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Can He Do That?

News & Politics Podcasts

“Can He Do That?” is The Washington Post’s politics podcast, exploring presidential power in the face of weakened institutions, a divided electorate and changing political norms. Led by host Allison Michaels, each episode asks a new question about this extraordinary moment in American history and answers with insight into how our government works, how to understand ongoing events, and the implications when so much about the current state of American life and the country’s politics is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

“Can He Do That?” is The Washington Post’s politics podcast, exploring presidential power in the face of weakened institutions, a divided electorate and changing political norms. Led by host Allison Michaels, each episode asks a new question about this extraordinary moment in American history and answers with insight into how our government works, how to understand ongoing events, and the implications when so much about the current state of American life and the country’s politics is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Location:

United States

Description:

“Can He Do That?” is The Washington Post’s politics podcast, exploring presidential power in the face of weakened institutions, a divided electorate and changing political norms. Led by host Allison Michaels, each episode asks a new question about this extraordinary moment in American history and answers with insight into how our government works, how to understand ongoing events, and the implications when so much about the current state of American life and the country’s politics is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Language:

English


Episodes

Will the president cancel student debt?

4/15/2021
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, an economist, and a student all weigh in on what to do — or not — about student debt, in this first episode in our occasional series about the policy challenges that President Biden might face during his first year in office. Related reading and episodes The faces of student debtBiden at odds with Democratic leaders over lawmakers’ call to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student debt

Duration:00:34:09

How a voting law ignited a culture war

4/8/2021
The political power of culture warsRepublicans ramp up attacks on corporations over Georgia voting law, threaten‘consequences’The Georgia voting law, explained

Duration:00:27:07

Biden’s big bet on big government

4/1/2021
How did Biden become a president with an ambitious agenda for major government expansion? Where will his proposals position him in history? And is he likely to accomplish much of what he’s put forth? The Post’s Dan Balz weighs in. Related reading and episodes Biden is betting on bigger government. The pandemic may be helping him.Biden signed a $1.9 trillion bill. How much relief will Americans feel?

Duration:00:21:11

Do presidents have the power to stop mass shootings?

3/25/2021
After tragedies in Colorado and Georgia, Biden has pledged to tighten gun laws. But the country has been here before, in the aftermath of mass shootings. Regardless of which party is in power, little reform has happened. Will this time be different? Related reading and episodes

Duration:00:21:50

The political power of culture wars

3/18/2021
We examine why transgender rights have risen to the forefront of our politics, and what the history of the modern Republican party reveals about how social issue battles work as a political tool, with reporter Samantha Schmidt and professor Brian Conley. Related reading and episodes A transgender girl struggles to find her voice as lawmakers attack her right to existTransgender rights emerge as a growing political flash pointThe Biden era begins

Duration:00:29:02

Biden signed a $1.9 trillion bill. How much relief will Americans feel?

3/11/2021
Will low income Americans feel their lives change in tangible ways? On the other hand, might a fast-growing economy cause big problems? Plus, how might Biden make sure Americans know the government is responsible for some of economic changes they see? Related reading and episodes How to fix our democracy? Start in Kindergarten.Will Biden get you a vaccine?Biden wants to sell the stimulus. The White House is still figuring out how.

Duration:00:28:02

How to fix our democracy? Start in Kindergarten.

3/4/2021
A new report draws a line from today’s civics crises to a long-standing failure to effectively teach American government and history in our public schools. On this episode, we explain what the potential outcomes for civic engagement. Related reading and episodes Biden’s shifting benchmarks for reopening schools Investment civics education proposed to address eroding trust in democracy The Biden era begins

Duration:00:21:22

Reshaping the role of the Justice Department

2/25/2021
Can Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland rebuild confidence in the DOJ's independence? How might his efforts on Biden policies like combating far-right extremism and curbing police violence make the perception of an independent DOJ harder? Related reading and episodes The duty of a president during crisisTrump incited a mob. American Democracy suffered.How the Oklahoma City bombing case prepared Garland to take on domestic terrorism

Duration:00:29:20

Biden’s shifting benchmarks for reopening schools

2/18/2021
Can President Biden come through on this promise of reopening most schools within his first 100 days? How much can the president influence when and how schools welcome students back into the classroom? And what are the political consequences? Related reading and episodes Will Biden get you a vaccine? Biden’s goal to reopen schools meets high-stakes political test The battle over reopening schools

Duration:00:29:30

The duty of a president during crisis

2/11/2021
Some of the arguments in Trump's second impeachment trial get at the core of presidential responsibilities. We examine two of them to clarify the duties of a president during crisis and to understand how free speech applies to the commander in chief. -- Virtual event information: Want something fun to do on Presidents’ Day when you can’t leave the house? Join Presidential podcast host Lillian Cunningham for a(free!)'Presidential' trivia night with special guests, fun prizes, plus a demo of...

Duration:00:28:00

Biden says he wants to reunite migrant families. It won’t be easy.

2/4/2021
Families are still separated years after President Trump's policy ended. Latin America correspondent Kevin Sieff on the experiences of some migrant families. Plus, immigration policy expert Ali Noorani explains what it would take to reunite families. Related reading and episodes They were one of the first families separated at the border. Two and a half years later, they’re still apart.Will Biden get you a vaccine?The Biden era begins

Duration:00:29:39

Will Biden get you a vaccine?

1/28/2021
How much power does Biden have to affect vaccine distribution and where is his power limited? What role should the federal government play in the process? Plus, officials on the ground explain what it's like to work to get vaccines to their communities. If you enjoy this podcast and you’d like to support the reporting that goes into it, the best way to do so is through a subscription to The Post. A subscription gets you unlimited access to everything we publish, from breaking news to baking...

Duration:00:31:08

The Biden era begins

1/21/2021
President Biden campaigned on a promise to fix what’s broken, to repair divisions, to pull the country out of sickness, and to restore norms and institutions that were pillars of the Washington in which he built his career. Can he do that? Related reading and episodes What’s next for Trump?The 46th presidentBiden pledges to defeat extremism and culture of lies If you enjoy this podcast and you’d like to support the reporting that goes into it, the best way to do so is through a...

Duration:00:24:52

What’s next for Trump?

1/14/2021
President Trump's businesses are taking a hit, he's been impeached a second time and he might face legal challenges after he leaves office. Reporter David Fahrenthold answers questions about what’s next for Trump. Related reading and episodes One impeachment is rare. Two is unprecedented. Trump incited a mob. American Democracy suffered. Does Trump’s refusal to concede put national security at risk?

Duration:00:20:07

One impeachment is rare. Two is unprecedented.

1/12/2021
Why impeach a president who is on his way out? When would a Senate trial start? Can President Trump be convicted after he leaves office? What does this mean for the GOP? Author of The Post’s Power Up newsletter, Jacqueline Alemany, answers key questions. Related reading and episodes Trump incited a mob. American Democracy suffered. Does Trump’s refusal to concede put national security at risk? What happens if Trump refuses to accept a loss?

Duration:00:18:23

Trump incited a mob. American Democracy suffered.

1/7/2021
The breach of the U.S. Capitol was a remarkable moment in American history. Professor Sarah Binder explains how the usually uneventful vote was expected to unfold, and reporter Philip Bump lays out the challenges a divided GOP faces in the aftermath. Related reading and episodes Does Trump’s refusal to concede put national security at risk?What happens if Trump refuses to accept a loss?Two different stories of American unrest

Duration:00:30:40

How can the Supreme Court maintain impartiality in America's modern political climate?

12/29/2020
Over the holiday break, we're bringing back an old episode that has resonance today. What happens to the public's perceived independence of the Supreme Court when confirmation processes devolve into partisan battles? Original air date: October 5, 2018

Duration:00:27:07

The problems with pardon power

12/28/2020
We’re looking back at an episode that sheds light on President Trump’s actions as his term ends. Reporter Toluse Olorunippa explores the principles and controversy around presidential pardons after Trump’s clemencies. Original air date: February 20, 2020.

Duration:00:29:50

Trump and the economy: The administration’s biggest victories also exacerbated our divides

12/23/2020
The final episode in the reprisal of our series on President Trump’s legacy focuses on uneven gains in the Trump era. The stock market and the wealthiest Americans have done better, but at the cost of growing inequality. Original air date: Oct. 29, 2020.

Duration:00:27:30

Trump and science: An erosion of our institutions, in public and behind the scenes

12/22/2020
We're revisiting our series on the legacy of Trump's administration. Through weakening agencies and shuttering scientific programs, the administration has increased divisions in our trust of science-based guidance. Original air date: Oct. 28, 2020.

Duration:00:24:43