« FiveThirtyEight Politics

What Should Republicans Do?

2019-10-28
The crew debates the savviest political strategy for Senate Republicans on the issue of impeachment. They also discuss the death of al-Baghdadi and disagreement in the polls.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Galen Druke
Hey. There wasn't as just a little housekeeping before we begin. We are in the middle of transitioning from our old studio to a new studio. So today we are going to have a video version of the podcast on a b c news live, but just as a heads up in the future, it's usually on at four thirty on Tuesdays at ABC News live. You can also check it out on our Youtube channel again. It will be back with those videos very shortly, but we are just in the middle of transitioning to a new studio and if our audio sounds a little bit different today, that's also. Anyway, enjoy the show hello and welcome to the five hundred and thirty eight politics podcast, I'm Galen drew what is the savviest political strategy on impeachment for Republicans in the today we're going to try to answer that question with a new addition of five hundred and thirty eight debate. We've done this a couple times before. Basically, we've each been assigned a position to argue and will try to poke holes in each other's case
Galen Druke
But before we get to that, we have a couple new developments to discuss. Over the weekend, President Trump announced that the leader of ISIS Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, died during a US military raid in Syria. We're going to discuss the political implications of his down. Also ask why there appears to be so much disagreement in national, democratic, primary and here with me to do all that our senior politics writer claim line how's it going Claire good also with us, is managing editor, Michael ha ha
Micah Cohen
I'm good,
Galen Druke
and we have with us senior writer, Perry, Bacon, Junior joining us from Kentucky how's, it going Perry.
Perry Bacon Jr.
I'm right there with you guys.
Galen Druke
Nate is out today, but we've got plenty to discuss so, let's get to it and let's begin with the death of all Baghdadi there is obviously a national security angle to this story, but that is not our expertise, so we're going to focus. On the pilot to Michael Osama Bin Laden's killing is probably the most obvious comparison to this. So how did that affect public perceptions of President Obama.
Micah Cohen
Obama got a meaningful but fleeting bounce in his job approval rating after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. You know you saw his approval rating pick up among Republicans, which obviously apartment and get good ratings, among were So if the Bin Laden killing is the comparison to make, then maybe we'd see a small but fully balance Trump's approval rating. I tend to think it's not a good comparison.
Galen Druke
Why not because
Clare Malone
No serious back and Osama Bin Laden was number one boogeyman and when he was actually killed, it was a world wide event, and this I think, because as Baghdadi wasn't the same sort of figure and frankly, because Americans seem to care less about this war in part, because there's middle eastern war fatigue which isn't necessarily like a nice thing to say, but it's very true. It just doesn't resonate as much culture is there
Galen Druke
Anything different about the political situation for President Trump say this war on Osama Bin Laden type figure in the American. Is his approval rating valuable enough for this to even have a similar effect to Obama in what was it like six points, or something like that.
Perry Bacon Jr.
I was going to raise a point exactly which is the Trump has been in this thirty eight to forty two. Forty to forty three, so I guess, if you from thirty to forty four that would be similar to twenty eleven, the Trump's approval rating seems to not really change Beyond sort of a two point range, plus or minus, based on really even really big events, Charlottesville the twenty eighteen mid terms, various kinds of things he said the for you know, so I just don't know that I can think of. In the end target the given an event is going to change how people feel about him and to give us sort of a told this, not particularly useful, but does tell you something. Not sure that the booing at the baseball game last night tells us a lot DC is very liberal, but I do think that I'm not. I wonder if that crowd, even thought that hey we just had. This big event happened in national security. Maybe we shouldn't do the president tonight, but I think people who are Democrats are booing the president whenever they see him right
Micah Cohen
Yeah, I think that's exactly right that to go back to Claire's point, the Bin Laden killing had happened under Trump, and then he had appeared at the national game. That night. I actually do. The audience there would have thought of this isn't a right, because the Bin Laden coming with just a totally Don Texan occupied a totally different space in just the American. I think the fact that liberal audience at the Nats game didn't think that I think that is telling
Galen Druke
Do you think it's more about the person was killed all but daddy versus some of it a lot, and then that Trump is just a different president and approval ratings work differently, given how Americans feel- I think,
Micah Cohen
probably mostly about the former than the latter. I think it's mostly about this. Isn't a Bin laden level of And that even under Obama, partisanship and polarization had increased to a point where I think you would have seen a bigger balance, if not for after they've been laid. If anything, those forces partisanship, polarization have gotten stronger since, Maybe are exerting an even more powerful, limiting effect on how much Trump's approval rating can change.
Clare Malone
I think Trump would would elicit the same super partisan response to matter what I also think, the way that he went about announcing. The death was. Tacky. The only word that comes to my mind. I think I like the way he talked about. Obviously this this guy is like it enemy number one right, but even look back at the way that Obama announced killed him. He got a muslim burial. So it was it c right like if they talked about okay, we did BOM Bom Bom. We like we did all these things in order to say, like we are better than he won Trump kind of died like a dog like a coward like all that stuff felt very I find it jarring to talk about death of a human being that way, even if it's like a terrible person
Micah Cohen
no you
Clare Malone
in that I think Obama kind of struck a note of assassinated this person in accordance with right. You know some dignity like and also in order to not raise the ire of many many many people in the world who would have been ticked off and were ticked off. I lived I lived over in the Middle EAST when Bin Laden was killed and all the coverage was Americans like running to the White House and celebrating, and it really Left a sour note in know many ordinary Arabs lot not like not like extremist just people saying look gross that that's happening so that sort of felt like that was happening. But for. The White House
Micah Cohen
Yeah I'd I'd, I tend to think Trump like started office announcement this way, but he could have like sees this as an opportunity to be Solomon, presidential and yeah and and commander in chief. He even by the end of the announcement that had gone away. I don't you know, I don't think Democrats would be rallying behind Trump. If you. Did that but it doesn't help
Galen Druke
About crossing party lines, actually, if you look at the Gallup numbers all of the increase that Obama saw in his approval rating after Osama Bin Laden's killing was from independence, and His approval rating actually remained exactly the same amongst down, so it entirely because it crossed party lines that he saw a bump. But anyway, let's move on and talk about the democratic primary and the national poll. Because they disagree quite a bit last week, but before we do that, today's podcast is brought to you by. Hiring can be a slow profile. Tourist Crow, Dylan Moskowitz needed to hire a director of coffee for his organic. He was having difficulty finding qualified app. He switched to zip recruiter doesn't depend on candidates. Finding you it finds them for it's technology identifies people with the right experience and invites them to apply to your job. So you get qualified candidates. Dylan posted his job on Ziprecruiter and said he was impressed by how quickly he had great candidates apply. Also use zip, recruiters candidate rating feature to filter his applicants, so you could focus on the most relevant
Galen Druke
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Perry Bacon Jr.
Why is a hard question? I'm not totally sure they could answer that went directly, but I did a little research into this yesterday. And what I can say is a Quinnipiac result was kind of in line with what Quinnipiac has been showing they've been showing Warren kind of trending up and slightly ahead of by and for a while. What you see in the national polls is Ben Apiac One and then you go, which has a pole with the economists too, and then three, the Ipsos poll, which is often done with Reuters, which you find in those three poles basically best two months. Basically a close race kind of either by with a single digit lead, both them tie or sometimes worn with. And then you have three other polls which are the box one morning console which usually pulls with politico two and then three the Harris poll would is often done with the hit those pulse of pretty much shown even in the last two months is they have Biden ahead.
Perry Bacon Jr.
In the high single digits in sometime nobody's. Even so, those are the kind of broad trends. The Quinnipiac in particular, is a more you know, a worse call for bite, and then some other polls are CNN is not pulled as much as the other posters have, so that wouldn't was a bit of an out. Would you add? Other polls like morning consult were buying is pretty far ahead. Do at this point is worth thinking about these. These sort of six pulled in different ways and kind of separately from one another and in those two blocks out of scratch.
Micah Cohen
What's interesting is actually when I first saw these stories. Initial reaction was, I wonder, if there just underestimate. I'm out of random variation. There can be in polling and in sampling. I think both tend to do that. You know we see a lot of chatter. Even if one poll show body and up five another pulse hydrase or that's actually totally normal. There's a lot of variation you would expect to get just from normal sampling.
Galen Druke
There's a twenty six points that we're talking about here.
Micah Cohen
Yeah yeah, which is a lot but Laura Bronner- are quantitative, editor, didn't look at these polls and analysis, and basically but Parry fetches. You look at the results by Canada to look at, for example, like how how large is Biden, Smart, the result is way outside of the normal range we would expect from sampling error. So something is going on here. Now, sampling are isn't the only type of our you would expect to see in. What are also found was getting at this. Is that, once you account for a house of basically the idea that different pulsers, because of different methodological choices or different sampling method,. And to get different results and that we, Third variation or the over large. Creation, basically goes: why do I think what we have here is there's something going on in the way in the px, for example, conducts its poles first away. CNN or you Gov, conducts their pole at is finding different,
Clare Malone
I mean it's probably look at the question I get asked. The most about is what's wrong: with polls are polls going to be bad twenty twenty, and so I think people have a lot of curiosity about very stuff if you're very in the weeds about Paula. It, feels like one of the Holy Mysteries right of all this know how Nate does the model or how different pollsters decide their methodologies. I think that is what leaves a lot of people, including me, sometimes right like very curious. It's like well, why did you. Wait this one group more and what is the reasoning behind that and how was that decision made? You know, is it a single person? Is it Is it a consensus within the polling group, but yeah? A lot of the stuff is singular to the organization, and that's not necessarily a satisfying answer to people. People can just want to say ok, but what's the state of the race- and I guess our answer would always be- At the polling average it'll give you better
Galen Druke
yeah. You can have
Micah Cohen
No, and it is like take an average, is really the best bet. 'cause, that's the whole idea is like ok, you have, on the one hand, the p adic, making smart, but at least somewhat subjective decisions about how best to do a poll, and you average that with it, so this may be making different, but also smart decisions. And you and you know, there's a collected wisdom there. The other.
Galen Druke
I think that's important to note here is when we look at polls for like approval rating and things like that, we take the house effects into account and then correct for them right. So if you know that over a period of many more CNN has a bias in favor of expanded, and I don't mean by s as in like a political requires, some bias. There is going to be act which may have a bias in the other direction. You can figure that out over many months, and then you can take that into account when your average, again with other polls, and so that is part of what we do in order to make sure that our average
Micah Cohen
or accurate? No in this really shows. I think why you have to do that. We're actually going to be launching our national poll average. Soon.
Galen Druke
That's kind of a big announcement, I feel like we get questions about that. A lot do you know
Micah Cohen
it's coming out. I don't want to give a hard day, but no it'll be coming soon and one criticism of other averages like real, clear politics who you know we cite them all the time and we loved That's a service that they do, that average all the time, but it's really bouncy and it's like all over the place, and if you looked at it you would think. Oh, my god, the race is changing all the time and, and you know, by up and down and up and down a lot of that variation. Is just house what pollsters happen to be an average that that I your account for that? You know Laura gave us. Average out account that account for that and what it shows: a really smooth race. You know, with water and kind of steadily climbing up into the low to mid twenty. And by then pretty much
Clare Malone
Things steady, you could,
Micah Cohen
If you score,
Clare Malone
maybe you could see a
Micah Cohen
I decline, but you know he's in the mid to high 20s
Perry Bacon Jr.
so part of the story here. Is one national polls really in a certain way? Don't matter, we don't have a national primary. You know, like I always starts and it'll change the polls and so on. So, on some level the they should, you know this attention to the exact average is sort of like not really ribs in the process. On the other hand, the national polls matter this year, I think more than ever and sort of two ways. The first is the Dnc is basically cutting out Canada. It's based on the national polls. We find out that some of these national polls are wrong or have been consistently bad. That is not ideal, because the Dnc is like so using the polls to include, except for debates and on some level of your Steve Bullock or your TIM Ryan. I mean they are low in every poll, but it's not great if the polling was proven to be wrong later on. The second thing is, I think, we're all trying to assist this question of kind of what is the state of the Joe Biden Camp.
Perry Bacon Jr.
On the one hand, he's still a cold front runner or a leader in the polls, on the other hand, he's having a lot of trouble raising money, and you have different accounts of that and part of the reason why these poll results are so contested over last week is because. Is Joe Biden kind of a stationary Kenneth Kenneth Static, or is he in some decline because the fund raising numbers and it's the most of the chatter among the sort of political classes, the Biden is struggling, but the poll numbers generally don't show that into the sea. An inch result with almost show that he's in a great position. So I think the polls are more so the front for the.
Clare Malone
Yeah and I think you've seen that narrative. Only added to with that report last week saying, some big donors in the Democratic Party are asking other people to jump in and shared Brown going get hello. Clinton. Is Hillary Clinton, gonna get
Micah Cohen
Brown is at least
Clare Malone
that's? That is not a laughable thing right. That is a he is a potentially very strong candidate. He's kinda like would appeal to Joe Biden. Voters, but is younger and also has some like Progressive I think, probably shared Brown has some some degree of regret. But it is this. We're we're in a weird, weird, weird state, because we're, also in a new cycle where people are so is Elizabeth, Warren too liberal for the general election, and I do think that that's a real concern for a lot Democratic voter deals like a low. The low makes people nervous right. It's like the ice is been like sort of steadily co front runner for about a and so everyone's like well, what's happening What happens next.
Micah Cohen
But I think I think all this does suggest that these national polls they do play an outsize kind of determining the narrative of the.
Clare Malone
For sure, and it's I don't know it's. I think people forget that Iowa is followed by New Hampshire is followed by South Carolina Nevada like the.
Galen Druke
The order.
Clare Malone
But yeah, I'm sorry, Nevada and South Carolina like the order of operations. That is really important. Yet we don't necessarily talk about it in well. In that way, National news reports. No that's true.
Micah Cohen
But it but it, but in that sense that's actually almost like. Why don't mind national polls playing such an outsize role is because at least then that you're kind of starting point. Somehow you're assessing the race is reflective of the party overall and not ninety nine percent. But it does detect the point Perry made earlier, that
Clare Malone
So much.
Micah Cohen
Agreement in the polls not due to sampling error, but due to choices the pollsters are making does shine a spotlight on.
Galen Druke
In fact, that
Micah Cohen
using these polls to determine viability and therefore what pulls the Dnc includes and what polls they don't becomes like a super high stakes decision,
Clare Malone
here's a question: how much do pollsters Rr posters willing to talk about their methodological. Like if you, if you had the head of the Quinnipiac poll on- and he said why did you make these like? What's groups? Are you oversampling or why are you waiting at this way? How willing are they to talk about? I.
Micah Cohen
Anne Perry, you've talked to that man in my experience, if they're pretty open and willing to discuss kind of their methods and why they do what they do. The only tricky part comes, I think, well, a lot of the decisions they make aren't ideal are about money, so there's Yeah, ok, we had to do this to save money, so those fronts I think.
Clare Malone
Or a little less. Some of what I'm getting at here, too, is like. I can't tell it from up from a pollsters perspective, I'm sure they also worry on some level that people will misunderstand why they're waiting a certain group more or oversampling a certain. And that their decisions will be read, disingenuous Lee, you know, there's these competing things up. We should be more transparent about polling and its flaws, but then, on the other hand, we also live in the news environment and the political environment where people are always looking for the disingenuous reading of things. Frankly, from like the very liberal on the very conservative side of things,
Galen Druke
yeah. That's definitely something I think you saw over this past week when the two poles literally came out on Wednesday, and then Thursday you saw a chorus of people Wednesday. Saying CNN is in the tank, yeah or bite in and they're just trying to push this and they're like political motivations behind this poll, and then you know on Thursday that Quinnipiac Poll came out instead of saying like this could also be an outline or something about it was like see. This Quinnipiac poll proves that CNN is in fact in the tank for Joe Biden anyway. Yeah I say Obviously, political twitter is not America, but within that segment of political twitter, there are disingenuous arguments being made about things that if you take a step back, you can explain in logical if complex way
Perry Bacon Jr.
Without like criticizing any individual posters too much it's worth looking at these, just as if you're a reader of your listener reader. Looking at this thing. It's worth looking at five hundred and thirty eight has graves of pollster, and then you can look at what the Rcp Realclearpolitics average, which pollsters they include. The economist has an average of polls and you can look at which polls they include. Those are not the same polls that include each one hundred and five hundred and thirty is ranked the poster. So I do think it's worth probing and thinking about I I agree, the average is useful, but there may be some. Do better and worse, poles, and we have you, know five hundred and thirty is internet discussion of it, so it might be worth
Micah Cohen
Not that context as well yeah and actually to Paris point we're going to be updating those pollster ratings very.
Galen Druke
Turn I know I saw Nate scooping himself on.
Micah Cohen
Twitter.
Galen Druke
And we did the number one rated
Micah Cohen
poster again veil
Galen Druke
he unveiled it New York Times Siena College,
Micah Cohen
okay,
Clare Malone
adulation editor learns about his self scoop,. Like if on the spot,
Micah Cohen
first of all I always know when date is working on something I just monitor his twitter account. That's how I can
Galen Druke
anyway. Yeah we're going to have those updated poster ratings and also an average.
Micah Cohen
You said you can actually our average accounts for the poster. Our average doesn't exist yet, but will exist soon. Takes into account how accurate pollster has been historically and whether that poster uses best practices, methodologies,
Galen Druke
alright. Well, we had a whole pulling conversation without Nate Nate. If you have any feedback and
Clare Malone
sing to me, Your imagine. You are Maybe.
Micah Cohen
Feedback, send it to podcast.
Clare Malone
Thirty eight leave us a rating and You
Galen Druke
Alright, let's move on to our five hundred and thirty eight debate, but first today's podcast is brought to you by. If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your, but the problem growing businesses have the keeps them from knowing their numbers. Is there a hodge podge of Biz In one system for accounting, another for sales, another for inventory, and so it's just a big inefficient mess taking up too much time and too many. And that hurts the bottom line, introducing Netsuite by Oracle the Business management software that handles every aspect of your business in an easy to use cloud. Giving you the visibility and control you need to grow with next week. You save time money and I need that headaches by managing sales, finance and accounting orders and h r instantly right from your desktop or phone that's right next week is the world the number one cloud business and right now next week is offering you valuable insights with a free guide, seven key strategies to grow your profits at next week, dot com slash five three, that's week? Dot com, slash five, three: eight: to download your free guide, seven q strategies to grow your
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Galen Druke
or hymns com, five or back, and it's time for a five hundred and thirty eight debate. The question we're discussing is: what is the savviest political strategy on impeachment for Republicans in the Senate? We've done this a couple times before If you're new to the podcast, basically we've each been assigned a position to argue that people may or may not think is the politically savvy just thing to do, but they're going to argue it. Nonetheless, so where you going to make an opening statement and then will cross examine, whoever makes their opening statement for a little bit. So, let's just begin by going around and having everyone stay at the position that they're going to be arguing in order.
Micah Cohen
Michael will begin, I'm gonna argue that publicans should defend Trump at all costs. Slash Not give any ground but to acquit no matter what.
Clare Malone
I am going to argue that Republicans should let the facts and public opinion guide them as well, along with the Senate trial a k, a likely convey trump,
Galen Druke
I am going to be arguing that Senate Republicans should force a resignation from President Trump before it
Perry Bacon Jr.
forget to a trial in the Senate. I'm going to be arguing that they're applying no discernible political strategy here and it's a difficult to assist that because they are not operating in a narrow.
Clare Malone
Frame of polity. The key
Perry Bacon Jr.
cast muppet.
Micah Cohen
And to be to be super clear people, we are not arguing about what is the morally right thing to do? We are arguing about what is the best political electoral strategy for
Clare Malone
we will delete your email. If you misunderstand that
Galen Druke
thank you, alright Mika. Take us away give us your opening argument
Micah Cohen
okay, first
Clare Malone
Well, let me write it out.
Micah Cohen
I played a couple
Perry Bacon Jr.
next time. I see
Micah Cohen
but I don't think Republicans can employ a strategy here. That will all of a sudden make two thousand and twenty electorally look roses, and the question here for them is really about limiting their light. And how do you limit your losses, keep the base behind, don't think they really have, chance to take the house back. I think if you're Mitch Mcconnell what you're thinking and I got to find a way even if Trump loses that. I can keep the set seems just sort of damage limiting operation. Connell can do okay. So how do you do that? Real quick? Do that by then she doing what you did cab,
Galen Druke
Last year,
Micah Cohen
You don't under any circumstances, give an inch to Democrats. Why will this work,
Galen Druke
we've seen it work before
Micah Cohen
people are kind of Sheena. We've seen public opinion switch around the tree on Russia as long as Republicans maintain a party line, I don't think you would see the republican base abandoned as you did that at the very end, it's Republicans and next with Watergate: it took the lead Republicans abandoning next their big chunk of heads. Essentially what you would do is just say this is a partisan impeachment. We're going to focus on the substance and trying to get policy done for American, that has the added benefit of taking the strategy away from Trump sort of matters less. What he's doing, if you're sort of Pushing that aside and saying parts in partisan partisan has the best chance of resulting, I think in.
Galen Druke
Can skipping Right cross examination timing. First of all, how do you prevent the obvious suspects from breaking ranks with the party and therefore destroying image of it's all, just a partisan witch hunt, if you have Susan Collins or Mitt Romney, Kowski or Cory Gardner or some of these other senators who like? How do you keep them in line under your scenario?.
Micah Cohen
Oh, I think it'll be really hard to keep them, but I'm not arguing that that's possible. I'm arguing that that's probably the best course for to keep for Republicans electoral further. My point, I think your question gets at why this is a good strategy to more Romney and Collins and Murkowski. And anybody else who comes along the more impeachment seems like a bipartisan cause, and I think the more you see erosion and the republican base, like think about two thousand and twenty Democrats are going to essentially baked in at this point, The real question is, who Republicans turn two thousand and eighteen both basis turned out right and that's a big reason. Why Republicans kept the Senate. They won a lot of these red states in the city if, in twenty twenty you're going into it and all the sudden Republicans have a band, then try I think there would be a good chance of seeing really depressed GOP turn out and then you're talking about just like a
Clare Malone
Electoral asked what this strategy are you saying that the the Republican should basically like see. The president, they should expect that they would probably not going to win, because when you're talking about losing those those reluctant trump voter, shall we say I think, of Scott Brown- that's going Not Walker losing the governorship of Wisconsin in part, because in world Famous Waukesha County Those you know, tasseled loafers republican, not reluctant Trump voters. Do they stayed home right. So is this? Is this strategy basically saying like yeah we're not. When the presidency- probably
Micah Cohen
is the question Claire, because I.
Clare Malone
Get it I do And. Nothing
Micah Cohen
I
Clare Malone
I think it is
Micah Cohen
ice for the interim. I think it may be not saying: ok we're going to lose the presidency, but it's saying you know Whether Trump wins are re election or not, is not within our control. We're going.
Galen Druke
Worry about ourselves, alright, Claire! It is your turn next time for an opening statement.
Clare Malone
Okay. Well, I think that the Republicans should convict Trump and let the facts public opinion and trial. Item. If you look at our five hundred and thirty eight impeachment tracker, you will find that people who think that Trump should be impeached. It's forty, eight percent of the pub. People who think that we were in favor of the impeachment process. It's fifty three percent of american support, so it's a decently popular. Thing to do. I don't know if people have been watching the news lately, but a lot of hitting the fan for Trump testimony is not great. Is White House counsel's efforts to stymie damaging testimony has largely failed. I would say on some level And the hits just keep on coming at some point in MID November. Democrats are expected to malott of the testimony public. So this is not going away, Democrats or non preparing a, I would say, more cohesive national narrative. That will be damning too.
Clare Malone
So x aren't great for republic. I think I will agree with MIKE's argument and say the Senate is the real powerhouse in the United States government right. And that the Senate's pioneers really kind of you know you can you can call it devious, you can call it evil by The way that Senate leaders have manipulated the rules, the filibuster, what happens in the Senate can be a really powerful and I think that it has become over the past few years. The body that exerts the most pow if I'm a republican- and I have a quite smart leader at the head of the Senate and Mitch Mcconnell, I would say you know, let's defend the body that we actually have control over. I remember interviewing members of the Freedom caucus, including Mick Mulvaney, who is now the acting chief of staff. Back in twenty sixteen an mulvaney specifically talked about, how it was good to have a blank slate president like Trump, because it would throw power back to Republicans. True power lies in this sentence. The way that votes are dispersed. You know it's more likely to be able to operate,
Clare Malone
offensively right. You, the Republicans, have a an advantage in Senate elections. I thin, so they should sort of throw the president out and say you know what half of us behind closed doors, maybe more than half assed behind the closed behind closed door, don't want to defend this guy. We do wanna, defend our colleagues and it's in some ways much easier. It's kind of also, I think, has the added benefit, of letting republican leadership take back their party right and to begin to think about a republican Party in the post, Trump era right There's. We always use these hostage metaphors about the Republican Party and trump the senators. These establishment republicans want their party back. And the way to do that is to publicly Disavow, the.
Perry Bacon Jr.
Person that is caused them all this space. We clear your strategy for Republicans in two thousand and twenty is President Pence who could barely win and Indiana. Into. Two thousand and sixteen for reelection and therefore join the ticket. He really was going to lose reelection in India. We have President pence one you're going to have to die. Also, was I going to go away in a cave he's gonna each day be tweeting, the establishment is terrible. How could they do that to me MIKE Pence's? It isn't easy. It's like this seems like a great path for to for service the democratic seats in the Senate. Two, no three Hundred, how and Elizabeth Warren President by winning We had like three hundred How would. This actually, this seems like a.
Clare Malone
Terrible idea
Perry Bacon Jr.
For the party.
Clare Malone
I think MIKE Pence actually benefits from four years of standing next to Donald Trump. So even He had a regrettable electoral Mission in India. Anna and perhaps that's the reason why he accepted the vice presidency. You will get the same apparatus that went into defending Trump and trying to make him seem a more palatable figure to the american public into republican voter You will see that poured into pants and I think there's actually reason to think that that ground is soft enough and that people are desperate and republican quickly, those let's say reluctant trumpers or will feel desperate enough that they say okay, sure MIKE you're right that the Trump x factor of the tweeting and stuff is a problem. I think in some ways you will have to. Can see. Aid that you might again lose the presidency, but it you could say: listen there were Democrats are going to elect a far left, let's say Elizabeth Warren
Clare Malone
And that's why you're praying for in this strategy? If you're, a Republican, an you say, will take the four year mulligan, but let's hold on to the Senate and we'll come back stronger with. I don't know.
Galen Druke
Give Haley.
Micah Cohen
In two thousand and twenty it will be a check on walk on the worn presence say: look. I think this gets at a big big question, which is. We talked about this until I guess before. Actually, but if elected Republicans disavowed try, let alone remove him from office How much of Trump's power does that? Prime? I think it's at least some man. I think I could make a pretty good argument that it's a lot watch Trump is not head of the party anymore and once he doesn't have the institutional backing of the Republican Party. That he would be far less influential with republican voters, so they do here would be Republicans. Do what Claire says. Now the facts get worse and worse. They eventually vote to convict Trump in the center. Then yeah, maybe pence isn't great, but you can sort of carve out. Slightly remodeled republican Party,
Galen Druke
the same way, Trump did you know after two thousand and twelve. So, but what's the advantage of the public disavowal part of this over forcing, right. You were saying, like you, want Publican senators to publicly.
Clare Malone
It's about Trump, what is the political advantage,
Galen Druke
Keeping this out, but as opposed to like, if you just force him out
Clare Malone
find closed doors. You never just about him publicly. You can say like the idea that listen it's reached too far. On a bridge too far, you can hide behind that argument of saying it became too much for us, the criminality or what have you? You know. The corruption was too much for us to bear. We really want to be faithful to the drain, the swamp ethos and therefore. You know. That.
Micah Cohen
Insulin, Eckley killing the person who started that thing no in and resume the strategy is essentially saying: okay, we think that. Public opinion among serve it, if leaning independence among swing, voters is going to get so anti trump That it really hurts us in even right, leaning states right. So if republicans are going to break with They have to do it in a way.
Clare Malone
That
Micah Cohen
that signals to those voters like hey, you can still live in the Republican Party, an hold your.
Clare Malone
Held up high.
Micah Cohen
You know if they don't have that public break, then then.
Galen Druke
They at some of the worst of both worlds, all right. So I will now make the argument that you absolutely do not want that public. I am responsible for the argument that Senate Republicans should force a trump resignation before it ever gets to a trial in this and, like both of you, I agree that the utmost priority should be to keep the Senate. I just think that there's a better way of going about and essentially they need to keep the Senate, because that's the only way that they can confirm judges if there is a republican president in twenty twenty and they can support liberal policy if a Democrat wins so this mentality goes Democrats are likely holding on to some of the most damaging information until the public impeachment proceedings begin in the now. If you look at polling, independence, are slightly in favor of impeachment. Once those public hearings begin, it won't be possible for senators in purplish states to support the president without losing those in
Galen Druke
and we're mainly talking about five vulnerable senators. Here, it's columns and main Gardner in Colorado, Ernst in Iowa, Mcsally and Arizona, and tell us in north care and you're going to see ads in both directions, pressuring these five senators to either support the president from conservative groups or break with the president, from liberal groups. Now what will end up happening? Is it a break with the president? They could very well lose prime and what would result from that is you have an even less electable republican going into the general election in those purples, If they stick with the president, they've, basically tied their fates to Donald Trump, who, in the states, where residing all five of those states, has a net negative approval rate. And already you've seen that those senators approval ratings have fallen since the impeachment inquiry began now all but one have themselves a net negative approval rating. So basically voting in the Senate is a
Galen Druke
either who's, your primary or you lose in the job, and Democrats only have to pick up three or four seats depending on who wins the presidency to gain the Senate. That is the risk that Republicans should absolutely not and ultimately we know that republican senators do not like President Trump. This removes any risk of him Winning in twenty twenty, this is kind of like their one shot. In some ways, Democrats are doing them a favor. And learning from the Watergate era, obviously Ford pardoning Nixon was not a good move for the republican Party. The way that they forced him to resign is have pence, pardon him, but then also not run for real. We know from the Reagan revolution that it's a little embarrassing to have somebody resigned in scandal, but Americans are forgiving. They will get past it quickly and you can come back.
Galen Druke
Better and stronger than ever before, not to mention that if we get to twenty twenty two with senators still supporting Trump and Trump in the White House, you have Republicans defending twenty seats democrats only defending twelve seats, and you have senators in states like Wisconsin, North Carolina or to Ohio Iowa up for election. So looking down the pike things become,
Micah Cohen
A strophic, if republicans don't force,
Perry Bacon Jr.
Out quickly, Cinema Paradiso. Always three different points here. The first is that I think, there's a group of Republicans. I would put Tom cotton in this group marsh Blackburn this group. I see those The leaders of it who will adamantly opposed. Any effort in the Senate. To push out Donald Trunks, and will like make their college. Please look like they're sort of like rhino cell. Thanks for doing it, so I really think the incentives for that Tom cotton there's like ten Republicans, who really believe Trump, and they're going to It really hard on the probably thirty it's about people who don't really. Trump and that's the real big bear. I think, is there the Susan Collins seem like they matter, but Tom cotton will be on Fox news. Every j. Saying that these other or not. Real Republicans Unless they stand with Donald Trump second will be. He obviously Donald Trump will never ever ever resign. I think You probably know that, but I think this were saying.
Perry Bacon Jr.
And then the third thing is, I feel, like all through these arguments is kind of. Ray. Sit on the idea that Donald Trump has like a twenty percent chance of winning reelection. If Donald Trump has something like a. Forty five She is a which is what I the number is closer to forty five and twenty five then? Why would you take all this risk when you just one hundred and twenty and twenty sixteen kind of a lucky bounce, the electoral college, Can you direction? Maybe you're has some foreign government. That helped you that you might willing to do that again. So are we sure that your chances are so low that you, this sort of terror? The party, when you have like a four
Galen Druke
He percent chance to win election great, alright, so battery prong critique of my art, one. The reason that you do this behind closed doors is so that you don't have.
Perry Bacon Jr.
Or like Tom Cotton on Fox Villa.
Micah Cohen
Buying Tom cotton will keep it behind closed doors yet, but I think so yeah that, no matter what, even if it happens behind closed doors
Galen Druke
This thing is becoming public quickly, right, so forcing a resignation. I acknowledged that the weakest part of this argument is: how do you actually make it happen? I think it's something along the lines of Mitch. Mcconnell finds his twenty fellow Republican Senators, who had back removal of the president compiles every single on going case against the President paints a picture for him of what life outside of the White House without a blanket pardon would look like it's probably a jail cell and then informs him that he has all of the votes whipped up to remove him from office. If he does not agree. Obviously that still may not work, but that's what that conversation, but. And then. Lastly, I don't think that this argument hinges on Republicans, believing that Donald Trump will necessarily lose. I think it just hinges on them. Prioritizing there.
Micah Cohen
Access in the Senate, over whatever the hell happens to the President yeah that's. What I was going to say is, I think, you're right that a lot of this does come down to what are Trump's chances of. Winning another term, you know, and that includes what are his chances of sort of like not even. Looking at two that really real But it also that is one part of a two part equation percent of Republicans. As far as the presidency is concerned, and the other part is. At what call right so maybe Trump run trump runs in twenty twenty. The same. Or college advantage did in and sixteen and squeaks out, another win. But in the process, Gardner and Collins and all those people are kind of wiped out in the Senate. Essentially it would be like what we saw in twenty eighteen. Where the White House playing the role of the
Galen Druke
center in the Senate, plane with the role of the houseboat period. So yes, what you described was president Trump getting lucky in twenty But imagine if there was a more orchestrated campaign in twenty twenty with Nikki Haley, so MIKE Pence says he's not going to run for reelection. You have Nikki Haley at the top of the ticket. She picks. You know Dan Crenshaw, this young veterans from Suburban Texas, who can help Republicans in Texas, save the state house from having a chamber be lost to the Democrat. And a trade war which they run on historically low unemployment, number continuously growing economy and saying that Democrats are starting on the: U S: Mexico, Canada, trade deal! You know in this post trump world. We Republicans are now the adults in the room and the Democrats During the past, four years have become crazy, socialist San. We want to continue this economic.
Perry Bacon Jr.
Why does that not sound like a better picture for Republicans to pay, for it means if you can get to Nikki Haley is the president and struck not attack here each day? I guess that's a better, so I just don't know how to discuss now and it's so hard far from where we are now it's Nikki Haley. Whatever you think about her is, I would argue kind of if you can, if you look at her record on like immigration comment, she gave some speeches that are pretty critical of trump in the past that I just feel like. She in particular, I think, would sort of set up a kind Republicans civil war in twenty twenty would be very easy to trump or Trump to say. Not only was I am fairly with my office, but you replace it with this sort of, like you know, running we pro immigration and like that, I
Micah Cohen
I think I need to go to Tom cotton over Nikki Haley yeah, it's the best argument in favor of Republicans abandoned trump to some extent is essentially what you were. I think you were getting out, which is like in a lot of ways: the fundamentals favor Republicans right Army is doing well, at least for now. Democrats just won a bunch of seats in the house in twenty eighteen. To some extent to kind of overextended their and republic, I'm pretty from ground in the. The problem is so if you could just remove Trump from the political calculus. Republicans have. Not going to. For them right, the problem is: how do you do that without igniting a republican civil war? I think killing your propose a sort of the worst.
Galen Druke
Both worlds. But let's get that alright yeah, let's get to Perry your.
Perry Bacon Jr.
Argument for is around this is this, is the there is? No, So I'm going to read this quote from PETE Wehner. These are republican. He was a senior staffer with Bush, too he's one of these. Never trump republicans- and he said this on CNN a few. People decided early on for a variety of reasons, to accommodate themselves to Donald, I think some of them thinking that things will get better, that he would grow in office, be surrounded by good. He's gotten we're having a made that a combination early they didn't feel like they could get on now is this is offensive is a defense of their defense of trained so to indict him is to indict themselves and to indict their own, And that's hard for any human can when I'm not trying to do here is make a moral Justin. Reading that what I'm more getting at is.
Perry Bacon Jr.
I think, a lot of discussions that I read assume that were in an electoral strategy environment. You know Mitch Mcconnell is this brilliant electoral strategy? I think that's true and that therefore he's got his he's. Looking at his polls he's talking with his colleagues he's thinking and nature tegic, And that's not what I'm seeing the way. I reason I look at that is you have these resolutions. The house had this resolution to basically, since your Adams, and then Lindsey Graham, has a Senate resolution to basically attack the investigation to say it's two secret this to mean, and so I think the old Mitch Mcconnell that I used to cover what he would have done was He would have run a resolution, is Susan Collins and Mitt Romney and Cory Gardner in the kind of more moderate Republicans were for read it that way and something that was so written so moderately would have put pressure on, say, Doug Jones or Joe Manchin, or a person running.
Perry Bacon Jr.
This is not a center currently like some sort of a a mark. Kelly Smith is running to be in the Senate in a swing state. As a Democrat, when you put pressure on those people and make the investigation look part of. It will be great for the Republicans to be able to say even Doug Jones thinks this investigation is too secretive. Maybe the Democrats should open it. And that would be a smart electoral strategic approach. They're not behaving that way. They are behaving a little cult like like Matt Gaetz invading you know this room where the hearing is going. The resolution the Senate was written by Lindsey, Graham, who has become kind of Trump's best friend in this weird way, and it's sort of pushing other Republican so to me in electoral strategy would like center on. How do I make Susan Collins and Corey Gardner Comfortable, and how do I make Doug Jones kind of have to join our team or not and we're not seeing anything close to that right now, and so that's my sparking a for. Basically, These guys are playing the same game. They used to and they're not
Micah Cohen
Any decisions it looking like Charlie.
Clare Malone
And isn't any decently. Easy, though, to have a caucus set, come together and say: basically the mistakes were made line vis a vis, their judgment and offensive. And if you get a big enough contingent of Republicans to say, mistakes were made aka trump and defending that it could sort of drown out the voices of the the Tom Cotton, the Marsha Blackburn, and that you could right, the ship that it's not just all chaos and it's not all beyond repair that it simply almost like a people fear of the president's tv and twitter reach at you. If you band together enough people behind the scenes and then go public, there's still an effective or Possible way
Perry Bacon Jr.
Out for republic, I don't want to rule that out. I just think that enough people have made enough comments. Just the defenses of Trump and the things he's done, I think, are going to make it it's almost easier to. One position would be that having foreign assistance in an election is dad, but not in. You see a fair amount of Republicans. Do that I think, is our Mitch Mcconnell in Lamar Alexander's, you've seen other people a fair amount of this. We basically say foreign interference. Is you know it's just something that's done in I don't know this is easy, but hard decision to back out of this. Let's be honest,. The liberals, the Democrats and the media are not gonna, make it easy on the Republicans there go. You know your choices here is the choices, stand with Trump or break with Trump, in B, mocks constantly and like in hand, I don't think the. But if you look at how Jeff Flake is treated, he is not feel like some kind of hero by the left to the media he's treated by you voted for. Most of the things. Trump did look at your truck score, so I'm not.
Micah Cohen
Really sure that path.
Clare Malone
It's going to be easy. I mean some of this all goes to the absurdity and power of Trump Sakori. Right. Like the thing, I think that people fear most on a fundamental basis, is someone rejecting them or making fun of them? But if enough people Then together and say actually this Does the. Four. There's a gaelic word called Ahmed. Which means basically like.
Galen Druke
Please this guy's, the almond on he looked well saying that is that, because my name is.
Clare Malone
Because. I'm a fool. I don't know I did. trying to do doesn't know she. Do the. Rotating left to right, yeah. You will leave it open, but what I'm saying is I mean in some ways this is the most complicated thing and yet the most simple thing, which is basically Role reversal an it requires some strategy behind the scene or Republicans to say he's gonna make fun of you he's going to make up a nickname for you. But if enough of us say, can you believe seventy something year old man here tweeting about this I mean in some way it would be easy because more than half the country. Seems to feel that way, right or- and you have, you would probably get a lot of plaudits from the media right and like there would be some positive attention for you. So couldn't you have the power if, if Trump power is communication, media. Couldn't you all
Micah Cohen
to turn his greatest power against it. I don't think they're very good at that. You know, or at least not as good as trump. The thing here is. I think Perry makes a good point Justin, reminding us that all of what we're seeing, at the very least it. Twelve dimensional chess write. A lot of this is idiosyncratic used and a lot of this people have their weird reasons for doing what they. I guess, though, Perry I do think that all the behavior you're describing and also easily be explained by electoral and sent where the median seat in the Senate and the house is our plus 6rr plus. In other words, there's a republican biased in those chamber right, let alone seats that Republicans now control or even more or even better than that, So We have every every reason in the world to circle the wagons around TRA maintain a party line. Just based on on electoral reasons alone, and then, when you add into that all the evidence, we've seen that.
Micah Cohen
Play frankly, politics is nihilistic, to some extent is not a dare there unless you say, there's a there, so I don't get totally Perry. How where your argument diverges from from my.
Perry Bacon Jr.
The argument- I let me since mine would be that they not pursuing an electoral smartstar. Because I think the Democrats have in this process behind closed doors. Democrats are not brilliant politics, so the fact that Doug Jones has not feel any pressure to criticize the investigation, Doug Doug Jones in a heavily pro trump state. So the fact that none of the moderate Democrats like in these blue this the Democrats have one truck districts, Doug Jones. I mention this look. There is a way I think, of more optimal strategy would not just be unifying. The Republicans will also shoot. You know stretched out, like Mcconnell did stuff during the Obama situation, where the result and Democrats voting gets things. That Obama was for mostly democrats. All the Democrats in the Senate basically voted against. Closing get motorway bowl bomb. I have laid out my.
Perry Bacon Jr.
I think it's Mcconnell was like focused on how do I win more Senate seats and he had this sort of the real control here you see a different strategy and this one is less electoral and more tribal of the balance. We mostly agree Michael, but I do think
Galen Druke
I've seen Mcconnell, is smarter moments and he's hemmed in by what, if the reason that they're not putting forward resolutions are positions that moderate Democrats can get on board with is because there simply aren't. Because the facts
Perry Bacon Jr.
So bad that Doug Jones is never going to feel like he needs to defend possible. I do think most people in the world are for transparency generally. So if you made a good argument for why these hearings are clue like Matt Gaetz, leading the leading the movement to make the hearings more tree spirit is not going to move anybody, but there is a way that I would argue there was a way I guess what I'm saying is. I do think there are ways that this is not. The politics is always movable on some level in. Moderate Democrats are afraid of the road shadow Doug Jones is very worried about losing reelection. I mean, if you can't like make Doug Jones, seem a little bit nerve.
Clare Malone
I don't know what your strategy is not worth a quick question just about since we're talking about Mitch, Mcconnell He is obviously come out and said. Basically, I have to hold a trial in the Senate, but there was a period of time where you places like lawfare were making these arguments that letter technically Mcconnell Like. Make an argument to say we can't actually have the trial blob like whatever it was. Do we think it's? It's all significant that Mcconnell has.
Galen Druke
Yep got to have that trial minutes different a little bit of leverage over Trump, at least right, like if you're, in a position where you want to try to control the White House or contain the right house. You know, given the other establishment figures are not gone from the executive branch. That's a way to do it. I don't know if that's what he had in mind or if he was went home, read the constitution and so.
Micah Cohen
This is actually something we need to do. I'm not sure I think it is significant. I also think I'm trying to find it right now, but I saw some reporting about Mcconnell, say. At the chief justice would have a lot of say in any Senate trial to look. I do think to like to take a step back from our argument. It's not the modal outcome, but I don't think a Senate acquittal is like a fait accompli way. I think the facts are really bad. There are only getting worse. An you haven't, seen like huge breaks in the republican wall, but. You've seen a little couple. Axe in
Perry Bacon Jr.
Can I say. Megan's total. The wrong. Yeah I mean, I think the reporting here is off. Like I read that Washington Post story, Republicans in hushed tones are worried about. I mean sure if your sources are Mitt, Romney and Susan Collins and like for other people,. I don't that doesn't feel like. I guess I sometimes I feel like the Tom Cotton's in the blackburns are under quoted in the Romneys are over quoted, and I just don't know that we. The odds of a twenty Republicans standing in public and rebuking Donald Trump at ninety percent. It seems fanciful to me, and I feel, like it's almost like suggests. The media is not growing out of sort of a not because of the Michael, but I do feel like there are stories I read that have a sense of the coverage. The This is like we're talking about two thousand and fourteen and swerve, maybe in
Clare Malone
And is where the norms of what we're looking at, don't really working yeah. I mean honestly that story this morning, Perry reminded me of some of the coverage of democratic senators in vulnerable seats during the Kavanaugh information hearing. It was all about. Do I follow what is electorally smart or do I follow my moral compass. And that post article seemed to have that framing around it. Right the idea that. Everyone's all, these republican senators are having this room right. Moral This but like what do they do.
Galen Druke
That seemed it seemed to have echoes of that
Micah Cohen
we should begin to wrap things up by deciding who.
Galen Druke
On that debate, I think I think the listener.
Clare Malone
The okay. So.
Galen Druke
Listeners tell us what you think then rate review us. Then regular viewers give us a five star review. Tell us what you think.
Micah Cohen
To reiterate,.
Clare Malone
Okay, you, where what was your position, keep the party line, no matter what was let let the facts and public opinion guide, GOP.
Galen Druke
Looking so convict Trump in the Senate, I was Forced resignation,
Perry Bacon Jr.
for a trial ever reaches the Senate Perry I was, they have.
Clare Malone
No discernible strategy. We we can all.
Perry Bacon Jr.
Or he's going to win because with the actual situation, yeah Michael, thank you most people releasing both from
Clare Malone
And minus. I'm not real.
Perry Bacon Jr.
In the.
Clare Malone
Parameters that may not I want, but I will say that this.
Micah Cohen
All elicited an interesting discussion about the power of the Senate, yeah yeah and about the other thing that was clarifying as part of this is just how What are Trump's chances in twenty twenty and how it. The Senate is just like so sad. All right! Well, if you think one of us one.
Clare Malone
Give us a five star review
Micah Cohen
And on it,. Let's see
Galen Druke
Sounds good.
Perry Bacon Jr.
You can vote.
Galen Druke
On Twitter
Clare Malone
but
Galen Druke
Alright. Thank you.
Perry Bacon Jr.
Skill in my car.
Galen Druke
Thank you. Thank you very. Thank you. Thank you. My name is Galen group Tony Chow, as in the control room, are in turn, is Jay Carlo
Micah Cohen
You can get in touch by.
Galen Druke
Emailing us at hi can I set five thirty eight dot com you can also, of course, we did us with questions or comments. If you're a fan of the show, leave us a rating or review in the apple pie, kind. Store or tell someone about us. Pricing and will see you soon.
Transcript generated on 2019-10-29.