In this episode of the John C. Scott political forum, broadcast on January 22, 2022, DGT President Larry Bodine describes what he would advise Biden to do, now that the Build Back Better agenda has been blocked. You’ll also hear how you can activate yourself with Democrats of Greater Tucson.

Larry Bodine: If there ever was a time to get active in local politics, it’s right now. This is Larry Bodine, President of Democrats of Greater Tucson. I’m calling on you to activate yourself by joining us and helping to elect Democrats. Just Google: Democrats of Greater Tucson, and click on Join Now– you’ll be part of a dynamic organization of activists. Don’t miss this chance to make a difference. Activate yourself today with Democrats of Greater Tucson.

This is the John C. Scott political forum. Today’s theme: the rise and fall of Joe Biden. With us now is Larry Bodine, who is President of the Democrats of Greater Tucson. Welcome to the show. Glad you get to go and join us this afternoon.

Let’s talk a little bit about the so-called horrible number of 28% approval rating for Biden and what is the bottom? If he hasn’t hit it, he may hit it soon, but how does it get out of this hole? What’s your take?

Larry Bodine: My view is that Joe Biden needs to focus on inflation and getting more results in Congress. Inflation is currently running at 7%. That’s the highest it’s been in a long time, and everybody feels it with housing prices, car prices, grocery prices, pretty much everything. He also needs to break down the Build Back Better agenda into smaller parts, maybe focus on one thing at a time, as opposed to putting all of them in a multi-trillion-dollar bill.

But that’s why his approval rating is low. The Republicans have successfully blocked him from getting any results. And if I were advising Biden, I would say: be like Ronald Reagan in 1982, when the mid-year elections were coming up. Reagan had a very low approval rating, but he did not panic. And he just asked people to stay the course, and it was a successful way to go.

John C. Scott: Yeah, it seems to me that Biden’s been blamed for so many things. The mess of getting out of Afghanistan. There’s no question it was a mess, but there was no other way to get out of Afghanistan without a mess. It was a mess for 20 years.

Larry Bodine: Oh, that’s very true. But he got 200,000 people out of the country in two weeks, and it was a war that was continuing for 20 years. Biden did the right thing, which is to pull the troops out and, it is a live, armed conflict, so yeah, people are going to die, and it’s terrible that we lost 13 soldiers. But on the plus side, we’re not spending a gajillion dollars anymore on a war that had completely lost its meaning.

John C. Scott: We gave away so much money because of the pandemic. There was no question about all of the subsidies to the American people. Everybody predicted there’d be inflation because of that. No one ever suggested it would not happen. They all suggested it would, it has, and we have to deal with it. But it wasn’t Biden’s fault.

There was no other way to hand out all that money and not have inflation. There was no way it would have happened under any administration.

Larry Bodine: I agree with you completely. John, people think the President can manage more things than he really can. Gas prices are really high, and we can thank OPEC for that. Joe Biden didn’t raise the price of gas and the same thing with automobiles. I just got a car, and I paid over the list price for the first time in my life. But that is because of increased demand. You throw in production line problems where you can’t unload the ships in the ports fast enough, it makes for a really bad combination, at least for Joe Biden. The prices are going up, and there really isn’t much that he could do. I think the Federal Reserve could do something by raising rates, maybe a point. But presidents don’t control the economy and prices.

John C. Scott: I was talking, of course, with Don Jorgenson earlier in the hour.  Officials for the Democratic Party announced today they have censured Senator Kyrsten Sinema for her position on the filibuster. That was possibly expected, but it has now happened. How damaging is this to the Senator, and how deep is the anger among Democrats like yourself for her votes?

Larry Bodine: I’m very pleased to hear that they censured Sinema because she’s got more support from Republicans than Democrats. I checked The Daily Kos for a survey. Only 8% of Democrats view Sinema favorably. But she has a 72% unfavorable rating by Democrats.

She has a highly favorable approval rating, but it’s from Republicans. People are just sick of what she’s been doing, with all the purple hair and the crazy rings that have obscenities on them. And people remember that she voted “no” to raise the minimum wage, and she skipped the Senate just to go off and run some sort of foot race.

When the vote came up to create the January 6 Commission, people wondered what she was going to do. And the one likelihood that most people say is that she’s just going to get hired by one of her pharmaceutical companies, donors or venture capitalist donors. But I don’t see it that way. I think she has the hubris to run for President.

As the middle of the road moderate, boy, is she going to get shellacked.       

John C. Scott: During the very key negotiations, she left the country for Paris to pick up big checks from Big Pharma — when the rest of us are out paying double what we should pay for the drugs we need to keep alive.

And it’s sometimes it’s not just double, it’s quadruple or a hundred times as we’ve seen before. I couldn’t believe that she was doing that. She was grabbing the money with both hands. This is insane. I would be very afraid, very afraid, if I were Kyrsten Sinema. About a re-run and facing (Rep. Ruben) Gallego in the primary.

Larry Bodine: The other person in the political field who is feeling a lot of heat is ex-president Trump. The Department of Justice is investigating these certificates of people who claim to be electors for their states in seven different states. And all those people were Trump supporters, and they’re facing federal fraud charges.

In addition, the New York attorney general has turned up the heat. She is investigating Trump for his fraudulent tax returns. And meanwhile, in Georgia, there’s a special grand jury that’s been assembled by the district attorney in Fulton County regarding Trump’s call just before the election saying, “Hey, can you find me 11,780 votes?” That’s a criminal act if I ever heard one.

John C. Scott: You’re a lawyer, you would know that. By the way, he gets here to Arizona. His first rally, I guess if he’s running again in 2024, his quote is, “I love Arizona. We had a tremendous victory in Arizona that was taken away. We had a rigged election.” It’s The Big Lie, a lot of bull on what it is, and of course, he just keeps lying about it. And we should know by now with what happened with the Senate and Maricopa County Supervisors about how rigged this election was in Arizona. It wasn’t rigged at all.

Larry Bodine. It’s interesting that you mentioned that rally. Republicans and his supporters like to come out and just see him talk just because it’s a freak show. But interestingly, according to the Cook Political Report, Republicans like Trump, but they don’t want to re-run of the 2020 election. They’re completely tired of this four-year Trump show.

And if the New York attorney general doesn’t get him, if the Georgia district attorney doesn’t get them, then he’s going to have to face the January 6 committee. They’re targeting three Republican Congressmen, Sean Hannity from Fox and Ivanka Trump. So, they’re already getting close to Trump, getting close to his own daughter. So, I see Trump being tied up in litigation and indictments for years.

John C Scott: We’re talking with Larry Bodine, the President of the Democrats of Greater Tucson. We want to talk about the DGT. My guest, Larry Bodine of Democrats of Greater Tucson. And let’s talk a little bit about DGT. As you will learn, this whole idea is an experience in a political activity that a lot of people are becoming very attracted to, even though it’s been around for a while.

Larry Bodine: Democrats of Greater Tucson is the most active Democratic club in Arizona. We put up a speaker every week that people can log in and watch on Zoom. And the big benefit of it is that you can ask a question. DGT is on a roll: Our membership is at an all-time high. What we’re doing now is calling on Democrats to activate themselves by becoming a member of Democrats of Greater Tucson.

Our goal is to triple membership from where it is right now. And you might ask yourself, what do I get? The first thing you get is videos of 100 candidates that have run over the last couple of years. You can basically look up anybody running for office at a state and local level and listen to them talk. In addition, number 2, we have 435 articles online, and one of them, interestingly, is called, “Are We Better Off Than We Were Last Year? You Bet!” That’s by career writer David Gordon. And he points out that job creation was the highest in history in 2021. Unemployment is all the way down to 3.9%.

And if you’re looking for arguments as to what a good job Joe Biden has been doing, just read that article.

The other article I would call your attention to is the article by a friend of mine called Paul Waugaman. He wrote GOP is Dead-set on Trump’s Crusade to Scrap Our Democracy. He makes the point that Republicans want an autocrat in the white house.

They are happily rigging state elections in 19 states with 34 new voter suppression laws. So, there’s a lot of information you can get from the articles.

John C Scott: What’s great is that a lot of these candidates you just don’t know about. They may be running for the very first time. We have a lot of folks who are leaving the legislature. And others that have just replaced them that are not familiar to very many people. And the Democrats of Greater Tucson will show you these people, and they will show for themselves who they are. So you know who they are.

Larry Bodine: Certainly, I encourage everybody to visit our website, which is TheDGT.org. So, it’s the D as in David, G as in golf and a T as in Tom. And you’ll see that our next speaker is on Monday. I think a lot of people are going to want to turn out for him. It’s sheriff Chris Nanos. He is dealing with high crime rates, surprisingly, in Pima county. There is a crime committed every seven minutes in Pima county.

He’s also promoting the idea of ending cash bail, which is interesting.

And that ties in with our next speaker after that, on January 31, who is Pima County Attorney Laura Conover. She’s said we don’t need cash bail, we don’t need the death penalty, and she’s created a fraud unit. I expect her to talk about all those things.

John C. Scott: Oh, by the way, how do we see these people and how do we activate ourselves as you’ve had suggested that we do in the experience of what is now Democrats of Greater Tucson. We used to go to lunch. We’re not going to lunch anymore.

Larry Bodine: That’s true. We’ve been on Zoom for two years, and it’s actually worked to our benefit.

We have more members and more attendees at our programs than we ever did before. And there are still fully vaccinated people who want to get together and see people in person. And so, we’re holding once a month happy hours over at Brother John’s Barbecue and Bourbon. We’ve been doing that since last March. We just got a good turnout a couple of days ago, and we were all outdoors on their patio. So, we made it as safe as we possibly could.

And the best way to activate yourself is to go to TheDGT.org and subscribe to our weekly newsletterhttps://tiny.cc/DGTnews. You will get timely notices of speakers that are coming up.

You’ll see some of the articles that I mentioned. Oh, and you can see videos. We have about a hundred videos.

So, among our past speakers was a guy called Jonathan Hill, a Democrat running for the Corporation Commission. We had Diego Rodriguez, who is running for Attorney General. So, we’ve had all the Attorney General candidates on the Democratic side, including Bob McWhirter, Chris Mayes and Diego Rodriguez. One of them is going to be our next attorney general.

And I think if you come to DGT meetings, you’ll find out why. And it’s the same thing with the Corporation Commission. Jonathan Hill is one Democrat who’s running, but there’s also Lauren Kuby, who is just full of energy and really active and excited. She’s running for Corporation Commission, and Sandra Kennedy also spoke at DGT. She is running for reelection.

And if you really want to immerse yourself and activate yourself, just visit TheDGT.org and sign up for the newsletter and sign up for a program.

John C. Scott: By the way, when are the programs are aired? You have the interaction between your guest and yourself and the audience.

Larry Bodine: So, it’s at Noon every Monday. And if you’re at the program, there’s a way in Zoom to raise your hand, and I’ll call on you. You get to ask the person a question live. How cool is that?

John C. Scott: That is cool, by the way, in the convenience of your home or your office or wherever you are. You can just say I’m taking a lunch break from my desk of Mr. Boss. And activate yourself.

Larry Bodine: That’s exactly what people should do because 2022 is going to be a landmark year. A lot of people, a lot of news people, are writing stories about how the Democrats will lose more seats in the state legislature. They’ll lose Congress. I think they’re calling the race a little bit too early. They just completely underestimated the enthusiasm of the Democratic Party.

I’ve been to all the meetings, and it’s amazing how enthusiastic and excited and ready to work all of the Pima County Democrats are. You’ll find them on Democrats of Greater Tucson at TheDGT.org. It’s just a great way to activate yourself.

John C. Scott: By the way, on this radio show, every Saturday afternoon for the last seven minutes of our show will be sponsored by the Democrats of Greater Tucson. And we’ll air who’s going to be the featured speaker in the next event. And again, how do you access the archives? How do you become a part of the Democrats of Greater Tucson? How do you activate yourself, and why should you? It’s going to be a great part of our show. We’re very pleased to be able to do that.

Thanks for being a great part of Tucson, Arizona. What the Democrats of Greater Tucson is doing is just absolutely amazing. Absolutely amazing. Thanks Larry. Have a great weekend. Thanks for being with us.

Larry Bodine: You too. Have a great weekend.