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Are the Wheels Coming Off Our 20th Century Political Institutions? [Reason Podcast]

Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Matt Welch discuss Comey, Trump, Sessions, and the Rock.

"The best-case scenario [in terms of the Trump-Russia investigation] is that the executive branch gets harassed by the legislative branch," says Reason Editor at Large Matt Welch. "Let's have more investigations because [members of] the executive branch have too much damn power, and they should be forced to explain themselves more fully."

On today's episode of the Reason Podcast, Welch joins fellow Reason editors Nick Gillespie and Katherine Mangu-Ward to discuss Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey ("is this the moment where the wheels come off 20th century political institutions?"); how Trump is reshaping the conservative movement; whether the Rock has a shot at becoming our 46th president ("the logical conclusion of the increasingly empty vessels in which we pour our hopes and dreams"); Jeff Sessions' terrifying decision to re-escalate the drug war (is the attorney general "the only person in Washington who knows what he wants?"); and the petty tyranny of the latest vaping crackdown in Austin and Laguna Beach ("getting fined for walking down a public sidewalk and breathing out").

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Photo by John Cena (Creative Commons).

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Remain calm! All is well! ALL IS WELL!

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    So is Reason replacing Rand Paul with with The Rock?

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Throw the jabronis out!

  • Chipper Mourning Somali Roadz||

    May be The Rock is one of Ron Paul's illegitimate children? Rock Paul. A guy could win an election with a name like that.

  • ||

    Rand D. Johnson, OTOH, would probably be better off in other endeavors.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Let's have more investigations because [members of] the executive branch have too much damn power, and they should be forced to explain themselves more fully."

    You mean like hearings over how the executive could continue to allow someone like Betsy DeVos to wreak havoc on our education system or how the administration could push for any level of deregulation? Because that's what you'd get. You think that cesspool over at Capitol Hill would investigate any of the abuses of power that you want investigated? AT LONG LAST, PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS, SIR.

  • Warren||

    Deregulation is the opposite of abuse of power.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You wish.

  • ||

    Also, Betsy DeVos is too politically cogent for the brand of political hearings you would incur.

    I expect RICO and insider trading hearings on policies he exhaustively tweeted before implementing and scandals that, at best, the Presidency had a hand in by three layers of proxies. When are we ever gonna convict Trump of that port authority thing that he put Christie up to?

  • Don't look at me.||

    Are the wheels falling off? I sure hope so, the less they get done, the better. Let them keep fighting between themselves while we go on with our lives.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Let them keep fighting between themselves while we go on with our lives.

    You think they'll actually allow us to just go on with our lives in peace?

  • Warren||

    "Bill Kristol retweeting me" are words no self respecting American should ever speak out loud.

  • ||

    FINALLY! The Rock returns to the reason podcast.

  • phenryinohio||

    I need transcripts. Please reason! Yoda: "I no like listen or watch. Read, I will do."

    Or you could pay me to make them.

  • phenryinohio||

    I need transcripts. Please reason! Yoda: "I no like listen or watch. Read, I will do."

    Or you could pay me to make them.

  • BigT||

    "Let's have more investigations because [members of] the executive branch have too much damn power, and they should be forced to explain themselves more fully."

    No. What is needed is a bipartisan effort to strip the Prez of some power, and to shrink govt interference in our lives.

    (puts down hookah)

  • Mark22||

    the logical conclusion of the increasingly empty vessels in which we pour our hopes and dreams

    I'm not sure when you think those "vessels" were ever "full", other than "of it".

  • Empress Trudy||

    So what if they are? Every once in a while you need a good Thirty Year's War to clean out the muck and start over.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    If 20th century political institutions weren't run by slopeheads who eagerly wait for Boobwatch: The Movie, then perhaps they have a point. Just wish there was a volume control so that Nick G. wouldn't blast out my ears if I bothered to listen.

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