Welcome to Positive of America, I'm Jon Favreau. I'm Dan Pfeiffer. On today's pod, Democrats go big and fast uncovered relief. Republicans take it easy on Liz Cheney and Marjorie Taylor Green. And the fate of democracy could depend on the redistricting battles that will take place in statehouses over the coming months. Then Dan talks to journalist Farai Chideya about building a media that's more representative and better connected to all communities. But first, check out Keep It All. This month, IRA, IRA and Lewis will be having discussions with black creators, black owned business leaders and many more great guests for Black History Month.
Also, check out this week's POD Save the World to learn about the military coup in Myanmar that took place this week. And speaking of pods, save the world. Ben Rhodes has written another book which you can preorder right now. It's called After the Fall. It's about Ben's travels around the world after Trump won, where he met with dissidents, opposition leaders and young activists who are trying to understand the turn towards authoritarianism and nationalism in their own countries and all over the world.
Ben is one of the best writers I've ever met, one of the best storytellers I know. You should go preorder after the fall. Right now. It comes out in June. I started reading it a few nights ago. It does not disappoint. And it is.
It is outstanding. I'm only laughing because it is a real testament to that, that I got you to read a book, so I'm very, very proud. I only read my former colleagues books, those only books I read in twenty, it was Samantha Power, Barack Obama, your book and and now bents.
I will say a couple of things about this. I have also started reading it. You're exactly right. That is an amazing writer.
It is also a chance to revisit a world where you can travel. So if you miss traveling, that's a good place.
And that is. And as a connoisseur of podcast related book catches Bens pitch for why he wrote the book and what you can get from reading it on policy.
If the world is a Hall of Fame book, pitch and Tommies pitch was also quite persuasive, which is by Ben's book to make sure that it ends up ahead of Dan Bongo's on the bestseller list.
Does Dan Bongino have a book coming out? I don't want to just substitute any asshole for any asshole on the right.
You can always bet there are some asshole from the right with a book coming out. By the time Ben's comes out, it'll be like Lauren Bobert book.
So, yeah, go go check that out.
All right. Let's start with a quick update on the negotiations over Biden's covid relief plan. The president and vice president met with the 10 Republican senators who made a counteroffer on Monday. They had a two hour meeting. Everyone said nice things about each other afterwards. But the White House still released a statement that read, quote, While there were areas of agreement, the president also reiterated his view that Congress must respond boldly and urgently and noted many areas which the Republican senators proposal does not address.
Sure enough, all 50 Senate Democrats voted on Tuesday to use a budget reconciliation bill to pass the covid relief plan, which would only require 51 votes instead of 60.
Not only did Joe Manchin vote in favor of using budget reconciliation, some people were a little worried he might not.
He said this about the size of the plan on MSNBC.
The worst thing we can do is put it put a price tag on it just to get what the needs of the people are. Basically how we keep the economy going, how we keep people basically ready for this economy to come roaring back and they're prepared to be part of it. So if it's one point nine trillion, so be it. If it's a little smaller than that and we find the targeted need and, you know, that's what we're going to do.
But I want it to be bipartisan. So if they think that they're going to basically we're going to throw all caution to the wind and just shove it down people's throats, that's not going to happen.
So that's a lot of mention being mentioned. But pretty good news on the one point nine trillion that he is willing to embrace, one point nine trillion if it gets there.
It does seem like he has at least two specific sticking points overall. Of course, he keeps saying he wants it to be bipartisan. He wants it to be bipartisan. That seems like it's going to be tricky. But on the policies, he keeps talking about making the bill more targeted to people who have been most impacted by the pandemic.
And this could be why we learned yesterday that Democrats are reportedly considering lowering the income threshold for the fourteen hundred dollar checks from seventy five thousand to fifty thousand dollars for individuals who make that a year and from one hundred and fifty thousand a year, down to one hundred thousand a year for married couples, parents would also get fourteen hundred dollar checks per child. Dan, what do you think about this change and why Democrats are reportedly considering it?
I assume they're reportedly considering it because they need Arromanches vote. Yeah, and he's do you think he's you think he's made it like a requirement? Or at least expressed a strong desire for it. I think we should be glad that he is open to a journey to a large bill, a you know, a number consistent with what Biden has talked about.
I think this is a foolish and unnecessary thing to do.
If not, there is no situation where there's a perfect process for distributing funds. It just it has never worked in the history of time. This is a something that has to be done very quickly at a very large scale. I would much prefer in a historic recession, in a pandemic that that you air on the side of helping some people who need it less than not helping enough people who need it more. But if this is this this is sort of the reality we're going to have to come to terms with, which is we need Joe Manchin, we need Kyrsten Sinema, we need Mark Kelly.
We need a handful of more conservative senators to get something done. And hopefully he'd be persuaded to do something different. But this is why this is happening. It is not Joe Biden just deciding so that he can appeal to austerity hawks on Morning Joe or whatever else to demonstrate do sort of do austerity versus signaling. This is I imagine, and assume the what he's trying to figure out what it is going to take to get all 50 Democrats to vote for something that is very close to one point nine trillion dollars in line with what he proposed last month.
Yeah, I mean, we talked about this a couple of days ago, like when Susan Collins was complaining that people making three hundred thousand dollars would get a check. Like I understood that three thousand dollars is a lot of money. I don't know that someone needs a stimulus check if they're making a hundred thousand dollars. I also wasn't sure what she was talking about because I don't know what threshold that really is in the plan. But like these numbers get thrown around in Washington and in the press.
And I think people don't think about what real people are going through. Like, imagine if you're making sixty thousand dollars a year and you've gotten the stimulus checks and suddenly someone tells you that you can't get your full stimulus check making sixty thousand dollars a year because why they needed to, like, save a little bit of money. It's not a ton of money to go from seventy five thousand to fifty thousand dollars in the context of a one point nine trillion dollar piece of legislation.
So it does seem very silly to me and and harmful to people who are struggling, making in that income bracket. That said, again, we are just all fucking living in mansions world. Joe Manchin won something. Then you can yell at them, you can try to persuade them. But at the end of the day, every Democratic senator gets to act like the majority leader.
They do they just because if they're out, there is no bill.
Similarly, Mansion also said he's against raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars per hour and then he'll only go as high as 11 dollars per hour. Background of this is in West Virginia. The minimum wage is like around seven dollars an hour. The cost of living in West Virginia is much lower than other places. So, again, minimum wages aren't the same, aren't equal in many states. Fifteen dollars an hour in a place like L.A. or New York is probably still too low to have a living wage and to keep yourself above poverty.
Certainly in West Virginia, though, maybe 11 dollars does is a living wage. So what what do we do about that? Like, is there there is there a way to square the circle so that we don't get no increase in the minimum wage? But that if Joe if clearly if Joe Manchin is a hard no on 15, it's not going to pass because you need all 50.
Before we persuade Joe Manchin about how high the minimum wage should be, we have to persuade the Senate parliamentarian that a minimum wage increase fits under the rules of budget reconciliation, which is a very, very good question.
Senator Schumer has expressed some optimism on that last month. But we don't know. And we once again, we may be in the unfortunate situation of having to compromise with Joe Manchin to get something done. The minimum wage has not been raised since 2007. I believe that federally. I think this is something we should push aggressively on, even with Manchin, even with Republicans, because as we've seen in our polling and other polling on the country, minimum wages, the 15 dollar minimum wage is incredibly popular and with bipartisan support among the public.
And so I think we should push really hard for did not immediately accede to his demands. There could be some of these faux populist Republicans who could potentially be on board with a minimum wage.
It's going to depend on are we dealing with the minimum wage increase as part of a standalone piece of legislation that requires 60 votes because it is not viewed as part of budget reconciliation? Or is it in this deal where Joe Manchin has veto over every single word in the larger coronavirus package?
And we should say the good news about Manchin here is he's running around talking about a one point ninety nine dollars as OK, like even if there is a bad policy decision on the threshold for the checks, even if there's a bad policy decision on minimum wage that we don't agree with, which I wouldn't if it doesn't pass, like the unemployment benefits alone in this package, that is going to hold people who are unemployed to anywhere between 70 to 100 percent of their wages through September is really important.
The vaccination money super important, the child care money, the rent money, the you know, there is so much in this plan that is really important. That's going to make a huge impact on people's lives and the fact that it does seem like Manchin is on board with most of it and so are all the other Democrats on board with reconciliation. And passing it with only 51 votes is overall very good news.
Now, Republicans in Congress are still pretending that they give a shit about bipartisanship. They're also trying to spin reporters into believing that Biden really wants to cut a deal with Republicans, but his liberal advisers are standing in the way. On Wednesday, Republicans got some help on this from an anonymous longtime Joe Biden adviser who decided to fuckin go on background to Politico and say that the White House statement after the meeting was too harsh, that it's all being driven by Ron Klain and other Obama veterans who learned during negotiations over the Affordable Care Act that waiting around for Republican votes is pointless.
And this adviser also said that getting Republican votes is worth lowering the price tag of the plan by a few hundred billion dollars. I mean, where do we even begin here, Dan? What's the what's the argument for lowering the price tag to get Republican votes that you don't need?
There is none in the entire exchange is so frustrating on so many levels. One, because this very vague, anonymous source, we have no idea who this person is. It could very well be a longtime Biden adviser.
It seems clear it's not someone who works in the White House since they seem to they want to point out someone involved with drafting the statement in the White House. It could be someone who is Biden's legislative director from like 1986 and 1989. It could be a former campaign aide who is not involved in the White House. It could be someone who was in my 1997 Joe Biden Senate office intern class.
We do not know the answer to that. And I should say the reason we're bringing it up anyway is because it is the narrative that's not only coming from this random, anonymous Biden adviser from the past. Republicans are pushing this narrative. The press a lot of the political press has bought into this narrative, especially at Politico and other places. So it is out there and this and this adviser sort of gave it more life, which is why we're bringing it up.
One other thing, it's just like this is Ron Klain making Joe Biden do things. Obama adviser Ron Klain.
Ron Klain worked for Joe Biden from 1986. Off and on until 2020. That's that's part of it, but the idea that two to three hundred billion dollars in less aid to the economy and the pandemic control effort is worth a handful of votes is insane. That is just like where is it, Tony Bogota's compared to like talk about talk about fucking D.C. brain.
How long have you been there? Jesus Christ. That's what you you're like like this is like people's lives struggling through a pandemic. And you're like you're a couple hundred billion for a vote. That would be cool. What are you talking about.
But where does it come from? Are you going to do less money to get the vaccine out?
Are you going to capitalise on employment benefits for for this uptick? It is. It's speaks to a strain of political coverage and punditry that is so deeply stupid, which is thinking that optics are more important than substance. What is going to matter more two years from now? Just put aside all the substance about saving people's lives, helping them put their families back together financially. Joe, let's just talk politics for something. That's clearly what Politico by name in this case is focused on, is in twenty twenty two.
Are people going to think more about whether Joe Biden got five Republican votes for his coronavirus package or whether the economy is back and running and people can leave their homes again? Which do you think is more important? Like where would you. Everything has Resta, right?
There's definitely some political risk for someone who ran on a unity message to have to pass a very large bill on a party line vote because it allows the other party to just stand back and say, this is all your fault.
Everything goes wrong.
But there's also but there's also risk in under responding to the crisis and having it. Linko, which risk would you choose between those two things? Seems pretty clear what the right answer is.
Also, again, public opinion is on Joe Biden's side here. Data for Progress has a poll out yesterday by fifty five to thirty five percent, voters want Democrats in Congress to pass a larger bill as soon as possible, even if it doesn't have support from Republicans in Congress. That was yesterday.
We now have polls from Yahoo! News and YouGov, data for progress. Quinnipiac all confirming the immediate change poll from the other week that 70 percent of Americans support this plan.
Biden's plan is to go and up around 70 percent.
It's the gold standard poll as the goal is the end of polls. Yeah, it's the end, Zeltzer.
2008 to 2000 and January 2nd, 2020, 70 percent support and then 40 percent Republican support.
You know, and now you get now you get a bunch of reporters, like Democrats have a new way of defining bipartisanship by the percentage of support they're getting from voters in the in the country. Like, yeah, that is the fucking definition. The voters in the country, the people who decide elections, they like the plan. I don't give a fuck what a couple Republicans in the Senate caucus think about it. That's their problem. Go ask them why they're not supporting a plan that 70 percent of Americans support, including almost half their own party.
Ask them the question.
Don't ask us, ask them and ask the anonymous Biden adviser.
Those are the two people to ask. Yeah, well, so Politico playbook got the anonymous Biden adviser who was your the intern in your class back in the back in the 80s punch bowl, actually got Steve Ricchetti to speak to them and who is a Biden adviser in the White House.
And he pushed back pretty hard in this idea that there's some kind of split. He's like, this is who Biden is. He goes he he wants to be polite to people. He wants to have respectful disagreement. But he like he's not naive about what Republicans want. And he's like, OK, with there being disagreement.
And again, everyone keeps confusing, I think, who Joe Biden is and sort of what his approach is going to be like when he talks about unity, when he talks about bipartisanship, even it's not Joe Biden thinking he's going to completely change the Republican Party, bring a whole bunch of them on board, and then everyone's going to pass bipartisan bills.
It's you know, and he said this in the inaugural. He doesn't think that every fight has to be a political war. He doesn't think you have to be nasty to each other, which is why as soon as that meeting ended, like Susan Collins walks out of the meeting, talks to reporters and like, you know, we didn't agree on everything, but we had a really nice chat.
And like, if all Joe Biden's bipartisan unity bit is, is making sure that people aren't screaming at each other all the time in Washington and like calling each other names and at least are listening to each other, even if they end up disagreement, that's pretty good.
That's pretty good. And that's a lot different than the last four years.
So one thing before we move on from this, you know, everyone's talking about how the Biden folks and a lot of specifically people who are working in the Biden administration that used to work in the Obama administration have learned lessons from 2009.
When they talk about that, they mean both lessons from the negotiations around the Recovery Act and then the Affordable Care Act right after that. Since you and I were both there, do you want to explain why things went the way they did and what lessons we learned then?
Well, I could explain it to you.
I would also recommend you read Barack Obama's take on this in his not particularly well known book, Promise Land, which is only sold seven gazillion copies.
There is no question that with as Obama said in his book, with the benefit of hindsight, we would do a lot of things differently than we did in 2009. I do think, however, some of the retelling of that history has been overly reductive and doesn't sort of provide context. And so there is no question that the fact that the first stimulus that we passed was too small for the challenge. Now, you may say, why did we do that?
And there were three reasons for that that I think are relevant. One, the topline number was dictated by members of Congress who had just passed a stimulus the year before and two bank bailouts that no one wanted to pass but felt were necessary a month earlier before the whole conversation began.
Second, we had a much more conservative Democratic majority back then that just from top to bottom, like Joe Manchin, is closer to the left than the right in the in the Democratic caucus of 2009. You have yes.
You had Joe Lieberman, whose vote we needed, who had endorsed and campaigned for and spoke in at the convention of Barack Obama's opponent. We needed his vote. We needed the vote of Ben Nelson to the right of Joe Manchin.
A lot of ways. We had two senators in North Dakota, two senators in Arkansas, senator and Alaska senator losing. We had a lot of very conservative senators in red districts.
That group of people would never in a million years have been for using budget reconciliation for this purpose. And we also only the people always pretend like we had 60 senators, we actually had 58 because we would have had 59 by Al Franken was in a recount that lasted through the first half of 2009. He actually did not get seated until the summer, like June or July, July.
We had we had 60 senators from July of 2009 to February of 2010. That's it. That was our supermajority.
And one of them was Joe Lieberman this whole time. And then the last thing that I think is really important that I do think people forget a lot, which is. As bad as the crisis was, we didn't even realize how bad it was because the first report of the gross domestic product for the last half of 2008 during the crash was that the economy had contracted six point eight percent. And that was the stimulus is about filling the hole in the economy.
We learned after the stimulus was passed, when they revised the numbers, the number was actually eight point nine.
So the off by a pretty large percent. And so all those things combined led us to be in a position where we did not get the stimulus, the amount of stimulus and response we needed in the short term. And then what happened because of that is.
The other party, which not just we talked about, sort of senator, is also a gigantic coalition of, quote unquote, Blue Dog Democrat Democrats in the House who were very fiscally conscious, if you will, and were then we were unable to go back to the well to get more stimulus where we saw we were missing.
The most important thing from all of this.
And I think Barack Obama would agree with that. You and I would agree with the Biden people could agree with it is you get one shot to address this crisis. And everything else that you want to do depends on addressing the crisis right out, which is why they are going big and fast and comprehensive and being aggressive about it. Because if you fail here, you're going to be trying to dig yourself out of this economic and political hole for the rest of your term.
And so there's a lot of lessons to learn about 2009. And it is very clear that Joe Biden, who was there and manage the Recovery Act, completely understands that his team, I think, is very wisely approaching this with that experience in mind.
And I would agree with all that. And I would just add, in general, political coverage tends to focus on characters and personalities and lessons learned from individuals and who's tough and who's not and who's smart and who's not. And usually the answer lies not in personalities, but who has power, not in characters. But what the larger context is and the larger context is we now have a more ideologically consistent caucus in the House and in the Senate than we did back in 2009.
And now we have power in the sense that we have a House majority that is ideologically consistent. We have a Senate majority that is more ideologically consistent than it was, though we still have Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to deal with.
And so we're going to be able to just do a lot more and to be a little bit more ambitious than we were in 2009. Have we also learned lessons from how the Republicans acted in 2009 and ever since?
Yeah, absolutely. But even if we knew in 2009 that Republicans were going to block every single piece of legislation and be obstructionist, we still would have had to deal with Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson and all these people.
And if Barack Obama like what was right about, we're going to do like go to Ben Nelson's, go to Nebraska and start whipping up crowds against Ben Nelson, they don't give a shit about Barack Obama in Nebraska, Ben Nelson, like he's not going to be afraid of Barack Obama. And so I do think that's something that people have to keep in mind today just because, again, Joe Biden can yell at Joe Manchin all he wants, but Joe Manchin is going to have a lot of power over the next couple of years.
And it's just something that we're going to have to deal with, unfortunately.
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All right. Let's talk about Republicans in Congress because they're having a hell of a time this week. They had a big decision on Wednesday.
Do you punish the House member who voted to impeach Donald Trump for provoking the attack in the capital? Or do you punish the House member who thinks Democrats should be executed? And wildfires are caused by Jewish space lasers.
House Republicans went with neither side, either in a secret ballot. Only 61 members voted to oust Liz Cheney from her leadership post on Wednesday night, while one hundred and forty five voted to keep her.
As for Marjorie Taylor Greene, not only did Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans decide not to strip her of her committee assignments, half of them reportedly gave her a standing ovation after she have tonight and half apologize for all of the comments.
She definitely said, as we're recording this, she's on the floor this morning saying things like, I do believe that 9/11 happened, which is something good for her.
That's something that she has to say. That's a real it's a real Sister Souljah moment for her. It's a very brave thing that 9/11 happened. And what's happening now is the full House is going to vote on whether she should be stripped of her committee assignments before we get to Green. Dan, what is your take on the Cheney vote?
The Liz Cheney vote first, a Pulitzer Prize to the reporter who uncovers which Republican voted present on a secret ballot. Because that person should also be stripped of their committee memberships, just pure stupidity, so funny. No one's going to know my vote, too. I'm still too afraid.
The number of people who voted against Cheney is pretty substantial and pretty telling about just how divided the Republican Party is.
This is ultimately a decision by the caucus writ large to kick the ball down the field a little bit and deal with this later.
And so McCarthy probably has it in a in a weird, very short term way.
This was probably a winner for Kevin McCarthy in the sense that he gets to continue to make the Cuban and Trump ist crazy part of his caucus feel good that he's on their side.
The, you know, the insurrectionist wing of the Republican Party, of which I would note that Kevin McCarthy is a part of, but also the more establishment, corporate backed part of the the party can feel comfortable that it has it fully devolved into Marjorie Taylor Greene ism.
So it's sort of a they have accomplished nothing. They solve their problems and they managed to only slightly exacerbate the problems they had. If that makes sense.
It does to me, the most telling part of the whole thing is the secret ballot. I believe that if it wasn't a secret ballot and they had to be public about their votes, there would be a lot more of them who are afraid of what would happen to them if they voted to defend Liz Cheney. Because they are led around by, you know, their voters and their voters are led around by right wing lunatics on Fox and right wing radio, so that's it.
But you got a secret vote.
Maybe some of them feel like they can be a little bit more normal, just a little bit more normal.
But when it's public, they are scared shitless.
So entire House is about to vote on a resolution to strip Marjorie Taylor Green of her two committee positions. This comes after Kevin McCarthy offered to kick Green off one committee, but not the other, an offer that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer rejected. So McCarthy decided to accept her fake apology, telling reporters, quote, This Republican Party is a very big tent. Everyone's invited in. If you know everyone from deficit hawks to people who think Nancy Pelosi should be executed.
It's a big tent. It's a big tent in. And then he pretended to not even know what Kuhnen is. Here is a clip.
I think it would be helpful if you could hear exactly what she told all of us denouncing Kiwane. I don't know if I said right. I don't even know what it is any from the shootings. She said she knew nothing about lasers or all the different things that have been brought up about her has no idea what Kuhnen is.
Except here's a clip of Kevin McCarthy just a few months ago.
There is no place for Kuhnen in the Republican Party. I do not support it. And the candidate you talked about has denounced it.
A real leading light of the Republican Party. Then Kevin McCarthy, just a lot going on upstairs with that guy.
He managed to pronounce it incorrectly twice in two different ways. Know what? What what do you think McCarthy was willing to do? One committee, but not two?
I realize that's a small question, but he's so painfully stupid, just painfully dumb. When he was the House whip, his job was to count votes.
And it is incredibly rare for a House majority to call a vote and lose it because you get to decide when it goes and you get to count the votes. And it happened to him several times.
It is like what the Galaxy brain meme is for something that stupid, which is.
Yes. Leader Hoyer, you have some solid points here, and I think she is definitely too anti-Semitic and off the rails to work on education issues.
But labor issues, I think we're OK with, like, what the fuck are you talking about?
This is I mean, this is ultimately the problem is we are dealing with really stupid people and really important positions at a very important time for this country.
Do you see under the Democrats, do you see any risks to Democrats kicking her off these committees? This just so people know this hasn't this doesn't happen, usually don't have a full vote in the House to kick a member off their committees. Usually if a member does get removed from committees, it happens within the party. Kevin McCarthy did ultimately kick Steve King off his committees because he's a white nationalist, belatedly, because he's a white nationalist. But usually it happens within the party.
This is, you know, going to the to the to the full floor is unusual. Do you see any risk in this for Democrats?
Not political risk? This is absolutely the right thing to do. There is a I think Democrats have a political imperative and frankly, a moral obligation to deal with someone like this and to shine a light on what the Republican Party has become and where it's headed.
There is almost certainly going to be some form of retribution if Republicans take the House again in two years.
Yeah. Oh, I mean, they will immediately take some comments that some members or all members of the squad made. They will twist them into something awful and they will all vote to kick them all off committees, probably other members as well. It will definitely happen. I think and then so we say that they're like, well, maybe they shouldn't do that because ultimately, who cares what marginal committee Margaret Taylor Green is on?
I just think Democrats cannot pull our punches based on what we think Republicans may do, because they will probably do it anyway. And so, yeah, I totally agree. Is this likely to make her. A martyr in the Republican Party elites, big tech Hollywood cancel culture bullshit, absolutely.
And we do live in this very disturbing information, political environment where calling out the.
Extreme positions of someone strengthens that person's position and a lot of ways like it is, you know, I sort of sometimes referred to as mutually assured attention, she is raised well over a million dollars because she said crazy things and Democrats called her out for them, which is a pretty disturbing sign about where our politics are and where the Republican Party and its base is.
So like we should not Democrats have to do this because it is the right thing to do. I also think it is a politically wise thing to do to put to shine a light on this. But we should not pretend that this is going to do anything to make the Republican Party less extreme, less out of the mainstream, less dangerous. And we'll probably have the opposite effect.
It's not our job to police their party, but that is ultimately the her is, I think, strengthened by this, not weakened.
I just want to emphasize why it's important to do as well, because I think some of the focus on Green has been, oh, she makes these sort of kooky, crazy comments. Right. This is someone who said that Muslims should not serve in Congress.
This is someone who said who promoted a post like the Post that Nancy Pelosi should be assassinated.
Like the Kuhnen conspiracy is not just like some kooky conspiracy. It's couldn't have been labeled a domestic terror threat from the FBI because Kuhnen believes that leading Democrats should be executed. She is someone who has advocated violence against government officials. Shortly after we just had a riot, an insurrection on the capital where government officials were targeted for assassination.
It is it does not get more serious than that. You know, there's also a question of like, why not expel her that was on the table to expel a member of Congress?
I believe you do need a two thirds majority, which, of course, Democrats are not going to get in the House.
I also think there's the problem with expelling her is she'd probably go run again and and the people of northwest Georgia would vote her back in.
I mean, this is this is the headline in the Atlanta Journal Constitution today. The leader of a private paramilitary group that provided security for Marjorie Taylor Green said he's formed alliances with other far right racist neo-Nazi hate groups to advocate for Georgia's secession. One of them said things are different now. The ballot box. We tried as hard as we could. It's not working. This is what's happening right now in different places in the country and specifically in Marjorie Taylor Green's district.
We focus a lot on the Republican Party and Kevin McCarthy.
But the voters, they sent her there. And if you get rid of Mergenthaler Green, they're probably going to vote another lunatic back in in that district. So, you know, the problem goes a little deeper than I think we would hope.
Democrats are already trying to make green and Republicans like her the face of the Republican Party in advance of the twenty, twenty two midterms. The Democratic congressional campaign chair, Sean Patrick Maloney, previewed the party strategy to Politico, saying, quote, If Kevin McCarthy wants to take his party to crazy town and follow these dangerous asides, he shouldn't expect to do well in next election. They can do Kuhnen or they can do college educated voters. They cannot do both.
The trip is already running five hundred thousand dollars worth of ads linking House Republicans in battleground districts to the dangerous cult. Here is the ad.
Kulen, not a conspiracy theory. Born online, took over the Republican Party, sent followers to Congress and with Donald Trump, incited a mob that attacked the Capitol and the cop. Then Republicans like Yong Kim and Michelle Stela voted to protect Trump, letting the Cuban mob win. Cuban Steele should have stood with us, but they were cowards. They stood with Trump and the lies representatives came and steal. They stood with Cuban, not you. Disqus, responsible for the content of this advertising.
They stood with CUNA Udaan. What a little ham handed, I would say. But what do you think of the strategy overall?
I would also note that that same person has been doing voiceovers for negative ads my entire career.
Is it is a little this is not really his fault.
This is sort of how you have to get things covered. I'm 90 percent sure that Egilsay does not know and no one else knows what their strategy for 2022 is going to be.
We have we got a lot of miles to travel before we get there.
Yeah, I do think as a political communications approach in this media environment, putting paid advertising behind stories that are relevant and making sure that voters see them long in advance, the election is the right way to do it.
So I don't love every word in this ad. I don't love the execution.
I support the strategy. I think it's the right thing to do what impact it will have in the long run, who knows?
But if you step back, what this is really about is continuing to lock in the Trump era gains among suburban voters who add keeping that going because you can see a world where.
Cats can be very concerned. We don't have evidence of this yet, but be on my worry list that with Trump in the background, with people not seeing Trump everyday, that people could revert back to where they were before Trump politically. Right. And they only need a small handful of suburban voters to go back to, you know, Romney Clinton voters who voted for Clinton and Biden and for Democrats in 2013 to revert to a Republican to think the Republicans are less crazy than they were with Trump.
And as it turns out, they're actually more crazy post Trump than they were during Trump.
Making sure voters know that is will certainly be an essential, whether it's this exact execution will be a central political goal for the Democrats over the next two years.
We'll see said that something like 60 plus percent of voters knew what Kuhnen was and the polling that they did, which really surprised me because I would not have guessed that that many people did. I still wonder if you ask them, OK, explain what went on, as if they could do that.
But anyway, they're like five people who can do that total. Right. And Q is not one of them.
It's like so, you know, putting that aside, I think the overall strategy of trying to depict the Republican Party as in the thrall of extremists is a useful strategy. Should it be the only strategy? Probably not. Part of this is we still don't know. Like, for example, in Georgia in the runoff, Democrats ran an economically populist campaign against Republicans. And I thought we both thought that was a good idea. They also pointed out that Lefler and Perdue were part of the big lie that Donald Trump was telling and helping him try to overturn the election.
So there was an argument that they were extremist and that the Republican Party was extremist and that the Republican Party was just trying to help rich people at the expense of the working class.
Which one of those arguments was more effective? We actually don't know. We don't know yet which drove voters.
And in truth, different arguments could have driven different voters and different kinds of voters to the polls. So I do think there needs to be a little bit more research on what exactly is motivating different groups of voters and what has motivated them in the past.
But in general, we know from like decades of political science research that if voters believe a candidate or a party is more extreme ideologically way out to the side, either on the right or the left, they're going to be less likely to vote for that candidate or party like we do know that.
So just painting the Republicans as extreme is at least useful. It's not everything, but it's it's useful.
One of the biggest factors that will determine who controls the house after the twenty twenty two elections is a process that will begin in the next few months.
Redistricting, what is redistricting? Well, we hold a census every 10 years. As a result, some states lose population, other states gain population. That changes each state's number of electoral votes. Since that depends on population, it also changes each state's number of House districts, since that depends on population. So every ten years, all 50 states have to redraw the boundaries of their House districts based on the new census numbers. If your state government is entirely controlled by Republicans, Republicans get to essentially pick their own voters by drawing districts that are favorable to Republican politicians known as gerrymanders.
If your state is controlled by Democrats, Democrats get to draw the districts. In some states, an independent or bipartisan commission gets to draw the maps. And this year, which is a redistricting year, Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, who is such an expert on the process that his Twitter handle is literally redistrict, says that Republicans may be able to win the six seats they need to take control of the House just by drawing new maps. Again, they think that Republicans, just by redrawing the maps during redistricting, can pick up the six seats they need to take control of the House of Representatives in twenty, twenty two.
And this year, also, redistricting is going to start in July because the census data has been delayed due to the pandemic.
All right. Did I leave anything out there? And where should Democrats be worried? Which states and where might Democrats have an advantage?
Democrats should be worried generally because in the states that allow partisan redistricting, Republicans control district lines for 188 seats and Democrats control over three seats.
The states that are most likely, we don't know, but most likely to gain seats include Florida, Texas and Georgia. Republicans have complete control of the redistricting process in those three states.
And so, like I think to have concerns actually being what he says May, he is just like putting in a kernel of doubt without it is very clear, based on the number of seats these states are going to get and how aggressively Republicans have redrawn these districts on a partisan basis the last time around, that while we could win other seats to make up the gap, to hold the House, just they would take control just on the states I mentioned alone.
Democrats have an advantage in New York is the one state where we now have complete control and have some ability to do it.
Republicans could still lose seats in some states where they have complete control just because they have almost unanimous control of the congressional delegation. But this is deeply, deeply considering. We went into this election in 2020 with huge hopes of making real gains to be in a much better position than we were than we were in 2010.
And while we are in a better position than we were after the 2010 election. We failed to gain control of a single entity that would give us additional influence over the process in the 2012 election. Thank goodness we did so well in 2018 because we're able to pick up governorships in some states that would allow us to have a say in the process.
But we enter into the adoption process in a deeply, deeply, deeply disadvantageous position.
And, you know, you might be wondering, like, what about a state like California where Democrats have full control? What's going on there? Well, California outsources redistricting to a commission so that it's not partisan.
Same thing as states like Colorado, Virginia, Washington, also. California is all in all likelihood going to lose a seat this time. So even the states where we have full control and some of the more in the bluer states, they're either bipartisan or nonpartisan commissions or there those are states that are actually going to lose population and therefore lose a seat.
So we're just in a we're in a bad spot and like it's not. I think what's so worrying about this is it's not a bad spot, like in a normal year, years ago.
It's a bad spot where Republican control of the House could mean, you know, in twenty twenty for the next coup succeeds because now Republicans control the House.
They could start impeachment hearings of Joe Biden when they went in twenty twenty two. It's the end of Joe Biden's legislative agenda in 2020 if the House Republicans take over.
So it is it is quite worrisome. And what do we do about it in.
We need a time machine. OK. OK, next. What else we got? Well, there's got there's two elements of things we can do.
One is grassroots activism in the states where this process is happening.
All on the Line, which is a project associated with the National Democratic Redistricting Commission, is organizing grassroots campaigns to put pressure on Republicans, indivisible, is organizing their chapters to put pressure on Republicans to shine a light on what is happening.
We can absolutely have influence and we should absolutely not wave the white flag.
And there are efforts. The the worst gerrymandering happens when it happens out of the spotlight where you don't put pressure on the people and you can really push hard. And I'm not saying this is going to fix the problem. Let's say that Texas Republicans are all of a sudden going to become responsive to the will of the people.
But you we we have agency here and we have to we have to use it.
The other thing we can do is really simple and really important, which is the for the People Act, which is the essentially the updated version of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, would ban partisan gerrymandering. It would have been any map that unduly favors one political party or the other.
And if we were to put that in place, we would have a chance at outlawing the worst gerrymandering. In this upcoming election, we would have to do that very quickly in order to do that, we have to eliminate the filibuster and pass the bill.
So again. We could save the house, potentially if Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema would only vote to get rid of the filibuster so we could pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
This is the next decade of our lives, what happens in this redistricting process is going to determine the next decade because it is not just federal districts, it's also state districts. There's a whole bunch of things happening here. It would, in addition to dealing with gerrymandering, the for the People Act would put automatic voter registration in place. It would stop a lot of these really malicious Republican efforts to roll back voting rights in their tracks.
All we have to do in order to give ourselves the best chance to govern this country in a progressive way consistent with the will of the majority is for a small handful of senators to be willing to change their opinion on an archaic, esoteric legislative loophole and then pass a bill that, according to our poll, has two thirds support in the country, including more than 30 percent of Trump voters. That is all we have to do.
We're not asking anyone to do anything politically hard.
We're asking you to break with a Senate tradition that was critical to the implementation and maintaining of Jim Crow a Jim Crow relic, as Barack Obama called it, change that passed this popular bill to make America more Democratic and to stop an effort to rig our politics and steal the house is right before us.
And so ask yourself, what would Mitch McConnell do in a similar situation if Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were being a little reticent about something that would give the Republicans their best chance to control the levers of government for a decade? What do you think he would do? Yeah, I mean, I think we all I think every single person listening knows the answer to that. I mean, it's it's one of it might be the most important piece of legislation that is in front of Congress that Joe Biden could sign in the entire first term and maybe for the next, like you said, maybe for the next 10 years, not because it would end gerrymandering, dark money in politics, it would protect voting rights, roll back some of the things Republicans have done to make it harder to vote, offer the citizens of D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood.
I mean, the number of things that would do to make to unrigged our democracy are just mind blowing and necessary.
And just so you know, like, look, if the Republicans pick up six seats that they need from redistricting, our only other chance of picking up seats in the House, we have nine Republicans in the House sitting in districts that Joe Biden won, which is not many. And then we have seven Democrats sitting in seats that Donald Trump won in twenty twenty. So the playing field is relatively small in twenty twenty two because like, we don't have a lot of other targets and opportunities.
Should the Republicans start by making up six seats just by drawing the maps?
So it's going to be really, really hard in twenty, twenty two and it's never been more important. I know we say every election is the most important election of our lifetime, but because we now have an authoritarian party that hates democracy, it's true.
I think it's also important people understand that while our friend Mark, ALLIÉS and other attorneys can do everything they can to fight back in the courts over these new partisan maps, we have to realize that according to the Supreme Court.
Thank you to moderate hero John Roberts, partisan redistricting is constitutional. Yeah, the Supreme Court, in an opinion written, I believe, by John Roberts, made this point, which is so painfully stupid that it hurts my brain that the courts are not the place to litigate overly partisan districts.
The only place to do that is at the ballot box.
So according to John Roberts, the only way to get a fair district is to win an election in an unfair district.
I mean, it pretty much sums up what Democrats are facing in the next several elections. Should we not pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act?
If we do not pass this bill, it'll be the the really one of the worst mistakes any political party has ever made it. We had this is having unified control of government.
We have not had it for a decade. This is a chance. It is fleeting and we won't have it again.
Not I mean, not for a very long time, very possibly. And like I don't mean we're going to get very worked up about this. And that's probably not constructive.
But this is we have an opportunity to do something that will change the trajectory of American politics in a way that will give us at least the opportunity to address things like health care, climate change, everything else. But it requires this and it begins and people get bored by process.
And it's why you talk about the economy and health care. Yes, that's all true. But process is a predicate for policy. And if we want to put in place the policies that we want, we have to fix the process. The opportunity is right before us. We could do it in a day if we would if we could just get your Manchin here and I will say others. We always say their names because they have outed Dianne Feinstein.
They're all. But there are a lot of other Democrats who are hiding anonymously behind cinema and mansion and fighting.
So we have a lot of work to do to get people there, but. This is a once in a generation opportunity, and we're trying to sound the alarm on this because I don't want people to be surprised by it. And I know there's a thought right now like Trump is gone, things are good. Biden's there. We can sort of relax. We cannot relax.
And this is why this is one of the reasons why, like, we like twenty, twenty two is going to be incredibly important. And before we get there, Joe Biden and the Democrats are trying to pass this piece of legislation is going to be incredibly important, just as important in many ways as getting rid of Trump was. And in twenty twenty. So everyone pay attention to this. We'll be talking about this again and again in the months to come.
When we come back, we will have Dan's interview with journalist Farai Chideya.
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Farai Chideya is a journalist and author, she's the creator and host of Our Body Politic, a syndicated public radio show and podcast which is centered on reporting on not just how women of color experience major political events today, but how they're impacting those very issues. Farai. Welcome to parts of America.
Thank you so much. Glad to be here. I wanted to start by talking about the conversation you've been leading in your industry for a long time now about representation and how newsrooms are often disconnected from the communities they're covering.
How has the Trump years illuminated that problem and how are people with any history of responding to the conversation you're having?
Yeah, first of all, I think a lot of us are having it. And part of my specialty is doing voter demographics. And I've done it year in and year out for many different elections in different places. And I won't perseverate on this, but I have been speaking about the 538 newsroom in 2016 where there was no interest in really exploring the rise of racial resentment as an indicator of voter preference and the rise of white nationalism. And, you know, I had examples of both which are interconnected, but not the same.
But also I feel like in general, and I was very lucky, I should say, to do to get to do a series on voter demographics, but it could have been much more robust if we had given it some space to breathe. That's my personal experience. But pretty much every black journalist you talk to, many Latino, Asian-American, Native American journalists and even white journalists who seriously took on the topic of racial resentment and its weaponization and politics were often shut out of doing the kind of substantial reporting that the issue demanded.
And so in the end, it's not about journalists of color versus white journalists. It's like, what is the frame for the way that we covered America? And so just recently on my Twitter feed, I looked at the past five years of Time magazine covers and found that there was no coverage of white nationalism explicitly in any of the covers. And the one cover on Steve Bannon had the word white. 16 times referring to the White House and once referring to white nationalism.
So basically what I've been doing is calling B.S. on the framing of politics and the way that we've covered it both to diminish, I think, some of the contributions of women of color, which is what I'm specializing in now, and also to underplay the rise of white nationalism, the unwillingness to look at politics through the frames very specifically of white nationalism, that is a product of newsrooms are not diverse enough, a product of a mentality about politics.
It's outdated. What do you ascribe that to that's bigger than just that includes? But it may be bigger than just representation within the newsroom.
Yeah, absolutely. I think it's a frame I call this frame establishment whiteness, which is essentially one of the constructs that affects a lot of newsrooms, which is the idea that whiteness in and of itself is unremarkable and in fact, normative. And because it's normative, it doesn't have to be reported on as a thing in itself. So blackness is often reported on badly or in biased ways, but it's reported on extensively to the point where I feel like black people are often problematize.
It's like the problem with America's cities and implicitly how it's covered. It's like the problem is black people don't have their stuff together, whereas nobody has the problem with domestic terrorism and then starts going in on white nationalism. Why has that cover not been in any of the major magazines? I mean, that's pretty astounding. So if white people were treated the way black people are by supposedly objective newsrooms, there would first of all just be coverage of whiteness, the good, bad and the ugly.
But whiteness is not covered as a category, which to me is a huge blind spot in the in the coverage. And then it really undermines political reporting because white nationalist are a group of American voters. They are voters who are motivated by certain sentiments and beliefs. And during the 2016 election, I interviewed a woman in the Las Vegas area who was told repeatedly in both business context and personal context that the reason to vote for Trump was to prevent the dilution of the white race.
If that's not the rise of white nationalism in politics, I don't know what is. And I think we didn't give enough heft to that kind of narrative, which is also about white people who reject white nationalism and supremacy.
You know, she rejected it and whether people were embracing it or rejecting it, we didn't get enough of those voices over the last four years.
How much have you seen the industry come to terms with this challenge? Because, you know, my experience in talking to journalists of color over the last four years is the people at least surprised by everything that's happening, at least price at the Capitol last month, surprised by Trump's election, least surprised by how the Republicans have embraced Trump on Capitol Hill over the years. But the decision makers in many cases or in most cases, I guess in a lot of these networks and newsrooms are still white people.
And have if you've seen these newsrooms, these executives begin to seriously wrestle with this question and address it in some way in their coverage and in their staffing.
Staffing, I think is a little bit of a too soon to say because there's major staff changes coming up. You know, first of all, after every election, there's a lot of movement and political reporters. It's when people move on to take new jobs, et cetera. But also there are positions open for the head of news at ABC. There's leadership, you know, Washington Post, CNN, Reuters, Vox, Huffington Post, you know, the list goes on L.A. Times.
So this is a sea change in the industry of journalism where all of these leadership positions are open. So now would be good, a good time for leaders in journalism to open themselves up to who is considered a leader. But I think you can put anyone in the seat at any company and not empower them to make new decisions. So you could change the race and gender of every position to someone else, of someone, you know, another race or gender and still get the same outcomes if you don't have a sense of inquiry about the truth.
So to me, really, it's like, what is your inquiry about the truth? How are you unbiased? I don't like the term objectivity because it's been used in ways that are patently not objective. You know, and in my case, you know, Nate Silver and I had these sort of running discussions about race and politics and how we covered them. But in the end, he called the Trump campaign evil and made a big point of it on the podcast.
And I was like, so is this why we can't talk about it? So you can have this big reveal at the end? That's not objectivity, so I think when you look at the construct of objectivity, it's failing, but the constructive inquiry of saying why do people vote the way they vote? How do I segment, you know, what is often classified as one group of voters?
You know, white evangelical Protestants are, you know, very much a voting bloc at this point, but there are many differences within them.
So it's about treating people with respect. It's about treating people as individuals, not statistics. Statistics are great, but we have to know the story that gets us there.
It's very heavy is a very important point. What you said about objectivity because of the way that most people, I think, commonly understand journalism, particularly in this day and age. If there is partisan journalism that can be right wing, left wing, it can be opinion, then there is, quote unquote, objective journalism. And that could be which is something of a New York Times, Washington Post, ABC and that what you often hear people wanting is more objectivity in journalism.
Explain why that is not necessarily a good thing.
I'm less worried about the I mean, the concept of objectivity doesn't work for me for this reason, which is that it it asks that you leave your your culture and your past behind, which frankly, I don't see journalists doing when they go out in the field. A lot of the reporting on low income people, working class people and people of color, which are not the same group but interconnected in various ways, is very anthropological, like, oh, we're going to this dangerous black neighborhood to talk to people and to the point where I wrote a report for Harvard Shorenstein Center.
And one of the parts of the report was talking to a woman who had been forced to go basically as the black buddy of a white reporter to black neighborhoods. But when she was sent into the pit at NASCAR and dragged into a bathroom, no one was there to protect her. You know, the I mean, to be a black woman in do field reporting is patently dangerous. And many different types of unpleasant incidents have happened over the course. But that's part of my job.
And I sign up for those dangers. What I what I get really irked by is that the construct of objectivity itself becomes weaponized in newsrooms to prevent the kind of reporting I'm talking about to to prevent the kind of reporting that really does take you into the field and to dealing with people who are unpleasant, unpalatable, et cetera. So so, you know, if we can reform the whole idea of objectivity and make it meaningful, great. But right now, what we have is a conceit that is actually used to prevent coverage in various ways.
And so I go for fairness or impartiality as the language I choose. You know, if we want objectivity not to be bankrupt, we have to act differently.
One of the challenges of the quote unquote objective model of journalism is sort of the both sides dynamic. And one of the things that a lot of our listeners have been very concerned about and I've heard from a lot of journalists about is that because now we have sort of come to some people, come to terms with the idea that there is a very virulent, very growing strain of white nationalism in the Republican Party. And so now we have to treat white nationalism, quote unquote, objectively, as opposed to calling it out, you know, as some sort of moral clarity.
What how do you think about that?
Yeah, I mean, I think that objective journalism and I've done 25 years of reporting on white nationalists and supremacists, I want to treat them impartially, which includes saying in some cases this group kills people or, you know, you know, part of being impartial is actually stating what's happening and not not sugarcoating it. So I I'm you know, in one case, a woman from the Aryan Nation, which was disbanded because they killed people and were sued out of existence in civil court, said that the reason that she granted the interview was to recruit followers.
And that let me really understand that I also could not make her an anti-hero. She was a very compelling like she would make a great movie. She was from a wealthy family, said that the Aryan Nation was her true home, talked about throwing the hammer at this summer hammer toss. And like she was basically like a Leni Riefenstahl, you know, character. But I don't want to portray her as someone who is living the good life. You know, I'm going to be honest about her life, but I'm not going to valorize her.
And so I think what actually happens sometimes people are afraid of covering this because they don't know how to contextualize the fact that there are perfectly, you know, employed, well-off people who join these extremist movements. If we wrap our brain around that, then we just have to make sense out of the fact that some people choose this. Some people make. It's not. Like, you know. It's not by accident, and that's OK if we can if we can do endless crime coverage on the evening news, we can cover domestic terrorism through the lens of white nationalism.
And it requires a bit of discipline.
There is sort of to outs, I think, to sort of polar opposite types of journalism. That happens. There is sort of the man on the street. It's The New York Times Diner story that we make fun of a lot here, where you just go go to a diner, interview people with Magga, hats on and ask them why they still love Trump. And then there is sort of data journalism. We were just digging into the cross tabs of polls or whatever else.
How how do you find a balance between those two to tell an accurate, contextualised story of what is happening in America?
Yeah, I love using both data and field reporting because you can also I mean, data is flawed, just like interviews are flawed. Sometimes people lie to you. You do your best to figure out when they're lying and when they're not lying based on context and evidence. And at the same time, people also lie to pollsters, which we're increasingly finding out or simply the mechanisms don't track certain populations. Well, you know, people without landlines, et cetera.
So I really use the two types of journalism to reflect on each other so that I can puzzle out what the what the truth is. And I also don't pretend to have a lock on the truth all the time. If I'm not certain about something, I'm not certain. But I, I also spend time with people where they are. So I go to mosques, I go to evangelical churches, I go to people's places of work. I go to county Republican meetings because I don't just want to interview someone in a diner.
I want to talk to them where they live, where they pray, where they they have family so that I know what the words that they're saying mean to them. It gives me so much more context.
If we were if we, the political community, the journalism community, were not up to the moment of dissecting what was undergirding the Trump movement in 2016, do you think we are better prepared for this next time around to cover the next Trump or another politician who is part of that same movement?
I think we're going to get plenty of practice, whether we like it or not. I mean, the reality is Trump is gone, but Trump ism isn't, as we've seen from, you know, the way that Marjorie Taylor Green was able to sway members of her own party. And the there's a tick tock of arrest coming out of the siege of the capital. So we don't have the luxury of not dealing with this. Now, will we deal with it?
Well, it depends. I mean, first of all, as someone who's done primary source reporting, it's dangerous and it's time consuming the data reporting on white extremists, you know, which is in and of itself a huge thing of people scraping various, you know, video, Facebook post, et cetera. It's a very skilled endeavor. And so I think that you have to, in order to really understand the story, have some basic understanding of technology and social platforms where to find information and you know, how to safely interview people if you choose to do the primary work.
But I also want to be clear that, you know, I think that the press missed the story of white nationalism, but I think that the more important story and the story always in politics is power. Who holds it and why? So white nationalism is just a tool to hold power. You know, it's a tool to hold political power even when you don't win it democratically. And politics is all about power. So there's many ways to gain power.
You can gain it through a Democratic vote. You can gain gain it through weaponized ideology or race. And so it's just part of what we should be doing as political reporters is to understand the many different mechanisms people used to hold power, ethical and unethical. Farai, thank you so much for joining us.
Before I let you go, how can our listeners follow your work and support what you're doing? Oh, thank you so much.
I do a podcast called Our Body Politic. You can find it at our body politic dot show and we dive into basically how women of color hold power and the ways in which it's sometimes different than men or white Americans or both. And and I think that to hear the stories of how women of color gain, hold and use power is also something that we need to plug into.
Farai. Thank you so much. This is such an important conversation and I look forward to talking to you again. Likewise.
Thanks so much. Thanks to Fry for joining us today, everyone have a great weekend and we'll talk to you next week by everyone preorder Ben's book.
Hotei of America is a crooked media production, the executive producer is Michael Martinez, our associate producer is Jordan Waller. It's mixed and edited by Andrew Chadwick. Kyle Soglin is our sound engineer, thanks to Tanya Eliminator, K.D. Lang, Roman Papademetriou, Caroline Ruston and Justin Howe for production support into our digital team, Elijah Cohn, our Melkonian Elfriede and Milo Kim, who film and upload these episodes as videos every week.