Skip to main content
Presidential Politics for America

Presidential Politics for America

By Presidential Politics for America
Your home for presidential politics... and some other stuff, too.

This podcast is an extension of the website "Presidential Politics for America," found at
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

Critical Race Theory, Part I: What is it?

Presidential Politics for America

The Declaration of Independence: Five Fun Facts
In this episode and on this Independence Day weekend, PPFA implores you to do your patriotic duty and learn about the document that founded the United States. This episode: addresses who actually wrote the Declaration of Independence (1:40);  recalls whose ideas that person ripped off (9:00);  reveals a surprising fact about July 4 as perhaps the wrong day to celebrate independence (12:50); lists a breakdown of the misleading John Trumbull painting of the founding fathers about to sign the Declaration (14:30); and considers whether or not the document actually created a new country (18:00). The episode even has PPFA's first and likely last attempt at working a footnote into a podcast.
July 01, 2022
Roe Is Dead. Long Live Roe?
In this episode, PPFA speculates about the long-term electoral impacts of Roe's overturning. Might it be a pivot point in turnout trends?
June 25, 2022
The 2022 Midterms Summer Calendar
In this episode, PPFA identifies what to monitor this summer when following the midterms.
June 14, 2022
It's Not Just about January 6
In this episode, PPFA rants.
June 12, 2022
Critical Race Theory, Part III: Should CRT be taught in our schools?
In this episode, PPFA asks a question his lawyers begged it not to answer: should Critical Race Theory be in taught in our schools? I start with how competing interpretations of history can impact our modern society (1:45). I then discuss how distance learning allowed teachers new insights into teachers' lessons, including on racial discrimination (7:30). Next, I consider whether CRT should be taught at the college level (10:20), K-8 (11:40), and high school (12:20). Finally, I evaluate the efficacy of CRT bans (16:00).
June 09, 2022
Critical Race Theory, Part II: Why the resistance?
In this episode, PPFA keeps talking about Critical Race Theory for some reason. I start with a recap of last week’s CRT overview (0:00), then get  into the 1619 Project vs. 1776 Commission brouhaha (2:30), address good-faith arguments against CRT (8:30), bad-faith arguments against CRT (18:15), and finally an attempt to find common ground (24:30). If I'm sufficiently motivated, there will be a third and final part in this series that addresses CRT's role in our schools.
June 06, 2022
Critical Race Theory, Part I: What is it?
In this episode, PPFA starts a career-ending series on Critical Race Theory. You’ll be introduced to the term “critical theory” (2:00), know the historical context to CRT’s beginnings in the 1970s (10:30), hear what CRTist think are some examples of systemic racism (13:00), and learn why CRT thinks these problems have been endemic across American history and what we should do about it (16:30). Next episode, Part II will examine why some people have problems with Critical Race Theory.
May 31, 2022
On This Date... Dunkirk
On May 26, 1940, the evacuation of Dunkirk began. Code-named Operation Dynamo, the evacuation and about 70,000 fallen soldiers saved 338,000 lives -- and it may have saved the Allied Powers as well. This week, PPFA talks about it even though it has nothing to do with politics. Sorry. Nevertheless, heading into Memorial Day weekend, it feels appropriate to remember one of history’s great military sacrifices and acts of heroism and ingenuity. Here is the map referenced in the episode:
May 26, 2022
The Rural Takeover of Washington
In this episode, PPFA reaches into the vault and updates an old piece from "The Rural Takeover of Washington" conveys how Democrats keep earning more votes in presidential and Senate elections but seem to be losing their grip on the Supreme Court, even though its members are nominated by presidents and confirmed by senators. I also have some advice to Democrats self-aware enough to recognize their predicament.
May 16, 2022
First Roe, then Obergefell?
In this episode, Presidential Politics for America is still talking about the Supreme Court. Wondering if Dobbs v. Jackson, which overturned Roe v. Wade, could signal a looming threat to Obergefell v. Hodges, which protected same-sex marriage across the US, PPFA asks and attempts to answer five questions: 1) What was Obergefell v. Hodges? (2:25); 2) How might Justice Alito's leaked Dobbs reasoning relate to Obergefell? (6:55); 3) Would this Supreme Court actually act on this reasoning if a case challenged Obergefell? (10:10); 4) What are the best pro-Roe and -Obergefell legal arguments? (19:40); and 5) And what are the political implications of a threatened Obergefell? (30:30). It's a long one! Sorry about that. There's a lot to say.
May 09, 2022
Midterms 2022: Six Months Out
In this episode, PPFA preview the 2022 Midterms. I talk about who will win the House and why (1:30). I then explain why the Senate is less predictable (11:40) before narrowing down the six races we should most closely watch (18:00). For more, go to!
May 05, 2022
In this episode, PPFA offers a summary of the leaked majority opinion from Dobbs v. Jackson (1:10) before considering the political implications of this dramatic development (8:00). For more on Dobbs v. Jackson, be sure to check out a March episode that took a close look at the case. You can also see more at
May 03, 2022
How Our Parties Switched, Part VII (Conclusion)
In this episode, Presidential Politics for America finally gets to the point. PPFA tells you How Our Parties Switched across the twentieth century. You will get walked through the roles of William Jennings Bryan (4:20), Woodrow Wilson (8:50), FDR and the New Deal (11:30), Harry Truman (16:50), Kennedy and Johnson (22:00), Strom Thurmond (24:00), Barry Goldwater (27:20), Richard Nixon (30:00), and recent examples of the new partisan pattern (33:00). All in under 40 minutes! What a bargain.
April 28, 2022
How Our Parties Switched, Parts IV-VI
In this episode, Presidential Politics for America continues its strenuous trek through American political history. If you didn't listen to Parts I-III of "How Our Parties Switched," you should start there. This week, in Parts IV-VI, PPFA recaps important details from last episode (2:10); summarizes the disagreements over the Constitution, as reflected in the debate between federalists and antifederalists (7:00); shows how those two factions evolved into the first official parties, which in time evolve into the Democratic and Republican parties (17:00); and finally takes a look at how the Democratic and Republican parties looked in the late 1800s and early 1900s (28:00). The episode ends on the eve of How Our Parties Switched, which will be the subject of next episode's Part VII--the wildly overdue conclusion of the series.
April 22, 2022
PPFA Appears on "Backyard Road Trips"
There's no new episode from Presidential Politics for America today... other than to tell you I appeared on a more established podcast! It's call "Backyard Road Trips," hosted by Zack Lamothe and Jim Wheeler. In place of listening to me bore you for a half hour, why don't you go listen to a couple guys having fun interviewing a third guy who doesn't really know how to. In the episode, we talk about my book "Who Made the West"; why I write; why I write footnotes; what I think of the state of politics; what I hope to accomplish when I teach; how I try to efficiently balance family, work, and PPFA; and more. Please give it a listen, and have a great holiday weekend.
April 15, 2022
How the Parties Switched, Parts I-III
In this first part of a three-part series, Presidential Politics for America provides, as usual, an agonizing amount of context for its chosen topic. Before explaining how the Republican and Democratic parties switched ideologies, PPFA first does the following:  defines the term "liberal" and conservative (4:00); provides a brief history of political parties (13:00); and  analyzes political patterns of colonial America (18:00). And that's just this episode! These three parts set up the next episode, which will look at how our first political parties evolved into the Republicans and Democrats. Please rate and share this podcast to better ensure I finish this long, ambitious, and surely ill-advised series.
April 10, 2022
The Presidential Line of Succession
In this episode, Presidential Politics for America walks you through the 18-person presidential line of succession -- and even takes a stab at what could lie beyond the official list. As for the answer to last week's April Fools Challenge, it was... B!
April 08, 2022
April Fools' Day Challenge
In this episode, PPFA summarizes five weird historical events... except only four of them are true. Can you pick out the one that isn't? The answer will be revealed on Monday, April 4, at
April 01, 2022
Biden's Foreign Policy
In this episode, Presidential Politics for America discusses President Joe Biden's shaky foreign policy. Hoping to highlight both successes and missteps, I talk about his approach to Afghanistan (2:50) and Ukraine (10:20). Please follow, share, and rate the podcast... you know, only if you like it. As always, for more presidential politics, head to
March 24, 2022
ACTUAL Presidential Politics!
In this episode, Presidential Politics for America actually talks about presidential politics! That includes asking the following questions:  2:32 -- Do Trump and Biden have their nominations locked up? 12:10 -- If they don't, and the primaries are competitive, who might compete?
March 21, 2022
Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization
In this episode, Presidential Politics for America addresses the looming Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a SCOTUS case that may change the future of abortion law in the United States. This is the second and final episode looking at abortion in America. 0:00 -- Background and recap of Episode 1 4:00 -- Facts of the case are lower court decisions. 6:00 -- A summary of the oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson  20:00 -- Considerations and predictions. What will the Supreme Court say?
March 14, 2022
Abortion Law in America: A Brief History
In this episode, PPFA takes a look at the history of abortion law in America. That includes:  3:00--Abortion law from the colonial era until the 1960s 7:45--Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), which established the right to privacy 13:50--The hallmark Roe v. Wade case 21:00--Developments since Roe Learn more at
March 07, 2022
Introducing: Presidential Politics for America
In this introductory episode, PPFA introduces you to a very bad idea.
March 04, 2022