It’s the election recap episode, with Paul and Sean’s thoughts on which White House flunky will stick by Trump the longest, Donald’s next career move, and the election’s biggest surprises. They also discuss whether having Trump on a ballot is electoral NOS for the GOP or a dead weight holding b and close with some thoughts on how Dems can grow their coalition.
This week, Paul and Sean accidentally stumble into a long-planned discussion of institutional and electoral reforms that might reinject life into the shambling body of US politics, from ranked-choice voting and packing the House to reapportioning Senate seats by population and instituting term limits for SCOTUS.
Paul and Sean grapple with the historical memory(hole) of 9/11; Sean asks what the Whig Party’s demise in the 1850s says about the future of the Dems and GOP; and Paul warns about a California pastor whose anti-mask campaign may tip the 2020 election.
Paul and Sean check in on school reopenings and Jerry Falwell Jr. Both are faring poorly. They then cast their eyes upon the bleak landscapes of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, consider the mounting carnage of both police and paramilitary violence, and close by reflecting on the ideology of theme parks – a topic inspired by the HBO documentary Class Action Park about notorious New Jersey pleasure palace Action Park.
After a several-week hiatus, Paul and Sean recap the events of the July, from school re-openings and COVID spikes throughout the Sunbelt to the appearance of secret police in American cities and liberals’ symbolic sops to BLM. Paul also discusses life as a newly-minted Mainer and Sean celebrates the return of (a cynically woke) Formula One.
Paul and Sean reflect on their respective brushes with Z-list celebrity: Paul as a result of The Radio Right’s forthcoming publication; and Sean as a consequence of his internationally-viral Twitter thread. Next, they consider the relative merits of reforming, defunding, and abolishing the police, with side reflections on fascism, military dictatorship, and public sector unionism. Finally, they share their thoughts on Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone and conclude with high praise for modern Nerf gun technology.
Paul and Sean discuss the protests and urban rebellions sweeping the US after George Floyd’s murder by police, with detours on 60s radicalism and reaction, social movement theory, and (inexplicably) the rise of the Soviet bureaucracy.
This week, Sean admits to Paul that his Super Tuesday predictions were less than super. They then discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, HBO’s Chernobyl, and what HBO’s Chernobyl can tell us about the COVID-19 pandemic (spoiler: it’s not a flattering comparison!).
Paul’s audio is bad. Sean is sick. And the episode is a week late. But our analysis of the Democratic primary still holds water. And Sean’s glimpse into the soul of the liberal establishment (i.e. a public interest communications conference called ‘Frank’) remains, regrettably, current.
Paul and Sean compare notes on their winter holidays before getting down to business: discussing the blood-soaked history of American meddling in Iran, the immoral foolishness of a potential war with Iran, and what we can do to stop it. Stick around until the end for their reflections on what a successful anti-war movement will have to do — and what kinds of challenges the anti-war opposition will face.