Support The Bulwark and subscribe today.
  Join Now

Florida Man vs. Florida Man (The Secret Podcast PREVIEW)

March 10, 2023
Notes
Transcript

Need an extra dose of JVL and Sarah in your week? Take a listen to this clip from today’s The Secret Podcast and subscribe to Bulwark+ to hear new episodes every Friday!

Check out all The Secret Podcast episodes here: https://thesecretpodcast.old.thebulwark.com/

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

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

    Hey there, everybody. This is JBL. Every Friday, Sarah Longwell and I do a secret podcast and we wanted to share with you little clip of today’s show, and if you wanna get the full thing, go and join us and become members of Bulwark Plus. Here’s the show. Alright.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:22

    So please Can we can we just walk them can we do mid and a half on the Trump DeSantis thing? Because this was all kicked off by our colleague Damon Linker, who wrote a piece of The New York Times, Bank Beg to Differ is Damon Linker, which I think got him just a very bad week on Twitter. And a lot of people, I think, interacted with that, not the best faith. A couple people took disagreements with the Jonathan Last and John Gantz, in ways which I thought were were very productive because they weren’t, like, total disagreements are, like, yes. But you have to understand, they were sort of they were really trying to dig in on it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:02

    Mhmm. So I I worried about that this week. You you may have been out of credit. And my contention is that, sure. I think Trump is more more dangerous, is more likely to be more dangerous.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:14

    Right? So — Mhmm. — which is to say that if I if I had a you handed me remote control with two buttons, one for Trump, one Ron DeSantis, and he said, you have to push one of those buttons and that guy’s gonna become the next president. Right. I would push Ron DeSantis, not with total confidence, but with my best guess based on cognitive functioning, Like, he does seem able to, like, intake information and make rational decisions, and he does seem to understand what the reality of the world around him looks like — Mhmm.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:47

    — the fact that he has not yet prosecuted a violent coup to overthrow the government of the United States. And and also on the the very very thin wish that maybe he doesn’t mean any of it. Right? Which probably isn’t true. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:04

    But but, you know, this is the normie Republican. This is why they’ve conservatism, because all flocks to him because they insist he doesn’t mean any of it. This is just posturing to get this is what you gotta do to get past Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:15

    I’m just not to I I know you’re kinda in, but I don’t think that’s true. That’s not that they don’t he doesn’t mean that they like what he says. Sorry. I I’m sorry. Did, like, I I have this fight with conservatism, Inc.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:25

    A lot. So I hear their arguments and their arguments are No. He’s competent. He’s a competent governor. And the things that he does we like, the people he takes on, we like.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:35

    And you guys misrepresent the author and overblow the authoritarianism in liberal side of him.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:42

    So Okay. Okay. Well, so, you know, and my response to that is that he is substantially similar in what he is offering voters to Trump. Because what he and Trump both offer, the the the distinctive feature of it is that they offer e liberalism. In ways which are different from Mike Pence and Nikki Haley and Tim Scott and Jeb Bush and just about anybody else who you could think to be throwing them, you know, Chris Christie, all of these people who are Republicans who might throw their their ring hats into the rings.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:18

    And that my concern is that those two guys suck up seventy five percent of all vault of votes as of right now. And everybody else who just represents even like severe right wing super duper conservatism that we don’t like, some people don’t like. They aren’t really liberal. In any novel way, and they combine for about twenty five percent. Mhmm.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:47

    That that’s the problem. Mhmm. Right? The the the problems that the vast majority of the Republican Party wants the Will Saletan stuff now.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:56

    That’s bad. Sure. Yeah. Which I guess I agree. And I this is basically what I said actually on our panel, that they both represent forms of a liberalism And for me and I’ll just again, I’ll run through this very shortly, and I did read your piece on this — Oh.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:14

    — and and I I almost wrote a thing, but, like, this is where we’ll talk it out. It’s always the same fight though. You place the blame squarely on the voters. Right, and what they want. And and I also have this thing, you say, well, do they they want in liberalism?
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:33

    Well, if you ask them, do you want a liberalism, they’d say no. Like, if you said, do you want authoritarianism? They’d say no. But if you ask them do you think that governments should tell public schools that they cannot teach you know, critical race theory, people would say yes. And if you say, should the government not work with businesses that are they would say yes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:05

    And I think that It’s hard to tease out, but again, I go I have always I kinda go back to my Republican triangle of doom. You sort of you always sort of anchor everything with the voters, and I think they’re in, like, a deeply symbiotic relationship where you know, Trump sort of changed the game around he changed people’s appetites for what they see as fighting back against sort of illegal cultural forces on the left. So, like, I’ll just take one example. So Newsom said they’re no longer gonna do business with Walgreens because Wal Green’s isn’t gonna sell what I think is the morning after pill. I’m not really sure.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:49

    I haven’t gone deep on it. And he’s basically taking And and I there’s like there’s, like, nuanced differences in some ways. Like, he’s, like, basically taking the state’s business and saying, like, well, we’re not gonna do business with you, which, of course, people are able. That’s sort of capitalism is I don’t have to do business with people. But, you know, I would say that’s shades of the same of a similar thing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:12

    Now it’s this artist did actually with Disney, which was try to be, like, actively retributive and and put, like, new laws in place. But like, my point is is that people want politicians who are going to fight their cultural battles hard. And that leads to deliberalism that we see, and that the politicians then do their parts. So the thing about the Santa’s is he sort of knows better on the more liberal stuff he’s doing, the the stuff where It is an absolute affront to free speech. It’s not that he doesn’t meet it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:48

    It’s that he knows better, but he knows voters want it. And he gives it to them in a package, like a less chunky package that makes them feel good about it. Right? Like, I’m gonna use government. Like, Trump was just very clear about this.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:02

    I’m going to use government to, like, be a weapon against your grievances. Like, it is, I am your retribution. Does scientists does that too? Right? I’m gonna use power of government —
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:13

    Two percent. —
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:13

    punished things you don’t like. And so but my point is is it’s like not just the voters. Like, they’re in a relationship with each other. And they’re also in a relationship with the with right. The the Republican triangle of doom is the right wing infotainment media, the voters, and the elected officials who are all engaged in a in a in a radicalizing sort of triangle because the news the right wing entertain news media makes people super super angry about CRT and super super angry about what politics and they find like, these crazy examples, and they say, this is what’s happening everywhere.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:49

    And Republicans say, well, that is an existential threat. We’ve got to do big things to stop it. And I want politicians who are gonna go fight that. And so I just I I and I and I think that rep that the politicians also lied to them. Like, Donald Trump lied to people about the wall.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:03

    People Like, it’s such a weird thing. People have a legitimate concern. People have, like, you start with a legitimate concern. We have a border that is not secure. And so Donald Trump comes and and the media’s constantly like immigrants pouring across the border, caravans, they’re murdering your children.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:21

    So we have a legitimate problem, and then we have, like, a cartoon version of right wing infotainment media of the problem. And then we have politicians who got that. And then we have Trump who comes along and says, the solution is, I’m gonna build a
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:32

    wall.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:33

    And the answer is no, you’re not. And but but but John, you just said, I’m gonna build a wall. Mexico is gonna pay for it. Mexico’s gonna pay for it. And we’re gonna build this wall.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:42

    And then and then when he’s president, he says, I’m gonna take money out of this, and I’m gonna do it by executive order. When I gotta do an end run around Congress and we’re gonna pay for the wall at this and then whatever and then he never builds the wall, like never gets built. But he still tells people He
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:54

    tells people who he He tells people he built the wall. That’s right. And then tells them that he needs to be elected so he can finish it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:00

    That’s right. Last
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:01

    that last this you know, look, he went through with his punch list. There’s like four or five feet of the wall that aren’t finished, and the Joe Biden is just letting people stream through.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:10

    Yeah. I am. I just I just I just feel like these are more complicated than just voters want illegal leaders. Right? They did That’s not that’s, you know, it’s like it’s I mean, they they they do or they they because they want people who are gonna use the power of the government to punish political enemies.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:31

    But,
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:31

    like,
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:33

    what the problem is is that there’s no limiting principles on these things. Like, people do want to elect people who are going to be consistent with their values. Right? And govern in that way. And when you are an elected politician, the government is your tool through which you are doing things.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:50

    Ron DeSantis question is is, like, what is your limiting principle on how you will allow that government to be wielded. And one of the things that made me a conservative was that the limiting principle for conservatives used to be quite further in than it is now. Right? Like —
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:10

    Yeah. — they
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:11

    wanted to use the government for very little. And so one of the reasons that the focus like that I that my concern both about Trump, but then why DeSantis is so clearly part of the forces unleashed on the party is that DeSantis is supposed to be the kind of conservative who understands those limiting principles and sees government not as a tool, but actually is trying to empower private enterprise and that that individuals solve these problems. But like that’s not what he does. He talks about using and he does use the powers of government to try to impose his particular and his constituency’s particular set of values on the rest of the country. So or the Florida and soon to be the country.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:51

    Anyway, I don’t I don’t so that would be my that would be my best attempt at a at a pushback on the idea that it’s just the voters and what they want. The problem
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:59

    is that if you talk to the average person and say, do you want liberty or tyranny? If that person was given truth serum, they would say who gets to be the tyrant?
Want to listen without ads? Join Bulwark+ for an exclusive ad-free version of The Next Level Podcast! Learn more here. Already a Bulwark+ member? Access the premium version here.