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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, November 13, 2020

Guests: Jared Bernstein, Bernie Sanders, Jesse Wegman, Carol Anderson


The United States records 170,000 new COVID cases today. Lame-duck Congress wrestles with the need for a COVID rescue package. Interview with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) about what the Senate is doing amidst the pandemic. Judges blast Trump Campaign legal strategies in battleground states. Judge Alito delivers a highly partisan speech at the Federalist Society annual conference.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: She's the cutest thing ever. So, Morgan, happy birthday. You had a great birthday. We all had a great birthday for you. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" -- and everybody, have a fabulous weekend. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS" you get to watch it, you'll love it, it starts right now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, on ALL IN. The President emerges to bargain with his own defeat and surrender to the virus.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ideally, we won't go to a lockdown. I will not go -- this administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully, the -- whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell.

HAYES: Tonight, Biden advisor Jared Bernstein and Senator Bernie Sanders on getting America through this national emergency.

Then, the Trump campaign keeps losing in court, as the electoral map finally fills out.

TRUMP: 306 to 223. That's a pretty good (INAUDIBLE)

HAYES: And you'll be the judge. Is it a rare public address from a Supreme Court justice or an audition for Fox News?

SAMUEL ALITO, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: You can't say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Until very recently, that's what the vast majority of American spot. Now, it's considered bigotry.

HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I'm Chris Hayes. Another day of records. States reported a record of 1.7 million tests, 170,000 cases. That basically breaks the graph on that chart that we use from the COVID-19 tracking folks. And most worryingly, 69,000 hospitalizations, now, 9000 above the all-time record that was sent earlier -- sent earlier this year. Also, 1,300 people die because deaths are going up because deaths always go up after cases as we have seen time and time and time again.

Because we knew this was coming because we've seen the fires raging out of control. And here's the thing. We're on our own. You, me, the American people, and our local leaders, Republican and Democrat, at every level of government, on our own. As the virus tears across the country setting new records day by day, threatening hospital systems coast to coast, we are seeing urgent distress signals being sent out from people at the heart of the crisis, all kinds of people from all walks of life from all over the country.

The Mississippi State Health Officer says there is not a single free Intensive Care Unit bed in the capital city of Jackson as the state battles a surge of cases. Sara Newton, she's the chief medical officer of the hospital in tiny Layton, North Dakota, population 997. She told The Washington Post, she saw Coronavirus cases begin surging in late September and October. And on some days, ill patients filled the hospital. "I felt so emotionally overwhelmed by what I was seeing. I felt like I was screaming into a void. I was drowning in my own hospital."

In Oklahoma City, Medical Director David Chansolme recorded this snapshot of what it's like in his hospital right now.


DAVID CHANSOLME MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF INFECTION PREVENTION, INTEGRIS SOUTHWEST MEDICAL CENTER: Hospitals are getting fuller and fuller and fuller. The ICU is full and all of our facilities. So, this is one of our younger patients here in the hospital. She's been here for five days. So, what's been the toughest part of all this?


CHANSOLME: Breathing? OK.

All right, here we are in the intensive care unit taking care of the COVID patients for what is again, a very full unit.


HAYES: Amidst this obvious nationwide crisis, there are some local officials that are just shrugging their shoulders and carrying on. Like, for instance, Republican Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota who remains steadfast against any preventative measures like mask mandates or lockdowns as her state suffers not just one of the worst outbreaks in the country, one of the worst in the world in the history of the pandemic.

But there are many others, again, both Democrat and Republican, from the mayor of El Paso, to the governor of Utah, to the mayor of Chicago that are attempting to thread and impossible needle. Stopping the spread of the virus would require dramatic action, closing certain businesses like bars, and gyms, probably ending indoor dining, just to begin with.

But doing that would likely kill off thousands of the small businesses that have managed to survive this far. Because crucially, there's no federal aid coming. And so instead, these local officials are taking these half measures, closing restaurants, bars, and gyms at 10:00 p.m. in New York, which we know are not going to stop the virus and may not even save the businesses in the end if the situation spirals out of control again, and we all have to just shut it all down.

I mean, if things get bad enough, and the hospital systems truly begin to meltdown, going back to shelter in place will be the only remaining option. And nobody wants to do that. But I got to say, just talking to you with a little bit of experience now covering this, people should probably start preparing for that possibility. The only way to solve this problem right now is with national federal leadership.

The Republican mayor of El Paso put it plainly, we need more help -- he's a Republican -- from the federal government to protect public health. But of course, that's not forthcoming because the head of the federal government has been soaking and losing his mind on Twitter since losing the election. He made his first public remarks in seven days this afternoon practically boasted about how he has no plan to do anything about the spread of the virus in the immediate future.


TRUMP: This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully, the -- whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration will be, I guess time will tell. But I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown. There won't be a necessity. Lockdowns cost lives and they cost a lot of problems. The cure cannot be -- you got to remember. It cannot be worse than the problem itself. And I've said it many times.


HAYES: Nine months into this, and this utter fool, this loser fool still doesn't understand there are things between just do nothing and let the wave of death wash over the nation and shutting down. Joe Biden urged the president to do something today, writing in a statement, "I am the president-elect, but I will not be president until next year. The crisis does not respect dates on the calendar, it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration, starting with an acknowledgement of how serious the current situation is."

Now, the President and his allies don't seem to have any interest in heeding the call. Get this. This is -- this is really the most revealing detail. In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, what is he up to? Well, he's just lining up votes on judges. That's what he's doing instead of working on a relief package. Maybe he'll vote for judges on the day we hit a million new cases. Wouldn't that be a great day?

At a certain level, this all of course, makes sense. It was eminently predictable. From the beginning, Donald Trump has seen the virus as a political problem to be managed in terms of his reelection. And I got to be honest, his approach to downplay it, to tell people not to let it dominate their lives, I think it had some real appeal in political upside because no one wants to shelter in place. No one wants their lives disrupted. It's absolutely brutal.

And so, a lot of people went back to normal, particularly in states governed by Republicans who push that line. And that normal, that made things feel like we had turned the corner, we've sort of gotten over it. And it probably redounded to the electoral benefit of the Republican Party in a lot of places. And then the election happened and now we're seeing the price of that normal.

Just since Election Day, more than 11,000 people have died. And Republican federal leadership just nowhere to be found because the elections over. They don't care anymore. In fact, they care so little, this is what Senator Rick Scott of Florida was up to today, speaking at a packed indoor rally in Georgia, campaigning for the runoff elections there. That's what they care about now, the next election.

They have basically abandoned the country to the virus. But unfortunately, even if the President's fee-fees are hurt, and all Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans care about our winning run offs, and packing the courts with more judges before Trump leaves, the federal government is the only game in town for providing what we need.

Businesses are going to close, people are going to lose their jobs. People are going to run out of money. People are going to get sick. More people are going to get sick. Hospital systems will meltdown unlike anything we've seen before. And too many people are going to die. We need help now. And the incoming Biden administration is calling for fiscal relief.

One of the President-Elect's chief economic advisors during his time as Vice President, Economist Jared Bernstein, he now serves as an advisor on the Biden-Harris transition team, and he joins me now. It's great to have you, Jared.

It's very dire circumstances under which I'm speaking to you. So, let's just put aside the politics for a second, right. So, I'm just going to give you a magic wand. What do we need from the federal government right now if you Jared Bernstein, if an incoming Biden administration had its way?

JARED BERNSTEIN, ADVISOR, BIDEN-HARRIS TRANSITION TEAM: Well, you keep saying this word right now, and that is so key. This economy is at such a precarious point. And you've done a great job of teeing up both the economic suffering and, of course, the health care suffering that is so closely connected to that.

So, the idea that we must act quickly, and as you've heard the President-Elect say, get to work in the lame-duck session to address both the health crisis and the economic crisis to which it's related, couldn't be more urgent. Working families, working parents, small businesses, state and local governments need help and they needed fast.

And you said something else that I don't want to let slip by. The federal government is the -- is the one institution that can do this right now. First of all, when it comes to controlling the virus, you've heard the President-Elect say many times, control a virus, a robust economic recovery will follow. And the idea that those two are somehow in competition is completely wrong. In fact, they're very complimentary to each other. It's not a choice. It's a sequence.

Secondly, the federal government can run budget deficits, state and local governments cannot. And the price of borrowing is so low right now that the return on investments for the kinds of investments that the president and vice president-elect want to make our way greater than the interest rate. And there is no business in America that would be able to resist a deal that says you can get a three, four, or five percent return on a one percent interest rate investment and ignore that. And yet precisely, that's what's happening as we speak.

HAYES: There are two pieces of economic data when you talk about precarious. And I think this is really -- this is part of the whole thing, right? Because I'm watching -- I'm watching these local officials make these torture decisions. They know they got to do something, but they don't want to destroy the 400 bars it managed to live this long. And so, they're making these ridiculous policy decisions that I totally understand. Oh, you'll close at 10:00, right.

Here's the consumer spending tracker from Chase. And I think this chart tells a really important story. Take a look at this. Now, you see, you know, when the virus hits, we go into lockdown, huge plunge in spending. It then rises, and then what's happening back at the end of that chart in November? It is headed back down.

To your point, people are going to start voting with their feet about whether they're going to go outside or not, right? So, under these conditions, like even in the absence of policy, we're going to see sales and businesses suffer.

BERNSTEIN: Correct. And this is my point about the complementarity, and the President-Elect makes this point every time he speaks about it -- by the way, so does Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell, that the complementarity between virus control and getting a sustainable economic recovery underway. It is not one or the other. It is not either, or it is both.

And by the way, you made another point that I want to make sure I underscore. It was one of the public officials you cited, I believe it was a Republican, saying, we need help, OK. So, the fact that the businesses and the families and the working parents are stuck where they are, is because the help that was provided early on, and they made such a difference to them, and helped generate some of the bounce-back that you showed in that slide, has clearly faded. This slide was very clear on this point.

And that's because we essentially need to revisit that kind of fiscal support to once again provide the families, the parents, the small businesses, the state and local governments with the help they need.

HAYES: So, then what -- so, now I'm going to take the magic wand back and ask about the politics here. I mean, did the Democrats -- should the Democrats have to cut a deal no matter what the cost? Did they -- was there a failure to negotiate this before the election? Was it a miscalculation? Is there any political leverage in a lame-duck to make this happen?

BERNSTEIN: First of all, I don't think -- I'm not going to relitigate a negotiation that was going on back then. And I think that there were good reasons for Democratic leadership to do what they did. What I will do is I will tell you that the President-Elect was on the phone yesterday with Democratic leadership.

And following that phone call, he put out a statement that underscored the urgent need for the Congress to come together in the lame-duck session in a bipartisan manner to pass a bill that has the very resources that we're talking about, to fight COVID, to provide relief for working families and small businesses to support state and local governments, to keep frontline workers on the payroll to deal with the uninsurance -- unemployment insurance issue, which by the way, we have 20 million people on unemployment insurance claims. Many of those folks are going to get kicked off those claims by the end of December when that fades if Congress doesn't act.

And so, the problem that we face is that the measures that were taken are fading out before the economy has come back in the context of a virus that is not getting any attention from Washington.

HAYES: All right, Jared Bernstein, someone I've known a long time, had a lot of respect for, and it's good to see you in the position you are now, Jared. Thanks a lot.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: In the 68 days remaining before Joe Biden is sworn in as president, Congress will need to act to save American businesses and American lives. Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is Chair of the Democratic Outreach Committee, and he joins me now.

And, Senator, I already know that you agree, you know, top line with Jared on this, right? So, the substance I think is very clear, and I agree with you on it as well. But what is -- what's going on in the Senate right now? Like, what is the political reality in the body of government that you are a member of?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Well, the political reality is that many of us understand that not only are we looking at an unprecedented pandemic today, caseload is higher than it has ever been, we are seeing millions and millions of people suffering economically in a way that we have not seen since the Great Depression.

So, Chris, what we're talking about his people who have no income, desperately trying to put food on the table for their kids, Jared mentioned, they don't have any health care, they're worried about being evicted. So, what we have got to do right now is to pass a strong COVID-19 emergency relief package.

And in my view, that means the $600 supplement to unemployment. It means at least a $1,200 check for every adult in America and $500 for the children. It means guaranteeing health care to all people who do not have health insurance right now in the middle of a pandemic. People are scared to death if they're going to get sick and they can't afford to go to a doctor. We've got to protect the cities and the states and the towns from the very serious financial problems that are facing today.

HAYES: Wait. But let me -- let me just -- let me just stop you right there, because, you know, Mitch McConnell better than I do. But, you know, I professionally cover Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell is not going to go for any that. The Senate Republican caucus is not going over that. And Lord knows that they could even get Donald Trump out of the White House sulking long enough to sign something. I mean, whatever happens is going to have to be a real half a loaf at this point, right?

SANDERS: Well, yes and no. I think the American people right now, as a result of this election, are aroused politically. And I think, notwithstanding what happens in Georgia where I pray that we can pick up two more seats and gain control of the Senate, notwithstanding that, the American people whether you're Democrat, Republican, progressive, conservative, you know what, they know that the federal government has got to act.

So, in addition to doing everything we can inside the beltway, to put pressure on McConnell and his colleagues, we have got to arouse the American people, including Republicans who are unemployed, who don't have any health care, can't feed their kids, to tell McConnell to act.

HAYES: I want to ask you about this dinner in the house. This is not the branch of Congress you serve in. There was this picture that went around today about a -- there's house freshman orientation, and I think they were planning on having a dinner indoors.

And the picture went around, and they said, well, the ventilation is good, and we talked to the physician. After that, they basically said, OK, fine, you know what, you guys are right. We're just going to do to-go. We're not going to have this dinner of people sitting at those tables. I think that's the right call.

I guess my question to you is, do people in D.C. understand how bad this is and how important it is for consistent messaging across the board, across parties and everyone, to the American people about ways to stay safe through this winter?

SANDERS: Well, of course, many of us do, some of us don't. I mean, obviously, the President of the United States is still walking out around people without a mask. You know, a week ago or two weeks ago, we were holding rallies where there was no social distancing. And I'm afraid that too many of my Republican colleagues share his views.

But I think if your point is that we have got to be a model to the country and practice what we preach, you're absolutely right.

HAYES: I want to ask you something about an interesting quote I saw from Charles Koch who, of course, is the very conservative billionaire donor, who has spent hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars, I don't know, over time -- it's hard to tally up -- on political interventions, on setting up right-wing think tanks, in Super PAC contributions and trying to keep Republicans in power, giving an interview, I think may be from a new book where he says he regrets his partisanship, which he says badly deepened divisions. And I'm going to read this quote for you. "Boy, did we screw up?" he writes in his new book. I'm just curious, as a frequent critic of Mr. Koch, your response to that.

Look, the Koch brothers, and their hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars helped create the right-wing extremism that we are seeing right now. I'm glad that Mr. Koch recognizes the error of his ways. But he is one of the wealthiest people in this country today. And I think rather than just talking the talk, if he really wants to make a difference, he could say, well, you know what, I'm going to start using my money -- I'm talking about a lot of money -- to bring about justice in this country. I made mistakes. And I apologize for that. And I'm going to start funding groups who believe in economic justice, social justice, racial justice, environmental justice.

That is an important way that he could undo the very, very serious damage that he did to this country. And I'll add something else to that. He was one of the people who took advantage of this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. It would be very, very helpful to this country if somebody like Mr. Koch came forward and said, you know what, I helped fund the effort to bring about Citizens United. That was a mistake. And I think we should rescind that decision. That would be a big help as well.

HAYES: I want to finished with a slightly strange question, but I'm asking anyway, which is what your mood is. You know, a lot of people have very strange and conflicted feelings about what we've witnessed. At one level, it felt like American democracy was hanging by a thread in a really existential sense. Joe Biden won by four and a half points in the national popular vote, a big electoral margin. That's a hard thing to do against an incumbent. And another, there was down ballot losses. The Senate is, again, 50-50 proposition going into Georgia. How do you feel about where we are right now?

SANDERS: I will tell you. Thanks for asking that, Chris. And maybe my views are a little bit different than others. To me, what the selection ultimately came down to was not Trump versus Biden, it really came down to whether we go into retain American democracy. And thank God, Biden won.

But anyone who was standing up now and jumping up and down and rejoicing, hey, we won, you're missing the point. We got a reprieve a tiny period of time in which we have got to ask ourselves, how does it happen that over 70 million people voted for somebody who does not believe in the rule of law or democracy.

So, what we need to do, Chris, is not do business as usual. We've got to develop strong grassroots movement. We got to be knocking on a lot of doors as soon as we can. We need an alternative media. We've got to be communicating with people who in most cases, are suffering economically, and give them once again, faith that the United States government can stand with them. Democracy is at stake.

HAYES: All right, Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you for making time tonight. I really appreciate it.

SANDERS: Thank you for having me.

HAYES: Coming up, the President is refusing to acknowledge results of the election as his campaigns desperate attempts have the courts -- to have the courts hand him a victory are falling apart. They're losing record just ahead.


HAYES: You've probably heard the phrase salting the earth. It's a phrase that comes from the Bible from the book of Judges in the Old Testament. After an Israelite king quelled rebellion in his own city, he punished his people by sowing salt into their land, rendering the earth useless for generations to come.

Then there's a real fear now that Republicans will essentially do the political version of that knowing that Joe Biden will soon be president. And we now have our first concrete example of it. It comes in the way of a nominee for the Federal Reserve Board named Judy Shelton. Now, Shelton was nominated all the way back in January, OK. And she is, to put it very gently, a crank.

She believes or believed in a gold standard, basically defining the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the value of gold.


JUDY SHELTON, ECONOMIC ADVISER, TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN: Under a gold standard, you did have that stability, and I think that's what's missing. And so, I like the idea of a gold standard. I mean, it could be used in a very cryptocurrency way.


HAYES: Right. Gold standard, gold bug-ism is wackadoo. Nominating someone who wants to return to the gold standard would be like nominating someone to run America cyber security apparatus who literally thinks we should abolish computers and go back to the abacus. The gold standard is backwards nonsense that would also lead to unparalleled misery.

And for that very reason, Republican senators opposed her. For months, Judy Shelton simply has not had the votes. Susan Collins, for example, told The Washington Post back in July that "In her past statements, Ms. Shelton has openly called for the Federal Reserve to be less independent of the political branches, and has even questioned the need for a central bank. This is not the right signal to send particularly in the midst of the pandemic. For that reason, I intend to vote against her nomination if it reaches the floor.

It's sensible, a sensible statement about a crank who's been nominated. In fact, what made it all the weirder, honestly, is that Donald Trump was the one that nominated her. And Donald Trump for all his flaws, which are legion, was not entirely wrong about monetary policy. I mean, the secret sauce of the Donald Trump economy before COVID was that because Trump had no ideological bearings, he just wanted high growth and low unemployment to get reelected, that meant a huge bump in deficits, high government spending, constantly bullying the Fed into looser monetary policy.

Why he nominated Judy Shelton, no one can figure. But Republicans in the Senate were sensible enough to realize that putting her on the Fed was crazy and would be a really, really bad influence on monetary policy in the direction of lower growth. And no one wants lower growth.

Now, she made it through confirmation in the Senate Banking Committee, but Mitch McConnell could not get her through the full Senate because several Republicans refused to vote for her. And so, as of last week, the Judy Shelton nomination to the Fed was not going to advance until something happened, until Joe Biden was elected.

Because now, just yesterday, we got an announcement that suddenly, magically, after Joe Biden is set to becoming president and inheriting the economy amidst a COVID crisis with seven percent unemployment and massive need for loose and aggressive monetary policy and fiscal health, now the Republicans, now they decided to put gold bug crank Judy Shelton on the Federal Reserve, advancing her name for a vote on the Senate floor now.

Now, now, after Biden was elected. Now we'll give you the gold bug crank on your Federal Reserve Board. This is how they are salting the field. This is the booby trapped they're leaving behind, the first of many. What they will all do now is collectively pivot towards the demand for austerity and cutting deficits so they can grind the economy into the dust like they did under the last Democratic president who they also handed a once in a century disaster to. We, here on ALL IN, however, are not going to let anyone forget what they're doing.


HAYES: Many states are still counting their ballots. But tonight, 10 days after Election Day, every state has been called. The map is set. President-Elect Joe Biden is the winner still. In 68 days, he will take occupancy of the White House. NBC News is now projecting Joe Biden as the apparent winner the state of Georgia pending a recount that the Republican Secretary of State says is unlikely to change the result. Blue Georgia on that map, what about that?

And that makes five states Biden has flipped along with Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona adding up to what some would call a landslide total of 306 electoral votes. Despite the futility of all, Trump lawyers are still flailing away in the court system day after day trying to stop votes from being counted, trying others to be thrown out. As it stands right now, Trump and his allies are not doing well in an effort. They are currently one win and 19 losses in post-election litigation, succeeding only in one largely irrelevant case in Pennsylvania.

Today, to give you just sort of an example of how this is going, in Michigan, a judge rejected a Republican lawsuit attempting to stop the certification of election results in Detroit, saying, and I quote here, "Plaintiffs interpretation of events is incorrect and not credible." Not really what you want to hear from the judge.

In Pennsylvania, a federal appeals court rejected a GOP lawsuit challenging the state's deadline received ballots while just this evening, the Trump campaign lost five appeals in Philadelphia where they were attempting to toss more than 8,000 ballots. All this after the law firm Porter Wright, which was leading Trump's legal efforts in Pennsylvania, suddenly withdrew from the lawsuit it filed only days earlier.

The New York Times reports that the firm Jones Day, a famous Conservative Republican law firm which has represented the Trump campaign for years, said it would not get involved in additional Trump litigation in this election, but will not withdraw from any current representation, which might explain why there are protesters outside their building in New York today with a giant inflatable Trump wrap.

Yet, the President still has not conceded the transition has not yet formally begun. NBC News Correspondent Heidi Przybyla has been covering the situation. She is with me now to help explain where we stand.

Heidi, I think it's always been a little unclear throughout the last 10 days. What were these lawsuits? Like, did they think they were going to win? Were they serious? Was it trolling? Was it indulging the president? How should we think about these flurry of lawsuits almost all of which have lost because all of which were nonsense.

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, think about it this way. The President, to be fair, was alleging fraud and alleging that there was going to be a grand scheme to steal this election before -- from him long before the election, regardless of what the evidence would be. And now, post-election, there's just one technicality, and that is that there's still no evidence.

There's, you know, really, at the root of all of this, Chris, is the premise that you have to accept, which is that, let's say that all of these lawsuits actually were legitimate -- they're not. But let's say they had legitimate basis, even if they succeeded, the number of votes that we're talking about here are too insignificant to matter. Joe Biden has won by thousands of votes, not hundreds of votes in these states. These are big margins.

But secondly, the losses really fall under two categories. The first one is the one like in Michigan that you mentioned I was there. The claims are not credible that they didn't have pole watchers in the room. They actually had so many poll watchers in the room that the police had to get involved because they violated COVID restrictions with all of these people showing up who were self-appointed poll watchers who actually didn't even know what they were observing.

They thought camera equipment was hidden ballots being smuggled away in the middle of the night. You know, they were making allegations that people were rude to them, and that that was voter intimidation -- or that was in some form of intimidation. So, that is why the judge used those words that are just not credible.

And then the second ones were, essentially what Trump has been saying from the beginning. Look, there's going to be evidence, you just got to trust me, promising future evidence. It was a case in Pennsylvania where the judge even got the Trump lawyers to say, yes, we know there's no evidence. We're saying that there will be evidence. And there -- you know, that's just the problem is there never was the evidence.

HAYES: Right.

PRZYBYLA: But they're doing this because, you know, anybody can file a lawsuit. You know that. And if you can create this perception that the President has been wronged, that is going to be much more valuable for him as he builds whatever future he sees -- envisions for himself, whether it's broadcast or running again or just as the leader of this new movement. That is what this is about.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, that's -- I agree with all that. And that seems pretty clear. I guess the question is, like, how does the plane land, right? I mean, it's preposterous. The President is now indulging in 911 truther level conspiracy theories of like, you know, voting machines and all this stuff. Like, the kind of stuff that's like kooky and nuts and you find on the internet that are now being promulgated by the president to the tens of millions of people that listen to him and voted for him. That's going to stick no matter what.

But it just seems to me like the Republicans around him don't really have a game plan here. Like, we'll let the president burn himself out and then move on has been something they've been trying since 2015 and has not worked once. At some point, someone is going to have to do something and say something like it's over, dude.

PRZYBYLA: Right. Because the leadership is not doing that, and I think they're believing that maybe by the Time the states certify their votes, that he'll have some kind of a face-saving Trumpian exit because they're never expecting him to give any kind of official concession speech.

But to answer your question, the damage is done regardless of how President Trump actually packs up and moves out of the White House here and in two ways. First of all, the way that you mentioned, which is that the corrosive effect that is -- that this is already had on our democratic system because millions of people will believe this.

They will forever believe that their man, Donald Trump, is a martyr and that he was wronged and he this election was stolen from him, and they will feel passionate about that. And that sows doubt in our system. That says doubt in the fairness of elections. That is corrosive to the democratic process.

But secondly, and I think this is an underappreciated one that we're going to see much more in the coming years, which is that there were a lot of apprentices watching that show, OK. And they saw this guy got 70 million votes. And we're already seeing it.

Look at this Tommy Tuberville, the new elected senator from Alabama gave an interview today that sounded extremely Trumpian, misstating the three branches of government, and then making up tales about Al Gore having served as president-elect for 30 days. There are many people who learned at his -- and we're going to see a lot more of this, I'm afraid.

HAYES: All right, Heidi Przybyla, thanks so much for taking time tonight. I appreciate it. Ahead, why is a Supreme Court justice spouting Fox News talking points? Hear the rare public remarks from a member of our new six-three majority after this.


SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): Do you agree with Justice Scalia's view that Roe was wrongly decided?

AMY CONEY BARRETT, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: Senator, I completely understand why you are asking the question. But again, I can't pre-commit or say yes, I'm going in with some agenda because I'm not. I don't have any agenda. I have no agenda to try to overrule Casey. I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.


HAYES: When Judge Amy Coney Barrett was before the Senate during her Supreme Court confirmation hearing, she declined over and over again to say anything about what she really thought about pretty much anything. But Amy Coney Barrett did not become a Supreme Court justice because of her neutrality, like a lot of conservative judges. She's a product in part of the powerful Federalist Society whose mission is to get as many right-wing judges into judiciary as possible among, you know, other things.

Last night, Barrett's fellow conservative justice now, Samuel Alito gave a speech to the federal society's annual conference. Now, Alito is already on the court, of course, so he didn't have to pretend he has no agenda. And so last night, Justice Samuel Alito delivered remarks that were absolutely shot through with conservative tropes and Fox News grievance.


ALITO: You can't say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Until very recently, that's what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now, it's considered bigotry. I wrote the following. I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes. But if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots, and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.

That is just what is coming to pass. One of the great challenges for the Supreme Court going forward will be to protect freedom of speech.


HAYES: Alito spent much of his remarks complaining about the real and imagined treatment of conservatives in this country, always the victims and the victor at the same time. It's funny how that works. He complained that Colorado had tried to compel a baker to make a cake for same-sex couples that a religious group had been forced to opt out of a contraceptive mandate and health care coverage, that churches can't host big gatherings because of COVID-19.


ALITO: The pandemic has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty. It pains me to say this, but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right. For many today, religious liberty is not a cherished freedom, it's often just an excuse for bigotry, and it can't be tolerated.


HAYES: You're right, Sam. Let's pack them all into the churches now as we hit 170,000 cases a day. That's a great idea. Alito who famously shook his head at the audacity of President Obama criticizing a court decision at the State of the Union suggested in his speech, the Democratic senators lacked professionalism for warning the court was becoming too political. Even as he, a Supreme Court Justice, was giving a speech that sounded like a slightly upscale Judge Jeanine monologue.

Right now, we have a 6-3 Conservative Supreme Court, and Democrats are governing in a country where they keep winning national majorities but have a bunch of institutions, including that court, just stacked against them. We're going to talk about how they can deal with that brutal fact right after this.


HAYES: Democratic presidential candidates have won the popular vote in this country in seven of eight presidential elections. That has never happened before in all of American history. As we all know, that doesn't mean they always won the election. I mean, think about this. Thanks to our Electoral College system, Joe Biden, the President-Elect, came within about 68,000 votes of losing a presidential election that he won by more than five million votes and counting.

With me now are two people who know quite a lot about a system that may or may not reflect the popular will of the people, Jesse Wegman, member of the New York Times Editorial Board and author of a fantastic book called Let The People Pick The President: The Case For Abolishing The Electoral College. And Carol Anderson, Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, author of One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy. It's great to have you both on.

Since I led in with the electoral college part of it, Jesse, let me talk to you. I mean, one of the things that I have thought about in watching this is Biden and Trump -- Biden in 2020, Trump in 2016, equal margins in the Electoral College, right, equal number of Electoral College. Trump lost by two points; Biden is going to win by four points. It's a six-point swing. And we came within 70,000 votes of another mismatch. It just seems like a Democratic ticking time bomb right now.

JESSE WEGMAN, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: It's astonishing. It's not just that they have equal Electoral College vote totals, that as you say the difference in the -- in the key swing states is just around 70,000-80,000 votes. You know, that was how close Hillary Clinton came to winning the White House in 2016. It's how close Trump came to winning a second term this year.

As you say, the spread is, you know, it's going to be upwards of six, seven, eight million votes for the exact same Electoral College outcome. So, clearly, this is not a system that is accurately reflecting the will of the American people.

HAYES: Carol, you've written a lot about sort of various strains of anti-democratic thinking among -- throughout American history, particularly in -- with regards to African Americans voting. And I thought, you know, a lot of people were talking about this tweet by Senator Mike Lee from earlier this year. He said, "Democracy isn't the objective. Liberty, peace, and prosperity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy, rank democracy can thwart that."

It does seem to me like we have both institutional parts of the constitution that sort of push against actual majority rule, but also, it's become much more of an ideology openly among Republicans.

CAROL ANDERSON, AUTHOR, ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE: Yes. And so what we're really seeing here is a sense about who is really an American, and who is not, who is worthy of democracy and who is not. And I go back to like, Lee Atwater saying in '54, you could say the N word, by '68, you can't. And so, you use different other ways to move African Americans away from the ballot box. And that's what we're seeing here now.

So, this "We're not a democracy, we're a Republican. Democracy can thwart it," it means that democracy, real, true, vibrant democracy, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious democracy can thwart a singular homogenous access to the resources of the United States.

HAYES: It's interesting, just a follow-up on that, in the state that you're coming to us from, the great state of Georgia, which is one of the big stories of this election. It's so funny to look -- Brad Raffensperger, who's the Republican Secretary of State, he basically was saying -- somebody who's saying, hey, look, we had a really good election. We had huge turnout; low --very short lines relative to how bad they had been. And the Republican Senate candidates want him to resign while he's there being like, hey, guys, we did it, a pretty good election. They're like, no, you screwed up. Too many people voted, and the outcome was wrong.

ANDERSON: Exactly, exactly. Because that means the wrong people voted. And so, that's what is really behind so much of the voter suppression. That's what was behind, as Jesse lays out in his beautiful book, what was behind the Electoral College. We don't want those people having access to democracy.

And so, what we saw back then is what we're seeing now. So, when you get Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue going after Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, it means you didn't do your job as a Republican.

HAYES: Right.

ANDERSON: You were supposed to stop those people from voting.

HAYES: And, you know, this goes both ways, right, Jesse? Like, we do have local government and I think that makes a lot of sense. And like, you know, the people of Alabama elect Republican governors because like, there's a lot of Republican Conservatives there and that's -- you know, that's -- that is what it is. They get to choose.

I don't think that someone else should like come in and stop them from voting so that they stop electing out, you know, Republican governors. Someone else just has to compete for their vote. But we don't -- like, the idea of competing for the vote, I think, is being so skewed by the combination of the Senate and the Electoral College. Republicans can essentially get away with never having to go to the actual median voter and still hold a lot of power.

WEGMAN: Well, you know, Chris, I mean, that's a great point about federalism, our system of federalism. We do have different levels of power, and they -- and they divide up the power at the state level, at the local level, and at the federal level. And I think, you know, the key thing about the presidential election, which is different from every other election we hold in the country, for Senate, for House of Representatives, for state legislators, for governors, is that nobody votes for president based on the state that they live in.

So, it really -- it's just this artificial overlay that that I think completely distorts where American people are. You know, there's millions of Republicans in California, there's millions of Democrats in Texas, there's millions of Democrats in Georgia, right?

And I think, you know, Professor Anderson is absolutely right. You know, it was the wrong people voting, which is what makes them so mad. This is -- we have a long history of this in America of, you know, the urban parts of the country are going to overtake us and be our masters. This is what we heard in the 1960s during the one person one vote cases at the Supreme Court. This is an old game and they're playing it again just with new words.

HAYES: Jesse Wegman, who's whose book I really recommend, Let the People Pick the President, and Carol Anderson whose scholarship is fantastic, thank you both for making time. I appreciate it.

WEGMAN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

HAYES: That is ALL IN for this week. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with my good friend Ali Velshi who is in for Rachel. Good evening, Ali.

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Chris. Thank you for some great shows this week. And I hope you have a great weekend.


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