S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership, this episode of The Gabfest contains explicit language. Enjoy.
S2: Hello and welcome to the Slate political gabfest for August 20th. Twenty twenty, the I know a predator when I see one edition. I am David Plotz, a business insider in Washington, D.C. I’m joined from, I think, New Haven, Connecticut, once again by Emily Bazelon of the New York Times Magazine and Yale University Law School. Hello, Emily. Hello. Hello. And from a hotel room in Washington, D.C., where he is recovering from his late night convention, analyzing duties for CBS News, John Dickerson of 60 Minutes. Hello, John.
S1: Hello, David. Good morning. Hi, Emily. Oh, yeah.
S2: John is mad at me because I just said something mean, which I am now apologizing to you on the air and it was wrong. I apologize to you and Joslyn on the air.
S3: One of the things first of all, I wasn’t really mean. It was just slightly overshot the mark. But the thing with David once said, like, I don’t know, maybe 15 years ago or whatever it is that the key in making apologies is to make them object and, you know, really good at it.
S4: He’s really good at it. And you know who’s bad at it?
S3: Everyone else on the planet.
S2: That’s nice of you to say. Thank you. On today’s gabfest, the Democratic Convention, which was planned for Milwaukee but actually is everywhere, is turning out to be way more interesting and better, I think, than at least I expected. And we will talk about some really remarkable moments and speeches from this week and about what the Republicans may do in response next week. Then, the alarming fight over the Postal Service and the president’s efforts to skew voting and discredit mail in voting and where we stand with that and then a Senate committee led by Republicans finds extraordinary Russian meddling and Trump cooperation with it in the 2016 election. Will any of that matter? Will those revelations reveal or reveal or cause any change at all? Plus, of course, we’ll have cocktail chatter. There have been some real moments in this Democratic convention. There was Kamala Harris giving her quite actually pretty banal convention speech. But I know what a predator looks like. That was a very good line. There was Bernie Sanders. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs. Michelle Obama. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. Talking about Donald Trump, Barack Obama’s real scorcher of a speech on Wednesday night. We’re taping on Thursday morning before Joe Biden has spoken. So we don’t know what he’s going to say yet. But for me, the roll call on Tuesday night was one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen in politics. It took a tradition that is horrid and dreary and unwatchable and turned it into a celebration of America. Videos from 57 states, territories, districts, Democratic officials and everyday citizens put in their votes for Biden and Sanders and celebrated the country. We had delegates telling stories of history at the Edmund Pettus Bridge and in Tulsa. We had a tribe member at the Sandia Pueblo talking about honoring sovereign nations. We had a super aggro union activist fight club in Ohio. Underneath a giant smokestack. There was a college student commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in the hotel where that was first announced. And they had the amazing calamari moment from Rhode Island. It was so inspiring. So I apologize for starting off with such a long peroration about that. But I was super moved by that. It moved me to tears. So I’m just going to start with that. Do you have any thoughts about that moment? Was it is moving for you as it was for me, then we could get to everything else that’s happening?
S5: I loved it. It’s totally been my highlight so far. I think one of the reasons it’s hitting home so much is that we are stuck at home. And so to go all over the country feels like this special delight right now.
S3: I had I had missed it in the moment because of the swirl of of being on set and getting ready and all that. And so I watched it later and late at night when I got back to my hotel. And it was yeah, it was so powerful. Exactly. For why you say it was like taking this travel tour through your television, which used the power of the medium in a new way. I think there were I felt like there were. We can talk about this later a couple of ways in which this constrained convention actually worked better in its new format. And I think the roll call thing is so, such a stupid vestige of when it actually mattered, when they’re like when the nominee was at stake at these conventions. And so to take that vestigial thing and animated it fresh was just great, great theater. But also like this tiny little glimmer that maybe we can do that with some other things if we get creative.
S5: Also, America is so hokey and I just love hockey and gardening. America is.
S2: Emily, let’s turn to some of the speeches. Let’s start with Kamala Harris, who will be the running mate of Joe Biden and was nominated as vice president, who gave in some sense the most conventional speech and the most conventional place except an empty conventional place. And I I thought it was the only real misstep by the Democrats so far was that speech, both in its blondness and in its staging.
S5: So I think the Carmello was introducing herself to the country and there was a lot about her biography and kind of her place and all the shoulder she was standing on to get to this place. And I loved her enthusiasm in those parts of the speech. She had like bubbliness that I’ve been watching speeches by her for a long time, since I profiled her when she was running for Senate. And she’s just become much more comfortable. And you can see the kind of fun she’s having. Then I thought the speech started to circle a little bit and I wasn’t quite sure what it was doing, where it was going. It echoed some of the same themes that Barack Obama had just hit and he had hit them so powerfully. I mean, look, following Barack Obama following that speech like that was a little thankless. I’m not like I felt like she kind of got disadvantaged by that sequence there because I was still thinking about and absorbing like what Obama had said. But I don’t know. I mean, John, how what was your takeaway?
S3: I thought the bigger thing she was going to do, which which would have been interesting, I mean, she tried to do it and maybe some people got this and I’m putting too fine a screen on it. But earlier in the evening in the program, there was a segment on immigration in which they quoted or had sound from President Obama talking about immigration and the way in which that’s not just a part of the American story. It is central and crucial to the American story. And if the argument here is that the president lacks the personal characteristics to be in touch with the values that underlie the country, that immigration is maybe exhibit A. And so Kamala Harris personal story of the child being the children of immigrants, the child of immigrants, allowed her way to use her personal story to reiterate that idea that immigration isn’t just one of the nice things about America, it is a necessary refreshing of the American dream and keeps America vital. And if the argument for the candidacy is that these two are going to revitalize America along the lines of its traditional values, then her personal story is water on those seeds. And I thought that that was going to be the real emotional energy behind her speech. And I didn’t I didn’t quite get that from the speech itself. But as you quite rightly said, Emily, it was I was having to take place while the chandelier was still fibrillating from President Obama’s speech.
S5: So one more thing relating to karma. Last week we had Jose Definity Rice, our excellent guest on the show, and Jose is a close friend of mine, Harris Carmella’s niece. And so we just wanted to disclose that to gabfests listeners.
S2: John, the speech that that I think has been most talked about already and Biden, as I said, hasn’t spoken is President Obama’s speech, which was a real. Scorca, I mean, he’s a brilliant, brilliant speech, reminded you what a fantastic orator he is, both on a grand scale and on this intimate talking directly to us kind of scale. It was a very dark speech. I saw somebody maybe it was Jonathan Chait on Twitter saying that was the first time they’d ever seen fear from Barack Obama. What was to you what struck you about that speech?
S3: Mm hmm, that’s a really interesting assessment, I think. I wonder if that there was definitely I don’t know if it was if it was fear, but it was remember, they used to call him Spock. Spock, right. Because he was just so emotionless and people talked about how he lacked that in his presidency. And when he started talking about John Lewis, when he was imploring people to get out to vote and how if basically if John Lewis could do it, you can do it, too. There was something in his countenance that looked new and urgent beyond the range that he normally operates in when he gives an urgent speech. But I mean, he was basically saying that his successor endangers the survival of democracy and went back to the place where the Constitution was written to make sure nobody missed his point. It was as it was as I mean, he could not have raised the rhetorical in the historical stakes any higher than he did in making his basically it was a get out the vote pitch to to Democrats. But what struck me and at the time having to talk about this on television, I couldn’t pull all these historical threads in. But basically what you had there was America’s first black president defending the principles of a document written by slave owners, by citing the cause of Congressman Lewis, who believed enough in that document that he got his skull crushed in marching for the right to be free of legitimacy challenges right to his Lewis, his right to vote. And because of Lewis, his success, it meant one day that a black president could be elected and then that black president could face legitimacy challenges from the nation’s greatest birther. Who would succeed that president and who he was then in Philadelphia saying needed to defend that document or from that president? I mean, the circularity of what was going on and the echoes of America and the and the returning basically to these themes across our entire history was was overwhelming when he was speaking.
S2: Emily, the theme about Joe Biden for these first three days, Joe Biden has has appeared as sort of this embodiment of decency, essentially that that there has been he’s actually been a quite minor presence. And insofar as he has been a presence, he’s been a little bit kind of at a remove almost.
S5: But it’s puckish.
S2: He shows up for a second like Puck from Midsummer Night’s Dream.
S5: Yeah, there’s something to me that feels like he’s like tiptoeing. It is more typical of Joe Biden’s speech and whatever that was Tuesday night, which I thought was all about decency anyway, continue.
S2: Do you think that this decency is this the right thing for them to hit with him?
S5: I think it’s a pretty good team. Yeah, I felt I feel like it’s very mainstream and that there are other parts of this convention that feel much more like they’re for the committed, already converted liberals. And obviously, Biden is supposed to be the big tent Democrat who reaches out to some of the disaffected former Democrats. Are possible Democrats out there, you know, a quarter of the party white men who didn’t go to college. How much of this convention has resonated for them? I think the parts about the Bidens like they feel that they could be for everybody, but certainly for those people, too. It’s very down to earth. I love that struck me, I think, because I’m from Philadelphia. But like Joe Biden talks like she’s from the suburbs of Philadelphia and Delaware, like that’s the I grew up with people with that accent and she has not lost it. And it’s interesting to see. And so anyway, that why don’t you have that? I think because I sort of have deliberately tried to shut it because, like, regional accents are a little parochial and you’re supposed to, like, over your sisters or parents have it. No, not really. Well, my parents didn’t grow up in Philadelphia when my when we were growing up. A couple of one, at least of my sisters always said water instead of water.
S2: And I remember like that we tried to break her of that habit that Perry, a Perry John, would go into this big TED question. One of the things that I think it’s been so striking, maybe it’s not that striking. Maybe this happens all the time. A ton of Republicans, Powell, Hagel, Kazik, both the Whittman, Cindy McCain, Susan Molinari, I feel like a lot more of them than there have been ultra progressives have been speaking up.
S3: Yeah, I guess. It shows what their pitch is trying to be and who they think their audience is in terms of needing to convince, and it feels like to me what they’re trying to show is, you know, Joe Biden, decent guy, liked by everybody from Bernie Sanders to John Kasich, Colin Powell, he’s kind of the Goldilocks candidate.
S6: You know, he’s kind of just about right for everybody. And I think the to the question about progressives, they’re more interested in sending this message for this four day campaign to independent kind of voters or voters who have left the Republican Party and are really alarmed by President Trump, but really can’t quite get all the way to their to Joe Biden. And I think the the message is essentially, if you think you’ve been on a chaotic tilt to world amusement park ride, he’s going to help you get off. And it’s not going to be it’s not going to be bad. The country is not going to go descend into socialism. There’s not going to be rioting in the streets. He’s not a radical. He’s liked across the board. He’s a safe, normal, steady place to go. If you’re feeling queasy in the stomach after three and a half years of of chaos, that feels like the constant message here. I think progressives the assumption is that between Bernie Sanders and both what he said and what he’s doing and also I think Kamala Harris, even though progressives may not have liked her, the pick and the enthusiasm that’s coming with and that’s been shown in response to her candidacy and in its historic nature, I think they assume that will do some of their work for them. But for these four days, it’s to make Biden a comfortable person for that group of voters, a lot of whom live in the Midwest and Florida and other swing states who could tip if they add to the existing Democratic coalition.
S2: One thing that I think there’s a useful part in some ways of this convention not being in person, because I think one of the things that it it doesn’t allow the hall to kind of be indifferent to these Republicans that you get none of that. There’s a thing that happens when when you have a crowd of excited Democrats is that was super enthusiastic about the people they’re enthusiastic about. But the people there and about. And so when you have a Kasich and Hegel and all of these these Powell, like, they would have gotten cheers in a convention hall. But outside with no convention hall, no worry about, you’d have to worry that their cheers are coming in a little bit less, the enthusiasm a little bit lower. But they appear on equal footing to Sanders. And I think that actually helps even moderate more. Emily, I’m going to say something.
S5: Yeah, that’s a really good point. I hadn’t thought I was going to say, and I’m sure this is not an original thought, that this feels to me like the first national political televised morning of coronavirus. And I have been very moved by that. So I thought Kristen Urquiza, whose father died from covid, who spoke on the first night, like, I will not forget that moment and there is a way of only preexisting condition.
S2: Was believing in Donald Trump, right?
S5: That was her line. Yeah. And there is a way in which Biden’s history, because of the death of his first wife and his baby daughter and because of the later death of his son, Beau Biden, like he is a figure of grief. And he has used mourning and grief as a way of connecting with people and is willing to kind of share that part of himself. It’s a pretty good match for the national moment.
S3: Well, and I’ll just because I spent so much time on the book talking about thinking about empathy and what that word means and why it’s important. And the reason I’m jumping on Emily’s point is because Emily is exactly right in the argument. And it’s not even you don’t have to make an argument. You just see it in Joe Biden’s bones. And this is one of the ways in which, if it’s possible to convey this to voters, it’ll be much more powerful than anything Joe Biden himself can say, because you can’t anyway, is that empathy means basically meaningfully taking into account the experience of other people. And as a president, you have to do that for the whole country. You can’t just do it for your political base. And one of the weaknesses that we we’ve talked about before with President Trump is he cannot meaningfully take into account the suffering of one hundred and seventy thousand families who are who’ve been affected by the death of their loved ones as a part of covid-19. It’s why you keep hearing that expression from President Trump. It is what it is. Secondly, he has not meaningfully heard the cries of protesters in the streets, even for the purposes of not listening to them. But he can’t even articulate what they’re there for. And in fact, the moment when he went to Lafayette Square, he literally sweeps aside their their concerns and rebukes them. Lack of empathy is completely inconsistent with something that matters in the job. It’s not just some abstract notion. It has literally led to policies that the president, at least according to polls, is on the wrong end of. And so they’ve made the case for which he has a fundamental character, logical flaw. And it just happens to be the one that Joe Biden. The exact opposite quality, I mean, in other words, he has that empathy in abundance, not because he’s some politician who’s been told to have empathy, but because, as you were saying, Emily, he has suffered drop by, drop the pain of losing people in his family and connects so quickly to other people, not just those who’ve lost people in their family, but who have suffered and who go through things. And carrying that to the office isn’t just a nice thing. It’s a necessary precondition for the office of the presidency.
S2: So, John, I want to now turn to this convention as its tactics and to what the Republicans are going to do next week. I don’t know if you’ve been doing any reporting on this, but but there’s certainly been people writing about it. The Republicans were not planning this virtual convention for nearly as long as the Democrats have. So there may they they may not have as much time to pull stuff together, but they’ve been able to watch what the Democrats are doing. And I’m sure they’re working frantically to steal the best bits and and avoid the worst bits. What is your sense about what the Trump convention will look like compared to this? And I would just one note, which is that some of the guests, it’s like a real grievance fest or a bunch of people who are the McCluskey’s, that St. Louis couple that point a gun to the people walking through their neighborhood. And Nicholas Sandmen, the high school student who ended up suing The Washington Post and CNN over how they characterized an encounter he had with a Native American protester on the National Mall are scheduled to speak. That doesn’t mean they’ll be the central figures, but he won that coming up when he won that lawsuit. The settle settle.
S6: But they settle because they were in the they were in the wrong position. But I think he’ll be used not just for his story, but also as a as a way to set up and bait and bait the press. I think that there are two big things that will happen. One is the president will be able to go into his convention. And this is amazing. By the way, he wasn’t he hasn’t been a Republican all his life. When he ran in 2016, he flirted with leaving or at least publicly said he would leave the Republican Party in the middle of campaigning for its nomination. He will now go to the convention, having completely remade the Republican Party in his image. It’s like a real estate development. He is completely in charge of that party and the opposition has mostly been drawn out of the party. Anybody who says an astringent word has to bubble wrap it in in a bouquet of compliments because of the power he has within that party, that’s kind of an amazing political achievement. He is in part able to do that because he has delivered for Republicans on defense spending, resisting any expansion of abortion rights, full throated support for the Second Amendment, cutting taxes, cutting regulations and of course, on judges has given Republicans what they want. So in terms of delivering for your party on a substantive level, he’s done a fantastic job. He’s also obviously, as Newt Gingrich says, he may or may not be a conservative, but he’s the best anti liberal. I know. Which gets you to your point, David, which is he has been in a constantly engaged in owning the Libs and baiting the press. And mostly both of those groups have taken the bait. And that delights his his supporters. The president. He is, by the way, not a job about delighting your supporters, but nevertheless, that’s what we’re stuck with. And so I think the convention will be highly tuned to grievance because what he’s trying to do is shift the turf. Part of what the Biden convention has been about is saying this election is all about the management of covid-19. It’s a referendum on the president’s failure to do so. And Joe Biden will be able to handle the covid-19 questions coming forward. What Trump wants to do is reshift the debate. He wants this to be about an America that will be in desolation if the Democrats take control. And the question is whether reality keeps bringing the turf back to reality or whether President Trump is successful in saying no. This is the turf on which the presidency should be debated over the next three months. He’s definitely going to try and set what the conditions of the debate are for the rest of the campaign in his convention.
S5: I wish I had a dollar for every time. A lot of the Democrats has talked about the importance of hard work in this convention, like they are so earnest, they are rolling up their sleeves. And I just feel like that is not the theme we are going to hear from the Republicans. Like you can’t own the Libs and appeal to your base by talking about the hard work, especially. We haven’t done it.
S2: Emily, do you think it matters a great deal that Trump gets to go second? And who decides who gets to go second?
S5: I have no idea. I feel completely unequipped to answer that question. And perhaps John has some thoughts.
S3: I think the incumbent always goes second. I may be making that up, but I think that’s true. I have no idea whether it matters. I think that basically conventions. Blow through the digestive tract pretty quickly, so I don’t know and we’ll see in this crazy world whether they have a different effect. So so I guess we’ll just have to figure it out after the campaign is over and we will walk the cat back to what mattered.
S2: One final point before we leave this just I think it’s implicit in everything we said talking about the Democratic presentation. What has been kind of amazing and inspiring is, is how diverse this convention is. It is diverse geographically. Of course, it’s diverse in age. There are young and old participating. It is racially diverse. The number of women who have had prominent speaking roles is much, much higher than I’m sure will be on the on the Republican side. That’s really inspiring. And it makes you reminds you what kind of tapestry, what a wonderful quilt this country is. So has all of that.
S3: Although, you know, one of the many, many different things is whether for some portion of this country that’s destabilizing. Yeah, it’s a destabilizing notion.
S2: Yes, it is. It is. It is. It definitely is. That is that is one of the fracture points of this country and its depressing slate plus members. You get bonus segments on the gabfests to other Slate podcasts with your membership. Today, we’re going to talk about a question that one of you posed to us, which is what was our first concert and what does it reveal about us, our first concert that we ever saw as a kid. So I’m looking forward to that. It’s going to be fun. I found some videotape that was relevant to mine. On Tuesday, Postmaster General Dejoy announced that he is rolling back all the operational changes that have so alarmed people about the possibility of a mail in voting disaster in November, Dejoy had moved to curtail overtime to take away mail processing machines, various other restrictions, and he had put put those on hold. And the post office will continue status quo ante till the election, or at least that’s what he says. There are several ways of looking at this. One is public outrage. It’s worked. A possible threat was stopped. Another is trust in the post office has been degraded, which is going to discourage mail in voting and weaken it in the long run. And also will probably mean it will help somebody in the election. Another way is that the Trump has succeeded in distracting and agitating the public and his overall policy of undermining trust in the election is working. So, Emily, how important is this the sort of specific post office controversy in the entire broad sweep of concern about the integrity of the election? Like where does it rank compared to all these other concerns about the integrity of election and the way that the president is explicitly trying to cancel trust in it?
S5: I think it ranks high because there is going to be more pressure on vote by mail this year. And also look like the post office just matters. I mean, people waiting days and weeks for medicine and financial deliveries and other things they need is like really bad, just bad for the country. And like this is the post office is like a 90 percent approval rating in America. People depend on it. So just for its own sake, separate from the election, this is a problem. I feel like this is the political play here. Seems to me like I just don’t see the the advantage for Trump in the end. I mean, there’s enough time, first of all, for people to regroup and figure out other ways to vote. Right. So you heard Michelle Obama at the convention say vote in person if you can. There’s now much more attention to setting up secure drop off boxes in states for ballots. If they were really going to use the post office to screw up the election by not delivering ballots, they should have waited until the end of October to make all these changes because now Trump’s appointee is Postmaster General Louis Dejoy. He’s promised to cancel some of the changes he made. Now, there are some things like they took out these big sorting machines in a number of states across the country. And he has apparently not said that those are coming back. But it seems like some of the main changes he is promising to reverse, which have to do with paying overtime to postal workers and making sure that they deliver all the mail that’s that comes in, as opposed to just leaving some of it behind, which is really antithetical to how they operate. So I just sort of feel like the whole thing is kind of a mess. What I don’t like is the gaslighting I’ve heard from some Republicans like Mitch McConnell, which is like, oh, nothing to see here. Don’t worry, it’s all going to be fine. Well, actually, like, no, I mean, even the less political version of this chaos, which is in this letter that was apparently planned before Dejoy took over, which came from a career official and was sent to forty six states saying like, hey, we’re worried about your absentee ballot deadlines. We’re not sure we’re going to be able to turn everything around fast enough. Like that is itself a problem. And so the notion that you can just wave your hands at this and dismiss it all seems like a really misguided like it’s good that we’re focusing on this and trying to address it as best as as the country can if there’s a strategy behind it.
S3: It’s the same line the president employed in twenty sixteen, which is to basically, you know, he claimed several times in August, well, basically August through till the end of the election that the only way he was going to lose is if there was voter fraud. I mean, he did it repeatedly, which I had. I’d forgotten how much he did it until I went back and I went back and looked. It turns out that I went round and round and round with the chairman of the Republican Party at the time, Reince Priebus, on on Face the Nation about this. And I went back and looked at that transcript from October of twenty sixteen. It’s amazing. I encourage everybody to go. I tweeted it and in it I quote Nikki Haley, who says, This election is not rigged. And it’s irresponsible to say that it is just to give you some sense of how things have changed. And because now nobody is really I mean, there’s much more of obviously rallying around the president. They may not like what he’s talking about with the post office because a lot of people who represent rural areas know how important the post office it is, but. A reminder that on a lot of the things where he has a stewardship duty, he just doesn’t engage with that stewardship, duty, stewardship, duty as president, which is one of the things that President Obama saying he doesn’t he not only doesn’t engage in stewardship of of institutions that he’s been handled care, handed care over, but he does the exact opposite. He sows distrust and mayhem in those institutions over which he has stewardship. I think in the end, the question is and I don’t you know, I mentioned this a million times on the show and I wonder if there is anybody studying this. But there is this idea in political science that people will are motivated more to vote when their vote is in is being threatened than than just the regular old times. And clearly, the message from Michelle Obama, Barack Obama and Kamala Harris during the convention about coming up with a vote plan. And I mean, this is like disaster preparedness. This is like having some some canned beans in the root cellar for the coming tornado. And and I wonder if and that won’t go, because Michelle Obama’s speech, which will get passed around and Barack Obama’s speech, which will get passed around, will keep watering those fears regardless of what Dejoy does or anybody else does about the actual post office. And I think one other thing is that there’s going to be a relentless campaign between now and the end of the and the actual election day of informing people in the basically battleground states about if you have an absentee ballot, you don’t have to put it back in the mail. You can go drop it off and just informing people about what the rules are. And so to the extent that Democrats have always a little bit harder time motivating their voters than Republicans, you could imagine this working for Democrats. You know, you can also imagine it’s going so much chaos that it ends up working for the president. But again, I think it’s probably one of the things we don’t know till we actually see the votes come in.
S5: It also puts a lot of attention on voting early, which is probably not good for Donald Trump.
S2: The the I think it’s very different, John. I agree that Trump is hitting the same themes as 2016. But as you were getting to, it’s very different to do this with the power of the incumbency and with the full control of the Republican Party. I mean, his his ability to cast doubt on the outcome of the election, to revert, to sow chaos and to to create a situation where it’s unclear whether we’re going to have a peaceful transition of power is profound in a way that in 2016 it wasn’t. If there if Hillary Clinton had won that election, as everyone expected to win that election, even if Trump had been yelling fraud, the Republican Party would have moved on beyond Trump very quickly and Hillary Clinton would have been president. And that would have been that. It is not at all clear if there is a ambiguous result or a result in which there is. Trump could make some possible claim of a victory that he will allow that to happen. And it is also not clear whether Republican officials are if there is again, if there’s ambiguity, whether Republican officials will side with a Biden presidency, even if that that is the what the norm would argue, they should decide.
S3: I couldn’t agree, but it’s very worrisome. Yeah, no, I couldn’t agree more. I was just pointing out that this is his instinct. This is his natural instinct. And I was clumsily trying to say, what’s different now is that you had Nikki Haley back then. You have nobody basically saying, yes, right.
S2: You have a totally a Republican Party which has been supine and abject and has so sold itself to him. And people who have in large part abandon their principles about what what fairness and and what a free election would be. And so so it’s super alarming. I want to actually make a point about I do not it is not clear to me that Louis Dejoy is a bad actor here. It is not clear to me that, in fact, what Louis Joy was trying to do was corrupt the election. I think he he is a business person. He’s a Republican. He’s a huge Trump donor. I’m not pretending any of that isn’t true. Of course he is. And I think probably what he wants to do, the post office will could radically disrupted service and change and change how it works and slow mail delivery and and all of those things. But it is not it it’s certainly not at all clear that he was doing that because he was intending to disrupt the election. I think he was doing that because that is what he in principle wants to do. And there may have been a side effect that the president was going to enjoy of it, disrupting mail in balloting. But but I don’t think that Dejoy. That was not the. It does there’s no evidence that I’ve seen that that is what Dejoy actually intended.
S5: I mean, if there’s a benign explanation, it’s that he thinks the post office should operate more like a business. And the post office is losing money, mostly saddled with a seventy five year obligation for its employees pension plans, which is not true for any other federal agency. But if you come in as a cost cutter businessman, then maybe that’s your agenda. But it sort of doesn’t matter like the chances we’re going to find the smoking gun evidence. That is the transcript of the phone call of Donald Trump. Like, please destroy the post office for me so nobody can vote. I’d say that’s low. But if it’s having an effect of making the election harder to pull off, then these changes at a very sensitive moment are a bad idea.
S2: That’s a great point, Emily. I must also say that I’m not nearly as worried about the post office stuff as I am about perhaps Russian actual hacking of voting machines. As we’re taping today, we see Putin probably just poisoned his leading rival. You know, we have a completely a Russian a Russian government that is just very happy to interfere in the world. And and as Franklin four reported in The Atlantic earlier this year, the election security of electronic voting is not great. And it may be the case that Russians are waiting to tamper with that on Election Day. Or there’s the other scenario of the Detroit power grid being taken out on Election Day. And people can people even vote in Detroit on Election Day, which would be a hugely disruptive. So I think there there are a lot of I mean, I don’t want to call them black swans because black swans implies that they can occur, whereas we see that all this stuff is is occurring all the time now. I think there are a lot of other disruptions to the election that worry me more than the Postal Service one.
S5: So. Oh, good. Well, we’ll worry about all those to the Postal Service. One is present in the moment. I feel like we’re going to have we can just, you know, take turns. Each will have its moment or it won’t happen at all. It’s hard to say.
S2: How do you think? And whichever one of you wants to answer this, how how do you think people should act to ensure that their vote is counted? What should people do to protect their own vote now and in the next seventy five days to vote and to help others vote early?
S7: I think forty one states, something like that, have some early voting option. I think if you are healthy and not that worried about coronavirus, not high risk, you can think about voting in person. If you want to vote by mail and you want to t all of that up now and confirm your voter registration and make sure it’s up to date, which is important, you can go to a website w w w dot vote hyphen, absentee dot com and you can sign up I think now to get a mail ballot. And there’s also an organization called Power the Polls Dog, which is collecting people who want to be poll workers. That is going to be a real issue on Election Day because a lot of the traditional poll workers are retirees. Some of them are understandably nervous about performing that job because they’re at higher risk for covid. And so this is like a perfect thing for young people to do who want to help with our democracy. Very nonpartisan power. The polls dog.
S2: The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued its fifth and final volume of its report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election is a bipartisan report of a committee that is chaired by a Republican and has a Republican majority. It is absolutely damning, as previous volumes have been. It detailed the astonishing and extensive connections between Russia and Russian intelligence and the Trump campaign. It is reveals how happily, gleefully the campaign took advantage of Russia’s help, how much they lied about it, and how they have completely gotten away with it. There are some really stunning details that were elaborated, things that we have sort of known a little bit but knew more. Paul Manafort, the chair of the Trump campaign, his business partner with whom he had daily encrypted conversations, conversations that were then destroyed, was a Russian intelligence officer. Literally, the person who Manafort is working most closely with is a agent of Vladimir Putin. Roger Stone was coordinating directly with WikiLeaks. Roger Stone also talked to the president about the WikiLeaks document dumps that the Republicans or the Trump wanted to happen. And Trump lied about that. But Trump said he never talked to him, but he did that. The timing of the release of WikiLeaks documents was absolutely coordinated through the Trump campaign and was designed to distract from problems that Trump was having to maximize damage to Democrats. A whole bunch of other things. It’s very depressing. It’s an explicit, totally successful campaign on Vladimir Putin’s part to subvert the election, to influence a candidate to sow division in the country utterly welcomed by the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. And now it is of no consequence. So, Emily, how does this start with the substance of this?
S7: How does this extend or not what we learned from impeachment and from the Mueller report, there’s more details about these extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians. And I feel like especially the what you just outlined, first of all, it makes Roger Stone seem like an obvious liar. I mean, that’s not like a big surprise. But to have confirmation of that is interesting. You know, my main feeling about this whole saga is that if we had known everything at key moments when the country was focused on this, either, you know, in the initial stage of investigation or when the Mueller report came out, it just would have been more damning for the Trump campaign. And instead, the kind of drip, drip of information makes it really hard to pay attention. I mean, I’m having trouble yanking my brain back into what exactly collusion was supposed to have meant. And I think what we’re left with this is it was clear that the Russians were very eager to provide help to Trump to win the election, that the Trump campaign was really interested in talking about it. And we’re never going to know what Manafort was saying to this Russian agent he was in such close touch with or what his links were to Ukrainian oligarch Deripaska. Right. Who’s also part of this mix. And that’s why that matters also because we know that the Russians are trying to interfere this time as well. And so maybe that’s really the main thing to focus on, is understanding that this is a continuing and serious threat. And when our intelligence agencies warn about it, they know what they’re talking about.
S3: What what there’s no evidence of, really, is anybody saying, yikes, we shouldn’t be doing this like it was? They were. They were. If there is not collusion, which I mean, I think in retrospect, people will perhaps blame whomever is to blame for setting the bar too high. You know, you don’t need to have an email that says, hey, help us win this election tomorrow at three fifteen. They shouldn’t have even taken these meetings. They shouldn’t have been collusion. Curious, which is obviously from this report and so many others, they were they were very anxious to take this help from the Russians. And the Russians were very anxious to give whatever help they could. And that alone should be disqualifying. The fact that the president in his interview with George Stephanopoulos still now that he’s president and again has a stewardship duty to protect the country, said he would want to listen or perhaps entertain intelligence information that came from a foreign country means that that lesson is not hasn’t been conveyed. One other thing I would just add that was in the report again, two of the things I would add that was in the report. One is obviously that it was also scathing, though I think the you know, we have to think of an order of priorities here, the indifference of one presidential campaign to the obvious effort by an American adversary to influence a campaign. That indifference is a big is the big top line. And the repeated efforts to cover up for that are also the top line. But a secondary thing is something we used to talk about in the old days about the FBI and the FISA court and the either sloppiness or just basically bending the rules to get the result you want in investigations, which is also a part of this in the way in which the FBI was either sloppy or malevolent in investigating some of this, which is a part of the report. It’s not on the same page. And part of the partisanship here is that is that a lot of Republicans have elevated that to the top. Most important thing about the report, which is obviously backwards as a way of thinking about priorities. But another thing that’s important in here is that after all of this investigation, the hundreds and hundreds of interviews that were done, the Ukraine story was determined by investigators. The idea that Ukraine was trying to interrupt the election was determined once again. Many others have determined this as well, but that it was determined to be a Russian disinformation plot. Why is that important? Well, partisanship has caused a lot of this report to be looked at through partisan eyes. That’s the one thing that hasn’t that was at the heart of the president’s phone call with the president of Ukraine. Like I mean, it’s been thoroughly debunked. It was part of why the president was impeached. And so that shouldn’t be lost here in this report either.
S7: One other point about this is that, you know, we still are waiting for this Justice Department investigation of the investigators that John Durham is running, having been tasked by Attorney General Bill Barr. And so that seems like it is going to be a kind of potential October surprise that will be an effort to discredit the Biden campaign. And so this bipartisan report may matter in that moment in lining those two versions of events up and seeing what has real credibility.
S2: So I applaud Richard Burr and Mark Warner, the two senators who led this for having managed to lead a really good create a really good, solid report and and create a bipartisan report and gotten Republicans to sign on to it, too, despite the amazing damning material. I would just note we had an impeachment trial this year of the president and the senators who signed this report and knew the extent to which the Trump campaign was colluding or whatever word verb you want to use. The Trump campaign was cooperating with an enemy, interfering in our election, all voted to to not convict the president. You know, it’s so it’s it is demoralizing that they that they are willing to look at the truth, just not look at the truth when it comes to holding the president to account.
S7: And I won’t have these facts then.
S2: Well, they but they they kind of they had the facts.
S5: They knew they did. But also it would have mattered at that moment if we would have known this as a political matter.
S2: I my own view on this is that if you the question of whether Biden or his surrogates should even talk about this and my own views, they should not they should not even it should not even be an issue at all. They need to keep the pandemic, the economic collapse, Trump’s irregularity and incompetence front and center, even though it is contains tons of new information. I think it will seem to people who are casual followers. This is we’ve already litigated this. We already had the impeachment. What do you mean? We already went through this once, twice, five times already. And to make this any in any sense, the focus of the campaign, I think would be a huge mistake when there’s so much else to talk about. I wouldn’t I literally would not even mention it, talk about it, do anything with it if I were if I were a Biden campaign adviser. Is that. Yeah, and they’ve kind of I am not a Biden campaigner, but they kind of.
S3: They haven’t. Right. I mean, I haven’t heard it come up that much in the first three days of the of the convention. And even Hillary Clinton, who could have had every reason to I don’t even know if she meant or she may have done it obliquely, but I think they’ve stayed kind of remarkably away from it.
S2: If I were Vladimir Putin, which I’m also not if I were Vladimir Putin, I would just be like gleeful at the thought of all the ways that I could be interfering with the the American election right now. Who knows what they’ve come up with. It’s probably not what they were doing in 2016, but that’s probably something just as malevolent and possibly as dangerous. So, goodness gracious.
S3: The one thing that struck me is Senator Marco Rubio, who’s now ranking chair of that committee that issued the report during the campaign. He took a very contrary position to Republicans when WikiLeaks started to leak the Clinton emails. He said we should not be making use of this. They should not be something anybody talks about in the campaign because it allows the Russians in an inroad to meddle in our campaigns. And he said Republicans don’t like hearing me say that, but it’s going to be turned against us someday as well, which is amazing thing to say in the middle of a campaign about something your party and particularly your nominee is making so much use. So he is obviously lost that passion. With respect to the way he framed this report, so that’s an interesting journey that he has gone on since Donald Trump is now the president. Second thing I would note is that he did it, did it, did it, did it. Breaking news. Steve Bannon has been indicted by the acting United States attorney of the Southern District of New York for participating in a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors and something called the bill. We build the Wall online fundraising campaign, which apparently raised twenty five million dollars, but was a big according to the acting United States attorney in the Southern District of New York, a big fraud scheme.
S4: So this is a real piece of news that you just read us.
S7: It is not a joke from another world, Steve, that it was just indicted by the U.S. attorney’s office in the southern district of New York.
S2: It’s not even been indicted. He’s not even been indicted for the reasons that we were going to talk about him being that’s a whole other separate subject for which he should have been indicted for lying to Congress.
S4: So he’s been indicted for the salon, my stars and garters. You don’t think that I am bringing in the fresh hot news from the outside world? Do you think I’m making a little Hollywood said like, come on, I’m going to I’m going to check it? Well, as you know, I have my nose this this season. And so you have to break in and my nose is in the nooks and crannies of the developing developments.
S6: And I’m just bringing them to you, man.
S2: All right. Let’s go to cocktail chatter when you see your nose is in a cocktail, not a developments. And you are sniffing the bouquet of a fine, fine scotch, a fine wine, a fine margarita. Emily Bazelon, what would you be chattering about after you get your nose out of your drink?
S7: Oh, man. I am so worried about how this school year is going to go in Remote Learning America. And there was a story this week in The New York Times by Claire Kane Miller, who is one of my favorite writers. And it’s just the headline. One in five families will have any sort of in-person child care this year, and only one in seven families are going to have children who are going to have full in person school. So we just have this huge unfilled gap. All these kids who are going to be home and their parents presumably are going to be taking care of them and also doing their work. I fear for everyone’s mental health in this situation, and I really fear about the potential losses for the employment of women in particular. I mean, if history is any guide, it’s going to be moms who do more of the child care and who step out of their professions more than dads. And the whole thing just seems like it’s going to be so hard and put so much stress and pressure on families.
S3: You know, this is one of the ways, Emily, that when I was talking earlier about reality, resetting the turf on which the presidential election should take place, thinking about the colleges, which both you and I have spent time reporting on, you know, I went down to unsee and they they were taking it super seriously. They have an infectious disease department down there with veterans who’ve worked all over the world, worked in Wuhan, worked with even more contagious diseases. They were doing everything that they thought was prudent to make a shot at trying to reopen, not not going into it blindly and not going into it thinking it was all going to be sunshine and rainbows. And they got slammed by reality, like, it just you couldn’t do it. Same thing happened with Notre Dame in terms of despite all taking all the precautions. And it’s a it’s a way in which when the happy talk that has come from the president and the constant downplaying of the nature of the threat, which has left people vulnerable when things like what’s happening in in colleges keep getting back onto the front pages, it just it reiterates the idea that the federal response has not been adequate, because even in an instance where everybody does what’s supposed to be right, the virus is still overwhelming those systems. And I wonder how much that will matter in the way people think about and evaluate the problems that this is.
S7: Yeah, I can’t even talk about the universities right now because I’m petrified. Yeah. I mean, I do hope that college students around the country, if you are listening, you do not want this to be you. Please, like if you’re coming back to your college towns and communities, help us protect them, because this really does. And a lot of ways come down to your behavior. Testing is like a huge piece of this for universities. And you need to have every test. You need to have a lot of regular testing. And I think we also need to be quarantining the kids coming from high covid areas.
S2: Also, John Dickerson, I hope you have a jollier chatter than that one, because that was a really ungodly chatter from, well, that she’s always paying attention, keeping an eye on the ball.
S3: And also, one of the thing I would just add is that what Emily is talking about are the aftershocks of covid that are going to be the responsibility of the next president or the incumbent president. And they are going to be with us for a long time unwinding the damage that’s been done and and some of it in some cases irreparable and having a team in place to handle that. That should be another part of our conversation for the next couple of months. My chatter is, I hope later. It comes from Keith Johnson, who sent me an article that he’d written which marries two of my favorite things, the self-improvement of life hacking and the idiosyncrasies of the founders. Johnson is a historian, wrote a piece entitled The 18th Century Reasons Biden’s VP Pick Should Be a Night Owl, which was a bit of a crow, barring a fun piece into current events.
S1: But it explores the antique notion of lubrication, which was the term used in the past to describe the process of working by candlelight. So that seemed fantastical to me. So I went and looked it up and it is in fact true. In the 1960s, hundreds of lubrication was applied to specifically study at night and the written product thereof of that nighttime study by candlelight. Soon, over time, liked by the seventeen hundreds, it came to mean anything of weight that was written during the day or night. But the framers were into this because of Quynh quintillion and the ancient Roman writer who who wrote about this notion. And he wrote that the advantage of lubrication when the silence of the night, a shut up chamber and one light keep the mind collected, as it were, upon its subject. And so it turns out that this is the way that they used to talk about working late at night. And this was something they all sought to, like, make a part of their life. We no longer use this expression, but you find it throughout. James Madison wrote about his lubrication in the evening and John Adams wrote, My lubrication have done no good that I know of. Mankind have found more amusement in shedding blood than in reading.
S4: What is the etymology of the etymology? Thank you, David, for asking. The etymology of it is that it derives from the Latin verb.
S3: This is not this apparently is true. Derives from Latin verb. Luke Brahe, meaning to work by lamplight, wow.
S2: What and why does it become to mean slip slippery and oily?
S1: I don’t know, I suppose the lamplight that because it’s made of oil from the whale oil and the oil that comes from the lamplight. Wow. Yeah. So there you go. So when someone says that they are sleeping because of their hours of lubrication, you can know exactly what they’ve been doing.
S2: There’s so many, so many, so many inappropriate things to say. I have two quick chatters, both bits of culture that I am enjoying immensely right now. First is Stessel, which is an Israeli TV show about ultra-Orthodox black hat Jews, a family, a widowed father, his artistic son who hasn’t managed to get himself married, and a daughter who has six young children and an unreliable husband and various other family members and friends. Is it beautiful, funny, sad, fascinating show? It has. It’s a it’s a window into a culture that I don’t know what I don’t know if it’s an accurate window, actually, but it’s a it’s a it’s a persuasive and it’s a portrait of it. And what it’s great about is that it takes a group of people who are because of the uniform that they wear and their sort of 19th century look are not attributed to humanity and psychology because of these external markers. They’re just sort of put in another category and it just makes it shows them how deep choses, how deep and complicated and human and wonderful they are. It’s just a fantastically good series. I really recommend it. Even if you’re not Jewish or interested in Judaism, it doesn’t that doesn’t really matter. I mean, there’s a lot of traditional stuff you’ll have to pick up on. But the show is gorgeous. And also I want to recommend Maria Kournikova’s wonderful newish book, which I can’t imagine you must have. Have you read it? It’s very up your alley. It’s called the biggest bluff.
S3: And I know you read I think I chatted about it. Did you chatter it? Oh, I chatted about a piece that she wrote in. I think it was it was either in the Atlantic or that was written about her. But anyway, I’ve definitely chatted about it.
S2: OK, well, that was a good chapter. Anyway, book is great. It’s about her, her year of learning how to become a poker player, going from being a fish to being a wildly successful professional player. It’s about master and control, about learning how to read other people and read yourself, knowing yourself and your habits. It’s a very fun and lively and interesting book which I strongly recommend. And listeners, you too. You’ve been to some great chapters where you’re sending us articles, reading books you love, works of culture, things that you noted, and you send them to us by tweeting them to us at Slate Gabfest Enrich Bravo. You sent us a kind of the most bizarre, wonderful cocktail chatter, which is Hieronymus Bosch. But music and what Rich points us to is a piece of music on YouTube, sort of, I don’t know, fifteenths in the style of the 15th century with lute, harp and hurdy gurdy. And it’s based on some music that is in a Bosch painting, a Bosch painting called the Garden of Earthly Delights. So someone has taken the notes on this from this painting and create a piece of music. And it’s quite actually nice and kind of cool. It’s a really cool sound of music. But what’s fascinating is that the notes are written on the butt of a soul being tortured in hell. And it’s it’s a tiny little thing in a corner of this painting. You can just see that this musical notation on someone’s ass and now someone has written a piece of music about it and it’s just this super weird, but I was delighted by it. Check it out. That is our show for today. Gabfests is produced by Jocelyn Frank. Our researcher is Brigitte Dunlap. Gabriel Roth, June Thomas and Alicia Montgomery are the Brain Trust executive producer, managing producer, editorial director, types of Slate podcast for Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson, I’m David Plotz.
S8: Please follow us on Twitter at Slate Gabfests and tweet Chatterer to us there. We will talk to you next week.
S2: Hello, Slate, plus, I reiterate, we asked or I asked on Twitter for Slate plus ideas. Holy cow, there are so many great ideas in there and they’re now list a mile long. Today, we’re going to take one who which came from Joe McConnell at GM, McConnell, 53, and Joe McConnell cites as one of their favorite ice breakers. What was your first concert and how old were you? Leads to interesting discussions and embarrassments. So let’s discuss. I have some. I have some. Emily, your.
S7: That was for the garbage truck. I want to hear yours. I want to hear both of yours.
S2: All right. I’ll go. I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll I’ll go first. All right. So I would say there are I’m going to take three. So as a kid, my parents, I was taking a very classical stuff by my parents. I don’t count that. That was horrible considering classical music. But as a young kid, like a seven year old, my my parents took me to Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger shows. But I’m not even going to count that because that was not mine. I didn’t choose that, but those were great. I love those. The first concert I remember going to was a UB forty show in about probably nineteen eighty four when I was 14, I think at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and that was fine. But the first concert I kind of volitionally went to really like really went to that. I have strong memories of what I saw the Pogues at the nine, the old nine 30 club with my brother when I was 15 or 16, and my mother, my mother was a Pogues fan and it was kind of like weird to be at a club show. And the nine 30 the old nine 30 club was really, really dark and and being and Shane MacGowan was drunk beyond drunk. And it was it was an amazing show. And I just I was I was trying to figure out what year it was. And I was Googling around. And someone has a a eight minute snippet of that show at the nine 30 Club. It’s a terrible audio, but it was just like as I remembered it. So that was it was it was a wild, awesome show. Pogues or Irish folk punk band. What was it like to be there with your mom? My mom’s a wonderful woman. And it wasn’t I mean, I probably prevented me from dancing, but but it was it was it was like really cool to be there with my brother in this dark, tiny little club stank and to be really close. We’re right up close to the stage. And I guess it was probably really uncool that they’re very sweet in retrospect. I know. Yeah.
S3: There was a Merriweather Post UB forty concert in August of nineteen eighty five. Would that have been it.
S2: Yeah. Me. Well it seems a little. Is that the. That’s the only one you found. It seems a little. That’s probably. Yeah. Maybe that’s it seems a little later because the people I remember going with I didn’t think I was friends with by eighty five so yeah.
S1: When I was 15 so I saw the two. This is not the answer to the original question of the past, but I had to Meriweather concerts at Sikkim, I had one was Tom Petty who played there, and after his encore playing Johnny B. Goode, he handed his guitar to somebody in the front row. His guitar gave it to them. Wow. Oh, my God. Second thing I went to see sorry, Jim. I went to go see Bob Dylan there with Jim Kingdon, and I had seen Dylan play. I can’t remember which of the concert beforehand. And somebody went up and asked for the setlist, which they tape on the on the floor of the stage. So I said we got to go up and we got to go get the setlist. So upon my instigation, we went down to the front after the concerts over and got the setlist. One of the roadies like took the tape off the floor and gave us the setlist, except I never got the setlist. The setlist is still with Jim Kingdon. I probably mentioned this on the gabfests.
S2: Did what? What when did you see? I saw Dylan Merriweather Post too. I thought that concert was terrible. When did you see him there. Terrible.
S3: No, I’m sure it was terrible. I, I really I mean of the forty times Natalie Merchant opened or something. No, you know, I don’t think I think it was near when he had played at at UVA. So it might’ve been the late eighties because I think I saw the setlist thing when I saw him play at UVA. So I think it was like there’s a he played in July of nineteen eighty eight. That sounds like when it probably was that’s.
S2: I bet. I bet. I bet I saw that show.
S3: I think it’s when he was playing with Jr Smith. That was not a high ago. I wasn’t of his. So what was your first show anyway. My first show was a Prince concert as a part of the Purple Rain tour in November of nineteen eighty four. And I think that’s a.
S2: Pretty fucking great first.
S1: Yeah, exactly, it was at the capital center, which I don’t think. Does that exist anymore? Anyway, I went I remember Deborah Blake drove us because we couldn’t drive. I can’t believe my parents let this happen. And she was up or she was a grade ahead of us and I went or maybe more than one grade ahead of it. So now that I think of it, I think Donald Wood was there with us and Teddy Crockett and Clement may have been there, but and the problem was we had I got tickets for my dad who knew somebody who had a skybox. So we were watching Prince from a skybox, which is like trying to do or a wearing oven mitts. It’s just completely not consistent. Anyway, it was pretty cool, though, because Prince was amazing and it was a great concert then.
S3: I didn’t see another concert until my birthday two years later, July 6th, when I went to see they weren’t really playing together. But the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan and Tom Petty were all playing at Robert RFQ Stadium in in Washington, another stadium that’s not used for what it was originally billed for anyway. And that was that was also, oddly enough, from a skybox. But we broke out of there and went down onto the field.
S2: Emily Bazelon, what about you?
S5: So I have to I can’t really remember which is first, but they’re both kind of ridiculous. So I totally remember going to see the Smiths in Philadelphia. Must have been in some pretty small venue. And it was definitely in high school because I that is when I listen to that music and I remember that I was just like kind of all over the place and hard to, like, actually hear what was going on. But what I really remember is going to the Live Aid concert, which I have now discovered was in nineteen eighty five. And so there was one in the U.K. I was not at the one in the UK in London, but there was also one in Philadelphia at JFK Stadium. And I remember the Hooters because they were a military band and we danced and we danced.
S2: That’s one of the great songs of the 80s. Totally.
S5: Exactly. And I’m pretty sure they’re from Philadelphia. It’s a little they are they’re absolutely affiliated. OK, good. I’m glad I’m right about that. But yeah, there were like I mean, Rick Springfield, there were like a ton of of.
S1: Didn’t Dylan play with Keith Richards at that? It was I think that was yeah, it was it was in Dylan played with Keith Richards and he was a mess in Philadelphia, I’m pretty sure.
S5: Well, that makes me sad because I don’t remember that. Also, he’s not on the list for Philadelphia. Maybe he was in London. And that’s why I don’t remember. But it’s kind of a crazy list. I mean, Mick. Oh, no, wait. You’re totally right. He was the last act I can’t believe.
S1: Yeah. And I think he was I think he was I think he might have literally been drunk in the eye. I think it was not. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I think it was not a it also made a beat where he launched it. Sorry to totally hijack your chatter or your. But I think that’s where he launched Farm Aid. I think he basically it wasn’t that where he said, you know, this is great and all that. But but we should we should do something for the farmers that make sense.
S5: Their last song was Blowin in the Wind. I wonder if I had to, like, leave early or some embarrassing thing. And that’s why I can’t remember. I do remember that Madonna was there. And The Pretenders, I mean, this is a crazy list. Bryan Adams, The Beach Boys, Judas Priest, Santana, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The car’s like, I basically never needed to go to another concert again after that.
S2: Wow. What a nice chatter. What a nice plus. I mean, what was the last concert you saw? God, I haven’t been to one in a while.
S5: I heard some jazz in New Haven last year just like that. It’s such it’s such a middle age person, that age man don’t knock it.
S3: Uh, actually, I was playing what was the last I saw Dave Matthews when I interviewed him. Give it a really great concert down at the University of Virginia. Maybe that was the last big I’m sure I’ve seen.
S2: I saw Lucinda Williams last year. Oh, I love her.
S3: I actually subsequent to that, I saw John Prine tribute while he was still alive in New York. So I guess that was the last one.
S2: That’s a good one to end on. All right. Later, Slate plus. Bye bye.