Book Write-Up: Judge Jeanine Pirro’s Books on Trump

Judge Jeanine Pirro. Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy. Center Street, 2018.

Judge Jeanine Pirro. Radicals, Resistance, and Revenge: The Left’s Plot to Remake America. Center Street, 2019.

Judge Jeanine Pirro has been a prosecutor, a judge, and an Emmy-winning host of a televised court show. She is currently a Fox News personality. Here are some thoughts and observations about her books:

A. Pirro praises Donald Trump’s accomplishments as President. Unemployment has been at an all-time low over the past three years, notwithstanding the Federal Reserve raising interest rates; by contrast, economic growth during the Obama years was sluggish, even as the Fed kept interest rates low. Pirro attributes the economic growth under Trump to Trump’s deregulation and lowering of the corporate tax rate. Further on the domestic front, Trump has acted on issues about which liberals only talk, such as criminal justice reform. While Pirro admits that she sides more with victims than criminals, she states that criminal justice reform reduces recidivism and thus is a positive development. On the international scale, Trump has gotten results. After Trump threatened to impose a tariff on Mexican products, Mexico started taking care of illegal immigrants rather than sending them in masse to the United States. Trump has helped bring North and South Korea to the negotiating table, even as North Korea abandons its nuclear program. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has presided over historic cooperative meetings among Israel and Arab nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, as they seek common ground. Trump’s tough stance towards China has gotten positive results. Some of Pirro’s analysis, particularly on North Korea, is rather dated, as Kim Jong Un continues to taunt President Trump and perform tests. As of my writing this, however (December 2019), unemployment remains low; on the other hand, the tariffs have resulted in high prices.

B. Pirro argues that Trump is a threat to the “deep state,” which seeks to undermine him. She is rather nebulous about what the deep state’s precise motivation is. What policies does the deep state support that Trump opposes or threatens? They have said or implied that they support global stability, which Trump threatens through his irresponsible rhetoric and lack of knowledge, but are there areas in which their policies benefit the establishment, whereas Trump’s ideas walk away from that? In terms of motivations, Pirro highlights a variety of factors. America’s intelligence agencies contain a lot of Clinton appointees, so they lean towards the liberal establishment. Yet, Pirro portrays James Comey as self-centered and opportunistic rather than ideological, similar to J. Edgar Hoover, who threw around his power to intimidate both Democratic and Republican Presidents. When Comey criticized Hillary’s e-mails right before the 2016 election day, Pirro contends, he was showing Hillary that he was a force with which to reckon, even as he declined to accuse her of anything illegal. While Pirro’s books are incomplete in detailing the motivations of the deep state, she is clearer in highlighting the motivations of other opponents of Trump: a desire to profit from cheap labor, being upset at Hillary losing the election, etc.

C. Where does Pirro stand on the non-interventionist foreign policy with which Trump has been associated? On the one hand, she comes across as somewhat hawkish and bellicose. Whereas some like Trump for being pro-Russian, Pirro denies that Trump is that, for Trump has imposed tough sanctions on Russia and has assisted the Ukraine. She praises Trump for bombing Assad’s Syria. She speaks rather favorably about George W. Bush’s War on Terror. On the other hand, Pirro seems to favor a non-interventionist foreign policy. While she supports Trump’s strategic bombing of Syria, she agrees with Trump that regime change is not the way to go, for who knows what will replace Assad? We saw how Obama’s overthrow of Qadaffi in Libya turned out, as Islamic extremists supplanted the Libyan dictator. Pirro praises Trump for speaking against the Iraq War in a Republican debate, amidst an audience of Bush loyalists who roundly booed him. She agrees with Trump that NATO countries should shoulder more of the financial burden.

D. Pirro provides an effective discussion of so-called socialism in the Scandinavian countries. Contra Bernie Sanders, Pirro argues that Scandinavia is not exactly socialistic. It has a policy of low corporate tax rates and few government regulations, which stimulates the economy and allows it to pay for its generous social programs; meanwhile, it seeks to make its social programs less generous. When Scandinavia tried the Bernie approach, which is to soak only the rich to pay for its social programs, the result was economic disaster, which was why it embraced low corporate taxes and fewer government regulations. At the same time, Pirro notes, taxes are high in Scandinavia, particularly for the middle class. The VAT is a tax on sales that people throughout Europe have to pay. One question Pirro does not address in this discussion is how Scandinavia’s economy does so well, with such high tax rates. Even if businesses produce a lot as a result of low corporate taxes and few government regulations, would not the high individual tax rates and the VAT discourage consumers from buying those products?

E. Pirro talks a lot about the private Trump and the private Hillary. The private Trump, she believes she knows, for she and he have been long-time friends. She has observed his interaction with his children as a father, and she knows about his work ethic, his common touch, and his generosity towards those in need. Hillary, she does not seem to know personally, but she bases her portrayal of Hillary on things she has experienced and learned. She almost ran against Hillary for U.S. Senate, and Hillary spread untrue rumors against her. She knows people who live in Hillary’s town, and, while people in town see Bill a lot, they almost never see Hillary; Pirro interprets this as Hillary’s contempt towards the non-elites. Pirro also refers to a speech in which Hillary says that the more creative parts of the country voted for her in 2016 rather than Trump, which Pirro sees as Hillary’s dismissal of “flyover country.” Speaking for myself, I do not judge Hillary for being aloof, since I can be introverted and aloof myself. But that does make me less likely to vote for her, since she seems to be a bit of a snob.

F. The topic of sexism occurs in Pirro’s first book. Pirro talks about her own experience with sexism when she helped implement a policy against domestic violence. She quotes Kellyanne Conway, who sees sexism within the Republican Party as a problem. Pirro notes favorably that Trump employed women in prominent positions, back when that was rare. At the same time, Pirro is not a fan of the women’s march, which she sees as merely anti-Trump rather than constructive. She also points out the hypocrisy of the establishment media, which lauded Ivanka Trump as a businesswoman, then changed its tune once her father ran for President.

G. In a number of cases, Pirro is detailed and informative in her discussions. She brings her legal expertise into her analysis, as when she defends Attorney General Barr against the charge that he perjured himself. In criticizing the Steele dossier, which became the basis for Obama’s spying on Trump’s campaign, she notes that the mainstream media saw through it and rejected it as unreliable. While she acknowledges that some of Trump’s appointees have ethical problems, she contends that they are minor, compared with what most politicians do, and she contends that Robert Mueller has offered to lessen their sentences if they will hand over alleged dirt on Trump. Pirro is also helpful in explaining the purpose of ICE and how it differs from the INS: ICE, in contrast with the INS, focuses on finding the illegal immigrants who are in the country. Where Pirro may be a bit sketchy is that she assumes as factual the idea that Hillary Clinton gave uranium to Russia, in exchange for contributions to the Clinton foundation and expensive speaking fees for Bill. This claim has been widely disputed.

While the book is detailed, it is an easy read—-perhaps because of its conversational tone, clarity, and passion.

 

 

 

 

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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