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Will Saletan: Trump’s Pee-wee Herman Moment

November 27, 2023
Notes
Transcript
Trump wants you to know that he remembers who the president is. Plus, the asymmetry in the hostage-prisoner exchanges, linking reform of asylum rules to aid for Ukraine and Israel, and is Christie helping Haley? Will Saletan is back with Charlie Sykes for Charlie and Will Monday.
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
    0:00:08

    Welcome to the Bulwark podcast. I’m Charlie Sykes with Will Salatans. Would this be technically the post Thanksgiving hangover Bulwark podcast yes. It’s been a while since you and I have done that. What we do once a week, but it feels like a long time since we’ve done that, I figured you were up at, like, what, three o’clock in the morning standing out in front of Walmart on Black Friday.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:29

    I’m joking, of course. Do people still do that? I just kinda lost track of it. Do people still actually do that as does everybody buy everything online now?
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:37

    So everybody buys everything online, but some people still as a residual kind of ritual they go to the Walmart or whatever it is on the Friday. Yeah. For the bonding experience. Yeah. They did it when it was when it mattered.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:50

    And now that it doesn’t, they go anyway, just be with their friends. And, yeah,
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:53

    brings back memories. Go with dad or grandma. Remember when we would stand out here in the cold and the dark, and then we would get the we’d rush the doors and fight somebody for the big screen TV. You know, Charlie Sykes,
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:05

    as a as a couple of guys, we forget that for some people shopping is recreation. And so, yeah, some people do it. It’s not a matter of forgetting.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:13

    It’s a matter of never knowing that. By the way, I do know people for whom shopping is recreation. That is true. Mean, I think part of the problem is that Bulwark Friday starts about a week in advance. And then, of course, you know, I get all these emails saying, you know, take advantage of the Black Friday deal.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:27

    Black Friday deals about to expire and then five minutes later, you get the, hey, cyber Monday deals, which probably pretty much like the Black Friday deal. So I hope you had a great Thanksgiving in case. I did, Charlie. I hope you did too. I did.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:40

    Okay. So let’s start with some breaking news here before we get into the weekend and catching up because we have all of this stuff to catch up on we have now reached the Pewee Herman phase of I was gonna say the Trump presidency, the trump, what do we call it, the trump era? You remember pee wee Herman and and not the incident in the theater? Okay. I’m not going there.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:58

    That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the his famous line. I meant to do that. Okay. You think I screwed that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:05

    I meant to do that. Pee wee Herman signature line. Great moment in American cinema. I meant to do that. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:12

    So Donald Trump, former president of the United States, Republican candidate, leading Republican candidate for president of the United say it’s put out a true social bleat this morning. Would you like to hear it? Absolutely. Apparently, he’s a little bit touchy about people saying that he’s kinda losing it, that he’s confusing who the president is. This whole, you know, when I beat president Obama or we throw president Obama sort of thing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:39

    So we want people to know. I meant to do that. Right? Whenever I sarcastically Insert the name Obama for Biden as an indication that others may actually be having a very big influence in running our country, comma, Ron de sanctimonious, that’s back. And his filling campaign apparatus together with the
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:00

    Democrats radical leftist information machine,
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:00

    Go wild. Saying that, quote, Trump doesn’t know the name of our president. Crooked Joe Biden. He must be cognitively impaired. In the quote.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:15

    No. I know both names very well. Never mix them up and know that they are destroying our country. Also, And as reported, I just took a cognitive test. A little bit protesting too much here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:26

    Okay. So it’s sarcastic when I do it. I mean to do it. Okay. And as, reporter, I just took a cognitive test as part of my physical examination, and this is all in caps.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:41

    Aced it. Also, aced all in caps. Aced, which and then in prince, he he in case you didn’t know what the word aced meant, means a perfect score exclamation point, close friends. Also, aced one taken well on the White House. Biden should take one so we can determine why he wants open borders No energy independence, a lot of this capitalized, which I’m not gonna bear you with.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:06

    A woke military high inflation, no voter ID, men playing in women’s sports, only electric cars and trucks a weaponized DOJ FBI and so many other, all caps crazy things, triple exclamation point. So in case you were worried about Donald Trump appearing to forget who, in fact, is the president of the United States, He meant to do that. It was sarcastic. And, actually, it’s four dimensional chess because he’s reminding you who are the powers behind the throne. You think Joe Biden is actually sitting there in the Oval Office, but really maybe Barack Obama.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:43

    Right. And where was he really born, right? Right. Is pulling the strings. So There you have it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:50

    Happy Monday. So you
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:51

    and I have talked about Joe Biden’s age. And, obviously, we yeah. We’ve we’ve certainly
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:56

    this has come up.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:57

    We’ve gotten a lot of crap for it. And Donald Trump, of course, is aging as well. But one of the things for anyone who’s had a relative, a parent, or anyone else who is aging. Very often, the aging it varies depending on the personality of who’s of the person. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:13

    And for Joe Biden is basically a nice guy. So his aging takes the form of He stumbles over a word, can’t think of the right word, and he apologizes. He feels bad about, you know, having screwed up in front of other people, having people down, having failed to communicate. Donald Trump is a bad person. He’s mean.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:33

    He’s nasty. And he’s a liar. And so his dementia takes the form of screwing up and then vigorously denying it and accusing others of misrepresenting his screw up. Right? So what we’re seeing is Trump’s dementia is exposing the difference between Trump and Biden between a bad person and a good one.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:52

    That’s my take.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:53

    Well, so, yeah, I mean, it is true. I mean, Biden does mix things up. You know, he’s like he’s like the old grandpa that calls Mary Julie and stuff like that. Donald Trump is the grandpa sitting on the porch with a shotgun saying, you know, get those vermin off my lawn. Yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:07

    That sort of thing. Okay. Switching gears here over the weekend. Mitt Romney actually drew an interesting red line, said that he, in fact, would vote for Joe Biden over both, Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy probably vote for other Republicans, but this is the the furthest I think that he’s gotten so far in in saying that. And and I know the people will say, well, you know, he needs to commit to vote, you know, for Joe Biden no matter what.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:32

    But you have to understand that This is quite a stretch for the guy who, in fact, was the Republican nominee for president in twenty twelve, which when we refer to the before times, that feels like the before before times. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:45

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:45

    That Mitt Romney was actually the Republican nominee. Let’s play this. He’s on with Nora O’Donnell.
  • Speaker 4
    0:06:51

    You know, I I would, I’d be happy to support virtually any one of the Republicans, maybe not Vivek, but, but the others that are running would would be acceptable to me, and I’d be happy to vote for them. I’d be happy to vote for a number of the Democrats too. I mean, would be an upgrade from, in my opinion, from, Donald Trump, and and perhaps also from, Joe Biden. Look, I like president Biden. You know, I I find him a very charming engaging person.
  • Speaker 4
    0:07:17

    There’s some places I agree with him, but most places I disagree with him. I think he’s made all sorts of terrible mistakes but, I would like to see someone else run.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:28

    Okay. So I think one of the significant things there is that, he completely rules out our third party race either for himself or voting for a third party candidate. He’s he’s kinda shutting the door on that, which which I think is, Mildly interesting? What do you think?
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:43

    Yeah. I mean, it’s interesting that he says he could vote for any of the Republicans other than presumably, I didn’t hear it in that clip. Trump or Ramaswamy, because that really only leaves three people. Yeah. We’re basically down to Christy, Haley, Ron DeSantis.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:57

    Yeah. Hey. Now Christy, It’s not great that DeSantis is still in the running for Romney because Romney is a supporter, for example, of aid to Ukraine and Ron DeSantis seems not to be. Right? Rhonda seems to be on the wrongs, although not as much as Vivek or or Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:11

    But we’re getting down to a small number of Republicans who are still eligible for the Mitt Romney vote and for the votes of people like him. What is Ronnie saying when he says I would vote for other Democrats other than Biden? Who is he talking about? Mary Ann Williamson, r f k junior? Maybe Dean Phillips, I suppose.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:30

    Oh, I
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:31

    I mean, when when he announced he wasn’t running for real, He, but basically also said, look, I’m too old. We need to move to a different generation. And then he said that he thought we needed to move on past Biden and Trump. So he’s already called for Trump to move on. I don’t think he’s talking about, but yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:45

    Right. I have no idea what other Democrats he’s thinking of. I don’t know
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:47

    if anyone’s talking about Mary Ann Will Saletan. No one. No one anywhere. In fact, until you said that I forgot she was even running again. An RfK Junior, is he still running as a Democrat?
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:57

    I’m I’m confused.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:58

    Guess he’s nominally he’s like Bernie Sanders. He’s nominally a Democrat but running as an independent.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:03

    So In terms of this, and I don’t wanna engage in too much rank punditry here, but, you know, to the extent that pundits have to pundit. I mean, this is the thing is if you’re calling a football game, you don’t say, hey, there’s no point in even watching the rest of this game. It’s over. I mean, pundits have to say there’s a little bit of suspense. By the way, did you watch that Michigan Ohio State game over the weekend?
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:21

    Wow.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:22

    No. No. I missed that game.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:24

    I watched it on an airplane It was pretty amazing. Okay. I mean, if you’re a Michigan fan, that had to be one of the high points of your life considering that you live in Michigan, I’m sorry. I’m just fine. I’m just kidding.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:35

    But Ohio State fans are very, very bitter about this.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:37

    I have so many friends who are Michigan fans and just out of out of visceral contrarianism. Don’t exactly root against Michigan, but I’m not gonna watch Michigan games because they’re all watching it for me.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:48

    What was interesting though was was listening to the commentary because it kept saying k. This is the game of the week. No. This is the game forever. The next few plays will establish your legacy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:57

    They will be remembered for all time. I’m like, whoa, wait. It was, like, somebody said, hype this game up. This is the biggest freakingest game, and you do not wanna turn off. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:09

    So so pundits are kind of in the same situation. And the this Republican nomination is pretty much over. Right? But we gotta sort of, like, go through the motions. Like, so Haley, is making a game of it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:19

    Is she? Is there some Haley moment? Because I do think that there is developing a soft consensus that she is going to be the last woman standing. That it’s not going to be DeSantis. It’s not gonna be anybody none of these other candidates.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:32

    So it does seem as if the focus has come down to her. What do you think?
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:37

    Yeah. Okay. So I did not see the Michigan Ohio State game, but I did see Justin Tucker miss a field goal from the twenty seven yard line last night, which
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:45

    we will be talking about for deck Yeah. Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:48

    So anything is possible.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:50

    Yeah. It is possible
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:51

    for somebody to beat Donald Trump. And it’s clearly if it’s gonna be anyone, I think, is Nikki Haley. And Charlie, I feel terrible because you and I have discussed this. Chris Christie is the guy who is saying what needs to be said in the Republican primary. He is going right at Donald Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:05

    He is making that case. And Nikki Haley is letting him do that while she waffles and weaves her way through. Right. However, However, she’s the one who has the chance because she hasn’t pissed off all the Trump voters or half trump sympathetic voters. There are a lot of signs it’s not gonna be to Stantas.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:23

    He’s, as my friend, Chris Saliza said, he’s the dog food that the dog won’t eat. Right? People have already decided that. Christie, god bless him. I hope he can do it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:32

    I don’t think he can. Haley has the the possibilities, and she has movement. She has movement in the polls, in her favor in the early states. She’s clearly in second now in New Hampshire. Of course, she has South Carolina in her back pocket as the former governor, she has can at least make a run at Trump there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:51

    Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Mhmm. But she’s come up to about a tie with Ron DeSantis and he’s been coming down and she’s been coming up.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:57

    I expect the next round of polls will show her ahead there. So she got moving in the polls. She’s got the donors. The Tim Scott, people, a lot of them are moving to her. These are people who are looking for electability in the first place.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:09

    They thought Scott was that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:11

    Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:11

    They’ve decided now that it’s her, and they’re right about that. And then there are some operatives in the early states who are moving to her too, similar to the donors, the smart people. The people who are making intelligent electability decisions are moving to her, because she’s the dog food that people will eat. The dogs and the republican party are willing to eat Nikki Haley dog food. They’re not willing to go for Ron DeSantis.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:31

    Work on the metaphor. Keep going. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:34

    Yeah. The just to be clear about the metaphor, I love this. This is Chris’s metaphor. The point is it’s about Ron DeSantis. All of this money went into wrong.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:41

    All the smart people were behind Ron DeSantis. All the research behind Ron DeSantis. And you put the dog through in front of the dog, and the dog won’t eat it. Forget it. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:50

    And that’s what happened to DeSantis.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:52

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:53

    Right? He was the the voters just didn’t like him. He just doesn’t have it. Does Saliza have a dog? I assume so.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:01

    Okay. Because I have a dog, and we put food in front of him, and he’ll go, no. I don’t want it. You know, why he doesn’t want it? He wants one of those fried liver treats, you know, as a broth.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:09

    You put the fried liver treats on, and he goes, I kinda like this. Maybe there’s some more here. He eats the bowl. It’s not that simple. It’s not a binary choice.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:19

    I just wanna know whether crystal is actually has a dog.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:21

    We’ll follow-up. I don’t have a dog, so I’ll follow your lead on this, but I’d like to hear more about how dog food actually works with dogs.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:28

    Yeah. We could devote an entire podcast to it. Of course, you know, inducing dogs to eat the dog food. Okay. So they might eat, Haley k.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:37

    Kai. Gladys, I didn’t move off because I don’t want I don’t wanna talk about Haley. Nikki Haley is dog food. It just it seems since I’m gonna get canceled if I go too far on this one, By the way, if solicit does not have a dog, I mean, really seriously, there are too many pundits out there who, like, here’s my political analysis with out actually having a dog or talking to voters. I’m not saying he’s one of those guys.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:58

    Right. It’s gonna be bad.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:02

    There was a good story in politico within the last few days about what’s going on with Haley. And one of the things that they’ve mentioned was She’s got about ten million dollars worth of ad time booked in Iowa, New Hampshire, between now and the
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:16

    caucuses that used to be a lot of money.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:17

    It’s twice what Ron DeSantis has booked. DeSantis has spent a ton of money and wasted a ton of money. And when I say her, I mean, her campaign and her super pack versus him and his super pack.
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:27

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:27

    So a lot of money has moved to her, and the money is gonna be manifested in ads between now and Iowa, New Hampshire. So I think we’re gonna start to see more movement in her direction in those polls. And that’s gonna be a cycle, right, as she moves up. People start to think, okay, if I’m gonna knock off trump, which a lot of Republican voters and donors would like to do, she’s the one I’m gonna get behind. So we could start to see a cycle based on that ad spending.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:54

    I think that’s likely and also because the conventional wisdom is gonna start to shift in the way that we’re doing right here that it comes down to her. The focus was scattered. Now there are people who are saying this is the time for Chris Christie to drop out because he’s splitting the anti trump vote. My good friend, Matt Lewis, has a piece saying, hey, thank you for your service. You need to go.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:12

    Okay. I I’m not there yet, and I guess part of it is because And this is where punditry sort of has become and I’m I’m not talking about Matt here. Okay? But there’s a bastardization of political analysis by the horse race consultant class who
  • Speaker 3
    0:15:27

    are constantly just looking for, okay, the smartest thing to do is to
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:35

    hedge and fudge and to be able to do this and everything. And do you think that there’s some useful sort of non consultancy punditry out there saying, yeah, but you know what? There’s value in telling the truth. There’s value in being honest even if it is not politically advantageous. Chris Christie is not going to win this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:57

    I think he knows this, you know, what he says. He could do well in in New Hampshire, but every single day he’s in that race. He’s going out. And sometimes he goes into the lion’s den, And he says the truth about Donald Trump. He says things that no other Republican is saying about Donald Trump.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:14

    He is using that bully pulpit. I mean, as as much as I love, say Liz Cheney. Liz Cheney is not out there every day doing this. Okay? And so he is, again, pounding, pounding, pounding, Now, Nikki is doing the, quote, conventionally smart thing by hedging and
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:27

    fudging and dancing and being sought because
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:27

    that will provide her Elaine. So to a certain element of the pundit class, she’s the smart one.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:38

    And what is Christie doing? I mean, what is this whole truth bullshit?
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:43

    Right? You know, taking it to Donald Trump. I mean, that’s kind of naive, you know, or you think that actually calling Donald Trump out for his role in stoking any semitism and everything. I mean, is that smart? You know, let’s go to our, you know, our our pollster, but but whatever.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:58

    And I know that the clock is running and all analysis changes with the calendar. That what is a smart thing to do? What is a dumb thing to do, say, on February first? Might be a smart thing to do earlier or not so dumb. So I I I get it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:11

    I hope he stays in. I hope he keeps bringing it. I hope that voice is out there. But then at some point, there has to be the consolidation. We all know that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:20

    He’s a smart guy. He knows that. The question is whether or not momentum, ego, you know, makes you, you know, not see that moment when you need to consolidate. I don’t want him to drop out yet. This is me.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:33

    Okay. Now first of all, I’m dying to pose a challenge to you. Let me set that aside for a minute. I got a question for you. Before I get to that, I wonder whether Christie I mean, he’s not helping.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:45

    He’s hurting Haley to the extent that he says that she’s soft on Trump. She is. Maybe. Maybe not See, well, this is what I wonder. Is Haley able to triangulate off of Christie?
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:55

    Is Christie actually helping Haley by being the voice of truth Not just another pretty face will, Steve. He’s saying what needs to be said about Trump, so she doesn’t have to, and she can pose as the moderate so that the Trump voters can choose her and not choose Christie. That’s one theory. Here’s the challenge I wanna put to you, Charlie. Would you take this deal?
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:16

    Nikki Haley beats Donald Trump for the Republican nomination. Beatson becomes the Republican nominee.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:22

    I take the deal.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:23

    And becomes president. Okay. And remember, because remember, one of the things that Chris Charlie Sykes says about Nikki Haley is that she has said she is inclined to pardon Donald Trump.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:34

    Yeah. The deal is
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:35

    she gets the nomination, takes out Trump, becomes president, and pardons him on all federal charges. Gone, the classified docs, the January six. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:18:45

    Well, I know how
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:45

    I feel about that. You take the deal.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:47

    I’m sorry. What is the deal as opposed to what? As opposed to Donald Trump, runs wins the nomination and becomes president again and pardons himself. I mean, so what? There are choices here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:58

    I don’t get what I want. I understand Okay? So I am not getting a pony for Christmas.
  • Speaker 3
    0:19:03

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:03

    So I’m going to have to figure out what do I want. Do I do I want the rat of the snake I mean, it’s just, like, what what am I gonna get there?
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:09

    But wait, Charlie, it’s not that simple. It’s not it’s a risk proposition because you’re forgetting the other scenario, which, well, you’re not forgetting it, but just let’s focus on it, which is one is that Trump becomes president. That’s the one we’re all trying to avoid. Right. But the other one is that Biden wins.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:22

    Yeah. Biden beats Trump with the nomination and Biden doesn’t pardon Donald and Donald Trump faces legal accountability for his crimes. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:29

    So I at this point, I’m only focused on the nomination because I don’t think that Nicki Haley who then pardons Donald Trump is better than Biden if that’s what you were asking about the deal? No. I think a pardon of of Donald Trump would be an error of of historical magnitude. The more I think about it, the more I think about the lost opportunities, you know, how did we get here? And without getting too deep into wonkiness.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:56

    I actually okay. This is how bad it is. I was actually going through a McDonald’s in Southern Maryland the other day. And I actually said out loud to my wife. You know, the more I think about it, the worst mistake it was that they did not impeach Andrew Johnson.
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:14

    The Nixon Ford pardon seems like a much worse decision I think going forward because we
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:14

    have created their situation where the presidency is not only endowed with massive powers, but
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:24

    it is effectively immunized from any
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:24

    sort of legal accountability The founding fathers believed, I think, in retrospect, naively, that impeachment was going to be a valid. I think they also assume that public opinion would be strong enough that there would be a check and a balance. We now know that the president of the United States really is never gonna be impeached. Really, very, very unlikely. It can’t be indicted while he’s in office, and there is a huge clack out there that believes that this is a violation of some sort of something or other.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:57

    No, noblesse oblige that he’s held accountable after he leaves office. Donald Trump, if he gets back into office, will absolutely believe that he is untouchable that he’s above the law. And, and I think that the precedent of pardoning him would be totally horrific. For the people who are naive enough to believe that that would heal the nation? No.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:16

    That would not heal the nation. That may postpone you know, other fissures, but it wouldn’t. So, no, I don’t accept that deal.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:24

    Because I believe that Nikki Haley, if she becomes president, we’ll pardon Donald Trump.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:28

    Yeah. I believe she’ll do it. Well, she gotta be asked that everywhere she goes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:32

    It’s exactly the kind of thing that Nikki Haley would do. We’re gonna put behind us. We want consensus. We don’t want division in this country yada yada yada. Yep.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:39

    Yep. Yep. Yep.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:40

    But to guarantee that Donald Trump would not be president Yeah. At least in this election, would it be worth it? It’s a tough call for me. Tough call.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:48

    Well, I mean, I’d rather have her be the nominee because it gets rid of Donald Trump in the nomination, and then we deal with that in the general election. At this point, everything is, everything is episodic. Everything is conditional. So if you ask me, would I take a deal and would Haili becomes the nominee instead of Donald Trump in a heartbeat. With every other thing you could possibly say about her, I would say yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:08

    Absolutely. Because the world becomes an instantly better place. And I think that’s clear. Okay. So before we get into some of the the talk shows, and major developments in the Middle East over the weekend.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:19

    I mean, major. We actually do have a ceasefire. Biden administration apparently played a significant role we are having the release of hostages, and it is truly remarkable watching how that’s playing out. I just wanted to bookmark one thing that stuck with me over the weekend. And I wrote about it in my morning shots newsletter.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:36

    So you’ve want more about this. We won’t go into it a lot. This car accident at the rainbow bridge on the Canadian American border a guy in a bentley who’s going too fast, blows up his car. I mean, terrible accident. Fox News, reports it as a possible terrorist attack.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:53

    I mean, they dove deep down the rabbit hole of disinformation. Of course, all the usual suspects decided they were going to exploit it. I described it as kind of a case study of this motivated reasoning and and how you have a fake story that is suddenly seized on if people feel they can exploit it ideologically or politically. So one after another, we had, you know, whether it was Ted Cruz or Vivek or Maswami or Elise Staffonic or Carrie Lake and just keep going down the list of people who were, like, This looks like a terrorist attack. It’s a perfect sign of the way Joe Biden is failing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:29

    This is why we need Donald Trump back in the White House. You had this Congresswoman from Florida. We said this is why we need mass deportation. And it turns out, of course, that this was not a jihadi. This was not a pro Hamas gen z activist.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:44

    This was not an immigrant. This was not an asylum seeker. It’s some guy who was coming back from a kiss concert.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:51

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:52

    And yet, it was interesting watching this pavlovian reaction of all of these politicians and these media types who thought, we have something we can use. And this is the world we live in. How one incident then becomes the flashpoint, even if it’s not true. Right. It’s somewhat naive to think, well, you know, this sort of thing happens.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:12

    But once again, all the shit flows right down from Fox News. With no consequences.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:19

    Alright. So let me broaden this out for a minute. Yeah. There’s a general phenomenon, and I forget it’s an in academic literature. There’s I think they talk about can believe versus must believe.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:29

    Things you don’t want to be true. Right? Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:31

    If you
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:31

    don’t want it to be true, you wait. You’re skeptical, you demand evidence. Right. If you want it to be true, you go right to the conclusion. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:37

    Confirms all my priors.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:39

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:39

    Jesse, So for Fox News, it’s, this is terrorism. It’s probably a jihadi. It’s probably, you know, some Muslim, whatever. And then on the the reverse for progressives is hate crimes. Remember the Detroit synagogue president who was murdered after October seventh and people were like, Oh, my god.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:56

    It’s a hate crime, and it turned out up to be as far as we know unrelated. She just happened to be president of the synagogue who wasn’t because of that. But hate crimes are the left version of this, where they’re very often a lot of people are very quick to assume something is a hate crime because it confirms their priors. And sometimes it’s true. Just like sometimes it’s true that there that it’s a jihadi behind the wheel of whatever it is.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:17

    I mean, yes, let’s rag on Fox News. They deserve it. But let’s all be a little bit careful about just because it confirms your priors. Wait. Wait a little.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:25

    Like, we just have this other incident now. The three Palestinian guys, Palestinian Americans.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:31

    I was wrestling with this exact question this morning. Okay. This is funny because it was going through the same mental process that okay. What do we know about this case? If we just wait twenty four hours, it may turn out to be something completely different.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:46

    Except that there is this desire to fit it into your template. Right? Right. And part of the motivation, and I I will say I’ve seen this over over time, is that even when people find out that the incident they’re trying to exploit is not true, they won’t actually feel chagrined about it. They’ll say yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:03

    But it revealed a deeper higher truth.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:06

    Because truthiness.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:07

    So, yeah, so the the truthiness that okay. So this hate crime did not take place at Yale. But it could have because there’s hate out there. So this called attention to the problem in a positive way as opposed to no it’s the crying wolf phenomenon that it devalues all act yes. So, this is something that that I have learned, through long and bitter experience you know, being on live radio for many, many years, one of the things that scared me the most was the incredible pressure to immediately leap to a conclusion about something that is just playing out.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:42

    And I’ve learned over and over and over again how many times those initial reports are misleading or just wrong. And yet the political class and the new media class, they they don’t give a shit. They just go with it. They just go with it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:56

    And this is something that social media has made so much worse. Right? Because we have we have access to quote information
  • Speaker 3
    0:27:03

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:03

    Much quicker than we used to. But the information is often as we’re just talking about, in this case, partial, perhaps not indicative of what the outcome will be. Right? And we pounce on it right away. And all of a sudden, there’s this firestorm of everyone agreeing that this was a hate crime or it was a jihadi or whatever.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:19

    And like you, Charlie, I’ve learned from experience a couple of times recently, I just sort of held off, like, one was the beheaded babies in, like, there’s massacre in October seventh. It was absolutely a slaughter of innocent people.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:32

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:32

    There was these stories about beheaded babies, and I was like, wait. I kept not finding evidence for it. And then it turns out, I mean, what they did was horrific. They burned people, their corpses, there are babies, who who died. But that particular claim seems not to have been borne out.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:45

    The other one is the Detroit synagogue president. You know, I know people who are along to a congregation, people who are presidents of their synagogue. And I held off on this because I thought, you know, this might not be related to her being Jewish. And it wasn’t. So if everyone would just wait twenty four hours so here we have the the case of these three Palestinian Americans.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:06

    What we know about this case at the moment is These guys were apparently walking by the apartment building of the killer. The killer appears to have had no information about them other than that. They were wearing Kaffiyas, and they were speaking Arabic, some English, some Arabic. Maybe it’s not a hate crime, But the preliminary indications are consistent with that, but they’re gonna I I guess they’re gonna interview this guy, and they’ll find out what they can from.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:32

    Okay. So let’s talk about what happened over the weekend because, there was a in many ways, felt like sort of an against the odds moment. I don’t know whether you were surprised by it, but the fact that they did have a ceasefire, and they actually did have multiple exchanges of hostages. Now I wanna just comment on the asymmetry here. Which is, I think, required.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:52

    The Hamas hostages are often children, women, grandmothers who had been kidnapped from their homes. Had committed no other crime other than to be Jewish in Israeli. Okay? Many of the Palestinian prisoners who are being released. Are convicted terrorists.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:08

    The New York Times is getting a lot of, crap for having a picture, disfigured Palestinian woman, you know, whose whose story was well known is released. Well, she’s disfigured because she was driving a car bomb, and it exploded prematurely. Okay? So you have people who, are convicted terrorists on the one hand versus people who are utterly innocent who were kidnapped. So there is an asymmetry here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:34

    But the deal was cut. So here’s Jake Sullivan on one of the shows yesterday talking about whether there might be a longer ceasefire now that they’ve been able to broker this one.
  • Speaker 5
    0:29:44

    Whether or not this particular deal gets extended, that’s really up to Hamas because Israel has been very clear as part of the deal. It is prepared to continue the pause in fighting for every day that Hamas produces an additional ten hostages.
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:58

    Mhmm.
  • Speaker 5
    0:29:58

    So the ball is in Hamas’s court. If Hamas chooses on the fifth day and the sixth day and the seventh day to continue to produce hostages, to return them to their loved ones, to return them to safety, then Israel is prepared to continue the pause in fighting. If Hamas decides not to do it, the responsibility will request will rest squarely on Hamas’s shoulders.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:18

    Will, is you right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:19

    Yeah. Well, Let me make a larger point here, but I love. I love what Jake Sullivan is saying here. And I love the way that Israel is presenting this.
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:27

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:28

    Just to put my cards on the table. I am what is I guess you could call a hard ass about terrorism. I am tired of terrorist imposing consequences on the rest of us. The terrorist, like, osama bin bin Laden’s message was always when you do things we don’t like, we’re going to kill you or we’re going to take you hostage or whatever. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:48

    That’s the way terrorist function. They intimidate you. They scare you. They impose what they claim are the the consequences, but they’re actually the ones doing it. Israel is turning the tables.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:58

    Israel is saying, Hey, the consequences are up to you. If you keep releasing hostages, We’ll suspend our attack on you. If you don’t, we’ll go back at you. This is the first time in my memory that the victim of a terrorist incident is imposing consequences on the perpetrator and is stringing that out as a regular basis. Because the result of this will be, if it works, that more innocent people, as you are describing them, get released from Gaza.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:31

    So that’s all great. And now I don’t know how long they can make this work, but I love the fact that the bad guys are having to do something good in order to postpone negative consequences for themselves. I’m not so happy about the fact that those negative consequences are being imposed on innocent people. Alright? So, Charlie, you talked about the asymmetry of the release of the hostages versus the Palestinian prisoners.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:57

    And I fully agree with you. I mean, just to remind people, here are the ages of some of the Hamas hostages that have been released. Eleven, ten, nine, nine, eight, eight, eight, four, four, three. Those are children. Those are children.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:13

    You won’t see any numbers like that in the Palestinian prisoners released by Israel. They may call them youths. They are sixteen to seventeen years old. Okay? They are teenage boys who through rocks.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:26

    They could and, yes, we can argue about whether they were tried by some military court, whether they were detained without proper due process, But that’s totally different from these three and four year old victims who did nothing other than live on a kibbutz and watch their parents be murdered by these Hamasas Butchers. I don’t know whether you can see this on
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:45

    the on the YouTube video. I don’t think so. I it’s blurry, but this picture of six of the nine children released yesterday had one or both parents murdered by Hamas on October seventh. Some of them may only find that out today. I think that that’s worthwhile as opposed to you know, people say, hey, maybe the fact that some of these hostages are smiling or something is a sign that maybe the, you know, Hamas was far more humanitarian and kind than we were giving them credit.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:09

    Like, I mean, What the hell? What the hell is that about?
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:12

    Can I point out though the other an there are a couple of other asymmetries? Yeah. One is in Israel’s favor. Israel the extent that its killing civilians is doing it inadvertently, and Hamas has done it deliberately.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:23

    But But There’s a significant distinction.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:25

    It is. It is. We have to acknowledge that there is another asymmetry and it goes the other way. And that is that the number of Palestinian civilians who have died now in the war in Gaza is roughly ten times the number of Israeli civilians who died. And, again, not being targeted, But that number matters.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:46

    That is just a massive amount of casualties. And it is an open question, Charlie, after we get through. We’re in the fourth day of this truce or pause or whatever you wanna call it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:55

    Right. Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:56

    If it ends, if a mass stops releasing hostages and Israel resumes, Yeah. Hamas faces the consequences more Hamas guys are gonna get killed, but more Palestinian civilians are gonna get killed. And we do have to ask At what point is it no longer worth it? At what point are we doing more harm than good by killing these innocent people?
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:13

    Okay. Just just in terms of the information flow, how do we know that number is true? Are we relying on Hamas? I mean, who’s keeping track? Who’s reporting these numbers?
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:22

    Because I’m skeptical of everything I hear out.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:24

    And I’ve written in the Bulwark that I’m skept goal of the Gaza health ministry.
  • Speaker 3
    0:34:27

    So I
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:27

    know you have. But that brings our particular numbers to a particular strike, the general phenomenon. I think it’s all of the, you know, the international agencies and everyone. It’s clear that there are thousands. There are thousands.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:39

    I was really struck by a post by an actress named Patricia Heaton? Glad you know what Patricia Heaton is, but I mean, the fact that she’s an actress is irrelevant to this. It’s her challenge. The frustration that that’s building up and watching the international reaction to all of this. Let me just read it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:56

    I feel like I to say that I know I might be boring the pants off of all of you lovely followers with my incessant tweeting and retweeting of the crisis in Israel, but I am so alarmed by it all. Alarmed at the horror Hamas perpetrated upon innocent people, alarmed at the biased anti Israel tone of so many media outlets, especially BBC News and Sky News. The very people whose country fought the Nazis so valiantly, I am alarmed at the immediate and well organized pro Hamas protest that sprung all over the west. Alarm at government organizations like the UN who are clearly anti semitic. Alarm at universities and students embrace of terrorism, and oppressive cultures.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:33

    Alarmed at citizens tearing down posters of innocent hostages, alarmed at so many seemingly nice integrated people, especially in the medical field, revealing genocidal beliefs against Jews, alarmed at law enforcement officers for not lifting a hand to stop public calls for violence and death to Jews. Alarmed at the silence of supposedly feminist groups who refused to condemn Hamas raping women. By the way, not just raping women, but raping women to death. Alarmmed at the silence from so many in Hollywood were normally so quick to jump on any social bandwagon in two thousand fifteen, you know, Jay sweet Charlie Sykes on everyone’s lips and social media platforms after the murder of innocence in Paris, particularly Charlie Sykes magazine offices. What has changed?
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:18

    Why is there now such a reluctance to condemn this barbaric and murderous mindset? What are people afraid of? How did so many get brainwashed? Isn’t this something we all need to be deeply concerned about or have I just been out of work too long and have too much time on my hands looking forward to your serious and thoughtful comments? There’s a lot to be alarmed about in watching this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:38

    And I keep coming back
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:39

    to the the real distinction between sympathy for the Palestinian innocence. And what really does sound like the number of people in the West who are quite sympathetic with Hamas despite Hamas’s overt and explicit genocidal agenda. Yep. It’s really important to keep a clear distinction between the people who are defending Palestinian rights and the people who are specifically defending Hamas. Sometimes I feel like that gets lost.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:10

    But I think the larger pathology here is there’s a philosophy of dealing with controversies like this that starts with picking sides. So in our case, like, Israel is the good guys. Hamas is the bad guys. Okay. You start with that premise, and that’s fine as long as it’s based on a distinction that’s that’s about rules and behavior and morality.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:30

    But you still have to focus on the rules and the morality so that when you start doing bad things, If you start bombing I mean, Israel is dropping massive massive bombs bigger than the bombs that the US dropped on Mosul when we were going after ISIS there. And, yeah, you’re gonna hit tunnels that way. You’re gonna be able to destroy Hamas’s infrastructure, but you’re gonna kill a lot of people. You do have to be able to ask yourself, at what point are you violating the moral rules that supposedly make you the good guys? So I’m a little bit concerned about being so focused on the evil of Hamas that you just blur out all of the moral questions about the way that you conduct the work.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:09

    But I’ll agree with her about this. I think there is a very sick culture of on the left of what I would call punching up. The philosophy is, as long as I am defending, the side that is, quote, punching up, that is the the oppressed people, which is anyone associated with Palestinian rights. The resistance is a classic term. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:32

    I’m defending resistance, including armed resistance.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:35

    Mhmm.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:36

    Well, now you’re supporting violence. And I’ve heard people defend the attacks on the kibbutzim saying those people who live in those kibbutzim are actually in Palestinian territory, and so they’re not really civilians. Now you’re rationalizing the murder of civilians.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:50

    Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:50

    And I think that She is right to raise concerns about universities and other places where folks on the left who are so focused on defending the side that is punching up, forget that that side is committing immoral, gravely immoral act.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:08

    Okay. So let’s switch back to what’s happening here in this country and including in Congress because I think it’s very easy, and I I I will confess that My eyes start glazing over when they get into these various kabuki dances about government shutdowns and funding bills and and all of that stuff. But but there’s rather fierce negotiations going on now for aid to Ukraine aid to Israel. And the linkage of the Ukrainian aid package with border security And I think ultimately there has to be some linkage just politically in order to get this thing through. Do you agree with me?
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:38

    Yes, sir. They’re going to have to come up with some sort of a formula. Yes. Michael Bennett, who’s a democratic, senator from Colorado, and I was a pretty reasonable guy, was asked about this. About what is gonna happen with the border dealing with asylum rules, and how does it relate to coming up with absolutely desperately needed aid for Ukraine.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:58

    Let’s play a little bit of, of Senator Michael Bennett from Colorado.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:02

    If your leverage here is the border, tell me what is the sticking point at this this stage? Is it still that, Republicans are pressing to tighten qualifications for claiming asylum, and there’s some Democratic resistance, is it resistance to including dreamers What are the specifics that you’re actually able to tackle?
  • Speaker 6
    0:40:25

    Well, the obviously, I would love it if we could include the dreamers in this in this package, ninety percent of American people believe that the dreamers should have a pathway to citizenship. There has been a discussion about whether or not we ought to think about changing the asylum standard. One of the things we all have to recognize, I think, as Americans, is that Over the last ten years, gangs south of the border have created a billion dollar business that’s smuggling human beings across the entire world. To the southern border, and the southern border as a result of that is being undermined and and and and is being more much more difficult to manage. That’s been a problem in Republican and Democratic and, you know, administrations.
  • Speaker 6
    0:41:11

    And if we can find a way to help fix that in a bipartisan way, that would be great. The point I’m trying to make is that, whether we succeed or not in terms of getting to that agreement, this Ukraine funding has to happen for the sake of democracy and for the sake of the Western world.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:30

    Okay. So, Will, I thought that was a pretty sound And the reality is is that we do have a problem on the southern border, and public opinion appears to be shifting rather significantly on this issue. And so it is now in Democrats’ interest to show that they take those concerns seriously. What do you think?
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:49

    I’m delighted that Michael Bennett said this. Michael Bennett, of course, is a Democratic senator.
  • Speaker 3
    0:41:55

    Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:55

    He’s a progressive. And as you can hear in his response, he supports the dreamers. He supports a lot of reforms that a lot of folks on the left support, but he’s making a point that a lot of my friends on the left need to hear, and that is Look, Charlie Sykes years ago, when I saw Ted Cruz and these other Republicans going at immigration, I thought, oh my god. I can’t believe the racism of these Republicans. But what I’ve learned over the last few years is this is not just about the racism.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:21

    And I don’t mean to belittle that. There are certainly Republican appeals to racism that are woven into the immigration issue, but there is a real thing going on, and that is what Michael Bennett is talking about. There is a giant global business now built on exploiting the United States asylum system. You come here, you claim asylum, the businesses, the gangs, they tell you what to say when you get here. We’ll let you stay in the country.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:47

    You’ll get a hearing. It’ll take some time by then you’re established. It’s a business that is exploiting an American policy, and we need to change the policy. And it’s not racist to say that. And it’s not humanitarian to have this chaos of just shoving people up the western hemisphere and bringing people all over the world outside of the channels of legal immigration.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:07

    We need a legal immigration system that works and that helps people come in, and we need to stop the illegal immigration. David Frum wrote a
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:16

    piece back in twenty nineteen that he got a lot of blowback for, but his point was if Liberals won’t enforce the borders, Fascist will. In other words, if the American people decide they cannot trust humanitarian liberals, Democrats, to enforce the border. If there’s chaos, they will turn to the most extreme folks out there. They will turn to the folks who will build a wall. And I think for the first time, and I I gotta say this is an ominous number, Will.
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:45

    I’m not trying to be, you know, doomcasting here. But, support for actually building a wall, which I think is a profoundly stupid idea, is actually higher than it’s ever been before. You know, because people are, like, do something. Right? You know?
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:59

    I do think that they need to address it. Meanwhile, you have what you described in a memo to me, as, the fake posers out there. Yeah. Describe what you mean by the fake posers.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:09

    What’s the category here? So the category here is watch what the politician does not what they say. Okay. And the specific thing is when there is a negotiation in Congress about we’ll give you this if you give us that. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:44:22

    Mhmm.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:22

    What is being traded? And that tells you what the person offering the trade really cares about. So that’s what the point is here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:30

    Okay. So let’s play Tom Cotton.
  • Speaker 7
    0:44:32

    We wanna help Ukraine resist Russia’s war of unprovoked aggression. So in in return for providing additional funding for Ukraine, we have to have significant and substantial reforms to our border policy. Specifically, asylum and parole the processes that are being abused at our border for millions of illegal migrants to come in this country over the last three years.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:54

    Okay. What’s fake about that?
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:55

    That sounds like Bennett. Cotton starts this off saying, hey, I’m all for funding Ukraine. Right? I’m all for it. But in exchange for funding Ukraine, you have to give us changes to border policy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:06

    Right? That’s an acknowledgement and not a an explicit acknowledgement. That’s a tell. That he doesn’t really I mean, if you really think it’s urgent to fund Ukraine, you fund Ukraine. If instead you say, we’ll fund Ukraine only if you give us concessions on this other issue.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:25

    Then you’re saying, you’re willing to lose the Ukraine fund. You’re willing to give that up. It’s not really that important to you. And that is the position of a lot of Republicans now, including Lindsey Graham, who claim to be supporters of Ukraine, but are willing to use it as leverage to get something else. And if they don’t get a concession on the other thing, There’s not gonna be Ukraine funding.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:45

    Or it’s just a negotiating tool. You’re saying it’s fake posing. It it sounds like politics is broken out in Congress.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:52

    No. No. I I think There’s going
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:53

    to have to be a deal. Right? I mean, there’s going to have it’s give and take. You want Ukraine give us this And in some time in the room, they’re gonna go, okay. So we all want with Ukraine.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:04

    What is it gonna take? Let’s come up with this deal. We get the Ukraine aid. We’ve all got the Ukraine aid. And we come up with a border idea we like.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:11

    Right? Isn’t that a win win scenario? Is that that terrible?
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:15

    Charlie, would you take this offer from the left where somebody says, oh, I believe in funding the police. But in return for funding the police, here’s what we expect you to give us on these other policies. That’s a confession that I don’t really support funding the police, not really. Right? Cause I’m I’m willing to lose it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:33

    I mean, if I really care about it, I just do it. Isn’t that the essence of the negotiations is you don’t know how much you’re willing to lose.
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:40

    Do you think they’re faking it? Do you think that if the Republicans don’t get the concessions on the border that they’re gonna cough up the Ukraine money anyway? Because there were Democrats clearly believed that Republicans won’t pony up the money for Ukraine unless they offer the concessions on the border.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:55

    I think that there’s a consensus forming that there needs to be concessions on both sides and a compromise. Yeah. And nobody’s talking about anything that sounds truly horrible. Now If the negotiation was if, you know, in order to get Ukraine, you have to build a wall, or you have to deport ten million, illegal immigrants. Well, that would be unacceptable.
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:12

    But what they’re talking about doing are things, and that’s why I think playing it back to back. Bennett was acknowledging. We’re going to have to come up with some sort of a deal. I think they might this done? Who knows?
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:23

    Hey. Why am I being the optimist here? Why are you being the cynic? I don’t know. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:27

    So Ken Buck, who I’m still trying to figure out Kenn Buck, who’s been calling out his colleagues on the the election lies and is leaving Congress. He was also on. Let’s listen to what what he had to say about these negotiations.
  • Speaker 8
    0:47:39

    To, expect that the Democrats help us find ways to pay for the Israel aid and the Ukraine aids. I think it’s absolutely fair. For the Senate. We’ve already sent the Israel aid to the Senate. It is sitting there has been for weeks.
  • Speaker 8
    0:47:54

    They have done nothing. I I think that’s irresponsible. We need to work together to find ways to pay for this aid and then to make sure that both the Israel aid and the Ukraine aid are are sent to those countries.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:06

    That seems reasonable to me. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:07

    Does that mean speaker Johnson has been working through the break and has a plan to do this and a way to pay for it in the next three weeks?
  • Speaker 8
    0:48:15

    Yeah. Absolutely. The Israel aid, was conditioned on the
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:19

    But that’s standing on arrival. The senate president said he would would would veto that as structured.
  • Speaker 8
    0:48:25

    Well, and and the Democrats are gonna own that. If we don’t get aid to Israel, they haven’t sent a package back to us and said, We don’t agree with all of these cuts. We agree with some of them. And and if the Democrats wanna hold up Israel A, that’s up to them. I think it’s important that we find ways to pay for the the needs that Israel has and Ukraine has.
  • Speaker 8
    0:48:45

    And and to do it in a responsible way.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:47

    Okay. Now that’s strikes me as is the fake posing because to link aid Israel to this IRS idea, which, first of all, does not actually save any money because know, as the CBO and every sentient analyst has has noted, if you make it harder for the IRS to collect revenue, that it is legally owed, you will get wait for it less revenue. So I Yes. Yeah. And he did seem to think that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:15

    Yeah. I’m I’m looking for somebody to blame. We don’t get the Israel aid done. We’re gonna blame the Democrats.
  • Speaker 2
    0:49:20

    Right. Yeah. He says, you know, we really care about the aid to Israel, but then says, you know Yeah. It’s a good example. We’ve attached the IRS thing, and he then he’s that line where he says the Democrats are gonna own that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:49:31

    If don’t get the Israel money. That says he’s using the Israel money. He and the other Republicans as a tool to score a political point against the Democrats. So, again, if you wanna fund Israel, fund Israel, same with Ukraine.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:43

    And also the that is far less serious. It doesn’t seem like, you know, serious good faith negotiating just to throw up some hot button talking point about the IRS in exchange. Okay. One one last point, there was an election over the weekend in the Netherlands where right winger anti immigration activist gear Bulwark party scored some significant gains, not clear whether he will be able to form a government, but people looking around going, okay, This appears to be kind of a an international phenomenon where we have these right wing fire brands. Many of whom had been considered out of the mainstream who are now winning elections.
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:21

    So it’s not just in this country. And of course, look at a picture of Girtte Bulwark, and he kinda has a trumpian vibe, the guy down in Argentina, embraced by Magga. So what’s what’s going on here, Will? What does it mean for the Netherlands? Which always strikes me as a very sober, serious, rational, moderate country?
  • Speaker 2
    0:50:38

    Right. Well, Charlie, I think this goes directly to the point you made earlier about immigration. Right? Immigration is a serious issue in the Netherlands. A lot of people are very concerned about there’s, like, housing issues, not enough housing, and a lot of immigrants coming in, and Not
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:51

    a big country.
  • Speaker 2
    0:50:52

    And again, people on the left say, you know, don’t play to the racism, but there is a point about If you don’t find ways to control immigration, at least make it orderly, then the right wins. And Gearfielders is an Islamophobic, right winger. His party had a a statement about no mosques. By the way, in the Trump spirit, this guy’s party essentially consists of loyalty to him. It’s not clear, you know, but there there is some sort of a document.
  • Speaker 2
    0:51:16

    The platform says the Netherlands is not an Islamic country. No Islamic schools, Quran and mosques.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:24

    Well, they they don’t have a first amendment here. So I but but still
  • Speaker 2
    0:51:28

    Now Just to be clear, this is not like Trump winning, you know, forty five or fifty percent of the vote. Yeah. Deered Bulwark has got, like, they got only twenty five percent of the seats. In the parliament, but it’s make it makes them the biggest party. So they still have to try to form a government, and it’s not clear who will work with them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:51:45

    But it is a warning that those of us who are not racist, those of us who believe in democracy and in civil liberties and in pluralism, do need to find ways to win elections so that the Bulwark is and trumps don’t win elections?
  • Speaker 1
    0:52:00

    Well, it goes back to the David from piece from two thousand nineteen that that if liberals are not perceived to have a rational immigration policy, the voters will turn to the extremes. And we are seeing that in places like possibly the Netherlands as well. Although, as you point out, it’s not clear that he’s going to be able to have a majority. So, Will, thank you for motoring through this program. People who watch us on YouTube are gonna wonder, you know, what have you been popping the the the whole time?
  • Speaker 1
    0:52:25

    And and I appreciate this because the odds of us getting through this show without you losing your voice or coughing because you are so sick was very, very high. And you have been, I’m guessing that those were softer. You are just mainlining cough drops.
  • Speaker 2
    0:52:39

    Yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:52:39

    So do not in the comment section, it’s like, what is he eating throughout the entire podcast? It is It is Will Saletan one for the team medicating in real time during this podcast, and and I appreciate it. And, hopefully, you’ve got some good bed rest the rest of the rest of the day, Will. Thank you, Charlie. And we’ll do this next week.
  • Speaker 1
    0:53:00

    Thank you all for listening to today’s Bulwark podcast. I’m Charlie Sykes. We will be back tomorrow, and we’ll do this all over again. Secret Podcast is produced by Katie Cooper, and engineered and edited by Jason Brown.
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