Commentary Magazine Podcast

By Commentary Magazine

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 Apr 9, 2021

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Commentary is America's premier monthly magazine of opinion: General, yet Jewish. Highly variegated, with a unifying perspective.

Episode Date
The Coming Revolt of the Vaccinated
With municipalities around the country reimposing indoor masking recommendations or even mandates, no one seems to be asking whether the fully vaccinated will welcome much less endure restrictions they shouldn’t have to observe. Is a backlash brewing? Also, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall election is looking more and more like a tossup.
Jul 23, 2021
Is Pelosi Brilliant or Blowing It?
Did Nancy Pelosi make a mistake by rejecting two more pro-Trump Republicans from the January 6 commission? Or is she once again making a strategic blunder? Also, inflation has become one of voters’ primary concerns, and the threat it represents to Democrats is growing.
Jul 22, 2021
Trashing the Explorers
Today's podcast continues our conversation from yesterday about the Jeff Bezos expedition and the hunger among elite liberals to heap scorn and derision upon it, him, and the very idea of technological progress. Why? And are there really breakthrough infections? And what can we learn from Eric Adams, NYC mayoral candidate, and his commonsensical neocon remarks? Give a listen.
Jul 21, 2021
We Should Be Proud
Today's passionate podcast features praise for the American people when it comes to vaccination and serious querying why we are turning this amazing national mobilization success into a neurotic failure. And we celebrate Jeff Bezos's trip into near-space and ask again why it is that we are being told by the liberal establishment that it is a pointless and vainglorious effort. Cheer up, people! Give a listen.
Jul 20, 2021
Can the Vaccine-Hesitant Be Convinced?
Michael Brendan Dougherty of National Review joins us today to discuss his controversial NR piece, "Convincing the Skeptics," which caused a firestorm on Twitter for supposedly showing undue sympathy for those who aren't getting the vaccines. We also talk about bad polling and the very bad Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch. Give a listen.
Jul 19, 2021
Cuba, and Masks, and Throuples—Oh, My!
Today's podcast features COMMENTARY columnist Matthew Continetti joining us to ruminate upon the Biden administration's response to the events in Cuba, the outrageous imposition of an indoor mask mandate in L.A. county, and why liberals seem to think the only way to be properly sexual these days is to be in a throuple. Give a listen.
Jul 16, 2021
The Dems Are Not Playing 4-D Chess
The podcast crew expresses skepticism at the notion that Biden and the Democrats have a brilliant strategy to get their $3.5 trillion spending bill passed. And we express skepticism about Joint Chiefs chair Mark Milley's self-portrait as the man Who Saved America from the New Nazis. And we praise Olivia Rodrigo, who's great. Give a listen.
Jul 15, 2021
It's Not Manly to Refuse the Vaccine
James B. Meigs joins today's podcast to discuss the Delta variant surge and the continuing refusal of many on the Right to act to contravene it. We also talk about the weirdness of Democratic senators announcing they had agreed to a $3.5 trillion deal that, in fact, they hadn't all agreed to—and why on earth the Biden administration is giving into Iran. Give a listen.
Jul 14, 2021
Run Away! Run Away!
Washington Free Beacon Editor-in-Chief Elianna Johnson joins the program today in Christine Rosen’s absence to talk about Texas Democrats’ tactical retreat from their jobs, Cuba’s ongoing protests, and troublingly high inflationary signals.
Jul 13, 2021
Surges and Purges
Noah Rothman is back after a week away from the podcast to offer his two cents on the Delta variant surge and how it's affecting conservative media and Republican politics. We also discuss the revolt in Cuba and why it's important to support democratic rebellions abroad... and Black Widow. Give a listen.
Jul 12, 2021
Bug Juice and Bugouts
Today's hodgepodge of a podcast takes up our personal histories of summer camp, Joe Biden's speech on Afghanistan, the conversion of COVID into a seasonal flu, and bad documentaries. Give a listen.
Jul 09, 2021
COVID, Class Action, and Clowns
We talk about the recent uptick in U.S. COVID cases, the ever-elusive end of the pandemic, and the skepticism around vaccines and lockdowns. We touch on Donald Trump's move against Big Tech, and we close out with some old sitcom gems. Hint: Chuckles the Clown. Give a listen.
Jul 08, 2021
New York Politics, with Steve Kornacki
Our friend Steve Kornacki joins the podcast today to talk about the results of the New York City primary in the Democratic party and what they say about the party's ideological makeup—and about the future of ranked-choice voting. It's great. Give a listen.
Jul 07, 2021
Liberals are Gaslighting Themselves
The leftist attacks on America around July 4 may prove to be the unforced error of all unforced errors, or so we say on today's (sadly Noah-free) podcast. We also talk about tenure for critical race theorists, who really knows about critical race theory, and who should be talking about the vaccination problem. Give a listen.
Jul 06, 2021
America the Wonderful
It's the Fourth of July weekend and we spend the podcast defending America from the nonsense of NPR, the liberal notion that America is a bad actor on the world stage, and the idea that COVID is some form of rough justice for America's sins. Have a glorious weekend as you give a listen.
Jul 02, 2021
The Legacy of Great Men and Awful Men
On today's podcast: What happened in the Bill Cosby case? How best can we discuss the extraordinary life of Donald Rumsfeld, RIP? What is ballot harvesting? Will people believe elections are fair ever again? Give a listen.
Jul 01, 2021
Blue States Are More Incompetent Than Red States
Today's podcast looks at the disaster of the New York Democratic mayoral primary and what it says about the way liberal cities and states work. And more repulsive blather from Ilhan Omar. Give a listen.
Jun 30, 2021
Mel Brooks, COVID and Iran (But Not In That Order)
Today's podcast concludes with a commemoration of the life and career of 95-year-old Mel Brooks and what they have to teach us—and how we need to restore what he brought to American life and American comedy. Before that, we ask why Democrats and Republicans have such wildly divergent views about the end of the pandemic—and the thickets into which the Biden administration has wandered with Iran. Give a listen.
Jun 29, 2021
Biden, Aliens, Angels, Demons, DeSantis
Matthew Continetti joins today's podcast, which features a conversation about aliens and God so deep that you may think we were high or drunk while recording it. We weren't. Give a listen.
Jun 28, 2021
Did Biden Just Torpedo His Own Bipartisan Promises?
On the final podcast of the week, we try to make sense out of Joe Biden praising bipartisan dealmaking before promising to pass everything left out of the bipartisan infrastructure deal—which will likely destroy that deal. What's the game here? Is there one? And did Mike Pence just end his Republican political career? Give a listen.
Jun 25, 2021
He's Not FDR. Maybe He's Jimmy Carter.
Today's podcast takes up the conundrum of the politics within the Democratic Party that led to fantasies of a new New Deal, which have been subjected to various reality tests this week injurious to Joe Biden and his agenda going forward. Also, more reader mail about vaccinations and whether we're mean about them. Give a listen.
Jun 24, 2021
Liberals Talk Themselves Into a Frenzy
Today's podcast tries to make sense out of the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating from Democrats about the failure of their largely unconstitutional voting bill before pointing out that progressives had a setback in the New York City primary on Tuesday and what that might mean. Give a listen.
Jun 23, 2021
Labs, Leaks, Politics and Pandemics
James. B. Meigs joins us again to discuss the important question of just why it was the idea of COVID originating from a lab leak was deemed undiscussable. We also point out that the press has a historical habit of believing that corporations will do all sorts of evil scientific things... but not Communist regimes. Give a listen.
Jun 22, 2021
People Who Want to Stay in COVID Jail
The evidence is everywhere: An extraordinary number of people seem to prefer living under masks rather than accepting the data that say the pandemic is over. Why? We go into that, and the extraordinary story of the lab leak in the Soviet Union that American "experts" agreed was a naturally occurring phenomenon... because saying so was taking a side in the political-cultural-ideological war of the time. Sound familiar? Give a listen.
Jun 21, 2021
When Will Liberals Get Off the Party Line?
Today's podcast discusses the amazing fact that conservative justices on the Supreme Court often go against what people say their political allies demand of them—but this happens far more rarely among liberal justices. Now, why would that be? Also... Donald Trump is running. Give a listen.
Jun 18, 2021
Why Is Rita Moreno Apologizing?
Today we begin the podcast with talk about Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin before getting to the hot topic of the day—an apology proffered by a showbiz legend for saying something entirely commonsensical and true. Why did Rita Moreno feel it necessary to abase herself before the gods of wokeness? Give a listen.
Jun 17, 2021
A Listener Protests!
Today's podcast features a response from all of us to a great letter from a listener who believes I am far too harsh about the question of who gets vaccinated. See whom you agree with! And, again, when will they say the pandemic is over when the pandemic... is... over... NOW. Give a listen.
Jun 16, 2021
Commentary Podcast: Biden in Europe, Critical Race Theory, and Where Is Fauci?
What did Biden say about the GOP and Vladimir Putin on foreign shores? Attacked one and praised the other? We talk about that on today's podcast, as well as shameful public pronouncements by columnist Michael Gerson and former Biden COVID guy Andy Slavitt. Give a listen.
Jun 15, 2021
Bibi Goes Bye-Bye
Bret Stephens joins the podcast crew today to discuss the change in Israel's government—and the complex legacy of Benjamin Netanyahu. Then we talk NATO, Biden, and the end of the pandemic. Give a listen.
Jun 14, 2021
The Inner Toobin
Does Jeffrey Toobin deserve to be treated with compassion and forgiveness when woke culture is busy showing the opposite of both to anyone that crosses it? And how will the media atone for their false coverage of what happened in Lafayette Park in 2020? Give a listen.
Jun 11, 2021
The Democrats Saving Joe Biden from His Party
The progressive left is having a fit over its more moderate members, who have failed to support their transformative designs. But aren’t they saving Joe Biden’s presidency from the unforeseen consequences of pursuing a sweeping agenda on which he didn’t even run? Also, the journalistic backlash against reporting on Israel objectively.
Jun 10, 2021
Voting Myths and the Woke Aristocracy
Chris Stirewalt joins us today to discuss his brilliant COMMENTARY article, "Republicans, Stop Believing Your Own Election Myth," before we get to the question of what's worse, wokeness or the new American aristocracy that is enshrining it? Give a listen.
Jun 09, 2021
The Democrats’ Kamala Harris Conundrum
Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a hilariously bad response to NBC’s Lester Holt when she was asked why she hadn’t visited the border yet amid her efforts to oversee the ongoing border crisis. The episode adds to the mounting evidence suggesting that Harris is not great at politics.
Jun 08, 2021
Sex, Lies, and Basil
Today's podcast points out our continuing cultural confusion when it comes to political correctness, law, and the mistreatment of women before moving on to the Democratic party's insistence that Republicans are trying to destroy the voting franchise. And what spicy thing did Biden say about war? Give a listen.
Jun 07, 2021
Liberal Pieties, Meet Hard Facts
The disappointing jobs report will be answered by an explosion of cliches, we say on today's podcast, but the ability of the Biden administration and liberals in general to make excuses for the failures of their own policies is waning by the day. As is, perhaps, Donald Trump's sanity. Give a listen.
Jun 04, 2021
The Terrible Consensus
Tech Commentary columnist James Meigs joins the program to talk about his latest piece for the magazine “Thank God for Big Pharma.” We discuss the “lab leak” hypothesis and the terrifying consensus within the scientific community that shut its advocates up.
Jun 03, 2021
Dishonesty and Deflation
Financial guru David Bahnsen joins us today for a deep dive into the COVID numbers and offers his fascinating take on why the threat to the future is not inflation but deflation. Give a listen.
Jun 02, 2021
The End of COVID Is Nigh
The numbers don't lie. We're weeks away from the pandemic being over in the United States, and yet the bitter clingers still threaten our future. Why? And why are Trump fans saying he will be "reinstated" as president? And why, if it happens, is Bibi Netanyahu on his way out? Give a listen.
Jun 01, 2021
The Chinese Dragon’s Missing Scale
The rehabilitation of the “lab leak” theory of COVID-19’s origins in the press is now accompanied by the Biden administration calling for an investigation. But what will his administration do with that information if the worst is proven correct?
May 28, 2021
You Like Us! You Really Like Us!
We channel Sally Field's notorious Oscar speech in offering thanks to listeners for their kind words in response to our inquiry yesterday about whether we should continue to record daily podcasts. Then we react with horror to the Biden budget proposal! Give a listen.
May 27, 2021
The Decline Mentality
Though it is particularly true of New York City, it’s apparent across this country: The political class has lost its enthusiasm and affection for the nation. They are focused not on revivifying and reinventing it, but on divvying up what’s left while you can. It’s not just a Democratic fixation, either. The GOP’s obsession with relitigating the 2020 election prevents them from looking forward, and that needs to be throttled out of the party.
May 26, 2021
The Pandemic’s End
New positive COVID tests are at or approaching historic lows across the United States. Deaths and hospitalizations are reaching rates associated with a typical flu season. The pandemic is on the eve of its conclusion. The only question is when elected officials will acknowledge it. Also, the Democratic Party’s advocates in the press have discovered the real problem with anti-Semitism: it detracts from the progressive project.
May 25, 2021
It's the Pick-Your-Own-Topic Show!
Today we try something new: Each panelist chooses a topic. We talk about the effort to equate anti-Semitism with Islamophobia. We talk about whether the Biden administration will hold China accountable on the virus. And we talk about the state hijacking of a commercial European jetliner. Give a listen.
May 24, 2021
The Violence Against Jews and the Democrats’ Complicity
Street violence targeting American Jews is on the rise across America. It is being provoked and condoned by progressives within the Democratic establishment, and the party is doing nothing about it.
May 21, 2021
Gaza, Commissions, and Pipelines
Today's podcast goes over the latest in the ideological war of the Left against Israel, the political hijinx over the January 6 commission, and what on earth is going on with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Give a listen.
May 20, 2021
Commentary Podcast
All the news is good. All the trends are great. Why are the media focusing their sympathetic attention on people who seem to want to live in perpetual lockdown? And why isn't the Biden administration turning on Israel (yet)? Give a listen.
May 18, 2021
Gaza Madness and Masking Madness
The first podcast of the week takes up the continuing assaults on Israel's defensive action against Hamas in Gaza and the continuing confusion over the lifting of the masking rules by the federal government. Give a listen.
May 17, 2021
Take Off Your Masks, America!
Today's podcast asks what changed that made it possible for the president to announce the end of masking for vaccinated Americans? Was this the result of the "science" or a naked political move to distract from the bad news of the week? And why are liberals clinging to their masks? Give a listen.
May 14, 2021
Inflation at Home and Conflation Abroad
Inflationary signals are glowing red hot, and it’s starting to scare the markets. Will the Biden administration and Democrats be similarly spooked? Also, the contrived effort on the part of Trump critics to use the conflict in Israel to run down the Abraham Accords, which misunderstands their purpose.
May 13, 2021
Israel Under Attack—from Hamas and Liberals
On today's podcast, I read my exchanges yesterday with my sister from her bomb shelter in Tel Aviv to give listeners a real-time sense of what it's like to be under rocket attack. And then we express our outrage at the liberal effort to blame Israel for the assault upon it before we take up the ouster of Liz Cheney from House leadership and what it portends about the Republican future and Donald Trump. Give a listen.
May 12, 2021
The So-Called Experts and Their Lack of Expertise
Today's podcast takes up the catastrophic error made by the Centers for Disease Control in assessing the risk from outdoor transmission of COVID, as detailed by David Leonhardt in the New York Times. Then we go into the catastrophic error made by Joe Biden on pumping unemployment money into the economy, which he tried to correct on Monday. And then into the potentially catastrophic error made by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in assuming the West would come to their aid when they're firing hundreds of rockets at Israel. Give a listen.
May 11, 2021
The Numbers Are Really Good
Today's podcast exults in what can only be called exit-velocity numbers about the pandemic and a shift in tone from the panjandra of the public-health community given the good news. Then we tell you the truth about what's going on in Jerusalem before making fun of liberals trying to explain the reasons for the bad jobs report. Give a listen.
May 10, 2021
The Consequences of Bad Policies
On today's podcast: Unfortunate job numbers—job creation expected to be around 1 million coming in at 266,000 instead—may be the perfect expression of how intrusive government policy in the form of direct unemployment benefits from the federal government are actually encouraging people to stay home rather than go out to work. More bad policy is in the potential offing through the infrastructure proposals. More bad policy is being made by the notion of waiving patent rights for the vaccines. Give a listen.
May 07, 2021
The Biden Plan to Kill the Golden Goose
Joe Biden’s administration has inexplicably decided to abrogate the intellectual property rights of vaccine manufacturers to satisfy a fringe progressive demand. Why? And the New York Times has all but declared the pandemic behind us as vaccination rates in the U.S. crater.
May 06, 2021
A Vaccine Strategy Revamp? What Vaccine Strategy?
The long knives are out for Liz Cheney within the GOP, but does ousting this meddlesome priest from her role in leadership really serve Republican interests ahead of the 2022 midterms? And Joe Biden supposedly revamps his vaccine strategy, but his statements make it plain that the administration has no idea what to do about declining demand for inoculations.
May 05, 2021
Leaving Biden Behind in the Race to Reopen
Blue states like New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are following the leads set by Texas and Florida and racing to reopen, regardless of the Biden administration’s desires. Also, the census data showing that racial characteristics aren’t immutable—they can change over time—and why it shows how the theory of Intersectionality as an organizing principle is a dead end.
May 04, 2021
The New Silent Majority?
Is wokeness creating anew the force Richard Nixon called the "silent majority"? And why are fully vaccinated people still wearing masks after the CDC said they don't have to? And what about Andrew Yang? Give a listen.
May 03, 2021
Dissent Is Patriotic
According to Joe Biden, wearing a mask even if you’re fully vaccinated and everyone around you is fully vaccinated, is now patriotic. But is patriotism so conditional? Also, how Republicans become culture warriors when they notice Democratic culture-warring, and the effort to disenfranchise minority children in the name of “equity.”
Apr 30, 2021
The Bidding War Presidency
Joe Biden made a lot of promises in last night’s semi-State of the Union address, most of which involved spending vast sums of money. But will this promissory note that is unlikely to materialize in the real world energize Democratic voters as much as it drives Republicans to the polls in opposition? Also, Sen. Tim Scott’s clever and impressive rebuttal.
Apr 29, 2021
Who Is Still Listening to the CDC?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their long-anticipated masking guidelines for the fully vaccinated and it turns out that your privileges are… functionally indistinct from those afforded the unvaccinated. If anyone is still listening to this agency, it isn’t the people public health officials need to reach. Also, Human Rights Watch’s embarrassingly unconvincing allegations against Israel.
Apr 28, 2021
Who’s Doing the Culture Warring Here?
The podcast discusses a heartening display of defiance in France to protest the unjust verdict rendered in the anti-Semitic murder of Sarah Halimi, which further reinforces the case for Zionism. Also, the racial condescension on display among progressives who heap scorn on white vaccine holdouts but handle skeptical minorities with kid gloves. And finally, countering the narrative that Joe Biden is no culture warrior.
Apr 27, 2021
Unmasking the Oscars and John Kerry
Today's podcast discusses what it means that the Oscars were so badly executed, whether we're about to be released from having to wear masks outside, and what John Kerry told the Iranians that should have him hauled up before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Give a listen.
Apr 26, 2021
Biden's Wild and Unachievable Ambitions
The podcast takes up Joe Biden's determination to cut carbon emissions in half in nine years and what such a ludicrous promise means politically. What does it tell us about what he thinks his job as president is and what he wants the history books to say about him? Give a listen.
Apr 23, 2021
Believe Your Own Eyes
The COMMENTARY gang expresses its shock and disbelief at the ability of liberals and the Biden White House to disregard the unmistakable evidence in the police shooting in Columbus, Ohio in favor of their preferred narrative about how cops are systemically racist—and how they might be giving birth to an "Enough Already" Party. Give a listen.
Apr 22, 2021
Second-Guessing the Chauvin Jury
A jury of 12 peers listened to the evidence and rendered a verdict. Before the verdict, the jury's impartiality was questioned by the Left. After, it's being questioned by the Right. And what of the efforts to turn a shooting in Columbus, Ohio, into a new George Floyd case? And what of the vaccination numbers slowing way down? Give a listen.
Apr 21, 2021
Back In Studio!
The first COMMENTARY podcast in 14 months with three regulars in our podcast studio at our New York offices! Is normalcy returning? Ehhh.... not really. Give a listen.
Apr 20, 2021
Who's Naming and Shaming?
Why does Rep. Maxine Waters get to call for "confrontation" in case the verdict in the George Floyd case doesn't go the way she wants? Shouldn't she be named and shamed? Or is that just to be left to liberal reporters who get to pick and choose who's named and shamed? And here's one for you: Why aren't Fauci et. al. naming and shaming the Americans who won't get the vaccine? Give a listen.
Apr 19, 2021
When They Say 'Don't Panic,' Maybe You Should Panic
Is inflation coming? The answer is "yes," but the experts are saying not to panic. Really? Ever lived through an inflationary spiral? We discuss that, the refusal to distribute conservative books, and the media's refusal to hold itself accountable for false stories about "Russian bounties on American soldiers." Give a listen.
Apr 16, 2021
The Yuval Levin Show
Our friend Yuval Levin joins the podcast today to talk about Democratic House members moving to pack the Supreme Court and pushing an extreme agenda in general—what's going on there? And what on earth is happening with a United States Ambassador to the United Nations attacking... the United States? Give a listen.
Apr 15, 2021
What Is It Good For?
Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake joins the podcast today to discuss Joe Biden’s plan for withdrawing all NATO forces from Afghanistan on, of all dates, the twentieth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. What are they thinking? Also, the fallout from the decision to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Apr 14, 2021
The .00000088 Percent
James B. Meigs joins the podcast today to discuss the news that the FDA and CDC have "paused" the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and what it might mean. We also discuss infrastructure bills and polling misses. Give a listen.
Apr 13, 2021
Can We Remain Calm About Cops, Iran, and Variants?
Eliana Johnson of the Washington Free Beacon joins the podcast today to discuss the recent shooting near her hometown of Minneapolis, the worry about the South African variant, and how liberals are reacting to the degrading of the Iran nuclear program. Give a listen.
Apr 12, 2021
The Truth About the George Floyd Trial
Today's podcast looks at the media coverage of the murder trial of police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis with the clear suggestion that the full story of what is going on in the courtroom is not being made clear enough to the American people. And will moderate Democrats hold Joe Biden accountable for moving farther to the Left than he suggested he would during the campaign? Give a listen.
Apr 09, 2021
The Great Overreach
On guns, illegal immigration, and schooling, Democrats from Joe Biden to Stacey Abrams to Andrew Cuomo to Randi Weingarten are pushing policy prescriptions and spending that seem entirely out of whatever the political center is. Will they pay a price? Give a listen.
Apr 08, 2021
The Iran Deal Is Back—And So Is Crime
Today's podcast takes up the moves by the Biden administration to reopen talks with Iran, as well as the evidence that the crime spike of 2020 was not about economic hardship but rather an offshoot of the war on the police. Also, what is the difference between voter depression and voter suppression? Give a listen.
Apr 07, 2021
Did Anyone Sign up for This?
The gang engages in a series of generalized rants about the class-based COVID theatrics to which some are more committed than others and Joe Biden’s transformative agenda, which he did not run on and for which no one voted.
Apr 06, 2021
The '60 Minutes' Slander
Today's podcast takes up the outrageous "60 Minutes" effort to defame Gov. Ron DeSantis and the vaccine rollout in Florida before we go on extended rants about the way the success with the COVID vaccine is being twisted into a new crisis in general by a media determined to continue to force us into lockdown life. Give a listen.
Apr 05, 2021
Biden's Big Government Bet
Noah Rothman returns from vacation to help us make sense of the Biden administration's claim we need trillions in "infrastructure" spending at a time when job creation is going through the roof and the American economy is about to soar. Also, what on earth is going on with Matt Gaetz? Give a listen.
Apr 02, 2021
Straight Talk About Race
Wilfred Reilly, author of this month's COMMENTARY cover article, joins us to talk about "The Good News They Won't Tell You About Race in America." Give a listen!
Apr 01, 2021
Israel: Great Vaccinations, Horrible Elections
We're joined today by Israeli journalist Ruthie Blum to discuss the bizarre phenomenon of Israel likely heading toward a fifth election in two years despite the multiple triumphs in the past year attributable to the leadership of embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Why hasn't Israel's success in national vaccination carried Netanyahu to new heights? And we continue to discuss vaccine hesitancy and its problems. Give a listen.
Mar 31, 2021
Why Are the Bidenites Embracing Gloom and Doom?
Matthew Continetti joins the podcast today to discuss the interesting decision of the Biden administration to go apocalyptic about the COVID threat even as vaccinations accelerate—and we discuss the objections by listeners to the idea that they should get vaccinated. And a whole lot more. Give a listen.
Mar 30, 2021
The Chauvin Trial Begins
Today we take up the dangers posed by the trial of Derek Chauvin, charged with the murder of George Floyd, and the controversy over so-called "vaccine passports." Give a listen.
Mar 29, 2021
Biden Beats the Press
How did President Biden do at his press conference? What went on at the Journal of the American Medical Association that will horrify you? Most important, how abjectly did I apologize for criticizing my colleagues wrongly the other day? Give a listen.
Mar 26, 2021
What Will They Ask Biden?
A press conference is coming. How will the media try to shield the new president? What questions will they ask—and won't they ask? Give a listen.
Mar 24, 2021
Can Anyone Feel Shame Anymore?
The news that former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell is arguing that no one should have taken her claims regarding election fraud seriously suggests an interesting crisis of confidence is upon us. Both parties are beholden to exculpatory narratives for their own failures that are, in essence, lies, but do any of them possess the capacity for shame? Also, progressives with an ingrained hatred of the pharmaceutical industry face a conundrum.
Mar 23, 2021
Social Anxiety Is Controlling America
Should we feel sorry for the poor Biden people who find themselves on the knife's edge when it comes to border security? And should we feel sorry for ourselves that our path out of COVID is being blocked by those with social anxiety? And should we care about cancel culture canceling liberals when liberals don't care about conservatives getting canceled? Give a listen.
Mar 22, 2021
China Sandbags the Biden People
The podcast today takes up the alarming spectacle of the first major diplomatic meeting of the Biden administration, at which senior Chinese officials lambasted the United States and our shocked senior diplomats found themselves at a loss. Why were they at a loss? We explain. And talk about a bunch of other stuff. Give a listen.
Mar 19, 2021
What the Killings Say About Us
On today’s COMMENTARY podcast: The mass murder of Asian-American women in an attack in Georgia, the apparently sexual motive behind those killings, and the sources of racial tension in America. Also, the Biden administration’s endorsement of a “three-foot rule” in schools and the conflict between educators and their union representatives.
Mar 18, 2021
The Biden Clean-Up Squad
After yesterday's podcast highlighted Biden's homeland security secretary all but inviting illegal aliens to cross the border—but later on–George Stephanopoulos helped the president fix the problem his underling had created. But is this really a fix, or just a dodge? And why would Biden endorse making the filibuster a "talking filibuster"? And why did he sort of say and not say that Andrew Cuomo should resign? And more. Give a listen.
Mar 17, 2021
'Don't Come Now. Come Later!'
The Biden administration's homeland security secretary went on Good Morning America and suggested to those streaming across the border and the parents who are sending their kids across that they might want to wait until the administration sets up a better system. Are they kidding? No. Meanwhile, the Washington Post corrects itself on Trump and Dr. Fauci offers praise for his own supposed truth-telling. Give a listen.
Mar 16, 2021
The Ideas of March
Christine goes to a demonstration. Liberals act like the Biden administration has brought Christmas every day. Andrew Cuomo sends his sub-goon to scare New York state politicians. And the Oscars are still kinda white. Today's podcast is a smorgasbord of delights. Give a listen.
Mar 15, 2021
Biden Wants To Tell You What To Do and When
Today's podcast analyzes Joe Biden's speech to the nation regarding the pandemic and asks whether he's remaining funereal about the present and immediate future in order to be able to claim victory after victory because of underpromising or out of a desire to keep people under control until we can be sure the virus is fading away. And what's this about New York Democrats in the House wanting Andrew Cuomo to resign? Give a listen.
Mar 12, 2021
The Social Media Torture Chamber
Today's podcast reflects on how the purpose of social media is increasingly as a forum for cruelty–and why that is so seductive to so many people. Also, the reinvention of Joe Biden as the second coming of FDR: will it stick? We warn about the possibility of violence surrounding the trial of Derek Chauvin, and wonder who hasn't been molested by Andrew Cuomo. Give a listen.
Mar 11, 2021
Biden the Credit Hog
The popular "relief" bill and the vaccine rollout accelerations put Joe Biden in the catbird seat, setting himself up to take credit both for our emergence from the pandemic and a roaring economic recovery. Will it work? Also, what did Dr. Fauci mean when he said the CDC would be liberalizing its guidance over the next few weeks—was this an implicit admission it was slowing the roll until the relief bill is signed into law? Give a listen.
Mar 10, 2021
Liberal Gaslighting
Today's podcast takes up the question of whether Bernie Sanders could have been as functionally left-wing as president as Joe Biden is being. And what is this game in which liberals create culture wars and then say conservatives are crazy for reacting to them? Give a listen.
Mar 09, 2021
The Era of Big Government Is Back
The $1.9 trillion relief and stimulus bill returns us to the era of big government, as we discuss today on the podcast. We also talk about the problems of royal families both real (the Sussexes) and imaginary (the Zamundans in Coming 2 America) and, yes, Andrew Cuomo. Give a listen.
Mar 08, 2021
Cuomo's Tell-Tale Heart
The news just keeps getting worse for New York's governor, with state officials saying they feared for their jobs if they did not participate in a cover-up of COVID death data and a powerful and credible interview with a woman whom he allegedly harassed. And what's this: Connecticut opening up? Is its Democratic governor a Neanderthal in Joe Biden's eyes? Give a listen.
Mar 05, 2021
Who's Running the Biden Show?
A day of confusion in Washington as the Biden administration says it wants schools reopened but then also seems to implicitly agree with the teachers' unions that schools can't reopen until everyone is vaccinated by insisting on "prioritizing" teachers. How to make sense out of this? And what's this huge story out of Israel about a mammoth oil spill? Give a listen.
Mar 04, 2021
Texas Lightens Up
Today's podcast looks at the decision of Texas Gov. Abbott to loosen all state-level mandates relating to the coronavirus and asks whether this is a worthy experiment or a dangerous threat. And what about what's going on with American policy toward Iran and Saudi Arabia? Give a listen.
Mar 03, 2021
Today's podcast wonders at the possibility of Andrew Cuomo being destroyed not by his nursing-home scandal but because of sexual harassment. What's a bigger problem? And we take up the phenomenon of elite panic deepening even as the vaccine news gets better and better. Give a listen.
Mar 02, 2021
The Good Vaccine News and the Bad Governor
Today's podcast expresses optimism and relief at the continuing good news on the vaccine front and expresses schadenfreude at the continuing troubles of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Also, Trump returns to CPAC. Give a listen.
Mar 01, 2021
The Biden Game on Iran and Stimulus
The podcasters end the week arguing over the meaning of the Biden administration's decision to strike Iranian targets even as they attempt to reenter Obama's Iran nuclear deal. And wonder as well at the bribery and fecklessness in the $1.9 trillion relief/stimulus bill and what it portends. Give a listen.
Feb 26, 2021
Cuomo’s Ugliness and the Horror at Smith College
Today's podcast takes up the consequences of Andrew Cuomo's unambiguously repellent sexual harassment of an Albany aide as well as the nightmarish false accusations of racism against workers at Smith College. Oh, and Trump at CPAC. Give a listen.
Feb 25, 2021
The Seductions of Top-Down Control
With the good news about the vaccine, the question that faces us (and the podcast crew today) is how will the politicians who have exercised such extraordinary powers over the past year behave now that they should no longer be used or necessary? Once they've tasted the sweet ambrosia of control, can they give it up? And hey, notice that Biden now has "kids in cages" too? Give a listen.
Feb 24, 2021
Woke Self-Destruction: Should We Enjoy It Or Worry?
Today's podcast examines the latest blowup in the Cultural Revolution overtaking journalism, as Slate defenestrates a staffer who actually did something woke—but thought it over first. Should we care, or does this mean no one is safe from this marauding band of cancellers? How about the Biden people trying to use ethnicity and gender to protect and advance the cause of a controversial appointee's confirmation? And how did Biden do in commemorating the horror of half a million American lives lost to COVID? Give a listen.
Feb 23, 2021
Why Do They Want Us to Be Depressed?
The vaccine news, especially out of Israel, is startlingly good—especially as regards the transmissibility of the coronavirus. So why, the podcast crew asks, are the elites focusing on the bad, bad, very bad? Is this just a matter of habit, or is there something political going on? And why did Biden even nominate Neera Tanden, who is almost certainly not going to get confirmed as OMB director? And why do liberals think there's no dignity in work? Give a listen.
Feb 22, 2021
Cuomo and Cruz: Politicians In a Pickle
The podcast crew enjoys watching Andrew Cuomo's halo turn into a shackle, and wonders at the larger meaning of Ted Cruz's self-inflicted disaster of a trip to a beach while his constituents freeze in their homes. Give a listen.
Feb 19, 2021
Here Comes the Overreach
Congressional Democrats haven’t even passed their proposed $2 trillion COVID relief package and they’re already talking about teeing up a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure bill. Are Democrats repeating the mistakes of Barack Obama’s first term? Also, the delusions of Ben Rhodes and Rush Limbaugh’s legacy.
Feb 18, 2021
Why Is Joe Biden Afraid of ‘Normal?’
The podcast dissects Joe Biden’s CNN town hall and tries to parse his administration’s conspicuous fear of affirming that society will ever return to something resembling “normal.” Also, the battle for the soul of the GOP continues with Trump in the wilderness.
Feb 18, 2021
Biden's Freezing Out Bibi
Why are Andrew Cuomo's poll numbers still strong? Why is Joe Biden making anti-Israel personnel moves at the State Department and refusing to talk to Benjamin Netanyahu?  Why is Nancy Pelosi forming a commission to investigate the January 6 storming of the Capitol? And why is a 16-year-old's mental health fodder for a reality show? Give a listen.
Feb 16, 2021
Trump Isn't Going Anywhere
The podcast achieves new heights, or lows, of crushing morosity today as we contemplate the botched impeachment trial—botched by Democrats!—and the new "how to open schools" guidance from the CDC that seems not to follow the science but rather the desires of liberal and leftist "stakeholders." Oh, and some interesting Democratic appointments round it all out. Give a listen.
Feb 15, 2021
Impeach... Cuomo?
Today's podcast looks at the third day of the impeachment trial and raises questions about the effectiveness of the Democratic case. Then we talk about the admission of guilt by Andrew Cuomo's top aide relating to the undercounting of nursing-home deaths. And Christine Rosen's brilliant new article. Give a listen.
Feb 12, 2021
The Rioters Were Role-Playing
Today's podcast looks at the narrative presented at the impeachment trial and how it reveals the disturbing nature of a riot whose participants seemed to have themselves taken on the roles of avenging angels and villains in a dark superhero movie. What does this say about us? And what does it say about us that a doctor trying to find willing arms into which he could inject a rapidly expiring vile of COVID vaccine was fired and charged with a crime for not pursuing "equity"? Give a listen.
Feb 11, 2021
Unfrozen Caveman Impeachment
How bad were Trump's lawyers? Does it matter? How good were the House managers? Does it matter? Does anything matter? How about opening schools—and why are John's kids' schools open while yours are closed? And what does Philip Larkin have to tell us about the world under COVID? Give a listen.
Feb 10, 2021
The Democrats Are Bailing on Their Own Impeachment
The podcast today takes note of the Democratic hunger to get the Senate impeachment trial over with as quickly as possible so they can hand out $2 trillion worth of goodies to the public and what this says about the seriousness of the liberal conviction about Trump being a threat to the republic. And what on earth is going on at the New York Times? Give a listen.
Feb 09, 2021
The Super Bowl's War on Fun
Can we ever enjoy ourselves again? That's the question the podcast crew says was raised by the lame commercials at last night's Super Bowl—and by the continuing efforts of the public-health bureaucracy to tell us we will never emerge from the COVID regime. Give a listen.
Feb 08, 2021
Doing Too Much and Not Enough
The Commentary podcast on the risks in the new stimulus, Ben Sasse’s admonition of his state’s Republicans, and warmth of the spotlight on public health officials.
Feb 05, 2021
What Is the Proper Level of Crippling Despair?
Here’s the good news: The House Republican conference voted overwhelmingly against punishing Rep. Liz Cheney for her vote to impeach Donald Trump in defiance of the GOP’s populist wing. Here’s the bad news: That same conference also gave Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene a standing ovation and is disinclined to anathematize her conspiratorial paranoia. So, is everything completely terrible or just really bad? The COMMENTARY podcast debates the proper level of despair.
Feb 04, 2021
The Great Escape from COVID
Have liberals finally had enough? Are they going to break discipline once they get the vaccine and stop insisting everyone wear three masks? And why does the Biden administration not want to participate in legal action against racial discrimination? Give a listen.
Feb 03, 2021
The Political Future Is Being Decided Right Now
The podcast says Joe Biden's choice of negotiating with Republicans or ramming his own COVID deal through represents a hinge moment for his presidency only 13 days in! And the impeachment trial and what Donald Trump will require of Senate Republicans may be the historical hinge moment for the GOP. Give a listen.
Feb 02, 2021
Will Biden Play 'Let's Make a Deal'?
Today's podcast raises the specter of a negotiation between the new president and ten Republicans who offer the possibility of a bipartisan deal on COVID relief. Will he take it as an opportunity to prove he can work across the aisle or view it as a political trap? Also, more on Andrew Cuomo's perfidy and Donald Trump's GOP blackmail. Give a listen.
Feb 01, 2021
Governor of Doom
The podcast goes at Andrew Cuomo hammer and tong as the whistle is blown by a fellow Democrat in New York state on his handling of the coronavirus. But that's not all! What about Trump and Kevin McCarthy? What about Nancy Pelosi's enemies list? What about hedge fund guys yelling on TV about people who have no right to invest the way they invest? Give a listen.
Jan 29, 2021
It’s All in the GameStop
The COMMENTARY Podcast is not the place you want to turn for stock market tips but we do have something to say about the political and cultural meaning of the extraordinary events surrounding the Gamestop stock and the runup in its value. And we wonder at the Biden administration's foot-in-mouth disease when it comes to job-destroying executive orders. Give a listen.
Jan 28, 2021
Biden Unleashed
Today's podcast takes up the executive order frenzy of the new administration and Biden's embrace of critical race theory and the teachers' unions' view of how no school should reopen (watch this jaw-dropping video from the teachers union in Chicago) until they decide it's safe. And, of course, the looming Senate trial in the Trump impeachment. Give a listen.
Jan 27, 2021
Who's Going to Look More Extreme?
Today's podcast asks whether the Democrats are both overplaying their hand politically and setting themselves up to seem like extremists in 2022 or whether Republicans in places like Oregon are setting up the GOP for disaster because of their embrace of conspiracy theory and lies. And what does this mean for the politicians who like to straddle fences? Give a listen.
Jan 26, 2021
Tell Us Something About COVID We Can Trust
Today's podcast gets into the COVID confusion of the moment and the continuing refusal of elected officials and public-health people to speak the simple truth about what they know and what they don't—and the fact that tradeoffs are difficult and painful and horrible. Also, the Biden administration gets tested abroad and the GOP continues to eat its own. Give a listen.
Jan 25, 2021
Acute Psychological Crisis Alert!
Today's podcast features the gang playing psychiatrist as we try to analyze the claim of a New York Times columnist that she has been in an emotional prison since the election of 2016. How will they get over their addiction to Trump hatred? And how will we be able to deal with the fact that our leaders in Washington now insist everyone wear masks but take theirs off at the least opportunity? Give a listen.
Jan 22, 2021
Is This What Biden's Voters Actually Want?
Today's podcast takes up Joe Biden's early executive actions and the complaints by his COVID czar that they've been left no plan to implement, which is a falsehood but politically very much in keeping with the way incoming administrations try to lower expectations. The question is: Will Biden go woke when his entire candidacy was a feint toward the non-woke? Give a listen.
Jan 21, 2021
Inaugurating the Biden Era with Meghan McCain
Host of ABC’s “The View,” Meghan McCain, joins the podcast today to talk about Joe Biden’s inauguration as president, the fallout from the January 6 Capitol Building riots, and what it will be like to host a daytime talk show without President Trump.
Jan 20, 2021
The Media Won't Quit Trump
Today's podcast takes up the surreal fact that Joe Biden will be president, and Donald Trump will not be president—and yet it still feels like Trump is the only news game in town and nobody cares what Biden will say or do. Also some football talk! Give a listen.
Jan 19, 2021
Trump's Gift to Biden
Bret Stephens, newly minted COMMENTARY contributing editor, joins the podcast today to discuss his blockbuster article, "Memo to President Biden: Please Don't Mess Up the Abraham Accords."  Give a listen.
Jan 18, 2021
Biden's COVID Agenda—and Cuomo's Shame
Today's podcast examines the Biden promise to see 100 million vaccinations in 100 days and asks whether that's actually ambitious enough. And we take on the disgraceful assault by a Biden spokeshack on a grieving constituent. Give a listen.
Jan 15, 2021
Shall I Eat an Impeach?
Today's podcast takes up the second impeachment and the quandary facing the Senate as regards the trial of Donald Trump. Will it involve an assault on free speech? Why are liberals so intent on cracking down on speech anyway? And what about the GOP and Trump's continued popularity? Give a listen.
Jan 14, 2021
The Uncharted Waters of Impeachment 2
Today's podcast anticipates the House's vote to impeach Donald Trump a second time and where things go from here—is this the worst possible way to do something our crew does think is vitally necessary? And how badly will the Republican Party fracture over this? Give a listen.
Jan 13, 2021
The Impeachment Calculation
Congress once again compelled to take up an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, and the old political calculations are making a comeback. Republicans have a gun to their heads—if reports are to be believed, in a very literal sense, and are increasingly less inclined to support such a motion. But Democrats don’t seem inclined to make betraying Trump an enticing prospect. Is everyone going to blow it?
Jan 12, 2021
Deplatform Shoes
Our podcast today is supersized as we take on the aftermath of the riots, the removal of Trump from Twitter and the removal of Parler from the Internet, the Republican Party's challenge, the prospects for impeachment and removal, and the very nature of reality itself. Get a cup of coffee and give a listen.
Jan 11, 2021
The Long Fight Ahead
With the fallout settling from the siege of the Capitol Building, it has become clear that there should be serious consequences to render that event unthinkable. But what should they be? From impeaching the president, to shaming the lawmakers who allowed this to happen, to the fight for the soul of the GOP; the podcast discusses and debates next steps.
Jan 08, 2021
What Is To Be Done?
The insurrection staged by Donald Trump yesterday is the focus of our podcast today, and what remedies should or could be adopted to deal with one of the most disgusting events in American political history. Give a listen.
Jan 07, 2021
The Dems Take It All
The podcast considers the meaning of the Democratic victories in Georgia and the fact that four years ago Republicans had secured control of the House, the Senate, and the White House—and have now, four years later, lost them all. Give a listen.
Jan 06, 2021
The Year That Changed Everything… 1971? Really?
Today's podcast steps back from day-to-day politics to feature our friend Daniel Casse discussing his fascinating Wall Street Journal op-ed, "The Future Turns 50 This Year."  How did 1971 change everything? Give a listen.
Jan 05, 2021
New Year, Same Old
First podcast of 2021: Trump's astounding phone call, Cuomo's COVID response, conspiracy theorizing... What year is this again? Give a listen.
Jan 04, 2021
One Last Parting Insult
Outgoing President Donald Trump issues two final insults to the American people on his way out the door by throwing a wrench into negotiations over a new COVID relief bill when the deal is already done and by pardoning three convicted former Republican officeholders. Also, Christine’s adventures in music, John and Abe’s take on film, and Noah’s abject dullness. Give a listen, and we’ll see you all in the new year.
Dec 23, 2020
We Ain’t No Delinquents, We’re Misunderstood
Increasingly, the progressive left has abandoned the cause of decriminalization in favor of decarceration, expanding the terms of the debate around criminal justice reform to include the virtual abolition of criminal justice as we know it. What was the genesis of this idea, and what could its political consequences be?
Dec 22, 2020
Build Back Smaller
The new round of stimulus, a more infectious strain of COVID-19 emerging in the U.K., Donald Trump’s latest episodes of impotent flailing in the general direction of November’s election results, and Joe Biden’s diminished presence on the public stage. It’s all here in the latest episode of the COMMENTARY podcast.
Dec 21, 2020
Politicizing the Vaccine
The podcast takes up the horrendous "medical ethics" talk surrounding the distribution of the vaccine, as well as the roles of luck and gratitude in American life, a surprising reversal of fortune for AOC, and the incoming Senator whose name makes him sound like a character on "Captain Kangaroo." Give a listen.
Dec 18, 2020
The Liberal Puritans
Today's podcast concerns Biden-team attacks on "terrible" Republicans, whether Biden himself was too negative in his "I won" speech earlier this week—and why it is that Democrats have become the enemies of fun. Give a listen.
Dec 17, 2020
COVID Fundamentalists; Guilty and Framed
Eli Lake joins the podcast to talk about his blockbuster COMMENTARY essay "Guilty and Framed." Also, we ask: Why are talking-head doctors and public health officials telling everybody we'll all have to keep living this way even after we get the vaccine? Are they crazy? Give a listen.
Dec 16, 2020
What If Biden Is the Unprecedented One?
The podcast raises the prospect that it's really Joe Biden's presidency that will be unprecedented—because he'll be the first president in many decades who won't become the sun around which all the political planets revolve. Give a listen.
Dec 15, 2020
Time for a Little Media Bashing
The podcast takes up the question of whether the Right's refusal to accept Joe Biden's victory is genuinely revolutionary or more of an enraged howl against systemic media bias—which also has shown its true colors in the attack on one of COMMENTARY's most valued contributors, Joseph Epstein. Give a listen.
Dec 14, 2020
Will Biden Screw Up the Middle East?
Dan Senor, co-author of Start-Up Nation and host of the new "Post Corona" podcast, joins us today to talk about the electoral college and who intimidated whom (answer: Democrats sought to intimidate Trump electors in 2016) and how the transformative Abraham Accords might be derailed by a Biden administration just as Bibi Netanyahu finds himself in existential trouble as his trial is getting ready to begin. Give a listen.
Dec 11, 2020
Musk's Rockets' Red Glare
Tech COMMENTARY columnist James B. Meigs joins us today to discuss his piece, "We're Living in a New Space Age"—and the launch of the massive rocket yesterday by Elon Musk's SpaceX that was both a triumph and a disaster. Give a listen.
Dec 10, 2020
The Permanent Constitutional Crisis
The hosts look back on all the many crises Donald Trump’s behavior was expected to yield. And while his behavior is doubtlessly dangerous, it has not produced the kind of perilous legal circumstances Trump’s critics feared. Also, Abe Greenwald posits a unified theory of protest movements.
Dec 09, 2020
P.J. O'Rourke Is Our Guest!
The COMMENTARY gang welcomes P.J. O'Rourke, first-time magazine contributor with his wonderful and acid piece "Shamalot" in our December issue, to the podcast to talk about JFK, Chinese spies, and Biden cabinet picks. Give a listen.
Dec 08, 2020
The Torment of Lockdowns
Andrew Ferguson joins the podcast today to discuss lockdown culture and what it's doing to small businesses, what's behind the idea that the election was "stolen" from Donald Trump, and why the story about American diplomats being attacked by foreign intelligence agencies using microwaves isn't a bigger deal. Give a listen.
Dec 07, 2020
You Had to Be a Big Shot, Didn't You
Will we split into a vaccinated/non-vaccinated society next year? That's the key subject of today's podcast, along with conspiracy theories, that old favorite. Give a listen.
Dec 04, 2020
Are They Trying to Lose Georgia?
Today's podcast takes up the bizarre situation in the Senate runoffs in Georgia and the developing fights inside the Democratic party pitting actually popular national political figures (like Barack Obama) against radical local politicians (like Missouri's Cori Bush) who seem to think they know better. Give a listen.
Dec 03, 2020
Biden Condescends
What did the president-elect mean when he invoked treating Trump voters with "dignity" in an interview? And how desperate is he to go back into the Iran nuclear deal? All this, plus pardons and some really disgraceful behavior by Roger Stone and Michael Flynn on today's podcast. Give a listen.
Dec 02, 2020
The Elite Thinks It Knows Best
Today's podcast takes up elite condescension—in advice on how to use words to convince people to be more responsible pandemic citizens and on the credentialism that limits social mobility and privileges the already privileged. Give a listen.
Dec 01, 2020
Emergencies Aren't Supposed to Last Forever
Today's podcast takes up the Supreme Court's ruling on religious shutdowns, the COVID spike that doesn't quite seem as horrendous as the conventional wisdom says, and the crocodile tears being shed over the Iranian nuclear scientist who was assassinated in Tehran. Give a listen.
Nov 30, 2020
Whom Can We Trust? We Can Trust You.
Today's pre-Thanksgiving podcast concludes with our heartfelt expressions of gratitude for family, friends, co-workers... and our readers and listeners. Before that, we take up new CDC guidance on quarantining and an astonishing thing Barack Obama said about Latino voters. Give a listen.
Nov 25, 2020
Trump's Stolen-Election Gambit Is Over
With the news that Donald Trump is allowing the transition to begin, the post-election madness has pretty much come to an end. What will its long-term consequences be, if any? Give a listen.
Nov 24, 2020
There Is No Kraken
Our podcast crew wonders at the disintegration of the Trump case and the dissolution of the Trump legal team and asks whether it is comic or tragic and what the fallout will be. And then we take up the incoming Biden foreign policy team and how woke or not-so-woke it will be. Give a listen.
Nov 23, 2020
Enough Already!
What, our podcast asks, does it mean when the best thing you can say about the Trump fraud allegations are that the president is crazy and not that he's up to something politically? And what are the consequences going to be for teachers' unions as they attempt to prevent schoolchildren from, you know, learning? Give a listen.
Nov 20, 2020
Today's podcast features some out-and-out ranting against the egregious behavior of New York's Andrew Cuomo before we go on to rant about the egregious headline writing in the New York Times and the egregious ideas of some Democratic officials regarding Israel and the Palestinians. Give a listen.
Nov 19, 2020
One Test to Save Us All?
Today's podcast takes up a promising proposal for a home "contagiousness" test that everyone can take, as described by Harvard's Michael Mina in this article in Time. Will empowering the American people in this way work? We disagree on that. And we disagree on the consequences of the continuing dispute about the election results. Give a listen.
Nov 18, 2020
Biden’s Challenges in the Middle East and at Home
Recent revelations involving Iran’s nuclear program will leave Joe Biden with some hard choices to make about America’s foreign policy toward the region. But Biden will face resistance from his party’s left flank if he is to embrace and navigate the new geopolitical reality in the Middle East. Also, the podcast hosts discuss their articles in the forthcoming post-election issue of COMMENTARY.
Nov 17, 2020
The Democrats Have A Problem
2020 Election Superstar Steve Kornacki joins our podcast today to discuss the fascinating and unprecedented political situation now facing Joe Biden—with what is likely to be a Republican Senate and a teeny-tiny Democratic majority in the House. How can he govern? Also, I complain about Nate Silver. Give a listen.
Nov 16, 2020
They Don’t Know How to Quit Him
What is driving the political world’s fixation with the president even as he has largely ceded the spotlight to his rival? Is it Trump’s still menacing but largely banal self-affirmations on Twitter, or is Joe Biden just such an unenthusiastic prospect for the left that they are milking the final weeks of the Trump era for all they are worth?
Nov 13, 2020
We’re Supposed to Listen to Cuomo? Really?
So the COVID surge has Andrew Cuomo banning in-home gatherings of groups larger than 10. Can he do this? Can the surge cause new lockdowns that people will follow? And what will the economic consequences be? Give a listen.
Nov 12, 2020
The Outrage Addicts Keep Shooting Up
The podcast today examines how Joe Biden came out and calmly said he'd be president soon and didn't much care what Donald Trump was doing—and three seconds later the political world had a collective nervous breakdown over a weird series of firings and new installations at the Department of Defense. Biden wants to cool things down, but he seems to be the only one. What's going on here? Give a listen.
Nov 11, 2020
Liberal Hypocrites
Today's podcast dives deep into the hypocrisy of those who are decrying the Trump effort to claim voter fraud when they spent four years saying Russians stuffed our ballot boxes and Stacey Abrams won Georgia in 2018 when she lost by 60,000 votes. More hypocrisies abound. We go through them and get pretty riled up. Give a listen.
Nov 10, 2020
Be a Man
The podcast considers how we can turn the page on the Trump presidency now that Biden is president-elect—and how conservative ideas of manliness should both govern the president's behavior going forward and what his most loyal supporters should actually expect of him. Rest assured we do not let Joe Biden off the hook—despite moderate talk during his acceptance speech, he's already kowtowing to his party's left, and we show how. Give a listen.
Nov 09, 2020
The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives
The podcast crew talks about how things will function in a brave new world in which Joe Biden will be president—while at the same time the Republican Party lives to fight another day with an unexpected surge below the presidential level. Give a listen.
Nov 06, 2020
Republicans Did Well. Trump Did Not.
The podcast today examines the polling results that show net gains for the GOP in the House and surprising holds in Senate races suggesting the Republicans will maintain their majority next term. At the same time, Donald Trump seems to have lost at least three, and maybe as many as five, of the states he won last time—while issue-less Joe Biden won more votes than anyone ever by a large margin. We unpack the meaning of all this. Give a listen.
Nov 05, 2020
Sleep No More! Election Doth Murder Sleep!
Yes, we Commentary podcasters were up all night, like you, and so we spend some time trying to speak coherently about what happened, what is happening, and why pollsters should be put in a rocketship and fired directly at the sun. Give a listen.
Nov 04, 2020
Fun Stories from the Republican Campaign Trail
On the Election Day podcast, when it's all over but the results, we stop the punditry and look back to elections past with our friend Daniel Casse, veteran Republican campaign hand. What happened with Clint Eastwood and the empty chair? How about Chris Christie's entourage? How Bob Dole chose the seating chart on his plane? And lots more. Give a listen.
Nov 03, 2020
Eerie Echoes from 2016
The COMMENTARY podcast does something a little different to celebrate Election Day eve. We went back into the archives to reexamine the last podcast ahead of Election Day 2016 and, upon review, there are a lot of eerie similarities between then and now.
Nov 02, 2020
Get Me to the Polls on Time
A few more hours...that's all the time we've got. (As Alfred Doolittle sings in "My Fair Lady.") So we discuss the final numbers—presidential job approval—that offer a pretty solid sense of where the election might end up. And the weird Senate situation in Georgia. And the paradox of the shy Trump voter. Give a listen.
Oct 30, 2020
Great Economic Numbers, But No Credit
Today's podcast begins with a huge economic number—33-plus percent growth. And yet we all agree the president is unlikely to get much credit and explain why. Also, why liberals are increasingly moving toward the view that anyone who disagrees with them is evil. Give a listen.
Oct 29, 2020
How Dare You Cover the News!
Today's podcast deals with the astonishing media attitude toward the rioting in Philadelphia and the continuing refusal to cover the story being told about Hunter Biden and the Biden family by Tony Bobulinski—a story we don't even really think is on the money, but that should not be ignored. Give a listen.
Oct 28, 2020
How Liberals Gaslight: The Courts and the Media
Today's podcast reels in disbelief at the liberal disingenuousness in claiming the Right has violated norms in relation to Supreme Court nominations when the norm violators are...liberals. And then we tackle the ludicrous lengths to which liberal media bias is working to defend Joe Biden even when he might need no defense. Give a listen.
Oct 27, 2020
What Does Trump Know That We Don’t?
Do the Trump campaign’s efforts to appeal to the COVID fatigued voter suggest they know something about the electorate that isn’t showing up in the polling? Or is the president just flailing about in the final days of a losing campaign?
Oct 26, 2020
Fact-Checkers, Get to Work
The final debate of the 2020 presidential cycle featured a surprisingly competent Donald Trump and a listless Joe Biden. And that lopsided performance has led Biden’s tacit or overt supporters in the press to approach the subject of Biden’s mendacity gingerly and with trepidation. But that abdication will have profoundly negative consequences if Joe Biden becomes president.
Oct 23, 2020
Does Hunter Biden Matter?
Do the revelations involving Hunter Biden’s emails that purport to implicate his father in efforts to profit off foreign interests matter? The COMMENTARY podcast debates the issue and previews tonight’s final presidential debate.
Oct 22, 2020
The Magical Hypnotic Power of Donald J. Trump
The suffocating anxiety in liberal circles and the weird complacency in Trumpian circles derives from the same unconscious belief—the belief that Donald Trump possesses supernatural powers that either threaten to or will happily make him unstoppable.
Oct 21, 2020
Open up the Schools, for God's Sake!
Data from New York City shows without question that schools must be opened. Meanwhile, in Fairfax County, Va., the union is demanding schools remain closed until next September. Something very, very bad is going on here. Give a listen.
Oct 20, 2020
Have Americans Always Been Crazy?
The podcast today takes up the subject of liberal panic that they are being lulled into a false sense of security by the polling suggesting a big Biden win before we discuss the American obsession with conspiracy theories and ask the question: Has it ever been thus? Have we always loved nutso ideas? Give a listen.
Oct 19, 2020
How Trump Can Win, Maybe
Today's podcast takes up the rival Trump-Biden town halls and their overall effect and then tries to come up with a scenario under which the president wins an election almost all the polls say he is on the way to losing. Give a listen.
Oct 16, 2020
Shut Up, They Explained
Today's podcast dives deep into the behavior of the mainstream media and tech companies in response to a New York Post story about Joe Biden's son Hunter—about the naked and deliberate way they sought to shut down access to the story and choke the oxygen out of it before it went viral. What conceivable defense can there be for such behavior? And why did they do it? Give a listen.
Oct 15, 2020
Amy, What You Wanna Do?
Today's podcast takes up the ludicrous and offensive efforts to brand Amy Coney Barrett a colonizer and a homophobe, even as polls show the American people (and Democrats!) are taking to her. Also, what on earth was Nancy Pelosi doing attacking CNN's Wolf Blitzer for being a...Republican? Give a listen.
Oct 14, 2020
The Liberals Set Their Trump Trap
The podcast crew takes up the idea that American liberals have collectively hit upon their closing message for the election: The GOP is the party of the disease. The question, then, is: Will they change their tune and their approach to the virus if their team wins on November 3? Give a listen.
Oct 13, 2020
The Post-Truth Moment Comes for the Courts
As the Senate begins the process of hearing the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the capacity of partisan Democrats to internalize and adopt whole or partial untruths is being tested to its limits.
Oct 12, 2020
Can They Get Away with It?
In this episode, the COMMENTARY crew unloads on everyone. Can Joe Biden make it all the way to Election Day without saying whether he supports or opposes his party’s threats to pack the Supreme Court? Will Donald Trump ever answer for his incitements and the atmosphere to which he’s contributed, which has recently culminated in a plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer?
Oct 09, 2020
The VP Debate and What We Used to Call ‘Politics’
The crew breaks down Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate and talks a little poetry.
Oct 08, 2020
Does Trump Have a Strategy?
Donald Trump’s decision to announce that he was walking away from the table amid negotiations with Democrats over another tranche of COVID relief sent shockwaves through the markets and the political landscape. Did he have a plan, or, as his subsequent tweets suggest, was this a fit of pique? Also, forecasting the highlights from tonight’s vice-presidential debate. AEI scholar Matthew Continetti joins the show to discuss all this and more.
Oct 07, 2020
The Reality Show Meets Reality
The president’s diagnosis has shattered the unreality of this presidency and reminded Americans of the very real consequences that result from public policy.
Oct 06, 2020
The State of the Race After Trump’s Diagnosis
What has Donald Trump’s COVID diagnosis done to the national political landscape? Will the public respond with sympathy or does the event merely reinforce the belief that the president’s recklessness has contributed to the longevity of this pandemic?
Oct 05, 2020
So, What Happens Now?
How will Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis reshape the political landscape? No one knows. But we do have some speculative thoughts on how this could play out.
Oct 02, 2020
Gird Yourselves for a Biden Presidency
With the polls seeming to be moving away from the president, it’s time to prepare for the prospect of a Biden presidency and a Democratic Congress. What will that look like? What will Biden do and what won’t he be able to do? And how will Republicans respond to their loss?
Oct 01, 2020
What an Irredeemable Mess
The COMMENTARY crew breaks down the unholy spectacle to which we were all privy during Tuesday night’s first presidential debate. Strap in.
Sep 30, 2020
Debate Night in America
The revelations about how little Donald Trump paid in income taxes may be a central issue in tonight’s debate, but that could overshadow other issues that are more beneficial to Joe Biden and his party. What do the candidates need to do to “win” the first presidential debate?
Sep 29, 2020
The Amy Coney Barrett Show
The gang convenes on a Sunday morning for a very special episode of the COMMENTARY podcast, and it’s all about Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court seat last held by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amy Coney Barrett.
Sep 27, 2020
The Perpetual Legitimacy Crisis
Donald Trump’s apparent decision to make people apprehensive about whether he will vacate his office should he lose the election has lent credence to some otherwise insane theories about how the election will play out. Also, the looming threat of a second lockdown and the psychology of COVID malaise.
Sep 25, 2020
The Cosmic Unfairness of It All
Does Donald Trump have a plan when he does absurd things like refuse to entertain the prospect of a peaceful transition of power if he was to lose the election? Of course, he doesn’t. But that doesn’t make it any less contemptuous. Also, the indictment of a Kentucky police officer in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor, cosmic injustice, and our culture’s inability to handle moral ambiguity.
Sep 24, 2020
What the Biden Campaign Is Thinking
What is the Biden campaign’s pathway to victory? The campaign is sending plenty of signals about what demographics it needs to win, but Biden’s party and its preferred preconceptions have become an obstacle in that pursuit. Also, the looming backlash against the cultural dominance of Critical Race Theory.
Sep 23, 2020
There Is No Normal
What is the principle at stake if Republicans pursue a raw exercise of power over Democratic objections to confirm a new justice to the Supreme Court? We’re not sure. But it’s also possible that the equilibrium some fear might be overturned by such a course of action doesn’t exist because there is no normal anymore.
Sep 22, 2020
Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Democratic Meltdown
The podcast reflects on the life of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and discusses the nervous breakdown to which Democrats have succumbed following her death.
Sep 21, 2020
Firing a Cannon at the Canon
Today's Noah-less podcast features the Commentary crew's horrified disbelief at Alex Ross's astounding claim in the New Yorker that American classical music originates from white supremacy, moves on to the justice or lack thereof in the coming ban on Chinese social media platforms in the United States, and then judges Joe Biden's town hall performance on CNN. Give a listen.
Sep 18, 2020
Everybody Loves Chris
With Noah Rothman out today, we podcasters are joined by Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt, polymath and creator of colorful metaphors, to discuss this important question: Does anything matter? Is the election still up in the air or is the result baked in the cake? To find out, give a listen.
Sep 17, 2020
Snarking Away the Peace
The COMMENTARY crew is having none of the efforts on the part of some in the press to downplay historic developments in the Middle East. Also, the hosts debate whether Donald Trump’s performance during Tuesday night’s ABC News town hall was up to par.
Sep 16, 2020
A New World Order
The realignment of geopolitics in the Middle East has many fathers, and Donald Trump was only one of them. What the thaw in Sunni states’ relations with Israel means for America moving forward. Also, for all the talk of the president’s “white grievance” politics, he’s performing better among minority voters in polls than he did in 2016 while white voters are fleeing his coalition.
Sep 15, 2020
The Law-and-Order Issue Is Getting Traction
The media can't bear to report it, but the polling over the weekend shows movement toward Donald Trump and rising concern over urban unrest—and they're going hand in hand. Can the Biden people see what's happening or are they blinded by their press coverage? And we discuss Christine Rosen's important article, "You Will Be Re-Educated." Give a listen.
Sep 14, 2020
Green Shoots and Tragic Opportunism
The 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has been met with a campaign to compare the deaths from that day to those attributable to the pandemic, which is rather gross. Also, is Donald Trump’s campaign showing signs of life? And, finally, film and television recommendations from the COMMENTARY crew.
Sep 11, 2020
Hurricane Woodward
President Donald Trump stares into the storm as revelations he himself gave to Bob Woodward about how he deliberately downplayed the threat posed by COVID-19 dominate the news. He is, as ever, his own worst enemy. Also, the absurd and highly politicized reports around how gatherings of Trump supporters (and seemingly only Trump supporters) represent a public health emergency.
Sep 10, 2020
The Culture Is Setting Itself on Fire
From entertainment to the academy, the COMMENTARY podcast takes note of the many cultural institutions that are hoisting themselves on their own petards.
Sep 09, 2020
The Forces of Reaction and Counterreaction
The violence in American cities has done nothing for Donald Trump’s polling. But if voters have determined that Biden is a remedy for urban unrest, among other things, and that remedy proves ineffectual, the counterreaction may be profound.
Sep 08, 2020
This Will Get Out of Control
The madness continues, with the Antifa suspect in a point-blank assassination of a Trump supporter shot dead by federal marshals as police officers find themselves in the crosshairs in various cities—and Donald Trump is accused of calling dead Americans who served and died for their country "losers." We talk about what it all means—and why you should watch "Cobra Kai" on Netflix—on today's podcast. Give a listen.
Sep 04, 2020
Does Any of This Matter?
Does anything we talk about on a daily basis really matter? The COMMENTARY podcast confronts the existential question: Maybe this election is already decided, and neither events nor campaign strategy can alter the trajectory of this race.
Sep 03, 2020
Does Anything Stick to Biden?
Is Donald Trump’s effort to brand Joe Biden both an agent of the chaos we’re seeing in American city streets and a champion of harmful and unnecessary pandemic-related restrictions working? The polls don’t seem to suggest as much.
Sep 02, 2020
Is Kenosha the Tipping Point?
Did Joe Biden help himself with his statement against violence and looting? Will Donald Trump help himself by traveling to Kenosha? Are the polls tightening? Is the violence going to get worse? It's our podcast. Give a listen.
Sep 01, 2020
Biden's Trap
On today's podcast, we ask: Is the presidential race turning due to the growing disorder and chaos in our cities? There's every indication Democrats and Joe Biden are worried it might be, and that Donald Trump is hoping that he can use the violence as a lever to change his fortunes. Give a listen.
Aug 31, 2020
An Anti-Climactic Convention
The final night of the Republican National Convention reached beyond the base with affecting speakers and profoundly compelling themes. And then, Donald Trump sucked all the air out of the room with a disappointing acceptance speech. Will it matter, though, as the nation becomes increasingly consumed with anxiety over the violence in American cities. National Affairs editor Yuval Levin joins the show to discuss these issues and more.
Aug 28, 2020
The Hostage-Taking Election
Nice country you’ve got there. Shame if something happened to it.
Aug 27, 2020
The Panic is Real
The Republican Party’s nominating convention has been efficiently produced and effective at communicating to conservatives why they should come home to the GOP. That combined with declining concern over the pandemic and ongoing violent crime in even small American cities seems to have unnerved Democrats.
Aug 26, 2020
A Republican Comeback?
Night one of the Republican National Convention featured many interesting dynamics. Foremost among them has to be that the most effective elements were the Republican Party’s pre-Trump themes and old guard establishment politicians.
Aug 25, 2020
A Target-Rich Environment
The GOP gets the opportunity to make their case to the nation on the first night of the Republican National Convention. The Democratic Party’s failure to address rising rates of violent crime and episodes of civil unrest around the country represents a prime opportunity to strike the contrast they want.
Aug 24, 2020
Message: I Care
Joe Biden closed the final night of the Democratic National Convention with his pitch to voters, which is, essentially, that he’s a nice guy and Donald Trump is not. But will that be enough?
Aug 21, 2020
The Party of Identity
The podcast breaks down the third night of the Democratic National Convention, which featured prominent speeches by President Barack Obama and Sen. Kamala Harris.
Aug 20, 2020
Governance vs. Grievance
The second night of the Democratic National Convention, while better staged and presented than night one, has frustrated Democratic partisans because it once again featured too many Republicans. But if the conventions no longer serve as events at which a nominee is chosen and a platform is settled upon, what’s their point if not to make the party’s pitch to voters outside their tent? Also, Laura Loomer’s primary victory and the slow death of the institutional apparatus once known as the GOP.
Aug 19, 2020
The Zombie Convention
The first night of the Democratic National Convention was… weird. The hosts of the podcast discuss the speakers, the spectacle, and the misconception of politics as an extension of activism that has overtaken the Democratic Party.
Aug 18, 2020
Paranoid Nation
Is the violence in the streets getting worse? Is Trump trying to corrupt the election by handcuffing the U.S. Post Office? Is the national conversation being defined by paranoids?
Aug 17, 2020
Living Through History
The historic announcement that Israel and the United Arab Emirates will pursue a peace accord reflects changing dynamics in the Middle East that the European and American left simply refuse to acknowledge. But there will be no turning the clock back.
Aug 14, 2020
They Say They Want a Revolution
Abe Greenwald discusses his lead article in the September 2020 issue of COMMENTARY, “Yes, This Is a Revolution.” Also, the hosts break down the debut of the Biden-Harris ticket.
Aug 13, 2020
The Benefits and Burdens of Kamala Harris
Joe Biden has chosen Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, and the center-left press is finally excited about the Democratic ticket. But Harris’s maladroit run for the presidency shows that she is a risky choice. Also, the hosts of the podcast share their obsessions of the day.
Aug 12, 2020
Will Biden Do No Harm?
Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick is, apparently, imminent. The podcast discusses the most likely candidates—what do they bring to the table, and how could they undermine Biden’s candidacy. Also, New Zealand’s draconian response to a new COVID-19 infection raises questions about the viability of lockdown enthusiasm.
Aug 11, 2020
The President’s Payroll Tax Gambit
This weekend’s violence in Chicago exposes the extent to which the rioting never stopped even though the press has long ago moved on from the story. Also, the podcast debates the legal and principled arguments both for and against Donald Trump’s executive orders expanding unemployment benefits and deferring payroll taxes.
Aug 10, 2020
Rousing America’s Sleeping Giants
The Attorney General of New York, Letitia James, is suing the National Rifle Association and seeking the group’s dissolution. But, politically, the issue of gun rights has always favored gun owners, and the effort may backfire on Democrats. Also, Donald Trump is seeking to force Chinese firms with holdings in certain apps to sell their stakes, but those firms also have a stake in several popular gaming platforms. That, too, threatens to mobilize a constituency that Republicans don’t understand. Are both parties awakening sleeping giants?
Aug 07, 2020
The Coronavirus Hostage Crisis
Negotiations over a new pandemic relief package in Congress stalls as Democrats expand their demands. Will they suffer political consequences as a result of this calculation? Also, we discuss what we’re reading—if we’re reading anything—and the future of college education after the Coronavirus recedes.
Aug 06, 2020
The Democratic Tea Party Is Here
Democratic voters in Missouri went to the polls on Tuesday and ejected another longtime incumbent from federal office. This has become a trend—one that suggests the Democratic Party is undergoing an ideological makeover, and that process is being driven from below. It looks like the Democratic Tea Party they said could never happen is upon us.
Aug 05, 2020
Could Biden Blow It?
Has the Biden campaign succumbed to a false sense of complacency around the state of the 2020 race? There is still a lot of game left to play and events yet to occur that will alter the trajectory of the race, but is the Democratic candidate nimble enough to meet them?
Aug 04, 2020
The Election Day Disaster Scenario
It’s November 3. Much of the country has re-imposed lockdown restrictions. Businesses are failing in record numbers. The nation’s education system is teetering on the brink. And Election Day is typified by long lines at a truncated number of polling places and a record number of absentee ballots that will take weeks to tally. This perfectly thinkable scenario could have disastrous results.
Aug 03, 2020
Turning Up the Temperature
Tech commentary columnist James B. Meigs joins the program to break down Thursday’s congressional hearing on Silicon Valley. How consolidation in the tech world makes disasters more likely. Also, Barack Obama’s politicized eulogy for the late Rep. John Lewis and his naked effort to raise the temperature on a nation already near the boiling point.
Jul 31, 2020
The purveyors of crushing morosity at the COMMENTARY podcast get really morose with this one. Donald Trump’s suggestion that the election should be postponed is an assault on the American civic compact and illustrates his lack of fitness for the office he holds. Also, how the arrest of a transgender teen in New York City exposed the mania of the talker class.
Jul 30, 2020
Is This What Democracy Looks Like?
Attorney General William Barr faces a grilling on Capitol Hill that seemed to serve no higher purpose than allowing Democrats to vent and giving Republicans a chance to demonstrate their fealty to the administration. Which leads the podcast to ask the question on every political observer’s mind: What good are congressional hearings? Is this what majoritarian democracy becomes?
Jul 29, 2020
Is 2020 a Done Deal?
CNN senior political writer and analyst Harry Enten joins the podcast today to discuss the dynamics of the 2020 presidential race. Can Donald Trump turn this thing around? Does Joe Biden really have to worry about his left flank? Is there a shy Trump vote? We ask, Enten answers.
Jul 28, 2020
The Neo-Neo-Conservative Moment
As America’s summer of civil disorder intensifies, those who are discomfited with urban violence and a culture of intolerance on the political left do not fall neatly along ideological lines. Does this moment have the makings of a political realignment? Also, Eli Lake joins the program to update us on the scandal within the FBI.
Jul 27, 2020
Caesar on the Hudson
Andrew Cuomo launches a war on chicken wings in a poorly veiled attempt to prevent restaurants and bars from criticizing his overreaching edicts. Also, has Donald Trump become resigned to losing? His tonal shift suggests as much.
Jul 24, 2020
What Are Law and Order Voters to Do?
What is federalism? How can it be applied to correct this moment of lawlessness in American cities? The hosts of the COMMENTARY podcast engage in a spirited discussion over what voters who reject this lawlessness to do in this moment.
Jul 23, 2020
Where the GOP Is Headed
Trump’s tone shifts as he returns to delivering pandemic-related press conferences. The congressional GOP turns its eyes toward the post-Trump era. And the diplomatic crisis with China deepens as the U.S. shutters a Chinese consulate.
Jul 22, 2020
Drowning in Panics
The data continues to belie the notion that the country is facing a Coronavirus crisis akin to what the Northeast experienced in the spring. Also, a debate over just how sincere the nation is in its commitment to addressing “systemic racism.” And the auspicious return of Donald Trump’s COVID briefings.
Jul 21, 2020
When Have You Had Enough?
Rising COVID case rates have still not yet manifested in overwhelming hospitalization rates or even rising mortality figures. Donald Trump continues to fail to represent the interests of Americans who fear and resent lawlessness in American cities. And the social justice movement comes for classical music and the meritocracy that elevates the deserving to positions of prominence. The question looms large: How much is enough?
Jul 20, 2020
Does Anyone Really Want to Reopen?
In American cities, the incentives for reopening appear to conflict with the interests of privileged Democratic constituencies. Guess which side of this conflict elected officials are siding with? Also, the subtle bigotry of anti-racism theories like Intersectionality.
Jul 17, 2020
The Candidate Is the Problem, Not the Campaign
As the president’s poll numbers continue to decline, Donald Trump’s campaign has replaced its campaign manager. But the campaign has been far more focused on making the case against the president’s opponent than the president himself. Also, has the public’s anxiety over a new surge of COVID cases outpaced the rate of new infections?
Jul 16, 2020
The Resignation Heard Round the Woke World
New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss has resigned her post and, in so doing, indicted the entire enterprise of modern journalism and its woke arbiters. The podcast on that and the epistemological crisis afflicting the left.
Jul 15, 2020
The Cults of Personality
Why is the press still covering for Andrew Cuomo’s disastrous COVID-19 response? And why is the White House going to war against its own public health advisor, Dr. Anthony Facui? The answer may be the cults of personality surrounding them both.
Jul 14, 2020
Throw Cronyism on the Pile
Donald Trump’s Friday night commutation of his associate, Roger Stone, further reinforces the public’s apprehension about his presidency. Parsing the statistics that contribute to the impression that the country is in the grip of a new surge of COVID-19 cases. And Peter Beinart’s attack on Israel even as the Jewish State is again saving the world from the prospect of a rogue nuclear power in the Middle East.
Jul 13, 2020
Better a Bad Leader Than No Leader?
Today's podcast features COMMENTARY columnist Matthew Continetti, who joins us to talk in part about his piece, "The Winds of Woke." Do the Democrats have a civil war ahead of them if they win the presidency in November? And what have we learned about leadership from the past few months? Give a listen. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on here, iTunes, or Stitcher.
Jul 10, 2020
Tax Time for Trump?
On today's podcast, Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Eliana Johnson joins us to discuss the possible fallout from the Supreme Court's ruling on Donald Trump's financial records. We also weigh in on the fight over reopening schools, Trump's missed opportunities, and the sorry state of mainstream journalism.
Jul 09, 2020
How Cancel Culture Tries to Cancel Free Expression
Today's podcast takes up the attack on a letter published by Harper's featuring dozens of prominent liberals and leftists defending free expression—ah, the irony! Also, the Cook Political Report all but declares Trump's reelection effort doomed, and whether schooling in the fall is doomed. Give a listen. And, don't forget to subscribe here, on iTunes, or Stitcher.
Jul 08, 2020
Are We Being Sold a Bill of Goods?
Today's podcast takes up the fact (as detailed in a chart made by David Bahnsen for his indispensable website Covid and Markets) that deaths and ICU admissions in this supposed dangerous new wave of Covid cases simply don't track with the crisis numbers of a few months ago—something undiscussed in the press. Also, why spend on college when there's no college? Give a listen. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on here, iTunes, or Stitcher.
Jul 07, 2020
The Media Are Going In For the Kill
Today's podcast goes into the mystifying coverage of the Coronavirus—mystifying because the public is being misled about the fact that the virus's deadliness is (at the moment) on the wane, not on the rise. And we discuss the wild misrepresentation of Donald Trump's speeches this weekend. Could it be that both share the same root: A desire to deliver the knockout blow against Trump now that he's reeling and on the ropes? Plus crime goes crazy in cities and the craze to cancel "Hamilton." Give a listen.
Jul 06, 2020
Long Live the Great American Experiment
We begin with an effort to sort through the conflicting data and partisan clamor that is guiding policymakers toward potentially ill-considered but extremely important decisions about their respective lockdowns. We end with an impassioned attack on the forces of revisionism, which have gone to war to destroy the idea of American goodness.
Jul 02, 2020
The Bad Old Days Are Back
The rise of new COVID-19 infections around the country has led states to roll back their plans for reopening, which has left the hosts of the COMMENTARY podcast depressed. Also, as Trump’s political position deteriorates, how will the GOP approach populism in the post-Trump era?
Jul 01, 2020
The Radicals at Democratic Gates
The president faces a growing scandal around his response to the allegation that Russia offered bounties to Taliban insurgents for the killing of U.S. troops. But how sound is that intelligence and why do we know about it? Also, Joe Biden skates without any scrutiny of his rapidly self-radicalizing political coalition, but how long can he get away with it? Will the revolution dissolve if he wins in November?
Jun 30, 2020
The Madness of the Moment
Contrary to popular pronouncements, it does seem as though the national protests around the killing of George Floyd contributed to the rise of COVID-19 infections. The allegation that Russia has been bankrolling the killing of U.S. service personnel in Afghanistan. Also, the national spasm of madness—from the president on down—continues unabated.
Jun 29, 2020
A Right-Wing Revolt
COVID-19 cases are rising around the nation, but it is increasingly difficult to get a sense of the pandemic from a media culture that is invested in wrapping the data up in a political narrative. Also, Donald Trump faces a revolt from his right flank amid sagging poll numbers. Can he run an effective campaign against Joe Biden, and what would it look like?
Jun 26, 2020
500 Episodes and Reckoning with Meritocracy
The COMMENTARY podcast takes a look back at where it all began on this, the 500th episode. Also, an exploration of the demands for social leveling inherent in ideas promoted by those advocating a national racial reconciliation and why they may have a point.
Jun 25, 2020
Can Trump Pull Out of His Tailspin?
The news for the president goes from bad to worse as the pandemic, economic crisis, and sense that the country is on the wrong track are compounded by a scandal in the Justice Department. Can Trump pull out of this tailspin? And, if he can’t, will the progressives who are generally hostile toward Joe Biden perceive his victory as their own?
Jun 24, 2020
The Great Unraveling Continues
Donald Trump makes a hash of his administration’s COVID-19 testing regime. Why is the president handing his opponents a wedge issue by suggesting he wants fewer tests to present a false picture of the outbreak in America? Also, as the assault on American statuary continues in the streets, elected officials are joining with the mob in their attack on the nation’s history.
Jun 23, 2020
The ‘Year Zero’ Mentality
The rage against statuary dedicated to weighty figures in American history continues, both in the streets and in liberal institutions. Also, Trump’s first post-Coronavirus rally was a bust. What that portends for the rest of the 2020 election cycle.
Jun 22, 2020
Unspeakable Truths
Assistant Professor of Political Science at Kentucky State University Wilfred Reilly joins the podcast today to talk about his article in the latest issue of COMMENTARY, “America Run Riot.” A data-driven conversation about the allegations made by some Black Lives Matter activists that there is an epidemic of race-related police violence against minorities in the United States.
Jun 19, 2020
The Moral Conundrum of Trump
In today’s episode: The revelations about Donald Trump in John Bolton’s new book, the efforts to reform the culture within America’s police departments, and some early indications that the Coronavirus epidemic in America is on the cusp of a resurgence.
Jun 18, 2020
Community Policing and Speech Policing
In today’s episode, the debacle involving an attempt by NBC News to compel Google to “demonetize” The Federalist, a dissection of what activists mean when they advocate “community policing,” and the introduction of the COMMENTARY podcast drinking game.
Jun 17, 2020
A Statement of Purpose
The COMMENTARY podcast expounds upon the principles set forth in a rare editor’s letter published in the upcoming issue of the magazine: “We Must Stop the Great Unraveling.” A political and legal philosophy that reduces individuals to the categories they were assigned at birth and treats them as representatives of a collective has once again risen to the fore. It must be stopped.
Jun 16, 2020
Equal Protection Under the Lockdown
The COMMENTARY podcast on the violence in Atlanta following what may have been a perfectly justified arrest-related shooting and the unequal enforcement of lockdown measures in New York City.
Jun 15, 2020
Hostage to Our Radicals
The Democratic Party is self-radicalizing. The Republican Party seems unable to capitalize on that. And the country waits to see which radical group will govern it next.
Jun 12, 2020
A Revolution without Ideals
The COMMENTARY podcast discusses the Hobbesian state of nature into which Seattle is descending as the protesters' demands shift away from racial justice and toward the abolition of capitalism. The anti-police backlash increasingly appears to view human nature and the institutions mankind creates as perfectible, which is a fallacy that can only exist (somewhat counterintuitively) in the absence of ideals.
Jun 11, 2020
Notes from the Revolution
The COMMENTARY podcast discusses the return of “radical chic” among the liberal intelligentsia, the tension between advocates of incremental reform and revolutionary political activists, and how general election voters will respond to it all in November.
Jun 10, 2020
Seeking Racial Justice in an Age of Mistrust
Amid a sea change in public attitudes toward perceived racial disparities in American institutions, what is the proper balance between restorative justice and retributive policies? Can it be struck or even pursued in an age typified by paranoia, mistrust, and political combat?
Jun 09, 2020
Power Plays in American Discourse
The COMMENTARY podcast breaks down what the new talking point about the need to “defund the police” is about, which is also ultimately what the staffers’ revolt at the New York Times was about: power. How the public discourse over necessary reforms to policing strategies has been hijacked.
Jun 08, 2020
The Closing of the Journalistic Mind
Some shocking (and confusing) good news today on both the economic and pandemic fronts: the nation’s staggeringly high jobless rate began to recovery in May and New York City, the epicenter of the outbreak in America, recorded zero deaths related to COVID-19 on Thursday. What are the political implications of all this? Also, it’s day two of the meltdown inside the New York Times over the placement of a sitting U.S. senator’s op-ed.
Jun 05, 2020
Law for the Law-Abiding
Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake is back on the show to talk about why recently released transcripts from 2016 only support the conclusions his article on the railroading of Michael Flynn by the Justice Department. Also, the elite liberal revolt against the notion that law and order should be restored by all available means, and the political backlash that may be brewing among the law-abiding when it is clear that abiding by the law is a voluntary condition.
Jun 04, 2020
Intersectionality’s Gridlock
What are the animating philosophies at the heart of the protests that have rocked American cities for the better part of a week? Where does the pursuit and equality before the law run up against vogue academic theories that buttress social justice activism and more closely resemble ethnic determinism and stereotyping? The COMMENTARY podcast discusses and debates.
Jun 03, 2020
You're on Your Own
Amid another night of violence around the nation, it has become apparent that America’s elected officials—from the president on down—have either abdicated their duties or are unable to execute them.
Jun 02, 2020
Grief Transforms into Nihilism
The nation experienced a weekend of civil unrest, including COMMENTARY podcast host Christine Rosen whose home was on the frontlines of the violence. We discuss the conditions that have rocked the country to its foundations and the abdication of our political elites in a moment of chaos.
Jun 01, 2020
Who Benefits from Urban Unrest?
The COMMENTARY podcast debates the downstream political relevance of what increasingly looks to be a summer of urban unrest fueled by protests against the conduct of police toward racial minorities. Will Donald Trump’s efforts to frame himself as the champion of law and order reactivate his 2016 coalition? Or will these events simply compound a general sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo and, thus, the incumbent president?
May 29, 2020
Assaults on the Old Order
Along with a reflection on the current state of discourse around the national move toward reopening society, the COMMENTARY podcast discusses the ongoing assaults on the old orders. Abroad, China has abandoned its traditional caution and is testing its parameters, aggressively, in every direction. At home, domestic violence has erupted over the arrest-related killing of George Floyd. Where does it all end?
May 28, 2020
The Dopamine Rush of Internet Fight Club
The COMMENTARY podcast discusses how online arguments create incentives to make disproportionately high investments in the outcome of those engagements. Whether the stakes are low or high, the level of tension remains static. A dissection of recent controversies and how they take on a more intense dimension when they are rendered abstractions in the arena of the internet.
May 27, 2020
Searching for Distractions from the Pandemic
The single, all-consuming story of our time continues to dominate the press, but there appears to be an increasing hunger among news consumers for distractions from it. And, so, we discuss them. Trump’s aggressive behavior on Twitter. Viral videos. Joe Rogan and the backlash to his success. We discuss it all.
May 26, 2020
A Freedom Agenda, At Home and Abroad
The COMMENTARY podcast dives into the debate over the bounds of liberty as every state in the Union moves in the direction of reopening their societies and economies. Meanwhile, China’s crackdown presents opportunities for the president to strike politically advantageous contrasts.
May 22, 2020
But Who Will Model the Modelers?
The COMMENTARY podcast performs some rank punditry, dissecting the polls that look rather abysmal for Donald Trump and the Senate Republican majority. Also, the hosts discuss how the pandemic’s models deceived policymakers, and how disinclined they and the press appear to be to confront that fact.
May 21, 2020
Mike Flynn v. the United States
Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake joins the podcast to talk about his latest article in the latest issue of COMMENTARY, “The Railroading of Michael Flynn.” How Trump’s former national security advisor was targeted and squeezed by the Justice Department, and what it means for the rule of law in the United States.
May 20, 2020
The Wisdom of the Affable Conservative Nut
Hollywood veteran Rob Long joins the program to discuss his latest piece in the new issue of COMMENTARY, “How Right-Wing Characters Become Sitcom Sensations.” Also, a didactic discussion about the promise and peril of self-medicating with Hydroxychloroquine.
May 19, 2020
The COVID-19 Election
NBC News’ National Political Correspondent Steve Kornacki joins the COMMENTARY podcast for a discussion about the political fallout that will settle over the country ahead of the 2020 elections. Has the pandemic transformed our politics, or will the full impact of this event not be felt for years to come?
May 18, 2020
Will Scandals Matter in 2020?
The scandalous allegations against Joe Biden are not going away, and his ability to defuse the issue is in doubt. But the big question is: Will anyone care about it in November? Also, the podcast debates wonder whether Americans ever really police conspiracy theories when those theories reinforce their preferred biases.
May 15, 2020
Perpetual Lockdown in the City of Angels
The Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro joins the podcast today to talk about lockdown from the perspective of the West Coast. With his hometown of Los Angeles now planning to extend shelter-at-home guidelines well into the summer and early fall, what are the prospects that the public will abide by those recommendations? And what are the chances that those who do will preserve their sanity?
May 14, 2020
Is This What the ‘Common Good’ Looks Like?
With economic activity likely in the doldrums for some time and the state wielding virtually unprecedented power to suppress individual liberty, some advocates of a nationalist “common good” philosophy are chafing. But we have to ask: Isn’t this what promoting “the common good” looks like?
May 13, 2020
Will There Be Debates?
Will Donald Trump debate Joe Biden? Or is it to his benefit to deprive the Democratic nominee of oxygen? Also, what will be the fate of the movie-going experience? Has the pandemic dealt the movie theater a fatal blow?
May 12, 2020
What Was Obama Thinking?
Reflecting on the unmasking scandal and the railroading of Michael Flynn by the Justice Department, the COMMENTARY podcast wonders what Barack Obama could have been thinking at the time? Were the last administration’s concerns noble, or at least understandable, but their execution terribly negligent? Or was there something more nefarious at work? Also, we respond to listener emails.
May 11, 2020
Biden’s Dilemma
Joe Biden’s running mate will have to meet many criteria: Young enough, experienced enough, and possess the right mix of demographic traits. Or not. The COMMENTARY Podcast welcomes Matthew Continetti back on the show to discuss Biden’s dilemma.
May 08, 2020
The Search for Strategy
Has the state of lockdown become a strategy for coping with the pandemic in the absence of any real substantive guidance from public officials? The COMMENTARY podcast discusses the backlash against those who question lockdown orthodoxy and asks if those voices have a compelling and rational point? Also, a bit of background on Noah Rothman.
May 07, 2020
What’s the President Supposed to Say?
President Donald Trump sat down for an interview with ABC News host David Muir and, depending on what you think of him, he either did reasonably well or poorly. But what is the president to say at a moment when, whatever the question, there are truly no good answers? Also, an exploration of the life and times of COMMENTARY podcast co-host Christine Rosen.
May 06, 2020
When Is It Time to Panic?
The COMMENTARY podcast gets its morose on with a review of the increasing stress on the nation’s critical supply chain. With shortages persisting and the threat to the food supply becoming urgent, an honest conversation about the trade-offs associated with the lockdown is coming, whether we like it or not. That, and some background on the podcast's man of mystery, Abe Greenwald.
May 05, 2020
Drowning in Contradictions
The COMMENTARY podcast examines all the contradictory notions we’re being asked to overlook. How do you reduce the overall COVID-19 caseload and, also, gradually reopen society? How will reopening local businesses lead to a spike in infections if most people are still too scared to patronize them? How can Democrats rally around Joe Biden and, also, profess their belief that women who claim to be victims of sexual assault deserve society’s deference? The conundrums abound.
May 04, 2020
Whom Do You Believe?
Joe Biden is finally made to account for his side of the story today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” What kind of impact will the controversy involving allegations of sexual assault involving a Senate staffer have on the media landscape, to say nothing of the 2020 race?
May 01, 2020
50 Ways to Poison Your Lover
Eliana Johnson, editor-in-chief of the Washington Free Beacon, joins the COMMENTARY podcast talks about the story that gripped American media—the allegation that an Arizona couple had poisoned themselves with fish tank cleaner in observance of President Trump’s advice. The real story is, we have learned, much more sordid. Also, can American politicians be trusted to competently balance the needs of a functional society amid this pandemic?
Apr 30, 2020
Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake joins the hosts of the COMMENTARY podcast to give New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio a thorough reaming over his decision to threaten and single out the city’s Jewish community. That, and the exculpation of Trump’s former NSA Michael Flynn, on an exciting new episode.
Apr 29, 2020
Finding the Bottom
In New York City, the nation’s premiere Coronavirus hotspot, there is a visible light at the end of the tunnel. When does the national debate turn away from onerous lockdowns and toward individual case-based mitigation? Also, Joe Biden's problems mount as assault allegations against him gain credence.
Apr 28, 2020
Lockdown Breakdown
Author and columnist Andrew Ferguson is back to talk about America in isolation. The cracks in the nation’s resolve to remain locked down in perpetuity are beginning to show, leading to blowback from the busiest of the nation’s busybodies. Do the politicians who resorted to extreme measures to prevent an outbreak follow the logic of “flatten the curve” and ease restrictions despite a prolonged plateau of COVID-19 cases in American hospitals?
Apr 27, 2020
A Time to Rebuild. Eventually.
Author, editor, and scholar Yuval Levin is back on the COMMENTARY podcast to talk about the many difficult choices facing Americans in the next few weeks. With no good options before them in the near-term, will the country find a balance between lasting economic despair and death on a terrible scale? It sounds bleak, and it is, but the jaunty Levin navigates the issue as reassuringly as anyone could.
Apr 24, 2020
First, Do No Harm
AEI scholar, journalist, and editor Matthew Continetti rejoins the COMMENTARY podcast. How has Donald Trump managed the crisis? In what ways will the pandemic reshape America’s ideological camps? And who will Joe Biden pick as his running mate? All will be revealed.
Apr 23, 2020
Punch Drunk and Reeling
As the nation descends further into a passionate debate over how to balance public health with the needs of a functional society, the intractable conflicts between these two outlooks collide and manifest in bad-faith attacks on each side’s capacity for empathy and compassion. Can the country find an equilibrium between these two valid but competing interests?
Apr 22, 2020
What’s So Bad About Good News?
The hosts of the COMMENTARY podcast minus one Christine Rosen, who is contributing to the moribund economy today, discuss the modest examples of good pandemic news on the horizon and what seems like the antipathy to it among thought leaders.
Apr 21, 2020
What Is the Breaking Point?
This can’t go on forever, right? Or can it? The COMMENTARY podcast debates the lockdown, and when the public will determine that the economic risks outweigh the public health concerns.
Apr 20, 2020
Reason and Its Limits
Former COMMENTARY editor and op-ed editor for the New York Post, Sohrab Ahmari, joins the podcast to talk about his article in the latest issue, “They Blinded Us with Science.” Also, the hosts break down the White House’s new phased guidance for states to pursue as they look to reopen their economies.
Apr 17, 2020
Making China Pay
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracy’s Jonathan Schanzer joins the COMMENTARY podcast to talk about his article in the latest issue, “Countering a Corrupt China.” How Beijing has come to dominate international institutions, and how to roll back their influence after the COVID-19 outbreak.
Apr 16, 2020
Can You Trust People in a Pandemic?
Can You Trust People in a Pandemic? Writer, editor, and author James B. Meigs joins the COMMENTARY podcast to discuss his essay in the latest issue of the magazine, “Elite Panic vs. the Resilient Populace.” How one disaster tells the tale of American ingenuity and how they are so often not trusted to do the right thing by their leaders in government.
Apr 15, 2020
2020: Handsy vs. Touchy
Donald Trump’s oversensitive comportment at his daily press conferences. Joe Biden’s familiar manner with women comes back to bite him. The New York Times’ embarrassing capitulation to the Biden campaign. The prospect of nationwide mail-in balloting. The sustainability of open-ended lockdowns. This episode of the COMMENTARY podcast has it all!
Apr 14, 2020
Let's All Go to the Mall—Sometime
COMMENTARY's daily podcasters are joined by the inimitable Andrew Ferguson for a wide-ranging consideration of this question: Will we go to the mall? Can we go to the mall? What will it be like when we go to the mall? Also, we hear about Andy's decision to stop doing television, why I left government and how Noah Rothman may have convinced Jaoquin Castro to grow a beard. Give a listen.
Apr 13, 2020
Bernie’s Blowout
The COMMENTARY podcast emerges from Passover hibernation for a special podcast to discuss the collapse of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign and speculate on the Democratic Party’s future.
Apr 10, 2020
Notes from the Lockdown
We (mostly Noah) describe our slow descent into madness as the public guidance and state-level lockdown policies grow stricter even as the long-term projections about the pandemic’s trajectory begin to look a little better. Also, the scandals involving the resignation of the acting Secretary of the Navy and Donald Trump’s vendetta against his inspectors general.
Apr 08, 2020
The Pandemic in Israel
American-Israeli journalist Ruthie Blum joins the podcast to discuss how the Coronavirus pandemic has reshaped Israeli society and politics.
Apr 07, 2020
A Light at the End of the Tunnel, or an Oncoming Train?
Jonathan V. Last, journalist, author, and executive editor of The Bulwark, joins the COMMENTARY podcast. With some qualified good news coming out of infection rate modelers, the hosts wonder if the worst—which is yet to come—will be as terrible as was once forecast.
Apr 06, 2020
Is the News Getting Worse or Getting Better?
Hard to tell, as we consider the issue on today's podcast. On the one hand, the curve is flattening in New York City. On the other hand, we're about to see terrible things happen. And the disease's spread will follow slowly across the country. If you're looking for a bright side, we conclude talking about Broadway musicals! Give a listen.
Apr 03, 2020
After the Outbreak
The bottom falls out of the labor market with over 6 million new unemployment claims. How will the country dig out of this mess and, when it does, what will the world look like?
Apr 02, 2020
How Can We Get Ready?
Andrew Ferguson joins the podcast today to discuss the White House shift toward the grim realities of the next couple of weeks, as we consider whether sheltering-in-place can continue indefinitely without driving everybody mad. Then we recommend books and discuss the problematic character of Woody Allen. Give a listen.
Apr 01, 2020
The Politics of a Pandemic
Steve Kornacki, author, journalist, and national political correspondent for NBC News, joins the Commentary podcast to talk about politics in a time of pandemic. Are there any historical models that provide some guidance for analysts forecasting the events of 2020? How can Joe Biden navigate this moment? Does Donald Trump have a chance in November? Will we even be able to refer to this crisis in the past tense by Election Day? Tune in for answers to these questions and more.
Mar 31, 2020
Playing the Virus Blame Game
Rob Long joins today's podcast as we consider the question of how the public will react to Donald Trump's leadership in the long term—will he be given credit for making hard choices or will he be so associated with the virus that America is going to want to turn the page? Plus, Hollywood takes advantage of the virus to reset itself, and Tiger King. Give a listen.
Mar 30, 2020
Things Get Worse, but Trump’s Numbers Get Better
As the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States gets worse, the president’s job approval ratings continue to rise.
Mar 27, 2020
What Can Biden Say or Do?
The all-but-presumptive Democratic nominee for president released an ad yesterday attacking Donald Trump's response to the virus. We discuss it and the question of what Joe Biden can do politically now in this most sensitive time. And we talk about other stuff too. Give a listen.
Mar 26, 2020
Is There a Way Out of This?
Yuval Levin joins us on today's podcast to discuss his argument in "We Need a Hard Pause, Followed by a Soft Start." We respond with the usual crushing morosity. Give a listen.
Mar 25, 2020
Unkosher Political Pork—and Listener Questions!
What exactly are the Democrats thinking or doing in holding up the coronavirus bill? We try to make sense of it on today's podcast, in which we also answer listener questions about essential conservative books, writers who don't seem to like women, Chinese communism, and hair. Give a listen.
Mar 24, 2020
Heroism Is Being Thrust Upon Us
Jonah Goldberg joins the podcast today to discuss his argument in his piece "The Moral Heroism of Our Coronavirus Response." We try to make sense out of the political chaos on Capitol Hill and whether it would have been possible to ramp up the response to the coming crisis. Give a listen.
Mar 23, 2020
Commentary Podcast
Today's podcast features COMMENTARY columnist Matthew Continetti bringing his own wonderful brand of crushing morosity to our happy band as we consider a 25 percent drop in the economy, the possibility of violence in the streets, and war profiteering! Fun times! Give a listen.
Mar 20, 2020
The Theater of the Virus
Terry Teachout, COMMENTARY's critic at large, joins our podcast today to talk about what we're all talking about—and then we veer into some fascinating cultural territory that should prove especially diverting at this moment. To hear some of the songs we're talking about, check out these YouTube links: "Gee Officer Krupke" "Someone in a Tree" "Not a Day Goes By" Give a listen.
Mar 19, 2020
Overreaction and the Siege of Troy
On this day 2 of the daily COMMENTARY podcast, we are joined by White House historian Tevi Troy, whose book Fight House you should all read, to talk about how White Houses deal with crises, the possibility that we are all overreacting to the virus, and a little bit on the Democratic primary. Give a listen.
Mar 18, 2020
The Crisis-as-Opportunity Mongers
In a time of pandemic, the COMMENTARY podcast is here for you. During the acute crisis, the podcast will be producing episodes every weekday. Today, the hosts discuss the efforts of those who want to utilize this moment of national concern to advance their parochial policy objectives.
Mar 17, 2020
Surreal and Stir Crazy
Live from self-quarantine, the COMMENTARY podcast wonders… just how is this thing going to work for weeks on end? Analysis of public policy amid the outbreak and dissecting what might be the last Democratic presidential primary debate.
Mar 16, 2020
An Abundance of Caution and an Incautious President
The COMMENTARY podcast brought to you by the miracle of Skype out of an abundance of caution, which seems to be the phrase of the day. As Coronavirus grinds American economic and social activity to a halt, the president tries to calm the waters and fails in spectacular fashion. Also, Democratic voting patterns suggest an uphill battle for the president in November.
Mar 12, 2020
Live from the Not-Yet-Quarantined
What can you say about a maybe-pandemic? We try to say something interesting on today's podcast. Also about Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden and their maybe-infirmities. And Trump's. Give a listen.
Mar 09, 2020
Our Counterrevolution
The results of the Super Tuesday contests are in, and they were especially ugly for Bernie Sanders. There’s no disguising the COMMENTARY podcast’s satisfaction with this generally unforeseen turn of events. But does Joe Biden’s revival mean that the Democratic Party’s drift toward socialism has been stopped or is it merely postponed?
Mar 04, 2020
Biden's Firewall Holds
Joe Biden resoundingly defeated all his opponents in South Carolina by substantial margins, and his campaign is enjoying renewed signs of life. But Bernie Sanders remains the favorite in many of the states that will vote this week. Can Biden emerge the last anti-Bernie candidate in the race after Tuesday? Also, the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the markets and American politics.
Mar 02, 2020
SC Debate: Anything Could Have Been Finer...
...than to be a Democrat in South Carolina in the evening. Last evening. We take apart the train wreck of a debate on today's podcast. Give a listen.
Feb 26, 2020
Bernie Takes Over
If Sanders runs away with the Democratic nomination, doesn't this mean the Democratic Party is fundamentally in ideological sympathy with his economic, political, and foreign policy views—or is he winning simply because he's next in line? Also, Harvey Weinstein falls a mighty fall. Give a listen.
Feb 24, 2020
Is Bloomberg Going to Secure the Nomination...for Sanders?
Today's podcast (sadly Noah-free) delves into the Nevada debate, the distortions Michael Bloomberg has introduced into the nominating process, and whether his bid is the best thing that ever happened to Bernie. Give a listen.
Feb 20, 2020
Can Buy Him Love?
Mike Bloomberg is spending untold sums to boost his political fortunes, and it appears to be working. But is the former New York City mayor just making Bernie Sanders’s path to the presidential nomination easier? Also, the Coronavirus has put serious strain on China’s economy and autocratic government. Is this 2020’s black swan event?
Feb 18, 2020
Getting Stoned with Progressive Prosecutors
Today's podcast features special guest star Andy McCarthy, who tells us about his important new COMMENTARY article "The Progressive Prosecutor Project" and schools us on what's really going on when it comes to the sentencing of Trump intimate Roger Stone. Give a listen.
Feb 13, 2020
Taking Bernie for Granite
Donald Trump’s post-impeachment glow among voters and donors is frightening Democrats. Bernie Sanders seems set to win the New Hampshire primary, and the primary voters who oppose him are divided among several alternative candidates. Is his victory a foregone conclusion?
Feb 10, 2020
Biden Bombs and Trump Transcends
Donald Trump struck an interesting note in his State of the Union address, highlighting the gauzy if oversimplified version of American history out of favor in intellectual circles. Was it a savvy move? Also, Iowa’s mess of a caucus did send one clear signal: Joe Biden isn’t the frontrunner anymore.
Feb 05, 2020
Holding Our Breath for Iowa
Will Republicans regret not calling witnesses or have voters priced Trump’s summary impeachment acquittal into their electoral calculations? Will Bernie Sanders’ “surge” in the polls manifest in a victory for him tonight, or is his appeal too narrow to win converts beyond his base? And was this the most scandalous Super Bowl ever? Give a listen and find out.
Feb 03, 2020
Impeachment Reaches a Climax
With Republicans recovering from the s in John Bolton’s book, it seems like impeachment will conclude this week with an acquittal of the president. Is that the end of the Ukraine scandal, or is there more news yet to break? Also, some halfhearted predictions about the results of Monday’s Iowa caucuses.
Jan 30, 2020
Bolton and Bernie
What does John Bolton's book mean for the impeachment trial? What does Bernie Sanders's polling surge mean? Once you hear today's podcast, you will know everything. Give a listen.
Jan 27, 2020
The Bernie Boomlet
The opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump and a surge of support for Bernie Sanders precisely when he needs it most.
Jan 23, 2020
Bad Arguments and Bad FBI
Guest podcaster Eli Lake is with us to talk about the opening of the impeachment trial, the inability of the New York Times to make a decision, and his own blockbuster article, "The FBI Scandal," which you should read. Give a listen.
Jan 21, 2020
The Pacifist Primary
The final debate before Democrats caucus in Iowa might have been the most boring debate of the 2020 primary cycle, excepting the feud between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Also, new revelations about Rudy Giuliani’s conduct and the Senate GOP’s apparent willingness to entertain new witnesses throws a new wrench into the impeachment process.
Jan 15, 2020
Trump-Plane Derangement Syndrome
How on earth can people blame Donald Trump for the fact that Iran shot down a passenger plane taking off from its own airport in its own airspace? We take up this question on today's podcast, as well as how significant the Bernie Sanders polling surge is. Give a listen.
Jan 13, 2020
Have Cooler Heads Prevailed?
Trump seems to have taken Iran’s calibrated response to the U.S. strike that took out Qasem Soleimani as an opportunity to take the temperature down in the region. Will cooler heads prevail? And does the Democratic narrative, which suggests that Trump is itching for a war with Iran, make any sense?
Jan 09, 2020
Iran, Politics, Impeachment, and Gertrude Himmelfarb
Today we take up the aftermath of the killing of Qasem Sulemani and the American political response to it as well as the politics of the coming impeachment trial. And we pay tribute to Gertrude Himmelfarb, who passed away last week at the age of 97. Give a listen.
Jan 07, 2020
The Day After Soleimani's Death
A special episode of the COMMENTARY podcast unpacks the events of the last several weeks in the Middle East, culminating in a targeted strike on Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Qasem Soleimani.
Jan 03, 2020
The Anti-Semitic Wave
The shock over the violence against Jews on the streets of New York City and in its suburbs might be welcome but, we ask on today's podcast, where were people when all this started two years ago? Where were the media? Where were the Jewish organizations? We also discuss Iran's shenanigans in Iraq and how the Democratic party is slouching toward nominating Joe Biden. Give a listen.
Jan 02, 2020
Bold Predictions for 2020 and Beyond
The COMMENTARY podcast attempts to predict the future. What will be the biggest events of 2020? Who will become the Democratic presidential nominee? Who will win the presidency? What trends will shape the way we live in the next decade? And how wrong were all the predictions we made last year?
Dec 23, 2019
A Solemn Impeachmas?
The reasons Democrats gave for impeaching Donald Trump are many and various and we try to go through them systematically to see which ones hold water and which just seem factitious. Then we ask: Should reporters appear to be celebrating "Impeachmas"? The ensuing controversy might shock you. Give a listen.
Dec 19, 2019
Yes, It's OK to Ask About Bernie and Anti-Semitism
A piece we published on Friday by our own Noah Rothman kicked up a social-media dust storm over the weekend—the view of Noah's critics being that it is illegitimate to question associations between Bernie Sanders, his campaign, and anti-Semites. We disagree. At length. Give a listen.
Dec 16, 2019
The Horowitz! The Horowitz!
As impeachment looms, the bigger story of the week is the Justice Department's inspector general telling the Senate and the world of the myriad problems he uncovered with the probe into the Trump campaign in Russia. Did Michael Horowitz's work vindicate the idea that the whole thing was a "hoax"? And what about the way liberals, especially liberal Jews, melted down at word that Donald Trump was going to include those targeted by anti-Semitism among the discriminated-against under the terms of the Civil Rights Act? And what about the British elections? Give a listen (PS—there was trouble with Christine Rosen's mic so she participated less than usual).
Dec 12, 2019
Maximum Moroseness
The COMMENTARY podcast indulges its inclination toward pessimism in this episode. Does impeachment matter if most of the country is evaluating the matter not on the facts in evidence but by relying on negative partisanship? Can the American project abroad be sustained if it is being terribly managed, as indicated by the nearly 20-year effort to mislead the public into believing the effort create sustainable civil society in Afghanistan wasn’t a manifest failure?
Dec 09, 2019
Overreach by Way of Underreach
With Nancy Pelosi calling on her committee chairs to produce articles of impeachment, it seems Donald Trump is sure to face a trial in the Senate. But have the politics of impeachment gotten away from Democrats? Also, what does Kamala Harris’s exit from the presidential race say about the Democratic Party?
Dec 05, 2019
America the Baleful?
American pride in the country is on the decline. What is driving this lamentable phenomenon, and can it be reversed before it has a pernicious effect on our common national purpose? Also, is Joe Biden’s campaign yet another experiment designed to see just how out of touch the Acela Corridor can be?
Dec 02, 2019
The Bloomberg Off the Rose
A special pre-Thanksgiving COMMENTARY podcast dives into the question no one asked but to which Mike Bloomberg thinks he’s the answer. Does he have a shot and, if not, what is he thinking? Also, breaking down the Democrats’ impeachment strategy and analyzing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous BBC interview.
Nov 27, 2019
Is Impeachment Falling Flat?
Looking back on a dramatic week of impeachment inquiry proceedings, the Democrats’ position with voters appears to be deteriorating. Is it too early to judge the inquiry’s effectiveness and, if not, does that suggest that the process will fizzle? Also, the confusing and probably incomplete story that led to the resignation of Navy Sec. Richard Spencer and the difficult choice Trump will have to make regarding the protests in Hong Kong.
Nov 25, 2019
The Night of the Also-Rans
John is out for this episode of the COMMENTARY podcast, but the gang soldiers on in his absence. Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate was a strong night for the candidates polling in the low single-digits and a middling one for most of the field’s frontrunners. Will it matter to Democratic voters? Also, the hosts unpack a day of impeachment hearings and a series of revelations that were none too good for Donald Trump.
Nov 21, 2019
The Twitter Impeachment and Pete's (Buttigieg) Edge
The first week of public hearings on impeachment concludes with the sense that maybe Democrats are just trying to make the case that Donald Trump is a bad and mean guy instead of making the case that he should actually be removed from office. And Mayor Pete surges... or is the story that Elizabeth Warren is falling? Give a listen.
Nov 18, 2019
The Impeachment at the End of History
So how did it go? We talk about the first day of the impeachment hearings before going on to talk about Turkey, Gaza—and Abe Greenwald's remarkable December COMMENTARY cover article, "The Failure at the End of History." Give a listen.
Nov 14, 2019
Bloomberg’s Folly
The billionaire former mayor of New York City looks to be entering the 2020 Democratic primary race, with an emphasis on “looks to be.” Can the wealthy technocrat compete for liberal votes nationwide? And if his candidacy is predicated on the assumption that Joe Biden will implode when the first votes are counted, is that assumption even valid?
Nov 11, 2019
Storm Clouds Gather
The podcast surveys the results of the 2019 off-year elections, most of which are not all that great for Republicans. What do Tuesday’s returns tell us about the 2020 race? Also, progressives are irritated that the wealthy are not jazzed about the prospect of having their property expropriated by an avaricious state. Who could have guessed?
Nov 07, 2019
Warren, Health Care, and the Democratic Cliff
So who's up for a $52 trillion health-care-for-all plan? Anybody? Today's podcast takes up Elizabeth Warren's strange notion that this is the way to get herself and Democrats elected, especially on a day when a very specific piece of polling suggests next year's election is at best a jump ball for Democrats in the very places they need to win to take the presidency from Donald Trump. Give a listen.
Nov 04, 2019
Making Arguments About Impeachment
Bad, but not impeachable. Is this the argument that Republicans will settle on to acquit the president if, as it seems increasingly likely, he is impeached by the Democratic House? Also, the bizarre effort on the part of the press to avoid offending… radical Islamist terrorists?
Oct 31, 2019
Throuple in Paradise
With the elimination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Donald Trump gets his first good news cycle in several weeks and he deserves every minute of it. But can it last, and will the president overplay his hand? Also, the hypocrisy of noted “throuple” enthusiast and recently resigned Rep. Katie Hill’s defenders.
Oct 28, 2019
No Exit from Impeachment
On today's podcast, we bemoan the president's behavior, we bemoan the idea that we are Never Trumpers, we bemoan the notion that Republicans in the Senate are going to find a way out of the morass they find themselves in, and we just generally bemoan. Give a listen.
Oct 24, 2019
The Anti-Truth Election
Donald Trump tweets that impeachment proceedings represent a “lynching,” which, aside from being ahistorical and callous, is also factually untrue. And yet, millions of Americans will read the president’s words and believe him, just as millions of Americans believe Elizabeth Warren was fired for being pregnant, among other dubious aspects of her self-professed record. Will the truth matter in 2020? Also, is Tulsi Gabbard a Russian agent or just a Democrat?
Oct 22, 2019
Is This the 'Mayor Pete' Moment?
Today's day-early podcast takes up the Democratic debate, with three out of four of us giving Pete Buttigieg the crown as the undisputed winner. But will it matter one iota? Does it matter that Elizabeth Warren didn't fight back effectively? Does it matter that Joe Biden was the political version of the malapropist comic Norm Crosby? Does anything matter? Give a listen.
Oct 16, 2019
Say Hello to Pregnahontas
Today's podcast begins in all seriousness with a discussion of the horror in Syria and what it might cost Donald Trump and then descends into ludicrous comedy as we discuss the Democratic party's insistence on making it as easy as possible for Trump to be reelected—with a particular focus on Elizabeth Warren's claim that she was fired for being pregnant once upon a time. We now dub her "Pregnahontas." Give a listen.
Oct 14, 2019
Bowing to Turkey, Fighting the Democrats
This week, the COMMENTARY crew, down one Noah Rothman, discusses Turkey's military offensive in Syria, the betrayal of the Kurds, the White House's political strategy to fight impeachment, and the fate of Bernie Sanders's campaign.
Oct 10, 2019
The Kurds’ Problems, and Our Own
Donald Trump has given Recep Erdoğan the green light to attack America’s Kurdish allies in Syria. He’s also called on China to look into that Hunter Biden guy. And for good measure, he’s called Mitt Romney a “pompous ass.” All this as additional whistleblowers emerge to make his life more difficult. The COMMENTARY podcast gang, temporarily without Noah Rothman, tries to figure out what’s behind the latest Trump decisions and what effect they’ll have on the president’s fortunes.
Oct 07, 2019
Has Anyone Thought This Through?
As the nation focuses on the Democratic effort to impeach President Trump, Democratic House leadership devotes its focus to… prescription drug pricing? The COMMENTARY podcast wonders what Democrats are thinking as they make a muddled case against Trump. Also, Bernie Sanders' health worries, Elizabeth Warren’s ascension, Joe Biden’s stagnation, and the spectacularly bad decision in favor of racial discrimination at Harvard.
Oct 02, 2019
You Better Be Unimpeachable With Your Impeachment
How much political peril is Donald Trump in? That may not be the right question. The right question might be: Shouldn't this be a matter for the American people to decide in 2020 rather than Democrats in the House in 2019? This is what we discuss on the podcast today. Give a listen.
Sep 26, 2019
A Kickback in Kiev?
The Democrats’ stalled drive toward impeaching Donald Trump accelerates anew following reports that Trump made a “promise” to Ukraine’s leader in exchange for their efforts to investigate Joe Biden’s