At Electric Island, we believe that we're at our brightest when we shine together. That's why we're making a promise to every customer and business that your lights will stay on this winter no matter what, regardless of your financial circumstances. If you're experiencing difficulties paying your bill or have any questions or worries at all, please call us on one 800, 50, 40, 21. We're here to help because we're brighter together. Hi, folks, it's Rick Wilson and welcome to The Daily Beast, the new abnormal.
Hi, I'm Molly John Fast, a left wing pundit and editor at large at The Daily Beast.
I'm also an editor at The Daily Beast, a former Republican political strategist, best selling author and full time troublemaker. We're here to have fun, sharp conversations with some of the smartest people in media, politics, business and science that help make what's happening in the country and the world clearer.
I'll try to keep Rick to the minimum number of F bombs and try to keep our kids, pets and other wildlife sounds from invading our respective bunkers.
So I we run fast. How was your winter holiday? It feels like we've been not taping for a long time.
I know it's only been like 10 days, though. Has it been? I think it's been like two weeks. Jesse, can you tell us what was the last time we taped it feels like 200 years after.
Yeah, a lot of news. So what would you do this vacation? You know, the usual stuff fucked with the president cause Trouble Neighborhoods.
Is Lincoln Project bothering the president? Lincoln Project has bothered the president for a long time. And apparently, even without a national election, we're able to bother the president because he is now cast Mike Pence into the outer darkness and force Mike Pence to basically dance like a trained monkey over.
And we were saying that on January 6th that Mike Pence will be presiding over the Senate when they cast the final vote that will end the fantasy of Donald Trump's second term in office.
Mike Pence, as he was sued at Trump's encouragement by the dumbest member of Congress, by the dumbest member of Congress, Louie Gohmert, although are we going to have to go and have a look at these new members of Congress? Because Louie Gohmert has a there's some competition.
Oh, we will. We will. There's the there's Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Q Q and on the the Karimova nine. Yeah. Q And on caucus. And then there's Laura Beaubourg, who has the loves of guns. It's a pretty amazing group. But, you know, then you also have the newly emboldened Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes who are both winning the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
You know, when you look back at the prior winners of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, how did it take us this long to get to Jim Jordan?
And I mean, just the, you know, these losers who receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, like, you know, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali and I don't know, call me crazy. Martin Luther King.
Kim Jordan is the Muhammad Ali of, you know, not wearing a jacket.
And of course, you know, Donald Trump is like everything else he encounters, turns it into a giant steaming pile of waste. Because, you know, we've had we've had Rush Limbaugh and now Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes. There's something something about this particular trio that's like particularly abhorrent in this moment we're in right now. He is rewarding these two mooks for engaging in their and their successful push back and cover up of his his Ukraine shenanigans and the firing of Comapny.
And like everything else, it diminishes the office. It diminishes the award itself. These guys, they will always have an asterisk next to their name. They will always be like like baseball players who were juicing because, you know, nothing nothing Trump does fails to diminish and fails to to to demean it.
Republicans can always come back. Right. American life is filled with second acts, but it does seem like these two are really painting themselves in a corner. Yeah.
And to be honest, I want to see Jim Jordan or Devin Nunes wearing their Presidential Medal of Freedom like drunk at a Christmas party, because you know what's going to happen.
Rick Wilson, what do you think about these tapes where the president tries to bully Georgia's secretary of state into changing the vote?
Can you process just how few fucks they had to give by the end of that discussion? But you notice he was like repeating himself over and over again.
Yeah, it's like right wing man shit. Like on Tuesdays we have egg, custard, whatever.
I liked it when he was like just straight. Q And on and. Right.
And are they taking the part out of the machine and replacing them with human organs. That's right. I had children.
If you were doing it, wouldn't you be tempted to be like you're right, Mr. President, the lizard people are here, they've taken over. And as soon as as soon as you reveal that the earth is truly flat, they'll release the ballots they've taken from us. We're so sorry.
You think I hate about the whole thing is it makes me feel a little bit bad for Brad Rothenburg, who sucks so much and who has spent all this time trying to arrest people for bringing other people water online to vote. And is I. I think it's important that we take a moment to really just marinate. These are the shittiest Republicans and even they will not go along with it.
You know, this is a scale question. And and I see this a lot with progressives like, oh, Mitt Romney said something today about Trump that was critical, but why didn't he? It's like, take the fucking alliance when you get it. You know, if you get a win with somebody you don't have to love, take the win. I'll take the win.
But just because you won't do something that's patently illegal. Yeah. That's going to end up in jail. I'm not sure that you get a ticker tape parade for that.
No, I'm not saying give me a ticker tape parade. All I'm saying is it is an indicator of how deeply fucked up the Republican Party is that these hard core Republicans I'm not saying they're conservatives. These hardcore Republicans are in a position where they can't they can't make the easiest decision possible, a nod and a wink and say, yes, Mr. President.
Right. Well, they can't steal the election for Trump. And also the other question is, so even if they if Brad had been like, yeah, here's 12000 votes, you win Georgia, he still wouldn't have won Pennsylvania.
Or I mean, and as a smart election lawyer said to me after hearing the tape that last night, he said Zoric is let's just hypothesize for a moment that wrapping's Raffensperger said, OK, here's four thousand votes. Do you then open up a massive number of causes of action for all these other people to come back in? This is not a straight line for Trump. And the fact that Trump sued them after they filed a lawsuit after it means nothing.
Trump files lawsuits like other people. Take a shit, OK? Occasionally during the day you get an urge and you do it. Donald Trump files lawsuits for no reason. They've lost 60 of them so far. What's more, this fine American and they're going to lose this one, too, if they you know, if it ever gets further than the amusing press release on Fox phase.
I also think that the voting machine companies have sued Trump and his allies before. Right. I wonder if Dominion can sue Trump.
Guess what? In 20 days, he does not have any kind of immunity anymore.
So I think what people are wondering, though, is like, does this embarrass the Holli's? And all people are going to stand up for this saide people can't understand why. Please explain the die is cast.
They are going to absolutely continue this performative bullshit on the 6th. They are not embarrassed. You cannot shame them. You cannot embarrass them. The ones that have pulled back already. You know, we're already the nervous sisters. I heard over the weekend that Ted Cruz was livid that he wasn't first with the most on this.
And Ted Cruz, who you remember, said he would argue Trump Supreme Court case.
Right. And he was he was he was angry that he wasn't being perceived as the guy because he sees Holly as one of the twenty twenty four primary challengers.
Those two are in a race for the bottom. Yes.
And when they both hit the bottom, I hope there's a large greasy stain because, you know and you know, Holly is a different character than Cruz.
He's a different kind of he doesn't look like fat Wolverine. He looks very professional.
Ted Cruz really has been eating his feelings and his feelings are mostly shame. I'm sure some bad. VAHIDI Do you, though? Yes. She doesn't even get a second house.
Poor, poor Heidi class.
What a what a loser Ted Cruz is. That's the other thing that's going to be fantastic about this. When it doesn't work, they won't get credit from Trump.
Don't know. We've seen that. Yeah. With Kent, the man has no loyalty.
No, none at all.
And again, when Don Jr. once trump the grift to the point, the last Social Security check has been cashed to to pay for his orga twenty twenty four race and he decides he doesn't want to do it.
And he says, Don Jr, it is now time for you to take the mantle of leadership of the market movement. Every one of these guys that right now is burning their reputation on the ground is going to get the shit tweet. Well, Ted Cruz didn't help me when I needed it. Marco didn't help me when I needed it. Josh Haley was weak. He couldn't get the job done. Only Don Junior can get the job done for America.
Mulligatawny, before I have to tell you, I think Trump does not go quietly to Don Junior. If Trump is at all capable, he'll run from a hospital bed. Like, I don't think I think it would take a lot for him to to turn it over to Junior.
Well, I think, though, he will see that as a perfect way to maximize the eternity of the grift. Right. Donald Trump is not running for president, he's running to pay his debts, and that was the same story that applied in 2016. He ran to pay his debts. He ran to ensure that a dying brand could get an infusion of new life. They didn't think they were going to win. They didn't think it was going to happen.
They're all they thought was this will be a fun prank. And off we go to the race. And nothing has changed except his debt is more extreme and his problems are deeper and the river is running. The river of time is running more swiftly under his fat feet.
So I don't know if feet can be fat. Yes, they can be fat. Feet can be fat. I had a very eventful Internet weekend this weekend and I saw that.
Did you see what I told her after she went? You know, so folks, you've never seen this.
But Janet Ellis, the president's traffic lawyer, and by which I mean a senior member of the police force and traffic traffic lawyer traffic for speeding ticket called John Ellis at one 800 law.
Anyway, so continue when she went at you and said, what are you twice my age and whatever that is?
And I'm thinking, first off, Jenna, if Molly was twice your age, she still looks twice as good as you.
Well, I know no second half as an as I tweeted, I'm like, oh, bless your heart, sugar. Being a carny in the Trump Circus is not a career.
I have to say, you know, people were checking in with me and we're like, are you OK? And I was like, of course I'm OK. Being attacked by someone like that is not you know, I get upset when someone smart is like your piece is bad or your headline is bad. Right. Know, that makes me feel worried because I think, oh, maybe I did, you know, sort of made a mistake. But when someone like this, it's like who you know, whatever that is, it's like when someone calls because.
Did you see what Tucker said about you? I'm like, right. The only thing with Tucker is that Tucker is like, you do get death threats when about for sure. Yeah. If I can, I can. I read one aloud from this morning. Here's a oh yes. We'll do a dramatic death threat reading. Yeah. Yes. I got several from this guy.
Hey big mouth boy. Rick on TV and social media. You talk tough motherfucker.
And I'm wondering if you're pussy ass is strong enough to come into the public square and stand on your principles spelled unless you can hold hands.
I met Tom Gibi in Show America just how wrong we are in believing the video evidence. Postal Service evidence it evidence and sworn statements of witness statements. Come on, motherfucker, educate us stupid bastards. You are laughing. The water is about to boil, bitch.
By the way, this person does not know how to use commas. Also, it's like a haiku. Stay safe. You know, I also don't think he wants you to stay safe. Yeah, you know, I don't think he does, but I like it.
He thinks you and Mitch are on the same team, right? I love that.
In his earlier letter was a majority of Americans know this election is not correct. Democracy is now over. I suggest you keep your pussy ass on alert because many, many, many people do not like you until fat bitch boy Christie to shut the fuck up. He's not going to do anything. You see, Trump expanded the GOP with young people and non-white people. It's not a racist party any longer. The people of the GOP are not into the LPI.
Romney, Kasich. What a bitch. Christie, Haley and especially the Bush crime family. Stay safe, cunt boy. Rick, that people really don't like you.
Oh, that's not a good one. But I like this the first one because it does have this very nice haiku like quality to it. Running water votes, voting machines.
The game show we really need for these people is to like, guess what, obscure, weird crime they've committed in the past. It's like it's always like rape of a raccoon or something.
So anyway, Jenna Allison, I had a Twitter fight. In the end, she said that I was twice her age. She is thirty seven, so that would make me seventy four years old. You're looking fine.
I know I look amazing for seventy four, whatever. I mean no harm, no foul.
Listen, a lot of this stuff is from the sinking realization that many of them have suddenly encountered that there are only so many positions for contributor's at Fox left and Jenna Ellis, Fox News senior legal analyst who does not currently practice law.
You know, the law being part of law. She is not licensed by the bar, which is for the lawyers can law and not in any state where any of these competitions. That is amazing. So what do you guys think about how Trump is now undermining the arguments for keeping the Electoral College and considering Republicans haven't won without that in 32 years, they kind of need that if they ever want to win the presidency again. Do you think he's making a good argument for abolishing it with all the stuff?
And what does that mean for the Republicans? Here's the thing.
Republicans love the Electoral College because it's the rules while also it's the only way they win.
It's also was it wasn't built because it was the only way they when it was built to the Constitution and the Democrats had the advantage in the Electoral College.
Right. But now it's the only way they win.
What happens, though, in seven or eight years when Texas turns blue, Republicans will suddenly find religion on the Electoral College? Wait a minute.
We've got to find a new method. It's called the Fox College, where Sean Hannity is 12 electoral votes have gone to. Right, exactly.
Donald Trump's going to become the viceroy of Greenland with its nine Electoral College votes.
It seems like Trump is going to go, but Trump ism is not.
Well, that is the cancer that will have emerged from this exposure to this particular form of radiation. The Trump ism problem is a cultural problem. It is a media problem. It is an entertainment problem. It is it is a political problem only insofar as it completely dominates the thinking of one of the two political parties.
But if you look at like the Senate, so say you have Ted Cruz and Josh Holly go in for Trump and just like, fuck it, let's go. Let Trump 20, 25 percent. Right. And then you have Ben Sasse on Facebook saying, oh, I'm Facebook. I'm right.
But he's certainly Mitt Romney of the young. Right. And then you have Tom Cotton, who, after the tape came out, was like, I can't support this.
But let's not forget, a few weeks ago, Tom Cotton was talking about putting troops in the streets to face off against antifa and be. Right. And let's give Tom Cotton too much credit here. No, I mean, I would like to give none of them any credit. And then you have Marco Rubio, who is like tweeting Bible verses. I don't see an heir apparent to the Republican Party here, except maybe Ivonka.
Well, that's Senator Ivanka Trump who is moving to Florida and she is now having active discussions with people in Florida from what we're hearing.
Is that true? Yeah, it's true.
I'm not bullshitting you. So she's going to run against Marco. She's going to run against Marco in a primary. And I will say this right now.
If if Ivanka Trump is going to run in a primary against Marco Rubio, the Lincoln the Lincoln Project endorses, of course, because I mean, no, look, I'm kidding about that. But but if she runs against Marco in a primary, Marco could lose. He will lose. He will lose. Because what do we know about Trump ism? Trump ism is not ideological. It is not a legislative program. I mean, Marco, I talked to somebody very close to him the other day who said, yes, Marco will run on the Paycheck Protection Act that he passed and like, get the fuck out of here.
What kind of vodka Trump will run on? I'm Daddy's little girl.
And I say, that is lap and Daddy loves me. Sam Brody is the congressional reporter for The Daily Beast and he's going to talk to us about the all important Georgia Senate races as they come to a close.
OK, so what the fuck is going on down there? Oh, boy. Evergreen question. You know, and it's the kind of professionalism I'm known for those guys.
It's funny because you could have asked this question like six weeks ago and there would have been an entirely different crazy thing that you would have been referring to for the president of the United States can't stop attempting or consciously or unconsciously to screw this this election up for this party and has just like in new and different ways, tried to throw obstacles in and Purdue and left his way. So, you know, yet yesterday we had the story of Trump on the phone with the Georgia secretary of state begging him to come up with 11000 votes for him.
He was asked about that today and doesn't really have an answer. And he's creating she well, she says she did hear it.
She did say she heard it. So that's that's what I know. I know she got this one and not the Access Hollywood tape.
So she's sort of masterful at not answering that. Yeah. Yeah, she she is. You know, but this is the thing. I mean, like for somebody with like I think not a whole lot of inherent political talent or skill she's had every day, it's like you have to navigate between like Donald Trump and his base of supporters and like some universe of people outside of that, that you have to win over to win this election. And she she really can't totally tahj either of them.
And this is the problem for her and for Purdue. Trump is constantly creating these situations for them where they're stuck between a rock and a hard place. It's really remarkable.
Yeah, that's very sad. My heart breaks for them. Why is she so bad at this?
She's super interesting. I mean, she's like in the sense that, like, she is not like, you know, all the other candidates in this race have had some kind of, like, experience. Right. Like they were out front. Like Raphael Warnock was a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Forever has been out in front of people. Osthoff ran in the most crazy special election of the Trump era. Other than this, Perdue has been around so like Lefler comes in and is like a totally unknown quantity, had been totally behind the scenes, was like a Romney Republican, basically, and, you know, lobbied for this job, obviously, like she wanted this.
You look at politicians like this sometimes and it's like, what? What what are you looking for here? What do you want? And it's clearly not she doesn't relish the like, back slapping retail. Like, I'm going to get on the stump and tell a bunch of jokes kind of thing. Folksy Southern politician, she she doesn't have that. So she's totally new at this. And I think that that shows in this race. Yeah, it is kind of amazing.
So you have uncovered a lot of unscrupulous dealings for both Loffler and Perdue. Loffler clearly is corrupt as shit, but I'm impressed that Perdue is also incredibly corrupt.
Well, what people forget about David Perdue is that like like Luffler is insanely rich and is the richest member of the Senate by orders of magnitude.
Well, that's how she got David Perdue was you know, this guy was the CEO of, like Dollar General and Reebok. And, you know, is is one of the these dudes who, like, thinks of himself as like I'm a I'm a businessman. I understand this stuff. And so I don't know. I don't I don't know if it's it's super surprising. I've heard from Hill aides, you know, after doing these stories who are like like my boss is like this.
They like you know, they're like they're obsessed with stocks. And I think I don't know, maybe maybe there's some of that with with him. But like, it's funny because the Purdue family also like is is something to consider here in Georgia. Sonny Perdue, who's Perdue's cousin and is the chick the chicken people. Right. They're not they are not the chicken people. Common common misconception there.
It's helped me also not to be confused with the lizard people, different different produce, but his cousin, who's Trump's secretary of agriculture and as a former governor of Georgia, I had one Georgia Republican tell me, like these are some of the most like greedy, greedy dudes like in the state of Georgia.
It's you know, and that's that's their rep. Sonny had apparently made quite a bit of money while he was governor of Georgia, just on like inside stuff. So, yes.
Side stuff. Yes. Yeah. So even to some Republicans here, I think it's like not it's it's not shocking stuff necessarily.
Loffler sort of most famous corruption moment is when she's briefed on the pandemic and then she goes out and buys zoom stock. Yeah. And also, you know, I mean, like offloaded like a bunch of a bunch of stock.
Right. Which is technically not illegal, but not great. Right.
I mean, this is it's hard because, you know, there there was legislation passed eight years ago that Barzman. Members of Congress from using information that they glean in their official duties to inform their investment decisions, but it's like really it's really hard to prosecute under that because if you're a senator, you can go like, well, like this wasn't classified or I have so many streams of information. I mean, they have entire staffs that basically just prepare stuff for them to look at, you know, so they're like super advanced, you know, if you want to think of it that way.
I mean, these are incredibly informed people. So for for legal purposes, it's it's almost impossible to to prosecute or draw the line. There's so much plausible deniability. But, yeah, that's that's that's left the most famous thing. But I think some of the stuff that also merits attention is the fact that, you know, she retains a significant stake in the company that her husband founded and that she was formerly an executive at. I mean, she has almost nine million dollars worth of stock in this company still.
And, you know, there's been moments where her actions as a senator have intersected with that company's interests and creates these scenarios where it certainly looks like Lefler is taking action or doing things with her office that do have an impact on this company, IntercontinentalExchange. So that's that's kind of been an interesting Jack to you. Don't say can you just give one example of that?
So earlier in the in the pandemic there a group of senators, Democrats who wanted to suspend negative credit reporting, basically like, you know, if you lose your job or whatever because of covid, your credit score can't get thing because you miss a car payment or or whatever. Obviously, a lot of Republicans were not so happy about about this push. Now, we didn't know Leffler was involved in this push at the time and this didn't become law or anything.
But later, we got a hold of the letter in which Lefler basically writes to all the federal financial regulators and say, please don't do this thing. You know, please don't suspend negative credit reporting. Then, you know, two months later, her husband's company goes out and buys one of the biggest processors of mortgage data, which is used to calculate credit scores. And this whole sector of the economy hated the push from Democrats to, you know, to suspend negative credit reporting.
So, yeah, it's a pretty smelly situation here where you've got this push that she actually didn't publicize that had a clear impact on on a business acquisition, her husband's company considered. And she has a vested financial interest in that.
You wrote a piece and no one seems to like them, and yet they may win. What's going on? What's going on is that like the Republicans are betting that voters hate that Democrats more than they like David Perdue and Kelley Lefler. And I think that strategy has been abundantly clear throughout this campaign. I mean, the negative ads on on Rafael, we're not john us off, especially Warnock, I mean, or just scorching. I was at a campaign stop on Saturday where Kelly Leffler said that Warnock was like a child and domestic abuser.
I mean, like really, really vicious stuff. Yeah. So vicious stuff. And like, this is you know, I've talked to dozens of voters and you asked them, like, why they're voting Republican and they say, I don't want the Democrats in there. I don't like this one. I don't like John Asaph. I got a couple who are like, well, I think I think they are all right. And, you know, there's voters who don't like Kelly Lefler and are voting for her anyway because they hate the Democrats that much.
I mean, this is really like so many elections in this era have been like own the Libs election. You know, this is a no no, it's election.
Like, you know, to the extreme, to you really did find someone who liked Kelly LaFleur. Yeah, I did. I think they actually, like, knew her.
Maybe so. So, yeah.
So if you see though, if voters confronted like I can't think of many things more egregious than what these two have done with these stocks that politicians do when voters are confronted this, do they have any justification for it? Yeah, they do.
It's it's and it's a revealing one because I wanted to ask voters about this stuff last week because the stock stuff is really broken through. I mean, you I had Republican voters like bring it up to me like unprompted, like I didn't ask about it. They don't like it. And again, it gets to the earlier point of they they hate the Democrats more than they care about the stock dealings stuff. But, you know, when I when I followed up with them as to like why they would vote for them anyway or, you know, all that, they basically just assume that everybody is doing this.
They believe that that Washington, both parties are is so corrupt that, you know, these folks happen to get caught for doing it. But their operating assumption is that this is just the way it's done. It's just what happens. And like, you know, it's reflective of the cynicism of this moment and the just degree to which these folks don't trust the system. And it gave rise to Trump and all that stuff in the first place. But they just assume that that everybody does it.
So you've got to vote elsewhere. In terms of what issues you're looking at, we're seeing unprecedented African-American turnout. Our listeners are going to be very, very nervous listening to this tomorrow. What do you think is going to happen?
Look, Democrats are really encouraged by these these early voting numbers. They've, I think, outperformed the expectations for the runoff, which is historically slanted against Democrats in terms of who shows up for it. They're they're outperforming the November vote in key demographics. Over one hundred thousand people have already voted in the runoff election that didn't vote in the November election. And that group skews largely younger. And and, you know, people of color, these are all good signs for Democrats.
Know, I've had Republicans privately concede to me in Georgia that they think that Perdue and Leffler are not favored right now.
So but all that is to say that there could be a huge turnout on Tuesday in person on Election Day from Republicans, that that carries them over the top. So at this point is just a question of how many people show up on Tuesday. If it is a time, then that is good news for the Republicans. But that operates under the assumption that, like all these folks are going to vote in person on Election Day because of distrust over the process.
But I mean, a lot of them still still voted early. I go to these events and someone will always ask, you know, raise your hand if you voted early. And it's still a lot of people and these are the most kind of hardcore engaged voters. So I wish I knew where where it's going to go. But I think it remains the case that Democrats built up an advantage that a lot of people didn't think they would, and that puts them in a decent spot.
Do you think there's a scenario where Warner wins and Osthoff doesn't? I think there is. And that's an interesting question. People here cheat on, you know, for the last two months. I think it's possible. But that would I don't see there being a difference between the two of them. I mean, there will be a difference. One will get more votes than the other. I think the question is, is that a difference of two thousand or is it a difference of ten thousand or twenty thousand?
We don't know. And this matters if if this election is really, really close. If it's as close as the race between Trump and Biden was in Georgia, then, yeah. You know, if if we're not going, I think the sense is, is that Warnock might have the edge because Lefler is is a worse candidate, is it has less of a name brand. And we're not kind of has this compelling story. If the race is that tight, Mourdock gets marginally more votes than Asaph that could that could carry him.
I think it's really unlikely, but it's it is possible.
Have you seen on the ground like a change in the way Republicans are dealing with it or now? Not really.
I think it's sort of like, you know, not like, please, this isn't happening. Right. You know, it's tough for them in the sense that it again, it creates another opportunity for them to look bad in the eyes of Trump's base. So they just have to avoid it. I think at this point, I would be surprised if any voters are like Perdue and Lefler aren't stepping up like we got to not vote for them. But I think there are some people who at this point might have come to that conclusion.
You know, neither of them were on that cruise, Holly, overthrow of the election, whether they've been a little cagey or about where they stand on that, Lefler has said everything is on the table. Should be noted that this is happening on Wednesday, the day after the election. So they have to say whatever they want about this and sort of not really have to pay the price for it.
So, yeah, I really don't know. But it's I mean, this has been a steady drip, almost like every day there is this Republican civil war that is playing out in Georgia and the candidates are having to fight against that. And at a certain point, I think and I think there are Republicans who believe this, too, that it has an impact. You know, it's not just noise like this has an impact, a huge segment of voters in this state.
Hang on every word that that the president says. And like after a certain point, he's saying this every day. So it will have an impact and we'll find out what it is. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you so much.
This is Ron. 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.
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Goldie Taylor is an editor at large for The Daily Beast and most of all, a Georgia political whiz who's going to talk to us about all the fakery happening in Georgia right now.
You are our lady in Atlanta somewhat. I have lived in Atlanta now since nineteen eighty five, so that makes it thirty five years.
But who's counting? A lot of exciting things happening in your state. A lot.
So quite a special year. And so let me tell you that I have worked on so many campaigns in Georgia that I don't have enough hands, feet, toes, mine and my granddaughters to to count them. My very first campaign was in nineteen ninety when now former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, governor then also worked on a campaign in 93 for mayor. A guy who is now the head of the United Negro College Fund, Michael Lomax, ran for Atlanta mayor that year and was beaten by the worst race that we're involved in because we got trounced.
He was beaten by who became mayor, Bill Campbell. And so those are my first races. But I have in the time since managed a good number of statewide races, municipal races.
If you ran for dogcatcher, you probably call to ask what it is that is that I feel like that's not such an easy we make light of dogcatcher.
Bad dog catcher is a hard race to win because it's at the end of the ballot and nobody flips to the last page.
And so, yeah. So this year is special because we're basically having a special, special, special.
But first, talk to me about your Secretary of State, Brad Strasburger, Raspberry Forever Masferrer. He is definitely a conservative's conservative. Right? Right. So when you apply the litmus test to a brand rasberry, you come down with he is a dyed in the wool, no red conservative Republican. And he told the party line, when there is a party line, he is apt to toe it. He was a part of the machinery that took a look at who was registered in Georgia and decided they were just too many people registered in this state.
Right. But he's right because I believe he's an engineer by training that when the consent decrees and all that stuff came down that said, here's how you must run elections in this state. And thank God Stacey Abrams got involved. Right. He put some safeguards. So, for instance, if I got a application for an absentee ballot mailed to my home and heaven knows they were mailed from all kinds of organizations. Right. When I could take that and mail it back to the secretary of state's office, they checked.
They would check my signature on that application against my driver's license or other state document. That state might have know with my name on it right before they issued the ballot. And if it didn't match, they contact me and say, hey, Goldie Taylor, we need you to verify the signature. Send us something with your signature on your driver's license. You know, so there's a double multilayered matching going on that happened because of Brad, right? Right.
And because that happened, a very small, small minority of absentee ballots were spoiled this year because they did it right. So that on the one hand, I don't like red politics. I don't like his role in voter suppression efforts. You know, in terms of what I do like is the man will kneel down to the letter of the law. He's not going to get pushed around more like Donald Trump. But he did have a thing where you couldn't bring water to people waiting on line to vote, right?
Yeah. That you couldn't politic. Right. Right. Well, people who are standing in the lines, the best kind of really always been a people are standing in line getting ready to vote. You really can't you really never could approach people for really any reason.
OK, so Brad is not so bad. No, no, he's not he's not so bad really on on that front of things. He's a highly technical guy in terms of, you know, reading things down to the letter. Now, will he make sure that the letter letter, you know, sways toward the more conservative position? Probably, yeah. Yeah.
But he still won't let Trump steal.
George, he's the guy you want me to call you in contact with the guy because Napranum. Right. Not the guy whose morals blow with the wind, whatever they are. His values may not be yours or mine, but they don't swift around you according to what popular opinion happens to be saying today. And so I'm not a huge fan of George's Republicans in this day and age, have lots of friends who are conservatives in the state. They just don't have to be in leadership right now.
But what I will say is I have respect and love, respect for the governor and this secretary of state and particularly this lieutenant governor, Doug.
I stood up and said, well, you know, we did it right through Georgia, sure, the election wouldn't turn out our way, you know, sure, we lost the state and we did one hell of a job registering people and those people turned out to vote.
God love them, you know, but that's the way the election turned out. Berghoff So I'm actually, you know, so on that front, I've got to stand with him and say, you know, if you love Georgia, love this state, then you're going to defend it.
And then they're out there and talk to me about recording the phone call. That's a pretty ballsy move.
But I think it was the only move that the secretary of state had left. Yeah, I think he'd been threatened. His wife had been threatened with all kinds of vile things that you and I get those kinds of threats every day.
That's right. It only happened to a Republican for once. It happened to a Republican from another Republican. And I guess that's a little shell shock for there. So there was lots of threats. And this president in this White House, they have been the brickbats thrown at this gold dome in Georgia have been many and frequent. And I think that it was about time that the secretary of state did something to defend himself, this process or defend the vote here in the state.
And so I'm glad he did it. It was gutsy. It also sets him up to be primaried for re-election. He probably won't win again because of it. He probably sacrificed his life for it. Wow.
What do you think happens now? I know there's a press conference going on right now.
Donald Trump has a problem, a brand new problem that he didn't have two days ago. So he already had the good folks of the state of New York. Attorney general has a problem two days ago that even if he were to pardon himself and that somehow sticks or pins pardons him, you know, all these federal shenanigans, let's just say they all go away with a pardon and, you know, ninety nine point nine percent true. All of those things are going to go away.
Right. Brand new problem in Georgia because no one grabbed in, took that call along with the secretary of state's chief legal counsel. They took it in Fulton County. Fulton County has a brand new prosecutor out of Fulton County. Her name is Fanny Willis Blackwell.
Yeah, she seems great. Fanny Willis, as promised. And she would just won her first election against a prosecutor who had been in office since nineteen ninety three. It was Amazing Race. She prosecuted without fear or favour. When I tell you that her folks are looking at that call closely that Donald Trump could very well and anybody else in that room helping him could very well face charges here in Georgia, in Fulton County, charges that they cannot make go away because no one, you know, federal pardon doesn't work out here.
And number two, we don't have a gubernatorial clemency policy down here. We have a pardons and parole board and they rarely vote in favor of of clemency or pardons, for my part, was about Grealy. And so I expect that Fanny, will she answer to the voters in Fulton County who overwhelmingly dislike Donald Trump? He's called us all liars and cheaters and said we stole the election in Jordan, that he won by 400000 votes. But for these good black folks in Fulton County, I expect Fenty will look to move forward.
He's got a brand new problem.
Oh, wow. Talk to me about what you think is going to happen. The entire Senate hangs on these two races. They do.
And, you know, I was talking to one of my colleagues last night on the other side of the aisle. And I think it's actually good that we needed each other for 20 years.
And we're friends again, how the universe works.
We're talking about these races last night. And, yeah, both agree that in any other year, if Donald Trump would just shut his mouth, number one, he probably would have sailed to re-election if he just shut up and handle covid. Right. But Georgia, he would have sailed and won this primary here in Georgia. We just wouldn't have the problem with this president running his mouth because he has in a way that he has attacked the institutions and the populations that he has.
He's created two brand new problems. One, he has completely fractured the state GOP. So the party that was the that has run a juggernaut of elections over the last you know, since maybe around eight when they were in the last Democratic governor was elected. They have been had control of state lock, stock and barrel because, frankly, they were just more highly organized. Well, Donald Trump has blown that up overnight. And so you can't get, you know, Governor Camp and Loffler on the phone together.
And he appointed her because, frankly, she's been a part of the parade. Of beating up on the governor. Right. And so you've got the state party in disarray, but you also have now angered a Democratic electorate that typically doesn't show up. No.
One in a special election, let alone a special election runoff. Right.
And so we weren't expecting the kind of turnout that we are now seeing.
Over two and a half million Georgians have already voted early and Election Day is tomorrow for a special election runoff. That is unheard of. And so and you've got Donald Trump in the state right now saying you can't trust Georgia voting machines. Those Dominion folks keep moving machines and ripping up the parts or, you know, Bradie, you sure they didn't count the right number of ballots? And so you've got, you know, far north or south Georgia in what we call the white counties, the counties that are desolate, that are not so densely populated, rural counties that are almost 90 percent Republican.
Those folks are thinking twice about whether they even want to pull the lever or come out for a state that took their president from them in their minds.
So you got some dynamics running that got to Democrats to win an election that the winds just weren't weren't supposed to go their way.
And the only question I have for you is, since Biden did win the state, I know the conventional wisdom is this was a very heavy lift for Democrats, but just explain why it was why it was that he won in the first place.
No, if Biden won the state, I don't understand. I mean, I know this to be true, that Biden won the state, but it was still a very heavy lift for Democrats. But I just don't understand the math of like, if he if a Democrat won the state, why is it so much harder for Democrats to win those Senate seats? Because it has been true. But I'm just curious.
Well, number one, there is no higher period of African-American turnout than in a general election for president. You know, on a on your presidential election. So there is no higher time that we turn out. There is no longer a time that we turn out and special. There is no. And so there is a dynamic of when people have access to feel like they have an obligation to go vote. And so when we talk about higher turnout rates, election cycle over election cycle, and this is almost anywhere in the country, older white Republican voters vote more often, more frequently and many more cycles than do other voters.
So just the general dynamics of that. But here's something specific to Georgia. Donald Trump lost this election by less than 12000 votes and count twelve thousand votes in a single neighborhood of college educated white women holding county. He lost this state because he lost the northern arc more than his share of northern, our college educated white women in Georgia. He lost the state because a high proportion of African-American women turned out in August, making an jonesborough in Atlanta and Savannah in Agusta in Albany, Georgia, and Columbus in the majority black cities in the state.
And they're now brown or suburbs, Joe Biden, Cobb County and Gwinnett County. And he took, I think, Douglass and some others, and Clayton and Fayette took all these counties in in in a larger majority than even did Hillary Clinton and did Stacey Abrams. But you took it because black women turned out so. Donald Trump lost women. He didn't lose white women, but he lost a higher share of them than some others did. The reason why the special is going to be hard is because you've got to convince both of those groups to turn back out tomorrow and or if they haven't already voted early.
Right. Right. But I think they do.
I don't think there's been a better financed set of Democrats in the state's history since Jimmy Carter came down the pike and won by 400000 votes in his general election in 1976. So I do think that it's well-funded that the ground game is here, that the right tenor is here in terms of people just being angry and wanting to get rid of, know, two U.S. senators who seem to line their pockets rather than stomping for the people in the state. I mean, it's pretty stinky if you can have two worse candidates, right?
So this is a special year. I wouldn't put my thumb in the air in any other year and say the two Democrats had a chance. That makes sense.
Thank you so much for coming on. I always love to get to talk to you and your amazing.
It is always, always a joy, my friend. Well, folks, it's 20, 21. And as you were aware, federal law and international treaty law requires each of our shows to include a segment we call Fuck That Guy, My Fuck. That guy is, of course, a member of the current Treason or Sedition Caucus, and he probably doesn't deserve to be elevated any further. But Mr. Josh Hawley, you should know better. You were educated at Yale University.
You were an attorney. You taught at fucking Oxford, you're not dumb. So what you're doing is either a play that's purely political by putting our democracy at risk for the future. Right.
I think it's that or a scam to put yourself in a position where you want to be the last guy standing at the end of the of Richard. The third.
That could be. But you're not going to be.
So my message to you, this guy, you want to know who my fuck that guy is? I would love to know who your fuck that guy is.
It's a Democrat, a Democrat, and it's a Democrat who I used to like in February.
Well, so it wasn't Bill de Blasio that now no one ever liked my fuck. That guy is Andrew Cuomo, who is working extremely hard to fuck up this vaccine rollout more than it has already been fucked up since the thing this weekend where he was all off on a tangent of like, I'm not going to get it until Hispanic communities get it.
No, I wish I don't care when he fucking gets the vaccine. The real problem now is the vaccine has shipped, but it's not being put into people's arms. Right. So it's in these freezers and it's going to the time the clock is ticking for expiration. So really, what needs to happen now is we need to get these vaccines in people's arms today. And what happens with the Fizer and also with Madona is once you open them, you have a certain number of doses that will go back.
So what you need to do is you need to give them all out. Now, Andrew Cuomo, in his infinite, stupid wisdom of being the fucking worst in the entire world, has decided that he is going to make a possible million dollar fine if he finds out that you are giving the vaccine to people who are not in the categories that need to be vaccinated right now. This is incredibly stupid and shortsighted for any number of reasons to wait.
If you've got vaccine and you've met the targets for vaccinating the high priority people, you still can't know it's more like this.
You open up, you open a container of Pfizer vaccines. You have four or five vaccines. You do everyone in the hospital who's over sixty five, you have 10 left. You have a few people in their 50s. If you vaccinate those people, you could be eligible for a million dollar fine. So what happens? You throw it out and that is what we're looking down the barrel of is just the dumbest, most punitive, shortsighted ridiculousness. And in the UK, they're vaccinating everyone.
We need to be vaccinating everyone. We do not need to be throwing away vaccines because the person is 60 to or because the doctor is, you know, I mean, it's just it's so incredibly stupid and shortsighted and ridiculous and it's going to waste. And the other thing is that people are already a little bit afraid of these vaccines because they need to be kept at such a cold temperature and because they're sort of the RNA bubble is very sensitive and people are just very nervous about this vaccine.
So what by attaching a fine, you are making people less likely to vaccinate and it is just absolutely the wrong thing at the wrong time to quit jumping. Jesus. Well, you got it's like he's trying to make DeSanto so good.
Well, don't worry. DeSanto is going to try to kill as many people as you possibly can. The great state of Florida.
On that note, we'll wrap up this episode of The New Abnormal from The Daily Beast. In future episodes, we'll be talking with smart folks from The Daily Beast and beyond, from media, culture, politics and science to help us understand what's happening to our country and the world.
We hope you'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 Chang Fast and he is the Rick Wilson. Thanks so much for listening and we'll see you again on the next episode.
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