The Democrats' Miserable Week


The candidates welcome by Spice Guide in the first question is for you in the last few days you can say the Democrats will be taking you too. Big A risk if they nominate Senator Sanders for mayor glued edge but they came out on top in Iowa. What risks to the I would Democrats Miss? Oh this along the long race that took it. I'll I'll probably take it here. Traditionally Bernie One by twenty points last time and Do well I'm no matter what I'm still on this for the same reasons in God love Ya. That was Joe Biden making his closing bid to voters Friday at the latest Democratic presidential. Debate in New Hampshire a state where The former vice president was leading in the polls as recently as three weeks ago but tomorrow night might finish this lowest fifth. Hello everyone welcome to the reason. Roundtable I am at Welsh joined by my esteemed colleagues Peter Sudirman Nicholas and Catharine Mangku word. Happy New Hampshire Eve. Everybody how payment happy Monday. So we're GONNA talk about the by Den Death March plus some news. You might have missed this past week budged first. Who wants another libertarian? podcast you you want another libertarian podcast and it is called Lions of liberty. Let me briefly tell you about it. They've got three weekly shows under that. One on Bella. Feed feed over at lines of LIBERTY DOT com. There is the eponymous Monday flagship program between guests such as Ron Paul Jean Epstein and our own beloved nickel SB Wednesday today to have electric liberty. Land a comedic breakdown of culture and current events and then there's felony Friday where you get inspiring firsthand tales about people battling the criminal in Justice System Goldline's liberty dot com or your favorite podcasting platform. You'll be glad you did okay. What a absolutely terrible a week for the Democratic Party the Iowa Caucus caucus up their vote? Tabulations Pretty terribly and even though the turnout wasn't a particularly a high in the end Bernie Sanders basically on the popular vote people to Judge when the delegate vote and Joe Biden finished fourth. Just tick ahead of Amy Klobuchar while those recriminations recriminations were still ongoing President Donald Trump gave a pretty effective state of the Union address. Tuesday night in which he didn't even reference impeachments speaking of which on on Wednesday the president's was formally acquitted along party lines with the sole exception of Mitt. Romney voted on one count. Then trump spiked the football in a bizarre czar victory ramble from the White House and kind of began firing everyone who testified against him. Democrats now are increasingly face a choice between a a Democratic Socialist you honeymoon Soviet Union a McKinsey manufactured child politician who progressives despise and a billionaire. Stop and Frisk Kerr who they hate even more nick. You Hate Joe Biden more than life itself Is it possible that after seven times of doing this. He's just not very good at running for President President. Yeah I think that's coming through pretty loud and clear and unlike Fine wine he is really getting worse with age has cork. He's been corked Matt. The unwillingness for him to even engage. Stephanopoulos is question in the the bit that you ran. I think think is really telling. And it's it's telling two possible ways one he doesn't WanNA actually come out swinging against Bernie and Pete Buddha judge or any of his yes Opponents in in clear resounding terms like he should have answered vibrantly and ex explained exactly what he meant. which is you would be a good message or that? He didn't understand the question and that he needs like fifteen minutes of you know of Kind of preempt time to figure out what the Hell is going to say about anything saying because through so many birds nest like corked in his brain somewhere. I don't know if you guys saw Saturday night live this weekend. But they're called open was the democratic debate and the the funniest bid although it's cruel but there's humor for you the moderator says Mr Biden. You have sixty seconds. He goes what the doctor said. I had six eight months brutal. Peter you live in Washington. I saw some of you people out there. High fiving Abidin for posted debates attack adding adding a Pete Buddha judge for his his life accomplishments as a politician which included like you know repaving some stones and putting up lights in the city isn't the whole like Hey I've been in Washington for a half century thing not the most particularly inspiring campaign message. I think it is a problem for Joe Biden right now. He is not offering hiring people and actual positive vision except not Bernie and that has always been his pitch is he is a return to normalcy. Whatever that is and in some you know we could argue whether he is returned to normalcy? We could argue that. He's actually much more liberal than Obama Than Than Hillary Clinton. There's you know I think those are plausible good arguments. It's even for various reasons is proposing any more taxes more spending but in some ways he is a return to the democratic establishment as we have known it for the last thirty or forty years and the problem is the democratic establishment as we have known it for the last thirty or forty years is not particularly popular. Sucks it is it is it. It is bad for a lot of reasons that Libertarians would think. But it's also not super popular amongst Democrats and that's why you are seeing a democratic voters. Look look for an alternative in somebody who is relatively young and untested mayor Pete and in somebody who is known as an outsider critic of the Party and who has been a consistent critic of the Democratic Party for basically his whole political career and that is Bernie Sanders. Of course until Biden is arguing that you should return turned to a thing that everyone in his own party now not quite everyone but many many people in his own party or trying to get away from Catherine As our resident Pete Stan Dan how ting leded your leg get when he started over the weekend talking about deficits and in Bernie's to pie in the Sky Hi with the socialism's and such I want some credit for the fact that the the only two politicians in this recent cycle that I have grudgingly said even moderately legal things about have been people to Judge Mitt Romney and they had a good week. y'All I mean seriously Mitt Romney out there not only voting his his conscience in a way that I thought did him credit but also really expertly planning the media. Roll out of that thing and I know that some people took that as has more evidence that he's bad but I think it's mostly just evidence that he's like excruciatingly competent. And if if I may speak for America briefly excruciatingly rushing. Competent has a certain appeal right now. Also Mayor Pete out there talking about legalizing all drugs on the debate stage and and then following it up by saying yes. I really meant all drugs now. He's talking about debt. He's not a libertarian. He sucks they all suck. Everyone's sucks but still. My two guys are not doing badly right now. I would like to think that they represent some kind of like future. Change Movement Libertarian. -Tarian moment they don't but still not too bad however the Judge Berge Twenty twenty. What I do want though is that? I can't believe we made it this far into to this podcast already without just saying out loud the phrase the Joe Biden said out loud which is to call someone. A lying dog faced pony any soldier at an official events. I like I would. What is it we're talking about? Biden is like return to normalcy. What is that? That's pretty normal for joe abided but now for America would Joe Biden has been America for decades anytime. He doesn't sniff hair. It's a victory for American dog. Faith Pony soldiers. I would have used that as the clip Catherine I feel your implied rebuke however former host of this very roundtable podcast. Andhra Heaton who. I muscled aside in a power grab was there and he tweeted out which I retweeted as well That people are taking the quote out of context that it was and I get it was actually talking about his class and then he just meant it like you. Rascal like he meant it in a way. That actually was just kind of like you. Hey Hey buck aroo. I'm coming for you. It's still krant so cray What's up pop Nick you referenced. At the top and I want to pursue this kind of Biden's it's an willingness to go after Bernie in fact even had a huggy huggy moment this. There's been a lot of commentary that I am intrigued. By which is basically what Democrats are doing and have been doing up until this moment in in the two thousand twenty Democratic primary mirrors What Republicans were doing and not doing with the rise of trump in twenty fifteen and twenty sixteen which is to say? Instead of attacking the weird interloper they are terrified of his following and followers in sort of like keeping gloves off situation. And before. You know it. It's Kinda too late. What what is your Alicea that and then you know maybe like even their own outsider status what that might say about? The party's how do you how. How do you take that first off? I mean let's stop with the fiction. That Bernie as an outsider. He's been in Congress one in one role or another for. You're twenty five thirty years into the party. Not I know. But Eddie's run for President I mean that'd be like saying Jesse Jackson as an outsider because he never wins the nomination or something like that. I think it's really central to Bernie to be like. Oh look at me. I'm such an outsider that I'm at fucking every Democratic Party. The thing that's been going on forever and having said that I go back to something that Peter touched on. I think it's really interesting and exciting to Z.. Non Establishment type characters like a Hillary Clinton like a Joe Biden assailing to easy victory. I mean Hillary ellery obviously got the nomination to Hook and Crook in two thousand sixteen but Biden is banned blocked here and I think it's pretty compelling. Oh he he's GonNa tell about South Carolina and Super Tuesday and all of that. That may come true. But he's he has to do the equivalent of whatever somebody somebody does after they've had as much plastic surgery as he has to sweat into the nomination but it is it's it's you know in two thousand sixteen ecksteen in that campaign trump destroyed the Republican party or the Republican establishment. None of the you know where to a point where loyal Republicans lukens were even taking somebody like Rand Paul as like the person they wanted over somebody like Donald trump because trump is too much of an outsider. I think we're seeing that in the Democratic Party and for for me that gives me hope. Not Because Bernie is better than Biden or Biden is better than trump or anything like that. I don't think that's actually true. And I don't think it's meaningful all but when you see these major parties going through connections trying to maintain control over their own process. I think everybody wins. And at that's the beginning of the end of the duopoly in the form that it has been locked into for about fifty years so more power to all of us petered. Did you share Nixon. For when scruffy outsiders takeover the week hosts of political parties or. Are you a Jonathan Rouch. `institutionalised I think think there's some good things and some bad things. It is a useful demonstration of the weakness and the awfulness of the duopoly and the two party system when Bernie any sanders and Donald trump and up being the nominees. And I think next totally right that when you see that happening that is a sign of the collapse APPs of those institutions and and and it is a sign that people are figuring out that they don't work and they don't provide what people want from them. However I also think that that it's it's kind of a bad situation when we end up with the links the legacy of that duopoly still in place because the institutions? We have are designed around the expectation that there will really only be two political parties that matter and that each one of them will produce a presidential nominee and that they will also vie for power in Congress and the the two chambers. And that then what you end up with our extreme candidates who like Bernie Sanders Who now I mean Bernie Sanders if he is the nominee? You have to presume that even if you think that trump is likely to is more likely to win he has a reasonably good chance winning the presidency. He is at worst the second most likely person to be president. You know starting in January of twenty twenty one and I don't want Bernie Bernie Sanders to be president. I think that someone like Bernie Sanders is dangerous and similarly I think that Donald Trump was quite is is remains quite dangerous As a as someone who holds more political power than any certainly any other person in this country arguably person in this world and so when you have a system that where the duopolies kind of hanging on there and we're still forced to play by its rules in many ways but it is producing bad results than you get this kind of institutional breakdown that that leads to a decline entrust. Nick has written about this. I think I think that's what you're seeing here with with the nomination processes in the last couple of years and that leads to bad governance And it leads to Kind of two large-scale social risk is. Maybe the way that I would put it in that candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie sanders especially with the presidency where you have so much power bound up in the discretion of one individual Who often ignores the limitations on his or her power? There's just a huge amount of risk in nominating. Somebody who is just like the the screw it I I hate everybody else. Let's just try something crazy. Different Mold and that. That's what we're seeing in and I do worry about the long term potential bill risks that come with a Catherine I was on Our good pal. Kennedy's show last week and it's always fun to in the Green Room. Watch the displays of Fox business and Fox all they were talking about two things one. Is that damned rat. Bastard liberal all sell out Mitt Romney and then the other was this amazing amount of kind of gleeful crocodile. Tears over the way that the establishment to screwing over Bernie Sanders it seems very obvious that Republicans The president in particular. Love love to cheer on Bernie at this point joined whether they think it's because he is himself kind of divisive figure or that he's beatable or whatnot but all of this plus the Iowa Tobacco and the recrimination that came after it. Got Me thinking like it doesn't take much to rip the mask off of the Democratic Party right now and realize how much they all. Oh hate each other. I imagine. Imagine if it comes down to a Bernie versus the Bloomberg versus mayor. Pete could that like it. It's it might not be possible to unify a Democratic Party around that. No I mean the idea that those three men are all in the same party is the strongest longest possible case. You can make four. We shouldn't only have two parties right like that's crazy. Those those three people share only the thinnest ernest of unifying agendas. The country that they envision the you know the there are three totally different timelines. And the idea that the idea that we're going to sort of have to shove them all into the same box and then only one of them gets to come out a winner in the end is is a total indictment of this system. I will say like like I have been Like you watching the kind of to me. The most interesting conflict is the class warfare versus identity. Politics Politics Debate But that's not really what those three guys are. Even there are so many other rifts and divides inside the party that you can't like will doesn't it seem like the class warfare folks basically one that the identity aeriens various lumbergh is the nominee right. I mean you know it's it's it's awfully hard to make the case though. Of course this is something about taxing rich people in the whole thing identity. The strong identities Matt's written in this The people who ran the the campaigns that are most focused on I dared identity in issues have dwindled in this field. Yeah but but I don't think that they are. I don't think you should count them out as a force within the party. I think that it so happens in this field right now. That's how it shook out but like identity identity. Politics still is the bread and butter of most of the mid Tier Democratic activist pool. And you know there. That's why you see this desire to screw Bernie. That's why you see all these weird institutional tensions but I do. I do just want to kind of come back around also to this point about its Chapo apoe trip house versus Pod Save America all the way down. God Wow that's a dark dark vision. No I wanted to come back around to the The total shamelessness looseness of the Romney. Romney is a leftist condemnation Because they really like the pure kind of you know post-facto reasoning like the the the rationalization of these positions. After the fact the instant turn against him he would have been hero. If you'd voted the other either way whatever would have said anything else. Also Alan Dershowitz. Do we want to take a minute and talk about what happened there. What happened there so now anders? What's his testimony at? The I think the second or third to last day of the impeachment hearings. He sort of Dershowitz like he did he. He did this thought. Experiment out loud in the middle of one of the most most important moments maybe of his life and sort of said well technically if the president believed achieved if a president hypothetical president believed that he was acting in the national interest by ensuring his own election. If you believed that being elected was a crucial part of securing the national interest and if that motivation was mixed with other motivations that would not itself be corrupt now first swale. Everyone interpreted it in a much less subtle way. Just as like literally Dershowitz ratifies the Sun King Right. It was just like Oh. If you think you're on election election is good. Let's say like we're done. But the fact that every single Democrat got up on their high horse and said like. I can't believe that he would suggest is that. In executive could equate their own interests with the interests of the country. We would never do anything like that. And to even say that out loud is frankly ridiculous. Meanwhile everyone does something like that every day. Are you not enjoying though the The way that both Mitt Romney and John Bolton Heroes of the Republican Party first class absolutely. I'll become like it's it's. It's like one of those things where the writers room it's like. We got to season seven. We never thought we'd get here here. We didn't have enough story planned like well. I guess I guess our our our lead characters are now bad. I mean just in general just the sentence Mitt Romney votes against against one article of impeachment of Donald Trump like. That's a sentence already that ten years ago I mean we keep saying this but it really keeps being true ten years ago. That's it is one of the least impressive people in American politics I think you know whatever your partisan affiliation as he was he was a terrible terrible presidential candidate who had one good debate now. He was anti immigration debate announced Obama and then pushed out in the subsequent conflicts conflicts with Obama. He was terror he would not even admit whether or not his law that obamacare was drafted off of had an individual mandate. He wouldn't wouldn't name a single program that he would cut if he were elected president. And then he's now doing the profile encouraged thing where it's like. He's in the most thinking thinking you want to cut funding for most it like all fourteen. It was actually maybe just his personal donation profiling auto in where it's like. Oh look at me. I'm standing up to the president who I lobbied for a job and I was asked I kissed. And he's comes from a state that is resolutely anti-trump trump. He's the safest politician in the world. He is spoiled milk. All the way down. And I I it just it beggars my mind that anybody is taking any time to think about a guy who's as inconsequential as Mitt. Romney and literally right here. I'm in the room with the Knicks. Metaphorically I mean we've talked about this before but I just cannot. I cannot disagree more like that. Is that is a story. You could tell about Mitt Romney but another story. You could tell which I think is at least an equal contender for the truth. And the one that I find find more compelling is that he is you know he's a politician again and therefore has made compromises and has said things that are suboptimal and has you. You know kissed us in various scenarios but his story of I. He has a vision of the Republican Party. He tried to win the presidency with that vision key failed. He went back into his corner and thought about what he could do. That would still help. Make that vision reality even under Donald Donald Trump. He is clearly an extremely competent and serious person he clearly is like a principal guy. Who's thought deeply about these questions? I don't share all all of his principles and he sometimes has waffled on them right again. He's a politician but I the idea that he is somehow particularly bad strikes strikes. Me As as Brung he is. He is better than average for a politician at the very least to. I wrote a long Feature on Mitt Romney when he was running in two thousand twelve and spent a lot of time going through his record as Massachusetts Governor. I guess I kind of agree with both of you in that Mitt. Romney was Pretty bad on a lot of measures as governor now You know in some ways. He was technocratically competent but I think in ways that were largely the negative and and and did not produce good policy in particular with the Massachusetts predecessor to Obamacare. And then when he ran he ran in this way. That was weird Lee Sort of non ideological and non sort of he didn't it was like he didn't have really all all that many political principles except the consulting World Vision of. Let's just do stuff that works. And he didn't have a big idea for war. What America American culture or politics should be but at the same time he was obviously incredibly accomplished in the private sector? Somebody who was really a a very good manager a thought deeply about how how markets work about how to add value About Labor about all this stuff and he was also somebody who was just incredibly personally decent and so I think that's what you're seeing here is that he's not a great politician in a Lotta ways. He's not somebody who we want leading the country and sort of outlining a political vision for how the country should be governed at the same time he somebody who has a kind of great A Real L. moral personal decency and character That comes out in his in his politics and in the way he behaves himself as A. US Senator for we get off Mitt Just just Like to reiterate my ongoing analysis of those who were not on the left who criticise or oppose Trump trump. I always seem to come from Three categories it's the libertarians. Like Justin. Amash it's the neo cons or whatever they call themselves these days the bill kristol's Cels of the world of which none of the avatars in Congress have really opposed trump in any meaningful sense. And it's the Mormons Some of whom have neo-con ish tendency. Some of them. We have libertarian. Tendencies but repeatedly it always comes from those people I wanted to also put a little number on the identity politics conversation Russian a random thing that I track from the moment that had happened was When Elizabeth Warren came out and leaks in an unfavorable way the conversation the private conversation that she'd had with Bernie Sanders in December? Twenty eighteen in which The allegation was that Sanders told her that a woman couldn't win. The president that day was January. Thirteen when His lead over her in the national polls was on average weighted by five thirty eight. A two point. Four percentage entity points. It is now the last time I looked which was yesterday. More than eight percentage points so like the the idea. I identity politics. Hail Mary that she she threw did not make a to the end zone at all not even close it was a it was a pretty remarkable We're going to shift. I I believe To President Trump's posts impeachment victory lap in a moment but first one of our very favorite organizations in the world is the foundation for individual rights in education or fire who work their tails off to defend free speech on college campuses read more about Out them at the fire dot org or by texting the word fire to five to eight eight six but first let me tell you about three outrageous cases. They helped defend Naomi. Naomi was barred by her campus from starting to animal. Rights Club should've called Joaquin Phoenix sister. Mike was blocked from proselytizing about legal pot and Kevin was prevented from handing out copies of the actual constitution. Fire helped all three can read their full stories over at the fire. Dot Org or text. The word fire to five to eight nate six. But here's the gist buyers. Legal advocates successfully defended each student vindicating in the case of the Constitution. Kid The free speech rights of more than one hundred and fifty thousand college students. Well done fire does not care about your politics. It just want students and faculty to be free in expressing them again. Text fire to five to eight eight six six or visit the fire dot org to discover more about their good works. You'll be glad you did all right. One week into the life of the life of the yeah forty fifth president on Monday trump wins the Iowa caucus ninety seven percent to one percent apiece for Bill Weld and Joe Walsh the latter of whom Actually drops out on Tuesday. Gallup's presidential approval Center register his highest ever approval rating forty nine percent including ninety four percent among Republicans Republicans. Then that night he gives a comparatively restrained if a bit on the reality TV style state of the Union address which is not at all a subtle about about going directly after the black votes. And if you listen to Van Jones pretty successfully so Wednesday he gets acquitted. Thursday he delivers just bonkers. Ha-had Yabu from the White House Friday. He show Willie Fires a lieutenant. Colonel Alexander Van Moxham obviously on twitter weirdly. Fires his twin brother other as well as ambassador Gordon Song and transparently for testifying against him then he spends all weekend tweeting like crazy person about like reinstating. Pete rose to the hall of fame and God knows what else Today he is unleashed administration has his annual and annually ignored budget proposal and To the top it off a hosting a town hall in New Hampshire Tonight and I'm already exhausted just reading this very small selection of the president's activities for the last week. I'm just going to throw it out there to so you people. What is one random impression that you get? From the present at the United States performance trials tribulations of last week next Hugo first. One one is that it is totally his election. To lose he has a comparatively good record to run on in terms of economic growth and various other types of opportunities as and the one thing especially if he's running against Bernie Sanders or and Elizabeth Warren. You know he's he's got an easy path to the basket Matt and all all he has to do is keep his most awful tendencies under wraps which is going to be very difficult for him. Obviously I think the pitch towards it's black voters and and to a lesser grain ads and things like that of Latino voters is actually more a bid for centrist white voters who are are you might Who are not going to be totally into any of the Democratic candidates but also don't want to vote for somebody who is clearly racist and as a result the way that he makes those plays and talks about the positive benefits of his presidency for for minorities? Well make that a little bit easier easier. But and I think that's a smart play. Actually and it might help peel off you know. A couple of percentage points of ethnic and racial minorities that vote it overwhelmingly in the other direction. So I I mean I think what you're seeing here is a guy coming into some level of competency Right at at the right moment. Uh Uh Superman. What's one impression that you pull out of Trump's last seven days. I don't know if I agree with Nick. That the litany of of things you described there is a a sign of a president coming into competency and also what are we should worry a little bit a vote against just a little bit of its three and a half years into the presidency and he's finally become incompetent on the week that he delivers a bunch of crazy rants and fires fires his enemies. Nobody that I wanted to actually who cares about vin been and all that kind of stuff I care about firing vote. Fetch you uh-huh no you asked who cares about cotton. I care about the president's Using power of his office to punish his enemies go ahead sooner. Yes the actual thing that I wanted to point out. With just the the transparent package -ness of GOP centrists in the era of trump and in particular Susan Collins who who explained her vote to acquit trump. By saying I do not believe that the House has met its burden that the president's conduct however flawed warns the extreme step of immediate removal from office. Decision is not whether you like or dislike this president or agree or pose with or oppose his policies It's about whether the charges meet the high constitutional standard of treason. Bribery high crimes. Misdemeanors okay. Fine that's actually. I think I could come up with a disagreement with that But I think it's completely fair in fact to vote to acquit on that but she followed up by explaining we you know I think trump has learned his lesson. He's learned from this case and and that trump will be much more cautious in the future and won't stop the kind of bad behavior that got all of this started and then of course what does he go and do. Just a few days later is to Is that He. You know kind of started out like this maniac rant from the White House and Fires a bunch of people bowl for political reasons a transparently while pretending that that's not what he's actually doing exactly the stuff and an end and collins leaks to the New York Times that she had warned. The White House against is doing this and that she was very disappointed. She knew trump wasn't gonNA change. She had no reason to think that he had learned any sort of lesson she gave this just completely hack rush pretext for her vote because She wanted to vote with her party. And this is why goes back to our Mitt Romney conversation. What Mitt Romney did you agree or disagree with it? But it was an actual act of a bridge and bravery in certain ways which is that? He voted his personal conscience. And did what a US. Senator is supposed host to do in an impeachment case which is not to simply say well. I am a pass through for the poll numbers that we're getting out of my state instead. I'm here to exercise. Is My own independent judgement. He faced no reprisals for his vote. So yeah I mean this is where I fail to say. Wait he has been then disinvited from CPAC so we. It's an extra week. That's a gift what she hasn't attended since two thousand thirteen say. Everybody is a hacker. Anything but it's like he made the safest possible choice that he could do. You know it's like He. He pays no cost for this other now. Other people are talking about Mitt Romney. What an honorable man? I think there's a difference between saying relative to other Republican senators. It was easier for Romney amny to make this choice and say it was the safest possible choice he could do clearly. The safest possible choice for Romney was just go along with the rest of his party and not say anything and just vote to acquit Donna. Surly in Utah. His state. I UTA was not going to rebuke him for for for acquitting. The president along with the entire rest of Romney is pretty much. The King of Utah for life He's the King of Utah but he's facing even as we speak Nick Bills in the Utah Legislature of one that would allow voters the chance to directly. Recall the US. Senator There Yudo senators and another one. That's official censure of him he had a lot of You Hind closed doors meetings and tongue a wagging it was not a pleasant week for Mitt Romney in Utah. Think it's worth pointing pointing that out as well again. Like he's not brave in the sense of like hiding Anne Frank in his attic brave but like you know it was not this was not the path of least his houses are large and he has a lot of thirty case. PUT A lot. That's who voted to You know to cancel. Donald Trump were voting out of principle. They were not also at lockstep with their parties. I mean I don't even I fail to see how this is. Is You know a moment. Oh meant to be like. Oh yes finally. We get something good out of a politician. I am not sure anyone's positing that necessarily but Katherine what's one takeaway from president. Donald Trump's last seven days of activity there so so many so much room for activities I was just scrolling through his his twitter. Feed as we were talking and I realize this is like the smallest small ball. I could possibly offer you. But here's here's what I'm GonNa give you a series of tweets just talking smack about Larry Sabato like this is baby actually good I guess what trump silver lining here. And and. Here's what I've got is Larry. Sabato is much better. Ah Giving you the answer. After everything is finished and the final result is in then he is telling you what's going to happen because in fact not doesn't have a clue. Donald Trump is not wrong. That the whole purpose of Larry Sabato is that people like we need a quote from Larry. Sabato that will say the conventional Israel was a bit after the fact uncontroversial. and Larry Sabato is like I have got you covered and it's like it's such a perfect example of Donald. Trump is like a moderately astute viewer of Cable News. Like that's that's a good point. Why why do you guys think? He's his approval. Writing is going up. I mean is it just that you know more and more people are because we were at and again I say this not as not as somebody don throw clear. You love him manage his. I hope you're talking to somebody else. Man I'm just asking asking though like you know what what you know. Everything is is. I mean. This is what you're the most pro-trump anti-trump Guy I've ever met now. Now now I refuse to wrap my personal feelings towards him and his policies intuitive and analysis of whether it is more likely or less likely to win reelection and as of today than as Union speech answers. This question which is that the economy is very good. And that is like a both a sort of boring pundit Larry Sabato would say that kind of thing and also you know. Donald Trump lead with a full thirty to forty minutes of reminding people that the economy me as very good and that was a smart thing to do because the economy is in fact quite good and if we believe as we Have at least said that we believe is the country for a very long time. which is the president has some sort of quasi magical power to make the economy's good that he deserves credit and blame when the markets go up and down? Then that's it. It's a very simple equation. Now of course I think all of us on this podcast know that it's more complicated than that and in fact Donald Trump has done many things that have. I've been good for the economy. But also is waging a trade war that may take a dent out of the economy in the long run and in fact may already be there are cyclical things that happen where the subsequent president benefits from the decisions of the previous president and vice versa So I think it is generally wrong to equate president's actions with the quality of the economy one to one but the fact is the economy is good and the Democrats are thinking about running absolutely crazy socialist donald trump looks okay to the electorate. That just seems like a very simple pull obvious thing and does not require us to do any kind of like fake news real America class war. You know we don't have to do any of that. It could just be three people feel like things are okay at their house right now to answer your question Nick. I think he's gone up recently because Democrats did impeachment bad and and There's a decent track record of when You know the impeaches seem to not do a very good job of the president's accrues some benefit. I don't know if that I wouldn't predict that. That would stay because impeachment is now over except in the mind of Tom. Steyer and maxine waters. There's and a few others so we'll see if that lasts and the other thing too. Catherine's point Larry Sabato a perennial. Point is that traditionally there has been a connection connection between presidential approval ratings and the state of the economy This has not been a traditional president trump himself. Point out Larry Sabato. Oh cannot predict the future. The future based on That usual prediction Starts to look a little dicey although to argue against that points with myself. It's also true that the moment that the financial crisis really hit in two thousand eight was the death knell of the John McCain campaign is the single biggest factor in that election action. was that Barack Obama was seen as the person who could respond to that crisis well and not John McCain so it can if it goes bad but then Bama also beat Mitt Romney. Everybody was saying based on Economic Indicators Obama was the most vulnerable incumbent in es so like the the tethering of of Your of Economy and presidents is is changing Than it does normally. There's been a lot of them. We've referenced a lot of crazy easy amounts of news that everyone's that the dogs of the media are chasing squirrels of news around over the past week this way too much news. Basically between the Super Bowl and the New Hampshire primary. It's insane ten days stretch of alcoholism. One thing that Libertarians are fond of doing is pointing out other stuff. That's important is drinking. Yes but so I want each of us to go around and points at some bit of news. That is of importance that has happened since last week. Convened together Catherine wanamaker. I also am going small on this one but I think are particularly good Outrage Bit of news which is Baltimore County just casually admitting that it hasn't been recycling the glass that it's collected for seven years so like this is this isn't a folks make sure to recycle so this is the kind of thing that is you know if it weren't true it would sound like a crazy thing that like John. Tierney made up when he was high. Because it's it's such a dent out of the Orthodoxy of of recycling specifically alien also just Symbolic Environmental Acts Baltimore County again collecting glass in single stream recycling so everyone's just dumping it into their bins. Turns turns out. That's a terrible way to recycle glass. It gets dirty. It's not usable They've been checking it for seven years and when asked hey. Do you think maybe you could tell people to stop up putting glass in the recycling county officials explicitly say well. We don't want people to get out of the habit of doing the ritual of recycling Michael because maybe someday we will figure out once again how to make the recycling of filthy glass profitable. That's ridiculous that is ridiculous that is it's such a classic case of a little bit of everyone's time everywhere. Just being casualty disposed of because no single person is could he be angry enough about it to make it stop. This still won't stop at. This news has not resulted in Baltimore County being like yeah. We're very sorry. Please stop recycling glass. The policy policy remains unchanged. It's shocking we should be angry. Recycling is garbage. The End Nick what's literally garbage in this case literally garbage yes neck. What's a bit of news I it's it's not a hidden story but I think the the complete fuck up in counting the Iowa Caucus votes is one of the reasons? Why trump You know looks better by comparison because the Democratic Party insists on putting a lot of stock into you know the Iowa caucuses and with an incumbent the Republicans don't have really anything to do there but it's As I called it last before the caucuses Iowa's garbage state. The caucus system is garbage. They created an APP. That was a piece of crap And so you get this weird outcome where nobody really understands. What's going on other than all of the Bernie rose and and add ladies are more pissed off than they ever were which is saying something because they did get robbed of a clear result? That probably would've put the guy in in I am is really. It is revealing moment because Democrats are running they consistently run on managerial competence. The idea that they can design systems that work and then they designed this completely inscrutable insane. Caucasus them combined it with technology that they didn't test I and that didn't work and it completely blew up in their faces and just kind of reveals exactly how bad they are at running the sorts of systems that they are saying we need to implement nationally and this picks up on what Catherine is talking about which is a smaller cut but an important one. which is that you have the governments you know or people effectively acting as government meant telling you a story which gets revealed as bullshit and then they're like okay? Well let's just get onto the next thing and it leads into the other thing. That is actually happening tomorrow. Which I think is great as rand? Paul is co-chairing Hearings into the costs and benefits of the Afghanistan war based on the revelations in Washington impose from last December. Shuji important and that to me is the mega story of the past couple of months at really just kind of you know it was was there for a second. You know where the Washington Post had thousands of pages of documents that showed in detail how the American government started lying about Afghantistan and and the possibilities of success or even that we were pretending nabet definition of success for decades now and this this all adds up and this is part of the reason why trump is a viable politician out because he kind of admits with a wink and a nod that he's crooked and that he's no different than the other people other that he can he can make something out of it In a way and he's not going to be applied. Just add onto that that again. I found myself nodding most vigorously along at the Democratic Debate Elizabeth Warren when talking about Afghanistan. I think she's very eloquent. And I believe correct act although I could be wrong that What we're doing there is pointless? Me Should Stop Come Home Peter. What's a bit of news? That wasn't covered very much. Over the past week that you think is nonetheless less newsworthy or Worth the tension of our dedicated and wonderful reason roundtable listeners. On Thursday of last week attorney. General William Bar are the top law enforcement official in the country. One of president. Trump's biggest defenders said that the US government should consider taking quote a controlling stake in European countries Nokia and Ericsson in order to Thwart CH- Chinese five g technology was basically saying that the government should own these companies that it should own the means of production and and so in an in a presidential election year in which the Republican president is running totally reasonably in most ways against socialism socialism and against possibly a self declared socialist. You have a top. Republican official. Actually proposing that the government quasi nationalize and industry Speaking of Socialists. I will choose as my story. That didn't get a lot of coverage got some was that a leading presidential candidate of the Democratic Party Bernie. Sanders said that he would legalize marijuana nationwide on day. One the presidency. They want to legalize all of marijuana on day. One which I think is interesting in two ways that cut against each other one one. Is that it kind of just shows The fact that that wasn't newsworthy. Show that yes. It was a busy Newsweek But also favoring marijuana legalization is no longer anger either a career killer or even all that noteworthy anymore which is a remarkable sign of progress on the other hand. It's also a super alarming alarming. That someone waving around. I'm just going to void rewrite existing laws. I mean with a pen phone. There's laws on the book. Those law ask ask. The control of substance is a law. Just make it go away this law. That's lor is but there is. There is awesome ambiguity about this scheduling marijuana and whether or not the president can kind of unilaterally dictate about that a lot and and I think that it would be great for the president to aggressively lead to the rescheduling. And he he or she can do that. Legalizing it nationwide. Just sort of flippant attitude towards Executive Power and sadly one that is absolutely mirrored by pretty much everybody in the with any standing left in the democratic race. Just everyone's out competing one another with all the crazy stuff they're going to do in the first one hundred minutes of the presidency okay. We've come to our last hundred minutes of this podcast cast which means Discussion of what we all have been consuming. I presume that some of us were consuming at least parts of the Academy Awards last night. So I wanna go I I in just talking and defending a Joaquin Phoenix's absolutely crazy speech Like book in that. With trump's victory lap in the White House is like America's integrate place right now. What I liked about it was that it was actually voluntarily bowl and weird crazy? He's a haunted dude. He's coloring really far outside the lines. US talking all kinds of stuff about like the inseminating cows and stealing their babies in their cries of anguish I kinda it just loved it Not that I agreed with a lot of it although I did agree with apart. That didn't get a lot of play. I don't think which is that. He went against canceled culture at the end and talked about the necessity for redemption and compassion and empathy and giving people second chances all of which ethnic or messages that America needs to hear. If not necessarily early in a four minute absolutely rambling crazy speech By best actor nominee love anyone is also part of the opening non opening monologue by the Chris. Rock and Steve Martin who started the show by saying why isn't there a host twitter twitter Anyone else have an Oscar related one to attack onto that Catherine I presume you're watching some of the dresses and the ladies Y- I definitely watched zero minutes but as always went online and looked at these slide shows of the dress says not just on the lady that Arrow billy porter as always dominating the fashion headlines with totally cuckoo bananas outfit that was beautiful beautiful and awesome and I continue to be happy that we live in district one of them. The Hunger Games are going great for us and and The rise of multicolored hair eyelashes. That are actually feathers and hats. That have police on them. And now apparently a giant skirt modelled old after Buckingham. Palace's ceiling or something. Yes to all of it. But mostly yes to Janelle monae coming dressed as always as a sexy bisexual actual robot from the future. Never don't do that but she's the nick. What have you consuming sometime in the last two weeks? I went to Z.. Parasite which ended up winning best picture as well as I guess. Best Foreign Language Picture and it's phenomenal. I know You and Peter. I think have talked about that in the past it's It's a great movie and it was. I think I in the end I could give two shits about who wins at Oscar. And who doesn't but it's save really good picture and I'm kind of happy to see a picture like that which is about ideas and it's about class and his about hierarchy Takes home the You know the statue over a kind of the ninetieth iteration of something about world. War One. Isaac were passed the age of epoch. You know historical epic and it's much more interesting to see a movie. I like parasite I. I think it's a really really great Film and it's similar in a way to get out or US new Jordan peele movies that kind of play with genre as well a serious idea so really realize that you just called it A picture like Super Grandpa style like we should. We should be using that partially because the concept of like. What's a movie what's film home? What to show is all broken down and we begin to say an old man voice like I went to the patients like that Speaking of which my complaint about the Oscars is that the greatest greatest or a tour of the Word Picture Robert Evans of who died a was part of the in Memoriam in the in the Maurienne thing they they they coupled people yup like let us let us have our crying on the couch moments with the individuals not like Ago Confusion of two people. Sooner than what did you consume. Well well I I see I consumed the entire Oscars and in particular. I consumed a parasite director bunk. Julian hose great great acceptance attendance speeches all of which were translated from Korean. The only things that he said in English were basically. Martin Scorsese Quentin Tarantino are great. Love those guys now. I'm going to get really drunk and you know what over again you know what. That's the same. I A big mood as the kids. Say again a for granting the fact that none of this really matters I was happy to see. Martin Scorsese Sese Or and the Irishman get shut out effectively because it really was not a meaningful movie in any way shape or form. And if you know if if the Martin Scorsese has move aside so parasite at other movies like that can rise. It's just like the nick. Nick always wants to have an Irishman on the screen. Let's pick another. It's a French goodbye. It's lucky I disagree about the Irishman. As you know but I really loved parasite and in in particular. I just want to put in a word for the movie as not as a great piece of social cultural filmmaking. Even political filmmaking thinking and it's been adopted by a lot of people are like Oh this is a movie for our times because it's about inequality and social class and it's basically the Bernie Sanders message in movie form. And I think that's a really really shallow in a kind of inadequate way of reading the movie it's actually an incredibly humane film about social structures and about the invisible systems that serve surround all of us and the ways that That we kind of don't know what systems We are enacting and we are trapped in and movie. That isn't just sort of like rich. People are bad and terrible and eh it's actually really quite empathetic towards its towards its rich people and You know And it's it's a movie that is that is also just sort of really elites. It's sad in a lot of ways but it's also really just delightfully vicious in the way it kind of attacks everyone And everything and just sort of suggests guests that the only way out of our broken systems. Isn't you know to have You know there isn't like let's it's not like elect Bernie Sanders or pass campaign finance reform. It's like blow up the whole thing And an end the rate and just sort of like find some way to completely destroy everything An escape And it's too there's real you kind of Like there's a deep humanity in all of his films even if he's coming from a sort of a a a a place of you know leftist class warfare right you'd did. He also directed Snow Piercer. And some stuff like that That I think is Really resonates and is is really wonderful to see in film in that. He's asking questions rather than just trying to supply ants. I think they you know the basic to I. I think you're to charitable towards the wealthier people in that Scenario Peter Bought Right. It's it's incredible to see a movie that has actually treating kind of ideas in a serious way. It's really good at it and it's it's great on on a kind of superficial plot level and it's fucking awesome when you start to think about it and it's easier to deal with a in America because it's it set in Korea I suspect that if that movie is probably been made about America many times if we just fail to fails to register with us because it's too close to home but I don't know it reminded me a lot of the early nineteen eighties John Carpenter films which were all these great just brutal little Genre films but stuff like They live and Escape from New York and the thing which were all very clearly social political parables about their time but are also just really enjoyable as movies about Kurt. Russell you know fighting off crazy monsters. I don't I don't think those rose to the level of seriousness in terms of Of what they were critiquing but yeah I I agree you know in the main on that and and again it's they escape from New York doesn't get taken as seriously in America partly because it's it is American but I just a counter that the thing is actually the along with idiotic crecy the The the big predictor of our current of political moment. I and I would also like to single out for PLO brim The the Journalist Alec mcgillis who last night's said a one thing. I'm still trying to figure out about parasite why wasn't the great film. About extreme income equality made in the country that suffers from from it the most by which he presumably meant the United States which is such a dumb tweet that even James follows said because because that would be China in response but anyways that's all the The Red China Bathing that we have time for here on the reason roundtable podcast thank listening. Stay tuned next week and also I'll go to olive reason dot com slash podcasts to see all of our offerings including the reason interview with Nicholas On Wednesdays that's it thank you. Hopefully the news will slow down. I and we'll have fun the end.

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