Conservative Columnist Jonah Goldberg Analyzes Alabama Election Shocker

Alabama voters elected a Democratic senator on Tuesday after a hotly contested race that saw Roy Moore and Doug Jones neck-in-neck for much of the evening. Why did a deeply red state elect a Democrat? The short answer is probably that bombshell Washington Post report with allegations that Moore pursued teenage girls, one of whom said she was underage at the time, while he was in his 30s.

Syndicated columnist and National Review senior editor Jonah Goldberg joined Glenn on today’s show to discuss the longer version of the answer. What can we learn from the Alabama election, and what does it mean for the future of conservatism?

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: It was an interesting night, and bad because we have a Democrat in the Senate. Good, because I think it has given the Republicans a chance to redeem themselves, which I think is really important for the conservative movement, moving forward.

I mean, you -- we were facing a situation, any Republican should have won Alabama. Any Republican. Mel Carnahan could have won yesterday. Yeah. I know he's dead.

No. He was -- yeah, he's -- he's dead.

STU: Yes.

GLENN: Anyone dead could have won yesterday against a Democrat in Alabama, but that obviously didn't happen. Because you have Roy Moore and Kermit Gosnell could have beaten Roy Moore.

So we have an interesting situation, and possibly a chance to breathe new life into the movement. Jonah Goldberg is here. Senator editor of National Review. How are you doing, Jonah?

JONAH: Dr. Beck, good to be back.

GLENN: Good to speak to you, sir.

Thank you for addressing me as a doctor, I appreciate that.

JONAH: You know -- you know, in German, if you have more than one doctorate, you get called Dr. Doctor. So if you get another doctorate, you know, I'll call you Dr. Doctor Beck.

GLENN: Okay. Well, I don't think there's a real chance of me getting a second doctorate. But, hey, I'm still young.

So Jonah, how did you feel last night, and how do you feel this morning?

JONAH: Well, you know, I was very happy about it all last night. But mostly for base and unmensch-like reasons. I was wallowing -- like I should have brought out one of those inflatable kiddie pools.

GLENN: Hello. Did we lose him?

STU: Seemed like he dropped back.

GLENN: Oh, man. We were getting to a good Jonah Goldberg line too. It was involving a kiddie pool.

I guess that's how I kind of felt last night.

STU: Yeah, it's interesting. I would like to hear his explanation to that. Because there is that level of -- there were a lot of people who said they were a lot smarter than everyone else who told you that Roy Moore was the right guy. And he wasn't. I know quite clearly we now know that.

That being said, it's a really bad outcome. There was not a good outcome. I don't think happiness was possible watching that last night. There was a bad candidate, running against a bad candidate. And, you know, I don't think there was a positive outcome that makes you happy after that.

GLENN: And we lost Jonah. He's back now. You said you were thinking about getting a kiddie pool.

JONAH: Yeah, I'm sorry.

I was getting a kiddie pool and filling it up with schadenfreude, because I was just wallowing in the misfortune of Steve Bannon, who I think is easily the most overrated, you know, political strategist, Svengali mastermind in my lifetime.

GLENN: Horrible.

JONAH: I mean, literally -- literally, a monkey throwing darts at lists of names would have a better winning track record than Steve Bannon has had in the last year and a half, picking challengers to incumbent Republicans. And yet, he still has this bizarre Jedi-like hold over a lot of people as somehow brilliant because he can quote Cicero or something. And I don't get it.

GLENN: Yeah. You think this is -- this has discredited him enough.

Let me ask you this: I think what happened, Mitch McConnell wanted Luther Strange, the people of Alabama did not want Mitch McConnell's pick. They didn't want Mitch McConnell.

JONAH: Right.

GLENN: And then Steve Bannon comes in and does -- you know, tries to do the whole, just deny it and just keep rolling and people won't care. And just keep bashing fake news. And I think people -- I think it was a turning point. People were like, you know what, I'll accept some of that, but not all of that.

JONAH: No, I think that's right. And it's worth remembering that Bannon didn't have anything to do with orchestrating Roy Moore's win in the primary. He just parachuted in and took credit for it.

You know, there's this long-held rule of thumb among rain makers on K straight. You know, these consultants. And the rule is, when it rains, dance. That way, you can take credit for something that you have nothing to do with.

So he won -- of all the things he wanted credit for was Roy Moore.

GLENN: And we'll give him credit.

JONAH: Good luck with that too. But more broadly, I -- I think the results can be wildly overread. You know, I listened to the head of the DNC this morning, Tom Perez on a bunch of different networks. And they're talking about how the Doug Jones coalition in Alabama is something that could be replicated elsewhere. No, it can't. It just can't.

This is a -- this was a unique situation. And it wasn't that the coalition -- I mean, it was impressive turnout of Americans. But the most impressive thing and the real decisive thing was just the number of Republicans and conservatives who stayed home, or wrote in someone other than either of those guys.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.

JONAH: And I think I find that encouraging. I think we -- I mean, it sucks to lose a Senate seat. You know, I actually want Trump's -- I want the tax bill, at least the version of it I hope that comes out of all this, I want that to pass. And there's a lot of important things that the Senate could do. And it stinks to lose a Senate seat.

But the decision to throw away that Senate seat was made 6-12 month ago. And to blame people now for saying, you know -- you know, for people -- to blame people who had a moral objection to someone who was credibly accused of preying on teenage girls, for a guy who had a thumbless grasp of the Constitution while claiming to be its foremost champion. For a guy who was essentially a bigot and a crackpot, to say that somehow you're -- you're not principled or you're not a team player if you have a problem with this guy is ridiculous. You put up a monster and then put people to fall in line, you're going to get this kind of situation.

At the same time, the omens are really bad for the G.O.P. going into 2018. The Virginia results were much more -- I would be much more terrified reading those tea leaves than the Alabama tea leaves.

But the most important number, coming out of Alabama, is only 48 percent of Alabamians approve of Donald Trump.

You know, a Republican president in Alabama should be polling at like 65 percent. And that, I think, is a real omen that we could be seeing a wave coming that could flip the House. And I think the Senate is a bridge too far. But it could -- but it could possibly flip the Senate.

GLENN: So, Jonah, does this -- does this give an omen of a couple of things? One, possibly Donald Trump going to be in trouble. You know the Democrats are going to use all of the women and the accusations against him.

And it seems to me that even the Republicans are now saying, you know what, I don't want anything to do with this. At least there's a number of them, enough to really cause problems.

Does this make the case against Donald Trump stronger, and at the same time, does this make the conservative's case of standing up for women and not being dirtbags, does it make us stronger?

JONAH: I think yes and no. Look, first of all, people are giving, you know, the Democrats are a hard -- you know, hard time for so cynically forcing out Al Franken. You know, it would take a heart of stone to not laugh, what's going on with Al Franken. This guy resigned solely so they could tee up the Roy Moore as the Medusa head of the Republican Party. You know, this horrible, evil creature that Republicans embrace in their heart, and then the guy doesn't win. And so Al Franken is just sort of left standing there at the bus stop like, what do I do now?

But, you know, look, the Democrats I think got -- threw Franken under the bus, purely for -- well, not purely, but almost purely for cynical partisan reasons, that they wanted to set up this argument against Trump and Roy Moore. And fine. It's fine to point that out. But it's also worth sort of celebrating.

Because the political incentives in a healthy country are supposed to force politicians to do the right thing.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

JONAH: And, you know, this has always been a point I've been trying to make to conservatives for 20 years now. Which the point of the conservative movement has never been to get people with R's after their name elected. The point of the conservative movement is to change attitudes and values in this country, to the point where craven political creatures of both parties see it as being in their own political self-interest to do the more conservative thing. Or just to do the right thing.

And so, yeah, the Democrats were being cynical about all this. I think the Republicans are in an interesting spot. The -- the me too stuff, the women's stuff is a little harder for the Democrats to use. Because they were really counting on Roy Moore.

GLENN: Yes.

JONAH: So this gives, I think, a little bit of a breather for Republicans to, you know, get their bearings.

I also just think it gives the Republicans a chance. You know, one of the things that is so messed up and dysfunctional in our politics is that Trump -- elected Republicans act as if Trump is an incredibly powerful president. But by only -- by up almost any historical metric, Trump is a remarkably weak president. The problem is, he had great strength over a statistically significant slice of the primary electorate. And that makes these guys terrified.

And so you get this sort of weird situation, where a lot of Republicans feel that they have to say nice things about Trump. But they can vote any way they want.

You know, this is one of the things that drives me crazy right now is the -- the incentive structure is to have almost no party discipline when it comes to how you vote, but absolute discipline about how you praise the leader. And, you know, the fantastic wheat harvest he's going to deliver next year.

GLENN: But doesn't this change now? Because Luther Strange didn't get in and Trump was for him. And then Trump tried to go in and help Roy Moore pull off a miracle here? He doesn't -- if he could cast a spell, he should have cast it in Alabama, and that's the one place it would have taken.

JONAH: No, I think that's right. And I think this points to something I wish Republicans could think more clearly about. There is no such thing as Trumpism without Trump.

GLENN: Yes.

JONAH: You know, Bannon keeps trying to make fetch happen. And it doesn't work. He keeps trying to make as if there's this Trumpist national movement out there, when at best, it's a little rump of a movement. And every time he tries to put up these Trumpist candidates to sort of replicate the Trump model, they fail speck tack lateral. And the thing -- it's only Trumpism with Trump. But Trumpism isn't an ideological thing when it comes to Trump. It's a personality thing. It's a cult of personality.

Because there is no ideological coherence to what Trump's own version of Trumpism is. He changes on a dime all the time. Because for him, it's about ego and narcissism. And his personal glory.

He doesn't care about the details of legislation. And so what would be great is if Republicans, particularly in the House, understood that -- that their agenda -- they should worry about what their agenda is regardless of Trump. Because Trump will declare anything that they do a victory anyway.

GLENN: Yes. He'll sign anything.

JONAH: Yeah. And just make the best legislation you can, consistent with conservative principles, that helps you get reelected.

GLENN: Yes.

JONAH: And stop sweating about Trump's tweets and the rest. Because they're -- they're sinonimos (phonetic) fire. They flare up, and they disappear in almost six minutes in this weird news cycle we're in.

GLENN: Jonah Goldberg from National Review Online. Thank you so much.

JONAH: Hey, great to be back. Thanks, guys.

STU: Of course, read Jonah on NationalReview.com. @JonahNRO on Twitter. And he's got a new podcast out as well you should check out.

GLENN: He is really smart, really. And he is the guy that I credit for putting me on to the progressive movement. His dad fought against progressives for a very long time. And he wrote liberal fascism. And that was the book that I really started to really dig in and go, wait. Wait. Wait. I didn't know any of this.

STU: That's a must-read.

GLENN: Yeah, it's a must-read. It's one that you should have on your shelf at your home. Your kids should read Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.

Avenatti arrested: The lawyer now needs a lawyer

David McNew/Getty Images

At this point, I think there are about - oh - four thousand potential Democrats that may try and run for president in 2020. But we can probably take one off the list. "The creepy porn lawyer", also known by some as Michael Avenatti, was arrested yesterday afternoon in Los Angeles. And the reason why he was arrested kind of makes you think there's some kind of invisible force out there that's making sure either irony or maybe even karma is receiving it's daily offering. Michael Avenatti was just arrested for… Domestic Violence.

The alleged victim filed the complaint on Wednesday, but the incidents began on Tuesday. The woman involved is said to have bruising and swelling on her face and was kicked out of Avenatti's Los Angeles area apartment. Avenatti could be heard screaming, "This is BS, this is effing BS! She hit me first!"

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Yeah, I don't think the whole "she hit me first" line is going to be a good strategy to use in court. He might want to revise that… I'm just saying.

You know, I wonder if the media - specifically CNN and MSNBC - are going to be doing any mea culpa's over the next 12 to 24 hours? They basically became Avenatti's PR wing over the past 8 months. From March to May, the two networks had Avenatti on the air over 100 times. He gave 147 interviews on both cable and network TV. MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell actually said quote, "Michael Avenatti is becoming my co-host. I've got to say."

And this was actually before he dragged Julie Swetnick into the limelight to attack Kavanaugh. You know I wonder, will this teach networks like CNN and MSNBC to maybe take a step back on over hyping and exposing every crazy, and even salacious, person or claim that comes out simply because it may be anti-Trump or GOP? Could this be a learning moment? Yeah… probably not, but one can dream.

And speaking of Kavanaugh, I've got to read this twitter exchange between one user and Avenatti on October 5th that said:

Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed, and it's Michael Avenatti's fault. Seriously.

And then Avenatti replied:

You are right. I should have turned my back on my client. Told her to "shut up" and stay quiet because people like you apparently believe assault victims are to blame. This line of thinking is disgusting and offensive to all survivors.

Well that was then and this is today. Here is Avenatti's statement last night.


Michael Avenatti: 'I Have Never Struck A Woman' | NBC News youtu.be

Umm, in the court of Avenatti, #metoo and public opinion now a days - by the standard that he helped create - is this statement not "disgusting and offensive to all survivors" as he tweeted back in October? Is he not immediately guilty as accused? I wonder if all the men and women screaming at Kavanaugh and GOP Senators in elevators can now see the pandora's box that they wanted opened.

The answer is no… he's NOT guilty as accused. Avenatti is innocent of this crime… UNTIL he's found guilty. We have to presume he's innocent until all evidence comes out proving he's not. That's how this works. Let's lead by example and do something radical here… let's actually wait for all the information and evidence to come out before we convict someone of a crime.

And that right there is the real irony here. Avenatti will get the due process that he deserves, but I doubt neither he - nor anyone screaming for Kavanaugh's head - will realize what happened.

It's been a busy week for former First Ladies, and for current First Lady Melania Trump. It has also been busy for one woman who, twenty-odd years ago, while working at the White House for then-President at the age of 21, shot to fame in the most embarrassing way possible.

Monica Lewinsky has released "The Clinton Affair," a docuseries that premieres this weekend on A&E;, a six-part series examining those cringe-inducing days and months surrounding her affair with Bill Clinton.

RELATED: The #MeToo movement proves to be too strong for the Clinton apologists

In an article for Vanity Fair early this year, she wrote:

Some closest to me asked why would I want to revisit the most painful and traumatic parts of my life — again. Publicly. On-camera. With no control of how it would be used. A bit of a head-scratcher, as my brother is fond of saying. Do I wish I could erase my years in D.C. from memory, 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' style? Well, is the sky blue? But I can't. And in order to move forward in the life I have, I must take risks — both professional and emotional…. An important part of moving forward is excavating, often painfully, what has gone before. When politicians are asked uncomfortable questions, they often duck and dodge by saying, 'That's old news. It's from the past.' Yes. That's exactly where we need to start to heal — with the past. But it's not easy.

She added:

Filming the documentary forced me to acknowledge to myself past behavior that I still regret and feel ashamed of," she explained. "There were many, many moments when I questioned not just the decision to participate, but my sanity itself. Despite all the ways I tried to protect my mental health, it was still challenging. During one therapy session, I told my therapist I was feeling especially depressed. She suggested that sometimes what we experience as depression is actually grief… Yes, it was grief. The process of this docuseries led me to new rooms of shame that I still needed to explore.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton—a man who has been accused of all sorts of terrible things, a close friend of Harvey Weinstein—recently admitted that he didn't feel the need to apologize to Lewinsky. Lewinsky disagrees.

I'm less disappointed by him, and more disappointed for him. He would be a better man for it… and we, in turn, a better society.

The #MeToo movement has been a wrecking ball to so many men, yet Bill Clinton, perhaps the most prolific of them all, has escaped unscathed.

One man undoes shocking climate change study because... math

Pierre Leverrier/Unsplash

The left cries "science" about anything they want to consider a settled matter. Those who disagree with the left's climate change narrative question this "science." So, the climate change crowd are branded hysterical tree-huggers, and the anti-climate change crowd are naïve hicks.

The truth about climate change, like the truth when it comes to many issues, probably falls somewhere between the two extremes. But when it comes to climate change, it's hard to have a conversation about the "science" when the scientists running the show are already convinced they're absolutely correct and they have the unquestioning major media to back them up.

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Just two weeks ago, a study published in the scientific journal Nature claimed that the oceans are warming much faster than anyone previously thought. Cue the panic and blame the President! It was a high-profile story splashed across major media outlets who were eager to promote more science that confirms one of the left's fundamental doctrines.

The study claimed ocean temperatures have risen around 60% higher than the estimate by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But Nicholas Lewis, a British mathematician and climate-change critic quickly found a "major problem" with the study's conclusion.

Then yesterday, the two scientists who wrote the study admitted Lewis is right about the mistakes they made in their calculations. Now they say oceans aren't actually warming as fast as they reported. Climate scientist Ralph Keeling, who co-authored the report, says they miscalculated their margin of error – which is 10 to 70% – much larger than they originally thought.

Now they say oceans aren't actually warming as fast as they reported.

A 10 to 70 percent margin of error? I thought this climate change science was absolute. Imagine if your job had a margin of error that generous.

Keeling said:

Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that's going on in the ocean. We really muffed the error margins.

The whole incident is being laughed off as a minor error. But if it wasn't for some British dude poring over this research in his basement and willing to cry foul, this latest climate change "science" would continue to be broadcast as absolute truth. Just like it always is.

UPDATE: Here's how the discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.


Ocean Warming Research “Mistake" youtu.be


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, from California, is doing everything she can to make sure she is re-elected in January to her spot as House Speaker.

Reasons Nancy Pelosi could give: Because she led the Democratic caucus for 16 years, and under her the House shifted hands. In fact, she was House Speaker for four years under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

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Reason she actually gave: Because she's a woman.

During an interview on CBS Sunday, Pelosi said:

You cannot have the four leaders of Congress [and] the president of the United States, these five people, and not have the voice of women. Especially since women were the majority of the voters, the workers in campaigns, and now part of this glorious victory.

The pink wave, they're calling it. A rise in women politicians, supposedly in reaction to Donald Trump.

Here's the general argument, as described by Politico:

Push her out, and men may take over the party at a time when more than 100 women are heading to Capitol Hill and after female voters have been thoroughly alienated by President Donald Trump. Embrace her, and she'll prioritize legislation empowering women on issues ranging from equal pay to anti-harassment legislation.

Of course, she has a reason to use identity politics instead of merit: There's a concerted effort to have her un-seated.

At least nine representatives have come out and said that Pelosi will be out.

At least nine representatives have come out and said that Pelosi will be out. Filemon Vela said:

I am 100% confident we can forge new leadership.

Led by, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), these are the representatives who have openly called for Pelosi's outing: Reps. Bill Foster (D-IL), Seth Moulton (DMA), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Conor Lamb (D-PA), and Filemon Vela (D-TX). Campaign staff for incoming Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Jason Crow (D-CO) have said they won't vote for Pelosi.

If they have a single ounce of dignity left, they won't, at least not just because she is a woman.