Happy Scribe Logo

Transcript

Proofread by 0 readers
[00:00:00]

Hi, everyone, I want to keep this brief. There have been a series of scandals swirling around the Lincoln Project. The most serious involved accusations that Lincoln Project co-founder harassed young men, including one person who went on to be a Lincoln Project contractor, and separately, one person who was a minor at the time. Reporters from The Daily Beast and others have not uncovered any direct evidence so far that our podcast host, Rick Wilson, was aware of such actions.

[00:00:32]

I want to say that Jesse and I both love Rick as a friend and podcast host and have only had good experiences working with him. I personally was an unpaid adviser for the Lincoln Project and have since resigned from that position. As of tonight, the Lincoln Project has released everyone from their ends, which should help get to the bottom of this. That said, there have been so many controversies around the Lincoln Project. We mutually agreed with Rick to pause his podcast appearances until at least the internal investigation is resolved.

[00:01:05]

On this episode, Chessie and I will talk to Republican voters against Trump's Tim Miller as well as Representative Andy Handycam.

[00:01:15]

Hello.

[00:01:16]

Tim Miller going to play John fast. Welcome to the New Normal. Are we a new normal now? Kind of old stories of new normal, Christine.

[00:01:25]

I should have said welcome back to the New Normal, because you've been here before. I have. I'm an old pro. You're your favorite. So the president got impeached, but not convicted.

[00:01:37]

Yeah. Sad, huh? You know, just that he has to have some joy in his life. Don't we want to just take away every little bit of joy out of his life? Wouldn't that make us all feel better? Yeah. Look, basically, what we saw on Saturday was a Republican Party that had an opportunity after five years of being craven cowards that rolled over for Donald Trump at every chance, finally was able to put the stake in his heart and say, you know, we don't need you anymore.

[00:02:06]

We don't tolerate this and we want to move forward. Even it takes a little pain. And forty three of them said, actually, we like being a little bitch.

[00:02:17]

So that's what it comes down to. The most galling statements for me are the ones from the Mitch McConnell's and the Rob Portman's and the Marco Rubio's after they voted to acquit Donald Trump. You know, that was basically saying, well, you know, the whole thing was kind of bad and I wish you wouldn't have tried to do it. And I wish a cop wouldn't have died. And, you know, he made some bad choices, but you know that.

[00:02:43]

Yeah, but, you know, I had no choice but to acquit him because of the Constitution. I mean, it was just such bullshit. It was just it was just the same B.S. that we've had to deal with ever since twenty fifteen when they were all on the debate stage together, hiding from him and not challenging him back then. It's the same story.

[00:02:59]

It's sort of he got off on a technicality that they created. Well I mean, there's no way to make money for the for the listeners who don't who haven't followed this as closely. Like the House impeached Donald Trump on January the 13th. He was president until January 20th. We all lived those seven days, one second at a time. So we should be able to remember that happened. What was the Senate doing those seven days? They were on vacation.

[00:03:23]

Mitch McConnell decided not to bring them back. He didn't think that it was urgent. He said, you know, we'll deal with anything that happens after January 20th. And then January 20th comes. And Jonathan Turley, somewhere out of the depths of his frontal cortex, points out some sort of constitutional technicality that you can't we can't convict somebody after January 20th, but they just had seven days. And so now Mitch McConnell and Marco say, well, if Jonathan Turley says so that I guess we can't I guess we can't convict him.

[00:03:53]

And it's like, but you've got a chance. They could have done it. So now for Mitch McConnell to be like, I really wanted to do it, good bullshit. The only reason that you didn't do it was because of you.

[00:04:02]

You know, it it is going give me a hundred low Lauren Bowerbirds who are too stupid to know that it was bad or Ted Cruz is a sociopath over Mitch McConnell trying to trying to like, tell me that he has, you know, has some feelings about this. Give me a break.

[00:04:18]

This was fresh off Mitch, having pushed in one last Supreme Court justice and two weeks. Yeah, yeah. If you can get a Supreme Court justice through in two weeks, I think you could have done the conviction in a week. I mean, if you listen to McConnell's speech, it was open and shut, like the idea that he needed to hear witnesses and go through the blah, blah, blah. And McConnell said himself, just based on the words in his speech, he said himself that he knew that Trump was guilty just based on the facts of what he saw in front of his mind.

[00:04:46]

The fact that people, you know, the people carrying Trump flags sieged his office. Yeah. You know, Mitch knew he could have done it.

[00:04:55]

But what it comes down to is and let's get to the Republican Party question. He recognized that you couldn't. Keep the Republican Party together and convict him, so he's trying to have it both ways where, you know, he still gets to get on this moral high horse will absolutely do nothing about it. And begging Cy Vance or somebody else to do the dirty work that he's too scared to do.

[00:05:13]

So it's not his problem. But I wonder, with Mitch, was that speech just to keep corporate donors because they don't like interaction?

[00:05:22]

I think there's two things that are happening at the same time. One is calculation the donors and just keeping his caucus together. I mean, Mitch McConnell always lands where his caucus lands, you know, and he's never is the guy that's putting himself out there on either side, you know, either on wanting to cut deals with Democrats, obviously. But but even on the conservative, you know, he's never on the far conservative edge either. Like, he lands where people wanted to keep everybody together.

[00:05:47]

That's him. The donors is another part of it. Here's the saddest part, though, is I know that that many listeners will think that Mitch McConnell doesn't have a soul at all, and that's understandable. But he actually does have a flicker of one. Right. In which he and he does that Senate. You know, if he loves anything, he loves the Senate. And to watch these goons just mean to rage on the Senate floor and try to interfere with their constitutional duty did actually, deep down in the depths of his dark heart, hurt his feelings somewhere.

[00:06:20]

And he wanted to be able to emote about that in his weird Mitch McConnell way. And that's what actually makes it worse. I don't try to have this, you know, don't try to to moralize to me like you had an opportunity to do something you didn't. You made the craven move. You sided with the insurrectionists. You did. And, you know, like the thing I said on Saturday was like, what if five cops had died, right.

[00:06:44]

20 had died. Like, how many people want to die? Romney had died. But if Mitt Romney had, how many people had to die for Mitch to be OK?

[00:06:50]

Well, I guess we should bring people back to do our job on the 13th and come up with this constitutional wholefood.

[00:06:56]

Well, also, Elaine Chao resigned. So obviously there was a certain amount of feeling in the McConnell household, but we don't feel like that.

[00:07:06]

That was also just so that she didn't have the pressure for the 25th Amendment. Nobody was ever doing that. Twenty Fifth Amendment, there were like five people in the cabinet at that point.

[00:07:14]

Mike Pompeo is in there like I never bought the 25th Amendment thing either.

[00:07:19]

Maybe, but there was in the Middle East, like tying up loose ends, whatever that means. But but I feel like you think that was career rehab, this one that she wouldn't have to face questions of why she didn't try to do that.

[00:07:30]

She doesn't care if she's got millions of dollars. They're going to go retire. I mean, I don't think there's any I mean, I don't see a career rehab for her. I don't know. What do you think?

[00:07:39]

Yeah, I mean, I think a little bit of both. Right. I think there's a little bit of face-Saving in your kind of elite social circles. Right. Where, you know, it's not exactly in vogue to be pro cop killing cuz, you know, like I said, I think there's a little bit of that face saving, but I do I just I do genuinely think that, like, they were sad. Mitch McConnell's top aide, Josh Holmes, who is just a, you know, political operator, Blackheart to like he tweeted, I think two or three days after the insurrection, like if you are not white hot, raging mad over this, then then I don't know.

[00:08:14]

You're not paying attention. That's the kind of tweet you said if he was mad, like there was a genuine anger in addition to the calculation.

[00:08:22]

And for me, that makes them worse than the Marjory Taylor Greens because they didn't see a leader and they still said nothing could do anything about it.

[00:08:36]

I mean, I feel like Republicans have this posture of sort of hiding and waiting for the scandal to pass. And we didn't see the tweets. Right. So they hoped that would happen with insurrection.

[00:08:48]

I mean, so. Yeah. So this is the thing you go back to the two months leading up, right? I mean, you know, there's the famous Washington Post quote that I don't have in front of me, the background quote about like, oh, how bad could it get?

[00:08:59]

You know, we're going to let him play worse. You can happen with that Georgia runoff.

[00:09:08]

I think the Georgia runoff put Mitch in a really tough position, not sympathy for him. But it is like I kind of have to play along with this whole charade up until the 5th.

[00:09:17]

So hopefully, like the mega roots go out and vote. Right. And then and then like so then finally on January 5th, he loses and he gets to be mad because he's not majority leader anymore. And he can finally say what he thinks is this is stupid and it's bad politics and you've cost me. And then like eight hours later, you know, the Senate is invaded by, you know, kind of a raging Confederate mob, like he finally said the right thing the like way, way, way too late.

[00:09:44]

And so and I do. And look, again, this goes all the way back to being in twenty fifteen. I sat there and I was working for Jeb and all these other guys. Nobody took shots at him, right. I mean, nobody took a shot. Everybody who is everybody is like, this isn't my problem. Let's start, let's talk maybe. Voters will take care of him, maybe Chris Christie will take care of it. Let's take the phones right now and then nothing.

[00:10:06]

Did you ever wonder why Jeb didn't attack him?

[00:10:09]

I mean, Jeb did before the other guys, and we talked about it. I mean, you know, Jeb kind of had no choice, right? Because Trump was coming at him the hardest and Jeb was like the weakest person on the stage to do it for two reasons. Like, one, he was a Bush getting in a fight with Jeb, like helped Trump with the voters who wanted to move on from Bush's right.

[00:10:28]

And then to just Jeb's demeanor, you know, he was always more of his dad, you know. I mean, he was like a a guy that like, you know, liked policy talks.

[00:10:38]

He wanted to be wonky and think of what the you know, the arguments on the issues. And, you know, he was softer, softer in his in his Mianne like his father, you know, his brother, W. is more like his mother, like, you know, a kind of fighter, spitfire, a fighter. So he wasn't constitutionally that suited to it. So for two reasons, he was like the honestly the worst option on stage and he was the only one.

[00:11:02]

And so he didn't for a while. And then finally he did. And then he was the only one. And then, you know, nobody. And then finally, by the time anyone else did, it was like Marco, you know, making fun of his penis size.

[00:11:13]

But it was like too late, like, oh, the good old days. It's been a replay of all of that for five years now. Right.

[00:11:23]

People we talked to the last possible second, it's like they didn't see the danger coming until it was too late, which is what happened with Mitch tell exactly. Which opens the door to our important question about that. The most people want a third party. There's polling that was just released that showed that, I don't know, there's some crazy number fifty some sixty two percent. You know, there's some percentage of Americans who would be open to a third party.

[00:11:48]

What do you think? Are the Whigs coming back?

[00:11:50]

Have got really bad news for everybody. So I hope you got your laughs in with the with the market that this big increase in the third party.

[00:11:59]

I saw the poll you're talking about. I haven't seen the crosstabs. And so this is just based on my instinct, not on not on the data. But this huge spike happens in January, right when the coup failed. Right. It happens in January of twenty of this year.

[00:12:15]

I think the big spike is for people who want a Trump cult, a full Trump cult, like it's people that are looking at the Republican Party and they're like, not mega enough for me, you know, uncut Colombian bad guy.

[00:12:30]

And so I think when people see that, Paul, they're like, oh, this is good news.

[00:12:36]

Like there might be a third party that's like this, you know, nice, centrist, moderate. I think that the people that want a third party are mostly on the right, are mostly people that want a full nationalist party and people want a third party on the left are kind of split. Some are some want a socialist party. Others sort of want a more centrist party. And I worry that a third party started like a middle third party that would appeal to me would actually attract more Democrats.

[00:13:06]

Are I worried, worried about the, you know, DSA and the C wing? It kind of this older, neo liberal, white or Democratic group. Then it would attract that. Republicans, I think, attract some Republicans. I think that within that sixty one percent there's a, you know, three, four or five, six percent or something. Yeah. The Bill Kristol to my other dispatch, more of the fuel. It's not like these David French like David French is a real is a Christian conservative, just can't get there on the Trump stuff.

[00:13:35]

And I would love to have a center right. Third party, I think. But I just think that's only about five percent of the country. And I think that, like the big spike, this twenty five percent is from the people who want, you know, Viktor Orban, Bosna on nationalism. Yeah.

[00:13:51]

I'm sorry to bring everybody down, but that's what I think's what's happened. That's kind of should we should we talk about Marco Rubio's mascord again? I feel like yeah. Let's hope there's no third party, but there were seven Republicans who did the right thing. Can we talk about the calculus there? Sure.

[00:14:08]

And I mean, I think that the person I'm the most proud is maybe maybe too nice. The person that surprised me pleasantly the most was Bill Cassidy out of Louisiana. Now he's not up for six years. So, you know, that I think explains part of it.

[00:14:24]

And the primary system in Louisiana, you've got to talk to situation. So he you know, he could get into a situation where it's like him in America person rather than him and, you know. Right. So I think that explains part of it. But but just day to day life, a lot of these guys are literally scared for their lives. Remember that video of Lindsey Graham? He said in one minute the night of the sex, then the next days at the airport, he shouted down, I think that's going to happen to Bill Cassidy.

[00:14:51]

I mean, so I'm an LSU Tigers fan. My best friend dad played there. So I go down every year for a game and Trump went to. The game last year and when he came out there, you know, it was Rabbit, the crowd cheering for him in my little section was booing. And I mean, the people around us were worried that that we were going to get beat up. I mean, there was like a there was a black family in front of us.

[00:15:14]

It was like looking at us like, who are the crazy white boys that are booing right now? Like just like.

[00:15:20]

Okay, like like, you know, we're going to scream that people are throwing beers at us like that. Joe Cassidy is going to get that treatment. Bill Cassidy is going to get screamed at and hollered at and harassed. Good on him for doing the right thing. It came pretty late in the whole process, but quite late rather. I think that's him. Romney's been solid the whole way. Murkowski has the top two situation in Alaska and she wanted to run.

[00:15:44]

Exactly. She's pretty safe.

[00:15:46]

Yeah, Collins just won. So, you know, so then that takes you to Burr, who's retiring. Right. And SACE who? You know, I think after he won his primary, you know, found his spine again. I mean, Ben Sasse had the one was really the only person I thought that had a chance to kind of balance this conservative anti Trump posture throughout his whole time. And then his poll numbers started to sink and he went into hiding for a few years.

[00:16:09]

But like old then south back now.

[00:16:12]

So I think that was good. I mean, but here's the thing. There's other people retiring. I mean, Rob Portman's retiring and he still didn't have the courage to do it. Richard Shelby.

[00:16:21]

Portman was a surprise to me. Yeah. So, I mean, I just that art is, you know, there was nobody I mean, in Cassidys, courage was real. I mean, in the most literal sense is like human safety, courage and political courage. And he's got six years. Nobody really put themselves on the line over this now.

[00:16:40]

And Marco, he was the vote that tipped the numbers two. And I thought that was so Marco, because, you know, he's going to get primaried by a Tremper. Probably avantgarde you maybe.

[00:16:51]

I mean, yeah, I don't I think that he thinks that he can survive that and that maybe Ivanka would rather, you know, jetset, you know, ivonka in Abu Dhabi or maybe I can be better, but I think they can actually draw for a primary.

[00:17:07]

But who knows? Let's talk about that, because there's this Ron Brownstein piece. Did you read it yesterday?

[00:17:13]

Well, I did, but I follow Ron on Twitter and man Ron talk, so I think I probably know it. What his general thoughts.

[00:17:20]

He's like one of my favorites. He's so good writers and thinkers. I think he's a genius. And but basically, he said the Republican Party is the party of Trump and there's no coming back. And it's Marjorie Taylor Greene and Trump. And that said, what do you think? Yeah, it's because it's what the voters want.

[00:17:36]

Right. And Ron is exactly right about this. And I talked to him for this Rolling Stone article I wrote, which was projecting I even had Trump lost in a landslide. This was back in October. It was still going to be his party until the voters changed. And there's been this big turnover in the parties over the last ten years where, you know, five to 10 percent of the country is. These suburban, college educated folks used to be swing voters or soft Republicans.

[00:17:59]

They're Democrats, they're Joe Biden, Democrats now, then another five to 10 percent or these kind of working class white folks that used to be union Democrats. They're Trump Republicans now and they just switched. Right. And so now the parties have changed. But who who who is in them? So the people that liked Trump stayed in the Republican Party. Then they added New Trump. And there's like this tiny little remnant of the David Frenches, you know, who are trying to fight the internal battle.

[00:18:25]

And it's just, you know, until something else changes the dynamics. Like, I just I'm with Ron on that. And here's the thing.

[00:18:33]

The Republicans are motivated to change because of the undemocratic breakdown of the Senate and the Electoral College, like the Republicans look this like, well, hell, we lost you know, we had this damn pandemic and Trump was being crazy and we lost by seven million votes and we still almost won everything, you know, had 90000 votes changed in the red states, they would have had all three offices.

[00:18:55]

So I just think that they're not motivated to change. The voters don't want them to change. They aren't going to change. I think Ron's totally right on on that.

[00:19:02]

They've sort of tried to ante democracy it up, right. Like they're going into the state level in Ohio and different states and they're trying to change it so they don't have to count as many votes or they don't have to you know, they can sort of gerrymander. They can sort of cheat. Yeah.

[00:19:16]

And I think that's where they're happy with their coalition. You know, like like back in 2012, I was part of the ill fated autopsy that was like Republicans should be nicer to women and minorities wouldn't be smart. So I tried that was in twenty. We wrote it in early 2013 and like Donald Trump then, like, used it for toilet paper and the like for like me and Sean Spicer and Ari Fleischer.

[00:19:41]

There's like all the rest. I'm just like I don't want to pretend. What about what I wrote like that? I'm just going to pretend that never happened. And I was like me and a couple and like Sally Bradshaw, it was Jeb's adviser who are like, wait a sec.

[00:19:53]

We actually believed what we were writing in this thing anyway. The I think they actually are now now look back on that and thought we were wrong to do that autopsy, like the right thing is to double down on the working class white voters because they are, you know, disproportionately influential in the Senate and the Electoral College. And so, yeah, if you can change the voting laws in certain states, you know, prevent the Democrats from adding DC or Puerto Rico, we can still win.

[00:20:26]

You know, we have this I think it meets over something like a four to six percent advantage. Right. Like they needed to win by four points to win the barely win. Right. So so the Republicans are happy about that. I think the state law stuff will be very important to watch. You know, what exactly gets through? I think we're early in that process, but they're not even trying to be a majority party anymore. The Republicans see their path as using the levers of power to maintain control while being a minority.

[00:20:57]

They're all in on that strategy.

[00:20:58]

It's amazing. I mean, it's really but I do think also whoever the nominee is will lead the party.

[00:21:05]

Yeah, but how can you get them a nominee that doesn't believe that, you know, if all the incentives to become nominee are to play into that. Right. I look at what Fox is doing right now. Like this might have been a moment for Fox to get more normal. They're good. They've got even crazier. I mean, Tucker's and like Laura Ingraham, and they fired, you know, the Martha MacCallum, who wasn't exactly a moderate.

[00:21:25]

But, you know, she was at least not know Tucker. And like, they're replacing her with Maria Bartiromo, like crazy hour. I mean, the what the voters want, what the small dollar donors want, what the, you know, crazy conservative media wants. So, yeah, I mean, I guess, like a nominee could could tilt things back the other way, but all of the incentives are pushing the other direction. This is unprecedented, right?

[00:21:48]

Like, there is never been a time where at least in the modern, you know, American political history, where one of the one of the parties is like, you know, we're not going to try to get fifty one percent of the votes is going to change the rules that we can actually maintain power with.

[00:22:03]

Forty six or forty five. I that's crazy.

[00:22:06]

But the one thing and that's what's scary, too, because Biden does not feel like the kind of person who fights dirty.

[00:22:12]

He doesn't. And I point thank God for Joe Biden, honestly. I mean, he put together a pretty fragile coalition, like I mentioned earlier. You know, like you have quasi socialists and like, you know, Bill Kristol and military like conservatives on the same day, you know. So can another person do that? You know, not only does he not like to fight dirty, but he also, you know, he's old. And so I could do it with somebody who replaced him, be able to keep that coalition together.

[00:22:38]

That's really concerning. But, yeah, I mean, on the fight dirty thing I do, I would like to just give him a little credit here on one thing. Joe Biden was invisible last week at a time when he really could have been Tomahawk dunking on the Republicans. I mean, these these domestic terrorists were carrying Trump flags into the Capitol. And Biden hasn't even said one thing about it, to make them feel like, you know, to to try to make suburban voters scared of the terrorists in their own country.

[00:23:05]

I mean, that's a strategy that some people might have used, right?

[00:23:08]

Is that politically smart? I mean, it's tasteful to us, but is it politically smart?

[00:23:13]

I think it remains to be seen, but it is certainly living up to his promise. The problem the problem of why it might not be politically smart is that he's not giving any credit for it. Right. I feel like I've said this a couple of times. I'm like, I'm the you know, Ron Klain retweeted me when I tweeted that the other day.

[00:23:29]

I think this is a good idea.

[00:23:33]

And I also think Republicans have Fox News, which is like this incredible messaging arm for them, which Democrats don't have anything like that.

[00:23:41]

They don't Republicans would say, well, you know, have the mainstream media, but I mean, the mainstream media is being tough on it. And, you know, I mean, look at this. You know, I mean, I think rightly on the school's issue, they're kind of babbling that a little bit. You know, you saw the controversy with T.J. Duckula, which I thought was kind of maybe overplayed. But, you know, I guess my point is just that the media has been tough on, you know, this whole notion that they are treating them like Fox treats.

[00:24:06]

Trump is crazy, like Fox. And I never did anything to challenge Trump for five years. So I agree with that, that I because of FOX, because of the right wing messaging infrastructure, like the hopes and dreams that some Democrats have, that like the Republican Party is totally just going to self immolate and collapse. And like the Democrats are going to get 60 Senate seats and, you know, reign for a thousand years is like not that's not.

[00:24:34]

Hey, folks, if you haven't heard every single week, we do a special bonus episode for Beast Inside The Daily Beast membership program, sometimes we interview senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain what's happening behind the scenes in media, like Jim Acosta or Soledad O'Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Philipps or Billy Eichner. And sometimes we just have friends around to analyze what's happening in the news. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a beast inside member or you'll support the Beast fearless journalism, as well as getting full access to podcasts and articles to become a member head to the new abnormal that The Daily Beast dotcom that's new abnormal at The Daily Beast dotcom.

[00:25:17]

Why does your phone make this noise on powered by audio will tell the stories behind the sounds you hear every day sounds that inform, entertain, get our attention and sometimes save our lives. This is Randi Zuckerberg. Meet the people who are developing audio technologies on our new podcast, powered by audio available everywhere you listen to podcasts powered by audio is supported by EPOs. Find out more at EPOs Audio Dotcom.

[00:25:51]

And now we have Andy Kim, who represents New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District. Hi, Handycam, I'm Molly. How are you? Good. Welcome to the New Normal. Thanks for having me. I'm so thrilled and I'm so excited to have you because you have just an amazing story. And I've been following your career since you came to Congress. So I'm very excited of you cleaning up after the Capitol riot.

[00:26:16]

It's hard to think about that day still. It's been over a month. It's still so raw. And I don't think me and I don't think a lot of my colleagues have been able to process it. In fact, I remember after that impeachment trial, just seeing all that new footage of that day showed us just how even worse it was than many of us understood. You know, for me, the photograph captures a really raw moment for me that day where I left the House chamber after after we had reconvened and I was just walking around the Capitol for the first time since since the insurrection.

[00:26:51]

And I just it just broke my heart to see the building like that, you know, just like I actually remember thinking about it. I like that rotunda the way I saw the rotunda. That was probably the worst condition that that rotunda has been at for hundreds of years. Yeah, just seeing this iconic room that my, you know, my immigrant mom took me to. So I just I just felt like doing something. And it was just it was very instinctual.

[00:27:19]

I saw a trash bag. I started picking things up off the floor. And I certainly didn't think I was being photographed and being expected to have the impact. But, you know, what I will say is that the response I've gotten has been overwhelming, literally now over thousands of cards into the office. And it shows that I think people wanted to know coming out from that day that there were still people working in government that were focused on public service.

[00:27:44]

Yeah. And then that that decency and character still matters.

[00:27:48]

You ran for office because of Obamacare. You're in your second or third term. Second term.

[00:27:55]

Second term. That's right. So I was I was one of the people that helped put the house in twenty eighteen. My district is a is a deep Republican district. Trump won my district twice. He won it again this past November. I'm one of only seven Democrats left in the country that represents a district that Trump won twice. I ran because I'm a dad. I'm a dad of two kids. And in twenty eighteen leaning out the twenty eighteen, I was with my wife and I were expecting our second child and we had this very difficult situation where before he was even born, we were told very late, like a month before due date, that he was dramatically underweight and there was a good chance he wasn't going to make it.

[00:28:34]

And we were scared out of our minds. And we were at the hospital every single day trying to figure out, like what tests we can do to figure out what's going on. And they told us even if he's if he makes it through childbirth, he might have problems that could persist for the rest of his life. And at that exact moment is when that whole debate in health care in twenty seventeen was happening about pre-existing conditions and about the future of our health care.

[00:28:58]

And it was, I realized, my own congressman from my district in New Jersey, this district where I went to kindergarten, where my whole family is. It was this congressman there that was the one that was literally pushing and leading that effort that got preexisting condition protections. So, you know, for me, this was just like another way for me to protect my kid. And thankfully, he was born and he's been you know, he been getting better and better.

[00:29:23]

We you know, he does have issues that we're working through. It just kind of redouble my effort to just just make sure I'm looking out for him. And that's what I do in Congress every single day.

[00:29:33]

We've had a president who has worked real hard to stoke anti-union racism. And it feels like this story we're not talking about and that we need to be.

[00:29:42]

Yeah, know we really do need to be talking about this. It's something that I felt personally over the last year. You know, there was a couple instances that I've had just over the last year where I felt that kind of discrimination and that racism up front and close in a way that it has persisted over my life. But like, I'm not felt it this strongly where, you know, I would have people yell at me when I sat next to them on a train.

[00:30:10]

This was before the lockdown over a year ago. They were just so fearful that they were going to get the virus from me simply because of the fact that I'm Asian-American people moving away from me when I'm when I sit down on the subway. My mom gets it when she was at the grocery store and made her fearful to go to the grocery store. And recently, I mean, you know, we've seen just these unbelievably painful images and videos of elderly Asian Americans getting attacked and abused and assaulted on the street.

[00:30:41]

And I just look at that and I'm just looking at these these images. And I'm like, that could be my that could be my dad, you know, that could be anybody. Just they're just walking down. A story just going about their business and then they're just brutally assaulted. It's sad. It is. And and if I could share just one more story here. I just recently one of my oldest sons, five years old, and he came back one day and he was talking to me, telling me how like another kid was calling him Chinese boy.

[00:31:11]

And it just, you know, my son, he doesn't understand what's going on. And he was just like he's like, oh, that's funny. Like like I'm not from China. Like I told him, I'm a New Jersey boy. And, like, you know, I was just it was tough to see because it was, as far as I know, sort of his first encounter with that kind of bias and that discrimination. And it's sad because I know that he's going to get it a lot more.

[00:31:35]

You know, I know that that's going to you know, I just and it just it's sad to know that it's going to happen to him. And as a dad, I want to protect him from it. I don't want to have any of that stuff that happens, especially now that it's manifesting violently, especially to our elders. This was something just the other day we celebrate the lunar new year. And just thinking about this, like what is happening right now, like how do we get this into a better place?

[00:32:00]

It's it's really scary.

[00:32:01]

How can we sort of stop this? I mean, I think not having Trump in the White House has certainly solved a lot of problems because the explosive rhetoric has stopped. But do you have other thoughts on what we can do?

[00:32:16]

Well, look, there's a couple of layers of this. First and foremost, we need to be making sure that like local officials, mayors and law enforcement, do, they have everything that they need to be able to investigate these cases, follow through with it. And that's something I've been trying to figure out. These localities where this is happening or where there are large Asian-American populations, like do they have resources that they can dedicate this towards? I know that President Biden has moved forward with an executive memorandum highlighting the importance of of fighting back against this kind of violence.

[00:32:48]

But again, like what is the Department of Justice doing? What is the FBI doing to enact that? What how does this actually change their posture going forward? There a lot there are a lot of reported cases all over the country. But what we know is that's probably only a fraction of what's actually being reported. And a lot of people that I talked to, Asian-Americans here in New Jersey, they don't know who to call. They don't know who, what, where to centralize this information so that we can have the scope of it.

[00:33:16]

So that's one aspect that just in terms of resources. But you're right. I mean, a lot of this comes down to just this broader issue of of division and hatred and and xenophobia that exists here about what does it mean to be American or what does it mean to to to be a person of color? And even within there, just obviously very different experiences, even amongst different communities of color. I hope that we can really build a coalition here.

[00:33:51]

You know, just some of that coalition that we saw come about after the murder of George Freude, recognizing that this is something that affects all of us and it manifests in different ways. I'm not going to claim to know what it's like for my my black brothers and sisters in my community, what they go through or others. But we recognize that these are different forms of some of that same hatred and division and xenophobia. So I'm hoping that we can keep that broad coalition going and really, really work out.

[00:34:23]

This is not just what we're seeing with this violence against Asian-Americans. It's not just a problem for Asian-Americans in our country. And I hope that that's something that we can really, really reinforce broadly.

[00:34:33]

And so I'm originally from New Jersey and I know and love the state, but I'm your district particularly has been hit really hard by the opioid crisis. I feel like it's something that has really gotten pushed to the side a little as corvids went on. Yet people are still being hit really hard by it. Do you have any hopes for what the administration can do about this? You're right.

[00:34:55]

This has been a devastating issue about the opiate crisis and addiction in my district. There was a there was a period, my first year in Congress where we're tracking the numbers. I remember we were saying that it's close to a person a day that we lost in our district while we did a town hall on Sundays. And just like the family members of loved ones lost, just talking about how extraordinarily painful this has been for them. I mean, there are a couple of things that I've been pressing the Biden team to prioritize.

[00:35:25]

I'm hoping we can we can have that go forward. But first and foremost, we just need real leadership on this. We need that. We really need this administration to to have someone driving this policy in the same way that they have, like, you know, zine's driving a the coronavirus crisis, like, you know, like who's going to be spearheading this? Because under the last administration, it was Kellyanne Conway and it just was not a place where.

[00:35:51]

We need someone with medical expertise and social services background, a couple of things, I mean, like, for instance, why is this so much easier to actually get the opioid substance than it is for the medically assisted drug treatments that have proven ways to be able to reduce it? So we are still struggling to be able to have these types of medicines that can help them, help people be able to get off of these addictions. We're having trouble getting these accessible to people, very expensive regime for a lot of folks.

[00:36:28]

And then the other aspect of it is just it's about setting goals in the same way that we're setting goals of like how many vaccines we want to be able to deliver every single day to Americans. We should be setting goals when it comes to addiction. For instance, like a lot of people that I talked to, there's one gentleman I remember talking to and he wanted to go get medically assisted treatment in New Jersey. And he was told it's about a 30 day wait, check back in a couple of weeks.

[00:36:51]

And, you know, like, what is he supposed to do now? You know, this is someone who finally got to the place and said, like, I need help and when and, like, courageously move forward and sought help and was told, like, sorry, we're full, like we should as a state. We should, as a country be setting a goal saying there should be a zero. They wait for those that need treatment, that we said we should just do whatever the resources needed to have enough beds to be able to do that detox facilities about, you know, medicine to be able to do that.

[00:37:20]

But we should just set that kind of goal, just saying, like anyone who needs treatment should be able to get it immediately. And like, I'd like to see us back that up with real resources and real engagement. So, you know, that is something I'm pressing the Biden team on. And and hopefully we can set that kind of strategic vision and have those objectives that we can follow. Right.

[00:37:40]

That makes sense. You have this very narrow majority in the House. Are you optimistic still, though, that you guys can get stuff done?

[00:37:50]

I am optimistic that we can get that done. And it's I am hopeful about it. But it's also just in some ways, it's not even a matter of whether I'm hopeful about it. It just has to happen. And we just have to get things done. We need to deliver. This is the most dire situation in modern history for our country. And we're very much still on the precipice. Yes, it feels like we're starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccines moving forward.

[00:38:18]

And but we are in such a dangerous place and even beyond what happens with the pandemic, we're emerging back into this new global order. You know, this is kind of we're moving past the post 9/11 world. This is the fall of the Berlin Wall type of moment where we don't know what happens next, whether that's about our relationship with China or about any number of other issues, especially around our economy. So we have to get things done and we have to be able to move forward.

[00:38:49]

And yes, you're right. I think our House majority right now is four or five votes. Like I said, the other seven of the House Democrats I represent from districts that I feel it every day. I'm at the very front of the front lines here and I feel it. But I do take some some lessons learned from my district, a district that is very divided. But it's a district where if you engage with the people like I did 30 town halls in my first two years, and then you engage with the people, you get a lot of amazing dialogue coming back.

[00:39:19]

We can in my district, even though we're often portrayed as sort of an example of the division in our country, we can talk to each other with much more civility and dialogue in our district. And the conversations we have really don't sound like the conversations that are happening on cable TV or on Twitter. So, you know, it's interesting on that front. So I'm hoping that nationally we can follow through. I like to see us move forward on infrastructure finally and stop making that a joke of D.C. about infrastructure, which I'd like to see us actually move forward on these types of big visions that shows where are we going?

[00:40:03]

We've yet to explain to people like what will America what should America look like coming out from this pandemic? It can't just be just about survival, but what do we want small businesses to to look like? What is that going to look like? So I'm hopeful. I am optimistic, but it's going to take a lot of work. We can't assume that we're going to be able to get this done. It's going to take a lot of a lot of grit.

[00:40:26]

Oh, this is fantastic. Thank you so much, Andy. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. Tim Miller. Fuck that guy. Fuck that guy is a fellow named Ali Alexandrovna. Ali Akbar Ackbar. He changed his name after he got arrested. People might not know him that well. He is. He was one of the main stop the steel organizers. He fancied himself a strategist for Con. He was behind the whole, oh, couple of Harris isn't really black because her mom was Indian argument that was going around last year.

[00:40:59]

He has a very big underbite influence, influential with the mega world.

[00:41:05]

He did he did a telegram the other day on a lot of the of the mega ultraright nuts have moved over to this kind of private messaging services where they have groups now instead of one since they keep getting banned from social networks. There is this telegraph. There are three outcomes before us. One, civil war, two, civil war, three, concession. And we ain't getting a concession. Pray for a miracle and prepare for hell.

[00:41:28]

Honestly, these guys can go fuck themselves forever. And I just I hope that the FBI is following Allah Akbar, you know, he suggested created a mega community somewhere. IMAG in a village.

[00:41:42]

He's preached for civil war before. This is like kind of his thing. Yes. And they were all preaching for civil war before January 6th. So I just you know, these people, they are grifter's. He knows better. And it is he really has, in the most literal sense, blood on his hands over what happened in January six. And for him to be back doing this man, I just I just really hope the feds are up that guy's ass.

[00:42:05]

I think it's important to just remind people that there were three elected members of the House that helped him stop this deal. Andy Biggs, Mel Brooks, who actually spoke at the rally and congressman dentist, all those are advised to come back for a Paul Gosar.

[00:42:23]

Fuck that guy, need to write an article on him. He is like he doesn't get enough credit. He's like MTG.

[00:42:28]

But but with you know, with male anatomy, he's just a piece that are indistinguishable. But like MTG, it's all the love that he is just as insane as her.

[00:42:37]

Oh yeah. No question. Yeah. Representative dentist and also hated by all his siblings. You got to love that. Yeah. Any time they can. They're happy to be trotted out. CNN adds anything. They're like we really love those siblings. I my fuck that guy. This week is the Republican Party of Texas. I don't know if you've heard of them. And one Alan West, who is you? Do you have some back story on Allen West that you'd like to tell our listeners?

[00:43:06]

I had never had any personal accounts of him. He was a congressman from Florida, you know, kind of fancied himself a rising star within the party. He was I did there was a consulting firm that was like an establishment consulting firm that was helping him that I always thought was really weird. But, you know, he has sort of evolved from Tea Party, you know, warrior to like full Magga to now.

[00:43:29]

Yeah, to process his new thing is that he is pro secession, which at Texas, a very big state. So by Texas, just had a recently had an enormous snowstorm and got federal money. So perhaps they want to reconsider the secession.

[00:43:46]

No, things are not going well in Texas right now. Like they closed all the grocery stores. I heard.

[00:43:51]

Oh, wait, why did they close the grocery store just because Texas isn't ready for this kind of snow and ice storm? I mean, like, I think I think things are getting real in Texas right now. I'm looking at a picture where they're holding on to is holding a sign that says Texas.

[00:44:04]

Now, who's the president of Texas? Is it Louie Gohmert of Texas are going to succeed? Cissy Houston are going anywhere. They're not going to want to check. Said it would be Lubbock.

[00:44:22]

Yeah, that's what I think. I think it's Louie Gohmert is president. Allen West is vice president. Mexico is going to build a wall. There is going to be part of this.

[00:44:33]

On that note, we'll wrap this up as sort of the new abnormal from The Daily Beast, the future episodes. We'll be talking to smart folks from The Daily Beast and beyond, from media, culture, politics and science will help us understand what's happening to our country and the world. We hope you'll subscribe to us on your favourite podcast app and share the show on social media. Thanks so much for listening and we'll see you again on the next episode.