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We Are Living in a Post-Rational World

November 22, 2023
Notes
Transcript
A disconnect from reality has descended on the US: Republicans practice fantasy politics day and night, Trump is out to paint Biden as corrupt, and Americans think the economy is in the crapper. Plus, family love and loss, and gratitude for a good ending. JVL joins guest host A.B. Stoddard.
This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:09

    Welcome to the Bulwark podcast. Charlie Sykes is enjoying a well deserved early Thanksgiving Day, and I’m thrilled to be here in his place. I may be stoddard columnist at the Bulwark, and I’m delighted to be joined by JBL. We’ve missed him. We need some JBL content.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:25

    He was terribly missed at last week’s Full work live event. So It’s really exciting to see you JBL. The only good thing about your last week of your life was that you were, I believe, on a trump lens, And I’m really happy about that for you.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:40

    Oh, yeah. Did anything happen? Does he still exist? Is that a thing still?
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:44

    Unfortunately, he does, and he didn’t make much news. We’re gonna grind through what he’s doing. I wanna open just with a sort of a pre thanksgiving level setter that James Comer said on Maria Barta Romo show that he believes that every American is angry about Joe Biden’s corruption. So just thought that would just get us in the right place as we begin. Donald Trump, as we debate all the time, is not in hiding, but is not as visible to the in public as he once was.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:14

    And over on truth social, he’s been making a lot of videos. And the latest ones are very strange because he’s not wearing the makeup. And the hairdo looks a little bit different. And I don’t know what’s going on with that. The lighting is weird, but he’s not in, like, you know, his mango state.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:32

    I don’t know. Maybe he lost his makeup guy. Maybe that person got sick. Maybe Donald Trump can’t do his makeup anymore. I thought it was interesting, but he wants JBL for the debates to stop.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:45

    And the candidates to get out. So he’s very excited. The audience should know in case they’ve been tuning out. All of the polling remains the same. Nothing has changed.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:55

    Joe Biden loses to trump in every single solitary matchup. And Trump is very excited about this. Great polls just released best ever, and he cites a Harvard Harris poll, which is always always biased to Trump. Trump sixty seven to sanctimonious nine, birdbrain, Nickalia eight, Ramos Wamy at five. Christie dead in the water, a total loser, And then he says he’s up seven to ten percent on Crooked Joe Biden.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:22

    And he says the Ron DeSantis save money on lowest ever rating debates, use it against the Democrats to stop the steal. Revamp the RNC now. So that’s where he is. And any of us wanting to hear more about the useless force race on the Republican side are gonna be really sorry because I’m sure the RNC will do his bidding soon and find a way to shut this all down. And I know Nikki Haley is having her wonderful surge, and she’s feeling so good.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:51

    But We all know JBL the most if we’ve paid attention to the polling that Donald Trump obviously pretty much has this thing locked on unless something completely crazy happens. So JV Allen has spent a lot of time looking at the general election matchup and There is something JBL that really freaked me out, and I’m gonna play it for you. Donald Trump is now talking about democracy. So we’re gonna play this latest clip.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:18

    Nothing about crooked Joe Biden and the anti democratic party has anything to do with defending democracy. So if Crooked Joe wants to turn this election into a question of which candidate will defend our democracy and freedom, Then I say, bring it on. Let’s go, Joe. Bring it on because you are a corrupt person. You’re the most corrupt president in our history.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:41

    And by the way, the most incompetent president in our history.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:45

    The delivery is always good for, giggle, but this kind of freaks me out. What do you think?
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:51

    Well, that poll that freaked everyone out, like, three weeks ago, the New York Times poll of swing voters in the Midwest States. One of the questions buried in there was about corrupt Joe Biden versus corrupt Donald Trump. And trump leads Biden on the corruption stuff. Like, people think he’s more corrupt than Biden is. But, like, fifth I wonder I’m going by memory here.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:14

    It was more than a majority. It was, like, fifty one percent of those swing state odors said that Biden was corrupt too. So all of the hunter stuff has penetrated the groundwater in ways which Like, of course, nobody can explain. Like, they’re they’re just, like, the the laptop, you know, or or the files in the court. And people are horrible.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:36

    AB, happy Thanksgiving. People are terrible. It is interesting to me that Trump has switched from sleepy Joe to crooked Joe, Because he has decided that he needs to and this is my god. If the guy who’s under ninety one felony indictment counts, can successfully brand Biden who has basically been scandalous as a president
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:00

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:00

    As crooked And the public buys that, spoiler, they’re going to buy that. I don’t know. Like, I just look at it and I think, how How is this close? How is this close? Why?
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:14

    You know, and yet there we are. And here’s a real question. A real question for you. I think the RNC can’t shut it down because they need to have just a process in place in case, like, the magic ham cheeseburger hits. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:32

    In in case he drops bad Oh, okay. You know what? Like, they have to have a plausible delegate election process so that, you know, on January tenth if something awful happens to Trump, They actually have other people running in races and appearing on ballots who can then gather delegates.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:51

    Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:52

    There will be pressure. A lot of pressure Ron DeSantis to drop out. I have always thought that, you know, it’s possible he doesn’t go to Iowa. Right? If if it looks like he could finish third in Iowa, then he should pull the plug on that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:04

    He should not finish. I mean, it may not matter. His his political future may be over as it is. But, you know, he has to think about Casey. Casey’s got a political future.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:13

    Might help her if he doesn’t finish third in Iowa, actually. But the rest of them this is the question. Right? Nikki Haley. On the merits, just as a substantive matter.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:24

    Nikki has said that the the most important thing facing us right now is Ukraine, that this moment requires strong leadership from America in the world, that it will impact our strategic competition with China and the the entire global order, and that Donald Trump is untrustworthy on this. And she is basically as a matter of policy in ninety five percent alignment with the Biden administration. When she loses the nomination to Trump, who again, she has also said it’s serious that that he’s been indicted ninety one times. What will she do? Is she just gonna go ahead and and I mean, and the answer is, of course, we know what she’s gonna do.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:07

    She’s gonna endorse Trump. Right? And at some point, at some point, a, b, it’s not gonna be enough. Like, the rest of this coalition, which is held off trumpism for of, like, four straight elections at this point is gonna need some help from Republicans. And I’m sorry.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:24

    And I know we’ve all just decided, well, the Republicans are a lost cause can’t ever expect any of them to to do anything, but gonna have to happen or else we’re toast.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:35

    Yeah. So I thought in August that DeSantis should take your advice, and he should get out to preserve his future. And I don’t think Bob van der Platt’s endorsement is gonna turbo Charlie Sykes going on with what plays Ron DeSantis. And I also agreed with you that she will turn around and, abandon her agreement with Joe Biden on Israel and Taiwan and Ukraine, being a unified urgent matter and that she will, endorse Trump I think about these replicas all the time, and this is a good segue into this really upsetting, reporting that we all just read about these former administration officials who are now completely appalled. Poor John Kelly just went on the record, like, seven weeks ago after all these years, and he’s very upset.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:28

    That he’s told the American public, all these disgusting and shameful And pretty much, in my book, evil things that Donald Trump says about people in the armed services, especially ones who gave their lives, and then it didn’t do anything to budge the polls. Sean Kelly’s very upset. Now he’s speaking out and people like you and I’ve been begging him for years to do this. So these Republicans that you are mentioning, that six percent or whatever we need that we needed in twenty twenty, they’re telling us now, like, I’m not gonna go over Joe Biden. I mean, they’re just gonna sit this out.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:06

    So this this resistance, I think, Crishay is a former congressman from Connecticut was quoted as saying this, Christy Todd Whitman, the White House didn’t reach out to them. They supported him. Obviously, Jeff Blake is happy. He’s an ambassador under the Biden administration, but these these Republicans that we need to come around. Do you have like a unicorn fantasy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:28

    Like, I do that somehow next late summer Chris Christie will be on a stage. With John Kelly and all these people and that we might be surprised by the inclusion of some of them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:42

    I don’t know. So so Philip bump did this piece in the post where he talked to a whole bunch of former administration officials, and they’re all talking Not about, like, stopping Trump in the primary. They’re talking about keeping Trump out of the White House. Yeah. These are people who worked for Trump at the highest levels who say that it is dangerous for America for him to attain power again.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:02

    And I am told by people who are, like, you know, very smart like our friend, Sarah, and Tim, that you cannot expect Republicans to simply, like, go on stage and endorse a Democratic president, like, that this is something which simply can’t happen. That’s fantasy politics. That only happens in the West Wing. Right? In West Wing, Alan Allenal does character decides that he’ll, you know, he’ll break with Republican orthodoxy and and endorse Joe Biden or president Bartlett or whatever.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:30

    And I get that. Except that, like, Donald Trump engages in fantasy politics, all the time. Right? It is, you know, conservative fantasy. That you could have a presidential candidate who says that he is going to politicize the entire executive federal workforce and impose loyalty tests on them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:52

    It is fantasy politics that you could have a presidential candidate who says that he’s gonna build a wall all the way across the southern border and get Mexico to pay for it. Or that he is going to create vast systems of prison camps to put his political enemies in. The trumpers are doing fantasy politics all day and all night And it’s not, like, I don’t understand why it only goes one way. Right? This is what I don’t quite get.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:17

    Yes. And the best example of that is just the RNC debates and this idea that there’s this other field where they’re just gonna be there to catch the falling body. There’s no nominating fight. There’s no contested primary. There’s no real race for the nomination.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:36

    And so it’s just But when you watch Ramos Wami and DeSantis and Nikki Haley, I think Chris Christie’s doing something else, all line up on stage and carry on like this. I mean, that’s Fantasy politics. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:48

    They barely talk about Trump. Like, there’s a guy who’s at sixty percent nationally, and they they only talk about him when asked. And I don’t understand that because it’s like they’re not living in reality. I’m writing a little bit about this today. I’ll I’ll talk it through with you.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:03

    There is this way in which the inability of the other Republican candidates to even properly understand like, the world that they live in, it’s like they’re the citizens of, an authoritarian state. You know, the government controls all the media. They don’t know what’s true and what’s not true. And so they can’t tell what’s what. And, you know, I don’t get it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:31

    This thing can only be fixed from the inside is my view. I I don’t think that there’s anything that the media or academia or Democrats or independents can do to change the character of the Republican Party. The Republican Party is either going to turn us back on trumpism or simply, like, you know, switch to something else. Right? A new shiny object will come along, but they’ll like better, and they’ll just build over top of it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:55

    Right? They’ll never apologize for the trump thing. They’ll just move on to something different But it’s hard for it to get fixed from the inside when the people who would be charged with, you know, displacing Trump when those people can’t even understand the world around them in an accurate way. And, like, the DeSantis challenge to Trump is the perfect example of this. Like, the the Santa’s had no idea what he was doing when he got into this race.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:22

    I mean, for the longest time, I didn’t believe that he was actually gonna declare. Because I thought he was smart. And I thought that he would understand that if he if he gets into the race, he’s going to lose and that this isn’t the way it used to be when running coming in second meant that you were starting in the poll position for the next time around that when Republicans challenged Trump, their careers around it because, you know, it’s a cult. Ron DeSantis didn’t get that. You know, he didn’t understand either of those things.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:48

    And then once he got in, he didn’t understand that he would have to actually try to take Trump’s voters from him. I mean, the whole campaign that he’s run has been incomprehensible in any meaningful way, and it’s because he He simply didn’t understand the electorate. I don’t get it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:05

    Roger Stone has, a few words for Rhonda Stantas this morning that everyone needs to hear before Thanksgiving. Trump voters will never all caps vote for Ron DeSantis under any circumstances. And he tells Bob Vanderputz, you need to be exposed as the grifting horror and total piece of shit that you are, but it uses POS. So I just wanted to update everyone on that. I guess Ron DeSantis get that memo when he got into the race.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:33

    Before we move on, couldn’t the same be said, Fernicky Haley? Like, she does it well, but what is she doing? Right? We know she’s the best political performer in the field. So again, I put Chris Christie.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:45

    I think he’s on a mission that’s completely separate. She’s performing so well. She she won’t be outworked. She’s so cheerful. She’s so prepared.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:55

    She’s so knowledgeable. She is ready to finesse these opinions and that opinions that might upset manga voters. She knows how to spin and bullshit everybody. But what is she doing? Do you think in the end it is possible that he breaks down?
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:09

    Even though she would outshine him and picks her for VP.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:12

    No. I because he can’t trust her.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:13

    Okay. So what is she doing?
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:15

    I mean, Nikki’s running for corporate board seats. I
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:17

    think. Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:18

    And because she’s, again, what she she’s not trying to take voters from Trump. Right? She’s trying to take voters from Chris Christie and take voters from DeSantis and consolidate. I mean, she’s playing for twenty percent. Her best case scenario is like twenty, twenty five percent, maybe.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:33

    Right. And if you’re not playing to win, then you’re doing it for some other reason. And I think it’s because her career wasn’t a dead end. Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:41

    You
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:42

    know, like, she had washed out of the Trump administration, and then she had emerged basically unscathed, but then she flip flopped on the January sixth thing, and you know, she got crossways with him, then she got uncrossed ways with him. And the only way for her to be relevant in Republican politics again was by running for president. That was it. That was the only pathway available.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:02

    Right. So she’s just playing a longer game. If she’s finished a second, she’s gonna be perfectly positioned for
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:07

    Whatever she wants to know. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:09

    Yeah. Okay. So it was actually Josh Josi’s reporting in the Washington Post about the former Trump administration I’m sorry. Is Duke credit. So what was really not fun to read in there, but, of course, we knew it is that long suffering Mike Pence does not plan to come out publicly and be a part of this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:27

    Neither does James Mattis, by the way. Before we turn to Joe Biden, what are your thoughts on the January six tapes. I hope no one spends any time on this in our audience without having to just know that if Tucker Carlson could have found something, in the freaking mass of tapes. We would have heard about it by now. But speaker Johnson is trying to keep people at bay and is released the j six tapes to get people really excited with more conspiracy theories.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:57

    What do you think by putting this front and center JBL, does this help the Democrats? I mean, is the jury back in for the average sane swing voter that, like, This is a disaster for Republicans and they they don’t want election deniers in petitions like secretary of state and governor because we saw that last November in twenty twenty two in the midterms. Is this risky for Republicans? Or do you think no?
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:22

    I don’t think so. Mean, I I honestly don’t think there’s any price left to be paid for for them. And I think it’s probably the opposite. Right? This is this is a way of just chumming the water for the Republican base and, keeping them happy It’s like the Biden corruption thing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:39

    Right? It doesn’t matter that there’s no proof for evidence there. It’s just sorta in the water around you. Right? You’re swimming through it and it’s, like, well, we got forty thousand hours of tapes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:48

    Maybe we’ll find something. Right? Mike Lee gets to do is, like, here’s a guy flashing a badge. The fibbies did it. And It’s all alternate reality, fact free vibes stuff, like everything is these days, you know, like like the economy stuff is.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:05

    And it’s like we’re in this post rational
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:09

    world
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:10

    that I don’t understand, and I feel I feel the way I think very old people do sometimes. If you’re ninety years old, you were born in the the thirties, right, in the great depression. That that was the world you new and understood. And then we put a man on the moon, and now people have computers in their pockets. And people have tattoos on their faces and everybody at Starbucks has purple hair and a nose ring.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:35

    You just look, and you’re like, I don’t understand this world. This isn’t the world I I figured out. And that’s kinda how I feel, but I’m not ninety.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:43

    And the newsstand at the Philly train station doesn’t sell newspapers anymore. I know that I’ve cited that before, but I keep coming back to it. It’s a little traumatizing. Okay. So I know there’s something that you and I are both thankful for.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:02

    Which never gets any thanks. And that is the presidency of Joseph Robinette Biden. Today, we have a temporary truce and a hostage deal for which he will get no credit from any material part of the electorate, certainly not any part that matters. No. Even if the Wall Street Journal is clapping for admiral Kirby as he gets out there and fights against the disinformation about the Palestinian and genocide.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:33

    His numbers go down because of this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:35

    That’s so prevalent on our left, and that’s punching Joe Biden in the nose over his near perfect management of this conflict. So as we head into this and these polls keep coming JBL and the response from the White House and the DNC is always to stop that wedding and that when Americans tune in they use this word, these two words when Americans tune in that these polls will change. Now I completely believe I don’t wanna claim with everything, but I believe the results in Sarah Longwell focus groups that find that Americans refused to believe that Trump and Biden are the nominees and that when they accept it in March, they Will Saletan of them ultimately stop, stopping their feet, and they’ll probably support by it. And that’s prevalent enough in the responses that I’m not jumping off building, but I don’t know when Democrats and people in the White House tell me what tune in means with the fact that none of the criminal charges make a difference no Americans keep the four criminal cases distinct in their minds. They haven’t learned about them.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:45

    They won’t. They don’t care. And so I wanna ask you before I talk to you about the electorate, what the anticipation is by democratic elites that Will Saletan. Will they be suddenly shocked by Trump? Like, What is the tuning in process that they’re counting on when Joe Biden is a year older?
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:03

    Yeah. Did you know how old his effect AB. Joe Biden is even older today than he was yesterday. This is a scandal. I don’t know why the liberal media refuses to cover it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:12

    I won’t do your times ever write anything about Joe Biden’s name. Interested. There are heads in the I know.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:17

    It is a scandal. Okay. So what is tuning in?
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:21

    So I think this is born of their experience during the Obama administration, I think. And if you’ll recall, polling for Obama was very, very bad at this point. In two thousand eleven. And in that case, it was that the recovery was too slow. And if you you look back, this is one of the things that a lot of Democratic policy types, economist types.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:44

    One of the lessons they over learned from the great recession was that they they were too stingy with stimulus and that that was why the recovery took, you know, separate. We were essentially in, like, a six year long recovery, seven year long recovery. And that was part of the thinking that went behind the American rescue plan. And, you know, now, of course, people say, well, actually, they overspent. They spent too much that then contributed to inflation.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:07

    But this is why Obama’s poll numbers were were pretty bad. And by most of the metrics, people thought that Obama should lose reelection. You know, we we didn’t have a Republican nominee yet, but just, again, just going from, like, the economic modeling and the what people were saying. And then once people tuned in, and Obama was able to make the case, and did it a pretty good way, I don’t know if you remember the Democratic National Convention that year, Bill Clinton gave this absolute barn burner speech on the the next to last day, which know, it’s like a ninety minute master class in politics about how the Biden administration had fixed the economy and etcetera, etcetera. And they were able to wind up with a comfortable victory, you know, a smaller victory than they had in their initial election, which is, again, sort of historically anomalous.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:58

    Normally, when presidents win reelection, they actually expand their coalition. So you you’re always either growing or shrinking. It’s hard to shrink your coalition just enough to still hang on to win. Obama did that. It looks like Biden will have to do that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:13

    Although, I don’t know. I mean, it’s entirely possible he could wind up with the same five point margin and then lose. Because, you know, electoral college shifts keep happening. So I don’t know about the wake up part. Here’s the thing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:25

    I am constantly getting in fights with my colleagues over this. I think they misunderstand me. So I’m going to try to do you mind me filibustering here for thirty seconds?
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:33

    No. I want to hear this.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:35

    Okay. When I say that people’s views of the economy are misaligned, I am not saying that the economy is perfect. And everything is great, and you people out there ought to be grateful for what Joe Biden has let you have. That’s not what I’m saying. The economy is a mixed bag.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:53

    As it always is, it is very hard for working families. As it always is, it is very hard for people on fixed incomes in their retirement years as it always is. It is hard for people starting out their professional lives as it often is. You know, it is hard to buy a first home always. What I am saying is that when you look at the data and then you matched up against the consumer sentiments, as measured in, like, you know, a whole vast number of surveys, the misalignment is catastrophic.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:27

    Basically, the consumer attitudes today are the same as they were in the worst moments of the great recession late two thousand eight or early two thousand and nine. There is no way to match this up. And I don’t understand it. It is irrational. It is definitionally irrational.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:46

    And either this irrationality is going to continue or it will stop. And if it stops, then Joe Biden will be reelected. And if it continues, then he won’t be.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:56

    I agree because the gap has never been wider between the economic reality and the perception, as you said, since polling began, every outlook from the voters of Joe Biden’s entire presidency is all on prices and perception. Pull showing that Americans think we’ve lost jobs when we have clearly gained more in less than three years than the last three Republican administrations combined. And then there’s other things, record small business creation, you know, rising consumer confidence, lowering inflation, wages catching up. All the things that you have written about extensively it makes no sense that they feel that we are in the crapper. And part of the problem with this tune in concept for me is that Americans have no idea what he has done with the chips act for semiconductor manufacturing, the pact act for veterans health care, the infrastructure act, The IRA, the inflation reduction was partisan, was not bipartisan, but the thirty five dollar insulin and a massive massive climate endeavor that brings new manufacturing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:01

    You’ve written about all of this to red areas. To people, non college workers are gonna get great salaries at new plants in tight labor markets in red areas. These people who didn’t vote for Biden, and they won’t vote for him again. But as these projects come online JBL, do you have any hope that Americans will see this in their community? You know, kinda midnight late next summer and say, this is actually happening to my friends and family and neighbors or me And this is really great.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:35

    Government is doing something effective and revitalizing my community. An area left behind by globalization. This is so exciting. When the administration talks about tuning in, they’re gonna run commercials about this. I don’t know if these disaffected young people are gonna give a crap about a TV commercial or if they’ll ever see it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:55

    But do you believe that The green shoots will be seen or felt.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:00

    I mean, they should be, but somehow I have a hard time believing they will be. Think about early on. In the American Rescue plan, one of the big parts of it, the parts that I was excited about, the most, was the child tax credit. Which was the kind of because I, you know, I’ve written a lot about demographics, the kind of, like, super populist pronatalist, like, help working families thing that makes a real difference in people’s lives. The kind of thing that, like, every Mitt Romney, Mike Lee type Republican once upon a time, like, five minutes ago, was super into.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:37

    Biden passes it and they all they all demagogue it and whatnot. This is the thing that, like, is giving actual real help to every parent in America almost. There’s a little bit of mean testing at the top and it goes down, but in a way that, like, just straight dollars into your bank account every month. It goes away because the Republicans refuse to reauthorize it. And Republicans never pay any price for that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:59

    No price. There is not a single person in America who voted against a Republican congressman because, like, crap, they took away this money that was coming into my bank account every month. And if they won’t do that, then, like, I don’t know. Like, they’re gonna see an ad about the chips act and decide that they’re gonna vote for Joe Biden because he passed the Chip sack. I don’t know.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:17

    How does that work?
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:18

    I just need to throw some of this out there that a recent, Yahoo News and yougov asked Ron DeSantis. Have you heard in the media much over the last few years? And this was the response over enabling Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, twenty three percent had heard. Congress passing infrastructure investments in twenty twenty one twenty percent. Congress passing climate and clean energy investments in twenty twenty two eighteen percent.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:47

    Congress passing a gun safety law in twenty twenty two, fourteen percent. That’s why less than a quarter of Americans, twenty four percent think Biden has accomplished a lot as president. So when you talk to young people and I know you don’t have twenty two year olds in your house, but when you inform these people in their twenties about the climate effort, they think it’s really great. They just didn’t know about it. So I think that on the margins if there’s some way to break through in targeted ways.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:18

    When people find out about it, they actually like the policies. So just wanted to throw that out there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:24

    Yeah. But does anybody voting on policies? Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:27

    Or
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:27

    are they just voting on vibes. Right? I mean, look, I mean, trump entire twenty twenty reelection effort was policy free.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:33

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:33

    And he almost won. There were no policies. In my darker moments, when I’m when I’m, like, extra special dark. I joke that Joe Biden is both, like, the most successful liberal president and the most successful conservative president since Reagan. And just in terms of passing stuff and doing, like, foreign policy hawkish stuff in the world that Conservatives find really important, and then liberals find really important.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:58

    And it turns out that nobody cares about any of that stuff. It turns out nobody cares about the centrism, nobody cares about the bipartisan stuff, nobody cares about legislative accomplishment or handling foreign policy crises well. They just care about the vibes maybe. And if that’s the case, then, like, I don’t know. We’re screwed.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:22

    Okay. Final question. Is the electorate changing out from Under Joe Biden and you and me? So Phil Bump did write at the Washington Post about younger voters recently, and he said they’re increasingly registering his independence. They don’t give a crap about party They are not loyal to any institutions.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:40

    They don’t join unions or the military. They don’t marry, and they don’t go to church in large enough numbers. The way that we did as we grew from young voters into middle age voters. And so this manifests as a decline in anyway, attachment to either party. But even though there are kind of leanings of our younger voters for towards Democrats, they look so disheartened with the process that they might just tune it out and, right, and not show up at all.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:08

    So that’s the fear. I am concerned that Republicans in these pullings have an advantage also on every single issue that support for the border wall now is majority support in a clinic PR poll. And that Americans believe that between crime and immigration and the economy they have to reelect trump. So that is policy based immigration much more of a vulnerability for Joe Biden than than it was. So maybe non college whites and Latinos and young people are just moving more to the right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:44

    What’s your thought on that, on substance.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:48

    Yeah. I mean, I don’t know that they have any idea what they’re saying they’re for.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:52

    You know what? I terrible thing to admit it out loud, but this is my view as well.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:56

    Yeah. But the polls show that, people think that Donald Trump would do a better job handling the the war in Israel right now. I don’t understand how that’s possible. There are no facts and evidence to suggest that Donald Trump would be handling this better. Biden is, again, just one of the most successful foreign policy, exhibitions in, you know, recent American history.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:16

    And yet Biden’s like underwater on it. And I don’t understand it. I don’t get it. I had a conversation with somebody I love who who was a Trump voter over the last few days, and She was telling me, and this is this is a, you know, I don’t know exactly where she gets her her news and information, but I I suspect it’s like from, like, her little sewing circle. And, I mean, she believes there’s absolutely no way that Joe Biden will be the nominee.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:45

    And that the the big rumor as she told me, was that Michelle Obama was going to run. She was gonna have Gavin Newsen as her VP And then as soon as she was elected, she would resign so that Gavin Newsom could be president. That was the big rumor about what was going to happen. And I just looked and I’m like, Okay. Like, if this is what people out in the world think, I don’t understand it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:09

    I don’t get it. Here we are. This is the worst show ever.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:17

    I know I know increase
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:19

    Happy Thanksgiving people. We’re all gonna die.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:22

    Increasingly, you it is clear that you and I should never do anything together, which is a shame. JBL, I’m thankful for you, and I wanna turn to, one of your loved ones If you just wanna tell the audience where you’ve been and heading into Thanksgiving, just a few words about your family. And about Jack, if you’d like.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:42

    Sure. I mean, as much as you have patience for it. So we moved up to officially New York City, but in reality Jersey, a year and a half ago to be close to my in laws, Jack and peg. You know, they’re they’re lovely wonderful people, and I love them but they have also been deeply integrated in my kids’ lives for, you know, since since day one. And they’re getting older and Jack had been fight cancer for a long time.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:07

    And once the pandemic made it so that, like, basically, I was working remotely all the time anyway, we just decided let’s go get as close to them as we could. And the answer is we got, like, two miles away from them. So it’s, you know, less than a five minute drive. We and we just see them literally every day, you know, and the payoff to not have to plan to see the grandparents is immense. Like, they call you and say we’re having trouble with the remote control and instead of trying to talk them through it over FaceTime, You just say, yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:38

    I’ll be over. You know, you just you you just pop over. Right. You know, you’re somebody one of the kids has a tough day of school, it just goes over and sits and has a cup of tea at the kitchen table with the grandmother for for twenty minutes. So Doesn’t have to be a, you know, well, we’re gonna go over for a visit.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:52

    Right? And we got, like, a decades worth of of time with the grandparents in over the course of, like, eighteen months. So Jack, you know, he was in decline and had been in hospice, and he passed away a week ago. Yeah. A week ago.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:11

    And it’s very sad. And it’s, you know, there’s a lot of grieving and, you know, especially hard for his wife and my wife and my kids, I am in the strange position of almost entirely only being able to see the joy in it, which is so weird and off brand for me because he had Just a very beautiful and good death. Right? This is so he, up until the final week, really, he had been slowing down quite a bit. And, you know, there were things he couldn’t do, but he was mostly able to do what he wanted to.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:46

    He was always fully together mentally. In the final week, things got really hard. But he was never in any pain. And, you know, in in his final days, around the clock, he was surrounded by his wife, his children and his grandchildren. When he passed away at, like, one in the morning, he had, you know, two of his grandchildren sitting vigil with him at his bedside.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:08

    And, like, what more can any of us hope for? Right? There are bad deaths and there are good deaths, and he had a very good and beautiful death. And this is a guy who I’m gonna get, like, too deep into the weeds, but who had never had any religious belief until about a year ago. And came home to the Catholic church and at his his funeral mass the other day, you know, I was a pallbearer or something I’ve never done before.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:36

    And walking into a church and down the aisle carrying a casket is a very strange view of the church. Like, it’s It did a number on me. It was very weird, but this church was packed, packed with people whose, you know, whose lives he had touched, or, you know, because he was a teacher and a coach. And so there were people who were there for him. There were people who were there for his kids, you know, or his wife’s friends.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:02

    And then friends of his grandchildren. So, like, you know, one of my oldest kids, best friends, volunteered to be an alter server for for Jack’s funeral mass. As I sat there, you know, with this very beautiful service, I thought this is This is as good as it gets. Right? And the sadness is that, of course, everybody wishes they could have more time with somebody.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:26

    Right? You know, you always well, if we only could’ve had ten more years. And totally understood. But in everything else, Jack had it great. My kids so blessed to have had that time with him that they will never forget.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:39

    Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:40

    And to then to be able
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:41

    to even be a part of his death, and, like, you know, we didn’t, like, try to hide it away or make it antiseptic. We were, like, all sort of in it with him together. I don’t know. I just I felt incredibly thankful for the whole thing, and I thought it was beautiful. And I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a ghoul or anything like that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:58

    For me, like grief was really overwhelmed by all the gratitude and happiness.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:02

    I love that because I think for anyone who has been through a good death, as I have, you realize afterwards what a gift it is because it helps counter your grief. And so anyone listening who hasn’t been should know that a good death can really, really heal you and energize you and bring you into touch not only with the preciousness of life, but with the power of people being close and staying close and being realistic and facing the bedside and and having the bed in the middle of the living room, and everyone come and face it. In the end, it’s the most healing thing. It’s the most important thing for for our path forward, how your kids will now live their life. Having known that, having seen it, how they will appreciate their grandmother in the years they have left with her.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:54

    And every level, it is so powerful. And so I’m so appreciative that you shared it. And I could sit here and take up too much time reading the sparkling beautiful obit that your wife wrote about her dad, which is filled with so many incredible details. But, he did have an amazing life. He had an amazing life.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:14

    So I will send you the eulogy she did for him, and it was amazing. This is this is a little unfair. So my wife is a professional speech writer. And having her do a eulogy for, like, a normal person is the equivalent of, like, bringing an NBA player to your pickup basketball game with your days. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:37

    Like, it’s just not you’re like, wait a minute. Hold on. Why is that guy throwing down three sixty dunks? And, like, it’s, you know, it’s a it’s a tight six minutes And yet it has, like, very large themes in it and an arc. And then she had, like, delivered it like a professional too.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:54

    I’ll send it to you. You’ll you’ll really like me.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:56

    I’m so glad she has that gift and that she could share it with all those people. I mean, you know what it’s like sitting and having someone be able to capture a person in a in a really moving compelling powerful eulogy and then being able to sort of survive standing up and giving it is it helps all of those hundreds of people. And it stays with you first. It stays with you forever.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:18

    Yeah. It was amazing. She was a rock star.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:19

    I wanna remind people that If you are grieving during the holidays, you know, do what you can to be around people who make you laugh, and remember that the life is precious. And that the time we have here, the people who leave us, you know, want us to spend it in the best way possible. And I am thankful for you JBL and the Bulwark community and the bulwark team. Just in a couple of months, you guys have given me hope. When I’ve really not had a lot.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:47

    It’s very, it’s very awesome. And I’m obviously grateful for my family, and I wanna throw it to you. Give me some gratitude.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:55

    Yeah. I all the same. I I guess somebody somewhere in Bulwark land had said that, the Jack had died. I I really have been just off the grid for two weeks because in my inbox, our hundreds of emails from Bulwark readers, setting their Ron DeSantis, and people sent me one of our very good friends. Hi there, Holly.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:15

    Sent me a piece of art that she made for me. And Oh. We were just so touched by all of this. And I understand you know, I I lost one of my aunts on nine eleven. I I understand, like, hitting the Thanksgiving holidays with with a lot of grief.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:30

    Graditude can be an act of will. Right. I mean, sometimes it flows naturally, and sometimes you’ve gotta just, like, grit your teeth and make I’m gonna be grateful for the things I have. And This is, you know, depending on where you are in in life. This may be a moment where you have to grit your teeth and make gratitude and act of will, but it will help if you do.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:50

    I am convinced that gratitude is the the absolute king of all the virtues. Yes. So I am grateful to you, AB. I’m so happy we get to work together.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:59

    Yes. Me too.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:00

    Yeah. And for for all you guys who listen and read us and watch us and email us and support us and our friends to us. I’m grateful for you guys too. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:11

    Happy Thanksgiving. That’s a perfect way to end JV. Thank you so much. We missed you so much. Have the best Thanksgiving that you can, hug that mother-in-law, for all of us.
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:22

    And Charlie will be back in the chair on Monday. Everyone tune in then. Thank you.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:34

    The Bullbrook podcast is produced by Katie Cooper, and engineered and edited by Jason Brown.
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