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“Stimulus checks and balances.”


Mitch McConnell agrees to stimulus checks because he’s worried about losing Georgia, Covid relief nears the finish line, and Democrats ponder why they lost the Senate race in Maine. Then, in an excerpt of his interview on this week’s Pod Save the World, Barack Obama talks to Tommy and Ben about his tensions with the Pentagon over Afghanistan and his thoughts about the rise of right-wing nationalism.


Listen and subscribe to Gaining Ground: The New Georgia at gaininggroundpodcast.com.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Welcome applied to America, I'm John favour andean driver this part will talk about the pandemic relief bill that may finally passed Congress and will also do a deep dive on why Democrats came up short and what looks like a very the Senate race in Maine. After that, it will treat you'll hear a portion of the fascinating conversation, the Tommy and Ben, had with Brok Obama on this, pod save the world wars. Brok Obama calls it. cast the world including a discussion about Obama's tensions with the Pentagon over Afghanistan and his thoughts
about the rise of right wing. Nationalism is an outstanding conversation. I highly recommend you to check it out if you, and already he's loose the bosses loose. I we watched it on Youtube, you welcome, I just because we have a success at my house with smash, essence grow button and the like. Take away from watching that Our view was the gap between how Barack Obama talk to us in privately, in a meeting and how he talks in public is dramatically narrowed, envy, phase of these great before we start with a brand new podcast to tell you about? It's called gaining ground, the new Georgia. We will be releasing this in collaboration with tenderfoot tv, it hosted by Atlanta, natives, jewel, wicker and remembered Brown, and it tells the story of the massively important Georgia run off as well as these struggles and triumphs that led to this moment
you'll, hear from the organizers strategies and voters on the ground. In Georgia, hoping to change the south forever, the trailer and episode, one or out right now so go check it subscribe to gaining ground the new Georgia, wherever you get your pie tests citing stuff, also got a very special episode of unholy or than Thou tomorrow, we're Phil will be joined by a friend of the pod Brittany PICNIC Cunningham with Christmas fast approaching, Fill in Brittany will talk about the idea of Jesus Christ in the modern context, is a social justice warrior so check it out? Tomorrow, make sure to subscribe to on holier than thou wherever you get your podcast let's get to the news we just may have a deal on a second corona virus relief bill, a nine hundred billion dollar package that includes about three hundred billion dollars for small businesses. Twenty a billion dollars and rental assistance, a few billion for vaccine distribution, tens of billions for schools and transportation systems in
extra three hundred dollars per week and unemployment benefits the corporate. Ability shield is gone, but was the hundred and sixty billion dollars for state and local governments? Instead, there We need additional round of direct payments of around six hundred dollars per person. Then what do you think better than nothing better than nothing. That's all we got. It is better than nothing. I think it is this was why we were talking about this for a long time has been the cosmic happening for a long time and are take the whole time as this is not half of us on a quarter. Loafer does a fraction of what the country needs at this time we saw another. Nine thousand people this morning apply for unemployment insurance act, so the problem is getting worse. I saw a report that if this were not pass in, unemployment were not extended. Five million more Americans would fall into poverty at the end of this month, and so
that at least speaks to the urgency of doings. Thing, even if it is far from why we would do in a world in which Mcconnell did not have the ability to control what happens in a large part of this country eight million people have fallen into poverty. Just since the summer of you know is a lot of votes was pointed out, it's already too late for a lot of people whose benefits expire the day after Christmas, because even if we pass this thing now, it's gonna take a few weeks even a month, or so for the unemployment programmes in the states to get up and running again, it'll take a while for those checks to go out. So there's already people who you know we're gonna lose embedded. And there are a couple hundred dollars away from a you know, being laid on rent or a mortgage or being able to pay their bills and could fall into poverty. So it is a very dire situation. Something has to get past as fast as possible, even though, as you say, this is woefully
insufficient Bernie Sanders still not a fan. Here's what he told the Washington Post about a disagreement. He had with Joe Mansion over the compromise on a democratic caucus conference CALL Quote: When you had Menuhin talking about one point, A trillion in this large heroes bill, which is about two point, two trillion I dont know how Democrats started excepting a framework of only nine hundred billion dollars. So do you think we could have gotten a better deal? Then I don't know, I'm not sure we get his appearance I wish spread is aiming to starting about was before them. And at that point in time, Trump card disorder said he wanted to deal Menuhin wanted to deal. But, as we know, manoeuvre has basically no juice Mitch. Mcconnell said now said no to everything would notice noted potential compromise, and so I dont know why situate
you could have put in place, it would have changed my Connell's political calculus exoticism. They could never, possibly happen, but I had no one has ever articulated me. The path that got us to something better, I think the same thing I mean when year a lot of people keep talking about the White House Deal was higher. The weight of stones are right, but it doesnt pass without Mcconnell in the Senate, Mcconnell was stuck at five hundred billion for a long time and didn't wanna, buy Jha five hundred billion and presumably Mcdonald, and want to budge a five billion because he didn't have the votes in his caucus to go beyond five hundred billion, or at least he certainly didn't want to divide the republican cock? A so either way was gonna be dead on arrival in the Senate. If it was over that so others about well, the White House was gonna, get give one point two trillion another skies up yet that's all fantasy and tell Miss MC caully says yes to that. No, if there were no doubt payments in the original by partisan compromise deal.
there are direct payments, and so why did this happen? Well, Bernie? Anderson, the Senate and a lot of the progressive members of the house pushed really hard for those direct payments by it wasn't all they also wasn't, because Democrats alone push for direct payments. You had Josh Holly in the Senate, working Bernie Sanders to get these direct payments into the bill and then then you got Mitch Mcconnell on board with a direct payments, so is our is our? What did a newsletter noted last night Senate humanitarian leader Mitch. Mcconnell came around to the idea of including stimulus checks. After witnessing the plight of America's most vulnerable population. Richard look and senators from Georgia Macao. explicitly linked. The direct payments to the Georgia run off on a call with republican Senator saying quote Kelly in David are getting hammered because they ve been fighting against direct payments for months.
sure seems like mention the Republicans think they're months long blockade of any additional pandemic relief could cause them the Senate. Doesn't it its end He said as much and urban areas when one the most revealing comments that he owes its. As always with Republicans, things are shocking, but not surprising and if the sole motivating factor for Republicans is affecting other Republicans, and if Mr Connell thought blocking aid, making sure that five million Americans fell into poverty would help Kelly and David returned to the Senate. Miss we're gonna, keep the gavel that he would sure as hell do, that I do back to one thing really fast, though, that I think the Mcdonald's comment dies spring up, which it It is possible when you say was our way to get another deal,
there could have been a world in which a pump. There was a house Democrats trumped here. This is a very hypothetical situation where it was passed and then Footmark Force Mcconnell do voted up or down, and that could have got that could run one or two things could have got you a deal. We can speculate on the political consequences of what idea would have had the presidential level or It could have put it in a situation where more Republicans and colleague David were in trouble because they just voted down. A bipartisan really feel like. That is that the hindsight is twenty twenty percent. Scenario. Why do you think that policy just didn't negotiate directly with manoeuvre and then on something like that? I think I don't know that I have been. I don't wanna it's hard to the reporting on its ability, clear hard to speculate there Probably a sense that manoeuvring cannot deliver a deal trot is to distracted dumb to actually be behind a deal,
therefore now you're just giving the Republicans the patina of bipartisan compromise about ever actually delivering what you want to deliver. That would be the argument against it. I am fascinated by the fact that Mcconnell seems incredibly worried about leffler and produce position in Georgia, particularly over the direct payments and over blocking relief, because I had always suspected that this could be a big issue in Georgia Run offs and sure enough. You know us off and Warnock are both running adds that Hammer Purdue and Leffler, as Mcconnell said over a lack of direct payments and over blocking covert relief in general, and that makes me think alone that maybe we could have gotten a better deal.
I hammering the shit out of Senate Republicans, and particularly Kelly and David, for blocking relief for Georgians during a pandemic in a recession that I think that mean is indeed ever all of these are counterfactual spot. I I agree with your premise: here's the tough part that we always wrestle with is. They are hostage takers and republican Party, and they are fine with a result where people don't get any relief and that they just play chicken with Democrats and at the end of the day, there's no deal and no one gets extension of unemployment benefits. No one gets relief. Republicans dont really give a shit. We do so. The consequence of you know pushing for a better deal, because we think that Republicans,
would accept a better deal because their worried about Georgia, and then Republican, saying you know what fuck you no deal is millions and millions of people hurting and falling into poverty, and so that there is real world consequences to playing the game of checking with Republicans in this that we care about, and they don't necessarily care about which gives them an advantage in negotiations. I don't hear that as much from people, but that seems to be the truth you having this is why Democrats, always is get criticised for not getting the best deal possible because we do not- what the hostage to be shot in the Republicans are willing to shoot the hostage in these legislative negotiations. And the choice- and it is a dangerous game of chicken to play with five million people falling into poverty in two weeks. That is what we are talking about here and so that that limits your leverage, if you're, not willing to see people get hurt than you
you're, always gonna, be it a slight disadvantage of using and I'll. Have a solution to that problem in situations like this, because we would have to be people that we are not too, as a party to in our leaders are evil, they are not to be as impractical and cynical as dangerous, as the Republicans are in this situation. And again, in terms of what it means for the health of the economy and for the millions and millions of Americans who are struggling and and and falling into poverty. It is better to a smaller deal now than a bigger deal later, because if you lose your benefits now, and fall into poverty and have less money to spend in the economy. The economy gets worse than more people lose their jobs and more people fall into poverty like it becomes a vicious cycle, and so too it is of the essence in terms of breaking that cycle, with some relief just to the people,
Well, you know. If we don't get the deal now, we can hope to win Georgia and then get a bigger deal when Joe Biden becomes president in late January February. Well, then, how many more million people fall into poverty by then it's a real cost and it's a consequence words also did. Our leverage point is the Georgia elections to the extent we have one, and so what happens come January, six and you're like hey Mcconnell, What did we want to do another deal or, let's now, let's do something. and he does not care, because Kelly and David are either. off other yachts or back in the Senate. So if Leffler, an Purdue are able to tell voters that they just voted for a bipartisan compromise to deliver relief to Georgians. Could that costs Democrats, the Senate that occurred? Why do people to step back for a second load? People criticise policy before the election for not taking a deal
perhaps not taking a big, I was one of those people. And we decide what one of the substantive reasons that she may not have taken. The deal is well. It was maybe a deal at the White House, but my child really want the deal. There is a political reason that I had always been worried about, which is if the election was closer than we thought it would be. It was, and Donald Trump went into the election just a few weeks out being able to say Look at me. I just passed a bipartisan compromise that delivered more checks and more relief to the american people. That might have been enough to get Donald Trump over the top in a close election with swing voters. I kind of think now it would have. Again, counterfactual, so no idea, no idea, but I would not have wanted to make that that, with the results, the way they work, but you said counterfactual I was someone who made the argument that for political And substantive reasons, plus the undemocratic these pursue the deal as far as I could do it
and the subs put the political reason will argue like, I could argue that if they had done the deal with when you can argue, if they had down the deal we would lose. What like we don't know, maybe you're, probably more right that I am on that. But on the substantive, the argument was if we- Even in a world in which we win the Senate, but the early ass we would get aids. People would be next year which a sort of what we're looking right with Burma, be off by a week That and millions of people have lost their jobs. They have lost their safety, things they may be in the process of losing their homes in the time. I wish those negotiations started in now, and that was the choice I think the end result here is we'll never know think what there was not an actual deal for policy to turn out, which is a very important thing to say, wasn't like that like sign on the dotted line here. Nancy policy put it for a vote and we're gonna send checks to be well that wasn't what happened. It was
Stephen, you can wanted to have a bunch of meetings with. No, actual ability to deliver something, and so she the judgment based on that which is different than what we were here. Mcconnell, a potentially during which is cynically not helping people to win. Sorry that that is not what was needed. I imagine what policies calculations were again. I can't get inside policies head, but it was she she understood what the political consequences of passing a deal. Maybe she also genuinely wanted to pass relief to help Americans if it looked like the chances. That sheet was actually gonna, get a deal, meaning not just from the waiter but from the Senate. If it look like the chances were really high, she would have gone forward damn the political consequences, but if it didn't look like the chances are that high? Does she really wanna with risk the political consequences of pushing really hard for something? That's not good is, as she might get after the election, so it was not again. None of these in the important thing is lot of hundred g on.
policy on, though you know what the left is asking for and like all of these decisions are very difficult. They are not easy, both the substance and the politics of them, and will also it's it's not clear what the consequences are going to be. All the time like, we can predict the future on this stuff, so people are trying to operate with the best relation they have. That said, so we pass a deal now and subs. We do it because substantively we really want people to get help, even though politically it may have helped us more do not have a deal and then hammer telling David over this in the short. Oh, yes in the short term, so House, ass often Warnock talk about the bill in a way that prevents leffler and produce from using it to their advantage when it. What what? What? How do they make do of the situation, I think the best way to do it is to
Make the case for were it not for Kelly and David and Republican Control, the Senate? He would have got twelve hundred dollars in this check. Out of I've been desk. The state of Georgia would have gotten more money to distribute vaccines. That Because of these corrupt, wealthy Republicans looking out for their donors georgian Are denied a bunch of economic help, you really get the vaccine slower and you have to it's not like we are once again in the world the making counterfactual argument, but you blame them I'd on the fact that this is up but is far from enough, and the reason is that enough is Kelly, indebted I'll go. If I would fucking light this deal on fire, if I was John US off and Rapid Warnock, I would say shit
I would I would say- and I would also attach motive, cynical motive to the Republicans for doing this to Leffler Purdue and you talking about a low for half of. I would say they threw you some crumbs because they are, they are afraid, your vote them out and if you dont vote them out, you won't be getting any more, that's what they promised they just they there. They are running scared. They wanted to give you a few bucks how much as much as five hundred I was going to do for your family. How much is cutting unemployment benefits and half going to do for your family, which is what they did in this deal? Cut unemployment benefits and half and cut your your checks and half from last time, because their worried that bed that you're gonna vote them out and if you don't, you won't see another time, no matter how bout this recession gets, and you won't see any more help for the vaccine or first stop and cover it. That's what they promised. That's what they wanted it you know like. I would be much more on the side of this is not. This is not great, and look at Washington did.
the that I think that is probably the best play and I, I think, you're your whole crumbs bread thing. Would lend itself to a lot of really get digital lotta differ metaphors. We can pay where we can do carbs. We can do other stuff. Whatever this Is it necessarily, I think, an argument? That's gonna win you a run off in Georgia by Giuseppe back from the entire conversational. Having here is such an argument for why we control the Senecas, what a stupid fucking situation! We are in that. We are arguing between nothing and barely enough in the middle of a raging pandemic and in a recession. It is insane that this is the approach to it. but you know what like that, that anger that you just expressed is your right, like you have to tailor it for Georgia and not make it about process and Mitch and Trump and all the rest of it, but that that anger is what I saw for. I can Democrats in general should be channel
hey, you know and burn he's been doing this. I like what you use. He went away when an I think, Bernie has said he doesn't like the deal, and you know You think. Well, ok, if would Bernie really vote against the deal if it meant that no relief was going to anyone. I dont know if he would. I think Bernie cares that really gets to people, even if it's not enough by every interviewed gives about this he's pretty angry and like he should be angry, because people are really hurting right now for no fault of their own, because we're in the middle of a pandemic and Republicans have held up relief for months because they don't fucking. Give a shit. and we should be angry about that, and we should say like him. If you want that to change, you got to vote, that's it or else it's never going to change. The other point. I think that we're not Democrats can make here
is the fact that there are public insisted taking out money that would have gone to preserve the jobs of teachers, cops firefighter, yeah, that's a state, mobile money and too often in shorthand. We call it funding for states in cities are stationed localities. No, and no one knows what that Renault and really gets what that it's not humanised anyway, yes and like this is only we're gonna have to deal with next year because he states are in a situation like the photographer they cannot run a deficit organ after make dramatic cuts. We saw this in two thousand and nine back when there actually was a decent and of stable state mobile money, money for cuts, firefighters and teachers in the in the recovery act. But we're gonna have have to brand this in a way that puts repression problems, because what brain Kempis doing what Rhonda Santa's is doing. What these are public Amazon, as they are opposing something that would keep people essential workers in their states on the job read there
even even in the world. The blue Stay bailouts Fox news and everything else lay of teachers, fire fighters cops
m? Tease is not popular and you can make Republicans pay a price for it. You just gotta do it aggressively, and that is something that I think would happen here, that they could do in the Georgian. Jason is coming weeks if this deals past, but I do think you know, as Joe Biden takes over and by demonstration comes in, like I think that his you know is message of like I think I can get things done with Republicans. That should be a means, not an end right, like bi partisanship and unity in Washington is not the goal here end and in Democrats and Biden can't lose sight of that, and I don't think that evidence they are yet but like. This is an incredibly dark time for the country, as Biden has said many times, both because of the pandemic and the recession, and I think the anger and the pain that people are feeling needs to drive. The message on behalf of Democrats that we
Are they are fighting for these people? That is the end. However, we get there depends right. If we win the two Senate seats in Georgia, then we tell Mitch Mcconnell to fuck off and we passed a bunch of stuff. If we don't, then sometimes we may have to compromise with Republicans, but again, it's all in service of helping people who are struggling right now and that I think, has to be the overarching message and they have to be able to channel that anger in that paint in the country. Right now, Joe Biden has because of his message and the coolest. You could go there when he has a political obligation to extend his hand, Republicans if Mitch Mcconnell decides to smack that hand away. That's all Mitch. Mcconnell, then, is a common about Joe Biden all Ass to hold Republicans accountable for doing that? Joe Biden can get caught, try, I bought a souvenir succeeds godless. That's a huge achievement, but if he, if he tries and fails that as on Mitchell COP, that is on the Republicans, and we have the opportunity and twenty twenty
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ultimately loss to Collins by nearly nine percent. After being five points ahead in the polls, even as Joe Biden, one, the state of main by nine percent, give you lost nine percent Giovanni and by nine percent, which, by the way, was six points bigger than Hilary when, in twenty sixteen democratically Psmith Jared Golden also one reelection in means: conservative, second congressional district, which Trump carry twice and golden improved on twenty eighteen win by a few points. Gideon lost, left main? Is the only state in the country that didn't vote for a president and senator of the same party Dan Sarah Gideon ran for office in a blue state where she outrages and outspent Susan cones by so much that she ended the campaign with fifteen million dollars in the bank. What happened? in many cases you would say that it cannot do any it with mind. Hours at the bank should have spent more money back
that's the case here she had more money than possibly spend as much money as you possibly could you, both of us were reading a lot about this in preparation for us to talk about this and like every single He's talked about voters who were so sick of seeing Gideon ads. In flyers, Gideon Male Pieces, Gideon Digital adds she she ran all the ads you possibly got. I write approximately one thousand articles about this over the last thirty, six hours and there is definitely a where I ask as anyone here that I have I been domain in six years now, but have? I read some tweets, yet you have you into my wedding, either right. That was it. You know what I would have really by various area. I really would have a bad. If you ask me, like I'm, never going to mean for your wedding, I had a delicious lobster role on the way there and all the way back. But kind. What a basin
twenty one is gone. You been married for like eight years so that story. I know it's only been little over three years. So well, that's really something. So, yes, I have been to made recently- and I know, people who have homes in me like you're lost so arrogant, but I do think some of the articles and analysis of this it has been written are written through the perspective of Susan Collins, victory where's, my computer, we always, whereas I am so sick of it, Gideon ads and so sick of the Guinean. Far as well guess what Susan once and Republican spent just as much as syrian refugees there are just as many Susan Collins adds there is just as much outside money. on this using carbon side that ETA, Sarah, Gideon and one. You probably would not be it'll, be ring all much of voters in Maine Diner, saying I'm sick of the acts. Rightly, why didn't you vote for Serengeti and because I saw some man just
so there is always a bias in coverage that is sort of reverse engineer from the results. You think there are a couple of things to take away from this and one big giant caveat one is. There are some lessons to learn from other races, by main seems to be a real anomaly in a way that does not apply everywhere else. It is just It like there was a period of time in politics more than a decade ago, where you have lots of states where the Republicans one the presidential bubble in Democrats had seems impossible to imagine now the recently as two thousand and four the Democrats at all for seeds in it, the quotas and we're all for my God can't Conrad, Byron, Joergen TIM Johnson Tom Daschle. I work for two for a man, yes, I couldn't you I didn't even for a long time, and even though the can't Conrad Byron Joergen were two different people. We,
add both entities in Arkansas, both entities in Louisiana, ascendancy in Alaska and just as the very different world reap senators, that there is a description, presidential incentives that has not been true for a very long time. And certainly without any reasons, election, and that main seems to be the one exception there and I think There is a little bit of an anachronism in Maine that is, may not be applicable in other places. Well, and I don't necessarily just think its main and the electorate man, it's it alive. This has to do with Susan calling you like. Let's be honest, I mean I wanted to beat Susan Collins more than almost anyone else right, because I think that she poses as a moderate bitch up during the trump, whereas she was not a moderate and she voted for bread Cabinet and she voted for trumps tax cuts and she just did not speak up against Trump almost ever and I don't think she showed any kind of political courage. That's my view. I am a live
all who lives in LOS Angeles but like she, has a twenty four year reputation as a moderate voice in Maine to the people of main right? They looked at her and said: o k maybe they didn't agree with Oliver decisions affect it seems like the electorate main, did not write like lots forget in her last election. She won with almost he presented about net. She won with fifty one percent of the vote. Here said she d lose a bunch of people who thought that she, you know strayed from her moderate moderate past, but they see her vote to save the affordable care act which she did and then to book in that vote. Theirs. They saw her vote against Amy Coney Barrett right before the election, which she did. They saw her not fully embrace Donald Trump. Was it politically courageous to like? come out one way or the other to say. If you supported Donald Trump you know that was increases at all, but people and or like they knew
What's going on, I like she doesn't really like Trump she's, not saying it. Ok, that makes me feel better and so I'll go vote for Joe Biden, because I want him to be president. Then we won't have Donald Trump and then Susan Cons, maybe can go back to being a moderate, I mean it doesn't sound like a crazy thing. If Europe, just a regular voter, remain, does it seems crazy to me these guys are to me too. I'm a liberal, unless it is our intention that as part of the problem- and so I think there are a couple of different elements here- there is one funny thing in these stories wishes that a big part of the the race was Susan causes main routes verses this Commerce ever Gideon somewhat. When did so, and you know it, is she a carpet bag, or did she just by a home and Chadwick lawyers exterior she's live there here. He asked
was born. There should be driving a car she's, not someone that, like Chuck Schumacher shipped in two main, she was the speaker of the house who stood with this with its when you know like, but again like it's your job on a campaign to both define your potent and define yourself and prevent yourself from being defined by your poet and it is clear that Collins used all the outside money, that Gideon was getting, which, of course, is and conquer fuck load of outside money too, but Collins used the words I made the getting was was getting to develop a narrative about her that she will, some liberal transplant it was you know, placed or by outsiders and that she was trying to take out our senator. Does the book which I put in quotes, because this was like the sign and part of branding all over Maine about Susan Collins. She was our senator and in Sarah Gideon was other, and Susan Collins was ours, which is
probably a smart. It's a smart narrative. The aim in the outside my thing is so ridiculous, because the aim, the bulk of the money it sets are getting raise was sure without a state as it is for every candidate everywhere, but whose grassroots body Susan Collins had more than fifty million dollars in republican superpower. Money spent on her behalf, so It is an absurd thing. I would say there's a couple of things here and are given another out here, just as we sort of It is very hard in the citizens, United ERA, to judge in hold accountable. A specific campaign for how the campaign place out so said: Gideon spent forty million dollars on her camping end those as we're good, someone may not abandoned and absorb amount of money there were. Fifty million dollars spent on her behalf by other people by outside groups that she is legally prohibited to talk to speak with so
red nine million dollars spent in Prague, Gideon ads. I imagine alive and looked at them. Much of that is from the DSL Sea and the democratic Super back democratic, Senator back. if you add fifty one million dollars spent in negative Susan Colonnades and one of the challenges here is not Groups are from Maine they don't have any real sense of main politics through our often cases raising their money on the internet. Their ads look a lot like going. in project ads and you're not It is very hard to paint a coherent narrative when you have, fifty million dollars in adds against Susan Collins that are sometimes reverse engineered to raise money online and that is one of the problems with some of the message here is when you are, as you pointed out, Susan Collins got. Sixty nine percent of the votes years ago she got sixty percent. For innocent seizures prior to that, some in order, to win
Sarah getting need to convince is a large number of people who had previously voted for Susan Collins. Do something different this time. and when you are trying to run against an incumbent who is There has been long supported an estate you, have to create a permission. Structure report changed her mind and you can do that in two ways. One is you can say that person has changed or you can see, the context has changed and what you can do is tell people that they were wrong for their previous votes there. Stupid to do that and the model on how to do this right is one of ways in which the Biden campaign ran ads. Targeted towards people who supported tromp into? Doesn't sixteen and the way the rope looking voters against Trump Organization ran with Trump people talking about how that which our voters I know how to change their minds What is not the way to do? It is just Susan Collins is corrupt Trump stooge because people who voted for her before who have known her? There is very low
are never going to believe that this is my problem. Is we dont? Do subtlety well, its democratic some types in politics right like and you can in this happens in campaigns and clearly republicans don't either there much worse about this. There is like is sometimes you can lean into hyperbole too much right, which is like it is possible to say that Susan COM for a long time was an independent voice and she has strayed right. She has forgotten her main routes. She has gone Washington and she stopped caring about us after being around for so long and don't we want somebody actually care about people and main and she votes with all these other Republicans and Donald Trump way too much and she never used do that and she's she's starting to change, and I I love Susan Collins. I voted for her a lot, but you know what I just I just don't like her. I think she's. Gotten us like run adds like that. You do it or you could say, she's Vulcan, Mcconnell Interim Stooge, which, like you said a lot of people going to scratch. They had to be like issue
cuz, you seem like it. You didn't vote to save the aviation and vote against Amy Coney Barrett, so issue stooge for trouble. Mcconnell doesn't really make sense to me. Yet the Abbe Coney Barrett Food any re. She won by such a large margin, it's hard to say: that's the one reason why Sarah Gideon lost violet If the main reason the people mobilized against her was a road for bread Cavanaugh two years ago, and then find five days or whatever was before the election. She gets to do the exact opposite of in a high profile way in red. Firm occur, independent anti
Tromp? If you well credentials, that's a very hard thing to overcome their the other. When you read allow these pieces is people complain that Gideon did not really define herself ever that she was running against Collins, that her adds were very negative about Collins that was all about Collins and tying Collins to Trump and and Mcconnell, and that Gideon didn't really talk enough about herself in what she stood for any issues that she was gonna fight for now again, this is like to your first point: people, sometimes look in the rearview mirror after a campaign- and you know the losing campaign has done everything wrong in the winning campaign. Is done everything right, so I don't know I wasn't in Maine. I didn't see all the Gideon ads. I didn't go to all the Gideon speeches, so I am not sure if that's all right, but it seems to be that is the the feeling that you get from reading about the race of people think that getting did not to find herself. I don't know
well, I watched I've seen a bunch of Gideon adds because we ones into budget set at rest ads for keeping experts react the once again. This is the problem with operating in the citizens United Environment, which is fifty million dollars in outside money spent in Maine to relax era. Gideon of that Fifty forty one billion was negative Susan column attack at so, even if sir The UN's adds were: seventy. Thirty positive sixty forty positive, in average voter. Despite the stand by your add disclaimer rules does not distinguish between didn't it. campaign run. This adds the centre majority factual, linking project this other drifting super back and one of the challenges is the first real sense of how you raise money in the post, Trump air out, was again Susan Collins for her vote against per capita right? That was when, Oh no, it was actually he's going back.
Do the tax guide answers accounts is vote to devote for that? and eliminate. Even your mandate, gutting portions of Obamacare when people started raising huge amounts of money into a generic fund for who or the nominee was going to be a running its comments There is huge incentive to raise and spend money attacking Susan Collins. It was a way to excite the whole donors to excite grassroots donors, and so you end up with all of this negative money in it definitely swamped ever positive message where there was sufficient or insufficient that Sarah Gideon had because You know, what's really hard to do, is get a bunch of people to give five dollars. Online to run adds talking about Sarah Gideon Legislative record. What do you mean money for attacking Susan Carts and I do think as with and going forward as outside groups. Think about how they can be most helpful that twenty twenty two race we have to really
think about what the over all picture of spending is. How much is positive? How much is negative in an end, these groups to think like you have a little bit of our collective. From problem where they can't speak to each other can speak to the candidate, but they can work I know what the ad traffic is. They can look at it and make decisions about whether they are being helpful or hurtful by running negative and positive, as they were going to have to really think of that it's a tough decision, because I don't, I don't think the answer is.
no more negative, adds all positive adds right there. There is a mix. We were just talking about how we believe it will be politically useful in twenty twenty two to run against Mitch, Mcconnell and the Republicans blocking if they do that, all of Joe Biden agenda and the democratic agenda by how much do you make the race about that versus? How much do you make the race about if you either return a democratic majority to Congress or vote for a democratic Senate and flip the Senate, depending on happened Georgia? These are the things that will happen. Right. This is the vision. These are the policies that jobs will be able to pass to make your life better like what is the balance that- and this is where you can. It is very, very important to learn lessons from where we came up short and also understanding that Ron Johnson, were he to run again, is not Susan Collins mother, I was using Collins.
its use accounts as a very unique figure in american power. No us literally, no one is like Susan columns, except maybe listen because Get Alaska, Deborah choosing we can say it. So she has right I've there's not a demo. I get you know who the John TEST, or is the closest thing to Susan Collins, left right and he wanted eighteen and and and bullock did not. One in twenty Montana Working Democrats have argued in stared at me what you know it is at a time when the campaign might have done wrong if you're insane Gideon position. see all these outside groups running others. These adds that you really don't have control over. You see that the race tilting a little bit too much towards you know I personally and and and and and Painting Collins's some Trump Mcconnell stooge. What do you do? What could she have done Mean obviously, you shift the balance, mortars positive ads for yourself and wet, let others carry the negative. You could speak out against the third party groups. That is,
old tactic, this sort of fallen by the wayside, which is the outside any ban. Were you ask your opponent to agree to ban outside money? You actually have control over their, but you can but the candidates have had influence in the past Obama, could not control Super Pact in two thousand and eight control outside groups in two thousand is respected exist as we currently understand. Their presence is united, and people to give money to them. For that reason- and there was not outside money and Obama's behalf- Collins did, I think, to a better that and giddy and as I understand it, is weapon eyes, the outside money against her and I think, giddy and might have been able to push back on that more one thing and it's there are so many adds run. But like one of the ads, it was viewed as most decisive for Collins and take out of the great of salt. Given all the results by us. We're talking about here- is this add, with this famous main sports, castor talking about the Susan Collins
new and how these outsiders, you don't understand, main we're talking about it, and these are registered Democrat. Yes, employers, I like it is a classic permission, structure ads, get people to do something that they want to do, but our acid into do. We can ascribe motive to the outside groups. On the Republicans I write, these are corporate funded, they are billion there. Funded they why lower taxes, they want less regulation and were able to pollute and all things, and you may not be able to ascribe that just the Susan Collins that people now cause a Europe. Your view that Iq get a little closer to a caricature that somebody what people have voted for mesdames, but can do that with the control of the centre right in what it made, what Republicans want and what suits Collins's election would mean, even if she wants to do better than that and ultimately means that the corporate since that have polluted main or are
shipped mean jobs overseas, manufacture, jobs remain oversees. They are the people who benefit from that, allow, even if that's how it is What did? She has been not been strong enough to stop those things from happening despite her independent streak. Yet I think it is it's it's. What Collins ended up doing to Gideon Witches Painting, Susan Collins, more as more than outsider right? She she? Yes, you serve main youtube. You could even the if you wanted to a commission structure message its Susan Collins's serve meanwhile for a long time, but she's forgotten about men and she's gone Washington and we needs. We need a change. We need someone new who is actually going to fight for us and fight for the things that we need, because you know Susan Collins forgot. about us spend more time with mentioned Donald Trump in the rest of them down in Washington and she's forgotten about where she came from like that. That might have been a better yeah and the rest. There was some of that in their messages there's even softer version
If you remember the message that scared the living shit out of us in two thousand and twelve, which was used to stagger that was a bomb as a good guy. He tried is best he's not up to the task Rami ever did that out has. He was too busy sort of running a product from paean immigration capping I know he's our hero now by attacking sought in was filled with unsubtle. Rachel messages, sorry Sorry resistance: what are you saying? I know you big money can what they did was it separated what people were positive? which was Obama was a good guy who read, We did have the best interests at heart in separate, not from the result people saw, which was the economy was not as good as we wanted to be. Bore starting, and I think you could have possibly done something somewhere records which has looked Susan colleges are two good person. She is worked hard for me, for very long time by
either politics to change or she's just been unable to deliver because she's Her voice is not she's not been able to use user about independent. is to actually deliver for me because of the following things that happen under trumpet the Isle of Main clearly disagree with this. They voted against trumpeted by a pretty large margin. What part of the interesting story of what happened in Maine to also involves Jared Golden, who won the second congressional district in Maine in twenty eighteen, for the first time in an extreme Linares, I believe it was it went into. It was a ranked choice, voting race. It ended up being with fifty. five percent of the vote, and then this time round, twenty twenty, when a bunch of frontline Democrats who flipped seats in twenty eighteen lost because of a surge of trump photo, Jerry Golden not only one again but increased his margin to fifty three percent.
in a year where a bunch of his colleagues were defeated and Sarah Gideon lost in the state in Maine So what can we learn about Jared Goldens when We should get your got on this part of having explained to us, I justifies my first thought was given zippered gotten magic, People know just by the way about the main second congressional district, those two congressional districts and made the first district is southern main, where a lot of population is in Portland and be second district is the rest of the state, and it is just like other trompe or districts and states across the country. It is a lot of non college. Educated white voters is very white general. It is more rural, it is x or been, and so that is the feel of a closed mill.
Towns that sort of the feel of the second congressional district in may mean Golden clearly found a message that resonated wealth. The exact voters that Democrats or need to persuade n, rural areas across New England in the MID West, and it certainly was economic in nature. It was less over partisan in nature and I've been a there's a longer transition, but whether that's right or wrong, tentative long term. By he was able to pitch himself as a populist advocate four main with They waited seemed open in accepting of people who have different political views, which is how he got it. A relatively unprecedented level of tickets wedding and a very highly polarized presidential election. I didn't realize this do that
Golden supports Medicare for all. He was a sponsor of Medicare for ass. I know it is that the third, the Jaya Paul version in the House look, so you had a visit. I mean this is you know, I understand why the left gets very annoyed at the party. Sometimes Look you had. Sarah Gideon does not support for Medicare, for our of medical for all lose the entire state by nine points, and they had just Golden Win, the conservative trompe district by three points supporting Medicare Frau now we should say it is not like Jared Golden is liberal, occur the board right, like heat, one of the final press releases he put out in October was a bill. He voted for that increase penalties for hurting cops did not talk about defined. The police did not talk about green new deal by
to talk about the environmental law and talk about climate but talked about protecting means environment is a place where you hunt in fish sustaining farms which this informing you may also sustaining, especially the water in Maine and in the ocean, because there is, of course, tuna fishing in May, and so like talked about a lot of these issues, but not in a national senses, there being debated in the national sense and didn't talk much about Trump talked about all them in the context of main and the concerns that people in Maine had about these issues. Net mated said it is an incredible political when he pulled off truly yeah, and it is something that we should. I mean it like. I will say no in Maine that Gideon in loss was not typical of the laws, and you said this at the beginning of a lotta Democrats across the country. It wasn't that she just got swamped in rural and ex urban areas and completely ran up the score in urban areas.
And liberal areas like Lewiston second biggest city and main it is in the second congressional district by an easily wins it. So it is Jerry. Golden Gideon loses Lewiston by two point in southern main, around poor than all the Beach Towns York, Sacco Old Orchard, Beach Zol, where endless parents live penguins by twenty points or more getting only ones by five to seven points, so she lost everywhere. Archie underperformed, everywhere. It was not the story of like a bunch of trompe voters coming out and if, with turn out that we didn't expect and swamping Erlich she'd loss voter. She should What I mean is, would you describe it that way? It is a place froze. an amber from a different time in politics. Yeah. We just don't see that anywhere else and that level of ticket
what do you make of it? We should also stipulate means. Other senator is an independent there, who was governor for two terms. He was followed by a insane governor who made trump like normal. Who then get reelected then mean ass. Medicate expansion like it is unique political state it if you well one also Portland was the sixth biggest swing again strap of any metro area in the country so no other side. You had like this. He swing against tramp in port and because again, remember Biden does better than Hilary doesn't mean so in some ways the state trend it bluer and actually most ways. The tracks state trend of Europe is, of course, of course, Collins you, no one by less than she did,
but it wasn't enough- and I I think mean is unique in many ways, but also Susan Collins, it, like we said, is very unique in, I think, looking forward Collins retires. I think that is a prime pick up opportunity for Democrats like I'd. I do not know that the next Republican that runs for Senate main after Collins has anywhere near the kind of support that she has with people in right now is in these states that our trending in one direction in an era polarization there is often the last Democratic Republic and senator from that state by free, like going well I was gonna sit. Yeah dimension I was just germination- is the last democratic senator for most shameful? Aren't I'm John tester. I hope he serves ITALY's a hundred and twelve, but he last democratic, Senator in Montana, probably
for a long time Monti, and I wonder about over those young people moving both man and while I say that under limit by me, let me give to carry out to a ball protection, which is something I do not doing it, war, but through guppies hours are always always a sort of one off exceptions like Doug Jones in Alabama. I can't and nautical a few years ago, where just They start a wine, and someone comes in well against the partisan trend of that state in winds and serves a term and then loses, the other thing. The other way, as I say that, under the assumption that there is there we continue on the same trend in terms of the conditions that make up the parties. And that that is not necessarily the case in the other direction. Democrats could improve naked gain with some of the voters. It make up the second a short of main or montana or those day
by improving by learning, whatever secrets asked your God knows, and taken nationally and Republican. can improve. You don't get they if this is real trend with the public's improving with not voters, like we saw in Robinson County in China in Texas in Florida, then Bacon, foot states that are on the margins now so there. I don't wanna overstay policy, as is by it to your point, made his incredible unique Susan Collins may be the last democratic, Senator four main for larger Republicans and Billy S. Yes, yes, it is also an example of how perilous our situation is in the Senate as Democrats, because there is.
now, there's a very dwindling number of republican senators still sitting in states that Joe Biden, one right and there, of course, those who are the democratic centres sitting in states that that trump one at this point mansion and tester. We have mansion tester, shared Brown O share it. Yes, sure those are gonna stay there forever, duster, no one in the upper where nothing, I think. That's it somewhat! people hours what we met so the obvious thing we masked by right, but anyway it is dwindling and when you, if you just look at the buyer map and the tramp map- and you assign democratic Republicans, letters to each candidate based on the same day One like we don't have the majority. We need now is the problem, and so you say that what has two changes sort of that, the entire context of the electoral coalitions that we have. That's the only way.
No, I mean you have you have to be an essential wake? It doesnt have Read this exact map, but a world in which you could actually have a governing majority of Democrats. Is you get back to Obama? only twelve levels in the western states like Iowa in Ohio, and you have your some doubt- expansion in Arizona where we already have the senator someone. If there's no there's no game there. Georgia, and then you eventually one day hoped it soon, whether Waiter Texas moves in that direction and North Carolina is this thing. We have to figure out both your lightly Ababa Y all that middle Due North Carolina. Next, in our little series, we actually share because Dorothy in north american attitude twentieth like what has happened from away when Obama wanted my own house recruiter when its ways. How do we not when it there's a lot to be doktor? Ok, well, we'll talk about all this more in the weeks and months to come we come back. You hear Tommy and bends interview with Barack Obama
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for mature. I better one of those that are graphics on the piazza. Have we gotta maybe get a sixty, be they get sixty frames per? Second, they get sexy Rangers exit. You know I could be true we are three did honour to welcome on our guest today, President Barack Obama, the author of the new book, a promised land at present a bomb is great to see. It is great to see you more importantly, the guy who watched pod cast the world. Let's vote I don't know this, but I'm I'm proud of you guess certain. The check is in an hour. So, Vast live hobble is a surprise star in this book and those who don't know hobbles a playwright he's a dissident. He became the first president of the Czech Republic and in the book, we first encounter him during this stop in Prague in one of your foreign troops. Use of a brief me
in an iron bars on that trip, and I remember that meeting so well, because I had read a summer Annotations in college I brought along My copy of the book right here with me the trip design. I hastily thought that spokespeople on foreign troops with the President have time to to read books. That is not how it works, but hobble is prescient in the way he warned you about the double edged sword of high expectations and then how odd rats had evolved and how the economic crisis, with strengthening the forces of nationalism, and then you mention him again in the context of the Cairo speech and then again now, after your conversation with Prime Minister saying about Hindu Nationalism in anti muslim sentiment in India. It's like is my question to you is what drew you to hobble, and indeed you find it depressing talking with him about the rise of nationalism and how easy it was to predict and yet so difficult to prevent. Will What drew me to him was what had drawn you to him.
I admired ready his works in college and, as out I write about He was the example of someone who had grown out of a mass movement. A social movement from the bottom up had been entered. Politics and his soul had remained intact right, so so the other ahead. There were a handful of political leaders that I look to as an example because, as I described, my inspiration wasn't J F K or the idea some other elected official. My inspiration was Gandhi and, like the lesser and the social rights of workers in snake,
And it took me a while to feel comfortable with the idea that you could bring. change through electoral politics, because I had the source This meant, I think a lot of young people at least growing up to head towards politicians and So what I see hobble and men. Really. Those were the two were I bought. Oh you can meet that transition retain some sense of connection to the mass movement that produced you still enter into parliament, also show that was wide. Keen on made in ITALY what I want, when I met him. It early enough in my presidency, bad.
I found the meeting inspiring, but not depressing, because I thought that the caution he gave me, which was that you are you're, gonna, be burdened by high expectations: people thinking that you're gonna wave a magic wand and suddenly A lot of these historical forces are gonna go away, but also his warning bed. There was an illusion that somehow, after the Berlin Wall came down that somehow. all issues of nationalism and your conflict in Europe were gone. Those were the things that I have stood intellectually, but I think it was early enough in my in my presidency, where I felt like the I'd. I see that, but I'll be able to overcome those things
and the reason I think that it recurs as a beam throughout the book is because I keep on coming back to my starts, and yet this is harder and deeper, and there's more stubborn resistance to a vision Nah Bay, inclusive, democratic, liberal order. Then maybe I'd anticipated and and so that becomes sort of up a marker for me, but I that I find myself drawn back to buy in a number of circumstances. Around my presents, you spent a lot of time in the book talking about the war in Afghanistan. You spend a lot of time in your first term and you're working on the war in Afghanistan. In two thousand and nine in particular. The white ass conducted to separate reviews of the policy, one of which was quite extensive, was cheered by you personally.
And you get it up sending additional troops to Afghanistan twice that year. So two questions for you. I mean first you're very candid in the book about tensions that develops between you and the White House in Pentagon leadership during that process, especially by gates in April MIKE Balin. I knows hoping you could. tell the story of that contentious oval office meeting in babies. What it felt like in the moment to field Jammed is the word that was used most often by the Pentagon as a decision as significant as sending more troops into harm's way, and then second mean when we here today, and we look at the war in Afghanistan and how it's going you do eleven years after you took office, which was well after the war started, is there part of you that wonders whether you know we could have sent? You were troops into battle in the conditions would be the same, could have further resist
some of the demands from the Pentagon for more more more while the tension was, I think, well, meaning on all sides, stand was a top problem and I think, as I described in the book, the. A lot of the tensions rose out of the fact that Washington policy makers had embarked on a bad policy rock diverted, a huge amount of resources from Afghanistan and sober. The time we get in, we essentially, I won't say, lost six years. but six years in which it might have been possible immediately after the driving the Taliban out to make a big investment in Afghanistan.
Essentially do some nation building there so that you could come how some of the gains that had been made in terms of development and education and spend anticorruption efforts? That's not what had happened. What what had occurred, though in Iraq, was because of the sum to screw up by folks like Bremmer, end and Rumsfeld and others, essentially the Bush administration turned over the keys to the jobs, and they had done up a pretty extraordinary job, of stabilizing Iraq and and the other is genuinely did make significant gains in in stemming the bloodshed in part with the assistance of folks, like rain, proper and the diplomatic workin. The brokering of
with so many tribal leaders in Iraq and so forth. But what happens is more and more. The Pentagon essentially is making policy sometimes, in conjunction with the CIA. But but you have less civilian control of the policy making apparatus in Iraq, those habits built up so bad. time we come in in some ways. Both the path has been charted for Iraq. Right, there's gonna be a wind down, and the question for me is just: how do we execute and implemented and stay on track with? but Afghanistan. Now the impulse I beg, is to duplicate what from the Pentagon's view at least worked in Iraq, which is less just put more n
and we will double down and the, as you guys were all recall, the phrase that was repeated again and again was now you gotta, listen to the generals on they know better random check and get out away. That's what I was resisting and so the other tensions I have about gates and my mom also growing out of statements made by the press and General Mcchrystal him and others as I see it, as I say in that chapter, I didn't their sincerity right, big Jenny, when they believed that we had to initiate what was called a coin strategy for point strategy in afghan stand to be successful. Many a cavern, certainly strategy a lot more
resources a lot more troops, a lot more money, But the problem was that those habits of not having civilian interference and asking questions hey. This is gonna. Asked us an extra ten twenty thirty billion dollars. What does this mean? We can't do with respect to our national security if we're making that huge of a commitment in Afghanistan. Those kinds of questions have been asked for a while, and so assumption was once the generals made a decision that will serve the end of it. The conversation, that's what I resisted night. What I try to reflect on that chapter is is not any ill, will already be side. But, as you point out, there does come a point. which I call engaged in I call in MILAN tonight and I said to him
Listen when I asked for a dilemma a process to figure out what we're gonna do on this very difficult strategy. I don't expect it to be living in the press and to some degree that helped stop that bothers me. I've got a record in a later chapter. General Mcchrystal still had those habits, and he was an extraordinary warrior. Who had taken over in Afghanistan had done in some incredible work in Iraq. I actually thought very highly of him, but when he does this rolling stone article revealing this general scepticism towards all civilian restrain or control. I had a religion of others of its duties in and out. I was a very difficult position as far as the substance of Afghanistan look at the time
I had to ask myself the question: how much of a difference will these additional troops make? So I continue to ask that question. Might my instinct is that things were careless enough tenuous enough at the time that if we had not put in more resources at that time, we're talking about two thousand and nine two thousand and ten to mm that the Taliban really would have or could have overrun the maid urban areas in Afghanistan and that outcome at the time I was not tolerable, given the fact that Al Qaeda was still active and the prospect of Afghanistan once again being a base for tourist activity against the homeland. What was not a?
position that I was one to take up? What I think always made. The decision to vote was that I know even with those additional troops? We were not going to remake Afghanistan, but it did purchase us the time to engage in the strategic defeat of Al Qaeda and to some degree stabilized Afghanistan enough where in fact, we now start drawing down troops all the way. There is at least the possibility, the prospect that afghan security forces can maybe engage enough with Europe with the Taliban and other forces there to to get a stalemate and to keep terrorism from rebel aspect.
And in that region, but nowhere is the uncertainties of the presidency greater than when you're talking about a situation like Afghanistan, it in terms of seeing how it's going to play out and try to engage in counterfactual about what would have happened if you had made a different decision at any given point Well, there are so many more things we could have asked you about in a book. Third, the Bin Laden operation, the arab Spring, the Middle EAST peace talks. There is great, just family stuff, there's Reggie stories could get enough there's Iowa, but you have been credibly agrees with your time present Obama. So thank you so much effort to check out the promised land on his great saga. There was, but Gus thanks everyone We will have an episode next week.
on Monday. That will be a mailbag episode with me, Dan and then you'll hear a Monday after there will be a special nears episode with John Tommy tuna. Happy holidays on hot save America is a crooked media production. The exit producer is Michael Martinez, ourselves producer is Jordan Waller its mixed in edited, Andrew Chadwick Piles, What is our sounded junior thanks to tell you so mediator, Katy Long, roman puppet meat. Rio Quinn, Louis Caroline, Rustin injustice. How for production support into our digital, too. a logical, normal Conan, yell Freed and my look him film and these. Episodes is videos every week.
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Transcript generated on 2020-12-20.