« The Weeds

Ezra and Matt debate the debaters


Ezra and Matt break down the last debate before the Iowa caucuses, and explore the current state of the Democratic field.

Related reading:

"Joe Biden will never give up on the system" by Ezra Klein, Vox

"4 winners and 3 losers from the January Democratic debate" Vox Staff

"The case for Elizabeth Warren" by Ezra Klein, Vox

"Bernie Sanders can unify Democrats and beat Trump in 2020" by Matthew Yglesias

"Joe Biden skates by again" by Matthew Yglesias, Vox

"Elizabeth Warren’s new plan to reform bankruptcy law, explained" by Matthew Yglesias

"The Third Rail of Calling ‘Sexism’ Warren tried not to talk about it." by Rebecca Traister, The Cut


Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior correspondent, Vox

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

More to explore:

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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change our environment and working towards a better future, learn more it INDIGO G Com, recode. Then, let's talk about the debate that didn't happen because that's more interesting, let's do it, debate fanfic. Hello, welcome to another blow to the weeds, only box media media network. I met three places here today with while Klein I mean I'm. An occasional weeds, weeds person let me time our the corner we are here. We are going to talk about a vigorous participant in the weeds Facebook or they become. I think, I'm in there a lot more than you are ok, fair enough. Ok, Azra Klein
It was an odd uttered, a monopoly to sit here for this after the provenance of early tha that I participated, the weeds is a lover of the wheat Todd CAS glory. Ok, it's a weird and talk about the debate that have a last night, the state of the campaign and some of the debates that didn't really happen. But first I mean we should talk about what did happen up there on the stage in which it seemed like the big Headline takeaway was that a slightly nasty brewing controversy between Warren and Sanders gotten nastier and its all hard for me to say what its bout exert. Also, what it's about there's, a CNN article that came came out now couple couple days ago, that reported that sources close to warrant, basically or so it seems anyway, that there was a conversation between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, where Bernie told again according to sources in the room, although who dis source is a little bit unclear in the story? According to
This is in the room, Bernie said, a woman cannot win the presidency and twenty twenty, and this comes on seeing story. I Bernie Sanders eyes it flat out. He says I would never say that you can see me on television, saying a woman can when the presidency said that for a long time any makes the point, which I think is a reasonable point- that look Hillary Clinton. Why more votes and Donald Trump in that elections are. How could you, possibly even? How can anyone believe, could it when the presidency on but warns team, the statement from war and later that night, the on the day that the star Break sing nope. She stands by that she did not really want to talk about. This is not a thing that you think should be huge issue, but that is what Bernie said. I was not in the room and it is very hard to know what is happening. It is notable that war is holding the story. She is not saying, oh this prime misinterpretation or something here. My gut on happened here. Is it human beings communicate on clearly with each other and Bernie, probably said something that, in his
and was more like Donald Trouble run a sexist misogynistic campaign against a woman that will make it harder for her to win the way he said it or the weight was heard by Warren, was a woman can't win, but This is all omega issue about wisest coming out now. This is more than a year old conversation wise, it being leaked right before Iowa and it is blown up. The alliance, the that the pact, the non aggression pact between Bernie and Warren. One thing that I think is no, The is that to me, it seemed like something broadly similar happened. There was a moment when warring nearly caught Joe Biden in the ports, and one thing that I thought might have happened at that point- is that left wing people in general, urgent, leftwing, like thought leaders got behind Walker. They could have been like. This is great, Joe Biden not can be the nominee someone who's for Medicare for all is can be the nominee somebody
who wants to take on billionaires can be the nominee and some people did say that. But there was a heavy contingent of the Bernie Internet that took Warren's potential, taking a first place as an existential crisis moment for Bernie Sanders and for their sort of larger intellectual project of socialism and, like a ton of anti wine content, came out from the left at exactly the time she was facing sort of maximum or from the right and to an extent, I think you have to see the warring campaigns now effort to like New Bernie on the verge of Iowa as and some of the pay back for that that, even though Bernie didn't personally sort of way into that it in the same way both of them have in fact, for months now approached this has
a lanes game in which, like the goal, is to defeat Joe Biden, but the means through which you too few Joe Biden, is by tearing down the other progressive. Did it and it's something that makes a lot of progressive minded. People who, I know feel very uncomfortable because, like that both Bernie Sanders Animals with Warren, they would prefer either of them to Biden, and they don't think this kind of fighting is like constructive politics but I think narrowly like it. If it makes a lot, it makes a lot of technical sense Therefore, it should be said there were a came out that there were talking points being distributed inside the Bernie campaign. A few days before the story head, there were Anti war, and were explaining. You know- and I think, a quaint, primary way, how to talk people out of support Elizabeth weren't, any disappointing Bernie Sanders. So this growing enmity and the campaigns? I think you're right to foreground, that this fact that the extremely online contingent of the burning sphere has been attacking Elizabeth Warren Full
on I mean talking here about folks, like Jacobin Nathan, Robinson current affairs, the assault on Warren as a professional managerial class. Snake is way predated this and now they're all saying you see like, but this is politics, and I want to make two points about this- that are a bit bigger. One is it it is not case that there's any reason to think a woman cannot win the presidency there's actually a lot of research on women running for office in America, Jennifer, lawless and american University has done a lot of great work here, and it seems women often do a little bit better than men. Now that might be some amount of Jackie and sent a fact which women run and and the difficulties of getting to that point, but in twenty eighteen women candidates did strongly well, have you look at some of the key states likes? It was cool Sandy of Tammy. Baldwin is, unlike the democratic senator their home, and a woman on this has no and I think a woman can't win in twenty twenty and
in general, I think it is almost bad to be having this conversation repeatedly, because her ease political science evidence suggesting that when you have this conversation, you actually q peoples at this point, pre unfounded here's that women can't win soap. That's also one reason I am a little sceptical that this was coming. I have no idea who, like the story, but this would be to me a strange tactical decision for the worn the warring campaign high levels to make. I would not be surprised at all if this is something that say these reporters had been hearing for a long time it had been out there, they ve been having a little bit of trouble confirming it, and then his people around worn, got more pissed at Bernie. Somebody finally like gave them the that, did the true confirmation they needed. Sometimes stories don't come out in his tactical away as seems when you're reading them, because one thing that I was with one has very very specifically not tried to do- is run a kind of I'm with her candidacy in part, because I
They understand this evidence pretty well that you want to be very careful in this Rebecca tracer is a great piece over the cut about how dangerous and difficult it is for candidates from groups have not traditionally one power to talk honestly about the challenges they face and she knows it warns. Campaign has handled this view he delicately until now and so, and what can we do? ready for this to come out. Their initial set of answers were very halting and seem surprised, so I really I'd be very curious to know the back on this, but I don't actually know it. Sort of deeper part of the backstory of this that I do think is relevant is that in the specific context of like now January, twenty thousand and nineteen to say a woman will face crippling disadvantages, as the nominee is like understood as the anti feminist position to take, but back in the winter of twenty. Sixteen twenty seventy in- and I think, throughout all
twenty seventy, and if I had said, I dont believe that Hillary Clinton gender was a significant factor in her electoral defeat that would have been received by the very same people who are most apt up. What Bernie allegedly did as like me being the bad misogynist and like How can I deny the evident reality that misogyny held Hillary back right and if you look at like Hillary's official account of what happened in a book, literally titled. What happened she very much foregrounds. The idea that being a woman is what heard her right was like decisive in causing her to lose that election and I wrote and said, several times that the time like I mean I know a lot of the people who worked in Hilary world, and I know the depth and sincerity of their commitment to
women in american politics, and was very vexed by their lack of consideration of like what the second order consequences of going with this narrative we're going he, and I just think I think a lot of the democratic electorate has responded like a very predictable way to like Literal like The literal words I hate, sir. I hate the phrase. The establishment, but, like these sort of post Nova remnants of Hilary World, really have clearly articulated the view that sexism was a crippling disadvantage for Hillary Clinton and also the Donald Trump is a dangerous authoritarian whose existence office is like an existential threat to american democracy. It is very logical conclusion for those two points to be like. I might like to see a woman be president, but I dont want to risk the future of the american constitution over it. Let's go with Joe Biden, let's go with Bernie Sanders
go with with whatever and honestly as an argument, never really made sense to me like she says in her book that the criticism she took for her paid speaking engagements was an example of sexism and, like I just don't think it was like any body would get criticised by the left for doing a bunch of paid speeches for investment banks a couple things here. One that is striking thing about this story, and it goes to exactly what you were saying but a week ago, job said- and I am quoting him a little bit from memory here, but I'm really get this basically right. Hillary Clinton face lotta sexism and twenty sixteen, happened. Her was really really unfair. They they were really unfair to her. Well, folks, that's not gonna happen to me right and bite in on the record in public voiced exactly the argument, you're just saying right, which the logical set of conclusions based on the premises laid out, among others by the Hillary Clinton campaigner Post campaign. It got a lot less attention than this behind,
closed doors, weird thing, which is a general problem. I think in political reporting, in the wake us responded to things that are positively secret what more attention than things candidate say in speeches, but binding, really said that is very clear what he meant and while he didn't say a woman can't win, he did imply certainly if you want a win, your best shot is with a white guy like Joe Biden or there's a guy like Joe Biden, but I do want to make one wait about massaging in Hillary Clinton. I think this is actually pretty complicated stuff one is it. It may be the case that women candidates on net don't do worse than male candidates and they still face one miss agony and so you're. Seeing among other things, composition, effects or there will be a woman candidate- could be better than a male candidate right twice as good. So you sing it compensated for in other ways, but the other thing that that I really do take seriously with content Hillary Clinton. Has been one of the most prominent whim, and in american politics for going on thirty years and one of them
she made in her bug. I think it is very true about her specifically, is that she has been through a lot of waves of different kinds of miss. Johnny and different kinds of America coming to terms with the idea that there will be women in politics and has paid a lot of different prices, for that has also had some benefits from a bright deceit. She very aggressively for rounded they did it. She was woman. This would be a store I'm with her, but nevertheless I think that Hilly Clinton's view that. Public perceptions of her were extremely inflicted by massage any going back to her common em in the Clinton White House that you What did you want me to do stay home and bit cookies and created this national fear? You know where she dismissing stay at home mothers, the idea that ideas of Clinton had been shaped over a long period in a pretty massage industry com. There in many cases by quite misogynistic peoples is another point traced her makes in terms of whose
dominating poetry and other things during that time. I don't think that's wrong. The situation Clinton is facing a somebody's been been in politics, the the basically with her or with the whole in Arkansas, and this situation, a female politician who is just bursting onto the nationals national stage lost five. Sixty years are facing our are pretty different. You I mean. I agree with all of that. I just one distinction that I think you should be drawn is there's a difference between. Does a candidate face message and new, stick criticism and is a candidate on net hurt by massage? Yes right and I think one example is. If you look at the research in J F case campaign in nineteen sixty, it is obvious that you can clearly see right. So he was catholic. There never been a catholic president before
and he certainly received a criticism that was grounded in anti catholic bigotry. At the same time, the research of the nineteen sixty campaign indicates that Annette he benefited from being Catholic that he got super large Catholic out and he did lose some votes to anti catholic prejudice. Buddy gained more than he lost, then you also of research about Obama, two thousand were I think you see the opposite? He clearly gain some votes because he was African American. He got the strongest black turn out of anybody ever and Democrats now like wish. They could go back to that, but he also loss white votes right and because white people so badly outnumber back of people. That was like a net challenging for him, whereas we Catholics are very numerous in the population in nineteen. Sixty women are, is it very large group of people is not as potentate political identity as as African American and that sort of that that tricky terrain
bolt grapple with, but I mean when I think about Joe Biden prospects as a genuine, get it. I'm really not persuaded that he will be stronger candidate because he's a man that, like I, actually think he will lose the Hilary I mean how it has been like red conned as like the worst politician ever or something, but there were a large number of people who were very inspired by Hillary Clinton. Asked for this result, was her in a debate versus Joe Biden right. I mean not just she's a more skilled debater. I M, in which I think is true, but I mean I just think on a grass roots level, even though Hillary Clinton like policy plan warm was not particularly like amazing, and even though she is not a great poetic orator, what she stood for right, which you presented meant an incredible amount to millions of people. There was the pants suit nation Facebook group there. There was all this stuff and binding is not going to be able to replicate that kind of Pro Biden. Mobiles.
And he's gonna be just another like old politician with blah idea and maybe that's good, because it won't turn certain kinds of people off, but I mean I think there was a real you know. Identity is very complicated politics. I will talk about your book on another occasion, but, like you know, there's this two sides to all of this, and I think it's it's telling that win phrased bluntly. As like, let's not nominate a woman people. I think correctly take that to be like a bad stance for women to like assert that they face, crippled obstacles in politics rather than difficulty. Is that our surmounted ball, like it's hard to win a presidential election. So I I think all this is correct and I'd really recommend people read trace dispute because I didn't get limbs this difficulty very, very well, but okay. So what happens in the debate is this comes up. Bernie Sanders gives, I think, a pretty eloquent argument that this is not at the very least what he believes
leaves and argues indefinitely win the presidency's a woman. He makes a point unfairly and, to my knowledge, it is true that in twenty fifteen or twenty four You know, maybe it was he went Elizabeth are to see if she was going to run for president, because if she was going to he wasn't going to so anyway. So he makes all these arguments. Elizabeth Warren does not rebut him, or call him a liar budgets also does not say, though he saying is true and makes an argument about how both her and encourage our have better electoral records and the men on the stage. Then the end of the debate when the cameras are still on, but nobody's able to hear what people are saying. There is now very viral moment where war and walks up to Sanderson's him his has hand out, but one clasped her hands in front of her, so centres retract his hand, and they have. It looks like a somewhat heated, quick discussion where he points at her and he walks away we don't know what happened only comes dire knows what happened because he was near by and has refused to say. The point I want to make about this is not, I think they said anything
that interesting to each other in that exchange, but that here we are This is the last presidential, primarily before Iowa and what happened last night is Joe Biden, who I thought had a particularly bad night as debater seemed very low. Energy was not giving very clear answers. He stated by, plainly, nobody really took him on and there had been a bunch of signals both from Bernie and war and that they are preparing big anti bite- an argument for this debate Warner brought out this new bankruptcy plan. Joe Biden had begun talking about how, but I'm sorry Bernie Sanders Bob. I was gonna blow the election, given what he's done security and the Iraq war and this item a very minor stop over the Iraq war. The story of that debate that Bernie and warm or fighting with each other, and it is not that either of them took part, Joe by an or the job item is facing fire all night from the two of them, or even Anything but Joe Biden said himself, and so, if, in a couple weeks, what happens is it Joe Biden? We
means Iowa, as is currently seen, at least in some poles, or not, that domain registrar Paul that just come out. I think this is going to be seen in retrospect as the complete political debacle for the left. Yes, I'm sure we should we take a break and then talk about that. The substance of some of those attacks that didn't actually come forward. Sure if you're having trouble meeting your goals focusing at work. If you have feeling stressed you're having trouble sleeping better help is here for you, it's not a self help class and it's not a crisis line. Better help is secure online, professional, hounds with real licence. Their best to have the tools to help you feel better is fill out a questionnaire about how you're doing and better Hubble match you with your own licence therapist under forty eight, there's no more awkward, therapist waiting rooms, no more limitations and the type of experts in the area and in between weekly appointed
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where's girl. They probably fell into a deep dark. A bits opens up when we switch between work apps at those three hours to all the productive time we 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 chats apps, docks and tasks. One central S Place Mission control companies like Google and Google use click up to make their days more productive, manage projects, people and goals more effectively of all sizes and industries, hookups pleasingly asked features of one thousand plus integrations became, must have for anyone wanting to track, manage and tackle their work in one place and two hours back with click up trade for free today, click up that palm slash, the weeds. And this was like a truly weird media moment because, like there was a political story that was like
ready for Bernie Sanders Sanders attacks on Joe Biden and lay like there down there was burnt. Centres on tv making attacks on Joe Biden. It wasn't just it like an anonymous flitted over. I write. It was a good like it was well reported, but it wasn't Bernie said some stuff on tv and then there was this political article that like fleshed out in more detail, and then there were like stories in the intercept and- and you know, like they're, like Bernie friendly media, like fully laying this out and the basics of it, were that, like LUG, Joe Biden has a select ability patch, but we're gonna, let Donald Trump say in midwestern swing states, here's a guy who was for rock. I was against it, which is not really true, but as something from says, Joe Biden wants to cut your social security benefits and Joe Biden was the champion of NAFTA and Transpacific partnership and like this is gonna, be
an electoral fiasco and also its substantively wrong. Unlike Bernie has now in every single debate kind of, like need Old Biden about Iraq, then Biden has is not really accurate stock response. When he's like a hot Bush tricked me well, then he also, I then in broad Obama, turned to me, and he told me to end the Iraq war, which is a general. Weird re framing of what happened there, gas right like burning, didn't what had been previewed was it Ernie was gonna, go from like here's a hit on Joe Biden too, like yours, my point about Joe Biden, it just Didn'T- in and then Warren put out a plan to change bankruptcy law which references, big changes to bankruptcy law that happened as five. That Biden was the ME you're sponsor of. Obviously nobody in the electorate is like voting on bankruptcy bill
warm in twenty nineteen, two thousand and twenty. The point of is pretty clearly with the queue up a contrast with Joe Biden. The big picture in Warren's proposal is to make it easier for people who have unsecured debts to just go to walk away from them, and bankruptcy, which I think is a good idea, but should there's also this like little laundry list of like weird line items, so it's like you can still pay your union dues, even when you're in chapter thirteen Bankrupt resolution process and you're reading this any normal person be like what the fuck is, this stuff right, what it is of those wanderlust items. They are specific
poison pill, amendments that Democrats pour out into committee in the two thousand five bankruptcy reform process that Joe Biden voted against all of them because he was part of the mostly GEO P led coalition to get this bill done and what binds campaign says if you, if you ask them by this bankruptcy bill, is like look. This was pass by a kind of God on the bus, and he was able to make changes to make the bill better and worn. With setting up the point that, like no Democrats offered like this laundry list of amendments, that would have improved the bill and Biden Help beat them all back, but then she didn't say any that so like. What's the point is, I think it's ported to say here. This is not a look at capitals with one is come up with in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty during that period, what worn was was a specialist in bankruptcy law and
She was as an academic who had written in two thousand and four this book, the the two income trap she attacks bite and in that book for his work on bankruptcy, actually actually him in a very, very specific way where she says Joe Biden goes around the country framing himself as an advocate, women, because his work on the violence against women act, and here he is making it harder for women to declare bankruptcy and making it more likely that women are gonna end up in poverty and under crushing debt, and you cannot support men in this one way and then and then destroy them in another. We ve been at to doing the series were making the best case possible further Billy democratic candidates. Matt had a great one on Bernie, I did the war on one and it came out this week and what I was talking, kinda people around Warren? I heard something which I've heard before, which is Elizabeth. Warren's warns formative. Political experience is the bankruptcy law fight and it was
shattering for her like she loses and the person she loses. Two specifically is Joe Biden and that this goes way back ended it like Elizabeth Hole, sorry Elizabeth warrants. Whole world view on economic policy is built on the foundation of what she learned in in bankruptcy, lawn and and and this and contract law around that and she's been building out a view of how unfairly the american economy treats a perilous forces a powerful built on that foundation. For a long time, Joe Biden represents two the ways in which the american economy and the Democratic Party has made not just its peace without but has been a hat. Maiden of lot of this rigging of the economy and against people. This is the core of warrants politics, the molten core of her politics. She then brings out, as you say, this new that this new proposal this week and then just as nothing, but that it is bizarre, and she me she needs a moment. I mean she's running.
Roughly third, in the primary a king, she needs a couple point. Shield needs to shake up the situation. I think you know- and I thought she did fairly well and Let me she's always does a better Alex weaker, but wait what's striking about this. I mean. Is this really is like her origin as a politician link, if you want to understand why this law profess her is now a senator and running for president. It's because, as a law professor, she was engaged for years about part time, but For years, in an effort to defeat this bankruptcy legislation it went through. I may I wrote an article about this here. You know, look it up, but it wouldn't want do many iterations across two presidencies. It it took a long time she ultimately lost at and she's changed her focus and she brought it out from thinking about bankruptcy specifically to thinking about corruption in the political system of the themes that she mentioned right, but she didn't tie it back to
This thing, that is both the focus of our academic career and also like literally, was a battle with the front runner for the presidency and its frustrating to me as a person who followed this bankruptcy debate at the time in two thousand five and like to write, goes about it, but he eat also just like it doesn't make sense on the level of logic. And peering together right, like both the critiques that Sanders, telegraphed and didn't make and the ones that warrant telegraphy did make, like to me as somebody who did not write the case for Joe Biden when we were dealing out thesis immense. Like my coming, I want to say we will the case for Joe Biden. There won't be wine, but it speaks What is my actual concern would Joe Biden, because I I totally acknowledge that, like the main things Biden says on behalf of himself like he does well in had tadpoles against our trump like that
true, and also that these, like more out there like progressive ideas that Warren and Bernier allegedly gonna. Deliver aren't really gonna happen. That's also I mean but binds t he's, got a good team and he says I think, a lot of totally reason. One true things about the world up, but he has this like really unfortunate track record signing on two by partisan ideas that are that are bad. I think. Yes, you know and like he talks about like I'm gonna, I'm gonna be able to work with Republicans and a lot of people dismiss that. No, like that's crazy, like Parliament will never agree to anything but like worry more the opposite. I mean you know good like trying to work with publicans right and if they slap your hand away, they saw Apprehend way. Binding really has worked with Republicans on things like a resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq and aid
bankruptcy reform bill. That was bad for the middle class and on sequestration legislation that, like cripple the american economy and that to me, like it's, a it's, a real record of achievement, but like it's, it's the legates. That's not good, like us on what you're so yet in you don't just like supposed to make the system work like just for the heck of it. Also that this is, I think, actually an interesting space, two things. One is that, on the political game of level, a view has taken hold among different players that the democratic electorate punishes people who go on the attack in these primers, and so in particular. This is a bit of a bind for Warren and Bernie, because the theory is is it of any one of them like really rushed Joe Biden
the electorate that might listen to them, but it would go to the other one of them right. There's, like somebody who's too good, a substitute for them on that stage, and so that, like an they see an attack on Joe Biden like a frontal attack as potentially murder suicide. There's, not very good evidence for this. In my view, a me actually mentioned this. Having been that SAM's, the former comes director fur calmly Harris notes that Harris had jumped. Poles after tacking Biden, that she she's not able to sustain it because she did not think have anything to say after her initial tack and did not herself on a bring back bussing. But but the bit worked for her for a minute. Pete Buddha jumped in the polls thrilling eye when New Hampshire, after going on the attack from suited the moderate lane against Warren. So I dont really see where this view comes from, but it, but it has taken quite sharp hold ass. They had to be shown there, so you have heard that up into
so then the other thing, though, that I want to stay here on Biden, so I've helped with the reporting for the case provide and just talk to some people around Biden, and this is a thing that I I am struck by. I have a lot of concerns watching the debate about whether not Joe Biden is actually up to the job of the presidency to save a spurt flatly. But one thing that he does not do in these debates is make an argument for his brand of politics and make an argument for why he was right about things which is what he used to do like. If you look at old clip Joe Biden. It is not the case. The controversies around him, our new, but he's to argue for his position with a lot of force and so at the debate. What you see Bernie Sanders attacks binding on Iraq and Joe Biden says. Well, I was a mistake. I was wrong, but then know Obama turn to me to personally get every troop out of Iraq. What Joe Biden doesn't which I think is what he would have done. A couple of years ago is save Bernie Sanders has been
anti interventionist at every level. In every question, in american politics, more or less for years, with maybe the exception of the Afghanistan WAR and he's wrong- that we actually need to be global leaders that there and we do need to intervene. There are great moments in american history like Kosovo, on some of the mistakes made like Rwanda have to do with being being to anti interventionist, and we need somebody's gonna step into two to mark as a role on the world. That's what he would have said before and civil we here when I talk to people on Biden, they make the point that this is actually record his politics. Had he been adieu.
What's between him and the left lane. Is it when the left lane looks at these deals it get struck. They focus on what is bad in them, and Joe Biden focuses on what is good and that the fiscal cliff deals with the big example there. So the ambush tax cuts were expiring, because I had this ten year expiration date, so they could fit into budget reconciliation role so under Obama. Those olive set in this huge tax increase coming and their these negotiations were publicans to to do something about it by it and ends up negotiating at a deal with much Mcconnell, and we'll get the specifics of it a little bit wrong for memory, but basically he extends all, but the tax cuts for the very, very, very richest and, in some cases, tax cuts for the very richest, but he gets a bunch of tax cuts and e APC kind of things for the working class. So here's the deal that basically republics yet a lot of what they want. But Democrats get a lot of things they want to, and Joe Biden end
four underlines. That was a good deal. It mattered more that we are able to help the poor than that. We, like screwed, rich people on the estate tax and other people say no. Either you either could have gotten a better deal by the fiscal cliff expire and using that as leverage on the tax increases, leverage or vicious wasn't a deal worth taking at all, bite interest disagree yes, but the thing you do not see him doing any more is making a case for those disagreements. Joe Biden is a deal maker. Joe Biden thinks the left is gripped by purity, politics and Joe Biden. It thinks it is better to get like a quarter loaf. Just like I almost got. Maybe the metaphor: he thinks it is better to accept some things. You really don't like to get some things. You really do because that is how the american political system works in its more important to help people than like feel good about You know not helping the people you don't like, but you never hear that from him on the stage it
I want to drill down to the cliff thing because it seared into my memory and it's him. I think important- understand that on that particular point, Biden's. Critics are not just like the far left of the party back when Michael Bennett was still managing to get into debates like he ran. This right and he said, arguing with bid about this. He said the deal with Mitch. Mcconnell was a complete victory for the tea party. We've been running against this for ten years. We've lost that economic argument, because that deal extended. Almost all these Bush tax cuts pemantle in put in place the mindless cuts we're still dealing with today that are called the sequester. That was a great deal for Mitch, Mcconnell and a terrible deal for America. Now look maybe Bennet is wrong but like, but it is not like. The Hang Harry Reed was feared, elaborated the Democratic party right and hell you read was really mad about the deal route. Apparently he threw it into a fire rat like there's a fire, but like famously. He took the deal that it would like the paper and at some point, threw it into the fireplace
right, and I think one of the reasons why there are such strong feelings about this that don't follow. Like super clear ideological lines is that part of the issue there was like Exactly how hard core issue Democrats be in their negotiating tactics right that, like binds point, is, if you look at the terms of this deal, we won some things. That were good reads: point is that had they just sucked it up and let the Bush tax cuts fully expire, they would have had a much stronger negotiating position and then I think, binds counter to that
and envy you suddenly job? I just did this role gemmen. He was vice president. The counter that not just from Joe Biden but from the people in the Obama administration, who agreed with this approach, was that like it, would be too crazy and chaotic to have this like giant tax increase, come in January first and then argue for five months about exactly how much of it to roll back with Democrats like pasturing, sort of tea party style like when I can give you anything right did that would just be not like. I'm not a good way to run the government right and binds approach like make a deal before the deadline make a deal that advances some goals are both people shake hands. Have a nice press conference like do a signing ceremony, that's how politics should be done. That's functioning governance in the United States of America and you written before about like now by MRS Pack.
Our belief in that in the system that the system works and that he can make it work, but also that you have an obligation to do that, to not do what Harry Red wanted to do there and like let things get a little bit Lou be just because it would have given Democrats more average, and to me that theory smacks to me less of pragmatism than of unilateral surrender. It reminds me of Pat lay he bringing back the blue slip rule when Democrats had a majority in the Senate just so that Republicans could get rid of it again once they had. A majority were like you can make a case for the blue slip rule but like what the old bowls of the democratic Senate caucus we're doing there like just fuck them over for no reason it didn't entrench the wall. It just gang football away and like this is what I really worry about with with by I dont think I would not call unilateral surrender its it. Do you hear me
made a deal right, he got things in the abominable rang out things they wanted, and I will say a little bit more to their in defence. On this I was covering this at the time and the argument that people were making with it. If you look at the democratic Senate, caucus, The key players here are going to last exactly six seconds after these tax cuts take hold like the Democrats, who are, I don't remember, exactly who the swing Democrats were and who lost into thousand and fourteen versus who lost in two thousand and sixteen. But you're? Looking like your Joe Donnelly's, you know tester that kind of person and that as soon as those tax cuts go up, Idea that they are going to be more united in the majority than Republicans are going to be in the minority was just ridiculous and that they were going to get a worse deal pretty soon and take a lot of political damage. The thing I want to say about this, because I do think it's actually interesting is that I wish people were having this
giving more centrally. In spite of anguish, Joe Biden was having his argument for centric, as this is a way in which I think these presidencies really would be different. So when I think about what's gonna happen here with a different candidates, I think you ve got like a couple different questions so one the single biggest question about how legislatively successful the next democratic president will be is how many Senate seats get picked up down ballot from them and an argument. The binding people make, which I think has actually some validity to it, but it depends how much you think it will hold in an ongoing way. Is it right now, if you ask like the Democrats running Senate in Arizona. In North Carolina in Iowa in Alabama lengthen, which candidate do they want to win the democratic nomination, thereby Joe Biden like no doubt about it like social and socialism is not. Popular word in Arizona or Alabama. But, like Democrats like would like to keep that dog John Seat, and so that's. Why
thing, and then you have a good argument, like I think, is a very good argued Bernie and warring didn't do their best arguments against Biden and bind didn't make his best argument for him now and with allow one. So then, you get into the next question of luck to build. And again we I dont know how to think about. Joe Biden has been more robust in the face of criticisms I find convincing, and so that may just hold through the tired general election, but so people can argue about ability on, but currently, despite the criticisms of him, get a lot of play and the whole thing about his son being at the center of the impeachment scandal. Nevertheless, he's held this top position against Trump and head dead polling, so there's electability and then you get into issue, though, if you is, if you net all that out, if you believe that others with Warner, Bernie Sanders would be exactly, is electable and hold as many sentences as your bite in which I think is reasonable. You can at least make that argument. Then you can so like what would their presidencies look like, and this is a way in which I think they would really look different. I think it is possible. Actually the Joe Biden would get more done
then Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders beaten because Republicans will hold quite a bit of power in the south whether it's majority or not, and what Joe is going to do, is cut more deals and so he's going to get somewhat more things done. The Democrats will like and as the cost of that, he will exe a larger number of pigs getting down the Democrats, really, they really hate, and that is a different nature to ITALY. Bernie Sanders will say no to those deals. He won't get the things he wants in them, but he won't get the things he doesn't want in them there and not everything has a fiscal cliff dimension to it with some kind of external leverage, it is gonna fuck everything up. If you don't make a deal, so a lot of things are different Do you want to cut this deal or not. Joe Biden was behind this cures act a couple years ago, and the key I had a bunch of things going on in it. To be honest, I ve studied at super closely, but it pass ninety five to five in the Senate and in that five who voted against it. Well is it with Warner, Bernie Sanders and so
was it a deal that had a lot of money for cancer research, which is why binding care deeply about it and hautala other things people felt were giveaways pharma, which is why Bernie Sanders annals with warned didn't like it, and Joe Biden feels like that was worth it and like look at the vote, you can see it was worth it they feel no, it wasn't worth it because we gave more to Pharma than we should of, and you shouldn't do that anymore. It is a way in which, like these are going to be different presidencies, even in the context of Republicans having a lot of power and I think another thing things worth mentioning in that regard cause. I think a lot of people genocide. Remember anything in politics that happened before twenty fifteen was or even by six before twenty fifteen, yet when it also doesn't bring this up because it doesn't it doesnt service, tactical interests, but like wind, Och Obama was president there was a non trivial number of Democrats who, at various points in time, felt that
he should have been more willing than he was to make concessions to Republicans to go. Get things done. Obviously, opinions changed from time to time on different specific circumstances. But I think that both Joe Biden and Hitler when were generally associated with that camp. That I think one specific thing is that people floating the idea of doing a corporate income tax. We he tree asian holiday, which is like a kind of goofy accounting gimmick, no real, quick weather This means that if you, if you bring back money that you're holding overseas for a limited period of time, you basically don't pay taxes on it
get like you'd get. I could get out of jail, free cartons, many been holding in Ireland. Would they would give you a discount tax rate ran, so it would be a tax cut that scores as a revenue razor as it is. I d kept kicking around that you could do this and then you could use the revenue to do and infrastructure, but right and upon this economic team dress like really hated this idea like they found it to be offensive. I think it really bothered them in their wants souls, The onward enact attacks cut and score it as a tax increase will know what their argument was, that that money is leverage for a better corporate tax join later and when you do this,
lose all of that leverage all at once for something very small and the end, the case for doing which I know Bill Clinton made vocally, and you know you, you hear things around the way. I'm was look. If we do this, we will get the infrastructure which, like is good on its own terms. Infrastructures good at the building trade unions will like it because they like the jobs, the economy, could use the stimulus, the bigger deficit that results in along is not a big deal because sort of who cares and people will like it, that you did something by partisan and got something done now upon the held the line on that in a way, then. I think Joe Biden maybe wouldn't dove that Hillary Clinton, maybe wouldn't of, and the upshot of Obama holding line on it, was not that he created leverage for a better corporate tax reform down road. It's a trump used it as a pay for not as a pay for doing this.
Sure Bell, but he did a tax cut that scores his revenue razor and he used that to offset the costs of more tax cuts so like in that case, I think in retrospect the criticism of the Obama administration was vindicated and that, like rejecting a deal that was on the table in face, we have some hypothetical, like better idea, just lead to up to a worse idea, right and again of four, very obvious reasons, Joe by mistake and stand up there and criticise Barack Obama's decision making and say that he would do a better job than the patron saint of his campaign, but like to me as somebody who's around there, like, I think, that's a topic in which, like his his stance, has been vindicated, that thinking more like a politician and less like a Phd economist is beneficial that, like ultimately, politics is politics and like trying to do things in the here and now? Has
benefits, because, inevitably you win some elections, you lose some elections and, like you, kind of gotta, do it you gotta, do yeah, I don't know that I quite buy that only in this zero dollars and one cents, which is it the reason that it didn't work out, has Donald Trump won the next election and if they've been planning all of their like political strategy on Donald Trump will win the next election. Just a lot of things look different, but the color on the next election or Joe Biden had run and won the next election or Elizabeth Warren. Then you'd be glad you that sell down that corporate repatriation- I would just say the big picture here on Biden is that he will make these deals. Biden has very coherent fury of politics- I will say in- and I will put it in show notes, but I want a peaceful awhile back called Joe Biden will never give up on the system, and it was tagged a bit too when he was praising segregation, senators, but
no Biden has really like lived his life, not just his professional life, but his life in the Senate. It's a different thing for him. When he came to the Senate, his wife and child were killed in a terrible car crash. He was sworn in at the hospital bed of his son. The way the Senate has acted for him as a family and as approving ground he's had a bunch of different crises. He had multiple aneurysm brain aneurysm. He was brought through by his own people. I go through some been pretty boy. Hell, he loves the Senate. He loves the way it works, and the other thing that is connected system to the one you were just bringing up against Obama. That is that there was also the criticism that Morocco but did not invest time in creating legislative relationships, and this was just constant that he didn't hang out and have senators over to watch football games. He did and there's his fate as on line from one of a bomb, is wider score? Spotted Dennis speeches were about. Mrs people. Keep telling me tat go have a drink with Mitch Mcconnell, you have a drink with mentioned cod,
it was a joke, but not in any way a joke right. The last thing Barack Obama wanted to do is hang out with Mitch Mcconnell, and this was understood at the time correctly as a criticism that Joe Biden believed and it sort of comes even in part from Joe Biden World, which is that Joe Biden was often deployed. To do that relation no work, the Brok Obama didn't want to do now. The reason to bring this up here is that this is also a big difference between the bite Bernie and Warren campaigns where Bernie Sanders is no one as one of the true like Lone Wolf personality types in the Senate, usually the people who get to that level. Politics are like maniacal extroverted backslapping who they can live without constant approval into them from all directions and Bernie Sanders was known for having a she very few close relationships in the Senate. He would work with people sometimes, but he was not. It he's, not a relationship builder. He just isn't he actually. I think said in this New York Times
interview if I'm not missing member the interview where he said. What's something you do poorly and he said why I wish people happy birthday, because I don't think it matters people really like it when you wish him happy birthday, but on an obviously not good at that kind of thing so like he won't even wish people happy birthday routinely above on his campaign, Elizabeth Mourn, who is, does do more coalition, will work in the Senate than than Bernie Sanders like you can actually see. This is like a number cosponsor. They haven't bills and things, but still is not no one for her Great Cross Party cross I'll relationship. She's got you know she does some odd bedfellows collisions banal much Joe Biden too did to the extent he still doing this kind of thing he really would sit around hanging out a lot with Minos. When's reelection, Susan Collins, and what that might get you more deals that Joe Biden might think are good and the left, we think are bad I want to keep emphasising this, because this is a debate they are not having, but the difference between their press is, is not really gonna be that Joe Biden passes. The Biden up
on healthcare or Bernie Sanders passes a single pair bill. It's that data. The the they're going try to pass things- is functionally going to be sort of bipartisan or partisan That price will mean that you know in the elites in the Senate that seem likely us, which most of them have benchmark Roma as majority Hitter Joe Biden get some things done, but those things often don't look echoed to the left, whereas Bernie Sanders rose with wanting to focus a lot more on aggressive use of executive authority. Point I want to make on this is just this week. Warren came out with an almost an update, ter student debt cancellation plans, where she picked up on an idea. It's been floating around the american prospect of peace on it, but a while back those of a pretty, I would say, contracts no legal fairy that you can cancel student debt of almost all of it just for executive authority through reading, expand something that that is already in the lawn she of picked. That up and said said I would do it and the bring
The opposite when I was talking to Warren's people and people around her for this piece. I did on the case for her. Something argued was that a mistake that they felt Barack Obama made was he often held regulatory the regulatory authority in abeyance as a kind of stick in trying to get legislation done so he wanted to get the cap and trade will pass if he didn't get that he would use EPA Authority to regulate guenaud carbon from power plants on and they felt he had that backwards, that what you wanted to do was aggressively use executive authority to change the facts on the ground, so that now corporations are screaming for relief. They desperately want legislators to come in and help them. Easy example say of case- indicates- think actual vomited. This whelmed different states began legalizing marijuana the Obama, decided to use executive authority not to prosecute in those states and that create,
lot more room from her wanna legalization to begin at least get put on bills in the: U assented and elsewhere, because their already facts on the ground. So I think the student debt cancer, thing that warm wants to do as very connected her theory of legislating to. It may be that wouldn't holed up in the courts, but even the fear that it would might make a lot of these different points. As from stood alone companies even up to Republicans, but you know, at least in theory, come to the table to try to get a more moderate legislative solution? Yeah I mean I think that that is definitely a Amy. That's interesting You ask anybody right. It's like what is the, but what is the actual difference here right, and this is a critical difference. Fridays like who will be appointed to lead the executive branch agencies and what is there theory of what you should do and like clearly very clearly like Warren camps. Theory is like you go to the bats right and you lose cases in court and that basis.
If the court's aren't ever telling you like. No, you can't do that that just shows you're not trying hard, among others, like like. Most of the judges are appointed appointees and you know it just like that's that's like frightened and that you can do a lot that way- and I think you know Obama's view. I think there's a lot of levels to the Obama teams. Disagreement with that, but like really one of them, is that the Obama administration put a high premium on trying to make it seem. Like things were like going. Ok, in America any part this was they took over in the midst of a very chaotic economic crisis, but like they, I wanted the opposite of what you have the Trump era, which is like a constant sense of boiling chaos and get up Warren or Sanders will be very different from Donald Trump, but I do think would be somewhat comparable in creating a sense of frenetic ness and like a lot of like
Oh, my god, can they really do that? Unlike litigation and people complaining and as Democrats, are a more diverse finally, in terms of like what goals they want to pursue, you would see more Inter Party in Fight in all of all of these things, rightly, if you do the strictest possible Environmental regulations like Joe Mansion is gonna, complain about that and you. Have stories about like Democrats are yelling at the democratic president right and it's gonna be I think it a lot of ways. Some some bad looks and, like part of the orange theory, is that, like you got to push through that and that's all to Millie how you're going to get things done for people and deliver. You know big structural change or what have you and I Finally, it would be much more likely to in that in the same bold as a bomb a if anything, even more so to be like you, don't concern about appearance sprite, unlike showing that he's not like a.
Using his authority are constantly losing Supreme Court cases about what he can do for people and like not that interested in giving like table pounding accounts of all the things other people are preventing him from getting done right. That he wants to have sort of like feel good moments like that cures right where, like these, even if some of the details of it are ugly like the basic picture of a ninety five to five vote is like that's really good read that makes people feel like congresses, work and things are getting die. And people are agreeing- and this is something you hear from people all the time right is. Why are these politician always arguing lying. Why can't they come together and get things done, and you know warns approach. A lot of things will occur if you take her approach, but it's not gonna fuel to people like getting things done. It's gonna feel like the mess in Washington. I've got right, but it would be good to hear
Ed, I think, did a good job today of actually talking about the front runner, but it'd be good here by Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders making some of these arguments at debates and hear how Biden answers. I do think, there's a constantly funny dynamic that it's where foreign or binding will say something and one with a lot of sense and then PETE Buddha Judge will say the thing That is actually what bite into saying in a taboo to judge us tonight was the one who made, I think- and I recently eloquent argument for taking deals that aren't everything you want on. There is a kind of quick debate over the plea that the new trade deal and people to get about like had a reasonably eloquent argument for why you take that, MRS, like Bernie Sanders, who did not want to take that? But I don't Joe Biden committees do not make a very soon case for his own brenna of politics, and yet he maintains his lead in the pall. So I guess we feel safe, maybe doesn't need to. Maybe maybe it only bad from actually argue for us Brenda politics
nobody's I mean I I do think it would be. I mean I, I think that I would like to see like crisper like more focused kind of debate on these things, but it is definitely true that, like whatever Biden doing it does seem to be work for him right and then getting into a higher level of granularity about anything does just like run the risk of making somebody here it and be like on a weight. I don't agree with that, whereas currently, it's like just most Democrats are favourably disposed to Joe Biden. They alone That's what do you believe? The domain registrar pour the Monmouth both right. How yeah I mean you don't know. Early states is weakening a little bit more potential. Yes, are you not? Any one question is like is binding recur in the early states, then nationally, because those
we'll have seen more memory thought in more detail about it, or is it just at this for your black people in those states death that that's a good question? Ok, thank you. So much effort for joining us here and thanks as always who's listening, continue the debate in the weeds Facebook group which which esure loves, and we all, and thanks to Jeffrey GED, for producing and the weeds we'll be back on Friday.
Transcript generated on 2021-05-22.