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The Nothing Burger Impeachment

September 13, 2023
Notes
Transcript
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announces the House will start an impeachment inquiry without a vote and without evidence. But his right-wing critics, such as MAGA troll Matt Gaetz, still aren’t satisfied. 

Plus, the Democratic governor of New Mexico’s temporary ban on guns draws bipartisan backlash for being unconstitutional, while some Texas counties are creating legal challenges to people traveling out of state to get an abortion.

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
    0:00:05

    Hello, everyone. Welcome to the next level. I’m J. V. L.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:09

    Here with my best friends. Sarah Longwell and Tim Miller fresh off of our tramp and conquest of c span. I look, I don’t like to overpromise another. Are
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:20

    the ratings in? Have have the Nielsen ratings come in yet on that?
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:23

    I haven’t seen them, but I just think objectively that was the best forty five minutes in the history Bulwark? No. Do you disagree?
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:33

    Sarah’s more of a c span watcher and because consumer than I am. So I don’t know, Sarah. What do you think?
  • Speaker 3
    0:00:38

    I’m not a consumer, but I, as much as I am, I go on c span a fair amount, and I let the people yell at me. The best thing about this d span well, there are multiple things I like, but one of them was, obviously, many of our people who listen to this show called in.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:51

    Thank you guys.
  • Speaker 3
    0:00:53

    Which was very nice because it had people being, like, I’m a big Bulwark fan, not just people being, like, you are little communist, you know, bastards We got a few of those, but they were late in the show. We got pumped up first by our people. I do think whoever the guy is who called in and asked JBL to do the cleatest voice. Dave. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:12

    Show yourself to me, sir.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:14

    Show yourself. I
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:17

    I gotta tell you my big regret, and I just I was so thrown off by the woman from Atlanta called in as a as a huge Donald Trump supporter. I thought it was a bit for a minute. And so since Sarah Sarah speaks to people more often than me, she knew it wasn’t a bit, but I thought it was a bit And so, you know, she’s going on and then they then he comes straight to me. I was figuring JBL is gonna jump in and and the host jumps right to me and so I wasn’t I feel like I was like an eight out of ten on that. I’m grading myself like a b minus because I looked back at it and I was like, I’m a little hungover.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:49

    She threw a meatball right down the plate for me about the about the wall, you know, in Florida and how she’s concerned about people coming across Florida because we haven’t the wall, and that is not technically accurate, I guess, unless we’re talking about a sea wall. So I did I did feel like I I I’ve kinda let the people down a little bit on that one. But otherwise, I thought we really nailed it. I thought you guys were you guys were on point.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:13

    Well, my my favorite part was Dave calling in asking me to do Clitus, and then one caller later, we actually got Clitus,
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:21

    which was amazing. That was good.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:23

    And that gentleman was every bit as erudite and intellectually serious as I have come to expect. From people of his ilk.
  • Speaker 3
    0:02:35

    Okay. For people who don’t know, though, the magic of television, the one thing about it that was annoying is unlike right now, we can all see each other’s faces. So, like, we know how we’re reacting to things. And so, like, I could sort of get it from your voices because I used to listening. I knew when JBL was JBLing, but it was still hard not to see your faces and, like, be totally just sit there on camera for an hour without feedback.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:59

    No. I agree. It’s more fun when we can see each other and pick up on our queues and do hand motions and I I do have to say there were there was one caller that I wanted to do a hand motion to, but then I figured Sarah would would not enjoy that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:14

    I wasn’t gonna be able to see it, but you did say schlong. So I felt like you got plenty in.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:19

    You did get to say schlong. And that was nice. On at eight forty five and at eight forty five in the morning, that’s what people are looking for. Just,
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:29

    you know. Amazing. I take it. We’ll never be asked back.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:33

    I think we think the host listens to this show.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:35

    He seems to show. We are never being asked back on this. I
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:37

    think I have to imagine that they’re already in secret negotiations with Sarah’s business manager about the permanent slot. I don’t know what kind of money these bands got to throw around, but, it seems to me like that was some good. I would take it. Good content from that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:51

    When he dead pants, what is the cleatest voice? J. E. O. I was like, this guy listens to the show and knows just
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:57

    It doesn’t matter. Then when Peter goes, Sarah, why does Clea upset you? That was just that was where I was desperate to have the reaction shot on. I know. Like to not be able to see your face in that moment was hurtful to me.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:13

    Yeah. Okay. Big news. We’re taping on Wednesday morning, and we’re gonna get a Biden impeachment It’s gonna be tremendous. He’s being impeached because Tbd.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:30

    T. B. D. C.
  • Speaker 3
    0:04:31

    Can I ask a techno? Is is he being impeached, impeached, or is he being impeached? No. In inquiry impeached?
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:38

    It’s in a little impeachment light.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:39

    I can I can feel this question? Yeah. They were already investigating Joe Biden with the possibility of impeachment. And now they’ve upgraded that from investigation to inquire I
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:52

    It’s like, the storm is a tropical depression, and then it becomes a tropical storm, and then maybe it gets upgraded to a cat one.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:01

    Yeah. It’s the triple eyes. You know, it’s just a slow, methodical destination. I had
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:08

    Alls are closing in on crime family, Joe Biden,
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:11

    but didn’t seem to work for Kevin. Matt Gates called it a baby step. I you hate to agree with Matt Gates. You you hate to say Matt Gates has a point, but That gate kinda has a point because
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:22

    You do not under any circumstances.
  • Speaker 3
    0:05:25

    Got it. And it’s a case.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:28

    Well, I just I I do kind of because because nothing changed. I mean, Kevin McCarthy gave this very solemn speech like he was you know, doing FDR by the radio with the fireside chats and and making us announcement to the country about how seriously he’s taking this. And then The outcome of it was the oversight committee, which is already investigating Joe Biden. We’ll continue to investigate Joe Biden with a special eye towards impeachment. So I it was kind of a baby step, I think, is Matt putting out the other interesting thing I think on from a technical matter that that is the big tell of this whole thing is that it was just eleven days prior to this solemn press conference.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:13

    That Kevin McCarthy in in a in a gaggle was saying to reporters that he was not going to do an impeachment inquiry without a full vote of the house. Because this is a big step, not a baby step. It was a big step to move to impeachment inquiry. Just about a week and a half after that, it turns out He didn’t he didn’t feel like he needed a full vote of the house to do this, and that Kevin could just decree it so from on high because, you know, his boss Donald Trump was pressuring him to do it from Mar Mar a Lago per reporting. And because he doesn’t even have close to the votes, And when you’re all you’re always trying to figure out what how big is the closet normie caucus in in the Republican side.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:54

    The whip count was that there were about thirty that we’re wavering on whether that they would vote for it. To some percentage of the thirty were hard. No.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:02

    There’s only thirty Republicans in the house. That are
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:05

    in the closet offering because of Wavering question
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:07

    whether or not to impeach Joe Biden for nothing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:10

    Some percentage of the thirty were now. And then another percentage, they were gonna have to whip. And they only had five. They only have five, you know, to give unless they were gonna, I don’t know, pick up a Democrat. Because who knows?
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:22

    Maybe one of the Democrats one day will be like, I think Joe Biden should be impeached for nothing. The, so anyway, that’s, that’s kind of where, you know, the state of play. For my Kevin.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:31

    I should say here before I throw it to you, Sarah Longwell we say Joe Biden is being impeached for nothing, this is not like declaring that Biden’s phone call was perfect. We mean that literally there are no charges or allegations as Nancy May said on some TV show, she doesn’t know what they would impeach Joe Biden for. That’s what the investigation is for. Well, I don’t know if
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:56

    you read Rich Lowry’s column recently.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:59

    You know, somehow I missed it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:08:01

    We already know Joe Biden is corrupt. We already know Joe Biden is is guilty. You know, here’s the thing. I do think
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:09

    Did Rich write that from Bedminster when he went to have lunch with Trump? Was he was invited to the Trump lunch, do you think, or was that? I don’t know.
  • Speaker 3
    0:08:17

    I skimmed it. I skimmed it. I I only read part of it. You know, here’s the thing. I do think that Joe Biden should not have done this bit with his son where he hopped on phone calls that hunter was having with clients.
  • Speaker 3
    0:08:30

    I think that that is not good. And I think, yeah, like, in a different world on earth two where things were normal and we’d had a normal Republican president, that I was, you know, somewhat supportive of, I would feel like saying that Joe Biden should not have been throwing his weight around as vice president and jumping, hey, you know, help his son’s business dealings, especially when they all turned out to be kinda shady.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:55

    I also, technically, I think that this situation was more like Hunter would be with his business people. He’d call dad. And he’d be like, hey, dad, what’s happening? How’s the weather? What do you had the Eagles do last night.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:06

    And so and so then if you’re Joe Biden, it’s like, okay, I I agree. You know, he probably playing a little bit too fast on this, but it’s like, what? Do do you need a You need an intermediary to accept your phone calls with your son to be like, Hunter, Hunter, young man. Are you sober right now? Are you with a foreign national?
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:22

    Like, okay. You’re not. Now you can talk to your dad. I guess you I don’t you know what I mean? Like, I think that’s the situation.
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:28

    I think that’s right. And that’s why I would say on the scale, of badness that we live by, like, you should be aware that you’re the vice president and that your kid is on these boards and that actually you need to treat this with some discretion. Also like impeachable offense, I think that that’s more than a stretch. But my point is is that the Republicans have kind of moved into this like, well, Biden’s already guilty. And, you know, he’s he’s a and the Biden crime family.
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:54

    But the main thing I wanna say is the did you hear Matt Gates’s speech that he was giving. It wasn’t the baby step thing was whatever. He told Kevin McCarthy that he needed to get in compliance
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:07

    Oh, yeah. I saw that line now. And this
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:09

    is why I got handed to back gates honestly. I mean, he just treated him like a beaten puppy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:10:14

    And he had them. Yeah. He has them. Like Kevin is Kevin is marching to Matt Gates’s and Matt Gates and Donald Trump are chatting it up figuring out how to, you know, pull the strings on Kevin to make him do this impeachment. But I this is did GSE, Federman when they told Fedman about And he was like, oh, I think Federman’s a little bit of a he’s a goofball, but I agree with his assessment.
  • Speaker 3
    0:10:41

    Of that assessment is about right of impeachment. I think they should impeach Joe Biden. I’ve been listening to these Democrats David Ignatius has a column today. Like, right now, everybody in sort of establishment, Demworld is having a in my mind, five, six months too late panic attack about Joe Biden’s age, as well as Josh Barrow has column this morning about how they gotta replace Kamala on the ticket. So everyone’s got advice right now.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:07

    People got a lot of column inches to fill. Not much going on in this Republican primary. And so we’re all gonna tell Joe Biden that he can’t run and that he’s gotta switch out his VP. Now, I think a lot of this is perfectly sound advice. I think know, like I said, eight months ago.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:22

    Yeah. I
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:22

    mean, Josh makes some good points some time, but the notion that we’re that the Democrats that rely Extremely heavily on the Bulwark vote are going to just randomly replace Kamala Harris with a white lady from Michigan and be like She’s just better. Sorry. I don’t have a I don’t have any substantive reason to fire the Kamala. The, you know, it’s not a bill of goods. I just think the white lady is a little bit more palatable.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:44

    Like that? You think that’s gonna go over well with with a core constituency? I mean, sorry.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:50

    No. It’s a
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:50

    it’s That’s dumb advice.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:51

    It is terrible advice. It’s just it’s impractical advice. Like, I I agree. I’m for Gretchen Whitmer. I I I she Gretchen Whitmer should be the twenty twenty eight nominee or some group of them that are on these that are from these Midwestern states.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:06

    Great, great. Great. I’m much on the record about how these are great choices, but like, yeah, the idea what he’s gonna he’s I don’t know if you’ve seen some of the other things right now, but that he’s losing altitude with voters of color, like, now is, like, it’s just an impractical thing to do. It’s not gonna do it. This anyway, what’s the one thing that could get all these guys to stop talking about how Joe Biden’s too old and should step down and get them back on his side and impeach this guy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:32

    It impeach him for nothing. And then David Ignachius can write columns about how Joe Biden’s being impeach for nothing. And I think they all need this. They need this. They need this to fill their time and their columns.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:43

    It will do Joe Biden a world of good. I think at least some of those thirty Republicans who don’t wanna do this know that this will have nothing but a helpful effect on Joe Biden.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:52

    Do you think that? Okay. So here, I’m just gonna pause it to you guys. Okay. Well, I’m gonna throw this to you guys and ask you to to game it out for me because I think this has almost zero downsides for Republicans.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:05

    And maybe there’s a little bit of blowback for them, but also maybe not because it’s largely a process story. There won’t be hearings. There won’t be an impeachment vote. It’s just gonna be like a bunch of, you know, investigations. It’ll keep their people vibrating at a very high valence because Fox will cover this thing for twenty seven hours a day.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:27

    And the normies will just sort of be like, meh, whatever. Inflation’s too high. And I don’t know. I just it just seems costless to me, to Republicans. And maybe maybe it actually helps muddy the waters on the Trump corruption stuff.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:43

    To help a bunch of country club Republicans stay on side come November twenty twenty four because they can tell themselves Well, you know, I really don’t like Trump. But, you know, Biden’s just as bad. Look at this. I mean, you know, the Biden crime
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:56

    crime family. Yeah. I’m torn on this, actually. I do not share, and I I love for Sarah to walk me off the ledge. I do not share the federal long well.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:06

    Bring it on position. Exactly. I I I think that it could turn out that way. I I think that the best thing that the Democrats have going for them is that the Republicans who have been prosecuting this case so far, like Comer seem particularly stupid. And so that’s helpful.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:23

    Right. And and I think that just generally is a talking point speaking to the the normies that that JBL likes to mock the people the people who, you know, Grocery bills are going up while their salary stayed the same. I I know that that’s a mockable thing for you, J. V. L, but for those people, you know, for for Joe Biden to be able to say to them, She might be able to say to them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:43

    Hey, I’m trying over here. Like, we actually care. We have proposals for helping wages and lowering costs inflation reduction. Do you know what? These guys care about relitigating the twenty twenty election and impeaching me over nothing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:56

    Right? Like, these are insane people, and they’re, like, they’re throwing feces at each other. And Lauren Bober got kicked out of beetlejuice this weekend. Like, right? I just I do think that that just is is a good frame for Democrats.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:11

    Like, we, you know, you might not like everything, but we’re actually trying here to be, you know, on side and care about things you care about. These people are lunatics in a conspiracy hole, and I do think the impeachment kind of serves that narrative. You don’t know what you don’t know. And and the muddy the waters element of this thing is very concerning. Was Joe Biden on one phone call that wasn’t really about the weather that was a little biz more business y than it should have been and does one guy testify and does the New York Times feel like they’ve got put that on the front page for a week.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:42

    And then does Anthony Weiner’s laptop have a message from Joe Biden to him that then, you know, James Comey has to investigate. You you know what I mean? Like, this what happened to Hillary. Right? Like the Benghazi thing was ridiculous.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:55

    I’m like there was a kernel of of truth, you know, about, I think, the lack of preparedness of the administration to what was gonna happen. But, like, the investigations then became absurd and mockable. But over the course of the investigation, they found the server. Right? So, and then that becomes a series of stories in the server.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:14

    And then, and you find Anthony Weiner’s got messages, and then that becomes a series that, right? Like, so, so that part just has me a little I got a little bit of PTSD from twenty over over this. And where I I I think that probably it continues to reinforce the Republicans or crazy narrative, but I don’t think it’s without risk.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:36

    Okay. Do you want me to tell you what my rationale is?
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:38

    Yeah, please.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:38

    Okay. So maybe I was being too glib about David Ignatius and, like, the like, everybody writing these articles, but that is sort of what I’m talking about. There is Trump has benefited enormously. I don’t know if you’ve looked at any of the recent polling on the field, but Trump has, gone up. Everybody else is, like, trading little points here and there.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:58

    Like Nicki gets one and Vivic gets two Ron DeSantis loses three. But like, trumps at fifty six. Like, I don’t know. It’s, the gap is enormous during That began when they went into Mar a Lago. That was the rally round trump effect.
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:13

    I think that Joe Biden is in dire need. Of some rally around Biden effect. And I think he will get it when the Republicans overreach. So I don’t think that the going in tomorrow, Laco wasn’t over cause now we know they were kept calling him being like we’re gonna come in. If you don’t give these documents back and he told them to f off and so they came in and got them.
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:33

    I think that Biden, his low approval ratings include the polarized political environment of the Republicans who are never gonna give him marks for anything They are low because Democrats. He’s it’s essentially what I think is in those numbers is in disinterest in him running again. Right? Then so people don’t want him to run again or they think he’s too old. I think giving him something to fight back against.
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:56

    I think something that brings the sort of chattering classes onto his side in a way where they feel some umbrage and him being impeached over nothing. I think highlighting the crazy people, I think when Matt Gates and Marjorie Taylor Green and Lauren Bobert are in front of cameras. I think that is bad for Republicans, and good for Democrats. And so I think what I could see is that there is the circus of the Republicans impeaching and all their whack jobs front and center, making Kevin McCarthy’s life miserable, not having evidence to present, while the conditions of the economy slowly improve. So I also well, this is all JVial and I talk about on the my favorite part of the Cs fan actually was when his opening question was to JBL about why Joe Biden is like gonna be great.
  • Speaker 3
    0:18:44

    And JBL said the economy. And then he was like, and Tim, what do the Republicans have? Why are they gonna win? And you were like, the economy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:51

    And I
  • Speaker 3
    0:18:51

    was like, yeah. And so I think that, listen, I was just doing a focus group last night with swing voters. They think the economy is terrible. This is so consistent, so do Democrats, and like, I do not care about what the macro conditions are, but at some point, mean, I care in the sense that at some point, if the macro conditions get sufficiently good, people will start to feel the benefits, but they certainly aren’t now and hopefully they could in a year while the Republicans are doing the impeachment stuff. Like, that’s the best case scenario for Biden, is that you get improvement in the economy while Republicans are behaving like
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:24

    Alright, Sarah. It’s a good pitch.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:26

    You know what? I I am not sure. The people feeling the benefits is going to change their minds on this. I, you know, I, does anybody remember the the American Rescue plans, gigantic child tax credit, program for families I remember real, real money, actual money into people’s pockets every single month. And the Republicans killed this, And the Republicans have paid.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:49

    What price for that? Zero. Nothing. I do not believe that people’s opinions about where the economy is are tied to anything rational.
  • Speaker 3
    0:19:58

    I just disagree with this so much.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:59

    It’s just all vibes.
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:01

    No. People have rent to pay. People go to the grocery store. Like, yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:06

    And, like, you know, the prices of some things go down. The prices of other things go up.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:10

    No. It is vibes, and it’s annoying. I think I said this on Slack the other day that there’s the exception that proves the shirt. You know? JBL is always right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:17

    You’ve gotta be wrong about one thing to prove that you’re always right. I think it is because you you kind of live like a hermetic life you know, in in rural, New Jersey, you know, where you just take your You just take your kids to baseball and write a newsletter and like, you know, for people who live a a little less hermetic life, I everything is more expensive and that’s annoying. Right? And so sure, like there are other things that are good. People feel very secure in their jobs and that’s nice.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:46

    So people like that. So it isn’t a catastrophic economy. But it’s a very annoying one where it’s like every day, they’re like, my coffee is fucking a dollar more than it used to be. And my fucking lunch is a dollar more than it used to be. And my grocery bill is fifty dollars more than it used to be.
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:02

    And their wages aren’t going up.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:04

    Their wages are going up. You know, the the real wages, right? The the real wages, you know, indexed to inflation aren’t keeping pace, although that that gap is closing. It depends on the scale. The lower you are on the wage scale, the better you have been.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:20

    A lot of the wage gains have been at the lower end of the scale. So, like, it’s it’s the professional classes who are hurting more on this map this metric right now than people from the That’s true.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:30

    Yeah. That’s true.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:31

    What I don’t understand is things are never perfect. Right? Even in the best economic times. Like, everybody has economic anxiety. Everybody, you know, some giant percentage of the country is one medical event or one job law away from being really stretched very thin.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:47

    And this idea that, like, there’s some, you know, if we could get these fifteen economic indicators all pointing the right way, then nobody would complain about it. And that’s just not true. Somebody would then find the sixteenth and indicator. Right? Well, sure.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:00

    The prices of eggs are down and gas is down, but celery is And this is all we do. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:05

    Agris, what you’re missing is that this is a broad based, like, nearly everybody, except for, like, wage workers whose wages are up, but, like, who have the smallest savings, right? You know, with which to deal with with spending. Like, like, their price are up, but but in this case, it’s like the broad middle. Everybody is experiencing increased costs, and only some people are seeing increase, you know, wages or salaries. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:32

    And so, like, this is different. Right? Sure. In the in twenty nineteen, when the economy is good, some people at the lower end of the scale, We’re complaining about income inequality. Rightly, by the way.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:42

    Rightly. And income inequality has decreased somewhat, you know, over the past four years. And so that’s something that you hear less about now. Right? So they’re all you’re right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:49

    There is always something. You know, not everybody’s gonna be rich. We’re we’re not gonna live in a in in a world of of bounty and plenty where we can do whatever vacation they want. But, like, there is something unique about this particular economy that the low level annoyingness. I don’t think that’s a real word, but you know what I’m saying?
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:06

    Touches a lot of people.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:08

    Yeah. And again, I I think, like, everything is relative. And compared to where we were two years ago, it’s better. It’s just objectively better in every
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:16

    Nobody thinks that though, J. D. I’m like, this is part of, like, what is
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:18

    I don’t know what to tell people then. Mean Okay.
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:20

    Well, this is why Joe Biden might, like, the, like, I just think it’s a real gap in even just like analysis to just be like, well, people are wrong about how they feel about this economy when the prices are being up. Like, if you’ve you’ve sat, like, if you go to any family functions, you sit around with a bunch of sixty year old women. You know what they do? Right. You don’t do this.
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:38

    They all sit around and talk about like, do you know how much x was? Did you see how much x was at the store? Like, that’s just what they talk about. Or if you’re with a bunch of twenty somethings.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:46

    This is what old people always do. If
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:48

    you just sit around with a bunch of twenty somethings, they talk about how they can’t afford rent. In the cities where they live, that it’s so high. I just That’s what
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:56

    all my friends did when we were twenty two. I mean, I think these things are permanent I am not dismissing them as being unimportant. I think they’re very important because people’s perceptions are real. What I’m lamenting is that America is gonna send a guy with ninety one criminal indictments against him, who is responsible for the excess deaths of hundreds of thousands of people because of his mismanagement of COVID, they’re gonna put him in the fucking White House again because they look at the economy, which is by all object of measures. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:28

    Maybe not the grade. Maybe it’s not nineteen eighty four, but it’s It’s
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:31

    not a better than nineteen eighty four, actually.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:33

    It’s you know what I’m saying? Like, And and they’re gonna make that choice, and I don’t know what that says about us. And I’m not gonna just, like, sit here and pretend that because people are stupid, that they’re No. I mean, it, you know, like, in our system, everybody is always in a precarious position. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:48

    And everybody everybody feels economic pressures. And then and it’s that way when times are good and when times are bad, it it decreases and you get more, you know, anxieties depending on what the problem is. The baseline measure is always gonna be unemployment. That’s the most important thing whether or not people can have jobs.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:08

    This is really do agree. If you’re if you’re saying I’m gonna vote for Donald Trump, and put that fucking mad man in the White House and risk our entire country because you have to cook dinner one more time a week, then go out or go to DoorDash. Like, really fuck you. Like, I’m with you on this. I’m with you.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:24

    Fuck you. Fuck these people. Like, Sarah is very comfortable. Fuck these upper middle class people that, like, are are financially stable and are, by the way, living lives of absolute unimaginable extravagance compared to their parents and grandparents like things have gotten worse. It’s like, no, fucking my parents, when they were kids, their parents cooked meatloafucking five days a week, and they ate the same goddamn special chicken every Tuesday.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:47

    And so, like, now these people who live in big cities and have been choi chose to do this and can travel and can fly and can fucking talk to people on their magic phones. Like, right. I I I am with you. That they would then say I wanna vote for Donald Trump. That is decadence.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:01

    Where I disagree is the is that, like, That doesn’t mean that it’s not something that people are feeling and that there aren’t there aren’t people on the inverse side of that scale and the lower middle class side of the scale who who for whom things are really tight
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:13

    Sure. But but again, those people, when you’re when you’re because of our system, things are always tight. Right? This is I mean, is part of the reason some of us are commies is that even when things are good in America, things are really tight if you’re at that that end of the the ladder, and that’s that’s a problem, but it’s a persistent problem.
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:32

    Yeah. Well, like, I was sitting with these swing voters yesterday listening to them, and probably a young, young guy, Bulwark Dad, who was talking a lot about his kid. And when he talked about Trump, he just said, voted for Trump the first time, biden the second time because he thought Trump was a he’s come back, but he’s like, I kinda miss Trump, just because the economy was so much better. And the idea that people don’t pay attention to so many of the things that we do but they are paying attention to their gas bill, their grocery bill, and what it costs to send their kids to do x, y, or z. Like, They just are.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:10

    This is where I fall on the JV outside of the scale. They weren’t paying attention to the capital being stormed. I mean, I I’m not asking for him to know
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:16

    all his details. He was telling me it was really bad in twenty twenty.
  • Speaker 3
    0:27:18

    And to be fair, this guy, when Bush came to shove, he was gonna vote for Biden over Trump. We actually had a clean sweep for Biden last night over trump
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:26

  • Speaker 3
    0:27:26

    Yeah. — with the swing voters. But that doesn’t mean that but they all were super down on the economy. They were all thought things were headed in the wrong direction. And I just I really disagree though with this idea that, like, it’s just always like that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:27:41

    Like, I think there’s an element of people kind of always complaining or, like, are never good enough. Like, that’s just the American way. But the idea that there aren’t like relative differences between how people felt about the economy in twenty seventeen versus how they feel in twenty twenty three.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:55

    And that
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:56

    guy, people haven’t experienced inflation. People that are our age our age haven’t really ex we haven’t really had inflation. It’s like this notion that I’ve gotta this is to your decadence point, Jevio, but it’s also real. Like, this notion that, okay, I gotta tighten my belt. And, like, spend a little less than I was spending before because things are getting a little more expensive is not really something that people who you know, came into adulthood after the great recession I’ve ever had to feel.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:21

    Right? And so it is kind of the first time for that, and you can see why it’s annoying to them. Now only gonna have to vote for Donald Trump. Fuck you.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:28

    So we’re gonna have to move on to this insane, but I will say this. So, Sarah, this is one of the things that drives me crazy when people say the economy is better under Donald Trump. When, because it wasn’t better under Donald Trump in twenty twenty. And there’s this weird thing. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:40

    American politics is always about what have you done for me lately? And with Trump, they somehow ignore the last thing that they saw from him, and they jump back in time. They’re like, yeah. Well, you know, it’s like saying that things were great under George H. W.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:54

    Bush before the recession. So why would they vote for Bill Clinton?
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:57

    Because it’s the pandemic. Everybody knows that the pandemic was an exogenous event that was out of everyone’s control.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:02

    Does Trump get a pass for the pandemic who Biden doesn’t? Because I Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:05

    This is the weird again, this is weird.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:07

    Oh, the the inflation doesn’t have anything to do with the pandemic. It just it was just Donald Trump that had to do with the pandemic.
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:13

    But this is actually true. This is a good point which is the people feel like the pandemic is over and has been over for a while now and that the economy is worse. Like, there was a period of time where the frustration was really about supply chains and, like, nobody was working when I went, you know, like, there’s a change in what the complaint is. And the complaint now very much is about cost.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:33

    Alright. Before we move on, maybe one of us will write about this. There is like a political science points to the vibes thing here though, which is that you’ve seen over the last forty years, the right track wrong track numbers had sort of stabilized in place where people are always saying we’re on the wrong track, and it didn’t used to be that way. So anyway, this is like a —
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:51

    Part of things.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:51

    — people should could write a book about
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:53

    But you’re also talking about, like, the overall right track contract. I’m actually talking about what I hear, what I listen to voters. And the fact is, like, early on in in Biden term, there was a lot of I feel like we’re headed in the right direction. Like, you know, this is good. I’m optimistic.
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:07

    And now people are not optimistic, and they don’t feel like we’re headed in the right direction, and these are not Donald Trump fans. That’s the problem, and, and I’ll go back and circle back quickly to why I think if they wanna impeach Joe Biden and have a bunch of these people who are like, they’re not so down on Joe Biden. They’re just like down on where things are and like don’t love him and kinda wish there was somebody younger. I think it pulls some percentage of those people back into a more more enthusiasm for him while the trumpers come after him.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:37

    From your lips to god’s ears, god willing. Alright. So the other thing I wanna talk about was abortion. Abortion is never fun to talk about. So in Texas, We have two counties which have passed laws concerning abortion trafficking.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:57

    These two counties are strategically located along interstate highway routes, and the ordinances that they have passed make it a legal for anyone to drive on roads through the counties for the purpose of obtaining an out of state abortion. And the legal mechanism here is like the SBA bill. It is a series of private lawsuit bounties. And so if you, you know, you spot someone who’s driving through your county on the way to get an abortion, you can sue them as a private citizen. And this is part of a a planned out strategy throughout the state of Texas to strategically hit counties around all of the interstates that leave the state as well as airports, counties with airports in them, to try to shut down what they call abortion trafficking.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:53

    This is a real thing that is happening Again, two of the counties have already passed the laws. These laws are now on the books for it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:31:59

    I
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:00

    find this astonishing And I am just curious as to what you guys think the political consequences of this will be because I think they’ll be zero. I think like with the impeachment, This is a just another asymmetry where, you know, Republicans won’t pay any price for it and, like, there’s nothing Dems could do. You know, in the aftermath of Dobbs, there was a lot of concern that Democrats would, you know, overplay their hand. It would push for, you know, abortion laws that were wildly out of step with with where, you know, general public opinion is on this. And I guess there’s been a little bit of that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:36

    But the other side is I mean, this seems nuts to me. Am I wrong, Sarah?
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:41

    You’re not wrong about the nuts part. I think you’re wrong about the fact that there’s nothing Democrats can do about it. I mean, I just think that the way Republicans march in lockstep and create an issue and talk about it relentlessly is much better than the way Democrats do. The Democrats should talk about this relentlessly and they have to, but they don’t rear up in the same way with the focus to make this central to their case against Republicans. And they should.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:08

    These kinds of overreaches are the kinds of things. You even look at something like in Wisconsin where they were going to impeach the Janet Prostaseoitz. Protaseoitz. See, we’ve always got
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:19

    that right. Gold stars.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:20

    You know, they’re gonna impeach her and Liever and limbo Charlie Sykes talked a lot about this just so she doesn’t have any say over the redistricting because drawing fair maps would be bad for Republicans and Wisconsin. Like, these are insane things that Democrats should put their hair on fireabout, and a million surrogates should be out there talking about it. And they never do that in a way that I think is particularly effective. I think Republicans are much better at that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:44

    Yeah. I mean, JBL maybe should just be the assignment editor for the DNC because I hadn’t actually seen the story that he sent along morning. Right. But I nothing makes me wanna, like, put on my Freedom War paint and just do my Mel Gibson scream than trying to tell me that I can’t drive across the fucking border from Texas to New Mexico. K.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:01

    I’ll drive across the border from Texas to Mexico to do whatever I damn well, please. And, you know, like, I do think that This is an area where, you know, Democrats can and should be cutting against the Republican argument about this stuff. On COVID, on guns, on everything. Right? Like, I was like this goes against a central ethos that some Republicans not all.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:25

    Obviously, I think the dominant the Republican party right now is moving towards, you know, the Ron DeSantis, trumpy, you know, Fashy, you know, we need punishment for our enemies and freedom for our friends. But there are still people out there that just have the Freedom instinct. You know, have a libertarian instinct and that are swinging. And and and like these people should be targeted with this and say, like, this is outrageous, far more outrageous than anything that that Democrats are doing, though. I want to get to New Mexico too in a second.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:52

    And, you know, I think that when you combine this story, we’re banning women from going across state lines, and we’re letting random Karen’s sue sorry, Karen. We’re letting a random josh’s sue them, you know, because they’re mad is crazy. Just like the story that was out of Cippy about the young girl that had been raped to the, like, was unable that her mother was just like I’m unable to afford, like, we’re too we’re too landlocked from states where She could get an abortion despite being a minor despite having been raped. I mean, I I mean, these these are ninety percent issues. You know, even benny pro life people, like, think that that person should have an op that child should have an opportunity and abortion.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:31

    So I do think continuing to just bang on those and and let those stories define the Republican Party is important. The New Mexico thing, and I think is an inverse example of this. And again, Democrats never get credit for this, but they they should. And I think sometimes, some Democrats, that’s why the role we can play as never trumpers is to bring this up. Because some Democrats are afraid to bring it up because they they want their base to get mad at them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:54

    But when Louon Grisham goes out there and passes, like, whatever you think about the mirror. Like, I’m I’m, like, almost in the Beto territory, and we should just confiscate everybody’s gun. So, like, this is, this is about process, not policy for me. But, like, the idea that a governor can just on a whim by decree, by fiat, say you can’t carry your guns in this one county for one month because there are a couple of shootings. Like, that’s preposterous.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:19

    Like it’s preposterous. Sure. Maybe the city council could if did it, then then then it’s approved. Right? There’s a process.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:24

    For these sorts of things. You can’t be the pro democracy party and have democratic governors, you know, governed by whim, you know, to make progressives happy. But what happened to that? Like several Democrats, including Chris Murphy, probably the most vocal Democrat on gun control, spoke out and said, no, I don’t think this is legal. I don’t think they should do this.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:41

    Ted Lee, friend of the pond. David hog, you know, activist. Like prominent pro not random Democrats, not moderate, not Joe Mansion. Prominent middle of the road Democrats were like, nope. Sorry, New Mexico governor.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:54

    You shouldn’t do this. And so, again, it’s that asymmetry you always talk about JBL. It’s like, why can’t, like, Democrats need to do better about taking credit for the fact that when there are oversteps on their side, they’re self policing and then expose the other side when there is no self policing. You’re not gonna hear any it’s will a single Republican be like, hey, what’s happening in Texas is wrong? No.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:15

    Of course not.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:15

    Yeah. No Republicans said anything with Trump lived by executive order when he was when he was commandeering money for the Wall, when he he’s the purported nominee, and he also talked for about suspending the constitution. But that is not an excuse for a Democratic governor to just say that the constitution doesn’t matter. And what I loved about Ted Lou’s post is he didn’t just post about it. Disagree with her.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:38

    He was like slugging it out in the comments. Because a bunch of people who don’t know enough about the law were trying to explain to him And I do believe he is he’s certainly a lawyer, if not a constitutional scholar. He knows a lot about it. And he was just kept, like, posting, like, I’m sorry that it is this way, but the Supreme has ruled on this and, like, to for her to do this is unconstitutional. And so I did appreciate them jumping on it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:01

    I actually think I think more people could have done it because it’s a kind of a slam dunk. This is an anti constitutional measure. She can’t do it. I think you’re right. I saw like David Hogg, and there were a lot of big people.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:11

    Her own attorney general, I think. Also
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:14

    Yeah. But, like, did you read Joe Pertacone’s thing? Because it was sort of like the senator and her state was kinda like, you know, you know, like, there was a little bit of people don’t love the idea of criticizing her because because they agree with the sentiment behind it, but that’s not the point. Like, when you say This is a process thing for me. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:33

    Like, we have like, that’s not it’s not like a small thing. It’s not a small thing to be process oriented. It’s the whole thing. It’s the whole thing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:39

    Again, asymmetry, right? Defund the police in twenty twenty was a very salient issue. It by all accounts moved a ton of votes, it really hurt Democrats down ballot in house races and governor races, and defund the police was a movement with, like, Corey Bush and fifteen progressives on Twitter behind.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:02

    No. That’s that diminishes it too much.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:05

    Prosecutors in many major cities.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:07

    Okay. Maybe not many, but in a in a few major cities. Right? Local prosecutors and a few major cities.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:13

    No. I would say many. I would say many. Saint Louis, Milwaukee, Washington DC, San Francisco, Chicago. I mean, do we have to keep going?
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:20

    Alright. Well, thank The police were not actually defunded, and the presidential candidate is all in favor of more police and giving more money to police. And just despite the fact of this, Democrats got hurt by it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:33

    Because their activist base was incredibly loud about it, and because lots of people at the state level were trying to move to do things about it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:39

    Well, the activist based on on the abortion stuff is very, very loud in Texas, and they’ve passed actual laws that are enforced. And I just don’t know that they’re gonna pay any electoral consequences for this pay any electoral price. This is what, again, it’s that weird asymmetry.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:56

    I do think so.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:56

    Because Is it because the bases are not equally polarized? Right? Because the the Republican base is is more concentrated in that way. And so they can just do stuff without losing any marginal Republicans because the marginal Republicans who are gone are basically already gone.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:14

    I think there I think there’s some truth to this. I also think there’s an asymmetry in the issues because I think for a lot of people, the abortion thing, they is theoretical to them. And they they do not like hearing about a, you know, fourteen year old rape victim who can’t cross state lines. That makes them uncomfortable. They hate it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:33

    You should put that in their faces that that’s what’s happening, but that is different than how they feel at the idea of they’re not being cops to defend them if their house is being robbed. That it’s much more visceral to them, and it creates much more sense of that this thing that is being pushed by these other people could really impact them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:47

    I don’t necessarily disagree with that. I also think though that, like, abortion did hurt Republicans in the midterms, and I think it it could hurt them more. I I I concur with the notion of somehow And this is something that you guys despite you as disagreeing on, like, the outcome of this. You you both agree on just the asymmetry of, like, somehow the Republicans, like, every hour on Fox, they’re talking to defund the police and every politician is talking about defund the police and every, you know, even casuals, you know, at the at the, you know, my football buddies that judge for, you know, who don’t read any politics. Like, they’re aware of it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:19

    And that’s happening a little bit on the extreme row stuff. But I I do think that that can be wrapped around, you know, and helped to brand Republicans in a better way. Just like this notion that Like this is crazy. Like, we’re we’re we’re gonna trap people in their states now. We’re trapping people in their states.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:37

    Like, that affects everybody.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:38

    But here’s the problem. We don’t want Democrats to do this sort of lockstep media propaganda thing because that’s a sign of being an unhealthy political movement. Right. Right. You don’t want MSNBC to be like Fox, and you don’t want their like what you want is like with the gun thing in New go.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:59

    You want room for disagreement and self correction. You don’t want everybody reading out of a playbook. Right? I mean, this is I mean, when I say want, I mean, when you’re looking for markers of a healthy political party and a healthy political movement, it’s just that those things in the modern media culture turn out to be enormous electoral liabilities.
  • Speaker 3
    0:42:19

    I mean, I don’t know that I agree with them. I mean, I think you don’t want them to be cultivating, like, things that are sort of untrue for like an, a like a consistent outrage fests. Right? Like, the way that they want people sort of scared and angry, and they talk about, you know, the litter boxes and the classrooms, and you know, for Which
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:39

    a friend mentioned to me at the Oldness two lane game this weekend.
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:44

    You literally wrote the piece to bunking that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:46

    I sent a friend came up to me, and they were like, hey, would I didn’t mean to ask you about this. What do you think about the furries in schools with the litter boxes? And I was like, oh my god.
  • Speaker 3
    0:42:55

    Right. So, like, you don’t want to be like a propagator of dis and misinformation, you do want to educate your voters about what and certainly swing voters about what Republicans are doing And I think they do a piss poor job of that, specifically. And this idea of the surrogate thing, like, we end up being the surrogates, us. There’s not just like an army. Trump had an army of people, and I think from a just a pure communications and education standpoint, when you ask about differences in economy, part of it is psychological and vibes, but like, Trump made his own vibes walking around best economy, Bulwark people, best economy for women.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:30

    Totally great.
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:30

    These guys are like Byanomics, and it’s cooling, and, you know, whatever. And, like, I I just it is not. This is not where we need to be. There needs to be concerted communications efforts that create their own echo chambers that build a narrative that dominates Republicans and and and forms high level narratives about who they are.
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:49

    Except that we don’t want echo chambers and we don’t we wanna be governed by data and not narratives. And this is We don’t wanna present choosing our future.
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:56

    We don’t know why, but you wanna tell people the truth about what’s going on.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:00

    But, but also you don’t wanna be in the business of stoking culture wars all the time to get people inflamed.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:06

    Yeah. This is a real war, though.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:08

    I guess that’s right. This
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:09

    is a real one.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:10

    Yeah. Guys, we are moving the show. We’re moving the show.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:14

    Only on YouTube.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:15

    YouTube watcher. So if you are a YouTube watcher, go and subscribe to the main Bulwark feed. Because come October, this show is gonna be not in its own feed, but in the main bulwark feed with a bunch of other good stuff, you should go get on that now.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:28

    If you’re a podcast listener or you listen on Substack or you listen on your URL on your browser, I’ve I’ve learned since you said this that a lot of people listen to the show in very strange ways. If you have a carrier pigeon that brings you a audio file that they play outside your home, nothing changes. Only if the moment You listen to it in the
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:46

    boom box.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:47

    Yeah. You
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:47

    have Lloyd Dobbler standing outside your bedroom window with a boom box and a cassette tape of the show. That will not change. That will still be there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:54

    It doesn’t help our ratings really. We appreciate every listener. But yeah, it’s only for YouTube people. Everyone else can just ignore that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:01

    Alright. Good show, long show. We gotta get out of here.
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