My Conversation with Ben Sasse

Ben was wildly charming and charismatic before the crowd.  My questions tried to get at how he thinks rather than the hot button issues of the day.  Here is the transcript, audio, and video.  We covered Kansas vs. Nebraska, famous Nebraskans, Chaucer and Luther, unicameral legislatures, the decline of small towns, Ben’s prize-winning Yale Ph.d thesis on the origins of conservatism,  what he learned as a university president, Stephen Curry, Chevy Chase, Margaret Chase Smith, and much more.

Here is one bit from Ben:

Neverland and Peter Pan is a dystopian hell. Neverland is not a good place. You don’t want to get to the place where you’re physically an adult and you have no moral sense, you have no awareness of history, you have no interest in the future. Peter Pan is killing people, and he doesn’t really care; he doesn’t remember their names. It’s a really dystopian thing. Perpetual adolescence is the bad thing.

Adolescence is special. We need to figure out how to use adolescence; it’s a means to an end. So that’s what the book’s about.

I am an Augustinian in my anthropology, but Rousseau is a romantic. I think he’s wrong about lots and lots and lots of things, but I think he’s really, really smart. You have to engage him, and you have to engage people who have ideas that are different than yours because you may ultimately be converted to their view, and you need to encounter things that are big and challenging and threatening to your worldview. Or you may sometimes come to believe you’re right and be able to respond to the counterarguments, while your argument will be better. You’ll grow through it, and you’ll become more persuasive to others through it.

So I think Rousseau’s fundamental anthropological understanding of why we feel that things are broken in our soul is, he’s got a reason to blame society for everything we feel is wrong in the world, and I think there’s a lot of brokenness deep inside all of us, and so, that’s the Augustinian versus Rousseauvian sense of what’s wrong.

But I think the Emile is brilliant, both because it forces me to wrestle with ideas that I don’t agree with, or mostly don’t agree with, but I think it’s also just an incredibly good read.

Then there was this:

COWEN: …Might one argue that the more one thinks and writes about sex, the more you’re led to Rousseauian conclusions that a certain kind of constraint will prove impossible, and then one is pulled away further from Ben Sasse–like conclusions.

SASSE: That’s a really fair question. I wanted to stay away from sex 100 percent, and then ultimately I couldn’t do it.

COWEN: There’s three pages in your book about sex.

SASSE: Yeah.

COWEN: And page 33 mentions it once.

You’ll have to read the whole thing to see where Ben took that line of inquiry, his answer was excellent.

Comments

Great interview. 2020 GOP candidate?

Not a chance,

"That swing in eight years from a landslide one way to a landslide the other is really amazing, and you could only understand that if you understand how disruptive the 1960s were in community after community across the US."
I am not sure. Goldwater and McGovern seem much better explanarions.

Maybe the Goldwater and McGovern candidacies were a response to the upheaval. IE, candidates from the far right and far left would never have won their parties' nominations in more tranquil times.

Many of the big names don't run when they think they will lose. In '92, they were wrong.

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Maybe, I was thinking more in the line of the general population going first in one direction and then in the other direction. But I would like to know more about the mechanisms that allowed radical fringes take over the parties. Maybe, it was just bad luck.

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"Many of the big names don’t run when they think they will lose. In ’92, they were wrong."
It may be a part of it.

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Nixon wasn't especially popular in the fall of 1971 when the candidates on the Democratic side began announcing their intention to run.

Ed Muskie polled ahead of Nixon in August 1971 when he announced his bid.

http://historyinpieces.com/research/nixon-approval-ratings

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Fair enough.

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The absence of good clays in the Bahamas appears to have been a major contributing factor for the absence of pottery marking. Brazil is always going to sleep in gold crib.

To drown in the shamrock of dew. The know nothing Oglethorpe light infantry wigs, each complete with its own marching band of African American musicians, and because of them soon its changed name was Oglethorpe Light Club and they continued to march, purchase arms, and “monitor” the polls.

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"Brazil is always going to sleep in gold crib."
No, it won't. Brazil has stood up again.

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"Maybe, I was thinking more in the line of the general population going first in one direction and then in the other direction."

Happy People Don't Vote

I am hapy and I vote. I am proud to help my country.

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He would make a great President, but it is terrifying what a Trumpian primary process would do to him.

IOW, I have no confidence that Republicans can pick someone reasonable before 2050. Heck, I would put money on Cruz before Sasse.

+1, yeah Sasse would be a terrific president and thus a terrible candidate. It's pretty hard to be great at both these days.

...Bloomie, Romney, or any other centrist or moderate conservative. They just can't seem to win.

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lol 'terrifying'.

You still under the bed?

You can play with words, but the Republicans were not satisfied with McCain until they put Palin on the ticket. Not satisfied with that as endpoint, they made Trump their nominee.

The shark is tired of all the jumping.

You skipped 2012, they nominated a very reasonable and qualified ticket then. Relax already.

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That is not such a good example when examined in full. Mitt was a pretty good guy, but it was the pre-Trumpians who made him play "Romneycare good, Obamacare bad." That transparent idiocy cost him many moderates.

And of course now we know "Romneycare good, fix Obama care" would have been the way to get ahead of the curve.

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BTW, Donald Trump is still President.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/880049704620494848

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Trump is still president, and yet many of us still find a way to happily go about our days. Sorry you can't join us.

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You two idiots have so much invested in that kind of nonsense tweet being normal .. and to "go on about your days" hoping Trump doesn't face an actual crisis in the next 4 years.

https://twitter.com/davewiner/status/880063536352899074

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Isn't it weirder to wake up every day hoping THIS is the day Trump blows himself up?

Sure, Trump makes me nervous. But every Democrat in Washington is mobilized against any conceivable thing he does. Which is fine- politics don'tchaknow. But throw in the weight of basically the entire mainstream media, the career bureaucrats, the deep state, and half the GOP, and the guy looks pretty well boxed in. Which may be problematic to fans of democracy (like you claim to be), but, as someone who thinks democracy is only instrumentally useful, this looks like a gridlock situation I can live with.

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Dude, you get so flustered so fast. It really doesn't make sense to you that not everyone is in a crying panic about Trump, does it? Do you really think we think we are idiots because your hysterical ass called us that?

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Also what Brian said. He's nicer than me.

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Ridiculous, Nathan. Trump winning was a perfect storm: awful charmless rivals, etc. Trump won in the teeth of many Republicans.

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Brian is semi-rational there. It is true that Trump is not just boxed in, he has burned much of the authority of office. But still, the Executive has powers, like launching 60 or so cruise missiles from his dinner table. (And he is actually "surprising" the rest of government with new Syria policy this week.)

msgkings on the other hand is just silly, inventing "panic" for a guy who just finished up a little quiet yard work. (Anything involving a crowbar tends to be very satisfying.)

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Haha anon, different name, same old Trump Obsession Disorder.

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Surely "disorder" is running on empty these days. That internet tax tweet is so off the wall it proves any number of dark predictions. It is certainly worse than I expected.

Or maybe you want to explain the cunning logic of it to us all?

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Anonymous, when it comes to Trump nothing can be worse than you expected.

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I'm certain I'm smart enough to see anything you see. How we react is a difference in personality.

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I don't know msgkings, that may not wash. You say that the two choices are finding "a way to happily go about our days" or "crying panic."

You may lack the emotional stability to live in an unfortunate situation without avoidance or overreaction.

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LOL sure go with that.

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McCain is not scarier than Palin?

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Yes, Ben Sasse for President.

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I'd vote for him.

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Turbocuck. University professors or administrators should be disfranchised.

Wanting to engage people with different views is such a cuck move. We should burn books, too, after we disenfranchise all university employees.

And kill everyone who wears glasses. Real men do not read.

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New age gobbledygook. Sasse sounds like a teenage girl. He probably dots his "i's" with a heart.

See, the Trumpians begin now.

Yeah, what a pussy!

Seriously, in this country he's got no chance. Could improve though if he shoved a cucumber down his pants.

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Nothing says new age like Saint Augustine, who also dotes his "i's" with a heart. He invented it, in fact, around 400 A.D. That was his other major contribution to the world besides being one of the greatest Christian thinkers.

If someone you knew was constantly crying over the fate of Dido in the Aeneid wouldn't you think that was kind of girly.

Augustine was a super smart guy, but he was also overly emotional and prone to excessive sensibility.

What can you expect from a follower of Jesus, but excessive sensibility. A real pity if you ask me.

Yea that Paul guy was flowing with sensibility. Although in your defense it isn't clear to me that you know what sensibility is so maybe you think Paul had a ton of sensibility too. 1st century Palestine didn't really itself to sensibility and for that matter Christ doesn't really exhibit much sensibility either- righteous anger sure but delicately refined emotional eruptions no not at all.

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Dude, you're taking this way too seriously. The thread started with someone calling Sasse a girl because he can't handle someone delving into literature and philosophy. I don't think Dido or the lack of refined emotional eruptions among first century Palestinians is really relevant here. They're called jokes.

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+1

There is a hint of over compensation there.

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You say those things as if they're bad.

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"Neverland and Peter Pan is a dystopian hell. Neverland is not a good place. You don’t want to get to the place where you’re physically an adult and you have no moral sense, you have no awareness of history, you have no interest in the future. Peter Pan is killing people, and he doesn’t really care; he doesn’t remember their names. It’s a really dystopian thing. Perpetual adolescence is the bad thing."

In a related note:

"June 2017 - 5 Reasons Why Peter Pan is Probably a Monster"

http://www.unboundworlds.com/2017/06/5-reasons-peter-pan-probably-monster/

Good find, JWatts. Besides being a pedophile, it seems Pan's "Lost Boys" are also psychopathic murderers, that Pan has the ability to execute: (Wikipedia): "Tootles is described as the most unfortunate and humblest of the band [of Peter Pan's Lost Boys], ...He is the one who shoots Wendy with a bow and arrow after Tinker Bell tells them Wendy is a bird that Peter wants killed. When Tootles realises his mistake, he asks Peter to kill him. Wendy however survives, and Tootles is spared."

Like the stories by the Brothers Grimm, seems these so-called harmless fairy tales have a dark undertone.

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Neverland and Peter Pan is a dystopian hell. Neverland is not a good place. You don’t want to get to the place where you’re physically an adult and you have no moral sense, you have no awareness of history, you have no interest in the future

That's very close to my formulation about the movie Spring Breakers:

“Spring break forever” is a refrain in the movie, but spring break forever is actually hell. You need “normal” life to contextualize the party and make it special. Not every day can be a festival if a “festival” is to have any meaning. Tucker Max says in Hilarity Ensures that he “worked in Cancun, Mexico for six full weeks during my second year at Duke Law School” and by the end he says “Cancun beat me, like it eventually beats everyone.”

Spring break is also associated with youth, hedonism, and avoiding adulthood; maybe the real lesson is that any "paradise" has drawbacks that are not commonly appreciated or spotlit.

"Spring break is also associated with youth, hedonism, and avoiding adulthood"
As opposed to college?

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It was a good interview. As a Democrat I would probably be okay with him being elected President. Like GHWB in that regard. It's possible I would even vote for him depending on who the Democrats nominated.

"I used to joke that we have 93 counties in Nebraska and 12 of them have people. It turns out people from the other 81 counties don’t like that kind of joke."

That's the Trump electoral map, isn't it? The one he passes out to visitors to the White House.

On the theory that modern conservatism is not about policy, but only about angering liberals, Sasse's prospects do not look good. Not an anger vehicle.

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"depending on who the Democrats nominated."

Who is the Democrats Ben Sasse? I can't think of anyone. Maybe they go the Oprah route.

I joke about the Oprah thing but I can't really think of a better idea for the Dems. They really don't have anyone grown up and credible and not a million years old so they probably have to go with a celebrity. Joe Biden would be ok but 10 years younger.

The best and shrewdest Democrats will keep heads down until at least 2018. There is a cycle to be played, and you can only be a fresh outsider once.

Yeah, but can you even think of any that are doing that?

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Can I think of anyone keeping their head down? Not if they are any good at it.

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Well, I guess I'm on the list then, no one knows I'm planning to make a run at it.

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Can I run too? I can prove I was not born in Kenya and I will release my tax returns.

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So that's it? Obama 2.0 just emerges at some point? That's the plan?

Because, other than that lightning strike, the only Democrat to command national support since 1980 has been Bill Clinton, who steered the party away from foolish leftism, and all the leftists today are just repeating the adorable "Bernie woulda won" mantra, so I don't think 2020 is shaping up so good for the Democrats.

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How many natural born citizens are 35 or older? Fifty million? I looked it up once. Something like that.

Part of our problem is that we do limit ourselves to 10 or 20 usual suspects.

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The problem is only the usual suspects would even bother to go through the insane process of becoming (and being) president. The truly qualified, better men and women out there that we'd all want in the job have not the slightest interest in it. I voted for Colin Powell in 1996, mainly because he adamantly did not want the job, proving him mature and wise.

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“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

- Douglas Adams

If Trump does anything useful, it is in focusing people's minds on the danger of concentrating so much power in one set of hands. I first read about "The Imperial Presidency" in high school (Clinton Rossiter). That was in 1982. Things are much worse now.

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The Underpants Gnome Plan for reclaiming political power in Washington.

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To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

It is not a fact, but a glib opinion.

Take a look at the most consequential presidential candidates of the last quarter century. (George Bush the Elder, Patrick J. Buchanan, Robert Dole, "Steve" Forbes, George Bush the Younger, John McCain, Alan Keyes, Mitt Romney, 'Mike' Huckabee, Ron Paul, 'Rick' Santorum, 'Newt Gingrich', Donald Trump, 'Ted Cruz', Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Bill Clinton, Jerry Brown, Paul Tsongas, Bob Kerrey, Tom Harkin, Albert Gore, Bill Bradley, John Kerry, John Edwards, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders).

1. Could we do better? (Think so).

2. Is that a consequence of the character of a generation, the character of the portion thereof attracted to politics, the screens of political life, or the general dispositions of politicians of any age? (Not sure).

3. How do these characters compare to working politicians who (a) set up campaign committees but made no impression (say, Lamar Alexander or Christopher Dodd) or the usual run of Governors, Senators, and sundries? The argument that this crew are worse than their peers in politics may be a valid one, but it is also a recondite one. (Other than the Clintons and John Edwards, there's no one on that list who is truly repulsive).

If Trump does anything useful, it is in focusing people’s minds on the danger of concentrating so much power in one set of hands. I first read about “The Imperial Presidency” in high school (Clinton Rossiter). That was in 1982. Things are much worse now.

They're not. The presidency is no more imperial than it was in 1981.

The Congress is just as dysfunctional (though worse, ceteris paribus, as we have both chambers under the control of the same party). The judiciary is brazen and lawless; though in realms it did not enter then. The police and intelligence services are behaving strangely. The media is like a drunk who will never hit bottom.

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Support the http://www.centristproject.org

Even if you are not, it will make the world a better place.

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Corey Booker.

Although he seems like a decent guy, he follows the buy-votes-with-government-cash recipe faithfully.

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I think it's a little silly to talk about the Democratic bench in 2017. There are plenty of Democrats that have the potential to step up, if they won't be crushed by the Clinton machine. The DNC was deep in the Clinton pocket in the last Presidential cycle which is why you had so few Democrats even attempt the primary. I suspect that 2020 will be a different ball game.

Here's a potential list:
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/311436-top-15-democratic-presidential-candidates-in-2020

Of course, number 15 on the list is Oprah. It would be somewhat amusing to see her mount a primary bid.

Every bit as amusing as Trump's, and as likely to succeed. So a pretty good chance.

Mark Zuckerberg is spending a lot of time traveling around the mid east/mid west.

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Yeah I've seen those rumors too, he'd be terrible as a candidate unless Trump gets the nomination again, which I doubt he will (mainly because I don't think he will run for a 2nd term)

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(mainly because I don’t think he will run for a 2nd term)

I agree though predicting Trump is a fool's errand.

Its the smart move. Right now he is one of the great political stories of all time. Lose, he is Franklin Pierce.

Contra, once he is not running, a lot of attention goes away. I suppose he would have to tweet harder to compensate.

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@Bob: agreed, but he can still get plenty of attention as an ex-president. Not running is so smart: he will be 74 years old, he will be sick of the bs of the job, he can go out a winner on his own terms, not getting beaten in the primary, or not losing to a candidate better than Hillary which is almost anyone.

As you say, nothing about the guy is predictable but this seems like the most likely outcome.

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msgkings, are you actually predicting that or just trying to piss people off? Why wouldn't he run a second time?

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I'm actually predicting that, as is Bob from Ohio, and many others. It's the only sensible option for Trump, but of course he doesn't always choose those.

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"number 15 on the list is Oprah"

We could do worse.

I doubt they could market Andrew Cuomo or Kristen Gillibrand outside of New York. Biden has failed at this multiple times; he is, at heart, a cheesy real estate salesman. Clinton's ailments will be more in evidence by then, perhaps undeniable. Michelle Obama has been along for the ride all these years, and likely has very little personal ambition.

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My worry is Trump is deeply unpopular by 2019, but decides to run again, anyway, which ultimately hands a relatively easy victory to Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders. I'd take Oprah over either of those two.

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My worry is that this big transformative moment, as Sasse alluded to, where technology is dramatically changing society, may mean Trump and Sanders (basically the same coin) are just the beginning. Voters are scared and they don't want competence or forethought, people like Sasse. They want to be part of an angry tribe and may keep voting accordingly.

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What happened to Ben Sasse, Mr. Turnaround Guy, Mr. Fly-Around-the-Country Consultant Guy, Mr. Private Equity Investor Consulting-On-the-Side Guy? Listen to his other interviews and he makes himself out to be a Titan of Industry, Mitt without the social awkwardness. There's a little bit of that here but maybe my spamming the internet with Sasse's real resume paid off! But if he does run for higher office he'll have to explain where Mr. Turnaround went, because there was a lot of that in his senate campaign (and after) and it was totally bogus.

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Most of those look DOA, many will be pushing 80 by 2020. Cripes, Hillary is #12 and Michelle is #6.

Still, a couple names there that might amount to something...

reply to JWatts above... ^^^

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Get out of my head, Brian. Your posts here are exactly what I would post if you didn't beat me to it.

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Booker is 100% running. Unless Harris also jumps in, starting with the 25% black primary vote makes him the favorite unless Clinton [please God make this happen] or Biden run.

Obviously Clinton isn't running, and Biden almost certainly isn't either. Oprah is a real possibility and she'd take all of Booker's black votes.

I am assuming Oprah does not with my comment about Booker.

"Obviously Clinton isn’t running"

Maybe. The Russian "stab in the back" myth is pretty powerful with the party. She sure gets her name in the pres a lot for a retired grandma.

1. Does she have Parkinson's?

2. What condition will she be in in 2020 if she does?

Just saw a video with Michael Kinsley, who has been ill since 1994. He doesn't look awful, but he's no longer able to sit up properly, hold his head up properly, or speak with much clarity, and he admits he gets confused at times. (He's ambulatory and you can understand him, but he's clearly impaired in the manner of a much older man).

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The stab in the back is popular with the CIA, and it is not hard to see how it connects to Trump's crowd size angst, or election map fascination. He isn't sure himself.

I don't think a man on the street can call it one way or another, but I think we should all admit p > 0, even if p < 1.

Who knows, in 6 or 8 years conservatives may see Russia as their out.

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"Obviously Clinton isn’t running,"

I wouldn't completely count out a Hillary Clinton run for 2020. I believe she thinks the FBI stole the election from her. Granted, I think Democrats will (or certainly should) reject any Hillary Clinton run. However, I suspect that Chelsea will step in at some point. She's two young for 2020/2024, but will be 48 in 2028. So, now's about the time for her to run for a Senate seat.

That's my point, Hillary is no dummy, she may want to run but she knows she has no chance of being nominated. So obviously she isn't going to run (or be the nominee anyway).

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She’s two young for 2020/2024,

She'll be 40/44. Certainly old enough by 24.

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It would seem like a silly idea (given what a dilettante she is). Then again, the Democrats did passably well with BO. Sometimes its just marketing.

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"She’ll be 40/44. Certainly old enough by 24."

Yes, you are right, I was thinking the minimum age was 45, but it's actually 35.

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Do working class Blacks like Oprah? My sense is they'd prefer the politician

Um, yes they do.

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People love Oprah but they don't think she should run for president. As soon as she has to start picking sides on divisive issues, she'll alienate a large chunk of her base.

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Of the six principal candidates in 2016, the performance of three would have been almost completely unanticipated two years earlier. A fourth had beclowned himself falling for upChuck Schumer's schemes.

Clinton, Sanders, Trump, Cruz, Kasich, ???

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"Jordan is always in danger of falling right now because of the pressures of the Syrian refugee crisis into their country. King Abdullah will tell you that there are lots of local communities, lots of school districts in Jordan that have more Syrian kids than Jordanian kids in their schools. Think about what that would be like in the communities where you live, if all of a sudden you had a majority of kids from a different country."

Amazing how un-self aware the guy is. Plenty of Americans can easily imagine that, because they live that reality, thanks to politicians like Ben Sasse. But he's right in a sense, HIS children will never find themselves a minority as Americans(or as Whites) in their school. So he couldn't care less about his fellow Americans but Jordanians? He's virtuous, he'll tell you that he cares about them.(But not a word about the Palestinians, of course.)

Amazing how un-self aware the guy is. Plenty of Americans can easily imagine that, because they live that reality, thanks to politicians like Ben Sasse.

Sasse was born in 1972. He's a lapsed academic who had a brief tour through discretionary appointments in the federal government but otherwise never held public office until about 2 years ago. He doesn't bear any responsibility for the regime in immigration law and enforcement.

No clue why you'd expect him to say much about the West Bank, Gaza, or the UNRWA camps. If he told the blunt truth he'd say they'd been indulged in weird ways that were not in their ultimate interest or anyone else's

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I don't expect his children would find themselves as minorities in their school, seeing as how they're homeschooled.

Mexicans are not refugees. They are not even particularly poor. (Hispanics in the U.S. earn about 61% as much as non-Hispanic whites, or about as much as the average income in Spain or Italy.) There is no resemblance between them and Syrian refugees.

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Wow a smart, articulate, and likable Republican. I thought those had gone extinct.

+1. There was another who ran in 2016 as part of the Gang of 17 but I think he was literally the lowest vote getter: George Pataki. I liked him.

Violin or not, heliotrope rues it's Ph imbalance. Peter Pan is about swimming and it's healthy; it traffics your glut4. America has an obsession with bildungsroman or had an obsession. Igy goes down, catcher in the rye, Herman Hesse, founded by Goethe. It should be noted the printed press stuff were syncretic with Columbus 1492's voyage. Invisible man, I know why the caged bird sings. Winesburg Ohio, perhaps the best and Joyce. And Goodbye Columbus. This was the founding of American Literature.. Huck Finn.

But it also true that it is told less now. In its place we see the Pynchon postmodern stuff though in 1964 he published a bildungsroman. But it is true the trauma of the 60's, of the drugs and shame, and war and shame, brought forth a depression in a generation perhaps leaving them unable to render their "trial."

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Your idea of a 'smart, articulate, and likable Democrat' is who? Andrew Cuomo?

But somehow Barack Obama missed the mark didn't he? That healthcare was the national priority can be reflected in as Toni Morrison called his book, a "quite extraordinary" autobiography. A 40k worker who gets a 5k raise and loses at the margins b/c of health coverage - that is a problem. Is at the level of perpetual adolescence that has been caused for confusing trade with technology and writing poetry without salience? When does wagging the dog become tautology? Does it speak to psychological level of the numbers of depressed, impotent, homeless, violent, drug-dealing? Maybe. Probably not. Probably his identity flamboyance added to the crisis in some ways. And worse for the wear, he had to pay the price and deal with the issues anyway; in Charleston, and Newtown, and Orlando. And then they weren't on his terms. But going to Egypt was a good idea. Maybe he wagged the dog.

So you concur? That's very good. Carry on.

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But somehow Barack Obama missed the mark didn’t he?

He's smart, but so incurious and lacking in depth and experience that it doesn't matter. He's articulate (when the TelePromTer is rolling). He's likable until you stop to think about his self-indulgent and spiteful aspects, as well as the haut bourgeois fish-doesn't-know-it's-wet cluelessness. He missed his true callings: (1) local TV news anchor and (2) deputy dean of students.

"He’s articulate (when the TelePromTer is rolling)."

An unoriginal and rather silly quip. Obama did two very adversarial and unscripted interviews with Bill O'Reilly as part of Fox's Super Bowl coverage. Even in the presence of a wannabe alpha-bully like O'Reilly, Obama was completely relaxed, confident and dominated the exchange. The footage is easy to find on Youtube.

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He once brought the lectern and TelePrompTer set up with him to address a classroom full of 6th graders. (No doubt wilting under the Klieg lights).

You seem to think it's remarkable that he once sat down for a hostile interview. Gerald Ford gave 200 interviews over a 29 month period to reporters who went out of their way to portray an athletic man in his 60s as if he'd sprung from the brow of Harold Lloyd.

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"He’s rich, but so incurious and lacking in depth and experience that it doesn’t matter. He’s not even articulate when the TelePromTer is rolling. He’s awkwardly amusing until you stop to think about his self-indulgent and spiteful aspects, as well as the petit bourgeois fish-doesn’t-know-it’s-wet cluelessness and narcissism. He missed his true callings: (1) wrestling impresario and (2) bookie."

Art your hypocrisy is world shattering. When you make comments about Obama that apply just as much to Trump if not more, you look like an absolute fool.

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whats wrong with tom cotton

he is fine.

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That was a great interview

Yeah. It was much more in depth than a couple of fairly long interviews I've listened to but then again it was a full hour with a good 20 minute Q&A.

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That was a good interview and enjoy reading various responses

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That was excellent! So glad I subscribed.

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I liked how y'all kinda blew right past this one:

"But technological substitution for labor on these farms is that — other than the breadbasket of the world — we’re getting more and more agricultural productivity out of these counties than ever before in human history, but with rapidly diminishing labor inputs."

We don't need the level of immigration we currently have.

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I can see it now... Ben Sasse running as Republican presidential candidate. It wouldn't take long to transform him into Hitler. Remember Mitt Romney's "dog-on-top-of-the-car" offense? How heartless do you have to be to joke about your pets killing helpless rodents!!! And speaking of pets, Sasse "otherizes" them to the extent that he will not even speak their names, what an inhuman monster.

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