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.
If you’ve ever wondered why people in the 1800s thought TB patients were so damn hot, this episode is for you! Check out Paul and Sean’s discussion of Victorian America’s Cult of the Consumptive, then stay tuned as they bid adieu to Beto “The Cursing Candidate” O’Rourke and catch up on the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Later, Paul dishes the dirt on his recent trip to Elysium (i.e. giving tours of rich New Jerseyans’ mansions) and gushes over Shared Security Accounts. Finally, Paul and Sean wrap the episode by providing some uninformed commentary on Kanye’s new album.
Paul checks in after another visit to Tech Crunch Disrupt. Spoiler alert: this year’s conference involves far less urine. Then, the boys take stock of the fast-developing impeachment news. Finally, Sean convinces Paul that, after a half century of severely-limited social and political ambitions, Americans are rediscovering their old-timey sense of utopian optimism.
Impolitic bids adieu to billionaire / policy failure David Koch. Sean explains Joe Biden’s frontrunner status as a collective act of Democratic self-delusion. Then, the boys bust out their Philosophy 101 textbooks to discuss conservative reactions to the NYT’s 1619 Project. Has Erick Erickson neglected John Calvin? Has he forsworn the right’s traditional mission of balancing Locke and Hobbes? Finally, Paul dives into Ronald Reagan’s racist shoe fetishism, and Sean explains why the National Labor Relations Act was possibly a big mistake.
Paul’s off doing ideology (aka public lectures), so Sean sits down with higher ed labor organizer (and friend of the show!) Timothy Tia. Sean and Tim discuss the wave of union organizing campaigns currently sweeping Florida colleges and the challenges of building fighting unions in right-to-work states. Longtime listeners may remember Tim as “the guy who made us watch the Karl Marx anime.”
Paul got in a Twitter fight about his relationship to the Kochs. In response, the Impolitic boys do a thorough postmortem on the spat, exploring everything from funding’s role in shaping knowledge to the effect of social media on political discourse. At the episode’s end, they talk about Ben Shapiro’s misadventures with mood affiliation.
This week, Paul and Sean discuss what the conversations surrounding “alt-ac” jobs get wrong and what graduate programs in the humanities can do to help alumni navigate life after tweed. Then, in a follow up to their two-parter on Karl Marx anime The Leader, they take a deep dive into the comic strip version of Friedrich Hayek’s libertarian classic, The Road to Serfdom.
In this week’s episode, Paul and Sean discuss the national emergency that wasn’t; America’s dawning realization that Donald Trump is a feckless and impotent leader; Bernie Sanders’s prospect for winning the White House (and more importantly, winning his policy goals); “Davos Dude” Rutger Bregman; and the role of money in politics.
Musical Credits: Kool & the Gang, “Emergency”; DJ Steve Porter, “Bern It Up (Remix)”; Junior Parker, “Taxman.”
It’s another grab bag episode! This week, Paul and Sean discuss everything from the shortcomings of the 1980s and Donald Trump’s movie tastes to Paul’s penchant for chatting up rideshare drivers and Sean’s successful prediction about the outcome of the government shutdown. By episode’s end, however, they turn their focus to the dangers of a US intervention in Venezuela and the importance of seeing Venezuela as a real country with a real history rather than a mere litmus test for leftist policy.
Paul’s secluded himself in a cabin this weekend, so Sean is helming the show with two-time guest host Hélène Huet. Their topic: Hallmark Christmas movies. Reprising their previous political analysis of American pop culture (in their Ep. 38 break down of the Real Housewives franchises), Hélène and Sean break down the business side of Hallmark’s Christmas juggernaut and propose some theories about why these films have become such pop culture staples in the late-Obama and early-Trump years. Along the way, they propose some foolproof ideas for future Hallmark holiday films.
Musical Credits: Frank Sinatra, “Jingle Bells”; Stevie Wonder, “Living for the City”; Mariah Carey, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”