s my little plug for our philosophy course that you and I are doing every Tuesday night. Philosophic reasoning is steeped on a basis in reality.
As an example, when you said the Tea Party took over the Republican Party, I’m in reality. I’m in the Republican Party, kind of begrudgingly. When the Tea Party exploded, I went to the first Tea Party meeting in St. Tammany Parish. The first thing that happened when we walked in was three bigwig Republicans walked in and took over the meeting. I know what happened to the Tea Party. They were taken over by the same group that’s been running the Republican Party for as long as we’ve been alive. You guys say: Oh, Dave, that’s anecdotal evidence. That doesn’t prove anything. How do we know that nationally that was done? I know it was because I see the exact same policies being done, the same fruits falling off the tree.
End Mike Church Show Transcript