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It is a glorious array of cigarettes saturating US Liberty Insurance as authorized by the General Director of Insurance and pension funds in Spain and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct business with. Hi, folks, it's Rick Wilson and welcome to The Daily Beast, the new abnormal. Hi, I'm Molly John Fast, a left wing pundit and editor at large at The Daily Beast.


I'm also an editor at The Daily Beast, a former Republican political strategist, best selling author and full time troublemaker. We're here to have fun, sharp conversations with some of the smartest people in media, politics, business and science that help make what's happening in the country and the world clearer.


I'll try to keep Rick to the minimum number of F bombs and try to keep our kids, pets and other wildlife sounds from invading our respective bunkers.


From the mystic heirs of the distant past comes one figure whose powers of premonition are unrivalled, whose ability to see the future emerge in 2015. Its name, Rick Davis, is philosophy, not an quatrains, but the simple phrase. Everything Trump touches. Dodd does so very modest requests and usually the pattern get Rick Wilson modest ego.


I just try to keep everything real and you know. But you happen to be right.


For once in my life, I happen to have the advantage of being absolutely right. Everything Trump touches dies is now in its now in its fifth year and it's grown up so fast. Yeah. No, I mean this weekend is not changing anything. The destruction of everyone around him is continuing. The destruction of the country is continuing. It's fantastic.


So Rudy Giuliani, he's not technically dead, but he can't be the lawyer for Trump because he has to be a witness.


Right. And so let me let me just say this. And I'm going to speak Southern for you all for a few minutes.


Oh, good. If I was hoping you might if you're driving down Highway three, 19 on the west coast of Florida in the middle, will possibly be involved in this.


All right. So there is a process involved in this, but of course, there is. Yes.


Continue the least edible of the road kill, as I like to call it, sticking it to the armadillo, which is at least of the one good for the armadillo.


You can eat an armadillo, but do you want to know? And you eat a possum, too.


Oh, this is this is how things have gotten really dark here.


I had for a possible one time at the farm that my grandmother just turned in turn around the corner. We've gone somewhere very, very bad.


If you're driving down Highway 319, as long as one does and you hit a possum, you know it's dead because you're going 90 miles an hour in the dark, in the dark night. You know that possums that now it may still be making motions. If you decide to turn around and go look at it, may still be twitching a little bit like gaping. It's grotesque. Possum jaw you. But the possums dead. Rudy is the possum. It's moving around and a twitching and his jaw still flapping around then and his eyes roll back and forth.


But he is a dead possum. He's a he's roadkill on the Trump train. This is done. They will they're going to fuck him financially. They have humiliated him publicly. This thing of I'm a witness and I come on, you know, maybe that's true. But has has has legal nicety stop them from doing anything else.


Ever has a rule or law everybody wants in trouble. They go, oh, that's a bridge too far. We can't do that. That would be illegal. Come on. Any thing they do. Yeah. No it's not really that's not really their thing. Yeah they're not. So yeah.


All kidding aside, the destruction that I predicted and and I won because it wasn't hard folks. It wasn't like some deeply scientific experiment. It's you observe a person like this who was an abusive, narcissistic psychopath, who is a grifting con man for his whole life, who is a scumbag of the first order.


It was hard to predict, but the normalcy bias Washington of all these regular people thought, well, I'm just going to you know, I'll be the one who helped steer the ship. I'll be the one who comes out looking good. I'll be the guy. Everyone says, hey, he square things away. He made Trump a more mature and stable president. Get the fuck out of here. Come on. Who are you kidding? It was never going to work, people.


And now what you have is an administration where people, according to all the reporting in this last forty eight hours, they're hiding from him. They're hiding. They're taking their terminal leaves of absence. They've cleared out. They're they're in the White House mess or they're over the old executive office building in a conference room praying he doesn't remember their name and call them for a meeting which could put them in legal jeopardy.


This thing is ending exactly as it was predicted.


There is no question how it goes and the stories this weekend. And I just want to pour one out for for all of our people in the Trump administration who are just so stunned and hurt that they can't they can't get jobs in the entertainment industry and they get jobs at major corporations for. Communications, oh, no, how did that happen? I mean, aside from the fact that you are a bunch of lying, mendacious scumbags who of course, enabled every fucking thing Trump ever did other than that, could you think of a reason?


It's like it's like it's a book about the car wrecked in the front of caved in. I have no idea how that happened.


That how do you think this plays out? Did people get like what happens to a Kayleigh McEnany?


What happens to dead Niedermeyer dead? What about the guy with the toupee, Hogan Gidley, who can get is it didley or. It's actually Gailhaguet.


I'm sorry you didn't get me driving as more pleasurable to say. Yeah.


So Ditchley, he is another one of these guys where he either lives on in the Trump demimonde, where he becomes executive vice president for communications for Trump Co. or he tries to go back out into the Republican world and tell and tell stories and say, oh, you're this crazy man. You could never believe how nuts it was. But he's never going to go out. Now, as a lot of White House people have in the past from both parties, he's never going to be able to go out now and and rack up an amazing position in a Fortune 50 company.


He's never going to go be the senior vice president communications for Uber or Google or Facebook or heartbreaks. Yeah. And yeah, the horse race. You really you really have to feel a moment of go.


They should go fuck themselves, the suffering, their experience at the hands of the liberal counterculture. And by liberal counterculture, I mean people who don't suck. But these guys, these guys, they are all bitching and moaning. Now we're hearing we're hearing it in our in our circles now of, hey, man, you got to take it easy on so and so. He was just the undersecretary for whatever you want. I've said this before. I don't care about some kid who was a seven or a nine or at the Department of Commerce.


I don't care about that unless they really actively engage in some sort of horror. What I care about are the top tier White House people. What I care about are the are the common people I care about, are all the people that are going to try to come out of this and normalize it and pretend it was OK. And that, especially on the Senate, includes Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and Rick Scott and Ron Johnson and the rest of these idiots.


I mean, look, Tuberville and and Sinead Smith are too dumb to know where they are.


I wouldn't trust them with a toaster, OK?


You know, I wouldn't trust with a toaster. These people are not smart people. Yeah. Tuberville seems really to have no idea where he is now.


He's he's sort of out of it. And then basically, you know, it's like I watch the guys run down the field, look at hope. Good. They were played really good tonight at a good game. Yeah, that's probably all right. Who the fuck knows what's what's in that woman's brain? If anything, she is an embarrassment in every conceivable axis. But she's going to continue to be an embarrassment because, of course, Mississippi has sent her to the US Senate and she is from Mississippi.


And that is a red state with red people in the red state. It's not going to be easy to unseat her. Right.


But I think that should Holly and Ted Cruz be punished for their I mean, they were actively pro insurrection.


It won't happen, but they should be expelled from the body, but they could be stripped of their committee staff the way that as they should be, the way that Steve King was.


Talk about a race with Schipperke. Right.


But at least they stripped him from his committees. And I mean, I think that would make a lot of sense for Holli and Cruz. And then Cruz just got re-elected. But Holly is up against soonish.


Well, they both want to be president in twenty four. So you're going to see both of them in acts of stomping foot defiance for the next few days. But, you know, things like the Lowe's decision and the corporate decisions that are keep coming down on their heads over and over again. These guys are shock and their own staff are shook and their donors are shook. And like Josh is all his major donors back home, they're hearing about this.


And and they're they're the pressure is running uphill now, like, why are you doing this and how they can manage that for a while. He can talk his donors back off the cliff for a while, but there will be a point where he can't keep talking his donors off the cliff. And and it's taking a lot of time away from his plan to to lead the Senate little fascist caucus and to do the things he wanted to do to establish himself as the definitive Trumpy candidate for twenty four.


It does seem that if Democrats who now control the Senate, even though it's by a very small margin, can't do something here to punish people for doing an insurrection, then they're just going to do it again.


I promise you, the more you give people the opportunity to commit crimes and do crime in an insurrection still even in this country is a crime. The more you give people space to do that shit, the more they will do it. If you don't think they're trying to get away with this and I mean get away with it without. A look of consequence, you're insane, those people want to do more of this. And remember, folks, there's an agenda here that you may not be thinking through all the way.


Mitch McConnell is absolutely determined to fuck Joe Biden and to recapture the Senate majority. He will do everything he can to train wreck the situation. And it's not going it's not going to be easy to convince Mitch McConnell that he should go through any process that holds any of his members to account, no matter how right that is. And if there had been Democrats in the Senate and an angry mob outside and Mitch McConnell was the majority leader, even with one vote, he would have brought down holy fucking hell and raised the political price of doing that through the sky.


Yeah, I agree.


He would have caused a gigantic hissy fit and he would have he would have lost his mind all the time, every day, and they would be fundraising off of it.


They would be like Democrats tried to storm the Capitol Iraq with five hundred thousand. So, I mean, that's the thing is Democrats, I always feel like they are not tough enough and especially with this, and it's going to end up being a democracy that's on the line.


This remains a moment of enormous political risk for this country, an enormous moral risk for this country.


We have to decide if we're going to hold Trump to account and his enablers in the in the Senate particularly, but also Kevin McCarthy in the House, which if you want to talk about one of the most disappointing weak ass leaders in the history of this country, Kevin McCarthy's caucus is completely out of his control, right.


Utterly fucking bonker palooza out of control.


He doesn't have either the mental capacity, which is an easy argument to make or the moral capacity to say, cut this shit out.


This is a bad strategy. Your insanity is showing shut the fuck up or you will be on the committee of toilet seat standards for the rest of your career.


And he has the power to do that. But he doesn't. And he won't constrain that. He won't constrain the maniacs because he's afraid of losing his position as speaker. And he literally the other day was when a private on a private call was in that private cabin on a private call with the number of members of his caucus who talk to me. And he said something to the effect of, well, you guys either stick with me or they're going to take over.


It's going to be Gates or Gohmert or or Jordan or one of these crazies will take over.


Wait, am I going to fucking do with all the fucking difference be right now if Matt or Jim Jordan or Devin Nunes or or Louie Gohmert was the fucking speaker, what would the difference be? Would we be having a caucus, that engaging insurgency? Yes. Would we be having cured people front and center without any discipline from the leadership? Yes. Would we be having conspiracy theories all over the place that are are fueling the insanity of these fucking people?


Yes. So what's the difference? What's the meaningful delta between Speaker Gates and Speaker McCarthy? There is no there really isn't one. So and right now he has spent more hours in the last few days dealing with his dealing with with his caucus, wanting to destroy the or the 10 Republicans who voted in favor of impeachment because they want those people out beaten to death with sticks, their bodies cast into the sea, their heads mounted on pikes. That's what they want.


They just voted to Trump. You must you must perish.


And we've sort of found ourselves an incredible place because there are two Magga congresswomen. There's a lot of there's a lot of supposition. And we don't really know that there may have been some involvement from one of them that we don't know in this armed insurrection. I mean, and then we had Mel Brooks, who was speaking at the rally. So you don't get much more in it than that. And then we have Ali Alexander having fingered three of them.


Like, what do you do? I mean, how can you have these people continue in Congress?


It seems inconceivable the ones who were actively engaged in the sedition, actively engaged in encouraging these people to come out and storm the Capitol, actively pushing the idea that there has been some massive conspiracy that, you know, has taken this election, this legitimate election away from from Trump. Those people did this since November over and over and over again. If they had any shame or decency, they would quit. Right now, we don't have shame or decency in this country in that scale anymore.


Sometimes when people do something shameful, they quit, they leave. They say, I have to restart, I have to reboot.


But even Mike Pence was shopping the lie. I mean, you can't unring the bell. That's been wrong here.


And you still have a pretty large percentage of Republicans who believe in it. So, I mean, I don't know what you do with the country where a large percentage of people actually believe something that isn't true. Well. And you also have a problem where a large percentage of people in the Republican Party not only believe that what happened wasn't wrong by their pro, but that there should that it was an upside, there was a benefit to it.


Half of the Republicans in the Pew poll over the weekend, half half said Trump has no responsibility for what happened on the Hill. Get the fuck out of here. You've got to get the actual fuck out of here. That is astounding. And and you know, the idea at one point and I take this out of the religious space, OK, completely. There was an idea at one point that the Republican Party had a moral center and it believed in things like responsibility and accountability and integrity and honesty.


And not one of those traits, not one of those traits, is present right now in elected members of the leadership in the House and the Senate, the leadership in both of those places. They really want to close their eyes and say it didn't happen, didn't happen, didn't happen, didn't happen. It was just going to go away. It's going to go away. It's going to go away. Well, it did happen. You made it.


And you hope is not going away. It's not going away.


It's going to be with you for a long, long time.


What do you think happens now? Do you think like will Liz Cheney be able to stay as number three? Will they be able to?


They'll fight a lot harder to punish ideological deviations from Trump ism inside the Congress than they will to fight people who encouraged a bloodthirsty mob that killed cops.


Yeah, that's the reality. These people will never let it go. They will come at her. They will come at Kinzinger. They will come at her butler. They will come at anyone who did not toe the line.


So what will happen eventually will eventually just.


Well, listen, if you strike a Cheney down, they will return more powerful than ever. That's just a rule, the universe. So, you know, we're not going to say.


But yeah, that's because I'm staring into an abyss. But what, four or five to be at? Oh, my God. He's right.


Well, we know you're right, but we don't want to encourage any baby being right.


You know, the McKay Coppins piece today was very smart about the republic. You'll be surprised how much this never happened. We're just going to forget about it. We're going to move on. We're going to go back to our roots. That's great. In the drawing rooms of DC. That works when you're spending a story to McKay Coppins from the comfort of the Capitol Hill Club, they're forgetting that this particular party now has a base of people who believe in the craziest fucking things you've ever heard of and who hate Republicans if they're not named Donald Trump.


Yeah. So what happens there? So, look, the base is eventually going to say, well, I don't like that Rob Portman. So I'm going to have this guy who is a former Q and on lunatic primary in the primary is of a few of them will not work out. They'll be a little rough around the edges at first. Right. And then they'll look up a little and they'll make it look a little shinier. And then I'll say, oh, cute on was interesting, but I'm really here to talk about Monga values and those people will start winning primaries and they'll be insane people and then they'll start losing general elections because, you know, the the Trump base is always chasing the dragon.


They always want more transgression, more insanity, more abuse, more more horror, and they can't get enough of it. This is a cognitive addiction to transgression that they are being fed as of this minute still by this administration. And no one else can provide that for them and retain office over time. So they just get worse and worse and worse and then they lose general elections. But what about the people like Margaret Taylor Green and Laura Belpre? And I mean, Mel Brooks is a different animal, but what about those two those guys just got and what a Mason Cartwright or whatever his name is, Madison call for whatever.


I mean, what happens to those guys?


I'm sure Madison corporations better in the original German, but, you know, he is the definition of what the assault rifle was called.


Fashi he is able to present himself in a way that doesn't look completely, you know, he's not one of these bloated dick weeds and a bad badly fitting elby the and the patches all over himself for his various imaginary wars he's fighting. And like the Punisher skull, this is he is a guy who's who is clean cut. And he looks he looks like he's not, you know, an insane person at first. I tell you, of course, he opens his pie hole and then you realize he's lawin Nazi.


So as we tape this, I'm looking at my Trump administration countdown clock and we just crossed that. We're under twenty minutes left of this. What do we think is going to happen in those twenty minutes?


That motherfucker will. I'll be gone in two thousand minutes. Oh, God, I hate that.


I was glad that yesterday there wasn't more violence because yesterday was supposed to be a day of of Magga marching on state capitals. And a lot of people were worried about that. And it turned out to be a pretty poor showing because of football.


Well, it was also because they were ready for that. The FBI has been arresting the shit out of these idiots who stormed the US Capitol. Yeah, you know what? When there's fifty thousand people or five thousand people, everybody try to get in the Capitol.


It's one thing when they videotape themselves, it's another.


It's just you in the 16 members of your of your League of the South chapter, you're all going to get arrested and some of you might get done killed the for the Department of Law Enforcement. Was it the Florida Capitol? I suspect those guys would not have hesitated to take action if people tried to storm into the Capitol. I mean, nobody here right now. We're not in legislative session right now, but they might have tried. But there wasn't a person out there who was like one year who at one point.


So that is a good sign. We still have to get through the inauguration and today's inauguration. The practice inauguration was I mean, if you want to talk about peak dystopia, there was a fire at a homeless encampment that was nearby, which ended up causing a lot of drama and they ended up interrupting the practice. But so far, so I mean, that is really sad and dystopian, as is the brand of twenty, twenty one. But it wasn't terrorist related, by the way.


I don't know if you saw that.


Speaking of freakishly dystopian crematoriums in L.A. where they stop burning people because it's affecting the air quality. No.


Oh I did an interview with Foraker and not just Ossy about the Florida book.


And there was something in the story that just blew my mind. Trump is expecting a two billion dollar presidential library.


Yeah, a billion dollar the billion dollar presidential library.


First off, Donald, they don't read about me in the library will be dedicated to performing various Tablo viewpoint of Donald Trump. I call this the wall.


I think it will be a Trump library and write with a with an omelet station.


Why not just convert Mar a Lago into the Trump Presidential Library? Right.


I mean, there's no way there's going to be bugs there. It'll be like a casino, horse racing, maybe some kind of pornographic activity.


Maybe they'll have like an interactive display where you can pretend Donald Trump is still on Twitter.


I don't I mean, I think it'll be an omelet station. There'll be an opportunity to buy lots of Trump branded merchandise. Right. Right. And that'll be a but two billion dollars. Sounds like there's going to be a lot of scam.


I would put the scam at two billion dollars for the Trump Library, roughly one point ninety four dollars, with the remainder going to buy a trailer park outside of Oklahoma to Florida, where they will put one wing for the Donald Trump presidential records and another wing for the audio animatronic Trump family figures all sitting around a television watching reruns of The Apprentice.


So we're talking about impeachment here. And since we recorded on Thursday, it went through the House. It's waiting to go to the Senate. It's going to come up the day after the inauguration, I think. And it's sort of going to be set up as a kind of afternoon activity, it looks like. Rick Wilson, what's your take on this thing going to happen?


I mean, Mitch McConnell, Mitch McConnell, he he probably will get censure, which is horseshit.


Right. OK, but which is centered from running again, that's not horseshit.


But censure is like the hand job of of of punishments for the sky that's there about a censure. Yeah, I know I'm tasteful, but he can't run again. Well, not necessarily. You may still wind up with them censoring him, but not removing his right to run again.


That would be bad. Would be bad. They'd be. I think there's a degree to which Mitch McConnell will be held in history as someone who had every bit of this power and might look, these people are like a pack of trained dogs.


Mitch McConnell says bark and they SFX, they came to you without free of charge.


So we've talked about that there will be a Senate trial. There probably will be witnesses. It may not result in anything, but it might. I mean, you have enough. People who are pissed and remember, and you only have to have people show up, so if you have Republican senators not show up, it it's it's a vote of the people who are there. Yes.


But I think unfortunately for the Trump guys, they're going to realize that they better be there. A no show is a is a vote that they will pay the Trump world will take as a betrayal.


Right. But those people. But don't you think Trump has already is already so angry? I mean, are there any Republicans in the Senate that Trump doesn't sort of hate at this point? I mean, besides Tommy Tuberville, who's too dumb to know where he is?


Look, I think he's kind of probably OK with Josh Holloway and Ted Cruz right now because they're not fucking him overtly. It's easier to people, you know, the ones he hates and the ones he likes. But of course, there's Lindsey Graham. I love you. I love you. I love you.


I don't think you have a lot of fans in the Senate right now.


He does not. And a lot of them realize they need to they need to get past this. They need to to try to start getting back with the twenty two races we've talked about. It's going to be a harder map, a much more difficult map. That difficulty is real. It's intense, it's bad. And so they need you know, they need to run up this razor's edge. On the one hand, it's like, oh, we've got to get rid of the filth of this of this like all this crap that Trump pushed us out.


And on the other hand, we've got to keep the Trump support. And if you get Trump ism without Trump, it would be amazing. Yeah, we'll see how that works. Her new abnormal listeners, producer Jesse can hear, I want to remind everybody that tomorrow on Inauguration Day that we're going to be doing a special live bonus episode with Rick and Molly and The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky. In order to attend this, you need to become a member of Beast inside the Daily Beast membership program.


To do that, head to New Abnormal that The Daily Beast dot com, that's new abnormal dot the Daily Beast dot com. And we hope to see you tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on Inauguration Day to celebrate Joe Biden being inaugurated with the new abnormal.


Anne Applebaum is an American journalist and historian, particularly known for her excellent book, Twilight of Democracy. And we're going to talk about some of the subjects around that book today.


It feels to be the people we've talked to and we talked to Masha Gessen about this, that there's this sort of and again, I'm sure you read this weekend that there there's this we're sort of in this weird, scary post truth time. Do you see that? Do you see the parallels?


Oh, I feel very much that we're in a post truth time. I've actually spent the last couple of days wondering, you know, what the precedent is and what we can compare ourselves to.


The historical examples I'm coming up with are sort of post-conflict situations, you know, where you have a civil war that ends or where the insurgency ends and then you have to reintegrate the country. But people have different ideas about what the country is and what it should be. I mean, if you look at Colombia, for example, where they have this, they have the FARC, they have a they have an insurgency that's been running for years and years and they have to bring the FARC people back into the mainstream of society.


I almost feel like we need something like that, too. We need a reeducation program, although that sounds you know, we need to we need to find some way to reach people who now live in this in an alternate reality.


Yeah, I'm really, really, really glad you didn't say like Germany. Nineteen thirty one. You know.


You know, there are ways in which our form of insurrection ism resembles those 1930s and 1920s movements too. But it's not really an exact parallel because we're not living in a time of mass violence or mass violence.


And so the correct parallel is really the reintegration of something or what happens when a part of society splits off or essentially lives according to different rules and according to a different truth. I mean, we now have I mean, it's hard to say exactly how many people it is. You know, I I've just been looking at numbers. There's, you know, something like in December, something like. Thirty five percent of Americans said they had doubts about who won the election.


More recently, something like twenty. Twenty one percent approve of the storming of the capital. So somewhere around those numbers, we have a number of people who don't accept that the election was won by Joe Biden. Therefore, they don't accept the rules of American democracy. Therefore, they think it's OK to commit violence against the institutions and people who compose that democracy. Therefore, we need some way of, you know, reaching up or mitigating them or finding there are too many of them to for for it to be a kind of criminal story where we lock people up.


And that's not what this can be. This is not these are not tiny terrorist groups. So we need to think in a much broader way.


Right? No, I agree. I mean, I do think that I do think that that I mean, we can't have a large percentage of the country believing the big lie, which is that this election wasn't I mean, you know, I don't know how you can live like that, how we can live like that.


And also, there are a lot of dangers inherent to this situation. I mean, for example, the Georgia officials who certified the election, despite very active pressure from the president and from the media and from people around them, they all got death threats. We are very lucky that they were all brave and honest and upstanding civil servants. Next time around, we might not have that. We might have people who are who live in the alternate reality or people who no longer believe in democracy or in one man would vote quite you know, quite a number of these people don't.


And then we're in trouble. I mean I mean, in a way, you know, this election went a lot better than it could have done. And we didn't actually everybody did certify the vote. And actually there was no violence on Election Day. But just because we were lucky this time, lucky up to a point, doesn't mean we will be taxed. I mean, I just actually read today a story of a in Michigan. The Michigan Republican Party wants to deselect or remove a Republican from something called the board of canvassers as one of their electoral institutions because he's one of.


The guys who certified that Biden won the election, Michigan, I mean, that means they're going to put in someone else. That means that they're going to put in someone who lives in, you know, in the online ultranet world and then we could be in trouble at the next election.


That is really, really scary. And that seems like there are a bunch of states where they're so divided, like Pennsylvania and Ohio and and Michigan and the right or the far right there is really, really sort of embolden in a way that is just totally terrifying. I'm curious to know, in your experience, where you're living in Poland, has this sort of transfer back to more normal American democracy or at least the promise of it affected Europe?


It will, you know, just the end of Trump and the disappearance of Trump, even if nothing else happens, changes the atmosphere a lot. The free world is not led by a Proteau authoritarian who lies all the time, attacks the media, attacks the judiciary, and seeks to undermine democratic institutions. And so that already it just shifts the balance of emphasis.


I mean, it's very important what Biden does in the next few weeks and months. You know, I know that he is hoping to make the international conversation about democracy a centerpiece of his foreign policy.


I mean, that's in theory what he's planning to do. Events could bring him down or distract him. It's very possible. And it's also very important that if he does that, I mean, there's talk of some kind of meeting maybe in the spring or the summer of leaders of the democratic world and a conversation about things we can do together. There is a danger that that could be kind of fluffy. It could be it could just be people reciting cliches and people from the Obama administration feeling nostalgic.


It's really, really important that the democracies focus on fixing some of these problems together, that they all suffer from the most immediate and obvious one being the problem of not just social media, but the Internet more broadly and how we're going to regulate it, fix that, fix kleptocracy, you know, fluked fix, you know, fix climate change, a few other things.


There has to be something. Right. We can't continue on like this. Do you think that we saw this rise and you write about this in the book, we saw this rise of this. All right. Kind of you know, these autocrats in the world now that Trump is gone, I mean, we still have early on. We still have. I mean, what's happening in Russia. You want to talk a little bit about what's happening in Russia and how that's affecting you guys?


Because I bet.


Yeah, sure. I mean, the arrest of Navalny is, of course, really is very shocking because of the blatant ness of it and the shocking scene of him flying back to Russia with his wife, knowing he would be arrested and having no idea what would happen to him. And the bizarre behavior of the Russian state. You know, they he was supposed to land at one airport and then they moved it to another airport because they were afraid of his supporters.


I mean, they're really afraid of him and they're afraid of the emotions that he raises and they're really afraid of their own people now. And that fear has made it has made Russia even more violent and even more aggressive than it was in the past. I mean, for, you know, Putin actually, of course, was the the master of disinformation. But this is this is how he runs the country. You know, I think it's fair to say I mean, there's a there's a symbiotic relationship between Russia and the American right and even the American PR industry sort of they learned some things from us and that we learned some things from them.


I mean, it's clear that the the Russian style, the, you know, the the mockery and the and also the the use of disorientation to put out, you know, when when the plane crashes over Ukraine put out a thousand different explanations, you know, some crazy, some plausible, some implausible. And the reaction of people is, oh, my God, there's so many experts will never know what happened.


Right. It's impossible to know.


And if you put out so much information, so much contrasting different views and opinions, then you you leave people with the sense that there is no truth. You can't ever find it out and you'll never know. And that insight that the quantity of information overwhelms the truth was really Russia's important insight. And that's what it contributed to the right, to the far right and then eventually to the Trump presidency. I mean, Trump you know, Trump lied how many times a day?


I mean, I know a dozen. Two dozen. You know, he made stuff up all the time.


I mean, if you go back and think about it, you remember him drawing on the hurricane map, you know, so I mean, constant, nonstop lies.


And it was that process of lying all the time that had the effect in the United States that Putin's propaganda had in Russia, namely to. Undermine any sense that there's any truth, I mean, there's now a significant, as we've discussed, significant proportion of the American population who doesn't believe anything except what their cousin sends them that they saw on parler. Right. It's a truly Russian way of of seeing the world is Russian way of doing politics, the influence of authoritarianism and authoritarian disinformation, you know, on Europe and on America in the last four years.


I think it's I think we're just beginning to understand how serious it is.


You know, I noticed today I don't know if you've seen it yet, that Parla is now back online because it's broadcasting through Russian servers, which means, of course, the Russians, the Russians will have, you know, first eye on all those people, you know, all the bits and so on. It's a new form of anti patriotism.


These you know, they're large numbers of Americans are now more loyal to a foreign dictator than they are to their own country.


How do we, in your mind, prevent ourselves from becoming Russia in twenty, twenty four?


So I've been thinking about this a lot and I'm trying to write something right now. Every lesson that you get, whether it's from, again, post-conflict situations or post civil war situations, you know, or even places like Northern Ireland, all the lessons are about getting people to focus on practical and real issues and getting them away from the culture wars.


So you will not win by shouting at people. You are fascists, even if they are OK. I mean, you know, and you will not win by arguing your case. You will win by getting people to talk about fixing the roads, you know, or building a bridge or something or solving some particular community problem infrastructure or whatever health care or getting people to refocus on some real project in the real world that a community can do together. This is what you know, everybody who's ever done peacemaking, as I said, are post-conflict says these are you know, these are the best.


You know, you don't talk about the thing that bothers you the most. So don't talk about the civil war, whatever it was that started the Civil War, talk about something else, and then you could at least get people in the same room who would otherwise not speak to one another.


Well, I also feel like the problem of Trump is that I think what you've said is really interesting and I've never heard it, but it sounds completely right. I do think the problem with Trump ism is that ultimately you're arguing about Trump, right? These two I mean, and if you're building a bridge or doing something else, you can at least it's not about Trump. And I feel like when you talk about Trump, you just lose no matter what side you're on.


Exactly. So let's stop talking about Trump. I mean, it seems to me, by the way, that Biden instinctively understands this. I mean, this is what his election campaign was about. Yeah.


At least, you know, there were other parts. There were some people running a slightly different version of the campaign, but he was mostly talking about real issues. You know, he made videos about helping your family and solving the coronavirus. And I think he gets this whether he gets it as a subconsciously or consciously, I don't know. But he his instinct seems to be, let's do stuff, you know, let's do it and let's do some stuff that unites us, even though it's going to annoy some of his own party.


Well, he loves trains, too. He loves trains. Maybe he'll investments or trains.


That would be good for us. Where you are now, you're in Poland. I'm curious to know, like what just the sort of landscape looks like, because in America we get such American news and we don't really get to see what the rest of the world is like. So I'm curious to know what you're sort of seeing right now.


Probably the most important story in Europe at the moment is one that isn't reported at all in the United States, which is the contest for who will succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor of Germany. And this matters a lot because of Germany's role inside Europe, but also in the world. It looks like her party will her party has selected somebody who's a who's a who's very centrist, which I think is both good and bad. I mean, I'm a little worried that Germany still doesn't get it.


In other words, Germany still doesn't get that America is distracted now. I mean, even Trump is gone, but we're still you know, we're still distracted. And it doesn't get that, you know, Europe is going to have to trade in some other ways. I mean, I was hoping for somebody more more outward looking. But funnily enough, the Germans choose the person who I wanted them to choose. And I mean, again, the big stories are what directions?


You know, how will Europe cope with the coronavirus? Right.


A lot of money is going to be spent here by the European Union on sort of new funding mechanisms. You know, once the thing is over, a second big issue, actually, the the here in Poland, we're still I mean, it's funny, my my my Polish husband said to me, you know, the other day, well, you know, right after the capital insurrection, he said, well, this is all really terrible. But these you these they're going to be gone.


Right. Whereas here they're still there. Oh, yeah. Here in Poland, we still have a we have a kind of I don't know how to describe the.


Catholic, Catholic, nationalist, far right government who are extremely incompetent, have bungled the coronavirus and of course, haven't yet been voted out, I mean, I think they should be next time.


But, you know, here we have the problem that the opposition is divided into smaller fractions. And I mean, there's there there are political reasons why it doesn't happen. And you you have a growing tension between the countries that are still run by far right leaders, Poland and Hungary and the rest of Europe as well, that that may come to some kind of fruition in the next year or two. I mean, the landscape here is will Europe recover?


What will it do about, you know, its own little insurrectionists here in Poland and Hungary? And what will its relationship be to the United States? Right.


Oh, Jesus. It's so much and so much to worry about. I can't even you know, I don't know where to start worrying.


But look on the bright side. I mean, what if Trump had won right now? Not in good.


Then we are really talking about the end of the American republic yet or not. So it's a it's a better problem to have that some that we might have had.


That's certainly true of this was so great. Thank you so much for joining us. This is amazing. Before we get into things, we have a fun little treat. There are so many insane things happening in the world right now and two episodes a week just aren't enough to cover it all. So the new abnormal is going to release a limited run series of bonus interviews over the next few weeks for beast inside members only. We'll release a new one each Sunday.


But listen carefully. Only beast inside members will have access to these. So head over to the new abnormal DOT, The Daily Beast dot com to become a beast inside. No, now that's new abnormal dot the Daily Beast dot com.


The sky sale is now on. And who doesn't need a pick me up at this time of year? So get award winning Sky TV and our best ever wi fi with ultra fast broadband together from just 50 euros a month for 12 months. Well, that's nice. That's a feel good saving from us. So save big on the sky sale search sky 50 today, new sky customers only availability subject to location, minimum term and further terms. Apply for more info.


See Skydeck reports lesbian's. Turbulent times call for measured and visionary leadership in this period of unprecedented change, transform your career and build your network with a highly ranked MBA from UCD Smurfette School. To find out if a full time or part time program is right for you. Join our virtual NBA Open event on Saturday, January 30th. Register at Smurfette School Daae Forward Slash Events UCD. Michael Smurfette Graduate Business School Developing Impactful Business Leaders. Curt Anderson is the former editor of Spy magazine, the host of Studios' 360 from WNYC and the author of the new audio book Astill of East America, which is a Trump farewell address performed by Alec Baldwin and written by Kurt.


Tell me about the book.


You mean this Trump farewell address that we're talking about? Yes, you're the mini book. It's a very many book and book. Sounds like homework and difficult. This is only forty two minutes to listen to it. So it's easy. It's a podcast, really. It really is a podcast and a podcast. You have to pay 99 cents for it or otherwise you wouldn't value it sufficiently.


That's right. But my old friend and former colleague Jacob Weisberg at Pushkin came back in November, said, hey, he saw in page six that Donald Trump obviously posing as a source close to Donald Trump and said, I'm getting one hundred million dollars for a memoir. Yes. And said, hey, Kurt, I know you've already written this of previous Donald Trump memoir until June 17 with Alec Baldwin. Maybe like to do this again. We can do it as an audio book.


I said, no, I don't have that much appetite to channel him again for a book length. Then my pal Alec Baldwin said when I told him of this proposal, he said, well, maybe just chapter two, maybe just the short version. And and and so he thought made me think, yeah. And so I told Jacob that Alec was into it and I was into it. If we could do it short and soon and quick rather than wait till next spring, that is to say, this spring, when nobody would, I hope, give a shit about Donald Trump any more.


Let's get it out at the end in the final days. And so I wrote it. Alec brilliantly performed and read it, and the wonderful producers gave it all kinds of great sound effects and music and cool stuff. And here it is.


And tell me what it's about. It's a fictitious know.


It is fictitious, although as with Donald Trump and Donald Trump in satire, it's always tricky to know to keep just ahead of reality. Right. And and even literally, as we as I was writing it and then as we were recording it, reality threatened to catch up. You know, as, for instance, I had a joke about which is still there, about wanting to raise money and so forth. And even if the Democrats came after him and stopped his his Secret Service protection, you would have this Trump 2nd Amendment Avenger's that there's thousands of guys already begging to sign up.


Well, that's fiction. But then, of course, January six happened and and. Right. And it was no longer fictional. So, yes, it is. It is. It is. It is his farewell address he talks about Washington is what he calls his second inaugural. He talks about Lincoln. It is his State of the Union address. It is also glimpses into the book he is going to get a hundred million dollars for. And so he talks about the people he fired and the traitors and the and his family and so forth.


So it's it's everything. It's it's it's a million things and one in forty two minutes.


What do you think? I'm curious to know, how do you since you come from Spy magazine and you've predicted many of the elements of this, like what happens next?


I've been thinking a while that's true. And I have and this previous book length essentially novel I wrote about how it would end and that which we published in 2017, which is called You Can't Spell America Without Me and people going mad and fortifying himself in the not in the book.


He fortifies himself in Trump Tower. But, you know, the the fewer bunker of the White House could have been the same, which he's doing now. But it goes mad and. But how do I really think I don't think I do anything different than anybody else. I think he is going to try to he's now down to the the mad hard core. Q and honors and and obviously a large fraction for a while of the Republican Party. And he'll keep trying to make money from them and keep trying to arrange these massive spectacular spectacles where he can feel their love, which is the only love he feels in the world.


So that's it. You know, nothing.


I mean, will he go to prison or your bed is as good as mine?


Nobody knows. Probably no.


But I wouldn't it's, as they say, a non-zero chance. I wouldn't give it 50 50, but I wouldn't you know, I think there's a significant chance you could go to prison. But, you know, Pussy Riot.


But I do think he goes to Florida, which is not so different than prison. Yes, right. And he can never leave there. Right? I mean, unless he runs again.


Well, he will be in, as far as I have him call it, in the previous my previous Trump fiction, the southern White House, which, of course, literally is what the what he has and what it was intended to be a southern White House for somebody. So that's what it will be. He'll be there and, you know, and he'll get the. Appraise and sycophancy. Still, I would suspect from the people who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to be members of his club there.


Now, will the city of Palm Beach kick him out? Because that's not how it's zoned and stuff like that. I mean, we can all I you know, all of those things will be the the postgame pleasure of watching because he won't be president anymore. It'll be he'll be you know, he'll be he'll be he'll be just a big joke again, like he was in the 80s and 90s when we made fun of him and Spike.




I mean, that's the thing is if we went he went from like big joke to fascist autocrat so quickly. Right. I mean, but I guess he goes back to a big joke now that he doesn't have power, though he controls the Republican Party.


He does, which is an interesting combination. The Republican Party in the form of the Mitch McConnell of the world, won't like and would like him to drop dead the day after tomorrow, if at all possible. Yeah. The question is, does he also do that middle thing he did between big joke and fascist autocrat, which is reality television star? Maybe.


Maybe, you know, I mean I mean, the thing is, I as my wife and said to me yesterday, he said, you know, we have all watched everybody, you, me, everyone in America on World has watched every episode of the Trump reality show for the last five years.


We have it's riveted us. And and so it'll be a blessing and a pleasure for most of us to stop. But, you know, there's going to be X millions of people who want to keep watching. You know, the question is, once he's no longer a president who, who, who.


But the cult really cares, you know?


I mean, it was it was a weird combination of Donald Trump. Crazy, fascist, crazy, like a fox. What is he what will to do next with being president once he's just a guy, you know, saying untruths and saying how great he is or saying, whatever the fuck are you saying? And I just feel like the interest the audience shrinks rapidly and significantly, but again, not to zero. He'll still have enough people to grift and, you know, make plenty of dough to pay his lawyers as he actually has to defend himself against various attorney generals and district attorneys.


Yeah, I mean, it is kind of amazing. So do you think that he will have a reality television trial or a news network, some kind of TV thing he'll have.


And certainly as long as Twitter keeps him off, he will be desperate for some platform of attention, because as I was saying, you know, 30 years ago when we were doing spy, I had never come across a human being or known about a human being who was so desperate like an addict for drugs, for attention, for public attention, for press attention. It's his whole thing.


And so to go from, you know, being in everyone's heads, being the most famous guy, essentially whoever has been for these last four years, you know, he's going to he's going to need something. And I don't think a network is going to put it on. But, you know, there's hundreds of channels and and the Internet and, yeah, he'll have some kind of television thing. And Will Will Don Junior and Eric and Ivanka be part of that?


I don't know.


We'll say, yeah. So I don't much more positive note and a little less than 20 minutes we will be done with Donald Trump.


Oh, I like that. That calculation. Is there anything that you would really like to see Biden do? I mean, there's all kinds of things.


I think he's you know, if to the degree he's doing a cover version of the New Deal and a cover version of FDR, only 20 years older than FDR was in nineteen thirty three, he's already doing a fairly good job, like trying to solve the immediate thing, which is to say the pandemic and its depression as the depression was 75 years ago. And then and then moving on to to saying, look, look how good this new big government is.


It got the vaccine out and started testing it. It did all this stuff. And we're we're giving you a lot more money to get by. Big government. Not so bad. Right. And then, you know, go in the direction of trying to restore the faith in government that Republicans for 40 years have made as the central part of their project trying to destroy and undermine.


Yeah, well, no, I mean, it's definitely true. And if there ever was a time when we need government, it's right now.


Yeah. And I do think I mean, again, all that all you have to do, you have to be competent and you have to be lucky and pass bills that send out the two trillion dollars and get it in people's pockets and get it to states and cities and get the thing working again. So so it's not just, oh, it's nice to be done with the hideous drama bullshit of Donald Trump every day. Look, the government is actually doing these things that that he couldn't and wouldn't do for four.


Certainly the last year of pandemic astand, you know, and I think that will start making people not just go, oh, yeah, I was tired of Trump, I'm relieved that that's over. But, hey, there's this Democrat thing is for real. And and, you know, my life is a little better because I got an extra grand or my I got my earned income tax credit or whatever it is.


This was amazing. Thank you so much, Karen. Oh, darling.


Thank you. Hey, Molly, drugs, cancer, cancer, fuck that guy today in my book bag, guy is the barrel chested, terrible, terrible diplomat, the man who is planning his twenty twenty four race right this minute, Mike Pompeo. What's he racing for? The breakfast buffet. And we can't body shame Mike Pompeo, but we certainly can. Personality shame, can't I, though? His shtick is like he's sort of he's doing this sort of he's already started running and he's got this kind of, you know, sort of.


Absolutely. I can't I think it's sort of inexplicable, but a bravado that is just unbearable. And the irony is he's just on the way out. He's sort of ruining whatever diplomatic relations we have left as a country and then getting ready to run for president. So, Mike Pompeo, fuck you for the very last time.


I hope that I can I can say a final fuck that guy to my pillow. Entrepreneur Mike Lyndell Mike Lyndell entered the White House on Friday with a notepad that a telephoto lens managed to capture.


It included phrases like declare martial law and try cash battle to run the CIA and a whole variety of other whack IDU loony bullshit.


Will you explain who Cash Patel was, the the trusted aide to? Because I think that's an important detail.


Cash Batel once worked for broken brand of a new yes. Yes, he was part of the deal long ongoing cover up of Donald Trump's ties to Russia. He is a master of of bureaucratic thuggery and he's currently at the Department of Defense being a bureaucratic fuck expert. Yeah.


Trying to find anything he can to leak it. Probably, yeah. Lyndell goes into the White House. I want to say this in four different tranches of of what the fuck is the first is that the president of the United States is taking meetings with a pillow entrepreneur with no background whatsoever having to do with, I don't know, the government management, foreign policy, the Constitution.


But he has smoked a lot of crack there. Is that well, we can't body shame, but we can crack shame people.


I mean, as someone who was sober, I am perfectly comfortable shaming people for having smoked crack alcohol as a you know, as someone who's had a horse in that race.


OK, now the second tier of that is what the fuck is going on in the White House counsel's office where they thought, oh, this is a good idea. Let's have this fucking guy come in and propose martial law. The third tier is, is there not one fucking person in this White House? Stop one person. Just want just one person who in the last 48 hours will keep his finger off the butt or keep him from doing completely fucking insane things.


Tomorrow we're going have Dave. One hundred pardons.


Apparently, that's tomorrow right before they finally, you know, Vanilla Ice is free or whoever or whoever the fuck is going to be that the early reporting is.


That is one hundred. Yeah, that's one hundred.


Now, they are saying it's not family members. I'm not buying it. I mean, how can it not be? It has to be exempt. The only way I think it could not be him and his kids is if there's a if he's worried that he'll be culpable for, like, legal, you know, if he can be sued because he's admitted guilt for the capital riot.


I think that is definitely a question in his mind, because what with the whole cop being beat to death thing and people storming the capital trying to kill Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi, what if this is Mike Pence is great supervillain origin story what Mike Pence is supervillain or origin story.




Right. I was with Trump for four years, but now I've seen the error of my ways. And I will tell you I will fight against extremism at every turn, especially someone who's not far to the left is AMC. She's just to accommodate. She's just who I might a progressive and. On that note, we'll wrap up this episode of The New Abnormal from The Daily Beast in future episodes, we'll be talking with smart folks from The Daily Beast and beyond, from media, culture, politics and science to help us understand what's happening to our country and the world.


We hope you subscribe to us on your favourite podcast app and share the show on social media. We're just getting started and don't want you to miss an episode if you'd like to follow us on Twitter. I'm Molly Chang, Fast and Historic Wealth, and thanks so much for listening. And we'll see you again on the next episode.


To hear that ticking sound, is the engine OK, that's that's the radio glitch hop, they call it music these days. I really change the station, but they're not going to catch it.


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