Bush Funeral, NC Vote Fraud, Lame Duck Legislation, Khashoggi Killing, Trump and China

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This week’s show opens with Jay’s thoughts on the life and presidency of George H.W. Bush. Mike, who like Jay greatly admired Bush, adds that it wasn’t long after Bush left office that the GOP took a decisive turn toward a nastier, more in-your-face approach to politics that he thinks was a wrong turn for the party and the country.

After that comes a discussion of alleged absentee ballot vote fraud in North Carolina. Both Mike and Jay have concerns about it, with Mike pointing out that this isn’t the sort of fraud targeted by all of the Republican anti vote fraud measures of recent years. Mike argues that that’s because absentee voting tends to favor Republicans, and the whole vote fraud crackdown has been a cover for suppressing Democratic turnout. Jay disagrees, arguing that in-person fraud has been the initial focus because it’s easier to address. He adds that there should be less voting by mail, a position Mike strongly disagrees with, over concerns with unfair barriers to participation.

Then it’s a look at actions taken by the Wisconsin and Michigan lame duck Republican legislatures to limit the power of incoming Democratic officials. Mike says that this sort of kneecapping of the other party, while done by both sides, is done more by Republicans. Jay isn’t so sure, and doesn’t really buy Mike’s argument that this violates an important political norm.

Next is discussion of CIA Director Gina Haspel’s briefing to Senators about the involvement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Mike and Jay agree that the evidence seems compelling, but they disagree about what the consequences should be. Mike argues for cutting off all military aid and weapons sales to the Saudis, at least for a while, whereas Jay thinks that might be too damaging to the important US / Saudi Arabia relationship.

The show closes with the U.S. / China trade war. Once again, it seems that President Trump has overstated what he accomplished, with Jay pointing out that Trump’s injection of so much uncertainty into the trade relationship has been tough on businesses. The Guys also discuss what effect the arrest of the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei might have on U.S. / China relations.

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