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My History Can Beat Up Your Politics

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Since 2006, bringing historical context to the politics of today. TV pundits discuss politics in a vacuum. Cable news tells you everything is 'breaking news' but in most cases, events have long roots in history. In this podcast, we smash and bash the politics of today with a healthy dose of history

Since 2006, bringing historical context to the politics of today. TV pundits discuss politics in a vacuum. Cable news tells you everything is 'breaking news' but in most cases, events have long roots in history. In this podcast, we smash and bash the politics of today with a healthy dose of history
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Since 2006, bringing historical context to the politics of today. TV pundits discuss politics in a vacuum. Cable news tells you everything is 'breaking news' but in most cases, events have long roots in history. In this podcast, we smash and bash the politics of today with a healthy dose of history






David Priess on the Realities of Impeachment and the History of Presidential Removal

We are joined today by David Priess, former CIA intelligence officer and author about his new book on the history and the realities of impeachment, and the 25th, what people think it is, and what has really happened in history. He is the author of How To Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives. "With the objective eye of a former intelligence officer and an uncanny instinct for deep truths, David Priess paints a genuinely non-partisan...


Introducing: The City

The City tells true stories of how power works in urban America. Season 1 begins in Chicago, 1990. After years of disinvestment, highways are rebuilt, old buildings demolished, and new skyscrapers erected. All that rubble has to go somewhere, and its destination isn’t a landfill—it’s a pair of vacant lots in a predominately black, working-class neighborhood called North Lawndale. The man behind this operation is a white guy sporting a Cosby sweater and underworld connections. What follows...


Posse Comitatus and Billy The Kid

A law that may have given Billy The Kid a few more months of life, long enough to build a legend is still a part of today's politics. The rich history of the Posse Comitatus law that separated military from law enforcement and forbids, in some cases, the use of military on American soil. From the laws enactment by people intending to keep African American citizens from polls, to its current meaning in a time of terrorism and drug trafficking, we look at the evolution of this law. Music by...


Valley Forge Myth and Reality - Interview with Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, Authors of Valley Forge

Separating truth from lore about what is perhaps the most important moment of American Independence, along with authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. A very different Valley Forge emerges than the one in the textbooks. An integrated army of lower middle class soldiers, along with immigrants and Indians suffering tragic conditions, avoidable deaths and disease. Only Washington's leadership and the arrival of a foreign drillmaster saves the United States. As Clavin and Drury indicate while food...


About That Court-Packing Idea. SCOTUS Discussion Part II w/ Chris Novembrino

With some fringe talk about adding members to the court, a look FDR's court-packing scheme of 1937, why it failed and why it is a cautionary tale of a defeat of a powerful political figure. However, the story also has unique qualities and may not be the exact precedent some people use it for. What would be the consequences of an expansion of the Court's members, and what will happen with the Court post-Kavanaugh? Chris Novembrino of Don't Worry About the Government Podcast joins to discuss...


SCOTUS Discussion Kavanaugh, Abe Fortas, Nixon and LBJ - w Chris Novembrino Part I

The Kavanaugh nomination and a bit of Supreme Court nomination history. A discussion and at times debate with Chris Novembrino of Don't Worry About the Government podcast. This one does get a bit opinionated.


Introducing: Legal Wars

The courtroom can be a battlefield over money, people’s rights, and even their lives. For some cases, the consequences can affect us long after the verdict is read. Based on extensive interviews and court transcripts, Wondery’s new podcast LEGAL WARS puts you inside the jury box of some of the most famous court cases in American history. Subscribe to Legal Wars today at


A Deep Dive into The Emancipation Proclamation and The Causes Behind the Civil War - Listener Questions

What was the true function of the Proclamation and the context surrounding it? How did people react at this time? Was slavery the true cause of the Civil War, and should North and South fit into liberal and conservative boxes. Could Congress pick the President? And what podcast advice does Bruce have? Bruce takes Listener Questions in this episode. Music from Chris Zabriskie, Chris Novembrino and Lee Rosevere on this episode.


Sedition, Presidents and the Press

From John Adams and the Alien Sedition Act, Lincoln's rage and FDR's giggling sidekicks, from JFK's light warnings to Trump and the press as the people's enemy, we look at the relationship between President and the Press. Plus we are joined by Chris Novembrino of the Don't Worry About the Government and All in the Family Podcast to discuss recent effects, where the press stands today, and why actions of the 18th century may still be alive in today's politics. Music from Lee Rosevere,...


Republic vs. Democracy: Radical Revolution - The Pennsylvania Radicals and the State Constitution of 1776

The Pennsylvania State Constitution of 1776, born in the fever of the signing of the Declaration and the radicalization of the city of Philadelphia expanded the rights of many but turned off a great many of those who had fought for independence. In this episode we look at the history of the singing of the Declaration and Pennsylvania's state Constitution, we examine its contents, and we look at the men - radicals of their time that helped organize the streets of Philadelphia to the...


Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the 25th Amendment, But Were Afraid to Ask.

Chester Arthur's dilemma. Woodrow Wilson's secret. Robert Kennedy's concern. The Framers of the Constitution and the unnerving though of a disabled President. A look at the history of Presidential Succession, from the Constitutional Convention to the passage of the 25th Amendment nearly two hundred years later. How does it work? Who does it affect? Why does it exist?


Midterms: They Don't Always Work Out Badly for Presidents (But Mostly They Do)

In the past 100 years, over 80% of the first term midterms went badly for Presidents, and their party lost seats. But in a few cases they did not. And a few times when they did, the result was very little real change or even a kind of win. A look at first term midterms during the Presidencies of Chester Arthur, Harding, FDR, GW Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. A combo of new and previously recorded MHCBUYP episodes reveals that while many first term midterms have devastated the...


Statue Removal: National Valhalla: Statues, Confederates, Slaveowners, Washington, Trump, Memory and Time

From the early attempts to depict Washington, to the first Congressional attempts to block Confederate statues, to today's debate. In this episode Bruce examines the history behind statues in America, and Bruce looks at every debating point and angle he can think of regarding Confederate statues, the dates of their construction and their removal. Bruce relates a bust removal debate involving the Declaration Signer Richard Stockton. Please remember our sponsor Mack Weldon and their great...


Impeachment: The Mystery of Impeachment - How it Works, What Happened in 1868 and More

Savior or scoundrel? We look at the case of one of the most celebrated heroes of Presidential impeachment. And in the course of that - we look at the Chase, Clinton and Johnson precedents for attempted impeachment, we attempt to answer questions about this oft-discussed, rarely used, and perhaps, poorly understood Constitutional function. That the President would be subject to impeachment was almost never questioned. And the language in the Constitution is clear. But that doesn't mean all...


Presidential Scandal: Watergate, Whitewater, and The Rich Texture of Presidential Scandal w/ Leon Neyfakh of The 'Slow Burn' Podcast

With Leon Neyfakh of The 'Slow Burn' Podcast, now in its Season 2, (make sure to subscribe) we take a look at Presidential scandals and investigations including Watergate, Whitewater, the Travel Office snafu during the Clinton administration and others. We learn about a Congressman who tried to investigate Watergate too early, and we discuss the Clinton Impeachment 20 years later. Are there connections between the Nixon and Clinton misdeeds, and similarities to today's politics. Do...


Rules of Political Debate: Godwin's Law is Not a Law

Godwin's Law is Not a Law. And yet, it probably should be followed in most cases. (re-do of past episode that contained an error). The surprising history of the rule that one should not discuss Nazis in debates, and the person who is not a scientist nor a lawmaker who came up with it. Also, when you can violate the rule and what the rule says about meme-driven discussions in 2017.


War: 1983 and How Close We Came to Nuclear War w/ Marc Ambinder

Examining the moment in 1983 when nuclear war was possible with new research and stories from the Soviet side. How close did we come to war? And could that war have been accidental? w/ White House Correspondent for National Journal and Political Editor of The Atlantic Marc Ambinder, author of "The Brink - President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983." We double down on some of the points made in the Reagan podcast with Marc's exhaustive research. We also get into the recent Trump-Putin...


Tariffs: Smoot - The Man Behind the Tariff

You may know his tariff, but not him. A look at the man behind the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. Reed Smoot, Senator from Utah. His history, his politics, his views on tariffs. His battles for a mix of conservative issues and progressive stands. And his battle to keep his own seat from religious intolerance. Plus a discussion on tariffs in history and the variety of different historical figures who have positive and negative views of tariffs.


RFK Anniversary: Chris Matthews on Bobby Kennedy and the Missing Element in Today's Politics

Chris Matthews of Hardball joins the program!! He has just finished his book Bobby Kennedy - A Raging Spirit. Chris talks about RFK and how his history and childhood, and his relationship with Joe Kennedy Senior that informed his own politics. Those politics, according to Matthews, were just starting to develop at the end of his life, as he sought to defend society's less fortunate, while keeping working people of all races in mind. In the interview, we discuss:


Economy and Jobs: Dark Side of Booms Part 2: Wild Times in the North Dakota Bakken Fields w/ Maya Rao

All about the Bakken oil region of North Dakota and the recent boom. Fast money and fast growth in a state that had peaked in the 1930's High volume trucking on unsuited roads, High wages matched by high rents and local price inflation, hungry outsiders and upset locals, and ubiquitous "Man camps" housing workers from all over the world. We speak with Maya Rao, Washington D.C. correspondent for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and author of "Great American Outpost: Dreamers, Mavericks, and the...