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A.B. Stoddard: We Could’ve Been the United States of QAnon

November 9, 2022
Notes
Transcript

The polls were a mess and the hive mind was wrong — Gen Z saved the Democrats and abortion proved to be a powerful issue. Now, the knives are out and there could be a civil war in the GOP caucus. A.B. Stoddard joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.

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This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:08

    Welcome to the Bulwark podcast on Shirley Sykes. It is the morning after and I think I I just told AB Stothart that this will be our first three and a half hour podcast because we have so much to talk about and quite frankly to wallow in. So first of all, Thanks for joining me on the morning after a truly remarkable and rather unexpected election.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:30

    Charlie, it’s an honor to be invited to join you. I was prepared for our drunken post bloodbath sob session. And I I I girded myself. I prepared for days. And it’s a very strange feeling that we might be able to only only only sometimes have nice things.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:52

    Well, that’s right. And, you know, I
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:54

    I had actually planned certain, you know, post mortems and everything, but As I tweeted last night right before, I fell asleep about one o’clock in the morning, I posted something
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:03

    like conventional wisdom under construction. Pardon any inconvenience here because we’re all throwing out our hotcakes, all the conventional wisdom. The whole hive mind has to certainly, like, move in a different direction. Action and, you know, all of the, you know, detail, will the Democrats learn the right lesson from this? Okay.
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:21

    So let’s we have we have a lot
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:22

    of big picture stuff to talk about. Let’s start with highlights and low lights. It’s always more fun to start with the low light. So low light for you from last night’s election.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:33

    Really disappointed that Tim Ryan lost the senate race. I knew they were gonna be Ryan DeWine split ticket voters in Ohio, but it’s a deeply red state, and it was gonna be very hard for him to defy the odds. And I’m really disappointed that Elaine Gloria lost in Virginia. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:50

    Those are two good ones. You know, I I had to say that, you know, GDVance going to the United States Senate is is certainly one of them. Luria going down the fact that I’ve said this over and over again. The fact that Hershel Walker is even remotely close to the United States, and it continues to be a low light. But highlight.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:07

    Can I go first with my highlight? Yeah. Because I we could spend the entire podcast talking about this. It looks like Lauren Dobrik is going to lose her seat in Colorado, which nobody saw Lauren Bogart is going to go down. Now, it is possible because I don’t know how the votes come in.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:23

    That she might be able to pull it out, but just saying it makes me feel better. The one thing we know for sure though is that Sarah Palen has now been defeated for Congress in Alaska twice in one year. I mean, let’s let’s just Can we meditate upon that for a moment?
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:44

    It’s it’s really a bad asset, I’ll skip. But to get on my procedural high horse, I’m a huge evangelizer of final five and final four voting, and I just am so excited that Alaska adopted it. And is a process that rejects extremists and promotes moderate
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:02

    This is not the part of the pie a cast where we go into
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:04

    some wonky discussion of ranked ways voting. This is the part of the podcast where we engage in some serious shot in Freud. About so appealing being
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:13

    donated.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:16

    You had it coming.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:17

    And my other highlight on the more positive note Abigail Spanberger being re Liz Cheney actually turned out to have a pretty good night. She endorsed Alyssa slotkin in Michigan and Abigail Spanberger, and they both won, which was incredibly good news. So what’s your highlight?
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:31

    Yes. Very exciting. So my sort of macro, most important priority as I got my head together this morning was Florida’s not a swing state, I don’t believe in twenty twenty four, upset about Nevada, worried about Arizona, but that in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, we have people who are going to certify the presidential election in twenty twenty four no matter how it turns out and I trust Brian Kemp to do the same in Georgia. So in terms of the constitutional order, many, many bad things could have happened last night that didn’t happen. And I think that those governorships in critical
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:12

    swing states are really, really important and the Secretary of State’s Election. I mean, a lot of election deniers did win last night, but voters apparently drew the line about putting an election denier in the position of actually running elections. So they appear to have gone down. And kind of remarkably those guardrails seem to have held. We don’t know what’s gonna happen in Arizona.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:33

    But, I mean, Tim Michaels lost in Wisconsin two hundred Dixon launch in Michigan, Doug Mastriano, goes down in Pennsylvania. Darren Bailey in in Illinois, Dan Cox in Maryland. You know, all across the country, you had these Trumpist candidates going going down. So let’s talk about big picture. I wanna I wanna get to the whole DeSantis Trump thing because, of course, there’s a lot of hot take pondetry about that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:56

    People are revising everything and I wanna get to. The pulsating hell that awaits Kevin McCarthy if he becomes speaker.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:05

    But
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:05

    what do you think happened here? You know, did the polls get it wrong? Was it the hive mind of of, you know, conventional wisdom that overcorrected for the misses in twenty sixteen, twenty eighteen, and twenty twenty, what happened that turned the red wave into the red drizzle?
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:24

    Right. So I didn’t listen to one exit poll last night. I didn’t listen to one this morning, and I won’t in the weeks to come. I don’t care where they come from. I’ll never listen to those again.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:34

    And I also don’t listen to data, you know, within seventy two hours or even, you know, seven days. I tend to look at post election assessments kind of before Christmas time or in the New Year because I don’t think that that that they’re correct until then. Those deep dives take a while. And so I don’t really take that data to the bank until it’s a few months later. But my feeling, Charlie, I don’t know, is Mark finch him gonna lose in Arizona, is Marsha gonna lose in Nevada?
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:04

    I don’t know about all the secretary of state races yet, so I’m not entirely calm — Right. — about whether or not Americans went to the polls to protect democracy. I saw John Anzalone on Twitter this morning saying but for Gen Z would have been a red wave. And he’s Biden’s pollster. And that’s very sobering.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:24

    And I think the Democrats need to understand that, that it might not have been that people voted for democracy I don’t know if the kids were voting for democracy. I think what we saw was a bunch of young people turn out about abortion and save the democrats. And if that’s true, they just have to really step back and think about the liabilities they have that remain, and then Republicans have to step back and think, wow, up against forty year inflation and an unpopular president in what was supposed to be a wave year, abortion is really gonna screw us in twenty twenty four if we don’t get our acts together. And then the last part is, yes, of course, the polling is a mess. I don’t think young people respond to polls.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:03

    As you know, young people don’t even call their parents. They have to text with them. They don’t, like, talk to people on phones. And so the polling methodology is still evolving so much, not only in the post Trump twenty sixteen era, but then in COVID and then, you know, as we sort of change into a new generation, Republicans who hate polls, kids who don’t respond to them. The pollsters are really in like a wasteland right now.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:30

    I don’t think while they handle on that for a long time. But that’s my general assessment really is that I think it’s most likely that abortion powered, you know, the counter wave. And
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:38

    there’s a number of explanations in no particular order, and some of them are obvious. And number one candidate quality matters a lot. This would have looked very, very different. You know, had Donald Trump not pushed unelectable candidates onto the ballot in places like Michigan, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania. So candidate quality obviously was a factor.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:00

    Secondly, in terms of picking up on the, you know, the changes in the electorate. I think the pollsters may have overcompensated. They missed in in twenty sixteen, they missed the number of Republican voters that Donald Trump brought to the polls, the first time voters. I think this time they may have the pollsters may have missed many of these younger voters who came to the polls. So I think that that was a factor.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:26

    And finally, I spent a lot of time last night really looking at the numbers in my home state of Wisconsin, which I do understand a little bit better than other states. And the underperformance in the suburbs is truly extraordinary. And the conventional wisdom before yesterday, and I was starting to, you know, buy into it, was that you know, suburban women were coming home to the Republicans that the crime issue had driven them away from Democrats. But you look at the numbers, in my area in the county that I’m in right now in crucial Waukesha County. And what you are seeing is this continuing erosion of suburban support for Republicans.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:05

    So there would be Democratic incumbent governor won in Wisconsin because the Republican just did not get the kind of votes that Republicans normally get in the suburbs. Now by the way, we can come back to this. Democrats won every race statewide in Wisconsin with the exception of the US senate race. Well, the only one the only one, Mandela Barnes trailed all of the
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:27

    other Democrats. And if only they had been warned about this. But to your
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:33

    point, yeah, to your point though, this has got to be about abortion. I mean, this this the dobs the dobs factor cannot be understated — Yeah. — in terms of what happened in Michigan in what happened in Pennsylvania, what happened in Wisconsin. You can see it. I find it remarkable that a pro life constitutional amendment in Kentucky was roundly defeated.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:57

    This is in the state of Kentucky. Yeah. It’s not that surprising. The pro choice referendum won in in Michigan. But I do think that that that somehow fell off the radar screen.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:08

    And and again, this is another one of those lessons about the conventional wisdom in the in the punted hive mind. That everybody was like, well, no, jobs are gonna be a big factor, and then they got bored with that. And then it was like something else is gonna do. It’s all gonna be about inflation. It’s all gonna and everyone goes along with it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:23

    And then you wake up this morning. And obviously, the electorate had different priorities than we had been told repeatedly that they had. I mean, really quite remarkable. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:35

    So I think that if you were furious about abortion in July, you weren’t gonna be any less activated by it four months later. But it does make sense that Republicans thought they might be spared because there is a a portion of the electorate that is not politically engaged and only sort of, you know, pays attention after Labor Day. And those people were gonna we were they were responding to to interest rate hikes and inflation and gas coming back up and and getting really furious about that, which is primary driver understandably. And so that that was really dominating in polls and abortion had dropped in polls. And so Republicans could dilute themselves at the young people and the women.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:22

    And of course, a lot of men too, who were furious all summer about abortion, had just decided to chill out on abortion and suddenly change their minds and either stay home or vote Republican, and I never really bought that. I thought the senate was a jump ball until last night. And and obviously, I think it actually will probably go Republican, but it was a jump ball long. You know, because of but to me, because of abortion. Mean,
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:46

    this the Senate comes down to Nevada and in Georgia. We don’t know whether or not the Republicans will flip the seat in Nevada. And then, of course, We have to wait until December sixth for the runoff in Georgia. Rafael Warmock incumbent Democrat is is actually running ahead of Hershel Walker. So we’ll have to, like, set that aside.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:04

    And this leads naturally then to the whole Trump factor. And the role that the Donald Trump played because there’s a lot of blowback going on now in Republican circles. This was a disaster. This was underperformance. Ben Shapiro was saying the red wave became the red wedding.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:22

    And, you know, Trump’s Trump’s spending last night cheering the defeat of Republican senate candidates who had not sucked up to him. And then, of course, signaling that that he’s going to announce next week on election day Yesterday, he decided it was a good time to start threatening Rhonda Sanders. You know, I know stuff about you. Ron DeSantis runs up this big, big, big win. I
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:47

    mean, this
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:48

    is where where Trump has a certain instinct. I have to give him credit for because he understood that it was possible to wake up this morning and that the rising star of the Republican Party would be Ron DeSantis. I mean, look, Did you see with the cover of New York Post this morning? No. It’s got Rhonda Sanders holding his his child on the cover of New York Post of the New York Posting’s waving.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:08

    And it it’s and the headline is Duh future. Young j o p star DeSantis —
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:14

    Yeah. —
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:14

    romps to victory in Florida. And so you know that Donald Trump was thinking, I don’t want that. And yet, that’s what he’s got. So let’s talk about this and how this this plays out because every Republican that I know is basically saying, look, you know, he is toxic, he is a boed anchor, this is time to move on. Twenty twenty four now is looking much less rosy, but I feel like we’ve kind of been here before.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:43

    Yeah. What do you think? I cannot imagine the pressure on Rhonda Santos right now because — Mhmm. — he wanted to run up a larger margin of victory than Trump had two years ago. And of course, larger than the one that DeSantis had four years ago in eighteen in a close race I mean, I never expected Charlie to be right around twenty points.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:05

    It’s — Yeah. — unbelievable. And so since demings didn’t lose by that many. There were obviously demings to Santa’s voters. It’s unbelievable, but vanity fair reported last week that Rhonda Santa’s loss this nerve, doesn’t wanna take on Trump, decides he’s only forty four years, plenty of time, and he’s right, that he can wait it out and and run-in twenty twenty.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:26

    Right. Why take on Trump? You know, Sarah Longwell has asked, you know, just around the sanders have a glass jar. I thought all along that he’s too wimpy to take Trump on. If you wanna take him out, you’ve gotta take him on direct you can’t get into the primary contest and say, I know the favorite is the favorite, and I’m just here in case he gets indicted, has a heart attack, or taps me for VP.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:48

    Tim Scott can’t do that. Mike Pence can’t do that. If you get into the race, you’re running against Donald Trump, against the favorite. And you better take be ready to try to take them down. And I don’t think Brian DeSantis has the nerve.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:00

    But this morning, with that margin, and then all the Trump candidates doing so badly. The pressure from donors on Ron DeSantis that this is your home and you’ve got to take him on is gonna be huge. They have woken up decided this morning decided that DeSantis is the leader of the party, and he better act now. And it’s gonna be fascinating to see if he has the balls. I think
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:26

    JBL has a good take here because, of course, the most obvious idea and and and I’m I will confess that I subscribed to it to a certain extent is that Republicans have to understand cannot win with Trump on the ballot and that that some younger figure is is their only hope. I I I get that. And and and yet he also point points out the the the the strange world of Donald Trump’s mind, which is, you know, heads, Trump wins, tails, Republicans lose that real quote from Donald Trump. He’s talking to what was it? One of these obscure channels now.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:59

    Oh, yeah. Well, I I I think if they win Republicans, I should get all the credit. If they lose, I should not be blamed at all. I mean, that’s always and so and so his argument will be, well, you see, you need me on the ballot. You can’t win without me on the ballot.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:14

    I’ve never lost. Right? Right. I’m the only strong leader, you know. Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:19

    And then, of course, what you saw is that sort of mafia sort of thing, who’s gonna come through the don? Because I’m gonna take you out. I mean, yesterday was about basically saying, look, I got the shiv in my hand and Ron, I’m going to I’m gonna gut you. If you run against me. And so that is that test.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:35

    But you’re right. I think the dynamic at least right now has gotta be Republicans all around the country going, wow, this was bad. We need to turn the page, but we we also know how gravity works and how all the pundits, you know, the Mark Tyson’s of the world who are saying what a disaster it is and how we know, we need a course correction and this was reckless of Donald Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:01

    They’ll
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:01

    all come around. They they’ll all come around and explain why it is imperative that we all come together, that we unite And, of course, you know, even a deeply impaired Donald Trump is better than the Marxist communist socialist god hating pedophile Democratic Party. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:22

    Right. I mean, if they can rationalize January six, Charlie, they can embrace Trump again. I mean, they they embraced him until last night. Look, if it
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:31

    had been a red wave, Trump would have rolled out next week, basically claiming, you know, riding the wave, saying, this is all me. Let’s carry it right through for twenty twenty four. And there would have been an irresistible ability. Now, maybe it’s it will turn out that way. But this does feel like I mean, you know, he he’s gonna have to work hard to to spin this, and he’s and he’s lost a lot of the people who would normally be carrying water from.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:57

    And I guess I’ve in a convoluted way, I wonder whether the fact that now Georgia is going to be having an election on December sixth has any impact on all of this. Do you think that there’s any chance that Trump changes the date of his announcement? Because any chance that he delays or changes the date of his announcement or is he stuck? Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:16

    That’s so fascinating. And what role will he play? And he didn’t go down to Georgia and do a walker event. And and what’s going on with that? That’s And then at the same time, he’s gonna be lighting fires with McConnell and McCarthy as he tries to, you know, hold on to some dominance.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:34

    These couple of weeks are gonna be so explosive beyond this, you know, do or die runoff I really believe that Nevada’s gonna go are. And so the majority will come down to Georgia, and it will be the highest stakes, hellscape. And at the same time, all these other dynamics are happening within the party as Trump tries to assert dominance and that would be a huge sign of weakness for him to delay the announcement, I think. I don’t think he could be talked into delaying it by the establishment. I do know advisers told him to hold off and not do it in August or September.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:09

    Hold
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:09

    off until
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:10

    after the midterms. But, Charlie, I heard you say a couple of days ago and it’s so true. We have to just pause for a moment this morning and reflect on what you just said, if he had had a great night, it would have helped him so much. Yeah. He would have been so empowered If his candidates did well last night, he could have said Mitch McConnell, I don’t care how much money you threw at these people.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:36

    It’s because I tapped them. I am the red wave I am the republican party — Yep. Yep. Yep. — it would have been such a different universe.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:45

    And now, when you guys have a great time watching this unbelievable meltdown in the party, you know, does Elise Defonic take on McCarthy because Trump tells her to you know, McConnell is just gonna be unbelievable. All well, Hershel Walker is trying to run another campaign Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:03

    This is really interesting right now because all of the knives are out. The knives are gonna be out for Kevin McCarthy. The knives are out for Trump, the knives are out for Everybody’s got a knife out right now. Okay? So so there’s going to be all of this turmoil and this backbiting.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:17

    And as you point out, so many big stories that get lost. Donald Trump has explicitly called for the impeachment whatever he means by this, of Mitch McConnell. So he’s already saying that he wants a civil war within the Republican senate caucus. I mean, there would be you wanna talk about catch fall over the wall.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:38

    There — Yeah. —
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:38

    is a red wave. So he’s already talked about kneecapping Mitch McConnell, trying to take out Mitch McConnell, which I think is highly unlikely. Do you agree with that? There Yes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:47

    Oh, yeah. There’s no chance. Yeah. Okay. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:49

    So so there there’s no chance, but there’s been buzz about Florida’s other senator, Rick Scott, perhaps taking him on. So that’s messy. Donald Trump is messy. By the way, you know what today represents, you know, with today marks? It’s a a trick question here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:06

    The window reopens for the Department of Justice to do something about Donald Trump. Remember, it’s all out? Yes. The Department of Justice could not act before the election because of those rules, but the election’s over now. And so we don’t know what’s going to happen.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:20

    So in this toxic mix, you still have control of the US Senate being decided in Georgia in a closely run race. So does Donald Trump go to Georgia? Does he play a major role there. And if he does, does that help or hurt? I think well, what do you think?
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:41

    I’ll I’ll give you my opinion, Edward. Well,
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:43

    I think Republicans will not want him in Georgia. I think he will wanna go and be the center, but And he will. Right? Right? I mean, they they don’t want him there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:51

    So he’ll Yeah. No. So he’ll go and
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:53

    he’ll drop another one of his gigantic turd bombs in the middle of this race. Right. One of the other takes from last night trying to figure out what happened, what happened to the red wave was Donald Trump himself happened to the red wave. That Donald Trump provided the motivation for Democratic voters to turn out in bigger numbers than expected. You know, this was the big question.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:16

    Was there an enthusiasm gap? And and again, much of the hive mind was buying into the idea. That the Republican voters were much more enthusiastic and the Democratic voters were going to sit home. What is the number one thing? That will motivate Democratic voters in Georgia to turn out on December sixth.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:36

    It has to be Donald Trump. And so Donald Trump will now insist on making himself the you know, the focal the focus of attention for the next month. At a time when I agree with you, other Republicans are saying, no. Yes. Not not now just don’t do it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:56

    And he won’t pay any attention to it. So I don’t know what happens in Georgia. But if he goes down to Georgia and he you know, does his his Donald Trump thing. And Rafael warnings when Hershel Walker goes down and Republicans again failed it within the senate.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:11

    You hate to see it. No. I mean, I’d hate to. Charlie, let’s just go back to February thirteenth of twenty twenty one. They did not vote to convict Donald Trump, and he’s Frankenstein.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:23

    And I couldn’t be happier that they own him. They deserve it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:27

    Right. It
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:28

    was so easy to do. They could have moved on. The base could have been upset for three months. It was early yet. They were years before twenty twenty four, and they could’ve he’ve owed him and said, you know what, keep screaming Ron Johnson and all you MAGA freaks we dumped him and history will prove us right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:45

    Just find another candidate. We’ll move on from this. But instead, they’re literally stuck with him and we have no idea how much damage he’s gonna do. And no matter how much they say they’re they’re a post Trump party and they’re moving on and last night was bad, I don’t know how they do it. Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:02

    So
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:02

    in another chapter of the knives you’re being at, let’s talk about Kevin McCarthy. Kevin McCarthy at one point.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:10

    And after we admit
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:11

    I was kind of wallowing in this too. Kevin McCarthy predicted a sixty point gain for Republicans. And of course, that was crazy. But there was a lot of speculation that in a real wave like we saw in two thousand ten or two thousand fourteen, that it might be in the range of thirty to forty seats. We don’t know now, but it might actually turn out to be ten, fifteen, maybe fewer seats, very, very small margin for Kevin McCarthy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:41

    So what does that mean for
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:43

    him? He has no idea. He really has no idea. He knew he needed a buffer. He was trying not to talk about that, but he knew he needed a buffer.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:52

    And there is going to be so much turmoil because of Trump because I think Trump, he said in the last few days he doesn’t mind if Kevin McCarthy’s speaker, but I do think it’s a totally new day, and anything could happen. It’s extremely volatile and fluid. And Trump, to to maintain dominance, all he does is pick fights. That’s how he stays dominant. And so turning on McCarthy now is entirely in the toolbox, I think, for trial.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:22

    Totally. Blood’s in the water. Yeah. It’s just exactly. And so I think McCarthy is it’s really in a he’s in a world of hurt.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:30

    I don’t know what he’s promising Marjorie Taylor Green this morning. I don’t know what he’s doing to try to I don’t know what McConnell’s telling him. Not to do I mean, it what is going on today behind the scenes is it’s a rich tapestry. I think that there is no threat to McConnell, right, that Andy McConnell, the little sour group that’s Andy McConnell is like, Scott, Cruise and Ron Johnson. And maybe on a good day, they can be joined by, like, Mike Lee and Josh Holly.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:59

    Mhmm. But McConnell’s position is is not in doubt, and he literally did save those candidates. He put in two hundred and thirty eight million dollars, and Trump put in, like, nothing. A couple of million in the in the very final weeks. But McCarthy, who’s tried to have it both ways all along, and he’s just kind of a dumb guy anyway.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:19

    I I feel almost badly for him today. Oh, I
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:23

    I don’t at all. Okay. So so Jackie Hynrick, who’s a correspondent for Fox, has been tweeting that, you know, GOP sources are saying knives are out for Kevin McCarthy. If he is under two hundred and twenty five, of course, majority is two hundred and eighteen. If he’s under two hundred twenty five, expects Calise to make a move quickly for speaker.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:44

    So there there there’s, you know, at one level or at least a sonic, make a move to to Alice Tim. The second possibility is let’s assume that he’s, you know, has very little buffer, and he does become speaker. You know, talk about the worst job in the world because you already have people like Thomas Massey saying, hey, just how power Joe Manchin was when they only when they needed his vote, when he was the one man who made all the decisions, this is gonna be great for people like me. So all of the crazies in the caucus are going, this is my moment. Marjorie Taylor Green, you know, and some of the other freaks that are still there are all going, you know, four or five of us we constitute the majority, we own Kevin McCarthy, and he’s going to have to swallow every shit sandwich they put in front of him.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:35

    Right. It’s
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:35

    an incredible inflection point because it would almost help them just to say, no. No maga. We can’t proceed this way. I don’t know if the votes. We’re gonna support Ukraine.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:47

    We’re gonna raise the debt ceiling, and we’re not gonna crater the the markets and we’re gonna do everything that you don’t like because our hands are tied. To just totally give up and just be normal again would be a far easier path than the grenade filled road that he’s gonna be walking because it is so volatile if there’s only a few seats and there’s no buffer. If he had a pickup of twenty eight seats last night, people would have come be coming into the caucus that will would have beaten democrats in swingy places and would be needing to hold onto those seats and not be radical. But when you are down, like, as you said, to seven people, and they can include Gomartgates Green. Nasty GoStar and a couple of other screwballs.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:37

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:37

    The free cookie. You’re
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:38

    hating it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:39

    Yeah. And and so I don’t see any way around that for him if he if he, in fact, survives. Now what will be interesting to see as a ways whether Trump, you know, throws him under the bus as well because Of course, you know, Trump needs to deflect the blame. Yeah. He understands in his lizard brain, Donald Trump.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:55

    But I’m giving him credit for this that that he’s sitting there going I can’t be the go here. I cannot be the person who is blamed for this. So I have to go all in on attacking McConnell and maybe even McCarthy, I have to go after others. On the other hand, you know, your your point about McConnell being solid, because, you know, he actually did help these candidates, whereas Donald Trump just tweeted about it or whatever he he does he does right now. And to use the horri old cliche.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:23

    If you shoot at the king, you better hit the king because Mitch McConnell never had much love for Donald Trump, but this is becoming a hot fight. The other problem for for Trump is that among the people that he cannot blame is Ron DeSantis. So Ron DeSantis has made himself bullet proof right there. So I I don’t know what’s I don’t know what’s going to happen here, but it’s going to be ugly. One of the big winners we could talk about what this means for Joe Biden in a moment, but I haven’t really seen people talk about it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:50

    I think in terms of just pure relief all about the results, Ukraine has to feel pretty good about it because there was an electoral gun aimed at their heads and I really think that there was a very real possibility that a Republican house with a strong majority might refuse to continue to fund Ukraine, depending on whether or not McCarthy still had the statutory rule in which we don’t need to go into. But a lot of the horrible things that we thought were going to happen, I don’t think will happen. Do you think that even with a small majority they would move ahead with impeaching Joe Biden.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:26

    That becomes a huge question now. Isn’t it easier for him to just stand down? And say, we really are trying to build a path to the White House people in twenty twenty four, and I can’t do all this crazy stuff. And
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:38

    just try to pick some battles that are smaller? I don’t know, but he can’t. But no, let’s go back to our previous conversation. If the seven crazies come into him, marjorie, Taylor Green, and Gates said, we absolutely insist that you impeached Joe Biden. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:52

    How does he resist that? He says, no to them. They call Daddy Dun and Mar a Lago. Trump issues a statement that that he somehow, you know, a cock rhino — Yeah. — and he’s completely dead.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:02

    So, I mean, there’s so many bad cases in your transcript. Yeah. So
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:07

    many disasters and nightmare scenarios were averted last night that my brain is, like, starting to go back to twenty fourteen or normal times. I don’t know what’s happening to me. You are right. He will not have a choice. He would be under too much pressure because they’ll navigate against his speakership, if he does, back down.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:23

    No.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:23

    It’s interesting, you’re you’re talking about how you’re adjusting your your thoughts. I have the same experience because my entire world view has been, okay, I know what’s what twenty twenty three is going to be like and this is going to happen and this is going to happen. And now, you know, I’m we’re sitting here going, jeez, maybe that was wrong, maybe that’s not going to happen. Look, in Republican circles on the right, I think there was this deeply ingrained embedded belief that they could say anything. They could push any conspiracy theory.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:54

    They could advance any slur. They could embrace any crazy ant they wouldn’t pay a political price for it. Right? I mean, you got that sense of the figure, you know, why draw any lines? Why have any guardrails?
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:07

    Because we’re going to win anyway. It is going to be a red wave. So let Marjorie Taylor Green say what she’s going to say. Let Paul Gossar say what he’s going to say. You know, yeah, we have candidates talking about, you know, kitty litter boxes in schools.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:19

    Like, who gives the shit? We’re going to win anyway.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:22

    And now
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:23

    they’re going, Holy crap. Maybe those weren’t the most effective closing arguments. Maybe in fact, there are consequences for crazy, bigoted, false comments. And so this has got to be a very sobering moment for them as well. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:37

    Such a good point Yeah. The shock is making it hard to even see straight this morning, and I’m not really articulating myself very well. But Charlie, there was a no accountability zone for Republicans. Yes. And — Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:53

    — and
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:53

    the
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:54

    worn nihilism and the more garbage and the more disinformation, the better, and the more kind of anti morality, anti integrity, anti legitimacy cannabis embrace the better it’s Trump’s America, and we were headed for the United States of Q and A if a bunch of people got elected last night. Oh,
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:12

    I think so. And I think part of that environment was also then was a tremendous distance in it for any Republicans to stand up and say, whoa, this is crazy. So, I mean, There was there was that little twitch from Dan Crenshaw, and I have very mixed feelings about him, obviously, saying, you know, these election lines were always lies. They always knew it was a lie. And you knew that he’s sort of chasing at it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:31

    But my sense is that the the message he got from the team was, look, don’t bring it up now. Right. Look, just Keep your mouth shut. Keep your powder dry because we’re and just win. Just don’t let let everything happen because we’re just gonna win.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:48

    Now, again, the door is open briefly. We’ve said this before and we’ve been disappointed. To stand up and say, you know why this didn’t work out for us? It’s because of shit like this. It’s because of these election lines.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:02

    It’s because of the crazy stuff. And I wonder whether or not you will see people like that emboldened. I don’t mean people like, you know, the Bulwark crowd you know, being in bold. I’m talking about the Dan Crenshaw as the people who might actually have some traction within Mago World. I don’t know.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:18

    I just don’t know. I think
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:20

    Dan Crenshaw doesn’t have any credibility anymore with the establishment or Mago? Really? Okay. You have to be one of the other I think he’s considered a rhino by the crazy universe. But I saw today that Glenn Youngkin wrote
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:38

    a hand. Yes. Written
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:38

    letter to Nancy Pelosi, apologizing for what he said last week about her and her husband. And I think that that is extremely compelling and and it’s really a that’s pretty profound to me. And I think that it’ll be interesting to see if anyone stands up and says, Now what Dan Crenshaw was trying to say weeks ago, they might not say, look, it was a grip all along. But if if and if this is the moment to jump the big lie, this is the moment to stand up and say, this was always super corrosive. Miss McConnell said it on February thirteenth of twenty twenty one, and then he’s never said it again.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:16

    Not after everything we heard, from the January sixth committee this summer and fall Charlie. They have said nothing. And this is the moment for them to say, this is like breaking the country, and this is not who’s a Republican party or is. Of course, it is who the Republican party is. But to make a departure and try to reject this, It’ll just be so interesting to see if they power and fear or if they have the nerve just to separate themselves.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:43

    No, I I
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:44

    agree except that, you know, we have to keep an eye on what’s gonna what will happen in Arizona because if Cary Lake actually falls short, there’s no way she’s gonna concede and it becomes the big lie chapter two. Focusing on the Arizona race. So they’re too invested in it now. If he wins the governor’s race,
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:00

    I’m afraid she’s gonna be president in twenty twenty four.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:04

    Oh. I’m very sure she did not power of her. Okay. She well, okay. So, you know, there was all this conventional wisdom that she was the big rock star and she was surging, you know, how many how many puff pieces and profiles, you know, talked about her.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:17

    If she just barely squeaks by, that’s another one of those. Well, again, maybe the hive mind went too far. Everybody talked themselves into thinking that she was stronger than she was. And again, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves because we don’t know and there were enough problems in Maricopa County to give them fuel, not legitimate fuel, but out there. Also, in terms of this consequence free universe that they were in, the fact is, I know this is gonna sound somewhat redundant.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:45

    But if people have been paying attention, Donald Trump has actually been crazier and crazier and crazier, that if you take a spectrum of the union stuff that you hear on the right. The former and maybe future president of the United States is at the far extreme. You know, talking about executing drug dealers after two hour trials and giving the bullets to the family, a referring to Nancy Pelosi as an animal. And again, people are like we’re not gonna say anything about this. We’re not gonna talk about the antisemitism or anything because we’re just going to win.
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:16

    Yeah. Now Suddenly, it’s like you’re staring at the reality. Do you want to go into twenty twenty four with this guy on the ballot in every single state in every single locality. And I know that Republicans and private are saying, shit. Now we need to move on.
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:36

    We need to turn the page until we have this perennial question. Will they actually have the guts to do anything about
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:42

    it? And
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:43

    I think that you and I both have been suffering from PTSD that we’ve seen, you know, time and time again, that they won’t do anything about it. But right now, Okay. Can I tell you my fantasy right now that won’t happen? Yes. Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:54

    Good morning for that. So Given the mood
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:57

    and and I I always I always think of a mood on January seventh. We thought, okay, the world has now changed, and this is going to happen and everything. And that lasted about five minutes. So maybe this is, like, January seventh again. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:06

    The people are going, hey, we gotta move on from Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:10

    But if
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:10

    someone like Rhonda Santa stepped out today and said, thank you so much for this tremendous victory that I had. And now I want to talk to my fellow Republicans that it is time to turn the page, that we need to
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:22

    look at
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:22

    what works and what doesn’t work, and that we need to look to a new generation. We need to have somebody that can serve two terms and not one term. We need to have somebody that actually can win election rather than someone who loses elections. I’m telling you that
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:37

    if someone had
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:38

    the guts to do that right now,
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:42

    that there
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:43

    would be tremendous response among the Republican grassroots, the elected officials, and the donor class. Whether it would be enough, I don’t know. But again, it’s, you know, matching the will with the moment. And again, when I remember I introduced this spacing, it’s a fantasy. It won’t happen.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:00

    But, no, who I can
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:02

    fantasize, you
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:02

    know? I did an event with Paul
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:04

    Ryan a few weeks ago. I think it was October twenty fourth. Just very close to the election. And he said, he didn’t criticize any of the stuff we’re talking about. The Trump stoked violence, tried to steal an election, you know, is the liberal politicized, the military, the judiciary, what what, you know, views his power stored at the Ukrainian president.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:26

    Like, none of that just simply said, we have lost the house and the senate and presidency. We’ve never lost so much so fast as we have with Trump. You know, we need to find someone who can help us win. And that’s basically what you just recommended Rhonda Santa say. I think Glenn Youngkin should say it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:44

    There’s power in numbers. They should get together if they can’t do it alone. And they should come out and say something. And maybe that is just a fantasy. I don’t know if Paul Ryan can convince them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:55

    He’s out there saying it’s not getting much attention.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:58

    Don’t think we should be looking to Paul Ryan to be a leader of the future of the Republican Party. And I say that as somebody I’m not saying
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:02

    he’s no. I’m not saying he’s gonna be a leader. Strinkling numbers. Strengthen numbers, and they should just say what he says. It’s what you just said about Rhonda’s Santa.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:12

    No. Your
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:13

    point is is well taken. They need to give each other permission to do it. So that if Rhonda Santa says it on Wednesday and then in the same news cycle, Glenn Youngkin says basically the same thing and then Tim Scott says, yeah, absolutely right. We need to turn the page, and I’m running out of names now.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:27

    But if
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:28

    they all start talking about this, at the same time, then it becomes a much more difficult target for Trump. I mean, he’s gonna lash out at any of them. And by the way, speaking of lashing out, these reports of, you know, his constant rage and everything, and then And apparently, is this this morning now that he’s on Glenbeck’s show, attacking Mitch McConnell, and and attacking Mitch McConnell’s wife again. Uh-huh. Well, I think he’s got a lot of pressure.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:53

    His wife is a big person for Chinese investment, you know, CocoCao. I don’t think that’s appropriate. No. I think Rick Scott would be much better than McConnell. Trump reiterated he’s not a fan of McConnell or his wife, former United States Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:07

    And he goes on. So he’s gonna make this as ugly as possible, and the only way the Republicans are going to be able to push back against him is to make the case, hey, you’re wonderful. We all love you. Right? Because they have to say that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:21

    But it’s it’s time to give you the gold watch. It’s
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:25

    so funny that you just were giving me a live update because Maggie Abramsman just tweeted, Trump is indeed furious this morning, particular about Oz. Blaming everyone who advised him to back us, including his own wife, describing it as not her best decision. Corning people close to now Melania’s in a crossfire, not just Elaine Chao. Yeah. You are right, Charlie, what you just said a few minutes ago.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:47

    He has to pick fights to displace the blame. And it’s gonna be a serious shit show. And I I think that, again, I’m just gonna enjoy it, but I wanna just highlight here that you and I are trying to help the Republicans with a strategy. We’re like giving them advice on how they can band together. And hold hands and not wear their pants and try to jump off at the same time.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:09

    I hope they’re listening. Yeah. I I
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:12

    would like to think they are listening,
  • Speaker 3
    0:42:14

    but we have, what, five six years worth of very solid experience of them not listening. Right. But this this
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:20

    does seem
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:20

    to be a moment, but then again This party has had so many off ramps Yeah. So many options. But but the one that will get their attention is you understand what Trump’s effect was on this election if they internalize the fact that, you know, it’s it’s obviously not about morality or about the constitution of the rule of law, it’s about power. And if they internalize the idea that he will cost them power, that he is the one republican who will lead them to defeat in twenty twenty four, then, you know, that might focus the minds. I mean, you know, we’ve appealed the conscience.
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:53

    We’ve appealed the principle and that is going nowhere. So how about just raw self interest? This guy is gonna fuck you over again. That’s what we always think.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:04

    But then you’re right. I think they’re afraid of their own voters. I mean, that’s this is, you know, what JBL always talks about is they they’re truly afraid of their own base. That
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:12

    is absolutely And that’s
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:13

    what keeps them coming back. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:14

    So in our second hour of wallowing in all of this, no. I just I’m just looking at the picture of, you know, The idea of the doctor Oz, Blake Masters, Doug Mastriano, and Lauren Beaubert all went down yesterday. Really extraordinary. I just have to throw in name because I know I know people think it’s obnoxious when I say I told you so, but I am so deeply frustrated about the Ron Johnson’s story. And look, I have made it very clear that I take responsibility for, you know, helping him and supporting him in the in the past.
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:44

    And pointing
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:44

    out that
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:45

    that his brain has been broken and he is deeply embarrassing figure. He was incredibly vulnerable. In Wisconsin, I think he he he was too far to the right knee, and he was just too crazy for Wisconsin. And if you look at the vote totals, every other Democrat running statewide won with the exception of Mandela Barnes, who, some people, wond that if you if you put an untested candidate who is an Apple researcher’s dream up there that you were basically throwing away a US senate seat. And and I think this was a tremendous lost opportunity.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:23

    The Democrats cleared the field got all the more centrist, delectable candidates to drop out. So Mandela Barnes could be the the nominee, and I feel like I’ve been screaming into the void and you look at the numbers here, this was an eminently winnable race in Wisconsin that they blew and I hope that they understand the lesson, although I’m skeptical of that as well. I couldn’t agree with you more,
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:46

    and there’s already progressives online who thought that if there was a huge red tsunami, they were gonna get slapped around this morning. And I think that they would have that Federman’s victory just shows that they should have had a bigger build back better package and you know, they had a great night and everything. And and I’m with you a hundred and two percent and have been for this entire campaign. It was a complete lost opportunity. And a cell phone and Mandela Barnes, just as you pointed out, doing worse than all the other democrats, and the governors like the quietest man on the on the planet gets gets reelected while Ron Johnson wins.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:21

    I mean Right. If if if
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:24

    if the Democratic candidate for senate had simply tracked with the governor, the democrats would be in control of the United States Senate this morning. Yeah. And there would be no ambiguity about it whatsoever, but they decided to go with whatever. Okay? So I’ve done this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:38

    And I understand that people are are going to be more angry about the I told you so, Charlie shut up about that and everything. I’m just saying, no, next time, people pay attention to these things. Yes. Alright. Hey, B.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:52

    Stoddart. Thank you so much for helping our post red drizzle wallow this morning. I appreciate it very much. And I’ve enjoyed it. So much
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:58

    fun. Thank you, Charlie. The Bowler podcast is
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:00

    produced by Katie Cooper with audio action by Jonathan Seres. I’m Charlie Sykes. Thank you for listening to today’s Bulwark podcast, and we’ll be back tomorrow. Do this all over again. You’re worried
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:18

    about the economy. Inflation is high, your paycheck doesn’t cover as much as it used to and we live under the threat of a looming recession. And sure, your doing okay, but you could be doing better. The afford anything podcast
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:28

    explains the economy and the market detailing how to make wise choices on the way you spend and invest. Afford anything
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    0:46:36

    talks about how to avoid common pitfalls, how to refine your mental models, and how to think about how to think. Make smarter choices and build a better life. Afford anything wherever you listen.
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