American Greatness Managing Editor joined Chris Buskirk and Seth Leibsohn for the ultimate hour of the ultimate show of the first week of 2018. They talked about the fight over DACA, why building the wall is non-negotiable, how the economy may be the story of the coming midterm elections, and why the tax reform bill is “Armageddon” for Democrats. Also: Will Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” be the “Million Little Pieces” of 2018? Listen to the audio and read the transcript.
Chris Buskirk: Hi, I’m Chris Buskirk, he is Seth Leibsohn, welcome back to the Seth and Chris show, the ultimate hour of the ultimate show of the week. And you know why it is the ultimate hour? Well, not just because it’s the final hour, that’s part of it, but because we are joined by our friend and colleague, Ben Boychuk. Ben is the managing editor of American Greatness, at www.amgreatness.com. Ben, how are you? Happy New Year.
Ben Boychuk: Happy New Year to you. I’m in fine fettle.
Chris Buskirk: Oh, your fettle is fine.
Ben Boychuk: My fettle is very fine.
Chris Buskirk: Not coarse, but fine.
Ben Boychuk: The last time we talked, I was getting over this terrible upper respiratory infection thing, and we’re in a new year, I feel great, and I’ve got some reason to gloat.
Chris Buskirk: Oh please, please. By all means, gloat.
Ben Boychuk: So, I assume all of your listeners are frequent visitors to RealClearPolitics, and of course, American Greatness. I am happy to report that we are killing it in the first week of the new year. The top three stories, most read stories on RealClearPolitics over the last seven days are as follows: “Deep Freeze Ends at Dreadful 2017 for Climate Activists,” by Julie Kelly at American Greatness; “The View of the Blinkered,” by Victor Davis Hanson at American Greatness; and “Taking Trump Seriously” by Roger Kimball at American Greatness.
Chris Buskirk: Oh, I’m looking at that right now. That is fantastic. I like look of that.
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, it’s nice. It’s awfully nice. So, we’re starting off the new year strong, and we’ve got great content every single day, but I was really, really happy to see that.
Chris Buskirk: And the number one, as I’m looking at it here, the number one in the last 24 hours is Trump … oh, it’s Victor, but he’s at another site, which shall not be named.
Ben Boychuk: Right. But we’re killing it. We’re starting off the new year right, so I couldn’t be happier, and I feel great, and we’ve got—
Chris Buskirk: You’re healthy.
Ben Boychuk: We’ve got a lot to talk about too, right?
Chris Buskirk: All right, so where do we start? What do you think are the number one things that people need to be looking at politically in 2018? What are those top things?
Ben Boychuk: Well, I think the most important thing, and it’s coming down right now, and then I think in the next week, are going to be the negotiations over DACA.
Chris Buskirk: Right, I agree.
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, and this is going to turn out to be quite a fight. The Trump Administration, back in October, had put out kind of a … I don’t know, what would you call it? A wish list? Or just a document kind of outlining what they want in exchange for some kind of resolution on this DACA question.
So, there’s two parts of this, right? So, President Trump said, almost six months ago, he said, look, Congress needs to do something about the Deferred Action Program that President Obama instituted several years back, because it was plainly unconstitutional. He’s kind of taking constitutional liberties with immigration policy, which properly belongs to the Congress. President Trump said the Congress needs to do something about this, or I will. Of course, this sets up an opportunity for some negotiations and give and take.
Now, what do you do with about 800,000, 900,000 so-called Dreamers? I don’t like using the term, it’s not quite right. Basically illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children. What do you do about them? And then what do you do about future border security? How do we better ensure that hundreds of thousands, millions of illegal immigrants don’t cross the border from the south? Well, President Trump ran on one big thing on that regard, build the wall.
Chris Buskirk: Three words, three simple words.
Ben Boychuk: Build the wall. Lo and behold, on the top of this wish list that the White House sends over to Congress, it’s build the wall. Spend about $18 billion over the next ten years to construct more than 700 miles of new and replacement barriers, could be fence, could be wall. But the point is this was not a surprise.
Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin and some of these leading Democrats are hemming and hawing that the White House wish list includes this law. Well, this was a shock to nobody. This is what the President ran on and this is, obviously, essential to any sort of compromise, if there’s going to be a compromise, with these illegal immigrants.
Chris Buskirk: I’ll tell you, we just had in the last half hour, between 4:30 and 5:00, we had Congressman Andy Biggs on. He believes that Paul Ryan and company will pass a DACA bill using Democrat votes.
Ben Boychuk: Well, let’s call it what it is. They’re essentially trying to negotiate an amnesty, right?
Chris Buskirk: That’s right.
Ben Boychuk: What does that look like exactly?
Chris Buskirk: Well, see that’s TBD, of course. But if what they have talked about recently is to be our guide, which I can’t see why it wouldn’t be, then there will be some window dressing about enforcement. It’s always the same thing with amnesty. Amnesty now, and a promise of enforcement later. There’ll be all kinds of ways that will be, and reasons given why the window dressing is supposedly real. But it’s always amnesty now, enforcement later.
Ben Boychuk: Well, let me ask you this. So the idea, again, is they’re talking about 800,000 to 900,000 people.
Chris Buskirk: If you believe that, which I don’t.
Ben Boychuk: Right, I know you don’t. You’ve said so on the air. But let’s just say 800,000 to 900,000. What if, and I’m not even sure this is possible, what if there was something in this legislation that said for these 800,000 to 900,000, basically cut off the possibility of what’s called chain migration. Basically make it impossible for these regularized … and, again, I don’t think it’s a good idea either, but if there’s going to be some sort of political compromise, if there’s gonna be a deal, what is the best possible deal? If that’s essentially crucial to getting the wall and getting some of these other things that we want, if you’re going to extend some sort of god-awful amnesty to this particular group, if you could limit it to that, and I don’t know, again, I don’t know how you do it, because there was supposed to be limits on the Reagan amnesty 30 years ago.
Chris Buskirk: And there were none.
Ben Boychuk: And there were none.
Chris Buskirk: And there were none.
Ben Boychuk: There were none. I don’t know.
Chris Buskirk: I’d like to remind people that there were several members of the conspiracy in the first World Trade Center bombing that were in this country as a direct result of the Reagan amnesty in ’86.
Ben Boychuk: That’s right, yeah, that’s right. That’s right.
Chris Buskirk: Here is the question. Number one, why take any action? There’s no reason to. There is no compelling interest of the country or of the American citizens to take any action. The law is the law. Obama put in place an unconstitutional executive order. Trump undid it. Why does that compel anyone to take any additional action? That’s my threshold question. Number two is anybody who believes that any amnesty would be limited, please, contact me directly because I have all kinds of things I would like to sell you, bridges among them.
Ben Boychuk: Sure, sure.
Chris Buskirk: Because number one, as I was saying to Congressman Biggs before, whatever box gets drawn, think about what it’s gonna be. It’s gonna be you have to have been in this country for X number of years. You have to have arrived in this country between year X and year Y. You have to have had no whatever, no misdemeanors or maybe up to two misdemeanors. That’s what he is saying, by the way.
Ben Boychuk: Holy moly.
Chris Buskirk: Up to two misdemeanors, which can include things like domestic abuse.
Ben Boychuk: Sure, right.
Chris Buskirk: Maybe it’s no felonies. But whatever the box is, okay, there will be a booming business in documents, in fraudulent documents to demonstrate that people who want to participate in this amnesty, and let’s call it what it is, it’s an amnesty, that they fit that box. That people who are here illegally have easy, quick, cheap access to fraudulent documents now. If you draw a box and just say, look, you need to have arrived in this country between, I don’t know what the years are, 1999 and 2014. I don’t know, let me guess. People are gonna fire up their Macs, the people who create these false documents and sell them for 50 bucks, and they’re gonna be producing all kinds of documents like that. I think this was to your point, but if there was a decision made that said, “Well, we’re willing to trade A for B. If this is what we have to do to get enforcement provisions through Congress, we’ll have to trade this, okay. Right, I’m not saying I would agree with that. But I’m saying, okay, I can follow that logic, but the enforcement has to come first. The wall has to get built. Chain migration has to end and they have to be done for a period of time before these other things take place, right?
Chris Buskirk: Right, yeah, I think so.
Chris Buskirk: You hear the music. We’ve gotta run to a quick break. After this, we’ll be right back with Ben Boychuk, managing editor of American Greatness.
Seth Leibsohn: Yeah, absolutely.
Chris Buskirk: The Gorilla Channel. You wanna talk about it?
Seth Leibsohn: No. Are you aware of this, Ben?
Ben Boychuk: I saw a great meme on this today. There is only one Gorilla Channel. It’s in heaven and Harambe is the star.
Chris Buskirk: Oh, I like that. I like that.
Seth Leibsohn: Bring back Harambe.
Ben Boychuk: Hey, Seth, Happy New Year. Good to hear your voice.
Seth Leibsohn: Thank you, Ben, you too and you too. There’s a lot of talk going on. I don’t wanna interrupt what you and Chris were talking about, but I was talking with Chris during the break about this Gorilla Channel meme. There’s a lot in the Michael Wolff book that is turning out to be false. We know this because reporters particularly-
Chris Buskirk: You’re gonna take Michael Wolff?
Seth Leibsohn: Yeah, particularly at CNN and Washington Post are talking about things he wrote about them that they said wasn’t true. In any event, one of the things that’s been going around Facebook and Twitter is a section on how Donald Trump demanded that the Gorilla Channel be put back in his television set in his private bedroom in the White House. And then people were making fun of the fact that there was no such thing as a Gorilla Channel, on and on and on. Anyway, long story short, that’s not even in Michael Wolff’s book. Someone is just making stuff up on top of making stuff up. And that’s the 30 seconds of Chris’s life I told him he wouldn’t get back. And now I can say the rest to you and the audience.
Ben Boychuk: Isn’t it sort of amazing that this Wolff book is getting so much traction when it turns out he’s got an author’s note at the beginning of the thing where he says, “I don’t really know how much of this is true, but you can judge for yourself.” I mean, really?
Seth Leibsohn: Yes, can I read that part? Can I read it?
Chris Buskirk: Read the whole thing-
Seth Leibsohn: I would love to.
Chris Buskirk: … because there’s a couple of classic whoppers in there.
Seth Leibsohn: All right. In his own book, he writes this on page 10 of the prologue. “Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another. Many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue.” Many are baldly untrue!
Chris Buskirk: In Trumpian fashion.
Seth Leibsohn: In Trumpian fashion, right. “These conflicts and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book.” Want me to keep going?
Chris Buskirk: Yeah, please.
Ben Boychuk: Yeah.
Seth Leibsohn: “Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances, I have, through a consistency in the accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.” Oh my god, we have taken the Oprahfication of my truth to a new level. “I’ve settled on a version of events I believe to be true.” He had a tremendous conflict of the soul, but he finally settled on a version he believes to be true.
Ben Boychuk: Edmund Morris, call your office.
Seth Leibsohn: No kidding. Or James Frey, I think this might turn out to be “A Million Little Pieces.”
Chris Buskirk: How about Dan Rather? Remember “fake but accurate”? Yeah, not fake, but totally accurate. So this is because what he wrote comports with what he chooses to believe about Donald Trump and the Trump White House and the Trump administration, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with what actually happened.
Ben Boychuk: Well, here’s what I don’t understand. The narrative until 15 minutes ago, before this book was coming out, the narrative was that Trump and the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to win the election. OK, the Wolff excerpt that appeared in New York Magazine was he didn’t wanna be president.
Chris Buskirk: Yeah, right, so which is it?
Ben Boychuk: So which is it?
Chris Buskirk: Was he colluding with the Russians to make sure he became president or was he indolent and didn’t wanna be president at all?
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, well, how about this is all nonsense?
Seth Leibsohn: A lot of it is. I mean, there is some very specific nonsense. There’s a reporter at the Washington Post, not Paul Farhi, who has his own take on this, which is worth reading, but a guy named Bergman or Berman, I don’t know of him. But he was written about in this book as being at an important breakfast at the Four Seasons Hotel, and he tweets out today, he says, “I’ve never once set foot in the Four Seasons.” There are very specific things that are simply untrue. That’s why I said go back and look at Dan Rather, James Frey and “A Million Little Pieces.” What was the third example?
Ben Boychuk: Edmund Morris’s biography of Reagan.
Seth Leibsohn: Edmund Morris’s biography of Ronald Regan.
Chris Buskirk: Dan Rather, fake but accurate.
Seth Leibsohn: Fake but accurate. This could all unravel as quickly as the Steve Bannon story’s just gonna go away. I think it will, by the way.
Chris Buskirk: Meanwhile, Rasmussen has Donald Trump, their daily presidential tracking poll has his approval rating at 44 percent, 45 percent over the past couple days, which is up. I continue to think redounds actually to the benefit of the President, both politically in terms of his relations with Congress and in terms of the 2018 election, to the extent that it runs that long, but also in terms of just trying to enact his policies.
Ben Boychuk: I hope so. I think you’re probably right. I just think it’s so extravagant and over the top.
Chris Buskirk: On the one hand, there’s Seth’s concept, which could easily prove true, which is that the whole thing just unravels and blows up in Michael Wolff’s face, and in all the people at CNN and elsewhere who have taken that as gospel and run with it. So there’s that aspect, which I think is quite real, because as you have more and more people coming out and saying, “I didn’t say that. I wasn’t there. I’ve never been there.” And it includes, but is not only people within the Trump Administration, liked Katie Walsh, the former deputy chief of staff who said, “These quotes that he’s put in there from me, not true. I never said these things, never had these meetings.” But also these reporters from the Washington Post, not usually known as a stronghold of Trump apologism, when they’re saying that what Michael Wolff says about them in the book just flatly never happened, that it is untrue, that could blow up.
The other part of it, though, is that I think that the Bannon break by Trump, though painful, really painful to watch in some ways for those of us who like and support both Bannon and the president, does help to benefit the president. I would think this is a matter of him showing who’s alpha. This is Trump’s party, everybody get on board. Leaders need to be feared or loved. This is Donald Trump showing that he is also to be feared.
Ben Boychuk: Well, look, we have an article up at American Greatness today by Brandon Weichert, who is one of our regular contributors, that makes a simple point. The headline is “I Voted for Trump, Not Bannon or Kushner.”
Chris Buskirk: That’s right.
Ben Boychuk: I voted for Trump. That’s the point. That’s brass tacks right there.
Seth Leibsohn: There’s a lot of political what? Intrigue in secondary journalism going back 30 years, where you try and make the story be the campaign consultant. And the campaign consultant tries equally hard to make himself or herself the story. It usually doesn’t end well. It usually ends with careers ending, not for the politician, not for the elected official, but for these campaign consultants. This is a long story. That’s point one I would make, Ben.
Point two, the second point I wanna make about this is that when will conservatives stop bringing in liberal journalists as their friends?
Ben Boychuk: Sure.
Seth Leibsohn: When’s the last time you ever heard of a liberal administration bringing in a Weekly Standard reporter or an American Greatness reporter or a National Review reporter or a Fox News reporter just to have free access to the West Wing? It doesn’t happen.
Ben Boychuk: Right, some parallel universe maybe.
Seth Leibsohn: This is part of conservative Stockholm Syndrome, by the way.
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, I think that’s right. Yeah, yeah, I think that’s right. It seems silly that you would subject yourself to that.
Chris Buskirk: Ben, we’re gonna run to a break, but this is actually something we should find somebody to write on this. Write about this as a cautionary tale for conservative politicians.
Seth Leibsohn: [Tevy 00:18:38], have Tevy [Troy] do it.
Chris Buskirk: Do not let the wolf into the hen house. I’m Chris Buskirk. He’s Seth Leibsohn. Ben Boychuk is our guest. We’ll be right back.
Sing it, Ben.
Ben Boychuk: No! No.
Chris Buskirk: Okay, good, good. That was a test to see if you had common sense. You do. You passed with flying colors. Welcome back to the Seth and Chris show. Our guest, Ben Boychuk, managing editor of American Greatness.
Ben, so we talked DACA. What are the other things that are on the political horizon that people need to be watching out for, be paying attention to this year?
Ben Boychuk: Well, the economy. It’s an election year. Every election year’s about the economy, and so related to that-
Chris Buskirk: Thank you for not saying the economy’s stupid.
Ben Boychuk: Oh, goodness.
Chris Buskirk: Or saying it goes to 11. Some of these phrases are over.
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, I know. I like that movie though.
Chris Buskirk: I like it too, I love the movie. But it’s one of those things, when certain people start saying it, you just have to stop.
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, you’re right, you’re right. But, no, the economy, and tied up in all of this, of course, is what’s going to happen, how will the tax reform bill that Congress passed and the president signed at the very end of last year, how will that play out? I love that the Democrats have predicted Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, literally predicted the end of the world because of this bill. The end of the world. That’s an awfully high bar—
Chris Buskirk: Can I quote R.E.M. on this, Michael Stipe? It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, well, I feel pretty okay about it.
Chris Buskirk: Smart.
Ben Boychuk: We’ll see how it goes. I just think that’s going to be a little bit of hyperbole that she will never live down.
Chris Buskirk: If she remembers.
Ben Boychuk: If she remembers. We’ll remember. We’ll certainly remind her of it. I don’t like to be categorical so much, but never say never. Always and never are rare. But in this case I can safely predict that one might rank up there with, “You have to wait for us to pass the bill in order to know what’s in it,” and some of her other goofy things that she’s said.
It’s either gonna be the end of the world or 3 percent to 4 percent growth, which would be quite something for voters to look at, because it’s a fairly objective standard.
Seth Leibsohn: This has though been my thesis as to why the Democrats fought it so hard. To the Democratic Party, this is Armageddon to them. It is Armageddon to them for the vast majority of Americans to get bigger paychecks thanks to a Republican President and Congress. This was, I think, their greatest fear. And the way they are going to try to spin it or have to spin it is going to be an impossibility for them. They way they treat politics like religion, use of such words as Armageddon may have been just a little bit of a gaffe in the definition of telling the truth when you didn’t mean to.
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, I think that’s a good point.
Seth Leibsohn: It is Armageddon for the Democratic Party.
Ben Boychuk: Sure, sure. Well, look, anything could happen that could throw a monkey wrench in the whole works. We don’t know. But we know from experience, though, that the corporate tax rate in this country was much too high. You need to bring that down so we’re more competitive with the rest of the world, so these companies will start hiring again so they’ll feel a little bit freer to do some serious capital investments, things like that.
I love that we have this debate right now playing out in the papers about, you’ve heard these stories about these various businesses who are giving their employees extra bonuses at the end of the year because of this. Is this a publicity stunt or not?
Seth Leibsohn: Hundreds of thousands of them.
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, is this a publicity stunt? Well, if it is—
Chris Buskirk: Wow, that’s pretty well coordinated.
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, that’s awfully good. More publicity stunts, please, because people need to know that things are moving in the right direction in this country, at least economically, and people are gonna have a little more money and a little more freedom. And that’s what we want. This is something to celebrate. But is it a publicity stunt? Is this just a scam? Well, the proof is in the paycheck, right?
Chris Buskirk: Yeah, here’s an interesting statistic about what growth should be. Growth in 2017, GDP growth in this country was a hair over 3 percent, which is good, which is quite good. But writing in the Wall Street Journal, Robert Barro, he’s a Harvard economist, he’s a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he said, “Based on the tax cuts alone, the tax cuts should add about 1.6 percent to the GDP growth rate.”
If we were able to sustain the 3 percent, it adds about another point and a half, so that gives you four and half points. If you have GDP growth of over 3 percent, that’s strong. If you’re over 4 percent, that is very strong, whether people recognize it and wanna give Trump credit for it or not.
In other words, if they wanna do it implicitly or explicitly, the feeling in the economy, people working, people getting paid, it just gets better. That, I think, is only good for Republicans going into elections in November.
Ben, we’re gonna run to a quick break. We’ll be right back. And then we’ll talk about what’s up at American Greatness. Be right back.
Where is the Kentucky woman, Seth? We’re playing her song.
Seth Leibsohn: I had lunch with her today.
Chris Buskirk: You did?
Seth Leibsohn: I did.
Chris Buskirk: Oh, well, I’ll check my spam folders, see if my invitation was accidentally sent into my email spam folder. These things happen, Seth. I don’t hold a grudge over a technical glitch like that. Ben is scratching his head right now. Who is this Kentucky woman and why does everyone wanna have lunch with her?
Ben Boychuk: Yeah, is there bourbon involved?
Seth Leibsohn: No, there is definitely not. Not at lunch, not at lunch anyway.
Chris Buskirk: Ben, I wanted to ask you a question before we turn to American Greatness for a second. It’s all marijuana all the time in your home state of California. Can you smell the fumes?
Ben Boychuk: No, but that’s only because I’m at about 6,500 feet right now.
Chris Buskirk: Wow, you’re really high.
Ben Boychuk: That was good. I set it up, you knock it out. That was nice.
Chris Buskirk: Yep, that’s the way we do it around here.
Ben Boychuk: Well done, well done. It’s kind of interesting because there’s an odd hitch in California’s law, which is that the taxes on the legal sale of marijuana are really quite . . . elevated. They’re around, I think, 35 percent to 40 percent. There’s a couple of ways, some of the reporting on this has been sort of explaining ways around that.
One, of course, is that there’s going to continue to be just a black market for marijuana. But the other is, for everybody who has gotten a medical marijuana card in the past 20 years, which is pretty much anyone who wanted to get around the laws against marijuana, they’ll still be able to obtain their pot at a considerable discount.
Although it’s interesting to see this recreational marijuana, remember, there was predictions January 1 being lines around the corner. There was a little bit of that in some places, but for the most part, everything that I’ve seen so far, sales have not been super great. And I think that’s largely because pot was de facto legal because of that ridiculous medical marijuana loophole for so long.
Chris Buskirk: That’s interesting. Are you saying basically the market was already saturated? Anybody who wanted it, they had a medical marijuana card that they had gotten from some quack.
Ben Boychuk: Right, ’cause you can get one from any-
Chris Buskirk: See where I’m coming from with that? Some quack. I’m underscoring it.
Ben Boychuk: I’ve written about this a few times in newspaper columns. The one example I always like to point to was the comedian Seth Rogen went on Conan O’Brien several years ago and talked about this, ’cause he’s kind of a famous doper. He said, “Yeah, I went to the doctor and spoke to the nurse, and she said, what ailment do you have.” And he said, “I ain’t got enough weed on me.” And she said, “I think we can help you out with that.” I mean, the point is you could get a medical marijuana-
Chris Buskirk: For anything.
Ben Boychuk: … card for anything, anything at all. I am no doubt in my mind we’re gonna have some of the problems that Colorado has had. I think there’s going to be just a normalization of pot smoking among teenagers, and there’s gonna be lots more DUIs, and that’s not gonna be good for public safety. But we’re tearing down this path now, so we’ll see. Public opinion on this has shifted. It’s not good, but it’s shifted in favor of giving us sort of a land of low feeders maybe. I think we’re gonna come to regret it, but we’re off to it now.
Chris Buskirk: Will anybody know or will they be too stoned to realize?
Ben Boychuk: Well, isn’t that it? If you wanna have sort of a pliant population of subjects, right-
Chris Buskirk: You give them their soma, right?
Ben Boychuk: Exactly.
Chris Buskirk: This is what Aldous Huxley wrote about in “Brave New World.”
Ben Boychuk: Yep, that’s it, that’s it. To me, it kinda scares me about the future of self-government, and this state is already so screwed up. We are, as Michael Walsh wrote about for us this week, we are a brazenly sanctuary state. And it’s not just that we’ve had some reaction to that piece by Walsh, saying, “Well, look, immigration is a federal government responsibility and they shouldn’t be conscripting local cops into enforcing federal laws.” That’s not what’s happening. There is a qualitative difference in what Jerry Brown, the governor here, and all of these state-wide constitutional office holders and various city mayors are doing. They are saying in effect, and in some cases quite explicitly, “We don’t care about federal immigration law. Illegal immigrants are welcome in California. They are essentially citizens without the technicality of being citizens.” That is very different from saying, “We’re not gonna cooperate with you, and you guys have a responsibility to enforce this law.” They are saying, “We will flout this law. We reject this law.” It is nullification.
Chris Buskirk: By the way, I don’t buy the argument that because it’s a federal law, local law enforcement has no responsibilities. Where else does that apply?
Ben Boychuk: Well, look, and the other thing is, too, the folks that they’re arresting that are in the country illegally, they’re breaking local laws. They’re arresting them for things like car theft and assault and domestic battery and this, that, and the other. Look, if they weren’t in the country illegally in the first place, then these crimes wouldn’t be occurring. Obviously, there’s an intersection between local interests and federal interests.
It really is a brazenly, as Michael Walsh put it in his piece for us, Sacramento Democrats Fire On Fort Sumter. Their thumbing their noses at federal law and, really, the U.S. Constitution because immigration and naturalization is a federal constitutional matter. It’s not a Tenth Amendment issue, for example, it’s not one of these things.
Chris Buskirk: Exactly, that’s right.
Ben Boychuk: Really, it’s appalling what Brown and the others have done. But they’re doing it because they are setting themselves up as the resistance. California is the state of resistance. This is going to be a showdown between federal and state prerogatives under the U.S. Constitution. And, boy oh boy, I really hope at some point this Justice Department and this administration really slaps some sense back into some of these state lawmakers and constitutional officers, from governor on down, because these guys think they can get away with it. Maybe they will, if we let them. Can’t let them.
Chris Buskirk: Right, I don’t think it would take too many either. Remember it’s the same thing with Jeff Sessions and the potential prosecution of people in the pot business in the states that have legalized it, prosecution by federal prosecutors, by U.S. attorneys. You know what? A couple of prosecutions, I think, would have quite an effect on the rest of that industry, which would be good for the rest of the country.
We’re gonna do after this break, Ben, what we promised to do in this segment, but we got waylaid a little bit by me. But let’s talk about what’s on American Greatness, what people should be looking for. I’m Chris. He’s Seth. Our guest is Ben Boychuk, managing editor of American Greatness. And we will be right back.
Playing Rush is no way to make me get to the point. I just wanna let it keep playing.
Ben Boychuk: More Rush, please.
Chris Buskirk: More Rush, exactly. Hey, Ben, before we talk about American Greatness, fun fact. Do you follow David Burge? Iowahawkblog on Twitter?
Ben Boychuk: Well, not often enough, but yeah, yeah.
Chris Buskirk: He’s got a good fun fact. The 10 largest U.S. college endowments, which are Harvard, Yale, Texas, Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Texas A&M, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, and Northwestern have $185 billion, the same as the GDP of New Zealand.
Ben Boychuk: Wow.
Chris Buskirk: Fun fact.
Ben Boychuk: That’s a fun fascinating fact.
Chris Buskirk: Right, and not quite twice the net worth of Jeff Bezos, another fun fact. Anyway, we don’t have a ton of time, so tell us what should people be looking at on American Greatness.
Ben Boychuk: Everything, but if we have to narrow it down. People I think should be interested in the feature story we have up right now on the site. “Flight 93 Has Not Landed,” by Mytheos Holt. If listeners to this radio program, if you’ve been listening long enough, you know all about “the Flight 93 election.” We’ve had, I think, a fascinating series of articles over the past couple of weeks, taking this Flight 93 metaphor and running with it. Mytheos, he’s responding to a couple of pieces by our friends Henry Olsen and Ken Masugi, who are sort of debating where that Flight 93 metaphor is right now. Can we land the plane yet? What is it gonna take for us to land that plane now that we’re taken over the cockpit, we’ve charged the—
Chris Buskirk: Got it back from the terrorists, to take the analogy out.
Ben Boychuk: That’s right. So now we’ve got a new pilot in the cockpit and now what? Take a look at the “Flight 93 Has Not Landed” piece and see what Mytheos Holt recommends. I hope it generates some discussion. This is sort of essential to where we’re heading as a country.
I think you seriously are gonna wanna take a look at some of our editor’s picks for today. Emina Melonic, who is a relatively recent contributor of ours, but I just love the stuff that she does. She’s got a provocative piece up called “Academia is Overdue for a Reality Check,” talking about just the corruption of the humanities and the danger to academic freedom. This is something that really should concern us.
And a real barn-burner of a piece by Deion Kathawa, “Abortion Remains the Left’s Lodestar.” He’s writing about the extreme reaction to a recent bill that John Kasich signed in Ohio. A real passionate piece by Deion. We just put that up in the past couple hours. I hope people will read it.
Chris Buskirk: It’s very good. It really is. Ben, what’s your Twitter? Where can people follow you?