On the March 16, 2018, episode of “Right and Righter,” host Elizabeth Harrington welcomes Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti, Space Force cadet Aaron Harison, and staff writer Natalie Johnson. Topics include Robert Mueller’s subpoena of the Trump Organization, the results of the special election in Pennsylvania, Putin’s new space race, celebrity breakups, who Zayn is, whether we should believe Justin Bieber is a committed Christian, pets in airplanes, and how wrong Sonny Bunch is about Stephen Hawking.
Almost immediately after the news broke that President Trump intends to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo, media figures speculated that the decision was about Russia. The argument went like this: Tillerson was fired because he had recently criticized the Russian government for its attack using a nerve agent on a former spy living in the United Kingdom. He thereby endangered détente with Russian president Vladimir Putin and so, the critics said, Trump sacked him.
I had to travel to Silicon Valley to be reminded of how much our time resembles the late nineteenth century. Visiting the Stanford campus this week on a Hoover Institution media fellowship, I spoke to professors who view D.C. politics from a distance both critical and geographic. I was startled by how often the Gilded Age came up, unprompted, in my conversations. It was helpful to be reminded that, while the Beltway is obsessed with personalities—Stormy Daniels, Gary Cohn, Robert Mueller, Jared Kushner, and above all Donald Trump—the structural forces that have brought us to this moment are more important and more enduring.
On this episode of “Right and Righter,” host Elizabeth Harrington welcomes Matthew Continetti, Aaron Harison, Natalie Johnson, and special guest Michael Goldfarb. Topics include Trump’s trade wars, Trump’s shifting stances on gun control, the departure of Hope Hicks from the Trump White House, Ben Carson’s $31,000 office furniture, the future of the “Sex and the City” franchise, KFC versus Popeye’s chicken, taxidermy, and yoga pants, God’s gift to mankind.
I must be a glutton for punishment. Toward the end of last year, I spent some time reading seven books by five different senators: Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Mike Lee, Al Franken, and Elizabeth Warren. When I was finished I wrote up my observations for the Claremont Review of Books, which was gracious enough to publish them. Maybe the editors pitied me.
When Paul Ryan launched his “Better Way” agenda in 2016, the idea was to provide a blueprint for the next Republican administration. The man who would lead that administration was skeptical, to say the least. The Ryan agenda, focusing on health care, taxes, military spending, and welfare reform, was resisted and belittled by Donald Trump’s populist-nationalist supporters. But a funny thing happened when Trump won the presidency. It was Ryan’s priorities that shaped Trump’s first year in office.
On this episode of “Right and Righter,” host Elizabeth Harrington welcomes Matthew Continetti, Aaron Harison, and Natalie Johnson. Topics include gun control, Dianne Feinstein, Michelle Obama’s forthcoming book, Monica Lewinsky, an extra-special segment on “The Bachelor,” Sonny Bunch’s support for vigilantism, and supermodel Emily Ratajkowski.
I’ve been thinking of my friend Jeffrey Bell. Jeff, who died suddenly two weeks ago at age 74, was a Vietnam veteran who shocked the political class when he won the Republican Senate nomination in New Jersey in 1978 and again in 2014. He lost both races, but those setbacks freed him for other pursuits. He was a longtime conservative who worked on the campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Jack Kemp, and who co-founded successful economic and political consulting firms as well as the nonprofit American Principles Project.