« The Weeds

Democratic convention special

2020-08-21

Ezra and Matt stay up late to review Joe Biden's big speech and the Democrats' big week.

Resources:

"Obama’s Convention Speech Is the First Time I Have Seen Him Scared" by Jonathan Chait, NY Mag

"The tragedy of Hillary Clinton" by Ezra Klein, Vox

Hosts:

Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior correspondent, Vox

Ezra Klein (@ezraklein), Editor-at-large, Vox

Credits:

Jeff Geld, (@jeff_geld), Editor and Producer

The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Support for this episode, comes from click up? We lose an average of three hours every day, switching between all our work apps, but you can get them back with click up a flexible platform that brings your essential tools into one place where you can prioritize tasks, collaborate in Docs chat with your team and track goals, so in companies like uber and web flow use. Click up is their mission control Center, replacing every other app that we're using before click up even guarantee is to help you save one day a week and get more done. It's completely customizable, it's free forever, so try click up today at click up dot com, the weeds, the current cloaked called american darkness for much too long too much anger, Fear too much division here and now You my word, if you and trust me with the presidency I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I'll, be an ally of the light, not the darkness
hello welcomes another sort of the weeds on the box media podcast network. I met with case he is here with as recline we're recording late at night around one. I am here on the EAST Coast earlier in California. Watching this. This is a totally reasonable ten p m, where I am yeah You got your ear ear, you, your coasting, wait. We watch Joe Joe Biden, speak, wrap up the democratic convention up, want to talk about that, of course, and be you know, maybe a little news here that than the wind sometimes is. I sort of wanted to start by turns out
conventions in general have been to a bunch of dimensions that I think we met. The first time we met was at the convention in Bosnia at the first time, but that is the time after that I think we met in New York for us, but I went stayed with you. I stayed with you, you does us during the hour and see in two thousand and four for and out and right and we and we hung on Boston at the democratic mention. There and now she doesnt and wandered bloggers were allowed into yet Same year, and then I went to I went to the republican Convention two thousand and eight, and then Democrats in twenty twelve and twenty sixteen I really like conventions, and I miss I mean I know, a lot of people felt this was a good television show, but the poorest really I mean I mean. Obviously most people aren't professional journalists. Don't get to go with the past, but, like I always think, it's good operate unity, to like talk to a lot of but there's a lot of not important important people in politics, but like state legislature
See now I, like, I met the Democrat, who was like in some hope, ray spur statewide off. In Tennessee and stuff, like that, and you know, but you see like a party coming together in person in a way that doesn't really happened. Virtually then Barack Obama complemented you in your shoes my main recollection, sure the two thousand and eight convention, but so the thing that I think is important about conventions, particularly in their public facing more, could save a lot of roles right and in a way they are almost vestigial to their original role. Now I mean conventions used to choose the president, but this the conversation were about to have here what they do right now is they present the party as a party, wants the public to understand it
They are a like an emergent property of who the party is, and so what needs to be done to satisfy those constituencies and also what the party believes the american people want. Conventions are both about unifying the base behind the candidate and also about not just a candidate, but also this is really important. I think also about making the base palatable to the rest of the country, so that people who might not have been sold by the primary who might have been unnerved by positions taken off, adds run or conflicts that got worked out during the primary feel comfortable with the party in the general election way and what one of the things one of the differences with the traditional convention right is there people at home. Would you would never even see this, but, like the program, At a normal person convention is like the broadcast networks
air, maybe like an hour of it, and the cable networks will air like a few hours of it. But it'll start like at noon. You know, and there's hours and hours and hours of afternoon, speeches that very few people see but it means that you really do get to do this sort of coming together. Right like it is what the party is because, like all the governors will speak like tons of random backbench house, people will speak, and then you edit right by selecting like who goes in prime time who gets along speaking, slots things like that, but it's it's different from this was a more much more heavily curated experience by a democratic party television show in The two kind of roles sort of merge together in which normally you could keep somebody out of prime time but still give them time to speak
Nobody could say. Will you are excluded? You were just not highlighted, but here everyone who was it all was at least a little bit highlighted, so he cried did these sort of like big tension points around. Like nominating speech for Bernie Sanders, because she's, both like a very famous and well known person who people are very excited about, but all so a lightning rod of criticism and not somebody who Democrats want to be like the face of the already the way they would normally handle. This is something like she speaks at six p m. She has a huge social Lydia following who would all see her speech and other people just kind of wouldn't, and it would be fine. Send them with this sort of like Dan swayed in which unless you wanted to totally cut somebody out the way they did with Leon Castro, they have to be like in the show
and then it means that the show serves the dual purposes of sort of an external presentation like we want to make people like us, but also in, internal communication like this who we are. This is who we value. This is what we're trying to see, and I did think you saw a sort of well at times it looked to me like attention, maybe after fine speech, which I thought was really good, it just seemed more like a productive synthesis of kind of like what what's on Democrats of mines verses. What you Democrats want to say to the country just they cut to the chase, having the questioners, if you just tune into american politics right now, you don't know that much about it and he watched the convention start to finish. What is the Democratic Party in your mind, way and its most useful now to work better words from Joe Biden Speech, because Joe Biden speech was fundamentally not a partisan speech,
in a way it was an explicitly not up partisan speech. He said I'm a proud Democrat at all proud to carry the banner of our party into the general election with great honor and humility, I accept this nomination for president of the United States of America, while all the democratic candidate, I'll, be an american president. I work hard for those who didn't support me as hard for them, as I did for those who did vote for me and what the Democratic Party tried to do across this convention with varying levels of success, is paint itself, not as an ideological party, although it's a party with ideological people in it, but as a whole. For anybody who doesn't believe Donald Trump represents America correctly.
So there is a lot of attention given to Republicans you no longer support trump, I mean they had drunk he sick and bake, Whitman and Colin Powell, and they have like a ghost John Mccain, and they had these republicans like just people. It was what I make who they were replay their little zoom, about- why they're doing Joe Biden again and again and all the way on the other side, you have your AOC, who got very little time. We can talk about that if you want, but you had Bernie Sanders, you had Elizabeth Warren, and so I mean this was a party trying to present itself is assembling a coalition that stretched from John Kasich, who is like a Gingrich Republican, all the way to Bernie Sanders and AOC, and that's not a coalition that can govern. I mean at some point. You have to disappoint one of these factions or you're, going to disappoint both of them by doing nothing, but it is potentially a party that can
when a campaign, and that was really bite in speech him in what I found bracing about. That speech was interest, unbelievable bluntness. It wasn't a complex critique, it wasn't a liquor, gorgeously crafted metaphor about America like biting, walked out, and he said this is a collision of light and darkness of love versus hate of unity over division. I music Lord of the rings out there and it's not crazy right. Donald Trump creates the opportunity he paints in such broad brush strokes and creates an opportunity with that kind of message, but so that to me is what they were trying to do across it. Different nights did it with different levels of success, but it was the broadest I had
ever see the democratic parties high representative, not by the way, really because modern Republicans, what made it so broad is actually the presence of Bernie Sanders and an yo see the Democratic party doesn't really stretch further right than it has tried to in previous conventions. I've attended, a sort of modern public governor would always be welcome. What it actually did was stretched further left. And that's what made the tent so much bigger wait one indeed, but they also kind of like stretched off in a different access of of agreement right, so that, like Bernie Use Policy views are well to the last of what you you know at least pre him getting a big speaking signed a twenty. Sixteen did to the left of of what you would hear from Democrats, but his topic
right, which are like wages and health care and the size scope of the welfare state are exactly what you would have heard at a democratic convention in two thousand and four or two thousand or nineteen. Ninety six right, but Democrats have also stretched in another direction, which is like Barack Obama speech right, which was very dark by Obama standards, but not dark in the dwelling uncovered kind of way that that binds speech was that, with these kind of like potency of democracy collapsing and like political freedom, apart and thence a different kind of like the magic element in it. Sometimes feels hard to
between the moderate element, the left on policy element and this kind of like we're in a crisis. You know like an existential crisis for the salvation of the country type stuff. It's like it's a little hard to believe that everybody is existing in the same reality right because, like we need to address medical bankruptcies and the present the United States is trying to become a dictator are like that's not a on a difference of degree radius like you're, actually having completely different- discussion about what's going on in the world, and then the pandemic also looming all over it, and I do think if you sort of like stack it all real to Rio, particularly night's dream for it just a little confused. You know I still like what's actually happening, then, like at the end, like Biden speaks and he's the nominees so to an extent get up his his vision is the one that they cannot count smoke,
but it really does. As you say it like, it raises the question of like say: everybody achieves request in the end they sleigh trump and like how are they going to govern the country? And you know I have some thoughts about that. We have some did articles inbox com, but I do think the convention paints a particularly clear story. I just cause it's obvious. If there's a good deal of of disagreement and by choice? I mean in some ways the most provocative line on this and I'm gonna paraphrase this one from memory, but was from John Kasich, where he said you know, I don't think my friend Joe is going to run off to the left after he gets elected. It was a very thorough job at like you're Bernie and is your aocs from a republican speaking at the convention. ABC like shot back that I will take an anti trust Republican, is gonna, get to decide the future of our of the Democratic Party, but when there is genuine tension
in a way that you don't always these conventions these conventions. About how this year differed from twenty. Sixteen and in a broader way, how do abiden differs from Hillar Clinton? I wrote a piece this week about the tragedy of Hillary then that I thought was on display this convention. Hillary Clinton. Nothing gets like shunted more into what are the odds a famous in american politics than losing, and Hillary Clinton lost a very important election in two thousand and sixteen and so she's become the party's very complicated relationship but her she's, a reminder of a trauma and her birthday. Strengths get forgotten her. We he's got really amplified. One thing it's interesting about: I then is it Joe Biden, sort of wipes out with a lot of a high minded criticisms of her I'm. If you thought cadet was too much of a centrist and establishing the figure or like I like it,
ashes insider and in a country that likes bold outsiders right that you, like you, know, did a little bit like too much buck raking or something Joe Biden got for most that more in his back than she does and is like less well briefed, less sharp on policy, etc. What he's got is his kind of genius. Old, white guy capacity to be really likable like people never thought Hillary Clem as likable but Joe Biden by Golly. He is likable, but one thing that was also different. Different does reflecting on more tonight is it Clinton running in the immediate aftermath of Obama and running against Donald Trump and sort of matching Trump's energy backwards ran a much more and could not avoid running a much more given just the nature of being the first woman Presidential, nobody from one of the two major parties, ran a pain and a convention. There was much more built on this idea rising demographic change and majority and that she represented that and worse.
Together and like it was going like be this this whole different future she's, a continuation of what Obama represented and Joe Biden predicting his speech tonight, but also he does this in part by virtue of being an old white guy, who's been in politics forever and wasn't in politics as like, the most well known female politician during decades, when there were relatively few, He runs in some ways. Very similar campaign is primarily about her trumpets, bad and he's a racist and so on, but he is able to sort to do it in a softer edge way and because Trump is now the incumbent right. It's not like, like he's gonna finish off, the victory, think he's being back the forces of evil, and I beg your speech Reflections on that, because in one way what Biden has been able to do that Clinton wasn't, I think, really speaks to the disadvantages. The trailblazers still face. Women still face people color still face in american politics and on the other hand, there were street
Egypt decisions there too and bite it does choose to emphasise something's, not others and like it it's it is an interesting it's an interesting, I think, kind of consequential mix. I mean you, don't the contrast between Biden and Hilary is always gonna, be coloured by the fact that he's a man the woman. Why so you know we can sort a toss out hypotheticals and it's sort of an unknown and unknowable. I'm sorry, I thought was interesting. You know in terms of technical choices, was Tammy Baldwin's speech. There is denied, which was a brief and not like at a super. I elevated thing, But if you, if you look at it right, this is speech speeches almost exclusively about health care. She touches on a few other things: but is an incredibly meeting and potato ii type speech, the kind of thing,
not grandiose enough for it to be like Joe Biden speech accepting the nomination, but you know sort of by near shred like, like all white guy trying to be genial, trying to get midwestern votes except she's a woman, and she is not just a woman. She says she's a gay woman she's the first algebra, senator she was the first LGBT woman in Congress. And she didn't mention any of that. You know- and it was an incredible contrast- I would say not to Hillary, but to come at Harris's speech. You know where Harris is obviously a demographic first in a number of ways: the child of immigrants, blah blah blah and in her speech like she really dwelled on that to a substantial extent, part of the thinking being. Look. It's not like people are gonna, not notice that, like she has this someone unusual name or gonna, see what she looks like things like that, so
She. She talks about it right in a way that is supposed to be exciting to a rising demographic, a diverse coalition. I saw a latino decision. Paul indicating that Harris as a child immigrants as a connection with latino voters and like binds ratings, have gone up a lot since you ve been rolled out and it was here that goes, but that's that's not just as a factor She is it's a political theory about how you should deal with that And bold, win and also Timmy Duckworth. You know who has all kinds of interesting personal story, identity issues, but also comes very much. The I'm gonna give a bland bid westerners speech right about military service and sacrifice and the president's handling of of national security. Use and that's you know, a diverse coalition throws up more people who
in Thailand, bore algae, BT, senators, more mixed waste vice presidential candidates, but there is still a tactical. Choice and- and I sometimes think that the people I didn't inhalers campaign get into work. A world in which they they wanted, deny that they made any choices at all, but which is clearly not true. They were now getting uncharted waters right. There has never been a woman nominee before that. There also hasn't been one since so it's like it's hard to know how you should try to play that, and they tried in a certain way right that the wearing suffragette White right they tried to make it get a thing with the theory was going to be that, like a majority of the electorate, is women and they were supposed to be. Incredibly, excited and affirmatively go vote for
three in a way that hopefully would swamp misogynistic impulses or other things like that, and they couldn't quite make that work right, but that sort of that. The angle that they're doing- and you saw it- there were a lot of african American elected officials who spoke and they handled in all different ways. Miro browser positioned herself in front of a black lives matter like street art, spoke very directly to President Trump's hand. Rachel issues, whereas is Cedric Richmond just talk about small businesses and They are suffering during the pandemic and how has some legislation that will help them. And you know I don't know it's like you- would have to run a thousand controlled experiments in it probably varies on circumstance, but like there are choice is there and you know, Biden is like an old white guys, it makes it easy, I think, for him to make his choice to not portray himself as a
exciting boundary breaker, but this election and I think fundamentally I mean to people who listen to us last week would not be surprised but, like I think, Baldwin has the better of this. That, like you're there as an elected official to tell voters what you are going to do for them not to tell voters about how exciting your election is and that's what I think fundamentally works better about the just kind of talking about issues. Let's take a break, and then I want to trace another division that bit. I know you ve been. Given. That would be interesting to explore, like you don't enough hours in the day to get everything done, it might be because you're missing out on three of them. Where does the where's girl, they probably fell into a deep dark. A bits opens up when we switch between work camps at those
three hours to all the protecting family, miss out thanks to at home, distractions, disorganisation fatigue. It's no wonder the days feel too short. Work should work and with click up, it does put up as a flexible productivity platform. That brings all your work into one place. That's all chat, apps, docs and tasks, one kind of like mission control companies like uber, and Google use click up to make their days more productive, managed projects, people and calls for effectively of all sizes and industries hookups pleasingly features and one zero plus integrations. They get a must have for anyone wanting to track, manage and tackle their work in one place. Get your hours back with a click up. Try it for free today, at Clickup COM, the weeds. So something you're talking to me about on the third night, which was an I heard through the most adjutant from you are, but it reflects a sort of. Are you talk
about what you're gonna do for voters or what you represent? Two in the story of american politics was sense that one of the divine It is maybe under played in democratic party politics? Is it divide between Democratic party, political professionals and somebody like hyper engaged, Democrats right and the people who vote for Democrats in elections and all people who might vote for a Democrat in an election. So I want to eat a tougher Adele, but more like what. What is the differences in the? How did you see a play out, so I mean I just think wondering you really clearly saw in the presidential race. Is that, like most like I I live in Washington DC, so I, like I marinate in what the official Democratic Party and the sort of Para Party read the people work in the think tank things like that, but what they think and just a vast majority
people. I know preferred somebody other than Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden. There were people who liked Beto. There were people who liked Harris. There were people who liked budging, but all of those Candidates spoke in some way to their idea of what the Democratic Party is or should be right at an end when all of them capture, Corey Booker, is something the like youth and dynamism and the faces of this New America. That's diverse and cosmopolitan and thoughtful, and then Even though Sanderson finer like on opposite sides of a policy spectrum They are these like two old school like us who have a kind of gruff manner and blah blah blah. But then they wound up dominating the election, with younger people going to Sanders older people going to Biden, both of them with their base
people who don't have college degree, is people who don't have caused agrees that went like all the staff on the hill like they all went to college all the people who run the presidential campaigns went to college all the people of the think. Tanks went to college and there's a big. I think educational gradient in the democratic party- and you know, Democrats are the diverse party and the Democratic Party working Class is diverse in a way. Republicans are it's mostly african american latino, but some white people. It's not a non cosmopolitan group of people, but I would say that cosmopolitan values is not what drives them to it in person.
Because, if you're not why in America, you gravitate towards the diverse political party, not necessarily because you put an affirmative value on diversity, but because you feel under threat by the republic it spread like. So it's it's a different experience than like a white person who decides. Aha, I choose to affiliate with the four. Of diversity and cosmopolitanism, because that's what's important to me versus just being like yeah. This is what we all do right like the african american community institutions like support the democratic, already so you have an income, loyalty and end the deck encountered. Can a drag you in that direction, and you know I think Harrison Biden very much in capsule that duality. There is so much enthusiasm for her among professionals. She has been
such a fund raising boon to the binding ticket which obviously had been a little. It wasn't like that, no money, but like people were not hyped like Joe Joe Biden is not democratic party elites idea of what the Democratic Party should be. They sort of see it as something between a grudging compromise with the electorate and a kind of like dirty trick. Like you wanted Why guy fine, you know here well but given GEO where's, is a lot more like the Tutsi asthma about Harris, and you saw all throughout the third night, which was her night allotted time spent on topics that are important to the sort of core democrats right. It was like a big think about gun control. There was a really long thing about climate change, any sort areas, kind of form. We heard that like there's no vexed,
in for racism, we ve got to do the work and its really like democratic was a knight, the focused on immigration, yeah, immigration, jail, gets tongue into themselves and the end it left me at the end I was like in white knuckle. Panic like these guys want to lose. I don't feel that way. I think now, having seen the whole the start of the convention, its appropriate Desoto, let people gonna have there have their evening of like let the frequent but you can see that there's a difference between the grounded campaign- that's like Donald Trump, really fucked up this pandemic and the like here's. What we think America should be Rainbow coalition type stuff, and I think you really saw that if you flip the page from three to two, so something that I thought was interesting was a residence in the way, Barack Obama
handled the convention this this year and we spend in the past for that matter and how Biden did it and both of them to sort of talk about the access that you're tracing here? One of the debates. It is both explicit and implicit in a lot of american life. Right now is: how should we understand America itself, and I think the most explicit version of it is a fight over the New York Times is sixteen nineteen project. Should you rebuild into the american story in a much more central way, its founding since I've up Pike, s coming Monday with Isabel Wilkerson. That's very much about some of these topics up, but this also visited of a more info. The version of it right. Another explicit version of it is how should you understand the confederacy and hold the monument
to it you're. Let me a lot about statues, I think at the Republican Party convention and then just implicitly, there is a question of whether or not you talk about America with a kind of awe and and optimism and veneration of its story, or it exists, is something you have a complicated relationship to and are trying to fix and are you know What about you know you want to talk about the way white supremacist built into its foundation and different people play different roles in American. Politics is a role for echo, mixed play and historians and journalists and politicians obviously try to win elections. They're gonna operate with it in the somewhat differently, but even with then there's a spectrum, but something Obama was always, I think, probably the best politician of our lifetime at was synthesizing these into basically retelling a story of America retelling, a story of America that was all about perfection, retelling, a story of America where America was great and good because of the people trying to make it better
right retirement makeover. You could always tell that like he was into an end and it was really import. Like Barack Obama appeared at the constitution set to write, the country should is written on the wall behind him during his speech at the Dnc, and Joe Biden also spoke from the same place that place where he talked about being motivated run watching Donald Trump say there are very fine. People on both sides of the Charlottesville debacle did the NEO Nazi protests. Both of them were trying in their own ways to like reclaim the american narrative right doll Trump, as America is hats, but their argument is it Donald Trump actually stand outside the american story that he is the villain in the american story. The he's one of the people who keeps him Eric from being the thing that all of its greatest leaders make it there's a really interesting moment tonight.
The way down bided phrases, I I thought was very telling he said that he talked about this conversation. His hat he had had with George Floyd's daughter, and then he spoke of George Floyd as being this dismantled that was pushing America forward and then Jean Louis, his death as being this secondary ingredient of catalytic inspiration, and I think inspiration was the word he used. Like a reminder of what american heroes look like, and I thought that was interesting and it was important. It's not that a lot of politicians don't try, but for different reasons: Obama, because he's a genius for it and because of who he is and the way he frames it actually began creating a counter narrative about America. That was very deeply patriotic and then Biden because he's just always been like a bread and butter like wrapped in the flag kind of politician that was striking, and I think it is really
shadows like how they're gonna run this lecture like they want to write Donald Trump out of the american story. They want to wrap themselves in the flag in a way that he can't alike try to be in the iconography of America, but they're really being very clear that they're going to join this fight and try to make this as Joe Biden puts it, a fight for the soul of America. A bit, but in a way I think it's really fight for the narrative of America. Unlike what defines like the narrative of american progress but more to the point american greatness wait, I mean, I think you know this is a long standing sort of you no decision and you can talk about going back to the eighteen forties and fifties. There was the sort of constitute national, anti slavery. Politics of Lincoln and then in the freezer. A party, and then there was the view is always hard to express. Rapid There's a do, but there's always been a convergence on racial thinking where
some people on the sort of white supremacist side say look, this is a white man's country. That's in the constitution, It's in the original naturalisation, active, seventy ninety It's who the founders were is what this is all about and then there's a kind of a left version. That's like yeah. This is correct and who well you know, the right Scottie takes we're like what do you mean you can't believe. Donald Trump is happening like these forces have been lurking beneath the surface. The whole time like this is a country that you had an apartheid state inside its domestic politics for generations, there's nothing. So I sing about any of this and then in the middle there They sort of now liberal patriotism of you know Barack Obama of Abraham, Lincoln,
four score and seven years ago, a new nation conceived in liberty that kind of stuff which We insist that the real America is, that is the good wine and the Hence, to have this sort of teleological view of history. Right Obama likes to likes to use the line about the moral. Of the universe, spending towards just ass, the philosopher which have already talked about achieving our country with Biden. Raby is you were saying, it's like John Louis dies and that sad, but like as a catalyst for further progress, like everything that happens, is secretly good. In that narrative, because fundamentally America is good, and so it will win and you've heard. A lot of that with, like hope, is stronger than fear and light is brighter than darkness, or something like that
read so it's it's a very a beat taken, America, sort of necessarily because, obviously, all all the terrible things that the more hard left people say are like roughly true. So you need this kind of different attitude of optimism, in which assert that, like This isn't just an ebb and flow are like one goddamn thing after another, but that actually it adds up to a story of progress where at any given. Point in time you are growing closer to the light, even if you never reach head and it interesting, because when you not doing a convention, the sort of more downbeat take on America gets a lot of attention. It's very popular dynamically and accurate, of course it's supposed to tell the unvarnished truth and I'm not worried
when voters, so you hear a lot about that kind of thing, and journalists are influenced by scholars that they we did and then sometimes I feel like politicians on the laugh start. You feel intimidated by the climate. The world of letters. But then you know someone on the big. Age, whether its Obama or Biden. What kind of look around and billing no fuck it I'm going to adopt the rhetorical modes that successful, progressive political fate. Others have always used and when it happens, everybody's okay with it, you know, I mean, like lots of people who read and appreciated the sixteen nineteen project did not react in a negative way. Tibetans speech because I think, like most people understand, I don't just like understanding about politics and like how it works and that they would like trumped to lose the election.
All these narratives can also be true. Simultaneously. Right is not one of my big things that we don't. We don't have to choose between truths, but but I want to note on two things he said in their ethical really important. One thing that really was a difference. Barack Obama has, as you said, often had a Tele, illogical, bowed to his red right and an idea that history has a direction, and this has been a times overstated and people run certainly say that it is overstated right that he's always said we have to work to achieve it, but it was there. It wasn't there there it was a real different, rhetorical mode for him. I mean he was really I don't under the queen in front of me, but he basically said: like your democracy is at stake. You could lose us, we could lose us. I'm John shaded apiece in uniting thing. It's a first him he's ever heard Barack Obama's how scared and when I saw his help, I'm like I watch out speech. I, like Barack Obama, never sound scared and get into me there, but then I read the words which he put them down.
As you know, if you actually do just read the speech and like sever at a little bit from a bomb, is delivery. It was scared and bite and said two. Like many, I mean when it's like versus darkness, democracy on the pilot characters on the ballot like these are. These were not tell illogical modes everybody was saying the way they are painting tromp, like the fundamental political system that permits the further achievement of America is at the fundamental ways we participate. The theme of the entire convention was revoked. You have to vote there trying to not let you vote. You have to vote you normally. Don't I mean you try to get out the boat we're, not with warning people that, if they don't try, they may not be able to and like that was what was happening or so I do think. It's notable that that kind of direction of history was weaker in in this commission,
has been recently. The other thing that I think is interesting. There is, you know, Obama had this. We've had a lot of like intensely for mister or trailblazing error, foundational president's adopt this and a role that by in played as Obama's vice president and a role that is playing now as a potential successor to him. It's really a successor to his successor is that Biden takes what Obama frames as the next step for America and by virtue virtual, like being sold like I've, been in politics forever, just like. Show is that it is not the next thing it is rather like the thing. I thought the sharpest line and our colleagues acknowledgement a piece about this. Are the sharpest line of political analysis at the entire convention. Keeper, Andrea, almost wasn't it. There was this funny. Zoom call were
book. I hosted a round table people who lost the primary Joe Biden and Something Yang said in that which was spot on He said. The magic of Joe Biden is that everything he does becomes the new reasonable. If comes with an ambitious plan to address which aid all decided everyone's going to follow his lead, and there really is something to that. I mean you- and I have written about this in the context of policy where Joe Biden, by virtue of sort of running again left us in the Democratic Party and by virtue of his long Brandon. American politics has taken a strikingly leftwing agenda compared to anything any democratic nominee, including Clinton or Obama, have run on and made it the new reasonable righted. It's well to the left and well larger in scope than what we see before from from nominated Democrats, but on this on this question of what America is, which story should dominate what it means to defend the character and sole the
and biting is taking the case. Obama made that was thrilled. And knew when Obama made it given the nature of who will bomb was and is making it. The new reasonable, like, of course Joe Biden, the name of black indian american woman, to be his bp, like one that would Kamel Harris, was an aim that the heat near comes described it as a safety. Ice, like I can tell you. I've been in politics, belong to set at fifteen years ago, naming up black in American Caliph, The senator with one of the five most liberal voting records in the Senate was not what would be considered the safety be choice as other The way in which I think a function Biden plays in politics somewhat consciously and somewhat just by virtue of who he is, is trying to establish things in in the like american Center, by virtue of being somebody who, because of his own demographics, because of not just of politics, is represented, but again like being a white guy with Delaware, from Delaware who, like talks about a Scranton routes, and-
you know, like has a kind of verse, certainly had a different points, more working class effect. He chose to make it. Although the reason and like that, was in some ways like one of the interesting handoffs happening here, Biden by not being a first. Just out of surrounding himself with them in a way that is both depressing, but also potentially, when the story of his whole gets written by. Like Reprocessing of generations from now, like might be very important, like bite, is the entrenching good. All of that, as our tried to entrench like the new reasonable. I like to think what it means to be. Patriotic Smith, the road american politician in the year twenty twenty years was interesting weight is, I think you know if you read your book, which one should I don't know if you ve read your back, but it's tried to stop waiting at a certain point, is clear. Our polarize can be found. Why were polarized like one billion Americans can be found wherever you by your books? Yes, so I think it's pretty
clear right in- and you view go through this in in some detail- that thee buying Obama, sort of mainstream democratic diagnosis of the nature of the structural political crisis in America is wrong. You know that this idea that there is the this imminent threat to our democracy, where, if you dont use your vote now, you know you may lose it forever, but then well, if we win, it's gonna be secure. Telling! That's not right! That, though, that the crisis is rooted in, some structural features of the political system of the party is of the changes
media, I mean a lot. I could be improved by Donald Trump, not being president anymore, but the basic dynamics that are so troubling to people who are troubled by the Trump administration are not necessarily going anywhere, and I wish that what we heard at the end of these speeches was like an agenda for a democratic revolution in America that would tap All root and branch of flawed aspects of the political system force the sort of conservative party to compete, and something like a more level playing field where I am more like you drive me crazy. When I hear were published and senators saying things like they make d
importer, Rico States, I will never have a Senate majority like it's. Definitely not true is a republican governor of Massachusetts in Maryland. Like Conservatism is the most powerful structural force in politics in every country. And there's no conceivable electoral system in which, like wealthy business into and the Socio Cultural Majority Group won't find some way to work together on a political program, but it's that right now they're able to be Eve so wildly irresponsibly is the bar is so low for for them too, when I think- and you have actually do something about it, like you look at these q and on people winning republican primaries, and then everybody dies. Into like well does Trump give the right answers in off the cuff press conferences which to me, just like neither here nor there, it's like what what
you gonna do in the structure of the system or are we and just sort of keep like white enough it through endless, crazy like everybody takes it for granted. Now that if Hillary Clinton were president, Maybe she would have handled important aspects of the pandemic better, but the account would totally collapse, because there's no way congressional Republicans would cooperate with her and, like that's, really bad. That's like we can't have a country the space, I'm going to be writing a number of articles on the subject, and I'm going to put a pin in this for some future weeds that I want to talk to you about, but I want to pick up in a say, unfair pivot, here on your point about a low bar, because something that was on display tonight is that the Trump campaign made a. What at this point, seems to me like a quite significant error.
In putting the bar for Joe Biden, Solo sleepy Joe yeah turns out. He can stand up and deliver a speech. I would say by any measure, Biden's convention speech with an excellent convention. It's like it was. It was good by the standards of the thing it was, but if you ve been told by the Trump campaign that this guy is senile, he can't finish a sentence you ve seen: somebody's doktor videos and some of the non doktor videos, research of whether the stutter or something else I kind of like, loses his place and restart in the middle things like. He's he's out alive, he's hold a guy like you he's he's got his bed moments I'll, say Donald Trump lapses into complete incoherence regularly. Does it but it is like total mania, but if you've been fed a diet of that, and then you tune in and just bite in, that gives us knock out of a convention speech.
No patches know it's like one of those speeches have ever seen biting give at all and also see by the now he's best debates are the one or one debates yet with Sanders, says very possible that in the debate is gonna sharp, looking pretty good too, with Trump. Like they bet a lot, I mean, if trumps whole nickname from they bet a lot on Biden come off as a little senile, I mean maybe Joe is meant TAT, tended to focus your mind on that and it's gonna be up. Like what they've got right now are. Two things Biden is not is not showing himself to be, not not a socialist. Nobody buys the idea that he is and is not looking, not sleepy. They just ran a pretty damn good convention, and he just gave a killer convention speech and in a classic political mistake, Trump said a ball provided that was trivial for him to blow away and like now the the Chuck campaigners scrambling serving their like from what drumstick speech today suggested,
like their speech, is all gonna be about how Biden will usher and anarchy and abolish the police and so on, but again does not fit the Biden brand they're really casting about now for something to use on this guy, because the things they thought could use. It came from them binder on bullshit, like a came from them. Looking at doctored clips, they were seeing on Twitter. It came from him looking at like dumb stuff. They were seeing on bright bark and then like, as is often the case with Donald Trump like he is the first mark of conservative media, and then he echoes it and like like signal boosts it, but then the Pollack. Sometimes that works for him, but then a lot of times it doesn't unethical bite and in particular on it could prove to have been a pretty significant strategic error. When I made an interest I've been immersing myself a little bit in Trump Youtube ads, and you know, in addition to the kind of sleepy Joe Critique
It would interesting because the slightly joke critique when you see it in its more detailed editorial form, it has a specific point, which is that secretly, these other more leftist people are going to be running the and and then Joe is just kind of like a it at prop, so it's supposed to set up the ideological critique of Biden Then the other thing they have on this as they ve got a number of different videos which are built around Saying that binding said he wanted to defend the police, which is based on after Biden, said he didn't want to defend the police in an interview. They cut that part out. The interview comes back at him and he sighed well. You know, there's some activists who say why get really? We should shift some resources into mental health services for different kinds of people and binds. I am slowly. We should take a look at that. So, like that's, that's like their case and
they're leaving themselves open. They seem to believe that binding is like very afraid of the base and that what he won't possibly give a speech where he is has like Trump says. I want to defund the police know I don't want to defund the police. Donald Trump proposed cutting police funding. It is twenty slash twenty budget and its two thousand and nineteen budget, and its twenty eight he'd budget and its twenty seventeen budget, and he criticised my police funding bill energy than before and the one we with a woman who does nine and like I just don't like, I dont think Biden fears that kind of backlash from the laugh. You know he did a lot of work that you counted, delight, build a coalition and put things together, the like in the heat of a presidential primary campaign and he didn't do a lot of bending to left wing activists, pressure and he's not a super. Do
super telling moment on this. That done it. If you like, really buttresses your point, but in one of the like undercurrent things stop and Biden had, first or second night this round table, One of the about the round tables, aircars, mother and bite in a way that was really striking to me in terms like what we say like he opens his question to them. Or of Eric armor. By saying and again on paraphrasing, you can look up the transcript of this sick. Obviously, most cops are good Thompson, the great re, but we gotta worry about the bad apples yet bite in very like him. He makes a real point. Speaking no mother of a sleigh in child slain by police officers on video. Take start that question. I think most cops are good. Cops. They got was a choice. Anyone you know who is coming partial and back slack, can you know like its eighty, its deliberate right and similarly, when he did, he didn't interview with cardy, be and in one of the magazines and
You know, she's a well informed. And also known to be a left wing person and she's asking him about something, and he he doesn't use the name, but keep brings up the Nigerian before Crime Bell, and he says, like your rang, like I put more money into community organisations, so people would have other things to do and it worked for a few years and crime. Down and then they got stripped out later, because people stop care, As you know, Bob Bob Box and I think, like she's, much better informed about politics than I think your typical singer. But he was not likely to send you a typical listen, but not quite well versed enough after like pick up what that was a reference to, but that's the point you he was like he was out there talking about his brokered, like with potentially skeptical interlocutors he's running in hiding on that particular topic.
From this puts so much equity into this? You know like it's fine I mean, but it's like he doesn't have a lot of other arguments that I've seen about by none other than that he has a secret plan to deepen the police. Yes, but she just doesn't in a way that I think is easier to debunk. Then like a complicated. Three about email servers are person like that I do wonder I mean it was interesting to see Hunter Biden at the convention. And I wonder if they'll go back to the well on and that kind of stuff, because, like what they're up the air with I mean a it, hasn't, been working for them anyway, and then the convention, you know, eighty to be just like left it in the dust like. I think I think, from these different, a different argument or to cure corona
I do want to spend a minute here on. Any predictions are reviewing of their public intervention. Can exec out. I got some questions that I got some concerns, fairyland, that's guy who had sat so we got I have two having to have like levels. I'm interested in this I really want it like gives some praise here, running a convention amidst That committee, where people can, I gather in the same room, is an unprecedented thing in american politics challenging it could have been unbelievably awkward, the Craddock Party, whoever is running this, they did a killer. Job like it was really really better than I thought it was going to be like five miles like there is some hard cues and whatever, but it was well done
and parts of wrecks improved. I mean the musical numbers are really much better for having that basic video dimension. I really liked a bunch of em, so wine they just they organise something really hard on the fly well and then. Obviously there was a cup of a message which was a reasonable message. I have two questions about the republican convention, so one is just literally. Are they going to be able to organise it effectively right as one of our colleagues who sang its ache even while you want to do, is a grievance and fear like he stood out like be able to set up the soup call and I'm not a hundred percent. You they cancelled at the zoom, called out well economic aid, given to it, presumably they like hired and people technical know. How like this, was that this was a much more polished
then, I anticipated the end. The Trump administration has often been unable to pull out this kind of stagecraft as smoothly as you might anticipate. That's one of a lot of money, though so maybe they'll pay for it over and then second is just mad. It is, it is hard, it is. Art to run for president when unemployment is ten point three percent to end a hundred and seventy thousand, it accords the New York Times. More than two hundred thousand people have died from krona virus and what you are going to have to choose to talk about, to try to activate enough social division. In fear to swamp the complete catastrophe, that is the Donald Trump record is it like where this could cause really really dark? And so
like I don't know how I would write Donald Trump speech if I were them and Elsie. Usually Donald Trump isn't stick that Walter Speech, but I feel like this could go in some really grim directions next week. I yes, I am. I think I think that that is not will have. Many also think, I think, part of the republican solution to the logistical problems of handling it mentioning a coverage just gonna be dead. Do it very responsibly like as we saw that it also rally, and things like that- I mean he. You know, there's this an ebb and flow right and we are definitely back in the ebbing phase of covert like it's not like the pandemic is gone or it's been fixed, but case loads have gone down quite a bit over the past two weeks. Hospitalizations or down debts are going down and I think we're just
Missy Trump like slip back into a cavalier moved. So I dunno add attitude Dempsey. I we should say I think it was the main committee. And coordinator, and pulled out ass, a really cool shall you know and an end kudos there. I think we were talking last week. I think it was last week about the sort of lack of interest in like public policy as its conventionally. Understood by the Republican Party and for what we know about the the republican convention. I mean like they're, really leaning into that that they are seem to be booking Various kinds of perceived victims of you know culture worse lights in american society over the past four years, like that's the guy from coming to Catholic School,
everybody in the media got like really mad at him. I think kind of unfairly and He's gonna be like a conservative, martyr or something, but what's interesting is that, like Trump is not doing anything on those France, you know he's he's responsible for the federal response to covered two different tropical storms that seem to be aiming for the Gulf of Mexico next week, I want you to know. I'm I like can barely God side right now, because so many there, this the aerosol acrid from wildfires yeah my dad I was saying he's in he's insane Carlos, unlike the
Our keeps going out and also there's dust everywhere and, like already the reason he's there is that he and my stepmom like can't get button, I mean they they could get on the plane. They don't feel comfortable, taking the steps that could get them back east since another whole states on fire and like these are things I don't know like the presence do something about and from these, like so far beyond tat ride. So it's like what can he he highlights you now you get, you can highlight ugly star piquant. He can highlight stuff with the conservative viewpoint on. It is reason oh, but he can't, I think, like really highlight anything where it's like, and if we take the house, then we're gonna go. Do this
or am signing an executive order- and they seem to be trying to pretend that Nancy Policy was holding up aid to an import families with that's, not true, it's a vexing time and going back to the sugar structure of houses in America mean from looks like he's, gonna lose All the sort of forecasters said that he is, but it's amazing how little his approval rating has gone down as like objective indicators of quality of life in America have just plummeted over the past see now it's like a real all. I mean again, like you, have a book about why this is like the polarization dynamics that are in place are their friends. To me, I mean more than the specifics of white Trump is doing
how much his party holds together. Much is support, holds together even in this kind of fiasco. Almost like almost nobody is even asking as I will. What is down from going to do next week to convince people that he has a realistic plan to address the pandemic and like nothing right like ever everyone's expectations for him or zero, and it doesn't clear. How big a deal- and I do want to say in this is me- may be Talkin literally talk in my book, not just using. That is the red metaphorical idea, but but that is a reason. The democratic and publishing conventions are going to look different, an art, but I make an by book and am proud of this argument. Does it took me time to figure it out, but is it s trying to understand a symmetric polarization like? Why does it m credit party? so different than the Republican Party, given that they're both subject to polarizing forces, why is pun party dealt with it differently? There are a bunch of reasons and things
their media ecosystem matter too and again by the book. But one of the just facts of american politics is the democratic nominee for President and Senate Democrats and House Democrats cannot
when the office is they want to win without definitionally winning winning over centre right voters like Joe Biden, given the geography of american politics, cannot win with fifty percent plus one. He needs, probably something on the order of like fifty two fifty three again, it depends how things look out, but like us, but it looks like the Senate has something like fifty three. I'm sorry, the senators in like a three point, five point republican lien. So in all these cases, Democrats have to do things like the John Kasich work, because they will literally have to win. Voters were more conservative, then the median voter like you just like they have to do it and republish, don't like it,
the path to a republican victory, is that they hold Joe Biden to fifty one percent of the popular vote and they win the electoral college and they know it like I've been talking public. They know that perfectly well and so, like that's a that that that's an incentive for pure base mobilization and like Donald Trump's view of the republican base? Is it what they care about? Is social grievance and the feeling of being embattled and the media doesn't like them and look what they did, the Covington kid and disorder and so on? But I mean there just is a structural reason trump place that in a much narrow way than you would have to like another way to interpret that is it if the Republican Party tried to be more expansive, it could dominate american politics forever, and there are also reasons- that's probably not true, given what their coalition wants, like you do, have captured by your own base and that that frustrates a lot of republican strategies that some members of the party, particularly elite members of the party, would like to try or would have liked to try a couple of years ago, but yeah there's a reason. These conventions look different and, like
do but then reflects a democratic party and comes from a state. It's like yeah. You got to win some people who don't agree with you on stuff and Donald Trump reflects a republican party. That, increasingly is just- comfortable the minority, Marian Pathway to part to power, and so like that means you like TAT, the country in half and you don't even need the bigger half. You just need the slightly better distributed half, but you really need them to go to vote like you need the mad and so yeah like parties reflect structures and they reflect constituencies, but but still it's easier to do this running on a good economic record and not letting the country become like, though the guy bull leader and how not to handle plague then than the alternative. Yes, it's the latest hell and I got to go to bed
what what will see what's he were materializes next week. A lot of talk about, as you spoke today, because it is relevant but always relevant, is that you should prepared in my book as well one billion miracles. I come out circumvented It's really good. It's also much more uplifting than actual current american politics. You know a few yeah, but you would torch the Democratic Party for this message. That's what I learned from you this week that, like oh Joe Biden, is gonna have to disavow magically his book yeah. That's the only way for Joe Biden to win the election is like hold that book up, tell you pre ardor it and say nobody should guess it's terrible Overton window to overturn when we change in a game sea like anyway I get. We should talk about my book on Pakistan. In one of these coming weeks, but until they are monitored by a book dig out. So thanks thanks thanks to our sponsors. Thanks to our producers, have recalled and we'll be back on Tuesday.
Transcript generated on 2021-05-18.