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.”
In this Very Special™ one-year-anniversary episode of Impolitic, Paul and Sean look back over the past twelve months, highlight their picks for the key events of the year, and serve up some thoughts on how the events of Impolitic: Year One will be remembered by future historians. If journalism, as former WaPo publisher Philip Graham claimed, is the “first rough draft of history,” then consider this episode the second.
After the Deep State cancelled Roseanne, Paul quit libertarianism and took to the woods to train as a tanky. So this week, Sean is cohosting the show with scholar, librarian, social democrat, and reality-TV aficionado Hélène Huet (@superHH). Together they discuss whether the Real Housewives shows are radical or reactionary, rehash the premise of episode 8, and propose a Real Housewives presidential cabinet.
Paul and Sean examine the Trump administration’s most recent specimen of depravity: separating migrant children from their parents and losing many altogether. Then, after advocating ICE abolition and shaming Democrats for their perennial cowardice, they turn to the NFL’s policy of enforced patriotism; a classist new DC law; and Trump’s bungling of North Korea negotiations.
They’re back! The guys weigh in on the unsuccessful campaign of Don Blankensh** (censored for sake of the children in the audience) and the firing of Kevin Williamson. They also discuss the revelation that Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, owned ~$30 million in NYC taxi medallions that rapidly depreciated in value just before he started raking in the sweet, sketchy “consulting” dough from Russian oligarchs and crony capitalists.
After Paul’s job announcement, the guys lambaste the Trump administration’s unconstitutional missile strikes on Syria and the hawkish media response. Then Paul criticizes the limited time horizon of single issue voters in the 2016 election.
Sean is tired of the chatter about presidential golfing. Think for a second, #resistance sympathizers: do you really want Trump to spend MORE time in the Oval Office?? Paul discusses how Laura Ingraham’s gratuitous insult of gun control activist David Hogg is symptomatic of a broader transformation in conservatism as an intellectual movement.
Bonus: listen for some fun facts about wombat defecation.
A listener reminds Sean and Paul that they’ve been pretty rough on the old Donald since…the beginning of the podcast, so they put their thinking caps on to find something good, or at least not utterly terrible, about the Trump administration. Along the way they discuss tariffs, the FDA and reciprocity, North Korea, and angry neo-cons.
Trump comes in ranked last in a poll of political scientists on the greatness of American presidents (though Paul & Sean take back that dubious honor by ranking him third from last). Then the guys disagree over whether “neo-liberalism” is a useful term and jointly complain about the phrase “late stage capitalism.”