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Our Kevin (The Secret Podcast PREVIEW)

June 2, 2023
Notes
Transcript

Sarah and JVL go to a perplexing place trying to figure out if the (very valuable) short-term good Kevin McCarthy has done regarding governing outweighs the long-term danger of normalizing white nationalists, insurrectionists, and other assorted crazies.

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

    Hey there. It’s JBL. On the Secret Show with Sarah Longwell today, we talked about Joe Biden’s fall and the falling unemployment numbers. We talked about Kevin McCarthy and his deal with the devil with Marjorie Taylor Green, we talked about Ron DeSantis. We talked about all the things.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:17

    Here’s the show.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:24

    But I think that we should grapple with like, the Kevin McCarthy of it all. And the way that he has, on one hand, brought in people like Marjorie Taylor Green and Jim Jordan in such a way that he can govern the country. He can be an active participant in negotiating with Joe Biden, and we don’t have a calamitous, that default.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:50

    I On
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:51

    the other hand, he has normalizing he is normalizing Marjorie Taylor Green. He is using her celebrity, right? Like they’ve they’ve struck a deal and she gets to be a lunatic still. As long as she gives them, his votes and support when he needs it. And I think it is like in the short term, it is positive in a pragmatic way for our politics.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:19

    But in the long term, it creates a greater permission structure for us to accept Margery Taylor Green as a normal political force. And I have been like I have been trying to turn that over in my head about like I pushed back on the idea that that was like a canny move on his part. It is him dealing with the world as it is. Yeah. And so there’s that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:43

    I just what do you think about that?
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:45

    I I can’t believe I’m gonna do this. Alright. So I’m gonna say a thing, and this is one of those moments where we’re just talking out loud. I am not committed to this view. I am I am simply positing it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:57

    For us to discuss. What if normalizing Marjorie Taylor green is part of it and the other part is basically bending Marjorie Taylor Green into the realities of governing and making her a more more responsible ish legislature. Which is you know, it sounds like growing an office. It doesn’t really mean that because she’s still lunatic, but also, like, I don’t know, she’s a lunatic who is being taught that it actually isn’t enough to just go onto Fox and throw bombs. You you do need to deal with the act of governing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:44

    And maybe that is part of again, I’m not committing to this. I can’t believe I’m defending Kevin McCarthy in this way. But I don’t know. Like, maybe that’s also happening as a byproduct. I’m not saying it’s intentional, but maybe that’s part of a thing that is happening.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:58

    Well, so I I struggle with sort of two two things that I think are important to me. One is to have moral absolutes, like things that we will not tolerate. And I think that Margery Taylor Green, we should not forget like, she like went to a Nick Fuente’s White Supremacist Conference to speak. She is
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:21

    There is that. There is the white supremacism stuff.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:24

    She she she’s also she’s also quite the insurrectionist. Remember, she did a lot of the seventeen seventy six, a lot of the blood on there. You know, there will be blood, you know, like a lot of if I had been running the insurrection, it would have had. Like, Marjorie Taylor Green, is a figure who should not be normalized under any circumstances. Kevin McCarthy is somebody who has also normalized and put sort of his sort of normal political sheen onto election denialism, onto a bunch of really bad actors, like, these to me are disqualifying morally.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:03

    That is one part that’s important to me about how I think about politics in the world. On the other hand, another part of me, that thinks about politics, is about living in the world that we have, right, not doing fantasy politics, and like playing the ball as it weighs, and doing what needs to be done to get us to the best. And not the most perfect, right? I do not think you should ever let perfect be the enemy of the good. And so, I’m, and it’s where I got sort of my like, listen, these guys are going to have to govern, and so we should think about, because part of the work that I do in my other life is about putting pressure on people to get them to move to the pragmatic place, to them to do the thing that is right for the country, we could not default on our debt.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:52

    Like the extent to which should be catastrophic for us, can’t be overstated. And so catastrophic
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:57

    for everyone. Like, this is the as a country. This is not a case where you have, like, one side which wants a waterways bill passed and the other side saying, no, the waterways bill shouldn’t be and where the the people who are impacted it or narrowing a one side wins and one side loses, this is a everybody loses if the US government defaults on its debt. Yeah. Everybody.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:20

    Yeah. And so it isn’t
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:22

    And for a long time, not like a one time loss. Like, the the extent that this would have impacted us in the long term and turned us into a quickly declining global superpower. Yeah, Like, it couldn’t happen.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:37

    I can’t believe it, but here we are. Kevin McCarthy, American Statesman, put him on Matt Rushmore. It’s gonna statue it’s gonna statue him in the rotunda. Let’s name a medal after him. McCarthy Pence.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:52

    Right? This is
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:54

    I will say, though, to your point, I mean, obviously, I push back on this idea that that, you know, everybody feels like things are fine, because But I will say that there has been over the last I don’t know. There has that return to normality. Like Kevin McCarthy, being there and like the way politics is functioning right now, it feels so tenuous because the specter of the Republican primary hangs over us. And eighty five percent of the Republican primary electorate want either the insane former president who tried the coup or the insane Striver who wants, who doesn’t believe in the vaccines and is like literally hitting Trump. On the only thing he got right in his entire presidency, which is to push the vaccines.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:41

    I like, that’s But but but, like, the the the congress has been working okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:49

    It’s okay. DeSantis. You’re
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:52

    doing great. You’re
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:52

    doing great. I’m doing really great here. DeSantis. Ron DeSantis. We have one poll out that is post announcement.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:01

    Only one. It’s a yougov poll. We have the monmouth poll from earlier this week that does not take into account the announcement. I think they’re both very bad for him. And not very the monmouth hole is very bad for him on, like, a bunch of different levels.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:19

    The Hugo hole is not encouraging.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:23

    Yeah. I mean, this Yucah full that this was the only one we’ve gotten so far. I I gotta think we’re gonna get more today, like, there’s no way a bunch of people didn’t put polls in the field around this, to see if DeSantis gets a bump post announcement, but the only one I’ve seen is the Yahoo News You go full. And like, Trump is doing a little better. Like, in the last poll that they did to Santa’s Trail Trump by twenty points.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:53

    And today, He trails them he trails them by twenty eight points.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:57

    Oh, that’s that’s not good. Right? No. That’s not what
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:01

    that is. In a hypothetical two way matchup, Trump leads fifty five to thirty one, which is up from fifty to thirty six in early May.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:14

    Not great, Bob.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:15

    I mean, I I again, I’m gonna wait for more information. I think I think that’s just not enough. I also you know, my family’s on polling or well documented. But I do think that, like, what do you so Ivan, I think he needs to continue to have some momentum and to not have a narrative of like, this is a flop on an announcement level. I think he needs to get close to like a seven, eight point bump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:47

    To, like, not have people write stories of it’s not enough.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:51

    I mean, if he can’t here here is we talked a little about this last night too. Did you clock that donor call that we got we got — Yeah. — intel of where the Sandes’ peep numbers guys or spinning for the donors and they’re presenting all of this, you know, they they are shining up Turds and calling them diamonds. But even in the midst of that, they say, Look, Trump has thirty percent of the of the electorate that’s just gonna vote for him no matter what. Yep.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:18

    Thirty percent of the republican electorate. If DeSantis can’t get to thirty percent, then what is the case of him? Right. What what is the case for him? If his own people think that Trump starts with an absolute floor of thirty, Ron DeSantis is gonna be stuck at, like, twenty five,
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:34

    twenty seven I’ve told you this before. Nineteen. I’ve told you this before and this was in their call. They’re gonna say, no, they’re gonna say, the national polls don’t matter. Only Iowa matters, right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:48

    Iowa has six delegates and ninety percent of the momentum. That’s what they said on the call. And it’s true, right, that they’re going to make a stand in Iowa, caucuses better for them. Ron DeSantis, just hear me say this, everyone. This is the most important, I think, Trump can lose Iowa and still go on to win.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:09

    DeSantis cannot lose Iowa and go on to Wayne. Because Nevada is a good state for Trump. South Carolina will be tough because you will have two normies taking a share of the normie vote. So Trump gets his plurality. New Hampshire, maybe.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:34

    But Ron DeSantis has to win two of the early states, and one of them has to be Iowa. Trump, and so they’re making their stand in Iowa, and I think that’s right and good and fair, certainly better than Florida, which, you know, there was that early floating that that was like Well,
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:55

    you know, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Gonna
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:58

    No. No. No. No. No.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:00

    But he just has a lot of structural advantages Ron DeSantis. One is like he can’t lose Iowa. The other is, you know, Chris Christie is gonna get in here and Mike Pence and like, everybody’s going to want to try to climb to number two. And so their first order of business is going to be to shoot it to Santos. Maybe Chris Christie shows a lot of discipline and only goes after Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:22

    But I doubt it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:25

    So here is I I have a question about our anti anti trumpers who are who are have mortgaged their lives to Rhonda Santos. I believe in many cases without ever hearing him speak. You know, they they they read a lot about him, they read interviews with him. I don’t know that they ever saw him interact with human beings before deciding that he was he was the chosen.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:45

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:47

    If you are desperate to not because the the the impetus for the people who are all in Ron DeSantis, except for the theocrats who really want the the Orbanism. But for the the normie Republicans who have decided that that is because they just don’t wanna have to support Trump again.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:04

    Mhmm. And
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:04

    so if that is your motivating principle, then if DeSantis is not the guy, don’t you want him to fail faster? Yes. Right? The idea that, like, no no, we’re gonna prop him up to try to keep him at twenty one percent. Like, no.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:20

    No. If he can’t take off, then fucking jump ship and try to find somebody else. Right? Let DeSantis go to seven. And, you know, DeSantis isn’t gonna get out.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:30

    That’s fine. But but let’s get, you know, hey, Times a waste. Yeah. You know, go see if Tim Scott, go see if we can force Gladden Youngkin into the race. Go see if Mike Pence can, you know, I don’t know.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:44

    Right? Every I was a heavily evangelical state. Mike Pence is weirdly the only true evangelical in the race, which is kinda strange for a Republican party. I guess, Tim Scott’s a little evangelical, but not really. No.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:56

    He is. Tim Scott. Well, Tim Scott is very Christian.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:59

    Yeah. Very Christian, but not not as, you know, Mike Pence is a Jesus first kinda guy. I’d find another horse. Right? I mean, to see who can pop instead of if you determine Ron DeSantis is a deeply flawed candidate and the numbers should be what help you determine that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:21

    Why spend all of your energy trying to prop This guy up. I don’t understand it. Do you?
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:28

    I don’t. I and I I this is I was actually, I was just trying to write a piece for you, where this is the kicker, right, is like, It’s Ron DeSantis, unhappy warrior. Right. This guy and it was basically gonna be premised on, I’ve been waiting for polls and so if he doesn’t get a real bump, I just feel like people have to quickly get a grip on reality and say, draft Glen Youngkin or we’re going to take a hard The problem is, there’s not The problem is there’s nobody else in the field who’s in double digits, and who anybody thinks can get in double digits. Like, because you’re right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:04

    The thing is that they never listen Ron DeSantis, I think is good. People assumed his political talent, because of COVID, right? And because he again, so much of it is not, not who round us Santisades, it’s who hates him. And because the media was pissed at him, back during COVID, and he made an enemy out of them. Ably, and then, like, did okay in Florida.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:29

    People can argue, and there’s a lot of people doing this, arguing New York versus Florida. Was it I mean, whatever. He did what the people of the state wanted, which is he kept things mostly open.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:39

    Yeah. I mean, except for the hundred thousand people in his state who died. They probably didn’t want that. But, you know, maybe they did. Maybe they were happy to die so that they didn’t have to take your Microbots from Bill Gates.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:54

    I mean, I don’t wanna have this argument about, like, you know, the folks in Florida are older. Like, it is it is it is bad that people don’t die because of COVID? Very bad. Very bad. I wanna
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:07

    be clear, though. I’m saying it’s bad. I’m not saying
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:10

    No. I I also wanna be clear, but, like, also, People are still dying of COVID, every day right now. Mhmm. And we’ve decided as a society, like, we’re we’re we’re back. And So I just I don’t know.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:24

    I am not going to I think, and I think the people maybe, what is it called, survivor’s bias? But he was reelected overwhelmingly because of his COVID record. As a political matter, that’s just true.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:37

    It is.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:38

    And Democrats were starting to get punished by voters, like, one of the reasons Glen Young had won is that voters were starting to they wanted things to open back up. And so, that just is what it is. And so that’s why people liked him. But, again, it was, like, a shallow read on him, and they did go all in. Like, it is And they’ve, right, they in their minds, they’re like, Okay, this is the one guy, they call him a fusion candidate.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:05

    The one guy who can marry the normies and the activists, because he’s got this woke lane, he does it, but he can also govern. This is, it’s very important to them, right, to be able to say, but he can govern. He’s a serious person. That gives them the intellectual cover they need to defend him. I don’t know why they wouldn’t move on to Glen Youngen.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:29

    He also did that and has done it without going full mag I mean, I just think Toronto Santos made a dumb strategic move early on, which is, like, I’m gonna try to outrun Trump Trump. They are running to his MAGA. Tim made this point on the next level. Yeah. But when I saw this tweet hitting Trump, for defending operation warp speed, and defend and they call it the jab in the parlance of people of conspiracy, And they say, he did it without acknowledging all the adverse effects of I was like, That is Like the it’s the He’s being an anti vax crazy person.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:06

    Hey again, it’s JBL. The conversation goes on from there. If you want to hear the rest of the show, Head on over to the bulwark and subscribe. We’d love to have you.
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