What it feels like is when they say things like it's activist, it has to be organizers, they don't mean it. They just are throwing that out there to stop you from advancing any kind of plan that's in the alternative. Yeah. So it's like if we just spent, like, a fraction of the energy that we're all spending talking about whether or not this is a good idea, actually seeing how many people we could mobilize into direct action, we would be miles ahead.
But I can't get any activist types to call me back or respond to mediums or interact with me at all. We are still used to trusting these people. I mean, to I've been deferring to them.
I love them, rah rah. I trust them. But like, that's that's dangerous. The same way we didn't push back against Bernie that sometimes it would have helped him the same way that we all thought Obama was going to be God's gift to humanity and let him get away with murder, literally murder for many, many, many years.
Yeah, I'm not Jimmy dawg.
I'm not saying Aoki's trash throw her out, blah, blah, blah. But like all we're at, this is the first time in two years that anyone's asking to hold them a little bit accountable and people are losing their minds.
So here's some interesting stuff that I could tell you from being on the inside of all this.
When we launched Justice Democrats and we were having the original meetings as to the idea, one of the original names that we were going to go with, you're going to find this interesting, is left Tea Party.
Huh, the idea was not originally to name them, just as Democrats, we were thinking left party because the whole idea was to be a Tea Party of the left. Yes. And so there's a lot that that entails. Right. Like the idea was, let's make Democratic leadership. Hate us in the same way that John Boehner and Republican leadership hated the Tea Party and the reason John Boehner and Republican leadership hated the Tea Party is because they made his life miserable because they wouldn't go along to get along.
They wouldn't just do whatever the Republican establishment wanted. They were like, no, we have demands here, our demands, and you're going to meet them or we're going to make your life a living hell.
And it's not just doing that for the hell of it. It's doing that because you actually have certain things that you believe in deeply enough to cause that trouble for.
Yes. And so that was the original idea that we were going to call a left party.
Then we started bouncing other names out there. One was like New Deal Democrats, and we didn't like that one. Eventually we settled on Justice Democrats. But in my mind and in Jenckes mind and in everybody's mind were the original founders, Schweikart and Zach.
Actually, the idea was we need people who not only are right on the policy issues, but they have that backbone where they're like, no, I want people in the system to hate me because the system is broken and corrupt and terrible. And if they hate me, I wear that as a badge of honor. Yes.
Listen, there's always internal arguments like, of course, people are going to act in ways that we don't agree with or take certain positions we don't agree with or have a strategy we don't agree with. And that's all fine and dandy.
But like to be at this late date, the thing that I realized that I recognize that I'm seeing is and Jimmy's wrong on the intentions point.
It's not that they mean bad. I got. Yeah, yeah. Or that or that they're corrupt or that they sold out. In fact the exact opposite. They did not sell out. They're not corrupt, but they most certainly got Washington brain, which is like they've now been convinced that no, it is better to fight from within the system to do tit for tat thing behind closed doors with Pelosi and like go along to get along. And then if I do something for them, then they'll do something for me.
And that's fundamentally the wrong model because they're always going to hate you. They're always going to stab you in the back. The way that you fight leadership is to leverage the one tool you have, which is the bully pulpit. And they never use that bully pulpit. They never use the public pressure when that's their only tool.
Yeah, that's the point. Here's the thing that's really getting to me, guys. Some commentators keep saying, OK, but they don't have power. They don't have power because they can't win the vote. They can't win a perspective vote. So what's the point of doing it right? Like, to them, power only means they can successfully execute a Medicare for all vote.
And it comes out well. But they're missing the idea that what power they do have in this moment is to hold Nancy Pelosi's speakership hostage. That's actual, real power. A small number of progressives, which is all we have is a small number of progressives can actually beat her over the proverbial barrel for something, for something.
Ben Burgess keeps pretending like we're doing magical thinking, like we think that, you know, the problem here is that they won't, will it? They don't have enough strength of will to like will Medicare fall into existence, which to be really honest, I find to be deeply patronizing and disrespectful of the intellect and thoughtfulness of everybody who's engaging in this argument in good faith. I just want to say that because I think that we should be. But to have this conversation without kind of this patronizing mischaracterization of what everybody's arguments are, accusations that we're we're doing volunteerism and all all of these, I'm sure that like points that score really big on your philosophy class or your debate class or whatever, but have no connection to anything that anybody's arguing.
What's going on right now. The case that is being made, I will speak for myself, is that there is a disconnect between what voters want and what politicians are willing to fight for Democratic politicians. And the reason why Democratic politicians don't suffer as a consequence of not doing what their constituents want is because the media is complicit. They never highlight that gap. People don't even know that about half of Democrats in the House don't even support Medicare for all. They don't believe that Medicare for all is as popular as it is because nobody ever popularized the statistic that almost 90 percent of Democrats are on board and nearly 50 percent of Republicans are on board.
And everyone is able to hide behind the idea that they can't back this thing because it would be electoral kryptonite. And that's what all of that hand-wringing after the election was about, where they were all shouting about how Medicare for all and defund the police is what caused the Dybala disaster, which is patently untrue. Right. We all know that all of the Medicare for all supporting people in swing districts won their races. And it was all of the Blue Dogs who were trying to thread some neoliberal needle that lost, right?
Yeah. The idea is how do we expose that gulf? How do we create accountability for the Democrats in the House who do not support Medicare for all? And I don't know any other plan. I can't control the media. I can't get on MSNBC. But what we can do is use this moment where 14 million people have been kicked off their health insurance. Popularity for Medicare for all is at an all time high. And we have some of the most popular figures in the House who ostensibly support our political agenda, who could in this moment sell the most powerful and one of the least liked.
Members at the House and Nancy Pelosi, who three quarters of Americans think should step down and exploit bipartisan dislike of this woman, to draw attention to the fact that she has been presiding over a house, over a chamber that has been ignoring the needs of its constituents, Democrats and Republican voters alike. Yeah, yeah.
So there's a lot I want to say in response to that. First of all, I just want to offer an olive branch to the people who don't agree with us for a second, because I do think that on the merits of the argument, a lot of them can can be convinced. And in fact, your evidence of that, because you wrote an article and somebody said, like, I didn't believe in this position until I read Brianna's article and now I'm in favor of this position.
So I'm actually I'm actually more optimistic on this than you would think, because I do think that and even the people who are who are really disagreeing with Jimmy, a lot of what they're saying is like, man, I really dislike Jimmy as a person. And he really goes way too far with a lot of these criticisms. But on the actual issue, yeah, I kind of agree with it. So there is hope in the sense that you actually can get some degree of leftist unity around this issue if the proper arguments are made.
And that's what we're here for.
So so the first thing I want to say is I do not question anybody's intentions or anybody's motivations who are on the other side of this argument. I mean, there certainly like, you know, corporate Democrats who would take the opposite position. And I do question their intentions and their motivations. But I'm not talking about corporate Democrats.
I'm talking about other lefties. So I don't question other leftists on this. I think that everybody is saying what they really believe. And there is a difference between who's the enemy, who I'm trying to defeat and who's an ally who I need to convince. And what I'm going to do right now is try to convince the people who are our allies.
Right. That there's two ways, two ways of looking at this. One of them is the principled argument which I can get into. And then the other argument is the strategic argument. And you were alluding to there that Ben Burgess wrote an article and he sort of was like dismissive of the idea that there's any strategy involved in this. There definitely a strategy involved in this. And I definitely didn't give it its due diligence. But let me go to the principled argument first, because I actually think that that is persuasive alone to a lot of people.
OK, so the principled argument is to steal an old Martin Luther King Jr. quote, The time is always right to do what is right. OK? Three hundred thousand people now.
Three hundred fifteen thousand people are dead in a pandemic. At least 50 million have lost their health insurance during this pandemic. And the economy is getting obliterated. Medical bankruptcies is one of the top causes of bankruptcy. The rest of the developed world has one form of universal health care system or another. We don't. So. If not now, when, if not now, when, and draw some historical parallels here, right, like, yeah, it's easy if you live in Mississippi in 1960, it's really easy to be like, you know, I really am in favor of desegregation and somebody could laugh at you day and night and say, how ridiculous are you?
How long have we had segregation for? And you want to change segregation. What's wrong with you? Do you realize how pie in the sky and idealistic that is? You can make the same argument. Imagine in 1918 talking about a woman's right to vote.
Somebody could laugh at you and say, what do you mean women? Right. When they did, they haven't voted this entire time. What are you talking about? The year before suffrage, they had a vote on suffrage that failed a floor vote on suffrage. And then the next year they generated the kind of activism and attention to the issue that they were able to get it the next year.
Listen, I don't know if people will find this controversial if I say it, but I'm going to say it because I think it's true.
I really do think that universal health care is on the same moral plane as ending segregation and getting women the right to vote.
I really do. I for some reason and is more popular. Yes.
But for some reason, the default assumption from a lot of people is that somehow it's not on that same moral plane or if it is, maybe it's not as clear terms, but it really is. So anyway, that's the principled argument that like if not now, when and we have to take this on because as a matter of principle, it's the right thing to do. Now, let's get to the strategic argument, because I actually think that's maybe even more interesting.
The strategic argument is. It's incredibly pragmatic because these tactics actually worked for the Tea Party, if you fight for what you believe in and you're unapologetic about it and you crusade for it, that's actually virtuous in and of itself. And so there's a reward that's gifted to you from your base of supporters. If they see that you have the courage of your convictions and you have the backbone, even if you lose, they go, wow, they were fighting for health care for me in the middle of a pandemic.
And the only tool that the left really has is public pressure. That's all we have. Alexandrian Cortez. She has the most Twitter followers of like anybody in Congress. The other members of the squad are also wildly popular. Nancy Pelosi's wildly unpopular. Nancy Pelosi's power is derived from being a Machiavellian backroom deal cutter. That's how we're her power comes from corporate money. Of course, she throws her way the ranks through the party because she sold out the most and because she shook the most hands behind the scenes and made the most connections.
You're never going to beat her at that game. Negotiating behind closed doors with them is never going to work. So your only tool is public pressure. So if you use that tool, if you leverage that tool, you'd be surprised how quickly the political reality could change. Something is always incredibly impractical until you make it not impractical through force of will and through fighting for it. And and I think probably the most important point, which I have not heard a single good response to, is this because underlying the other side's argument is it's just not the right time.
So they think like, well, of course, I want Medicare for all, but it's really it's just not the right time and we need to wait until it's a better time. So my question for them is very simple. Give me a clear way of defining the right time. When is the right time? What benchmarks have to be met before you say, you know what? I think it's going to work now because I have news for you.
Even if we have Democratic supermajorities, you're going to have Blue Dogs or nominally against it.
Look what happened to Obama. That's exactly right. So so all these same arguments they're making today can apply even with Democratic supermajorities. Right. And so I ask you, well, OK. And that situation, would you be saying the same thing? And so when they say we don't have the votes. The interesting thing is it's all in the interpretation of that. Right?
Because when I hear we don't have the votes, my thought is we better get to fucking work and go get the votes right. And and their response is we don't have the votes. So I'm going to take my ball and go home. And it's just like that's that's the exact wrong response. And the whole point of justice, Democrats, was to respond the way I'm responding here, which is like, well, better go get the votes.
And what that means is, yes, we're ever building coalitions works to get somebody on your side, build the coalition wherever you need to, and carrots and sticks here, whatever you need, sticks, you sticks.
So, like, do whatever the hell you have to do in order to get it. And then guess what, at the end of it all, if you still lose, then at least we have the people on the record and we can have another giant wave of lefties getting elected because all the Medicare for all supporting Democrats won. And that's not going to change moving forward, because people understand this very basic fact that, hey, if somebody is fighting for me, I like them, I respect them, and I'm want to reward them.
So there are no downsides.
People who think like it's like overly strategic brain.
Somehow people have convinced themselves that, like voting on one of our core things is actually a bad idea.
Well, what do you mean then? You clearly your actions would suggest you don't really believe it's a core thing if you're like, well, not right now. Right.
It's pretty sad. And and they mean well, but I do think they're wildly wrong.
And I'll stop talking now and breathe. And you can read more about this, too. We were on the show with David and we were talking about the idea of spectacle. David Sirota, the idea of spectacle. Right. And the reason I really am hard line on this on this is because when I'm trying to to talk to people who are so out of the political realm. Right. Which is every day I'm in the locker room, I'm one of the few people that actually pays very, very close attention to politics.
Most people don't. The reason that. All these conversations are actually happening in politics and everything right now is the spectacle of Trump, right? So every single day Trump is a spectacle, was a spectacle, and that's how the right was able to kind of galvanize a base of Trump who now we see are kind of out of control. And Fox News can't even control them because they were able to seize those moments. So if you saw the article that came out, I think how you covered it about the Republican senators talking to Biden about, you know, six to eight months will start working, working with you on this thing and that thing.
And what they're doing is they're trying to push it off, trying to push it off until there's something else to distract everybody about to be in the Senate. And so that's why I was telling David, I think the spectacle is everything, because in this moment in time, there's no better spectacle than to be pushing this to actually get normal people thinking and talking about it and being like, wait, why don't we have health care right now when other countries do?
Why don't we why don't we have things that that we deserve to have? If you keep putting it off, putting it off, putting off to another time, you might lose that shock value. They might they might hear that Nancy Pelosi is denying a floor vote, but it won't have that same shock value. If we're not in the middle of a pandemic with people losing their health care, it would be just another moment in time where everyone's busy living their normal lives.
And it's just another thing in the news that's going to tomorrow. There's going to be something else that's even bigger and they're going to forget.
And even if it only has a 10 percent chance of passing, 10 percent is better than zero percent.
Right. Idea of not having a vote means we definitely have zero percent chance. Right.
To your point, Kyle, they're not saying, oh, there's going to be a really great moment for this a year from now, six months from now, a month from then, people aren't really even arguing, OK, but like after Georgia, we can talk about it, which, you know, I don't love, but at least would be a reason, you know, a short timeline to hold our tongue.
You know, they're just openly willing to shoot down an idea that has unknown upsides, but potentially significant upsides, very little in the way of downside, if you like. You can't kill an idea for funding. Thank you.
This is Virgil. This is Virgil, Texas. I was like, let's start the show. Let's meet our panelists. He is the co-founder of the Justice Democrats, host of Secular Talk on YouTube, Kyle Kolinsky.
How's it going? He is running back for the L.A. Chargers, Justin Jackson, etc..
But we were just talking about this idea that we're being told to wait for a better time. And I personally would be open to folks shooting down the strategy in favor of a different strategy, shooting down this timing and favor for better timing. But one of the really revealing aspects of this is nobody is talking about alternative plans. It's just this theme that I've begun to notice on the left that ideas are able to be shut down by surfacing this claim that this isn't the right way.
Revolutions happen, this isn't the right way. Organizing is supposed to happen. This is the correct sequence of events. And I don't know what's right or wrong in this instance. I'm not going to pretend to be any, like, political big brain. But what I can perceive is organic excitement at this idea. And I can see as a commerce person, I can perceive all of the amazing ways that this could be spun and exploded. And I haven't seen an opportunity like this since the protests that I think were an opportunity that was largely squandered over the summer and since before that, the Bernie Sanders campaign.
I want to ask you both what you think is really at the root of some of this pessimism on the left. But first, I want to back up a little bit and ask you, Justin, for those who haven't been following this story, how did this spark you were such a crucial part of how this all came to be a big, big news story. Yeah.
So I had watched Jimmy's video about this. I don't know when that first came out three weeks ago when Jimmy Door.
Yeah, Jimmy, just for those who don't know who is a has a YouTube show and is a comedian.
Yeah. And he had said he came up with this idea and he kept pushing it, kept pushing on his videos. And I thought finally, wow, like this is such a great idea. It's finally there's something tangible we can see and have to actually draw this distinction between Nancy Pelosi and Alcee, because this is a fight that we actually need to have. And if we're just going to keep playing nice with them and not even identifying that there's a fight, then we can't win that fight because we're we're not fighting.
But they are. I mean, they primaried her when she's one of the most popular politicians in the entire country, the primary her and pushed corporate cash on it, even if they knew she wasn't going to lose. It's just embarrassing like this. These are the type of games that they play, but we're not even willing to to do something, which I think is is kind of a minimum. Right. A bare minimum. Can we just get a vote?
That's it. That's all we're asking for. And yeah. So we ask for more. Sure. But the spectacle is that we're trying to get a vote on on health care in the middle of pandemic, and that's where the value is. And so I tweeted out Alsi just to push the push kind of a force, the vote or just the poster campaign. And I didn't expect her to respond even though she had responded to me once before. I just wanted to, I don't know, do my part in trying to get this out there.
And then she did respond. And this is kind of where everything started to kind of spiral out of control. And then you started getting the factions and then you get where we are today.
Let's just read some of these tweets into the record so people know exactly what was said. You tweeted, If AFC in the squad don't do what you Mehldau has suggested and withhold their vote for Pelosi for speakership unless Medicare for all gets brought to the floor for a vote, they will be revealing themselves. Power concedes nothing without a demand. This was on December 11th and then AC responded. The problem with this idea is that there isn't enough thought given to step to the Dem votes aren't there yet, and with a razor thin margin, the Dem no's are a bigger margin.
So you issue threats, hold your vote and lose. Then what? And if you want to know who's opposed, look at cosponsor list. What was your response to that? This idea that you had it, that this movement hadn't given enough thought to step two? I mean, initially, I'm like, we're not even going to focus on step one, like step one is the fight, right? Like, why are you thinking about what could possibly come out of the fight?
All these results is all this calculation and triangulation. Right. This this isn't like I was saying, this isn't really what we put them in. Therefore, we put them in there. Because even if you're going to lose, why not actually just go for it and do it and make sure you're letting everyone know it's not acceptable that in the Democratic Party we have a leadership who is not following the will of 88 percent of the party.
The whole idea here is Overton Window shifting, and that's even in a worst case scenario. Right. So what AOC and a lot of the Democrats are doing now is effectively the same thing is going in to buy a car.
And the first thing they say is, listen, I'm definitely going to buy this thing at sticker price, but can you please give me a better deal like that's what they're doing and so will you need to do is go in there guns blazing, crusading, say, listen, three hundred and fifty thousand Americans are dead in this pandemic. Over 15 million just lost their insurance. Our system is a joke. It's the worst in the developed world. We spend more than anybody else in the world.
There's nothing positive about the system. The system's a mess. So what we're going to do is we're going to do universal health care in the middle of this pandemic. And that's the solution. And you fight and you fight hard and you make phone calls to the office and you march on Washington and you do all this stuff and then guess what?
At the end of all that, maybe you don't win on universal health care, but you did just make it a litmus test on the left in the same way that, like, build a wall was a litmus test on the right.
And then maybe worst case scenario, you get public option. Right. But you need to fight. You make it clear what the stakes are here.
Yeah, well, some people are arguing that they need to withhold the vote for the public option. I had a bunch of those people in my mentions today and to your point, completely misses the bargaining aspect of it. So also, as he followed up with another tweet after that in which he offered other things they could bargain for. And so she specifically said, in contrast, you can use leverage to push for things that can happen and change lives, i.e. a 15 dollar minimum wage vote in the first 100 days, doable, elevating longtime progressive champions to important positions of leadership also doable.
That's the opportunity cost to say they already passed a fifteen dollar minimum wage.
So I found that very strange because the House already passed it.
Can I just know one thing, Bri, and this is kind of an aside, but public option is not a it's not a real progressive goal at this point because public option is code for money going to health insurers.
If there is a public option that's passed by this House, administered by President Joe Biden, that would be something like Medicare Advantage. It would be administered by private health insurers. So if you're out there, if you're listening to this and you still think public option is this nice, you know, noble, progressive aim, I'm sorry. That's just not how it works in this current health care system. Like, no, the goal is to end the private profits in the health care system through Medicare for.
All right. Yeah.
And I've actually become more radical on this question, too, because there was a time where I was like, you know what, I'll accept like the Canadian system or the French system where it's public funding of private institutions. But as time has gone by, I'm like, you know what? At the very least, we should be starting the conversation by saying NHS style, where it's public funding of public. Absolutely.
To your point about bargaining again. Exactly right. It's extraordinary. So you respond to Justin, you know, asking I think the important question, you know, why don't we have the votes? Why are there so many congressional Democrats, Democrats? You know, we have the House barely, but we do. Why are there so many Democrats who would be willing to vote down Medicare for all in the middle of a global pandemic? And that was a question that is still hanging out there in the wind.
And AOC responded, yes, why aren't they there? That's the real question. That is the question.
And the question is why ask the question, how do you get them there? Because this isn't people keep framing this as though this is an issue of, like, convincing enough voters that this is a good idea. No, we got the polls. The voters are there.
This isn't the issue. The issue is why aren't these elected officials accountable enough to their voters that it's not kryptonite, electoral kryptonite for them to be opposing Medicare for all?
Yeah, to come to your point earlier, what you said about build the wall and how it almost became a litmus test for these Republican senators, this is what I mean. This is the evolution of the Tea Party, right. Like the Tea Party kind of evolved into like the Trump. Right. And they by doing these spectacle type things, they actually got their representatives to be accountable to what they wanted, even if they had been earlier against it, like Lindsey Graham wasn't like some of these other people were.
And then they had to become hard line Trump to feel like they could advance in their party. That's what we need to be doing to hold these Blue Dog Democrats accountable. Look, you're not going to get re-elected if you don't support this. A lot of. Objectives are saying we don't have the votes like this would be performative beneath the weight of. OK, so what's your plan? So to get these representatives to feel like they need to support this or they're not going to get re-elected.
What's your plan to do that? Because for us, this is a way to help get us there to where we might only have eight people, but then we start to actually grow that to where those co-sponsors actually do feel like they need to vote yes on this legislation.
This history is very instructive. 2010, you know, you remember John McCain, who a few years before that, he was working on bipartisan immigration reform, write something that might have included a path to citizenship, plus some border security, that kind of that kind of deal that fell apart because of opposition from the right, Robert, for what became the Tea Party. And in 2010, John McCain faced a challenge from a Tea Party guy, you know, primary challenge.
And he swung hard right on immigration.
And he ran these ads of him saying, you know, immigration, you know, illegal immigration is a huge frickin problem.
Just build the damn fence, drug and human smuggling, home invasions, murder. We're outmanned. Of all the illegals in America, more than half come through Arizona and we get the right plan plans. Perfect. You bring troops, state, county and local law enforcement together and complete the dang fence. It'll work this time. Senator, you're one of us.
That's what he said, is that just build the damn fence. And this is the guy we was, you know, supposed to be the responsible moderate. And that's just what a little bit of primary pressure managed to accomplish there.
I think that's right. And look, we can already tell that Democrats, moderate to conservative Democrats, are on the ropes because look at the language they've started to use.
How many times, as Joe Biden tweeted, health care is a human right, even though he would veto Medicare. From independent John Asaph last week tweeted, Health care is a human right when he just gave an interview two weeks ago talking about how he doesn't support Medicare for all. Yeah, right.
So here's what's happening. They are trying to co-opt the language of this movement because they know very well how popular these issues are, especially in the middle of a pandemic. And people lost their minds when I tweeted, OK, John Oza, but you don't support Medicare for all because you're like, oh, my God, you're going to make him lose in Georgia. I didn't make him lose in Georgia. He could support Medicare for all. And in fact, that would make him a better candidate.
And in Georgia, there seems to be this weird instinct to put the onus on activists to help politicians keep their jobs, as opposed to understanding that activists are supposed to be pushing politicians to be more responsive to the interests of the communities they represent.
Yeah, and by the way, everybody makes the argument every step of the way. The fight is too hard. Not now. The fight is too hard. Not now.
I remember because when we co-founded Justice Democrats, there were people who laughed at us and they were like, you're going to get zero wins, quite literally.
You're going to get zero wins. You have zero institutional power, zero name recognition, no money, no big donors, no nothing. You're going to get zero wins. Now, there's over a dozen justice Democrats now. Hilariously enough, the same people who were MIA when we started just as Democrats and we're pushing for justice. Democrats didn't have a goddamn word to say in support of any of the justice Democrats. Now, those same people are the biggest heroes trying to defend the justice Democrats from the same people who founded it, critiquing them.
Because it's always the same point. All the fights too hard. Can't do it now, really. We just got rid of Joe Crowley, who was one of the most powerful Democrats in the country. I know the fight was hard, but guess what? You got at least get in the ring if you want to if you want to win. Right. And so now we're making the same argument of, yeah, the fight might be really hard. We agree it's overwhelmingly likely that the Medicare for all vote will fail.
But you know what? There are upsides even if it does fail. And what about the 10 percent chance it doesn't fail where we twist enough arms and we make enough phone calls and march enough on Washington and scare them enough where? Like you said, Brianna, the Overton Window is already shifting every single Medicare for all, supporting Democrat one. And and we're not using this as like a litmus test. I'd be crazy. Like, of course, we have to do that and we should do that.
And they need to feel the pressure. And guess what? Also, the fact that one hundred and eighteen Democrats nominally support Medicare for all. Now, on paper, you want to know who else was instrumental in having that happen myself? Thank you very Jimmy Door and all the lefty shows which went out there. And we were pushing the the petition on that and we were telling people to call the call their congresspeople. And that's when the number of people supporting it went from like ten to one hundred and eighteen.
And so now it's like, OK, OK. We understand that everything you guys did to this point was worked and was good and moved us in the right direction. But now, seriously, you guys got to slow down and you got to wait and then don't tell me don't tell me to give you an exact date as to when we can do this stuff and when we should do this stuff. But right now, all I know is you need to wait.
It's obnoxious that half our allies, half of our allies end up kind of getting in the way of helping us here. Right.
Well, what do you make of the argument about the downsides? What do you make? I mean, some people are like, OK, OK, that's great. Great. There's. A potential upside, but there's folks are arguing that it's going to be a suicide. This is what they keep saying. It's a suicide mission for the squad. What do you say to that?
I say that they're denying the most recent evidence on this fight, which is what happened with the Tea Party. The Tea Party took on every obnoxious fight you can imagine with Republican leadership, and then they ended up winning. And by the way, the Tea Party really culminated in Donald Trump's 2016 victory.
They basically ended up getting the White House or want to build on that point right there and give just a little bit more history of the Tea Party's influence. They took down the number two Republican in the House, Eric Cantor, in a primary. They took down Speaker Boehner, and this is when the Republicans had a big majority in the House, like a larger majority than the Democrats will have come January 5th, because when the new Congress convenes, Democrats will have a majority of six to seven seats, meaning that the balance of power can be held by about seven, eight legislators, about seven, eight, you know, call them progressives, call them socialists, whatever you want, so long as there is a cohesion there.
And, you know, the other week we spoke with Slanguage and Bri, you know, we talked this matter through and, you know, and he brought up that, you know, if this were if we were in Europe, you know, we would not have two parties.
We would have four parties right now. We would have the Trump Party, the like mainstream business, conservative party, the mainstream neo liberal Democrat Party. And we would have a Socialist Party. And if that were the case and we had a parliament like a European Parliament, then Nancy Pelosi would just not have the votes to become speaker without making a deal with the left party as junior partners in a coalition or as a as a negotiation for confidence and supply just to keep just to get the votes to be speaker.
And in every circumstance like that, there's a negotiation that takes place where, you know, you're the left party, even if you're pretty small, even if you are just eight seats.
Well, you need the eight seats. You need the frickin votes. You're not going to get them from the Trump Party.
And you're probably not getting it for the Republicans, though.
I bet you if this were the situation, Nancy Pelosi would make the first phone call to the the Republicans and say, maybe you want to do a coalition like they did in Germany instead of having to do a coalition with the communists.
But if it comes to it like, yeah, you need the votes and the the socialists say, OK, well, we want in return these committee seats. We want a vote on this. We want this on the agenda and so on and so forth. That's just how it works. Yeah.
The core problem that we have right now, I mean, that I can see is, well, it's we don't have a separate party and we don't have a feedback loop between being a legislator on the left and having a party and a movement that supports you, where you're delivering for that movement. Instead, we have a situation where we have basically atomized politicians like AOC. And I'm not saying this is a Sparer joke. I'm just saying this is the circumstance that we find ourselves in where they're atomize.
We do have a thing called the Congressional Progressive Caucus. But, you know, it's been I mean, Nancy Pelosi was one of the co-founders of it. So it's not always been a great organization. And, you know, being a progressive, anyone who goes as progressive is a bit different from, you know, being a socialist. I would say we have these atomized politicians on the left who their objective is, their strategic priority is, and I'm saying this in good faith, is I'm going to work within the system.
I'm going to work within the Democratic Party and try to increase my influence within the Democratic Party as opposed to being oppositional to that party, as opposed to being accountable to a specific movement, a workers party.
And I think that reality is the source of a lot of these disputes and a lot of this kind of confusion and especially where and, you know, this is a bigger point about what's happening on the left right now, where people on the left and we host podcasts and so on. I mean, Justin plays football, but that's almost like being a podcast.
And the real thing, you that's what we use like podcasters or the like football players podcast where the jocks of the media world, you know, when you know, we're the ones who talk about these issues and we've got audiences and things like that.
But you know what? It's like an audience, a social relationship with people. It's not the same as a movement, which is why, you know, I think we're all here very concerned with with movement building and with with democratic organizations.
And so it kind of becomes, you know, again, it kind of becomes the same situation where it's like, OK, I would rather instead of it being us having our disagreements publicly and just, you know, talking about different hosts like Jimmy Door or whatever, that it's Aoki is, as she said famously in a debate when she was running against Joe Crowley, when asked whether she would endorse your colleague if she lost the primary, he said, well, I'm a member of an organization called the DLC.
And if they endorsed Joe Bradley, then I will endorse Rally. I would like a situation where it's AOSIS I you know, I'm a member of an organization called the DSA.
And if they decide that this is the correct parliamentary strategy, then I will withhold my vote for speaker or. I will bargain along with other deselected, such as Receipted Leeb and Jamal Bowman, I believe we will we will have a concrete strategy so that this isn't just being made up on the fly.
Yeah. So the part of the issue is that there's a little bit of an identity crisis. This is what you're touching on Virgile is that.
Yeah, they kind of like she gets and a lot of these people get that like, OK, we kind of are the Tea Party of the left, so to speak. Right. But I think that the second they got a little taste of Washington, they started to believe that the better way to bring about change is to make connections behind the scenes, behind closed doors, and then go tit for tat with leadership. I do for you. You do for me and play the game from within to win what they think would be ideal wins for the left.
Now, again, the problem with that is I think that models all wrong. And I think that Washington brain sentiment is like actually the worst possible thing you could do because they water you down, you don't water them down. And so and the evidence of this is it's amazing that we're having this conversation today because the evidence for this just came out the other day. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was negotiating behind the scenes and was trying to go tit for tat with leadership and was trying to get some tangible wins for the left.
And you know what just happened? They snubbed her out of her committee seat.
And so my point to her is you do you see what is happening that's going to keep happening? They're going to keep stab you in the back and then twisting.
It isn't your friend. We are. We can backtrack on this.
That's right. So now use our model. Our model is the public pressure model. Our model is the bully pulpit model. Our model is if they snub you, then you call out that they snub you and then you got a million angry people who got your back. And then we put the pressure on Washington, D.C., because I got news for you. Hakeem Jeffries doesn't have an army at his disposal. He just doesn't. And then the other point I wanted to make is there's this idea on the left that like, oh, my God, if you lose, the vote is the end of the world.
Oh, my God.
They just want to curl up in the fetal position and cry. Right. The Tea Party voted to repeal Obamacare like over 50 times, and then it never actually got through, but they voted to repeal Obamacare.
And, you know, what happened did wake up the next day and be like, damn, you know, it would be awesome if we voted on repealing Obamacare again, because that's what you do.
If you believe in something you don't like, take your ball and go home. If you do the Medicare for all fight and you lose, great. Now we have more ammo for the next Medicare for all fight.
I'm on a crusade even harder right on this point. I want to ask you, Kyl, because the idea that there are downsides really is motivating a lot of people, and I want to respect that concern. So first, do you think their seats are really at risk?
Any of the members of the squad or other progressives might join it? No, no. If everybody who fights for Medicare for all is going to win and the next time they're up for election early on, Omar Saeed is not locked.
It's locked up. I'm in. She faced a hard challenge this year and she won by double digits. It's obviously tighter than it would be if she had not been a controversial figure. But guess what? She still won and she still had an army behind her.
Brianna, Katie Porter was in a Republican plus six district and won, and she supports Medicare for all. Not only is Medicare for all a winner in the deep blue districts, it's a winner in the Republican leaning districts. There is zero reason to not take on this fight.
Right. And I specifically listed AC and Katie Porter in my article as two people who have magical powers of drawing media attention with their House floor testimony. And that was with reason like how many times do we have to see this bill? Because I don't care if they only get 15 minutes. I know what the potential of that says, even without the activist support that I think should definitely exist. I'm sorry. Just that I cut you off.
No, I was just going to say, I think to Karl's point, I think they underestimate how much real crossover appeal they have. The squad I'm talking about because only think about it, there are a lot of just true liberals who actually do love AOC in the squad just because they feel like they're bad asses and they kick ass and they talk, they talk shit to Republicans and blah, blah, like they have a lot of crossover appeal. So you have people that love Nancy Pelosi because they're, you know, liberals and she's fighting Republicans and she's sticking it to he's ripping up the speech and all type of stuff.
But then some for some reason, they also love L.C. And so I think they underestimate how much true potential them calling something out can actually have. Right. We see how much the machine did to try and get them out. They wanted them out and they still won comfortably. All of them did. And something they've been fighting for Medicare for all these. They're talking about Jim Clyburn talking about sloganeering. Well, that slogan won a lot of people their seats and it lost a lot of other Democrats their seats.
So we need to start actually using that power to our advantage. And that's what else he could do. But he'd rather like how's that work behind the scenes and then get screwed over and then be like, oh, well, I guess I'll just I'll just keep trying. I'll just keep chugging along. Like, that's not going to get us anywhere. And that's why we're trying to take on real public fights so that we can act. We start winning more of that power and start getting regular people who don't pay attention to this that much to be like, I actually agree with her.
Like, you know, Nancy, I like you, but I actually agree with AOC on this one. We need to get Medicare for all.
That's why Nina Turner is so important, because Nina Turner, I have zero doubt Nina Turner does not care what the media says about her, does not care what Nancy Pelosi says about her.
Nina Turner is going to speak the truth. That's what she's going to do.
Whereas with with AOC and the Justice Democrats, they will always vote the right way. Or I should be 95 percent of the time they'll vote the right way. Right. But I think they are genuinely fearful of the media shitting on them nonstop. And I think they're genuinely fearful of leadership not liking them. Whereas Nina is like, I don't care, hate me if you want, I'm going to fight for my constituents or her hatred is pure.
Can I note this one thing as well? The alternate strategy being suggested is that AOK, be more cautious about picking fights and instead try to accrue influence and capital within the Democratic coalition. And the idea is, OK, you know, if she plays ball a little bit, she can get like an important committee seat. She can, like, build seniority on a committee, maybe be in a committee chair at some point the next decade. Well, of course, I want someone like I who see as a committee chair, like compared to some of the other real monsters who might be committee chairs.
But that being said, I like I'm sorry. That's that's that's not applying pressure. That's not that's not that's not like having an actual confrontation against not just bad politicians, but the money, the influences over these politicians. That's just kind of saying, OK, well, I'm a good person. Maybe at some point I'll be in a position of power to do a good thing down the line. That's not building a movement. I mean, it's your personal political ambition.
But I'm not you know, I'm not alleging Ailes is putting your personal political ambition, you know, above her principles. I'm not alleging that at all. I do believe this is a sincere, good faith, strategic disagreement. I'm saying that leaves the movement in a lurch where it's like, what do we do but sit around and wait for you to get a committee seat?
It's the Obama effect. You're trying to be nice. Yeah, that's the way through it.
And she said herself when she was running that she didn't care. She would rather be a one term congresswoman, then not be able to fight for her laurels. She she we elected her. We were so excited about her, in part because we thought she was really going to understand that strategy was really going to take the fight to folks.
So the other question that I really want to make sure that we address, because it's really a main one the detractors are talking about, is the idea that if we do deny Pelosi the speakership, someone worse would come in and that would be likely. Hakeem Jeffries.
And I want you to respond to this idea that having Hakeem Jeffries, who may be ideologically to Pelosi's right, but I would have to believe would have less power than Nancy Pelosi would be a net loss for the progressive movement.
Yeah, ideologically, you're right.
Even if ideologically the person is slightly worse, they're also not as good at those Machiavellian backroom politics. And so if Nancy Pelosi is going to block a vote on Medicare for all and Hakeem Jeffries is going to block a vote on Medicare for all, and if they're both going to block a vote on our most important provisions, then yes, use your leverage, because now you have leverage and they need to believe that, yeah, I'm going to shoot the hostage.
If you don't give me what I want, I'm going shoot the hostage. And I got news for you. I'm convinced she would allow the vote on Medicare for all because you know what would happen? She would go and it's going to lose anyway. And maybe that'll make the progressives look stupid. So sure, I'll give you your vote on Medicare for all.
And that's when you know the most mobilization is important, where we all get together, we all march on Washington.
We all flood the voicemail of every single Democrat and fill it up in a day. And they need to be terrified about this.
Because I got news for you when we did the the campaign where we got a hundred and eighteen Democrats on board of Medicare for all, one after the other would say, Jesus Christ, I had no idea that this was out there, that this sentiment was out there.
You know, and again, the thing that I think upsets me the most is that you do have people who meanwell saying up front like, oh, we can't risk the consequences of this.
OK, then. Thank you again for telling the car salesman you'll pay sticker price immediately.
That's not what you do. Like, do you want to do you want to stand for something on principle and crusade for it or not. And unfortunately everybody does this big brain move or like they give their next few chess moves up front.
And it's like you don't realize how much you're undermining everything you say you believe in.
There's no sense of brinkmanship. I want to ask you also this in a similar vein, shoot to live went on medicine show the other day and was asked this question, and she gave a response that also gave in in an interview with Jeremy Scahill for The Four Intercepted, which was that they don't feel like there's anyone ready to take Nancy's spot. There's no one who's willing or ready or prepared to run to be speaker. What is that argument prepared? Can it be Barbara Lee, why can't it be like you didn't go to speaker school?
What are these qualifications they're talking about? But that's the thing, right? It's like, whose fault is that? You have how many justice Democrats in Washington, D.C. and how many people in the broader Congressional Progressive Caucus, even if we write off 40 percent of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is hopelessly corrupt and not even progressive.
There's still a number of people who can and should be ready for that. Why is it that the Blue Dogs and the Third Way people are always organized enough to have some sort of a challenge? Right.
So what does that mean? Can you help me? Just I'm genuinely asking I don't understand what it what it means to be ready to be speaker. Are they talkers? What it means?
It means they have a default setting where they think there is some semblance of a meritocracy and there is some semblance of a reasonable hierarchy in Washington, D.C. And this is what happens when you get there to rationalize everything around you and explain it.
You think like, wow, I guess the reason why Nancy rose to this position of prominence is because she did something right and she climbed the ladder the effective way qualified.
Right. The most qualified speaker in the history of the country. And that really is that really is a deeply elitist instinct.
And we need to get that out of our heads because, no, you're just as worthy as she is, if not more worthy.
You know how she actually became speaker right now? Please do tell, because she was an amazing fundraiser.
She was a great fundraiser and she would raise about it. And, yeah, she knows. She brags about it. She was you know, like I said, she was one of the founding members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, you know, like when she was first elected in San Francisco, when she was there in the 90s. And she was just an excellent fundraiser. She had these ambitions. And, you know, she would go around, she would like, you know, she would spread the wealth and she would, you know, help raise money for other other Democratic candidates.
And she would use her or her PAC or whatever it is, whatever organization it is. And like they would make independent expenditures for other candidates. And, you know, that's how she got the seat. I mean, that's how you get influenced as you can by it. And you're very talented fundraiser and you've got a good fundraising network.
I also want to point out that there are no actual qualifications for being the speaker of the House at all. You do not even have to be a member, an elected member of the House of Representatives to be a speaker, which means that everyone on this call is potentially a candidate for the speaker of the House.
So, you know, it's next you know, next, you know, Congress, you know, when they reconvene January 5th, when the new Congress is sworn in, you know, they've not picked the speaker yet that that, you know, that we have to have an election for it.
So if anyone wants to declare right now Jimmy door to me, by the way, we another reason the justice Democrats are hated in Washington, D.C. and hated by Democratic leadership is that we don't need their money.
In fact, the whole point of it, we made a point of saying the only way we raise money is through small dollar donations from regular people.
And so Alexander Cortez, I don't even know if she realizes how much power she has, that she has a small dollar fundraising army. But that allows her that gives her the ability, the extra ability compared to anybody else to tell Nancy Pelosi to fuck off. I don't need you.
You know, you might need to give some Wall Street money or some Silicon Valley money to some nobody Democratic congressperson from pick a state. Right.
But I don't need you. And so since you actually have that unique kind of independence, which is rare in politics to this point, you need to use it, like use it.
If anything, maybe you could set up some sort of counter small dollar fundraising army where you spread the wealth with other leftist congresspeople.
You know what I mean? Well, but hang on. Isn't it isn't it kind of a delicate game? Right.
Because the more oppositional get, you know, there you know, there are things Nancy Pelosi could do. Right? You know, there's there is precedent for things like, you know, kicking someone out of the caucus or even even threatening to unseat someone. This has happened to the socialists in the past in American history, even though they duly won their election.
True. So, you know, I mean, there is a matter of brinksmanship here. There is a matter of raising the stakes. I'm not saying it's at that point, but I can I mean, it's pretty clear that the leadership is gets really pissed off whenever AOC goes on TV, whenever she tweets something, whenever she supports a primary challenge, they don't like her operating based on principles and ideology.
That's a great point. But she's so the problem with her, though, is that she's getting the worst of both worlds.
So like she gave that interview to Jeremy Scahill, right where she said in the interview, like, you know, Pelosi and Schumer really shouldn't be in leadership, but then you do that and you're not going to actually get the upside of leveraging your vote to get some stuff.
It's like you just did the worst of both worlds. You piss them off and then you're also sheepish when it comes to taking on any fight with them.
Exactly. Also, I'm tired of this idea that, you know, if if Nancy Pelosi were to take I have a vendetta out on AMC because of whatever she does, you can say, oh, no, we're we're going to get railroaded by Nancy Pelosi. Or you can say this is an opportunity for me to show you how vindictive and awful this woman is publicizing. Use your platform to shine a spotlight on what she did. Yes. When I see one and the.
DNC promulgated that rule that said that if you are a vendor that works for a candidate that's primarily a Democrat, that you are going to be blackballed. That should have been a news event beyond the intercept. You know what I mean? That should have been a prime example that progressives pointed to, to show how corrupt the institution, the party institution is.
Can I just say that's that's a problem, too, that it should be a story beyond the intercept. But it's not because nobody else wants to touch it because the corporate media doesn't want to touch it.
Here's how to get the corporate media on all that. But it's a CALM's issue also. The problem with all of this is that it's a competition. There's no conserva AOC doesn't need the corporate media. Bernie didn't need the corporate media as much as he relied on it. And that was one of my, you know, respect to Bernie, frustrations with the campaign. If AOC decides to stand in front of the Capitol and call three reporters in front of a podium, she gets an audience.
She makes news. If she if she were to tweet and I just said this on somebody else's pocket, if she were to tweet, we're in the middle of a pandemic. We're four million people just lost, 14 million people just lost their health care. And Joe Biden still does support Medicare for all. It would trend all week on Twitter. Through what I mean, and yet they're still at a certain point, it's not that the corporate media isn't a problem, but you could be using it to your advantage in ways that they are not.
Yes. So let's go a step further on that, though, because we the left actually has their own organic media infrastructure that they never used because they want to stay away from us because, you know, we're toxic Bernie and Racialists and, you know, all these problems.
But and I'm not just saying this for personal reasons. I really don't care. I don't even frickin do interviews. So, like, I don't care if anybody comes on my podcast. Right. Like you do.
People go wherever you want to go, but you do have a bunch of different outlets that are willing they agree with you ideologically. They're willing to echo your message because they really believe in it.
And that's something that's powerful. So there's a problem on the left where there's a lack of organization, everybody's incredibly atomized. And then also there's this problem where they don't embrace the populist model. There's very few problems in politics that more bully pulpit won't solve.
You know, so if if your strength is I got a million people, literally a million people are willing to get my back if I call them for a fight, why would you not use that in every possible scenario?
That's the whole point of being like a left wing populist. But they don't do that. They take their one tool off the table. Right. And then they don't even organize and they don't even use their own media organizations which help them.
So it's like you're just laying in a chalk outline of yourself at that point.
Yeah. Last week, the big news story was this leaked Biden video where he was on a call, a private call with civil rights leaders, head of the NAACP, the Legal Defense Fund, Black Women's Roundtable.
You know, Cedric Richardson, who's this right hand man who's a congressman from Louisiana, Richmond, I'm sorry, Cedric Richmond from America's fifth seven out of the ten most polluted air tracks in America are in his district. All of these all these black leaders, Al Sharpton. And he was dismissive. He rebuked Sherrilyn Ifill when she pointed out that there were a number of things he could do for the community, for social justice, criminal justice issues by executive order that he had complete power to do.
We won't go into the detail that talks about and a lot of other podcast of what happened in the call.
But I thought that I had was this the CBC was frustrated that Marcia Fudge didn't get the Secretary of Agriculture appointment then. They were then embarrassed by this leak tape, which demonstrated the extent to which there was very little push back on it and how they're basically allowing them to run ramshackled over them. A lot of the names that are circulating that could potentially be speaker of the House happen to be black people. We're talking about Karen Bass and Barbara Lee.
Isn't there a world where you could leverage this kind of simmering discontent among the CBC and black leadership to make a play? You know, basically combine these issues and make a play for one of those more progressive members who happen to be black? To Phil and Nancy Pelosi, this is we're in the middle of Black Lives Matter movement. Nancy Pelosi is out here with her kente cloth kneeling in the Capitol for like no reason at all. Like, why aren't people why aren't in particular like black activist groups thinking about this and even the CBC, which with all the corruption that we know exist there, why aren't they thinking strategically to get one of their members in that prime seat?
Well, maybe the thing of Jim Clyburn, who's the top ranking black Democrat in the House, that you think that Clyburn would is is would back Pelosi over one of his own members.
You have him.
He's a majority whip. You have the the number three Democrat in the House. Maybe that's the idea that he's got the seniority and he worked his way up the ranks, whatever.
Oh, that he would be the replacement. Right. Right. That's what I'm saying, because I don't really think the the the CBC I mean, you know, that's you know, that, again, kind of goes to what I'm saying earlier. I don't really think the CBC is like a like an ideologically coherent grouping, but.
Well, that's why I feel like they would be willing to back a black like a CBC member, regardless of what their politics really are.
You know, and even if Jim Clyburn isn't on board, this is a question about why activist groups aren't using these moments to try to advocate for. Yes, progressives, but also who can weaponize the idea of needing more racial equity at this moment.
It requires conflict. It requires conflict among Democratic ranks. And we know that they immediately scream and shriek unity at the top of their lungs whenever you challenge them in a substantive way. And so they just they probably just don't want to take on that fight. And look, that call what did that call show?
They were really deferential to Biden. And so like that deferential mindset. I think it exists honestly, across the board in D.C., among the Democrats, even on the ones that we think are willing to buck the system every now and then, like, yeah, they'll buck the system every now and then. But I think that that's the instinct. The instinct is to be more deferential to power.
Yeah. Justin, I want to ask you, you know, we were just together on David Sirota show yesterday or day before. It's all blurring together now. My life is one big Zoome call.
And you were talking about how you you know, why you are able to kind of have a better sense of what the public is hungry for, because you, unlike a lot of leftists, aren't sitting in some like, you know, academic tower somewhere. You're like with normal people who are from across the country who are ideologically diverse in the locker room. Can you, like, tell us a little bit about your experiences and how they formed your worldview?
Yeah, in college, just being at Northwestern, we would have not as much political, but a lot more like social dialogues, because we did have a lot of people from, like you said, the South and, you know, from like Florida, from the East Coast, West Coast Midwest. So literally people from all over the country. So we had a lot more of those social dialogues. And then once the twenty sixteen election came around, we had a lot more political dialogues, too.
But as far as like now in the locker room, because of Trump, like I was saying earlier, I think there's a lot more expensive. A lot more people were paying attention. But even still, like I'm not a lot of things get people talking about it, like all the stuff that we'll talk about, like you were talking about earlier, blasting out Medicare for our blast out these policies that we really want, but nothing seeming seeming to catch.
But this Medicare for Medicare for all thing in the middle of a pandemic that might actually catch. And so unless we're actually out there taking those fights and making spectacles and making making news, we're not going to actually advance the cause, because just playing this in a political game, you're not going to get anything out of it because the system is so entrenched, because there's only really you have less than 10 or 15 of you in a body of over 400 hundred.
So you have to actually, like I was saying, use that bully pulpit to actually get people to to respond to you. Here's what for example, I asked a lot of my teammates about who they were going to vote for, Biden or Trump. And a lot of them, you know, viscerally had the reaction, OK, of course, we're not going to vote for Trump, we're going to vote against Trump. But a lot of them were like, it's tough.
I don't know if I'm a vote or not, because Biden so horrible. He's so bad. He's so terrible. And and I think sometimes I think that people don't know about things that Joe Biden did. And and these videos aren't public and a lot of people haven't seen them. This creates a lot of apathy among your base. And so when I'm thinking of talking to people in my locker room, a lot of it is trying to get them to realize that, oh, it's the right.
And the Democrats, it's both. And so it is not going to go out there in the squad, isn't going to go out there and actually run on that and actually do like what the Tea Party was saying is we don't agree with the Democrats, but we also don't agree with the Republicans either. We agree with something different and they galvanize their base to actually push that. And like I was saying, 2016 was almost a culmination of that. And that happened in six to eight years.
Right. And so we have to be willing to do these things and take these fights on so that people outside of this political world can actually join in on the movement. And that was Black Lives Matter. But we didn't really use that to like you were saying, we didn't actually leverage anything with our vote to actually get us something. So now when he gets on the call with civil rights leaders, he's basically just telling them to shut up. You shouldn't be disappointed with what you've got.
I'm already done all these things I've done more than anyone else has ever done.
And what did he say? He went right to we have X number of black people in the administration already.
And he also said at one point, like, you guys are going to have to work with the Hispanics. There's more of them than you.
Right. And you guys are going to have to start working more with Hispanics who make up a larger portion of the population. You all do. In terms of raw numbers, so he went right to like surface level identity, like I already have a lot of black people in the administration. What's the problem?
Which is also really ironic, given that he said when he was running, that getting the Latino vote wasn't part of his plan for victory. And then recently in the last couple of weeks listed his campaign, his his administration's priorities.
Immigration was not among them. Latino activist groups complained and he basically gave them the middle finger as well.
Yeah, he he said that they were too oppositional. What's the term? Right to opposite.
So they're basically telling us with giant red arrows, this is what you have to do, like be up, be more oppositional. Being told like this is this isn't a good play by the person you're going up against. It's probably a pretty good indication of where their vulnerabilities are.
You know, I've said this before and I will say it again. The one time that I had a Jimmy door moment and was trending on Twitter was because I simply tweeted the obvious that then when Kamala Harris says that it's inhumane to deny medical care to people who get covid and need to be treated for covid, what is the distinction between saying that is true and saying that everybody who gets sick from anything deserves health care as a human right? And I think that Democrats understand how vulnerable they are there.
They understand. And that's why they keep saying health care is a human right. They know it. Yeah, and to Justin's point, like, yes, if something's performative until it's not performative anymore, so you could stand up and start arguing and fighting and giving speeches about how segregation needs to end in 1960. And then eventually, yes, that adds to a rising awareness and consciousness on the issue. And then you build public sentiment to a certain point.
Then the pressure is put on the politicians and then eventually, yes, you do get change on this stuff.
You know, things happen, but you need to make them happen. And so to say something is performative, as if it's like, you know, to dismiss it or whatever. Right?
No, that's half of politics. Yeah, I agree. It's all about the policy. Substance is the most important thing. But how do you get to the point where the policy substance is actually implemented? And yeah, you need convincing arguments that sway public opinion. And then that also leads to, like you're saying, this sort of organic spark moment where we don't know how or why this thing exactly has its moment right now. The pandemic, I'm sure, is one thing.
But then also now people are just pissed off and up to the point where they're starting to call the politicians and like, yeah, ride that wave.
The last thing you should do is sort of tell everybody, like, whoa, whoa, whoa, not like this.
This isn't like the proper way. It's supposed to organically evolve like. No, the whole point of something being organic is that you can't control how evolved it just did.
My Marx reader tell me told me that this is not how evolution happens. So that's that's such an elitist thing to write.
Like, you've got to you have to do this stuff first and then that stuff. But then this stuff, it's like, what? No ride the wave.
Right. And there are some organisms I will say I've noticed that people online who I actually have a lot of respect for and their organizing prowess who have been naysaying this idea. And to them, I say, like, I'd love to talk to you. I'd love to talk it through. But if we spent one fraction of the time trying to call organizers, getting people into a room, figuring out how much support we could give as the and the rest of the squad, if they were willing to take this last stand, as we do, arguing with each other across the left about how it's impossible that a movement could ever spring up over this, then we'd be so much closer to achieving Medicare for all.
You put all that energy there. Mm hmm. Right.
Yeah. And that's something that I guess kind of from the outside looking in, not really being really squarely in the realm of having a show or a podcast or anything is disappointing to see. It really is because, you know, everyone coming after Jimi, like whether you like Jimi or not, OK, I get how Jimmy's tone could be, you know, kind of offensive to people. You know, he can explode at times, but the guy literally went bankrupt from medical bills like that happened to him.
And his life like that is such a huge moment that could shape how someone's thinking about this. So I just hate that people can't just be like, I wonder I might not have liked him before, but and I don't even have to like him after. But this is a great idea and this might help us in our fight to get everyone health care. Like, that's the whole thing. We're supposed to not care if Republicans don't agree with us on everything.
We're still trying to get health care for them, too. Right. So that's what we're supposed to be doing. And this infighting and all this people just calling people out for for these personal things when in the end we're supposed to be fighting towards something together. That's what a movement supposed to be.
At the very least, they should stop with the personal stuff. You're right. Right. At the very least, just disengage on the substance. Can I just note this? You know, the this is not about Jimmy Door, and this is a city.
This is a strategic disagreement. It doesn't matter who proposed the strategy and it does not validate the strategy to attack the person.
And I do want to address this. I have been on the record as saying, fuck you, Jimmy, dawg, I do want to walk that back.
I did not actually mean fuck you. It was part of a bit.
Yeah, I, I think that the sentiment is, is correct that, you know, again, I think all of us are totally fine with having a vibrant disagreement.
That's totally cool. It's just everybody needs to chill on the let me attack your motivations and your intentions, you know, because I have seen a lot of that recently in regards to this conversation where people are getting accusations hurled at them that are just like totally preposterous.
And it's like, wait, we were just talking about Medicare for all. And now all of a sudden we're talking about who's a grifter and who's taking money from the nefarious forces.
And, you know, I like everyone that we're talking with here, Kyle. I'm sure you heard the video of me saying, fuck you, Kyle Kolinsky. Fuck, just as Democrats. Justin, I'm sure you heard the video of me saying, fuck L.A., fuck the Chargers.
And, you know, I just say things, OK?
Yeah, I just I just, you know, I'm just I'm shooting from the hip here, not always at the right targets.
I wanted to close by. I wanted to at some point even to run through this new Jacobin article by Ben Vergence, which I discovered shortly before we started recording. We I think we've addressed most of the points he makes anyway, so I can just let you guys go. I just do want to note for housekeeping purposes that one of the main argument. Is going around, and I think this article is that the the door proposition, if we want to call it that, excludes some of these other asks that folks like David Sirota have come up with, like getting Richard Neal out of the head of the Ways and Means Committee.
And that is not true. Dorje embraced those Serota suggestions, though. That is just a straight up straw man.
And I agree with those two. For the record, I think we should do all the things that David Sirota listed. And when pushed, Serota admits he supports Jimmy's idea, too. He just wants to add a few things to it.
Yes, I think there's actually a lot of solidarity here. Yes. Yes. Because so many people are like, hey, I hate Jimmy, dawg. But I guess on the substance of that, he's right.
But let's go back to talking about how much I we doing.
That's a big and that's why I wrote my article, which I will put on the page on page if you guys haven't seen it yet, because I hoped to create a platform for the argument that was a little bit attenuated from Jimmy Door. And if someone wants to write a version of it that is even distanced for me because I am not liked by some people, I strongly support that as well. It's not the messenger, it's the message. And I appreciate all of you coming on today to talk it out.
It was cathartic for me. I needed it. My pleasure. It was fun. Yeah, thanks for having me on. What's what's that famous like Eleanor Roosevelt quote? I think it is. She says something like, fuck you, Jimmy.
Or she says something like, Small minds discuss people. Average minds discuss things. Great minds discuss ideas. Something like that. Right. But like that's the thing is I don't want to I feel like we're in jeopardy. We're in danger of like left online world becoming more like reality TV star world when we start sniping at each other personally all the time.
And it would just be better if we didn't do that. But anyway, I'm repeating myself, so I'll stop talking now.
It's a necessary point.
Where can people find, you know, secular talk on YouTube and alkyl Kolinsky on Twitter?
Excellent. And Justin, I'm on Twitter. AJ Underscore man prime twenty one and on Sunday afternoon. Yeah, you can Sunday afternoons. Thank you so much. You're such a delight.
You're not that's not an afro. That's like the that's like the pineapple here. The pineapple. Er I explain to you what a pineapple was. Didn't deny what pineapple was did you. I don't think you did explain to somebody. It's, it's when you like take your natural hair, your afro and you put it in like a couple of scrunchies at night, depending on how long your hair is, your hair is shorter, you need multiple scrunches.
If it's long, you can do one big one and that's how you sleep so that, you know, you kind of piling on top of your head so that it doesn't your curls don't get squashed at night called pineapple.
It must suck to have to do all that stuff. I don't see I don't do anything with my hair. I just wake up and it just naturally beautiful, naturally gorgeous mane that I have.
Well, we just did a really brilliant episode. Yes. Really love that love. I love seeing my friend Justin Jackson again and meeting Kuklinski and I never met him.
That's so weird. Like him a lot. You know, it's there's this whole world of YouTube people that as a podcast or someone who identifies as a podcast. I have no idea who the hell they are. And but, you know, I like some of them. And, you know, I've interacted with some of them. And, you know, I got you know, I got some good vibes from Mr. Gilinsky.
There is great I think I think there's a reason why he's one of the biggest left YouTube accounts and also has these real bona fides. If I like to say bonafied, I don't care whether he will say on a few days. It's it's bonafied.
Well, I mean, if you are like me, a student of Latin, you would say bonafied days, OK, well, I'm I'm a student of English sometimes, and I like that he has these additional bona fides of being, you know, a co-founder of Justice Democrats. And it's not as easy just to kind of dismiss his political acumen because he has been really at the forefront of this left movement and integral to AOSIS story. And, yeah, you got to pay attention to what he has to say.
To be honest with you.
I remember when Justice Democrats came out and I was also really pessimistic about their chances because I felt like I believed that this needed to exist. But just as Democrats was doing, I did not dispute their, uh, their existence of strategy.
I just thought that, you know, this was a a kind of a high risk kind of thing with a low reward possibility. But, of course, it paid out in spades when Aoki won. Yeah, yeah, not just as I remember that, I mean, I'm thinking twenty eighteen specifically, and I remember a lot of the justice Democrats going to say, I interviewed some of them and I really liked them and they were like really great smart on the ball, but they aided and Aoki was the one who won.
Yeah. But then you've got this great comeback stories where Corey Bush won on the second round.
And I think that that's a well, that's 20, 20. Yeah. Yeah. But that's that's emblematic of, I think, a lot of what we talked about in this episode. Right. The idea that sometimes you try and you lose and that's a stepping stone for you to try again and succeed. And I think sometimes the left shouldn't be so insecure about our failures and not to buy into the corporate media narratives about how any failure justifies excluding the left, saying that America doesn't want to let things take time.
If there's anything to be incrementalists on, it's building on an aggressive progressive approach and not writing everybody off because they don't succeed on the first effort.
You know, the DSA has had their fair share of failures, but also a lot of notable successes. People like not just AOC, which, you know, the DSA, they were there in that race in twenty eighteen. But on the theory mind, last time around, Cory Bush, Jamal Bowmen, the the the city council candidates in Chicago. And you know, coming up in twenty, twenty one, the city council candidates in New York City, greatest city on the planet.
Uh, Chat's Giants next. That's just number one. City Rangers, Highland Islanders.
You know the Yankees. Yankees, Mets.
Yeah, you you sound like Obama at the beginning of that decision.
Mara's interview that you just did, you did you see all that? You see the wacky shit that Obama posted about what he was doing to his favorite albums.
It was just so basic.
Right, like all the TV shows. So why are you saying I hate it? I hate this. This is like what this is like what marketing people like said to you.
Yeah, it was definitely computer generated, kind of like. But we should have known this about Obama when he picked atlast as his inaugural first dance song.
Etta James is great. Like, it's a solid song, but it's also a very like, you know, you're you're sixty five year old white mom from New Jersey also loves that last. It's like not it's not like a black person's, like deep cut. This is my fave kind of a song. Right. And then he didn't even get Etta James to sing it. He got Beyonce to sing it, which is a double down ploy to just be broadly appealing to the public.
Are you and I have I completely lost you about at last and Etta James?
Well, who who's who's the authentically black musicians that Obama should have had his inauguration like the Dead Prez?
Well, they're a no no. But if you were going to pick some, like, classic R and B song from like the 60s. I mean, there's a long list maybe could it be I'm falling in love by the spinners I'd love to dance to with Michelle to that, you know, just, you know, some Al Green and Tammy Terrell like. So I'm not just a slighter, slightly more deep cut. Some of the people are deceased.
And so, yeah, you'd have to get them covered. But, you know, they would still be more inspirational. Like Harvest's for the World is a song that was on my personal Obama playlist back in 2008. And I always fantasize about him playing at that rallies and at the inauguration. There's there's a lot of options. All I'm saying is that we should have seen his big Kassidy coming from a mile away.
The dance that, you know, Barack and Michelle did at the inaugural ball in 2009 was atlast by Beyonce. And in 2013, it was, let's say, together by Al Green, performed by Jennifer. Right.
So that's what I mean. You know, it's it's it's like it's fine. It's fine. It's just like very obvious. It's like what you would you were here playing in the supermarket, like the Motown stuff, Motown. It's a CVS's banger.
Yes, like my mom also just she like I was always rolling her eyes when we're in public and hearing all of this classic Motown played because she was like when I was growing up, we were told that we were like crazy and animals or whatever for liking this crazy jungle music. And we were supposed to like the Beatles and no one liked this stuff and told us it was trash. And now everybody puts it in their target commercial. Yeah, yeah.
It's like my favorite one of my favorite articles, which is, you know, multinational bank uses a heroin anthem for their commercial. It's about them using lust for life. I gave up. It's just, you know.
Well, that about does it for this week. We learned a lot this week. We do have a great time. We had a great friendly time.
We established that this is just another one that we won. Oh, we won the argument.
I thought you were going to say we won the Medicare for all thing, because we have not one that we're a long ways away from winning that.
But just in terms of, you know, beating Justin Jackson, the running back for the L.A. Chargers. Yes, we beat him, which means we're more stronger and more now.
We're on the same side on this episode. But, you know, the detractors know who they are. And I hope that this was persuasive to them. And if not, I'll see you on the Internet.
We'll see you on the Internet. And, you know, I mean, how about this can be the one win for the New York Jets gets.
Why are the jets into this? Because I'm a jazz fan, so oh, OK. So I mean, come on, Bri, they need to win, OK, we just got one win, just one.
OK, so that the Jets are responsible for winning the argument over whether or not we should force a floor vote on Medicare for all.
Yes, I'm saying that we we won we beat Justin Jackson in debate tonight and that I want to transfer my went to the New York Jets so they can have one win. OK, I because I think that's fair. I mean, I don't know why Justin Jackson, who is on our side, is the loser in this scenario, because because he's a nice guy.
And he would be and he would hear that and be like, that's OK. The judge can have this one because he's a nice guy.
Would he given that he literally plays for a competitor, a competitor, are they in different squadrons or whatever he is called?
Yes. Bretheren different. Swale different. What are those things called?
Aren't there like factions? Two different football?
Yeah, the Republicans, the Republicans and the Democrats and, you know, leak leaks, aren't they in different leaks?
Are that just baseball? They're in the same league, all the NFL, the national football. But, you know, like there's certainty. There's the East Coast and West Coast conference and basketball. Right. And then they don't play each other till the end.
It's like rap where there's like a conflict between the two coasts. I'll give it a scoop on network like that. Do they not play? We. Yes. Yes, they do have the FCC. Yes.
OK, so again, just like I was right about managing Ginóbili, I'm right about this other sports related thing. Can't let it go.
Let it go. All right. You're right. You're right about all the sports stuff. You're right to not be a Jets fan.
I don't continue being a fan of what's bizarrely Orwellian called the Washington football team.
Well, I guess I'll take it. And whatever form it comes.
Yeah, that's real progress. Keep making millions of dollars for this evil shit.
Had we called the Rick Snyder or Dan Snyder. Dan Snyder, that's his name.
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