It's not just a sewing machine for. It's a chance to give her family a better life. It's not just a way to make a living. It's a chance to give her daughter an education. Like thousands of mothers, Maya lives in fear of what the future holds for her little girl. And it's not just this Christmas. Your love can make all the difference. There's a truck or a dog or call 1854 made for a weight chocolate until love conquers fear.
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. Rick Wilson, if you had 30 million dollars to spend on one point six, eight acres of empty space, where would you buy it?
Well, I would probably choose somewhere in the Miami area so I could be neighbors with Jared in a vodka Smith who will certainly relocate to the area under an assumed name.
Do we think Ivonka is going to primary Little Marco? I absolutely think Ibaka is going to come to Florida and run for office.
I await the day that little Marco, after applying his lips so firmly to Trump's ass and start it his entire critique of Donald Trump being in the form of elliptical, passive aggressive Bible verses when he wakes up and goes where she filed for.
For what? And then Trump comes out and tweets about it and says, Little Marco was never with me. I put up with him because blah, blah, blah.
But my daughter, my beautiful, beautiful daughter, my daughter, who I think of constantly my daughter, we're going to have to be provocative, a very special place in my mental landscape, my beautiful daughter, Ivanka, my life, fire of my loins, Yvonne.
Three syllables to go tripping down the tongue. Oh, man, that.
I just felt that what you say, Lolita, baby. Yeah. And we just have to keep all of this or no keeping any of it.
There was no overt statement that Donald Trump has a series of bizarrely incestuous ideations about his daughter. I never said that.
You really you you kept it very classy. Yeah. You know me. So where would you buy a one point six, eight acres? What do we think? And Ivanka seem awfully flush for government employees. You could buy a fucking county in Iowa for that.
I mean, I'm not even kidding.
You could go into any number of places around the country and get a little better. Better bargain for that. But here's what they want. I think they are struggling. Jeez, whatever as they were. Oh, well, there were exes, so they're probably you a lavish government salary, maybe one hundred and eighty hundred ninety thousand dollars a year, which, you know, everybody is able to afford a one point three dollars million, one point three thirty thirty thirty point three for one point six acres.
Piece of property down in Miami. But look like so many people who come to Florida, they're looking for one of three things, low taxes. The prevalence of strippers on a per capita basis are still very orthodox.
Yes, yes. And a chance to reboot because this is the state of like second, third and fourth acts. So we've driven them from Manhattan. They cannot return. They cannot return to see it. And I'm sure that she'll start some sort of, like, tropical version of the Met Bowl and come on about a little Americas met bowl and don't.
Doroteo, how far do you live from a vampire right now?
About four hundred and something Miles. Right. It's not convenient to be down and visit with them as I'm sure will do on many, many weekends. Exactly.
But give me a moment while I pull up the for flight app on my iPad here because I need to just calculate how long it'll take me to fly myself down there, because I mean, we're going to really want to spend a lot of quality time together.
So you think that Ivanka now goes to Miami, licks her wounds and figures out when she's going to start primary?
Marco, I think that's probably the case.
And that could be the year also in twenty, twenty two when we have Laura Trump running in South Carolina.
That's correct. And as far as one is looking for the, you know, my flight time and the arrow is roughly to at today at some decent events today, about two hours and ten minutes down to Miami executive.
I mean, that seems to me we could actually drop in for cocktails. Yeah. All right. Let's let's not do that. So, Rick, tell us about this seditious seventeen and what exactly that is and what what the hell is going on here?
Well, seventeen state attorney generals have filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn the elections of four states that voted weirdly, they were the four states has voted against Donald Trump. And all of these attorney generals I happen to be Republicans happened to be Trump's suck ups. And they happen to also be an. In a gigantic corrosion of the American system, our political and faith that our political institutions. But, but, but, but who's counting? Yeah, it really is a repugnant move on their part.
It really has, I think, long term implications, because more and more on the right, I'm picking up the sound of this this desire to secede, this desire to be, this desire to have. Right. The start of a civil war. This idea that this idea that at no point should the desires of Donald Trump be outweighed by the actual votes of the American people. And these folks know what they know what's happening. They know what they're doing and they are right now.
You can't describe this more accurately than by calling it seditious, because it is this is seditious.
Can we just talk about this for a second? There's no world in which is like they couldn't afford to lose New York and California. What do you mean? Say they're like, we're going to take all the red states and make our own thing right.
If you blow out California, Washington, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts and say we're a country, you are a country, you're just not a there's certainly a first world country where you have knocked you have knocked out an enormous part of the economic heart of the nation. And the idea, look, seditious talk is mostly masturbatory. I look we get a little bit of the shit every time, every cycle where, you know, people on the left say, oh, fuck you, we're going to secede.
If a Republican wins and people in the right say, oh, fuck you, we're going to secede.
But now when you've got but when you have state attorneys general saying it, that's another thing.
When you've got when you've got thought, leader of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh on the air saying we should be talking about secession when you've got and when you've got people in these attorney general's office saying, well, we want to invalidate the votes of people from four states where there is no credible accusation of voter fraud whatsoever. There's no credible accusation of misbehaviour or illegality whatsoever. And yet they're doing this to please Donald Trump and to continue a pernicious effort to overthrow an election.
Then the political reaction in that space is going to eventually come up and bite them on the ass. They should really hope that they never get what they want because the world would be very, very different and it would not be. And look, these people are sending a very clear message. They're willing to shatter the American experiment in order to please Donald Trump.
Right. And to keep power. I mean, it's funny because we today we saw that Mitch McConnell had sort of pooh poohed that covid relief bill and you had said that was coming and they're filling it up with poison pills.
So they've got an amendment of the covid relief bill that if it passes, it says basically no one can ever be held liable for anything ever again when it comes to damages caused by covid or by by you know, if a company gives its employees covered by making them work in a meatpacking factory without PPE, they can't sue them, you know, that sort of shit. It is the factory which I talked about with you on on Tuesday of this week.
And it's shocking and nobody should be surprised by it. It is it is part and parcel of who and what they are now.
So there is going to be no covid relief, though.
There may be a covid relief bill, but I predict it will be a pocket sized dwarf covid relief bill that will not do any real good for the American people at a time where things are getting very nervous now, by the way. Right.
And also, we need money for states to give the vaccine. So if the states don't have money, they're not going to be able to disseminate the vaccine.
Just remember exactly what I said the other day. All of this now should be seen through a very clear frame. That very clear frame is this. Donald Trump's allies understand that he lost. So their goal now is not to have anything positive or affirmative out there where Joe Biden can say, hey, I helped take care of this problem. They are looking at twenty, twenty two in the Senate races. They are looking to twenty twenty four in the presidential.
They are scheming and planning right now to do every possible thing they can to fuck this up and to cause enormous damage and to cause as much pain as possible in the lives of ordinary people. Yeah.
And did you even know that Trump had a vaccine summit? Rick Wilson?
I did not. Molly, was it about his his bold personal efforts to do to lead the research and to deploy a highly effective vaccine distribution protocol?
It, interestingly enough, devolved almost immediately until the election was stolen from me.
Of course it did.
It was like he was like vaccines. None of the people. The head of Pfizer wasn't there, Foushee wasn't there, this one wasn't there, and then and it was like vaccines, vaccines, American exceptionalism. And then he was like the election was stolen from me. Let's all have a party with no masks. You know, yesterday, Mike Pompeo, who I actually think is the sleaziest member of this administration, had a huge Christmas party. Of course he did with no masks.
He's headed back to Kansas where he apparently is going to run for something or another or president. Also, he's a disgrace to West Point.
Let's just say that he's sketchy as fuck to I mean, like all the every you know, every Google searches, like had his wife use State Department resources for parties, had his son use State Department resources for his own career.
He is a a guy of astounding sleaziness. Yeah, I'm impressed. I mean, even in this world, sets the bar. Talk to us about the attorney generals.
There's nothing more ambitious in American politics. I've discovered over the years that the spouse of an attorney general, be they male or female.
But but there's nothing more ambitious than an attorney general. You know, they always say that AG is aspiring governor. And I think there's going to be a lot of people who are going to want to rise in their in their states who are doing this right now to boost their future prospects with the Trump base. I also will tell you one of them comparison of Texas, who is Ken Paxton is a an ethical train wreck indicted.
But never charged another person who, when he was having an affair with a staffer, asked a major donor in Texas to get her jobs. But, of course, imagine an ethical train wreck occurring on the slopes of dumpster fire mountain just down that just down the road from Burning Tire. Qasm is a shit show, hot mess. He is so lavishly corrupt that even people in Miami go, Oh, man, dude, you've got to clean up, bro.
This is bad. So, you know, look, there's nothing there's nothing in this that doesn't reek of three things. The stench of Trump ism, because he's got to be afraid of the base and afraid of the future, a willingness to burn this country to the goddamn ground. Well, for Trump, because Mr. Trump needs to be OK if Mr. Trump will turn on you. Yeah, they will, you dumb fuckers. And finally, it just represents that there is no such thing anymore as conservative jurisprudence from an elected attorney general.
These people understand what they're doing. They know what they're they know exactly what's happening. They know exactly what's going on. They're going to pursue it. They're going to they're going to continue to to engage in these things. They're going to they're going to try to hijack this election for Donald Trump. And even though I don't think it's going to work, they're going to do everything they can to try to blow things up as long as they can in order to to help this president.
It is it is repulsive. And and yet we're all on the list, you motherfuckers.
It's not going to work at work, but they are ruining themselves and showing themselves to be partisan horseshit about democracy, which is something an important data point, if nothing else, even today when they've been called out on this, you know, and they're quietly whispering to people and I spoke to a friend of mine.
I spoke to one of the attorneys general in question last night who said I have to write his call it he I have to. He called the governor. The governor called it. He beat Trump. Right. So they're going to keep trying to play this fuck around. And so until the last dog dies. Unbelievable.
It's crazy guns. Crazy. Mark Elias is the founder of Democracy Dockett and has been the lead man fighting the lawsuits the Trump administration has filed to overturn the election and ruin democracy. Welcome, Mark. You have like been the mark for all of this. First of all, how did you start doing this? And second of all, are they just so dumb? I mean, what kind of lawyers are these people?
So I started doing this years ago when I graduated law school and came to Washington, D.C. in the mid 90s. And Newt Gingrich had just taken over control of the House. He he was sort of the grandfather of Francoism.
Right. I always think that. Right. He was like the person who understood that you could engage in scurrilous attacks without facts on your opponent. And so there he kind of I sometimes credit him with my career because it was kind of like it was weaponized of the politics of personal destruction that led to the growth of the need for lawyers around all of these things. And so that's how I that's how I got into you know, everyone says, you know, let's go back to the good old time when, you know, Democrats and Republicans got along.
Remember, Newt Gingrich led the impeachment effort against President Clinton.
So it was a rough and tumble time then, but nothing like what we've seen with Trump now and the craziness that he's brought to the Republican Party.
I don't quite really understand what their post-election legal strategy is.
One of the questions I always got during the pre-election period was who is the Republican Margolyes like? Who is the person who is laying out kind of like the uber legal strategy and never quite sure. But I sort of thought I understood what they were trying to do. A weird war on Dropbox's.
Yes. But then, like after the election, all of those lawyers who were involved pre-election kind of just like disappeared and on came like one wave of crazies followed by another. So now we're down to like the crack conspiracy people.
Can you explain to me, Sidney, how when you saw that stuff, were you like what? Like what was your feeling?
So I have to say, when I saw it, I thought, this is wild.
Like, you know, I've done it prior to this. I've done 10 statewide recounts, contests, you know, sort of disputed elections.
And like, I never seen anything like that, no less for president of the United States. And so that was my initial reaction. Then I started digging into it and realized just how error it was. So it wasn't just like crazy, but it was like crazy and like not even Internet.
Like, sometimes you have a crazy conspiracy, but it all kind of holds together on its own internal logic. And this wasn't that. So, yeah.
And so I'm just going to read your statistics and you tell me if this is correct at this point, your and the post like sixty six cases. Yeah. Yeah. Nine states. Yeah, 14 active cases. Correct. And fifty five victories. What was the one that you didn't win.
So this is one of the biggest questions I get is the one we didn't win was there was a county in Pennsylvania that was giving voters who needed their absentee ballots cured. So these are people who voted by absentee and their absentee ballot was on hold because they hadn't provided I.D. There's a small number of voters for whom you have the right idea if you vote by mail in the first election after you register. And the and the county was giving voters nine days to provide that I.D. at the Trump being to make it six days.
So they shortened it for the voters by three days. I keep saying it involved a few dozen votes it may not have involved.
Honestly, I get up. I'm trying to be fair in its position. I'm assuming that there were some number of voters who showed up on days seven, but it's not clear.
But I'm trying to I'm trying to be accurate in the numbers.
I mean, I know the larger implications of this are terrible. Do you think that they'll win anything here like this Texas case? Can you talk? A lot of people are nervous about the Texas case where you talk about it. Yeah.
So, no, I don't think that one thing from here on out, and I know that's not just like all your confidence, your big square with us.
I mean, totally.
Look, here's the thing about post, but here's the thing about litigation generally, but certainly post-election litigation. I tell this to my clients all the time. There's not there's no point in trying to spin the post election like the votes are the votes and the courts are going to do it. They are going to do so. Honestly, I'd be better off telling you. Oh, yeah, we'll probably wind up, you know, three and fifty seven, because if I.
Because if we lose another one and I said we're not going to do that, then, you know, people say, oh, you can't lose another one. When you look at the remaining cases, there aren't any that currently are even close to the borderline of meritorious. So no, I think that what's left are really the dead ender cases. These are people who are continuing to pursue litigation literally, you know, after the safe harbor and four days before the Electoral College.
So, no, I don't think we'll lose any more in terms of taxes. There's no there's no question I'm getting more right now than people concerned about Texas. I am not concerned about the Texas case. First of all, states don't get to sue other states over their elections. You know, typically the cases that the Supreme Court hears between states involve border disputes or water rights. There's no right of Texas to determine how Michigan runs its elections. The second I mean, parenthetically, if if there were such a right boy, do I have some news for Texas.
And I'm sure that there are states like like California or New York whose ages would love to sue Texas to enfranchise. So I don't think that's going anywhere. What it does speak to, though, is something that I know you all have been active in addressing. And I think, you know, it's really sort of the next challenge for our democracy, which is how did we get to a place where a, you know, the state of Texas finds this ridiculous lawsuit, which, you know, is motivated by an AG who has some legal problems.
Yeah, right. He was indicted and he still hasn't gone to trial.
Yeah, but how do you explain the other, you know, 17, 18 states, you know, supporting this like what's going on in the Republican Party, that it is acceptable for the attorney general of Missouri to file this cockamamie brief in support of this ludicrous lawsuit?
Yeah, it's just to keep the base happy, right? It's to keep the base happy, for sure. But, you know, like is that really a numerical winning strategy for these Republican Agee's in their states? I mean, maybe I don't know.
I mean, it's Newt Gingrich, right? It's the soul of Newt Gingrich. Right. Do whatever you can lie, cheat and steal to get power. But it's still kind of like who knew Newt? I mean, I guess we knew Newt Gingrich would be like this, but it's so interesting and terrible and scary.
What's interesting about Newt Gingrich is how the story ends.
You will recall the story ends with Newt Gingrich of him getting sanctioned by the Republican House. Yep. You have to pay a fine and he essentially gets gets removed as speaker. I mean, you know, he gets out and there doesn't seem to be that impulse in the current Republican Party. And I think that that's really, really problematic as we try to rebuild the institutions of democracy moving forward.
Yeah, I'll say. I mean that. Yeah, I think that's true. Do you think that ultimately the biggest moment I mean, certainly there were many moments, but this weekend when the Supreme Court was like, see, you know, that one line, do you think that was a big win as these things go?
Sure, it was a big win. I wouldn't necessarily say it was the most significant. I mean, I know in some sense, you know, people were waiting for the Supreme Court to weigh in one way or the other and one of these cases. But that case was really silly. I mean, that was a case brought by a Republican member of Congress who was trying to say that all vote by mail ballots in the state of Pennsylvania should be thrown out because they were all legal.
I think that when we look back on this, the watershed moments of the post election, will no one be the fact that Joe Biden come on, Harris had a commanding lead and therefore there was nothing really in them in the margins. But I would say the things that we look back on will be a the fact that states certify their elections without delay, except Wisconsin.
Except Wisconsin, Wisconsin. Wisconsin, though, is following the process of Wisconsin law. But we didn't see in Georgia or in Arizona or in Michigan the state officials doing crazy stuff to anything that was outside the law. Yeah, that, I think will be one thing. I think the other will be the Giuliani performance in the federal court in Pennsylvania.
I think more so than than the Supreme Court rejecting the appeal and the other opportunities. I think that was the moment when a lot of right of center lawyers who wanted to give the benefit of the doubt that there was some there there came to realize, oh, my God.
There is really nothing here, right? I mean, it is just amazing when these other attorney generals signed on yesterday, Chad, I was having with a bunch of people who cover politics, we were like, oh, great. You know, in any Republican trend, it only ever gets worse, it seems, with this party now. So we can now expect that all we're going to hear is basically you have to contest every election till the dawn of time or your day passes.
Is that correct?
So it's one of the fears I have. I used to tell this story before this, but it's really up to now. You know, we went from from 1789 until nineteen seventy four before the U.S. Supreme Court found in a case out of Indiana Senate race that there was even a constitutional right for a state court to hear a recount in a federal election. And then we went from 74 to 2000 before that really hit the national consciousness in presidential elections. I don't know what happens after 2020.
Someone asked me a couple of days ago, what is the average number of lawsuits filed following an election? And I said the answer is zero. This is a radical departure from what we have ever seen before in elections, period, no less presidential elections. And the question is, can you ever put that genie back in the bottle?
You can't, right? I think it's very hard. I mean, I think that after 2000, we saw more big recounts and contests than we had seen before, 2000 because of Bush versus Gore. And I suspect that this will be a strategy that is now, you know, going to be part of the American political scene, which I think is really unfortunate. You know, among the cases that we're currently dealing with right now are efforts by the Republicans to contest the House and Senate elections for every Democrat in Minnesota.
Now, I mean, think about that for a second. Whatever you may think have gone on around the country, those Democrats who won in Minnesota won in landslides. I mean, some of them won by 20 or 30 points. And yet we're seeing their Republican challengers who lost these landslide elections bring election contests in state court.
So I do worry that this is now going to be a trend that's really scary sometimes with these interviews. And I think I just want to die. I'm sorry. Go, Jesse.
I imagine, though, since you are so in these fights, I think we now have a lot of idiots who really are unconfident in our voting systems. Do you have any thoughts on what we can be doing to restore the confidence of I think there's even educated people who, when they go in, they see the way they vote. They're like, there's got to be a better way to do this. Do you have any thoughts on what we could do to make voting better?
So I think it's a complicated question because it involves two different problems. One is a question of law and the other is a question of custom or law. And we can certainly change the laws. And I think we need to do so to make the legal system more protective of voting rights and ensure free and fair elections. The question, though, about norms is a tougher one. And it gets to your question about are we going to see a flood of post-election litigation now for or more?
Because, you know, you want a system that allows for, you know, truly close elections to the contest, but you want the circumstance that allows a truly, truly uncertain election result to have an opportunity to go through the judicial process without this kind of nonsense. So I think it's going to be both a and an issue of how do we reform the laws, but also how do we reform people's understanding of what behavior is acceptable and not acceptable.
So just curious, what can I think? A lot. I spend a lot of time thinking about, like what are the guardrails that Biden could do to protect democracy for when Trump runs again in twenty twenty four?
So one thing is that if we prevail in the two Senate races in Georgia, we need the priority of Congress and the president to be democracy reform, because some of the things that we have seen can be fixed by simple legislation and we can't fix everything. Like I said, there are some things that have to be fixed or hearts and minds, but there is a lot of what's wrong with the system and a lot of the abuses that have been the product of laws that are either antiquated or laws that are simply not equipped for the kind of bad actors that we saw.
Yeah, so interesting. So you think that just sort of changing the law, I mean, to it because it's all state by state, though, right? Well, it. Is except for member, Congress is given the right in the federal Constitution to preempt any or all laws related to federal elections. So Congress did that with respect to Election Day. Right. Congress set by statute a uniform election. Prior to that, states could set whatever day they wanted for elections.
Congress preempted that. Congress could preempt and pass a law that says, for example, you need a certain number of early voting days, a certain number of, you know, certain procedural vote by mail. But it could also set uniform standards for the processing and reporting of mail ballots and you know, the timing in the process for challenging election results. And, you know, the Electoral Count Act, which sets the safe harbor, then the Electoral College is such a law.
But it's not you know, I think it did not contemplate the kind of malevolence that we've seen from President Trump and his supporters.
So some work to end on a fun note, I know we saw a lot of ridiculousness in the press of what went on with the clowns that you were up against. But was there anything that people haven't heard about that you were like, what the hell? I cannot believe this was my life?
I think that the most I mean, there's so many of these things that I that I believe I figured this was a ripe environment for you to pick from.
A.B., there is so much of this that has been sort of bizarre. I mean, obviously, Texas is suing. The other states would be way up there and the things you never thought you'd say. But I think for some reason, the thing that has stuck with me is so the cracking case in Georgia, right.
The conspiracy theory, theories about the cracking Georgia, they they draft the crack in case they post the crack in case online before they file it with the court.
OK, in that period of time, like people point out, typos on the cover, like not going to be missed.
They go district court. Right. Which is the name of the court. So I really thought that when we'd see the actual file copy, that would be fixed right now with it.
And so I don't know why that struck me as just like I think that if I, like, posted a pleading that a typo and like it had become like a reported thing and the case and I hadn't yet filed it, like I definitely would have fixed the typos before filing it.
Do you think Rudy Giuliani is not a very good constitutional lawyer? I have been very respectful of the lawyers on the other side. I always said that in the pre-election, when the voting rights, I said that they had excellent lawyers, which they did. Rudy Giuliani is not an excellent choice.
I have been very circumspect in taking shots at the other lawyers because I know lawyers take shots at me about my strategic decisions. Did I get this case the way they would ever today? And so I'm very I'm very circumspect about that because the other side has been dealt an impossible hand here with the client and the losing cause. But but having seen Rudy Giuliani now in his performance in court, he is not an excellent constitutional lawyer. Thank you so much.
That was great.
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We're here to help because we're brighter together. 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. Olivia Masroor is the lead reporter on covid-19 for The Daily Beast, and today she's going to talk to us about all of the irresponsible super spreaders. Hi, Olivia. Hi. What the hell is going on? But I need you to be more specific. No, I can't. I'm sorry.
This is a very open ended question. Go talk to me about the story you just were telling us about, because that's actually quite fascinating.
So I was looking into some of the state lawmakers who've gotten sick this week. And last week, North Dakota State Senator Ray Holmberg confirmed to us that he, after having symptoms and after getting tested, went to a luncheon where he wore his mask, except for when he was eating. And at that point, he was conversing with other officials at this luncheon.
So so we like to call that a Rand Paul, right? Well, I mean, he didn't swim in the Senate pool, so maybe sort of full Rand Paul. It's tough to say.
I've written about a number of what we would call irresponsible covid behaviors. It's hard because my view is so skewed now, having covered so many giant super spreader events that I'm thinking, OK, well, there were only eight people in a room. That's only eight people. Right. It's all about perspective. Right. Those are still eight people and they have lives and families. And now those families need to be informed.
I would think, why do Democrats never do that?
Well, it's interesting because I was writing about many of the holiday parties and fundraisers that are being thrown by Republicans. And I was looking into the same things from Democrats and really could only find, for example, there are 40, you can tell me Democrats.
I'm happy to name them. No, I understand there were 40 Texas lawmakers who are holding fundraisers. Of course, the holiday season and I was looking through the list of Democrats and almost all of them were outdoors or one was doing a virtual while. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick had about 50 people and gave out little Christmas ornaments with his signature on them and covid.
Right. So it's tough because you see the really terrible optics here. Criticism, right.
The mayor says on TV, don't travel and then immediately goes to the airport. But that's very different than the 20 White House events that will be indoors and celebrating the holidays, many of which won't involve people wearing masks or the parents throwing three hundred person super spreader homecoming dances for their kids. So it's a scale problem, really, at the State Department had a 200 person event and Pompeo invited nine hundred people to one next week.
How would they even do that? It's tough for me to imagine. I reached out to a county judge in Texas who was throwing a Christmas lunch for all county employees, and he really proudly told me that only five hundred people were going to be there. And I thought that sounded like a really large number. I mean, it's indoors, even if you mask and distance. I think a lot of people today are looking at the the South Korea study, right?
But also just there was an event in New Hampshire where the swearing in ceremony for the state legislature, the House speaker died of covid. And a lot of people refused to attend the swearing in because they were worried there weren't enough precautions after some other lawmakers had tested positive for the virus and were planning to go like they just keep doing this right.
It's like they never could learn.
I have spent so much time thinking about what the psychology has to be to convince yourself that this kind of behavior is worth it. And I just come back to thinking that some people maybe can't look mortal vulnerability in the face directly. It's just too hard because acknowledging that life is fragile is too vulnerable. And in order to continue living their lives without having a breakdown, they must continue living their lives as if there is no pandemic. But that's me, my armchair psychologizing, because otherwise I interview these mothers who throw these giant events.
And I don't know, it's very strange. They are very willing to tell me that I'm corrupt and that the media lies, that we invented the hoax so that the Democrats could steal the election and the. That's why masks don't work, I don't actually follow all of the logic, but the very sound logic, I sort of prefer that to the approach of just I can't call something a lie without knowing, without a doubt, its intention. But when I asked the New York Republican Club whether they were holding.
Yeah, let's talk about that going. Yeah.
So I spoke to the president, Gavin WACs, and I asked where the event was being held. He wouldn't tell me. I said I received a tip that it had been moved to New Jersey over covid regulations. And he said it has not been moved. So I thought that sounds a little bit like he's being coy. So I said point blank, is the event still in New York City and are you just keeping its location under wraps? And he said that is correct.
Curious, but it was in Jersey City. Right. So then a few hours later, you know, we see videos of the event at a venue in Jersey City. And I contacted him to say, I mean, we had a follow up story, so I needed to reach out for comment again anyways. And I said, what I asked you point blank, was that a lie or did something change? And he said, I don't know what you're talking about.
So I said, scroll up about two inches in the chat history. And he said, well, I was only responding to the second half of your sentence.
My larger question, are you surprised that the Manhattan Republican's club, known for incredible scummy ness, is displaying incredible meanness?
I really don't like feeling lied to. I can't say for sure that's what happened. But, you know, I'm much more.
You going to go out on a limb here?
I am so used to reaching out to people who are flouting guidelines and proud of it, who are like, fuck you, I threw a party deal with it. That's the way that I am used to interacting with sources because I don't really talk to politicians very often. Right. It didn't surprise me. I am always aware that people could lie and I'm always checking information. But it made me pretty angry. Yeah. In a way that I wasn't I wasn't prepared for.
I think an interesting thing about that event was that the speaker, who is herself pretty wacky, actually dropped out and Matt Gates was the last minute speaker.
They contended that that had been in the works for weeks. Right. So they're just liars. I can't say that for sure. Leading the witness, Molly, the reporter. I am.
But as an opinion reporter, it is my opinion that there are huge lines. Right. There you go. That's what I can't control what you say.
Only what I say when you're covering these things and you're so used to being lied to. Has anybody ever said, like, a truth about why they did one of these irresponsible things? And you're like, damn well, you kind of have a point.
I had a very long conversation with a father who sent his son to a homecoming dance in Georgia, I believe. I mean, he talked for about 20 minutes about how hard of a time his kids have been having and how it really was hard to watch them struggle with depression and anxiety.
And he believed that the virus only affects older adults. So in his mind, it seemed like a small sacrifice or not a sacrifice at all, even.
I think if you believe the things that are being said on Fox News and other sites that really tout this like ninety nine percent survival rate. No, that is not is not correct, then your decision making is automatically going to be different. I was thinking a lot. I, I took a road trip to relocate to Florida and I was extremely careful and at some point I fell face first out of a Jeep Wrangler that I was driving because I'm not used to getting out of really large vehicles.
And I had my mask on and I was on the ground and a bunch of people saw me take a tumble and a few motorcyclists rushed over to me because of what happened and offered to help. And I was like, please don't get anywhere near me. Yeah. And none of them had masks on. And I just sort of felt like this crazy person who is like on the ground being like there is a deadly virus, you know, and these people are looking at me like, what are you talking about?
What state? South Carolina. Yeah, that makes sense. In South Carolina, where Laura Trump may run for the Senate, what is the most disturbing you've done so much covid reported. What have you seen that you were like, oh, my God, this is going to be maybe different than what you're looking for.
But I'm. Really shocked by how both how brazen much of this super spreader of planning is and how little effort there is to hide it, but also on top of that, surprised at how little action local government officials are taking with regard to it. So I find out about this winter formal that's being planned in Georgia. And I found all the Venmo receipts. The kids and their parents are sending money to a Venmo called Winter Formal, and they say nice.
And in the caption, they say tickets for dance.
It's pretty bad.
And then I send that screenshot to a public health department and to the chair of the county's public health board. And the health department was aghast and heavily sighing, and they have their work cut out for them in this area. But I was really surprised when I asked what the county chair for the Board of Health plan to do, if anything, to stop this. He refused to answer that question, and that just seemed like a strange choice for a person in that job.
I think it feels like American exceptionalism, quote unquote, has made all of these public officials not believe they can do anything.
Yes, I think if your town that you live in will come at you with pitchforks over a decision, you might not want to make that decision. I know this public health person that I spoke to in Georgia, she said that after my previous story about her county having a super spreader dance, meaning this was the second one in that same county, she said that she got a lot of backlash from government officials, from parents, from the school about having just provided me comments about how it wasn't safe.
Jesus were so scared.
I was amazed. All right. So who was your fuck? That guy? Rick Wilson.
My fuck that guy. Are you fucking 17? Traitorous scumbag asshole attorneys general. Sorry, guys, to be recursive and repetitive, but all of you have besmirched your office, dishonored yourselves, covered yourselves in the revolting shit like iCore of Trump ism. And your reputations will be soiled forever.
And thank you very much for coming to my TED talk.
Let's hope my fuck that guy is Mark Zuckerberg. He could stop anytime he wants. Right. We have it's the largest source of anti Baxter information on the Internet. He could you've got the Gates Foundation giving millions of dollars to buy vaccines for poorer countries and you have Mark Zuckerberg just doesn't give a shit. So Mark Zuckerberg, you and Facebook, you're my fuck that guy.
I salute your fuck that guy. Hey, folks, I'd also just like to add a bonus. Fuck that guy for the Hanukkah season. So is extra. Fuck that guy extra. Fuck that guy as one as a native. Fuck that guy. I fucked that guy. I like this. I'm going to extend a special fuck that guy to the National Review's Rich Lowry. Rich, there were years and years where I respected you as a writer and a thinker.
You speak for yourself, what you have become now, what you have become now and now suddenly becoming an exercise and saying, well, maybe there is voter fraud, maybe Trump Chetwyn is so pathetic. So anyway, look, that it's a bogus fuck that guy for being a guy who wrote the lead editorial called Against Trump in twenty sixteen to now engaging in lurid Jack conspiracy horse shit with Donald Trump. It is a pathetic decline. Truly, truly pathetic.
On that note, we'll wrap up this episode of The New Abnormal for 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'll subscribe to us on your favorite 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 John Fast and he's the Rick Wilson. Thanks so much for listening. And we'll see you again on the next episode.
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