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Will Saletan: Performative Garbage

January 16, 2023
Notes
Transcript

Ron-anon Johnson wanted to get beat up on “Meet the Press” — so he could weaponize it. Plus, the active moving backward from MLK’s dream, Trump gets the ultimate whataboutism, debt ceiling dangers, and a football confession. Will Saletan’s back with Charlie Sykes for Charlie and Will Monday.

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This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:09

    Welcome to the Bullework Podcast. I’m Shirley Sykes. It is Monday. It is Martin Luther King, junior day. And of course, this is the day we set aside from my conversation with my colleague, Will Salitan.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:20

    Good morning, Will. How are you? Good morning, Charlie. I thought that was a beautiful passage that you had in your newsletter about MLK Day,
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:26

    and I hope everyone will read it?
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:28

    Well, I I try to do something a little bit different because I wanted to include a sermon that he gave. It’s an only sermon from nineteen fifty seven where he’s talking about why you should love your neighbor. And it is worth remembering that, yes, he was a great figure for economic justice but also you cannot separate his Christianity, his very deep and thoughtful Christianity from what he did and As a thought experiment, I asked people, you know, compare the role of Christianity and American politics in the nineteen sixties to two thousand twenty three, and it’s not a pretty picture. Yeah. You know, and I think that young people today, they think of
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:08

    religion, a lot of young liberal people think of it as a a force for conservatism, a force for often for going backwards in history, a force for oppression. Ethanol
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:18

    nationalism, man.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:19

    Absolutely. And you know, it’s just useful to remind people that in Martin Luther King’s Day religion was a tremendous force for good. It was a force for change and a force for justice.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:28

    It was, you know, on on Martin Luther King Junior Day, I actually thought that this was a parody when somebody posted the official state holidays of the state of Alabama. Actually thought this was fake. Have you seen this? No. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:41

    So here’s the official day, you know, Sunday, January first is New Year’s Day. Monday, January sixteenth, Martin Luther King, Jr. And Robert E. Lee’s birthday. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:55

    I mean, I’m not kidding. Okay. So fast forward to Monday, April twenty fourth, confederate Memorial Day, Monday, June fifth, Jefferson Davis’ birthday. These are the official’s day. So for those of us who want to sit back and go, why we’ve we have come so far?
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:16

    I probably should have devoted more time to writing about this, but Martin Zukin talked about going up to the mountain top and seeing the promised land. But even in Scripture, the promised lands a long way off and it was a long long long, tough slog. And it feels like we’re in a period of retro aggression right now. Mhmm. It feels in twenty twenty three as if there’s this aggressive, not just sort of the failure to live up to the the dream, but an active moving backward.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:46

    Do you know what I mean? I mean, when you’re when you’re seeing I don’t wanna get into the quagmire of debating wokeness. But this aggressive push back against any discussion of race or racial justice is more aggressive than I think I can remember And I was talking about this with Michael Steele on Friday, and we were talking about how quickly it happened that people like the, you know, CPAC and, you know, leading Republicans just are increasingly willing to say things out loud that they would have never said even a few years ago. And it goes back to this anxiety about change. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:23

    There’s this
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:23

    great replacement theory is about all this time. America is changing. It’s scary. I don’t like it. I wanna stop it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:29

    People understand America is changed. America has been changing the whole time. What state constant is our ideals? You know, just just a message to white folks on MLK Day. America was founded.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:40

    It’s always been great because it was founded on a great idea and the idea was freedom. But our fulfillment of that idea has changed, it has improved, it has radically improved over time. Myelitha King is not like he’s not representing those people, those other people. He’s representing us. He’s representing America and the fulfillment of the American Ideal.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:58

    I agree. And as I said, I don’t wanna get into the quagmire talking about you know, what’s happening done in Florida where Ron DeSantis has named Christopher Ruffo to the Board of Directors of a Liberal Arts College. Kathy Young is a great in the bulwark about all of this. But what you’re seeing is the rise of these these absolute race baiting charlatans like Christopher Ruffo. Who take what could be a legitimate debate and weaponize it in a way that really seems to institutionalized sort of insensitivity about race or an aggressive pushback against a a needed reckoning with the racial past racial history.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:40

    Yeah. And that’s part of what I loved about the passage that you put in morning shots today from MLK. It’s about love. It’s about Christian love and it’s it’s about Rufo and DeSantis and this whole right wing industry is built around hate. It’s built around generating animosity and fear.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:57

    Turning us against them and getting our people to send us money. And the passage from MLK is not about that. It’s about loving your enemies. It’s about sort of bringing them along and bringing all of
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:07

    us along together. It is worth every once in a while stepping back and remembering that how those values informed everything he said. I mean, there was a, you know, I think Martin Luther King Junior Day is is a secular holiday, but It also is worth remembering where else he came from. Okay. So other things to talk about today, I don’t know whether you caught a lot of football over the weekend, hell of a wildcard, weekend.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:29

    Amazing. The jags game, particularly. Wow. Yeah. That was amazing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:34

    I mean, watching a ninety eight yard fumble return for a touchdown. That’s pretty amazing too. Since we’re mentioning my my morning shots, I also sort of made a confession about my continued mixed feelings about watching football, which I love. I mean, I am not pretending that I am repelled or in any way disillusioned by football even though probably ought to be a little bit given the kinds of injuries that take place. I’m just gonna confess that this is I mean, maybe this is this is the way we’re wired.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:04

    I mean, we all know that we’re watching our modern gladiators go out there and just crush one another and that violence is very much the point of this game and extreme violence is what we expect from these modern day gladiators. And bad things can happen and yet pass the guacamole because this is my favorite time of the year. And I’m not proud of this necessarily, but that’s just the reality, and I have to admit it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:32

    Yeah, just one point in defense of football. It is violence, but it is controlled violence. It is not literally gladiators who got killed, they died. Right? You know, when somebody nearly dies on a football field, it is a generally a freak accident, not a routine occurrence.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:45

    So the underlying question of football is do people need some sort of outlet that involves physical confrontation? And if so, what is the least dangerous way to do that? Are you believe football? Satisfies that need. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:59

    So let’s talk about the story of the day. Where should we start? The festival of what about is an hypocrisy that is breaking out over the Biden document story. Look, I I was on morning Joe earlier this morning and that the signal froze up, get technical problems. So I don’t know whether anybody actually heard what I said.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:18

    Because I have no control over that. But, you know, there are three things we need to keep in mind. Number one, the Biden’s story is very different, fundamentally different from Trump. There is a false equivalency. That’s number one.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:29

    Number two, there’s going to be a lot of hypocrisy, and there’s going to be a lot of overreach. But number three, this is just not good. This is not good for Biden. They have not handled this well. It has muddied the water.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:41

    It has been a tremendous gift to Don Trump. It has been a tremendous gift of the house for Republicans. And and I think all those things are true at the same time and maybe people don’t wanna hear one or more of those, but I am struck by the stumbling bumbling response by the Biden White House, which has waited this long to begin to get the story out and getting the story out and dribs and drabs. What is your take? First of all, I’m very glad that Garland appointed a special count for this.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:09

    I think that was the right move. So we now have two special councils. Right? And the spin on the right is that that sort of underscores that they’re basically the same thing and that, you know, And of course, they’re not. But part of why I like Garland doing this is when you appoint a special council for each of these cases.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:26

    That is not a statement that the facts are going to be the same. That is a statement that you are going to find out the facts in both cases. Right? And if the facts are different as I believe they absolutely are, part of what will come out of these investigations is one guy when he found his documents handed them over immediately. And the other guy sat on them and concealed them and then resisted when he was confronted with a subpoena you know, filed a false statement claiming that he had handed it over and eventually forced the FBI to come get them because he refused to hand them over.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:59

    Those differences will come out because there are gonna be investigations in both cases?
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:05

    Yes, I mean, I hope you’re right. But the double standard issue was front and center yesterday. Jake Tapper had on congressman James Comer who’s a new chairman of the House Oversight Committee And they had a really interesting interchange. Como, of course, some time ago, went on television and explained that you know, no no real interest in investigating Trump’s use of these documents because, well, that just was not a priority, but they are all in now on the Biden document. So the people who were saying this whole document thing, this is complete nothing burger.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:37

    Now suddenly, now it’s a very, very big burger. So let’s play Jake Tapper and and congressman James Comer. The average American
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:45

    who doesn’t really care whether the person you’re investigating has a d or an r next to their name might listen to this interview and think, I don’t have any problem with anything he’s investigating when it comes to Biden. How come he’s not investigating all the same stuff when it comes to Trump? I mean, there are questions about influence peddling when it comes to the Trump family. There’s questions about visitor logs when it comes to Mar a Lago. I mean, if you are going to be doing the oversight and accountability committee, which you’ve renamed for the American people, not just for Republicans, it would seem to me that all of it should be investigated.
  • Speaker 4
    0:10:19

    And I
  • Speaker 5
    0:10:21

    think the influence peddling with respect to the Trump administration will be a part of our overall investigation because both Democrats and Republicans have complained about this the previous two administrations. So something needs to be done. Also, something needs to be done with respect to how classified documents leave the White House and go to the post presidency or post vice president. That’s another issue we try to we will try to fix from a legislative point of view. But with respect to investigating president Trump, there have been so many investigations to president Trump.
  • Speaker 5
    0:10:50

    I don’t feel like we need to spend a whole lot of time investigating president Trump because the Democrats have done that for the past six years. So no one’s been investigated more than Donald Trump. Who hasn’t been investigated Joe Biden? And that’s why we’re finally launching an investigation of Joe Biden, the House Oversight Committee, one investigation, and I hope to have it wrapped up as soon as possible.
  • Speaker 4
    0:11:12

    Yeah. I
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:13

    don’t think it’s gonna be as soon as possible, Will.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:16

    Yeah. And the comer is being quite overt there. Right? Saying, you know, The Democrats investigated Trump. So we’re just not gonna do that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:22

    So it’s a statement up front that don’t expect fairness from House Republic they’re gonna ignore everything Trump did. They’re gonna pretend that that’s okay because somehow what Biden did is equivalent. Of course, we know it isn’t. Can I say one thing though in Commerce Defense Sure. When he says that we need to look into White House’s taking documents with them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:43

    He’s right. Obviously. Part of what’s come out with these Biden documents is if you believe as I do that Joe Biden is sort of a he’s a bumbler, but he’s not a crook. He didn’t know we had these documents. The fact that he’s got them in all these different places and that they’re relatively insecure does tell you that when presidents leave, the White House.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:02

    They probably take some of these documents with them. They’re probably in boxes with mixed and with other stuff. And, Charlie, I would be extremely surprised if this ends with Trump and Biden. I bet you that if we start going through what, you know, Obama and Bush and other presidents have taken with them, we’re gonna find. I was just wondering about that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:19

    Clinton. Yeah. Absolutely. Because we’re we’re when you find stuff like this, you’re just at the front end of the iceberg. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:25

    There’s gonna be a lot more. Which
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:27

    is why this is such a gift to Trump because what Trump always is looking for is is an excuse to say, well, everybody does it. Why are there doubles? And is why? You know, my being singled out, it is the ultimate what about is an issue served on a silver plan? Or isn’t it?
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:44

    It is. But I’ll defend Trump on this. Everybody, please keep in mind the
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:49

    distinction between how you ended up with documents in your possession that you shouldn’t have had. And what you do after those documents are found. I will defend Trump on the question of, you know, taking the documents with him. I don’t think he put any thought into that at all. I think they threw boxes onto the plane, took him to Mar a Lago, hardly knew what was in most of them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:07

    Right? Mhmm. So in that respect, he’s not worse than Biden, although we ended up with more of them. But after the point when the documents are discovered, and remember in Trump’s case, he didn’t even discover them, the archives discovers that there’s documents missing. He’s got the only copy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:22

    They’ve peered. They’ve gone with Trump. So they have to go get them from him. After that point, there is no equivalence between Donald Trump and anybody else in the way they treated the documents. He sat on them, he resisted, he refused to let them go.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:35

    Let’s
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:36

    play another song. But here, because Adam Schiff was was on yesterday and he was also making it clear that he did think that Biden’s mishandling of the documents deserved investigation and an intelligence damage assessment. So this is Adam Schiff yesterday morning. I
  • Speaker 6
    0:13:53

    still would
  • Speaker 7
    0:13:53

    like to see Congress do its own assessment of and receive an assessment from the intelligence community of whether there was an exposure to others of these documents, whether it was harm to national security, in the case of either set of documents with either president.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:09

    Okay. So will. Well,
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:10

    you know, this is one reason why I personally love Adam Schiff. Adam Schiff has become this kind of weird template for are you a real Republican or aren’t you? When you’re supposed to hate Adam Schiff and regard him as a liar and a cheat, Adam Schiff is not that. And his comments in this interview sort of underscore to me that he’s basically a straight shooter. Has he screwed up sometimes yes, he has overstated what he thought they were gonna find in the Roger probe.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:32

    They didn’t find some of that. But basically, when a politician stands up and says, as Adam Schiff does in this case, I believe that the leader of my party should also be investigated. Let’s find out the facts about these documents what damage may have been done. We’ll do an assessment of that. We’ll try to clean up these procedures.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:51

    He is accepting scrutiny without regard to political bias or political favors. And I wish that Republicans would do the same thing, and I’m glad that some Democrats are.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:02

    Well, speaking of Republicans, Jim Jordan, of course, the the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee was also on and asking, you know, again, playing the double standard card. You know, why is it the democrats who get to decide these things? Let let’s play Jim Jordan. Why is
  • Speaker 8
    0:15:18

    it always the left? The democrats they get to decide. They get to go find the information and hand it over to the government. I I still remember during the Benghazi hearings, I asked secretary Clinton about the sixty some thousand emails she had. I said mister Adam Secretary, we don’t need to see the personal ones.
  • Speaker 8
    0:15:34

    We don’t want that. This is this is America. This thing called privacy is really important. We don’t need to see that, but we don’t exactly trust you and your lawyers to hand over to the committee what the American people are entitled to see. Why don’t you let us do it this way?
  • Speaker 8
    0:15:48

    What? How about a neutral third party like a retired federal judge? How about we have them evaluate it and hand over the documents? And of course, they said no. They said, we’ll decide and we’ll destroy thirty some thousand emails, which is exactly what they did.
  • Speaker 8
    0:16:02

    So there’s always this double standard And frankly, that’s why we’ve created this select committee to look into some of this disparate treatment we see in the way the justice department operates. They
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:12

    are just not gonna move on from Hillary’s emails ever ever. So, well, why is it always the left Democrats who get decide they get to go find the information and hand it over to the government.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:23

    It’s just an amazing statement from Jim Jordan. Why did Biden get to hand over the documents because he did, because he handed them over. I mean, Jordan is complaining, why did the FBI go in and search Mar a Lago or in his words rate, which is not what happened? But when, you know, instead, Joe Biden gets to choose to hand over the doc Donald Trump could have handed over the documents. Donald Trump could have done what Joe Biden did, had his own people go through, discover the documents, say, hey, I’ve got some stuff I shouldn’t have.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:52

    Here it is. Right? Tell the archives, tell the justice department. No. No.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:56

    They sat on it and they resist and then they made the FBI go get it. And then Jordan has the gall to complain that this is some kind of unequal treatment by the feds when in fact, it is one guy being honest and another guy not being honest. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:10

    An important distinction that that’s gonna get lost in a lot of this spin. Right? That when you evade subpoenas, bad things are going to happen to you. When you voluntarily turn information over it is not the exact equivalent, whatever. We’re all juggling
  • Speaker 9
    0:17:24

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    0:17:34

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    0:17:42

    We have some answers. We are not your therapist. Know that to financialize of your attorney, but we are two smart brown girls when it comes to money, career, business, brown ambition, listen
  • Speaker 9
    0:17:52

    wherever you get your
  • Speaker 4
    0:17:54

    podcast. So speaking of
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:56

    interesting sound bites from yesterday morning, my old friend. Oh god. Ron John was back on meet the press with Chuck Todd. This has been a kind of a long running thing where Johnson goes on and it it doesn’t necessarily go well. So, anyway, Johnson goes back on meet the press with Chuck Todd and it was intense.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:19

    This was quite an exchange if people have not seen it. And it is viral now. I mean, it’s taken on a life of its own, but here’s a little taste of how it went with Chuck Todd and Wisconsin’s own Ron Johnson. Your
  • Speaker 4
    0:18:35

    senate democrats want to investigate Jared Kushner’s loan from the cutary government when he was working in the government negotiating many things in the Middle East. Are you not as concerned about are you not concerned about that? And I say that because it seems to me if you’re concerned about what Hunter Biden did. You should be equally outraged about what Jared Kushner did. I I’m I’m
  • Speaker 11
    0:18:57

    concerned about the end of truth. I don’t talk individuals, target individuals. You go. You’re
  • Speaker 4
    0:19:01

    targeting hundred by My my my concern is the choice editor. You’re targeting against anything?
  • Speaker 11
    0:19:06

    Chuck, my my
  • Speaker 4
    0:19:08

    you know,
  • Speaker 11
    0:19:09

    Chuck, you know, part part of the problem, and and this is pretty obvious to anybody watching. This is you don’t invite me on to interview me. You invite me on to argue with me. You know, I’m just trying to lay out the facts that Certainly, Cinder Grass and I uncovered, they were suppressed, they were censored, they interfered in the twenty twenty election, can serve us understand that Unfortunately, Liberals in the media don’t. And that’s part of the things that part of part of the reasons our politics are inflamed is we do not have an unbiased media.
  • Speaker 11
    0:19:38

    We don’t. It’s unfortunate. I’m all for free press.
  • Speaker 4
    0:19:41

    I know.
  • Speaker 11
    0:19:42

    More unbiased. Said
  • Speaker 4
    0:19:43

    there was misinformation, but also but the center of the ship and center of the We’re trying to do it manually. We’re trying to left. Particing table. Look, you can go back on your partisan table cocoon and talk about media bias all you want. I understand it’s part of your identity.
  • Speaker 4
    0:19:56

    Let me move to what happened in
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:59

    Brazil. Okay. So will. Your takeaway from
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:03

    that one. Charlie, this interview started out with Ron John. As he’s introducing, it’s been a while. Like, right away, you had that feeling like at a party and you’re seeing a couple of former lovers. And the tension in the room is really bad.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:14

    Just the beginning of the conversation, it only got worse. It’s hilarious that Johnson says, you invite me on to argue with me. I mean, Johnson did nothing but argue from the moment he got in this interview. And The fact that he’s talking about media bias, the liberal media, shows that he went on the show to have a fight with the verbal media. Exactly right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:34

    He didn’t expect a productive conversation. He wanted to fight, and he
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:37

    got to show his people back home that he was fighting with the left. You have that exactly right here. And Remember, after one of his first maybe was his first really bad confrontations on on meet the press where, you know, he was complaining and not answering the question I I had a conversation with one of the staffers who had known for many years, and I said, oh, boy, that was that was that was really rough. And I remember being really shocked by his reaction, which was, no, we thought it was great. We thought it was wonderful.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:06

    And this was just when he was making his his pivot to being worn on, which actually did happen. And what I think he’s discovered is that he weaponizes these things. I mean, this is what he wanted to do. He wanted to come on and he wanted to say, see, I am the victim of the media bias. He’s confronted with his own double standard.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:25

    He’s confronted with hypocrisy of, like, wait. You’re in the Senate. What about Kushner? What about all of these sleazy business deals? Are you gonna talk about those?
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:34

    And you’ll notice he doesn’t even pretend to answer the question. He goes right to the, you know, the talking point which again he’s gonna use to raise money. He’ll repeat this on o a n and news max and Fox News. So that’s exactly what what he wanted out of it. And he got he got what he wanted out of it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:52

    Though Chuck Todd did not get an answer to his question. No, he didn’t.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:55

    You know, Charlie, this is just reminding me of so Our colleague Joe Perticone has a new newsletter called PressPass. I recommend everybody go out and subscribe to it. And one of the things that Joe caught in one of his recent posts was about the distinction between the two committees that the House Republicans are doing. One of them is about China, that’s, you know, is supposed to be we all work together on this issue. The other one is this sort of weaponization committee and it’s attacking the media and the left and the law enforcement because they’re against us.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:21

    And one of the things that Joe underscores there is that a lot of what the House Republicans are doing is not aimed at the middle of this country. It’s not aimed at persuasion. It’s aimed at satisfying their own viewers. You’re generating content Fox News. What Ron Johnson is doing in this interview is he’s as you say, Charlie, he’s gonna raise money off of this.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:40

    He’s talking to his people. A lot of Liberals look at this and they’re anxious that Ron Johnson and the and the Republicans are gonna turn America against us somehow with these kind of argument. That’s not what Ron Johnson is doing. He’s talking to a base. He’s talking to a minority audience.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:56

    And he’s just trying to satisfy that audience. Not trying to persuade America. And I don’t think Republicans will succeed with all these attacks on under Biden and Joe Biden
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:06

    in actually persuading America. Chuck’s had also slipped in an interesting point here when he talked about Ron Johnson’s media cocoon because I think it was the New York Times that did the story about how many appearances on conservative talk radio Ron Johnson had made, look, I mean, I obviously know the relationship between Ron Johnson and conservative talk radio. I’m not trying to sluff that off, but it has intensified. And what I think Johnson has realized is that he doesn’t care what the mainstream media says about them because he always can go back to that cocoon. And really, in order to understand what happened to him and what’s happened to so many other Republicans, you have to come back to this fact that they have the safe space media ecosystem where they can go and they can say anything.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:52

    They can spout any conspiracy theory without being challenged. And if they are attacked or if they are in trouble, they can go and they can get air cover. And so this has changed the nature of politics because at one time politicians had to be concerned about how the general public would view them and If the media were to catch them in a lie or catch them in a bizarre double standard, there would be a downside to it. Ron Johnson’s been completely liberated and is kind of an indication of that. The fact that, you know, he doesn’t care he’s getting the shit beat out of him.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:26

    I meet the press because he knows he can go on, you know, Wisconsin conservative talk radio or or Fox News, and they’re gonna, you know, carry them on their shoulders. Absolutely. And,
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:35

    Charlie, ask yourself this question, when is the last time you saw Kevin McCarthy interviewed anywhere outside of pretty much Fox News? I mean, Since he’s gotten the speakership, he’s been on Hannity. He was on Maria Bartoromo this weekend. He only goes, we’re into this cocoon that you’re describing. I don’t know how long the speaker of the house can get away with that, but that just I think illustrates your point, they’re used to this kid glove treatment and they’re used to talking to their fans.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:03

    Wanna
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:04

    talk about the ridiculous and the dangerous. The ridiculous for Sarah Hakibi Sanders is the is the new governor of Arkansas. I want you to settle that in, you know, that Sarah How could be Sanders is the governor of Arkansas? And of course, One of her first acts was to launch a dramatic initiative, to lower inflation, and to make it easier on the mothers of young children who might be wrestling with with No. I just she didn’t.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:30

    She This is what she did instead. Our
  • Speaker 12
    0:25:35

    focus is again making sure we’re protecting our our citizens by not using culturally insensitive language. During the course of the transition, we saw multiple instances of this term being used and individuals actually on payroll with this term. And we wanna make sure that we are focused on empowering our citizens only three percent of Hispanics actually use that term and many find a defensive, and so our goal is to get that out of state government policy and practice. The
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:04

    term is Latinx. So she has banned Latinx from state documents because it is insensitive. Now, I, you know, have gone on record saying, I think Latinx is kind of dumb. Nobody uses it. The Hispanic community has rejected it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:23

    It is one of those, you know, eye rolling things. But isn’t it fascinating Will that she says, we are protecting our citizens by not using culturally insensitive language. And that’s the one word. So again, this is playing to the base. This is that cringy pandering that I suppose she’s not quite in Rhonda Sandes’ League, but this is the new game.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:46

    Right? I mean,
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:46

    It absolutely is. Now, first of all, Charlie, I wanna just tell you that, you know, I’m your friend, but I’m deeply offended that you’re pronouncing it Latinx when as an ally, of Latinx people. We say Latinx. So just wanna be Latinx. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:59

    So that that is, by the way, I got that from Elizabeth. I’m with
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:03

    Kleenex. Elizabeth Warren uses Latina? Yes. She
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:07

    used that in a Democratic debate that I can remember, and I’m not sure where else. But, yes, actual latino politicians think this is ridiculous. You’re very much right. I love the phrase that you used cringey pandering because this attack on Latinx, they’re literally banning it from state documents. This is cringy pandering against cringy pandering.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:26

    Right? Yes. He next
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:28

    is. Yes. Dueling
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:32

    cringey pandas. Right? Yeah. When Elizabeth Warren, who, notwithstanding her protestations, is a white person, goes around using the learn latinx, that is cringy pandering. When Sarah Huckabee Sanders comes in as governor of Arkansas, a phrase, I hope I will never have to utter again — Mhmm.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:46

    — and enter first act you know, bands, Latinx, pretending that it’s significant. That is another kind of cringey pandering about the other side’s cringey pandering. The fact that she uses the term insensitive just illustrates that the right has picked up some of the worst traits on the left about, you know, everything’s in sensitive and with this this snow flakery. And let’s not pretend that this is still the exclusive province of the left. To be doing this kind of performative virtue signaling garbage.
  • Speaker 4
    0:28:19

    Okay. So
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:21

    you’ve used keyword here. This is all performative. Let’s draw a line under the performative because whatever.
  • Speaker 4
    0:28:29

    Now
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:29

    we get to the real danger here. Because over the weekend, we learned the Republicans are rolling out this plan for what they’re going to do when they refused to raise the nation’s debt limit. They are apparently all in on this brinkmanship. And what they’re going to do is they’re gonna roll out this proposal that, you know, tells the treasury department, okay, we’re not gonna raise the debt limit, but you have to pay Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits in the military. Okay?
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:57

    So you’d have to prioritize that. Now, of course, that leaves out a lot of things, lots of, you know, critical expenditures, things like Medicaid, food safety inspections, ironically enough border control, air traffic control, thousands of programs. And obviously, what you’re seeing here gonna hear this from Democrats is the Republicans are prioritizing payments to bondholders. Including Chinese banks over American citizens, but I think that we need to come to grips with the fact that this bomb throwing caucus is prepared to throw a bomb at America’s full faith in credit. This could actually happen.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:37

    You know, will it? I think there’s always been that belief that these things, you know, there’s big kabuki dance, everybody postures. But in the end, no one wants to crash. The, you know, international markets and do all of this stuff. I’m not sure that’s true this time around.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:52

    So what do you think about the games that Republicans are prepared to play with the debt ceiling. So I
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:59

    agree with that analysis and the reason why I agree with it is because what we’re seeing in this sequence of preparations you’re describing is Republicans. They’re not talking about defaulting on the debt as a binary thing. Either it happens or it doesn’t. They’re talking about it as an incremental thing. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:17

    We’ll start the process and we’ll pay off some things but not others. Right? And so when you hear people talking that way that they can dip a toe into default, that’s them psychologically preparing to actually do it. So I agree that we’re headed for them actually doing it. Now they’re gonna discover that the pain escalates as they do that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:36

    Right? There’s gonna be, I forget I think it was Jamie Diamond talking about a sequence of events where it’s going to unfold as an economic disaster, but it’s going to unfold over a series of days. At some point, Republicans will pull back, but only after they’ve done a lot of damage, some of which will not be reparable. And somebody pointed out something really interesting. I forget who pointed this out, when you are negotiating over how many of your debts you’re going to pay and which ones, that is bankruptcy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:06

    Right? What Republicans are describing this process of, well, we’ll negotiate over how much of the debt to pay and when. They’re basically announcing the bankruptcy of the United States. That is extremely dangerous. I’m probably gonna
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:17

    write about this later this week, but the more you think about this, is there anything less conservative than reneging on your debt? I mean, in terms of conservatism is being a deadbeat when it comes to money you owe. I was just looking at an old essay that was written back, you know, when this first came up. From Harvard Business Review. The sanctity of contracts is at the heart of the success of the capitalist enterprise over the past two centuries, mess with it at your peril.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:45

    Basically saying you’re not going to pay your bills is reneging on a pre fundamental contract. So when you talk about the evolution of the conservative movement from being, you know, fiscal conservatives to being, you know, tea party jackabons When you think about what Congress is supposed to do, you have to pay the bills, you have to keep the lights on, you have to fulfill your basic obligations to the constitution. And when you shut down the government and risk a debt default, you have abandoned every one of those fundamental responsibilities. What could be less conservative than that? I absolutely agree with you there.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:22

    And so the next question, Charlie, is if Republicans are reneging on the
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:26

    most fundamental one of the most fundamental conservative beliefs, how are they doing it psychologically? What are they telling themselves? And what are they telling the public? And what they’re what the story that they’ve constructed is. They’re not actually reneging.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:37

    They’re trying to get spending under control, which is, of course, a very deep conservative belief. So what they’ve done is they’ve slated the payment of the contract, the payment of the promise, as you’re pointing out, with the budget cutting. And what we need on the other side, what we need to counter that with is not a party that says we won’t cut spending at all but a party that just draws a very clear distinction between honoring debts and budget cutting. And in fact, says we are willing to cover the budget. We’re willing to negotiate with you about where to control spending.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:07

    We’re not willing to negotiate on this separate question of paying the bills we already incurred. You know, this has
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:13

    been festering for more than a decade now. It’s not a question how disastrous this would be, and yet the appetite for it has persisted. It’s interesting. I was reading a piece by Michael Strain from AEI who warns that, you know, even brushing up against a federal government default a major market event. So go back to two thousand eleven when the Republicans were playing games about the debt ceiling back then.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:35

    On the day before, they finally agreed to lift the borrowing limit. The S and P five hundred was down six percent from its high that year. Three days later, S and P downgraded the United States credit rating sending stock prices tumbling even further. So this was a debacle back in two thousand eleven. It was as big a blow to economic confidence as we’d seen since the global financial crisis.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:00

    I mean, it drove up interest rates costing tens of billions of dollars. And if we were to do this again, we would find ourselves in the early stage of global financial crisis. And we’ve known this for a decade It is absolutely futile. It’s never really been effective. And yet, they’re prepared to do it again, which is, well, you know, again, it it’s shocking but not surprising given what’s been happening to the Republican Party and their and their need to constantly stoke the outrage fires of
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:31

    the perpetual outrage industry. Yeah. And so this is something we used to think was unthinkable, reneging on the debt. But — Right. — part of what I think you’re under scoring there, and I think I grade strains analysis was very good here historically.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:41

    You can put a number on these things as you just did. Right? The S and P went down six percent the day before that. Right? The fact that you can put a number on it shows that it is not an eitheror thing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:52

    It’s incremental. So the S and P goes down for six percent. What happens if we still hold out another day? What’s the next percentage drop. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:00

    Or the downgrading of debt, you know, there’s from AA, the BBB, whatever. There’s always another step. Interest rates. They’ll go up what, you know, three quarters of a point. Don’t we wait another day?
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:10

    They go up another three I mean, this just gets worse and worse over time, but the fact that it is incremental makes it thinkable and that is what’s dangerous. What is bizarre about this, of
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:20

    course, is that it’s a completely self inflected artificial crisis. I mean, I know we’ve been doing this since nineteen seventeen, but it’s sort of like scheduling a session of Russian roulette with hostages. And that we do this to ourselves. Then we go, okay, we’re going to spend the money. We’re going to borrow the money.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:36

    But every once in a while, we’re going to go right to the brink, and we’re going to empower the least responsible members of Congress to threaten the global markets in our full faith and credit. I mean, I don’t know know that we would consider that a wholesome exercise in democracy or good governance. No. No.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:53

    But I love that hostage analogy because Why are the Republicans doing this over the debt ceiling? If they wanna cut the budget, then let’s be fair, I think they wanna cut the budget. Why are they taking the debt ceiling hostage? And the answer is because they can. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:06

    This is a thing where where they can literally hold this thing up and scare the bejesus out of everybody. But, you know, when you do that, you’re not exactly thinking through. Exactly whose hostage is this. I mean, if you hold up the debt ceiling, there’s a heck of a lot of people in the Republican base who are gonna take severe damage from their interest rates going up. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:25

    From them losing their jobs, from their company going under So
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:28

    you’ve taken a hostage without really much thought to the consequences of what happens if you shoot the hostage. I imagine that Republicans think that if there is an economic cataclysm and this does shove the country into recession, that that will politically benefit them that the Biden administration and the Democrats will be blamed for this, which strikes me as highly problematic because I don’t know that that’s the way it will play out. On the other hand, Republicans have done this kind of brinkmanship before and have not been punished at the polls. But I think if in fact they were to play this thing out, I’m not sure it’s the winner they would think it is. What do you think?
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:07

    Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:07

    So they’ve faced a version of this. They face the consequences, not over the debt ceiling, but over shutting down the government. And every time they shut down the government or they’ve been involved in a shutdown, they have been the ones blamed they don’t seem to get the message from that. Maybe they think the debt ceiling is different, but the debt ceiling is just gonna be magnified. And I think probably if you go back and look at the twenty eleven case, you would find that Republicans paid more of a price politically than Democrats.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:33

    This is
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:34

    where the the Kevin McCarthy, you know, long march to power while he was giving his power away becomes relevant. Because your average swing voter probably doesn’t care that much that it took him fifteen ballots to get elected speaker, you know, really doesn’t care as much as you and I might about the shambolic nature of this hostage taking in the House of Representatives. But I think this sets the template for what they will look like if they told the full faith and credit of the United States hostage as well. People will reminded us that this is what Kevin McCarthy had to give away to this particular group. And frankly, they don’t look that responsible.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:12

    They don’t look that reasonable, and they don’t look that prudent, they don’t look trustworthy. And I think that that’s going to be part of the I talk about the framing of the issue, I’m not talking about, you know, what what the White House needs to do. I’m just talking about the way it’s going to look to people back home going, okay, remind us again why we’re doing this. But I wanna go back to your point. Rhetorically, they will say that they are doing this in order to cut spending and debt.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:36

    In fact, the spending is already out there, the money has already been borrowed. The debt limit issue is only relevant to the question of whether we will repay the money we have already borrowed, and that point cannot be made too much. Right. That’s absolutely true. I don’t think Republicans have thought through the consequences of having to pull
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:57

    the trigger and shoot this hostage at all. And what they think they can do is leverage us against Democrats And their argument is that we’re the ones who are being reasonable because we’re offering to negotiate over the debt ceiling. Right? The idea is whoever offers to negotiate is the reasonable person and whoever refuses to negotiate, in this case, Biden is the unreasonable person. And they’re just sort of aligning the fact that some things shouldn’t be negotiated over like your full faith in credit.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:26

    Right. Some
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:27

    things are not on the table. Okay. So in the few minutes we have left, brutal weekend in Ukraine. The the Russian campaign of terror against the civilian population continues with that missile attack on a residential apartment building. Your thoughts about where we’re at in Ukraine?
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:44

    Because, again, I’m I’m not seeing anything that’s particularly original here, but it’s very clear that there’s no easy or early resolution to this war. It is a long slog the West has finally decided that, hey, maybe we should give them tanks. You know, and you and I have gone back and forth about all this. I think we have done heroic things to help Ukrainians But I wonder why we keep going through this two step of saying, well, you know, we can’t give them these weapons because that would escalate the world. We can’t give them these weapons because, wait.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:15

    Okay. Now we can give them these weapons. Alright. Well, we can’t give them this air defense because that might escalate it. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:22

    Wait. Okay. Now we’re going to do it. Why do we wait so long to give them the weapons the Ukrainians have been saying, we absolutely need all of these weapons to prevent these kinds of catastrophes in order to win this war. If we want them to win the war, why have we been so incremental and slow in giving them the tools they need to win this war?
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:43

    It’s a very good question and I hope even
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:45

    though I think I can begin to answer it, I hope that you and others will keep asking that question. Because we need to keep pushing ourselves to this attack on this apartment building in DeNebra. Just to give people a little context, this apartment building was hit with a missile that two thousand pound missile that is designed to take out ships. It hit an apartment building in DeNebro. DeNebro is about a hundred and forty miles away from the nearest body of water.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:09

    Alright? So this is not an accident. This is fired into a civilian area because the Russians don’t care. If they murder, if they massacre civilians, if they take out infrastructure that keeps people from freezing to death in the winter. They’re fine with that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:21

    They’re trying to inflict suffering. What we have to do is be patient and persistent Charlie, I thoroughly agree with you. We need to be providing the weapons that allow the Ukrainians not just to hold the ground but to take it. And so they do need tanks. That’s the thing that that the Ukrainians need most.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:37

    And, you know, unfortunately, one difference between us and Putin is Putin’s a dictator and with Putin decides change strategy and do escalate in Ukraine. He just makes a phone call and it’s done. Right? We have a coalition and we have to work with people. So I’m glad that the brits are moving.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:53

    On the tanks and I hope that we will move and other countries will move. And, you know, I don’t know, Charlie, yet. In the long run, of course, we are afraid that Russia has nukes and that it will use them. And so we’re afraid of provoking that. But we’re gonna save lives if we move quicker to help Ukraine’s retake ground.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:09

    Well, I think you and I had this
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:10

    conversation nearly a year ago, though. I I I am concerned about the self deterrence that we were seeing from the west. In the Biden administration. Again, I I think they’ve done a really admirable job. However, you can certainly understand, you know, the frustration the Ukrainians feel about Okay?
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:27

    Now you’re willing to give us the Patriot missiles. Where were you nine months ago? Now you’re willing to give us the tanks we could have used those a year ago. You know, how many of these things have to happen for things to change. But again, We’ll have plenty of opportunity to talk about this again.
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:42

    We’ll sell it in. Happy Monday. Welcome back on the show. Thanks, Charlie. And thank you all for listening to today’s Bullework podcast.
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:50

    I’m Shirley Sykes. We will be back tomorrow and we will do this all over
  • Speaker 4
    0:42:54

    again. The
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:56

    bolder podcast is produced by Katie Cooper, an engineered and edited
  • Speaker 4
    0:43:02

    by Jason Brown.
  • Speaker 7
    0:43:10

    Former Navy SEAL Sean Ryan shares real stories from real people, from all walks of life. On the Sean Ryan show, wealth strategist, Rob Luna, you can
  • Speaker 6
    0:43:20

    saw problem in this world. Better than anyone else, you’re gonna make a lot of money. And then that’s really what a business’s ultimate goal is whether it’s your business or a manufacturing business. It’s about solving a problem and making a bigger impact in people’s lives than anyone else on scale. I mean, I’ve been trying to scale my business, but I can’t find somebody to conduct these interviews.
  • Speaker 6
    0:43:40

    Yeah. Let’s show Brian
  • Speaker 7
    0:43:41

    Show on YouTube or wherever you listen.
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