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Politix

Crooked Media

Politix is a weekly podcast about the 2024 election from Brian Beutler, Matthew Yglesias, and some occasional guests. We’ll have some good-faith disagreement, some points of consensus, and an overall effort to focus on what’s really at stake in November. Subscribe for new episodes each Wednesday and listen wherever you get your podcasts. www.politix.fm

Location:

United States

Description:

Politix is a weekly podcast about the 2024 election from Brian Beutler, Matthew Yglesias, and some occasional guests. We’ll have some good-faith disagreement, some points of consensus, and an overall effort to focus on what’s really at stake in November. Subscribe for new episodes each Wednesday and listen wherever you get your podcasts. www.politix.fm

Language:

English


Episodes
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Big Alito Lies

5/22/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week, Matt and Brian explore the revelation that Justice Samuel Alito flew a Stop the Steal flag over his house in the days after January 6 as a window into broader differences between the right and left. For instance: * Why are Republican-appointed judges so often former Republican operatives, while Democratic-appointed judges hail from Big Law or academia or various prosecutors offices; * Is Alito remorseless because he’s a good Federalist Society soldier, or because he knows Democrats in Congress won’t even try to hold him accountable? * Are Democrats really so habituated to GOP dominance of the Supreme Court, and to the Court being a more galvanizing issue for Republicans, that they’ve forgotten liberal anger over the Garland seat, and the Ruth Bader-Ginsburg seat, and the decision in Dobbs? Then, behind the paywall, Brian and Matt rant about the failure of both Democratic leaders in Congress, liberal justices, and progressive issue activists to take the fate of the court seriously. Why doesn’t Sonia Sotomayor think retiring now is the obvious thing to do? Why to so many Democrats in Congress seemingly want her to place her seat at risk? Why don’t progressive activists work toward constructive goals like strategic retirements and whipping up outrage over Alito? Also, what does any of this have to do with Donald Trump’s new aspiration to create what his campaign calls a “Unified Reich”? Answers to all those questions, plus the full Politix archive are available to paid subscribers—just upgrade your subscription and pipe full episodes directly to your favorite podcast app via your own private feed. Further reading: * Brian reminds Senate Democrats (cough, Dick Durbin, cough) that they can squeeze Samuel Alito, including by exposing his secret role helping Donald Trump sweep the insurrection under the rug. * Maya Sen on diversity in the judiciary. * on why Sotomayor should retire.

Duration:00:36:07

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Having A Poll For Dinner

5/15/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week, Matt and Brian take a granular look at the latest New York Times/Siena data, which finds Joe Biden losing most swing states, and well behind in the sunbelt states of Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia, which he won in 2020. They discuss whether: * Biden’s post-State of the Union poll bounce was illusory, or a hint at what might help him turn the election around; * Post-inflation grumpiness is hamstringing Biden, just like other world leaders, or if something unique to Biden (his age, the U.S. information environment) explains his peculiar unpopularity; * The issues voters say they’re fixed on (inflation, immigration, and crime) are creating genuine problems in their lives, or are merely evidence of successful, unopposed, Republican propaganda. Then, behind the paywall, Brian and Matt interpret the poll data per se: What’s the optimistic read of the numbers? What’s the pessimistic read? Is it time to revive the debate over whether Biden should yield to a younger candidate with less baggage? Or does he still have time to prove the doubters and haters wrong? Answers to all those questions, plus the full Politix archive are available to paid subscribers—just upgrade your subscription and pipe full episodes directly to your favorite podcast app via your own private feed. Further reading: * Brian on Democrats’ mysterious aversion to setting the national discourse agenda, and how it hurts them badly. * Learning From Loss by . * Matt on the misinformation that truly matters.

Duration:00:45:09

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The Times, They Aren't A Changin'

5/8/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week, Matt and Brian break down the growing tension between Joe Biden and the New York Times and try to assess what impact it will have on the 2024 election and the deteriorating relationship between Democrats and mainstream media generally. * Is Biden right to be frustrated with the way the national political media has covered the election so far? * Should newspapers outsource editorial judgment to issue polls? * What, beyond blinkering their coverage of politics, could mainstream news outlets do to increase their appeal among conservative consumers? Then, behind the paywall, Brian and Matt take a more abstract look at the challenge facing non-partisan media in the Trump era. Should mainstream journalism outlets be tribunes for democracy, as part of their larger advocacy for the free press? Can institutions like the Times be openly pro-democracy without being openly engaged in an effort to help Joe Biden win the election? What would an incarnation of the Times that made an effort to address its critics look like? Answers to all those questions, plus the full Politix archive are available to paid subscribers—just upgrade your subscription and pipe full episodes directly to your favorite podcast app via your own private feed. Further reading: * Brian on whether outlets like the Times do such a bad job addressing well-developed liberal criticisms because they don’t have good answers. * Ben Smith’s (widely criticized) interview with Times executive editor Joe Kahn. * responds to their mischaracterization of his earlier Times critique.

Duration:00:38:55

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Let Veeping Dogs Die

5/1/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week, Matt and Brian look ahead to looming questions that, under normal circumstances, would be paint-by-numbers developments in a presidential election year: running-mate selection and debates. * President Biden recently confirmed that he intends to debate Donald Trump. Is this a wise decision, and how should he approach the task? * Do Biden’s communication and strategic arms have the right acumen to see Biden through debates and other, similar challenges? * Can Trump have a running mate without attempting to steal his or her money or implicate them in the destruction of American democracy? Then, for paid subscribers, Brian and Matt apply questions raised by the new movie Civil War to real-life, Trump-era political violence incitement. With Trump running free from consequences, and promising to pardon insurrectionists, what’s to stop him from applying the logic of January 6-style mob violence to other goals he may have? Is the logical endpoint of Trumpism a full-scale rebellion from one direction or another, or something slower-burning and harder to discourage? What can liberals and Democrats do to persuade people that the threat is real, without essentially guilt-tripping people into voting blue? We hope you enjoy the conversation, and if you’d like to listen to the whole thing, you can upgrade to paid for a private feed that gets you access to the complete Politix archive and all future episodes. Further reading: * The New York Post reports that the White House wanted to drive Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre out of her job, but chickened out. * RELATEDLY: Joe Biden’s uncle really did crash his warplane in a part of the world where there were lots of cannibals. * Brian on why Democratic frustrations with the mainstream press were bound to boil over, and where things go from here. * Shelby Talcott on how nobody in GOP politics has any idea what Trump wants in a running mate because he’s distracted, selfish, and susceptible to flattery. * Brian on Civil War (with spoilers).

Duration:00:42:15

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Is The Biden Campaign's Theory Of The Election Panning Out?

4/24/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm With Matt back from vacation, he and Brian discuss a bunch of important developments in the news, and zoom out to assess whether it’s really changed race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump: * Has polling data improved enough to make Biden the favorite to win? * Have developments like Biden’s patient victory in the fight over Ukraine aid, careful management of hostilities between Israel and Iran, and solid economic news contributed to the uptick? * Is Trump’s legal jeopardy/farting finally taking a toll on his numbers? Then, paid subscribers hear an assessment of the candidates’ upside or downside potential. Is Biden poised to benefit from a booming economy as inflation memories recede? Does Donald Trump have any way to improve his standing (as opposed to dragging Biden down)? Will prediction that Biden would pull ahead by late April then widen his lead over the summer be vindicated? We hope you enjoy the conversation, and if you’d like to listen to the whole thing, you can upgrade to paid for a private feed that gets you access to the complete Politix archive and all future episodes. Further reading: * Brian on how a subset of reflexive critics, including progressives, have become economy deniers, and are holding Biden’s approval polling down. * Matt on how negativity is making everyone miserable. * Simon Rosenberg’s prediction, from Greg Sargent’s podcast.

Duration:00:46:30

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Alvin Bragg's Liberal Critics Are Wrong

4/17/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm With Matt on vacation this week, Brian hosts a conversation with Rebecca Roiphe, a New York Law School professor and former Manhattan prosecutor who enforced the very laws Donald Trump is charged with breaking in his first criminal trial. They discuss: * Why legal commentators who criticized District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s theory of the case were factually wrong about the laws at issue and how they are applied; * The importance of enforcing these laws, whether violators represent big businesses or small businesses, and whether their motives were financial, political, personal, or a combination thereof; * Whether it would’ve been a breach of duty for Bragg not to bring charges in this case. Then, paid subscribers hear a more abstract conversation about legal discourse and ethics. Why were so many legal and media elites, including many Trump critics, so eager to line up against Bragg, even as they lacked the subject-matter expertise to know whether Bragg had exceeded his mandate? Even if Bragg had gone fishing for a reason to try Trump on felony charges, would that be a violation of his ethical obligations or his oath of office? Should Trump’s status as an exceptionally high-profile political leader insulate him in any way from accountability for lower-tier felonies, even if law-enforcement officers understand him to be a serial scofflaw? We hope you enjoy the conversation, and if you’d like to listen to the whole thing, you can upgrade to paid for a private feed that gets you access to the complete Politix archive and all future episodes. Correction: Rebecca is a professor at New York Law School, not a New York University law school professor. Brian regrets the error. Further reading: * Brian on why Joe Biden should break his vow of silence and begin commenting on the hush-money case. * Mark Joseph Stern on why he was wrong, initially, to be skeptical of Alvin Bragg’s case and what made him come around. * There’s a new Stormy Daniels documentary on Peacock.

Duration:00:22:05

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Donald Trump's Plan To Make You Poorer

4/10/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Matt and Brian step back from the news cycle to examine Donald Trump’s policy agenda, and the weird extent to which he’s getting a pass on toxic ideas: * His plan for an across the board 10 percent tariff would make Americans pay more for virtually everything, including groceries; * A big immigration crackdown like the one he’s promised would raise prices further; * But since these ideas are coded as pro American-worker, he faces little pushback for the terrible consequences they’d entail. Then, paid subscribers get a deeper look at whether the threat of these consequences will eventually catch up with Trump, and hear an extended analogy between the politics of tariffs (which would cause more hardship) and the long saga of Medicare for all. Why did Medicare for all lose popularity over time? Might the same thing happen to Trump’s plan to raise banana and coffee prices? And if the key to selling policy is to cloak it in populist language (tariffs, Medicare) could Biden shake up the race by updating his agenda with ideas that unite the Democratic base and appeal to the public more broadly? We hope you’ll upgrade to paid so you can enjoy the whole episode, especially if you’re listening from the White House or Biden campaign headquarters! Further reading: * Matt on House Republicans’ (bad) plan for America. * Brian with a reminder that the 2024 election is about real things. * CAP: “Trump’s Tariff Would Cost the Typical American Household Roughly $1,500 Each Year.”

Duration:00:25:14

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Donald Trump Banned Abortion

4/3/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Brian returns from a long weekend in real America (western Mexico) with some fresh insight on how Trump-stalgia works. He and Matt discuss: * Why fewer people disapprove of Trump lately and why more people seemingly think his sharpest critics have overstated their case; * How lag effects (the persistence of the pandemic and the overturning of Roe after Trump’s term ended) has insulated him from accountability; * Whether Trump’s unique responsibility for the loss of abortion rights and his status as a Florida resident mean this issue will eventually catch up with him. Then, we offer paid subscribers an in-depth look at how public opinion on abortion has changed in the past two years, even if it hasn’t (yet) dragged Trump down. We examine the roles paid and free media might play in making Trump synonymous with Dobbs, and think through ways both party leaders and activists could draw more public attention to abortion rights per se and Trump’s role in abolishing them. Do Democrats have a problem generating free media in general? And finally, a raging debate over which kinds of beach-side resorts are best for aging but young-at-heart millennials. It was a clarifying discussion across the board, and if you’re interested in fleshing all that out we hope you’ll upgrade to paid, and enjoy the whole episode! Further reading: * Matt on the new politics of abortion rights. * Brian on the broader political implications of changing abortion opinion—what if public-opinion polling on high-salience issues just isn’t that useful? * How long can Trump hide from weighing in on the DeSantis abortion ban in his home state, and on whether Florida voters should pass a referendum guaranteeing abortion access?

Duration:00:34:07

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Trash Tok

3/27/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Julian Sanchez joins Matt and Brian to discuss: * Donald Trump’s uncanny ability to evade justice; * Why a panel of New York appeals court judges let him mostly off the hook by staving off the seizure of his assets in his civil-fraud case; * What liberals and Democrats can do to make these civil verdicts a greater political liability for him. Then, paid subscribers get a lengthier debate over the merits of banning TikTok in the U.S. Are the privacy or propaganda concerns articulated by U.S. lawmakers valid? Is it hard-nosed realpolitik to engage in tit-for-tat social-media bans with China, or a naive own goal that will tarnish the example America’s open society sets for the world? Should we just be happy to see any major social media company lose its hold on American users, no matter the method? We hashed all of that out, and if you’d like to hear where we landed, upgrade to paid, and enjoy the whole episode! Further reading: * Julian’s forthcoming Substack, Non-Content! * Matt’s broad case against TikTok. * Brian on the liberal and right-wing psychologies driving Trump-impunity politics.

Duration:00:46:22

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Blood Bath & Beyond

3/20/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Matt and Brian discuss: * Donald Trump’s warning of “a bloodbath for the whole country” if he loses; * The relative political value of exploiting Trump’s authoritarian appeals vs. his agenda of tax breaks for rich people and big entitlement cuts; * The potential risk of attacking Trump in scattershot fashion, rather than homing in on his biggest vulnerabilities Then, paid subscribers get a lengthier discussion of two potential pitfalls of resistance politics: First, does freaking out over Trump’s threats of violence come at a cost if it’s done in a way that conveys fear and weakness? Second, do liberals undermine their core values of reason and nuance by reading Trump’s provocations in the most menacing possible light? Is there any good way to make Trump accountable for his words without getting suckered into pedantic textual debates about whether his words were literal or figurative. If you’d like to hear us take a stab at those questions, upgrade to paid, and enjoy the whole episode! Further reading: * Matt admits it: The orange man is bad! * Brian and AOC discuss the disconnect between Democrats’ democracy appeals and their lackluster approach to accountability politics. * Trump runs to the safety of Breitbart to walk back his flirtation with Social Security and Medicare.

Duration:00:38:22

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Trump Sells Out

3/13/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Matt and Brian discuss: * The biggest political takeaways from Joe Biden’s State of the Union address; * Whether the press corps will do any soul searching after getting bamboozled by Republican special counsel Robert Hur; * Can Politix convince Merrick Garland to resign? Then, paid subscribers get a deep analysis of Trump’s apparent (and abrupt) decision to place Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block, after years of insisting he’d never cut them. What precipitated the reversal? Does it have anything to do with his simultaneous reversals on the right-wing Bud Light boycott and the fate of TikTok, the Chinese-owned social-media company? Did he sell his position on entitlements to right-wing billionaires because he’s desperate for campaign and legal-expense money? And what can Democrats do to drive. If you’re interested in the answers to these questions, upgrade to paid, and enjoy the whole episode! Further reading: * Brian on how Trump’s Social Security/Medicare flip flop brings the nexus between his policy agenda and personal corruption into focus. * Matt on how Trump’s position on TikTok was correct, until he abandoned it corruptly. * What does Project 2025 have to say about Medicare?

Duration:00:26:09

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Were You REALLY Better Off Four Years Ago?

3/6/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Matt and Brian discuss: * How Donald Trump wriggled away from his disastrous pandemic response and the horribleness of 2020; * Whether Joe Biden’s pandemic response made voters more inclined to forgive Trump; * The extent to which the switcheroo was the product of rational thinking vs. the political strategies of the two parties. Then, paid subscribers get a prospective look at how Democrats persuade voters that their initial instinct to vote Trump out was correct. Can they raise the salience of the pandemic annus horribillis again after almost everyone has moved on? Will they ask the canonical question: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Would they forgive Biden for a year of inflation if they understood it as part of the long, difficult process of fixing an economy Trump broke—and will break again? Upgrade to find out! Further reading: * The final report of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. * Brian on the political perils of always looking forward, not backward. * Evan Osnos on Biden’s defiant confidence in the face of losing poll numbers.

Duration:00:42:20

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What Democrats Can Learn From #NeverTrump

2/28/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm In this special crossover episode, The Bulwark's joins Matt and Brian to answer burning questions like: * Why have most Never Trumpers have embraced liberalism and the Democratic Party to some degree or another, rather than remain conservative critics within the GOP? * If Republicans sincerely believe life begins at fertilization, why are they pretending to be the saviors of IVF? * How (and where) do Republican operatives learn to be remorselessly unconcerned with norms, fairness, and consistency? * Do Republicans have a good laugh when Democrats pass up opportunities to hold Donald Trump accountable, knowing how they’d react if the shoe were on the other foot? * What would it look like from the inside if Republicans discovered Joe Biden committed half a billion dollars in fraud, or teamed up with foreign intelligence agents to frame Donald Trump? If you’re enjoying the conversation and hit that paywall, we hope you’ll consider upgrading to hear the rest, along with all our past episodes and episodes to come. We also offered Tim the opportunity to quiz Matt and Brian about Democrats, the tensions and dysfunctions that complicate big-tent liberalism, and what they would change about Democratic politics to improve Joe Biden’s chances in November, if they could only pick one thing. You can listen to that half of the crossover on podcast.

Duration:00:37:31

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Who Will Bail Out Donald Trump?

2/21/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Matt and Brian discuss: * The nearly half-billion dollar judgment Trump owes New York for engaging in fraudulent business practices; * Why MAGA spin that this his fraudulent practices were “victimless” is both bullshit, and irrelevant; * Similarities and differences between this scam and Trump’s other fraudulent schemes. Then, paid subscribers get a bigger picture look at where things go from here, and the significance for both the 2024 campaign and even national security. Are Trump’s latest entreaties to Vladimir Putin—on NATO, Ukraine, and the murder of Alexei Navalny—motivated by his renewed desperation for money? And will Democrats in Congress exploit this real risk of compromise the way Republicans exploited falsified allegations against Joe Biden? Will this be a watershed moment, or a(nother) missed political opportunity? Upgrade to find out! Further reading: * Brian encourages Senate Democrats, mainstream news reporters, law-enforcement officials, and Trump resisters to keep a close eye on whether Trump comes up with the money, and chase down the source(s). * Eight years ago, Matt broke down how Trump avoided financial ruin after failing in Atlantic City by ripping off shareholders. * Thirteen years ago Luis Zingales wrote, “Donald Trump’s announcement that he will not run in the Republican presidential primaries after all is great news for the Republican Party and for the country. The only thing more frightening than Trump’s running for president would be Trump’s getting elected president. From a party perspective, while losing an election is bad, winning one with the wrong candidate for the party and for the country is worse.” * David Brooks offers a “keep it simple, stupid” explanation of why Trump’s fraud was fraud, and why fraud is bad.

Duration:00:31:33

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Joe Biden Is Old

2/14/2024
This week on Politix, Matt and Brian discuss: * The Robert Hur report, and the fire storm the special counsel ignited with his rule-breaking, partisan attack on Biden; * How Biden could in theory alleviate concerns that he’s too old to be both president and candidate simultaneously—and why his advisers haven’t really tried; * The extent to which Biden’s age really is limiting his ability to throw his weight around in the partisan mosh pit, even if it isn’t limiting his ability to govern at all; * Whether polls on this question, and on the question of how well alternate candidates would fare, are useful at all; * The Kamala Harris factor—is her consistently weak polling against Trump freezing a dysfunctional situation in place? * How Biden’s politics of restoring norms and magnanimity has compounded (and in the case of the Hur appointment, created) his old-man woes. Since this is a news-pegged episode about a consequential and unexpected development in the campaign, we’ve made it free to all subscribers. Further reading: * Matt says seeing more of Joe Biden would make his totally ordinary memory flubs seem unremarkable, and would remind Americans of his moderate instincts, but his advisers are worried that his moderate positions will make party activists angry. * Brian demands candor from the party and the Biden campaign about why they think things are going so much worse than they anticipated when they put their strategy in motion. * He also argues that most fears about what would happen if Biden stepped aside in favor of an alternate are misplaced. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.politix.fm/subscribe

Duration:01:12:17

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Will The Republican Border Security Bait-And-Switch Backfire?

2/7/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Matt and Brian discuss: * How we reached the point where Republicans wrung a bunch of immigration-policy concessions out of Democrats, then reneged on their own deal. * What was actually in the deal and why? * Would the provisions of the bill have actually succeeded at the nominal goal of creating more order and better asylum screening at the border? Then, paid subscribers hear a more open ended conversation and debate over whether the concessions Democrats offered were wise politically and substantively, whether they needed to engage this issue on Republican terms in the first place, and whether the GOP’s turn to sabotage will allow Democrats to seize and hold the center on immigration in a way that lastingly hurts Donald Trump. Plus, Matt gratuitously slags Tracy Chapman, forcing Brian to take a brave stand on behalf of Good Music. Further reading: * Matt argues that bureaucratic obstacles to implementing a working border policy, like ineffective polygraph screening for would-be agents, should be done away with—and would make implementing a border deal before the election very hard. * Brian on how Biden can win the ensuing infowars over GOP border sabotage, but only if he browbeats mainstream news into covering Trump and the GOP’s dirty dealing forthrightly. * The Democrats should fully embrace both halves of the old border-security-for-Republicans/legalization-for-Democrats consensus.

Duration:00:27:21

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Can The Resistance Reassemble BEFORE The Election

1/31/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Matt and Brian discuss: * The $83.3 million a New York jury ordered Donald Trump to pay E. Jean Carroll for sexually assaulting then serially defaming her. * The related GOP freakout that America’s most influential person (Taylor Swift) might not like Republicans very much! * Why Democratic Party leaders seem uninterested in pressing their “not led by a rapist” advantage. They also put a pin in the issue of immigration, and the simmering nullification crisis Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) is stoking along the U.S.-Mexico border. Then, paid subscribers hear a conversation with Leah Greenberg, cofounder of Indivisible, about whether it’s important to mobilize street protests against Donald Trump before the election (like the recent marches against the German far right), and the extent to which policy activism and policymaking contribute to the demobilization of the resistance. Further reading: * Dara Lind on how the Senate border security bill won’t actually fix the problem Republicans claim to want to fix. * Brian on how the judgment in the Carroll case explains Trump’s desperation to run Nikki Haley out of the GOP primary instead of letting her flame out. * Jonathan Chait on whether the anti-Trump coalition has irretrievably splintered.

Duration:00:25:29

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What Democrats Can Learn From Ron DeSantis's Humiliation

1/24/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Matt and Brian discuss: * Ron DeSantis’s humiliation. * What policy literalism and pandering to base activists (as opposed to grassroots voters) has to do with both DeSantis’s failure, and the underperformance of some high-profile Democratic Party politicians. * Is there an optimal middle ground between detailed policy laundry lists and Donald Trump-style bullshitting? Then, paid Politix subscribers get to hear Matt’s mea culpa for setting progressive politics on its course to litmus testing Democratic candidates, Brian’s theory that the Democrats’ policy-forward appeals are sometimes necessary—particularly after long stretches of Republican rule—and what Democratic activists can learn about politics from rich, greedy tax-cut seekers like Jamie Dimon.

Duration:00:35:18

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Foreign Governments Paid Trump Millions

1/17/2024
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.politix.fm This week on Politix, Matt and Brian discuss: * Donald Trump’s predictable, big (but not actually all that big) victory in Iowa * Why leading Republicans (who know Trump is an electoral liability for the party) are trying to end the primary as quickly as possible, even with a semi-viable alternative who could make it a real race. * Whether the media screwed up by calling the caucuses for Trump minutes after they opened, or whether it marks a return to the ratings and profit-driven mania of their 2016 Trump coverage. Then, paid Politix subscribers get an in-depth look at a report by Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, which proves Trump accepted payments from foreign governments (including millions from China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) throughout his presidency. Matt and Brian debate: * The political significance of Raskin’s findings. * Why Democratic leaders seem uninterested in flogging or building on the report. * What’s changed between 2006, when Democrats saw political value in exposing Republican corruption, and the Trump era, when they have more often than not downplayed it.

Duration:00:31:54

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Taking January 6 Seriously AND Literally

1/10/2024
This week on Politix, Matt and Brian discuss: * Was Joe Biden’s January 6 speech a good speech? (No spoilers.) * Was Joe Biden’s January 6 speech good politics? (No spoilers.) * Was Joe Biden’s January 6 speech true? (Spoiler: Yes.) * How the truth of what Biden said affects the question of whether liberals should support Nikki Haley in open-primary states. * Glenn Greenwald’s imputation that Haley is worse than Trump, and only Democratic party hacks would prefer her to him. Plus, a Politix first: Twitter’s Will Stancil joins Matt and Brian as the show’s inaugural guest to discuss and debate the role of vibes in politics, and what if anything liberals, progressives, and Democrats can do to improve public opinion given the fractious nature of the center-left coalition. Further reading: * Brian on Biden’s pivotal speech. * Matt on how Trump will make material conditions (and thus maybe vibes?) worse. * Will on the social layer of politics (vibes). This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.politix.fm/subscribe

Duration:01:19:12