S1: I’d like to warn you about the explicit nature of the show, but I’ll just hint that you know what you’re in for, making this an implicit explicit warning and.
S2: It’s Thursday, February 4th, 2021, from Slate, it’s the gist. I’m Mike Pesca. You know, a lot of people are losing family members and friends to Kuhnen, and lost is the right verb. Just people begin chasing theories on the Internet, spending more and more time online. They become more withdrawn than they’re talking in a different language. They’re obsessed with crazy ideas.
S1: It’s like a kidnapping or a brainwashing. You hear stories like this about daughters, sons, parents, old friends. There’s a whole Reddit board dedicated to strategies of getting people out of the clutches of Kuhnen.
S3: But now we seem to have found what is the only foolproof plan, 100 percent efficacy. It’s a simple three step process to get out of Kuhnen one, get elected to be a member of Congress to keep up the bullshit while a member of Congress. Three. Then in your fourth week on the job, when you’re called out on it, get over 200 of your colleagues into a meeting and then announce you’re no longer a member of Kuhnen. You’ve rejected Kuhnen. I’m not that asshole anymore. I thought I’d wait till now to tell you because that is what Representative Marjorie Taylor Green did. I it work like magic on the Republican caucus?
S4: Q And on what? Q And on literally.
S1: House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy didn’t even recognize the name Kuhnen.
S5: I think it would be helpful if you could hear exactly what she told all of us denouncing Kiwane. I don’t know if I said right. I don’t even know what it is any from the shootings. She said she knew nothing about lasers or all the different things that have been brought up about her weight.
S4: Who attacked us on 9/11? Alfonz Chota, Al Kooper, I’ll quote. What’s the name of those people?
S1: And wait, how am I supposed to be paying attention to this to these threats on America? Literally, literally pretending not to know Kuhnen Now, at this point, it’s like if a Democrat on 10, 11, 01 were to give an interview and say, wait, Osama Lidderdale azy been little said his name.
S4: I don’t even know.
S6: I have no idea who that guy is. 1941 isolationist senator.
S4: Huh. EPT of Hitler. Who. Eldora Parklawn.
S1: What’s his face. You know the mustache guy. Sorry, I’ve heard you should never compare anyone to Hitler. So let’s just change that one to 70s Cambodia.
S4: Pol Pan to pop the Kamia rude.
S6: Why should I be worried about Paul Bush? How can you say about this other than. Oh my God. Now to quote Marjorie Taylor Green. No, wait. I shall not quote Marjorie Taylor Green because her mask says censored and it was to honor that sentiment. But let’s examine the claim that she gave up her kuhnen beliefs without telling anyone about it until she was called to the carpet. She gave up her beliefs before getting elected to Congress. So the part where she called Parkland and Sandy Hook and 911 hoaxes, she doesn’t believe that anymore. She didn’t tell anyone. She doesn’t believe that. But some believe that, like in tweets calling for the murder of Nancy Pelosi all in the past, just raising questions about space lasers controlled by Jewish capitalists don’t believe that anymore.
S3: Why would ever believing that call into question my wisdom and judgment?
S1: OK, let’s just look at what she’s been saying in the present. The very recent present, the day after the attack on the capital tweet, the antifa slash BLM terrorism funded on ActBlue rests with Democrat accomplices like Corey Bush, Linamar, Omar Kamala Harris SC, Tim Kaine and many more. Another tweet, Democrats Corey Bush and Linamar. Kamala Harris, CNN, are responsible for inciting antifa BLM terrorism that burned down cities in twenty twenty two billion in damage, murders, lives ruined. Their support of violent insurrection should have consequences. Three days after the attacks on the capital, she quoted, Alex Jones blamed the TIFA for the attack on the capital, quote, Antifa was involved. Why is that being ignored? Why does the media always give Antifa a pass? Why do Democrats always give Antifa a pass? Since getting elected, God will no longer bless America because she is murdered over sixty two million plus people in the most sacred of places, a mother’s womb. And who can blame him going all Westboro Baptist Church over there. And she did tweet this to the chief operating officer of the Georgia Secretary of State. Morons like you are responsible for losing Georgia’s two Republican Senate seats you ran in November 3rd election that was stolen because you idiots at the S.O.S mailed out millions of absentee ballots to anyone and everyone while Georgia was an open state. Then you counted ballots on Dominion.
S6: Oh, she also tweeted to Mitt Romney, grow a pair. She introduced articles of impeachment against Joe Biden on January 21st, and she constantly refused to be scanned or wanted at the house metal detector, stripping her of her committee membership, meaning she would still get a full vote as a. The US Congress, but couldn’t ask questions to witnesses while they are under oath. That is a small, small punishment. It’s actually not a tough call expelling her from Congress, thus disenfranchising the voters of her district. That is a tough call, a tougher call, at least Republican script. Steve King of committee membership, he would say racist things, but a member of Congress who endorses her views, views so beyond the pale and then makes the lamest of protestations of repentance, which we never knew about until the entire Republican caucus had to assemble to deal with the headache that she has become, that members should not be rewarded with anything beyond the bare requirements of the U.S. Constitution.
S1: But I know why Republicans are keeping her there, set on defining their brand as one of intense niche appeal rather than widespread popularity. Now, I’m not comparing her or Republicans to the following organizations or companies, but it’s a similar dynamic to why the NHL never really cracks down on fighting like all the other sports leagues have. It’s why Ford has been loathe up until very recently to fully experiment with electric pickup trucks. It’s why some death metal bands resist having easy to hear lyrics. These brands are captured by their most impassioned fans and also some who have decision making power for these brands agree with the fans. But these fans demand that they remain hardcore at the expense of possible mainstream palatability. Add to the fact that the people inside the organization have question reasons to question if they will really ever appeal to people outside the tent. And third, there’s kind of a thrill to snubbing your nose at outside forces, trying to impose respectability on you. And we have the situation we have today with the Republicans. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks to the ID of most Republicans. A lot of them really would like to be able to say what she says, certainly to get the attention she gets. And a lot of Republicans actually really are appalled. But they fear they can’t say so. They can’t say what they want to say. So her critics are paralyzed. Her defenders are naturally the loudest voices in the room. And if anyone is caught in between these two competing feelings, well, they default to inertia. They fall in line with the party. They fall in line with the most important voices in the party. Donald Trump, the head of the party, pretty much the titular head in the House, Kevin McCarthy. They listen to the megaphone of the party, Fox News, and it adds up to Marjorie Taylor Green being OK with Republicans. And for normal Republicans, Republicans who are really actually appalled by this, it’s just a big lift to endorse a punishment. It’s easier to do nothing for abnormal Republicans. It actually feels great to plant the flag and defy Democrats. And for Democrats and independents, it feels like abnormal has officially become the new normal when it comes to Republicans. On the show today, I delve into yet another controversy among newly elected female members of Congress, Nancy Mace and AMC, AMC, the old veteran in all of this, a study in incentivized miscommunication. But first, the coup in Myanmar brings with it many questions. And rather than ask them via walkie talkie, I’m joined by an Asia expert who has tracked and sang Sushis career from dissident to deposed. Jonah Blank, up next. Myanmar was not not even more than a decade ago among the most repressive countries in the world, and who knows, in a month and a half it might return to that exact state. There was officially, according to the U.S., a coup there. And what’s interesting is that the Nobel Prize winner, who was a major political figure, was arrested, detained, charged with a walkie talkie crime. But her unsung Suki’s reputation had suffered as she actually was faced with being a working politician as opposed to a figure, an object of praise and almost sainthood. Joining me now and once again joining me after a too long of a lay off is Jonah Blank, who is a senior political scientist at Rand and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was for many years the policy director for South and Southeast Asia on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Jonah? Hi, how are you? Hi, Mike. Thanks for having me on. Absolutely. You know, you’re the kind of guy we don’t tap when things are going well in Asia. Doing so. I want to talk about Myanmar and. Well, first of all, the latest is that on Sunday, Suu Kyi has been charged with a bizarre, I think, a bizarre crime. This is all about walkie talkie crimes. What’s really going on there?
S7: Yeah, it is kind of bizarre. You think that if you’re going to stage a coup, you really ought to do a little bit of preparation, get a better cover story. But in fairness, back home in the US, we’re we’re learning that we’re not so good at staging coups ourselves. In Myanmar, they’ve got a little more practice. This is the third time that they have staged a coup in 1962, 1990. And now. Now. And why did they charge Aung San Suu Kyi with importing walkie talkies? God only knows. They’re plenty of other charges they could have applied equally trumped up, but less ridiculous.
S1: Yeah, maybe they’re thinking, well, this is extremely easy to prove. And if she has a criminal record, she can serve in government.
S7: It could be I mean, one they did before to keep her from being president was to pass a law saying that if you have children who have citizenship in another country, which she does, then you can’t be president. And that also is pretty ridiculous. However, at least it’s not the only country that does something like this. Possession of walkie talkies is taking it to a new extreme. It could well be sort of getting Al Capone on tax violations rather than murder. But still, you think that they would try a little bit harder?
S1: Yeah. So this is a coup. We’re calling it a coup because it is a coup. But the fact that the US government is calling it a coup has special meaning. And what is that?
S7: It means essentially the U.S. assistance, military and economic has got to be at least temporarily paused. And was there a question that it would be, yes, any time that there is a coup, even if it’s very clearly a coup, which this is a we saw this, for example, in Egypt when General Sisi took over power in a military coup from the Muslim Brotherhood government. And the Obama administration really did not want to call this a coup. We’ve seen this in Thailand a number of times under both Democratic and Republican administrations where there have been several coups in Thailand and nobody really wanted to call it a coup because these were bloodless coups and things still operated relatively normally. So there’s a lot of ingrained pressure in any administration to avoid calling it a coup. But in my view, the Biden administration was absolutely right to call it a coup because that’s what it is.
S1: I want to ask you about the tenure of Aung San Suu Kyi while she was in power, if she actually was in full power. We’ll get to that in a second. It is quite clear that she disappointed many, many hopeful international observers. She was called to account for the expulsion and the credibly alleged evidence of genocide of the Rohingya. Was she. So my question is, was this just a political reality of Myanmar that she had to take sides against this religious minority to secure her own power within the country? Or was she just maybe never the person that we thought she was to begin with?
S7: I hate to say, but it’s true. She never was the person that many of us, including me, thought she was. First time I went to Myanmar was nineteen eighty seven when the movement that would soon bring her to power. Was bubbling up, I remember when she was such an inspirational figure for people around the world, I’ve still got my Aung San Suu Kyi T-shirt from another trip to Myanmar. But the fact is that one can be a very credible popular leader and still not be a hero when it comes to defense of minority rights.
S8: And she supported the ethno nationalist program of the majority community known as the bombers. There are an ethnic group who form about two thirds of the population of Myanmar, and they unfortunately, it’s pretty good politics in Myanmar to support a pro Bomar anti Rohingya policy. And Aung San Suu Kyi, by all accounts, was not only following the politically easy path, but also genuinely seem to believe this stuff.
S1: Yeah, she wasn’t paying. She wasn’t aggrieved. We can’t find too many instances where behind the scenes she was subtly mitigating what the government was officially doing to the Rohingya.
S7: Right. She wasn’t even kind of trying to have it both ways of telling liberal Westerners, look, I really don’t believe this this really nasty anti Rohingya propaganda that I’m putting forward. I’m forced to do it because otherwise the military kick us out. No, she was basically her line all along was, look, all this stuff you’re hearing from the military. Yeah, I’m down with this, too. And it wasn’t just her. It was also the most prominent figures in sections of the Buddhist sangha. The Buddhist clergy were doing this as well. It’s sadly enough, it’s it’s good politics. And to put it in American terms, we’ve seen, ah, radical movements or certainly illiberal movements gain traction among the racial minority in the US and the religious minority in the US. So it’s not really unique to Myanmar, was she?
S1: So my question is, was this just a political reality of Myanmar that she had to take sides against this religious minority to secure her own power within the country? Or was she just maybe never the person that we thought she was to begin with?
S8: Well, I. I would put a third category there in that the issues that made her a pariah didn’t really emerge during the years when she was an international heroine.
S1: Any the Rohingya supported her because they hated the junta.
S8: Also, the some of them some of them would have just as a number of other ethnic minorities did. Burma is one of the most diverse, ethnically diverse countries in the world. There are by government accounts, there are a hundred and thirty five different ethnic groups in Myanmar, and about a third of the population are comprised of ethnic minorities. So this is not just sort of some small issue off to the sides and the biggest internal security threat for Myanmar, the reason that the that the Army is actually claiming it has an emergency that needs to be in charge about is because of a lot of these long running ethnic minority insurgencies. But the Rohingya were not really one of them during those years when Suu Kyi was in under house arrest. It had been an issue for, you know, at least since independence, but not a bleeding issue the way that some of the other ethnic minorities had been. So I think that it wasn’t really put before us the fact that she had rather bigoted views against this ethnic group that at the time was not really being particularly oppressed compared with the general run of the population and other ethnic minorities that were suffering a great deal worse.
S1: But, you know, the truth is, when you are an ethnic and religious minority in a country like Burma, life is just not going to be easy. But do you think that for that, just that group of people, just these hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people in Burma is a country of 50 million. But for the Rohingya, were things better under the junta and the military dictatorship than they were under Aung San Suu Kyi?
S8: Well, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t phrase it like that, because all the time when they when it’s really blew up for 30 was twenty sixteen and particularly twenty seventeen. And until then, there had been relatively constrained repression. But it grew during the. During the 20th century and some of the history of that is that this is a controversy that had been going on throughout Myanmar’s independent history, but actually even before that, even into British colonial times. But it really got worse in the post 9/11 world. And this gets back to an issue that I think we we don’t appreciate enough in the US the things that US politicians say resonate around the world. So just as this military coup that occurred on Monday morning, the the government, the junta, the military dictatorship used the same language that Donald Trump used as a justification and claimed it put forward baseless claims of electoral fraud and use that as an excuse to launch a coup d’etat against its own government. It was drawing directly on the same rhetoric that we found in the US in the same way, the rhetoric of the post 9/11 political leadership in the US was directly brought over to Myanmar and used first by members of the Buddhist clergy, particularly one cleric by the name of Toronto who was an honorific. And and from there it spread from the clergy to the military, which had been carrying on campaigns against the Rohingya for a long time and into the civilian realm of Aung San Suu Kyi and her party. So the same arguments, the same rhetoric, the same idea that Muslims can’t be trusted. They’re affiliated with al-Qaida. They’re all terrorists. Those exact same words and the same communal hatred was stirred up first during the years when the junta was in charge, and then it continued into the years of this blended civilian and military rule because there never was a period when the civilians were completely in charge.
S1: Yeah, so did Aung San Suu Kyi not play politics well or just totally putting aside the morality and what she did to religious minorities, everything that we have been talking about. Did she misplay her hand or was the junta always more powerful then we gave it credit for they never really went away and it was very difficult situation.
S8: Both she she misstepped because she has not really been a very adept politician. This was true even before the Rohingya became a key issue. She never had done the job of building her party. She hasn’t really prepared a successor to. One of the real problems is that her party has won over 80 percent of the seats. But it still is so personalized in her. That’s not because she’s such a dominating figure and that everybody loves her so much. It’s because she has kept out any other leadership from rising and that that’s going to be a real problem for the whole project, democracy in Myanmar, because when you’ve got it personalized in one very flawed individual and a very flawed individual who’s in her 70s, what happens then when she’s either legally barred from power and she is going to be now or perhaps just is no longer on the scene? She never really got the whole idea of democracy. She was very good at leading a movement, not very good at institutionalizing democratic norms.
S1: So it does seem like what we’re calling democracy. And there were, in fact, legitimate elections. They counted the vote accurately. She and her party were elected. But it does seem that her and their conception was always to replace or rebut this military dictatorship with something like a cult of personality. Maybe that’s how she saw evening out the power and influence of this admittedly horrible government military dictatorship with becoming a would be autocrat. And I do find that. And this goes back to when we started when when the USSR fell and when there was a change sweeping America. Many in the West just said democracy good. But without the institutions and without the education of the people, without training about how to run a democracy, or we really had was elections. And, you know, Erdogan really does win elections and Putin wins elections. I guess he doesn’t allow any opposition, but he’s probably more popular than other politicians in Russia. So the idea of democracy in and of itself as the solution is really a flawed one.
S8: Well, I think that if we think of democracy purely in terms of elections. We’re taking too small a view of it. It’s not just who wins the most votes, it’s also in civil society, society, part of the program. Is there a free press? Are there protections for minorities? Are there basic freedoms that are guaranteed to all citizens? All of these are part of a democracy. Otherwise it just becomes a matter of a referendum. After all, Kim Jong un wins his elections with ninety nine point nine percent of the vote. If there were a free vote in North Korea, chances are he’d win just because who else would anyone even have heard of?
S1: Right. And he does bring those anti-aircraft artillery guns that he used to kill his uncle to debate. So that helps.
S8: Well, exactly. But but even if people even if people were free to vote. Yes, you’re quite right. I think that if Putin were to allow a free election, he’d probably win just because he is quite popular and because he has such control over over the press, over over every aspect of people’s lives, that you can’t just sort of march people in and say, OK, vote freely and everything is fine. We see this in the US as well. Florida has freely and fairly elected Ron DeSantis as its governor and without bringing in all of the other aspects of democracy that are that are essential things like protection of minorities, things like protection of the democratic process. It’s obviously not in any way comparable to the kind of anti-democratic behavior that we see elsewhere, but we are seeing a deterioration of democratic norms in the US that goes far beyond simply can we hold elections where the credible winner is actually inaugurated?
S8: So Anthony Blinken, who you know well, he has a choice, my staff director for eight years.
S1: Yeah, I don’t know. I’m sure you’re texting him. You’ve been texting him over the last couple of days, but he has a choice. It’s not much of a choice. Can’t support the coup and you can’t support the junta. But what, you just throw your lot, America’s lot behind on San Suu Kyi and her party, a party that was hauled before international tribunals to answer four charges of genocide and then one.
S8: Well, I won’t speculate on what the secretary of state is going to do. I will simply say what I would what I would advise that the US government do, which is support not an individual, not a party, but a process, support democracy, demand that all of the people who have been arrested on trumped up charges will be released, demand to return to the democratic process and the rule of law and all of the protections that go with democracy as well. So it’s not a matter of supporting Aung San Suu Kyi. It’s not a matter of supporting your process. It’s her party. It’s a matter of supporting democracy writ large.
S1: Jonah Blank is a senior political analyst at the Rand Corporation. And for a dozen years, he was policy director for South and Southeast Asia on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, drawing a blank. Thanks so much. And Jonah will be back, I think, next week to talk about another alleged credibly alleged genocide of the wiggers and the United States policy towards that in China. And now the spiel at the beginning of the week, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez posted a long video on Instagram live of her reflections and perceptions of the attack on the capital. In this video, she revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault, was particularly attuned to the very real threat that she and her colleagues face that day.
S9: It is not an exaggeration to say that many, many members of the House were nearly assassinated, and it’s just not an exaggeration to say that at all. We were very lucky that things happened within certain minutes that allowed members to escape the on the House floor unharmed. But many of us nearly and narrowly escaped death.
S1: During the video, she talked about hearing a banging on her office door. And while the party turned out to be a Capitol police officer, she worried that it could have been a rioter because, of course, as far as she knew, it could have been only the right. Some elements of the right have decided that it couldn’t have been because Ocasio Cortez’s office, is in the Cannon Office Building, not the Capitol proper. The complexes are attached by underground corridors, and if rioters could breach one, they could have breached the other. Also, to be clear, a of Cortez never said, nor do I think she meant to imply that rioters literally were outside the door of her office. But several media outlets got that detail wrong. Newsweek wrote that quote, Ocasio Cortez said that rioters actually entered her office, forcing her to take refuge inside her bathroom after her legislative director, Geraldo Benita Chavez, told her to hide, hide, run and hide. And the Today Show also apparently took down a tweet that mischaracterized what AOK said. This prompted another representative, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, to weigh in. Mazelike Aoki is a charismatic young woman not as young as AOC, but a first term congresswoman. She utilizes media well and she uses it to gain attention. Unlike AOC, she is a Republican, but one who, in just her first few weeks in Congress, has repudiated Donald Trump more than just about anyone short of the 10 House members who voted for impeachment. Here she is asked by Neil Cavuto on Fox if she holds Donald Trump responsible for the violence she lived through on January 6th.
S10: I do hold him responsible for much of what happened last Wednesday. I also believe that there were members in Congress, members of my own party, who also contributed to it. If you look at the rhetoric, the transcripts, the speeches of the rallies, even leading up to that, I personally was concerned that Sunday night I had my kids up there with me for my swearing in. And because a virtual school, because of covid, there are supposed to be out there all week for me, with me. But because of the rhetoric I was seeing, the way things were being talked about online, I was worried about violent violence days beforehand. And I put my kids on the first plane home on Monday morning. And thank God I did, because I, I would be beside myself that they witnessed what I witnessed.
S1: On Wednesday, May said she didn’t believe in impeachment, but flat out also said Republicans need to reject Donald Trump. But she is a Republican. And she was obviously ticked off at the attention Aoki was getting for things that never happened, but things that he never claimed happened. So Mace put out a tweet and this tweet screenshot of that Newsweek article I read in a New York Times tweet noting that media has been misreporting Aoki’s claims. And Maces tweet said Aoki made clear she didn’t know who was at her door. Breathless attempts by media to fan fictitious news. Flames or dangerous. My office is two doors down. Insurrectionist never stormed our hallway. Egregious doesn’t even begin to cover it. Is there nothing MSM won’t politicize? The target of the criticism is MSM mainstream media. Guess what? Mainstream media, those outlets authors did in fact get it wrong. So far, so good bye. So good. I mean, I don’t know how good it is, but anyway. Oh, and the extra foxy Trump is the outlet wrote up an article based on that tweet I just read you and falsely claimed that Mason AOK were fighting. They weren’t yet. But a few hours later, Fox no doubt monitoring Ian’s feed and fearful of giving up an inch of coverage on the AOC is a monster beat. Put out their own article featuring Nancy Maces tweet. The one I just quoted. Nancy Mace was not quoted beyond that tweet, which was critical of the media, not AOC, but Fox Headline, the story squad leader on defense. Two Doors Down Republican blast’s AOC Capital Riot Story. As other critics also raise questions like AOL Fox was wrong. Mays’ wasn’t criticizing AOC not directly. She was criticizing the coverage, the inaccurate coverage. Now the next thing that happened. Was that the Nancy Mace campaign account retweeted the Fox story with the words, I’m two doors down from A.S.A. insurrectionist stormed our hallway, which is a quote that she gave in just about the only quote that she gave. And it was taken from that tweet. That tweet I read, by the way, was wrong for the Nancy Mace campaign or Nancy Mace herself. She controls that account to put out that tweet because the Fox story was inaccurate. But so far, Nancy Mace hasn’t said one inaccurate thing, although we got to say retweeting an inaccurate Fox headline does not help anything, even if all Republicans want to be covered and covered. Finally by FOX, AOC then weighed in. She called this a deeply cynical and disgusting attack, quote, While that at Nancy Grace is discrediting herself less than one month in office with such dishonest attacks, she went on record saying she barricaded in fear. Nancy Mace, who else’s experience will you minimize? Capitol police in Longworth custodial workers who cleaned up shards of glass. In another tweet, AOC says, All I could think of with folks like her dishonestly claiming that survivors are exaggerating or these stories of veterans and survivors in my community who deny themselves care they need and deserve because they internalize voices like hers, saying what they went through wasn’t bad enough. And those are in quotes, although most never said that in a quote, Mace answered, Hold up. You seem to be triggered by facts. So let me be clear. It’s not a nice thing to say. I have not once discounted your experience. It was harrowing for all of us. Fact insurrectionist weren’t in our hallways. It’s your eagerness to politicize absolutely anything that deserves condemnation. AOC answered that discounting your experience. I’m just fact checking statements you never made and insinuating you said them. Great job, Mays’. Hope you’re proud of how quickly you are to throw other survivors under the bus for a moment of personal gain. Enjoy your Fox News hits. I got to say AFC is wrong. There may never insinuated that AOC said the things that Newsweek got wrong or was inferring Mace wasn’t implying. Around the time of this exchange, Mace went on Fox, which is a sin to AOC but a necessity to mace, and said several times she did not discount Aoki’s experiences or perceptions as a survivor of sexual assault or a person who lived through that day. But it’s clear that Mace is by now plenty pissed off at AOC.
S11: I initially took to task the press for making these claims, taking these claims to apocalyptic levels and and all I did was state the facts I live in. In reality, I deal with facts and not fiction. And I said that there were no writers in the hallways of Canadarm, two doors down from you, and she lost it today. She doesn’t deal in reality. She hasn’t been doing that today. I think it’s really important that we take members to task when they’re not being honest. The American people. This division is hurting our country.
S1: A lot of things to unpack here. If you’re like me, you’re losing the appetite to do the unpacking. Mace is mad at AMC not for lying about her experience, but for lying about what May said about her experience. And I just sigh. Nancy Mace would make the world’s worst social justice oriented socialist. She’d make a very bad Democrat. And by not voting for impeachment, she doesn’t make the ideal Republican. But you know what? She’s pretty good. She’s pretty sensible. She pretty bravely broke with Trump. And this entire contretemps isn’t laudable. There’s nothing great about it. But she never actually literally said anything false. She is genuinely upset that she had a lot of criticism for the comportment of the Capitol Police officer who banged on her door. Mace is clearly disgusted by what she perceives as the hagiographic treatment that AOC gets. AOC is interpreted Mace’s comments not by their exact meeting, but as implying that Aoki’s a liar. I can understand her frustration. There is very much a concerted effort on the right on Fox to brand AOC a liar. But she we’ve got to be clear, I always have been clear she never said anything accurate about her experience that day in the capital. This is really all about the media, the incentives of each member of Congress to use social media to dunk on the other one and increase their standing. Furthermore, it was the media that stirred the shit. First AOL and then Fox framing it as a fight before it was a fight. Until it became a fight, Aoki was also manipulated by the media. Her original tweets were playing off a framing of Mays’ provided by the left wing outlet Raw Story. Aaron Roupas of Fox tweeted clips of Mace literally saying, I’m not criticizing AOC or discounting her experience. But Roupas said she was minimizing Aoki’s trauma. Roupas wrote an article in Vox saying Nancy Mace is dishonest. Attack on AOC is part of a broader effort to downplay the January 6th insert. Correction, I played you all those quotes that Mays has said she clearly takes the attacks very seriously, she just can’t take the glowing and sometimes inaccurate attention her colleague receives. This is one of those spats that if either side had picked up the phone or met face to face at a distance, I don’t think there’d be any trouble. Mace would explain. I have no problem with your perspective that day. You know as well as I do media outlets get it wrong. AOC would say, well, then why do you promote a Fox News story? Discounting my experiences, you give the impression you doubt me and maybe they work it out or maybe they wouldn’t. But it would be a lot better than this public spat. Of course, neither side has any incentive to be anything but scorched earth with the other one. Bludgeoning AOC is practically required for Republicans these days is required is wearing a flag lapel pin and AOC, the greatest practitioner of the social media arts, has no incentive for forgiveness or to see nuance in the position of a Republican. She’s also been through this horrible disinformation campaign, comparing her to Jesse Small let on top of the trauma of the actual assault on the Capitol, on top of the trauma in her past. I’m very sympathetic, but, you know, calling Mace’s tweets disgusting, cynical and discrediting and also calling them attacks on capital custodial workers and police workers. It’s incendiary, but it’s helpful to her in a very limited way. The whole thing is sad. And yes, both sides, maybe not equally, but certainly both sides aren’t behaving in the manner that I would like to see members of Congress behaving. You may disagree, but if you do so, please don’t do it on Fox News or Twitter.
S2: And that’s it for Today Show, Shanna Roth produces the gist. She’s confused by this was a slap, the impeller and Romanee encounter a weight loss mechanism. Margaret Kelly, just producer, retweeted a Daily Mail summary of an offhand tweet of a Fox News description of a Newsweek screenshot of another Daily Mail article. Pulitzer Committee. Hello. Alicia Montgomery is executive producer of Slate podcasts. Given the popularity of Twitter, she’s hoping a podcast version, the debut episode will have a remix of a reply all quote from a What next chopped and screwed version of a song sung on today explained the Wikipedia of all that will be riffed on by the crime junkies. The gist. I remember the days in Congress when Mervyn Dymally could strongly imply that John Paul Hammerschmidt behaved in a manner unbecoming. We were all quite aghast that Peruggia. And thanks for listening.