CLAY: Confession: Big Star Wars guy. Not as much the newer movies but we’ve watched them all. Probably not a surprise when you got three young boys in the house, all the Star Wars movies. We talked a lot about the 1980s movies on this program.
BUCK: Greatest trilogy of all time, Clay? I’m gonna put you on the hot seat here, sir: Greatest movie trilogy all time?
CLAY: Ooh. Greatest trilogy movie of all time. I would probably go the original Star Wars.
BUCK: That’s what gonna say.
CLAY: Yeah. Godfather 3 killed the Godfather trilogy as being the greatest of all time, I think.
BUCK: I go Indiana Jones.
CLAY: Indiana Jones? Indiana Jones is up there. I think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is maybe the greatest movie that’s ever been made.
BUCK: Wow. Bold.
CLAY: And when I say that — bold call — but I’m talking about if you’re 6 years old you can watch that movie and love it and if you’re 80. I’m not talking about, like, “Hey, let’s compare it to Orson Welles back in the day to Citizen Kane or something like that,” but just pure enjoyment.
BUCK: I’d also throw in Lord of the Rings trilogy. I read Tolkien growing up or The Hobbit and the trilogy. And I remember even as a very young kid thinking, “How can this not have been made into a movie already?”
BUCK: You know, so.
CLAY: Yeah, that is a phenomenal trilogy. The Back to the Future trilogy. Back to the Future 1 and 2 it’s got a little bit of The Godfather to it because Back to the Future 3 was much worse, but the Back to the Future trilogy was really good. Point on why I’m thinking about all the trilogies here is Scott Perry — who is a congressman, member of the Freedom Caucus — was on vacation with his family yesterday, and he’s at the beach with his family. And they show up, FBI agents do, and demand that he answer questions. And when he refuses, they take his cell phone from him.
And when I saw this story, this story also broke, Buck… Every day it’s like stories break when I’m sitting in the carpool line to pick up my son at the end of football practice. When I saw this happen, my very first thought was — and I’m not kidding about this — it feels like in Star Wars when you see Emperor Palpatine, who is about to become the evil authority figure taking over the Empire, say, “Execute Order 66.”
Now, Buck knows it. I was texting with our Producer Al; she had no idea what it was. But she asked her fiance, Gerard, who immediately knew. My wife is a big Star Wars person; I was mentioning it to her, this analogy. It actually fits kind of scarily. And if you’re not a Star Wars person, Order 66 was the Emperor — as he’s taking over complete and total power — says, “Execute all the Jedis,” basically. Everyone who had power to stand up against the evil empire was wiped out. Now, Buck, one of the greatest scenes of all time in the Star Wars — and spoiler alert: Yoda does not go down in the Order 66. I’ll allow you to describe for people out there what happened.
BUCK: Oh, the Yoda back flip and double decapitation of his assassins is one of the better moments I can remember from all the Star Wars movies. And I do think a lot of these pop culture moments that you have in these he really powerful films or really popular films do come from some historical analogy. I mean, for example, were you a…? You’re a Game of Thrones guy, right?
CLAY: Oh, love it. Yeah.
BUCK: So much of Game of Thrones. If you are familiar with the War of the Roses in England and you’re familiar with some of these Scottish and England back-and-forth over… Anyway, the red wedding has a historical precedent.
CLAY: One of the great shows of all time in television history.
BUCK: But the Order 66 does remind me a little bit of — and I think it probably was inspired by — though I’m just guessing — the Night of the Long Knives by Hitler back in 1934 when the SS just went in and took out anybody who wasn’t totally on board from within the Nazi and German political hierarchy. So it was a purge within the power circle that existed. So it wasn’t… You know, they were already purging people and assassinating people who were standing up openly. But these were, in some cases, individuals who just weren’t on board enough or were a threat to Hitler’s power. The In the Garden of Beasts book —
BUCK: — I highly, highly recommend that.
CLAY: I have read it as well. Yes.
BUCK: Remember, it builds up to the night of the long knives. That’s essentially the major moment over the course of the book. But I just think it’s so interesting because what did they say in the newspapers the next day? “Oh, we were preventing political violence and a coup; so, we just had to make some ‘arrests,’” and you have to put “arrests” in quotes, obviously.
CLAY: When you start to define words differently, you say, “What is a woman? What is a recession?”
BUCK: “What is a raid?”
CLAY: “What is a raid?” and you are arguing that words are being misused if they in any way are a negative factor associated with your political arm, there is an element of totalitarianism that is at play. And as I was looking at the Scott Perry — not arrest, but — seizure of his phone, my thought was just, who’s next? They are executing what feels like a direct attack upon the strongest members of the Republican Party who are standing up to Joe Biden and his authoritarianism.
And I just want you to think about what the reaction would be in the media, Buck, if, when Donald Trump was president, the FBI had shown up and seized AOC’s phone or if they had shown up and raided Joe Biden’s house and Hunter Biden’s house. Every single Democrat media member at the Washington Post, at MSNBC, at CNN, at the New York Times would be accusing Trump of attempting to become a dictator and using the FBI as his own personal police force. They all would be saying that.
BUCK: I do think that the double-standard issue and the hypocrisy allegation against Democrats is important as a baseline for our discussions, but I think what we’ve also seen is they just don’t care. We pointed… We’ll say, “What if…?” and they respond, “Well, Trump is an existential threat to our democracy,” right? So maybe this is a place we can turn into what we know about the raid now.
BUCK: Which is increasingly pushing in the direction of what our first impulse was, which is, “This is just a political hit.” Wasn’t it Talleyrand who said, “It’s worse than a mistake. It’s a blunder”? I think Democrats are now waking up the reality that they are — you cannot trust their judgment on anything. No one can trust their judgment on anything involving Donald Trump.
And they did something here that was really stupid. They have kicked the hornet’s nest. People are very upset, rightly, about this, and they don’t have a good explanation. They don’t, and it’s because Trump emotionally crippled them. I mean, they still can’t… I think Merrick Garland really believes, Clay, that Donald Trump is a existential threat to democracy. I think he thinks that.
CLAY: I think he thinks that as well, Buck, and we’ll talk about this ’cause I think at the top of the next hour and on into the show. We can also open up phone lines. Buck, what I am seeing is a rallying behind Donald Trump the likes of which I have not seen in years. Now, running up to the election itself, I think most people out there remember the enthusiasm, the fervor, the amount of crazed support that existed for Donald Trump in November of 2020.
I haven’t seen anything like this in nearly two years. The wind, so to speak, is behind the back of Donald Trump. I think that, to your point, Democrats massively overplayed their hand, and reasonable people — who may not even be huge Trump supporters — that are listening to us right now are saying, “I’ve never wanted him to run more than I do right now after that FBI raid.”
And, Buck, there’s reports that some of Trump’s advisers said, “Screw it. Go right to Mar-a-Lago at this exact moment and declare that you’re running for president in 2024.” He didn’t do it. He said, “The time is still not right, but it’s coming,” and I think there’s a lot of people who maybe weren’t as excited to be to the Trump train who are really pretty fired up right now.