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.”
In part two of our midterm recap, Paul geeks out about ranked-choice voting and its potential to break the Democrats and Republicans’ stranglehold on American politics. Sean, for his part, makes the (incredibly dubious) case that Vladimir Lenin would have been a fan of this electoral innovation.
Musical Credits: AC/DC, “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock ‘N’ Roll).”
In part one of this long-overdue episode (sorry everyone!), Paul and Sean discuss the Democrats’ anemic results in the November midterms. Paul argues that centrism still represents Democrats’ clearest route to power, citing the surprise blue upset in South Carolina’s traditionally-red 1st Congressional district. And Sean makes the case for far-left organizing outside the Democratic Party, based on the election results from Florida.
Paul and Sean couldn’t find a time to record this week, so instead Sean served up a short report from the recent Socialist Alternative (SA) national convention in Chicago. Come for a brief intro to SA’s history, politics, and perspectives; stay for some thoughts on what even non-socialists have to learn from the SA convention.
Finally, remember that this coming week, we’ll be tackling chapters 1 and 2 of Marx and Engels’s The Communist Manifesto (1848) as part of the Impolitic reading series. As always, we’d love to hear from listeners with questions and comments on the reading. If you’d like us to discuss your comment on air, please submit it via email, Twitter, or Facebook by Friday, Nov. 2.
Musical Credits: Members of Socialist Alternative singing “The Internationale.”
This week, Impolitic‘s resident squares weight in on the academic controversy of the hour: the so-called “Sokol Squared” hoax. In addition, Paul and Sean float some campaign ideas for hypothetical Congressional bids; discuss the latest in a long line of New Jersey political scandals; and announce the second installment in the Impolitic reading series: chapters 1 and 2 of Marx and Engels’s The Communist Manifesto (1848).
As always, we’d love to hear from listeners with questions and comments on the reading. If you’d like us to discuss your comment on air, please submit it via email, Twitter, or Facebook by Friday, Oct. 26. Added bonus: if you send a voice memo, we’ll broadcast your recording on air!
Segment 1: Paul and Sean’s Campaign Platforms – 0:00:00 to 0:48:26
Segment 2: Bob Menendez is a Crook – 0:48:26 to 0:55:28
Segment 3: “Sokol Squared” – 0:55:28 to 1:52:18
Musical Credits: Billy Bragg, “The Internationale”; Bruce Springsteen, “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”; Peter Tosh, “You Can’t Fool Me Again”; Sam Cooke, “(What A) Wonderful World.”
In our first installment of the Impolitic reading series, Paul and Sean tackle Leonard Read’s libertarian classic, “I, Pencil” (1958). Then the boys get mad as hell about Brett Kavanaugh before closing out with a strained historical comparison of post-Cold War America and Second Empire France.
Segment 1: “I, Pencil” – 0:00:00 to 1:04:30
Segment 2: Brett Kavanaugh – 1:04:30 to 1:37:40
Segment 3: Second Empire France – 1:37:40 to 1:46:00
Musical Credits: Jimmy Buffet, “Pencil Thin Mustache”; Insane Clown Posse, “Miracles”; Regina Spektor, “Poor Little Rich Boy”; Jacky Terrasson, “La Marseillaise.”
Paul is navigating a death in the family and Sean is swimming in a choppy sea of ungraded student papers. So the first installment of the Impolitic reading series will have to wait another week. But, in the meantime, keep the questions and comments coming on Leonard Reed’s “I, Pencil”! If you want to participate in the discussion, send us a question or comment via Twitter (@ImpoliticPod), Facebook (ImpoliticPod), or email (impolitic [dot] pod [at] gmail [dot] com). Added bonus: if you send a voice memo, we’ll broadcast your memo on air!
Paul shares updates on the latest in tech: from stuff you piss on to wearable vibrators and marijuana vending machines. Then Sean gets grumpy about Malcolm Gladwell’s latest rendezvous with infamy. And the gang bids a mixed adieu to Senator John McCain.