Air Date 1/16/2021
JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: [00:00:00] Welcome to this episode of the award-winning Best of the Left Podcast in which we shall learn about the underlying fears and motivations for the insurrection that go beyond the big lie of a stolen election to the bedrock of White supremacy that has driven White riots for more than a hundred years. Clips today are from At Liberty from the ACLU, CounterSpin, It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, Democracy Now!, a message from Arnold Schwartzenegger, and The BradCast.
ACLU Responds to Events at the U.S. Capitol - At Liberty - Air Date 1-8-21
JEFFREY ROBINSON: [00:00:31] The ACLU has always been about the right to protest the right to speak. This has nothing to do with protest. What happened on Wednesday was not a protest. It was a violent attempt to prevent the House of Representatives from counting electoral ballots, ballots to change the head of the government, a violent attempt to prevent that. Not a breaking of a window in a downtown office building. This is something completely different. And let's think about, in terms of the images, the strongest image for me is the president of the United States standing in front of this country and saying these are the things and events that happen when a landslide victory is stripped away from patriots.This president has no connection to reality whatsoever. The dreams that he has been putting forward that have been rejected by every court, by every appellate court, by the U.S. Supreme Court. It's a fantasy. And yet he is saying this is what happens when you take my fantasy of “I won this election despite the fact that I got beat by millions and millions of votes.” So his face saying those words is one of the strongest images that I will remember for the rest of my life. There were nooses that were erected on the Capitol grounds. There was a Confederate flag that was marched through the Capitol. Do we really still have to have a debate about what that image means, about what the Confederate flag means? And what did the president say to these people? “You are special and I love you.” That's what he said. And so those are the images that cling to my mind, the images of white protesters taking what appear to be selfies with police officers who are supposed to be preventing them from entering this building. Everybody has talked about the images of what happened in June in Washington, D.C., when Black Lives Matter protesters didn't get anywhere near the Capitol, but essentially, pardon my French, got their asses kicked for simply being in the street. And I don't know how many of you saw how many people were still in the street hours after the curfew had been declared and the police were sitting there watching them, doing nothing.
So the images that reflect in my mind are it's -- It's kind of like, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” We have seen this time and time and time again, the issues that are presented and the color of the skin of the people that are protesting have a major impact on how violent the police are. And let's just take for a minute. Just for a minute. Dale said there were a number -- there were five people that were killed, whose lives were lost, specifically because of this protest. That's on Donald Trump's head. What do you think America would be saying right now if a Black Lives Matter protest ended with five people dead? So what this says to me is that the strength of white supremacy and racism in this country is reflected by exactly what we saw happening on Wednesday. I am completely rational right now. Am I angry? Don't mistake the passion in my voice for a lack of analysis, because this is a critical event in America's history. And for us to understand exactly what it reflects is really important because the changing of the narrative is already happening. “Oh, they just got out of hand a little bit. Yeah, they broke some windows. Oh, that's too bad. It really was just spontaneous. It wasn't any big thing. That's not what was happening.
Dorothee Benz on January 6 Insurrection - CounterSpin - Air Date 1-8-21
JANINE JACKSON - HOST, COUNTERSPIN: [00:05:06] Everything would have been different yesterday from beginning to end, including before yesterday, as you're noting, if these people were Black or were Brown or were disabled, you know, really anything, but what they were. I would add that that would extend beyond the day, you know, had these been Black people, there would be real world lasting repercussions for all Black people. Right? And if you complain to anyone, all anyone would need to say would be like "1-6-21, man", you know. The point is talking about how differently they would of been treated if they were Black, say, it's not a rhetorical exercise. It's not a game of "what if", you know, that contrast is really the story, right?
DOROTHEE BENZ: [00:05:53] It is, and it goes well beyond the obvious. I mean, so obvious that even some of the mainstream media has noted it, that Black Lives Matter activists would of been treated differently that, you know, native Americans defending their land and their legal rights who were waterhosed in subfreezing temperatures at Standing Rock were treated differently. That activists who were just begging their senators not to kill them by eliminating their healthcare were ripped out of wheelchairs and thrown in handcuffs. I mean, yes, those are the obvious differences as opposed to the kid glove treatment that the white nationalists got yesterday.
But the deeper problem is really the entire white nationalist project that, you know, as you alluded to in the introduction, this whole venture rests on: the fact that the police were so-called unprepared. I saw that word several times in the media coverage. It's not that they were unprepared; it's that they were prepared for white nationalists, which to them is not a crisis in the same way that Black people demanding rights is, or that people insisting that public healthcare and national healthcare should be a thing.
The problem goes much deeper there, and it is both a problem of how we have governed and a problem of how the police and the military has been central to white supremacy. Structurally foundationally, ideologically, the function of the police has always been to defend the system as it exists in the system of the white supremacist system.
The ruling power started 500 years ago was settler colonizers. It went on to include genocide, slavery, strike breaking in the more modern capitalist era. It is never included defending democracy. That is a central understanding of how the police work. They weren't overwhelmed, you know, they knew, they just didn't think it was a problem.
JANINE JACKSON - HOST, COUNTERSPIN: [00:07:58] I can't keep playing that "imagine if" game, because I'm really thinking every Black candidate forever would be side-eyed, you know, by the media. So if you don't win, are you gonna -- are your people gonna riot? We know that you all don't really believe in democracy. I don't think media as, oh my gosh, as they are right now I don't think they're really taking on board the counterfactual that they're sort of thinking about. And then more cynically, I sorta think, in contrast, there won't be the same kind of repercussions for people who not just looked like the insurrectionists from yesterday, but who think like them, you know, except that maybe media might seek them out, you know, to say, you're the good Trump dead-ender or, you know, what makes you tick? Why didn't you storm the Capitol?
DOROTHEE BENZ: [00:08:53] Yeah. I saw a comment this morning from Ben Ehrenreich who was talking about the media label of a mob, right? Reaching for sort of a a classist term instead of calling them fascists or neo-Nazi or racist or white supremacist, and not calling them just protestors because, rightly, they were trying to differentiate between, let's say Black Lives Matter or healthcare protestors, but not going for the term that's really there.
JANINE JACKSON - HOST, COUNTERSPIN: [00:09:24] It is difficult to grapple with the language around here, we're in kind of new territory. But what we do see is an unwillingness to use the terms white nationalist, to use white supremacist, in connection with this kind of thing. And I think it is part of media's desire to splinter people off to say, this really is a fringe, and discouraged the connections between these people and, in fact, the mainstream of the Republican party, and of many US institutions.
DOROTHEE BENZ: [00:09:54] I think that that is absolutely right. There's kind of two things going on there in that I would call it a soothing effort to make this not a bigger problem, right?
The larger problem than not contextualizing it in white supremacy is the larger problem is not admitting this entire American project is a white supremacist project. You know, the media did point some fingers at Donald Trump yesterday, rightly, but they seem to exempt almost wholly the entire rest of the Republican party. This morning on the New York Times's homepage, at least on the app, they had a bunch of quotes and they were all from Republicans, making them look really the principaled, you know, Graham, McConnell and Loeffler saying, you know, well, this isn't the right thing to do, as if these people hadn't been feeding the same right-wing monster for the last four years, not to mention the last four weeks. Right? So that's like one way in which the media is trying to create a respectable-looking set of Republicans in the middle of what is not that.
The other is not talking about the larger shift here, which is the assault on democratic norms and the assault on democracy itself, which has moved from sort of a cloaked phase of voter ID laws that we pretend are just about voter fraud or that are somehow, you know, facially neutral or whatever; mass incarceration, which, you know, disenfranchises and create second-class citizens for, you know, millions and millions of people; moving away from that cloaked phase to this really overt phase, and kind of testing what works like, let's throw some lawsuits at it. Let's try that. Let's try to like directly shake down some officials and threatened them. Okay, let's try that. And in October, Representative Mike Lee floated the term "rank democracy," you know, as if there is such a thing as too much democracy, like, don't let that unwashed actually vote. And that's exactly what it is. And that is actually both the point of continuity and discontinuity with the entire American project.
It has never been a country that is a democracy, a true democracy in the sense of a universal franchise, let alone economics and social democracy, but it has pretended for a long time that it is. And what the right is doing now is testing even that pretense, see how they can proceed. And that is a genuine fascist threat.
JANINE JACKSON - HOST, COUNTERSPIN: [00:12:31] That's the danger of portraying this as marginal or fringe or failed, right? Portraying it as a failed attempt because as you and others have said that failure doesn't mean the end of it.
DOROTHEE BENZ: [00:12:46] Absolutely not. I mean, yes, I've seen a couple of headlines about like, well, Trump's on his way out anyway. And you know, this morning as I was listening to NPR, The reporter or the anchor said, well, what did I think they would accomplish? Like they were talking about some kids on a playground. And it's not that they failed at overturning the election, it's that they succeeded in mainstreaming fascism and fascist tactics. That's really the point. And I haven't seen that anywhere in the mainstream media coverage. Someone literally on New York One or in a New York One tweet, I should say to be exact, somebody was talking about how the property damage is morning was actually quite minimal. Yeah, it might be minimal, although, when property damage happens at a Black Lives Matter protest, you would think it was a matter of national security. But I responded to that tweet by saying that's besides the point, the assault isn't on Capitol Hill property, it's on democracy itself. And that really has not been enough of a focus. As a matter of fact, in a general kind of a way, this is a continuity from the entire Trump era where media have gone out of their way to normalize fascist tactics and trying to squeeze them, you know, a square peg in a round hole kind of a style, into the box of normal political imagery, where they describe something like they had a headline yesterday before all this went down: With the objection to election results, Hawley puts his party in a bind. So they turned this over-anti-democratic effort to overturn an election into an interparty political quandary, thus normalizing what is not normal or what should not be normal in a normally democratic society.
We've Had Insurrections Before - It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders - Air Date 1-12-21
SAM SANDERS - HOST, IT'S BEEN A MINUTE: [00:14:42] Do you know what it felt like to me? It felt like an old school lynch mob. You know, when these lynch mobs occurred decades, centuries ago all of the folks that showed up there didn't come to lynch, a handful of the men were going to do it, but a lot of other folks just came to watch, just came for the party, just came to have a picnic while they watched it. And there are so many folks that were at the Capitol on Wednesday who didn't come to hurt Pelosi or Pence, but they wanted to watch if it happened.
JAMELLE BOUIE: [00:15:14] Yes. And I think the analogy to a lynch mob is the right one. I think, it's worth making analogies to the kinds of mobs that formed to storm state capitols and city halls during reconstruction.
I think I would like people to understand is that there is no clear delineation between what I'm going to call a bit and real violence. I'll just give an example, kind of an ur-example from the Reconstruction era. A group of men can get together and decide to put on some hoods and costumes and go scare off some prosperous Black farmer, a Republican official, someone in town. They can go just to do it, to do it, not intending to inflict any serious violence, but depending on the dynamics, the particular personalities, depending on whether they face any resistance that lark, that bit, can go on to become real violence.
What I wrote about in my column last week, was that in Louisiana, in the 1874, specifically a group called the White League. And the White League they weren't there to just have fun, they specifically formed to intimidate Republicans and freed Blacks, but it was very small scale at the start; intimidating, again, officials, a teacher. But, they find that there's not that much resistance. And so what begins as local terror pretty quickly becomes something much larger and more organized, such that by that fall, you have a small sort of battalion of 3,500 men taking the state Capitol house, deposing the governor, trying to attempt a coup. They even hold inauguration festivals for the guy they who lost the previous election.
SAM SANDERS - HOST, IT'S BEEN A MINUTE: [00:17:21] And we should just pause here to say for our listeners, you are recounting a story that feels eerily similar to what could have happened in DC last week. 1874, in New Orleans, a White mob storms the Capitol to say the guy who won, we don't like that, put the other guy in. And they did it right?
JAMELLE BOUIE: [00:17:39] And they did it. And it took about three or four days before federal troops came in and kind of forced them to stand down. But no one was punished after this. The argument in my column is tha the fact that this could happen with relative impunity meant that when given an opportunity, they would do it again. And not just do it again, other people in other States will sort of take their cues and take a lead from this. And so you see throughout the deep South, especially throughout the South, these sorts of mob actions taking place with the aim of deposing, or if not deposing a Republican Reconstruction government, then at least terrorizing Black voters, terrorizing Republican officials and creating the conditions to oust that government in an election, but in election tainted with violence and fraud.
SAM SANDERS - HOST, IT'S BEEN A MINUTE: [00:18:36] So the insurrection that you wrote about in 1874 in New Orleans, this White mob was trying to end what they called a Negro rule. And this was all about race. It was all about trying to end Reconstruction and keep Blacks from being as free as they possibly could be. Some folks hearing this now will say, "well, that is not like what could of happened at the Capitol last week. It's not about race. It's not about freeing slaves. It's about election fraud. Joe Biden is White." You know, there are still folks that might not see a through line of race in last week's events. What would you say to those who don't?
JAMELLE BOUIE: [00:19:15] I would say that you have to take more of an expansive view of what it means to say that something is influenced by race or really influenced by racism and kind of racial domination and race hierarchy and these things. Which is that in the New Orleans example, the governor wasn't a Black guy, he was White, but his political power has put up a coalition rested on Black voters. And in the same way, Joe Biden is a White guy, kind of a prototypical, old White politician, but the coalition that brought him to power was disproportionately comprised of African-Americans, of Hispanics, of Asian-Americans of a multicultural group of Americans, as well as White liberals.
So you have this diverse coalition and the claim being made against Biden when there's these accusations of fraud, I mean, I think some people do literally believe that millions of votes were manufactured, but I think what you should understand it as is a claim that this coalition is not legitimate. That these people do not count as "real Americans", and so the claim of fraud is really a claim about legitimacy, about who can rightfully claim the power of the state. And the mob at the Capitol was saying, "well, not these people." And that's the through line. So much of American politics since the Civil War has been about this question of who can exercise political power? Who has not just the full rights of citizenship, but who is a legitimate political actor?
And if you start thinking about race in those terms, less as personal prejudice, less as a group of people who hate Black people or Hispanic people or whatnot, but whose idea of the nation and whose idea of who's a legitimate political actor, it's tied to race, tied to religion, sort of White Christians are those who have the right to rule, the right to govern. Then I think things become a bit more intelligible.
“American Abyss” Fascism Historian Tim Snyder on Trump’s Coup Attempt, Impeachment & What’s Next Part 1 - Democracy Now! - Air Date 1-13-21
AMY GOODMAN - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: [00:21:28] If you can talk about what you watched last week and why you see race at the core of this Trump-inspired insurrection?
TIMOTHY SNYDER: [00:21:40] Right. I mean, number one, it’s kind of you, Amy, to mention the article. The reason why I could publish a big article about this part about the coup attempt right after it happened was that this was completely and utterly predictable. I already had the article drafted before the 6th of January because it was obvious to me what was going to happen. And so, I just want to underline the points you were suggesting earlier about just how strange it was that this kind of thing could happen so easily.
As to race, I mean, this is a classic historian’s point. The point I make in the article is about the big lie. You know, I say that these are the kinds of things that happen if a charismatic leader with a big megaphone, with a lot of reach, is able to consistently tell one thing which is simply not true, but which deeply matters, like, for example, I won an election that I lost. That has to lead to violence. But as you rightly suggest, the big lie has to be rooted in a particular society. And in the United States, the big lie is going to be rooted in race. Let’s count the ways.
Number one, what Mr. Trump is saying, when he won the election, is that there was fraud. And by fraud, he means the reality that African Americans are allowed to vote. When he speaks in Milwaukee or Atlanta or Detroit, what he’s saying is Black voters, right? When he’s saying, “I won,” he’s saying, “I won if you only count the votes of the real Americans.”
Number two, think of Senator Cruz and his invocation of 1877. As every historian of the U.S. knows, and as lots of African Americans know, but maybe not everybody knows, the Compromise of 1877 is the very moment when the American South was allowed to build up a basically American apartheid. The Compromise of 1877 is what allowed American states to push African Americans away from the voting booths and into a Jim Crow condition, which was going to last for nearly a century and which we’re still dealing with today.
Number three, look at the people who actually invade the Capitol. These are — and this has not been covered enough, this has not been hit hard enough — these people are basically white supremacists. The white supremacists are leading the way, right? They’re leading the way, and they’re making the argument that “this is our house.” In other words, what we think is that American government should be in the hands of white people who are willing to be violent about Black people.
JUAN GONZALEZ - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: [00:24:22] But, Professor Snyder, I wanted to ask you, in terms of — you characterize it more as an attempted coup than perhaps maybe insurrection, because a coup assumes that there was an actual — it seems to me, an actual plot afoot by the coup makers. And in this situation, it appears to be that Trump egged on the mob, clearly, and that it seems to me there’s always been a right-wing, fascist movement in the United States in search of a leader. I mean, if you go back to Father Coughlin in the '30s, Huey Long, George Wallace, there's always been a significant portion of the American population that has lent itself or seen itself in right-wing and anti-democratic terms. And now they actually have a leader in the White House. So, to what degree was this really an opportunism that Trump took advantage of to unleash the mob, as opposed to a coup, where military leaders or key officials got together to plan an overthrow?
TIMOTHY SNYDER: [00:25:32] Yeah, I take that point. I mean, I would emphasize, Juan, that it’s important that we not get too lost in definitional disagreements about whether we’re going to say “coup” or “putsch” or “insurrection.” The American republic is hanging by a thread because the president of the United States has sought to use violence to stay in power and essentially to overthrow our constitutional system. There’s broad agreement about that.
I’ve been calling it for a coup for a long time, actually, I mean, for months, for the following reasons — or a coup attempt, to be precise, because it’s been clear for a long time, because Mr. Trump has said so himself, that he intends to stay in power after losing the election. That’s been his language for more than six months. He has been trying to bring the military into it. That was clear on June the 1st, Lafayette Square. And it’s also clear from these repeated statements, from today, the Joint Chiefs of Staff; a few days ago, the 10 former secretaries of defense. The reason why these people have to make these statements is that they’re aware that Mr. Trump is trying to get or has a certain amount of support in the military, right? So, it’s a coup attempt, in my view, because Mr. Trump has said he was going to try to change the nature of the American regime, and he’s been trying to use instruments inside American institutions.
Now, beyond that, I would point out that this wasn’t just a mob. I mean, as you know very well and as you just said, these aren’t just people who happened to be there. These are several different kinds of white supremacist and extreme right-wing paramilitaries who are appearing at the Capitol. They are getting mixed in now with members of the police. And this is extremely dangerous, because it’s that mixture of outside-the-state, outside-the-law paramilitaries and police forces, or policemen who start to go over on the other side, which is very characteristic of the way fascist regimes come to power.
Governor Schwarzenegger's Message Following this Week's Attack on the Capitol
GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: [00:27:32] As an immigrant to this country, I would like to say a few words to my fellow Americans and to our friends around the world about the events of recent days.
I grew up up in Austria. I’m very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys.
Wednesday was the Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States. The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol. But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol — they shattered the ideas we took for granted.
They did not just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy, they trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.
Now, I grew up in the ruins of a country that suffered the loss of its democracy. I was born in 1947, two years after the Second World War.
Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away their guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history.
Not all of them were rabid anti-Semites or Nazis, many just went along, step-by-step, down the road. They were the people next door.
Now, I’ve never shared this so publicly because it is a painful memory, but my father would come home drunk once or twice a week, and he would scream and hit us and scare my mother.
I didn’t hold him totally responsible because our neighbor was doing the same thing to his family, and so was the next neighbor over. I heard it with my own ears and saw it with my own eyes.
They were in physical pain from the shrapnel in their bodies and in emotional pain from what they saw or did.
It all started with lies, and lies, and lies, and intolerance.
So being from Europe, I’ve seen first hand how things can spin out of control. I know there is a fear in this country, and all over the world, that something like this could happen right here. Now I do not believe it is, but I do believe that we must be aware of the dire consequences of selfishness and cynicism.
President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election, and of a fair election. He sought a coup by misleading people with lies. My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies, and I know where such lies lead.
President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever. The good thing is that he will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.
But what are we to make of those elected officials who have enabled his lies and his treachery? I will remind them of what Teddy Roosevelt said: ‘Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.’
John F. Kennedy wrote a book called ‘Profiles in Courage’. A number of members of my own party, because of their own spinelessness, would never see their names in such a book, I guarantee you. They’re complicit with those who carried the flag of self-righteous insurrection into the Capitol.
But it did not work. Our democracy held firm. Within hours, the Senate and the House of Representatives were doing the people’s business and certifying the election of President-elect Biden — what a great display of democracy.
I grew up Catholic, I went to church, went to Catholic school, I learned the Bible and my catechism, and all this, and from those days I remember a phrase that is relevant today: a servant’s heart.
It means serving something larger than yourself. See, what we need right now from our elected representatives is a public servant’s heart. We need public servants that serve something larger than their own power, or their own party.
We need public servants that will serve higher ideals: the ideals in which this country was founded, the ideals that other countries look up to.
Now, with the past few days, friends from all over the world have been calling and calling and calling me. Calling me distraught and worried about us as a nation.
One woman was in tears about America, wonderful tears of idealism about what America should be. Those tears should remind us of what America means to the world.
Now I’ve told everyone who has called that, as heartbreaking as all this is, America will come back from these dark days and shine our light once again.
Now you see this sword? This is the Conan’s sword.
Now here’s the thing about swords: the more you temper a sword, the stronger it becomes. The more you pound it with a hammer and then heat it in the fire, and then thrust it into the cold water, and then pound it again, and then plunge it into the fire and the water, and the more often you do that, the stronger it becomes.
I’m not telling you all this because I want you to become an expert sword maker, but our democracy is like the steel of this sword: the more it is tempered, the stronger it becomes.
Our democracy has been tempered by wars, injustices and insurrections. I believe, as shaken as we have been by results of recent days, we will now come out stronger because we now understand what can be lost.
We need reforms, of course so that this never ever happens again. We need to hold accountable the people that brought us to this unforgivable point. And we need to look past ourselves, our parties and disagreements, and put our democracy first.
And we need to heal, together, from the drama of what’s just happened. We need to heal, not just as Republicans or as Democrats, but as Americans.
Now to begin this process, no matter what your political affiliation is, I ask you to join me in saying to President-elect Biden: ‘President-elect Biden, we wish you great success as our President. If you succeed, our nation succeeds. We support you with all our hearts as you seek to bring us together.’
And to those who think they can overturn the United States Constitution, know this: You will never win.
President-elect Biden, we stand with you today, tomorrow, and forever, in defense of our democracy from those who would threaten it.
May God bless all of you. And may God bless America. .
“American Abyss” Fascism Historian Tim Snyder on Trump’s Coup Attempt, Impeachment & What’s Next Part 2 - Democracy Now! - Air Date 1-13-21
AMY GOODMAN - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: [00:35:11] Some have called it the “Coup Klux Klan.” That’s C-O-U-P, Coup Klux Klan. And you make no apologies about referring to white supremacists leading this. Let’s talk about the military and police involvement. It’s just coming to light right now. It looked like this sort of disorderly array of people who took an opportunity last week. But now as more and more video is coming out, it may well be that the frontlines were quite well ordered, and now this latest news that the Seattle police were involved, that New York police officers were involved, that Philadelphia transit officers came down en masse, that a PSYOPS person, at least one, was involved, psychological operations. Talk about this.
TIMOTHY SNYDER: [00:36:16] OK. Well, I mean, number one, when we talk about the coup plotters, just to make the obvious point, the most important is Donald Trump himself, who has been creating an — he’s been creating the psychological and the moral environment that makes this possible by telling a big lie in which he is a victim and people who voted for him are victims.
I think, in the second rank, we have to put Senators Cruz and Hawley. It’s extremely important that these senators decided to make of January 6th a kind of carnival of mendacity, in which they were going to exploit their official position in order to tell the big lie, in an occasion which should be formal and solemn. I think that makes them the second ranks of the plotters.
Number three, as you say, there was a good deal of organization taking place. And the Anti-Defamation League and other nongovernmental organizations were tracking this but not able to get very much of a hearing, it seems to me, from government institutions. I mean, as a spectator from a long way away, it was obvious to me, as I say, that something like this was going to happen.
I think, Amy, what follows from this is that in this interval between impeachment, which is going to now happen, and a trial, which I’m going to bet is going to happen after Biden’s 100 days, there should be something like an independent blue-ribbon commission of forensics experts, digital forensics experts, historians, national security people, lawyers and activists, who put together a beautiful and organized and fact-based report about what happened, so that three months from now when there’s a Senate vote, which I believe there will be, there will also be this document that makes it clear how people should vote, but also a document which can go down in history, because, I mean, other days in infamy, compared to this one, don’t compare. I mean, this, the January putsch, is the day in infamy which we have to get right for historical purposes. If this becomes a myth of victimhood, if this becomes, as Mr. Trump says, something we should treasure, then the country is in trouble. We need to get the facts right and the history right and the story right on this one.
Trump impeached again; Guest Former diplomat, Rep. Tom Perriello of Open Society US - The BradCast - Air Date 1-13-21
BRAD FRIEDMAN - HOST, THE BRADCAST: [00:38:30] Congressman Jim McGovern, Democrat from Massachusetts and Chair of the House Rules Committee, opened the proceedings for the second impeachment of Donald Trump on Wednesday with this explanation of why he believed the initiative is so imperative:
REP. JIM MCGOVERN: [00:38:46] Mr. Speaker, we are debating this historic measure at an actual crime scene and we wouldn't be here if it weren't for the President of the United States. On Wednesday, January 6th, Congress gathered here to fulfill our Constitutional duty, telling the electoral college victory of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris after a free and fair election. This is largely a ceremonial role for the Congress, one that sends a message to the world that democracy in the United States persists.
But at a rally just a mile and a half down Pennsylvania Avenue, Donald Trump and his allies were stoking the anger of a violent mob. A member of this very body proclaimed on that stage, "today is the day American patriots started taking down names and kicking ass." Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani called for trial by combat. Then Donald Trump told the crowd, "we're going to have to fight much harder. You will never take back our country with weakness." Even though according to his own administration that this election was the most secure in our history, Donald Trump repeated his big lie that this election was an egregious assault on democracy. Vice-President Pence, he said, was going to have to come through for us. Trump then told this mob to walk down to the Capitol. The signal was unmistakable. These thugs should stage a coup so Donald Trump can hang on to power; the people's will be damned. This beacon of democracy became the site of a vicious attack. Rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence" as a noose and gallows were built a stone's throw from the Capitol steps. Capitol police officers were beaten and sprayed with pepper spray. Attackers hunted down lawmakers to hold them hostage or worse. Staff barricaded doors. People sent text messages to their families to tell them they love them. They thought they were saying goodbye, Mr. Speaker.
This was not a protest. This was an insurrection. This was a well-organized attack on our country that was incited by Donald Trump. Domestic terrorists broke into the United States Capitol that day, and it's a miracle more people didn't die. As my colleagues and I were being evacuated to safety, I never, ever will forget what I saw when I looked into the eyes of those attackers right in the speaker's lobby there. I saw evil Mr. Speaker. Our country came under attack not from a foreign nation but from within. These were not protesters. These were not patriots. These were traitors. These were domestic terrorists, Mr. Speaker, and they were acting under the orders of Donald Trump.
Now, some of my colleagues on the other side have suggested that we just move on from this horror, but to gloss over it would be an abdication of our duty. Others on the Republican side have talked about unity, but we can't have unity without truth and without accountability. And I'm not about to be lectured by people who just voted to overturn the results of a free and fair election. America was attacked and we must respond, even when the cause of this violence resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Each of us, each of us took an oath last week. It wasn't to a party, and it wasn't to a person. We vowed to defend the Constitution. The actions of Donald Trump have called each of us to fulfill that oath today. I pray that we rise to this responsibility because every moment Donald Trump is in the White House, our nation, our freedom is in danger. He must be held to account for the attack on our Capitol that he organized and he incited. I solemnly urge my colleagues to support this rule and the underlying article. The damage this building sustained could be repaired, Mr. Speaker. But if we don't hold Donald Trump accountable, the damage done to our nation could be irreversible.
Congressman Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts.
On the Republican side, in the first debate on Wednesday over the rule enacted by the House Rules Committee, Oklahoma's Tom Cole led the Republican dissent:
REP TOM COLE: [00:43:18] On behalf of generations of Americans to come, we need to think more clearly about the consequences of our actions today. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Speaker, there is no reason to rush forward like this other than the very obvious fact that there are only seven days left until the new President takes office.
So what then is the point of the rush to impeach? We are coming off a horrific event that resulted in six deaths. We have an opportunity to move forward, but we cannot if the majority insists on bringing the country through the trauma of another impeachment. It will carry forward into the next President's term, ensuring that he will struggle to organize his administration. What's worse, it will continue to generate the bitterness so many of us have opposed. Why put us through that when we can't actually resolve this before the end of the President's term.
Mr. Speaker, I think my colleagues in the majority need to think about this more soberly. We need to recognize we are following a flawed process. We need to recognize that people of good will can differ. We need to recognize that while the House may be done with this matter after today's vote, it will not be done for the country. It will not be done for the Senate and it will not be done for the incoming and Biden administration. The House's action today will only extend the division longer than necessary.
BRAD FRIEDMAN - HOST, THE BRADCAST: [00:44:43] That was Republican Tom Cole of Oklahoma. There was a lot of talk in the debate about divisiveness and the need to heal the nation.
DESI DOYAN: [00:44:51] Yeah, code word for Trump supporters. They have to be appeased or they'll launch more attacks.
BRAD FRIEDMAN - HOST, THE BRADCAST: [00:44:55] Apparently so, because pretty much all of that talk seemed to be coming from Republicans, many of whom voted to overturn the perfectly legal, lawful votes of millions of Americans just one week ago in an attempt to reverse the results of our presidential election in addition to encouraging the insurrection mob. That seems a bit divisive to me, but what do I know?
For her part, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had this to say in support of impeachment, describing the President of the United States as a clear and present danger to the nation.
SPEAKER NANCY PELOCI: [00:45:31] We know that we faced enemies of the Constitution. We know we experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people's Capitol and attempted to overturn the duly recorded will of the American people.
And we know that the President of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love. Since the presidential election in November, an election the President lost, he has repeatedly held about the . . . lied about the outcome, sowed self-serving doubt about democracy and unconstitutionally sought to influence state officials to repeal reality. And then came that day of fire we all experienced. The President must be impeached, and I believe the pPresident must be convicted by the Senate, a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who was so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.
Constitutional Lawyer Trump Is a Clear & Present Danger, a Senate Impeachment Trial Is Needed Now - Democracy Now! - Air Date 1-14-21
AMY GOODMAN - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: [00:46:45] The house of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in a bid to overturn Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, making Trump the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. Wednesday’s vote was 232 to 197, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats. It’s the most bipartisan impeachment in history.
It was one week ago today, the morning after the insurrection, that Congressmember Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a former refugee, the first Somali American to serve in Congress and also the first to wear a hijab in U.S. Congress, first unveiled a resolution to impeach Trump. During Wednesday’s proceedings, she called Trump a “tyrant.”
REP. ILHAN OMAR: [00:47:34] Let us not mince words about what happened last week. It was a violent attempt to interrupt our democratic process. It was a targeted blow at the most essential process that makes us a democracy. It was a direct and specifically incited by the president of the United States. For years, we have been asked to turn a blind eye to the criminality, corruption and blatant disregard to the rule of law by the tyrant president we have in the White House. We, as a nation, can no longer look away.
AMY GOODMAN - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: [00:48:15] In 2019, President Trump was also impeached by the House for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. This is Democratic Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado, who [is serving] as an impeachment manager […] this year, speaking on Wednesday..
REP. DIANA DEGETTE: [00:48:32] Just over a year ago, I stood right there, where you’re standing today, as we took the solemn step of impeaching the president of the United States for pressuring a foreign leader to take unlawful actions to help him in his reelection. And now, just one week ago, almost to the hour, I laid right there, on the floor of the gallery above us. I heard gunshots in the speaker’s lobby. I heard the mob pounding on the door. And what they were trying to do, they were all an angry mob, incited by the president, trying to stop certification of a legitimate election. It’s clear the president learned nothing in the last year. Yesterday, the president said again he did nothing wrong. This man is dangerous. He has defied the Constitution. He has incited sedition. And he must be removed.
AMY GOODMAN - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: [00:49:29] President Trump now faces an impeachment trial in the Senate, which Republican leader Mitch McConnell has adjourned until January 19th, making it unlikely the trial will take place before Joe Biden is inaugurated.
For more, we’re joined by John Bonifaz, co-founder and president of Free Speech for People, co-author of The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump.
John, welcome back to Democracy Now! Can you talk about the significance of this second impeachment of Donald Trump and what it means and what will happen in the Senate?
JOHN BONIFAZ: [00:50:01] Thank you, Amy, for having me.
This is a significant, historic vote. The House of Representatives did its duty to pass this article of impeachment against Donald Trump for inciting insurrection, a violent, seditious attack on the U.S. Capitol to overthrow constitutional government. And as Speaker Pelosi said, he is a clear and present danger to the nation. He must be removed immediately. So, we do not accept the idea that Senator McConnell has put forward, that somehow the Senate cannot act immediately to hold this impeachment trial and convict and remove him. There is a procedure for enacting emergency rules to reconvene the U.S. Senate, and Senator McConnell ought to do that.
The fact of the matter is that members of the Republican-led Senate are responsible. Those who did not vote to convict last time are responsible, in part, for allowing this president to stay in office, someone who has clearly abused his power time and time again, leading to this violent attack on the U.S. Capitol just last week.
NERMEEN SHAIKH - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: [00:51:16] Well, John Bonifaz, I mean, it seems that McConnell is not likely to reconvene the Senate. Could you talk about what the significance and the effects, consequences, would be of impeaching a president, carrying out a trial in the Senate for a former president? What would be the consequences of that?
JOHN BONIFAZ: [00:51:41] Well, the consequences are that there is a basis for disqualifying a member of the public who has held public office before and has been convicted from ever running for office and holding office again. And that disqualification has to happen here. Not only should he be convicted for having engaged in this insurrection, inciting this insurrection, but he should be barred from ever holding future federal office. And that can happen even if he has already left office. And that’s significant because, of course, the president has said that he intends to consider running for office again, has suggested that he might run in 2024. And there’s no basis for him to be able to hold office again if he’s convicted. And, in fact, the 14th Amendment, Section 3, makes clear that anyone who is engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States may not hold public office in the future.
NERMEEN SHAIKH - HOST, DEMOCRACY NOW!: [00:52:50] Well, could you elaborate on that, John, the Section 3 of the 14th Amendment? In a recent piece in The Washington Post, American historian Eric Foner advocated invoking that section, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, as a more expeditious way of getting rid of Trump and also a more appropriate one. He wrote — and I’ll just quote very briefly — that “Invoking a constitutional provision meant to limit the political power of Confederate leaders would mark an appropriate end to the career of a president who so closely identified himself with the memory of the Confederacy and with a culture of White resentment.” John Bonifaz?
JOHN BONIFAZ: [00:53:35] I agree. I agree with Eric Foner and, in fact, you know, with respect to invoking this provision of the 14th Amendment. And, in fact, that provision is cited in the article of impeachment that the House of Representatives passed yesterday.
But it doesn’t mean that we only do that. We have to proceed with this impeachment trial. This president must be held accountable for the charges that have now been issued by the U.S. House of Representatives for inciting insurrection. And impeachment means anything. It means that this president be held accountable for his crimes, his high crimes that he has committed. So, I think we ought to make sure that the Senate does its job, that it holds this impeachment trial immediately, that it convicts and removes this president from public office, while at the same time invoking that provision of the 14th Amendment.
And frankly, it ought to be invoked not only against the president, but against those members of Congress who participated in seeking to overthrow a free and fair election last November. Even after this violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, you had 140 members of the U.S. House, you had seven members of the U.S. Senate, voting, after that attack, to overthrow this free and fair election. They participated in helping to incite this insurrection. They participated in spreading the big lie that somehow this was a fraudulent election. It was not. And the idea that they get to stay in office after having participated in that action is antithetical to our democracy, and to that provision of the 14th amendment.
JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: [00:55:27] We've just heard clips today, starting with At Liberty from the ACLU reacting to the actions of the President and the police on the day of the insurrection, Counterspin discussed in depth how different things would have looked if the mob had been anything other than white, It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders took a deep dive into the history of white moms in America, Democracy Now in two parts spoke with historian Timothy Snyder about the predictability of what will happen when a leader with a large following tells a big lie. We heard the message from Arnold Schwartzenegger comparing the insurrection to Kristallnacht. The Broadcast played highlights of the debate over impeaching Trump for the second time. And finally, we just heard a Democracy Now report on the most bi-partisan impeachment in history.
Now, we generally have bonus clips that only members hear, though I am forgoing that for today's episode along with foregoing any ads, as well. It's another reason why we are so grateful to our members who make it possible for us to do that when the need arises during times like these. What members did get this week was a round table discussion featuring Amanda, myself, and for the first time, our researchers Deon and Erin, as we worked to sort of process the past weeks. The reviews from members have been good so far, so you're definitely gonna want to check that out. To hear that and all of our bonus content delivered seamlessly into your podcast feed, sign up to support the show at bestof theleft.com/support or request a financial hardship membership because we don't make a lack of funds a barrier to hearing more information. Every request is granted, no questions asked. And now we'll hear from you.
Fear-anger and the capital - Alan from Connecticut
Hey, Jay it's Alan from Connecticut calling about episode 1333 in fear and anger. So I don't disagree with anything you've said and your process, and interesting enough with what's happened in the last week or a week ago with the Capitol -- storming of the Capitol.
You know, I, I somewhat agree with you. I assume that you're not angry at those people, because my thought and philosophy is they are following what their beliefs are. And they truly believe that the democracy has not been upheld and that corruption has occurred to have Biden be president. And thinking back four years ago, when Trump was announced the winner of the presidency, I know I was upset and disheartened and angry.
So I can justify their anger, fear and emotions, not their actions, obviously. But I can understand how they felt and I can understand, if you will, the way that they have followed blindly in the rhetoric that has been told to them that the people that would do that are also likely the people to smash windows, break doors, and maybe that's a stretch and maybe that's not fair, but, but that's the rationalization in my mind, you know.
I just think that, that we're all different types of people. And I think that certain types of people might be more politically inclined, one way or the other, just like they might be more inclined for certain jobs and positions. And that might also be the same type of people that followed that rhetoric and led to action.
There were certainly people that believed that as well, but did not go storming the castle. But I think those are kind of a different, different person.
So anyway, those are my thoughts. Love to hear what your thoughts are on that as well. Stay awesome. Keep wearing a mask and don't touch your face.
Conversing respectfully and the ammo shortage - Beth from Seattle
VOICEDMAILER: BETH: [00:59:43] Hi Jay, this is Beth from Seattle. I hope you are well. My first point is that I think that a couple of ideas touched on in the last few months struck me as especially important.
One was when you talked about Amanda's grandma. You talked about how she is such a sharp and good person, and also that she is from an era and a social context that has resulted in her having some less than progressive views. You talked about the importance of talking, and especially listening to people respectfully and in good faith, even though it may never result in agreement on certain issues. This was touched on again recently by Amanda, when regarding activism, etc. She made the point that one of the most important things progressives, and indeed others, though we can only control our own actions, can do is to reach across divisions in whatever small way we can. Obviously, this is not appropriate or useful in every situation but I think trying to identify when it is and being brave enough while retaining an attitude of good faith and respect, is more important than perhaps it's ever been.
I say this as someone who's only older sister, who happens to be one of the closest people to me in the world, has recently gone down the conspiracy rabbit hole. I don't need to elaborate on how troubling and depressing this is... and to be clear, she is a doctor of chinese medicine and truly a super smart and, at heart, good person. Until now she has been sort of more or less indifferent to politics and history, so I think that has definitely contributed to her susceptibility to the crazy misinformation industrial complex. Anyway, we continue to talk regularly and have soldiered through multiple stressful and difficult conversations. But regardless, I know we both maintain our love and respect for each other, and try to listen with openness, even when it feels a bit maddening. So, while there are several fronts that progressives need to coordinate and move on, I believe this is one that is important and undervalued. It's been shown time and again that it's much harder to hate and dehumanize someone you actually have connected with person to person.
The other point I just need to air is partly because I'm fully freaked out and unsure what to do. I happen to be a queer progressive biracial woman who advocates for reasonable gun ownership rights. I don't have time to go into the whole issue from my perspective, but let's just say it's good to be aware of the history of gun rights in this country, that understanding the value of having the means to defend oneself in a reasonable way hasn't always and doesn't have to be the sole domain of the right. I feel that if more women, if they wanted to of course, had facility with and ownership of firearms, the impunity with which predatory males feel they can act would be greatly reduced. That said, I wanted to sound a tiny alarm to you and all of your listeners that may not be on progressives' radar. I haven't even picked up my handgun or shotgun in years as my partner really hates guns. But yesterday, in a paranoid moment, I decided I should go ahead and buy some ammo---just in case. Well... there was none. 40 caliber and 12-gage shotgun rounds were sold out across the board in in-person stores and online alike, and I looked for awhile. Now, I did end up finding a box of highly overpriced 40-caliber ammo, but I am not exaggerating when I say this common caliber was sold out across the board.
I don't have to tell you all that this seems to me a gargantuan red flag in case we needed another one. I don't know what should be done with this information; I just thought this might be a "blindspot" for many progressives who might somewhat naively not be appreciating the terrifying nature of the current moment. Pelosi et al.are discussing impeachment and the most likely useless 25th Amendment, accountability for Trump and Cruz, etc. But there is a much bigger and more urgent problem here....
Ok well on that happy note, thanks for all you guys do, Jay, Amanda, and team. Love to you and be well.
The joys of sharing - Jon from Omaha, NE
VOICEMAILER: JON FROM OMAHA, NE: [01:03:19] Hey, Jay. So I've been listening for almost a decade now and taking selfies at my polling place, every election, wearing my Best of the Left hoodie since like 2014. Yeah, it's still my favorite article of clothing, even seven years later. So when it came to a super secret award, just for sharing the show, I eventually convinced myself I had to have it, whoever that last voicemail was from, who you bleeped for spoilers, which by the way is hilarious. I finally got me off my ass.
So thankfully I'm in medical school right now. I've been pretty vocal for the past couple of years with my preference for socialized medicine. So I have quite a few classmates and friends whom it was relatively easy to share the show with, and I'm confident it didn't change a single one of their opinions of me. Moreover, it even restarted a Left political chat with a good friend whom I haven't spoken to in a few years. He's a liberal working at a relatively high level for a centrist Republican, very conservative Southern state, as in, like, Trump +33 level conservative.
So anyways, we swapped a subscription recommendations. I obviously said Best of the Left which he remembered I definitely mentioned to him in the past. And he recommended Throughline, which I had heard of, but I'd never looked into. So anyway, long story slightly less long.
I appreciate you, keep up the good, admirable and exhausting work. I'll be throwing some more bucks your way once I'm done racking up my six figure student loans and hopefully start making a low six figure income.
Thanks for everything. Stay awesome.
Final comments on anger, conspiratorial thinking and secret artwork
JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: [01:04:51] Thanks to all of those who called into the voicemail line or wrote in their messages to be played as a VoicedMails. If you'd like to leave a comment or question of your own to be played on the show, you can record a message at (202) 999-3991, or simply write me an email to [email protected]
First to Allen. He is right. I am not mad at the protesters / mob / rioters. It makes sense to be mad at anyone who knows that the big lie about the election is a lie and anyone in power who may even believe that the big lie is true, but also has the responsibility as an elected leader or media personality or anything like that to work harder at not falling into conspiratorial thinking and actually saying what is true. You can also be upset at the platform, social media who have been amplifying extreme and conspiratorial thinking, buy leaning too heavily into their own internal optimistic thinking about the effect of their platforms while ignoring their responsibility to guard against inevitable negative consequences of their for-profit town squares, which they have effectively built that thrive on extremism.
It is not surprising in any sense of the word for anyone who knows how those platforms work, what kind of content on those platforms are most profitable, for us to see the results that we have seen based on messages and ideas and conspiratorial thinking being shared on those platforms. The people who get sucked into that conspiratorial thinking though deserve our pity and empathy at least to some degree, which brings us to Beth.
And here's my advice to Beth and anyone else dealing with people, friends, family, anyone like that, who has gone down the conspiratorial rabbit hole. Ask them this question, and maybe ask it as often as needed. "If what you believe to be true isn't true, how would you know?" The problem with conspiratorial thinking is that people end up in insular self-reinforcing loops of confirmation bias. They build these sort of mental walls around themselves that don't let in any information that doesn't conform to what they already believe. That's a phenomenon that we are all susceptible to, but conspiratorial thinking is that just ratcheted up to an extreme degree.
The thing to remember though, is that these people are usually just as committed to knowing the truth as anyone else. They don't believe that they've fallen for lies and misinformation. They think that they are doing their own research and coming to very rational conclusions. And so a question like "if what you believe to be true isn't true, how would you know?" it is known to be a good start to a conversation about having a conspiratorial thinker come to their own conclusion about their insular thinking. Because of that mental wall they have built, they can't be told from the outside that they are thinking in conspiratorial insular loops, they have to realize it themselves. And that question is a really great place to start to puncture that wall just enough so that they begin to question for themselves their own rationale for blocking off information that doesn't conform to what they already believe.
And some of them are to some degree aware that they are blocking off that information. If you see any of those interviews with any of the people who showed up on January 6th in DC, a lot of them will say very explicitly how they do not read the news or watch the news because they are convinced that those people are lying and they'll only believe the random ravings of people on their chosen social media feeds. So they are aware to some degree that they are insulating themselves, and so asking that question can help get them to think about that behavior in a slightly different light.
Now finally, onto our third caller, John, thanks, obviously for sending that in and for sharing the show with enough people to get your super secret Best of the Left artwork. John is not the only one to have been spurred to action by the allure of our super secret, Best of the Left artwork. In addition to Nick's message in which he tried to spoil it for everyone and I had to hold him back from that. But he is the first that I've heard so far who has rekindled old friendships just by sharing the show, so the benefits just keep coming. The artwork is great. The reviews have all been good so far. Everyone who's been sharing the show has been having positive experiences doing that, and it is super quick and easy to sign up and easy to do. So get all the information you need at bestoftheleft.com/refer, and that link is in the show notes right on your device...of course.
So as always keep the comments coming in at (202) 999-3991, or by emailing me to [email protected] That is going to be it for today. Thanks to everyone for listening. Thanks to Deon Clark and Erin Clayton for their research work on the show. Thanks to the Monosyllabic Transcriptionists Trio, Ben, Dan, and Ken for their volunteer work, helping to put our transcripts together. Thanks to Amanda Hoffman for all of her work on our social media outlets, activism, segments, graphic design, web mastering and on and on. And thanks of course, to those who support the show by becoming a member or purchasing gift memberships at bestoftheleft.com/support as that is absolutely how the program survives.
For details on the show itself, including links to all of the sources and music used in this and every episode, all of that information can always be found in the show notes on the blog and likely right on the device you're using to listen. So coming to from far outside, the conventional wisdom of Washington, DC. My name is Jay!, and this has been the Best of the Left Podcast coming to twice weekly, usually, though I gotta be honest this past week and a half or so has been tough. It feels like going back to the very beginning of COVID-19 lockdown, I've got insurrection brain. Things are foggy, it's hard to focus, it's hard to work, and I already explained to the members since they pay all of our bills, that we're reducing our schedule a little bit, or just giving ourselves a break and having it be a little bit more fluid as things continue to unravel here. And so we usually come to you twice a week, these days, a little bit less so, but hopefully that won't last for too long. So thanks entirely to the very understanding and supportive members and donors of the show as we come to you from bestoftheLeft.com.