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Will Saletan: Saying the Quiet Part Blaringly Out Loud

December 5, 2022
Notes
Transcript

Trump has upped the ante from sedition to Nazis and terminating the Constitution — and yet Republicans continue to shrug. Plus, the anti-science fever is spreading, and the genius behind the marketing of Herschel Walker in Georgia. 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
    0:00:01
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  • Speaker 2
    0:00:38
    Happy Monday, and welcome to the Bullework podcast. I’m Charlie Sykes. And because it is Monday, I’m joined by my colleague, Will Saletan. Will, do you have a good weekend? I
  • Speaker 3
    0:00:47
    did, Charlie. We’ve reached that ritual moment every four years when the United States is knocked out of the World Cup. So
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:54
    We’re just
  • Speaker 3
    0:00:54
    gonna have to get on with our life and back to the sports that people like Charlie Sykes care about.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:59
    Well, I have to say that the most important game of the year particularly when there are not gonna be any playoff games, is when the Green Bay Packers play the Chicago bears, and so it is it is sweet. It’s been a terrible season. It’s been awful. My soul has been crushed time and time again, but watching me, packers come back against the bears. It is sweet.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:19
    And don’t forget against the cowboys, so you’ve enjoyed the suffering
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:22
    of others.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:23
    We’ll we just have to start here. Okay. Can I just read you the beginning of my newsletter morning. I don’t usually do this, but this is what I want to talk about. Despite the evidence of the contrary, we are not in fact living through an alternative reality simulation.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:38
    This all actually happened. This is real life. Uh-huh. In the last two weeks, Donald Trump put out a video pledging solidarity with the January sixth writers, dined with two holocaust denying fans of Adolph Hitler, and called for the termination of the constitution so that he could be reinstalled in power and As you and I are speaking on Monday morning, he remains the front runner in the clear favorite for the Republican nomination for president in twenty twenty four. So no wonder that the right to conservative media would rather talk about Hunter Biden’s dick pics.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:17
    Yeah. I
  • Speaker 3
    0:02:19
    don’t wanna
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:19
    make light of this. There’s always that temptation to say, oh, don’t pay any attention. Oh, this is Donald Trump. But he’s gone full troll here. You know, last week, it was like, you know, after years and years and years of people on the right saying, oh, you know, we’re not You can’t use words like semi fashion.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:38
    Oh, come on. There are no Nazis. We’re not white supremacists. What does Trump do? Hold my beer.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:44
    I’m actually going to have dinner with one of the leading neo Nazis. And then of course, you know, we’ve been talking a threat to democracy. Democracy on the ballot. A lot of eye rolling. Oh, come on.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:55
    You know, this is Trump rearrangement syndrome. What does Donald Trump do? Says hold my beer. I’m going to put it in writing. Then I think that because of these Twitter revelations, this allows for and I’m gonna read this verbatim, allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles even those found in the constitution.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:24
    Well, you can’t make this fucking stuff
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:26
    up. It was just last week. Right? We were talking about can you believe this guy sitting down and having dinner with Nazis? And at the time, so we had this conversation and we said, It’s not like this is gonna stop.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:42
    When you get into bed with somebody like Donald Trump, you’re you’re not just buying all the crazy stuff he has said and done. You’re buying the next crazy stupid dangerous thing he says and does. And literally within days, he he outdid the Nazi thing. I mean, you know, that you can’t get really get further out than overthrowing the constitution because you’re just announcing that if you were ever put back in power again, that’s the last time there would be an election. He you’re throwing out the constitution, which is the only thing that stands in the way of an American
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:15
    dictatorship. He says And for all the years, you know, the anti anti trumpers, all the smart kids in the room go Oh, you know, you go too far. His policies his judges, but Gorsech, etcetera. And we’re out there saying, no, this guy is a unique existential threat to the the rule of law and the US constitution. And then what does Donald Trump do?
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:37
    He comes right out and says that he would overturn all of the laws, all of the rules I’m sorry to keep going on about this, but I agree with Ruth Marcus on all of this that you can say, roll your ride and say, oh, this is Donald Trump. This is crazy. This is lunacy. No. This is really dangerous.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:57
    This is dangerous. And what is equally dangerous, I think? Is the acquiescence of Republicans. If they go along with this, if they just shrug their shoulder, then what you’re gonna start to see is the normalization. Of this anti constitutional semi fascist ideology, and we’ve seen this over and over and over again, how extreme bizarre unthinkable things become thinkable and become mainstream.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:25
    Right? Charlie, I think we didn’t use this in the piece, but we ran the piece over the weekend in the bulwark that the
  • Speaker 3
    0:05:30
    headline of which was Trump walks out in fifth Avenue and shoots the constitution. Right? It’s what Trump said about, I’ll walk, you know, I could walk out and I wouldn’t lose any votes. And we’re we’re witnessing the truth of that statement in the nonreaction of so many Republicans too, the last two weeks. Okay.
  • Speaker 3
    0:05:48
    Let’s go to the tape on
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:49
    this because if you watched the Sunday Morning Show, you saw the usual kind of reaction. Now I’m not really familiar with Dave Joyce. I assume that he’s a prominent incoming member of the majority. And he’s on with George Stefanopoulos dodging and weaving and just trying not to cross that invisible red line that’ll get him, you know, we’ll earn him the wrath of Mar a Lago. So This is a Republican congressman, Dave Joyce, yesterday with George Stefanopoulos.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:21
    We have a couple of sound bites here. Can
  • Speaker 4
    0:06:23
    you support a candidate in twenty twenty four who’s for suspending the constitution?
  • Speaker 5
    0:06:27
    Again, it’s early. I think there’s going to be a lot of people in the primary. I think at the end of the day, you will say, whether the Republic and then the pick out fall in
  • Speaker 4
    0:06:35
    behind, because that’s even if it’s Donald Trump, has he called for suspending the constitution?
  • Speaker 5
    0:06:40
    Well, again, I think it’s gonna be a big field. I don’t think Donald Trump’s gonna clear out the field like he did six. That’s
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:45
    not what
  • Speaker 4
    0:06:45
    I’m asking. I’m asking you if he’s the nominee, will you support him?
  • Speaker 5
    0:06:48
    I will support whoever the republican nominee
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:50
    is.
  • Speaker 3
    0:06:54
    Well Yeah. Yeah. It’s so this is how easy it is for a dictatorship to happen. I I I’m trying I’m really trying not to raise my voice. Here.
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:02
    Yeah. But it’s what I wanna explain to people is it doesn’t take a big event. It doesn’t take a big demonstration, a bunch shouting and yelling for us to cross over that line. All it takes is normalization. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:16
    We get used to this guy saying crazy things and doing crazy things, very dangerous things as you’re pointing out. And then you layer on top of that ordinary partisanship. Right? He’s a Republican. We disagree with the Democrats on policy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:30
    If he’s the Republican nominee, I’m gonna support him. It’s the most normal thing in the world. And when you apply it to a would be dictator, a guy who was explicitly threatening to overthrow the constitution, it becomes the root down into madness. It doesn’t take any more than that, and that is why I’m trying not to raise my voice, but I implore people Take this seriously. This is not like any other crazy thing.
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:56
    Somebody running for the presidency says. This is the thing that ends all of the other debates. So George Stefanopoulos to his credit doesn’t let
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:05
    it go. He keeps on this congressman joy saying, you know, are are you serious? Are you You understand what we’re talking about here. Okay. So let’s play cut number
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:14
    two. That’s a
  • Speaker 4
    0:08:14
    remarkable statement. You just you’d support a candidate who’s come out for suspending the constitution?
  • Speaker 5
    0:08:19
    Well, you know, he says a lot of things. You have to take them in context. And right now, I have to worry about making sure it’s a Republican governance group and republican majority that we make things work for American people. And I can’t be really chasing every one of these crazy statements that come out about from any of these candidates.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:37
    I think
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:38
    they must have a training session for people. You know, it’s the sort of the Paul Ryan School of just pretend you didn’t see the tweet Right? You
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:45
    just don’t
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:45
    have to comment on. I’m just so busy doing these things that I can’t be bothered to stand up for the constitution. Okay. I’m here. I’m sorry.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:56
    Okay. One more. This is the last Dave Joyce clip. But that’s an extraordinary statement.
  • Speaker 4
    0:09:02
    You can’t come out against somebody who’s for suspending the constitution? Come
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:06
    on. Well,
  • Speaker 5
    0:09:06
    first off, he’s he has no ability to suspend the constitution. Institution. Secondly And he says he’s for it. Well, you know, he says a lot of things that but that doesn’t mean that it’s ever going to happen. So you gotta accept Exactly.
  • Speaker 5
    0:09:19
    Fact from Fantasy. And Fantasy is that we’re gonna suspend the constitution and go backwards. We’re moving forward. And we’re gonna continue to move forward. As a Republican majority and as a Republican conference.
  • Speaker 5
    0:09:30
    Can
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:30
    we just pause on that on that sorry. That statement from Dave Joyce. He has no ability to suspend the constitution. Who says who says that? Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:42
    As far as I could tell, the constitution is what says that. So you you can’t claim that he has no ability to do that. He has the ability to do it. If people like Dave Joyce and an entire political party, stand behind him as he says, I don’t care what the constitution says. I am going to reinstall myself as president.
  • Speaker 3
    0:10:02
    He obviously literally already attempted when he was in office to overthrow the constitution and reinstall himself as president against the will of the people there’s no reason why he wouldn’t try to do it again. And for people like Dave Joyce to stand around and say he has no ability, just betrays that they do not understand exactly what he is threatening to overthrow
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:24
    here. No.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:25
    It means is this man has no penis. And that’s what and by the way, that’s from ghostbusters. He clearly I mean, he understands all of that. He’s just not willing to do anything about it. He’s not willing to you know, they take an oath to uphold the constitution, you know, does that matter?
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:39
    Okay. But you make an interesting point here. The party line here is, oh, it’s just Donald Trump. He says lots of crazy things. It’s not like he would actually do anything about it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:48
    Well, actually, this is consistent with other things that he has done. I would argue it’s consistent with these in higher political career. But on meet the press yesterday, Mark Short, who was the former chief of staff to Mike Pence. Actually does connect to the dots between this statement. And what happened on January sixth?
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:11
    Let’s listen to
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:12
    that. Chuck,
  • Speaker 6
    0:11:12
    I don’t think it’s a good platform for a presidential campaign to say that we should just set the constitution aside. And I feel like we’ve seen this I think, depression can continue ever since January sixth. And candidly, as far as putting the constitution aside, I candidly think that’s what he asked the vice president to do two years ago. When rioters were attacking the capital, and he asked the vice president overturn the election results. And so I think, unfortunately, this has been a consistent trend.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:39
    Yeah,
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:40
    unfortunately. Now, I just have to point out before we give too much credit to Mark Short for being correct there. Literally in the next sentence, he switches to the whole Twitter, Hunter Biden thing. So it it’s like, I’m gonna step out of this big pile of manure for just a second here to point out that, yes, the former and perhaps future president of the United States has in the past tried to overturn the constitution. But let’s talk about a hundred Biden, so I don’t know whatever.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:09
    So — Yeah. — I thought that was an interesting point that I don’t know how you can take the, oh, he says lots of crazy things. He wouldn’t actually do anything about
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:18
    how do you say that after January six already happened? Right. Right. So first of all, Mark Short correctly identifies the thing that that shows that what Dave Joyce just said is nonsense. Dave Joyce said, this is fantasy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:34
    It can’t happen. It won’t happen. Mark Short is saying, not only can it happen, it did happen. Right? The guy did try to overthrow the constitution.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:44
    And short’s point there also gives the lie to all of the pretense that went on leading up to January sixth, the whole John Eastman memo and all that nonsense, claiming that it was constitutional for one person, the vice president of the United States, to overturn the election. Right? And Mike Pence to his credit did say that was an un American idea. But Trump pretended and all of these lawyers around Trump pretended. And to this day, Johnny Smith and other legal advocates for Trump’s position, pretend that the constitution sanctioned what Trump wanted Pence to do.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:19
    And what Short is saying is, nope. Nope. The constitution forbade what Trump asked Pence to do. Trump was inherently asking to overthrow the constitution in that moment. Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:30
    Here’s a point that’s almost too obvious to make. Does anyone think that a second Trump presidency would even more respect for constitutional norms than the first Trump presidency, does anyone think that Donald Trump is remotely capable of having more respect for the rule of law Especially, this is a mood question because he is publicly signaling that the answer is absolutely no. In fact, he is willing to say, and I’m sorry they’ve used this cliche, say the quiet part blaringly out loud.
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:06
    Yeah. And can I add to that, Charlie? Does anyone does anyone think that a political party that did not stand up to Donald Trump, the first time that he tried to overthrow an election, and the first time that he crossed all this, we’ll somehow discover courage, we’ll somehow discover ethics and a backbone when he tries to do it again. No. So all of this talk about how, oh, he won’t get the nomination.
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:30
    There’s so many other people in the field, you know, We don’t need to worry about that. Something will happen. Something will come along. We’ve been here before. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:38
    People like me stupidly thought it wouldn’t get the nomination. So let’s not pretend it can happen again, and let’s not pretend that when it happens again, if it happens again, that all of these Republicans will then say, oh, you know, we held out the possibility he might get the nomination, but we didn’t seriously mean we would support him. They absolutely will do it again. Okay, I have to say, it
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:00
    really sucks to be a Republican right now. I mean, going back to just the last two weeks, So if you are a Republican or a member of, you know, the the the conservative media ecosystem, you’ve been arguing several things for some time now. Number one, Oh, January sixth was, you know, it it got out of hand, but it wasn’t Donald Trump’s fault because Donald Trump was calling for peaceful, a peaceful protest. And then what does Trump do? He actually does a video for the people in jail for violently attacking the capital.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:31
    So that talking point blown, you know, blown up. And number two, you’re a member of a conservative media ecosystem, you’re a Republican congressman. You know, there’s no evidence that Donald Trump is anti semitic that he would provide any sort of aid and comfort to white supremacists or to anti semites. And then what does Donald Trump do? He goes out, and he has dinner with an actual neo Nazi and a mentally unbalanced individual who then goes on to say that we don’t sufficiently appreciate aid all Finland.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:04
    Okay? Right. You’re a member of the conservative media ecosystem or Republican congressman, and you’re arguing that it is absurd to say that democracy is on or assault, or that Donald Trump represents semi fascism, or that democracy is on the ballot. I mean, how silly is that? No.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:22
    Even the anti anti Trump were rolling their eyes about how silly it was to say the democracy was on the ballot. What does Trump do? He then just blasts out the fact that we ought to throw out all the laws, all the rules, all the articles of the constitution. I think it’s like and all you can say is Yeah. I I I I had this thing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:43
    I was I was getting my hair washed to dog eat my homework or or whatever it is. But this to our fellow Republican friends, this is what the next six fucking years of your life is going to be like every fucking day.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:59
    Right? Right. We know. The so this guy, Donald Trump, when he first emerged as a political figure, there were people, you, among them, who who looked at this guy and what he was saying and doing and said, I reject him. He’s dangerous.
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:12
    He’s unfit. Right? And then there was all these other people. Who thought, you know, I can go along with this so far. We can and they started to rationalize.
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:20
    And the ultimate upshot of what you’re saying, Charlie, where he keeps going further and further is, You can get it right the first time and recognize that he is unfit for office and dangerous and should be kept as far away from possible his power, including possibly ending up in a jail cell. Or you can be dragged along for months and years as he continues, as you say, Charlie, every time you say about this guy, you know, he won’t take the next step. He then takes the next step. So you can get it right the first time like the Never Trumpers did, or you can wait and get it right eventually at the end, or you can never get it right. And for all those Republicans who have never gotten it right, never will get it right and will rationalize him no matter how far he goes.
  • Speaker 3
    0:18:00
    The only answer from my point of view is not just Donald Trump but those people all of the people who will rationalize and defend Trump as far as he goes, must be kept out of power if they’re in power, removed from power. Through constitutional means, through elections, but Kevin McCarthy and the House Republican conference must not be allowed to control that body of government for more than the minimum time necessary. So I am for every time you go to the polls, you democracy is on the ballot as long as this party that rationalizes trails of democracy is on the ballot. Okay. I have another question about all this.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:36
    And maybe this is a naive question. Because
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:39
    and I
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:40
    wrote this in morning shots.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:42
    On Earth two
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:44
    point o, which is the rational and completely imaginary world that I’ve concocted in my mind where people behave in a reasonable, decent manner, This moment would be the clearest, easiest moment for Republicans to rid themselves of this deranged demagogue. You could have prominent Republicans come out and deliver major speeches on the floor of the Senate or some other venue rejecting sedition. Collaboration with Nazis, and a call to terminate the constitution. Okay? So this is not controversial stuff.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:18
    Particularly among, you know, Republicans who are, you know, always defining themselves as being pro constitution. You can imagine those speeches being given. And frankly, would there be tremendous blowback? Would the base go? This is just terrible.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:29
    Well, I mean, some some would, but you can I can imagine Mitch McConnell giving that speech. I can barely imagine Mike Pence giving that speech, but I guess here’s the question. Is Rhonda Santos going to denounce Trump’s anti constitutionalism? And if not, why not?
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:46
    If you
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:47
    really wanna separate yourself and say, alright, we are moving on. Donald Trump has just handed you the sword. He has just given it to you. Pick it. Pick it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:58
    What do you wanna do? You wanna come out against Nazis? I think that should be safe. That should be easy. You wanna come out in defense of the constitution.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:05
    Okay. Not that radical opposition. Donald Trump has given you this sword. Why won’t they use it? Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:12
    So
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:13
    Or will or or will somebody? I don’t know. Okay. So you’ve put me in the bizarre position. I’m gonna defend these
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:19
    people. Alright.
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:20
    Here’s my defense. This should be good. They have said this. They are saying this. A lot of Republicans when Trump says things like, you know, when he dines with Nazis, when he refuses to condemn Nazis, when he says, you know, let’s terminate the constitution.
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:35
    A lot of Republicans do say, hey, it’s wrong to dine with Nazis. Let’s not give Nazis a platform. They do say, you know, the it’s I support the constitution. It’s wrong to overthrow the constitution. What they won’t condemn is the man.
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:49
    Right? Because the man is who they’re afraid of. They’re afraid that he’ll punish them somehow that they’ll lose their job or they’ll they’ll be canceled by the right I don’t know exactly how to put it, but they think somehow that they are protecting the idea of democracy or the idea of pluralism when they say that what whatever Trump happened to say, not that he said it, you know, is wrong. What but if you will not defend democracy against a man, who tries to destroy democracy. You’re not really defending democracy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:21
    You’re just mounting
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:23
    words. Well, I
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:24
    think that’s well put. I agree. But when you’re running against someone and they have committed what ought to be a massive blunder, you know, is it unreasonable to think that maybe you would take him on? See, this is the problem with Rhonda Sandis. I don’t wanna get off under this tangent, but At some point, if any of these folks want to run against Donald Trump, don’t they need to run against Donald Trump?
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:49
    Do they honestly think they can run sort of like side by side with Donald Trump and things will work out somehow because I don’t see that happening that way.
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:58
    I don’t know, Charlie, my best guess I mean, if you observe the behavior of these people from the outside and ask, what are they thinking? How do they see this ending? The simplest answer is they’re waiting for him to die. Yeah. I I don’t I don’t know.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:10
    I I you know,
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:11
    they’re hoping to happen. Yeah. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:13
    They’re hoping never to have to confront him. And this the it’s a you raise a really good question about DeSantis. Frankly, when I think Dave Joyce is a relative moderate among the Republicans. And and a lot and some of these Republicans who were on TV this weekend mumbling around their way around the whole, you know, over through the constitution thing, they’re moderates. And there’s an instinct among moderates to, oh, let’s split the difference.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:36
    Let’s let’s not pick fights we don’t need to pick. Right? And this isn’t like those other issues. Right? This is the democracy, the rule of law, this this is really foundational if you try to be moderate with a Putin or a Hitler or a Trump, you know, that’s not gonna work.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:52
    You you have to be vigilant and rigid against those people or they’ll just run over you. It’s the most
  • Speaker 7
    0:22:57
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  • Speaker 1
    0:23:27
    five zero. So do
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:31
    you wanna talk about the Twitter bombshell or not? Sure. Because I would strongly urge people to read Tim Miller’s piece that was published on Saturday about the let me just read the headline here. No, you do not have a constitutional right post hundred Biden dick pic on Twitter. It’s really a takedown of what these folks do not understand about free speech.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:51
    I also have a long email from Cath be young in in my newsletter this morning. But so what do you make of it? Because, of course, this is what the right wing media is talking about. We’re talking about the format in a future president of the United States calling for termination of the constitution. They wanna talk about why Twitter would not publish pictures of Hunder Biden’s junk.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:14
    What do you make of this?
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:16
    Yeah. Okay. So I I I’m of two minds. So first of all, I thoroughly agree with Tim. Tim’s piece is wonderful.
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:22
    Everyone should go to the Board and read Tim Miller’s latest piece. One of the points that Tim makes is just that this is not a first amendment issue. Viden was a private citizen. There is very ordinary contact between campaigns and social media companies about, hey, you know, there’s this this inappropriate thing, which was big pics of Hunter Biden. Okay?
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:41
    Let’s not pretend it was some deep political thing. So This happens all the time, it’s not a first amendment question, it the whole thing is overblown. However, Charlie, having said that, I’m kind of of the view, have had it have had it, you know, right wingers. If you wanna make a big scandal with this, go at it because I don’t really wanna be defending Hunter Biden. And if they are finding emails, it was wrong to suppress the New York Post story about the laptop.
  • Speaker 3
    0:25:06
    They have a point here. And I am for letting them have at it, and God knows the the House Republicans with the Oversight Committee. They will have that Hunter Biden. Let them do it because I don’t want to protect Hunter Biden I wanna make sure no one’s protecting Donald Trump. I wanna make sure all of the bad dirt that needs to come out comes out about both of these guys.
  • Speaker 3
    0:25:25
    And the fact that it’s so much worse in Trump’s case than in Hunter Biden’s makes me think not that we should protect Hunter Biden, but that we should throw them to the walls.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:35
    Yeah. I don’t
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:36
    I don’t have any I’m not gonna carry any water for hundred Biden ever. I think I’ve announced that I will never support hundred Biden president of the United States or or or any position of of public trust. So investigate it. But and and I do think that it was the not one of the great moments of the media decided to, you know, not go with that story. I mean, there are reasons for it, and I understand what they are.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:58
    But no, this was a miss. But I I do think a couple of facts are important here and Kathy Young points this out. You know, this decision that Twitter’s decision to block the link to the New York Post story amounts to election ringing is just completely absurd because in fact, Now, that action gave the story, which she calls, you know, the spray sand effect rather than suppress it and spray sand effect is basically a, you know, shorthand term for something you try to suppress the story and it actually makes it much, much bigger. And, you know, the story was all over Twitter and the story can be easily accessed you know, whether like five seconds on Google. And also, the block was lifted in about a day.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:38
    And the former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey actually apologized two days later. And this whole notion that there was this coordination Even Matt Taiby, who’s become a complete right wing hack here, Elon Musk, but boy. You know, acknowledging, both parties were were trying to pressure, you know, Twitter. You know, it was coming from both ends, including from, you know, the Trump White House. And what I see in those emails are people who are tasked with moderating the content, having a back and forth disagreement, but the kind of healthy decision and discussion that you would expect
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:15
    from all
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:16
    of this. So, and I and I also think that it’s important to remember that one of the reasons why people were skeptical about this October surprise was not just the providence of the laptop, but it was It was because it was also part of that known false narrative about Ukraine. The whole Trump trying to export blow to Mir Zelensky was to get the president of Ukraine to announce an investigation into the Bidens to, you know, you know, Hunter Biden, the whole Burisma thing. So that was completely bogus. It was completely illegitimate.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:51
    It resulted in Trump’s impeachment. And so part of I think the reluctance to go along with the laptop was why should we amplify something that is part of a narrative that we know is not only toxic, but has been debunked in this false. So I I all of that background, I think, is
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:12
    important. But
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:13
    again, I don’t disagree and I don’t wanna spend too much time on it. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:16
    No. I I first of all, I I agree with you. You you make an excellent point about the Ukraine connection. But also, there’s a Russia connection here. One of the simplest explanations for human behavior is you’re trying to correct your last mistake, and so you create a new mistake.
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:32
    The mistake in twenty sixteen was falling for that Russia hacked a bunch of material from military and the and the democrats. And the media treated it as though it were not hacked. It was hacked. And so there was an impression that the Hunter laptop was also, you know, sort of a foreign hack thing. We’re not gonna give it any credence.
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:51
    So I think the FBI and a lot of people who are involved in that thought they were correcting the last mistake, and they committed a new one. But as you’re pointing out, it wasn’t that big a deal. It was quickly resolved.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:01
    Well, in the in the Washington Post, I just wanna keep, you know, emphasizing this. You know, the Washington Post, you know, looks at the emails that were leaked, etcetera. And they note that all of these internal communications were disclosed over the weekend showed that the company independently decided to limit the spread of the article without democratic politicians the Biden campaign or the FBI exerting any control. In fact, the only democratic politician who weighed in was representative Rocana from California who thought that Twitter should distribute the story. So this is going to be one of those classic moments where there’s gonna be a lot of fireworks and heavy breathing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:39
    But the closer you look the less there’s there. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:43
    But to
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:44
    me, that’s the reason why we should look. I mean, when when there’s less there, Charlie, this is not just gonna pass in a weekend. Right? There’s they’re going to be extensive hearings. It’s they’re gonna Republicans are gonna bend gazi, this whole Twitter thing, and the Underlaptop.
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:59
    And let them find what’s there. And if it’s largely a nothing burger, I I think it’s better that the world sees that Republicans looked at it and still found a nothing burger.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:08
    So
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:10
    over the weekend, it is always hard on Monday to catch up with all crazy that went on over the weekend. I know that you wanted to comment on my state’s senior senator, Ron Johnson. Who is now threatening to filibuster the must pass National Defense Act, which funds the military. Do I have that correct? That you have a conservative Republican talking about blocking the funding for the armed forces.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:43
    Right. And
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:44
    it’s by the way, it’s not just Ron Johnson, although he’s talked about it. Kevin McCarthy, said this weekend that and he’ll control this. He will block the authorization bill for all military funding unless they repeal the vaccine mandate for for troops. Yeah. Well, they
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:01
    seem to Johnson seems to have other concerns as well. Let’s let’s play this. So this is Ron Johnson on the calls to block the defense bill unless the mandate is ended, but also with his full critique of the wokeness of the military, and we’ll talk about this on the other side. Ron
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:18
    Johnson. You
  • Speaker 8
    0:31:19
    know, a number of centers and I called on our leadership to to block closure on the National Fence Authorization Act until they they do lift the mandates. This would be good news if if that’s gonna happen. But, yeah, Marie, this this states back to the Bill Clinton administration as they star of our military of the resources they need and use our military as a social experiment as opposed to hone our war fighting capability. So, particularly in in this administration, the the current military brass seems to be more concerned about wokeness than they are military readiness. And every American should be concerned about this.
  • Speaker 8
    0:31:55
    You know, I’m concerned that they’re missing their recruitment goals partly because, you know, if if you’re if you’re a young man you know, or a young woman that wants to join and defend this nation, you’re not particularly interested in in social experiments. You actually want to become a warfighter. To defend the nation, defend our freedom. So I think that’s one of the reasons our recruitment numbers are down. Will, that
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:14
    going on
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:15
    there? Yeah. This is really a wonderful statement by Ron Johnson that encapsulates what has happened to the Republican Party. Right? This is a party that used to believe in a strong military and used to believe in sort of mutual we go back to nine eleven.
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:28
    Right? Republicans were the party of mutual sacrifice, vigilance, Instead, we have Ron Johnson talking about wokeness and social experiment. Charlie, this is not a social experiment. Vaccination against COVID, is literally a scientific experiment. And the result of it is, if you get vaccinated, you are less likely to get infected and therefore to spread infection to others.
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:49
    And it’s one thing to mandate this out for civilians, you know, where they’re quite libertarian arguments. In the military, there’s not a libertarian argument. You’ve signed up to defend your country. And the least you can do for the soldier next to you, right, is get vaccinated so that you’re not spreading COVID in your unit. So what we have is Republicans calling this a social experiment, talking about wokeness in the military, when in fact, what these Republicans are defending is a snowflake military, where anyone who has been listening to Ron Johnson and other crackpots about vaccination and says, I won’t get vaccinated even though it would protect the other guys in my unit, that that person somehow should have a veto over the United States military being more ready, being more prepared for whatever it has to face because its soldiers are vaccinated against this disease.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:41
    I think this anti vaccination is gonna have a long and deadly tail
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:44
    to it. I mean, first of all, I just wanna mention, if you’re doing the military, you’re also required to get a whole bunch of other kinds of immunizations and vaccinations. I mean, this is this is not the only one this is routine. They’re not controversial, but they have made this an element of the culture war. Everything is the culture war.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:00
    By the way, I would would love to hear Ron Johnson would be asked to define what he means by wokeness. The term is really thrown out there. And did you see that what the Brondes Sandes’ lawyer or the lawyer for? The state of Florida said when we was asked, no. They have the antiwokeness bill that does up in front of federal judges.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:20
    And they would ask, could you define wokeness and he said something like, well, it’s the belief that there are systematic injustices that should be fixed in American society or something like that, wasn’t it? Right? I mean, was it was something really this is it? We we need to ban this. We need to ban any sense
  • Speaker 3
    0:34:36
    that there’s something really wrong with American society. Right. I was our colleague Ted Johnson pointed out that no one is no one has been louder lately about systemic injustice against victims than Republicans claiming that elections are rigged against them. Yeah. But
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:51
    again, no consistency here. But I guess, my my real fear is now the sentiment against vaccines has become so ingrained that the next time that we have a pandemic and we come up with a miracle cure or a miracle drug like a vaccine that we’re going to see a replay of this. And maybe the next pandemic is even more deadly, and the choice is even more stark. But I think For anybody who was waiting for the fever of anti science sentiment to break, I think that it is spread. I think this is just a down payment on what’s gonna happen next
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:36
    time. Oh, I
  • Speaker 3
    0:35:37
    thoroughly agree. And this was totally unnecessary the conservative party in America or what passes for the conservative party to become the anti backed libertarian party rather than the security oriented Provac’s party. But in addition to that, Charlie, we heard a lot about defunding police obviously in the twenty twenty election. This year, we’ve heard about the Republicans saying we should defund the FBI because the FBI did a search, not a raid, a search of Mar a Lago for the documents Trump stole. And now we’re hearing to fund the military.
  • Speaker 3
    0:36:06
    Now they’re not saying that. They’re not using the words to fund. But if you say as Kevin McCarthy says, as Ron Johnson says, that we are going to block the National Defense Authorization Act. We’re not going to let it get off the ground unless you repeal the vaccine mandate for soldiers. You are proposing to defund the military, to get your Snowflake agenda adopted.
  • Speaker 3
    0:36:25
    Well, this is also
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:26
    why this is not an effective political strategy because if you take a hostage, you have to be prepared to kill it. Right? And there is no way that Republicans want to defund the military. You know? And, you know, at the the moment that the Democrats really get their act together and begin to pound on all of this, just watch how they begin to scurry for the high grass.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:48
    Right? Because you have to pass that defense bill. And — Yep. — if you are the person that refunds the military, that is not what you want to be in American politics. You just don’t write.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:58
    And if this happens, and by the way, McCarthy is
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:00
    claiming that Biden agreed to this. But apparently, that’s not true. So we already have so and Republicans had this vaccine fight this fight over the vaccine mandate about shutting down the government. It was a disaster for them. Now they’re gonna do it about shutting down the military or shutting down the defense authorization bill at least.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:15
    And I don’t think it’s gonna work out politically any better for them. At least I pray it won’t. Alright.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:21
    So let’s talk about what happens tomorrow. We have the Georgia runoff. It’s still a big deal. It’s not as big a deal as we originally thought it was going to be that determine who control the United States Senate. But it’s going to have implications.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:34
    And first of all, you and I are both, I think, out of the prediction business. Why? I’m certainly out of the prediction business. The tea leaves, however, appear to be favoring Rafael Warmock being reelected, the Hershel Walker will not win that election. Do you agree with that, first of all, or is that irrational exuberance of my part?
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:53
    I think it’s exuberant and not irrational. I think it’s correct. So we were talking about how the Republicans were unmoved by sedition not seize in the call to terminate the constitution. But as we’ve seen over the last several weeks, losing tends to focus the mind marvelously. If if, in fact, they lose again in Georgia, they taste defeat again in this senate election.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:18
    Will that have any effect on this overall moving past Trump thing? I mean, what is the what is the reaction gonna be? I I think, see, for guys like you and me, we think it’s kinda baked in the cake. Okay? So Hershel Walker loses.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:30
    But is that the way it’s going to play?
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:35
    Yeah, I I think in the long run, we’re right, but it may be a long run. Right? We we we we are first of all, we have seen signs, Charlie, after the twenty twenty two election, that more Republicans than before are now saying Trump is the problem. Looking backward is the problem. Relitigating elections is the problem.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:53
    You’re just you’re starting to see movement in that direction, not enough, but I think it is evidence for the hypothesis that defeating Republicans is a very salutary answer to the sickness in the Republican Party just make them lose elections because eventually, if they have no courage, at least they will have the self interest to say, we got to change. Well, I think it there’s gonna be
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:14
    a certain clarity in Hershel Walker going down because he was just a truly abysmal candidate. In a year of really lousy candidates, he stood out as perhaps being the most unfickinated major parties put up for Senate, and I don’t know how long. But the only reason we’re having this discussion I mean, think about it. The only reason we discuss things like Nick Fuentes and Kanye West and Alex Jones and all of this and and Hersha Walker. He’s because of Donald Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:43
    He has brought them, you know, given them positions of influence of power, it was his choice he thought, hey, you know, I can be really, really clever. I’m gonna have an African American candidate in Georgia who’s really, really famous. This is my marketing genius. If he goes down on flames, the clarity will
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:02
    be, this
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:03
    is all Donald Trump. And so I it it would go I think it’s going to be interesting to see whether this begins to open that crack of the willingness of Republicans to say his name. To to quote Chris Christie. I think even that
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:19
    though is
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:19
    an optimistic scenario. I mean, for Republicans to identify Trump as the problem and reject Trump, I think, overlooks the underlying sickness in the party. So I think MAGA is bigger than Trump. Well, yeah. I think if Trump were to drop dead tomorrow, it’s no doubt many of these Republicans hope.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:35
    You would still have a base of the party that I mean, the Republicans have made the Magna People the base of their party that wasn’t necessarily the case to the extent it is now. But now they’re kind of wedded to these folks. And I think those people are just gonna keep nominating Hershel Walker types the whole way.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:52
    I think that’s that’s
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:53
    right, and there’s no question about it. This was a preexisting condition before Trump came along, and the transformation of the party has been pretty thorough going. Then to your point, I think that a lot of these Republicans are afraid of Trump, but I think they are far more afraid of the base. They’re afraid of Trump because they know this is what the base of Republican voters will respond to and what they want. And that’s not gonna change anytime soon.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:20
    So we’ll we will talk again no. Actually, we’re not gonna talk again next Monday because I’m gonna be in France Oh, for the next several weeks. That’s awesome. Yes. So I am a week from today.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:31
    I will be landing Ian Bourdow and hitting up to Angou Lam where my grandkids and my daughter live and spending a good chunk of time. So if I do not talk to you, have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year and whatever other holidays
  • Speaker 3
    0:41:50
    you might celebrate. Thank you, Charlie. And I will I’m looking forward to I’m gonna be thinking of you eating cheese, drinking wine, and rooting for France in the World Cup.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:58
    Thank you. And thank
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:59
    you all for listening to today’s Bullework Podcast. I’m Shirley Sykes. We will be back tomorrow and we’ll do this all over
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:04
    again. You’re
  • Speaker 9
    0:42:12
    worried about the economy. Inflation is high. Your paycheck doesn’t cover as much as it used to, and we live under the threat of a looming recession. And sure, you’re doing okay, but you could be doing better. We afford anything
  • Speaker 4
    0:42:24
    podcasting blains the economy and the market detailing how to make wise choices on the way you spend and invest. Afford anything talks about how to
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:30
    avoid common pit balls, how to refine your mental models, and how to think about how to think. Make smarter choices and build a better
  • Speaker 4
    0:42:38
    life. Avoid anything wherever you listen.
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