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Checks and Balance

The Economist

The Economist unlocks American politics, tackling a new theme each week and digging into the data, ideas, and history shaping the country at this dramatic moment. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman. Correspondents from across the US and the rest of the world plus expert guests - politicians, pollsters, professors - join the in-depth reporting and discussion every Friday.

The Economist unlocks American politics, tackling a new theme each week and digging into the data, ideas, and history shaping the country at this dramatic moment. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman. Correspondents from across the US and the rest of the world plus expert guests - politicians, pollsters, professors - join the in-depth reporting and discussion every Friday.

Location:

United States

Networks:

The Economist

Description:

The Economist unlocks American politics, tackling a new theme each week and digging into the data, ideas, and history shaping the country at this dramatic moment. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman. Correspondents from across the US and the rest of the world plus expert guests - politicians, pollsters, professors - join the in-depth reporting and discussion every Friday.

Language:

English


Episodes

Checks and Balance: Ctrl Alt Delete

1/22/2021
Joe Biden faces multiple crises after four years that often resembled a denial-of-service attack on American governance. How will the new administration reboot Washington? Washington residents reflect on an unusual inauguration, we look back to previous presidencies birthed in crises, and speak to Kathryn Dunn Tenpas of the Brookings Institution about repairing the machinery of government. John Prideaux, our US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, US...

Duration:00:38:48

Checks and Balance: On mute

1/15/2021
In the last week of his presidency Donald Trump is being purged from the political mainstream. Congress has impeached him again. He has been booted off social media. A major golf tournament has been pulled from one of his courses. How should Donald Trump and his followers be held to account for damaging American democracy? We speak to Elizabeth Neumann, who led the counterterrorism office at the Department of Homeland Security, and Megan Squire, a professor of computer science at Elon...

Duration:00:45:01

Checks and Balance: American carnage

1/8/2021
President Trump stood on the Capitol steps at his inauguration and promised to stop “this American carnage.” Four years later a violent mob stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to overturn his election defeat. Will this jarring spectacle make breaking with Mr Trump easier for Republicans? We hear from historian Rick Perlstein, The Economist’s Washington bureau chief James Astill and Washington correspondent Idrees Kahloon. John Prideaux, our US editor, hosts with New York bureau...

Duration:00:43:50

Checks and Balance: Leaving today

1/1/2021
New York became the epicentre of the pandemic when it first hit America. More than 25,000 New Yorkers have died of covid-19. An estimated 300,000 have left the city as its health infrastructure stretched beyond capacity, schools closed, and crime spiked. The loss of commuters and tourists leaves a huge hole in the city's finances. But the city has bounced back from bankruptcy, and worse, before. Can it recover in 2021? We speak to funeral director Sal Farenga and Kelley Cabrera, a nurse in...

Duration:00:43:57

Checks and Balance: The unfinished revolution

12/18/2020
After the defeat of the Confederacy and the end of slavery in 1865, the period known as Reconstruction was a chance to create a multiracial democracy and for America to live up to the promise made at its founding. It ended in failure. But in establishing the idea that the federal government should act as a guarantor of individual liberties it planted the seeds of that democracy. America’s second revolution remains unfinished. Our end-of-year special episode asks what the history of...

Duration:00:37:09

Checks and Balance: On my mind

12/11/2020
As 2020 draws to a close, the partisan feud is focused on Georgia. Joe Biden was the first Democrat in 28 years to win the state on the way to the White House. Run-off elections on January 5th will decide who controls the Senate - and Biden’s agenda. They will also test Donald Trump’s hold on his party as he refuses to admit defeat. Will Georgia tip the balance of American politics? Pablo Montagnes of Emory University lays out Georgia’s political geography, Congresswoman-elect Nikema...

Duration:00:38:40

Checks and Balance: Using my religion

12/4/2020
A ruling lifting covid restrictions on places of worship suggests the Supreme Court will favour religious rights even as faithlessness is rising. The court’s realignment may be Donald Trump’s most enduring legacy. How is the balance between religion and politics shifting in America? David French of The Dispatch explains how secularisation lays a religious rift onto the political one, we find out why the French president is carping at America over secularism, and how Joe Biden will navigate...

Duration:00:43:08

Checks and Balance: Sedate expectations

11/27/2020
Policymaker, father figure and stand-in king - the Olympian job description sets an impossible standard for any new president. But expectations of Joe Biden are more modest than for most. Solid picks for the top spots in his administration only confirm his ordinariness. What makes an ideal president and how might Biden match up? James Astill, The Economist’s Washington bureau chief, assesses how Barack Obama dealt with high expectations, columnist Lane Greene argues Biden’s plain speech is...

Duration:00:44:51

Checks and Balance: Not going gentle

11/20/2020
Donald Trump’s long-held aversion to admitting defeat leaves America with an unprecedented scenario: an incumbent president thwarting the transition to a new administration. How harmful is Donald Trump’s refusal to concede? In this episode we find out how a presidential transition is meant to work, how the current upheaval falls short, and how Richard Nixon dealt with a disputed election. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon...

Duration:00:41:50

Checks and Balance: Opening shot

11/13/2020
Joe Biden’s first move as president-elect was to unveil a pandemic advisory panel staffed by the public-health experts the incumbent likes to mock. News of an effective covid-19 vaccine came the day America passed 10m recorded cases. What difference will the Biden administration make? In this episode we hear from Kavita Patel, a doctor who advised Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, and find out how making a miracle vaccine went wrong once before. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor,...

Duration:00:39:02

Checks and Balance: When I’m 46

11/6/2020
Joe Biden is set to score a rare victory against an incumbent to become America’s 46th president. A Biden White House will set a new tone for the country. Yet the unexpected closeness of the vote - and the president’s refusal to go quietly - means the Trump brand of populism will live on. In this episode we decode the message the voters sent and what it means for America with The Economist’s data journalist Elliott Morris and Beijing bureau chief David Rennie. John Prideaux, The...

Duration:00:45:48

Checks and Balance: Not so great

10/30/2020
President Trump’s effect on domestic policy in his first term has been modest and mostly reversible. The real impact of his blow-it-up style has been felt in the corrosion of an already poisonous political culture. How has his brand of anti-politics changed America? Trump supporters at one of his last rallies before election day and his former press secretary Sean Spicer tell us why he deserves re-election. Lilliana Mason of the University of Maryland explains how partisanship has become...

Duration:00:47:12

Checks and Balance: What Don’s done

10/23/2020
“Promises made, promises kept” is one of President Trump’s campaign slogans. His main achievements on tax, deregulation, or appointing new judges would be hallmarks of any Republican administration. How has Donald Trump changed the country in ways no other president would have? What will linger even if he loses? Adam Roberts, The Economist’s Midwest correspondent, looks at the president’s record on immigration. Trade and globalisation editor Soumaya Keynes tells us how effective Trump’s...

Duration:00:43:03

Checks and Balance: Joe’s job

10/16/2020
No candidate challenging a sitting president has had a poll lead bigger than Joe Biden’s this close to election day. His allure owes a lot to who he is not. The Democrats coalesced around the former Vice President only when the more radical Bernie Sanders threatened to nab the nomination. Who is Joe Biden and what does he want? The Economist’s US business editor Vijay Vaitheeswaran explains why Wall St is coming round to Biden and we look back at his foreign policy record and role in the...

Duration:00:42:46

Checks and Balance: Florida’s key

10/9/2020
A covid-19 outbreak in the White House threatens President Trump’s chances of reelection. Behind in national polls, his path to victory once again goes through the Electoral College. He must win Florida, his adopted home state and the biggest battleground of all. Which way will the sunshine state flip this time? We speak to Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson and look at Florida’s two key demographics: senior citizens and Hispanics. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts...

Duration:00:36:52

Checks and Balance: Reality wreck

10/2/2020
The president’s tweet announcing his positive coronavirus test was his most shared ever - a shocking fact amid a mire of misinformation. This week’s angry TV debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden highlighted how even the truth has become a partisan issue. Can reality be reclaimed? We speak to MIT’s Sinan Aral, author of The Hype Machine, and Adam Roberts, The Economist’s Midwest correspondent reports from Iowa. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau...

Duration:00:39:42

Checks and balance: Confirmation bias

9/25/2020
Economist modelling suggests November's election may end Republican control of the Senate. The Republican leadership plans to push through the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg before then. Democrats are threatening to retaliate by reforming anti-majoritarian Senate rules if they win back control. Should the Senate change? James Astill, The Economist’s Washington bureau chief and data journalist Elliott Morris contribute. John Prideaux, The...

Duration:00:38:31

Checks and balance: Suburban brawl

9/18/2020
Donald Trump hopes fear of unrest and rising crime will appeal to the “suburban housewives” he tweets about. It’s a strategy borrowed from Richard Nixon, who first harnessed the political power of suburban voters to win the White House. But two years ago the Democrats took control of Congress by winning suburbia. Who will win the suburban vote this time? We speak to election forecaster Rachel Bitecofer, Candace Valenzuela, who is running for Congress in the Texas suburbs, and look back to...

Duration:00:33:21

Checks and Balance: Boomers KO’d

9/11/2020
Baby-boomers have dominated American politics since the 1990s, but this election may be their last stand. Shifting demographics do not favour Donald Trump, the boomer-in-chief. Younger Americans are more diverse, more educated, more likely to vote Democrat. Is the boomer era over? We speak to William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, look back to what Barack Obama called the “psychodrama” of boomer politics, and ahead to what might replace it. John Prideaux, The...

Duration:00:34:26

Checks and Balance: Voter confidence

9/4/2020
November’s election threatens to be ugly. President Trump’s supporters are clashing with Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland. Covid-19 complicates voting. The result may not be clear on election night. Many Americans worry the election could herald violent discord and a constitutional crisis rather than a smooth exercise of democracy. Should they be concerned? We speak to Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice and Professor Kathleen Hale, who runs the graduate programme in...

Duration:00:40:05