« The Weeds

Will the GOP be Q-pilled or Coup-pilled?


Vox Senior Correspondent Zack Beauchamp joins Matt and Dara to discuss some of the potential political ramifications of the insurrection of 1/6/21, as well as what this event might portend for addressing questions of police reform.


"Capitol police officer praised as hero for diverting mob from Senate chamber" by Randi Richardson, NBC News (Jan. 11, 2021)

"I experienced the heinous assault on Capitol; now, time to face reality" op-ed by Rep. Peter Meijer, Detroit News (Jan. 9, 2021)

"Outgoing Capitol Police chief: House, Senate security officials hamstrung efforts to call in National Guard" by Carol D. Loennig, Aaron C. Davis, Peter Hermann and Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post (Jan. 10, 2021)

"Several Capitol police officers suspended, more than a dozen under investigation over actions related to rally, riot" by Aaron C. Davis, Rebecca Tan and Beth Reinhard, Washington Post (Jan. 11, 2021)

"What the police really believe" by Zack Beauchamp, Vox (July 7, 2020)

White paper


Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com

Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica

Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox


Erikk Geannikis, Editor and Producer.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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This is an intelligent conversation to which I have nothing to add regardless of worldly do this unworldly on the Vocs media factors network. Wherever you gave down just data network, what comes another episode of the weeds bucks media, Potass network? I met in places cured of public as Darlin and would Zack each him who is back from parental leave and enjoying visa the the world of one of the the co of of worldly on the media media gas network, I thought we would talk about the collapse of national government in the United States and attempted overthrow of the cap, and building
and here I thought you had me on stock of apparent yeah. We will do apparently show we should get vocs. Podcast dad's together to to do is show sometime. I soon people know what happened last week, although it remains. Somewhat I mean I could even say right, so eight a is someone who was who is kind of out of it for like personal reasons. Over a bunch of Friday in the weekend. The account of, What happened Wednesday that I started that period with was totally different from the account that had kind of become apparent over the weekend, because is. It appears that this is one of those things were watching. The news in real time gave you all Partial sense of just what all was going on and in particular overstated? The extent to which I, what happened was a
if carnival ask lake people out of control or maybe like trashing of the capital, whereas what we now, picture of is that that well that The motivation of some of the individual people who were involved in what happened Wednesday helped mask what could have been a much more. What was a much more organised and could have been much more successful. Literal hoss situation in the United States, capital yeah, the the thing it, keeps going either to images from out I mean, there's a maybe maybe three that really stick out my mind as exemplary of us or what actually happened the first is a guy in what looks like full paramilitary regalia body, armor, mask, etc. With zip ties at the front, his bag in the chambers of Congress Right
This, not only is this obviously threatening, but we know that there were plans among some of the rioters, and I don't know about this specific individual wait to see what the criminal allegations are, but there were plans to kidnap members of Congress and there were calls at the time to execute MIKE pants, who they saw us insufficiently loyal to Trump, whether or not they were serious about that. I don't know, but that brings me to the second image. Which is that they had erected a noose outside Congress like an actual hanging platform and is is something that was a real steeple of white surprise. This literature, specifically the Turner Diaries, which is maybe most prominent and work, fiction, encouraging white supremacist to act in which at the very the dinner more american governed Overthrown and traitorous including journalists and and Congress members, are executed by hanging outside of the capital
the third image that illustrates how close we came to some of these worst case scenarios is that of one guard in the Senate, one capital, police officer. Completely out manned under resourced, for reasons that maybe we'll talk about it now, but there is an opening to, behind him completely unguarded rating, he Since stop the model, coming after him from getting there. So instead he went into a different stairwell different direction, and the point was to misdirect the mob way from where they could get to Congress didn't nor they were going and it works, but were for this one guys act. We could have had people interacting with members of Congress very very easily, and we know what those interactions very well could have ended up being, that is to say, Executions hostage situation like we were inches away from something that was
Yawned catastrophic. This was already catastrophic Saddam to say beyond catastrophic right into like murderous rebellion, and we and we had one of the capital police officers was ah another. You can see beaten quite severely by by the cloud, so you know thee the the violence is not hypothetical right. I mean, I think, is quite possible that you can see the behaviour
Why did the people, including many of the people in this group, had no particular plant at all? You see them wandering around or snapping photos and and tweeting, and things like that, but there were plans among some for acts of severe violence, and there were actions you know deadly actions taken. I also think in a fundamentally this has to be contextual ized in terms of the ostensible purpose of the initially peaceful protests strike, which is that you don't you talk with anything about sort of process. Right like what did the protesters do? Did they stand around and hold signs? Did they block traffic? Did they storm building? Did they smash windows? Did they kill a cop
etc. And this is what we re trying to do, and the cause here from top to bottom right from the most innocuous behaviour to the most murder. As we do somehow get Congress to set aside the results of the election and have Donald Trump continue to be president and the White House Chief of Staff Said- and I think that an infamous phrase that he didn't expect people to take trump literally, which I think is an important phrase, because this question of should we take Trump literally- has resonated for literally five years now- and you know, an incredible number of Republicans were taking a course of action that do not make sense and its face
right, just Holly and Kevin Mccarthy, though the minority we were in the house, they were saying that there were valid objections to the electoral college. Can't write that like this was bad, that the election was be stolen from Donald Trump, but also that they weren't going to do anything about right, like they were just going to take an ineffectual vote in Congress. And, of course, if you talk to conservatives as of two weeks That's exactly what they would tell you that wow? You know this is one of these things, people I want to cross from you now. There are a lot of questions right. It's sort of cynical politics, but people every some people heard all this and like they thought the Democrats were stealing the election
from the Republicans and they thought would Republican say all the time, which is that Democrats are socialists that they're gonna make the country like Venezuela and if you believed right. If, if you believe the Joe Biden and congressional Democrats were stealing the elections and we're going to entrench a Maduro, ask dictatorship like, of course, he would try to do something that right. You wouldn't just go on Fox and why Venezuela is really bad, but that's that's a thing. Duration and what you're quota quote supposed to know is that, like that's all bs and none of the people saying that actually mean it, but you know sometimes people take political rhetoric seriously, Yeah, there are a lot of respect in which I kind of wish that there had been an inside man. The
ugly film situation, where I mean that there are plenty of reasons where I wish that everyone who had left the capital on Wednesday had been immediately taken into custody, not least because the? U S, return pretty see said the day after that g would be a lot easier to get some of these people who the FBI, put out you know and eighty beyond if we had had them in custody, but also because I think that we have right now is a lot of anecdotal evidence from before Wednesdays rally in both we must stand. Kind of people who are doing your online sleuthing of far right fora and spaces. At worst sensibly being used to promote the rally, but where there were also kind of Para event, plans being made around what might happen after these kind of. A person on the street reports from the rally person on the street reports from as the capital was being stormed and some post. Talk follow up interviews that have happened afterwards the identified rally, participants rallying storming participants- and we don't have a great sensitive,
who is representative of why you know what the majority of people we're going in thinking, but something that I would like does he just a systematic array of answers to the question from people who were participating and people who encouraged participation in Wednesday's rally was? What did you think was going to happen after the president's speech like exactly why? Because we knew that the president was going to you know, tell people to go to capital. Now have reporting suggesting that the President himself wanted to walk with people over to the capital and was told by staff that he shouldn't so just said, we're going to the capital and then took you know a limo back home. You know that we have this information about people having, believed that it was their job to impede the certification of the electoral college process, and so, if there critical mass of members of republican members of Congress who are encouraging this because they thought the fees sound of having a lot of people just peacefully protesting outside the capital for like a couple of hours, was going
convince some squishy Republicans to vote against certification like I want it you're that fury of the case, but because we ve been stuck in the weather of what take trump literally for so gosh darn long, we ve, never had a very coherent under standing of when the people who are doing this for the sake of theatre, do What, in their mind, is the message that they're sending and how does that differ from the message being received and, as we kind of talk about how to go forward new posts, Trump Universe. The president currently doesn't have the ways that he's been relying on to send messages to his followers directly is about leave office in twelve days. The question of how the Republican Party is, owing to communicate to the hard core base that was able to turn out on Wednesday is an open one, and digging into okay, what are you doing
then what do you mean when you're telling them? Can you be explicit about that, at least when asked directly to the media and how to use where that with what they're saying, you're telling them seems to be a fairly important one going forward. Yeah. I just saw really interesting survey. Dare that speaks of the coast you're just raising. I was only After the election, clear Bite Biden was was, can win, but Trump was still claiming fraud. It it basis, tried to doing fine grained analysis of how Republicans were reacting to the fraud claims- and one of the findings that I think is confusing for a lot of people who don't fall. This of closely is that the high information. The republican voter was the more likely they were to believe fraud, allegations into belief, from where this isn't a situation where the other people who are political
he's who understand the way things work, I knew that they were being fat. Bullshit per what map was saying earlier, like they belong. Eve what he says and the more you care about politics. If your republic, in the more likely you are to take I am seriously and literally presidential election fraud. You believe him. Why not you voted for him. You think he's you're, the guy who saving America and in the world upsets the lot of the lazy stereotypes have who these people are. Some of what you saw an unfortunate Atlantic piece this week. It's. You know a lot of these people there they're, not the deed, put upon Trump voter that has become the staple of media representations. Right, like one of them, was a c o one of. Flew there in her private plain The say they are all that wealthy, but a lot of these people are upper middle class people who spend a lot of time on the internet reading in imbibing. Right, wing, media and hearing what the president tells them and have come to,
live in a whole world view. That is akin to that. We are about to become that as well as I've thing Democrats minutes, Ten, surely she went on, curious secret, but if I also you are destroyed, wolden eating the faces of children writer, you know how you feel world. If you live in that informational environments and that's become in some ways the dominant informational environment, for a right wing partisan today right, that's gonna, profoundly work that way four reactor political events, especially when they are given a degree of encouragement from political leaders who ought to know better. I mean I do want to make just a sort of general prevention, which is that its normally true that people who are more attentive to pilot are more misinformed. There's this That is about this right, and so it's like you know, Democrats who don't like politics and don't pay attention to it and do poorly on political. Now, quizzes, like? Can you name the Supreme Court? Justices like those kind of Democrats were away,
in twenty nineteen that the economy was doing well but like highly inform Democrats like ex readers and stuff like that, would have more of Rony assessments, and you have that would like the budget deficit and the Clinton years. Things like that and end. The reason is that you get more sophisticated quote a quote in your understandings of these things right in like there's always sort of like another argument, right and dummies who don't care about politics just have to take events at face value and like if there's a help wanted sign at the Wendy's job markets, probably good. If everyone on TV saying Joe Biden won the election, it's probably because he did win at any conspiratorial, people always have a lot more factual information. Right like I have no idea like who killed Jeff
like a real conspiracy theories, will be able to tell you all about the events of that day and like who everybody was in the american government and nineteen sixty three and other stuff like that, because abnormal we'll just don't know much about things other than like their favorite sports team or what its friends like D for lunch, or something like that. So so you always have that tension. We're like the really off base. People are also incredibly knowledgeable. It's kind of like pseudo knowledge about about. What's going on, but you rarely see it activated, in such a high stakes way by top leaders right. So that You know that's really that the difference maker here is that Trump personally kept pushing this forward. Not
You know in advance of the election or for like one court case in Georgia, but up to them certification and listen. Still don't know why you know one thing about trump- is that he'd, dominates the news so much and his White House is so leaky that I feel like we. We often get the vague impression they like. We know all about the trumpet Minister some, but I couldn't begin to tell you like what Donald Trump thought the end game for this. One and none of the many stories that have been written. I think really tell you not, because the you know that the Well source Whitehouse reporters, Donald, doing, but because they don't know either they don't know as much about Donald Trump as they would like you to think I mean I would say that it's probably that the people they're talking to don't know the answers to those questions, because what we keep hearing over and over again and this week more than ever, is that when Donald Trump is pushed on,
things that his advisers think are wrong or wrong, headed he just stopped talking to them. So evident. Surprise me at all. If the people were talking to the well sourced weight, has reporters have never asked him. Mr President, what what do you hope will happen on January twenty Eightth, because that would be a recipe for the president to stop talking to them. You think it's worth saying right had saved like that parole officer, not lead the mob away from the terrible things could have happened. Last week, but, like I don't think, there's any world in which a mob breaking into Congress, kidnapping, house members even bludgeoning- Senators to like wouldn't would have caused the election outcome to be rivers like it. Doesn't it doesnt work like that right I know, but it's hard it's hard enough. There's a really striking story did you. I don't know if you saw this, and maybe this is what you're about to mention
the Detroit Times by repeated major, I hope I'm not this right agrees. Lyre. Oh, you know pieces is really striking. I guess he says he was talking to one of his colleagues who, new, like all of these people dead that were tromp was saying about. Elections was rejected, but still voted to block by certification after after the assaults and the reason that this representative did that they were actually intimidated by violent threatened by the mob? They were afraid for their family safety that the mob might come for the next, and indeed you see these people going after elected Republicans, including Linsey Gram, who have challenged tromp after the events of genuine sex in airports and stuff. Like that, their threats now that your hearing about protests targeting protests armed force, costs. Targeting legislators, the capitals have been stormed rate like there
an actual threat of violence, intimidation which is successfully intimidating some legislator, so no you're right that they would not have turned the result of the election, but their violence is having an effect on the behind or of the people elected office, which should be underlined. I think so, I also want to add a little bit of thinking about the nature of the current Republican Congress. Into this. Right because mats analogy to like people don't tend to follow politics as closely as they follow their favorite. Sport seems like the exception to that, are the people who think of me It takes as sports, which you see now begin normative talk about how unhealthy away that is to think about things better normal people dont. Think of politics. We rightly most normal people, dont care about politics. Much and when they do it's because there you know they have partition material interests, or they have a particular ideology that they would like to see. The idea that Paul
it is worth following mostly as a team. Sport is disproportion. The popular among political professionals among the kind of people who like grew up following a Texas sports teams and said: that's what I would like to do, and so it's not that surprising, there's a little bit of a disconnect between the people, who have always understood politics to be like that, and that's why they're now in DC, and that's why they're now and you know the democratic Republican Party and people on the ground to have never had that intuition and are in it because they think it's a literal life or death situation. But we also had at this point for a decade. A shift in especially republican House embers towards people who aren't political, professional or who, who either aren't political professionals and got, I dont, think radical.
Ized is necessarily a fair word, but who got brought into politics because they became convinced that they needed to change what they were doing with their lives, because the existential stakes for society were high, starting with the tea party wave and twenty ten and then continuing in kind. Successive waves of tea party member, getting burned out on DC new in a new folks of bubbling up from the grass roots or This new word generation of people who you know maybe the medicines Catherine of the world twenty years ago would have been coming up in established republican politics, because they from a young age, this was what they wanted to do, but instead there you know in as young outsiders and cultivating the idea politics as life or death, and doing things that are clearly I wish to raise their own profiles indian attention, but in the particular direction of I am deeply tribune of your interests and so
interesting to think at this point? On the one hand, representative Meyer is himself freshmen congressmen. His d is replacing just marsh, which I think so being very particular about residents of Michigan, Start district bait on Be Senate side, the senators Hugh, even after everything that happened on Wednesday, we're still voting not to certify the Pennsylvania election results. You know included some of the incoming some other people who are just coming into the Senate from bearing including some people who work career politicians. The fact that there does appear to be correlation between how long or how little time someone has been in Washington and how likely they are to see this as a matter of life or death raises cos since for me relic. What are the people who have at this point been Republicans in the house for eight or ten yours and haven't left, haven't gotten burned out, but Lake now have a totally different kind of experience than the folks for whom b
Hang barricaded into the House chamber was their third day on the floor, and how do they take a role in the Republican Party going forward or do they because kind of definition, the folks with men, to remain for the last eight years and haven't gotten a huge enough form on their own. To really take a stake in the party yet, but also haven't gotten burned out, are the ones who are pretty good at going with the toy, it's not necessarily trying to steer the party in one direction or another, but you know I think it's worth noting some structural asymmetry between the parties in this regard, which is that, particularly in the house, swayed the Republicans have time limits for their leadership positions and their committee chairmanships and the devil Rats do not so. Consequently, the number one House Republican is actually a lot the younger than the number for House Democrat
any general House Republicans have a pretty pronounce tendency to sort of cycle right date that they could more and goby lobbyists more. If you look at the: u know top twenty five or so most senior house members, I'm twenty. One of them are Democrats so the steel p caucus replenish. Is it Oh, that are much more rapid pace. The members from the safe seats tend to become pity, chairs relatively quickly. They take their shot at us major legislative gambit, and then they wind up being forced of those positions and tend to retire, whereas the Democrats, for one thing, you have to stick around forever to em get a chance at a big leadership role. And then, once you have one, you know like Nancy policy setting hired kleiber, but also all the committee chairs you're not going
right, so they so they linger for ever and ever into democratic. Sometimes feel just like a little behind the times on things like all of their formatting, political experiences like cabinet generation ago. Worse with with how republic, and you see it's different from sending Republicans operate more like Democrats, and so you ve got these real old bowls. Around but House Republicans are very of the moment, can really see that it's the fresh incoming freshmen republican senders and most of the house member who are like on board for this sort of q, build posts, Trump version of the GNP, and it Cross, all sort of members right. This there's a lot of like gawking in horror on social media, at least stefanik because she's such a bright young lady from Harvard a duchess. That's the point you know like she's, super smiled right,
like she's like up she's real killer like she wants a succeeded, american politics and the way I really intelligent, really thoughtful person whose incredibly serious about obtaining and wielding political power. Judges politics is that what you should do: hundred percent back Donald Trump and absolutely anything. He does no matter how horrible it is and not size not actively engage in the most insane behaviors, but also not criticise them, that the real issue always is. The Democrats are being divisive in me and then, like that, that's what's the best and brightest think, and I think we should take their view that? Incredibly seriously, you know more idiosyncratic people likely Summer Caskey. I find more appealing but like she doesn't know how to succeed, republican politics, she lost her own primary and then
da. Do this like crazy, writing, gambit, you know Can I just think I'd? That's that's gonna be the future, particularly because we keep seen more Polarization on on education you know various other kinds of a social values swayed so that that the Republicans see a political parties and can be led by low formation, low trust, working class people, it's going to be by smart, well, educated, deeply, cynical people like Josh Holley, like Tom Cotton, likely Stophonik, who believe that they can manipulate a gullible and potentially violent base of people into putting them in charge. And you know that's that's tomorrow, so we should take a break, but I
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hello, that's w. Oh, I M p. L why dot com, Slash veo Ex wobbly not a lender terms and programme rules apply. So I think your sketching out one possible future, probably a range of possible futures and it's gonna work, kind is now What about a week out at an inflection point where it's probably gonna be a little clearer from now, whether that is one of the features we're heading toward or not, but it is worth stating- and we got very strong, sensitive this, unlike the forty eight hours after the event and then act as we got. A more granular sense. Just how serious the threat was that. There were members of Congress colluding republican members of Congress who felt in,
snow danger on Wednesday and who felt a sense of anger towards the president for putting them in that situation and who did like who drew that line directly and you don't necessarily appear to be giving that up. As recently as yesterday, reports are saying it. The president talk to cover Mccarthy and the president was no trying to blame anti far for the for the violence and Kevin Mccarthy was putting taxing know. I was there it where your keys it was my guy. I just think, but to me that's the point right. So I Kevin Mccarthy, no that this is bad, not just note intellectual? He personally is angry and upset about what happened and wishes. Donald Trump had done something different, but in his acts as a powerful politician, he shielding Donald Trump from all accountability here. Blaming Democrats for trying to hold Trump accountable- and he is reiterate, the election fraud claims so like that's all, I'm saying that like we're
What gives we'll have a range of views about this, but in their actions they are going to endorse violent mobs, trying to kill their political opponents like that, That's the point of consensus, the everything there's another there's another way. They could do this and we're and like one of the one of the inputs for that is kind of the existential threat. Another input for that is women. Able to run this counterfactual, but it's worth asking whether the one. Eighty on whether it was a good idea to keep debating the validity of the electoral college result, especially in the Senate, aware was a lake in the house. It looked like up. Even even after even on Wednesday night, it looked like a fairly partisan debate in the Senate. There was a lot of republican Senate. How do Are you going on towards the kind of Holly crews caucus and its? worth asking whether that might have been quite so rapid had it not been TED Cruz. Who is a famous Lee despised. Member of the Senate Republican Carcass
and who is kind of famously dust trusted by his own peers, because it it did seem to a certain extent lake. What was happening, wasn't just people stepping up for the good of the country, but also, we'll taking an opportunity to demonstrate that they were better human beings than Josh, Holly and TED crews, and That sentiment is something that we have also seen a little bit of the donor class Aigner. I think that for The attention has been paid to the kind of deplatforming of Trump and the purging of various far and she went on social media accounts and all of that, less attention paid to some fairly strong statements from corporate interests saying these are particular men. Of Congress and we have supported in the past who voted against the certification of the electoral college results we believe in the peaceful, try for of power. We are either donating to these people anymore, or we are not doing anything to anybody for a certain period of time, obviously you know how long that remains the case. And why
Donation landscape looks like, after the fact is an open question, but it dear has being a certain reaction among a segment of the Republican Party to say no, the are willing to name certain members of our caucus who cross the line not using their their anger at the present criticise the president, but using their anger at the president, criticise Josh, Holly TED crews, other folks, and that makes sense if you think about ok, there, everybody's trying to position themselves for future leadership in the party this. Easy way to distinguish yourself in the fact that Tom cotton who you might have expected The two be all in on the voter fraud claims was even but or Wednesday, not on the side does suggested some we are trying to think about differentiating themselves in case in a future cycle. It turns out to be an important question. You know which side of the twenty one certification crisis where you on, but there is a world in which that fat. You know the desire to knock out sympathetic
competitors in twenty twenty four, twenty twenty eight etc does have at least short to medium term effect on what Party Lee shipping saying about the importance of the peaceful transition of power and that sort of thing I'm not one hundred percent, convinced that the fear of Trump and the kind of long term political incentives for the young that we were talking about earlier. Episode necessarily hold for the inner republican senators. They have a shot at the presidency or being being a majority majority leader in a future cycle. You need to knock out some of these young. You know firebrand, conservatives. First, all I think it's important in these kinds of conversations tonight treat America, as a swede. Generous case rate like right now. Are these conversations their analogies to pass periods of american history and vague?
sort of demeaning references to this would happen in the third world country I don't either of those are really the best way to think about. What's happening like right now, the United States is a country that is experiencing democratic backsliding right. We are moving away from a consensus that democratic politics is the way to resolve our political disputes towards one in which force violence, components sometimes through, like semi, rigged elections or otherwise like controlled elections, are becoming normalized rate. That is just where we the question is, I think, the stakes of the argument that you too are just having is like They do the incentives of the Republican Party, which is the primary actor that has lost its faith in basic democratic norms. Today, a line towards further backsliding or further. I use and deployment of violence as a political tactic, or do they align toward some sort of moderation, some sort of push towards, at least
rarely abiding by the rules, the democratic game I think they're like there are at least two important things to think about. When we try to think about this big quest and read again. Judging from the experience of other countries who have gone down similar routes, first is like. Do elite suffer consequences for these things right and does someone like, Josh Holly. I think Holly's really, maybe not more so than Trump, but second only to Trump in terms of importance as a test case, because if it weren't for Holly you wouldn't have had the Senate. Africa's crews came, and only after Holly right, Holly was the one who started who broke the damn so to speak, and without the Senate, the House I've done nearly as much of obstructing Biden. Certification, so Holly is getting a lot of luck, and rightly so. The question This does its political ambitions offer. Well, maybe these corporate donation strike up, maybe they don't. Maybe he's censured by his colleagues. Maybe isn't, and you have to give a try.
Whether or not he's punished in the coming year. Setting the steed for twenty twenty four to understand The message is that other Republicans are gonna get from this incident ratings just knock your what signals going to be sent there are some promising sign some dangerous. And it just sort of remains to be seen over time. Right. What probability would you give that Josh Holley will lose was a general election to the democratic party. Domini right, I think that's what I've done. That's one of the dangerous, I would say zero right, What are the odds that he will lose a primary challenge to another and I would also say zero right like he is at worst going to. Continue to be a back bench. Republican Party, United States. Senator. I think, maybe upside too. This is gonna end up being smaller than he initially hoped when he took this gambit
think if you went back in time, you said Senator Holly like yours, exactly how it's going to unfold he'd say that that's ok! That's that's a chance worth! It's a young person died I lost a couple campaign contributions that I dont need, because the level of polarization is such that people vote for me against any democratic and also Democrats tabled a joint, even gonna, bother to try to beat him right, like Democrats Aren't gonna nominates. Somebody with views on social and cultural issues that are repugnant to their own base, but might make someone competitive in So I mean I don't know clear. Mechanical was asunder not that long ago, right, it's not impossible for democratic, been Missouri, isn't blood, nor do, I think, actually absolutely the opposite. Clear mechanical lost her real action in one of the best national political climates for Democrats. It you ve, ever see right like it's true, relatively recently, Mr
it was not his conservative and down ballot voting was not is correlated with presidential approval, but like climate school just showed that with incumbency advantage with a reputation for moderation in a deep plus eight year, you lose, and it's not even that clubs I mean, I think that there is a conversation that was suppressed by v. Sweet generous nature of trump and the inner that the fact that there were particular figures in the republican firmament who thought They lost an ideological battle when Trump became the Republican, Domini and twenty sixteen, and then president, who were more willing to speak out against him for those reasons fit into the question of. If Vive publicans commit to being a backslider party. What did the Democrats do as a very like view? Big One and, to what extent is a popular front, a necessary response. To what extent is that unlikely to cure kind of underlying problems like that is April
project for an entire generation is all downstream of the question of whether Republicans commit to being a backslider party right- and I think that the kind of anti popular front folks in the democratic coalition or anti popular front in large part, because the Joe I think it's a good idea for Democrats to assume the Republicans are going to go down that road and, frankly, part, because they assume the Republicans of all lady gone down that road and therefore there is very little way to shorten the whole scale. Or of the system you kind of bring that back on track like either to party democracy is not doomed yet, and we need to see what happens or its already doomed and therefore trying to reconfigure that you parties so that they somehow get good people. Office is not a political project worth engaged. I mean I want to look at the details of the twenty Eightth Missouri Saturday
But at the time Holly was seen as a very promising establishment back Republican who like really, though he can appeal to the Trump, also had an elite pedigree like this is somebody who will be potentially facing legitimacy. Crisis and b, I mean pray. You want you and I we could do a bet. You know I would prefer we met with. You is the thing and try to make the opposite case, because the future is uncertain and difficult. Rightly. The argument is Mitch Mcconnell may try to remain minority leader may try to you know if they retake the Senate in two thousand twenty twenty two become majority leader again but like the next time. Someone who isn't Mitch Mcconnell is going to be leading the Senate. Republican caucus does, oh you're, someone else who signed onto this challenge making serious, showing for leadership spot or are they blocked, because there trusted by members of their caucus to literally keep elected officials safe, that's kind of, I think, short term indication for me. I think that
Fair to say that the presidential election of american politics means that the states of that are a little lower than they might have been twenty years ago. Bait. It's it's not the Lindsey Graham of the world or like people who are you know. If you look at that floor debate on Wednesday night, there were members who were genuinely only shock when and how long they bear that in their bones and how much they redirected towards trying to stop the people who they blame for it from continuing. Old you no power in whatever ways they can admittedly, are constrained is like an open question. But I think I think the floor debate is really striking in this regard, because most of what they did when they debating this after the capital was attacked, was red can't speeches that they have written beforehand right. A few people. And upset, but like the vest, the majority of the conversation that was, going on in Congress afterwards was
basically like reciting and rehearsing the main the main would I was surprised at the number of Republicans who were willing to Lake who are willing to either set aside can speak. Entirely or who rift for a little bit engaging in there in there speeches and, frankly, the fact that there are people on the we're saying I was going to vote against certification, and now I am voting for is like very little in contemporary american politics. Incentivize is that kind of I going to give both sides of this reason. To doubt my conviction is that kids, to me that it that it is perhaps a unique Lee. Financial moment in those particular politicians trajectory? I just think that in the moment, reactions are not that Tele right, like wind Donald Trump, said that TED Cruises Father had killed. J F K and his wife was ugly and like take
was clearly mad at Trump and he stayed mad for a while up to and including his speech of the twenty, sixteen and sixteen each but kiddo crews is a smart, ambitious person, and you know he came to the conclusion. Ultimately, not that he likes Donald Trump, but that like, even though on a personal level, he is very angry at Donald Trump. He should back him unrelentingly, and I feel like that's what we have seen in the GOP, that the anger that existed, that the reality of that anger only underscores how powerful the objective incentive toward being a authoritarian political movement, it that it's not like, they don't know where they don't get it or they like need to listen to this podcast and see it's like they were. They were fucking pissed. A number of
you know, but then they think about it's like well. You know. The real issue here is twitter right, like the lives and and Twitter, unlike its just like I mean I don't know. I guess it's it's politics on some level. I think we should try to pivot, though, to the two Zack alluded to this to these sort of operational question swayed because it always, ah, you would think on its face there, just like a bunch of people could not in fact breach the capital building, which is pretty secure. Everyone who has ever everyone? lives in DC or who has had official business in the capital. Complex, has stories about capital police being xx, dreamily, assertive and aggressive about enforcing the most piddling rules of being in the capital complex, so there? Yes, it which I think is the source of a lot of so much of the Neil dissonance of Wednesday wasn't just oh.
I thought our democratic institutions were safer than this. It was O. The people who are living HU. This have to a much less drew extent than the average American had a lot of lived experience with the security state over the last twenty years that we have been told us was to protect us from exactly the sort of thing and then it didn't right, and it's it's one of those things. Is that really like? It reminds me of nothing more than does the days after nine eleven, where we were constantly debating like how did they let this happen. While it turns out that there is a message that all kind of determined to strike in United States in their aha waste of indulgence, failures that went into this happening and similarly, like there, there were memos, not necessarily the government. Maybe there were, I don't know, but from actual reputable, like all my extremism tracking organization, saying hey, there are a lot of people who are threatening to literally,
tat, the capital like they're gonna, bring their guns. I love those guns got caught. In fact, one of the leaders of the proud boys was picked up by DC police, with, like a giant drum of Drum magazine, expanded magazine for firing. Automotive rounds in your in your God and basically said you can't set foot in DC until after the inauguration, but it so the fact the worst didn't happen because of gunfire and some actions by the DC police
doesn't mean that everybody is I get off the hook for not thinking about what would happen if you just had a bunch of people literally rush the capital and overwhelmed the capital police? Who could have been supplemented by easy? Please, I don't know why they weren't could even supple and by National Guard. I don't know why they weren't could have deployed even more of their own officers. I dont know why they didn't, and there are all sorts of a theories and different pieces reporting trying to explain why this very very evident threat that people who worked in the space or scream from the roof top about Luis running up to it were not listen to. Ah, but so far there no answers- and there needs to be- I think, a nine Eleven commission style investigation into the lake massive planning and intelligence failure. The one to this was all I mean one layer of that. I think like we do
is that the President of the United States did not want a like heavily reinforce security presence there. They, like wheat, we saw over the summer. I mean I think that was built bars initiative more than trumps personally but like the federal government is capable, if it decides it once do, of mobilizing a very large quantity of federal police and Quasar police people and applying them to Shouldn T see, and they decided they didn't want to do that, because, obviously, if Donald Trump opinion was that it was dangerous and bad for these people be gathering, he wouldn't been organizing the rally in furs. Place since a little bit about a self reverential aspect to our goals a kind of on top of that that the folks were the folks in government who are less likely to be deferential. Donald Trump on this particular thing were
undergone decision makers who it appears over learned the lessons of the summer, to a certain extent, and when you know we We are aware that there is a lot of tension around civil military relations right now and we don't know really want to exacerbate that by having you know, a very obvious, in DC against protesters, I think, to people who are now in the federal government. There is an obvious stiff difference between like the optics of going again people, who are a rallying in opposition to the president and the objects of going against people were rally in favour of the president, but it is actually a very typical lake. Federal government way of thinking that you're always fighting the last war, and so I think that its worth bearing in mind that both the people who were character, illogically more Klein to say the president thinks there there cool, therefore, their cool and the people who were character. Logically, ass inclined to defer to the president both had strong incentives not to want a very big presence there last week and then turning bar had already quit by the time this happened.
You're, just like its own story- that I think, would really know what happened right: the person whose currently acting attorney general. His late not really had a presence, acting deeds Secretary Chad Wolfe was over it. Rain. You know it's there. There wasn't necessarily the kind of you know. Everybody needs We all hands on deck mentality that could have led to a faster response from people who weren't Donald Trump. But we also just don't really understand what the capital police themselves were doing. That happens at both a leadership level and an individual officer level, because obviously one of the things that has happened over the past few years and especially the past twelve months, is that policing has become incredibly political and that many police officers have become increasingly invested in partisan,
politics, including federal, partisan politics right I mean for for police unions to be engaged in. The political process is incredibly normal but to be engaged in presidential politics to the extent that they were in the twenty twenty campaign is I'd, be it, is not really a federal issue, but it's me such an identity flashpoint right, in which you know police officers. Understanding of what the Democratic Party has done is that it has defined itself as an anti police movement and that they, as an identity group, need to stand with the o p. Even in the face of the concrete material incentives of light, the state and local cover funding going completely the opposite direction. So it's hard to know always the difference between officers who are overwhelmed by numbers and therefore withdraw
and officers have just decided. You know they don't care and it I don't think anybody it's hard to have watched police officer is being so oppressive did they were like punching random camera, men and stuff like that at summer, protests then being not uniformly, but certainly in spots seemingly deferential. And we just don't really know. I mean it's it's the kind of thing. I Somebody, but I saw some people drawing incredibly strong conclusions based on fragmentary video. And like you just should never do that, but You have no idea what you're saying when you see reign of videos on twitter, but will be dull, so dont know a week later is like. Is there a process to review what happened at the department? Now has no chief
I think he was fired or pressured into his idea. He's he's resigned, but he's still he's now, like outgoing it is right, it is, but I do think of it, actually something where we ve seen movement in the last few days and where its useful for folks, for whom that was particularly strong, take away in the initial aftermath of reporting to kind of just update things, because we they didn't. I yesterday that a couple of capital police officers have been suspended, including you know the off. Sir, who was it taking selfies with protesters. The officer who was given and put on a make Amerika great again hotly. There appears to be some individual level accountability going on, which should be, in theory sufficient to address the question of. Was this abetted by individual capital police officers, not understanding the gravel if the threat they were facing, I think it's it's gonna take like months or years to know how much the culture of capital police, which, like has to deal with tourists
and people who are used to fall. With rules and therefore are going the muscle memory of when someone who isn't visibly armed comes up to you and asks where's Nino Jimmy. Burns office, you're going to give them directions like it's. It's good. I think it's going to take Levin Commission level of review, to figure out to what extent that They problem verses. The anecdotes that were hearing of people being given directions by capital police officers do reflect some kind of underlying sympathy they in a week, beginning to see accounts of people giving directions that weren't in fact accurate or trying to do there to hold people off and What remains is the kind of organisms. Level. Questions of the outgoing capital police chief gave an interview to them. In Poland, which he claimed he was begging for national guard. Reinforcement. Meanwhile there. A lot of finger pointing about who denied
national guard reinforcements from being deployed to the capital in the first place and simple blaming capital police. For that, the kind of between What Donald Trump could have controlled in the days leading up to January Sixth, and what individual officers were doing ones protesters were already rushing. The gates is the kind of granular, not sexy, super important work that you know Zach the more I think about it. The more I think, you're right, that you need a nine hundred and Eleven commission style thing to figure out how did a multi level bureaucracy, all of whose levels were supposed to be engineered to prevent something like this from happening. Allow something like this to happen, and how can that bureaucracy be reorganized so that there are clear lines of accountability in decision making? so there is no longer an open question who show have said during need to be more bodies on the ground, protecting the perimeter of the capital, and then I hope
this intersects with the issues about politicization place them out was just talking about a second ago right. It's not actually knew for american police to treat different protesters differently, based on their perceived political. Algae scholars like Christian Davenport and others have done these these long term analyses of police behaviour. Asked the country and found that there is a clear statistical relationship between two things in terms of police, deployments, enforce and use of violence at the protests, the first is perception of threat. The degree to which the police officer see the protesters is physically threatening to them, and again is the political violence of the protesters like whether they see them as politically hostile to pull he's or ideologically hostile to whatever causes the police themselves are committed to. Now the thing that is new is the degree to which policing is not only political.
But in listed in this broader struggle about the character of the American Democratic State that we ve been talking about where these protesters carried blue lives. Matter. Flags like this in the line flags that are the black and white Americans, with blue line in the Middle EAST? They shouted the officers who are resisting them, but you're supposed to be on our side, but entreated them more. It almost seems more harshly because they felt betrayed by the police who they claim to be defending. I believe one line from the protesters was doing this for you right and so the question of how the police understand their own while the extent to which officers not just in the capital police but instead capitals as well, where you seeing similar serve mob threats and, and especially armed people entering them, how do the officers understand their relationship to was protesters in this violent movement. Do they see themselves as guarantors the political order or to these
themselves who, as a wine with particular faction, that's very comfortable with the use of force and in the routine deployment of it to accomplish political ends and to what extent did that mindset, which is prevalent just in the capital police, but again in the broader structure of american police, being facilitate. What we saw last Wednesday seems to me to be the central question for this kind of commission to investigate and really for people to grapple with in general and the European Reform, but I mean yeah I mean did this. What I was going to say is that the capital places a bit of a unique, be straight up: a democratic party mayors and activists and progressives more broadly. I think we need to take this topic seriously in multiple dimension is right, like one of those dimensions is trying to implement reforms that improve the situation, objected a great piece about the culture of policing in the United States. There, a lot of problems with it. I think that reforms need to target
Some of that is very, I think, simple. Some of this warrior style training. You could not not do, but you don't lot of his heart institutional institutional culture is a difficult problem, but I think it indicates that trying to recruit more diverse base of officers is perhaps higher value than a superficial. Look it would tell you, because you know blacken latino officers commit acts of misconduct too, but I think are less likely, based on general political demographics to conceptualize themselves. As, like the sharp end of the stick of right wing politics in the United States, but also people shit. I mean, I think, forgot what
it a little with the all cops are bastards stuff and the rhetorical slippage between. I think we ought to put more money into social services and mental health and the I think we have to eliminate policing as a social function, because somehow I knew this conversation. What I am saying that define our police is bad I don't know how, but I'm glad to see that we got there you, because the using like honestly, a conversation that gets to the social function of policing question through looking at whose or Are the police protecting and how do they conceptualize themselves as a social body that is sometimes distinct from and sometimes aligned with? Various well, forces is not the worst. We go about this, like a conversation that they understand That mpg would have done so frank things on January, sixth or that for
matter understands that the extent to which there was enthusiasm for the National Guard coming in in indicates that people have absorbed there, Military and semi military bodies operate under different rules of engagement that are more restrained frankly than what we see in most policing. That's not the worst way. For that conversation to go. Okay, I'm going to let there have the last word on that before we totally derail. Let's take another break and come back with our white paper, which does also get some of these questions about enforcement institutions, if the last year's taught us anything, it's that we don't What will happen next, but there's one thing we can all be sure of the only future, one we can all share and leading the charge in building that future is mercy core with over forty If humanitarian work under its belt building together is a mercy course DNA and as the climate This increases their partnering with those on the front lines, making resources more accessible to farmers across the globe
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This paper is pretty interesting. I thought so anyway, which is why I suggested in Algeria on the show it is about transitions from autocratic political system to democracy, and how that affects the murder rate. And in the way that should the transactions were handled now, you may not think that there is any thing. That's like obvious about the connection between those two things like what What would that be? But the escalation in the paper offers really interesting rate. The argument is that when you don't hold me of the police and military accountable for Miss behaviour that they did while they were authoritarian agents of the state, that is to say, torture near renditions, just telling people without charge and so on They then go on to use their expertise at using military force. Again, a different kind,
people and in the service of private ends, which they can no longer legally do sell for the state So that is to say they go join criminal organizations are one of the examples in the paper. Is that former members of a mexican elite military units once left government were no longer allowed to do this sort of violent things that they day one government defected and joined. It is in fact created the which are one of them enforcers for the mexican drug cartels and our control significant contributor to violence in Mexico. Right now. So The argument the paper makes is that if you hold people accountable during the Transition of authoritarian, democratic role through to mechanisms one trials in to truth, commission that exposed behaviors by members of this security apparatus, as they are less likely to subsequently join criminal organisations because they are concerned about prosecution.
Or otherwise just being exposed for horrible behaviour that they ve got an end feeling caught. I got this paper with super fascinating. I mean it's a really interesting set of linkages across multiple dimensions. I wonder, though, you also sometimes in life right? You have a strong statistical correlation, but is actually explained by an underlying third veritable ripe. The maybe this made me wonder is will do country, is not establish accountability for human rights violations on the part of the former regime security services. Four were the exact same underlying reason that a country like Mexico can't apply accountability to the date is right. Then it's like some kind of underlying infirmity that is not about
served in there in their sample sat right, because you could imagine you know counterfactual Mexico, Post pr. I regime says all right like we're going after everybody right, there's gonna be trials. The truth commissions, and then that becomes the reason that a bunch of secure forces the fact and they become Zetas and now we're looking back and we're saying why, You know if they did an amnesty programme level wouldn't have these problems Sure I mean I, I feel like there's sort of good general considerations to favour accountability. So I am I'm not like opposed to this exactly, but I have my doubts that the countries that are facing these problems actually could implement the kind of strong accountability measures that are being recommended here, so that's valid, but I think that something that might help clarify what we're talking about when we talk about under the strength of institutions. Is that the money
Their sketching out in this paper is that there are multiple ways that the the kind of force of impunity under an authoritarian regime can then undermine the rule of law in the post, authoritarian regime and, in addition to the way that Zack laid out with those forces of impunity them selves. Going into organised crime, they can remain in government and no kind of serve as validate errors, and kind of corrupt inroads for organized crime, or they can take a kind of Man? I don't like it. You know tough, uncompromising, should appoint of like show of force attitude toward organized crime, which itself undermines the rule of law. Overall, by continuing to empower the officers of the state to act with extra Mary violence at every turn, and so you know yes, if you think about it like it it does. It is it's a tartar to bring people to trial than it is to shoot them in
dawn raids, and so, to that extent Matt, you might be correct that you just need us an underlying strength of institutions in order to get to this point. But it's not exact like the choice is between like total impunity and authoritarianism. There are ways that you know something that looks like a rebuke against organized crime can, instead, continue to undermine the sense of public safety that, like people on the streets, feel because instead of ding in service of crimes. Regime there acting in service of organised criminal groups, the paper trail. To get at some of these. These concerns, I think, on both its form. For one thing: they are not only test the trials interests commissions together, but also tested them independently? interestingly the trials on own were not very good, in fact, some arguably the murder rate indicating that, if you just tried to arrest people in round them up,
So we have created an incentive for people to go into organised crime, because that was a way of being protected from the state that one theory anyway be about truth commissions on their own work. In their model effective at reducing the murder rate? it is not clear to me why that would be true. I I'm not. Not sure what the explanation is that particularly cogent? I wonder if there's some kind of unobserved variable going on formats earlier point. The papers attempt to control unobserved variables, tragic Para somehow, countries that did truth, commission, with each other in Latin America, specifically, I don't know, how do I just didn't, follow how the procedure would operate when I was reading the paper and I'm not if it was sufficiently, I dont know how this leaves a random zation thing, how it would actually four onager variables. That strikes me as a main it's impossible, but it is some.
The two, the authors credit. They were concerned about and attempted some kind of statistical wizardry to addressing the paper, even if it was somewhat difficult follow way. I mean I get it Just in terms of their descriptive results right I mean what they find is that most of the cases are from Latin America, but they also find muted impacts outside of Latin America and then inside Latin America rate the vacation sort of cluster, because they have Argentina. Chile in Peru, as like. The good outcome, and Mexico and several central american countries as a kind of paramedic bad outcomes. I dont know exactly how you would characterize that regional difference literally, I dont know what the word is for, like the countries of the southern end of Latin America versus the ones at the northern end
You know it's a it's! A non random distribution right, pretty clearly, I don't know exactly what the nature of the spillovers is. I do happen to know because we ve done enough broadcasts about migrants from the northern Triangles Central America, that they are just varied literal, organised crime spillovers across those countries white like the border between El Salvador. Nicaragua. What Guatemala? That sum is not that hard and fast criminal organisations operate across those lines, and we know from the history of the military interventions of the nineteen, eighties,
again, it was a very much. I, like internal political struggles, had a strong international dimension in that region of the world, its design, incredibly strong differentiation and guerrillas cross borders. Things like that, but I thought what was interesting was the understanding that the human rights question does relate to the general question of social order and social stability, and that you know, if you don't establish the view that in some sense, like the police,
agencies serve the public that you see actually, like I'm a broad range of bad outcomes. Then you don't just want to say bullets. Fine, it into a coup. Democracy remained in effect, but it's like what is it effective like? Do they give people a sense of personal security in their homes? Or do you get the outcome that we see in El Salvador? Where did the formal aspects of the Post the word democracy remain in place, but the actual situation, people experience, is still really really bad and violent and and chaotic on a day to day basis and that we need to target a sort of richer set of outcomes in terms of like what what do we hope to achieve Eve in this transition, yet one one of the interesting findings in this broader literature, there's like a huge debate over exactly how to relate accountability and justice, and stability in a post, authoritarian or post conflict environment and, like there's this
The radical trade off right. One argument is that if you do, if you give people amnesty than theirs likely to act as anti democratic spoilers by which they mean Use their political influence or actual arms to disrupt the process of democratic consolidation, But then there are people who fit the sort of argument of this paper, which is that if you don't panic people for their actions, they will then engage in behaviour. That under the stability of the post, authoritarian posts or settlement, and so There's the emerging perspective after these like two starkly opposed theoretical, views emerged in the nineties into thousands is like its both great and everything like it always is, and everything it's on a continuum annually figure out and tailor approaches to the specific contours of individual cases. To understand what balance of accountability versus like still more, which the goal rights, there's no you're trading off between stability
in some abstract idea of justice, in this case its two different approaches to stability and the she is, whether you know quota. Shit or amnesty, is the right approach for punishments. Ah, non rehabilitation, but rather like deterrence, is the right approach in the ass. I was reading this paper in part because I was curious. What we know about, punishing leaders in democracies for Terry and or or order undermining behaviors as per baby, are your conversation in the show, and this isn't really answer questions I have about what to do in the United States to create accountability, but it does. I think give us a theoretical framework for thinking through the options for what we do in a water were coming out of a presidency that was functionally engage like an authoritarian demand. She subordinating effort. Thank you so much Zack
as always add to our sponsors. Thanks to our producer to knock is and that we will be back on Friday.
Transcript generated on 2021-05-13.