Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, the very best presidential historian in America today, Mr. Craig Shirley. Good morning Craig.
Shirely: Hi, Michael. How are you? That’s quite an introduction. I don’t think it’s true.
Leahy: I think it’s true. Look, we’ve got people who have lost their minds talking about America. Michael Beschloss, Jon Meacham, Doug Brinkley, they’ve all lost their minds on this.
Shirley: I scratch my head really and I wonder what’s happening because they were all friends of mine because they didn’t use to be this way. I guess just sniffing power has turned their head and made them something that has really ruined them.
Leahy: What a great line that is. I think you are quite right. In terms of ranking, we just got past President’s Day which is honoring the birthdays of the two greatest presidents in history. February 12th, Abraham Lincoln, I think it was February 22nd in the modern calendar, George Washington. They combined into one retail selling day.
Shirley: But Martin Luther King gets one day.
Leahy: Exactly. Let’s talk about this. You rate Joe Biden very poorly. You said this to John Solomon last night. Everything Joe Biden does seems to be about destroying American exceptionalism. I’ve come to the conclusion he’s doing it on purpose. Elaborate on that if you would please.
Shirley: Sure. He’s a Jacobin right out of the French Revolution. They were dead set on destroying the French aristocracy, the French economy, and French society and culture, destroying economics and remaking the entire French world into a new political order. And that’s what Biden is intent on doing.
He is heir to the French Revolution and the Jacobin Revolution and is dead set on remaking America. A political philosopher once said the simple answer is usually the correct one.
You and I and your listeners look at Biden and say, why is he allowing the border to run amuck? Why is he allowing fentanyl to come into the country? Why is he doing this and that? Why is spending so much money putting America deeply into debt?
It’s because he wants to destroy America. It’s plain and simple. By the way, Jimmy Carter should be very glad that Biden came along because Biden has surpassed Jimmy Carter in terms of being a very very poor president. The worst president.
Leahy: Crom Carmichael has a question for you.
Carmichael: Craig, the conclusion on Biden is exactly the same as yours. My take on Biden is that he’s a grifter in the purest sense of the word. When you take a policy to him or an idea to him and you present the idea, his first screen is, does it make me personally richer?
Shirley: Yes. I agree. And my family.
Carmichael: That’s the second screen. And then the third screen is if it doesn’t make me richer or my family richer does it make the Democrat Party more powerful vis a vis everything else? Almost like the Communist Chinese Party.
Shirley: I couldn’t agree more.
Carmichael: And so, therefore, those are the screens that he uses to look at policy. And if it doesn’t do any of those three things, then he automatically doesn’t care or is against it.
Shirley: Why has he not gone to Ohio or lifted a finger to help those people in Ohio? Because Ohio is a Republican state.
Carmichael: Right. And the fentanyl issue and the border issue, and by the way, the fortunate thing is the Democrat Party is pretty much institutionally in lockstep with Biden in that it’s a party of grifters also. I tie that directly to the immense size and power of the government employee unions and all the money that they take from government employees and use to advance their political agenda, which is $8 billion every year.
Shirley: When I was in high school physics and wasn’t falling asleep, I remember the teachers saying power cannot be destroyed or created, it can only be moved around. And we’ve had this Titanic struggle for many years about where power should reside. Should it reside with the people and the localities in the states, or should it reside with the national government?
And Biden has done his level best to move power away from the people and the localities in the states to the national government. And by the way, to his family and his party and all of that. That’s what we are always fighting. Of course, Reagan believed in federalism and wanted to move and did move power away from the government back to the citizenry.
One of the ways he did it was through tax cuts because money is an expression of power. Cutting taxes took power away from the national government and restored it to the American people. Biden is just about consolidating power in Washington with a national government and taking power away from us. And you are absolutely right.
Leahy: Craig, a year ago, you did your ranking of presidents and you had Joe Biden in the bottom five. It’s been a year later. Last night you told John Solomon that he is on his way to being the worst president in American history. It seems to me he is right now the worst.
Shirley: Funny you mentioned that Michael because I just wrote a piece yesterday for Newsmax where I proclaimed that Joe Biden is the worst president in American history. And I catalog point by point whether it is Afghanistan, inflation, spending, issue after issue, I didn’t touch on the scandals involving his son and family. But just point by point by point, I rate him as America’s worst president ever.
Leahy: I think everyone in our listening audience would agree with you on that. The question that I have is, is the electoral system structured in such a way that the Democrats have such an advantage in their ballot harvesting machines, if the worst president in American history were to run for re-election, would the ballot harvesting machine be sufficient to get him re-elected?
Shirley: That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it? We’ll find out. First of all, is he going to run? I think he’s going to run. He loves power, his family loves power and corruption. I think he’s going to run even though he’s going to be 157 years old or something.
Leahy: Pretty close.
Shirley:(Chuckles) That’s going to be the question.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed national political editor for The Tennessee StarNeil W. McCabe to the newsmaker line to weigh in on Joe Biden’s latest speech and political omens.
Leahy: We welcome now to our newsmaker line, the very best Washington correspondent in the country, Neil W. McCabe. Neil, good morning.
McCabe: Morning, Michael. Good morning, Crom. We’re all very excited about the omens. Everyone remembers from Roman history that birds are very important for telling us what’s going to happen in the future, to tell us about the times that we’re going through now.
You’ll recall the Romans had special priests who would cut open birds and examine their livers. They would watch the way birds flew in the air to see which way the war was going to go. Birds are very important to the Romans.
Leahy:(McCabe laughs) So there was a bird that had a special delivery in Iowa. The legal but not legitimate grifter-in-chief, Joe Biden was giving a speech in a big barn in Iowa. Tell the audience what that special message the bird had for President Joe Biden.
McCabe: He made a special delivery, a little deposit … (Laughter)
Leahy: He’s in his speech, and this little white deposit is dropped on his shoulder just above his lapel flag pin. And it’s sort of, I mean, you can see this white substance kind of dribbling down above his lapel. Did you see, Neil, what the White House said that substance was?
McCabe: It said it was a kernel of corn, right?
Leahy: Yeah, that’s what you call spin. Crom Carmichael, do you want to weigh in on this?
Carmichael: It’s just hysterical. Kate Beddingfield, who is the White House communications director tweeted, if you guys knew your way around a corn silo at all, you’d know it was corn.
Leahy: Well, he wasn’t speaking inside of a corn silo. He was speaking inside of a barn. And if you look at it, your lying eyes will tell you corn does not leave that drizzly white imprint down your lapel.
Carmichael: This is very similar to the White House explanation on inflation. (Leahy laughs) It’s not bird poop. It’s not inflation. It’s corn and Putin.
McCabe: If anybody has spent any time in a barn, they would know that there are often birds in the rafters. So that was just bad advance work, I think.
Leahy: Yes! By the way, that’s a very good point. Knowing that there’s a risk that a bird would, I don’t know, give you a special delivery, why would you hold this in a barn?
McCabe: Because they’ve never actually been in a barn. They’ve seen pictures of barns, and they think they’re amazing, and what a great vista. The president didn’t seem to be aware at first that he was in a barn. I believe he called it a hall at first.
(Laughter) Whatever. It’s tough! It’s almost cruel to ask the guy questions, because he doesn’t know any more than anybody else what’s going on, and he’s supposed to be in charge. And so here we are. But it does remind me of, again, the parallels with James Earl and Jimmy Carter.
McCabe: And when we saw him collapse when he was jogging, or he was attacked by a rabbit.
Leahy: Very similar.
McCabe: George H. W. Bush, vomiting on the Prime Minister of Japan, whatever, as one does. I guess the Japanese assume that was just a custom.
Leahy: But the bird is an omen, I suppose you could say.
Leahy: But related to Jimmy Carter: inflation. Yesterday they came out with the numbers, 8.5 percent. We haven’t seen that since the days of Jimmy Carter. Your thoughts, Neil W. McCabe.
McCabe: So we were coming out of that Carter presidency when Ronald Wilson Reagan took office and it took about two years, and it was a tough transition.
And Reagan said that he finally knew that his policies were working when they stopped calling his policies Reaganomics.
Because with Paul Volcker at the Fed, they had to raise interest rates, and it was crushing. And it really flipped a lot of companies and a lot of businesses.
Businesses had learned to sort of function in a high-inflation environment with a weak dollar. And when the Fed and Reagan took the steps necessary to rein in inflation, everybody had to sort of make those adjustments, and not everybody made the adjustments well.
The other comparison I’ll make to the Carter sort of years is that for four years of Jimmy Carter, there was a man named Reagan waiting in the wings, and he was trying to stay relevant.
He was trying to stay involved, trying not to do too much, but trying to keep his viability as a candidate for 1980. And we see the same thing with Donald J. Trump as he’s sort of waiting.
He’s always there, waiting in the wings, but far more active in politics than Reagan was during that time in the winter between ’76 and ’80.
Leahy: Last week you were down inside Mar-a-Lago and had a chance to see the former president give a speech there.
Leahy: I have a big question for you. Are you ready, Neil W. McCabe?
McCabe: I’m ready, sir.
Leahy: Were there any birds flying around Mar-a-Lago when you were down there? (Laughter)
McCabe: There was an eagle soaring over the grounds.
Carmichael: Very good answer.
McCabe: Which the Romans would tell you that that’s a good sign. The other thing is that the Chinese talk about the mandate of heaven, right? So, you know that a dynasty is going to fall when there’s an earthquake or some kind of natural disaster.
And there was a massive earthquake in China that marked the end of the Cultural Revolution. Basically, a lot of people attribute that earthquake and the attitude of the earthquake to the fall of the Gang of Four in that group. And so we’re just sort of seeing these things.
Biden does not enjoy the mandate of heaven. And bad things are happening, and bad things happen when there’s a bad leader. You talk about the Fisher King, Michael, the land and the King are one.
Leahy: We are joined by our good friend, the original all-star panelist, Crom Carmichael. Crom, good morning.
Carmichael: Good morning, Michael.
Leahy: Well, another Friday, another week, almost the fourth full month of the Biden-Harris maladministration. There are crises all over the place. Short gas supplies, the attack on Israelis in Israel, and the border crisis. Jimmy Carter has come back and he’s older and worse.
Carmichael: I think you’re being unkind to Jimmy Carter.
Leahy: You and the former 45th President of the United States agree on that. And I think you’re right.
Carmichael: Carter’s policies were not good because primarily because he believed that the tax rates that existed at that time should not be cut. He was adamant about that. At that time, you hit the 70 percent marginal tax rate at $59,000.
Leahy: That’s pretty quick.
Carmichael: And so it was the combination of the high tax rates and the inflation of the 70s that drove people into higher and higher tax brackets and ruined their livelihoods and created two liquidity crises. But Carter meant well. That’s the difference. Carter meant well.
Leahy: I would agree with that.
Carmichael: His policies were bad, but he meant well. Biden, on the other hand, I’m not going to say that Biden is sitting around saying, what can I do to harm the American?
Leahy: He’s not twiddling his tons like a classic villain, but he’s got villainous character in some regards.
Carmichael: His priorities are villainous.
Leahy: There you go.
Carmichael: That’s the problem, his priorities. His priority is not the typical American middle-class person. His priority is the government and the power that comes from being associated closely with the government. And that’s going to be my theme today and my theme probably for weeks and months to come.
Leahy: It’s a very good theme. And it’s a very succinct way of describing the problem.
Carmichael: If you’re close to the Biden administration, then you’re going to do very well. If you’re not close to the Biden administration, your chances of doing well are still there but in many ways, the Biden administration will be out to hurt you.
The difficulty that Biden is going to have is that his policies because they are so pro-government, pro-cronyism, that only incorporates about 20 percent of the people. The other 80 percent are going to be harmed by these policies, if not directly, indirectly.
When the midterms come up and people look at what’s going on and if they lose in the midterms, which I suspect they will.
Leahy: The Democrats.
Carmichael: Yes, the Democrats. If they lose, then they don’t have the authority and the power to do all the things that they would like to do to help their own cronies. So let me just give a few examples here. Biden picked as Secretary of Labor, a guy named Marty Walsh.
Leahy: Oh, yeah.
Carmichael: Marty Walsh used to be the police chief in Boston. He used to be the Mayor of Boston. What we’re now finding out is while he was the police chief, there was a fellow named Patrick Rose. Have you heard the name Patrick Rose?
Leahy: I have not.
Carmichael: Patrick Rose has just been arrested on 33 counts of sexually abusing children. A lot of this happened while Marty Walsh was the police chief.
Leahy: What’s the relationship between those two guys?
Carmichael: He worked for him and he was arrested. Patrick Rose was arrested for this while he was a policeman, but he got off. And that was while Marty Walsh was the police chief and then he went on to become the Mayor of Boston.
And that’s what made him so popular with Biden is because he was such a union guy. He was such a crony type of person. So the Boston Herald has been trying to get information about this case and about previous cases against Patrick Rose.
And Walsh has done everything he can to stop it. And the new Mayor only relented to give the information after Marty Walsh had safely been confirmed as the Secretary of Labor.
Leahy: How convenient.
Carmichael: So what you have is a person who is completely tainted as the Secretary of Labor but the Democrats simply don’t care because he has a very solid history of supporting unions and government.
Leahy: He also is a big supporter of the PROAct, which is designed to destroy the independent contractor relationship in America.
Carmichael: It’s also designed to destroy the right to work and to force people to be part of a union, which, of course, increases the dues that the union thugs have available to them to help the Democrats. So he’s a perfect person for Biden.
The point I’m making here is he’s terrible for the country. Let me just quote the last paragraph of The Wall Street Journal article. It says, ‘Union corruption is one of the most enduring realities in American life. President Biden is proposing new regulations and supports legislation that would make it much easier for unions to organize American business.
Someone in Congress might ask Mr. Walsh why Americans should believe he’ll fight union corruption when his city may have helped to protect a union chief with a history of alleged predation against children.’
And the point is, is that these guys don’t care about the things that they say they care about. It’s a lot like when I listened to the call with Jim Roberts. What greater act of voter suppression is there for the city of Nashville to try to say that voters don’t have the right to vote on whether or not the tax increase that has just been imposed on them by the council and the Mayor. Why they don’t have a right to chime in on that.
Leahy: After they followed every element of the requirement in the charter to get a petition referendum on the ballot.
Carmichael: And the Election Commission went through a very careful procedure to make sure that this particular referendum met all of the criteria. And as an institution, it’s the one that determines whether or not a ballot initiative is good enough to go in front of the voters. That’s their job.
Leahy: It’s their job.
Carmichael: And they have voted. Then there’s another story about another Biden ally who gave lots of money to the presidency and that was the former President of the International United Auto Union. He’s going to go to prison for 21 months.
And he was the President for four years, and he gave lots of money to the Biden campaign and to Democrats in general, and he’s going to prison for stealing money from the union. Do the Democrats care about this? They’re sad that he’s going to prison. (Leahy chuckles) That’s what they’re sad about.
Leahy: They’re sad he got caught.
Carmichael: Because now there’ll be somebody else. But whoever the next person is, we’ll give money to Democrats. And this is the problem that we have as a country. It is the institutions. And this is why we talk about the need for institutional constraints.
And if you don’t have institutional constraints, then institutions veer in the wrong direction. The Ford Foundation is giving $100 million dollars to Black Lives Matter or to the critical race theory effort. Let’s be very clear. It is essentially a Marxist doctrine.
The government should take control of all resources and allocate those resources according to what the government considers to be best, which is the ultimate in cronyism. And here you had the Ford Foundation who is now giving money to this. But I see some real pushback coming.
Michael, there are some parents in Loudon County in Virginia, and these are just average folks. But they’re Black, white and it doesn’t matter. They are furious that critical race theory is being taught to their children. And one of the mothers got up there and actually read some of the passages from the book. And it had to be bleeped out.
Leahy: It was that bad.
Carmichael:Fox News had to bleep out some of the words as she was reading them. Fox News had to bleep them out because they’re that bad. But these are the books that are being read to and taught to children. And she said, if these words offend you, imagine what they do to our children.
If you’re upset by my reading them to you, imagine what they’re doing to our children. But these board members simply don’t care. They’re following the doctrine.
Leahy: They really are. We’ve got a little bit of a group like that here in Williamson County called Moms For Liberty. They’ve got an event on May 19th where they’re addressing some of these things as well.
Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to discuss a book he’s currently reading called Reaganland and references it by examining the media’s historical natural bias against conservative candidates.
Leahy: Crom Carmichael, you and I are open to more excellent adventures out there. If anybody wants to have us come and do something fun and report on it, we’ll be happy to do that, right.
Carmichael: That would be a great time. It was fun.
Carmichael: Reaganland. I read short books along with this long book which I’m no up to about somewhere around page 700. And it’s a little over 800 pages and the amount of research this guy has done, you can tell by reading the book that he is a guy who has slightly left of center but he really plays it very, very straight on the stories.
Leahy: So the book’s title is Reaganland.
Carmichael: Let me just tell you, let me just tell you because I’ve made some notes about this thing. And then this is March of 1980. Now, think about March of 2016 Trump is running. in March of 1980 Reagan is running. The New York Times defended Jimmy Carter’s budget cuts, saying, ‘not only to rescue the nation from runaway inflation (we were experiencing inflation of 13 percent of the time) but also to rob his political opponents of what is potentially the most explosive issue in the 1980 presidential election and that is balancing the budget.’
Now then he goes on to say that The New York Times obviously was not paying attention to Ronald Reagan’s speeches or a press release because Ronald Reagan was calling for massive tax cuts to crush inflation and to grow the economy. Reagan said, “it is time for this nation to abandon Jimmy Carter’s economics of despair.”
So The New York Times was really looking past Reagan at all of the other Republicans who were big on budget deficits. Reagan’s focus was on growing the economy and believed that if the private sector had more money, it would spend the money more productively. So then the press did not see Reagan as a viable candidate. If Bush faltered, (Bush was for balancing the budget) and opposed Reagan’s tax cuts called him voodoo economics.
Leahy: I remember that phrase.
Carmichael: Yes, this was the line of the elites thinking that the elites would go get and run Gerald Ford. And Gerald Ford was working very hard to be a candidate who could be drafted at the time by the Republican Party to defeat Reagan. ABC Harris polls had Ford beating Carter 54-44 and had Carter beating Reagan 58 to 40. (Leahy chuckles)
The media and the elites said that no conservative could beat Jimmy Carter. So what were the Republicans doing? And by the way, this is the mistake the political parties make over and over again. Well, the Republicans do make it over and over again because they think that the candidate who can beat the Democrats is somebody who is slightly more conservative than the Democrat.
Leahy: Slightly. Just slightly.
Carmichael: Yeah. Just and what Republicans fail to recognize is that it’s the energy that determines who wins. And if you have a lackluster candidate who barely is more conservative than the liberal than a whole bunch of people, the kind of people who voted for Reagan and the kind of people who voted for Trump, they don’t show up. They just simply don’t vote.
Carmichael: So you never see what you missed by running a campaign of caution. And by the way, that’s what beat George Bush in 1992, because he broke his most solemn pledge.
Leahy:(Bush voice) Read my lips. No new taxes. So we’re both doing our George H. W. Bush and impressions. You can do yours.
Carmichael: I may try mine later, but right now, I want to finish this thought here. So the press had established and concluded that the public was in no mood this is their opinion, no mood for a far-right conservative. In March for the Massachusetts primary, though, saw John Anderson winning Bush coming in a close second, Reagan coming in third. And in Vermont, Anderson came in a close second to Reagan.
Leahy: Walter Cronkite.
Carmichael:(Imitates Cronkite) I can do Walter Cronkite, I can do Walter Cronkite very well.
Leahy: And the reason you can do while they’re you hired him to do her or audio knowledge, say
Carmichael: Walter Cronkite did our tapes on the Constitution?
Leahy: That’s right. (Chuckles)
Carmichael: Anyway, Cronkite reported, quote, campaign 80 has taken an abrupt turn tonight with a little-noticed candidate came out of nowhere to become a factor in the race for the Republican nomination. Now that’s Walter Cronkite.
Leahy: Talking about…
Carmichael: John Anderson. He was like a little bottle rocket. He popped up in the air and then he collapsed. Now there was in one debate in Illinois, which is his home state and all of the Republicans who were running were on the stage. And Reagan, according to this book, kind of was above it all. He let the others argue amongst themselves.
John Anderson would not say that he would support the Republican nominee. That nominee was not him and would not say that he would do it. But he wasn’t strong about it he was just kind of mealy-mouthed about it. Apparently now the moderator brought Reagan into it and said and said, what do you say about this?
And he looked, he said, well, he said, John, are you telling me that you would vote for Teddy Kennedy instead of me? And John Anderson apparently started laughing and patted Reagan on the knee. And that was the end of the debate. Reagan had won. It’s things like that that are just so fascinating.
Leahy: And by the way, John Anderson ended up running as an independent in that year and was a non-factor.
Carmichael: Was a non-factor. But the point is, is the press if the press doesn’t like somebody in the press didn’t like Trump, and the press didn’t like Reagan, so they will do everything that they can and they don’t do it on purpose. It’s because of their nature.
Leahy: Their nature is the far left.
Carmichael: Yes. And they will look for some reason to say that this conservative is a bad guy, and nobody is going to vote for him, and he can’t possibly win.