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What If Good Things Happen? (The Secret Podcast PREVIEW)

December 15, 2023
Notes
Transcript
An else-worlds episode.

Become a Bulwark+ member to listen to the full episode: https://plus.thebulwark.com/p/what-if-good-things-happen

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

    Hey there. It’s JBL on the Secret Show with Sarah Longwell today. We talked about how good things could happen? May maybe we won’t have to live in the darkest possible timeline. And then we we went on to talk about why all of the anti anti trumpers are gonna be rushing back on side.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:17

    The minute I was done. Here’s the show. Okay. Which loan?
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:28

    Oh, this is what I was
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:30

    talking about. Because I have no idea what I have no idea what what is going on here. I’m just excited.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:35

    So, you know, he’s just on his podcast, saying things like the Washington power centers in the military, you never gonna prevent Trump before becoming a dictator. Okay. He’s he’s in his mode. He’s in a this is the this the the first stage of the slow pivot of the anti anti. Back to rationalizing Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:59

    Right. The first stage is claiming that we are overreacting. And that’s where everybody is right now.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:07

    Why
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:07

    are we why why do we have such TDS? And so seeing the first kind of twitch because DeSantis isn’t happening. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed how quiet that the Santa stance have gotten. And It’s they’re able to do that in large part because you can just focus on Israel and Hamas and that stuff. And
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:32

    And the university presidents?
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:34

    And university presidents. That’s right. And not the fact that Ron DeSantis. And I guess what? They they stay quiet until Iowa in the hopes that he has surprisingly does better, and there’s but it’s not like they’re all out there pushing Nikki.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:48

    Everybody’s just No.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:49

    That’s that’s interesting, isn’t it?
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:51

    It is interesting. Tim Tim made this observation about the political side about how, you know, it was funny. There was, like, Mike Gallagher got caught maybe hearing talking to Paul Ryan. About potentially, you know, endorsing Nikki and had to go out and reiterate that he would not be endorsing anyone because god forbid he endorsed Nikki Haley. And right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:11

    Here’s where it starts to happen. The Trump inevitability, March, causes businesses, especially these donors. Right? There’s I don’t know how much you read POC, but POC does a really good job with the donor, stuff and one of the psychological things happening with the donors right now is like, well, if trump’s inevitable, I cannot be on his bad side. So going in for Nikki now is hard for people in a way that wasn’t a year ago to go in for DeSantis because now they’re like, I can’t, like, attract this guy’s eye or he chances him being president again are fifty fifty.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:45

    And so that’s a problem. And then but it’s not so it’s true, the poles, it’s true, the donors, and it’s true of this in this like the intelligentsia. Right? Like, the old school normies like Witt, who are kinda never Trump, they either go hard for Nikki, but not the anti antis because they know this is not where MAGa is. And so we can’t be for Nikki.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:04

    But anyway, more importantly though, it is their the I just I want everybody to watch it. I’m gonna do nothing but call attention to how they slowly begin to rationalize. Trump now post their Ron DeSantis. Where all of them said, Trump was unfit. For like a period of time, they were all Trump was unfit.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:23

    This guy cannot be president again. The more craven among them just made an elect to electability argument. He can’t win, but they were, you know, against Trump. We’re all on board for DeSantis. Now that they don’t
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:35

    have it. You know, put that on a magazine cover someday. You should
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:37

    do that. Oh, no. We’re gonna live in maybe Trump land forever. And in fact in a the land that they’re really gonna live in and this is where I just get so angry. We were right all along.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:52

    We have been correct about the nature and the degree of the threat. Mhmm. Everything that has happened has proved that our judgment, which was like a clear cut moral judgment. We didn’t twist ourselves into pretzels justifying at all. And as a result, what we said was right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:12

    In fact, it was all a little worse than even what we thought.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:14

    Of course, if I could just interject real quick. I went back and reread a David from Peace from the Atlantic from twenty seventeen. In which he was laying out the ways in which Trump could lean could go towards authoritarianism. And I remember the reaction to that piece when it came out, which was the TDS hysterical, etcetera, etcetera. The reality of the first four years Trump was an order of magnitude worse than anything he predicted.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:39

    Yeah. So the all of the the alarmism actually wasn’t alarmist enough. The reality of Trump was worse.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:46

    Because you know the thing that we didn’t and this is where this particular thing that Rich is saying, like, oh, the military will stop him and the DC power centers will stop him. We know that’s not true now. What what did we see? We saw during the election, we’re like, wait, who enforces this? Oh, wait.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:06

    No one.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:07

    My pet
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:08

    he he just won’t he just won’t turn over. That you won’t you won’t engage in the transfer of power. They’re not they’re not doing the transition. Remember when, like, his transition director just like wouldn’t do it? Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:19

    And, like, The reason that it happened, yeah, Mike Pence certified the election and, like, eventually Trump you know, left. You didn’t go to the Anagi. Didn’t go to his the other guy’s inauguration. Like, but it was dicey. Dice.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:35

    I don’t know if you remember, but people storm the capital. And they were looking to try to take the votes so that they couldn’t be certified. Okay. So the idea that these guys are now gonna begin their rationalization process for running Trump in twenty twenty four.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:50

    Look, they held the last time Sarah Longwell not living under military dictatorship right now. So everything’s fine.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:58

    I I’m not sure. I think there’s anyone worse than these folks. But here actually, here, but here’s the bigger thing. We have been right, and they have been unyieldingly, unrelentingly. Without exception wrong, not just in their moral judgment, but in their political judgment.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:17

    And predictive judgments.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:18

    Right. This is what I mean, like We knew
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:19

    that Santis wasn’t gonna work.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:21

    Sure. So I I mean, I I like I don’t know. I I saw a lot of DeSantis curiosity, but also if you go back and listen to I had to do a show where I was like, they I it was I was on, actually, with Simon Rosenberg. It was a different time. And they were like, give us both one prediction.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:34

    It was earlier this year. And I was like, Rhonda Sanchez won’t be the nominee. Because everybody I was talking to and, like, even watching him, you’d be like, oh, like, when he gets punched, he can’t get up. Like, he Got glass shot. Everybody in Florida said that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:49

    And the you could and I could also see what the voters, they liked him. It was interesting. It was I I was I was kind of excited even that they but then I was also like, oh, but their relationship with him is so shallow. It was curiosity. It was interest.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:01

    It wasn’t the depth of their relationship with Trump. Anyway, this is this is coming and I’m already I I just the fact that anybody listens
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:13

    on this?
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:14

    I should. Well, we should but your point about going back and reading what people said, like, I think we should just do a massive blow out of, of let’s look all of these I mean, you know, we all just kind of grab the same Ross douth at the coup, There won’t be any trump coup or whatever, you know, it’s like but they are high profile examples of something tons of these guys were saying. And they should not be allowed to be taken seriously anymore.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:41

    Take it up with the New York Times. They keep publishing rust out that I don’t understand it. The Wall Street Journal did this their their editorial page this last week. Mona took it apart, thankfully.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:54

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:54

    But you saw that. Right? It was the same thing. It’s a, you know, the the real danger of Trump is that he won’t deliver and then Democrats will win power. That’s the real danger.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:08

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:09

    Here’s a question. Why is it that these people are always so certain that the guardrails will hold on Trump, but they have no faith in the guardrails holding on to Joe Biden and preventing Joe Biden from wrecking the country?
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:20

    Oh, because it’s fake.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:21

    They’re all very, very certain that Joe Biden is destroying America, which is why the markets are, you know, the Dow and the S and P five hundred are both hitting historic highs. Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:30

    But they hit historic highs under Trump. I don’t take the Dow and those things. I mean, those to me are the fundamentals you talk about, and I think it’s important, but, like, I don’t carer that I actually think the bigger thing is these guys somehow manage to, like, just assert that well, Joe Biden is a catastrophe for the country. And you’re like, How? Like, what what is the I I understand he’s got policies you don’t like.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:00

    He’s got some policies. I don’t he’s done some things I really don’t like. But he also it I don’t you sort of say, you know, Joe Biden is, like, the best was the third term of Rodon Reagan, and Bill Clinton. I think that is not the case. I think he I think he is a a a fine, but not particularly I think he is a I think he has been a fine median Democratic president.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:28

    In no way, Is he he’s not testing the guardrails? Like watching what he’s doing I mean, it it the only way is that, like, we are in an unprecedented time. Where the Department of Justice is investigating the former president because the former president broke a lot of laws. And we are Like, that thing about the guardrails can go both ways on that. You could say, well, it’s terrible and banana republic stuff to prosecute a former president but it can also be, unprecedented and banana republic stuff not
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:04

    Mhmm.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:04

    To prosecute a former president broken phone, just let them get away with it. Like, I don’t know. That’s a tough it’s I mean
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:11

    It’s a tough one, but also it’s the kind of thing that the sitting president can’t be allowed to decide, which is why Biden is twice removed from the decision.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:23

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:23

    Right? The attorney general makes the decision, and this attorney general realized that he could not make a decision without giving the appearance of impropriety one one way or the other, so he outsourced it to an independent council. To figure that out. Right? This is And then
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:40

    he went ahead and prosecuted the president’s son. Yeah. Just to make sure that nobody thought that this DOJ could be under the thumb, of the president interacting in his behest. They are literally pressing charges against the president’s son. Yep.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:01

    Anyway, it’s this assertion that, like, it is self evident and obvious that Joe Biden is so dangerous that you might have to accept Trump that I find, morally intellectually, like cynical and depraved?
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:16

    Yeah. I think it’s it is cynical and it is depraved, but it’s also indicative of what? What it what the entire conservative project is anymore? Right. Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:33

    Because it’s like okay. So that’s to what end. Right? What what is the end to which one would do something cynical. And and the answer is nothing real.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:46

    Maintain your magazine?
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:48

    Like, it’s You know, like, it’s a whole there’s been a wholesale remaking of the conservative foreign policy world view. Right? Which was one of the the three pillars upon which modern conservatism was based. Right? It was it was religious conservatism, economic, liberalism and foreign policy, hawkishness.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:15

    And they have given up on the economic stuff. Right? I mean, gonna spend spend spend. Right? That’s no longer they’ve given up even on free market stuff.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:26

    They’re now in favor of picking winners and losers. They the only thing they’re not in favor of is picking winners who happen to be, like, woke corporations. That’s all they’re against. They’re in favor of picking winners and losers. And so what’s left is just the religious stuff, which has turned into, like, culture war fundamentalism.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:48

    And not, like, religious freedom or pro like, it isn’t, like, pro marriage stuff anymore, really. It it’s stuff like, you, woman in Texas have to have this baby who’s gonna be stillborn. That that’s that’s what’s left of conservatism, I think. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m, you know, like, I’m This is not, you know, I’m speaking broad generalizations because I’m sure there are plenty of people who still believe in Bill Buckley isn’t.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:21

    But, yeah, like, the main body of what is the conservative movement today basically rejects everything that Bill Buckley stood for. Yeah. Root and branch.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:31

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:33

    I don’t know.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:34

    Did you see did you see Tucker Carlson did said something like I can’t remember exactly what it was. So it’s maybe it’s a but it was basically like how Bill Buckley was the worst. Like, and he was on with a guest. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:48

    I think he was interviewing somebody and the guest said that I view Bill Buckley as, like, one of the worst figures of the twenty or something.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:54

    Yeah. He was like, I agree. Tucker was like, I agree. Like, you know.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:58

    Like, okay. So if those guys want Trump and Maga, then why does Bill please magazine want Trump and Maga because they should see Trump and Maga as more of a danger to their project than Bidenism. Yeah. You would think. Alright.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:13

    Listen, I I did promise people on Wednesday that we would talk about the Trump NFTs.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:19

    Okay. Oh, I forgot about that. Alright. What do you wanna say?
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:22

    So I
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:22

    still don’t understand NFTs.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:25

    Okay. So NFTs, non fungible tokens. They are Not for Trump. Blockchain. Blocked chain.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:31

    It’s crypto. Crypto blockchain, where you own an image. And by the owner image, we mean that you can prove that you are the owner of an image. You I could take your image and just, like, do a screenshot of it, and then also have a version of the image. But I don’t own the the real image.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:49

    The real image is belongs to you, the the the blockchain holder. So you remember when Trump put out his trading cards, and everybody laughed about it and was like, do you do you remember this now? It was, like, two years ago. And Trump was like, we have a big announcement coming on Wednesday. And people thought it was gonna be that he was running for president or something.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:10

    And instead, he announced his his NFTs. Nifties as we’re calling them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:15

    And Nifties.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:19

    And there was a lot of goofing of people saying, oh, look. See, this huckster is just trying to profit off of crypto stuff is this just shows how weak he is and that he’s washed up and that he has no political future. Do you remember that?
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:33

    Yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:33

    I remember that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:34

    Yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:36

    However, he sold four million dollars worth of these things in about six hours. And as I said at the time, does anybody think Ron DeSantis could sell four million dollars worth of, NFTs in six hours? Because I don’t. I think that this thing and the success of this this grift is in a weird way a testament to his staying power and to his political strength. But, you know, I just have trump derangement syndrome.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:59

    What do I know? Donald Trump, this week, announced a new wave of his NFTs, and these are the, Mugshot series, where all of the pictures are, you know, riffing off of his mugshot glare. Yeah. And if you buy, hundred of them, which I believe is ten thousand dollars, worth. So if you if you buy ten thousand dollars worth of these, you Will Saletan get a physical trading card, like, like a baseball card here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:36

    Look at me. Holding up a baseball card for you, Sarah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:38

    K. You’re a grown man. Keep going.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:40

    And on this physical trading card Will Saletan tiny, tiny little square of the suit that he wore for his mugshot.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:52

    Now Oh, yeah. He’s cutting up his suit.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:54

    In the trading card universe, these sorts of things are referred to as relic cards. Relics as if, you know, from from the Catholic, you know, relic, like, little piece of a saint’s clothing or a little piece of a saint’s bone or something.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:10

    Oh, god.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:10

    And so there are going to be Trump relic cards using the fabric of the suit he wore for his mugshot. And I just I don’t quite know what to say about this, except that I I nearly bought one.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:32

    Why?
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:35

    As a hedge. As a hedge. Right. So the the original the original Trump NFT cards, actually have appreciated quite nicely. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:45

    They originally sold for a hundred today, you can’t get one for less than, like, three fifty, three sixty. And in the same way that when your team your favorite team makes the Super Bowl. What you should do is go bet a hundred dollars against them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:01

    Oh, yeah. I you’ve I’ve I heard.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:03

    We’ve we’ve talked about this before. And it’s I mean, I just think it’s objectively the only rational thing to do.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:09

    You know what’s funny about this to me? Because you’re so relentlessly negative. As you view that as winning either way, and I view it as losing either way.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:18

    Oh, no. I just see, because I enter or thinking, I’m gonna lose. I’m gonna lose in this game, but by placing this one way or another, I’m gonna get to win something.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:28

    Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:29

    And so I just assume a loss. And when you begin with the assumption of a loss, Then suddenly making it so that you you get a hedge to come home. So I don’t know. I Tim yelled at me and Tim was like, no, don’t do it. Don’t give him a
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:42

    a hundred dollars. Ten is correct.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:44

    I’m sure he is right. That’s why he didn’t do it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:46

    Hey, guys. I know you wanna hear more of this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:49

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:49

    Have more time with me and JBL. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:51

    So much more.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:52

    JBL’s got more darkness to bring.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:54

    I wanna tell people why we’re all gonna die. But to to get that, they’ve gotta they’ve gotta pay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:01

    We’ll work plus guys. Go subscribe.
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