Radio Derb: Trump-Biden Debate, 18 Weeks Of Electoral Fun, Rock Of (Old) Ages, And The Swamp Is Right To Fear, Etc.
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01:14  Trump-Biden debate.  (Form over content.)

10:30  Eighteen weeks of fun.  (Debate consequences.)

17:21  Rock of ages.  (Steve, Derb, and the Outer Right.)

26:24  The rational Swamp.  (Making sense of TDS.)

32:25  The Resolve Tibet Act.  (ChiComs fail history.)

35:28  A new Farage.  (Congratulations, Nigel!)

36:10  Attack of the theobots.  (What’s wrong with X?)

37:01  Hednesford makes news.  (First time ever?)

38:06  Signoff.  (For graduation.)

1 — Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your decidedly genial host John Derbyshire, here with a survey of the news this last week of June 2024.

The big news story of the week was of course the televised debate between President Biden and his almost certain challenger for the November election, former President Donald Trump. The debate was advertised to us well in advance as the Greatest Show on Earth. Did it live up to that?

My opinion, in a nutshell: not really. Let me enlarge on that.


02 — Trump-Biden debate: form over content.     I actually missed the first twenty minutes of the debate. An old friend was in the neighborhood, a long-time conservative activist from Washington, D.C. I'll call him "Pete," although not only is that not his name, it doesn't have a single letter in common with his name.

Pete had let us know several days ago that he'd be passing through, so we'd arranged to meet him for dinner at 7 p.m. Thursday in a restaurant on the other side of town here. When I'd made those arrangements I hadn't been thinking about the debate being at 9 p.m. the same evening.

So when we met Pete at the restaurant at seven I started by saying: "I'm sorry, Pete, I didn't take into account this big debate at nine o'clock, Trump and Biden. If you want to see it we can just eat fast and then go back to our house to catch it on TV."

He replied: "Nah, I don't care. I'll get the essentials from Twitter after it's over."

There spoke the true seasoned Washington insider. He spoke wise words, too.

We dined at leisure on some excellent Italian food and wine — for which many thanks, Pete! — left the restaurant about nine, bid farewell to Pete, and got home at nine twenty; so I missed the first twenty minutes of the debate.

I watched the remaining seventy, but with fast-waning attention. For the most part it was dull, predictable stuff. By the last twenty minutes I was starting to nod off.

There just weren't any surprises. Biden mumbled a lot and made creepy facial expressions. He put out a lot of half-truths but no outrageous lies, although I thought he was about to do so a couple of times. When he mentioned the January 6th demonstrations, for example, I was sure he would tell us that five law-enforcement officers had been killed by the so-called "insurrectionists," but he didn't.

That, I would guess, was one thing the coaches impressed on him during these last few days of debate prep: "You can diddle with the truth a bit, Mister President, but don't stomp on it …"

Trump was more at ease than Biden and spoke more sense, and his facial contortions were more comical than sinister. He missed opportunities, though, and left out things he really should have said — the name "Ashli Babbitt," for example.

And then, mass deportation. This is a popular policy, a big vote-winner. It needs to be done. Trump has said he'll do it. How, though? Jake Tapper asked him directly.

Trump should have laid out plain and clear what he'll do: Universal compulsory E-Verify, severe business-crushing penalties for employing illegal aliens, heavy taxation of remittances to foreign countries, punishing sanctions against nations that won't repatriate their illegals, … any number of other executive or legislative actions he could collect by browsing websites like … oh, you know,

Mass deportation isn't just a winner with citizen voters, either. It can have a direct effect. Just spelling out the possibilities on a media event like this with, I'd guess, all-time record viewership would have given illegal aliens a salutary scare. They'd have been packing their suitcases all over. But Trump missed the chance.

A debate like this is of course a matter of both form and content. The judgments I'm reading in the post-debate commentary concentrate heavily on form, especially the judgments from pro-regime outlets. It wasn't so much what the two guys said, as how they said it, and in general how they presented themselves.

Trump was a clear winner there, as even the regime outlets are conceding. He never descended into the bombastic narcissism that is the least attractive side of his character. He spoke clearly and grammatically. His most striking facial expressions were obviously for deliberate comic effect, not involuntary like Biden's. He was a normal human being, a guy you might meet in a bar and have a drink with.

Biden was a guy who, if you struck up conversation with him in a bar, you'd be trying to get away from him after three or four exchanges.

A lot of that is just premature senility. Biden's been aging fast. You don't have to dislike the guy to find the prospect of him in the White House for another four years unacceptable.

I've never been able to like Biden myself, but there is a case for him. Edward Luttwak, who's known the man personally for fifty years, made the pro-Biden case over at this morning, Friday morning.

Luttwak opens with seven full paragraphs praising Biden's good sense in Luttwak's areas of expertise: geopolitics and military strategy. He compares Biden favorably to Barack Obama, whom he regards as shallow and, quote, "superficial," end quote.

But then, this, quote:

But it is now in the twilight of his presidency, 33 years after his first presidential bid, that Biden's self-discipline has met its greatest test: he must resign instead of pursuing re-election.

Immediately after last night's television debate with Donald Trump, a number of senior Democratic experts, one after the other, declared that Biden cannot continue his campaign for another four years as President. Several openly hate Trump, who was certainly too rhetorical and insufficiently factual. But they could not dispute Trump's claim that he could govern, while Biden repeatedly and very visibly slipped into moments of senile confusion that only lasted a few seconds, but which can only get worse. Judging by last night's performance, it seems extremely unlikely that he could function as President for as long as two years, let alone four.

End quote.

Now, twelve hours or so post-debate, Luttwak's conclusion there is as close as we ever get to a bipartisan consensus. What does this mean for November's election? Next segment.


03 — Eighteen weeks of fun.     Let's just get the timeline clear in our minds here.

So, just to have the three events clear in your mind: Two weeks, then another five, then another eleven.

There's going to be plenty of fun and excitement in there. Thursday July 11th, just four days before the GOP Convention opens, ten days this coming Monday, we get the sentencing decision on Trump's felony convictions from regime front man Justice Juan Merchan.

Trump's going to appeal the felony verdicts of course, but he can't file his appeals until after the sentencing. It's not clear to me whether he could be jailed in the interim — immediately following the sentencing, that is.

Given that Justice Merchan is plainly a willing tool of the Trump-loathing ruling class, jail is certainly possible. Jail for a nonviolent first offense is unusual, but Merchan could argue that it's justified by Trump's obvious lack of remorse and violation of gag orders.

So the possibility here is that when the GOP Convention opens on the 15th, their presidential candidate will be living through his fourth or fifth day in jail.

Is the GOP sufficiently committed to Trump as their candidate that they will just make theater out of this — perhaps having him address the convention by phone from his cell? Will the prison authorities allow that? My advice would be for Trump to have an acceptance speech pre-recorded in case his jailers are as thoroughly under regime control as Justice Merchan.

If, on the other hand, the GOP establishment decides to dump Trump, they have a good bench of possible replacements — all those names you've been seeing as likely Trump choices to be his Vice President: Senators J.D. Vance of Ohio and Marco Rubio of Florida, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, and so on.

I doubt the GOP will dump Trump. They depend too much on his voter base. In a Presidential contest either between Biden and not-Trump or between not-Biden and not-Trump, the disgruntlement of Trump voters will guarantee a Democrat victory.

Even the Republican Party managers are smart enough to see that, surely. They don't like Trump's voter base, but they know they need them, unless they're even stupider than I take them for.

The Democratic Party will meanwhile have been struggling with how to persuade Joe Biden to not run for president while none the less committing to serve out his term. His outright resignation would give us six months of a Kamala Harris presidency, which nobody wants.

And then, who's going to replace him as the party's presidential candidate? Again, not Kamala Harris; but then, who?

There is a pretty consistent list of names you see in stories about this. Top of the list are Governors Gavin Newsom of California, Jay Pritzker of Illinois, and Michigan's strict Governess Gretchen Whitmer.

Then there are some B-Listers like Governors Jared Polis of Colorado, Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, and Andy Beshear of Kentucky, along with Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

Down below that are some what-the-hell high-name-recognition outsiders: Hillary Clinton of course, Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg.

My best guess is that the Democratic Party managers, who are not best known for high flights of imagination, will go top-of-the-list, but most likely not for Newsom. California's been getting too bad a press recently, so: Pritzker or Whitmer.

So November's contest could be Trump-Biden, Burgum-Pritzker, Ramaswamy-Buttigieg, or anything in between.

Politics, the old saying goes, is show business for ugly people. This next eighteen weeks looks set fair to be way more entertaining than anything that comes out of show business nowadays.


04 — Rock of ages.     Browsing social media the morning after that Trump-Biden debate, here was a comment on X that made me smile. The commenter is British comedian and author David Baddiel. His comment said, in full, tweet:

Frankly I don't know why anybody of Biden or Trump's age would *want* to be President. I'm 60 and I don't even want to go upstairs.

End tweet.

I think anyone in the senior cohort can relate to that — probably a lot of other people, too.

It resonated more with me because of my longstanding interest in demographics, which I have often aired in these podcasts. The world is of course constantly changing. The biggest underlying change in our time, at any rate in the advanced countries, is the one from a population pyramid shaped like a Hershey's kiss to one shaped like a hot-air balloon.

The political consequences are not easy to fathom. It does seem to be the case, though, that what I am starting to hear called the "Outer Right" — formerly known as the Dissident Right, before that the Alt Right, before that, Paleoconservatives — that opinions like ours are more acceptable to the younger cohorts that they were twenty years ago.

If you will excuse me, I'll just read for you a segment from my monthly diary for April this year. Quoting myself:

Chatting the other day with Jared Taylor, he reinforced an impression I've been getting — a happy impression.

Thirty years ago, said Jared, when he had started up American Renaissance and invited people to come together to discuss race realism and white advocacy, the people who'd responded to his call were mostly an older crowd, with a good mix of pop-eyed weirdos and cranks. His followers nowadays, he said, were much younger and more normal.

Just so. I see the same thing. Last month, March, I was invited to attend a gathering in New York City to hear Chris Rufo talk about his recent book. The gathering was of a regular dissident-right club that I'd never been aware of.

It was a big crowd; Friendly, cheerful, lively, smart, and … young. Sitting there among the happy noise in the socializing period before Rufo spoke, I tried to estimate the median age of attendees. If it was over thirty, it wasn't by much.

P.J. O'Rourke's Babe Rule came to mind, too. P.J. wrote somewhere — I think it was in regard to a demonstration against homelessness he'd attended — that no social or political movement in the U.S.A. is going anywhere much unless it has a good component of attractive young women, which the homelessness demo didn't.

If P.J. got that right, my hosts there on the Lower East Side in March definitely have a bright future.

I hear similar things from like-thinking friends all over. There's a new, fresh, normie National Conservatism coming up — even, I have it on good authority, among card-carrying Young Republicans! All strength to them; and a belated thanks to my March hosts at the Rufo event.

End quote.

I can now name the venue for that event in March, the Chris Rufo event whose audience impressed me so much by their youth and vitality. It was Sovereign House on New York City's Lower East Side. I'm pretty sure it's OK to name it because our own Steve Sailer has already done so.

At the beginning of last month Steve did an event there for his book, Noticing. Steve came away with an impression just like mine: of youth, vitality, and feminine beauty.

Steve recorded that impression for a podcast hosted at YouTube, the Red Scare podcast. Here was Steve recording, apparently the day after his book event.

[Clip, with some young women participating]:   My assumption had been that, oh, you know, my readers are probably around my age or older and, you know, as the years go by more and more of them are going to drop dead and that, that's going to be a natural fading away of my fan base. And, you know, what can I possibly do about that?

Well, I didn't do anything about it, but thanks to y'all [laughter] I have this new generation of fans and, um, er, including like last night at the event … are we allowed to say the name of the place? I can't … [Yeah, sure, Sovereign …] It's called Sovereign House, which is like a basement downtown and … [laughter].

So we had standing-room-only crowd of two hundred or something just packed in, er, and everybody's young and, you know, for the first time I've ever made a speech, it's like … beautiful women [laughter] dressed up in big-night-on-the-town dresses, like no jeans, and I'm kind of agog [laughter].

So it's a fascinating scene, um, you know, generally, I mean it's … Generally, speeches I give across the rest of the country it's a lot of guys come up, and maybe there'll be maybe five percent of the attendees will be their very pretty girlfriends, er … But, you know, last night I have all these beautiful young women coming up and sh … saying they always wanted to meet me and so forth. So [Wow! … laughter]

Yeah, that's totally, a totally novel experience in my sixty-five years [(Unintelligible) made that great point at the dinner, that she asked about the demographic breakdown of your readership by sex, 'cause there were no … We were the only women present at the dinner, which was a smaller experience, which makes sense.]

I was at the uptown, very formal club where, you know, as soon as you walk in the door the doorman demands that you tighten your necktie before you can take one step further into the inner sanctum [laughter] and that was, that was fun, too. It was extremely uptown [Yeah, kind of a different vibe than Sov House]

Thanks for that, Steve. I'm glad to have my own experience confirmed. Thanks on behalf of both of us to Sovereign House and the organizers there. I hope to attend some future Sovereign House events.


05 — The rational Swamp.     Great minds think alike. Here was mine, thinking aloud in Chapter 3 of my paradigm-shattering 2009 book We Are Doomed. Quote:

The practical, provincial, farmers and merchants of the founding era have given way to a professional political class. Here are the announced members of Barack Obama's cabinet as at early March 2009: …

End quote.

I then proceeded with a list of those cabinet members, with a very brief — five words or less — resumé of each. Those resumés read thus:

Government lawyering
Lawyering, politics
Lawyering, politics
CIA, Mil-Int
Education bureaucracy (never taught)
Research physicist, academic
Lawyering, politics
Lawyering, politics
Racial lobbying
High school teaching, politics
Lobbying, bureaucracy, diplomacy, tax "forgetfulness"

Well, here's another great mind: Vince Coyner, proprietor of the Gratitude for America website. Here was Coyner, June 10th, posting at American Thinker. Headline: The Swamp's Rational Hatred for Trump.

Yes, they hate Trump, and for good reason, says Coyner. He supports his case with a list of Swamp critters, their ages and their resumés. I can't give you much of the list, but it starts like this:

Nancy Pelosi, 84, has spent 47 years in politics. She was a political science major and has no experience in the private sector.

Chuck Schumer, 73, has spent 49 years in politics. He is a lawyer with no private-sector experience.

Hakeem Jeffries, 53, has spent 17 years in politics. He is a lawyer with no private-sector experience.

Joe Biden, 81, has spent 50 years in politics. He is a lawyer with no private-sector experience.

Bernie Sanders, 82, has spent 53 years in politics. He is a political science major who had held a smattering of odd jobs before joining the government.

Adam Schiff, 63, has spent 38 years in politics. He is a lawyer with no private-sector experience.

And on and on and on. It's not just Democrats, either. A couple more from the list:

Mitch McConnell, 82, has spent 50 years in politics. He is a lawyer with no private-sector experience.

Kevin McCarthy, 59, has spent 37 years in politics. He has an MBA. His private sector experience was limited to selling sandwiches from his uncle's yogurt shop during college.

And so on. Coyner then goes on to contrast these Swampsters and their resumés with Donald Trump and his. His conclusion, quote:

The last time Trump was president, he said he would drain the Swamp. He didn't. The truth is, he had no idea how deep or wide the Swamp was and is. Most of us didn't. Now he does, and we do. This time, he'll be under no illusions about what he's up against and, ideally, will act accordingly. The Swamp rats know that. They see the writing on the wall. And it terrifies them.

End quote.

Leaving aside the fact that swamps don't have walls to write on, I hope Vince Coyner is right.


06 — Miscellany.     And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.

Imprimis:  June 12th the U.S. Congress passed the Resolve Tibet Act, quote:

to enhance U.S. support for Tibet and promote dialogue between the People's Republic of China and the Dalai Lama toward a peaceful resolution of the long-standing dispute between Tibet and China.

End quote.

I can't find any confirmation that the president has signed the Act. Whether he has or not, on June 19th a posse of seven members of the House of Representatives called on the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, at his exile home in India.

It's a nice gesture, I guess, and the ChiComs' treatment of Tibet and its people has certainly been atrocious; but the only effect of this Act so far has been to annoy the ChiCom bosses.

They vented their annoyance in a letter to the congressfolk. The letter refers to Tibet as, quote: "an integral part of Chinese territory since [the] Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century," end quote.

Really? The dates usually given for the Yuan Dynasty are a.d. 1271 to 1368. Pulling down Herrmann's Historical Atlas of China from my bookshelf, I see on page 43 that Tibet and China were indeed under a single rule in a.d. 1290.

It wasn't Chinese rule, though. The title of that page is "Asia Under the Mongols." The Mongols had conquered China and also Tibet. In 1368 the Chinese brought down the Mongol rulers and established the Ming Dynasty under Chinese rule. Tibet got her independence back, and is shown thus on page 47, headed "Asia During the Ming Dynasty."

If the ChiComs really want to restore the status quo ante to what it was in the 13th century, they should hand over China to the Mongols.


Item:  Last Monday, June 24th, British patriot and leader of the nationalist Reform UK Party Nigel Farage announced the birth of his first grandchild, which he described as, quote, "a healthy boy," end quote.

Nigel Farage has two daughters and two sons. I don't know which of the four was blessed here, but as a proud grandparent myself I offer my congratulations to Nigel anyway from Radio Derb!


Item:  More strangeness from X, formerly Twitter. They seem to have banished the pornbots, but now the site is all … theobots.

I think that's the correct term: theobots. When I bring up X, every other post I see is an argumentative Christian, scoffing at Mariolatry or telling me that Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christians.

Fascinating stuff, I guess, if you're into it, but … I'm not. Why is my X feed full of it?


Item:  Finally, and from pure self-indulgence, with no relevance at all to anything of general importance, a story from the Daily Mail, June 26th.

The dead bodies of a man and a woman were found in a house in the English West Midlands. It reads like foul play: the man had mental-health issues.

Why do I care? Because this happened in the village of Hednesford, where my mother was born and grew up, and where I spent many happy childhood hours at my grandparents' house on Princess Street.

Hednesford, which seventy years ago the older locals still pronounced "hedge-foot." I remember.

That's all.


07 — Signoff.     That's it for this week, ladies and gents. Thank you yet again for you time, patience, encouragement, and support.

Next Thursday is of course July Fourth. I wish my listeners well for the holiday. If you get a long weekend out of it, relax for the full duration and enjoy the break with family and/or friends. Happy Fourth!

It's graduation time, so I'll play us out with a graduation song.

I actually only know one graduation song. I've used it as sign-out music twice before. The last time was in 2018, though, so I figure I should get a break on that.

The song is of course See You In September, performed by The Happenings. They topped the Hit Parade with it in 1966 — 58 years ago — and incredibly they are still performing. My wife and I actually saw them perform on stage back in January 2017: I reported on the event in my first podcast of that year.

According to their website The Happenings are still performing. They're doing a concert August 19th in Woodbridge, New Jersey. God bless them! … although the only one left of the original group now is Bobby Miranda. God bless them anyway, but especially Bobby.

There will be more from Radio Derb next week.


[Music clip: The Happenings, See You in September.]

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