S1: This ad free podcast is part of your slate plus membership. Enjoy.
S2: Hello and welcome to the Slate Political Gaffes has for January 16th, 2020.
S3: If you want to put out addition to her and that sentence, a vague her could be Elizabeth Warren. It could be the ambassador to Ukraine.
S4: I am David Plotz of Atlas Obscura. Chortling. Snorting In New York. No, not New York. He’s in Florida is John DICKERSON of CBS 60 Minutes. Are you where are you? You’re in Florida, right?
S5: Hello. I’m in Florida.
S4: I’m at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg. That is great. And not chortling or snorkeling. Emily Bazelon of Yale and The New York Times.
S6: Dawdling, snorkeling. I like that verb. What would that be?
S7: Snort chuckle I don’t know. I guess it would be both a snort and a chuckle. It combined in one.
S8: And listeners, you can’t see this, but Emily has a sparkly top. And it’s it’s so exciting.
S9: It’s like we’re doing we’re doing the show at a at a gala or something because she’s not wearing it posed to picture this boring T-shirt. Just to take it with very sparkly.
S10: It’s like a dark grey T-shirt with a few flowery glitter things on it. Like, how long have you been a member of the Ice Capades?
S9: You know, I I kids, though, because it’s true that in the video it looks really exciting. I can’t even see it. I can’t even see it. Okay.
S11: On today’s gab fest, on today’s gabfest sparkles all around. The impeachment trial begins with the arrival of a remarkable new witness and his documentation.
S12: Lev Parnas. We will talk about that then. Sanders versus Warren, the spat that helps no one, but possibly Joe Biden and possibly Donald Trump. And then Bill Barr puts the screws to Apple to crack the security on a phone belonging to someone accused of terrorism or murder or accused of terrorism. Plus, we will have cocktail chatter. The House has chosen managers and sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate where a trial will begin in earnest next week. Although I guess technically maybe it’s already begun at the moment. It is unclear what the Republican caucus that controls the Senate is going to allow to happen during the trial. Whether or not they will allow witnesses to come to light this week is a rather chilling set of documents from Lev Pernice, the Rudy Giuliani sidekick associated with associated with Giuliani’s significant efforts in Ukraine to to get an investigation started of the Biden family and also indicted for a set of campaign finance misdeeds that are kind of adjacent to what we’re talking about with impeachment. So, Emily, what was what is it that Parness has done to shake up this impeachment situation, if anything? Maybe. I mean, it’s there’s a lot of information that’s come out. Does it does it fundamentally alter any of the narrative?
S13: Well, if you believe everything Parness says, he’s providing more evidence that Trump was following every step of what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine and trying to get the Ukrainians to cough up information about Joe and Hunter Biden. So there’s that. I mean, to me, the most explosive revelation was this idea that people were tracking the movements of the U.S. ambassador at the time, Marie Ivánovich.
S6: In this way, that comes across as super creepy in the tax. Now, this guy, Robert Hyde, a candidate for Congress in my own home state of Connecticut, he was the one who was doing the tracking. Of course, now he’s trying to say, oh, it was all in jest. This is like we should do a list of the times. People say they’re joking about something that seems creepy and deadly serious. This is just like such a motif of our time. But I would like to see that investigated because it just seems really unnerving and it shouldn’t be OK to have private actors sort of on behalf of the president. Who knows? Going around tracking the movements of an ambassador.
S14: Your point about injustice. Such a good one. Emily, we’ve seen that obviously with the right and the far right. The alright. The kind of white nationalist right use that jesty ness as a way of of floating ideas which are unacceptable, which they which which they can back off of. They can say, oh, we’re just kidding around, but then become actually. These ideas actually enter the the bloodstream of the whole country because then they they they do mean it. They do mean it, but they give themselves the out of oh it’s comic. And it’s not just that he was tracking her. I mean, he presumably he’s talking some trash and he maybe he doesn’t even you know, he doesn’t have the capacity says he does. But he’s talking about having her killed potentially the way the language is set up, it’s it’s ambiguous.
S4: It does suggest something more than just, oh, I’m tracking you. It’s going to take care of it. I’m going to take care of her. I mean, I want her out.
S15: And we should remember and connect this with the fact that the president said on his phone call with the president of Ukraine that some things were going to happen to her, which draw, which creates the unproved, but creates certainly the question raises the question of did he know what was going on?
S5: I mean, what’s what’s extraordinary about this, if you step back, is that basically U.S. foreign policy was was outsourced to like a crew of Jamarcus and hang abouts. I mean, there’s left you don’t use those words, don’t work that don’t work that that Jim Oak’s makes it sound funny.
S16: It’s not funny. It’s not funny.
S17: It’s like it’s like people who had no notes for sure. That’s for sure. Yes, I know.
S7: Exactly. And therefore, when you hand over brain surgery to your lawn doctor, it’s not it’s not what you do. That’s the point. And that you have somebody like, you know, Anne Marie Jovanovic, the Ukraine ambassador, and then all the others who have been a part of the investigation in the House, who’ve come forward, these people who’ve dedicated their careers to the service of the United States, replaced with, you know, Rudy Giuliani on what John Bolton called a drug deal. You’ve got live partners who’s snapping Instagram pictures all over the place and and talking about how he’s on a James Bond mission. Then you’ve got Robert Hyde, who is a former landscaper who has a crazy checkered past of confrontation and just total randomness, who then also seem to be kind of a rent seeker with of an office on Pennsylvania Avenue in the in the Trump administration. That those are the people to whom U.S. foreign policy was handed. And it wasn’t even U.S. foreign policy. It was this effort to get. One of the things that the House Intelligence Committee released this week were handwritten notes from the Ritz-Carlton in Vienna that Parnas had written about what he was supposedly up to. We don’t know. I don’t think we know the timeframe of when he wrote these notes. But the top note is basically to get the president of Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden. Crucial word announce because the point it is alleged and there’s plenty of evidence of this. The point was not to get an investigation underway. The president of Ukraine promised the president that he would actually do that on their phone call. But the point was to get it announced so that it would have this political damage to Biden. And and providing one more piece of evidence in that story, I think is also a part of what Parness provided this week in the in the materials that were handed over. And we should probably explain why they were handed over. Emily, you may know the details of this better than I do.
S6: Well, hardness is under federal indictment and he’s trying to make a deal with the government. I mean, it seems like it’s pretty simple, right? Or is there.
S15: No, but the the house didn’t get the stuff until this week because DOJ was holding onto it. So this this came out this week because he petition to get his i-Pad and his other materials back. And that’s why that’s why the House now has it. They didn’t. They haven’t had it since the beginning.
S12: I want to make a couple of quick points on this. First of all, it is, I think, remarkable and unusual that Parness is deciding he wants to make a deal with the side that is investigating the president, even though those are federal prosecutors who work for the president. And that’s a interesting, bold bet that he’s making most of the people who have been put been squeezed in this investigation like Manafort. They have basically decided I’m going to keep my mouth shut largely. Michael Flynn, we see Michael Flynn backing off from anything, any cooperation with federal prosecutors because they they don’t want to get on the bad side of President Trump.
S17: This is the Michael Christie parlay that. Yes, that’s right. Michael Cohen, I think. Yeah. Michael Collins in prison. Michael Collins in prison, though, you know, I’m not sure this is the bet I would make if I were one of them.
S12: I might say I’m going to shut up and count on count on Trump protecting me because he’s got a lot of incentive to. But the other point I want to like using these terms like that, you know, that he is a. There is this kind of fourth rate hackish to all these people.
S14: But their behavior is mob behavior. This is mobster behavior. It’s it’s extortion. It’s threats. It’s tracking. It’s like it’s not that these are just bad diplomats. These are people who are behaving like criminals in a country environment. The American diplomatic environment is not you’re not supposed to behave like a criminal. That’s not what you supposed to do. You’re supposed to behave by certain set of rules. And the fact that they’re behaving like criminals.
S18: I find very scary.
S5: Anyway, just back to Parness quickly. I don’t know that he could do that. They could rely on the president because the president has said, I don’t know who this guy is.
S15: So maybe he read that and thought, I can’t rely on on, you know, a friendly hand up from the president of Pisco South.
S1: I mean, isn’t there another possibility for what they were doing with the Evanovich, which is that there’ve been various. Is it which it seems like part of the scheme is to make some money to use the corruption, to make Ukraine more corrupt to to cash in and Yovani, which was in the way of that.
S19: And there’s a way in which some of these recent communications read as if the quid pro quo or another quid pro quo was to trade dirt on the Bidens for getting rid of Ivana Vetch.
S20: And that seems like a plausible interpretation of what we’re seeing.
S21: Definitely. I think there’s a whole set of people. The president has his own interests, which are not particularly I think his interests are normally financially corrupt. But in this case, his interests are not really financially corrupt. But then there’s all these people and this is where like the Rick Perry stuff. All the stuff about that board in Ukraine energy board that people were trying to get on. It does have to do with with people who are trying to buck break in Ukraine. Emily, I want to ask you a question about whether this in any way changes the nature of the trial, because this is all stuff at the second or third degree to President Trump. Giuliani does say, I’m acting with President Trump’s knowledge and consent. That is a line in these party’s documents. But Trump is not part of any of these conversations directly. So is this even going to come up in the impeachment trial? And does it does it affect the narrative of what the impeachment trial is going to have?
S20: I think it puts more pressure on Republicans to allow the Senate to call witnesses.
S13: And I think it’s no more second or third order than a lot of the testimony that allowed Democrats in the House to connect the dots and implicate Trump in this pressure campaign or shakeout scheme or whatever you want to call it. Right. I mean, Parness is talking about Giuliani going off, calling Trump coming back.
S20: Reporting back the content of the phone call like he is one more witness who is one circle away from the president himself. And there is just a lot of damning evidence if you connect the dots. And this is like another piece of the puzzle, which certainly if the House had had if if parties had had access to these documents during the House investigation, they would have called them. So that suggests the Senate could and should also call him if they want to really get to the bottom of this, which, of course, is not Mitch McConnell’s interest. And so I assume they will not call him. I mean, Susan Collins made this kind of maybe she just didn’t know it was going on yesterday, but she said, well, the Dem if the Democrats if this was important, they should have called him.
S22: And then when faced with like, well, we didn’t know that he didn’t have the documents, she said, well, that’s your fault for not investigating properly.
S16: John, where do you think we stand on the process that the Senate impeachment trial is going to use? Dude, do people know what it is? It will. Are witnesses likely? Unlikely.
S5: Well, they haven’t determined that there’s some move among some senators to hear some witnesses, there’s some gamesmanship going on in which I believe Senator Cruz, who suggested, well, let’s offer a situation where each side can call witnesses. So if you want to call, John Bolton will call Hunter Biden.
S15: And so that I think is still being worked out. But it’s I think the start on Tuesday. I believe he’s locked in. And then we know from previous impeachments that senators have to sit tight.
S5: In other words, they have to say there they can’t look at their devices. They can only bring in reading material that’s relevant to the case if they want to pose questions. They do it through the chief justice. One of the things that will be, it seems to me actually quite when I talked to a senator about this months ago, the senator said he was there for the Clinton impeachment, said the biggest thing that colleagues were concerned about was the fact they’d have to sit there without connection to the rest of the world and for a protracted period of time for anybody and a attention shredded world just to sit still. It’s going to be just difficult on its own. And it also is going to be interesting because this will be you can’t throw up gorilla dust. I mean, you have to sit. And this is a slowing down of a process that has at various times been purposefully quickened by various people, often the president in order to kind of take attention off of the thing that’s being discussed in the moment. Everything in the way this is designed will counteract that or work against that. So that’ll be interesting. Of course, there will be people who will weigh in. So this is so boring. But I want to. There were a couple of things that are interesting to me that first of all, there are no handwritten notes from left Parness testifying to the president’s deep seated concern about corruption in Ukraine. And so, remember, that’s the that’s the argument for why he was so concerned about Ukraine. And so even though love Parnis is not in the first circle. It’s a it’s more evidence that the that the story being used to explain the president’s behavior has no foundation either in his personal inclinations or in the fact pattern. Secondly, the reason that people in the first story circle aren’t talking is because the president isn’t letting them, with the exception of John Bolton, which gets us to the question of whether McConnell will let him go forward. I also wonder whether, Emily, you have some thoughts about Giuliani in his letter, which is a part of the party’s documents, saying that he was acting on behalf of the president was very clear to say he was acting in a private capacity. What’s interesting, of course, is that he was acting in private capacity to get the president to launch an investigation or announced the launching of an investigation. So the topic of everything Giuliani was doing, you know, in a private capacity then became the topic, the conversation the president held in a public capacity, which is what this whole thing was about, which is whether he’s doing things for his private good, using his public powers. But I wonder for you, Emily, whether his insistence is in that letter that he was acting as his private lawyer says anything specific to you?
S13: Well, I think that Giuliani was trying to create some veneer of like attorney client privilege and other protections you have if you’re a lawyer on behalf of a client. And he knew he didn’t have an official government role. So this was the way to go about getting that.
S20: But it does create exactly the impression and not just impression, the reality of the sloshing between these two different guises of, you know, Trump personal benefit, Trump, president of the United States, supposedly looking out for our national security interests.
S12: Emily, where do you stand now? Week after we had this conversation on whether Democrats should or should not want witnesses in this trial? I understand the precedent is for witnesses, all impeachment trials. I’ve had them in some form either live or deposed. Do you think the Democrats should think that witnesses will help the case independent, whether they think like that the history demands that witnesses be called, huh?
S13: Interesting. I have. I feel clear. Unlike history demands, which I feel like. Yes. Call the witnesses. I think it’s important when, you know, I’m going to answer that. Even though you asked me, like, will it help the case?
S6: I think that the the test for the witnesses should be the same as at any trial. Is it relevant to the question at hand? So for me, the issue with calling Hunter Biden is, are you just calling Hunter Biden to put someone else on trial? Because that’s not the way it’s supposed to work. And that seems like it’s the Republicans aim in terms of whether it will help the case or not. I think John Bolton is the total wildcard. I feel like for the reasons we talked about last week, we have no idea what he’s really going to say. And for his book Sale Personal AIMS Reasons, it seems unlikely that he is just going to be some hero who comes through for the Democrats. So I think that’s like a hot potato. And, you know, if they were sure of what John Bolton would say, wouldn’t they just like opened a hearing tomorrow in the house and have him talk there?
S23: He might not show up for that.
S22: True, but like, why not? I mean, if they really wanted to put pressure on him, isn’t that like a perfectly acceptable way to do it?
S12: Yeah, John, you and I both covered the Clinton impeachment trial in 1998. You, like, really covered it. I kind of I kind of Bogalay covered it, but you really did cover it. You covered the heck out of that trial. We learned today that there the Senate is going to play a major new restrictions on press access during a trial can be harder to get in and out of the Senate chamber. You’re the reporters who want to talk to senators are going to be penned up. They will not be able to follow senators around the Capitol the way they usually are able to follow senators. And you mark my words, this is going to bleed into new rules generally about press behavior and access in the capital after this trial, I predict.
S4: But they don’t have any of this for the Clinton impeachment trial. And honestly, that Klint impeachment trial did kind of have a circus circus like circus like atmosphere. It was. It was. I’m not sure it was super edifying the way it was covered. But maybe that was because of the subject matter. Do you think this these restrictions on the press are going to significantly affect how people perceive it? The that the trial is seen in the world or not? Really?
S24: I don’t know. It depends.
S5: I mean, you know, they they say and then these rules are required and necessary because of what happened during the Kavanaugh confirmation and the confrontations in the hallway. And the which were both senators say actually scary and also politically scary because Jeff Flake was confronted in an elevator. And, you know, in a way that really put the question to him about his position and what Christine blousy Ford had had testified to. So they’re trying to cocoon themselves. What will the. And, of course, there’s I have some sympathy for that, which is that it was a bit of a circus back for Clinton, although the right, in my view, the right kind of circus. I mean, not a circus by today’s standards. There’s real benefit for patients.
S15: Hallway conversations with senators when these things are going on. But that isn’t what you get. What you’d get is you’d get massive scrums in which snatches of hallway conversation we could basically lead the news and and consume social media. And if I believe what I was saying earlier, which is there are benefits to making everybody sit slowly and be focused about what’s at stake here, about the specific evidence.
S5: But then also the larger question is whether the entire operation of the irregular channel of U.S. foreign policy was itself dangerous and is emblematic of a of a disordered presidency. And that that is something to to have a kind of up or down vote on, then that needs to be discussed and thought through in patient turnout ways.
S15: So if we if this is a serious business, I’m anything that makes it makes everybody focus on the serious business at hand is probably is probably a good idea.
S5: I have one quick question for Emily about witnesses. Does Ken Ken, the chief justice, rule under maintenance if let’s imagine they have this swap situation and then on to one call. Hunter Biden, could somebody object and say that’s not germane? And then would that be the chief justice’s call or does it does it all get decided by the Senate majority?
S22: The chief justice could make a ruling in such an instance and then a Senate majority could vote to overrule him. And one would imagine that given that Chief Justice Roberts is going to try really hard not to make rulings, because what’s the point?
S4: All right. Last point on this, which all raises the question time.
S12: Will it really? It’s just my own observation. I’m very disappointed that the Democrats did not appoint Justin Amash a MASH. I never been sure how to pronounce his name as a manager. So he is the one former Republican now who has come out in favor or voted for impeachment in the House. He is a very, very conservative, has nothing in common at all with the Democrats. But he believes for for quite good and conservative reasons that President Trump has committed impeachable offenses. And he’s a smart guy and he was not named one of the house managers, which I feel like is a it’s a bummer, the mistake. Instead, it’s just all Democrats. And it it does make it seem partisan. Any thoughts on that?
S13: I agree. I think that was the better move in terms of high mindedness, I imagine from the kind of real politic point of view.
S20: There was no way Nancy Pelosi was going to give one of those coveted spots to someone who’s not in her caucus. John, what do you think?
S15: I think you’re right. And also, she wants control, such as she can exercise it over the narrative and he’s, you know, on their side in some ways. But as David said, maybe not in others.
S5: And also, he’s there’s talk of him maybe even launching a presidential campaign. And he’s an independent actor, which can just muddy the if you’re if you’re thinking about this from the Democratic leaders perspective, it just muddies the news cycle. If you’ve got one, your impeachment and or zigging when you want everybody to be zagging.
S23: Slate Plus members, you get bonus segments on the gabfests lawlessly podcast. You go to slaked complex gabfests, plus sign up and become a member. Today we’re gonna talk about the politics of Mix It. We have not discussed the British royal family on this podcast for many a long year. Finally, finally, you’re going to get the royal content that you long deserve. If you’re a slate plus member, go to slate.com, slash DFS.
S14: Both Democrats held their final debate before the Iowa caucus, which will take place in early February. That leaves about three weeks of debate lessness, much of which will be dominated by the impeachment trial. The debate itself was pretty quiet and it was massively overshadowed by the progressive family squabble that erupted this last week between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders about a conversation they had in December 2018. John, what was what was their fight about? What was the squabble? How do they know where to come from?
S9: How did start like you getting to this right now?
S24: In 2018, the two of them met together to talk about their joint ambitions to run for president in the course of that conversation. Elizabeth Warren is says that Bernie Sanders said that a woman can’t be elected president. It’s not exactly. He said she said, because the there are other people who anonymously testified to Sanders having said this. It was brought up in the debate. Sanders said he didn’t say it. Moran said he did, then kind of moved on from there. Regrettably, it and I’ll explain why I say regrettably, maybe later, but. And then after the debate. Elizabeth Warren, this was picked up on CNN microphone. They were hosting the debate. Warren said, essentially, you accused me of lying. Sanders said, let’s not do this here. You accuse me of lying. And then that kind of ended it there. And there’s been various press releases.
S5: There was a context for this is that the Sanders people in various places have been pushing on Warren a little bit more at a kind of low level talking points on the doorstep when you’re trying to convince Iowa voters kind of way. Bernie Sanders made a big thing about not attacking other candidates. He’s known Elizabeth Warren for 30 years, so they’re actual friends. And the big point here, of course, is, is this basement fight in the in the progressive clubhouse going to undermine the overall goal, which for progressives is destroying the what they call the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, and that all still remains to be seen.
S12: Emily, there’s this one telling statistic you see cited and there are different surveys around this, which is that an overwhelming majority of Democratic and independent voters say they will vote for a woman for president. In fact, they already proven it.
S14: They voted for Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly, but only a minority of them say they believe their neighbors feel that same enthusiasm. There should be a term maybe that term exists for this kind of prejudice by proxy or this kind of anticipatory prejudice or second degree, second degree sexism. But how are we supposed to think about that, that this belief that one’s own neighbors are more prejudiced and therefore you make a strategic decision to not support a candidate because you believe other people will not support that candidate?
S25: Yeah, this is so there’s so many strands of this at this particular moment. So one important thing to say is that when women run for other offices like Congress, they win at the same rate as men. At this point in history. So we do have lots of evidence that women can win. And I think that Warren’s best turn on the debate stage was when she pointed that out about herself and Amy Klobuchar, this question of whether in 2020 going up against Donald Trump after the defeat of Hillary Clinton. People are not going to be hesitant to vote for a woman.
S1: That’s like a really tricky question. I think there are a lot of women who worry that latent sexism could damage a female candidate. At the same time, just talking about it is creating a kind of perceived weakness, especially at a moment in which what Democrats care most about is electability. So there’s just this like kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Right. Like, let’s imagine the best case scenario for this dinner that Bernie and Warren had. You could imagine and and Bernie said this, that he said, look, you know, Trump is going to use every weapon he can and with a woman, he’s going to use sexism.
S19: And and maybe Bernie made that seem like a problem, was adamant about that in a way that was frustrating to Warren, someone who her whole life has. Expectations is just kind of rolled up, Bursley is gone ahead and did whatever it was she wanted to do and didn’t like put her female identity, four-word didn’t deny it, but also didn’t lead with it. They’re not having any kind of like nuanced conversation about that now. Now they’re like accusing each other of calling each other liars, which is just not a word that is in the interests of Democrats to be throwing around right now. Like, I just think it diminishes both of them. I worry that this like real conversation about, you know, the potential for sexism to infect the election like I do. Given that Clinton not in popular vote count but intellectual college terms lost the election to Trump, you know, are people going to worry a little bit more than they would have otherwise? And does that is that a real issue like that? Seems like a perfectly fine conversation to have except you. If you’d start talking about it too much publicly, then you make it true. And I think that’s part of why Bernie was backing so far off of it on the debate stage in a way that actually I found irritating because it was like he sort of went too far. I feel irritated with both of them.
S5: So many questions to ask. What I want to know is what we’re actually talking about when we talk about this exchange. What is Elizabeth Warren, in other words? Is this a question about honesty? Is it a question about whether Bernie Sanders would be a sufficient advocate for women as president is separate, apart from everything you raised, Emily? What is the. That’s one of the things I would have loved to have been examined in the course of the actual debate, which is, you know, ask Elizabeth Warren, do you think, based on your conversation with Bernie Sanders, that he has some view about women that will somehow make him a worse advocate for their interests as president than you otherwise would have thought, or then you would be or something along night lines?
S19: Because I want to know what you like, what’s at stake and how could you really think about Bernie, right? Really?
S26: Well, exactly. And that would have kind of gotten to the heart of this. Also, honesty is a perfectly important question when it comes to presidents. I tend to have a more elastic view of honesty and its role in the job. But leaving that aside, however, I think some perspective is probably worth rolling in, which is we all I am certain I can say without fear of contradiction had been in conversations where we remember something differently than the other person. And so to put the weight of the world on and a highly fraught conversation, because you can imagine that was fraught because they both want to be president and their friends. And and also, as you both teed up, this is an interesting question about the country. And it’s not just about men and women. It’s about basically men and women in seven states against a president who is really unpredictable and plays on identity at the end, a kind of root level. And so thinking this through some people, pendent penalize you for even asking the questions. You were Emily even raising this, but thinking it through, as it seems to me, as he is in the interests of both the specific parties and the Democratic Party.
S18: Do you think that this dispute.
S14: Does it benefit any of the candidates? Is Biden sitting there rubbing his hands, gleefully rubbing his bald pate excitedly?
S25: Well, it’s great, because Donald Trump I mean, both because it’s a distraction and because now it’s like everybody calls everybody a liar. Excellent.
S1: I think it helps. BIDEN Yeah, I mean, marginally. I think it does. I don’t think it’s helping either Bernie or Warren. I mean, I guess your point about honesty, John. I just find it like disappointing.
S19: I don’t really think that either Warren or Bernie think the other one is to be distrusted on some deeper level. And it just seems like in any other situation you would give each other the benefit of the doubt, right? Lake? No. There’s no tape of this conversation. She heard more doubt than Bernie thinks he expressed. Now, they’re both in these like, you know, political boxes they’ve created where Warren saying like, look, club China. Amy and I are the ones with the winning record. And Biden saying like, it’s preposterous to question whether a woman could be elected in 2020.
S9: It’s not preposterous to question that.
S26: It seems to me that that if you’re Elizabeth Warren and you know, this is going to come up or you’re bringing in Sanders and you know, it’s going to come up, that it provides you a moment on the you’re at the center of the spotlight. Everybody’s paying attention for whatever good or bad reasons. And you have a chance to say exactly what you said. Emily, which is basically, look, I know what Bernie’s heart is. And despite this dispute, I know that he cares about women. But here’s the thing. When you don’t have health insurance, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a man or a woman who’s going to bring you health insurance when you have to when you can go to college and not have crippling debt for the rest of your life, it doesn’t matter if it’s a man.
S27: A woman who, in other words, used the moment in the sunlight, the moment when everybody’s looking to then sort of 30000 feet and make the articulate case for your campaign and then shows since this is a contest of who can beat Donald Trump in a general election, show that you have the skill to articulate the progressive values that everybody cares about and follows you and other Democrats who are worried about whether you’re going to be able to run in the general election. Show them you have all this amazing talent and skill. And basically it was this thing that’s kind of dribbled out and theater in politics is way over emphasized. But this was a moment which called for it. And I was struck that basically no one had the tools to milk it for for what it was worth in a purely political context.
S12: Jonathan, that is an excellent point. I actually brings me back to the the one thing that gives me pause about Warren, who I think has generally been a really interesting and and and theatrically excellent campaigner. And she’s engaged people and gotten great crowds and she’s done things that are visually exciting. But at at several big moments in this campaign. She has really done things which make you think you really botched it here, Elizabeth, with the DNA test. No one with Medicare for all, which I understand was a risk that she took. But, man, she she really, I think, put a pin in her campaign balloon with that one. And now here where there was an opportunity, I’m not sure it’s an opportunity. She saw it. I don’t know that it’s clear that she leaked this in order to get the story out.
S14: But whatever it is, she did not handle it in this spectacular way in your eye. And just to pile on to that, I find the oneness of this campaign, which is so important, bizarre, and in particular, the oneness and quietness of the Biden campaign. I can’t even remember a front runner presidential campaign that has been this uninteresting and this bad in my lifetime. It’s such a bad, boring campaign for Biden. And yet, what does it matter? Apparently, he’s still leading, huh?
S15: The use of the word one there was so perfect. I’m I’m I just want everyone to reflect on that.
S26: I’m barging in here, Emily, just because I think the the. I’d like to recommend as just a piece of smart, really smart analysis as reclines piece about Elizabeth Warren, which you’re here, brother. It is a it in part because I’ve been thinking about the presidency so much for the last year. It is the exact opposite of the theater review part. Now, the presidency requires both playing theater, but it also requires playing the inside game. What is the inside game? Part of what the Democratic debate about is about right now is what is the inside game look like? Joe Biden says inside games, this game in the Senate. I know how to negotiate. I can get people who are on the other side to work with me. Many people, including his former boss, Barack Obama, would say that system is broken. The partisanship is too calcified. No Republican senator can cross the aisle because they’ll get a primary. And Fox News will kill them operating then in the world as it is not the world as you’d like it to be. You need to be able to use the administrative state to achieve goals the Democrats have care about. In order to do so, you need to have a clear understanding of how that works and how to best maximize it. And Ezra Klein makes the case incredibly well for Elizabeth Warren, knowing better than perhaps any president, maybe since Hoover. A lot of good it did him. But how the administrative state works and how if you care about the balance of power system, this should horrify you. But nevertheless, if you boot, if you want to get something done, somebody who knows how to use the administrative state to get those things done at the executive level without having to bother with Congress, that Elizabeth Warren has the temperament, the skills, the focus is really basically tailor made for that job. And it’s a really it’s a really interesting argument to make and he makes it very well.
S25: One more thing before we go. I was looking back at my interview notes from talking to Warren when I was profiling her last spring. And I asked her at one point, like, is there any upside to running as a woman right now? And the first thing she said was it is what it is in this kind of like matter of fact way. And then she said, oh, yeah, of course, there’s an upside. It’s all those girls who I get to pinky promise with and say, this is what women do that they run for president. I think she genuinely like that is a real sense of inspiration.
S20: She has both in receiving it from the girls who she sees on the campaign trail and also in providing it.
S19: It just in some ways she is such a good person to have in this role, because I think for her whole career, she kind of surmounted barriers that women face without a whole lot of fuss. And there’s something to me that’s just a little surprising and odd that she’s now confronting this issue in such a public way. I think she was like avoiding making. An issue and now it seems a little bit like right before the voting, she realized in some way she was going to have to address this. And now it’s sort of upon us and I guess it just kind of wish it wasn’t.
S12: Moving on, Emily, there is a showdown developing between Bill Barr, the attorney general, and his Department of Justice or our Department of Justice. I should say not his Department of Justice and Apple over access to phones owned by shooter and a shooting at a Pensacola Naval Air Station where a Saudi national who was stationed at this air station, he was injured. Down people hunting with the American military, murdered three people, was then himself killed in an assault recently in late 2019. So what is this showdown about?
S13: So the government has the phone of the shooter says it can’t figure out how to break the encryption and get in once Apple to do it. And Bill Barr, the attorney general, has used this to make a big kind of public stand against Apple and to call for help in this case and also for compliance with helping the government in other cases.
S25: I think this is one of those things where when you just think about the single instance, you come up with a different answer then when you take a step back. So if you’re just thinking like should the government be able to read this guy’s phone? They say they can’t do it. They have a warrant. Why shouldn’t Apple help? It seems like, OK, fine. But then if you think about it for two more minutes, what Apple is saying is if we provide the government help breaking into this phone, that means we can do it for other phones. That weakens the security system for all phones. And so you might, first of all, worry about the government seeking access to lots of phones. Do we really trust the Justice Department or law enforcement generally with that kind of power? And second, do we want to worry about weakening the privacy settings and security encryption services on devices generally by creating these kinds of backdoor keys? One thing I wonder about and I wonder how you guys feel is that I think these are both not entities I trust a whole lot like government, law enforcement. You worry about their overbearing surveillance desires. But then on the other hand, we have Apple big tech in general saying that they know best. And I feel like I’ve become very skeptical of their assurances on that score as well. And I wonder how this affects how you guys see this issue.
S23: Yeah, that’s that’s a great point.
S26: When you say they know best, Emily, even tell me exactly what you mean because you are. Wouldn’t the Apple position be? We don’t know best. Other than we know that the person you know, individual freedom, individual privacy is a principle we stand behind.
S15: And we don’t want to get in. We don’t want to kind of pretend we know best. But we know that at least one big thing and everything, you know, and and we’re making that one big decision, but we’re not going to try and manage every other little decision which seems different than the than what DOJ is saying, which is we have a system and a process to make sure we don’t go over the line here. So it feels maybe a little different between what the two of them were doing, which isn’t to undermine your general broad proposition, which is this is in the hands of two people who are two institutions that have their own interests, which are maybe different than the public. Good.
S8: Well, it is clear that the interests of Apple and the interest of the U.S. government are not necessarily interests of any individual person, the interest of society as a whole. That said, Apple does appear to be abiding by its legal obligations, so it’s provided access to the things it says it can provide access to. It’s, you know, complying with warrants. It doesn’t comply. And I think Apple’s position, as I understand it, is we do not have the capacity to break the encryption on this phone. We have not built the capacity to break the encryption on this phone. Now they know how to build that capacity, but they haven’t done it. And so it’s almost like a compelled speech issue, which is that can the U.S. Department of Justice compel Apple to develop two right. To create speech, to create a program to crack its own phones? Can they be forced to speak? And I would say no. That’s a like a pretty clear First Amendment case. You cannot be compelled to say things, do things to do work that you don’t want to do. If Congress wants to pass a law saying in the future, you cannot develop a phone that is not decrypted, all that any phone has to have a backdoor. Congress can do it that can be fought out, fought in the courts. But I don’t think as a matter of just sort of the Department of Justice today ordering Apple to do something or asking Apple do something carries that weight. It is not we have not legislated Congress saying every phone has to be decrypted, but we’ve not had that discussion. Apple has gone ahead and developed something because Apple believed it’s in the public interest. And Apple is saying, like, you want to. You want to decrypt it, find a way on your own. It’s that’s your problem. It’s not our problem. We’ve we’re providing a service. And if if Congress and the Supreme Court and the president want to change that, then they can try to pass a law that changes it. But I don’t. Think that that given the sort of landscape of law we have today. But Apple has any obligation that I think it would be against. I think it would. It would be it would be wrong for them to be forced to have to open this phone, even though it might well help in this investigation, although I also don’t even think I would help in this investigation like the guy is. He’s dead. The crime was committed. They will some investigating. There’s some investigatory gain perhaps to seeing what’s on this phone that they are not able to get access to through other sources. But when you go back and look at a lot of these kinds of cases, so much of what you can discover, so much of what you need to do is really just human intelligence. It’s different kinds of its work that you can you can get access to a lot of that information through other means other than the the kind of specific violation that the government’s asking to commit at that moment. So I also don’t even believe the government and they say this is the only way they can get access to the information they need.
S13: Yeah. That all makes a lot of sense. I mean, in addition to that, there are these two companies that have helped the government break into Apple phones previously. And it’s not clear like why that didn’t work this time. And the suspect, the shooter, shot one of the phones. Maybe that’s why they can’t get into it. It does seem like Barr may have kind of confected this as a way to rant against Apple. And I do wonder, because I feel deeply cynical about Barr and about Apple. If both sides are kind of using this for their own political purposes like this allows Bill Barr to rant against a technology company and then Apple gets to be the great protector of privacy.
S20: I mean, this is a kind of niche that Apple has carved out for itself. It’s different from Facebook and Google claiming to be really protective. So if you want to take the cynical view, there’s a lot of like posturing going on here.
S1: I guess one thing, David, when you imagine Congress potentially legislating to make it, you know, like illegal to have a phone that is truly encrypted, I mean, just posing it that way I think demonstrates what folly that would be like then it’s black market that you have a like everyone would want that phone anyway.
S25: It just we’re not going to have that piece of legislation, which I think proves your point.
S14: Right. I got a couple other points on this, which is so one of the claims made by the people who do say that there should be these backdoors into into phones and other encryption. Is that, well, the government will keep it safe. We’ll have procedures that’ll be locked down. And we just know that that’s so unlikely. What we’ve seen in the last decade or two decades is massive data breaches and things like that NSA. The NSA is own hacking tool, which is supposed to be so closely guarded, gets released in the wild and and causes mayhem all over the world. And and the idea that you can then trust if this technology is developed, you can trust it’s not going to fall into the wrong hands is it’s just folly. And especially if you think if if this is something which the U.S. government demands access to, but that that would affect phones that are sold in China, you know, that would the Chinese there’d be a massive Chinese espionage effort to get access to that that that program as well. So I just think it’s so hard to think that this is a protectable activity. I mean, you want to say like there should be no safe encryption in the world. Okay. We can try to say there’s no shabbiness, safe encryption, oral, but technology is not moving in that direction. And that’s a bad position for the U.S. government to hold.
S26: You know what I also wonder is, is way impossible to know. But the Trump Justice Department is making this case that they’ll know when to do the right thing and not the wrong thing in this case. But the president was elected, was elected. Well, separate apart from the reason that may have caused your your exclamation. The president was elected and has govern on the idea that basically the intelligence agencies don’t know what they’re doing. The Justice Department is wrong all the time. And what it does that the FISA court that and then in the course of the Russia investigation, the president’s defenders have and now with some with some married proved, it’s been proved that the FISA court that was overseeing the investigations into Carter Page and others operates, you know, can be manipulated by the FBI.
S5: And so what I wonder is the ability basically to the way in which the president and his administration have undermined for three years the foundation of the thing they’re trying now to build their argument with Apple on. So they’ve worked at their basically cross-purposes. And if that’s had any effect.
S29: Those are great questions.
S8: I want to end this with a totally logit ghoulish question. It’s an actual ghoulish question that I have, which I hope one of our listeners will answer for me.
S23: So one of the devices had a fingerprint. Could it be open with a fingerprint? I mean, we all have those on our phones or many of us do the they have the body of the killer. Like, why can’t they just take his body and stick his fingerprint on it and open the phone with that? Why? Can’t they do that? I would have thought that would be just open-and-shut, just grab the finger.
S30: Emily Todd, they already bury him. Maybe they don’t have the body anymore. I don’t know. Exuma it. Huh, that’s a good question. All right, let’s leave that to our listeners.
S17: Josh, so I asked to be warned. I don’t think Audi’s and you could heat up the finger then.
S21: Can someone please answer this question? It’s an invitation. Tweet that tweet to us at Atalay Gabfests or Facebook dot com. Plus, give us give us an answer.
S8: Let us go on to cocktail chatter.
S23: You’re thinking when you’re having a ghoulish, ghoulish thought, there is this there’s a cocktail, in fact, called these sour toe cocktail, which this calls to mind, which is a cocktail bar in Canada. I know, because we’ve written about it now, Obscura, which is you have a cocktail. But in the bottom of the glass is a amputated toe. And you drink the cocktail, you do not eat the toe.
S17: What? No. Yeah, it’s called the Doroshow cocktail.
S16: You drink it and you’re the toast that amputated toe touches your lips and then you you’re done with it.
S31: And then it’s the toe. It’s served to the next person. What a putinto. No. People send in their 20s. This is people send their people send in shows.
S8: They do. Absolutely. And what the reason they have people send in their 20s is that people occasionally accidentally swallow or maybe intentionally swallow the toe that’s in the cocktail. So they need to replenish it hot.
S32: This is not bullshit. This is 100 percent true. The sour toe cocktail. Emily is over.
S9: I really feel like we need to drop the mike and leave so much. I know more riveting than ducktales chatter. Andy, what is it? It’s actually about a cocktail. I’m not even sure we should do a cocktail chatter next. I know that. So forget it.
S27: The blast radius at the blast radius of the toe cocktail is reaches me all the way down here in St. Petersburg. What the hell do you mean? People send in their 20s. What do you print the U.P.S. packing label to send your tow to Shorties Bar? And what else do people send in?
S31: Yeah, it’s a new dawn. Search taxes. You Google like who needs a spare tow? Like what?
S11: It’s in the Yukon Territory in Dawson Dawson City. The first 20 is said to belong to a miner named Louis Leiken, who edits Frostbitten Appendage Amputated in the 1920s. He preserved in a jar of alcohol. In 1973, Yukon Local found the jar containing the terrible Şaban. He brought the tone of the Sour Dough Saloon and started putting it into drinks. Thus, the Sour Toe Cocktail Club was for the original tell lasted seven years because in 1980, someone swallowed it. Since then, seven more toes have been donated the bar.
S33: Toe number two, with given after an amputation due to an inoperable corn like her, number three, a victim across behind my toe, number three was also the number three was also accidentally swallowed.
S5: We are going to need a headlamp to get out of this conversation.
S30: What does it mean when we comments that anyone would put it anywhere near their face?
S33: Not number 8 arrived, 10 number 8 arrived in a jar of alcohol with the message don’t wear opento sandals while mowing the lawn.
S34: Oh, my God.
S27: So that means the person who was mowing their lawn, they had this in their consciousness. The person was mowing their lawn, had this sufficiently forward in their consciousness that when the moment happened, they quick like a bunny dick did what was necessary to preserve the toe for the purposes of spinning into the damp cocktail. This is we are screwed as a species.
S4: I actually find it very heartening myself.
S5: You have a very weird toe fetish.
S32: Go go to go to Obscura and look up the theradio cocktail jonge. You have an actual chatter.
S26: Oh my god. No, I am. I refuse to learn the grounds that it will seem pudi by result. No, I just you know, everybody. The last decade was the hottest decade on record. Just so you know. And any could very well have been the warmest period since the dawn of civilization.
S15: That can’t can’t tell because figuring ancient global temperatures from tree rings and ice cores and other things that they it’s not precise. But I’m one of the things that just I mean, this is, you know, there’s evidence like this comes out every week. But having just gone to Venice and done that story about sea level rise, I’m talking to geoscientists about the even if you do everything right today, which we’re not doing, the sea level rise wouldn’t plateau until the middle of next century. And so it’s just a you know, a huge problem. We’re where we are, which isn’t even really discussed much in them in, for example, this presidential campaign. And I just thought I would note that in my cocktail chatter, which is not as entertaining as yours, it wasn’t even my cocktail chatter that was just me noting in his cocktails.
S11: And that was me introducing my accounts that are just because I’m thinking about digits and like using digits for amputated digits for first other purposes. Emily, do you have a cocktail chatter either about a cocktail or about an amputated digit?
S22: No. And I feel like I also went in the direction of like big weighty topic. And I’m just gonna go for it because I so don’t want to compete with you. There’s this crazy to me story in The Washington Post this week about how you are now allowed to give more than half a million dollars each to support the re-election of Donald Trump. The figure in the piece is five hundred and eighty thousand dollars. That’s the amount. A single donor can give to the Republican National Committee that will go to fund Trump’s re-election. You could actually give as much as 1.6 million over the course of the four year election cycle. And this is like has to do with, you know, it goes back Citizens United, although it’s really a DC Circuit decision from 2014 that took Citizens United one step further.
S6: And it’s just amazing that we still have this like suppose it maximum of sixty fifty six hundred dollars that an individual can give to one person’s campaign. But through the national parties, through the PACs they set up, you can just get more than 100 times higher than that as a single donor.
S20: And I just feel like this is so much of what is wrong with American politics right now. And seeing it in those incredibly high numbers just really jumped out at me.
S12: I haven’t actual chatter, which I’ll do briefly. Also also serious. I really wasn’t planning to talk about authority cocktail. I just came up. Just want to refer people who are excellent piece and Emilie’s own New York Times called Who controls Trump’s environmental policy among 20 of the most powerful people in government. Environment jobs. Most have ties the fossil fuel industry or fought against the regulations they’re now supposed to enforce. It’s a it’s really interesting. It’s just photos and descriptions of the 20 most powerful people in environmental policy.
S14: And it’s amazing. It’s a murderer’s row of people whose previous jobs with literally opposing the mission of the department or the agency or the division they’re now overseeing. You literally like if you’ve gone out and look for the person who’d be most opposed to doing the thing this agency is supposed to do. They’ve found that person. And put them in charge of it. It’s it’s astonishing and going to this point that is in that Elizabeth Warren makes it is in the Ezra Klein piece that John talked about, that personnel is policy that we have. I think when we look back on the Trump presidency, one of the things that will be evident is that environmental policy was one of the most effective areas of change because it was where he and the conservative movement aligned. And he really put in people who have have very aggressively changed how we think about environmental policy, environmental law, environmental regulations in a way that that it puts it in a funhouse mirror.
S21: It’s exactly opposite of what it used to be. So check out this Times story. We also have great listener chatters as ever. Tweet your listener child to us at Slate Gabfest. And this week, Paul haibane at P Hyping sends over this very nice story in the Atlantic headlined The Boys Who Wear Shorts All Winter. It’s about why there is this category of boys, mostly teenagers, young teenagers who wear shorts through the coldest months of the year in cold states and tries to explain why they might do it. And if it’s a very charming story.
S14: And as somebody who when I went to school in England, which is not the coldest climb in the world, but it would get subfreezing as a when you’re below a certain age, when you’re below eleven years old and a lot of British schools, you wear shorts. It’s part of the uniform all through the year. So I used to wear shorts every day of the year to school. And it was funny to wear shorts every day, like when it was snowing out. You’d be wearing shorts, but it wasn’t it wasn’t particularly bothersome. I think I could wear shorts every day. I think I’d be OK.
S30: I knew people who died in college and I thought it was weird.
S14: Yeah, it is a little weird, but I bet people at UVA wear it. Do it.
S6: Yeah, it’s weird, John, to spruce that sartorial choice.
S23: If they were if they were well-tailored shorts, John might have like a slight, slight sympathy for it and not probably.
S3: That is our show for today. The guy that is produced by John Frank, who was here with me in Washington. She’s giving a big upside through the glass. Hello, John. It’s nice to have you. And our researcher is Bridget Dunlop, who’s not here in Chicago, who helped to Bridget Donovan down here at Poynter.
S35: Help me with two. It’s a two Bridget show. Bridget, Dalia and I know it’s Ricciardone. We’ve got a double, but a double Bridget and also Jessie Navarro helped as well. So thanks to them both.
S17: And Ryan MacAvoy and Natalie is here with me.
S3: Gasping Follow us on Twitter at Slate Gabfests. Tweet your chatter to us. Therefore, Emily Bazelon and John DICKERSON and David Plotz. Thanks for listening. Talk to you next week.
S28: Hello. Slate plus. How are you? So were you were late to this game?
S11: We’re late to like a century late to this game, arguably, arguably two hundred and fifty four years late or however many years since since 1776. How many years is it? 244 years.
S14: So the flight of the Sussex is from the UK. It’s been the big story in In Brake’s. It’s tarde, Great Britain, United Kingdom. Recently you have Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I know what her name is now. Meghan Suffix.
S6: They just get called Harry and Meghan. I don’t think they have a last name. Exactly.
S17: Really? Like when you said the Sussex says I don’t even think that’s correct. And I continue on Windsor. Wrong. He’s a Windsor, isn’t he a Windsor? I don’t I don’t know. That’s a good question. Tell us royals. What’s their. You need to know royals.
S21: So they have decided to, in some fashion, step back from their responsibilities and to move where they live, possibly to split their time between the UK and Canada, possibly just Canada. Possibly they’re going to go to the south toe cocktail bar and just live there and drink xyloto cocktails all day long. So, yeah, I mean, it’s not there’s not a super political story, but there are political elements to it. I have various thoughts, but I’m going to throw to one of you. Do any of you have anything you want to start saying that is that is relevant to this?
S25: I have two things to say. One is utterly trivial. And what is perhaps more substantive might trivial comment is that there residents in Britain is called Frogh More Cottage, and that is just such a delightful name.
S30: And the picture of it is great. I don’t want to get into the millions of dollars spent on the renovations, but if I got to live in a place that looked like that called Frogged Marcott, it I think you’d be hard to leave it like that.
S17: Those cottages in Newports. It’s like a bit which are where it’s a mansion. Yeah, it’s exactly like a cottage on the beach. It wasn’t Pogmore College and it’s not in Wind in the Willows. I feel like Broadmoor College is probably the name of the house in winter and maybe out of Mars you are arrested.
S36: You no more you’d be for you’d be frogmarched near mine and you’d be frogmarched out of frog more on a more substance. And if you were running a political. I am all right. Are you stuck now by stepping on your yaupon like four times in a row?
S9: Do you want to keep going?
S11: Just just finish it out now.
S5: And if you were running a political campaign, if you were running a political campaign just finished, maybe you’re running a political campaign to have more incarcerations of people who lived in Frogh more you’d call for more frog marching out of frog more.
S32: That was bad. That was bad.
S17: The frog marching with good frog.
S9: All right.
S31: Under my son’s point, everyone’s so eager to hear the paparazzi really sucks for these people.
S30: And like, Harry had to watch his mom basically get run off the road and die because of this Princess Diana.
S25: And also the evidence of, you know, racism in the way that Meghan has been treated by the paparazzi seems really pretty evident. I can’t remember. But someone put together this like comparison at BuzzFeed. Twenty headlines about what’s your name? Kate Middleton. She’s.
S17: Yeah. Oh, apparently. Yeah. At BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed.
S1: I looked at that Kate versus Meghan and it was really upsetting and glaring. And it just makes you think that like. Yeah, Harry and Megan feel like they this is a life that is really costly. And it’s ironic that they are so popular in such an asset for the family and yet are being treated so terribly. It’s a real thing that cost. Right.
S25: It’s not like, oh, you know, once in a while someone makes you sit for an interview. It’s having cameras shoved in your face and follow you around in this regular way. And you’re supposed to in some ways feed the beast for the sake of the celebrity of the family. So I say I get it like I get why they want to get out of there for at least part of the year.
S15: One of the things that interests me about exactly what you said, Emily, is that is the extent to which they are a membrane that takes on the toxicity of the culture at the moment, at least. I’m just basically deriving this from those headlines that BuzzFeed put together and the other reports that she is just she is treated differently. And the royal family. I think the point in some instances and the reason you’re supposed to stick with it, regardless of the of the pain that sometimes comes with it, is that as that the ceremonial office gives people in the UK a kind of constant thing of stability in their changing times. And so that it’s it’s rock solid ness gives people kind of hope. But in this case, you see the way in which the kind of reverse has happened, that the culture at the moment has infected the royals to the point where. They just got a bolt. And I feel like somebody with a lot more skill could write a great 12000 word piece about how this is happening all over in cultures and in norms and standards and traditions and figure out whatever the three root causes are, one of which I don’t know. I was going to make a joke, but I’ll have to stop there.
S4: The boat’s not minutes. It’s it’s much different in scale and importance than what happened with the last pope.
S14: But you had a pope. Of course, there had been a pope who who’d retired and what, hundreds of years, right? A thousand years. I mean, enormous span where popes had served out their life as as pontiff. And you had Pope Benedict, who, of course, resigned and still lives. And, you know, life of retirement elsewhere. And what Mary and Meghan are doing is, you know, a small caliber version of that. I I this whenever whenever a big story about the royal family comes up, there’s always those people who are like, they’re so stupid, it’s so silly. And I just want to align myself with sort of what John was getting out a minute ago. I think people are absolutely delusional. I think the monarchy is anything but a net good for the United Kingdom. It is a myth. It is. Economically. Yes. It is a cost that British taxpayers pay money to the royal family. That is true. They do pay. They subsidize them. But the amount of tourism, the amount of of economic activity just generated by them and what they’re doing is enormous. And I’m sure as multiples of what the cost is. And I think it has a real super value in reducing it reduces the need for charisma and politicians that one of the things that we suffer from in the United States is this. We put on our Paul political figures this responsibility not only to be great leaders of of us from a political perspective and from policy perspective and legislatively, but also that they need to have. They need to be the charismatic face of the nation. And sometimes you get and I think with the Obama family, you’ve got this time’s 20 like a blessing. Who knew? Because they’re so charismatic and good-Looking and dynamic. And they as representatives of the United States, it was it was brilliant. But then sometimes you get people who are bad at it. And it’s just the expectation that a politician embody the the nation. Seems to me a misguided expectation that the ceremonial work of the of the politics should be done by somebody who is not in politics. It just should be done by some ceremonial figure in the British. Have this these people who are very good at it. They do it respectably. They open you know, they cut ribbons really well. They they throw champagne bottles at ships really well. And it creates this. As John said, it creates this continuity in this conservative culture, which is good in radical and dangerous times. I even though, as you say, it’s like they’ve been it’s the royal family been infected by the bad tenor of the moment. I I still think it’s a stabilizing force compared to what we get in countries without royal families.
S15: Plus are super entertaining and they have nice hats by Slate Plus.