By Matt Robison and Paul Hodes
Paul Hodes is a former New Hampshire Congressman and National Co-Chair of Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. Matt Robison is a former senior congressional staffer and campaign manager. They host "Beyond Politics," a show that goes beyond the usual week-to-week news and political chatter, and examines the deeper issues driving American politics through interviews with senior insiders from government, universities, and political campaigns.
What We'll See in the Lame Duck and the Next Year in Congress
As we enter a period of lame ducks, high stakes negotiations, and divided government, we wanted to know: how does it all work, and will the next year of American government work at all? So we asked Ryan McConaghy, Senate Majority Leader Schumer's former right hand man on policy, to walk us through what, if anything, we might get out of the next month and the next year. Photo by Norbert Kundrak on Unsplash
December 02, 2022
Big Black Friday, China Repercussions, and A Huge Hollywood Reboot at Disney
Matt Robison and Chris Hill of Motley Fool Money tackle: Black Friday/Cyber Monday – A record $9 billion in sales on Black Friday! It’s encouraging, with one caveat: the percentage of purchases bought with a “buy now, pay later” plan is very much on the rise. China protests – Everyone has something in their home made in China. From manufacturing to U.S. businesses with expanding operations in China (e.g., McDonald’s, Starbucks, Yum Brands) these protests affect American businesses (and not in a good way). CEO 2: The Return of Bob Iger! – Just….wow. Four months after the board gave CEO Bob Chapek an extended contract they iced him.
November 30, 2022
Biden Bustin Unions? Congress Bustin Out?
Is President Biden's move to enforce a rail deal a smart move to save the American economy, or a double cross of his base? Also, is Congress about to drop the ball on its most basic responsibility? Does the Senate actually need to protect interracial marriage? And what do the China protests mean?
November 30, 2022
Should Democrats Have Won The House?
Democrats have been congratulating themselves for a strong showing in the 2022 midterms. But when it comes to the House, did they actually fumble the ball at the goal line? Our guests are Lauren Harper and Liam Kerr, the co-founders of WelcomePAC, an organization focused on a pragmatic approach to growing a big tent Democratic party and winning more elections. They were featured last week in the New York Times arguing that Democrats made some critical missteps in the runup to the election and that now is the time to learn lessons, so we don’t repeat them in the future. Photo by Luis Santoyo on Unsplash
November 28, 2022
Who's Afraid of Donald Trump? Apparently...No One.
Republicans coming out of the woodwork to take on Trump, the shrinking political battleground in America, is Alito a leaker, the impeachment train loads up at the station, a real American hero, and a World Cup shocker.
November 23, 2022
Pelosi's Right Hand Man on What to Expect from Congress in The Next Two Years
How does a narrow majority in the US House of Representatives work, what will Republicans have to do to manage it, and what can Democrats do to overcome it? Our inside expert walks us through it. Jerry Hartz worked in Congress for 28 years, most recently as Senior Adviser and Director of Legislative Floor Operations for Nancy Pelosi. There is no one on Earth who knows more about how to run the House of Representatives, and how things may play out in the coming years.
November 21, 2022
(Part 2) The 10 Questions That Will Consume the Next Two Years
Part two of the conversation with Dr. William Ewell, a political science professor and expert on Congress and American elections, discussions the odds that: Democrats will reverse their decline among Hispanic voters in 2024, Biden will be impeached, Republicans will learn their lesson and run more moderate candidates in swing districts, Democrats look back in two years and realize there were some major downsides to how well they did in the 2022 midterms, and that we have a constitutional meltdown in 2024
November 18, 2022
The 10 Questions That Will Consume the Next Two Years, Part 1
What are the odds that: Kevin McCarthy will be Speaker in January 2024; The government will shut down in 2023; Trump will be the Republican nominee; The next Congress passes any legislation beyond funding bills and naming post offices; Biden will catch Trump on appointing federal judges by the end of 2024? Matt is joined by Dr. William Ewell, a political science professor and expert on Congress and American elections, in Part One of this two part pod.
November 17, 2022
Signs the Inflation Wild Ride May Be Coming to An End
Chris Hill of Motley Fool Money explains why inflation may be easing off, but businesses are tightening belts. Also, what Mark Cuban told him about his surprising new venture, and why inventories matter.
November 16, 2022
Trump's Big Announcement That He Is Going to Split the Republican Party
The panel dissects Donald Trump's impending announcement of another run for President, including Republican analyst Alicia Preston's theory that he might form his own party. Either way, the question is whether he is going to fatally divide Republicans for the next two years. Also, the latest from Ukraine, the painful struggle session for Kevin McCarthy, and the impact of gerrymandering.
November 15, 2022
USA Today's Rex Huppke: What We Really Learned from the Midterms
USA Today's Rex Huppke is one of America's sharpest voices on politics and society, and he joins Beyond Politics to discuss what we really learned about America and politics from the 2022 midterms. Did voters side with "decency"? Where do Republicans go from here on Trump? Does polling do anything good for us? What does it mean that America pushed back against election deniers? What do Republicans need to fix to be more successful? And what do Democrats need to fix to be more successful?
November 14, 2022
Dems Still Have a Shot at the House. Here's How.
David Beard, Contributing Editor at DailyKos Elections and co-host of The Downballot podcast, joins Matt to walk through exactly how Democrats could still win the US House of Representatives, and what an ultra-thin margin in the House would mean for both parties.
November 11, 2022
Not A Red Trickle. A Blue Crush.
The election appears to be a stunning win not just for Democrats, but for the fight against the Big Lie and election denialism. In this extended discussion on the bipartisan Balance of Power round table, Matt, Paul, and Alicia discuss what the results mean for democracy, Democrats, Republicans, Trump, polling, the media, campaigns, and the future of America.
November 09, 2022
Bernie's Former Chief: This Ain't Over
The midterms could still go either way. That's the message from Michaeleen Crowell, former Chief of Staff and strategist for Bernie Sanders. She's the rare Washington insider with insights from across the full political spectrum, someone who's seen Democratic and Republican polling and who thinks this election is still up for grabs. Is a Republican sweep possible? Sure she says. But, is a Democratic win possible? Absolutely. Also...why Democrats' accomplishments have gotten buried, and who's been holding the shovel.
November 07, 2022
The Huge Part of the Midterms You Haven't Heard About
In 1984, Ronald Reagan won a landslide re-election as President on a message of economic recovery, despite prices and unemployment being higher than when he took office. This year, President Biden and Congressional Democrats have a record of achievements that absolutely dwarfs Reagan's, and not just on the economy -- though the greatest one year job growth in history is a good start. Yet, you probably haven't heard anything about it. Based on Matt Robison's article for The Editorial Board, former Biden ad-maker Cliff Schecter and Matt go through what that record is, and why the accomplishments that should make this election a slam dunk have been absent from the political conversation.
November 04, 2022
Is Meta/Facebook in a Meltdown?
Chris Hill of Motley Fool Money explains why Facebook is spiraling, and where that situation may be headed. Also, a big week for the big economic picture; a rough week for Big Tech Companies Not Named Apple; and Amazon has a bold but slightly confusing new offering.
November 02, 2022
Is Political Hatred Really a Both Sides Thing?
Also, Elon Musk fuels the online dumpster fire, how a quirk in polling may have caught the Democrats, and is John Fetterman's auditory issue really an impediment to him doing the job of US Senator?
November 01, 2022
Where The Midterm Races Stand, One Week Out
Mark Bergman, a top Dem political consultant working on some of the biggest races around the country, joins Matt to look at which factors have really been shaping the midterm elections, where things stand now, and how the dynamics are looking in each of the biggest races on the map.
October 31, 2022
He Makes More Democratic Ads Than Anyone. And He's Noticed Something.
As we barrel toward the midterms, the parties have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into delivering their messages to voters. Doug Thornell may be responsible for more of those ads than anyone. He's a partner at SKDK, one of the top strategic communications companies in the world, and one of the few Black media consultants in Democratic politics. So when we asked him what making all those ads has shown him about the challenges that the party faces, he had something interesting to say. "The Democratic Party has an image problem. And we have for awhile now."
October 27, 2022
Senate Race Mania, UK Conservative Implosion, and Student Loan Confusion
Also, are debates uniformly terrible? And is Kanye too crazy for Tucker Carlson?
October 26, 2022
Lessons from The Political Orphanage: A "Weird" Fix for America, and How to Survive a Nuclear War
Andrew Heaton is a comedian, author, and political satirist. He’s also the host of “The Political Orphanage” comedy and news podcast. As a couple of passionate moderates, Matt and Andrew dive in to some of the goings-on in politics recently that are driving us the most nuts. Then we get into some of the really good ideas we've heard on our shows recently, from why multi member congressional districts might fix some our partisanship to how to survive a nuclear war.
October 24, 2022
Why Are We So Miserable, And How We Can Be Happier?
Something is wrong in America, and we’ve gotten so used to it, we don’t really talk about about, or not enough anyway. We are in a major happiness recession, and we have been for a long time. The highest proportion of Americans ever (80%) say they are satisfied with their family’s financial situation, while an all-time low reports being “very happy” in their lives (14%). Over the last 40 years, a median of 66% of Americans have told Gallup they were “dissatisfied.” In the decade or so before the pandemic sent our despair into overdrive, major depression was rapidly rising, the suicide rate was up 35%, drug use and death were skyrocketing, birth rates were down 23%, and Americans told Pew researchers that they had become deeply pessimistic about the future. Our guest today, Catherine Sanderson, has become a widely cited author for her contributions on positive thinking and achieving better parenting, happier aging, and more courage in our lives. Dr. Sanderson is the POLER Family Professor and Chair of Psychology at Amherst College. In 2012, she was named one of the country's top 300 professors by the Princeton Review. Her talks have been featured in numerous mainstream media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Atlantic, CNN, and CBS Sunday Morning.
October 20, 2022
Has the Vibe Shifted Back to Republicans?
Did the January 6 hearings accomplish anything? Did Democrats actually botch the impeachments? Is inflation taking center stage again and killing Dems' ability to talk economic accomplishments? And are we about to start eating...congressmen?
October 19, 2022
Going Beyond Politics...And Into Politics
Matt joins legendary West Virginia radio host Howard Monroe to talk about what going "beyond politics" means, and also to dive into whether Trump will actually testify, where Trump's latest scandal rates in the all-time list, and whether Marjorie Taylor Greene is actually about to be in charge in Washington DC.
October 18, 2022
The Untold Story Behind the Botched Impeachments
In November of 2019, the two top reporters covering the first impeachment of then-President Donald Trump for the Washington Post got together over a bottle of water and decided to write a book about what had really happened. Now, that book is finally hitting bookshelves tomorrow. It’s called “Unchecked, the Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump.” The authors, Rachael Bade and Karoun Demirjian, join the show to reveal why the outcome of those impeachments was not as inevitable as people think, why Democrats pulled their punches, and what sliding doors moments might have changed everything.
October 17, 2022
Jason Sattler (@LOLGOP): 15 Burning Questions in Politics
Former USA Today / current Editorial Board Columnist and worldwide Twitter star Jason Sattler (known online as @LOLGOP) joins for a massive rundown of the most burning questions in politics heading into the midterms. Borrowing from podcast legends Bill Simmons and Zack Lowe, Matt and Jason ask 15 big "are we sure" questions like "Are we sure that Democrats aren’t missing golden opportunities in the North Carolina and Ohio Senate races?" "Are we sure that the Herschel Walker scandal is even in the top five of Republican hypocrisy scandals in the last 20 years?" "Are we sure we won’t have a constitutional crisis in this election?" And "Are we sure that we’ve seen the biggest October Surprise come out yet?" Go to The Takedown YouTube channel for the full episode on video.
October 13, 2022
Our Award-Winning Interview with Former NH Chief Justice John Broderick
We are proud to say that Beyond Politics just won an award from the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters for outstanding Feature Story, so we are re-issuing that interview. One night, New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice Justice Broderick awoke to find himself in the ICU. He had been attacked by his son. The story made national news. But it was only after the cameras left that the real story begins. Since that day, Justice Broderick has been on a journey of discovery and leadership on mental health in America. He’s working to improve understanding and awareness of mental illness in order to get rid of some of the myths, encourage discussion and treatment, and begin to change the unfair and shameful culture that surrounds mental health in America. Today on Beyond Politics, a remarkable story of health, struggle, recovery, and hope, and a look at the reality of one of America's greatest and least understood challenges.
October 12, 2022
What Matters for the Midterms? Economy Hits, Walker Scandals, Ad Strategies?
The panel looks at the big economic news, including the Saudi oil production cut and the return of a potential railroad workers strike, and asks how much it will matter on election day. Also, is the Herschel Walker scandal a political nothingburger, why are Republicans hitting the crime angle so hard, and Biden finally passes a "green new deal."
October 12, 2022
Annie Duke: You Should Have Quit
Quitting gets a bad rap. But the thing is, we know from psychological research, behavioral economics, and the professionals who help top business leaders to make decisions that actually, we should be doing a lot more of it, and a lot sooner. In fact, most us stick with losing propositions far too long, and a lot of the time the smartest decision is to make s strategic decision to focus on something else. So why don't we? And can we learn to be better judges of when to throw in the towel? Our guest, Annie Duke, is well known to anyone who got caught up in the poker boom of the mid 2000s as one of the top professionals in the game, but over a decade ago she quit, and now she’s a bestselling author, a corporate speaker, and consultant on decision-making, as well as Special Partner focused on Decision Science at First Round Capital Partners, a seed stage venture fund. Her newest book is Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away. For our WKXL radio listeners she’s also a Concord New Hampshire native.
October 10, 2022
The Surprising Beginning of Modern, Selective Higher Education
Today, we feature the host of an amazing podcast called Gatecrashers, an eight-part series that tells the fascinating history of how the modern college admissions system (in fact, the entire notion of academically rigorous elite schools) that we know in America -- with its applications, essays, interviews, standardized tests, and US News lists -- all sprang from a surprising starting point: an effort to control how many Jews, and even what kind of Jews, were getting into the most prestigious schools. As the Supreme Court takes up a case that may end affirmative action in higher education, we couldn't have a more timely or important look at how we ended up with the modern higher education system. Mark Oppenheimer created and reported Gatecrashers and he’s a Senior Editor at Tablet. From 2010-2016 he wrote the Beliefs column about religion for The New York Times. He also hosts the Unorthodox podcast about Jewish life and culture. He’s also the author, most recently, of Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood.
October 06, 2022
New Poll Shows Dems Winning, But Republicans Have a Path Too
Neil Levesque of the St. Anselm's Institute of Politics returns to run through findings from their latest high quality poll, showing why Democrats have an edge in key races despite President Biden's low approval, whether Democratic meddling in Republican primaries worked, what role abortion is really playing in the election, and whether we're getting an early bead on the shape of the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
October 05, 2022
Herschel Walker Really Messed Up
The panel breaks down how Herschel Walker could have avoided a potentially campaign-sinking message catastrophe (besides not being an awful person in the first place) with some age-old political tactics. Also, Trump lawyers lying, huge issues on the Supreme Court docket, and is Mehmet Oz about to be eaten by Alicia's dogs?
October 04, 2022
J6 Committee's Jamie Raskin: Trump is Culpable
Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland was a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law for more than 25 years. That’s part of the reason he was named the lead impeachment manager for the Senate trial during the second impeachment of then-President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection at the United States Capitol. For over a year, he has been serving as a member of the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. He says that the Committee has now established beyond any doubt that Trump was culpable for the insurrection. He reveals the big items that the Committee has uncovered that the media and the public may have missed, what missing pieces of the story he'd still like to fill in during the remainder of the Committee's work, and whether Ginni Thomas is in what amounts to a religious cult around Donald Trump.
October 03, 2022
Dems Were Right to Meddle in Republican Primaries
It's been called risky, controversial, playing with fire...and that's just the Democrats talking. But now that the tallies are in, it is clear that Democrats spending $53 million to wade into Republican primaries was the right move. Matt joins The New England Take to explain why, based on his article published on The Editorial Board and Alternet.
September 30, 2022
Is Big Tech Just Poison, or Can It Be Fixed?
Recently the Center for American Progress issued a report that said “Online service companies have produced substantial wealth, but these gains have failed to reach the American workforce more broadly. Pervasive, ubiquitous digital surveillance has eroded Americans’ civil liberties. Exploitation of people’s data has created novel consumer threats around privacy, manipulation of consumer behavior, and discrimination. Americans face these and other harms from online services, including but not limited to widespread fraud, abuse of small businesses, abuse of market power, faulty algorithms, racist and sexist technological development, cybersecurity challenges, threats to workers’ rights, curtailed innovation, and challenges with online radicalization and misinformation.” But one of the authors of that reports says that despite this massive litany of destructive problems, big tech platforms can be fixed, and the Internet can be...good! Erin Simpson of CAP joins to explain. Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash
September 29, 2022
The Issues That Are Deciding the Midterms
The panel dives in to understand the key issues that are driving the midterm elections and where things stand on them: abortion, the economy and inflation, immigration, and Trump. Which party is driving the narrative onto their home turf, and how are voters reacting? Also, are Dems kidding themselves with polling, again? And did NASA just make one of Marjorie Taylor Greene's Jewish space lasers?!?
September 28, 2022
Russ Feingold: The Stealth Rightwing Campaign to Rewrite the Constitution
In the last few years, we’ve seen ideas that were once on the far fringes of American political thought become some of the most important and frightening factors in our politics. Overturning elections. QAnon. "Alternative Electors." Strict originalist views on abortion. And now, using an obscure section of the Constitution to create a right-wing rewrite of the Constitution itself. Former US Senator Russ Feingold served nearly two decades in the United States Senate, and is the co-author of “The Constitution in Jeopardy" with Peter Prindiville. They both join us to explain this growing threat to the country.
September 26, 2022
The Past and Future Republican Scheme to Distract from the Trump Disaster
Political scientist Dr. William Ewell and I just wrote an article for Newsweek breaking down the go-to Republican panic move every time they run into a rough patch politically. Pull a stunt on immigration, no matter the human cost. William joins me to run through the Groundhog Day history and likely future of their immigration ploy, and how it will probably be the ideal cover Republicans will look to in the unfolding Trump legal disaster. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
September 22, 2022
No One Knows What's Going to Happen in the Economy
Chris Hill of Motley Fool Money on why no one knows what to make of the confusing mess of economic data and business news...and that's making the market super jumpy. Also, Amazon goes all in on the NFL.
September 21, 2022
Are Democrats Falling Into a Classic Trap?
Just as Republican Senator Lindsay Graham scored a possible own-goal by proposing a national abortion ban, suddenly Ron DeSantis Diverted media attention onto his stunt to fly migrants from Texas to Massachusetts. Are Democrats at risk of letting the election focus change to Republicans' favorite territory. Also, the country dodged a train last week when President Biden helped to avert a railroad strike--but it ain't over yet.
September 20, 2022
What a 2nd Trump Term Would Actually Look Like
Brookings Institution expert Jonathan Rauch breaks down his amazing viral article for The Atlantic, "Trump's Second Term Would Look Like This," detailing a nightmarish future with an unprecedented assault on the agencies, military, courts, and democracy. Rauch is the author of eight books and a contributing writer to The Atlantic. He was the recipient of the 2005 National Magazine Award, the magazine industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. For the video of this podcast, subscribe to The Takedown on YouTube.
September 19, 2022
Will the August Inflation Numbers Kill Dems' Momentum?
Also, the tide turns in Ukraine. The big primaries today. And should Democrats try to keep Trump off the ballot?
September 13, 2022
Why Won't the Media Just Call It Facism? Former Chicago Sun Times Editor Mark Jacob Explains.
Several weeks ago, an NBC news poll found that the number one issue for Americans was not inflation, but the threat to democracy. Yet, despite American's clear concern, and despite Republican gaslighting about the supposed liberal bias of the media (hint, it's the opposite, as we cover in this episode), former Chicago Sun Times Editor Mark Jacob says that the stunning rise of fascist forces in America and the MAGA takeover of the Republican Party remains stunningly under-covered. "The media is scared of telling the truth when it comes to horrible things happening in politics. Nobody was set up for this rise of fascism...and it is fascism. And also the willingness of the Republican party to cheat in elections and and try to overturn legitimate elections. It's just astounding to me is how the biggest story of our lifetime is sitting right in front of us...yet they're afraid to cover it." Mark Jacob spent 41 years in daily newspapers, mostly in Chicago. He’s the former Sunday editor at the Chicago Sun-Times and former metro editor at the Chicago Tribune.
September 12, 2022
How to Fix Democrats' Biggest Messaging Problem
Time Magazine recently described Jesse Ferguson by saying that he "as been one of the quiet forces inside rooms where power has been negotiated, won, or ceded over the last two decades." He's one of the most sought-after messaging experts among Democrats, and he has a lot to say about the key thing that Democrats always seem to get wrong when talking to voters, and how to fix it (hint: there's an easy acronym to remember how...ABC-V). Matt and Jesse also cover how to make the Inflation Reduction Act resonate with voters, how the midterms are shaping up, and favorite stories from the campaign trail.
September 08, 2022
The Future of Streaming, Television, and Sports
The shape of what and how we view things on television is rapidly evolving, with the NFL moving to Amazon, NBC potentially dropping an hour of prime time, and sports looking to a streaming future. Chris Hill, host of Motley Fool Money, explains the dizzying changes and what might be coming next. Also, what will the homestretch of the business year look like?
September 07, 2022
We're in the End Times Now
By which we mean the homestretch toward the midterms, with 9 weeks until election day, and the outcome depending on voters' priorities between inflation and autocracy. But also, President Biden's big speech last week depicted a country on the brink of a total meltdown, with MAGA forces poised to upend 250 years of democracy. Are we actually that close to the brink, and if so, was his speech the right thing to do? Plus, if we're so close to a MAGA takeover of government, why are Democrats promoting MAGA candidates?
September 06, 2022
The Most Important Economic Indicator We Should All Be Watching
Several years ago, Newt Gingrich created a bit of controversy when he said in an interview that feelings are facts, and that the way people perceive an issue has just as much to say about it’s reality as any set of statistics that you could gather. Many people scoffed or reacted with outrage...but the truth is, he was kind of right: for instance, the way people feel about the economy has a strong influence on the objective reality of the economy as seen in the kinds of statistics that we can measure. In fact, economists generally accept the idea that people's feelings and expectations about inflation -- the number one public issue in the country right now -- become self-fulfilling prophecies that manifest in actual inflation. That’s why if you listen closely to our nation's economic leaders like Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, you’ll hear them talk so much about consumer confidence. The leading institution that measures people's feelings about the economy in America is the University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. Their Consumer Sentiment Index is one of the most closely-watched metrics of what is happening, and will happen, with the economy. Their Director Dr. Joanne Hsu joins us to tell us what it means, why it’s important, and why we need to be paying extra close attention to it right now.
September 01, 2022
Top Conservative: Student Loan Relief May Be Flawed; Republican Response is Even Worse
We’ve been talking a lot about President Biden's decision to give holders of student loan debt substantial aid by canceling up to $10,000 in debt for those making less than $125,000. It seems like the decision has made no one happy, and that's definitely true of today's guest. Brian Riedl is a Senior Fellow with the Manhattan Institute who is an expert in economic policy, having worked for six years a chief economist senator Rob Portman and Director of Budget and Spending Policy for Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. He has plenty of policy critiques of the Biden plan...but surprisingly, he has even more criticism for the Republican response and what it says about where the Republican Party has landed today, lacking any kind of coherent domestic policy agenda. He's written an article about it for The Dispatch (image from their article) and he joins us to explain.
August 30, 2022
Will Student Loan Forgiveness Kill Dems' Big Momentum?
Or will it amp it up even further? The panel dives into why Democrats are gaining ground, and whether President Biden's big move on student debt is the right thing to do both economically and politically. Plus, Lindsay Graham makes the MAGA hostage threat explicit: stay away from Trump, or the base will attack (again). Does that mean prosecutors should back off?
August 29, 2022
Debunking Republican Attacks on Tax Enforcement
In the past week, Republican attacks on the Inflation Reduction Act around how it funds tax enforcement have gotten downright scary, claiming that the IRS will use the additional funding to hire thousands of armed agents and threaten Americans’ life and liberty. It's nonsense, but it's nothing new. Back in December, we did an episode of Great Ideas that ran through the myths, realities, and partisan lies that were emerging then about tax enforcement...and most of it applies just as much now as it did then.
August 26, 2022
Top Republican Pollster Weighs in on Whether Dems have Turned the Tide
We work very hard on this show to get out of our bubble and challenge our perceptions about what is happening, so that we don't end up just living in a political echo chamber. There’s no better way to do that for Democrat than to hear from one the very top Republican pollsters working today. Right now, the big question is whether there is a real shift going on in politics...is it just a case of Democrats over tilting on a bit of good news, or is it based on real, tangible signs that voters' fundamental views and drivers of politics are changing? We've heard from Democratic analysts, and now, we get insights from Whit Ayres, a leading Washington, D.C. political consultant with over 30 years of experience in polling and survey research for high profile political campaigns and associations. He’s the Founder and President of North Star Opinion Research, a national public opinion and public affairs research firm where he provides message development and strategic insights to high level political clients including Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Jim Inhofe, John Kennedy, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Whit’s comments and analysis appear in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today,and numerous regional newspapers as well as National Public Radio.
August 25, 2022
How Dems Are Turning the Midterm Story Around
This week, we're focusing on the question of the big vibe shift in politics: is it just a hazy feeling among Democrats, or a real reflection of a significant change in their favor? Aliza Astrow is a senior political analyst at Third Way who conducts public opinion research and analysis on voter views, and she walks through whether, how much, and why voters may be warming to keeping Democrats in power.
August 23, 2022
Dem Momentum: Just a "Vibe Shift," Or Something Real?
Numerous data points are suggesting that there may be some positive trends for Democrats, along with some troubling signs for Republicans. Dems have been acting downright giddy about what they see as the recent turn. But is it mostly in their mind? Is it going to be enough? Or are they getting meaningful traction at just the right time? The panel weighs what we're seeing out there and separates what's real from what's not.
August 22, 2022
Brennen Center's Caroline Fredrickson on the Republican Party's Turn to Lawlessness
Since the FBI search on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home more than a week ago, the response from Republican office holders has been to demonize the Department of Justice, FBI, and law-enforcement in general. Republican firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene called for the FBI to be "destroyed and defunded," and the echoes of that exact sentiment have sounded throughout Republican Party leadership. Our guest today identifies a growing pattern of opposing the rule of law and celebrating lawlessness at the heart of the Republican Party. Caroline Fredrickson is a Senior Fellow at the Brennen Center for Justice at NYU Law. She’s served as the President of the American Constitution Society and she’s a frequent guest on television and radio, including serving as a regular on-air commentator during Donald Trump’s impeachments. She regularly contributes opinion pieces for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other news outlets, the most recent of which was “The Lawless G.O.P. Response to the Raid at Mar-a-Lago” in the New York Times.
August 18, 2022
Are We in a Recession or Not?
Chris Hill, host of the country's #1 stock investing radio show, joins Matt to dive into the question of whether we are actually in a recession, and whether that question really matters. There are confusing, contradictory market signs, promising indications, and warnings that could spell trouble ahead. Chris and Matt try to untangle the indications from jobs, retailer's earnings, stock market performance, GDP growth, and hiring to understand what the big picture really is.
August 17, 2022
New Polling Shows How Abortion Could Be Giving Dems the Winning Edge In Key Races
A new, highly-regarded poll from the St. Anselm's Institute of Politics is providing the best understanding yet of the politics of abortion after the Supreme Court's historic ruling ending Roe v. Wade. Neil Levesque, Executive Director at the IOP, takes us inside what they found, including how they are differentiating between people's personal views and how they will behave politically, and why this issue really could provide a winning edge for Democrats in some of the nation's most closely contested races this November. Also, the poll provides new data on the overall political environment and helps fill in the story of what's happened in politics over the past year, and where things may go next. Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash
August 16, 2022
The Question No Republican Can Answer on Trump, the FBI, and Those Secret Files
Our panel of former US Congressman Paul Hodes, conservative columnist Alicia Preston, and former staffer/campaign manager Matt Robison unpacks what we've learned in recent days about Donald Trump's hidden stash of top secret files, and identifies the one big question that no Republican Trump defender seems able to answer. Also, are things truly turning in Dem's direction politically?
August 15, 2022
Afghanistan Withdrawl One Year Later: Where Are We?
On April 14 2021, President Biden announced that a full withdrawal from Afghanistan -- one that President Trump had previously promised would happen by May -- would go forward by September 11. The withdrawal turned out to be chaotic and deadly. By August 15, Kabul had fallen to the Taliban, and 13 US service-members were subsequently killed. Now, as we approach the one year anniversary of that date, how should we think about the withdrawal decision? Was the price too high? Or does the recent killing of the world's top terrorist there help show that it was the best decision in the long run? Sean Carberry is a foreign affairs expert, consultant, and an award winning journalist and media producer with unique experience reporting on conflict. He served as NPR’s international correspondent based in Kabul, Afghanistan after reporting for NPR from more than two dozen war torn middle eastern and African countries. He worked for the US department of Defense as the lead on Department of Defense Inspector General reports on Afghanistan. Photo by Andre Klimke on Unsplash
August 11, 2022
Emergency Pod: The Shocking Raid on Mar-a-Lago
Former Democratic Congressman and prosecutor Paul Hodes, conservative consultant Alicia Preston, and host Matt Robison break down the early legal and political fallout from the surprise FBI raid on former President Trump. Paul explains from a prosecutor's standpoint what the behind-the-scenes mechanics are of getting a warrant like this, Alicia analyzes the Republican reaction, and Matt runs through the short and longer term political implications.
August 09, 2022
Is the Inflation Reduction Act a Game Changer for the Midterms?
The Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act caps a surprisingly successful summer for President Biden and Congressional Democrats in which they passed major legislation to help veterans exposed to toxins, to increase manufacturing competitiveness against China, a bipartisan deal to rein in gun violence...not to mention President Biden holding together the western alliance against Vladimir Putin‘s war in Ukraine, adding two new members to NATO, and taking out the world's number one terrorist. So have Democrats turned around what seemed to be a disastrous trajectory. And has the picture now changed for the 2022 midterms? Our guest is Navin Nayak, President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, one of the major organizations that focuses on how policy impacts politics. He previously served as the director of opinion research for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and you may recognize him from his numerous television program appearances including CNN’s “Crossfire” and MSNBC’s “Hardball.”
August 08, 2022
Has the 2024 Picture Fundamentally Changed?
Recently, legendary West Virginia broadcaster Howard Monroe has been wondering: has something deeply changed about the 2024 picture? It seems like both Donald Trump and Joe Biden's position has been softening in measurable ways. So what is the trajectory of the next presidential race? Matt Robison joins him to walk through what the indicators are -- and aren't -- telling us.
August 02, 2022
Manchin, Moderates, and Maneuvering with Top Dem Communications Strategist Jim Manley
The day before Joe Manchin made his thunderbolt announcement of the new Inflation Reduction Act, I had a conversation with one of the Democratic Party's top communications strategists. Jim Manley - who served as senior communications advisor and spokesman for then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - walked me through the question of whether all this wrangling over President Biden's economic agenda had been all negative, or whether Senator Manchin had actually helped steer Democrats ultimately to a better place. In the interview, you can hear Jim hint that there's some news coming, and his analysis of what's happened over the past year sounds even more prescient and on-point now that we know what's emerged in recent days. A fascinating discussion about negotiating, finding compromise, and trying to create a coherent message for a party that is frequently all over the place.
August 01, 2022
The Rise of Christian Nationalism
In this crossover edition of Great Ideas and Beyond Politics, we take a closer look at Christian nationalism