Donald Trump

Is Trump Illegitimate or Are His Critics Just Deranged? [Reason Podcast]

Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward talk about Obama's farewell, Russian "meddling," and The Donald's Inauguration.

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Photo: @pussyhatproject/Instagram

Reason magazine Editor in Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward and Reason Editor at Large Matt Welch join me today to discuss Barack Obama's farewell speech (the one where he talked about the need revive "democratic institutions" after arrogating more and more power to the executive branch), Donald Trump's latest word salad (check out this London Times interview!), and whether Trump Derangement Syndrome is less, more, or the same as previous presidential iterations.

And as a bonus, we each discuss one hugely positive development that has nothing to do with politics. You'll have to listen to get the full skinny, but the answers include HBO's The Young Pope, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and hand-knit "pussy hats."

Produced by Ian Keyser.

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NEXT: Remy: Closer (Trump Inauguration Remix)

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    1. It’s as if people have never heard of an inclusive or.

      1. That’s the more common ‘or’ function for us logical folk.

  1. I would have gone with “yes”, but in truth the derangement is dominant.

    Trump is the legitimate president of the United States. There is really no argument to the contrary.

    The fact that electing him may have been bat-shit crazy is irrelevant to the question of legitimacy.

    Not only are his opponents in the ring delusional, those commenting and reporting on it are flat-out nuts as well. Example A is Congressman Lewis’ assertion that he would be skipping the inauguration for the first time in 40 years, despite having boycotted Bush’s inauguration. That was a crazy thing to say, but the credulous media who ran with that story is about 100x worse for not even bothering to google it.

      1. “Rep. Lewis also missed one other inauguration, the first inauguration of President George W. Bush,” said the statement from Lewis’ communications director, Brenda Jones. “His absence at that time was also a form of dissent. He did not believe the outcome of that election, including the controversies around the results in Florida and the unprecedented intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court, reflected a free, fair and open democratic process.”

        You won’t know it’s “free, fair and open” until the van full of “uncounted ballots” decides the outcome.

        1. If only there had been similar outrage over Stuart Smalley.

          Remember, it was the miracle ‘discovery’ of bundles of uncounted votes for him that gave him a Senate seat — and became the vote that brought us Obamacare.

          Funny how Congressman Lewis never had an issue with that.

      2. God I hate that “Pants on Fire” is different from “False”

        How can anyone take a fact checking service whose scale includes a whole category for things considered extra subjectively false is beyond me.

        1. Not to defend fact checkers here, but the difference is that “pants on fire” is a blatant intentional lie, whereas “false” does not necessarily mean that it’s an intentional lie.

    1. “That was a crazy thing to say, but the credulous media who ran with that story is about 100x worse for not even bothering to google it.”

      The major press (and broadcast) outlets have embarrassed themselves throughout the campaign. And, in their favor, one or two of the usual suspects has admitted that error.
      But it seems the editorial staff has yet to get the message; they continue to run stories about how some kid’s mother taught her kid to say “fuck trump” as the kid’s first words. As if that said something about Trump rather than the mother and the press.

    2. Wow, it’s almost as if different people mean different things when they say “legitimate” or when they say “deranged.”

    3. Only Democratic presidents are truly legitimate.

  2. He’s legitimate so long as people realize political parties are not a part of the government, and that a third party with no ties to either candidate hacking their emails and exposing their activities in order to impact an election is no different than using oppo research and stretching their findings or deliberately lying to the public about a candidate and saying later “it worked, didn’t it?” like Harry Reid did.

    Wait, actually it’s not the same because Reid knew what he was saying was an absolute lie while WikiLeaks’s email dumps have all been either found to be 100% true or the people involved have refused to challenge their authenticity.

    Trump is the one that benefited from the duplicity and corruption of the DNC being exposed. And anybody that thinks those revelations make his presidency illegitimate are either partisans or they’re retarded.

    1. what about Reid? I dont think i heard about this.

      1. Reid lied about Romney and his taxes, which the media ran with. It was later revealed to be untrue and Reid was questioned on it, and his smug reaction was that the lie worked, so that’s all that matters.

    2. There’s that “or” again.

      1. Do you have some problem with the Ducks?

  3. He’s legitimate so long as people realize political parties are not a part of the government, and that a third party with no ties to either candidate hacking their emails and exposing their activities in order to impact an election is no different than using oppo research and stretching their findings or deliberately lying to the public about a candidate and saying later “it worked, didn’t it?” like Harry Reid did.

    Wait, actually it’s not the same because Reid knew what he was saying was an absolute lie while WikiLeaks’s email dumps have all been either found to be 100% true or the people involved have refused to challenge their authenticity.

    Trump is the one that benefited from the duplicity and corruption of the DNC being exposed. And anybody that thinks those revelations make his presidency illegitimate are either partisans or they’re retarded.

    1. “He’s legitimate so long as people realize political parties are not a part of the government, and that a third party with no ties to either candidate hacking their emails and exposing their activities in order to impact an election is no different than using oppo research and stretching their findings or deliberately lying to the public about a candidate and saying later “it worked, didn’t it?” like Harry Reid did.”

      I’d go further:
      Lies are part and parcel of electoral politics, and the lies are bound to come from many sources, none of which matters in the least. The base concept of democracy (or a replublicanized democracy) assumes the voters won’t be mislead by those lies.
      Unless the Russkis somehow changed the vote counts, the Ds are left in the position of griping that exposing *their* lies was somehow “unfair” and that’s allowing that the Russkis did so rather than the more believable claim by Wikileaks.
      No, the D lies, regardless of source, were enough to make even Trump look better; the electorate would have had to deal with that harpy for 4 years. The electorate said “Not on your fucking life!”

      1. The more absurd argument I see more and more was that the media as a whole abused and were biased against Clinton. They are completely unable to recognizable that it’s not bias against Clinton that her the level of her shameful behavior was so great that even CNN had to mumble out so information critical of her.

        1. “The more absurd argument I see more and more was that the media as a whole abused and were biased against Clinton.”

          It’s the “We didn’t lick her twat enough!” argument.
          If Trump walked on water, the press would’a gone nuts claiming he couldn’t swim, and that wasn’t enough!
          Alan V. showed up a couple of weeks ago claiming she “was a human punching bag”, FFS! How delusional do you need to be to claim THAT?

          1. Alan v was a Nixon supporter. Is it any surprise he supported clinton?

  4. He’s a real bastard.

    The real question is, was Hillary the real Democrat nominee since the primaries really were rigged in her favor?

    1. Not seeing that as relevant.
      Do you think there was anyone on the D bench who could’a come in as a reliever?
      Fauxcahantas? Bernie? Crazy old Uncle Joe?

      1. Do you mean someone else who could have won the nomination, or someone else who could have won the presidency?

      2. There was that general they laughed out of the primaries because he wasn’t crazy enough.

        1. I mean to question whether the hag was “the real D nominee”.
          Who cares; red herring.

          1. Reply to BUCS, Not DJ.
            My crown for an edit feature!

      3. I doubt Bernie could have taken Clinton’s place late in the election, “as a reliever.”

        I do think that had Bernie been nominated at the convention, he wouldn’t have let his ego and a clique of insiders get in the way of running his campaign. Then Trump would have flamed out over the Midwest.

        1. You think Mr “who needs 23 deodorants” would have won over Trump?
          Yeah, the folks concerned about jobs would have flocked to that whacko! You bet!

          1. I would have been more likely to vote for Bernie than I was to vote for Shrillary. Probably stilll would have voted for Trump, but there would have been some question. Shrillary just flat out repulses me; she’s condescending, crooked, and ostentatiously stupid.

        2. I’m still skeptical that Sanders could’ve won in the general. I think Jim Webb would’ve been a stronger candidate. Sanders comes off as an angry old socialist nut, which is what he is. That he’s sincere is I suppose something in his favor, but it doesn’t make him look or sound less like he should be holding a sandwich board on a street corner yelling at people. Webb’s that rare animal known as a conservative Democrat, and I think he could’ve been a good relief valve for Republicans who didn’t want Trump.

      4. I think it’s relevant to point out Lewis’ hypocrisy in claiming Trump is an illegitimate President without also claiming that Clinton was an illegitimate Dem nominee. Whatever Russia/Wikileaks did, they were an outside party to the election. But the Dem nomination process was rigged partly by the Dem governing body. Sanders probably couldn’t have beaten Trump, but Lewis is still a hypocrite and it should be pointed out.

    2. It was the Democratic Primary. Of course it was rigged in favor of a Democrat as opposed to an Independent.

      I don’t understand why people find it so baffling that a political party would do its best to pick a candidate that is actually a member of its party.

      1. See, that was your mistake. The Republicans didn’t rig their primary against the crazy outsider candidate, and now he’s going to be President in a few days.

        1. It never fails to amaze me how often we see unfamiliar posters on here assuming this is some sort of Republican site.

          No one on this commenting board made a mistake that led to a Republican nominee, I’m pretty certain about that.

      2. And it’s kinda silly to claim that Sanders wasn’t a real Democrat, when he’s voted in lockstep with their party for his entire legislative career. Clinton’s cronies controlled the process, because they wanted their payoff for putting up with her screeching all these years. Bernie might have turned over the applecart, and the establishment Democrats can never allow that.

        1. The Democrat Establishment looks to be repeating all its mistakes. Kinda early to say, true, but if they don’t extract their fat heads from their fatted rumps by 2020, they’ll probably nominate Shrillary again, and lose by an even bigger margin. Of course Trumps may messily self-destruct, but if he doesn’t I don’t see this passel of idiots managing to drag him down.

  5. This is idiotic: DC officers cannot record inauguration demonstrators: Officers working the inauguration protests won’t be allowed to turn on their body cams until they make an arrest. It’s supposedly an “anti-surveillance” law, but it’s a fucking body camera. The cop is already surveilling with his eyeballs. And if an assault or arson is in progress, he can’t turn on his camera until he arrests someone?

    1. “Police must record everything. Unless it’s one of us.”

    2. Does this mean they can beat up protesters freely right up until reading them their rights?

      What is the logic behind this?

      1. It’s supposed to protect the public from police surveillance.

        1. I always thought the point of body cameras was to surveil the police. What are the odds on one of them seriously hurting some BLM protester and then being hung out to dry for not having his body camera on?

          1. The only solution is attaching 4 selfie sticks in each direction, only monitoring inwards so cops, and people who come within 2 feet of cops are the only ones recorded.

            Also, put a camera in their bullets to record when they fire away from themselves.

  6. Authoritarians Distract Rather than Debate: a paper estimating that about 448 million social media posts a year are made by the Chinese government’s “50 cent party.”

    1. You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub…

  7. “Is Trump Illegitimate or Are His Critics Just Deranged?”

    Is this a trick question?

  8. He’s the legitimate President of a paranoid Banana Republic equipped with thousands of nuclear weapons. Notoriously thin-skinned he is the perfect id to go along with White people who believe their shitty job is the fault of some Mexican. My bet is he kills a few million people by-and-by.

    1. Only a few million? Amateur hour compared to the socialists, amiright?

      1. Asswipe is hoping, hoping, hoping that someone other than a socialist/commie will commit mass murder on some level approaching what one of his heroes has done. He really is hoping that he can find someone to whom to point a finger and say: “See! My heroes aren’t too bad by comparison!”
        And for all his hoping, history keeps telling him he’s a raging, fucking ignoramus, admiring the worst humans the world has ever seen!
        And he’s just fine with that.

        1. “See! My heroes aren’t too bad by comparison!”

          Oh, c’mon, Sevo! AmSock would never male this claim. He’s absolutely giddy about those murders, as they got rid of all the wreckers and kulaks.

        2. Biggest mass murderers in history:

          Mao (communist)
          Stalin (communist)
          A certain Austrian Corporal (socialist)

          Dishonorable mentions go to

          Pol Pot (communist), who didn’t rack up the sheer numbers, but did manage to kill a quarter to amthird of the population of his own country.

          And

          Rachel Carson (environmentalist), whose attack on DDT was seriously flawed, amd who thereby shares the responsibility for between half a million and two million unecessary malaria deaths in the third world, every year since 1972.

          Trump would have to go a ways to even come close to those revolting records.

          1. Dafuq? Rachel Carson? You are on crack, dude. DDT is a fucking poison and it needed to be banned.

            Like we don’t already have enough gay frogs. You are gonna make baby Alex Jones cry.

            1. ddt is not a poison, and Malaria kills millions a year. We don’t have to worry about that because we used DDT here

              1. Where are you that you’re still allowed to use DDT?

                1. “Used” past tense likely. Look at a pre- and post-DDT global malaria map. Eradicated it completely in whole countries, India’s cases went from millions to a couple thousand.

          2. Do you know who else was a certain Austrian general?

    2. Oh, LOOK!
      Asswipe is here to whine about losing one one time!
      Isn’t that surprising? Well, isn’t it kinda, uh, something? Maybe?

      “My bet is he kills a few million people by-and-by.”
      He’s not one of your heroes, so it’s pretty doubtful.

  9. “And as a bonus, we each discuss one hugely positive development that has nothing to do with politics. You’ll have to listen to get the full skinny, but the answers include HBO’s The Young Pope, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and hand-knit “pussy hats.””

    I prefer the written word for the very good reason that it is easily skimmed to find the parts of interest and ignore the remains. And there are always a LOT of remains.
    I have been a contributor to Reason for quite a while. If you think that is some sort of a “bonus” to the reader rather than the oh, so clever speakers, you’ll have to take a look at this year’s contribution.
    Sorry, Matt; no check when you end up in SF this year.

  10. Squirrels suck.

    1. That’s My Momma!

      1. “Easy credit rip offs, temporary lay offs…”

    2. That’s one quiet mother-in-law.

  11. All hail King Donny the First! Slayer of the LGBT, Deporter of the brown skinned, builder of walls and stymier of the yellow menacers!

    1. Now this would be, uhhh, Castro, Lincoln, and FDR?

  12. Any argument for Trump being illegitimate due to Russia (or others) meddling in the 2016 election applies a fortiori to Obama’s 2012 reelection, given the IRS abuse of various tea-party groups.

    Except, of course, for the fact that advocacy and intervention in elections in favor of the left is inherently apolitical. Only right-wing activities can be political or partisan.

    1. And don’t forget that Putin publicly favored Obama in 2008.

      1. And Sarah Plain predicted Putin would invade the Ukraine if Obama were elected.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GhCh4wkYlCQ

  13. Gillespie wonders why a political party retains political positions that are supposedly unpopular. Maybe, just maybe, they (or least their base voters) actually believe in those positions. I suppose it is because Gillespie just cannot comprehend why anyone would support social conservative positions, but it seems a hell of a thing to wonder about for a writer for an outsider political position like libertarianism and someone who normally supports giving diverse political opinions more say in government.

    1. Unpopular political positions like open boarders?

  14. KMW – “many good reasons for TDS. I have my reasons.”

    No need to read any of her scribbling when she brags about mental illness from political philosophy.

  15. Welch – “people are unaware of history before 1970. (meaning others) Weve never seen anything like Trump.”

    Thin skinned, bombastic, authoritarian, pugilistic, outsider upsets the status quo?

    Yeah, TR.

  16. Illegitimate? What does that mean? Were his parents not married?

    The man won the election despite the polls. Get over it. He wouldn’t be there if the people there before him hadn’t been so wildly corrupt and dishonest. There is no one to blame except the people whining about him being there.

  17. Legitimate is not the same thing as legally binding. The former is subject to personal interpretation of what exactly legitimate means. The latter is not. It is entirely possible to feel that he’s not “legit” while acknowledging the legality of him taking the office.

  18. Why can’t it be and instead of or?

  19. TDS – it’s good to hear addicts getting together to talk about their problem.

  20. A case of pneumonia??? Really? KMW what the fuck? *strikes purple haired goddess off my word list

  21. Is Trump Illegitimate or Are His Critics Just Deranged?

    Might have been stated already, you could transpose the respective subjects and the adjectives.

  22. It depends on what the meaning of “is” is….

  23. With regard to Pruitt’s nomination, Niskanen Center libertarian policy shop president Jerry Taylor observes:

    With Republicans in charge of the White House and Congress, conservatives no longer need to fear that acknowledging climate change will usher in a parade of policy horribles. They now control the parameters of the debate, which provides them a tremendous opportunity to address one of the greatest threats mankind faces over the next century in an economically responsible manner. Mr. Pruitt’s confirmation should ride on whether he’s interested in that project or not.
    ????? ?? ??
    ????? ????
    Pruitt is right that there is some debate among researchers with regard to the degree and impact that man-made climate change is having now and in the future. Just last year, one group of researchers reported that the global warming hiatus is real while another one found earlier this month that the hiatus never happened. Sounds suspiciously like a debate, doesn’t it? Sen.

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