Episode 152: Musical Chairmen

37 minutes

10/8/20--Only a week has passed since Steve, Jenn, and Stephanie gathered in the virtual pod studio, but so much has changed.

Of course, President Trump's positive COVID-19 test rocked the country and world, and the administration's ever-changing reports on the timeline of Trump's infection have left Americans wondering when he was officially infected and who else (besides the at least 34 staffers who've been identified as COVID-positive) might have the contagion.

This fate is not entirely surprising, as Trump and his administration have repeatedly flouted guidance put forth by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the CDC, and the WHO, often refusing to wear masks and social distance. As Steve puts it, "It comes down to the contempt that they showed for the science behind it, contempt for truth, contempt for verifiable, scientific facts, the things that we all know about how to avoid the virus.”

It seems to Steve that the White House mentality has almost become "an article of faith," that the thinking goes something like, "'We have to pretend that this thing isn’t happening. We have to pretend that it doesn’t exist. And, what’s more, if you think it does and you’re going to wear a mask and act responsibly, then there’s something defective about you.’”

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate stops by The Horse Race to talk about why he's running against incumbent Ed Markey. He says he is "concerned about the tone of our politics," and feels that Markey is more focused on "polarization and posturing than getting things done for the American people."

In a state made up of voters who, for the most part, oppose Donald Trump, O'Connor says he wants to remain upfront about who he's voting for, and that's Trump. “I’m not wearing a MAGA hat, but I’m voting for the president," for reasons that he describes as economics, community safety, and foreign policy.

"The economic growth that we’ve experienced as of the end of 2019 was great. It was historic in that it extended to the bottom 20% of earners for the first time in about 40 years," O'Connor says.

O'Connor also believes that if Amy Coney-Barrett is approved as a Supreme Court justice, the Senate should move ahead with her confirmation. "I don't like what happened with Merrick Garland," he says, referring to 2016 when Republican senators in February blocked the Obama-nominated Garland from being confirmed before the 2016 election in November. O'Connor would like to set up a mandatory retirement age for justices to prevent unforeseen events that can't be planned for.

Finally, we look ahead to 2022 with news of an upcoming challenge to Gus Bickford, chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. BIckford, a white man, will be contending with Bob Massie who has officially announced his candidacy, and likely with Mike Lake, who has not yet officially announced. Unless another candidate jumps in, the race will consist of three white men. Steve points to data collected exclusively at The Horse Race Data Analytics Headquarters showing that if either challenger were to win, they would be the second Michael or second Robert to hold this position.

“The leader at the top of the party doesn’t exactly reflect the changing makeup of the Democratic party," Stephanie says. Recent wins for the Democratic party in Massachusetts have largely been made by women and people of color.

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