Bernie’s Q&A: Trump, Romney, Pelosi, Prager, and More! (2/7) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)
Welcome to this week’s Premium Q&A session for Premium Interactive members. I appreciate you all signing up and joining me. Thank you.
Editor's Note: If you enjoy these sessions (along with the weekly columns and audio commentaries), please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share this page with your friends and family. Thank you!
Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Do you think that Mitt Romney voted to remove Trump due to personal animosity for the president, or do you think he indeed believes that Trump's abuse of power on Ukraine warrants removal, per the impeachment argument. -- Don M.
That's the million dollar question, Don. I think Romney is sincere. I don't think it was a revenge vote. But more than a few people do. Frankly, I see Romney as a man with far more integrity than some of the right wing fools who couldn't wait to accuse him of treason. I'm willing to take him at his word unless I have evidence or at least a strong suspicion not to.
Which was worse during the State of the Union: Trump refusing to shake Pelosi's hand or Pelosi tearing up a copy of Trump's speech. I'm not sure I care about either. LOL. -- Michael
If Trump saw her hand extended than he should have been gracious -- not a word one uses to describe the president. But what Pelosi did was blatant. And so the Thumbs Down award goes to the speaker.
How annoying is it that liberal journalists who thought Romney was evil when he ran for president now think he's a hero just because he sided with the Dems on impeachment? -- Ryan G.
Just as annoying, Ryan, as the conservatives who once defended Romney from unfair Democratic attacks and are now accusing him of being a traitor. But neither side surprises me. See John Daly's excellent column on this subject.
My last question raised the specter of John Roberts becoming an active presence in the impeachment trial by mandating other inclusions like witnesses and documents. You were not particularly concerned. I fear his decision to not read Rand Paul's question may set a disturbing precedent where the SCOTUS Chief would become a serious factor in the calculus of any further --hopefully, never again-- impeachments. What do you think? An addendum....It's glaringly obvious that Schiff, his staff, and this 'whistleblower' were on terms of close association.....this issue may well affect public opinion on all of this... -- Andrew M.
I'm just not as concerned as you, Andrew. At most, Justice Roberts decision regarding Senator Paul's question -- which reportedly had a connection to the whistleblower -- caused only a minor controversy, if even that. Roberts wasn't there to be a potted plant. His role was to make decisions. I don't think his decision on the Paul question will set a disturbing precedent. Had he read the question out loud and named people tied to the whistleblower (or the name of the whistleblower himself) that would have caused a real fuss -- and that would have led many -- mainly on the left -- to say he was taking sides. On Friday night, January 31, Justice Roberts said from his perch looking over the the senators that he would not vote to break any ties. That, I think, should put your mind at ease about the Justice setting any disturbing precedent. He's too smart to fall into that trap.
Bernie: I would be considered a "Reliably Republican" voter by pollsters and analysts, but in 2016 I voted for Gary Johnson for President. There was no way I would vote for Hillary, Trump's personality and general conduct were too gross to condone, and I genuinely wanted (still do) a strong third party to emerge. I also considered Texas a reliably red state that was going to go for Trump anyway. In 2020, I'm definitely voting Trump because Texas is now shading purple, and I don't want to waste my vote. I can see some independents breaking the other way because Hillary isn't in the race. I know polling captures every little shift in voter tendencies, but do you think they are calculating the nuanced switching of voters like me? -- Steve R.
While I, as a journalist, care about why you're voting the way you are, I don't think the pollsters care WHY you're switching, just who you say you're voting for. And I'm not convinced people always tell pollsters the truth. Some people might not want to admit that he or she won't vote for a candidate who is black, to use just one example. So they lie to the pollster -- say they're supporting the candidate -- then vote for somebody else. Same with Trump supporters. I think SOME won't admit they're voting for him, but vote for him anyway. Again, the pollsters don't care about your nuanced reasoning; just who you'll be voting for ... or more accurately, who you SAY you'll be voting for.
I listened to your "Off the Cuff" about caucus system in Iowa. If I'm correct, in order to participate in the caucus you must show up in person and literally stand/sit for their choice. If that's the case how does a journalist participate in the caucus and keep their political views private. On one hand, the right to vote is fundamental to what the country stands for - on the other hand in order to remain unbiased, a true journalist must remain politically neutral. It's another - albeit smaller - reason to dump the caucus system. -- Chuck S.
You lost me Chuck. You're asking "how does a journalist participate in the caucus and keep their political views private." A journalist doesn't "participate." A journalist reports what's going on. Not sure why you think a journalist becomes part of the caucus.
I've heard Dennis Prager and others on the right say the decline of religion in the U.S. is helping leftist thought prevail among the younger generations, and that the goal of leftism is to get rid of religion completely (I don't doubt this). However, I wonder if many of the churches have brought this on themselves. Long before the pedophilia scandals and Catholic Church cover-ups, many of the people I grew up with had pretty much become lapsed Catholics (non-practicing and uninterested in the church and observing its rules). And this is NOT limited to the Catholic Church. I dont expect you to know specifically why so many people of various denominations ended up feeling apathetic, but I'm curious what your thoughts are on this. -- Religious Denominational Regards From The Emperor
I think Dennis Prager is an obviously bright guy. But we part when it comes to religion. If you are correct, that he believes the goal of the left is to get rid of religion completely, I'm not on board. While it's true that conservatives tend to be more religious, at least in a formal sense, than liberals -- I see no concerted effort to rid the nation of religion. If he's talking about removing religious symbols from the public square, put there at taxpayer expense, then here's another example where Prager and I would disagree. If he's talking about the so-called "war on Christmas" I thought that was a myth from the jump. As for younger generations: Younger generations are often less religious than their parents. Religion and faith resonate more with older people who more often than their kids accept things without question. Younger people question things and when you start to question matters of faith, there's a 50/50 chance you're going to become less religious than your parents and grandparents.
Mr. G, How have we gotten to this point where the far fringes are the leaders (I say that lightly) and the ones running for the highest offices? Is this media driven? There are plenty of good Pols closer to the middle who should be making noise and runs for leadership. --ScottyG
The far fringes, as you put it Scotty, seem to have taken over a good chunk of the Democratic Party. Less so the GOP. Pols in the middle can make all the noise they want, but it won't help if the voters reject them. A few examples: McCain was in the middle and he lost. Romney was in the middle and he lost. Millions of Republicans sat home on Election Day because they thought those candidates were too moderate -- not conservative enough.
If the Dems nominate Bernie -- a far left socialist progressive -- we may learn that voters don't want the fringe candidate either. Where does that leave us? We may not want candidates who are out there playing deep left or right field ... but if they're in the middle they have to be really good pols with charisma. Stay tuned.
Thanks, everyone! You can send me questions for next week using the form below! You can also read previous Q&A sessions by clicking here.