That'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.
Hey, Molly. Young fast. Hi, Rick Wilson. Can we talk about sugar daddies? Oh, please. Let's talk about sugar.
If you were Donald Trump, your big sugar daddy, of course, is a wee bald man who speaks with a heavy Russian accent and speaks Russian most of the time. But who would you speculate would be the most important sugar daddy in Donald Trump's life right now?
Rupert Murdoch. Why?
Yes, it would be Rupert Murdoch. And I don't know if you read this morning on the pages of The Daily Beast that Rupert Murdoch is reported to be disgusted by Trump's handling of covid and is predicting a Biden landslide. Can we talk about Rupert Murdoch?
Fuck Rupert Murdoch for being disgusted by Trump's covid response. I mean, fuck him like you put a reality television president in the White House and now you're mad that he can't actually president I mean, fuck you.
And I really like oh, we didn't think he'd be quite so terrible. We just thought he'd destroy the federal government. We didn't think he'd really destroy the federal government. I mean, fuck em.
Well, I just have to say the deliciousness of Donald Trump being abandoned by Rupert Murdoch should not be underestimated.
I mean, if he really does, that's the other thing like this is the day after The New York Post ran a story that is not fit for a bird at the bottom of a bird cage, that it was so batshit ludicrous that even The New York Post did notice they assigned like a reporter who had previously been a booker for Hannity and had no bylines before that day.
So you take it.
Yeah, anonymous red shirt.
So, I mean, I have to wonder, I mean, not to be paranoid here, but I have to wonder, Murdoch put out this very obvious smear piece and then the day after, he's like, I'm very displeased with Trump. I mean, I'm sure part of it is him trimming a little bit.
But remember, you're dealing with Donald Trump here who thinks that Rupert Murdoch owes him not the other way around. So I just found that that to me was a story that had a lot of deliciousness in it today, because I want to go back to Rupert Murdoch for a second.
I never agree with Donald Trump, but Donald Trump has made a lot of money for Rupert Murdoch.
Yeah, he has. But and I've had this story for a while from twenty fifteen through through twenty eighteen early twenty eighteen. Trump needed Fox, but I think he's broken the audience so much that now Fox needs Trump. And it's interesting that you would see Rupert knowing that the audience of his network loves Donald Trump more than life itself, as is witnessed by their attending his his dumb rallies without masks to Donald Trump's enterprise has to have a lot of moving parts working that the same way at the same time all the time and in the last two weeks of Fox is in any way off agenda.
It's going to cost him an enormous degree of mental upset.
He Trump got all this earned media, but he got media. He got eyeballs for media that there would not have otherwise been. So it was a Faustian deal on both sides.
Well, I mean, look, CNN made the same deal, though. Jeff Zucker made the same deal. Right. But the interesting thing now is that the country, their view of Trump has fundamentally changed that the entertaining part of it in the pre covid world is gone now. It's not entertaining anymore. It's not funny or cool or interesting. It's just disturbing and horrifying. Right.
Tonight, Donald Trump is going to go into that town hall with Savannah Guthrie thinking he's going to entertain and be and do his act. And I don't think he's going to do that act in this. I don't think he can do that act in the same way he could have even a few weeks ago before his covid diagnosis.
Speaking of Rupert Murdoch, my way, I mean, I think the the the big October surprise yesterday went over like a wet fart. It really was one of the most sloppiest flops of of this clumsy clown show because it's no secret. But Biden had drug problems. But Rudy's strangely provenance mystery laptop coming out of nowhere, that they're acting as if it's going to be Hillary's emails 2.0. I mean, they ran into two enormous roadblocks today. One is both Twitter and Facebook had a complete cockblock on the whole thing.
It was just like, no, you got retweeting those links. Sorry about that. Not on our platform, because it's from as Twitter said, this material appears to either emerge from a hacked or stolen device and moggach. World immediately went off agenda, they broke down instantaneously and suddenly their whole thing was, oh, well, now it's no, we have to talk about big tech, right? And this was not what they did. In twenty sixteen, they moved as a pack.
They were like pack animals and they were absolutely on it like crazy. But this time they got distracted immediately, went into their secondary argumentation space, which is big turkey, the liberal media Hutto's even though of course Facebook is Donald Trump's bitch. You know, the top ten pages on Facebook are Ben Shapiro, Ben Shapiro, Ben Shapiro, Danny Bing Bong, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, etc..
I mean, the story was a nonstory. And who cares about Hunter Biden? And the president employs like five of those kids. I mean, who cares? Hunter is not going to work in the White House. Hunter loves in L.A. Hunter has a substance issue like it's just a dumb hell, the die on. But my question is, do we think it was intentional, though, to pivot to be because, you know, any time these Republicans get censured.
No, no, no.
It was it was because the story flopped. It was because the story was was a complete fuck up and it didn't work. It didn't get the traction. I mean, when you looked at the I had somebody to compare the way the Hillary email story took off versus the story, which is this is their same play at about the same time. And it absolutely had one twentieth of the traction on social media and elsewhere and the degree to which Rudy was trying to be the savior of the Trump campaign here.
It just it came over as he's like the worst possible messenger now has changed his story in the course of the morning. He's changed his story on where the laptop came from and how he got it. Was it legal? Was it left or was it somebody else gave it to you know, these guys are flailing. They've really screwed the dog on this one. And I will also say at the same time, there's been a lower subtheme of the guys in 2016 or the sort of ditches and Alex Jones's and possibly all these idiots, they're trying to bring back the Biden health argument again.
And it's just not getting any traction. It's not working.
Well, I think that you have what was interesting was they had the dimentia thing was like their big thing was that Biden had dementia and that he was barely functioning and that's why he never did rallies. But when you saw him at that first debate and Trump was a mess and he was spitting and he was you, it's hard to make an argument about the other guy's house when you just got out of the hospital, when you were wheezing and coughing.
And although Donald Trump is a golden God, a perfect specimen of a man, he weighs a hundred and eighty five pounds of pure muscle and his six pack abs are a thing to behold. He's not the picture of health and he's looking worse and worse, honestly. And then even before covid, he was very shaky. And and, you know, the ramp story, the water story, all these things. This was not a guy who looked like he was in fighting trim.
Since you have access to all this secret Lincoln data, what are you seeing?
Mike is seeing that the cement is starting to harden in a lot of these places and the drop offs that Trump has had and his numbers are not being undone. There was a little bit of a pity bounce. OK, we talked about that on the last episode, about two points worse, but the slippage is now getting bigger. There was a long time what we call a boundary layer, OK, where the lowest Trump could go is about forty three.
Forty four percent. He's now under that boundary layer. And there's another one that we thought was going to hold at thirty nine. Thirty eight. Thirty nine percent. Well now we're looking at places where he's dropping into the thirty six. Thirty five percent range. That's crazy. OK, that's like immediate family members named Trump voting for the guy. This is this is a low, low boundary. So the cement is hardening. Some Republicans have come home in some states where they made their choice.
Part of the is the North Carolina is a good example where Biden is still lagging. It is a state with an awful lot of college white dudes, which is Trump's strongest and single, singularly strongest demographic. But we're also seeing the drop with women in this country has been mathematically extraordinary, that we've come out of the field in a bunch of states where women are just it's it was for a long time, it was about a 20 point differential with women between Trump and Biden in our swing states that we analyzed in a round of polling we came out of yesterday, early yesterday.
It averages twenty seven points. What states? Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Arizona, Florida.
It's some of that like he's been so shitty to Governor Whitmire. Is some of that because of that?
She's popular in Michigan. And of course, the fact that Trump sort of laughed off the the FARC and kidnapping conspiracy by these fucking bugler's it. Certainly did not help to improve his position in the state. I think Michigan's out of the question for Trump now. I think Wisconsin is one in six for Trump now. It's slipping away quickly. Ohio and Pennsylvania are still going to be battlegrounds. But in Pennsylvania, there are three three areas of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia metro, the Pittsburgh metro, and in the middle of the state, what they call the T, the T is the strongest possible Trump country.
It's Alabama with coal. OK, the Philadelphia metro area, we've done a lot of work with African-American voters there and African-American ministers there is similarly in Pittsburgh, those areas are breaking very, very strongly to Joe Biden right now. The tea is still in Trump's hands. And that could be a decisive thing. But I but I'm feeling like Pennsylvania overall is moving in the right direction. Florida is moving in the right direction. Trump is losing some senior votes off the top if he loses because Florida is doable.
I think Florida is the hardest target. Yeah, because it's so expensive.
And even with Joe Biden having three hundred million dollars in the bank right now, Florida is still expensive.
But it's you've also said it's not just expensive. You said there's a lot of fakery there.
There's yeah. Look, the Republican Party of Florida is the best Republican Party in the country for Huckabee, right? I know. I helped build the Huckabee machine.
Yeah. So that so is it worth. You said ten points. Oh, believe me, it's worth it.
So worth it. Now, some good news out of Florida. We're starting to see in key counties. I got some pulling back from an outside person in some key counties. We're seeing that the Republican crossover. So first of all, the Democratic crossover to Trump in these key counties in Florida that we monitor, that's Hillsborough, Seminole, Volusia, Martin, Charlotte, those are some bellwether things for a certain part of my model that I like. We're seeing Democratic crossover to Trump riding at about four to six percent.
OK, that's always happens. There's always that that's that's the statistical average. We're seeing Republican crossover to Biden in those counties at between 12 and 17 percent. Oh, wow. Now, the problem still is the Cubans are going to come out because they're convinced that Joe Biden has a BlackBerry in his briefcase. He's ready to seize the means of production and open the death camps for all capitalists.
I just want to point out that you always say that in Florida you have to be 10 points and you have to be 10 points ahead.
I told my Democratic friends this all the time, my friend Steve Schale. Steve always points out that in the last 30 years of presidential elections, if you add up all the Democratic votes, all the Republican votes, the difference between them is thirty thousand votes. Florida is going to be tight no matter what we do, unless Biden takes some of that three hundred million dollars you just raised and dumps it into the great state of Florida to which Florida can burn money like a bonfire.
There's 10 media markets, three of which are in the top top 15 nationally. It's a crazy, expensive place to do business.
But what do you think about Texas? Look, Texas is still a long shot, but the the numbers are slipping. There is no reason why a Republican president should be only two points ahead in Texas right now. No reason whatsoever. That's crazy town.
And now through the magic of time travel, we will take you to that after Rick and Molly have watched the town halls of Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Here we are back with you.
Yes, seamlessly, one might say, if you will get through the magic of television. So what town hall did you watch tonight?
Well, we we had a big screen up here in Lincoln Project HQ and our and our glittery studio. And by glittery, I mean, it's just completely fucking improvised. We watched it. We had a two screen, but we had the we had the audio on Trump, the physical appearance of the two men. You had Trump with one leg on the ground, leaning over, hunched over, glaring at Savannah Guthrie like he was a mad man, like he was about to flee the scene of a crime.
And you had Joe Biden sitting in the chair, leg crossed hands, gesturing, talking smoothly and calmly. And every time there was a commercial break, you'd flip we'd flip the volume up on the Biden channel on ABC. And he was just like being a president. Americans probably tuned into Trump, but they also slow down to look at car crashes.
The Trump campaign had a statement afterwards, which I think is important to read. President Trump soundly defeated NBC's Savannah Guthrie in her role as debate opponent in Joe Biden surrogate. Well, also, you're trying to win suburban women. Does this seem like the best tact, President Trump? No. Seriously, are you fucking kidding me? It goes on. Your dog's upset about it.
This is this is them happy. President Trump masterfully handled Guthrie's attacks and interacted warmly and effectively with the voters in the room.
What we've sort of figured out why suburban women don't like him.
You mean because he's a dick?
I mean, you're trying to win. Why don't women like him?
Let's see. He's a raging misogynist, sexist asshole. Racist fuckwit was at a town hall. What was your moment where you thought, what planet does this guy live on? What would he wouldn't answer the Q&A in question? All I could think of was, does Joe Biden need to write like a report? This is an income and contribution. This was fucking crazy. He should never have gone in that room. Insanity.
How about Trump saying that four hundred million dollars isn't that much to Al? It's not Russia. It's not Russia. But also it's a very small amount of money. I mean I mean, what do you even say to that?
You don't because it was Donald Trump confessing not only to his the fact that only paid seven hundred dollars of taxes in twenty seventeen, but also the fact that he owes four hundred million dollars to a foreign entity. So you can say it's not Russia all day long, but that just means the next question is, all right, Donald, is it Switzerland? Is it Argentina? Is it believes you could go through the alphabet.
I liked it when he said, I'm treated very badly by the IRS.
I have to say Donald Trump's confessional nature tonight was truly a delicious element of this whole thing. I mean, truly, the other thing that that I thought tonight was kind of stunning is he wandered into the preexisting condition fight that he's already been taking enormous political damage on. And I know for a fact that his pollsters have been trying to beat into him over and over and over and over and over and over and over again to keep talking about preexisting. They know how badly it's bled him out.
I wrote about this in my first book and in my second book in about a gazillion articles since then. But he's such a dummy that he's saying things like, we're dismantling it, but we'll do preexisting later. Really? Oh, really. Tell me more about your infrastructure plan, Donald.
The problem with him is, is that he can't stay on message, right? I mean, no, he's a moron, but so he disavowed white supremacy, too, as I was. You know, he's he's not done that before, but then he couldn't disavow. Q And on I'm just curious, like where in his head. Like, wouldn't it be more of a no brainer to disavow. Q And on the Democrats e children then white supremacy, which his supporters are already racist.
Neither of those answers was hard. Right. Both of those answers were, of course, completely fucked. Right. He couldn't make himself to the right answer, but of course he did run back to his safe space and his snowflake.
Then that tea for radical anti fair radical left Dave.
Yeah. You know, the beautiful thing about it is this shit show was a truth window into Trump. He wasn't in any way able tonight to even take the slow pitches over the plate. It was astounding.
2016, those last five weeks. He stayed on message. He I mean, he's never been a genius, but he was able to sort of not say anything to not. And they took away his phone and you saw it. Wow. I mean, I didn't think that, but there were women in the suburbs who thought, OK, let's just try this now. I feel like all of those controls are off. Correct.
There's no one running the campaign specifically anymore. I mean, look, Bill Stepien spends his days in his office staring at spreadsheets and weeping quietly in the money that Paskeville stole.
And they can't find you. Where are the money go?
So the stories range from about 50 million dollars missing to about one hundred and seventy million dollars is missing. That's some big that's a lot of money. And by the way, I just want you guys to know the campaign finance reports are due in a very short time and the Trump campaign has not filed one their due at midnight. What does that mean? It means they don't want to show how little money they have and how much money they've spent.
But they're going to have to write. They have to.
Yes, it's it's required.
It's required since they blow to the norms all the time. What I mean, it's like is it like ignoring a subpoena from the Supreme Court? I mean, what can people do?
Well, look, there's nothing people can do. It'll be an FEC complaint that will take years. It grind on forever and nothing will happen.
So he really cannot he can just ignore it. Well, he has to file by law. I predict the filing will be filled with creative accounting was put that way.
Like you saw, there were some congressmen, Republican congressmen, who had some credit card fee accounting and things that that looked a little nutty.
I think the whole question that's going to be ahead of us tonight is, does this help or hurt Donald Trump and help or hurt Joe Biden? And I think there is no question that Donald Trump tonight was a self-inflicted wound. And it was it was high order, stupid. But he's desperate and he's going to keep doing desperate shit because desperate people do desperate shit.
Do you think he'll participate in the last debate?
I believe that Donald Trump will come to the opening of a phone booth. Jay Michaelson is a rabbi, legal affairs columnist at The Daily Beast and an editor at 10 Percent Happier.
Jay, what the fuck is going on here? I profoundly stated now I watched three days of that fracas at one of our former colleagues, Justin Miller, who is now was my editor's note.
New York was just like, what the hell do you think is going on? They have the power and they're doing it. You don't like it.
And you're so you're writing an article that's basically what's going on. And they have the power.
You know, they have you know, we all think we're pretty cynical, but literally like when they all swore on a stack of Bibles like Lindsey Graham, like, you know, you can quote me on it. We're not going to do it. And then they do it. It's kind of like even that I found myself shocked at my own capacity for being disillusioned. Yeah.
I was like, wow, I really have no principles whatsoever.
But, you know, if you thought that, like, whatever, half a million babies were being murdered every year, maybe you would do that, too.
I feel like we sometimes like those of us in the normal camp of the universe, forget what it's like to be a religious fundamentalist, you know?
And Lindsey Graham is not a religious fundamental. No, but he depends on them for his career. Sinister. Yeah. And and I think, you know, there is so that's part of it. The dark money stuff which I've written about in which Senator Whitehouse talked about is real. I mean, that is actually part of it. And that's part of the same. I think like there is kind of a thought that these sort of folks, you know, people are like, oh, they're like homophobes or sexists.
They're not they're jihadis.
But these are the folks who want to create the Christian nation that they think we used to be. And they're going to do whatever they can to achieve that objective.
I thought Sheldon Whitehouse was really great. I'm just a big fan of his because I think he's you know, he looks like an old white guy, but he talks like a revolutionary in a certain way.
That's Michael, too. That's all of our angle.
Did you find there to be more grandstanding? My sense was there was a lot more grandstanding because this is all a fait accompli. Yeah, totally.
And I don't even blame them for grandstanding. I mean, at least that's like trying to make something out of this ridiculous charade. What I found way more insufferable were the like where the pretenses of confirmation hearing that we heard from the Republican side, I mean, which is just like first of all, there was the ridiculous would you be a fair judge?
What musical instruments do you play, that kind of crap like that? It was at least more blatant.
Like there was like a facade that like we're actually probing her ideas or anything like that. That's what was most. So I found, like, the more overt the grandstanding, the better. And I think, you know, this was the most overt and was just like, OK, I got 30 minutes. I'm going to tell America about this shit. And yeah, I'm totally on board with that. I think it was interesting, the Times how to take on Kamala Harris like being way more restrained than usual, which was in its own way grandstanding.
Right. Like she was like, OK, you're going to give me 30 minutes. I'm going to seem calm, reasonable and presidential.
Right. And because this is a stupid hearing and I'm not even going to try to, like, cross-examine this person.
Who do you think was the most insufferable Republican senator?
I found Josh Hawley to be the most insufferable because he was kind of lying through his teeth while pretending to be more pious than God himself. Right. I mean, this is basically like a choir boy growing up, you know, and but he's not right. He's not a choir boy growing up. He's just as cynical and as manipulative as as Graham and Cruz and the rest.
And yet he's, like, affecting this fake piety, like, oh, my God, religious freedom.
You know, it's also like I mean, not to get like in the policy weeds for a second, but for for a hundred and fifty years, not even 200 full years.
Religious freedom under the Constitution meant basically one thing, which is government can't fuck with you and your religious belief and your religious practice, not just belief, but practice to government. And we didn't live up to that when it came to Native Americans or to Mormons or to others. But that was the principle. The idea was that the government was going to leave you alone.
No one ever used that term to mean you can take away someone else's rights if you have a religious freedom. Never until the last twenty years. Right. Until Hobby Lobby, until Masterpiece Cake Shop, until this whole movement, which arose mostly as a backlash to gay rights and gay marriage, but not entirely.
You know, and this whole idea was already rejected. The first time this religious freedom thing came along was in the sixties around segregation. And segregationists said, I have a religious belief. It says right here in the Bible, God separated the races on the continents, the different continents. And therefore, I live by that. And I have a religious reason why I have to keep my restaurant or hotel or school or whatever segregated. And it took a while for that to finally filter through, but eventually to the Supreme.
But eventually it did. And by 1980, that idea had been totally struck down. Everybody understood at that point that no, I mean, even if you have what you are saying is a sincere religious belief, you don't get to take away somebody else's rights.
And so for Josh Hawley and others to get up there and like, sing this bullshit song about religious freedom being under attack in America, which they know is not true, like they they know they may feel oppressed, but they understand the difference between, I don't know, a Muslim prisoner wanting halal food and that same Muslim driving a taxi and saying every woman who gets in this taxi must wear a veil like they know that, but they're is pretending that they don't know it.
So that's why I found that the most insufferable of all.
I like your opinion, but it's wrong. The worst was Lindsey Graham.
You know, I feel like he's so jumped the shark that I was just there. I was there for it.
Like, you're just truth has nothing, has no meaning. And he knows like he's boxed himself into a corner, like he I don't know what he thought when he heard that RPG actually died, whether he had an ownership moment or whether he immediately went straight to like, well, how am I going to spin this to get what I want?
But, you know, and his sanctimonious bullshit, the Democrats, the Democrats are that I mean, he literally just wanted to, like, punch them in the face.
And I respected him. Complaining about dark money has to be the great, you know, where he was like. He complains about homosexuality, too, right?
I mean, he's used to this like he's been doing this for 60 years.
You know, the lady doth protest too much, but he was like, maybe we should overturn Citizens United. I was like, oh, yeah, that's you definitely going to be doing that. Yeah. That's your campaign platform.
Yeah. OK, this is the question of anyone who watch these hearings. Does define need to go.
Yeah. I mean it really I'm actually not I haven't been that much of a critic of hers to be honest.
Me neither. But watching that. No. Yeah. It's funny. Like everything that Trump says about Biden was true about Feinstein and Patrick Leahy. It was just like Leahy. He did better actually. He did that in a letter, you know, the letter a couple of days. The first day he was really off, I thought, but I don't know if anyone really was watching these hearings. It's a shame that the worst people were up first because of seniority.
Right. Like you had to wait till the afternoon to get to Harrison Booker.
And even before I thought Clover's Shaw was really good. Yeah.
I mean, she's the only one who got a rise out of Barrat, which was worth it for that. Like, who cares? That's another way of like, OK, this hearing is meaningless. I'm going to see if I can piss you off. Yeah. I want to see what you really are like. And we all know that, look, nobody gets to be as successful as Amy Barrett without that, right? Yeah, right. And there's like a gender element, too.
It's like what she's like in a pretend to be like this cuddly mom with seven kids or whatever, like, no, come on, you're you're up for this because you're a shark. We all know you're a shark. Yeah. And so for me, it was really I liked seeing that, you know, and the fact that Klobuchar could, like, piss her off enough that she got angry for a moment, there was like one brief moment of sincerity.
And that to me was like the only one in her entire three days of performance that was at all sincere. And I loved it.
I thought it was interesting. I mean, di fi talking about how great her kids were.
Can I jump in about DFI? Is this a thing? Do we have to say die know. Oh, all right. Oh, just mind. OK, I'm with you that this is a today years old thing.
OK, so Senator Dianne Feinstein from the great state of California, who is eight hundred thousand years old, I think the moment when, you know, it's time for retirement as a politician now is when Google starts your autocomplete.
The first thing is age.
I have never been so critical of her, but the thing that got my back up so much today was her. And she did this all three days where she was like and your children and children. And Leahy did it to my children or grandchildren. I mean, fuck you. Like, I have three kids. Like, it doesn't do anything. It doesn't make you a better person. And the whole idea, it's just such a sexist trope, this idea that the more children you have, you're more of a sort of conservative or you're more of a woman or you're it just I found it in ridging totally.
I actually was just reading up for the I just did a MSNBC hit about the dark money thing. And Leonard Leo, who is like the mastermind of this kind of network of the Federalist Society and Judicial Crisis Network, he, it turns out, bought this I think it was seventeen million dollar house or something like that. He bought this like lavish country house on the coast of Maine. And he was called on it. And he's like, well, this is to accommodate my large family, like immediately, like, oh, you have a family.
That's good. Thank you for repopulating the earth.
I went over to to see this friend of mine who was talking about how actually Amy call me Barrett is the conclusion of the Federalist Society that they've done it like they've found a woman. Who's so young, who they can put on the court, who is absolutely, you know, like in a way Gorsuch wasn't like, Gorsuch has turned out to be sort of a more I mean, I know he isn't great, but he's turned out to be sort of more creative.
And Cavanaugh is even though he's on the court, he's so tainted by all of his KOMY is really like exactly kind of the federalist ideal. Interesting.
Yeah. I mean, I think I think that's pretty astute, right? I mean, Kavanagh's are Gorsuch as a weirdo, but barrat, you know, she's she's Mother Teresa. Yeah, we'll see. I mean, I think it was interesting, like the question that it didn't get asked. So I did a piece of like 10 questions in sarsaparilla.
So I reviewed all of her opinions that she wrote as she's written as a as an appellate court judge in her to say there's not that many randomized trials show up at your house.
And I read all three of the opinions. There's not a single case that she voted on that she voted on the substantively liberal side. So, you know, I'm very substantively liberal. It's like, you know, like Roberts does this all the time, like Roberts votes to uphold the Obamacare like. Yeah, but he did it for fundamentally conservative judicial conservative reasons. But that was the substantively liberal result.
She never not once in the whole three years, like she once, you know, come down like, oh, well, I'm a conservative. But on this case, you know, maybe we shouldn't deport the immigrant or something. No, it was OK to deport the immigrant, screw over the black people, screw over the gig workers like there was not a single.
So this myth that she's like, you know, the principled while I'm just very principled, that's just like was true of Scalia to people like Scalia, way too much credit.
We wanted the cases to come down the way he wanted, and that's it. And she's she is like him.
But I think that's a great point. I mean, she's him but female. Well, you said in your piece anti woman woman ever. Yeah. And I think that's right.
I mean, that that is where she's going to go. But they so did such a good job of intimidating thanks to defy and your right or ill phrased remark last go around. You know, nobody wants to be the defensive saying, like the dogma lives loudly within you. So they scared all of the Democrats from, like, mentioning anything about religion. And I don't mean that she's and people of praise. I don't think people are racist really that bad.
I don't think it's a cult. I don't think it's The Handmaid's Tale.
But she's written herself on how her very extreme religious piety impacts her role as a judge. And no one was able to ask her that.
Right, that the death penalty decision, like the one thing the Federalist Society might not be pleased with, is her anti death penalty stance, which is because she's a Catholic. And we're not allowed to talk about the fact that she backpedaled on that.
I mean, she basically was like, well, as long as it's not about one particular sentencing somebody to death, like I couldn't sentence someone to death, but I'm on the appellate court, so I wouldn't be in.
A lot of people seem to be saying that her nomination is already court packing. What's your take on what the Democrats should do about that in response?
That's right. Because, I mean, I get the idea. I mean, court backing is sort of my first of all, progressives, whatever Democrats need to get away from this term court packing. Right quarterbacking as a term of derision. I'm not if I had a good substitute for it, I would have thought I'd written the piece. I'm still thinking about what that is. But it's not court packing. Right? What and this is a perfect example of why that term is not helpful.
Right. What they're doing is like supremely unjust. Right. They stole a seat from Garland, so they've stolen two Supreme Court seats and the third one is filled out.
So. Right. This is not packing. It's like demolishing or destroying or polluting. Maybe we should call it court cleansing, rebalancing. So I don't think it's helpful to say, well, they're packing because now we're packing to go to overcome their packing. Like let's just say they've destroyed the legitimacy of the court and we're going to restore some semblance of it. You know, I am in favor of doing that. I think Biden's not saying anything because it's not playing well at the polls, partly because of this rhetorical framing.
But mostly people just don't really think we should do that. But, you know, there's no alternative.
My piece this weekend, which, you know, if I'm allowed to talk about it, because I don't know when this year is going to be about term limits, but term limits now not delaying the onset of term limits. So that would put Thomas off the court right now prior off the court. Right.
So let's do it now. What would be your term limit for some reason? Eighteen years has kind of circum like that's become the kind of consensus. It's an odd number. So it's not going to like going to like always interfere with election years. The proposals that are out there have it synchronized. So you start at a certain time and then you phase it in so that there is always one conformation thing happening every couple of years. Mine would be messier than that, although you can still play with it.
But let's do it now. Right. So we could still have nine. But and because it's Breyer and Thomas, there's not like we're throwing all the Republicans off, right. It's just you're going to get two new justices who obviously would be Biden appointees, presumably.
So that's the. But I do think it's interesting what people get hung up on. I mean, as a former law student law professor, nine is not a magic number.
And they're actually kind of good, wonky arguments for why you would want more like the Supreme Court. People don't really know that it's low profile stuff, but they drown in a lot of minutia. There's like a lot of not just the death penalty cases, but there's a lot of, like, generic stuff that the Supreme Court has to do all the time. I don't know, having 11 justices might actually make sense. It might actually be helpful.
So I think this whole sort of clutching the pearls over court packing is just more tactics and the stakes have to be lower. I mean, that is really the solution.
I guess this is too high stakes, a battle that you're thinking about. Literally, somebody's going to be on the court for potentially 40 years. That's you know, that's ridiculous. And that was never intended by the founders. So back to originalism. If we think about what the founders were thinking, they were thinking that these people, these men would be these white men, these white men with property would be on the court for 15 years. So let's get back to that original intent, which is like 15 years.
Thank you so much, Jay. This is so helpful. I'm so glad we got to do this. Sure thing.
If the Titanic's going down, we're going to be in the string quartet 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. Hank Gilbert is running for Texas's 1st Congressional District against Louie Gohmert, as well as being one of our audience fan favorites. So we're pleased to welcome back, Hank, for Texas. Hi, Hank. Molly, you're being brought back because you are a fan favorite and not just because my life's ambition is to crash.
Well, I appreciate that. I've never been called a favorite before. I've been called a hell of a lot of things. My favorite.
So tell us what your race looks like. Tell us what's going on in Texas first district. What's happening?
I'll tell you, this is something I've never seen in my lifetime. First, I opened polls open for early voting Tuesday. There were lines out the door in every polling place, in every county in this district, as a matter of fact, a place that I normally vote at on the first day. I'm usually one of the first five to vote at my location every election. And it just so happened that good Monday because I had to go around to every county that day.
But when I walked in the second day, all the women there at the polling place asked me what was wrong. They almost called me yesterday because I wasn't there, but they told me that they got as many early votes on the first day of early voting at that location than they normally get on the entire early voting period in any election. So, I mean, that's how many people are either excited or fed up or ready to get this done in this basically rural district of Texas to make change come November 3rd.
Have you had what I've heard about under a bit of like last drop drop boxes or closed polling places or any of that?
Not as far as the close polling places. As a matter of fact, I know in my particular county here, they added to early voting locations. But we do have some rural counties in my district that only have one polling place for the entire county in early voting. But as far as drop boxes, that's not something really that we have in this district. Those are mainly in the districts where you have big metropolitan areas like Houston or Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, where they have those Dropbox's most people here just take them to their local county elections office.
How is the enthusiasm on the ground?
People excited. Like I said, I've never seen this type of atmosphere before. Even in 2008, when President Obama was running, I didn't see the type of enthusiasm that I'm seeing now. People have just made their minds up. I think the majority of the people in this district have long decided the way they're going to vote. There still are some persuadable people out there. We've been working on a group of about one hundred and eighty thousand of them now for going on four weeks with targeted messaging and such.
But our race is a little different. I think on the presidential side, they pretty much made their mind up and are just ready to get out there and make change, because you know as well as I do, this narcissistic bastard we have in our house in Washington has has completely changed our world, not only here in America, but but our standing throughout the globe. And I believe that it took three and a half years. You know, there's a lot of slow learners, I guess, within our midst.
But it took almost four years to realize that a movie star con man slash whatever other adjective you want to put in there is just not going to work to move our country forward and help the people of the US.
So I'm curious about what your message has been to those persuadable voters.
Well, we have based on we do a lot of targeting. And I have a guy that has made this his life's work as far as trying to figure out people and what resonates with with what type of people. And I know this particular target group that we're working on, we're putting out about a dozen different messages to them based upon their shopping habits or their religious habits or what have you. But it all pretty much boils down to the fact that Louie Gohmert, no one has been totally ineffective as a representative for this district.
He's done nothing to advance anything that would help the majority of the people of this district. He spends a lot of his time, Jet-setting, all over the country and all over the world, mainly on special interest junkets and things like that. We've highlighted the fact that he was in the Ukraine. At the same time, Rick Perry and Rudy Giuliani were not serving the interests of Texas, his first district.
And, you know, supposedly he was there on a Baptist conference. The problem is when they took a picture of the conference attendees, he wasn't in it.
And then a couple of months after he returned from that conference, of course, you know, you have to file an annual ethics report in May every year in the three hundred thousand plus mortgage on his home that he'd been crying about for years, that he was going to have to sell off people in the district and start supporting magically disappeared and was paid off in cash. So that's a message that resonates with a lot of people that the fact that in his campaign finance reports, he's paying for about six or eight Netflix and 10 accounts and all star navigational system auto insurance for his personal vehicles kind.
Those in chalets in different resort towns in Colorado, all of which I don't believe are covered under unnecessary campaign expense.
I'll say, how do you explain to people who have never voted Democrat? How do you talk to those people?
The same way that I talk to you about? I just don't beat around the bush and tell them why it's in their best interest that they really stop and think about how they're voting. Everybody here my age or close to my age, grew up as a Democrat. And a lot of these people tell me that they have been vote Republican for the last 20 years. They say, you know, I grew up as just like you, a conservative Democrat, as I know you did.
Either that or you moved here from somewhere. I think they understand that they've been sold a bill of goods. When I talk to these evangelicals, they understand that their religion has been hijacked for power. And I think they're seeing that more and more on a daily basis. And a lot of them are starting now to peel off and look at my race. A lot of these people understand that their values don't align with the values of what you call it.
Trump Carlysle Trump is, I'm retaking of the Republican Party by Trump.
And even those Republicans who are truly lifelong Republicans understand that the party that they see now is not the party that they've ever been a member of. And I encourage them. I mean, I tell them all the time, I think we need a good moderate Republican Party, just like we need a good moderate Democratic Party back to our history when we really move this country forward. And we did the most good for the people in this country was when we had two moderate parties that could fight like cats and dogs over particular issues.
But at the end of the day, come together and pass something that work for the majority of the people and then go out to dinner together at night. That laugh ever since we elected President Obama, that has gone in large part because the systemic racism and everything else. We've got to get back on a normal key and a sense of normalcy to try to move this country forward. And heaven forbid, Uncle Joe and Carmela are going to have a hell of a time because it's going to take years to correct the crap that this current administration has broken.
And we've got a lot of allies around the world that really need to know that we're the America that they've known for the last 20, 30, 40 years and not the America that they've seen for the last four.
There's an article in the Times today about all of these people slipping below the poverty line. Do you see that anecdotally in Texas as first district? Oh, yeah.
We're second in the district. We're second in the state in the highest number of percentage poverty. We're also second in the state in the highest number, most uninsured Texans, which Texas leads the nation in the most uninsured. But here's what a blow your mind get. A lot of those people still keep voting Republican, you know, and I never have understood that. And I've even had deep discussions with people. I say you don't have a pot to piss in or a window to check it out, but you continually vote against your own self-interest.
And it takes a while to get that to make that message resonate. But I think people are coming around because when you explain to them that the reason you don't have the ability to get insurance or you don't have the ability to seek medical treatment is because our state is sending hundreds of millions of dollars of money that they could have had through Medicaid to other states because we refuse to take it. Your leadership is telling you you're not important. We don't you don't need that and we don't need it for you.
And Louie Gohmert backs that Louie Gohmert to 100 percent behind doing away with the ACA. And when I tell people that your vote really matters, because with seven days after Election Day, the Supreme Court, which is now going to be stacked six to three against Democrats, is going to vote on whether or not the ACA should remain in existence. I will guarantee you it's going to be gone, which means that this new administration, we're going to have a monumental task of rebuilding a health care system that includes all America.
But what I tell people who aren't that concerned with the ACA, why they should be. Well, let me tell you what's going to happen to your own insurance. I don't care if you're want a health insurance or insurance through your employer or private. What's going to happen come January one after the ACA is gone after the lowest common denominator for insurance has gone? All these major insurance companies are going to jack up their rates back to pre ACA levels.
So you're going to see your copay, increase your deductible, increase, your premium increase and your coverage decrease because they will have the ability to do that without constraint. Don't say the ACA is not important to you because it is. It's going to get in your ass pocket, too.
So I saw one of the things you do. It is this Hank show where you're talking to your constituents. I was curious if there's anything that really shocked you that you've learned talking to them so far.
Well, I think I don't know that it's so much as what shocked me, Jesse, is what shocked them is that someone who's running to represent them will actually talk candidly to them and listen to their concerns and talk about the issues that affect them. Now, we're having one Thursday night at seven o'clock Facebook love Hank show. And it's going to be. Probably the last one that we have in this cycle, and it's going to be the most serious one because we're going to talk about fundamental differences between me and my opponent and why they're important to you, almost like a State of the Union address, because it's just something people need to hear and to erase those misconceptions that people may have about Democrats in general and understand that there's somebody who's willing to work on their behalf for the majority of these people and put their interests first above party.
And I'd never have been a big party person as much as I've been a people person. There's times and places, I guess, for for party type things to be important, but not nearly as much when it comes to the lives and livelihoods of people. And that's what I think people need to understand, is the fundamental difference between me and my opponent, where he falls in line with the party and kisses all the ass and rings that he needs to, even though they've basically kicked him out of the caucus because he's so crazy.
Me. On the other hand, I've got to support and authored legislation that's going to help the people in my district, and I'll support anyone else as it does, regardless of which party they belong to. And I'll fight like hell anything that don't help my district, regardless of the party, because at the end of the day, the purpose of the party is to raise money. The purpose of the legislators are to legislate and represent the people who sent them there, whether they voted for him or not.
How do you feel the campaign is going? I think it's going great. We've outraised him at every quarter. He's basically lost his financial support. I think on his last quarterly report, he showed a little over 70000 cash on hand. But I really wonder how much of that is true, because in that report, he had several bank charges, which makes me think that maybe he doesn't have the money and there that he says he does. But but our report closed.
We had almost four times as much cash on hand as he did. And we're up on TV. We've been on TV now start at the beginning of this week on network and cable. We've been on Hulu and YouTube now for going on five weeks. We're running a very robust digital campaign, phone, banking and texting, putting out lipstick's to these targeted areas that our constituents that we're trying to reach. As far as I'm concerned, we've done almost all we can do.
But there's still some things we can't do if we can get additional funding.
How big is Texas's first district? Because it's really rural.
Right. Right. It's composed of 10 full counties and two partial counties. Got, I don't know, right off the top of my head how many square miles. But I'm sure you could put the city of Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, all the major metros within the district, inside the district. I know I traveled the entire district Tuesday to deliver science for polling places in the round trip, but a little over four hundred miles or so.
I mean, it's a pretty massive size, but it's the only standalone, heavily populated rural district in the state. And that's why it's imperative that I win this race, because then in twenty twenty two, all the major metro areas plus this district will elect Democrats up and down the ballot on the statewide elections.
And so talk to us about what people can do to support you.
Removing Louie Gohmert from Congress to volunteer or donate or give us words of encouragement or whatever they feel necessary is going to help get the job done. We still want to put another ad up on TV and trying to raise money for that. Also, we're enlisting volunteers from all over the country to phone, bank and text and everything else to make sure we get the people out to the polls that we need to to make this thing happen. Thank you so much, Hank.
You're amazing. It's just awesome to have you. Who is your foot? That guy. My fucked up guy is is the strong bald hero, Ben Sasse.
Ben Sasse on a constituent call came out and said, oh, he kisses dictators butts. He spends like a drunken sailor. He sells out our allies. The way he treats women, he mocks evangelicals. Well, guess what then. You fucking known this for years. You know why you've told everybody you know about it. You've known this for years. You've known this from the get go. And you sat there and you still voted to exonerate him when he was involved in the impeachment where he committed crimes against this country.
You sat quietly until the barn door was wide open and all the horses were out. And now you think you're going to get away with going out and saying, oh, well, you know, he's a bad guy. This does not wash off the stain, then. I'm sorry. I used to like you a lot, but this is some chicken shit, and I think you need to really reconsider whether you need to be in office because you don't have the moral courage God gave the common rat, do we?
Is this the second Republican to turn on Trump who wasn't there? Well, there's the Martha McSally saying she's refusing to say she supported Trump, just saying she supported tax cut.
Martha McSally is a dead man walking. She's going to be asking people if they're interested in a beautiful three. To split-Level rancher in Maricopa County, Sue, rather than being in the Senate, Ben Sasse is really planning to run for president.
Yeah, and I am this is something and Ben knows it full well. He said these things to many, many, many, many people in the last four years. He's told many people the same things. And he still sat there, quietly, folded his hands and every excess of Donald Trump. He sat there and said, OK, well, I'm just going to keep quiet. I don't want to tweet about me.
You know what? Fuck you. That is a moral vacuum. And there are a lot of other Republicans. There are some of these guys. It's like the idiots who love Trump for real, the small percentage of them. Right. You always respect them more because they're just stupid, right? They're just morons. This guy knows he knows better and he's known better from the start. And all of them were in the same bucket, Marco and Ted and Josh Hawley and all these idiots, they've all known this stuff from the beginning.
Yeah. You want to know who my fuck that guy is? I would love to know who your fuck that guy is.
After watching three days of Amy CONI Barrett hearings, there's only one person who you can have as a fact that guy after this. It is Lindsey Graham who is just who spent so much time complaining about Jamie Harrison and how he was outraising him and how he wanted to overturn Citizens United. And it was just sort of amazing and also very excited about taking away a woman's right to choose very, very well.
The things that excite Lindsay are not things that normal people find exciting. 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 Chan, Fast and Historic Wealth, and thanks so much for listening. And we'll see you again on the next episode.