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Dana Milbank: The Alien Lizard Party

October 13, 2022
Notes
Transcript

Both parties could have waves, the new crop of House GOP nominees make Jim Jordan and Paul Gosar look sane, and MAGA Musk may lose his urban, coastal Tesla-buyers. Plus, exceptions for rape, incest, and Herschel Walker. Dana Milbank joins Charlie Sykes.

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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
    0:00:09

    Welcome to the Bulwark Podcast. I’m Charlie Sykes. Welcome back Dana Milbank, nationally syndicated op ed columnist for the Washington Post author of a new book called The Destructionists, The twenty five Year Crack Up of The Republican Party Dana, you’re probably gonna have to update that when it comes out in paper back, you know. I
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:28

    know I’ve already up to twenty seven year crack up, the twenty eight year crack up. That’s right. Then the number keeps changing, like, you know, strike outs in the on the scoreboard. This
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:38

    could be, like, one of those textbooks that have to be updated every year. Right? You know, noon. Right. Revise.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:44

    Revise additions.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:46

    Addition the forty year crack up of the Republican Party.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:49

    Yeah. Speaking of of which, I just have to start off by commenting on the incredible jury verdict against Alex Jones, you know, as I wrote in my newsletter this morning. I mean, you know, the just punishment would be for Alex Jones to roll up to the gates of hell completely dead broke. So but yesterday was a good start for all of the years of lying about murdered children, but I think it’s naive to think that somehow this is gonna sober up the right wing media culture that
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:18

    really advanced Alex Jones and continues to defend it. Yeah. I don’t think so. And who knew that conspiracy theory mongering was so lucrative that he might be able to come up with a billion dollars. But, you know, of course, it’s symbolic, you know, that he’ll never need to cough that up.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:33

    But you gotta think that these lawsuits against Fox News, against the likes of Pillow Guy, Mike Glendale, are still going on very similarly. So there is some recompense available out there and it may bankrupt them, but, you know, even if it’s not gonna get money to the actual victims of it, there is moral victory here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:54

    I think so too. And, you know, a billion dollar here, a billion dollars there before you know what it has up to some pretty significant money.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:00

    That’s right. Right. You one point four trillion. It’s the you’ve you’ve covered the deficit for the year.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:05

    I know this is getting old now, but, you know, watching him, he was live streaming actually when the verdict was coming down, treating it like it was a whole joke. When did Jerry announce that one of the plaintiffs named Robbie Parker, you know, was gonna get a hundred and twenty million dollars. Jones is pumping his fist yelling yay. And he’s, you know, talking about you know, come on, get those numbers up. Hilarious.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:25

    And of course, he used it as a chance to graft more, raise more money. Yeah. See, that doesn’t strike me as amazing. What is amazing to me is that other people can look at him and go, yeah, I wanna be on his side. I wanna be on his team.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:39

    You know, Marjorie Taylor Green is defending him, and Charlie Kirk is fending him and, like, why would you expend any moral bandwidth on this
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:47

    scrum sucking creep? Well, I think, you know, there is no shame. So I think in his world, it only confirms the conspiracy theories that they’re all out to get him. Right? I mean, so it’s a perfectly circular situation.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:00

    So any facts that come out to the contrary that show that he’s full of it are in fact evidence that he’s right over the target. It’s only a bigger conspiracy than he believed in the first place. None of this breaks through into, you know, that got the January sixth committee today. It doesn’t seem to matter. You know, they’ve got Trump dead to rights that’ll be outlined again, but that only confirms in the conspiracy crowd, that they’re just out to get him, that it’s all fake, that it’s all rigged, that it’s all set up.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:28

    Well, this is also how all of the incentives has changed, because I am old enough to remember that an accusation of racism or anti Semitism or of, you know, serial deception about dead kids would have been negative.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:41

    You you said maybe a little. Yeah. Would have
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:44

    had negative consequences when Republicans would have, you know, you know, turned their backs on you when it would have been excommunicated. William f Buckley junior had a long and winding road to the point where, you know, he had, you know, threw all the any semites out of the conservative movement. And now you look at what you’re talking about, you know, the, you know, self confirmation. You have, you know, Kanye West engaging and, you know, complete anti Semitism and everybody’s kind of struggling their shoulders even then Shapiro is offering rationalizations. You have Tommy Tuberville down in Alabama — Mhmm.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:15

    — blatantly racist. And it’s not just that they’re shrugging it, that they’re sort of normalizing it. It’s now become sort of a a badge of honor. So — Yes. — at one time, this would have been really negative.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:26

    Now, you’re accused of being, hey, that’s any semantic. That’s that’s a lie. That is that is racist. They now then use this as a fundraising tool. See, I am a victim.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:36

    I am a martyr for challenging the regime. It’s almost become
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:40

    a positive — Yes. — and it’s reflective to say, no, it’s actually the other side. That is the racist. That is the other side. That is fomenting violence.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:48

    By the very fact that they’re criticizing me, I mean, I think it was just yesterday Peter Tealspack in Arizona came out with just a flagrantly racist ad against Mark Kelly even, you know, photoshopping a sombrero onto him. Like, you could not get any more of a caricature than that. There won’t be any apology forthcoming. And, you know, and this is a campaign when in theory he’s trying to reach out to the Latino vote. There’s no shame, there’s no consequence, and indeed, it used to be sort of an undertone, but now it’s the melody.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:21

    It works to your advantage. You know, the idea of standing by the January sixth insurrectionist is now required if you’re a candidate in the party. It’s not just something to be widely tolerated. You’re supposed to be out there — Yep. — saying the election is rigged.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:35

    And in fact, we must only vote on paper ballots and count them by hand, by candlelight, and deliver them by horse drawn carriage.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:42

    Well, you wrote about that Tommy Tupperbell thing. I mean, we’ve mentioned this before, but it it’s worth spending a little just a moment because this sort of thing is as I said, you know, used to be there used to be a different sort of reaction to it. You know, when he talks about, you know, crime, you know, that the Democrats want reparations for the, you know, the descendants of enslaved people because they think the people who do the crime or owed that bullshit. And this was the biggest applause line of the rally, at least it sounded
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:07

    like. Yeah. That’s the point. It’s not just that somebody got up there and said something Chris, it’s that that is exactly what the audience wanted to hear. You know, I went through the facts of the matter that Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:19

    Yes. Crime definitely soared in twenty twenty largely because of the pandemic. It’s not soaring now. It’s not really dropping either, but we’re not currently in some huge crime wave. The majority of violent crime in this country is not done by people with black skin.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:36

    It’s done by people with white skin. And, you know, if you actually look at one of the most violent parts of the country, the highest per capita homicide rates? Well, it is now what it has always been. Southern states. So the year ends in an even number, and it’s the fall, it’s gonna be everybody.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:53

    Be frightened about crime. Now, that’s been going on forever and certainly given relatively high crime rates, relative you know, recent decades, so you can expect that now. But just to, you know, always saying what what had been the quiet part out loud saying, the people who want reparations are the people who do the crimes, you know, likely putting the sombrero unmarked Kelly’s head. It’s just right out there. There’s no dog whistling anymore.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:19

    Well, and the audience knows exactly
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:21

    what’s going on here. I mean, they’re they’re not being misled. I mean, they are cheering and stomping their feet because they go, wow, he he went there. He did this. Well, you pointed out in one of your columns that the congressional leadership fund, which is the, you know, super PAC affiliated with Kevin McCarthy, has emphasized crime more than any other topic except for the economy in in the ads.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:41

    And, of course, this is Trump’s theme. You know, Trump had a rally and he said, murder, shooting, stabbing, rapes, car jacking, or skyrocketing, bloodthirsty criminals or laying waste into Democrat run cities. Crime is rampant like never before. That really is the dominant message from Republicans. Or let me say that that seems to be the the message that is working for them right now across the country.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:06

    Yeah. And it and it works steadily. And, you know,
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:08

    just as we’re saying that, you know, Alex Jones is perfectly free to say whatever he wants because his listeners are insulated from any contrary view and any information they get that contradicts that will only be seen as confirmation that his conspiracy is correct. In the first place, I think it’s true of crime as well or the immigration crisis. It doesn’t actually matter what the facts are on the ground. It just permeated the extent to it. So if those of us who live in the fact based community essentially have no ability to push back against this, we can point out that it’s not true.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:44

    You know, most of the country can know that it’s not true. But the people who are standing there cheering when Tuberville says that black people are the ones who commit crime in America, they’re not being reached with this contrary information. I don’t know whether you saw it last night,
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:58

    but United Glazius I think it might have been triggered by your peace. Mattis has went off on Twitter yesterday afternoon about conservatives who were struggling to blame Liberals for a national increase in murder in in twenty twenty. And of course, one of the arguments that you hear is that this crime wave, the violence, happened because, you know, cops all around the country sort of went on this surfactant strike over the Black Lives Matter protest host George Floyd even in the Mitch McConnell’s speech writer replied to Inclasius’s thread saying that there was a ferguson effect going on nationwide in twenty twenty? What do you think? There
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:35

    are a whole bunch of things going on in twenty twenty. I mean, I’m not a criminologist, but as I understand it, it’s been teased out in there that certainly could have been an effect. It certainly wasn’t the dominant effect. The pandemic reshaped our lives in so many ways. And we’re often hearing right now from the Republicans.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:55

    When Donald Trump was in office, you know, we weren’t having so many immigrants trying to get into the country. Gas prices were so much lower. Well, there’s a very good reason for that. Because the economy would had completely collapsed and no immigrants wanted to come into the country. Nobody was buying gas because there was no business being conducted.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:13

    And yes, crime rates were soaring because our entire society had been turned on its head by the pandemic, and only a small piece of that was you know, black lives matter and and the
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:25

    rest. Well, let’s talk about another big story today, the January sixth committee perhaps having its final hearing. Now by the time people hear this podcast, they’ll know a lot more than we know now, but I think we’re getting a pretty good preview. This is what the New York Times reported this morning the House Committee investigating the January sixth attack is planning on Thursday to present a sweeping summation of its case against former president Donald j Trump at what could be its final hearing seeking to reveal damaging I’m sorry, damning new evidence about mister Trump’s state of mind and his central role in the effort to overturn the twenty twenty election. So this is being billed as a sweeping summation of its case.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:10

    It’s not clear whether there’s any bombshell new evidence. It is just sort of, like, perhaps just reminding us of this side. So give me your sense of where we’re at in this investigation. Well, I
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:21

    like I like your Freudian slip. It’s damning, not but not necessary early damage — Yeah. — in the slightest. But it does sound like a summation. They’ve given a pretty good preview of it that, you know, all members as the committee will speak.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:35

    Whenever I hear that as somebody, you know, who will be in the room covering and I, you know, feel like, alright. We’re gonna need some red bowl here. You don’t wanna have a day full of speeches, but there is all kinds of new evidence, mostly the secret service emails that will confirm what we’ve seen earlier. And apparently a whole lot of footage of Roger Stone. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough footage.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:55

    That’s what I’m most interested in. Roger Stone. So you know, it will solidify what the committee has done already and that they have Donald Trump dead to rights. For any number of potential crimes and even taking out of the realm of crime, you know, just very clearly his role. Inplementing this violence, attempting to overthrow the election, and indeed doing nothing or indeed stoking the violence when others were trying to get him to stop.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:22

    So we know that. We will know that to an even greater extent after today. There are signs that it’s had some effect in public opinion. I noticed this Yahoo News, Yougov poll. You know, the number of Republicans who believe the big lie has over time drifted down, you know, from two thirds sixty six percent to an average of sixty percent.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:45

    Okay. Well, that’s not great. But but it’s, you know, headed in the right direction. And, you know, maybe that’s a January sixth committee effect. And, you know, maybe over time, the truth does eventually catch up and win out if things continue to go in that direction.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:01

    So that’s a little bit hopeful. But we’ve also seen that, you know, this is having really zero mention from
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:07

    either side on the campaign trail. Yeah. I’m not seeing a lot of ads about it as well. So the hearing is plan for two and a half hours with a ten minute break, and it will be the panels. First without any live testimony from witness I’m guessing you’re gonna be gonna get a lot of video.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:22

    Are you gonna be in the room to do? Did
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:23

    I hear you right? I’m gonna be in the room. I’ve got one of the coveted seats. You know, I love to do the scene of these hearings that problem is it’s kinda hard to do the scene because everybody on the panel agrees and you don’t have, you know, Jim Jordan lobbing spitballs. So it’s it’s a little hard to cover from that point of view, but at least in the past, you know, there’ve always been surprises and it’s always been ripping.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:44

    And the fact that aren’t live witnesses doesn’t mean there won’t be. Video tape testimony, and that’s been some of the the the best stuff in the past too. Well, and
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:52

    they’ve also done a really good job of having some surprises that, you know, every day we’ve done this I think I’ve done a podcast where I say, well, we have a pretty good idea of what ended no. Right. We they actually have they have something and we don’t know what it’s going to be. I’m I’m very interested
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:07

    in finding
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:07

    out what we’re gonna learn about the secret service and and and what what those we say. You
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:12

    did not have, you know, cleaning catch up off the wall in the Oval Office on your Bingo card. I I didn’t either. Did not have trying to strangle the head of his secret purpose to tell. So, yes, our listeners will know a great deal more than we do. Sure.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:26

    So you wrote another very interesting piece about the the class of twenty twenty two. I mean, we we’ve spent a lot of time and attention focusing on the senate candidates, you know, because they’re they’re so colorful and lively. But but you you took time out to focus on some of the Republican nominees for the House, which in many ways may be even more significant because if conventional wisdom is correct and the Republicans take control of the House, these folks will be in the majority. So could we just, like, walk through some of them? Tell me about that North Carolina
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:59

    woman. Oh, goodness gracious. The one who hit her husband with an alarm
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:04

    clock and then try to hit another person with a car and punching her daughter And she’s the Republican. Yeah. Congress. And and let’s be, you know, and let’s be clear
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:14

    that if she does deny doing all these, things. On the other hand, she also does believe that humanoid reptiles are governing the United States of America. So the denials may need to be taken with a grain of salt. So, yes, she denies actually striking one of her ex husband’s with a frying pan. But the allegations, in fact, she missed him with it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:35

    I think that was the same ex husband she tried to run over with the car he escaped. And a totally different ex husband is the one who got hit with the alarm clock. I see. Okay. And then, yes, there was and there was also the daughter alleging domestic abuse.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:50

    In terms of punching. Well, tell me more
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:52

    about the reptiles. You
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:54

    haven’t been listening to Alex Jones nothing because there are in No. I
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:57

    haven’t. The
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:58

    race I guess, you’d call it if we can use that term of humanoid reptiles who have invaded, I guess. I don’t think they they’re terrestrial. They are, in fact, running the government. Joe Biden is one of them. Do you know it’s an extension of QAnon?
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:13

    Dana. It’s true. Dana. People actually believe it. There are people in America who believe it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:19

    And some of them may be in the in the new congressional majority, now that this is this is a competitive seat. Got a lot of queuing on believers in there. You’ve got a lot sort of who appraise the the Proud Boys. You’ve got the guy in Ohio who painted his lawn with a hundred twenty gallons of blue paint to make a a pro Trump sign and marches around in his ads carrying weapon saying he’ll do whatever it takes in a civil war to get his country back. Now it’s not clear, you know, how much military experience he has because he’s the guy who actually lied about his military record.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:54

    I mean, there are so many of them, and I only picked out the ones who were in sort of the two dozen most competitive race you know, if you broaden it out a bit, I was just reading this morning, it happened. I think just yesterday in Maine, the Republican candidate running against Shelly Pingree, he compared lobster regulations to child rate. Well, who hasn’t? I mean, now. Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:14

    I mean, I mean, I’m sure I’m sure the lobsters feel that way. I’ve often thought so. I mean, if you’re crestation, you’re, you know, certainly feeling that this is an unsure environment. I don’t wanna beat the dead at Quanta. Sure.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:25

    But I can’t you and I have engaged and we can engage in, you know, rhetorical hyperbole about, you know, lizard people and we can talk about swamp creatures and you know, Donald Trump’s, you know, lizard instincts and everything. But this candidate and apparently some people on Alex Jones’s show believe that actual aliens came from some other planet to this planet. Yes. And that they are in positions of political power. That is correct.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:56

    These are people who are allowed out on their own unsupervised. That
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:02

    that’s right. In fairness, I’m not I’m not up on it enough to know how the reptilian humanoids got here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:08

    Whether it
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:09

    was UFO or or whether they were here to start with and and we didn’t know about it. So I’m not up to that level, but I mean, is that entirely different. I mean, we started q and on with the notion that satanic Democrats who run the government have been satanic pedophiles. Petaphos. Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:25

    But so they’ve but but the reason they’ve been trafficking these pedophiles is so they can take their adrenal glands and distill adrenal chrome from it. And then they consume the adrenal chrome stolen from these children. It is sort of a fountain of use that allows them to live and be useful forever. I don’t know how the squares with president Biden since he’s clearly needs a little more adrena
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:50

    chrome. So when you do the update on your book, you might, at some point, you know, in two thousand and forty, say, you know, I am old enough to remember when we thought that March retailer green was dangerous. Looking back on that kinder gentle or more innocent time, where people just denied the election and they didn’t actually believe in satanic reptiles running America. Right. Well, think of her as
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:16

    the as the Bob Michael or the — Yeah. — Bob, all of
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:19

    our time. Yeah. The good old days. Can we get back to the Republican Party? You know, that we’re at the party of Paul Gosart and Louis Gomer.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:26

    I mean, don’t you feel nostalgic for for those days? See, the scary thing about your piece though is that you you go through all of these various you know, stories including, you know, one guy who in Wisconsin who I think is more likely than not to win a the flip of Democratic seat. His name is Derek Van Wharton. Who actually used campaign funds from his last failed run to travel the the January sixth protest. So but, you know, so he’s an election denier January six guy, and he’s likely to be elected to come.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:53

    Yeah. And was
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:53

    and was photographed, you know, on the on the wrong side of police barricades. Yeah. No. I think he’s
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:58

    he’s probably gonna win in that strict. So, I mean, this is the interesting thing that, you know, they all could be part of the Republican majority. We’re not talking about we’re not just picking some random, mixed centric, crazy person who is, you know, in the minority in the legislature in Oklahoma.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:16

    Absolutely. That’s why I picked from the two dozen most competitive races targeted by both parties. And look, if, you know, assuming the Republicans take over the house, which I I think is more likely than not. It’s not going to be by a huge majority most likely. So, you know, five or ten seats, that means the balance of power will be held by those who participated in in some way in the insurrection, you know, have sympathies for q and on.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:43

    And the Proud Boys. I don’t know if there will be ten lizard humanoid believers in the caucus, but each election brings a whole new iteration of crazy. So the freedom caucus will look positively sane compared to the latest crop to come in. And there’s a perfectly good reason for that. It’s when it’s when you have so few competitor seats.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:03

    The only contest is in the primary, and the only way you can win the primary is by getting attention by being the most out ranges the most uncompromising. So it’s perfectly logical that this is what’s happening. So Kelly Cooper
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:15

    in Arizona wants the January sixth riders released on day one. First thing, we’re just absolute amnesty, political, let them know. The alarm clock woman wants executions for people who stole the twenty twenty election. She wants the general penalty. She
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:30

    tweeted she wants trials and executions, but it came out as trails and executions. So It may not have been given a whole lot of forethought. And this
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:37

    this may not be sexy, but it’s sort of typical of Caroline Levitt, Levitt nominate up in New Hampshire. Says that the alleged climate change is is manufactured by the Democrat Party. Right. And that’s that’s practically normal. That’s what I’m saying.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:51

    We we keep moving the over and window of this was really extreme and this was really crazy. You write that the would be Republican class of twenty two is extraordinary in the number of odd balls and extremists in its ranks This is no accident, the trend in Republican primaries accelerated by Trump has favored those with the most eye popping tapestry of conspiracy theories in unyielding positions GOP primaries are dominated by a sliver of the electorate on the far right, which, of course, is true, but and maybe this is premature, but you look around the country and you go, and yet all of these people might be elected in a general election — Mhmm. — again, There used to be this world in which if you nominated a crazy, you guaranteed you would lose the general election. But Hershel Walker is competitive. Blakin’ Masters is competitive.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:39

    You know, obviously, JD Vance is competitive. These real serious nut jobs in the house are all potential
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:47

    new congresspeople. Yes. Because voters will vote for them. So these are, you know, at least talking in the case of the house. And I think it applies to a lot of the the senate races you mentioned.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:57

    These are the competitive districts. As Trump has proven, you know, if you can turn out your people in extraordinary numbers, you can win despite not necessarily having a majority approval of the public. So I think that’s what’s potentially happening in this case. You know, you could look at it the other way around and say, given this environment, if the Republicans had not nominated all these matters. They’d be in a much better position, certainly in the senate.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:26

    And I would argue, substantially better in the house too, given the the environment out there with inflation and the economy and everything else. So you could look at it as a half full situation saying yes, they still are being punished for having these views, but not to the extent that they were, and I think that’s that the tribal nature of politics that you just have to rally around your guy. You know, Charlie, I didn’t even include abortion in this. You know, a lot of people are saying, you know, no abortion and no exceptions. I did include one guy who said he would allow for an exception.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:02

    I think he’s in New Hampshire would allow for exception for the life of the mother. But first, she would have to go through a panel to determine whether she’s allowed to live or not. So so we we now actually have a guy calling for death panels, you know, after the, you know, the the fiction of the death panels from Obamacare. There is now an actual call for death penalty. So Oh, I think.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:27

    There
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:27

    there does seem to be an emergency, at least national republican consensus that you can have exceptions for rape, incest, and racial walker. That’s right. I have three big exceptions. Yes. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:39

    That’s right. Hershel Walker. What what do you think the odds are that Hershel Walker is gonna tell his horny Bull story again? You know, the story of the of the Bull who’s, you know, impregnated all those cows and wants to impregnate more. I just love replaying the video.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:51

    Just trying to see inside what’s going on inside Rick Scott’s head as he’s as he’s watching all of this. You know? I mean, Rick, you bought the ticket. You take the freaking ride, but first to walk a man. He’s
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:04

    been so good for so long too. Those in our profession. But I remember when I was excited just about him saying that, you know, our good air goes to China and they send back bad air. And and I thought he was off his rocker then, but
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:21

    So, you know, people sometimes forget that, you know, senators cast votes yes. But they also are supposed to do some legislative work that will deal with complicated public policy. There once was a time, believe it or not. I don’t think I’m making this up. I mean, when when serious legislators in the United States Senate would sit down and they would hash out complex pieces of public policy — Mhmm.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:46

    — and laws. And would actually make a policy. Can anyone seriously imagine Hershel Walker sitting through a subcommittee meeting doing that sort of thing? Yes. I can
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:58

    picture him talking with Tommy Tuberville, the aforementioned Tuberville, who has said that the three branches of government are the House, the Senate, and the executives. So he he will he will tutor Hershel Walker on how to get his legislation into
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:16

    law. Obviously, it’s easy now to dunk on Madison Hawthorne who admitted that he really wasn’t that interested in legislation. So he didn’t have a legislative staff. He just had a PR staff. And now apparently, he has no staff whatsoever.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:28

    He’s kinda closed up shop and, like, you know, if you’re one of his constituents, hey, you know, screw off. In in in some ways, he was just more honest about it. Like, no, I’m I’m here to be a a you know, a a troll a social media troll celebrity. I’m not interested in legislation, which is really not any different than what you’re seeing Ted Cruz has become or that doctor Oz would be or that Hershel Walker would be it as a an entire class of politicians that apparently just have no interest whatsoever in doing the job of government, which is actually a job. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:58

    I
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:59

    mean, it’s actually a responsibility. It should be, but in this too is totally rational. There was a time when, you know, seniority mattered. You worked your way up the ranks, and then you got to write legislation. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:10

    So these folks saying, well, heck, I can skip all of that and have a tremendous amount of influence if I can just get myself on to Fox News. John Vayner wrote about Michelle Bachman doing this — Yeah. — you know, some period. It was a key moment. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:23

    So and and, you know, it it’s been this realization that the way to power in Washington as not being a, you know, a broker of deals or some idea guy who comes up with legislation and sells it, but of just getting attention by being the most outrageous, then you have power. That’s what that’s what power is right now. Well speaking of
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:43

    power, you wanna talk about Elon Musk for a moment. Oh, yes. Because I’m looking at this headline in your paper, the Washington Post, Musk appeasement of Putin in China. Stoke’s fears of new Twitter policies. That’s a hell of that line.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:59

    So can we just like, okay. Can we slow this down a little bit? Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, is actively pushing an aggressive agenda of appeasement, not just of the monster of Ukraine, but also of China. The person most likely to own Twitter next month has proposed solving the war in Ukraine by letting Russia keep territory one praise from a top Chinese diplomat for suggesting that China take control of Taiwan and welcome a widely followed celebrity back to Twitter who had just had his Instagram account suspended for threatening Jews all within the past week as I That’s right. And it and it’s only Thursday.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:37

    I
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:38

    mean, I’m
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:38

    is is twenty twenty two to sort of the year of the oligarch and and how is that working out for us? But let’s just I’m sorry.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:44

    That’s I’m I’m getting hit in my So Elon Musk, Dana, what the hell? It’s intrigued me all along is what this does to his you know, loyal customer base, you know, the wealthy urban coastal progressive who’s buying a a Tesla, the people who can afford, get get you’re not you’re not buying a Tesla if you’re living out in rural America. So there are signs that it’s beginning to hurt. Now my column on this written not coming out till Friday. So I don’t want any of your listeners to steal it, but I have suggested that Musk is gonna need to replace these customers.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:19

    And the obvious way to do this is to release the Tesla model q and go for some of those who actually do want the humanoid reptilian skin seats in there, Tesla. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:31

    So, you know, bookmark this. Because, you know, I think I think in your paper back update edition, it’ll say, when I first wrote this column, I thought it was a joke. However, you said, here it is. There are actually Tesla’s running on
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:44

    Adrena Chrome and Hydroxychloroquine right now. So I mean, Elon Musk has
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:47

    had, you know, a series of success. He’s also had failures, but I think a this is another illustration of the non transferability of certain successful skills that you can be successful doing a and be a complete idiot here. But this story about how he is appeasing Vladimir Putin and maybe even shutting, you know, not allowing the Ukrainians to use StarLink in Crimea, in suggesting, at a time of real international tension that we just turn over Taiwan no. Forget about Taiwan. Taiwan is democracy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:19

    It is sort of breathless that and and and the more he says these things, the more he becomes a sort of an iconic figure on the right, which is really so weird for those of us that remember when conservative Republicans did not want to appease the Russians, did not want to appease the Chinese. Yeah. This is where my head’s starting to hurt here, Dana. One of the big themes of, you know, Trump world is we need to be tougher on China. We need to go after China.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:48

    We need to have a hard line on China. And here’s Elon Musk base. Yeah. Let’s give them Taiwan and everybody’s go. Oh, yes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:55

    Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, he is denying that he actually spoke with Putin before giving out the the pro Putin peace plan for Ukraine. But to me, that’s like, okay, fine. It’s the the point was in the in the policy that he’s proposing, not where the thing actually came from.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:13

    This is, you know, this has been some time in the making. I guess, over the last six months is pretty much gone full Maga. I don’t see how that works as a Tesla strategy or as a Twitter strategy. He may wind up doing a great deal of harm to both. So I guess we can only assume that he actually means it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:32

    So
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:32

    in in a few minutes we have right now, I have been reluctant to engage in much forecasting on this show because I still suffer from PTSD with with all of the projections back from twenty sixteen, twenty eighteen, twenty twenty. So give me your sense of the trends you’re seeing in the midterm. You know, the conventional wisdom has swung from it’s going to be this massive Republican wave to wait, the democrats are coming back. Their job has changed everything to no. On third thought, maybe the Republicans are picking up moment.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:04

    Where where are we at here? Yeah. And I
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:06

    think it keeps whipsawing back and forth because it depends on which part of the elephant you’re looking at. Right. There’s a huge turnout to be expected from Republicans, but it also looks like there’s gonna be huge turnout from Democrats. So, you know, note that I’m not making a prediction for what the outcome is gonna be other than there are a lot of people feeling very passionate about the election right now and are gonna be turning out in extraordinary numbers for a midterm election and possibly even getting close to presidential level. So I I mean, I suppose that’s healthy for democracy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:39

    It it unfortunately, it took, you know, the near death of democracy to make people show up. But I think people saying there’s gonna be a Republican wave and people saying there’s this huge Democratic backlash. They both could be right. That is interesting. Now,
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:51

    I hate myself for saying this, but it could all come down to turnout. Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:55

    All turned down. Yeah. No.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:58

    Well, let me you know, there’s there’s a new pullout in Wisconsin, and and it is kind of interesting. It shows Ron Johnson opening up a six point lead over Mandela Barnes among likely voters, which is pretty bad for Barnes. But when you look at all registered voters, it’s a dead heat. So what it means is that the larger the turnout, the better it is for Democrats. So if it is a traditional off your election, which has lower turnout, then it’s gonna be very very good for Republicans.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:26

    If it is a massive turnout of Democrats like you see in a presidential election year — Mhmm. — then, you know, then the result could be much, much tighter. So, I mean, the fact that you have two different pictures based on likely VirTra’s registered I have to say my sense is at this point in the election, those likely polls are the ones to pay attention to.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:47

    Yeah. That’s right to the extent you pay attention. To any of these polls. I mean, it’s it’s just a lot of garbage out there right now. But, you know, if you looked at that, Ron Johnson poll, I think the the it wasn’t the spread so much as I think he was at fifty two percent.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:59

    So, you know, if you got an incumbent scoring above fifty percent, he’s probably in good shape. And I I mean, I think you’ve said this as well. I you know, Ron Johnson has been in pretty good shape, you know, throughout this election. I don’t think Democrats had it very high on their list of bumping him off much as they much as they would have liked to. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:16

    And, you know, the question of whether Mandela Barnes is the candidate for that. But anyway, where they, you know, they are where they are. So it’s a competitive race. That’s all we can say for sure. What’s interesting about this race and
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:26

    I I know that people are tired of me talking about it, but the Republicans and Johnson or pounding Mandela Barnes on a regular basis for being too left wing, for being too soft on crime, for being too much of a socialist. And most of Barnes’s ads — Mhmm. — have been, no, no, no, I’m a regular guy. I am not that. I am, you know, like, you know, like, in the last night after watching, like, in six ads in a row about how dangerous Mandela Barnes is going to be and how he’s going to destroy the economy and destroy your neighborhoods.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:53

    The Mandela Barnes Edge shows him buying milk. And that he knows the price of milk, which is, okay, not not really counter punching. This morning to wake up, finding out that, you know, he’s calling in the cattle right now and he’s gonna be bringing in Bernie in.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:07

    Oh, good. So so here is all
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:08

    of the you know, I am not I’m not a left wing. I’m not it’s bring in Bernadette.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:15

    There’s a closing argument, not the intended one. There’s a there’s my hand on my face again or my my head on
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:20

    my desk, whatever. Dana Millbank, thank you so much for joining us. It is always a pleasure, Dana’s nationally syndicated op ed columnist for The Washington Post, and you should definitely read his new book. The destruction is the twenty five year crack up of the Republican Party. Dana, thanks for coming on today.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:34

    Thank you, Charlie. Pleasure is mine, and thank you all for listening to today’s Bulwark podcast. I’m Charlie Sykes. We’ll be back tomorrow and we will do this all over again. You’re worried about the economy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:52

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    0:36:04

    the economy and the market detailing how to make wise choices on the way you spend and invest. Afford anything
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