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Did Colorado’s Supreme Court Do the Right Thing?

December 22, 2023
Notes
Transcript
Eric Edelman joins the group to consider whether Trump should be barred by 14th amendment, prospects for Ukraine, and whether Americans’ sour views on the economy are right or wrong.

highlights / lowlights 

Mona: Right-wing pundits tremble in fear of … tap-dancing, by Catherine Rampell (WaPo)

Eric: The mystery of the missing binder: How a collection of raw Russian intelligence disappeared under Trump (CNN) / Trump repeats ‘poisoning the blood’ anti-immigrant remark (Reuters)

Damon: Rudy Giuliani’s descent into bankruptcy, a personal story.

Linda: Florida Republican Party censures chairman Christian Ziegler, by Lori Rozsa (WaPo)

Bill: Rudy Giuliani files for bankruptcy following $146 million defamation suit judgment

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
    0:00:00

    This podcast is brought to you by HelloFresh. Welcome to beg Beg to Differ, the Bulwark weekly roundtable discussion featuring civil conversation across political spectrum. We range from center left to center right. I’m Mona Charen, syndicated columnist and policy editor at the Bulwark, And I’m joined by our regulars, Will Saletan of the Bookings institution in the Wall Street Journal. Damon Linker, who writes the sub stack newsletter notes from the middle ground, and Linda Chavez of the Niskannon Center.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:39

    Our special guest this week is Eric Adelman, counselor at the Center for Strategic and budgetary Assessment, former ambassador to Turkey and Finland, and most important, host of another Bulwark podcast, an excellent podcast shield of the Republic. Well, welcome, one and all. Well, the entire commentary it was a buzz for the last twenty four hours regarding the Colorado Supreme Court ruling that Trump is indeed ineligible to be on the Colorado ballot because he is an insurrectionist. It was a four three decision by the Colorado Supreme Court, all of whose members were appointed by Democratic governors. So they dealt with a number of important issues and laid out their reasoning very clearly including defining the term insurrection.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:39

    And I’m just gonna quote this quick few sentences because I think it was very well stated. The court wrote, for purposes of deciding this case, we need not adopt a single, all encompassing definition of the word insurrection. Rather it suffices for us to conclude that any definition of insurrection for purposes of Section three would encompass a asserted and public use of force or threat of force by a group of people to hinder or prevent the US government from taking the actions necessary to accomplish a peaceful transfer of power in this country. Okay. So there are many aspects of this decision to discuss I think we have some disagreement in our own panel.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:24

    And since we’re called Beg to Differ, we’re gonna do that. Damon, why don’t you tell us what you don’t like about this decision?
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:31

    Okay. I feel a little bit like watching our politics and anticipating the next ten or eleven months Like, I’m watching a deadly car crash unfolding in slow motion. Now, Trump winning would be incredibly dangerous. But I also think trying to prevent him from competing could be equally bad. So look, in my view, America is deep in the throes of what you might call a legitimacy crisis.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:02

    We have one of our two parties, the GOP, increasingly wedded to the populist line that our institutions are corrupt using high minded appeals to principle to conceal efforts to grab and hold power and defiance of democratic public opinion. Now I think this is largely wrong, a kind of fever, dream, paranoid, conspiratorial, and nonsense. And I blame a long string of figures on the right including rush limbaugh, Roger Ailes, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Longwell, and many others on down to at the very pinnacle, Donald Trump, for pushing this line and getting people to believe it. But whatever its origins, the resulting crisis is real. That’s where this fourteenth amendment case comes in in my view.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:50

    The relevant section three of the fourteenth amendment was written in reference to members of the Confederacy who literally seceded from the union took up arms against it. Fought a war for four long bloody years and then surrendered on the battlefield and defeat. And we’re being asked to apply this to Trump for his role in the violence of January six. Now as much as I despise Trump for what he did that day, the days leading up to that day. And I have myself used the term insurrection to describe it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:25

    I don’t think that four out of seven judges on the Colorado Supreme Court stand an analogous relation to Trump as the union did to the defeated confederacy. Tens of millions of Americans don’t think Trump did anything wrong that day, let alone that it constituted an insurrection against the United States. And moreover neither, apparently, does Jack Smith, who, I note, did not indite Trump under the federal statute for insurrect In fact, Smith didn’t even charge Trump with any crime directly linking him to violence on January sixth. And of course, Trump hasn’t yet been convicted of a single crime on any charge. So by what definition is he guilty of insurrection as stated in section three of the fourteenth amendment.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:13

    And I, of course, say that knowing Mona, what you said. And quoting the ruling, I guess I just disagree with the the four judges there. Final point I’ll make. And what this looks like, I think, is corroborating evidence for the rights populist line about the country and its institutions. Unlike the delusions, about a stolen election.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:35

    This one is actually happening. The Colorado Supreme Court is actually trying to prevent the man currently pulling at sixty three percent in the primary pulls from appearing on ballots. And they’re even trying to prevent voters from writing him in on the basis of what they themselves, the people who maybe most despise Trump think should be his fate. They’re saying in effect, sorry. You’re not gonna be allowed to vote for him.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:02

    We say so and you have to trust us and defer to us. We interpret the rules and we know better than you do. And I don’t think that is gonna fly in a country in the throes of the legitimacy crisis as I defined it. So there you go. There’s my case.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:19

    Okay. Linda Chavez, what do you say?
  • Speaker 3
    0:06:21

    Well, I beg to differ. And I don’t necessarily beg to differ on the politics. I think that Donald Trump has managed to turn every one of his charges since ninety one felonies charged against him into fundraising bonanza and making him a victim that for some reason attracts all sorts of other people who also think they’re victims. So I don’t disagree at all with Damon on the politics, but I will say that I try to maintain some consistency in my views about the law and the constitution and the role of the courts. And I am as a conservative, a textualist.
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:04

    I read the words. I try to interpret what they say and then I apply them to a situation. And I think if you read the fourteenth amendment, and you read its words, I think that Donald Trump is, in fact, disqualified from being president. Now Damon makes the point that he’s never been found guilty in a court of law. He hasn’t been charged with, sedition or insurrection.
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:35

    And that, you know, I assume what he’s saying is that that would be necessary. Well, the Colorado Court actually did a very thorough job I thought of dealing with the issue of whether or not Donald Trump was involved in an insurrection. And they relied very heavily on the testimony and the report of the January sixth committee. A report that if I’m not mistaken, was, in fact, adopted exactly a year ago. And so the committee after hearing team witnesses, accumulating, you know, thousands and thousands of, of pages of evidence did in fact say that Donald Trump was involved in insurrection.
  • Speaker 3
    0:08:25

    Not only in summoning the crowd to the ellipse and then essentially sending them to the hill to fight like hell in his own words but also in terms of his actions while the violence was going on. So I think there was an insurrection and that Donald Trump was part of that direction, and he has certainly given aid and comfort to those some of whom have, in fact, been found guilty. Of, a rebellion and an and an insurrection. Some of the defendants who’ve been charged have, in fact, been found guilty, and Donald Trump has made it very clear that if he’s elected president, he is going to actually pardon those people, people who were convicted by a jury of their peers. Now, you know, I don’t always like the results of court decisions.
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:14

    You know, we we’ve talked a lot here about the Dops decision. I don’t like the dobbs decision, but as somebody who is a textualist, I don’t think the dobbs decision was wrong. I thought the Roe V, Wade, original decision, was not a correct legal decision. So I may or may not like what the outcome of of this decision by this the Supreme Court in Colorado is. And I think that the question is how is the US Supreme Court going to react to this?
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:50

    And if the members of that court, the conservatives on that court were consistent In their judicial philosophy of reading the text of the law and applying it, I think they will affirm at least some of them. And, you know, it would be unfortunate if it came down just to a a five to four decision affirming it. But, you know, we don’t always like the decisions, but but liking the law is very different than being consistent in your judicial philosophy and sticking to the words that are written within the constitution.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:24

    So, Eric, regarding the, question of, that Trump not having been charged with insurrection, not having been convicted of insurrection. Other critics point out that none of the thousands of former Confederate officers, who were disqualified by this part of the fourteenth amendment, were tried either for insurrection. It was just assumed that if you had taken up arms against the country that you were at one time an insurrectionist, so they didn’t get tried either And then there are objections that this is undemocratic, but of course lots of aspects of the Constitution. I’m I’m just being devil’s advocate here. I haven’t revealed my own views on this yet, but It is observed that many aspects of the constitution are not democratic either.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:14

    I mean, we don’t have a pure democracy. Thank god. The first amendment says Congress shall make no law. A bridging freedom of the press. Well, that’s that’s anti democratic suppose a majority of the American people want such a law.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:27

    Sorry, can’t have it. So what’s your reaction to all this? I think you said you have mixed feelings.
  • Speaker 4
    0:11:33

    Yeah. I mean, So first, Mona, you know, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV or podcasts. But as Woody Allen said in one of his early films, you know, I have really mixed feelings about this. Let me start actually with where I kind of agree with Damon. Damon in the article he wrote for CNN said that we would have been spared all this if the United States Senate had done its job back in February of twenty one and convicted, Trump in the second impeachment, and therefore, debarred him from ever holding federal office again.
  • Speaker 4
    0:12:06

    And I agree with that. But of course, the argument that was made at the time was this was something that the courts would have to to deal with. And so now we’re left with the courts, dealing with it. I guess I find myself persuaded by judge Michael Ludig, who said after the Colorado Supreme Court decision came out that he found the logic unassailable, a president Biden said, I think what most Americans who are not part of the Magacult would agree with, which is that it’s self evident that Trump was involved in trying to block the peaceful transfer of power and fomenting insurrection to violently stop the counting of votes on January sixth. If you need new evidence beyond what the January sixth committee turned up, there’s a IG report from the Department of the Interior, that was released this week that shows that some of the organizers, in contact with the White House said potus knows all about this.
  • Speaker 4
    0:13:08

    And he’s gonna pretend that he’s spontaneously calling for us to march up to to the capital. So, I mean, I think the evidence here is pretty overwhelming.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:17

    Eric, can I can I interrupt for just a quick point also? Sure. Because it’s important to remember that not only did he do all those things, but that He attempted to use the violence as a form of intimidation. While the violence was going on, he was still putting in calls to senators Correct. To lobby them to vote a certain way.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:39

    So that’s clear evidence in my judgment of insurrection.
  • Speaker 4
    0:13:44

    I agree. And Well, I I take Damon’s points very seriously. I think he makes extremely good points about the prudential issues of what this means for our contemporary politics, but but I think there’s a flip side to that, which is if we allow the sort of populist nationalist narrative of victimization and weaponization of the rule of law against them to go unchallenged, doesn’t that do damage to our democracy as well? You know, we we are a nation of of laws, not of men or women. And I really think that the law has to apply here.
  • Speaker 4
    0:14:21

    And I guess my final point is, you know, having been the US Ambassador to Turkey and watch Turkey walk down the path towards authoritarianism, I think we’re not just facing what Damon calls a a legitimacy crisis. I think we’re facing potentially an existential crisis of democracy. Yugoslavez in Venezuela tried to organize a coup was then not debarred from running for president which she was elected democratically president of Venezuela were still dealing with the consequences in the hemisphere of that today. I know that Leo Strauss famously said the argument at Hitlerham is always almost always a bad argument, but Hitler, you know, tried to orchestrate a coup in nineteen twenty three, was briefly jailed, was then allowed to, you know, run for office again, had two elections in which he, won in nineteen thirty three, and then Germany never had another election until the late forties under our occupation. You know, to me, it’s clear what Trump and his associates are saying they intend to do, if elected, and I, I think it would spell potentially the end of our democracy, and democracy has to be able to defend itself against people who would use elections to have one man, one vote one time.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:43

    All excellent points. Will Saletan, I think Damon’s points are well taken. But I think Damon leaves out the fact that, yes, the Trump Maga Forces and and maybe some Maga adjacent Republicans will be drawn into this victim narrative and energized by it. That’s probably already happening. There’s evidence that Nikki Haley has seen drop off in enthusiasm since this happened when she was enjoying a little mini surge So, yeah, that is possible.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:18

    First of all, isn’t it a surrender to those forces to say we can’t upset them because they’re anti democratic and they’re crazy and they’re paranoid. So we can’t do anything to upset them, and then you lose the game by surrendering to them. You lose the democracy. But on the other hand, you could say, look, the Supreme Court is almost certain. To shoot this down.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:42

    They are not gonna want to spend their precious capital, their political capital on denying to the voters an opportunity to choose who they prefer on the ballot. They need to keep their powder dry to do rulings like finding that Trump is not immune from prosecution, which is also gonna be before them very shortly. And so when the Supreme Court rules, unless it does it simultaneously, but when the Supreme Court rules that the Colorado Court was wrong, won’t that strengthen Trump? Won’t he say aha? You see?
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:16

    They came after me again. And once more, I’m victorious.
  • Speaker 5
    0:17:19

    Well, I had the privilege of sitting in on an expert panel on on all of this at Brookings just yesterday, and I learned a great deal from it. And the speakers had, you know, views at least as diverse as on this podcast, but there was one point of agreement. And that is the chances that the Supreme Court will uphold the ruling of the Colorado Supreme Court are somewhere between slim and none. And I find those arguments about the propensity and likely actions of the US Supreme Court quite compelling. But let me take the discussion in a different direction.
  • Speaker 5
    0:18:02

    You know, I strongly believe in the rule of law, and I absolutely agree with the proposition that the US constitution is designed in part to take certain decisions out of the hands of the majority. That was the point that one of the points that Michael Lydic stressed in his statements after the Colorado case. I believe at the rule of law, but the question is what is the law? And I think that that’s a very complicated question for the following reason. And, you know, the debate has to do with the meaning not just in theory, but in operation of the third section of the fourteenth amendment.
  • Speaker 5
    0:18:55

    It’s less often noted that not only is there a section four, but also a section five. And section five reads, the Congress shall have the power to enforce by appropriate legislation the provisions of this article. And what that means is that the the Congress has the power to define not only the meaning of key terms, but also the procedures, by which this entire amendment to the constitution can be enforced. A lot of the discussion has proceeded as though Congress did not do anything of the sort. That is as though Congress did not pass enabling legislation.
  • Speaker 5
    0:19:44

    But in fact, it did. A lot of commentators have pointed out that that Salman p Chase in eighteen sixty nine, Chase at that point being, the,
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:57

    he was the chief justice
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:59

    He was But
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:59

    he was but he was serving as a circuit court judge at the time, not as chief justice.
  • Speaker 5
    0:20:04

    Correct. However, we can have a long discussion as to why subsequent court chose to rely on that case. Be that as it may. Not only did Chase say that the article in question is not self executing, but so did a number of other people including Fattiest Stevens, who was the man who introduced the fourteenth amendment on the floor of the house of representatives, And so did Limman Trumble the chair of the judiciary committee during that discussion? And guess what?
  • Speaker 5
    0:20:38

    After Chase said in eighteen sixty nine, that enforcement legislation was necessary Congress passed enforcement legislation the very next year in eighteen seventy. And it turns out that that enforcement legislation is still on the books. You know, I can even, if anybody is interested, give you the precise citation in the US code. So in fact, as a matter of law, Congress has spoken on the question of how this section Of of the fourteenth amendment shall be put into operation. And to make a long story short, That law does not permit the state of Colorado to do what it has done.
  • Speaker 5
    0:21:25

    And therefore, very reluctantly, I conclude in a classic argument against interests, as the lawyers would say, I simply can’t accept the holding of the of the Colorado Supreme Court.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:40

    Okay, Bill. Well, I beg to differ as a matter of law. We can get to the prudence, maybe second. But as a matter of law, look, the fact that Congress passed legislation doesn’t negate the actual wording of the amendment. So the wording of the fourteenth amendment is the institution.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:02

    That is the supreme law of the land. There is no sense, for example, that implementing legislation is necessary to validate the other parts of the fourteenth amendment. For example, section one, where it says all persons born or naturalized in the United states and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No no action by Congress is necessary to ratify that section or the second one, representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, etcetera. So the implementing legislation argument, I don’t think negates the wording of the fourteenth amendment.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:43

    But for this reason and for others, I believe that the Colorado Supreme Court got the law right, but in a matter like this, where the stability of our democracy is at stake, you cannot make decisions based purely on what is the correct legal outcome. You also have to take count of the political consequences. I think that’s just reality. And so I think if the Supreme Court, who’s authority and whose legitimacy is so crucial for the other, matters that are going to be coming before it concerning Trump’s trials in the coming months, I think it would be a mistake, potentially, for the court to weigh in to bigfoot this now and say that he is barred from being on the ballot because we need their authority for other things. And so even though I think the Colorado Court was correct, I expect and will not mind so much when the Supreme Court, I think, overturns this decision.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:52

    Anybody wanna weigh in?
  • Speaker 5
    0:23:54

    Yeah. Me. Let us pose arguendo, as the lawyers would say, that enabling resolution, you know, which is explicitly authorized under five is not necessary. I’m not sure that’s true in the case of article three, of section three, but, Let’s suppose that that’s the case. The circumstances change when Congress affirmatively speaks when it chooses to exercise its power to pass enabling legislation.
  • Speaker 5
    0:24:29

    Congress has done so in this case. Does that mean nothing?
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:33

    Well, you know, Congress passes lots of laws that are later ruled to be unconstitutional. So the fact that Congress spoke up is neither here nor there in my judgment.
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:44

    Could I weigh in and Yeah. Because I think nobody has mentioned the fact that in section three itself, and this is part of what I would argue validates the argument that it is self executing. In section three, it allows Congress by a vote of two thirds to remove such disability from an individual.
  • Speaker 5
    0:25:07

    If this issue is still alive next week, I am relying heavily on on the arguments of one of the most respected, constitutional lawyers, and constitutional historians, namely Mike McConnell. And I think it would be interesting hear him defend more than I can, the case that he made at the federalist society, which I found very
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:31

    Yeah. It’s it is interesting that the lively debate on this matter has a cut across ideological barriers. So you’ve had the two scholars who wrote the law review article that got this ball rolling, were both conservative federalist society members who argued that the fourteenth amendment bars Trump. So and, of course, Luttig and others have have weighed in. And then you have McConnell on the other side and many others.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:58

    So it’s been an interesting debate that is not partisan. And, therefore more interesting for that. Alright. We’ll leave that there. I’m sure there’ll be more.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:08

    We have also seen this week that Congress has not been able to come to a, deal on aid to Ukraine, Israel, and, money for the border. We talked last week about the negotiations. They are still ongoing and are set to resume after the holiday break. But I thought since we have Eric Adelman here, who is an expert on these matters, that it would be good to look at events on the ground a little bit because you’ve seen both the Russian and Ukrainian militaries talking about big call ups of troops. The Ukrainians are saying they need five hundred thousand, and the Russians, as I understand it, are, you know, sort of vacuuming up convict from their prisons and sending them to the front lines.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:55

    So, Eric, tell us a little bit about where we stand in terms of how the battle is going. It’s almost winter. Presumably, things are going to be frozen in more ways than one, at least for a little while.
  • Speaker 4
    0:27:09

    Well, I think the situation on the ground is that both sides are having extraordinary difficulty mounting offensive operations. The Russians in part because they have taken unbelievable enormous casualties. You know, something on the order of three hundred fifteen thousand according to recently declassified, US assessments, which are not that far off from the numbers that the Ukrainians have been claiming for some time.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:37

    Is that dead?
  • Speaker 4
    0:27:38

    It’s dead and wounded. Given the state of Russian battlefield medicine, I think there are a lot of wounded who end up as killed, in action.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:49

    Mhmm.
  • Speaker 4
    0:27:49

    Just in the last two months, in the area around Avdika, the Russians have lost something like thirteen thousand killed, which is, roughly what they lost in ten years in Afghanistan. So these are quite catastrophic losses. And as you say, Mona, I mean, they’ve they’re running out of cannibals and life stabbers from the, from the prisons. To fill the ranks. They’ve been press ganging, central Asian migrants.
  • Speaker 4
    0:28:21

    Who are working in Russia, which faces labor shortages that are being intensified by the way by Putin’s move to a a full wartime economy with three three shifts a day in the defense industry, which is also overheating the Russian economy, creating enormous inflationary pressures. So Russia is facing some challenges. And politically, it’s very difficult Putin to mobilize additional fighters from European Russia in particular major cities like Saint Petersburg and Moscow that are very politically salient. And, of course, he’s in campaign mode now because he’s running for reelection, in, in March. Of course, he’ll win that election.
  • Speaker 4
    0:28:57

    But, but he is very sensitive to to public opinion, in, in that interim period. The Ukrainians, of course, have suffered enormous losses as well. And because they’re at a demographic disadvantage vis à vis, Russia, they are going to have to get more troops mobilized and and put into the field. There has not been a general mobilization in Ukraine here to four. I I think the Ukrainians as well having largely failed to achieve most of the objectives of of the counter offensive this summer and fall.
  • Speaker 4
    0:29:32

    Are gonna have to sort of dig in to defend what they have recovered from Russia in the two years of fighting. And that is gonna require them to do some of the kind of defensive fortifications that the Russians did over the nine month period roughly between last fall in the summer that enabled them to thwart the Ukrainian counter offensive. And there are a number of places, as President Zelensky has said, where Ukraine has has work to do on that score. Now, of course, a lot of this changes if the United States does not approve if the US Congress doesn’t approve the supplemental legislation and provide for additional aid to Ukraine. Because the situation of battlefield could change dramatically, if that were to occur.
  • Speaker 4
    0:30:22

    Already, there are reports anecdotally of Ukraineian units facing, you know, shell hunger. They don’t have enough ammunition. They’re rationing ammunition. They were at a point this summer where they were actually firing more rounds of artillery, particularly one five five rounds of artillery than the Russians were on given days, but that’s now shifted back. To a Russian advantage as the Russians are not only producing their own stocks from the war footing.
  • Speaker 4
    0:30:50

    They’ve put defense industry on. Roughly forty percent of the Russian budget now going to defense, but also more than a million shells that they’ve received from the North Koreans. So it’s a very powerless, I think, situation for Ukraine. And we could talk about, you know, if you would like the potential consequences of this. I would just say Bill and I’ve had a ongoing colloquy in another venue about, the likelihood I don’t speak for him, but I think he and I are both pretty bearish about the prospects of this passing, the Congress.
  • Speaker 4
    0:31:22

    I think there’s a lot of blame to go around for that. Certainly, the House Republicans bear a lot of onus Republican voters who turned decisively against Ukraine over the last nine months in polling, who are the leading indicator, I think. I think Republicans and Congress are the lagging indicator. And I think they’re gonna certainly after January fifteenth in Iowa and then the twenty third in New Hampshire when it becomes apparent. As I fear that Trump will be the putative nominee.
  • Speaker 4
    0:31:50

    I think you’re gonna see he’s been silent to this point, but I think it will be very hard to pass something after that if it doesn’t get passed before that. And I think time is is running out.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:01

    Okay. I do want to get to the consequences, but but first, I I I must ask you to just explain to people because We hear over and over again, especially from Republicans. We don’t wanna send all this money to Ukraine. You know, we have problems here at home. But isn’t it the case that a lot of this money, if it’s authorized, it’s going to be spent in the United States, that’s gonna be military contractors in the US, or we’re gonna get these contracts.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:29

    Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:32:29

    About ninety percent of it. You know, basically, they’re two source of assistance to the Ukrainians. One is presidential drawdown authority, which allows, Department of Defense under Presidential Authority to put together packages of, of equipment from US stocks, which then have to be replenished with money from the Congress. The other is the Ukrainian security assistance, initiative, which allows the US to put different kinds of systems on contract with American contractors, ultimately to be delivered to the Ukrainians twelve or eighteen months from now. Some of that will continue to flow because contracts have been let over the last year.
  • Speaker 4
    0:33:09

    So it won’t be completely off a cliff, if the Congress doesn’t pass a supplemental because some of these contracts will start producing, additional weapons to be supplied to the Ukrainians, but it still will be a pretty sharp fall off. But, yes, I mean, Most of this money be spent in the United States. Charlie Sykes colleagues at AEI did an excellent paper on this that even broke it down by district a lot of congressional districts are benefiting from this, including some, you know, like the state of Ohio, where a lot of this is being produced despite the fact that JD Vance, the junior senator from Ohio doesn’t care what happens to the Ukrainians and as opposed to any more assistance.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:48

    Right. Okay. And so now let’s broaden out the lens and look at your evaluation of what does the world look like if the US abandons its Ukrainian ally.
  • Speaker 4
    0:34:01

    Well, I think it’s a pretty grim world, honestly. I don’t wanna be hyperballic about it, but first of all, the United States reputation as a reliable ally will take a big hit, and that will have consequences both for our multilateral alliance in Europe, NATO, but also our bilateral alliances, in the Indo Pacific with the Republic of Korea, with Japan and with the Philippines, but also with the countries in the Middle East that we have special relationships with like Israel, Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, UAE, UAE, and Egypt. We’d already see some of the consequences of that in hedging behavior. In the Middle East. I think it will leave the Russian military in a position to recoup some of the losses, rebuild itself, replenish itself, and posture itself in a, way that is much more threatening, not just to Ukraine, but to NATO allies in the Baltic and now in Northern Europe.
  • Speaker 4
    0:34:56

    And certainly Poland. I think it Will Saletan general diminish, America’s already tattered ability to deter. When we see that playing out in the Red Sea, and the constant attacks by the Houthis and Iranian sponsored militias more broadly in the region. So I think it will damage, deterrence. And in just general, I think it will, you know, on the sort of international version of broken window theory, lead to greater greater global disorder.
  • Speaker 4
    0:35:29

    And, less ability for the United States to maintain what we kind of grand eloquently call the liberal rules based international order, which essentially is the system of alliances we’ve developed, as well as the rules and norms of free trade and free flow of goods and finance around the world.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:48

    And, of course, as I was discussing with Ann Applebaum earlier this week on a different podcast, but, When the US is seen as unreliable, you know, other powers around the world are going to make their best deal with China or Russia or Iran or whoever they perceive to be the big dog.
  • Speaker 4
    0:36:06

    Yes. It will lead to a lot of bandwagoning behavior with powers that are perceived to be, you know, willing to kind of meet their obligations and their their undertakings. And we’ve seen that in some to some degree in the Middle East ever since the Russians intervened in September of twenty fifteen.
  • Speaker 5
    0:36:24

    Okay. If I could just say a brief word.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:26

    Yep.
  • Speaker 5
    0:36:27

    You know, Eric and I have been waving the warning flag now. For six months on the congressional dimension of eight eight to Ukraine. Having said this, I guess I think the chances of getting something done are much more than zero. And I do think that the negotiations on border policy will reach a successful conclusion in the Senate and certainly before the end January, the Senate will have actually passed legislation. The other provides aid to Ukraine, to Israel and Taiwan in addition to the bipartisan compromise on border security.
  • Speaker 5
    0:37:12

    The tough nut I think is gonna be the House of Representatives. And in the best of all possible worlds, The speaker of the house, who really, I believe, based on these statements, which I take seriously, wants aid for Ukraine to pass, does not want to go down in history as the man presided over the kind of fiasco that Eric has just described. So put in such great detail. And the question is, number one, is he going to be able to keep a majority of house republicans in line, the Senate package. Or if not, is he prepared to take a matter of of this consequence to the floor knowing that a majority of the House of Representatives supports it even if majority of his own caucus doesn’t.
  • Speaker 5
    0:38:06

    These are questions that only the speaker of the house can answer. I don’t have any confidence that he’ll answer them the right way, but nor do I know with certainty that he won’t
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:15

    Could I just add one little thing? You bet. First of all, I hope that Bill is right. But I don’t think Ukraine can wait till the end of January to get help. And I am encouraged that the administration and the leadership of the West is considering using foreign assets that are frozen, Russian assets, and using that money to be able to help Ukraine.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:41

    The renewed democracy initiative put out a a paper called making Putin pay, and it was written by Lawrence tribe in a, and a group of other constitutional Berts, and what it essentially says is that the president does have authority under the international emergency economic powers act to be able to take some of the frozen assets that we have of Russia that are in, US institutions and to be able turn that And European ones. And European ones as well. And turn those well, the yes. The Europeans, I I think, would need to go along with us on that but be able to, to turn those assets over. And that would be the big problem.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:23

    Three hundred billion. Totally the US alone has thirty four billion. So this would be an infusion of money that they desperately need. I’m not sure they can wait till the end of January if they run out of Bulwark.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:36

    Right. Okay. Let’s turn now to president Biden’s standing. And specifically, there is this disconnect in the United States that is not seen in European countries between the actual facts of the economy and perceptions of the economy. Now in the past month, we have seen some uptick in consumer confidence and we’ve seen that inflation expectations are down.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:06

    So that’s great, but this is very, very new because until quite recently, and and I think it persists, Americans have had an a much more sour interpreter notation of the economy than is reality. Now admittedly, grocery prices are high, and people hate that. And they haven’t seen inflation for forty years, so they’re very pissed off about it. But here’s something from the Financial Times that kind of sets the table. It gives the incorrect and the correct answer.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:39

    Okay? So here is the question comparing today to one year ago, which has increased faster on average across the US, prices or wages. K? So ninety percent said that prices have risen faster. The correct answer was wages.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:57

    Do you think the rate of inflation has gone up, down, or state about the same since this time last year. Seventy three percent said they thought it had increased. Correct answer? No. Down.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:07

    In terms of net worth, Do you think the median American household is wealthier today than before the pandemic? Thirteen percent said wealthier today, which was the correct answer? Sixty seven percent said that they were wealthier pre pandemic. And so on and so forth. So, Damon Lincher, To what do you attribute disconnect between reality and perception?
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:31

    Some of my good friends and colleagues out there in the pundit world have really been mulling this over. I think in a good faith way, people like Madaklazias and my friend Noah Milman, who has a sub stack, and many others, sorting this out. Economists trying to make sense of it. Noah Smith’s written about it a lot. I mean, I think on one level, it clearly is true.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:52

    As you said, there hasn’t been inflation in, like, a couple of generations. So there are a lot of people out there who have no experience of rising prices. They also have no experience of interest rates, at least in the last twenty years, being, as high as they are. So that’s a big shock people and already housing prices are really very high and tolerably high in a lot of places in this country and to have the rate of mortgages to be going up through the roof in this way on top of the high prices.
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:24

    Well, but only for people who are buying homes. I mean, to everybody who’s a homeowner benefits. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:30

    That’s true. But there’s always this pressure of of young people who are coming out into the a place for the first time and trying to decide am I gonna have to keep renting? What are the prospects of getting her first home? And And, you know, I think for millions of Americans, they look out there and they they say, well, like, I I thought it was a little out of reach, but now it’s, like, way out of reach. There’s no way I could afford something like that anytime soon.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:54

    And that, I think, can make people pretty gloomy about their future prospects And it is true. Wages are rising. They have not caught up yet to, you know, all of the price high So things still seem relatively a lot more expensive than they were a few years ago. Then there’s an additional contribution to the bad vibes, which may simply be a lot of volatility in people’s life experiences since the pandemic began man. I mean, it is wonderful that we spent of what we did at least until toward the end when Biden came in, and and then there was even more of an infusion that probably did drive up in inflation, at least a big chunk of it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:36

    We went too far, but we were overcompensating for the fact that sort of underspent our way out of the financial crisis in the two thousand eight to two thousand ten period. And so we we kind of went too far in the other direction. Fine. But it’s also the case that that people got to enjoy huge infusions of money. From the government.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:57

    If you had kids for their for a year under the beginning of the Biden administration, you were getting extra money for your children, but then that went away. And so people have seen first the pandemic hits and they lose their jobs or their hours are cut drastic leaks. The whole economy shuts down, and they think, oh my god. I’m heading into the poor house. And then, I’m called Sam steps up and suddenly there’s an infusion of money.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:23

    Like, hey, look, we have all this money, and I have nothing to spend it on because everything’s closed. So suddenly my savings account is exploding with money, and I feel rich. Then the economy begins to open up and you start to spend all kinds of things. Lots of stuff that that inflation kicks in and then there supply chain problems so things are taking a long time and that pisses you off. And then, the money inflow goes away.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:47

    And so, suddenly, now you have to draw down your savings just to live and then the savings is gone. That’s a lot of difficulty in just wrapping your head around. Okay. What am I planning? What is my income?
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:01

    How much do I have saved? That of kind of shock of volatility across all of these life experiences, I think, maybe a a real big factor in people just being very grumpy and also not willing to give, a big benefit of the doubt to how the country has been been run the last three years. And again, I’m just making this up. This is what pundits do. I’m sort of like a, you know, but it’s sucking my thumb and staring at the sky and coming up with explanations.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:32

    Because, if it’s not that, then I don’t really know what it is. It’s just that we’re kind of collectively a little depressed. I mean, why is that? I mean, that could be anything. So, but I do think there are elements of an explanation in some of the stuff I just threw out the wall to make some sense of it, but others can differ if they wish.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:51

    Okay. Well, Linda, that all sounds sounds reasonable, but, but I am just struck by the disconnect between some of these perceptions. And, you know, so one Paul back this was back in August, but, seventy one percent of Americans. Seventy one percent said that the economy was either poor or not so good. Okay?
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:13

    But sixty percent said that their financial situation is good or excellent.
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:17

    Right. Right. But, you know, but this isn’t just pertaining to the economy. I I know for many years that I spent, in education, that, there used to be polls about, you know, know, whether public schools were failing to teach kids what they needed to know and sort of almost uniformly people said, oh, yeah. The schools have gone to hell, you know, nobody’s learning anything.
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:40

    Well, what don’t you think about your public school? Oh, and suddenly, oh, well, the kid, you know, the school my kids go to. Of course, it’s great. It’s the same thing about Congress. Don’t like Congress at all, but you like your own Congress person.
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:53

    So, you know, there is a little bit of this sort of kermugin factor, I think. And I I, you know, having, disagreed vehemently with Damon earlier in the show, I wanna beg to agree with him on on his ports. Okay. Will Saletan.
  • Speaker 5
    0:47:09

    Well, I’m not sure with whom I’m begging Beg to Differ, except you know, this general proposition that the American people are unreasonable and out of touch with their own economic circumstance. I just don’t think that’s true. Let me offer some facts drawn from official government statistics. For twenty five consecutive months, twenty five months from March of twenty twenty one until April of twenty twenty three, prices rose faster than wages. And it is true that those two lines crossed in the spring of this year, but after more than two years of the opposite experience, it’s going to take time for the American people to accept assuming that this trend continues that they are past a very rough patch.
  • Speaker 5
    0:48:10

    We also know that Household incomes have declined for two consecutive years. We don’t have the twenty twenty three numbers yet and won’t I very much hope that they will show an uptick, but there again, they’re the first two years of the Biden administration. We’re not good news on the household income front. You have the further point that When economists use the word inflation, they mean the rate of price increases. But more than half of the American people, we know this for polls when they hear the word inflation, think to themselves the absolute level of price.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:55

    The prices. They think the price.
  • Speaker 5
    0:48:57

    Right. They think the price, and it’s sort of a globalization of the campaign slogan the rent is too damn high. Right? And so, now speaking of rent, it’s not the the cost of housing doesn’t simply reflect cost of buying a home. It also reflects rentals, which are have been rising more than twice as fast as the overall as the overall level of price increases.
  • Speaker 5
    0:49:25

    To the point where if you’re a low income or a working class householder. In many cases, you’re being asked to spend up to half of your disposable income. On rent. And it has now started to be the case that people who are employed full time in good steady jobs, including government jobs, are joining the ranks of the homeless. Because the rent is too damn high.
  • Speaker 5
    0:49:59

    We are paying the price for a failed housing market. Post the great recession, and it’s but it’s now because of the blockage in the market for single family homes, A lot of demand is now shifting to the rental side, and the supply is inadequate to fulfill that demand, which has brought Brinser rising so quickly. So You know, I really reject the proposition. Let’s call it the recruitment proposition, that the economists are right, and the amazing American people are just out to launch. Not only is that the kind of insulting condescension that
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:36

    has fueled the populist
  • Speaker 5
    0:50:37

    revolt, but if you look if you put it up against the facts and see the way average Americans experience the economy is opposed to where the economists do I’m on the people’s side on this one.
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:52

    Well, I I have here a note saying that the median household wealth after inflation increased by thirty seven percent between twenty nineteen and twenty twenty two, which is the largest in the history of the Federal Reserve Survey. So not so sure that the, median household wealth is suffering. But
  • Speaker 5
    0:51:13

    You said income on it, not on it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:15

    Oh, you said income. Oh, okay. Okay. So wealth is another matter. And that yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:19

    Okay.
  • Speaker 5
    0:51:20

    And by the way, if you’re not a homeowner, you haven’t experienced that sort of game.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:24

    That yeah. No. No. No. No.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:25

    That’s a that’s a perfectly fair point. But there is other data, which does suggest that we may be turning a corner on some of these perceptions, Eric Edelman, we’re seeing that people, for example, their their inflation expectations are now drifting down, which is really good. Because inflation expectations all by themselves can cause serious problems for an economy. And people are planning, whatever they, you know, however much they complain about high high prices, which I share, I feel that every time I go to the supermarket, They have plans to go on vacation. They have plans to buy new cars.
  • Speaker 1
    0:52:02

    They have plans to, you know, make big purchases in the next six months. So that suggests that some of this may be easing. We may be turning a corner at least.
  • Speaker 4
    0:52:12

    I hope so because there is a disjunction. I mean, I take Bill’s point totally. I think a lot of this kind of vibe was
  • Speaker 1
    0:52:19

    set in the first six
  • Speaker 4
    0:52:19

    months of the Biden administration. When despite the increased spending in the early months of the Biden administration, which, you know, appeared to have been somewhat inflationary. Despite the fact that Larry Summers warned the administration about inflation, People said there’s not an inflation problem in the bid administration. No inflation problem, not a problem. Crisis on the border, not a crisis, not a problem.
  • Speaker 4
    0:52:45

    Crime going up, not I mean, crime is now going down, but, you know, when the administration began, it was going up, and people said, no, it’s not a problem. And I think it all crested in August with the Afghan withdrawal, which was completely bollixed by the administration, whatever your point of view about whether it was wise to get out or not get out, I think everybody agrees that the actual withdrawal was a complete shambles. And, you know, Biden ran as a safe pair of hands, competent, president to replace a, you know, erratic incompetent president And I think that fatally shattered his and the administration’s, reputation for competence. And so all these other problems now are being late at his doorstep, whether fairly or unfairly. I I certainly hope that all the things you cited, Mona, helped you know, come around.
  • Speaker 4
    0:53:36

    And if we have a soft landing in twenty four, that, you know, this turns out to be like, nineteen eighty four and the incumbent benefits you know, from, from morning in America, but I’m quite worried that we may not get there.
  • Speaker 1
    0:53:50

    Especially when the stakes are so high. Alright. Let’s speak for a minute about HelloFresh. Well, at this time of year, everyone wants cut down on errands and spending time in checkout lines, especially when the prices are so high at your supermarket. But you can skip That extra grocery store trip, and instead get fresh ingredients and delicious recipes delivered with HelloFresh.
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:17

    Just pick your meals, decide on a delivery date, and sit back and have it delivered. Also, if you’re hosting this holiday, Hello, fresh market has just what you need to please a crowd without the hassle, from photo worthy charcuterie boards to mouth watering desserts. Their ingredients are all the best quality. We partook of the HelloFresh delivery, And I must say that I was a little skeptical because I liked to cook, and I cook every night. And I thought, Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:52

    They don’t really have anything to teach me. I’m I was a little skeptical, but honestly, it was very good. The ingredients, as I say, are all good quality, fresh, and they provide very easy directions. Your recipes come prepackaged, and then You get step by step instructions with photographs of how to do it. So if you’re not an experienced cook, don’t worry about that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:55:15

    They show you exactly what to do, They give you a menu with the calorie counts and how long it will take to do everything. They’ve really done all the thinking for you. Plus, The recipes are quite delicious. I have to say. I had the spices nice turkey couscous bowl and the all kale chicken Caesar.
  • Speaker 1
    0:55:37

    They were very creative recipes, and they were very healthy. Plus, HelloFresh accommodates, food allergies, and sensitivities, and yet they still come up with delicious menus. So if you are a typical American who eats a lot of fast food, who eats a lot of processed food, who says, oh, I’m too tired to cook tonight. I’m gonna just order something from a local restaurant. You would be far better off, ordering from HelloFresh because you will be eating real food, not processed food.
  • Speaker 1
    0:56:11

    You’ll have these delicious recipes prepared for you with high quality ingredients, and couldn’t be easier. Did I say they give tech calorie counts? They also give calorie counts. So go to hello fresh dot com slash beg to differ free and use code beg to differ free for free breakfast for life. That’s right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:56:35

    One breakfast item per box while subscription is active. That’s free breakfast for life at hello fresh dot com slash beg to differ free with the code beg to differ free. And we thank them for sponsoring Beg to Differ. Alright. We now come to our highlight or low light of the week, and we’ll start with Will Saletan.
  • Speaker 5
    0:56:59

    Listeners, you can put this one in any category. You prefer. Rudy Giuliani has just declared bankruptcy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:57:08

    Is that it, Phil? That’s it. Okay. Thank you. Eric Adelman.
  • Speaker 4
    0:57:13

    I struggled very hard. Very hard to try and come up with a highlight, and I have failed. I’m sorry to report. I did come up. However, the two low lights to make up for the fact that I couldn’t come up with one high life.
  • Speaker 4
    0:57:27

    One low light is that in addition to everything else we know about the Mar a Lago documents case, it, was revealed this week that there is a missing binder of very sensitive intelligence about Russian interference in the twenty sixteen election which was, requested by President Trump, in the hope that he could declassify it in the last minutes of his presidency to debunk what he likes to call the Russia, Russia, Russia hoax it includes apparently very sensitive sources and methods, and it has gone missing. Nobody knows exactly where it is, which I found enormously troubling. The other low light, of course, is president Trump has used extraordinarily, I would say vile language, describing immigrants as poisoning the blood of the country, describing his political opponents as vermin, you know, very much echoing the language of fascist dictators, in the earlier, part of the twentieth century, both Mussian Hitler He did reveal to us, however, that he has not read mein Kampf, which in my view is a non denial denial because we know from his divorce proceedings from Ivana Trump that he used to keep a book of, Hitler’s speeches at his bedside table.
  • Speaker 1
    0:58:59

    Well, I tweeted that This was the one statement of Donald Trump’s when he said I haven’t read Meinckt that I said I was inclined to believe since Meinckt is, after all, a book. Damon Lincoln.
  • Speaker 2
    0:59:11

    This week, Bill has, you know, fulfilled karma by stepping on mine. But thankfully, gratefully, Bill had very little to say. He merely announced the Giuliani bankruptcy declaration. So I will elaborate a little bit more on top of it since that was my choice. And I also worked for the man.
  • Speaker 2
    0:59:33

    It’s true. For about six months in two thousand, into two thousand one. I was a speechwriter for Rudy Giuliani. Where my boss was, Michael Anton. And one of my colleagues, a senior colleague was, John Avlon, who listeners might know from CNN, And, I have to say, like, seeing Giuliani’s decline, you know, hits me harder than most other peoples in the Trump era not just because I worked for him, but because I actually, at the time, did consider him to be an excellent mayor, you know, back in the old days, the first generation of the neocons, before neoconservatism came to be, associated with and denigrated as a kind of foreign policy theory.
  • Speaker 2
    1:00:24

    It was it was largely about domestic policy and a good part of it was urban policy. And the Giuliani administration in New York in the nineteen nineties, and its approach to fighting crime and other things was a kind of expression of that outlook, and it’s one that at the time I very much endorsed and was proud to be working for for, again, a brief period And to see him descend in the subsequent years and especially since, Trump’s rise, to turn himself into a kind of shameless lackey humiliating himself before the world to to try to make Trump look better and kind of fulfilling Trump’s self aggrandizing conspiratorial, approaches to everything. And then, of course, culminating in, the twenty twenty election and its aftermath was very dis disheartening. And then where it has ended up, well, with a hundred and forty eight million dollar damage of Puna post punitive and whatever the other kind of thing is. They threw the book at him.
  • Speaker 2
    1:01:33

    The the jury, you know, is making him suppose pay almost a hundred and fifty million dollars to these two election workers in Georgia. And, you know, I think that’s almost ridiculously large. It probably would have gotten knocked down on appeal. But it has driven him to declare bankruptcy claiming that his assets are worth between zero and ten million dollars and his debts run, in excess of a hundred million dollars. And, I mean, talk about a decline from America’s mayor and a guy who, you know, kind of was on the front lines of the first sort of civic hero of the of the nine eleven era to to this ignominious and is is really something.
  • Speaker 2
    1:02:21

    And it it still after all these years leaves me kind of slack jawed and and shaking my head in in stupefaction. So that’s my low light of the week. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    1:02:33

    And, you know, it is an interesting also that all of these Trump enablers, not all, but many of the Trump enablers and the shock troops are paying a price, Giuliani, has lost his law license and now has had to declare bankruptcy. A number of the Proud Boys are now serving long sentences, and yet Trump himself is the front runner for the presidency. Linda Chavez.
  • Speaker 2
    1:03:01

    Well, I’ll just add the the mob boss is always the last one.
  • Speaker 1
    1:03:06

    Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
  • Speaker 3
    1:03:07

    Well, keeping up this vein of low lights. Low lights that apparently give some of us satisfaction. I’ve got a low light that, maybe, Mona, instead of having highlights and low lights of the week, you ought to add a third category, and that is Shodden Freud of the week because I’ve got a low light that made me, really happy and that was related to what happened in Florida when the chairman of the Republican Party, a man named Christian Zeigler was relieved of his duties and his salary was reduced to one dollar. Because he has been a huged of a crime, actually, a crime of rape, of a woman who apparently he and his wife, Bridget Zekeler, who started, one of the people who started moms for Liberty had engaged in a three way sexual encounter, a consensual one, previously. More than one.
  • Speaker 3
    1:04:10

    Previously. I don’t know. This just brought a smile to my face. I mean, talk about hypocrisy. It’s just, you know, it’s so disgusting.
  • Speaker 3
    1:04:20

    And, you know, for once, a party, the party actually did something right they thought gee, we really can’t stand, this stanchion. We better re remove this guy, as chair and at least reduce his salary to a dollar from He was making in the six figures. So that’s my highlight of the week, and I think it goes along with the Giuliani and other, others that have been mentioned already.
  • Speaker 1
    1:04:45

    Oh, gosh. You know, this also reminds me of the, Jerry Falwell junior and the pool boy story. Again, these people who present themselves as moral avatars Yeah. So are so deeply corrupt. It is like something out of, a tabloid or a novel or something anyway.
  • Speaker 5
    1:05:06

    She should have called her her organization, moms for license.
  • Speaker 3
    1:05:11

    Yes. Right. Or and maybe we can have, how wives of the Christian Wright, the new popular TV show.
  • Speaker 1
    1:05:19

    Well, I don’t know what to call this. I guess I’ll call it a low light. But it’s sort of a highlight because I want to praise Katherine Ramel for a column, but the topic of her column is the low light, which is that a bunch of the right wing influencers out there went completely bat guano over, a video that, the Biden family put out for Christmas. This was a tap dancing show filmed at the White House that is a take on the nutcracker. It’s to the nutcracker music, and it’s a bunch of people tap dancing and they’re wearing nutcracker outfits and things.
  • Speaker 1
    1:06:00

    And Laura Ingram said that it was woke nonsense and part of the Biden freakorama. And she said it was designed to offend the public and appeal to flag burners and the America haters. The federalist said the video was an abomination and an attempt by the Biden’s to slip radical Marxism into the country’s Christmas celebrations. Now, this is such a curd over the top language, and it so insults the intelligence of the viewers, and I’m sorry to say that it seems to work. But I watched the video.
  • Speaker 1
    1:06:38

    It is about as g rated as you can possibly imagine, tap dancing is not woke. There’s nothing woke. And the only way you can interpret this as woke is if every time you see an African American person, you say this is woke. I mean, some of the dancers were African American. I cannot figure out what the hell they’re talking about.
  • Speaker 1
    1:07:01

    So Donald Trump claims that immigrants are poisoning the blood of our country, which is a despicable and hilarious thing to say. But these people, the Laura Ingram, the federalists, and the other right wing influencers are truly poisoning the minds of the right. And that’s my Christmas message. I’m sorry to say. But with that, I want to thank Eric Adelman for joining us, and of course the regular panel and our producer, Jim Swift, our sound engineer Jonathan Last, and of course our wonderful listeners.
  • Speaker 1
    1:07:36

    I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. I will be off next week, but beg to differ will be back next week as every week.
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