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The Future of Politcal Discourse

Wednesday, October 7, 2015  |  posted by John Schroeder

Bret Stephens points it outMichael Gerson declares its inadequacyJim Geraghty says its old hat with this president.  They are all talking about Obama’s tendency to trash talk his opposition, particularly in the absence of a solid solution on his own part.  I am with Geraghty in the sense that it is not really news.  It requires response because of the bully pulpit, but it is not news.  What concerns me, gravely, is that it sells.  This guy got elected – twice.  His approval rating is near 50% and on the rise in recent weeks.

Clearly the nation has an appetite for trash talk.  It is ubiquitous in sports any more, and the more martial the sport, the more prevalent it is.  The pretend martial sport of pro wrestling is an entire entertainment industry unto itself built on trash talk.  As Gerson points out it is the stock-and-trade of MSNBC.  Much of reality TV, tracing its roots to Jerry Springer and his ilk, thrives on it.  It is par-for-the-course in social media.  People seem to like it.  It is entertaining, but it should not be the stuff of serious politics – of presidential statements after mass killings and foreign policy debates.

But increasingly it seems like the nation cannot tell the difference between its entertainments and its serious politics.  This has a lot to do with the coin of media.  On the one side of the coin there is an entire media/entertainment industry built around politics – starting with talk radio and moving into some of the news channels.  There are, of course, exceptions to this (Hugh being prime example #1) but largely political media is far more entertaining than it is informative.  On the other side of the coin is the fact that politicians must use media to communicate.  Since people expect entertainment from their media, it forces the politician to be more entertaining in their media presentation.  The lines start to get really blurry. Continue Reading

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Lindsey Graham on a Defense Funding Deal with Obama and the Syrian Conflict

Tuesday, October 6, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Senator Lindsey Graham joined me to start third hour of today’s show:

The audio: 10-06hhs-graham

The transcript:

HH: It’s Hugh Hewitt. Joined this hour by George Will at the bottom of the hour, and at the top of the hour by United States Senator, Lindsey Graham. Senator Graham, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show. Great to talk to you.

LG: Thank you for having me. I’m at the airport heading into South Carolina.

HH: How are things in your state? Are they getting under control? Lot of prayers for people down in your flooded part of the world?

LG: It’s pretty devastating. Waters are not going to crash yet until all the runoff from the upstate in the Greenville area makes its way down to Columbia and eventually the coast, so maybe a couple more days even without rain before we get the high-water mark.

HH: Well, God bless the people at your state. I have been watching the pictures. It’s devastating. Senator, I want to cover three things with you. First of all, there is a story this afternoon from McClatchy that the Clinton campaign attempted to influence the Platt River employees to reduce the amount of email on their backup after the State Department had requested the Clintons turn over their emails. Some of the Platt River employees voiced suspicions about a cover-up. And yet, Mrs. Clinton has released a 30-second ad attacking Kevin McCarthy for his statements and saying this is political. What do you make of this development and her rhetoric?

LG: Well, she’s overplaying her hand here and they took the bait. Kevin McCarthy sort of put his foot in his mouth and I don’t think ever really meant to suggest that this is a all politics. None of us but the server in her basement. You or I or no other Republican created this system that she’s now trying [not] to be held accountable for. But here’s the one thing I want to stress to your listeners – to you and anybody else. It is about the four dead Americans. Continue Reading

Chris Christie On Hillary’s Attempt To Escape Benghazi/Server Fallout, Gun Control, And A Boehner-Obama Exit Deal

Monday, October 5, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined me to start hour two of today’s show:

Audio: 10-05hhs-christie


HH: Went home after Morning Joe at four o’clock in the morning here in Colorado and went back to sleep. But I’m awake because Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is joining me to start today’s show. Governor Christie, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

CC: Happy to be back, Hugh.

HH: A lot of the talk on Morning Joe was about polls. You are doing okay in some, not so well in others. Do you think they matter at this moment?

CC: Not really. I don’t. I think if you remember, eight years ago at this time, on the Democratic side, Hilary Clinton was ahead of Barack Obama by 20 points. On our side, we’ve have folks who have been leading in the polls I think six to seven different people now over [the] course of time. So, no I don’t. I think what really matters is what kind of campaign you are running, how hard you are working, and I’m glad to see that some folks respond to that. I’m sure that even more are going to respond as we move forward because what they want is something different than what’s going on Washington D.C. right now which is a train wreck both at the White House and on Capitol Hill.

HH: Also this morning on MSNBC, former Secretary of State Clinton sat down and got heated and indignant over Kevin McCarthy, the likely new speaker. He is the prohibitive favorite, in fact, Jason Chaffetz was endorsing last week until he decided to get in, so I think Kevin McCarthy remains the prohibitive favorite. Has Hilary Clinton been given the gift-wrapped, “get-out-of-jail-free” card or is she trying to play what was at worse a misstatement into some kind of giant fog of war which allows her to escape the battlefield?

CC: Her conduct is her conduct, Hugh. She did all of her business through her private server in her basement which could have been hacked by the Russians, the Chinese, or some 18-year-olds off on a toot. She mishandled, it appears, classified information and none of that is going to change the matter whether Kevin McCarthy says something stupid or not. Continue Reading

“Once In A Great City: A Detroit Story” by David Maraniss

Monday, October 5, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
NB: If there is sufficient demand via “Likes” we will transition all previous book interviews to the Facebook page for ease of use and enjoyment.  Let me know what you think of the idea and, of course, nothing says “do that” like a “Like” at Facebook.


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