Transcript

Bernie?[Listen]

Howard:
All right, Mark, we're back.

Mark:
Howard.

Howard:
Again with our friend and partner, the great James Schultz, former Associate Counsel to the president or whatever you were, Jim. What were you Jim?

Jim:
I was Senior Associate Counsel.

Howard:
Senior Associate Counsel. Of course, you were senior. So guys, I can't even go to London for a couple of days to see a client. I come back and Bernie Sanders has done a hostile takeover of The Democratic Party. As best as I can tell, the winner in this whole thing is Showtime. Because Showtime is guaranteed ... Whether it's Bernie or Trump for the next four years, they're guaranteed to be able to run another four years of our cartoon president. And no matter who it is. [crosstalk 00:01:04] none of them fits the bill.

Mark:
Yeah.

Howard:
Mark, what the hell is going on with your party?

Mark:
So let's back up a step. The convention is in July in Milwaukee. There will be a candidate nominated-

Howard:
Mark, stop.

Jim:
This sounds so much like 2016. [crosstalk 00:01:29] say the same thing.

Howard:
A socialist-

Mark:
And a sociopath. A socialist and a sociopath [crosstalk 00:01:39]-

Howard:
Forget about Bernie and Trump. Forget about that. I went on his Wikipedia page, on Bernie Sanders Wikipedia page the other day. It says Bernie Sanders-

Mark:
Were you applying for a job in his administration?

Howard:
I don't think so. It says Bernie Sanders has been a member of The Democratic Party since 2019, and was previously a member of The Democratic Party from 2015 to 2016. Need I say more? His Wikipedia page.

Mark:
He took a sabbatical. Everyone's entitled to time off. It is not as funny as we're making it seem. It's actually a very frustrating mess, because you have a clear majority. Any which way you count, you have a clear majority of what used to be The Democratic Party that favors a candidate other than Bernie. And we are on a path to nominating Bernie. And there are lots of reasons for that, but all of them are frustrating and probably unpreventable at this point.

Howard:
To my eye, I think he's a very effective campaigner, obviously he is.

Mark:
He is.

Howard:
And when he speaks he commands attention and he comes across as authentic and that's all good. But when you-

Jim:
When you embrace Fidel Castro, of course you're going to get attention.

Howard:
Right.

Jim:
I mean, come on!

Mark:
The late Fidel Castro please.

Howard:
If you actually read what the guy has written and said, he has literally written, he wants a second American revolution. I mean if you read his stuff, I'm not saying he can't win, I think he can beat Trump. But at what cost? Because the guy is a bonafide socialist. He wants to turn the United States of America into a kibbutz. Mark, how's that going to mesh with [crosstalk 00:03:48]-

Mark:
His father was a Holocaust survivor, so he comes by the kibbutz part honestly, at least. And he is out of sync with a majority of the party. But Howard and Jim, he may not be out of sync with a majority of the country. He may be, we don't know. I'm sorry to say, we may find out, but let's just break it down if we may into pieces. We've got to see what happens next. Because he is clearly on a path to get a plurality of the delegates. It is very likely, certainly more likely than not, that he gets a plurality. It's also more likely than not that he does not get a majority.

Mark:
And if we can possibly achieve something even more troublesome than nominating Bernie in the primaries, it will be not nominating Bernie at the convention by taking it away from him.

Jim:
I think the mainstream Democratic Party's come into Bernie though. They're embracing the green new deal in Congress. They're embracing Medicare for all in Congress. They're embracing everything the squad is looking for in Congress. Majority of folks in Congress are for the green new deal. Majority of the Democrats in Congress. Mark, where's your party going here?

Mark:
Jim, great again talking points. Well done, well-Rehearsed. But Jim, you know that Medicare for all does not have the support of a majority of Democrats in the house. It does not have the support of a majority of Democrats in the Senate. It ain't happening even if Bernie-

Jim:
What about the green new deal Mark?

Mark:
Green new deal is something that a lot of people have-

Jim:
That's fine. Like talking all the way around this one. I can't wait.

Mark:
Conceptually bought into. But it isn't a program. There's no legislation in there.

Howard:
You're squirming Mark.

Mark:
No. The party is in flux, but why is it then Jim, since you're an authority on the Democrats apparently-

Jim:
No. I'm just watching as a spectator.

Mark:
Well, why is it that if you add up all the other candidates, they're way beyond half of the people who have come out to vote. But no denying that this party is looking for a leader and the one thing that Bernie is, give him his due, he is a leader. He may be lead in his movement off a cliff, but people are lining up to follow the man. He is as Howard was saying a minute ago, he is a heck of a candidate. He is Trump-like in that he has the attention and affection and following of his followers.

Jim:
Mark, you and I were there last year and I can't believe I could say this. I was at The Democratic Convention with Mark doing some TV last year. You could feel it outside that stadium. The anger. The Bernie supporters, they felt that got burned. And now they're just all coming back to roost. Isn't that what's happening now?

Mark:
A couple of things are happening. First of all, you didn't have to go outside the hall, it was happening inside the hall.

Jim:
You're right Mark. It was.

Mark:
We were sitting [crosstalk 00:07:28]-

Howard:
Second of all, I can guarantee you that Mark felt more out of place in Cleveland at the Republican Convention than you did in Philadelphia at The Democratic Convention.

Mark:
Yeah. Among other things Jim, we appreciate you coming to our convention, but it was a mile and a half from your house, okay?

Jim:
It's true.

Mark:
I had to go to Cleveland. But yeah, the party is in flux from the debacle of 2016. And sure, the Bernie people are passionate. The Bernie people are committed. The Bernie people are organized. The Bernie people are focused, and no one else is. To me this is not so much an ideological majority of the party seeking a second American revolution as it is a substantial minority of the party being much, much, much better at this campaign than anybody else.

Mark:
Unfortunately, there has been a failure of leadership on the part of the center. And maybe that changes in South Carolina, maybe not. Unlikely to change on super Tuesday, but again, if you're looking ahead, I don't think he's going to the convention with a majority of delegates, and then it gets really bad for the Democrats, and Jim really better for your team.

Howard:
The fact that we're even having that discussion is disturbing.

Mark:
But Howard, I know I'm going to get mocked again for taking a step back, but I'm not that eager to be standing in the mess that you guys want me to be in the middle of. But something obviously Howard and Jim, is going on in this country. Because without my usual vitriol and venom, let's just stipulate that the election of Donald Trump as president was unusual. What has happened to the Republican Party under Trump has been a significant development in the history of that party.

Mark:
And now The Democratic Party is experiencing something equally unusual in the other direction. There's something going on out there.

Jim:
There is. Where are the new voters? Sorry Howard. I just read an article today talking about how Bernie had promised to bring all these new voters to The Democratic Party, and it was a left leaning article that said, "Look, that just isn't happening. He's not bringing new people." What do you think about that Mark?

Mark:
Well, I said it here last week, I'll say it again. The revolution hasn't arrived yet in the primaries. We have not seen in the turnout in the three races so far. All those promised revolutionaries turning out to vote. Now we're getting into states where the revolutionaries live, and we may see it. If we don't, then this is going to be McGovern like in November. If we do, you may get surprised and see a Sanders administration.

Mark:
Because again, you've got to look beyond the beltway. This is the beltway briefing, we're looking beyond it, something is going on out there. There are a lot of people who may or may not show up to vote for Bernie, but who are outside the system. Who are outside your party Jim, outside what's left of my party. And if they show up to vote, this is going to be quite an election.

Howard:
It's pretty obvious what's going on out there. It's both complex and simple at the same time. People are being displaced by technology, the economy's changing. And it's not just the US but every industrialized country hasn't been able to keep up, and people feel like they don't have a voice. And so when they have the opportunity and add to that, bailouts and bonuses from [crosstalk 00:12:14]-

Mark:
Howard, I was going to say, not your fault. Jim and I are very proud of your service, and you know, that's sincere. But there is a commonality on Bernie's side and Trump's side as you get towards the far extremes. There is a commonality that is a hangover from the recession-

Howard:
Definitely.

Mark:
... And a hangover from the bailouts, and a hangover from the fact that nobody went to jail. These guys, if you go far enough around the bend on each side actually meet on a lot of-

Howard:
Yeah, no question.

Mark:
Yeah.

Howard:
No question. We're still in the middle of the political workout, and clearly we're not done yet. But Mark, the difference between Trump and Bernie is yes, from a personality perspective and on maybe a couple of issues, Trump has made the Republican Party come to him. But Trump is just about Trump, and we know he's not really a Republican, he saw an opportunity, he was willing to adopt the Republican position on conservative judges, for example, and come to the Republican Party. And he's just a vessel for the things that the conservative Republicans want to see.

Howard:
Bernie isn't coming to The Democratic Party, and he's ideological. It's not about Bernie egotistically. It's about Bernie philosophically. And philosophically, he believes in communal living, he believes in Fidel Castro and Russia.

Mark:
He believes in Obama's [crosstalk 00:14:20] key policy, and maybe there's commonality between Trump and Bernie on the Soviet union too. It's now Russia of course, but, they both seem to have something going on there.

Mark:
But, let's just take a deep breath, okay? Let's just take a deep breath. He's not the nominee yet. He may be. He's certainly the favorite. There is no denying that. He is the favorite because he is focused, he is organized, he is well funded, he has revolutionized, there has been a revolution, he has revolutionized fundraising in the presidential sweepstakes on the democratic side.

Mark:
What happens from here to there is critical. Because, if the guy you read about on the Wikipedia page is the nominee of the party, if there isn't a revolution, there isn't going to be a Sanders administration, that's for sure. Because the middle of the party and the middle of the country are not signing up for that. Let's see who Bernie looks like if he gets that far. The guy-

Jim:
Hey Mark-

Mark:
... Obviously really wants to be president. He's literally risking his life to be president. We'll see what he is willing to do [crosstalk 00:15:51]-

Jim:
Look at Mark bringing up his health now. Anything he can do. So Mark, what do you think [crosstalk 00:15:57]-

Mark:
I think he and [crosstalk 00:15:58] should do pushups. I think the vice president had the right idea.

Jim:
So what do you think about the impact of a Bernie candidacy has on these Trump leaning democratic congressional districts, house districts where you have Democrats sitting in them and Trump won them in 2016. How do you think that impacts those districts?

Mark:
I don't think Bernie is good for the down ballot races if he's the Wikipedia page Bernie. Let's see. Let's see if the party can possibly organize itself behind him. If he is the nominee. You guys are missing my fear. I fear a Sanders nomination by the rules less than I fear Bernie going to the convention with 38% of the delegates. The next guy, Biden or Buttigieg or whomever have a 19% and the convention taking it away from him. That to me, is the end of The Democratic Party.

Jim:
That's a gift. That's a gift for the Republican one.

Mark:
Absolutely. End of The Democratic Party-

Jim:
If that happens. People stay home.

Mark:
Yeah. That's my fear. I'd rather take my chances with a legitimate Sanders by the rules, he went out and won it nomination, than the party taken it away from him at the convention, and-

Howard:
You're being too pure.

Mark:
Why? I want to win.

Jim:
No. I think you get in places like Pennsylvania, I think Mark is definitely onto something here, because I think if it's stolen away, there's a certain segment of the population that's not going to be energized for Bernie. Certain segment of the democratic population. We can all agree to that.

Mark:
Yeah, yeah.

Jim:
Maybe one of them. I think you have a worse situation where you have an election stolen away from Bernie at the convention-

Mark:
Absolutely.

Jim:
And now you have all these folks that were energized behind him. Just-

Mark:
They don't show up-

Jim:
... Washing their hands of the Democratic Party-

Mark:
Yeah, they don't show up.

Jim:
And staying home.

Mark:
I think-

Jim:
In places like suburban Philadelphia-

Mark:
Massacre.

Jim:
Centre City, Philadelphia, that's where they need to get votes in order to win Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is the Keystone state to this election.

Howard:
No way they win Pennsylvania-

Mark:
Jim, I agree. That's what I'm trying to say. Again, how we get from here to there really matters a lot, and there's a chance he just wins the damn thing. In which case we'll find out if there's a revolution or not. There's I think equally good a chance that it gets taken from him and then there is no party. And there goes the house, because you were asking about those districts. Bernie plays better in those districts as the legitimate nominee of the party than does anyone else they give it to. So let's see. It's very perverse.

Mark:
I'm rooting for somebody to knock him off, but what I'm certainly not rooting for is for somebody to take it away from him.

Howard:
So what's going to happen tonight? Tonight's the pre South Carolina super Tuesday debate-

Mark:
Yeah. Smack down.

Howard:
Are they going to kneecap him?

Mark:
They've got to. Everybody on that stage has got to slow Bernie down or they got no future. I expect all the artillery to be aimed in Bernie's direction. It'll be entertaining. It won't be especially good for the party, but let's see. There's just some interesting-

Howard:
Maybe it'll be. You can't let perfect be the enemy of the good.

Mark:
No, no, no. We'll see. We'll see. The crazy thing out there is that the fantasy of Mike Bloomberg being the salvation of the party seems to be slipping away. Joe could come back. Joe needs to survive the debate. He needs to win South Carolina by five, six, seven points maybe. Maybe that happens and then maybe he's competitive. Amy's got to go home. Tom's got to go home. It's hard to send Pete home since he has done very well, but there's no path for Pete.

Mark:
So that leaves Howard, I guess your second favorite candidate. Elizabeth and Bernie, how do you personally rate two of your favorite people? She could actually be the unity candidate in this ... I was going to violate the censorship rules, it's been characterize the party. But in this best up party.

Howard:
That clearly isn't going to happen because she's gotten no traction, very little traction. She hasn't shown up. I mean it's-

Mark:
I agree. I don't think it's happening.

Howard:
One thing that struck me is you really have to drill down. Look, I'm always a fan, when we're out talking to the people in government, you also have to read what they actually say, and not just by the headline that's put out on them. I think, if you go and read Bernie's green new deal issue section on his website, it's impressive. It's very detailed. I think that's an issue. I don't think all of these issues are created equally. Medicare for all is a BS issue. That's never getting through Congress. I don't care if you have a democratic Congress, it's not getting through Chuck Schumer.

Mark:
Right. I agree. Right.

Howard:
So, that's a BS issue and there's virtually nothing on his website on that, but the green, new deal, A, I think that could be a winning political issue. There are a tremendous number, particularly of younger Republican voters Jim, who care greatly about climate change. That issue polls the emergency of climate change, at least as I see it, holds very, very well in certain parts of the Republican Party. It's not just a democratic issue. I think that's an issue where Bernie Sanders could generate a lot of appeal in a general election.

Jim:
The counter to that though, is how did Trump win Pennsylvania the last time? And Ohio the last time? In Pennsylvania and Ohio, you are sitting on one of the largest gas reserves in the world. To say as part of that deal, he's going to ban fracking, he might as well just forget about Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Howard:
True.

Jim:
So how do you win a presidency without [crosstalk 00:23:19]? I don't know how you do it.

Mark:
It depends who votes, okay? Trump didn't win Pennsylvania simply by turning out every angry white guy in the state, although he did do that. He also won Pennsylvania because Hillary couldn't turn out the African American population in Philadelphia. Hillary couldn't turn out the younger generations of voters. And now we're back to the revolution. I believe-

Howard:
See, the Democrats are really, sorry, Mark, but really screwing themselves because, one of my thoughts all along has been if you get a moderate, like a Joe Biden, "moderate," none of them are moderates. But if you get a rational person that can work with both sides of the aisle through the nomination, then maybe somebody that you know is going to siphon off votes from Trump runs as an independent and kneecaps Trump politically from that perspective, thereby guaranteeing a win for whoever the Democrat is in a general.

Howard:
But that isn't going to happen. I mean, maybe that's a pipe dream anyway, but it isn't going to happen. No one's gonna do that if it's Bernie Sanders. No-

Mark:
Sounds right.

Jim:
That's right.

Howard:
Yeah. Nobody's [crosstalk 00:24:46]-

Jim:
Sounds right.

Howard:
People are not gonna want to take out Trump if it's ... They're going to hold their noses as I saw a corporate leader quoted the other day, "I'll hold my nose and vote for Trump."

Mark:
Yup.

Howard:
A Democrat. People are just aren't going to accept this guy in the White House.

Mark:
Well, we will see. Again, we're back to it depends on whether the revolution arrives or not. Certainly a lot of Democrats are staying home. I don't know that they actually vote for Trump, whomever you read about says he will, she will. Ethan Alderman I'm always citing as our most loyal listener, he's staying home. He's not voting for Trump, he's not voting for Bernie. He lives in New York so we can spare his vote.

Mark:
Remember Jim, 2016 I remember standing with you the night before the election in front of the map. I remember saying, your party had served up the dream candidate for even Hillary Clinton to take down, and we all know by morning that that hadn't happened. Be careful what you wish for is my message to The president and all of his tweeting about the party, not taking it away from Bernie.

Mark:
You know him, you get to talk to him, Jim. Does he actually think he's fooling anybody? He doesn't really think anybody believes that he's worried about it being taken away from Bernie for any reason other than he wants to run against.

Jim:
I firmly believe that he doesn't fear any of these candidates at this point in time. I just don't, but at the same time, he's a guy who likes to stir the pot. He's stirred on the pot, and the Democrats are making it easy for him.

Mark:
We don't need a pot stirring. Tell him the next time you see him that we're taking care of the pot all by ourselves.

Jim:
He's stirring the pot.

Mark:
Tell him to save it for the general. We're doing all the pot stirring that the party needs right now. But again, I got mocked for starting with Milwaukee in July long time and we just got to see what happens next. I'm repeating myself when I say that how this plays out is as important as who ends up at the end with the nomination. And-

Howard:
Can you imagine-

Mark:
... And I don't have any great confidence it's going to play out well by the way.

Howard:
Can you imagine the bloodbath, the first midterm election bloodbath for the Democrats if Bernie or the president I mean ...

Mark:
Sure. We just saw the first midterm under Trump.

Howard:
Yeah.

Jim:
At the end of the day, that wasn't ... At least the House of Representatives was not insurmountable coming up in 2020. So, it was not the 2010 wave that we saw the Republicans then. I feel pretty good about Congress going in 2020, especially with them at the top of the [crosstalk 00:28:18]-

Mark:
Well, it's not 2010, because you've had a decade of gerrymandering and voter suppression, so you're in better shape-

Jim:
Come on Mark. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania drew the lines here, re-drew the lines here, and let's not say that was fair or nonpartisan. We can debate on another show.

Mark:
I thought they did a pretty good job.

Jim:
Yeah, it worked out really well for you.

Mark:
They did a nice job.

Jim:
It worked out really well for you.

Mark:
I was proud of them. I thought they did a nice job.

Jim:
Of course you are.

Mark:
Yeah. One thing I keep coming back to this convention because it is after all how we pick our nominee, you guys know as veterans of conventions, Jim, you were part of it. And Cleveland, I watched you do it. The very first thing that happens is the convention adopts a set of rules, and that's where this is all going to come down. If Bernie gets there with 42% of the delegates, he only needs to find another 8%, 9% on the rules vote to get rid of the superdelegates on the second ballot. And then it is upside down, inside out and he wins.

Mark:
Again, how this happens is going to be fascinating.

Howard:
So we've got the ultimate capitalist in Michael Bloomberg running against the ultimate socialist in Bernie Sanders.

Mark:
Well, I think the ghost of Eugene Debs would disagree with that. Although Eugene Debs is Bernie's hero.

Jim:
The ultimate capitalists that keeps apologizing for everything that he's done for capitalism, and in addition for everything he's done for law enforcement and other things. When you come out, well you don't come out swinging, but you come out apologizing, it doesn't make for a successful-

Howard:
Spoken like a true Trumpster.

Mark:
Right. Yeah, Jim. You can give them a call. There's a debate in a couple hours. Can you get to Bloomberg and just for the entertainment value of it, tell him to stand his ground.

Jim:
My prediction is he's going to go so over the top tonight to try to be on offense-

Howard:
Yup.

Jim:
... That it's going to be so disingenuous no one believes it. I mean, I think he's going to go the other way and he's going to look even worse.

Howard:
[crosstalk 00:30:54] I think that's plausible.

Mark:
And that's okay. Because again, if he isn't going to consolidate the moderates and compete with Bernie, let's just get him out of the way. Mike Bloomberg showing up in Milwaukee with 20% of the delegates is exactly the scenario I'm saying is going to be a disaster for this party. If somebody isn't going to compete, they they really need to stand down. Starting I think was with Amy and Tom.

Mark:
I guess they go through South Carolina, but you know, they Klobuchar campaign, and you guys know that I'm a fan and have done what I could along the way to help her, but the Klobuchar campaign, the campaign manager, our friend, our Justin Buoen, put out a memo today that NBC somehow ended up with, talking about their Super Tuesday strategy and the $4.55 million ad buy they have done for Super Tuesday. Which is the amount of money that Mike Bloomberg is spending Jim, in Delaware County in Pennsylvania.

Jim:
That's right. I was going to say that's what he's spending in a congressional [crosstalk 00:32:24] no doubt.

Mark:
Yeah. Not even the whole district. Just the County. So she's done.

Howard:
Meanwhile, back at the ranch Jim, you've got Kudlow and Trump declaring that the Corona virus will be fully contained and disappear on its own. And you've got the CDC issuing an all points bulletin that we should all shelter in place and hide for the next six months all at the same time.

Jim:
Go figure. The bureaucracy is saying the sky is falling, and Trump is saying everything's okay. And somewhere in the middle is probably where this thing lands and I think it's probably closer to what Trump is saying. It's so easy for somebody to come out and say the apocalypse is coming, and without any appreciation for the consequences to that, Trump has a right to be mad at those folks. He has a right to be upset with the CDC and the way they've handled it.

Howard:
Are you basing that on your extensive medical education, Jim?

Jim:
Really, we're going to prognosticate. The CDC is all ... The bureaucracy's always right? Is that what you're saying Howard?

Howard:
No, no, no, no.

Mark:
No.

Jim:
Maybe you word it too long [crosstalk 00:33:42]-

Mark:
I don't know. I think if you add up all the years in government-

Jim:
It might be the administrative state.

Mark:
You didn't know Howard was a charter member of the deep state, Jim? Howard is such a deep state guy.

Jim:
I don't use the deep state.

Mark:
So Howard, let me ask you a question. I'm going to play moderator for a minute. You have talked a lot and very knowledgeably about the markets, and the markets are future looking and the markets don't like uncertainty. Well the markets are siding with the CDC, that's pretty clear. What are they telling us? What is happening?

Howard:
They're anticipating economic decline. An economic decline. A decline in corporate earnings, because there isn't going to be as much economic activity, which is why the market's down. I mean some of it is obviously psychological, but it's not just psychological, it's somewhat scientific in the sense that it's actually based on a forecast, the decline in corporate earnings, which is very foreseeable based on what's going on.

Howard:
I don't know whether this thing is going to die out or not, nobody knows. If we knew the answer to that, we wouldn't be doing this for a living. But the market clearly sees some decline in corporate profits and that's what it's reacting to.

Mark:
This will surprise you Jim, because we know I blame everything on Trump and I have evidence by the way, to back up most of it, but it's not-

Howard:
You and Adam Schiff.

Mark:
He's not responsible for the Coronavirus. And I would rather have the coronavirus not destroy the world economy and Donald Trump get reelected than the opposite. But it is an X factor in this election. I hope not for everybody's sake. The economic fortunes and the lives obviously, but it is an X factor. It is a Black Swan potential, and who knows Why anybody would think Bernie's better able to deal with it-

Jim:
Right. I don't know why it's all of sudden socialism's going to solve that problem.

Mark:
No. You and I know that-

Jim:
... With apocalypse.

Mark:
When things are not going well, people throw the bums out and they'll try anything. I even I am rooting for Trump not to go down because of a pandemic, but a couple more days like the last two and I think some people who were lukewarm about Trump are going to be shaking their heads. Then we get back to the alternative and what a world.

Howard:
Also, China is already shut down to a significant degree. So some of this is, well, we're going to see a prolonged economic shutdown. I mean we're already seeing the effects. It's going to continue. Who knows what's in store for us? But you've got Europe. Although Mark, I think legitimately some of the Monday morning less the Tuesday market reaction. But I think some of the Monday morning market reaction was also Bernie.

Mark:
Interesting. Okay. Interesting. But that means that-

Jim:
Very insightful.

Mark:
That means there's concern that he could actually win this thing. I would think that the wizards of Wall Street, of whom I am most certainly not one, I would think the wizards of wall street would want Bernie running against Trump.

Jim:
Yes. Well no, I don't think Wall Street-

Mark:
If you want Trump to be president, you probably want Bernie to be the nominee ...

Howard:
No, no. If you're on wall street, you don't want to even play with that fire.

Mark:
Okay, fair enough.

Howard:
Bernie Sanders is so bad for the financial service's sector, even Elizabeth Warren, you'd rather have her than Bernie Sanders. I mean, no. You don't play with that [crosstalk 00:38:34]-

Jim:
Yeah. I'll take that from the former treasury official, right?

Mark:
Well that sounds right. To think about Bernie, Bernie and Elizabeth Sanders are not the same candidate. That's the point that you were making Howard and that it is true. She at least stands up there and says she's a capitalist. She at least stands up there and says that billionaires should exist. There should just be fewer of them and they should pay higher taxes. Bernie doesn't say either of those things.

Howard:
I know you don't think Mark that his personality is as divisive as the guy in the White House-

Mark:
Oh no, no, I do. Oh no.

Howard:
Okay.

Mark:
Well no, no, I agree with you. Nothing's as bad as what we got.

Howard:
I know you don't think that.

Mark:
Bernie's got my vote.

Howard:
He's incredibly divisive. He wouldn't be a friend to either of the major parties, and if he actually got the White House, I think that it would be bad policy with a bad guy all at the same time.

Mark:
All kidding aside, policy aside, what I object to most about the Sanders candidacy is exactly what you just said. He is an excessively divisive figure. He is pitting people against people, Americans against Americans. He is almost the match of the incumbent in doing that, and that ain't going to do this country any good. We got to move to the middle, not to further division. And that's why again, X of policy apart from the policies that he can't implement any way as we were saying earlier, putting more division in the mix is just a tragedy for this country.

Howard:
If-

Jim:
He will test executive power like no other president-

Howard:
Oh my God.

Jim:
And while we can [inaudible 00:40:56] like Obama. Executive power started expanding in Bush, it continued to expand in Obama. And now same thing with Trump, no doubt about that. But I think he will try to expand executive power in a way that we have never-

Howard:
I totally agree. Don't conflate personality, and you can do whatever you want, but I'd suggest you think about not conflating the president's personality, which-

Mark:
It isn't his personality, but I take your point. Bernie will test the limits of presidential power on policy matters in a way that Trump hasn't yet.

Jim:
But on policy matters more than-

Mark:
You can't possibly-

Jim:
It's fundamentally different from what this country was founded upon.

Mark:
On rule of law, issues, you can't possibly take a more extreme view of executive power than the president and his attorney general have taken.

Howard:
That's not exactly the power, you're talking about rule of law. You're talking about the law.

Jim:
You're conflating two things here Mark. The fact that he's going to use executive power to advance socialism in this country, it will be something that we've never seen before. Nd worse yet, perhaps communism in this country. Something we've-

Howard:
It's so much fun, we're ganging up on Mark [crosstalk 00:42:27]. It's so much fun.

Mark:
[crosstalk 00:42:29] within Howard, we know that. You're not a Trumpster.

Howard:
One of our colleagues, the great Alex Camp this morning called me a chameleon. So, guilty. I'm a chameleon.

Mark:
Not in this podcast.

Jim:
Well, no one's ever going to question that she is absolutely [crosstalk 00:42:49].

Mark:
Yeah, yeah.

Howard:
All right guys.

Mark:
Well, always guys. I'm bringing Patrick Martin to the next podcast.

Howard:
Well, Mark, as I recall, you're so disgusted with the state of politics that you're leaving the country for Super Tuesday.

Mark:
I am leaving the country for South Carolina and Super Tuesday. I'd say 60/40, it's still more likely than not that I come back. But we'll see. Depends on the primaries and the weather.

Howard:
So Jim, Patrick and I are going to argue in your place next week, how about that?

Mark:
I appreciate that.

Howard:
Unless you want to do this podcast from wherever you're going?

Mark:
I'll get back to you on that, okay?

Howard:
Okay.

Jim:
He's going to pass. No question on that.

Howard:
Thanks for listening everybody, and you can watch the debate and see if we got it right or wrong.

Mark:
Pod bless America.

Howard:
Bye.