Transcribe your podcast

Hello from the Lincoln Project, I'm Ron Suslow. Welcome back to our weekly roundup, where we bring in a rotating panel of experts to discuss the truth. You need to know behind the most important stories of the week and how they're shaping the political landscape in this country. For our last episode during the Trump presidency, I'm joined by former political director of the California Republican Party and my fellow Lincoln Project co-founder, Mike Madrid. Mike, it's always great to have you back.


Looking forward to the discussion today, you guys and political strategists and crisis communications consultant and Likit Project senior adviser Susan Del Pershing. Good morning, Suzanne. Good morning. Thanks for having me here today. On today's episode, we're going to discuss the allegations that members of Congress aided the insurrectionists in their attack on the capital. And Trump and his seditious enablers finally facing some consequences for their actions. On a Facebook live on Tuesday evening, New Jersey congresswoman and former Navy helicopter pilot Mikey Sherrill claimed members of Congress let groups on reconnaissance tours of the Capitol building the day before a pro Trump mob stormed the seat of American democracy.


Then on Wednesday, New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said he spoke to another colleague, not Cheryl, who also described a member showing people around before the violent attack. Neither Cheryl nor Maloney named the House member accused of giving the reconnaissance tours, but she may have outed herself on Thursday. Freshman Congresswoman Lauren Bobert issued a press release accusing Maloney of making false and baseless conspiracy claims about me. So, Susan, how should we be thinking about the real possibility that members of Congress not only were part of inciting the violence?


You know, we talked about Ted Cruz and Josh Holley's roles last week, but that they may have actually provided information and guidance in an insurrection plot.


It could kill us to the bone. There's nothing more frightening than thinking about one within one branch of government. I mean, any branch of government fighting within, but having serious concerns. I mean, people died here. And that's what I really kind of want to focus on, is that these actions weren't just actions of people yelling and fighting back and protesting. These are not members of Congress who have been thoughtful or meaningful in their what they're bringing to the conversation.


They are instigating riots there. They have may be responsible for causing the death of up to five people. Now, we know law enforcement will look into that. But what I find even more startling is that now that there are magnetometers, they refuse to go there. Certain Republicans that refuse to go through them, who are they? It's that attitude in that mindset that they are different, that they are they are being judged outwardly by the establishment. No, you're part of it.


And you shouldn't have run for office to be part of the system and want to fix it. And it's OK to have different ideas. But now you're coming in with violent and violent rhetoric. And that, to me, is just so frightening.


Yeah. Mike, I want to get your take on this. I think as the days continue to unfold after the insurrection and we learn more and more about who knew what, who was funding what, who was organizing what, I was shocked candidly by how deep this ran up into the hierarchy of the Republican Party. We know that the president was instigating, inciting it. We know that the Republican Party has become an organization largely defined by its fealty to the president, who can do his bidding the most, the fastest and to the greatest degree.


So while we should not be shocked that these members of Congress, especially a lot of newer ones, were falling all over themselves to instigate an involvement and form these insurrectionist and this insurrectionist movement, I think at some point there has to be a stepping back to realize just how significant this moment was in American history. And it's not just that it happened, although that is true.


It's that sitting active members of our government at the highest levels were pushing to see it be successful. Now, there's going to be a lot of distancing, there's no question about that. There's a lot of people trying to cover their tracks. There's going to be a lot of people saying, oh, that's you know, that's just normal rhetoric. But I do believe we can start finding evidence of people putting these tours on together, for example, for four insurrectionist to kind of guide them through this maze and labyrinth of the Capitol building, I think to show them where to go and what to do and what offices were where.


I think we're going to start funding a lot when we start connecting the dots on the money and the financing of who was who was making this possible to travel the organization. And I think, again, look, we have. We've all all three of us, everybody to Lincoln was accused of hyperbole and taking this too far and speaking in language too extreme, that we've been warning about this for a long time and none of us want to be vindicated in such a way.


I think it's important that we reiterate that this didn't just happened. This has been been proclaimed loudly for some time, years, arguably. Look at this didn't happen in 2010. It was going to happen in 2016 when he lost. Yeah, this was the plan all along. Yeah. And we have to be mindful of the fact that this is not going to stop. And that's the troubling message, I think, for folks. And again, we visited on this podcast a number of times, the simple fact that it got this high in the Republican hierarchy, not just in the executive branch, but in the legislative branch where these people were literally on the floor looking for insurrection of their own house, of their own chamber to overthrow their own government, tells us just how deeply, deeply broken the Republican Party is.


I don't even know if it's really a party anymore. We need to start finding that terminology kind of in the Susanville pursue school of of framing things correctly. I don't this is unprecedented ground. And I think as we look back and step back and really assess what is happening here, this is unique in American history. Yes. This is this is this is dangerous. And it is really, I think, illustrative of how just how precarious things are in our democracy.


And this does not go away on the 20th.


It does not go away. Yeah. And speaking of stepping back and assessing exactly what has happened and exactly what is happening, there still hasn't been a public briefing on what happened. We still do not have an understanding of the scope of what happened and who was involved, although more and more information has continued to become available in the days since. But how concerning is that as we prepare for an inauguration in Washington, D.C.? And right now there are, I believe, more troops in Washington, D.C. responsible for safeguarding the inauguration than there are in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.


And I think what's interesting about that is there's no doubt that the president elect Biden would be secure there, that it can be made secure. But what it shows the rest of the country in the world is what concerns me, because for the last couple of days, we've been seeing how all the roads are blocked. Now we hear that this weekend the bridge to Virginia is going to be closed off. We have people who are basically in lockdown, shut downs in their own homes because what Washington is more than home to the Capitol and the president, it is also where hundreds of thousands of people live in that area.


So I think that imagery is very, very dangerous. And I am of two thoughts when it comes to should the president be sworn in publicly like that outside or should it be brought inside to make it simple, because I understand they don't want to show they're afraid.


But given the circumstance, I don't know if it's not a wiser choice visually and for for the National Guard. I mean, we're in the middle of a pandemic. And the fact that those resources are being marshaled for a certain type of image to show we're not afraid. I'm not sure that that's necessarily the right thing to do. And I think it also just keeps showing the the danger and the violence. And what you don't stop talking about January six.


Not that we would, but I do think it creates imagery that will overshadow the inauguration itself instead of having it, you know, taking away a lot of the pomp and circumstance about it.


Yeah, Mike, you know, just reflecting on just how much and how significant this all is. I think the main reason we don't know is because we don't know. Investigations are still going on and they're still finding more and more information. What we are seeing is is more compelling news stories coming out about who knew what right and what these folks were doing. Like the fact about these tours is just a 48 hour old story. And there is going to be more as they uncover and they investigate and they start tracking the money down, tracking phone calls down.


You're going to see a lot of contact between the organizers and congressional offices, congressional staffers who are intimately involved with this, Senate members and Senate staffers who were leaders in this working with donors to bring money in the White House and the executive office. This was an orchestrated, planned coup d'etat.


And add on if Mike, if I just can not forget the people who are involved who were there. I agree. When you look at the bigger picture, as you rise to the top to see where the money and how it was all put together. But these are people who are going to flip like nobody's business.


Oh, yeah. And. There is no one that's going to be there to protect them, I mean, when you start hearing, like, why did you go down there? And the answer is because Donald Trump told me to or because so-and-so paid for my bus ticket and said I should be going down there. Right now, they have already 46 arrests made directly with the behavior down there. I can't imagine what these people are actually saying about law enforcement.


I mean, people are turning other people in. They see them here in New York. The son of a judge was basically turned in by someone from the community saying, oh, I know that person. This is who it is, and it's going to get very, very bad. There is not only a lot of witnesses, there are a lot of potential co-conspirators that are going to be looking for deals.


The Nuremberg defense is in full display here. Everybody just now was just following orders, just following orders. I had no idea. But the orders are like, you know, the president's told me to come and do that. Yeah. I mean, it's pretty hard to make an argument that he was not inciting a riot with hundreds of people are saying, I came from all over the country because the president told me to come and be involved in this.


Yeah, there's a there was a woman from Texas I just saw being interviewed directly asking the president for a pardon because she was there. I don't deserve this. She said, yeah, I'm being persecuted. I'm being subjected to all the ransacking in the Capitol. Right. There's one right there. There's one important part of this story that we haven't talked about into the narrative about this being about the noncollege educated rural. Yes. Yes. This is totally yes, it's a false narrative.


It's totally false. A lot of these people are you know, there are tech CEOs involved here. There was an Olympic gold medal, Olympic gold, a couple of police officers, a former firefighter, real estate agents.


You're Mike, it's across economic background. Yeah. And it's a wide swath of the military. I mean, what we're realizing is that there is a large swath of our society. Yeah. That has been radicalized online and the same way that we see, you know, radical Islam. And I say that only because it's the way that we as Americans have identified this and seen this as radicalization.


It's how we've applied that word. Italians applied that word. It is exactly what has happened here. And that is alarming because we refuse to see it. We try to characterize it as just patriotism and patriotism run amok or they just have taken it too far. No, this is a violent, radical usurpation of the federal government. And it's not just a bunch of, you know, poor white rural rubes. These are people that have money, that have influence, that have that are leaders in their respective fields, that are opinion leaders.


And they have been radicalized. And they flew in and they showed up and they were involved in breaking windows and ransacking offices and and fomenting a mob mentality that but for, you know, a handful of police officers in a matter of seconds probably would have seen the kidnapping or death of either the vice president, United States or members of Congress. Yeah, speaking of the police officers, I want to take a couple of minutes to talk about a few of the Capitol Police officers, because a Huffington Post political reporter captured Eugene Goodman luring the mob away from the Senate chamber.


Officer Mike Phonon was pulled down a flight of stairs by rioters. And here's what he had to say to a local news station.


Guys were like grabbing my gear. I had my badge ripped off. My radio was ripped off. You know, one of my ammunition magazines was stripped from my belt and guys were trying to grab my gun and they were chanting like, kill him with his own gun. I started thinking, like, you know, maybe I can appeal to somebody humanity. And I started, like, just yelling that I have kids, you know? So I suffered a heart attack as a result of my injuries, a mild heart attack.


But I, I mean, I still have medical appointments and whatnot before I get cleared to come back. The people that help me, you know, thank you for being there.


Another Capitol Police officer, Daniel Hodges, was also on the front lines and he also spoke with the local NBC News station. That was you know, we were fighting it with everything we had to push back and I got into the doorway like they ripped my mask off, stole my equipment right away and beat me up, sprayed because everything I was able to thankfully I was able to get out before any permanent damage was done. If it wasn't my job, I would have done that for free.


You it was absolutely my pleasure to crush a white nationalist insurrection, and I'm glad I was in a position to be able to help. So we'll do it as many times a day.


It was absolutely my pleasure to crush a white nationalist. Insurrection will do it as many times as it takes. This attack was clearly egged on by Trump, but there was clearly a strong white nationalist sentiment from the Confederate flags to the camp Auschwitz sweatshirts. How concerned should we be about the role that white nationalism played in the attack and how much will it motivate political violence after Trump leaves office? Yeah, it should be extraordinarily concerned. And again, this goes back to the argument or the discussion we were just having about crossing educational and cultural lines.


The one common sematic. The one thread here is about tribalism. It's nationalism, it's white nationalism, and it's about the fear of of of a white America losing its stature, of losing hope and losing what they view as America. If America is not a white nation, it's not America, which is why they are compelled. This, of course, in their own minds, which is why they have been radicalized and are compelled to come and view themselves as patriots.


That's what this is about. That's the only loss that has happened. That is the only change that has happened. And nothing else explains why you have every aspect of the Republican coalition was there from Republican women, federated groups to white evangelicals to men, to the proud boys to to to to you name it. The pro-life movement was there. There were nuns there. I mean, you what is going on right in the answer really comes down to this this sense of nationalism.


It's white nationalism, nationalism. As the police officer correctly identified, there is a very strong sense of a wide swath of white America that as we change, as we demographically transform, that America is being lost, that is being taken from them. And that identity, that biological tribal identity is in it cannot be overstated on how important that is to the human being. And now it can be overcome through education and through through tolerance and awareness and exposure.


But it really identifies truly what the problem is that we face. And I have been saying for the next 20 years, and I'm saying that very specifically two decades, because that is when the math that's when the numbers. That's when the demography tells us that we will work our way through this demographic bubble. And what remains of this nationalist element in our body politic will become so marginalized and so weak that it won't be able to muster the same type of violence that it's going to engender over the next 20 years.


Yeah, but on the immediate side, we've seen over Trump's presidency white supremacy organizations increase. We have heard from the director of the FBI that the most dangerous thing we're facing in this nation is white supremacy, domestic terrorism. And I think and I agree with everything that Mike said, but of course, I'm one of those people who like to find the solution now if we can. And what are we going to do now? And we can't let people learn and educate.


That's a great idea. But now they have to be held accountable at the highest level. And there can be no room for whether you're a member of Congress or you're one of the people that attacked a policeman or you sent in a check to help fund this effort, you must be put through the process and convicted at the high with the maximum sentence, because that's the only way we get to at least come to a civility of a society that we don't have to worry every moment that someone's going to attack us like they do in the Capitol right now.


Nancy Pelosi was very wise when the counterman, members of Congress refused to go through the magnetometers. She put a fine on them first. Fine. And if you don't do it five times in the next five, ten thousand, and that will not necessarily change their minds if they think they're you're now. Right.


But what it does do is that it tells, like, I can't afford to do this. I can't do this. It's too expensive for me.


So it's not worth the trouble. So, I mean, there is you know, there's deterrence and then there's right now law enforcement. And I think that prosecution, prosecution and the fact that we don't have any real legislation on. Ethnic terrorism is a big problem, and I think that's something that the the House and the Senate to confront immediately, there's no more room to say.


Well, those are just words. No, they're not just words. They are words that have led to five deaths as of today. And they are very dangerous. And they are they those words are calls to action and they must be condemned and if necessary, prosecuted. It's why I think impeachment was the right thing to do with the president. He has to be held accountable. It's not great for Joe Biden, unfortunately. And every member of Congress, every staffer, every one along the line must be prosecuted and hopefully punished to the fullest extent of the law.


I know we're talking about the immediate. But also, Susan, I want to get your take on how important what we do right now in this moment will be for putting a marker down in history, because I care a lot about what fifth graders are going to read in their textbooks 10, 20, 30 years from now about this period. How are you thinking about the long view about this moment? Because because making sure it never happens again has a lot to do with what we do right now.


January 6th will go down in our history as the day that legislators and these insurrectionists came up and created a siege on our government. They took over control. And those people who were involved in the process leading up to it, even those senators and Congress members who voted to not validate the election, those are those are going to be members of history that our children and grandchildren and great, great grandchildren will now hopefully they'll still be educated in history because that's when things are slipping, unfortunately, in this country.


But it is very important to put those markers down and there should be chapters. And as Mike noted, we are going to be a different culture and society in 20 years. And how they read it will certainly be very interesting.


Yeah, can I speak to that, please? Please. Very important. Look, we're all students and fans of Lincoln, but one of one of the areas where I think he was probably mistaken was in the dramatic and significant and perhaps overplayed emphasis on Union for Lincoln. As easy for me to say, I'm not, you know, making calls on civil war, of course, but at all costs. Lincoln was saying, Union, we need to stay together, we need to stay together, we need to stay together and we can figure out the slavery question as we go along.


The problem with that was it set the foundation for the same exact dialogue we're hearing now, which is unity at all costs and no division. Those Southerners were making the same arguments when they were the ones that were instigating this in the first place. There has to be a cost. And the great debate at the time of Lincoln's death was about reconstruction. And you had radical Republicans like Thaddeus Stevens who were saying Break the South, cracked the evil, drive the slavers from our midst.


I don't want to be in union with these people. To me, that was the is the better course of history to take. I think to Susan's point, this has to be a rebellion that was smashed. Yeah. It cannot be accommodated or appeased. That was the mistake of reconstruction that allowed for Jim Crow, that allowed for segregation, that allowed for the rise of the Confederate monuments and statues. Again, it needs to be smashed and tolerated.


When somebody is talking about overthrowing the government, a country, a nation, a people, a government cannot stand so long as that is acceptable or tolerated and forgiven without accountability. Yes. So well said.


Mike, do you think that the ideas of overthrowing the government, that of treason, essentially, do you think that these ideas are just so big as to be almost unfathomable by most people? Meaning like, do you think they're just such big words that we've never really used in our public discourse in a real way, in a literal way that most people are not? We almost we don't have a modern model for it, and so we don't know how to treat it accordingly.


I was thinking about that a lot as the events unfolded. And the more we learn because we have nearly 400000 people dead. Yeah, dead. 400000 people. That's the number. It's so overwhelming. And if we had a country if we live in a country which hasn't didn't forget it. Twenty five that I mean. Yeah. Five thousand. Yeah. And and we seem to be except. These numbers, we may not like it as a you know, people say, oh, it's horrible, but I don't think they understand how significant it is.


So I do wonder how people process treason. I mean, if you can't process your neighbor dying right now, being part of 400000 people, how do you process treason? Right. And that's that is something that really certainly concerns me. And that's why I think, you know, we talked about accountability. I agree. And you heard me law enforcement. But there's another thing that sadly, this is what may make the difference and really have people pay up attention is what we're seeing on the corporate side.


Yes. If they hold back the money. You know, just as I said, the Congress members didn't like paying out there, they don't want to pay the fines. I better go through. I can't afford it. Yeah, well, guess what they really want.


They really won't like not being supported financially. And I think that's what has Kevin McCarthy and a few others awful nervous. And I just hope that these companies have the backbone to really stay in it and in fact, they should double down on it. And that's also why, ironically, Mitch McConnell may be in this weird space. He's like, oh, they can't give money to the House. I'll give money to some of the senators.


And that's a little, you know, well, just the way I think it takes for 30 years. Yeah, but I do think that there is this may become the immediate need of corporate responsibility right here and now, because there seems there's nothing else to get them to act. They don't wear a mask. 400000 people are dead. They don't wear masks. So I don't that's the only thing I see, you know, as far as an immediate accountability issue and being able to comprehend it.


So I want to I want to turn to that in just a moment on the you know, on what's happening in on the corporate side. But, Mike, first, I want to give you an opportunity to respond about the the weight of those words that we're using and whether or not most Americans actually have a sense of how hefty those they are. Because treason, I think, for a lot of people, conjures up images of old England, you know, off with their heads.


Right. But that's not what we're talking about.


Look, a lot of what has been happening in America over the last four years, I think is comparable to kind of living in a beautiful home. But recognizing that they would rot has taken over and is crumbling underneath the facade. In many ways, we as a people have been blessed by the luxury of the stability and the health and the strength of our democracy, but the creep of these underlying elements has so undermined our institutions that when we're desperate, like Donald Trump and the enablers around him attacked the weaker sides of our institutions, we were not prepared for it.


And one of those is the realization that America is no living. American has experienced this. And so we we don't have the words or the experience right. For it. And it is something that we are used to seeing in other countries. So we're kind of shocked by it and we're really not prepared for it at a whole number of different levels. Let me give you an example. Our founders did have a frame of reference for this. They show we have words like this in our Constitution.


And that's what happened is I think over the success in many ways were the victims of our own success because we have not had to fight for it. I use this terminology a lot in the campaign is you have to fight for democracy. Every generation has to fight for democracy. We're just used to looking at black and white footage of young men storming the beaches at Normandy and saying that fighting for democracy. No, the reason why we have the language in the oath that is protecting against enemies, foreign and domestic, is this was entirely envisioned that this was possible.


The entire system of checks and balances was designed probably for Donald J. Trump when he was elected in the late 70s and 80s. Right. When we set this government up, that was the that was the fear is they knew that this would come at some point in time. We have been so callous to the idea that people have things like shame that there is social ostracization, that there is a reverence and a respect for our institutions. And we could see the creep for some time, the desecration of our using the Lincoln Memorial as a political prop, going to Mount Rushmore to do rallies, speeches, having the RNC convention on the lawn of the White House.


These are these are attempts to partisanize things that are far greater than political parties or ideologies, that that is undermining the institutions and the confidence in our government. And so in many ways, it happened immediately. But I really think that when we look back and the books and there will be many written on this era, we are going to see the collapse of our institutions as the as the foundational element of what happened. But in the Trump era specifically, this has all been very methodical.


And I'm not saying he sat there and had this ingenious plan, but I do believe that there are people around him that because I don't think he's that that intelligent, by the way. But there are a bunch of nefarious characters around him realizing this man has no boundaries. Let's just encapsulate everything that we have as America, as our as our as our sacred institutions, as being what if you support these things, you support Donald Trump. Right. That base base level.


And so when we were saying this is anti-American, this is rising authoritarianism, this is going to lead to violence, I think a lot of people were just dismissing us, saying, oh, it's a bunch of cranks who don't really understand what's happening or, you know, this is just the rhetoric you hear on whatever. And it's like, no, this is this is this is going to be a problem, folks, and it's a problem now.


And so you look, you're right, there is no language for it because there has been no experience for it. Correct. So when we understand the difference between sedition and insurrection and treason and traitor, you know, most Americans don't have any idea of the difference between those words because we've never had two since Benedict Arnold. Right the last time we talked about this. Yeah. And and so, yeah, I think it's again, let me end this little diatribe on this.


I do believe that this fight is important in in stealing our national character. Again, I think that if we we cannot forget how close this got. Imagine if he won the election. Yeah, OK. Imagine if Donald Trump won the election like you would do. We not think that the awesome power of the federal government would all be moving towards this direction immediately. And he had a mandate from his own people to do this. So I think it's important that we reflect and say this is a fight, this is a struggle as important as any any foreign war that we have been.


And we may not have the bloodshed and God willing, we won't certainly to those numbers. But this is an absolute struggle for our national character and for the strength and viability of our democracy going forward. And I think that those who support the American experiment are winning, but damn, this is a really, really close fight in a way that it should not be. Yeah, you brought up something just before we go to this next topic about accountability.


You brought something up that I want to spend a couple of minutes on, which is the symbolism of America that just threw this past year. You mentioned the the rally at Mount Rushmore, the RNC convention being held at the White House on the lawn. We talked a lot about that at the time and how how dangerous it was, but also how most Americans don't know what the Hatch Act is or why it exists or why it's important and why violations of it can be so dangerous.


And now I think that's maybe starting to become a little bit more clear because, Mike, what you're talking about is the president coopting the symbols of America, almost the president, Donald Trump and everything he stands for, coopting the symbolism of America to almost redefine what the what what the American flag means to so many people. And I don't know where I'm going with this just strikes me as as as so maybe now it will be so much clearer to a lot of people how important those seemingly tedious safeguards actually are.


Do you want to comment on that at all?


Well, I think the one place where it could come together, because let's not forget, it wasn't the big events.


It was all the rallies and all of it. It was all of Hunza going on.


And we do know just we do know that over the course of maybe the last 20 years. And Mike, you can speak to this, too. We know, for example, the American flag is a symbol is considered to be more Republican than Democrat. Republicans are more likely to display an American flag than Democrats are. It's just that's the way political campaigns have been fought for a long time. Like we know that's a reality. Right.


But they go back to the to the impeachment. What did the members of the Republican House members have to say? They had to say. Well, the Democrats did this. That's all they had. They could not defend anything that happened. So they had to, you know, wrongly misplace it on the Democrats. What they've spoken badly about this, but none of that speech ended up where we were to where we are today. But I guess the only hope I have is as far as that happening, sooner rather than later on, that idea of recognizing what the foundations that hold us together is that President elect Biden can come and offer some normalcy and show that the government can work.


And with the covid response will be very important to see how he just doesn't do just in the six months getting the vaccine out, but how the economy rebounds and seeing government work together because it will have to because there are narrow majorities in the House and the Senate and there are people who could be swung in either direction, as we know, especially in the house, that a 50 50 I mean, we know that there's something there if we can see from government functioning again, because for four years we have not seen anything delivered to the American public.


Government has not been working. It's been idle. And so I think when people can see, oh, look.


I'm not nearly as stressed anymore, I don't feel as angry anymore, and they won't pin it on the Donald Trump isn't in office, but the temperature will be taken down a bit.


That's not to say you're not going to have the left and the right, the extremes of both going at it. But hopefully the middle will just kind of temper them down a little bit just so we can catch our breath and realize what is normal and what government is supposed to do for us. And what Donald Trump did was a cult movement. It was not he did nothing to govern for this country.


And maybe since that's what we're expected of our elected officials, they can go back to governing and we can respect that. A little bit more from your lips.


I'm an optimist these days. I'm trying to be. So let's turn to accountability since Trump's incitement of the storming at the Capitol, he's been held accountable by social media sites, the PGA and the city of New York. Last Friday, Twitter announced that they had permanently suspended Donald Trump's personal Twitter account after Trump's personal account was banned. He or someone acting on his behalf, published four tweets from the official Twitter account. Those tweets disappeared almost immediately. The Trump campaign Twitter account has also been banned from the platform, according to Axios.


Trump has also been banned from posting on his Facebook and Instagram, at least through the inauguration. Twitter has also disabled Trump's channel, the the gaming streaming platform, and Shopify took down the Trump organization and Trump campaigns merchandise sites. So, Mike, there's been a lot of debate around banning Trump on Twitter over the last four years, particularly after Charlottesville and the El Paso shooting. And social media has become such a huge part of our political discourse now.


So how should we be thinking about these bands coming now? Yeah, there's a lot of levels to this. And so let me just speak briefly to a couple of them. The first is I think we're really going to start challenging the notion of kind of First Amendment speech in this current construct. We've always heard the adage that you can't yell fire in a crowded theater, and that's true. The problem with a social media is, you know, we don't live in a world of crowded theaters anymore.


We live the theater is literally the size of the United States. And so we always er especially in political speech by saying, oh, well, that's just political speech. But if you don't think that that was creating fires over the course of the past four years, you probably were not paying attention. That's a really good point. And so that is that social media is going to have to require us to understand what the incitement factor is of specific language is that is being used not just the message, but also the messenger.


It just it matters. The leverage that somebody has is very different than if a seven year old child yelled fire in a theater as opposed to a firefighter who was saying it. Yeah. And that's that is something we're going to have to really examine. The second, of course, which is the more immediate pressure you're hearing, especially in conservative media, is this council culture belief an idea where they've got a right to say these things? And in 2016, when I started seeing this happen, like on the Berkeley campus and Ben Shapiro going around and Ann Coulter and and and other, you know, people just, you know, people just trying to incite people.


What I realized was. You know, cattle culture has always been with us. You're not allowed to, again, say anything that you want, but it is the right that is continually complaining about this, in large part because they're the ones saying shit that needs to be careful to be honest about.


I mean, come on. Yeah.


I mean, you know, you don't get to just say whatever the hell you want a civilized society. You just you just don't. That's kind of the contract that we all sign up. I mean, you can. But there are consequences, right? That's the point. That's the accountability. And that needs to be shutting those voices down. And I think that the the culture of the Internet has always been more and freer is better. And if you oppose that as a company or as a tech titan, the Internet purists would jump on you.


I think those days have passed as we've matured and realized that the Internet is not this fad like frozen yogurt anymore. It is now a seamless part of the way society works. And it's going to have to be regulated in a way that allows to society to work. It can't just be this libertarian free for all because this is what happens. And those are going to be really serious questions that that that that merit extraordinarily serious debate, because the United States, by and large, has almost always aired on more speech being better, even if it's hate speech, even if it's the ugliest speech.


And, you know, it's Supreme Court justices have said in the past, that's the type of speech that we're talking about. It wasn't an easy speech to limit. We need to make it fair and free and open to say really horrible, ugly things. That's what makes America work. That's what the underpinning of the First Amendment. And that is true. Yes.


The challenge is what happens when the megaphone is now so loud. You know, it's not like a town crier saying it in Boston, you know, with a lantern in a horse. Yeah. And 30 people herem this is now, you know, millions and millions of people can instantaneously hear this and react and organize and amplify that voice. I'm not sure, as I've said, that some of these institutions. We are going to work for democracy going forward, I really believe we're at a moment in history, not unlike 250 years ago, where we're going to have to reexamine government at a very core level and ask a very troubling question.


And that is, does representative government work any more? Does democracy work any more? And if so, for how do we need to iterate on what we have to keep it working? Precisely. But what I do know is it's not going to work in its current form. It's going to take very significant, significant and serious fundamental foundational change that will probably happen, you know, by the end of our our lifetimes. I think democracy is going to look very, very different.


And it's interesting because I also think when you look at social media now, it's the it's the cable stations of, you know, that started out 20 years ago. You moved from there was the networks. And then all of a sudden people had like more than three channels and there was like cable and. Wow. And then, you know, you did have you created we created these new silos.


What I'm also concerned about is every time, you know, you sign up for a Twitter account or any account, you sign an agreement. You say, yes, I agree. You're signing on to to a private companies terms. You're not saying yes. You're proving by the government approving you. It's it's a private business that is. So we all kind of agree to sign on to that somehow. That's all agreeable to sign on. But now we have to question who's allowed to say what and what's deemed acceptable and what's who gets to decide and who gets to decide those things.


I'm not necessarily so opposed to their being. If you're in a corporation, if you're in that, if you're in their space, they say this is these are our rules. As long as everyone knows those rules, I'm concerned.


How deep do they go after people leave these social media platforms?


What's the next one? Where's the next place you go for even crazier cable then? You know, one America, whatever those crazy Newsmax are like, where is where is that going? And can that exist? Or or maybe it can't because would it become so clear that that's where law enforcement goes? It's like you don't say I'm having a KKK.


Right. Right, exactly. Because ultimately these conversations are driven underground. Do we want that and do we want that and and to what end and who's supporting it? And it goes to then again, who's supporting what speech, who gets elected, who becomes, you know, popular on those platforms. And then to my question again, of what? Of what does our democracy look like?


But it's a question and it's really interesting, because if you think about it, the first thing Donald Trump challenged was freedom of speech was the free press.


That was the that was the first thing that a lot of us were like. I shouldn't say was the first thing.


It was one of the first things. We're going to sue the media. Yeah, right. Fake news.


Fake news. You cannot trust them. They're the worse. They lie.


Calling out reporters, putting people in danger as a source of truth and alternative facts is a whole nother story. But, you know, we saw that that that's what he went after, Donald Trump, because he he I agree with you.


I think he's really not that smart. But he does understand certain things. And he knows that if he can control a certain narrative and if he yells at the loudest in the most often there will be people that follow him, you know, wherever he may end up. So it is a big challenge that I am concerned about. But I do think we're going to need government oversight. But it's also a global issue. And and, you know, at this point, I don't I just don't know how far we get into regulation.


Yeah. As much as we may need it, as much as we may want it. At the end of the day, there's hope. We may say we want it now, but we find out what a jerk reaction may not be.


Right. That was a really bad idea. Yeah. Yeah.


So I think that just has to be constantly monitored, really wrestle with this question. Yeah. And that's going to be like for imagine like thinking about the people you have to ask about. You have to ask historians and, and artists, you know, who have their freedom of expression. All the people that come in make our society that's kind of the next generation of where to look, to figure out where we're going as a nation.


And what one major debate, you know, that's that's raging in tech circles is whether or not anonymized speech is is is acceptable anymore. And because there are some benefits to it and I've heard both arguments, I think they're very interesting and we should probably do an episode on the sometime. But, you know, whether whether the Reddit model, for example, which is, you know, can be or is usually completely anonymous speech versus Facebook, that is completely identified or, you know, they attempt.


To make people verify their identities, which one of those models we want, do we want them both and what are the what are the consequences for that going forward? Well, let me let me jump in with one of the point that's a little bit tangentially related. I think that it explores kind of this idea of democracy and some of those questions, too, globally and what's going to work in the new world. One thing we found in the pandemic was that democracies aren't necessarily culturally, culturally prepared to deal with something of the size and scope of what we dealt with.


It wasn't just Donald Trump. It was this deep culture of freedom that we have a deeply ingrained in the American DNA which made us particularly exposed to this pandemic. And when you look at democracies, they're not efficient. They're not designed to be efficient. They're not designed to be efficient. So they're designed to be this laborious, checked and balanced process of being staid and slow and getting towards movement and allowing all these types of debates. When you have that with a culture of of freedom, however bastardized that can be, you end up with America in 20, 20, in the middle of a pandemic where almost 400000 people have died.


I'm not saying that this couldn't have been mitigated. Of course it could have been, but it shouldn't be a surprise. And there's a big red flashing light saying this is what, you know, democracy is kind of allow for this kind of a discussion when you allow for this type of speech. We should not be surprised that these are the results. And so when we look at more authoritarian forms of government, in most cases, many cases, especially in throughout Asia, we saw much more efficient response from a public health perspective.


I'm not making an argument for it. Right. But I'm saying is we're going to have to step back and take a look at some of these things, because the rapid pace of information was not something that could have been envisioned when we set up this government. And it affects democratic institutions and we've got to pay attention to that because otherwise they crumble. That was the weakness that Donald Trump exploited. Nobody ever thought he'd go out and attack, literally, to Susan's point, the First Amendment, like he ran the institution of American identity.




He went after the temples of, you know, the Lincoln Memorial on Mount Rushmore, you know, three years in.


The first thing he goes after is literally what defines America. Right. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution and was remarkably successful. Right. That's something that's far more successful than anyone imagined would be more successful. And and this is at its core, this is what Steve Bannon's goal was. He's a Leninists. The idea that Lenin used successfully keeping in mind the Russian Revolution was by about 25 or 30 percent of the population. They didn't enjoy popular support.


The way they took over power was by attacking the institutions. That's what this has been about for four years, is a methodical attack on American institutions. Fortunately, we've been able to hold, but I think so much damage has been done to our fortress walls that if we don't get to rebuilding really quickly, we are equally or more exposed to somebody else filling that void.


So can I just add my little optimism again? Because I said yes, and then I want to talk about rebuilding for a minute.


But yes, go just to that one point of where our democracy is and how fragile it is. And yet we had the highest percentage of voter turnout in over 100 years. So we had that like as much as we say, there is everything that's wrong, the encouragement, the process there, people showed up. Now it's a question of getting more people to show up and while they continue to show up. But the people really chose their representatives this time.


They really went out there and it was there certainly voter issues, voter suppression issues that need to be addressed down the road. But I I think that we also have to see where it does work. And they were so many people equally angry, almost equally angry on each side, but at least they showed up. And that's what to me is when you have a Donald Trump with 40 percent voter turnout, that scares the hell out of me is and, you know, people get too turned off by the process and saying it's all horrible.


Of course, the trade off is now we just say the other side is horrible. But I think we have to just explore that and not discount everything is completely negative.


So very briefly, because we've got so much more to talk about, but and I'm sure that this warrants a completely independent conversation.


But I just want to point out for a moment that Joe Biden, with all of the structural reforms that we desperately need to our institutions, the bolstering of them from you mentioned voter suppression laws to, you know, redistricting reform, campaign finance, all of the stuff that we know desperately needs to happen. Joe Biden. It seems to me, and I'd love to get both of your takes, that he's not going to have the 100 day honeymoon that most incoming presidents are going have traditionally enjoyed, primarily because that 100 day honeymoon comes from a peaceful transfer of power from one president to another, which which we aren't having right now.


It comes from the symbolism of one president of the United States congratulating the next president of the United States on on a very public stage. And the goodwill that is there is imbued upon that person. We're not going to have that. Donald Trump is not going to the inauguration. There will be no symbolism. There will be no congratulations. There will be nothing like that. And Joe Biden is inheriting massive crises at the same time.


So with all of the with everything that he needs to get done and with no sort of political goodwill to spend on it, at least in that first 100 day period, what what what I guess the question, if I'm leading up to one, is what is the likelihood that any of those reforms and the bolstering of our citizens are actually going to happen?


It all depends on how he handles covid in what the rebuilding looks like afterwards, because he has stepped in, even though we haven't had a transfer power because President Trump doesn't care about anybody or any lives lost. He's basically gone silent on on everything except that unless he has to do with him.


Yesterday, we heard Joe Biden speak about how he his hundred days in office, about what he's going to do to fight covid. What's he going to do on the vaccination process? He said where it's going to be hard. I'm not going to give you, you know, bad information. We're about to hit like the worst part of this pandemic. But I think that's where he can actually get things done and get things done responsibly and maybe build up a idea of a national response which will get some bipartisan support.


And not that that helps him on the other issues. But again, seeing that there is a response and people are going to come out of it, the economy will come back. It will not be a socialist economic recovery. It will I mean, it will probably be case shaped that he's been following, you know, criticizing all along. But that's that's unfortunate, the nature of how this happened. So, you know, when you have a quick recovery.


But I think if he can pull through and again, show that they're doing something versus the inaction that we're getting through, this other things will develop. So, for example, infrastructure is likely to happen because it's a jobs program and helps the economy. There will be things that can happen that granted, he won't even have one hundred second honeymoon. But I think he has done something very wise by grabbing it now and saying this is what I'm going to do.


And that that that may help him a little.


Mike, what's your take on that? I think we'll hopefully finally be done with this 100 days misnomer because it really hasn't made sense since Roosevelt and it certainly doesn't in the Internet age. But having said that, look, I'm actually much more optimistic about the idea of getting reforms done. And let me tell you why. First of all, Joe Biden, by a very thin margin, controls his party, controls both houses of the legislature. But more importantly, all of these reforms, or at least most of them, are going to be reforms of the executive branch.


Why would Republicans not want to limit those efforts? One and two? It also gives them some political cover by saying they voted for these reforms now that Donald Trump is not in office. So things like the Emoluments Clause need to really be looked at, obviously. Right. We turn this into, you know, the federal government to Trump Inc. and got Ivonka a bunch of, you know, patents from China, like that type of stuff has to stop.


We need to reform the pardon process. I mean, clearly, that is an awesome, awesome power that allows a mob boss to basically run amok and and let his henchmen do whatever they want. If you're so callous and so shameless to use it, which he is. And again, that was never envisioned, there needs to be you know, that might get more difficult with things like the Voting Rights Act. But there's there's majorities there, Slim.


But I think that you don't need more than four or five Republicans to move on these things. And I think there's the incentive on a lot of these reforms to get half of the Republican caucus or more supporting limitations to the executive branch. Well, Joe Biden is in the is in the White House. So let's talk about the rest of the accountability stuff that I want to talk about, because what may be the most crushing blow to Trump personally came Sunday night when PGA of America President Jim Richardson announced the 2022 PGA Championship will not be played at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey.


The PGA Championship is considered one of the four most prestigious tournaments on the golf calendar. Richardson said that holding the event at Trump's course would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand. On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he I know that New York City is severing its contract with the Trump Organization in response to the riot. The contracts were for two Central Park's woman and Lascher ice skating rinks and a carousel and the Trump golf links course at Feri Point in the Bronx.


The contracts were worth well over seventeen million dollars a year. So, Susan, with Trump leaving the White House in just a couple of days, what impact do you think the contract losses will have on him? And I'm interested in your perspective, not just as a strategist, but as a New Yorker.


Well, Bill de Blasio really didn't show any profile in courage. Those contracts were expiring in April. So I'm not going to give him the the same. Yeah. Kudos as I would to the PGA for canceling the tournament there. It also has significant consequences for his branding, which is based on golf courses, entertainment, hotels. These are all things that are taking a very big hit right now and in the age of covid. And he has wanted he has wanted a world tournament, golf tournament and one of his golf courses in Scotland for a very long time.


He's probably not going to see many Europeans wanting him, him or his family or his name out there front and center. But I think this is and he also has, as we know, about 400 million dollars in loans coming up. He I think this is something that truly scares him. And maybe the one thing that didn't that prevented him from going further in this last week. If you can think about getting worse, can Donald Trump get worse?


Yeah, absolutely. If you don't think he can, you're missing it.


And I think that was something that really scared him, especially when Deutsche Bank walked away from Cushman Wakefield. Yeah, there are some real if these aren't just people who give money, these were people who support his infrastructure. Yeah. His banking, his real estate. I think that scares him as well as potentially legal consequences, because if you do have an aggressive attorney general, they could go after him for inciting a riot potentially. But the money is what gets Donald Trump.


The other thing that, you know, I'm not a psychiatrist, but the fact that he snubbed again, he has been snubbed his whole life in New York. You brought up New York. He's never been kind of welcomed into that circle. He wants to be he tries to buy himself in, especially in sporting events, ironically, over the years.


So this snub is like, yeah, it's the ultimate like you became president of the United States and we still don't know.


Are you here? I don't come back. Not yet. Do you think, Howard? Yeah. Yeah.


To be in our society, I can't imagine, like, something like more chilling. When you think about his children, you're not coming to New York. They're going to Florida. They are running away from this town with their tail between the legs. And he was president of the United States.


Unbelievable. And like all of this comes amid, you know, as dozens of corporate PACs halted their donations to at least one hundred and forty seven Republicans, according to a Bloomberg News report. And according to the Center for Responsive Politics PAC, sponsored by Corporations Contribute, contributed three hundred and sixty million dollars in the 2012 election cycle. So how do you think this financial pressure is going to impact legislators moving forward? Well, look, I think corporate America has always been one of the main catalysts for political change, especially when it's been such a strong part of the Republican apparatus.


Right. I'm thinking specifically about domestic benefits, partnership benefits, the airlines that actually broke the back of the Republican Party when the Republican Party was saying, no, we're not for marriage equality, we're not for domestic partnerships yet. Rail lines in San Francisco. That's right. There was like, no, we're we're offering it. And then AT&T jumped on and all these other companies jumped on it. And some of the Republicans like, well, wait a second, what do we do here?


Right. What do we do? And so it's a real sign, I think, of how powerful corporate America can and frankly, should be. It should not have gotten to this point, which I think is the bigger question. And that's that ties into the previous discussion, too, which is, look, history is not going to view Donald Trump kindly, OK?


George W. Bush, now George W. Bush has been largely rehabilitated. Think about that. It's like people like Progressive are like, oh my God, I wish the days of George W. Bush talking about it. But but, you know, look, this the Trump name will live in infamy the same way that Benedict Arnold stood. Two hundred years from now, this presidency will be viewed as a corrupt, traitorous movement that was trying to upend our government, a revolutionary movement from inside, you know, and as a result, I don't think it should shock any of us that the Trump family is not really welcome.


These are not part of of polite society. It's not about money. It's about character, is what we're realizing. And just the low character of of the president himself and those that were complicit in it, I think are going to continually drive the disaffiliation of corporate entities for I thought the language that you use specifically with P.J. was imported. It's hurting their brand, being affiliated with them. Now, there is some value, as you know, as Trump has found out through his career in having an intense twenty five percent market share that will do anything for you and give you their last five bucks for a bad steak or trump water or whatever the hell it is.


And they'll do it and you can make money off of that. And I think that that's what he will continue to do. But I think you're going to see the Trump brand continue to degenerate in a sad, pathetic way as he is ostracized from the legitimate business community because the brand is going to be so tarnished and he is only locked into the fastest shrinking demographic, meaning consumer base in the country. That's that nobody that nobody outside of that world wants to affiliate with.


Except for maybe Russia, some by some Middle East countries like that is the one thing that does scare me when he so Shonn, where does he go? Yeah. And and and remember that even when he predictably, he's going to pardon himself, he's going to try and pardon himself. Right. Including for everything that a very aggressive might try. If they try to help him, he's going to pardon himself at the very last minute for everything that he may have done that isn't going to save him from the Southern District of New York and some of the other things that that prosecutor coming after him for.


So he may flee.


I mean, I also won't save him federally for crimes he does going forward. Right. So if he is trying to get you know, I don't put it past him to say yes to Russia, you want to know where this is right. To do and where we were at this. At least I can tell you as of two months ago, that's what we got.


Here's the menu. Here's what everything costs. Tell me what you want to know. And here's my bank account.


Right? It doesn't. But again, Donald Trump not being smart, will probably lead to him being caught. So we do have and that pardon will not affect that. Yeah. You know, there's a lot of question of how much, you know, we still don't know if it will actually hold.


Right. It's ultimately, if he does it, presuming he does it, it's going to go to the Supreme Court.


It will be all issues that we won't know.


Donald Trump is is is a cagey guy. And again, I do worry for national security going forward. And I think that's a legitimate claim by the Biden administration.


National security experts we've had on this podcast are worried about our national security. They should be concerned. Yeah, OK. I want to touch on impeachment before we go. Donald Trump became the first president to be impeached twice this time for inciting an insurrection. The House voted two hundred and thirty two to one hundred and ninety seven to impeach Trump. That's right. One hundred and ninety seven people voted not to impeach Trump. 10 Republican House members, including Liz Cheney, voted for impeachment, making it the most bipartisan vote on a presidential impeachment in U.S. history, according to NBC News.


So, Mike, in this round of impeachment, 10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump. I mentioned Liz Cheney, who's from Wyoming. Trump won Wyoming by about 45 points in November. So this is significant how how she would be thinking about these Republican House members who decided to vote to impeach Trump?


Well, you know, I was I thought it actually could get higher. There was a lot of discussion and rumors about it. I don't I mean, I don't want to read too darn much into that. I the most significant, I think, is not that it was 10, it's that it was Liz Cheney. Yeah. Which is profound. I mean, just for her to to put it all on the line and to say as a matter of principle and the way she said it, it wasn't like it was nothing milquetoast about struggles like this is this is you know, this is impeachable.


This is unimpeachable. Then nothing is. And she's absolutely right. And I think part of it is kind of what we've all been involved in, holding the mirror up. At some point when you're in the minority, but you're standing on principle, all you can do is say this is impeachable. This is clearly wrong. And you all know that you're doing wrong and someone's got to say it. And I'm willing to take that mantle and hold the mirror and have you all look in the mirror, because this is just wrong.


And that's what what Liz Cheney did, the fact that she comes from Republican royalty, the fact that she comes from a central piece of of the Republican Party and the corporate America and and every every part of of of of whatever is institutionalized in the Republican Party, I think was just very, very significant. I am also impressed by the number of freshmen who stood up in that town. Yeah, that's impressive. Now, you could argue it was political because of the districts they came from.


I don't think that it was I think it was the first time you saw a break away from the crazies. And of course, we've got a bunch of curan crazies on the other side that probably helped lead the insurrection. But it tells you just how big the rift is going to be in the Republican coalition going forward. I think Kevin McCarthy was able to say vote your conscience, but really saying support the president. If you're going to back off and break from unity, you know that the crazies in our caucus are going to turn on you.


But if you feel you need to do it, go ahead and do it. I think that's why the number was less than 20 that a lot of us were expecting. But the reality is this, this this I believe that what's going to happen to the Republican Party post, Trump is going to look a lot like al-Qaida post Osama bin Laden. It's going to shatter like glass. And there's going to be a million different factions in both the media ecosystem in the halls of Congress with state Republican parties and with with Republican elected officials all over the country.


I'm not saying it's going to get better. In fact, I've argued some of those. It will be even worse. Those charges will be even worse, but they will be smaller, they will be more succinct, it will be harder to corral. It's going to be more difficult to find a leader in a post trump world. And it's going to become in many ways more radicalized. But I would, I still believe less influential, more regional and more marginalized.


That shattering is not going to help it.


So, Susan, it looks like the trial in the Senate is not going to start until after Trump has left office now. So can you talk about why the Senate will still proceed with a trial? We've we've talked about the historical importance of this moment of a marker for history. And I've seen I've seen a lot of people questioning, well, why why bother? He's going to be gone. Why is it important to do this? Why do you think they'll move forward?


And I should note, I think this is correct, that the Senate, with a simple majority vote, there's been a lot of stuff on social media floating around about how this will prevent him from running again in the future. And I think that will actually take a second vote by the Senate, although they only need a simple majority or to prevent someone from holding federal office again.


Yeah, that's correct. Well, if if President Trump is convicted by two thirds, meaning 17 Republicans have to go along with the Democrats, then they can take that second vote to ban him from serving in elective office again. But that's 17 votes they have to find.


They have to do that. So impeachment conviction is a is a prerequisite for that?


Yeah, that's my understanding. Wow. That they need that to get the other again. Yeah, that's what I've heard. I mean, I'm not the and I'm not an attorney so I don't try and play one on the on a podcast.


But I think it's so important and I get being torn because I get torn about it too. When I think about it it's like I just want to see Trump go like really do we really need to hear about him for another few days now? The good news is it would be very short trial because it is only one article of impeachment. There's only one thing the trial. You know, it's interesting. I heard a member of Congress, Democrat member of Congress, say, you know, last time they had to present all this all this testimony in front of the house, like they just have to show the news here.


I mean, this is not a big case that needs to be built. It's really simple. Then, you know, the Senate was in session. They were all there together. They felt it. But and I but I do get the idea of not wanting to have Trump in the news anymore.


But yet we with them on the record, every single one of those Republicans to vote up or down.


I do want that. That's a secondary reason. But the number one thing falls to what I said earlier. He must be held accountable. Otherwise, you get to say those were just words. Nothing happened. He was impeached. All right, now it's time to see does he get jail time and not literally, but figuratively, is there a punishment? Because if there's not, that message goes all the way down. I mean, basically, what the what the the those in the party that support him, especially in the House, they get to say, see, it was just a partisan effort by the Democrats.


They just decided to go after him one last time because they didn't like him. And it's just Democrats. They hate us. They hate you as a result, too, meaning they're voters. And so they there's nothing there's nothing there unless he gets convicted and he must be. And yes, I agree, every senator should be on the record, just like every House member was on the record. But, you know, they have to I mean, they just have to convict.


And I don't think it's that hard when you see the way Mitch McConnell is speaking hope as far as saying I really.


Yeah. I mean, and you could you can see you can see a path. It's a hard path.


But again, having yet almost another week before that, they vote.


There's a lot more news to so much information to. We are going to hear more and more. And every day you're going to it's going to you will hear even House members reconsider after hearing the new evidence found by, you know, this, this and then. And we didn't know it at the time. But now so I think that what we found out in the last week will probably be doubled in this upcoming week.


I think we also have to have a deterrent that says to to to to Ted Cruz and Josh Holly, don't you fuckin try.


Yeah, well, absolutely. I was talking to a Democratic member of Congress the other day saying we're talking about the trial and he said the thing about bringing witnesses, we are the witnesses with members where the witnesses we were in the House in the Senate chambers when this was going on.


So this is such a fascinating dynamic. I agree with everything that Susan just said. It's for history. It's a marker.


You have to you have to leave this marker for history.


It would be derelict in your duty if you did not almost more than any other vote or even what happened on January. Anderson points out you could ever take the.


Now that we're up to speed on some of the biggest stories of the week, let's look ahead briefly to next week. Obviously, the Senate comes back on Tuesday, inauguration's on Wednesday.


What stories and developments are you watching for besides everything? Everything.


Yeah, well, I think actually one thing is to see if the president does pardon and himself and who else he does pardon. I just like to add it's not really a story, but I think we'll see a lot of play of just just when you thought Donald Trump couldn't be any worse, he's deciding to leave the White House.


Before the swearing in, so that way he could get a 21 gun salute, have red carpet, show him away, have all of the pomp and circumstance, and because he wants to have it be Air Force One with him having the codes at that time.


Now, of course, again, not being bright, he doesn't realize it at 12 o'clock and one second, these codes change, but he still gets the plane and that it's again, it's not a big story compared to everything else we're seeing. But I wonder if there could be potentially enough pressure for him to to scratch those plans. And it will be interesting to see how he's treated as Biden gets sworn in. Does he get you know, how much billing does he get?


So he's talking about being in the air at that time. Correct. What then happens? Can they just ordered the plane grounded as soon as it's going, he get.


No, they're going to they're going to let him continue. I think, like, literally he has it planned out. Like maybe he's going to be on the descent. I mean, they know how long it takes. They'll they'll time it out enough that he they're going to let the plane land. I mean, it would be something if I can.


You mentioned like hell. Now turn it. Turn it around. Yeah. Right.


I mean, they know, but assuming the plane come out with your hands up, I me just be too right now if you could know I'm looking looking at what are you watching.


Well in traditional Mike Madrid optimism, I'm looking for violence because I think it's a sign, it's a social indicator. I mean there's there's so much and I don't think there's by the way, I think the chances of it have been dramatically diminished because of all of this, because of the stepping back. And that's what I'm looking for. I think that police agencies around the country are taking this extraordinarily seriously. And so I'm looking for that as a sign of of of how the intensity, as a gauge of intensity amongst this coalition and the staying power or lack thereof, that will will will be there pardoning stew.


I think that's going to be fascinating. I mean, I think it's going to leave a lot of things up to question. I do still wonder, he has said he's not going to pardon all the insurrectionists. I don't know if he will or if he won't. I think it'll be fascinating. A lot of these people are publicly begging for pardons. Right. And so there's still a lot of fascinating questions and trouble that's going to be had in the past in the next few days.


I think that will will leave us kind of scratching our heads. I also look, I'm interested in maybe this is just inappropriate, but I'm interested in seeing Donald Trump, private citizen, like when he's seen, you know, with just the media swarm of what you see, what the guy is like in the week after he's gone.


Right. Well, what's that going to be like? I think we all deserve that a little bit. And then hopefully, after a week of it, be able to, you know, sleep better at night and breathe a little bit deeper and shut him out of our consciousness.


Yeah, OK. We have one listener question today. Eric Liu writes, Do Republican House members who voted for impeachment like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger have a chance to be the new face of the Republican Party going forward? Or will the ultra right and Trump like figures continue setting the direction of the party? We talked about this a little bit earlier. But, Mike, what do you think about that? Either the Republican Party is going to continue to devolve in the direction that it has.


It has begun. There's no there's no change. I think that there's a chance for a splintering. I don't know exactly what that looks like. I think it's just going to be kind of more civil war, internecine warfare in the Republican Party. But the party is going to continue to devolve it's going to continue to be a nationalist party, those that are trying to bring back some sort of a conservative classical conservative intellectual movement. I think you're going to find themselves very, very lonely.


And I think that the party will continue to regionalize and marginalize and find itself identified by white identity politics and grievance politics for a very long time.


Susan, I think if you're looking at the face of the Republican Party, think Picasso well played.


There is no there's no face. There's nothing there. There will be a lot of strong features, but there is nothing that you'll be able to will be cohesive. No, not for a long time. OK, before I let you go, where can people find you? On the Internet? On Twitter, they can find me and tell Perciasepe, OK.


And that's basically all that's like I'm on Twitter at Madrid. Underscore Mike. Hope to see all their cool and I'm not. Ron Kessler, thank you to everyone at home for listening. And thanks to Susan and Mike for making the time to have this conversation. If you enjoy the show, it would help us if you. Rate and reviews, wherever you get your podcasts, I'm Ron Destler. I'll see you in the next episode.